The Week In Trans 11/20/17

| Nov 20, 2017

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Alexandra Chandler

Alexandra Chandler, a former Navy intelligence officer and a trans woman, has filed paperwork to run for the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts. Representative Niki Tsongas has already announced that she will not seek reelection next year. The Lowell Sun has more on her and other candidates for this seat.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is today, November 20. Staffers for several members of Congress plan to hold memorial service, with a reading of the names of people who have been the victims of anti-transgender violence from the past year, Metro Weekly reports. The service will take place on the grass in front of the House steps at 1:00 p.m.

Mother Flawless Sabrina, an icon and activist who paved the way for countless queens by helping to move drag from just entertainment to a celebration of queer culture, has passed away at the age of 78. Sabrina organized drag pageants around the country that helped both normalize and expand the form, and was featured in the 1968 semi-documentary The Queen. Read more about her life in Paper Mag.

The U.S. military is paying for the gender confirmation surgery of an active-duty member who received the surgery this week. This particular member of the armed services received a waiver for the surgery. The service member had begun transition before the ban, and the doctor told the military that the surgery was “medically necessary.” You can read more about this in The Hill.

Joy Everingham

Joy Everingham has been ordained as a minister by the Methodist Church. The ordination is the first time a transitioned transgender person has been ordained by the Methodist Church. The 43-year-old will serve as a chaplain at the University of Kent. Kent Online has this story.

The Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra, has asked that the state added as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender people in the military. AG Becerra claimed that the ban hinder the state’s ability to recruit for and retain members of the California National Guard. The request has been approved by a federal judge. This allows the state to add its legal expertise to the lawsuit. Metro Weekly has more on this story.

A transgender woman was shot in Detroit, during a robbery at an all-night gas station. Reports seem to indicate that she survived the gunshot. This story was covered by WXYZ-TV. (Note: the video of the story refers to the victim as a “transgender man,” while the written story refers to the victim as a transgender woman. She is female.)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that the Justice Department will no longer issue guidance memos under his watch. Guidance letters tell the receiver how the Justice Department interprets the law (including the Constitution). The most famous guidance memo was sent to public schools, stating that transgender students were to be allowed to use the restroom and changing room of their preferred gender. That memo has since been superseded by a new memo from the Department of Education and the Justice Department. This story can be found in Newsweek.

Violet Chachki

Even as the current administration seeks to cut the rights of trans people the acceptance of drag has continued to climb. Drag queens reading to children; college drag shows; all show a greater acceptance from most of the public. Now we have learned that one of the Drag Race winners is modeling lingerie for a major company called Playful Promises. Violet Chachki is the face of the company’s new Bettie Page line of lingerie. And she looks a lot like the original Bettie. Read the story on the Metro U.K. website.

The Texas Association of Business told the press this week that they continue to oppose any form of a “bathroom bill” in the state of Texas, feeling that such a bill would cause a huge backlash against the state. Although the state legislature did not pass such a bill in its last session, there are fears that it will attempt to do so in the next session. Metro Weekly has more on this.

Tambor’s accuser, Van Barnes.

A second allegation of sexual misconduct by Jeffrey Tambor has led writers at Transparent to consider the possibility of writing his character out of the show’s fifth season. This would not be easy, as the show seems to revolve around Maura Pfefferman. The Los Angeles Blade extracts this story from a larger story in Deadline.

A lawsuit charges an Oregon school district with recklessness in allowing transgender students to use the restroom and changing room of their preferred gender. Parents of three current or former students say that allowing a trans man at the school to use the boys’ room will cause their children to see a person of the opposite sex naked. However, as the Oregonian reports, supporters of the board’s position held a demonstration recently.

In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock has proposed a rule change to make it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender. This caused a state senator to introduce a bill which would have blocked this rule change. The bill has been defeated in the state Senate. The Montana House adjourned last Thursday, meaning that this bill will not pass during this special session of the state legislature. KPAX-TV has this story.

Pat Cordova-Goff, the ball player.

Texas State Supreme Court Justice Don Willett has been nominated for a seat on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been known for his Twitter feed, and one particular tweet has drawn the attention of Senate Democrats. In particular, he tweeted the phrase, “Go away, A-Rod,” along with a news photo of a 17-year-old transgender student who played softball for her California high school girl’s team. The nominee had trouble explaining the caption, given that the name of the young lady in question did not fit with the designation “A-Rod.” This story appears in the Houston Chronicle.

Another judicial nominee is in hot water. Jeff Mateer has attracted protestors because of his statements that transgender children are proof that “Satan’s plan is working” and other such anti-LGBT statements. Think Progress covered a rally against his nomination.

Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals have created a television series called Pose for the FX network that is set in New York City in the ’80s and focuses on “the collision of various worlds, including the elite rich and downtown ball culture.” In honor of Transgender Awareness Week the show has released the first look at the trans actors who are featured in the show’s pilot, which is filming now. See them on the Entertainment Weekly website.

Anastasia Biefang

Anastasia Biefang is an officer in the German army. She joined the army as a man, and served as a man for 21 years before transitioning two years ago. She is the first transgender person to command a military unit of the German army. The Boston Globe ran this story.

Walmart got a perfect score in the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index last year, but two charges of transgender bias have pushed them down from that point this year. It appears that there is a gap between the company’s policies and their practices. Metro Weekly is our source for this story.

The Church of England came up with new guidelines opposing the practice of bullying students over LGBT issues. The Church has a lot of schools throughout the United Kingdom, and they are asking their teachers to stop students from homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying. The full guidelines are quite long, but you can read a summary of them from the BBC. Surprisingly, Christianity Today ran two articles about the guidelines, and both are generally positive.

Some members of the Lithuanian parliament have proposed legislation which states that gender is a biological quality and therefore a legal change of gender is impossible. Lithuania has been trying to update its law about changing legal gender since it lost a case in the European Court of Human Rights in which a transgender person insisted that there should be a way to change gender. More can be found in the Baltic Times.

Japan has been rather good about allowing transgender people to change their legal gender designation, but that seems to be one-and-done. The government does not allow reverting to your birth gender after having changed it already once, according to this story in the Asahi Times.

Paddy McGuire

The McGuire family of Leicester, England, found that their younger child, Paddy, wanted to wear skirts and play with dolls. Eventually, Paddy was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. As Lorna McGuire put it, “we could learn to love our daughter or bury our son.” The story is familiar, but it appeared in the Daily Mail, a newspaper which has developed a poor reputation regarding transgender stories.

You may have heard about the “transracial” person, Ja Du, who believes that he is Filipino. It turns out that he also claims to be a transgender woman, yet uses male pronouns. It seems that his identity is more complicated than one would see on the surface, according to the Daily Dot.

The headline, “How Big Is Too Big? Doctors Survey Best-Selling Dildos To Aid Transgender Surgery” certainly grabs the attention of people. It seems that some trans men have found that their partners are uncomfortable with the size of their package, and doctors have had some requests for reduction surgery. To help their patients, the doctors want to form some guidelines, so that trans men can be told how big is too big, according to this story in Forbes.

Deana O’Riordan

The Daily Mail continues its transgender shock stories. This time, it’s the story of Deana O’Riordan, a 25-year-old post-op trans woman, who, according to their headline, does not tell her lovers that she is transgender. They quote her saying that if her lovers can’t tell that she is transgender, she feels no compulsion to tell them. We wonder what her current boyfriend thinks now that her story has been in the newspaper. You can find the story here.

TWITs

Now that Bob Marshall has lost to Danica Roem, he decided to show what a sore loser he can be. He wrote a letter to the editor of The Washington Post (which the Post makes available only to subscribers) in which he accuses the winning candidate of having a “radical transgender agenda.” “If you think insurance premiums are high now, just wait until Virginia Del-elect Danica Roem’s legislation to force insurance companies to cover ‘sex change’ operations takes effect,” writes the loser. Apparently, he is unaware that insurance companies were ordered to cover gender reconstruction surgery under the Affordable Care Act. So, he believes that premiums will increase to cover something that is already covered. He will no doubt keep up this argument, even if the legislation never gets brought up. For continuing to fight the same fight which lost him the race, Bob Marshall gets another TWIT award. The letter prompted stories in both Think Progress and LGBTQ Nation.

Edgar Coons, a professor of psychology at New York University, has been reported to the university’s bias response line. He is accused of teaching discredited theories about transgender people, and he is said to deliberately misgender transgender people. His accuser, one of his teaching assistants, has met with the Bias Response Line, and the complaint is being processed. For holding onto antiquated ideas, Professor Coons gets a TWIT Award. This story was covered by Washington Square News, the student newspaper of New York University.

Blaire White

Alex Jones said of Blaire White, “We should have her back on, very articulate, smart person. Blaire White, the, I have to say, attractive trans. Usually, they’re not. It’s kind of refreshing that she isn’t super ugly and doesn’t weigh 500 pounds Sorry, I’m digressing.” Since his entire show consists of stream-of-consciousness digressing, his audience should be used to this sort of thing. He is also projecting; he is not particularly good looking, and he certainly could stand to lose weight himself. For generalizing and projection, Alex Jones gets a TWIT. Right Wing Watch has more on this.

A drag queen reading to children is considered to be a “transgender lesson for two-year-olds.” Perhaps someone at the Daily Mail needs to learn what drag is — it is performance. Drag performers play a character; transgender people are being themselves. So, we give another TWIT Award to the Daily Mail.

Joshua Sutcliffe, who teaches mathematics at a school in England, was suspended for misgendering a trans boy He came upon some students doing schoolwork in the hall and he said, “Well done, girls.” He claims that he did not realize that one of the students identifies as male. However, in his disciplinary hearing, he kept misgendering the same student, showing little remorse. He could lose his job because of this incident, which seems rather harsh, but giving him a TWIT Award seems appropriate. The Sun and the Daily Mail have sensationalized stories on this incident.

Derick Dillard, who married into a reality-show family (19 Kids And Counting), tweeted some nasty things about Jazz Jennings, including a lot of misgendering. It is not the first time that he has attacked Ms. Jennings. This time, though, TLC stated that Derick Dillard has not appeared in the show this season, and they have no plans to have him appear. For bullying, he gets a TWIT to go with the pink slip. You can read more in The New York Daily News.

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