The Week In Trans 11/6/17

| Nov 6, 2017

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Kedarie Johnson

The defendant in the trial for the murder of gender fluid Kedarie Johnson has been found guilty. Jorge Sanders-Galvez will likely be sentenced to life in prison. Attorney General Jeff Session surprised the trans community by sending a special hate crimes prosecutor to work on the case. Read more in The New York Times.

Penn State University has joined other colleges and communities to celebrate Transgender Visibility Month. The school will host events all through November aimed at increasing awareness of trans issues and fighting transphobia. Among the events are a clothing exchange, a talk by Mara Keisling of NCTE, panel discussions and a film about a trans teen’s transition. Learn more on the Penn State website.

Campus queen Alex Crump.

Universities are also becoming hot beds of drag as extra curricular activities are not limited to boring things like sports or movie nights. Drag shows are popping up in college towns from coast to coast. Learn more about the drag scene at Indiana University from the school’s publication Indiana Daily Student.

With so much going against transgender people, it’s nice to see some places where transgender people are treated with respect. In particular, The Advocate created a list of the Top Ten Trans-Supportive Colleges and Universities In The U.S.. It is interesting to see some of the particular services that these institutions provide for transgender students.

Last Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly placed a preliminary injunction on the implementation of President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military. The injunction, in simple terms, means that transgender people who are currently serving cannot be dismissed or refused reenlistment because they are transgender. The injunction is the result of a pre-trial motion, and will stay in effect until the trial is over and a final verdict is announced (unless overturned on appeal). It is an indication that the plaintiffs have a strong case and are likely to win. Professor Art Leonard of New York Law School analyzes the injunction on his blog. Further analysis is done by Samantha Allen at the Daily Beast, and Derek Hawkins of the Washington Post says that this is another time when President Trump’s Twitter feed got in the way of his governmental desires. The fact that the ban was announced and the command to dismiss were made before any study was begun worked against the government’s argument that the suit was too early.

In the takeaway quote, Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote, “the court finds that a number of factors — including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself — strongly suggest that Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious.”

Candidate Danica Roem.

Around the world more and more trans people are running for elected offices. The trend isn’t new as a study done by a political scientist in the U.K. shows that over the past 40 years across 30 countries over 130 candidates who were trans or gender-variant ran for public office. In the U.S. there are 29 trans candidates running in 2017 or 2018. See the list of candidates on Dr. Logan S. Casey’s website.

Hillary Clinton has called out President Trump for his attacks on LGBT people, calling them “striking and scary.” She said that this is proof of the need for an Equality Act to prevent discrimination. The Hill covered her remarks.

NBC News ran a piece online about how two new nominees to the EEOC could tip the balance against the rights of LGBT people.

The Williams Institute at UCLA released the California Health Interview Survey, which found out some things about transgender people in the state of California. The survey found that transgender people have similar poverty rates to cisgender people, but are much more likely to have suicide ideation. Transgender people are also three times as likely to not pick up some medicine that was prescribed for them. You can read more about the survey in the San Francisco Chronicle.

North Carolina’s HB2 is back in the news. In response to a law suit against HB2 and its replacement, HB142, Governor Roy Cooper submitted a proposal wherein transgender people would be allowed to use the restroom of their preferred gender in buildings administered by agencies under the governor’s control. Unfortunately, that seems to be out of his hands, according to HB142, as explained by Colin Campbell in The Daily Advance.

Michelle Emerson

A trans woman in rural Canada has become one of three trans women to be given a Women of Distinction Award. The award is given by YWCAs across the U.S. and Canada to women who have demonstrated excellence, leadership and integrity in their fields and in the community, serving as role models for other successful women. Michelle Emerson was given her award by the YWCA of Muskoka, Canada. Learn more on the Muskoka Region website.

Milo Yiannopolis has resurfaced down under. The former contributor to Breitbart claims that there are no transgender children (despite evidence from parents, counsellors, and doctors), and that transgender adults are mentally ill gay people. Someone here is indeed delusional, but the question is, are all the mental health professionals delusional, or is Milo Yiannopolis the one with the delusion? You can read more about his trip to Australia in the Daily Mail. (No, Milo Yiannopolis does not get another TWIT; he seems to be out to get publicity, and we do not want to give him more. On the other hand, the Daily Mail does get a TWIT. See below.)

Charlie Hides

A former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race ran into the thing crossdressers fear most about air travel. When Charlie Hides’ carry-on went through the checkpoint scanner his silicone breast plate showed up on the screen as a large blob. So right there in the security line his luggage was opened, the breast prosthesis was pulled out and swabbed for explosives. They also checked out his 9-inch stiletto heels and a large sex toy that he uses in his on stage routine. Read more about the uncomfortable, for everyone, incident on Yahoo.

Six high school students in Boulder County, Colorado, did a research project on the problems that transgender and gender diverse students face in their school district and an adjacent district. Their biggest finding was that several cisgender students and teachers thought that the districts were doing a lot (perhaps too much) to support transgender students, while the transgender students said that their complaints and problems were often being ignored. The Boulder Daily Camera has more on this.

Gloria

Documentary film maker Robyn Simon has made a new film about Gloria Stein, who transitioned from male to female while in her sixties. The film is called Uncle Gloria, and it is in limited release. The film is reviewed in Aced Magazine.

Over 700 Oregonians have taken advantage of the state’s new option to select a third gender for state issued ID. The change was approved in June and since then people have taken advantage of being allowed to have “nonbinary” or Gender “X” on their driver licenses and ID cards. Learn more about some of those who made that choice in the East Oregonian.

In the spirit of Halloween, Landwirth Legacy Productions created a public service announcement. It begins with a boy and a girl and pumpkins with the Batman and Wonder Woman logos, and you can perhaps guess where this will go, but it is still lovely to see it. The video is titled My  Heroes.

The NHS Trust in Britain has apologized to a transgender woman whose medical records mysteriously showed up in someone else’s medical files. Sarah Preece received a text message written by another patient, telling her details of her medical records that the other patient had found among her own records. The other patient had found contact information in her medical records. There was even a note that Ms. Preece was concerned about the confidentiality of her medical records. The NHS trust has admitted to the error, and has apologized for it. They are still investigating how the error happened. This story can be found in the Telegraph.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party in Britain, was asked in a recent interview to say something positive about his counterpart in the Conservative Party, Prime Minister Theresa May. Mr. Corbyn chose to praise Ms. May for her support for transgender people’s rights, and for her efforts to reform the Gender Recognition Act. Mr. Corbyn pointed out that Ms. May has reached out to Labour on this issue despite some opposition from the UKIP and from some within her own party. Pink News has this story.

A German intersex person.

In the German Weimar Republic in the early years of the 20th century transgender people could go to a doctor who was aware of their existence and after an examination take a letter from the doctor to the police and apply for a “transvestite pass.” This allowed them to have some protection from arrest for crossdressing in public. While there was no law against crossdressing anyone could be charged with being a “public nuisance” and fined or imprisoned for six weeks. Learn more about the protection offered by the pass on the Atlas Obscura site.

TWITs

Roy Moore is a candidate for the Senate seat from Alabama which used to belong to Jeff Sessions. the former judge, who was twice suspended from his seat on the state Supreme Court, said that Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly should be impeached because she issued an injunction against President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military. According to Roy Moore, transgender people are so scary that they need to be forbidden from the military without a need to do any study, even though the military’s own study showed no significant reason to keep transgender people out. For putting the conclusion ahead of the research, Roy Moore gets a TWIT Award. You can read more in The Daily Beast.

A newspaper called the Kentish Gazette is in trouble because of its coverage of a transgender person. The article talked of a “very obvious transgender” person in Canterbury, and showed five women a photo of this transgender person. All five people identified the person as male, which the newspaper took as proof of something. Four of the five women said that this particular transgender person did not know how to dress as a woman, which the article said showed that this person could not have a female brain in a male body. There are no doubt cisgender females who grew up in a society where women dress differently from contemporary British women, who would be unfamiliar with how women in Britain dress. Would that woman not have a female brain? For bad logic, the Harry Bell column’s author gets a TWIT Award. Here is a link to a story on this column. The Kentish Gazette has admitted that they were negligent in running the column, and dedicated the following week’s letters section to feedback on the column.

The Daily Mail, which has been developing a reputation as opposed to transgender people in general, published an article recently which combines the increase in families seeking the services of gender therapists with the old theory of desistance to come up with the idea that NHS is pressuring too many people, especially children, to transition. They claim that the existence of transgender YouTubers who get plenty of hits shows that being transgender is seen as “trendy.” They might have a point, since some of these children may be thinking outside the gender binary, and simply switching them from one side to the other won’t work. The problem is, the Daily Mail never thinks of that. Their nonsense has been refuted by LGBTQ Nation and Pink News found that the Daily Mail did not bother to ask rights-holders for permission to use photos in connection with the article. For violating journalistic standards in order to attack a group with bad logic and a lack of science, the Daily Mail gets a TWIT. You can find the original article on the Daily Mail website.

A teacher in Cambridge, New York, was placed on administrative leave, due to blowback from parents in response to her teaching on transgender issues. Jacqueline Hall is the health teacher at the schools in question, and she handed out a series of terms to both seventh and tenth graders, although there is only evidence that the parents of seventh graders objected to the material. One parent complained that the material went into too much detail for students of that age. The Post-Star of Glens Falls, New York has this story and a TWIT Award goes to Ms. Hall for giving seventh graders info that was too advanced. Another TWIT goes to the school for suspending her.

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TWIT is written and assembled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional content and editing by Angela Gardner.

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