The Week In Trans 2/12/17

| Feb 13, 2017

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Tallulah-Eve Brown

Britain’s Top Model has announced is new line-up, and there will be a transgender woman competing. There will be two transgender women competing for Germany’s Top Model. Good luck to Melina Budde and Giuliana Radermacher in Germany as well as Tallulah-Eve Brown in Britain.

Joe Maldonado has returned to the Cub Scouts. After the Boy Scouts of America made it clear that he was welcome (as are all transgender boys), Joe came to a Cub Scout meeting and was singled out for a welcome. It isn’t often that the media are there to record a boy joining the Cub Scouts, but that was the case with Joe. You can see a video along with the story at NorthJersey.com.

An 11-year-old transgender girl, identified only as G, was shot in the arm with a BB gun by some local bullies while attending high school near Manchester in the U.K. She was not injured, but she was shaken up quite a bit. This story is in Pink News.

Gila Goldstein, a pioneer and activist in the transgender community of Israel, has passed away. She was 69 years old. She was a sex worker who became an entertainer, as well as an activist and a visible face for the LGBT community. A Wider Bridge has this story.

In Texas, one small local community has been fighting for a local transgender student, and has been getting opposition from the state’s attorney general and lieutenant governor. The locals have come up with a name: “Many Stripes, One Tiger.” Much of the campaign has been waged on social media, and they have received support from within their area and outside of it. “We rally around kids based on who they are. This is a supportive community and a fantastic place to live,” says Andy Hutton, one of the creators of the group. “I wasn’t surprised at people willing to stand up for a third grader and allow her to be who she is.” The group formed last September out of people who opposed an outside group called Texas Values. They attend Dripping Springs area school board meetings. The Hays Free Press has more.

Cox in Doubt.

Television is becoming “woke” about using trans characters as regular people who are just part of the tapestry of life, not the trans sex worker, murder victim or other weird plot twist. Prominent among the new trans actors is Laverne Cox. Ms. Cox always wanted to play a lawyer on a network TV show and CBS has given her that role in the courtroom drama Doubt, which premiers this Wednesday. Cox is not the only trans person appearing on the small screen. Learn more in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The San Francisco LGBT Center has begun a new public-service ad campaign with the theme Hire Trans. The signs will run on SFMTA Muni buses and trains as well in BART stations, through the end of March. The Director of Economic Development for the SF LGBT Center, Clair Farley, says, “As trans people, we are twice as likely to have a college degree, but three times as likely to be unemployed.” SFMTA is donating the ad space, while BART is providing space at reduced rates. You can read more at Edge Network.

Last Friday Minneapolis established an official group to advise the City Council and Park Board on matters related to the trans community. The Transgender Equity Council is part of the city’s ongoing effort to identify disparities and work with community members. Learn more on the StarTribune website.

Erica Ervin

Erica Ervin, also known as Amazon Eve, is a transgender actress who appeared in American Horror Story: Freak Show. She comes from the town of Turlock, California, and she returned there for a comic book festival at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds recently. The Modesto Bee covered her return.

There has been a 360% increase since 2013 in the number of children who apply to the Family Court in Australia for permission to begin hormone therapy. Australia is the only industrialized country where those under age 18 have to ask for court permission to begin “cross-sex hormones.” (Until a few years ago, they had to get court permission to begin hormone blockers. That can now be done with parents’ permission.) The Star Observer has this story.

Gigi Gorgeous

Trans YouTube star and model Gigi Gorgeous has been in the news a few times recently. Her press agent must be working overtime. The latest mention of Miss Gorgeous reports that she has come out as a lesbian. So first she was a gay guy, then a trans woman and now she’s a gay trans woman. She’s only 24. How many more things may she end up coming out for? Read the story on the People website.

Jamie Roberts sent us an interesting op-ed by a trans woman who has been working as an intelligence operations specialist for the Department of Defense. After the attack on the Twin Towers Alexandra Chandler decided she needed to work in the intelligence community to help protect the U.S. from further attacks. But she had not transitioned yet and found herself becoming her true self while she worked within a conservative institution that had major problems accepting her. Read her story in The Washington Post.

In the Australian state of New South Wales, students are no longer allowed to be taught about “gender theory,” and a series of things meant to “de-gender” the language that teachers use are no longer encouraged by the government. This is after a review begun last September by the Education Department. The review was a response to criticism from a group which calls itself “the Christian Lobby.” You can find this story in the Star Observer.

Daniela Vega

A new film by Chilean director Sebástian Lelio entitled A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantastica) was shown at the Berlin Film Festival. It tells the story of a transsexual woman who is dealing with the death of her boyfriend. The film is looking for a European distributor. Indiewire has more.

We have heard of long waiting lists for transgender services in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. To that list, add the province of Alberta. It can take up to three years to be seen at the one clinic in the province. The clinic at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary is only open one half-day per month. While that might have been enough once upon a time, the number of children seeking an appointment has grown so much larger it is staggering. A new campaign has begun to press the government for more services. A story about that campaign is on the CBC’s website.

Miss Fame makeup.

What individual who adopts the femme lifestyle doesn’t want to know all the tricks and tips they can find on how to do flawless makeup? And who has the best tricks and tips for people who happen to be male but strive to be beauteous babes? Drag queens of course. Learn about contouring, baking and blending, along with other techniques on the Look UK website.

Last week, the owner of an auto repair service in North Ridgeville, Ohio, put a message on his business’s sign: “If you dont [sic] know who you identify as pull down your pants and look.” The sign displayed an obvious level of ignorance regarding transgender issues. The man responsible has resigned from his other job — as president of the Olmstead Falls city council. He claims he received death threats. Perhaps he did, but it is also possible that he misunderstood the comments he received as much as he misunderstood gender issues. You can read more about this on News 5 Cleveland.

Janet Mock

Trans activist Janet Mock has a new book coming out in June. It’s titled Surpassing Certainty and it follows Mock’s life from the age of 19 as she found her way from her home in Hawaii to the office towers of New York City. Always “. . .within the unique context of being trans, a woman and a person of color.” Learn more about the coming book on her website. Thanks to Jan Brown for the story tip.

Jan also let us know that there will soon be a trans doll for little trans girls to play with and it’s an 18” tall replica of Jazz Jennings. The doll was introduced to the public at the 2017 New York International Toy Fair last week. It will be available for purchase in July. Learn more on the PR Newswire website.

The singer of the punk rock band Against Me! appeared on The Daily Show last week to plug her new book, Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. During a respectful and informative interview with host Trevor Noah, Laura Jane Grace defended her use of the “T” work in the book title and talked about her transition in a mostly male-dominated musical genre. Learn more and watch a video of her appearance on the New Now Next website.

Martina Robledo, Derek Marrocco, Hollin_Haley.

If you watched the Grammy Awards last night you may not have known that one of the “Grammy Girls,” the attractive young women who deliver the awards to the presenters, was a trans woman. That wasn’t the only first for the awards. They also had a man and a cis woman delivering the awards along with the women. The trans woman was model Martina Robledo. Learn more on the Billboard magazine website.

Last fall, there were protests when Sam Olens was appointed to be president of Kennesaw State University. Mr. Olens did not have a good reputation regarding LGBT people in the job he was leaving, Attorney General for the state of Georgia. It seems that he has changed. Kennesaw State University is now updating its student records to ask students for their preferred name and preferred pronouns, to include those on class rosters. That is just the most obvious change that has been made. President Olens set up a Presidential Commission on GLBTIQ Initiatives, and he is putting their ideas into action. Georgia Voice has this story.

The FBI office in Richmond, Virginia recently met with LGBTQ community leaders to discuss the agency’s role in investigating hate crimes and supporting sexual and gender minorities. Local FBI leaders and agents from Washington sought input from the community and assured the LGBTQ people in attendance that the agency will continue to work to uphold the Constitution no matter who holds the director position. Thanks to Ally Raymond for the tip on this story. You can find it on the GayRVA website.

Juno Dawson

A multi-award-winning Young Adult author who came out as trans in 2015 was supposed to appear at a British school for an educational event last week. The school is a Catholic one and 48 hours before the event the author, Juno Dawson, was informed that her appearance was canceled. The school told her that the material she was going to present was “inappropriate.” Dawson and her agent feel that the event was canceled because she is trans. Read the story on the Buzzfeed website.

Last month GLSEN released data on the treatment of LGBT students in the USA. Last week they added a section to their website that allows users to see the school climate data for the individual states. You can find the state data now on the GLSEN website.

TWITs

A study by the Texas Association of Businesses came up with an estimate of $8.5 billion in lost revenue if Texas were to pass a “bathroom bill” and were to get a reaction along the lines of what happened to North Carolina. Recently, some people went back and re-examined the study, only to find that in some cases it estimated a very high cost. (This was, after all, supposed to examine everything up to and including the worst-case scenario). It also included at least one possible problem that did not come to pass (the relocation of Super Bowl LI). Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has taken this criticism of some of the numbers and pretended that the whole study is tainted, even the parts that the follow-up study found were still quite valid. He claimed that the follow-up study “totally discredited” the original study, and said, “There is no evidence whatsoever that passage of Senate Bill 6 will have any economic impact on Texas.” The Austin American-Statesman has Mr. Patrick’s side, while the study itself can be found in The San Antonio Express-News (but appears to be behind a pay wall). A TWIT Award goes to the Lt. Governor for going down that slippery slope on an issue that actually affects a small number of Texans.

Texas state Representative Briscoe Cain supports Senate Bill 6 (a.k.a. “the bathroom bill”). When the subject of violence against transgender people came up, he called it, “dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up,” and said it wasn’t a problem when he was younger. Oh, it was a problem, but he was just blind to the problem. For insensitivity to others, and for justifying it by noting insensitivity in the past, Briscoe Cain gets a TWIT Award. You can read more in The New Civil Rights.

A court in Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana) has filed an appeal after a court ruled that the country’s Civil Registrar must change its registry to show that transgender woman Yvanna Hilton is female. Suriname argues that, since there is no legislation governing transgender matters, “therefore there is no violation of Hilton’s human rights.” The nation is arguing that it is not violating her civil rights because, as a transgender person, she doesn’t have any. That attitude gets the government of Suriname a TWIT Award. The Herald (of St. Martaans and the Northern Caribbean) has this story.

The Catholic Church has never expressed a formal position on transgender people, and there have been statements from Pope Francis both in opposition (complaining about “gender theory” being taught in schools) and in support of transgender people (saying that rejection of transgender people would be un-Christlike). Some people will pick the statements that they like and shove them in the faces of other people, while ignoring the statements that they disagree with. The Newman Catholic Students’ Society of McGill University held a talk on the topic of “Gender Mainstreaming and Transgender,” and before the event began, people were outside protesting that the panelists (Douglas Farrow and Moira McQueen) were known to have an anti-transgender bias. The good news is that this event caused the student newspaper to discuss various transgender issues as they exist on campus (and to criticize the Newman Catholic Students’ Society in a polite, Canadian way). The bad news is that this was not an isolated event. You can find the editorial in McGill Daily.

Trans woman Tammy L. Felbaum seems to be a hot mess. Felbaum was arrested and served time for killing her sixth husband (sixth!) by botching his castration. That was back in 2001. She maintains that he overdosed on pain medication after the illegal procedure. For some reason last week she went to the local courthouse and told the security guards that she had “guns and an Uzi rock launcher” in her purse. Just kidding! But she was arrested for that and telling a guard that she was there to “shoot a judge.” TWIT Awards go to Felbaum and the guards who could have just searched her bag and let her in. Read more on the Daily Mail website.

TWIT is edited by Angela Gardner who also supplied additional TWIT links.

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