The Week In Trans 3/20/17

| Mar 20, 2017

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Tallulah-Eve Brown

Britain’s Next Top Model has a trans woman in the cast for their 2017 season. Her name is Talulah-Eve Brown and you may remember that name from this column when we featured a story about her winning the Miss Transgender Birmingham title. She is 22-years-old, holds a black belt in karate, writes for The Huffington Post and crusades for trans rights. Learn more in The Sun.

Time Magazine’s cover story this week is entitled Beyond He Or She. It explores how young people are rejecting rigid gender roles and strictly binary sexuality. They interviewed a variety of people for this piece, and they got some statistics from GLAAD. Comparing millennials to baby boomers, there is roughly a three-fold increase in people who do not identify in the binary on either gender identity or sexual preference.

The case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board took another turn this week when the school board’s lawyers asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to not hurry up to hear the case. The school board’s lawyers feel that it is important to get new briefs and filings from the Department of Education, and they feel that the new administration needs time to submit briefs. Mr. Grimm and his lawyers asked for the court to hear the case in May, so that a decision could be made before he graduates. The school board’s lawyers want to hold off the oral arguments until September. When Mr. Grimm graduates on June 10, he will no longer be a student in the Gloucester County School System, and thus will not have standing to sue for redress of current discrimination; he could continue suing for damages caused by past discrimination, but that changes the complexion of the case. WVEC-TV has this story.

Gabrielle Gibson

Imagine you are a trans woman who has found someone you want to marry. You make an appointment to look at wedding gowns and when you show up you learn that the store is being used by the television show Say Yes to the Dress to audition brides for their upcoming season. Also suppose that the producers of the show take one look at you and invite you to fill out an application to audition. That’s what happened to Gabrielle Gibson and then she was picked to appear on the show. Get the story from philly.com.

A restaurant in Oklahoma City has had a sign for about ten months which says, “We do not have a transgender bathroom, so don’t be caught in the wrong one. Bob Warner, the owner of The Steak And Catfish Barn, says that he meant no threat by the sign, and that he wouldn’t stop anyone who was “dressed appropriately” from going in, but at least one local transgender woman has raised an objection to the sign. This story is on KFOR-TV’s web site.

In 2013, Mel Wymore came in second in a crowded primary field for a seat on the New York City Council. The woman who beat him out won the general election. Mr. Wymore will challenge the incumbent for the seat in a primary again. If Mr. Wymore succeeds, he will be the first trans man on the New York City Council. The New York Daily News has this story.

Tomoya Hosada

Japan has already elected their first trans man to a public office. His name is Tomoya Hosoda and he was elected to the Saitama Prefecture. Hosoda is 25-years-old and transitioned in 2015. He ran on a platform of LGBT rights and for improvement of the lives of the elderly and disabled. Get the story from Pink News.

The city of San Francisco has banned its employees from using city funds to travel to South Dakota, after that state passed a Religious Freedom Defense Law. The law allows people (including doctors, among others) to refuse a service to someone based on a “deeply-held religious belief.” San Francisco’s review found that South Dakota’s law legalizes discrimination against LGBT people. You can read more at The Bay Area Reporter.

Jewish tradition contains a place for a man known as a shadchan. So what’s a shadchan, you ask? That’s a matchmaker. A man who finds people someone to marry. In Philadelphia there is a sort of shadchan who helps trans Orthodox Jews find a congregation that will welcome them. Learn more on the Philly.com website.

The European Parliament has adopted two reports which show that transgender and intersex people are discriminated against when attempting to obtain goods and services. The reports recommend states bar discrimination based on gender identity or sex characteristics, among other conclusions. You can see a report on the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association’s web site.

Harrison Brown

Harrison Browne, the transgender hockey payer who put his medical transition on hold in order to pay in the National Women’s Hockey League, has announced that he is retiring as a player in order to move about more freely, without the publicity he got as an openly transgender athlete. He has plans for a career as well as his transition. The National Post has The New York Times story.

Another transgender athlete, runner Lauren Jeska, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for attempted murder following a knife attack on Ralph Knibbs, a UK Athletics official. Apparently, she became violet after being told that her racing results were being nullified because she had not submitted the relevant samples to show that her testosterone level was within the range that made her eligible to compete. This sad story is in the Epsom Guardian.

Casa Ruby, the LGBT community center in Washington, D.C., was vandalized last Monday. A man smashed through the front door, assaulted a employee, and threatened to kill someone early Sunday. Police have arrested Andrew Cook in connection with the crime. The Washington Blade has this story.

There has been a disturbing increase in the number of hate crimes against LGBT people in Washington, D.C., recently. There were 37 such cases reported in 2015, 59 in 2016 — an increase of 59%. Some of the increase may come from LGBT people feeling more comfortable talking to police about such incidents, but is little doubt that there has been an increase in the frequency of assaults on LGBT people. This story is in the Washington Blade.

A stained glass window in the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans was broken when a brick was thrown through it during a worship service on Sunday, March 12. This was less than 48 hours after the church hosted a well-publicized town hall meeting addressing violence against transgender people in the New Orleans area. While police say that they have no specific information to tie the incident to the town hall, they also do not have a suspect at the moment. The New Orleans Times-Picayunne has this story.

Boy cat? Girl cat?

Some people say you should be wary of using WikiPedia as a source of information. The reason for that is that people can go to a page and edit the information. As an example we submit the story of the famous cartoon cat, Garfield. After a chance remark by the lasagna eating feline’s creator back in 2014 which claimed Garfield was “universal” and “not really male or female” an editing war broke out on Garfield’s WikiPedia page. Which gender won? Find out in the Watertown Daily Times.

North Carolina state Representative Mark Brody has introduced a bill which he claims will determine whether the NCAA and ACC have engaged in politicking over HB2 to the extent that they have violated their tax-exempt status. Since their tax-exempt status comes from the federal government, it should be up to the federal government to make that determination. This goes to show how far the North Carolina politicians are from revoking HB2. WBTV-TV has this story.

The Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017, if passed, will add sexual orientation and gender identity to laws against discrimination in housing. Representative Scott Taylor, a Republican from Virginia, is a co-sponsor of the bill. He says, “Nobody should face discrimination when it comes to something as important as where they choose to live.” This story is in LGBTQ Nation.

Jim Parsons and Claire Danes are set to star in an independent movie called A Kid Like Jake, about a couple who come to realize that their four-year-old in transgender. It is based on a play that appeared at Lincoln Center, and it will be adapted by Silas Howard, a transgender director who has worked on Transparent. You can read more about it in Variety.

Danielle, the CD partner.

A woman in England who says she never set out to find a male partner who dresses up says she is happy with her crossdressing partner. She’s even written a book about it titled I Just Want To Be With Her. Her partner says the first two months of their relationship made him say “what did I do to deserve you?” Read their story and view a video in the Coventry Telegraph.

In El Salvador, being transgender can make you a target for murder — and so can being a doctor who treats transgender patients. Gangs are known to beat and kill people for various reasons, and to make one victim reveal where they can find someone who will be their next victim. A group called ASTRANS is helping transgender people to stay strong. You can read about them in the Daily Beast..

TWITs

The people at Just Want Privacy keep trying every trick that they can muster to get a proposition onto the ballot nullifying the state of Washington’s non-discrimination ordinance, and especially the part about non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity. They have failed to gather enough signatures, despite several efforts. This week, they used the story of a woman who was sexually assaulted in a restroom to show the dangers of “allowing men into the ladies’ room,” even though the fact that the police arrested the perpetrator (a 40-year-old homeless man who does not identify as transgender) and added additional legal charges to the complaint against him because of his presence in the ladies’ room. Nonetheless, Just Want Privacy used Kelly Herron’s story in a fundraising email, deleting details that showed that the current law could handle this situation, and ignoring the fact that this situation had nothing to do with transgender people using the restroom of their preferred gender. Moreover, Ms. Herron herself has condemned the group’s use of her story and asked that they return any money sent to them as a result of the use of her story. A TWIT Award goes to the people in Just Want Privacy. The Seattle Times has this story.

An open microphone sometimes picks up things that people don’t hear at the time. That was the case recently in the Statehouse in Austin, Texas, during a hearing on Senate Bill 6. Dr. Colt Keo-Meier, a clinical psychologist and trans man, had come to give testimony about the legislation. He said, “As a person of God, I have to say, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ To tell someone that they are a pervert, for telling them the truth about their life, who’s the perverted one in that case?” Although no one seemed to hear it in the room at the time, a close listening to a tape of the hearing seems to reveal State Senator Joan Huffman replying to the rhetorical question with a soft, “You’re the pervert.” The camera was not on her at the time, so it is possible that someone else said that remark. Ms. Huffman was seen on camera looking through her bag while Dr. Keo-Meier was giving his testimony. For ignoring an expert who is so respected in his field that the American Psychological Association asked him to be lead author of their guidance on treatment for transgender children, Ms. Huffman gets a TWIT Award. You can read about this in LGBTQ Nation.

Silicone pumping will just not die. Sadly many of those who let someone inject loose silicone into their bodies do die. The most recent tale of pumping gone wrong comes from Florida where a woman who posed as a medical professional injected a popular Atlanta area drag performer 20 times. In the process she punctured a blood vessel which let silicone enter Lateasha Hall’s blood stream and damage her internal organs causing death. Deanna Roberts has confessed that she administered the injections and she gets a jail sentence to go along with her TWIT Award. Get the story from Fox News.

A theater director in the U.K. was arrested and later fired from his job for attempting to secretly video women to get ideas for his crossdressing. Derek Allan was so bad at secretly videoing women whose outfits he found interesting that he upset them and they complained. He would have been a lot better off if he’d simply told them he loved their look and wanted to take a photo to remember them by. A TWIT Award goes to Derek Allan for upsetting people and having it become such a big deal that he was arrested and fired. The story can be found in The Sun.

TWIT is edited and additional material is supplied by Angela Gardner.

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