The Week In Trans 5/8/17

| May 8, 2017

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Llyr

With conservative media outlets attempting to make people believe it’s “trendy” to be trans and saying all the children who are coming out to their parents about their discomfort and depression due to living in the wrong gender are really just “going through a phase” it’s nice to see a story about a trans kid who is totally sure that living as a girl was the right thing. Read the story of Llyr, a 16-year-old from Wales. It can be found on the BBC website.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has informed a federal court in Texas that it is “reconsidering” the provision which requires insurance companies to cover trans-related health care. This seems to be the first step in ending that particular rule. The department has already said that it would not appeal the ruling which said that the provision should not be enforced. The Advocate has more on this story.

Donald Trump said that he would sign an executive order on religious freedom on May 4, the National Day of Prayer. It was thought that such an executive order would excuse people from prosecution for certain acts if the act came from a “deeply-held religious belief.” It was thought that this executive order would pertain to people who object to LGBT individuals. It turns out that none of that is in the executive order. The order allows charitable non-profit groups to take a more active part in politics, including the endorsement of a particular candidate or party. You can read more at the Washington Blade.

Timane

Rizi Xavier Timane is a musician, author, activist, minister, grief counselor, and trans man. He was born female in Nigeria and suffered through his youth as he was forced to live a female role. After finding himself and transitioning in his thirties he created the Trans Surgery Scholarship fund. Now based in the United States, every year Timane’s fund picks one applicant to receive GRS. Learn more about Timane and the fund on the NBC News website.

Donald Trump’s pick to be Secretary of the Army, Tennessee state Senator Mark Green, has withdrawn his name from nomination for the post. He says that he has become “a distraction” after an interview he gave, in which he described transgender people as having “a disease.” He claimed, “my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked” and said that his opponents made “false and misleading attacks.” Edge Media has more on this.

Archbishop Samuel Aquila, the head of the Archdiocese of Denver, has forbidden Catholic churches (and presumably Catholic schools affiliated with those churches) in the Archdiocese from allowing transgender boys into their Boy Scout troops. The parishes are not being forced to cut their ties to the Boy Scouts of America, just to not admit transgender boys as scouts. Transgender boys can still join Denver-area troops that are not affiliated with Catholic churches (or schools). In fact, the Boy Scouts have said that they will work with a family to find a troop that would except a transgender boy who was rejected by a troop for religious reasons. This story is in Denverite.

Erica Sequra

A trans girl who transitioned during her sophomore year has been elected the first trans prom queen at Dolores Huerta Preparatory High in Pueblo, Colorado. Erica Segura is a senior and became interested in running for the title at the beginning of the year and built up enough of a following through word of mouth advertising that she took the title with a large number of votes. Read the story in The Pueblo Chieftain.

Hypatia, a feminist journal, has issued an apology for an article they ran which compared being transgender with being trans-racial. They appear to have thought that transgender people are finding more acceptance in society, and that trans-racial people could build on that acceptance. It turns out that transgender people are not accepted as widely as the editors thought, and moreover, that the problems with acceptance for transgender people caused a huge backlash to the article. The journal has pledged to be more considerate of trans feminists and feminists of color in the future. The Chronicle of Higher Education has more about the reaction to the article.

Several hospitals have begun to offer gender confirmation surgery in the last few years. The latest to do so is the Mayo Clinic. A human-interest profile of their first patient can be found in the Rochester Post Bulletin.

Tutu solidarity in Wyoming.

Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming opened his mouth and inserted his foot when while speaking to a group of high school students he said that men who go into bars dressed as women are just asking to get beat up. He gave as an example the story of a man he claimed to know who wore tutus to the bar and kept getting in fights. In response to his claim a movement has begun to encourage straight men to wear tutus in support of LGBT people when they go out for a drink. Learn more on the LGBTQ Nation website.

Three transgender women from Birmingham, Alabama, traveled to Texas, using temporary I.D. cards that they had obtained from the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles, after they had changed their names at court. While the I.D. cards contained photographs, they were not the plastic-laminated cards that TSA workers are used to. The TSA rejected the temporary cards, but told the women that they could check in using their old I.D. cards. WIAT-TV in Birmingham has this story.

While not having I.D. that matches your gender presentation can cause trouble in the real world, you would think that it shouldn’t matter in virtual reality. You would be wrong. A team of transgender Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players were barred from entering an online female-only tournament and were told that they could be penalized for “faking their gender.” The team was very upset that it had to miss the tournament but there may be a change in policy. Learn more on the PVP Live website.

Real life Chris Hardwick and his Face App feminine version.

Gender shifting? There’s an app for that. The social media world was all a-tizzy last week over a new mobile app that can, among other things, change the gender of your selfies. It’s called FaceApp and since it was launched in February it has had millions of downloads. The filters let you change your gender, appear older, younger or just hotter. It instantly applies filters to modify your face. Some male celebs have been turned on by their female image. (Talking to you Chris Hardwick.) Is this app a good idea for seeing what you would look like if you really transitioned? Maybe not. It might be too good and just not achievable in real life. Drag star Miz Cracker evaluates it on her blog on the Outward website.

Canada’s Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced that that country’s passports will soon have a third option beyond “male” and “female.” The official classification will be “unspecified,” and the letter designation will be “X.” This is permitted under International Civil Aviation Organization rules. Although this comports to international regulations, Senator Don Plett said, “I don’t think it’s a workable solution.” You can read more at the CBC.

Georgie Stone

Georgie Stone, a student at Elwood College in Australia, has been told that she will receive the Young Voltaire Award for free speech, which specifically goes to people under age 30. At age 10, she convinced a family court to allow her to start hormone blockers, making her the youngest person to get that permission. She then convinced the family court that transgender children should not need permission from family court to begin hormone blockers. The Melbourne Herald-Sun has this story.

An eight-year-old girl from North London, identified as “Els,” got into a battle with a giant book publisher and won. She wrote to Scholastic (the publisher behind the Harry Potter books, among others) and told them that she was put off by the fact that the pirate book she wanted to read was marked “for boys” on the cover. She convinced them to stop labeling their books as “for boys” or “for girls.” The Daily Kos has this story.

The National School Climate Survey is a biennial survey conducted by GLSEN since 1999 and is the only national survey that specifically examines the experiences of LGBTQ youth in middle and high school. The survey asks youth about their experiences with harassment and victimization at school, hearing biased language from students and school staff (e.g., homophobic and racist remarks), and other factors that affect their overall feelings of comfort and safety at school. If you attended high school or middle school sometime during the last school year (2016-2017) and are at least 13 years old you are eligible to participate in the survey. Click here for more info and to take the survey.

Eddie Izzard, comedian and executive transvestite, came out as a transvestite over 30 years ago and he credits that with giving him the self confidence to go on stage and entertain audiences around the world. Now he has written his first book. It’s titled Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens. Read an interview with him on the Publishers Weekly website.

If you haven’t tuned in to Saturday Night Live in the past few years you may have missed Chris Pine hosting the show this past Saturday. Pine, the star of the new Star Trek movies in which he plays an alternate reality young Captain Kirk, appeared in several sketches. The best one was about a group of workers at an auto repair shop who start talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race. Then they just admit that they all watch the show and it’s the best. The sketch closes out with Pine and cast member Bobby Monihan “lip syncing for their lives.” Go to the Hypable website and scroll down to the fourth video clip.

TWITs

The Federalist seems to have at least one anti-transgender article each week. This week they have two. Why Transgenderism Is Progressive Totem” is an attack at progressives and feminists, as well as transgender people, all of whom they seem to lump together into one big category. The other article, “Why Trans Activists Will Destroy Homosexual Rights,” claims that fighting for transgender people will make it harder to fight against abuses of gay and lesbian people in other countries. The Federalist has no problem with denying rights to gay and lesbian people in the U.S., but they seem to think that someone else is carrying it too far. For continuing to criticize without attempting to learn about transgender people, The Federalist gets another TWIT Award.

Kevin Swanson is a pastor and radio host who is well-known for his anti-LGBT views. On his radio show this week, he urged parent listening to him to take their children out of the public school system, since “the goals of the educational program for your kids in the public schools . . . is that your kids be transgendered and communist by 20 years of age.” For exaggeration beyond the point of hyperbole, Kevin Swanson gets a TWIT Award. Right Wing Watch has this story, including a sound clip.

TWIT is compiled by Cecilia Barzyk with additional material and editing by Angela Gardner.

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