The Week In Trans 6/19/17

| Jun 19, 2017

Talleen Abu Hana

Talleen Abu Hana is a trans woman, Arab Christian who won the Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in 2016. Last week she was the speaker at a gathering if Jewish and Israeli activists and leaders that was held at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. She spoke about her experience growing up as a trans child in Israel. Learn more from Haaretz.

The American Medical Association has passes a resolution calling on itself to participate in efforts to “inform and educate the medical community and the public on the medical spectrum of gender identity.” They also passed a resolution condemning legal efforts to limit or prevent transgender people from “accessing basic human services and public facilities in line with one’s gender identity.” (In other words, they condemned “bathroom bills,” like what the Texas Senate passed.) You can read more about this on their web site. There is also a story on Refinery29.

The United States Department of Commerce removed language barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity from its equal opportunity statement, then restored the language the following day after many complaints from LGBT organizations. While the language was restored, there is no guarantee of vigorous enforcement of the protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Washington Post has this story.

Brooke Guinan

New York City’s first trans woman firefighter has been named a grand marshal at the Manhattan Pride Parade. Brooke Guinan joined the fire department nine years ago. She and her husband of two and a half years will march in the parade on June 25. Learn more in the New York Daily News.

Last week, we reported that the U.S. military was not ready to accept transgender recruits, despite a July 1 deadline for submitting a plan to do so. This week, the Army announced that they have begun sensitivity training for soldiers and civilians working for the Army. This does not mean that the Army will be ready to accept transgender recruits soon, but it is nice to see for those who transitioned while in the service. The Army said last week that it will need two more years to fully implement its plan, and the Marine Corps says it will need one more year. (How long they will need to put such a plan in writing is another matter.) This story can be found in USA Today.

Danica Roem

Danica Roem won her primary and will be on the ballot against Virginia legislator Bob Marshall, who has made name for himself as an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights. However, since the district voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump last year, LGBT rights are not the only issue that can be used to distinguish the candidates. If elected, Ms. Roem will be the first openly-transgender person in the Virginia House of Delegates. The Washington Post has more on this. (Thanks to Jamie Roberts for pointing this story out.)

The St. Paul, Minnesota, Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity has found that the parents of a transgender child have probable cause to sue Nova Classical Academy for failing to protect their child from bullying and harassment. Parents of other students at the charter school had organized meetings to protest the transgender child and encouraged their children to look down upon the transgender student. The parents of the transgender child worked with school administrators to form lessons about gender identity, but were informed by email that the lessons would not take place. The St. Paul Pioneer Press has this story.

Meanwhile back in Texas, Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, saw how much attention the NFL Draft brought to New Jersey, and he would like to bring the event to Dallas. The league has said that it will pick a host for next year’s draft in the late summer or early fall, but they also said that any public accommodations bill similar to SB6 in Texas will disqualify a host. The Washington Post has that part of the story. Meanwhile, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus is sticking to his guns in opposing any sort of a “bathroom bill” for Texas. He cannot keep the matter from being discussed or brought to a vote, but he does know the individual members of the House, and that can be important, as Dallas Voice points out.

Buddhi Edirisinghe

A trans woman from Sri Lanka, Buddhi Edirisinghe, was excited at the prospect of being admitted to Kalyani University in India as a PhD candidate. But her excitement gave way to agitation when after months of waiting to hear if she had been accepted she was told she did not pass the written exam and could not be admitted. She suspects that what’s keeping her out of the school is her trans status. Learn more from The Times of India.

After a lengthy delay, Canada’s Senate has passed C-16, the bill which will enshrine the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The bill still requires Royal Assent, but that is assured in this case. You can read more from Global News.

Edith Schippers, the Public Health Minister for the Netherlands, announced this week that her nation’s health plan has set aside 2.8 million euros to pay for breast augmentation surgery for transsexuals. The money will be available starting next year, to help male-to-female transgender people overcome the “serious obstacle” of not having enough breast development through hormone replacement therapy. You can find more on NLtimes.com.

Harisu

Harisu, a transgender singer from South Korea, has filed for divorce from her husband. The couple had been married for ten years. This story is in Korea Times.

The Supreme Court of Venezuela has officially accepted a petition to allow legal name and gender changes in the country. A group of activists had argued that name and gender changes should be permitted under Article 20 of the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela, which says that citizens have the right to “free development of their personality.” Venezuelan Analysis has more.

Denisse de Leon, a Mexican transgender-rights activist, was found murdered days after speaking out about the conditions at a prison. A transgender woman herself, she used her voice to help others. TeleSur has this story.

Eddie Izzard

Comedian and political and trans activist Eddie Izzard appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher last Friday. Bill and his other male panelists seemed a bit ill at ease with Izzard’s long, painted nails and high heeled shoes. Izzard is showing up on talk shows to plug his new book, Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens. Izzard talked about trans issues in Hollywood in an interview in The Hollywood Reporter.

Ed Lee, the major of San Francisco, asked for funds to buy two full-body scanners. The scanners, similar to equipment used by the TSA, will allow prison guards to perform searches on inmates without having to pat them down. this should allow transgender prisoners to be housed according to their gender identity. The Bay Area Reporter has more on this story.

Microsoft has announced that avatars for Xbox players will now include gender-neutral clothing, so that male avatars can wear dresses. Project manager Brya Saftler said, “At the end of the day, Avatars are meant for whatever you want your digital self to represent.” Pink News has more.

The Blackpool Pride event in the United Kingdom has apologized for a sign which reserved a particular space for transgender participants, separating them from others at the festival. The sign also required those under the age of 16 to be accompanied by a “responsible adult”. The organizers assure that the sign will not be used in the future. more ca be found in Gay Star News

Nong Rose Barnjaroensuk

Nong Rose Barnjaroensuk, a Muay Thai fighter and a transgender woman, made history by competing in the Rajadamnern, one of the most revered fighting stadiums in Thailand. She won her match in a judge’s decision. You can find more at OutSports.

The Trump administration has given new guidelines to the Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education. Transgender students are the focus of the some of the new guidelines. The guidelines state that schools should look to Title IX when dealing with transgender students, but there is a huge debate about whether Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination applies to transgender students. The guidelines seem to say that the Office for Civil Rights should reject claims of discrimination based on what restroom a transgender student may use, but investigate claims of harrassment or a hostile environment which do not involve the restrooms. LGBTQ Nation has this story.

TWITs

Less than a week ago, the city of Lethbridge, Alberta, painted a crosswalk to resemble the transgender flag, in preparation for Pride Fest. The walk has already been marked up by someone in a manner that seems to be deliberate. Whoever is responsible for this act gets a TWIT Award. Global News has more.

Body Blitz Spa in Toronto has apparently refused a transgender woman as a customer. Jia Qing Wilson-Yang tweeted that her wife made an appointment for her at the spa, but that when she arrived, she was told she would not be allowed in. People then took sides in a debate, as reported by the CBC. Body Blitz Spa gets a TWIT Award for discrimination.

Tim Wildmon sent an email asking people to contribute to the American Family Association so that his group can continue to fight Target. In the email, he cited an incident in which a cisgender, heterosexual male with a full beard was apparently caught in a dressing room, taking pictures of women in the next dressing room. The person doing this was not transgender, so this has nothing to do with their policy of allowing transgender people to use the restroom of their preferred gender. What’s more, the same person was accused of doing the same thing in a different store (not a Target store) a few days earlier. Target’s policy certainly cannot be blamed for what happened in a store that is not a part of their chain. As always, Mr. Wildmon keeps insisting that Target allows “men in the women’s restroom,” despite the fact that that is not what the policy allows, and the fact that spreading that lie only makes people think that the policy allows them to do such a thing. For his many misleading assertions on this, and for not even attempting to learn the truth, Tim Wildmon gets a TWIT Award. You can find the email here.

La’ray Reed

La’Ray Reed is a transgender woman who used to work at a McDonald’s in Redford, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit). She says that she was the victim of verbal and physical abuse from other crew members, and after she reported the incidents to her manager, she was let go. She is suing the owner of the restaurant as well as the McDonald’s chain. For not taking the claims of sexual harassment seriously, the manager certainly gets a TWIT. (How much either the owner or the chain’s management knew of the incident before the suit was filed is uncertain, but if they knew and did nothing, then they get TWITs as well.) Buzzfeed has this story.

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  1. Andre Leonard says:

    I was sad to hear of Harisu divorcing after 10 years. Let’s hope after a period of mourning and reflection, she is able to find true love again. I’m rooting for her.