The Week In Trans 8/14/17

| Aug 14, 2017

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Lactatia

A week or so ago we told you about the 8-year-old drag queen, Lactatia. It seems that the idea of an young boy creating a drag queen alter ego has the world intrigued. In just a week Lactatia’s video on elle.com has gotten over 27 million views. Take a look at it yourself on the Ad Week website.

Santa Clara County in California is looking for a transgender services program manager. The manager’s duties will include serving “as a key trainer, mediator and facilitator for the transgender community in areas such as medical care, employment, mental health services and safety and inclusion in local schools, hospitals, housing and at the county’s correctional facilities.” If you would like to apply for the job you can find more info and a link to submit an application on the Mountain View Voice website.

Gavin Grimm

Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sent Gavin Grimm’s case back to the District Court, to determine if he still had standing to sue the school board for relief, given that he has graduated from high school. This week, Mr. Grimm and his lawyers told the District Court that they would no longer persue that portion of the case. Mr. Grimm still is suing for damages due to the school board’s treatment of him in the past, but is no longer asking that the court order the school board to allow him to use the men’s room. WTVR-TV has this story.

A third-grader and her family are suing a California charter school for violating the state’s non-discrimination policy. While many private schools are exempt from parts of the non-discrimination policy on religious freedom grounds, this particular school in Yorba Linda is a for-profit school, not a religious non-profit, and the family contends that they should be held to the non-discrimination policy. Think Progress has more.

Trump’s Trans Ban News

There are headlines that Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military is “on hold” because of the mounting tensions around North Korea. It is hard to be certain how much has changed, or for how long, given that the Trump administration undoubtedly still wants to implement the ban. The outline for implementing the ban that was approved by White House attorneys last week was supposed to be delivered to Secretary of Defense James Mattis this week, but the Pentagon has sent a message that other issues “were to be temporarily sidelined” while all efforts were being put into North Korea. The Washington Blade has this story.

Professors at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey have issued an estimate of the cost of implementing the President’s ban on transgender troops: $960 million. Given that the Pentagon’s estimate for the cost of transgender troops was $2.4 million to $8.4 million per year, the ban would cost the military more than it would spend on transgender service members in over 114 years. The report by the professors includes the costs of recruiting and training replacements for those who were let go by the ban. You can read more about that report at Metro Weekly

The new Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer, has said that “any patriot” who can pass the physical demands should be allowed to serve in the military. He also said, “We will process and take direction of a policy that is developed by the Secretary [of Defense]” on orders from the White House, “and march out smartly.” So, he does not believe that the ban on transgender people in the military is good policy, but he will implement it if he is ordered to. That is the report from The Hill.

Word came out this week that apparently Donald Trump asked some of his White House staff, including some lawyers, if he should announce a ban on transgender people in the military, and many warned him not only that a ban would be unpopular with the public and with much of the top brass in the military, but that it would be a nightmare from a legal perspective. President Trump went ahead and announced the ban anyway, and did so without formulating any policy, leaving that to be done by others after the fact. Those warnings are turning out to be accurate, according to this article by Think Progress.

Five transgender members of the military have filed a lawsuit in opposition to proposed ban on transgender people in the military. The plaintiffs, who are identified as “Jane Does 1-5,” argue that steps are already being taken to prepare for their dismissal from the service, despite their years of experience and levels of expertise. The suit claims that the plaintiffs acted on a claim by the military that they could openly serve. To now dismiss people for having acted on that claim amounts to a breach of contract. The named defendants are the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security (whose department contains the Coast Guard during peacetime), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretaries of each branch of the armed services. Other than the president, none of the defendants has made any move to implement this ban yet, but they are named to prevent them from implementing it. The Washington Blade has this story. In a bit of analysis, Mark Joseph Stern writes in Slate that the plaintiffs have a strong case based on constitutional law, made stronger by the fact that the best defense would be that the defendants (other than the president) have no intention of implementing the ban.

Back to Other News

Meanwhile in Texas, the Special Session of the state legislature is due to end on Wednesday, and the State House shows no interest in voting on a “bathroom bill.” Speaker of the House Joe Straus and State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook are both unwilling to bring the matter to the floor of the lower chamber.  Representative Cook points out that they held hearings during the regular session, and says that holding more hearings would not do much. However, Governor Greg Abbott wants such a bill, and he has the ability to call another special session to deal with the matter. While plenty of business leaders have spoken out against such legislation, it does still have its supporters, even within the business community. Dallas Voice has this story.

Danica Roem

Danica Roem is a ball of energy. She is always doing something, whether writing, speaking, or running for Virginia’s House of Delegates. She is the subject of a profile in Metro Weekly.

In a recent by-election to fill a seat in the Iowa state legislature, Phil Miller beat Curt Hansen. It might not seem surprising that a Democrat was elected to fill a seat that had been held by a Democrat, but this was a district that Donald Trump won, and the margin of victory in the by-election was substantial, despite a lot of money being spent. Not incidentally, some of the money was spent on an ad that claimed that Phil Miller “voted Yes for transgender bathrooms.” He won, despite that ad. New York Magazine has this story.

Rainbow Day Camp in El Cerrito, California, is a camp geared to transgender children ages 4 to 12. Enrollment tripled in their three years of existence, with about 60 campers this year. The Associated Press did a story on the camp and some of its campers, which can be found here.

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning did an interview with Vogue Magazine. Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz snapped a photo of Ms. Manning in a red Norma Kamali one-piece swimsuit, to accompany the interview. You can find it on Vogue’s website.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sided with a Sam’s Club employee who is suing Walmart for discrimination on the basis of her gender identity. While she had been praised and promoted for her work prior to her transition, once she came out as transgender, the attitude of her supervisor turned to “harassment and intimidation.” LGBTQ Nation has more.

Cassandra Hefton

A transgender woman in Miami Beach claims that the manager of a supermarket won’t let her into the store any longer. Cassandra Hefton says that she asked the manager why she was not allowed to shop there, and the manager replied, “I don’t know.” Ms. Hefton called the police, and after they arrived, she was allowed to come in and buy the food that she had in her cart. This story is on ABC News 10 from Miami.

A transgender woman in Britain was locked out of her bank account because she “sounded like a man.” During a phone call to Santander Bank, a customer service representative became suspicious that someone was attempting to gain unauthorized access to Drew Dalziel’s account, and the customer service representative put a hold on the account. Subsequent calls to the bank did not resolve the issue. She was told to go to her local branch with identification, but that would not work, since she was in the process of getting new identification with her new name and gender marker. She has since cleared up the matter, and an alert was put on her account, notifying bank employees that she is transgender. The Telegraph has this story.

RuPaul with judges.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is nominated in 7 Emmy categories. RuPaul recently talked about the Emmy nominations, the show’s move from Logo to VH1, Donald Trump, and other related topics. Find out what else was on RuPaul’s mind in the interview which can be found in The Hollywood Reporter.

A couple in Kentucky is suing Amazon for negligence in the light of workplace discrimination. According to the complaint, co-workers were discriminating against the couple because the wife is transgender, and Amazon did not respond to requests for assistance, despite the fact that their policies prohibit such acts. This story can be found in Edge Media Boston.

Pittsburgh plaintifs Juliet Evancho and Elissa Ridenour.

Following last week’s news of a settlement in the case of transgender students at Pine-Richland High School in suburban Pittsburgh, we now have news of a settlement in the case of a student at Nova Classical Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota. The charter school has agreed to a settlement with the parents, and has revised its policies for transgender students who might attend in the future. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has this story.

While lawmakers in the U.S.A. are hung up on passing legislation that restricts your right to pee where you like Pakistan’s National Assembly is boldly moving forward with legislation that will make it illegal to prevent trans people from inheriting property, unlawfully evict them or deny them entry to educational institutions. Learn more about this progressive move from an article in Instinct magazine.

Jillian Bearden

Jillian Bearden is a competitive cyclist. Her times in the uphill races have gone from 16 minutes to as long as 28 minutes, partly due to the effects of HRT, partly because she is getting older. Cycling has again become a coping mechanism for her, now that she has reached a point in her transition where she can return to competition. She is profiled in the Denver Post.

Female-to-male transgender hockey player Harrison Browne has decided to postpone transition in order to play another year in the National Women’s Hockey League. The 24-year-old helped the Buffalo Beauts to win the cup last year. This year, he signed on with the New York Riveters. The CBC has a story and a video about him.

Emily Rowe

Emily Rowe is a transgender woman in Australia who plays rugby (called “football” in her homeland). She quit the game in 2012, well before starting her transition. However, she has taken up the sport again, joining the Shepparton Bears, a team of women. Whereas playing against the guys always reminded her of her gender issues, she enjoys paying against the gals much more. She is profiled in The Age.

In a typical case from Michigan a trans woman lost her family and her job after coming out. What wasn’t typical was what she did next. It was 1997 and rather than suffer alone Rachel Crandall-Crocker decided to use her skills as a social worker to found an organization to help trans people. She called it Transgender Michigan. Read her story in the Detroit Metro Times.

TWITs

Ria Cooper is a 23-year-old who, at age 15, became “Britain’s youngest sex-swap patient,” then switched back to being male at age 18, and now is switching back to female. Although this report in the Mirror says that she had a “sex swap,” it seems that all she got were puberty blockers and hormones, which she stopped at age 18 in order to return to male. Now, she has undergone hormone therapy and gotten breast implants, and she has an appointment for genital surgery next year. This story was bound to attract the attention of some “culture warriors,” and sure enough, Claire Chretien of LifeSiteNews featured a story on it. Did she exhibit a Christian understanding of the human being behind this story? Of course not. She went after Ms. Cooper with all the vileness that she could muster. Oddly, after Ms. Cooper went back to living as a male, social conservatives had used her as proof that one could “choose to not be transgender,” conveniently ignoring the fact that she had “chosen” to be a gay man instead of a trans woman. For total lack of charity, Claire Chretien and LifeSiteNews get a TWIT Award. You can find the article at LifeSiteNews.

Pope Francis said to a group of bishops last week, “Today, in schools they are teaching this to children . . . that everyone can choose gender.” He called the acceptance of “transgender ideology” “terrible.” It is not that one “chooses” one’s gender; it is simply that the gender we feel is not the gender we were assigned at birth. For condemning a theory that he does not seem to understand, Pope Francis gets a TWIT Award. It is interesting to see that His Holiness seems to be fine with transgender people individually, but has trouble with the idea of being transgender. His remarks were reported by Pink News.

Much in the same vein as the recent comments from His Holiness, Andrew T. Walker has a new book out called God And The Transgender Debate. The fact that he refers to scientific research as a “debate” is itself an indication of a problem — he seems to think that something else is at least on a level with science. One of his big points is that gay and trans identities are not “empirically verifiable,” which is not entirely true according to neurology. He also makes a distinction between having an identity as gay or trans and acting upon it. Hormone Replacement Therapy is the only treatment for gender dysphoria which actually provides relief, and he expects people to not use it, just because it conflicts with his understanding of the Bible. For making such unreasonable demands, and then saying that he is being so reasonable, Andrew T. Walker gets a TWIT Award. You can find more here.

Rep. Buddy Carter

At a recent town hall among his constituents in Georgia, Buddy Carter defended the ban on transgender troops in the military with the simple argument, “I don’t want ’em serving in the military. I’m sorry.” Presumably, he is sorry if someone else’s feelings are hurt by him “speaking his mind,” but he obviously is not so sorry to say what he knows will hurt the feelings of others. Moreover, one can easily imagine the social conservatives of a previous era saying that they “don’t want” a mixing of white and “colored” soldiers and sailors in the military, and it’s not that long ago that another member of Congress from Georgia said that women should not be in combat because of their monthly “infections.” For such bad logic, Buddy Carter gets a TWIT. Georgia Voice has this story.

In arguing for President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military, the Liberty Council makes the following statement: “The Obama-era policy would have allowed incoming service members who suffer from gender confusion to enlist if they had been “stable” in their gender identity for 18 months. The fact is, gender confusion is never “stable.” They list absolutely no medical authority for this statement, because there is no medical authority for this statement. “Gender confusion” is not a medical condition. For disrespecting both transgender people and every respectable medical organization in the nation, the Liberty Council gets a TWIT Award. Their erroneous writing can be found here.

Buck Angel

An opinion piece by Penny Young Nance is entitled, “Do transgender rights trump women’s rights? The Left needs to decide.” There is no contradiction, once you realize that transgender women are women. Moreover, the piece is attempting to defend “bathroom bills.” But, would women really feel safer sharing a rest room with a trans man such as Buck Angel? For making a bad argument in defense of a bad idea, Penny Young Nance gets a TWIT Award. Her piece appears on Fox News’s website.

Some contestants on the U.S. version of Big Brother were caught on a live feed during the broadcast talking smack about a transgender contestant from the past, including such comments as “she was a she?” and “It was a dude dressed up as a woman.” For these disrespectful comments, Jason Dent and Cody Nickerson get a TWIT Award. You can read about it on Pink News.

Jamie Shupe, the first person to get a non-binary gender designation through the court system, wrote a piece about being a soldier and being on hormone replacement therapy. Mx. Shupe agrees with Rep. Vickie Hartzler that transgender people in the military will be non-deployable for days, perhaps up to a year. The piece never mentions that this was all considered in the studies done by and for the Pentagon prior to lifting the ban on transgender people in the military. The studies said that the units could handle the non-deployable members if they planned ahead. For creating a strawman to argue with, Jamie Shupe gets a TWIT Award. The piece appeared in Mercator Net, and was picked up by the Daily Signal.

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

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