The Week In Transgenderism

| Sep 1, 2014
Saelua

Saelua

TWIT has told you before about the trans football (soccer to U.S. readers) player from American Samoa who helped her team to a huge win over Australia in 2011. Her team then went on to compete in The World Cup and history was made when Jaiyah “Johnny” Saelua became the first trans woman to play in The World Cup. On her home island Saelua was accepted as a fa’afaine, the third gender of Polynesian culture. When she stepped on to the world stage she began to experience discrimination. Get an in-depth look at her in The Guardian.

When trans people or gay people are the victims of a murderer who insists that he (always a “he”) freaked out when he was approached by an amorous gay man or trans woman, or had already become sexually involved with a trans woman and then learned she was trans, they call that the “gay panic” or “trans panic” defense. As if it’s somehow okay to murder someone who expressed interest in having sex. A polite, “No thanks” would have been sufficient. Now California has decided that the panic defense is not a defense. They’ve a bill banning the panic defense in court. Read more about it in The Advocate.

Sophia

Sophia

The trans woman running for the state of Oklahoma’s 88th district had a good shot since that district has previously sent liberal and openly gay lawmakers to the state capitol. But standing in her way was a Democratic primary in which she faced a liberal sociology professor. Perhaps his knowledge in that field helped his campaign. We must report that Paula Sophia lost to him last week. Read all about it in The Los Angeles Times.

Do you wish to pursue reassignment surgery but don’t have any health insurance? If so you might consider moving to California. The state’s health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act says that transgender patients must be treated the same as any other patients and cover pre-existing conditions, like gender dysphoria. If you make under $46,000 a year you could qualify for a subsidy. Read one woman’s story at the CNN website.

Tambor in character.

Tambor in character.

You may know that Jeffery Tambor is starring in a dramady about an older man who, after hiding gender issues all his life, comes out as trans to his family. The show is called Transparent and it shows how a father’s gender issues affect the whole family. Learn a lot more about the show and the woman directing it in The New York Times. View the trailer for the show here.

If you can’t move to California then you might consider applying for a job with the City of Cincinnati. They have decided to offer coverage for “medically necessary” procedures to trans employees of the city. They’re doing it to our more hard working trans people to move there and take government jobs. Seriously. Read the story at cincinnati.com.

Cassandro

Cassandro

You wouldn’t think the words “Mexican wrestling” and “drag queen” would go together. The Mexican wrestlers, the luchadores, entertain across Mexico. They wear masks in the ring and act out the roles of heroes and villains. Into that macho world stepped a drag queen named Cassandro. Yes, there are luchadores known as exóticos. Meet Cassandro and other drag queen luchadores in The New Yorker.

Do you believe there is male privilege at work in our society? If you don’t, read on. Many sociologists have felt that there is something that keeps women from advancing as quickly or as far in their chosen fields and many believe that it is due to the way women in the workplace are treated. What has been lacking is any method to actually study and substantiate the suspicions of male privilege. The answer they were searching for is found in trans employee. The difference in treatment trans people experience after they transition on the job is stunning. Read the story in The New Republic.

A trans woman refugee from Colombia bounced around between countries for a time after she left Columbia to escape persecution. No country would take her and she was even jailed. The United Nations officially classified her as a refugee and took her into their refugee program. France, Norway and Finland required her to have reassignment surgery before they would accept her. Finally in May of this year she was accepted by New Zealand. Read her story in the New Zealand Herald.

While New Zealand is a paradise for trans people Israel is not so nice. There is an abundant supply of transphobia in that country and it forces trans women down a familiar path. Since they can’t get regular employment, many reporting that prospective employers would either reject them outright or say they would call them but never follow up. Read one woman’s story in Haaretz.

Payne

Payne

Can a husband, father and former officer in Her Majesty’s Navy find happiness at the age of 51 competing in the World Pole-Dancing Championships? It seems she can. We remember reporting on Natasha Payne a while back. At that time she was working on her routine and climbing, so to speak, in the pole-dancing world. Now we can report that she took the bronze in the the Championships as a member of Team Great Britain. Read about her triumph in The Daily Mail.

Galster

Galster

Another drag legend has passed on. Arturo Galster was a star of the local San Francisco drag scene who inspired a generation of younger queens. Galster first took the stage in San Francisco in the late ‘80s and was one of the forces that drove drag away from the golden age drag style and moved it toward punk and ironic camp. Galster also was one of the stars of the drag science fiction film Vegas in Space. Read about his career and the people he inspired at the San Francisco Bay Guardian website.

It’s often said that the drag queens were the one’s who started the historic Stonewall Riots in 1969. There have been films made about the event and plenty of articles, including several her on TGF, written about the cops raided the Stonewall Inn and things didn’t go as planned. Coverage of the riots in the New York papers was as egregious as you’d expect. One report is dissected by a writer and we discover more of the names and identities of the patrons of Stonewall in a post on jezebel.com.

Eddie Izzard is going to run for mayor of London in 2020. He says that being an open transvestite and taking abuse from total strangers has toughened him up enough that politics will not faze him. Read about what Izzard has been up to and some of the fights he’s gotten in with people who objected to his transvestism in The Independent.

TWITs

Our music columnist, now the arts in general columnist, Pamela DeGroff, has been a big booster of the Rev. Yolanda. Yolanda really is an ordained minister as well as a singer/songwriter and performer. She was scheduled to perform in Boulder, Colorado after a screening of the new film about her, Rev. Yolanda’s Old Time Gospel hour: The Movie. The event was to take place at the Unity Church of Boulder but the church leaders decided to cancel the booking because Yolanda’s “old time gospel” was as old time as they liked. They claimed she was ?campy,” “bawdy,” and that her act did a “disservice to transgender people.” Well,we here at TGF have always felt Rev. Yolanda was tapping into the spirit of an old time revival meeting and if she happens to get a bit bawdy from time to time well, that’s just tapping into the spirit of a drag show. We send a TWIT Award to the Unity Church of Boulder and advise them to loosen up. Read all about it in The Denver Post.

A Canadian opera singer recently saw a young man on a bus in Ottawa who had long finger nails decorated with diamonds. There is no way to know if the diamond studded nail wearer was trans, a drag queen on his way to work or just a man who likes to spruce up his nails, but it’s easy to spot that the male opera singer is a homophobic/transphobic bigot. Why? He posted a rant on Facebook along with a picture of the diamond nailed passenger calling him a moron. Apparently the moron in this scene was the singer who did not seem to realize that things you post on Facebook don’t just appear to your friends. A TWIT Award goes to Valerian Ruminski. He will have plenty of time to polish it because he lost his role in Tosca after the opera’s director learned of the post. Read more at towleroad.com.

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Category: Community News

Angela Gardner

About Angela Gardner: Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

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