The Week In Transgenderism

| Oct 6, 2014
Uys as Evita

Uys as Evita

What do you do with a drag performer who makes public fun of your repressive regime? If you’re South Africa back in the days of apartheid you tend to ignore it. It might seem as if the satire the performer was speaking was true and if you seemed to pay attention to it that might make you look worse than you already are. The leaders ignored, for the most part, the performances of Pieter-Dirk Uys as he lampooned the leaders of the white racist elite 20 years ago. At 69 Uys is still around and taking to the stage again to lampoon past and current leaders of South Africa as his character Evita Bezuidenhout. We ask you to excuse the paper carrying the story. They refer to Uys as a “transvestite” which is inappropriate since we don’t know how much he enjoys being Evita. The story is in The China Post.

No longer will people who attack gay and trans people be able to use the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses when they are brought to trial in California. In the past the idea that the assaulter was so homo or transphobic that they went berserk being near someone gay or trans was an acceptable defense. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill last week that does not allow that  excuse to be used in a legal defense. Get the facts from SF Weekly.

So it’s been a week or two and we bet you’re asking “What’s going on with the drama between Facebook and the drag queens? Well, girl, let me tell you. Facebook has issued an apology to all the drag performers and others in the LGBT community who found their Facebook accounts where suddenly gone. And, not only have they apologized but they have modified their “real name policy” so you can now use “the authentic name they (FB users) use in real life.” Yay! They also admitted that all of the deletions occurred because one person reported all the accounts to Facebook for not using their legal names. That is shady, girlfriend. Read all about it in The Mirror.

Lilly McBeth

Lilly McBeth

A transgender teacher who fought with her school board in New Jersey to keep teaching after her transition, and won, has passed away at the age of 80. Lily McBeth was a substitute teacher before her transition and after she had reassignment surgery in 2005 she fought the opposition of parents and the school board to be able to continue in that job. In 2006 she was allowed to substitute teach again — but her assignments became sparse and she resigned in 2009. McBeth was a member of the TG support group founded by JoAnn Roberts, Renaissance, and attended their meetings for several years before she moved to New Jersey. Read more at the ABC News website.

Snieder

Snieder

Another trans woman is running for her state legislature. Larissa Sneider from Evanston, Wyoming is the Democratic nominee for the Wyoming House of Representatives District 49 seat. The state has a large Republican base and it’s going to be an uphill battle for Sneider but if she wins she will have the distinction of being the first openly trans representative in the state. Read about it in Pink News.

But why stop at the state level? Another trans woman has her sights set on the United State House of Representatives. Paula Overby attempted to get the nomination of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party last summer but dropped out of the race at the last minute. Then in August she ran uncontested for the Independence Party and got the nomination in August. Read about it and view a video in The Huffington Post.

Michelle

Michelle

A “transvestite model” may have been what stopped a fashion show from happening at an business expo in Milton Keynes, U.K. Michelle, 6’3” male engineer Terry Brooks (acceptable as a female name, too), was to appear in the show but the MK Business Exhibition had second thoughts and canceled the show rather than present it with a man in dresses. Or maybe the fashion show wasn’t going to be included anyway? That’s what the promoters say is the case. The modeling agency says it most definitely was going to happen till the promotor complained about the TG model. So it’s he said, she said. And what did the model say? She was happy to sit it out and not walk the runway if the rest of the models could get up and strut their stuff. See if you can find out who is giving the real story at MKWEB.

There is a Hindu festival in South Asia called Durga Puja, which means Worship of Durga. Durga is one of the Hindu pantheon of gods and her festival is basically an autumn celebration. This year members of the trans community, the hijra, were asked to participate in the festival in Bengal. Organizers asked them to send a representative to open the event, or “inaugurate the Puja.” In recent years this role has gone to celebrities such as movie stars or athletes. Get more of the story in The Hindu.

Goggins as Venus

Goggins as Venus

When the biker gang television show, The Sons of Anarchy, brought Walton Goggins in to play a transgender prostitute it seemed like it was just another show trying for some shock value by presenting a trans woman as a hooker hired to pose in explicit photos with an unconscious man the gang wanted to blackmail. But a funny thing happened. The trans character, Venus Van Dam, became one of the most popular characters on the series when she was brought back with a very human storyline concerning her retrieval, with the gang’s help, of her son who was with his abusive mother. There is even a growing romance between Van Dam and one of the gang members. Goggins says he now sees the world from a different point of view because of his portrayal of Van Dam. See what else he said in The Sydney Morning Herald.

A trans girl in Canada started attending school as Isabella and the parent of one of her classmates bullied her and her parents. It was the mother of one of her classmates who told the girl she could not use the girl’s restroom and subsequently gave some grief to Isabella’s mother. The upside of the story? People in her school and all around Canada have rallied to support her with encouraging posts on social media and through the old fashioned media of cards and letters. Read the story in the CBC website.

Adore Delano

Adore Delano

So you’re a top drag performer and you want to produce a hot video of your new single. Where do you turn to get your essence and the soul of your song immortalized in digital glory? More and more queens are turning to Geek Mythology, a video production company out of Denver, Colorado. The company’s work has been heating up YouTube with performers like Adore Delano, Sharon Needles and Alaska Thunder. So, if you want a fab video of yourself performing your latest musical endeavor, and you’ve got about $15,000 to spend, give them a call. Read about their creative process in The Denver Post.

Tia Wanna

Tia Wanna

There’s a drag queen competing on The Amazing Race this season. Her drag name is Tia Wanna and it’s unlikely that you’ll see her on the show. It will be her male alter ego Te Jay who is scurrying around the world with his boyfriend Tim trying to take the top prize. Maybe this could be a hint to RuPaul. Stop the same old drag competition and start sending queens on an actual race around the world in high heels and corsets. It could be a winner of a show and a real drag race. Read about Tia Wanna at newnownext.

How can a trans woman tell if the man who has been paying attention to her is a legitimate candidate for a relationship or is just a “chaser”? There are hints and clues that trans women should learn to pay attention to. Men often break cisgender women’s hearts and becoming involved with a guy you think is okay but turns out to be a chaser can break yours. How can you tell if he’s for real? The clues are enumerated in an article in Slate.

Perry

Perry

Don’t be upset with Grayson Perry. He’s the Turner Prize winning artist from Britain who has a femme alter ego called Claire. He has a new series on identity currently in production. By that we mean he is producing art work which will be explored in a television program and an art exhibit. Talk about multi media. But why do we say don’t be upset with Perry? Because in England the word “tranny” is not as negatively connoted as it in in the  U.S.A. and he uses it in one of his quotes. Don’t hate him cause he’s dropped the T-word. Read the article in The Guardian.

There is a documentary running on Hulu Plus called What’s The T? Hulu Plus is a subscription video streaming service but the news today is that the documentary will be coming out on DVD November 18. The show follows five trans women and explores their lives, challenges and successes. It’s said to be the Paris is Burning for trans people. Learn more about the show and its DVD release at its publicity website.

TWITs

The Star Tribune newspaper in Minnesota published a full page ad that opposes the policy being considered by the Minnesota State High School League that would allow trans high school athletes to participate with the team of the gender they express. The ad is a photo of a locker room shower and the text says, “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?” For trying, once again, to tie the idea of males saying they are trans in order to get into the shower with females to something that would be a positive change that helps trans students we hand a TWIT Award to the Minnesota Child Protection League and hand another one to the paper for running the ad. The story is in Pink News.

A 20-year-old man assaulted a trans woman student at SUNY Geneseo the Saturday before last. He called her a homophobic name, threw a drink at her and punched her. Is it a hate crime? It looks that way to some people but the district attorney hasn’t made up his mind to charge the perpetrator with a hate crime, yet. A TWIT Award goes to the assaulter and we’re holding on to one for the D.A. if he doesn’t upgrade the charges. Get the story from Pink News.

They do say you should be careful what you post on social media. But if you’re newly married and want to share your status with your friends and family it just seems natural to post about it on Facebook. That’s why Nick and Jessica Fulgham posted a photo of their marriage license, little knowing that thanks to Jessica’s conservative pastor cousin they would draw the ire of the American Family Association. (The American Fools Association would be better.) The couple were attacked on the radio and in articles as “two lesbians” “hoodwinking” the system to get their license. The cousin has said he didn’t mean to cause them any trouble but that’s what they’ve got. He’s got a brand new, shiny TWIT Award. Read the story in The Clarion-Ledger.

A California congressman posted a photo on his blog that he used to illustrate his post about a pro-trans piece of legislation that would allow death certificates to be issued in the expressed gender of the deceased. He mocked the legislation and used a photo of Johnny Depp in character as Ed Wood to show what he thinks of trans people. For achieving a high level of snark in just a sentence and a photo we give Congressman Devin Nunes a TWIT Award. Get the story and see his post and the pic in the Visalia Times-Delta.

Last week a trans woman was shot to death early in the morning hours of Thursday in East Hollywood, California. While this is a tragedy for the trans community in Los Angeles, and around the country, it is apparently not the result of a “hate crime.” It’s just a plain old everyday atrocity perpetrated against an innocent victim who was just living their life. It appears to be a robbery attempt and when the victim ran she was shot in the head. This could have been anyone walking in that area. We wish we could do more than issue a TWIT Award to the 2 to 4 punks who thought they had the right to take her money and when she resisted and ran took her life, but the inadequate TWIT is all we can do to combat this kind of evil. If you have to be out late be careful. Get a ride with someone you know if you can. The story is on the ABC7 website.

 

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Category: Community News

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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