Trans News Updates:

Compiled and edited by Lynn Conway

[Version of 2-07-12] 


These pages link to emerging news of special interest to the trans community, citing key excerpts that convey the gist of each item. These links serve as a window into the media's focus and the public's interest in trans issues as time goes by, enabling us to track gradual shifts in media spins and social attitudes over time. Of special interest are the many news articles from outside the U.S., which enable us to track media trends in other cultures too. You can exploit these pages as a searchable news archive by using the internal-site Google search-box, at the top right of this page. E-mail Lynn if you see interesting news for listing here. To access current or past news, click on the month/year in this table:


2012:   Jan,  Feb


2011:   Jan,  FebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec


2010:   Jan,  FebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec


2009:   JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec


2008:   JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec


2007:   JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSep OctNov Dec


2006:   JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSep OctNov Dec


2005:     -       -       -      AprMayJunJulAugSep OctNovDec




11-02-11:  YouTube: "TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA) imaTYFA's Channel"

10-26-11:  YouTube: "Plaintiff Wayne Maines' Remarks at GLAD's 2011 Spirit of Justice Award Dinner"

10-26-11:  YouTube:  "Plaintiff Nicole Maines'  Remarks at GLAD's 2011 Spirit of Justice Award Dinner"

09-25-11:  GID "New Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, " (In the SOC7 WPATH denounces trans-reparatism as being unethical.)

08-25-11:  TS "Kenneth Zucker’s cronyism and pathologizing ideologies about trans youth examined"

07-09-11:  TS "Academic pathologization of trasgender people" (a social map of the 'invisible college' of trans-pathologizers)

06-28-11:  Psychology & Sexuality: "Cisgenderism in psychology: pathologising and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008", by Y. Gavriel Ansara & Peter Hegarty 

05-26-11:  GID Reform Advocates:“Transvestic Disorder, the Overlooked Anti-Trans Diagnosis in the DSM-5,” by Kelley Winters, Ph.D. (more)

05-20-11:  The Bilerico Project: "Trans Visibility Sparks Right-Wing Blogosphere Explosion," by:Austen Crowder (a important, must-read essay)

05-10-11:  Daily Northwestern: "Bailey's Human Sexuality class will NOT be offered next academic year" (more, more, more, more)

04-19-11:  In The Life Media: "Injustice at Every Turn (Video)"

04-18-11:  Huffington Post: "New Tool for Treating Transgender People"  (i.e., the UCSF Primary Care Protocol for Transgender Patient Care)

03-18-11:  "UK’s Channel 4 signs agreement to improve coverage of transgender issues" (more, more, more, more)

03-14-11:  TS "Close the CAMH Gender Identity Clinic"  (see news about dramatic developments in Quebec)

03-04-11: Higher Education: Professor Fucksaw: "The Storied Past Of Northwestern’s Sex Professor”

03-03-11:  Chicago Tribune: "Northwestern president ‘troubled’ over live sex demonstration" (more, more, more, more)

02-15-11:  Medscape Medical News: "Addressing the Needs of Transgender Youth in Primary Care", by Laurie Barclay, MD (link to Journal article)

12-29-10:  GJSS: "Transgender children: more than a theoretical challenge", by Natacha Kennedy and Mark Hellen (more)

12-29-10: "My Encounter with Prof K Zucker at the BPS conference in Salford", by Natacha Jessica Kennedy

12-21-10: Petition: "Remove Transgender from the DSM-5 "

10-15-10:  GID Reform Advocates: "Ten Reasons Why the Transvestic Disorder Diagnosis in the DSM-5 Has Got to Go"

07-25-10:  TS Roadmap: "Ontario moves to end CAMH death grip on trans health services"




Special Summary News Section:

Ken Zucker's leading role in the pathologization of gender variance:

[See ongoing Trans News Updates further below]:


This special section contains compilations of news and information about the pathologization of gender variance as mental illness by the psychiatric community. We focus especially on Ken Zucker of CAMH in Toronto, Canada, and his role in the revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Zucker is widely known for his trans-reparatist therapy on gender variant children, and for heavy-handed promotion of his colleague Ray Blanchard's transphobic pronouncements that ALL transitioned women are either effeminate homosexual men or mentally-ill sexually paraphilic men.


As his role in DSM revision came under increasing criticism, Zucker and his strident spokesperson Alice Dreger launched many personal attacks on Zucker’s and Blanchard’s  transgender critics. This includes the smearing of critics in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (the journal Zucker controls), attempts to stop critics from speaking at universities, the smearing of critics on major professional association e-lists, attempts to prevent critics from holding sessions at conferences, launchings of threats of libel against critics, and attempts to shut down this very website - all the while claiming that transgender critics were infringing upon the academic freedom of an academic clique that was pathologizing gender variance. This section exposes Zucker's trans-reparatism and his subsequent overreactions to criticisms of that exposure:


1. Zucker's trans-reparatism and his role in DSM revisions: 

In April 2007, this site began an exposure of Zucker's trans-reparatism in a webpage entitled: "Drop the Barbie: Ken Zucker's reparatist treatment of gender-variant children", reflecting back on a 2001 article that had broken the story and coordinating with Andrea James who posted a parallel exposé of Zucker's reparatism.


The following year National Public Radio broadcast a heartbreaking documentary on May 8-9, 2008 contrasting Zucker's decades-old reparatist methods to more modern treatment protocols.  A further exposé of Zucker's reparatist treatment of gender-variant children, "But For Today I Am A Boy" (Français), was published in the Torontoist (on May 9, 2008).  OII followed up by raising important questions about Ontario's sponsorship of Zucker's work (see also OII's Open Letter to WPATH)


However, even though he was known to be a trans-reparatist, Zucker was selected to lead the revision of the American Psychiatric Association's section on 'sexual and gender identity disorders' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). With Zucker thus empowered, there appears to be little chance for removal of GID from the DSM, and trans people will likely be stigmatized for another decade as being mentally ill even after transition.  See the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) press release protesting Zucker's DSM selection. The huge scale of the protest was made even more visible in a petition against Zucker's DSM selection that gained over 9,500 signatures (noticia en español). See also the petition protesting Ontario gov't support of Zucker's work. (more, more), and the petition in protest of Zucker's key role in a UK conference on adolescent transitions. More recently, Zucker’s and Blanchard’s gender clinics came under criticism even from within CAMH itself, in a scathing report issued by CAMH's own Diversity Program Office.


For background on needed DSM reforms see and Kelley Winters' essays ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 ), especially "Blinded Me With Science: The Burden of Proof".  See also "DSM ON THE BOOKSHELF", an open letter to WPATH by clinician Tracie O'Keefe [PDF], "DSM: Diagnosing for Status and Money" (more, more, more).  See also Prof. Sam Winter's report on how the 'mental-illness' classification causes transphobia all around the world.


On Feb 6, 2009, Joelle Ruby Ryan (chair), Julia Serano, and Kelley Winters, Ph.D. presented a workshop at IFGE 2009 entitled “Disordered” No More: Challenging Transphobia in Psychology, Academia and Society" [NEW], in response to the pathologization of gender variant people by reactionary psychiatrists and sexologists. You'll find a report on the workshop at this link and we'll be posting videos there soon. See also the text of Joelle's presentation, “The Transgender Tipping Point: It is Not the Transperson Who is “Disordered” but the Society in which S/he Lives”, by Joelle Ruby Ryan [PDF], and Kelley's presentation  on “Top Ten Problems with the GID Diagnosis”, by Kelley Winters, Ph.D. [PDF]


For more on the pathologization of transpeople by the DSM, see Kelley Winter's new book: Gender Madness in American Psychiatry, Essays from the Struggle for Dignity", by Kelley Winters, Ph.D. [announcement PDF] .


2.  Zucker's attacks on transgender critics, with support from his ideological operative Alice Dreger

In July '07,  Zucker as editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior (ASB) subverted that journal as a propaganda machine in defense of ASB editorial board members Bailey, Blanchard, Lawrence (BBL). Zucker did this by announcing and pre-publishing Alice Dreger's one-sided history of the Bailey book investigation in the ASB. Zucker promoted Dreger's anti-transgender hit-piece as if it were an independent scholarly work, devoting the entire June '08 ASB to Dreger's defense of Bailey, Blanchard and Lawrence in a not-so-veiled attack on Zucker's own primary critics Andrea James and Lynn Conway.  Ardent Bailey supporter Ben Carey followed with a New York Times article on 8-21-07 in which Dreger portrayed Bailey as a great scientist under siege for 'telling the truth'.  For more about Dreger, including her role in the medical pathologization of intersex people, see this link and this one too.


Determined to stop trans criticism of Zucker, Bailey, Blanchard and Lawrence, Dreger went on to launch e-mail attacks and threaten the academic career of graduate student Joelle Ruby Ryan who had proposed a women's study conference panel on transphobia in academe (see Élise Hendrick's commentary, Lynn's comments and this article). Dreger's attempt to prevent Joelle's panel backfired. It was held as scheduled on June 21, 2008 (see flyer and handout), and produced powerful essays that further exposed Bailey and Dreger (see detailed report at this link) including Élise's essay on the odd form of 'academic freedom' claimed by Bailey and Dreger and Andrea's essay "Fair comment, foul play".  Videos of all the presentations are posted on YouTube.  See also the prestigious Point Foundation 's mention of Joelle's NWSA panel at this link and her upcoming IFGE workshop at this link.                                          


Julia Serano has published an exposé of Dreger 's effort to resurrect Bailey's disgraced career, and her book Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity provides the context for understanding these events. For an overview of BBL pseudo-science, see "Science and Ideology: The Blanchard-Bailey-Lawrence Model of Transsexuality, by Élise Hendrick and "The Bailey Affair, Again" by Joan Roughgarden. For a deconstruction of Carey's Times' article, see this essay by Elise Hendrick. Dreger's scholarship was further questioned in June '08 in ASB peer commentary papers highly critical of Dreger's 'history'.  For more about Dreger's methods, see "Go Ask Alice – But Not About Transsexuals’ Lives and History: A Defense of the Right of Members of an Oppressed Class to Speak for Themselves", by Katrina C. Rose.


3. Zucker exploits the 'other' APA to push his views and suppress opposition:

During 2008, Zucker attempted to suppress evidence that the prevalence of transsexualism is much greater than he has previously claimed:  See: "Falsification of GID prevalence results by the APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance", an Investigative Report by Lynn Conway, 8-28-08 [PDF].  See also Lynn's letter to the President of the APA re that Task Force, 9-05-08 [PDF], and this open letter and investigative report re the APA's response.


4. Zucker's attempt to suppress Lynn's website and attack her freedom of speech: 

Lynn's exposure of Zucker's trans-reparatist therapy and of his exploitation of the ASB to disseminate anti-transgender propaganda has apparently unsetted Zucker.  On January 27, 2009, Zucker responded by falsely accusing Lynn of libel in a letter sent by CAMH attorney Peter Jacobsen to Lynn and to her university - in a clear attempt to suppress Lynn's website on the eve of an IFGE workshop that would prove embarrassing to Zucker


Lynn called Zucker's bluff by openly reporting the attempt to infringe her rights (En Español, En Français).  (For a humorous view of the events, see the cartoon by Jayna Pavlin). The IFGE workshop went on as planned, and a presentation by Joelle Ruby Ryan ("The Transgender Tipping Point") further revealed Zucker's and Dreger's efforts to silence their critics. News of Zucker's attack quickly spread, as in the Queerty article  "Dr. Kenneth Zucker's War on Transgenders" and in essays by Kelley Winters and Mercedes Allen, and  Lynn was interviewed by LOGO-TV about Zucker's attack. See also this YouTube video and the News video: "Transgender Crusader"Evidence then emerged that Zucker had engaged in a pattern of threats against other women. In June '09, Lynn filed a formal complaint of academic misconduct against Zucker (PDF) for launching that unfounded attack.  


5.  The DSM and the pathologization of gender variance:

02-06-09:  “Disordered” No More: Challenging Transphobia in Psychology, Academia and Society", an IFGE 2009 workshop.
04-27-09:  Facebook Group launched: "Close the CAMH Gender Identity Clinic" (reaches > 1000 members!)

04-29-09:  Documentary Video re the DSM Controversy

04-30-09:  "The War Within: CAMH battles notorious reputation of Zucker’s and Blanchard’s gender clinics with scathing report"

05-15-09:  "Reform GID Now: A Protest to demand the APA Reform Gender Identity Disorder"

05-15-09:  "Resolution by IFGE BOD to APA" (IFGE calls for DSM Reform)

05-16-09:  "Transsexualism will no longer be classified as a mental illness in France  (FR, DE, ES, NL, PT, SU)

05-19-09:  Psychiatric Times: "Gender Identity Disorder: Has Accepted Practice Caused Harm?"

05-20-09:  "GID Reform Now Protest At Annual APA Meeting - Speaker Madeline Deutch, M.D." (Links to Video)

05-23-09:  "Call to Action to Urge Trans-Affirming Position Statements by the APA"

05-30-09:  "We say, to the APA, stop sexualizing us!", by Julia Serano, Ph.D.

10-21-09:  Exposed by Andrea James: "$325,000+ in salaries for Zucker & Blanchard to pathologize trans people"

11-02-09:  Exposed by Andrea James: "What motivates Ray Blanchard’s oppression of sex and gender minorities?"

11-04-09:  GID Reform: "Update: Statement on Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism in the DSM-V"

11-11-09:  ENDAblog: "The Dredge Is At It Again"

11-20-09:  "A call for the removal of gender identity variance from the psychiatric diagnostic manuals," by Sam Winter, Ph.D.  (ES)

11-23-09:  Society for Humanistic Psychology: "Controversial issues for the future DSM-V", by Sarah Kamens

11-24-09: "Doctor Promotes Medical View of Transgenderism - Clinic founder decries labeling transgenderism as a psychological issue"

12-11-09:  New Scientist: "Psychiatry's civil war "; "Time's up for psychiatry's bible" (more)

01-07-10:  "Toronto: global epicenter for oppression of sex and gender minorities," by Andrea James

01-08-10:  "You will become mentally ill in 2013" by Andrea James

01-10-10:  "The Americanization of Mental Illness", by Ethan Watters

01-18-10:  "Essays expose CAMH’s despicable practices toward transgender people"

01-24-10:  "Academic pathologization of transgender people" (a graphical overview) by Andrea James

02-06-10:  "A Taxing Question of Medical Necessity" by Kelley Winters, Ph.D.

03-14-10:  "DSM5 Sexual Disorders Make No Sense", by Allen Frances, MD

04-08-10:  Professionals Concerned with Gender Diagnoses in the DSM: "Call to Action"

04-09-10: "US - Hope and Hurt for Trans Americans in the APA's Proposed DSM Revisions"

05-25-10:  "Response of WPATH to the Proposed DSM 5 Criteria for Gender Incongruence"  (more)

06-11-10:  YouTube Video: "STP2012 March in Barcelona, Spain 2010 June 5", by Henry Hallint (more)

07-25-10:  TS Roadmap: "Ontario moves to end CAMH death grip on trans health services"

10-15-10:  GID Reform Advocates: "Ten Reasons Why the Transvestic Disorder Diagnosis in the DSM-5 Has Got to Go"

12-29-10:  GJSS: "Transgender children: more than a theoretical challenge", by Natacha Kennedy and Mark Hellen (more)

12-29-10:  "My Encounter with Prof K Zucker at the BPS conference in Salford", by Natacha Jessica Kennedy

03-14-11:  TS Roadmap: "Close the CAMH Gender Identity Clinic"  (see news about dramatic developments in Quebec)

03-19-11:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "The Debate over Diagnosis”, By Donna Nebenzahl

05-29-11:  GID Reform Advocates: “Transvestic Disorder, the Overlooked Anti-Trans Diagnosis in the DSM-5”

06-28-11:  Psychology & Sexuality: "Cisgenderism in psychology: pathologising and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008", by Ansara & Hegarty 

07-09-11:  TS Roadmap: "Academic pathologization of transgender people" (social map of the 'invisible college' of trans-pathologizers)

08025-11: TS "Kenneth Zucker’s cronyism and pathologizing ideologies about trans youth examined"

09-25-11: GID "New Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, "  [WPATH's new Standards of Care  (Version 7) denounces trans-reparatism as being unethical.]



The Trans News Updates:


February 2012


2-07-12:  USA Today: "U.S. appeals court strikes down Calif. gay marriage ban" (see also: SCOTUSblog)

"The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down as unconstitutional California's Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports. The ruling by the three judge panel is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge interpreted the U.S. Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared the ban, known as Proposition 8, to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians. The measure, which passed with 52% of the vote in 2008, outlawed same-sex unions just five months after they had become legal in the state.

It was unclear when gay marriages might resume in California. Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors and for two couples who sued to overturn the ban have said they would appeal to the Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit."


2-06-12:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Media, Protect Your Transgender Sources!"

"Too often, trans people give interviews to the media believing they will do a fair, objective job of reporting. And mostly, the media do a good job, even if some of the news outlets get their pronouns mixed up occasionally. BUT, where the media fails sometimes is in not monitoring the reader comments that are posted to the articles . . . and too often the trans people who gave the interviews are unfairly ripped to shreds by comments from homophobes, transphobes, bigots and all manner of ignorant people who don’t have a clue what they are talking about . . .

The media needs to wake up here: if you don’t protect the trans people you’ve interviewed when you post the articles online, the trans community will stop talking to your organizations. As for trans people, my advice is to ask reporters and editors for guarantees you won’t be unfairly attacked by bigoted readers in the comments sections of news stories. If they can’t guarantee it, don’t grant the interviews."


2-06-12:  The Times of India (India): "Meet India’s first transgender pastor"

"CHENNAI: Shunned and traumatized as a youngster, 25-year-old Bharathi now preaches to a congregation of 45 respectful parishioners, including 14 families, as India's first transgender pastor.

Bharathi, who completed her bachelor's degree in theology last April, has been a pastor at the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) branch in Chengalpattu, on the outskirts of Chennai, for the past eight months . . .

"Society generally ostracizes the transgender community, but Bharathi has an opportunity to preach to an entire community. It is something everybody is proud of," says Devi, a transgender who has adopted Bharathi as her daughter.

Bharathi, who left home more than seven years ago, visited her family two months ago. "I had resolved to return to my family only after reaching a position of repute. When I returned, my parents were proud of me.""


2-06-12:  BBC and Diversity blogs (UK): "Putting the T into LGBT History Month by Paris Lees"

"Research conducted in 2009 revealed that 78% of British transgender people felt that the media portrayals they saw were either inaccurate or highly inaccurate. It's a sobering statistic, and a phenomenon which television networks are starting to address. The findings were published by Trans Media Watch (TMW), a charity which calls for greater accuracy, dignity and respect for trans people. TMW was formed 3 years ago, as part of a realisation by the trans community that television coverage needed to improve. I help run TMW and, in the last 18 months, we've reached out to the BBC and other broadcasters through the Creative Diversity Network. If we want to see positive change, it's essential to work with the media . . .

If you're interested in our work, please keep an eye on the TMA blog, follow TMA and TMW on Twitter, and join the conversation on Facebook. Still want more? Then check out TMW's website: we have support for trans people dealing with the media, as well as advice for producers and journalists."

[Paris Lees is editor-in-chief at META magazine, and Projects Manager at Trans Media Watch.]


2-06-12:  Worcester News (UK): "I don’t want any more people to die of this"

"A GIRL trapped in a boy’s body says she sometimes feels suicidal but is determined to give hope to others like her.

Livvy James, aged 10, of Worcester, has gender dysphoria which means she was born a boy but feels she has always been a girl. We have previously reported how Livvy, which is an assumed name, was called a “freak” after she returned to her school dressed as a girl for the first time last September.

Her family launched an online petition on Thursday against the use of terms in the media which include “sex-swap/change’, ‘tranny’, ‘gender pot’, ‘gender confused’ and ‘gender bender’ because of the emotional scars it leaves on transgender people. The petition argues that people with gender identity issues are being murdered, beaten, threatened, bullied, teased, intimidated, disowned and are prone to suicide and self-harm."


2-05-12:  Just Plain Sense (UK): "Our history hangs by a thread", by Christine Burns

"The odd thing about this phenomenon is that most people think the reverse. We are all told to be careful about what we post on the Internet as it will be there forever and will be hard to remove . . .

For trans people, whose work and views have been virtually ignored by the mainstream media until very recently, the loss of historical references online is even more aggravated, because there is practically nothing in public archives that documents our history and work. This makes trans people vulnerable to people who would rewrite that history . . .

You may think that the Internet Archive is at least a way of mitigating these risks. It was started as a project in 1996 precisely for the reasons I've stated. However, the project is reliant on donations and was only able to complete a sweep of the entire web in 2007because of a generous grant. Dig deeper into their pages and you'll see how the system relies on a collection of second hand computers to operate. It too could disappear one day.

These days I look at my own paper and disc archives with renewed gratefulness that I kept them. Ironically, I feel as though I've got a better historical record of the early days of my work, in the pre-web days of the early 1990s, than I have for work undertaken at the Department of Health just three years ago. It's a reminder to treat those archives with care and I hope one day I will find a reliable home to look after them.

All I can say to a current generation is to keep this volatility of information in mind, and to ensure what you're doing today is still there for the people who follow you."

[An important essay that we all need to take to heart.]


2-04-12:  The Guerrilla Angel  Report: "“A man in a dress” in transgender news headlines . . . protocols for mainstream media?" by Lexie Cannes (more, more)

"Early Saturday morning when I was scanning the news reports about the stabbing of a transgender woman, I crossed several news reports that had the pronouns wrong or in some cases, sensational headlines like “A MAN IN A DRESS STABBED AT D.C. BUS STOP.”

These things are, sadly, par for the course. If I were to police the media, I’d never get anything else done — it is fairly time-consuming to confirm an actual gender identity and make the corrections for MY story without letting something else erroneous slip by. This has happened to me.

But today, “a man wearing a dress” stuck in my head. I was thinking there must be protocols already in place that one can easily point to help mainstream media get thing right in the first place. As it turns out, there is, in the AP Stylebook . . . Basically the protocol is this: If the person’s preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individual live publicly."


2-03-12:  Washington Post: "D.C. Trans Coalition speaks after transgender stabbing victim dies" (more)

"After a transgender person died after being stabbed at a bus stop Thursday evening, the D.C. Trans Coalition is asking for help in identifying the victim . . . On Thursday evening, a Metro transit police officer found the victim at a bus shelter. Officers were called to the 4900 block of East Capitol Street about 8:15 p.m., according to a spokesman.

Police have not characterized the stabbing as a hate crime. But the incident is the latest in a string of violent crimes committed against members of the local trans community over the past year, beginning with a brutal beating of a 22-year-old transgender woman in Baltimore. Three transgender people were shot over the course of the summer last year, and in November, Russell Brock-Smith, 25, was convicted of assault after attempting to rob a transgender woman in Northwest Washington.

“There is no safe city — there is no safe state — for transgender people in the United States,” Lisa Mottet, a co-author of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, told NPR in September."


2-03-12:  Hispanically Speaking News (re Mexico): "Woman Becomes First Transsexual to Run for Office in Mexico" (more)

"Diana Sanchez Barrios, the first transsexual women to seek a seat in Mexico City’s municipal assembly, says she is confident of winning. “This isn’t a matter of transsexuality but of capability, and I’m capable of legislating for all citizens - I’m ready to win and I know I’m going to win,” she told Efe.

Sanchez Barrios, who at 16 began a hormone treatment to modify her body and then for several years prepared herself for sex-change surgery, said that she spent more than 10 years developing her activism in defense of human rights and sexual identity. The activist has been a local councilor in the leftist PRD and is now seeking the party’s nomination for a spot in the municipal assembly."


2-03-12:  YouTube (re Mexico): "Diana Sanchez Barrios - Diversidad Sexual PRD - Mexico - Enkidu Magazine" (12:23 video)

"Agustin Villalpando & Armando Torres, Enkidu Magazine, conversan con Diana Sánchez Barrios, Comisionada de Diversidad Sexual del PRD."


2-03-12:  The Sun (UK): "This Morning sex addict Crystal Warren reveals: I used to be a man "

"The woman who stunned telly viewers by revealing she has slept with more than 1,000 men told The Sun yesterday: "I used to be a MAN."

Crystal Warren, born Christopher Snowden, changed gender in 2005.  The cougar, 42, who revealed her sex addiction to This Morning host Eamonn Holmes, said she told few lovers her secret but added: "They never asked."

Sex addict Crystal last night admitted many of her 1,000-plus lovers will be furious when they learn she used to be a man. Crystal said: "I'm scared there will be a lot of angry men out there reading this but I have to tell the truth"

[The Sun sells lots of papers with stuff like this.]


2-02-12:  Mother Jones: "The Right-Wing War on a Transgender Girl Scout - Why a fight to exclude a 7-year-old could mean no Thin Mints for you."

"Three Girl Scout troops in Louisiana won't be hawking Thin Mints this year. They've disbanded in protest after the Girl Scouts of Colorado accepted seven-year-old transgender child Bobby Montoya as a member.

Now, 95 years after the organization first starting selling cookies, its signature product has once again become a political pawn. Right-wing groups and some conservative parents and scouts have posted to a site called Honest Girl Scouts, YouTube, and Facebook pages—including one called "Make Girl Scouts Clean Again"—urging Girl Scouts everywhere to go on strike from selling cookies, and their parents to stop buying them. They want Girl Scouts USA to officially bans transgender children from membership, and kick out any known transgender scouts "hiding" in the troops.


2-02-12:  Jezebel: "In NYPD Custody, Trans People Get Chained to Fences and Poles" (more)

"A trans woman says that when she was arrested for a minor subway violation, NYPD officers belittled her, called her names, asked about her genitals — and kept her chained to a fence for 28 hours. Now she's suing. And it turns out she's far from alone.

In her lawsuit, Temmie Breslauer says she was arrested on January 12 in a subway station for illegally using her dad's discount fare card (only seniors and people with disabilities can get these). She says the arresting officers — the suit names one, Officer Shah — laughed at her. When they took her to the station, a desk sergeant asked her "whether she had a penis or a vagina." Breslauer explained that she was in transition. Then, instead of putting her with female inmates or in her own room, the department allegedly chose this course of action:

"[S]he was fingerprinted, seated on a bench, then painfully chained to a fence wherein, for no apparent reason, her arm was lifted over her head and attached to the fence to make it appear that she was raising her hand in the classroom. She sat there in that position for 28 hours."

She also says officers not only refused to call her "she," they instead referred to her as "He-She", "Faggot," and "Lady GaGa," and asked her "So you like to suck dick? Or what?" Meanwhile, people arrested for the same minor crime (misdemeanor "theft of services") she was were calmly processed and allowed to leave. Finally, she was able to go before a judge, who gave her two days of community service. She says the whole ordeal aggravated her existing PTSD and left her sleepless and suicidal."


2-02-12:  Psychology Today: "Sneaking Hebephilia Into DSM 5", by Allen J. Frances, M.D. (more: "DSM in Distress")

"Dr. Ray Blanchard, of the DSM 5 sexual disorders work group, has written a misleading blog that portrays the introduction of 'Hebephilia' into DSM 5 as no more than a minor change . . .

Remarkably, Dr Blanchard fails to mention (much less, take seriously) the harmful consequences that would follow the stealth inclusion of 'Hebephilia' in DSM 5. If a disorder is described in DSM, it can count in SVP cases. If not in DSM, it usually does not count. In my January 23 blog, Ron Mihordin MD JD of the California Department of Mental Health characterized 'Hebephilia' and other unrecognized disorders as "weed diagnoses." These are now facing an increasingly uphill struggle masquerading under the much overused rubric 'Paraphilia NOS'. But if Pedophilia is irresponsibly expanded to include 'Hebephilia,' the courts will have to treat this as evidence that 'Hebephilia' has attained widespread community acceptance- when most emphatically it has not. 'Hebephilia' will have become a qualifying diagnosis for SVP commitment -when certainly it should not be."

[An expose of Blanchard's effort to force "hebephilia" into the DSM-5 (using much the same methods as he's done with "autogynephilia"). A legend in his own mind, Blanchard apparently believes that dreaming-up and naming non-existent mental illnesses will make him a great scientist.]



January 2012


1-31-12:  Pink News (UK): "German trans girl ‘to be institutionalised’"

"News that an 11 year old trans girl in Berlin, Germany, is about to be committed to a mental institution by local authorities – following intervention by her absent father – has prompted grave concern by the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO). A petition has also been started on

According to a statement released by IGLYO yesterday, the girl, elsewhere identified only as “Alex” (Alexandra) lives with her mother, who supports her gender expression. However, the girl’s father, divorced and separated from her mother, strongly rejects this view of his daughter’s gender identity and wants to force her to grow up as a boy.

If all else fails, there is a real and present possibility that pressure from her father, supported by the Youth Welfare Office in Berlin, means that Alex will shortly be confined in a closed ward of a psychiatric institution to ensure that “he” returns to “normality” . . .  Now, with puberty fast approaching – and Alex claiming she would rather die than go through the changes it is likely to bring about . . . "

[Seems that some folks still believe that trans children can be 'cured' by trans-reparatist therapy, as advocated by Zucker. ]


1-31: 12: The Sun (UK): "'I was born this way': Teenage transsexual reveals how Lady Gaga inspired him to have full sex change"

"A teen transsexual who is celebrating after getting the green light to become a woman has revealed how he was inspired by singer Lady Gaga. Cambell Kenneford, 16, dreamed of being a female model - despite being born a man. Now the student, from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, plans to get gender realignment surgery following two years of hormone treatment which has recently been approved by doctors."


1-30-12: "META Magazine – Editor’s Letter", by Paris Lees

"Transgender writers have been gaining ground over the past few years, appearing in various respected titles including the New Statesman, the Guardian and the Times. Now, with new digital publication META, we finally have our own platform. META isn’t just for trans people though, it’s for anyone who’s ready for lively, intelligent discussion about gender – something we don’t always see in the mainstream media. Be sure to check out META’s Facebook page, follow META on Twitter, and keep an eye our for when it goes on sale! You can also read META’s mission statement here, featuring a promotional clip with Lewis Hancox from Channel 4′s My Transsexual Summer. Lewis also appears in the magazine, giving his side of the story following criticisms from the online trans community. Sneak preview below . . .

Isolation can be a real problem for trans people, but even those of us with good social networks can be excluded from mainstream culture. Research conducted by Trans Media Watch revealed that 95% of British trans people feel like the media doesn’t care about them. So welcome, then, to a publication that not only cares, but positively depends on you . . .

META is about having a voice. We’re produced by trans people for trans people – whilst never excluding our allies. We focus on the issues that matter to you, so expect campaigns, politics and, of course, lashings of humour. We have plans to expand our content over the coming months and we want you to let us know if we’re getting it right. We listen. Indeed, we asked you how you’d feel about a trans magazine using the word “tranny” – and over 60 per cent of you said “unhappy”. So don’t expect to read the t-word in META, apart from when we report other people’s speech. Or indeed when we discuss the term, as Natacha Kennedy and Dru Marland do in our debut debate (Pages 6 and 7)."

[In this letter, the brilliant and creative journalist Paris Lees provides a sneak preview of "META", a new, unique, high quality, ground-breaking magazine, soon to be available in Apple and Android stores. Please read the full Editor's Letter and stay tuned for more information at the links above.]

[For more about Paris, see these links: YouTube: "Paris Lees - It Gets Better"; Paris' blog: lastofthecleanbohemians; The Guardian: "My Transsexual Summer: a new view of gender", by Paris Lees; "Is it wrong to change gender?", by Paris Lees.]


1-30-12:  The Age TV (Australia): "Transgender Kids"

"From the moment we're born, our gender identity is no secret. We're either a boy or a girl. Gender organises our world into pink or blue. As we grow up, most of us naturally fit into our gender roles. But for some children, what's between their legs doesn't match what's between their ears - they insist they were born into the wrong body. They are transgender children, diagnosed with gender identity disorder, or gender dismorphia, and their parents insist this is not a phase. Most transgender children still live in the shadows, hiding from a world that sees them as freaks of nature. Rejected by their families, many grow up hating their bodies, and fall victim to high rates of depression, drug abuse and even suicide. Today, hundreds of families with transgender children - who have found each other over the Internet - are taking a dramatically different course. They're allowing their children to live in the gender they identify with, in order to save them from a future of heartache and pain."


1-30-12: (Canada): "New airport screening regs raise questions for trans Canadians"

"Marathon runner Jennifer McCreath has pointed out a recent regulatory change that the Harper Conservatives have made to the Aeronautics Act (i.e. passed by ministerial fiat, rather than shepherded through Parliamentary process) that potentially affects many trans (and cis) Canadians and could even ban some from air travel:

Sec 5.2(1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if

(a) the passenger presents a piece of photo identification and does not resemble the photograph;
(b) the passenger does not appear to be the age indicated by the date of birth on the identification he or she presents;
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents; or
(d) the passenger presents more than one form of identification and there is a major discrepancy between those forms of identification.

This is a regulatory change made on July 29, 2011, and so far, it doesn't appear that there have been any reports of transsexual or transgender people being refused passage on an airline because of this change. However, regulatory changes aren't always made instantaneously . . . "


1-30-12: (UK): "Jonathan Ross apologizes for 'lady boy' airline gag"

"The UK comedian may have swapped channels but he’s still courting controversy, with scores of people tweeting their anger about his transphobic joke on The Jonathan Ross Show.

Ross mentioned a recent news story about Thai airline PC Air’s decision to hire transgender flight crew. ‘They’re going to recruit more lady boys to be air stewards,’ he quipped . . .  He continued: ‘The biggest shock on that plane, I imagine, is when the plane hits turbulence because it’s not just the oxygen masks which fall down in front of your face.

‘What a great way to spend the flight though because you wouldn’t need puzzles or a movie. You’d just be, “Is she? Is he? Is she?” ‘And when you want to find out the answer you just press the buzzer and go, “Excuse me, do you have any nuts?”’

But some viewers, such as @cocoteacups, didn’t see the funny side."


1-30-12:  Huffington Post (with video; orig. posted 1-27): "Transgender Children", by Blake Owen Miggleton, Jr., Transgender teen

"This video is an update of my eighth week on testosterone. I've been noticing a little facial hair growth and also some increase in muscle mass.

This week I would like to tell you about a movie I watched at the Berkshire Museum that has to do with confusion about ones gender. It is a French independent film called Tomboy. It is about a 10-year-old who moves to a new town and begins presenting as a boy named Mikael. He meets a lot of new friends and a girl who is interested in him. But once Mikael's mother discovers what he's been doing, she tells his friends and they start to bully him.

Throughout the movie, it is unclear whether Mikael/Laure is a transgender boy or just a girl who is androgynous or confused about gender. But either way, it made me feel very sad to see the way Mikael's former friends treated him once they found out his secret. It reminded me very much of another transgender film called Boys Don't Cry. But unlike Brandon Teena, a real life young adult transman, Mikael was just a little kid. Although he was a fictional character, I felt a deep sympathy for him."


1-30-12:  The Age (Australia; orig. posted 5-15-10): "How the sex bias prevails", by Shankar Vedantam

[A well-framed essay on a vital topic. Hadn't seen this before, and want to make sure others see it too.]

"Madeline Heilman at New York University once conducted an experiment in which she told volunteers about a manager. Some were told, "Subordinates have often described Andrea as someone who is tough yet outgoing and personable. She is known to reward individual contributions and has worked hard to maximise employees' creativity." Other volunteers were told, "Subordinates have often described James as someone who is tough yet outgoing and personable. He is known to reward individual contributions and has worked hard to maximise employees' creativity."

The only difference between what the groups were told was that some people thought they were hearing about a leader named Andrea while others thought they were hearing about a leader named James. Heilman asked her volunteers to estimate how likeable Andrea and James were as people. Three-quarters thought James was more likeable than Andrea. Using a clever experimental design, Heilman also determined that four in five volunteers preferred to have James as their boss. Andrea seemed less likeable merely because she was a woman who happened to be a leader . . .

Bias is much harder to demonstrate scientifically in real life, which may be why large numbers of people do not believe that sexism and other forms of prejudice still exist. Many people think we live in a "post-racial" and "post-sexist" world where egalitarian notions are the norm. Indeed, if you go by what people report, we do live in a bias-free world, because most people report feeling no prejudice whatsoever.

What would be remarkably instructive in real life would be if women in various professions could experience life as men, and vice versa. If the same person got treated differently, we would be sure sexism was at work, because the only thing that changed was the sex of the individual and not his or her skills, talent, knowledge, experience, or interests.

Joan Roughgarden and Ben Barres are biologists at Stanford University. Both are researchers at one of the premier academic institutions in the country; both are tenured professors. Both are transgendered people. Stanford has been a welcoming home for these scientists; if you are going to be a transgendered person anywhere in the United States, it would be difficult to imagine a place more tolerant than Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area . . .

[The article continues with in-depth analyses of the before/after differences in the treatments of Barres and Roughgarden as they transitioned in different directions, revealing the deeply-embedded sexism that still exists in academia78.]


1-28-12:  American Psychological Association (DIV 32; posted 1-09-12): "Open Letter Committee of the Society for Humanistic Psychology Calls for Independent Review of DSM-5" (The psychologists' APA challenges the pychiatrists'[ APA!)

"As you know, it is common practice for scientists and scholars to submit their work to others for independent review. We believe it is time for an independent group of scientists and scholars, who have no vested interest in the outcome, to do an external, independent review of the controversial portions of the DSM-5. We consider this especially important in light of the unprecedented criticism of the proposed DSM-5 by thousands of mental health professionals, as well as mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe.

Will you submit the controversial proposals in DSM-5 to an independent group of scientists and scholars with no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association for an independent, external review?

We respectfully ask that you not respond again with assurances about internal reviews and field trials because such assurances, at this point, are not sufficient. We believe an external, independent review is critical in terms of ensuring the proposed DSM-5 is safe and credible. If you are unwilling to submit the controversial proposals for external, independent review, we respectfully ask that you provide a detailed rationale for your refusal."

[APA Division 32 throws down a challenge to the American Psychiatric Association.]


1-28-12:  American Psychiatric Association: "Letter in response to the call for an independent review of the DSM-5", by John M. Oldham, M.D., President"  (The response!)

"There is in fact no outside organization that has the capacity to replicate the range of expertise that DSM-5 has assembled over the past decade to review diagnostic criteria for mental disorders . . .

Since there is no “gold standard” for defining mental disorders and many other medical disorders without pathognomonic biological markers, each revision of diagnostic criteria has been seen as the best current set of diagnostic criteria that are meant to be used in clinical practice and tested for their validity . . . The work groups and the review groups have closely attended to these and an expanded set of validity criteria that are contained in the Guidelines for Making Changes to DSM on the website . . .

The work groups are accessing more than 30 years of research since the DSM III was first published in making their recommendations. Some of the proposed changes, such as the inclusion of more dimensional components, have been recommended by members of previous Task Forces and by many participants in the National Institutes of Health-sponsored conference series leading up to the Task Force. We will also have empirical data from our field trials on how these and other proposed changes are working. Final decisions about the revisions will only be made after all of these reviews are completed.

We hope that this additional information is responsive to your members, colleagues, and individuals who use mental health services to clarify that we are undertaking an exceptionally extensive review process involving an international and multidisciplinary clinical and scientific group of experts.

[I.e, the American Psychiatric Association completely dismisses the request of the American Psychological Association's Div 32.]


1-27-12:  The Mainichi Daily News (Japan): "Sex-change husband to file suit to register son as legitimate child"

"A 29-year-old man, who was born a woman but has legally changed his sexual status due to gender identity disorder, plans to file a lawsuit demanding that the government acknowledge his son born by artificial insemination as his legitimate child, he told Kyodo News Thursday.

"I want (the country) to recognize him as our child," the man, who resides in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, said. "I have decided to file a suit in Tokyo so that the Justice Ministry will take this issue seriously."

The man changed his sex from female to male in 2008 and got married. His wife gave birth to the boy the following year through artificial insemination using his younger brother's semen.

But when the couple submitted the birth registration at a municipal office in Hyogo Prefecture where they lived at that time, they were told the boy cannot be registered as his legitimate child because he is not the biological father. As a result, the boy, now 2, remains without a family register."


1-27-12:  SDLGN: "In Maryland, lies will not stop passage of laws to protect transgender people" (more)

"All of us who have worked long and hard for equality under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people know how strangely eager some people are to twist and distort the truth about us and our lives. Their ultimate goal? To dissuade public officials from passing laws to end discrimination. I won’t even dignify the ugliest things they like say by repeating them, but you know what I am talking about. Our opponents also make sweeping claims about what terrible things will happen if laws are changed to protect us from the bias and discrimination of others. Often their assertions are rhetorical, but sometimes they are so direct they can be squarely disproved.

And that is exactly what happened in Maryland last week, where a police chief caught anti-lgbt activists lying, and news of same went public in The Baltimore Sun."


1-27-12:  Sydney Morning Herald TV (Australia): "Transgender Kids"

"From the moment we're born, our gender identity is no secret. We're either a boy or a girl. Gender organises our world into pink or blue. As we grow up, most of us naturally fit into our gender roles. But for some children, what's between their legs doesn't match what's between their ears - they insist they were born into the wrong body. They are transgender children, diagnosed with gender identity disorder, or gender dismorphia, and their parents insist this is not a phase. Most transgender children still live in the shadows, hiding from a world that sees them as freaks of nature. Rejected by their families, many grow up hating their bodies, and fall victim to high rates of depression, drug abuse and even suicide. Today, hundreds of families with transgender children - who have found each other over the Internet - are taking a dramatically different course. They're allowing their children to live in the gender they identify with, in order to save them from a future of heartache and pain."


1-27-12:  Media Bistro: "LA Writer Pens Transgender Romance Novel" (more)

"Jaime Stryker‘s new romance novel Two Spirit Ranch sounds at first plot-glance like pretty standard genre fare. A successful female lawyer flees Manhattan for the quieter confines of Montana, where she meets and falls in love with a local sheriff. But the heroine of this one is actually a transgendered female. The title of LA based Stryker’s book is derived from an old Native American belief that some tribe members could assume the identity of the opposite sex and “still be accepted and respected by their community.”"


1-26-12:  Huffington Post: "Once a Daughter, Now a Son: The Mother of a Transgender Child Shares Her Emotional Transition"

"Two years ago, a woman named Kathy had a pivotal conversation with her daughter. At the young age of 24, her daughter told her she wanted to transition from being the woman Kathy and her husband had raised into the man she had wanted for so many years to become.

Without hesitation, Kathy found an online peer support group for parents of transgender kids that she says "saved her sanity" and provided "the support, compassion and information" she needed in order to process this new information.

Two months later communication between parents and daughter broke down, and anger took over. Kathy knew she needed to find a way to express her feelings, so she put pen to paper and wrote a letter she titled, "Things I Know," a list expressing her emotions that she hoped would inspire the two to rekindle their relationship. According to Kathy, "The letter I wrote made a huge difference." . . .

A year after sharing her letter with her daughter, now her son Marcus, Kathy updated her original note to reflect the journey she and her son had experienced together. An excerpt of the list summarized below demonstrates the difference a single year can make as Kathy went through her own emotional transition."


1-26-12:  WTAW: "Transgender Widow Gets Jail for Theft" (more)

"A Houston judge has sentenced the transgender widow of a fallen firefighter to almost two months in jail after she pleaded guilty to theft involving a wristwatch. Nikki Araguz was sentenced to 50 days in jail Wednesday after she confessed to stealing the Rolex off the wrist of a woman she met at a Houston bar Feb. 24. Her attorney says Araguz has already paid $2,800 in restitution for the watch."


1-26-12:  The Sun (UK): "Couple tell of journey from Mr & Mr to Mrs & Mrs - A PAIR of transsexual lesbians spoke of their joy at becoming "man and wife" AND "wife and wife" on day-time telly"

"Jenny-Anne Bishop, 65 — formerly known as Paul — and Elen Heart, 68, previously called Alan, have put their lives as men behind them.

Initally they got together as a male gay couple in 2004. Today the pair revealed how they were born in the wrong bodies and their journey to become "wife and wife".

The couple — who have five children and three marriages behind them — opened up to This Morning hosts Holly Willougby and Phillip Schofield about their transformation."


1-25-12:  Nashville Scene: "Ignoring Critics, Floyd Repeats Threat Against Transgender People"

"Gov. Bill Haslam seems sympathetic to fears that anti-gay rhetoric in the legislature could lead to more harassment and violence against GLBT people in Tennessee. Asked at a news conference today whether he shares that concern, the governor said: "Obviously, that’s not the environment we want to set in Tennessee. In terms of legislation, I think there’s better things for us to focus on this year."

But Rep. Richard Floyd remains unrepentant. Pith asked Floyd today whether he’d like to take back that threat to “stomp a mudhole” in any transgender person who offended his wife or daughters . . . "Do I regret saying it? No, I don’t regret saying it. Would I do it? Yes I would. Or try. ""


1-25-12:  Huffington Post (originally posted 12-05-11): "Brooke Fantelli, California Transgender Woman, Allegedly Tased In The Crotch By Imperial County Desert Rangers (VIDEO)"

"A California transgender woman is reportedly planning a civil lawsuit after allegedly being tased in the abdomen and in the genital area by officials. As LGBT Weekly is reporting, Brooke Fantelli, who is apparently a well-known figure in the off-road racing community, was allegedly stopped by a ranger while in the midst of a photo shoot in the Imperial County desert.

Though the 43-year-old Fantelli had been living as a woman for some time, she had been told by her physician that she needed to live two full years as a female before she could change her California identification. Only when the ranger saw Brooke’s identification card did the hostile interaction begin, according to the report.  Fantelli said the ranger went from referring to her as "ma'am," "her," and "she" to “sir,” "him," and eventually "dude." She said she was eventually told by the ranger that she was being arrested for being drunk in public after consuming beer (Fantelli claims she had two and a half beers, the officer said she had four) before finally being subjected to the excessive force."


1-24-12:  SFGN: "Albert Nobbs: A Complex Portrait of Gender Identity in Victorian Dublin"

"In her new film, Albert Nobbs, opening in South Florida theaters this weekend, Glenn Close portrays a woman, passing as a man in 19th century Dublin, in a performance that will raise much more complicated questions about gender identity than mere survival in a male-dominated world. This is no Victor/Victoria or Tootsie, however.

The diminutive, asexual Nobbs is a butler at a posh Dublin hotel. Trained—and perfectly content—to disappear into his surroundings, except when a bell summons him to his well-to-do guests . . .
Albert’s routine is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of the cocky Hubert Paige (Janet McTeer), temporarily hired to paint the hotel and assigned to share Nobbs’s room. When Albert’s secret is accidentally revealed, Paige makes a shocking revelation of his own that sets Albert’s very notion of existence on end. It seems he too is a “she,” having taken his act one step further and taken a wife (Bronagh Gallagher), living as a married couple."


1-24-12:  Republica (Nepal): "Transgenders taking the pill to look beautiful"

"Preeti Rana, 21, (name changed) always wanted to have soft hands and feet and a well-defined feminine figure despite having been born a male. Thanks to hormonal pills that (she thinks) have enhanced her beauty, she has not only been increasingly noticed by males but has even been proposed to by three guys within just the last eight months.

"I was shocked, but of course also extremely delighted, when I was proposed to; it was proof I really looked like a girl," Rana said blushing. "But I had a hard time pleading ´sorry´ with them". The stunningly beautiful Rana has been using the medicines since the last two years."


1-24-12:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Transgender Issues: Are you “A Queer Person”?"", by Jillian Page

"So how do you feel about being called “a queer person”? It’s happening more and more: some gay people are “reclaiming” the word and applying it to all LGBT people . . .

Increasingly these days, the “queer” word is appearing in the media. In fact, it’s in an article on our website tonight. It’s about a new book series focusing on LGBT films — mostly gay films, I think. The book series is called Queer Film Classics, and its mission is “to introduce a treasure trove of influential yet overlooked films about and by queer people.”

Personally, I don’t mind if someone wants to reclaim the word “queer,” but I don’t like the idea of using it to refer to people who might be uncomfortable with it. I don’t think anybody has the right to take such liberties . . . but it is happening, whether trans people (or LGB people) like it or not."


1-24-12:  The Telegraph (UK): "The transgender taboo is a threat to academic freedom", by Ed West

"The Sunday Times over the weekend had a feature about six children suffering from Gender Identity Disorder who are being given drugs to delay the onset of puberty, giving them more time to decide whether they wish to change sex later in life . . .

And yet the strange thing is that, taking aside the fact that “blockers” may affect cognitive ability and bone density, there's actually no accepted medical proof or consensus that sex change operations actually help someone's mental health . . .

Yet that hasn't stopped the growth of a political orthodoxy that boys and girls are sometimes born into the wrong bodies . . . is best fixed by hormone treatment and/or surgery later in life; and that anyone who finds this uncomfortable suffers themselves from a psychological condition, apparently, called transphobia.

This is the only explanation acceptable to the media and, indeed, the state, which spends a fair deal of money (which we don’t have) combating transphobia. Yet at the moment science is still quite confused about Gender Identity Disorder, and what is acceptable to say about it is constrained by taboo and threats, and academics who argue against the standard political narrative tend to get persecuted."

[The emergence of supportive medical treatment for transgender teens in the UK seems to have triggered a major meltdown among Zucker and Bailey fans.]


1-23-12:  The Daily Mail (UK):  "NHS has paid for 'gender-confused' children to have puberty-delaying jabs... so they can have sex changes when they're older"

"Six children in Britain will be given jabs to delay the puberty on the NHS because they are convinced they were born the wrong sex. The injections - to be administered monthly - will postpone the physical changes of adolescence giving them more time to make decisions about their identity. It will also make any sex-change operation far easier should they decide to permanently swap gender . . .

The injections contain drugs called hypothalamic blockers which suppress their sex hormones delaying the onset of puberty. In the past ten years they have been increasingly used in countries such as the US and the Netherlands to give children time to think about their identity. However, endocrinologists have expressed concerns that blockers could impact on a teenager's cognitive abilities and bone density.

Meanwhile Dr Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist at a specialist children's gender clinic in Toronto, believes social conditioning may be playing a part. He notes that children can find it hard to think in shades of grey - a boy who likes 'girlie' things can then assume he is a girl. With enough therapy, Dr Zucker believes children with GID can think more flexibly about gender and become comfortable with their birth sex."


1-23-12:  The Sun (UK): "The confused kids putting off puberty - Drugs halt sexuality until children choose gender . . . "

"Six children are being turned into real-life Peter Pans because parents say the kids are unsure about their gender. They have been prescribed drugs by an NHS clinic to delay puberty so later gender-change ops will be easier to carry out . . .

Critics say it is damaging because up to eight out of ten youngsters who think they are the wrong sex will change their minds after reaching puberty.

Supporters dispute this and say that almost a quarter of kids aged between 11 and 15 who are gender-unsure will be self-harmers — three times the average."


1-23-12:  Huffington Post: "Tennessee Lawmaker Threatens Trans Women with Violence"  (more, more, more, more, more)

"On Jan. 12 Tennessee State Representative Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) said he would "stomp a mudhole" into any transgender woman he saw attempting to use a women's restroom. That phrase means to sexually and violently assault someone to the point where they are unable to fight back. So far, Rep. Floyd's comments have been largely ignored and unchallenged by the mainstream media. How could something so incredibly outrageous and disgusting go unreported?

We are living in a world in which transgender people face extremely high rates of violence and discrimination. Every year I attend the Transgender Day of Remembrance and hear a new list of names of trans people who have been murdered. And, sadly, in my workplace, I hear stories of violence and discrimination on a regular basis. Rep. Floyd's hateful remarks validate people's misconceptions about transgender people and incite violence against anyone who is gender-nonconforming. "


1-23-12:  The Guardian (UK): "A transgender journey: Are you experienced? - Juliet Jacques reports on the 'Real Life Experience' living as a woman required by medical professionals before she can set a date for gender reassignment surgery"

""You won't see us again until after the operation" says my secondary clinician at the West London Mental Health Trust Gender Identity Clinic, supporting my main therapist's recommendation that I be referred for surgery. The questions – about whether I've made the right decision, about how family, friends and colleagues have reacted to my coming out and how I've dealt with transphobia – are over. Having lived and worked as female for two years, I've finally completed the Real Life Experience . . .

I thought I'd be jubilant, but leaving, I feel strangely indifferent. Perhaps this is because the referral represents a strange mid-point: I addressed the RLE's main challenges and became comfortable with my new reality so long ago that it seems surreal to link this official end to the (sometimes fraught) process of managing my social interactions; but 27 months after entering the pathway, I neither have a date for surgery nor any idea when I'll get one."


1-22-12:  New Orleans Times Picayune: "Transgendered Girl Scout in Colorado causes stir in St. Tammany"

"A Girl Scout troop on the north shore has collapsed after parents withdrew their children in the wake of a decision by a Colorado troop to admit a 7-year-old transgendered child. That's a move they saw as an objectionable leftward drift in Girl Scouting.

Louisiana Girl Scouts have never been asked to admit a transgendered child, said Marianne Addy, the spokeswoman for Girl Scouts Louisiana East, which provides scouting activities for 17,000 girls. And soon after the Colorado decision last fall, Louisiana Scouting directors, who are free to set local policy, decided transgendered children would not be allowed should one ever apply.

But Susan Cramond, a troop leader who had two children in the group that met at Northlake Christian School in Covington, said she and other like-minded parents felt Louisiana Scouting policy-makers should never have had to discuss the transgender issue in the first place. Cramond said when she first contacted Louisiana’s Scouting leaders to ask whether a transgendered child could be accepted into a local troop, she didn’t get the quick and unequivocal “no” she was hoping for.

So Cramond and fellow troop leader Susan Bryant-Snure, a Lacombe doctor, informed other parents. She said they collectively decided to abandon the Girl Scouts and seek affiliation with American Heritage Girls, a similar organization that describes itself as a “Christ-centered leadership and character development ministry.”"


1-21-12:  Huffington Post: "Transgender Rights: U.S. confronts Bathroom Issue once again", by Autumn Sandeen

"U.S. civil rights movements — ones formed to address the oppression of minority populations — have often had significant pushback by societal oppressors that have included bathroom and/or significant shower components . . .

And in the relatively new “bathroom bill” meme argument against trans people and their civil rights — especially used in relationship to trans women — is that “men in dresses”/”transvestites” are bathroom predators to be feared. Trans women are perceived to be sexual deviants, and as “men in dresses”/”transvestites” it’s argued that trans women — or men posing to be trans women — will engage in predatory behavior towards women and children in public restrooms and showers . . .

Let’s not make civil rights about bathrooms yet again.

This discussion of bathrooms is as wrong as can be. We don’t, or at least we shouldn’t, base equality under the law on others’ fears – if we did, we’d still have Jim Crow laws in the American south in part because many white men and women were afraid of what black men may do to white women — many still are afraid. We also wouldn’t have repeal of DADT because of a fear that most gays and lesbians are hypersexual sexual deviants that will leer at and rape their peer service members in latrine and shower facilities. Facts and logic don’t support these fears, but imagined fears are what many in majority society based their oppression of African-Americans, gays, and lesbians upon."


1-19-12:  Huffington Post: "Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Governor, Signs Transgender Equal Rights Bill Into Effect"

"Massachusetts officially became the 16th state to treat transgender citizens as a protected class today as Governor Deval Patrick hosted a ceremonial signing of the groundbreaking rights bill.

As Colorlines is reporting, the law legally protects transgender individuals from discrimination in housing, education, employment and credit, in addition to providing additional civil rights and protections from hate crimes.

"I sign this bill as a matter of conscience; people should be able to come before their government as equals," Patrick is quoted as having said as he signed "An Act Relative to Gender Identity" into law. Though Patrick had actually signed the bill in his office in late November, Thursday's event was a ceremonial start-of-the-year one that drew an overflowing crowd from the local transgender community, local network WWLP is reporting. "


1-19-12:  JTA News:  "Boston doctor finds treating transgender youth a transforming experience"

"As the co-founder of the country’s first clinic devoted to treating children with gender disorders, and as a leading authority on transgender youth, Spack has found himself at the forefront of efforts to educate the public about a widely misunderstood condition and to help transgender people secure their fundamental rights. “If we shun people, we never get the experience of knowing how special they are and understanding how courageous they are,” Spack told JTA.

A pediatric endocrinologist with deep roots in Boston's Jewish community, Spack was first exposed to transgenderism, a medical condition in which individuals do not identify with the gender into which they were born, in the mid-1970s. Spack at the time was treating street kids as a volunteer on a medical van in Boston. Many of the young people were “throwaway kids,” Spack said, having been shunned by their families and schools for gender variant behavior.

A decade later, a colleague referred a transgender patient to Spack -- a young adult Spack referred to as M. Unlike the street kids he'd seen earlier, M was a Harvard graduate. M would open up a whole new world for Spack. In exchange for medical care, he introduced the doctor to his friends, other young adults who were transgender . . . The experience proved to be a turning point. Spack began providing medical care for young adults and later older adults who were transgender. At the time, many physicians were reluctant to take on transgender patients; it's a problem that continues today.

In 2007, Spack co-founded the Gender Management Service Clinic, or GeMS, at Children's Hospital. The clinic has treated nearly 100 patients, most for birth disorders or other sexual development conditions. About one-third of the patients are treated with hormonal suppressants that delay the onset of puberty -- a controversial treatment that is fully reversible. Spack acknowledges the opposition to this sort of early intervention, but argues that transgender youth have high rates of self-harm and suicide attempts . . .

Treating these young people with hormonal suppressants is a way of buying them precious time, Spack argues. When they are teens, they are better able to decide whether or not to take the next step of taking the hormones of the opposite sex that triggers permanent physical change."


1-19-12:  The Daily Mail (UK re Czech Republic): "Transsexual 'posing as gynaecologist treated dozens of women at illegal practice'"

"A transsexual who posed as a gynaecologist and treated dozens of women at an illegal practice is today facing up to five years in jail. Alexandra Svobodova - born Martin Sloboda before undergoing a sex change operation - carried out internal examinations on her unsuspecting patients . . .

Six years ago, using the alias Sandra Svobodova, she posed as a lawyer representing high-profile clients in arbitration cases. After swindling £5million out of her customers, she was arrested and convicted of fraud in 2009. She was given a suspended sentence of one year."


1-18-12:  The Intersex Network (OII re UK): "Now they are LGBT+… are the UK’s Liberal Democrats moving towards overt intersex inclusion?"

"WE were pleasantly surprised to see that the United Kingdom’s LGBT Liberal Democrats wing of the Liberal Democrat party is now calling itself the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats."


1-18-12:  The Guardian (UK re Turkey): "From homophobia to a moving apology in Turkey - As a groundbreaking film launches, Turkish attitudes to gay and transgender people are slowly improving – in the media at least"

"Last week was tumultuous for Turkey's gay and transsexual people. A groundbreaking indie movie, Zenne Dancer, finally hit the screens, after winning five major awards at the country's foremost film festival, and receiving a shower of attention from the mass media – a shower that unfortunately quickly turned cold.

In daily parlance the word zenne refers to a man who dresses up like a woman and dances in front of an audience, a custom that goes way back to early Ottoman empire. The film itself is inspired by a true story, that of Ahmet Yildiz, a student who was gunned down by his own father for being openly and unrepentantly homosexual . . . "


1-18-12:  Windy City Times: "Store's specialty: transgender women"

"The yellow-brick boutique across from the Arlington Heights Village Hall was the talk of the town when it set up shop 12 years ago. It's a simple affair, built in the geometric style of an '80s strip mall . . . the building is, well, ordinary—from the outside.

Transformations by Rori (110 S. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights) is the only full-service commercial shop for transgender women in the Chicago area. (Its sister store is located in Key Largo, Fla.). The boutique is a refuge for those who have long embraced their inner chic and for those taking their first teetering steps in stilettos. It has two dressing rooms and a beauty bar where the staff works their magic. In walks a suit and tie; out walks Kimberley, Gina or Erica . . .

Transformations mirrors its clientele—you can't judge the business from the outside alone. It's not just a shop selling frills to the fringes of society. Transformation's true trade is in affirmation. It's a place where folks can shed the gender-role straight jacket and don a dress of ambiguity. From the high school student with two lip rings looking for a place to wear his wig, to the timid, middle-aged person who has finally found an outlet for the nagging sensation of being wrapped in the wrong color blanket at birth, there's a place for everyone."


1-17-12:  BBC News (UK):  "172 gender reassignment procedures took place in 2010"

"New figures from the Department of Health show a rise in the number of sexual transformation procedures. In the last 12 years the number of procedures in England has risen from 49 in the year 1999/2000 to 172 in 2010/11 . . .

Gendered Intelligence is a company which works with young transgender people from across the UK. It says it is seeing more cases of people identifying themselves as transgender at a younger age. It says this is likely to be down to more people being aware of transgender identities through the internet and television. Co-founder Jay Stewart told Newsbeat: "Compared to 2010, in 2011 our numbers of young people coming through the door or making enquiries has nearly doubled to about 500."

Mermaids, a charity which supports young transgender people under 19 and their families, also told Newsbeat that it has experienced an increase in inquires from parents, individuals and professionals regarding younger people."


1-17-12:  The Daily Beast: "The Transgender Revolution - From Albert Nobbs to "Dancing With the Stars" to the "Work It" controversy to the Girl Scouts, transgender issues are everywhere."

"Are we having a trans moment? Until recently, transgender issues were nearly invisible in the mainstream press—but now, everywhere you turn, transgender stories are being told. From Andrej Pejic and Lea T, two trans models currently walking the high-fashion runways, to the outrage over Work It, the hapless, now-canceled ABC comedy featuring two men who resort to drag to get a job, transgender awareness is growing exponentially by the moment . . .

Even the Girl Scouts have entered the fray. When a trans child was denied admittance into a Girl Scouts troop in Colorado, the child’s parents appealed and the Girl Scout relented. But that decision wasn’t pleasing to everyone: A Girl Scout, known only as Taylor from Ventura County, Calif., called for a boycott over the organization’s open-mindedness, resulting in countercalls from trans supporters vowing to buy even more cookies. And more important, last month, a federal-court ruling in favor of Vandiver Elizabeth Glenn, who was fired from her job after coming out as transgender, led Time magazine to declare transgender people’s legal issues to be the next big civil-rights frontier."


1-14-12:  Entertainment Weekly: "ABC fires polarizing comedy 'Work It'" (more, more)

"ABC has cancelled the controversial cross-dressing comedy Work It after two episodes . . .

Out of the gate, Work It was dismissed by both critics (who criticized its brand of comedy) and the gay community (for the message it supposedly communicated). The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign took to out an ad in a Hollywood trade to show how the sitcom . . . have a negative impact on the transgender community. Using photos of transgender Americans, an ad in Variety features statistics from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force on discrimination to demonstrate how the comedy could be misinterpreted by viewers."


1-14-12:  The Sun (UK): "Sex swap teenager to enter Miss England contest"

"A TEENAGE transsexual has become the first sex swap patient to enter the Miss England beauty pageant.

Jackie Green became the UK's youngest transsexual after an op in Thailand on her 16th birthday. The 18-year-old — who was born Jack but lived as a girl since age ten — was asked to enter by modelling scouts who had no idea of her history.

The aspiring model, from Leeds, hopes to use the opportunity to speak out about bullying and transgender issues. She said: "I went to the Britain's Next Top Model show in London and was really surprised when scouts came up to me. Miss England is a prestigious competition. I'd love to win. I've as good a chance as anyone.""


1-14-12:  The Guardian (UK): "Should trans screen roles be played by trans actors? - Transsexual characters promote positive discussion, regardless of who plays them. But trans actors need more opportunities"

"Critiquing stereotypical portrayals in Whipping Girl, Julia Serano stated that "in a world where transsexual and intersex works of art … are not considered mainstream enough to be nominated for Emmys and Pulitzers, the facade presented in [HBO drama] Normal … profoundly shapes audience opinions about transsexual and intersex people". The problem, argued Serano, was that Normal appropriated gender-variant experiences without including transgender perspectives, replacing them with the director's unchallenged prejudices, which, intentionally or not, felt deeply transphobic."


1-13-12:  Houston Chronicle: "Transgender widow jailed for tardiness"

"After Nikki Araguz, the transgendered widow at the center of a controversial lawsuit, was 40 minutes late to what was supposed to be her final appearance in criminal court Friday, a judge decided the Harris County Sheriff's Office will make sure she is not late for her next setting . . . She admonished the 36-year-old, then ordered a bailiff to put her in a holding cell next to the courtroom.

It was not the first time the polarizing defendant had raised the judge's blood pressure. Araguz was expected to admit to stealing a Rolex from an acquaintance at a bar last year in exchange for 30 days in jail and restitution. This was the second time Araguz was late to court, and it was not the first time a judge had to raise their voice."


1-13-12:  Out&About  (posted 1-12): "Chattanooga lawmaker threatens to 'stomp' transgender people - Rep. Richard Floyd has introduced a bill requiring birth-gender bathroom" (more, more, more, more)

"Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, has introduced a bill that would prohibit people from using public bathrooms and dressing rooms that don’t match the gender listed on their birth certificates. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Floyd introduced the bill after reading a news article about a Texas woman who said she was fired from Macy's after stopping a male dressed as a woman from using a dressing room.

“It could happen here,” Floyd said. “I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.”"

[This public official openly advocates life-threatening violence against transgender people, and from his snarly-mouthings in the video at this link it's clear this guy really means it. Be warned: if someone in such a mental state ever comes after you, it's time to either run like hell or prepare to fight for your life.]

[Note: Under Tennessee law, transgender people can not change the gender on their birth certificates, even after SRS.  Under the proposed new law, socially-transitioned transpeople in Tennessee could be challenged to show their BC's whenever using a public restroom or dressing room.  Imagine the fear and intimidation this would cause, especially among 'out' transitioners born in Tennessee, as hateful transphobes began ratting-them-out when they used such facilities.]


1-13-12:  YouTube: "A Brother's Perspective: Part 1", by Moonfire1777  (Part 2)
"My brother and I are answering your questions! Stayed tuned for more in the future!"

[A young transwoman and her brother discuss her family's adjustment to her transition and answer many viewers questions. See other links on Moonfire's channel for more information.]


1-13-12:  The Mainichi Daily News (Japan): "Minimum age lowered for starting hormone treatment for gender identity disorder"

"The youngest age at which hormone treatment for people with gender identity disorder (GID) can begin was lowered from 18 to 15 by the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology on Jan. 12. The decision was motivated by the fact that many young people with the disorder are so tormented by it that they attempt suicide or stop going to school . . .

It has also been decided to allow the use of anti-hormones that temporarily stop the development of secondary sex characteristics at puberty."


1-13-12:  MSNBC: "Woman says her fake penis got her fired - Worker says she was debating gender reassignment when she wore a prosthetic penis to work at a snack factory" (more, more, more)

"A northeastern Pennsylvania woman says she was fired from her job at a frozen-snack factory for wearing a prosthetic penis to work while contemplating gender reassignment. She is now suing.

Pauline Davis, 45, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday against J&J Snack Foods Corp., a maker of frozen sweets and other snacks, over her termination from the company's plant in Moosic, near Scranton.

Davis says she wore the prosthetic to work as a line inspector, confiding in several co-workers about the device, and someone told management . . . According to the suit, Davis was fired even though the device didn't interfere with her work. Davis' suit claims a male employee undergoing hormone treatments and female clothing was treated more favorably."


1-13-12:  WFAA-TV: "Transgender policy sparks Girl Scout cookie controversy"

"Girl Scout cookies are coming with a side of controversy this year.

"I ask all fellow Girl Scouts who want a true all girl experience not to sell any cookies," said a girl scout on a youtube video. A California scout is calling for a boycott of cookie sales, after the organization agreed to allow a transgender child in Colorado to join.

Now, supporters are coming to the organization's defense."


1-13-12:  The Atlantic Wire: "Anti-Transgender Rant Will Be a Boon to Girl Scout Cookie Sales"

"The latest person to troll Girl Scout with her weird social hangups thinks people shouldn't buy their signature cookies because the scouts let a transgender girl in last year, but it looks like her plan is going to backfire and cookie sales will climb. A video appeared last week, featuring a Ventura, Ca. girl identified only as Taylor, who said the organization was using proceeds from the cookie sales to promote "the desires of a small handful of people," Huffington Post reported on Wednesday. Sherry Sybesma, the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast, confirmed to us that the girl in the video is registered as a member of the council she runs. From what Girl Scouts administrators told us, and from what we're seeing online, the boycott effort is going to lead to more sales, if anything, from indignant supporters of the scouts and their decision last fall to accept a Colorado transgender kid named Bobby Montoya as a member. The group that apparently produced the video, called Honest Girl Scouts, has already started to walk it back."


1-12-12:  Daily Mail (UK): "'I have a boyfriend': Warren Beatty's transgender son reveals he has new lover" (more)
"Warren Beatty's transgender son has revealed he has a boyfriend. Stephen, 20, posted messages about the relationship on Twitter, revealing he received a home-made pair of socks for his recent birthday from his beau.

It is unclear whether his Dick Tracy star father approves, although he reportedly toasted his 'brave son' at a special family dinner in Hollywood last month."


1-12-12:  The Local (Sweden): "Sweden keeps sex-change sterilization law" (more)

"A move to scrap Swedish laws requiring compulsory sterilization for people undergoing gender reassignment surgery has been put on ice following opposition from the Christian Democrats. Opposition parties decried the move, claiming that a majority of members in the Riksdag support efforts to ditch the demand. According to legislation passed in 1972, to undergo a sex change operation a person must be over 18-years-old, a Swedish citizen, be sterilized and unmarried."


1-12-12:  Telegraph (UK): "Sean Bean takes on transsexual role - Hardman actor Sean Bean plays 'Tracie' in transsexual role for BBC courtroom drama Accused." (more, more)

"TV hardman Sean Bean is to show off his more feminine side playing a transsexual in a courtroom drama. Bean, who made his name in the Napoleonic war drama Sharpe, dons a mini-skirt and a blonde wig for the role in the new series of BBC1's Accused . . .

Bean plays an English teacher called Simon Gaskell and his alter ego, Tracie Tremarco, whose quest for love leads to the courtroom."


1-12-12:  Southport Visitor (UK): "Pre-op transsexual Sandy Manley on why he’s now ready to be a woman"

"He said: “There is a big difference between knowing what you want and being ready for it.” His first tentative outings to ‘cut his teeth’ as a woman were in 2004 in the pubs and clubs around Manchester’s Canal Street. From there, he ventured to the Trafford centre.

He said: “When I first got there, I thought everyone was looking at me. Then I stopped and thought; ‘no, they’re not’, and I relaxed and enjoyed it.“ Seven years on from that day, and Sandy, of Southbank Road, seems happy and optimistic about the future. He finally decided he was ‘ready’ for the operation in the summer of 2010 and changed his name to Alexandra Clare Manley, or Sandy."


1-11-12:  Pakistan Today (Pakistan): "Male or female? Transgenders will now have a choice"

"Following the orders of the Supreme Court, the Sindh Election Commission on Tuesday convened a meeting with representatives of the transgender community at the commission’s provincial head office in Karachi to ensure that the names of their community members are entered in the voters list ahead of the upcoming elections.

Leaders of the transgender community would be asked whether they want their names to be entered in the ‘male’ column or the ‘female’ column, as many community members have female names, while others have male names.

The apex court had ordered the government to ensure that the names of the members of the transgender community are entered in the voters list, as this would prove beneficial for them to acquire proper jobs."


1-11-12:  The Montreal Gazette (Canada; posted 1-09): "Was the “Transgender” Necessary in David O. Russell Reports?"

"Hmm . . . Was it really necessary for the media to report that film director David O. Russell groped the breasts of his 19-year-old “transgender” niece? When I first saw the story, I wondered why the media felt compelled to refer to her as “transgender” person. Wouldn’t it have been enough to just say “groped the breasts of his niece”?

Hmm . . .Apparently, some media outlets feel the fact that the niece is transitioning is important to the story because Russell says he was curious about his niece’s breast enhancement/development and was invited to touch them during a workout at the gym.

Whatever the case, the police have determined that the incident was consensual and there will be no further investigation. But charges could still come from the state attorney’s office if the niece pursues the case any further."


1-11-12:  The Dominion Post (New Zealand): "Libra advert doesn't get the girls"

"Explaining, they say, is losing - especially when it comes to humour. If you have to explain why something's funny, then whatever it is you're explaining, it isn't a joke.

The same is true of advertisements: they either work or they don't. An advertisement that relies on humour that you have to explain is pretty much the definition of failure."


1-10-12:  Entertainment Weekly: "ABC chief on 'Work It' harming transgender community: 'I don't get it'"

"Sorry, GLAAD — ABC Entertainment topper Paul Lee doesn’t get why you have issues with Work It.

While talking to reporters at the annual Television Critics Tour in Pasadena today, Lee said he was stumped by a campaign from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign that accuses the cross dressing comedy of being harmful to transgenders. “I didn’t really get it,” he said. “I loved Tootsie. I still love Tootsie . . . ”"


1-10-12:  The Atlantic: "How Coming Out Became Cool for Celebrities"

"For some famous, secure people, official confirmation of their sexual orientation isn't just a matter of honesty: It's a highly valuable commodity."


1-10-12:  The Advocate (Feb. issue): "Marriage Equality is a Trans Issue, Too"

""In the vast majority of cases [involving marriages of transgender people], nobody has any problem," says Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who has handled many marriage-related cases. "Nobody even questions the validity of the marriage. Now there have been a handful of cases in very conservative states that have come out badly."

The reason? "Courts in these states have been so homophobic," says Minter. "They don't want to even come close to recognizing a same-sex marriage.""


1-09-12:  Washington Post: "Sex education standards encourage teaching of sexual identity, anti-bullying in schools"

"Young elementary school students should use the proper names for body parts and, by the end of fifth grade, know that sexual orientation is “the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or a different gender,” according to new sexual education guidelines released Monday by a coalition of health and education groups.

The non-binding recommendations to states and school districts seek to encourage age-appropriate discussions about sex, bullying and healthy relationships — starting with a foundation even before second grade. Beyond lessons about puberty by the end of fifth grade, the guidelines say students should be able to define sexual harassment and abuse . . .

When they leave middle school, they should be able to differentiate between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, according to the guidelines . . . Many of these issues the groups encouraged to be further addressed in high school as well. It’s unclear how much influence the recommendations will have among educators."


1-08-12:  Sunday Mirror (UK): "Couple marry for the second time...after husband has a sex swap"

"Like a lot of couples, Barry and Anne Watson wanted to renew their ­marriage vows.

But when they went ahead nine years after their ­wedding, there was a big difference... this time Barry was a ­woman called Jayne. And Anne was only too happy to go ahead with the ceremony to show how much she loved her new wife."


1-06-12:  The Economic Observer (China): "Banned on TV But Loved Online:  Jin Xing, the dancer and television show judge whose sexuality outraged the censors, has turned to the internet to challenge Chinese prejudices."

"In September, Chinese dancer Jin Xing (金星) posted on her Weibo account that she has been banned from judging a television program because of her transsexual identity.  Despite her professional skills, many people think transsexuals should not appear in the media, since they pose a moral threat among adolescents. In Jin’s opinion, this is pure prejudice caused by a lack of understanding and awareness. Her post drew wide support . . .

According to Jin, many Chinese people only know about transsexual people through the negative publicity generated by Thailand’s tourism industry. However, she said, most transsexual people are leading an ordinary life as lawyers, engineers, and workers. They are not different from others -- neither in their appearance or clothing nor in their hearts and spirit.

Transsexual people are just those who realize their real gender. However many people choose to ignore these facts and dislike transsexual people instinctively."


1-06-12:  ABC News: "Trans Chaz Bono Eyes Risky Surgery to Construct Penis"

"Chaz Bono may take the final step in his transition from female to male and have penile reconstruction, a complex procedure that can be risky.

Born Chastity, the son of '60s pop icons Sonny and Cher, Bono says he knew from an early age that he was born in the wrong body. Since going public in 2009, he has injected himself with testosterone, grown body hair and surgically removed his breasts. Now, the "Dancing With the Stars" contestant has told Rolling Stone magazine that "within a short while he will finally be able to afford to get himself a penis."

Bono said that he has looked into either the simplest procedure that uses clitoral tissue to build a micro-penis or a full phalloplasty, where surgeons take skin from another part of the body and roll it to create a phallus that is attached to the groin.

"It's true, it's something he will consider at the appropriate time," Bono's publicist Howard Bragman told "But it's not something that is imminent and not something he believes will make him a man. He feels comfortable with his own masculinity.""


1-05-12:  The Smoking Gun: "Hollywood Power In Bizarre Transgender Row - David O. Russell quizzed over gym incident with kin" (more)

"According to a Broward Sheriff’s Office report obtained by The Smoking Gun, Russell, 53, and Nicholas Peloquin, 19, were working out in the gym at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach. Peloquin, who also uses the first name Nicole, told a sheriff’s deputy that Russell is his mother's adopted brother . . .

Peloquin, who told the deputy that he is “a transgender but has not gone through the male to female operation,” said that Russell then asked him about the transgender transformation. Peloquin replied by telling Russell about “the hormones to increase his breasts.” At that point, Peloquin told Deputy Bridgman, Russell put his hands under his top “and felt both breasts.” While Peloquin said he felt uncomfortable, “he did not ask Russell to stop at any time.

After the consensual contact, Russell reported, he received a call from his sister to “discuss him touching Peloquin.” Russell told Deputy Bridgman that he told his sibling that “he had asked Peloquin several times if he was uncomfortable and he did not ask him to not touch him.” Russell also told the deputy that Peloquin is “always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive.””


1-05-12:  Huntington Post UK (UK): "World's Tallest Transsexual Lindsey Walker On Shoes, Taboos And Tattoos"

"However she explained how being tall does have some advantages:

"People occasionally shout stuff at me in the street but they do it at a distance, I mean I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to say anything to my face. "I do get emails that saying that I should kill myself or that I should die. No one's confronted me face to face or verbally, and no one has physically assaulted me."

Walker told Huffington Post UK how not all emails were negative: "As far as dating goes, I get a lot of emails, but they mainly just want to have sex with you. I mean everyone has a fetish to sleep with a transsexual, its not just men, women have the same fetish they just dont talk about it as much."


1-04-12:  BBC News Magazine (re US): "Transgender Americans take on New York"

"A group of transgender men and women want New York City to make it easier to change the "M" or "F" on their birth certificates. What makes a man or a woman, and why do governments care?

The issue at stake in New York and elsewhere - both inside the US and overseas - is not whether transgender people should be allowed to amend identity documents (only a US handful of states forbid a birth certificate change outright). Instead the debate centres on where officials draw the line between male and female.

The US government and many US states, as well as the UK and Australia, have done away with the requirement for surgery to convert the genitals. That is partly in response to transgender activists who say the requirement was based on an obsolete understanding of sexual identity."


1-04-12:  Radio New Zealand (New Zealand): "Controversial tampon ad may be canned"

"A company that makes women's hygiene products says it may cancel an advertisement which has been labelled transphobic and provoked a storm of criticism . . .  A spokesperson for Wellington Gay Welfare, Stu Donaldson, believes the ad is damaging to the transgender community and should never be broadcast again. "To have this ad on television and make a joke of it and ridicule transgenders, it's not really acceptable. It can lead to suicide. "You really have be brave to face up to the fact that you're transgender and do something about it. I mean, the consequences can be really serious.""


1-03-12:  The Bay Citizen: "Thrilling Nomination for Transgender Actor"

"When Film Independent announced its nominees for the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards last month, it may have just made history. Harmony Santana, a transgender actor, was nominated in the category for Best Supporting Female for her performance in "Gun Hill Road", writer/director Rashaad Ernesto Green's tale of a father who comes home from jail to discover that his son, played by Santana before she transitioned, is about to become a woman . . .

Not only was Santana's performance strong enough to put her in the running with nominees Anjelica Huston and Jessica Chastain, it marks a turning point for transgender actors everywhere. The New York Times used the opening of "Gun Hill Road" to examine the growing visibility of the transgender community in film and TV. And, as Asher Huey wrote on The Huffington Post, Santana "...seems to be the first trans actress nominated for a major Hollywood award.""


1-03-12:  Lez Get Real: "Transgender Law Center Offers Help With New Trans Friendly CA Laws"

"Two landmark transgender rights bills signed by Governor Brown last year became law on January 1, 2012. AB 887, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, strongly clarifies the existing employment, housing and other civil rights protections for all Californians. The law makes it clear that discrimination is not legal in California. AB433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, authored by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, streamlines the process for Californians to obtain and update birth certificates . . .

“This is a huge victory, and yet there is still work to be done in order to make sure all our laws and societal attitudes are fair and promote justice for transgender people,” said Kristina Wertz . . .

Transgender Law Center will continue to offer assistance to anyone who experiences challenges in obtaining documentation appropriate to their gender identity or anyone who experiences discrimination in housing, employment and other situations. "


1-03-12:  The Daily Mail (re New Zealand): "Company accused of being 'outrageously transphobic' over tampon advert that 'says transgender people are not real women'" (YouTube, more, more, more)

"A tampon maker has been branded 'outrageously transphobic' over its new advert. Critics say the television spot for Libra implies transgender people 'are not real women because they do not menstruate'.

The promo, which has been aired in New Zealand, shows a draq queen and blonde woman standing side by side in a nightclub toilet.
They seem to compete with one another - as they put on mascara, lip gloss and then adjust their bras. But, in what the advert portrays as a winning move, the blonde then pulls out her Libra tampon. The draq queen storms out of the toilets in a huff.

The advert, which wraps with the catch phrase 'Libra gets girls', has faced a storm of criticism, with dozens posting harsh comments on the company's Facebook page."


1-03-12:  New Zealand Herald (New Zealand): "'Transphobic' tampon ad causes outrage (+video)"

"Transgender advocates claim a new tampon advertisement takes the cringe factor surrounding women's sanitary products to new lows by stereotyping its community members. A preview of a Libra ad featuring a drag queen character and a blonde woman was uploaded to Facebook on December 21 to a storm of criticism. It is also playing on New Zealand television.

Both women sneak glances at each other while they get competitive about putting on their mascara in a mirror, lipgloss and adjusting their bras. In an apparent coup de grace the blonde pulls out a tampon and the drag queen walks out of the bathroom.

Agender NZ president Cherise Witehira, said many in the transgender community were outraged at the ads which were "blatantly transphobic"."


1-03-12:  The Daily Beast: "Boycott the Crossdressing Show! ABC's New Sitcom "Work It" Doesn't Work" (more, more, more)

"Tonight ABC debuts a sitcom in which two manly men don dresses to try to get jobs posing as women. The gay and lesbian community isn’t laughing. And neither will anyone else, says Noelle Howey, the daughter of a transgender parent . . .

They’re right that Work It would be a negative addition to our cultural conversation. Happily, there’s little chance of that happening. That’s because the show is unwatchable. It’s offensive not just to transgender people, with its stereotypical images of burly men in kitten heels hiking up their dresses to use the urinals, but also to any men, women, children—anyone—seeking entertainment."


1-03-12:  The Sun (UK): "7ft Lindsey set to be world's tallest transsexual" (more)

"A seven foot former basketball star is set to lay claim to the title of the world's tallest transsexual. Human skyscraper Lindsey Walker — previously known as Greg — has been living as a woman for two years and hopes to undergo a sex change later this year.

Strapping Lindsey, who has size 16 feet and weighs 20st, has already alerted the Guinness World Records Book in the hope she will be officially recognised as the world's tallest transvestite. But when she has her sex change, she could also bid to be the biggest transsexual in the world."


1-02-12:  Sun-Sentinal: "More gynecologists opening minds, offices to transgender patients" (more)

"In an effort to improve the quality of and access to health care for what it calls "a small but substantial population," the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is urging OB/GYNs to create a more open, welcoming environment for transgender patients.

The hope is to make a dent in the abusive treatment that traditionally has scared this unique community away from doctors. The snickers and stares from the nurses' station. The irrelevant questions about birth control and family planning. Judgmental looks, statements and — for 2 percent of the population, according to a recent study — outright violence and physical harassment from doctors and staff. Some have even been refused treatment."


1-02-11:  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG; posted 11-21-11) "Ob-Gyns: Prepare to Treat Transgender Patients"

"To address the significant health care disparities of transgender individuals and to improve their access to care, ob-gyns should prepare to provide routine treatment and screening or refer them to other physicians, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . . .

We need to make our offices settings that treat all patients with respect,” said Dr. Buyers. The College offers ob-gyns suggestions on how to create an office environment that is welcoming to transgender patients. For instance, asking patients their preferred name and pronoun, posting non-discrimination policies, ensuring confidentiality, and offering sensitivity training for staff are all steps that signal acceptance and let patients know that they will be treated with dignity. “We want the transgender community to know that we, as ob-gyns, care about their health.”"




Click here to access the Trans News Updates for 2011 (2nd half) 


Click here to access the Trans News Updates for 2011 (1st half) 


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Click here to access the Trans News Updates for 2010 (1st half) 


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