Monthly Archives: September 2013

Meet Brenda McComb, Transgender Professor and Dean

A short vignette of a transgender life. I selected it because this statement from her is one I could have written almost word for word, less the “PhD” (like Howard from The Big Bang Theory, I only have a Master’s in Engineering…)

“My mantra from the time I was 5 was ‘don’t get caught,’” she says, pondering the ostracism inherent of a less tolerant age. When McComb began the long haul toward a Ph.D., she worried about her reputation and future and partitioned her life along gender lines. She says that, though male privilege took her far in the sciences, where, “in a male-dominated system, it is difficult for women to be heard and make a difference,” she certainly didn’t have cisgender privilege. “I would be surrounded by males, and I felt like I didn’t fit in at all.”

via Transgender Lives |

Watch Out – the CW Network Will be Running a Transgender Drama

The CW network, which currently airs some good niche programs (such as my favorite, Supernatural), has in the works a new weekly prime-time drama which may of interest to transgender persons and their supporters.

‘ZE’ follows a female-to-male teen and his family in Texas. When the main character announces he is transgendered and will now be living as a male, his family struggles to deal with issues of identity, personal choice, politics and more. The title ‘ZE’ is a gender-non-specific pronoun to be used in lieu of “he” or “she” when referring to someone who is transgendered.

No firm commitment for an airdate. I’ll post an update when it’s known.
Playwright Kyle Jarrow to Pen Transgender Drama ‘ZE’ for The CW – BWWTVWorld.

Monica Bast – Fearless Russian Transgender Lawyer

Meet Monica Bast, the chairwoman for the Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, who is out and proud as a transgender lawyer in a country which, legally at least, hates the existence of LGBT persons. She’s putting not just her livelihood but her lift on the line to defend her clients and protest for human rights. Would that all of us had her courage.

Q&A: Transgender Lawyer Comes Out in Protest | News | The Moscow Times.

Health Co-op First to Rule Against Trans Exclusions

This is very welcome news, although the insurer, Colorado HealthOP, is quite small. But recent victories with Kaiser and Blue Cross are pointing the way – within 5 years, I would not be surprised if at least 25% of employers will have insurance policies underwriting transsexual surgeries. Hey, I’d love to guess more, but I’m a realist.

Health co-op first to rule that transgender exclusions are wrong | Health Policy Solutions.

AFL-CIO Adds Transgender Protections To Its Constitution

The AFL-CIO has in the past resisted calls to be inclusive towards LGBT persons, but this Monday amended its constitution Monday to add a provision banning discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.

The language of the AFL-CIO’s constitution now reads: “To encourage all workers without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to share equally in the full benefits of union organization.”

However, a second proposal which would have formalized their support of transgender healthcare, failed due to “technicalities.”

AFL-CIO Adds Transgender Protections To Its Constitution.

New York Firefighter Who Beat His Trans Girlfriend Appears in Court with His Next Trans Girlfriend


The story is reminiscent of Shakespeare: beefcake firefighter meets transgirl, then beats her, harasses her, and is convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief and assault and felony criminal contempt. Then he tries to get his job back, appearing in court with another transgirl who hasn’t figured out that hooking up with someone who has a history of convictions beating his girlfriends might just possibly not be boyfriend material.

In any event, it’s been getting a lot of attention in the tabloid press, so I figured I should document it.

Taylor Murphy, eying return to FDNY, loses retrial bid after assault conviction involving transgender model – NY Daily News.

Human Rights Settlement Reached Between Transgender Bride, Saskatoon Boutique

Canada_BrideI reported on this before Transas City existed, and I’m glad to see that the bride-to-be has won a settlement that she’s happy with.

Singh Peace, a native of India who came to Saskatoon in January 2010 to pursue her master’s degree in biotechnology, said she went into the store with her then-fiancee, Colin Peace, on April 21. Singh Peace said she was not allowed to try on wedding dresses because she was a man.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission said Wednesday that a mediated settlement between the two parties had been agreed upon.

The commission said the business owner “infringed Section 12 of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code by denying a transgender woman service.”

Human rights settlement reached between transgender bride, Saskatoon boutique.

Transgender Man Gives Birth In Germany, Fights For Right To Be Called Baby’s Father


First off, that’s not him in the photograph – I was unable to find a verified photograph, so I picked one showing Tracy LaGondino appeared on Oprah.

Anyhow, moving on to the actual news here – there’s a lot that’s unusual about this story. The unnamed man gave birth at home with a midwife, kept the baby a secret, then applied for a birth certificate and only put their name in for the father, none for the mother. Apparently the government honored the request, but it’s gone to the courts.

Transgender Man Gives Birth In Germany, Fights For Right To Be Called Baby’s Father: Report.

Transgender Boy to Fight Doctor’s Decision to Ban Him Having Puberty Blockers

Good for him! Although the title of the article sounds like he’s a victim of medical discrimination, the GP for her part says she simply doesn’t know enough about the long-term effects to risk giving the boy puberty blockers. However, given the weight of medical evidence easily discoverable, as well as existing NHS guidelines on the subject, her reticence seems odd and misplaced.

There is a video at the link.

Leo Waddell: transgender boy, 12, vows to fight doctor’s decision to ban him having hormone jabs | Mail Online.

Kasey Caron, Transgender High School Senior, Petitions School To Run For Homecoming King

Bless him for standing up to a school board which is so clearly wanting to dig in its heels. In my opinion from the research that I’ve done, Pennsylvania has over the last year turned into a key battleground state for transgender rights, and it’s heading towards either a court decision (affirming) or a referendum (rejecting).

There is a video at the link.

Kasey Caron, Transgender High School Senior, Petitions School To Run For Homecoming King.

American Bar Association Publishes Legal Guide for Trans People

ABA_GuideThe ABA book is not free, it is $129.95, in line with most professional publications (the textbook for the class I teach at UMKC is $125). I know most cannot afford this, but I’m posting it in case one of the professional therapists on my mailing list is unaware of it.

American Bar Association Publishes Legal Guide for Trans People :: EDGE on the Net.

Transgender Workers Face “Broken Bargain”

great-depression-soup-lineA new and comprehensive report about the current state of transgender persons in the workplace can be downloaded from here.

Some hard stats:

The unemployment rate (2011 data) for transgender population as a whole was 14% at a time when the unemployment rate for the general population was 7%. The unemployment rate for transgender people of color, however, was as high as 28% (Black). The Native American transgender unemployment rate was 24%, Latinos 18%, and multiracial 18%. Forty-four percent who were working at that time said they were underemployed (working part-time or temporary jobs or overqualified for the job they had).

Transgender people are nearly four times (15%) as likely to to have an income under $10,000 per year than the general population (4%). Thus many of us who do find work are “working poor.” MAP analyzed 14 studies of income data in 2009 and found that 46% of transgender people earned no more than $15,300 annually. A study in California found that transgender people were twice as likely to live below the poverty line than the general population.

Daily Kos: Transgender Workers Face “Broken Bargain”.

Guyana Judge (Sorta) Clarifies Law Against Cross-dressing. Kinda.

JusticeIt may not be all sunshine and lollipops here in the United States, but it can really suck to be transgender in most other countries. Of course several states and municipalities here have laws against crossdressing on their books, they just aren’t enforced.

Time for a little cognitive dissonance, Guyana style:

The litigants were apparently waiting for taxis when they were arrested for wearing female attire. When they appeared before the court the first time, a magistrate told them they were confused about their sexuality and should attend church and give their lives to Jesus Christ.

“The trans community is very worried and still fearful of arrests in light of this decision,” said McEwan, one of the challenge’s litigants.

Guyana judge clarifies rule against cross-dressing – Sonora News World –

Transgender School Law Spurs California Repeal Drive

Woman Holding Head
This makes my head hurt, but the comments after the article are outright scary. I certainly hope against hope that they are just the usual pack of trolls which post in these news articles. But remember, California actually banned same-sex marriage by public vote. They are not nearly as liberal and you think, and in a state the size of California, gaining 500,000 signatures is easy.

I found this telling:

“It is just fundamentally wrong,” said Doug Boyd, a lawyer circulating petitions in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendora. “It’s against the laws of God and nature.”

Boyd, 60, said he can’t stomach the idea of his 6- and 7- year-old daughters sharing school bathrooms, showers or locker rooms with a boy who sees himself as a girl.

Point 1: any law against the laws of “God” and “nature” needs repealing. Ooooooooooo…K. Bring on the, um, theocracy?

Point 2: Six and seven year olds don’t shower nude in California schools. I’m not sure they do in any public school in the nation.

Point 3: You’re a dumbass, Boyd.

Transgender 6-Year-Olds in Potty Spurs California Repeal Drive.