Monthly Archives: December 2013

Nuria López Torres Photographs Transgender Women from Around the World

Lopez-MainThis is really cool and worth a look. Nuria López Torres is a Spanish photographer who has created several photo essays focused on transgender women around the world, sometimes glamorizing them, but very often showing the gritty reality that they live and work in. Cuba, Turkey, Brazil – the photographs are very well done and many of them grip at your heart. If you browse the galleries for too long, make certain you have a box of tissues nearby.

Links to her individual galleries are below, along with a sample from each gallery for artistic illustration.


Main Portal for Transgender Women

Lopez-BrideGallery – The Bride

Lopez-TransformismGallery – The Art of Transformism

Lopez-IstanbulGallery – Red Light in Istanbul

Lopez-PrincessesGallery – Princesses

Lopez-CubaGallery – Sex and Revolution in Cuba

Lopez-HavanaGallery – Transhabana (Havana)

Lopez-IpanemaGallery – The Girl from Ipanema

Cross-Training – The History and Future of Transgender and Intersex Athletes – Part 1

Exclusive to Transas City, an 8-part research article which attempts to settle the debate on whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete with cisgender athletes. This topic has been increasingly in the news, especially as a result of California’s recent efforts to “mainstream” transgender students, and many ardent transgender activists have struggled to factually defend our rights to compete against our own gender. My hope is that someday, folks can link to these articles to make their points.

The article is more than 13,000 words in length with numerous citations, and walks through the history and present of transgender and intersex athletes. Discussed herein are the cruelty transgender and intersex athletes have had to endure, the flaws and follies of sex testing, medical differences and similarities between transgender and cisgender athletes, and methodical arguments that transgender athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports.

Part 1 has now been posted, which is an introduction to the topic and a review of early history. I will post the other parts every few days. I spent woman-weeks researching this subject, and I hope that it becomes of use in the transgender community worldwide.

Cross-Training – The History and Future of Transgender and Intersex Athletes (Page 1)

Meet Winter Laike, Mr. Transman 2013 Winner

Mr Transman 2013Increasingly, we have witnessed either transwomen contestants in beauty contests, or even entire beauty contests for transwomen. But what about the transmen? Well ladies and fellas, let me give you a link to a video about the Mr. Transman 2013 contest, and an interview with its winner, Winter Laike!

Winter Laike, Mr. Transman 2013 Winner, Sits Down With HuffPost Live.

The Dominoes Are Falling…Connecticut Directs Insurers to Provide Trans Coverage, including SRS

transgender_caduceus_insert_public_domainConnecticut joins Colorado and a few other states and cities in requiring that SRS must be covered for transsexual patients!

Folks, this is huge news – most of you know I’m a serious student of transgender history, and when I think of the transpeople in the 60’s who were threatened with prison for having SRS, the ones in the 70’s and 80’s who had to travel to backwater clinics in third-world countries, and the rest of us since then who have had to scrimp, save, indebt, beg, borrow, steal, or prostitute ourselves to afford this necessary medical care – it makes me emotional.

Just imagine, a world where all of us can be eligible for SRS under health insurance. A rising tide which will life all out boats, in making more and more transpeople happier, healthier, and more productive in making our new American way of life!

The Connecticut Insurance Department is directing all health insurance companies operating in the state to provide coverage of mental health counseling, hormone therapy, surgery and other treatments related to a patient’s gender transition. –

Danna Wheeldon and Caroline Gibbs will Appear on Trans Talk this Weekend

Those of you who know Danna and her wife Karen know they are visiting Kansas City from their home base of Barrow, Alaska. This weekend Danna and Caroline Gibbs, Director of the Transgender Institute, will appear on Trans Talk at 1:00 p.m., Saturday 12/28, on 90.1 KKFI FM. You can tune into the show directly, or stream it over your computer if you are outside the area (or if you don’t have a radio). I do not know the exact topic yet, but given the knowledge and experience, as well as the humor and wit of the women involved, I’m certain it will be a great show!

Eight Essays on the State of Transgender Issues

Under the lead page on the link below are eight short essays and summaries on the State of the Transgender Union for 2013. Sort of a year-in-review, if you will. Most of the commentators are actually transgender, imagine that!

A few of them are quite thoughtful and informative, so it’s worth a glance I think. There are some predictions made for the coming year as well.

In Their Own Words: LGBT Advocates on the State of Transgender Issues |

CDC Reverses Discriminatory Breast Cancer Screening Rule for Trans People

One might think that this was going to be a given, based on the fact we have a relatively trans-friendly President. However, the CDC has a long history of being largely independent of Administrative action, sort of like the Federal Reserve. So I have a feeling that this was a genuine effort at change, and a genuine positive endorsement of transgender acceptance and rights.

This also makes it much more difficult for a health insurer to try to discriminate against a transperson, since their excuse before was that the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, didn’t allow it, thus they didn’t have to either.

And hey, let this serve as a reminder to all transpeople out there – get your breasts examined. Your risk of breast cancer is elevated on estradiol, and especially if you take progesterone, and even transmen who have had mastectomies can still develop breast cancer, as it’s difficult to remove all of the tissue.

CDC Reverses Discriminatory Breast Cancer Screening Rule for Trans People |

One Woman’s Life After Coming Out As Transgender

Sarah McBride is the first openly transgender woman to work in the White House, and in this article by WAMU, she talks about her life and experiences. Specifically, her coming out process, with her friends, her family, and her employer.

This reaction from Joe Biden is heartwarming.

But she had a lot of support. Not only from her family, but from another clan: the Bidens. After coming out, McBride got a call from Delaware’s Attorney General Beau Biden. She had worked for Biden during his 2006 and 2010 elections, back when she was known as “Tim.”

“First he used my correct name and accurate pronouns and said, ‘Sarah, I just wanted you to know, I’m so proud of you. I love you, and you’re still a part of the Biden family,'” she says.

She says the “cherry on top” came right before President Obama’s second inauguration, during an event at the Vice President’s home.

“I went up to the Vice President to get a picture, and without saying anything, the Vice President saw me and he grabbed my arm and he said ‘Hey, kid, I just wanted to let you know I am so proud of you, and Beau is so proud of you, and Jill is so proud of you. And I’m so happy that you’re happy.’ And he gave me a big hug,” she says, adding that it was inspiring to see the Vice President, his family, and the Governor of Delaware embrace not only her, but also the broader transgender community.

One Woman’s Life After Coming Out As Transgender | WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Announcing “Come as you are,” a transgender women’s summit in Kansas City!

Come as You Are
The first major transgender summit in years will be held at the Embassy Suites Plaza hotel from 7-9 February, 2014. Organized by the Transgender Institute on behalf of the transgender community, this summit is the first of two which will be held in early 2014 right here in Kansas City!

The summit will feature guest speakers such as State Senator Jolie Justus, Facial Feminization Surgeon Dr. Alexander Sinclair, Reassignment Surgeon Dr. Toby Metzler, and Spiritual Speaker Dr. Donna Ross. Various workshops will be available on fashion, makeup, nails, comportment and feminization, self-defense, employment law, and other topics. If that’s not enough, two SOFFA meetings will be hosted by my wife for Significant Others, Family, Friends and Allies of transgender people – and yours truly will be interviewing an interesting transgender person for the audience.

More information can be found by clicking this link.

Transgender Beauty Queen Jenna Talackova Has Fashion Spread in Elle Canada

There’s a lot to like about Jenna Talackova. She’s well-spoken, an advocate for transgender rights who doesn’t try to downplay her past or her transgender status, and she’s photogenic to boot. She’s filming a reality TV series for E! Canada tentatively titled Brave New Girl, and now she has a fasion spread in Elle Canada, which you can read a little bit of here.

Transgender pageant star Jenna Talackova scores fashion spread in Elle Canada.

LSU Poll: Louisiana Opposes Gay and Transgender Discrimination

This is somewhat encouraging news, especially given the high number of conservative religious folks in the state. The guts of this very short article:

-89.3% of Louisiana residents agree that nobody should be fired from their job just because they are gay or transgender,

-93.7% of Louisiana residents believe that nobody should be evicted from their home or denied housing because they are gay or transgender, and

-89.5% of Louisiana residents believe that schools should protect gay and transgender students from bullying and harassment.

The support extends across all sorts of traditional dividing lines – Republicans and Democrats, young people and old, north Louisiana and south all agree that LGBT people deserve fair treatment in these aspects of life.

LSU poll finds Louisiana opposes gay and transgender discriminat – WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports.

The ‘Curing’ (Torture and Exploitation) of Australia’s First Transgender Man

A compelling historical piece from the Atlantic magazine. The subject is the life of Ellen Tremaye, one of the first European transgender men known on the continent. Changing his name to Edward De Lacy Evans and living as a man, including having several wives who claimed not to have any idea their husband had a vagina (see the story of Billy Tipton), he found employment as a miner and blacksmith. More importantly, the story focuses on the way he was treated when he was forcibly committed to an asylum for depression. Upon being stripped for bathing, they discovered he had female genitalia and breasts, and then:

Doctors diagnosed him with “cerebral mania” and “mental weakness,” and offered him only female attire to wear. He refused to wear it, or to eat, for days at a time. Over the course of Evans’ three-month treatment, physicians subjected him to extensive vaginal and rectal probing, during which he reportedly “sobbed and wept.”

Well yeah, I’m pretty sure most of us would sob and weep over extensive rectal and vaginal probing.

Evans’ exposure caused, to put it mildly, an incredible stir. One local photographer snuck into the hospital and took photos of Evans dressed in both male and female clothing, as well as in a straight jacket. Local sideshow operators offered the hospital 5 Australian pounds a week to display Evans as an oddity.

After his release, Evans did appear in one such traveling carnival, where reporters noted that he appeared “weak and half-witted” from the ordeal. Sideshows billed him as “The Wonderful Male Impersonator” and a pamphlet about his life, The Man-Woman Mystery, was published in 1880.

I give a spoiler and say that Evans did not lead a long and happy life. Much more information at the link below.

The ‘Curing’ of Australia’s First Transgender Man – Olga Khazan – The Atlantic.

Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins Claims Gay, Transgender People Will Weaken Health Care System

Tony Perkins FRC
So it’s the FRC again, continuing their multi-pronged attack on the LGBT population. In their latest salvo, they now manage to blame Obama for working with “transvestites” to load down the health care system with “higher risk” people.

Missing, of course, is FRC’s proposal to apply Christian charity to help out uninsured LGBT persons…

Seriously, it’s almost like they’re a parody act. Nonetheless, they are a parody act with money and power behind them.

FRC’s Tony Perkins Claims Gay, Transgender People Will Weaken Health Care System – On Top Magazine | Gay news & entertainment.

New Jersey Moves on Transgender Birth Certificate Bill

Although at the current time most readers of Transas City are not from the Garden State, what is happening in New Jersey is indicative of the steady progress which transgender people have made in the last five years.

This bill, which would allow changing your gender marker on your birth certificate without mandating SRS, is very progressive, and I hope that it is placed into law. Perhaps a vain hope, unfortunately, since Governor Chris Christie has not proven himself a fan of transgender constituents. But let’s cross our fingers and see.

New Jersey Moves on Transgender Birth Certificate Bill |

BIG NEWS – HHS to Reevaluate Ban on Gender-Confirming Surgeries

For a very long time, gender-confirming surgery (what us old-timers know as sexual reassignment surgery, or “SRS”) has been banned from Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Most private insurance companies point to the Medicare/Medicaid restrictions for their restrictions, and this is why this is big news.

On December 13, 2013, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced they will review the ban on SRS. And there is some serious hope – under the current Administration, at least – that this review will lead to either a removal of the SRS ban, or else allow SRS under certain circumstances.

If that does come about, private insurers under Obamacare may be implicitly mandated to cover SRS, and it could lead to an explicit mandate before long. The questions and logistics will still need some work, however. Which doctors will accept Medicaid/Medicare, how much will they be reimbursed, will private insurance companies actually follow suit – these and many other questions will soon require answers.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that if this comes to pass, Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act will use this as a public relations level: “ZOMG! Obamacare is paying for people to get their dicks chopped off! Death panels! Deeeeeeeeeeeeeath panels!”

HHS to Reevaluate Ban on Gender-Confirming Surgeries |