Monthly Archives: January 2015

Transgender Man Has Private Audience with Pope Francis

While I would very much like to report that Pope Francis has done more to directly foster acceptance towards transgender persons in the Catholic Church, this is a promising event. Diego Neria Lejarraga, a transgender man from Spain, first wrote to Pope Francis last year, and apparently what he wrote interested Pope Francis enough that Mr. Lejarraga was invited to a private audience.

Unfortunately we do not know exactly what Mr. Lejarraga and Pope Francis discussed, but Mr. Lejarraga is quoted as saying:

“This man loves the whole world,” Neria says of Pope Francis. “I think there’s not — in his head, in his way of thinking, discrimination against anyone. I’m speaking about him, not the institution.”

“But if this Pope has a long life, which all of his followers hope,” Neria says, “I think things will change.”

Transgender man: I met with Pope Francis | Entertainment – KCRA Home.

Captain Hannah Winterbourne, Transgender Officer and Gentlewoman

Captain Hannah Winterbourne is no stranger to conflict. In addition to her service in Afghanistan, all her life she fought an even greater conflict within herself – that of her gender identity. Not only has her transition been wildly successful – thanks to the British Army having a good policy in place since 1999 – but she is now the transgender representative for the British Army, helping with education, welfare, and issues transgender soldiers may have.

Which of course all begs the question: why is the United States military completely unable to handle the issue of openly transgender soldiers? Why can the UK do it, and not us? The reason, dear readers, is almost certainly not due to a problem with our military, but more with our society. And transgender acceptance within our society is a battle which is still very much underway.

Hannah Winterbourne: Soldier who has become Army’s first transgender officer says “I was living an act” – Mirror Online.

Bonkers Bathroom Bounty Bill. Blech.

A little bit of alliteration never hurt anyone, dear readers. As opposed to conservative hate, which does hurt people. It hurts in emotional and mental damage done, it hurts by creating unsafe places for minorities, and it hurts by working to set up a theocracy out of what was once a representative democracy.

Kentucky senator C.B. Embry has shown himself to be a Very Special little hobgoblin, who keeps popping up in the news with his capers. In 2013 he opposed an anti-bullying bill which would have protected students based on the gender identity and expression, as well as sexual orientation. But that was just the beginning.

You see, the honorable Mr. Embry has introduced a bill into the Kentucky legislature which would force schools to keep transgender students out of “improper” bathrooms and locker rooms. The method for his madness is to give any student allegedly traumatized by seeing a transgender person in those places $2,500 for their pain and suffering. It does not specify if a transgender person may see themselves in a mirror, they should also be awarded $2,500. Probably because Mr. Embry likely believes, like vampires, we don’t have a reflection.

Dear readers, I can actually see an upside to this policy. For example, one could get together 20 female students to “see” a transgender girl student in their locker room, then pool their $50,000 of winnings and donate them to a good cause transgender cause. And when they get tired of that, they could start building up some college funds, or even donate the legal largess to Mr. Embry’s political opponent in the next election.

Lawmaker Wants To Pay Students $2,500 If They See A Transgender Person In The ‘Wrong’ Bathroom | ThinkProgress.

Russia Says “Nyet!” to Transgender Drivers

Russia, in its never-ending crusade against the evil which is transgender persons, has now decided to marginalize the community even further by denying us drivers licenses. The reasoning?

The government says it is tightening medical controls for drivers because Russia has too many road accidents.

But the Professional Drivers Union supported the move. “We have too many deaths on the road, and I believe toughening medical requirements for applicants is fully justified,” said the union’s head Alexander Kotov.


Some observers feel that the “next logical step” will be denial of employment, government benefits, and even medical care – to essentially commit “economic genocide” against the LGBT population. And why not? The nation has done this for more than a century, getting rid of “undesirable” populations and attempting to whitewash history ex post facto. One hopes that in this day and age this would be more difficult to do – that there would be no repeat of the widespread murders under Stalin et al.

One hopes.

BBC News – Russia says drivers must not have ‘sex disorders’.

HRC Takes Action Against Saks Fifth Avenue for Transgender Discrimination

I have to say, dear readers, if ever I was to give out annual awards for having a pair of proverbial “brass ones,” Saks Fifth Avenue would definitely be a contender.

Saks, which holds a score of 90 in the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI), is accused of firing a transgender woman for being transgender. Not only has Saks claimed in defiance of all precedence and government directives that transgender discrimination is not covered by Title VII, but they have also claimed that violating their own employee handbooks – which prevent transgender discrimination – is not a big deal because they are not “contracts as a matter of law.”

HRC has of course suspended Saks’ CEI rating as a result of this action, but it really seems to be apparent that more than just that would be called for, in terms of boycotts.

HRC Takes Action Against Saks Fifth Avenue for Undermining LGBT Equality | Human Rights Campaign.

LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View


This short essay is a good topic to highlight on Sunday, as it contains the story of how a Catholic permanent deacon successfully welcomed his transgender daughter into his family’s life. I will add however that Catholic permanent deacons are not quite the same as the main-line clergy of the Catholic faith – they can be married (if over age 35), and the wife of a permanent deacon can take a major part in the ministry as well, at a level much higher than Catholic women typically can.

That being said, permanent deacons often more directly touch the lives of the parishioners of a diocese than the established clergy, so they can have a much larger societal and social influence. So please read this short article, and if you are Catholic please see if it is something which you may want to forward (the original article, that is) to your deacon(s) as well.

LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View of Holy Family Sunday | Bondings 2.0.

Archival Photographs of Transsexual Woman Charlotte McLeod

Charlotte McLeod was the second transsexual American woman of the modern era, having had her sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) in Denmark in 1953, the year after Christine Jorgensen did. When Charlotte arrived in Denmark she discovered that the furor over Christine’s surgery had led to a moratorium on new SRSs, unless the process of conversion had already started. Charlotte, near-suicidal with gender dysphoria and not to be deterred, performed a self-castration on a kitchen table (with the help of an unnamed doctor). After bleeding nearly to death over the next two weeks, Charlotte was finally admitted into the Danish program and was given her SRS.

Charlotte returned to the United States in early 1954, and although she was welcomed as a minor celebrity, she never achieved the success of Christine – and was quoted at times saying jealous, catty things about her predecessor. Later in life Charlotte wrote an autobiography, which is incredibly rare and which I have not been able to find. My Transgender Newsbank has many articles on Charlotte, but still much of her life is unknown.

There are two archival photographs of Charlotte McLeod on the page linked below, both originals from 1954, which I’ve purchased recently and added to the museum. Enjoy.

Charlotte McLeod

Archival Photograph of Transsexual Woman Dawn Langley Hall

To kick off the New Year at Transas City, I’m going to be posting some old, original photographs which I’ve purchased for the museum. This first one is of Dawn Langley Hall, a transsexual woman, at her wedding to John Paul Simmons in 1969. Of all the photographs I’ve seen of Ms. Hall, I like this one the best, so in the tradition of Victor Kiam, I bought the photograph.

Ms. Hall led a somewhat madcap life of small-scale psychodramas, the worst of all being her false claim of being pregnant after her SRS, which was actually part of an elaborate ruse to purchase a baby fathered by her husband as a result of an affair. Some additional information and the photograph can be found at the link below.

Dawn Langley Hall