Friday, June 27, 2008

Facing Rejection

Social worker Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D. on how rejection affects transgender children.

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'I'm a Girl' -- Understanding Transgender Children

Parents of Transgender Child Support Her Choice


June 27, 2008

Last year Barbara Walters spoke with the families of three transgender children who agreed to share their story. Now, one year later, "20/20" has reached out to the families again to learn what's happened since the original episode aired. All three families said that the story helped change their world for the better. Advocacy groups also report a significant surge in young transgenders coming out. Read below to find out more about a transgender youth called Jazz.

Jazz, seen here at six years old, is a transgender girl. (ABC)

From the moment we're born, our gender identity is no secret. We're either a boy or a girl. Gender organizes our world into pink or blue. As we grow up, most of us naturally fit into our gender roles. Girls wear dresses and play with dolls. For boys, it's pants and trucks.

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, and their parents insist this is not a phase.

Watch the story Friday on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET

"A phase is called a phase because it is just that. It ends. And this is not ending. This is just getting stronger," Renee Jennings told ABC News' Barbara Walters. . . .Read More

Police Beating of Transgender Woman Ignites Controversy

by Renee Baker
EDGE Contributor
Jun 27, 2008

Grainy security camera footage at Memphis police station shows police officers brutally beating Duana Johnson
Grainy security camera footage at Memphis police station shows police officers brutally beating Duana Johnson (Source:WMC-TV Memphis, Tennessee)

It’s been over forty years since Martin Luther King Jr.’s embarked on his impassioned civil rights crusade, battled with police forces and ultimately was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The recent beating of an African American transgender woman, Duanna Johnson, suggests that discriminatory police brutality in Memphis has not ended. WMC-TV in Memphis recently obtained surveillance footage from the reception room of a local police station, where Johnson was beaten and maced by two police officers.

It’s "every trans-person’s nightmare come true," says Donna Rose, transgender woman and a leader in several national GLBT organizations.

Johnson was booked on prostitution charges Feb. 12 at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center in Memphis - charges that have now been dropped because the district attorney’s office found no probable cause for arrest. Video footage shows Johnson being brutally beaten by officer Bridges McRae, while probationary officer James Swain holds her down. Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund says the outburst was not only unconscionable, but extreme and disproportionate to the case. Silverman says they receive many complaints of mistreatment by police, but none on this scale of brutality. . . .Read More

Transgender Woman Barred From Women's Restroom At Gym

June 27, 2008

ORLANDO -- Controversy surrounds a local gym that told a transgender who is undergoing treatment to become a woman she cannot use the women's bathroom.

Stacy Scott, 18, was on a trial membership at the Bally Total Fitness Center on West Colonial Drive.

Scott said last week management told her she could not use the women's bathroom, and had to use the men's room instead.

Scott, who is undergoing transgender therapy hormone treatments, already considers herself a female. . . .Read More

A local gym told a transgender man, who is undergoing treatment to become a woman, was told he can't use the women's bathroom.

Awesome dude

Sean Dorsey's 'Fresh Meat Festival


by Paul Parish

It could have been predicted that the transgender community might toss up the most imaginative and intriguing dance artist in the Bay Area. Who has a more complex perspective on life than a person who feels he's in the wrong body? In any case, there may not be a more generous-spirited, imaginative choreographer-storyteller than Sean Dorsey, a 20-something child of two lesbians who's making dance-theater out of his life as a female who sincerely feels like he's a guy, though he doesn't need any surgery to ratify it. His dance-stories reveal great powers of imagination, presence of mind, and compassion for all concerned, including (thank God) the audience.

Dorsey has certainly won the allegiance of the dance community and the critics, who've given him two Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and a Goldie (from a rival paper), a large audience outside the gay community, and a big mention in European dance mags. . . .Read More

Film note: Turbulent times for transgender teens

June 26, 2008

XXY tells the story of Alex (Inés Efron), a hermaphroditic Argentinian teenager on a quest for her sexual identity. Alex, who physically appears female, is sheltered by her parents: the family moves to a remote portal town in Uruguay so that Alex won’t be treated “like a freak.”

XXY, a film directed by Lucia Puenzo. Showing on June 27 as part of the Queer Takes film series at the Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. For tickets ($8) and information, see

The beginning of the film is a little hard to follow, but it slowly picks up steam. As the family attempts to lead a “normal life,” Alex faces the prospect of surgery. . . .Read More