Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-26
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



TransNation: 2007 Trans Year In Review
Extended Online Version
by Jacob Anderson-Minshall

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

From a transgender perspective, 2007 was a year with a lot of peaks and valleys. The entertainment field, in particular, witnessed many accomplishments but the community as a whole was tested with some significant blows.


A number of trans folk received recognition for their notable achievements, including Just Add Hormones author Matt Kailey, who became the first trans managing editor of a LGBT publication ( Colorado's Out Front ) . Performer Scott Turner Schofield received a special award from the Princess Grace Foundation. Trans actor and screenwriter M.C. Brennan won an Outfest Screenwriting Lab award for her transgender teen comedy script, Dramatis Personae. Filmmaker scholar Joelle Ruby Ryan became the first MTF-spectrum trans person to receive a prestigious Point Foundation Scholarship. Transgender consultant Debra Davis clocked her 1,000th presentation while your friendly TransNation columnist passed the 100th column mark. After 20 years as a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, Mike Penner came out and transitioned in the predominately male field to become Christine Daniels.


The genre of transgender books continued to expand beyond simple memoirs. A few of this year's best included: Julia Serano's Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity and Transparent, in which lesbian author Cris Beam offers unique insight into the lives of trans teenagers living on the streets of Los Angeles. Helen Boyd followed up My Husband Betty with She's Not the Man I Married, further examination of gender and relationships with a trans partner. Disability activist Eli Clare's collection of poetry and prose The Marrow's Telling: Words In Motion explored how bodies carry history and identity over time. The memoir What Becomes You distinguished itself by including both trans man Aaron Raz Link's perspective and that of his mother and co-author, feminist scholar Hilda Raz. Link's scientific background also provides unique insight into the trans experience.


This year the film that garnered the most attention in the trans community may have been Catherine Crouch's short The Gendercator, which was pulled from the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival after activists accused Crouch of transphobia. But the festivals were privy to a number of great trans films, including Martin Rawlings-Fein's documentary, Clocked: An Oral History, which provided an intimate portrait of transgender communities through personal reflections; Godspeed the film, based on Lynn Breedlove's novel about a bike messenger who passes as a boy fighting for the love of a stripper; The Believers, a doc about the all-trans Transcendence Gospel Choir; and Trannymals Go To Court. The latter is a sequel to the award winning short, Trannymal, which captured the adventures of dressed up tranny genitalia.


Rock band The Cliks had quite a year, releasing a major-label debut, Snakehouse; joining Cyndi Lauper on the True Colors Tour; hitting Europe; and then opening for The Cult. With singles on constant rotation, trans front man Lucas Silveira rocketed to fame. Athough they didn't receive the same attention, the trans band Actor Slash Model released its 2007 album, Cheap Date, and made its own mark in the industry by filming a documentary about other trans musicians. Spoken word artist Katz, the one-trans-band known as Athens Boys Choir, released his latest album, Jockstraps and Unicorns. Trans rapper Foxxjazell, who appeared in Beam's Transparent and on The Tyra Banks Show, joined the HomoRevolution Tour while another Tyra alum, hip-hop stud Joshua Klipp, went on his own tour and experienced the Margaret Cho effect when the trans-loving comedian directed and appeared in the music video for his single, Rescue Me.


Increased portrayals of transgender characters on television this season represent a marked improvement from the past. The highest profile character was Rebecca Romijn's Alexis Meade on Ugly Betty. While it's a huge step to have a trans woman portrayed by a former supermodel, ABC's show Dirty Sexy Money went a step further, featuring transgender actress Candis Cayne in a well-received recurring role as a trans character. On FX's The Riches, a young boy with a penchant for cross-dressing is embraced by his family. And The L Word's once reprehensible characterization of FTMs, Max, improved significantly.

Other performances

Comedian Ian Harvie, the man most likely responsible for Margaret Cho's blooming obsession with trans guys, continued to expand his Ian Harvie Show, which has developed into a live revue featuring queer icons Jane Lynch, Jenny Shimizu, Garrison Star and Cho herself. L.A. also saw the premiere of queer pop-rock musical Twist, starring trans actress Alexandra Billings as Fagin, the male dominatrix with a nasty temper.

Performing artist Scott Turner Schofield premiered his most ambitious work to date, Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps, the final installment in an autobiographical performance trilogy. Trans dancer Sean Dorsey's highly-anticipated new concert of dance, Lost/Found—performed by a cast of transgender, gay and straight men—delves into life on the margins of masculinity.


As with the world of entertainment, there were advances in political, business and educational realms. The Department of Homeland Security dropped its 'No Match' rules that would've required employers to fire employees if their name, Social Security number or gender didn't match info in the Social Security Administration database.

According to GenderPAC's GENIUS Index, an increasing number of colleges, universities and K-12 school districts now prohibit discrimination and promote awareness of gender identity and expression in their policies. Similarly, the number of Fortune 500 companies including gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies rose from 78 to 125 in the past year; and the American Medical Association also amended its nondiscrimination policies to include trans people. Outreach to trans youth and their parents increased a great deal in 2007 with numerous conferences addressing the specific needs of trans youth and their advocates, such as Gender Odyssey Family and the first Midwest Trans Youth Conference.


As the Transgender Day of Remembrance reminded us, despite the year's gains, there are always painful losses as well. This year those losses struck close to home for the youth advocacy organization Trans Youth Family Advocates, who lost a founding member's trans son to suicide. Proving that sometimes the strength of a community is determined not by the wins but their response to losses, TransYouth Family Advocates has channeled its collective anguish into a new suicide prevention initiative. The loss of gender protections in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act engendered similar results, when 350 local and national organizations united to protest the exclusion. If the firing of Largo, Fla.'s City Manager Susan Stanton had a silver lining, it was the national attention it brought to the employment discrimination of trans workers. And when trans filmmaker Raymond Rea's The Sweet New was rejected from San Francisco's Frameline Film Festival after panelists reportedly declared it 'not queer enough,' Rea set up an event to showcase the work of other LGBT artists who'd been excluded from queer venues because of non-gay material.

Tune in next week for the preview of 2008. Trans author Jacob Anderson-Minshall writes the nationally syndicated column 'TransNation,' and co-authors the Blind Eye mystery series with his wife, Diane. Learn more at or reach him at .

© 2007 Jacob Anderson-Minshall

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


City salutes LGBT veterans, Army veteran speaks for trans military service 2019-06-26
Women's lawyer group installs new leader, has trans-focused program 2019-06-26
Zoe Spears is 10th trans woman killed this year 2019-06-20
Zoe Spears is 10th Black trans woman slain in 2019, NBJC responds 2019-06-19
Janet Mock signs historic Netflix deal 2019-06-19
WORLD Conversion therapy, Bermuda march, trans officer, Belgium ban 2019-06-18
Court lets Trump trans ban stand and orders new review 2019-06-15
Court lets Trump anti-trans ban stand, and orders new review 2019-06-15
Nursing student writes the book on trans healthcare 2019-06-15
Death at Rikers Island: Her name is Layleen Polanco 2019-06-12
Dignity president blasts anti-trans Vatican statement 2019-06-12
New report reviews laws, policies affecting LGBTs in U.S. territories 2019-06-11
Latest WorldPride additions include Janet Mock, Madonna 2019-06-07
Panic-defense bills introduced in Congress 2019-06-05
NBJC on Murder of Chynal Lindsey, "We Are Still Fighting For Our Lives" 2019-06-05
Trans deaths are real deaths 2019-06-05
WORLD Trans woman murdered, gay-sex laws, trans mayor 2019-06-04
NATIONAL Conversion therapy, honoring trans pioneers, case against ex-guv 2019-06-04
Trans asylum-seeker dies while in ICE custody 2019-06-03
Illinois General Assembly Advances Non-Binary Gender Marker on Licenses 2019-05-30
New York monument to honor trans activists Johnson and Rivera 2019-05-29
NATIONAL Murder suspect, intersex passport, GLSEN awards 2019-05-28
Supreme Court backs trans restroom access, rules on abortion 2019-05-28
"The Equality Act and Me" to be presented May 29 2019-05-28
Trans, POC contestant, Jack Thompson, named International Mr. Leather 2019 2019-05-27
MOMBIAN Trans/gender-creative children star in new picture books 2019-05-26
HHS expected to propose rolling back non-discrimination protections for more than 1.5 million transgender people 2019-05-24
LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum Bill Advances to Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker 2019-05-23
NATIONAL Military items, trans murders, Southern trans report 2019-05-22
New national report details police's transgender policies 2019-05-22
WBAI installs new president, announces upcoming transgender-focused program 2019-05-21
NBJC on transgender deaths, "How Can We Celebrate Pride If We Keep Dying?" 2019-05-21
Legislation to ensure restroom access passes Illinois House 2019-05-21
Illinois Collaboration on Youth holds gender-expansive services symposium 2019-05-17
Chelsea Manning back in jail 2019-05-16
IDOC trans healthcare court case continues 2019-05-14
GLN hosts Chelsea Manning fundraiser 2019-05-14
New Publication Promotes Health, Safety of Trans Youth in Confinement 2019-05-14
Trump opposes Equality Act 2019-05-14
Activists call for clemency for trans prisoner 2019-05-09

Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.