Halsey Slams Victoria’s Secret Exec for Transphobic Remark

Halsey’s making it clear, just because she appeared in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show … she’s still pissed off about one of its execs disregard for the LGBTQ community. The singer, who performed in the VS Show, blasted the show as it was…


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Transphobic Comments From ‘Friday Night Lights’ Producer Pale In Comparison To Caitlyn Jenner’s Courage

It’s inevitable.

You can be an Olympian, a cover model and a fashion icon, but if you’re transgender, the criticism will come.

Caitlyn Jenner strode on stage at the 2015 ESPY Awards on Wednesday to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. It was her first public appearance since she announced her widely lauded transition to the world in an interview with Diane Sawyer earlier this year. She gave an impassioned speech, with a simple request for viewers and her fellow athletes — show trans people your respect.

Enter Peter Berg, director of the 2004 film “Friday Night Lights” and creator of the Emmy-winning series of the same name. Berg took to Instagram early Thursday to criticize the decision to select the athlete for the award, posting a photo mashup of Jenner with U.S. Army veteran Gregory D. Gadsonwho lost both of his legs to a roadside bomb. “One man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs,” the caption reads. Berg’s addition to the post consists of one word: “Yup.”

A photo posted by Peter Berg (@pberg44) on


The Huffington Post has reached out to Berg for comment.

The Arthur Ashe award “is meant to honor individuals whose contributions transcend sports through courageous action,” ESPN said in a statement when it was forced to address criticism of its selection. “We are proud to honor Caitlyn Jenner embracing her identity and doing so in a public way.” 

Award nominations are controversial — some worthy nominees get snubbed and others overlooked. Individuals like Lauren Hill, the inspiring 19-year-old basketball player who died from brain cancer earlier this year, are equally deserving of praise and admiration.

But the criticism surrounding Jenner’s selection hasn’t been based on her athletic prowess, her activism or her courage. It’s based on deeply seeded transphobia perpetuated by those who focus on genitalia rather than gender identity — people who ask invasive personal questions that fuel dangerous tabloid voyeurism.

The world of sports is still a notoriously unaccepting place for many trans athletes. States like Virginia and North Carolina require students to play on teams based on the gender listed on their birth certificate, and no openly transgender competitor has ever participated in the Olympics, though they may be allowed to.

Jenner’s actions unequivocally transcend the nature of a sports landscape that’s still struggling to accept gay athletes, let alone transgender ones. Her bravery compelled a room of many of the world’s most celebrated athletes to give her a standing ovation.

“Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect,” Jenner said at the event. “And from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society and a better world for all of us.”

The criticism may be inevitable now, but it won’t be for much longer. A better world, Caitlyn’s world, is right around the corner.

Take note, Mr. Berg.

UPDATE: 6:25 p.m. — Berg espoused support for Jenner and “trans people everywhere” in a Thursday evening Instagram post. He wrote that he’d intended for his original post to shed light on “our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country.”


You can watch Caitlyn Jenner’s entire speech below.

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What Are the Sounds of Transphobic Dinosaurs Dying?

The world is changing. Some haven’t recognized this yet.

‘Conversion therapy’ advocates, ‘trans* exclusive radical feminists’… they are separate camps, both making loud, dissonant, antitransgender braying… alive still, but not comprehending that history is against them. Their shrieks are (hopefully) the final, desperate cries of nearly extinct creatures, vitriolic attacks on the transgender community thinly disguised as rational arguments.

But dying beasts are not harmless. The shrill, distracting hollers they make have received attention in the press. They have sometimes been invited to speak at conferences, legitimizing their bigotry. And many people, not knowing the context, give their work serious consideration.

‘Conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy has been much in the news: a technique designed to coerce people lesbian, gay, or bisexual into heterosexual lives, or transgender people into remaining their assigned birth genders. But there is little disagreement… conversion therapy has been opposed by most mental health licensing boards.

We even see global leaders taking stances. President Obama called for an end to reparative therapy while also appointing numerous trans* and gender nonconforming people to his administration, several US states have already prohibited it, federal legislation called “Leelah’s Law” to ban such inhumane treatment is making its way through the U.S. Congress (after trans* youth suicide victim Leelah Alcorn), and the Canadian province of Ontario just outlawed such practices as well. Again, there is no controversy.

Within the arguments by conversion’s proponents are two assumptions, rarely articulated openly: that trans* lives are undesirable, and that trans* lives are preventable.

The notion that inhibiting trans* lives is beneficial suggests that transgender or gender nonconforming individuals are somehow inferior, that living their identities in full puts an undue burden on them and everyone else, and that having trans* individuals in our culture is detrimental to society. My community finds all three distasteful.

Studies and anecdotal stories show that attempting to impose change upon someone’s gender identity, much like trying to compel a change in someone’s sexual orientation, is damaging and futile. While we do not know which of the children presenting with gender variance might persist with age, it is well documented that being told your identity is invalid leads to shame, low self esteem, poor performance at school, depression, and suicide. We’ve seen more than enough of that.

Allowing children the freedom to express themselves harms no one and is a familiar component of childhood development, and there is ample evidence to suggest that children, given space, will ‘find their level’. It is society that struggles with children’s nonconformity, not the children themselves. Again these arguments imply that there is a ‘correct’ way to be gendered, and that ‘trans-ness’ is an unacceptable deviation.

Ken Zucker is a psychologist in Toronto. His transgender program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has long been criticized for enforcing outdated protocols that severely restrict access to transition-related care. Recently Zucker has again been condemned for counseling parents of gender variant children to pressure those children into their external genders assigned at birth and to reject their internal identities. CAMH’s transgender youth program has been suspended pending an investigation. (Toronto resides within Ontario, the province to recently ban conversion therapy.)

In response to the ‘controversy’, J. Michael Bailey, author of the unscientific diatribe The Man Who Would Be Queen in which he referred to gender variant people as “evolutionary mistakes”, penned an Op-Ed in the LA Times defending Zucker’s philosophy. My colleagues (Diane Ehrensaft and Dan Karasic, and many others) have done a wonderful job at demonstrating how Zucker and Bailey’s writings are inaccurate, misleading, and paranoid.

Perpetuating this paranoia, Alice Dreger, in wired.com, suggested that some people would be better served by conversion therapy, and that providers, parents, and others might instead be mandated by legislation to change the gender of these children. This is a fundamental mischaracterization. No one is attempting to force anyone. It is about respect and autonomy.

Mammoth, sluggish creatures terrified of losing their dominance… unable, or unwilling, to keep pace with change.

Feminist writers like Elinor Burkett and Germaine Greer assert that individuals who have undergone great suffering to live fully as women are instead infiltrators from the patriarchy intent on sabotaging women’s solidarities. Actively refuting that “women are made, not born” they reject trans* women as inauthentic, and by extension the entire trans* and gender nonconforming community. Unsurprisingly, they often say little about trans* men.

More dinosaurs.

Taken together, the cries all hark back to attacks made in the 1970s and since in books like The Transsexual Empire by Janice Raymond, and to the arguments against the normalizing of same-sex desire throughout earlier decades. These people refer to the transgender community as a radical movement with the aim of dismantling social norms, and that those of us who do not adhere to binary expressions of gender as predetermined by our genes are living a masquerade. Or perhaps that we are pressuring people to adopt trans* identities not genuine to the individual. They also suggest that those who oppose transgender rights (like themselves) are victims of the extremist ‘transgender fringe’ (like me?) intent on attacking all contrary voices. But bigotry is still bigotry.

Maybe recent events will expose their prejudice, and critique from trans* activists, the mainstream media, and the culture at large will demonstrate how outdated and narrow-minded these ideas are.

Their day is over. There has been an explosion of gender possibilities causing seismic shifts before our eyes. We are witnessing the breakdown of gender norms, to the benefit of all humankind. Gender is a facet of our humanity to be explored in its full richness, and gender diversity is the future. Our community is tens of thousands strong… diverse… empowered… and (reasonably) happy. Younger people and younger providers are overwhelmingly trans* positive.

Ultimately the age of dinosaurs will pass; their fossils will be discovered by future anthropologist-archeologists to be scrutinized, dissected, and viewed as oddities whose ideas will seem curious for their naiveté.

Evolve, or be mired in the tar pits. History has already decided.

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Laura Jane Grace Talks With Fan About Transphobic Assault In The Punk Community

Welcome to Mandatory Happiness, where resident advice-giver and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace answers some questions from readers. Laura’s doing something a bit different for this week’s column. She interviewed Stephanie McCarthy, a friend, fan, and fellow musician about a recent incident she says she encountered at an Against Me! show in Australia.

You can still email your own questions to Laura. Submit to laurajanegrace@noisey.com and she will answer some on Noisey. All questions are confidential and your name will not be included. Okay, take it away, Laura…

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Kylie Jenner Defends Caitlyn Jenner After Chris Brown Posts Transphobic Instagram

While many celebrities have been vocal in their support of Caitlyn Jenner following her debut on Vanity Fair’s July cover, unfortunately, some have not. And Jenner’s daughter Kylie Jenner is not going to take the insults lying down.

After Chris Brown reposted a transphobic meme that referred to Caitlyn Jenner on his Instagram account Friday, the 17-year-old “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star reportedly commented on the post, writing, “Not very nice to say about your friends dad.” Brown’s post has since been deleted, but Kylie Jenner’s tweet Friday seemingly alludes to the incident:

Kylie Jenner and Chris Brown have been spotted hanging out together on various occasions. Jenner has shared photos of herself with Brown on her Instagram account, and the Jenner sisters participated in a charity kickball game with the “Forever” singer in July 2014.

The Huffington Post has reached out to Jenner and Brown’s reps for comment and will update this post if one comes through.

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Woman Sues Planet Fitness For Not Letting Her Be Transphobic

Planet Fitness is facing a lawsuit for not being discriminatory. Really.

Yvette Cormier, whose membership at a Planet Fitness in Midland, Michigan was canceled earlier this month when she made a stink about a transgender woman’s use of the women’s locker room, is suing the gym chain for more than $ 25,000 on counts of invasion of privacy, sexual harassment and breach of contract, to name a few.

Cormier’s displeasure with Planet Fitness made headlines after she complained to staff about the trans woman’s use of the locker room. The gym defended the woman’s right to use whichever locker room she identifies with, but Cormier didn’t let it rest: she proceeded to tell other gym-goers about the woman because she reportedly felt “unsafe.”

“If you have male parts you don’t need to be in the women’s locker room,” she told CNN. “I don’t care what you are; I don’t care if you’re gay lesbian, transgender or transvestite. I am uncomfortable with you as a male in my locker room, in my restroom.”

The gym, which touts itself as a “judgement free zone,” ultimately canceled Cormier’s membership citing “inappropriate and disruptive” behavior.

“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members,” the company said in a statement to The Huffington Post at the time. “Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”

Cormier filed her lawsuit against Planet Fitness Monday in Midland County Circuit Court.

A press release from her attorneys with the Kallman Legal Group in Lansing claims that Planet Fitness creates a “hostile and offensive environment for women and children.”

“Ms. Cormier was wrongfully denied the benefits of her contract with Planet Fitness and wrongfully denied the use of the public accommodations at Defendant’s gym because she objected to Defendant’s unknown policy,” the press release states. “The policy allows men who self-identify as women to use the women’s facilities, including the women’s locker room and showers.”

After the initial incident, the anti-LGBT American Family Association spoke out in defense of Cormier’s reaction, saying, “Planet Fitness is making the needs of its female members subservient to the sexual identification of transgender individuals.”
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