April '97 GenderNews Roundup

Results of 1st National Survey on TransViolence Published
Judge Dismisses Charges Against Transexual Police Officer
Human Rights Court Rules Against TransParent
Saturday Night Live Savages Transexual Again
Oregon Transexuals' Rights Threatened
Menace Demonstrator Encounters Killer
ENDA Resolution Passed by GenderPAC Board
On the Lighter Side: Ellen Degeneres Fails to Come Out as Transgendered


48% of Respondents Report Assault

[New York, NY: 29 Apr 97) RESULTS OF THE 1st National Survey on TransViolence have been published. GenderPAC -- with support from the Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project of NYC -- announced that 48% of respondents reported having been victims of some kind of assault (including assault with weapon, assault without a weapon, sexual assault, and rape).

In addition, the survey reports that 60% reported being a victim of harassment or violence, with 95% of the worst incidents involving at least 2-3 perpetrators.

The study took a year to distribute and compile. It is believed to be the only one of its kind, and it's population of 402 respondents is one of the largest trans- identified samples on record.

The survey presents a sobering picture of the abuse transpeople face. In part, the results show:
Verbal Harassment 78%
Sexual Harassment 23%
Assault (all kinds) 48%
Assault w/o weapon 19%
Sexual Assault/Rape 18%
Assault w/weapon 11%
Attempted Assault 9%

As activists gather in Washington, DC for the 2nd National Gender Lobby Day on May 5, scores of the study are being hurriedly printed for wide distribution to Congressional offices. Transviolence is expected to be a priority for many lobbyists as they make their rounds on Capitol Hill.

To receive a complete copy of the survey results (@55 pg.), enclose $5 for shipping and handling to GenderPAC, Att: Wilchins, 274 West 11th St.#30 NY, NY 10014

CONTACT: Emilia Lombardi, National Research Coordinator


[Hoboken, NJ: 27 Apr 97] THE NY TIMES reports that a Superior Court Judge has thrown out 45 departmental charges against transexual Hoboken Police Lieutenant Janet Aiello. Lt. Aiello, a decorated veteran who had been on the captaincy promotion list, had been suspended for 6 days for ignoring orders from the chief and for neglect of duty in an escalating disagreement over the date and conditions of her return to work in 1995 after she took 8 months off and legally changed her gender.

Judge Maurice Gallipoli ruled that what the city called orders were more like requests, and that in any case Lt. Aiello's failure to answer them was not unreasonable considering the difficult circumstances surrounding her return.

Lt. Aiello's case drew national attention after a New York tabloid put her picture on it's front-page. She went on to become a founding member of TOPS (Transgender Officers Protect & Serve), a national support group for transgender peace officers. Lt. Aiello has allegedly been the target of an escalating campaign of harassment and provocation by Police Department brass who are seeking to force her resignation, retirement, or removal.

According to City Attorney David Corrigan, Hoboken plans to appeal the ruling.


[New York, NY: 23 Apr 97] THE EUROPEAN Court of Human Rights ruled against FTM Stephen Whittle's and his partner's application to have Stephen legally recognized in the UK as the father of their donor inseminated children. The decision affirms the UK's refusal to register Stephen as the father on official birth certificates thus denying him any parental rights. Stephen, registered as a female at birth, underwent SRS in the 70's and has lived as a man since 1975.

Press coverage of the case has largely been supportive of the couple. They said in a joint statement, "We may not have won the battle, but we have certainly won the battle for hearts and minds. If our publicity has made life better for one other transexual, it will have been worth it."

The court did hold that there was family life between the applicants who have been a couple for 18 years, but that, as there is no consensus in Europe yet as to whether non- biological fathers should be allowed parental rights, nation states must be afforded a wide margin in setting rules in this area.


[New York, NY: 30 Apr 97] ONLY MONTHS after his infamous "everyone in this story deserved to die" comment on the Brandon Teena murder trial verdicts, Saturday Night Live's Norm MacDonald, commenting in a recent program's news update segment on transexual Sharon Boyd's child custody case, said, "Hmmm...I wonder who's going to win this one, the mother of the 2 children, or the guy who had his penis twisted into a fake vagina."

GenderPAC responded with a letter to NBC's Standards and Practices office calling SNL and Mr. MacDonald to task for the tasteless and transphobic comments, as they did with Mr. MacDonald's Brandon Teena comment. After the previous incident, NBC made assurances that Mr. MacDonald and SNL had been sensitized concerning Mr. MacDonald's hate speech.

The GenderPAC letter, dated April 30 and co- signed by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD-SF), states in part "As we pointed out in our first round over Brandon Teena, there have been no less than 5 transgender murders in the last 2 years. Comments which continue to stigmatize, diminish, and trivialize us only add to the perception that transpeople are disposable freaks. SNL's comments fuel this perception, and Mr. MacDonald seems to have fixated on us as a minority to ridicule, humiliate, and discard. But once his bad `jokes' are gone, we have to deal with the aftermath as we struggle to keep our families and our civil rights."

In an ironic note, Mr. MacDonald's comment was believed to be based on a story on Ms. Boyd placed by GenderPAC Public Relations. The piece originally ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but was quickly picked up by the AP wire service and went out across the country.

Those wishing to express their concern over the comments can call Mr. Andrew Brewer, NBC Standards & Practices, (212) 664-4458, or Mr. Dan Ferguson, SNL Public Relations (212) 664-3733.

CONTACT: Candice Helen Brown


[Salem, OR: 26 Apr 97] MEMBERS OF Oregon's transexual community spoke at a State Senate Committee hearing against a proposed bill in the Oregon Legislature (SB 44-1) that would exclude transexualism from protection as a medically recognized condition or one perceived to be a disability. Oregon law is presently based on the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which includes transexualism as a protected disability.

Another proposed bill (SB482) threatens employment protections for transexuals that were won last year for the first time under the state's disability protection laws. Wording for the proposed legislation lumps transexualism together with pedophilia, voyeurism, kleptomania, and pyromania as conditions excluded from disabilities that are protected.

Said activist Candice Hellen Brown, "This bill must be killed. We need as many people sympathetic to the plight of transexual persons to voice their concerns to the Senate Committee considering this bill."


[Boston, MA: 29 Apr 97] AS THE Transexual Menace held a mermorial vigil at the Middlesex County Courthouse murder trial of Chanelle Picket, activist Nancy Nangeroni suddenly found herself face-to-face with admitted killer William Palmer, reading one of their fliers. The flier branded Mr. Palmer a liar, and went on to call for an end to gender-based hate crimes.

As she approached and asked what he thought of the flier, Ms. Nangeroni -- who was clearly wearing a Transexual Menace t-shirt -- and Mr. Palmer exchanged stares. "Who are you?" he demanded. She introduced herself, after which he stalked back into the courtroom.

Mr. Palmer has already admitted to killing Ms. Pickett, but claims that his distress upon discovering her transgender status was to blame. The prosecution responded by presenting witnesses who testified that Mr. Palmer was a frequent customer at Boston-area transgender bars, and had a history of seeking out and dating pre-operative transexual women.

At press time, the jury had just gone out for deliberations, and a verdict was expected momentarily.


[New York, NY: 29 Apr 97] THE GENDERPAC Board passed a resolution which continues support for employment protection based on gender, but one which stops well short of encouraging activists to create opposition to the current ENDA bill. In the last session of Congress, for the first time EDNA garnered 49 Senators' votes, just one shy of Senatorial passage.

The resolution read, "GenderPAC continues to view employment protection for gender-variant people as a critical goal. We continue to support trans-inclusion in the context of ENDA, whether in the bill itself or through an amendment strategy. To achieve this, a sustained and vigorous effort of education and visibility is necessary. While we work to gain Congressional support, at the same time, we believe it would be improper to try to damage the chances for passage of the existing ENDA bill, either by asking sponsors to vote against it or to withhold their support."

CONTACT: Riki Anne Wilchins


[New York, NY: 30 Apr 97] IN A bitter disappointment, Ellen Degeneres came out as lesbian this evening on national television, but failed to come out as transgendered as well. Scores of copies of STONE BUTCH BLUES and boxloads Transexual Menace t-shirts delivered the studio door prior just to air-time seemed to have no effect whatsoever on the popular star or her writers.

At press time, IYF editors were still sobbing hysterically and unable to write anything more than this. Still waiting in the wings: the Dennis Rodman Show.

Online Editor: Clare Howell,

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