Paris Valeta Bregazzi, a 30-year-old man who identifies as a transgender woman, shoved a police officer onto the train tracks at Hanger Lane Station in Ealing, west London on July 17 after he asked Bregazzi to “calm down” and stop “abusing other commuters.” The officer promptly arrested Bregazzi, who told police he “had downed four bottles of Prosecco and taken drugs during a wild night out.”
Bregazzi, who already has 40 prior convictions for assault, harassment, and shoplifting, including former attacks on train staff and passengers, “was detained in a male prison before pleading guilty to one count of doing an unlawful act on a railway with intent to endanger a person.”
At trial, defence barrister Mustapha Hakme claimed Bregazzi “is one surgery away from fully transitioning” and that his “mental health issues had been ‘exacerbated’ by [his] being transgender.” Hakme also explained that as a result of being transgender, Bregazzi “has been left full of anger and at the same time sadness.”
Judge Jeremy Dein released Bregazzi on bail, explaining he was “concerned” Bregazzi was held in custody “in very difficult circumstances,” and deferred sentencing until February. The offense carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The organizers of the London Anarchist Bookfair released a statement announcing “the current Bookfair Collective will not be organising a Bookfair in 2018,” potentially ending the event’s 34-year run.
The statement was released in response to an open letter titled, “Response to London Anarchist Bookfair 2017” which alleges the event organizers “chose to step in and offer protection and support to people promoting transphobic hate speech” and that the event “allows for transphobia and trans-misogyny to go unchecked.” Of course, the open letter included a list of demands and states, “[m]eeting these demands will be a starting point for re-engagement and the possibility of rebuilding trust with organisers, it is not a guarantee.” In reply, the Bookfair Collective stated, “We are not going to apologise for protecting someone being mobbed by a group of up to about 30 people, and, along with others, preventing an ugly situation from deteriorating further. Obviously a lot of people are going to disagree with this, but anyone who seriously thinks that up to about 30 people shouting and threatening one woman, and in the process intimidating disabled comrades and children, was a “beautiful moment of direct action” should consider taking a look at themselves and their politics.” The letter concludes by pointing out that “it’s easy to sign a statement” but “a lot harder to actually talk to people and try to work things out” and that although the signatories to the letter have numerous complaints and demands, “no one has offered to join the Collective and help us make the Bookfair better.”
“To reiterate: We will not be organising the Bookfair in 2018. For all those who think we did such a terrible job, who feel we didn’t get it right for people of colour, trans people, disabled people and probably others as well, show us how to do it properly. The Bookfair in 2018 is yours. We won’t come along and make trouble; we won’t denounce you on social media; we won’t criticise from the sidelines. But we are really interested to see how you solve all the problems you raise in your statement and implement your list of demands.”
Lily Madigan, a 19-year-old man who identifies as a woman, has been elected to serve as women’s officer for the Rochester & Strood Constituency Labour Party. The Labour Party’s rules state that “the women’s officer must be a woman.”
Madigan recently demanded Labour Party officials remove Anne Ruzylo because Madigan was offended by Ruzylo’s views on gender identity, which she expressed on Twitter. The complaint was dismissed, however, “it formed part of a wider transphobia campaign which partly prompted the resignation of Ms. Ruzylo and the rest of the executive committee Bexhill and Battle.”
LGBT Labour, “The Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* Rights … affiliated to the Labour Party,” released a statement on November 13 claiming Linda Bellos, “who we believe to be a member of the Labour Party” was “inciting violence upon trans members and the wider trans community” in a speech she gave on November 8 at a talk called, “Let’s Talk About the GRA.” LGBT Labour demands the Labour Party “launch an investigation” since “her comments do not make the Labour Party a space for our trans members to feel safe.” Safety, in this context, appears to refer to the absence of women who disagree with trans activists’ views on the Gender Recognition Act.
On November 15, the Iowa State University College Republicans impeached Heather Dunn by a majority vote following allegations of sexual assault and harassment in violation of the Iowa State Code of Conduct.
“College Republicans argued that the sexual assault and harassment allegations, as defined by the Iowa State Code of Conduct, occurred at a party attended by its members in Adel, Iowa on Oct. 27.”
Dunn argues there is “plenty of evidence from testimony from members of this organization that the reason behind these phony allegations is because of the fact that I am transgender,” and that the accusations are slanderous, “outright lies.” Dunn also stated, “I was under the impression when I came out that the College Republicans were actually accepting of me. It looks like I was wrong.”
“Dunn said she intends to report the impeachment to the Office of Equal Opportunity on the grounds of discrimination and false accusations.”
Fair Play for Women, “an informal collective (mostly British) with urgent concerns about women’s rights & freedoms,” released a report concluding “that approximately half of the known transgender population in prison are either sex offenders and/or highly dangerous prisoners.”
According to the abstract, “No official figures are currently available regarding the number or type of convictions of trans-identifying male inmates in the prisons of England and Wales. This information is necessary to enable an accurate risk assessment of the impact of proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 on the women’s prison population. Using publicly available prison inspection reports, we searched for all references to transgender inmates and were able to identify at least 113 trans-identifying male inmates (people born male who identify as transgender).”
On September 17, New Zealand’s Immigration and Protection Tribunal granted an anonymous “transgender woman from the United Kingdom” a residency visa upon finding that deportation would be “unduly harsh” considering it would mean a return to “the very same, toxic environment” which caused the individual “severe mental health issues.”
“As part of her appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, she submitted medical records from 2004 to 2009 that traced her depression, anxiety, and inability to cope in public. She also provided 20 reports on the prevalence of transphobic hate crimes in the UK, and their low rate of prosecution.” Trans woman granted NZ residency to protect her from hate crime in the UK
A incarcerated man, who identifies as a transgender woman, has filed a lawsuit in a federal district court against the Massachusetts Department of Correction (“DOC” or “the department”) alleging multiple civil rights violations arising from the department’s refusal to place him in an all-female prison.
The inmate, who is identified in the lawsuit under the pseudonym Jane Doe, is currently serving a three to five year sentence for a non-violent drug offense. His lawsuit, crafted by GLAD attorneys, claims the “Defendants have undermined Jane Doe’s ability to live as a woman, have punished her for attempting to do so, and have refused to provide reasonable accommodations for her diagnosed condition. They have traumatized her by forcing her to live in a male correctional facility, subjecting her to strip searches by male correctional officers, forcing her to shower in view of male prisoners who inappropriately comment on her female breast development and otherwise harass her, and refusing to address or refer to her using female pronouns.” The complaint additionally alleges Doe was told he “could not be transferred to the women’s prison until [he] has genital surgery” and that the department has “yet to allow [him] to receive this surgery.” GLAD asserts “MA DOC has incorrectly housed [Doe] in an all-male facility,” conveniently ignoring the fact that placing a male inmate in an all-female facility would violate the civil rights of every woman incarcerated there under the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
The complaint seeks injunctive relief in the form of a transfer from MCI-Norfolk (a men’s facility) to MCI-Framingham (a women’s facility), to force the DOC to “treat Jane Doe the same as other women held by the DOC,” refer to Doe using only a “female name” and pronouns, to grant Doe “separate shower time without the presence of men,” to “only allow strip searches of Jane Doe to be conducted by female correctional officers,” to “provide Jane Doe access to preventative healthcare, including mammograms,” and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of action.
According to Du, “I think things that make no sense to most people make sense to us on an individual level in almost every person, like a swelling feeling you feel when you listen to dramatic music … It’s all sound and vibration but something in it relates to your soul on such a subconscious level that you connect with it and [that’s] how I feel about the Filipino culture.”
“In addition to taking what she claims is a Philippine name, Ja Du says she enjoys Philippine food and music and feels most intrigued by TV shows on Philippine culture. She also drives a purple motorized rickshaw that she calls a “tuk-tuk.””
Du’s public announcement of his “transracial” identity has been met with a mixture of criticism and support, but mostly criticism because identifying with something one is clearly, objectively not is absurd. Right? Oh wait.
“I welcome the attention greatly,” says Ja Du, surprising no one.