Trans Woman Alleges WestJet Airline 'Outed' Her To Passengers

A transgender Canadian woman traveling from Calgary to Saskatoon told CBC News that she was “outed” to the other passengers by a WestJet gate agent.

Lenore Herrem says that when she presented her ID at the gate for her flight, the agent became “upset and confused.”

While Herrem presents as female, her five-year-old ID lists her as male.

More from CBC News:

"She got upset and said, 'They don't match,' but her colleague said, 'Yes, they do, it's fine, go ahead,'" Herrem said as she described the agent's reaction.

"So I gently and discreetly expressed to her, 'It's because I'm transgender, that's why they don't match up. But my face is the same and my ID matches the name on my boarding pass.'"

Herrem boarded the plane and was settled in her seat for about 10 minutes when she said both gate agents boarded the flight, and the agent who had been confused once again demanded her ID.

"She said something like, 'Oh, that's not the name I remember seeing on the computer when I looked at it,' and she started spouting off different, other women's names that were not mine," Herrem recalled.

"She rolled her eyes at me and said, 'Are you sure it wasn't your girl name that was on the computer?' … She outed me in front of the whole airplane."

Herrem says the experience left her feeling “unsafe, vulnerable, belittled.”

"I was in shock, it was quite traumatizing having someone, especially the way she did it so loudly and in front of everyone, it was really unprofessional,” she added.

In an email, WestJet apologized for the incident writing, "WestJet's inclusive culture is a point of pride for WestJetters and our goal has always been to create a safe and inclusive environment for all.”

"We have extended our apologies to the guest and are reviewing the matter as we are continuously assessing and evolving our practices and policies to maximize inclusiveness and celebrate diversity."

Herrem says she was “pleased with the way” the airline dealt with the incident.

“She expressed that they will be implementing training to staff to deal with these sort of situations better in the future which was the most important thing for me to hear," Herrem added.


(h/t CBC News)

Vermont: Trans Businesswoman Clinches Historic Gubernatorial Nomination

As the 2018 midterm primary season marches on, more and more LGBTQ candidates are not only running for public office but winning their initial contests.

In last night’s primary for the Democratic nomination for governor in Vermont, transgender businesswoman Christine Hallquist made history as the first transgender candidate to win the nomination of a major political party for governor.

With 99% of precincts reporting, the former energy company CEO garnered 48.3% of the Democratic primary vote, more than twice the 22% of her nearest opponent, James Ehlers.

She will now face incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who is running for his second term. While Vermont tends to lean progressive, Hallquist still faces an uphill climb as no candidate has defeated an incumbent governor in the Green Mountain state since 1962.

Should she win this fall, she would become only the second LGBTQ person to become governor in the United States following openly bisexual Gov. Kate Brown, the incumbent governor of Oregon who’s running for reelection this year as well.

Hallquist, who came out as transgender three years ago, told The Advocate last month that her priorities include addressing poverty, promoting renewable energy and fighting climate change, spotlighting economic development in the state’s rural areas, raising the minimum wage, working toward single-payer health care, and reworking the school funding structure, as well as empowering LGBTQ Vermonters.

Hallquist’s historic win last night means, as noted by Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, that "all 4 letters in [the] LGBT acronym" are represented in Dem gubernatorial nominees this year.”



In addition to Hallquist, the LGBT Democratic candidates who have won their primaries for governor include Oregon’s Brown; Lupe Valdez, a lesbian woman running in Texas; and Jared Polis, a gay man running in Colorado.

According to a study by the LGBTQ organization, The Victory Institute, 2018 has seen over 400 LGBTQ political candidates running for office in America.

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of The Victory Fund, released a statement about Hallquist’s historic win, which read in part:

“Christine’s victory is a defining moment in the movement for trans equality and is especially remarkable given how few out trans elected officials there are at any level of government. Many thought it unthinkable a viable trans gubernatorial candidate like Christine would emerge so soon. Yet Vermont voters chose Christine not because of her gender identity, but because she is an open and authentic candidate with a long history of service to the state, and who speaks to the issues most important to voters."

Tom Perez of the Democratic National Committee issued this statement:

“The DNC is proud to congratulate Christine Hallquist, Vermont’s Democratic nominee for governor and the country’s first-ever openly transgender nominee for governor, along with all of tonight’s Democratic nominees in the Green Mountain State.

“Christine’s historic victory tonight is an inspiration to LGBTQ people everywhere, and we are excited to stand behind her and the entire slate of fantastic Democratic nominees in Vermont.

“There’s no doubt that Christine and her fellow nominees will join a strong ticket this November that will fight for our values and serve as dedicated advocates for Vermont’s working families. Vermont voters know that Democrats have their backs and share their values, and they’re ready to organize to turn more seats blue this November.”

Watch Hallquist’s campaign video below. The general election takes place on November 6, 2018.



Caitlyn Jenner Wants To Be A Marvel Villain!

Caitlyn Jenner Wants To Be A Marvel Villain!

Is This Shade To Scarlett Johannson?

#LOL! So, Variety decided to do a roundup on Transgender Actors because of the uproar their community unleashed after Avengers Hot-Shot, Scarlett Johannson, was cast as a Transgender character in the now-dropped-filmRub & Tug. I've made accusations that Hollywood will be absolutely terrified to touch the subject of Transgender stories now: Because the Transgender community only wants Transgender people to play themselves: Apparently even without any substantial acting credits. Because now, Actors can no longer...act? I’m so confused by the whole fiasco and the effort to protest from the community. Moving on:

According to Variety, arguably the most well-known (not popular) Transgender person ever to exist, Caitlyn Jenner, wants to ACT... because it will allegedly be so easy for people to think of her as not Caitlyn Jenner. Wait, why are we continuing to give Jenner a platform? But, funny enough, she doesn’t even want to be in a B-Movie or on a streaming service like many others in her community. She's a Jenner-Kardashian, henney, she wants to be the *STAR* in DISNEY films, more specifically the Marvel franchise. Jenner tells:

"In a Marvel movie, I want to play the baddest-ass lady you’ve ever seen in your life. They got the wicked queen or the wicked lady. Just do the makeup and the outfit. And I got the deep voice.  I want to play that bad-ass bitch. I can play that girl."

It will be an absolute cold day in hell before any of the cast of characters at this Variety roundup - and Jenner - touch a Marvel/Disney film - but if they do, they BETTER be playing a Transgender character only: Because that is exactly what they have been preaching and they better stick to their word. 

Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or it’s other Contributors. 

Billy Porter Calls Out Gay, White, Cisgender Elites Who Checked Out After Marriage Equality

Tony & Grammy Award winner Billy Porter calls out “white, cisgender, rich boys” in the LGBTQ community for closing their checkbooks once they got marriage equality in a new interview with Vulture.

Porter, who’s never been meek when it comes to issues of equality and civil rights, shares in a candid, new interview with Vulture how working on the hit FX television series Pose brought back memories of living through the AIDS epidemic in 1980s New York City.

Porter says he was reminded how the transgender community became practically “invisible” during that time.

“For me, as a 48-year-old gay man, when I came out, we had to fight for our lives. Because the fight was so intense — and this is what this show has taught me — the T in LGBTQ was almost invisible. The fight was about something else. I equate it to the idea of the civil rights movement, and Martin Luther King Jr. and his relationship with Bayard Rustin. He was the gay man that taught him and set him up to be the civil rights leader that he was, and was erased from the conversation because that wasn’t the fight.”

The Pose actor goes on to describe witnessing how some left the battle field (taking their money with them) when the focus of LGBTQ rights shifted from marriage to transgender protections.

“There’s a lot of that in the gay culture, especially the cisgender, white, rich gay culture. I sat on the board of the Empire State Pride Agenda for six years, and that’s an organization that really was influential in lobbying and fighting for gay rights, during the AIDS crisis all the way up through marriage equality. When these white, cisgender, rich boys got marriage equality and the organization’s focus turned to transgender rights, those motherfuckers closed their checkbooks, and the organization of 25 years had to close.”

Porter summed up his purview of the situation:

"We need take all that energy and focus, and shift it on to those who are less than us. That’s how it works. Internal vigilance is the price of liberty. If we don’t take care of the least among us, it doesn’t matter how rich we are, it doesn’t matter how fabulous we are.”

This writer has known Billy Porter since the early 1990's when he made his Broadway debut in the hit musical, Miss Saigon.

Over the years we've worked together in the theatre, and I've interviewed him several times as a journalist. I can always count on a frank, candid, and totally unfiltered experience with Billy. #Yassss

When we chatted last year about his latest album, BIlly Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers, I was all prepared for music chat. But fresh off the 2016 election, Billy was primed for politics explaining how the album was a political statement in and of itself.

And I loved it.

You can check out our chat from my podcast interview below.



(source: Vulture)

Arizona Pharmacist Denies Trans Woman Her Prescriptions

Penning a personal essay for the ACLU, Hilde Hall shared a sad turn of events on what began as one of the happiest days of her life.

Hall, a transgender woman, left her doctor’s office this past April with her first prescriptions for hormone therapy as she was about to begin the journey to seeing her body reflect her gender identity.

Excited, Hall drove directly to the local CVS pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

After handing over the three prescriptions from her doctor, a hormone therapy specialist, she was informed the pharmacist refused to fill one necessary to affirm her gender identity.

Without any specified reason, according to Hall, the pharmacist “kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions.”

Embarrassed, Hall says she became distressed and nearly began to cry right there in the store.

“I didn’t want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor,” writes Hall. “I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers. I just froze and worked on holding back the tears.”

To make matters even worse, when Hall asked for the written prescriptions from the pharmacist so she could leave, he refused to return the written script.

Hall was forced to call her doctor’s office to intervene. But, according to reports, the pharmacist wouldn’t return the prescriptions without being told EXACTLY why the medication had been ordered.

In her essay, Hall shares she left the CVS store ‘feeling mortified.’

Eventually, the prescriptions were transferred to a Walgreens pharmacy where the meds were filled ‘without question.’

Hall adds that, after the insulting episode, she moved all of her prescriptions from CVS to Walgreens “so that I never again have to see the pharmacist who discriminated against me.”

She contacted CVS’ corporate complaint line several times but didn’t no one addressed her concerns initially.

It was after filing a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy that CVS responded.

"CVS Health extends its sincere apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring," said in a statement to The Hill.

According to CVS, the employee had been dismissed, and assured Hall that it had not responded due to "an unintentional oversight."

The company indicated the former employees attitude did not “reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care,” CVS said.

It's important to note that this isn't a cautionary tale for just transgender people.

This easily could have been the case of a pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription for Truvada or "PrEP." Or refusing to refill a birth control script.

At Walgreens, pharmacists are allowed to step down from filling scripts they find don't align with their personal religious beliefs, but at least there is a company policy requiring another pharmacist step in to accommodate the customer's needs.

This CVS pharmacist wouldn't even return the written paper scripts. This was a guy taking out his own personal agenda against an innocent trans woman.


Pro-Trump Barry Humphries On Transgenderism: 'Terrible Rat-Buggery'

In a new interview with The Spectator, Barry Humphries, whose most famous incarnation is as the outrageous drag persona “Dame Edna Everage,” surprises by revealing he is anti-transgender people and praises Donald Trump for ‘stirring up politics.’

This from a man who became famous performing in drag.

In London to perform a three-week residency at the Barbican, Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret, Humphries told journalist Lloyd Evans that he feels the issue of transgender rights to be ‘terrible rat-baggery.’

He refers to transgenderism as ‘a fashion’ asking “How many kinds of lavatory can you have?”

“And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers,” he added.

Humphries also called out the anger he aroused when he referred to gender confirmation surgery as “mutilation.”

In a 2016 interview with The Telegraph, Humphries agreed with derisive comments about “men who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated”.

“They had their genitalia chopped off and tucked in and whatever they had to do,” said the 84-year-old. “And that aroused a lot of indignation — probably among the people who’d spent a lot of money having it done.” 

Humphries tried to soften his position by adding, “But I don’t think I’m right to pontificate - I’m really an actor.”

On another topic, Evans asks if Humphries’ favorite onstage character, the sexist diplomat Sir Les Patterson, has been co-opted by Donald Trump. 

“Has the President stolen your act?” asks Evans. 

“No, I don’t think so,” replies Humphries. “I’m grateful to Trump for stirring up politics. And I won’t be joining any marches against him.”

(h/t The Spectator)

(photo: Eva Rinaldi/Flickr - CC license)

Rub And Tug To Be Dropped From Production!

Rub And Tug To Be Dropped From Production!

Scarlett Johansson Casting Controversy Leads To Flop!

Well, well, well. I told you so. The moment I heard the transgender community up in arms over the casting choice of Avengers: Infinity War Actress, Scarlett Johansson, as a transgender man: I knew the film would get pulled from production. In modern age, social media can lead you to get fired from your job, humiliated by society, and reputations destroyed. While the #MeToo movement has proved to be an incredibly positive influence in our culture, sometimes a movement can be damaging.

According to Pink News, the anger of Johansson being cast to play real-life transgender man, Dante "Tex" Gill, in the would-be film, Rub and Tug, has led to the film likely being pulled in it's entirety. Even after Johansson released a sincere apology to the transgender community. She even suggested the role be played by a transgender man - who

Okay, so: Obviously this was going to happen. But, at what cost? Was this uproar truly worth it, y'all? Did the transgender community win this battle since the role isn't going to be played by a heterosexual, cisgendered female? Now, the movie is more than likely not going to be made. Johansson's production company was set to produce the movie: It's likely not going to move forward after burying this woman who wanted to actually showcase a transgender story. I highly doubt she'll ever want to touch any subject matter regarding the transgender community again. Is this an appropriate time to add a reference to Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons saying "HA-HA!"?

So, in the end: Dante Gill's story likely won't get to be told. All because of social media outrage. I'm really disappointed. I'm sure the transgender community could've made a point and gotten much representation within the film in some type of way. Look at how much influence the phenomenal Janet Mock has had in FX's latest hit, Pose. This is so disappointing.

Do you believe this is a win for the transgender community - or should the film not have been made whatsoever if no transgender man was taking the reign? 

Writer's Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Contributor and does not reflect the views of my fellow Instinct Contributors or Instinct Magazine itself.

Scarlett Johansson Pulls Out Of Film After Backlash!

Scarlett Johansson Pulls Out Of Film After Backlash!

Uproars Over Casting Choice Leads To Exit!

#GROAN! Well, those who threw a fit over social media got their wish. We recently informed you about the controversial casting choice where Avengers Actress, Scarlett Johansson, would portray a transgender man in the upcoming film, Rub and Tug. I had a very unpopular opinion on why people shouldn’t be raging maniacs about the casting choice an foresaw the film being pulled. Well, it’s halfway there thanks to the uproar of negativity that came with the casting.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Johansson has removed herself from the acting role in a statement to Out magazine. She tells:

“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” Johansson said in a statement Friday to Out magazine. “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues. According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40 percent in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release. While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film. I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries. We look forward to working with every community to bring these most poignant and important stories to audiences worldwide.”

I doubt we’ll even see this film come to light amid the controversy. I’m happy Johansson has made a statement in support of the transgender community, but is any of this really going to help? Rub and Tug could’ve been an interesting story to see unravel, but now it’s pretty much poisoned itself. Call it quits.

Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or the other contributing writers.

Is An Uproar Over Casting Choices Necessary?

Is An Uproar Over Casting Choices Necessary?

Weighing In On Scarlett Johansson Casting Controversy

By now you've probably heard Avengers Actress Scarlett Johansson has found herself in the middle of an uproar over a recent film's casting choices where she has been cast as massage parlor owner, Dante "Tex" Gill, a Transgender man, in the upcoming Rub & Tug. When asked about the casting choice and controversy, Johansson slickly refers to the casting choices of Jeffrey Tambor, Fecility Huffman, and Jared Leto who have all played Transgender characters in recent years, followed by much Academy success.

According to Buzzfeed, Transgender Actresses, Trace Lysette (Transparent) and Jamie Clayton (Sense 8), have vocalized  their disgust over the casting choice. Along with those two ladies of the silver screen, the “I-Always-Have-Something-To-Complain-About-Blogger” Jen Richards proposed The Hollywood Reporter should hold a panel with Transgender actors ... because apparently she's an actress now, too. Lysette, who is clearly jealous she didn’t get the role, went so far to tweet she "is so done" with ...acting(?) over the casting decision. Check out her confusing and salty tweet.




After thinking about this over and over, I formulated my opinion to be this. While it is extremely clear Rub & Tug will obviously tank amid controversy, I cannot help but feel it is for all for the wrong reasons. Yes, I understand Johansson accepted a role that whited wash an Asian character and now has accepted a role of a Transgender man, but should we really be directing our anger toward her? Would you not accept a check and a job ... and a role in a film?! I guarantee you anyone complaining absolutely would.

Lysette, in particular, cites not being able to be in the same room as Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence for acting roles: It's why she's so upset. Let's take a step back, shall we? Is Lysette a household name? No. Is Lysette on the level of talent such as two leading Hollywood Actresses? Not yet. So, Lysette, you shouldn't be in the same room as them because you have not yet proved to be on the radar of someone who has worked for years in this industry. I'll be the first to admit I think the aforementioned Clayton has loads of talent, but once again, I cannot see any of the Transgender Actresses complaining over the casting choice in any mainstream role at least in the upcoming year. Why? Because they have yet to pay their dues to the industry.

Example: Do you think Jennifer Aniston was complaining she wasn't in the same room with the Hollywood Hot List when she was in her early 20s and took a leading role in the B-Horror film, Leprechaun? Probably! But she wasn't crying over it. She moved forward!

Unfortunately, I cannot think of a Transgender Male Actor besides Chaz Bono; are all Transgender men's roles to be only directed to him? This is acting, which so many people are separating from real life. If you'd like to see incredible, literally, stunning acting from the Transgender community, I advise you to watch Ryan Murphy's Pose – which Lysette is a character on! - and is arguably the best Summer 2018 television.

In closing, the whole film should be scrapped because the complaints have absolutely ruined it. But, there shouldn't have been commotion from the peanut gallery in the first place. I understand Transgender Actors want the door to be opened for them to earn and have roles. However, I think people need to understand that acting is a job. This isn’t a film plot where someone gets picked up off the street. If you’re putting in the time and work to get roles, they will come to you.

Writer's Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine or it's other Contributors.

New Laws In NJ Make Changing Birth & Death Certificates Much Easier For Trans People

New Jersey took positive steps forward on Tuesday when Gov. Phil Murphy signed new legislation into law providing important rights and protections for members of the LGBTQ community.

The first bill, SB478, allows transgender residents to change birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. According to the new law, people may choose to identify as male, female or undesignated.

Until now, transgender people had to undergo gender confirmation surgery and provide proof from their physician in order to amend their birth certificate.

According to Garden State Equality, the LGBTQ organization which helped draft the bill, New Jersey is the 17th state to enact a law dropping the surgery requirement for amending a birth certificate and only the fourth, after California, Oregon and Washington, to allow for a third gender option on the document. 

Former Gov. Chris Christie had vetoed the bill twice while in office.

The second bill, SB493, allows a death certificate to reflect a person’s changed gender identity. 

The third bill, SB705, provides for the creation of a Transgender Equality Task Force meant to identify barriers for transgender people in areas of housing, health care and criminal justice.

“Allowing vital records to match gender identity is an important step forward that will allow transgender individuals to control the disclosure of their transgender status,” said Gov. Murphy in a statement. “And by creating a Transgender Equality Task Force, New Jersey can ensure that all residents receive the protections they deserve. New Jersey will continue to stand with our LGBTQ residents in the continued pursuit of similar rights nationwide.”

According to a report by the Williams Institute at the University of California, there are approximately 30,100 transgender people living in New Jersey and 1.4 million trans people in the United States.