NATIONAL NEWS: Philly Transgender Sex Worker Lands on Buzzfeed

Plus: HRC reports that 2016 is a politically dangerous year for transgender Americans, and a UK transgender pageant winner was dethroned for “not being transgender enough.”

Photo provided by Jara Krys.

Photo provided by Jara Krys.

Penn student Jara Krys gets her experience of being a transgender sex worker told worldwide.

Jara Krys, a Philly transgender sex worker/activist, broke the Internet on Sunday by revealing her career to Buzzfeed. In the exclusive feature story, the 23-year-old Penn student talked candidly about her transition, her profession, and her advocacy for sex workers. “The only thing that makes me feel empowered and respected right now is achieving a cisnormative standard of beauty,” she said during the interview. “Society only values me if I’m passable as a woman, which is no real value at all. But as long as I’m trying to be part of society, I have to abide by the system.” This account is a strong rejoinder to much of the recent coverage surrounding the hardships transgender women of color who often partake in sex work as a means of survival.

The Human Rights Campaign reports that 44 anti-transgender bills are in the works in 16 states.

In a new report, the Human Rights Campaign says that 2016 has already seen more anti-transgender bills proposed than in any other year previously recorded. Out of the 44 bills specifically targeting transpeople, 29 of them were related to bathroom/locker-room/sports matters. Last year had previously been considered the worst year for anti-transgender state legislation, with 21 proposed bills. As this election year intensifies and transpeople become more visible, it should come as no surprise that these bills are being proposed by elected officials hoping to score political points.

In international news, Miss Transgender UK was stripped of her title after a pageant runner found her wearing boxers.

Jai Dara Latto, 22, was crowned Miss Transgender UK in London last September. The model had to give up her crown last week after pageant runner Rachael Bailey made the case for why Latto was “not transgender enough.” “When Jai entered the competition, she said she was full time and she is not — she is a drag queen,” Bailey told the press. The speculation was caused when footage from an upcoming BBC documentary Miss Transgender showed Latto living as gay male wearing boxers. Culturally, there has been a national conversation on the tepid relationship between drag queens and transpeople. But Latto refutes the questioning of her identity, telling the press, “Being transgender is not some exclusive club … there are many of us in it, and we are all different from one another.”