Upstate NY newspaper runs trans-tastic series

A view of Downtown Albany from the Hudson River

My college town newspaper, the Albany Times Union, is running an awesome series of articles about the transgender community this week that I wanted to share.

When I was in school, the Times Union was the conservative newspaper and the now-gone Knickerbocker News was the liberal paper. But the surviving paper knows its audience and Albany is liberal. No, that should read LIBERAL.

This whole series is worth a read. But not only are the articles good, so are the comments. The biggest complaint is that the LGBT community is getting too much coverage. Imagine that in the local Dallas newspaper. I expect more negative comments right here in a Texas LGBT newspaper than an Upstate New York mainstream paper is getting.

Here’s an article filled with statistics. They claim more than 8 million LGBs in the U.S. and 700,000 transgenders. There’s no census count so I’m not sure where the numbers come from.

Here’s the main page — Transgender: A Special Report. The online version begins with 75+ photos.

People just know me as Pat

The long, difficult journey of how a man became a woman

Surgery, pain, humor and no turning back

Going from Kenny to Kym was no easy road

For Drew, nothing is written

‘I like my fluid identity’

A little about Albany

Albany is a small city of about 100,000 people. The capital of New York, it’s about 150 miles north of New York City, north of the Catskills, south of the Adirondacks and where the Mohawk River empties into the Hudson River. Where the northbound New York State Thruway makes a sharp left turn to head west to Buffalo — giving the city its nickname — the armpit of New York.

Oh, and Albany is a very liberal city. So it’s not surprising they’d run this series. I just don’t know when another mainstream daily has devoted this much space at one time to transgender issues.

Albany is home to the first LGBT community center ever created in the country. Located in a brownstone a few blocks the Capitol, it’s now called the Capital Pride Center. The building was purchased in 1974 by a professor at my school and a group of us helped renovate the building. That was the first time I ever helped build stairs. Hopefully they’ve been rebuilt since then.

And Sen. Gillibrand — who represented Albany before becoming senator — was a leader in getting rid of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and pushed for marriage equality along with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

—  David Taffet

‘Top Chef’ going gay and Texan in December

On last night’s reunion episode of “Top Chef: D.C.,” Bravo revealed that the next season will feature “all-stars” from each of the seasons past, and not only are several of them gay, some are from right here.

Among those in the eighth season (and first all-star), set to begin airing Dec. 1, are first-season runner-up Tiffani Faison, right, fifth season’s Jaime Lauren, both lesbians, and third season runner-up Dale Levitski, center, who lost to bisexual chef Hung Huynh.

Levitski bested third-placer Casey Thompson, left, who at the time was at Shinsei but now has her own restaurant, Brownstone, in Fort Worth. Thompson will also be on the all-star season, as will fellow third-season alum Tre Wilcox (formerly of Abacus) and the immediate past season’s Tiffany Derry of Go Fish near the Galleria. That’s a lot of Texas — and a lot of gay — to keep us entertained.

Of course, until then, the new installment of “Top Chef: Just Desserts” has plenty of gay guys and even Morgan Wilson of the Dallas Ritz-Carlton. Bon appetit.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones