2012 Ava Zinn friend realignment

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The 2012 Ava Zinn friend realignment consisted of a series of events (primarily close friend changes of Ava Zinn) that resulted from Ava Zinn's gender transition from male to female - commonly known as simply a sex change - that began on December 1, 2004, her American Idol tryout in Pittsburgh in July 2011, Zinn's dis-enrollment from Indiana Wesleyan University on September 27, 2001 (more info: 2002 Margaret Zinn family realignment), and Zinn's prom fiasco from her senior year in high school, which she had several friends, primarily heterosexual male friends.

The major impetus for the changes was to improve the coverage and support of Zinn's new site venture Vote for the Girls she launched on April 28, 2010 with Robyn Hurd and Holly Everman. As a result of various other actions that followed as a result of the friend changes, most notably Zinn replacing heterosexual male friends with females, the switches constituted some of the most sweeping changes in Ava Zinn friendship history. As a result of this realignment, Ava Zinn ascended to the status of a major-profile transwoman and among the ten strongest transgender and transsexual women in the United States, ranking up with Andrea James, Lynn Conway, Alexis Arquette, Candis Cayne, and Laverne Cox.

Vote for the Girls and INNewsCenter[edit]

For some time, Ava Zinn had been self-identifying as a girl since 1994 and wanted to have a major presence as a transgender woman and as a consequence of her gender transition, her sexual orientation changed from a heterosexual male to a homosexual female. She initially thought that as a woman strongly preferring bisexual women in her dating pool (as she has been relationships as a male with females that were bisexual or have since came out as bisexual after Zinn ended the relationship).

In November 1985, when Zinn moved from Mill Township near Gas City to Van Buren with her brother, and mother, Zinn first self-identified as a girl as she and her mother had a close family relationship, and also around that time, Ava began to prefer Fort Wayne over Indianapolis (some speculated that this was due to the fact Clyde Lee and Howard Caldwell were anchoring WRTV's 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. editions of Channel 6 News, which was referenced in an episode of Zinn's animated sitcom Queen of the Willis, namely Revenge of the Male Anchors which the fictional character based on Ava herself (b. 1973) began to live as woman and underwent a sex change on November 1, 1999--coincidentally the same day Zinn launched her web site and the popular INNewsCenter).

From December 2006 until February 2007, Zinn did not watch WXIN's morning newscast because a male had filled in for Angela Ganote, which didn't sit well with Zinn at the time and had been a pet peeve of Zinn's after moving to Van Buren. On April 3, 2009, as part of an April Fool's joke, Zinn's INNewsCenter site finally posted its first (and so far only) news montage of two males anchoring the WXIN morning newscast with Scott Jones and Gene Cox, who filled in for Angela Ganote that morning. The description for the clip was "No, Angela Ganote didn't undergo a sex change.." Ava Zinn has said in an interview discussing INNewsCenter, "I don't mind seeing two women anchor a newscast. It's becoming clear that a two-woman anchor team will be the social norm." Later in 2009, Zinn, who had begun watching the popular singing competition American Idol started to develop a way to keep female contestants on American Idol and preventing the male counterparts from winning American Idol. Zinn eventually called the project Vote for the Girls, a web site to compete with Vote for the Worst to strictly only voting for female contestants.

At the time of Vote for the Girls' pre-launch, most of Ava Zinn's friends were males that were initially unaware of Zinn's sex change to female or even unaware that Zinn was married fifteen hours after graduating from high school. As Zinn put together Vote for the Girls and expanding INNewsCenter (at the time INNewsCenter had been online for 10 years, she wanted to become friends with Angie Willis (not to be confused with the Queen of the Willis character of the same same) as well as more female friends of Ava's brother, Albert, more established histories, and carried more value with advertisers.

Friend and Social media deal[edit]

On January 4, 2009, the Ava Zinn Social Media Policy act went into effect and allowed the Zinn family to have Facebook and Twitter accounts. The following individuals were part of the deal:

Existing Ava Zinn friends[edit]

  1. Robyn Hurd (Fort Wayne) - Ava Zinn's first friend since January 4, 1989 despite a 22 year age difference (Zinn was 6 and Hurd was 27)
  2. Holly Everman (Muncie)
  3. Alec Dailey (Gas City) - Santa Ava 1 winner and first male friend of Ava Zinn
  4. Kayla Battishill (Gas City)
  5. Karly Millspaugh
  6. Ashley D.
  7. Elaine Ellis
  8. Ramona R.
  9. Veronica Schmerber
  10. Brandon J
  11. Justin P
  12. Telissa
  13. Wendy B.

Ava Zinn friends that were inherited from Albert Zinn (1977-2002)[edit]

  1. Harold Craven
  2. Brian Butterfield
  3. Jacob Jones
  4. Aaron Ditsler

Ava Zinn that were inherited from Angie (Willis) Zinn[edit]

  1. Lisa Pickett
  2. Christina B.
  3. Stacie B.
  4. Rachel M.


Several individuals were not kept or left out of the deal:

  • Butterfield and Jones were left out as Ava Zinn opted to keep Lisa and Chrsitina.
  • On May 24, 2012, Robyn Hurd died of a stroke.

Vote for the Girls connection to deal[edit]

The key to the deal was that Ava Zinn made friend upgrades. Before the deal, of the 12 closest friends of Ava Zinn in 2009, only five of Zinn's friends -- Schmerber, Everman, Battishill, Dailey, and Hurd -- were key players in the Misissinewa 500 fiasco and eventually made a positive impact on Zinn.

Most of the friends involved in the Angie and Albert deal were considered the more prestigious of the three Grant County school districts for a variety of reasons. In particular, during Ava Zinn's tenure at Mississinewa, she resided in Van Buren from her Kindergarten to the first quarter of her 8th grade year and Marion until her graduation in May 2001; meanwhile, Zinn's wife and brother (with a nine month age difference between the two) were classmates at Eastbrook from November 1985 (their second grade year until their junior year of high school when Angie left for Mississinewa and Albert stayed at Eastbrook). Also, most of Albert's friends were also Angie's friends and therefore contain longer histories, rivalries and traditions.

Many of the female friends of Ava Zinn that replaced the male friends that had ties to Ava Zinn's family, thus many of Angie and Albert's friends would continue to be loyal.

Female friends related to deal

  • Stacie
  • Christina
  • Lisa
  • Ramona

Male friends related to deal

  • Robert
  • Aaron

Robert, Aaron, Christina, and Lisa had known Ava Zinn's brother longer than Zinn's wife.

In 2011, when friend switches began, Zinn dropped a majority of male friends after male contestants kept advancing longer than the female counterparts on American Idol (as well as The Voice, Rising Star, The X Factor), Zinn ended a friedship with Brandon and was replaced with Ramona that resulted in Ramona becoming the 11th female close friend of Ava Zinn. This saw Alec Dailey and Justin Planck as the only remaining close friend male counterparts of Zinn.


The friend changes and subsequent gender switches officially commenced in February 2012, when the first two female friends replaced the male friends, and currently ongoing.


Ava Zinn's gender transition influenced the creation of what eventually became the NoSirGifts Mandate as several news anchormen at NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations, also transitioned to female and triggered the NoSirGifts Newscast Mandate. Two of the NoSirGifts' acquired stations already had a transwoman-woman anchor team, KFMN-FTV in Minneapolis (Julia Passalt) and KBYF-FTV in San Fransisco (Fiona Johnson). Three of them have since resigned from those positions and became moderators on Vote for the Girls after their gender transitions.

The NoSirGifts stations involved that had a two woman anchor team following the male co-anchor's transition to female brought the mandate five other NoSirGifts markets at the time, including :

ATE Media[edit]

The adoption of NoSirGifts news anchor format in Fort Wayne made ATE Media Corporation and owner of WMRI-FTV, extremely concerned. ATE Media's Cleveland and Terre Haute (WCOH and WFAZ/WTHL, respectively) already had pre-existing two man anchor team for after the second male co-anchor's transition from female to male. But now, ABC had just affiliated with the Terre Haute venue. In addition to renewals for the existing stations that were already ABC affiliates, and Patrice Rafferty had to terminate the contract of WCOH's Steve Hendrickson and WFAZ/WTHL's Leonard Lai as a condition of keeping ABC. Steve Hendrickson anchored WCOH's newscast from 1985 (a year after Hendrickson's transition) until 2012 and Leonard Lai had anchored WFAZ/WTHL's newscasts from 2008 to 2011. Hendrickson has since retired from WCOH and Lai later went to NoSirGifts-owned NBC station WVTH in 2012 and departed in August 2014.

Vote for the Girls[edit]

Impact on females and transfemales[edit]

As expected, the females and transgender females bore the best brunt of the changes. When most of the males bore the worst brunt of the changes as Zinn's problems continued to accelerate, as Zinn spent most of the 2000's recovering and the early part of 2010's struggled to remain afoat.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]