Friday, June 15, 2007

Korea: Adoption by Transgenders?

Ha Ri-soo, a newly wed transgender entertainer, expressed her will to “adopt four children,” causing a heated debate on the right to adoption by transgenders. Mixed reactions are posted on bulletin boards of portal sites.

The Dong-A Ilbo found that some transgender couples have unofficially adopted children in Korea. The country’s transgender population is estimated at 1,200 to 4,500. But none of them have adopted a child through an official channel.

Opposition from Adoption Agencies-

Adoption by transgender couples is totally legal in Korea. There are no regulations on sexual orientation in the qualifications for adoptive parents. Also, a single can adopt a child, as the government eased regulations on adoption last year in an attempt to facilitate domestic adoption.

However, all of some 20 domestic adoption agencies that the Dong-A Ilbo talked to said, “Transgender couples have difficulty adopting a child, even if their qualifications are perfect.” They added that they can offer explanations about qualifications to inquiring transgender couples but cannot agree on their adoption. . . .

Punk comes wrapped in stockings and eyeliner from Japan's only transgender band

By Dan Grunebaum

TOKYO — Imagine how you would feel if the lead singer of your rock band suddenly told you that he was going to quit the group and become a she. This is exactly what bass player Minato Kota experienced seven years ago when a former high school mate, now known as Sasori (scorpion) Chikako, announced that he was quitting to undergo sex change procedures to transform himself into what in Japan is known as a “nyu hafu” (new half).

“At the time the last band ended, he told me that he wanted to become a woman, which as you can imagine was a huge surprise,” Kota says with a chuckle at a noisy family restaurant around the corner from the Shinjuku basement bar where Ikochi have just finished playing. “He said that he would be busy with his new quest, and wouldn’t have time for the band anymore.”

But an even bigger surprise was to come a few years later. Chikako decided that, after cementing her transgender status with a stint at a new-half bar in Shinjuku’s infamous Nichome gay district, she wanted to get the band back together. Kota agreed. “Something attracted me to the idea of playing with her now that she was a woman, so we got back together three years ago.” . . .

Kit Kat Dolls perform on "Britain's Got Talent"

London: It's Doll good

No-one could believe their eyes when the 'girl' group Kit Kat Dolls walked onto the stage at the Shaftsbury Theatre auditions in London.

The nine-piece outfit - which includes members from the UK, Holland, Brazil, The Philippines and Thailand - is the world's first transgendered girl band - which means all of the girls were born boys!

The ladies made quite an impression on our hard-to-shock judges. Amanda told them "I knew I was going to like you", while Simon questioned "are you sure you're really all men?"

In the end the decision was taken "we're a bit nervous about you performing for the Queen but we like you and we're going to take the risk".

While the judges were nervous, most of the girls in the hall were just jealous - and in keeping with the band's chosen song of the evening, the question Don't Cha (wish your girlfriend had legs like that...) was on audience minds!

Malaysia: Different and diverse

By embracing diversity, we can learn to understand, and not fear, each other.

LELAKI lembut! Cannot, cannot. Send them to pusat pemulihan (rehabilitation centre) now!

Yes, with counselling and testosterone injections, they can be cured ...�

Cured, we say. Sometimes, we think that our own way is the right way, the only way one should be allowed to be, the only way one should be allowed to behave, believe, think and identify. Imagine, a perfect world of clones where everybody agrees and there is no such thing as war ...

But we don't live in that world. We live in Malaysia, a society crammed full of wonderfully diverse cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, sexualities and gender identities. But we still find it very hard at times to deal with diversity in its different forms.

As a society, we self-regulate, we collectively determine what is and what is not acceptable. When you buy your baby girl cute pink pyjamas and your baby boy blue ones, when you stare at the androgynous person walking down the street, when you help a stranger chase down a cell phone thief, or when you decide to beat a red light, all these actions have an impact. You are sending a message to other Malaysians about what their fellow Malaysians do. . . .

The Fact And Fiction Of Being Transgender

Courant Staff Writer

June 15 2007

A disgruntled playboy becomes a female fashion magazine editor. A rock star born biologically male finds her true self. A boy is scripted freely adding a pair of girl's shoes to accessorize his outfit.

Transgender people have become the new go-to characters on television on such ABC shows as "Ugly Betty " and "All My Children" and the FX show "The Riches." They also have become the topic of more news reports in recent months.

A Florida city manager is fired seemingly for disclosing he will have a sex-change operation. A sports reporter in Los Angeles decides it's time everyone learns who she really is.

A sibling in the famous acting Arquette family has brought the struggles that a transgender person faces to the big screen in the documentary "Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother," which made its debut this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary follows other indie favorites, such as "Boys Don't Cry" and "Transamerica," to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender stories to the forefront.

Fiction and reality have mixed to bring an increasing presence in the media of transgender people in the past six months. This is all positive for transgender individuals and society, say those who are active in the transgender community.

Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality, partially credits the Internet and medical advancements with allowing people to express themselves physically. That outlet, she says, has created a domino effect.

"There's so many trans people out that more and more people do have trans people in their lives, and that's going to cause more trans people in the media," she says . "... When the entertainment media stories happen, they really have a dramatic impact. When they're done sympathetically, they make people feel safe and more willing to come out. . . .