Saturday, July 07, 2007

China: Father is now aunty

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-03 14:56
After a sex-change operation, a 50-year-old farmer, Cheng, from Damintun, a town near Shenyang, Liaoning, returned to his family and continues to live with his former wife and daughter peacefully.

"I'm happy to live with her in the same family even though our relationship is now like that of sisters," his wife surnamed Li said.

"Although my dad is now aunty, he has treated me and my mama so kindly that none of us wants to part with him," their daughter, Ting, added.

Cheng realized his 20-year-long dream of living as a woman, after a series of free sex-change operations early this year.

(Beijing News )

Anya Anomaly - New Dawn Rising (2003)

Transgender Electronic Musician

Dignity for All: Transgender Activist Fights for Safe Schools

Dignity for All: Transgender Activist Fights for Safe Schools

By Jacob Anderson-Minshall

Asian American transgender activist Pauline Park considers the push for gender-neutral pronouns in the U.S. “profoundly ahistorical.”

“Gender-neutral pronouns are not native to the English language,” she argues. “And—unlike in Chinese, for example—[they] feel extremely artificial to speakers of English. And that is why I do not think artificial gender-neutral pronouns such as zie and hir will ever come into general use. Instead… I believe the way forward is to challenge the rigid use of pronouns based on sex assigned at birth.”

Park says she’s come to understand that the historical roots of transgenderism differ in various cultures. While there isn’t a precedent in English for gender-neutral pronouns, Park argues, “There was a pre-modern trans identity in virtually every Asian society, and I think it's important for transgendered Asians to envision themselves in light of their precursors.”

Co-founder of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), the first statewide transgender advocacy organization in New York, Park’s work focuses on three primary areas: legislation and public policy, training and public education. She conducts sensitivity training and works with the media to educate the public.

NYAGRA ( is best known for spearheading the successful campaign to pass the New York City transgender rights law enacted in 2002. After leading that campaign, Park ( helped draft guidelines—adopted by the Commission on Human Rights two years later—for implementation of the statute. NYAGRA is also a founding member of a coalition that secured enactment of the New York City’s Dignity in All Schools Act, a law making schools safe for LGBT children. . . .

POV, Critique, Opinion: . . .about gender conformity

Getting Something off My Chest

by Gwendolyn Ann Smith

We live in a society that is increasingly worried about gender conformity. Ours is a time when commercials push us to be more manly thanks to the type of hamburgers we eat, and where role models for women are often less than inspiring thanks to a litany of media-friendly party girls like Paris Hilton. As a result, the idea of talking about specific transgender issues gets broader and broader as the opposing societal poles of “man” and “woman” are set at increasing distances.

I know that most of my readers have a preconceived notion of what I might mean when I use the term. Many will think of transsexuals. Some will go broader, into the classic umbrella. Most will picture at least some cross-gender presentation or identity – and this is fine.

Yet consider too than many might be somehow crossing or blurring gender lines without having ever given a thought to being transgender and without any desire to do so. This is what I considered when I read a recent article on gynecomastia in The New York Times.

Gynecomastia, for the uninitiated, is the presence of enlarged breast tissue on otherwise male individuals. What some would crudely call “man boobs.” It’s caused by any number of issues but is usually linked to obesity or the unpredictable nature of adolescent hormones. . . .

POV, Critique, Opinion: G-Spot Magazine

posted by Carrie Wooten at 7:37 AM on Jul 6, 2007

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: Transmen in Women-Only Spaces

The first transgender support group meeting that I've ever attended was about two months ago. It was after a board meeting I had been a part of, and so I decided to stick around for a bit and see how it operated. The support group is IndyBoyz, (for any transmen, transwomen or SOFFAS who are in the greater Indianapolis area and would like to know more). A conversation that began in that setting was from young college males talking about the issue of transitioning in a historically women only space, and what that means. The consensus seemed to lean towards it being a cop-out for someone to enter a women-only space as a transman because they knew that it would be a safe space for them to transition.

This reminded me of a series that I had watched several months earlier called TransGeneration, which followed four transgender college students in their daily lives to show the various struggles and dangers that come with realizing and actualizing who you really are in, at times, non-supportive spaces. One of the college students, Lucas, attended Smith College and during his senior year, decided to start testosterone therapy because he was becoming increasingly distressed that his body did not reflect who he knew himself to be. Lucas had entered Smith as Leah (the name given to him by his parents), but had presented as male, and started a transgender support group on campus during his time there.

There are lots of nuances with this situation - questions of motive, questions of understanding oneself to a certain degree, questions of policing borders and identity politics, questions of who can participate in feminism and who cannot. Women-only spaces have often been sites of freedom for those who feel traumatized by male-centric cultures. However, I think there is a certain amount of "wolves in sheep's clothing" dogma going on that mirrors the conversations at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, whose entrance policy is that of "womyn-born womyn only," which seeks to pointedly deny entrance to transwomen. I think sometimes we get so caught up in what people look like that we forget to consider what they want to do and how they might help. If we are to believe Simone de Beauvoir who said, "One is not born, but rather, becomes a woman," then isn't male identity just as fluid and contextual, and shouldn't that be considered just as valid to the movement? Because when we start basing borders and spaces on who is concretely and absolutely excluded, we are only re-inscribing hierarchies that ultimately lead us down a path we do not want to tread.