Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Drag King: Buck Naked

Interview with an Iranian transgender

Posted by Mani in Human Right, Interview. trackback

26 July 2007

by Arsham Parsi
translated by Morteza

How would you like to introduce yourself?

My name on my ID is of no importance, but I’m known as Sayeh. I’m 26 years old and I’m a transsexual. I left Iran a year ago and I now live in Turkey. Could you please give me a tranquilizer please? I can’t think clearly. I am angry,I’m confused.

Why are you angry?

I’m in a country which does not support me. It has attached the term ‘refugee’on me. I neither know its language nor can understand its people and they can’t understand me either. Being a trans here is similar to being a trans in Iran. Although its government might be free (democratic) but its people are the same sort of people (as in Iran). They do not care at all.

What is your problem at the moment?

I have a lot of problems. The day I got here, the Turkish police told me that I should not leave this place frequently because if people realize my problem they will beat me. Initially, I listened to their advice and did not go out. I did not have a job. I did not have a home. I suffered so much. Now they are asking me for a residency fee. Everything about Turkey is difficult. You are a refugee. Nobody supports you financially and you frequently need to go to the police and give signatures. You are not a citizen and you can’t even make (official) complaints about anyone. I was beaten severely by some drunk Iranian men. I went to the police to file a complaint about them. I was told that we (the men and I) are all Iranians and if I file a complaint there will be headaches (complications) for all of us. I was threatened to death and was beaten but I couldn’t complain about the incident. They told me that they will cut my throat.

The Iranian refugees did?

Yes. The police can not do anything to them because they are refugees here.They told me that they will cut my throat and kill me. I can’t leave the house. I have financial problems. I don’t have money to buy hormones. My body needs hormones. I don’t have male hormones. When I get sick I can’t go to the hospital. I don’t have money to go to Ankara. I had problems finding a place to live and I didn’t know where to sleep. Everyone says that it is not their problem. Then for what reason am I here? The Iranian government is very similar to you (the Turkish government). They restrict the places you can go. Even when you have your identification card on you, they still don’t let you go to certain places. It is true that I’m a refugee but I need people/the society to understand me. Is it possible for one to not leave his/her living place just because she has been informed by the police that she might get beaten? A person needs to feel that there are people who might be willing to help her/him. There were certain constraints in Iran and there are some different constraints here. I believe that a fundamentalist or a Muslim country will never be able to deal with issues like this (transsexuality). . . .

Genre Fluid Performer Marches To Own Toone

By Jacob Anderson-Minshall
Published: July 12, 2007

“Punks from my time weren’t supposed to want to be famous, or care about recognition or even having enough money to support themselves. “

It’s difficult to sum up the accomplishments of trans performer Anderson (nee Annie) Toone in a few paragraphs. Ever since the late ‘70s, when a teenaged, harmonica playing Toone backed legendary San Francisco blues musicians and beat poets, he’s been a “genre fluid” musician, drag king and performer who changes personas as often as some guys switch partners.

“It’s always been my nature to mix, mutate, experiment with and collage together [musical] styles, instruments and cultures.”

A founding member of the New York no-wave girl group The Bloods—who he calls “a butch amalgam” of rap, jazz and punk—Toone toured Northeastern U.S. and Western Europe for two years, opening for bands like The Clash, REM and The Go-Gos, while their single, “Button Up” became a dance hall favorite.

“Part of what we were doing was just being an alternative—whether to apartheid, Reagan, Thatcher or the [lesbian-feminists] who told us we couldn’t wear leather, watch porn or do consensual kink because they said so.”

When The Bloods broke up, Toone stayed in Europe for a decade, founding first the jazz ensemble Idiotsavant and then country/punk band The Well Oiled Sisters (which headlined the 1990 country music women doc, Stand On Your Man). By 1992, Toone was back in San Francisco creating new “dykeabilly” sounds with the Bucktooth Varmints.

When Toone (andersontoone.com) switched genders on stage back in 1980, at New York City’s first W.O.W. Festival, he became one of drag kinging’s founding fathers. He’s thrilled with how things have changed since those early days. “In 1980 there were literally three kings…and now we’re in virtually every major city. The explosion is fantastic.”

He’s disappointed that drag kings haven’t gained the respect or mainstream exposure garnered by drag queens, but he’s still holding out hope for validation. “John Waters’ famously said kings would be the flavor of this new century—we’ll see if our 15 minutes is actually imminent.”

As a king, Toone has held a dozen drag names, putting his “transgender twist” on a range of masculine archetypes and exploring “what it means to ‘be a man’. It’s the activist strategy of…writing us erased trans-masculine folks back into the picture.”

The multi-talented artist has also taken his drag personas into full-scale reviews, like 2004’s Bucky & Bebe’s Holiday Hooteneanny, and the 1996, one-of-a-kind, drag king musical, Hillbillies On the Moon. . . .

Football player becoming a woman

Gina Duncan

Gina Duncan, formerly known as Greg Pingston, began living as a transgendered woman last November.

David Whitley

Sentinel Staff Writer

July 15, 2007

Greg Pingston was a star linebacker for Merritt Island High School's unbeaten state championship team in 1972.

Gina Duncan, at her College Park home in Orlando recently, will undergo the final step to becoming a woman by having sexual-reassignment surgery next spring.

Greg Pingston (2nd from left) was one of only 4 sophomores who made the Merritt Island varsity squad in 1970. The others were Dave Taylor (left), Jimmy Black and Waldo Williams (right). Pingston went on to play at East Carolina while Black and Williams played at Florida State.

Former Merritt Island football star Greg Pingston is completing a transgender change to Gina Duncan.

They still talk about the tackle around Merritt Island. Greg Pingston, the baddest player on the baddest team in the state, zeroed in on his victim.

The kid was returning a kick up the sideline in front of the Mustangs' bench. Pingston locked on to him with his tackling radar.

He angled in at full speed, plunged his helmet into the runner's chest and drove upward. The runner's entire body jolted into reverse.

"His chin just exploded with blood," receiver Mike Garo recalls. "It was the perfect tackle they'd always taught us, but it went beyond that.

"All the guys went nuts. It was totally tribal."

Pingston hopped up and walked away. After the game he showered, went home and hoped nobody would be around.

He went into his parents' room and walked to the closet. Then he put on one of his mother's dresses.

"I felt like I could breathe," Pingston says. . . .