Saturday, August 04, 2007

remembering being labelled as one or the other

Where They Stand: Part One

Our forum primer on how the Dems see GLBT issues.

by Jennifer Vanasco,

For the first time in history, the major candidates from a major political party – Democrats, of course – will be gathering in a public forum to discuss gay issues in front of an audience of gay people.

The forum, called “The Visible Vote ‘08" and sponsored by LOGO (which owns 365Gay) and HRC, will be broadcast from Los Angeles on August 9 – already, GLBT’s from around the country are submitting video questions.

A significant amount of information is already out there about the candidate’s take on the issues. Before you send in your questions, do a little prep work: here, in two parts, is a round-up of what the Dems have said they believe.

Part One, below, will focus (in alphabetical order) on Hilary Clinton, Mike Dodd, John Edwards and Mike Gravel; Part Two, next Friday, will put the spotlight on Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson.

We bullet the issues that are easily quantifiable—a candidate’s stance on marriage, for instance—and then try to sum up in a paragraph or two some of the nuances.

What will they say during the forum? Print out our round-up before you watch The Visible Vote '08 and see if they are consistent with their histories, or if on that historic night, they decide to break new ground. . . .

Hong Kong: Gender bender stole brother's ID card to get job at Wing On

Scarlett Chiang

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A 19-year-old girl - diagnosed with a gender identity disorder, and said to have a tendency to dress like a male - pleaded guilty to stealing her brother's identity card and using it to apply for a job.

Ng Chun-mei admitted three charges when she appeared at Eastern Magistracy on Friday - using an identity relating to another person, knowingly misleading a police officer and perverting the course of justice.

Ng, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans and accompanied by her mother, was remanded in custody.

Acting principal magistrate Douglas Yau Tak-hong adjourned sentencing to August 17, pending community and rehabilitation center reports.

The court heard that Ng had used an identity card belonging to her brother, Ng Chun-wing, 21, to apply for a job as a part-time promoter at Wing On Department Store in Central in June 2005 because she was under 18 at the time.

In December last year, Ng Chun- mei was arrested by police and charged with the theft of nine department store vouchers worth HK$4,500.

She pleaded guilty to the charge in February and was fined HK$500.

Ng Chun-wing, who studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was shocked when he was interviewed by a school social welfare officer about the theft case in early March.

He denied having committed the offense, and when he was shown a photo of the defendant in a newspaper clipping, he recognized the person was his younger sister.

Pleading for leniency, Ng Chun- mei's lawyer said his client admired her brother and had liked to dress like a boy since 2002.

He said the defendant had been diagnosed with a gender identity disorder and had to visit a therapist every month. . . .

Talk about suffering for your art

Register columnist

Any reporter who has covered O.C. courts knows what it's like to get The Look from Deputy District Attorney Susan Schroeder. You write something she perceives as unfairly critical of the D.A.'s Office, come out a little too pro-defendant and, Uh-oh, here it comes:

She stands stock still, coal-black hair framing a face that says nothing, yet everything. Lips closed, but not pursed. Dark eyes narrowed slightly, shooting daggers sharp as the heels of her black Manolos. The Look says it all: Were it even remotely legal, I would grind that gelatinous lump you call your spine into the marble hallway floor with my stilettos and scrape the residue off on the curb. Then I'd go to a nice lunch and immediately forget you ever existed.

I got The Look this week.

Not because of anything I wrote. But because I displayed a complete breakdown in metrosexual masculinity (her oxymoronic ideal male archetype) in regard to her other passion: women's shoes. Specifically, she was disgusted I lacked the huevosto buy myself a pair of six-inch pumps for my drag number in this year's Lagunatics. (Tickets on sale Sunday at

It started out OK. We met at the Nordstrom Café at South Coast, just a couple of working girls knocking off a little early to hit the Anniversary Sale.

"Did you know that of all the Nordstrom departments, the Café has the highest degree of customer satisfaction?" she said, displaying the insider's knowledge that was the reason I chose her for this mission.

"Uh, no," I said, fearing to tell her that until three minutes ago I had never even seena Nordstrom Café.

"It's true," she said.

Was as cordial as our dialogue would get.

She took me to the second floor and a section called Salon Shoes. Best in the store, she said. She gave me a primer: sling-backs vs. pumps, spike heels vs. wedge-heels, peek-a-boo toes vs. closed toes. I started to covet a black Jimmy Choo pump. $635, roughly double my shoe budget for this century. An open-toed black Prada with silver studs caught my eye. $690.

"OK," she said, leading me to one wall display, "you want to walk over here with reverence." The sign said "Manolo Blahnik." I thought she was going to genuflect. She let me touch a pair of leopard-skin pumps I adored. $695. . . .