Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ReView: Candis Cayne (2002, NYC) talks about her life

Candis Cayne lands a Baldwin brother

Looks like ABC's new drama, Dirty Sexy Money could actually break new ground with a

GLBT storyline.

Dirty Sexy Money follows an elite New York family known as the Darlings. This privileged clan is rife with scandal and intrigue and sounds like a modern day Dynasty to me. Yay! But where Dynasty had its groundbreaking gay son, Dirty Sexy Money has a son in a serious relationship with a transgender woman.

Televisionista shares some pics from the third episode (airing October 10th). In the scene pictured, oldest son Tripp (played by William Baldwin) tries to break off the relationship with his lover in order to protect his political career. The lover is played by transgender actress, Candis Cayne.

With Brothers & Sisters alums Craig Wright and Greg Berlanti involved on this series (as show creator and exec producer respectively), this is definitely one new show worth checking out. . . .

Genderqueer Student Hopes to Change Health Care Field

By Jacob Anderson-Minshall
Published: September 6, 2007

As they head back to school this week, 38 LGBT students do so with scholarships from the Point Foundation—the nation’s largest publicly-supported organization providing financial support, leadership training and mentoring to students marginalized because of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Beginning a second year at Yale University, Point Foundation scholar Emily Williams (who prefers gender neutral pronouns), says s/he faces unique challenges in his/her chosen field - health care - because s/he’s genderqueer.

Studying to become a family nurse practitioner, Williams says, “In health care, gaining trust and building relationships with patients is crucial. If I don’t conform in some ways, I’ll never get past the revulsion mainstream society has for people who aren’t easy to classify, and thus be unable to have a positive impact on those people I serve.”

The Minneapolis native admits, “The fact remains that any respected position in society is closed to androgynous and trans people. It’s only because I’m comfortable to physically stay on the female side of things that I’m even able to begin my career.”

Williams received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. After five years volunteering with rape victims and working full-time providing domestic violence services, Williams argues, “The way we construct gender is harmful for everyone.”

S/he says that both homophobia and violence against women result directly from a damaging binary gender system. “Sexual violence of all stripes stems directly from our gender system. Queer bashing and hate crimes are siblings of sexual assault and domestic violence. They are all about putting a person in their place in terms of gender.”
Williams’ own genderqueer identity stems in part from a desire to challenge common beliefs about what is male and what is female, rather than “live up to them from another point of view. For me it makes the most sense to use a term that more or less means ‘all of the above.’”

Committed to changing constrictive attitudes toward gender, including within the LGBT community, Williams says, “In same-sex, same-gender relationships [gender] can be insidious because it’s all but invisible to the outside world. In an extreme version you get physical or sexual violence, but much of the time it’s simply about who has power and when.”

Power dynamics, Williams argues, are also present in the labels and pronouns used to further communication. “There are few examples…of ways in which we categorize people without simultaneously creating a hierarchy. Our gender system is clearly built around dominance. I think this is why those with gender privilege—not just men, but people who do their gender best—are so threatened when those without it demand more power. They assume it means they’ll have to be lower on the totem pole. I think the LGBT community has a responsibility to demonstrate to the rest of the world that equity is possible.” . . .

Dress Guidelines Causing Problems for Ozarks Student

Wednesday, Sep 5, 2007 @08:12pm CST

An Ozarks mother says her son is being discriminated against at school and she's working hard to keep him in class. The mother says the problem lies in the guidelines inside the Springfield Public School’s student handbook.

Fashionable jeans, purses and the latest trend in make-up may not be unusual for many high school girls, but for an Ozarks student, it is causing some controversy.

Vladimir Moran Miller says he's been fighting to be normal all his life.

"At first, when I go to a new school nobody will know and then they will figure out and then will be shocked for a day or two and then after that they'll be cool." says Miller.

Many of Miller's friends and teachers already know the 15-year-old freshman, who looks like a girl, was actually born male.

"I actually thought it was a girl. I thought she had a cute bag and I told her that she had a cute bag and I noticed it was a guy and it really didn't bother me and we've been friends ever since." says Jessica Rader, Miller’s Classmate.

Vladimir's mother, Sheila Miller, is accusing the Springfield School District of violating her transgender son's civil rights.

She says, "They keep pulling him from class. They pulled him the other day from class for three and a half hours causing him to miss all but ten minutes of his lunch and had nobody come in and talk to him. They were supposedly pulled him for a counselor to speak with him, no one came him the whole time, he missed classes and they keep doing this bringing up issues and not letting him be himself."

Sheila Miller says one of those issues is the dress code.

"He can't wear the tops that he wants and even the toned down ones that he's worn, that are girl tops, but they are simple and plain." says Sheila. . . .

Hermaphrodite pony finds friendship with donkey

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Meet Tootsie - a hermaphrodite pony who lived for 12 years with his owners thinking he was female.

Tootsie the hermaphrodite pony

For most of his life the Shetland pony, who has both male and female genitalia, was thought to be a mare and went by the name of Amy.

And to add to his confusion he has been taken into care, undergone a sex change operation and been re-homed - only to be shunned by his peers.

But now Tootsie - named after Dustin Hoffman's cross-dressing character in the film of the same name - finally appears to be settling in at the Bransby Home of Rest for Horses, near Lincoln.

And he has found an unlikely friend - in stablemate Derek the donkey.

Verity Chappell, welfare manager at Bransby, said the other animals at the sanctuary had not been very tolerant of the exotic new arrival.

'He doesn't seem to know what he is.

'I think behaviourally he is not sure and the other animals seemed to have an issue with him,' she said.

'Before they even touched him, we noticed they flapped their ears back, which is a sign they don't like someone, as if to say "you're not normal".

'We knew we were going to have to pair him with another animal.

'He seems to have settled in with a little donkey called Derek.

'To begin with there was a little animosity, but he will remain with Derek now for the rest of his life.'

The Shetland, who lived with a family for all his life, was only found to be different when he was taken in by the RSPCA. Vets are now carrying out blood tests to check Tootsie's chromosome levels and determine his exact sex.

Despite his upbringing as a mare, Tootsie still has an eye for the ladies.

Peter Hunt, who founded the animal rest home 40 years ago, said: 'I am 75 years of age and this is the first I have ever seen.

'He still squeals and gets excited by mares. He is full of life in that department. If he could get near them he would be a bit of a nuisance.'

We eagerly await the heartwarming film version of Tootsie and Derek's story.

Letter from Samoa: Impersonating woman still illegal

By Cherelle Jackson
President of the Samoa Fa'afafine Association Roger Stanley.

Despite fa'afafines being very much part of the Samoan culture, the impersonation of a woman is still illegal under the Crimes Ordinance 1961 of Samoa.

Fa'afafines, otherwise known as transvestites, cross dressers or homosexuals are deeply ingrained in the Fa'aSamoa according myths and legends.

Lau Dr Asofou Soo a Professor of Samoan studies defined the faafafine as: "Men who act like women, feel like women and tend to do work done by women."

According to Samoan Dictionary by G.B Milner a fa'afafine is defined it as "a feminine man or youth."

The Transgender website, which talks about transvestites in many cultures, has an interesting definition drawn from Paradise Bent, a documentary about Samoan faafafines. . . .

Nepali transsexuals press for increased rights ahead of polls

Nepali transsexuals attend a function in in Kathmandu. Dozens of transsexuals gathered in Nepal's capital to push for official recognition as a minority ahead of crucial polls planned for November to decide the country's political future.

KATHMANDU (AFP) — Dozens of transsexuals gathered in Nepal's capital Tuesday to push for official recognition as a minority ahead of crucial polls planned for November to decide the country's political future.

The women and men, who want to be officially identified as transgender, say they face widespread official discrimination in Nepal, a majority Hindu nation that is deeply conservative.

"As the constituent assembly elections approach we want proper representation in the assembly that is going to shape the future of the nation," said Sunil Pant, president of the Blue Diamond Society which works on behalf of sexual minorities in Nepal.

Pant said that transsexuals account for nearly five percent of Nepal's 27 million population, but have trouble getting listed on the voter rolls.

"There are no voters lists of third gender people and this is a very worrying situation for us," he said.

The government and former rebel Maoists reached a landmark peace deal late last year to end 14 months of absolute rule by the monarchy and since then ethnic and caste groups have demanded a greater voice in mainstream politics.

The country is scheduled to go to the polls on November 22 to elect a body that will rewrite Nepal's constitution and plan the country's political future, including the role, if any, of the monarchy.

But the transsexuals say none of the political parties is willing to help them with problems like getting official identification.

"The state has been ignoring us and we are facing difficulties in getting citizenship based on our identity," said Alex Chamling, a member of the Blue Diamond society.

"We want the representation of a few transgender people in parliament and in the constituent assembly."

The Blue Diamond Society. . . .