Saturday, September 15, 2007

BRIGITTE MARTEL - Québec Transsexual Singer Remembered

Macho Advertisements Are Putting Feminine Men Off Products, Research Says

Science Daily Marlboro Man, or his current macho billboard equivalent, is putting off metrosexuals* from buying products, research shows.

A new study shows that men with characteristics such as sensitivity and tenderness are put off products promoted by advertisements featuring squared-jawed hunks, preferring those featuring more feminine looking male models instead.

“Advertisers should take note of this research because it shows that many ads could be ineffective,” said Professor Brett Martin, of the University of Bath, who led the research.

“Not because of the product, but because the model chosen and the suggested positioning of the brand, may not match the preferences of the male consumer.”

Professor Martin’s team asked 244 male undergraduates to look at print advertisements showing a mobile phone, next to which was a male model. On one of the ads his appearance was classically masculine, with short hair, broad shoulders and a jacket and tie, on another feminine, with long fair hair and slender build, and in a third he looked androgynous.

Those undergraduates who had, in an earlier study, scored higher for traditionally feminine traits like compassion and love of children, tended to prefer ads featuring the feminine model. Those with traditionally masculine traits like aggression and dominance preferred the masculine model.

Professor Martin, of the University’s School of Management, who worked with Dr Juergen Gnoth, of the University of Otago, New Zealand, and Daniel Carroll, a brand manager from industry, said that some traditional advertisements could be alienating their audience.

“What this shows is that males responses can be divided into two groups," said Professor Martin. "Masculine men, who prefer masculine models and who are scathing about any male model that is not suitably masculine. And feminine men who prefer feminine models. . . .

Drag king named Newcomer of the Year award for first time in contest history

Megan Finnerty
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 15, 2007 12:00 AM

Brandon Packer, aka Susan Martin, was the first Drag King to win the Newcomer of the Year contest , at BS West Thursday night.

For the first time in the five year history of the Newcomer of the Year Contest, a Drag King was elected the gender-bending impersonator of the year.

Yes, a drag king.

From the Phoenix bar La Roka, Brandon Packer beat five female impersonators, all repping different gay bars, with a medley of '50s classics including faux piano playing on Great Balls of Fire and air-guitar work on Johnny B. Goode. Packer, aka, Glendale finance investigator Susan Martin, worked his hair in a short, greaser style, with a penciled in mustache and soul patch, and wore a tuxedo complete with a top hat and spats.

He won the title, $200, a chance to perform at Phoenix Pride and Rainbow festivals and paid shows at all seven the bars that participated in the contest this year.

Before the show, the men applied makeup, padding, wigs and press-on nails upstairs in a makeshift dressing room.

A hulking queen stood over a much smaller newbie, "I wanna do your lips. I don't like what you've done. Sit down," said Afeelya Bunz. Aqua Net cans sat next to fake breasts. Coty spun powder rested next to body glitter spray. And spangled gowns hung on a rack next to a table full of mile-high wigs. . . .

Tall Order

Jim Yoo used to be known as The Omelet King. Now he's Julie -- but the food's still good


Published 09.12.07

It's an unusually bustling Monday morning at the cozy Tarpon Diner, and Julie Yoo is busy behind the grill. When she gets a moment between scrambling eggs or flipping hotcakes, she peers out of the kitchen with a weary, sweaty stare.

"Tough day?" someone asks her.

"Tough life," she mumbles, returning to the grill.

The last two months have been especially hard for Julie, the Tarpon Diner's owner and cook. The workaholic hasn't had a day off since March, even though business has been slowing down; the snowbirds have left, and construction has been blocking access to the diner's entrance on Pinellas Avenue in Tarpon Springs. And then there are the challenges of trying to present yourself as a sophisticated lady while running a greasy spoon.

She's had to learn to wear less makeup so it doesn't run (the kitchen gets hot). She's forgone high heels for more utilitarian sneakers. Julie's ad hoc fashion consultant (a waitress at the diner) advised her to save the cocktail dresses for nights out on the town. Recently, she ditched the blonde wig and let her own tresses show, receding hairline and all.

You'll have to forgive Julie -- she is new to this whole woman thing. Because for the last 48 years of her life, Julie has been Jim -- a sloppily dressed, quick-tempered guy from Allendale, Pa.

Going through gender transition in the workplace isn't easy; just ask former Largo city manager Susan Stanton, with whom Julie shares an electrolysist. And this is Tarpon Springs, home of Epiphany Days and a conservative population of Europeans and elderly folks. A town where rumors get around quickly, often circulated inside gathering spots like the Tarpon Diner.

"It's not the ideal place to try and do something like this," says Julie. "You'd have to be nuts to try to do it like this."

Still, despite the day-to-day struggles -- sarcastic comments from customers, snickers from the school kids -- Julie is finally beginning to reclaim her true self. Earrings and all. . . .

The OutField: Transformation, A Sportswriter’s Journey to Fulfillment

by Dan Woog
Images for this article: (click on the thumbnail to see fullsize)
When Mike Penner told a fellow sportswriter and former soccer teammate that he’d be transitioning from male to female, the friend said, “Could you have picked a worse profession to do that in?”

The answer, as Mike—now Christine Daniels—soon found out, was “yes.” In fact, Daniels said, the support she has received—from colleagues, readers, and nearly everyone else in the sports world—has been resoundingly positive.

At times, Daniels wonders why she didn’t take the enormous step of accepting her true gender earlier. But, she admits to herself, she wasn’t ready. And just a few years ago, the sports world might not have been, either.

As a pre-teen in the late 1960s, Mike Penner was enchanted with the colors and designs of football uniforms. That led to an interest in all sports. He considered a career in television broadcasting, but was too introverted. So he became a sportswriter, and since 1983 has covered baseball, tennis, the Olympics, sports media, and the National Football League for the Los Angeles Times.

His early feelings about wanting to be a girl receded under the force of a strict mother and a Catholic school education. But they bubbled up again when he was in his 20s. He cross-dressed once a month at home for 20 years, but by the time he reached his 40s, his desire to be a woman grew overwhelming.

In early 2005, he took his first tentative steps, attending a cross-dressers’ meeting in Los Angeles. “Hearing my heels click on the sidewalk, feeling the breeze brush against my dress, I knew I should have been like that all my life,” the sportswriter said recently. . . .

Charros, club targets of anti-bias proposal

Ari Cohn, Tribune

Scottsdale should sever ties with groups that discriminate, and pass a law prohibiting private businesses from discriminating against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered, a civil rights advisory commission recommended Monday.

View video here.

Michele deLaFreniere, chairwoman of the city’s Human Relations Commission, said it will be up to the City Council to determine whether the proposed prohibition on contracts between the city and discriminatory organizations should apply to the all-male Charros philanthropy group, with whom the city contracts to bring Major League Baseball to Scottsdale Stadium.

The commission unanimously approved the recommendation even though Don Logan, the city’s diversity and dialogue director, said its his opinion that allegations of gender discrimination against the Charros are unfounded.

“Our position is that we don’t see any evidence that they’re discriminating against anyone,” Logan said.

DeLaFreniere, a transgendered woman, also said that if the City Council approves a law barring private businesses from discriminating against the GLBT community, that law should apply to the Anderson’s Fifth Estate nightclub. The Attorney General’s Office is investigating a discrimination complaint filed by deLaFreniere against the club after club-owner Tom Anderson banned her and all other transgendered patrons last fall, citing his inability to ensure both their safety and the safety of biologically female patrons.

The commission made a third recommendation that city anti-discrimination policies, which apply to city employees, be extended to the GLBT community, a group the city does not currently list as protected.

The Human Relations Commission’s examination of whether the city’s relationship with the Charros conflicts with anti-discrimination policies comes at the behest of John Greco, a former interim city manager of Tempe.

The Charros, founded in 1961, with an active membership of 40, and 150 lifetime members, do not directly receive public money. The group contracts each year to bring the San Francisco Giants to city-owned Scottsdale Stadium for spring training. A portion of the proceeds from spring training goes toward renting the stadium from the city, and the rest goes to charity. . . .

60 SECONDS: Jodie Harsh

Jodie Harsh

Drag queen Jodie Harsh hosts London club nights Circus and Foreign and is becoming a cult celebrity in her own right, popping up in fashion magazines and on TV shows. The alter ego of former London College of Fashion student Jay Clarke, 23, Harsh is frequently snapped out on the town with favourite celeb pals Gail Porter and Kelly Osbourne.

How long have you been Jodie Harsh for?
I’ve been doing drag for five years – I was 18 when I first started. Some friends of mine did it and they encouraged me to do it. I like the creativity of it and it gives you licence to misbehave. There are lots of benefits – velvet ropes opening and free drinks. That was great at first but I’m not in it for shallow reasons, I’m not obsessed with getting in places, it’s my career now.

You were quite young, you must have been very self-confident.
I went to stage school from the age of 13 and also went to drama clubs from an early age. This is an extension of that; I’m playing a character. I’ve always been interested in club culture and parties. When I finished stage school, I did my A-levels and then went to the London College of Fashion.

How long does it take you to get ready?
Two hours. I shave my face and if I’m wearing something skimpy, I’ll shave my armpits. I’m lucky that I don’t have a hairy chest and I never show my legs, so I don’t bother shaving them. I shave my eyebrows off too; though I kept them for my graduation picture and for my grandad’s funeral. I’ll shave, have an espresso, lock myself in my room with no music or booze for an hour and do my make-up; make-up is my therapy. I’ll do my eyes, lips and contouring. I’ll already have an outfit selected, then I’ll fix my wig and find accessories.

How many wigs have you got?
I’ve had about 30 but right now I’ve got five. I get them made in Las Vegas and my friend styles them. Dancing and sweating gets them a bit ratty so they’ll only last 15 to 20 wears. I have quite a high wig turnaround.

What’s your favourite item of clothing?
I have a really amazing leather Vivienne Westwood jacket dress and a nice gold, sequined Alexander McQueen jumpsuit. I have my own aesthetic. Other drag queens don’t have the same style as me and most women wouldn’t get away with wearing my clothes. What I do isn’t traditional pub drag and it’s not girly drag. It’s a look that I’ve come up with myself – half clown, half Bratz doll.

I met Madonna once. I told her she was the same age as my mum. I’m not sure how that went down

Are you pals with Jodie Marsh?
I don’t have much to do with her. I picked the name because I thought it was funny. I suppose I’m taking the piss a bit. We text each other occasionally but we don’t go to lunch together. I’m sure she’s upset I’m more famous than her now.

She was recently looking for a husband. Would you have obliged?
No, she’s not my type really. I want to get into TV but I don’t want to go down the reality route. There are people with crazy looks and drag queens in clubs in East London but I’m the first of recent years to push that into the mainstream. I want my own talk show. I want my own perfume. I’m very career focused.

Who would be your dream celebrity to interview?
Madonna, because I’d like to find out how much of a bitch she is in real life and how she’d react to me. I met her at a party at Home once. I asked her if she was Madonna and she said yes and I told her how much I liked the Reinvention tour. I told her she’s the same age as my mum, I’m not sure how well that went down. She was with Demi Moore but I didn’t talk to her because she’s boring.

Who is your least likely famous friend?
I’m really good friends with Gail Porter. She came to my club Circus one night. She’s lovely. I went to lunch with her and my grandmother at The Ivy. Kelly Osbourne is also a good friend. I don’t like talking about celebrity friends, though, it’s what people always ask me about.

What was your last dream about?
I always dream I’m falling off a cliff. Maybe I should see a therapist to find out what it’s all about.