Sunday, September 16, 2007

NonTrans Extra: Feist - 1 2 3 4



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TRANS/FORMED is a feature film documentary that looks into the life of the male to female transgender community living in Los Angeles; how they survive cultural upheaval and challenges to the social norm.

The film follows the lives of four transgender women of different ethnicities and background, creating an unfolding eclectic family album assembled without judgment. With a subtle sense of appreciation of human imperfection and courage, through statistics and visual imagery, we show an ever increasing appreciation of the unique transgender form.

TRANS/FORMED intends to expose the truths, challenges, revelations and many faces of the transgender world. Through unfiltered eyes and a variety of testimonies we will reveal past horrors, present taboos, and future dreams. From silicon injection parties and prostitution, the growing trangender porn industry and weekend yoga retreats to stand up comedy, TRANS/FORMED explores the many facets of this fascinating world, leaving us Trans/Formed.

Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy?

Published: September 16, 2007

Once upon a time, women took estrogen only to relieve the hot flashes, sweating, vaginal dryness and the other discomforting symptoms of menopause. In the late 1960s, thanks in part to the efforts of Robert Wilson, a Brooklyn gynecologist, and his 1966 best seller, “Feminine Forever,” this began to change, and estrogen therapy evolved into a long-term remedy for the chronic ills of aging. Menopause, Wilson argued, was not a natural age-related condition; it was an illness, akin to diabetes or kidney failure, and one that could be treated by taking estrogen to replace the hormones that a woman’s ovaries secreted in ever diminishing amounts. With this argument estrogen evolved into hormone-replacement therapy, or H.R.T., as it came to be called, and became one of the most popular prescription drug treatments in America. . . .

"We're going to get him some NORMAL sandals, RIGHT NOW!"

Queen of the Scottish Fairies

About Mixed Emotions

Rutu Modan, an illustrator and comic book creator, is a chosen artist of the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation. She has done comic strips for the Israeli newpapers Yedioth Acharonot and Ma’ariv and illustrations for The New Yorker, Le Monde, The New York Times and many other publications. Her first graphic novel, Exit Wounds, will be published in June. Ms. Modan, usually based in Tel Aviv, is currently in Sheffield, England.

Mixed Emotions is translated by Jesse Mishori.

Be sure to see the comments, at the end of the cartoon, too.

Mircea Cărtărescu on men 'who have something feminine about them'

The 40-year-old writer, poet and university professor deconstructs the Romanian soul through hermaphrodite characters suffering homosexual aggression

A poet from the Romanian 'new wave' (Photo: Natalia Sosin)

It’s a beautiful, sunny day. In a café in the centre of Warsaw, Mircea Cărtărescu is feeling 'the joy of a debut,' having come back from a book signing promoting the Polish edition of Travesti (also known under the title Lulu), a novel that he says completely changed his life, and which is being published here sixteen years after having been written.

One of the most popular Romanian writers, Cărtărescu was born in the difficult year of 1956, with his first debut coming at 22. By turns he has been a teacher of Romanian, editor of a magazine called Caiete Critice ('Literary Notebooks'), a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam from 1994-95, and a lecturer in the literature department in the University of Bucharest since 1991.

I come to the meeting full of fear, because Travesti is terrifying. It is a strange novel exploring the gloomy insides of the human psyche and sexuality, describing traumatic childhood events and teenage initiations. It emanates evil, violence, dirtiness, filthiness and loneliness. It makes you grateful that you are through with the difficult period of growing up. The author himself has the hypnotising gaze of a starved wolf, which makes me feel awkward at the very least - until the moment he speaks. His voice is calm and nice, the evil charm is broken.

Study of a mental disease, or gay novel?

Travesti is a study of coincidence. The main character is a boy born a hermaphrodite and brought up as a girl until the age of four. Finally, his parents pick the sex – overnight, a girl becomes a boy. The child forgets about this memory, until it is re-awakened fifteen years later. The boy experiences homosexual aggression during his summer vacation, causing him to undergo a mental crisis. In the years afterwards psychiatrists use the therapy of writing as his treatment, reviving his memories. When the now grown man remembers what happened during his disturbing childhood, after a period of shock and transformation, he is healed.

'I myself didn't know what it was all about, even when I was close to wrapping up the book,' remembers Cărtărescu. 'I spoke to an older professor who eventually cleared it up for me. I was writing very slowly, during a whole year, feeling that I was creating a literary disaster. The publisher told me it was the worst book I had ever written. First reviews were very negative. I really had a hard time, thinking it was going to be the end of my career. It was only a year after publication that I got a positive sign – a woman came up to me in a park and said that she liked my book. This was more important to me than all of the bad reviews that I received.' . . .

Del LaGrace Volcano

September - October 2007 - Queer Arts

Del LaGrace Volcano
Del LaGrace Volcano

When I was 18 I was...a girl, hitching across Europe with a friend, another girl, who had an old Rolliflex medium format camera. This impressed me greatly. After 6 months of high adventure, we returned to our small town on the California coast and I decided what I wanted to do with my life. I enrolled in every film, photography and philosophy course that the local community college offered and quickly made a name for myself. My first subjects were my family and later, when I moved north to San Francisco, the community where I lived. Thirty years later, my subjects are the same: family and community. The only difference is that my family extends far beyond the biological and there are no city limits in my community. I work with gender queers all over the world. Everything from drag kings and queens, knights and knaves, extremely camp followers and jolly sex slaves. My next book is called: Femmes Of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities, to be published by Serpent's Tail 2008 with Ulrika Dahl.

GOfluid.jpgMy work is QUEER. Not "Queer as Folk" but Queer as FUCK MY ARSE, if you dare. Queer work, at its best, resists commoditization and disturbs the heteronormative fabric that we have all been wrapped in from birth. I am intersex and intersectional. As a gender variant visual artist, I access “technologies of gender” in order to amplify rather than erase the hermaphroditic traces of my body. I name myself. A gender abolitionist. A part time gender terrorist, intentional mutation and intersex by design. I believe in crossing the line as many times as it takes to build a bridge we can all walk across. THAT is what my work is all about. . . .

Airline comes out with gay-themed flight

Trip will feature drag queens, pink cocktails, cabaret performed by crew

SAN FRANCISCO - Air New Zealand is delving into the gay and lesbian market with a special themed flight that will feature drag queens, pink cocktails and a cabaret performed by the flight crew.

The destination for the airline's one-time "Pink Flight," scheduled to depart San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 26, is the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, one of the world's most well-attended gay events, said Jodi Williams, an Air New Zealand marketing director.

"We are looking at tailoring the inseat entertainment and having gay-friendly movies and contests and different music and things like that," Williams said. The airline also plans to throw a "Get-Onboard-Girlfriend" going away party for its passengers, who will pay an average of $1,000 roundtrip. . . .

London club kids brush off violence

by shunji

Upcoming UK tranny star Viktor chatted to Skrufff about the practical issues of dressing up flamboyantly in London this week and advised avoiding walking and/or travelling in packs to avoid being attacked.

“London is definitely getting more and more dangerous in general, not just if you dress flamboyantly,” said Viktor, “However, it’s safety in numbers because there are so many people dressed up. It also depends on where you’re going and who you’re with. Where I live in Old Street, one feels fairly safe, but it’s a false sense of security as one wrong turn and you could end up in trouble, particularly if you’re a boy wearing makeup or in drag,” he warned.

“I was actually attacked a few months ago near where I live, which was a bit of a shock. It was a homophobic attack, the police were quite helpful, but the guy was never caught,” Viktor continued, “It didn’t stop me going out wearing what I want; it just cemented the fact that you can never be too careful. I’ve lived in London for six years and that’s the only time I’ve ever been attacked.”

The 20 something performer and make-up artist is just about to release his debut album ‘Dance like No-one’s Watching’ a phrase he said is about ‘not caring what people think’.

“And always get cabs” he advised, “It’s expensive, but it’s better to fork out a tenner (£10)to get somewhere safely than endure a bus or tube journey being hassled or worried. If you can’t get a cab, make sure you go out in a group. Another idea is to get a bike.

“When I used to go to Kashpoint every week I used to cycle there with a friend and change into my high heels when I arrived. It saves money, your feet won’t hurt as much and you might avoid getting gay bashed,” he recommended.

30-something former Kashpoint co-promoter turned All You Can Eat nu rave star Jim Warboy told Skrufff his gets attacked much less than when he was younger, since becoming more streetwise after living in London since his teens.

“I carry myself in a certain way that makes people less likely to readily harass me. This was learned behaviour as a result of the amount of abuse I used to get,” said Jim.

“Always look ahead on the road and see trouble before it’s staring you in the face. Think ahead and try not to leave yourself in a vulnerable position if it’s avoidable,” he urged.

“Don’t let a few mindless morons stop you experimenting and enjoying yourself. Use your common sense, if you think you can talk your way out of a situation then do it. If not, kick your heels off and run like hell!”

Jim pointed out that London has always been rough, saying ‘there is always an element of risk going out dressed up in London. People often paint the picture that London is getting more violent for everybody, not just those who dress up. I’m never convinced that it’s much more dangerous than it used to be.”

“I remember dressing up in the 80s and it was very dangerous then. There were numerous times that I had bottles thrown at me, weapons pulled on me and I was chased or otherwise attacked. It became a way of life for me in my late teens. I regularly got attacked by gangs, particularly National Front skinheads. I think the increased violence we supposedly face is exaggerated by media hysteria.”

He also stressed he’s never had violence inside his clubs, with All You Can Eat adopting door policies significantly different from most mainstream clubs. . . .