Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Transsexuals Can Benefit From Nose Reshaping

Monday, September 17, 2007; 12:00 AM

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Rhinoplasties, or nose reshaping surgeries, can help create feminine profiles in transsexual patients undergoing male-to-female gender reassignment, a U.K. study of 12 patients finds.

The surgery reduced the overall size of the nose and changed nasal angles to more closely match those of women.

"The surgical procedure resulted in a more feminine nasal profile in all patients," wrote the study authors from Charing Cross Hospital in London. "One patient was subjectively unhappy with the results of surgery and underwent revision surgery, and the remaining patients were very satisfied with the results of surgical treatment, both in the early postoperative period and at the one-year follow visit. Five patients stated at the one-year visit that their nasal procedure had had one of the greatest impacts on their overall perception of themselves as female."

None of the patients experienced problems with nasal valve functioning.

"Rhinoplasty is effective in achieving feminine facial profiles in patients undergoing male-to-female gender reassignment," the study authors concluded.

"Because of the extensive resections often required to modify the nasal form, it is important to pay particular attention to preserving function, which may require concomitant nasal valve reconstruction," they noted.

The study is published in the September/October issue of the journal Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

More information:

The American Psychological Association has more about gender identity issues.

SOURCE:JAMA/Archivesjournals, news release, Sept. 17, 2007

Calendar boys are transtastic

September 17, 2007

LOADS of men’s groups have stripped for cheeky nude calendars to raise money for charity.

Usually the lads are beefy firemen, hunky cops or even fun-loving farmers.

But now there’s a new bunch of blokes in the mix – and they all used to be WOMEN.

The revealing Calendar Girls-style ‘Transtastic Men’ project is intended to raise public awareness of female to male transsexuals in the UK.

An NHS estimate states around one in 100,000 women here will try to change sex, compared with one in 30,000 men.

Of course not everyone is sympathetic, but the organisers of the ground-breaking calendar hope they’ll at least prompt debate on a hidden facet of society. . . .

For more information about the Transtastic Men calendar shot by Paula James visit pfc.org.uk/calendar


See: Klinefelter's syndrome and ISNA

TIFF Review: XXY

TIFF Review: XXY

Posted Sep 16th 2007 8:06PM by Monika Bartyzel
Filed under: Drama, Gay & Lesbian, Theatrical Reviews, Festival Reports, Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematical Indie

When XXY opens, we're greeted with beautiful, undersea masses, each looking like they exist in their own floating world -- while still being attached to each other through waving, living cords. It's a stunning, yet sadly apt metaphor for the film, because while these are interconnected, the characters in Lucia Puenzo's film are anything but. They are struggling -- both to connect with each other and to uphold what they think is right. Unfortunately, the realm of what is 'right' is wavering and unclear. In the first scene, we see the start of an autopsy on a dead turtle. When the shell is removed, marine biologist Kraken (Ricardo Darín) sadly states that it was a girl. Unfortunately, his world isn't as cut and dry as the slain turtle's.

He has a kid named Alex -- wonderfully played by Inés Efron. Alex is a hermaphrodite who has been living through her adolescence as a girl. The family has moved around a lot, and it becomes clear that they've done so for the young kid's privacy and comfort. Alex's mother Suli (Valeria Bertuccelli), without talking to her husband, invites a surgeon and his family to visit and assess the situation -- with hopes that Alex will agree to have her penis removed and finally transition into one sex. What Suli doesn't realize is that Alex has stopped taking the prescribed hormones.

When the surgeon arrives, Alex flirts with and befriends his son, Alvaro (Martín Piroyansky). Their friendship is strained and confused. Both kids are struggling to define their own identities, and Alex, in particular, is very wary of people's motivations, due to his/her own ambiguous existence. Alvaro fills the spot of Alex's best friend -- exposition explains that Alex got in trouble for punching him, and now they're estranged. As the two families meet and interact, Alex's struggle unfolds -- from the pressure to neglect bodily urges to appease the hopeful demands of family, to his/her existence in the world-at-large.

While the story is solid, Efron's amazing performance makes it shine. She not only brings Alex to life, but also infuses the character with depth. It helps that the actress is 22, and not Alex's age, but this isn't some 90210 casting. Efron is completely believable. Each time her large, blue eyes fill with water, it's heart-wrenching. Free from sobs and dramatic emotion, the tears perfectly illustrate Alex's inner struggle. What really stings about this story is that this young kid has no idea who (s)he is. Coming from a youth driven by hormone pills, Alex doesn't even know what life, and his/her body, would be like without them. There is no physical basis, or set "I" as home base. It's no wonder that the kid is struggling to find an identity.

The struggles of those around Alex are equally moving. Instead of falling into the familiar dramatic trap where each character embodies a certain attitude or purpose, they are rich and diverse. Alex's mom clearly doesn't understand or recognize the struggles her child is going through, but at the same time, she's not overly-pushy, controlling, or in denial, like you might imagine. But Alex's father is the only one who really tries to understand Alex's turmoil. That doesn't mean the scenario is okay with him, but his desire for Alex to be centered and happy rises above his own expectations and hopes.

XXY is refreshing because it doesn't exist in binaries. Alex doesn't know what the future holds -- life as a woman, a man, or just as (s)he was born -- and the film doesn't presume to know either. It's simply the struggle of a young, misunderstood kid who just wants to be happy, accepted, and at ease.

Tags: cinematical, film, Ines Efron, InesEfron, Lucia Puenzo, LuciaPuenzo, Martin Piroyansky, MartinPiroyansky, movies, Ricardo Darin, RicardoDarin, Valeria Bertuchelli, ValeriaBertuchelli, XXY

POV, Critique, Opinion: Wherein Matt 'races' to condemn 'she-males'

In a new commentary on The Employment NonDiscrimination Act (ENDA), the Concerned Women For America's liability-in-waiting, Matt Barber, says many egregious things. For one, he completely throws out the possibility that either gays or transgenders could have any bio-genetic root for their feelings, painting both as "chosen behaviors." He also offensively uses words like "cross dresser" and "she-male," and crudely depicts a theoretical transgender teacher as having "a five o’clock shadow, calves like Schwarzenegger, an Adam’s apple the size of a golf ball and is stuffed into a miniskirt like a ten pound turkey in a five pound bag." And then there's the parroting of the typical flawed "pro-family" rhetoric, with Matt asserting that this particular gay rights measure would just basically kill both free speech and religion as we know it.

So basically, we're saying that Matt's commentary is as reliably insulting to the LGBT community as one would expect from Mr. Barber. However, we would argue that this latest waste of text offends another community as well. Consider this passage (highlighting our own) and then we'll get back to you:

Sean was a redheaded, freckled lad of pure Irish descent. Growing up, he always felt something was wrong. He didn’t like green beer, corned beef hash or any of the other things the Irish were supposed to like. Rather, he was fascinated by African-American culture and eventually made the self-determination that he was, in fact, a black man trapped in a white man’s body. No, not like Vanilla Ice, Eminem or other posers; Sean actually believed it.

There were others who felt the same way, and a movement was formed. They called themselves “transracial.” They made up fancy, official sounding terms like “race identity” and “race reassignment surgery.” They demanded special rights and government-mandated benefits such as affirmative action and reparations.

Okay, that hasn’t happened yet (that I know of). The whole idea is pretty ridiculous, right?

So the ridiculousness of the passage -- which Matt goes on to juxtapose with a transgender situation, so as to make it seem as if both are bizarre "choices" -- is apparently known to even Matt. But to us, the above would also seem to transcend ridiculousness and venture into offense, due to the way Matt clumsily talks here in terms of cultural elements rather than actual identity. For instance, Matt asserts that folks like Eminem are inadequately trying to present themselves as black men trapped in white men's bodies. In saying that, he is painting African-American culture with broad, stereotype-laden brush strokes in a way that makes it sound as if one's affection or skills in regards to hip hop are effective gauges of their desire to be Black. And even though he has positioned his fictional "Sean" character as going beyond the Vanilla Ices of the world and into a realm where he REALLY thinks that because of certain cultural attractions that he is himself part of the African-American community, Matt is still acting as if there are certain unnamed cultural elements that automatically define the Black community (even if doing so in jest). And since he quite seriously tries to use the above to discredit transgeder individuals, he is, by extension, making it sound as if that movement also involves a desire to be part of a certain group's ways of operation and stereotypes, rather than an actual physiological yearning to reconcile body with mind. Ridiculous, indeed!

It may seem silly to even begin to analyze Matt's words when he resorts to tactics as mind-numbingly irrational as comparing gender identity to race. But to us, these kids seem to more fully reveal their hands every time they resort to such flawed games. They show just how little they understand about human nature, as well as how far they will go to make gays look unsavory. And it shows that while Matt and company so frequently accuse gays of "hijacking" African-American civil rights in their pushes for gay equality, it is truly their team who will exploit and misrepresent any and every group for their own unsavory gains!

New Corporate Equality Index finds record number of companies earning perfect 100 percent score on annual ranking of corporate policies toward GLBT em

September 17, 2007
Chris Johnson

Hrc_cei2008_thumbnailToday the HRC Foundation releases its new 2008 Corporate Equality Index, our annual guide on how companies in corporate America are measuring up in their industries and across the business spectrum in their policies toward their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. The increase in the number of companies that score a 100% on the Index each year (the 2008 CEI reports that 195 companies earned a perfect score - up from 138 last year) provides strong evidence that the business community recognizes that it just makes smart sense for them to make their workplaces welcoming and supportive of their GLBT workers.

Daryl Herrschaft, our workplace project director, says this year's record number of companies scoring 100% can be significantly attributed to one, key motivating factor - competition:

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of HRC, released our annual Corporate Equality Index showing continued strong growth in companies address GLBT workplace fairness. An unprecedented 195 companies received the top score of 100 percent. Collectively, these companies employ more than 8 million workers and that validates the work of the HRC Foundation in “changing the air” in which GLBT issues are discussed. Because, even our straight colleagues at these companies get a message from their leadership everyday that GLBT Americans should be given equal treatment and equal respect at work.

But, the Corporate Equality Index does more than just track the changes that are occurring in corporate America, along with the work of GLBT employees, it drives the issue forward. It’s about one word: competition. Successfully vying for the best and brightest talent and the economic clout of GLBT consumers means one thing to these fair-minded companies: implement the policies on the Corporate Equality Index and reach the coveted 100 percent. That means providing equal benefits to domestic partners and transgender employees, banning anti-GLBT discrimination and giving back to GLBT community organizations.

Publishing the Corporate Equality Index involves a lot more than administering a survey and reporting the results. The professional staff of the HRC Foundation Workplace Project use every interaction with companies as an advocacy opportunity. The results have been impressive. As a sponsor of HRC’s Nashville Dinner, we worked closely with Bridgestone all year and helped them improve their score from 45 to 80. We met extensively with Starbucks regarding protections for transgender employees leading the company to add gender identity to its non-discrimination policy and achieve 100 percent for the first time this year. And for all of the companies that participate we provide: model policies such as gender transition guidelines; scholarly papers on benefits equivalency from family leave to pensions and beyond; and, real-time information on legal development that impact GLBT workers.

Enjoy the report. Use it to find that new job or decide which products to buy. It is chock full of information on many companies that striving toward equality, and, yes, even the ones that don’t. . . .

American College of Physicians publishes 'The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health'

Groundbreaking textbook to teach current and future providers about health-care needs of sexual minorities

PHILADELPHIA, September 17, 2007 - In October the American College of Physicians (ACP) will publish "The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health." Edited by Dr. Harvey Makadon, Dr. Ken Mayer, and Hilary Goldhammer of The Fenway Institute at Fenway Community Health, and Dr. Jennifer Potter of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the textbook is designed to teach current and future medical providers about the unique health care needs of sexual and gender minorities.

"The American College of Physicians is pleased to present this outstanding text, which fulfills an important but currently unmet educational need for a broad range of health care providers," said Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Medical Education and Publishing at ACP.

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Americans, in addition to having the same basic health needs as the general population, also experience health disparities because of continuing discrimination and ignorance related to sexual orientation or gender identity. For example:

* LGBT people as a whole are 40 to 70 percent more likely to smoke than non-LGBT people;

* Gay and bisexual men continue to be at increased risk for HIV and other STD acquisition and transmission;

* Many providers have little knowledge of transgender people and their specialized medical and mental health needs;

* LGBT youth are often isolated and at higher risk for depression and attempted suicide;

* Lesbians may be at greater risk than other women for certain kinds of cancer.

Despite these disparities, many medical providers are unaware of specific health issues impacting LGBT people or are unskilled in making their practices welcoming and inclusive of LGBT patients. "The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health" draws on Fenway Community Health's more than 35 years providing medical and mental health care to the LGBT community to address this common disconnect between doctor and patient. . . .

Research Reveals Two Types of Male to Female Transsexuals

A large international study of male to female transsexuals (n = 254,878) from ages 15 to 85 involving 37 countries on four continents showed that all subjects could be divided into two distinct groups, those 175 cm or taller and those less than 175 cm in height. Moreover, the shorter ones were on average significantly younger than the taller ones and in addition tended to weigh less. The shorter group also averaged smaller shoe sizes. In addition, the tall ones had an average annual income greater than the short ones. The tall group averaged higher scores on general knowledge of computers and related technology. However, one notable exception was that the extremes in ages, those between 15 and 25 compared to those between 75 and 85, showed the younger group scored significantly higher (p < .0001) on measures of computer skills than the older group. The younger group average was also significantly higher than the taller or shorter group averages. Interestingly, both members of the taller and shorter groups tended to report wearing sweaters when in colder climates; this was particularly true of those living in Canada, Northern Europe and Asia, and Tierra del Fuego. A popular beverage for the younger group was “Jolt” whereas the older group couldn’t identify “Jolt” and tended to prefer black tea with a shot of bourbon. It is hypothesized that female to male transsexuals can also be divided into short and tall groups. That study is now in progress.

(Satire prompted by those inclined to divide transsexuals into two simple groups and then give the impression that research is beyond criticism or social impact.)