Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Katastrophe - "The Life" Music Video

Katastrophe - up-and-coming, (FTM) transgendered genre-busting emo-hop MC whose stunning lyrical skills merge with beats that slide from slick to raw to solid to eccentric. "The Life" is from his album Fault, Lies & Faultlines.

SF Bay Area GLBT friendly companies

29 Bay Area companies nab perfect scores on gay-friendly scale

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal - 2:29 PM PDT Tuesday, September 18, 2007

by Chris Rauber

Nearly 200 U.S. companies scored perfect "100s" on a national human rights group's sixth annual Corporate Equality Index, including San Francisco Bay Area giants such as Yahoo Inc., Google Inc., Clorox Corp., Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo & Co., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Chevron Corp.

The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced its 2008 index on Monday, highlighting major U.S. companies on how they treat gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. According to the foundation, "an unprecedented" 195 corporations scored a perfect "100" on this year's index, not surprisingly including a number of San Francisco Bay Area employers. All told, 29 greater Bay Area employers made the list of those with perfect scores on the 0 to 100 scale. They included:

* San Francisco-based auto insurer Esurance Inc. and AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah.
* Four major law firms, including Morrison & Foerster LLP; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; and Heller Ehrman.
* A host of other major Bay employers, including Adobe Systems Inc.; Agilent Technologies Inc.; Apple Inc.; Charles Schwab Corp.; Cisco Systems Inc.; Electronic Arts Inc.; Gap Inc.; Genentech; Hewlett-Packard Co.; Intel Corp.; Intuit Inc.; Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group; Levi Strauss & Co.; Oracle Corp.; PG&E; and Visa.

Other highly rated companies make up a cross section of corporate America, including giants such as Allstate Insurance Co., Aon Corp., Borders Group Inc., CMP, General Motors Corp., J.C. Penney Co., Macy's Inc., Marriott International Inc., Mastercard Inc., MetLife, New York Times Co., Prudential Financial Inc., Raytheon Co., Sprint Nextel Corp., Time Warner, UPS and Waste Management Inc.

Cumulatively, those 195 companies employ more than 8.3 million workers, a far cry from 2002, when the group's first such index included 13 companies with just 690,000 employees in its top tier. And this year, many of those highly rated companies followed up by issuing press releases touting their gay-friendly corporate philosophies.

Last year, just 138 companies were given perfect scores by the foundation, which rates companies on a scale of 0 to 100 on treatment of employees, consumers and investors who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. This year's index included 519 businesses nationwide, said Human Rights Campaign Foundation officials. "More businesses than ever before have recognized the value of a diverse and dedicated workforce," foundation President Joe Solmonese said in a Sept. 17 statement. "More importantly, these employers understand that discrimination against GLBT workers will ultimately hurt their ability to compete in the global marketplace.". . .

Gender ID study excludes SJSU

By: Michael Rizzo
Posted: 9/18/07

For some students at SJSU, the gender they identify with internally doesn't match up with the anatomy they were born with. A recent nationwide study listed college campuses that provide specific protections and services to these students. SJSU did not make the list.

Unlike 147 other campuses in the country, such as California State University Long Beach and Foothill DeAnza Community College, SJSU has not added "gender identity and expression" to its nondiscrimination policies.

The state of California's nondiscrimination policies are now inclusive of gender identity since the passing of the state Civil Rights Act of 2007. But at SJSU no mention is made of transgender students, gender identity or gender expression under the students' rights section of the SJSU catalog.

"It's a demographic that's here, and it's like they're being excluded," said Ellen Sandajan, a junior photography major.

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition recently compiled its annual Gender Equality National Index for Universities and Schools by sending out more than 40,000 surveys to students and administrators, as well as to members of the faculty and staff of accredited colleges. The study is based on responses to the surveys, campuses' nondiscrimination policies and whether the schools provide gender-neutral bathrooms and housing. This year's results reflect 495 valid survey responses and encompass 278 campuses.

Edith Crowe, a librarian at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library and a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Faculty and Staff Association, said the rights of transgender individuals should be a part of any organization's policies.

"It's the cutting edge right now," she said. "It's a way of determining whether or not you're paying attention." . . .

Jenn Burleton keynote address at Southern Comfort Conference 2007

One Community, One Family

Keynote Address - Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Thank you.

Thank you to the organizers of this amazing conference and in particular, Cat Turner, Lola Fleck and Elaine Martin. And I must thank my longtime friend, Mariette Pathy Allen. My life has been truly blessed as a result of knowing her and sharing many adventures with her…some of which are suitable for sharing with the whole family.

When Cat Turner called back in January and invited me to come to Atlanta I was of course, very honored. I was also surprised. After all, we’d never met. I’d never attended a previous Southern Comfort Conference and I am not, in my opinion anyway, one of the gender community heavy hitters.

A few months prior to my conversation with Cat I co-founded a national organization by the name of TransYouth Family Advocates. That work and my role as a filmmaker are what I believe led Cat and the SoCo Board to think they might want to invite me to speak at today’s luncheon.

Of course, I was touched by the invitation and accepted immediately. Following our conversation, it dawned on me that perhaps I’d spoken too soon. I realized that I had some research to do in order to prepare for that day…which is now, today.

I needed to find out what plenary meant.

At first, I thought it had something to do with a faith-based presentation of some kind, which gave me pause. While I consider myself to be a spiritual, moral and decent person, I am by no means a religious person. defines the word plenary in the following way:

“An adjective related to the noun plenum. Full and complete in every respect.”

It goes on to say:

“Plenary inspiration” is a form of revelation. Plenary Inspiration tells us that the authors were infallible; they did not make any errors when they were writing the particular text because the Holy Spirit of God was working through them.”

Now, I’ve been a proud atheist throughout most of my life and I have attributed that atheism not only to a passion for logic, science and reason, but perhaps most directly to the fact that none of my childhood prayers were ever answered.

Perhaps you can then appreciate the pressure this places on me. I like to think my ego is as healthy as any other mature, sexy, trans-lesbian, guitar playing soccer mom type…but infallibility due to the Holy Spirit of God may be something of a stretch, even for me.

Therefore, I’m going to think of this luncheon as a team activity. There is every bit as much pressure on you to acknowledge the infallibility of what I say as there is on me to actually BE infallible. All I can say is, don’t let me down.

As a child of the 60’s, I was inspired by the space program. Words like re-entry, splashdown, Telstar, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo became part of my everyday language. And the astronauts themselves, Shepherd, Glenn, Grissom, Schirra, Carpenter, Slayton and Cooper were early heroes.

I watched on a fuzzy black and white television as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon.

It was a time when I imagined that almost anything was possible. It was a time when I believed that someday, I too would walk on the surface of the moon, or perhaps another planet. I believed all this…because I had seen it actually happen. I had seen men walk on the moon.

Today, in this room, at this microphone, I’m doing something which, as a child, seemed a far more distant dream than walking on the moon. I feel like Neil Armstrong standing in my very own Sea of Tranquility.

It’s important to have heroes and role models. They show us what is possible. They show us the value of vision and courage. Heroes can inspire us to find a way out of seemingly hopeless situations. And while the Mercury Seven astronauts were certainly heroes of mine, they were not my biggest hero.

I first heard the name Christine Jorgensen when I was 6 years old. I was sitting on the back floor of the car as my mother drove my brother Hugh home from the railroad station in Milwaukee, where I was born and raised. He’d left for New York City the previous year to pursue a career in theatre and was home for a visit.

During the drive he mentioned that he’d been at a party in Manhattan that was filled with celebrities and among them was Christine Jorgensen.

I remember my mother saying that she recognized the name but couldn’t place where from, to which my brother responded; “She is the man who had a sex change operation and became a woman.”

While my affection for the phrase “sex-change” has diminished rather dramatically in the ensuing years, the impact of hearing those words was, at least for one 6-year old trans girl, life altering.

It’s remarkable the things we hold in our memories and the things we forget. I remember the first time I heard Christine Jorgensen’s name like it was yesterday, but I can’t remember the phone number of the house I lived in for 7 years. I remember taking food coloring from the kitchen cupboard when I was 12 and heating up a sewing needle in a desperate attempt to tattoo my lips red so they would have to let me be a girl…but I can’t for the life of me remember my first home run, or my first kiss. I remember praying night after night for God to change my body as I slept so that I could awaken from the nightmare…but I don’t remember even once praying for God to make me feel happy about being a boy. Praying for that just didn’t seem natural. Praying for that was surrender. . . .



September 17, 2007 -- Cate Blanchett may play Bob Dylan in the new film "I'm Not There," but the Oscar-winner looks just like a woman - a hot one - as she strikes this hard-rocker pose for BlackBook magazine.

The native Australian says gender-bending roles are nothing new to her.

"I've always loved a well-cut suit. I was tall. I played all the boy parts at school," she tells the mag. "Androgyny can be a useful thing."

Blanchett explained the wave of superstar Australian actors such as Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman by speculating, "Curiosity, and, maybe, on a deep level, having to prove ourselves to ourselves."