Friday, September 21, 2007

Scenes from "Boys Don't Cry" to theme song "Bluest Eyes In Texas"

Brandon Teena killer recants his story

Thursday, September 20, 2007 / 05:05 PM

SUMMARY: Though another man is on death row, Marvin Nissen now says he was the lone killer of Brandon Teena, whose 1993 murder inspired "Boys Don't Cry."

One of two men convicted in the 1993 murders that spawned the movie "Boys Don't Cry" now says he was the only attacker who shot and stabbed a transgender person and two other victims.

Marvin Nissen's new account that he was the lone killer could reignite a case that drew the country's attention to the issues of transgender people.

The man Nissen once blamed for the killings, John Lotter, is now on death row in Nebraska and has asked for a new trial.

Brandon Teena was born a female but for a time lived as a man in rural southeast Nebraska and dated a female friend of the two men. Prosecutors said the 21-year-old was killed in a farmhouse near Humboldt after reporting being raped by Lotter and Nissen.

During the trial, Nissen said he had stabbed Teena but that Lotter fired all the shots that killed Teena and the others.

"He has finally admitted that the testimony that secured John Lotter's conviction was all a lie," Lotter attorney Paula Hutchinson said Thursday.

Lotter has maintained since his arrest that he is innocent.

Nissen, who is serving a life sentence, made the admission in a sworn affidavit now being used in Lotter's motion.

"I am the person who shot and stabbed Teena Brandon. I am the person who shot Philip Devine. I am the person who shot Lisa Lambert," Nissen says in the affidavit. He says that to avoid the death penalty, he initially testified that Lotter pulled the trigger.

Lisa Lambert, 24, and Philip DeVine, 22, witnessed Teena's death in a farmhouse.

Hutchinson said that the double-jeopardy rule against trying people for the same crime twice will likely keep Nissen from being tried again and possibly receiving a death sentence. Lotter is seeking complete exoneration, saying he had no role in the crime. . . .

Please call me "Miss," transgendered Thais say

Thai transvestite, Yonlada Krerkkong Suanyot, answers a question from a reporter at her stall in Bangkok, on 06 September 2007. Yonlada says she's every bit a woman, except for on her identity card which identifies her as a "Mister."

BANGKOK (AFP) — Yonlada Krerkkong Suanyot says she's every bit a woman, except for on her identity card which identifies her as a man.

Yonlada was born male but completed her sex change operation five years ago and has lived as woman for even longer.

Although Thailand has a worldwide reputation as a paradise for transsexuals, with gender reassignment surgery widely available and relatively cheap, the kingdom does not allow people to officially change their gender for legal purposes.

Activists are now trying to change that, proposing a new law that would allow transvestites and transsexuals to legally change their gender and adopt the title "Miss".

It's a minor legal change with profound legal implications.

The difference between Yonlada's appearance and the gender on official documents such as her national identity card and passport has caused her countless problems, including rejection for bank loans and refusal of jobs.

"I have lost a lot of opportunities to work for good companies or even government agencies," she said.

When she tried to get a bank loan to start her own business, the loan was refused because the bank thought she was using a stolen ID.

"I know the bank thought I didn't look reliable," she said.

Some transsexuals also have problems travelling overseas, because they are listed as men on their passports but appear as women at the immigration counter.

Natee Teerarojjaongs, chairman of the Gay Political Group, said he had proposed the legal change to Thailand's parliament specifically to end such discrimination.

"This would clear obstacles for them working and travelling," he said.

Natee is also pushing for the law to cover people who dress as the opposite sex or have undergone some surgery, as well as those who have completed their gender reassignment surgery.

Thailand is believed to have one of the largest transsexual populations in the world.

Transsexuals, known locally as kathoey, have long had a place in Thai culture, with roles reserved for them in traditional festivals, in folk theatre, and even as geisha-style "companions."

Kathoey are also among Thailand's most visible cultural exports, with Vegas-style transsexual cabarets performing to audiences of thousands and popular movies about their lives playing the global film festival circuit.

That history of acceptance, combined with easy access to Thailand's top-rate hospitals, has made it relatively easy for people to undergo a sex change.

Academics estimate at least 10,000 live in Thailand, though other guesses are more than 10 times higher. Even the conservative number would mean that per capita, Thailand has many more transsexuals than most developed countries.

"We estimate that only three percent of transvestites complete their sex change because the medical bills are so expensive, but we want to make sure everyone is equal and can be covered by the law," he said.

There would be conditions to legally change genders, including a mandatory psychiatric evaluation and a background check, he said.

Natee found a sympathetic ear in member of parliament Kanjana Silpa-archa, who heads the subcommittee on women's affairs.

"I believe people should have equal rights. Transgendered people should have the same rights as any other sex," she said. "For a person who is not happy with his sex and who lives as the opposite sex, he deserves the chance to receive what he wants."

Kanjana's committee has taken up Natee's proposal, but the measure still needs approval from the higher-ranking committee on women, youth and the elderly before going to the entire parliament.

The current parliament was appointed by the military after last year's coup, so Natee and Kanjana acknowledge that there's not much time to give the bill a hearing before legislative elections on December 23.

Yonlada said the current system just encourages transgendered people to break the law by getting fake IDs. She admits to bribing a Bangkok city worker to get a fake card with the title "Miss," but said that didn't help in the long run as potential employers found her out anyway.

"If we could really have the title 'Miss,' it would help us live our lives more easily," she said.

What do you think of post op MTF transgenders who like women?

. . .from

I wasn't sure where I was meant to post this, so basically I'd like to talk about my experience and just ask in general what women here think about post op mtf transgenders who like women. I have also seen them being referred to as trannydykes or lesbian transsexuals on various sites. But I don't want to go into naming because that may be a sensitive issue for some here. Neither is the question about whether you would date a completely transitioned mtf woman, but basically about where you think they fit in the lesbian and bi women community and if you think they belong.

I'm midway in the process of transitioning in order to become a complete female. For my whole life I have seen myself as a woman, but only recently, the past 7 yrs or so, have I had the courage to live openly as an mtf transgendered woman. I was always scared of the reaction of others. Ever since I was young I always knew that my body was not suited to me, that it felt wrong, disgusting even. I felt repulsed whenever I touched my body and saw myself in the mirror, more than anything I wanted to have a female body. Instead of sharp planes I wanted to have smooth curves. I remember dressing and putting make up on to try to change my gender. When I got older most of my friends were lesbian and straight women as well as some gay guys. I could never get along with straight males because I couldn't understand them. Besides I always faced ridicule and homophobia as they considered me a gay man because of my feminine mannerisms and long hair. I thought maybe I was a gay guy, but I realised I have no attraction whatsoever to the male gender, and that's not what I'm meant to be. I dated straight women for a while, but I just felt wrong about my body in such a relationship. It took me a long time to come to terms with my identity as a female who loves other women.

Since then I decided that until I can gain some insight or further understand women's experiences others would not be able to see me as one. Sometimes I feel like I'm way out of my depth in certain situations because I've never had, never lived through certain experiences as a female. Not that I'm saying female experiences are homogenous. I also realised just how much sexism there is out there. I knew it was out there before and I was outspoken about it, but I never realised the extent to which it occured in all aspects of life. So if there are any other mtf transgenders reading this (or anyone else reading this) I recommend "Whipping girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity" written by a lesbian transgender activist whose name kind of escapes me at the moment. . .

See comments, bottom of article.