Friday, December 21, 2007

Logo 2008 Coming Attractions - Transamerican Love Story

Where's Our History?

by Dallas Denny

December 21, 2007

[An editorial written for, but never published in, Transgender Tapestry magazine; published here with the author's permission.]

Until 1990 or so, the transgender community had little sense of its history — I suppose because we were so very busy defining ourselves. Outside of the hands of private collectors and the occasional gender-bending article or item in gay and lesbian archives, there was nothing. Even collectors had little idea of the value of something like a 1955 program book from Mme. Arthur’s cabaret in Paris, or a 1915 postcard of the famous female impersonator Julian Eltinge, or a program from the First International Symposium on Gender Identity or an issue of Virginia Prince’s early magazine Transvestia.

I remember, in fact, way back in 1993 discussing this with Ms. Bob Davis (then plain old Bob Davis) over the telephone. We decided that if we were patient, a market would develop and would determine values. Today, thanks largely to eBay and the emergence of booksellers who specialize in transgender materials, Ms. Bob and I have notions of what transgender historical materials are worth. One might expect to pay more than $400 for the Mme. Arthur’s program, for example, or $425 for an early copy of Transvestia, or $65 for an Eltinge postcard, or $50 for the rare, but rarely collected, symposium program.

The new century has brought increased interest in transgender historical materials. Year 2000 started out with a bang, as the new nonprofit Gender Education & Advocacy (formerly the American Educational Gender Information Service) sought proposals from other nonprofit agencies to receive its National Transgender Library & Archive (see Tapestry #109 for an article about the disposition of this collection; it went, after a rigorous decision-making process, to the University of Michigan). Also in 2000, Rikki Swin, under the auspices of the Rikki Swin Foundation, purchased the private collections of early transgender activists Virginia Prince and Betty Ann Lind and the archives of the International Foundation for Gender Education. Swin subsequently purchased a personal collection from Ariadne Kane, one of the founders of Fantasia Fair and another early transgender activist. . . .

. . .posted by

The Week in Gay Geek: At the Closing of the Year

LyleMasaki's blog

21 December 2007

  • How can a show can go so long with a Pet Shop Boys theme song and no gays?
    This has me cautiously excited. A reader spots a Craigslist post seeking gay geeks for a show that "will teach (gay geeks) how to have 'game' with other guys". The ad mentions Beauty and the Geek after promising a prize that just happens to be the same as what BatG offers. Hmmmm. I've wondered what a gay version of the show would be like, though considering how badly this past season's "girl geek" twist went, I don't have high expectations for a gay twist.
We can add Street Fighter to the list of LGBT-inclusive games:

Uhm, wow, I never heard any speculation about the gender of Final Fight baddie Poison, but now a Capcom producer has outed the pink-tressed street thug as transgender. Reading the character's entry on Wikipedia the character was first declared transgender because some people at Capcom were concerned that having a female foe in the game would mean depicting violence against women ... okay, so they decided hitting a transgender wasn't as bad? Poison will be a character in the upcoming Street Fighter IV. I have to admit I'm feeling mixed about this, as it's great to see a transgender character in a fighting game but the rationale leaves a bit to be desired.

Additionally, I understand Poison isn't the only queer character in the Street Fighter universe, as a character from the original Street Fighter, Eagle, was visually inspired by Freddy Mercury and conceived as gay. . . .

Richardson claims best record on gay issues

N.M. governor pledges to ask Congress for trans-inclusive ENDA if elected, decries ‘halfway measures’

Friday, December 21, 2007

Democratic presidential contender Bill Richardson said he would call on Congress to pass a transgender-inclusive employment non-discrimination bill, saying he disagrees with the strategy of Democratic leaders that a gay-only bill is all that could pass in the next few years.

“I would go for the full-blown protection, including transgender,” he said in an exclusive Dec. 15 interview with the Washington Blade. “I think we’ve got to do what’s right and not do halfway measures.”

Richardson, who spoke to the Blade by phone while campaigning in New Hampshire, noted that as governor of New Mexico, he pushed through and signed into law a comprehensive, transgender-inclusive gay rights bill in 2003 in a conservative, “red” state. The bill bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations, among other areas.

“I think the American people are a tolerant people,” he said. “The country’s changed a lot. And I would push to get it through [Congress] and I think I could get it through as president.” . . .

Having big breasts is very tough

Bay Windows
Thursday Dec 20, 2007

"When you’re famous these days, it’s just part of the deal - unfortunately. People will make up all sorts of things that are not true. . . . There ain’t gonna be no wedding."
- Queen Latifah, responding to recent tabloid rumors that she was soon to come out as a lesbian and announce that she’s marrying her alleged partner, Chicago Sun-Times, Dec. 10.

"Usually, the hard women are after me! When I got my divorce, the women jumped on me like white on rice! I said, ’Look, I ain’t ever did fish, I don’t intend to do fish so leave me alone.’ I said, ’I’m looking for a man and you’re not a man!’"
- Singer Patti LaBelle, HX magazine, Dec. 7 issue. . . .

Transgender to bare it all in autobiography

Arun Ram
December 22, 2007

Rose, the first transgender to host a TV show in India, wields the pen to fight the system

CHENNAI: Rose (28), the first trangender in the country to host a television programme and the first one to openly advocate scientific sexual reconstruction surgery (SRS), has taken to the pen. Two leading publishing houses have evinced interest in publishing ‘her’ autobiography, tentatively titled ‘My Sexuality’.

“Use the feminine pronoun when you write about me,” Rose tells DNA after sending the manuscript of the first chapter of her book to Penguin and Harper Collins, “because that is what I use for people of my ilk in my book”.

Both the publishing houses, she says, have responded positively. The book will be of about 200 pages, in 14 chapters. Tamil channel Star Vijay will soon telecast a talk show on ‘alternative sexuality and other bold sexual themes’ with Rose as the host.

“A large part of my book will be about how I discovered my sexuality, my sexual fantasies and experiences and, well, some silly things. The first chapter is about how a man wooed me, how I fell in love with him and how he ditched me. People writing autobiographies want to project the best part of their lives, but I will bare it all.” Rose says. . . .

Pundit: Transgender student is giving me a headache

by Nick Langewis

December 21, 2007

J. Matt Barber, attorney and policy director at Concerned Women for America, is experiencing pain in his cranial region over an ongoing case involving a transgender gay man denied locker room accommodations at his college.

Barber's chosen headache remedy includes Democrat jokes and mockery.

Northern Essex Community College and Massachusetts student Ethan Santiago, 20, are at odds over Ethan's application for a men's locker at the school's facilities. While Santiago has lived as a man for two years, he has been denied accommodations, as he is considered a woman by the school.

"Geeze-oh-Pete!" exclaims Barber. "My head hurts. Can this be for real? How can any newspaper that wants to be taken seriously report this with a straight face?"

Barber goes on: "She very possibly suffers from Gender Identity Disorder (GID). Even the left-leaning American Psychiatric Association (APA) acknowledges this unfortunate illness. She's clearly very confused and needs therapy and prayer. I wish her nothing but the best."

"She wishes she were male," Barber continues. "I wish I had a Harley. Howard Dean wishes he had decaf. Ted Kennedy wishes he had swerved." . . .

80% of Bulgarians Don't Accept Gay People

Blaga Bangieva

21 December 2007

80% of Bulgarians have negative attitude to homosexual people, says data of ‘Skala' agency survey.

The research, which examined the discriminative adjustments of Bulgarian nation, was conducted on September 10-30, this year, Darik Radio informed.

53% of the inquired Bulgarians have extremely negative attitude towards gays. 17% declared that can freely communicate with person homosexually orientated.

Most clearly are expressed the prejudices to transsexuals, most weakly to gay women, shows the research. . . .

The devil’s in the details: our guide to the candidates

by Laura Kiritsy
associate editor
Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

With the Iowa caucuses (Jan. 3) and the New Hampshire primary (Jan. 8) just around the corner, you can’t flip on the television, pick up a newspaper or log on to YouTube without encountering images of a weepy Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton trying to soften her edges or Rudy Giuliani perusing holiday tchotchkes at a barn in New Hampshire. The pundits are opining endlessly over minutia like whether the fact that John Edwards prefers campaigning in jeans or that Mike Huckabee used to be fat will help or hurt their chances in the presidential sweepstakes. And what of the impact of Oprah’s endorsement of Barack Obama? We’re guessing it’s got more heft than Sen. Joe Lieberman’s nod to candidate Sen. John McCain and Clinton’s endorsement from Babs combined. Obviously, we’re just as guilty of contributing to the media cacophony, especially given the fact that Massachusetts voters will be going to the polls on Feb. 5, about month earlier than we usually do.

For the past year, we’ve heard candidates parse, parry, flip-flop, backtrack and nip/tuck their positions on LGBT issues. The Democratic candidates have done this all the while promising to advance a pro-gay agenda: All of the Dem contenders support repealing "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," and parts, or all, of DOMA. With the exception of Congressman Dennis Kucinich and former U.S. senator Mike Gravel, who both support marriage equality, all of the candidates support civil unions. All have expressed support for federal benefits for same-sex partners, immigration equality, trans-inclusive ENDA and hate crimes bills, comprehensive sex education and increased HIV/AIDS funding. Meanwhile, the Republicans for the most part have tried to sugarcoat their anti-gay views with bland statements about tolerance. While it would appear that support for LGBT rights breaks down along party lines our attentions have turned up some little nuggets that might make you wonder. . . .