Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Eddie Izzard on Conan O'Brien - December 15, 2008.

Eddie Izzard talking about "Valkyrie" and stuff on Conan.

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Transgender actor Eddie Izzard is a student of the military

By Rick Bentley / McClatchy Newspapers

December 28, 2008

FRESNO, Calif. _ It didn’t take Eddie Izzard long to get ready for his role as Gen. Erich Fellgiebel in the new military drama "Valkyrie." That’s because Izzard has long had a fascination with the military.

Izzard, who as a youngster thought about one day joining the army, even lives his life in a rather military fashion. That’s particularly true when it comes to making decisions. He is very careful to look at all the options before he begins his attack.

"I am a transvestite with a career. You can’t afford to screw around," Izzard says during a telephone interview. He’s spending the Sunday afternoon chatting about his role in the film that opened Christmas Day. "Think about it. There are not many of us from the transgender community who have been able to stick our heads up and say ’Yes, I am here’ and then keep your thing going.

"You can be transgender and exist on the fringes of society. I wanted to exist slap, bang in the middle. You got to be a little military to do that." . . .Read More

Openly transgender minister ordained

by Heather Tirado Gilligan


First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco, the first Lutheran church to ordain an openly LGBT pastor in the 1990s, recently welcomed a new queer member of the ministry. Jay Wilson, now one of the few openly transgender pastors in San Francisco, was ordained by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and installed as a pastor at First United last month.

First United became a refuge for LGBT pastors after the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America decided in 1989 that all openly gay and lesbian clergy must live celibate lives or be expelled from the ministry. The First United church was itself expelled from the ELCA in 1995 for ordaining openly gay pastor Jay Johnson shortly after the denomination's ruling on celibacy.

Wilson's December 6 installation celebrated the unique perspective he would bring to his pastoral work. Wilson will be working with the homeless and the disabled as well as offering education around gender identity in his pastoral role at First United. . . .Read More

Trans author revisits her story

31 December 2008


When I decided to transition I didn’t have the option of melting into society, which is what a lot of transgender people do. I had a family to support, and responsibilities to honour. Since I couldn’t disappear, I decided to make my visibility useful by writing my book Katherine’s Diary. I relaunched it last year.

I didn’t feel courageous for writing the book initially; I felt desperate. When people tell me how brave I am, I say it’s not brave to jump off a cliff if there is a bushfire pushing you off. You just hope there is deep water underneath.

So it wasn’t courage … determination perhaps. There are many suicides in the ranks of transgenders. Some people give up, some people crash through.

When I sat down to write the book, I wanted to make clear to people that there were differences between transvestites, transgenders, homosexuals, and drag queens — there is a whole spectrum. Nothing is better than any other thing, but they are different and indeed you can belong in more than one group.

The idea that transgender is taken as an umbrella term by many people seems to miss the point that gender is not sex, that we do not change our sex when we reassign. What we do is change our social, or perceived, gender to what has always been our innate gender. Gender is what determines whether someone says you are he or she, and has got nothing to do with sexuality. . . .Read More

Monday, December 29, 2008

Transman Diaries (18)

Happy holidays everyone! Just a quick update!

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Art show celebrates memories of homeowner’s lost love

by David Ertischek

December 29, 2008


A recent art show inside a Park Street home wasn’t just about the works on display. For the home’s owner, Gina Sage Kennedy, it meant so much more.
Not only were several artists’ works on display, but also Kennedy’s deceased wife Jayne’s art was on display for the first time ever.

“Jayne painted in oils on canvas,” said Gina. “Her work has never been showed before. I don’t know why… she never got around to doing it. She really loved her work with a therapeutic value for it. It was one of those places that when she did her artwork she was able to create something.”

Many people may remember Jayne, who owned the former Centre Street business Tranquility, where Gina worked as a massage therapist. Before closing because Jayne became ill in 2006 from breast cancer, the store sold organic products such as soaps, oils, as well as textiles and paintings.

Gina is selling the home they shared together for several years after getting married in 2002, and the art show served several purposes.

“To honor Jayne. To close the house and the funds raised [will go to the Elizabeth Stone House and Lynn’s House],” said Gina. The Elizabeth Stone House offers programs for battered women and transitional housing. Lynn’s House was started by Jayne’s good friend, Bernadette Kelly, and is a temporary home for women in need. . . .Read More

Transgender Bangladeshis to vote today

by Rachel Charman • December 29, 2008

Today's general elections in Bangladesh will be the first ever to allow transgender people to cast ballots.

A Bangladeshi court ruled that transgender people are fully-fledged citizens and must have the right to vote.

100,000 transgender people are expected to be amongst the 81 million voters predicted to turn out to vote.

Transgender social worker Joya Shikder said: "We've always been overlooked in previous elections.

"It's exciting to be given this recognition but the authorities have stopped short of acknowledging us as a third gender."

Security has been tightened ahead of the election, following an outbreak of violence at a motorcade on Saturday which injured nearly 200 people. . . .Read More

Family Rejection a Health Risk for Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Youth

New America Media, News Report, Viji Sundaram, Dec 29, 2008

Editor's Note: Early intervention and acceptance makes a critical difference in helping to maintain many LGBT adolescents in their homes and reduce their risk for mental and health problems. Viji Sundaram is health editor at New America Media.

SAN FRANCISCO--Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth whose families have rejected them because of their sexual orientation are at far greater risk for mental and physical health problems than those who come from families who have accepted them, according to a recent study.

“For the first time in the world, research has established a predictive link between specific negative family reactions to their child’s sexual orientation and serious health problems for these adolescents in young adulthood, such as depression, illegal drug use, risk for HIV infection and suicide attempts,” said Caitlin Ryan, lead author and researcher of the study titled, “Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Gay and Bisexual Young Adults.”

Ryan conducted the study, called the Family Acceptance Project, with a team of researchers at the Cesar E. Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University. Their findings will be published in the January 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

One of the major findings of Ryan’s research is that Latino males reported the highest number of negative family reactions to their sexual orientation in adolescence. Such a response could take the form of religious beliefs that being gay is sinful, or a belief that their child’s homosexuality is a medical or psychological condition that can be cured.

It was poignant to see how adolescents felt rejected when their parents tried to change the children’s sexual identity or gender expression, she said. . . .Read More

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gender Variations

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Lana Lawless is Transgendered Golfer

December 22, 2008

by Cathryn Friar

Lana Lawless is the current Women’s Long Drive Golf Champ, a sport driven by power, muscle and speed. How she got to where she is today is not your usual golf champ story - Lana use to be a man. Read more about her below, see a photo and a video.

Lana is a 55 year old bartender from Palm Springs, California who is transgendered. In fact, Lana was was a S.W.A.T. cop for 18 years working the gang unit in a very tough Southern California city.

“I had a very tough and mean exterior. People didn’t want to mess with me. I had a hard exterior, but I was compassionate inside. I always let the gay guys go; they had enough drama in their lives.”

As a man, Lana had been married but fathered no children. “I was hiding in the straight world,” she said, “but Lana was always in there, and I wanted her to live. I had started to go to L.A. to the clubs, playing dress-up on the weekends, but I wanted to be a normal girl.”

For 21 years, the big, burly swat cop played golf at a private club, got down to a plus-1 handicap and even won the club championship. But, after gender-reassignment surgery, she left golf and all her old friends behind. “Other than my family, I have no friends from my previous life,” she said.

After watching the 2006 ESPN broadcast of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship, her interest was peaked and she was drawn back into golf.

The image of a big burly policeman-turned-woman golf champ doesn’t sit easily with many of the other golfers because Long Drive is a sport driven by power, muscle and speed. . . .Read More

2008: A Year of Progress for Boston GLBTs

by Zachary Violette
EDGE Contributor
Monday Dec 22, 2008

Former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson
Former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson (Source:Boston Herald.com)

With marriage equality in Massachusetts secured for the foreseeable future in 2007, GLBT-rights advocates turned their attention to the transgender community early in 2008.

MassEquality in January unveiled its plans for the year, which included getting protections for transgender men and women added to the Massachusetts hate crimes and nondiscrimination statutes.

The trans-rights community brought out its big guns for a blockbuster 13-hour Judiciary Committee hearing in March featuring written and oral testimony in favor of the bill from Gov. Deval Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and nearly 100 citizens.

Less than a dozen people, including MassResistance organizer Brian Camenker, testified against the bill. Despite the strong showing, the bill never made it out of committee, but its passage remains a priority for the GLBT community in 2009, advocates say.

Another long-standing legislative priority was the repeal of a 95 year-old law that had been used to prevent out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts.

Proposals to repeal the so-called "1913 Law" had been floated ever since 2004, when then-governor Mitt Romney revived the law, which was initially created to curb interracial marriages. But those attempts consistently failed to gain traction in the legislature. . . .Read More

Critique, Opinion, POV: Pope puts stress on 'gay threat'

23 December 2008


Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

He explained that defending God's creation is not limited to saving the environment, but also protecting man from self-destruction.

The pope was delivering his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff.

His words, later released to the media, emphasised his total rejection of gender theory.

Pope Benedict XVI warned that gender theory blurs the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race.

Gender theory

Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender, and how people perceive their biological identity. . . .Read More

Friday, December 19, 2008

Geraldine McQueen - Once Upon A Christmas Song

"The brand new video for 'Once Upon a Christmas Song' by Geraldine McQueen."


The X Factor in chart domination


18 December 2008

The X Factor is dominating the top 10 Christmas singles chart.

According to sales at HMV and hmv.com, this year's winner Alexandra Burke is currently No 1 with her cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, while her performance has sparked a rival in popularity for the late Jeff Buckley's version, placing him at No 2.

Leona Lewis, who won The X Factor in 2006, is at No 3 with her cover of Snow Patrol's Run. She also performed the song on the show this year.

Beyonce is at No 4 with her single If A Were A Boy - but her song Listen, which she performed live on the X Factor final with winner Alex, has re-entered the chart at No 6.

Britney Spears' Womanizer is at No 9 and Take That's Greatest Day is at No 10. Both songs were performed by the stars themselves on The X Factor during the run-up to the final.

Peter Kay's anti-X Factor song, Once Upon A Christmas Song, performed by transsexual Geraldine, is at No 7. . . .Read More

Turkish court acquits transsexual singer

by Daren Butler

December 19, 2008

ISTANBUL, Dec 19 (Reuters) - A Turkish court has acquitted a popular Turkish transsexual singer over comments questioning a military campaign against Kurdish separatist guerrillas, state-run Anatolian news agency said.

Bulent Ersoy was tried on charges of "turning the people against military service" in a case that raised concerns about free speech in the European Union candidate, where criticising the military, powerful and respected institution, is a crime.

The court ruled that Ersoy's comments, which angered the country's powerful armed forces, were within the bounds of freedom of expression, the agency said late on Thursday. . . .Read More

When Steve Becomes Stephanie

What does a star player’s gender change imply for a traditional company’s culture?

by Loren Gary and Brian Elliot

♦ INTERACTIVE CASE: How would your company accommodate an employee's decision to change gender? Tell us your opinion.

Thunk! The Audi trunk slammed shut, and Eric and Henrietta Mercer carried their bags of groceries into the house. As Eric started putting away the food, Henrietta sorted through the mail. She was surprised to find a letter from Morgan, their 29-year-old daughter, a genome researcher in Boston.

“What’s the special occasion?” Henrietta wondered aloud as she settled into a kitchen chair and kicked off her shoes. A moment later she exclaimed, “Jeez Louise.”

Eric turned around. “What’s up?”

“Morgan sent us a copy of her Massachusetts driver’s license renewal form. Take a look at this: ‘Complete only if something has changed—name, address, telephone number, gender designation.’”

Morgan’s letter was eerily connected to the challenge foremost in her mother’s mind. As the senior vice president for human resources at LaSalle Chemical, Henrietta knew that about 25% of the leading U.S. companies had policies in place to protect employees against discrimination based on gender identity. But she had never imagined she would actually encounter the issue, and certainly not at LaSalle, a Fortune 1000 company headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, that provided products and services to oil-drilling, refinery, and pollution-control businesses. . . .Read More

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Jon Dore Television Show - INTV w/ Nina the Transsexual

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Transgender Lawsuit

by Jamie Meyers

December 18, 2008

A local community college is accused of sexual discrimination. It's all over a life-altering decision that's now changing the way one student is treated. It's an unusual case that could set a precedent for universities all across the country and it's a story you will see exclusively on cbs 21.

"It was coming to the point james was going to die, one way or another, james is gonna die" says Jamie Nicole Anderson. James is a former marine, now gone but Jamie Nicole doesn't miss him. She says, "not one bit. I remember james was a very unhappy individual and Jamie is a very happy individual. "

Jamie Nicole *is* James, after under going complete gender re-assignment surgery. The surgery after a long process of making small changes, like wearing make-up, growing her hair out, and dressing as a woman. She says, "I was a little scared of what other people would say, of what other people would think." . . .Read More

New Edition of ’Manual of Disorders’ Inspires Gender Identity Controversy

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Contributor
Thursday Dec 18, 2008

The current edition of the DSM calls transgenderism a "disorder."

The current edition of the DSM calls transgenderism a "disorder."
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the go-to book on psychiatric problems. It’s an indispensable resource for the mental health profession, and, for patients, insurance carriers, and the pharmaceuticals industry, the tome--popularly referred to as the DSM, now slated for a fifth edition, to be published several years from now--has a huge impact on who receives what sort of care, and who pays for it.

But there are social implications to the book as well, and what the new edition has to say about transgendered persons is already a source of contention.

In a Dec. 17 article, The New York Times reported that an array of syndromes and afflictions may or may not be officially included in the book, which serves as a registry for what is considered to be a "disorder" meriting insurance coverage. Pharmaceuticals companies have been known to push for recognition of different afflictions as official disorders so that insurance companies will pay for medication; meantime, the individuals living with those afflictions may be affected financially and socially by the question of whether what ails them is officially recognized in the Manual as a disorder. . . .Read More

On O'Reilly Factor, Miller ridiculed transgender man, child he gave birth to


December 18, 2008

Summary: On The O'Reilly Factor, Dennis Miller ridiculed Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who recently gave birth to a child, calling him a "nympho satyr" and saying: "[A]ll I know is the guy's more pregnant than the old woman in the shoe is. And somebody has got to get some protection for this guy, be it a condom or an IUD or a satellite dish or a catcher's mitt. I don't even know what he needs down there, but I need an equipment check on aisle five." Referring to the baby, Miller had video of the polar bear cub at the Berlin zoo aired. . . .Read More

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dude Starr Interview on BENDER TV Melbourne

"This is the Version of the interview which went to air on Bent TV did with me over the Midsumma tour. Filmed @ Revolver Feb 8th 2007."

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Kate Bornstein Weighs In on Last Night's Trannytastic Terminator

by Charlie Jane Anders

December 16, 2008

Terminator universe. We asked transgender activist and author Kate Bornstein for her opinion of the episode.

For those of you who don't know her, Kate Bornstein is the author of two books on gender issues, Gender Outlaw and My Gender Workbook. Plus two other books, Nearly Roadkill: An Infobahn Erotic Adventure and Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws. She's also a playwright and performance artist.

I already wrote about my thoughts on last night's episode here. Among a whole host of UFO freaks, the episode introduced us to Eileen (aka "Abraham"), a blogger about UFO conspiracy stuff who has worked with a mysteriously advanced metal. At my urging, Kate watched the episode, and she was pretty thrilled with it. . . .Read More

Transsexual sues over discrimination

December 11, 2008

by ANDREW WOLFE Staff Writer

CONCORD – A Milford woman charges that PC Connection refused to hire her for a sales job after learning that she'd applied to the company as a man seven years earlier.

Brianna Cook filed the suit against PC Connection, of Merrimack, on Dec. 1 in U.S. District Court in Concord. The company has yet to respond.

Cook is a post-operative transsexual with experience in marketing communications and sales, both as a man and as a woman, her suit states.

She claims PC Connection officials implied that her hiring was assured, and that a company recruiter later told her she was eventually rejected because she hadn't disclosed that she had previously applied to the company as a man.

Cook and her lawyer, Mary Notaris, of Salem, accuse the company of gender discrimination in violation of state and federal law and seek punitive damages, as well as compensation for lost wages and mental anguish. . . .Read More

Internet: Nearly Half of Women Surveyed Choose Internet Over Sex

by Kristy Erdodi - December 16, 2008

Close to half of women surveyed said that they would choose to abandon sex for two weeks rather than give up their Internet access.

Almost half of women questioned by Harris Interactive said that they would choose to abandon sex for two weeks, over sacrificing their internet access, according to a study released Monday by Intel, which delegated the survey.

The survey results, comprised of 2,119 adult respondents surveyed last month in the U.S., make up part of Intel's broader commissioned study on Americans' reliance on the internet in today's economy.

Although nearly 46 percent of women respondents showed their willingness to give up sex life over Web access, only 30 percent of men surveyed would do the same. . . .Read More

Buddhism: Your Daily Meditation

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.- Buddha

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Great Transsexual Divide

"Seriously, everyone... The old saying "United we stand, divided we fall" is true..."

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by Brianna Austin

December 16, 2008

November 20, 2008 was the 10th anniversary of Transgender Remembrance day; a time for us to look back and reflect on those who met with untimely deaths at the hands of intolerance, bigotry, and hatred. Yet it is also a time to recognize and appreciate the work of so many attempting to bring about change for the better. During this moment of Remembrance we should also take time for self reflection to better understand the world around us so that we can better protect ourselves from becoming one of the unfortunate victims of hate.

So, what role, if any, do victims play in their own demise, and how did we get to where we are?

Since I first began cross-dressing as a child in the 1960s up through when I finally came out in 2000 I have personally witnessed amazing changes and evolution inside and outside the transgender community; in how we relate to each other and the world around us, and the world relates to us.

At the turn of the 20th Century Magnus Hirschfeld coined the term transvestism (from Latin trans-, "across, over" and vestitus, "dressed") to refer to the sexual interest in cross-dressing.

By the mid-20th Century
Harry Benjamin coined the term transsexual and recognized that not all cross-dressing was related to sexual desire; propelling the belief that transsexuals were simply born in the wrong body

. . .Read More

Gay-Straight Alliance hopes to educate teens

Group at Washington high school formed to support one another at tough age

of the Journal Star
Dec 14, 2008

WASHINGTON — High school can be a tumultuous time for a student.

Nobody knows that better than Patrick Coughlin, who has been a high school guidance counselor for more than 20 years, including 16 at Washington Community High School.

"High school is when many of us form our self-image," Coughlin said. "I'll bet most adults remember how they felt about themselves during high school."

High school can be particularly stressful for a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual student. In an effort to support those students at Washington, a Gay-Straight Alliance has been formed at the school, with Coughlin as its advisor.

Sixty-four students - some gay or lesbian, some straight - signed up to join the alliance, and a proposed constitution has been written. Coughlin discussed the alliance at this month's District 308 School Board meeting, and approval of the alliance's constitution is expected to be on the board's January agenda.

According to the constitution, the alliance's purpose is "to encourage acceptance and tolerance within the diverse population of our school, promote pride in our community, create a safe environment for all (Washington students), and educate the school community." . . .Read More

“I Like That About Me.”

Year in Review: 2008

By Robin Berghaus and Vicky Waltz

Through December 24, BU Today is looking back at the most popular stories of the year. We’ll be back with new stories for the new year on Monday, January 5. Happy holidays!

Most children dream of possessing the magical ability to fly, to be invisible, or to talk to animals.

But as a young boy growing up in Jefferson City, Mo., Emeri Burks wished only to be a girl. “I prayed every day for the body that would fix things, that would make everything right,” recalls Burks (CAS’08). “More than anything, I wanted to be anatomically and biologically female.” . . .Read More

Sunday, December 14, 2008

TSG16: Taking Action, Making Change

"The TG community exists beyond just the internet. Get out there, get involved in real issues. Don't just talk about issues. Make real change.

We show a hearing on LGBT prison issues from this last week (how timely for this question) and discuss awkward teen moments."

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Gender-identity protection on City Council's agenda

Anti-discrimination proposal would add transgender people
Sunday, December 14, 2008


Transgender residents of Columbus -- men who consider themselves women, and women who consider themselves men -- would gain legal protection under legislation going before the City Council on Monday night.

The Columbus Community Relations Commission has recommended that the city add gender identity to the list of categories in local anti-discrimination ordinances. The move would put Columbus another step beyond Ohio law and on par with dozens of other big cities and college towns.

"We don't want discrimination in the city of Columbus for anyone," said Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson, a sponsor of the legislation.

Mayor Michael B. Coleman and a majority of council members back the idea.

Ordinances barring discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations already protect Columbus residents based on their race, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin and sexual orientation.

The legislation on Monday night's council agenda also would add age (for those 40 or older), disability, family status and military status as protected classes, although state or U.S. laws already cover each of those.

Columbus has protected gays in its civil-rights ordinances for about 20 years. Backers of the new legislation say the term sexual orientation once was thought to include people who live or dress as the opposite gender. . . .Read More

S. Idaho transgender woman fights use of male name

by JESSIE L. BONNER | Associated Press Writer • December 13, 2008

PAYETTE, Idaho – For nearly a year, Catherine Carlson refused to pay the fine for driving with a suspended license because it was issued to both her and the man she used to be.

She went to jail four times over the ticket that includes both her legal name and the one she was born with, Daniel Carlson. She had surgery 28 years ago to become a woman, the gender she believes should have been assigned her at birth.

Carlson legally changed her name in the 1970s, but police and court records include both in this rural farming and ranching community east of the Snake River in southwestern Idaho.

"The ticket was the last straw," Carlson said.

Her fight against local authorities brought up questions Payette County had never answered before: where to house a transgender person in a jail with separate cells for men and women, which courthouse bathroom should she use, should the former male name be stricken from county records.

"This is a very conservative old-fashioned community, that's just the way it is. This is rural, small town Idaho. This is new to us," said Payette County Sheriff Chad Huff. . . .Read More

MEXICO: Supreme Court Debates Transsexual’s Right to Privacy

By Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, Dec 10 (IPS) - When transsexuals or transgender persons in the Mexican capital have their birth certificates altered to reflect their change in identity, is it legal to include a notation on the new document indicating that Ms Y used to be Mr X?

That is the question raised by a Mexican transsexual through an appeal under consideration by the Supreme Court, which brings up the issue of the right of transsexuals to privacy and non-discrimination.

The 11 Supreme Court justices are expected to issue a final ruling on the appeal in the first few weeks of 2009, in a case that is the first of its kind to be brought before the country’s highest judicial body with jurisdiction over constitutional matters.

"The decision the judges have in their hands involves our right to live without the shadow of discrimination hanging over us," Gloria Davenport, a transsexual who works as an adviser to the government’s National HIV-AIDS Prevention and Control Centre (CENSIDA), told IPS.

Studies show that transsexuals are especially vulnerable to violence, discrimination and humiliation, all of which are exacerbated by the length of time it takes for them to legally change their identity in Mexico City, the only place in the country where they can do so, thanks to a municipal law approved in August.

According to estimates by the governmental Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, at least 148 lesbians, gays, transvestites and transsexuals were killed from 1995 to 2006 in homophobic attacks. . . .Read More

Transsexuals find new body doesn’t ensure happiness

by Nhu Lich

December 10, 2008

A Vietnamese transsexual (L) with her boyfriend
There are no official statistics on the number of transgender people in Vietnam and how many undergo gender reassignment surgery.

But post-operative transsexuals say the painful and expensive medical procedures they endured didn’t give them the normal lives they were expecting.

Several local transgender men have sought sex change operations overseas because the surgery is not performed in Vietnam.

In 2000, singer Cindy Thai Tai, who spent US$30,000 for sex reassignment procedures in Thailand, became one of the first locals to go public about her gender reassignment surgery.

Dr. Nguyen Thanh Nhu of Binh Dan Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City said he wasn’t familiar with any cases of local women undergoing surgery to become men. However, men seeking surgery to become women were relatively common.

Surgically altering a man’s sexual organs to resemble a woman’s was simpler than making a woman’s resemble a man’s, he said.

Dr. Nhu estimated more than 100 Vietnamese transsexual men, most aged around 30, had undergone sex reassignment surgery abroad to become women. . . .Read More

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Four Letter Words II

"The second part in a series on trans languages."

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Mayor lends an ear to transgender woes

10 Dec 2008, 0538 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: City mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale on Tuesday promised to look into matters concerning the 5,000-strong transgender community in the city. She

assured members of the community that she would explore the possibility of giving them some kind of identification, so that they can lead a dignified life.

Vanchit Vikas, a city-based non-profit organisation involved in uplifting the poorer sections of society, has extended its support to the transgender community. Giving the community a platform to voice their grievances, the organisation held an event on Tuesday, which was attended by Bhosale. It was a moving experience not just for the mayor, who heard their woes, but also for members of the transgender community, as they fought to keep back their tears.

"The very thought that such an important person came here to listen to us and have a cup of tea with us is overwhelming," said Panna, a member of the community. "Nobody has ever treated us so well." . . .Read More

SF Weekly Letters: Web Extra

December 9, 2008

Crossing Lines
The legal argument: We write to protest Lauren Smiley's offensive and inaccurate article, "Border Crossings" [Feature, 11/26]. We all spoke with Smiley at length, and are outraged at the misrepresentation of what we said. Rather than present a balanced picture of the incredible hurdles transgender asylum seekers face in proving their cases, Smiley unfairly painted them as criminals and prostitutes who are essentially given a free pass to immigration in the United States. This could not be farther from the truth.

The implication that most transgender asylum seekers are prostitutes is untrue and offensive, and grossly distorts the information we gave Smiley. If the attorneys with whom she spoke appeared to have a high success rates on their cases, this is because she spoke with the handful of attorneys in the U.S. who are actually experienced enough in transgender matters to present well-prepared, well-argued cases. We all routinely turn down representation for individuals who don't meet the legal standard, and unrepresented asylum seekers rarely win.

The most important aspect of asylum law is that each application is decided on a case-by-case basis. If transgender applicants have a relatively high grant rate, it is because there continues to be such extraordinary violence perpetrated against transgender people around the world that they can often demonstrate a likelihood of future persecution. . . .Read More

Army transsexual wins sex discrimination lawsuit against U.S. government

2008-12-10 04:31:37 (GMT) (JusticeNewsFlash.com - Employment Law, Justice News Flash)

Former U.S. Army Special Forces commander wins sex lawsuit against feds. U.S. Library of Congress found guilty of sexual discrimination after sex change surgery.

December 9, 2008, West Palm Beach, FL (JusticeNewsFlash.com) Leading Justice informers, with sexual discrimination lawsuits, alert of a recent federal judge decision in favor of a former U.S. Army Special Forces commander. U.S. District Court, Judge James Robinson, found the U.S. Library of Congress discriminated against Diane (formerly David) Schroer “because of sex” after it learned Schroer was undergoing a sex change operation. The judge the Library of Congress was initially enthusiastic about Schroer, but revoked its offer of employment after learning of the sex change. . . .Read More

Monday, December 08, 2008

Dr. Phil: Gender Confused Kids - Part 4/4 [Request]

"Dr. Phil tackles the sensitive topic of children who identify more with the opposite sex. What do you do if your son wants to wear dresses and play with dolls? Or if your daughter tells you she wants to be a boy?

Mary says she knew her son was not a typical boy when at 3, he loved nail polish, bras and makeup. Mary says she thought she was doing the best thing for her son by allowing him to choose, but now she's not so sure. She wonders if she caused his gender confusion."

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At Ever-Tolerant Harvard, One Student's Cause Engenders Lots of Questions, but Little Controversy

By Paula Span
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 23, 1997; Page F01
The Washington Post

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The plan is to meet at noon, near the pillars at Harkness Commons, after his applied mathematics class. Look for a guy with short dark hair, he says, and wire-rim glasses. And here he comes now, ambling across the Harvard campus, wearing the standard undergraduate uniform -- black jeans, denim shirt, work boots, thin silver ring through the inner curve of one ear.

"Hi, I'm Alex," he says. Firm handshake.

Would anyone know? Probably not.

Alex Myers, Class of '00, speaks in an unexceptional tenor. He is 19 years old. About 5 feet 6, he doesn't stand out from myriad other college men. Yet at another time, or in another place, he might well have ignited a serious scandal.

As a freshman last year, Myers moved into a coed dormitory called Greenough Hall, assigned to a single room on the all-male fourth floor. A bit of a nerd who piled on science and math courses, he objected when a neighbor blared rave music at night, but otherwise kept pretty much to himself. The other guys knew he came from a tiny Maine town via a prestigious prep school, Phillips Exeter Academy; they said hello in passing.

Anonymity was fine, for a while. But by the second month on campus, former Exeter classmates had started to gossip. And Myers himself felt uneasy about concealing an essential fact. "It makes me feel as though I'm ashamed of who I am," he reasoned. And he wasn't.

So he told his dorm mates the truth: For his first 17 years, he'd been Alice Myers, a tomboy who kept her hair short and loathed dresses but was, nonetheless, a girl. Just before her senior year at Exeter, however, Alice figured it out: Despite her female body, she felt like a man, a state known as being "transgendered."

So Alice legally changed her name; Myers's driver's license and Harvard ID now read Alex. But despite having jettisoned his Alice identity, he hadn't opted for hormone treatments or surgery, hadn't even seen a doctor. So technically -- biologically -- the guy in Room 407 still belonged to the female side of the species.

Perhaps the most arresting part of this story is what happened next, which was . . . practically nothing. Mild surprise followed by a collective so-what. Confronted with what might have seemed a masquerade, a falsehood, possibly a psychiatric disorder -- "to most people, transgenderism isn't something you expect to meet, it's something you see on `Oprah,' " notes Mike Hellerstein, one of Myers's dorm mates -- the men of Greenough Hall mostly shrugged. There was more fourth-floor bickering about loud music than about sharing bathrooms with a man who got menstrual cramps.

"There really wasn't any reason for a problem," says T. Timothy Wang, who roomed down the hall. "He didn't make a big production out of it. He was just like anyone else.". . .Read More

Letters to President-elect Obama: Donna Rose

Open letters from 26 gay men and lesbians.
From The Advocate December 16, 2008

Letters to President-elect Obama: Donna Rose

Dear Mr. President:

I want to start by congratulating you on this historic achievement. You have waited a lifetime for this moment in time, but our country has waited generations. I’m still pinching myself to make sure it’s real.

This historic election has meant so many things to so many people. More than simply a contest of ideology or political doctrine, it has tested deeply held ideals and has transformed the very fabric of our country. It has been a contest pitting Hope against Fear, Change against Status Quo, and Future against Past. After all that has happened in recent years it has renewed my confidence in the American People and in the political process in general. More than once, it has moved me to tears.

I believe to my core in your twin campaign mantras of Hope and Change. I have pledged to do what I can to help you make your vision of a country where all are valued, where each of us has opportunity, and where a renewed vision of America that is committed to integrity and credibility become reality. You cannot do that by yourself, and I have dedicated myself to be one of the many faces that represent the diverse depth and breadth of Americans it will take to achieve it. . . .Read More

A Lifestyle Distinct: The Muxe of Mexico


December 6, 2008

Mexico City — Mexico can be intolerant of homosexuality; it can also be quite liberal. Gay-bashing incidents are not uncommon in the countryside, where many Mexicans consider homosexuality a sin. In Mexico City, meanwhile, same-sex domestic partnerships are legally recognized — and often celebrated lavishly in government offices as if they were marriages.

But nowhere are attitudes toward sex and gender quite as elastic as in the far reaches of the southern state of Oaxaca. There, in the indigenous communities around the town of Juchitán, the world is not divided simply into gay and straight. The local Zapotec people have made room for a third category, which they call “muxes” (pronounced MOO-shays) — men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned netherworld between the two genders.

“Muxe” is a Zapotec word derived from the Spanish “mujer,” or woman; it is reserved for males who, from boyhood, have felt themselves drawn to living as a woman, anticipating roles set out for them by the community. . . .Read More

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Four Letter Words I

"The first part in a series on trans languages."

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Cut-price sex change!

Dec. 6, 2008 By Ben Goldby

A MIDLAND clinic offering sex change operations for just £1,500 is being investigated by health chiefs.

The cut-price chop is being advertised by Shangri-La & Surgeon Ltd, which is based in an industrial unit in Birmingham’s Chinatown area.

Adverts plastered around the Arcadian Centre under the title “Beatiful You, Beautiful Price” boast that the surgeon is now working with “Tiffany Models” and promises cosmetic surgery everybody can afford.

As well as a full sex change op, the menu of surgery options includes a £1,200 boob job, liposuction for just £890 and buttock implants for £1,281.

Horrified transsexual support groups say the ultra-cheap Birmingham surgery is the lowest-priced operation anywhere in the world, and is half the price of the cheapest surgeries in Thailand. . . .Read More

(. . .very high risk, IMO! R.A.)

Transgender teen decries hate at schools

About 25 protesters braved a brisk wind and fumes from cars zipping past Friday afternoon to show their support for Blake Williams, a transgender teen who says he dropped out of Aspen Valley High School because he didn't feel safe.

Williams, 18, said he's endured bullying and verbal abuse at three schools - two in Academy School District 20 and one charter school - in the two years since he began transitioning from female to male. He called on District 20 and other district administrations to begin training staff on the issues facing Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.

"We need to be protected from the hate, the bullying," he said. "We want to be treated as human beings."

Others at the rally across from Aspen Valley, an alternative school in D-20, said the education community, including colleges, must work harder to address issues that face LGBT students.

"This doesn't stop at high schools," Ayden Merino, a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs freshman said of discriminatory practices. "It goes on in colleges. They can't even figure out what kind of dorm room to put us in." . . .Read More

Australia mulls official 'intersex' gender


6 December 2008

CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The Australian government's Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission is pushing for "intersex" to become an officially recognized gender.

The commission distributed a paper entitled "Sex Files -- The legal recognition of sex: Proposed reform" among transgender and transsexual advocates that supports adding "intersex" to the recognized genders of male and female for use on passports and driver's licenses, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

"Recognition of intersex: Persons who cannot or do not identify as either male or female would be able to choose to be identified on their birth certificate and passport as intersex," the paper reads. . . .Read More

West Palm Beach transsexual to be on Real World


WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- Two of the eight Real World house-mates will be moving from South Florida to Brooklyn.

One is sure to be the topic of much conversation. Katelynn grew up in West Palm Beach as a male. According to MTV, she began to realize she was more comfortable as a woman in high school. By 17, she was living full-time as a woman. Now 24, she went to Thailand last summer for the surgery to complete the transformation. She has a boyfriend she hopes to marry. . . .Read More

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Serena in Flux Ep. 9

"My ninth vlogs in my now weekly episodes telling about being alone."

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'10,000 Dresses': A book about gender identity

December 3, 2008

Author Marcus Ewert has something in common with the new first lady, he's happy to say. He and Michelle Obama share a January birthday - with all the optimistic Capricorn character traits that implies. But the built-in ebullience of this astrology enthusiast came to a rolling stop not long ago, after he accepted an invitation to read from his work.

He had been toiling for ages on an autobiographical coming-of-age story about his mentors, the great American poets Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. For this occasion, though, he longed for new material.

"I was sick and tired of reading from my memoir. I wanted to write a fairy tale," says Ewert. "So I wrote the first draft of a transgender book for kids."

He picked up a thread from Piki and Poko, a Web cartoon he co-created that has a strong transgender character, someone whose self-identification doesn't match his assigned sex. Getting the story right took a couple of tries.

"Originally, the book was written for a child who had an uncle or an aunt who was transitioning," he says. "But it was too serious. I was boring myself." . . .Read More

Transgender Day of Remembrance helps acceptance, understanding

by Katherine Jarvis


Burning candles dripped wax onto the grass as 12 people stood in a circle reading the names of transgender individuals who had been murdered.

The 10th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 was about more than the movement, senior Aydin Kennedy said.

"It's about memorializing those that were trying to find that corner of truth in their life," he said.

They also make transgender people visible, Kennedy said. Events such as the Day of Remembrance, as well as the Conversation on Diversity on Nov. 19, lend a voice to a group of people who often don't have a voice.

The Conversation on Diversity "Facing Trans: Inclusion, Advocacy and Empowerment," focused on how sex, gender and sexual identity are connected.

When Kennedy began his transitioning, sex, gender and sexual identity played a significant role, he said. Sexual identity was particularly important since he was in a relationship eight months before he began medically transitioning. His sexual identity was being redefined. . . .Read More

Scientists Report Mental 'Body-Swapping'

December 2, 2008


TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The illusion of body-swapping -- making people perceive the bodies of mannequins and other people as their own -- has been achieved by Swedish neuroscientists.

In one experiment, the team fitted the head of a mannequin with two cameras connected to two small screens placed in front of volunteers' eyes, so that they had the same view as the mannequin.

When the mannequin's camera eyes and a participant's head were directed downwards, the participant saw the mannequin's body where the person would normally have seen their own body.

The researchers created the illusion of body-swapping by touching the stomach of both the mannequin and the volunteer with sticks. The person saw the mannequin's stomach being touched while feeling (but not seeing) a similar sensation on their own stomach. As a result, the person developed a strong belief that the mannequin's body was actually their own. . . .Read More

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

MTM6 -- Body Dysphoria and Body Image

Troy's opinion and discussion of body dysphoria and issues with his own body and how being trans has influenced his body dysphoria.

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Hate crimes, ENDA seen as top legislative priorities

Activists hopeful that Democrats will push gay bills

By LOU CHIBBARO JR, Washington Blade | December 2, 2008

Officials with the Human Rights Campaign and National Gay & Lesbian Task Force are hopeful that Barack Obama’s administration and Democratic leaders in Congress will help orchestrate the passage next year of two gay rights bills that enjoy widespread support.

The Matthew Shepard Act, which would authorize federal authorities to prosecute anti-gay hate crimes, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, are considered high priorities among gay-supportive lawmakers, officials with the two groups said.

“For the first time ever, we will have a president who has been a co-sponsor of both of these bills,” said David Stacy, HRC’s senior public policy advocate.

President-elect Obama sponsored the two bills during his tenure as a U.S. senator from Illinois.

During his campaign for president, Obama expressed support for nearly all other gay rights legislation pending in Congress, including bills that would provide domestic partnership benefits to federal employees, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Other pending bills would provide U.S. immigration rights to foreign nationals who are domestic partners of American citizens; provide a tax exemption for employee health insurance benefits for domestic partners, similar to the tax exemption on health benefits given to employees’ married spouses; and grant access to Medicaid coverage for people with HIV who don’t have AIDS.

“We are trying to assess the best legislative strategy for moving these bills,” Stacy said. “But the key people who will be overseeing this in the administration are not in place yet,” which has prevented gay advocacy groups from finalizing their plans. . . .Read More

Sensational trans-bashing at SF Weekly

In San Francisco, can't we expect and demand better?

Poll: Majorities of U.S. adults favor legal protections for gay and transgender Americans

Steve Rothaus

December 3, 2008

GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has released a Harris poll that shows most Americans favor marriage or civil unions/domestic partnerships for gay couples, allowing gays to serve in the military and adopt children.


Pulse of Equality Survey, Conducted by Harris Interactive, Reports that 75% Favor Either Marriage or Civil Unions/Domestic Partnerships for Gay and Lesbian Couples

New York, December 3, 2008 – A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive in the wake of the passage of and protests against California's Proposition 8 reveals that majorities of Americans favor a broad range of policies and legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The Pulse of Equality survey, commissioned by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), shows that majorities of Americans favor either marriage or civil unions/domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples, as well as gay- and transgender-inclusive hate-crimes laws and non-discrimination laws, and allowing openly gay service members to serve in the armed forces, while a majority opposes laws that would ban adoption by qualified gay and lesbian couples. . . .Read More

Monday, December 01, 2008

me before I transitioned

I made this video nine years ago at the high school I was teaching at, Hononegah High School in Rockton Illinois. I left mid year so I wanted to say good bye somehow to everyone. Obviously I was the art teacher. I am posting this because I am now a transgender or transsexual female. I am still teaching art.

I transitioned 2 years ago- I left in June as Michael and came back to the same school in August as Michelle. I met this awesome Australian film producer, Rohan Spong, that is making a documentary about teachers that transition in American schools. He asked me to be in the film and we just finished up shooting over the summer. The film should be out by the end of the year.

In this video I paint a landscape on a piece of plexus-glass with "angel" as the background music. I had just come from the staff Christmas party and was very depressed as my wife and kids had already moved to Nevada ahead of me. It was about 12:30 at night and I made this with just 2 takes in the art room that I would never see again. The ironic part of this video is that we ended up moving to the bottom of Hope Valley on the back side of Lake Tahoe. The view from our house looked up the valley through two mountains just like this. It was our dream home. This was the last residence I shared with my wife and kids as my transition was too much for them to handle. The idea was, as I painted you would see less and less of me until I was gone. I was headed to the mountains so I just painted a simple and quick landscape. . . .Read More

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HRC Praises Obama’s AG Nominee Eric Holder

Dec 1, 2008

Attorney General nominee Eric Holder
Attorney General nominee Eric Holder

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, today praised President-Elect Barack Obama’s selection of Eric Holder as Attorney General of the United States.

The former deputy attorney general in the Clinton Administration proved himself to be a strong advocate for fairness and basic rights and an unswerving proponent of fully-inclusive federal hate crimes legislation.

"In Eric Holder, President-Elect Obama has chosen an attorney general who has demonstrated his dedication to civil rights, protecting communities from hate violence, and the fair and equal application of our laws," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

"Eric Holder has recognized the deleterious effect that hate and bias crimes have not just on victims, but on entire communities. President-Elect Obama’s appointment continues to prove his commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community." . . .Read More