Thursday, January 31, 2008
Attacks against minorities are on the rise, but experts disagree when it comes to how much.
Adam May reveals why state and federal statistics are different and why hundreds of local cases might go unreported.
On her way to buy some orange juice, 26-year-old Pamela Brown, who started living as a woman three years ago, said she was viciously attacked because she is transgendered. . . .Read More
The tragic life of author Eve Langley is explored in an original dance/theatre piece by 75-year-old Elizabeth Langley. She spoke with Katrina Fox.
“I have dedicated this work to all whose eccentricity, creativity and freedom has been denied, repressed or betrayed, especially women,” says Elizabeth Langley of her solo show Journal of Peddle Dreams, which is a Mardi Gras Theatre Initiative.
Author Eve Langley (1904-1974) lived in a climate where the above were not encouraged in women and as such suffered a tortured life, despite her first book The Pea Pickers being considered a classic in Australian literature. After cross-dressing as a young woman, Eve later struggled to be a wife and mother and was institutionalised in a mental hospital for seven years where she was diagnosed as schizophrenic. In 1954 she changed her name by deed poll to Oscar Wilde. In her later years she lived in isolation in the Blue Mountains, compulsively writing a large number of unpublished works, before dying alone, her body laying undiscovered for around three weeks after her death. . . .Read More
by Molly Celaschi
Alec Mapa (gay dude from Desperate Housewives) hosts this groundbreaking transgendered elimination dating show.
The transgender bachelorette, Calpernia Addams, is being wooed by eight handsome men. With the advice of her trans best friend Andrea combined with multiple challenges and dates, Calpernia will shave down her group of suitors until she finds her prince charming. . . .Read More
At present, the Christian Right is mostly quiescent, apart from the rumblings of Family First and the oddly renamed Kiwi Party.
In case anyone missed it, the Kiwi Party is the old Future New Zealand which was the old fundamentalist bit of United Future and the Christian Democrats at its inception, back in 1995. Larry Baldock is now sole leader, while Gordon Copeland is concentrating on parliamentary matters. And the issue that chiefly concerns them is... yep, spanking. . . .Read More
Local theater companies are increasingly staging plays revolving around transgender characters. In mainstream media people who feel they were born into a body of the wrong gender are often the subject of derision and exploitation. But on Twin Cities stages, they're more likely to be portrayed as... people. . . .Read More
After declaring itself the worst large town in Sweden to live in for the homosexual, bisexual and transgender community, Gothenburg is taking steps to improve its standing. . . .Read More
By MEGAN ROLLAND
Sun staff writer
City Hall was buzzing Monday night with both protest and support for a proposed city ordinance that would include gender identity as a class of people protected from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation.
The auditorium had standing-room only, as did the entryway where a large crowd watched the decision on closed-circuit television. The vast majority of those who spoke on the issue were against the ordinance.
Those in favor of the ordinance lauded it as a step toward increased human rights for transgender individuals, who some said are marginalized in society.
The ordinance would add gender identity as a category of people protected from discrimination. Discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and gender are already outlawed in Gainesville.
City officials defined gender identity as a situation where people have an inner sense of being a gender other than their gender at birth. . . .Read More
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
As Rudy Giuliani heads into a make-or-break primary in Florida on Tuesday, most pundits are saying that his quest for the Republican nomination for president of the United States seems to be on the verge of collapse.
Polls now show Giuliani battling Mike Huckabee for third place, well behind Mitt Romney and John McCain. With McCain gaining the endorsement of Florida Governor0 Charlie Crist and U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, the Arizonan may well have the momentum going into tomorrow’s primary. Even a strong second-place finish may not be enough to rescue Giuliani’s campaign, so an outright win may be do-or-die for the former mayor of New York City. It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago, Giuliani was all but the certain nominee and all but already installed in the White House; what a difference a few months can make.
But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the way the mainstream media invariably describe Giuliani as “pro-gay rights.” That reputation is largely based on a few high-level appointments to his administration and his signing a domestic partnership bill into law while mayor.
But as Giuliani attempts to court the religious right in his drive for the Republican nomination, he seems to be retreating from his support even for such limited measures as domestic partnership. And there is nothing in his record as mayor to suggest that he was or is supportive of transgender rights, despite his now-famous (if not notorious) appearance in drag as ‘La Rudia.’ As members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community evaluate Giuliani’s candidacy they should carefully consider his opposition to Int. No. 24, the transgender rights bill ultimately enacted by the New York City Council as Local Law 3 of 2002 after he left office. . . .Read More
by Lisa V
I will be starting hrt very soon. I currently make very good money at my job but in the type of work I do I will not be able to transition and continue to work. I work in a very macho caveman field so I need to hide the effects as long as possible. I am in my early 30's so I cannot wait anymore because the older I get the harder it becomes to pass. I plan to go back to school at night and start taking courses to become a nurse. I should be able to transfer a great majority of my existing credits in order to breeze through the program and become an rn. I believe this is a good move because it gives me a chance at a job after transition that is in demand and will allow me to move and start fresh in stealth. I want to know if there are any repercussions to binding and possibly leaving some facial hair until I have saved money and have enough to move and start fresh. I know it will really be hard emotionally to hide the joy within at times during my transition but I can't wait any longer I need to get my life going in the direction I always have dreamed and believed I should have. I feel if I can accomplish this now I wil have a post op life with less worry or hardships associated with work related issues.
Can any of you give me some suggestions? . . .Read More
by L. A. Vess
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Of all the characters on The L Word, it seems odd to make Alice be the one biased against including transgenders in the lesbian community. Open, caring, honest Alice—not who you would predict to regulate transman Max to his own separate "box", segregated from the delicate sensibilities of the dykes.
Perhaps, however, showing Alice (Leisha Hailey) acting with discrimination is not all that out of place. Instead, the message might just be that no matter how open-minded someone thinks they are—they can still be guilty of treating others who are different than them as less than equals.
Alice gives in and tells Max he can have a podcast on her lesbian website, but he has to be cordoned off from the 'guestbians' because she doesn't want to "be bombarded with a bunch of dykes flipping out about this transgender thing."
That attitude is exactly the kind of separation we find daily across the Internet and in real life. Take the Michigan Womyn's Festival for example. Transgender and transexual women had to fight for 15 years to finally be included in the festival—because they were not "born" women. . . .
Chrissy Nakonsky touts her experiences and her values in a bid that could break barriers in the Brainerd area, Minnesota and the nation.
By LARRY OAKES, Star TribuneJanuary 29, 2008
Until about five years ago, Nakonsky, who recently announced she's running for the Minnesota Legislature and will seek the Republican endorsement in her Brainerd-area district, was known as Jeff Nakonsky.
Nakonsky said the 2006 reelection of the state's only openly gay Republican legislator, Sen. Paul Koering of nearby Fort Ripley, gives her hope that Brainerd-area voters won't deny her a legislative seat because of her gender change.
"If people vote for or against me, it should be because of my values," Nakonsky said. . . .
Welcome to the Gender Identity Project (GIP). We offer people of trans experience the opportunity to find support, information and a community - all in one place. Please check out our community announcements and sign up for our newsletter.
New: Transgender Basics, a 20 minute educational film on the concepts of gender and transgender people, is now online at gaycenter.org/transgenderbasics.
What is "trans"?
"Trans" means many things to many people: trans(s)exual, transgender, trans-amorous, trans-man, trans-woman, transfag, transdyke, MTF, FTM, genderqueer, intersex, pre-op, post-op, non-op, drag king, drag queen, gender-neutral, two-spirit, poly-gendered, boi, trans-partner, man, woman…. The list goes on, weaving an infinite web of identities that all come together at the GIP, where our peer-focused services create a unique trans-positive community for transgender, gender-different and gender questioning individuals, their partners and families.
The trans center of New York City
Our helping peers and professionals understand "trans" from the inside out. We combine our own life experiences with practical training to provide you with individual, couples, and group counseling, as well as information and referral services, community forums, and professional education. This distinctive combination of counseling and community building makes the GIP the trans center of New York City - a welcoming place for support, empowerment, and celebration.
Find out if the GIP is right for you:
I want to connect to the trans community in New York City. Where can I go to socialize with trans folks? The GIP offers regular opportunities to meet and greet in a space that's safe and fun. Many of our events also focus on education and activism. Check out upcoming Community Events. We offer trans movie nights, coffee houses, forums and informational clinics or call us for more information. The Comunity Event schedule also includes activities offered by other organizations in the trans communities. . . .
Monday, January 28, 2008
The Gender Identity Project (New York City) is a program at the Center that offers people of trans experience the opportunity to find support, information and a community. Back in 1989 when the Project first started at the Center there were few resources for transgender and gender questioning individuals. This segment, the first-time work of new volunteer producers, takes a look at the Gender Identity Project from people who were there when it started and those who are running it now. To find out more about the Gender Identity Project call 212 620-7310 or visit www.gaycenter.org/gip.
by Nick Owens
With her long blonde hair and green eyes Katherine Dalton had a body most women would die for. She worked as a top model and starred in pop videos.
Yet Katherine has now spent £30,000 on a sex-change operation after feeling trapped for years as a gay man in a woman's body.
And in another amazing twist the ex-model, now known as Adrian, is dressing again as a woman at night - as she launches a new career as a drag act.
"People looked at me as if I was nuts when I told them I was a gay man trapped in a woman's body, but I couldn't be happier since the operation," says Adrian, 30.
"Friends have said, 'You were a beautiful woman so why change?' But when I look back at old pictures, Katherine is to me another person."
Katherine went to an all-girl boarding school in Wiltshire where her life was made a misery by other pupils who called her "the freak". But at 16 the dowdy girl bullied for her odd looks and behaviour - she wasn't interested in boys and talked in a strange way - blossomed into a beautiful teenager. She left school and headed to London where she was soon signed up by a string of modelling agencies.
Yet she was still so unsure about her sexuality that she could only face photo shoots after marathon drinking bouts. . . .
January 27, 2008
When the Beijing Olympic Games kick off in August we will hopefully see history made with the first open transgender athlete to win a medal.
Note I said open.
Hall of Fame sprinter Stella Walsh competed in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games for Poland, and she had a secret.
But before I tell you what it was, let me give you a little background on her.
Stella Walsh was born on April 3, 1911 as Stanislawa Walasiewiczowna in Wierchownen, Poland. Her family emigrated to the United States and settled in the Cleveland, OH area when she was only three months old.
By the time she entered high school, Stella was a star track athlete. She was so good that she qualified for a spot on the 1928 US Olympic team. She couldn't compete for the US because she wasn't a citizen and couldn't apply for it until she turned 21.
She did compete in American track championships even though she wasn't a citizen and won her first AAU championship in 1930. . . .
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Student Support Services Library News and Updates about the GLBTSSS, located in Bloomington Indiana
From the gorgously striking to the beautifully mundane, this post celebrates photography collections featuring transpeople from all walks of life.
The first book is BODY ALCHEMY: TRANSSEXUAL PORTRAITS by Loren Cameron (1996). This collection features portraits and stories of Female to Male (FTM) Transsexuals that celebrate body modification, masculinization, and every day life in the face of immense oppression from both straight and LGB persons alike.
Next is CASA SUSANNA by Robert Swope and Michel Hurst (2005). When Robert Swope found some old photographs of men in subdued and conservative women’s clothing at a flea market, he had a feeling he had found a goldmine of transgender history. He has turned these personal photographs into a book that celebrates Casa Susanna, a place of refuge for these MTF’s from the harsh gender expectations of the late 1950’s.
Finally we have PERSONA by Susan Brown (1997). These black and white portraits capture the dramatic, sexual, and gender-bending world of drag queens, MTF transsexuals, and other ‘gender illusionists’ who use their talent and gender performance to entertain. Each photograph is accompanied by an essay or interview about their identity and their act. . . .
by Heidi Zhou
Some say harmony in Austin's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community has been a long time coming.
"You can look back two, three, four years to see failed attempts among the community at coordination," said Jimmy Flannigan, president of the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Coordination is a challenge due to the LGBT community's internal diversity, Flannigan said.
"And accordingly the message has been mixed. Even when you go to a legislator and you say, I want to pass hate crime legislation or employment nondiscrimination, if you can't come with a single voice, you don't get anything done," he said. . . .
January 27, 2008
Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series about transgender youth.
Puberty can be scary for many children, but doctors say it's absolutely terrifying for transgender youth.
"If they're not terrified of it, they're not trans," said Dr. Norman Spack, clinical director of the endocrine division of Children's Hospital in Boston.
The hospital opened a transgender clinic for children nearly a year ago, the first in the nation like it, according to Spack.
At the onset of puberty, children begin to feel the effects of their gender assigned at birth and develop the related secondary sex characteristics, such as breasts. That's especially difficult for transgender youth who identify with a gender opposite of the body in which they were born.
ransgender is an umbrella term used to describe people who don't fully identify with their birth gender or who were born with intersexed conditions. It can include people ranging from transsexuals who live as the opposite sex or have been surgically reassigned to someone who cross-dresses occasionally.
There is limited and varying data on the number of transgender people in the nation, according to the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. A report issued last year by a University of Michigan professor estimates the frequency of male-to-female transsexualism is in the range of 1 in 500 to 1 in 2,000.
There are medical options for transgender youth, but opinions differ on the best time to intervene, doctors say.
One option, practiced in the Netherlands, is to delay puberty by prescribing hormone blockers in an early stage of development called Tanner 2, Spack said. He said this is between the ages of 12 and 14 for boys and 10 to 12 for girls on average. The blockers extend the time doctors have to evaluate the child and make a diagnosis, while the child continues to gain the reasoning skills to help make up his or her mind. . . .
Sunday, January 27, 2008
"This video is a memorial to the beautiful and talented transsexual woman Jahna Steele, who passed suddenly on January 24th, 2008. Hers will be a keenly felt loss in the transgender community. This clip was taken from a 1993 talk show where I'd been a guest in another broadcast, and it ends with her singing a song that ironically fits this sad occasion."
See Jahna Steele's website: http://www.thejahnasteele.com
Serious physical, emotional problems await athletes after quitting steroids
by Mark Zeigler
January 26, 2008
A few months ago, two head shots of Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman were posted on a Web site called Pro Football Talk. One was from 2005, the other from this season. Merriman has improbably broad shoulders in the 2005 photo and noticeably smaller ones in 2007.
The implication and subsequent Internet chatter was that Merriman, who served a four-game NFL suspension in 2006 for a positive steroid test, was off the juice.
Turns out the 2005 photo, which appears in the Chargers media guide, was doctored by the team. Merriman missed the spring minicamp when player photos were taken, and his college head shot was superimposed on the shoulders of a beefy Chargers lineman – standard procedure in the NFL with unsigned rookies or recent acquisitions. All the body parts in the 2007 shot, presumably, belong to him.
Merriman may or may not have pumped his 6-foot-4, 272-pound frame full of anabolic steroids; he insists his positive test was from a tainted nutritional supplement. But the notion that a star athlete can suddenly shrink before our eyes without the help of Adobe Photoshop is a very real and potentially fatal eventuality. . . .
January 25, 2008
Many of us in the LGBT community are painfully aware of the religious fundamentalists who have such a wonderful time coming up with lies and fear tactics to throw out to the uneducated masses. They know full well that a great deal of those Americans will believe anything they are told, if you follow it up with “Praise the Lord.” Of course, their true God is the Almighty Dollar, which they get in abundance from those people who don’t know any better.
We hear a lot about the Islamic fundamentalists and how they are such a threat to America. In many ways, they are ranked amateurs compared to the Christian fundamentalists here in the US. Oh yes, we hear of gays being executed in the country that has no gays, Iran. I’m sure that every time that happens, Beverly LaHaye, ChairMAN of the Concerned “June Cleavers” for America, salivates, hoping we get a Republican President who will support that as well. I’m sure she would like it if President Eddie Haskell “gave us the business.” (The “June Cleaver” comment is not to put down the beloved character in “Leave it to Beaver,” but to emphasize the time period their mindset is in.)
Not to make light of it, but the Christian fundamentalists are a dangerous group of people, even if there weren’t any gay people for them to hate. Mike Huckabee’s comments on wanting to change the Constitution to reflects God’s laws instead of the Founding Fathers’ wonderful ideas is a prime example of the danger this group of Americans can be.
But, I didn’t title this article “Christian Fundamentalists.” There are plenty of others who can talk intelligently on that subject. My article is on a growing number of transsexual women who use their post-operative status as a symbol of their superiority over any other gender-different people. I can guarantee that as soon as this article sees the light of day, they will rise up out of their holes and swoop down on me like the creatures in the movie, “Pitch Black,” with Vin Diesel. I’m not afraid of the dark. . . .
25 January 2008
Tran feminism is a form of feminism that includes transgender and transsexual rights and issues, especially those of transwomen. Trans feminism has also been described as a social force working for the rights and goals of transsexual and transgender individuals.
This particular group has many struggles of their own, starting with having the heart and soul of one gender while having the genitalia of another. They also have huge economic struggles if they wish to have any medical procedures.
This type of feminism has created quite a stir among other groups. Some feminists feel they do not belong. One of the major reasons is because of how some Trans gender or transwoman behave or exaggerate their femininity. Another reason is some feel that trans genders could not possibly understand all the struggles and what it is to be a “true gender.”. . . .
The ever changing world in which we live seems to regularly identify new scenarios that challenge the way in which society behaves. No more so than with transfeminism which is now creating a reaction that might not initially have been perceived. The reaction is from women who believe that trans-feminism is in fact a third gender assignment - a hybrid male-female that should not be included in any scheme involving original females.
How an individual born female sees herself is a reflection of the society in which she exists. It is acknowledged that women today have changed their social position dramatically over the past twenty years by competing with men on every level. Female equality is now no longer a concept but rather a way of life.
However where trans-feminism fits into the female psyche is proving difficult for many women born women to accept. It seems that if you were born male but feel that you should really have been born female and make physical efforts to right what you see as wrong, then you are not only distancing yourself from the male community but you are also not really a part of the true female alternative community. Gender issues have reached new controversial heights with the introduction of liberalism and a growing acceptance within society that some people prefer to wear the bodies of their opposite gender. This does not make it easy on those of us who walk the middle road because the extremists in both camps are full of woe about allowing what was ostensibly an opposite gender individual to join their ranks simply because it is the way they feel, even if they have also taken the significant step of having surgery performed so that their body is more in keeping with the bodies they prefer.
If one considers that the human body is simply a host vehicle, a receptacle in which our spirits are contained, it is possible to better appreciate how people can feel that they are not born of the sexual gender they should have been. If you take this a step further and suggest that the reincarnation of the soul is partly to blame and that as a result the individuals in question may have lived a previous life as a woman rather than a man it can been seen that the issue can really bring some fairly complex concepts to the fore. . . .
by JOE SCHWARCZ
January 26, 2008
Roosters probably considered Professor Arnold Berthold public enemy No. 1. But to scientists, he was a pioneer. And to athletes who abuse steroids, he's probably a hero. Providing that they have heard of him. If they haven't, they should have. Because it was Berthold's classic experiments carried out at the University of Gottingen in Germany in 1849 that laid the foundations for research leading to the eventual isolation of testosterone, the main male sex hormone.
Berthold was certainly familiar with the idea that removal of the testes caused profound changes in a male's behaviour. Eunuchs, for example, had long been known to have less aggressive personalities. Indeed, that's why Roman emperors like Constantine, fearing assassinations, surrounded themselves with servants who had been rendered mild-mannered by removal of their manhood. (One suspects, though, that they weren't exactly mild-mannered during the procedure.) In any case, not only did castration affect behaviour, it also affected physiology. Eunuchs were less likely to go bald, and if castration took place before puberty, their childish voice was retained.
The effect of castration on animals had also long been known. By 2000 BC, castration of farm animals to make them easier to handle was widespread. Bulls, rams and stallions were made more docile with a few well-targeted snips, making them less likely to protest when asked to haul loads or pull ploughs. But nobody really took much interest in just how castration brought about these dramatic changes until Berthold began his investigations. . . .
By Wallraff, Barbara
The latest news from the language front is that teenagers in Baltimore have invented a gender-neutral singular pronoun: "yo." When I learned of this, I was fascinated - for about 10 minutes. Then I started to get upset.
I was fascinated at first because English needs such a pronoun, or a set of them - words to fill in the blanks in sentences like "These days, an English teacher sure has ... work cut out for ..." Thank goodness, an unspecified teacher isn't automatically /him/his" anymore. "She/her/hers" is no more equitable as an alternative, though. Another possibility is "they/them/their" - but any English teacher who's satisfied with this option is in the wrong line of work.
English-speaking people have been searching for and inventing gender-neutral singular pronouns for at least 150 years. Among the many that have been proposed are "ne," "thon," "hesh," "he'er," "shey," "e," "hisorher" and the unpronounceable "s/he." Unfortunately, none of these coinages has caught on outside subcultures. So people keep inventing new ones.
Why does it upset me if kids in Baltimore came up with their own solution to the pronoun problem? Well, for one thing, that isn't what they did. Their teachers, having discovered their students' use of "yo," went on to document how the kids used it. Two of the examples the teachers collected were "Yo is tuckin' in his shirt" and "Peep yo." In the first example, note the word "his," which makes it clear that "yo" here isn't an unspecified person - it's a particular male. The second example means "Look at him (or her)." Out of context, we can't tell the sex of the person being referred to, but obviously, whoever was speaking was referring to someone he or she could see - another particular person of known gender. In neither case do we have an unspecified person, and therefore "yo" isn't that holy grail of pronouns our entire culture has been seeking. . . .
Host of Southern India's "Yours, Rose" will seek to challenge stereotypes, social taboos.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
January 26, 2008
It was Sir Ed who put it best: "Well, James has really changed," he remarked to his former climbing companion Dr Mike Gill. They had just met again with the reporter from the Times who had climbed to base camp, 18,000ft (5496m) high in the Himalayas, lugging his typewriter, to cover the original Everest expedition of 1953. Back then James Morris was a "fit, intensely ambitious" 26-year-old former Army intelligence officer who so impressed the Times it gave him its toughest assignment.
And when he showed up for one of the Everest reunions, as the understated Sir Ed remarked, he had really changed. He had become Jan: he was a woman.
Jan Morris doesn't want to talk about that sex change stuff now. She has been a woman for more than 35 years, since the operation in Marrakesh. It is detailed in her book, Conundrum (1974). She has suffered the sniggers, answered the questions. Now 81 and an acclaimed writer with around 40 books behind her, she refuses to discuss it any more. . . .
January 25th, 2008
We would like to introduce Yuki Choe, a commenter turned writer at XGW. Some may know her already from her thoughtful comments, but for those who don’t she has written an introduction which follows. Please join us in welcoming her to the site!
Greetings everyone! I am YukiChoe, and I am an Asian transsexual female with strong interests in ex-gay related issues. I will be living in Australia soon with my newly wedded husband. I became involved with Real Love Ministry in Malaysia back in mid 2006, and was quickly disillusioned with their camouflaged, anti-gay, anti-transgender rhetoric. I was also appalled with the way lesbians, gays and transgenders were represented by other ex-gays and felt their misinformation of LGTs needed a strong counter voice. That is when I started advocating against ex-gay efforts toward those who have no problem with their orientation.
So why is a transsexual female like me contributing to a site like XGW? I believe there is an ex-gay or ex-transsexual experience in everyone of us. Be it a gay, having to be closeted by pretending to be completely heterosexual in public due to the pressures of society, a lesbian that may be comfortable in pants being forced to wear clothes that are totally femme against her will by her family, or a transsexual female being coerced into confining herself by pretending to be a boy before the church authorities. Our differences have been exploited by people who wish to cause discrimination and marginalization among those of differing sexual orientations. . . .
An expansion of a comment (with some corrections) I wrote over at Bilerico, where the fractures and fault-lines of T politics are all too evident.
A Taxonomy stating how we differ, and what we have in common.
1. First, we're all human beings. That needs saying because we too often lose sight of the fact that everyone, even those we don't identify with, even those we feel uncomfortable being around, have human rights. And I speak as a conservative neo-con, not a tree-hugging kumbayah-singing liberal.
2. Then some of us are GLBT - people who do not fit in in some way with the standard bigendered model, where men look and act in accordance with society's norm for men and are only attracted to women, and women look and act accordance with society's norm for women and are only attracted to men. About the only thing such people have in common with each other is that it's the same people who persecute them. Many in this conglomerate - that is, a matrix containing parts of very different nature - don't remotely understand each other, and there's both phobia - fear - and loathing even when they do understand.
There's Androphobic Lesbians who see men, even Gay men, as a threat, Gynaphobic Gays who see anything redolent of femininity as beneath contempt, Homophobic Transsexuals who resent being conflated with those they see as morally corrupt, you name it. And straight Intersexed people who don't see why having an unusual medical condition automatically drafts them into a political activist group made up of weirdoes like mentally ill Transsexuals, Fetishistic Crossdressers, and perverted GLBs.
3. The there are some who are T. This is where it really gets confusing. T for Transgender. And what that word means changes from day to day. The original definition meant straight males who like wearing female attire, and rejected any insane body-modifiers or perverted faggots. Now to the bulk of the populace, it means those weirdoes who get a sex change. To political activists, it means anyone who "transgresses gender norms" of appearance, behaviour or body, except (for historical reasons) in the specific area of sexual orientation. Very often, arguments are based on both sides using different definitions, and sometimes changing the definitions in mid-stream if it supports the point they're trying to make. Again, many feel dragooned into being categorised and confused with other groups they not only don't identify with, but actively dislike, sometimes with good reason.
It appears that the majority of the "Transgendered" in the last definition, and certainly the ones with the most power and money, are (and I hate using RadFem vocabulary, but it fits) Patriarchal males in positions of relative privilege, but who are afraid (with good reason) that they will be marginalised if they have a high profile. The heirs to J. Edgar Hoover. They have much influence, a great deal of money compared to other parts of the TG mixture, but are largely unseen. Cross them, you get squashed like a bug. They have no interest in any medical or marital issues, and wish to disassociate themselves from the highly visible segments. Especially Transsexuals. They're with Virginia Prince on that one.
4. T is for....
Q: What's the difference between a cross-dresser and a transsexual?
A: Oh, about 5 years...
There's a big difference between the part-time cross-dressing male, and a post-operative intersexed woman. But there's gradations in between, and sometimes it's impossible for an external observer to tell where one begins, and another ends. Operative status is a nice, clean, easy metric to use - but is inaccurate for many reasons. Having major surgery is a Big Deal, not without risks, and neither is it free nor available to those who most need it. Conversely, there are many women who can live with physical deformities - be they having three breasts or one, or even having masculinised genitalia. Unless they intend having some form of love life, and that can be really dangerous for anyone who's transgendered, the benefits may be outweighed by the disadvantages.
My own view is that hormonal body modification is more a important divider, but even that isn't wholly reliable. So yes, there is a difference, but no, I can't give a simple test for it. You know it when you see it - the guys tend to bubble about silky underwear and frilly dresses, the women about feminism and childcare. However, those who are TS and unable to transition at puberty - and that means most - are evolving in their own identity. 80% cross-dress before transition. . . .
January 24, 2008
When I read last year’s news coverage of the first-ever Transgender Religious Summit, I was thrilled to know the event was taking place. I had always assumed that coming out transgender meant the end of my ministry career, and was so encouraged to know that enough transgender religious professionals existed to warrant a conference! So you can imagine how excited I was to receive an invitation to this year’s follow-up event, held last Sunday and Monday at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.
I’ll be blogging some of the topics we covered at the summit over the next few days, but I want to open my coverage of the event by thanking all those who made my attendance there possible and by greeting all the wonderful new friends I made (who I hope will eventually find their way here). It was incredibly inspiring and empowering to be among them, and I left them with great hope for the future–both for all trans people of faith, and for myself as a trans woman called to serve the world on God’s behalf. . . .
TransGriot note: Just in case you're wondering who the transwoman is with the boxing gloves on, that's Thai kickboxer Nong Tum, whose story was told in the film Beautiful Boxer.
One of the things our enemies and potential assailants presume to their detriment is that if a transperson is placed in a confrontational situation, we're just gonna acquiesce to the verbal beatdown (or worse) that you want to inflict on us.
Au contraire, my misguided friend.
I still chuckle about an incident that happened while I was out and about in Montrose one night. I was hanging out with one of my transwoman girlfriends outside an iconic Black gay nightclub then called Studio 13. Three white males rolled up in a truck and blocked the club's parking lot exit access to Westheimer Road. Two of them got out of the truck and started uttering anti-gay and anti-Black epithets.
Two female illusionists literally got in their faces and read them like cheap novels to the point where we were laughing at them. The 'macho' men took a swing at one of the illusionists, who not only ducked the incoming punch, but proceeded to administer a beatdown that these boys will never forget. It only ended when security pulled them away from the silly boys. They left bruised, battered and anxious to scurry back to their truck and run back to wherever they came from. . . .
One person's struggle for identity
"Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina."
When Mr. Kimble, aka Governor Schwarzenegger, got that tip from one of his pupils in "Kindergarten Cop," we all laughed.
If only it were that simple.
Meet Amanda Clark, 28. She joined the ranks of San Jose State University on Wednesday, working toward a post-baccalaureate degree in accounting. She comes to us after a four-year stint in the Army Reserve, studying Korean at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey.
Oh, and she has a penis.
Amanda identifies as transgender, so she gets lumped in with the queer community. "You can't have the LGB without the T," she told me.
"I just want to live fulltime as a woman," Amanda said. "And be acknowledged as that by society."
In less sympathetic times, "trannies" were thought of as just "gays-to-the-extreme," a fetish gone out of control. And even today, some psychologists would say that Amanda is sick and suffers from a mental disorder.
But the way Cassie Blume of the Billy DeFrank Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in San Jose explained it to me, the transgender identity is misunderstood because society's ingrained notions of male and female are completely abstract. . . .
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Paris is Burning (1990)
An unblinking behind the scenes story of fashion obsessed New Yorkers who created "voguing" and drag balls , and turned these raucous celebrations into a powerful expression of personal pride. The world within a world is instantly familiar, filled with ambitions, desires and yearnings that reflect America itself is an intimate portrait of one urban community, a world in which the allure of high fashion, status and wealth becomes an affirmation of love, acceptance and joy.
For drag queens featured in the documentary "Paris is Burning," sequins, makeup and stilettos aren't just part of a costume. They're part of a lifestyle.
The 1990 documentary about the drag culture in New York City will be screened at 5 p.m. today as the fourth installment in the Global Queer Cinema Film Series.
The film series is presented in conjunction with Global Queer Cinema, a course taught by Germanic languages professor and sexuality studies board member Alice Kuzniar. Kuzniar, who chose all films for the series, was once a programmer for the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
"I wanted to choose 'Paris is Burning' because it has been probably the most controversial in visible film from the 1990s that dealt with transgender and it's been taken up in a lot of film criticism and scholarship on race and transgender studies," Kuzniar said.
"It has also been controversial because why is it that a predominately white audience would be interested in the spectacle that they are presenting? So there is kind of a voyeuristic titillation in the gender and racial difference."
The series, which began last November and has already shown two films and one documentary, screens movies tackling issues facing the queer community from a variety of cultures and religions.
"I wanted to have a diversity of different nationalities represented, and I wanted to have a number of documentaries represented that discuss issues like religious taboos," Kuzniar said. . . .
Kuwaitis who defy very narrowly defined gender stereotypes now face prison or a hefty fine
"The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared that a woman should not wear a man's clothing or vice versa. He cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men ...
"The evil of such conduct, which affects both the life of the individual and that of the society, is that it constitutes a rebellion against the natural ordering of things. According to this natural order, there are men and there are women, and each of the two sexes has its own distinctive characteristics. However, if men become effeminate and women masculinised, this natural order will be reversed and will disintegrate.
"Among those who are cursed by Allah and His Angels, both in this world and in the Hereafter, the Prophet, peace and blessings be on him, has mentioned the man whom Allah has created as male but who becomes effeminate by imitating women, and a woman whom Allah has created as female but who becomes masculinised by imitating men. For this reason the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade men from wearing clothes or things pertaining to women."
According to the website IslamOnline, "Aspects of such imitation include the manner of speaking, walking, dressing, moving, and so on."
Quoting a Saudi scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid, it continues: "Wearing adornments on the wrist and neck, and on the ears is an imitation of women, as this is something that is only for women. So it is not permissible for men to wear bracelets, earrings, anklets, or chains." . . .
Poet dismisses transsexual falsities
One might think Athens Boys Choir would sound like smiling boys in matching robes, crooning in harmony. But Katz, the only member, is far from it.
"There's nothing choir about it. I'm beyond terrible of a singer," he said.
Katz - whose legal first name is Elizabeth - is a transsexual man who also goes by the name Harvey.
"When people hear it's a poetry event, it conjures up a specialized group of people," Katz said. "But my work is not traditional poetry; I do X-Games poetry, and I definitely have a sense of humor."
Ryan Byrd, a University alumnus from Augusta, has been to Athens Boys Choir shows numerous times.
"It was literally a life-changing experience," he said. "The shows have a tremendous amount of energy. (Katz) has the ability to challenge and entertain. I am also just a bit amazed at his power with words." . . .
| Transgender |
A broad range of people who experience and/or express their gender differently from what most people expect — either in terms of expressing a gender that does not match the sex listed on their original birth certificate (i.e., designated sex at birth), or physically changing their sex. It is an umbrella term that includes people who are transsexual, cross-dressers or
otherwise gender non-conforming. Not all people who consider themselves (or who may be considered by others as) transgender will undergo a gender transition.
The term “gender identity,” distinct from the term “sexual orientation,” refers to a person’s innate, deeply felt psychological identification as male or female, which may or may not correspond to the person’s body or designated sex at birth (meaning what sex was originally listed on a person’s birth certificate).
Gender identity disorder / Gender dysphoria
GID is a psychological diagnosis recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. This disorder is marked by severe distress and discomfort caused by the conflict between one’s gender identity and one’s designated sex at birth. Not all transgender people experience gender dysphoria or are diagnosed with GID.
I find this very curious. Part of my stress has been the thought that I am a cross dresser about to transistion. As can be seen by the top definition - a cross dresser is within the transgender community.
What if I still identify as Male? . . .
I have experienced more ignorance in the past 7 days that I have in
my entire life. I am an upper year psychology student at this
learning institution. I am ashamed and embarrassed to be in an
educational environment with such closed minded people. It is easy
to understand how and why people are not aware of ignorance's like
the ones I am shortly going to address but it is not justifiable, or
acceptable by any means.
First and foremost, I am a 'trans' identified person. 'Trans' in
this context is loosely defined as someone whose gender identity is
inconsistent with the gender they were assigned at birth. Our
learning institution is taking initiatives to become a more
'trans-friendly' place but they are slow and met with many
bureaucratic road blocks.
Part of Brock's initiatives have been to allow students to go by
whichever name they prefer and have that name presented on class
lists, the assigned legal name is however also on this list. Last
week in a seminar a teaching assistant was deeply troubled by my
preferred name and 'legal' names gender inconsistency and she
announced this problem to the group of 20 or so students practically
forcing me to explain that I am trans and thus have a legal name
that does not reflect the gender I present. I would prefer to remain
stealth about my biological gender, but I am not ashamed of my
identity or situation. I am however concerned for my safety as there
is a history of abuse and mistreatment of 'trans' people by those
who are not comfortable with the idea. . . .
Research found that the average woman - at around 5ft 4in tall with an inside leg measurement of 29in - would need shapely 30.5in legs to reach perfection.
However, very long legs are not necessarily better because the study also showed that those with an extra 10 per cent were actually rated as less attractive.
The findings could explain the sex appeal of stars such as Kylie Minogue, the singer, who despite being only 5ft tall, has topped polls of the "best celebrity legs".
Although her legs are petite, they are proportionally long compared with her small frame. It could also explain why women often choose to wear high heels, giving the illusion of longer limbs.
Polish researchers at Wroclaw University asked 218 male and female volunteers to rate, in order of attractiveness, seven silhouettes of a man and woman. . . .
What if the subject of gender, masculine and feminine alike, was as variable as race and religion when it comes to assigning on-campus housing? This is precisely what the Colleges and University Housing Services staff at UC Santa Cruz is currently discussing.
Integrating men, women and those who do not affiliate with a particular gender on the same dormitory floor is a fairly new development in colleges and universities across the nation. However UCSC is already working toward the goal of giving a gender-neutral option to all students.
Among the colleges and universities in the nation to already offer gender-neutral housing are Brown University, Oberlin College, Columbia University, Vassar College, and University of Pennsylvania.
Three California campuses have similar accommodations, including Humboldt State, the California Institute of Technology, and UC Riverside. UCR, which initiated gender-neutral housing in the fall of 2005, remains the only UC campus to have done so. However, other UCs offer various accommodations for the GLBTI community, such as UC Berkeley’s Unity House and Davis’ Rainbow House. . . .
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Where transgender women (transsexuals in the old parlance) have occupied the media spotlight for decades, less has been written about trans men. The trannie party scene from the film Transamerica (2005) comes to mind. “We walk among you …” says a robust gent, explaining how transgender guys blend into society.
Blending in or ‘passing’ eventually surfaces in discussions around transitioning. No problems there for Jeremy Wiggins (he prefers to be called Jez). As the pictures in the Transmen Translated exhibition reveal and certainly over the phone, there is little indication of Jez’s female past. Just your average guy, albeit queer identified.
But the road to realising your true gender identity is not without obstacles. For starters there are binders, effectively a corset to flatten the chest.
Jez says they are a ‘hassle’ and can be quite painful.
”Many guys want to go to the gym and increase their muscle mass to make the physique more masculine,” he says. “So any sort of physical exercise combined with trying to also hide that you don’t have a flat chest is really difficult and alienating.”
Jez’s symbolic binder burning episode is documented on video in the Transmen Translated exhibition. . . .
Bereavement: A guide for Transsexual, Transgender people and their loved ones, 2007, Department of Health
This booklet has been produced to assist bereaved trans people or friends, or the family of a trans person who has died. There have been recent legal changes regarding gender recognition for legal purposes as well as obligations to protect the privacy of trans people. These impact on the obtaining and
security of details of trans people in the circumstances where either they have died, or when dealing with the death of a family member. . . .
Zainab Abdulhafed Rabie is now hoping to clear the final hurdle through the courts, where she is battling for the right to be recognised as a male and her name changed to Hussain.
Her lawyer Fouzia Janahi presented a medical report to Bahrain's High Civil Court last month and the case has been adjourned until February 14 for the legal medical officer to give his judgement.
Zainab, 34, underwent an eight-hour sex change operation at Yanhee Hospital, Bangkok, in December last year.
The procedure was paid for by the Bahrain government, which gave BD5,000 to cover her operation, accommodation, plane ticket and food.
She was also provided with a court order explaining her condition, which she can produce if she was stopped by immigration officers on her way home.
Zainab had already undergone a mastectomy and her lawyer said the medical report certifies that Zainab is a man. . . .
By Blair Anthony Robertson
January 22, 2008
David Nylund spent the better part of four years researching his book on the phenomenon of sports talk radio, tuning in so much it became part of his life. He woke to it. He drove around with it. It was on when he went to sleep.
Needless to say, Nylund's marriage ended before his field work.
One of the main points in the 190-page book, "Beer, Babes, and Balls," is that sports radio is the one place where men can still be men. If some men are confused about the appropriate way to express their masculinity, radio is the so-called "third place" besides work and home.
"There is this real community where men get together. Talking about sports is really intimate for men and some women. It is very connecting, but it can be very exclusionary if you're not into sports," Nylund said.
Research included eating his share of hot wings and guzzling beer. He went to sports bars often enough that everybody knew his name. He even dated one of the bartenders.
To those he interviewed, such as Isaac Clark III, Nylund seemed like "just a regular guy. I remember him saying he was writing a book and I said, 'Yeah right, whatever.' "
But Nylund, 47, is anything but regular – and would seem to be unlikely to author a sports book.
For one, he is a feminist scholar with a doctorate in cultural studies. For another, one facet of his profession sees him counseling those considering a sex change operation.
"I traffic in these very contradictory sites," said Nylund, a professor of social work at California State University, Sacramento. He is also clinical supervisor for the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center.
Growing up, Nylund did not play the traditional team sports. He excelled at tennis and was a scratch golfer or, as he calls them, feminized sports. . . .
While some women find their beauty fading as they approach 40, award-winning comedienne Margaret Cho has only just begun to feel beautiful -- at 39.
Raised in San Francisco by Korean parents (her father is a joke-writer) and neighboring drag queens, Margaret Cho was never the "All-American Girl," according to her 1999 one-woman show-turned record-breaking concert film and best-selling book "I'm The One That I Want." In fact, on this and subsequent tours: "Notorious C.H.O." (2001), "Revolution" (2003) "Assassin" (2005) and "The Sensuous Woman" (2006), Cho's personal struggles with racial identity, queerness and distorted body image are gravely evident in her humorous routines.
Set to formally announce the spring launch of "Beautiful," her new one-woman show, on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Jan. 23, a newly confident Cho has graciously given Gay.com a sneak peak of the tour in an exclusive interview, where she discusses the secret to and importance of feeling beautiful inside and out -- especially if you're queer. . . .
Jan 24, 2008
Diego Sanchez, the director of public relations and external affairs at AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, will have a hand in shaping the Democratic Party platform that will be adopted at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August. Sanchez’s appointment to the Platform Committee marks the first time a transgender person has been nominated to a convention committee by a Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, a post currently held by Howard Dean.
Sanchez said he is "truly humbled" by the appointment. He is among seven members of the LGBT community -- a record number -- who were nominated by Dean to serve on the 2008 Democratic National Convention Standing Committees, which include the Platform Committee, the Credentials Committee and the Rules Committee. . . .
Jan 24, 2008
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), came out swinging against the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) during her Jan. 17 speech at the First Event transgender conference at the Boston Marriott Peabody. Speaking to a small audience of about 12 people during a town-hall-style meeting, Keisling accused HRC of undermining the coalition of organizations working to pass a trans-inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) last fall. HRC has come under fire from some LGBT activists for supporting an ENDA bill in the House of Representatives that only offers protections based on sexual orientation. First Event, organized by the Tiffany Club of New England, is the region’s largest transgender conference.
Keisling told attendees that while HRC joined other LGBT organizations last October in publicly opposing the sexual orientation-only version of ENDA, its lobbyists were working behind the scenes to ramp up support for the bill. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass) stripped out gender identity language from ENDA in September after House leadership warned that there were not enough votes to prevent Republicans from sinking a trans-inclusive bill through a procedural motion. On Oct. 2 HRC announced that it would not support the sexual orientation-only version of ENDA, yet it was one of the only national LGBT organizations not to sign onto United ENDA, a coalition that went a step further and urged Congress to vote against any ENDA bill that did not protect transgender people. . . .
Day to Day, January 22, 2008 - There have been many wild and wooly characters in the history of rock and pop music, but none wilder or woollier than a transsexual artist named Baby Dee. Her unusual life and career have led to her latest record — Safe Inside the Day.
Dee launched her musical career as a harpist in New York's Central Park in a bear costume. She says, "I just had this fuzzy picture in my mind of something sort of festive playing a harp. I don't know, it just sort of came to me."
She was a street performer, but Dee also studied music seriously and was so obsessed with Gregorian chant and the Renaissance that her conducting teacher suggested that she learn to play the organ and get a job in a church. Dee thought that was sensible advice. She'd been playing religious music for years, but the idea of working in a church had never occurred to her. "Within weeks of him saying that, I had a big job up in the South Bronx that became what I thought would be my life's work," she says.
What eventually changed Dee's mind about her life's work at the church was her sexuality. Dee is a transsexual, and after years of living what she says was a life of pretense as a man, she finally made the decision to become a woman. . . .
21 January 2008
There is a place between reality and make-believe where strangers dwell. They are unable to fully integrate into a world of clear definitions but equally unwilling to pretend that they are something they are not. It's in that gray and lonely place that Meredith lives.
She's a transsexual, and although she says she is comfortable with who she is, the loneliness can become unbearable, because she exists on the fringes of a culture that still considers humans trapped in the wrong bodies as freaks.
Meredith isn't her real name, but I will respect her desire for anonymity. She was born a boy, but sensed from an early age that the true person within her, the one she wanted to be, was a girl. She identified with the Sallys around her, not the Michaels.
She has e-mailed me for years, urging me to publicize the plight of those often arrested by the police and beaten by thugs for very little reason, other than the clothes they wear, the manners they assume and the gender lines they cross. She became more persistent in her demand for attention when Times sportswriter Mike Penner courageously announced in print that he was transsexual and would reemerge as Christine Daniels. . . .
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Over Nov. 1-4, 2007 I traveled across country from Rochester NY to Washington DC to Phoenix AZ. This is Day 3 (1200 mile drive starting in Little Rock AR and ending in Douglas AZ) and Day 4 (240 mile drive to Chandler, AZ). It covers Arkansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona - a diverse landscape changing from hills, to flatlands, to desert, to mountains.
Hate Crimes Protection and Human Rights
Hate crimes protection exists somewhat unofficially in places, but combined with crimes against GLB folk, resulting in a situation in which there are often no statistics that can be sifted through specific to us. “Sexual orientation” was added to the Criminal Code in 2004, but at that time, the NDP motion (tabled by Svend Robinson) left transgender folks behind.
“Gender Identity” and “Gender Expression,” however, are not included in any Human Rights Charter in Canada, except in the Northwest Territories (NWT – and this inclusion was more fluke than anything, and has not been tested to my knowledge). In practice, however, human rights of transpeople vary based on different court rulings, in which inclusion is sometimes made based on alternate bases of “gender / sex” or “disability” (from the classification in the DSM-IV).
Protection in employment is governed by court rulings (which is also the same process by which Canadians acquired the right to same-sex marriage). In Alberta, there was a victory based on a read-in protection under “sex,” and this ruling has influenced some cases in other Provinces. I may be wrong, but I believe that Saskatchewan and Ontario have protective rulings, and likely other provinces as well. In B.C. however, in the case of Kimberly Nixon vs. Rape Relief, the provincial Supreme Court ruled that Rape Relief had the ability to discriminate with regard to Nixon volunteering, and noted among other things that transgender people are not specifically protected in the Human Rights Charter. This note may have been meant to draw attention to this fact and call for it to be addressed in a subsequent appeal, but when the case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, the court refused to hear it. Consequently, that the B.C. court ruling stands. . . .
~ by dentedbluemercedes on January 20, 2008.
KUWAIT : A leading Islamist member of parliament hit back on Sunday at human rights group
“The law criminalising people who imitate the appearance of the opposite sex must be implemented and respected,” said Faisal al-Muslim, who heads a parliamentary committee monitoring “practices alien to Kuwaiti society.”
“Kuwait should ignore any international criticism in this respect. We call on Human Rights Watch to adopt the Kuwaiti law in dealing with such cases,” in the United States, Muslim told reporters.
The New York-based watchdog urged Kuwaiti authorities on Friday to release from prison 14 men jailed in recent months for having dressed as women in public, describing a law passed by parliament as “repressive.”
It quoted friends of the prisoners as saying the men were being subjected to “physical and psychological abuse”, including beatings, and that none had access to legal representation. . . .
A transsexual truck driver was humiliated and forced out of a job when he started to dress as a woman, a tribunal heard yesterday.
Vikki-Marie Gaynor – who changed her name from Mike – said colleagues branded her a 'queer' and taunted her after she began to live as a woman full-time. . . .
Now he's a she, and she wants her name changed on her diploma.
The school, not surprisingly, refused.
It will, however, re-issue the diploma with just her middle initial, which is "E," instead of her full name, which used to be Ronnie Eugene Elrod. Elrod now goes by her new middle name, which is "Elise." . . .
By ASHLEY SMITH, Telegraph Staff
In the months ahead, The Telegraph will introduce its readers to people who say they’ve shared the same life-defining urge to live as the opposite sex – eventually revealing the secret to the shock of those around them: parents, friends and family, co-workers.
This was a community rarely mentioned in New Hampshire – at least publicly – before last year, when Dr. Jennifer Madden, of Nashua, decided to use her medical expertise to take on the Statehouse, fighting for the rights of all transsexuals in the state.
Until this week, New Hampshire was considering legislation that would have made it the first state to require insurance companies to cover the cost of hormones for people transitioning from one gender to another. Not even Madden thought the bill would make it past subcommittee. . . .
January 20, 2008
Transgender youth need more protections in schools, advocates and parents say.
Children who express a gender identity opposite of their outward appearance often are bullied. But those who repress their identities because they don't feel safe are at a high risk of suicide, according to advocates.
One Seacoast parent whose child came out as transgender in high school said he and his wife struggled over how to keep their daughter from harm.
"We want our child to be alive," he said, "not suicidal or a hate crime victim."
The parent asked not be named to protect his daughter's identity.
Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people who don't fully identify with their apparent birth gender or who were born with intersexed conditions. It can include people ranging from transsexuals who live as the opposite sex or have been surgically reassigned, to someone who cross-dresses occasionally.
The student, now 19, was teased about what other students perceived as effeminate characteristics and for trying out for female parts in plays before transitioning. After she learned how to formally describe her situation in ninth grade and came out, the teasing escalated into harassment and physical threatening, her father said. . . .
CROSS-DRESSER: A person who dresses in clothing culturally associated with the other sex.
DRAG QUEEN/DRAG KING: Biological males and females who present occasionally as members of the opposite sex, generally for
FTM: An acronym that stands for female-to-male, or, the direction in which a person is transitioning. MTF stands for male-to-female transition.
GENDER: Generally defined as a set of sociologically and culturally constructed roles, behaviors, practices and attributes that a society considers appropriate for men and women. There are many definitions of gender.
SEX: Classification of people as male or female based on biological characteristics, such as chromosomes, hormones, reproductive organs and genitals.
GENDER EXPRESSION: The external display of a person’s gender identity, usually expressed through masculine or feminine behavior.
GENDER IDENTITY: A person’s internal, personal sense of being a man, woman, transgender or other.
GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER: A controversial psychological diagnosis that can be given to transgender people, which identifies the incongruence between the person’s biological sex and their gender identity. Some contend the diagnosis inappropriately characterizes the condition as abnormal. Others say they country’s health-care system needs such a label to justify medical or psychological treatment. . . .
ANKARA (AFP) — A unique play in an Ankara theatre ended with a standing ovation this week as the little-known actors -- transsexuals and gays raising their voice against discrimination -- fought back their tears on stage.
Their play, "Pink And Grey," put the spotlight on the plight of transsexuals in mainly Muslim Turkey, in the latest initiative of a fledgling but increasingly vocal movement for rights by a community long ostracized and often harassed.
Beaming with pride and excitement, the amateur stars, male-to-female transsexuals Derya Tunc and Sera Can, received congratulations in the boisterous backstage, taking a welcome respite from their actual jobs as sex workers.
"Despite all the discrimination we face, I have no regrets for what I am," Can cheerfully told AFP. "My only regret is having ended up in the prostitution sector."
Almost all transsexuals and transvestites in Turkey make their living as prostitutes. They say they have no other option in a society where homophobia is strong and often accompanied by violence.
Three quarters of Turks say they are "disturbed" by homosexuals, a recent opinion survey showed, although many gays today are recognized as being among the country's most prominent singers and fashion designers.
Notoriously harsh against transsexual prostitutes, police have been accused of arbitrary round-ups, mistreatment, torture and rough "clean-up" operations in several Istanbul neighbourhoods popular with transsexuals. . . .
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
God Loves Transsexual and Transgender People - a blog on religion, politics, and sometimes history, science and law, with a smattering of gender theory.
January 19, 2008
Susan Stanton, the transitioning transsexual woman who first became the subject of the news media when she was fired from her job as City Manager by government officials in Largo, Florida, was quoted in an article I found on Google, in The Ledger (a newspaper published in Polk County, Florida) on January 4, 2008 in an article - you can find it at:
However, the article first appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on December 31, 2007 - here is the URL for that (it did not come up in my Google search, while The Ledger article did):
Here is the section with the quote:
Susan has met hundreds of other people like her. She was among the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people lobbying for a law that would make it illegal for others to discriminate against them.But Susan has said all along that she's not like other transgender people. She feels uncomfortable even looking at some,"like I'm seeing a bunch of men in dresses."Eventually, she decided it was too early for transgender people to be federally protected. People need more time, more education, she says. "The transgender groups boo me, now, when I speak. Isn't that ironic?" But I don't blame the human rights groups from separating the transgender people from the protected groups. Most Americans aren't ready for us yet, " Susan says. Transgender people need to be able to prove they're still viable workers, especially in the mainstream."The biggest issue against the federal legislation is that politicians think the ladies' rooms will be invaded by guys in drag," Susan says, "instead of someone like me."
Now, I have it from someone who actually spoke with Susan that she states that she was actually misquoted - and here is a link to Susan's own website that indicates the same:
(And an excerpt for those who don't want to click, or in the event the URL gets stale . . . ): . . .
Anjali Lama, a transvestite from Nepal, was struck with a mixture of pride and embarrassment when she came to Thailand to participate in the world’s biggest transsexual/transgender beauty pageant.
She was proud because she had the opportunity to represent her conservative country in an international event but embarrassed because she knew she could never compete physically with other contenders.
She was bold and outspoken, even the organisers agreed to it. And her five-feet-nine-inch slim body had cast spell on some people from the fashion industry. But these characteristics, according to her, were not enough to leave a mark in the contest.
“See how others have come here,” the 23-year-old said, pointing at other participants at Tiffany’s backstage in Pattaya, where Miss International Queen 2007 was held. “They are followed by a troop of dress designers and make-up assistants, but for us, we even had to rent the dresses.” . . .(By RUPAK D SHARMA In Pattaya/ ANN/ AsiaNews)
It has been nearly six years since Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo last graced a stage in Toronto. But this is a favourite city for the company, as the site of their first performance outside New York City, where the butchiest ballerinas in pointe shoes formed their company in 1974.
Combining parody and technical perfection, the Trocks have been entertaining audiences around the world ever since – they are especially revered in Japan – with their repertoire of classical ballet and modern dance pieces.
New York dance critic Arlene Croce legitimized the Trocks with a review in 1974 that called them "dead on target and hilarious." Artistic director Tory Dobrin, who joined the company in 1980 as a dancer, says Les Ballets remains true to its aim to be funny, adding new repertoire each year, but preferring choreographers drawn from the company ranks.
To create dances for the Trocks, he says, "You have to have a little bit of a twisted mind-set." Fans of the boys in tutus will be pleased to know that they will perform Les Sylphides and Paquita, among other pieces, for the two shows coming to the Elgin Theatre Saturday and Sunday.
A Trock since 1995, Paul Ghiselin is now the company ballet master (mistress?). But until recently, he was thrilling audiences as the exquisite Ida Nevasayneva. In a rare interview, Ida agreed to tell all to the Toronto Star.
Q: What was your greatest moment on stage? . . .
Drag kings are sexier than drag queens, discovers Fiona Scott-Norman.
ONE of culture guerilla Banksy's works of graffiti has just sold for more than $400,000. Elvis Costello is in an advertisement for Lexus. You'd be pushed to find anyone under 35, male or female, bogan or bourgeois, without a tattoo or piece of metal thrust through some nubbin of soft tissue. Society doesn't so much as attack counter-culture as appropriate it to death.
Drag queens are another example. Only 30 or so years ago a drag queen was unusual, confronting, and more provocative than sketching a jaunty cartoon of Muhammad; these days they're family entertainment on stage at the Regent and scarcely raise an eyebrow.
Not all drag is safe and familiar, however. Melbourne has a thriving drag king scene, but most folk wouldn't know a drag king if he came up and humped their leg. Bumpy has been running King Victoria Drag Kings for eight years (the world's longest-running weekly drag king night), and she says that drag kings seem destined to remain underground. . . .