Monday, March 31, 2008
By KAREN LOVETT, Telegraph Staff
March 30, 2008
The countdown began more than 100 days before.
Back in September, a thick cushion of weeks separated Cynthia Tebbetts from the moment her life would be transformed.
Landmark days came and went.
Christmas was a blur.
New Year’s a mere flash.
Then came her last day of work. Her last dinner out.
Finally, in late January, it was time.
As a boy growing up in west Manchester, John Jay Tebbetts felt something wasn’t right.
As a teenager, he realized he didn’t want to be a boy.
As an adult, nearing his 40th birthday, he plummeted into a depression that ushered him to the brink of suicide.
That scare forced him to throw a light on a secret he’d been keeping even from himself: in order to live, and to be happy, John Jay would need to change. And so, he embarked on a transformation to become Cynthia Nicole. . . .Read More
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
In August 2007, he did a tummy tuck. On January 10, 2008, it was breast augmentation, completing the sex change he has always wanted.
A sex change happens when a male or female undergoes hormonal or surgical manipulation to change his or her outward appearance to that of the opposite gender.
A trajectory of Peter Kugouri's* sex change shows one year of psychological and hormonal treatment for the 27-year-old man, who now sports a pierced navel, dangling earrings, waist-length hair and a female form. "I have 11 piercings in total on my body," he boasted to the Flair Magazine.
A former 'son' of a St Mary family, Kugouri, who spent his early years in Montego Bay and now resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, goes by the alias 'Sade'. His well-manicured acrylic nails, permanent make-up and Indian features scream feminine allure. "When I go out, I am not recognised as anything other than female.". . .Read More
30 March 2008
Mar 29, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO — As the lights dimmed and the bass from the speakers filled the SomArts Gallery, the sold-out crowd rose to their feet in applause as Tita Aida, the self-proclaimed transgender “hostess with the moistest,” made her way down the 60-foot-long runway to kick off the first annual “Catwalk,” a male-to-female transgender beauty pageant, on March 22.
The event showcased 16 beautiful and classy transgender models, each representing different parts of the world.
Lally Lacy, a transgender program specialist at the API Wellness Center and a transgender woman herself, said Tita Aida (known as Nicky Calma during her day job as an API Wellness Center program supervisor) formed the idea for the event a year ago as a means to empower the transgender community Lesbian-and-Gay-Executives , because there were not enough venues for transgender people to meet. “We just wanted to make a positive influence on the transgender community, especially for Asian Pacific Americans, and showcase the transgender community’s love for beauty, fashion and self,” Lacy said. “We want to show what we have and what we can do.” . . . .Read More
31 March 2008
The media coverage of Thomas Beatie, the transgender man from Oregon who claims to be pregnant, has been plentiful, but Beatie himself hasn't given an interview yet (besides the initial one he gave to The Advocate). Beatle still has his female reproductive organs, though he has been transitioning for ten years with hormone therapy.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
March 29, 2008
By day, he's mild-mannered Alexander Williams, the sweet, somewhat nerdy boy who pampers pooches at the South Bark Dog Wash. By night, he's a hyperkinetic star who lip-synchs before a screaming crowd at a North Park bar, pelvis thrusting under the dizzying spotlights.
Williams, 21, recently earned a spot on the San Diego Kings Club, a troupe of drag performers who mimic male icons, through a three-month contest styled like American Idol, with new themes and competitors voted off week by week. His brand of offbeat, exuberant drag won over the judges and earned him fistfuls of dollars, flung at the stage by fans. His stage name is a bit too raunchy to print. As his alter ego, he's swaggered like Elvis, stumbled like a lounge lizard, and torn off a dress and wig to the tune of Queen's "I Want to Break Free."
Unlike many drag kings, who identify and live as women, Williams is transgender, and lives as a man every day. Born female, Williams came out as lesbian at age 14, and led the gay-straight alliance at Granite Hills High School. Years ago, when he started doing drag, he was still living as a woman, and had to pencil in his sideburns with eyeliner. . . .Read More
Kerry Eleveld, The Advocate
Sen. Barack Obama waded deep into Clinton territory Thursday evening at a private LGBT fund-raiser in New York City where the price of admission was $2,300 per person.
Held at the apartment of GLSEN founder and executive director Kevin Jennings and his partner, Jeff Davis, the event drew about 125 people and raised $170,000. No press were admitted, but based on several accounts, attendees were struck by the Illinois senator’s candor as well as his fluency with LGBT issues.
“I’ve been to many events over the past 10 years of candidates running for office,” said Corey Johnson, one of the hosts, “This was the most forthright, eloquent, and detailed stuff I’ve heard from a politician [regarding gay issues].”
Molly Lenore, 43, compared Obama’s discussion of the LGBT community to the speech he gave about race in America last week. “During his race speech, everybody said afterward that he treated the American people like adults, and I felt like that’s what he did,” said Lenore, who is transgender and an Obama supporter. “I might not agree 100%, but I want to have an intelligent conversation with somebody.” . . .Read More
By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star 3.30.2008
The word "transgender" does not appear in the Bible. Save a few references to women in masculine clothing and vice versa, it's hard to know whether Scripture says anything at all about people who change their sexual identity.
Interpreting the Bible as it relates to gender-variant people is one of 80 workshops that will take place this week during an international conference in Tucson, titled "Transgender 2008," which begins Tuesday.
About 350 people are expected to attend the conference, an annual event sponsored by the Massachusetts-based International Foundation for Gender Education. The event is in its 22nd year, and this its first time in Arizona.
March 30, 2008
William, born female, has always known he was really male.
At age two, his mother was dressing the family's children -- three daughters -- for a Christmas Eve party. William, who then had a girl's name, was having none of it.
"He said, 'Little boys do not wear dresses,'" his mother told The Province. "That was one of the last times we ever put a dress on him."
His real name isn't William, but the Fraser Valley teenager, now 19, says he's suffered discrimination because of the kind of person he is, and using his real name would expose him to further bigotry.
As a child, William wanted to play hockey, but young girls couldn't. He settled for ringette. . . .Read More
31 March 2008
How do you date a transgender woman? Are there certain “dos and don’ts” for asking a transgender girl out on a date? What should you say in the first e-mail? If you’re like most men, you probably met a transgender woman in either an 'online' chatroom, dating website, or social network. Along the way, you checked out her photo, profile, and common interests.
The key word is “common interests” and mutual compatibility. So, you fire-off a quick email. Yet, you failed to tell her what you are looking for in relationship or first meeting. Try to look at your first e-mail as a” business card.” It is a way of introducing yourself and exploring possibilities. Remember when you purchased that first greeting card for that special person…you took your time! . . .Read More
March 29, 2008
John Nemecek rocked Spring Arbor University and made national news last year when the transgender professor came out as Julie. Being fired in February 2007 from the Christian college only strengthened her resolve, and sharpened her pen.In a prolific stream of one-liners on the Citizen Patriot opinion page, she fires a pea shooter at a hornet's nest.
She says her God is a loving God of diversity and acceptance.
"Sodom was destroyed not because of homosexuality, but for arrogance and lack of compassion," she wrote in a recent one-liner.
Readers thrashed that like red meat in the shark tank.
"Nemecek and people like her have created a cancer that has eaten away at the very fabric of what Christianity has been fighting for centuries," Horton's Rob Anderson responded in a letter to the editor.
His response is typical among dozens of critics who claim Nemecek is a publicity hound out to bend the Scriptures to justify her sinful lifestyle. Some scoff at calling Nemecek a "her." . . .Read More
By Pagan Kennedy March 30, 2008
CHILDREN HAVE CUT themselves. In some cases, 9- or 10-year-old kids have staged suicide attempts. The little boys sob unless they're allowed to wear dresses. The girls want to be called Luke, Ted, or James.
Their parents, desperate to know what is wrong, go online and type "gender disorder."
And what they find is that, even now, decades after doctors performed the first sex changes in America, there's little help for transgender children.
Even the care of transgender adults remains a medical backwater in the United States; in fact, we do not even know how many people in this country have gone through sex changes, because doctors simply did not bother to keep track of patients. Until recently, children with cross-gender feelings rarely received modern medical care - and certainly not hormone shots. After all, who would allow a child to redesign his or her body?
But in the past few years, some doctors have come to believe that kids should be allowed to have some control over how they grow up. Dr. Norman Spack, 64, argues that transgender kids tend to be much happier - and less likely to harm themselves - when they're able to live in their preferred gender role. . . .Read More
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Thomas Beatie, a transgendered man from Portland, Oregon who revealed he is pregnant in the latest issue of The Advocate, is five months along according to various reports.
Now the story, which spread like wildfire on the Web yesterday following its appearance in the latest issue of the LGBT news magazine, is prompting mass discussion among bloggers.
Beatie, who transitioned from female to male, decided not to remove his reproductive organs and stopped taking testosterone injections. Upon learning his wife, Nancy, couldn't carry a child, he tried. Now, Beatie and his wife are expecting a baby girl in July.
Beatie claims he's faced discrimination from doctors and hospitals, and now blogs are weighing in on the topic.
GaySocialites.com writes: "I was even more shocked at how upset people were to find out that Beatie was born a woman. In a strange-sort-of-way, everyone seemed to want Beatie to defy the laws of anatomy by getting pregnant as a man." . . .Read More
Sitting on the edge of the stage in the Center Theater last night, Sarah Perlmutter defined gender and sex as two different words.
"A person's sex is what they were born as, but a person's gender is the sex that feels more natural to them," said Perlmutter, a sociology sophomore.
Perlmutter, along with several other UK students, led a discussion titled, "In My Shoes: Stories of Our Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered, Questioning and Ally Campus and Community." The discussion was part of the Diversity Dialogues series sponsored by Student Diversity Engagement and the Division of Student Affairs.
The event aimed to raise awareness of harassment toward gay and transgender people, and to allow the panel to share their experiences and answer questions about discrimination.
The main point of the discussion was to educate those who may not understand some of the issues gay and transgender students have to deal with, which is why international studies sophomore Danielle Cole attended. . . .Read More
March 27, 2008
After years of input by homeless shelter clients, operators, and homeless advocates, the Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 Tuesday, March 25 to adopt a set of standards of care for homeless shelters. Supervisors Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd voted against the measure.
The standards, introduced to the board and sponsored by Supervisor Tom Ammiano, address everything from training staff members on how to be sensitive to LGBT issues to making sure bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper.
Ammiano said he's "very proud" of the legislation's passage. He said Mayor Gavin Newsom is supportive of the legislation and implementation should begin "just about immediately." Newsom's office did not provide a comment by press time.Quintin Mecke of San Francisco's Shelter Monitoring Committee, the group largely responsible for developing the standards, told the Bay Area Reporter the guidelines will hopefully "make a difference in the everyday experience people have in the shelter system."
Mecke, who ran unsuccessfully against Newsom in last year's mayoral race, said that staying in the shelters can be particularly hard for transgender people. He said there have been several cases where staff have told transgender people they need to provide a doctor's note to prove their gender when the person requests a female bunk. He referred to this burden of proof as "humiliating" and "unnecessary." . . .Read More
(Independent press, Media criticism)
The transgender narrative is well known, thanks to films like Boys Don’t Cry and Transamerica. But the problem, as Extra! reports in an analysis of transgender coverage over the past few years, is the idea that a single “transgender narrative” exists.
The narrative is by now quite familiar: A somewhat prominent white, middle-to-upper-class man comes out as a transgender woman, her long history of feeling “trapped in the wrong body” is detailed, and her struggles and surgeries are documented, as are the struggles of those around her to understand and embrace her change.
The Extra! report also seizes upon another shortcoming of media attention: that many reporters and television reporters obsess over a person’s “genital status,” reducing their transgender guests to sideshow surgical curiosities. Larry King is a notable perpetrator of such invasive questions—because, he explained to one guest, “we’re all fascinated with what happens.” . . .Read More
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
An attempt at describing my gender identity, which, now I have had the surgery, I can finally be open about!
Hopefully this will be of value to those of you questioning your own?
This is an understanding that took me many years to feel comfortable with and in, never mind being confident enough to share publicly! xenokyle
It was all about the purple fishnets.
College sophomore Cameron Clark spent the past few weeks preparing for his debut as Britney Spears last night, and he couldn't have done it without the "proper purple fishnets."
In towering black lace-up boots and a pink miniskirt, Clark was just one of the many Penn performers who participated in the second-annual gender-bending drag show last night. The show was part of QPenn, the annual lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender pride and awareness week.
"This is a drag show," said the emcee of the night, MC Liza, who hosts a weekly drag show at Bob and Barbara's, a bar downtown. "So don't be conservative. If you're going to be conservative, we'll send you somewhere else."
But the audience wasn't shy, and the five drag acts, which included a group of PennQuest leaders and a contingent from alpha Kappa Delta Phi, were met with a great reception. . . .Read more
Transgender activists will descend on Capitol Hill next month to lobby members of Congress to include "gender identity and expression" in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which bans workplace discrimination based on "sexual orientation," passed the House last November, but the homosexual employment bill still awaits a vote in the Senate. In preparation for the lobbying effort, the National Center for Transgender Equality will be holding "lobby training" and policy briefings on April 14 in Washington. The following day, transgender activists and their supporters plan to meet with members of Congress and urge them to back special workplace protections for transgender adults. They will also hold a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol. . . .Read More
By REBECCA ARMENDARIZ, Washington Blade | Mar 26, 2008
Marisa Richmond has been involved in national political conventions since 1980, when she worked on Sen. Edward Kennedy's bid for president.
But this election year will likely be more memorable for Richmond, as she is set to become the first black transgender delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
This year, Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean also named Diego Sanchez from Massachusetts to one of the convention's standing committees. Sanchez is the first transgender person to be selected by the chair of the DNC and the first to serve on the platform committee.
Richmond, a college history professor at Middle Tennessee State University, transitioned in 2001 at age 42. Though she knew since age 7 that she felt like a woman, she said she didn't know the terminology — or what was possible — until later. . . .Read More
By AINA HUNTER
March 26, 2008
Among the important issues raised by the pregnancy of Oregonian Thomas Beatie is whether a female-to-male transgender person who becomes pregnant might be endangering the fetus, especially someone like Beatie, who has been taking testosterone for at least 10 years.
There's very little research on the subject to date, and some experts are at odds about it. Dr. Charles Garramoni, a Florida plastic surgeon who specializes in female-to-male transgender surgery (but was not involved in Beatie's case), said the chances of complications are probably slim. . . .Read More
March 25, 2008
BELGRADE LAKES, Maine - Jennifer Finney Boylan never set out to be the public face for the transgendered.
But the novelist and English professor at Colby College was thrust into that role by her 2002 best-selling memoir about the transition to womanhood that freed her from the decades-long torment of being a female trapped in a male body.
With three appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," two on "Larry King Live" and numerous other interviews and public appearances, Boylan, 49, has become a sunny-faced activist for the transgendered and one of the most widely recognized transsexuals of recent years.
"Activism for me takes the form of living a normal life and doing so very publicly," she said. . . .Read More
Monday, March 24, 2008
March 25, 2008
Crossdressers and Tranassexuals, although both under the transgender umbrella, are really very different things, which Gina Lance talks about in her new book entitled: Get Dressed!
Gina Lance, the Editor In Chief of TGLIFE.com, may be the most well known cross-dresser on the planet. After producing and co-hosting TV-TV for Century Cable in 1997, Gina went on to publish Hollywood TVs, a retro pin up girl calendar, and then in 1999 founded Girl Talk Magazine which became the Vogue of trans publications in ten countries.
In the last decade, Gina has been featured on MSNBC’s documentary “The Secret Closet,” ABC’s “Philly After Midnight,” MTV, Showtime, HBO, E Channel, FOX and NBC’s “To Tell The Truth,” along with hundreds of radio interviews from London to New Zealand and across North America discussing what it means to be a crossdresser. She has been keynote speaker at TG conventions such as Atlanta’s ‘Southern Comfort Conference, Arizona’s ‘Puttin’ On The Glitz’ and Arkansas’s ‘Eureka En Femme Getaway’ and also participated in the West Hollywood, California “Transgender’s in the Media” televised town hall event. . . .Read More
- Ralph De La Cruz | Lifestyle Columnist
March 4, 2008
The night I heard that a cross-dressing teen had been shot and killed on Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, I immediately thought of Willie Litersky.
I had interviewed Willie, another cross-dressing teen, for a column about the challenges that gay and transgender kids face.
I had been so impressed with Willie's courage and self-confidence that I wrote, "When I grow up, I want to be like Willie."That was 18 months ago. When he was 15. When Willie was still Willie.
Monday, Willie turned 17, the same age as murder victim Simmie Williams Jr.
And Willie is now Niki.
"Nicholas was her middle name," Niki's mom, Linda, explained. "Niki's totally transsexual now. She's dressing as a girl all the time."
After receiving a recommendation from a therapist, Niki soon will be going to an endocrinologist. She expects to begin the hormone therapy needed to move toward eventual sexual reassignment surgery. . . .Read More
The transsexual activist underwent an operation in a public hospital and last year received an official ID under the name of Alejandra Portatadino. Currently she works in the law division of the Argentinean Homosexual Community. . . .Read More
Anniversaries can be such a drag—and at Kit Kat Lounge, that’s not a bad thing.
Forget ogling strippers or getting sweaty with hot strangers at a dance club. The new bachelorette party activity of choice is hanging out at a transsexual female–celebrity-impersonator supper club. At least that’s what Kit Kat Lounge’s Madame X (pictured, second from right) believes, considering such parties make up about 70 percent of her business. Founded in 2000 by business and life partners Ramesh Ariyanayakam and Edward Gisiger, the sleek Boystown lounge serves gourmet martinis (try the Sake-it-to-me), kicky menu items like “Just for the Halibut,” and drag from artists like Madame X, Delores Van Cartier and Sandy Solis, who perform in the aisles between tables every 20 minutes or so while pop music by Madonna, Tina Turner and Shakira plays through the swank space. . . .Read More
BANGKOK (AFP) — Thailand's military will stop branding transsexual conscripts as mentally disturbed, and will list them in a new "third category" as neither male nor female, a senior officer said Wednesday.
Thai men are required to report for the draft once they turn 21. Under the current system, transsexuals are rejected as suffering from "a mental disorder."
Gay rights groups complained that the label penalises transsexuals for the rest of their lives, because men are required to prove if they have completed their national service when they apply for jobs or bank loans.
When transsexuals submit their military rejection forms declaring they have a mental disorder, they are automatically disqualified from many jobs and mortgages. . . .Read More
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Third installment to sport brand new engine
Written by Guy Dixon
20 Mar 2008
"It is this type of open-ended gameplay that inspires endless creative possibilities"
Ben Bell Executive producer, The Sims 3
Electronic Arts has released the first official details of the next version of The Sims, one of the world's best selling computer games, which will launch in 2009.
With 98 million games sold around the world in 22 languages, the transgender appeal of the franchise has made The Sims the third best selling game in history, behind Mario and Pokemon. . . .Read More
. . .The San Francisco LGBT Community Center will host its next transgender job fair Wednesday, March 26 from 1 to 4 p.m., at 1800 Market Street. Organizers said that this event has 25 employers signed up, and that there are many more private sector employers attending the event.
Ken Stram, director of the center's economic development program, said that a new feature for next week's event is a "Dress for Success" component, where hair and makeup professionals will be on hand to help job seekers look their best to meet and greet prospective employers.
The event is part of the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative, a collaboration between the center, the Transgender Law Center, Jewish Vocational Services, and SF Transgender Empowerment Advocacy and Mentorship. . . .Read More
For more information, visit http://www.sfcenter.org.
A demonstration to remember a transgender woman whose naked body was found on a San Francisco sidewalk last year will be held Friday, March 21.
Ruby Ordenana, 24, whose legal name was Rudy Ordenana, was found dead in the 1600 block of Indiana Street, near Interstate 280, on March 16, 2007, according to police. The death was ruled a homicide.
Community United Against Violence is inviting people to remember Ordenana and others who've been lost to violence. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the 24th Street BART station on Mission Street.
San Francisco Police Department spokesman Sergeant Neville Gittens said the investigation remains open but there are no leads in the case.Mayor Gavin Newsom's office has authorized an increase in the reward. . .Read More
Two University of Oregon doctoral students dove into issues of transgender identities -- in the workplace and professional counseling -- and surfaced with a call for psychologists and vocational counselors to not only treat but to act as advocates for their clients -- and to help end discrimination in the workplace.
"One of the main points of our paper is that not only do we need to be, as vocational psychologists or career counselors, working with transgender people at an individual level to help them get hired, but we also need to be doing a lot of social advocacy work -- working with employers and workplaces -- improving antidiscrimination policies and doing legal advocacy," said lead author Maya Elin O'Neil.
The study, co-authored by their doctoral adviser Ellen Hawley McWhirter, a professor of counseling psychology, provides transgender-issue terminology related to gender identity, suggestions for addressing problems of both clients and on-the-job difficulties and lists available resources -- filling a void in both the academic literature and support possibilities. The study appeared online in February and in print in the March issue of the Journal of Career Development.
"We've had lots of requests for reprints of the article from people who have heard about it, and they've repeatedly said that there is nothing out there about the workplace angle," O'Neil said. Request for copies have come from psychologists, vocational counselors, university administrators, especially those dealing with diversity issues and planning, and even workforce managers, said co-author Alison Cerezo.
O'Neil and Cerezo both are pursing doctorates in counseling psychology. O'Neil also is a statistician and works as a therapist with at-risk youth. Cerezo also studies issues related to college retention and career self-efficacy among Latino/Latina college students. . . .Read More
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
by Barack Obama
Never in the history of American presidential elections has the LGBT Community’s vote been so aggressively sought as during the 2008 race for the Oval Office. The following is an open letter from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to the LGBT community. For comparison of both Democratic candidates in regards to gay issues, please refer to Senator Clinton’s Open Letter to the LGBT Community, also found on this website. The following is Obama’s letter in its entirety.
An Open Letter to the LGBT Community:
I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all – a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans.
Equality is a moral imperative. That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Illinois, I co-sponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, extending protection to the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.
The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science. While abstinence education should be part of any strategy, we also need to use common sense. We should have age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception. We should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. In addition, local governments can protect public health by distributing contraceptives. We also need a president who’s willing to confront the stigma – too often tied to homophobia– that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. I confronted this stigma directly in a speech to evangelicals at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, and will continue to speak out as president.
That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones – and that’s what I’ve done throughout my career. I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President, and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign – from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.
Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.
Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.
March 18, 2008
[The Bilerico Project EDITOR'S NOTE:] Frequent guest blogger Mercedes Allen has written a six part history of transgender people for the Project that is running weekly on Tuesdays. A listing of the other sections is at the bottom of the post.
It is interesting that it really wasn't until after Stonewall, when the GLB and T communities started to define themselves, that marked divisions occurred among them. From the earliest ages, gender variance and same-sex love were seen as connected and congruous, even if one aspect manifested entirely without the other. Before the oppression of the Middle Ages, both were also seen as equally innate and equally respectable. The rifts that began in the early 1970s (albeit with some earlier genesis in The Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis), deepening with third-wave feminism and other movements, would start to come closer together again as Western culture approached the new millennium, and as the various communities learned that they could distinguish themselves, and still learn to understand and respect each other. The trans community would remain outside the longest, not seeing any protective civil rights legislation pass until 1993. But as inclusion would spread, so would protections. . . .Read More
March 17, 2008
My response to "Gender: The Final Frontier" by Josh Kilmber-Purcell is a part of my weeklong obsessive dissection of Out magazine's transgender issue. When, from time to time, I do pick up Out, I always enjoy Kilmer-Purcell's column. He is engaging, witty and often I agree with his analysis. This month really isn't all that different.
I, of course, was a little skeptical when he opened by declaring himself "post-gender" and still think it was a regrettable way to start out his otherwise astute column. After declaring himself post-gender he says,
"From this day forward I'm not going to use the words masculine, feminine, or any of their derivations. They're meaningless, useless, and far too often meant as weapons rather than compliments."
To hear more about Kilmer-Purcell being post-gender and some of the really cool things he says in his column, follow me after the jump. Please?. . .Read More plus readers' Comments
18 March 2008
The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela
Directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
The last thing filmdom needs is an exposé on a transsexual, especially since we’re still waiting for that feature-length investigation into heterosexuality. So it’s just as well that we never learn any amazing truth about Raquela in Olaf de Fleur Johannesson’s fantastic The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela: the “truth” would only cheapen a subject that usually devolves into movie-of-the-week topicality. Instead, Johannesson immerses us in the texture of an everyday existence.
Essentially playing herself, Raquela (Raquela Rios) pines for a life beyond her native Philippines, where transsexuals face a bleak future. She’s fed up with the prostitute life and has moved successfully into the world of internet porn. With some money saved, she gets a temporary visa to Iceland, bringing her closer to the city of her dreams, Paris. . . .Read More
by Judith Butler
Review by Kathy Butterworth
Mar 18th 2008 (Volume 12, Issue 12)
Undoing Gender is a collection of recent essays from the feminist thinker Judith Butler. There are 12 articles in the book , including the introduction, ranging from the brief 'Quandaries of the Incest Taboo' (9 pages) to the more weighty 'The End of Sexual Difference? (30 pages). There is no obvious guiding principle at work in the organization of the articles which have a far reaching thematic range extending from transgender and intersex issues through psychoanalysis and arguments for recognition to the foolishly, according to Butler, isolationist stance of academic philosophy as a discipline in contemporary (American) universities. . . .Read More
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Making of the film "THE AMAZING TRUTH ABOUT QUEEN RAQUELA" by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson - more info on: www.queenraquelathemovie.com
March 18, 2008
In the Out Magazine April 2008 Transgender Issue, hidden at the bottom of page 25 is a really strong list of five ways to be a trans ally, by Dean Spade. Dean is a Harvard Law teaching fellow and founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Below is his list of ways to be a trans ally.
1. Work with transpeople to push your city's homeless shelter system to place residents according to their gender identity and safety, rather than birth gender.
An important component of this point is that it emphasizes working with transpeople. Oftentimes, as lesbian or gay folks try to work on transgender-related issues, they forget to include transgender people in the conversations and actions. This ends up being damaging, and reflects a paternalistic approach to being an ally that I experienced a lot while working with Indiana's lesbian and gay communities.The other four ways and my thoughts are. . .Read More
by Helen Boyd
Here’s a list of books I recommend on transgender issues and lives.
The starred (*) listings are books that I reviewed in greater depth in the annotated bibliography of My Husband Betty.
You can read more about most of these books, find reviews and discussions of other books, or post your own book for discussion in our Reader’s Chair Forum.
Here is my Top Ten List of Transgender Books, with these and others reviewed below.
- Butch Is A Noun - S. Bear Bergman
- Gender Outlaw - Kate Bornstein
- Crossdressing, Sex and Gender - Bullough & Bullough
- Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism - Patrick Califia
- Head Over Heels: Wives Who Stay with Crossdressers and Transsexuals - Virginia Erhardt
- Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman - Leslie Feinberg
- Becoming a Visible Man - Jamison Green
- Mom, I Need to Be a Girl - Just Evelyn
- Whipping Girl - Julia Serano
- Transition & Beyond - Reid Vanderbergh. . .Read More
March 18, 2008
Barbara Walters was awarded a GLAAD Media Award last night for her April 2007 20/20 special report, "My Secret Self: A Story of Transgender Children."
The report focused on the lives of transgender children who were diagnosed with gender identity disorder. When it aired, it won the A18-49 demo for the night.
Monday, March 17, 2008
(There's lots of helpful information here, but you may want to turn the music down or off.)
Mary and Jane don't know why they feel like women though they were born boys. Jane proffers the obviously wrong explanation that it's because they have an extra chromosome. But even the experts aren't certain about what causes gender identity disorder.
The most current (but still mysterious) explanation is that something happens to the part of the Central Nervous System responsible for gender identity in the womb. Theories that transsexuality is a mental illness or related to upbringing, social interactions and sexual experiences have largely been debunked.
Sex, the biological construct, is straightforward. Penis: boy. Vagina: girl. Gender and sexuality, on the other hand, can be confusing. And for those who fall outside patriarchal expectations of how men and women should behave, the gender journey can be difficult. . . .Read More
History could be made this June in Alameda County as five LGBT candidates are vying in races for two Oakland City Council seats, a judicial post, a county central committee slot, and a state Assembly seat.
It is believed to be the largest slate of openly gay candidates to appear on a ballot in an East Bay city. And with three of the June 3 primary contests involving open seats, the candidates in those races have a fighting chance of being elected.
"I guess it is, especially in Oakland, it is historic," said longtime Hayward City Councilman Kevin Dowling. "We have three openly gay elected officials in Hayward alone. The Oakland area has a large lesbian population. . .Read More
A Judge for All of Us
Experienced and Fair
It is uncommon for the voters to have a choice for Superior Court Judge in a contested, open election. On June 3, the voters of Alameda County will have that opportunity.
Victoria Kolakowski has the experience as an administrative law judge and attorney, the demonstrated commitment to the community, and the calm demeanor needed to be a fair judge for all of us. . . .Read More
Michelle Anne Farrell is a filmmaker. So was Joe O'Ferrell.
Arguably the most-anticipated feature-length documentary at the D.C. Independent Film Festival Monday evening, "Unraveling Michelle," (A Tough City Bitch Production), recounts the full transgender transformation of filmmaker Joe O'Ferrell into Michelle Anne Farrell - spending a worthy 85 minutes of self-conscious energy grappling with issues of authentic self-representation, personal struggle and gender identity.
And it is still in progress. . . .Read More
A shady Atlanta businesswoman armed with a gallon jug of silicone and syringes is offering to inject women seeking "J.Lo butts" in a Manhattan hotel room - an illegal and potentially lethal cosmetic treatment.
"I need to see your butt," Kimberly Smedley told a Post reporter posing as a customer last week in a suite at the Eastgate Tower Hotel on East 39th Street.
Smedley, a heavyset woman wearing camouflage pants and fake Ugg boots, then demanded $1,600 in cash to give nine injections to each cheek. . . .Read More
It was late on a rainy fall day, and a college freshman named Rey was showing me the new tattoo on his arm. It commemorated his 500-mile hike through Europe the previous summer, which happened also to be, he said, the last time he was happy. We sat together for a while in his room talking, his tattoo of a piece with his spiky brown hair, oversize tribal earrings and very baggy jeans. He showed me a photo of himself and his girlfriend kissing, pointed out his small drum kit, a bass guitar that lay next to his rumpled clothes and towels and empty bottles of green tea, one full of dried flowers, and the ink self-portraits and drawings of nudes that he had tacked to the walls. Thick jasmine incense competed with his cigarette smoke. He changed the music on his laptop with the melancholy, slightly startled air of a college boy on his own for the first time. . . .Read More
Saturday, March 15, 2008
When I reflect upon being transgender, I often find myself musing about how – in simply being myself – I end up creating a gender space that both fits into stereotypes of gender, and goes against those same stereotypes. Sometimes at the same time. The same is true – maybe even more so – for other transgender men, women, and others.
You see, a gender is a slippery concept. It's not so much a thing as it is a collection of beliefs. We cannot take a gender out of a case and examine it – we can only describe gender. What's more, those descriptions largely boil down to "I'll know it when I see it." Further still, many have differing definitions, based on a viewer's own perceptions and history. . . .Read More
"South Beach: The Novel"
By BRIAN ANTONI
Review By HENRY ALFORD
Many are the sparkly charms of the opera. The live camels, the castrati. The preoccupation with the world's oldest profession. The implication that narrative gathers its force from the combined efforts of caterwauling and wig tape. The plots that are not unleavened by coincidence and melodrama. The assertion that overweight people, when dying, brim over with song.
"South Beach: The Novel," Brian Antoni's candy-colored and warmhearted second work of fiction, would make a terrific opera. Though "South Beach" isn't camp -- it lurks in the wings thereof, its bejeweled turban only slightly askew -- it revels in a kind of surface detail that might easily be mistaken for it. Rich with club scenes and descriptions of offbeat forms of physical congress, this story of one man's moral and sexual flowering might best be described as an arrested bildungsroman with a predilection for the psycho-sexual. . . .Read More
Singer Bülent Ersoy has announced she has amended her will to donate her fortune to the Mehmetçik Foundation -- in support of Turkish soldiers -- and the Turkish Education Foundation (TEV).
Ersoy, a transsexual singer and popular television host, told journalists on Thursday that she has decided to leave her whole fortune to these two foundations and penned her will to this end. Ersoy's remarks came after she made her deposition at a prosecutor's office in İstanbul's Bakırköy district over the allegedly unpatriotic remarks she made last month. . . .Read More
To our neighbors, my wife, Nancy, and I don’t appear in the least unusual. To those in the quiet Oregon community where we live, we are viewed just as we are -- a happy couple deeply in love. Our desire to work hard, buy our first home, and start a family was nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until we decided that I would carry our child.
I am transgender, legally male, and legally married to Nancy. Unlike those in same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions, Nancy and I are afforded the more than 1,100 federal rights of marriage. Sterilization is not a requirement for sex reassignment, so I decided to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my reproductive rights. Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire. . . .Read More
'Gender identity is very important to God.'
Parents of children who struggle with gender confusion are being encouraged to raise their kids according to the gender they want to be.
Nationally, organizations are adopting gender-neutral restrooms.
And in California, students now can “choose their own gender” when deciding whether to use the boys’ or girls’ restroom and locker room.
According to the American Psychological Association, “transgender” is a term used to describe people whose self-perception differs from their biological gender. This condition is commonly referred to as gender identity disorder.
Randy Thomas is executive vice president of Exodus International, the largest worldwide Christian outreach to those affected by homosexuality. He spoke with CitizenLink about transgenderism and his own journey out of homosexuality.
1. Why are transgenderism and gender confusion so prevalent today?
With my parents' generation — the boomers and older — there were deeply taught gender roles, but that started breaking down with Gen X. Now people don’t know how to teach being a male or a female to younger males or younger females. We’ve lost our history of what it means to be a man and our history of what it means to be a woman, and activists have worked to obliterate that history because they feel it’s sexist. So if a man doesn’t know how to teach a little boy how to be a man, there’s a void there.
These activists are preaching this very strict worldview that there is no gender, and people are left confused. It’s no wonder that they come up with all kinds of ways to identify. . . .Read More
by Megan Feldman
A few months ago, I got a call from an editor at Seventeen who‘d come across a story I wrote for the paper version of Unfair Park about a female-to-male transgender teen who began living as a boy while attending an Irving high school. The editors wanted to feature Jay in the magazine, so I put them in touch. . . .Read More
* Transparent, Cris Beam (Harcourt
* Male Bodies, Women's Souls, LeeRay M. Costa, PhD, (Haworth)
* The Marrow's Telling, Eli Clare (Homofactus Press)
* What Becomes You, Aaron Raz Link & Hilda Raz (University of Nebraska Press)
* Nobody Passes, Mattilda, aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore (Seal Press). . . .Read More
By Valryn Warren
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Transgender people have existed for at least as long as there is written history, but the term "transgender" is relatively new, coined in the 1990s.
It broadly encompasses a number of ways a person's biological sex can differ from their gender identity — the sense of who they are, the things they're drawn to and the way they prefer to appear.But many people are still uncertain exactly what it means to be transgender — and that sometimes even includes those who are. . . .Read More
Thursday, March 13, 2008
March 13, 2008
“How does a 14 year old shoot a 15 year old in the back of the head because he’s wearing high heels?” Trans activist Jenn Burleton muses about the recent murder of southern California teen. “More than any other source of childhood abuse, teasing, and bullying; femininity in male children kills.”
Dedicated to preventing another causalty, the founder and executive director of TransActive Education & Advocacy (transactiveonline.org), a Portland, Oregon based organization, works with parents and schools to support transgender and gender variant children.
“This work is not just for trans kids,” she insists. “Because all children are victims of gender expression oppression.”
A lesbian-identified trans woman, who recently celebrated her 25th anniversary with her partner, Burleton previously co-founded Trans Youth Family Allies (TYFA - formerly Trans Youth Family Advocates) a national organization providing support for trans kids and their families, where she served as the inaugural executive director and board president.
Once a trans teen herself, in the mid-1960’s, then 12-year-old Burleton became one of the first - albeit unsanctioned - trans youth to begin hormone treatments - after she discovered Dr. Harry Benjamin’s The Transsexual Phenomenon and began stealing her mother’s Premarin. “I had the benefit that my mom was an alcoholic,” she jokes. “She was out of it so much she couldn’t keep track of what was going on.” . . .Read More
by Katie Dettman3.13.2008
Tita Aida, who has hosted numerous charitable benefits over the years, has something new this month – "Catwalk '08," which is billed as an "elite modeling competition and beauty pageant for the transgender community."
The competition is expected to feature 16 transgender women, said Aida, who during her day job at the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center is Nicky Calma, a transgender woman herself who was named to the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women last month.
Aida, who is a health program supervisor at the API Wellness Center, said the agency will receive most of the proceeds from the March 22 Catwalk pageant, which she is producing along with Lee Evans. She explained that she used the word "elite" to describe the event because "we hope to bring it one step higher for the TG community. It is time for the TG community to get what they truly deserve, a well put-together event and competition." Aida hopes to hold the event annually. . . .Read More
In her own words, a transgender teen talks candidly about acceptance and tolerance.
We were shocked by the recent murder of 15-year-old Lawrence King--a young boy who was openly gay and reportedly wore mascara, lipstick and jewelry to school. Transgender teens have been in the spotlight lately and have left a lot of parents at a loss when it comes to talking to their own kids. Rika, pictured, a 17-year-old boy who came out as a girl during her freshman year (pictured), sheds a little light on the world of transgender teenagers.
Mom Logic: How did your parents react when you realized that you were really a girl?
Rika: I was in this depressive state. I didn't know if I was gay. I had good friends I was able to connect with, but I wasn't really sure of myself. At that point it was a taboo thing for me to wear female clothing. I was doing badly in school. And my parents asked me questions to know what was wrong and to help them help me. Finally I came out and told them, "Yes I am transgender." Then we went to Puerto Rico and I wore feminine clothing comfortably. That was my freshman year of high school. At that point, I went to a therapist and she said, "Well, she knows that she is a girl and it would be more polite to refer to her as 'her.'" . . .Read More
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Calpernia and Andrea read some of the worst comments people have left on perezhilton.com and abc.com in response to "Transamerican Love Story", their new Logo transsexual dating show coming out in February.
Monday Mar 10, 2008
Supporters of a bill to add gender identity to state civil rights laws far outnumbered opponents at a marathon public hearing before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary at the State House on March 4. The committee listened to 10 hours of testimony on a host of bills related to same-sex marriage, abortion, victim’s rights and other issues. But the bulk of the hearing, which lasted until 11:30 p.m., was devoted to H.B. 1722, the first major piece of transgender rights legislation to come before the Massachusetts Legislature. . . .Read More
Patricia Arquette questioned how open-minded she was when her transgender brother Alexis first announced he was going to become a woman.
The True Romance star admits she felt "a loss" when Alexis - born Robert Arquette - told her of his transition plans. . . .Read More
The festival is showing 19 films, including short film, features and documentaries, covering a wide range of topics regarding trans and gender variant subjects.
MQFF Festival Director, Lisa Daniel, told MCV that the festival has always wanted, and had a trans element, but that the quality and quantity of films previously available hadn’t always been as strong as they were this year.
“We search a lot trans films festivals, and a few more trans festivals are popping up now and so more films are being made,” she said. . . .Read More
Bornstein draws about 100 people to Spring Pride lecture
By Caitlin Schneider, For the Daily on 3/12/08
Author Kate Bornstein threw conventional wisdom out the window as she discussed gender issues before about 100 people in the Michigan League last night.
"I want people to question gender," Bornstein said.
Bornstein's address, which served as the keynote speech for the Spring Pride and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Week, delved into what it's like to be transgender in a world that largely focuses on just men and women.
Bornstein was born a man and underwent reconstructive surgery 22 years ago to become a woman. After her transition, Bornstein discovered she still didn't feel comfortable in her gender. She said she still feels like she's pretending to be a woman.
"I am not a man, and I am not a woman," she said. . . .Read More
German, transsexual, would-be rock star trapped in a small Kansas town in the glam rock era of David Bowie sounds like culture shock at its best. Steven Eubank's production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" provides just that, and more.
As the audience filtered into the Off Center Theatre at Crown Center, they entered the world of Hedwig, a young male-to-female, post-operative transsexual who fled East Berlin while the Berlin Wall still stood.
Biting, sarcastic and humorous, Hedwig's character represented the battle all people face in discovering their true identities. As Hedwig stripped layers of clothing during the course of the show, she bared more about her true self. . . .Read More
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
By James Walton
The title of Transsexual in Iran (BBC2) might have led you to expect a profile of one individual. Instead, we met several – because it turns out that more sex-change operations are performed in Iran than in any other country, except Thailand. Under Shiah law, these operations aren’t merely allowed, but apparently encouraged as an Islamic cure for people trapped in the wrong body. The Government provides half the medical fees and, once you’ve changed sex, amends your birth certificate accordingly. . . .Read More
Exclusive by Neil Keene
February 20, 2008 12:00am
A TRANSSEXUAL who was allegedly outed to her boyfriend by two police officers found herself back in court yesterday but this time on the wrong side of the law.
Brigitte Fell made international headlines after two police officers faced court charged with breaching privacy laws by allegedly telling her boyfriend she had undergone a sex change.
Ms Fell appeared in court again yesterday, this time for a violent New Year's Eve outburst in a suburban shopping centre in Newcastle. . . .Read More