Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Transgender voice - Beginning

Hello everyone, this is my first voice video where I try to give some tips as a beginner in making my voice more feminine if you are male to female like me. . . .Read More

Gender Outlaws: Switching from a man to a woman (or vice versa)

Transsexuals and transgendered people can often tell us a great deal about our society because they've experienced what most of us never will: being perceived as a man or a woman in the same lifetime.

A worthy read on this topic is Kate Bornstein's Gender Outlaw, which chronicles some of her experiences as a transsexual woman. One memorable passage describes the first time Kate walked into a store after being able to successfully pass as a woman. She was shocked to find that nobody was treating her with any respect. A so-called "normal" woman who's been a woman her entire life would never know the difference. . . .Read More

Asheville's transgender community speaks

Lisa Gillespie • April 30, 2008

– At age 8, Holly Boswell decided she had magic powers.

Her mother had given Holly a Peter Pan book, and she fixated on the character of Tinkerbell. Holly was then a little boy, but she had been questioning her gender identity since age 2 or 3, she said. “I was thinking to myself, What am I — a fairy?”

Only much later did she find another word for herself: Transgendered.

Boswell was one of four transgendered Asheville residents who spoke Tuesday night at an event organizers called “Transcendence.” The 90-minute program of documentary film clips and discussion was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church. . . .Read More

Lesbians forced to live in anonymity in India

Shai Venkatraman

April 29, 2008

In the US, lesbian talk show host Ellen Degenres created history as the country's topmost television star.

But in India, in Tamil Nadu, transgender athlete Shanthi attempted suicide because she was constantly humiliated about her sexuality.

In a more progressive Kerala, lesbian suicides continue to be on the rise but their police still write them off as ordinary deaths. To this day, sexual minorities in India, especially women are outcastes, shunned by society even their own families.

In the anonymity of our cities, they still find spaces to blend in. But in rural India, coming out means violence, brutality and even death.

Travelling from Gujarat to Karnataka NDTV heard stories of transgenders, bisexuals and lesbians - some visible, most invisible.

Julie met Rekha when she was thirteen years old. Both of them belong to lower middle class families of a village in Kerala. They were classmates and good friends. . . .Read More

Students close mouths, open minds for Day of Silence

Nicole Higginbotham


What began as a University of Virginia class assignment in 1996 has since become a national event, allowing students and faculty across the U.S. to speak up on issues concerning gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in the school setting.

On April 24, UNO participated in the Day of Silence event, with JohnCarl Denkovich, director of the Gender and Sexual Orientation Agency, organizing the day's proceedings. Many students participated on campus by not speaking and handing out information to other students.

During an event in the Milo Bail Student Center, several speakers addressed issues relating to discrimination and bullying including Meredith Bacon, professor in the political science department, and Sara Barnett, GLSEN Jumpstart/Central High School Student Leader.

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is a national organization that focuses on sexual identity and orientation acceptance.

"There are many people … who feel very isolated on campus and cannot be who they are," said Joseph Price, professor in UNO's English department. . . .Read More

Report reveals disturbing divide in treatment of transexuals in the EU

By Adam Lake • April 29, 2008

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)-Europe and TransGender Europe have published a comprehensive report on the experiences of health care by transgender people in European Union.

The revealing poll shows the disturbing divide in the treatment on transgender people in Europe.

The legal survey is the result of the largest and most comprehensive data collection on transgender people's lived experiences to date.

In the UK, there is estimated to be around 15,000 transsexual people who self-identify as the opposite gender from the physical body they were born with.

Around a third of them have surgery to change their bodies to be the opposite sex

The report has show how life can still be very hard for transgender people in some parts of Europe.

Many transgender citizens still fear for their safety, the report concluded.

It also looked at how many trans people were unable to work due to discrimination, and facing great difficulties in obtaining access health care as well as gender reassignment services.

Transsexual people experience varying degrees of acceptance around the world. . . .Read More

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shaving my legs is such a drag

April 28, 2008

Contributed by Julia Serano

I had about seven different conflicting thoughts/emotions upon viewing this video:

1) Oh my god, I *cannot* believe that companies are actually using personal endorsements from transgender-spectrum people to help sell their products to non-trans women. How groundbreaking!

2) And at the same time, how disturbing! I think I am experiencing the same queasy feeling right now that old-school gay/queer rights activists most certainly felt when beer companies first began offering to sponsor pride parades and queer events. . . .Read More, and the many comments.

A coming out party

In the coming months, you're going to hear more from Ottawa's transgendered community as it makes an effort to gain understanding and acceptance


26 April 2008

He works for one of Ottawa's three emergency services. A father in his 30s, married, with two children.

Privately, he's been putting on women's clothes since he was eight.

He fears what would happen if anyone found out.

Even if he was officially accepted on the job, he believes, knowing his co-workers' attitudes, it would wreak havoc on his career.

"Unfortunately," he says,"we have to cloak ourselves." . . .Read More

TV has never seen more transgender characters

By P. Ryan Baber

25 April 2008

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Although long known to the gay community, breakout star Candis Cayne became a household name this year with her recurring role as the male-to-female transgender character Carmelita on ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money."

She also made history as the first transgender actress to play a transgender character in primetime, and she even shared an onscreen kiss with William Baldwin.

"It just never would have occurred to me to cast a person that wasn't transgender," says creator and executive producer Craig Wright. "The minute Candis walked through the door, there wasn't a single ounce of opposition."

This was a bold step for a network at a time when most LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) ground is broken on cable. With two cable networks -- Here! and Logo -- providing dedicated gay content, and numerous other cable networks featuring LGBT characters in original miniseries, documentaries and dramas, the LGBT experience is being portrayed with more complexity than ever. . . .Read More

Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People

New publication provides invaluable ‘how-to’ advice to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations seeking to become fully transgender-inclusive

WASHINGTON, DC - April 28 - The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today released a joint publication titled Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People: The Nine Keys to Making Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations Fully Transgender-Inclusive, geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations.

“Transgender inclusion has been an important issue in the LGBT community, particularly in the past year. Yet, many organizations struggle with how exactly to become fully transgender-inclusive. We are excited to offer this free new resource,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

Opening the Door, which is based on years of personal and professional experience within LGBT organizations, makes the case for full inclusion at every level of an organization. It examines the need for genuine, consistent advocacy for inclusion of gender identity and expression in policies, programs, legislative stances and public positions, and explores critical issues such as understanding the transgender experience and the role of an ally, how to address staffing issues, dealing with prejudice and ways to further outreach. The voices of LGBT leaders discussing real-life experiences with transgender inclusion are found throughout the guide. . . .Read More

Peter Kay targets TV talent shows with new comedy

COMEDIAN Peter Kay is making a TV series based on talent shows - starring himself as a tubby transsexual.

Britain's Got The Pop Factor will parody The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, having previously sent up club acts in Phoenix Nights.

This time, one of the characters Kay will play is transsexual singer Geraldine King - whose real name later emerges as Gerry. . . .Read More

Hot Docs Review: Be Like Others

Apr 28th 2008

by Monika Bartyzel

There is one moment in Tanaz Eshaghian's Be Like Others that starts by plucking at our insistent hopes for happiness. Hungry for love and affection from his family, Ali Askar tells a story about being thrilled when his father insisted that Ali have breakfast with him. While it was such a simple action, it was one with insistence that Ali had never seen before. This act seemed full of the loving camaraderie and acceptance that the young man had dreamed of. His father poured them tea, but Ali refused to drink it; he realized that this wasn't a warm act of fatherly love. This wasn't a breakthrough moment in their relationship. Ali's father was trying to kill him with rat poison. His father would rather kill his son than allow him to get the sex change that he yearns for.

But it is more complicated than a transsexual wanting a sex change. In Iran, this matter is complicated because homosexuality is punishable by death, and transgendered lifestyles are not an option. . . .Read More

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Transgender Press Conference

Diane DeLap, Spokesperson of Affirmation: United Methodists for LGBTQ Concerns.

Transgender Press Conference

Rev. Drew Phoenix, St. John's United Methodist Church, Baltimore, MD.


Movie & Entertainment News provided by World Entertainment News Network (


Janet Jackson is so impressed by the legion of drag queens who attempt to mimic her act she'd like to be one.

The Control hitmaker admits she checks out drag stars who have their own Janet Jackson act whenever she hears of one - and some are amazing.

She chuckles, "One of them was at the Baton (Show Lounge) in Chicago. This was a few years ago. And she did a wonderful job. . . .Read More

Journey of a transgender choreographer

Stanford Lively Arts presents Jin Xing Dance Theatre


by Joe Landini

Queer performance takes on an international slant this weekend, as trans choreographer-led Jin Xing Dance Theatre appears at Stanford University's Memorial Auditorium. Jin, a former colonel in the Chinese army, is the first transwoman to be recognized as a cultural pioneer in China. In Germany, Die Zeit (The Times ) has called Jin "probably the world's best dancer."

As a boy, Jin was trained at a Chinese military dance academy, a unique cultural model where some of China's best artists are developed. In an interview with journalist Sheila Melvin, Jin said, "They gave me a fantastic education. For a child who wants to be an artist, it is wonderful, especially with the discipline. I still benefit from this education." In addition to learning traditional Chinese dance, opera, acrobatics and Russian classical ballet, Jin learned how to shoot a machine gun and make bombs. . . .Read More

The Naked Playwright’s Transgender Jesus

By Jacob Anderson-Minshall

April 24, 2008

“The basic premise is that Jesus was FTM,” says award-winning playwright Tobias K. Davis, describing his one-act play, Crossing, which retells the story of Christ’s crucifixion with this transgender twist. “His struggles and persecution and crucifixion were motivated not only by his teachings and how they threatened the Roman Empire, but by his gender, and how it threatened the rigid binary society.”

Davis lives in his hometown, Northampton, Mass., where he graduated from Smith College. It was during his senior year there that Davis collaborated with classmate Claire Avitabile in creating and directing The Naked I: Monologues From Beyond the Binary (“a transgendered take on The Vagina Monologues”), which won first place in the 2003 Five-College Denis H. Johnston Playwriting Competition. The Naked I and Davis’ short, The Best Boyfriend, have been performed at a numerous theater festivals and college campuses. His latest work, Standards of Care, premieres this June 6-15 in Minneapolis and explores the “strange relationship that exists between transgendered people and the medical and therapist community.”

Standards explores those relationships and issues facing two transgender guys - one older and one a teenager - who battle gender dysphoria, struggle with therapy, fight for family support and search for love. The title refers to the Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders (SOC), which spells out standards for psychiatric, psychological, medical and surgical management of gender identity issues. Davis suggests that these standards exist not for the well being of trans patients, but for benefit of the medical community and society at large. . . .Read More

Lonely road: Why school is hell for transgender pupils

When 'Lauren' decided she wanted to be recognised as a girl, life at school became a nightmare. Should teachers be doing more for transgender pupils?

By Rachel Pugh
24 April 2008

The day that Lauren Quick, 11, started at the mixed comprehensive in her Yorkshire home town, an older lad stormed into her classroom at break, shouting, "Oi, there's a tranny in here – show me where it is!"

Suddenly, Lauren, who had been insisting from the age of three that she had "a girl brain in a boy's body", was surrounded. She was distraught and, weeks later, made her first attempt to kill herself. Two further attempts followed in the next five months – the last in the school lavatories.

Her life, says mother Jan, had become a living nightmare. Every day, she faced shouts of "man beast" and "tranny" from pupils, as well as calls to "get your dick out" – even, on one occasion, when she was being escorted by a teacher. Lauren's response was to self-harm on a regular basis.

The town's police hate crimes unit became involved three times after several incidents, including one pupil spitting in her face and a mother who was picking up offspring shouting, "You fucking tranny", through the car window as Lauren walked home from school. Lauren was more often absent than in school.

Although the school supported Lauren's desire to be accepted as a girl, and made determined efforts to stamp out the bullying – taking the perpetrator of each incident aside to explain Lauren's circumstances – one day, everything came to a head. Lauren was ambushed on the way home by older boys, who tried to remove her skirt in an attempt to see her genitals. . . .Read More

Monday, April 21, 2008

FtMs and female-bodied men throughout history

Much of the information and images in this video can be found either here:
(Lynn Conway's "Successful Transmen" site)

or here:

(the ftmi-linked page on ftm contributions to society throughout history)

First Lady

New York nightlife fixture and network TV star Candis Cayne heads West to take on Hollywood.

Julia Serano

April 2008

Since the 1990s, Candis Cayne has been dazzling queer audiences with her one-woman shows -- an outrageous and entertaining mix of comedy, dancing, and improv. Now she’s finally broken into the mainstream on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money, playing Billy Baldwin’s love interest, Carmelita, the first recurring transgender character played by a transgender actor on prime-time television. Trans writer and activist Julia Serano recently sat down with the newly minted California girl.

Out: For the uninitiated, tell us a little about your character.
Candis Cayne: I really think she is the most normal person on the show. And they’ve written her that way, which is amazing to me. She has her wits about her, she’s honorable, she’s moral. She’s a mistress, though -- you know, there always has to be something. [Laughs] She and Patrick [Baldwin] have the most honest, real relationship on the show. I think that she has been through a lot, and I think only trans people understand what that means -- there’s a sad wisdom to her.

Did you have any initial reservations about the role?
When I first read [the part], I was like, “Ooh, a mistress.” I was a little worried, but that’s the reality of how trans roles are written. There is a truth to that, though. There are a lot of trans women who are prostitutes and mistresses because of the sheer fact that they can’t go out and get a normal job in society. Or they have wanted to start relationships with men -- like every other human being wants that personal relationship with another person -- but somehow can’t because the men who are attracted to transsexuals are afraid of how their families would deal with it or how people will see them. For the most part, it’s really hard to get into a relationship with a man who is strong enough to admit that that’s what he likes. . . .Read More

When Dad Becomes a Soccer Mom

Author shares personal battle of a man becoming a woman.


Mom•Logic: When did you start to question your gender?

Jennifer: I lived my life as a man and married my wife, Deedie, three days after my 30th birthday. Eventually, I had two problems. First, I was transgender, and second, I had been hiding a secret from someone I loved. I didn't tell Deedie about my feelings of possibly being transgender before we married. I should have, but it's fairly typical not to share what's in your heart with anyone, including loved ones. I carried an atomic secret.

It wasn't until my late 30's I started sharing my feelings with Deedie. I explained what I was going through, and we talked about what we were going to do as a couple. I was 40 when I decided to start therapy. At the time, our sons were 6 and 4. . .Read More

Get past the phobia

April 20, 2008


IN READING Jeff Jacoby's April 13 column "Pregnant, yes - but not a man" I was struck by how much transgender-phobia still exists in our society. I am female (this is my sex) and I am feminine (my gender), so I fit society's expectations of the connection between sex and gender. I cannot imagine not feeling at home in my body (and, I suspect, neither can Jacoby in his) but people do. Who are we to judge someone's expression of gender, regardless of their biological sex? . . .Read More

Uganda: Government refuses passport to transgender woman

20 April 2008

by Rebekah Heacock

A post by Gay in Uganda last week reveals the discrimination the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) population faces when applying for travel documents:

Ugandans know a guy called Brenda. A gal, because Brenda is a trans person. Meaning that biologically the birth was to a male baby, but growing up Brenda was more confortable in the female role, and ultimately embraced the female gender.

Recently, Brenda needed travel documents. They were denied. Reason, they don’t give them to ‘people who have changed themselves’. Julie Victor Mukasa (Note: a Ugandan lesbian activist) tells of the time that she had to prove that she was biologically female at the RDC’s office in Kampala, when she went to get passport forms filled. Use your imagination how she proved that. . . .Read More

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Husband Wears My Clothes

In May, 2006 WE television presented Secret Lives of Women Married to Crossdressers. This is the story of Melanie, a married, heterosexual crossdresser and wife.

Largo Commissioner Andy Guyette: Why he voted to oust Steve Stanton

By LORRI HELFAND, Times Staff Writer

April 18, 2008

Ask Andy Guyette about his most trying times as a city commissioner and of course he mentions Steve Stanton. ¶ "It was the hardest period of my life outside of my father's death," said Guyette, 50, who resigned last week to take a job in Huntsville, Ala.

Early last year, the news that Stanton planned to have a sex-change operation turned Largo City Hall into the center ring of a media circus.

Commissioners got thousands of e-mails. TV satellite trucks took over the parking lot. Hundreds of protesters packed City Commission meetings.

And in the end, Guyette voted to dismiss a city manager with a string of favorable evaluations.

Many said the vote was bigoted.

"It was bad enough having to make the decision," Guyette said. "The repercussions added to it."

In response, he said his decision was based on what he learned about Stanton's leadership, not who he was as a person. . . .Read More

'You're going to be gay'

Maggie Downs

18 April 2008

"Stereotypes are funny," said Shann Carr, stirring a cup of tea at Michael's Diner in Rancho Mirage.

She flips her book open to a page of a girl in a football uniform.

"It might not be politically correct, but sometimes stereotypes are there for a reason," she said.

Carr, a lesbian stand-up comedian, is the author of a new book, "You're Going to be Gay!"

She points to a photo of a boy in a spandex figure skating outfit.

"I mean, come on!" she laughed. "He knew!"

The soft-cover book contains the childhood photos of 50 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults, alongside funny quotes about growing up gay.

The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. . . .Read More

Transgender pefrormances front and center in touring cavalcade

By Erin Frustaci


Though many theatrical performances boast about being one of a kind, The Tranny Roadshow truely fits the bill. As co-organizer, Jamez Terry of Maine, would say, it’s simply something no one else is doing and isn’t something that is typically seen.

But that was the point all along.

Terry, along with Kelly Shortandqueer (yes, that’s the last name he uses) of Denver, started The Tranny Roadshow in 2005 because they wanted to go on tour. It didn’t take them long to discover just how many other transgender performers had similar dreams.

“A lot of trans-performing artists are trying to make it on their own,” Terry said. “This is a chance for people dealing with the same experiences to work together and reach a larger audience. It allows the audience to see the diversity that exists in the trans community.”

Beyond just looking for the best talent, Terry said performers are purposefully selected to represent a rage of experiences. The group is made up of individuals in their ’20s to late ’70s of both feminine and masculine identities, from various parts of the country with a variety of ethnic backgrounds and family structures. . . .Read More

Transgender workshop offers interview, resume tips


April 18, 2008

The first Transgender Job Preparedness Workshop will be held April 25 at AID Atlanta.

“We’re facilitating the free [workshop] to offer trans-identified individuals resume writing tips, interview tips,” said Tracee McDaniel, founder of the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, sponsor of the event.

“We have everyday life needs that need to be taken care of while waiting for the political process” to work for transgender people, said McDaniel, who is transgender. “This is a way to help alleviate economic strains we face.” . . .Read More

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stephen Bishop - It Might Be You (Tootsie Theme)

Tootsie: 25th Anniversary Edition

By Stunt Pussy

April 15, 2008

I love ‘Tootsie’. She’s like the woman we all wanna be. Even if you happen to be male. And being male just seems to be Michael Dorsey’s (Dustin Hoffman) problem in every sense. So what do you do if one gender isn’t working out for you? Dress up as a woman of course. Michael is an actor so desperate for work that he tackles the dresses and the eyebrow plucking to become Dorothy Michaels, a woman who gets the part of head nurse in a hospital soap opera.

Tootsie DVD cover

Long before Mrs Doubtfire was even a speck in the mind of Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman was toying with the idea of ‘Shirley’, a woman who, beneath all the costume and make up, is a man. A perfect reason for a man to dress up as a woman would be an out of work actor who finds the perfect job… The catch? It’s a female character. After some script rewrites, Shirley became Dorothy and ‘Tootsie’ was born, released in the US in 1982.

So clearly the plot has been given away already right? Male protagonist (man) can’t do something as a male, man dresses up a woman, man as woman makes with the funnies, man learns lessons as woman and, for the big climatic finale, man’s true identity is revealed before everyone, much to the disgust of some characters whilst betraying some others. This movie is no different. . . .Read More

Girls will be boys!

17 April 2008

There's total chaos in the world of fashion. Men and women are invading each others wardrobes and a new form of fashion is taking over androgynous clothing or the Annie Hall look. Read on
Girls have grabbed men's clothes and men have laid their hands on ladies makeup
Girls have grabbed men's clothes, with waistcoats and shirts now in their domain, men have laid their hands on ladies makeup.
Catering to this new fashion trend are brands like Mango, Tommy Hilfiger and Benetton.
An international rage, the look makes women look sexy in almost as-sexual way. It's all about wearing a thin white cotton men's shirt with sleeves rolled up, tails roughly tucked into mannish trousers! Benetton has named their new androgynous collection 'Her like Him'.
Androgyny in India
The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week also saw many fashion designers whose collections had a few garments with the androgynous touch. For instance, in Raghavendra Rathore's 'Rathore Jodhpur' collection female models wore Jodhpurs with well-structured jackets. Also, in Ashish Soni's finale show, models strutted down the ramp in men's suits. . . .Read More

Ridiculous transphobia in the Boston Globe

Alex Blaze

15 April 2008

He's not a man, this Jerry. He's not even married like I am.
--Milos from Seinfeld

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, in true gasbag form, has decided that he knows more about transgender experiences and Gender Identity Disorder than transgender people themselves do (as well as doctors and psychologists and anyone else who's listening). So he took to his column this week to remind everyone that what it takes to be a woman is making babies and what it takes to be a man is a penis.

Jesus fucking Christ, people, it's all that simple: those bra-burning feminists, dirty queers, and confused trans-folk should give up on their movement to live freely and honestly; it's making certain pundits feel insecure. . . .Read More

Trans candidate, among others, ousted in Italian election

April 16, 2008

Alessandra Rizzo

The Roman princess didn't make it; the transgender lawmaker is out; the self-professed Fascist is in.

There are some fresh faces in the new Italian parliament and some spectacular exclusions. Communists and Socialists are out for the first time since World War II, as the number of parties represented between the two houses has gone from scores to about half a dozen.

''We are facing a profound change not just of our political system, but in our entire national history,'' the leading daily Corriere della Sera said Wednesday. . . .Read More

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kate Bornstein on voice

Political activist for transgender persons.

Transphobia runs deep

What's so weird about a pregnant man? Maybe you guys should get out more

By Jesse Thiessen, 4.15.2008

If one thing is evident from all the hoopla over Thomas Beatie, the transgender pregnant man from Bend, it's that transphobia is very much alive and tolerated, even in our progressive city that was called "a mecca for transsexuals" by Lori Sirotsky of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition.

Beatie and his wife's situation (his wife is sterile, hence the decision for him to carry the child) has been dissected and judged every which way since the national LGBT magazine The Advocate published an account of their struggle, penned by Beatie himself. He later went on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where a seemingly-flustered Oprah tried to grapple with the issue at hand, probing him about the state of his genitals as well as asking the rather ignorant question: "Why not just be a lesbian?"

Oprah and company seem to mean well, but blatantly offensive statements are almost falling out of the mouths of some. Take Susan Nielsen, columnist for the Oregonian. The Sunday after the Oprah interview, she published a rather refreshing piece questioning her own knee-jerk intolerance towards Beatie's situation, making statements such as, "If you support gay rights but draw the line at pregnant men on Oprah, it's worth asking why."

She goes on to say, "I'm not ready for this story. But still, I can't stop thinking about Beatie's doctor and neighbors in Bend, who appeared on TV to express their support. They managed to wrap their minds around the idea of their expectant transgender neighbor. They shamed me into thinking twice." A thoughtful self-examination. . . .Read More


by Maxi Shield


Heels for you, sir?

Are you Arthur, Martha or maybe both?

As usual I was swishing down Oxford St last Saturday night. I had just finished Curry-Oake at the Tandoori Palace and was heading down to perform at the Midnight Shift.

To say I stuck out would be an understatement. Sequined dress and huge boa, all in white, I seemed to be a beacon for all to see.

I was met with the usual hoots and cheers from those who were comfortable seeing a drag queen on Oxford St.

But I was surprised to hear numerous “ya fucking tranny” lines which really rocked my apple cart.

I have heard the names “faggot” or “poofter” so many times, but this increased negative use of the word “tranny” really upset me. . . .Read More

200 trans rights advocates lobby Congress

Visitors from 29 states ask lawmakers to oppose gay-only ENDA

By LOU CHIBBARO JR., Washington Blade | Apr 16, 2008

Nearly 200 transgender rights activists and their supporters descended on Washington from 29 states this week to urge Congress to support legislation aimed at ending discrimination and violence.

Participants in a March 14 lobby day organized by the Washington-based National Center for Transgender Equality said they hoped to put aside the sharp disagreements that surfaced last year over a decision by House Democratic leaders to remove transgender protections from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

“Our lobbying will educate lawmakers about our lives, who we are and why we are working hard to end discrimination against all people but especially people who face from discrimination because of their gender identity,” said Mara Keisling, the Center’s executive director. . . .Read More

POV, Critique, Opinion: Pregnant man rebuts transgender arguments

April 17, 2008

Jeffrey Winslow

It has been pretty apparent that The Telegraph has been trying to do a major public relations job pushing the transgender agenda into the spotlight.

The transgender community wants you to believe that they were born the wrong sex. By using the media to show how happy they are when they are allowed to alter their bodies to the opposite sex, we are supposed to see that this is how they were meant to be.

We must ignore the fact that their biological body does not support their theory in any way. And if you don't, you don't appreciate diversity.

But their physical bodies show the facts. It has always been more likely that they suffer from a compulsion or obsession to be the opposite sex, rather than that their body is built wrong. . . .Read More

Tianjin transsexual gets new Chinese ID card as a woman 2008-04-16

Editor: Jiang Yuxia

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Ying Ning, the 33-year-old Tianjin man who became a woman through transsexual operations, got a new Chinese ID card as a female on Tuesday.

"I am so excited to receive it after a month-long wait," said Ying, who is believed to be the first transsexual person in China to go public with the media under a new gender.

"The ID card has a special meaning for me, that I have been accepted by society. It will be the beginning of my new life," Ying told a reporter with the Tianjin-based newspaper Daily News. . . .Read More

Monday, April 14, 2008

Grayson Perry

A transvestite artist speaks about the importance of being unique and different.

From the shadows

13 Apr 2008, S Shanthi; Amrita Singh TNN

Participants of a beauty competition for the third sex
Participants walk the ramp at a beauty competition for the third sex in New Delhi
You spot them at traffic signals, wearing makeup, brightly coloured sarees and flowers in their hair, mocking and demanding a few bucks. Their visibility has been limited to this and some social occasions where they, again, turn up to ask for money. A misunderstood community suffering from social stigma, the third sex in India has for long been kept out of the mainstream.

But times, they are a-changing. Today, you can see them hosting TV shows, acting in serials, getting driving licences, contesting elections, working in call centres and modelling for calendars. The third sex in India is slowly coming out of the closet and entering the mainstream. And, they are finally getting their long overdue support from the government and NGOs. The Tamil Nadu government in fact recently decided to grant them official status and give them ration cards.

Rose, the first member of the third sex to anchor a chat show, on a Tamil TV channel, says, "I wanted to challenge society, wanted to make people understand the real me. I realised this could be possible only through media, which can reach the masses. Hence, I developed a concept and approached a television channel, which appreciated my idea. Thus, my chat show was launched on a Tamil channel."

The show was an instant hit and Rose's producer is all praise for her. "When all other TV channels asked 'why Rose?' our point was 'why not Rose?' She has the right attitude, is smart, intelligent and with excellent communication skills, which are the pre-requisites for any anchor and that was enough for us," says programming head, Pradeep Milroy Peter.

Rose is one among many path-breaking members of the third sex. Rahul Singh, an activist with the Naz Foundation, says many of his friends from that community are working in call centres and running their own businesses. Family acceptance is also gradually coming. He recalls an incident where a middle class business family not only came to terms with its child's transsexual status but have also accepted her marriage. She had gone through school and college posing as a male. It was a shock to the family when she decided to follow her heart but the parents have accepted her now. . . .Read More

Questioning gender bends College

11 April 2008 | By Devan Barbar, Flat Hat Staff Columnist

Why do people on this campus choose such bizarre events to get upset about?

We are facing economic depression, an ongoing war halfway across the world and an historic presidential race, and yet people take time out of their day to worry about guys wearing skirts? GenderBending Day, which took place yesterday, was, apparently, something to get worked up about — flyers were torn down and vandalized, the event was mocked and some even took offense at its mere presence.

While I wasn’t involved in planning the event (and, I confess, did not participate), the premise of GenderBending Day seems clear. Students were encouraged to dress in a way that exposed typical conceptions of gender, either by cross-dressing or deviating from their typical feminine or masculine style. Essentially, the students in this group wanted to address the difference between sex and gender and encourage people to think critically about how our culture enforces a female versus male binary. Basically: Why do we claim that gender roles are somehow naturally and inextricably tied to sex?

GenderBending Day, as you can imagine, did not see wide involvement. That’s not to say that the event wasn’t successful — it certainly sparked discussion, and the students who did participate had great experiences. I’m sure it was no surprise to the group that most students on campus were either too busy to remember the event in the first place or too uncomfortable with its premise. The negative responses from some individuals, however, were somewhat shocking. Sure, GenderBending Day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but did people really have to have a big problem with it? . . .Read More, including Readers' Comments

The Rationing of Rights

April 19, 2008

Tamil Nadu’s recent addition of a third gender column on ration card applications is one of a series of much needed, progressive reforms that benefit hijras, says

DISCRIMINATED AGAINST and forced to live in secluded communities, India’s hijras have always had to fight for basic entitlements. Two weeks ago, however, a major victory was achieved when Tamil Nadu added a third gender to ration cards. Hijras may now enter a ‘T’ (for transgender) in place of a ‘M’ or ‘F’ on ration cards. The move makes Tamil Nadu the first Indian state to officially recognise its hijra citizens.

The new rule is cause for great joy. “The government has now recognised us as a third gender. It gives us much needed dignity in society,” says Noori, an HIV positive hijra, head of the South India Positive Network in Chennai. While an alphabet on a ration card may seem like a benign technicality, for Tamil Nadu’s estimated one lakh hijras (known locally as aravanis) it is a significant achievement. Ration cards, voting forms and passports have been available for aravanis only after a great deal of struggle. Ignorant administrators would leave the gender category blank, merely entering kuduma thalaivar (head of family) or, more often, ‘male’. “It is a positive development which will encourage more aravanis to openly declare themselves as transgenders,” says Jeeva, who heads the Transgenders Rights Association. Jeeva got her card in 2006, where she is referred to as kuduma thalaivar but her associate Shabina Francis is identified as ‘female.’

Historically, Tamil Nadu has had a very visible aravani community and, more recently, very vocal aravani

Yet, being hijra affects citizenship. Rose says, “It’s only been three or four years that ‘trans people’ have started asking for identity cards. Even now when we go and ask for IDs they don’t have a proper system to scrutinise our applications. Take my case. I wanted to change from a male name to a female one and retain the gender ‘M’ on my passport. If you want to change your gender on your passport, you need to have a sex reassignment surgery and I haven’t done that. For nine months my application was frozen because they didn’t know what to do.”
activists. An aravani festival is held in the town of Koovagam annually, with a highly competitive “Miss Koovagam” beauty contest. Recently, it has been home to India’s first transgender television star, Rose. . . .Read More

How we see each other

Seattle Times staff columnist

April 14, 2008

Seems like everyone belongs to a group with a cause.

And whether they recognize it or not, many causes share a common desire to be accepted.If they'd start by accepting each other, we might get somewhere.

I thought about that Thursday, when I had the chance to hear three people talk about life from a transgender perspective. The three transgender, black people were on a panel put on by the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas.

What they had to say was more interesting than their physical details.

The panel was the forum's second discussion of gender identity in the African-American community.

One of the panelists, Dean Jackson, a Seattle native who does organizing work on gender issues in communities of color, said he once thought changing genders was something only white people did.

He learned otherwise, and has made his own transition from woman to man. Along the way, he discovered that "it wasn't so much that my body didn't fit." It was more that he didn't fit into a binary system of gender classification. . . .Read More

Celebrate Transgenders

Jennifer Beckwith


As a volunteer speaker for an organization that aims to eradicate homophobia, I tell my coming out story, focusing on two main themes: diversity and communication. The acceptance and understanding of diversity has been stressed to me throughout my life and now I continually try to uphold that amazing legacy.

Open communication, I feel, is the means by which one develops understanding, particularly about issues which are generally only whispered about. Transgender people are probably the most whispered about group of all.

As a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community, I face many dangers wrought by a society that refuses to embrace us as we have embraced ourselves and our identity. Transgender people, however, have it worst. They are a minority within a minority and face the most misunderstanding and ignorance, which often leads to violence.

It is quite understandable that transgender people face such discrimination if we examine the patriarchal nature of our society. Patriarchy is steeped in sexism, and sexism influences homophobia and transphobia. We live in a society that is defined by its gender roles, which favor the characteristics of men over those of women. This is why it is more acceptable for women to display qualities such as aggression and dominance than it is for men to be effeminate. However, what happens when gender lines are even more blurred?
. . .Read More

Eaton Corp. helped transgender employee

By Maureen McDonald

14 April 2008

Audrey Hopkins, 47, became the first transgender individual hired into Eaton Corp.'s 100-member information-technology group in October 2005.

Her name and capabilities were already known to her boss and many staff members who had worked with her in her former identity as Dave Hopkins, a 20-year consultant and troubleshooter for advanced computer manufacturing systems.

Today Hopkins, senior IT specialist, reports finding mostly receptive managers and employees in auto plants across America where her skills in software design and business systems are sought after.

Equal access to employment is a policy supported in spirit and statements, according to Jim Parks, an Eaton spokesperson who affirmed a company policy of empathy and cooperation for race, creed, gender and gender identity in the workplace so long as behavior doesn't intrude on productivity. . . .Read More

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Transgender Admissions

Diversity Class Video

Arizona, IFGE, Love and My Two Sons

April 12th, 2008

by Monica F. Helms Monica’s Picture

Going back to Arizona has always been one of adventure and pain for me. I lived there most of my life, graduating high school there, I joined the Navy from there, I was married there, my two sons were born there, I was divorced there, I started my life as Monica there, and my father is buried there. All of my family, with the exception of my oldest son lives in Arizona. To say that Arizona holds an important place in my life would be like saying that air is important in my life. I can’t quit Arizona.

Most of the time when I go back to visit family in Arizona, it is near the end of the year, for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. This time, I was able to visit in March and April, when the temperatures were in the 80s and 90s. That’s tank top weather! I love being a girl.

Early in my trip, I got the chance to spend a little time with Serena Freewomyn, a writer for the popular blog, The Bilerico Project. I was always impressed with Serena’s viewpoint and her writing style. The Friday we got together was a fun evening. She brought two of her friends with her and they were a blast.

The most interesting part of the trip to Arizona started on Wednesday when I arrived at the Double Tree Hotel in Tucson. I actually got to go swimming at the hotel pool. No one could tell I was a pre-op in the suit I wore, and it didn’t even have one of those cute little skirts. (As I said, I love being a girl.) But, that was nothing compared to what Fate had in stored for me later that evening. . . .Read More

SAN MARCOS: CSUSM opens gay, lesbian pride center

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students can find support, resources at CSUSM


April 12, 2008

SAN MARCOS ---- Josh Lovelace knows firsthand why some Cal State San Marcos students might need a refuge on campus.

"Walking through the hallways, sometimes you'll hear people make homophobic comments," the 29-year-old graduate student and openly gay man said last week. "I'll say, 'Hey, did you know that I'm one of them?' And they say, 'Oh, no, I didn't.' "

Lovelace said he's confident enough with his own sexual identity that homophobic comments typically don't faze him. Even so, he said he welcomed last week's opening of a gay and lesbian center on campus because of the support it will provide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, as well as to students questioning their sexual identity. . . .Read More

POV, Critique, Opinion: Pregnant, yes - but not a man

By Jeff Jacoby
Globe Columnist

April 13, 2008

TRACY LaGONDINO is pregnant, and that news has drawn a fair amount of attention. It's been in People magazine, on "Oprah," all over the Internet. Tracy's baby, due in July, is doing well. But Tracy has a serious problem, and the rest of us do, too.

A 34-year-old who grew up in Hawaii and used to compete in beauty contests - she was once a finalist in the Miss Hawaii Teen USA pageant - Tracy, who now calls herself Thomas Beatie, apparently suffers from Gender Identity Disorder, syndrome 302.85 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. According to news accounts, she has felt uncomfortable with her female identity since adolescence. When she was in her 20s, the Telegraph of London reported, "she became more masculine," began a lesbian relationship, "and researched what it meant to be a transgender male." There followed breast-removal surgery and testosterone injections. Tracy/Thomas grew a beard, changed her legal identity to male, and married her partner, Nancy.

But it takes more than a mastectomy and hormone treatments to overturn biology. Thomas may be a man in the eyes of the law, but she remains physically a woman, with a woman's reproductive system, a woman's genitals, and a woman's chromosomes. So when she and Nancy decided to have a baby, she had little trouble conceiving through artificial insemination. The result is the spectacle that has drawn so much attention: a bearded pregnant woman named Thomas, who identifies herself as a man, and has a lawfully wedded wife. . . .Read More


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Some people know, with absolute certainty, that they were born the wrong gender.

A girl sees that she has no phallus, yet she feels deeply, unambiguously male. A boy is equipped with a penis, yet he feels fundamentally, unarguably female.

Such discord often gets chalked up to the physical - prenatal hormone exposures, abnormal brain structures, gay genes. Or to the psychological - repressed homosexuality, absent dads, overbearing moms, parents who wanted a baby of the opposite sex.

But there is a new explanation: Some transgender men claim to possess phantom penises. From the time they were little girls, they say they had vivid sensations of a penis between their legs. Others develop such a phantom when they begin taking testosterone therapy.

Similarly, transgender women who are born male and later undergo sex reassignment surgery generally do not report having a phantom. They say that their penis was never part of their body image. . . .Read More

Mountie disciplined after looking for transsexual love in uniform

Matthew Ramsey,Canwest News Service

April 12, 2008

VANCOUVER - A B.C. Mountie has received informal discipline for posting a dating profile online using a picture of himself in his red serge uniform to find transgendered and transsexual mates.

"I am looking to meet mature Thai women who are interested in a sincere friendship that can develop into a LTR (long-term relationship) and possible marriage," wrote "Dave" on the site.

"Special interest towards TS (transsexual), TG (transgendered) women. Any nice Katoey women looking for a serious LTR." . . . .Read More

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"She's a Boy I Knew"- Clip #4 - "Initial Reactions"

A short clip from the feature documentary "She's a Boy I Knew" containing the transgender filmmaker's parents recounting their 'initial' reactions when she told them about her female gender identity. Through the film, both parents come a long way in understanding & supporting their child. Check out the film's website at

Frock 'n' roll

April 10, 2008

Tokyo's rock scene may leave you questioning your sexuality, Craig Platt discovers.

Normally, wearing a grey shirt and jeans wouldn't make me feel conspicuous in a crowd - but right now I feel distinctly out of place.

I'm standing in a crowd of about 200 Japanese youths who are dressed in the most outrageous costumes I've ever seen - goth kids with white-fright make-up and black fingernails, punk kids with dyed blue hair and a wide and wild variety of piercings, girls dressed in baby-doll clothes more suited to tweens than teens.

In my conservative, smart-casual outfit, I'm by far the blandest person here.

We're all waiting for entry to "Red Carpet Day", a music event at Shibuya O-East, a club in Tokyo. The gig features seven "visual-kei" bands - a genre known more for its over-the-top outfits than for its music. . . .Read More

Children of men

Wednesday, 09 April 2008

The story of Thomas Beatie, the ‘pregnant man’, caused a media storm recently, but what do trans men think about it?

After Thomas Beatie spoke out publicly recently about his decision as a trans man to become pregnant (SX#375), everybody had an opinion.

Conservative commentators were outraged, while Oprah Winfrey – on whose show Beatie and his wife Nancy appeared – called it “a new definition of what diversity means for everybody”.

But he’s not the first trans man to become pregnant: in 1999, Matt Rice – then the partner of trans male author Patrick (formerly Pat) Califia – gave birth to a daughter.

Califia spoke about the couple’s experiences in the Village Voice, describing how some female-to-male (FTM) trans people wished the baby dead and started to call Rice by his ‘girl’ name.

Nearly a decade has passed since then, so what do trans men think about those in their community such as Beatie, who, having kept their reproductive systems in tact, exercise their right to become a parent by conceiving a child?

“Bringing the child into the world in this way is not about reproductive rights,” asserts Craig Andrews, Coordinator of FTM Australia, a membership organisation that provides resources to trans men. . . .Read More

A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Wednesday, 09 April 2008

The spirit of three intersex subjects rises above titles with shock tactics, notes David

Television usually prefers to rank our community GLTBi. There are plenty of gay males and lesbians. Transgenders are peppered in comedies, or reality ‘tricks’.

With the exception of SBS docos Sinchronicity and A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, bisexuality usually confuses producers. And intersex falls off TV’s radar entirely.

So it was with some trepidation that I approached the UK documentary series My Shocking Story. It’s previously featured medical episodes were called Half Man Half Tree and The Man With No Face. Roll up, roll up for the freakshow!

What Sex Am I? is thankfully not entirely tabloid.

Androgyn Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) is the state in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male.

There are three subjects profiled here. One is Angel, an 8-year-old Brazilian child raised as female by parents, but discovered to have Y chromosomes at the age of 4. Another is 24-year-old Italian Tiziana who confronts her mother about what she thought was an operation on her uterus at 15. . . .Read More

In pilot program, Stanford to offer ‘gender neutral’ housing options for 2008-09


In an effort to better serve transgender students and to offer more choices to students who want to live with friends of the opposite sex, Stanford will offer "gender neutral" housing options to sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students starting autumn quarter. . . .Read More

Beatie not meant to be a mirror

ANALYSIS / Many trans men frustrated with media coverage

On Mar 26 The Advocate published an article entitled "Labor of Love" by Thomas Beatie, a female-to-male (FTM) trans-sexual living in the US. In it Beatie details his experience of being pregnant while legally male.

Well-meaning friends and colleagues assume I identify with — and am concerned about the transphobic reactions to — Beatie's story. In truth I cringe and wish desperately that Beatie would go quickly and quietly away. The more discussion I hear about pregnant men, the more mortified and angry I become. It is a puzzling response considering that I am otherwise so committed to the rights of those who bend the borders of sex and desire. So what is it about Beatie and his desire to bear a child that bothers me? What should the transsexual body look like and who gets to decide?

Although this is a story about Beatie's own sex and body it shines an uncomfortable spotlight on things of which I would prefer not to be reminded. Worse, it invites those who know my history to inquire about my reproductive status and whether I plan to become a pregnant man. It is difficult to articulate how defeating this question is for me, and more difficult to decide upon an appropriate answer. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible not to blame Beatie for inviting this unwanted discussion into my life.

Sensational media representations influence how nontrans people in our lives view us and interpret our experiences. It is demoralizing to have to combat even more confusion about who and what we are when so much misunderstanding already exists.

The story has generated the usual trinity of responses from most nontrans folk of shock, sympathy and outrage. There is, however, an enormous backlash against Beatie among trans men, particularly in the US. Many are rushing to change their legal documents to reflect their post-transition sex. They are concerned that the notion of a pregnant man sensationalized in the mass media will lead US lawmakers to require trans men to undergo the surgical removal of their female reproductive organs before they can become legally male. . . .Read More

Whoopi Goldberg on pregnant transgender man: 'Uncharted waters'

by PageOneQ

"I found them very sweet and naïve," veteran anchor Barbara Walters says of the Beatie couple, currently expecting a child. "The greatest threat to them," Walters adds, "is that their marriage could be taken away."

Thomas Beatie, a transgender man, recently talked with Oprah Winfrey about his pregnancy. A profile also appears in the April 14 issue of People Magazine. Born a woman, Beatie is legally a man, but still has an intact reproductive system. Six months into his current pregnancy, the child is due in July; the Beaties' gynecologist expects the baby to be healthy, and ultrasound imaging concurs.

The Beaties have received no compensation for sharing their story. . . .Read More

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Stephen Whittle

A transman talks about his transition from female to male and his experiences.

Thai surgeons reject cosmetic castration ban

By Marianne Kearney in Jakarta


Thailand's plastic surgery clinics have vowed to defy a recent government ban on performing castrations, saying they will continue to offer sex change operations in the country famous for its "ladyboys".

Plastic surgeons at work; Photo by Bloomberg News
Thousands of people visit overseas clinics every year for plastic surgery

Earlier this month, the Thai health minister, Chaiya Sasomsab, issued a directive banning the operation after rights groups complained about the botched castration of an under-age boy in the northern city of Chiang-Mai.

But in direct defiance of the ban, the chief surgeon at the Pratunum Clinic - one of Thailand's top transgender clinics in Bangkok - has called on anyone wanting a castration to come to his clinic.

"I want them to be happy with what they want to be, and will remove their unwanted organs," Dr Thep Wetwisit said.

He also criticised the ban as ridiculous and dangerous. . . .Read More

Transgender poll causes stir


April 2008

A majority of Alachua County voters appear to oppose an ordinance protecting trangender rights and believe the county is headed in the wrong direction, according to a poll conducted by a firm co-owned by the county Republican Party chairman.
Continue to 2nd paragraph

The April 1 poll of 516 voters found 56 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat opposed the ordinance. A nearly identical number agreed with the statement that things in the county "have gotten off on the wrong track."

Stafford Jones, the local GOP chairman who is co-owner of the recently formed polling firm War Room Logistics, said he believed the results showed a good environment for local Republicans to run for office.

"I think both of these questions kind of represent that people don't like regulatory burden," he said.

Democrats raised questions about the poll. City Commissioner Craig Lowe, who helped draft the gender identity ordinance, equated the poll's question on the ordinance to sentiments being fanned against minority groups in Nazi Germany and the U.S. South before civil rights reforms.

"It has often led to the worst human rights abuses in history," he said. . . .Read More

Plaintiff wins round in transgender case


April 8, 2008

She says she didn't get the job because she was born male.

The company says it wasn't that, claiming she misrepresented herself.

In a letter rescinding the job, the employer complained she presented herself as a woman at her interview, but the background check revealed she was a man.

And the judge said that despite requests to end the case now, this closely watched lawsuit will go forward to mediation and, if necessary, to a jury.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas, in a 31-page opinion, refused to dismiss the case of 27-year-old Izza Lopez. Born Raul Jr., Lopez claims the Houston radiology chain River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic wrongfully pulled its 2005 offer to employ her as an appointment scheduler.

River Oaks Imaging said in legal papers that it is just following its policy of refusing to hire people whose background checks reveal they misrepresented themselves to get hired. . . .Read More

Vietnam: Transsexual’s marriage opens societal discussion



HCM CITY — Singer Cat Tuyen, who had a sex change, created a huge media buzz by marrying another artist on Monday at the Quoc Thanh Restaurant in HCM City.

The wedding was significant for the entertainment, gay and transsexual and law communities.

Originally a man, Cat Tuyen had dreams of being a bride, and went to Thailand to have a sex change operation.

Tuyen met her boyfriend Chinh Nhan, a cai luong (reformed drama) artist, two years ago and they decided to tie the knot soon after that. However, the extreme social prejudice against transsexuals and their families’ objections dissuaded them from legalising their relationship. . . .Read More

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Vietnamese youth fashion blurs gender lines


by Bach Lien

HA NOI — In the past year, it seems beauty standards in Viet Nam have received a makeover. In urban areas, men are increasingly playing with earrings, hair dye and shirt styles and fabrics, while women are cropping their hair shorter and donning more "masculine" attire. And the trend is most prevalent amongst the young.

In unisex fashion clothing for men and women can draw from the same materials. Unisex watches lack the bulk associated with watches geared for men or the ornate, delicate features often found on watches marketed for women. Unisex haircuts mean anything goes. Girls can wear skirts layered over pants. Men wear long necklaces with pendants and carry handbags. . . .Read More

Transsexual soldier to enter Big Brother house

By Lucy Cockcroft


A former soldier who became the first Army officer to have full gender reassignment surgery has been lined up to appear as a contestant on Big Brother this summer.

Jan Hamilton used to be known as Ian, a 16 stone captain in the Parachute Regiment, and even served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 43-year-old transsexual has already appeared in a television documentary which charted her change from a man into a woman.

The five-month process included surgery to give her feminine facial features and breasts.

Now Channel 4 executives are finalising a deal to bring her in as a house mate on the ninth series of the controversial 13-week reality show.

A source said: “There isn’t much that Jan hasn’t overcome in life.

“She is a real trooper. Combat, prejudice, life-changing surgery - nothing seems to faze her. “But the big brother cameras could be her toughest test ever.” . . . .Read More

Spotlight shines on drag show in University Room on Friday

Briana Hernandez


t was the first time SJSU student Candace Christian had ever been to a show where the main attraction was men dressed as women and vice versa. She said, however, it may not be her last.

"It was great," said Christian, a junior social work major. "A lot of laughs. It was new."

Christian and others attended QTIP's, or Queers Thoughtfully Interrupting Prejudice, first ever Drag Show on Friday evening in the University Room where SJSU students, along with local performers, put on a show in order to raise money for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender club.

While Christian went to support her friends who performed, she stayed for the entire show.

"My favorite part," she said, "was how everyone took the time to really dress up, and some, I didn't even know if they were a girl or a guy.". . .Read More

POV, Critique, Opinion: Oregon's "Pregnant Man" Hoax

Right in a Left World

March 31, 2008

News out of Bend, Oregon is that male resident, Thomas Beatie, is 22 weeks pregnant. Articles have been written and an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show is scheduled. Looking closer, news of a Pregnant “Man” is just a myth.

Thomas Beatie, the Bend, Oregon man making news as a “Pregnant Man” was born Tracy LaGondino, a woman, 34 years ago. Tracy was a lesbian who fought for the right of gay couples to adopt children and against hate crimes in Hawaii, before moving to Bend 2 years ago.

Tracy fell in love with another woman, Nancy Roberts in Hawaii and they desired to be married, strictly against even Hawaii’s liberal laws.

Tracy decided she should obtain a sex change because Hawaii's laws did not support same sex marriage. She underwent a double radical mastectomy and began hormone therapy to change her gender to that of a male, but keeping her female reproductive organs. . . .Read More

Monday, April 07, 2008

Spotlight: Mak nyahs have not abandoned God



DIANA (not her real name), a transgender, works as a nurse in a local hospital.

Recently, she had been given a Quran by her superior, who enrolled her into a counselling session and asked her to bertaubat (repent).

At the Mak nyah Drop-in Centre of PT Foundation, mak nyahs have religious studies, too.

But a marked difference is they are not asked to "repent".

Instead, every Thursday and Saturday for two hours, Ustaz Muhamad Kasim Mohd Osman from the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) explains Islamic teachings to his students using simple terms in a non-judgmental manner.

Mak nyahs learn about fardu ain - the fundamental obligations of an individual, which include solat (prayers), zakat (tithes) and puasa (fasting). They are also given guidance in self-motivation, personality-building and personal development.

Response, ever since classes started four years ago, has been nothing less than exceptional.

It's a misconception that transgenders do not believe in religion, says Khartini Slamah.

"I'm a Muslim and a transgender. I don't feel a conflict.

I still believe in God. Many Malay mak nyahs believe in religion. We pray five times a day, but we don't have to tell people that. We don't have to."

Twenty-five years ago, it was almost impossible to string the words "Islam" and "transsexuals" in one sentence without creating some sort of confrontation. . . .Read More

What's a 'ze' to do? A transgender approach

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star

For some people, "he" and "she" are limiting terms.

While many of the transgender people at last week's "Transgender 2008" conference in Tucson were transsexuals who strongly believe that at one time they were a woman trapped in a man's body or vice versa, others said the distinction is less clear.

Some say "man" or "woman" doesn't describe who they are. A few prefer gender-neutral pronouns, like "ze" for he and she, and "hir" (pronounced "here") for his and her. Others refer to themselves in written form as s/he to denote both their male and female sides.
Post-genderism or moving beyond the gender binary was a common theme during the conference, particularly among many younger transgender people who are more at ease than some of their older counterparts with calling themselves gender blenders, gender queer or nonconforming. . . .Read More

Transgender Talk Show Host Tackles Taboos in India

Day to Day,
April 3, 2008 · India may be the home of the Kama Sutra, but for years frank talk about sex has been utterly taboo.

Lately, however, a transgender talk show host is changing the boundaries of dialogue. In recent episodes of her show Ippadikku Rose, Rose has tackled workplace harassment, divorce, premarital sex and the benefits of legalizing prostitution.

In the past, blunt discussion of such topics has drawn serious backlash. In 2005, for example, a popular Tamil actress was slapped with a lawsuit when she broached the subject of premarital sex. Around the same time, a nightclub was shut down after a photo in a local paper showed a couple kissing on its leather couches. . . .Listen and Read More

The New Dowse Celebrates Gender Diversity

7 April 2008

Trans-what? Assume Nothing: Demystifying and Celebrating Gender Diversity

Transsexual, intersex, pan-sexual – when you enter TheNewDowse’s latest exhibition Assume Nothing, you will be greeted by a series of intimate portraits and a long list of terms that illustrate the diversity of gender identity.

However, photographer Rebecca Swan says this list is by no means exhaustive.

“There are terms like transgender, transsexual, whakawāhine, fa’afafine, hermaphrodite or intersex, as well as drag kings and drag queens. But within those boxes, every person’s way of identifying their gender is unique. Not everyone fits neatly into these categories. The title sums it up – although sometimes it’s challenging, I try not to assume anything about anyone’s gender identity or in-fact anything about them including their sexual identity.” she says.

Swan’s intimate portraits of people who have alternative gender identities will be shown publicly at TheNewDowse from April 12, alongside new documentary footage by award-winning director Kirsty McDonald.

Featuring several well-known personalities, such as politician Georgina Beyer, performer Carmen Rupe, activist and educator Mani Bruce Mitchell and artist Shigeyuki Kihara, the exhibition profiles over 20 people who define their own gender identity. . . .Read More

Transsexual trucker wins sex discrimination claim

April 7, 2008 icWales

A transsexual trucker has won a sex discrimination claim after he was forced out of his job just weeks after arriving at work dressed as a woman.

Former soldier Mike Gaynor was well-liked and respected in his trucking job in Liverpool, which he landed in October 2006.

But trouble began when the twice-married father arrived for his shift to transport biscuits to a depot near Cardiff as Vikki-Marie, wearing make-up and jewellery.

The former scout leader, who obtained his HGV licence with the Royal Corps of Transport, told bosses in February last year that he intended to become a woman. . . .Read More

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

IFGE 2008 Conference Event Coverage Day 2: Tuesday

IFGE Conference Event Coverage from Lori D. - Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Genderbashing: The common root of Homophobic and Trans-phobic violence

by Nikki S., Transgender Section columnist

When young Simmie Williams was shot and killed in Fort Lauderdale , Florida , CBS 4 news ran the following headline:

"Gay Teen Gunned Down Dressed As Woman In Ft. Laud , FL"

The article goes on to describe the details of the murder, and questions whether Simmie was the victim of a hate crime:

Fort Lauderdale police are investigating whether a teen was shot and killed this week because he was gay.

Police said 17-year-old Simmie Williams was dressed in women's clothing at the time of the shooting and may have been a victim of a hate crime.

Now, any reasonable person would realize that Simmie was indeed murdered out of hate; the question is, what was it about Simmie that incited such a disgusting, violent reaction? Was it indeed, as the article suggests, because Simmie was “gay” meaning homosexual? Or was it because Simmie, assigned male at birth, dared to present a female appearance and attract male attention? In short, was Simmie killed or being gay, or for being transgendered? . . . .Read More