Monday, November 24, 2008
- 1: Brain. 2008 Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print]
A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity.
Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF.
Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Netherlands and Departamento de Psicobiología de la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain.
Transsexuality is an individual's unshakable conviction of belonging to the opposite sex, resulting in a request for sex-reassignment surgery. We have shown previously that the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) is female in size and neuron number in male-to-female transsexual people. In the present study we investigated the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus, which is composed of two subnuclei, namely interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH) 3 and 4. Post-mortem brain material was used from 42 subjects: 14 control males, 11 control females, 11 male-to-female transsexual people, 1 female-to-male transsexual subject and 5 non-transsexual subjects who were castrated because of prostate cancer. . . .Read More
November 24, 2008
SILVERTON -- The counterprotesters outside City Hall in this Marion County town today significantly outnumbered the protesters who inspired them: three young women and a man from a Kansas church, here to register their disdain with the recent election of the nation's first openly transgender mayor, Stu Rasmussen.
The quartet spread out along one side of North Water Street, feet planted on American flags spread on the sidewalk and hoisting large laminated posterboards on each arm. Double-sided and easy to read from passing vehicles and local television trucks positioned half a block away, the signs offered assorted damnation -- "Barack Obama = Antichrist," "God Hates You," "You're Going to Hell" and "Fag Media Shame."
Protest in Silverton
It wasn't the first time anti-gay evangelicals from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., had come to Oregon to protest. That was two years ago, when followers picketed the funeral of Navy Seal Marc Lee, killed on patrol in Iraq. Among other right-of-center beliefs, Westboro's Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers claim U.S. combat deaths are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. . . .Read More
November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"Dr. Phil tackles the sensitive topic of children who identify more with the opposite sex. What do you do if your son wants to wear dresses and play with dolls? Or if your daughter tells you she wants to be a boy?
Melissa and Tim's son declared himself to be a girl when he was just 3 years old. Now he's 8, and they allow him to live life as a female. They want to know when and if they should start hormone therapy?" therazorsedge28
By SHEILA MARIKAR
Nov. 18, 2008
After making her a reality TV star, Trya Banks is making her a woman -- a real woman.
Banks announced Monday she found a doctor to pay for Isis King, the first transgender contestant on "America's Next Top Model," to undergo sex reassignment surgery. King, 22, was born male and went from a homeless shelter to cycle 11 of Banks' reality competition show after producers discovered her at a photo shoot. Now she's eager to be known for more than her gender.
"I look at it like, 'Yes, I'm the first transgender contestant, but OK, lets move past it now," King tells Banks in today's episode of "The Tyra Banks Show." "I try not to think about [being transgendered] because ... I feel like I really was born in the wrong body, and it's just the one thing that makes me feel uncomfortable.". . .Read More
November 20, 2008
Rasmussen, longtime manager of the local cinema, was also elected mayor in 1988 and 1990, and served four years -- but that was when he was wearing slacks and sport shirts to council meetings. The new Rasmussen -- who got breast implants a few years ago and began calling himself Carla Fong -- wears skirts, lipstick and high heels.
Earlier this month, Rasmussen became America's first openly transgender mayor. His constituents say they elected him not for his looks, but because he promised to put a halt to the rapid development that has threatened Silverton's small-town charm. . . .Read More
Darren Perron - WCAX News
Darren Perron - WCAX NewsBarton, Vermont - November 14, 2008
"I try to be cautious so not to put myself in a situation that is going to be dangerous or draw attention to myself," Michele Todd explains.
Michele wants to blend in with the crowd-- go unnoticed-- to avoid violence. She's transgender and always on alert.
"I'm not an evil person. But a lot of people would look at it that way," she explains.
So many trans people live in the shadows, hiding from a world that sees them as freaks.
"I have not met one trans person who didn't have that fear in the back of their minds at all times," psychologist Nancy Judd says.
Last year, 11 trans people in Vermont reported cases of hate or violence to Safe Space in Burlington, an organization providing services to victims. Officials say that number is highly underreported due to fear of retaliation and coming out. . . .Read More
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tribute for the Transgender day of Remembrance, 2008
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the Remembering Our Dead web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hesters murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people. . . .Read More
"On November 20th HRC observes the National Transgender Day of Remembrance as an opportunity for communities to come together and mark the passing of transgender people who have died because of hate." hrcmedia
The National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden has decided to remove a range of 'sexual behaviours' from the official disease registry.
30 years ago the board removed homosexuality from list, which is primarily used to gather statistics on healthcare but is also viewed as an official list of diseases.
Some felt that the inclusion of transvestism, sadomasochism, fetishism, fetishistic transvestism, sexual preference disorders and gender identity disorder in young people led to social stigma.
"We don't want to contribute to certain sexual behaviours being thought of as diseases," Lars-Erik Holm, head of the national board, told Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
"These individuals' sexual preferences have nothing to do with society."
Maria Sundin from Sweden's Trans Oresund network said:
"The demand for the exclusion of certain diagnostic criterias such as transvestitism, sado-masochism and fetishism from the Swedish verison of ICD-10 (KSH97) has been supported by the GLBT community for quite a while.". . .Read More
Tara Sawyer was punished as a small child for acting like a girl so she tried to live as the boy she appeared to be at birth.
But four years ago, the 32-year-old admitted to herself what she knew instinctively as a toddler. Despite her male physical characteristics, Sawyer said, she isn't a man.
Coming out cost her family and friends, the Santa Cruz resident said. But after years of being detached from any emotion, she said she's regained her ability to feel and she can't go back.
"It's about being who I am. I'm just a woman. There's nothing I can do about that," said Sawyer, who will speak today at the Watsonville City Plaza during a candlelight vigil commemorating transgender people who have lost their lives to violence. . . .Read More
Boulder event a memorial for victims of hate crimes
By Laura Snider
November 19, 2008
Last week, Duanna Johnson was shot execution-style in Memphis. In February, 15-year-old Lawrence King was murdered by a classmate in California. Last summer, Angie Zapata was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher just up the road in Weld County.
Thursday night, residents in Boulder County are invited to gather and remember these people, and a dozen others, who were victims of brutal hate crimes because of their gender identities. Today is the 10th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“I’m concerned. We think it couldn’t happen here. It wouldn’t be one of us,” said Pat Mayne, a transgender man and longtime Boulder County resident. “For someone like me, I’ll never be sure if there’s a single person who hasn’t asked, ‘What would I do? If I found out one of my friends was a transgender person, what would happen inside of me?’”
When Allen Andrade, the man accused of murdering Zapata in Greeley, found out Zapata had male genitalia, the thing that happened inside of him was brutal. In his defense, Andrade said he was out of control, incoherent, panicked.
These are the things that scare Mayne, even in Boulder, one of the few cities that has an anti-discrimination ordinance that specifically protects transgender people. . . .Read More
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"A video for MTFs about achieving a better feminine presentation" Aragonpr
An interview with Julia Serano
by Debbie Rasmussen
The rising visibility of trans, intersex, and genderqueer movements has led feminists—and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the world—to an increasing awareness that m and f are only the beginning of the story of gender identity. With the release of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Julia Serano offers a perspective sorely needed, but up until now rarely heard: a transfeminine critique of both feminist and mainstream understandings of gender.
As someone who has lived, at various points in her life, as male, genderqueer, and female, Serano brings unique insights to discussions of sexism and misogyny. In Whipping Girl, she weaves theoretical arguments through her compelling essays and manifestos in an attempt to bridge the gap between biological and social perspectives on gender, and calls our attention to the need for empowering femininity itself. In the process, she takes feminist and queer communities to task for dismissing male-to-female transsexuals while celebrating their counterparts on the female-to-male spectrum. . . .Read More
A few weeks ago, Hanna Rosin's wrenching and well-researched article about young transsexuals—including a girl named Bridget (née Brandon), whose first words were "I like your high heels"—zipped around the blogosphere. In it, Rosin discusses the unsettling work of a psychiatrist who questions the scientific basis for allowing children to "transition" to the gender of their choice, citing several kids who emerged from their gender dysphoria after a rigorous course of therapy. "If a 5-year-old black kid came into the clinic and said he wanted to be white, would we endorse that?" he asks. The prospect of letting pre-pubescent pipsqueaks take hormone-blockers that might have far-reaching effects on their health and future fertility is indeed a little nerve-wracking. . . .Read More
Swedish authorities have agreed to give transsexual men free prosthetic penises.
Female to male transsexuals will be allowed prosthetic penises fitted by a plastic surgeon at no cost, but some have complained because the organs on offer aren't capable of erections.
Sexologist Cecilia Dhejne said: "It's pretty strange to approve prosthetics that can't get erect because that is, after all, what penises do - get erections. It would be appropriate to pay for those as well." . . .Read More
Monday, November 17, 2008
Whenever Aaron Cross would look at his naked form as a child, he would cover up his private parts, convinced they weren’t supposed to be there.
Aaron, now Josephine, felt for his entire life that he had been born in the wrong body, and should have been born female.
“Trying to go through everything in this guise of masculinity was really difficult for me. I couldn’t even use my real voice,” the 24-year-old receptionist said. “By the time I hit university, I was so depressed that I could barely leave my house. I decided it was time to do something.”
After four years of intense hormone treatment and making the transition to living as a woman every day, the then 23-year-old man travelled from his Edmonton home to Montreal for a sex-change operation. . . .Read More
Globe Staff / November 18, 2008
The idea of a man getting pregnant and giving birth is fabulously provocative. It implies some kind of biological miracle. No wonder America has been a little bit obsessed with Thomas Beatie, the "pregnant man," the guy in the People magazine photos with a hairy belly and a massive baby bump. He represents a challenge to the very basics of human reproduction.
Of course, it's a little inflammatory to call Beatie "a pregnant man." The more accurate description would be "a pregnant female-to-male transgender who identifies as a man but whose female reproductive organs are intact," but that probably wouldn't sell as many tabloids or draw as many viewers to "Oprah," "20/20," or, tonight at 9, the Discovery Channel documentary "Pregnant Man." When it comes to grabbing eyes, detailed descriptions can be inconvenient. . . .Read More
This week, the University of Tulsa Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Alliance is putting on Transgender Remembrance Week.
It is a week of remembrance for all transgender and gender-nonconforming people who have been victims of violence as a result of their gender identities.
The week is centered on the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.
The day is a nationwide event that honors the victims of anti-transgender violence.
Throughout the week, the group will be outside the bookstore in the Allen Chapman Activity Center distributing pamphlets with information about transgender violence and Transgender Awareness Week. . . .Read More
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Barbara Walters Announces That Thomas Beatie Is Pregnant for a second time." silveryseven
by ALAN B. GOLDBERG and JONEIL ADRIANO
November 14, 2008
Is Thomas Beatie the first legal pregnant man? That's a question that can't be answered with absolute certainty.
Stephanie Brill, director of Maia Midwifery & Preconception Services and founder of Gender Spectrum, told ABC's Barbara Walters that Beatie was "by no means" the first pregnant man.
"He is the first man to go public with his pregnancy on such a widespread level," Brill said. . . .Read More
November 15, 2008
For a lucky few, the road to self-discovery is short and simple. Their identity is easily negotiated, and their struggle is ended. For most, finding identity is a tumultuous endeavor – navigating through doubt and vulnerability into some understanding of who we are. But for a tormented multitude, discovering identity is a journey filled with hardship.
For many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, coming to understand personal identity is a struggle – one made harder by society. Many cannot appreciate the hardships others must endure unless they are forced to experience those hardships firsthand. Most straight people will never know what it means to be ridiculed, ostracized and sometimes physically assaulted because of sexual orientation.This week, National Transgender Awareness Week, is a time for our community to stop for a moment and consider and appreciate the LGBT people as well as the rest of the community. . . .Read More
November 15, 2008
After Barbara Walters spilled the beans yesterday to her fellow Viewesses that Thomas Beatie—aka Coney Island's World Famous Pregnant Man ("$1 Gets A Glimpse At God's Pickle-Craving Mistake!")—was heavy with yet another biologically improbable child, the shit really hit the fan. They've had 24 hours to absorb the news, however, and today were ready to really tackle the nitty-gritty of this procreative mind-twister. . . .Read More
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Berlin, Vermont - November 12, 2008
A professional makeover: A gift Michele Todd desperately wanted to give herself for decades, but didn't.
Not because she couldn't afford a visit to the salon. She had the money. Michele feared a new look would devastate her family and friends and get her fired from her job, because the makeover she wanted would be drastic.
Michele lived most of her life as Michael.
"I want to work and breathe and live 24-7 as Michele," she explains.
Earlier this year, she legally changed her name, started wearing women's clothes in public, and now walks solely in Michele's shoes. The 51-year-old is transgender. She was born with male genitalia but identifies as female.
"I feel much more comfortable and that's what I want to be," Michele says.
As far back as she can remember, Michele knew she was different; knew she was more feminine than the other boys.
"I had a desire to do things that a girl might do," she explains. . . .Read More
Christa Hoisington can barely utter her birth name. It still bothers her to this day.
"It just didn't feel right," she says.
It didn't make sense to her. Gary is a boy's name. And Christa says she knew, even as a child, she wasn't a boy.
So, in August of 2001 she legally changed her name. Christa was 49 years old, but says she felt reborn. Gary was officially gone and Christa could live full time as a woman.
"I wish I had done it when I was 20. I really do," she says.
Like many trans people, Christa's childhood was troubled.
She wanted to be a girl. But to her parents she was a boy; their son. And she felt pressured into more masculine activities. Her parents even sent her to a psychiatrist trying to change her mind. Christa says she tried to please them.
"You're born male. You're expected to do what males do," she says.
Experts say there is a clear difference between being transgender and cross-dressing for fun; that this is a condition that people are born with and not a choice.
"All of the clients I have worked with-- I can't think of an exception-- have said that they were 3, 4, 5 years old thinking they were different from the other boys or girls," psychiatrist Nancy Judd explains. "Your sense of who you are in that deep down place doesn't fit with the gender they were given at birth. It doesn't fit with their body.". . .Read More
Nov 13, 2008
Trans pastor hopes Day of Remembrance prompts more advocacy for rights, protections
Simone Walton was killed for being a transgender person right here in Dallas.
In December of 2005, the 40-year-old was shot to death in Oak Cliff. She is not alone.
The Remembering Our Dead Web Project estimates that two people a month, on average are killed in violence against transgender people. Transgender pastor David Wynn of Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth wants to do something about it.
“My emotions in a situation like this run the gamut. I feel profoundly sad that those folks have lost their lives simply trying to be who they are. And then I also feel very angry that someone felt like they had the right to hurt somebody simply because they are surprised by who they were,” Wynn said.
That’s why he’s helping to organize a local ceremony to commemorate the 10th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. . . .Read More
An American transgender man, who created news waves around the world when he gave birth to a daughter earlier this year, is pregnant again.
In his first interview since giving birth, Thomas Beatie, 32, told journalist Barbara Walters he opted out of taking the male hormone testosterone after giving birth because he and his wife Nancy wanted another child, reported Agence France Presse.
"I feel good," he said in the interview with US network ABC.
"I had my checkups with my hormone level...everything is right on track," said the bearded Thomas.
The couple's second child was due on June 12, he said.
Known as Tracey when he was a child, Thomas made it to the finals of the Miss Teen Hawaii USA beauty pageant when he was 14, but was "uncomfortable" throughout.
Thomas began a lesbian relationship with Nancy when he was 24, and in 2002 had sex-reassignment surgery to remove his breasts.
He never had phalloplasty, surgery to create an artificial penis, and retains female reproductive organs, according to ABC. . . .Read More
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"Dr. Phil invites anti-gay activist Glenn Stanton to discuss medical issues involving transgender people, despite lacking a background in that area. Stanton makes a number of inaccurate statements about transgender people." glaadvideo
By GINA DINUNNO
New reality series Sex Change Hospital (WE tv Tuesdays, 11 pm/ET) follows patients — from retired grandfathers to construction workers, businessman and office managers — as they undergo surgery to transition from one gender to another. We caught up with Dr. Marci Bowers (formerly Mark Bowers), who has performed over 550 male-to-female sexual reassignment surgeries, to find out more about the life-changing operations at her clinic in Trinidad, Colo., the compelling docudrama and the social stigmas involved with transgender patients.
TVGuide.com: How did Trinidad, Colo., where the show is based, become the "sex change capitol" of the world?
Dr. Marci Bowers: That goes back to the days of Dr. Stanley Biber, my mentor and predecessor. He actually had done his first sex reassignment on a male-to-female local patient back in 1969. At that time, many universities had an active gender reassignment program, but they gradually closed down shortly after some study was designed to show it didn't help people. But of course, the problem didn't go away, and there was a need for Dr. Biber to continue his work. I'm not sure who dubbed this little tiny mining town of 9,000 people the 'sex change capitol,' but at one point, he had done more two thirds of all the world's sex reassignments. He did about 3,500 of the surgeries in his career. . . .Read More
12 November 2008
by Nick Cargo
In what is being viewed as a strong signal to activists nationwide, the transition office of President-elect Barack Obama has issued a non-discrimination policy including sexual orientation and gender identity.
"The Obama-Biden Transition Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law," says the website of the Office of the President-elect, Change.gov.
While Executive Order 13087, signed by President Clinton in 1998 to amend President Nixon's Executive Order 11478, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in hiring for the federal civilian workforce, it does not mention gender identity. "The inclusion of gender identity is a bold departure from the past," said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Christopher E. Anders, "and it sends a clear message." . . .Read More
Looking for love but finding lust in the city of menby Spencer Morgan | August 26, 2008
A while back, a friend of mine boasted that he was spending time with a hot transsexual. Now, my friend—let’s call him Ryan—is quite the ladies’ man. Despite his perplexing androgynous style—tight jeans, guy-liner, the occasional wig—Ryan always shows up with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.
Now he was dating a tranny, and talking about it as casually as if he’d recently begun incorporating onions in his scrambled eggs. He went on and on about how she was “totally fucking hot, man. Probably one of the hottest transsexuals in the world; it’s probably between her and some Thai boy.”
On a recent evening, I met the woman in question, the beautiful Jamie Clayton, at a bar in the Lower East Side. She is 5-foot-10, has long, wavy red hair, porcelain skin and big blue eyes. She sat upright in her stool, long bare legs draped on top of each other exposing upper reaches of thigh under a gray cloth miniskirt. . . .Read More
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A local Imatra vicar's announcement that he plans to undergo gender reassignment surgery is forcing the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church to take a stance on sex change.
The minister, Olli Aalto, who is taking a temporary leave of absence, intends to begin hormone treatments. After this, he will undergo surgery and physically become a woman.
Voitto Huotari, the bishop of the local Mikkeli diocese, says Aalto can no longer continue in his job. Aalto considers this view to be blatantly discriminatory. . . .Read More
Opinion, Critique, POV: Will Federal Female Employees Be Safe from Cross-Dressing Men Using Ladies' Restrooms in the Obama Administration
Contact: Peter LaBarbera, 630-717-7631; firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICAGO, November 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- Americans For Truth reacted to the news that an Obama Administration will likely enact "gender identity" as a nondiscrimination category by questioning whether federal female employees will be protected from transsexual men wearing dresses who demand to use ladies' restrooms on the basis of their self-perceived "female identity."
"Men who believe they are women, and vice versa, will be officially protected based under Obama on the basis of their 'gender identity' (read: gender confusion)," said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth about Homosexuality. "Cross-dressing, 'male-to-female' activists already demand the right to use female restrooms on the basis of this same notion of 'gender identity'-based rights. So will an Obama Administration allow these big-boned men in female clothing to use ladies' restrooms in federal buildings? . . . .Read More
November 11, 2008
"Bi-now, gay later," "shim," "it" and "tranny" were some of the stereotypes of bisexuals and transgenders written on a white board in the Speak Out meeting Monday night.
Speak Out, a queer political activist group at Penn State, held their biweekly meeting in the HUB-Robeson Center to discuss "bi-phobia and trans-phobia," co-president Alex Yates said.
The meeting began by addressing the stereotypes written on the board and deconstructing them.
Yates (sophomore-secondary education) said the people being called these names are "obviously a person" and should be treated as such.
This brief discussion segued into an open forum addressing everything from bisexuals' acceptance in the LGBT community to asexuality. . . .Read More
By Joe Preiner
November 12th, 2008
Debra Davis is a hugger. She describes herself as a parent, grandmother, good friend and good neighbor. She’s also a transgender person.
Davis will be relating her experiences in her presentation “Transgender: The New Face on Campus” tonight at 7 at the Courtside Room in the Burge Union.
The presentation, of which Davis has given more than 1,000, has taken her to campuses across the Midwest, including previous visits to the University. Davis said she enjoyed speaking at each school because of the experiences she had at each one.
Davis focuses her presentations on her life as a transgender person. She said people often asked her what it was like to transition from male to female. Davis dedicates a portion of her time to tell stories about her life and the transition process, which started when she was a high school librarian. She also reserves time for questions from the audience. She said being led in new directions by the students’ curiosity was the most exciting part of her tours around the Midwest during the past several years. . . .Read More
Monday, November 10, 2008
"This past Tuesday the small town of Silverton, Oregon elected Stu Rasmussen as its mayor.
Rasmussen is first openly transgender candidate elected mayor in the country.
This short video accompanied a 11/7/2008 news story ("Silverton gives its vote to transgendered mayor") (tinyurl.com/6mxd9h) in The Oregonian about Rasmussen. (11/8/2008)" StephanieKayStevens
Thomas Beatie's First Interview Since Giving Birth as a Transgender Male
ABC News: 20/20
November 11, 2008
Last spring, the stunning announcement that Thomas Beatie, a transgender man, was pregnant sparked controversy and questions about traditional notions of what is a man and what is a woman.
In their first interview since the birth of their daughter, Susan, this past summer, Beatie and his wife, Nancy, speak candidly to Barbara Walters. . . .Read More
November 10, 2008
Nicole Kidman will play the world’s first post-op transsexual in the film The Danish Girl, opposite Charlize Theron.
The film is based on the true story of married Danish artists Einar and Greta Wegener. Kidman plays Einar, who stands in for a female model that his wife Greta (Theron) was to paint.
When the portraits become hugely popular Greta encourages her husband to adopt the female identity, which he does, which leads to a complete metamorphosis and a landmark 1931 sex change operation that “shocked the world” and put their love on the line. . . .Read More
November 9, 2008
This is Stu Rasmussen. He was recently elected as mayor of Silverton, Oregon - population 9,600 - for the third time. And yes, he is a man who enjoys dressing as a woman - he’s transgendered. Read more about him, see photos and a video below.
Silverton is a Willamette Valley farming community about 15 miles northeast of Salem, Oregon our state’s capital. Some in Silverton say Stu Rasmussen is the kind of woman who could stop traffic—and he knows it. From mini-skirts to black boots, Stu likes to dress for looks! Now Stu becomes our country’s first transgendered mayor. . . .Read More
Sunday, November 02, 2008
October 31, 2008 by Radha Smith, MSW
The weekend has arrived, or will at about 1:30 p.m. today. Catherine and I are going to a wedding in Massachusetts. Not our own, the wedding of a very good friend with whom we both once worked. She quit work a few years ago to go to Massachusetts in order to gather
a Master’s degree and now works on a PhD in Sports Psychology.
A couple of years prior to her stopping work she met the love of her life, a man who enjoys very often the wearing of “women’s” clothing. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what that means. The range of human couture and fashion being such that if he wears a pair of slacks and a sweater, what makes it, exactly, a “women’s” pair of slacks and sweater. If he wears a scarf, what makes it a “women’s” scarf?
Does the notion that the clothes might be bought in a department of Nordstrom that’s labelled “women’s” make all of the clothing there female? What if he’s bought the same items at Old Navy? Unlabelled would the clothes then become “androgynous?”
I think we all have this tendency to “gender” pretty much everything in our world: our bodies, our clothing, our habits of action or inaction, our animals, our trees, flowers, the very ground of Earth and the moon, stars and Sun. I cannot think, just this moment, what gender clouds and watches, necklaces, gourds, wreaths and penicillin happen to be. Perhaps some reader would be kind enough to let me know. A note would be fine, please just try not to show forth your disdain when you inform me. I sometimes have this space in my brain that shows itself when I consider gender and gendering. . . .Read More
November 1, 2008
MY twin brother, Eli, is jealous of sea horses. They are the only animal species in which the male gives birth to the offspring. Male sea horses have brood pouches where the female deposits her eggs. The eggs then hatch in the father’s pouch, where the young continue to live until they are expelled into the ocean after strenuous labor that can last several days.
Eli is a transgender man, and lived the first 20 years of our lives as my fraternal twin sister. I have plenty of memories of my twin as a little girl, as Emma, not Eli. More often, though, my memories adjust to represent Eli as I know him now, as my brother.
When we were 5, living in a small apartment in Portland, Ore., my mother made our favorite breakfast of buckwheat pancakes on weekends, shaping the batter into K’s and E’s, for Kate and Emma. One morning as my mother assembled the ingredients, Emma, pretending she was a chicken, took two eggs from the counter and placed them next to each other on the carpet. I remember it was a pair of eggs, because even at our young age we knew what it meant to be twins, and whenever we played house, babies came in twos. . . .Read More
Between 1999 and 2005, Savannah Knoop lived an audacious double life as Jeremiah 'Terminator' LeRoy - a sex-change Aids sufferer whose stories, based around his white-trash upbringing and life on the streets, turned him into an overnight literary sensation. Polly Vernon unravels a twisted talePolly Vernon
November 2, 2008
The trunk show for Tinc - the tiny San Francisco-based fashion label - is New York Fashion Week's most achingly hip, most secretive event. It is held on a sticky day in early September, on the sixth floor of an anonymous warehouse building located 20 blocks down from the big tents and the main action of Bryant Park. Its designer, Savannah Knoop, greets a handful of fashion-week hipsters - the edgiest stylists, the most fashion-forward fashion editors - oh, and me. She rolls out her clothes on two chrome rails, so that we can cop a feel. She encourages us to try her creations on in the loos located halfway down a darkened corridor; she feeds us with farmers'-market brownies and a wine-punch concoction. There is no runway show, no models, no music, no scary clipboard ladies, and no reverence.
Tinc is brilliant. Androgynous, sharp, well-structured, well-fitting, cooler than Christmas. I don't care that 'Tinc' means 'throwaway' in Thai; that it's as green, as a company, as it possibly can be; that the pieces are spiritual one-offs, individually numbered and fashioned from unusual fabrics. I don't care that the logo is a visual representation of the soundwaves created whenever anyone says 'I love you'. I just care that it's good. . . .Read More