Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Over Nov. 1-4, 2007 I traveled across country from Rochester NY to Washington DC to Phoenix AZ. This is Day 2, a 1000 mile drive starting in Wash. DC and stopping in Little Rock AR around midnight. The scenery across Virginia and Tennessee was beautiful - rolling hills, autumn colors, sunny skies.
This is a copy of my Trans-America video saved as a Divx file before uploading. I'm testing the various upload options to figure out which converts best.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Given that a woman's abdominal mass increases by a third during pregnancy, it's a miracle that such a significant shift in gravity doesn't have her tipping over during her final trimester.
Now, a new study describes a surprising set of anatomical reasons why the delicate balancing act works.
According to researchers, the female spine has evolved differently, most likely to accommodate the tremendous demands of pregnancy. Without these evolutionary adaptations, women would probably experience even more back problems than they already do during the gestational period.
"The maternal center of mass shifts forward about three to five centimeters during pregnancy, so that it's no longer beautifully aligned with the hips and feet," said study author Katherine Whitcome, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University's department of anthropology who began the research as a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.
Whitcome explained that the female body compensates for this shift in several ways. One is to recruit more back muscles. Solely using these muscles, Whitcome said, would quickly cause muscle fatigue and make women more prone to injury. Instead, the female back has evolved to allow three lower vertebrae to form a larger curve to support the growing fetus. In men, only two vertebrae form this curve, called lordosis, she explained.
Females also have a key hip joint that is larger and can flare out further, according to the study, published in the Dec. 13 issue of Nature.
"It's a nifty little package of adaptations. We see it in modern humans, but it's also apparent from the little bit of vertebral anatomy we see in earlier hominids," said Whitcome. "It seems part and parcel of the challenges of bipedalism [walking on two feet rather than four]." These changes would have allowed women in prehistoric times to continue to forage for food, as well as quickly avoid predators, she said. . . .
"Amazing Thailand" has become more like a slogan these days. And there is more than one valid reason for such an adjective being attached to Thailand in context of travel and tourism. As you travel to this great country, there are so many things to see, do, and participate in. Chances are high that you will also come across at least one ladyboy or katoey. As a matter fact, the presence of this katoey, which is like a nickname given to the Thai ladyboy, makes an increasing number of tourists consider Thailand to be a place so amazing.
There are several misconceptions about the presence of the ladyboy in Thailand. Many people think that this phenomenon is a result of the Western influence in the culture of Thailand. With the recent boom in tourism in the country, they feel, the concept of the katoey has been imported in the cities like Phuket or Pattaya. It is a totally wrong thinking. As a matter of fact, the real reason behind the presence of the katoey in Thailand in such a high proportion is the tolerant nature of the Thai society. They are allowed to express themselves and not repressed as is so common with so many nations.
Apart from the various aspects of sightseeing and the multitude of activities that you can get involved in once you are in Thailand, the idea of dating somebody too may creep in to your mind. And there is nothing wrong in it? Isn't it? After all, you are here to enjoy life. So you need to take it all the elements of vigor that it has on offering. You may also cherish the idea of experiencing a dating that will be unique and totally on of its kind. Well, in this connection let me tell you something that is very specific and unique to Thailand only. . . .
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)Rather than seeing our gender as a gift and a given, this movement tries to place some perceived power over sexual identity in the hands of individuals so that they can make their own decision as to whether they are men or women; or even change their minds regularly on the subject.
LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online) - In December of 2007 the City of San Francisco, California was featured in USA Today for its plans to issue municipal identification cards to all of its residents.
In an age concerned with security, one might have thought that move was an attempt to ascertain whether the residents were illegal immigrants or intended to uncover some kind of potential security risk due to past undetected criminal behavior.
However, that was not the case.
The newsworthy aspect of the story was the fact that this City, known for its “avant-garde” approach to so many things, had decided to eliminate the denotation of whether the carrier of the card is male or female. In other words, gender is no longer a factor in San Francisco.
Rather than seeing our gender as a gift and a given, this movement is a part of a growing effort to place some perceived power over sexual identity in the hands of individuals so that they can make their own decision as to whether they are men or women; or to change their mind regularly.
These new municipal identification cards will contain birthdates and photos. However, they will not indicate whether the holder is male or female. Why? Because the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco have determined that to do so is somehow "discriminatory'.
So called “transgender” activists added this provision to the ordinance.
Let’s begin with a simple definition.
Transgender" is a term in vogue with some proponents of a new Cultural Revolution who want a new “right” to determine whether they are male or female, or a little bit of both. The term includes cross-dressers, transvestites and transsexuals. Anyone who does not agree with what transgender activists like to call their “birth sex” are to now have a right to determine differently. And, to disagree with their determination will subject you to the police power of the government.
As with many of the issues in this new Cultural Revolution, there was a public interest legal group associated with the effort. The “Transgender Law Center in San Francisco.” Kristina Wertz is the legal director of the group. She was quoted by the paper as saying "The card really makes gender a non-issue." . . .
(I wrote this yesterday, as a letter to my ftm group)
I am just returned from the meeting the HRC called with San Francisco
trans community leaders. I am very grateful to Cecelia Chung of the
Transgender Law Center for bringing me in. Yea for south bay
representation. :-) (I feel like I say that a lot in all of my
communities ;-) )
There were about 50 San Francisco area transgender leaders present, in addition to a few people from HRC.
This will probably be long. Fair warning. And I don't claim to not have any opinions. to say the least.
I'll start by saying, I am not feeling any better about the HRC than when I
went up there. I had a pretty open mind, meaning ready to listen. Not
'joyful' as some folks said they were, but ready to listen. I listened
a lot. I think it's time for me to (finally) investigate what it takes
to join the TLC.
Note: FTMI is now officially the Lou Sullivan Society.
Initially, Joe spoke. Joe started off with a two pronged apology, one part being
about poor communication at the height of the ENDA strategy conversion,
and the other part about acknowledging they caused a lot of pain by the
course they chose. He then spent some time explaining the legislative
process in DC.
He also said that he did not expect to change any minds
by the discussion today, though discussion was important; he knew that
actions had gotten the community into the state it is in, and it will
be actions that will get it out.
I'm just gonna list a lot of points next.
I don't have the numbers and stories to back up all the points; I was just taking general notes. If you're interested, check with the many tg services in San Francisco. This is just my experience and take on things. . . .
January 8, 2008
Sometimes I have a hard time sifting through my email and determining what is real and what is not. I’ve received lots of rebates from the IRS, lots of offers to hold on to the fortunes of rich African widows I’ve never met, and lots of offers from lonely housewives. I just assume all of those are fraudulent. But, for some reason, I decided to investigate a strange claim made by a group of angry citizens from Montgomery County, Maryland.
The concerned citizens who contacted me made the odd claim that their county had introduced and passed a new “gender identity” bill. The bill had disturbed many women because it would allow “men” to have open access to women's and girl’s public restrooms, locker rooms and showers by simply stating that they self-identify as (read: feel like) a woman.
The bill, proposed by the Montgomery County Council, alters the state’s existing non-discrimination laws by adding the phrase “gender identity” in order to protect transgendered “persons” and transvestites. One would expect such a proposal from a committee of professors in the so-called social sciences or humanities at a public university. But it is particularly shocking coming from a body of elected officials serving outside the state of Massachusetts.
Opponents of the bill rightly criticize it for this vague definition of gender identity: “An individual’s actual or perceived gender, including a person’s gender-related appearance, expression, image, identity, or behavior, whether or not those gender-related characteristics differ from the characteristics customarily associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.” . . .
Hollywood might be calling, but Georgina Beyer's tale is no longer for sale.
The world's first transexual MP got a call in 2005 from Australian-based producers Sally and Roger Simpson, wanting to put Beyer's story on to the big screen, to which she agreed.
"I've had offers even since these people have been doing it - from American cable networks wanting to make the telly-movie and all of that sort of thing - but, thank god, this lot got me before I could be seduced by money."
However, Beyer said, as it was her life, the real appeal was in the quality of the movie. . . .
Jan 6, 2008
Your gender is a constraint. This is an inalienable truism, regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman.
We can no longer deny that males and females are profoundly different. The hallucination is over. Scientists and behaviorists are discovering that men and women differ not just physically, but cognitively and emotionally as well. These differences are not merely the result of gender-specific socialization; they are innate—the result of thousands of years of sexual competition and selection.
Your gender assignment and sense of sexual identity is an imposition. Like many of your other characteristics, you are largely the result of a genetic lottery that happened beyond your control. Consequently, you are in no small way predetermined. Your physical and psychological capabilities are very much constrained and dictated by your genetic constitution.
Sure, the environments that we find ourselves in and the ways in which we are socialized play a contributing factor to our health, personalities and broader perspectives. But let’s not fool ourselves, each and every one of us has characteristics that are forever limited by our genetic code. . . .