Thursday, April 24, 2008
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
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
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
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