Sunday, May 04, 2008

AsiaSF gender-bending club goes Hollywood

Chris Cadelago

4 May 2008

(05-04) 04:00 PDT Hollywood
-- The woman in a slinky black dress with a tropical flower tucked behind her ear waits backstage, nerves steady.

Surely the judges, seated at a narrow table facing the stage, don't know that most nights she cries herself to sleep. That she came to Los Angeles from Tahiti six years ago to be a star, and when that didn't work, traded sex for rent money. That she's tried to take her own life more times than she can say because she's always hated that thing between her legs, because she's a woman trapped in a man's body.

"Are you ready, Lani?" asks a judge from out front.

Lani Manoa walks to the end of the stage, grips the microphone and lets loose her rendition of Celine Dion's "The Greatest Reward." Manoa belts out the lyrics as if she's desperate, as if this chance to become a performer may just save her life.

"They told me my voice gave them chills," Manoa, 25, said afterward. "For the first time, maybe the first time in my life, I knew this was just the beginning." . . .Read More

Doctor becomes advocate through fight for legislation


4 May 2008

The political fight picked up steam at a potluck supper one Sunday. Dr. Jennifer Madden's task was to drum up support for a bill expected to be nothing short of wildly unpopular.

And as far as she knew, the people gathered for dinner had never done this type of thing before. But there was excitement in the room.

Madden, a physician living in Nashua, was about to take on the insurance industry. She was to testify before a commerce subcommittee, with seasoned health-care lobbyists working against her. The bill fell under a category of legislation Gov. John Lynch had said he would not support because of the already high cost of health-insurance premiums.

When the hearing day finally arrived in early 2007, the group of 15 or so walked to the third floor of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. People gathered in the hallway were laughing at the bill's description posted on the wall.

"They were like, 'Oh, transsexuals, they want hormones?' " Madden said. "But when we got in that room and we started to testify, we changed things."Madden later found out the subcommittee members had planned to kill the bill. They would hear the testimony as planned, but had already decided to vote it down. But something shifted in that room that day, and they didn't vote it down. . . .Read More

School challenge: Transgender student is age 9

By Joelle Farrell and John Sullivan

May 3, 2008

For school officials in Haverford Township, the challenge was daunting: What do you do when a 9-year-old student, with the full support of his parents, decides that he is no longer a boy and instead is a girl?

Parents of a third-grade student at Chatham Park Elementary School approached the administration on April 16 to ask for help in making a "social transition" for their child.

The Haverford School District consulted experts on transgender children, then sent letters to parents advising them that the guidance counselor would meet with the school's 100 third-grade students to explain why their classmate would now wear girls' clothes and be called by a girl's name.

Some parents objected. Eight called the principal to ask that their child not attend the session, and some posted angry messages on the Haverford Township blog.

"Why is the school introducing this subject to 8- and 9-year-olds?" wrote the parent who started the blog thread, which had been viewed more than 3,000 times as of yesterday. "Why were we not notified sooner. We received the letter today, the discussion at school is tomorrow."

Other parents thought the school should not have called attention to an already delicate situation.

"I did not think that the letter needed to go out," said Valerie Huff, whose daughter is friends with the transgender student. "The kids don't make any big deal about it at all." . . .Read More

Egyptian Pharaoh May Have Been Natural Transsexual

May 04, 2008

BALTIMORE — Akhenaten wasn't the most manly pharaoh, even though he fathered at least a half-dozen children. In fact, his form was quite feminine. And he was a bit of an egghead.

So concludes a Yale University physician who analyzed images of Akhenaten for an annual conference Friday at the University of Maryland School of Medicine on the deaths of historic figures.

The female form was due to a genetic mutation that caused the pharaoh's body to convert more male hormones to female hormones than needed, Dr. Irwin Braverman believes. And Akhenaten's head was misshapen because of a separate condition in which skull bones fuse at an early age. . . .Read More

Transsexual husband annuls marriage and enters into civil partnership with wife to keep pension benefits


1 May 2008

Two women have married each other in a civil partnership - more than 30 years after they became husband and wife.

Martin Packer had to annul his marriage to Linda so he could be legally recognised as a woman after a sex change.

This left both of them facing a financial blow as they would have had to forfeit certain tax and pension rights. . . .Read More