Sunday, August 10, 2008
The person who made history six years ago by becoming the first city employee to openly transition from male to female in the workplace has never found a burning cross outside her home.
The acts of bigotry and intolerance have been more subtle — but every bit as disheartening, said Camille Stephanie Hopkins.
Crude notes have been slipped under her office door. She hears giggles — sometimes sarcastic whistles — as she walks the halls. When elevator doors open, friendly chatter often turns into an icy hush.
“It hurts, because in some people’s eyes, I’m a freak,” she said.
Compounding her pain is Hopkins’ belief that the city has contributed to what she calls a climate of intolerance. City leaders have failed to provide enough sensitivity training and taken a dismissive attitude when she has raised concerns, Hopkins claimed.
She was even brought up on departmental charges for wearing a T-shirt that sported the phrase “fagbug,” a word the gay community considers a statement against hate crimes and homophobia. . . .Read More
Michael Arone has been called every pejorative someone could direct at a transgender teen.
But, while most harassment the 16-year-old West Haverstraw resident faced has been short-lived, Arone reached a breaking point at a summer program in Clarkstown South High School.
Arone, a North Rockland school district 10th-grader, is a male transgender teen who publicly goes by Melissa Andrews and prefers to be referred to as a female.
Arone said classmates have routinely called her "faggot," "she-male," "it" and "queer" in response to her wearing eye shadow and lipstick, straightening her shoulder-length brown hair and carrying a purse to school. . . .Read More
Left-wing campaigner heads for celebrity island
From Philip Willan in Rome
THE ANNOUNCEMENT that Italy's first transgender MP will participate in a Survivor-style reality television show in September has surprised her many admirers. Vladimir Luxuria - whose real name is Wladimiro Guadagno - was one of many left-wing MPs to lose their seats after Silvio Berlusconi's crushing electoral victory last April.
An actor and campaigner for homosexual rights, Luxuria, 43, was viewed with suspicion by many when she was first elected to parliament two years ago for the Communist Refoundation Party. The parliamentary controversy for which she is best remembered concerned her right to use the ladies' toilets in the Chamber of Deputies, a right that was fiercely contested by the former TV showgirl Elisabetta Gardini, who was beginning her parliamentary career with Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia party. . . .Read More