Sunday, September 28, 2008

Surgery and Such

"My thoughts on this weeks topics."   TrannystarGalactica

Deconstructing difference

by Abby Terrell

September 29, 2008

When I first arrived in Bangkok for a study abroad program last spring, my university-assigned “buddy,” Yeepoon, sat down with me to show me the ropes. This meeting led to another, as I kept seeking her advice, and soon we enjoyed weekly lunch dates. All week I would save up questions about the cultural oddities I couldn’t explain.

What’s the deal with the entire country’s seeming lack of toilet paper, or the ubiquity of plastic bags? How many chillies are too spicy for a Thai? Patiently, she would explain everything to me.

It was during one of these lunches that Yeepoon told me her university had a “Most Beautiful” and “Most Handsome” election for each grade level. She pointed to a small, fair girl in the cafeteria’s lunch line, whom she said had been deemed the sophomore class’s “Most Beautiful.” Then, as an afterthought, she noted that the girl was actually transgender, or a “ladyboy.”

Though I had been in Thailand for a few months, her reaction surprised me. Ladyboys are very common in Thailand, and because most Thais are petite, the transition from one sex to another — at least in terms of appearance — can be relatively easy. But what surprised me was the way Yeepoon said it, as a form of light, harmless gossip. . . .Read More

Transgender girl's looks sparked school fight

"Every day, I was afraid for my sister. The world, the way it is, most people wouldn't accept who she was."

by Monte Whaley


BRIGHTON — Angie Zapata's life was becoming more complicated and dangerous by the day.

As she neared her 19th birthday, she needed to shave daily to keep up appearances. Her Adam's apple was growing larger, an emerging tip-off that Angie was not exactly whom she claimed to be.

She was living in Greeley away from her protective older sister, Monica, and other family members for the first time. The striking, 6-foot-tall Latina began running with a bad crowd that sold drugs.

Angie was restless. She needed money for cosmetology school and for counseling to prepare her for hormone treatments so her breasts would develop.

"Every day, I was afraid for my sister," said Monica Zapata. "The world, the way it is, most people wouldn't accept who she was."

Born Justin Zapata, Angie wanted to live and love as a transgender female. . . .Read More

Turkish transsexual singer faces army accusations

24 Sep 2008

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A popular Turkish transsexual singer who infuriated the country's powerful armed forces by questioning a military campaign against Kurdish separatists told a court on Wednesday she would rather die than be silent.

Bulent Ersoy is on trial on charges of "turning the people against military service" in a case that has raised concerns about free speech in the European Union candidate, where criticising the armed forces is taboo.

Ersoy, one of Turkey's most famous singers, caused a stir in February by saying that were she able to give birth to a son she would not allow him to fight in neighbouring Iraq, where the military had launched operations against Kurdish rebels. . . .Read More

EDITORIAL: Cloud hangs over Taiwan Pride Parade

Sep 26, 2008

The Taipei Times

Tomorrow the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and their supporters will take to the streets for the Sixth Taiwan Pride Parade. Last year’s LGBT parade was reportedly the largest in Asia, attracting more than 15,000 people, which demonstrates a growing awareness of the marginalization of these groups.

However, although Taiwan’s homosexual community has made great strides, the transgender, and specifically transsexual, community still has a long way to go in gaining acceptance.

Last October, the Ministry of the Interior issued an executive order that female-to-male (FTM) transsexuals cannot change their national ID cards until they have fully transitioned from one gender to another, in other words, completed genital reconstruction.

The revision was a huge step backwards because the old rule stated that transsexuals were only required to go through the first two stages: removal of the inner reproductive organs and breasts. The decision would be hilarious — there are “ordinary” men without penises — if it didn’t have such far-reaching implications for transsexuals. . . .Read More