Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Serena in Flux Ep. 9

"My ninth vlogs in my now weekly episodes telling about being alone."

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'10,000 Dresses': A book about gender identity

December 3, 2008

Author Marcus Ewert has something in common with the new first lady, he's happy to say. He and Michelle Obama share a January birthday - with all the optimistic Capricorn character traits that implies. But the built-in ebullience of this astrology enthusiast came to a rolling stop not long ago, after he accepted an invitation to read from his work.

He had been toiling for ages on an autobiographical coming-of-age story about his mentors, the great American poets Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. For this occasion, though, he longed for new material.

"I was sick and tired of reading from my memoir. I wanted to write a fairy tale," says Ewert. "So I wrote the first draft of a transgender book for kids."

He picked up a thread from Piki and Poko, a Web cartoon he co-created that has a strong transgender character, someone whose self-identification doesn't match his assigned sex. Getting the story right took a couple of tries.

"Originally, the book was written for a child who had an uncle or an aunt who was transitioning," he says. "But it was too serious. I was boring myself." . . .Read More

Transgender Day of Remembrance helps acceptance, understanding

by Katherine Jarvis


Burning candles dripped wax onto the grass as 12 people stood in a circle reading the names of transgender individuals who had been murdered.

The 10th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 was about more than the movement, senior Aydin Kennedy said.

"It's about memorializing those that were trying to find that corner of truth in their life," he said.

They also make transgender people visible, Kennedy said. Events such as the Day of Remembrance, as well as the Conversation on Diversity on Nov. 19, lend a voice to a group of people who often don't have a voice.

The Conversation on Diversity "Facing Trans: Inclusion, Advocacy and Empowerment," focused on how sex, gender and sexual identity are connected.

When Kennedy began his transitioning, sex, gender and sexual identity played a significant role, he said. Sexual identity was particularly important since he was in a relationship eight months before he began medically transitioning. His sexual identity was being redefined. . . .Read More

Scientists Report Mental 'Body-Swapping'

December 2, 2008

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The illusion of body-swapping -- making people perceive the bodies of mannequins and other people as their own -- has been achieved by Swedish neuroscientists.

In one experiment, the team fitted the head of a mannequin with two cameras connected to two small screens placed in front of volunteers' eyes, so that they had the same view as the mannequin.

When the mannequin's camera eyes and a participant's head were directed downwards, the participant saw the mannequin's body where the person would normally have seen their own body.

The researchers created the illusion of body-swapping by touching the stomach of both the mannequin and the volunteer with sticks. The person saw the mannequin's stomach being touched while feeling (but not seeing) a similar sensation on their own stomach. As a result, the person developed a strong belief that the mannequin's body was actually their own. . . .Read More