Monday, December 15, 2008

The Great Transsexual Divide

"Seriously, everyone... The old saying "United we stand, divided we fall" is true..."

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by Brianna Austin

December 16, 2008

November 20, 2008 was the 10th anniversary of Transgender Remembrance day; a time for us to look back and reflect on those who met with untimely deaths at the hands of intolerance, bigotry, and hatred. Yet it is also a time to recognize and appreciate the work of so many attempting to bring about change for the better. During this moment of Remembrance we should also take time for self reflection to better understand the world around us so that we can better protect ourselves from becoming one of the unfortunate victims of hate.

So, what role, if any, do victims play in their own demise, and how did we get to where we are?

Since I first began cross-dressing as a child in the 1960s up through when I finally came out in 2000 I have personally witnessed amazing changes and evolution inside and outside the transgender community; in how we relate to each other and the world around us, and the world relates to us.

At the turn of the 20th Century Magnus Hirschfeld coined the term transvestism (from Latin trans-, "across, over" and vestitus, "dressed") to refer to the sexual interest in cross-dressing.

By the mid-20th Century
Harry Benjamin coined the term transsexual and recognized that not all cross-dressing was related to sexual desire; propelling the belief that transsexuals were simply born in the wrong body

. . .Read More

Gay-Straight Alliance hopes to educate teens

Group at Washington high school formed to support one another at tough age

of the Journal Star
Dec 14, 2008

WASHINGTON — High school can be a tumultuous time for a student.

Nobody knows that better than Patrick Coughlin, who has been a high school guidance counselor for more than 20 years, including 16 at Washington Community High School.

"High school is when many of us form our self-image," Coughlin said. "I'll bet most adults remember how they felt about themselves during high school."

High school can be particularly stressful for a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual student. In an effort to support those students at Washington, a Gay-Straight Alliance has been formed at the school, with Coughlin as its advisor.

Sixty-four students - some gay or lesbian, some straight - signed up to join the alliance, and a proposed constitution has been written. Coughlin discussed the alliance at this month's District 308 School Board meeting, and approval of the alliance's constitution is expected to be on the board's January agenda.

According to the constitution, the alliance's purpose is "to encourage acceptance and tolerance within the diverse population of our school, promote pride in our community, create a safe environment for all (Washington students), and educate the school community." . . .Read More

“I Like That About Me.”

Year in Review: 2008

By Robin Berghaus and Vicky Waltz

Through December 24, BU Today is looking back at the most popular stories of the year. We’ll be back with new stories for the new year on Monday, January 5. Happy holidays!

Most children dream of possessing the magical ability to fly, to be invisible, or to talk to animals.

But as a young boy growing up in Jefferson City, Mo., Emeri Burks wished only to be a girl. “I prayed every day for the body that would fix things, that would make everything right,” recalls Burks (CAS’08). “More than anything, I wanted to be anatomically and biologically female.” . . .Read More