Friday, August 28, 2009
Sen. Ted Kennedy speaking at 2008 HRC Equality Convention
by Hannah Clay Wareham
Notes from leading community members (locally and nationally) recall the late Senator as a lion-hearted advocate for LGBT issues.
"Yet, there was Teddy rising to the floor, bringing us to our feet, reminding us of what we could do and accomplish. That’s why his loss is so deep and so wide. He made everything possible, within reach and he embraced all of life. And that was a big part of the connection many of us felt." - Mary Breslauer, longtime Democratic activist and principal, Communication Solutions . . . .Read More
by Insiya Amir
Kalki Subramanian is young, liberated and looking for an Indian man who is loving, compassionate, educated. Oh, and one more thing — he should be
But Kalki isn’t leaving her hopes for a suitable boy to destiny. The founder-director of the Sahodari foundation, that works for transgenders, is setting up a matrimonial website for transsexual women — the first of its kind in the world.
With the Internet matchmaking portal, to be launched on Thursday, she also hopes to create a debate about the issues of matrimony and adoption for transgenders. “There has to be legal clarity for transsexuals to live a better life. We have been discriminated against and exploited for very long”, she says.
Unlike, other dating services in the world, where transgenders are set up with other transgenders, www.thirunangai.net will give transsexual women a chance to find a man of their dreams. Thirunangai, incidentally, means respectable woman in Tamil. . . .Read More
You will be stunned at what I learned.
By David W. Virtue
Dear VOL readers,
LITTLE DID I KNOW what was in store for me when I accepted a lunch invitation from a VOL reader whom I had never met. Soon, I found myself seated at a nearby Chinese restaurant, opposite a lady who proceeded to tell me that she is a transgendered person.
Specifically, she believes she was born with a condition called gender dysphoria, commonly known as transsexualism. I have never had an in-depth, face-to-face conversation with a person who had had a sex change operation, a person who was once a man and is now very much a woman. This may well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.
I won't lie to you. Unless she had told me, I would never have guessed that she was not born a woman biologically or that she had ever appeared to be a man.
The lady in question, whom we shall call M, as she wishes to protect her identity, is tall, of German American origin, an attorney who had worked for a number of high level financial firms. She had been married, raised two sons and is now divorced. . . .Read More
by Madison Claire
PART 1 of 2
“Whether they want to admit it or not, the numbers on the web show us that there’s definite interest,” says Alex Ladd, co-owner and head of production for DVSX.com. In an interview with adult-industry newssource Xbiz.com, Ladd couched the trend in the language of his trade: “Straight men want trannies.”
Research gathered from more than a dozen major sources – including Alexa, Google and Internet World Stats – reveals that nearly 190 million heterosexual men are attracted to transsexual women and actively seek romantic contact with or sexually explicit images of them annually.
“The Internet really has made the whole thing more popular in the last few years,” says Steven Gallon, owner of Grooby Productions, one of the first transsexual sites launched a decade ago. “You’re now seeing [transsexuals] in mainstream advertising and on TV shows. That and the Internet have made it [socially acceptable for transsexuals] to be out there on display.” . . .Read More
by Matt Kailey
Trans women seem to be turning up everywhere in the media and are sometimes quite visible in everyday society, but trans men are frequently unseen, leading non-trans people to believe that there are far fewer trans men than trans women.
While this could be the case, there are some estimates that the populations of people whose gender identity does not match their physical body are about equal. But even if this is true, there are many reasons why this does not play out in visibility.
In part one, we talked about why trans men might be statistically underrepresented. But, statistics aside, trans men are simply not as visible in society as trans women are. . . .Read More
By Matt Kailey
Frequently asked question: Why do we often see transsexual women (born male, transitioned to female) in the media and in public life, but we rarely see transsexual men (born female, transitioned to male)? Are there more trans women than trans men?
It would appear that way, but the answer is much more complex than appearances.
The American Psychological Association (APA) says, “Current estimates of the prevalence of transsexualism are about 1 in 10,000 for biological males [people identified as male at birth] and 1 in 30,000 for biological females [people identified as female at birth].” These are updated numbers, but Professor Lynn Conway has far higher estimates.
One of the problems with statistically identifying transsexual people — both women and men — is that those statistics are reported by professionals in the mental health and medical fields (therapists, physicians, and surgeons) who work with transsexual people and facilitate transition. There is no other way to gather these statistics. The census takers certainly don’t ask. . . .Read More
Monday, August 24, 2009
On Thursday, feminist Germaine Greer published a short article in the Guardian about Caster Semenya, the woman who is being forced to undergo gender testing by the IAAF because she won a race while having an appearance that is considered masculine. As a result of the case, many are writing about the question of “what makes a man or a woman,” and, of course, that can be a recipe for disaster.
Greer’s piece is a perfect example. After reading it over several times, I honestly haven’t the slightest clue what her overall argument is. One moment she seems to rightly accept that a person who understands herself as a woman and identifies as a woman is a woman, and the next she is mocking and undgendering women who don’t meet her own personal, cis-supremacist standards. I don’t know what she ultimately thinks about Caster Semenya, but I do know blatant, unapologetic transphobia when I see it screaming out at me from the page. . . .Read More plus Comments
by Germaine Greer
What makes a woman? Are women made? Feminist orthodoxy says yes; feminist fundamentalists hold that biology is a cultural creation. You can see what they mean; biology has traditionally studied the male animal and extrapolated the female as a disembodied set of reproductive organs.
Even though we know that a Y chromosome is only an X that has lost a leg, we still think in terms of male = perfect, female = imperfect. In plainer terms what the academic feminists could be taken to be saying is that (a) you're a woman if you think you are and (b) you're a woman if other people think you are. Unfortunately (b) cannot be made to follow from (a).
Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women's names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn't polite to say so. We pretend that all the people passing for female really are. Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man's delusion that he is female. . . .Read More
by Ily Goyanes
Matt Kailey wears many hats. He is a writer, editor, media personality and public speaker on transgender issues. He has spoken at universities across the country as well as appeared in documentaries.
Kailey won the Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, Inc. and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He has also been a judge for the Lambda Literary Awards. He is the managing editor of Out Front Colorado, one of the oldest LGBT publications in the nation and his writing has appeared in The Advocate, Instinct, Frontiers, and many other print and internet publications.
He writes Tranifesto, a blog promoting gender diversity and discussing transgender issues. He is also the Denver Transgender Issues Examiner. Kailey had his erotica story, Teeny Weenies, Inc. published in Best Transgender Erotica.
IG: How do you identify regarding your sexuality?
MK: Usually gay, meaning attracted to men. But I also have a queer identification, which, to me, represents a potential attraction to a variety of people. This does not mean that I am automatically attracted to everyone. What it means is that I can find myself attracted to someone based not on their maleness or femaleness, but on certain characteristics, both physical and emotional, that I find attractive. . . .Read More
Friday, August 21, 2009
By Sahar Moussa
Gharam' means passion in Arabic and Gharam is what this young Kuwaiti male- to-female transsexual likes to be called. The first impression you get when sitting with Gharam is confusion. He is tall and thin with short, straight black hair, an obvious nose job and full lips and cheeks. You can see his well-shaped, wide eyes sparkle under the blue contact lenses and clean eyebrows. You cannot help but notice his soft skin and hairless arms under his navy blue t-shirt and his well-defined, lean body under the tight, white, low-waisted jeans. His smiles and gestures are exaggerated, showing off his well-manicured nails, fake dimples and perfect white teeth. . . .Read More
by Do Tuan
The increasing popularity of homosexual beauty contests has raised eyebrows, with people asking whether or not such events are legal.
A week doesn’t go by without a beauty pageant or fashion show making headlines in Ho Chi Minh City.
Publicity magnets, these events have launched the careers of several of Vietnam’s most successful models, actresses and singers.
But as the times change, so have the beauty contests and fashion shows, as some of the most popular pageants are now for homosexuals and teenage girls while the catwalks have become crowded with transsexuals. Many of these events are unlicensed, but they’ve been growing in popularity and numbers throughout the country. But some worry about their legality. . . .Read More
by Sanjeev Bery
It probably wasn't the first time that someone had organized an Independence Day cricket match in Pakistan. But it almost certainly was the first time that such a match occurred between a team of professional cricket players and a team of transgendered Pakistanis.
As the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported, the transgendered team won.
Known as hijras, transgendered Pakistanis and Indians have historically lived in their own communities and within their own cultural contexts. The word hijra combines a range of sexual identities -- gay crossdressers, hermaphradites -- who identify as female, and male-to-female transgendered individuals. In Indian and Pakistani English, words like "eunuch" and "transvestite" are often used in place of the word hijra. . . .Read More
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Five years ago Steve was a macho, no-nonsense cop. But unbeknownst to his police bosses, Steve longed to become a woman. Today Sarah Lurajud is New Zealands first openly transgender police officer.
For most of Sarahs 24 years in the police, she was living a lie. I made a conscious decision that that would be a secret I'd take to the grave. In the force Steve was known as a good cop but in the end Sarah had to be Sarah. I was petrified of losing my job and didnt know how my colleagues would react. Despite the shock, she was appreciated as before. Sarah was and is a good cop.
by Mike Szymanski
Is she male, is she female?
That's what the IAAF running officials are wondering about the fantastic South African runner Caster Semenya.
(The Endurance Sports Examiner, Roman Mica, did a top-notch job of capturing the controversy, and you may want to follow more about this issue and the world of racing through the column. And, New York Celebrity Fitness and Health Examiner Samantha Chang is following what is going on with the issue, too!)
The issue is befuddling the sports world (and it's about time!) Man? Woman?
Well guess what? What if she is neither—or all of the above?
Finally, people may start realizing that the definition of sex is perhaps as fluid as the definition of one's sexuality. Yeah, just like people aren't homosexual or heterosexual, they aren't just simply male or female either. It's really not confusing at all. It's about learning a few more definitions, and realizing that world isn't made up of just black or white, but many shades of gray. . . .Read More
August 16, 2009
By Audrey Edwards
SHE looks older than her 19 years and is pencil-thin.
Fatin (not her real name) is fidgety and plays with her sweater while she furtively looks around to see if anyone nearby is listening in.
The orang asli transsexual is cautious at first and speaks quietly.
But as she warms up, Fatin, who was confirmed HIV-positive last year, lets her guard down. She says she also suffers from tuberculosis.
All in the name of fun
"It all began when I started hanging out with my friends at the bus stop," she says, smiling shyly as she relates how she became involved in sex work, which led to her being infected with HIV.
"Guys would drive by, stop, look and then choose whoever they liked." . . .Read More
18 August 2009
Two Australian transsexuals have won legal recognition as men despite the duo still having female reproductive organs.
The pair was previously denied legal recognition of their sex change by West Australian state government, as the government argued that until they had hysterectomies done they could not be considered men under the Gender Reassignment Act. . . . Read More
Monday, August 10, 2009
If you train via the "falsetto/mickey mouse" method, keep in mind that if you think you'll achieve a female voice immediately, you may be disappointed. In my view, falsetto is to show you how to sound without resonance (that deep male vibration) and it strengthens and gets your vocal cords used to speaking in a different way.
Once you get stronger vocally and can control your falsetto, then you can expand and make your voice sound more feminine. That'll be a vid in the future sometime, perhaps, maybe. :)
Actually, as you practice more, you'll find that you will also have an expanded range, so practice does lead to sounding more feminine. But it does NOT come from just doing falsetto. Use falsetto as a tool for the above reasons.
Good luck and have fun practicing. :)
Once a week, Daily Intel looks behind doors left slightly ajar. This week: The Female-to-Male Pre-Op Transsexual, 28, male, Brooklyn, queer, in a long-term, sometimes-open, relationship with a woman.
9 a.m.: Wake up, think about jerking off. Nah, too hung-over. Rather loll around bed for a while anyway. Been working too much lately anyway; never get to do this anymore.
1 p.m.: Biking to work. There are a lot of good-looking women as I bike down Fulton Street. Try not to stare at boobs, as I am basically a 15-year-old boy. I’m still learning this. I have been on hormones for two and a half years, and am transitioning, female-to-male. I am fully passing, and pre-op. Being on testosterone has made me a much more, um, visual person.
3 p.m.: Trying desperately to get some work done in the real-estate career I’m trying to build, only to be distracted by a not-even-that-sexy picture of the cast of Hair naked. You can’t see anything. How does anyone get anything done? Mystery.
DAY ONE (cont.)
4:05 p.m.: No one in office, quick jerk-off to porn. I don’t care what my friend says, XTube is way better than PornHub.
5:05 p.m.: Somewhat shocked at the lewdness on the talk boards on Yelp today. The “How to get in my pants” thread makes me wonder if people forget that anyone can read what they’re writing.
10:30 p.m.: Realize I’m overdue for my T shot (testosterone) because libido and energy are both down.
11:30 p.m.: Start talking with gf about how when we get our own place we’ll have sex all over the apartment, with emphasis on the kitchen. We’ve been together for four and a half years, and she’s fully supportive. We start canoodling, and I tell her I’m not in the mood. She seduces me in about a minute.
12:30 a.m.: Both satisfied, asleep. . . .Read More and See Comments
By Lindsay Toler
Seattle Times staff reporter
In January, over objections of the transgender community, the state Department of Licensing made it tougher to change gender information on driver's licenses, citing goals of fighting terrorism and reducing identity theft. Last week it abruptly changed course, not just reverting to the original policy — but making it easier than before.
It's hard to say for sure how many of the 80 or so transgender Washingtonians who change their driver's-license information each year might be terrorists.
But just in case, the state was ready.
In January — after three years of discussion — the Department of Licensing made it tougher to change gender information on driver's licenses, citing goals of fighting terrorism and reducing identity theft.
Last week it abruptly changed course, not just reverting to the original policy — but even making it easier than before.
"It just didn't seem to make sense," explained Doron Maniece, acting assistant director at the department. . . .Read More
August 10, 2009
Some non-trans people wonder if transgender and transsexual people want to do away with or change the concept of gender as it is recognized by mainstream U.S. culture.
You will often hear trans people speak of the “binary gender system” — the two-gendered system under which our society is structured — and the strict limits that this system imposes on gender identity and expression.
But the system imposes those limits on everyone — not just trans people. And those very strict expectations about how men and women are supposed to think, dress, and behave can be detrimental to many people — not just to trans people. . . .Read More