Sunday, October 25, 2009
Italy's main opposition party was in turmoil yesterday as its supporters voted in a primary to select a new leader after one of its high profile politicians was forced to step down because of a video apparently showing him with a transsexual prostitute.
Piero Marrazzo, who was once tipped as a future leader, announced just hours before the polls were due to open that he would resign as governor of Lazio.
Four policemen have been arrested for allegedly attempting to blackmail the 51-year-old over the apparent encounter in a Rome apartment. . . .Read More
Track and field’s world governing body has begun trying to devise new rules about who can compete as a woman. This comes nearly two months after being presented with the case of Caster Semenya, the South African runner whose sex was questioned when she won the 800-meter world championship.
Let’s start with the reasonable assumption that we want to maintain gender segregation in most sports. It provides girls and women — half the planet’s population — a real hope of winning. Without that hope, many may not bother.The pickle, then, is how to maintain that segregation in the face of apparent challenges. A Renée Richards or a Caster Semenya doesn’t come along too often, but often enough that there needs to be explicit rules about who is considered a woman. But what rules? . . .Read More
Rome - A priest in Italy on Sunday blessed the marriage of a 64-year-old transsexual to her 58-year-old male partner, in defiance of Vatican guidelines, the ANSA news agency reported.
Sandra Alvino - who underwent a sex change more than 30 years ago - and Fortunato Talotta had been in a civil partnership for 25 years before tying the knot in a religious ceremony in Piagge, an industrial suburb of Florence.
Father Alessandro Santoro gave his blessing to the marriage, which was attended by some 200 people, despite the Roman Catholic Church advising him not to go ahead with it. . . .Read More
Friday, October 23, 2009
by Daniel Nasaw
October 23, 2009
After living for more than three years as a man, the person known on his drivers license as Leah Winn-Ritzenberg decided to change his name to match his identity.
A New York court clerk asked for a doctor's note proving Winn-Ritznberg's "need" to change his birth name to Olin. Now, an appellate court has struck down the requirement, saying the state has no business asking people who change their gender to prove it to a court, in a decision transgender advocates hail as a step for equality.
"The court is weighing in and saying transgender people need to be treated the same as anyone else," said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defence and Education Fund, which provided legal assistance. "We can't impose additional or different burdens upon people just because they're transgender." . . .Read More
October 20, 2009
In a complex decision released yesterday, the Supreme Court of Kings County ruled that a transsexual father has standing to petition for custody of a non-biological child.
J.R. agreed to marry K.B. even though she knew K.B. was born a woman. K.B. took hormones and had done everything short of surgery to become the man she believed she was. J.R. eventually gave birth to a baby conceived through a third party sperm donor. In 2007 after the marriage between the couple had gone sour, both parents filed petitions for custody of the now five-year-old child. The mother's petition argued that:
"...it would be in the best interest of the child if custody of the child was awarded to her since the Petitioner is actually a woman. In Respondent's affirmation it is alleged that Petitioner committed acts of domestic violence against her while they lived together and that she feared for the safety of the child. In Respondent's custody petition she stated that the Petitioner was "actually a woman" and therefore the marriage was "invalid". (Cross Petition of JR August 6, 2007). " . . .Read More
23 October 2009
So a dude at the UN named Martin Scheinin filed a report calling for a trashing of our current counter-terrorism policies. The new plan, he believes, should “abandon the ‘war paradigm’” and “enshrine the principles of gender-equality and non-discrimination…”
Among his odder proposals: rethinking security checks that “focus attention on male bombers who may be dressing as females to avoid scrutiny [and] make transgender persons” – who might also be cross-dressing – “susceptible to increased harassment and suspicion.” . . .Read More
October 23, 2009
Jessee Vasold ’11 made history at the College of William and Mary Wednesday when ze was announced as the school’s first transgender homecoming queen, representing the Class of 2011.
Vasold identifies as gender-queer and prefers to be referred to with gender neutral pronouns: “ze” in place of he or she and “zir” rather than him or her. Vasold has also created a Facebook account for a female identity, Kathy Middlesex.
Friends suggested that Vasold run for homecoming queen. Even though Vasold thought that there was a good chance at being elected, Vasold said the win was still surprising to hear.
“We figured it would be something different for the school to go through, something that hasn’t happened too often,” Vasold said. “I was kind of surprised that I won because I knew the other girls running. I know that they’re really friendly; they’re wonderful people, so I was unsure.”
This year marks the return of direct voting by students. Last year, there was no platform to host voting, so the homecoming kings and queens were chosen by class officers out of student-submitted nominations. . . .Read More
Saturday, October 17, 2009
A bear doing a little pole dancing. Yeah, that's the spot. . .
Gender's not high on the "what's important" list for bears. A little pole dancing, however, contributes to a happy life. But bears don't call it that, because labeling stuff's not important for bears. RA
Thursday, October 15, 2009
15 October 2009
Josie Romero loves the colour pink, braiding her hair and having her fingernails painted.
But life has not always been easy for this sweet and charming eight-year-old, who was born in the body of a boy.
The transgender youngster, then called Joseph, knew at the age of four that she was the wrong sex and even told her parents: 'I am really a girl.'
At five, she was refusing to have her hair cut and only wore colours like orange which were nearest to girly pink.
By the time she reached six, Josie had been diagnosed as transgender and was beginning her transition to becoming a female.
Mother Venessia, 42, said: 'When she was a toddler, she was always trying to turn her boy toys into girl toys.
'She used to take her army figures, wrap them up and rock them like a baby.
'As she grew older and started to talk, she always said: "I'm a girl". . . .Read More
By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES
Oct. 14, 2009
He is known as Jack Stones on his Facebook page, and authorities said he used that alias last Friday when he tried to enroll as a 15-year-old freshman at Marion High School in Illinois.
But by the following Monday, suspicious school officials had called the FBI and learned that Jack was born Jennifer May, and was actually 24-year-old Jack Jay Kaiser, a California woman in the midst of switching her gender to a man.
Today, Kaiser is being held in Williamson County jail on $20,000 bail, charged with lying to officials at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services about his age and about having been abandoned or homeless.
"It's really sketchy," said Marshall Stone, supervisor special agent for the FBI's Springfield, Ill., unit. "We were initially involved because we were concerned if he was a trafficking victim and needed to be identified.". . .Read More
Frisk Policy Revised
Tom Blackwell, National Post, October 15, 2009
The prison guard at a B. C. penitentiary says he tried to be professional and respectful when he frisk-searched an inmate. But the transgendered male prisoner was on the road to becoming female, and the guard soon found himself under investigation for alleged sexual assault, accused of inappropriately touching the man's surgically augmented breasts.
The incident came in the wake of a 2003 court ruling that moved the rights of inmates with "gender-identity disorder" to a new level in the country's federal prisons, directing the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to pay for the sex-change operations of some offenders.
Officials confirmed this week that since then they have funded two "gender reassignment" surgeries, while others have applied to undergo the service. . . .Read More
Transsexuals in Uruguay will soon be able to legally register a change of name and gender after the country's senate approved a controversial bill.
The law, which was passed unanimously, is strongly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church and opposition conservatives.
The bill is the latest in a series of liberal measures promoted by the left-wing Uruguayan government.
It will come into force as soon as it is signed by President Tabare Vasquez.
Under the new legislation, transsexuals will be able to change their name on all official documents, from birth certificates to passports, to reflect the gender of their choice. . . .Read More
Transsexual actor Vanessa Van Durme has turned her life story into a critically acclaimed touring show. Raymond Gill reports.
VANESSA Van Durme is a tall, 60-something woman of handsome looks and slightly imposing manner who comes across as an amalgam of Vanessa Redgrave and Germaine Greer, though somewhat warmer.
Like those two redoubtable leaders of public life, the Belgian performer tours the world's stages holding forth before adoring audiences. But unlike the British actress and the Australian intellectual, Van Durme tells a story that is at once dramatic, deeply personal and a reflection of how Western mores have changed in the past 30 years.
Van Durme was born a man, changed her sex in 1975 and, after 15 years working as a prostitute, returned to her early vocation as theatre performer and writer.
In Australia, on her first visit to present Look Mummy I'm Dancing for the Melbourne Festival, Van Durme tells that story in her one-woman show, which opened last night at the Arts Centre's Fairfax Studio for six performances. . . .Read More
Thursday, October 08, 2009
October 6, 2009
Jonathan Escobar says he chooses to wear clothes that express himself. Skinny jeans, wigs, "vintage" clothing and makeup are the staples of his wardrobe.
"I don't consider myself a cross-dresser," he said. "This is just who I am."
But the 16-year-old says an assistant principal at North Cobb High School told him last week he needed to dress more "manly" for school, or consider being home-schooled. He had only been a student at the school for three days.
"I told myself I can't accept this," said Escobar, who wore a pink wig to school last Wednesday.
Escobar said the assistant principal told him his style of dress had caused a fight between students at the school. Two days later, he withdrew himself from the Kennesaw school. . . .Read More
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
My 7 minutes on a panel of selected luminaries from the Class of 1969, Brown University. Memorial Day Weekend, 2009. I'm 61 years old, younger than most of the 200 classmates and their families in the room. The "John" I joke about having had a fling with is John Rizzo, Acting General Consul for the CIA. The "Ira" I further joke about is Ira Magaziner, chairman of the William J. Clinton Foundation's international development initiatives. My partner, Barbara Carrellas, flipped the video.
by Kelvin Lynch
Jude Law underwent perhaps the most startling onscreen transformation ever for the new Sally Potter movie, Rage.
According to People, Law convincingly plays a sultry Russian transsexual named Minx and is "virtually unrecognizable in a black wig, black strapless dress, scarlet lipstick and smoky eye shadow." . . .Read More
Smith is not a women's college. The confines of the gender binary are constantly blurred and redefined, as we educate one another on pronoun usage, testosterone injections and the day-to-day tribulations of what it means to be in transition. The transsexual, transgender and gender queer populations of Smith College are valid and flourishing, whether they make it onto the "I Am Smith" Web page or not. In an age where single-sex education is a niche market and a deep source of pride at Smith College, the transient population and all forms of masculinity on campus simply must be addressed.
To be questioning gender at Smith is dually more and less difficult than at other educational institutions. On the one hand, Smith will always be reputed as a prestigious women's college. A female-to-male transgender student - F to M, also called M to M to avoid association with feminine traits altogether - will always have to deal with a well-known women's college on his transcript and the questions and judgments that inevitably follow. No matter how accepting, "trannies" fear that peers and potential employers will treat them differently. . . .Read More
by Patrick Saunders
Editor’s note: First Person is a series of commentaries that give voice to those not commonly heard in Atlanta media.
After growing up a “typical boy,” marrying “the one” and fathering two children, Monica Helms finally acted on a lifelong desire to become a woman.
Sometime around the age of 4 or 5, I knew something was different about me. I was raised Catholic and you’re supposed to pray to God for things. So I prayed to God to turn me into a girl. I finally got to do it 41 years later, so I guess for God that’s like overnight delivery.
Several things slowed down my process of becoming a woman. I was the typical boy. I can honestly say that I was a tomboy in a boy’s body. I had loving parents and we always did things together, so I didn’t have time for a lot of introspective thinking. And I was the oldest child, so I didn’t have an older sister to emulate or to be jealous of. I was always attracted to women, so that was another part that didn’t clue me in. So there were a lot of things that got in the way of me realizing what I was. . . .Read More
October 4, 2009
The journey of a transsexual woman seeking ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been documented on film, which is set to release next year.
"Thy Will Be Done: A Transsexual Woman's Journey Through Family and Faith" follows Sara Herwig, who transitioned from male to female and is seeking to "fulfill God's call."
In conveying Herwig's personal story, the documentary reveals the complex nature of the issue as faith groups, mainly the PC(USA), struggle to interpret their established policies and Scripture with regard to transsexualism.
Herwig began to pursue her call to ministry in 2001, seven years after switching from "Steve" to "Sara" – complete with a surgical procedure.
Before the transition, however, Herwig divorced his then wife Billie Preston with whom he had a daughter. . . .Read More