Monday, January 05, 2009

female to male and back again

i did this make up for a halloween party last year. this is a very fast and sloppy version but you get the idea. i was kind of popular among the girls on the dance floor that evening ;D and the reason why i don't smile when i'm made up as a guy is because that really blows my cover ;)

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Transgender people often face a legal labyrinth when changing gender on identity documents

by Emily Gurnon


When Carrie PepinSmith wanted to become Cary PepinSmith, a Hennepin County judge had no problem granting the request.

But when the 44-year-old transgender man wanted to change the "F" on his birth certificate to an "M," the judge balked.

"He had no idea how to change the gender on my birth certificate," PepinSmith said. But he'd heard other people had gone to the same place, the Hennepin County Courthouse, and had both the name and gender designation changed at once.

"So why is there no consistency in this?" he wondered.

People who move from one gender to another — with surgical changes or without — face a confounding maze of legal challenges. One of the greatest is changing identity documents, including birth certificates, driver's licenses, Social Security records and passports.

It doesn't stop there. Issues involving employment, health insurance and even bathroom use are among the top concerns facing transgender people, advocates say.

"Our legal system is so premised on the notion of two categories, male and female, that it doesn't easily grasp what to do when a person moves from one category to another," said Phil Duran, staff attorney at OutFront Minnesota, a Minneapolis-based group that offers programs and services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

"The law often just does not have easy, established answers for the questions transgender people find themselves facing," Duran said. . . .Read More

Transgender Rabbi Blazes Trail for Observant Jews

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Contributor
Jan 5, 2009

The Jewish community has largely embraced its GLB members, with transgendered Jews now also being more widely accepted.

A Han. 5 article at related the experience of Elliot Kukla, a rabbi in the Reform tradition of the Jewish faith, who disclosed that he was transgendered before he was ordained over two years ago.

In that short span of time, Kukla has seen the his faith open up to him.

The article quoted Rabbi Kukla as saying of his fellow Jews in the San Francisco area, "I’m so amazed at the old ladies who will turn to their friends and say, ’Did you meet the nice, young transgender rabbi?’"

Added the rabbi, "Some of that is San Francisco, but that conversation would never have happened a few years ago."

Jewish GLBT group Mosaic’s executive director, Gregg Drinkwater, noted, "Transgender issues are really the next set of issues that the Jewish community feels it needs to address." . . .Read More

A transsexual woman's perspective

Inclusion isn't inclusion if it stops at the bedroom

Aleisha Cuff / Vancouver / January 01, 2009

I'll admit I winced when someone handed me a copy of the Dec 4 edition of Xtra West. Two men in bed, not exactly groundbreaking news for an LGBT paper.

Then I saw the title of the piece splashed across the photo: "Shifting Desires: How Trans People are Reshaping Same-Sex Attractions." I winced again.

Truth be told I don't read Xtra West very often. That's not meant as a singular slight against the paper, I just don't do many LGBT community things anymore. I don't go to Pride parades, I haven't been to a bar in years, and I rarely go to any other mainstream LGBT event.

The reason I wince, and why I don't do these things anymore, is because I am a queer transsexual woman, and being a queer transsexual woman in Vancouver is, to put it mildly as I can, a difficult proposition.

There have been a great many words written about Kimberly Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society, and I don't have much to add to that. To begin a discussion of the relationship of trans women and Vancouver without acknowledging it, though, would be remiss.

The ripples from the ruling in that case (where a BC Supreme Court judge sided with Rape Relief that a trans woman is not a woman) are still being felt, and the implications for trans people and all minorities are still yet to be fully realized.

But I don't want to debate a court case, and I don't want to debate my identity. Having spent years involved in the trenches of these discussions I'm tired, and I don't think I'm going to change anyone's bias based on a good argument anyway.

I think, however, those biases will have a harder time if faced with stories about people. It's a great deal harder to hold essentialist beliefs about someone you know.

My path to being queer was in many ways extremely similar to the cisgendered women I've spoken to (cisgendered means those of you who aren't transsexuals. It's a mouthful, sure, but so was heterosexual when it started being used). I'd spent a number of years dating men, and was in a long-term relationship with a man when I realized the people I kept falling in love with were women.

With this realization came a range of emotions, but ultimately the strongest of these was trepidation —and the excitement of coming out and finding this part of myself was tempered with fear.

Although I'd been living in the straight world, I knew that Nancy Burkholder had been escorted off the land at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival in 1991 for being transsexual, and I had heard from queer trans women I knew that I should brace myself for shunning, exclusion and anger.

Whipping Girl, by American writer, trans activist and biologist Julia Serano, reads like a primer for a feminism that includes trans women. Her primary thesis deals with what she calls trans misogyny —a kind of misogyny perpetrated on trans women, but having far deeper implications. Serano argues, and I'd agree, that much of the anger and fear of trans women speaks to a deeper misogyny that is somehow legitimized when it is aimed at trans women. . . .Read More