Monday, January 26, 2009

Becoming Me final

Photo Timeline documenting my transition.

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Growing up different: B.C. transgender patients line up for surgery but doctor who can do it is denied OR time

By Katherine Dedyna

January 25, 2009

Katherine Dedyna writes about British Columbians living with gender identity disorder who continue to face expensive surgery and long stays at a private Montreal clinic now that plans for a publicly funded sexual reassignment clinic on the West Coast have collapsed.

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As a tomboyish six-year-old, the little girl would tell kids she didn't know that her name was Sean. She wanted to be a boy; she felt like a boy inside. Growing up, the feeling intensified. She presented an increasingly male facade to the world. She wore men's clothing, kept her hair cropped and took testosterone for years to promote beard growth. Hair also grew on large breasts hidden by a chest binder.

But no more. At 37, Sean Brown is recovered from a double mastectomy on Oct. 28 to remove those breasts and contour a male chest. He finally feels outside the way he feels inside -- masculine in a way he couldn't fully imagine before. "It's absolute relief," he says. And he's able to live his life in ordinary ways that once eluded him: "I went swimming for the first time and got changed in the change room." No hiding required. . . .Read More

Gwen Araujo is ‘A Girl Like Me’ Movie

25 January 2009

By Cathryn Friar

Gwen Araujo was born Eddie Araujo, a transgender teenager who was murdered. Her story was told in a 2006 Lifetime movie called ‘A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story.’ Read more about Gwen’s story below, see a photo, and watch a video.

Gwen Araujo

‘A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story’ is a 2006 biography made-for-tv movie directed by award-winning director Agnieszka Holland and first aired on Lifetime Television.

It’s a really tragic story that documents the real life of Gwen Araujo, who was born Eddie Araujo, Jr., a transgender teenager who was murdered by four men in Newark, California after it was discovered she had male genitalia. Scenes from the ‘A Girl Like Me’ movie depicting the murder trial are shown alternating with the story of Gwen’s life.

The four men who killed Gwen Araujo, two of whom she had been sexually intimate with, beat her for hours then strangled her, dumping her in a remote area in the mountains. Two of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder, but not convicted on the requested hate crime enhancements. The other two defendants pleaded guilty or no contest to voluntary manslaughter. In at least one of the trials, a ‘trans panic defense’ - an extension of the gay panic defense - was employed. You can go here to read details of what happened to Gwen, written by her mother Sylvia Guerrero. . . .Read More

Nigeria: 'Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill' violates Constitution



AI Index: AFR 44/001/2009

26 January 2009

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Nigerian Bar Association Human Rights Institute (NBAHRI) and Nigerian human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are deeply concerned by the 'Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2008', currently before the Nigerian National Assembly. The Bill would introduce criminal penalties for marriage ceremonies between persons of the same sex as well as for persons witnessing or helping to formalize such a marriage. This is in contravention of the Nigerian Constitution and inconsistent with Nigeria's obligations under international and regional human rights treaties which the country has ratified. We therefore urge the National Assembly not to pass the Bill.

Under Nigeria's criminal code and penal code, consensual same sex conduct between adults is already punishable: chapter 42, section 214 of Nigeria's criminal code provides a sentence of fourteen years' imprisonment for 'carnal knowledge against the order of nature.' . . .Read More