Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Transgenders hail government promise of group housing but fear isolation

25 Feb 2009, M Ramya, TNN

CHENNAI: Ten years ago, Rajini, who now lives with another transgender in Mogappair, felt alone. Only 18 then, she was turned out of her home by

her parents. She had no choice but to join an older transgender who persuaded her to beg and earn her livelihood.

On budget day this year, when the Tamil Nadu government announced the allocation of Rs 1 crore to construct group houses for the transgender community, Rajini rejoiced.

"Life was tough. I was forced to make a lot of wrong choices. It took me some time to find my feet. Now I do DTP work, but the announcement in the budget to build houses for us will benefit many and help bring down the number of those who beg or engage in commercial sex for a living," she says. Rani, a transgender who lives in Tiruvottriyur, says, "When we approach landlords for houses on rent, most of them refuse outright. Those who agree charge exorbitant rates." . . .Read More

For some, shadow of regret cast over gender switch

By Steve Friess, special for USA TODAY

February 25, 2009

A variety of personal, social, economic and religious pressures can make some transgender people reverse transition, but "going back doesn't automatically clear the conundrum that causes you to get there in the first place," says Donna Rose, a female-to-male postoperative transsexual.

The day Mike Penner left the Los Angeles Times made the news. The longtime sportswriter wrote the article himself, a personal essay explaining that he was taking some time off and, upon his return, he would be known from then on as Christine Daniels.

Penner's public acknowledgment in April 2007 that he was transgender and would soon live as a woman shocked the world of sports journalism and turned his new identity, Daniels, into an instant celebrity. Daniels gave speeches, was profiled in Sports Illustrated, collected honors for courage from transgender groups and wrote a blog for the Times titled "Woman In Progress."

Except that the transition didn't last. In mid-October 2008, after a lengthy leave of absence, Penner, 51, returned to the sports pages and the Times newsroom as a man.

And just as suddenly, Penner's story, heralded in its early days as a triumphant example of transgender progress, has instead become a cautionary tale of the lesser-known phenomenon: transgender regret. . . .Read More