Tuesday, March 03, 2009
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by Andrew Geist Vanguard Staff
March 3, 2009
Fall 2008 brought a controversial change to what is covered in the supplemental PSU health plan (not the mandatory one): gender reassignment surgery for “true” transsexuals.
Or, it should be controversial. The policy, under the insurance company Aetna, covers elective surgery for transsexual individuals but not intersexual people, of which the latter ought to be the appropriate case.
The reason for the one’s appropriateness and not the other’s lies in responsibility and choice. Born intersexual, those with ambiguous combinations of genitalia, secondary sex characteristics or sex chromosomes are often “given” a sex and gender as infants.
Notable cases include Cheryl Chase, founder of the Intersex Society of North America. According to The New York Times, Chase was raised as a boy for 18 months, and then parents and doctors decided on gender reassignment surgery, as she had female chromosomes. Now, Chase essentially lives as a homosexual female. . . .Read More
Erin Carlyle delves into the often blustery worlds of transgender youth
By Erin Carlyle
March 03, 2009
ON HER THIRD birthday, Sarah Barnett tore open a package from her grandmother that would delight most girls her age. Gently folded on a pillow of tissue paper lay a frilly, ruffled dress. Sarah looked up at her mother, Kathy, perplexed.
"Mom, why did Grandma give me a dress?" she asked.
A perfectly reasonable question, since Sarah had refused to wear girls' clothing as soon as she knew the difference. Kathy explained that Grandma was just trying to be nice—Sarah didn't have to wear the dress.
"Why don't you tell Grandma that I'm a boy?" Sarah asked.
Kathy marveled at her child's logic. The mother chalked the child's comment up to the imaginative reasoning of a toddler.
A few weeks later, Sarah asked her Sunday school teacher to label her nametag "Steven." Soon, she was insisting that her parents call her Steven and refer to her as "he." Kathy and her husband, Joe (names have been changed), gently explained to their daughter that she was a girl, not a boy. But the toddler became so upset that they eventually conceded to calling her Steven at home. . . .Read More
The most difficult thing for any transwoman is finding clothes that fit. Most women’s clothing is designed around a woman who is, typically, around 5′5 to 5′7. I, for example, am 5′11, and I am lucky. My frame is built like any woman’s but grown from 5′5 to 5′11. That means, well, for one thing, it’s hard to find pants that fit. For another, it’s hard to find shirts that fit. In fact, it is rather hard to find any clothes that fit. What’s worse is that this isn’t unique to being transsexual. Many a woman tall of stature has had trouble finding decent clothing.
My biggest issue has been finding pants. Now, most transsexuals have a big issue with making sure that, well, they aren’t showing. That is, that the danglely bits between the legs aren’t obvious. There are numerous methods from tucking between the legs and wearing tight undergarments to the use of specially designed undergarments which level off all the bits and pieces. Unfortunately, this is something of a baffling issue for me since my weight makes it unusual for anything there to show up, and I wear skirts anyway due to a combination of my height and weight. . . .Read More
BY AURELIO ROJAS | SACRAMENTO BEE/SHNS
Kenneth Starr and Shannon Minter, lead attorneys in the California Supreme Court case that will decide the fate of same-sex marriage in the state, are as different as the competing sides they represent.
Starr, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, is best known for leading the inquiry into President Bill Clinton's affair with a White House intern.
Since then, the former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general has dedicated himself to conservative causes, including writing briefs for the Mormon church in a previous gay marriage case in California.
Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco, is a transsexual who spent his first 35 years as a female. He was a lead counsel in the state Supreme Court case decided last May that allowed same-sex couples to marry, a ruling that was reversed in November when voters approved Proposition 8.
Starr and Minter will square off Thursday in the most closely watched California Supreme Court hearing in a generation. They're set to deliver oral arguments in three suits in which supporters of gay marriage contend that Proposition 8, which limits marriage to a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.
Minter, 48, representing gay rights groups, will be the first attorney to address the court in San Francisco. Starr, 62, will deliver the final arguments on behalf of the Yes on 8 campaign. . . .Read More