Monday, March 16, 2009

. . . a ramble on my new hetero male life

. . . feeling 'not quite right' in the gay/lesbian AND straight community, but i really mean bars and the social scene . . . more updates on this topic to come.

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Walking, talking female robot to hit Japan catwalk

By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

Mar 16, 2009

TSUKUBA, Japan – A new walking, talking robot from Japan has a female face that can smile and has trimmed down to 43 kilograms (95 pounds) to make a debut at a fashion show. But it still hasn't cleared safety standards required to share the catwalk with human models.

Developers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, a government-backed organization, said their "cybernetic human," shown Monday, wasn't ready to help with daily chores or work side by side with people — as many hope robots will be able to do in the future.

"Technologically, it hasn't reached that level," said Hirohisa Hirukawa, one of the robot's developers. "Even as a fashion model, people in the industry told us she was short and had a rather ordinary figure."

For now, the 158 centimeter (62.2 inch) tall black-haired robot code-named HRP-4C — whose predecessor had weighed 58 kilograms (128 pounds) — will mainly serve to draw and entertain crowds. . . .Read More

Transgender healthcare at LC

March 13, 2009

by Maisha Foster-O'Neal

Lewis & Clark College likes to wave its “We Are Progressive” banner. We have a functioning antidiscrimination policy, we have an active gay-straight alliance (United Sexualities, a.k.a. Unisex), and we have comprehensive health care available to all students. Well, to all students except transgender-identified ones.

The current LC health care plan through Aetna states that it “neither covers nor provides benefits for … expenses incurred for, or related to, sex change surgery or to any treatment of gender identity disorders” No other group is explicitly excluded like this in our health care plan.

However, there is a new policy on the table this year that proposes to “add coverage for medically necessary gender reassignment care (hormones, surgery) to the benefit plan. This would add about $9 to the per-semester premium” per student. A $9 increase is nearly negligible when compared to next year’s projected cost of the health plan ($670) and cost of tuition (more than $33,000). If the proposition passes, it will allow transgender students access to medical treatments that would otherwise cost them a minimum of $20,000. The proposition will be put to the vote on March 15. “[If this proposition passes, it will mean] that L&C is actually living up to its non-discrimination pledge,” said a transgender-identified student who wished to remain anonymous. . . .Read More

Canada: Transsexual left in limbo

Taxpayers won't fund sex-change assessment: Judge

14th March 2009

BARRIE -- An inmate of an institution for the criminally insane was left in limbo yesterday after a judge refused her request to have the government pay for a $15,000 assessment that would qualify her for a sex change.

"It's pretty upsetting," said Shauna Taylor -- formerly named Vance Egglestone until she got a legal name change -- an inmate at the maximum security Oak Ridge Division of the Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene. "I don't know who should pay, but somebody should pay."

Except for a brief stint of freedom, Taylor, 52, has been incarcerated since 1976 after being found not guilty by reason of insanity for the brutal rape of a Toronto woman.


This past year she and her lawyer, Michael Davies, have been battling in court to try to get the judge to order the Attorney General to pay for a complicated assessment that will determine whether she should qualify for an orchidectomy -- the surgical removal of the testes -- to complete her transition into a female. . . .Read More

Body of evidence: A special report into the lives of transsexuals

15 March 2009

By The Catherine Deveney interview

The up trapped in the wrong gender causes hundreds of people to take their own lives. Surgery gives others a new start, but in many cases the price of happiness is still very high.
HE IS clearly a man. I say 'clearly' because when James Morton walks towards me in an Edinburgh hotel he is dressed like any young professional male, in a suit and tie, he has light beard growth on his face and myriad little signals he transmits suggest masculinity. Should I tell you that once he had breasts, a womb capable of bearing children, that in fact he was female, your eyes would tell your brain that this is a lie. You would feel the confusion that James has felt all his life. Growing up, when he looked in the mirror and saw a female body, he thought, 'Who is that?' For in both his conscious and unconscious mind, even in his dreams as he slept, he was male. "Waking up was just like… 'Oh my God, yes, of course. Back to the complicated mismatch that I have.'"

Even now, things are still confused. James has a legal certificate saying he is male. Underneath the 28-year-old's suit, breasts have been removed, his chest reconstructed. He no longer has a womb. But he does not have a penis. Two gender experts in Scotland, and one internationally renowned expert, Dr Griet De Cuypere, in Belgium, have approved him for surgery. But despite continuing to fund male-to-female surgery, Lothian Health Board has refused to fund phalloplasty, the surgical construction of a penis, which would complete his transition from woman to man. "It's a nightmare situation," says James's doctor, Lyndsey Myskow, associate specialist at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary's sexual problems clinic. "There are a number of people in Lothian who have found themselves in this position." . . .Read More