Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Changing Sex to Escape Death: Homosexuals Dilemma in Iran

Arsham Parsi has been on several fact-finding missions in Turkey, meeting and helping many Iranian gay and lesbian refugees, as part of his Iranian Queer Organization. He says many of them have no choice but to undergo sex change operation or face death.

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Shelters slowly adapt to help transgender homeless

By DIONNE WALKER – April 3, 2009

ATLANTA (AP) — Twelve years heading the Salvation Army's downtown homeless shelter had done little to prepare Janeane Schmidt for the recent night when a soft-spoken biological male transitioning into a female walked in.

Schmidt didn't want to refuse someone in need. Having seen few such cases, however, and with limited space that winter night, she wasn't sure where to place the transgender woman. The shelter has space for homeless men and women but not anyone in between.

"Rather than turn them away, we give them a cot," said Schmidt, whose staff allowed the woman to stay a week in the shelter's lounge — the only space they could find.

"I don't even know of another shelter that takes the transgendered" in Atlanta, Schmidt said.

Nationwide there are plenty of holes in the safety net of shelters that catches men and women who have fallen on hard times. Activists say help is even harder to find for the transgender homeless, whose nontraditional gender status raises questions about sleeping arrangements and shower facilities. . . .Read More

California court of appeals affirms right of transgender individual . . .

14 April 2009

In a groundbreaking victory for transgender people born in California, the California Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that any person can amend their California birth certificate regardless of their current state of residence. Previously, only current California residents could amend their California birth certificates.

In a unanimous decision, the California Court of Appeal held that all people born in California, regardless of where they currently reside, can petition a California court for a new birth certificate. The strongly-worded decision was authored by Presiding Judge James J. Marchiano, who stated that “we discern no compelling state interest in treating California-born transgender individuals who reside out of state differently from California-born transgender individuals who reside in California when either class seeks issuance of a new California birth certificate.”

The case was brought by Transgender Law Center (TLC) on behalf of Gigi Marie Somers. Ms. Somers, a sixty-seven year old transgender woman, was born in California and now lives in Kansas. Ms. Somers underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2005 and has lived as a woman for a decade. When she sought to have a new California birth certificate issued reflecting her female gender, she learned that out-of-state residents were required to obtain a court order from the state in which they resided. Unfortunately, Ms. Somers was not able to obtain a court ordered gender change from her county of residence in Kansas. Left in legal limbo and unable to change her birth certificate, Ms. Somers contacted TLC for help. After the San Francisco Superior Court denied her petition due to the residency requirement, TLC Legal Director Kristina Wertz represented Ms. Somers before the Court of Appeal. . . .Read More

Austin transgendered woman fights for equal rights

by Michelle Valles

15 April 2009

Meghan Stabler's past is where she likes to leave it, in the past.

Stabler used to be a man. By the age of 10, she knew something about her was different.

Stabler recalls as a child, "I remember reading the newspaper and there was a tennis player called Renee Richards. And it had this big splash in the front page that said 'Sex change: Tennis player' and it was just like a brain click. I got it, that's what's wrong with me."

But Stabler continued to live as a man. He married to a woman. They had a daughter. But the image was all a lie.

To stop thinking about her identity crisis, she dumped all her energy on being a powerful executive, living lavishly and meeting with influential people all over the world. But still, nothing made her feel like a man. . . .Read More

Delisting transgender surgery may cost province