Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Lee Ann Cox
Some have tattoos to look tough or hip. But the large one peeking from Owen Daniel-McCarter's sleeve is sweet. It depicts a childhood memory of flying a kite with his beloved grandfather, who was gay. The idyllic scene is as you'd expect, except Daniel-McCarter '04 is wearing a dress.
The dress is a universally understood symbol of the sex he was assigned at birth, but Daniel-McCarter now identifies more closely as male than female. It can be a confusing concept for the uninitiated, but a couple hours with this charismatic "trans-identified" activist attorney — transgender, translucent, transgressive — and you may be the one transformed, with a new way of seeing, a new empathy, a new scrutiny of both self and systems that determine how justice is meted out.
It begins with a crucial understanding. Gender (the social construct that defines what's masculine and feminine, separate from anatomical sex) can be as fluid as conversation, with moments of laughter and intensity, sadness and joy. . . .Read More
When the man who had always been a man walked in, well, that was a little strange. After all, this was registration for the fifth annual Transgender Job Fair at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center last week. The point was to help connect transgender folks — who have a difficult time finding work, even in a thriving economy — with savvy, sensitive employers.
And although there were no hard and fast rules about attendees being gender-bending, it seemed pretty ballsy for a man who had always been a man and who identified as one to show up at the fair. He was in jeans and a buzz cut, and exuded regular-guyness. "What do I have to do?" he asked volunteer Sherilyn Connelly.
Connelly was also there to find work, as she was recently laid off from her job as a Web producer at Cubik Media. She made her male-to-female transition in 1999, and is fabulously distinctive with her darkly lined eyes and orange-, purple-, and platinum-dreadlocked hairdo, which she has affectionately dubbed "the Squid." . . .Read More
Austria's Administrative High Court has struck down a law that blocked recognition of male-to-female transsexuals' new gender unless an individual's penis had been removed. . . .Read More
Reports than a teenage Australian girl has won the right in court to have both breasts surgically removed, have made the headlines around the world and evoked some very strong criticism.
The 17-year-old, known as Alex in court and referred to as a boy, was born female but lives as a male, has a psychological condition that makes him/her unhappy with his/her gender.
The Family Court in Melbourne has decided that the removal of both breasts would help Alex to build a new life as a boy but the decision has evoked anger from many who say it is irresponsible.
According to reports Alex has "gender identity dysphoria", a psychological condition where a person believes they are the opposite sex and has been on hormone treatment since he was 13 to prevent menstruation.
Alex apparently applied to the court for a double mastectomy before he turned 18 - the age at which he would not need the court's consent and which he would no longer receive social support services as a minor.
Family Court chief justice Diana Bryant says Alex lives life as a male, was socially constrained by the breasts, avoided being hugged and wore binding at the beach and the breasts were an impediment to his social development, which everyone thought was very important.
Judge Bryant was quoted as saying that the evidence 'overwhelmingly' showed, that it was in his best interests and the order was made quickly so that he could have the operation straight away. . . .Read More