Friday, October 23, 2009
by Daniel Nasaw
October 23, 2009
After living for more than three years as a man, the person known on his drivers license as Leah Winn-Ritzenberg decided to change his name to match his identity.
A New York court clerk asked for a doctor's note proving Winn-Ritznberg's "need" to change his birth name to Olin. Now, an appellate court has struck down the requirement, saying the state has no business asking people who change their gender to prove it to a court, in a decision transgender advocates hail as a step for equality.
"The court is weighing in and saying transgender people need to be treated the same as anyone else," said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defence and Education Fund, which provided legal assistance. "We can't impose additional or different burdens upon people just because they're transgender." . . .Read More
October 20, 2009
In a complex decision released yesterday, the Supreme Court of Kings County ruled that a transsexual father has standing to petition for custody of a non-biological child.
J.R. agreed to marry K.B. even though she knew K.B. was born a woman. K.B. took hormones and had done everything short of surgery to become the man she believed she was. J.R. eventually gave birth to a baby conceived through a third party sperm donor. In 2007 after the marriage between the couple had gone sour, both parents filed petitions for custody of the now five-year-old child. The mother's petition argued that:
"...it would be in the best interest of the child if custody of the child was awarded to her since the Petitioner is actually a woman. In Respondent's affirmation it is alleged that Petitioner committed acts of domestic violence against her while they lived together and that she feared for the safety of the child. In Respondent's custody petition she stated that the Petitioner was "actually a woman" and therefore the marriage was "invalid". (Cross Petition of JR August 6, 2007). " . . .Read More
23 October 2009
So a dude at the UN named Martin Scheinin filed a report calling for a trashing of our current counter-terrorism policies. The new plan, he believes, should “abandon the ‘war paradigm’” and “enshrine the principles of gender-equality and non-discrimination…”
Among his odder proposals: rethinking security checks that “focus attention on male bombers who may be dressing as females to avoid scrutiny [and] make transgender persons” – who might also be cross-dressing – “susceptible to increased harassment and suspicion.” . . .Read More
October 23, 2009
Jessee Vasold ’11 made history at the College of William and Mary Wednesday when ze was announced as the school’s first transgender homecoming queen, representing the Class of 2011.
Vasold identifies as gender-queer and prefers to be referred to with gender neutral pronouns: “ze” in place of he or she and “zir” rather than him or her. Vasold has also created a Facebook account for a female identity, Kathy Middlesex.
Friends suggested that Vasold run for homecoming queen. Even though Vasold thought that there was a good chance at being elected, Vasold said the win was still surprising to hear.
“We figured it would be something different for the school to go through, something that hasn’t happened too often,” Vasold said. “I was kind of surprised that I won because I knew the other girls running. I know that they’re really friendly; they’re wonderful people, so I was unsure.”
This year marks the return of direct voting by students. Last year, there was no platform to host voting, so the homecoming kings and queens were chosen by class officers out of student-submitted nominations. . . .Read More