Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Prodigal Son

FI Film Fest 2008
Presented by Audi USA
DIR Kim Reed
PROD Kim Reed, John Keitel
This is a family reunion film like no other. it involves two rivals who were once like brothers, and are now like brother and sister; and the dna of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. this film is an unforgettable, moving first-person excursion into family dynamics, identity, gender and the past.

Transsexual film-maker Kimberly Reed wows America with Prodigal Sons

The tale of two small-town brothers and their battles with identity, both sexual and biological, has defied all expectations

by Paul Harris

February 7, 2010

Paul McKerrow was an all-American boy. Raised in Helena, Montana, he was the quarterback for his high-school football team, which is as close to being idolised as many small-town Americans come.

He was also his class president, the valedictorian of his year in 1985 and voted most likely to succeed by his classmates. He was tall and ruggedly good-looking. McKerrow, in short, had it made and great things were expected of him.

So it was with some trepidation that McKerrow recently attended his 20-year high-school reunion as Kimberly Reed, a lesbian, New York-based film-maker who had had reassignment to become a woman.

"It was very emotional. I wanted it to go smoothly. People get freaked out enough by going to their high-school reunion. But having a new gender is a big surprise for a lot of people," Reed said. . . .Read More

What being transsexual means to me


by Robbi Cohn

February 5, 2010

I think one thing many will agree upon is the critical need for change — personally, publicly, politically and socially. If these times seem to portend great decisions, a fork in the road perhaps, I think many of us have felt it coming. I don’t mean this in any kind of apocalyptic sense, merely that we are at a crossroads and that making a conscious effort to pay attention to what’s going on may be more important now than it has been in the recent past. We may be called on to have a bit more intentionality than the kind of whimsical existences to which we’ve become accustomed.

With that in mind, this new year I have decided to take my writing in a more personal direction. Over the past year, we have heard the word “reset” ad nauseum. It seems to me that what is really needed is a return to basics: honesty, tolerance, compassion, empathy and love. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate what “values” really mean, given how that word gets bandied about.

I’m a child of the ‘60s. I guess you could say I was/am a “dyed-in-the-wool” hippie — a denizen of avant-garde, cutting edge and what has come to be called “counter culture.” We lived our beliefs and we wore them on our sleeves. We had a dream. I will admit to a sense of naiveté we might have had, but we also had passion and guts and, above all, vision. We saw a world that embraced diversity, believed all living beings had rights and didn’t worship acquistion. We saw an end to poverty and hunger and embraced equal opportunity for all. We saw a world in which love prevailed. . . .Read More

Pakistan's 'third gender' seek greater rights


February 7, 2010

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- Taunted at home, Sanhya ran away at age 12, searching for acceptance as she sees herself - neither male nor female, but a member of a third gender.

Pakistan's transgender community has long lived on society's margins, harassed by police, ridiculed as freaks, pitied as the outcast people of Allah and often rejected by their own families. Now the Supreme Court is giving them hope through a petition for their rights to be respected.

"People are recognizing that we are also human beings," said Almas Bobby, who acts as head of the community and fights for equal rights. . . .Read More

Transgender Surgery is Deductible; Medical Coverage Coming

February 3, 2010

by Joanne Herman

The United States Tax Court, in a decision reviewed by the full bench, has affirmed that medical treatments for Gender Identity Disorder (GID), including surgery and hormone therapy, are deductible medical expenses. The Court found that the Internal Revenue Service's existing position that such treatment is cosmetic in nature "is at best a superficial characterization of thecircumstances that is thoroughly rebutted by the medical evidence.

The case stemmed from the IRS's denial of Rhiannon O'Donnabhain's 2001 deduction of her sex reassignment surgery costs. The IRS called her surgery "cosmetic" -- like teeth whitening or hair transplants.

O'Donnabhain's journey has been a long one. She first felt conflicted about gender identity as early as age eight, and says she "lived in anguish" thereafter as a male, struggling with the sense that she was, in fact, a female. At age 52 she was diagnosed with GID and undertook a course of professionally prescribed medical treatments that resulted in the recommendation that she undergo sex reassignment surgery. . . .Read More