Trans News Updates of 2010 (Jul-Dec):
This page links to news of general interest to the trans community during the second half of 2010. This running log of news also serves as a window into areas of media focus and public interest regarding trans issues during 2010. Let us know if you hear of news to include in this list. To access to a wide range of trans news, we recommend "Google News", searching on keywords such as transgender, transsexual, sex reassignment, sex change, gender variance and gender transition.
2010: Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Link to first half of 2010
Click here to access the currrent Trans News Updates
12-31-10: Facebook (re UK; posted 12-29): "My Encounter with Prof K Zucker at the BPS conference in Salford", by Natacha Jessica Kennedy
"I brought up the subject of my own forthcoming peer-reviewed paper about transgender children (now published at; http://www.gjss.org/images/stories/volumes/7/2/3.%20Kennedy%20and%20Hellen.pdf )
which suggested that his own data might be completely flawed. My study provided evidence that transgender children generally do not tell anyone else that they are transgender until they are in their late teens, and then less than a third of them do and then they normally come out to friends or sisters. In fact when it comes to transgender children under the age of 15 my research suggests that less than 10% of them come out to any adult. Even if this data is wide of the mark by 20% or 30% (or even 50%!), which I am convinced it is not, it would still make his data on transgender children, in pretty much all of his “studies” completely invalid, since he is dealing only with a very select group of transgender children. The subjects of these studies will actually have been selected at least three times before they get to his “clinic”:
-They will exclude all transgender children who are not out to their parents, and
-they will then exclude all transgender children who are out to their parents but whose parents do not want them to have psychiatric intervention, and
-they exclude those whose parents choose to go private.
This point about the selectiveness and reliability of his data clearly floored him and he could only ask me to send him a copy of the paper when it is published."
12-31-10: LateRooms.com (re Spain): "Homosexuality monument to be unveiled in Barcelona"
"Officials in Barcelona have announced that a monument to commemorate the persecution and repression of homosexual and transgender people throughout history will be erected in the city.
According to a report from AFP, the sculpture is set to be unveiled in February although its location has yet to be decided . . .
The monument is constructed from pink stone in a triangular shape and bears an inscription that reads: "In memory of the gays, lesbians and transsexual people who have suffered persecution and repression throughout history. Barcelona 2011.""
12-31-10: The Telegraph (UK): "Transsexual wins right to have £8,000 breast operation on NHS" (more)
"A transsexual has won the right to have an £8,000 breast augmentation on the NHS after claiming her taxpayer-funded sex change operation left her feeling 'half-man half-woman'. "
12-29-10: Newsline Magazine (Pakistan): "At Risk: Sex, HIV and the Community"
"“People perceive transgenders as sex workers, beggars or dancers. Unfortunately that isn’t too far from the truth. A lack of education and employment opportunities forces them to make their living in these ways,” says Sarah Gill, a transgender medical college student in Karachi, who is actively working for transgender peoples’ rights and to end the violence and discrimination faced by them. Gill is president of the Moorat Interactive Society (MIS) and general secretary of the Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA). “There is no acceptance for our community in society. We are a symbol of shame even for our blood relations,” says Gill, who launched the first helpline for transgender people in Pakistan and is working to bring them from being a marginalised community into the mainstream . . . "
12-29-10: Inside Bay Area: "Vicky Kolakowski overcame discrimination to become nation's first transgender trial judge"
""I had a chance to serve. If my being visible helps a community that is often ignored and looked down upon, then I am happy. If not me, then who?"
But it took years of rejection and perseverance to get from Michael Kolakowski to 49-year-old Judge Victoria Kolakowski, even though as a child she hoped and prayed to wake up in a female body.
"I guess the prayer was answered," she said. "But not for a long time afterward." And the fact that she was elected in the same county as transgender teen Gwen Araujo, who was brutally murdered in 2002, sends a chilling reminder of how dangerous being visible can be."
12-29-10: Miami Herald: "Transgender athlete's bravery worthy of cheers"
"``I want to open people's eyes to what being trans is,'' Allums has said. ``I want other people to not feel that discomfort I felt in being someone I'm not. I didn't choose to be born inside this body and feel the way I do. It bothered me to hide who I am.''"
12-29-10: My Fox Detroit: "Transgender Man Denied A Marriage License in Oakland County -No Penis, No License"
"A transgender man says an Oakland County court denied him and his fiancé a marriage license because his sex change was not complete. Jordan Swan, 25, tells FOX 2's Simon Shaykhet that he's taken the necessary surgical steps to become a man, including a hysterectomy and hormone therapy, but it isn't enough in the eyes of the court. That's because Swan's birth certificate still says he's a female. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in the state of Michigan."
12-29-10: The Guardian (UK): "'Gender is a performance - for everyone, not just transsexuals'", by Juliet Jacques (article in the series "A Transgender Journey")
"Juliet Jacques had always wanted to take to the stage, and now the time finally seemed right.
After living in fear for so long, coming out had been hugely liberating, but I gradually forgot that as I addressed the many challenges it raised. Once I realised that I could progress through the medical pathway more easily than I'd thought, and after I'd ensured that my relationships with family, friends and colleagues would not break down, I began to consider what possibilities transitioning might open up for me."
12-29-10: Herald Sun (Australia): "Teenage boy to swap gender" (more)
"Family Court judge Justice Linda Dessau acceded to an emergency application by the 16-year-old's parents, so he can begin drug treatment before puberty fully takes hold. The judge said the boy had so desperately wanted to be a girl he'd become suicidal, once ingesting lead solder at school.
"There is no doubt, on the evidence, that he is struggling and suffering enough with the momentous issues he has had to face," Justice Dessau said. At age 14, he told his parents he was revolted by his body and wanted to become female."
12-28-10: The Financial (Georgia): "Sex Change Surgery in Georgia"
"Sex change operations are not common in Georgia, so far at Kuzanov Clinic only seven operations have been done to true transsexuals, all of them women transforming in to men. “In Georgia the sex can only be changed of true transsexuals,” said Professor Iva Kuzanov, Kuzanov Clinic.
The first sex change operation was done in the year 1996. “The patient arrived at the clinic, saying she had spent five years in MOSCOW at a clinic where she had been proved to be a true transsexual. The first part of the operation - the reduction of primary signs, was done to her and later we created a man’s organs,” Kuzanov recalled.
As Kuzanov declared, according to world statistics one in 100,000 individual is a true transsexual."
12-27-10: New York Times: "Decision on Transgender Player"
"More than two months after a transgender woman sued the Long Drivers of America claiming discrimination, the group said in a statement that it planned to follow a recent rule change by the L.P.G.A. and allow transgender women to compete. But the Long Drivers of America also said it had no plans to conduct any women’s long-drive events in the future but would allow women to compete in open or senior men’s events . . .
Her lawyer, Christopher B. Dolan, said the group’s statement appeared to be aimed at preventing his client from competing."
12-26-10: The Daily Record (UK): "First Scots prisoner given permission to become a transsexual in jail"
""He started a petition and got all the other inmates to sign it and give their support. It has been the source of a lot of amusement among the staff and inmates but it's no laughing matter for him. "He says he intends to live the rest of his life as Cassie, and the Scottish Prison Service have to accept it. "It's a sign of the times that a man has the right to dress as a woman while in jail for drug dealing.""
12-24-10: Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey): "'Other Angels' gets marks for bravery with Turkish transgender film"
"“Other Angels” is the first feature movie to take a candid look at the lives of the transgender community in Istanbul since 1993’s “Dönersen Islık Çal” (Whistle If You Come Back) . . . The movie follows the lives of four transgender women living together in the underbelly of Istanbul. They are all sex workers, as is the case unfortunately for most transgender women in Turkey. Save for the novice Sanem (Didem Soylu), the other three are street-smart, true warriors in a world where they are constantly on the lookout."
12-24-10: The Express Tribune (Pakistan): "13-year-old becomes a boy after sex change operation" (more)
"A 13-year-old girl turned into a boy on Wednesday after a successful operation at the district headquarters (DHQ) hospital in Hafizabad. The family have named the boy Usman (his name before the operation was Aisha).
The girl had been brought to the DHQ hospital complaining of chronic pain in her stomach. Dr Zahoor Ahmed, a urologist, examined her and told the family that her physiology was that of a male and not a female. He recommended a sex re-assignment surgery."
12-24-10: Catholic Insight (re Canada): "Unlike Poland, Ontario’s bishops fail to note the threat of gender identity"
"The prevailing culture in UN organizations is now openly anti-life. Its Human Rights Committee is joining the chorus of UNFPA, UNESCO and other bodies to call for a universal ‘gender identity’ right, to round off abortion and contraception guarantees intended to take care of problems that arise when one’s biological femaleness or maleness gets in the way . . .
The code-book on
gender identity is the so-called Yogyakarta Principles resolution . . .
Ostensibly . . . the Principles posture at protecting from violence those who are gender-confused, or who maintain that their bodily sex does not express their true gender: those special people who need protection even from themselves in many a charitable view of their predicament. However, a close reading . . . reveals a comprehensive and sinister agenda to undermine the educative role of parents and of religions."
[On the eve of Christmas, Catholic media launches demonic rant against transpeople.]
12-24-10: The Times of India (India): "Geetha's back with a bang"
"She's a popular voice in Malaysia due to her job as a radio jockey. And in Kollywood, her claim to fame is producing movies such as Pattiyal and Arindhum Ariyamalum. We're talking about Punnagai Poo Geetha, who was in the city recently.
Currently, she's busy working on a project on transgenders titled Narthaki, which is directed by Vijayapadma. Besides producing the flick, she'll also be acting in the film, which stars Kalki Subramanian in the lead role. "Transgenders have mostly been projected in bad light in Tamil cinema, but Narthaki will be different and showcase their life as it is," says Geetha, "I hope the film projects transgenders in the proper perspective. If we succeed in doing that, it'll mean success for us.""
12-24-10: Associated Press (re Thailand): "Thailand bans film about transgender father"
"Thailand's film board has banned a movie about a transgender father struggling to raise two children, a move the director says highlights the conservative side of Thai society despite its freewheeling reputation . . .
Thailand is known to outsiders for its tolerance of a very visible transgender community, just one aspect of the country's look-the-other-way permissiveness that sometimes runs afoul of the government's efforts to maintain traditional Buddhist values."
12-23-10: The Times of India (India): "Transgender alleges harassment
CHENNAI: A 21-year-old transgender lodged a complaint with police commissioner T Rajendran on Wednesday alleging harassment by personnel from the Anna Square police station. Sabitha in her complaint said she and four other transgenders had, around 7 pm on Tuesday, gone to the Marina beach where four police personnel asked them to leave. "The others with me fled but I was caught. One constable caught hold of my saree and harassed me. The others hit me with lathis and after this I could not walk," said Sabitha, a graduate. According to other transgenders who came with Sabitha, they face regular harassment by the police."
12-22-10: SBWire (re Canada & South Africa): "Psychiatrist to Have Preliminary Hearing on Sexual Assault Charges" (more)
"Vancouver, British Columbia -- Aubrey Levin, a forensic psychiatrist who is facing 21 counts of sexual assault, will have his preliminary hearing in June 2011 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial . . .
The forensic psychiatrist, who fled to Canada after the end of Apartheid rule, was originally arrested by police in Alberta on March 24 2010. He was charged with sexual assault after a 36-year-old former patient alleged he was sexually abused while being treated by the doctor.
It has been reported that in the 1980s and 1990s Levin, then a colonel, was the chief psychiatrist at 1 Military Hospital's infamous Ward 22, where homosexual conscripts and soldiers were "treated" with aversion therapy. There have also been reports that involuntary sex changes, sometimes deliberately botched, were imposed on gays and lesbians. The process included chemical castration and electric shocks."
12-22-10: CBC (Canada): "Alberta seeks patients of courtroom psychiatrist - 21 male patients ordered to see Dr. Aubrey Levin have alleged sexual assault"
"The Alberta government is quietly trying to find out if there may be more alleged victims of a Calgary psychiatrist already charged with sexually assaulting some patients . . .Levin, 72, was employed by the courts on numerous occasions where those convicted were ordered to see him before a judge passed sentence.
"It's a court-ordered report," said Iovinelli. "So imagine being an accused and you are looking at a further period of incarceration, a significant period of incarceration, and the opinion of this particular doctor may determine that effect. "It's a very significant position of power."
Twenty-one men have alleged they were sexually assaulted by Levin during court-ordered psychiatric assessments or counselling sessions, either in his office at the Peter Lougheed hospital in Calgary or in examination rooms.
12-22-10: Just Plain Sense (UK; posted 12-18): "Trans people and the
media", podcast by Christine Burns
"What do you think about minority groups like transgender people? Unless you actually know someone in person, have you ever questioned where your beliefs and opinions come from? Chances are, like most people, what you believe and think can be traced back to what you've gleaned from media coverage . . .
Juliet Jacques is a transsexual writer and journalist who has thought a lot about these questions in her own context. She is writing a groundbreaking fortnightly column for the Guardian newspaper, documenting her own transition. She is therefore ideally placed to offer some perspectives on how the communication problems arise, and how to address them."
12-22-10: Juliet Jacques blogspot (UK; posted 12-19): "JUST PLAIN SENSE: Extra material"
"On 17 December, I recorded an edition of Just Plain Sense, hosted by Christine Burns, instrumental in the passing of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Christine’s Equality and Diversity podcast has featured guests such as Calpernia Addams, Gerald Kaufman, Peter Tatchell and Julie Bindel, and I was honoured when Christine agreed to feature me. The podcast itself is here, but there were many things that we did not have time to discuss further. Christine gave me her script, so more extensive answers are below."
12-22-10: The Advocate: "Woman Charged With Killing Transgender Brother's Fiancée" (more)
"A North Carolina community college teacher is accused of murdering her transgender brother's fiancée, having driven 600 miles last week to do so, according to police in Livonia, Mich.
Julie Ann Hopwood, 56, allegedly drove from Charlotte, N.C., to Livonia (approximately 20 miles east of Detroit), arriving December 16. Hopwood staked out the workplace of Amy Chesbro, waiting for her to arrive. Police Lt. Thomas Goralski told ABC News that Hopwood shot Chesbro five times in the parking lot . . . Goralski would not speculate on a motive, but said reports that Hopwood was bothered by her brother's decision to live as a man are false. "
12-22-10: Times of Malta (Malta): "Update 2: PL, AD, disagree with appeal in transsexual's right-to-marry case - Lawyers insist consequences of gender re-assignment surgery must be recognised"
"The PL said it hoped that this appeal was not the result of pressure from conservative forces which were opposing the granting of rights which were granted elsewhere in Europe. It said the Maltese parliament should legislate to avoid such situations, prejudices and discrimination . . .
"A democratic and responsible government should always protect civil liberties without excluding any minority. ' Michael Briguglio, AD Chairman, said. 'The constitutional court had rightly based its judgement on the charter of fundamental rights of the EU. Yet, once again, the confessional ideology of state institutions is rearing its ugly head. This only calls for more solidarity with the LGBT movement in order that Malta would stop acting like the crib of the Europe'.
12-21-10: Times of Malta (Malta): "Attorney General appeals in transsexual marriage case" (more, more)
"The Attorney General has filed an appeal from a court sentence which had granted Joanne Cassar the right to marry a man after her gender reassignment surgery . . .
In February 2007, Ms Cassar won a civil case in which the court ordered the Marriage Registrar to issue the wedding banns he had previously refused to issue. However, in May 2008, the decision was revoked on appeal . . . Determined to fight for her right to marry, she opened a case in the First Hall of the Civil Court in its constitutional jurisdiction, claiming a breach of human rights. She won the case last month . . .
Ms Cassar had expressed fears that an appeal would be filed, adding: “I’ve been through the experience”."
[Roman Catholicism is the official state religion in Malta. You can imagine the behind the scenes religious panic to block Joanne's marriage rights.]
12-21-10: New York Daily News: "Andrej Pejic is 'femiman' model; Feminine-faced Serbian male model is Marc Jacobs' latest face" (more)
"The latest face for designer Marc Jacobs is a tall, long-legged blond with full lips and cheekbones to die for.
But this model is no ordinary stunner. Andrej Pejic is a man.
The 19-year-old male model's feminine features and long, lush locks are causing a frenzy among designers and editors who are completely fascinated with Pejic's extreme androgynous look."
12-21-10: The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): "'Abnormal desire' was Akash's defining moment"
"Sydneysider Akash Arora was shocked when he read The Macquarie Dictionary's definition of "transvestism". "Transvestism", the dictionary stated, is "the abnormal desire to wear clothing typical of the opposite sex". That, felt the 32-year-old sub-editor . . . was not only incorrect but offensive . . .
"The word abnormal I thought was demeaning and judgmental," he said. "I checked half a dozen other dictionaries – including Oxford, Cambridge, Webster's and Chambers – from other English-speaking countries. None used the word 'abnormal' and that infuriated me," he said."
12-20-10: New York Magazine: Fashion: "Androgynous Model of the Moment Andrej Pejic Is in the Marc by Marc Jacobs Campaign"
"Andrej Pejic may be the hottest thing in male modeling this season (this week? this month? something). Jean Paul Gaultier cast the famously androgynous model, along with Karolina Kurkova, for his spring campaign . . . And he's appearing in the Marc by Marc Jacobs campaign with fellow hot blonde Ginta Lapina. He's great for designers who approach their work with a bit of humor and enjoy delivering a good mind fuck of "Oh, that's a DUDE?" With those cheekbones and that pout, we hope he's also earning lady model pay rates."
12-19-10: Topeka Capitol-Journal: "Transgender woman finds her way" (more)
"The 52-year-old Mott lives openly as a transgender woman in Topeka. The torment and fear that once smothered her life is gone.
Today, she is a recovering alcoholic and works as an office assistant in the Shawnee County Commission Office. She is completing a degree in social work at Washburn University and spending her spare time as a volunteer for community-based programs or traveling throughout Kansas making presentations on transgenderism."
12-18-10: USA Today: "Senate pushes 'don't ask' toward repeal"
"The bill to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" cleared a major Senate hurdle on Saturday and now heads toward a final, historic vote next week.
By a 63-33 vote, the Senate agreed to a procedural move limiting debate on the bill. The vote is a sign that repeal of the ban on gay people serving openly in the military will easily pass the Senate and head to President Obama's desk for his signature."
12-18-10: AnnArbor.com: "Exploring transgender identity in India with Fulbright artist Carrie Fonder"
"Hijras, Indian transgender men who dress in women’s clothing or self-identify as female, “have a very complicated role in Indian society,” Fonder says. “They seem to be revered and reviled. It is considered auspicious to have hijras sing and dance at important life events, like births and weddings” — however, their role in the workforce and society is greatly limited, she explains. Many are forced to beg on the streets or work in the sex industry . . .
Some aspects of the artwork will reference the way hijras “present” themselves as female, like a portrait of a hijra she is airbrushing onto the side of the rickshaw. Other aspects will hint at the physical reality that the hijra is biologically male . . .
Although there are limits to how well an outsider can fully understand what it is like to be a transgender male in India, Fonder is finding a lot of compassion for hijras through the process of creating her artwork."
[This well-intentioned article accidentally inflicts a cruel misgendering upon the Hijra by referring to them as transgender "men" and "male". Apparently clueless about the transformative Hijra surgeries, the article further reinforces western stereotypes of transwomen as "men" masquerading as women.]
12-17-10: Public Library of Science Biology (posted 12-14) "Neuro Nonsense", by Ben A. Barres (more)
"No one disputes that male and female
brains are different or that males and females differ in their
accomplishments. But are these two facts related? A few years ago Harvard
President Larry Summers suggested that the answer is yes . . . Reporters
called it the story that would not die. Unlike most news stories that
exhaust themselves after a few days, this story stayed in the news for
months, and even years later continues to inspire debate. Apparently many of
us think we already know the answer to this question—the subject of Cordelia
Fine's highly readable and enjoyable new book Delusions of Gender: How
Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference . . .
You all know where I stand on this issue. Based on my experiences as a neurobiologist and as a transgendered person, I have previously argued that innate sex differences in the brain are not relevant to real-world accomplishments. Without question, male and female brains have different circuits that help to control their different reproductive behaviors. So it has long seemed an easy step to believe that such anatomic changes also underlie supposed gender differences in cognitive abilities. Rather, in a theme that Fine elegantly expands on, it is the idea itself that women are innately less capable that may be the primary cause of differences in accomplishment. This idea Fine appropriately dubs “neurosexism.” This idea was long ago powerfully encapsulated in the concept of “stereotype threat,” the phenomenon in which members of a sex or race perform substantially worse on a test—and perhaps in real-world environments—when they are led to believe before the test that they are innately less capable.
Fine is an academic psychologist who previously authored A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives. She decided to write Delusions of Gender after she discovered that her young son was taught at school that boys were not as good at empathizing as girls. Stunned by this experience, Fine critically scoured the relevant scientific literature. Her analysis of this data should be required reading for every neurobiology student, if not every human being . . . The main theme of Fine's new book is that current widespread beliefs about gender—that is, we needn't worry about social or cultural factors leading to sex inequality because hardwired differences between the sexes are to blame—just don't bear up to scrutiny."
[An outstanding review by Ben Barres of the important new book by Cordelia Fine about 'Neurosexism': the practice of misinterpreting or over-interpreting of neuroscience findings to promote potentially damaging, limiting, gender-based stereotypes.]
[Link to book: Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society and Neurosexism Create Difference, W. W. Norton and Company, 2010 (more, more, more)]
12-17-10: The Guardian (UK; posted 12-15): "'I hated the thought of a child I'd raised struggling with my history'"
"As she prepares to start hormone therapy, Juliet Jacques is forced to consider if she will ever want to be a parent. Should she save sperm for the future?"
[Article in the series "A Transgender Journey", by Juliet Jacques]
12-17-10: Fresh Business Thinking (UK): "Gender Reassignment - What To Do In Unfamiliar Territory"
"If an employee decides to undergo gender reassignment, what is the legal position and how should employers manage things?
Gender reassignment is, generally speaking, quite unfamiliar territory for most employers and is a very sensitive and difficult situation to manage - both for employers and the individual concerned. Protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of gender reassignment. The protection afforded to individuals on this ground under the old discrimination law (the Sex Discrimination Act 1975) is preserved under the Equality Act 2010, most of which came into force on 1 October 2010"
12-16-10: RH Reality Check: "Stigma and Violence Against Transgender Sex Workers"
"Andrea’s story is one of many thousands of transwomen worldwide (especially those like Andrea who are rural, less educated and socially isolated) who turn to sex work, not as the most attractive of a range of job options, but as the sole viable option for survival. Doubly stigmatised as transsexuals and as sex workers, pushed into street work, they become victims of abuse and violence perpetrated by bystanders, customers, their own ‘sisters,’ and (sadly) even by those who should be protecting them – the police.
Latin America perhaps presents the most shocking examples of violence against transwomen, especially sex workers. Possibly hundreds of travesties have been murdered in recent years. But the situation in Asia, with which we are more familiar, is pretty bad too. Continent-wide conservative attitudes and religious beliefs fuel intolerance and stimulate discrimination, abuse and violence against transgender people; particularly against transwomen . . . "
12-16-10: Dallas Voice: "WATCH: Homeless transgender woman Jennifer Gale sings ‘Silent Night’ on the eve of her death" "Two years ago tomorrow, homeless transgender woman Jennifer Gale died on the streets of Austin — from a heart attack likely caused in part by the extreme cold. Gale was a perennial political candidate who ran for Dallas mayor in 2007. She slept on the streets because the only shelter for women in Austin, run by the Salvation Army, wouldn’t house her according to her gender identity, which would have forced her to sleep and shower with men. Gale’s death prompted changes in Dallas, where the city’s homeless shelter, the Bridge, subsequently adopted a policy under which it houses people according to their gender identity. Gale was an activist and a regular speaker at City Council meetings in Austin, where she also ran for office. On the eve of her death, she stood before a City Council committee and sang “Silent Night.” This morning, the Austin City Council honored Gale by playing video of the rendition. Watch by going here and fast-forwarding to the 1:20 mark."
12-16-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "DMV employee in transgender privacy case quits job" (more, more)
"A California Department of Motor Vehicles clerk under investigation for mailing a letter to a transgender customer condemning her sex change has quit his job. DMV spokesman Mike Marando says the resignation letter submitted by Thomas Demartini late Wednesday did not allude to the incident."
[Looks like Thomas Demartini will get the fate he deserves: becoming a public pariah.]
12-15-10: CNN: "Transgender woman says DMV employee warned her of hell"
"A transgender woman is asking for a temporary restraining order against a California Department of Motor Vehicles employee who allegedly wrote her a letter condemning her to hell. Amber Yust told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell on Wednesday night that she got the letter after she went to a San Francisco DMV office in October and successfully changed her name from David to Amber and updated the gender on her license. According to Yust and her attorney, the DMV employee used her confidential personal information to send the letter.
"I have learned that the reason for the vast majority of gender change operations is the client's homosexual orientation," the letter dated October 22 states. "The homosexual act is an abomination that leads to hell." The writer also said the state's recognition of the name change is "evil.""
12-14-10: Spiegel Online (Germany re Czech Republic): "Controversy Surrounds Czech Use of Erection-Measurement Machine"
"The EU agency first heard about the procedure after another Iranian asylum seeker had fled to Germany from the Czech Republic after having been asked to submit to the extremely embarrassing examination in Prague. His asylum request was also denied in Germany, and he was eventually given a deportation hearing in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Given the Czech Republic's reputation for being a "safe third-party" country, the man faced the prospect of being deported back to Prague. But when the German judges heard about the Czech test, they reversed their deportation order, arguing that the man could face the threat of "inhuman treatment" in the Czech Republic."
12-13-10: New York Times: Video: "A Transgender Voice"
"Jamie Clayton, a student in the Act Out class for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, talks about her life as a transgender woman."
[A very moving video.]
12-13-10: Denver Post: "Well-known Trinidad sex-reassignment doctor leaves - Sex-reassignment doctor moves out of Trindad, leaving the town to forge a new legacy" (more)
"Bowers is known the world over for turning men into women (and occasionally the other way around). She didn't make Trinidad, Colo., the sex-change capital of the world; she merely made it world famous as that.
But this fall, after months of fighting with the hospital that was the home base for her practice, she packed up her instruments and headed to the San Francisco area, ending an era that helped define Trinidad for decades."
12-12-10: European Agency for Fundamental Rights (Europe; posted 11/30): "Homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity - 2010 Update" (more) (68 page, 500kb PDF)
"Developments over the past years testify to the increasing awareness of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons at European Union and international level . . . In particular, the now binding Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is guiding policies to the extent that they have the potential to affect fundamental rights . . . Moreover, 2010 marks the 10th anniversary of the Employment Equality Directive, which has had a significant impact on the harmonisation and strengthening of non-discrimination law in all EU Member States, including LGBT rights.
The international consensus regarding the need to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity has been strongly reaffirmed . . . However, in a minority of EU Member States, this component of the European human rights acquis still meets with resistance . . .
This update reveals important trends, highlighting both positive developments as well as areas where much work remains to be done. It ensures the continued value of the original reports and also comes at a crucial time for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Europe . . . "
[An important report with a considerable focus on trans issues.]
12-12-10: National Post (Canada; posted 12-10): "Gender Identity Disorder clarity", by Natalie Murray
"As the Canadian Forces member quoted in this article, I need to clarify a few things. First, the Canadian Forces does not accommodate members who crossdress, or transvestites, as termed here. Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a recognized medical condition, not a choice, and as such, the Forces gives diagnosed members the proper and appropriate medical treatment, as directed by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, as it would with any other medical condition for any other member. Scott Taylor is sadly misinformed if he thinks this deals with only clothing or political correctness."
[Natalie Murray exposes the Post's spin. She also points out that "Military Human Resources Records Procedures - Chapter 34 - Management of CF Transsexual Personnel covers everything related to a military transition. All it says about clothing is that the member will properly wear the uniform of the 'target gender', as they put it. The dress regulations themselves haven't changed by a single word, and no reason or need whatsoever for that to happen. Our dress and deportment is still expected to be of the highest standard, as for every other member."]
12-12-10: National Post (Canada; posted 12-09): "Dress rules established for transsexuals in military" (more, more, more)
" . . . the Canadian Forces have issued a new policy detailing how the organization should accommodate transsexual and transvestite troops specifically. Soldiers, sailors and air force personnel who change their sex or sexual identity have a right to privacy and respect around that decision, but must conform to the dress code of their “target” gender, says the supplementary chapter of a military administration manual.
A gay-rights advocate hailed development of the guidelines as a progressive approach to people whose gender issues can trigger life-threatening psychological troubles. Cherie MacLeod, executive director of PFLAG Canada, a sexual orientation-related support group, said she has helped a number of Forces members undergoing sex changes, surgery the military now funds.“This is an important step towards recognizing a community that has always struggled for equal rights and basic human protection,” said Ms. MacLeod. “When government becomes more inclusive, over time, society will follow.”
Some within the Forces, though, were irked by the document’s appearance in e-mail boxes last week, just after a report by the military ombudsman that lambasted the National Defence Department for giving short shrift to the grieving families of fallen soldiers. The armed services . . . resent what they consider “politically correct” policies, said Scott Taylor, publisher of Esprit de Corps, a military-affairs magazine. "
[The Post spins what should have been a positive story into one about "dress codes" and "political correctness" vs "grieving families of fallen soldiers".]
12-12-10: The Economic Times (India): "Transgenders: A separate category in Census 2011"
"Transgenders have a reason to celebrate, as they will be included in the 2011 census in 'Others' category after recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) were accepted by the government.
Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) said in an RTI reply that as recommended by Technical Advisory Committee "transgenders would be given separate code i.e. '3' in the names of others, the '1' and '2' being meant for male and female respectively during the ensuing Census 2011."
"But it is to be reported only when the respondent wishes to return other than code-1 and code-2 and thus left at the choice of respondents to opt for code-3," the RGI said . . . "
12-11-10: Washington Post (re Africa): "Homophobia on the Rise in Africa - Human rights activists say gays in Africa face growing persecution."
"Persecution of gays (note: and trans people) is intensifying across Africa, fueled by fundamentalist preachers, intolerant governments and homophobic politicians. Gay people have been denied access to health care, detained, tortured and even killed, human rights activists and witnesses say.
The growing tide of homophobia comes at a time when gays in Africa are expressing themselves more openly, prompting greater media attention and debates about homosexuality. The rapid growth of Islam and evangelical forms of Christianity, both espousing conservative views on family values and marriage, have persuaded many Africans that homosexuality should not be tolerated in their societies.
"It has never been harder for gays and lesbians on the continent," said Monica Mbaru, Africa coordinator for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, based in Cape Town. "Homophobia is on the rise."
Fearing for their lives, many activists are in hiding or have fled their countries."
12-11-10: The Sun (UK): "Frenchman's free UK sex swap op"
"FRENCHMAN Patrick Escoffier moved to Britain for a sex change on the NHS - and a new life as PATTY. The father of five was refused a gender swap by French doctors - but Brit surgeons agreed to do the £20,000 operation without charge . . .
"We researched whether an operation in France was a possibility. When I told the GP he looked at me like I was crazy. "Every specialist came back with one answer - No. It seemed there was nowhere to turn. "I was suicidal at the thought of continuing as a man. I would have ended up dead, mad or alcoholic."
Patty found her British GP more sympathetic. She said: "There were no sniggers or scoffs, just the offer to begin the process . . . She said: "Trans-sexuals are demonised in France. "Here I have a job, contribute to society and lead a good life.""
12-10-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "Transgender woman says DMV clerk warned of hell" (more + video, more, more, more)
"A few days after Amber Yust visited the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco to register her sex change from male to female, she got a letter at home from the DMV employee who had handled her application. Homosexual acts, he informed her, were "an abomination that leads to hell."
The same day, Yust said, a DVD arrived from a fundamentalist church warning of eternal damnation for anyone "possessed by demons" of homosexuality. The DMV employee's letter had referred her to the church's website as a source of "critical information for your salvation."
What's more, the DMV had kept the employee on in 2009 even after he refused to process another transgender woman's name-change application, Yust said in a damage claim filed with the state, the precursor to a lawsuit . . .
"I feel really vulnerable," Yust, a 23-year-old software engineer, said Thursday. It's "scary that someone who's part of a government agency is able to take my personal information and get in touch with me. I don't think anyone could feel safe going to a DMV where they knew someone like that was working.""
[For decades transpeople have been victimized by DMV bureaucrats all around the country, often by religious zealots who exploit their official positions to terrorize us with everything from hate speech, to public outing and humiliation, to delaying or denying basic identification documents. This has got to stop. Pronto!]
12-10-10: The Times of India (India): "Government reverses its decision on transgenders"
"HYDERABAD: Bowing down to pressure from religious minorities, the state government has reversed its decision to bring the transgender community under the purview of the Minorities Welfare Department (MWD). About 15 days ago, the General Administration Department (GAD) had issued Government Order 565 stating that the transgender community has been brought under the MWD.
But the joy of the transgender community was short lived. Ever since the GO was issued, religious minorities especially Muslim religious leaders were raising objections towards the government's move . . . While the government has heeded to the protests, with this, the 1.2 lakh transgender community in the state (1 lakh = 100,000) has lost the official recognition it had attained for the first time after several years of struggle."
12-10-10: TVNZ (New Zealand): "Killers of transsexual given long jail terms"
"Two men were today jailed for a total of nearly 20 years for the manslaughter of a frail Upper Hutt transvestite . . .
Jones, 64, who dressed as a woman and was known as "Diksy", suffered a "savage and sustained attack" at the hands of the two men in his tiny Upper Hutt flat on April 29 last year, the judge said. Weighing a mere 50kg and standing 1.62m tall, the occasional small-time cannabis dealer was vulnerable and defenceless against the intruders."
12-09-10: PR Urgent: "Dr. Marci Bowers Joins Bay Area Aesthetic Surgery in San Mateo"
"Dr. Joel Beck, a renowned San Francisco plastic surgeon of Bay Area Aesthetic Surgery, is thrilled to welcome Dr. Marci Bowers, one of the world's most prestigious genital reassignment surgeons, to his practice in San Mateo, California.
Drs. Beck and Bowers are highly skilled transgender surgeons who have joined forces to make the Bay Area Aesthetic Surgery facility an international hub for feminization and masculinization surgery. On November 8, 2010, the two surgeons made history as they successfully performed their first sex reassignment surgery together.
By combining their unique surgical talents, years of experience and genital reassignment surgery expertise, Drs. Beck and Bowers are at the forefront of holistic care for transgender patients. They have assembled a top-notch medical team to create a unique program and ancillary services that encompass all aspects of gender transformation. In addition to performing procedures, they offer referrals for gender therapy, hormone therapy, femininity coaching, nutritional counseling, voice coaching, laser services, and anti-aging and beauty services."
12-09-10: Huffington Post: "Lea T., Transsexual Model, Talks About Her Impending Reassignment Surgery" (more)
""When you are a transsexual, you look for your future, and you can't see it," Ms. T. said. "I thought this would be a nice message for another tranny: 'Look, we can be the same as other girls and boys.' It's small, but it makes you feel like you have a little chance. Maybe a transsexual will open a magazine and think: 'That's cool. We can be whatever we want.' That's why I did the Givenchy campaign." "
12-09-10: Jweekly.com "Transgender Jews get a boost from advocate’s new book"
"While Dzmura hoped to provide a resource for transgender Jews, he just as much hopes that the non-transgender community will read the book as well. “No matter how savvy or knowledgeable a person is about Judaism or transgender lives, there are not many people who are very savvy about both of those things together,” he said."
12-09-10: Boing-Boing (re Czech Republic): "Czech "peter meter" test for gay asylum seekers slammed by EU", by Andrea James
"If you think a TSA grope is bad, gay men seeking asylum in the Czech Republic are forced to drop their pants and get hooked up to a penile plethysmograph to find out just how gay they are. After the "peter meter" device is attached to their penises, they are subjected to all kinds of pornography to see what happens to their junk. This test then determines if they can seek asylum . . .
The device was developed in what's now the Czech Republic by psychologist Kurt Freund, who then moved to what's now called the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada. Freund's CAMH protégés are still the most vocal proponents of the device, and this peter meter has been used on children as young as 13 in Canada. Earlier this year, a Canadian tester was charged with sexual assault."
12-09-10: BBC (re Czech Republic; posted 12-08): "Czech gay asylum 'phallometric test' criticised by EU"
"The EU's leading human rights agency has sharply criticised the Czech authorities for using a controversial method of testing whether homosexual asylum seekers are genuinely gay.
The Fundamental Rights Agency said the Czech Republic was the only EU country still using a "sexual arousal" test. Gay asylum seekers are hooked up to a machine that monitors blood-flow to the penis and are then shown straight porn. Those applicants who become aroused are denied asylum. The agency said in a report that "it is dubious whether [the test] reaches sufficiently clear conclusions"."
[Seems that the pseudoscientific plethysmograph apparatus so favored by Blanchard at CAMH is still being used in the Czech Republic!]
12-09-10: Center for American Progress: "How to Improve Mental Health Care for LGBT Youth - Recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services"
"Many health care professionals are not trained or equipped to effectively treat vulnerable LGBT youth . . . Poorly trained medical practitioners may even make the mistake of viewing homosexuality and gender nonconformity as illnesses that can be overcome with appropriate “reparative” therapy, further magnifying the psychological damage and personal trauma already experienced by LGBT youth and young people who experience discrimination because of their perceived gender identity or sexual orientation.
LGBT people are unlikely to fully disclose the severity of their mental health problems to medical professionals they do not perceive to be LGBT-friendly. In fact, the possibility of being discriminated against or misunderstood is enough to deter many LGBT youth and adults from seeking treatment for their mental health concerns in the first place. "
12-09-10: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "COVER: Plastic fantastic"
"Nina Arsenault’s one-woman play The Silicone Diaries deals with her pursuit of extreme beauty, a quest that has involved over 60 surgeries and has taken her from mere mortal to near cyborg . . .
Arsenault, who was born in small-town Ontario, grew up in a trailer park and briefly taught at York University, was 24 when she began sexual reassignment surgery. She has said she pursued her operations “with a kind of athleticism”—an apt description, given that she would have up to six at a time, occasionally under extremely dodgy circumstances. In actualizing the hectic, extravagant femininity she calls her art, she has wilfully joined the ranks of women who have pursued beauty to an extreme degree."
12-09-10: Hour (Canada): "Nina's luftballons", by Richard Burnett
"While Disney-style drag queens now entertain the masses (I felt gay life was neutered in the hugely-popular, Broadway-bound Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical I saw at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre two weeks ago), trans is - as America's one-man gay-AP Rex Wockner told me last week - "the new way to terrorize the bourgeoisie. Gay is so passé."
Or as Nina says, "I don't differentiate between gay people and straight people anymore. I differentiate between queer people and normative people. Normative are those who buy into mainstream ideals of beauty, of where they should live and what is an acceptable lifestyle. Because gay people can now get married and adopt kids, a lot of gay people have become [conservative] too - and in some ways just as judgmental as straight people used to be. That's an unfortunate development in [today's] gay community. I just don't fit in.""
12-08-10: On Top Magazine (re Ecuador): "Ecuador's First Gay Marriage Includes Transgender Man"
"Joey Hateley and Hugo Vera will exchange vows in Quito during a civil ceremony officiated by Councilor Norman Wray, the president of the Metropolitan Commission on Gender (Comision Metropolitana de Genero), according to the website proyecto-transgenero.org.
Hateley, the artistic director of TransAction Theatre Company, transitioned from a woman to man, but is legally considered female. The British-born thirty-five-year-old Hateley and Vera, a twenty-three year-old Ecuadorian, are considered a gay couple and can only marry due to that technicality.“The couple Hateley-Vera are considered a gay couple like any other, with the difference that they can marry and procreate,” the group wrote in its announcement."
12-08-10: New York Times: "Bold Crossings of the Gender Line"
"IT’S certainly a statement on our times that, in the same month, James Franco graces the covers of GQ and Candy. In GQ, he appears in a moody head shot. In Candy, a style magazine dedicated to what it calls the “transversal” — that is, transsexuality, transvestism, cross-dressing, androgyny and any combination thereof . . .
Not since the glam era of the 1970s has gender-bending so saturated the news media. The difference now is that mystery has been replaced with empowerment, even pride. Consider a few happenings that have blipped recently on our radar. The blog of a young mother whose 5-year-old son had dressed like Daphne on “Scooby-Doo” for Halloween went viral, initiating a nationwide discussion on the fluidity of gender. (The mother ended up on “Today.”) The performance artist Kalup Linzy became a downtown phenomenon in Manhattan for his gender-bending portrayals of soap-opera divas. Oprah Winfrey welcomed transsexual men to her program. "
12-07-10: The Lumberjack (Humbolt State Univ.): "While You Were Out // It’s About Time", by Ahron Sherman
"You wake up one morning and there's dried blood on your chin and pillowcase. As you wonder what happened, you cover your mouth to stifle a cough but your efforts are useless. You pull your hand away and it's covered in blood. You rush to the local clinic. People in the waiting room exchange hushed whispers and give you dirty looks as you make your way to the receptionist. The receptionist looks up from a magazine and shakes her head: "Our doctors can't help your kind. Please leave."
You're sick and no one will help you. This is an absurd scene for someone who's accepted in mainstream society, but for someone who's transgender, being denied medical treatment is a scene that is all too familiar. But it may never be seen in Arcata again."
12-07-10: Salt Lake City Tribune: "Salt Lake City School Board passes gender, orientation policy"
"In a landmark move, the Salt Lake City school board voted Tuesday to approve a policy providing protection from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The policy, believed to be the first of its kind for a school district in Utah, divided the board 4-3 and provides protection for both students and district staff . . .
Several board members struggled to control tempers and emotions while discussing the policy, causing President Kristi Swett to call for civil discussion on several occasions. The decision adds sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing list of protected classes, such as race and religion, a move that board member Uluave said will place the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community “on a pedestal.”"
12-07-10: Boise Weekly: "Payette Transgender Woman Awaits Arson, Weapons Trial in Isolation"
"Facing up to 40 years in state prison, Carlson said she sees herself a martyr for an issue she has been fighting in Idaho for several years: dignity and respect for transgender citizens.
Carlson is a transgender woman who had a legal name change in California as a prerequisite to sexual reassignment surgery she had 30 years ago. According to Carlson, the state of Idaho was not aware of her male history until it was revealed in court over a civil matter more than a decade ago by her own mother. Carlson said ever since Idaho has listed her male name as an a.k.a. despite her efforts to have the name removed.
Carlson said she was frustrated by being outed with every traffic stop or ID check by police and having that information broadcasted over police scanners., Carlson said it "puts a target on her back" in the small conservative rural community where she lives.
Asked if she plans to plead guilty, Carlson told City Desk, “Of course I am not going to plead guilty, the reason I did what I did is because they refuse to let me live my life, so it’s up to them to do something with my life.” Carlson said if police and officials, “want to be bigots it’s going to cost them,” referring to the cost of a trial and prison."
12-07-10: The Open Press: "Shades of Gay Cover Designer Faces Legal Battle For Her Identity"
"“I am a Transgender Woman seeking to change my name to a Female name,” Chayim writes on a Facebook page she set up to get support for her name change. “I need my name changed to match my gender identity.”
North Carolina law allows people to change their names only once under most circumstances, and Chayim changed her middle and last names two years ago for religious reasons. When she emailed a supervisor at the Harnett County Division of Special Proceedings to explain why she needed to change her first name, she received a response stating, “[Y]ou would only be allowed to change your name back to your original birth name NOT change you [sic] name a second time.”"
12-07-10: Entertainment Tonight: "Chaz Bono Opens Up About His Documentary"
"Chaz Bono made headlines when he had a gender reassignment from a female to a male, and he revealed to ET that he's been making a documentary about his life that was chosen for the Sundance Film Festival.
Chaz, child to music icon Cher and the late Sonny Bono, is the producer on the "special project" as well as being the subject of the film. "I hope it's going to help change hearts and minds on this issue so that people can fully understand," he told ET . . . "
12-06-10: PR/Books: "The Gendered Self"
"The office of Dr. Anne Vitale announces the publication of "The Gendered Self Further commentary on the transsexual phenomenon." Based on Dr. Vitale's first hand experience in treating over 500 gender dysphoric individuals over the last quarter century, The Gendered Self goes far beyond the usual all-is-good-about-transition overstatement of most treatises on the subject to reveal what it is really like to be born into and to live out one's life as a transsexual in a cissexual world. Transsexualism, whether one transitions or not, is a life long existential dilemma that challenges the very nature of psychological survival."
12-06-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "Groundbreaking Study Finds Family Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents Protects Against Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicidal Behavior"
"For the first time, researchers have established a clear link between accepting family attitudes and behaviors towards their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and significantly decreased risk and better overall health in adulthood. The study shows that specific parental and caregiver behaviors -- such as advocating for their children when they are mistreated because of their LGBT identity or supporting their gender expression -- protect against depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in early adulthood. In addition, LGBT youth with highly accepting families have significantly higher levels of self-esteem and social support in young adulthood. The study is published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, a journal of the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, in a peer-reviewed article titled "Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults.""
12-06-10: The GW Hatchet (George Washington Univ.): "Transgender clients find their voices"
"Professor Linda Siegfriedt, the clinic's supervisor, said the transgender program has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years. There are currently 20 male-to-female transgender clients in the program, and waiting list filled with others hoping to learn how to adapt their voices. The center first began offering voice feminization treatments in the 1970s, and is one of the largest providers for transgender speech pathology in the Washington metropolitan area.
Siegfriedt said the program is benefiting from its long history. "It's a more well-rounded, complete program because the clinic has been a staple of GW for such a long time," Siegfriedt said. "Clients love that they feel comfortable, they can come here and feel accepted. They don't worry about how they will be received.""
12-05-10: Contra Costa Times: "Open Door starts Humboldt's first transgender health clinic"
"The transgender community will have access to a new health clinic specifically designed with their needs in mind. The result of a partnership between Humboldt County transgender advocates and Bay Area agencies, the Humboldt Open Door Clinic is launching a once-a-month transgender health clinic Tuesday . . .
Desiderio said access to health services is a huge barrier for the transgender community. The new clinic will have trained staff and updated intake forms -- seemingly small efforts that mean a lot to the transgender community . . . According to the State of Transgender California Report, roughly 30 percent of the transgender Californians surveyed said they have postponed care for an illness or put off preventive care due to disrespect or discrimination from doctors or health care providers. "
12-02-10: The Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities (Spain): "BEST PRACTICES GUIDE TO TRANS HEALTH CARE IN THE NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM" (ES)
"This is a
proposal to improve the health care provided to trans persons by the Spanish
public health system, and is intended not only for the general public but
especially for professionals and policy-makers working in the government’s
public health care system. The objective of this document is to furnish
analytical tools and reference points for developing alternative
non-pathologizing trans health care protocols that have local and
international applicability . . .
This material has been reviewed and published by the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities--a consortium of activists, collectives, social movements and researchers who initiated the historic struggle to depathologize trans identities. Its publication coincides with the events of Trans October 2010, an unprecedented series of international activities and demonstrations that will be mounted this year in more than fifty cities around the world."
[An important proposal for the full depathologization of trans identities in Spain's health care system, and more. See also WEB STP-2012 INTERNATIONAL and BLOG STP-2012 SPAIN]
12-02-10: Jakarta Globe (Indonesia): "Panicked Transvestite Beauty Queen Hopefuls Flee FPI Raid"
"Dozens of panicked transvestites were sent fleeing for safety after Indonesia’s militant Islamic Defenders Front raided a drag-queen contest to mark World AIDS Day on Wednesday.
Ten minutes before 50 transgender competitors were expected to begin the contest in a function hall owned by the Indonesian Military (TNI) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, dozens of members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Majelis Darul Mustafa Makassar raided the premises and demanded the event be halted. Habib Abu Bakar Hamid, the head of MDM, mounted the stage to address the crowd and say the contest contravened Shariah law.''
12-01-10: The Globe and Mail (Canada): "Why Canada should protect
gender identity", by Dan Irving and Jennifer Evans
"As faculty members teaching in the sexual studies minor program at Carleton University, we are not surprised by the comments offered by Charles McVety, president of the Canada Christian College in Toronto in The Globe. Mr. McVety’s use of the language of pedophilia, and other forms of sexual predation, criminal opportunism and violence within female-specific spaces serves as a perfect example of the pathologization, criminalization and fear-mongering that continues to mark the lives of those within the trans communities."
12-01-10: National Post (Canada): "Robert Cushman: The Silicone Diaries brings a sex change to the stage"
"I’ve never seen as many people leave the theatre during a performance as I did at the re-opening of The Silicone Diaries . . . Their discomfort was, I’m fairly sure, physical rather than aesthetic, since the performance itself is a remarkable one. It’s a transsexual’s detailed account of her journey from a male body to a female one, and it includes extensive film footage of plastic surgery, both bodily and facial, as well as extensive verbal descriptions. The protagonist’s trajectory was, in a sense, reversed by those in the audience who took early retirement: in the show’s first half, the evacuees were women, in the second, as the story threatened to cut closer to home so to speak, they were men.
Nina Arsenault, who lived the story and is now telling it, was very understanding. “It’s intense,” she said sympathetically, in the wake of one especially distressed patron who was actually throwing up as she exited . . . The procedure on the stage is another matter. This is a show about self-fashioning that’s also an example of it. "
12-01-10: The Toronto Star (Canada): "LPGA changes rule to allow transgendered players" (more, more)
"In a historic move, the LPGA voted to banish its “female at birth” membership clause, officially opening its doors to transgendered players. The milestone vote took place Tuesday night among players in attendance at this week’s season-ending Tour Championship in Orlando. The decision comes amid an ongoing legal battle between the LPGA and 57-year-old Lana Lawless."
12-01-10: The Guardian (UK): "'The time when my body would match my essence seemed in sight'" (essay in the series "A transgender journey")
"The wait for my second Gender Identity Clinic appointment felt very different to that for my first, although it lasted nearly as long. The time between my local psychiatric referral and my initial visit to 'Charing Cross' had been fraught with anxiety about whether or not I'd be allowed to continue on the NHS pathway. More confident on leaving that I would, the five-month wait for my next consultation – due to last just thirty minutes – was characterised not by apprehension but anticipation, especially as the literature I received before my first visit told me that 'hormones may be prescribed after the second appointment'. Finally, the time when my body would match my essence seemed in sight."
12-01-10: The Guardian (re Indonesia): "'Give me some place to work - anywhere other than the streets': Transgender sex workers in Indonesia know that condom use can help prevent HIV infection – but clients' refusal is fuelling Asia's fastest-growing rates of HIV infection"
"According to a 2007 integrated biological-behavioural surveillance (IBBS) study of high-risk groups there are around 35,000 waria in Indonesia. Eighty per cent of the waria interviewed in the cities of Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya, had sold sex to male customers in the last year.
The study, carried out by Indonesia's National Aids Prevention and Control Commission (Komisi Penanggulan AIDS, or KPA), the ministry for health and USAID, among others, suggests HIV prevalence rate among waria sex workers had reached 34% in Jakarta, 28% in Surabaya and 16% in Bandung. Less than 50% were using condoms."
11-30-10: Malta Today (Malta): "Sex change woman wins her legal battle to get married" (more)
"Joanne Cassar, who had been denied the opportunity to marry because (despite having undergone gender reassignment therapy) she was considered ‘still a man’, has won her legal battle for the right to marry.
In a brief Constitutional Court judgement delivered this morning, Mr Justice Raymond C. Pace cited a previous European Court of Human Rights ruling (Christine Goodwin vs. UK) which established that a ban on transgender marriage, of the kind imposed by the lower courts in previous rulings, violated Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to marry, to which Malta is signatory."
11-30-10: Associated Press (re Netherlands): "Transsexual graduate to get new Dutch diploma"
"Justus Eisfeld will get a new diploma after Education Minister Marja van Bijsterveldt said a law barring universities from issuing replacement diplomas was "interpreted too strictly," university spokesman Paul Helbing said, adding the university is "very happy" to be able to issue the replacement diploma.
The minister's statement Tuesday came on the same day the Equal Opportunities Commission ruled the university's previous refusal to grant Eisfeld a new diploma amounted to discrimination."
11-29-10: Guardian (UK): "Trans people are humiliated by healthcare system: From needless psychological inquiry to picking up a prescription, humiliation is common for trans people"
11-26-10: Japan Times (Japan): "Rights still lacking over gender identity disorder"
"More than 10 years have passed since gender reassignment surgery was introduced in Japan as part of treatment for gender identity disorder patients.
In addition, such patients, who identify with the sex opposite their biological one, have been allowed to officially change their sex under certain conditions since a special law took effect in 2004.
These developments have promoted public awareness of GID patients, but are they sufficient enough to protect their human rights? The answer, regrettably, is no."
11-26-10: Toronto Sun (Canada): "New life after sex change - Sports writer Pat Doyle goes through stunning transformation to become Patti Dawn Swansson"
"“It was just an epic, epic struggle. It was torment,” Patti Dawn said. “Sometimes it was so bad, so suffocating, I just wanted to die. Most of us do at some point want to die. You were brainwashed that boys act a certain way. Never, ever could boys act like girls. My goodness, you’d be beat up every day, especially someone tiny like me.
“Because of society and because of the time I grew up, you had to fight this she-demon. You just couldn’t do what I’ve finally done.” What she finally did was be true to herself.
Having resettled in Victoria a decade ago, Patti Dawn began the process of gender reassignment in early 2008, starting with hormone therapy and ending with surgery, one year ago this week. With each small step of her high heels — getting the gender designation changed to ‘F’ on her drivers license, receiving a new Manitoba birth certificate, hearing people call her “her” and “she” — she strolled out of hell and into a happiness she’d never known."
11-25-10: SWNS.com (re Egypt): "Egyptian mummy revealed as a boy dressed in girl’s clothing" (includes compelling photographs)
"The child, who lived around 350AD, underwent scans as experts hoped to determine its sex and discover how it suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage . . . Ground-breaking CT scans carried out at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, have finally solved the mystery revealing the mummy is a boy dressed in girl’s clothing . . .
Clear pictures of internal organs, bones and wrappings were obtained which confirmed the sex as male, and from tooth and bone growth the child was aged to four to five years of age . . . Obviously the child of a well-off family. He was embalmed and wrapped in fine linen with a stiffening rod of wood placed along his back for support. ”Why he was finally wrapped in a woman’s painted shroud is a mystery”. . .
The mummy has been one of the most important exhibits in Saffron Walden Museum’s collection of Egyptian antiquities since 1878. It dates to the Ptolemaic period, when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of Greek origin, around 300 BC . . . The mummy was given CT scans at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge on Saturday to carry out a detailed study of the body without damaging the bones. Stunned radiologists discovered two breast cones clearly visible on the chest and a golden bangle usually worn by females. However, detailed analysis of pelvic bones and teeth confirmed the mummy is a boy despite its female adornments."
[An amazing story. Seems likely that a family did this to honor their beloved trans child's identity.]
11-25-10: Oakland Local: "Queer Oakland: Victoria Kolakowski, USA's first transgendered Superior Court Judge", by Tehea Robie
"I was thrilled to be interviewing Victoria Kolakowski, the first transgender Superior Court Judge in the U.S., but I wasn’t about to make any assumptions about what that might mean for the Alameda County residents she’ll be presiding over.
“It’s still sinking in that I won,” Kolakowski said. “I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about who I am or what I’m trying to do. Some people took away from my campaign that I was running merely to become the first transgendered judge.
“I’m not going to be the ‘transgender judge’. I’m not going to be in ‘transgender court’. This isn’t a television show. This is serious business.”"
[An excellent interview.]
11-24-10: Honolulu Weekly: "Are Mahu Youth Safe in Hawaii’s Schools?"
"The majority of students began to experience violence at around the same time that they began to express their gender as mahu. In other words, gender expression for mahu students begins to occur during a time of life and in a climate where they were also likely to experience violence. What was astounding was that the element of school climate most highly related to a mahu a student being harmed is related to teachers. More than any other item related to a school atmosphere, students were far more likely to experience violence in a climate where teachers made inappropriate comments about the student’s gender. "
11-24-10: QSaltLake: "U of U Panel Addresses Trans, Intersex Health and Identity"
"A seven-member panel held a dialogue at the University of Utah about gender identity, intersex status and several other aspects about the T in the LGBT acronym, as part of Transgender Awareness Month, a series of several events celebrating and providing education about transgender, genderqueer and gender-variant people."
11-24-10: Lez Get Real: "Arrested Transgender Woman Speaks about Bathroom Inequity"
"This Video Interview appeared on FOX in Texas invoking a discussion about gender identity and state ad local law. When viewing the Video I was struck by the fact that this to me is a woman – who is she going to hurt if she by entering into the female bathroom?
Tyjanae Moore is the transgendered woman who was cited and thrown behind bars by a Houston police officer because she was caught using the ladies restroom. “I felt so belittled going to a jail over something so simple and stupid,” says Moore. Reports Fox News, Houston. A 26-year-old native of Minnesota, Moore moved to Houston to be closer to family, but after a year in Texas, she is ready to move back.
Moore was arrested Nov. 17 at the Houston Public Library in downtown. The offense, Police say despite being a transgendered female, she is still officially a man — a man who was caught using the ladies’ restroom. “When I came out, the female told me I wasn’t supposed to be and I asked if there was any particular reason why not. She said I’m a transgendered female and I was really shocked that they even stopped me for this,” says Moore."
11-23-10: My Fox Houston: "Arrested Transgendered Woman Speaks to FOX 26 News" [an informative video]
""I felt so belittled going to a jail over something so simple and stupid," says Moore.
Moore tells FOX
26 News she tried to use the men's restroom in the past.
"I went to the males' restroom and the man followed me into the restroom, so I figured that was not good. It wasn't safe and I started going to female restrooms and that's where I'm comfortable with," says Moore."
11-23-10: Pattaya Daily News (Thailand; posted 11-20): "Korean Lady-Boy Wins Miss International Queen 2010" (more, more)
"The finale of the 6th Miss International Queen 2010 Contest took place on Nov19, hosted by the Tiffany Show Pattaya. As 23 contestants from 15 countries held their collective breath, the winner of the “To Dream The Dream” contest was announced. And the crown finally went to Ms Mini from Korea.
After touring the various tourism activities arranged for them from Nov16, the big occasion for the host of beautiful lady-boy contestants had finally come to present their collective talents and beauty on the final stage. In the first round, the committee selected 10 contestants, which was rapidly whittled down to the three semi-finalists from America, Japan and Korea.
Of those final three, two had to share their disappointment as the title Miss International Queen 2010 went to Number 9, Mini from Korea, who won the crown, honour sash, and US$10,000, along with other gifts from sponsors . . . The 1st runner up was Number 20, Ami Takeuchi from Japan, who received US$2,000, while the 2nd runner up prize went to Number 7, Stasha Sanchez from America, who received US$1,500."
11-23-10: NCLR: "TSA Security Procedures Violate Privacy of Transgender Travelers – Request to Report Stories to NCLR"
"Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell: “The new TSA security measures are unnecessarily intrusive and will seriously compromise the privacy and the safety of transgender and gender nonconforming passengers. Security screening is supposed to keep people safe, but such invasive and humiliating measures pose significant safety risks to transgender travelers by making them a target for verbal and sexual harassment, and worse. We urge TSA to work with NCLR, the Transgender Law Center, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and other organizations that are working to educate the TSA about the need for effective safety screening measures that do not subject transgender travelers to harassment and inappropriate scrutiny. We need security procedures that respect privacy needs and protect the safety of all passengers.”"
11-22-10: NCTE: "Heading for the Airport? How the TSA policies impact transgender travelers" (more)
"As transgender people and our families prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, many have expressed concern about the various new invasive equipment and procedures at the airport announced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
NCTE opposes the routine use of full-body scanners and the new invasive patdown procedures. We have and will continue to work with the TSA to minimize privacy intrusions and ensure respectful treatment of transgender travelers.
We want all of our members and friends to have safe and uneventful travel this season; here are some ideas and information to help you do that."
11-22-10: Bangkok Post (Thailand): "Transsexuals not crazy, say rights groups - Defence Ministry will amend terminology "
"The Defence Ministry has bowed to pressure by amending the ministry's conscription regulations to provide reasons for exempting transsexuals from draft duties. Under the existing regulation which has outraged transsexuals and rights activists, transsexuals who are exempted from military service are listed as having psychological problems in their sor dor 43 military certificate.
Transsexuals claim the "mentally ill" clause has robbed them of employment opportunities. A new amendment to the conscription law being vetted by the Council of State means transsexuals would be relieved from draft service due to "gender identity disorder."
But transsexuals and rights activists have been lobbying for the ministry to use a neutral term rather than "disorder", which still suggests abnormality. They have suggested that transsexuals be discharged from draft duty because their "physical appearances do not match their biological sex"."
11-21-10: STL Today: "Hospitals must let patients decide who visits, gay or not "
"The Department of Health and Human Services announced regulations last week that will require hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid financing to drop any visitation policies that discriminate against gays, lesbians and transsexuals.
The new rule, which will take effect in January, requires that hospitals have a written policy that must be explained to all patients and allows patients to determine who may visit them, regardless of legal relationships. Hospitals may limit visitation only if there is a clinical reason to do so, according to the rule, which will be added to the conditions for participating in the Medicaid and Medicare programs.
The rule will trump previous practices in many American hospitals that restricted visitors for some patients — particularly in emergency rooms and intensive care units — to spouses and immediate family, a limitation that often cut off gay and lesbian patients from their partners."
11-21-10: Courier-Dispatch (Kentucky): "'Day of Remembrance' memorializes transgender people murdered around the world" (more, more, more)
"Holly Knight, a local advocate for transgender people, estimates there are several thousand living in Louisville, approximately 50 of whom attended Saturday evening’s Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Service at Metropolitan Community Church in the Highlands.
The 12th annual event, which also was attended by family members, friends and community supporters, wearing black arm bands with silver butterflies painted on them, commemorated more than 320 transgender people known to have been killed throughout the world as a result of anti-transgender hatred and bigotry since 1998."
11-20-10: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "'a fantastic way to get readers' - Montreal writer Kathleen winter's debut novel, Annabel, was a finalist for the top three Canadian fiction Awards this fall, the only book so honoured" (more, more)
"Compelling is a good description of Annabel, a novel set in the tiny Labrador town of Croydon Harbour during the 1970s. The story revolves around Wayne, who was born intersex -meaning he had both male and female genitalia -but raised as a boy. Only Wayne's parents and Thomasina, his mother's friend who was the midwife and first discovered his anomaly, know of his origins. Wayne himself is in the dark about the nature of his birth, which was one of Winter's key interests in writing about an intersex child in the 1970s.
That people were born intersex only really came to Winter's attention a few years ago, and she said her interest was piqued when an acquaintance told her about a child like Wayne. "I asked about it and then I went on to ask more questions of other people and to find out more about this," she said. "It was the hidden nature and the erasure of identity that I did not -I had no idea of the prevalence of this." . . .
Winter set Annabel in the 1970s because she thought times had changed enough that an intersex child born now would not face the same marginalization. During the course of her research, though, she discovered otherwise. "I began to understand that this is something that's quite common, yet it is not common in popular consciousness at all," she said. "In fact, the erasure of part of the baby's identity is almost routinely still carried out. And that astounded me when I found it out. I thought we were more evolved than that.""
11-20-10: Toronto Star (Canada): "Transgendered individuals turning to surgery at younger ages"
"Most trans people have traditionally waited until they were in their 40s or 50s to begin the process of transitioning to the other sex. Evans is part of a new wave who are doing so earlier. At age 20, he began working with Helma Seidl, a therapist at Ottawa's Making A Difference Counselling and Consultation, who specializes in gender identity disorder.
Evans made the decision to become male at the age of 21.
Dr. Gail Knudson, medical director of the Transgender Health Program at Vancouver Coastal Health and founder of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH), says that over the past five to 10 years there has been a fivefold increase in youth presenting as trans in Western Europe and North America."
[Note: The iron grip of Zucker and Blanchard at CAMH over the lives of trans people in Canada is finally being broken by newly-formed supportive-services at many other locations.]
11-20-10: Salon: "I always knew I was a girl - For decades I struggled in a male body that felt painful and false. At 53, I finally began my transition", by Elena Kelly
"My transition didn't come without costs. Some family members won't talk to me anymore. Some friends don't come around. I am saddled with a debt that will take years to pay off, and I have a long road of electrolysis ahead of me. Many strangers see me as some kind of freak. I still get nervous when I have to use a public restroom. But I know I'm one of the lucky ones. I was given a chance to live a life I'd given up on years before. I have no regrets about any of this. I am the most grateful girl in the world."
11-20-10: The Guardian (UK; posted 11-16): "'Vocal restraint is constantly demanded of women'Juliet Jacques is starting to look like a woman, but she still sounds like a man. Will speech therapy help?", by Juliet Jacques (part of the series "A Transgender Journey")
"After beginning transition, I realised that subconsciously, I'd refused to accept my voice because people recognised it as male. I wondered about women with deep voices (and men with high ones). Do they often get misgendered? Do they need vocal coaching to manage it?
My theoretical concerns were soon overtaken by practical ones. People in the street often asked questions, usually about the time; I soon twigged that they wanted to determine my gender. I mouthed "sorry", unconcerned about their conclusion (almost everyone has the time on their mobile phones now anyway) but then worried – what if I found myself in a situation where being demanded to speak, and read as male, had harsher consequences?"
11-19-10: SDLGN: "Meet Dr. Marci Bowers, the first transgender woman to perform gender reassignment surgeries"
"Dr. Marci Bowers is a gynecologist renowned for being the first transgender woman to perform gender reassignment surgeries. Bowers starred in "Transgender M.D.," a six-part docu-drama about her career as the only gynecologist in the small town of Trinidad, Colorado. Bowers recently relocated her practice to San Mateo, Calif., and performs over 200 gender reassignment surgeries per year.
In honor of Transgender Remembrance Day on Nov. 20, dot429 sat down with Bowers to discuss her experience as a professional transgender woman, transgender bullying, and the role of transgender people in today’s society. "
11-19-10: lynnconway.com (filed 11-14): "Report on the counter-protest in Edmonton, Canada against the notorious Westboro Baptist Church", by Jan Lukas Buterman (more, more)
"On that night, one of the largest groups of LGBTQ-positive people to assemble in Alberta came together to counter-protest an intended protest of the play The Laramie Project by members of Westboro Baptist Church. While slightly warmer than typical for our part of the world at this time of the year (just above freezing rather than below), the forecast for clear skies turned out to be completely wrong and much of the day leading up to the counter-protest involved scattered showers of freezing rain. Additionally, other events associated with a local queer arts festival, ExposureFest, were already underway--thus, the turnout for the counter-protest was wonderful.
People came together to mock the absurdity of the WBC's hatred. Speakers included Linda Duncan, a federal Member of Parliament, Rachel Notley, a provincial Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, pro-LGBTQ Nate Phelps (estranged son of the WBC patriarch), and three others, including myself."
11-19-10: Rocky Mountain Collegian (Colorado State Univ.): "The lives of a community in transition"
"As he looked into the faces of those around him one year ago, Mac Simon said he couldn’t help but see the truth of his identity in those faces at the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Always aware of his transgender identity but still hesitant to admit it, Simon went to the event with friends he had made in his time as an intern at the Lambda Center, Fort Collins’ GLBTIQQA community center, still gender questioning.
But as he looked around, it became clear. “I felt like there was a mirror being held up to me, like I was seeing my reflection in a lot of people in that room,” he said, and with that truth, he left intimidated by what he had discovered. “It took me a few months after that to get the balls to come out,” he said, to admit to himself and others that he was a transman. But since he made that choice, he has been “out and proud,” working each day to share awareness and understanding about what it really means to be trans."
11-18-10: Bay Area Reporter: "Dancing on graves", by Gwendolyn Ann Smith
"This Saturday is November 20, a date set aside more than a decade ago to honor those who we lost due to anti-transgender violence and prejudice. The date coincides with the death of Chanelle Pickett in Massachusetts in 1995. It was her murder, and that of Rita Hester just three years later, which led to the Remembering Our Dead project and the Day of Remembrance.
This year marks the 12th Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Ethan St. Pierre – a transgender activist who also lost his aunt, Debra Forte to anti-transgender violence – and I keep watch for the stories, providing them to other transgender activists every November. We also collect information about all the locations hosting vigils. I want to share some information about two events happening on November 20 this year."
11-18-10: Trans PULSE (Canada; posted 11-12): "Ontario’s Trans Communities and Suicide: Transphobia is Bad for Our Health"
"Recently, the news has been filled with reports of anti-gay bullying and high suicide rates among lesbian, gay and bisexual youth. Unfortunately, there has been little discussion about the situation for trans people regarding suicide. Just-released data from a large U.S. study found that 41% of trans participants had ever attempted suicide in their lifetime, but they did not include information on who might be currently at risk.
Trans PULSE has taken a unique snapshot of trans people across Ontario, Canada- people with a range of identities, relationships with their bodies, and personal beliefs about the necessity of physical transition. The information on suicide we present here was collected using a unique research method that allowed us to take the most statistically accurate picture of trans people possible in Ontario. We caution that this information is alarming. This situation demands immediate action on the part of our community, policy-makers, service providers and educators. It also underscores the need for parents and families come together to support trans people in Ontario."
11-18-10: MedIndia (India): "Teenage Transgender Documentary on ‘Hope’"
"Kanchana is the youngest transgender documentary film maker among other transgender directors promoted by the Sahodari Foundation, the founder none other than Ms. Kalki Subramaniam, transgender celebrity and activist. Currently under the care and guidance of Ms. Subramaniam, Kanchana, presented her maiden attempt, ‘Nambikkai’, a documentary on Hope, showcases the life of the differently abled. Medindia interviewed Kanchana to find the ingredients of her story and narration."
11-18-10: Huffington Post: "After Transgender Remembrance Day, Giving Thanks for the Living", by Rev. Meg Riley
"At a chapel service this week for Transgender Remembrance Day, I will once again listen as the name of this year's transgender people whose lives were cut short by hateful violence are read aloud.
There will be too many of them. I know this already. Only one or two is too many, of course, but the actual list is always gruesomely long. I know that, again, we will be reminded that there are many more whose deaths we don't know about. Many of those killed will have been people of color. Many will have been young. Inside my body, I will feel grief's vague boundarilessnes. I will be grateful to be held by a community of people I trust. Inside my heart, I will taste the ache of longing to inhabit another world, not this cruel one. Inside my throat, I will feel the welling up of what could be rage, wailing, keening, but will, again, be quiet, respectful, listening. We will all sit dazed and grieving together.
I will do this soon, and I will do it again next November, too, because I believe in honoring the dead. But I find myself wishing that, along with honoring the dead, we might also this week have a service where we honor the living, where we give thanks for those living transgender people known and unknown to us, and how they enhance our lives."
11-17-10: My Fox Houston: "Judge Appointment Angers Pastors - First transgender judge in Texas" (more, more)
"Hundreds of area pastors say Houston Mayor Annise Parker is pursuing a personal and radical agenda at City Hall. They're not happy with one of the mayor's appointments. Today Mayor Parker announced her associate municipal judge appointments, and one is longtime transgender activist Phyllis Frye. Frye becomes the first transgender judge in Texas and only the third in the country."
11-17-10: Idaho Statesman: "Judge sets high bond for Boise woman charged with fooling others into bar-room breast exams"
"A Boise woman who police say posed as a plastic surgeon and fondled at least two women in local bars is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $100,000 bond for two felony charges for practicing medicine without a license. Boise police and Ada County prosecutors say 37-year-old Kristina B. Ross — posing as Dr. Berlyn Aussieahshowna — touched women’s breasts under the guise of a “breast exam”. . .
Ross, who has a previous criminal history in Idaho as a man, currently identifies herself as a woman. She is booked into the Ada County Jail as a woman and is being held in protective custody by herself at this time."
11-17-10: The Golf Channel: "LPGA preparing to allow transgender membership"
"A monumental change in the association’s constitutional bylaws is imminent with the LPGA facing a federal lawsuit filed last month by a transgender woman in a California district court. The LPGA is preparing to propose in a player meeting Nov. 30 at the LPGA Tour Championship in Orlando that its “female at birth” requirement for membership be changed to allow transgender membership . . .
In a special “one-agenda item” meeting at the Hana Bank Championship in South Korea at the end of October, LPGA players were briefed on the upcoming vote and the vital nature of it. According to sources familiar with the meeting, LPGA players were told the “female at birth” provision was created “in a different time” and would be a significant challenge to defend legally today. Players were also informed that the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Golf Association, the Ladies European Tour and the British Ladies Golf Union are among sports organizations that have already amended their bylaws to allow transgender participation."
11-17-10: Arbiter Online (Boise State Univ.): "Transgender and Transphobia", by Josh Gamble
"The gay community gets Pride Day. Straight, cisgender people get every day. But the transgender community gets a bleak November day on which they remember their dead. That’s right, instead of the Pride Day’s “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” Transgender Day of Remembrance’s (TDOR) slogan is more like “Stop killing us, please?” In the past year, 14 transgender people have been murdered in the U.S., along with countless assaults and incidents of harassment, including rape and death threats. Transgender people are frequently denied health care, housing, credit and even police protection because they’re not a legally protected group in 39 states.
Even the so-called liberal media has an anti-transgender bias. 33 percent of transgender high school students have attempted suicide, 55 percent have been physically attacked and 74 percent report having been sexually harassed at school. We never hear any of this on the news. Is it too ubiquitous to even be newsworthy? The entertainment industry is even worse. While it’s estimated that 2 percent of the population lives with gender-dysphoria, the only transgender characters in movies or TV are hookers or the hot woman who the protagonist almost sleeps with before realizing hilariously that she has a penis and then beating her to death."
11-16-10: Pattaya Daily News (Thailand): "Becoming a Woman – The Ins and Outs of Changing Sex"
"Thailand is the world’s foremost sex-change venue with 170 active surgeons, and Thai society is extremely accepting of transgender individuals, probably more towards lady-boys than the male variety. Katoeys, as lady-boys are known in Thai, appear everywhere in Thai society, from the media to your local 7-11 store, and gala trans-sexual spectaculars, especially the beauty contests like the annual Miss Tiffany Universe pageant are immensely popular.
Thailand has some of the best sex-change surgeons worldwide . . . and the cost of surgical gender reassignment is a fraction of that charged in the West, without the associated hassles of red tape encountered outside Thailand. You can also get all-in-one packages that include air-flights, hotel, hospital treatment and aftercare, with the added bonus of being able to stay for a recuperative holiday afterwards in a tropical paradise, infinitely preferable to recovering back home in the West or Oz."
11-16-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "Kolakowski is first transgender elected judge" (more)
"Victoria Kolakowski declared victory Monday in a tightly contested race for Alameda County Superior Court, making her what is believed to be the nation's first transgender judge.
In the final, uncertified tally, Kolakowski defeated John Creighton by 51 to 48 percent, the Alameda County registrar of voters said. She received 162,082 votes to 152,546 for Creighton.
Kolakowski, 49, has 21 years of legal experience, including stints as a private attorney, corporate attorney and, currently, administrative law judge. She argued during the campaign that she would bring professional diversity to the bench, where many judges are former prosecutors."
11-16-10: The Times of India (India): "Suicide rate rising among transgenders"
"Failed relationships, concerns of the body, confusion whether to take medication or not, police atrocities... the problems of transgenders are many. But are they driving them to suicide?
It is shocking to note that seven transgenders have committed suicide in the city in the past two months, and there have been 18 cases in 16 months. The sudden rise in the suicide rate amongst transgenders has not only left the police looking for answers, but even NGOs working with sexual minorities are wondering. "This has never happened in the past. Many have attempted suicide too," said Umesh P, a representative of sexual minorities. Sadly, none of them leave behind suicide notes either, making it impossible to investigate the deaths.
"The issues are vast. There is no acceptance of transgenders in their families or society. The only option left to them is to move into sex work or begging. They are not allowed to do even that as they face harassment from the police and goondas," said Sumathi of Payana, an organization working with sexual minorities."
11-15-10: Bay Windows: "Trans Awareness Week kicks off with launch of video project"
""I AM: Transgender People Speak" offers unique public education opportunity.
The idea for "I AM: Transgender People Speak," a public education project that allows transgender people to speak from the heart, came when Gunner Scott heard about a special program called on National Public Radio. The show featured a website called "We Are America" that allowed student immigrants to tell their stories through videos and written pieces.
Scott, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), immediately recognized the potential of a similar project for educating the general public about what it’s like to be transgender, in the hopes of fostering understanding and support for the marginalized community. "
11-15-10: Just Plain Sense (Podcast re international TDOR; posted 11-10): "The Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance", by Christine Burns
"On November 20th or 21st those who care will be coming together in dozens of cities around the world to remember transgender people who have been murdered, often brutally, just because they are different.
The event is held in November each year to honour Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
This audio tribute is our contribution to those events, recorded with the generous assistance of colleagues and local broadcasters.
To find out more about International Transgender Day of Remembrance and a vigil near you visit the web site: http://www.transgenderdor.org/ "
11-14-10: YouTube (Canada): "Nate Phelps Slams Westboro Baptist Church on Fred Phelps' Birthday", by DarkOceanAdam
"Fred Phelps' estranged son speaks out against the Westboro Baptist Church during a counter-protest in Edmonton, Canada"
[A cool video about an LGBT counter-protest against Fred Phelps in Edmonton, Canada.]
11-14-10: MinnPost (re Cambodia): "Cambodia's first gay town"
"PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Along the train tracks in one of Phnom Penh’s ubiquitous slums, the noise never stops and everything is changing. Longtime residents are fearful that they’ll soon have to move. This place isn’t safe anymore, they say. It isn’t moral anymore.
Along these same tracks, roughly 100 new residents, in search of asylum and community, have trickled in over the last several years and now lead lives of shocking desperation. Most of them only sleep during the day. Some perform acts of prostitution. Others dress as women. Almost all of them are homosexual men. And this place, Beoung Kak 2, has become a home: Cambodia’s first gay town . . .
For years, the ever-growing number of openly gay Khmer had scattered themselves, meeting socially, but living separately, NGO workers say. Last March, however, Prime Minister Hun Sen castigated Cambodia’s reputation as a destination for sex tourism. Soon after, police shuttered brothels and karaoke bars across the capital, where many transgenders worked and lived. Destitute and homeless, some staggered to the slums of Beoung Kak 2."
11-14-10: Hawaii News Now (posted 11-04): "An Exclusive Interview With Kim Coco Iwamoto" (more)
"Kim Coco Iwamoto is being called the nation's highest elected office holder, who also happens to be transgendered. In her first televised interview since the election, Iwamoto speaks exclusively to KHNL's Angela Keen on family, life and her future.
Kim Coco Iwamoto is open about being transgendered with those who know her. But during her campaign, she says the issue never came up publicly. She says she chose to focus on the issues around her Board of Education campaign, instead of her gender.
In her exclusive interview with KHNL, Iwamoto opens up and talks with us about the issue. However, she stresses her main goal is to keep the focus on Hawaii's keiki. Kim Coco Iwamoto, or Kim Coco as her friends know her, never thought her story would gain so much national attention."
11-12-10: SDLGN (re Argentina): "LGBT Argentines push for Gender Identify Law"
"Although many LGBT Argentines have been celebrating the passing of the Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Law earlier this year, the transgendered members of this community know that there is still much work to be done towards full equality in Argentina.
The Gender Identity Law to enable individuals to change their gender on birth certificates, passports and other government identity cards has been stuck in Argentina's Senate since 2007. This leaves a whole segment of the LGBT community suffering during awkward situations where identity is required and the individual's gender no longer matches their expressed gender."
11-12-10: CBC (Canada): "N.B. transgendered woman claims assault - Says she was struck in women's washroom at St. Thomas University"
"A transgendered New Brunswick woman says she was struck in the face at St. Thomas University in Fredericton because she entered a women's washroom. Michelle Rayner, who is in the early stages of undergoing a sex change to become a man, says she has decided to speak about the September incident to raise awareness of the issues people like her face. She said a female student in the washroom asked her to leave, and Rayner attempted to explain that she's biologically female. "She got irate and took a swing at me, called me several names that were very derogatory, and she just caught me in the lip," Rayner said."
11-12-10: Huffington Post: "Lea T, Transsexual Model, Scores Magazine Cover (PHOTO)"
"Transsexual model Lea T, best-known for her work with Givenchy, nabbed the next the cover of Lurve magazine. She's clad in one of Ricardo Tisci's latest designs.
Lea started off as Tisci's personal assistant and fit model, and has always credited him with her ability to be comfortable with herself. She once recalled to for French Vogue, "One night [Tisci] encouraged me to wear pumps to a party. We went shopping for 'drag queen' shoes and we bleached my eyebrows. It was a revelation.""
11-12-10: Seattle Times: "Transgender people find their voice at NC school "
"Nicole Hatch had spent six figures on her transition from a male to a female, including flying to Thailand for sexual reassignment surgery and spending at least $20,000 on facial hair removal. But her voice still gave her away - callers would refer to her as "sir" when she answered the phone. So Hatch came to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where speech pathologists teach transgender people how to speak like the people of the sex they're becoming or have become.
"To me, there's nothing worse than seeing someone dressed as a woman, a beautiful woman," said Hatch, 57. "Then she opens her mouth and she sounds like a sailor. It's very off-putting for people." The former Florida chiropractor took eight private classes at UNCG, learning to redirect her voice through the front of her mouth instead of her throat or chest so that she sounds more feminine. "Voice is, I would say, 50 percent of being able to pass," Hatch said.
Each semester, speech pathologists within UNCG's School of Health and Human Performance teach about eight of so transgender people in a program that began 12 years ago, says Dean Celia Hooper, who taught the transgender voice classes at UNCG for five years until she became dean in 2008."
11-12-10: The Times Leader (Pennsylvania): "Transgender teen wants to help - She’ll appear today on ‘Steve Wilkos Show’"
Selena Milligan is living her life exactly the way she wants to and wants to serve as an example to help other teens do the same.
The 15-year-old transgender Lake Township resident, born William Milligan, will appear on the nationally syndicated “Steve Wilkos Show” today to discuss bullying and the suicides of teens . . . Selena said homosexual and transgender youth need role models, and she agreed to appear on the show to give them one."
11-12-10: Georgia Voice: "Trans Atlanta: A look inside an evolving community"
"As a black man living in the South, Dana Prosser knows he faces certain prejudices — racial profiling, people crossing the street to avoid walking past him on the sidewalk, women locking their car doors when they see him in a parking lot. That’s why his driver’s license still identifies him as a woman. Knowing he faces possible repercussions for being a black man, especially by police, having that “F” on his license ensures that, for example, if he is sent to jail, he would be put in with the female population. A trans man locked up with other men in jail could be in real danger, he said . . .
Prosser, 35, of Atlanta, began his transition seven years ago, has had top surgery (breasts removed) and takes testosterone. He lives his life as a man, identifies as a man, but knows he still must take precautions."
11-12-10: The Daily Mail (UK re US): "'I still call him "her"': Singer Cher admits she's still getting used to daughter Chastity's sex change"
"Cher has revealed she still can't get used to the fact that her daughter Chastity has had a sex change to become Chas - and revealed she still calls him 'her'. Talking for the first time about the gender realignment of her only daughter, the 64-year-old star said however that her son didn't mind."
11-10-10: ABC News: "Transgender Bender: Surgery to Woman, Then Man Again - Transgender Women Say Transition Before Irrevocable Sex Change Is Fraught With Psychological Hurdles"
"Just this week, British millionaire Charles Kane, who had lived as the glamorous interior designer Samantha Kane for 17 years, revealed he was marrying again as a man. Born Sam Hashimi, he was a divorced father of two when he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his first sex change operation in 1987. But he later said it was a "mistake," and five years ago he spent thousands more on three operations to restore his male genitals.
And there have been others. In 2007, Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Penner publicly transitioned to being a woman -- Christine Daniels . . . But in 2008, the writer missed his wife and returned to the marriage. She rejected him and Penner killed himself last year at the age of 52.
Former tennis star and ophthalmologist Dr. Renee Richards, born Richard Raskind, also expressed regret over her 1975 sex change at the age of 40 . . . "As far as being fulfilled as a woman, I'm not as fulfilled as I dreamed of being," she told Tennis magazine in 1999. "I receive letters from people who are considering having this operation...and I discourage them all.""
[The Kane story has triggered a flurry of exploitative "regrets" and anti-SRS articles.]
11-10-10: The Moscow News (Russia): "Indonesian transsexuals freed from sex slavery in Moscow"
"Two suspects have been arrested in Moscow for smuggling two Indonesian transsexuals into Russia and forcing them to work as prostitutes, Russian investigators said on Wednesday. "The abusers deprived the Indonesians of their passports and had been keeping them in an apartment in Moscow since October 2010," an investigators report read."
11-09-10: Denver Post: "Mexican transgender asylum seeker allowed to stay in U.S."
"Reyes, 32, was born a boy named Carlos but began living life as a girl at age 8, infuriating her traditional Mayan family in Cenotillo, Mexico. One night, an aunt walked into Reyes' bedroom and tried to kill her with a machete because she didn't want Reyes in the family. The Mexican police wouldn't arrest Reyes' abusers. So 10 years ago, she paid a smuggler to get her across the border. She walked four days and four nights through the desert into the U.S. and made it to Colorado, where a friend told her she would be safe.
Now, she gets to stay here. Last week, an immigration judge granted Reyes a form of asylum that allows her to stay in the U.S. based on the persecution she suffered as a transgender woman in Mexico."
11-09-10: YouTube (Singapore; posted earlier this year): "Pink Dot 2010: Focusing on Our Families (Part 2)"
"The second in a series of videos celebrating the bonds of LGBT people and their families. This is a call for open hearts and open minds . . . "
[Jamie Lee and her
parents tell the story of her transition, in this moving video from
11-09-10: Daily News and Analysis (India): "Bangalore activists suspect foul play in transgender’s death"
"The organisation, Sangama, decided to launch the campaign following the mysterious death of a 23-year-old transgender at her house in Nethaji Nagar on Monday. Even as the KP Agrahara police were suspecting that the deceased, Kumari Velu, had consumed poison, gender rights activists said they suspected foul play."
11-09-10: Vimeo.com (posted 11-03): "Photos of Angie - Day 1", by Alan Dominguez
"First day of a documentary about the murder of Angie Zapata, a transgender teen who was killed in 2008. "
11-09-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "Transgender youth leader charged with murder" (more)
"A transgender youth leader was charged with murder Monday in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend in Walnut Creek, a prosecutor said. Akira Tajah Jackson, 24, of Oakland was also charged with an enhancement for using a large kitchen knife to kill 56-year-old Alan Gray in his home on Santa Rita Drive at about 9:20 a.m. Thursday.
Born David Gavin, Jackson has been living as a woman for five years and met Gray about a year and a half ago while she was dancing at Diva's nightclub in San Francisco, said Contra Costa County prosecutor Barry Grove."
11-09-10: Renew America: "He/she/it goes to college", by Jamie Freeze
"These colleges need to send a strong message to their students: You do NOT have the right to be comfortable. You do NOT have the right to live above criticism. You do NOT have the right to make others conform to or accept your deviant lifestyle. You do NOT have the right to challenge cultural and societal norms without facing resistance.
When people do not learn these things, the results are devastating. We have created a culture that does not recognize absolute truth. Situation ethics and relative morality reign supreme, and our college administrators gladly or unwittingly reinforce this philosophy."
[The right-wing denounces the CNN article; claims to know "absolute truth."]
11-08-10: CNN: "Male, female or neither? Gender identity debated at same-sex colleges"
"When Kevin Murphy entered as a freshman at Mount Holyoke, a Massachusetts women's college, in 2003, he was female. By the time he received his diploma, he was male. Phillip Hudson, who attended Morehouse, an all-male historically black college in Georgia, calls himself androgynous, meaning he doesn't identify with masculine or feminine identity norms.
The two men represent a debate that is brewing at some of the nation's same-sex colleges. For these colleges, which have historically defied boundaries and challenged the status quo, a new test of tolerance has surfaced: How are they handling gender identity? Defining gender on same-sex campuses has become murky as some students say they fall outside the conventional male-female gender binary. More schools are encountering complicated cases where not all students at men's colleges identify as male and not all students at women's colleges identify as female. "
11-08-10: The Herald Sun (Australia): "Sex-change case funded through Australian Defence Force"
"Army Captain Matthew Clinch, who served twice in East Timor, will become Bridget Clinch after gender reassignment-realignment surgery, funded by taxpayers.
Victorian RSL president Maj-Gen David McLachlan said he was surprised the Army was picking up the tab. "It seems a little odd that they would allow such an abnormal situation get this far," Maj-Gen McLachlan said. "The soldier involved would be putting themselves in a situation where they would be subjected to all sorts of peer pressure." Asked if paying for the surgery was a good use of defence funds, he said: "It's unusual.""
11-08-10: The Christian Institute (UK): "Transsexualism is ‘delusion’ says former sex-swap man"
"A man who
underwent sex change surgery to look like a woman – then changed back – says
the NHS should halt all sex change operations.
Charles Kane, who spent £100,000 on operations to make him look like a woman, says he needed counselling, not surgery.
“Based on my own experiences, I believe sex-change operations should not be allowed, and certainly not on the NHS”, he says. "
11-08-10: The Daily Mail (UK): "A VERY peculiar engagementCharles had a sex change - then hated being Samantha so became a man again. Now he's getting married. So is his fiancée barmy, brave... or just in love?"
"‘I became a woman. It didn’t work for me. I changed my mind. It’s only a fool that doesn’t change their mind when they know they are wrong. It took tremendous courage to say: “No, sorry, I will change back.”‘I feel very lucky to have found Victoria, but always in the back of the mind there is the thought: “Why should she want me when she could have a real man?” ’
Despite the obvious affection between them, one can’t help but wonder - given the journey that has brought them to this point - whether their union will succeed in the long-term."
11-08-10: LGBTQ Nation (posted 11-04): "Post Election Wrap-up: California’s Alameda County elects nation’s first transgender trial judge"
"California’s Alameda County has elected the nation’s first transgender Superior Court trial judge. Victoria Kolakowski, 49, defeated her opponent, Deputy District Attorney John Creighton, in a narrow win in what had been a hotly contested race."
11-08-10: The Guardian (UK): "Open doorThe readers' editor on the right pronouns and respect for transgendered people"
"The Guardian's style guide currently has no entry for transgendered people. To have one would clearly help journalists who may not understand the different terms referring to members of the broad transgendered community. "
11-05-10: Telegraph and Argus (UK): "Family and friends say sex change man, formerly from Skipton, was a ‘trailblazer’ in human rights issues" (more)
"A spokesman for Luqmani Thompson and Partners in Wood Green, north London, the law firm where he worked, said: “We are immensely saddened by the death of David, an enormously talented practitioner, an inspiration to a generation of lawyers practising in this field, and a great friend.
“David’s contribution to legal development is unquestionable but what is sometimes forgotten is that he was a pioneer in setting legal tests and trends in genuinely trailblazing cases.” "
11-05-10: Philadelphia Daily News: "Transgender prostitute charged in slaying-arson at Old City hotel" (more)
"It wouldn't dull their pain - nothing could, not really - but Patrick Michael Brady's loved ones wanted answers, wanted to know who killed the Chester County man in an Old City hotel last Saturday.
They may have gotten their answers yesterday. And somehow, everything got worse. Another layer of sadness and confusion was added to a story about the death of a married 49-year-old father who was known by countless people as an outgoing, fun-loving guy.
Police officials announced that a transgender prostitute named Herman Burton had been charged with beating and strangling Brady inside Room 812 at the Omni Hotel, at 4th and Chestnut streets, and then setting fire to the room in an attempt to cover up the crime. Burton, who dresses and identifies himself as a woman named Peaches, according to acquaintances, was arrested Tuesday."
11-05-10: The Dominion Post (New Zealand): "Manslaughter for transsexual killers" (more)
"Two men accused of murder have been found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter of Upper Hutt transsexual Richard "Diksy" Jones on April 29 last year. In their third day of deliberations a jury of seven women and five men delivered the decisions in the case against Phillip Christopher Sanders, 42, and David Shaun Galloway, 20.
Galloway's lawyer, Donald Stevens, QC, said Galloway was just 18 when Diksy died on April 29 last year, which was also Sanders' 41st birthday. Police found them in Diksy's flat. Galloway later told police he had gone to Diksy's flat to "beat up a transvestite" who did not deserve to be in the world."
11-04-10: Huffington Post: "Transgender Issues: The Additional Challenges of LBGT Aging", by Joanne Herman
"Throughout November, public television's "In The Life" program shows the incredible challenges faced when a person who transitioned to live in the opposite gender, and who lost the support of family in the process, is confronted with a terminal illness.
The November program presents excerpts from the new documentary, "Gen Silent." "Gen Silent" sheds light on a serious issue facing many LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) seniors: homophobia, transphobia and insensitivity in the health care system. Of the four stories told in the documentary, I think that of KrysAnne Hembrough, a transgender woman, is the most profound, and is the one "In the Life" chose to feature . . .
According to the same survey, 19 percent of the respondents of all ages were refused care because of their transgender or gender non-conforming status, 28 percent were subject to harassment in medical settings, and 2 percent were victims of violence in doctor's offices. A full 50 percent of the sample reported that their providers lacked the knowledge to treat them. It's no wonder KrysAnne dreaded being in the health care system.
. . . watch this month's "In the Life" to learn more about the issues, and to hear up-and-coming director Stu Maddux's insights from working with KrysAnne. If you can't wait until the program shows on your local station, you can watch it now on the "In The Life" website. The filmmaking in the "Gen Silent" excerpts is personal, KrysAnne's story is heart breaking, and the issues are real. Have Kleenex handy."
11-04-10: South Florida Gay News: "What Makes a Woman a Female?", by Brian McNaught
"Like the Star Trek Voyager, corporations today are going where no man, woman, or transgender person has gone before. They are exploring how to understand, value, and include the diversity represented on the gender continuum. Many companies pioneered by forging the right non-discrimination statements covering gender identity and expression, but as might be expected, few of them realize the full scope and implications of their policies. Many Human Resource, and Diversity and Inclusion, professionals are still uncomfortable explaining to others the enormous difference between gender identity and gender expression, and most corporate executives appreciate being able to just say “LGBT” rather than the word “transgender.” Despite this current lack of complete understanding and comfort, companies around the globe are light years ahead of the rest of society in charting this new territory. "
[A thoughtful essay on the advances in corporate diversity.]
11-04-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "Victoria Kolakowski, transgender candidate, leads" (more)
"An Alameda County Superior Court election remained undecided Wednesday, with Victoria Kolakowski - who would become the nation's first transgender judge - holding a slight lead over John Creighton.
Kolakowski, an administrative law judge for the state Public Utilities Commission, led Creighton, a deputy district attorney, by 50.22 to 48.77 percent, or 3,300 votes out of 230,000 total votes cast, the county registrar's office reported."
11-03-10: Entertainment Weekly: "GLAAD vs. 'Glee': Is 'tranny' a bad word?", by Darren Franich (more)
"Glee and Jersey Shore don’t have much in common. One show features peppy outcasts with a song in their heart. The other features gym-freak beach bums dancing on the grave of western civilization. But both have come under fire recently from GLAAD for the same offense: making fun of transsexuals. The Jersey Shore outcry makes some sense — when the gang talked about The Situation’s dalliance with a transgender woman, their cultural sensitivity level hovered somewhere between “Drunk Winston Churchill” and “Drunk Fifth-Grader” — but the organization’s stance against Glee is a bit more complex . . .
All of which leads me to ask: Is “tranny” a bad word?"
11-03-10: The Guardian (UK): "What not to ask a transsexual: What do transsexual people and pregnant women have in common? Both cause strangers to lose all sense of propriety, says Juliet Jacques" (Part of the series "A transgender journey" by Juliet Jacques)
"Throwing myself into living as female, I anticipated the difficulties of 'passing' in public. I was less prepared, however, for the barrage of questions in more private spaces. I soon realised that being expected to field invasive questions, often from strangers, is as much a part of the 'real life experience' as handling abuse in the street, and one reason why so many transsexual people aspire to live in 'stealth'.
I was reluctant to cover this, primarily as I thought I couldn't address it better than Calpernia Addams (and partly because readers might think I'd stolen her idea). But the reason why her video resonates with so many transsexual people is because of the frequently encountered assumption that by externalising our gender dissonance, we somehow invite any question on any aspect of our lives.
I wasn't sure why such people thought it my duty to answer intimate questions – particularly about my genitalia or my sexuality – that they'd never dream of asking anyone else. "
[Link to Calpernia Addams classic video "Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual: The Director's Cut]
11-04-10: The Guardian (UK): "David Burgess obituary - Influential lawyer and tenacious defender of asylum seekers' rights"
"David Burgess was the finest immigration lawyer of his generation, responsible for a number of trailblazing cases. Although known as David in his professional life, he was transgendered, and in recent years spent more time in his female persona, Sonia. He has died aged 63 after falling under a train at King's Cross tube station in London; a murder charge has followed."
[Kind and thoughtful reflections on David's/Sonia's amazing legal career.]
11-02-10: Vanity Fair: "Cher on Chaz, Sonny, and Staying in the Spotlight" (more, more)
"As for her daughter turned son, Chaz, Cher says, “If I woke up tomorrow in a guy’s body, I would just kick and scream and cry and fucking rob a bank, because I cannot see myself as anything but who I am—a girl. I would not take it as well as Chaz has. I couldn’t imagine it.” While Cher remains a proud mother, she admits to Smith that she still gets confused: “She’s a very smart girl—boy! This is where I get into trouble. My pronouns are fucked. I still don’t remember to call her ‘him.’” "
11-01-10: SDGLN (re Turkey): "Case is dismissed against 5 transgender activists in Turkey"
"A Turkish judge has dismissed the case against five transgender activists from Pembe Hayat LGBT Solidarity group – an Ankara-based transgender rights organization, citing the lack of evidence against the defendants.
At the start of the two-hour court session, the presiding judge made it clear that his decision in the case would "not be given based on our prejudices about sexual identities " of the defendants. During the court session, the judge also reprimanded police officers - who were the plaintiffs in this case- for their mistreatment of the transgender activists, stating that the style of their intervention "against these five people was totally wrong."
The activists had been indicted by Ankara's public prosecutor and charged with resisting authorities after an incident on May 17, 2010, during which the Turkish police arbitrarily detained and brutally attacked the five activists. Pembe Hayat, IGLHRC and other organizations wrote to Turkish authorities to protest this abuse and to call for the charges to be dropped."
11-01-10: The Daily Mail (UK): "'Woman' accused of transgender Tube murder is actually a MAN undergoing a sex change" (more, more, more, more, more, more, more)
"A man accused of pushing a transgender human rights lawyer under a Tube train is in the process of becoming a woman, a court heard today. Unshaven Nina Kanagasingham, 34, of Chichele Road, Cricklewood, north-west London, appeared at the Old Bailey today charged with the murder of David Burgess - also known as Sonia. This is the first time since his arrest that it has been revealed Kanagasingham is actually a man."
11-10-01: The Oregonian: "Transgender motorist sues Portland police for more than $200,000 for alleged groping during traffic stop"
"According to the suit, officer Kevin Macho pulled over Lucero on Nov. 2, 2008 near Northeast Schuyler Street and First Avenue as she was driving home from a birthday brunch with her family. The suit states that Macho screamed “Give me the bottle,” then opened the driver’s side door and yanked Lucero by her left arm in an attempt to get her out of the car.
The suit claims that Lucero said she had no bottle and hadn’t been drinking, but the officer shoved Lucero against the car, examined her license and searched her “viciously and hurtfully, groping Chloe’s breasts and genitalia.”
The officer didn’t find any evidence of drinking, so he wrote Lucero a ticket for failing to signal, driving in the wrong lane and failing to yield, according to the suit."
11-01-10: New York Times: "Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team" (more, more, more, more)
"Advocates for transgender athletes said they believed Allums was the first Division I college basketball player to compete publicly as a transgender person, although not the first to play as a college athlete. In a statement, a George Washington official said Allums would remain on the women’s basketball team . . .
Erik Christianson, a spokesman for the N.C.A.A., said in an e-mail that the association was planning a review of its policies toward transgender athletes but currently recommended following the gender classification on a student’s identification documents, like a driver’s license. George Washington officials have said that the N.C.A.A. told them that Allums was eligible for the women’s team because he had not undergone hormone treatments. Allums said he would like to receive the treatments but had held off because he did not want to jeopardize his spot on the team."
11-01-10: Gender Identity Center of Colorado: "We have finally found a new home!!! 1151 S. Huron St., Denver, CO 80223"
"Grand Opening, Saturday November 6th": NEW HOURS - We will be extending the hours for the Gender Identity Center of Colorado!!!! Starting Monday, October 25th Hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12-5. Regular support meetings will be occuring as scheduled . . . "
"The Gender Identity Center of Colorado, Inc. is a non-profit corporation organized in 1978 and incorporated in June 1980. The organization was formed to provide support to anyone who is gender variant in their gender identity and expression. The Gender Identity Center of Colorado is also an informational and educational resource to the community at large. The Gender Identity Center of Colorado is available to anyone, male / female / other, who can benefit from its services or resources, including spouses, significant others, parents, and siblings."
Note: The GIC runs a major gender conference, The Colorado Gold Rush, in February of each year. The Gold Rush is on Feb. 24-27 in 2011."
10-31-10: Daily News and Analysis (India): "Suicide rates in the transgender community see alarming spike", by Maitreyee Boruah
"She left not just her home, but also her education. “I wanted to complete my studies and get a decent job. But my dreams were shattered,” she says. She grew up within the community where she was taught to sing, dance and beg on the streets of Mysore. Sundari says she was also sexually abused and had been raped. “I was a sex worker for some time. But now, I only beg,” adds Sundari . . . “We lead a very stressful life. This leads to depression and suicide,” she says.
Sundari’s concerns are reflected in the sudden rise in the numbers of suicides in the transgender community in Bangalore. Over the last 10 days, two trans-genders have committed suicide. Over the last 15 months, around 28 have committed suicide in the city. Activists say the number might be much higher, as many cases are not reported.
Sangama, a Bangalore-based voluntary organisation which is working for the betterment of sexual minorities says that the rate of suicide among transgenders in recent times has increased. “There is no help from the government,” says Shubha Chako, secretary of board, Sangama, an NGO that works with sexual minority groups. According to Sangama, Karnataka has 7,000 transgenders. Most have no access to jobs, education or health facilities."
10-31-10: The Guardian (UK): "Transsexual Scrabble player crowned as British national championTranssexual Mikki Nicholson, who only began playing Scrabble five years ago, beats opponent Mark Nyman to take British national crown"
""It was a big challenge but I wouldn't have entered if I didn't think I had a chance of winning," said the transsexual from Cumbria, who was wearing a pink wig, matching plastic pvc dress and lipstick during the final, held in London."
10-29-10: The Washington Post: "Ark. board member who posted anti-gay rant to quit" (YouTube, more, more)
"Clint McCance, a member of the Midland school board in Pleasant Plains, about 70 miles northeast of Little Rock, announced his resignation Thursday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360." He said he was quitting "to help my school, my community," though he added that he might run again for the board at some point . . .
McCance had scoffed in a Facebook posting at a campaign asking supporters to wear purple Oct. 20 to show solidarity after several gay and lesbian youths killed themselves, reportedly because of bullying.
"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves," McCance wrote. "The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin."
In a follow-up response to Facebook users who criticized his comments, McCance wrote that he liked that gay people "can't procreate (and) I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die.""
[Yet another example of the intensity of Christian-right hatred of LGBT people here in the U.S.]
10-29-10: Just Out (Portland; posted 10-27): "Film Examines a “Community In Transition” (more, more)
"It’s not all Halloween frivolity this weekend. There’s also some good (film) viewin’ to be had. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 30, Ainsworth United Church of Christ hosts a screening of Switch: A Community in Transition.
Produced by local filmmaker and longtime activist Brooks Nelson, the documentary explores the impact of a gender transition, not on the individual going through transition but on the surrounding community of family, friends, co-workers and others.
The film’s primary focus is Nelson’s own gender transition and how through the process he learned how much the responsibility for change fell on those around him. For example, friends and family have to switch language and switch gender pronouns, and they must examine their own attitudes and perceptions of gender."
10-29-10: London Evening Standard (UK): "Tube death man led secret life as a transsexual escort called Sonia"
"A top human rights lawyer killed under a Tube train was leading a secret life as a transsexual escort, the Standard can reveal . . .
Today more details emerged shedding light on the lawyer's complex personal life. He set up profiles on two transgender websites as Sonia. On one he advertised his services as a “pre-op” transsexual escort looking for paid encounters with men. On the website Birchplace, which bills itself as a “lifestyle fetish community”, Mr Burgess posted several photographs of himself as Sonia and described himself as having a “party doll” personality.
heading things I like, he wrote: “Fashion, makeup, shopping, romance, Look
magazine, romantic films and most guys but let's not forget girls a guy is
for 40mns [though maybe the next one will fall in love with me...] but a
wardrobe is for a season.
On another transgender website, Mr Burgess wrote he was seeking “mature admirers” and was looking for casual and serious relationships. "
10-28-10: KGO-TV San Francisco: "DMV investigates note sent to transgender womanThursday, October 28, 2010" (more, more, more)
"A hate-filled letter sent to a San Francisco transgender woman has prompted an investigation at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The anti-gay letter claims to have been written by a DMV clerk who assisted the woman at the San Francisco branch last week.
The usually painful experience at the DMV became a traumatic one last week for Amber Yust. A transgender woman, Yust went to the San Francisco branch to legally change her name on her driver's license. A few days later a letter was mailed to her house. The writer claims to be the DMV clerk who helped her and then went on to say being transgender is "evil." He urged her not to go through with the transition from man to woman. He said Yust is going to hell.
"Understandably, I think, she was scared to get a letter sent to her home from a state employee who presumably found out her address through his official capacity as a state employee and it was an incredibly harassing and traumatizing experience for her," Kristina Wertz, legal director of the Transgender Law Center, said."
10-28-10: Bilerico: "Peekaboo Tranny!", by Bil Browning (more)
"So there's this
great new app on the iPhone that I'm sure Bilerico readers
not live without... It's called "PeekabooTranny." Now what
does this wonderful can't-live-without-it app do? You take a picture with it
and -- wait for it -- it adds a "tranny" into your picture. Get it? She's
playing "peekaboo!" in your picture . . .
Seriously though, not only is the whole premise offensive - especially the name - but Apple is notorious for being prudish about the apps it approves for sale in its App Store.
What's next now that Apple's standards department is okay with stereotypes and slurs? I smell Peekaboo Wetback! It'll insert a Mexican man wearing a sombrero and holding a burrito!"
San Francisco Bay Times: "Transgender Law Center Celebrates 8 Years"
"The Transgender Law Center (TLC) held its 8th anniversary celebration and awards ceremony at the End Up on Oct. 22. TLC provides legal services and leadership development opportunities in California while also advocating for policies that will benefit the transgender community locally, throughout the state, and across the nation."
10-28-10: Edge Boston: "Transgender Prostitute Beats Up Would-Be Robber" (more)
"A teen tough thinking that a cross-dressing hooker would be an easy mark found himself on the receiving end of a beating when he tried to rob him, according to an Oct. 26 story published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Rufus Bowman, 16, targeted Joshua Bumpus as a robbery victim, luring him into an alley under the pretense of wanting to solicit his services. But Bumpus, who stands 6’ 1" and weighs 290 pounds according to jail records, wasn’t intimidated by the 5’ 7" youth, even though Bowman had a gun-and used it. Bowman shot Bumpus once, but that didn’t stop Bumpus, who wrested the gun from Bowman’s grasp and proceeded to "beat the daylights out of him," in the words of Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Ryan Nelson."
10-28-10: Los Angeles Times: "Suspects sought in brutal attack on transgender woman" (more)
"Los Angeles police investigators continued their search Thursday for five suspects in connection with an attack on a transgender woman in Hollywood that left the 25-year-old victim bloodied and battered with a broken jaw and cheekbone.
The victim had just left a bar near the intersection of La Brea and Melrose avenues early on the morning of Oct. 1 when she was attacked by three women and two men. According to witnesses, the attackers were beating and kicking the victim in the middle of the street, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Mitzi Grasso. The victim was kicked in the face and was hit on the head with a bottle, leaving cuts on the victim's neck.
The victim lives in the San Fernando Valley. Police have not yet classified the attack as a hate crime but said the investigation was continuing, said Grasso, who called the attack "unusually vicious.""
10-28-10: Pink News (UK): "Kings Cross tube death victim named as Sonia Burgess"
"The victim of the Kings Cross tube death on Monday evening has been named as Sonia Burgess, who was a trans woman. She died after being hit by a tube train during the rush hour. A 34-year-old woman, Nina Kanagasingham, of Chichele Rd, Cricklewood has been charged with murder . . .
Ms Burgess, 63, was described as gender variant by her family, who said she was known to friends, family and work colleagues as both Sonia and David. She was human rights lawyer who lived on Shaftesbury Avenue in central London and had two daughters and a son, all adults. In a statement, her family said: “Sonia (David) was a loving and wonderful person and will be missed deeply. We would appreciate being given space to come to terms with our loss.”
Ms Burgess’ Luqmani Thompson and Partners in Wood Green, described her as an “enormously talented practitioner, an inspiration to a generation of lawyers practising in this field, and a great friend”. The statement added that she was a “pioneer in setting legal tests and trends in genuinely trailblazing cases”."
10-27-10: Cal Coast News: "DMV employee tells transgender woman: You’re going to hell" (more, more)
"A California Department of Motor Vehicles employee is accused of sending a letter to the home of a Bay Area transgender woman calling her “an abomination” and telling her that she is going to hell.
A press release from the San Francisco Transgender Law Center claims that Amber Yust, a transgender woman living in San Francisco, went to the San Francisco Department of Motor Vehicles earlier this month to change her name on her driver’s license.
Last Monday, Yust received a letter from the person who had processed her name change at the DMV. In the letter, which had been mailed to her at home, the DMV employee quoted from the Bible and stated that Yust had made a “very evil decision.” The strongly-worded letter told Yust that she was “an abomination” and said that homosexuals should be put to death."
10-26-10: Daily Mail (UK): "Murder probe as woman 'pushes transvestite under Tube train in front of horrified rush hour commuters'" (more, more)
"A man dressed in women's clothing was apparently pushed to his death under a Tube train in front of hundreds of rush-hour commuters. The middle-aged victim, who has not been named, was waiting for a London Underground train at King's Cross station when the horrifying incident unfolded. Detectives arrested a 34-year-old woman on suspicion of murder at the scene and took her to a nearby police station where she remained this morning.
It was initially reported that a woman had died in the 6.30pm tragedy, with witnesses reporting how they saw two women sharing a joke before the victim was killed. However, it since emerged the dead person, whose next-of-kin are yet to be traced, was a man aged about 50."
10-25-10: Times of India (India): "They changed, society didn't"
"R Selvi is a qualified physiotherapist but works as a security guard at a private software company. Ask her why and tears well up in her eyes. Selvi, born as Muthu, is a transgender who lost her job as an assistant physiotherapist at a sports club in the city after she underwent a sex change operation . . .
Selvi's case is not a stray case of discrimination against transgenders in the work place. S Grace, who holds an MPhil in Tamil literature, also works as a security guard at the same firm. "Though I am qualified to be a Tamil professor, no one wants to employ me. I have just got a part-time job as a Tamil translator. People are okay with that as they don't have to see me and interact with me everyday," she says bitterly.
M Venilla, who has a degree in sociology, was working as an accountant in Alagappa University for a year but quit two months ago because the staff began misbehaving with her. "People think a transgender can only be a beggar or a sex worker. It's humiliating because we are normal people with aspirations like everyone else," she says."
10-25-10: Canadian Press (re US): "Activists contend Mormon attitudes are factor in struggles of gay members"
""We've all been to so many funerals. If they're serious about stopping the rash of suicides so prevalent within their religion, they need to be taking a more active stance against preventing that harm," Ethington said.
Although there's no hard data directly linking faith and suicide, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute conducted with the Religion News Service found that 65 per cent of 1,010 respondents believe messages from the pulpits of American churches contribute . . .
The Massachusetts based Suicide Prevention Resource Center cites suicide as the leading cause of death for lesbian, gay and transgender youth. Utah's suicide rates — 34.5 suicide deaths for every 100,000 persons in 2008 — are among the highest in the U.S., particularly among young men between the ages of 18 and 24."
10-25-10: NJ.com: "Second man accused of fatally shooting Maplewood transgender model surrenders"
"The second man accused of killing a transgender woman inside an apartment in Maplewood last month surrendered to police late Sunday night, authorities said . . .
Foster and Chambers turned themselves in just days after authorities captured a suspect in a unrelated Maplewood homicide that Laurino said was motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation. On Oct. 19, 30-year-old John Staten was arrested and charged with murder in the beating death of 27-year-old Arthur Downey in March.
The slayings were the first homicides in Maplewood since 2007, according to Police Chief Robert Cimino, and the nature of the crimes stunned gay rights activists throughout the state."
10-24-10: CNN: "Suspect in transgender killing turns himself in" (more, more)
" A suspect in the death of a transgender woman in New Jersey has turned himself in, authorities said, and a second suspect remains at large . . . The two are suspects in the killing of Victoria Carmen White, 28, of Newark, who was fatally shot on September 12 at an apartment in Maplewood, police said in a statement . . . Last week, after police announced the arrest of a suspect in the March killing of an openly gay man in Maplewood, authorities said sexual orientation could be a factor in both killings."
10-24-10: New York Times: "Advocates Hope Transgender Identity Is Not a Defining One"
"Theresa Sparks, a candidate for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is running on what some might see as a conservative platform: she is pro-development and anti-loitering, pro-police and anti-grime. She has been endorsed by the mayor, the city’s firefighters’ union and the county deputy sheriff’s association. But that is not what sets Ms. Sparks apart; it is her past. Until a decade ago, Ms. Sparks was a man, before a gender reassignment surgery. And while her sex may have changed, her politics did not . . .
But she is not the only transgender person campaigning for public office this fall. And unlike in years past, when such candidates were often considered mere curiosities, several are within striking distance of historic victories."
10-22-10: Typically Spanish (Spain): "Transsexual adds spice to
elections in Barcelona”
“Transsexual artist Carmen de Mairena is moving into politics and will be number two in the candidate list in Barcelona for the Coordinadora Reusenca Independent, CORI, at the regional elections on November 28. She said that she was delighted to be trying her hand at politics and hoped to be Mayoress of Barcelona one day."
10-22-10: New York Times: "A New Resource for L.G.B.T. Seniors"
"Sage, the nation’s oldest service and advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors, last week unveiled its online National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, underwritten by several foundations and a grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Joining forces with 10 other groups, including the American Society on Aging and the National Institute of Senior Centers, Sage has ambitious plans for this first-ever site. It wants to serve organizations for gay seniors, as well as housing and service providers, and to help older adults themselves. It intends to offer publications, a directory of organizations and programs, personal stories, interviews with leading experts, and more . . . So far, the site’s reach exceeds its grasp. Sage is waiting for individuals and organizations to say what they want and need, to help compile the directories and listings that will be useful to visitors, to fill in the blanks. It’s a yearlong project, and you can join the effort at www.lgbtagingcenter.org."
10-21-10: Pridesource: "A place to call home - Transgender Michigan celebrates opening of org's first office"
"The small office located on the second floor of Ferndale's Community Pride Building may not look like much, but to Transgender Michigan founders and board members, it's a 13-year-long dream finally come true. The statewide but southeastern-focused trans support and equal rights group held an open house Oct. 13 commemorating the opening of their first-ever official office. Attended by both TGM members and community supporters, the open house highlighted some of the group's current needs . . . It also provided a chance for founder and Executive Director Rachel Crandall to talk about some of the organization's upcoming goals."
10-21-10: Toronto Sun (Canada): "The Dilemma over gay jokes" (more)
"It’s OK to portray gay culture as sexually promiscuous and filled with raging drag queens and flaming transsexuals, as long as you do it in a Broadway-bound musical — Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — now playing nightly to standing ovations in Toronto . . .
I’ve seen Priscilla and it’s very entertaining — think of the Gay Pride parade done by professionals — with touching scenes depicting the pain of being gay in a predominantly heterosexual culture.
But let’s not kid the troops. In a society one generation removed from viewing homosexuality as a sin — still preached by the world’s religions — many people, young and old, gay and straight, will emerge from the theatre having had their every negative, stereotypical view of gay men re-enforced."
10-20-10: Windy City Times: "Transgender journalist Bobbie Dittmeier: The write stuff"
"Dittmeier, now 47, is a homepage editor for MLB.com, the official website for Major League Baseball.
"The people at work have been great [ about the transition ] ," Dittmeier said. "There haven't been any issues that I'm aware of. I just go in, do my job, and hopefully get it done well. Things have been pretty good." Dittmeier joined MLB.com in September 2001.
"I think things are a lot different than when I first attempted [ the transition ] 15 years ago," Dittmeier said. "I think the younger generation has less of a hang-up with things. I work with a lot of younger people, people in their 20s, and to my knowledge, [ being transgender ] has never been an issue.""
10-20-10: CNN: "Transsexual athletes treated unfairly", by Donna Rose
"Lana Lawless hits golf balls. She hits them hard and far, with astonishing accuracy. She won the Women's Long Drivers of America competition in 2008 when she hit a ball more than 250 yards. Lana is so good, in fact, that the LDA changed the rules this year to prevent her from competing. The LPGA has a rule to specifically exclude her, as well . . .
Lana's experience with the LPGA demonstrates that the combination of transgender people and athletics continues to be a volatile mixture that can easily devolve into an irrational, emotional argument rather than one based on fact or measurement."
10-20-10: The Guardian (UK): "Searching for a transsexual community", by Juliet Jacques (part of the series "A transgender journey")
"Settling into 'full-time' living, I stepped away from the places where I'd explored my gender, spending time with old friends as we intuitively worked out if my transition would affect our relationships. No longer feeling that I could only be myself in 'safe' spaces, I stopped going to 'T-friendly' mainstream gay clubs (where I was often the only T, sitting in the corner grinding my teeth as yet another musical abomination piped up), deciding that the best way to normalise my gender was to maintain as much continuity as possible with my pre-transition social life . . .
The best advice I ever got from a transsexual person was, "Don't get too hung up on making friends with transsexual people – just make friends." There's no reason why two transsexual women should get on if that's all they have in common, any more than any other two women. That said, shared experience provides another layer to my relationships with transsexual people who share my political opinions or cultural tastes, for example – in short, the same things that would make me friends with anyone else."
10-20-10: Sydney Star Observer (Australia): "Transsexual research call -A Griffith University researcher is seeking to explore the mental health and wellbeing of transsexuals."
"Prior mental health issues are expected to subside when a person adopts a preferred gender, but limited research has been carried out on the issue and most research has focused on people who have had gender reassignment surgery when only a small percentage of transsexuals opt for surgery.
Griffith University clinical psychologist and PhD student Ashley van Houten a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the Australian Psychological Society, has developed a psychological tool to help assess the attributes of transsexual people living in their preferred gender."
10-19-10: Christian Post: "Christians Urged to Wake Up to Reality of GLBT Agenda"
"Dr. Michael Brown believes Christians have already lost the battle when it comes to public opinion on homosexuality and gender identity issues. Pro-gay books are being read in elementary school classrooms, teachers are being mandated to use gender neutral language, gay activists have been welcomed in the White House, and young evangelicals see no problem with same-sex marriage.
Yet the prevailing thought in churches is that "this stuff is happening elsewhere" or that Jesus is coming back soon and "we're out of here any minute," Brown, a Jewish believer in Jesus, lamented. "[We can] put our heads in sand or we can recognize that massive transformation is happening in our society right in front of our eyes, on our watch," he told Christians over the weekend at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, N.C.
Brown wants to awaken the conscious of Christians and bring them to a "divine reality" about what's happening in America. There is a need to reach out to homosexual men and women with compassion, he said, but at the same time there is "a gay activist agenda that we must resist.""
10-19-10: The Link (Canada; posted 10-16): "We Live Here - Raising Money for the Homeless Transgendered and Transexual Community"
"We Live Here! brought together different groups from Montreal’s transsexual and transgender communities at Café Cleopatra. The fundraiser was organized by Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec to raise money for their emergency fund, which places individuals in a hotel until a more definitive living situation can be worked out. "
10-19-10: MTV: "Dallas Transgender Teen Hopes To Be A 'Mentor' After Homecoming Queen Bid" (with video)
"Last week, the students at North Dallas High School ended their day in a rally of support for one of their own: Andy Moreno, a transgender teen who was denied the opportunity to run for homecoming queen.
"I felt like I am being discriminated [against] because I tried running for homecoming queen, and I wasn't able to because the principal said it wasn't based on tradition," Moreno told MTV News. One of the administrators had a problem with Andy running, so she reached out to Principal Dinnah Escanilla, who "said that I was a gay male — which, to me, was a little ignorant, because she doesn't seem that educated in the transgender topic.""
10-18-10: Global Voices (re Kenya) "Kenya: My Life as a Transgender Girl in Kenya", Interview of Lindsay by Haute Haiku
"Lindsay is a transgendered woman living in Kenya who shares her life and her journey to womanhood on her blog Living Lindsay- My life as a transgender girl in Kenya. She describes herself as “I'm a normal girl with not-so-normal traits. I am transgender, or transsexual if you like.”
This is going to be her sixth month since her surgery and she feels that she is more at ease with her life than before. Her main goal is to educate the public on transgender issues in Kenya by answering questions from the public about her journey on her blog. She has blogged about her surgery orchidectomy, blogging and challenges she has to go through; violent encounters, how she had to move houses and her struggle with her identification documents. Her story has also been highlighted in one of the Kenyan daily newspaper and she hopes that she will make a difference in the Kenyan society."
10-18-10: Serano, Julia M. (2010) ‘The Case Against Autogynephilia.’ International Journal of Transgenderism, 12: 3, 176 — 187.
"Abstract – Autogynephilia is a paraphilic model that states that all male-to-female (MtF) transsexuals who are not exclusively attracted toward men are instead sexually oriented toward the thought or image of themselves as a woman. The assertion that transsexual women are sexually motivated in their transitions challenges the standard model of transsexualism—that is, that transsexuals have a gender identity that is distinct from their sexual orientation and incongruent with their physical sex. This article provides a review of the evidence against autogynephilia and makes the case that the taxonomy and terminology associated with this theory are both misleading and unnecessarily stigmatizing."
10-18-10: TS Roadmap: "Julia Serano: The Case Against Autogynephilia"
"Biologist Julia Serano has published a peer-reviewed analysis of ”autogynephilia," a sex-fueled mental illness created in 1989 by psychologist Ray Blanchard. This theory emerged from a convenience sample that presented at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, a group which is unlikely to be a representative sample of the nonclinical trans population. Most trans people avoid the “gender clinic” system of the 1970s, seeking out supportive individual practitioners or using long-established extralegal networks. Since most “gender clinics” are long closed, many people who seek these out are either indigent, low-functioning, enjoy the humiliation of CAMH’s regressive forced feminization, and/or find validation in the clinic’s diagnoses that they do not find elsewhere (CAMH treats some people considered “pseudotranssexuals” under other theoretical constructs) . . .
Dr. Serano notes the straw man “feminine essence” argument used by Alice Dreger, J. Michael Bailey, Kiira Triea, and Blanchard:
However, pitting autogynephilia against an overly simplistic “feminine essence narrative” ignores a more nuanced view that I will refer to here as the gender variance model, which holds that gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and physical sex are largely separable traits that may tend to correlate in the general population but do not all necessarily align in the same direction within any given individual.
In other words, Blanchard and his supporters assert that transwomen are “really” men, and anyone who takes issue with them must be arguing that transwomen are “really” women, thus ignoring the more sophisticated views held by their critics. Dr. Serano also tackles the claims that anyone whose self-report does not fit Blanchard’s ideology must be lying, and anyone whose self-report does must be telling the truth. This kind of cherry-picking of data is unfalsifiable:
If proponents of autogynephilia insist that every exception to the model is due to misreporting, then autogynephilia theory must be rejected on the grounds that it is unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific. If, on the other hand, we accept that these exceptions are legitimate, then it is clear that autogynephilia theory’s two-subtype taxonomy does not hold true.
She concludes with several examples of how Blanchard and his allies needlessly exacerbate the nonconsensual sexualization that this population already faces in society:
Autogynephilia theory reduces MtF spectrum people to sexual motivation—in other words, it seems to both draw from, and to reinforce, these disparaging media stereotypes. Studies have shown that individuals who are sexualized are seen as less than human, are not treated with empathy, are not taken as seriously, and are seen as less competent and intelligent than individuals who are not sexualized (reviewed in American Psychological Association Task Force, 2007). Given this, it is no surprise that those who wish to demean, sensationalize, or discriminate against MtF transsexuals often cite autogynephilia theory in their attempts to invalidate transsexual women’s identities (e.g., Jeffreys, 2005; O’Leary, 2009; Wilkinson, 2006).
10-18-10: Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey): "Transgender rights defenders look forward to justice in Turkey"
"Leading human rights organizations urge Turkey to investigate the attack against transgender rights activists by police in Ankara in May. The organizations say the police officers responsible for the attack should be held accountable and called for an end to violence against toward transgender people. ‘Police ought to protect transgender people and their advocates, not attack them,’ says Hossein Alizadeh, an activist."
10-18-10: Lez Get Real (re Turkey): "Five Transgender Activists To Go On Trial In Turkey" (more)
"Five transwomen are on trial as prostitutes in Turkey, and are facing up to three years in prison for resisting police. They go on trial on 21 October, and international rights groups are calling for the Turkish government to drop the criminal charges. The five were arrested in May when they were beaten up and taken into custody, according to the Ankara-based transgender rights group, Pembe Hayat or Pink Life.
New York-based Human Rights Watch was one of five signers in a joint letter to Turkey’s Interior and Justice ministers that the police were the ones accountable in this and not the five transwomen. The rights groups also called for an end to violence against transvestites and transsexuals in the country that spans Europe and the Middle East. They also called on the Ankara government to enact laws protecting lesbians and gays from discrimination."
10-18-10: The Mirror (UK): "“Boy who thinks he's a girl treated for
“A lad of three who believes he is a girl has become the youngest child in Britain to be treated for the rare condition Gender Identity Disorder. Sufferers feel that they are in the body of the wrong sex. And the unnamed nursery schoolboy is currently being seen by experts with 20 other boys and three girls aged under 10, a Freedom of Information Request by the Mirror has found. It is thought he was referred to the Gender Identity Development Service at London's Portman and Tavistock NHS Trust last year after he told his mum and dad he prefers girls' clothes and playing dolls."
10-17-10: IBN (India): "Transgender gearing up to hit the silver screen”
“Aiswarya was born a male but longed to live like a woman. So at the age of 17, she left her home in Tamil Nadu's Erode district to go to Mumbai. Ten years on, Aiswarya is known as Karpaga and is all set to make her acting debut as the heroine of debutante director D Siva Kumar's film 'Paal,' which literally means gender in Tamil. The story is about how a family treats a transgender, her love towards a man and how the society treats them.”
10-17-10: Deccan Herald (India): "UIDAI to recognise third gender"
"The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which will soon be rechristened as the National Identification Authority of India, will give a third option—transgender—along with “male” and ''female'' under the category of sex. "
Reform Advocates (posted 10-15): "Ten Reasons Why the Transvestic Disorder
Diagnosis in the DSM-5 Has Got to Go", by Kelley Winters, Ph.D. (more)
"The classification of gender diversity and nonconformity to birth-assigned gender roles as mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has drawn growing protest and outrage from transpeople and and allies worldwide. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the APA, is regarded as the medical and social definition of mental disorder throughout North America and strongly influences international diagnostic nomenclature. The fifth edition of the manual, the DSM-5, is in development and scheduled for publication in 2013. While the diagnostic category of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) has garnered most of the controversy, a second category of so-called Transvestic Fetishism (TF) has harmed transwomen, including transsexual women, as well as male-to-female crossdressers, dual gender and gender nonconforming people since the earliest days of the DSM. Trans and LGB advocates have been inexplicably quiet about the TF category, even after the APA proposed to expand the category in the DSM-5, renamed Transvestic Disorder, to implicate gender nonconforming people of all sexes and all sexual orientations.
The proposed DSM-5 diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder, even worse than its predecessor Transvestic Fetishism, labels gender expression not stereotypically associated with assigned birth sex as inherently pathological and sexually deviant. The diagnosis is punitive and scientifically capricious, serving to punish social and sexual gender nonconformity and enforce binary stereotypes of assigned birth sex. Here are ten reasons why the Transvestic Disorder diagnosis should be eliminated entirely from the DSM-5."
[An important essay; please disseminate widely.]
10-16-10: Express Buzz (India): "LIC turns a new leaf in the life of transgenders "
"The next time you see a transgender canvassing life insurance, credit it to a brainwave from LIC. On Friday, 60 transgenders from Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chennai participated in a camp, organised by LIC along with the Social Welfare Department, where they would learn the nuances of being an agent for the corporation. R Vasuki, Commissioner, Department of Social Welfare, said, “This kind of employment opportunity will economically empower the transgenders and will keep them away from begging and commercial sex.”"
10-15-10: Huffington Report: "How Religion Is Killing Our Most Vulnerable Youth", by Bishop Gene Robinson
"An increasingly popular bumper sticker reads, "Guns Don't Kill People -- RELIGION Kills People!" In light of recent events I would add religion kills young people: gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender young people.
Perhaps not directly, though. And religion is certainly not the only source of anti-gay sentiment in the culture. But it's hard to deny that religious voices denouncing LGBT people contribute to the atmosphere in which violence against LGBT people and bullying of LGBT youth can flourish."
10-15-10: NCTE (posted 10-13): "New report reveals rampant discrimination against transgender people by health providers, high HIV rates, and widespread lack of access to necessary care" (more)
"Transgender and gender non-conforming people face rampant discrimination in health care settings, are regularly denied needed care, and experience a range of health risks because they are transgender or gender non-conforming, according to a report of over 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming people. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey: Report on Health and Health Care was released nationally today by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality."
10-15-10: NCTE and NGLTF: National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on health and health care - Findings of a Study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force" (2.53mb PDF)
health care is a fundamental human right that is regularly denied to
transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Transgender and gender non-conforming people frequently experience discrimination when accessing health care, from disrespect and harassment to violence and outright denial of service. Participants in our study reported barriers to care whether seeking preventive medicine, routine and emergency care, or transgender-related services. These realities, combined with widespread provider ignorance about the health needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people, deter them from seeking and receiving quality health care.
Our data consistently show that racial bias presents a significant, additional risk of discrimination for transgender and gender non-conforming people of color in virtually every major area of the study, making their health care access and outcomes dramatically worse."
10-15-10: The Guardian (UK; posted 10-11): "The 'two-spirit' people of indigenous North Americans"
"This week's guest editor, Antony Hegarty, is a fan of the book The Spirit and the Flesh. He asked its author, Walter L Williams, to write a feature for guardian.co.uk/music on the 'two-spirit' tradition in Native American culture."
[An excellent article]
10-15-10: Courthouse News Service: "Post-Operative Transgendered Woman Says Cornerback Hit the Wrong Hole" (more)
"A transgendered woman claims a former Arizona Cardinals cornerback sodomized her against her will after finding that "her surgically constructed vagina was too tight." It is not clear from the 4-page federal complaint whether the football player knew the woman is transsexual.
In her complaint in Fort Myers, Fla., Federal Court, Angelina Mavilia says that after "what began as consensual sexual activity," Eric Green asked her "whether there was 'anything she wanted to tell him." . . .
At the condo, Mavilia says, "Defendant induced to engage in what began as consensual sexual activity. Defendant attempted to have vaginal intercourse with plaintiff but was not able to do so because her surgically constructed vagina was too tight . . ." Mavilia claims Green then held her down "and penetrated her anally against her will.""
10-15-10: The Desert Sun: "LPGA should let this one go"
"The LPGA probably isn't looking for advice on how to handle a lawsuit filed over the tour's “female at birth” requirement for tour membership. But here is some advice anyway. Don't fight this fight.
In the end, fighting the idea of a transgender player being allowed to try for membership on the women's golf tour can only lead to bad publicity. And eliminating the “female at birth” clause in your by-laws will hardly change the face of the tour . . . "
10-14-10: Philadelphia Gay News: "Blahnik house mother murdered"
"A well-known local transgender woman who was a fixture in the ballroom community was murdered in her home this week in South Philadelphia. The body of Stacey Blahnik, 31, was discovered shortly after 9:30 p.m. Oct. 11 by a man reported to be her partner in a second-story bedroom of her rowhome . . . The Medical Examiner’s Office classified the death a homicide Wednesday morning, with the cause of death listed as ligature strangulation . . .
Blahnik member and executive
director of The COLOURS Organization, said Blahnik had been house mother for
about a year and offered direction to the approximately 115 Blahnik members
who stretch from Philadelphia to California. “She was a key parental figure
to our family,” Burns said. “She provided mentorship, leadership and was
pretty much an emotional ear to many of our members across the country. She
was a figurehead.”
Burns said Blahnik already had a “significant” impact, “not just to those in our house, but to those in the entire ballroom community and even those who are not a part of the ballroom house culture, with the extent of the relationships and the support she provided. She was a mother figure to a lot of young people, particularly for many of our transwomen of color here in Philadelphia.” . . .
A candelight vigil will be held for Blahnik from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Love Park. A viewing will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 at the Mitchum-Wilson Funeral Home, 1412 S. 20th St., followed by a funeral service."
10-14-10: GLAAD (posted 10-13): "Transgender Woman Murdered in Philadelphia; GLAAD Working to Improve Coverage"
"As confirmed today by the Philadelphia Daily News, autopsy results indicate that a transgender woman’s death in Philadelphia has been ruled a homicide . . .
GLAAD is in contact with the Philadelphia Daily News about some problematic elements in its coverage of this story, including putting quotes around Stacey’s name. After speaking with GLAAD the paper did remove quotes around Stacey’s name in part of the story but not the entire piece. It is never appropriate to put quotation marks around either a transgender person’s chosen name or the pronoun that reflects that person’s gender identity. After consulting with GLAAD the outlet also made changes to include the word transgender to describe Stacey and we are continuing conversations with editors to bring the paper’s overall reporting on this story in line with fair, accurate and inclusive standards."
10-14-10: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News: "Transgender woman murdered in Philadelphia" (more, more)
"As confirmed today by the Philadelphia Daily News, autopsy results indicate that a transgender woman’s death in Philadelphia has been ruled a homicide. The body of a 31-year-old transgender woman named Stacey Blahnik Lee was discovered Monday night by her boyfriend in the home the two shared in Point Breeze, a neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Initial reports indicated that Stacey was found with a pillowcase around her neck. Homicide Sgt. Bob Wilkins refuted this yesterday. Instead, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office says that Stacey was strangled to death."
10-14-10: Xtra (Canada): "MSP to cover top surgery for trans men in BC - Health Ministry directs hospitals to provide operating room time and chest contouring"
"Fully covered, in-province chest surgery might be finally within grasp for some of British Columbia's female-to-male transsexuals, thanks to a recent policy change at BC's Ministry of Health.
By directive of the ministry, Vancouver Public Health will now make operating room time available for chest surgeries in public hospitals in the Lower Mainland. The ministry also decided to extend medical service plan (MSP) coverage to chest contouring, a surgical procedure to realign chest tissue after a mastectomy that previously cost trans guys up to $2,000.
For 31-year-old Ryan Jarman and about 30 other trans men, the long fight for access to the tools to transition might be nearing its end."
10-12-10: New York Times: "Transgender Woman Sues L.P.G.A. Over Policy"
"A transgender woman filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the L.P.G.A., arguing that its requirement that competitors be “female at birth” violates California civil rights law. Lana Lawless, a 57-year-old retired police officer who had gender-reassignment surgery in 2005, made her name as an athlete in 2008 after winning the women’s world championship in long-drive golf with a 254-yard drive into a headwind. But this year, Lawless was ruled ineligible in the same championship because Long Drivers of America, which oversees the competition, changed its rules to match the policy of the L.P.G.A. "
10-12-10: Pink News (UK re France): "French trans woman continues fight to be recognised as female"
"Share Bad news for French trans woman Delphine Ravisé-Giard, as an appeal court yesterday refused, once again, to recognise her as female. This follows a year of legal to-ing and fro-ing, as initial willingness by the French state – in the form of the French Air Force – to recognise her female identity was revoked by a court in Nancy last August.
The grounds? That her transition was not “irreversible” and, more offensively, that her breasts did not measure up."
10-12-10: ABC 30 TV (Fresno, CA): ""Clovis family speaks out agains bullying"
"A valley family speaks out against bullying after their transgender teen commits suicide"
10-11-10: Edge Boston: "State of Play"
"Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, had a key legislative priority for the 111th Congress: passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. With Congress in recess until after the midterm election and no expected chance of passage in any lame-duck session, Keisling is characteristically blunt . . .
’’We had a colossal fail this year. But it is simplistic and unhelpful to say that any particular person failed, because every single one of us failed. ’’The community failed. The movement failed. The organizations failed. Congress failed. The president failed,’’ she says. ’’Government failed - part of why government failed is because they didn’t prioritize us. Partially that’s because we didn’t make them, partially it’s because the Republicans were just obstructing everything, partially it’s because our community didn’t step up enough, partially it was because our community was scattered in what they wanted. But we failed together.’’"
10-10-10: Nine MSN: "Chaz Bono: Life gets better""
"The transgender son of singing star Cher has spoken out to troubled youngsters struggling with their sexuality, assuring them life gets better with age and self-acceptance."
10-09-10: People's Daily (China): "Transsexual personal ad causes much controversy online"
"She was a boy five months ago but now she is registered as female on her residence booklet. Shen Qingqing, also known as the "first transsexual of Jiangxi Province," posted a personal ad online and has attracted the attention of more than 280,000 netizens. Is this personal ad of transsexual a gimmick or an understandable behavior? Facing much criticism online, Shen who posted the ad, gave an interview to reporters on Oct. 7. "After receiving the sex change operation in May 2010, I wanted to find a guy to marry and live my life well. However, I have very few friends around me. Therefore, I want to find my Mr. Right through the Internet," Shen said."
10-09-10: Mainichi Daily News (Japan): "Mainichi column on gender issues wins Waseda journalism prize"
"The Mainichi Shimbun's "Kyokai o Ikiru" column, which won an award in the 10th Waseda Journalism Award in Memory of Ishibashi Tanzan. (Mainichi)A Mainichi Shimbun column focusing on gender identity issues has won the grassroots democracy section of the 10th Waseda Journalism Award in Memory of Ishibashi Tanzan.
The column, "Kyokai o Ikiru" (Living on the boundaries) . . . highlights the anguish of children with gender identity disorders and patients with sexual differentiation disorders caused by hormonal abnormalities that make it difficult to determine their gender. It addresses the slow response to such issues in the fields of medicine and education, as well as the lack of understanding in society.
"It addresses a fundamental problem that is not commonly picked up in the mass media, and adopts a gentle perspective with reports that focus on people individually. It raises questions suggesting that being a person is what is important without dividing men and women into separate categories," a statement on the Mainichi's award said"
10-08-10: Global Post (re Thailand): "Thailand military: the lovely conscripts - Thailand’s military struggles with a flood of transgender draftees"
"Of the half million young Thai men facing military conscription lottery each year, most fear being drafted into grunthood. Best case scenario: Two years in a dull outpost. Worst case: Patrolling the southern Thai-Malay borderlands, where Islamic insurgents are notorious for beheading troops. But few fear the draft more than Thailand’s transgender “kathoeys.” Genetically male, mentally female, they regard conscription as a threat to their very being. Buzzing off a kathoey’s long locks and forcing her to go soldiering in the sun, Prempreeda said, is the cruelest of punishments.
In practice, long-haired, perfumed draftees with hormone-induced breasts are very rarely drafted. Instead, they are dismissed as unfit for service, often for having “malformed chests.” The most common reason for dismissal, however, is also the more damning: “mental disorder.” Worse yet is “permanent insanity,” a ruling written into the permanent record of kathoey Samart Meecharoen in 2006. “Don’t they understand this ruins our lives?” said Samart, who is still awaiting her lawsuit’s outcome. “It’s stuck to our record. Even if we’re opening a bank account, or trying to get a visa to some foreign country, people see that I’m supposedly insane.”"
10-08-10: Gawker: "Must Transgender People Be Raped in Jail?"
"A 23 year-old transgender woman was arrested on a parole violation, and (mistakenly?) placed with male prisoners in a Manhattan jail. There, she says, she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a guard. Which is apparently standard and expected."
10-07-10: New York Times: "Guard Held in Sexual Attack on Transgender Inmate"
"A New York City correction officer was arrested and charged on Thursday with forcing a transgender inmate to engage in a sex act with him at a Manhattan jail. The victim, a 23-year-old transgender woman, was an inmate in a male housing unit at the Manhattan Detention Complex near City Hall, where she was being held on a parole violation, when the attack took place in September 2009. "
10-07-10: The Telegraph (India): "LIKE A SECOND BIRTH - The Truth
About Me: A Hijra Life Story By A. Revathi, Penguin, Rs 299" (book review)
"A Revathi tells her story gently, lucidly, with an undertone of deep sadness and no melodrama . . . Her journey in search of the truth of her own being began early, when she was barely out of school, from initial confusion, fear and terrible loneliness to a gradual awakening to the existence of others like herself, marginalized in society, till she too became a member of the hijra community . . .
Yet, Revathi’s story reaches far beyond the typical. Her sad, unadorned voice, translated with unwavering clarity by V. Geetha, underlines, all over again, the cruelty of society to the sexually different being. As she journeys from city to city, happy to be a woman yet suffering acutely in the traditional occupations of a hijra, visits her family repeatedly till her siblings and parents are forced into accepting her acquired femaleness, is driven into painful sex work because she is unable to suppress her sexual desire, she also strips the life of a hijra of myth and false beliefs and creates a deeply moving human document that resonates with emotional truth."
10-06-10: The Guardian (UK): "'I'd hoped that coming out as transsexual might temper my anxiety'"
"Gender reassignment can take its toll on the mental health of vulnerable individuals. Juliet Jacques considers her own relationship with depression and anxiety." (Article in the series "A Transgender Journey, by Juliet Jacques)
10-05-10: BBC News (re Hong Kong): "Hong Kong transsexual woman loses fight to marry"
"Lawyer Mike Vidler says W is being denied the rights of other women in Hong Kong A court in Hong Kong has rejected an attempt by a woman who used to be a man to marry her boyfriend. The judge in the case said existing laws only allowed marriage between couples who were of the opposite sex at birth . . .
The Chinese woman in her 20s, identified only as W, underwent sex change surgery at a public hospital a few years ago. High Court Judge Andrew Cheung said he saw no evidence to support "a shifted societal consensus in present-day Hong Kong regarding marriage to encompass a post-operative transsexual".
He said he was "acutely conscious of the suffering and plight of those who suffer from transsexualism, and the prejudice and discrimination they face as a minority group in our society". But he added: "That alone, however, is quite insufficient to found the fundamental change in the law sought by the applicant in the present case.""
10-05-10: Inside Higher Ed: "Transgender Athletes, College Teams"
"Godsey is one of the examples in a report, "On the Team," issued Monday by several advocacy groups that believe athletes like Godsey shouldn't have to worry about losing spots on the team. The report calls for a new national standard on when transgender athletes of various types should have the option of playing on men's teams, women's teams or either.
The NCAA is currently studying the issue -- and has had the policy of leaving decisions up to individual colleges, meaning that no national standard exists today. While NCAA rules about men's and women's teams were developed without a sense of a growing transgender population, the issue is starting to surface in college sports. The NCAA reports that its national office has received 30 inquiries in the last two years about how colleges should deal with transgender athletes. Those numbers could increase, given that more people than in the past are identifying themselves as transgender, more are doing so at younger ages than in the past, and a growing number of colleges have anti-bias policies that cover gender identity."
10-04-10: NCLR: "ON THE TEAM: EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENT ATHLETES" by Pat Griffin and Helen J. Carroll
"The purpose of this report is to provide guidance to high school and collegiate athletic programs about how to ensure transgender student athletes fair, respectful, and legal access to school sports teams. In October 2009 the National Center for Lesbian Rights and It Takes A Team!, an Initiative of the Women’s Sports Foundation, co-sponsored a national think tank entitled “Equal Opportunities for Transgender student athletes.” Think Tank participants included leaders from the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National High School Federation, transgender student athletes, and an impressive array of experts on transgender issues from a range of disciplines—law, medicine, advocacy, and athletics. The think tank goals were to develop model policies and identify best practices for high school and collegiate athletic programs to ensure the full inclusion of transgender student athletes."
10-04-10: Drjays.com: "Are Tranny Groupies Hip-Hop’s Latest Trend?"
"Another transsexual scandal with St. Louis rapper Chingy is dominating headlines in the hip-hop world. This time, the transsexual in question goes by the name of Sidney Star, a self-described hip-hop dancer and aspiring actress from Chicago, IL. It boggles the mind how Chingy could find himself in this situation again, but it’s not a total shock to me."
10-04-10: Bilerico Project: "Unity, One Short Word", by: Amy Hunter
"Arguably, 2009 was a great year to live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We saw gays and transgenders come together as never before. We, in unity and with our allies, passed what is undeniably one of the nation's strongest municipal non-discrimination ordinances. As part of the campaign team, I found myself privileged to experience firsthand the currents and eddies that swirled around our community. In retrospect, perhaps the most salient fact about the campaign for Ordinance #1856 is this: While Kalamazoo residents overwhelmingly believed everyone should be treated fairly and equally, a disproportionate number of them did not know that gay and transgender citizens were not protected by law from discrimination.
You heard right, most people in Kalamazoo did not know that it was possible to be denied employment because you were gay or transgender, or evicted, or refused service at a restaurant if the manager even thought you were."
10-03-10: Science Magazine: "Closeted Discoverers: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Scientists", by Jacqueline Ruttimann Oberst"
"Think “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” applies only to the military? This too happens in the sciences, at all levels, from academia and industry to professional societies. Below are some of the ways that lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender scientists conceal part of their identity and the resources that this “invisible” army uses to thrive."
[An excellent article, covering a wide range of issues regarding LGBT people in scientific careers; includes interviews with Ben Barres (Prof. at Stanford), Rochelle Diamond (Chair of NOGLSTP) and many others.]
10-03-10: The Times of India (India): "Census to collect data on eunuchs"
"In a first in census history, the government has decided to collect data on eunuchs in the 2011 census beginning February 9. Senior officer from the census office in Mumbai confirmed to TOI that apart from male and female, this time around the census will also have a column to register details of eunuchs."
[The Times of India continues the awful British colonial tradition of referring to transgender women as "eunuchs" (i.e., neutered men) - even in articles posed as being helpful to those women. Shame on the Times for this hateful practice!]
10-03-10: Bird of Paradox (re Sweden): "Update: “Transphobia is everywhere”, by Helen G.
"Since I wrote about the transphobic attack on two Turkish trans women at the TGEU Conference in Malmö, Ruzgar has provided this account of their experiences at the hands of the police:
"we spent around 5 hours in the police station today. 3 of us were questined seperatly in different rooms. some of the really interesting questions we were asked: since how long are you a transvestide? do you wear women clothes? why are you trans? what is trans? do you do make up all the time? do you feel like a women? etc. they kept refering to us with our legal names, and wrong pronouns. at some moments i didnt really know which one was more traumatic, getting attacked or being in this police integration."
Although the victims seem to have endured this further hate crime with resilience and grace, the message is clear: even in supposedly open-minded countries like Sweden, transphobia is still entrenched in society, from the individual through to the state where, as Ruzgar’s account shows, the hatred is just as institutionalised as anywhere else."
10-03-10: Fox News: "Transgender Sex Shop Exec Reportedly Labeled 'Conservative' in San Francisco Race"
"A transgender woman who used to run a sex toy company called Good Vibrations reportedly is being labeled as the "conservative" candidate in a local San Francisco race. SF Weekly reports that Theresa Sparks, a candidate for a seat on the city's Board of Supervisors, is being criticized as the insider, conservative pick. "It's hard to conceive of any other American city in which a candidate with Sparks' background would be portrayed as an insider in favor of protecting the status quo," SF Weekly wrote."
10-03-10: Muskegon Chronicle: "Muskegon-area school districts unprepared to deal with transgender students" (more)
"Mona Shores High School staff were counting students' votes for homecoming king and queen, when they were thrown into a conundrum that has since drawn them into an uncomfortable spotlight. They began to see ballots with the name Oak Reed written in the spot for homecoming king. The problem, as they saw it, was that Reed is a girl, at least biologically speaking . . .
. . . the decision was made that Reed was not qualified to be homecoming king. Ballots for Reed were not counted -- and a firestorm was ignited.
Since then, Mona Shores High School Principal Jennifer Bustard reportedly has received more than 1,000 e-mails, most of them angry about the decision. Comments left at the Chronicle's website . . . have reflected the clear divisiveness of the issue: There are those who cheer the district for not giving in to the desires of one student, and there are others who chastise it for violating Reed's civil rights. Caught in the middle are school officials who were bound to offend someone no matter what they decided."
10-03-10: One Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ohio): " ONE Bowling Green>>Vote YES for Ordinance 7905 and Ordinance 7906. Help create a Bowling Green that is fair and welcoming."
"ONE Bowling Green is the campaign to educate voters about the need to vote this November and protect the Bowling Green Non-Discrimination Ordinances. A grassroots coalition, ONE Bowling Green believes that all people should be treated fairly and equally. "
[Last year, the Bowling Green City Council voted to pass two ordinances: 7905 handles housing, and 7906 is on general non-discrimination. Both ordinances cover gender, gender identity and gender expression, among others. Unfortunately, those opposed to these protections got the required signatures to put new ordinances rescinding the changes onto the ballot. The opponents also released a hateful "hit-piece" poster containing the photos of 4 transitioned women. Calling the women "men", the poster claimed that the BG employers would be "forced by law to hire men who wear dresses to work and demand to use the women's restroom.]
10-03-10: Gulf Daily News (Bahrain): "Teenagers launch sex change bid"
"TWO teenage women planning to undergo sex change operations are set to launch legal bids for recognition of their status as men. Fowzia Janahi, the only lawyer in Arab world who specialises in transsexual cases, said the Bahrainis, aged 18 and 19, had approached her seeking help.
"They are suffering from gender identity problem and wanted legal help," she said. "I have asked them to get a medical report stating their health condition." Ms Janahi said without having seen proper medical reports it was too early to discuss the nature of their cases.
"All I can say at the moment is the families of the two young girls are aware of their condition and are supportive," said the lawyer, who became the first in the Arab world to win two sex change cases."
10-03-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "Transgender star Cassandra Cass shines brightly"
"Cassandra Cass is a star on San Francisco's popular lip-sync show, "Sunday's a Drag," at Harry Denton's Starlight Room. She has reached a limit of 5,000 friends on her Facebook page and has 1,000 on the waiting list. Now her fame is reaching even loftier heights, on Showtime TV's new midnight series, "Wild Things.""
10-02-10: KVTU.com: "Castro Goodwill To Employ Transgender Staff"
"SAN FRANCISCO -- A new Goodwill store in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood that opened Saturday afternoon will be providing much need jobs for those in the transgender community.
Many of the store's employees are transgendered people. Activists say only half of transgender people in California have full time jobs, even though they are twice as likely as other workers to have earned a bachelor's degree"
10-01-10: Pink News (UK re Sweden): "'Transphobic' attack at trans conference in Sweden" (more, more, more)
"Two trans women were attacked at a transgender conference in Sweden last night. The women, who were attending the third European Transgender Council in Malmo, received minor injuries in what police are treating as a transphobic assault.
Event organisers have not released their names but they are understood to be from Turkey. The women said they were were attacked after visiting a restaurant in the Bergsgarten area of Malmo.
10-01-10: The Brandeis Hoot: "Pianist describes life in music world post-sexual reassignment surgery"
"Internationally renowned pianist Sara David Buechner spoke about her experiences as a pianist and as a transgendered woman at the seventh annual Eleanor Roosevelt Lecture in Rapaporte Treasure Hall on Tuesday.
Buechner, who was born and and lived as a boy, David, until her gender reassignment surgery in 1998, expressed feeling ill-equipped to talk about gender differences because she said they are not easily simplified and that everyone has their own story."
10-01-10: The Vine (re Spain): "Life as a transsexual as photographed by Paola de Grenet"
"Barcelona is notorious for its transvestite and transsexual culture. With sex change operations almost as popular as arse implants, the health system is rife with requests. London-based photographer Paola de Grenet spent some time with the girls going through the process. She captured them prostituting themselves on the street to afford the hefty operations, waiting for clients in brothels, and injecting themselves with hormones.
But the most shocking part? They're normal. Really, beer-in-front-of-the-TV normal. They live with their grandparents, they cook Christmas roasts, they hang pictures of their parents on the walls."
9-30-10: "Transgender Teen Becomes Facebook Superstar After Homecoming Snub"
" Teens in Michigan couldn't get a transgender student elected homecoming king by playing by the books -- so they turned to Facebook. After school officials at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon barred transgendered student Oak Reed from becoming homecoming king because he was born Oakleigh Marie Reed, a girl, students used social media to generate a swell of news coverage resulting in stories on the station Wood 8, front-page articles on CNN.com and now, of course, AOL News.
A large factor in the local story becoming a global sensation has been the "Oak Is My King" Facebook group, started by student Nick Schrier. Wood 8's coverage of Oak Reed broke the story, and combined with the Facebook group, has brought national (and international) attention to the story of this transgender teen's story."We went from around 100 members to over 5,000 in 24 hours," Schrier told AOL News. At the time of publication, the figure now stands at more than 7,600."
9-30-10: XTRA (Canada): "World's first trans MP to speak in Vancouver - Q & A / NZ decriminalized prostitution 7 years ago and 'the sky hasn't fallen in': Beyer"
"New Zealand's Georgina Beyer is the first transgendered person to be elected to a national parliament. She's in Vancouver to speak at a forum on Oct 2 hosted by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, CUPE BC, the BC Government and Service Employees' Union and Egale Canada."
9-30-10: The Standard (Kenya): "Court to rule on intersex convict in November" (more)
"An intersex convict will have to wait until November when he is likely to know his fate in a case he has lodged seeking for legal recognition . . .
Through his advocate John Chigiti, he argued he had been discriminated against by being held in a prison for men, yet he is neither male nor female. Muasya, who is a death row convict, was born with both male and female sex organs but goes about his life as a man."
9-29-10: PerezHilton.com: "Boo! Michigan School Robs Transgender Teen Of Homecoming Title!" (more, more, more, more) (be sure to watch the video interview, and join "Oak is my King" on Facebook)
"Stoopid! He won - fair is fair!
A young transgender teen in Michigan was stripped of his title as Homecoming King after the school decided he didn't "qualify."
The teen, who friends refer to as Oak, has until now felt the complete support of his choice to be transgender. Teachers use him or he when calling on Oak in class and he is permitted to wear a tuxedo while performing in the marching band. When he started his campaign on Facebook to be crowned homecoming king, the response was massive, the whole school rallying behind him.
But then, last Monday, the principal called Oak into her office to announced that all of his votes were "invalid" because he had enrolled in the school as a female."
[Note: Mona Shores High School is located in Muskegon, MI, an area subject to heavy political influence by the religious-right.]
9-29-10: CNN: "Assistant attorney general blogs against gay student body president" (with video interview; more, more, more, more)
"For nearly six months, Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan, has waged an internet campaign against college student Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Using the online moniker "Concerned Michigan Alumnus," Shirvell launched his blog in late April.
"Welcome to 'Chris Armstrong Watch,'" Shirvell wrote in his inaugural blog post. "This is a site for concerned University of Michigan alumni, students, and others who oppose the recent election of Chris Armstrong -- a RADICAL HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST, RACIST, ELITIST, & LIAR -- as the new head of student government . . . "
Shirvell acknowledged protesting outside of Armstrong's house and calling him "Satan's representative on the student assembly." "I'm a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights," Shirvell told CNN's Anderson Cooper . . . "
Armstrong has supported gender-neutral housing at the university for transgender students who haven't had sexual reassignment surgery. Armstrong has hired an attorney . . . who says Armstrong may have grounds for a harassment case."
[Yet another example of anti-LGBT sociopathy among religious-right politicos in Michigan.]
9-29-10: Pink News (UK): "21 years in jail for man who killed London trans woman"
"A man convicted of killing trans woman Destiny Lauren has been sentenced to at least 21 years in prison.
Leon Fyle, 22, was found guilty of Ms Lauren's murder last month . . . According to the Hampstead and Highgate Express, Fyle, of Catford, was jailed for life yesterday at Snaresbrook crown court.Judge David Radford told him that he serve at least 21 years before being allowed to apply for parole and said he had "wickedly" and "brutally" ended Ms Lauren's life. “It was a vicious and callous act," he said."
9-29-10: Colby Magazine (summer 2010 issue): "Amy Weston '10 Chases Her Star - Gender Studies major and astronomy minor finds NASA the perfect fit" (see also this video interview)
" . . . Weston took the Physics and Astronomy Department by storm, completing Colby’s astronomy courses, doing independent research, and working as a teaching assistant for the astronomy labs. Her research included “developing techniques for imaging faint extended objects, in particular, spiral galaxies,” and she said she took it upon herself to push the equipment to its fullest capabilities . . .
Despite all of her academic success, Weston’s journey was not an easy one. For Weston, being transgender (male to female) and lesbian at Colby proved a difficult experience, at times harrowing, she said. “But it’s possible to take strength out of that experience and deeper understanding of how to live with harmony, and that’s really what I’ve brought with me.” "
9-29-10: On Top Magazine: "Sally Kern Backer Referring To Transgender Rival Bittany Novotny As Male"
"A backer for anti-gay Oklahoma state Representative Sally Kern is referring to her transgender rival Brittany Novotny as a male, The Oklahoman reported.
Novotny is challenging Kern, the woman best known for saying gay folks were the “biggest threat our nation has” at a 2008 gathering of Republicans, for the seat she's held since 2005.
Charlie Meadows, chairman of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), who previously called Novotny “a confused 'it,'” is now referring to her as a man."
9-28-29: Philadelphia Weekly: "A Question of Gender, A Matter of Choice - PennDOT revises its controversial gender policy."
"Danielle Finnegan has never been more excited to go to the DMV . . . After nearly 60 years living as someone else, she is eager to tell PennDOT who she really is.
“Finally,” cries Finnegan, the first transgender individual in the state to take advantage of PennDOT’s recent policy change on gender. “No one can argue with the fact that I am a female.”
As of Aug. 25, PennDOT no longer requires sexual reassignment surgery for a gender change to one's license . . . Under the agency’s revised policy, a transgender person still needs to prove that he or she is living full-time as the preferred gender. But that proof can come in the form of verification from a social worker or licensed medical or psychological caregiver."
9-28-10: YLE.fi (Finland): "More Young People Contemplate Sex Change" (more)
"An increasing number of young people are considering sex-change procedures. Finland's gay rights organisation Seta reports that interest in such procedures has clearly risen over the past three years . . . In 2003, some 40 people made use of the service; however, by last year the number had jumped to 150, which includes many youths."
9-26-10: The Star-Ledger (New Jersey): "Family left with questions about shooting death of model in Maplewood" (with photo) (more, original story)
"All the world was a runway for Victoria Carmen White, a model, dancer and itinerant. Charming, tenacious, tough and sensitive, White lived a complex and rich life, friends and family said.
Which has left everyone who knew her at a loss to explain why the 28-year-old was shot and killed in Maplewood two weeks ago. “She was the best person you could ever know,” her aunt, Monica White, said. “She made friends everywhere she went.”
What also has puzzled those who knew White best was how the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office first identified her to the media as James White, nine years after sex-change surgery and four years after legally changing her name to Victoria Carmen."
[A tragic story - raising many questions about why local authorities misgendered this beautiful woman.]
9-25-10: Just Plain Sense (UK): "Half an hour with Nadia", by Christine Burns (podcast)
"When Nadia Almada first teetered into Channel Four’s Big Brother house on impossibly high heels, in the summer of 2004, TV viewers in Britain had probably never seen more than a few minutes of any real transsexual person on their screens before . . . Nadia won that fifth series of Big Brother in a landslide victory that carried millions on a wave of emotion, sharing her dramatic realisation of public acceptance.
In 2010 Nadia returned to Big Brother for a celebration show with other popular or controversial housemates. The return was not such a happy event. Three weeks after that event she agreed to give an in-depth interview and talks here about her childhood, changing gender, those television experiences and much more too."
9-24-10: Bangalore Mirror (India): ""A transsexual turns RJ - As a radio jockey, she takes up issues relating to her community members"
"In a society that detests transsexuals and treats them as social outcasts, Priyanka, 25, a transsexual, leads a respectable life, as a radio jockey, even as she attempts to uplift members of her community . . .
Priyanka hosts a programme titled ‘Yaaru Ivaru’ (who is this person?) every Thursday between 12.30 pm and 1 pm. “I am thoroughly enjoying my work,” says the radio host, who invites guests from the transsexual community and interviews them. The show sees Priyanka engaging her community members in discussions as well as addressing their problems, including livelihood, housing, education, their experience while begging etc."
9-23-10: Bay Area Reporter: "There's always hope Transmissions", by Gwendolyn Ann Smith
"A friend of mine recently suggested I write about giving up on her gender transition and settling for, presumably, an unhappy life. I told her in reply that this was simply not something I could write about. It's not that there aren't such situations, mind you – some have had to delay transitions, and I've known a few who transitioned and felt the need to return to their gender, preferring life in their birth gender over the challenges and pitfalls of transition. The reason I did not feel I could fulfill her request is simple. Even in the darkest moments, I feel that there is hope"
9-23-10: Lansing City Pulse (posted 9-22): "Transgender turn into GOP´s newest political football", by Kyle Melinn
"Forget the double-dip recession breathing down our neck. Figuring out creative ways to run government cheaper? Why bother. Michigan´s top issue is male-to-female transgender individuals using women restrooms.
In the secretary of state race, state Rep. Paul Scott drew headlines across the state earlier this year for vowing to deny folks the ability to change their gender identity on their driver licenses . . . eventual nominee Ruth Johnson, likely concerned Scott would outflank her among conservatives, sold her soul to the mildly scary Campaign for Michigan Families and came out in support of Scott´s position.
Johnson . . . told the Ward and June Cleaver-era "family" group: "I do not support allowing people to change their gender on their license as a result of surgery or lifestyle." . . .
Who knows how Johnson pulls this off if she beats Democrat Jocelyn Benson for the secretary of state . . . Will she order her clerks to disobey court orders that demand a person´s designation be changed? Will she subject her office´s scarce resources to lengthy litigation? If so, to what end?"
[If Johnson is elected, she might be able to stop the DMV from further updates of gender markers, but how could she catch all the existing 'violators' of her superstition-based edict (such as Lynn Conway)? Does Johnson plan to implement genetic testing as a requirement for driver's license renewals in Michigan? ]
9-23-10: HR Magazine (UK): "Equality Act: the Government outlines the main provisions"
"The Government has confirmed the provisions that will come into effect when the Equality Act is in place next Friday (1 October). The Government Equalities Office confirms that the Act outlines the basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions, premises, work, education, associations, and transport.
It will adjust the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical assessment and a ‘level up’ protection for people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic – such as carers."
9-23-10: IBN Live (India): "Chennai-based transgender activist invited for US event"
"A Chennai-based Transgender rights activist has been invited to take part in the International Visitors Leadership Programme to be held in the US next month. Elated over being invited for the two-week event, hosted by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Kalki Subramaniam said she was the first transgender from Asia to participate in the annual programme.'' They have informed me that I am the first transgender from Asia to have been invited to the programme and officials are verifying records to confirm if I am also the first from across the world,'' Kalki told PTI . . .
Kalki, also founder of Sahodari, an organisation for transgenders, said. ''I will highlight steps taken by the Tamil Nadu government for the welfare of transgenders such as the setting up of a welfare board and the Karnataka government's pension scheme.'' "
9-23-10: Bay Area Reporter: "Transgender woman named interim dean"
"City College of San Francisco's Board of Trustees has appointed a transgender woman interim dean of the school's liberal arts program and of its Castro campus.
The move, announced September 7, makes Ms. Bob Davis, 63, one of the first openly transgender college administrators in the country, according to the school."
9-23-10: The Guardian (UK): "'They are the gatekeepers of my physical transition'", by Juliet Jacques (part of the series "A Transgender Journey")
"As Juliet Jacques continues on her journey of gender reassignment, she reaches a stage feared by many: a visit to the Gender Identity Clinic.
Rightly or wrongly, two words strike fear into the transsexual community: Charing Cross . . . the clinic - now under the auspices of West London Mental Health Trust but still widely known as 'Charing Cross' - struggles to shake a reputation for being cold and overly demanding . . .
Gender dysphoria is currently classified as a 'mental illness' by the World Health Organisation, despite growing pressure to revise this. As for 'Charing Cross', a clinic staffed by clinicians will always feel clinical, and there's a detached, paternalistic streak running through the NHS that reaches far beyond its gender services."
9-22-10: Latin American Herald Tribune (re Puerto Rico): "Puerto Rican Authorities Accused of Tolerating Homophobia"
"Puerto Rico’s gay community blames island authorities for tolerating an atmosphere of homophobia that might have encouraged the slaying of 10 of their number over the past year. The activist of the Puerto Rico for Everyone Association, Pedro Julio Serrano, told Efe on Tuesday that there is an atmosphere of “institutionalized homophobia” that been no help in stopping the series of killings inflicted on the island’s gays.
Serrano . . . said that homophobia is well established in institutions like the police and the prosecutor’s office. Serrano’s accusations come after the gunning down of Justo Luis “Michelle” Gonzalez and Miguel Orlando “La Flaca” Soto, two young transsexuals found dead Sept. 13 on a highway in the town of Juana Diaz."
9-21-10: Sydney Star Observer (Australia): "ADF to review trans policy"
"Sydney Star Observer understands that in March the ADF tried to discharge a transgendered person on the grounds that gender identity disorder was listed as a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The person challenged the discharge and made a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. An ADF internal review withdrew the discharge in July but the matter is ongoing with the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Reacting to the policy review, the Gender Centre’s Catherine Cummings said it was “about time”.“Transgendered people have been acceptable in armed forces elsewhere, for example in Britain, for a number of years,” Cummings said."
9-20-10: Bangor Daily News: "Panel rules against Orono school in transgender bathroom access"
"The Maine Human Rights Commission ruled Monday that Orono Middle School unlawfully discriminated against a sixth-grader during the 2008-2009 school year by not letting the male-to-female transgender student use the girls’ bathroom . . .
The parents of the child, who no longer attends schools in the district, wrote in their latest complaint to the commission that she experienced anxiety and depression after officials at Orono Middle School forced her to use a gender-neutral bathroom and her peers picked on her. “In choosing to disallow [her] to use the girls’ bathroom facilities, the school was implicitly isolating and alienating her from other students,” the parents wrote. “We determined that we needed to modify our actions to do the best we could to ensure [our child’s] safety.”"
9-20-10: Express Buzz (India): "Transgenders go for sex change for better life"
"Ever since two government hospitals started performing sex reassignment surgeries free of cost on people with ‘gender dysphoria’ about eight months ago, 87 such operations have been performed and over people 500 wait-listed. But that wouldn’t give you a sense of the number of people opting for such surgeries in the city as quite a few of them have been putting themselves under the scalpel of plastic surgeons for sex change at private hospitals here for a long time.
While these surgeries are much safer than the traditional crude method of castration adopted by the transgenders community in India, doctors say it is not just the visible population of transgender persons who eke out a living through begging and commercial sex who opt for the make over. In fact many persons living normal lives at home too have gone for sex reassignment. “Gender dysphoria is more common than it is perceived. It is prevalent not only amongst the transgenders on the roads but also among youth who conceal their discomfort for fear of rejection in the society . . . "
9-19-10: Orlando Sentinal: "How should schools handle transgender kids?"
"Increasingly, schools are having to wrestle with how to accommodate children who live as the opposite gender . . .
Canadian psychologist Kenneth J. Zucker, an internationally known expert on gender issues whose research is controversial in the gay and transgender community, questions whether kids should be allowed to switch roles. His studies indicate most kids will outgrow their behavior, so he tries to help them learn to be comfortable with the gender they were born with . . .
Edgardo Menvielle, a psychiatrist at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., said he might suggest parents allow children to live as the other gender. "Thinking you're a boy or girl — it can happen for a while and you can grow out of it," Menvielle said. "We're talking about children who are experiencing themselves caught in a situation that is intolerable" . . .
It's a challenge apparently more families are facing. Advocates and experts say they've seen a rise in the number of "trans kids" coming forward in the past few years."
9-19-10: Mirror (UK): "Squaddie's battle for a sex change operation"
"'As a super-tough paratrooper used to jumping out planes into warzones, not much scared Stuart Harrison. But he admits he was more than a little nervous the first time he walked into his local pub…dressed as a woman.
Stuart, who is having a sex-change and now calls himself Sophie, says: “As paratroopers hurl themselves 800ft into the abyss they mentally say ‘1,000, 2,000, 3,000, check canopy!’ “I did that exactly when I went out dressed as a woman. I had to brace myself before stepping outside my front door but once there my fears evaporated. It felt so right.”"
9-18-10: Gay Middle East (re Iran; posted 9-12): "Iranian Honour Killing: Trans murdered by her brothers in Tehran" (link to Farsnews article in Persian)
"Farsnews reported that on April 25th, 2010 police found a 24 year old woman dead in her apartment, on Shariati St. After an initial investigation it became apparent the woman was called Mahsa and was a transsexual that had undergone sex-change assignment (his name before sex-change was Masood). Mahsa was strangled, and the police found out that her brothers were perpetrators . . .
The two brothers confessed to the killing of Mahsa, and mentioned the reason as “opposing her immorality”. Their father, who in Iranian Shari’a law is the Vali’ye Dam (Masa’s blood-owner), forgave his two sons for the murder. One brother was sentenced to 8 years in prison, with five years suspended jail time and the other for three with two years suspended jail time. In other words the brothers would only serve three and one year respectively in prison for murder! This is a painful example of how Iranian law concedes if not indirectly sanctions honour killings in defense of any family “dishonour.” "
9-17-10: Hurrieyet (Turkey): "Transsexual basketball scout wins praise as Turkey's '14th Giant Man'"
"Fans made their love for Turkey’s “12 Giant Men” abundantly clear during the championship event. Also praised was a 13th man, coach Bogdan Tanjevic. But another person responsible for the team’s success, the person who discovered and trained some of the stars of the Turkish national basketball team, was not present in that crowd.
This 14th giant is Leyla Çalışkan, a famous talent scout for Turkish basketball, and a male-to-female transsexual."
9-17-10: The Georgia Voice: "Chaz Bono talks about coming out as trans in public eye"
"Southern Comfort, the annual Atlanta transgender conference, celebrated its 20th anniversary Sept. 6-12, drawing hundreds from around the globe to the Crown Plaza Ravinia Hotel.
The conference included seminars covering everything from surgeons discussing their procedures to open conversations on a variety of topics pertaining to transgender life.
One of the main highlights this year was the appearance of transgender celebrity and advocate Chaz Bono, who also participated in many of the events and hosted a seminar on media activism with Nick Adams, media awards communications manager for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation."
9-15-10: Guardian (UK; posted 9-08): "'I'd always hated my facial hair'" (part of the series "A transgender journey")
"As Juliet Jacques continues on her journey of gender reassignment she says goodbye to a powerful sign of masculinity: her facial hair. It's a process that stings, both physically and financially"
9-15-10: The Chronicle of Higher Education (posted 9-14): "Gay Students and College Employees Face Significant Harassment, Report Says"
"Whether they are students, staff members, professors, or administrators, people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender report significant harassment at their colleges and discomfort with the overall campus climates, according to a new national report . . .
About a quarter of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer students and employees said they had experienced harassment, as did more than a third of transgender and "gender nonconforming" respondents, compared with 12 percent of heterosexuals."
9-15-10: Physorg.com: "Study: Mental illness stigma entrenched in American culture; new strategies needed"
"A joint study by Indiana University and Columbia University researchers found no change in prejudice and discrimination toward people with serious mental illness or substance abuse problems despite a greater embrace by the public of neurobiological explanations for these illnesses. The study, published online Sept. 15 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, raises vexing questions about the effectiveness of campaigns designed to improve health literacy. "
[One of the most insidious ways that reactionary psychiatrists and psychologists (such as Zucker and Blanchard) encourage transphobia is by declaring gender variance to be "mental illness", knowing full well how deeply our society stigmatizes such illnesses.]
9-15-10: Crikey.com (Australia): "Let them serve: Defence drops ban on transgender soldiers"
"Chief of the Defence Force Angus Houston issued an instruction Monday revoking the policy that effectively banned transgender service members. The ADF is believed to be the last government agency that specifically fired employees for transitioning gender.
The individual whose recent gender transition lead to the reform work was not available for public comment, but the referral service that assists gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender service members, DEFGLIS, was aware that commanders had been anything but understanding."
9-15-10: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Zellers pulls kids' shirts from shelves over obscenity complaint”
“Zellers has issued a nationwide clothing recall after a Winnipeg woman complained a children's T-shirt she bought was obscene. Last week, Ashley Simpson purchased an X Games graphic shirt for her four-year-old. Simpson admits she didn't read the smaller grey-on-black words on the shirt until she got it home: references to tossing eggs at transsexuals and the phrase "What the f—k?" "I showed it to a couple of people. They thought I was kidding. How could you have this on a kids' rack?" said Simpson. X Games Clothing is produced by ESPN Consumer Products, which is owned by Disney.”
9-14-10: The News (Poland): "Transgender marriage sparks debate on same sex unions":
"Poland saw it’s first female-female wedding at the weekend: except that one of the women involved was legally a man. Ania, a transgendered female married Greta, a lesbian. But as a transgendered person in Poland is legally defined by their original gender, the marriage between the couple was that of a man and a woman.
Nevertheless, the union has been heralded by sexual minority activists as ground breaking in Poland. But as Magdalena Jensen reports, many conservatives are outraged, though both sides say the law should be cleared up in Poland on this issue."
9-14-10: Reuters (re Nepal): "Nepal detains activists seeking transgender identification"
"More than 70 gay rights activists were detained in the Nepali capital on Tuesday in a crackdown on a rally to demand government identification papers for transgender people, police and activists said.
Nepali men and women who identify themselves as transgender are seeking citizenship certificates with their gender marked as "third sex" instead of male or female."
9-13-10: GLAAD (re Puerto Rico): "Two Transgender Women Found Murdered in Puerto Rico"
women were found murdered in Puerto Rico on Monday, reports El Nuevo Dia.
According to the media outlet, local police discovered the bodies of two individuals “dressed in women’s clothes” along Highway 512 in Juana Diaz with bullet wounds to the head.
Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian task Force urged the Puerto Rican authorities to investigate the deaths as hate crimes, according to Edge."
9-13-10: Bikyamasr.com (re Honduras): "Honduras: Police officer sentenced for stabbing transgender sex worker"
"TEGUCIGALPA: The conviction of an off-duty police officer for a stabbing attack on a transgender woman is a major victory for justice and equal rights in Honduras, Human Rights Watch and Red Lésbica Cattrachas, a Honduran lesbian rights organization, said today. The two organizations attended the trial as observers.
On September 9, 2010, a three-judge bench sentenced the police officer, Amado Rodriguez Borjas, to 10 to 13 years in prison for his role in the attack. Nohelia, the transgender woman, was abducted and stabbed 17 times on December 18, 2008. It is the first conviction of a police officer in Honduras since 2003 for a crime against a transgender person, even though police abuse is common."
9-12-10: RT (Russia re Georgia): "Georgian transgender feel unwelcome at home"
"Sexual minorities in Georgia are accusing the government and the Orthodox church of persecuting them. They want their life choices to be accepted instead of being labeled a sin or disease."
9-12-10: Daily Star (UK): "‘Suicidal’ Nadia Almada angers Big Brother bosses"
"The suicidal Portuguese transsexual, 33, was rushed to hospital last week after being found slumped in the bathroom of her Surrey council flat following a suspected overdose. The sex-swap star’s cry for help came less than a week after her emotional eviction from the Ultimate Big Brother house, when she was booed by the crowd.
“The bosses are infuriated by Nadia. “No one doubts she was upset when she was booed on leaving the show. “But there are suspicions about the nature of the publicity surrounding her suicide attempt.”"
9-11-10: Oxford Mail (UK): "‘Sex-change op rescued my life’ says Oxford woman"
"“I believe Oxford’s diversity means you have more chance of going through the transition and retaining your profession. We have transsexual GPs, lecturers, all sorts of people . . .
“People who know me, don’t know me as Gina the transsexual but just as Gina, a woman who likes to live life to the full and takes whatever it is thrown at her with a smile. “I just want to get on with life and maybe spread a little happiness too.””
9-11-10: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal: "Transphobia and mean streets"
"On May 7, 2010, Chanel (Dana) Larkin, 26, was fatally shot in the head by Andrew Olaciregui, 28, who had met her on a Milwaukee street and asked her to engage in a sexual act. Olaciregui pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide in the case on Aug. 31, according to the state's online court database. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
Although commercial sex work is a notoriously dangerous profession, it would be a mistake to dismiss this death so simply. For Larkin also belonged to another demographic group with an outrageously high early fatality rate: She was an African-American transgender woman."
9-09-10: The European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights (Europe; posted 9-03): "Summary of transgender rights conference at the European Parliament"
"On the 1st September 2010, the conference (Trans)Gender Equality? was co-hosted by the Greens/EFA Group and the Intergroup on LGBT Rights in the European Parliament. Watch the video summary below, and download the presentations from the day!"
9-08-10: Curtis Hinkle e-mail to Monica Roberts (published with Curtis' permission): "Subject: Urgent concerning Ariana Davis"
"Dear Monica, I am writing to let you know that I have been informed that Ariana Davis has posted information about me which makes it appear that I am a board member of the GIDC. I have never been aware of such a position. I simply joined an email group and then agreed that OII (Organisation Intersex International) supported the goals of the GIDC, which we do, i.e., the depathologization of transsexuality and transgenderism. I have heard nothing from Ariana in over a year, maybe longer, and she is no longer associated with OII. I am very concerned about the situation that has developed and wished to inform you that OII is in no way associated with it. Kindest regards, Curtis"
[We suspect that photos of other supposed GIEC/GIDC "Board Members" were also just posted without their knowledge or permission.]
[Shortly after the posting of this news update, the GIEC board member photo-page was taken down and a new photo-page entitled "Board and Advisors" was added to the site (at a new URL). That page did not contain a number of photos that had been in the earlier page, such as photos of Curtis Hinkle and Wal Torres.]
9-08-10: Transgriot.blogspot (posted 9-07): "Gender Identity Empowerment Coalition Questions", by Monica Roberts
"Arianna Kitti Davis has had a seemingly meteoric rise in the last two months as the head of the Gender Identity Empowerment Coalition . . . But it's the interesting and eyebrow raising claims made over the last two months that have people in the trans community talking . . .
If GIEC, Gen ID or whatever its name is claims it is doing all this dizzying array of work on behalf of the trans community, it's show and prove time. Where is your Board of Directors, pictures of it, or even a photo of aboard meeting? Video of your food giveaway? Protests you've conducted? Your VP named Katerina G. du Lac?
If you're legit, prove it. It's not just the TransGriot asking questions, inquiring minds in the national trans community and the trans leadership ranks want to know if you are as well."
9-08-10: TheNikkiAraguz.Blogspot (posted 9-04): "Nikki Araguz - Possible Methods for Avoiding a Legal Battle Like Hers"
"While it may not be entirely possible for transsexual and intersex people to prevent or avoid the sort of legal calamity that currently consumes Nikki Araguz's life, there are steps that people can take that may help. What follows are descriptions of some of the various ways in which transsexual and intersex people may be able to protect themselves from the sort of real life legal and media onslaught that Nikki Araguz currently faces. The topics covered include: identity documents, estate planning, jurisdictional choices, and other defensive legal protections."
[A must-read page. Contains vital information for all trans and intersex people.]
9-08-10: TGEU (Europe): "Invitation to the Third European Transgender Council 30.Sept - 03. Oct 2010 in Malmo, Sweden" (PDF of invitation; more information; program)
"Since our last Council 2008 in Berlin, significant developments have evolved all over Europe: The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe published his visionary Issue Paper “Human Rights and Gender Identity”; France announced that it would be the first European country to take steps to de-pathologize Gender Identity Disorder - GID; in the mean time Turkish trans people keep on being exposed to a brutal series of hate crimes, with at least 8 murdered in the last few months.
The European transgender movement has seen incredible growth and is strongly connected with its international counterparts. It is time, to take stock of recent developments and think together about how to maximize human rights for ALL trans people in Europe. We must make our cause inclusive, to ensure that rights and respect are not given to the few. We must not accidentally or greedily exclude the more invisible members of our community.
So, we are delighted to invite you to the Third European Transgender Council 2010. This year’s council will be held in Malmo in Sweden from Thursday evening, September 30th till Sunday afternoon, October 3rd. So save the date and join us in Sweden for the biggest European forum for transgender rights and activism!"
9-08-10: Monstersandcritics.com (re Egypt): "Egyptian transsexual battles to become a doctor (Feature)"
"Though having lived as a woman for over 20 years, and married to three men over the decades, Mursi was born male in 1962. At the age of 26, after years of emotional turmoil, she boldly underwent a sex change operation in conservative Egypt.
The 48-year-old now wants to complete a medical degree and help others struggling with similar issues. But, like many aspects of her life, finishing her studies is proving to be an ordeal, and one Mursi is now taking to the African Court on Human and People's Rights. "
9-07-10: SheWired.com: "Legalize Trans Campaign Kicks Off"
"A new public education campaign, Legalize Trans, has launched with the goal of drawing increased attention to transgender people and their issues. The campaign, created by activists Asher Kolieboi and Brian Murphy, is selling T-shirts, buttons, and other merchandise bearing the message “Legalize Trans,” a response to what they see as a lack of trans inclusion in American Apparel’s Legalize Gay campaign and in the gay rights movement generally"
9-07-10: Huffington Post: "Why Bathrooms Are a Civil Rights Issue"
" . . . when an employer forces a male-to-female transsexual employee to use a male bathroom, that should be deemed illegal discrimination, in the same way that it is now settled law that an employer illegally discriminates when it designates bathroom use according to race, or does not provide equal bathroom facilities for women, or does not make bathrooms accessible to employees with disabilities."
9-06-10: NPR: "Becoming Miles"
"Megan Taylor grew up feeling she was living in the wrong body. In her 20s, she decided to do something about it. First, she changed her name to Miles. Miles began taking testosterone, scheduled a double mastectomy — part of sex reassignment surgery — and began changing his body into one that felt right. The hardest part was telling his parents.
Through it all, he kept an audio diary."
9-06-10: Institute for Conflict Research (Northern Ireland; publ. 5-10): "“The Luck of the Draw” A Report on the Experiences of Trans Individuals Reporting Hate Incidents in Northern Ireland", by Ruari-Santiago McBride and Ulf Hansson (PDF; 1.0 mb)
"This is the first report to study transphobic hate incidents in Northern Ireland, the effect such incidents have on trans individuals and the issues that might constrain trans persons from reporting such incidents to the PSNI. The core focus of the report has been to give a voice to the views, opinions and experiences of trans individuals in relation to hate crime and the way in which experiencing a transphobic incident impacts one's perception of safety and also one's emotional, physical and psychological well-being. In line with this ICR sought to discover the experiences of trans individuals in reporting transphobic incidents to the PSNI, and to what extent past interactions with the police affected trans persons' confidence in reporting an incident in the future."
9-06-10: Asia Sentinel (re Thailand): "Now You See It, Now You Don't: Thai Sex Changes"
"In Bangkok, making yourself into what you want to be takes on a whole new meaning. Making an outie into an innie has long been a hallmark of Thailand's thriving sex change industry, but doing the opposite – making a woman into a man – is difficult and it will cost about US$12,000 an inch, at least for the first inch, says Thailand's most famous transgender surgeon."
9-06-10: ABC News (Australia): "Assigning a gender to be appealed"
"Two transgender people who lost the right to be considered male will appeal against the decision in the High Court. Last year, the two, who were born female, won the right to be legally considered male even though they had not undergone surgery to remove their reproductive organs. The state's Attorney General appealed against the decision, arguing it could mean a person could be legally male but still bear children. The Court of Appeal said fertility would not prevent them being considered men but they were precluded because they did not have male genitals . . .
AH says the decision means the only way for transgenders to be considered male is genital surgery which can cost up to $100,000. "It's surgery that has a pretty poor surgical result for a huge amount of money and a big chunk of your life missing," he said . . . "Very expensive, very dangerous and not actually available in Australia so they've come up with a decision that sets the bar so high that I'm not sure that any trans-men in Australia are actually able to achieve it. "The reality is that it's just not feasible.""
9-03-10: IPS News (re Cuba): ""I Fought for This, But Not Just to Be a Housewife" (more)
"Mavi Susel, the first transsexual in Cuba to undergo sex reassignment surgery, back in 1988, has found herself trapped in the traditionally assigned gender role of a housewife. "She is a woman imprisoned in that gender role," Marilyn Solaya, the Cuban filmmaker who made the documentary "En el cuerpo equivocado" (In the Wrong Body), told the press.
The story of Susel, who underwent gender reassignment surgery on May 22, 1988, goes beyond the "complex and, above all, necessary" issue of transsexualism, to explore "the construction of gender" and the prevalence of the traditional role of women in Cuba, Solaya said.
"After Mavi showed herself so capable of standing up to society, she ran up against her limits. She became the woman she always wanted to be, that she learned to be, that society has taught her to be: traditional and domestic," Danae Diéguez, an expert on gender and filmmaking, told IPS. According to Diéguez, who says the documentary is bound to trigger controversy and debate in Cuban society, the gender role aspect "should also be discussed.""
9-02-10: PrideSource: "Michigan: GOP sec. of state candidate takes hard right turn on LGBT issues"
"Republican candidate for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has issued a statement denying support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people . . . In a move meant to match the political stance of opponent Rep. Paul Scott of Genesee County, Johnson also issued a statement saying, "I do not support allowing people to change their gender on their license as a result of surgery or lifestyle."
Anti-gay forces are celebrating Johnson's voiced position on the issue. "In an era of identity theft and national security concerns, we're glad that Ruth Johnson has now joined Rep. Paul Scott in expressly stating her opposition to the Secretary of State policy of allowing men to falsely identify themselves as female on their state-issued driver's license, and vice versa," said Campaign for Michigan Families chairman Gary Glenn.
"The people of Michigan should at minimum be able to trust their state government to tell the truth, not enable certain individuals' psychological and emotional delusions by officially and legally identifying them as something they biologically are not . . . ""
9-02-10: UPI (re Australia): "Transsexuals not 'men,' Aussie court rules"
"A Western Australia court, in a landmark decision, has ruled that transsexual "men" are, in fact, women.
The ruling came on an appeal of gender legislation by Attorney General Christian Porter. The legislation, passed by the Western Australia State Parliament in 1999, permitted the state Gender Reassignment Board to issue a certificate when a person "demonstrates a belief in the gender they have been reassigned," along with other factors, such as receiving counseling.
The appeal prohibits two female-to-male transsexuals from being recognized as men, the West Australian reported Thursday."
[Western Australia takes a huge step backwards, reversing trans recognition legislation.]
9-02-10: The Hindu (India): "Transgender tales", by Akila Kannadasan
"In a novel initiative, at the Kovai Rainbow Film Festival, seven transgenders screened documentaries they had filmed covering issues close to their heart
Seven transgenders cast off their inhibitions and came forward to take on the world as documentary filmmakers. Armed with a camcorder, they made documentary films about issues that touched their hearts. Project Kalki, transgender Kalki Subramaniam's latest initiative gave these women an opportunity to speak out. Kalki and her team were in the city recently to screen seven of their documentary films as part of the Kovai Rainbow Film Festival."
9-02-10: Dallas Voice: "If Nikki Araguz loses, all transgender people in Texas could effectively be de-transitioned" (with video, more)
"In the above video posted on YouTube last week, Cristan Willams of the Houston-based Transgender Foundation of America explains why the Nikki Araguz case is so critical to transgender rights in Texas . . .
And according to Williams, the case isn’t really about death benefits — it’s about the question of whether Araguz is a man or a woman in the eyes of the law. Williams warns that because Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently declined to weigh in on the matter, instead deferring to the courts, the fate of the state’s entire transgender population may now rest in the hands of a small-town Republican judge in Wharton . . .
“If Nikki loses, you lose your legal status,” Williams says. “It doesn’t matter what your doctor says. It doesn’t matter what your chromosomes say. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re intersexed. It doesn’t matter if your birth certificate says you’re female . . . What will matter is that a small town judge has said that you’re legally male if you’re male-to-female. And that if you’re female to male, well, you’re legally a woman for the rest of eternity. That’s what this case is about … This case is huge. It affects the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands of people.”"
[To follow the legal proceedings in this case, see “The Trial of Nikki Araguz”]
9-01-10: The Topeka Capital-Journal: "City can't define 'gender
When Manhattan (Kansas) city commissioners last week authorized research into adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's list of protected classes, the process hung up on one point. What exactly is "gender identity" and can it be defined for purposes of law? . . .
Larry Hackney, city human resources specialist and liaison to the HRSB, said the city is looking at communities that have implemented similar ordinances, such as Boulder, Colo., and San Francisco, for guidance in formulating a definition of gender identity . . .
Commissioner Bob Strawn is concerned with another definition, though. The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistics Manuel IV defines Gender Identity Disorder as a mental disorder . . . "I feel strongly that we should not codify discrimination by what professionals call a mental disorder," he said."
9-01-10: Psychiatry Research (posted 8-30): "Comparing adult and adolescent transsexuals: An MMPI-2 and MMPI-A study" Annelou L.C. de Vriesa, Baudewijntje P.C. Kreukelsb, Thomas D. Steensmab, Theo A.H. Doreleijersa and Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis
"Contrary to what is often assumed, no differences in psychological functioning were found in the adult transsexuals with regard to sexual orientation, except on one clinical scale. Most remarkably, significantly more adults with GID scored in the clinical range on two or more clinical scales than adolescents with GID. Therefore, early medical intervention may be recommendable for adolescents with GID."
[This research further discredits Blanchard's pronouncements regarding essential etiological and psychological differences between transwomen of differing sexual orientations, and provides further support for early assistance of young transitioners.]
8-31-10: Miami Herald: "Should a parent seek therapy for a child who crosses the gender divide?"
"With celebrity gossip sites buzzing over Angelina Jolie's comment that her 4-year-old daughter, Shiloh, wants to be a boy, and even children's books and popular television shows beginning to tackle the issue, transgender children have taken the media spotlight.
``It's not so much that younger children are exhibiting this behavior,'' said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida the state's largest rights group dedicated to equality to the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual and Transgender community. ``It is something that has already existed. There is just more research and visibility.''"
8-30-10: Sydney Central (Australia): "Transgender Tiwi Islanders the flowers of exhibition at Australian Centre for Photography"
"Photographer Bindi Cole and writer Jirra Lulla Harvey have imortalised the world of Sistagirls, a community of transgender women in the remote Tiwi Islands.
Bindi Cole’s portraits of the Sistagirls and Jirra Lulla Harvey’s accompanying texts tell a moving story about the need to be loved and to belong. Sistagirls speaks to universal human values in a way that transcends cultural differences, offers us a unique insight into a world that on the surface seems so foreign, yet at its heart is so familiar . . .
“I have met some inspirational women in my life, but never before have I met women like the Sistagirls. I felt both grounded by their presence and swept away by their romanticism,” Jirra Lulla Harvey said."
8-30-10: The Art Life (Australia; posted 7-09): "Bindi Cole Sistagirls" (more)
"Senior Melbourne social affairs editor Din Heagney explains that there are few places more remote than the Tiwi Islands for a transgender woman to cut loose in the 21st century....
A half hour flight north of Darwin, the two islands that make up Tiwi (Melville and Bathurst) are better known for producing AFL footballers. The islands are home to a strong Indigenous community of around 2000 people. It’s also very Catholic. This is why it comes as some surprise that the community includes about 50 Indigenous transgender women. They call themselves the Sistagirls and like many women, dream of romance and finding a good man."
[The prevalence of sistagirls in the Tiwi Islands is about 4% to 5% of those born male. I.e., their prevalence is at least 1 in 25.]
8-30-10: Austrian Independent (Austria): "Transsexual allowed to teach"
"Austria’s first transsexual teacher has been given the all clear to work by the education ministry after a sex change operation. The man turned woman named only as Walter S. caused outcry among some parents by informing her students via e-mail at a polytechnic in Vienna-Margareten that she will be a woman when everyone returns for the new term next week."
8-30-10: PR.com (re Canada): "World Renowned Gender Reassignment and Plastic Surgeon Joins Satori World Medical’s Network of Providers"
"Satori World Medical, the leader in medical travel, adds world-renowned gender reassignment and plastic surgeon Pierre Brassard, M.D. to its prestigious network.
Canadian surgeon Brassard brings nearly three decades of experience in plastic surgery and performs more than 200 gender reassignment procedures each year. Known as one of the world’s leading physicians in the field of gender reassignment procedures, Brassard joins Satori World Medical’s physician network to give greater access to patients across the globe . . .
Satori World Medical provides access to its global network of board-certified doctors and worldwide centers of excellence through a high-quality integrated program, which is easily added to any health plan, reducing the costs of surgical procedures by an average of 40-80 percent when compared to the same procedures performed in a U.S. hospital. Its business model is specifically designed to deliver high-quality health care services, share the tremendous cost savings with plan sponsors and their employees and to coordinate all medical and travel services for individuals who need care."
8-29-10: Global Post (re Turkey): "A look inside Istanbul's transsexual brothels" (includes an extensive series of photos)
"Near one of the busiest streets in Istanbul, a row of nondescript houses holds a secret unknown to most foreigners here. The houses are the work place of some of Istanbul's transgender and transsexual sex workers.
Many of these prostitutes have been forced into the trade by lack of employment opportunities. In Turkey, transgender and transsexuals are often discriminated against, and for them, stable work is hard to find.
The women who work in this series of brothels are the lucky ones. They stand in sharp contrast to the thousands of transgendered and transsexual sex workers who are forced to walk the streets of Istanbul. Outside brothels, all prostitutes are vulnerable to police harassment, sexually-transmitted infections and violence."
8-26-10: Juliet Jacques blogspot (UK): "A Transgender Journey: how it came about", by Juliet Jacques
Since the beginning of June 2010, I have been blogging my gender reassignment process for the Guardian website, in a series entitled by the Life & Style section as 'A Transgender Journey'.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that the transitioning process (either male-to-female or female-to-male) has been documented in such a mainstream British publication. To the layperson, The Guardian would seem the most obvious host for such a blog, but the liberal-left newspaper has often had a fractious relationship with the transgender community."
8-27-10: Thanh Nien News (Vietnam): "Rape of transsexual woman stirs legal debate"
"The rape of a transgender woman in the north-central province of Quang Binh has sparked a serious debate among legal professionals after judicial authorities declined to prosecute the three perpetrators.
The German Press Agency dpa quoted officials in the province as saying the victim had not reclassified her legal gender from male to female . . . Because Vietnamese law only applies to the rape of women by men, the case could not be prosecuted, they said . . .
The province ran into problems when the authorities found that all of the victim’s identification documents indicated her gender as male. She said she had undergone a sex change operation overseas four years ago and now, as a woman, she insisted the rapists be punished, the newspaper said."
8-27-10: YNet News (Israel): "Lecturer to return as woman after summer break"
"Many students in one of central Israel's leading universities received an e-mail recently from their favorite lecturer, who informed them that "as of next year I will no longer be Dr. Yoav, but Dr. Ronit (not the real names)."
Dr. Yoav, 45, is a senior, esteemed lecturer and married father. During the summer holiday he began a sex change procedure and will be facing his students as a woman in two months time. He is already addressing himself as a woman. "I am currently calling the students I work with closely to inform them on the matter," she says. "Everyone in my close circle – family, kids and colleagues - already know about it."
Ronit has been working at the university for 10 years. Her employers, she says, have been informed about her plans. "I informed the university several months ago and to my delight they were very supportive," she says. "
8-27-10: People's Daily (China): Male sex chromosome found in Guangdong girl's body"
"Xiaodi, a teenage girl who was found to be physiologically a boy at age 15, received a sex change operation at Zhujiang Hospital in Guangdong yesterday. Xiaodi has white skin, a soft voice and a beautiful appearance. It's hard to image she is a boy. Her father said Xiaodi's genitalia were not so clear and all the family members thought she was a girl when she was born . . .
Last month, Xiaodi and her parent came to Zhujiang Hospital . . . According to tests, Xiaodi does not have a vagina, uterus or ovaries. However, testes were found in her abdominal cavity and her sex chromosome is XY, which indicates she is male. According to Liu Chunxiao, the director of urinary surgery in Zhujiang Hospital, Xiaodi has got a male physiologically sex and a female psychological gender. Her family and her friends also consider her to be a girl.
Finally, Xiaodi decided to be a girl to maintain her socially identified gender."
8-27-10: Daily Record (UK): "Revealed: One in 25 solicitors in Scotland is transsexual, says Law Society"
"One in every 25 solicitors in Scotland is transsexual - according to figures provided by the Law Society.
A study showed that four per cent of their 10,848 members were "currently living and working in the opposite gender assigned to them at birth". That means 432 transgendered lawyers across the country."
[Did somebody slip a decimal point somewhere? Or?]
8-27-10: AsiaOne News (Asia): "Paving the way for sexual rights"
In Indonesia, where heterosexual relationships are considered the norm, discrimination and violence against people with different sexual orientations and gender identities is widespread. However, a movement to bring equal rights irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity by researchers and activists in Asia is gaining ground . . .
The three-day workshop, held at Gadjah Mada University's Centre for Population and Policy Studies (CPPS), and attended by 45 researchers and activists from India, Brazil, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Syria, Egypt, and the Philippines, discussed issues under the theme "Bridging the gap between sexuality research and advocacy for sexual rights" . . . it was the first international meeting to discuss sexuality, including the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual (LGBT) individuals, after the failed International Gay and Lesbian Association conference held in March in Surabaya that was stopped by hard-line religious groups."
8-26-10: The Commerce Appeal: "Former Memphis police officer pleads guilty to beating transgender prisoner" (more, more)
"A former Memphis police officer charged with beating a transgender prisoner in 2008 pleaded guilty Thursday to federal civil rights violations involving bodily injury and agreed to a two-year prison sentence.
Bridges "Sutton" McRae was tried earlier this year, but jurors told the judge they could not reach a unanimous verdict after 20 hours of deliberations. One juror said the vote was 11-1 for guilty. McRae, who was facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts, was scheduled to be retried next month."
8-26-10: The Phom Pen Post (Cambodia): "Celebrity sex change"
"Popy, whose real name is Leang Sothea, is a 28-year-old gay performer who was discovered at what could best be described as a “Who wants to be Cambodia’s next transsexual star?” competition on TV3.
Having spent more than US$2,000 in Cambodia in early 2007 to have the breast surgery which thousands of women pay for throughout the world each year, she needed to go further in her quest for a female body and did not hesitate to spend nearly another $8,000 for a sex-change operation in Thailand in early 2008"
8-26-10: The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Transgender rules on driver's licenses changed”
“The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is changing its policy on how transgender people identify themselves on driver's licenses. The department and Equality Pennsylvania announced a settlement Wednesday that allows people to change the gender on their licenses if they are living full-time in their new gender and it can be verified by a licensed medical or psychological caregiver.
The previous policy only allowed changes in gender for drivers who could prove they had sexual reassignment surgery."
8-26-10: The Star-Press (Muncie, IN): "OUR VIEW: Ball hospital takes right action on tolerance"
"Too seldom, the
words "we're sorry" are absent from the lexicon of executives and public
officials. So it was refreshing to hear Ball Memorial Hospital's President
and CEO Michael Haley and others do the right thing and apologize to Erin
Vaught for the treatment she received during an emergency room visit last
Vaught, a transsexual patient, said she was ridiculed and humiliated by hospital staff when she went to the emergency room for treatment for coughing up blood. She told The Star Press in July she was snickered at and heard staff openly comment, "So, is it a he or a she? Or a he-she?" And that was just the beginning. Definitely humiliating."
8-25-10: NPR (re Uganda): "Finding The Root Of Anti-Gay Sentiment In Uganda"
"Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill was introduced by parliament member David Bahati in October 2009. The bill seeks to eradicate homosexuality from Uganda and become a model for the rest of Africa. Among the proposals in the bill: prison terms for Ugandans who fail to report a homosexual within 24 hours; lifelong prison sentences for a single homosexual act; and the death sentence for a range of acts . . . "It had overwhelming popular support in Uganda. You could hardly imagine a more popular initiative," says investigative journalist Jeff Sharlet . . .
Sharlet accompanied Bahati to a restaurant and later to his home, where Bahati told Sharlet that he wanted "to kill every last gay person. It was a very chilling moment, because I'm sitting there with this man who's talking about his plans for genocide, and has demonstrated over the period of my relationship with him that he's not some back bencher — he's a real rising star in the movement," Sharlet says . . .
And he has connections to American leaders. Sharlet explains that Bahati is one of the Uganda leaders of an American evangelical movement called the Fellowship, or the Family — the secretive fellowship of powerful Christian politicians who wield considerable political influence, both in Washington and abroad. "
8-25-10: The Michigan Messenger: "Johnson takes hard right turn on LGBT issues in GOP primary - Once endorsed by gay rights group, now courting anti-gay vote"
Republican candidate for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson (more) has issued a statement denying support for lesbian, gays, bisexuals and transgender people and disavowing her 2002 endorsement by the statewide gay rights group Triangle PAC.
In a move meant to match the political stance of opponent Rep. Paul Scott of Genesee County, Johnson also issued a statement saying, “No I do not support allowing people to change their gender on their license as a result of surgery or lifestyle”. . .
“In an era of identity theft and national security concerns, we’re glad that Ruth Johnson has now joined Rep. Paul Scott in expressly stating her opposition to the Secretary of State policy of allowing men to falsely identify themselves as female on their state-issued driver’s license, and vice versa,” said Campaign for Michigan Families chairman Gary Glenn . . .“The people of Michigan should at minimum be able to trust their state government to tell the truth, not enable certain individuals’ psychological and emotional delusions by officially and legally identifying them as something they biologically are not . . . ”"
[Right wing politicos are now openly instigating public fear and loathing of gender transitioners here in Michigan, and fanning those flames in order to get elected.]
8-25-10: The Daily Mail (UK): "6ft 3in transsexual 'forced to apologise to colleagues for wearing dress to work ... and then sacked'"
A 6ft 3in transsexual care worker is suing her former employer after claiming she was sacked for turning up for work in a dress. Rachel Millington alleges she was forced to apologise for ‘upsetting’ staff when she changed her name from Andrew and started dressing as a woman. The 24-year-old claims bosses at Housing And Support Solutions Limited terminated her contract without reason just three days after she announced her gender change decision."
8-25-10: Havana Times (Cuba): "In the Wrong Society"
"The story of a sex change is hitting the screens of cinemas across the country. Is she Cuban? Many people wonder about this who don’t know Mavi Sussel, the lead character.
In 1988, after suffering years of humiliation and cruel treatment that pushed her close to suicide, Mavi finally succeeds in getting the Cuban authorities to give her a sex reassignment operation . . .
Marilis and Alejandro, who went to the film’s premier on August 18 at the Chaplin Cinema, said, “It’s a tough story. Sometimes we don’t realize how we make other people suffer, but the question is what right do we have to exclude or not respect others. Who are we? Who gave us that power? I find it great that they’re showing this documentary in cinemas so that people can understand for once and for all that we’re not gods who can decide the fate of other people.”"
8-25-10: The Guardian (UK): "'No wonder many transsexual people end up in sex work'", by Juliet Jacques (Article in the series "A transgender journey")
"Despite the protection of the Sex Discrimination Act, transgender people often face unfair treatment in the workplace. Juliet Jacques thinks she has been luckier than most . . .
Although the law allows recourse against this, it's unsurprising that some people feel too worn down . . . Perhaps this is why, according to a Count Me In Too survey, 26% of trans people in Brighton and Hove are unemployed (with a further 60% earning less than £10,000 per year) . . . Given these difficulties, as well as the fetishisation of the pre-operative male-to-female body, it's unsurprising that many transsexual people have found themselves in sex work - one of the few vocations where supply and demand operates to our financial advantage"
8-23-10: Edge Boston: "Catholic & Transexual: One Woman’s Confession"
"A Catholic blogger (Mary Cochran) has taken on the question of transgendered individuals and their rights and needs in a two-part column at religious site Catholic Exchange . . .
"The Church does not accept that you have ’become a woman’ regardless of your ability to pass as one, either by demeanor, dress, physique, or external anatomy," Kochan continued. "If you ever were really a man, then you still are, regardless of what you have done to yourself. It is not my ’absolute views on your status as a male’--it is the Church that says it."
Added Kochan, "I understand that you were in distress even to the point of your health being wrecked and I’m not in any way making light of that. But objectively speaking, what you proposed and carried out as a remedy to your distress was the breaking of God’s law that says that you may not mutilate your body." Continued Kochan, "It is better to die than to offend God. It would have been better for you to have given your life to stay in obedience to God, than to break His law . . . "
8-23-10: Daily News Egypt (Egypt): "EIPR takes case of a man who underwent sex change surgery to African Court"
"The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said it will take the case of Azhar student Sally Abdallah who had undergone a sex reassignment surgery, to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights with the Egyptian government as its adversary.
The Administrative Court has ruled in Abdullah’s favor, ordering Al-Azhar University to enroll her in the women’s school of medicine, instead of the men’s school in which she was registered before the surgery. Al-Azhar has refused to comply with the court order."
8-23-10: Gaelick (Ireland): "Gender recognition – let’s get it right"
"In June of this year, the Irish Government withdrew its appeal against the 2007 High Court decision, which ruled that not allowing Dr. Lydia Foy to change her birth certificate was in breech of her human rights. To comply with this judgement, the government are currently in the process of introducing legislation allowing Trans* individuals to obtain Gender Recognition Certificates (GRC); legally recognising their gender identity."
8-23-10: Washington Post: "Choices in Montgomery"
"The following candidates, identified in bold type, are our choices in contested primaries, which will be held Sept. 14 . . .
DISTRICT 18: . . . Two strong challengers are worthy of support: Dana Beyer, a retired physician and former aide to County Council member Duchy Trachtenberg; and Vanessa Atterbeary, an attorney who serves on the Montgomery County Commission for Women. Both are Purple Line supporters who are better attuned to the district's mix of affluent and working-class residents."
[The Washington Post endorses transwoman Dana Beyer for the Maryland State legislature.]
8-22-10: The Telegraph (UK): "April Ashley interview: Britain's first transsexual"
"Britain's first transsexual April Ashley has led a jet-setting life crammed with glamour, excitement and legions of besotted men, most of them famous."
8-22-10: The Hindu (India): "To some, love is unjust"
"“Our love is in the dark. It is never acknowledged. We, as a community are seeking equality in love,” said Kalki Subramanian. Kalki is a transgender rights activist and founder of Sahodari, an organization that works for transgender empowerment. Kalki recently spearheaded a discussion on Love and Equality for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people) as part of the Kovai Rainbow Festival.
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…' goes a verse from the Bible. But for most transgenders, love has been most unkind. “Ninety five per cent of transsexual women are below poverty line and are hence forced to beg in the streets. Some also involve in prostitution, which shows that men are attracted to us. But when it comes to marriage and commitment, we are turned down for fear of society's scorn,” she added.
“We too are attracted to men, just as any woman would be. We will be dedicated to a man who loves us, more than anything else in the world, for such acceptance is rare for people like us. "
8-21-10: Boing Boing (posted 8-16): "Canadian 'peter meter' youth program halted; tester charged with sexual assault", by Andrea James
"Canada has had a long, hard fixation with catching people getting aroused over things Canadian "experts" consider mental illnesses. One program in the mid-20th century, nicknamed the "fruit machine," led to over 9,000 Canadian citizens being investigated as suspected homosexuals, with some even being tested and drummed out of government jobs. In the wake of the fruit machine program, the fine folks at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health developed and still promote penile plethysmography (PPG). The device, nicknamed a peter meter, is supposedly a lie detector for male genitalia . . .
PPG evangelists have fanned across North America, using their device in all kinds of questionable ways for decades. Then a 2009 article, ironically published in the journal Sexual Abuse, reported on the long-running practice of hooking up penile plethysmographs to minors charged with sex offenses in British Columbia. That got the attention of civil rights groups. The sexual assault arrest of one of the testers was the last straw for local lawmakers, who finally pulled the plug on the abusive plethysmograph for kids program.
The current guy in charge of Sexual Abuse is, unsurprisingly, a CAMH employee, so he is a huge proponent of penile plethysmography. In fact, you can often find him on Wikipedia altering articles on sexuality to promote theories and devices his coworkers developed via the CAMH Phallometry Lab (an actual tax-funded Toronto lab). Anyone interested in measuring penises should consider an internship or even a career as a Canadian psychologist. Perhaps you can even be part of history by developing the next-gen fruit machine or peter meter..."
8-19-10: LA Weekly: "Mike Penner, Christine Daniels: A Tragic Love Story", by Steve Friess (print version)
"The L.A. Times sports journalist lived most of his life wanting to be a woman. He discovered too late that he wanted his wife even more . . .
De-transitioning is so unusual that there are no solid data about it. Psychiatrists who treat transgender people say it happens in less than 5 percent of cases. Transgender activists say "going back" is inaccurate. People who choose to abandon transition are simply giving in to overwhelming stress and grief over what they lost from their previous life.
Certainly Penner's decision to stop taking the feminizing hormones played a role in his deteriorating life, but the extent can't be known. No studies have been conducted to determine whether withdrawal from the hormones can cause depression, but mental-health professionals who work with transgender people say patients who have stopped taking the drugs report feelings of distress.
"When they start taking hormones, they begin to express changes in their psyche — they're more able to focus, more able to feel empathy, concern for others," says Antioco Carrillo, a counselor with many transgender clients at the nonprofit Community Counseling Center in Las Vegas. "Once they go through the process, when they have stopped it, they go back to being depressed because it contradicts what they experienced. I don't know if it's the medication, but it is about the worldview."
Bowers believes Penner put one foot in the grave by abandoning the transition. "If we had done surgery, it probably would have saved her life. Now she died as an unhappy soul who never got a chance to align her body and soul, and that's the greatest tragedy about her.""
8-19-10: The Isthmus: "Madison's drag queens create the perfect roles for themselves"
"While many downtown venues struggle to pull a crowd on a Sunday night, Club 5's Sunday drag events lure folks from Madison and beyond into a cave of illusion, intrigue and outfits that range from freaky to fabulous. The dance floor transforms into a runway where you might see Marilyn Monroe, Scary Spice or Gaga's doppelgänger, plus lots of new and alluring characters who get fans cheering, dancing and tossing dollar bills onto the stage. "
8-18-10: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand): "Ex-MP heads for dole queue"
"An aborted mayoral bid has cost Georgina Beyer her job and savings, and with no planned work she is heading for the dole queue . . . The 52-year-old's mayoral aspirations crumbled when a Taiwanese friend who was to finance her campaign unexpectedly died two weeks ago. She may leave Wairarapa to seek work, but in the meantime she is applying for welfare . . . "It's an awful feeling that the only thing you're skilled at doing is politics and other than that arena, it's not really required anywhere else.""
8-17-10: Chicago Tribune: "When kids cross the gender divide"
"Often called gender variant or gender nonconforming, this pattern of behavior is still officially (and controversially) labeled childhood gender identity disorder by the American Psychiatric Association . . . Gender-variant behavior in children usually begins between ages 2 and 4, according to Ken Zucker, a psychologist and head of the Gender Identity Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. The behavior is pronounced, broad in scope and continues over a lengthy period of time.
"We're not talking about transient, episodic behaviors," Zucker says. "Many children will engage in some cross-gender behavior or gender nonconforming behavior, but I think it's really the combination and the persistence that co-occurs with the child verbalizing the wish to be of the other sex that leads parents to want to get the opinion of the professional.""
[It's amazing how often Zucker gets such media help in publicizing his reparatist therapy - which he claims can "cure" gender variance in children.]
8-17-10: Pravda (Russia): "Transsexual Stylist Raped Soon After Sex-Change Surgery in Moscow"
"The Moscow police are looking for perpetrators who sexually abused a stylist from Central Asia. The victim, a transsexual individual, arrived in Moscow for sex-change surgery and was abused soon after he became a woman.
A well-known transsexual stylist from the republic of Kyrgyzstan, who had a sex-change surgery in Moscow, was raped by his two country-fellows, Interfax reports with reference to a source from Moscow law-enforcement agencies."
8-17-10: OII Australia (Australia): "Neo-Eugenics and Its War Against Human Biological Diversity", by Jo Proctor
"NEO-EUGENICS or ‘new eugenics’ is the term given to modern medicine’s rapidly evolving biotechnological ability to identify and terminate a raft of congenital variations at increasingly early stages of fetal development.
On June 30th, OII published an abstract originating from Lille University in France. The paper, published in the Journal of Pediatric Urology – http://www.jpurol.com/article/S1477-5131%2810%2900200-7/abstract – and titled Disorders of Sexual Development Prenatal Diagnosis. 10 Year Experience of the Lille University Hospital Multidisciplinary Prenatal Diagnosis Center, rang alarm bells.
What, we asked ourselves, was the purpose of these trials if not to provide physicians and parents with information leading to the termination of a pregnancy?"
8-17-10: AFP (re Cuba): "Cuba's first transsexual in the spotlight"
"The story of Cuba's first transsexual to undergo gender reassignment surgery is coming to the big screen in a documentary getting its premiere Wednesday on the Communist-ruled island, its director said.
"Mavi Sussel underwent (male-to-female) gender reassignment surgery in 1988 and the documentary is a journey inside this woman, and about the prejudices and problems she has faced, and the questioning of her womanliness," filmmaker Marilyn Solaya said, quoted on the official news agency AIN, ahead of the film's launch Thursday."
8-16-10: The New York Times (posted 8-11): "The Gimlet Eye: Giving Voice to the Once-Silent"
"On Monday, Mr. Mac returned to San Francisco from a trip to New York, where he’d spent a week photographing a series of portraits of transmen for the next issue of Original Plumbing, whose publication will be celebrated on Aug. 27 with a party at the Bell House in Brooklyn featuring a transman rapper known as Black Cracker.
“The No. 1 thing that I find from my experience is that there’s no set way to be a transman,” Mr. Mac said. “Identity is pretty fluid.”
As a young girl growing up outside Philadelphia, Mr. Mac played with both racecars and My Pretty Pony. As recently as two decades ago, he added, in the days before Wikipedia and Craigslist and Google and a little $8 zine called Original Plumbing, there was “not a lot of information out there” for a young girl destined to become a young man. “Now there is,” Mr. Mac said."
8-15-10: Deccan Chronicle (India): "Judges propose transgender law" (more, more, more)
"Legal luminaries, including judges of the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court on Saturday emphasised the need to enact separate laws to protect and uplift the marginalised transgender community. Not one, but all three SC judges, P. Sathasivam, Altamas Kabir and Dhanveer Bhandari, who spoke during the day-long conference ‘Issues Relating to TG Community’ echoed the immediate need for enacting special legislation to protect and uplift transgenders. . . Justice P. Sathasivam said that such legislation would safeguard the interest of transgenders, particularly from harassment about their way of life . . .
Also highlighting the need for anti-discriminatory law for transgenders, Justice Bhandari said that reservation in education at all levels should be provided to transgenders besides introducing programmes to provide them with education and work to ensure their livelihood."
8-15-10: New of the World (UK): "From Hermione to Hermanly for Harry"
"Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe shows off his wizard new best friend - a transsexual singer called Our Lady J. "
8-15-10 (posted 8-11): Out: "Need to Know: Our Lady J"
"The trans singer-songwriter chats about her friendship with Daniel Radcliffe, her music, and her brand-new boobs."
8-15-10: Los Angeles Times: "Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality"
"A prenatal pill for congenital adrenal hyperplasia to prevent ambiguous genitalia may reduce the chance that a female with the disorder will be gay. Critics call it engineering for sexual orientation . . .
The hormonal treatment "theoretically can influence postnatal behavior, not just genital differentiation," said Ken Zucker, psychologist in chief of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, who studies gender identity . . .
"Most clinicians speak about this treatment as ambiguous-genitalia prevention," said Dreger, who co-wrote an editorial about the treatment in a July publication of the Hastings Center, a bioethics organization. "Others suggest that you should prevent homosexuality if you can. But being gay or lesbian is not a disease and should not be treated as such."
[Dreger and Zucker are fanning the flames of this new controversy in order to position themselves as "gay-friendly" in the run-up to the publication of Dreger's fictionalized history book defending their close colleague J. Michael Bailey.]
8-14-10: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "A question of trans pride"
"Passer-by Normand Charbonneau presents flowers to Catherine Desrochers and Marie-Eve Baron (right) in the Gay Village. Baron says trans people have been reluctant in the past to participate in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Allied Pride Parade, but they'll be well represented tomorrow . . .
Desrochers, 26, a website and software designer, said she never felt comfortable in her male body. Between the ages of 10 and 12, she felt an awakening and, although she hit puberty in the 1990s, the Internet didn't offer much guidance. "When I looked all I found was she-males and porn." She eventually found some helpful websites in 2002, including one called tsroadmap. com. The website says, "Transsexual transition is simply a journey. Just like a trip, you decide on your destination, the time you'll need to get there and the money you'll spend.""
8-14-10: The Times of India (India): "For a better half"
"Music tinkles in the background as stilettoed women draped in saris and form-hugging gowns sashay across the lawn. But this is no ordinary beauty contest — the 'women' on stage were born men and the quest for the crown means more than grabbing a trophy; it means being accepted by society for what they are.
"When I began Ms Sahodaran in 1999, it was for gays who like to dress up as women," says Sunil Menon, founder of Sahodaran, a Chennai-based NGO that works with gays. "Now we have many transgender participants. For gay men, the contest is fun, but for transgenders it's about making a statement as they want to be perceived and accepted as women.""
8-13-10: KGET TV: "Transgender accused of three Bakersfield molestations"
"A Bakersfield man, who police say dressed as a woman, is accused of a string of molestations in southwest Bakersfield, two involving teenage boys."
8-13-10: The Sowetan (South Africa) "Sex change woman must get her job back" (more, more)
"Christine Ehlers, a man who became a woman, must be reinstated to the job that she claimed she was unfairly dismissed from, the Labour Court in Johannesburg has ruled. Sales assistant Christine Ehlers was fired after she changed her gender. The company has now been ordered to apologise to her and give her back her job. Judge Ellen Francis ruled that Ehlers must be restored to the same position she had at the time of her dismissal."
8-13-10: NDTV (India) "Reality show of transgenders getting ready"
"For the first time on Indian television, a reality show . . . The main objective of the show is to bring into the mainstream these people who usually hide themselves from society due to various reasons, show Director Moithu Thazham told PTI . . . Various organisations working among transgenders identified talented persons in the community and an audition programme was carried out for more than 200 transsexual persons, he said. The plan was to have 50 episodes of different entertainment items with separate teams of four to five persons, he said."
8-12-10: The Statesman (Austin, Texas): Editorial: "Legislature must straighten out gender confusion"
"Something for Texas legislators' 2011 to-do list: Take another stab at defining which government-issued documents can be presented by marriage license applicants.Seems simple enough, doesn't it? It's not. Buckle up for a bumpy ride through the current confusing situation.Under current law, revised in 2009, marriage license applicants can have officially recognized forms of identification that offer diametrically opposed declarations of gender. That can be a problem because to get married in Texas, couples have to include one of each."
8-12-10: Inside Higher Ed: "Asking More Than Male or Female"
"The Common Application (a college application form that is available on-line) is considering adding voluntary questions about applicants' sexual orientation and gender identity. The application is used by hundreds of colleges and universities -- including many of the most competitive.
The current norm in higher education is not to ask such questions, even on a voluntary basis. But with more students coming out in high school, and with some colleges explicitly taking steps to recruit gay applicants, some admissions officers and some advocates for gay students want to encourage colleges to ask the questions.
But the possible switch could be controversial. The Common Application has conducted a nonbinding survey of its members and -- while not releasing results -- has indicated that the membership is split. (The association's board will decide the question.)"
8-12-10: DNA (India): "Transgenders will get Rs400 monthly pension" (more)
"The transgenders’ community in Karnataka has all the reasons to rejoice with the state government announcing that it would address almost all their demands, including the grant of monthly pension to the sexuality minority. The announcement was made after a delegation, led by former minister and Yeshwantpur legislator Shobha Karandlaje, submitted a memorandum to chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday.
“On the lines of monthly pension provided to Devadasis, we will give Rs400 to the transgenders who are above 40 years of age,” announced the chief minister. An official order will be issued soon in this regard. The state government is also contemplating a separate directorate for the transgenders similar to the one in Tamil Nadu, Yeddyurappa said."
8-12-10: The Hindu (India; posted 8-11): "It's about acceptance"
"Some will comment on transgenders. Some will feel sad, when they think about their situation. No one understands the pain when it happens to someone else. That pain can only be felt when it happens in our family or to our close relative . . .
Once the truth is known, they are usually forced to leave the family. They have rights but are not recognised by Indian law. This denies them the right to vote, right to own property, right to marriage, right to claim formal identity through any official document such as passport or driving license . . .
Accessing healthcare, employment and education becomes almost impossible. Even getting movie tickets is difficult for them. In the face of such odds they are forced to earn money in any way they can."
8-12-10: Edge Boston: "Indiana hospital refuses to treat transgender woman"
"When Erin Vaught went to Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Ind., last month, she was coughing up blood and seeking treatment for a lung condition. After reportedly facing ridicule and transphobic remarks-"he-she," "transvestite" and "it"-staff eventually refused to treat her after she waited two hours . . .
According to data Lambda Legal released earlier this year, incidents such as the one that took place at Ball Memorial are far too common-particularly for trans people. In its survey of more than 5,000 respondents, Lambda Legal found 70 percent of trans or gender non-conforming people had experienced discrimination in health care settings-ranging from harsh or abusive language to denial of care due to their gender identity . . .
Further, more than half of trans or gender non-conforming respondents were generally concerned of being mistreated or refused health care. "
8-12-10: XTRA (Canada): "Diagnosing Difference: Timely film challenges gender identity disorder"
"The timely documentary Diagnosing Difference examines the medical community’s ongoing practice of treating people whose gender expression is different from their birth-assigned gender as mental patients suffering from a disorder.
Since 1980, the American Psychological Association (APA) has included “gender identity disorder (GID)” in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) . . . With the APA set to introduce an update to the DSM in 2012 (only the second revision since 1980), pressure is mounting for the section on GID to be removed or heavily revised . . .
One of the key threads of the hour-long doc is that there is no monolithic trans experience or community with clearly defined goals and needs. Each trans person needs to be treated as an individual with unique experiences and desires for their gender expression.
It’s a stunningly obvious conclusion that nonetheless bears repeating for how often it is lost on people obsessed with genital status and normative gender expression."
8-12-10: Longford Leader (Ireland): "Becoming Sandie"
"Sandie (not real name) is a woman in the making, literally. At 55 years of age, this Longford resident has made the brave move of addressing a condition that she has lived with all her life. It is a condition known as Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and it means that Sandie was born into a man's body."
8-11-10: This is Sussex (UK): "Sex change for former Crawley councillor"
"Rianna, who has never been married, is at the start of her two-year "real life experience", during which she will undergo counselling, voice therapy to make her sound more feminine, and finally surgery. She continued: "I have officially changed my name by deed poll and that was one of the best days of my life. "It got to a point where I would feel physically sick when I would have to dress up as a man. "About 18 months ago I realised I could not go on anymore like this. I decided I had to do something about it . . . "I had to accept that I was not a man, I am a woman. Now, I feel the happiest I have ever been.""
8-11-10: The Standard (Hong Kong): "Fears for core values in transgender unions"
"A transsexual is neither a man nor a woman, said a lawyer representing the government in a High Court battle that will decide whether a transgender woman can marry her boyfriend. Monica Carss-Frisk, for the government, said allowing a transgender woman to marry her male lover would fundamentally change traditions in Hong Kong . . .
The barrister said a person who has undergone sex-change surgery is not commonly called a man or a woman, but a transgender."
[This legal argument exposes the terrible danger involved in using the words 'transgender' and 'transsexual' as nouns.]
8-11-10: The Guardian (UK): "'I wanted to become a woman - but did I really want to become Juliet?'" (Part of the series: A transgender journey)
"As part of her transition, Juliet Jacques had to discard her male name and pick a female one. How would this name change affect her family and friends - and herself?"
8-11-10: Hindustan Times (India): "Woman, by choice"
"I enjoy sex like any other normal girl, in fact maybe even better than them,” says Nikkey Chawla, a 24-year-old stylist, when asked whether a transsexual can have a normal sex life. Born a boy, Chawla has recently, and successfully, made the journey to womanhood — the youngest to do so in Delhi.
And though the trend — and societal acceptance — of going for sex-change surgeries increases in the country, doctors still warn of associated complications. “It’s an irreversible process, and honestly, if a person is not satisfied with the results, he would suffer for the rest of his life, hence I would always suggest careful thought before it is opted for,” says Dr Devansh, senior consultant, cosmetic surgeon at Maharaja Agrasen hospital."
8-10-10: BBC News (UK): "Transsexual people comment on their experiences"
"Sarah Brown from Cambridge is often asked inappropriate questions - "I am a transsexual woman, and the one thing that strikes me over and over is the extent to which our lives and medical history seem to be considered public property by all and sundry. I've had complete strangers nonchalantly ask me questions about my genitals, often in the most inappropriate of settings . . . Sometimes I am baffled by the way the minds of non-transsexual people must work - so many of you seem obsessed by genitals!
I think the media must take some of the blame for the shabby way we are treated by society... getting exposed to the same ignorance and prejudice day after day after day can be very, very tiring."
8-10-10: Washington Times: "Born a boy, but fighting for death benefits as widow"
"Shannon Price Minter, legal director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said the national push for gay marriage has unintentionally hurt transgendered people and resulted in cases like this.
"I think it's very unfortunate that, perhaps because of the visibility of lesbian and gay couples seeking marriage, that transgendered people have been caught up in that frame and have been hurt by that and have actually, in some respects, are more vulnerable now than they have been in the past," he said. "I think it's really only in the past few years that we see pretty ugly cases like this coming up because people are, I think, exploiting homophobia.""
8-10-10: Center for American Progress: "Nowhere to Go - Issue Brief on Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness"
"It’s no secret that our nation has an endemic homelessness problem, and many are aware that youth make up a large percentage of homeless Americans. But the fact that a disproportionately large portion of homeless youth comes from the gay and transgender community is not widely known.
These young Americans face far harsher conditions on the streets than their heterosexual peers, and there are very few government programs or charity groups offering the safety nets they need to prevent them from slipping into permanent homelessness. The federal government is largely inactive when it comes to gay and transgender youth homelessness, often turning a blind eye to the discrimination and hostility these youth face in schools, the foster-care system, and federally funded shelters.
Focusing on homeless shelters provides keen insight into the lacking resources and antagonism homeless gay and transgender youth routinely face. Most gay and transgender youth face staff in shelters who either don’t how or refuse to accommodate their needs. This is especially true of many faith-based shelters that receive a substantial chunk of federal allocations to combat youth homelessness . . . "
8-10-10: Slate (posted 8-02): "Disco-Ball Dresses and Spandex - A dispatch from transgender camp for kids"
"Welcome to the guarded world of families with gender-variant kids, where a word like sparkle can move you to tears. Started by a parent support group out of Children's National Medical Center, this year the camp hosted 25 families and was held in a rural retreat a three-hour drive from Chicago. Most of the "Camp I Am" kids will one day end up somewhere in the GLBTQ spectrum—maybe cross-dressers, gender queer, or another term yet to be invented. But if past experience is any indication, the majority of our girly-boys will one day consider themselves straightforwardly gay. For the kids who turn out to be truly born in the wrong body, their parents will continue to wrestle with pronouns, possible hormonal intervention, and possible surgery down the road. In the meantime, many of us have learned to accept ambiguity, "holding all options open," as some supportive therapists say."
8-10-10: Xinhua (China re Hong Kong): "Gender looms large in Hong Kong courtroom"
"A test of wills is underway between a local government seeking to uphold tradition and a couple earnestly pursuing what some might say is anything but against a landscape with some bizarre circumstances. It started on Monday when a Hong Kong court began reviewing a government move to restrict a transgender woman from marrying her male partner in the first such case in the city's legal system."
8-10-10: BBC News (UK): "Have transsexuals become easy targets?"
"Kellie Telesford, Destiny Lauren and Robyn Browne were all murdered A man has been convicted of murdering a transsexual prostitute in north London. Destiny Lauren was one of a number of transgender people to suffer violence, and there are concerns such attacks are on the increase."
8-10-10: The Independent (UK): "Delia (formerly David): 'I was trapped in the wrong body'"
"Public acceptance of transsexuals has never been greater. But for some the issue remains fraught with shame"
8-09-10: Pink News (UK): "Man guilty of killing trans woman Destiny Lauren" (more)
"A 22-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering trans prostitute Destiny Lauren. Leon Fyle, of Catford, denied killing 29-year-old Ms Lauren but was today found guilty of strangling her and stealing her possessions. Investigating officer Detective Inspector Liz Baker of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command said that the victim was killed in a "brutal and pre-meditated" attack."
8-09-10: Houston PBS-TV (posted 8-06): "Intersex and the Case of Nikki Araguz" (26:47 video)
"Firefighter Thomas Araguz died in the line of duty on July 4th, but attention shifted from a fallen hero to his grieving widow Nikki. Who was this person, the Araguz family asked, and was she really a woman? If not - would the marriage still be valid? Who would get his pension? These questions prompted us to look deeper – how do we assign “sex” to the approximately 1 out of every 100 children born each year who differ from the standard “Male” or “Female”? How do we define marriage, and those eligible in the state of Texas? And when the rulings come down in the Araguz case – what will that do to our definition of “Man and Wife”?"
8-09-10: New Mexico Independent: "Drivers license gender change easier for New Mexico’s transgender people"
"The New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division in July established a new form to help facilitate changing a person’s gender designation on a drivers license. In doing so, the MVD clarified that gender surgery is not a requirement for a person seeking to change their gender. All that is required is the signature of a medical provider or clinician, stating their opinion that the person will not change their gender again in the foreseeable future.
The new procedure was deemed necessary because while the MVD has seen a gradual increase in the number of transgender people requesting the change, there has been no consistency across offices about how to handle the request. “It made sense to standardize the process so there are clear directions for our staff on how to handle these requests,” Ortiz said."
8-08-10: Dayton Daily News: "Case of woman posing as boy clouded by gender identity, age"
"Warren County prosecutors searching Ohio law for felonies to file against Patricia Dye found a charge for rapists who pretend to be someone’s husband to lure their victims. But the search failed to find any felony fitting the unique facts in the case of the 31-year-old Franklin woman accused of pretending to be a boy named Matt to help build sexual relationships with teenage girls in Springboro and Middletown."
8-08-10: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (posted 8-06): "Transgender employee rehired but won't be working"
"Vandy Beth Glenn has her job back -- with salary, benefits and seniority -- but she won't be returning to work. An agreement reached Friday mandates the reinstatement of the transgender legislative editor for the Georgia General Assembly, fired nearly thee years ago after disclosing she was transitioning from a man. But Glenn's employer preferred she earn her paycheck from home, arguing that her presence in the office would be disruptive. Though she won't be working, Glenn will be fully compensated."
[This is a really strange outcome . . . ]
8-08-10: AFP (re Hong Kong): "Hong Kong transsexual launches court bid" (more, more)
"A Hong Kong transsexual has launched a landmark court challenge to win the right to marry her boyfriend after city officials blocked the move, a report said Sunday. The Chinese woman in her 20s -- who was born a man -- was denied the right to marry her male partner by Hong Kong's Registrar of Marriages last year because her birth certificate still identified her as a man, the Sunday Morning Post said. Changing gender on a birth certificate is not permitted under Hong Kong law which technically meant the woman could only marry another woman, the Post said, adding that same-sex marriages are also banned in the city."
8-07-10: New York Daily News: "Enraged lover attacks man who was about to receive sex act from transgender partner"
"A sexual tryst turned violent early Friday when a man used a corrosive liquid to douse another man he caught with his transgender lover, police said. Ruben Olivares, 37, walked into his upper East Side home only to catch his 19-year-old flame about to perform a sex act on Antonio Lara, police and the victim said. The jilted lover - a porter who works in the building - splashed Lara, 29, with the liquid, which investigators believe to be hydrochloric acid, and high-tailed it away from the scene, cops said."
8-06-10: Muncie Star Press: "Ball Memorial addresses transgender complaints"
"Ball Memorial Hospital president Mike Haley says the recent allegations that a transsexual woman was mistreated in their emergency room "concerns us deeply and gave us pause."
In a statement released by the hospital on Wednesday, Haley said the hospital will now work with two advocacy groups -- Indiana Equality and Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance -- to review "BMH care policies, employee benefits and diversity training.""
8-06-10: NDTV (India): "'My driver's license refers to me as woman who was man'"
""To get my license under the name of Revathi, I had to go through all this. It was exhausting, and worse, what ought to have cost me a hundred fifty rupees set me back by two thousand rupees," she says . . . However, after a prolonged battle for gender identity, her ration card and passport now recognises her to be a woman.
"Don't we want all those rights that are granted to other citizens: the right to have a ration card, to hold property, the right to work, to marry, adopt or raise a child," she writes in the book sharing her treacherous emotional journey seeking a life of dignity and fulfillment.
Recounting her teenage days of bewilderment arising from gender non-conformity, she says, "Why did I love men? Was I mad? Was I the only one who felt this way? Or were there others like me, elsewhere in the world? . . . I had to live in the midst of people who did not understand me. I wondered if there would ever be someone who understands me," says Revathi "
8-05-10 (posted 7-01): Hurriet Daily News (Turkey): "Turkish Supreme Court recognizes woman's sex-change operation"
"The Supreme Court of Appeals has urged a lower court to recognize the new identity of a Turkish person who underwent a sex-change operation in Germany and became a woman . . . The person, a Turkish citizen, later acquired German citizenship and became a woman while in Germany . . .
Her new gender and name was recognized in Germany, so she applied to a Turkish court citing the German court’s decision, demanding Turkey similarly recognize the change in status. The local Turkish court, however, rejected the demand on the grounds that the gender-change operation was not conducted in accordance with the relevant procedures stipulated by Turkish law.
The woman then applied to the Supreme Court of Appeals, which ruled that although Turkish legal procedure was not followed in the case, the individual’s demand that her new identity be recognized did not constitute a breach of Turkish public order"
8-05-10: San Francisco Chronicle: "Prop. 8 judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban" (more, more, more)
"When a judge struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, he handed gay rights advocates a historic and invigorating victory, but also a temporary one in a long fight that may be heading toward a showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court."
8-05-10: USA Today: "Prop 8 judge to religious believers: It's not about you"
"The ruling overturning Proposition 8 -- the ban on gay marriage in California -- is a fascinating document. If you have 20 minutes (you might skip some legalese) to read the ruling you will find Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's portrait of 21st century marriage will, depending on where you start, cheer or horrify you.
But since F&R focuses on religion, I'll zero in on the relevant quotes in Walker's ruling that address the interests of religious institutions, clergy and believers. You could summarize it pretty quickly, Walker seems to be saying, "'Believers, it's not about you.""
8-04-10: Jewish World (Israel): "Gender identity sought between pages of Gemara"
"Questions raised about G.'s gender identity shared only with God. 'Only He was there,' says G. Today, as Orthodox woman, G. says proudly, 'It's possible to be transgender and religious' . . .
"I am in contact with Orthodox rabbis," she said. "When you speak with them one-on-one, when you are the son of the religious neighbor they know – all of a sudden their minds open up. It's nice. But in their declarations to the outside world, the whole issue of transgenders and homosexuals greatly scares them. This is why I always say that the sought-after change in the relationship with us will come only from within the community, from education.""
8-04-10: The Advocate: "Man Kills Baby Boy for "Acting Like Girl""
"According to WPIX-TV, suspect Pedro Jones, 20, of South Hampton has been charged with first-degree manslaughter for hitting Roy A. Jones so hard with his fists that the infant went into cardiac arrest and died at a local hospital. Police say Jones said he was “trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl.”"
8-04-10: BBC News (re Sudan): "Cross-dressing men flogged in Sudan for being 'womanly'"
"A group of young Muslim men have been publicly flogged in Sudan after they were convicted of wearing women's clothes and make-up. The court said the 19 men had broken Sudan's strict public morality codes. Police arrested them at a party where they were found dancing "in a womanly fashion", the judge said. The men were not represented in court and said nothing in their defence, some hid their faces from the hundreds of people who watched as they were lashed."
8-04-10: The Georgia Voice (posted 8-03): "Judge orders trans woman reinstated to job at Ga. General Assembly"
"Vandy Beth Glenn took a step closer to vindication today when a federal judge ordered the Georgia General Assembly to reinstate her to her previous job as a legislative editor. Glenn was fired in 2007 after disclosing her plan to transition from male to female.
"I’ve always know we were in the right," a tearful Glenn said in an interview in the courtroom after the hearing. "This is our time. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are no longer disposable. We can’t be thrown out with the trash and this decision affirms that."
Today's hearing came after the court ruled ruled July 2 that the Georgia General Assembly illegally discriminated against Glenn when Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby fired her for being transgender.
Lambda Legal attorney Greg Nevins, who represents Glenn, said . . . "She's a tremendous fighter. I think she's put a great face on discrimination for trans folks . . . This has been very rough and she's shown tremendous courage. It will be a great moment when she goes back to work.""
8-04-10: The Telegraph (UK): "Transsexual escapes jail sentence for spying campaign" (more, more)
"A transsexual woman who was convicted of waging a creepy five-year spying campaign against her neighbour has escaped jail - after a judge decided that it would be too dangerous for her."
8-04-10: Pink News (UK): "Trans man Thomas Beatie gives birth to third child"
"Thomas Beatie has given birth to his third child, reports say. Mr Beatie, who was born female, had his first child in 2008 because his wife Nancy was unable to conceive. He kept his female reproductive organs after transitioning to become a man ten years ago. The latest addition to the Oregon-based family has not yet been named but is thought to have been born on July 25th."
8-03-10: AhkuaShow (Singapore and NYC): "Ah Kua Show Poster Unveiled – Coming Soon at FringeNYC" (poster, tickets)
"Ah Kua Show, Opening at 4:30 pm on Saturday, 21 Aug 10 . . . at The Club @ LA MAMA . . .
Three transgender women from Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia bare their sould at FringsNYC (www.fingenyc.org) . . .
The Ah Kua Show, a stage adapation of Leona Lo’s autobiography, From Leonard to Leona, A Singapore Transsexual’s Journey to Womanhood, was first staged in Singapore in August 2009. This year, the play will open at the New York International Fringe Festival in late August 2010."
8-03-10: Houston Chronicle: "Widow offers 'proof' husband knew history - E-mail, witness are presented to back up claim he was aware of her gender surgery" (more)
"The evidence they presented — including an e-mail exchange and a witness statement - proves, they said, that the late Wharton fire captain Thomas Araguz III knew that his wife, Nikki Araguz, had undergone gender reassignment surgery after being declared a boy on her birth certificate and after being diagnosed with a genetic disorder that kept her from growing into a fully developed man."
8-02-10: Houston Press (posted 7-30): "Nikki Araguz: Lawyer Representing Her Husband's Ex-Wife Faces State Bar Investigation"
"The case of whether a fallen Wharton firefighter's benefits should go to his transgender widow just gets exponentially weirder: Frank Mann, the lawyer representing Thomas Araguz's ex-wife, is facing investigation by the State Bar of Texas's disciplinary office for a possible ethics violation related to an e-mail he sent "outing" the widow, Nikki Araguz, during her mayoral campaign."
8-02-10: San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (re Indiana): "Transgender woman's treatment at hospital bring down wrath of HRC" (more, more)
"The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) today called Ball Memorial Hospital (BMH) in Muncie, Ind., to immediately adopt an LGBT inclusive patient nondiscrimination policy and train all hospital staff on compliance in the wake of a recent incident experienced by a transgender woman who faced degrading treatment at the hospital."
8-02-10: BBC News (UK): "'Gender identity disorder sufferers need better care'"
"Psychiatrists have told Newsbeat that young people with gender identity disorder need better treatment. Sufferers with the disorder are unhappy being the gender they are born as."
8-02-10: Vogue: "Transgender Givenchy" (with photo gallery) (more)
"Givenchy model face Lea T is undergoing hormone replacement therapy ahead of a full sex change. Born Leandro Cerezo, the 28-year-old stars in the label's new campaign alongside top models. "She's a true goddess," said Givenchy's creative director, Riccardo Tisci to WWD. "She's always been very feminine - super-fragile, very aristocratic.""
8-02-10: YouTube (posted 7-27): "Meet Frank Mann III, Opposition Attorney in Nikki Araguz Case"
"Meet Frank Mann, the opposition attorney in Nikki Araguz case unfolding in Whatron, Texas. IMHO, Frank Mann has some problems. I think he's behind an awful lot of the dirty deeds and tactics I covered in one of my previous videos. What do you think?"
[A brilliant piece of investigative work by Cristan Williams of TGA exposes the opposition attorney for what he is. Turns out Frank Mann previously served as Nikki's lawyer, and later released personal private information about Nikki's medical history in order to smear her during her run for mayor of Wharton. Please watch this video carefully and disseminate it widely.]
8-02-10: The Daily Mail (UK): "Adam becomes Alexandra: The WPC who used to be a PC back on the beat"
"For more than six years Constable Adam Smith walked the beat in the seaside towns of North Wales. He earned the respect and admiration of locals, and many were sorry to see him go when he announced he was leaving for a new post. Now the officer is back on the beat, but there is a difference – PC Smith is now a woman. The 31-year-old has undergone gender transition treatment and is working as PC Alexandra Smith, known as Lexie."
8-02-10: This Is Africa - Ghetto Radio (Kenya; posted 6-23): ""Transsexual", "intersex", what's the difference?"
"“Transgender”, “transsexual” and “intersex”, for most Kenyans these words are interchangeable, their meaning blurred, if they mean anything at all. Some refuse to believe transsexuals even exist in Kenya. The Kenyan media doesn’t help much by treating transsexual or intersex-related issues as opportunities for comic relief.
As a result, the task of educating the public rests on the shoulders of a handful of individuals, the most vocal and active of whom is Audrey Mbugua, a transsexual woman, representative of Transgender Education and Advocacy, and member of the Kenya Human Rights Commission."
8-01-10: YouTube (ITN re Bolivia): "Bolivia hosts first Miss Transvestite contest"
"Transvestites have been competing for the title of Miss Transvestite South America in the city of La Paz, Bolivia . . ."
[Unfortunately, the ITN reporter cluelessly refers to latin american travesti as "transvestites" and "gays" in this important story from Bolivia.]
8-01-10: The Pueblo Chieftan: "Trinidad doctor battled hospital - Gender-reassignment operations a high-profile issue, Bowers says"
"Dr. Marci Bowers, one of the premier gender reassignment surgeons in the world, said Thursday she is considering leaving town because of issues she has with Mount San Rafael Hospital and personal issues . . .
Bowers said she is about 90 percent sure that she will leave the town she loves after seven years of service. If she moves it will be to the San Francisco area Oct. 1. "I think I've been pretty open about my frustrations at the hospital here, pretty much since Dr. (Stanley) Biber died.""
8-01-10: The Guardian (UK re Brazil): "Lea T and the loneliness of the fashion world's first transsexual supermodel" (more, photos)
"It was with undisguised glee that, once Leandro had appeared in photoshoots as Lea T, a Rio newspaper's gossip column revealed she was none other than the daughter of soccer hero Toninho Cerezo, the World Cup veteran . . . He had not, the paper said, reacted well to its questions concerning his child's new existence . . .
"In a macho, Latin-American, Catholic culture… [a family's response] is complete denial," Brazilian transsexual Walkiria la Roche . . . said. "We are excluded when we go to primary school, but the first institution that excludes us is our family."
According to Léa, this fact that his young son was different from other boys had not escaped Toninho . . . "When papa came home he would look at me and say there was something wrong with me. In the years to come, everyone started to pray that I was gay. It would have been the lesser evil for a religious family used to rules and type of colonial, rigid way of life," she said. . . .
The enduring difficulties which people incur when they choose to switch sex are all too familiar to Lea. From the every day humiliation of being laughed at by strangers to the disorientating effects of sex change drugs – "I would wander the streets, full of hormones, depressed, with people laughing behind my back" – she is proving to be an eloquent ambassador to what remains a globally marginalised and misunderstood community.
Even now, with her education and privileged background . . . Lea is under no illusions about the emotional challenges that lie ahead —and not only from the intense media interest, which has been relentless since the Givench ads were launched . . ."
7-31-10: The Local (Sweden): "Sex change sterilization 'a dark chapter': Reinfeldt"
"The leaders of Sweden’s seven main parties have expressed support for an amendment to legislation forcing anybody who has a sex change to undergo compulsory sterilization and, if married, to secure a divorce from their partner . . .
Both the Left Party and the Green Party wished to go further and called for an official review to examine the possibility of lowering the age limit, currently set at 18, for those wishing to change sex.
“The current legislation is from 1972, so it’s quite old. In light of the new [gender neutral] marriage law it should be possible to resolve this in a way that doesn’t necessitate divorce.”"
7-30-10: Momento24 (Argentina): "First politician transsexual gets married next Tuesday"
"A transsexual who works as council in Bella Vista, Tucuman, Argentina will marry with the tourism director, becoming the first marriage of a transvestite since the sanction of the homosexual marriage law. Rody Humano is 38 and will marry Juan Carlos Lizarraga, whom she has been living for 10 years. “He’s an excellent companion and is the man I’ve always been waiting for, although sometimes you think that will never come,” said Humano . . . "
7-30-10: Muncie Star Press: "Transgender woman claims she was mistreated by BMH staff" (more, more)
"Erin Vaught went to the emergency room at Ball Memorial Hospital on July 18 expecting treatment for a lung condition that was causing her to cough up blood. What she got, she says, was treatment of a very different kind.
It was early afternoon when, Vaught said, she approached the intake desk with . . . a Ziplock bag filled with blood-soaked tissues. Vaught said that when she supplied the standard information to check in -- including an ID that clearly stated she was female -- she was entered into the computer system as "male."
"I pointed out that my ID says female," she said. "There were two ladies there, and one of them snickered a little bit and covered her mouth. The other got a very annoyed look on her face."
Stares and muttered insults, she said, followed as she was taken into an exam room. At one point, she said a nurse asked her partner, "So is it a he or a she? Or a he-she?"
Vaught also said she was referred to as "it" and as a "transvestite" and, after a two-hour wait without any medical treatment, was told "we don't know how to go about treating someone with your condition," referring to her transgender status."
[Yet another case of an ER ridiculing and refusing to properly treat a transwoman in a medical emergency. For more on the terrible state of trans health care, please read "More problems with trans healthcare", by Amy Hunter". Please help raise the alarm about such horrible treatment by the medical system – especially at Ball Memorial Hospital!
Such incidents are all too common, causing many trans people to become terrified of going to emergency rooms – fearing that they’ll be ridiculed, humiliated and denied care, right when they most need help. This nightmarish stuff has gotta stop!]
7-30-10: The Bilerico Project (posted 7-26): "Interview with Erin Vaught on transphobia at an Indiana hospital", Filed by: Austen Crowder
[Interview that broke this story, providing further details on Erin's treatment at Ball Memorial Hospital.]
7-30-10: Star Tribune: "Susan Kimberly's new transition"
"After making headlines when she had a sex-change operation in the 1980s, Susan Kimberly spent several more decades shaping policy, projects and politics in St. Paul."
7-30-10: UPI (re Brazil): "Brazilian supermodel undergoing sex change" (more)
"Brazilian supermodel Lea T, star of Givenchy's new ad campaign, is preparing for a sex change, from male to female, ABC News said. Born Leandro Cerezo, the 28-year-old son of former soccer star Toninho Cerezo is undergoing hormone replacement therapy ahead of the gender-reassignment surgery. "She's a true goddess!" Givenchy's creative director Riccardo Tisci told the fashion publication WWD about the former male model. "She's always been very feminine -- super-fragile, very aristocratic.""
7-30-10: New York Times (re Indonesia): "Edict Aims at TV and Sex Changes"
"Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority has followed up a series of contentious edicts with a new one barring Muslims from watching television gossip shows or having sex-change operations. The authority, the Indonesian Ulema Council, said gossip shows about the intimate details of people’s private lives — a popular genre on Indonesian television — were immoral and threatened society . . . While the council’s edicts are usually ignored, they can be cited by religious hard-liners to justify vigilante-style crackdowns on “un-Islamic” activities."
7-29-10: All Africa (re Kenya): "Myths About Transgender People", by Audrey Mbugua
" . . . a transgender woman (who I shall refer to as Storm) was arrested in Thika District in Kenya's Central Province. She was arraigned in court for intent to commit crime and remanded thereafter in a female remand facility. It was discovered she didn't possess 'female genitalia' the day after. She was thoroughly whipped by a warden for 'causing the confusion'.
She was transferred to a police station and placed in isolation. While the senior officer was absent, one of the police officers transferred her to a male cell where she suffered sexual assault on top of being 'baptised' with a bucket full of urine. Her food was grabbed by some inmates. When she reported the matter to the senior officer, she was beaten up by the officer. Three weeks later a law court released her on a personal bond.
This case presents one of the many incidences of gender oppression transgender people in Kenya face. Gender oppression against transgender people takes the form of violence, sexual assault, verbal abuse, intimidation, victimisation and psychological torture."
7-29-10: Haaretz (Israel): "Rights groups: Doctors discriminating against sex-change patients in Israel"
"Members of Israel's transgender community are protesting what they see as discriminatory treatment by the Israeli medical system, including doctors' demands for a psychological evaluation before providing hormonal treatments for people who want to undergo sex changes."
7-29-10: The Vancouver Sun (Canada): "Beauty and the beat"
"Transgendered actress Candis Cayne is thrilled to be a Pride parade grand marshal"
7-28-10: Diagnostic Imaging: "Study recommends normal breast screening for transsexual women; sex expert disagrees."
"Breast screening habits for transsexual women shouldn’t differ from those of biological women, according to a recent European study. However, a human sexuality expert disagrees, saying screening for transsexual women should depend on when the patient started estrogen therapy and not age alone. "
7-28-10: Times of Swaziland (Swaziland): "DPM’s office will support, protect sex change teacher"
"The Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku has said his office will support and protect the teacher who underwent a sex change . . . "I do not think the procedure has affected the manner in which she teaches her arithmetic or whatever subjects that she handles and therefore this should not be about the public, but about that individual," said Masuku. He said the most important person in this matter was Patricia and said in his opinion she did not choose to be born the way she was. "
7-28-10: The Guardian (UK): "'Confidence is the key to passing - or at least to silencing the hecklers'", by Juliet Jacques (Another article in the series "A Transgender Journey")
"When Juliet Jacques began trying to 'pass' as a woman, she faced transphobic comments on a bad day - and misogynistic ones on a good . . .
Exploring territory between 'male' and 'female' in safe spaces, thinking less about how I'd developed strategies to 'pass' in my assigned gender in everyday life, I was convinced that transsexual women striving to pass were letting down those fighting for greater trans visibility.
Five minutes of navigating Brighton's streets en femme made me reconsider: passing was now a matter of necessity, rather than choice. Visibility was met with cries of "Geezer!" or "Tranny!", sarcastic wolf whistles or things thrown from cars. I soon understood why most trans women don't aim to be visible."
7-27-10: Straight.com (Vancouver, Canada): "Filmmaker Gwen Haworth: Why it's important for trans people to make their own media images"
"When Haworth came out in 1990, the internet was still developing and she didn't see a lot of grassroots activism or groups at the time. But since then, however, she's seen a lot of changes. She notes that she's observed a shift over the past two decades from "focusing on transsexuals specifically to looking at transgendered and then transfolk as an umbrella term, which includes diverse people.” While she thinks that although images of trans people have changed in mainstream media, there is still a lack of accuracy and authenticity."
7-27-10: The Canadian (Canada): "Does Dating A Transsexual make me Gay?", by Jack Rush
"The short answer is NO. Let me explain why men who date transsexuals are not gay. Firstly, it needs to be known that every man has their own likes and dislikes in terms of sexuality and emotional companionship. Many “straight” men are not as straight as they say they are, but that doesn’t necessarily make them gay or bisexual. Just because society likes to label people with straight, gay or bisexual doesn’t mean everyone fits into those categories . . . Additonally, transgenderism has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
A lot of men will seek out transsexuals for dating and love because they feel that transsexuals are actually more feminine than genetic women. Yes, that is right….MORE feminine! Additionally, men find that genetic women have a lot of hangups in the bedroom department that they feel transsexuals do not have . . . "
7-27-10: San Francisco Chronicle (posted 7-26): "Gay and transgender Lutheran pastors reinstated"
"Seven Bay Area gay and transgender pastors were reinstated into the national Lutheran church on Sunday after being barred for two decades from serving in the denomination.
It was a day of mixed feelings for the "Bay Area Seven" - the Revs. Jeff Johnson, Megan Rohrer, Paul Brenner, Craig Minich, Dawn Roginski Sharon Stalkfleet and Ross Merkel - who saw the event as an act of reconciliation with the church that once shunned them"
7-27-10: The Guardian (UK): "Bethany Black: Life as a transsexual comedian"
"Bethany Black is a stand-up comedian. She also happens to be a post-operative transsexual lesbian - but don't dare try to pigeonhole her"
7-27-10: The Houston Chronicle: "Widow was on Jerry Springer - Transgendered woman regrets show, defends life"
"The transgender widow at the center of a court battle focusing on her late firefighter husband's estate apologized Tuesday for her appearance on a tabloid talk show 15 years ago during which she surprised a man who once kissed her with the news that she was born a boy . . . Araguz, who was 19 at the time of the incident and received $500 for her appearance on the TV show, called it a mistake . . .
Araguz said she appeared on four other TV talk shows — two more episodes of Jerry Springer, once on Maury Povich and once on Sally Jessy Raphael — in 1994 and 1995, all focusing on gender issues. Her mother appeared with her on two of the shows. "I haven't hidden my gender from anybody — hello, I was on five national talk shows. I was not hiding it at all. ... Just because nobody else knew doesn't mean my husband and our close friends did not know.""
7-27-10: New York Times (posted 7-19): "New Orleans’s Gender-Bending Rap"
"When it comes to locating sissy bounce’s roots, Fensterstock said, you should look deep rather than wide; that is, rather than try to place it within the current spectrum of American hip-hop, it makes much more sense to understand it as an outgrowth of New Orleans musical culture itself, which has a long tradition of gay and cross-dressing performers not just as a fringe element but as part of the musical mainstream."
7-27-10: TransPulse (Ontario, Canada): "Who are trans people in Ontario?"
"From April 2009 to the end of survey collection in May 2010, Trans PULSE collected information from 433 trans people across Ontario. We are now analysing the data from the 80-page survey and, with this e-bulletin, are returning the results back to our communities. We would like to thank all those that took the time to complete the survey and pass it on to others. The information presented in these e-bulletins is only a small fraction of the results we've gathered over the year.
The following is the first of a series of e-bulletins that Trans PULSE will release over the course of the next several months and it is our hope that this will go a long way to enact change for trans people": E-bulletin #1 (English); E-bulletin #1 (French)
7-27-10: CBS4 Denver: "Colorado Sex-Change Doctor Considering Move"
"A town nicknamed the "sex change capital of the world" could be losing a doctor who has performed hundreds of the operations. Dr. Marci Bowers said Monday she is "98 percent sure" she will be moving to the San Francisco area Oct. 1. "There are advantages to being in a bigger city with access to airports," said Bowers, adding that Trinidad's location about a three-hour drive south of Denver was a barrier for some potential patients . . . Bowers said that if she moves, she would join an office in San Mateo with two plastic surgeons and a surgery center."
7-27-10: TransActive Education: "You Are What You're Born - In Texas" (YouTube video)
"TransActive Education & Advocacy video that examines and exposes the negative cumulative effect that oppressive and exploitative media representations have on all transgender people, especially children and youth. Might parents, schools and others be less inclined to be supportive of transgender children and youth as a result of being influenced by these stereotypical and demeaning images? We think so."
7-27-10: Herald Sun (Australia): "New evidence implicates several former police officers in Adele Bailey murder"
"The 32-year mystery over the murder of transsexual prostitute Adele Bailey has taken a dramatic twist, with explosive new evidence implicating several former officers being given to the Office of Police Integrity . . . a former high-ranking police officer secretly provided the new suspect's name to the OPI last year. He told the OPI Ms Bailey attended a party with several police in 1978 and performed a sex act on one of the officers.
That officer allegedly found out later in the night that Ms Bailey was a transsexual. He was apparently so upset he allegedly attacked her at the party. The OPI has been told Ms Bailey allegedly died as a result of the beating.
Ms Bailey was born Paul Bailey in New Zealand in 1955, but changed her name after having a full sex change operation in Egypt in 1976.
The former high-ranking officer . . . has told the corruption buster the name of her alleged killer. He also told the OPI other police officers were allegedly present when Ms Bailey, 23, was killed."
important comment at the end: "It's sad but transgendered people still face
a lot of discrimination and end up working in the sex industry as they can't
get ordinary jobs. Let's all give them a break."]
7-26-10: History News Network: "Sex, Intersex, and the Making of "Normal", by Elizabeth Reis
Elizabeth Reis is an associate professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Oregon and the author of Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex.
"Physicians have had a long, painful relationship with those born with intersex conditions, or atypical sex development. Two recent controversies have highlighted this uncomfortable history. They have focused unusual attention on matters usually concealed, and they give us an opportunity to examine our prejudices toward heterosexuality and “normal” bodies."
7-26-10: LGBT Aylum News (UK): "UK: Malaysian transsexual married to Englishman wins asylum, couple can stay together"
"Fatine's forced asylum claim was based on the strongly negative media reaction in Malaysia, where she is referred to by her former, male name Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari, and because she is in a 'same-sex marriage' and could face action under sharia law. She also received death threats in Malaysian on the Facebook page set up to support the couple. An article in the Malay Mail in December spoke of claims she had "shamed Malaysia"."
7-25-10: TS Roadmap: "Ontario moves to end CAMH death grip on trans health services"
"The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the infamous Toronto facility known for regressive and humiliating treatment of transgender clients, is about to lose the monopoly that allowed them to become the most notorious “gender clinic” in the world. A Provincial Trans Health Project Advisory Committee is being formed to address this problem that emerged in Ontario over 40 years ago and has been a problem ever since.
Loralee Gillis, Coordinator of Research and Policy at Rainbow Health Ontario, has just made the following announcement:
Sherbourne Health Centre, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Trans Health Lobby Group of the Rainbow Health Network, the Trans PULSE research study and a number of trans community activists have been working with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care over the last two years to develop a plan to improve trans health services in the province of Ontario for trans people. Through this process the Ministry of health has agreed to:
Establish 3 additional assessor sites for trans people needing approval of OHIP funded SRS
Provide training for health care providers across the province in trans health care
Conduct an evaluation of aforementioned initiatives
Establish an advisory committee to oversee the development and implementation of these three projects.
Any Canadian citizens seeking trans health services are urged to avoid CAMH at all costs. Please contact one of several alternatives, including the Sherbourne Health Centre listed above. "
[The investigative work of Andrea James and others over the years has finally exposed CAMH for what it is – and the end is in sight for CAMH's reign of terror over trans lives in Ontario (more, more, more).]
7-25-10: Times of Swaziland (Swaziland): "Petros becomes Patricia"
"A Swazi male teacher has become a woman after undergoing a sex change procedure. Her name used to be Petros but she is now known as Patricia. She is even dating a man.
She decided that she no longer wanted to be a man after discovering that she was trapped in a man’s body. Patricia said she underwent a sex conversion procedure. She said her male reproductive organs were removed and replaced with female ones. She said she had no option but to change into a woman to lead a peaceful life. "I am now at peace with myself," she said."
7-25-10: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica; posted 7-18): "Who's a woman?"
"So. After 11 months of sitting around waiting for her bizarre gender-testing results, South African middle-distance runner and world champion Mokgadi Caster Semenya has finally been cleared to once again compete in IAAF-sanctioned competitions. In other words, they've cleared her to be classified as a woman - how she has always seen herself."
7-25-10: Arizona Daily Star: "Meet Josie, 9: No secret she's transgender" (see also photos of Josie at this link)
""Should treatment be given to prevent adult transsexualism? Some say yes," says New York psychiatrist Dr. Jack Drescher, a member of the American Psychiatric Association's Work Group on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders. "They believe prevention is preferable to a lifetime of medical treatment with hormone replacement, not to mention there are also surgeries involved." . . .
Canadian psychologist Kenneth Zucker is known for discouraging gender-variant children from transitioning. Most gender-variant children do not grow up to identify as the opposite sex, he has argued.
Other therapists say preventing certain children with gender identity disorder from transitioning is a recipe for depression and self-harm - supporting them through transition allows them to flourish.
That's the theory the Romeros follow.
"Josie will change her mind on many issues in her life. Halfway through grad school she may switch her major," Venessia says. "But her blood type will never change, and she'll always be female. All through Josie's life she has persistently and consistently identified as female. Josie is a girl, has always been a girl, and will grow up to become a woman. That is just part of who she is.""
7-24-10: World Net Daily: "Gender-bending and a weak church"
"The essence of the case is that Nikki Araguz was born a man, had his name changed to a female name and underwent a sex change operation. "She" then married Luis Araguz who apparently did not know of his "wife's" biological transition at the time . . .
This is not a new issue, as the escalation of transgenderism has forced the addition of "natural man" and "natural woman" to defense of marriage amendment language . . .
so why are we having this debate? What is "the way home" of those pushing this agenda . . . ? I submit that their conquest is not marriage or gender identity as much as continued perversion of all moral standards, destruction of absolute truth and rejection of the Author of that truth . . .
If the United States was morally strong, these efforts would have been crushed at their first evil emergence."
[You can see it coming: Unable to turn back the steady march of social progress, a near-hysterical Christian right is going to take it out against Nikki Araguz - launcing an incredibly vicious attack against her.]
7-23-10: Arizona Daily Star: "Photo gallery: Josie Romero - transgender child"
"Josie was born Joseph Romero Jr. but at age 6 she started living as Josie. Josie was diagnosed with gender identity disorder and is now a transgender child . . . Josie Romero, left, tries out a hula-hoop while playing at a house with other transgender kids . . . Josie Romero, 9, checks out the hot dogs on the grill as her mom Venessia Romero dries her off after playing in the pool at a friend's home with other transgender children . . . Josie Romero, standing, checks on Jordan Koronkowski, 11, right, and her sister Jade Romero, 8, as they play together. Josie and Jordan met at a conference for transgender people . . . "
[A beautiful, must-see series of photos of a young transgender girl with her loving supportive mom. ]
7-23-10: Just Out: "Trans Advocacy Network to Build National Transgender Political Movement"
"Transgender leaders from across the United States have come together to form the Trans Advocacy Network, a national alliance of transgender organizations that work at the state and local level, according to the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition . . . The Trans Advocacy Network Steering Committee currently includes representatives from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, the Transgender Law Center, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, the Transgender Education Network of Texas, the DC Trans Coalition and TransOhio . . . Contact Gunner Scott for more information or how to become involved at firstname.lastname@example.org"
7-23-10: The Times (South Africa): "Ehlers tried to do own surgery"
"Christine Ehlers, a transgender woman claiming she was unfairly dismissed from her company, tried to cut off her own penis when she was five, the Johannesburg Labour Court hears.
Ehlers, previously known as Chris, testified she had a “very difficult” childhood and was depressed most of the time. “I knew there was something wrong with me and I couldn't associate with other people because of my gender. “I tried cutting off my own penis when I was five-years-old. At the age of five, I didn't know what the problem was, but I knew there was something wrong.”
Ehlers was dismissed from steel company Bohler Uddeholm in Isando, Johannesburg in 2009, where she worked as a sales representative. She claims the company unfairly discriminated against her by dismissing her. "
7-23-10: Salon: "Transgender widow put on trial - The family of Nikki Araguz's dead husband is suing to invalidate the "same-sex" marriage" (more)
"The day after her husband's funeral, Nikki Araguz was sued -- for being born male. The family of Thomas Araguz III, a 37-year-old firefighter who died in the line of duty, claim that his marriage to Nikki was a fraud because she allegedly concealed her biological sex from her husband. They say he found out just months ago -- after nearly two years of marriage -- and decided to separate from his wife and eventually divorce. The suit also argues that the union is invalid because same-sex marriage is illegal in their home state of Texas."
7-23-10: My Fox Houston: "Transgender Widow: Exclusive Footage" (more, more)
"In the video shot 15 years ago by a local college student, some light is shed on Nikki's conflicted life. The video was for a film project that was never completed. Nikki would have been 19 or 20 at the time. Throughout the video she appears feminine and playful, but it doesn't take long before Nikki starts talking about her tortured identity"
[An amazing interview of Nikki at 19 or 20.]
7-23-10: Associated Press: "Texas mom challenges transgender widow's marriage"
"The family of a southeast Texas firefighter killed in a July 4 blaze has sued to void his marriage to his transgender widow and prevent her from getting his death benefits because she was born a man and Texas doesn't recognize same-sex marriages . . . Ellis said his client's efforts to void the marriage are supported by Texas law, specifically a 1999 appeals court ruling that stated chromosomes, not genitals, determine gender.
The ruling upheld a lower court's decision that threw out a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a San Antonio woman, Christie Lee Cavazos Littleton, after her husband's death. The court said that although Littleton had undergone a sex-change operation, she was actually a man, based on her original birth certificate, and therefore her marriage, as well as her wrongful death claim, was invalid. "The law is clear, you are what you are born as," Ellis said."
While Phyllis Frye, one of Nikki Araguz's attorneys, declined to comment on what role the 1999 appellate ruling will play in her client's case, she said the decision "wrecked a lot of lives."
[Moral to this story: Be sure to have a airtight will, especially in states like Texas.]
7-22-10: Los Angeles Times (re Egypt): "EGYPT: Ministry takes legal action against sex change surgeon"
"The Egyptian Minister of Health has shut down a clinic in Asyut while its owner is questioned on criminal charges of performing sex change operations. Plastic surgeon Mahmoud Eteifi was reported to the ministry by the Medical Syndicate for operating on a 22-year-old man who wanted to be a woman.
Gender transformation is illegal in Egypt unless the patient receives approval from the syndicate and the Ministry of Health. An applicant must be tested and scanned to prove the sex change is meant to overcome a physical problem and not for personal preference. Islam Salah Salem, who underwent the surgery to become Nora Salah Salem, has been moved to another hospital until he recovers from surgery . . ."
7-22-10: Canada East (Canada): "Pioneering gender support - Moncton woman founding first provincial group to assist trans people"
"When Josie sought professional help she hit multiple dead ends in the province, and was forced to head for Halifax to find a therapist who would provide the months of necessary therapy before she could start hormone treatment. "To say ˜I just lost everything and there isn't a doctor that can help me?' It's murder. The depression factor and suicide factors are insane and terrible. It's not just identity or gender dysphoria - that's part of it - but losing your whole life can bring anyone to their knees," she said. "Not only that, now you're being told that your specific condition is not only frowned upon by your friends and family, but there's nobody to help you. I found it to be a huge injustice and don't think anyone should be there.""
7-22-10: Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt): "Egypt’s leading psychiatrist comments on transsexual case"
"Okasha explained, “A patient must undergo a hormonal therapy and live for two years as his target gender. This helps verify that the new life will suit the patient, otherwise he will end up committing suicide. Then comes the psychiatrist’s part. The patient goes through a series of complicated mental tests to reassure that he is not suffering hallucinations, mental detraction, or low intelligence . . . ” The last step is to obtain a clearance from the Egyptian Doctors Syndicate.
Okasha laments the reception Nour's story has had in the media, arguing that, in order for a post-operation transsexual to have a chance at a stable life, these operations must be kept private."
7-21-10: The Vancouver Courier (Canada): "Mozart, Chopin and gender reassignment - Classical pianist shares transformative journey at Queer Arts Festival"
""Coming out has helped me," she said. "I'm able to live a life honestly and be myself in all facets and that's crucial for an artist because ultimately, art isn't just about creating beauty, it's creating beauty from the truth of your own existence..." . . .
Buechner receives emails from transgender men and women almost every week and says she offers the same advice she provides her students:
"I very often find myself saying to people, unless you are an ardent Buddhist and you definitely believe in reincarnation, this is your life, this is the shot you have, and freedom is one of the most important things imaginable. Don't live this life in a disingenuous way, you'll regret it profoundly when the time comes to climb into the coffin.""
7-21-10: NDTV (India): "Transgender? No problem at Bangalore University"
"Male, Female or Others - the last category is the revolutionary step taken by Bangalore University in ensuring that trans-gender students are not lost when asked to define their sex on the application form.
The move comes courtesy Suma, a 24-year-old transsexual, who decided it was time to get an MBA. "I was tired of sex work. But when I went to the college (a private one, not affiliated to Bangalore University), the principal asked me, "Under what category do we put you...you are neither a girl nor a boy...and because of one student, everything will get spoilt." She then approached the Bangalore University.
Suma underwent a sex-change operation a few years back. She says she was forced to do sex work, but dreams of the time when she will have an MBA degree and will be "as respected as others" in the society."
7-20-10: Salon (re France): "French Vogue's delightfully subversive nude - Lea T., a transsexual model, bares it all in the magazine's upcoming issue"
"When Givenchy's head designer cast his personal assistant, Lea T., in a print ad for the brand, it sparked a frenzy of interest. Calls for interviews and modeling gigs began pouring in. Now, French Vogue, the hipper sister of American Vogue, is running a profile of the Brazilian model alongside a nude portrait in its upcoming issue. But this isn't your typical tale about the feverish discovery of a new face in high-fashion -- because Lea just happens to be a transsexual.
Of course, that makes the nude all the more provocative. Her gaze is calm and direct, and the casual placement of her hand clearly reveals that she hasn't had gender reassignment surgery. Unlike in the buzzed-about Givenchy ad, she doesn't wear ostentatious makeup or strike any of the dramatic poses that usually mark high fashion editorials. She is simply, arrestingly bare. With her long hair draped over her shoulders, Lea looks straight out of the Garden of Eden -- and that is perhaps what's most subversive about the photo: its ability to make us re-conceive of what we think of as "natural.""
7-20-10: The New York Observer: "Has Fame Changed Jamie Clayton?"
"VH1 ORDERED EIGHT episodes of TRANSform Me, which debuted in February. The network told her it was the best-reviewed reality show the network had put out. "The show is breaking new ground by presenting transgendered women as fierce and fabulous-if a little superficial," Village Voice columnist Michael Musto told ABCNews.com.
The transgender community largely agreed. The most exhaustive analyses came from the disciples of the ever-evolving New Feminist movement. "The three leads give cis women makeovers while relating these women's experiences to their transition," began the critique on Feministing.com. ("Cis," from the Latin prefix meaning "to be on the same side," is a term in women's studies departments across academia to describe women who were born with a vagina.) The author, Jos, opined that TRANSform Me was nevertheless a net-positive, commendable for its overriding message that "a physical makeover is really just one part of changing how someone sees themselves.""
[A good article about Jamie Clayton]
7-18-10: Houston Chronicle (posted 7-18): "Suit claims widow of Wharton firefighter was born a man" (more, more, more, more)
"The family of a Wharton firefighter who died battling a massive egg farm blaze is fighting to keep his widow from receiving death benefits, arguing that the 37-year-old had found out his bride of two years was born a man.
Thomas Araguz III separated from his wife after learning her history two months prior to being trapped in the fatal July 3 fire, according to attorney Chad Ellis, who is representing Araguz's parents in the lawsuit. "He was distraught. It was extremely difficult and embarrassing for Tommy," said Ellis, who added that there is no will for the estate, which will be substantial since the fire captain died in the line of duty . . .
Nikki Araguz . . . insisted that her husband knew everything about her personal life when they married in August 2008. She also said the couple was not separated. "We had a completely honest marriage, a 100 percent loving, honest marriage," she said. "I am grieving the loss of my husband and best friend.""
7-19-10: New York Times: "A Gay Campaign? Both Sides Demur"
"OKLAHOMA CITY — One of the more unlikely showdowns for the fall elections is taking shape here in this staunchly conservative state, where same-sex marriage is constitutionally banned and the Legislature frequently takes on issues like abortion. Brittany Novotny, a Democrat and Oklahoma’s first known transgender candidate, is running for a seat in the State House against Sally Kern, the Republican incumbent who gained national attention in 2008 for saying that “the homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation” and that homosexuality was a bigger threat than terrorism . . . some of Mrs. Kern’s supporters have voiced concern that the “homosexual lobby” has recruited Ms. Novotny, who identifies as a heterosexual woman."
7-19-10: Edge Boston: "When Is It Too Early to Decide to Change Genders?" (page 2)
"Finding a willing care provider who will educate themselves and work with you is essential," (Kim) Pearson (of TYFA) told EDGE. "Many still don’t want to approach the issue until the youth is 18, which is much too late for a lot of these kids. There needs to be intervention at puberty, at which point they are very high risk. For a lot of these kids, intervention is literally life-saving."
But the suppressants are not cheap: They run roughly $1200 per month. And families may need to travel to find a willing care provider who’s educated, or willing to learn about transgender issues. Families also often need a mental health professional on board in order to go ahead with treatment, which can also be an added expense.
That said, there are roughly 500 specialists nationwide who have followed the example of names like the trailblazing Dr. Norman Spack of Children’s Hospital Boston and Dr. Johanna Olson at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and more are becoming open to the idea. That support can make the difference between life and death, particularly if the youth doesn’t have a supportive environment at home, an important first step to the process that is sometimes missing."
[More and more families and their physicians are rejecting Zucker's calls for reparative therapy on transgender kids, and are adopting more humane treatment protocols that have vastly improved outcomes.]
7-19-10: CTV (Canada): "Entertainment: Degrassi returns with first transgender character" (more extensive article, more)
"Degrassi" returns for a 10th season tonight with its first transgender character. A new student named Adam hides the fact he was born a girl. Producer, director and actor Stefan Brogren says it's new territory for the show and that the writers approach the topic carefully.Adam is played by former "Life With Derek" actress Jordan Todosey. The 15-year-old describes Adam as a down-to-earth kid and says she hopes viewers will connect with the character."
7-18-10: The Advocate: "Modern Families profile: Becoming the "Other Mother" - Many folks are surprised to learn that Broadway dancer turned suburban mom Eden Lane and her family are part of the LGBT community"
"Eden Lane is a Colorado-based journalist who broke ground during the 2008 Democratic National Convention as the first transgender journalist to cover a major political event for PBS. She is currently working on a memoir of her journey from Broadway performer to suburban housewife. Eden and her husband, Don Gassaway, married eight years ago. They have a 12-year old daughter. . .
"The biggest lesson for me has been, I have more courage than I give myself credit for. Put less value on the opinion of others; the most magical part of love isn’t trying to get it, it's giving it ... that's how it multiplies beyond anything I imagined . . .
While we don't keep my medical history a secret, it isn't something we bring up. Other women don't seem to treat me differently. Transgender people are often invisible as members of the LGBT community if they build families that look like other heterosexual families. We lost one couple of friends early on, but looking back, I can’t say we think of it as a loss. I am concerned about my daughter suffering discrimination because I’m her mother. That is why we are so protective of her privacy. If it were up to her, she would let everyone know . . . ""
7-18-10: New York Times (re Pakistan): "Pakistan Hires Transgender Workers to Shame Tax Delinquents" (includes video)
"In one of
Karachi’s most posh neighborhoods, only half of the 500,000 residents paid
their property, maintenance and water taxes last year . . . nationwide, less
than a million out of 170 million Pakistanis voluntarily filed income tax
returns last year. The rate is among the lowest in the world. In a bid for a
solution — and some publicity — the Clifton board borrowed a creative idea
that alleviated tax woes in neighboring India: It hired a team of
transgender tax collectors to go door-to-door to embarrass the rich until
7-18-10: Bay Area Reporter (posted 7-15): "Dating withheld", by Gwendolyn Ann Smith
"Cohen's view is that this transman "behaved badly" by not outing himself . . . His feeling, much like Name Withheld's is that this man was being duplicitous about his past . . . but this is where I think Cohen fails to grasp the feelings of this transgender man. Perhaps, like so many people, he feared rejection, and felt that this self-described straight woman would not only dump him, but also opt to out him to the whole community . . . That she decided it best to get her advice from the Times on whether she should have her rabbi out a member of their congregation tells me he may well have been right."
7-18-10: The Times (South Africa): "Trying to avert more intersex sagas" (more)
"The man given the task of trying to avert another Caster Semenya saga admits it will be impossible to bring in a catch-all rule for intersex cases. Professor Arne Ljungqvist of the International Olympic Committee's medical commission will chair a conference on intersex athletes in October. The International Association of Athletics Federations is due to ratify new rules next month"
7-18-10: Deccan Herald (India): "Profile: Towards life and liberty", by Hema Vijay
"It would take remarkable courage to stand up, be counted, and speak up for a cause shunned by the majority; especially so, when you had the option of staying safely hidden among the multitudes. Kalki is this rare person who has decided to face the world, rather than hide away. She chose to become an activist, rather than a victim . . .
You meet this transgender woman and her eloquence, grace, and grit blow you away. To make you see beyond gender was the very idea behind a special poster exhibition - ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ - on the life and times of Tamil transgender women (Thirunangaikal). These images were all about hope and grace.
And they also called out for help and for acceptance. In these 16 poster images, graceful transwomen talked about their identity, concerns relating to equality, unity, diversity and love. Alongside the images were stirring quotes. Sample this: “Yes, I am a transsexual, but that is not who I am”. The idea was to convey that transgender people are much more than our perceptions about their gender identity.
Eight of these poster images have been made into postcards, and the proceeds of the sale will go for the education and training of 25 poor transgender artists in the Liberation Performing Arts Troupe (http://liberationarts.blogspot.com), which trains talented transgender women from poor backgrounds to become world class performing artists."
7-18-10: DNA (India): "Bangalore University lays out the welcome mat for transgenders"
"Bangalore University has set a model for all state universities to follow by taking an important decision concerning transgenders. From this academic year on, transgenders can pursue higher education at the university, after authorities decided to grant admissions to transgenders at the post graduation level . . . “The university is sensitive to transgenders. Nobody recognises their identity and they are educationally backward. This will help them have their own identity and this is a process of non-discrimination,” the official said."
7-17-10: Winnipeg Free Press (Canada): "Arrest made in 6-year-old killing - 'Mountains of forensic evidence' sifted in case: police" (more)
"Police have arrested a Saskatchewan-based man in connection with the murder of a transgendered sex-trade worker six years ago. Divas Boulanger, 28, was last seen during the late night hours of Sept. 28, 2004 in Winnipeg. . . . Boulanger lived as a woman and became mired in drug addiction and the sex trade. . . Street sex-trade workers speculated after Boulanger's death that she might have been murdered after a violent john picked her up."
7-16-10: New York Times: "Nightmare in Apt. 9B"
"The struggle over Apartment 9B is one of those real-estate fights that is about far more than real estate — although it may reveal in spectacular terms the lengths that some people will go for a great apartment. Brimming with claims about abuse and inheritance, the battle is about family secrets and sibling fury as much as it is about co-op shares. It even made public a private gender switch. Mrs. Cheney’s daughter, Ms. Wells, was her first son, Jonathan, before a sex-change operation in the 1970s."
7-16-10: The Guardian (UK): "Caster Semenya returns to the track in triumph after year in limbo"
"Caster Semenya made her long-awaited return at a small athletics meeting in Lappeenranta, Finland in what was supposed to be a low-key event. But as the she walked to the track in front of the media, the South African knew the world was watching.
As she changed into her spikes alongside the other runners, Semenya tried her best to ignore the TV camera pointed directly into her face. It was a heart-wrenching scene. But as soon as the gun went, the world champion was back on familiar territory, comfortably trotting twice round the track to win in a respectable time of 2 minutes 4.22 seconds – nine seconds slower than her gold medal time in Berlin last summer, but a great achievement for a woman whose career had been in limbo for almost a year."
7-16-10: The Washington Post: "Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's transgender relative speaks out for gay rights"
"Robyn Deane, a man who is in the process of becoming a woman, is the former brother-in-law of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell. She wants Virginia and national lawmakers to pass legislation that prevents discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity . . .
Deane said she decided to announce her relationship to McDonnell on April 21 because she feels that her situation hardened some of his views on sexual orientation. The governor opposes same-sex marriage and has not backed measures that protect gay state workers from discrimination . . .
But Rozell and other political observers said the situation could end up making McDonnell look good because Deane appears to be trying to use her past relationship to the governor to get attention."
includes a rather odd
photo-sequence showing Deane putting on eyeliner and then pulling up
nylons . . . ]
7-15-10: WYFF4 (South Carolina): "Family: Transsexual Son Beaten By Partner"
". . . investigators said Williams attacked Rachelle Williams, 35, in the bedroom of an apartment they shared on Continental Street. They said he choked her with a telephone cord and beat her in the head.at about 4 p.m. Tuesday . . . The judge asked the victim's family . . . , if they had anything to say to Hawkins. The mother of the victim said, "Why did you do this to my son?"
After the hearing, News 4's Sean Muserallo asked Betty Tomlinson why she referred to her child as her son . . . Tomlinson explained that her son, born Ronald Williams, lived as a woman and went by Rachelle Williams. Tomlinson said her son is not a post-op transsexual."
7-14-10: The Sun (UK re Germany): "Cop job snub below the belt"
"A MAN who underwent a sex change has been barred from joining the police because rules say male cops must have "at least one functioning testicle" . . . He had passed all physical tests and exams with ease but his bid to join the force hit the buffers when, during his medical examination, medics discovered his genitals were fakes. Dahner, 35, who is fighting the barmy ruling, said: "I could swim underwater for longer than anybody, climb better, and run faster. "I could shoot better and I had better martial arts skills than anybody. I also know the law book inside out." Dahner had the op 15 years ago and is legally and physically a man after taking hormones ever since. He says this means a functioning testicle is unnecessary. But police bosses in Hessen, Germany, quoted the police rule book which states: "At least one functioning testicle is necessary to be a German policeman.""
7-14-10: Star News: "Transgender-issue-leads-club-to-cancel-membership"
"Besides the obvious, life was different when Rachael Gieschen was a man. Gieschen had a membership to a beach-side club in Wrightsville Beach, founded a century ago by her family, and was part of a tight-knit local German community. But now 69-year-old Gieschen, who transitioned physically three years ago to live as a woman, is left hurt and feeling discriminated against after the board of directors for Hanover Seaside Club decided to cancel her membership, citing reasons such as members expressing “agitation and concern” about Gieschen's presence as a woman."
7-14-10: The Guardian (UK): "How do you tell your family you are transgender?", by Juliet Jacques (Part 4 in the series "A Transgender Journey")
"I knew that there was no right way to tell my family that I was transgendered - just that some ways were more wrong than others. (Dressing as Marilyn Monroe and bursting from a cake at a birthday was the first I discounted.) To find the least wrong way, I had to rack my memory for any clues, however minor, however old, as to how my family might react - and try to anticipate them.
I discussed it extensively with friends, as well as checking the Transsexual Road Map's page on coming out to parents. A letter seemed best: I handwrote three pages, starting with the present and then explaining my past in the context of my gender issues. Then, I figured, they could digest it and respond when they felt ready. Trembling, I posted it: there was no going back. "
7-14-10: Enfield Weekly Press (Nova Scotia): "From Dennis to Denise: Changing gender in small town Nova Scotia, and how it all fits into human rights thinking"
"Denise Holliday walks through the doors of her small community garage to get her car looked at. A woman of tall stature, large hands and feet, but otherwise feminine features, she speaks to the mechanics that have known her from living in the community for years. They speak respectfully to her. She pays for services, and then leaves. Then the whispering begins.
For the most part, her experiences are limited to glaring glances at restaurants, under-breath comments from passersby, and hushed whispers from curious people. But having grappled with gender identity her entire life, her transition from Dennis to Denise, at 48 years of age, still left her with many male characteristics."
7-13-10: Times Live (South Africa): "Employed as a man, now a woman and out of a job"
"Chris Ehlers, a 43-year-old part way through a sex change, has taken her employer to court for discriminating against her since she became "Christine" . . . Ehlers was fired after her employers, the multinational steel retailer Bohler Uddeholm Africa, found that she had begun a series of sex change procedures in 2008. She claims in court papers that she was fired as a sales representative for the company "on the grounds of her sexual status" . . . She was due to undergo the final operation for her transformation in September, but since her dismissal had been unable to pay for it."
7-13-10: Inter Press News: (re Thailand): "For Transgenders, Identity Papers Are No Simple Matter"
"In New Zealand, where Sujinrat Prachathai enjoys resident status, she is a woman able to append ‘Mrs’ to her name to signify that she is married. Here in Thailand, however, she has to be addressed as ‘Mr’ since she is still considered male even though she underwent a sex-change operation years ago. Predominantly Buddhist Thailand is generally tolerant of homosexuals and transgenders, some of whom have risen to prominence in the entertainment industry. For so-called ‘ladyboys’ or males who live as and look like women, there is also a term, ‘katoey’. But like many transgenders in Thailand, Sarah – also known locally as Jim Sarah from her acting days - would like to be able to formally identify herself ‘Miss’ or ‘Ms’, if not ‘Mrs’ – which is still not possible here under the law."
7-13-10: Viddler.com (posted 3-11): "Prof. Joy Ladin - what it means to be a transgender Jew"
"Interviewed at the Transforming Beitecha Conference, CBST, March 7, 2010: Joy Ladin is David and Ruth Gottesman Professor English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University, and (as far as she knows) the first openly transgendered employee of a modern Orthodox Jewish institution."
[An excellent interview.]
7-13-10: Opposing Views: "NY Times' Randy Cohen Advises When to Out Transgender Person", Opinion by GLAAD
"In this weekend’s edition of The Ethicist, a popular The New York Times Magazine advice column, author Randy Cohen advises “When to Out a Transgendered Dater?” The title itself is offensive and uses incorrect terminology . . .
Moreover, the substance of the column, which makes analogies between being transgender and having a disease or committing adultery, is insulting . . . and perpetuates the malicious stereotype of transgender people as deceivers"
7-13-10: New York Times (posted 7-05): "The Ethicist: When to Out a Transgender Dater?", by Randy Cohen
"Even before a first kiss, this person should have told you those things that you would regard as germane to this phase of your evolving relationship, including his being transgendered. Clearly he thought you’d find it pertinent; that’s why he discreditably withheld it, lest you reject him.
As things stand, you have every right to talk this over with friends. We are entitled to discuss the most intimate aspects of our own lives — or what are friends for? "
7-13-10: The Scavenger: " Ladybeard: a ‘transhairstorical’ story"
"Bastian Fox Phelan decided to grow facial hair while still identifying as a woman. After creating the zine Ladybeard they received some unexpected reactions. Bastian reflects on what it means to transgress the gender binary as a bearded lady and now, as a bearded boi . . . "
7-12-10: Miami Herald: "Transgender servicemembers warned not to come out even if don't ask, don't tell is repealed", by Steve Rothaus
"The National Center for Transgender Equality and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network are warning transgender servicemembers not to come out, even if don’t ask, don’t tell is repealed."
7-12-10: KARU (Idaho): "Pipe bombs, streaking suspect stir up Idaho town" (more, more, more)
"PAYETTE, Idaho (AP) - A transgender woman who was at odds with police over the way they listed her gender was arrested for investigation of rigging what appeared to be four pipe bombs to a propane tank at her home, torching her car then running naked along a rural highway."
7-11-10: The Scavenger: "More problems with trans healthcare", by Amy Hunter"
""A few weeks ago, I filed an article, both here at The Scavenger and on American blog, The Bilerico Project. Sex Reassignment Surgery: When Things Go Wrong, received great commentary on and off-site from Scavenger and Bilerico readers.
The comments have continued to come in: a trans support group in Brisbane, Australia wrote my editor for permission to re-print the article. I have received phone calls, personal letters and e-mails from advocates, other women experiencing difficulties, and organizations that have a stake in the trans healthcare debate.
I am grateful for the well wishes sent by readers, but what heartens me most is the enhanced dialogue about trans healthcare that has transpired since the piece first posted. Amid the response were ideas that merit closer attention . . ."
[A must-read update from Amy Hunter about the terrible state of trans healthcare.]
7-11-10: The Telegraph (UK): "So, I had a sex change"
"Hostility, ridicule and financial ruin are some of the difficulties faced by Britain’s 6,000 transsexuals. But against the odds some do achieve personal and professional success."
[Profiles of Kate Craig-Wood, Stephanie Booth and Stephen Whittle]
7-11-10: The Mirror (UK): "Boy, 18, wants sex change to become like idol Katie Price"
"The hair, the eyebrows, the eyelashes, those pouting lips... even the shape of the face. You already have to look twice at Cindy Jackson to be sure she isn’t Katie Price. But “Cindy” isn’t what she seems. She’s an 18-year-old boy called Richard – who is desperate to have a sex-change to look even more like the former Jordan, and ¬become a top glamour model just like her"
7-10-10: The Times of India (India): "`No relief for transgenders in Karnataka'"
"Lack of medical help and government welfare schemes is plaguing the transgender community. To top it all, indiscriminate use of hormone tablets without doctors' help poses a huge threat to their health. Founder of Sahodari Foundation of Transgender Women, Kalki, spoke to TOI about the plight of the community which is craving for attention . . . There is no change in the way the world treats us. Harassment in Karnataka hasn't stopped, unlike in Tamil Nadu which has progressed very fast. At the World Tamil Conference recently, a paper on transgender literature was presented. When I met TN chief minister M Karunanidhi at his residence recently, he accepted me as I am. But in Bangalore, despite being the IT capital, there is lot of violence against transgenders. A year ago, they tried to evict transgenders saying there were too many `hijras' in town."
7-09-10: CNN (re Algeria) "Algerian transsexual's memoirs reveal life of discrimination"
"An Algerian transsexual has published her memoirs, describing the discrimination she faced in her home country, which culminated in death threats that forced her to flee to Lebanon. Randa, who says she's "around 30," now lives as a woman in Beirut, Lebanon, but was born a boy, called Fouad, in Algeria."
7-09-10: European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights (Europe): "European Parliament internal note: Transgender Persons’ Rights in the EU Member States"
"European Parliament services have released an internal note, detailing transgender people’s rights in the EU Member States. The note, already downloadable here (PDF), will soon be available to the public on the Parliament’s website along with similar internal studies . . . The briefing note details the situation of transgender people in the European Union based on legal sources, institutional documents and non-governmental sources. It includes a section on EU-wide anti-discrimination measures, gender reassignment procedures throughout the European Union, access to health care, freedom of movement and asylum issues, as well as the legal and social situation for transgender people in Turkey and Croatia."
7-09-10: The News (Pakistan): "First transgender to become a doctor"
"If strength, determination and vision are the basic traits of a true leader then Sarah Gill certainly qualifies, as one for she not only has the strength and determination to stand up for the rights of her community, but also has the vision to lobby for centuries’ old respect for transgender in society.
A resident of Karachi, Sarah, 23, is going to be the first transgender to become a medical doctor in Pakistan’s history. This interview was taken on her recent visit to Islamabad aimed at meeting United Nations officials.
“Our community enjoyed tremendous respect in Islam as well as in the history of Muslim rulers,” said Sarah. “It was only after when the British came to this continent that we were declared criminals by law and since then, our community is constantly facing inhuman discrimination and have become a symbol of shame,” said Sarah, a soft spoken person with a strong opinion. She regretted that the law made by British was still part of Pakistan’s constitution."
7-08-10: Metro Weekly: "Federal Court Rules DOMA Sec. 3 Violates Equal Protection" (more, more)
"U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro, appointed to the federal bench in 1972, ruled this afternoon in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A companion decision in Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services also was issued, with Tauro finding that DOMA also violates the Tenth Amendment and the Spending Clause of the Constitution.
Tauro's parting words in Gill, set up just how difficult he believes that an appeal should be: "As irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest, this court must hold that Section 3 of DOMA as applied to Plaintiffs violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution""
7-08-10: AFP (re Finland): "Semenya to resume running career in Finnish city" (more)
South African athlete Caster Semenya will resume her running career on July
15 at a meeting in Finland, her Finnish agent Jukka Harkonen said on
Thursday. "She will begin at Lappeenranta in July. She is now free to run as
a female athlete," Harkonen told AFP.
Semenya has not run since leaked test results claimed she was a hermaphrodite following her win at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. The 19-year-old South African 800m world champion was given the green light this week to run again after a review by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) of gender-verification tests."
7-08-10: The Daily Mail (UK re US): "Will Warren Beatty every accept his girl becoming a boy?"
"Kathlyn delivered a monumental surprise. She insisted on being presented with a new name - and a new sex. She had styled herself Stephen Ira Beatty. Indeed, it soon became clear that she had been living fully as a man for at least two years. What's more, she is now apparently preparing for gender reassignment surgery which will allow her to become fully male . . .
A friend of Beatty's told the National Enquirer: 'Warren is beside himself over the situation with his daughter Kathlyn. He and Annette have tried to deal with this over the years when their daughter was younger but she is determined to go ahead with a transgender operation.' The friend added: 'Warren knows he can't stop her from following her dream, but it's breaking his heart.' "
7-08-10: Washington City Paper: "How D.C. Hospitals Fail Trans Patients"
". . . going to the hospital—rarely a particularly pleasant experience—often produces an overlay of uncertainty and anxiety for transgender patients. Without a firm policy in place, the care transgender patients receive often comes down to chance; a caregiver who’s familiar with transgender issues may treat patients perfectly fine, but if they encounter the wrong employee, problems can ensue. Even, sometimes, within the same hospital."
7-08-10: Global Times (China): "Caught in the middle"
"Huang is an only child whose parents doted on him. "But I wanted to be a girl since I was young. The surgery was a failure. I had to drop out of school and have no real professional skills. I'm just hiding now in Shenzhen's dark corners. I am officially neither male nor female and don't know what to do.""
7-08-10: Haaretz (Israel): "Jaffa men charged with beating transgender brother"
"Three Jaffa brothers were indicted yesterday on charges that they attacked, kidnapped and imprisoned their younger brother, who is undergoing sex reassignment surgery, in order to preserve the family's honor. The indictment charges that on the night of June 22 the three brothers, aged between 34 and 38, found their 19-year-old brother working as a prostitute in south Tel Aviv's old central bus station area and forced him into their car. One of them allegedly tried to tie a rope around his neck but stopped after he pleaded for his life. "
7-07-10: The Huffington Post: "The Sorry State of Transgender Health Care", by Joanne Herman
" . . . consider the bias against transgender people in the undergraduate psychology text Understanding Abnormal Behavior by Sue, Sue and Sue. The current edition from 2008 cites outdated prevalence numbers that are severely understated. The text says that most research shows that people regret their surgeries (the vast majority do not), and discounts surgery in favor of highly controversial reparative therapy, which claims to "cure" a person of being transgender. How many other textbooks are like this? With bias like this as the norm in the medical community, is it any wonder that college faculty have difficulty justifying inclusion of anything other than a brief mention of transgender health issues in curriculums?"
7-06-10: Atlanta Journal Constitution: "Transgender woman wins ruling against Legislature" (more, more, more)
"A federal judge in Atlanta has handed a legal victory to Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as legislative editor for the Georgia General Assembly after announcing she would transition from male to female. In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Story ruled Glenn was subjected to sex discrimination. The judge also scheduled a July 13 hearing to determine what remedy should be granted to Glenn."
7-05-10: Eurasianet (re Kyrgyzstan): "Kyrgyzstan’s Transgender Advocates Call for Right to Change Gender in Passports"
"In a region widely criticized for its human rights record, a handful of activists in Kyrgyzstan are attempting to enact significant reforms in how the state defends transgender individuals from harassment. Seizing on what they say is a liberal intermission in Kyrgyzstan’s transition from autocracy to parliamentary democracy – before elections this fall – they are fighting for the right to change the gender markers in their government-issued documents.“Transgender individuals in Kyrgyzstan often struggle to find employment; many are unable to open bank accounts or sign legal documents because their appearances don’t match the gender in their passports,” says Dahn Pak, a transgender man . . . “One person denied the right to change his documents was told in court, ‘No penis, No passport,’ and the judge struck his gavel. They said this in court!” exclaims Akram Kubanychbek, a member of the Ministry of Health’s working group. Kubanychbek is a transgender man who changed his passport’s gender marker with the help of an inexperienced yet compassionate bureaucrat"
7-05-10: Liberal Democrats (UK): "EU discrimination law must cover gender identity issues"
"Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has asked the European Commission to explore what action can be taken at European level to prevent discrimination against both transgender and non-gendered people."
7-04-10: Latin American Herald Tribune (re Spain): "Transexuals Take Leading Role in Madrid’s Gay Pride Parade"
"Thousands of people paraded Saturday through downtown Madrid in a festive, colorful march giving visibility of transexuals, a group that took the leading role in this year’s Gay Pride demonstration in Spain. Both the politicians and the organizers voiced their complaint that even now in the 21st century transexuals are officially considered sick people.
Spain’s minister of equality recalled that the Spanish government has urged the World Health Organization to remove transexuality from the international classification of illnesses. For his part, the president of the FELGTB, Antonio Poveda, said that “transexuals, the most vulnerable group in our world, must have the same rights that we already enjoy as lesbians, gays and bisexuals.”"
7-04-10: The Times of India (India): "Woman lawyer undergoes sex change" (more)
"In a curious turn of events a woman lawyer underwent a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) allegedly to save herself from forced marriage by her family. "I did not want a family life which is being forced on girls in our society," the woman in her mid-30s who refused to disclose her identity said from her hospital bed on Saturday. "This society is mostly male dominated, where girls have no voice of their own ... I feel free now. No one can force me to marry. It is better to become a man to get rid of suferrings met by women.""
7-03-10: The Sun (UK): "Sex-op Helen punches NHS chief over ‘freak’ jibe"
"A SEX-SWAP hospital worker told last night how she battered her manager after he allegedly called her "a freak". Helen Moran, 55 - who used to be a roofer called Tony - ended up in a furious brawl with manager Tariq Rehman after the jibe. The pair fought in a corridor at Birmingham Women's Hospital before storming out to the car park. Police were called and Helen was arrested. But prosecutors decided not to charge her after she told cops Mr Rehman grabbed her by the throat and pulled her hair."
7-02-10: In These Times: "The Great Trans-Frontier: Trinidad, Colo., is the ‘sex change capital of the world.’ A documentary now out on DVD explains why."
"It is not often that a documentary film discusses the complexity and nuance of a small town in Colorado and genital reassignment surgery (GRS) for male to female transsexuals. Trinidad, directed and produced by Jay Hodges and PJ Raval, presents Trinidad, a southern Colorado town of 9,000 that has taken on the moniker “sex change capital of the world.”"
7-02-10: The Daily Express (UK): "Sex Swap Police Officers Demand
"The National Trans Police Association wants a new vetting system put in place so that transgender recruits do not have to reveal former identities when they join up and serving members are protected if they switch jobs. The association’s secretary, Detective Constable Al Smith of West Midlands Police, said it is calling for changes including the practice of taking recruits’ DNA to be done “more discreetly"
7-01-10: Alternative Media Group (Australia): "Killed In Custody? New Developments Over the Death of Veronnica Baxter"
"Veronnica Baxter was an Indigenous transexual woman with a “Barbie doll body” – a well-known personality along Kings Cross’s Golden Mile. On Tuesday March 10, 2008, just days after Mardi Gras, Veronnica was arrested on drug charges and sent to Silverwater Metropolitan Detention Centre. Six days later Veronnica was dead in custody – reportedly found hanging in her cell. Veronnica’s tragic death, and the circumstances surrounding it, have caused many to speculate that she fell victim to racism, or homophobia within the prison system.
Now, 15 months on, details obtained by City Hub add weight to this suspicion, and cast further doubt over the above version of events. It has been alleged that, at her time of death, Veronnica’s fingers were broken – a detail missing from the initial reports, and one that would have made her incapable of hanging herself."
7-01-10: Gulf News (re Kuwait): "Kuwait launches all-women moral police squads - Kuwaiti policewomen tasked with upholding local values and traditions in malls"
"Kuwait is launching an all-women moral police whose tasks include a fight on genderqueers, transsexuals and transvestites, a Kuwaiti daily said. "The special police force will patrol shopping centres and marina clubs throughout Kuwait and will chase women imitating men and men imitating women [transvestites]," Alam Al Yawm reported"
7-01-10: The Guardian (UK): "Transgender teens: girls will be boys" (more)
"The soap Hollyoaks is about to introduce a challenging new storyline about Jasmine, the girl who wants to be Jason. Can it help change attitudes to transgender teens? . . . Benson Bell – or Ben to his friends – was born a girl. He is now hanging out on the set of Hollyoaks to swap tips with Victoria Atkin, the actor portraying a transgender boy as part of a controversial new storyline on the teen soap opera. He is one of a group of teenagers with gender identity disorder who have been working in secrecy with the show for the last few months . . . "
7-01-10: Minivan News (Maldives): "Sex change disguised infamous JonBenét murder suspect as transsexual Billabong teacher"
"A teacher who worked at Billabong High School in Male’ from Feburary until June 2009, Alexis Valoran Reich, has been revealed as the transsexual alter-ego of John Mark Karr, a man who falsely confessed to murdering JonBenét Ramsey in the United States and has been investigated for possession of child pornography."
7-01-10: Barcelona Reporter (Spain): "The Catalan Public Health Authority performed 46 sex change operations in a year and a half."
"The Gender Identity Unit of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona is the only public facility that performs these operations in Catalonia, and access is made through the Psychiatry Service. The Catalan Public Health Authority performed 46 sex change operations in a year and a half. Within the gay pride day, which this year is dedicated to the transgender group, has been announced that the Catalan public health authority has funded 46 sex-change operations since December 2008, when it began to cover these operations . . . "
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