Trans News Updates of 2011 (Jul-Dec):


This page links to news of general interest to the trans community during the second half of 2011.  This running log of news also serves as a window into areas of media focus and public interest regarding trans issues during 2011.  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.


2011:   JulAugSepOctNovDec

Link to first half of 2011



Lynn Conway

Click here to access the currrent Trans News Updates



December 2011


12-31-11:  The Advocate: "Op-ed: 14 Reasons That Made 2011 Great for Trans People - This has been a game-changing year for transgender rights, says Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality." (print version) (more)

"For eight years, I've been incredibly fortunate to be doing trans social justice work. And as I look back at what has been accomplished, I can say that 2011 is especially marked by victory after victory. Most Americans now know a little bit more about the struggle trans people face. Every day people are becoming stronger trans allies. From the trans actors we are finally seeing on movie and television screens, to local nondiscrimination laws, and to the global call for LGBT rights, there is real change in nearly every facet of our lives."


12-31-11:  Federal Way Mirror (posted 12-25): "Can transgender people pray?" by Amy Johnson

"There are many people who do not understand transgender people, or anyone who falls outside of their own definition of male or female. But these people do exist, and they deserve respect and our willingness to try to understand.

A friend of mine who navigates this on a daily basis gets questions from people struggling with their gender identity. One question he got earlier this year was “Can trans people pray?”

How much work do we have to do in our culture when anyone — anyone! — wonders if they are even allowed to pray?"


12-31-11:  The Boston Globe - Letter to the Editor: "No single approach for gender variance", by Scott Leibowitz and Laura Edwards-Leeper (more, more)

"In his letter to the editor, John Fountain erroneously assumes that one treatment approach is universally applied to all gender variant children at Children’s Hospital’s Gender Management Service ( “Parents ought to be aware of options in treating gender identity disorder,’’ Dec. 25). The Gender Management Service team provides comprehensive, individualized treatment that involves careful consideration of all factors in a child or adolescent’s life.

The Globe’s Dec. 11 article about Jonas and Nicole Maines ( “Led by the child who simply knew,’’ Page A1) highlighted the success of an approach based on a treatment intervention that is now standard of care as detailed in 2009 Endocrine Society guidelines. That standard was published after the 2008 task force report Fountain cited. The authors of the earlier report have since agreed against the use of certain terms - for instance, referring to transgender behavior as a “disorder’’ - Fountain uses."


12-31-11: The Boston Globe - Letter to the Editor (12-25): "Parents ought to be aware of options in treating gender identity disorder", by John Fountain

"Spack’s group appears to feature a live-with-it approach, and to de-emphasize efforts to enhance a child’s chances to outgrow the transgender fixation. Surely, parents of these kids should consider finding a treatment that opposes the disorder itself before they settle for one that struggles to live with it. Outgrowing the early transgender tendencies would be a vastly better outcome than living with them and perhaps resorting to sexual reassignment surgery."


12-31-11:  Xtra (Canada): "Transgender people in advertising"

"In October, General Mills’ Totino’s brand ran a promotion called Who’s the next Totino’s Pizza Stuffers Mom? It included dramatized video of actors playing mothers auditioning for the role. All the videos were meant to be funny, including one that showed what was obviously a “masculine” man dressed up in comedic women’s makeup, wig and dress. The joke was that this guy wanted to win so badly he was willing to dress in women’s clothing.

. . . I was astonished by what happened in response to the Totino’s video. Someone named Carla Lewis sent a petition to General Mills pointing out that the video made fun of transgender people, spread misinformation and contributed to the abuse transgender people endure on a daily basis. What was astonishing is that General Mills agreed, apologized and cancelled the entire promotion."


12-30-11:  YNET News (Israel): "Israeli man gives birth - Transgender man makes history, becomes first Israeli male to give birth Thursday"
"Yuval Topper, 24, an Israeli transgender man, gave birth at the Sheba Medical Center Thursday evening. Topper is the first Israeli transgender man to become pregnant and give birth. He underwent a sex change operation some three years ago . . .

Topper shocked medical staff in central Israel a few months ago after walking into an emergency room and informing doctors that he underwent a sex change operation and is pregnant. “Everyone was in shock,” said a patient at the hospital who was in the emergency room when Topper walked in. “He looked like a man in every way and insisted that medical staff address him as a male.”"


12-30-11:  SDGLN (re Pakistan): "In Pakistan, a transgender leader is standing for election"

"Shahana Abbas Shani, president of Pakistan's She-male Association, has announced that she will contest elections as an independent candidate for Muzaffargarh for the Punjab provincial assembly. Talking to The Express Tribune, Shani said that she has made the decision because she wants to discuss problems faced by her community, which she says have been ignored by Pakistani society, in the assembly.

The landmark 2009 court decision recognizing a 'third gender' has not been followed through by authorities, which caused severe problems for trans people during the recent devastating flooding, particularly in Sindh province, through a lack of ID cards. In November this year the court ordered that they be registered as voters.

During the disaster, transgender people were left out of the aid efforts and denied access to IDP camps because of general prejudice, their non-conforming appearance, and their lack of proper identification documents.

Bindiya Rana, of Gender Interactive Alliance, explains that no third-gender ID cards have been given out. As a result, many transgender citizens lack any identification documents at all. According to Rana, this occurs because "a lot of transgenders get separated from their parents from a very young age and are unable to get their parents' ID cards and other supporting documents which are required to get an ID.""


12-28-11:  WMTW-TV (posted 12-26): "After Legal Battle, Transgender Woman Returns To Work - Lawsuit Had Far-Reaching Implications For Transgender Employees"

"In the appellate court's decision, it cites a Supreme Court case from 20 years ago in which a woman was denied promotion because she was deemed too "macho." The Supreme Court found that behavior to be discriminatory on the basis of sex.

Now, the 11th Circuit has said the same protection the law affords to others applies to transgender people as well: A person cannot be lawfully terminated because an employer objects to the way an employee expresses his or her gender.

But transgender advocates caution that the ruling will not end workplace discrimination. They hope for legislation at the state and federal levels that bars discrimination based on gender. Currently, only a handful of states protect transgender employees."


12-28-11:  Huffington Post: "Transgender Woman Beats New York Subway Rider For Calling Her A Man" (more, more)

"A violent video, said to be of a transgender woman kicking and beating a man in a New York subway station after he made a disparaging remark about her identity, is making the LGBT blogosphere rounds. "


12-28-11:  The Daily Mail (UK): "Transsexual builder who had £60,000 sex change to sue health bosses for refusing her breast implants on the NHS"

"Cathy Daniels - born Keith Daniels - wants taxpayers to fund the £5,000 procedure but her GP will not refer her. The 53-year-old father-of-three, who had gender realignment surgery two years ago, wants the surgery to fully complete her sex change.

She plans to take legal action because without breasts she feels 'half man, half woman'."


12-28-11:  The Mirror (UK): "A Transsexual who impersonated Jordan to steal thousands of pounds from her accounts is facing jail."

"Kerry Marshall, 18, tricked her way into Katie Price’s Sussex home by posing as a member of security staff. She took details of the celeb’s bank account, then wore a blonde wig and sunglasses to visit banks and take out £1,000 and £1,500.

The teenager also bought a Mazda sports car, jewellery and other online goods using Ms Price’s credit accounts."


12-27-11:  SDGLN: "Transgender Latinos and Latinas face high levels of discrimination, study finds"

"Latino and Latina transgender and gender non-conforming people face some of the highest levels of discrimination of all transgender people according to an analysis released earlier this month. The report, "Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Latino/a Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey," was put together by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is a supplement an earlier study, "Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey."

"This study shows how devastating multiple discrimination is for Latino and Latina transgender people," says LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes. "We are committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation and gender identity are respected and treated fairly. We call upon other Latino groups to join us as we fight for the right of transgender people to live without fear of discrimination, harassment or violence. We will not stand idly by in a society where equality is not within everyone's reach.""


12-26-11:  NPR: "What If Your Child Says, I'm In The Wrong Body?"

"Dr. Norman Spack at Boston's Children's Hospital has worked with 30 transgender youth and their families to get through the difficult phases of adolescence. One treatment includes a controversial medication that blocks puberty until he or she decides whether or not to transition to the other gender. Dr. Spack talks with guest host Allison Keyes . . .

How would you respond if your child wanted to dress like the opposite gender? And what if that pattern continued for years and your child consistently told you that he or she was born with the wrong body? Since 2007, one clinic in Boston has treated about 30 transgender adolescents.

They offer a wide range of services, including a treatment that blocks puberty and the sexual characteristics that come with adolescence. Here to tell us about the treatment and the issues that some of these families face, is Dr. Norman Spack. He's one of the founders of the clinic at the Children's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Spack, welcome to the program . . .

KEYES: So the argument here is that if you start this early the adolescent is going to be able to fit into their chosen gender better because it's physically different. You don't have, as you just said, the physical differences as you would for a man to a woman. So it doesn't make them stand out as much.

SPACK: Right. I mean, they may not stand out at all. I have patients who are male-to-female who are professional models. The defining moment of whether someone is truly transgender is how they react to the changes that are consistent with the genetic puberty that they were programmed for. At that particular point if you feel like Pinocchio becoming a donkey and wish to rid yourself almost physically of those physical characteristics, the odds are then you are indeed a transgender. And one other characteristic about those kids is that they don't go back. They don't go back to their genetic sex."


12-23-11:  The GA Voice: "Person of the Year: Vandy Beth Glenn"

"In this our last issue of 2011, the GA Voice names our second annual Person of the Year — an honor that goes to the LGBT person, or ally, we think has had the most significant effect on LGBT rights in Georgia in the last 12 months.

This year, our choice is Vandy Beth Glenn, who had the courage to make her personal struggle with Gender Identity Disorder into a very public lawsuit when she was fired from her job as an editor at the Georgia General Assembly in 2007 . . .

It takes fortitude to stand up to the public scrutiny of a landmark lawsuit, including the ridiculous spectacle of your former boss admitting in court documents that he was uncomfortable thinking about the genitalia under your clothes — as if bosses are supposed to think about employees’ parts, regardless of their gender identity.

. . . Glenn’s personal bravery in pursuing her lawsuit sets a precedent that will benefit all transgender people — those who are activists, those who wish to assimilate, and everyone in between. The court’s clear statement that discrimination based on gender nonconformity constitutes illegal sex discrimination could also help lesbians and gay men — and anyone else — who might be perceived as too butch or too femme."


12-22-11:  The Advocate: "Lance Bass Uses Transgender Slur on Air"

"Out entertainer Lance Bass suggests that comic Billy Eichner interview "trannies" for his new man-on-the-street program before Eichner corrects him, during an appearance on Access Hollywood this morning . . .
“So you need to go to Christopher and Hudson and get those trannies on the corner there — that would be perfect,” Bass suggests to Eichner. Eichner agrees, saying “I love a tranny” before realizing his error and correcting himself.

“We’re not supposed to call them trannies anymore,” Eichner says. “Did you see that Neil Patrick Harris called them a tranny [sic] on Twitter?” Bass replies, “Oh, no? Great, now I’m going to get in trouble.”

Co-​host Kit Hoover asks Eichner if there’s a “new name.” Bass says, “I didn’t get the memo.” Eichner suggests “really, really gay? I don’t know.” Bass replies, “I like my good ol’ trannies.”"


12-22-11:  New York Times (re Chicago): "For Transgender Detainees, a Jail Policy Offers Some Security"

"Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said he instituted the new procedures when he realized that the jail — which holds an average daily population of about 8,900, primarily consisting of people awaiting trial — did not have a policy on how to deal with transgender detainees.

In one of his weekly meetings of jail officials, “when it came up, I asked around the room what everyone’s thoughts were on it, and there was a collective pause,” Mr. Dart said. “It just became clear to me that we needed to have a more affirmative position.”

Jails around the country are starting to address the difficult and sensitive issue of how to deal with transgender detainees. Lawsuits over their mistreatment have focused more attention on the issue. Another factor has been increased knowledge about the vulnerability of transgender detainees and inmates, in part due to the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. "


12-22-11:  The Stir: "Parents of Transgender Girl Are Better Than Most of Us"

"At just 3.5 and almost 5 years old, my two children know their genders very well. Both are happy to be what they were born to be (a boy and a girl) and, in many ways, each is a stereotype of his or her gender (my daughter loves princesses, purple, and sparkles while my son loves fire trucks and being "strong"). As a parent, it's hard to imagine what I might feel if my child didn't feel those things, if he or she told me they were in the wrong skin and wanted to be the opposite gender.

This is exactly what happened to the Maines family of Maine. After having twin "boys," Wyatt and Jonas, it soon became clear that Wyatt wasn't a boy. He liked pink and sparkles, yes. But it was more than that, too. He asked his mom at age 4: “When do I get to be a girl?’’ . . .  Now, at age 14, Wyatt is Nicole, a functioning and happy teenage girl.

The story of how Wyatt became Nicole is featured in the Boston Globe and is more than a story of one transgender teenager and her transition to being who she truly is inside. It's a story of parental love and of accepting a child for who they really are, not merely who you may want them to be."


12-22-11:  Pink News (UK): "Trans personality Karen Gayle in this year’s Alternative Christmas Message"

"Channel 4′s annual Alternative Christmas Message will this year feature Karen Gayle, one of the stars of its popular documentary, My Transsexual Summer. The broadcaster will air two Alternative Christmas Messages, given by contributors to what it called “some of 2011′s most powerful and celebratory factual programming”.

52-year-old ex-police officer Karen Gayle featured on the documentary series earlier this year as she went through the final stages of gender realignment, dating, and “coming to terms both her future and her past”.

The ‘Just Be Yourself’ alternative message also features Max Laird from the programme Seven Dwarves, Katie Piper, whose face was disfigured by an acid attack, and Susan from the programme Beauty and the Beast who lost much of the left side of her own face after cancer treatment as a child."


12-22-11:  National Enquirer: "Warren Beatty's Love for Transgender Son"   (more)

"WARREN BEATTY has finally accepted his transgender son – and to prove it he celebrated with a family “coming out” party in Hollywood just a week before Christmas!

The “Bugsy” star and his actress wife Annette Bening smiled for photogra­phers when they went out with their four children – including 19-year-old son Stephen Ira Beatty, who was born a girl and named Kathlyn – at il Covo Italian restaurant on Dec. 17.

“While Annette has always ac­cepted Stephen’s transition, Warren struggled with it,” an insider told The ENQUIRER. “Warren never stopped loving their child, but he had plenty of issues and fears to overcome."


12-22-11:  The Press Association (UK): "Man jailed over killing lawyer" (more)

"A 35-year-old man who pushed a distinguished cross-dressing lawyer in front of a Tube train in London has been jailed for life. Senthooran Kanagasingham was undergoing sex-change treatment when he killed solicitor David Burgess at King's Cross station in London.

Kanagasingham, of Chichele Road, Cricklewood, north London, was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but cleared of murder, at the Old Bailey. Doctors said Kanagasingham was back on medication and no longer required hospital treatment for paranoid schizophrenia. Judge Stephen Kramer said Kanagasingham would have to serve a minimum of seven years."


12-22-11:  Huffington Post: "Massachusetts Newspaper's Chaz Bono And Transgender Law Parody Slammed By LGBT Rights Activists"

"A Massachusetts newspaper's parody version of a holiday carol poking fun at Chaz Bono's gender reassignment surgery and the state's new transgender protections law has been met with a frosty response from human rights activists and other organizations.

In its Dec. 19 edition, The Lowell Sun ran the following lyrics . . . "


12-22-11:  Global Comment: "Why does the media still refer to “Bradley” Manning? The Curious Silence Around a Transgender Hero", by Emily Manuel

"One of the most persistent threads throughout the two years of imprisonment of accused Wikileaks leaker Private Bradley Manning has been the rumour that he is in fact, she–a transgender woman . . . Dismissed by many as a smear or simply irrelevant to the case, this transgender story has nevertheless refused to die. In June 2010, Wired published excerpted chat logs between Manning and hacker Adrian Lamo that suggested that Manning considered herself female. Manning states quite clearly: “ I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as boy…” . . .

Despite this mounting evidence, Manning’s lawyers and supporters continued to make no mention of any preference for female identification, pronouns or the name Breanna, leaving Manning’s likely transgender status something of an open secret . . . Whether they believed in the logs’ veracity or not (and odds are, most who believe Manning to be a hero do), I have not found a single media source who appears to have considered the possibility of writing about Manning as a woman . . .

This kind of “ungendering,” as trans theorist Julia Serano has argued in her landmark book Whipping Girl, is itself harmful, an act of violence by a world that has little inclination for respecting the self-identification of transgender people and exposes them to violence in every sphere of society. Now that we have entered the trial stage and the facts are being confirmed, it is mindboggling that her supporters continue to engage in this, in the very act of “support”–and it says everything about how we on the Left see transgender women."


12-21-11:  MSNBC: "Manning defense's focus on gender identity disorder alarms some"

"Raising the hackles of some attorneys who work on transgender legal issues, defense attorneys for Bradley Manning apparently intend to make an almost novel legal argument -- that the Army private was suffering from gender identity disorder when his alleged crimes were committed -- if his case proceeds to court martial as expected . . .

And several lawyers who work with transgender clients indicated they were not happy with the direction that the Manning proceedings have taken. “We don’t think that being transgender, if he in fact is, has anything to do with him breaking the law,” said Kylar Broadus, an attorney with the Transgender Law and Policy Institute. “Obviously the charges are serious and we don’t want the trial to be sensationalized or detracted from by him being transgender.”

“Our opinion is there is no correlation between anything he has done and gender identity disorder,” agreed Dru Levasseur, a transgender rights attorney with Lambda Legal."


12-21-11:  Hufffington Post: "Girl Scouts' Inclusion Of Bobby Montoya, 7-Year-Old Transgender Child, Prompts Troops To Disband" (more, more)

"A Colorado-based Girl Scouts troop's decision to admit a 7-year-old transgender child this fall has prompted three leaders to resign and dissolve their troops.

As The Christian Post is reporting, all three of the troop leaders were affiliated with the Northlake Christian School in Covington, Louisiana.

Susan Bryant-Snure, one of the leaders who resigned, told The Baptist Press that the Girl Scouts' action is "extremely confusing" and an "almost dangerous situation" for children. "This goes against what we [Northlake Christian School] believe," said Bryant-Snure, who has three daughters among the 25 girls who had been active scouts there."


12-19-11:  Weekly US: "Update: Chaz Bono Splits With Fiancee Jennifer Elias" (more, more, more, more, more)

"Bono tweeted Monday afternoon: "Thanks for your concern about our separation. I'm doing fine, and we remain on good terms with nothing but respect and affection for each other."

Elias embarked on a relationship with Cher and the late Sonny Bono's eldest child five years ago -- when he was still a woman who went by the name of Chastity Bono. In May, Elias admitted to Oprah Winfrey "it was really hard" when her partner transitioned from male to female; Bono announced his decision to undergo gender reassignment in June 2009. "We had to really almost re-learn how to communicate and how to be around each other," Elias said."


12-19-11:  Huffington Post: "Good Tidings To All: LGBTQs Still Looking for Holiday Celebrations"

"Despite increased awareness, parties and worship services have not always been welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Advocacy groups, cultural organizations and mainstream religious institutions have stepped in to ensure safe spaces to worship, especially at a time when the holidays are on almost every American's mind."


12-19-11:  Washington Blade: "Lawyers say Bradley Manning struggled with gender identity disorder" (Washington Post, CNN, more)

"Attorneys representing Pfc. Bradley Manning, a 24-year-old Army private previously identified as gay, startled observers at a pre-court martial hearing on Saturday by saying allegations that Manning leaked classified U.S. intelligence information could be linked to a personal struggle over his gender identity.

Revelations that Manning created a Facebook page under the name Breanna Manning, that he dressed in women’s clothes, and he told an Army supervisor that he was suffering from gender identity disorder surfaced on the second day of a military proceeding known as an Article 32 hearing at Fort Meade, Md . . .

Observers of the case have speculated that Manning’s defense may be laying the groundwork for a less severe sentence if Manning is convicted in a court martial. Observers say the defense may argue that Manning showed warning signs of instability that should have prompted his supervisors to revoke his high-level security clearance and cut off his access to classified information before the alleged wrongdoing took place"


12-19-11:  People's Daily (China): "Trapped in their new gender"

"Acid Chen's thin, young body is covered by a fashionable grey coat, which she hugs around herself. Her hair is long and stylish. Few other trendies take notice until she orders her coffee. Her voice isn't right and you can see that her shoulders are too broad. Now people are looking at her, but Chen doesn't bat an eyelash.

Chen, 24, isn't quite ready for her gender reassignment surgery and is living full-time as a woman. All her life she's shared the famous characteristics that nature has given many thousands of people around the world. She feels trapped in a man's body. "


12-19-11:  Chicago Tribune: "Transgender people fight for civil rights, public understanding - Despite progress, discrimination still a problem for those whose gender identity doesn't match anatomical sex" (more, more)

"Dan Carmichael had barely taken his first breath when a doctor announced his gender: "It's a girl." If only it were that simple for Carmichael. He was raised a girl — then named Danielle Sosin — grew into a woman, served in the Iraq War, yet never quite felt comfortable. "I felt like an impostor," said Carmichael, now 33 and living as a man, the gender he always identified with . . .  Carmichael is part of a once-hidden demographic that now feels freer than ever to show itself, even while faced with widespread discrimination and misunderstanding of what it means to be "transgender." Unlike gays and lesbians, who in some substantive ways have been assimilated into modern American culture, transgender people remain on the fringe, often stereotyped as "trannies" and sensationalized in movies and television shows."

[Note how Alice Dreger, strident spokesperson for trans-pathologizers Ken Zucker, Ray Blanchard and J. Michael Bailey, is quoted at the end of the article, as if she were a "trans-friendly" expert. ]


12-19-11:  The Gazette (Canada): "Cross-dressers Not Always Transgender People”, by Jillian Page
"A commentary I read recently about cross-dressers got me to thinking. The writer figured that cross-dressers are “transgender” people, and should be referred to as such.

Indeed, some cross-dressers do view themselves as transgender people. But many, perhaps most, don’t. The word “cross-dresser” is one of the words that can go, umm, both ways. Of the 15 or so cross-dressers I have encountered in my journey, virtually all of them don’t consider themselves to be transgender people. They’re men who cross-dress. They don’t have gender identity issues. They use male pronouns.

Most of those men cross-dress for kink – it’s a turnon, and each cross-dressing occasion usually ends with an orgasm. The others do it simply because they like the clothes – they find them comfortable. Maybe they are getting in touch with their feminine side. But they still see themselves as men."


12-18-11:  Xtra! (Canada): "Trans Canadians fight for recognition on legal documents - Federal government says surgery a prerequisite for passport change"

"Talia Johnson is nervous about travelling. One look at her passport tells border guards everything they need to know about her gender status.

Johnson, who has had her name legally changed, now wants to change the sex designation on her passport – a simple correction from “m” to “f" – to ensure all her documents accurately reflect her gender.

The federal government says trans people must undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) or provide a letter guaranteeing the procedure will take place within a year."


12-17-11:  Huffington Post: "Owen Middleton, Transgender Teen, Documents Transition On YouTube To Raise Awareness (VIDEO)"

"Recently, 18-year-old Owen Middleton began documenting his transition on YouTube. His first video appeared on November 10th, before beginning testosterone . . .

In the videos, Middleton shows off the needles he uses to inject himself in the thigh, discusses the small changes he's seen so far (including a little bit of acne), changes in the pitch of his voice, the strain his transition has put on his relationship with his sister, his aspirations to be a professional singer (and his worries that testosterone will affect his voice), his plans to learn how to shave from his uncle on video chat, and more.

Middleton's straightforward, honest, and candid approach to his transition makes his videos absolutely captivating and while he is informing people about a process that is still largely misunderstood -- and often demonized -- he has also captured our hearts at HuffPost Gay Voices and we can't wait for his next video.

Have a look at Middleton's video filmed after two weeks of testosterone (above) and subscribe to his YouTube channel to keep updated on his transition."


12-17-11:  MSN NZ (New Zealand): "Hard times for transsexual ex-mayor"

"Former Labour MP Georgina Beyer, who was the world's first openly transsexual mayor, is broke and unemployed.

Ms Beyer, 54, is having difficulty finding work, The Dominion Post reports. She has sold her house and is living in a one-bedroom granny flat in the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville. "I do draw the line at being a crew member at McDonald's. I'm a little bit past that sort of thing."

Ms Beyer became the world's first openly transsexual mayor after winning the Carterton mayoralty in 1995. She served as mayor till 1999 and was an MP for seven years."


12-16-11:  GLAAD: "Why ABC's New Sitcom Work It Hurts the Transgender Community" (more)

"On January 3, ABC is set to premiere the new comedy Work It, a sitcom about two men who dress as women to secure employment. During a period in which the transgender community now routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, the timing couldn’t be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny. In fact, shows like this have the power to put the transgender community in an even more dangerous position . . .

Said GLAAD’s Acting President Mike Thompson, “Transphobia is still all too prevalent in our society and this show will only contribute to it. It will reinforce the mistaken belief that transgender women are simply ‘men pretending to be women,’ and that their efforts to live their lives authentically as women are a form of lying or deception.”"


12-16-11:  Washington Post: "Transgender immigrant finds new life, protection in D.C." (more)

"Valerie Villalta, now 30, found that new life as a transgender woman and, in the process, won a kind of protection she didn’t even know was possible for someone like her: asylum.

Asylum, which allows an immigrant to live and work in the country legally, is more commonly associated with immigrants who have been persecuted in their home countries — or who might be in the future — because of their politics, race, religion or ethnicity. But Villalta learned that it also can apply to gay and transgender immigrants who have been tortured because of their sexuality."


12-16-11:  The Nation (Thailand): "Gender Identity Imposed from Afar", by Ziri Sutprasert

"A recent seminar at the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre revised my concept of being gay. This was part of an ongoing series of discussions, and it's worth following . . .

At the seminar, scholar Narupon Duangwises posed a question about why the Western "binary" system of couples is in conflict with self-identity. European countries spread the heterosexual "ideal" through colonialism while disparaging any local habits containing elements of homosexuality. Such practices became infused with guilt. As well, the West, as it modernised, placed sexual identity at the core of human identity, insisting that people needed to behave according to their gender - males had to be masculine, females had to be feminine . . .
In some places homosexuality was long an accepted tradition until the European invasion. Was Thailand this way? We've never had a scholarly history of sexuality in Thailand, so we don't know. But nor can we claim that being straight is the genuine Thai way and that anything else is a stain on society.

Meanwhile it's helpful to realise that sexual choice and gender are complex and that they've been altered by Western influence. Every culture is entitled to its own perspective on sex and, unlike the European colonialists, we must respect that, not impose judgement."


12-16-11:  New Zealand Herald (New Zealand): "Tearful tributes flow for Carmen" (more, more, more)

"Tributes are flowing from New Zealand and Australia for legendary drag queen Carmen, who died yesterday, aged 75.

Former MP Georgina Beyer, the world's first transsexual Member of Parliament, said she had to fight to contain tears at the news."I looked up to her," Beyer told "I have such huge respect for her. She provided us with visibility. "She was so warm, so affectionate, with a great sense of maoritanga."

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said she acknowledged with sadness the passing of one of New Zealand's most widely celebrated drag queens."


12-15-11:  The Journalist (UK; Dec/Jan 2012 issue): "Mature approach needed to transgender issues: Phil Chamberlain explains why sniggering media coverage isn't anything to laugh about" (article on pages 12-13)

"A bullied schoolchild isn't usually news, but for one ten-year-old in Worcester it was enough to make the front pages this autumn. She had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria during the summer holidays. With the backing of the school, she was starting the new term as a girl - and being bullied by parents as a result.

The Metro, for one, wrote a generally sympathetic piece; however, online comments spread through social networks quickly criticised a few inaccurate elements. The paper subsequently amended the story.  Other report in the national media were less forgiving and less willing to change.

For Paris Lees, from the advocacy group Trans Media Watch, the story is symptomatic of the media's current attitude to transgender people. "We're still at the stage where stories are about pointing and staring, " she says. "Some progress has been made but it is very slow. You feel you are chipping away at a mountain.""


12-15-11:  Campus Progress (posted 12/13): "Former Macy’s Worker Turned Social Conservative Darling: ‘There Are No Transgenders in the World" (more, more)

"When Natalie Johnson saw a young transgender woman entering the dressing room at a Texas Macy’s, she moved swiftly to interrupt her, telling her that she was in the wrong place. “I had to just be straightforward and tell him [sic], ‘You’re a man,’ and of course that … really got him steamed,” Johnson told KSAT.

But Macy’s LGBT-inclusive policy explicitly allows transgender customers to use the dressing room of the gender they identify with, and the customer’s friends argued with Johnson. Eventually, Johnson was called in to see her manager, who told Johnson that transgender people were allowed to use the dressing room that corresponds with their gender identity.

Johnson replied by saying that she couldn’t allow “men” to use women’s fitting rooms, and asked for a religious exemption to the rule, explaining that her religious beliefs—which she said were also covered by Macy’s inclusive policies—prohibited her from “lying.” She was summarily fired.

Now, Johnson has filed a complaint with the Federal Employment Commission, and has become a lightning rod for right-wing anti-transgender sentiment. The Liberty University-affiliated Liberty Counsel has thrown itself behind Johnson, issuing a petition and encouraging supporters to call Macy’s and express their dissatisfaction with the company’s inclusive policy."


12-15-11:  Daily Mirror (UK): "Ladyboy air hostesses: Thai airline hires transsexual stewardesses who have to 'maintain a feminine voice' " (more, more, more)

"A Thai airline has recruited trolley dollies that can offer that little bit extra than most female hostesses by signing up ladyboys. PC Air, a new air passenger carrier that intends to provide travel across Asia, reportedly only initially intended to hire male and female flight attendants. But having received over a hundred applications from transvestites and transsexuals, bosses relaxed their own requirements to take on members of ‘the third gender’. Certain conditions were laid out, though.

While the qualifications for the transsexual flight attendants remained the same as those for female stewardesses during the interview process, it was stipulated that any ladyboy employees would have to behave like woman in their walking and talking, maintaining a “feminine” voice."


12-14-11:  American Bar Association Journal: "Civil Rights: Transgender Woman Returns to Georgia Legislature Job After 11th Circuit Ruling" (See PDF of summary judgement)

"Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who lost her legislative editor job with the Georgia Office of Legislative Counsel, is back at work now after an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that her termination violated her civil rights . . .

The Atlanta-based 11th Circuit on Dec. 6 upheld a lower court ruling in Glenn’s favor. When she was hired as an editor in 2005, she was a man named Glenn Morrison. Morrison was diagnosed with gender identity disorder that year, and doctors recommended a gender transition, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Morrison began living as a woman, and in 2007 a supervisor asked about a complete gender transformation. Glenn said she intended to do so, and was fired.

“An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender nonconformity,” Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote (PDF) for the unanimous panel. “Because these protections are afforded to everyone, they cannot be denied to a transgender individual. The nature of the discrimination is the same; it may differ in degree but not in kind.”"


12-13-11:  Radar Online: "Sexy Transsexual Male Model Andrej Pejic Lands Push-Up Bra Campaign"

"Can a man modeling a push-up bra inspire ladies to buy lingerie?

Dutch department store Hema seems to think so! The company has hired sexy dude-looks-like-a-lady model Andrej Pejic for their latest “mega push-up bra” advertising campaign – and has all the details.

“Did I ever think I had enough booty to advertise a push-up bra? No. but am I working it or what??,” the model posted on his Twitter account Tuesday."


12-13-11:  The Daily Mail (UK re US): "Born twin boys, now they're brother and sister: How Wyatt, 14, became Nicole... and sibling Jonas loves the new girl in the familyNicole Maines changed her name from Wyatt in the fourth grade"

"It has been a long struggle for the Maines family, from southern Maine, to have their child accepted for who she is. Along the way they have faced legal battles, discrimination, bullying and have moved home.

After Wyatt repeatedly denied he was a boy and started acting out, Mrs Maines began doing research on transgender children but there was little information to be found. The Maines were fortunately put in touch with the Children’s Hospital Gender Management Services Clinic in Boston, opened in 2007 by endocrinologist Norman Spack and urologist David Diamond.

Mr Maines, a 53-year-old safety director at the University of Maine, told the Boston Globe: 'I didn’t understand it all, but I saw the weight lift off Kelly’s shoulders and a smile in Nicole’s eyes. 'That was it for me. There were tons of challenges for us after that, but I knew my daughter was going to be OK, medically.'"


12-13-11:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Transgender patients outed by the health-care system - ‘I will die of pneumonia before being called Mr. once more in the emergency room’" (more)

"For most sick people in a doctor's waiting room, a walk-in clinic or the hospital emergency, the etiquette of the receptionist, nurse and doctor is not likely the top priority. Getting better is. But for people in the years-long process of changing genders, the name called out and the pronouns used can be the difference between medical treatment and psychological torture.

Many Quebec health care workers routinely out transsexuals by arguing in public about their name and sex as indicated on the medicare card, advocates for trans people say. Transphobia — prejudice and hostility toward people who don't fit standard gender images — is widespread, they add.

Gabrielle Bouchard, a co-ordinator at the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy in Montreal, said it's exhausting to repeatedly argue about gender and one's name regarding a mortgage or when applying for a job — but it can be especially hurtful while trying to obtain publicly-funded medical services."


12-12-11:  Time: "Transgender People: The Next Frontier in Civil Rights - Being fired for "gender non-conformity" is a violation of the constitution, an important court recently found"

"When Vandiver Elizabeth Glenn was fired from a state job in Georgia, she filed a lawsuit saying that she had been discriminated against for being transgender. Georgia civil rights laws do not cover transgender people, but a powerful federal court ruled last week that Glenn’s firing violated the U.S. Constitution. There was also a second major piece of transgender news last week: a new study shows that a growing number of major American companies are paying for their employees’ gender reassignment surgery. Taken together, the ruling and the study are strong indications that transgender rights are starting to enter the mainstream."


12-12-11:  Skepchick: "Sacrificing Privilege", by Natalie Reed

"But regardless of the fact that I can’t make any hard, definitive statements about the exact reasons I deal with so much harassment, and can’t tell where the issues of being a woman or being trans or being poor begin and end,… regardless of the fact that I can’t draw any meaningful conclusions about the causal relationships involved, or exactly what aspects of my experiences are different now on account of being perceived as female, I can make a very clear distinction between my old life and my current one. And the differences are impossible to ignore, and fit incredibly well with what is already understood about misogyny and the social treatment of gender. The advantages in life that I no longer have sync up almost perfectly with most contemporary feminist understanding of male privilege and what it entails.

So please, take it from someone who has a basis of comparison, who had it but sacrificed it, male privilege is real. Women don’t have it easier. And while we’re pretty much all being hurt by the gender binary, and no one is really benefiting all that much, women are getting the worst of it. But that loss of privilege? Completely, totally worth it for the ability to finally feel at home in my own skin."


12-12-11:  London Evening Standard (UK): "'Gender variant' solicitor pushed under train by transexual friend"

"A respected solicitor was pushed under the wheels of a Tube train in front of horrified commuters by a transexual she had befriended, the Old Bailey heard today. Sonia Burgess, who in her professional life was known as David, was herself a gender variant whose double life was well known to her family and friends.

The killer, Senthooran Kanagasingham, was then living as a woman and met Sonia at a bar, the jury was told. At the time he was known as Nina and would spend hours at Ms Burgess's flat in Shaftesbury Avenue pouring out her troubles, the court heard. But their friendship became strained as Kanagasingham became increasingly "needy." In October last year they spent 90 minutes together before he deliberately pushed his victim onto the tracks on the westbound Piccadilly line at Kings Cross."


12-12-11:  TimeOut London (UK; posted 12-08): "'My Transsexual Summer' appraised': A trans author and activist considers the impact of 'My Transsexual Summer'", by Juliet Jacques

"For Britain's transgender population, Channel 4's 'My Transsexual Summer' looked like a landmark: the most important TV programme since 1980, when the BBC followed Julia Grant through 'A Change of Sex'. But now that its four hours have finished, that population - myself included - is reassessing a show that promised to be more sympathetic and less sensationalist than anything before, and asking: 'How useful was it?'

'My Transsexual Summer' followed seven people in transition - four male-to-female and three female-to-male, mostly in their twenties - as they came out to family and friends, tried to find work and homes, and discovered themselves in pubs and clubs, some designated as trans-friendly and others not. In mixing their everyday worlds with footage at a 'retreat', 'My Transsexual Summer' didn't just walk a fine line between sensitivity and sensationalism - it built it into its form. Personal narratives combined jarringly with the retreat, which recalled the Big Brother 'house' of Channel 4's recent past."


12-11-11:  The Boston Globe: "Led by the child who simply knew: The twin boys were identical in every way but one. Wyatt was a girl to the core, and now lives as one, with the help of a brave, loving family and a path-breaking doctor’s care."

"Wayne and Kelly Maines have struggled to know whether they are doing the right things for their children, especially for Wyatt, who now goes by the name Nicole. Was he merely expressing a softer side of his personality, or was he really what he kept saying: a girl in a boy’s body? Was he exhibiting early signs that he might be gay? Was it even possible, at such a young age, to determine what exactly was going on?

Until recently, there was little help for children in such situations. But now a groundbreaking clinic at Children’s Hospital in Boston - one of the few of its kind in the world - helps families deal with the issues, both emotional and medical, that arise from having a transgender child - one who doesn’t identify with the gender he or she was born into.

The Children’s Hospital Gender Management Services Clinic can, using hormone therapies, halt puberty in transgender children, blocking the development of secondary sexual characteristics - a beard, say, or breasts - that can make the eventual transition to the other gender more difficult, painful, and costly. Founded in 2007 by endocrinologist Norman Spack and urologist David Diamond, the clinic - known as GeMS and modeled on a Dutch program - is the first pediatric academic program in the Western Hemisphere that evaluates and treats pubescent transgenders . . . It was in that clinic, under Spack’s care, that Nicole and her family finally began to have hope for her future.

The Maineses decided to tell their story, they say, in order to help fight the deep stigma against transgender youth, and to ease the path for other such children who, without help, often suffer from depression, anxiety, and isolation. “We told our kids you can’t create change if you don’t get involved,’’ says Wayne, 53, sitting in the living room of their comfortable home in a southern Maine community they do not want identified.

They have good reason for caution. Their journey has included a lawsuit to protect their daughter’s rights, and a battle against bullying and insensitivity that led them to move to a new place and new schools. It has been a hard road, but nothing that compares with the physical transformation of Wyatt into Nicole."

[Fore more about this important story, see the following YouTube video, which includes both Nicole and her father Wayne:  "Plaintiff Wayne Maines' Remarks at GLAD's 2011 Spirit of Justice Award Dinner".]


12-10-11:  Irish Times (Ireland): "Born in the wrong body: how gender-identity issues affect children"

"An Irish organization dealing with gender-identity issues has seen a sudden rise in the number of families wanting to talk about transgender children. An increasing number of Irish parents of children with gender-identity issues are coming out on behalf of their kids.

Over the past two months, Transgender Equality Network Ireland has fielded calls from parents of transgender children, or from children who express gender-identity issues. They may be boys who see themselves as girls, or vice versa, or may be experiencing uncertainty about, or discomfort with, their physical gender.

“We didn’t know these people existed six months ago,” says Broden Giambrone, the director of the organisation, “so clearly there’s a critical mass happening where people are acknowledging this issue.” . . .

“Society seems to be undergoing a change in having this language now, with people able to hear it and being able to say it,” Giambrone says. “If you are trans and you are able to transition at a young age, your experience is totally different. Your self-esteem is better, you can build relationships, you don’t have to suppress your identity for 20, 30, 40 years.”"


12-10-11:  The Border Mail (Australia): "Transgender attacker appeals jail sentence"

"A mother-of-two has lodged an appeal after she was jailed yesterday for her part in an unprovoked attack on a disabled transgender woman.  Christie Keighran, 22, was sentenced to six months in prison over an assault on wheelchair-bound Donna Macklan. After being told of the sentence yesterday, Ms Macklan said she was still suffering the effects of the assault and had expected her attacker to go to jail. I’m at home scared,” Ms Macklan said . . . “I lost all my confidence ... I am a shattered person.”"


12-09-11:  LGBTQ Nation: "Court ruling in transgender case hailed as ‘hugely important’"

"LGBT advocates are hailing a federal appellate court ruling as a significant win for transgender rights and a means to provide recourse to others who face discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that the Georgia Legislature had unlawfully discriminated against Vandy Beth Glenn for firing her as bill proofreader in 2007 after she informed supervisors she intended to transition from male to female.

“An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender-nonconformity,” the court decision states. “Because these protections are afforded to everyone, they cannot be denied to a transgender individual.”

Judge Rosemary Barkett, writing for the unanimous three-judge panel, which included Judge William Pryor and Senior Judge Phyllis Kravitch, determined the General Assembly’s Legislative Counsel, Sewell Brumby, violated Glenn’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause.

Lambda Legal had filed the case, known as Glenn v. Brumby, on behalf of Glenn in July 2008. In 2010, a district court had ruled previously in Glenn’s favor. The court ruled in favor of Glenn even though no federal law is in place that specifically protects transgender people against discrimination in the workplace."


12-09-11:  GA Voice: "Vandy Beth Glenn may soon return to work at Ga. General Assembly"

"After U.S District Court Judge Richard Story ruled in Glenn’s favor last year, he ordered her to resume receiving her salary but granted a stay stopping her from returning to work at the Georgia General Assembly until the 11th Circuit ruled on the appeal. Now that ruling has been issued.

“The legislative session is about to begin [in January] and I’m sure they could use her soon. Now it’s a matter of logistics,” Nevins said. “I could get a call anytime now saying she can return to work and I’m waiting by the phone for that call.” . . .

Glenn said returning to work is what her case has been about since the beginning. “I never should have been fired in the first place,” she said. “This was a job I loved and I was good at it.”"


12-09-11:  Albany Times-Union: "Transgender patients on rise, but medical care and services lag"

"Doctors don't learn how to treat transgender patients in medical school and the medical establishment has been slow to address a rising trend, according to a local physician. When Dr. Matthew Leinung, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine, joined the Albany Medical Center staff in 1991, he took over a practice from Dr. David Goodman, who had been seeing a half-dozen transgender patients beginning in the 1970s . . .

By word of mouth, the number of transgender patients in Leinung's Albany practice began to rise and it has continued to climb during the past 20 years and he has seen more than 300 patients. The increase has been so dramatic in the past few years that Leinung, the primary endocrinologist treating transgender patients in the Capital Region, has maxed out and cannot accept new transgender patients in a practice that includes an overwhelming majority of diabetics.

"The need is huge and I do this work because I've seen success stories," Leinung said. "It's not an easy road, but some of my patients have made a positive transition.""


12-09-11:  Washington Times: Editorial: "Sex change is afoot - College kids are switching more than their majors"

"Harvard University has announced that next year its campus insurance plan will cover the cost of “bottom surgery” for people undergoing “gender reassignment.” Bottom surgery - the swapping out of the private parts - is often the last step taken by girls trying to become boys, and vice versa. Transgender activists hail this new coverage as a breakthrough for those purported to have “gender-identity disorder” (GID) . . .

Dr. Paul McHugh, Johns Hopkins University professor of psychiatry, told The Washington Times . . . “It’s like giving liposuction to anorexics,” he says of sex-reassignment surgery. “Like anorexia nervosa, GID is a disorder of assumption. The public is going with this because they’ve been given the opinion that it’s the same as gay/lesbian/bisexual orientation. And it’s unpopular to hold back human expression in the sexual sphere.”

Anticipating malpractice lawsuits, Dr. McHugh predicts, “Harvard is going to rue the day. And young people being so treated will be provoked into saying they were improperly advised. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes when the fallout happens.” The real question is how many people will undergo sanctioned medical mutilation in pursuit of a fantasy before society wakes up. Harvard may be leading the way in this field, but it’s in a direction we shouldn’t be going."

[Yet another transphobic rant by conservative Catholic ideologue Paul McHugh]


12-08-11:  Albany Times-Union: "The long, difficult journey of how a man became a woman" (Part 1)

"In less than one hour, Cordes, 29, of Albany, will undergo gender reassignment surgery, or GRS, commonly known as a sex change . . .  For Cordes, it seems more like independence day, the chance for a hard-won freedom from the gender discordance — "gender dysphoria" is the clinical term — she has felt since childhood, when she began trying to bury a deep urge to shift from being a he to a she.

"There's not much point in being nervous now," Cordes said in a breathy, feminine timbre she has worked hard to perfect. On the computer, with a large rainbow Apple sticker on its cover, she checked Facebook and last night's Red Sox box score before cueing up the cartoon. "You did your freaking out two weeks ago," said her mother, Janet.

"This waiting is the worst," said her father, John. He and his wife, who live in Glens Falls, fidgeted in the hospital room and paced the hallways of the Centre Metropolitain de Chirurgie, a private hospital in Montreal with three operating rooms and 17 beds.

This will be a culmination of Cordes' five-year journey to transition from male to female. The process has included psychological counseling, hormone therapy, facial reconstruction, electrolysis, voice modification, learning how to dress and present herself as female in the workplace and out in public and much, much more. "Excruciatingly painful and very expensive" is how Cordes describes it."

[Part 2: "Surgery, pain, humor and no turning back"; Part 3: "For Drew, nothing is written"]


12-08-11:  Dallas Voice: "Appeals court rules in favor of fired transgender woman - Conservative 11th Circuit panel overturns trial court decision, says firing violated her right to equal protection" (more)

"A three-judge panel of the conservative 11th Circuit U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Dec. 6, ruled in favor of an employee of the Georgia General Assembly who was fired after telling a supervisor that she was undergoing male-to-female sex change treatment . . .

The firing, argued Lambda, was both discrimination based on sex and based on a medical condition. A district court ruled for the supervisor. But the panel said the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution “requires the state to treat all persons similarly situated alike or, conversely, to avoid all classifications that are ‘arbitrary or irrational’ and those that reflect ‘a bare … desire to harm a politically unpopular group.’

“The question here is whether discriminating against someone on the basis of his or her gender non-conformity constitutes sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause,” said the panel, in Glenn v. Sewell Brumby. “… we hold that it does.”"


12-08-11: "Rights group: Coverage for gender surgery jumps" (more, more)

"The number of major U.S. companies covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery for transgender workers has more than doubled in the past year, according to a new scorecard compiled by the nation's largest gay rights group.

The Human Rights Campaign said in a report to be published Thursday that 207 of the 636 businesses it surveyed for its annual Corporate Equality Index either are already providing transgender- inclusive employee health benefits or plan to at the start of the new year. Last year, 85 companies had insurance plans that paid for sex transformation surgeries, and only 49 did in 2009. A decade ago, when the campaign launched the index, none did.

The major force behind the jump is the fact that this is the first year the Human Rights Campaign graded corporations and law firms on whether their medical plans paid for the full complement of procedures workers might need to transition to a new gender on the job, from psychological counseling to genital reconstruction. To maintain a coveted 100 percent and a listing in the campaign's preferred vendors' guide for gay, lesbian and transgender consumers, companies had to offer at least one insurance plan that covers at least $75,000 worth of surgery and other treatments recommended by a patient's doctor."


12-08-11:  HRC: "Decade of Progress in Workplace Equality Chronicled in HRC’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index - Change in Scoring Criteria Results in Enormous Advances for Transgender Healthcare"

"With no federal nondiscrimination law and limited state protections, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) has helped transform the American workplace for the better over the past ten years. Released today, the 2012 CEI chronicles the remarkable advances that have taken place on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality (LGBT) in the workplace since 2002. In the first year of the CEI, only 13 businesses achieved a top score. This year, 190 corporations, across industries, geographies and size, will receive a 100 percent score on significantly more stringent criteria, including 10 of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies."


12-08-11:  HRC:  "Corporate Equality Index" (PDF)

"The Human Rights Campaign's 2012 Corporate Equality Index chronicles a decade of progress in workplace equality. 2012 marks the first year of new more stringent criteria regarding transgender health benefits. 190 participants earned the top rating of 100 percent, evidence the CEI has helped transform the American workplace for the better over the past ten years."


12-08-11:  Open Salon: "“I am who I am: children and gender identity (in life & art)”, by Neha Kamdar
“I don't remember how old Saira was when this happened, but the child could have been no more than six or seven. I was in middle school then, so I must have been 12. Saira was in primary school, a kid most of the people in school knew by name. I didn't envy this fame, of course, because as a child, I revelled in anonymity. But I also didn't envy this fame because of the reason behind it - Saira was known to everyone in school because here was a child whose name was patently feminine, yet he looked and dressed like a boy, and insisted he was one.”


12-08-11:  The Guardian (UK): "Transgender and disabled murders to incur far harsher hate-crime penalty - Starting point for sentencing to double under first government strategy to tackle prejudice against transgender people"

"Murderers who kill disabled or transgender people in hate crimes are to face much longer prison sentences under government proposals. The justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, said the "starting point" for judges sentencing in disability and transgender murder cases was to double from 15 to 30 years. The move will bring sentencing in these cases in line with murders in which race, religion or sexual orientation is an aggravating factor. It follows the jailing in September of Leon Fyle, 23, for life for the murder of Destiny Lauren, a transgender woman who worked as a prostitute."


12-08-11:  Daily Mail (UK): "Transsexual reveals how he’s spent £200,000 in 12 years transforming himself into a real-life Barbie… thanks to a few rich boyfriends"

"A transsexual spent £200,000 in 12 years transforming himself from a fresh-faced boy into a real life Barbie doll. Jason Torres, who now goes by the name Nicole Sanders, has had countless surgeries from nose jobs to breast implants and brow lifts in a quest to be like the iconic blonde. Nicole even had controversial silicone injections in her buttocks, thighs and hips to create the feminine curves of Barbie and hide the boyish frame of her previous life. "


12-07-11:  ABC25 (Florida): "'Transsexual City Manager Fired In Lake Worth - Susan Stanton Ousted After 3-2 Vote" (more)

"Lake Worth is looking for a new city manager. Susan Stanton was fired during Tuesday night's city commission meeting in a 3-2 vote. Stanton had held the job for two years and was just evaluated at a public city commission meeting. In 2007, when Stanton was a man, she was fired as city manager in Largo after revealing plans to her change gender."


12-07-11:  Human Rights Watch (re South Africa; posted 12/05): "South Africa: LGBT Rights in Name Only? Violence, Discrimination Against Black Lesbians and Transgender Men" (See report: ‘We’ll Show You You’re a Woman’)

"Black lesbians and transgender men in South African townships and rural areas face an overwhelming climate of discrimination and violence despite protections promised them in the country’s constitution, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 93-page report, “‘We’ll Show You You’re a Woman’: Violence and Discrimination Against Black Lesbians and Transgender Men,” is based on more than 120 interviews conducted in six provinces. Human Rights Watch found that lesbians and transgender men face extensive discrimination and violence in their daily lives, both from private individuals and government officials. The abusers of people known or assumed to be lesbian, bisexual, or transgender act with near-total impunity, Human Rights Watch found.""


12-07-11:  Toronto Sun (Canada): " Special rules for transsexual strip searches"

"QMI Agency has learned the Canada Border Services Agency issued a directive in August telling officers that transsexual and intersexed individuals can choose whether a man or a woman will search them. Or they can opt for a "split search," notes the directive, which involves two sets of border services officers - one all male, the other all female.

"The first set completes the search of the upper body while leaving the lower body clothed," says the directive. "The individual is then permitted to fully dress, and is turned over to a second set of BSOs of the opposite sex to conduct the search of the lower body, while the upper body remains clothed.""


12-04-11:  Albany Times Union: "'Still on the margins': Harassed, isolated and misunderstood, transgender people struggle to find their place at the table"

"There may be as many as 700,000 transgender people in America, but precise numbers are hard to come by because most remain underground out of fear of harassment or violence. It's known in the trans community as "going stealth." There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of transgender residents of the Capital Region, most of them below the radar . . .

In this Times Union special report, we chronicle medical and psychological treatment, insurance coverage and lobbying for a legislative agenda for equality. Throughout the online, multi-day, multimedia series, we'll introduce readers to more than a dozen people who agreed to tell their stories in the hope of putting a human face on what is still taboo . . . A recent trend that has been a heartening shift for therapists and surgeons is that they are seeing younger transgender patients, from adolescence to college age, seeking professional care, often with the support of parents.

"When they come in as patients at a younger age, chances are that they will need less counseling, hormone therapy will be more successful. They'll adjust better into society, have fewer psychiatric problems, become employable and contributing members of society," said Dr. Matthew Leinung, an Albany endocrinologist . . .

The medical establishment has been slow to accept transgender issues as something other than a form of mental illness. The American Psychological Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, the most authoritative text in the profession, continues to list transgender as a gender identity disorder."


12-04-11:  Albany Times Union: "Transgender: by the numbers" (more: local statistics, glossary of terms)

"How many people in the U.S. are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender? Precise numbers do not exist. But a growing number of population-based surveys include questions designed to offer better measurements of sexual identification and gender identity.

The most recent data from surveys including the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth, the 2009 California Health Interview Survey and federal data such as the Decennial Census or the American Community Survey were analyzed by Gary Gates, a distinguished scholar at the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law. Gates, co-author of "The Gay and Lesbian Atlas," released a detailed report on LGBT numbers in an April 2011 study from the Williams Institute."


12-04-11:  Albany Times Union: "'I'm as much of a man as anyone'"

"Acey Mercer, 27. Client advocate, St. Paul's Center, a homeless shelter for women and children in Rensselaer. He holds a master of social work degree from the University at Albany and also works as a therapist with transgender clients at Choices Counseling & Consulting in Albany. Married Livia in September. The couple lives in Cohoes with their Lhasa Apso dogs, Rufus and Marvin.

"I was always being mistaken for a little boy growing up, even though I was named Stacey and my mom dressed me in pink. I was just presumed to be male, so I became a tomboy, cut my hair really short and started wearing boys' clothes. It just seemed natural to me to play sports and act like a boy, until puberty and menses hit and I really began to struggle with my gender. I tried to be a girl, but the girliest thing I could wear was a skort. Dresses just weren't me."


12-04-11:  Albany Times Union: "Therapists help transgender patients with psychological issues"

""Are you a man or a woman?" It seems like a simple question, with an obvious and clear-cut answer. But for psychotherapists Moonhawk River Stone, of Schenectady, and Arlene Istar Lev, of Albany, complicated responses are at the core of their private practices in transgender care.

The way a person answers the question, ranging from certitude to confusion, holds the key to treatment options.
Both therapists view gender with a wider lens than a binary classification of either male or female. Rather than dealing with black and white distinctions, they work with clients who express themselves in many shades of gray when it comes to gender.

In addition, as part of a newly emerging trend, the therapists are seeing youths at ever-younger ages who have a disconnect between their biological sex and the gender they feel compelled to express.

"It's not a matter of 'I want' to be that gender, but 'I am' that gender," said Stone, who prefers the terms 'gender variant' or 'gender non-conforming' in place of transgender. "


12-03-11:  The Root: "Transgender Women in DC Tell Their Stories"

"In a blog entry at ColorLines, Akiba Solomon discusses violence, terror and discrimination experienced by the transgender community during a particularly violent year in Washington D.C. She interviews several and tells their poignant stories.

This year was a bloody one for transgender women of color in Washington, D.C. In late July, Lashai McLean was shot to death 10 blocks away from the office of Transgender Health Empowerment in Northeast D.C. Just 11 days later—and one block away from the scene of McLean’s slaying -- Tonya Harrell was shot at but escaped. And in April, Chloe Alexander Moore was physically assaulted by an off-duty police officer.

McLean, Harrell and Moore were just the most recent victims in a sustained pattern of anti-trans violence in the nation’s capitol. Coupled with the acute racial disparities detailed in the landmark national survey “Injustice at Every Turn,”, D.C.’s transgender women of color are carrying the heaviest of loads."


12-02-11:  Japan Times (Japan): "No easy 'cure' for gender disorder - Suicidal thoughts, then counseling, mastectomy, job"

"Ayumu Mogi felt uneasy about being female even before elementary school.

"My younger brother could stand up and pee but why can't I?" was a common perception for the child growing up near Tokyo.

In junior high school, Mogi would wrap a band around her breasts to appear flat-chested. Classmates noticed this and started calling her weird, and she became afraid of going to class.

It was in the ninth grade when she was first became aware that she might have gender identity disorder, after she saw a student just like her on a popular TV drama. The show made her realize she was not alone and got her thinking about her options . . . "


12-01-11:  Washington Post: "Federal appeals court considers case of transgender woman fired as Georgia legislative aide" (more, video)

"A former Georgia state legislative aide who was fired amid her sex change said she was encouraged Thursday after several federal appeals court judges suggested they could rule in her favor. Two of the three 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges weighing Vandy Beth Glenn’s case signaled that federal precedents require them to uphold a lower court’s ruling that Glenn was the victim of sex discrimination when she was fired amid a gender transition.

Glenn, who was formerly known as Glenn Morrison, said she was fired after telling her boss, Sewell Brumby, that she would come to work dressed as a woman during the transition. She said she was told it would be seen as “immoral” by Georgia’s lawmakers. Glenn’s attorney, Greg Nevins of Lambda Legal, said he was confident the law was on his client’s side.

“Vandy Beth was fired because her boss didn’t like who she is, and that kind of treatment is discriminatory and illegal,” he said, adding: “It is unfair and illegal to fire a transgender employee because she does not conform to your sexist stereotypes of how a woman should be.”

State attorneys countered that Glenn wasn’t fired because of her appearance or her behavior, but because she was undergoing a sex change. They said in court papers that distinction is important because people undergoing gender transitions aren’t protected under the federal equal protection clause."


12-01-11:  The Daily Mail (UK re Brazil): "Crossing over: Transsexual model Lea T. lands first commercial magazine cover"

"It's been a busy year for Lea T. The transsexual featured on the runway for the first time and was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. And it looks as though the rising's star's hard work paid off - as she has landed her first mainstream magazine cover.

Lea T., whose father is former footballer Toninho Cerezo, is the star of the Elle Brazil December issue - wearing Givenchy of course."


12-01-11:  Dallas Voice: "Trans man wins first round in divorce battle - Judge declines to void marriage between Robertson, Scott in case that could set precedent, but wife’s lawyer downplays significance" (more)

"When Rebecca Louise Robertson and James Allan Scott married in Dallas in 1998, Robertson was well aware and fully supportive of Scott’s status as a transgender man, court records indicate. But when the couple split up after 12 years in 2010, Robertson sought to have their marriage declared void — based on the fact that Scott was born a biological female, and Texas law prohibits same-sex marriage.

Last week, a Dallas County district judge rejected Robertson’s motion for a summary judgment in the case, declining to void the marriage and allowing the matter to proceed as a divorce. Attorney Eric Gormly, who represents Scott, said if the judge had declared the marriage void, it would have prevented his client, who’s physically disabled, from obtaining a fair division of the couple’s property.

Gormly, who specializes in LGBT law, called the ruling from Judge Lori Chrisman Hockett a significant victory for transgender equality in Texas. “To our knowledge, this is the first time any Texas court has ruled that a transsexual man who marries a biological woman is in a legitimate marriage,” Gormly said."



November 2011


11-30-11:  Washington Post (re Argentina): "Argentina recognizes gender adopted by transsexual police, other federal security forces" (more, more)

"Argentina’s Security Ministry is allowing transsexual members of federal police and security forces to be recognized under the gender that they’ve adopted.

The new ministry resolution also lets transsexuals wear the uniforms and use the facilities matching their adopted gender. The order affects members of the federal, naval and airport police and the gendarmerie.

Argentina has been at the forefront in widening gender rights. It became the first Latin American country in 2010 to legalize same-sex marriage. The Chamber of Deputies approved a bill Wednesday allowing all transvestites and transsexuals to be recognized by the gender of their choice."


11-30-11:  Yorkshire Evening Post (UK): "From Jack to Jackie: ‘Why I had sex change at 16’ "

"From the age of four Jackie Green knew she was a girl trapped in a boy’s body. Rod McPhee meets the courageous Leeds woman who, on her 16th birthday, became the youngest person in the world to have a sex change . . .

The condition remains rare but the NHS is dealing with a growing number of cases due to a heightened awareness of symptoms. In fact there are now an estimated 1 in 4,000 people undergoing some form of treatment for gender dysphoria in the UK . . .

Even the most liberal observer could question the decision of her mother, Susie, to allow such a drastic operation when her daughter was just 16 years old. But by her mid-teens Jackie was so traumatised that she had already attempted to kill herself four times and her mother says she had to face up to a stark choice – live with a daughter or face the prospect of a dead son . . .

To that end she flew to the Boston Children’s Hospital in America to meet Dr Norman Spack who prescribed puberty blockers and the female hormone oestrogen which prevented the emergence of male physical characteristics in favour of female traits like breasts and hips. The treatment wasn’t available in the UK at the time . . .

In the end the local education authority arranged for Jackie to be schooled at a special unit in the middle of Leeds, but both mother and daughter knew that she could never lead anything close to a normal life until she made a full physical transition.

By her mid-teens her father had also come to the same conclusion and helped to fund the treatment, while her mum mortgaged her house to help pay for the £13,500 operation. The seven-hour transition eventually took place in Thailand because in the UK it is only available to those aged 18 and over."


11-30-11:  Japan Times (Japan): "Wife, daughter accept man's sex change; she feels OK, too: Cross-dressing led to awareness, study of gender identity disorder"

"The Japanese Society for Psychiatry and Neurology drew up guidelines for GID treatment in 1997 that provided the impetus for a whole range of departments, from gynecology to plastic surgery to counseling, hormone treatment and other therapy, according to Mikiya Nakatsuka, director at the Japan Society of Gender Identity Disorder.

Saitama Medical University conducted the first gender reassignment surgery in line with the society's guidelines in 1998.

In December 2010, Sakura underwent surgery to have his male sexual organs removed. Under current law, Sakura can't record the gender change in the family registry because of a provision that bars such a change by someone married with an underage child.

The provision, according to Nakatsuka, is intended to prevent children with GID parents from becoming confused. But he said some overseas studies suggest there would be no adverse impact on children. Many GID specialists in the medical profession believe this provision should be eliminated, he said.

Occasionally, Sakura is invited to speak about her experiences at schools or community meetings. On such occasions, she brings along the couple's daughter, who is in elementary school, hoping it will help the girl get to know Sakura better."


11-29-11:  Gawker: "Fucksaw U Students Warned of Shower Masturbator" (more, more)

"In May, Northwestern University cancelled "Fucksaw 101," officially known as "Human Sexuality," over its infamous live demonstration of a woman being fucked. Or sawed. Or whatever. But now, deviancy once again haunts the sex-crazed Northwestern campus, as this recent campus-wide email, sent to us by several tipsters, proves: . . .

We know that Northwestern administrators had only the students in mind when they forbade the teaching of the ancient art of fucksaw. But we wonder if, perhaps, frequent fucksaw demonstrations were the one thing that could satiate the sex-lust of Northwestern students? If public fucksawings were the one thing keeping Evanston from devolving into a violent, pansexual orgy? And if, absent fucksaw, strange men masturbating in the gym shower is only the start?"

[Part of an ongoing stream of evidence that J. Michael Bailey has permanently stained Northwestern University's public image.]


11-28-11:  Daily Wildcat (Univ. of Arizona): "Group formed to address gender identity - Those who struggle with classification encouraged to attend"

"A new Campus Health Service group will provide therapy, education and support for students struggling with gender identity issues. The weekly Gender Spectrum group launches Thursday on the third floor of the Campus Health Service building in the administration conference room. Each session costs $5 and may be billed to bursar’s accounts.

“It started because we have a number of transgender, gender non-conforming kind of folks who identify along the gender spectrum,” said Jennifer Hoefle, the director for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs. “It’s very much in response to students asking for this kind of particular support service.”

There is a significant number of students who have talked about not being comfortable in their own skin or not fitting in with others, said Martie van der Voort, a mental health clinician at Counseling and Psychological Services. She added that about half of the students she works with deal with gender issues at some point."


11-28-11:  Daily Trojan (USC): "Tomboy explores identity" (more, more, YouTube trailer)

"Gender issues have become increasingly more prominent in the media. Tomboy, a film by director Céline Sciamma, explores just that — a 10-year-old girl’s feelings of confusion and sexual ambiguity in a typically French style.

In Tomboy, a French family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure (Zoé Héran) and 6-year-old Jeanne (Malonn Lévana), moves to a new suburban neighborhood. With a boyish haircut and tomboy-ish demeanor, Laure passes herself off to the local kids as a boy under the name Mikael. The leader of the pack of children, Lisa (Jeanne Disson), becomes smitten with Mikael, the uniquely attractive boy."


11-28-11: (Vancouver, Canada): "When Kathy is Keith: Surrey psychologist Wallace Wong releases transgender children's book"

"No one believes Kathy. Not her friends, her teachers, her parents, not even Santa Claus. No one believes that she really wants to be a boy.

But Wallace Wong, a clinical psychologist of the Adolescent and Children Sexual Health Program of the Child and Youth Mental Health Services in Surrey, does. In fact, he made a book about it.

Wong wrote the illustrated book When Kathy is Keith , which broaches the sensitive and often misunderstood issues that transgender children face. It follows the story of Kathy, a young girl who says she is a boy but no one takes her seriously.

He says in a phone interview that he was inspired to write this book because many children he counselled had difficulty finding “things they could relate to” and their parents also had trouble finding books about these issues."


11-28-11:  The Daily Greenwich (Conn.): "Darien Woman Sheds Light on Transgender Immigrants"

"The plight of transgender illegal immigrants is probably a mystery to most people. But Darien native Isabel Castro is working on a documentary that will share the tale of three transgender women from Mexico who fled to Los Angeles.

Crossing Over” (more) focuses on Francis Murillo, Brenda Gonzalez and Abigail Madariaga. All three come from rural areas of Mexico and suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of family, friends and police because they are transgender.

“Their story is fascinating. The cultural and social pressures in Mexico just made it impossible for them to live there,” Castro said.

A student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Castro heard the story of these women from a lawyer she consulted with on a journalism paper. She traveled to Los Angeles with other students and shot some footage for a documentary that she is hoping to expand."


11-27-11:  Oprah Winfrey Network: "OWN Introduces Two New Documentary Specials: Being Chaz and I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition" (more, more, more, more)

"Get a first look and tune in Sunday as OWN introduces two new documentary specials: Being Chaz and I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition.

Being Chaz chronicles Chaz Bono and his girlfriend Jennifer Elia as they navigate their lives together post Chaz's gender transformation surgery and I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition, follows the life of an extraordinary family and their transgendered daughter.

Being Chaz premieres Sunday, November 27 at 8/7c followed by I Am Jazz at 9/8c.

11-27-11: (posted 11-25): "I Am Jazz:  My Intimate Conversation with Trans Tween Jazz & Her Mother Jeanette", by Janet Mock
"“It’s hard to hear some of their sad stories,” Jazz says of meeting other trans people, who are usually many decades older than her. “I feel so lucky that I have a mother as amazing as she is. If I didn’t have such a supporting family I don’t know what I would’ve done. It’s just amazing that I have such amazing people in my life.”

“This is one of the reasons we have the foundation,” Jeanette says of starting the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation. ”It’s a huge driving force because I know that whatever happens with us, we’ll make ends meet and we’ll figure out a way to pay for [the medicine]. But there are people that there’s just no way that they’ll even come close to affording any type of medication.”

Forced out of their homes and into shelters and often onto the streets, Jeanette cites stories of young trans people she’s met who are forced into prostitution to pay for hormones “on the black market” as motivation for her to keep telling her family’s story. ”These are the kids I really want to reach,” she says of her personal advocacy. “I hear the stories, and I met some [of these young people] and they just cry, ‘Why can’t my mom be like you?’ It’s heartbreaking, and if I can just help one kid like that it will be successful.”"

[Janet Mock interviews transgender 11-year-old Jazz and her mother Jeanette about hormone blockers and their OWN documentary I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition"]


11-27-11:  New York Daily News (posted 11-26): "DWTS contestant Chaz Bono proposes to girlfriend Jennifer Elia"

"Congratulations might be in order for Chaz Bono. The "Dancing with the Stars" contestant is seen presenting an engagement ring to long-time girlfriend Jennifer Elia during a preview clip for "Being Chaz," a one-hour special that chronicles the couple following Bono's gender transformation surgery.

"I wanted to pick a special place to give you your birthday present, and I hope you like this," Bono says, standing with Elia atop Seattle's space needle before popping out the diamond ring.

"Wow, it's gorgeous," Elia says, accepting the rock. "Thank you so much." "It's stunning," she adds. "It's huge."
"Being Chaz," a follow-up to the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Becoming Chaz," is set to air at 8 E.T. Sunday on OWN."


11-27-11:  State News (Michigan State Univ; posted 11-21): "Making a transition - After years of searching, Toby Hemker understands who he truly is in life"

"As Toby Hemker sat in his MSU psychology class in 2004, flipping through his textbook, he stumbled across an excerpt on gender identity disorder that changed his life. He sat in the classroom for 10 minutes after his class had ended staring at the book, overwhelmed by what he had read. “I (was) like, ‘Oh, my God. That’s me. There are people like me,’” the 26-year-old said.

Toby, currently a Japanese senior, is one of a small number of transgender students at MSU, a number that MSU’s LBGT Resource Center Interim Director Deanna Hurlbert said she thinks likely is proportional to the 1 percent of transgender people in the global population.

Growing up in a small, conservative, Michigan town, Toby said he had never heard the word “transgender” until he was 22 years old and already was in the process of transitioning from female to male.

Last Sunday marked the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, and MSU students and faculty gathered for a candlelight vigil at the rock on Farm Lane. They spoke of the vital need to reach out and inform people about the issues that come with being transgender.  And for Toby, more than most, college has been about trying to understand and discover the very essence of who he is."


11-27-11:  The Daily Mail (UK): "Sex-change officer quits police - after learning she'll get WPC's pension"

"A former Paratrooper who joined the police as a woman after having a sex change has threatened to quit the force because of a row over her WPC pension. Jan Hamilton – who used to be 16-stone Ian Hamilton – launched a tribunal action after being told she could not transfer her old pension to the police fund because it was still in a man’s name."


11-26-11:  New York Times: "Homeless Youth Struggles to Build a Life in Chicago"

"Dressed in black baggy jeans, a gray tank top and a Harley Davidson cap skewed backward, Juan Gallaher stood under a cool late-fall drizzle devouring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the Night Ministry’s homeless-youth-outreach van at Belmont Avenue and Halsted Street.  It was 8:30 p.m., and Mr. Gallaher was getting his first meal of the day. But he has gone so long and so often without food that hunger is now a faint feeling, he said, though he knows he needs to eat.

Mr. Gallaher, the second oldest of 11 children, likes to say he came from “a hole under a rock in the middle of nowhere.” Birth records show he was born in Duplin County, N.C., on Oct. 2, 1990, Paige Francis Gallaher. He said he grew up homeless, sleeping in Dumpsters and trees with his older brother and his drug-addicted mother. His tales of abuse are harrowing: rape, beatings, forced prostitution. For years, Mr. Gallaher struggled with his gender identity. Though he was born female, he felt more comfortable wearing boys’ clothes, lifting weights and passing for male.

To Mr. Gallaher, a male identity was intrinsic. To his family it was “an abomination of nature,” he recalls his mother saying. Eventually they shut him out . . . "


11-26-11:  IOL News (re Hong Kong): "Transsexual seeks court ruling to marry" (more)

"A transsexual will ask Hong Kong's top court to affirm her right to marry her boyfriend, a news report said on Saturday. The lawyer of the 36-year-old, who was born a man, said the case would go to the Court of Final Appeal after a lower court on Friday refused her the right to legally marry a man.

The plaintiff, identified only as W, had a male-to-female sex change operation in 2008 and has successfully applied to change her name and gender on her identity card and school records. But city marriage registration officials have since 2008 denied her the right to marry, a stance backed first by the High Court in 2010 and on Friday by the Appeal Court.

Lawyer Michael Vidler told the South China Morning Post that Hong Kong “stands as an island” among places such as mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore where transsexuals can legally marry. “W looks like a woman and acts like a woman,” he said. “In all respects, other than the right to marry, she is treated as a woman.”"


11-25-11:  New York Times (re Samoa): "A First in Cup Qualifying for a Player and a Team"

"It was American Samoa’s first victory in international soccer, ending a 30-game losing streak in which it had been outscored by 229-12. And Saelua apparently became the first transgender player to compete on a World Cup stage.

Saelua is part of the fa’afafine, biological males who identify themselves as a third sex in Polynesian culture. Fa’afafine means “to be a woman” in Samoan. According to 30-year-old Alex Su’a, who heads the Samoa Fa’afafine Society, there are 1,500 fa’afafine in Samoa and American Samoa.

“To be fa’afafine you have to be Samoan, born a man, feel you are a woman, be sexually attracted to males and, importantly, proud to be called and labeled fa’afafine,” Su’a said. "


11-25-11:  DNA (India): "Transgender leader Sonia Masi shot dead in Ahmedabad" (more, more)

"Sonia Masi aka Imran Ajmeri, who had emerged as the face of the transgender community in Gujarat, was shot dead near Rupali cinema by unidentified assailants on Thursday night.

Sonia was better known for contesting in the general elections against BJP leader LK Advani. She was on her way to have refreshments near Rupali cinema when some men in a car shot six rounds at her."


11-24-11:  Blabbenado (re Argentina; posted 8-17): "Amazing transgender rights campaign ad from Argentina"

"On the early morning of July 15 of 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to grant full marriage rights to same-sex couples. Such a tremendous human rights victory did not take place in a vacuum: It counted with the support of the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and it was the culmination of a long and effective marriage equality campaigned led by the Argentinean LGBT Federation (FALGBT), a coalition of LGBT organizations throughout the country.

Even then, as they pulled efforts and resources towards the marriage equality fight, the FALGBT never lost focus on what they said would be their next battle: The push for a law which would allow transgender individuals to change their name on their ID's and birth certificates . . .

As part of the campaign, ATTTA and the FALGBT contracted Director Juan Pablo Felix and producer Matías Romero to come up with the first video for the transgender rights campaign. It's amazing. Take a look:"


11-24-11:  YouTube (re Argentina; posted 8-16): "Amazing transgender rights campaign ad from Argentina"
"Directed by Juan Pablo Felix; Photography & Still Photography: Nicolás Fernández & Javier Fuentes; Production: Matías Romero; Sound: Susana Leunda"


11-23-11:  The Patriot Ledger (Massachusetts): "Gov. Patrick signs transgender protection bill" (more, more)

"Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation Wednesday adding the words “gender identity” to the state’s non-discrimination laws, a bid to prevent discrimination against transgender residents seeking housing, employment, credit or post-secondary education.

The bill also expands the state’s hate crimes statutes to include violence perpetrated against transgender men and women. Patrick said he signed the bill as a matter of “conscience” even though lawmakers had stripped a provision that would have required all “sex-segregated facilities” to grant admission to people based on their gender identity, rather than their biological gender.

The provision, viewed as a key component by advocates of the legislation, was removed to build consensus among lawmakers. “It gave me pause, and it gave the advocates pause, and it gave transgender people pause,” Patrick said in an interview inside his State House office. “There’s a lot of good in this bill, and after consulting with them and my team and my own conscience, I wanted to sign this bill. And then, we’ll come back around to public accommodations.”"


11-23-11:  The Cord (Wilfred Laurier University, Canada): "Born this way: Breaking gender stereotypes"

"In light of Trans* Awareness Week, Features Editor Bree Rody-Mantha profiles one Laurier student living the trans experience. She shares her insights on labels, discrimination and why she doesn’t feel fully safe to be “out”"


11-23-11:  Adnkronos International (re Italy): "Film: Movie star Giuseppe Schisano to change sex and be called 'Vittoria'" (more)

"Italian film actor Giuseppe Schisano will soon change sex and be called Vittoria. "My soul is one of a woman. I feel more normal," he said during an interview with Adnkronos. "I couldn't eat or sleep. Just looking at myself in the mirror bothered me," he said. Slowly I came out to my friends.," he said. The native of Naples is taking hormones and must undergo psychological therapy before his sex-change operation, but he says he is literally a woman trapped inside a man's body. "


11-22-11:   The Advocate: "At Google, a Transgender "Gold Standard"

"In a move predicted by one advocate to become the gold standard for LGBT health, Google has significantly increased coverage of transgender health care for its U.S. employees, and other companies are expected to follow suit.

The updated benefits, announced internally by company officials on Friday and effective immediately, cover transitioning procedures and treatment in accordance with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s (WPATH) Standards of Care, and include gender reassignment surgical procedures determined to be medically necessary by a doctor.

Some of the procedures covered by Google’s health care plan include genital surgery as well as facial feminization for transgender women and pectoral implants for transgender men — surgeries that can be considered medically necessary depending on the “unique clinical situation of a given patient’s condition and life situation,” according to WPATH’s seventh version of care standards, published in September.

“As the WPATH Standards of Care are considered the highest standards of care for transgender individuals, we agreed to cover the full range of procedures under WPATH,” Google spokesman Jordan Newman told The Advocate.

Google also has more than doubled the maximum dollar amount for transgender health care benefits, from $35,000 to $75,000, the minimum amount required for a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. The benefits are covered by the company’s existing insurance providers and apply to domestic employees, Newman said. Google is considering extending similar benefits to international employees, though it does not currently have a timeline for doing so."

[A major development likely to spread through high-tech industry.]


11-22-11:  Campus Progress: "Brave New World: Students Transitioning Gender on Campus"

"Northwestern’s infrastructure isn’t the only part of campus life charged with being ill-equipped for transgender students by students and resource groups.

One thorn in the side of transgender students seeking medical treatment is page 33 of Northwestern’s student health insurance policy, a plan purchased from insurance provider Aetna, which services universities throughout the nation. It states under No. 41 in a list of exclusions to coverage “expenses incurred for, or related to, sex change surgery, or to any treatment of gender identity disorder.”

Gender Identity Disorder (GID), as defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is “a conflict between a person’s actual physical gender and the gender that person identifies himself or herself as,” and it’s how people who identify as transgender are diagnosed within the medical community. Despite recognition in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorder’s IV-TR (DSM), transgender students diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder are currently unable to receive coverage for estrogen or testosterone hormones and/or sex reassignment surgery in order to make a physical gender transition.

But medically defining transgender people as having a disorder is controversial in and of itself, according to the American Medical Student Association. They, along with groups like GID Reform Advocates, stress that a social stigma is associated with medical terminology like “disorder” in relation to a person’s identity."

[The impact of J. Michael Bailey's transphobic teachings lingers-on at Northwestern University, which is among the more backward of academic institutions on this issue.]


11-22-11:  Sun-Sentinal (posted 11-19): "How investigators tracked down a "doctor" accused of giving toxic butt injections" (more, more)

"This was no ordinary flat repair. Oneal Ron Morris took a look and went to work. Not on a tire. But on the backside of a Miami Gardens woman who was seeking the derriere of her dreams.

Instead, she got a tush full of toxins. Morris, a self-proclaimed doctor, injected a concoction of “fix-a-flat’’ — cement, mineral oil and Super Glue — into the woman’s buttocks, police said. The materials eventually spread through her body and nearly killed her.

The woman, whose name is not being released because of medical privacy laws, went to three different hospitals before doctors finally figured out the cause of the mystery ailment that caused pneumonia-like symptoms and left large, infected welts on her backside.

On Friday, Miami Gardens police finally caught up with the elusive “doctor,’’ a transgender woman whose own butt is the size of a truck tire. Investigators suspect she is part of an underground network of scam artists who have been offering “pumping parties” and home buttocks augmentations across South Florida for years. In some cases, the end result has been deadly."


11-20-11:  DNA India (India): "Fire at transgender congregation kills 14; 40 injured"

"At least 14 eunuchs were killed and 40 others injured when a major fire swept through a community hall in an east Delhi locality where a congregation of the transgender community was taking place. The incident took place at around 7 pm when th over 100 eunuchs from across the capital had gathered for a festival. 14 people died in the incident and over 40 were injured and rushed to various hospitals, police and hospital authorities said.

The fire which started in the kitchen spread through the premises and destroyed the tents which had been put up for the congregation. As the fire spread, people ran helter skelter searching for a safe zone but many got trapped in the fire and lost their lives, police said. Locals said they heard huge cries of people and came out and saw that the entire community hall premises engulfed in flames."


11-20-11:  LGBQ Nation: "Today is a day to honor humans lost to outright bigotry"

"Today is a day when all decent persons across the face of the planet should take a moment to pause and reflect on the terrible loss of promising lives rendered incomplete by a noxious and unjust pathology of lies, misconceptions and outright bigotry.

Today, Nov. 20, marks the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event to recognize the many people who are murdered because of their gender identity or expression.

As recently as a few days ago in Los Angeles, yet again acts of violence were directed at a transgendered person with the poor woman being shot dead in the streets of Hollywood. I could pause here and do a numbingly long roll call of the deceased, but instead I will honor them by calling on people to instead focus on stopping the violence."


11-20-11:  The Denver Post: "Photographer, model-builder Turner switched his attire after retiring"

"Albert Turner Jr. was a professional photographer, builder of an intricate miniature circus and a model railroader. In later life, he was Aleta Elysia Turner, cross-dresser. "He went from smoking a pipe and wearing cowboy shirts and jeans to wearing elaborate dresses and jewelry," said daughter Susie Turner of Salt Lake City. Albert Turner died at his Denver home on Oct. 31 from complications of diabetes. He was 88.

When her father started cross-dressing, "it was like a death in the family because it felt as if I'd lost my father," said Susie Turner. But beyond changing his name and dress, he took no other steps toward becoming a woman."


11-20-11: Women's e-News: "Work Protections for Trans People at Starting Gate"

"The history of extending workplace protections to transgender people has more losses than victories, says Kyla Bender-Baird in her book "Transgender Employment Experiences." In this excerpt, she calls for nuanced policies backed by cultural change.

Due to the lack of clear and consistent policy protections, it is often unclear if discrimination perpetrated against a transgender person is illegal. This lack of clarity leaves many trans people vulnerable to rampant discrimination without any obvious vehicle for recourse. On the other hand, the current state of policy protections (or their near absence) offers an opportunity.

As the legal landscape for transgender employment protections is literally still being written, advocates have the opportunity to shape policy so that it captures the nuances and subtleties of discrimination as experienced by trans people . . .

By using lived experiences to shape policy decisions, more robust laws that provide actual protection may be passed. At the same time, however, it must be understood that no one policy will solve transgender employment discrimination. After all, transgender Californians have been protected from employment discrimination since 2004, but in a recent survey 70 percent of transgender respondents reported experiencing workplace discrimination and harassment directly related to their gender identity."


11-20-11:  Radio Free Europe (re Pakistan): "Supreme Court Ruling Gives Pakistan's Beleaguered Transgender Community New Hope"

"After decades of neglect and persecution, Pakistan's transgender minority has been offered new hope following a court decision to give the long-oppressed community the right to vote. Pakistan's Supreme Court issued a ruling on November 14 ordering the country's election commission to collect data from the transgender community and register them as voters.

The move has paved the way for Pakistan's minority community of transgender men -- known in the Urdu language as "hijras" and estimated to number 500,000 -- to vote in next year's general elections and nominate their own candidates for parliament. The hijras' right to vote -- unthinkable just a few years ago -- is a groundbreaking achievement in Pakistan, a deeply conservative country where ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities have often been victims of violence and persecution.

The court decision is a boost for supporters of Pakistan's secular civilian government and independent judiciary, while being a blow to the country's many extreme Islamist groups, who have promoted intolerance and violence for the past several decades."


11-19-11:  Los Angeles Times: "Killing of transgender woman sparks fears"

"As authorities searched for a gunman who killed a transgender woman in Hollywood late Thursday night, residents and sex workers along Lexington Avenue voiced fears of further attacks.

The victim, Nathan Vickers, 32, was said to frequent areas known for prostitution, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Vickers, who also used the name Cassidy, died of a gunshot wound to the chest and was discovered near the corner of Lexington Avenue and Gower Street at 9:55 p.m., police said.

Authorities say they are unaware of a motive for the attack but believe Vickers was killed by the same man who tried to rob a second transgender woman at gunpoint in West Hollywood's Plummer Park half an hour later, a mile and a half away. "


11-18-11:  The Hoya (Georgetown Univ.): "Transsexual Shares New Identity"

"Donna Rose, a transsexual who champions the right of self-expression, spoke Tuesday about her personal experiences and challenged traditional views of gender roles as part of Gender Liberation Week. An author and advocate for the transgender community, Rose acknowledged that although transsexuality is an uncomfortable subject for many, it is one that must be addressed . . .

Born as a male, Rose knew by the age of 6 that her body did not express her sense of self. Without an outlet for discussion of transgender issues, she hid her insecurities. Rose realized in her mid-40s that she could not hide her true self any longer. In her lecture, she said that witnessing a successful surgery was the impetus for beginning her own physical transformation."

[Note how this Catholic University newspaper uses "transsexual" as a noun (rather than an adjective, as in 'transsexual woman'), thus ideologically exploiting the speaker by labeling her with an alien identity.]


11-18-11:  YouTube: "TYFA family profile: Angel", a video by Trans Youth Family Allies.

"Angel is one of hundreds of transgender children helped by TYFA.

Please help us help young people like Angel!"


11-18-11:  The Denver Post: "Editorial: Shameful restroom rule for trangender student"

"It's hard to imagine that in 2011 a transgender student would be prohibited from using a student restroom at a public high school, but here we are.

The Coloradoan newspaper in Fort Collins reported this week that 16-year-old Dionne Malikowski, who was born male but identifies as a female, was told by Fort Collins High School officials that she could use only staff restrooms . . .

Malikowski said she found the prohibition to be discriminatory. "I want to be able to use the girls' bathroom without being harassed for it or suspended or having charges pressed against me," she told the Coloradoan.  "I just want people to understand that there are so many kinds of people out there, and people who are a little different shouldn't have to be treated differently or looked down on." . . .

It's disappointing that a transgender girl would be treated the way she reportedly has been by an institution that is supposed to be dedicated to knowledge and learning. We expect more enlightened behavior from school officials, and Malikowski certainly deserves it."


11-18-11: "International Transgender Day of Remembrance"  (TDoR Events and Locations 2011)(Remembering Our Dead)

"The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor 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 . . .

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence"


11-18-11:  SDGLN: "VIDEO: Transgender Day of Remembrance to be observed globally and in San Diego"

"As the gay and lesbian community celebrates victories such as the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," one group within the LGBT acronym continues to face unprecedented struggles. The transgender community is confronted with discrimination, hatred and violence at levels greater than many other marginalized groups, and hate-motivated murders of transgender people continue.

To memorialize those who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, communities across the globe will participate in the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Sunday, Nov. 20. Events such as marches, vigils and discussions will take place in cities around the world, including events planned in San Diego."


11-18-11:  Time Magazine: "Being Transgender Is Still Widely Misunderstood"

"The term transgender, which describes some 700,000 Americans, has been around for more than 35 years — as long as Microsoft and disposable razors. And yet, according to a recent survey of about 2,000 Americans by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), 3 in 10 Americans still can't define it . . .

The ignorance still begets disgust, disapproval and stigma. "You are not satisfied with the way God made you," said one PRRI respondent. "There really is nothing you can do." Their "mind is not right," said another. Multiple people responding to the PRRI survey mentioned Chaz Bono, Cher's transgender son who became a cultural lightning rod when he recently joined the cast of Dancing With the Stars (at the time, critics questioned whether kids should still be allowed to watch the "once-family friendly" show).

The vast majority of Americans are taught that you're either male or female. You use the girls' room or the boys' room. Contemplating gender as a spectrum rather than multiple choice can be a brain strain — which is why many people in the survey defined transgender in terms of what it isn't. A version of "Somebody who is neither a boy nor a girl" was a repeated response. That's a start. But acceptance will come more easily when the transgender population is acknowledged for what they are, rather than what they aren't."


11-18-11:  Times of India (re U.S.): "Frank transsexuals find job satisfaction"

"Transsexual individuals who are open about their gender identity at their workplace are more likely to have greater satisfaction and commitment to their job as compared to those who don't, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the Rice University and Pennsylvania State University surveyed 88 transsexuals across the nation about their workplace experiences to determine what factors impact their job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

"The workplace is becoming a much more diverse place," Michelle Hebl, the study co-author, said. "The demographic makeup of employees is shifting due to a host of factors, such as flexible work hours, increased telecommuting, greater accessibility and protective organizational policies. Almost no empirical research has been done on transsexuals' experiences whatsoever.

Our research sheds light on this severely understudied population''s common workplace experiences and how such experiences can be improved," she said."


11-18-11:  Huffington Post: "Stephen Ira, Warren Beatty's Transgender Son, Slams Chaz Bono As 'Misogynous' In Blog Posting" (more, more)

"The transgender son of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening has lashed out at Chaz Bono on his blog, accusing the recently departed "Dancing with the Stars" contestant of being misogynous.

Nineteen-year-old Stephen Ira Beatty, who was born Kathlyn, accused Bono, 42, of being unqualified to speak about gender reassignment. "Chaz has appointed himself as the representative of a group of people who are not all like him," Stephen writes. "He has said misogynistic and prescriptivist things about gender. I take particular issue with his comments on trans embodiment and on women." Stephen takes particular issue with Bono's assertion in The New York Times, in which he likened being transgender to having a birth defect."


11-17-11:  The New Civil Rights Movement (re Nepal): "Can Proper ID Save The Lives Of Transgender People In Emergencies?" (more)

"Last summer when Bhumika Shrestha travelled to New York City to represent Nepal at the United Nations, she encountered some special questions during her layover in Doha. Shrestha, who is transgender — or, in Nepal, third-​gender — presents as an elegant young woman. Her passport and citizenship ID card, however, both list her as a man named Kailash.

In Qatar, airline officials pulled her aside and questioned her about her passport and her appearance but eventually let her go. The experience was unpleasant for Shrestha but not unsafe. In the worst-​case scenario, the documentation discrepancy would have sent her home on the next flight to Kathmandu. “They asked me questions, and I was scared to fail on my first trip to the U.S.,” she recalls, “but then they believed my story that I was transgender and let me get on the plane.”

Like so many transgender people, Shrestha faces daily administrative struggles. As Paisley Currah, professor of Political Science at City University of New York, explains in a paper titled “Securitizing Gender: Identity, Biometrics, and Transgender Bodies at the Airport,” “When an individual’s cultural legibility is not affirmed by their identity papers, even everyday quotidian transactions become moments of vulnerability.”"


11-17-11:  The Daily Mail (re US): "'When kids said I was a boy it made me sad': Transgender eight-year-old reveals why she's much happier living as a GIRL" (more)

"They are often forced to live in the shadows, condemned as freaks. But now one transgender child has spoken out about her unhappiness at feeling like she had being born into the wrong body. Danann Tyler, who was born male but now dresses as a little girl and has long hair, says she was bullied at school and felt hurt by other children telling her she was a boy.

The eight-year-old MTF (male to female) from Orange County, California, is the subject of a new feature length documentary about transgender people. In a special edition of the Anderson talk show, 'Children &Teens Caught In The Wrong Bodies' which is scheduled to air on Wednesday, she told journalist Anderson Cooper: 'My school, people were telling me that I was a boy and it made me really sad.'  Danann's parents, Sarah and Bill Tyler, who also appeared on the show, said they did not know what was wrong with their son when, from aged two, he insisted he was a girl.

When a therapist eventually showed them a DVD and told them that their child could have gender identity disorder, the Tylers were relieved. The diagnosis immediately rang true, they said, and despite her young age, the concerned parents made the controversial decision to let Danann live her life as if she were female. Now, a year and a half on, they say it's like parenting a new little girl. Sarah explained: 'Once we made the transition, it was like night and day. She was a totally different child.'"


11-17-11:  Anderson (posted 11-16): "Children & Teens Trapped in the Wrong Bodies"

"Anderson spends the hour talking to children who believe they are trapped in the wrong bodies, and discusses their parents’ journey to acceptance. Anderson speaks with experts to get a better understanding of the medical and psychological aspects of transgender people, and how these families are faced with new scientific options that would allow their kids to change their gender."

[Includes multiple video clips from the show.]


11-17-11:  The Boston Globe: "Transgender civil rights bill OK’d" (more, more)

"After six years of lobbying on Beacon Hill, the state’s transgender community yesterday won civil rights protections that have long been extended to other minority groups.

The bill, now on its way to the governor’s desk, will forbid discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, and credit. It will also add gender identification to the state’s hate crimes law.

The bill won final passage amid a rush of lawmaking on the last day before the House and Senate break for winter recess until next year."


11-17-11:  News Medical (re Sweden):  "State-financed healthcare causes unnecessary suffering for transsexual persons" (more)

"In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to legislate healthcare for transsexualism within the state-financed healthcare system. In an international perspective, this was considered to be radical. It was expected that the life situation of people in the transsexual group would improve, now that state-financed healthcare was available for this group. A thesis published at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, however, describes this care as an oppressive gender-conservative system that causes suffering for transsexual persons . . .

"We live in a society that is dominated by the idea that there are only two types of people - feminine women who are born with a vagina and masculine men who are born with a penis. Healthcare for transsexual persons is a part of society, and this idea therefore also characterises the conditions required for gender-corrective measures. The work presented in my thesis shows that this often has serious consequences for the life of an individual", says Signe Bremer."


11-16-11:  Salon (re Lebanon): "Beirut, an imperfect haven for LGBT refugees - Though more liberal other parts of the Middle East, persecuted gays find the city isn't"

"The Algerian secret service gave transsexual Randa Lamri an ultimatum: Leave the country within 10 days or risk imprisonment and the defamation of her family. Lamri, like many persecuted gays, lesbians and transexuals in the region, looked to Beirut for refuge.

“I was scared for my security and for the future of my family,” says Lamri, 39, who came to Lebanon on a tourist visa and immediately set about securing a work visa so that she could stay longer.

A founding member of an underground lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights association in Algeria called Abu Nahas, Lamri’s way of life had begun to provoke anonymous death threats from Islamist groups and persistent calls and visits to her workplace and family home from authorities. Finally, the pressure became too much for her to bear . . ."


11-16-11:  Huffington Post: "Andrea Jones, Tennessee Transgender Woman, Goes Topless In DMV Protest (VIDEO)"

"A Tennessee-based transgender woman says she went topless in the parking lot of a local DMV in an effort to fight for her rights. As is reporting, Andrea Jones was arrested for indecent exposure after taking her shirt off after the Morristown Driver's License Office refused to change her sex from male to female on her driver's license.

"If I was a male, I had the right to, when I stepped out the door, take off my shirt," Jones, who has had a partial sex change, explained. "It's not right for the state to ask me to be both male and female. A choice needs to be made. They cannot hold me to both standards.""


11-16-11:  The Coloradoan: "Transgender student's restroom use raises questions on PSD policy"

"One question is causing a stir at Fort Collins High School: Who has the right to use which restroom? Dionne Malikowski, 16, a transgender student at the school, said she believes she should have the same rights as any student to use the bathroom of her choice. But the fallout from following her convictions is prompting her to transfer to another school.

Malikowski, who was born male and now identifies as a female, said she was told by school officials that she would be required to use only staff restrooms when she entered the Lambkin community, a policy that she said school officials told her was to keep her safe from harassment. But the high school junior said she was suspended about a month ago for violating the policy by using a girls' restroom instead of a staff facility. "


11-16-11: "Children & Teens Trapped in the Wrong Bodies"

"Anderson spends the hour talking to children who believe they are trapped in the wrong bodies, and discusses their parents’ journey to acceptance. Anderson speaks with experts to get a better understanding of the medical and psychological aspects of transgenders, and how these families are faced with new scientific options that would allow their kids to change their gender.

Anderson also speaks with Domaine Javier, a transgender woman recently expelled from college for applying as a female, as well as Kyle Allums, the first transgender Division 1 basketball player."


11-16-22:  TLDEF: "Victory! Transgender Woman Wins Disability Leave Coverage for Facial Feminization Surgery"

"We are thrilled to announce that we have resolved a claim on behalf of Lina Kok, a 47-year-old transgender woman in North Carolina who had been denied short-term disability leave benefits for reconstructive facial feminization surgery. Lina underwent the surgery in November 2010 as part of her transition from male to female. Her insurance company denied her claim on the grounds that her surgery was undertaken for cosmetic reasons, and therefore was not covered under the policy. After two failed appeals, her claim was approved after TLDEF argued that her reconstructive surgery was medically necessary and covered under the policy.

“Transgender-related health care is medically necessary care, and it should be treated that way in all respects,” said TLDEF staff attorney Noah Lewis. “No one should be denied benefits based on the incorrect view that transgender-related health care is optional or cosmetic. Transgender employees simply want the same benefits as any other employee,” he added."


11-15-11:  The Advocate: "Girl Takes Life After Gender-Based Taunting"

"A 10-year-old Illinois girl has committed suicide after enduring bullying that included being called a boy when she had her hair cut short.

Ashlynn Conner, who lived in the small town of Ridge Farm in eastern Illinois, was found hanged in her closet Friday night, and family members believe she took her own life due to bullying and teasing that had gone on for several years . . . "


11-14-11: (posted in 9-13-11): "Working Together to Protect Our Transgender Community"

"This ground-breaking solution based educational video is targeted toward law enforcement agencies/officers, and highlights "best practices" of law enforcement polices, so that they may be freely shared with other agencies who may not have any written procedure policy or trainings concerning this sect of our population. Featuring officers of the law and other allies of our trans community.

In honor of those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, we are launching the FREE international video release of "Working Together to Protect Our Transgender Community" to kick off Transgender Awareness Week and honor Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20, 2011)."

[An important resource for the law enforcement community; please bring it to the attention of your local departments!]


11-13-11:  Guardian (UK re Afghanistan): "Will Afghanistan learn that cross-dressers are not criminals? - The video of policemen bullying a transvestite exposed an unpleasant side to Afghan culture – but humane voices give cause for hope"

""Take off your chador," the police officer orders an Afghan cross-dresser in a video that has been shared endlessly on social networking websites. "Take off your wig!" Beneath the shiny black locks, the head is revealed as male with receding, closely cropped hair. He's also wearing a scarlet short-sleeved shalwar kamiz – sexy but traditional female attire. The feminine look is accentuated by large sparkling bangles and see-through embroidery.

The victim's ordeal goes on for what seems like eternity as he endures humiliating comments and laughter from the police officers. "Please have mercy, don't make fun of me," he whispers."

[I fear for this young person's life in Afghanistan's hideously cruel cultural environment.]


11-13-11:  The Canadian (re Russia): "Russia: New laws against Transgenders, Bisexuals and Gays"

"On November 11, 2011, legal committee of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly introduced a draft law about prohibition of the so-called propaganda of 'sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors' and introduction of administrative offence. The bill was introduced by United Russia. This law seeks to demonize LGBT communities.

By combining homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality into one law with sexual crimes against minors (pedophilia), members of the Legislative Assembly indulge in gross manipulations of public opinion. Their goal – to pass an anti-democratic law, directed at severely limiting human rights in St. Petersburg."


11-12-11:  Vital Voice: "Transgender Day of Remembrance" (more, more, more)

"Each November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is observed by the Trans and allied community around the world who gather in memory of those lost to violence and hate during the previous year.

In these memorials—both secular and those of faith—the names of our dead are spoken in reverent and solemn tones, the memorials perhaps followed by educational workshops or receptions. This year will reflect the 13th Annual TDOR, which was first observed in 1999 to reflect the murder of Rita Hester, a Trans woman whose 1998 slaying has never been solved. In the past three years, over 500 Trans-identified individuals have been murdered as documented by the Trans Murder Monitoring Project."


11-12-11:  Facebook: "Sexual and Gender Diversity at HKU. ACT NOW to protect a key course", by Sam Winter, Ph.D."

"Hong Kong University Faculty of Education is making decisions that may threaten diversity education across the campus!

Sam Winter teaches 'SEXUALITY AND GENDER: DIVERSITY AND SOCIETY', one of the most 'common core' (foundation) courses at Hong Kong University. The Faculty of Education is making decisions that may mean neither he (nor anyone else) gets to teach it again. Hey WORLD, help SAVE THE COURSE!! LIKE THIS PAGE NOW! "

[Please 'Like' this page, and pass this alert on to others too:]


11-12-11: "Detroit transgender missing teen body was in morgue for weeks unclaimed"

"When the news broke that the missing transgender teen body was found, it had been lying in the morgue for weeks unclaimed. Police announced that Henry “Shelly” Hilliard 19, the missing transgender teen from Detroit had been missing since the morning of October 23, 2011 from the area of Woodward and Longfellow, on Detroit’s Westside. It wasn’t until weeks of searching passed, it was discovered that Hilliard’s body was found the same night she went missing."


11-12-11:  Detroit News: "Mom waits for answers in transgender teen's death"

"The mother of a transgender teen found dismembered in Detroit said she is mourning her child's death and waiting for answers as police continue their investigation. Lyniece Nelson described the 19-year-old -- whose given name, she said, is Henry Hilliard Jr., but who went by the name Shelly Moore -- as a loving and caring person . . .

Police would say only that Hilliard's death is being investigated by the homicide section. A burned torso found on an I-94 service drive on the city's east side was identified Thursday by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office as being Hilliard, who was last seen in the early morning hours Oct. 23.

Nelson previously told the Free Press that a cab driver dropped Hilliard off at a home where three men were waiting, but the teen was concerned and called the driver back. Before the phone went dead, the driver reportedly said he heard Hilliard scream, but when he drove back around the corner, no one was there, Nelson said."


11-12-11:  Columbia University Press: "The Lives of Transgender People," by Genny Beemyn and Susan R Rankin

"Responding to a critical need for greater perspectives on transgender life in the United States, Genny Beemyn and Susan (Sue) Rankin apply their extensive expertise to a groundbreaking survey—one of the largest ever conducted in the U.S.—on gender development and identity-making among transsexual women, transsexual men, crossdressers, and genderqueer individuals. With nearly 3,500 participants, the survey is remarkably diverse, and with more than 400 follow-up interviews, the data offers limitless opportunities for research and interpretation.

Beemyn and Rankin track the formation of gender identity across individuals and groups, beginning in childhood and marking the "touchstones" that led participants to identify as transgender. They explore when and how participants noted a feeling of difference because of their gender, the issues that caused them to feel uncertain about their gender identities, the factors that encouraged them to embrace a transgender identity, and the steps they have taken to meet other transgender individuals. Beemyn and Rankin's findings expose the kinds of discrimination and harassment experienced by participants in the U.S. and the psychological toll of living in secrecy and fear. They discover that despite increasing recognition by the public of transgender individuals and a growing rights movement, these populations continue to face bias, violence, and social and economic disenfranchisement. Grounded in empirical data yet rich with human testimony, The Lives of Transgender People adds uncommon depth to the literature on this subject and introduces fresh pathways for future research."

[An important new book. For a 30% discount, use promo code "LIVBE" on this site (instead of using Amazon)]


11-12-11:  Tre Wentling, Syracuse University:  Invitation to participate in research project

"You are invited to participate in the Trans Gender Embodied States of Recognition research project, which explores recognition and experiences using personal identification documentation (IDs). The survey, which may take 10 to 30 minutes to complete, includes questions about your gender identification, IDs and experiences using them, name and pronoun recognition, your transition-related decisions, how you have felt in the past week, and basic demographic information:


11-12-11:  Mirror (UK): "Lady Gaga's new video still prompts further sex change speculation" (more)

"EVER since she “popped out” of her dress at Glastonbury in 2009, Lady Gaga has been accused of being a transsexual. It seemed like a load of old cobblers to me but many viewers were convinced they saw something a lady should NEVER possess.The singer has been dogged by sex change rumours ever since – and now Lady Gaga says she’s ready to tell “the story she never told”.

Stills released yesterday from her new video, Marry the Night, show her lying on a hospital stretcher. And they have sparked feverish speculation that it’s about her rumoured “sex change op”. The 25-year-old superstar helped things along nicely when she posted a rambling message, saying: “It’s not that I’ve been dishonest, it’s just that I loathe reality... The beginning of the story I never told you.”

Yesterday, the video was the talk of the internet, with fans flooding music forums with their wild theories."


11-11-11:  National Catholic Register: "Majority of American Catholics support transgender rights" (more, more)

"The Roman Catholic hierarchy rarely utters the word transsexual or transgender. And when it does, it's only to say that transgendered persons either don't exist or are suffering from a psychiatric disorder.

Add this latest statistic to the "discrepancy between hierarchical teaching and lay conviction" file: According to a recent study by the Washington-based Public Religion Research Institute, a staggering 93 percent of Catholics in the United States support rights for transgendered persons . . .

So, once again, Catholics in this country are on the cutting edge of issues related to human rights. Although they reject hierarchy's teaching on sexuality, the majority of the laity certainly takes seriously the Catholic theology of social justice in their defense of the rights and dignity of all members of society."

[Another sign of the disconnect between practicing Catholics and the increasingly isolated, inward-looking Vatican.]


11-11-11:  Detroit Free Press: "Wayne County medical examiner confirms torso is missing transgender youth"

"The Wayne County medical examiner has identified a burned torso found on an I-94 service road on Detroit's east side as belonging to Henry Hilliard, 19, a missing teen known as Michelle, Shelley or Treasure.

Hilliard was last seen at 1:20 a.m. Oct. 23, near the 900 block of Longfellow, wearing a silver dress. Hilliard's mother, Lyniece Nelson, said Hilliard went there to meet a man, and was calling for help when the line went dead. On Wednesday, investigator Albert Samuels matched the torso to Hilliard based on information Detroit police supplied about a tattoo of cherries on the teen's arm, said county spokesman Dennis Niemiec. He said Nelson identified her child's remains Thursday."


11-10-11:  Detroit News: "Torso found in Detroit identified as missing transgender teen

"The Wayne County Medical Examiner's office has confirmed the death of 19-year-old Shelley Hilliard, a transgender teen also known as Treasure, after her mother identified her torso this morning. The teen, who was born Henry Hilliard, went missing in the early hours of Oct. 23 and was last seen on the 900 block of Longfellow on Detroit's west side.

The Medical Examiner's office received her torso later on Oct. 23, and Lyniece Nelson, Hilliard's mother, identified her this morning. Nelson said she had no idea who might've done this.

"She was loved by a lot people, a lot of friends a lot of family," Nelson said. "She just brought joy to everyone that she came in contact with. She was always there for her family.""


11-10-11:  XTRA! (Canada; posted 11-09): "Trans sex workers still most vulnerable - Former sex worker turned activist preparing for Trans Day of Remembrance"

"Morgan M Page sometimes wishes she could reach back and hug her 12-year-old self: a lost and confused drug-addicted trans sex worker on the streets of Hamilton. Page, 24, now leads trans programming at Toronto's 519 Church St Community Centre, including the annual Trans Day of Remembrance on Nov 18. The event commemorates trans people who have been murdered.

“If you look at the list of names that we read on Trans Day of Remembrance, almost all of them are trans sex workers of colour,” Page points out."


11-10-11:  New York Times: "Medical Schools Neglect Gay and Gender Issues", by Pauline W. Chen, M.D.

"“Just ask one of the older nurses or doctors,” she said, smiling. “They all know me.”

But as I would learn, it was not because of her recurrent infections that so many of my colleagues knew her. Several years earlier, she had come in for a routine operation. The doctor had evaluated her before the operation, learned that she was a homemaker and met her husband. But on the morning of her operation, as he pulled down the sheets to begin inserting the urinary catheter into his now sleeping patient, he was startled to discover that the patient was not exactly who he had assumed she was.

She was transgender, and where he had been expecting to find female genitalia, he found male genitals instead.

The operation had gone well; but years later the doctor’s glaring oversight continued to haunt the rest of us. The patient had obviously not felt comfortable disclosing her transgender identify, and the doctor had clearly not asked the right questions. We knew that any one of us could have made the same mistake. While we had been trained well in treating cancer with the best chemotherapy regimen, curing flesh-eating infections with the most powerful antibiotics or transplanting organs with the greatest of ease, when it came to caring for patients who were transgender, we were lost."


11-09-11::  9News (Fort Collins, CO): "Transgender student says she was suspended for using ladies' restroom " (with video)

"Two Fort Collins High School students say they don't feel welcome on campus because they say they're not allowed to use the restrooms they want. Both identify themselves as transgender.

Sixteen-year-old Dionne Malikowski was born male, but she now identifies as transgender. Her friend Kurt Peters, also 16, was born female and says he is transgender as well.  "To be one sex that feels like they're the other sex," Malikowski said defining what a transgender person feels.

Inside Fort Collins High School, the two say they are asked to use staff restrooms. "There's not staff bathrooms all over the school, so when you really got to pee, you got to pee," Malikowski said.

That's what she says happened about a month ago when she used the women's restroom. She was told she'd be suspended for three days.

"I cried," Malikowski said. "I told them that it was really messed up for them to do that to me, and they were like, 'We've warned you before,' and I was just like, 'Obviously you don't understand what it's like.'""


11-09-11:  Bay Windows: "Liars club - Anti-trans testimony featured in video." (link to video)

"A video posted on YouTube by the Equal Rights Coalition showed the ridiculousness of claims made during June 8 testimony by the leading opponents of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill. The comments were made during a hearing on the bill before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

"This bill is a civil rights bill, pure and simple," said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. "No matter how many times opponents of the bill claim otherwise, it doesn’t change the fact that this is about prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit. Nothing more and nothing less.""


11-09-11:  Market Watch Press Release (posted 11-08): "Joint Commission Focuses on Improving Care for LGBT Patients - New Guide Provides Strategies, Examples, Resources for Hospitals"  (PDF of new guidebook)

"A new field guide from The Joint Commission urges U.S. hospitals to create a more welcoming, safe and inclusive environment that contributes to improved health care quality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families . . .

Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community: A Field Guide features a compilation of strategies, practice examples, resources and testimonials designed to help hospitals in their efforts to improve communication and provide more patient-centered care to their LGBT patients. In addition, the field guide offers information to help hospitals identify gaps, safety risks, and areas needing improvement, as well as information to strengthen outreach efforts to the LGBT community. The field guide can serve as an educational resource that hospitals can use to develop staff training, as well as for compliance efforts related to laws, regulations and standards."


11-09-11:  Huffington Post (re UK): "'My Transsexual Summer' Review: Educational Documentary Or Gratuitous Reality Show?" (more, more)

"Channel 4's latest docu-reality show tells the story of seven Brits who have decided to change gender. The programme follows them as they 'transition' and sees the group come together every weekend at a country retreat to share their experiences.

It has a sensationalist title, just like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which was a huge hit for Channel 4, but will it help bring awareness of this minority's everyday struggle against social prejudices? Or is it just shock TV to pull in viewers?"


11-08-11:  Prism Magazine, American Society for Engineering Education (posted 10-16): "Secrets Are Out: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender engineers are no longer willing to hide their true selves."

[Just posted a PDF of the hardcopy article (3.3mb) ; here's the link to original online version]


11-08-11:  Associated Press (re Poland): "Transsexual makes debut in new Polish parliament" (more)

"A transsexual woman and an openly gay man took seats in Poland's newly elected parliament Tuesday, historic firsts that reflect profound social change in this traditionally Roman Catholic country.

Anna Grodzka, who was born a man but underwent a sex change, entered the assembly hall to warm greetings. Several men and women shook her hand, while one male lawmaker kissed her on the cheek. She was later introduced to Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who also shook her hand.

Grodzka sat next to Robert Biedron, an activist who is the first openly gay person elected to Poland's parliament. Both belong to Palikot's Movement, a new progressive party that became the third-largest party in parliament in the Oct. 9 election.

Grodzka said she felt overwhelmed by emotion as the session opened with the national anthem and when she later took her oath of office."


11-08-11:  (posted 11-02): "Off the Bus - Three passengers say they were kicked off a Spokane bus for discussing bisexuality" (more, more)

"It was 16-year-old Mat Kellogg’s first time riding the bus in Spokane. But Kellogg, a kid from Deer Park attending Spokane Falls Community College, never finished that ride.

Nor did Jessica Jahn, 21, and Kaitlyn Bahn, 24, who were with him. They are all transsexuals — born one gender but taking hormones to become the other. And they all say they were kicked off the bus in the middle of a South Hill neighborhood, a mile from their bus stop, for discussing bisexuality.

Yet, the riders say that their conversation was never explicit or offensive — unless the words “bisexual” or “queer” are offensive — and that by the time they were actually kicked off the bus, there were no other passengers onboard.

“I know she broke the law,” Jahn says of the bus driver.

11-08-11:  Border Telegraph (UK): "Man, I feel like a woman: Transgender student reveals bullies could force her out of Borders"

""I think most people accept the fact that it's not right to discriminate against coloured people or people with a disability but the same can't be said of transgender people. It is actually very shocking to see the way people behave - shouting and being abusive. It happened in college and happens when I walk around the town but it only ever happened when I'm on my own. It can be very annoying.

"I would say generally I get a lot of abuse from young people who don't know any better but there have been occasions when I have been abused by people my own age. They try to humiliate me, and it seems to come naturally to them. Quite a common reaction is hysterical laughter. I also get people who say: 'That's a man'. And 'that' means I'm a thing."

Lucinda, who is currently undergoing hormone replacement therapy through NHS Borders, said: "I'm beginning to realise that the life I had previously when I could go anywhere I want is over.

"I have to be very careful where I go down here. I can't have the same freedom I used to unless I'm willing to put up with it. I can't even seem to go to my local shopping centre in Langlee without getting abused. I have had full grown men shouting at me from the pub and a group of girls chasing me and shouting I was gay, which of course I'm not." And she added: "The only way to stop it was to not go there.""


11-08-11:  The Guardian (UK): "My Transsexual Summer: a new view of gender", by Paris Lees

"Channel 4 reality doc My Transsexual Summer explores what it's like to change gender. Forget all the 'brave' cliches. This TV series is about happy, healthy people.

For the past eight months, I've been consulting on this show, a mixture of upmarket Big Brother "retreat" and observational footage of seven diverse personalities. It's also the first major piece of trans-themed output since Channel 4 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with my campaign group, Trans Media Watch. The document suggests treating trans people with accuracy, dignity and respect. Pretty radical, huh?"


11-08-11:  On The Box (UK): "My Transsexual Summer: Ex Men"

"The entire country is about to know what seven brave transsexuals did last summer . . .

All at different stages of “transforming”, the self-styled “magic tranny seven” will be sharing some of their most intimate secrets with the viewing public as they continue their personal struggles to change sex.

But My Transsexual Summer strikes the right balance of insight and respect, satiating the curiosity that understandably arises from a sex change scenario but without unnecessary exploitation . . .

It has to be said that most of these men and women look incredible and utterly convincing as their new found gender. But it is the vigour with which the more experienced members of the group adopt a month-old “bad tranny” (her words, not mine) and give her a makeover which, provide some quite moving scenes."


11-08-11:  Daily Mirror (UK): "Mum paid £4,000 to help me remove my boobs and become a man"

"Taking a big, deep breath, ­Jessica Danes looked her mum Victoria in the eye and blurted out the words she had been longing to say for years. She was terrified the bombshell she was about to unleash would shatter the close bond they shared.

But Jessica, now 21, simply couldn’t keep quiet any more. The secret she’d kept almost all her life was eating away at her. “Mum,” she said. “I’m sorry. I want to be a boy.”

The shocking admission in ­January this year was the start of a ­nine-month transformation that has seen Jessica transform beyond all recognition into Oliver. HR ­manager Victoria, 39, even paid £4,000 for her daughter to have her 40F breasts removed so she could become her son. “I feel the happiest I have ever been,” smiles Oliver, who changed his name by deed poll in March."


11-08-11:  Sydney Morning Herald (re Thailand): "Scars of prejudice underlie glamour of transgender pageant" (more, more, more)

"The road has been fraught with hardship for entrants in the Miss International Queen contest, writes Lindsay Murdoch in Pattaya.

The millions of Thai television viewers could not see the many scars beneath Miss Sahhara's shimmering evening gown. ''I was very feminine when I was growing up and often got harassed and beaten up badly,'' says Miss Sahhara, a self-identified woman representing Nigeria in the Miss International Queen pageant, the world's largest and most watched transgender contest held each year in the Thai resort city of Pattaya.

''The terrible memories flood back when I look at the scars all over my body,'' she says. Miss Sahhara says that in Nigeria, a strict Christian and Muslim country, there is little tolerance for people born male who like her want to live as a woman."

11-08-11:  Detroit Free Press: "Detroit police search for teen missing for 2 weeks", by Tammy Stables Battaglia

"Henry Hilliard, Jr., 19, also known as Shelley or Treasure, was last seen at 1:20 a.m. Oct. 23 in the 900 block Longfellow wearing a silver dress, according to request for help issued by the Detroit Police Monday.

A cab driver that Hilliard often used for rides dropped Hilliard off at a home where three men were waiting for him, his mother, Lyniece Nelson, said today.

But Hilliard immediately called the driver back, voicing concern about the situation, Nelson said. "He started to hear her say, 'what are you doing,' then scream out loud 'no,' then her phone dropped, a few muffling noises, then the phone went dead," Nelson said. "By the time he got back around the corner, there was no one in sight.""

[Readers should alert the Detroit Free Press editors to the AP Stylebook guidelines for referring to transgender people (more, more).  OTOH, at least the DFP called Shelley a "transgender teen", instead of a "transgender man" as did the Detroit News (see next entry).]


11-07-11:  Detroit News: "Detroit police search for missing transgender man"

"Detroit police are searching for a 19-year-old transgender black male who has been missing for two weeks.

Henry Hilliard Jr., also known as Shelley or Treasure, was last seen on the 900 block of Longfellow at 1:20 a.m. on Oct. 23.

Hilliard is described by police as 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds with hazel eyes, red or auburn hair and a light brown complexion. Hilliard was wearing a silver dress when he went missing."

[Readers should alert the Detroit News editors to the AP Stylebook guidelines for referring to transgender people (more, more). Furthermore, Shelley is clearly a transgender woman, not a transgender man.]


11-07-11:  Forbes: "IRS Will Not Fight Sex Change Deductions - O'Donnnabhain Case - Gender Ideology and Tax Policy"

"Ms. O’Donnnabhain was seeking to deduct gender reassignment surgery and with the help of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) prevailed in Tax Court . . . Interesting as the case is, I think the story of how it came to be litigated might be more interesting.

An IRS old timer who had some familiarity with the case told me that they were ready to settle for half the deduction. This would have left no public trail. Instead the powers on high decided it required high level attention which resulted in the chief counsel advice, which while not authority put the Service on record with the position. Once that was done the Tax Court fight was almost mandatory given that Ms. O’Donnnabhain and GLAD were not going to back down . . .

So there is going to be an argument, but it was exceedingly dumb of the religious right to pick the fight in Tax Court particularly in Boston where they were up against GLAD which is currently kicking ass on DOMA. IRS had an expert who said the surgery was not a valid medical procedure. You could probably find an expert somewhere or other to say that about any procedure. Using your political muscle to get the IRS to pick on an individual is a great way to win sympathy for the other side of the argument, particularly if the individual wins in Tax Court."


11-07-11:  Huffington Post: "Transgender, Victimized and Black"

"The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), in collaboration with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a groundbreaking study in September called "Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey," exposing both the structural and individual racism transgender people of color confront. The study is a supplement to the national study Injustice at "Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey."

Because misinformation about transgender people in our country is rampant and egregiously offensive, its impact is deleterious. Transphobia in black communities has left these members of our community especially vulnerable. The statistics are stark"


11-07-11:  Star-Observer (Australia): "Intersex councillor likely to be mayor"

"Victoria could soon have its first intersex Mayor with Hobsons Bay City Councillor Tony Briffa looking likely to win the top job in the city’s west.  Currently Deputy Mayor, Briffa told the Star Observer he believes he has the numbers to win the mayoralty on December 2.

No other councillors have yet firmly indicated they will challenge Briffa’s bid.

“I think I’ve got a good chance of being elected because I have served as Deputy Mayor for two terms now and I have a lot of support within the community,” he said. “It would hopefully help break down the stigma and taboo associated with having an intersex condition and feeling different and at the same time educate people in the community about the intersex condition.”"


11-06-11:  YouYube (posted 10-26): "Plaintiff Wayne Maines' Remarks at GLAD's 2011 Spirit of Justice Award Dinner"

Note: Wayne Maines, father of Nicole Maines, describes the hideous bullying and harrassment his transgender daughter received at an Orono Maine school by a boy whose grandfather is active in Maine's Christian Civic League - and the subsequent GLAD suit against the school district to correct this wrong and make Maine school's safer for transgender kids. The story was widely covered in the media, but this is the first time the family has openly and publicly described their ordeal. A must-see video; please share widely.


11-06-11:  YouTube (posted 10-26): "Plaintiff Nicole Maines' Remarks at GLAD's 2011 Spirit of Justice Award Dinner"

Note: In this video 14 year old Nicole Maines introduces her family at the GLAD award dinner. An amazing young woman!  Such young people are the future transgender rights movement, and it's unstoppable now.


11-06-11:  "What's it really like to change gender? Four of the subjects of Channel 4's 'My Transsexual Summer' talk to Anna Moore about life before, during and after the change"

"Lewis apologises if he’s looking rough; he had a heavy night last night. Dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, he’s slightly hunched, a little awkward but affable, remarkable because he seems so unremarkable, so typical of his generation.

And, on the face of it, he is. An only child, now 22, living at home with his mother in St Helens,Merseyside, he’s working part-time in a gallery while building up an art portfolio, impatient for life to start. 'I’m into so much,’ he says. 'I love graphic design, illustration, animation. I’m also a qualified fitness instructor. I need to narrow it down!’ Recently out of a short-term relationship, he shyly admits that he doesn’t struggle with getting girlfriends . 'I’m just like any ordinary boy, really,’ he says. And you’d have to agree – except for one crucial difference: Lewis started life as a girl."


11-04-11:  E! Online: "Chaz Bono Threatens Legal Action Over Tabloid Death Prediction" (more, more)

"Since his sex reassignment surgery, Chaz Bono is very much alive—and plans to stay that way.

The recently booted Dancing With the Stars contestant and transgender activist is threatening to sue the National Enquirer over a cover story in its upcoming issue in which the tabloid claims he'll die within four years because of purported health issues stemming from his gender transition."


11-04-11:   Glenview Patch: "Doctor: Sex Change Treatments Could Start Early in Life - Dr. Loren Schechter is one of less than a handful of doctors in the United States who perform the most delicate surgery in the trans-gender process."

"Dr. Loren Schechter is one of less than a handful of doctors in the United States who perform the most delicate surgery in the trans-gender process. Loren Schechter’s surgical specialty would never be considered the easiest or most commonplace. Only three other surgeons in the United States . . .  are in the practice.

While a bevy of plastic surgeons can handle facial, breast and other physical re-constructions necessary in the trans-gender process, Schechter and colleagues in Phoenix and San Francisco actually construct new genital organs for patients. But that is merely the end result of a long process involving hormonal treatments and intense psychological counseling. Schechter requires a team to handle patients. He works with Fred Ettner, a general practitioner, and wife Randi Ettner, a psychologist."


11-03-11:  Going Concern: "IRS to Allow Deduction of Medical Expenses for Those Diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder " (more)

"When nature makes a mistake, it can be expensive to repair. Rhiannon O’Donnabhain long suspected that nature had mistakenly assigned him to the wrong team, and after growing up male, fathering three children, and getting divorced, looked into fixing that. A diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) was reached, and the process began.

Now female, O’Donnabhain deducted $21,741 in medical expenses related to the reassignment on her 2001 return. The IRS objected, but the Tax Court upheld her medical deductions for all but the breast augmentation (they said that was cosmetic, not medical).

Now the IRS has changed its mind. In an Action on Decision published yesterday the IRS said that they will follow the Tax Court’s decision and will allow gender reassignment costs as a medical deduction for diagnosed GID.


11-03-11:  "Hung's New Transgender Actress: "It's All Really Good the More People See Us" (more, more, more)

"Jamie Clayton has been called a trailblazer, a trendsetter and a role model. Why? Because she's a transgender actress who has never hid who she is.

And guess what? She's appearing on two upcoming episodes of Hung. Clayton plays Kyla, a transgender love interest for Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) . . .

Clayton declined to give her age, but said she was 19 when she began transitioning, followed by gender reassignment surgery six years later. She cohosted VH1's makeover show TRANSform Me. She was offered the role on Hung after the casting department read about her in an article about an acting class for gay thespians."


11-03-11:  Gulf Daily News (re Bahrain): "Lawyer to take up sex change case"

"A Bahraini lawyer is set to take her third sex-change case in an ongoing quest for rights of those suffering from a gender identity problem . . . Ms Janahi said because of the nature of the case and lack of a medical assessment, it was too early to provide details about the case. However, she revealed that the client was among five Bahraini women who have approached her to assist them in legally changing their sex. Ms Janahi became the first female to win two sex-change cases - one in 2005 and another in 2008. She said that after the success, she was flooded with calls from people in Gulf countries, who complain of being trapped in the wrong body."


11-03-11"  Bay Windows: "Transgender, victimized and black"

"It’s not easy for any person of African descent to be LGBTQ in our black communities, but our transgender brothers and sisters might feel the most discrimination.  ational Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), in collaboration with the National Gay and Lesbian task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a groundbreaking study in September called "Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey," exposing both the structural and individual racism transgender people of color confront. "


11-02-11:  "Dan Savage Gets Glitterbombed, Called Transphobic At University Of Oregon" (more, more)

"Dan Savage may be one of the most high-profile gay rights advocates in the nation -- but that didn't prevent him from reportedly being glitterbombed during a visit to the University of Oregon yesterday . . .

Savage, who was on hand to tape an installment of his MTV show "Savage U," has faced allegations of both being transphobic and biased against bisexuals in the past. In 2010, he openly criticized Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, noting, "It's staggering that Rob McKenna, a female-to-male transsexual, is making it harder for other FTMs (and MTFs) to access the life saving sex-reassignment surgery that allowed Rob to become the man he is today." (McKenna, who is married with four children, is not actually transgendered). Similarly, Savage's earlier use of the term "shemale" in several of his "Savage Love" columns generated heat from transgender rights activists, as did his decision to title one piece "Bad Tranny.""


11-02-11:  Huffington Post (re Sweden): "Aleksa Lundberg, Swedish Transgender Actress, Mourns Forced Sterilization"

"Aleksa Lundberg remembers being four years old and standing by the kindergarten's wading pool . . . As Lundberg moved to join the girls' side, a teacher with a tight, graying perm framing a face contorted in anger grabbed Lundberg by the wrist and "half led, half pulled" her to the group of boys, telling her firmly that this was where Lundberg belonged.

"It was my first experience of an 'authority' telling me what I could do, what I should be, and it led to what is my first memory of an anxiety attack," says Lundberg, now a popular 29-year-old actress who completed the transition from male to female when she was 18. "The silhouettes of the boys standing around me transformed into jail bars in front of my eyes."

More than two decades later, Lundberg is a dramatic voice in a larger struggle against authority -- the Swedish legal requirement that people who want to officially change their sex with the government must be be sterilized first. The law also forbids the freezing of sperm or eggs before corrective surgery, which effectively means transgender Swedes are barred from having biological children.

"Compulsory sterilization" has been quietly practiced for decades in countries typically cast as progressive on LGBT rights: France, the Netherlands, Australia, and a number of U.S. states still require it. Italy and Germany have just recently overturned similar legislation.

Although Swedish leaders have been talking for months about repealing the sterilization law that Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt called a "dark chapter in Swedish history," it remains on the books. The conservative Christian Democrats have doggedly opposed the repeal, arguing that sex reassignment surgery is a threat to traditional social roles."


11-02-11:  Malta Independent (Malta): "Legal amendments to facilitate transsexual changeover period"

"The Justice Ministry will be presenting an amendment to legislation in parliament in order to facilitate the changeover process for transsexuals. Dr Mifsud Bonnici said: “At present, people who undergo gender reassignment have to go to court to have the change in sex noted in their birth certificate. This entails another medical re-examination by a court-appointed doctor to verify the facts. This amendment will do away with this requirement in that a medical certificate even from the doctor who performed the surgery would suffice for the court.”"


11-02-11:  Daily Mail (UK): "'Ex fiancé cheating with a transsexual was my most humiliating moment ever', admits Kelly Osbourne" (more, more, more, more)
"Kelly Osbourne has had perhaps the most embarrassing celebrity break-up of all time. After gushing to the world how in love she was with ex-fiancé Luke Worrall it all went wrong when she found out he had allegedly cheated on her with a transsexual who is awaiting gender reassignment surgery. Kelly claims that she was absolutely humiliated when she had to tell her parents Ozzy and Sharon that the love of her life had reportedly cheated with Elle Schneider."


11-01-11:  Huffington Post: "Kelly Osbourne Slammed For Comments Over Ex-Fiance's Transgender Affair" ( more)

"Kelly Osbourne may have felt traumatized after the ultimate failure of her troubled engagement, but after the star revealed details of the split in a new interview, some are saying it's the transgender community who should be left feeling humiliated.

The 27-year-old rock heiress and former "Dancing With The Stars" contestant was previously engaged to male model Luke Worrall, but the budding fashionista ended the relationship after she found out her fiance had a fling with fellow model Elle Schneider, who is awaiting gender reassignment surgery . . . "Everyone kept telling me that Luke was cheating on me, but I never believed them. It's hard enough to get your head around someone cheating on you, but when someone is a chick with a d**k? Up until then, I'd always thought that the worst way to get cheated on would be with an ugly girl. Don't you think?"

Marti Abernathey, blog editor of The Transadvocate, was quick to dismiss Osbourne's rant as "objectifying and dehumanizing." She went on to note, "Kelly, did you ever stop to think that maybe he cheated on you because of your bigoted and intolerant attitudes? Just a thought. Hate is a pretty ugly thing to be around.""


11-01-11:  Capitol FM News (Kenya): "Grappling with being a transgender"

"When the Capital News crew meets up with Natasha Saitoti, she hugs us happily. She has just come from a visit to a hair salon in Nairobi’s South B estate. The 20-year old swings her freshly done braids to the back of her head in an effort to brush them from her well made up face. The expertly applied make up leaves a radiant face that matches her dark brown skin colour on the rest of her body . . .Carefully she sits at the corner of a two-seater sofa, and crosses her legs, again throwing the few braids blocking her eyes backwards.

But Natasha Saitoti, is not a girl. She was born a boy. “When I was five, I just felt I was different from the rest of the boys in school. I felt I did not fit to what I was born, I was not comfortable with being a boy,” she recalls. Natasha says she could not define herself.  “At that time I actually did not know who I was. All I knew, there was something different that I was, but I was not gay.”

Natasha is a transgender."



October 2011


10-31-11:  YouTube: "TransYouth Family Allies: Building happy, healthy families "

"An overview of the work we do at TYFA to help trans youth and gender non-conforming youth and the families who love them."


10-31-11:  YouTube: "TYFA family profile: Kim"

"TransYouth Family Allies Executive Director Kim Pearson talks about founding TYFA, and opens up about her experiences with raising a son who transitioned socially as an adolescent."


10-31-11:  YouTube:  "TYFA family profile: Shannon"

"TransYouth Family Allies Board President Shannon Garcia talks about founding TYFA, and opens up about her experiences with raising a daughter who transitioned socially at age six."


10-31-11:  The Daily Mail (UK): "Sex change footage of former policeman becoming a woman 'inappropriate' to show on TV - Girls Will Be Boys And Boys Will Be Girls to air on Channel 4 next month" (more)

"Graphic footage of a former policeman undergoing a sex change operation may be too unpleasant for some television viewers, a watchdog has warned. Karen Gale, who was once married and has an adult daughter, was filmed having the two-and-a-half hour procedure as part of a documentary to be screened on Channel 4."


10-29-11:  Fox News: "Church Halloween Event Bans 'Cross-Gender' Costumes"

"The Jesus Church of Latter-day Saints and some of its members fought back against criticism Friday after a flier for a Halloween event said no ‘cross gender’ costumes were allowed, Utah’s Fox13 reported. The flier for the trunk-or-treat-event, an LDS event where kids trick-or-treat in the parking lot of one of the religious centers, also specified that the children not wear masks.

Raquel Smith, a Sandy, Utah mother, told Fox13 that she felt the event sends the wrong message to the children. "It has everything to do with not loving your fellow man because they choose to dress a specific way," Smith, who is not a Mormon, told the station. "I think definitely a child as young as a toddler can understand when a parent says 'no honey, you can't be Spiderman or Harry Potter because you're a girl and that's a boy.' I think that immediately tells your child their decisions are wrong," Smith said."


10-28-11:  Press Enterprise: "RIVERSIDE: Cal Baptist expels transgendered student"

"A transgender woman was expelled from California Baptist University after she appeared on an MTV reality show.

Domaine Javier, 24, said university officials told her she was expelled for falsely claiming on her application form that she is a female. Javier revealed on MTV’s “True Life” that she is biologically male.

Letters the university sent to Javier say she was expelled for “committing or attempting to engage in fraud, or concealing identity,” and for presenting false or misleading information in university judicial processes."


10-28-11:  Sydney Star Observer (Australia re EU): "EU adopts new trans asylum rules"

"The European Parliament have formally adopted a new set of asylum rules for the European Union that include gender identity as a grounds for persecution, which EU member states must take into account. Governments have already agreed to the changes, which are final.

Until now, EU asylum law foresaw that “gender related aspects might be considered” by national asylum authorities when examining the potential persecution of specific social groups in their country of origin.

The resolution adopted today has replaced this text, and now specifies that “gender related aspects, including gender identity, shall be given due consideration”. "


10-28-11: "Phila. airport launches kinder, gentler body scanning"

"Philadelphia International Airport has new body-scanning technology that replaces the passenger-specific images that drew an outcry from privacy advocates and some passengers, who viewed the machines as too invasive and a virtual strip search . . .

Here's how it works: The traveler stands inside the scan machine, arms raised. If the machine detects an "anomaly" - which may turn out to be nothing - a yellow box appears on the silhouette and the officer checks only that spot with a brief pat-down. If no yellow box appears, the screen turns green and says "OK."

The technology can detect metallic and nonmetallic items, such as explosives and plastic weapons, under clothing. The scans are deleted. The monitor stores only two at a time."


10-27-11:  CBS News: "School filtering gay, transgender sites goes to court"

"A federal judge heard arguments Thursday on whether a central Missouri school district should be barred from using Internet filtering software that has prevented automatic access to some websites with information on gay, lesbian and transgender issues.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey made no immediate decision on whether to impose a preliminary injunction against the Camdenton School District at the request of attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union . . .

The Camdenton school system is the first to be sued under a recent national campaign by the ACLU and Yale Law School intended to improve access at schools to websites related to gay and lesbian issues."


10-27-11:  MSNBC (re France): "Sex change case tests France's gay marriage ban - Husband who became woman and is still with longtime wife seeks legal recognition of their union post-operation"

"A French citizen who changed sex to become a woman but stayed with her wife of 15 years and their children is seeking legal recognition for her altered status, in a case that could reopen debate over France's ban on same-sex marriage.  Wilfrid Avrillon, a 41-year-old computer engineer, became Chloe Avrillon after a sex switch operation five years ago and still lives with wife Marie-Jeanne, a lesbian, and their three children in the west of France.

Avrillon presented her case to court officials in a closed-door hearing on Thursday and is now waiting for a ruling in mid-December, her lawyer said. "We've been waiting for years for recognition of families like ours, which may be atypical but work well," Chloe Avrillon told reporters. "


10-27-11:  ABC News: "Transgender Bobby Montoya Still Waits for Call From Girl Scouts"

"Felisha Archuleta, whose child was rejected by a Denver Girl Scout troop because he has "boy parts," said she is still waiting for an official call -- and an apology -- from the Colorado Girl Scouts.

Archuleta asked a local troop leader if her transgender son could join the Girl Scouts but was initially rejected. Later, a supervisor from the Colorado Girl Scouts acknowledged the organization would include the 7-year-old. But Archuleta is still awaiting the final word."


10-27-11:  Rumor Fix: "NYFD Calendar Hunk, Taylor Murphy, Accused Of Beating Of Transsexual Model Due In Court"

"A muscle-bound firefighter, who appeared as Mr. March in a 2011 New York Firefighter calendar will face off in court Thursday against his transsexual gal pal – a stunner who was famously booted from America’s Next Top Model, RumorFix has learned. Taylor Murphy, 28, is charged with assault, criminal mischief and criminal obstruction for allegedly attacking Claudia Charriez in front of a Midtown strip club and again later at a nearby hotel in August . . .

The gender-bender model, tells RumorFix she just wants to put the entire episode behind her, “Right now, I’m all about getting over this. I had to leave New York … He’s out of his f-ing mind. It’s something I wanna put behind me. I’ve done a lot more stuff that is a lot more notable than being beat up some crazy f-ing firefighter.” Murphy, who says is undergoing counseling says “I wasn’t handling it well.”"


10-26-11:  Dallas Voice: "New Standards of Care could transform trans healthcare"

"At a presentation at the Houston Transgender Center last Saturday Colt Meier, doctoral candidate at the University of Houston, and Levi Herman presented information on the World Professional Association of Transgender Health’s new Standards of Care 7. The new Standards of Care, released last month, offer a multidisciplinary guide to healthcare professionals working with “transexual, transgender and gender nonconforming” individuals.

According to Meier, the new standards represent a clear departure from the “gatekeeping” approach to trans medicine that had developed under the previous standards “The old [standards] used to be about what trans people have to do to get what they need,” said Meier. “The new ones are about how health professionals should help trans people.” . . .

One of the biggest changes to come out of the new standards is an unambiguous statement on the ethics of medical professional’s efforts to dissuade trans people of the belief that their true gender is not in line with the gender they were assigned at birth. Attempts to change a person’s gender identity are “no longer considered ethical” under the new standards."


10-26-11:  San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: "Black transgender people face startling levels of discrimination, report finds"

"Black transgender and gender non-conforming people face some of the highest levels of discrimination of all transgender people according to a recently released analysis, "Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey."

This report by the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a supplement to the groundbreaking national study, "Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey," which was published in February and revealed widespread discrimination experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming people across the board.

Discrimination was pervasive for the entire sample, but anti-transgender bias coupled with structural racism meant that transgender people of color experienced particularly devastating levels of discrimination, with black respondents often faring worse than all others."


10-25-11:  Salon: "When my father became a woman: After Dad had gender reassignment surgery, he promised he'd be the same person. Then why do I miss him so much?" by Danielle Brown

"With my father it was a death without a funeral, a death without a body, without casket or burial or sermon or church, without fellow mourners to hold my hands. This was a death with the deceased still breathing, still putting her arms around me and speaking to me in the voice I’ve always known.

“I’ll still be the same person,” my father said before the transition. But how can this be true, when the scar on my father’s forehead is gone, when his short silver-blond hair and his body no longer exist? When the word “Dad” has become something to avoid? If my father is still the same person, why do I miss him so much?"


10-25-11: "Boy wanting to join Girl Scouts told 'no'" (more, more) (however, decision overturned by state-level organization)

"Recently, Archuleta wanted to sign Bobby up for Girl Scouts. His older sister did it, and Bobby really wanted to join. Archuleta told 9NEWS when she brought Bobby to register, a troop leader told her Bobby couldn't join.

"I said, 'Well, what's the big deal?' She said 'It doesn't matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can't be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don't allow that [and] I don't want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor,'" Archuleta told 9NEWS.

"It was like somebody told me I can't like girl stuff, and I have to change my name to something else," Bobby said.

Girl Scouts of Colorado released this statement to 9NEWS: "Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them. In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we're better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers."

10-25-11:  The Independent (UK; posted 10-23): "Homophobia exacts a chilling price as hate crimes climb - People having sex changes are the new targets" (more, more)

"Hate crime towards gay and transgender people is on the rise across Britain, with thousands of people suffering abuse for their sexuality every year. Crimes against transgender people went up by 14 per cent during 2010 and, in some cities, attacks motivated by sexual prejudice are up by as much as 170 per cent annually . . .

The most dramatic increase is in Scotland, where homophobic abuse has risen fivefold in five years, police statistics show. There were 666 crimes against LGBT people recorded in Scotland in 2009/10 – almost double the 365 reported in 2007/08 . . .

Experts say a dramatic growth in the number of transgender people seeking medical sex changes has made those born into a different gender more visible and therefore more vulnerable. In 2010, there were 357 incidents of hate crime against transgender people, up 14 per cent from 2009. The number of people medically changing their sex is growing at a rate of around 15 per cent every year: 1,200 people now undergo gender realignment procedures annually.

Bernard Reed, of the Gender Identity Research and Education Society, said: "The more people who feel the need to reveal their condition, the more people put themselves at risk. Our research shows 90 per cent of transgender people do not report abuse, so this is the tip of a very large iceberg. Society's acceptance and understanding of trans people is up to 20 years behind LGB; we know people who are spat at every day.""


10-25-11:  Market Watch/PR Newswire: "Majority of Heterosexual Americans Believe Job Performance Should Be the Standard for Judging an Employee, Not Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation - Yet Majority of Americans Mistakenly Believe Current Law Prohibits Firing Someone Because they are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender"

"According to the 2011 Out & Equal Workplace Survey, nearly three out of four - or 74% - heterosexual adults agree that how an employee performs at his or her job should be the standard for judging an employee, not whether or not they are transgender or if they are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Most of those (approximately 6 out of 10) indicated not merely agreement, but strong agreement with that statement.

The survey also found that a significant majority of Americans mistakenly believe that such protections already exist. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, is still working its way through the United States Congress since its introduction in 1994. When asked whether an employer can fire someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, only 8% of all Americans knew that it was legal to do so today under federal law."


10-25-11:  Star Observer (Australia): "The 14 days of intersex", by Gina Wilson, OII Australia

"October is a significant month for intersex. October 26 marks the beginning of the Fourteen Days of Intersex with Intersex Awareness Day (IAD) . . .

The last day of the Fourteen Days of Intersex is November 8. This day marks Herculine Barbin’s birthday. Barbin was an intersex person who lived in France in the 19th century.  Barbin was the first intersex person to have written their biography and the earliest recorded to have been subjected to what has become a plague on intersex — the process of normalisation and binary assignments according to external appearances irrespective of internal self-knowledge and factual certainty that there is more to sex than a simple binary.

The Intersex Day of Remembrance (IDR) pays tribute to our intersex elders, past and present, on whose shoulders we stand and without whom we could never have made the advances in intersex human rights that we have made to date.

On each of the intervening days between IAD and IDR, OII will focus on one significant issue that needs to be addressed before intersex can enjoy full and unequivocally equal rights. In disclosing how each of those issues affect intersex we hope to at the same time increase intersex awareness and education throughout the community."


10-24-11: Longmont Times-Call: "Transgender conference offers sensitivity training to care providers"

"To encourage more accepting office visits for the transgendered — people whose internal gender orientation doesn't match with their sexual parts — the Boulder County Transgender Health Task Force will host a free, daylong sensitivity training for health care providers. The training is sponsored by Boulder County Public Health and several affiliated organizations.

"We don't have many (trained) providers here, and a number of transgender people don't feel safe going to the ER if they break their leg, even though that doesn't have anything to do with their gender," said Melissa Marsh, a county program coordinator of outreach to Boulder County lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth . . .

"Transgender people face a big question that we mostly don't ask ourselves, like how do you even know what sex you are without looking down?" said Deb Azorsky, a licensed psychotherapist at the Boulder Center for Sexual Health. She encouraged care providers to first respect how transgender people presents themselves and to be willing to go with that presentation -- to use feminine pronouns with a person who dresses as a woman and male pronouns with a person dressed as a man."


10-24-11: (posted 10-21): "The Summer of Pronouns", by GirlyBoyMama"

"This past summer, we enrolled Alex in a local parks and rec summer day camp program. As a girl.

While this may seem for many to be either follow a natural course or even maybe not be a very big deal, it represented a big leap for her and for our family. It meant that she was ready for the world to acknowledge her as a girl. With female pronouns and a (relatively) female name. She was ready to emerge and blossom into the girl she was born to be. But what did that really look like? What did that mean? We knew that although this is her journey, as her support system, we understood that it would probably mean choppy waters ahead at least for us.

Several months before the first day of camp, I had contacted the camp director to discuss our situation. I explained that at Alex’s school, she uses a nurse’s bathroom. I also explained that while she used her birth name and some kids at the program might know her by that name and the male pronoun, Alex wanted people to use her new pronoun (“she” and “her”) and her affirmed name (i.e. Alex). The camp director was very agreeable and assured us they could accommodate us. The thought that kept running through my head was: This is too easy. Could this be too good to be true?

Indeed. It could. Indeed, it was."

[A powerful essay. Highly recommended reading.]


10-24-11:  The Herald (Scotland): "Scotland’s five-fold rise in five years in incidents of homophobic violence"

"Hate crime towards gay and transgender people is on the rise across Britain, and most especially in Scotland, with thousands of people suffering abuse for their sexuality every year . . .  In Scotland, incidents of homophobic abuse have risen five-fold in five years. There were 666 crimes against LGBT people recorded in Scotland in 2009/10 – almost double the 365 reported in 2007/08.  In a survey conducted in 2010, two-thirds of the LGBT community in Edinburgh revealed they had been victims of verbal assault. More than one-third of them had also been physically assaulted."


10-24-11: "Chaz Bono, 'Dancing,' and family values", by Jacqueline White

"History is rarely made on reality television, but it is being made in this season of Dancing With the Stars. Chaz Bono, the first transgender contestant, has shown the world the importance of family values - broadly understood.

"My whole family's here," he announced on the show earlier this month. For Bono to claim such support is particularly poignant, and not just because his mother is the pop goddess Cher. Most transgender people endure heartbreaking family rejection.

Yet what America saw play out on national television - a teary mother enthusiastically applauding her child, who happens to be transgender - has actually become increasingly common. According to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 43 percent of transgender people manage to maintain family bonds. "


10-24-11:  Cambridge First (UK): "City councillor is one of most influential transgender people in UK"

"A Cambridge city councillor has been named as one of the most influential transgender people in the UK. Sarah Brown, who represents Petersfield, had been named in the Independent on Sunday newspaper’s Pink List of the top 100 LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) people.

Cllr Brown came in at number 28, one place ahead of fashionista Gok Wan and describes herself as “probably the only ‘out’ transgender activist serving as an elected politician in the UK”. She is calling for greater visibility and respect for transgender people in society."


10-23-11:  The Independent (UK): "The IoS Pink List 2011 - Our annual celebration of the gay and lesbian community is back and it's better than ever because, this time, we've had your help"

"We asked Independent on Sunday readers to nominate the unsung heroes and heroines who make life as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person better – as well as the celebrities who make the world a more entertaining place. You responded by sending in more than 1,500 nominations, which boiled down to about 300 separate names.

These have been pored over by our panel of expert judges, including two who represented their parties in parliament, two who have represented their countries at sports, a magazine editor, a comedian, four tireless campaigners and a HM Procurator-General, no less.

We hope that the list surprises, entertains, challenges and inspires you."


10-21-11:  BBC News (re Bangladesh): "Bangladesh rally to support transgenders"

"A rally calling for greater recognition for transgender people has been held in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. Hundreds of transgender people, social activists and students took part in the rally organised by the government - a first in the Muslim-majority nation.

Transgenders, locally known as "hijras", often face discrimination and persecution. Activists say they are subjected to human rights abuses because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Traditionally referred to as "the third gender", transgender people are born male but grow up feeling like and dressing as women. There are no official figures on how many transgender people there are in Bangladesh. Estimates say the number could be between 30,000 and 150,000."


10-21-11:  The Times Herald: "Transgender woman Asia Santana sentenced to prison for 2010 fatal stabbing of boyfriend Eric Nevith in Norristown"

"Crying as she expressed sorrow over killing her boyfriend in Norristown last year during a heated argument, a 41-year-old transgender woman, Asia Santana, revealed just before sentencing that he had infected her with the HIV virus. Santana, whose legal name is Tyrone Crawley, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in April for stabbing 28-year-old Eric Nevith to death in a Moore Street residence.

On Friday, after family members spoke of their anguish over the death in a Montgomery County courtroom, the defendant was sentenced by Judge William J. Furber Jr. to 14 to 28 years in state prison. Just before sentencing Santana, dressed in a beige long-sleeve sweater and dark slacks, rose to address the court.

“I fought with Eric all the time about him giving me this disease,” she said during her allocution. The woman wept as she struggled through her heart-wrenching statement that made it clear she genuinely loved the man she murdered. “I am sick to my soul without him,” she said. “I love him with every fiber of my being.”"


10-20-11:  The Sun (UK): "I had sex swap op on my 16th birthday - Brave teen's amazing story of transformation"

"LIKE most teenagers Jackie Green couldn't wait for her special 16th birthday present. But the gift from her mum Susie wasn't clothes or jewellery — it was a £13,500 sex change operation.

Jackie, who was born Jack, knew she wanted to switch genders from the age of four. And following years of horrific bullying and FIVE suicide attempts Jackie, from Leeds, became one of the youngest transsexuals in the world after the seven-hour procedure in Thailand turned her into a woman.

Jackie, now 18, said: "I've gone through hell to get where I am today but now I want to tell my story to prove I'm not a freak. I'm just a regular young woman. "I've had to put up with terrible insults all my life. I've been spat at in the street and beaten up as a teenager. But I want to show that you can survive this and come out the person you always wanted to be.""


10-20-11:  Center for American Progress: "All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families: October 25, 2011, 10:00am – 12:00pm"

"About this event:  More than 2 million children in the United States have, to varying degrees, become collateral damage after decades of ideology, laws, and policies that hurt lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people and families. To shine a light on this issue, LGBT, allied, and child welfare-focused organizations are, for the first time, releasing a comprehensive report that profiles and documents the experiences of the 2 million children with LGBT parents, the many ways that state and federal laws hurt and exclude them, and the common-sense policy solutions that can make things better.

Please join the Center for American Progress and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler to discuss a new report, "All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families." "All Children Matter" was released by the Center for American Progress, the Family Equality Council, and the Movement Advancement Project, in partnership with COLAGE, The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and the National Association of Social Workers (with a foreword by the Child Welfare League of America)."


10-20-11:  Philadelphia Gay News: "Tenika Watson: Living beyond Pendergrass’ tragedy"

"I knew this week’s interview was special, but I didn’t know how special until I searched for her name in my pre-interview research. A slew of websites popped up asking, “Who was the mystery woman?” “Where is she now?” and “Whatever happened to Tenika Watson?” This interview should help answer those questions.

In 1982, R&B star Teddy Pendergrass was severely injured in an auto accident, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. In the car with him that night was a woman, Tenika Watson, who for several years now has kept a low profile. Her own career as a model and entertainer was knocked off track when news outlets found out that Watson had been born male. She’s about to tell all in a forthcoming book, “My Life is No Accident,” but she agreed to meet with me to share a little of her story. I met with Watson in her home, a lovely apartment filled with antiques and artwork. An easel was set up in the corner with a still-life in progress. Immediately, I was struck by how warm and nurturing she was as she served up tea and cookies, a sharp contrast from scandalous descriptions written about her in the media."

[A fascinating interview, posted six months ago.]


10-19-11: The Jewish Chronicle: "Where transgender meets Torah head on"

"Rabbi Reuben Zellman is a soft-spoken young man with a ready smile who serves as the assistant rabbi at Reform congregation Beth El in Berkeley, California. He was also born a girl.

Rabbi Zellman, 32, is one of a growing number of transgender Jews in North America who are active in their Jewish communities and working as educators, activists and, increasingly, rabbis. He is the second openly transgender rabbi working in the San Francisco Bay area.

Many transgender Jews make their homes in this famously liberal region of northern California. They run blogs and websites, and organise their own minyans and Shabbat dining groups. But more and more often, they are simply showing up in mainstream congregations, religious schools and other Jewish institutions without hiding who they are."


10-19-11:  Chicago Pride: "Some outraged over drug treatments for transgender child"

"A lesbian couple in California has started giving their 11-year-old son, Tommy, hormone-blocking treatments so that he can follow through with a stated desire to become a girl named Tammy. The two moms, Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, said they want to help delay the child's entry into puberty, so the child can make an informed decision about gender at a later age.

While transgender rights advocates are pleased that the child's parents are accepting -- and even helpful -- others see this as an outrageous act akin to child abuse. "This is child abuse. It's like performing liposuction on an anorexic child," Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, told FOX News."


10-19-11:  Salt Lake City Tribune: "Advocate calls for ‘transgendering’ higher ed"

"Offering gender-neutral housing and more single-stall bathrooms are two things the University of Utah and other institutions could do to make their campuses more welcoming to transgender students and employees, a national advocate for transgender rights said Wednesday.

Pauline Park, who herself identifies as transgender, delivered the keynote address at the U.’s Pride Week. Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose internal sense of being a man or a woman — or in between — differs from their birth sex. Some people who are transgender may alter their bodies through hormones or surgeries to appear more in line with the gender with which they identify, but most do not, Park noted. Transgender also can describe cross-dressers or people who see themselves as "gender queer," rejecting the binary of female and male gender norms . . .

On Wednesday, she spoke about "transgendering the academy," calling for not only gender-inclusive housing and restrooms but also expanding transgender academic studies, recruiting transgender faculty members, adopting anti-discrimination policies and offering services and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. She suggested LGBT students could have a greater influence on their campuses by forming LGBT alumni associations after they graduate and directing donations to a scholarship or endowed chair focused on LGBT studies."


10-18-11:  Gender Identity Center (GIC) of Colorado: "Memorial Service for Miranda Jean Henke" (more)

"We are writing to let you know about the Memorial Service for the beloved Miranda Jean Henke.
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 18 · 7:30pm - 10:30pm;

Location: The Jefferson Unitarian Church (JUC) 14350 W. 32nd Avenue Golden, CO 80401 (link to map);

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations are given to the Gender Identity Center of Colorado."


10-18-11:  The Root: "Black and Transgender: A Double Burden - A recent report confirms that they face extreme discrimination and poverty." (more)

""Can you imagine what it's like to see people you work with refuse to walk on the same side of the street with you or sit with you at lunch, or to be told that you are unhirable, just because you are a transgender man?" asks Kylar Broadus, an African-American lawyer and board member of the National Black Justice Coalition, a national black LGBT civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.

Broadus, who was born a woman and transitioned into a man 17 years ago, has been passed over for jobs because of his gender identity. "I'm basically unemployable because I can't hide the transgender part of me. Most likely I am not getting hired once employers see that my Social Security card and school transcripts all have a female name," he says. "I am a human being who deserves the right to make a living like everyone else.""


10-18-11:  Huffington Post: "Ally Week: A Grateful Mother Celebrates "

"For most of my children's lives, I believed I had a son and a daughter. Then, almost three years ago, my son Aiden, whom I saw as my daughter for the first 20 years, sat across from me at a restaurant table and bravely spoke the words that would begin our journey. With fear in his eyes and a tremble in his voice, he told me he was a transgender man and asked me to stand by his side as he transitioned from female to male. Although I feared what the future would hold for our family, I also knew that I loved my child with all my heart. So, not knowing what or how, only why, I took his hand and stepped onto an unfamiliar path, first as a mother and then as an ally. "


10-18-11:  The Advocate: "Antigay Professor Has History of Bullying Students" (more, more)

"A graduate student and an alum of Indiana University of Pennsylvania have come both come forward with complaints about a business professor who has bullied them in front of their classmates for being gay.  In the most recent incident, the topic of sex-reassignment surgery came up during a lecture, and the unnamed professor then turned the discussion to homosexuality. She said being gay is "disgusting, unnatural, and abnormal." Lesbian grad student Christina Santiago asked the professor whether she and other LGBT students should actually be considered that way. The professor replied yes . . .

Alum Michael Heller, who is gay told KDKA News that he faced the same professor five years ago who said, "God created Adam and Even, not Adam and Steve, and that being gay was an abomination." Heller said the professor added that "anybody that was gay was going to burn in Hell, and that's what they deserved." Heller said the situation in the classroom drove him to walk out of the room in tears. He complained to IUP's administrators, but he said he's frustrated that the problem persists for students years later. "

[Journalists should find out who this professor is, and investigate why the university is trying to conceal his name.]


10-18-11: "Transgender teen and her family to be presented with award by ACLU"

"On Thursday October 27th, The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine will honor A transgender teen and her family by presenting them with the “2011 Roger Baldwin Award”, the organizations highest award, at the 2011 ACLU of Maine Annual Meeting & Celebration . . . The 2011 ACLU of Maine Annual Meeting & Celebration will be held at the Maine Wells Conference Center which is located at the University of Maine.

Nicole Maines (age 14) is being given the award along with her parents (Wayne and Kelly Maines), and her twin brother (Jonas Maines) for all of their efforts toward ending discrimination against transgenders living in the state of Maine."


10-17-11:  Deutsche Welle (Germany): "First transsexual lawmaker in Poland to push for minority rights" (more, more)

"Poland's first openly transsexual elected parliamentarian said Monday that she would fight for equality for sexual minorities and state funding for sex reassignment surgeries. Anna Grodzka was elected on October 9 to represent the city of Krakow as part of Palikot's Movement, a new socially liberal party led by controversial business tycoon Janusz Palikot. She has received massive media attention in Poland and abroad, and has used it to draw attention to the plight of sexual minorities in her conservative and Catholic country.

"Enough of this concealing of the truth," 57-year-old Grodzka told the Associated Press on Monday. "This group of people, even if small, has its rights and they should be respected. They should not be pushed into oblivion.""


10-16-11:  American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE): "Secrets Are Out: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender engineers are no longer willing to hide their true selves."

"Little intimidates Lynn Conway, professor emerita of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. At 73, the former motocross racer still enjoys white-water canoeing with her husband, Charlie. Yet for decades she hid a very personal detail from colleagues. If they found out, she feared, “my career would have been over—absolutely over.” Only after retiring did Conway reveal her transgender past—a physical transition from male to female completed a lifetime ago in 1968.

When engineering educators talk about promoting diversity, chances are transgender individuals like Conway don’t figure prominently in their policies. Nor do too many think immediately of gays and lesbians when discussing underrepresented minorities. Yet diversity has multiple dimensions, as schools and industry are finding out. Successful campaigns to end the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and legalize same-sex marriage in six states and the District of Columbia have ushered in a new era of awareness. In turn, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) engineers are emerging from the shadows to confront the stigmas historically attached to their identities. Due in large part to their own efforts, they are gaining wider acceptance academically, socially, and professionally."


10-16-11:  The Guardian (re Indonesia): "Indonesia's transgender couples surrounded by fear and persecution - Kate Hodal reports on the dangers of defying taboos in the world's most populous Muslim country"

"One of a growing number of Indonesia's transgender people, Noah – who was born female, but is now pre-op female to male – is defying considerable sociocultural taboos in the world's most populous Muslim country to become who he feels he is: "A man who just wants to be with the person I love."

"There's no shortcut for this," he says, quietly, of his transgender life. "You have to plan everything – how to fit into society, how to act like a man, how to behave 'normally'. If you don't, you face discrimination – and physical, sexual and verbal abuse . . .

For Noah, who faced abuse at school, was beaten with brooms and stones by his family, and twice tried to kill himself, the only way to live as a self-declared devout Muslim and transgender in Indonesia is to "have a strategy.

"You have to be careful with everything you do. I've moved house and changed jobs since starting the testosterone, and I have almost no friends. " In the bedsit she shares with her husband, Noah's wife Dian, 28, confides that she, too, fears for her own life. "I must follow every tradition of being 'normal'," she says, "because if my parents knew I was living like this, they would kill me.""


10-16-11:  Daily News and Analysis (India): "Special law for adoption of transgenders planned"

"The National Legal Services Authority is working out a special law for adoption on the lines of Special Marriages Act to safeguard the interests and welfare of transgenders, Supreme Court judge, Justice Altamas Kabir said today.

Transgenders are in a most disadvantageous position, not of their own making. Some of them are not only rejected merely by society but even by their own, he said, inaugurating a one-day regional seminar on Transgenders and the Law organised by the Karnataka High Court Legal Services Committee"


10-16-11:  CTV Winnipeg (Canada): "University students push for gender-neutral washrooms"

"Students at some universities on the Prairies are pushing for gender-neutral washrooms for transgendered people who don't feel comfortable having to choose between bathrooms for men or women.

Those behind the idea say transgendered people are often harassed, bullied or embarrassed no matter which bathroom they choose. They even suggest that the prospect of having to pick a gender-specific bathroom can lead to health issues since many ignore the call of nature until they can find a suitable bathroom.

"Not everyone conforms to gender binaries of either male or female," said Ro Mills, a transgendered student at the University of Winnipeg. "I've seen a lot of other people's identities change while here at university and during that transition, even before, it can make going to the washroom really, really difficult or embarrassing. Using a public restroom shouldn't really be a privilege. It should just be a given right.""


10-15-11:  9-News Colorado (posted 10-13): "Woman crashes into 100-year-old cabin, dies"

"A woman died after crashing her vehicle into a 100-year-old cabin. This happened in Conifer on Pleasant Park Road.

Police believe she lost control of her pick-up truck, hit the cabin and died. The cabin's roof then collapsed on the truck.

The woman was identified as Miranda Jean Henke on Thursday. Miranda was the president for the Gender Identity Center in Colorado. The Gender Identity Center released the following statement:

"Miranda was a light to everyone who knew her, giving all she had to anyone who asked. Loving, thoughtful and caring, she was always there to listen, support and love each and every person she came in contact with.""


10-15-11:  India Today (India): "Tamil Nadu transgender model to compete in international beauty pageant"

"In a country where most homosexuals and transgendered people still live a life that isn't always theirs, Chennai's Malika has broken at least one psychological glass ceiling.

She'll be the first Indian to participate in the one-of-itskind beauty pageant for transgendered people, Miss International Queen, on November 4 in Pattaya, Thailand. The event is organised every year by the sex tourism haven's transsexual and transgender cabaret called the Tiffany Show Pattaya.

Born as a male child, Malika (28), has undergone four major surgeries and many medical treatments subsequently to turn into a female model. But the hotel management and catering graduate did not get any modelling assignment because she's transgendered.

Her entry into the Miss International Queen pageant therefore means a lot to her - and not because she was chosen from a field of 18 Indian hopefuls for the Pattaya extravaganza. Malika, who's also an active blogger and a member of the male sexual health NGO, Sahodaran, says it's an honour for India's transgendered community."


10-15-11:  San Francisco Chronicle (posted 10-11): "Mental health disparities in LGBT youth"

"Today is National Coming Out Day, promoting a safe world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to live openly. As an adolescent psychiatrist, I’ve seen teens whose problems are compounded by unsupportive environments, and hope that increased awareness might impact mental health disparities in LGBT youth.

Accepting family attitudes and behaviors towards their LGBT children significantly decreased risk of depression, substance use and suicide, according to a study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. Authors of the latter study are involved with the Family Acceptance Project, providing free, confidential services to families with LGBTQ and gender variant children in the Bay Area . . . "


10-15-11:  Daily Star (UK): "Tranny on Kate Price ID fraud rap" (more, more)

"A transsexual Jordan fan went to a bank posing as Kate Price and swiped £14,000 from her account, a court heard.

Gender-bender Kerry Marshall dressed as Kate to fool bank staff into handing over the cash, it was claimed.

CCTV allegedly showed the 18-year-old blonde impersonating her idol to withdraw money at an HSBC bank in Lincolnshire."


10-14-11:  ABC News: "UCLA Considers Allowing Coed Dorm Rooms"

"Coed dorm rooms could be a reality for some UCLA students as soon as next year — but don't expect campus housing to turn into "Real World UCLA" with strangers of different genders being thrown into the same living situation.

The move is intended to better accommodate transgender students, as some other universities already have, including UC Berkeley and Stanford University, said Office of Residential Life director Suzanne Seplow.

"Given that most of our housing systems are structured under the concept of a binary gender — that there's male or female — for folks that don't fit into those categories, finding housing is challenging," said Seplow."


10-13-11:  The Globe and Mail (Canada): "For transgender singles, online dating is a minefield "

"The world of online dating is fraught with judgments, biases and dead ends. It’s difficult terrain for many people, who often feel it’s like an exercise in marketing. To cast themselves in a favourable light, some online daters get professional photos done; others fudge about their height, weight or age. They may also withhold details that could drastically limit their chances.

But for transgender individuals – those who have physically, mentally and/or emotionally made a transition from their born gender into the opposite gender or gender role – the online dating world is a minefield. The question of how much to disclose in one’s profile is a difficult one."


10-13-11:  Windy City Times: "HUD addresses LGBT housing discrimination"

"In a recent survey of 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming persons, 19 percent reported having been refused a house or an apartment because of gender identity, and 19 percent reported having been homeless because of gender identity. Findings of a 2007 Michigan study indicate that same sex couples face bias and discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation when trying to access rental housing.

Recognizing these issues and utilizing its authority to promote decent housing and a suitable living environment for all, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken important steps over the past two years to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons have equal access to housing and HUD programs.

Through its notices of funding availability, HUD required recipients of approximately $3.5 billion in HUD funding to comply with state and local laws that prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity housing discrimination.

HUD recognized that, under the Fair Housing Act prohibition of sex discrimination, it has authority to pursue complaints from LGBT persons alleging housing discrimination because of non-conformity with gender stereotypes. "


10-12-11:  The Daily Star (Lebanon): "Transgenders lead an alternate life in Lebanon"  (more)

"Tino, who asked that her last name not be used to protect her anonymity, says she has felt like a woman for as long as she can remember.

“Since I was a baby, I always used to dress like a woman,” the 28-year-old says. “I would take sheets and pretend they were dresses and wear my mother’s heels. I didn’t realize there was any difference between me and my sisters.”  Tino says that changed as she grew older and began to feel the sting of other people’s scorn and disgust . . .

As difficult as things became for her, Tino says that she began to heal the moment she decided to tell her family that she wanted to shed her old identity and live as a female. “I told them, ‘Either I kill myself, or you let me be free to live as a woman. If you are truly my family and you love me, you’ll let me do this.’” . . .

Dr. Michael Khoury, a clinical psychologist based in Beirut who treats many transgender people, says that when they reach out to a health care professional, most are shunned. “Lots of people try consulting doctors,” he says. “Most doctors in Lebanon faced with a transgender patient are inaccurate and condescending, if not downright abusive.” As for receiving treatment for their condition, sex-change surgery is illegal in Lebanon, and Simon says that hormones are difficult to obtain legally . . .

Unlike many transgender people in Lebanon, Tino lives openly as her preferred sex. On Saturdays, she dances at a gay-friendly bar in Beirut. She has a job at a clothing store and lives with her mother and sister . . .

Tino says she knows that she is one of the lucky ones. “I work on myself a lot,” she says. “I read a lot of psychological books about how to accept myself and fight for my rights, how to deal with people … When someone treats me badly, I try to be as classy as possible with them.”


10-12-11:  Asbury Park Press: "Challenges faced by transgender people discussed during National Coming Out Day"

"The bathroom permission slip that Ryan Cassata passed around to Ocean County College students Tuesday didn’t look like anything out of the ordinary.

But indignities lie in the details. And the slip holds symbolic meaning for the transgender youths in his battle to establish himself — a story he recounted through music and words as part of National Coming Out Day . . .

Because administrators would not allow him to go into either the boys’ or girls’ bathrooms at Bay Shore High School in Bay Shore, N.Y., out of fear he would be bullied, Cassata had to use a bathroom in the nurse’s station, he said. He was first forced to sign in using the first name he was given at birth, which he wants nothing to do with and had already legally changed, he said.

The permission slip was for the private staff bathrooms — a victory for Cassata, a 17-year-old musician and activist from Long Island who graduated in June. Cassata’s other win: having his birth name kept out of the school yearbook while it was in production. A YouTube campaign he started helped.

“Now, no other transgender kid (at the school) will have to worry about this,” he said."


10-12-11:  Warsaw Business Journal (Poland): "Anna Grodzka to become Poland's first transsexual lawmaker"  (more, more)

"After gaining 19,451 votes in the Kraków II electoral district, Anna Grodzka, top of Palikot's Movement's party list in that area, has won a place in Poland's lower house of parliament, the Sejm.

This will make Ms Grodzka, founder and president of the NGO Trans-Fuzja, Poland’s first openly transgender parliamentarian. She says it will also make her the world's only transsexual MP."


10-11-11:  PR Newswire: "Michigan Gay and Transgender Groups: If You Come Out at Work, You Can Be Fired"  (more, more, petition, "not-gay"-stuff)

"In honor of National Coming Out Day, local advocacy groups launched the "Don't Change Yourself. Change the Law" campaign today to raise awareness that in Michigan you can still be fired if your employer even thinks you are gay. The Unity Michigan Coalition, a group of six organizations dedicated to ensuring equality for all Michiganders, announced the campaign to urge the Michigan legislature to update the state's nondiscrimination law, which currently doesn't protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens against discrimination. The campaign message is: DON'T CHANGE YOURSELF. CHANGE THE LAW.

"Don't Change Yourself. Change the Law" calls upon House Speaker Jase Bolger to amend the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It was passed in 1976 to protect Michiganders from employment and housing discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. The Unity Michigan Coalition urges Speaker Bolger and the Michigan legislature to update this law to also protect gay and transgender people against workplace discrimination.

"Being fired because you are gay or transgender is an especially bad consequence in an economy with 10.9% unemployment," said Jon Hoadley, Unity Michigan Coalition Director. "How can this be possible in 2011?"

"In this campaign we will offer tongue-in-cheek tips for dressing, social interaction and mannerisms that are sure to convey a stereotypical Not-Gay appearance at work," said Denise Brogan-Kator, executive director at Equality Michigan. "If you're great at your job, you shouldn't have to change anything about yourself to keep it. What really needs to change is the law." "


10-10-11:  Autostraddle: "She’s A Boy I Knew: Transgressing Gender, Transforming Film"

"Media folks are so invested in sensationalizing transsexualism that they have missed the point completely. As a result, the overwhelming majority of trans portrayals foster attitudes of pity and ridicule instead of genuine understanding. There’s plenty of room for a debate over whether this misrepresentation is conscious or unconscious, but who really cares? The fact is that most trans-narratives lack authenticity because they have been told from a heterosexual majority viewpoint. Sadly, unless you’ve known a trans person (or you are one), your insights have probably been gleaned from a narrow slice of biased third-party media.

Thankfully, there’s a film out there that changes everything — from what you thought you knew to what you really need to know.Unabashedly personal and politically articulate, She’s A Boy I Knew is a “highly subjective documentary” about Vancouver filmmaker Gwen Haworth’s transition from male to female. In 2000, Haworth came out about her female gender identity and decided to document her transition. Foregoing state-of-the-art equipment in favour of a hand-held HD camera, She’s A Boy I Knew began as the final project for Haworth’s graduate film degree, and ended up an award-winning documentary."


10-10-11:  On Top Magazine: "Transgender Protections Bill Signed By Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown" (more)

"California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday announced that he had signed into law a transgender protections bill. The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender identity and expression and enumerates them as protected categories in non-discrimination laws.

“Californians support fair and equal treatment for everyone, but many employers, landlords and transgender people themselves are unaware that the law protects transgender people,” Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego, said in sponsoring the bill. “As a result, transgender people experience housing and employment discrimination and often are not even aware they have any recourse. AB 887 will strengthen our state's anti-discrimination laws and move us closer to equality for every Californian.”

The law also makes it clear that gender identity and expression are included in the definition of gender and sex in all California codes.

Brown also signed into law The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433), sponsored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach. Lowenthal's legislation makes it easier for a transgender person to get a legal gender change by streamlining current law."


10-10-11:  Telegraph (UK re Poland): "Transgender woman poised for seat in Poland's new parliament - Anna Grodzka, 57, could become the first transgender person to sit in Poland's parliament after a new anti-clerical party stormed the parliamentary election scoring an unprecedented third spot finish. "

"Born as a man, Ms Grodzka, now 57, completed her gender change last year with the help of the Trans-Fuzja organisation focused on gender change.

Topping the Palikot Movement party list in the devoutly Catholic southern city of Krakow - once home to the late Polish-born pope John Paul II - Ms Grodzka was thrilled by Sunday's strong showing at the polls.

"I'm not yet sure if I've been elected, but I'm very happy with the result scored by the Palikot movement," she said at a jubilant election night celebration at Palikot Movement headquarters in Warsaw."

[Hmm. If the Telegraph is to be believed, Ms. Grodzka was born as a fully adult man (rather than a baby boy). My goodness, if that had been the case it would have far bigger news than this story, and we would have heard about it long ago!]


10-10-11: (Australia): "Man ordered to pay transsexual neighbour $15,000 compensation for transphobia"

"A man has been ordered to pay his neighbour $15,000 compensation for threatening to burn down her house and claiming she kept her genitals "in a jar".

The Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal was told that Jason Lewis Ronoff's alleged discrimination toward his transsexual neighbour, Jo Brosnahan, was an act of "transphobia" - a lead cause in the victimisation of and violence toward transgender people.

QCAT member Dr Bridget Cullen-Mandikos, in an 11-page decision, ordered Ronoff pay Ms Brosnahan compensation for the "vilification" and "harassment" caused under Queensland's Anti Discrimination Act 1991."


10-10-11:  Independent Online (South Africa): "Transgender woman wins battle over ID"

"After years of living in fear of showing her ID or driving licence to anyone, a transgender Durban woman can now proudly display her documents without being embarrassed or harassed.

The Department of Home Affairs last week officially agreed to change the gender and forenames of Mr Justin Paul Howard to Miss Justine-Paula Howard, heralding a new era in the life of the Woodhaven resident."


10-09-11:  Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey) "Gays and transsexuals in Turkey target in ‘honor killings’"

"Honor killings against women regularly draw unwanted headlines in the Turkish media, but the recent murder of a 24-year-old transsexual, who was killed by her older brother due to her sexual identity, has drawn attention to another angle of honor killings in Turkey.

The murder occurred in the southeastern province of Gaziantep in a hospital where victim Ramazan Çetin was being treated for a problem in her leg. Her 27-year-old brother, Fevzi Çetin, visiting Ramazan in the hospital, allegedly killed her due to societal pressure against his sibling’s appearance. “I have cleaned my honor,” Çetin said in his testimony to police."


10-07-11:  Chicago Sun-Times:  "Job training efforts grow for transgender workers"

"The programs, which teach basics like creating a resume as well as more nuanced workplace skills, reflect a growing appreciation for the workplace obstacles confronting transgender people. Studies show those who identify as transgender routinely endure discrimination, struggle with unemployment, and turn in disproportionate numbers to drug dealing and prostitution to earn money.

“What we see is people who transition, their income rapidly declines. It happens so fast for some people that many folks don’t have a safety net, whether that’s family to lean on or friends or financial savings,” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.

Only 15 states plus D.C. have laws banning workplace discrimination based on gender identity, which give workers an avenue to file lawsuits. But even when employers are unfazed by the prospect of hiring transgender workers, other hurdles remain."


10-06-11:  Herald Sun (Australia): "Transsexuals in landmark High Court ruling "
"Two women who had sex change operations to become men have won a High Court ruling officially recognising them as men, despite them still having ovaries and lacking a penis. The transsexuals, whose identities remain anonymous, are now eligible for birth certificates declaring they are men even though they have not undergone surgery to remove their uterus and ovaries, or penis-construction surgery, known as phalloplasty, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Phalloplasty is not available in Australia because of its high risk.

The landmark decision means the pair is spared from having to undergo the painful procedure. They have undergone mastectomies and have taken a course of testosterone.

The High Court ruling overturned a decision by the Western Australian Gender Reassignment Board which knocked back the transsexuals attempts to be recognised as men on their birth certificates."


10-06-11:  Sexis Magazine: "SexBeat: Has Lady Gaga Made Drag Kings Mainstream?", by Rachel Rabbit White (video)

"The Queen of Pop became the King of Drag on stage (and off) at the recent MTV's VMA 2011, performing as her alter ego, Jo Calderone, and opened up the world of drag kings for a peek from millions of mainstream Americans. Has she done for women in drag what RuPaul did for men in dresses? . . .

Lady Gaga’s recent VMA stint as drag king persona, Jo Calderone, may be the first drag king performance on national television. We’ve seen drag queens on screen, Rupaul has been on television for more than 20 years, but there has been no drag kings equivalent. And it’s not for a lack of a scene -- Murray Hill, an accomplished NYC drag king is finally getting some notice by UK television -- still no love in the U.S. Propping myself up between the two kings in the backseat, I’m trying to figure out why. "


10-05-11:  Huffington Post: "Chaz Bono's Place in History"
"Chaz Bono's reintroduction to America post-transition, through talk show interviews and most especially his appearance as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, marks more than a mere chapter in his life and career. With any luck, it will eventually prove to be a milestone in the advancement of transgender people and progress in transgender rights. Perhaps by virtue of being born into fame, he is really the first transsexual to break beyond the barrier of being known only for their transgenderness and being seen, perhaps even being allowed to be seen, as more than just a transsexual. He is breaking through the barrier of the glaring sensationalism of having changed sex and is being able to present a real, complete human being to the world."


10-05-11:  Autostraddle:  "Transgender People, Transitioning and Those Darn Standards of Care"
"Before I sought gender transition, I had never heard of the Standards of Care (SOC), so I’m going to guess that most of you are in the same boat I was in. The SOC is a very important document in the trans world and in the field of trans healthcare. They are nonbinding (aka not mandated) protocols from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) outlining how clinicians in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, medicine (both primary care and endocrinologists, aka hormones), and surgery should best treat transgender patients.

They’ve been around since 1979 and doctors who have been “progressive” enough to work with trans patients have largely adopted the SOC as a rigid policy guideline. A lot has changed in terms of the view of trans people, their needs, et cetera, in the past 30 years, so as you can imagine, there have been a number of revisions. However, until the 7th version was released this week (more on that later), the last revision (Version 6) was in 2001. Yikes! I know.

It was definitely outdated, and had a real love/hate relationship with the trans community . . . "


10-05-11:  The Mirror (UK): "Real life: My hubby had a sex change but we're staying together"

"Now things have slowly settled down for the pair despite disapproving stares from strangers. “We still fight like any other couple but now its about who’s shaved their legs in the bath and didn’t rinse it out,” explains Meg. “We’re working on our new life. There are some days where I get angry with her for making life complicated but then I see my girl walking towards me, with her shy smile and it’s all worth it.”"


10-04-11:  "Television review: 'Renée' on ESPN"

"Those shocked by the inclusion of Chaz Bono on this season's "Dancing With the Stars" would do well to check out the ESPN documentary "Renée" — there is nothing new under the sun, not even transgender individuals taking center stage in a national competition of athletic prowess . . .

Although uneven and at times unsatisfying — Richards never even tries to explain why, when she said she wanted anonymity and to protect her son, she began playing competitive tennis — "Renée" is a fascinating glimpse into many things: shifting social norms, the essence of gender, the history of women's tennis, the fickleness of public opinion and the difficulty of being seen as a symbol of anything."


10-03-11:  Washington Post: "Feds revise transgender inmate rules to permit previously disallowed prison treatments" (more)

"Transgender inmates who did not begin treatment prior to entering federal custody can now receive hormones, specialized mental health counseling and possibly gender reassignment surgery while they are in prison, according to new rules adopted by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons as part of a court settlement.

A May 31 memo issued to wardens at the nation’s 116 federal prisons and made public by gay rights groups in announcing the settlement Friday states, “current, accepted standards of care” will be applied to inmates who believe they are the wrong gender."


10-03-11:  Connecticut Law Tribune: "Gender Identity Law Poses Challenge For Employers - Anti-bias statute could spur litigation regarding restrooms, dress codes"

"In the not-too-distant past, attorney Pamela J. Moore represented a manufacturing company that found itself in a bit of a bind. A male supervisor who was undergoing sex reassignment surgery wanted to use the women’s restroom, but female members of his staff revolted.

In that case, the company resolved the problem by assigning a gender neutral bath room to the manager. But what if the supervisor demanded to use the lady’s room today? Under a new state law outlawing bias based on gender identity or expression, the answer is not so clear cut."


10-03-03:  Huffington Post: "The Media Research Center's Transgender Freakout"

"The right-wing Media Research Center has amply demonstrated its anti-gay agenda, objecting to any depiction of gays in the media if they aren't denigrated in the process. If there's anything that would skeeve out the MRC more than gays, it would be transgendered people.

And so, right on cue, the presence of Chaz Bono -- formerly Chastity Bono, the child of Sonny and Cher -- as a contestant on ABC's Dancing with the Stars has sent the MRC into full freakout mode."


10-01-11: "A Straight Woman’s Transgender Story……"

"There are, however, two sides to this tale. Somewhere left in the wake of this remarkable personal journey is the life of the fundamentalist-Christian ex-wife who never imagined this was possible, and who saw the hopes and dreams of herself as a young girl fade to betrayal, and three small children who were moved across the country and cut off from the paternal relationship altogether in hopes of protecting them from the anomaly of the “beast” within their father.

Thirty-plus years later, Ann is now 72, and although many deal with the needs of aging parents, our aging parent in need is much different than the norm. Being a “lab rat” for modern medicine to pave the way for the future left in its wake medical obstacles and an entirely new understanding of the human condition in aging. As her health has been failing in these recent 10 years, we had to make some considerable decisions in our lives to see her through her final chapter with dignity and respect. Our decisions translated into an enormous move, great personal sacrifices, integrating our children into the dynamics, and making a 180-degree turn of everything we had dreamed of and worked for.

This column in the months ahead will shed light on our unique experience with an aging parent, as it began in earnest just 10 short weeks ago. I will share with you personal experiences, frustration, and humor as I venture into this incredible chapter of my life as primary caregiver to my “other mother-in-law.” I'll write about the red tape, government and medical bureaucracy, family dynamics that ensue from the other side of the family, decisions we grapple with, and choices we are forced to make in order to give the fundamental gifts God and Universe call upon us to give in Family: the gifts of love, support, acceptance, tolerance."


10-01-11:  NY Post: "FDNY welcomes 1st transgender firefighter in city history - 'Courageous move'"

"One of New York’s Bravest is breaking barriers -- becoming the first transgender firefighter in city history.

The male-to-female firefighter has been openly welcomed by the FDNY, even as a Brooklyn judge handling a discrimination lawsuit against the department has blasted it for its lack of diversity.

The tall blonde, who now goes by Brooke, is a third-generation firefighter, with her father still on the job. The Post is withholding her full name."


10-01-11:  Las Vegas Review-Journal: "Transgender law, others go into effect"

"Nevada's estimated 25,000 to 50,000 transgender people finally become full-fledged citizens under state law today . That's when bills prohibiting discrimination against transgender men and women in the workplace, housing and public accommodations go into effect.

"It means I can feel I am part of the whole shebang," said Las Vegas marriage and family therapist Jane Heenan, a transgender activist. "I am included. I am OK. I don't feel I am such a weirdo."

Nevada becomes the 15th state to extend the same legal protections to transgender people as it does to others on the basis of their race, creed, age, sex, religion, disability, national origin or sexual orientation. The Nevada Equal Rights Commission will investigate complaints when transgender people think they are victims of discrimination. Laws prohibiting discrimination against gay people became law in 1999."



September 2011


9-30-11:  TransYouth Family Allies: “2011 WPATH conference highlights”, by Kim Pearson, Executive Director (more)

"I was honored to represent TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA) at the 2011 World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Conference in Atlanta Georgia . . .

Presenters and attendees included: Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, Dr. Norman Spack, Dr. Scott Leibowitz, Dr. Peggy Cohen-Kettenis, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, Thomas Steensma, Dr. Jamison Green (former TYFA board member), Dr. Madeline Deutsch, Dr. Becky Allison . . . (and more)

You may have noticed I included Dr. Kenneth Zucker in the above list. I know the type of strong emotion the very mention of his name evokes, so I’m going to share with you my first hand experience of meeting with him.

Monday afternoon, Dr. Zucker approached Drs. Olson and Belzer just after one of the youth focused presentations . . . The “hot topic” was research on children who socially transition before the age of 10. I made a statement that I had access to that demographic and Dr. Zucker asked “are you Kim?” Hmm, seems he knew my name! The conversation was cut short as the next presentation was starting, but before departing Dr. Zucker asked if I would meet with him privately at 5 PM and I consented.

Dr. Zucker and I found a quiet corner for our 5 PM meeting. After a few formalities we got down to the business of what he wanted, which was for TYFA families to participate in research with him. My response, as best I can recall was, “I’m fairly certain that TYFA families will not participate in ANY research project that is associated with your name.”

He then asked why, to which I responded, “…because the research you have published thus far makes their lives a living hell.” We talked a bit more, and I asked him if he really believed that anything he could have said or done would have changed my own child’s gender identity. He said that was a complex question, he was tired, and wished to continue our conversation the following day. We never did…"

[It's interesting to observe that Zucker appeared surprised by the rebuke he received from Kim Pearson. Could it be that he simply does not grasp just how evil his life's work is widely perceived to be? And not just by 'transsexuals', but also by many/most counselors?  If so, I suspect that Zucker has many sleepless nights to come, as this gradually sinks in during the years ahead.]

9-30-11:  Parentdish (UK re US):  "The litle boy who started a sex change aged EIGHT"

"Thomas Lobel, 11, is having hormone blocking treatment to stop him going through puberty as a boy. He started transition therapy when he was eight years old.

His adoptive parents, lesbian couple Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, have defended the decision for Thomas, who now calls himself Tammy, to begin treatment to change sex at such a young age.

They believe children with gender identity disorder - or gender dysphoria - who are forced to propose transitioning into adulthood face a higher risk of suicide. Last week we covered the story of 10-year-old Livvy James who left school as a boy and returned to school after the summer holidays as a girl with her parents' blessing after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria."


9-30-11:  CNN: "What fuels transgender backlash?"

"Tuesday's story about transgender children and their families shed light on an emotional topic and provoked strong response.

"Transgender kids: Painful quest to be who they are" centered on identity, gender, health, parenting and child development. It's not unusual for a popular story on to have hundreds or thousands of responses, but the overwhelmingly negative tone of Tuesday's comments raised the question about the root of the hostility. What exactly provoked such harsh opinions?"



"In an effort to move away from concepts that contributed to the problems rather than easing them WPATH has revised its Standards of Care (SOC) to include less pathologizing language and treatments that focus on medical needs rather than pathologizing and characterizing trans as a mental health problem.

With breathtaking arrogance and hypocrisy, WPATH then reclassifies intersex as people with Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) and see those of us who reject our birth assignments as being in need of the counsel of a mental health professional.

WPATH does this without the input or inclusion of a single intersex person. Indeed the WPATH membership requirements preclude being intersex as a reason for belonging to this organization."


9-29-11:  NPR: "Violent Attacks On Transgender People Raise Alarm"

"A series of shootings and violent attacks put Washington, D.C.'s transgender community on edge this summer. Police hesitate to call the attacks hate crimes, but they've stepped up their patrols. Still, the transgender community is demanding more action.

It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon on Dix Street in northeast Washington. The neighborhood is a popular gathering place for transgender women, but tensions arose when Lashai Mclean, 23, was murdered here in late July . . . Days after Mclean's murder, another transgender woman was shot, just one block away. And on Aug. 26, an off-duty police officer stood on the hood of a car and shot through its windshield, hitting two transgender women and a male friend, wounding one critically. The officer is a 20-year veteran of the city's police force and is currently in jail, awaiting trial. The most recent assault in the area took place Sept. 12, when a transgender woman was shot in the neck.

Although police do not believe these crimes to be related, for Corado, they signal a culture of hate."


9-28-11:  European Parliament: Press Release (Europe): "Parliament condemns daily violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity" (more; link to resolution adopted today (PDF))

"Parliament called today for an end to the discrimination and violence suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on a daily basis both in the EU and outside it and stressed that gender identity disorders should not be treated as psychiatric conditions.

In a resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority (442 votes to 104, with 40 abstentions) MEPs demand that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people be upheld fully within the EU and defended systematically in its external relations.

They call for gender identity disorders to be removed from the World Health Organisation's classification of mental and behavioural disorders. They roundly condemn the fact that homosexuality, bisexuality and trans-sexuality are still regarded as mental illnesses, requiring psychiatric treatment, in some countries, including some EU Member States, and they call for this to stop."


9-28-11:  Campus Progress: "Social Security Administration Changes Gender Notification Policy" (NCTE News, more, more)

"It happened quickly and quietly, making virtually no headlines: The Social Security Administration changed its gender notification policy last week, a shift that avoids outing transgender workers.

Under the new guidelines, the agency will no longer cross-reference employers’ reports of employees’ genders—submitted along with their Social Security Number upon hiring—to their database. More importantly, the administration will not notify employers if the listed gender of their employees does not match that on record.

This change will end a dangerous bureaucratic nightmare for thousands of Americans.

A National Center for Transgender Equality Freedom of Information Act request found that the Social Security Administration sent more than 700,000 no-match letters last year.

A no-match letter, sent when the recorded gender of an employee does not match the gender listed on the social security account, gave a transgender person two options: Try to change their gender with the Social Security Administration, or reveal their transgender status to employers and fellow employees."

[Stopping the government's outings of transgender employees to their employers is an important step forward.  Kudos to NCTE and others who worked long and hard to make this happen!]


9-27-11:  CNN: "Transgender kids: Painful quest to be who they are"

"One of the first things Thomas Lobel told his parents was that they were wrong.

The 3-year-old had learned sign language because he had apraxia, a speech impediment that hindered his ability to talk. The toddler pointed to himself and signed, "I am a girl."

"Oh look, he's confused," his parents said. Maybe he mixed up the signs for boy and girl. So they signed back. "No, no. Thomas is a boy." But the toddler shook his head. "I am a girl," he signed back emphatically.

Regardless of the fact he was physically male, Thomas has always maintained that he is a girl. When teased at school about being quiet and liking dolls, Thomas would repeat his simple response, "I am a girl."

Thomas, now 11, goes by the name of Tammy, wears dresses to school and lives as a girl. Her parents have been accused by family, friends and others of being reckless, causing their youngest child permanent damage by allowing her to live as a girl."


9-27-11:  The Tennessean: ""Vanderbilt University nondiscrimination policy called unfair to religious groups - Some student groups, including religious ones, told they must come into compliance; school says it wants to be a 'welcoming environment for all of our students'"

"Vanderbilt University’s review of student organizations’ obedience to its nondiscrimination policy has some students, professors and outside advocates saying the university itself is the one doing the discriminating.

Vanderbilt has asked “a dozen or so” student groups, including five religious ones, to come into compliance with the policy, which says the Nashville school doesn’t discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Those groups, which the university declined to identify, have been given provisional status for the time being but could ultimately lose access to Vanderbilt funding and facilities if they don’t comply."


9-26-11:  Huffington Post: "My Daughter, Chaz Bono and What Keith Ablow Is Really Afraid Of", by

"That's Ablow's real problem and what he doesn't want our kids to see: that Bono is happy. That you can feel trapped and wounded by your life for decades, and still find a path to wholeness, to emerge on the other side smiling, laughing, and, yes, dancing. Ablow is afraid of Bono's joy more than anything else and he wants us to be fearful, too, for the sake of our children. But he doesn't know the first thing about my child and what she can or cannot understand.

One of my best friends from college is transgender, news which came as a surprise to me just this past year . . . This summer she came for a visit, still in transition, which occasioned a chat between me and my daughter. I explained that my friend had always known she was a girl but that everyone else had told her she was a boy, so she had acted as a boy for most of her life, which had made her sad for a very long time. Now that my friend was a grown-up, I said, she realized she could be the girl on the outside that she had always been on the inside.

A few days later, my daughter said that she had always been sure she was a girl on the inside and on the outside. Then she furrowed her brow in concern for my friend. "It would be hard to be one thing inside and one thing outside and not get to be the one you say you are." In less than 25 words, my six-year-old displayed a more firm command of the subject than Ablow with all his years of experience. Maybe it would help us all if she sat him down for a talk."


9-25-11:  GID "New Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, " by Kelley Winters, Ph.D. (more, more, more)

"The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) released it’s 7th Version of Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (SOC) in Atlanta today. The previous Version 6 was published in 2001. Overall, this newest SOC represents significant forward progress in respecting trans people and affirming the necessity of medical transition care for trans and transsexual individuals who need it. Although controversies and issues of transition care access remain in the SOC7, WPATH has announced a more frequent update process that will hopefully be more responsive to emerging evidence and clinical experience in the future.

Perhaps the most historic change in the SOC7 appears in the section of ethical guidelines:

Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and lived gender expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past (Gelder & Marks, 1969; Greenson, 1964), yet without success, particularly in the long term (Cohen-Kettenis & Kuiper, 1984; Pauly, 1965). Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.

Though long overdue, this condemnation of gender-conversion or gender-reparative psychotherapies sets a new ethical standard for the mental health professions. Sexual orientation conversion therapies have been rejected by the American Psychiatric Organization, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers and many other professional associations for over a decade. Yet the mental health and medical professions have maintained a double standard for trans, transsexual and gender nonconforming people victimized by analogous gender-reparative therapies that are equally harmful."

[This is a major development:  In the new SOC7, WPATH denounces trans-reparatism, long practiced on children and teens by Ken Zucker at CAMH, as being unethical. Please spread this news widely. ]


9-25-11:  TS "WPATH: Reparative therapy on transgender youth “is no longer considered ethical", by Andrea James

In a significant development for the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming youth, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has taken a clear stance against “treatment” aimed at trying to change a young person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth. According to Version 7, released today, such action by psychologists “is no longer considered ethical.” "


9-25-11:  WPATH: "Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People" (Version 7) (1.66 mb PDF)


9-21-11:  The Shanghaiist (China): "Jin Xing says kicked off reality show for being transgender" (more, more)

"Jin Xing (金星), one of the foremost figures in Chinese contemporary dance and a judge on the reality television singing competition Fei Tong Fan Xiang 《非同凡响》says she has been kicked off the show by order of the Zhejiang Province Radio, Film and Television Bureau because of her transsexual identity.

In a post on her Sina Weibo profile which has been retweeted a whopping 30,000 times, Jin Xing announced, "It's a great pity! I will not be able to appear on the show finals this weekend because the production team has received an order from Zhejiang Province Radio, Film and Television Bureau that I was to be banned from the panel because I'm transgender! I am infuriated! It doesn't matter to me whether I get to be a judge or not, but as a citizen, I won't accept being discriminated against because of my gender identity!""


9-20-11:  WAMU: "Pioneer Program Battles Transgender Discrimination"

"The District of Columbia has launched the first program in the country to help transgendered women and men overcome workplace discrimination . . .

Those who finish the program are guaranteed placement, says Charles Jones, with the District's Department of Employment Services. They may find employment within the District government, which is subsidized, or with the private sector or nonprofits. These will be entry level jobs, but for Gunner, Agers, Duran and the others it means acceptance, and a chance to do more." 


9-20-11:  The Tufts Daily: "Professor affiliated with Tufts Med takes controversial stance on transgender issue"

"A group of students painted the cannon Sunday night in protest of an editorial that Keith Ablow, an assistant clinical professor at the Tufts School of Medicine, wrote for Fox News stating that children should not be allowed to watch a television show that cast a transgender individual . . .

Tom Bourdon, director of the Tufts Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Center, said in an email that Ablow's claim was false.

"It is ridiculous to imply that a child could be swayed to become transgender or eventually put themselves through unnecessary surgical procedures as a result of wanting to emulate an individual on television," Bourdon said.

This incident has raised concerns about whether Ablow should be associated with Tufts, Bourdon said."


9-19-11:  National Catholic Reporter: "Vatican says 'sex-change' operation does not change person's gender"

"After years of study, the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has sent church leaders a confidential document concluding that "sex-change" procedures do not change a person's gender in the eyes of the church.

Consequently, the document instructs bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and says Catholics who have undergone "sex-change" procedures are not eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life, according to a source familiar with the text.

The document was completed in 2000 and sent "sub secretum" (under secrecy) to the papal representatives in each country to provide guidance on a case-by-case basis to bishops. But when it became clear that many bishops were still unaware of its existence, in 2002 the congregation sent it to the presidents of bishops' conferences as well.

"The key point is that the (transsexual) surgical operation is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality. If the person was male, he remains male. If she was female, she remains female," said the source."

[Amidst the widespread pushback against Keith Ablow's pathologization of transpeople and Ablow's susequent detailed citing of Paul McHugh's conservative Catholic transphobic teachings, the Catholic media is rerunning a Catholic News Service article of Jan 14, 2003 – reminding the Church's subjects how to think about trans issues.]


9-19-11:  Media Matters: "Bad Medicine: Fox News Physicians Are A Prescription For Misinformation, Scientific And Otherwise"

"From Dr. Keith Ablow's unscientific attacks on Chaz Bono to Dr. Manny Alvarez's baseless suggestion that Tylenol will soon be moved behind the counter because of the Affordable Care Act, Fox News' "Medical A-Team" experts routinely advance misinformation, sometimes using their medical credentials to give credence to their arguments."

[Includes a  listing of Ablow's statements pathologizing transpeople in many media outlets. Makes you wonder what's bothering this rather pretentiously macho guy, eh?]


9-19-11:  Latin American Herald Tribune (re Argentina): "Lawmakers Push Sex-Change Bill in Argentina"

"Legislators from Argentina’s ruling party are pushing debate on a bill to allow sex-change operations without previous judicial authorization, the press reported Sunday. The “gender identity” bill would allow both sex-change operations as well as adjustment of a person’s national identity document to reflect a different gender, whether or not they had undergone surgery.

At present, changing the document can only proceed with the authorization of a judge, while sex-change operations are prohibited by law."


9-19-11:  The Telegraph (UK): "'Sex-free' passports for transgenders" (more, more)

"The Home Office is considering changing British passports to allow transgender people to opt out of identifying themselves as male or female. The proposed moves follows pressure from the Liberal Democrats who claim it is necessary to avoid problems encountered by people who are undergoing sex change operations.

Currently everybody with a passport must identify themselves as male or female on the document. But the Home Office has begun a consultation on changing the system to allow a category for the small minority of people who are unable to tick either box.

The plans follow the introduction of new passport rules in Australia last week which allow residents to nominate their official gender as male, female or indeterminate, without having to undergo surgery as proof of a sex change."


9-19-11: "Born a man, but finally living life - as herself"

"She expected negative reactions, but the transition mostly has been positive. “I've had a few people be ‘sour pickles,'” she said. “But honestly, I don't care.”

Attitudes toward the transgender community are evolving along with society's view of gay marriage and gay rights, said Dr. Nancy Shannon, Annalora's Palm Desert-based psychotherapist.

“In general, the more people see it happening, the more accepting people become,” said Shannon, whose practice spans individual, couple and family counseling. “When Chaz Bono made the announcement about his decision, it really did open up a dialogue.”"

[Why does the media persist in the ridiculing transitioned women by saying they were "born a man"?  People aren't born as mature adults; they are born as boys or girls.]


9-18-11:  Daily Mail (UK): "Why I let my son live as a girl: Mother of boy who returned to school in a skirt bravely tells her extraordinary story"

"Ten-year-old Livvy James loves her new school uniform, particularly the smart, grey skirt with two pleats and pockets decorated with hearts.

‘Walking to school on my first day back, I was nervous and excited, but most of all I just felt like shouting ‘‘Yeay!’’ ’ says Livvy, who wore her shoulder-length blonde hair that day in a swishy pony-tail. ‘I was so excited that I didn’t care what people thought about me. Even if people looked at me or were saying nasty things, I didn’t care. I felt happy because I could be me and didn’t have to pretend any more.’

Pretty, softly spoken and unashamedly girlie, with a passion for pink and diamante, there is little to distinguish Livvy from the other Year 6 girls returning to primary school in Worcester. Except for one startling fact: Livvy finished the summer term of Year 5 as Sam — as in Samuel. He walked out of the school gates in July as a boy wearing trousers, polo shirt and trainers, and returned in September, with the school’s agreement, as a girl . . .

Livvy certainly looks happy, but have they thought of the future? Saffron is seeking a transgender counsellor for Livvy, who says she wants to talk to someone she can identify with. Already fretting about the onset of puberty, Livvy says she is ‘freaking out’ over the thought of developing facial hair and can’t bear the thought of her voice breaking. So Saffron is looking into hormone therapy to block the development of masculine traits, but says that is a couple of years away and, besides, who knows what the future holds.

As for the teenage years when Livvy’s female friends are dating boys, the family would rather cross that bridge when they reach it. They haven’t even begun to think about the possibility of transgender surgery. ‘We are just taking one day at a time,’ says Saffron. ‘We’ve been told any hormone therapy is reversible, so if Livvy suddenly decides at 18 she wants to be a man after all, then she can. But she is who she is. She’s only ten and I just want her to be happy now.’

[It's quite a surprise to see such a foreward-looking, supportive article in a UK tabloid. Well worth a read.]


9-18-11:  NCLR Press Release (posted 9/12): "NCLR Applauds New NCAA Inclusion Policy Benefitting Transgender Student Athletes"

"The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) last week announced that it has approved an important policy that clarifies opportunities for transgender student athletes to participate on college athletic teams in accordance with their gender identity.

The NCAA—which governs sports for more than 1,200 colleges and institutions—worked closely with the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project and Griffin Educational Consulting to develop the policy, which according to the announcement “will allow a transgender student athlete to participate in sex-separated sports activities so long as the athlete’s use of hormone therapy is consistent with the NCAA policies and current medical standards.” "


9-18-11:  Daily News and Analysis (India): "Non-hijra transgenders struggle for identity", by Gee Ameena Suleiman

"We are silenced before we can speak. We face the double oppression of being female-born on top of our non-conforming gender expression. We don’t have a system like the hijras. We don’t have Gurus who will mother us when we leave our biological families. We are invisible because we are conditioned to “pass” in public as men, to say that our bodies don’t matter because we feel disconnected with them. Is that body that bleeds every month, the body with breasts, that is seen as female mine? This is a question that all of us have grappled with.

It is difficult for us to transition with respect to our bodies because of the lack of awareness about our genders in society. The medical establishment is largely ignorant of our needs and don’t offer affordable sex reassignment surgeries for working-class female-born transgenders. Some of us have been in lesbian relationships, not knowing how to articulate that we are men. Trapped as butch lesbians."


9-18-11:  Canberra Times (Australia): "A brave struggle brings new hope"

"Born male, Marcelle knew from the age of three that she was female. For the next 40-odd years she hid her true identity. Last year she began living as a full-time woman, but says people's opinion that people choose to be trans or gay is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome.

''That's how some friends of mine saw it [as a choice]. One day I was this and the next day I was something else. They saw it as the Marcelle female had killed the Marcelle male - that the old me is gone and this new me is an imposter. They get angry because they don't understand the change,'' Marcelle said.

''My choice, and this is important, my choice was to hide it [my whole life]. To repress it and keep it hidden. This was done out of fear, because I was scared, because I wanted to fit in, and I was afraid of ridicule or being cast out.''

Now in her early forties, she is in her first year transitioning to life as a woman; attending sessions with a gender therapist, having hormone therapy, laser removal and electrolysis. She has not had sex reassignment surgery yet but for now, at least, she has the documentation to prove she is, legally, a woman."


9-16-11:  Fox News: ""More About Sexual Reassignment Surgery", By Dr. Keith Ablow

"Recently, I advised parents to not allow their children to watch Chaz Bono compete on Dancing With the Stars. I stand by that advice . . .

Lest you think me a lone wolf in my thinking—that most or all transgender reassignment surgery represents the collaboration of misguided psychiatrists and plastic surgeons (and television producers)—you might look into the teachings of Dr. Paul McHugh . . .

In 2004, Dr. McHugh wrote these words:

 . . . We as psychiatrists should work to discourage those adults who seek surgical sex reassignment:. . . we psychiatrists have been distracted from studying the causes and natures of their mental misdirections by preparing them for surgery and for a life in the other sex. We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it . . .

Now, as for those journalists who contend that I have no experience from which to opine about gender identity disorder or sexual reassignment surgery or the influence of media on public behavior, please note I graduated the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where I studied with McHugh himself.""

[ It's no wonder Ablow has internalized such distorted views:  He studied at the feet of powerful transphobe Paul McHugh, conservative Catholic advisor to the Vatican on sexual matters, whose mission in life is to 'stop sex changes' and who is at the center of the 'invisible college' of academic trans-pathologizers.  Given the demonic passion of his anti-trans quest, could McHugh perhaps have encouraged Ablow's rant in the first place? ]


9-15-11:  Media Matters (posted 9-14): "Megyn Kelly Calls Out Ablow On Chaz Bono: "You Seem To Be Adding To The Hate"" (more, more, more, more, more)

"Today on Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly confronted Ablow about his history of attacking Bono's Dancing With the Stars appearance. She repeatedly challenged Ablow on the merits of his argument, citing Drescher's post and pointing out Drescher is a specialist in the area, unlike Ablow.

Kelly told him, "There's so much hate out there. There's so much hate for gays and lesbians and transgendered people." She added, "The thing is, Doc, you seem to be adding to the hate."

While the best course when discussing scientifically complicated issues like this one is to host experts in the area, rather than people who have a history of promoting "hate" toward LGBT people, Kelly did the right thing by challenging his statements and calling out his bigotry."

[Kudos to Megyn Kelly for her forceful interview tactics. She continually out-fenced Ablow, put him off-guard, and cornered him into making a series of over-the-top responses. Be sure to watch the video! ]


9-15-11:  The Guardian (UK): "Channel 4 to screen transgender documentary series in autumn lineup" (more, more, more)

"Channel 4 is to broadcast a documentary series about the lives of a group of transgender people featuring graphic footage of sex-change surgery.

The observational documentary, which has a working title Girls will Be Boys and Boys will be Girls, will follow seven people in their everyday lives and also as they gather at a rural retreat to talk through the problems they face.

Among the stars of the four-part series are a 52-year-old former police officer called Karen who is about to undergo surgery, and Max, from north London, who wants to become the first transgender rabbi.

They are followed by the cameras as they meet other people who have had surgery, and go out together to pubs and shops and deal with people's reactions."


9-15-11:  Associated Press (re Australia): " 'X' now a gender option in Australian passports" (more, more)

"Australian passports will now have three gender options — male, female and indeterminate — under new guidelines to remove discrimination against transgender people, the government said Thursday.

Transgender people and those of ambiguous sex will now be able to list their gender on passports with an 'X' if their choice is supported by a doctor's statement. Previously, gender was a choice of only male or female, and people were not allowed to change their gender on their passport without having had a sex-change operation.

Senator Louise Pratt, whose partner was born female and is now identified as a man, said the reform was a major improvement for travelers who face questioning and detention at airports because their appearance does not match their gender status."

9-15-11:  The Christian Institute (UK): "Boy, aged 10, returns to school as a girl"

"A ten-year-old boy has been allowed to return to school after the summer holidays as a girl because he believes he was born the wrong sex. The boy’s mother is supporting his decision and has allowed him to dress as a girl and says he will start hormone blocker therapy, the first step to a full sex change, when he is twelve . . .

Critics of sex change operations say that gender dysphoria is a psychiatric problem, not a physical one, and radical physical surgery does more harm than good. In 2002 doctors from the NHS Portman Clinic – an internationally acclaimed centre – stated, “what many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain”.

Many transsexuals regret their decision to live in the opposite sex. A Home Office report on transsexualism said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”."

[Many so-called "Christians"continue to spread fear and loathing of trans children and their supportive parents,, not just here in the US but also in the UK.]


9-15-11:  This Is Local London (UK): "Streatham Hill stalker jailed for knifepoint sex attack on transsexual”

“A stalker who carried out a knifepoint sex attack on a transsexual after she turned down his advances has been jailed for seven years, more than two decades after the attack. Phillip Robertson, 50, of Holmewood Road, Streatham Hill, pestered his victim for days before sneaking into her flat through a kitchen window.

The victim, who is biologically male but lives as a woman, was brutally violated in 1990, but a police investigation at the time failed to find the attacker."


9-14-11:  Chelsea Now: "Moving Beyond Shock on Transgender Health"

"Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, emphasized that it is simplistic and demeaning to suggest that efforts by transgender women to feminize their appearance are all about cosmetics. In her view, feminizing is, above all else, about “passing” –– and not getting killed.

“It’s about survival in getting a job, about not getting beat up on the subway, or maybe about finding a guy who will let them have a bed for the night,” she said.

Weiss and Park emphasized that true liberation for transgender people likely involves self-acceptance on matters including appearance. But, to get from one day to the next usually forces other considerations. “I don’t feel that passing should be necessary for a transgender identity,” Weiss said, “but in the real world, it is.”

The goal, then, must be to expand private and public health insurance access to the full range of services transgender people need to lead full and productive lives –– including mental health counseling, hormone treatments, and surgical interventions, ranging from genital reconstruction to breast augmentation to facial feminization."


9-14-11:  US Weekly: "Sofia Vergara: I Look Like a Transsexual"

"Sofia Vergara doesn't do subtle. The 39-year-old Colombian beauty played a transsexual in the 2006 direct-to-video movie Grilled, and according to the actress, it wasn't much of a stretch.

"I look like a transsexual anyway. I'm a woman, but I'm super-exaggerated with my boobs, my ass, my makeup and my accent," Vergara tells The Advocate." When I get ready for an event, I always look at myself in the mirror and say, 'I look like a transvestite!' I love it.""

[Lost in translation: Vergara undoubtedly meant "travesti" as the term is used in Brazil, rather than transvestite (crossdresser) as in the U.S.]


9-14-11:  Washington Post: "Teen gets five years for attack on transgender woman at McDonald's"  (more, more, more)

"After a teenage girl was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for beating a transgender woman at a McDonald's in Rosedale, some advocates for transgender people called the sentence too lenient.

"The whole incident is unfortunate and demonstrates the lack of knowledge and understanding, and discrimination against transgender people," said Patrick Wojahn, board president of the Equality Maryland Foundation. "If anything, five years may have been too short of an amount of time for the attack and the amount of hatred that was shown in the incident."

Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk agreed. "Five years is not enough for what she did. It was really horrible — nobody should do something like that to another human being," said Pena-Melnyk, who represents parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. She proposed legislation to prevent employers, creditors and others from discriminating against transgender people, but the measure failed in the 2011 General Assembly."


9-14-11:  Irish Times (Ireland): “State paid for 14 sex-change operations over five years”
“New figure from the Health Service Executive show 14 people were approved to travel abroad for gender reassignment surgery over a five-year period. The surgery is not available in Ireland, but under the E112 scheme it can be arranged abroad and funded by the executive.

Gender reassignment surgery is part of a treatment for gender identity disorder and involves the reconstruction of genitalia to resemble that of the opposite sex. The E112 scheme, or Treatment Abroad Scheme, provides a fund for treatments not currently available in Ireland which have been proven to be medically necessary.”


9-14-11:  Irish Times (re Thailand): "Campaigner welcomes ruling over transgender records" (more, more)

"For five years, Paisarn Likhitpreechakul fought against the Thai army’s practice of altering the personal records of transgender draftees to describe them as suffering from permanent psychosis.

Yesterday afternoon, while in Dublin for the ongoing Front Line conference for defenders of human rights, Mr Likhitpreechakul took a phone call telling him about the decision of Thai courts, earlier that morning, to rule against the practice. It marked a huge stride forward for transgender rights in the country, he said.

“It is very meaningful that the court found in favour of our petition because the court reasoned that transgenders are like everyone else, they have human rights and human dignities that cannot be violated against.“When I heard about it I saw hope that even the most conservative sector in society can change, that times have changed and they realise that and they are willing to move with time.”

In 2006, Mr Likhitpreechakul and the organisation he works for, the Foundation for Human Rights on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, presented a petition to the administrative court in Thailand which protested against the army turning away transgender draftees on the basis that they were sufferers of permanent psychosis.

As women are not drafted, the foundation’s motivation was not to force the army to allow transgender people to join but to stop them labelling, in such a destructive manner, paperwork that every Thai employer requests from a male-born applicant."


9-14-11:  Pink News (UK): "Transgender girl, 10, tells of classmates' reactions" (more, more, more, related story and video)

"A ten-year-old transgender girl who is bullied by adults, rather than children, has spoken of her excitement at returning to school as a female.

The child, who was born physically male, was diagnosed two years ago with gender dysphoria after showing signs from the age of two. Her parents now allow her to live as a girl.

Earlier this week, her mother told the Worcester News that while children had largely accepted her daughter, other parents and local adults had reacted badly, calling the girl a “freak”."


9-13-11: HRC Back Story:  "The Doctor is Out (Of Touch)", a guest post from the American Psychiatric Association's Dr. Jack Drescher (more, more) (listen also to Howard Stern's interview of Ablow: Part 1, Part 2)

"Dr. Ablow is within his rights to express personal opinions about transgender people. However, as a psychiatrist speaking in a public forum, his audience is entitled to accurate scientific knowledge of a complex subject rather than opinions, scare tactics and inflammatory language.

Dr. Ablow, seeing Chaz Bono’s life as a tragedy, wants others to agree and his “prescription” is scaring people away from tuning in and seeing for themselves. Yet parents should not be afraid to learn something new. Tuning out uncomfortable information and maintaining silence only makes children (who cannot be shielded from this information in the modern age) more anxious. Children sensing parental anxiety become anxious as well.

Chaz Bono’s highly publicized transition can be a teaching moment about the lives of transgender people. Parents who don’t want their children to be confused should watch Dancing with the Stars and try to learn more about trans people themselves. Families watching the show together can become more informed about and sympathetic to trans people. If he ends up watching it, perhaps Dr. Ablow will learn something as well."


9-13-11:  Washington Post (re Netherlands): "Human Rights Watch criticizes Dutch regulations for transgender registrations" (more, more)

"Human Rights Watch is criticizing the Dutch government for infringing the rights of transgender people by refusing to register their new gender on official documents until they have had sex change surgery and been sterilized.

The criticism by the respected rights organization deals a blow to the image of the Netherlands as a haven of tolerance and acceptance for minorities and a front-runner in transgender rights."


9-13-11:  Seattle PI (re Thailand): "Thai court to military: transsexuals not ill" (more)

"A court in Thailand ordered the military on Tuesday to stop labeling transgender people as being mentally ill in a decision praised by activists.

The Thai army conscripts males over the age of 18, but has historically disqualified transgender people, classifying them as "having a permanent mental disorder." Transgender activists have protested that this stigmatizes them.

Samart Meechai, the 27-year-old transgender person who filed the case against defense officials in 2006 in part because the wording "tarnished our dignity," welcomed the outcome. "Now we will no longer be viewed as crazy people," she said."


9-12-11:  Encino Patch: "Talking to My 10-Year-Old About Chaz Bono – For this Encino mom, discussing Dancing With the Stars' controversial transgender contestant was far easier than other issues provoked by media." (more)

"Ironically, my daughter already knows that Bono is transgender because she caught some of the protest story on Access Hollywood. I could have avoided the subject and simply said I didn’t know when she asked me to explain what the fracas was about . . .

Explaining that Bono was born female but changed her appearance to become a man, however, was pretty straightforward. She did have a few follow-up questions about how the transformation was accomplished. Through plastic surgery and hormone injections, I told her. We live in Encino, it’s not like she hasn’t seen people who’ve gone under the knife or used injectables to alter the way they look.

When her questions were answered, she said, “You know what the really weird part is?”

“What?” I asked.

“That someone would rather be a boy.”"


9-12-11:  Psychology & Sexuality (published 6-28): "Cisgenderism in psychology: pathologising and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008", by Y. Gavriel Ansara & Peter Hegarty  (Important update: The full paper is now posted online!)


We assessed whether recent psychological literature on children reflects or contrasts with the zeitgeist of American Psychological Association's recent non-discrimination statement on ‘transgender’ and ‘gender variant’ individuals. Article records (N = 94) on childhood ‘gender identity’ and ‘expression’ published between 1999 and 2008 inclusive were evaluated for two kinds of cisgenderism, the ideology that invalidates or pathologises self-designated genders that contrast with external designations. Misgendering language contradicts children's own gender assignations and was less frequent than pathologising language which constructs children's own gender assignations and expression as disordered. Articles on children's gender identity/expression are increasingly impactful within psychology. Cisgenderism is neither increasing nor decreasing overall. Mental health professionals are more cisgenderist than other authors. Articles by members of an ‘invisible college’ structured around the most prolific author in this area are more cisgenderist and impactful than other articles. We suggest how authors and editors can implement American Psychological Association policy and change scientific discourse about children's genders."

[Citation: Ansara, Y. G. & Hegarty, P. (2011). Cisgenderism in Psychology: Pathologizing and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008. Psychology & Sexuality, iFirst, 1-24.doi: 10.1080/19419899.2011.576696.]

[This research report is an important contribution to our understanding of the effect of language on the pervasive pathologization of trans people – especially by those psychiatrists and psychologists who claim that they are "studying us", and who are reinforced in their opinions and language usage by the thought-styles of the 'invisible colleges' (academic cliques) they belong to. This report reveals how one invisible college in particular, namely the one led by Zucker at CAMH, has dominated the construction of academic trans-terminology for decades - with particularly damaging impact. (the full paper is now posted online)]


9-12-11:  TS "Kenneth Zucker’s cronyism and pathologizing ideologies about trans youth examined" (Update: the full Ansara-Hegarty paper is now posted online!)

"The psychological literature on trans and gender-nonconforming youth has been infected by pathological science emanating from Toronto since the 1970s. Psychologists Y. Gavriel Ansara and Peter Hegarty have just published a paper examining the academic logrolling and cronyism that led to the pathological science emanating from an “invisible college” centered on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The main culprits are Kenneth Zucker, Susan Bradley, James Cantor, Ray Blanchard, Maxine Petersen; see my diagram from an overview of these connections. New faces in the conservative backlash against progressive conceptualizations of gender variance include include criminologist Michele Peterson-Badali and Kelley D Drummond, also both of CAMH . . .

After listing numerous guidelines and policies in place in the fields of psychology and other disciplines, which address the elimination of cisgenderist language and ideology in the field of psychology, they make a clear assessment of the problem and its relationship to Kenneth Zucker and CAMH. They write, “Far from fulfilling a ‘leadership role in working against discrimination towards transgender and gender variant individuals’ (APA, 2008, para 17), the continuation of mis-gendering language in psychology suggests that psychological journal publication policies are falling behind those of other professions.” "


9-12-11:  Fashionista (re Brazil): "First Look: Transsexual Model Lea T. in Blue Man’s Swimsuit Campaign Shot by Terry Richardson" (more)

"Images from Brazilian swim label Blue Man’s latest campaign featuring transsexual model Lea T. have just been released on Made in Brazil blog.  Shot by Terry Richardson, the campaign features a gorgeous, tanned Lea T, clad in one of the label’s lace-up one-pieces. The campaign also features Marlon Teixeira horsing around with another male model–though there’s no sign yet of the two kissing, something else we were looking forward to seeing in the ads.

What we like most about the ads, is that they embrace Lea T for what she is: A gorgeous, talented model. Blue Man neither draws attention, nor ignores Lea T’s unique identity as a model–In other words, they don’t make a gimmick of her sexual identity. We hope other brands and magazines are taking notes."


9-12-11:  Daily Mail (UK): "Ten-year-old boy returns to school after summer holidays as a GIRL as 'he believes he is trapped in the wrong body'"

"The mother of a 10-year-old son who believes he is a 'girl trapped in a boy's body' has allowed him to go to school as a girl. The year six primary school pupil from Worcester who was born a boy has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria - a rare condition where a person feels they have been born in the wrong body.

The 36-year-old says that her son is a 'girlie girl' who adores fashion and doesn't have any male qualities, preferring to play with girls dolls instead of toy cars.

The mother, who has remained anonymous, has spoken about how adults have cruelly mocked her son and how her child feels like he has had to 'live a lie' as a boy.

The mother  - who refers to her child as her daughter - says she realised her son was different since the age of two-and-a-half."


9-12-11:  Boston Globe LTE: "Depiction of Indian transsexuals off-base and insulting", by Pradhuman Nayak

"Hijras are not eunuchs, but instead a community of transsexuals and sometimes hermaphrodites who are looked upon with a mixture of disgust and awe by Indian society. They are in the midst of a tremendous struggle for their rights. Many of my fellow theater artists work with this community to create performances that tell their stories, similar to the work of the Theater Offensive here.

Read again Darnton’s physical description: “garish saris flapping, bangles jangling, thick fingers gripping the door jambs.’’ Would the Globe have printed a similar description of participants in a gay pride event? I would hope not."

9-12-11:  Washington Post: "Transgender person shot in D.C.; 3rd such attack this summer"

"Police are investigating the shooting of a transgender person early Monday morning in Southeast D.C.

The shooting took place just before 2 a.m. in the 2300 block of Savannah Street SE, police said. The attack appears to be non-fatal; the victim was conscious when transported to the hospital.

This is the third reported shooting of a transgender person in the District this summer, officials said.

The two earlier attacks — one of which was fatal — occurred one block and 11 days apart in Northeast Washington."


9-09-11:  PopMatters: "Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture", by Matt Mazur 

"There’s a dire need for more truthful, interesting, and substantial transgender narratives of all types in popular fiction, like the documentaries I have chosen, but also for more that singularly focus on the healing powers of love, family, community, and most importantly—activism. These need be repeated on screen and in other works of popular fiction. As I watched Stryker’s Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, I imagined the story as an epic, cinematic period piece that could provide actors of all genders with plum roles that have never been seen dramatized for film . . .

“On several occasions, people would come up to me—and these are varied genders, male and female, white and black—and would say to me that because of me, they watched the show and realized that they had tossed away, thrown away like a discarded soul, someone who was born into their family, who was gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender,” Grier said, “They threw away people. The greatest act of service was to show these wonderful stories about these ‘scary’ people, humanizing them in story and having it matter.”

The potential combinations of genders and roles, and who plays them, are infinite. As a cinephile, I find that proposition overwhelmingly attractive, and as a writer, I find it full of creative possibilities that could go against the grain and make significant changes to the cinematic discourses on what gender actually means.

The most interesting thing about the deconstruction of gender in film is that when you begin to destroy those heteronormative “male” and “female” binaries, the other multiple, intersecting vectors of patriarchal oppression soon come prominently into view. Race, sexuality, age, nationality, and especially class all get called into question when gender is absent, leading to a more nuanced understanding of why variant gender is problematic: because it interferes with the smooth flow of capitalism and money, especially in the film industry."

[A powerful, comprehensive essay on the representation of trans-people in film.]


9-09-11: Petition: "McIntosh County Georgia Schools: Allow my transgender son to use a safe restroom at school!", posted 8-24 by Tommy Theollyn, father of a transgender child
"All students-- regardless of age, race, ethnicity, ability, size, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and gender identity-- have to use the bathroom. Logically, it follows that all students need safe and appropriate access to bathroom facilities in school settings.

Today I was forced to withdraw my child from school because Dr. Hunter, the superintendent of our county school, refused to allow him to use the bathroom safely. My child is transgender; put simply this means he looks like and identifies as a boy, but has the body parts assigned to girls. Forcing him to use a bathroom that does not match his presentation effectively discloses his status as a transgender child and thus endangers him.

Instead of responding to my concern for safety, Dr. William Hunter informed me of his intent to call Child Protection Services. He insists that my child should have to use the girl's bathroom, regardless of the social, emotional, and potentially physical repercussions that this is likely to bring. He additionally refuses to allow the use of a unisex bathroom typically reserved for staff.

I ask you to join me in asserting the right for all children to attend school and access school services safely and appropriately. My child very much wants to go to school and interact with other children at a normal school setting. He deserves the same opportunities that any child in this county should have. Please support us in asking Dr. Hunter and the Board of Education for McIntosh County Schools to recognize his right to equal access to education."


9-08-11:  The Transadvocate: "A “Transsexual Versus Transgender” Intervention", by Julia Serano

"Over the last year or so, I have read a number of blog entries and Facebook rants about the so-called “transsexual versus transgender” issue . . .
I have purposefully tried to avoid entering into this debate, primarily because many (albeit certainly not all) of the umbrella critiques that I have read invoke horrible stereotypes, and sometimes even hate speech, to help bolster their case . . .
Along the same lines, anti-umbrella advocates often self-describe themselves as “real transsexuals” and dismiss those who support the transgender and LGBT umbrellas as being posers and mere fetishists . . .
. . . in my book Whipping Girl, I argued that the transsexual experience is different from other transgender trajectories, and I also decried the manner in which some cissexual gays and lesbians appropriate transsexual identities. But I never once advocated that transsexuals should completely split off from the transgender or LGBT communities. Rather, my intention was constructive criticism – I hoped to make those alliances more aware and respectful of transsexual voices and perspectives.
So, for the record, I am in the pro-umbrella camp, even though I acknowledge that sometimes umbrella politics are messy and less than equitable. In other words, I believe that the pros of umbrella politics outweigh the cons. But, of course, that is my opinion, and others may disagree. If we are going to have a serious discussion about this issue (i.e., one that does not sink into the abyss of sexualization, stereotypes and name calling), then it seems to me that there are at least three major issues that need to be addressed, but which have been largely absent from the debate thus far."

[An important essay by Julia Serano.]


9-08-11:  Technician Online (North Carolina State University): "Challenge and triumph in the transgender community – Transgender students come out about their struggles and cathartic moments."

"Morgan McCormick always felt something was out of place, even when she was a child in kindergarten. She liked the idea of being a girl better than a boy even then, but also knew it was wrong and would inconvenience other people, so she pushed her feelings down . . .

According to McCormick, she kept suppressing herself until she was 22 years old. All throughout school she buried herself into work and various projects such as developing a social network so she wouldn't have to think about herself and what was bothering her. At this time, she had overwhelmed herself with work so much that she would sleep only two to four hours every night."


9-08-11:  PsychCentral: "Don’t Let Your Kids Watch Dr. Keith Ablow", by John M. Grohol, PsyD, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

"Dr. Keith Ablow, a practicing psychiatrist known as much for his media persona on the Fox News channel and elsewhere as his two New York Times bestsellers, wrote what I thought was a pretty savage, fear-mongering diatribe recently against parents letting their children watch any episode of “Dancing with the Stars” that features a person who has undergone transgender surgery, Chaz Bono.

His logic is a thing of beauty to behold in its twisted triumph: Because some children who may be watching may be undergoing their own self-identity and sexual transformation (as most teenagers do at some point in their normal development), they are “vulnerable:” “The last thing vulnerable children and adolescents need, as they wrestle with the normal process of establishing their identities [... is to watch an adult who's made the choice to change their gender].”

Except that Dr. Ablow says it in an emotionally-charged, vulgar manner so as to transform an immense and difficult decision into something that focuses solely on the physical aspects of a transgendered person’s identity"


9-07-11:  Los Angeles Times Blogs (posted 9-06): "Chaz Bono: Unlike dance fever, gender dysphoria isn't catching"  (more, more)

"Chaz Bono is under the impression that "Dancing With the Stars" is a dance show, where, like the other contestants, he intends to dance.

And though to date he's done a lot of interviews and a documentary about transgender issues and his own transition, Bono said he doesn't plan to use his "DWTS" stint as any kind of soapbox.

"I'm going to be dancing. I'm not up there talking about anything other than dancing," Bono said Tuesday on "Good Morning America." "People who don't have gender dysphoria aren't going to catch it by watching me dance on television."

He wants America to see "that I'm just a regular guy. All these ideas of, 'Children shouldn't watch me, I'm going to be confusing,' ... it's crazy." That said, "it would have made all the difference in the world in my life" had he seen a show like this, featuring someone like him, when he was growing up as Chastity Bono."


9-07-11:  Phoenix New Times: "Walmart Employees Steal Cash From Store to Fund Sex-Change Operation, Toyota Supra"  (more, more)

"Spencer Danger Cullen, 23, was born with a vagina -- and she's apparently so determined to get a penis that she and a friend burglarized the Walmart where the two worked in order to come up with the cash to fund a sex-change operation.

Cullen's friend, 19-year-old Adriano Valdes Altiveros III, had a slightly more mainstream plan for his end of the cash -- he just wanted a new car.

The pair had apparently planned the heist for days, and on Thursday, the two executed their less-than ingenious plan."


9-07-11:  Bangor Daily News: "A struggle for acceptance: Gender identity disorder"

"When his twin sons were born, Wayne figured he had nearly half a basketball team. Like many first-time fathers, he was ready to buy deer rifles and baseball mitts for his sons before they could crawl. It wasn’t long before Wayne and his wife, Kelly, realized that despite the twins’ genetic makeup, Wyatt was different from his identical brother.

“By the time he was 3, I knew something was going on,” Kelly said. “He always liked girl toys and girl stuff. He’d always identify as a girl if whatever they were playing had a girl character.”

Kelly sought help for dealing with what eventually was diagnosed as gender identity disorder, also known as gender dysphoria. She wasn’t interested in changing her son, just in supporting Wyatt and helping him navigate society . . .
“My attitude has always been — this is my kid, this is what my kid likes, how can we get some help,” she said. Helping Wyatt, who now is named Nicole, has brought the family to the halls of the State House and to the courts. The family has witnessed both acceptance and prejudice. They recently moved more than 100 miles away from their home in Orono to give their daughter a fresh start."


9-07-11:  ABC News  (posted 8/31):  "Transgender Kids Pioneer Early Changes to Identity, Body" (more)

"Her name is Jackie. She is 10 years old. She loves fashion; she loves pink.

She has no idea she is about to become a pioneer.

Jackie lives in a small town in rural Ohio. Her parents, Jennifer and John, practice law in the firm her grandfather founded. It's a place long on tradition and family values.

But things are changing at Jackie's house. Six months ago, Jennifer and John decided they would allow their 10-year-old son, Jack, to start living as a girl named Jackie. "


9-06-11:  Huffington Post: "Are Medical Schools Ignoring LGBT Health?"  (more, more, more)

"Medical students spend hours learning about human health, behavior and how to provide good patient care. But when it comes to caring for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, their training may fall short.

According to a new survey of medical school deans in the U.S. and Canada, schools spent a median of just five hours teaching LGBT-related health content. Some 33 percent provided no LGBT-related instruction during students' clinical years, which is when students receive the most hands-on training, and nearly 4 percent of schools reported not covering LGBT health at all."


9-06-11:  Philly Magazine: "Preview: Gender Reel – A new festival changes the way we look at gender through art starting this week"

"What is gender? That’s the big question the creators of Gender Reel, the East Coast’s only multimedia festival addressing gender issues, are asking when it kicks off Sept. 9th through the 11th at venues around town. Non-conforming, variant and transgender and transsexual experiences will all be documented using visual art, film and other mediums that include 16 artists, three installations and 27 films in this first-ever festival of its kind in Philly."


9-04-11:  The Local (Sweden): "Moderates backpedal on sex change law"

"Sweden has taken further steps towards changing the law on gender reassignment. The governing Moderates have now taken a stand against the disputed law, and its demands of sterilisation and divorce.

The party board is now suggesting that the more than 40 year-old law be scrapped."We don't see it as modern, and it doesn't fit with our view of human beings," said party secretary Sofia Arkelsten to the TT news agency.

Today, those who wish to undergo a sex change operation must first sterilise themselves. They must also, if married, first get divorced. "There's no point in making people get divorced and then get married again," said Arkelsten.

The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) suggested last year that the law be changed, and a large majority of the Riksdag support this."


9-02-11:  WAMU: "D.C. Police Officer To Appear In Court For Shooting At Transgender Women"

"D.C. Police Officer Kenneth Furr will appear in court Friday to answer charges that he shot at five people inside a car, wounding two transgendered women and their male friend during an early morning altercation last week. Activists call it the latest evidence of homophobia and transgender phobia within the police department.

Court documents quote witnesses as claiming that Furr, who was off duty and in plainclothes at the time, stood on the hood of the victims' car and shot through the windshield while yelling, 'I'm going to kill all of you.""


9-02-11:  Radio New Zealand International (re French Polynesia): "Tahiti mayor fined for opposing sex change marriage"

"A mayor in French Polynesia has been convicted for abuse of power after he refused to marry a couple because the woman had had a sex change. The court of appeal has fined Thomas Moutame, who is the mayor of Taputapuatea on Raiatea, 5,000 US dollars. Moutame has also been ordered to pay 1,800 dollars to the couple.

In 2007, he refused to officiate despite the couple presenting a document of a tribunal which showed that it recognised that the bride no longer was a man. Moutame claimed religious and moral objections to the sex change and unsuccessfully appealed his conviction."


9-02-11:  Fox News: "Don't Let Your Kids Watch Chaz Bono On 'Dancing With the Stars'", by Dr. Keith Ablow (more, more)

"The last thing vulnerable children and adolescents need, as they wrestle with the normal process of establishing their identities, is to watch a captive crowd in a studio audience applaud on cue for someone whose search for an identity culminated with the removal of her breasts, the injection of steroids and, perhaps one day soon, the fashioning of a make-shift phallus to replace her vagina.

It is a toxic and unnecessary byproduct of the tragic celebration of transgender surgery that millions of young people who do watch "Dancing with the Stars" will have to ponder this question: Maybe my problems really stem from the fact that I’m a girl inside a boy’s body (or a boy inside a girls body). Maybe I’m not a tomboy; I’m just a boy! Maybe I’m not just being bullied because I’m a sensitive, reflective young man interested in flowers, not football. Maybe I’m not just uncertain about my sexuality. Maybe I’m a girl! Maybe all this angst and suffering I’m feeling as I emerge into puberty and pass through it isn’t just because I’m changing, but because I should change completely—and have my breasts removed or my penis amputated!"

[Fox News' resident psychiatrist Keith Ablow presents the classic Zuckerian view of gender transition, i.e., as an ultimate form of failure of traditional trans-reparative therapy.]



August 2011


8-30-11:  ABC News: "(Extra)Ordinary Family: Inside the Transgender World"

"Young boys who say they are really little girls, girls who say they want to become men and their families who help cope with their children's extraordinary decisions are the people profiled in this week's edition of "Primetime Nightline."

From a 10-year-old who has felt trapped in the wrong body for years to a "trans-regret," a man who is one of the few people in the world to have changed his gender from a man to a woman and back again, "Primetime Nightline" looks at the issues surrounding transgender. "


8-25-11:  TS "Kenneth Zucker’s cronyism and pathologizing ideologies about trans youth examined"

"The psychological literature on trans and gender-nonconforming youth has been infected by pathological science emanating from Toronto since the 1970s. Psychologists Y. Gavriel Ansara and Peter Hegarty have just published a paper examining the academic logrolling and cronyism that led to the pathological science emanating from an “invisible college” centered on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The main culprits are Kenneth Zucker, Susan Bradley, James Cantor, Ray Blanchard, Maxine Petersen; see my diagram from an overview of these connections. New faces in the conservative backlash against progressive conceptualizations of gender variance include include criminologist Michele Peterson-Badali and Kelley D Drummond, also both of CAMH . . .

After listing numerous guidelines and policies in place in the fields of psychology and other disciplines, which address the elimination of cisgenderist language and ideology in the field of psychology, they make a clear assessment of the problem and its relationship to Kenneth Zucker and CAMH. They write, “Far from fulfilling a ‘leadership role in working against discrimination towards transgender and gender variant individuals’ (APA, 2008, para 17), the continuation of mis-gendering language in psychology suggests that psychological journal publication policies are falling behind those of other professions.” "


8-25-11: Psychology & Sexuality (published 6-28): "Cisgenderism in psychology: pathologising and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008", by Y. Gavriel Ansara & Peter Hegarty 


We assessed whether recent psychological literature on children reflects or contrasts with the zeitgeist of American Psychological Association's recent non-discrimination statement on ‘transgender’ and ‘gender variant’ individuals. Article records (N = 94) on childhood ‘gender identity’ and ‘expression’ published between 1999 and 2008 inclusive were evaluated for two kinds of cisgenderism, the ideology that invalidates or pathologises self-designated genders that contrast with external designations. Misgendering language contradicts children's own gender assignations and was less frequent than pathologising language which constructs children's own gender assignations and expression as disordered. Articles on children's gender identity/expression are increasingly impactful within psychology. Cisgenderism is neither increasing nor decreasing overall. Mental health professionals are more cisgenderist than other authors. Articles by members of an ‘invisible college’ structured around the most prolific author in this area are more cisgenderist and impactful than other articles. We suggest how authors and editors can implement American Psychological Association policy and change scientific discourse about children's genders."

[Citation: Ansara, Y. G. & Hegarty, P. (2011). Cisgenderism in Psychology: Pathologizing and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008. Psychology & Sexuality, iFirst, 1-24.doi: 10.1080/19419899.2011.576696.]

[This research report is an important contribution to our understanding of the effect of language on the pervasive pathologization of trans people – especially by those psychiatrists and psychologists who claim that they are "studying us", and who are reinforced in their opinions and language usage by the thought-styles of the 'invisible colleges' (academic cliques) they belong to. This report reveals how one invisible college in particular, namely the one led by Zucker at CAMH, has dominated the construction of academic trans-terminology for decades - with particularly damaging impact. (the full paper is now posted online at this site)]


8-25-11: (re Thailand): "Take A Look At Ladyboys"

"Watch the video promo for Sky Living's brand new TV documentary.

Ladyboys is an intriguing and, at times, emotional programme that travels to Thailand to explore the world of male-to-female transgender persons. Here's a taste of what you can expect."

[To air on Sky Living HD: Mon 29 Aug, 10pm]


8-25-11: "Trans in the Media: A Call to Elevate the Conversation", by Janet Mock

"Recently, I read a Tweet from Laverne Cox, reality television producer and actress, that she’d be on The Joy Behar Show with Chaz Bono of the Emmy-nominated documentary Becoming Chaz, Harmony Santana, star of Gun Hill Road, and America’s Next Top Model Isis King. I was elated, as this appeared to be a groundbreaking panel not only with Trans folks, but moderated by CNN host Don Lemon, a newly out gay man of color . . .

. . . by putting Lemon at the helm, producers may have made a glaring assumption: Just because Don Lemon is an African-American gay man does not mean he has the tools, sensitivity and objectivity to wholly report on the trans community without his own inherent transphobia and male/socioeconomic privilege getting in the way.

I don’t know Lemon or the producers of the show, but I do know as a journalist you must check your own privileges, bias and perspective at the door. And when you don’t do your homework, you end up with a lackluster story, and that was what Monday night’s segment on being “Transgender in America” (that was The Joy Behar Show‘s producers tagline) was in my opinion. I applaud HLN and Lemon for this groundbreaking trans panel, but we as journalists have to do better.

And I wasn’t the only trans person upset about Lemon’s line of questioning. Jenn Burleton, executive director of TransActive Education and Advocacy, a Portland-based non-profit which supports trans youth, Tweeted of the interview: “Don L. interview w/ Chaz B. What a bunch of stupid, exploitative, leering, stereotyping questions. He may be gay, but he doesn’t get it.”"

[An important essay. Please distribute widely.]


8-24-11: The New York Times (posted 8-22): “No Surprise for Bisexual Men: Report Indicates They Exist”, By David Tuller (more, more)

"In an unusual scientific about-face, researchers at Northwestern University have found evidence that at least some men who identify themselves as bisexual are, in fact, sexually aroused by both women and men.

The finding is not likely to surprise bisexuals, who have long asserted that attraction often is not limited to one sex. But for many years the question of bisexuality has bedeviled scientists. A widely publicized study published in 2005, also by researchers at Northwestern, reported that “with respect to sexual arousal and attraction, it remains to be shown that male bisexuality exists.”

That conclusion outraged bisexual men and women, who said it appeared to support a stereotype of bisexual men as closeted homosexuals . . .

The new Northwestern study was financed in part by the American Institute of Bisexuality, a group that promotes research and education regarding bisexuality. Still, advocates expressed mixed feelings about the research.

Jim Larsen, 53, a chairman of the Bisexual Organizing Project, a Minnesota-based advocacy group, said the findings could help bisexuals still struggling to accept themselves.

“It’s great that they’ve come out with affirmation that bisexuality exists,” he said. “Having said that, they’re proving what we in the community already know. It’s insulting. I think it’s unfortunate that anyone doubts an individual who says, ‘This is what I am and who I am.’ ”

[Comments: This article describes a complete reversal in the scientific pronouncements of J. Michael Bailey (without ever mentioning his name, even though he was a co-author of both the recent and early papers). Back in 2005, Bailey triggered a major controversy by denying the reality of male bisexuality. He suggested that such men were "lying" about their sexuality, and his claims were widely promoted by New York Times journalist and Bailey-fan Benjamin Carey

The response was immediate back then: Bailey's attack on bisexual men was heavily condemned (more, more) and he's undoubtedly wanted to get out from under that cloud ever since.

In a strange twist of events, the new Bailey study was sponsored by a bisexual advocacy group, in itself revealing how social scientific results can easily be bought and paid for.  In this case, the advocacy group got the 'scientific' results they wanted, but in the process Bailey was positioned to begin distancing himself from his earlier outrageous pronouncements. What's next? Will Bailey claim to be a heroic defender of bisexual people, now that he's 'proven' they exist?]

8-24-11:  Inside Higher Ed: "They Ask. You Needn't Tell"
"It's common for college applications to have optional questions in which would-be students may indicate their race or ethnicity. In what experts believe to be a first, Elmhurst College has released a new undergraduate application that includes an optional question about sexual orientation and gender identity status.

Admitted students who indicate when applying that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered will be eligible for a diversity scholarship worth one-third of tuition.

Advocates for gay students have been encouraging colleges -- thus far without success -- to add such questions. In January, the board of the Common Application discussed and rejected the idea. To date, the closest some colleges have come is to include phrases like "LGBT community" in lists of possible student interests and activities that they might check off -- a check that could indicate support for gay rights or interest in gay issues without requiring a personal declaration about one's identity."


8-23-11:  Instinct Magazine: "Elmhurst College Makes History As First School To Allow LGBT Student Identification"

"Illinois' Elmhurst College will make history by becoming the first school to invite prospective students to identify themselves as LGBT on entrance applications. Follow the jump to hear why the school's director of admission thinks its a great idea, and chime in the comments to let us know if you agree.

Elhumrst is America's first institute of higher-education to provide a demographic question covering sexual orientation and gender identity on its application. According to CampusPride, the decision marks an active choice by the campus to recruit students from the LGBT community.

The application will not force students to answer the question, as it's stated as follows: “Would you consider yourself to be a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community?” Answers include: “Yes,” “No,” or “Prefer not to say.”"


8-23-11:  The Advocate (posted 8-22): "Transgender Woman Forced Into Men's Prison After Alleged Assault" (more)

"Jovanie Saldana A transgender woman in Philadelphia who has been spent the last 14 months incarcerated at Riverside Correctional Facility, the city's only prison for women, is now being moved to the men’s prison after she complained that a correction’s officer forced her to perform oral sex.

Prison officials apparently did not know that Jovanie Saldana, 23, is transgender. But, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, while examining her allegations of assault, investigators recorded Saldana's phone conversations and overheard the inmate's mother chiding Saldana into telling authorities the truth about her gender. After that, Saldana — who has been living and dressing as a female since she was 12 years old — was transferred to a men’s prison."


8-23-11:  The Advocate: "Boyfriend Arrested in Murder of Transgender Woman in New York"

"Equan Southall was arrested last week in connection with the murder of his girlfriend Camila Guzman, a transgender woman found stabbed to death in her East Harlem apartment earlier this month.

DNAinfo reports on the arrest of Southall, a 25-year-old man from Brooklyn who had been in a relationship with Guzman for four months. The victim was found dead August 1 with multiple stab wounds to her back . . .

Guzman, who was 38, came to New York from Chile nearly a decade ago seeking the opportunity to live openly as a transgender woman. Friends and advocates memorialized her and called for justice during a vigil August 11 in East Harlem."


8-23-11:  Think Spain (Spain): "Man who became a woman goes back to being a man because of ‘discrimination’"

"A woman who used to be a man and found herself homeless, jobless and humiliated is now in treatment to become a man again . . .

She says whenever she applies for a job and has to show her national identity card – which has her birth name, Juan Daniel Turuelo, on it – she is immediately out of the running because of the ‘media pressure’ the companies claim they would suffer.

In March 2010, she and her mother were left homeless and jobless as a result of the recession, and were offered shared rooms in a shelter by Valencia city council. However, Adriana was forced to sleep in the men’s dormitory and use the gents’ bathroom, which she and her mother found distressing and humiliating.

Deciding they would rather sleep on the street than put up with the situation, they travelled to Madrid but, being unable to get help because of difficulties in registering Adriana on the census, they returned to Valencia in June of the same year.

As a result of their ordeal, Adriana has finally decided to go back to being a man so that the name on her DNI card matches her gender."


8-22-11:  The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): "An elegant charm was her best material: Rose Jackson, 1935 - 2011 " (more)

"Even people who never met Rose Jackson or saw her on stage might have gained a glimpse into her warm and gracious personality. Whereas Terence Stamp is said to have based his version of the transsexual Bernadette in the film Priscilla: Queen of the Desert on Carlotta of Les Girls fame, Tony Sheldon, who has played the part on stage in Australia, London and New York, says he based his classy, ever-so-tender Bernadette on Rose.

Rose Jackson was born Barry Charles Jackson on September 11, 1935, in Paddington, the son of Trevor Jackson and his wife, Ruby, and said she knew ''from the minute she was born'' a male body was not right for her. She was trying on Ruby's clothes and make-up from the age of five."


8-20-11:  The Windsor Star (Canada): "Transgender challenges – Firms' diversity guidelines get an update"

"Companies in Canada have come a long way in welcoming diversity into the workplace.

Policies supporting GLBT workers - gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender - have been on the books for about five years. Yet transphobia remains a concern for the community, with many choosing not to disclose their transition for fear of harassment or harm.

Increasingly, companies are taking a hard look at existing language around diversity inclusion in the office and undertaking rigorous rewrites to specifically identify and address the needs of transgender workers."


8-19-11:  The List (UK): "Tomboy: Childhood gender identity struggle handled subtly and beautifully"

"As the title suggests, this quietly beautiful film is about a little girl who wants to look and act like a boy. But given that indicator, audiences may still be surprised when writer/director Celine Sciamma reveals that the character they’ve been introduced to as Michael is actually Laure. That’s a measure of 10 year-old Zoé Héran’s incredibly convincing performance, and it also ensures the believability of the film’s central conceit; that Laure can successfully pass for a boy with the children in her new neighbourhood."


8-19-11:  The New York Times: "The High Price of Looking Like a Woman "

"Pumpers and their desperate transgender clients operate in an underground world rarely glimpsed by most New Yorkers. But the practice is commonplace, especially among immigrant and poor women, according to dozens of transgender women, social-service providers and doctors interviewed in recent months. Although there are no reliable statistics on the number of transgender people in the city, a recent study prepared by the health department estimated it at 12,500. And according to the same study, 22 percent of transgender women have had silicone injections.

For these women, yearning to appear more feminine, and unable to afford gender reassignment surgery, pumping can seem like a relatively cheap and easy shortcut. The names of pumpers travel by word of mouth, handed down from older women to younger ones just beginning the process of transition. Some operate in teams, renting a hotel room and holding a pumping party to inject 10 or 20 women at a time. It is a dangerous, and sometimes fatal, practice."


8-18-11:  NBC Philadelphia: ":Transgender Contestant Returns to "America's Next Top Model" – Model has undergone gender reassignment surgery"

"Transgender model Isis King will be back to compete on the upcoming season of "America's Next Top Model."

King, 25, was living in a homeless shelter in 2008 when she first approached show officials about competing as a girl "born in the wrong body." Show host and producer Tyra Banks liked the idea and King became one of 14 finalists for the eleventh cycle of the show, placing tenth.

On her blog, King hinted that she might present herself differently this time around. "I was depicted on ANTM as a very timid individual, but I'm the COMPLETE opposite," she said. "I have never sat quiet in a corner for any reason, and I never will!"

King was undergoing hormone therapy when she first did the show, but has since undergone a sex change, according to her Facebook page."


8-18-11:  Lambda Legal: "Lambda Legal Reaches Settlement with Philadelphia Youth Detention Facility That Tormented Transgender Girl"

"(Philadelphia, PA August 18, 2011) - Today Lambda Legal announced the resolution of a discrimination complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) against the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Youth Study Center (YSC) among others. Lambda Legal filed the complaint on behalf of L.P. a now 18-year-old transgender woman who was physically attacked by other residents and verbally abused by staff every day for almost a year and a half when she lived in the youth facility."


8-18-11:  SDGL News: "Youth detention center settles case involving tormenting of transgender girl"

"A discrimination complaint has been settled with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) against the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Youth Study Center (YSC), among others.

Lambda Legal filed the complaint on behalf of L.P., now a 18-year-old transgender woman who was physically attacked by other residents and verbally abused by staff every day for almost a year and a half when she lived in the youth facility . . .

In February 2008, a Family Court Judge ordered DHS to provide L.P. with all appropriate medical treatment for Gender Identity Disorder (GID), including hormone therapy and mandated that her female gender identity be respected.

However, YSC staff and administrators failed to treat the girl in accordance with her female gender identity. They refused to refer to her by her preferred female name and to use female pronouns. YSC staff also refused her access to clothing and grooming options that matched her gender identity and reprimanded her for acting in a feminine manner.  When she asked to be referred to by her preferred female name, YSC staff told her: "You ain’t no f**king female, you are a dude . . . Till you get your dick cut off, I’m not going to call you [by your female name.]""


8-17-11:  Des Moines Register: "Former Johnston student begins new life as man"

"Charlie Poulson remembers the moment vividly. He was Chloe Coulter then, and Chloe was a student at Johnston Middle School.

Chloe had told her mother that she was gay and one night blurted out the question that had been on her mind for quite some time: “Mom, is there an operation that can turn me into a boy?”

Poulson remembers feeling elated upon learning there was a way to change. “I knew at that point that I had to find out all I could so I could have that operation,” he said recently.

Today, at 20, Poulson is living as a man in preparation for gender reassignment surgery that is scheduled for May. The operation, the Johnston resident said, will help him make the physical transition that will “finally put me into the body I was meant to be in.”"


8-17-11:  Windy City Times: "TSA police concern for transgender travelers"

"Allyson Robinson is a veteran traveler. For her position as associate director of diversity for the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) , she has flown about twice a month for the last three years.

Last year, she logged 65,000 miles. However, Robinson has said that nothing makes her more nervous than checking into an airport.

Robinson is like many transgender people, who say that pre-flight screening rules and security scans present a unique set of challenges for transgender travelers."


8-16-11:  San Francisco Chronicle: "Transgender woman settles DMV suit"

"A transgender woman who went to the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco to record her sex change - and then got a letter from a DMV clerk saying homosexual acts were "an abomination that leads to hell" - will receive a $55,000 legal settlement, her lawyers said Monday.

Attorneys said Amber Yust's settlement includes $40,000 from the state and $15,000 from Thomas Demartini, who was suspended with pay by the DMV shortly after the incident and quit his job in December . . .

Yust, a 23-year-old software engineer, went to the DMV's Fell Street office in October to record her new name and gender on her driver's license. She said Demartini expressed no objection while processing her application. But four days later, she said, she got a letter from Demartini that warned her of eternal damnation and referred her to the website of a fundamentalist church, the Most Holy Family Monastery. Yust said she received a DVD from the church the same day, predicting hellfire for anyone "possessed by demons" of homosexuality."


8-16-11:  The Daily Mail (UK re US): "He's all man now: A fuzzy-faced Chaz Bono shows off his beard for the first time as he runs errands round Los Angeles"
"Two years after he started his gender reassignment process, Chaz Bono appears to have completely made the transition from female to male.

He was snapped sporting a new beard as he ran errands round Los Angeles yesterday. The 42-year-old looked all man with his facial hair and short cropped hair as he filled up his car.

Dressed in shorts and a vest top, Chaz teamed his look with a chunky bracelet, designer watch and aviator sunglasses. Appearing oblivious to the cameras, he waited for his car to fill before heading off on his busy day around the city."

[The UK tabloids continually run paparazzi-photos of trans people, they and their readers being pruriently obsessed by gender variance.]


8-16-11:  Bilerico Report: "Yvonne Cook Riley: The Invention of Transgender", Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

"I returned yesterday from Kindred Spirits, a transgender spiritual retreat held in Hot Springs, North Carolina, at the old Sunnybank Inn, built in the 1840s. There, several of us sitting around the porch one night, slapping at the gnats, had a fascinating hour-long discussion with Yvonne Cook-Riley. Yvonne was very involved in the trans movement in the 80s and early 90s. She's retired now, and lives a quiet and spiritual life in North Carolina. She was a tireless advocate for the community back in the day, however, and there wasn't any place one could look without seeing her. Something she said about the transgender movement fascinated me. She said she was the founder of the transgender movement."


8-16-11: USA Today: "'Car Show' host Adam Carolla retracts anti-transgender slurs"

"Adam Carolla, host of The Car Show on the Speed Channel, is sliding into damage-control mode over his comments taking aim at transgender people . . . reports that Carolla said on a podcast, "When did we start giving a s--- about (transgender) people?" last week . . .

Carolla's comments were recorded as part of the podcast for his other show, The Adam Carolla Show, and he has allegedly taken shots at gays in the past. TMZ says Carolla has said that the acronym LGBT (for lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) should stand for YUCK instead."


8-16-11:  Baltimore Sun (LTE): "Beating shows the need for more education on transgender hardships", by Daryl Hannah

"Over the past three months, there have been countless retellings of the unfortunate incident in which two young women, Teonna Monae Brown and an unnamed girl, severely assaulted Chrissy Lee Polis, a transgender woman, because of her gender identity ("Woman, 19, pleads guilty in transgender beating case," Aug 5).

This horrific incident is symbolic of a larger problem that is not limited to Maryland. It is evidence of a culture that still does not accept its transgender brothers and sisters. We need more public education around the everyday hardships that transgender individuals face, from using public transportation and showing identification to interviewing for jobs, filling out employment or housing applications, and obtaining medical care. Until more of the media stops under-representing or misrepresenting transgender people, none of this will change."


8-15-11:  Autostraddle: "Andrej Pejic, “The Prettiest Boy in the World,” Models Through It"

"When female models do drag we think it’s hot and edgy or a whole new kind of beautiful. We love the girls in suits and suspenders, the girls with dirt on their faces or ties around their necks. We like girls in “boyfriend jeans” and girls posing like boys next to girls dressed like girls. We put them in ads and we put them on the runway and we put them on our tumblrs and on our walls and it’s mostly okay . . .

But where is the love for men who fuck with gender on their own terms? Where are the effeminate men? They’re plentiful behind the runway, but in mainstream culture male cross-dressing is almost always treated as a punchline or a perversion and effeminate behavior or attire is scorned and ridiculed . . .

Enter Andrej Pejic, who appears on the cover of New York Magazine’s annual Fashion Issue in a story entitled “The Prettiest Boy in the World.”"


8-15-11:  New York Magazine: "The Prettiest Boy in the World – Many people are blessed with beauty. Some even make a career of it. But very few can work both sides of the runway."

" When he first showed up at the Chadwick agency in Melbourne, Australia, the town where he grew up, he was quickly signed and just as quickly told he would be unlikely to find much work in the relatively macho Australian market: He was too beautiful to be an obvious choice for men’s campaigns, but he was not actually a woman. The next year, after Pejic graduated from high school and moved to London, his extreme androgyny made it difficult for him even to secure a British agent. “I remember it was raining and horrible,” he tells me. “I was walking in a street without an umbrella—it was a really dramatic, kind of movie moment—and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, I came to London, I spent my mom’s money, I’m not even gonna get an agency.’ ” He giggles in a low register and continues, “It was like ­Madonna going to Hollywood.” At Storm, the fifth agency he visited, owner Sarah Doukas—known for discovering Kate Moss—decided to take a chance on him. “When I first met ­Andrej, I didn’t think, What a beautiful boy or girl,” Doukas says. “I certainly didn’t want to put him in one particular box.” The agency posted him not just on the men’s board but also on the women’s."


8-15-11:  Helsignin Sanomat (Finland): "More Finns applying for gender reassignment treatment – Younger people applying for surgery"

“At school my friends asked me if I’m a transvestite, because I dressed in men’s clothing. I said that I’m not. As I see it, a transvestite dresses in the clothing of the opposite sex now and then. I wanted to be a man all the time”, says Thomas, who is undergoing gender reassignment treatment.
Thomas, 18, is a trans man, who is in the process of fixing his gender from female to male.

Younger people than before have been applying to fix their gender. “We are getting many referrals from people 18 years old and younger. The change has come in the past couple of years”, says psychiatrist Veronica Pimenoff at the research clinic for gender identity at the Helsinki University Central Hospital. Similar developments have been seen at the Trans Clinic at the Tampere University Hospital, Finland’s other centre of transgender research and treatment."


8-15-11:  ABC News: "Transgender Love: When Husband Becomes Wife"

"When Diane Daniel met her husband Wessel, she was attracted to his smile, quiet humor and gentleness -- "and of course his Dutch accent." Though it shocked her, she dismissed the occasional cross-dressing as they dated and lived together as just part of his nerdy nonconformity.

But two months into their marriage in 2004, her husband revealed at dinner that he wanted to live as a woman, and the couple embarked on a long wrenching jouney to stay together.

Wessel is now Lina, and at 47, she has transitioned publicly from male to female.

Diane, now 53 and a freelance writer living in North Carolina, describes in a recent story in the Boston Globe, "Goodbye Husband, Hello Wife," how her life was turned on its head when she learned her husband was transgender."


8-15-11:  The News International (Pakistan): "‘Couple’ murdered over transgender marriage"

"A 28-year-old man, Kamran, and his 21-year-old transgender ‘spouse’ were shot dead in the Orangi Town police limits on Sunday.

Two suspects, Javed and Zohaib, barged into their house near the Qatar Hospital in Orangi Town and opened fire at them.

The assailants managed to flee after carrying out the attack. The victims died on the spot as a result of the shooting."


8-14-11:  Boston Herald: "Trial points up schools’ challenge handling student gender identity issues"

"Brandon McInerney is the defendant in the Los Angeles courtroom, accused of bringing a gun to his middle school and killing gay classmate Larry King. But as the case unfolds, the school itself has come under scrutiny.

One teacher after another has testified in the murder trial about their deep worries that King’s feminine attire and taunting behavior could provoke problems — and that E.O. Green Junior High administrators ignored them.

It wasn’t just that King, 15, had begun wearing makeup and women’s spiked-heeled boots, witnesses testified. It was that he seemed to relish making the boys squirm at his newly feminized appearance and was taunting them with comments like "I know you want me" . . .

How school officials handled King has emerged as a major theme of McInerney’s defense attorneys, who acknowledge that the boy pulled the trigger but say that he was pushed to the breaking point by King’s taunts.

The trial testimony, and defense arguments that school officials mishandled the situation, highlight the struggle that many schools face: how to protect the civil rights of gay and transgender children while addressing the tensions that the issue can cause on campuses."


8-13-11:  Reuters (re Cuba): "Gay man marries transsexual woman in Cuban first"  (more, more)

"A gay dissident and a transsexual woman married on Saturday in what was said to be a first for Cuba, then draped themselves in the rainbow flag of gay pride and rode through the streets of Havana.

In a simple civil ceremony surrounded by much hoopla, Ignacio Estrada, 31, and Wendy Iriepa, 37, signed a marriage certificate, exchanged rings and kissed before a state official, who wished them much happiness.

It was not technically a same-sex marriage, which is prohibited in Cuba, and drew no interference from authorities because Iriepa is legally a woman after undergoing Cuba's first state-sanctioned sex change operation in 2007.

But the wedding, held on Fidel Castro's 85th birthday in what the couple had called a "gift" to the former leader, was aimed at advancing homosexual rights in Cuba and tinged with politics as some of Cuba's best-known dissidents participated and U.S. diplomats attended in a public show of support."


8-13-11:  Vancouver Sun (Canada): "Companies are changing to support transgender employees – When workers undergo a change in gender, their employers need to address new needs"

"The war for talent has pushed many of the country's largest and most button-down firms to the leading edge of corporate policy in a bid to attract the best workers into their fold.

Policies supporting GLBT workers - gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender - have been on the books for about five years.

Yet, somehow, the "T" in that combination has remained under the radar. Transphobia remains a real concern for the community, with many choosing not to disclose their transition for fear of harassment or harm.

"The transgender community is where the gay and lesbian community was 20 years ago," said Lisa Paley, a TD Bank human resources counsellor in Vancouver, in reference to societal levels of recognition and acceptance.

Now that's changing, too. Increasingly, companies are taking a hard look at existing language around diversity inclusion in the office and undertaking rigorous rewrites to specifically identify and address the needs of transgender workers."


8-12-11:  Macleans Magazine (Canada): "When boys would rather not be boys – Kids are being diagnosed—and identifying themselves—as transgendered younger than ever before"

"Treatment of GID is highly controversial. Some experts believe that the best way to help children and teens is to convince them to accept their bodies and not undergo the therapies that will cause dramatic physical changes. Cormac, however, lives in Vancouver, where pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Daniel Metzger and the B.C. Transgender Care Group are based. The loosely organized group, of which Metzger is a member, is the sole provider of care for transgender youth in B.C. and offers the most extensive suite of medical services for GID adolescents in Canada. Metzger believes that the best course of treatment for teenagers diagnosed with GID is hormone therapy: either blockers to stop puberty or, if post-pubescent, hormones that physically alter the body in a way that reflects their chosen gender. For some teens like Cormac, who are confident, psychologically stable and have family support, this transformation can be complemented further with cosmetic surgery . . .

Transgender experts like Harvard Medical School professor and endocrinologist Dr. Norman Spack, co-director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s clinic for disorders of sexual differentiation, speaks highly of the B.C. Transgender Care Group. In fact, Spack deems the B.C. program one of the more progressive in the world . . .

Some specialists question whether such a metamorphosis is appropriate for young patients. Psychologist Kenneth Zucker, who heads Toronto’s Gender Identity Service in the Child, Youth, and Family Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, leans toward counselling to get his patients—especially the younger ones—to accept their birth sex . . .

Harvard’s Spack is well acquainted with Zucker’s contributions to the study and treatment of GID in children and adolescents. The transgender medical fraternity worldwide, Spack adds, generally supports Zucker’s data showing that about 80 per cent of prepubescent children who identify as the opposite gender will change their minds, while 20 per cent will persist. However, Spack disagrees with Zucker’s counselling methods, which reflect the Toronto psychologist’s fundamental assumption that encouraging a child to play and dress in a way that reflects their biological sex may help them to grow out of their GID. Children who undergo this type of psychological therapy can be devastated by it, Spack believes."

[Zucker's trans-reparatist methods for forcibly suppressing gender variance in children come under increasing public scrutiny.]


8-12-11:  The Advocate: "Convictions Upheld in Colorado Transgender Murder"

"In a ruling Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the 2009 convictions of Allen Andrade for the hate-motivated murder of Angie Zapata.

In a case that drew national attention because it was believed to be the first to charge a suspect with murder as a hate crime based on gender identity, Andrade was convicted of first-degree murder and other counts for beating 18-year-old Angie Zapata to death with a fire extinguisher after learning she was transgender . . .

In his appeal, a lawyer for Andrade argued that jurors should have been informed that the suspect was intoxicated during the murder and that a fire extinguisher found along a highway should not have been admitted into evidence. The appeals court, however, ruled that the trial court acted appropriately."


8-11-11:  The London Times (UK): "I tried very hard to be male, but it just did not work out - Robin White alks to Frances Gibb about the positive reaction to her life changing decision"

"This week a press notice goes out from Jane McNeill, QC, the head of chambers, announcing that White will be "continuing her practice from August 2011", adding, "we are pleased that Robin has felt able to undertake the challenge of gender change". A less obvious announcement card will go to solicitors and friends, stating simply that Robin White will be known from August 15 as Ms Robin Moira [a newly adopted middle name] White.

Transsexuals are rare but not unknown in the law. What is unusual, though, is to go public in this way. The reaction, White says, has been strongly positive. "The clerks, members of chambers and equally my professional and lay clients have been wonderfully supportive. In a sense the law does provide a level of political correctness, to which one is due, but I have had so much more than that."


8-11-11:  New York Times: "We Want Cake, Too"

"I thought of this line after New York passed its marriage-equality law in June. Since then, gay men and lesbians have been lining up from Fire Island to Niagara Falls in order to tie the knot.

As this wave of progress ripples through the country, though, one group of people has been prominently left behind. In conversations with transgender people, again and again, I hear the refrain: Enjoy your cake, folks. Meanwhile, the rest of us remain at risk for discrimination and violence.

More than a few transgender people feel they’ve been sold out by the gay-rights movement and lament the way the “T” in “L.G.B.T.” always comes last. It makes me think, “A bunch of straight people in a room? That’s a conversation. A bunch of L.G.B.T. people in a room? That’s an argument.”"


8-11-11:  Metro (UK re Ecuador; posted 8-02): "Transphobia: The battle for change – Hate crimes against lesbians, gays and bisexuals are rising, according to the UN. But so too are attacks on the transgender community"

"‘I knew I was different when I was a child,’ says Diane Rodríguez, a transgender activist. ‘I used to play with boys, not because I liked how they played but because I liked them. Now I realise it was because I had the mentality that I was a girl.’

Diane used to be Luis. Last year, after suffering discrimination at work, she set a legal precedent in Ecuador when she fought for the right to officially change her name from male to female. She is now fighting for the right to change her gender on legal documents too.

I meet her at the offices of Silueta X, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the foundation she set up at the same time she launched her legal battle, which helps transgender people deal with legal, health and education issues.

A frequent problem she comes across is transgender people being kicked out of home, leaving them with no option but to turn to prostitution . . .

It’s something close to Rodríguez’s heart, as she was banished from home by her stepfather. ‘I had to work on the streets for one week,’ she says. ‘If my mother hadn’t found me and taken me back, I would still be working on the streets now.’"


8-11-11:  The Fiji Times (Fiji): "Transgender network seeks empowerment"

"The transgender community lives as the opposite sex to that assigned at birth, says reigning Adi Senikau winner Rani Ravudi. "We might be born male or female but we live our lives 24/7 as the opposite of the sex assigned at birth," Ms Ravudi said.

Her comments come as the United Nations AIDS agency announced its withdrawal as a financial sponsor of the Adi Senikau pageant, an annual event at the Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus Festival. The UNAIDS said they would instead focus on developmental projects to facilitate the needs of the minority community."


8-09-11:  Polskie Radio (Poland): "Poland to create transsexual law?"

"Poland’s Ombudsman for human rights has appealed to the justice minister to change the legal situation of Polish transsexuals, so they do not have to seek permission from their parents in court in order to legally change their gender.

Ombudsman Irena Lipowicz is making the move following a request from the Trans-fusion organization, which helps people with what is considered a gender identity disorder . . .

“In order to help transsexual persons who want to undergo a gender re-assignment process, the supreme court, faced by the lack of a relevant law, created a by-pass, a way to achieve this in compliance with the law. But this by-pass became a source of more suffering and confusion, as the transsexual person has to sue his or her parents,” says the Ombudsman."


8-09-11:  Boston Globe: "Goodbye husband, hello wife – He had come to the realization he was a woman with clarity and joy. I reacted with confusion and despair"

"I am not a transgendered person, but I am happily married to one. Her name is Lina and she is a “male-to-female’’ transsexual. She is 47, and I am 53.

We met at Logan Airport on Valentine’s Day in 2003, when we both lived in the area (we have since moved to North Carolina for work). I had left The Boston Globe copy desk the year before to be a freelance writer, and I wrote about a crazy ice-skating trip he took in my column for the Globe Travel section, “Where They Went.’’ After that, we dated, fell in love, lived together, and married.

The things I loved about Wessel are what I love about Lina, and, yes, in a romantic way. She is big-hearted, intelligent, emotionally mature, athletic, and adventurous. She has great legs.

We had been together for almost two years, but married for only two months, when Wessel shared his news. He wanted to be my wife, not my husband. He had come to this realization with a sense of clarity and joy. I reacted with confusion and despair."


8-08-11:  The Canadian (Canada): "Transgender: Anger or Humour, How to respond?", by Brianna Austin

"As trans people we run into ignorance all the time. I have often said to friends that when they get angry at some crude, rude or nasty comment that "you give away too much power."  What I meant by that was, that when you allow someone to "push your buttons," you're essentially giving them control over your actions . . . 

In the end, we are new to people in the mainstream, and many, especially young straight guys, are intimidated and insecure. So, to cover it up they try their hand at an insult for laughs. Our society breeds contempt and insult, just watch any of the late night talk shows. So I say, there is too much drama in the world already, why add to it. Does it make you feel better to be hostile in trying to make a statement? Get over it, and make your point by example: live and let live with a smile. Even if the other person is a little slow to grab the idea, usually they’ll realize how silly they are acting in time."


8-08-11: The Canadian (Canada): "Does dating a Transgender woman make a guy gay?"

"The short answer is NO. Let me personally make clear the reason why males who date transsexuals aren't gay. Firstly, it must be known that every man has their very own likes and dislikes in terms of sexuality and emotional companionship. Many "straight" men are not as straight as they say they're, but that doesn't necessarily make them gay or bisexual. Simply due to the fact society likes to label people with straight, gay or bisexual doesn't mean everyone suits those categories. In the Transgender Dating world those terms don't always match up to reality. Additonally, transgenderism has nothing related to sexual orientation.

Lots of men will look for transsexuals for dating and love simply because they feel that transsexuals are in fact more feminine than genetic women. Yes, that's right....MORE feminine! In addition , men find that genetic women who live lots of hangups within the bedroom department they feel transsexuals don't have."


8-08-11:  Daily Mail (UK): "Was Wallis Simpson all woman? There's been always been speculation about her sexual make-up. Now in a major reassessment her biographer uncovers new evidence"

"The first time the future King of England met Wallis Simpson, she left little impression. After all, she was neither young nor beautiful. Her face was square-jawed and masculine, with an unfortunate mole. Her voice had an unpleasant rasp, according to many aristocrats who knew her, and her idea of wit was raucous American wisecracks.

The person responsible for introducing her in January, 1931, to Edward, then the Prince of Wales, was his mistress Thelma Furness . . . Yet, just three years later, this homely, twice-married American had displaced Thelma and become the latest mistress of the blond and blue-eyed prince who was a pin-up for millions. Not only that, but he had fallen so violently and obsessively in love that he was prepared to give up the throne in order to marry her.

Those in the know shook their heads in disbelief. How on earth had a plain woman, in her late 30s managed to bewitch the most eligible bachelor in the world? What sinister hold did she have over him? And what were her secrets?"


8-08-11:  New York Times (posted 8-05): "For Transgender Triathlete, a Top Finish in New York Is Secondary"

"After finishing in Central Park on Sunday, participants in the New York City Triathlon will huddle around the results pages, analyzing split times and category rankings. Chris Mosier, 31, will not be among them.

Mosier is transgendered and will be competing in the triathlon for the first time as a man. In 2009, he completed the 1.1-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6.1-mile run in 2 hours 39 minutes, good enough for 27th place in the women’s 25-29 category. Now racing in the men’s 30-34 field, one of the most competitive in the race, Mosier says he will be lucky to finish in the middle of the pack. Instead of focusing on results, Mosier said, he just wants to enjoy racing his peers.

“Until recently I still was holding on to that idea of finishing in a very high place in my category,” Mosier said. “Now I don’t expect to finish as high. I just want to enjoy being comfortable in the race.”"


8-07-11:  Gainsborough Standard (UK): "Facing life as a woman"

"Her birth certificate says she is a woman. Her passport states she is female. And she has had the operation to ensure that physically she is no longer a man.

But Gina Philbin, who calls herself cross gender, says she still suffers physical and verbal abuse from people who refuse to accept who she is.

The 63-year-old believes that is because she still has masculine facial features."


8-07-11:  Baltimore Sun: "Justice for an entire community – Our view: Guilty plea in beating of transgender woman sends an important message of acceptance"

"The guilty plea Thursday by one of two assailants in the terrible beating of a transgender woman at a Rosedale McDonald's provides not only justice for the victim but also an important message for a community that is still marginalized in this state. Because Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger pursued the case as a hate crime rather than as a simple assault, the guilty plea by Teonna Monae Brown serves as an affirmation that transgender people are welcome in our community and should be allowed to live in peace without fear.

We hope that when he decides on a sentence, Judge John Turnbull II will take into account not just the viciousness of the assault on Chrissy Lee Polis but also the effect the incident had on spreading terror through the transgender community in Maryland. Ms. Brown and her accomplice — who has been punished through the juvenile courts — committed a crime not just against one but against many."


8-06-11:  Bilerico Project (posted 8-01): "Less Than Woman, Less Than Human", Filed By Mercedes Allen" (more)

"Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford have tendered a paper to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, in response to a query regarding the current international status of women. From this exercise, the Commission will be working to "identify emerging trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality."

In their paper, Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford (who if they want to sign their names to this, I'm happy to give them ample credit for it) adamantly and explicitly oppose the extension of basic human rights to transsexuals, under the premise that providing rights protections under the classes of gender identity and gender expression "erodes" womens' rights. Conveniently, Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford waited until the deadline for submissions before making this public, so that transsexuals are not given an opportunity to respond, and once again have no voice at all in the question."


8-05-11:  Washington Post: "Appeals court upholds ruling striking down Wis. ban on hormone therapy for transgender inmates" (more, more)

"A federal appeals court has upheld a judge’s ruling striking down a Wisconsin law banning taxpayer-funded hormone therapy for transgender inmates.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision came Friday in a case brought by a group of male inmates who identify as female. They say they need the hormones to treat their gender identity disorder and not having them would lead to severe health problems.

The state appealed after a federal judge struck down the 2006 law last year. A three-judge panel upheld the ruling, saying denying inmates medical treatment amounted to “torture.”"


8-05-11:  GLAAD: "Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan pens guest column in The New York Times"

"Widely acclaimed author and GLAAD Board Member Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan will take to the op-ed pages of The New York Times this month as the substitute for columnist David Brooks, with her first column, titled “This Astronomical recession,” debuting today.

Boylan now becomes the first transgender woman to serve as guest columnist for the Times – an achievement that falls in a long line of ‘firsts’ for the trailblazing advocate."


8-04-11:  Washington Post (AP): "TSA managers at LA airport get sensitivity training after transgender complaint" (more, more)

"The Transportation Security Administration said Thursday that its managers at Los Angeles International Airport are undergoing mandatory sensitivity training after a transgender employee alleged she was ordered to dress like a man, pat down male passengers and use the men’s restroom.

Ashley Yang, 29, who spent two years as a security checkpoint screener at LAX, was fired last summer after co-workers observed her using the women’s room, according to a copy of her termination letter obtained by The Associated Press. She contested the firing, resulting in a settlement that mandated the training.

“Ashley lives her life as a woman. Her co-workers recognized her as a woman. Passengers recognized her as a woman. But her employer didn’t,” said attorney Kristina Wertz of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center, which helped her file a civil rights complaint. “She was asked to hide who she was just in order to earn a living.”

The settlement, reached in December and completed last month, also called for Yang to receive five months of back pay and a five-figure award for pain and suffering."


8-04-11:  Baltimore Sun: "Teen pleads guilty to beating transgender woman at Rosedale McDonald's – Teonna Monae Brown pleads guilty to assault, hate crime"

"A teenager whose beating of a transgender woman at aRosedale McDonald's was captured on a video that went viral online pleaded guilty Thursday to the attack. Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty in a Baltimore County court to one court of first-degree assault and one count of a hate crime in the attack on Chrissy Polis, 22, said Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

The April attack brought attention nationwide to the plight of transgender people, with thousands signing online petitions and holding rallies.

Prosecutors expect to seek a prison term of five years when Brown is sentenced next month."


8-03-11:  New York Times: Movie Review (NYT Critics Pick): "The Mouth of the Wolf (2009): A Study of Time, Love and Decay in Genoa"

"In a fantastic leap of imagination the film parallels Genoa’s history with the story of two real-life lovers worthy of Jean Genet: the mustachioed, supermacho Vincenzo Motta, known as Enzo, and his gentle transsexual partner, Mary Monaco, who met and fell in love while they were in prison.

As you watch them tell their stories, sitting side by side and flanked by their three dogs in a shabby candlelit apartment in a poor section of town, it is impossible not to imagine them as two of Genet’s outlaw lovers, at last released from prison, who have settled down together 20 years later. Enzo, who is probably in his 50s and has a craggy, hatchet face of a handsomer Jack Palance, is still a preening stud who caresses and flexes the muscles of his lean body in front of the camera. He insists that the simpering, solicitous Mary is the “dominator” in their relationship; she demurs . . .

She recalls how intimidating she found Enzo, who surprised her by giving her some poems and letters to translate; a wary friendship developed. As she was leaving the library one day, he grabbed her and kissed her on the lips. Below his brutal facade, she later discovered was “the sweetness of a child.” She fell in love with him, she says, when she watched him cry while watching “Bambi.”"


8-03-11:  Film Journal International: Film Review: Gun Hill Road: "Compelling and insightful drama about a Latino New Yorker who returns home from prison and learns that his teenage son is transitioning to female. No melodrama and no clichés, just very real people in a very real situation, told with an immediacy that will grip everyone who sees it."

"First-time writer-director Rashaad Ernesto Green uses his Bronx locations expertly, bringing realism to a story that might seem extreme to some. Wisely, that extremity is muted: There are no great speeches, wild emotional displays or epic confrontations in this film. The truth about people comes out in what is left unsaid and undone, in the conversations and confrontations that are avoided . . .

Newcomer Santana is sensational as Michael/Vanessa. A young transsexual then at the beginning of her transition, she is perfectly cast in this difficult role and gives an easy and natural performance alongside such pros as Morales and Reyes. Green’s script is especially insightful in depicting the transsexual experience and provides real insight into Michael’s need to be Vanessa. That sympathetic and knowing characterization will go a long way in bringing greater understanding of transgender people—just one more virtue of this intelligent and moving film."


8-03-11:  The Local (Sweden): "Liberals push for end to sex change sterilisation"

"A Liberal Party MP is planning to present a motion to Sweden's Riksdag in the autumn to push for a removal of the requirement for compulsory sterilization for those undergoing a sex change.

Barbro Westerholm of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) is set to take the initiative on the issue as soon as the Riksdag reconvenes for the autumn session. "This can not wait any longer," she said.

According to legislation passed in 1972, to undergo a sex change operation a person must be over 18-years-old, a Swedish citizen, be sterilized and unmarried."


8-02-11:  Windy City Media Group: "AAMVA comes out on transgender ID issues"

"In a move that could impact transgender people nationally, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is recommending that transgender drivers be allowed to more easily change the gender markers on their driver's licenses.

AAMVA, the non-profit that makes recommendations on driving issues to every state, is hosting a webinar on transgender issues and driver's licenses Aug. 3. According to Thomas Manuel, AAMVA's program director of driver fitness, they will suggest that transgender drivers be given IDs with their preferred gender marker, so long as a licensed medical provider signs off on it.

"This is a customer service issue as far as we're concerned," said Manuel. "The driver's license has become the de facto form of ID… whatever your gender identity is, that should be on the license."

The news could mean sweeping changes all over the country in the way transgender people navigate not just driver's licenses but daily life."


8-02-11:  Washington Post: "D.C. police probe whether 2 attacks on transgender people were motivated by hate"

"D.C. police are investigating whether two recent attacks on transgender people within a block of each other in Northeast Washington were motivated by hate, police said Tuesday.

The attacks — the first of which was fatal — are not yet classified as hate crimes, but police said they are trying to determine whether the sexual identities of the victims played a role

“I’m very disturbed to learn that a second transgender victim in as many weeks has been targeted with gun violence on a stretch of Dix Street” in Northeast, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said. “In the wake of the first incident, I expressed concern about the possibility of it being a hate crime. This second incident increases that concern.”"


8-01-11:  The Star (Malaysia): "Zaid: Give leeway on sex change"

"Laws and processes enabling people to change their gender should be made easier, Kita president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said. The former de facto law minister said any change in the status of transgenders would not harm others or cause damage to the society.

“We should take people as they are,” Zaid said in reference to the case of Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz, 25, who could not get his name changed to Aleesha Farhana, after undergoing a sex change in Thailand two years ago.

Ashraf died on Saturday after suffering from unstable angina with cardiogenic shock, 12 days after the High Court ruled that there was no legal statute to grant his application based solely on a sex-change operation.

In a tweet, Zaid said, “Bit late isn't? We could have saved her with less hypocrisy and a bit of kindness. What say u Minister?” in response to a report in a Malay newspaper that Ashraf should not be humiliated."


July 2011


7-31-11:  The Star (Malaysia): "Sex-change man dies" (more, more, more)

"Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Ab­­dul Aziz, 25, has died – and so has Aleesha Farhana, the woman he wanted to be. Doctors at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital, where the deceased was admitted on Friday after a heart problem and low blood pressure, said the patient was suffering from unstable angina with cardiogenic shock . . .

The deceased had failed in a bid to carry a woman’s name in the identity card after undergoing a sex change in Thailand two years ago. The family, adhering to a High Court ruling, buried the deceased as a man at the Kampung Seberang Takir Muslim cemetery at 4.30pm.

Mohd Ashraf stirred the nation when the court rejected an application on July 18 to change his gender and name to Aleesha Farhana Abdul Aziz. Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa ruled there was no legal statute to grant the application based solely on a sex-change operation. He said a person’s gender was determined at birth and could not be changed through surgery."

[It almost feels like Alessha died of a broken heart.]


7-29-30:  Seattle Times: "Kids challenge gender identity earlier — and get support: Parents and schools are seeing increasing numbers of children, some as young as kindergartners, who are challenging the gender into which they were born"

"Every few weeks, Aidan Key might get a call: a little boy in school is dressing as a girl — in frilly tops or pink skirts. A girl in first-grade will be returning from a holiday break as a boy.

Public- and private-school administrators and the parents of these kids want guidance navigating such sensitive terrain; they want to help children become comfortable calling a classmate by a new name, or know how and when to refer to another student as he or she.

There was a time when these calls were almost exclusively about middle- and high-school kids. But increasingly they involve children as young as kindergartners — 5- and 6-year-olds who don't believe their bodies match who they feel they are inside . . .

Seeing a growing need, Key approached Children's around 2007 to start a support group similar to one at a hospital in Oakland, Calif. 

Elizabeth McCauley, associate director of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Seattle Children's, said the hospital has many other support groups, so one for gender variant and transgender children and their parents made sense. Fifteen years ago, she said, parents sought help to rid their children of gender-variant behavior. Now, they are more likely to ask for help supporting their children's choices.


7-29-11:  Georgia Straight (Vancouver, Canada): "Study finds discrimination against transgender tenants"

"Marie Little is familiar with tales about the housing woes of transgender persons. Currently the chair of the Vancouver-based Trans Alliance Society, Little has heard several, and the most common of these are of those wanting to rent a place.

The story typically goes like this: the renter calls the number on the ad. The landlord says, “Come on over; you sound good.” The person shows up. Then, all of a sudden, the landlord says, “Oh, it’s taken.”"


7-29-11:  Thompson-Reuters: "Transgender housekeeper sues couple for firing her"

"A woman who worked as an executive housekeeper for a New York City couple is suing them for discrimination after they fired her when they discovered that she was transgender.

In the complaint filed Thursday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, Anastasia St. Clair-Hannah, 42, claims Thompson and Caroline Dean were pleased with her performance until a background check revealed that she had undergone gender-reassignment surgery. She also accused the Deans of failing to pay overtime.

St. Clair-Hannah's attorney, David Fish, said his client has worked as an executive housekeeper and chef for a number of years and is now employed elsewhere."


7-29-11:  The Jerusalem Post (Israel): "Pride and transgender discrimination – The era in which transgendered people accepted their silencing and their marginalization is coming to an end."

"Adi, a transgender woman, was employed in a store in Tel Aviv. From the moment she was hired, her gender variance was apparent to all and was respected by her coworkers. However, the first time she arrived to work wearing makeup and a dress, she was immediately asked to change her clothes. Her managers prohibited her from coming to work dressed as a woman and insisted on addressing her in the masculine form, showing blatant disregard for her gender identity.

When she insisted on her rights, Adi was fired and told that she must inform her employees in writing whether her intention is to work as a "man" or "woman." They made it clear that if she wished to work as a woman, she would not be rehired, whereas if she consented to work as a man her renewed employment would be considered.

Adi is not alone and her story of workplace discrimination unfortunately is not unique. With the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade underway, and the general feeling of advancement of the LGBT rights in Israel, it is important not to forget the path still ahead."


7-28-11:  Corkman (Ireland): "Diane won't quit marriage just because she was a man"

"A Macroom woman who underwent a sex change operation has accused the government of " failing to understand the nuances of the human condition".

This follows the publication of recommendations by an inter-departmental Gender Recognition Advisory Group which, if implemented, would allow a transgender person to bring their legally stated gender into line with they recognise as their real gender. One of the conditions of the recommendation, however, is that any existing marriages that were entered into before the gender change must be annulled or divorced."


7-28-11:  The Irish Times (Ireland; posted 7-25): "Divorce link to transgender recognition is questionable – That a married person seeking gender reassignment should divorce poses questions"

"The recently published report of the inter-departmental Gender Recognition Advisory Group, if implemented, will allow a transgendered person to align his or her legally assigned gender with what he or she experiences as their true gender, provided certain conditions are met. While these recommendations are broadly to be welcomed, the report poses difficult questions of policy that have profound and potentially distressing implications for transgendered persons and their families.

Notably, significant concerns have been raised regarding the proposed requirement that the applicant for gender recognition not be a party to a subsisting marriage or civil partnership. The implication is that transgendered people – as a precondition to the assignment of a new legal gender – must either annul or dissolve any such existing union."


7-28-11:  New York Times: "When They Play Women, It’s Not Just an Act"

"FOR someone whose only acting experience was playing a Boy George lookalike in a high school production of the musical “The Wedding Singer,” Harmony Santana is having an incredible year. Ms. Santana is making her big-screen debut in Rashaad Ernesto Green’s coming-out drama “Gun Hill Road,” which had its premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival . . . It opens commercially in New York on Friday.

But when Ms. Santana goes to sleep at night she does so not as a buzzed-about young starlet but as a resident of Green Chimneys, a group home in Harlem mainly for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. Ms. Santana, who says she is in her early 20s, has been living full time as a woman only since last year.

For “Gun Hill Road,” Mr. Green said, he conducted an extensive search to find the right actor to play Vanessa (born Michael), a shy teenager trying to live openly as a girl while dealing with a disapproving father (Esai Morales) and a supportive mother (Judy Reyes). Mr. Green knew the role would be hard to cast: the actor had to look 16, convincingly convey a Hispanic background and play a transgender character without what he called “significant female development.”

“I looked at attractive gay males who might have had experience with drag to see if they might be able to portray the character,” Mr. Green said. “But they didn’t have the essence I was looking for. There’s a difference between someone who’s pretending to be female and someone who actually believes they are.” He discovered Ms. Santana at the Queens gay pride parade. “She said she was at the beginning of her transition, which was like, ‘Bingo,’ ” Mr. Green said. "


7-28-11:  Cape Cod Times: "Transitioning to the right identity"

"With his thick scruff, broad shoulders and deep voice, Raven Clarke – aka “Ray”– looks every bit the confident, amiable young man. But what his relaxed attitude and gregarious demeanor don't immediately convey is how long it has taken the 24-year-old from Falmouth to get to this point . . .

After years of silent struggle, Clarke stumbled on an article in Teen People magazine that profiled two transgender teens. “It was a light bulb moment,” he says.“They had a little box in the article that said ‘transgender,' and it had the definition, and I fit that so much better than I had ever fit any other definition that I had ever seen.” After discussing multiple alternatives with his parents, Clarke quit school at age 16, after he and his parents decided on home schooling. It was also the easiest way to transition.

After a year of counseling, he received approval to start taking a weekly shot of testosterone, prescribed by an endocrinologist, which he continues to this day. Within a week of starting the testosterone, Clarke says, he felt calmer and happier. His mood stabilized. Physical changes, like facial hair, body weight redistribution and lowering of the voice, took a couple of months. After six months of hormones, 17-year-old Clarke went in for upper torso surgery in a Springfield hospital . . ."


7-28-11:  Inside Higher-Ed: "Women's Colleges and Ex-Women"

"It’s not unheard of to re-issue a degree after an alumna becomes an alumnus – this is at least the third time Mount Holyoke alone has done it – but that’s a pretty straightforward and uncontroversial thing to do; for instance, it’s not uncommon at any given college for graduates to be granted replacement diplomas that reflect their married names.

But for Mount Holyoke, a prestigious college that prides itself on having been educating women since nearly 100 years before they were permitted to vote, the story raises an interesting question: what place do gender roles have at a decidedly feminist institution? Or at any women’s college, for that matter?

It seems that as requests like Waterbury’s become less of an anomaly, these institutions are realizing there’s a conversation to be had."


7-28-11:  The Daily Mail (UK): "He's definitely got his figure back: World's first pregnant man unveils muscular physique after three babies in three years"

"Like any new mother, he was keen to lose the babyweight - but few would be quite so worried about getting a six-pack.

Thomas Beatie, the world's first pregnant man - or male mother - has unveiled his new toned figure, just 12 months after giving birth to his third child in three years . . .

Now he and his wife have completed the family they always dreamed of, and the 37-year-old appears to have started taking testosterone again, helping him develop his muscular physique."


7-28-11:  The Sun (UK): "TranseX Factor – Wannabe Pam's fury at 'tranny' email" (more)

"X FACTOR staff sparked a prejudice row after they slated a transsexual singer in an email - then sent it to her by mistake. The message, criticising the song choices of wannabe Pamela-Michelle Giovanni, was written by two junior researchers - under the subject line "Pam the Tranny".

When the furious 46-year-old contestant saw it, she immediately complained to show chiefs. The researchers were disciplined and a full apology was given to Pam, who auditioned four times in front of producers of the ITV talent show. "


7-27-11:  The Guardian (UK): "A transgender journey: Making space – Juliet Jacques learned to deal with heckling in public, but hadn't anticipated the problems with being 'read' as trans on a night out"  (in the series "A Transgender Journey")

"Pre-transition, I managed my gender difference through careful compartmentalisation. In my teens and early 20s, inferring from the media and my peers that social disapproval could make transsexual living rather complicated at best, I suppressed my "dysphoric" feelings and then disclosed them gradually: first to myself, then friends, more or less in order of how accepting I thought they would be. In other circles, I kept them to myself, reasoning that my family and colleagues (for example) did not yet need to know.

I took a similar approach to presenting as female, starting alone in my bedroom, then moving outwards into places which I understood as safe, and finally doing so everywhere . . . "


7-27-11:  Daily News & Analysis (India): "Probe finds Indore sex change report wrong" (more, more)

"A fact-finding team from National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has found that the report published by a newspaper on genitoplasty was absolutely wrong as the team found no evidence to prove genitoplasty surgery was performed on normal newborn children in Indore.

The team was sent by NCPCR to check the veracity and allegations of the news report published by Hindustan Times on June 26, 2011, saying newborn girls were being converted to boys at the behest of parents wishing for a male child.

The NCPCR team, which included a senior pediatric surgeon and an expert of anatomy and genetics from AIIMS and a medico legal expert from Mumbai, visited six hospitals of the city and collected 82 affidavits of doctors, nurses and support staff. The team also grilled the reporter who had filed the controversial report.

According to them not only the reporter failed to provide any corroborative evidence on her report, but even the facts given by her were wrong."


7-25-11:  Washington Blade: "Emotions run high at vigil for slain trans woman"

"More than 200 people turned out Saturday night, July 23, for a vigil to honor Lashai Mclean, a 23-year-old transgender woman who was shot to death three days earlier in Northeast Washington.

The event took place at the site where police say Mclean was gunned down about 4:30 a.m. near the corner of 61st and Dix Streets, N.E. Among those attending were Mclean’s mother and other grieving family members and relatives . . .

Earline Budd, an official with the local group Transgender Health Empowerment, and Ruby Corado, a member of the D.C. Trans Coalition, were the lead organizers of the vigil. Both described Mclean as a vibrant, charming, and outspoken young woman who made a lasting impression on everyone who came in contact with her.

Budd and other transgender activists have said workplace discrimination against transgender people often forces young transgender women into prostitution as a means of survival."


7-24-11:  Miller-McCune: "Transgender Issues Hidden in Same-Sex Marriage Debate"

"Same-sex marriage has been a hot item for more than a decade. It gained attention in the 1990s with the Defense of Marriage Act, which, when enacted, maintained that marriage was between one man and one woman — in other words, same-sex marriages, which were then beginning to be performed by the states, would not be recognized at the federal level.

But Defense of Marriage Act’s black-and-white distinction overlooks the transgender community . . . This less common gender issue is largely ignored in the same-sex marriage debate, and laws surrounding marriage reflect this gap."


7-23-11:  YouTube (posted 7-19/7-23): "A Parent's Perspective: Part 1", by Moonfire1777 (Part 2; Part3)

"My mom and I are answering your questions!"

[Moonfire and her mom answer a wide range of questions sent in by YouTube viewers. An informative series of videos; especially valuable for helping parents understand trans issues.  See also Moonfire's blogspost and Facebook pages. ]


7-23-11:  Q Notes: "Transgender faith conference seeks to educate, empower – First TransFaith In Color Conference held in Charlotte July 29-31"

"The LGBT community was nearly ripped apart in 2007 during the months-long debate that ultimately stripped transgender protections out of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Versions of the bill since then have included gender-identity along with sexual orientation, but deep and unhealed wounds still exist between some transgender leaders and the larger LGB community.

Bishop Tonyia Rawls, founder of the Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte, says it was that debate which first drove her to help solve some of the rifts that have developed between transgender people and wider communities of the LGB and faith movements."


7-23-11:  The Atlantic (posted 7-13): "Bradley Manning, the Person: The Making of the World's Most Notorious Leaker – Transcripts of chats with Adrian Lamo give us new insight into the making of Manning's conscience" (more, more)

"He was the conscience that sparked these international controversies. He was the human being who felt he had to speak out. And he was a very confused young man in an incredible amount of psychological pain. I want to flesh him out, to unghost him a little for you. If we, as a country, are going to imprison Manning for what he's done, we owe it to him to understand him. If we, as a country, are going to hold him in conditions that the United Nations wants to investigate, we owe it to him to try to figure out why he did what he did.

The chat logs make for psychologically grueling reading. One because Manning is obviously hurting and *we know things turn out for him* but two, the argot of internet chat makes the whole thing feel breezy and disjointed. So, I'm laying out Bradley Manning's story here, using his own words wherever possible, in a format that's easier to follow and digest . . .

He joined the Army in October 2007 anyway, despite the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy then in effect. It appears he found some support among other people in the armed forces who supported the repeal of that (odious) policy. Still, it was an isolated life, particularly after he got shipped off to Baghdad in late 2009 . . . He took the whole experience in but it didn't help . . .

Manning had lost his "emotional support channels" and was stuck "with a bunch of hyper-masculine trigger happy ignorant rednecks as neighbors." That was particularly bad because Manning was struggling with another revelation about himself: he was transsexual. As he told Lamo, "the only safe place i seem to have is this satellite internet connection."

Manning's conscience started to turn against the war in which he was involved. Suddenly, the network he was sitting on became a possible tool to do good for the world. "if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time... say, 8-9 months... and you saw incredible things, awful things... things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC... what would you do?" . . .

If I can be allowed a little psychological extrapolation, it's not hard to see Manning's private dilemma -- his feelings of being an outsider, of being powerless, of being weak -- letting him sympathize with the targets of powerful US organizations like the State Department and military. And the solution to his gender identity problem was the same as the one for geopolitics: everything had to come out. Secrets were corrosive at all levels."


7-23-11:  The Bilerico Project (posted 7-12): "The Rise of "Transgender"", by Cristan Williams

"Recently, I've been somewhat fascinated by the various discussions and debates I've seen concerning the word "transgender".

I've noticed there are a number of assertions being made about the co-evolution of the word "transgender" and the so-called "transgender community" that seem to be rooted more in ideology than in the historical record.

Additionally, I've noticed that there are a number of distinct arguments going on. They seem to be blending together in a way that makes meaningful discussions about this topic somewhat difficult. For example, one person might raise an issue of taxonomy -- what do we call ourselves? -- only to have it attacked on the basis of identity. From what I've seen, there are no less than five debates going on concerning this word and the idea of community . . .

My goal isn't to push any specific belief system. Rather, my goal is to simply add to the available historical record and to invite you to think about its implications. "


7-22-11:  Campus Progress: "Transgender Discrimination: Business-As-Usual for Pennsylvania Transit"

"There’s a group of angry people in Philadelphia that dub themselves RAGE: Riders Against Gender Exclusion. And they’re frustrated because the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) can’t stay out of their pants.

SEPTA, which provides bus, trolley, and metro services in Philadelphia and four other counties, sells weekly and monthly transit passes. People have to choose either a “male” or “female” pass, marked by gender stickers.

The policy exists to save money for SEPTA, since it makes pass sharing, a type of fraud, more difficult. If you’re a male, and you have a pass, you can’t share it with your mom, your wife, your grandma, etc.

But if you don’t conform to traditional gender norms—and especially if you’re transgender—you’re out of luck. Each time you get on a bus or trolley, SEPTA employees are required to verify that your gender matches the sticker on your card. This can lead to some awkward situations during rush hour. But the real problem is much deeper than that."


7-22-11: The Chronicle-Herald (Nova Scotia, Canada): "Transgender health care ‘medically necessary’"

"Transgendered people who undergo a sex-change operation sometimes call it a rebirth, growing into a body that finally feels like their own. But not everyone can afford the surgical procedure or hormone therapy, neither of which is covered by public insurance in Nova Scotia. The province does cover mastectomies as a form of cancer treatment and certain hormones are covered by the Pharmacare program for those with hormone deficiencies.

The patchwork health-care coverage in Nova Scotia is similar to other areas in North America and it marginalizes transgendered people, especially those living in lower-income brackets, Pooja Gehi, a lawyer based in New York City, said Thursday.

Gehi spoke to The Chronicle Herald before addressing the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She works for the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which primarily represents lower-income transgendered people. She argues that transgender health care is medically necessary, citing a litany of social and medical evidence to back up her position."


7-21-11:  Washington Blade: "D.C. police struggle over disclosure of transgender murder"

"D.C. police initially withheld information disclosing that the victim of a shooting death early Wednesday morning in Northeast Washington was a transgender woman, reopening concerns among LGBT activists about police handling of crimes affecting the transgender community.

In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, police identified the victim as “23-year-old Myles Mclean of N.E. Washington, D.C.” The release made no mention that “Myles” is the legal birth name given to a transgender woman who had been using the name Lashai Mclean following her gender transition over the past several years."


7-21-11:  Hindustan Times (India): "India's first transsexual model goes international"

"The first Indian transsexual model has arrived. Nikkiey Chawla, 26, who was born a man and underwent a sex change surgery to turn into a woman in 2009, is busy doing Indian and international ramp shows and will next be seen on a popular reality show.

“I was born a boy but I always felt like a female trapped in a male body. That is why I decided to undergo a sex change. I always wanted to be part of the glamour world as a woman,” says Delhi-based Chawla, who will feature in an episode of UTV Bindass’s show Emotional Atyachaar.

Chawla is also a stylist and claims she has walked at the Milan fashion week last year, though her journey hasn’t been easy. “I come from a orthodox family and they did not talk to me for five years when I told them I wanted a sex change.  I went through hell. I never had a good life as a man.”"


7-21-11:  Edmunton Journal (Canada): "Transgendered contestant wins Calgary breast implant prize"  (more, link to contest, more, more)

"The choice of winner of Calgary's Breast Summer Contest Ever has silenced some of the sponsoring radio station's critics.

The prize of breast augmentation surgery initially drew protests that it objectified women and encouraged body image dissatisfaction. A complaint was filed with the Ad Standards Council and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the Calgary radio station that launched the contest was inundated with angry e-mails, Facebook messages and tweets.

But the winner announced Wednesday was Avery Mitchell, a transgendered contestant in the process of transforming into a woman. She earned a whopping 76 per cent of the more than 30,000 online votes drawn by the contest that was dreamed up by AMP Radio 90.3 . . .

"It's absolutely unbelievable," said Mitchell, 23. "It still hasn't hit me just how great of a gift this is I've been given." Mitchell is currently about seven months into hormone therapy and will need at least another year before she is ready for breasts." 


7-20-11:  NBC Washington: "Transgender Person Slain in Northeast - Possibility of hate crime investigated." (more, more, more)

"A transgender person was shot and killed in northeast D.C. Wednesday morning. Lashai McLean was walking in the 6100 block of Dix Street NE with another transgender person before 4:30 a.m. when they exchanged words with two men. Shots were fired, and McLean was struck at least once. She was taken to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead

“It just hurts my heart,” said McLean’s boyfriend, Jason Coleman. “It hurts me terrible. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”

There's no evidence yet that suggests the 23-year-old was shot because she was transgender, police said, but the possibility of a hate crime is being investigated. “It’s tragic, it’s awful and it’s unfair,” said Earline Budd, of Transgender Center. “And again, no one should lose their lives because of who they are.”"


7-20-11:  Huffington Post: "Judge Orders Illinois To Issue New Birth Certificates To Transgender Litigants"

"Following an order issued last week by a Cook County Circuit Judge, three transgender individuals will soon be granted new birth certificates reflecting their correct gender identity by the Division of Vital Records of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The judge's order is the result of a lawsuit filed earlier this year by the ACLU of Illinois on behalf of three transgender individuals -- Lauren Grey, Victor Williams and Nicholas Guarino -- who were initially denied a corrected birth certificate because of the state's policy of refusing such requests to individuals who have not undergone the specific genital surgeries from the IDPH requires from doctors licensed in the United States . . .

"There has been no change in the rule as yet – and even the proposed rule includes no clear assurance that the state will not continue to require transgender individuals to undergo unnecessary surgeries. The court’s ruling granting birth certificates applies only to our three clients," Knight said. "It is essential that we have an enforceable agreement to prevent [this] from happening again.""


7-18-11:  Seattle Times: "Alaska sued in transgender driver's license case"  (more)

"The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Alaska on behalf of a transgender woman, alleging that it denied her a driver's license listing her gender as female unless she provided proof that she'd undergone a sex change operation.

The lawsuit, which ACLU said was filed in state court in Anchorage Monday, states that denying the woman a license that accurately reflects her gender identity because she hasn't undergone surgery is unconstitutional.

"No one should have to disclose sensitive personal information or be forced to make major medical decisions in order to get an accurate driver's license," Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska, said in a news release."


7-18-11:  The Straights Times (Malaysia): "Malaysian court rejects transsexual's name change" (more, more, more)

"A court in Muslim-majority Malaysia rejected a bid on Monday by a transsexual to change her name after undergoing a sex-change operation.

A high court in conservative eastern Terengganu state ruled that a person's sex was determined at birth so Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz, who was born a man, could not change the name on her identity card, her lawyer said.

'I fear for her... the difficulties she is going to face daily,' lawyer Horley Isaacs told AFP. 'What is this person going to do now? Can she go to a man's toilet?' Mr Isaacs said Ashraf Hafiz, a 25-year-old former pharmaceutical assistant, was born with an abnormally small penis and underwent a full sex-change operation in neighbouring Thailand in 2008 . . .

Mr Isaacs said in recent years only two other transsexuals have filed court petitions to be allowed name changes. One of the applicants, in 2005, was successful. Transsexuals and other transgendered people face daily discrimination and harassment in Malaysia and many of them are forced to earn their living as sex workers because they cannot get any other job."


7-16-11:  The Raw Story (re Thailand): "Monks try to teach ‘maleness’ to Thai ladyboys" (more)

"The 15-year-old aspiring "ladyboy" delicately applied a puff of talcum powder to his nose -- an act of rebellion at the Thai Buddhist temple where he is learning to "be a man".

"They have rules here that novice monks cannot use powder, make-up, or perfume, cannot run around and be girlish," said Pipop Thanajindawong, who was sent to Wat Kreung Tai Wittaya, in Chiang Khong on the Thai-Laos border, to tame his more feminine traits.

But the monks running the temple's programme to teach masculinity to boys who are "katoeys", the Thai term for transsexuals or ladyboys, have their controversial work cut out."


7-15-11:  San Francisco Chronicle:  "New state law requires LGBT history in textbooks"

"Public schools in California will be required to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans starting Jan. 1 after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a controversial bill to add the topic to the social sciences curriculum.

Textbooks now must include information on the role of LGBT Americans, as well as Americans with disabilities, though California's budget crisis has delayed the purchasing of new books until at least 2015.

"History should be honest," Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement. "This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.""


7-15-11: Juvenile Justice Information Exchange: "From She To He: A Transgender Journey of Self-Discovery" (photo slide show, more)

"Gillis lived openly as a young lesbian woman throughout high school and for two years at the University of South Carolina.

“I’d gotten teased so much for being too masculine, so I reverted to extreme femininity,” he remembers. “I wore lots of dresses and make up. I felt like I was putting on a mask every day. I had an inkling that something still wasn’t right, but I felt pressured to change who I was.”

The missing piece of her gender identity puzzle became more apparent once she transferred to UGA and joined its Lambda Alliance, an LGBT advocacy group. The experiences and feelings shared by several transgender members resonated strongly.

“I finally had the language to describe how I was feeling,” he says. “I’d hear their stories and think, ‘that sounds a lot like me; that sounds like how I feel.’ I realized that I was not a lesbian, I’m actually a male in a female body.”"


7-15-11:  NME: "Life Of Agony singer Keith Caputo set to become a woman – Metal singer announces that he intends to become a she"  (more)

"The singer, who is currently on a farewell tour with the Brooklyn metal band, has begun to refer to himself as "her" on his official website and has tweeted that he will be undergoing a sex change.

He wrote on "Male to female transsexuals like me are the women who give up male privilege for femininity! Threaten the patriarchy!" He also responded to a question from a fan about the demise of the metal band by replying: "Life Of Agony has already gone into isolation and it's got nothing to do with me transitioning [to a woman]."

Caputo, who is 37, has also enjoyed a lengthy solo career, releasing four albums on his own thus far. He will tour the UK in the autumn. The singer is set to be the first high profile metal musician to undergo a sex change."


7-14-11:  Irish Central (Ireland): "Lydia Foy speaks of difficulty growing up with trans gender syndrome in Ireland" (more)

"When Lydia Foy was born in 1947, her birth was registered as male, but from an early age she knew that all was not right: “I knew I wasn’t to be allowed be myself and I couldn’t tell anyone basically,” she reflected in a RTE documentary . . .

After a long personal battle, Foy finally travelled to London for sex reassignment surgery in 1992. She later went on to fight for legal recognition to live as a woman in Ireland. In June 2010 she won a landmark High Court Ruling, when it was established that Irish transgender rights laws was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights . . .

Currently Ireland has no gender recognition act. Last Tuesday the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, presented a report on the issue of legal recognition of transsexuals to the cabinet.Despite winning her landmark case last year, Dr Foy is still waiting for her birth certificate to be rectified.

“Calling somebody transsexual is just a marginalizing term,” Foy said during the documentary. “There shouldn’t be any labels attached after treatment, you have aligned yourself as best you can. “The correct term is that my name is Lydia Foy, end of story. I no longer need a label thank you very much,” Foy concludes"


7-15-11:  Pink News (UK): "New Irish transgender laws ‘will break up families’"

"Irish proposals designed to give transgender people more rights will break up happy families, trans campaigners say.

The plans say that trans people who married in their old gender will have to divorce or legally separate in order to be recognised in their new gender, regardless of whether they remain in a loving relationship with their partner . . .

As well as requiring trans people to divorce, the proposals include restricting gender recognition to those who have undergone sex reassignment surgery or have a formal medical diagnosis; demanding that applicants have lived in their new gender role for two years; and requiring successful applications to sign a statutory declaration that they will live in their new gender for the rest of their lives."


7-14-11:  Queerty: "Who Is Behind MA’s Transphobic “Bathroom Bill” Radio Ads?"

"Right now Massachusettes is debating a Transgender Equal Rights Bill that would provide public accommodations bill for the state’s trans-citizens. So of course here come the radio ads talking about how men dressed like women are gonna rape your daughter and wife in the public bathroom instead of just taking a dump like normal people. So who’s behind these latest ads? One hint: it’s a hate group."


7-14-11:  Metro Weekly: "DC Trans Coalition releases summary findings of its first needs-assessment survey"

"Transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming people in D.C. have serious concerns about their safety, are severely underemployed, and face major difficulties accessing adequate healthcare according to the first needs-assessment survey conducted by the DC Trans Coalition (DCTC).

The summary findings of the survey were released on July 7 and conclude the first phase of the project. DCTC held seven community roundtables, between December of 2010 and May of 2011, reaching a total of 108 transgender community members between the ages of 18 and 83, living and working in D.C.

Ultimately, the goal of the project is to gain insight into the transgender community's access to medical care, employment, housing, education, immigration and document status."


7-14-11:  Irish Times (Ireland): "Transgender legislation pledged"

"Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton will publish legislation in the next year to provide for recognition of the acquired gender of transgender people.

Ms Burton announced her plan when she published the report of an inter-departmental Gender Recognition Advisory Group, established in May 2010 to advise the Government on the implications of a High Court ruling that the failure to provide such recognition contravened the European Convention on Human Rights.

Transgender people are those suffering from a condition called Gender Identity Disorder, where their psychological identify is different from that suggested by their physical characteristics. According to the report of the inter-departmental group, there are an estimated 300 people with the condition in Ireland, of whom the majority are males
wishing to transition to females."


7-13-11:  Irish Times (Ireland): "Report on transgender rights issue presented to Cabinet"

"A long-awaited report on the issue of legal recognition of the acquired gender of transsexuals was presented yesterday to Cabinet by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.

The report, which is to be published shortly, arises from a landmark High Court ruling that Irish transgender rights law was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights."


7-12-11:  Los Angeles Times: "Violent crimes against LGBT individuals up 13%, report says" (more)

"The report, released Tuesday, showed a 13% increase over 2009 in violent crimes committed against people because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or status as HIV positive, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects.

Last year's homicide count reached 27 -- up from 22 in 2009 and the second-highest number since the coalition began tracking such crimes in 1996. Of those killed, the data show, 70% were minorities and 44% were transgender women. The attacks also show a higher level of brutality, the report concludes.

The trends, said Jake Finney, project manager with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, one of 43 groups that participate in the coalition, “will not change without raising awareness of this brutality and taking affirmative steps to address transphobia.”"


7-12-11:  BBC News (UK): "Sainsbury's 'told transgender woman to use disabled toilet'"

"Miss Collins was told by Sainsbury's staff to use a disabled toilet A transgender woman who was told to use the disabled toilets at a Surrey supermarket has rejected the store's apology . . .

The company said in a statement: "We pride ourselves on our high standards in customer service, something that clearly has not been met in this instance." But Miss Collins - whose eldest child works in the same branch of the store - said: "I am more annoyed about the non-apology than the incident.""


7-12-11:  Queerty: "Adam Sandler Stars In Sensitive Transgender Film With Sequences of Long, Soulful Farting"

"Sorry, yeah, the title of this post is somewhat misleading. Sandler’s actually playing his own annoying twin sister in Jack and Jill (see trailer above if you dare). It’s already a lock to win whatever annual award they give out for Stupidest Hannukah-Themed Family Comedy Featuring A Man In Drag. Select your favorite way to receive this information:

A) Total avoidance.

B) Exhausted sighing, leading to momentary depression, culminating in eating an entire bag of Oreos before taking a picture of your blackened teeth and posting it on Instagram.

C) Big yuks!

D) Anger over Sandler’s perceived misogyny, his films’ oafish handling of gender expression and general ignorance of how difficult it can be for non-gender-conforming people to simply get along in the world without some Hollywood zillionaire muddying the water via dumb Tyler Perry-level man-in-a-dress gags . . . "



7-12-11:  Asia One News (Singapore): "Thai transsexual singer due to perform in S'pore"

"She is the hottest transgender star in Thailand and even has fans in China, Hong Kong, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. For fans in Singapore, there's good news: Bell Nuntita will be here on July 19 for a one-night performance. In an exclusive interview in Bangkok last month, Bell, 27, told The New Paper on Sunday: "I'm really so excited! "And I don't think this could have happened if not for the support from my fans in Singapore."

It will be the first overseas trip for Bell, who made it to the final of reality show Thailand's Got Talent about two months ago."


7-12-11:  USA Today: "Cities move toward transgender health care"

"Ten years after San Francisco became the first local government in the nation to offer transgender health care benefits for their employees, other public employers are beginning to follow suit.

Last month, city commissioners in Portland, Ore., voted unanimously to offer employees insurance covering gender reassignment surgery. Portland is in Multnomah County, which began providing similar benefits a year ago.

Berkeley, Calif., officials are working with the city's providers to offer transgender health care, spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross said. Similar discussions are underway in Seattle and Fort Worth."


7-10-11:  Los Angeles Times: ""Gun Hill Road", an intimate film of family in transition"

""Gun Hill Road," which was featured during Outfest 2011's Opening Night Gala on Friday night, is a sophisticated and intimate twist on a father-son drama.

Set in the Bronx, Rashaad Ernesto Green's first feature film follows Enrique (Esai Morales), a macho ex-inmate returning home from a three-year prison sentence to find the domestic power he once enjoyed slowly leaving his grasp.

His wife, Angela (Judy Reyes), has been sleeping with someone else in his absence, and it becomes increasingly apparent that his son, Michael (Harmony Santana), is transitioning into Vanessa, a woman.

Newcomer Santana's performance is nothing if not authentic. A transsexual female on-screen and in real life, Santana's most effective moments are the unspoken ones . . .

"Gun Hill Road" is a moving portrayal of transition, and how gender, sexuality, race, and culture intermesh and become embodied in one family. Enrique, Angela, and Vanessa each struggle to express their desires within the confines of community and society."


7-10-11:  The Republic (Indiana): "Muncie hospital where transgender patient alleged ridicule gets high marks for LGBT policies" (more)

"Just a year ago, in July 2010, transsexual Erin Vaught complained she was referred to as a "he-she" and "it" by hospital staffers after she arrived at the emergency room coughing up blood. Complaints were filed days later by Indiana Equality and the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance.

The hospital apologized and reached out to Vaught and the two advocacy groups. Together they came up with a plan to improve services. "We started the mandatory training in September," hospital spokesman Will Henderson told The Star Press. That training is now required on a yearly basis by all employees.

Henderson said the hospital will work to "constantly improve" its policies to make sure that "everyone feels they have a safe environment here.""


7-09-11:  Los Angeles Times: "Teacher describes teen's changing gender identity before slaying"

"Junior high teacher testifies that she had supported Larry King's transformation, offered makeup tips and counseled him to respect other students' views — just half an hour before a classmate killed him.

E.O. Green Junior High teacher Dawn Boldrin on Friday recounted how she let her student Larry King know that she supported him as he began asserting a more feminine identity at their Oxnard school.

She bought him nail polish and offered him makeup tips when he showed up in class with a little too much eye shadow, Boldrin told a Chatsworth courtroom. Another day she handed him a shimmering green formal dress tucked into a leopard-print gift bag."


7-09-11:  Miami Herald: "Cuban transgender woman says she was fired because her lover is with opposition"

"A transgender woman has quit her job at a government-run sex studies center headed by the daughter of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro, alleging that Mariela Castro accused her of disloyalty because of her relationship with a gay opposition activist. Castro “challenged my life, (asking) why am I with my man?” said Wendy Iriepa, 37, who added that she handed in her resignation Thursday to the National Sex Education Center in Havana (CENESEX), which Castro heads.

Iriepa was a long-time fixture at the center: the first to benefit from Castro’s push for government approval of sex-change surgeries and steady participant in center-organized events for Cuba’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Castro, who directs CENESEX, has long been known as an advocate for LGBT rights and widely credited with lobbying the government to crack down on discrimination against gays and offer benefits to LGBT community members. But a small group of gays has accused her of monopolizing the LGBT rights movement, demanding total loyalty to her father’s government and blocking efforts to establish gay rights groups that are independent of the government-run CENESEX."


7-08-11:  LGBTQNation: "Connecticut Governor signs transgender protections bill into law"

"Connecticut’s Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy this week signed legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.

The new law adds the phrase “gender identity or expression” to all existing state sex discrimination laws, making Connecticut the 15th state to specifically protect transgender people."


7-08-11:  The Nation: "‘God Has Created You for Heterosexuality’: Clinics Owned by Michele Bachmann’s Husband Practice Ex-Gay Therapy", by Mariah Blake"  (more)

"As Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann has surged in the polls, the spotlight has turned on her husband and main political adviser, Marcus Bachmann, who has a PhD in clinical psychology and owns two Christian counseling centers in Minnesota. There has been a great deal of speculation that his clinics, which have received $161,000 in state and federal funding, try to cure homosexuality—and the chatter has only grown louder since his comments likening gays to “barbarians” who “need to be educated” and “disciplined” surfaced in the blogosphere last week."

[What's your guess as to whether the Bachmann's support Zuckerian trans-reparatism or not? After all, fundamentalists almost always conflate trans identities and gay identities, and strive to stamp out trans people even more vigorously than gays45. Some journalist needs to get Marcus Bachman on the record about this.]


7-08-11:  Mother Jones: "Report: Bachmann Clinic Performs Ex-Gay Therapy", by Tim Murphy

"I wrote on Wednesday about one potential spoiler in Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign: her husband, Marcus. Marcus is a non-certified Christian therapist who operates a clinic called Bachmann & Associates, which has been accused of practicing "reparative" therapy to supposedly turn gay people straight. It's a practice that's been rejected by every major psychologial and psychiatric organization, but given Marcus Bachmann's assertions that gays need to be "educated" like "barbarians," that doesn't seem like a deal-breaker. Marcus has previously denied that the clinic is involved in "reparative" therapy while conceding that his clinic would, hypothetically, be open to that kind of thing, but only if a patient specifically asked to be cured.

Now, writing at The Nation, Mariah Blake offers an account that seems to refute Bachmann's previous denials and shed new light on the family's ties to the "ex-gay" movement. "


7-08-11:  SDGLN: "Presbyterians on Sunday to celebrate end of ban on LGBT clergy"  (more, more, more)

"The Presbyterian Church (USA) on Sunday, July 10, will begin a new chapter in the faith lives of LGBT people when changes to the church’s constitution go into effect allowing the ordination of openly LGBT ministers, elders and deacons. Top leaders of More Light Presbyterians, the oldest pro-LGBT organization in the denomination, will hold a press conference on Friday, July 8, to respond to the new ordination standards and share the significance of this positive move for the church . . .

To celebrate on July 10, dozens of congregations across the country will mark the moment with prayer and rejoicing in their worship services. The historic significance of this policy change echoes the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s removal of barriers to women serving as ministers, elders and deacons a generation ago."


7-08-11:  The Ferndale Patch: "OpinionA Mother’s Transition Story: Part 3: Loving My Son, Losing My Daughter – Kyle, as the mother writes, has grown up to be a free, confident young man. However, it came with a cost -- the cost of the mother losing her daughter. "  (Part 1; Part 2)

"I am grateful for the friends and family who showed their love and support for Kyle and for our family by simply accepting him and supporting our decision to be loving and accepting of him.

A few people, however, have stubbornly clung to Kyle’s “old” name as a sign of disapproval. They must not realize how much their stubbornness stings.

Other aspects of Kyle’s transition were exceedingly difficult. One of my most challenging tasks has been balancing my unconditional support for Kyle with my feelings of grief at losing a cherished daughter . . .

As for Kyle, he is a no longer a scared teenager. He is a young man. He works and attends college. He is an artist, a writer, a musician and an activist. He is free to find his own place in the world with the unwavering support of a family who loves him. He is free to become his true and authentic self."


7-08-11:  LesGetReal: "Vatican Upset That LGBT Rights Are Human Rights" (more, more)

"The Vatican is throwing a fit over the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as part of human rights saying that it is part of an agenda that could restrict the Church’s freedom. Achbishop Silvano Tomasi, who heads the Vatican’s Permanent Mission to the UN iin Geneva, told CNA “The resolution marks a change. It is seen as the beginning of a movement within the international community and the United Nations to insert gay rights in the global human rights agenda” . . .

Archbishop Tomasi called the resolution as “a beginning of an international norm that will take hold gradually,” and “if norms are established, what provisions will be made for freedom of expression on the part of religious leaders?”"



7-07-11:  LesGetReal: "Two Laws Make Life For Vermont’s Trans Community A Bit Easier"

"Transsexuals in Vermont are celebrating the passage to two laws which were quietly passed by the state legislature this past year. Until this year, Vermont was one of the states that amended birth certificates instead of issuing a new document with the correct gender and sex. The crossed out birth sex would still be visible in later documents. Now, a new document will be generated with the correct sex on it. Adding to the good news is that the changes are no longer going to be limited to those who undergo full sex reassignment surgery, but to those who undergo less invasive procedures . . .

Another law requires that all single-stall bathrooms in state buildings be gender neutral. This is a wonderful move given the fact that many trans people tend to eschew public restrooms due to comfort, especially early in their transition."


7-07-11:  SFist (posted 7-05): "Local Legend and Pioneering Transgendered Performer Vicki Marlane Dies at 76" (more, more, more)

"Beloved local legend Vicki Marlane died this morning at 7 a.m. of an undisclosed illness. She was 76. Nicknamed "The Lady With the Liquid Spine" for her trademark, sultry flexibility while lip syncing, Marlane was profiled in the New York Times two years ago, and was thought to be the oldest, continuously performing, transgender performer in the country. Until recently, she performed twice weekly at Aunt Charlie's Lounge often doing three or four numbers (and costume changes) each night.

The show, the Hot Boxxx Girls, was Marlane's baby, and she produced it over the last decade, hiring and firing drag queens both young and old, polished and unpolished, to do some of the most unironic, old-school female impersonation in the land . . . She brought a great deal of pathos and passion to the show, earning her thousands of fans over the years. SF Weekly also awarded her Best Drag Queen in 2009, some six decades into her drag career . . .

Marlane first got her start as a dancer in a Minnesota gay bar in 1950. She later toured on the carnival circuit, in the sideshow as a female impersonator, before working as a call girl in Florida and ultimately moving to the Bay Area and having sexual reassignment surgery in the early 1980s. A documentary on Marlane's life, titled Forever's Gonna Start Tonight: The Vicki Marlane Story, premiered at Frameline in 2009 . . . 

In her later years, she occupied a rarefied space, not necessarily well understood outside the LGBT community, as a "transgendered drag performer." She was no longer a man in a dress, but a woman who donned makeup, sequins, and wigs to become a new and more glamorous persona, separate from her own. She also lived through three quarters of a century on the frontlines of new rules, and possibilities, for gender identity, faced considerable discrimination along the way, but succeeded in living out her last three decades as a fully realized woman who loved the stage."


7-07-11:  Ferndale Patch (Michigan): "A Mother’s Transition Story: Part 2: The Transition – The transition begins for both the mother and the child. Legally, the mother writes, it was easy, but as the metamorphosis continued biologically, it grew more difficult"

"My son began his gender transition from female to male with a sense of urgency, which surprised me. I had expected a period of “questioning” before he acted on these revelations, and I was unprepared when he immediately decided upon a new name, a boy’s name: Kyle"


7-06-11:  The Frisky: "“Hung” Hires Transgender Actress Jamie Clayton" (more)

"“Hung” has hired transgender woman actress Jamie Clayton for a storyline on its third season. This is a big deal! The big screen and the small screen are full of actors and actresses who are born one gender at birth (the term is “cisgendered”), but play a transgender character onscreen . . .  that’s got to be frustrating for the trans actors and actresses out there.

Clayton, a makeup artist . . . will play Kyla, who has a relationship with Ray, played by Thomas Jane. Now, if the show’s creator Collette Burson could just stop herself from giving ill-informed quotes, like this one: “The idea of kissing a man was not a comfortable one for [Thomas Jane] ... After his initial shyness, she became a woman for him.”

But Jamie Clayton is a woman, lady! Baby steps, I guess. "


7-06-11:  Ferndale Patch (Michigan): "A Mother’s Transition Story: Part 1: The Beginning"

"My son is transgender. He was born 21 years ago in a female body. He was raised as a girl. He used to be my only daughter.

I remember the first time he told me. He was 15 years old. It was late, and the rest of the family was in bed. The two of us were sitting up on the living room couch. Kyle was struggling with his homework, and I could see that he was becoming upset. What I didn’t know yet was that he was wresting with something much larger."


7-06-11:  Transmeditation's Blog: "Alice Dreger Emits Another Stink Bomb", by Joelle Ruby Ryan (more)

"Alice Dreger has a long history of pissing off the communities she supposedly advocates for. From helping to coin and inaugurate the “DSD” (Disorders of Sex Development) nomenclature that is offensive to most members of the Intersex Community, to publishing a long apologia to rabid transphobe J. Michael Bailey and enraging the trans community, Alice Dreger likes to fancy herself as a provocative agent of the truth, but really she is a just an egomaniacal hackademic who exploits minority groups for her own professional gain.

Most recently, she has teamed up with another notorious transphobe, Dan Savage, to publish an article attacking trans youth and those professionals who work with them. (Published in Savage’s paper The Stranger, here.) Her basic argument is that she once knew a kid that wanted to be a train. Kids want to be all sorts of things, including a different gender. But because they are kids, us adults should not really believe them, because, after all, they might just be going through a phase like the train kid was. This article stinks not only of transphobia, but of rabid adultism as well. Adultism is prejudice, hatred and discrimination by adults against young people, especially children, based on the notion of adult superiority and the belief that children always need adults to make decisions for them."

[Joelle Ruby Ryan exposes where Alice Dreger is heading in her trans-suppression efforts: A strident supporter of Zuckerian trans-reparatism, Dreger has begun slamming the efforts of groups such as TYFA that are helping young trans children lead happier and fuller lives. Note that Dreger published her piece at the behest of Dan Savage, the transphobic gay  sex-columnist who, like Zucker and Dreger, thinks that young trans girls should be coaxed and intimidated into becoming gay men instead of transitioning.]



7-06-11:  The Stranger (posted 6-21): "Trans Advocates (At Least Where Genderqueer Kids Are Concerned)", by Alice Dreger

"When my son was in preschool, there was this kid who was convinced he was a train. Actually this child—let's call him Thomas—believed he was a locomotive . . . This was no one-day play identity for Tommy. As I recall, Tommy spent over a year being a locomotive, day in and day out. And not just any loco. Tommy was—and he seemed convinced he would remain—the type of Union Pacific articulated steam locomotive known as a "Big Boy" . . .

The other preschool parents thought this was so cute. I kept wondering whether, by the time Tommy grew up, there was going to be a surgeon who would offer to transform him physically into an engine. I wasn't sure what that would look like, but I had already met a surgeon interested in using his craft to provide people with wings. I figured that surgeon, 20 years later, might be willing—given enough cash and a firm liability waiver—to try to approximate a Big Boy, trademark infringement on Union Pacific notwithstanding . . .

Some will label me anti-trans for opening with my story of Tommy, but I'm not. I just think the way some putative progressives are dealing with trans right now among kids is—well, it's kind of transphobic.

Changing a kid's name and gender identification at the age of 5 or 6? This approach takes gender claims of little children so seriously that it's actually beholden to a ridiculously strict notion of gender. No meaningful trans really allowed.

Fact is, kids don't always mean what we mean when they make seemingly firm identity claims. Let's go over some other uncomfortable facts. The great majority of young children who declare they are a gender that doesn't match their birth sex grow out of the mismatch. Most boys who declare themselves girls or act girly grow up to be ordinary gay men. These men may occasionally crossdress for fun using drag handles like "Helvetica Bold," but they won't seek to have their penises and testicles removed and replaced by estrogen and a vulva."

[Raised by anti-abortionist Catholic zealots, Alice Dreger is a part-time faculty member in the Jesuit-founded Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program at Northwestern University. Her mantra is "Why not change minds instead of bodies", thus it should come as no surprise that she is rabidly opposed to gender transitions.]


7-06-11:  The Guardian (re Persian Gulf countries): "The Gulf's gender anxiety – Moral panic over transgender men and women is symptomatic of the Gulf's problem with shifting gender roles"

"As women in the Gulf become more visible, both socially and politically, and as migrants bring with them different ways of living, the region's governments are stepping up their gender policing. To allay fears among conservative elements, they are regulating more tightly what is deemed acceptable behaviour for men and women.

The direct targets of this backlash are those who visibly challenge gender norms – in particular, boyat (an Arabisation of the English word "boy", generally referring to women with a masculine appearance) together with transgender men and women.

In the past few years, dozens of articles and talkshows in the mainstream media have decried the spread of boyat and "the third sex" – a term used disparagingly to describe effeminate men and transgender women. This media frenzy has propelled a moral panic that manifests itself in discriminatory legislation across the region, in police crackdowns and in campaigns to "set them straight".

In times of social strain, gender and sexuality often become the focal point of broader anxieties, a phenomenon evident in media frenzies, new proposed legislation, and the brutality of the police and the impunity with which they act against an already vulnerable population."


7-03-11:  The Gazette (Canada): "Gender Identity vs. Sexual Orientation", by Jillian Page (more)

"Earlier, when I first came out to the world as a trans woman intent on fully transitioning, one person referred to me (as reported by another) as a “homosexual” when he learned that I had a male love interest. Unclear on the concept: Because he wasn’t thinking in terms of gender identity, he didn’t realize that if I identified as a woman and loved a man, it would in fact make me a heterosexual. I would be a lesbian now if I had a female partner. Or bisexual if I partook with males and females . . . . 

Yes, it’s complicated. And not a lot of people out there know much about gender identity disorder. Some may understand on an intellectual level, but they have a hard time dealing with it on an emotional level, like the aforementioned gay men. Indeed, most people are so entrenched in their gender identity that it would never occur to them to question gender identity at all."


7-02-11:  The Vancouver Sun (Canada): "Making the transition – Doctors and counsellors are seeing a growing number of youth with gender identity issues. Addressing the confusion is a difficult process, requiring much more than hormones and surgery"

"At age five, Shamai was a boy in a little girl's body. He remembers demanding a short haircut and when a lady on the street "mistook" him for a boy, turning to his mother and saying: "This lady knows better than you. She knows I'm a boy."

In her first recollection that something was wrong, Samantha had this vague sense it didn't feel right to be in a boy's body. "I didn't know what it was. I prayed for a while for things to work out." She was four years old.

James was three years old -and a girl on the outside -when he blurted out to his family: "I was a boy before. What happened?" For years it was a family joke.

They are transgender youth, all in their 20s now, from different backgrounds but with stories that are similar: moments of childhood clarity when they realized they weren't who they appeared to be.

In the majority of cases, the clarity turns into an aching discomfort, often leading to despair. These conflicts and concerns take years to work through, as the young person living inside a body they don't understand, or want, often deals with isolation, selfloathing, bullying and suicidal thoughts.

Then they make the frightening and often lonely journey to transform that body into the gender they identify with, coping with depression, grief, a complex medical process -and possibly the loss of their family."


7-01-11:  The Local (Sweden): "Christian Democrats uphold sex change sterilization demand"

"The Christian Democrats on Thursday voted to retain the demand for sterilization for those choosing to undergo a sex change, arguing that if "a woman becomes a man, she should not be able to become pregnant as a woman" . . .

At the party conference on Thursday in Umeå in the north of Sweden, the party rejected an earlier suggestion from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to remove the sterilization requirement.

“A sex-change means that you willingly subject yourself to treatment in order to change your gender, and if you do that it is also reasonable that you give up some gender-specific properties of your old sex,” Maria Larsson, minister for children and the elderly, said in a speech at the party conference on Thursday evening."


7-01-11:  Daily Record (UK): "You CAN throw your tranny off the bus"

"A transexual vice girl exposed by the Record has been caught touting for business on the buses. Strapping Caprice Brunel, 34, passes hand-scrawled notes offering her services for £50 to drivers. One read: "Mr Bus Driver, Caprice is my name. R u up 4 a bit of howz ur father?" Yesterday, a stunned busman said: "I've picked up some strange passengers before but this one stood out." . . . The stunned driver said: "I was disgusted. "She got on, put her pass on the machine and walked on a couple of steps. But then she turned and handed me the note. "I've seen her before but nothing like this has happened. I'm guessing I'm not the only driver she's tried her luck with."It's fair to say I'll not be phoning.""




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