Trans News Updates of 2011
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.
Link to first half of
Click here to access the currrent
Trans News Updates
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
"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."
Federal Way Mirror (posted 12-25): "Can transgender people pray?" by Amy
"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,
"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
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
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
(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,
"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
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.""
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
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
“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’
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
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
Rape Elimination Act of 2003. "
12-22-11: The Stir: "Parents of Transgender Girl Are Better Than Most
"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
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
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
"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"
"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
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,
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
"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,
"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
12-19-11: Weekly US: "Update: Chaz Bono Splits With Fiancee Jennifer
"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
"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"
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,
"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."
Alice Dreger, strident spokesperson for trans-pathologizers
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
"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
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
"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
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
12-16-11: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand): "Tearful tributes flow for
"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 GayNZ.com. "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."
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,
"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' "
"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
"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,”
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
RadarOnline.com 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
"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
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
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 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
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
"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
"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
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.
"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
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
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,
"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
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."
"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: Boston.com: "Rights group: Coverage for gender surgery
"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.
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
"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. "
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
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
"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:
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
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."
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
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,
"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
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."
11-30-11: Washington Post (re Argentina): "Argentina recognizes gender
adopted by transsexual police, other federal security forces" (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."
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 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"
"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
J. Michael Bailey has permanently stained Northwestern University's
11-28-11: Daily Wildcat (Univ. of Arizona): "Group formed to address
gender identity - Those who struggle with classification encouraged to
"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
“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,
"Gender issues have become
increasingly more prominent in the media.
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: Straight.com (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
"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.
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
“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,
"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
Being Chaz premieres Sunday,
November 27 at 8/7c followed by I Am Jazz at 9/8c.
11-27-11: JanetMock.com (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.”"
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
"Wow, it's gorgeous," Elia says,
accepting the rock. "Thank you so much." "It's stunning," she adds. "It's
"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
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
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
"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
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
"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
"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
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
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
(re Argentina; posted 8-16): "Amazing transgender rights campaign ad from
"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,
"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
"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
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
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
11-22-11: Sun-Sentinal (posted 11-19): "How investigators tracked down
a "doctor" accused of giving toxic butt injections" (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
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
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
"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
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
Denver Post: "Photographer, model-builder Turner switched his attire after
"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
"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
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
"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
"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.]
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
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
TransgenderDoR.org: "International Transgender Day of Remembrance"
(TDoR Events and Locations 2011)(Remembering
"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
"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
"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,
"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.
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
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
“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
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 Cooper.com (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
11-17-11: The Boston Globe: "Transgender civil rights bill OK’d" (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
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
“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
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 WATE.com 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
"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
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: AndersonCooper.com: "Children & Teens Trapped in the Wrong
"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
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
“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 . . . "
Vimeo.com (posted in 9-13-11): "Working Together to Protect Our Transgender
"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
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,
"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
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."
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
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: Examiner.com: "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
"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
[An important new book. For a 30%
use promo code "LIVBE" on this site (instead of using Amazon)]
Tre Wentling, Syracuse University: Invitation to participate in
"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,
"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
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
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
11-10-11: Detroit News: "Torso found in Detroit identified as missing
"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
"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
"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,"
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,
"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
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,
"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
"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,
"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
[Readers should alert the Detroit Free
Press editors to the
AP Stylebook guidelines for referring to transgender people (more,
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
"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,
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
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
"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.”"
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.
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,
"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
"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
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
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
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
11-03-11: "Hung's New Transgender Actress: "It's All Really
Good the More People See Us" (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
"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,
"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
"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
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
Malta Independent (Malta): "Legal amendments to facilitate transsexual
"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
11-02-11: Daily Mail (UK): "'Ex fiancé cheating with a transsexual was
my most humiliating moment ever', admits Kelly Osbourne" (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" (
"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
Marti Abernathey, blog editor of The
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
"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."
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
10-31-11: YouTube: "TYFA family profile: Kim"
Executive Director Kim Pearson talks about founding TYFA, and opens up about
her experiences with raising a son who transitioned socially as an
10-31-11: YouTube: "TYFA
family profile: Shannon"
Board President Shannon Garcia talks about founding TYFA, and opens up about
her experiences with raising a daughter who transitioned socially at age
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'
"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
"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
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
"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: Philly.com: "Phila. airport launches kinder, gentler body
"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
"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
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
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
"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
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
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
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: 9News.com: "Boy wanting to join Girl Scouts told 'no'" (more,
more) (however, decision overturned by state-level organization)
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
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
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
"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
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
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
Longmont Times-Call: "Transgender conference offers sensitivity training to
"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
10-24-11: OpenSalon.com (posted 10-21): "The Summer of Pronouns", by
"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
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."
Philly.com: "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
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
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,
We hope that the list surprises,
entertains, challenges and inspires you."
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
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
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."
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
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
"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
Project, in partnership with
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and the
Association of Social Workers (with a foreword by
the Child Welfare League
10-20-11: Philadelphia Gay News: "Tenika Watson: Living beyond
"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
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
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
10-19-11: Chicago Pride: "Some outraged over drug treatments for
"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’
"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
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
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
In lieu of flowers, the family has
requested that donations are given to the Gender Identity Center of
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
"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
10-18-11: Examiner.com: "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."
Deutsche Welle (Germany): "First transsexual lawmaker in Poland to push for
minority rights" (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.""
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE): "Secrets Are Out:
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender engineers are no longer willing to
hide their true selves."
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,
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
"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
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
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
Police believe she lost control of her
pick-up truck, hit the cabin and died. The cabin's roof then collapsed on
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
"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
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,
"A transsexual Jordan fan went to a
bank posing as Kate Price and swiped £14,000 from her account, a court
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
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
"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
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
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
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,
"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
10-11-11: PR Newswire: "Michigan Gay and Transgender Groups: If You
Come Out at Work, You Can Be Fired" (more,
"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
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,
"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
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
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
"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: News.com (Australia): "Man
ordered to pay transsexual neighbour $15,000 compensation for transphobia"
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
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
10-04-11: "Television review: 'Renée' on
"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."
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
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
10-03-03: Huffington Post: "The Media Research Center's Transgender
"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
10-01-11: 10thousandcouples.com: "A Straight Woman’s Transgender
"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,
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
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
"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
"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
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."
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 . . .
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
has many sleepless nights to come, as this gradually sinks in during the
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
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 CNN.com 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 CNN.com 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?"
9-29-11: OII Australia (Australia re WPATH): "ARROGANCE, HYPOCRISY &
THE NEW WPATH STANDARDS OF CARE, VERSION 7"
"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
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
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
"It happened quickly and quietly,
making virtually no headlines: The Social Security Administration
its gender notification policy last week, a shift that avoids outing
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
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!]
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
David Valdes Greenwood
"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 Reform.org: "New Standards of Care for the Health of
Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, " by Kelley
Winters, Ph.D. (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
Perhaps the most historic change in the SOC7 appears in the section of
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
as being unethical. Please spread this news widely. ]
9-25-11: TS Roadmap.com: "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,
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
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
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.]
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
[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"
"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: Mydesertsum.com: "Born a man, but finally living life - as
"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
“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
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
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
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
9-18-11: Canberra Times (Australia): "A brave struggle brings new
"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
''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.
"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
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
of the 'invisible college' of academic trans-pathologizers. Given
the demonic passion of his anti-trans quest, could McHugh perhaps have
Ablow's rant in the first place? ]
Matters (posted 9-14): "Megyn Kelly Calls Out Ablow On Chaz Bono: "You Seem
To Be Adding To The Hate"" (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."
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,
"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
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,
"Australian passports will now have
three gender options — male, female and indeterminate — under new guidelines
to remove discrimination against transgender people, the government said
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
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
9-14-11: Washington Post: "Teen gets five years for attack on
transgender woman at McDonald's" (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
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,
"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
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'
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:
"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,
"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
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
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:
[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
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 Roadmap.com: "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
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
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
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
"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: Change.org 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
9-08-11: Technician Online (North
Carolina State University): "Challenge and triumph in the transgender
community – Transgender students come out about their struggles and
"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,
"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
"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,
"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
9-07-11: Bangor Daily News: "A struggle for acceptance: Gender
"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
“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
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
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
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?"
"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
"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.""
Radio New Zealand International (re French Polynesia): "Tahiti mayor fined
for opposing sex change marriage"
9-02-11: Fox News: "Don't Let Your Kids Watch Chaz Bono On 'Dancing
With the Stars'", by Dr. Keith Ablow (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
8-30-11: ABC News: "(Extra)Ordinary Family: Inside the Transgender
"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
8-25-11: TS Roadmap.com: "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
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:
[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
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: Skyliving.com (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,
8-25-11: Janetmock.com: "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
The New York Times (posted 8-22): “No Surprise for Bisexual Men: Report
Indicates They Exist”, By David Tuller (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
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
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) and he's undoubtedly wanted to get out from under that cloud ever
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
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.
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
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
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
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."
List (UK): "Tomboy: Childhood gender identity struggle handled subtly and
"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
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,
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
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
"Charlie Poulson remembers the moment
vividly. He was Chloe Coulter then, and Chloe was a student at Johnston
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
8-17-11: Windy City Times: "TSA police concern for transgender
"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
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
"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
"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 . . . TMZ.com 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
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
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"
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
"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
The assailants managed to flee after
carrying out the attack. The victims died on the spot as a result of the
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
8-13-11: Reuters (re Cuba): "Gay man marries transsexual woman in
Cuban first" (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
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."
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
"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
"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
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
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
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.’"
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
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
"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
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
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
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,
"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,
"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
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
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,"
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
"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
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
“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
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."
7-31-11: The Star (Malaysia): "Sex-change man dies" (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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
"Like any new mother, he was keen to
lose the babyweight - but few would be quite so worried about getting a
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"
"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
"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,
"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
"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
"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
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."
(posted 7-19/7-23): "A Parent's Perspective: Part 1", by Moonfire1777 (Part
"My mom and I are answering your
[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
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,
"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
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."
Chronicle-Herald (Nova Scotia, Canada): "Transgender health care ‘medically
"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
7-21-11: Washington Blade: "D.C. police struggle over disclosure of
"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
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
"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
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,
"The choice of winner of Calgary's
Breast Summer Contest Ever has silenced some of the sponsoring radio
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,
"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
“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
"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,
"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
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
“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
Keithcaputo.com and has tweeted
that he will be undergoing a sex change.
He wrote on
Twitter.com/KeithMinaCaputo: "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
"Irish proposals designed to give
transgender people more rights will break up happy families, trans
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”
"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."
Weekly: "DC Trans Coalition releases summary findings of its first
"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
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
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.”"
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
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
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
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
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
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,
"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.
"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
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"
"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,
"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
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:
7-06-11: The Frisky: "“Hung” Hires Transgender Actress Jamie Clayton"
"“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
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)
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
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
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."
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
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
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
“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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