Trans News Updates of 2012 (Jan-June):


This page links to news of general interest to the trans community during the first half of 2012.  This running log of news also serves as a window into areas of media focus and public interest regarding trans issues during 2012.  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.


2012:   JanFeb,  Mar,  Apr,  May,  Jun


Lynn Conway

Click here to access the currrent Trans News Updates



June 2012


6-30-12:  JC Online: "Changing gender not easy for local resident"

"Since childhood, the 5-foot, 8-inch raven-haired Batie has felt trapped in someone else’s body and forced to conform into what family, schoolmates, the Bible and even Batie herself expected. After nearly 20 years of trying to hide what seemed inevitable, Batie, born as Christopher Laurence, came out as a transgender woman in 2010 and now lives life as a woman in Lafayette. That means Batie, 25, an aspiring film director and Baptist, believes somehow after conception the switch inside the brain to determine gender identity was flipped the opposite direction. Now, Batie is undergoing a transition to physically become a woman to match the gender within."


6-29-12:  Center for American Progress: "The Unfair Criminalization of Gay and Transgender Youth"

"Interfamily conflicts stemming from parents’ refusal to accept a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity often result in the first contact these young people have with the justice system. According to the Equity Project, prosecutors frequently file charges against these youth for being “incorrigible” or beyond the control of their parents or guardians, based largely on the parent’s objections to their sexual orientation. This practice unfairly criminalizes gay and transgender youth because of their identity rather than because of their behavior.

Further, family discord that casts these youth from their homes can send them cascading through social safety nets not adequately equipped to support them. Programs designed to keep children and youth off the streets, such as foster care, health centers, and other youth-serving institutions, are often ill-prepared or unsafe for gay and transgender youth due to institutional prejudice, lack of provider and foster-parent training, and discrimination against gay and transgender youth by adults and peers . . .

Gay and transgender youth who flee hostility and abuse at home and in temporary placements are most likely to end up homeless, which is the greatest predictor of involvement with the juvenile justice system. Gay and transgender youth represent up to 40 percent of the homeless youth population even though they only compose 5 percent to 7 percent of the youth population overall, and 39 percent of homeless gay and transgender youth report being involved in the juvenile justice system at some level. Out of despair and a need for survival, homeless gay and transgender youth are more likely to resort to criminal behaviors, such as drug sales, theft, or “survival sex,” which put them at risk of arrest and detainment . . . Family rejection, which sets off a tragic chain of events for many gay and transgender youth, is at the core of these issues. "


6-29-12:  Huffington Post: "Episcopalians Work to Put the 'T' in Equality", by Rev. Susan Russell

"When the Episcopal Church gathers in Indianapolis next week for its every-three-year General Convention, transgender inclusion will be on our "to-do" list. The last time we met, in Anaheim in 2009, we adopted some important resolutions supporting trans-inclusive federal ENDA and hate-crimes bills, adding gender identity and expression to nondiscrimination canons for lay employees and calling for church data forms to provide for inclusive self-identification. Not a bad start!

What we failed to accomplish was adding gender identity and expression to our nondiscrimination canons for ordained ministry -- and that's the work we'll be about in Indianapolis from July 5-12.  But it won't just be the work of passing legislation. It will be the hard and important work of giving voice to the witness of transgender Episcopalians in sharing stories, touching hearts, and changing minds . . . "


6-29-12:  Iowa State Daily: "The perfect fit: Poulson takes next step in transition from woman to man"

"“In my head I thought I was male and it was totally normal, but I also knew my physical self was female,” Charlie explained. “Whenever someone would point out the fact that I was female, it never quite settled with me.”

Realizing his struggle and desperately wanting to help her son, Suzanne tried to talk to him about what was happening. Neither knew how to approach the thoughts and feelings Poulson was experiencing. “I didn’t have the vocabulary to understand or to know where it was going,” she recalled.

The vocabulary finally became accessible during his freshman year of college. A friend posted a YouTube video of a transgender man documenting his process. Charlie remembered being fascinated with the videos and how closely he related to them. He began to research and explore what he would ultimately come to identify as — a "trans man," or a female-to-male transgender person."


6-28-12:  Chicago Tribune: "Irving explores bisexuality in latest best seller"

"After its release last month, "In One Person" quickly became a best seller and earned praise from Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Irving, 70, spoke with Reuters about the politics of his latest novel, bisexuality and recurring themes in his work.

Q: LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues are a hot political topic right now, but the discourse doesn't touch much on the "B" or "T" as frequently. Why choose to write Billy as bisexual and include several transgendered characters?

A: "For many gay men of my generation, the bisexual man was disbelieved. He was perceived for the most part as a gay guy who lacked the courage to come all the way out of the closet. I think young gay men today are far more accepting or tolerant of the bisexual man than many gay men of my generation were. It was purposeful on my part to make Billy a bisexual so that he would feel the sting of that solitariness and be aware of the distrust of his gay and straight friends alike.

"That was a deliberate choice, just as it seemed only logical to me for a character like Billy that he would find these two transgender women at either end of his life - of different ages and from different eras - very sympathetic if only because he recognizes that they are as marginalized and distrusted by society as he is. They are as you say the "BT" part the "LGBT" abbreviation, but they get a little less attention - that's all. I was very conscious of making that choice for exactly those reasons. If you're going to test the waters of our tolerance for sexual differences, well let's really test it.""


6-28-12:  WCSH6: "Singer-songwriter Cidny Bullens comes out as transgender" (includes excellent video interview)

"She's toured with Elton John, opened for Emmy Lou Harris, and counts Bonnie Raitt among her dear friends.

But it was after Cindy Bullens married, moved to Maine and lost one of her 2 daughters to cancer, that she did her most important and gut wrenching work as a singer songwriter: the album "Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth."

Now, for the first time, Bullens is going public about something those closest to her have always known. She now goes by the name Cidny instead of Cindy -- after the realization she has lived her entire life "Somewhere Between" male and female."


6-28-12:  Huffington Post: "Be A Proud Ally Year-Round"

"I have to admit I have mixed feelings about months dedicated to promoting a theme or a cause. Yes, it is good to highlight a priority concern, but what about the rest of the year? So it is with "Pride Month," which is now coming to end. An important takeaway is: What can we do the rest of the year to further the goal of ending discriminatory treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people? If you already identify as part of that group, you most likely don't have to ask this question. But if you are a straight ally, you need to pay attention that there is a lot you can do year-round that will make a difference."


6-28-12:  Autostraddle: "What's It Like Growing Up With A Transgender Parent? Sharon Shattuck Knows", posted by Gina

"When Sharon Shattuck was a kid, her dad told her that she identified as a woman and that she was going to change her name to Trisha. Now, Sharon has decided to explore her father's experience, along with the experience of LGBT families across America by making a documentary. She's currently working on raising money for her film through Kickstarter . . .

I recently had some back and forth with Sharon about what is was like to grow up with an LGBT dad in a time and place that wasn't necessarily always the most queer-friendly. As a future LGBT parent myself, I found Sharon's perspective to be both useful and educational."


6-28-12:  CBC (Canada): "Toronto transgender people say they're targets of police"

"Clients of the 519 Church Street Community Centre, located in the LGBT-friendly neighbourhood of Church and Wellesley in downtown Toronto, report to staff three or four times a month about being stopped and searched by police. "In the trans community we have a phrase for it: It's called walking while trans," said Morgan M. Page, the centre's trans-community services co-ordinator.

Page, who is a transgender woman, said “walking while trans is definitely an in-joke within our community. It's kind of a snappy way of summing up a whole variety of experiences we're regularly [subjected] to by police.” She said the phrase refers to how often police stop, search and arrest transgender people because officers suspect they're prostitutes. She says it happens most often to those born men who now live as women."


6-28-12:  Main Street Business Journal: "Dealing with Gender Identify as a Protected Class"

"Employers with offices within jurisdictions that have adopted nondiscrimination ordinances should consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in handbooks, policies and like documents. And supervisors must be trained to understand the evolving meaning of sex discrimination.

The sex discrimination laws were not understood to include sexual harassment until many years after they were passed, but now sexual harassment issues may well be the bulk of sex discrimination claims with which employers must grapple. Gender identity issues and claims may well repeat this pattern. Better to be ready to understand and manage them today rather than waiting to react to them tomorrow."


6-28-12:  NWCN: "Man accused of attacking transgender women in Old Town" (more)

"PORTLAND – Two transgender women told police a man yelled anti-gay slurs and then assaulted them with a belt buckle at 2nd and Burnside Tuesday night. The victims said a man approached them on the sidewalk and began yelling profanities. They said after that, he pulled off his belt and started swinging his large metal buckle at them."


6-28-12:  Washington Blade: "Why not ‘Legalize Transsexualism?’", by Ashley Love

"The medical condition transsexualism is neither equivalent nor subservient to gay, lesbian or bisexual sexual orientations or to transgender identities such as gender queer, cross dresser, transvestite, drag queen/king or gender non-conforming, yet this appears to be the perception some in the LGBT establishment inadvertently communicate to mainstream society, the media and educational outlets.

This complicated matter of conflation, colonization and censorship of transsexual issues lies at the heart of MAGNET’s boycott of GLAAD and American Apparel’s Pride month T-shirts with model Isis King (America’s Next Top Model’s first contestant born with transsexualism) wearing shirts that read “Legalize Gay.”

Professor Joelle Ruby, Ph.D. headed two feminism panels at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference earlier this month. She recently stated on Facebook: “[GLAAD] hires TRANSSEXUAL model Isis King to model…t-shirts that say “Legalize Gay” and “Gay is OK”. They erase King’s transsexualism (AND TRANS RIGHTS in general) to forward their gay-centric agenda. And then they wonder why we critique Gay, Inc.???”

The slogans of the shirts, perhaps unintentionally, send misleading and non-affirming messages of the transsexual community. Isis, who has undergone sex reassignment surgery, is actually a heterosexual female, not “gay.” “Gay” isn’t an umbrella term or interchangeable with “transsexual.” The advertisements feed the misconception that all women like Isis are “gay” males, rather than who they truly are — women, period."


6-28-12:  Philadelphia Gay News: "Separating trans, gay and lesbian histories", by Cei Bell

"Last week, PGN published an article about Locust Street between 12th and 13th being renamed Barbara Gittings Way [“‘Gittings Way’ in the works,” June 22-28]. Malcolm Lazin, who proposed the renaming, referred to Gittings as the mother of the LGBT movement.

Just because something (or someone) is lesbian and gay doesn’t make it LGBT.

In the ’60s, when Gittings was one of the organizers of the Annual Reminders protest at Independence Hall, the point of the men dressing in suits and the women wearing dresses and carrying pocketbooks was they did not want drag queens, effeminate males and butch dykes — the homosexual stereotypes — at the protest. The reason effeminate males, drag queens and butch dykes were the stereotype is because they were the only people who were out of the closet . . . That may have been the official moment that the movement began intentionally excluding and harassing gender-variant people out of the movement.

On the other hand, the earlier successful May 1965 sit-in demonstration by drag queens at Dewey’s . . . allowed straight-appearing gay men such as Clark Polak from the Janus Society and lesbians to join them. Social class may be the reason why the Independence Hall demonstrations by Gittings and others are promoted as historic while the earlier sit-in demonstration by drag queens at Dewey’s to be served has been ignored . . .

I have nothing against a corner or street being named after Barbara Gittings. I think it is very appropriate that there is a library collection named after her. [But] 13th and Locust during the ’60s and ’70s was a multicultural meeting place for drag queens and transsexuals. Spruce Street was the gay and lesbian gathering place with the Allegro, Westbury and Mistique, among other bars. Why not make Spruce between 13th and Juniper . . . or even Broad Street Barbara Gittings Way?

Barbara Gittings may be the mother of the lesbian and gay movement. She is simply not my mother."


6-28-12:  Liverpool JohnMoores University (UK): "The Strategic Management Group and the Board of Governors have approved the University's Gender Reassignment Guidance Document"

"This document will assist in raising awareness of gender reassignment and gender identity issues, highlighting how managers and teaching staff can support staff and students who wish to go through the transition process.

It is also a tangible demonstration of the University’s commitment to not just the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, but also equality and diversity as one of the Institution’s key values. It is significant to mention that the writing of this document has been guided by real experience of going through the process as opposed to just writing a document in anticipation of what could be expected.  Please click the following link for the guidance document LJMU Gender Reassignment Guidance Document "


6-27-12:  SFGN: "Miami Beach Police ‘Clueless’ in Transsexual Murder"

"The victim, Rene "Rosita" Hidalgo, was discovered bludgeoned to death in her home at 545 Michigan Avenue, after concerned neighbors and friends began to worry because they hadn't heard from her in several days. Javier Menendez Cuesta, 36, was friends with the victim and told police he became increasingly concerned when he hadn't heard from Rosita in days, and so he went to check on her and notified police . . .

Amy Rivers, a legendary drag entertainer in South Florida and close friend of the victim, arrived on the scene with police . . . According to Miami Beach Police, once inside, they found blood all over the apartment and the victim's body. Rivers said, "Somebody had the nerve to stab her, cut her neck and put something in her mouth so she wouldn't scream," and added in a tearful voice. "It's not fair what they did to her - She didn't deserve this. I loved her and everybody loved her.""


6-26-12:  NDTV (India): "Chief Minister assures separate welfare board for transgender community" (more)

"Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Monday assured the transgender community to look into their demand for establishing a separate welfare board. Participating in the convention of Gender Minorities held in Bangalore, he said the government would also consider allocating sizeable funds for their welfare.

Sadanand Gowda said the government will address the human rights issues by gender. "I want to address you as beloved brothers and sisters but many might question me saying that we are not being treated as brothers and sisters. You should succeed in joining the mainstream and I pray to God that soon people should address you as brothers and sisters," he said."


6-26-12:  New York Times (posted 6-21): "Transgender Athlete Fails to Qualify" (more)

"Keelin Godsey, a 28-year-old from Massachusetts who was seeking to become the first openly transgender athlete to represent the United States at the Olympics, failed to qualify for the London Games in the women’s hammer throw competition held here Thursday. Godsey, who was named Kelly at birth but has publicly identified as a male since 2005, finished fifth in the two-round trials at Nike headquarters, which determined the three members of the United States team . . .

Asked afterward what he saw for the future of his athletic career, Godsey hesitated. For nearly eight years, he said, he had looked at the end of this Olympic cycle as the end of his career; he had indicated, too, that he would then begin the medical part of his gender transition, making it impossible for him to continue competing as a female. But faced with that reality, Godsey hedged. “I don’t know yet,” he said. “I’m trying to make a lot of decisions right now.”"


6-26-12:  CBC News (Canada): "Your take: A small town transgender prom queen shares her big night"

"We received an email from a member of the CBC Community, Suzanne Andrews. She said, "At the Trenton High School Prom on Friday night the students voted for a transgender student as their prom queen. The school has been recognized throughout the school board for its tolerance and anti-bullying. It is located in Trenton, Ontario."

So we made a couple of phone calls and found Connor Ferguson, Trenton High School's 2012 prom queen, and asked her to tell us why winning the honour was important to her. Here's what she wrote for us . . . "


6-26-12:  Daily Mail (UK): "Now that's a fresh new look! Transgender Project Runway finalist Andy South debuts identity as a woman named Nong"

"Project Runway favourite Andy South who made it to the finale of Season 8 of the hit show, is now living as a woman. The Waianae, Hawaii native who was 23 at the time of appearing on the fashion reality show in 2010, has changed his Facebook page profile to 'female' and has added his new name in parenthesis.

Now 25 and returning to his cultural roots with a new moniker, Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong, that incorporates his family's last name, the talented designer has already posted plenty of photographs of his striking new look."


6-26-12:  Daily Star (UK): "Luke Anderson's 'Sexy' Jab"

"Big Brother’s shy sex-swap star Luke Anderson reckons he will not be meek for much longer. The 31-year-old cook says he is about to turn into a sex beast. Luke was born a girl and underwent a gender transition four years ago. He now needs regular hormone injections. And yesterday the usually timid housemate revealed that when he gives himself the jabs, it boosts his sex drive."


6-25-12:  Fox News Latino (re Mexico): "Rights panel condemns murder of transsexual in Mexico"

"The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned Monday the recent murder in Mexico of a 16-year-old transsexual.

Octavio Hernandez Villanueva was found dead last Wednesday in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. "The information available further indicates that the body was found wearing women's clothes, presenting abrasions and a knife wound on the neck," the IACHR said in a statement.

A number of social organizations have expressed concern about the negligence of the authorities in the investigation of the killing, based on their assumption that it might be a crime of passion . . . Pointing to a flow of reports from Mexico on killings, torture, arbitrary arrest and other abuses against lesbians, gays, and transsexual, bisexual, and intersex persons, the commission said that the authorities' ineffective response "fosters high rates of impunity, which in turn lead to the chronic repetition of such crimes, leaving the victims and their families defenseless.""


6-22-12:  Haaretz (Isreal): "Sex-change in Israel: Gender trap ‒ The Health Ministry panel charged with approving sex-reassignment surgery has been slammed as non-transparent."

"Two new studies, from researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo, respectively, reveal for the first time what goes on behind the scenes of the committee. The researchers found that it has been the subject of numerous complaints for displaying an insulting and discriminatory attitude, and a condescending, disrespectful approach. This body is also accused of pathologizing and being inattentive to the special needs of those who apply to it. Moreover, its guidelines have not been updated for three decades, despite the revolution undergone by medical and academic research on the transgender phenomenon . . .

In practice, as the new studies disclose, few people manage to have their cases discussed by the panel and undergo the coveted treatment. "We do not know how many people are rejected by the committee and why they are rejected," says Nora Greenberg, a leading local transgender activist who has worked with hundreds of transgender people in treatment. "[The health authorities] have no answers, there is a communications breakdown. When I asked them for data I was astounded to see that they started to stammer. It turned out that they have no data, no records, no follow-up - nothing. I don't understand how they purport to make rulings on the subject without having facts to back up what they say" . . .

One of the possible roots of the problem is that there is only one surgeon who performs these operations in Israel: Dr. Haim Kaplan, a veteran plastic surgeon and the chairman of the Committee for Sex Reassignment . . . Why is there only one surgeon in the country who is authorized to perform these operations? And why only at Sheba Medical Center? Again, the Health Ministry refuses to say. The direct result, in any case, is that many transgender people - a few dozen a year, according to data from the community - undergo the operation privately abroad . . . "

[A brilliant exposé of the dysfunctional clique of physicians and psychologists who control access to gender reassignment surgery in Israel. ]


6-22-12:  The Advocate: "Op-ed: Shocked by Hate Generated by Our White House Proposal ‒ The transgender man, Scout, who proposed to Liz Margolies at the White House, explains why the hateful reaction they got from some quarters is more dangerous than it might seem", by Scout with Liz Margolies (includes video-statements by Scout and Liz) (more)

"When I dropped down on one knee and asked my sweetie if she’d marry me, I thought the risk was that she’d say no; I didn’t understand that doing it publicly would unleash a torrent of criticism, mockery, verbal abuse, and death threats.

Last Friday, I did propose, and despite both my girlfriend’s and my own ambivalence about the institution of marriage, I acknowledged publicly that, yes, I did want to spend the rest of my life with her and wanted to do it in a publicly sanctioned form. My girlfriend, Liz, is a bit larger-than-life, the nicest woman in the world, a passionate LGBT cultural competency trainer, but, as she says, “the fiercest 120 pounds you’ll ever meet.” With a woman like that, it’s go big or go home. So I chose the most fearless place I could think of to pop the biggest question: the central hall of the White House, in front of 500 other amazing LGBT community advocates at the president’s annual LGBT Pride reception. It felt like she took forever to say yes, but she finally did, and it was amazing.

Until the hate started."


6-21-12 (posted 6-19): "Third Swing: My Comments to the APA for a Less Harmful Gender Dysphoria Category in the DSM-5", by Kelley Winters, Ph.D. (more)

"My objective for GID reform in DSM-5 is harm reduction– depathologizing gender identities, gender expressions or bodies that do not conform to birth-assigned gender stereotypes, while at the same time providing some kind of diagnostic coding for access to medical transition treatment for those who need it. I and others have suggested that diagnostic criteria based on distress and impairment, rather than difference from cultural gender stereotypes, offer a path for forward progress toward these goals. This post is an update to my earlier comments to the APA in June, 2011.

The  Gender Dysphoria (GD) criteria proposed by the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group for the DSM-5 represent some forward progress on issues of social stigma and barriers to medical transition care, for those who need it. However, they do not go nearly far enough in clarifying that nonconformity to birth-assigned roles and victimization from societal prejudice do not constitute mental pathology. The improvements in the APA proposal so far include a more accurate title, removal of Sexual Orientation Subtyping, rejection of “autogynephilia” subtyping (suggested in the supporting text of the GID category in the DSM-IV-TR), recognition of suprabinary gender identities and expressions, recognition of youth distressed by anticipated pubertal characteristics, and reduced false-positive diagnosis of gender nonconforming children. However, the proposed GD criteria still fall short in serving the needs of transsexual individuals, who need access to medical transition care, or other gender-diverse people who may be ensnared by false-positive diagnosis.

The proposed Gender Dysphoria criteria continue to contradict social and medical transition by mis-characterizing transition itself as symptomatic of mental disorder and obfuscating the distress of gender dysphoria as the problem to be treated. The phrase “a strong desire,” repeated throughout the diagnostic criteria, is particularly problematic, suggesting that desire for relief from the distress of gender dysphoria is, in itself, irrational and mentally defective. This biased wording discourages transition care to relieve distress of gender dysphoria and instead advances gender-conversion psychotherapies intended to suppress the experienced gender identity and enforce birth-assigned roles. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) has stated that, “Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.” (SOC, Ver. 7, 2011)

[An important essay in the struggle to extricate gender-variant people from ongoing pathologization by the psychiatric 'profession'.]


6-21-12:  The Atlantic: "Transgender Rights in the Workplace Are Still Unclear ‒ It's illegal to fire employees because of their sex. But switching genders can still cost people their jobs. "

"Nine out of ten Americans mistakenly believe that there is a federal law that prohibits employers from firing someone because the individual is gay or transgender. But no such law exists, and this type of discrimination is legal in the majority of states.

While definitions vary, a transgender person is generally someone who identifies with a gender that is different than the one assigned at birth. Many transgender people choose to take hormones and/or undergo surgery to facilitate a gender transition, but not all do.

Transgender people in particular face enormous challenges finding work. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality report that transgender people experience unemployment at twice the national rate -- and that 90 percent of the more than 6,000 respondents to a recent survey indicated they experienced harassment or mistreatment on the job. "


6-21-12:  Exberliner (Germany; posted 6-19): "Lost in transition", by Gavin Doyle, Nele Obermueller

"“I used to just think my son was a softie. Then I thought Alexander was a boy who would like to be a girl,” Anna remembers. “It took me a long time to understand that he actually already was one.” For Anna, that moment came when Alexander was six and Anna finally allowed him to go by the name Alexandra and enter school as a transgender girl.

Unable to cope with these changes, Alexandra’s father moved out in 2002. “I think my dad really wanted a son and was sad to have lost his,” says the now 12-year-old Alexandra, a slim girl with long hair and bright eyes . . .  Family feuds are difficult at the best of times, but in Alexandra’s case they led to more complicated consequences. Unable to resolve their battle over their child’s transgender identity, a youth office in Berlin took the responsibility for Alexandra’s healthcare away from her parents in 2007, assigning a social worker to the case.

In 2011, that social worker was replaced with one Anna prefers to keep unnamed. After only a 30-minute talk with Anna and a one-hour conversation with Alexandra, the social worker decided Alexandra’s transsexual identity had been “injected” into her by her mother. After hearing this opinion, the youth office ruled that Alexandra should be removed from the care of her mother . . .  and put into the Charité’s psychiatric ward for up to three years, to the outrage of gender rights activists. They pointed out that no psychiatric assessments of Alexandra or Anna were conducted on which to base the decision.

Instead, it rested on the opinion of a social worker with no medical background, and on very brief observations made of Alexandra in the Charité back in 2007 (when she was seven years old). As Anna’s appeal of the decision is being reviewed, Alexandra anxiously awaits a decision from the experts who will pass sentence over her future . . . 

Alexandra’s tale mirrors more clearly what happens when a child is plucked from the protective wing of a parent and subjected to the bureaucratic nightmares and pathologising process many transgender people face in Berlin."


6-21-12:  Pink News (UK re Malta): "Malta: Gender identity and sexual orientation included in hate crime laws" (Times of Malta)

"The Maltese parliament has extended its hate crime laws for the first time to protect citizens on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The amendment to the hate crime laws, which until now made motives based only on religion, race and disability an aggravating factor in a criminal incident, came after a pair of attacks on lesbian women. In January, a 16-year-old lesbian and her girlfriend were assaulted in a public square. The following month, another lesbian couple were physically attacked on a bus.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement welcomed the law, saying: “We thank both sides of the House for supporting this bill and sending a strong message to society that targeting someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is unacceptable and will incur tougher penalties.

“This Bill was proposed during a protest following the incident against two young lesbians in Hamrun earlier this year and was supported by aditus, We Are, LGBT Labour, Drachma and Drachma Parents, Graffitti, ADZ and Integra Foundation. The courage of these young people to report the crime played an important role in providing the required impetus to move forward with this legislative proposal which had been on MGRM’s agenda for a number of years.”"


6-20-12: "Conan O'Brien apologizes for transgender joke", by Tammy Reed

"Late-night talk show host, Conan O'Brien, has apologized for a transgender joke that he made during his June 12th monologue.

During his monologue while filming his show in Chicago, O’Brien referred to Chicago as “the city of the big shoulders,” then joked that it “was better than the name they almost went with … 'the unconvincing tranny' . . .

According to GLAAD, who talked with the shows producers, the show has confirmed they will remove the clip of the joke from their website. This is not the first time that O’Brien has “joked” about the transgender community however. In 2009 O’Brien did a sketch where he was portrayed as having been caught in a transsexual strip club. The sketch portrayed transsexauls as mustached strippers."


6-20-12:  India Today (India): "Pinki Pramanik's gender identity still ambiguous" (more, more)

"The seven-member medical team that conducted a gender determination test on 2006 Asian Games gold medallist Pinki Pramanik on Tuesday said she has both male and female reproductive organs . . . He said the medical board has already sent the initial report to the Barasat court through the police.

"We have requested the court to carry out two different tests (hormonal and chromosomal) on Pinki at the state-run SSKM hospital as the Barasat hospital where the medical examination was done did not have adequate infrastructure for such tests," he added. The doctor said that Pramanik helped the medical board members to carry out all the tests.

"It was somewhat similar to a transgender as a result of which we could not arrive at any conclusion and suggest two more tests to determine her actual gender identity," another doctor said on condition of anonymity. Earlier, a West Bengal district court gave two weeks' judicial custody to the former athlete, who was arrested for allegedly torturing and attempting to rape a woman."


6-19-12:  MTV: "Laura Jane Grace: A Life Unburdened ‒ In first interview since announcing she's transgender, Against Me! singer talks with MTV News about painful past, new life and future of her band." (more, more, more, more)

"This is the story of a woman named Laura Jane Grace, who was born in the body of a boy named Tommy Gabel, and spent the next 31 years of her life trying to get out.

It starts a long time ago, back when Gabel was 4 or 5 years old and had just watched a televised performance by Madonna. It was the moment Laura first let herself be known, when the boy who spent skinned-kneed summers dressed as a cowboy or Superman realized she was not actually a boy at all. And not surprisingly, given her strict upbringing on military bases across the South (Gabel's father is a retired Army major), she didn't understand how to process this rather pertinent bit of new information. All she knew was that, for the first time in her life, she felt somehow different."


6-19-12:  Huffington Post (posted 6-17): "Transgender Man Proposes To Partner At White House LGBT Pride Reception" (with video!)

"A transgender man made a bold move on Friday during an extravagant White House reception in honor of LGBT Pride Month: he dropped down on one knee and proposed to his partner.

Scout, whose full name is legally one word, popped the question to Liz Margolies just minutes after President Barack Obama addressed the guests, many of whom are leaders in the LGBT community. Scout said he had been planning to propose to Margolies at the White House for almost a year, but when the moment presented itself, he realized he hadn't chosen a place to do it. So he just got down on his knee in the middle of Cross Hall, the main hallway on the first floor of the White House, where dozens of guests were sipping champagne and listening to the U.S. Marine Band."


6-19-12:  Daily Mail (UK; re Canada): "'He could have chopped me up too: 'Canadian porn star cannibal's' transsexual ex-lover reveals she could have been psycho killer's victim"

"The devastated ex-lover of cannibal killer suspect Luka Magnotta last night spoke of her horror at falling for him and said: 'He could have chopped me up too.' The transsexual, who goes by the name Barbie, said the porn star wooed her by taking her to see violent film Basic Instinct 2 — in which a victim is killed with an ice pick. Bisexual Magnotta, 29, is suspected of killing male lover Lin Jun, 33, with the same kind of weapon before chopping up his body and eating parts of it."


6-19-12:  GMA News: "Pinay now a sought-after New York paparazzo"

"Two major changes in Dia Dipasupil’s life happened one after the other. She wanted to shift career from IT to photography, and also yearned to change her gender. Today, she is a sought-after celebrity photographer for Getty Images – a true New York paparazzo. She has also completed gender reassignment and has fully transitioned to female. “I transitioned in order to survive,” she said of her condition described by psychologists as ‘gender dysphoria.’

Dia, 46, was born in the Bronx, one of five children of Diosdado and Olivia Dipasupil. Her father, who introduced her to photography, was a pediatrician, and her mother a registered nurse. They came to the U.S. in 1964. Diosdado is now deceased but Olivia is retired and living in Florida. Dia has never been to the Philippines, and would love to visit to “learn about my heritage.”

In an interview with The FilAm, Dia talks about her job chasing celebrities and being a transsexual."


6-19-12:  The Star (Malaysia): "Dr Mashitah: No constitutional protection for LGBT"  (more)

"KUALA LUMPUR: The Constitution does not allow a citizen to be discriminated for his religious belief and gender but does not say anything about one's sexual orientation.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim told Parliament that even though Article 8 of the Federal Constitution protects one from gender discrimination, the word gender should not be interpreted as a person's sexual orientation such as being a lesbian, gay or bisexual. “The protection given by the Federal Constitution is meant for men and women,” she told Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP-Beruas).

She said the National Registration Department does not allow a man who had undergone sex change to become a woman to make changes to his name in the identity card following a decision by the Fatwa Council that sex change is haram. Dr Mashitah said the Fatwa Council which met to discuss the issue said any sex change operation was against the religion."


6-19-12:  Malaysiakini (Malaysia): "Federal constitution does not define gender at all", by Pang Khee Teik

"My letter to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mashitah Ibrahim in response to her statements here and here.

Dear deputy minister, I am sorry but the federal constitution does NOT define gender as male and female - in fact, it does NOT define gender at all.

I wish people who want to make policies about gender would keep themselves up to date regarding gender theories, at the very least. Gender is a very broad and complex word for the different ways we experience and express who we feel we are and goes beyond the sex we were assigned at birth.

While gender is not the same as sexual orientation, it can also include aspects of it. Each of our experience of gender differs from one another, and it's okay. A simplistic understanding of gender consisting of only male and female is not only a view long discarded, but is not even a reflection of the diversity of our humanity.

We risk being the laughing stock of the world if we still hold on to such an outdated concept. More and more countries around the world, including those in Asia, are recognising diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity."


6-18-12: NDTV (India; posted 6-14): "Pinki Pramanik case: Gynaecologists talk of genetic reasons, sex change" (more, more)

"Kolkata: As police Thursday detained Asian games gold medalist Pinki Pramanik after a complaint was filed that she is a male and has allegedly raped a woman, leading gynaecologists feel genetic problems can lead to dual sexual identity. "Such kind of incidents are quite common, where due to genetic reasons we can find females with male features. A female, who is genetically female, may have male features which are quite dominant," said Aruna Tantia, a gynaecologist. Pramanik was arrested after a complaint was made that she is a male and has allegedly raped a woman, police said Thursday . . .

"The question is whenever an athlete participates in a tournament there is a physical checkup and it is nearly impossible to hide one's sexual identity. But there is a possibility that the athlete might have gone for a sex change after retiring. In case of sex change, such kind of things are quite possible," he told IANS. Pramanik won gold in 4×400 metres relay at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. She was a silver medalist at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games the same year. She retired from athletics three years ago."


6-18-12: Loop21: “Is There a Transgendered Woman on "Love & Hip-Hop"?” (more)
“People have been chattering about VH1's new show "Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta," but not in the way the producers may have hoped. zsome folks are insinuating that Joseline Hernandez, the aspiring Latin artist that appears to be producer Stevie J’s mistress, was born a man . . .

The topic was brought up at the recent “Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta” premiere party by comedienne Cadillac Kim, who asked if one of the members of the cast was a man. Joseline was quick to answer the question (with a nay) and Mona-Scott Young spoke in Joseline’s defense, saying that she had seen the former stripper naked. I don’t think Joseline is a man but Mona must have forgotten that modern science can do amazing things. There are probably a lot of transgendered women whose manufactured vaginas could fool anyone.”


6-18-12:  Tbe Independent blogs (UK): "Bodily autonomy: confessions of a transsexual sex worker", by Paris Lees

"When Channel 4 screened Ria: Diary of a Teen Transsexual last Tuesday I was prepared for ignorant comments. I didn’t predict though that criticism towards 17 year old Ria would focus so heavily on her sex work . . .

I was unimpressed with a flurry of comments I saw on Facebook which condemned Ria’s massage parlour job as “morally wrong”. The commenters were otherwise supportive of her transition; a bizarre case of “We don’t mind you letting a doctor reshape your genitals, but you’re not allowed to rent them”. Some defended her with the rather sweet, but utterly condescending I-was-no-angel-at-her-age-we-all-do-stupid-things argument. What about students who fund their university education through sex work? Are they stupid? And why can’t we be angels and promiscuous? And who, precisely, are these perfect people passing judgement on others? "


6-17-12:  Japan Times (Japan; posted 6-16): "Sexual minorities NPO, hotline, bar open in Nagoya" (more)

"A Nagoya resident with gender identity disorder has established a nonprofit group, hotline and dining bar in the city to support so-called sexual minorities and create an environment where they can interact. "I want people to better understand the situation of such people so we can become a society that respects diverse sexual orientations," said Yuki Anma, 42, who was born male but has officially switched gender in the family register. Anma, who is also a member of a local gender equality council, talked frankly about the gender dysphoria while growing up during a recent interview . . .

Anma felt that a support system for sexual minorities was needed because prejudice and social constrictions make life difficult for them. She says that the relatively conservative Tokai region, which includes Nagoya, has been particularly slow in raising public awareness of sexual minority issues. Last July, Anma quit the political party, and, with 70 of her friends, started an NPO called Proud Life. Last December, she opened her Queer+s dining bar in Nagoya’s Shinsakae district. Anma says she wants to make a place for sexual minorities to freely socialize and connect with mainstream society. Last month the NPO started the Rainbow Hotline to provide public consulting services to sexual minorities, meeting a need that Anma says was previously unmet. "


6-17-12:  Daily Beast: "A Father’s Day Transgender Surprise ‒ The last time Maria Chico’s father saw her, she was a baby boy. Would her dad accept her 30 years later—as a woman?"

"The last thing my father knew, he had a son. He could only ever remember me as a baby boy, swaddled in my mother’s arms. He had no idea that I was male by gender only, or that I was miserable, alone, and confused, until, at age 21, I completed a series of operations to become the person I was meant to be—a woman. So when I drove out to see him last week, our first encounter in 30 years, I felt sick with anticipation. Would he reject me, like so many other people had done before?"


6-17-12:  Charlotte Observer: "N.C. Democrats choose first transgender in diverse DNC delegation"

"RALEIGH N.C. Democrats on Saturday selected the remainder of the party’s 158-member delegation to September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. And they did it with an emphasis on diversity.

Among those picked Saturday: Janice Covington of Charlotte, the first openly transgender person to serve as a Democratic delegate from the state.“It’s important to my community – to the whole LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community” – to be a part of the convention, Covington, 64, said. “We’ve always been left off the bus. Transgenders have always been the redheaded stepchildren.”"


6-16-12:  Pink Paper (UK): "April Ashley receives MBE for services to transgender equality" (AP photo, Daily Mail, more, more, more)

"The first Briton to have a sex change operation has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours, for her services to transgender equality.

The 77-year-old actress and campaigner was born a boy and underwent a sex change operation in Casablanca in 1960 at the age of 25 by Moroccan surgeon Doctor Burou, who had carried out eight previous sex change operations.

April went on to become a successful model, including an assignment for Vogue, shot by David Bailey. But in 1961 a friend sold her story to the Sunday People, published under the headline “The Extraordinary Case Of Top Model April Ashley – ‘Her’ Secret Is Out.”

April went on to campaign for the right to call herself a woman and was legally able to in 2004 with the introduction of the Gender Recognition Act. With the help of John Prescott in 2005, she was finally granted a new birth certificate asserting she was born female."


6-16-12:  Windy City Times: "Transgender seniors and the legacy of Lois Bates", by Kate Sosin

"In late November 2011, June LaTrobe, the transgender liaison at Center on Halsted, got a call that changed her life and her role within Chicago's LGBT community. Lois Bates—a longtime mentor, friend and colleague—had died unexpectedly. It was days before the two were supposed to host Chicago's transgender Day of Remembrance at Center on Halsted.

"For me, Lois was one of the most validating things in my life," said LaTrobe, 71, with a sigh. "I don't really have a person that I go to like I would have gone to Lois for other stuff, frankly."

In her position as transgender health manager at Howard Brown Health Center, Bates, 41, mentored countless transgender Chicagoans through their first teetering steps into gender transition, Among them were two transgender seniors whose names would later become synonymous with trans activism in Chicago: Helena Bushong and LaTrobe. In the wake of Bates' death, LaTrobe and Bushong were left with a difficult question: What do you as an advocate (do) when the mother of your community—decades younger than you—suddenly dies?"


6-15-12:  Los Angeles Times: "Transgender kids get help navigating a difficult path ‒ Amber is one of an increasing number who are getting specialized care. The 12-year-old takes puberty-blocking drugs and hopes to have gender reassignment surgery at 16", by Anna Gorman (Video of Amber and her supportive parents) (more)

"Amber, a soft-spoken, feminine 12-year-old who loves Hello Kitty and fashion design, lives with a secret. It is a secret most sixth-graders can't fathom, one she hides behind pink skirts and makeup. It is a secret that led to all her baby pictures being tucked away as though her childhood had never happened.

Amber was born a boy.

When she was 10, she stopped going by her given name, Aaron, and began dressing as a girl. Last year, she started taking medication to keep her from going through puberty.

"I can be who I am," Amber said. "I can be a girl."

An increasing number of children like Amber are realizing they are transgender and seeking care at clinics around the nation. Because of their age, the complex and emotional journey is as much their parents' as their own. Families are forced to make tough decisions about therapy and medication, and about what to tell friends and relatives. They are trying to give their children a normal upbringing with summer camps and sleepovers while protecting them from harm and embarrassment."


6-14-12:  CBC News (Canada; posted 6-13): "Ontario passes law to protect transgender people" (more, more, more, more)

"Ontario has become the first province in Canada to recognize gender identity in its human rights legislation. An amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code prohibiting discrimination against transgender people was passed in the legislature on Wednesday.

Minutes after the amendment passed, the lobby outside the legislature was filled with transgender people, hugging and shaking hands with MPPs. Christine Elliott, deputy leader of the Opposition Progressive Conservatives said the new law will "prevent discrimination against anyone in Ontario."

In a rare show of unity the bill, which was supported by all three parties in the legislature, passed unanimously."

[Even so, Ken Zucker still operates the self-proclaimed "world's leading gender clinic" at CAMH in Toronto, Ontario, where he subjects transgender children (whom he defines as "psychiatrically disordered") to reparatist therapy to enforce their birth gender.  In other words, one of the worst imaginable forms of discrimination against transgender children is being openly sponsored by Ontario provincial taxes!]


6-14-12:  Los Angeles Times (posted 6-13): "Carmen Carrera 'Cake Boss' show pulled for transgender prank" (more, more, more)

"TLC has pulled Monday's episode of the popular reality show set in a New Jersey bakery after Carmen Carrera — a transgender woman who has appeared on"RuPaul's Drag Race" and other shows — vehemently objected to how she was portrayed.

Carrera said the producers lured her on to the show under false pretenses, making her believe she'd be a role model for transgendered persons when in fact she was used as part of a homophobic prank. On the episode, Valastro had Carrera lie in wait at a bar for Valastro's rival, "Cousin Anthony" Bellifemine. Carrera and Bellifemine began flirting, and she gave him a peck on the cheek.

In a voice-over, Valastro exulted: "Anthony, right now, is on top of the world. He don't know what's coming, baby." Valastro added: "That's a man, baby!" Cousin Anthony was later glimpsed fleeing the bar. 

In a Facebook posting, Carrera wrote: "Im really trying to be a positive role model for trans people and it upsets me that ... I SPECIFICALLY asked the producers of 'Cake Boss' NOT to disrespect me or trans people. Before I agreed to do this show, I was assured and then reassured that it wasn't going to be like the JERRY SPRINGER show or MAURY. Let me make this clear. CALLING A TRANSGENDER WOMAN A MAN IS WRONG. Period. Its degrading, its rude, and its very hurtful.""


6-14-12:  People's Daily (China): "Man kept transgender secret for over 75 years"

"Qian Jinfan decided to disclose his secret four years ago, and gave himself the feminine name Yiling. He said he wanted to become a woman since he was three and concealed the secret until he was 80 . . . He told the newspaper that he tried to take pills to look more like a woman in the 1960s, but gave up. Qian said he has longed for transsexual surgery, but the procedure always seemed too risky and complicated.

In September 2009, Qian wrote a letter to the Foshan Cultural, Radio, TV, Film, Press and Publication Bureau in Guangdong Province, where he retired, to express his intention . . .

After revealing his secret, his relatives, friends and the bureau have shown understanding. "I had prepared to die to defend my decision. To my surprise, they were all very open and accepted it," he said. "


6-13-12:  Slate: "Challenges and Tragedy for the Transgender Community", by J. Bryan Lowder

"The past few days have seen an encouraging step forward—and a tragic step backward—for the transgender community. Yesterday, Kylar Broadus, a Missouri-based attorney and professor, became the first openly transgender person to testify before the U.S. Congress, speaking about his personal experience with workplace discrimination and the need for legislation like ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) to stop it. In a story fit for a psychological thriller, Broadus recounted being systematically forced out of a lucrative career in finance . . .

On a sadder note, another transgender voice—that of 23-year-old Thapelo Makutle—has been violently silenced. An LGBT activist and award-winning drag performer in the rural Northern Cape Province of South Africa (who identified as both gay and transgender), Makutle was brutally murdered over the weekend by two assailants, reportedly after an argument about his sexuality. Mambaonline has the details:"


6-13-12:  MSNBC (re South Africa): "Transgender pageant winner murdered in South Africa"

"A South African who had won a Miss Gay pageant was found in his rented room with his throat slit, news24 reported.

Thapelo Makutle, 23, had argued late Friday night with two men about his sexuality, his friend, Shaine Griqua told Those two men followed him home, broke down his door and killed him, Griqua said.

Makutle, known as Queen Bling, was active in the LGBT community in the Kuruman region, a rural area in the north, Griqua told He said his friend identified as gay and recently started calling himself transgender."


6-13-12:  Bikya Masr (Egypt re Kuwait): "Kuwait continues LGBT crackdown, arrests transsexual man"

"A crackdown on LGBT people in Kuwait is continuing, with security upping their “efforts” to curtail the community’s movements in the country. A new report, published across local media on Monday, revealed that a transsexual man was arrested by police on charges of “immorality.”

The 18-year-old transgender man was detained after a fight erupted between him and a group of young men over his appearance. He was reportedly dressed in the traditional male dishdasha and ghutra, but it did not stop the fight from occurring . . .

The men mistakenly thought the transgender man was a male-to-female transgender woman and began to harass him . . . Instead of protecting or intervening to help, the police arrested him and he was charged with “imitating the opposite sex,” reported Al-Anba."


6-12-12:  Gay Times (UK): "Ria: Diary of a Teenage Transsexual ‒ A one-off show will look at the life of a transgender teenager in Hull.", by Paris Lees

"Ignore the silly title – tonight’s Channel 4 documentary is a gritty look at life in a Northern town when you’re young, transgender and desperate for something more. We’ll see 17 year-old Ria dating – and the potentially dangerous complications that involves when you’re trans – her relationship with her family, many of whom struggle with her new identity, and the simple, everyday issues of growing up in Hull. Its dark stuff, but there’s hope too . . .

We may have different aims – Ria dreams of becoming a glamour model and cites Jordan as an inspiration – but we’re both evidence of a dramatic social shift. There was a time when most transsexual people didn’t transition until middle age. Like some gay people still do, many trans people feel huge pressure to hide their true identities. More and more are coming out in our teens and early twenties though. It’s an encouraging sign that Ria, living in a less-than-cosmopolitan area, felt able to transition at all. Wish her luck.

Paris Lees is editor of META, a new digital publication devoted to gender. Ria: Diary of a Teenage Transsexual airs tonight at 11pm on Channel 4. "


6-12-12:  The Advocate: "With Senate Hearing, Hope for a Jumpstart on ENDA" (more)

"The long-running campaign to secure federal workplace protections for LGBT employees will take a new step Tuesday morning when a Senate panel holds the first hearing on the Employment Non-discrimination Act in nearly three years. Proceedings in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will include the first-ever Senate testimony from an openly transgender witness . . .

While action may be unlikely in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives for now, advocates are hoping for movement in the Democratic-led senate to showcase the lack of substantial opposition and generate public pressure . . .

The four speakers selected by the Democratic majority include Kylar Broadus, founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition of Columbia, Missouri. Transgender individuals have testified in the House, but never in the Senate until now. "


6-12-12:  Time: "Invisible Youth: Samantha Box"

"Transgender people comprise the highest proportion of homeless LGBT youth. In particular, they are often denied access to shelter services, particularly in shelters that segregate clients based on birth sex. Discrimination and lack of identification that reflects their chosen name and gender makes it hard for many young transwomen to find a legal job, leaving sex work as one of the few options available to them . . . 

On any given night in New York City, an estimated 4,000 LGBT youth roam the city without a home. As the country celebrates LGBT Pride month throughout June, Box aims to remind us that, in spite of tremendous progress, vulnerable LGBT youth still suffer in the shadows . . .

Although one senses heartbreak in the images — the pained expression of a young woman visiting the grave of her deceased mother, the “Happy Mother’s Day” note bequeathed on a bed of flowers — there is an overwhelming feeling of life and youth radiating from Box’s photos. As opposed to relying on expected visual tropes of homelessness and LGBT youth, Box paints a more refined and heartfelt portrait: these are young adults coming of age and coming together in search of family."


6-12-12:  Boston Globe: "Mass. stalled antibullying guide under Romney ‒ Objections to writing ‘transgender,’ ‘bisexual’" (more, more)

"Former governor Mitt Romney’s administration in 2006 blocked publication of a state antibullying guide for Massachusetts public schools because officials objected to use of the terms “bisexual’’ and “transgender’’ in passages about protecting certain students from harassment, according to state records and interviews with current and former state officials . . .

“Because this is using the terms ‘bisexual’ and ‘transgendered,’ DPH’s name may not be used in this publication,’’ wrote the official, Alda Rego-Weathers, then the deputy commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Because the Department of Public Health was the primary sponsor and funding source of the guide, the move effectively blocked its publication. Rego-Weathers said in the e-mail that she had been consulting with Romney’s office on the issue.

Stifling the guide’s publication was among steps that Romney and his aides took during his last year in office to distance the Republican governor from state programs designed to specifically support gays, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people."


6-11-12:  Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): "Scanners at airports to reveal alls" (more)

"Controversial full-body scanners due to be introduced into Australian airports next month will identify prosthesis wearers, including breast cancer survivors and transgender passengers.

Earlier this year the federal government announced the new scanners, to be installed in eight international terminals, would be set to show only a generic stick-figure image to protect passengers' privacy.

But documents released under freedom of information show that, in meetings with stakeholders, Office of Transport Security representatives confirmed the machines would detect passengers wearing a prosthesis."


6-09-12: OII Australia (Australia; posted 6-05): "Submission on the draft Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health 7th Standards of Care"

"This is a submission by OII Australia and OII Aotearoa to the American Psychiatric Association with respect to the application of the draft Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition to intersex people. It is also a submission to WPATH and ANZPATH on the proposed World Professional Association for Transgender Health 7th Standards of Care with respect to its application to intersex people.

The WPATH Standards of Care include intersex people explicitly for the first time, and do so in a manner that pathologises intersex people, at a time when WPATH is depathologising trans people. Yet, in all cases concerning intersex people there is a biological basis for any gender non-conformity. In very many cases, gender presentation is iatrogenic – it arises from medical treatment. OII Australia and OII Aotearoa believe that non-typical gender behaviour should not be problematized.

The paper references peer-reviewed medical research and other papers, and makes a series of recommendations to ensure the appropriate, patient-centred treatment of intersex people, that takes account of our personal needs, and our histories, including both pre-existing diagnoses and the iatrogenic consequences of previous treatment.

[This important 34-page report reveals how the clueless blunderings of the APA and WPATH are leading to the psychiatric pathologization of intersex people as being 'disordered'. What's going on here? Is this really just blundering, or do the shrinks envision a new captive-market in need of 'treatment' (i.e., intersex children)?]


6-09-12:  Daily Star (UK): "Big Brother 2012: Wife So Proud Of Sex Change BB Star Luke Anderson" (more)

"The wife of sex swap Big Brother star Luke Anderson last night revealed how they are planning a baby. Becki Jones told for the first time of the moment her chef sweetheart broke the news to her that he was born a girl.

When he sat her down for a “serious talk” a month after they had started dating she thought he was going to confess he had been in jail. Though the hotel restaurant manager admitted she was “shocked” by his transgender revelation she realised she loved him just the way he is.

And even though Luke has not had surgery below the waist to complete his transformation into a man, the couple cannot wait to start a family."


6-08-12:  Toronto Star (Canada): "Olympics struggle with ‘policing femininity’"

"In a move critics call “policing femininity,” recent rule changes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body of track and field, state that for a woman to compete, her testosterone must not exceed the male threshold.

If it does, she must have surgery or receive hormone therapy prescribed by an expert IAAF medical panel and submit to regular monitoring. So far, at least a handful of athletes — the figure is confidential — have been prescribed treatment, but their numbers could increase. Last month, the International Olympic Committee began the approval process to adopt similar rules for the Games."


6-08-12:  LGBT History Month (posted 4-05): “Professor Arthur Sullivan reviews a classic about Transition: Dear Sir or Madam ( A Journey from Female to Male), by Mark Rees

As well as his own personal journey, this book chronicles the journey which society has made towards understanding and accepting trans people over the past sixty years or so, and the not inconsiderable contribution which Rees himself made throughout that period.  As such, this is not just a book for professionals, nor only the families and close friends of trans people or those experiencing gender dysphoria.  It deserves a much wider readership amongst those in society who will come across trans people at some point in their daily lives – which is to say all of us . . .

This is a very moving, personal, honest and direct account of the life of a very modest man of great integrity and I am glad to have had an opportunity to read it.  It is also highly readable, and seldom do I feel I have learnt so much on a complex subject with so little effort.  I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone – no matter how slight you may believe your interest to be in the topic, for it is ultimately a testament to the need to treat with respect all those we encounter in everyday life – for we cannot know their back story.

[Mark Rees' story is historically important (see also Christine Burns’ review of Mark’s book). He was the first Briton to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights in the mid 1980's. He subsequently also co-founded Press for Change and has very informative views on the church's attitude to trans people.  A true pioneer of the trans-rights movement, his story should be far more widely told. Fortunately, Mark’s book is now available in e-pub format, making it far more accessible to international readers.]


6-08-12:  Edmonton Journal (Alberta, Canada; posted 6-07): "Province reinstating coverage of gender-reassignment surgery" (more, more, more)

"Gina Bennett “flew off the handle” when she learned the Alberta government is reinstating funding for gender-reassignment surgery three years after it was cut in the provincial budget.

“(I’m) elated. There is a sense of relief,” said Bennett, 27, who has been living as a woman for five years and has been moving from job to job, trying to earn higher wages to pay for her own surgery. “Who figured it would have been the Conservatives bringing it back in? This has turned my opinion of (Premier Alison) Redford.” The funding will begin mid-June."


6-08-12:  Huffington Post: "American Apparel Features Isis King, Transgender Model, In New GLAAD Pride 2012 Partnership" (more, more)

"Today the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced that it will be partnering with American Apparel to release a new line of equality tees to celebrate Pride month.

While the clothing giant's "Legalize Gay" shirt has long been one of its most popular items, its Pride 2012 release is the company's first to feature an openly transgender model, former "America's Next Top Model" contestant Isis King, in its ad campaign.

The company first began printing their "Legalize Gay" shirt to protest the passing of California's Prop 8 in 2008 and has since handed out over 50,000 of the shirts at Pride rallies, run protest advertisements nationwide and even partnered with the Human Rights Campaign for their March on Washington.

Marsha Brady, an American Apparel creative director, said of the recent campaign, "It’s time for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to accept each other and thrive in harmony.""


6-08-12:  WSBTV Atlanta: "Cross-dressing professor speaks out about prostitution arrest" (more, more, more)

"A University of Georgia professor tells Channel 2 Action News he's embarrassed after his arrest on prostitution charges in Gwinnett County.

German professor Max Reinhart, 65, was booked in the Gwinnett County jail just after noon Thursday. Reinhart was arrested after detectives arranged a meeting with him after they found an online ad in a transsexual escort services section of a website under the name "Sasha." When police arrested Reinhart, they said he was dressed as a woman.

Channel 2's Eric Philips went to Reinhart's home Friday night and spoke with him. Reinhart told Philips he is humiliated about the whole incident. "I'm embarrassed. I'm feeling very stupid," Reinhart said. "I am deeply remorseful for anything I may have done to bring any kind of doubt to the integrity of the university and myself." "


6-08-12:  The Guardian (UK): "Five trans role models you should know about", by Juliet Jacques

"The recent realisation that the "portrait of an unknown woman" acquired by the National Portrait Gallery actually depicts French soldier and diplomat Chevalier d'Eon (1728-1810), who publicly lived as a woman in 18th-century London, provides a welcome opportunity to consider the history of gender-variant people, and how they interacted with their societies."


6-07-12:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Gender Identity Disorder: Damned When You Have It and Damned When It’s Cured?", by Jillian Page

"A comment by a spokeperson for the National Guard in Minnesota has me thinking about “gender identity disorder.”

In Minnesota, an Iraq “transgender” war veteran has run into some obstacles in her bid to re-enlist in the National Guard. According to the Christian Post: Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a spokesperson for the Minnesota National Guard, sent a statement to CNN that stated that transgender people are considered to have a disorder, which is why they are not allowed to serve. “A history of, or current manifestations of … transsexual, gender identity disorder to include major abnormalities or defects of genitalia such as change of sex or a current attempt to change sex … or dysfunctional residuals from surgical correction of these conditions render an individual administratively unfit,” the statement read.

Of course, most if not all trans people would disagree with that statement . . . We have “a history.” We received therapy, as well as medical intervention. The questions in cases like this, I suppose, are: Are we cured? Will our past mental anguish — i.e. gender identity disorder — interfere with our future duties in such roles as serving our countries? "


6-07-12: Fisher & Phillips LLP (via JDSUPRA): “Massachusetts' Gender Identity Law Goes Into Effect July 1, 2012”

"Massachusetts employers take note: Massachusetts’ Transgender Equal Rights Bill, signed into law by Governor Patrick on November 23, 2011, goes into effect on July 1, 2012. Massachusetts is the 16th U.S. state, along with Washington, D.C., to offer transgendered individuals protection from discrimination, although the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has taken the position for years that transgendered individuals are protected under the definition of “sex” as a protected class.
The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, as well as housing, credit, and education. Massachusetts’ existing state anti-discrimination law, Chapter 151B, is amended to include “gender identity” as a protected category. Chapter 151B applies to public employers and private employers with six or more employees . . .

If you have not done so already, you should update your policies, handbooks, and harassment training to reflect this additional protected category. You should also consider training your managers about gender identity discrimination. If you are confronted with a gender-identity issue and need assistance navigating this new area of the law, or need help updating your policies, we are available."


6-07-12:  Los Angeles Times: "Miss USA beauty pageant turns ugly as Donald Trump weighs in"

"First, Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monnin, claimed the Sunday outcome was rigged and gave up her state crown in protest. Then, pageant officials said Monnin -- who failed to make the top 15 -- had really quit because she opposed competing against transgender contestants, who were allowed into the pageant for the first time this year.

Enter Donald Trump, the co-owner of the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageant, who denied Monnin's allegations . . .  "We're going to be suing her," Trump added. "You're gonna sue her?" Stephanopoulos replied incredulously. "Yeah, we're gonna sue her," Trump said, accusing Monnin, 27, of making false accusations of pageant-fixing that were insulting not only to the pageant, but to its judges, auditors and everyone else involved in the event. He added that Monnin suffers from "loser's remorse.""


6-07-12:  On Top Magazine: "Sheena Monnin, Miss PA USA, Resigns In Protest Of Transgender Contestants" (more)

"Sheena Monnin, Miss Pennsylvania USA, has resigned in protest of transgender contestants. Monnin stepped down from her post this week, just days after Olivia Culpo, a 20-year-old cellist from Rhode Island, was crowned Miss USA . . .  In her resignation letter, Monnin, 27, cited the policy change, writing that she refused to be “part of a pageant system has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it."

[Loser finds a sure-fire way to keep her name in the press, AFTER the contest is over.]


6-06-12:  Daily Beast: "Media Ignores Rash of Assaults on Transgender Women"

"The spate of violence has gone virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media, as well as by the mainstream gay community, which has been consumed by the same-sex-marriage debate and the Tyler Clementi/Dharun Ravi case, writes Jay Michaelson."


6-06-12:  National Catholic Reporter: "Condemnation of 'Just Love' not a surprise in this day and age", by Fr. Charles E. Curran

"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's condemnation of Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley's award-winning book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, is not a surprise . . . According to the pope, the church is "facing what is certainly a genuine crisis, which is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent, but of an overall and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine."

The reaction of popes and bishops to revisionist moral theologians is only one part of a growing reality in our church today . . . What is happening here is that the pope and the Vatican are more and more defending the idea of a remnant church -- a small and pure church that sees itself often in opposition to the world around it. It seems as if church authorities are not concerned at all about those who leave the church. Any other organization would take strong action to remedy the loss of one-third of its members. But the remnant church sees itself as a strong church of true believers, and therefore is not worried by such departures."


6-06-12:  New York Times (posted 6-05): "Is Pleasure a Sin?", by Maureen Dowd (more, more, more, more)

"It's hard to say what is weirder: A Sister of Mercy writing about the Kama Sutra, sexual desire and "our yearnings for pleasure." Or the Vatican getting so hot and bothered about the academic treatise on sexuality that the pope censures it, causing it to shoot from obscurity to the top tier of's best-seller list six years after it was published.  Just the latest chapter in the Vatican's thuggish crusade to push American nuns -- and all Catholic women -- back into moldy subservience.

Even for a church that moves glacially, this was classic. "Just Love: a Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics," by Sister Margaret Farley -- a 77-year-old professor emeritus at Yale's Divinity School, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar -- came out in 2006. The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which seems as hostile to women as the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, spent years pondering it, then censured it on March 30 but didn't publicly release the statement until Monday.

The denunciation of Sister Farley's book is based on the fact that she deals with the modern world as it is. She refuses to fall in line with a Vatican rigidly clinging to an inbred, illusory world where men rule with no backtalk from women, gays are deviants, the divorced can't remarry, men and women can't use contraception, masturbation is a grave disorder and celibacy is enshrined, even as a global pedophilia scandal rages . . .

The Vatican showed no mercy to the Sister of Mercy, proclaiming that "the deliberate use of the sexual faculty" outside of marriage or procreation, or on one's own, is wrong; that homosexual sex acts are "deviant," and that marriages are by and large indissoluble . . . This latest ignoble fight with a noble nun adds to the picture of a Catholic Church in a permanent defensive crouch, steeped in Borgia-like corruption and sexual scandals, lashing out at anyone who notes the obvious: They have lost track of right and wrong."


6-06-12:  New Magazine (UK): "Big Brother 2012: Luke A an early favourite, let's meet them all" (more, more)

"After just one night there's already a favourite to win Big Brother - Luke Anderson. Luke A - who is undergoing gender transition surgery - is already an early favourite to win Big Brother this year - but he's closely followed by Benedict Garrett - who has already divided opinion."


6-05-12:  Washington Post (re Argentina): "Transsexuals line up for new IDs as groundbreaking Argentine gender identity law takes effect" (more, more)

"Transsexuals lined up Monday to be the first to take advantage of Argentina’s groundbreaking gender-identity law, which enables people to change their names and sexes on official documents without first getting approval from a judge or doctor. No other country in the world allows people to change their official identities based merely on how they feel.

Many other countries, including the United States, require people to pass barriers that sexual identity experts describe as painful or humiliating, such as hormone therapy or surgeries to physically change their sex organs and psychiatric visits to demonstrate they have “gender identity disorder” or other abnormalities.

Argentina’s gender identity law won congressional approval with a 55-0 Senate vote last month and took effect Monday."


6-05-12:  Pink News (UK re US): "Janet Jackson calls to ‘stop the hate’ towards transgender people in new documentary" (more, more)

"Janet Jackson is set to become the executive producer of a documentary covering the lives and struggles of transgender people around the world. New York’s Brainchild Films announced yesterday that Jackson will take part in on-camera interviews in their new documentary, Truth, which begins production this summer.

“All people are very important to me,” said Jackson. “Truth is our small chance to ask that you try and understand someone who lives their life in a way that is a little bit different from yours, even though all of our hearts are the same. We want to stop the hate and find understanding.”"


6-05-12:  The Copenhagen Post (Denmark): "Fake boob competition ends in scandal ‒ Many argue a transsexual woman was the 'moral winner' in a popularity competition started by a downtown bar to win a pair of fake breasts"

"A bar is being accused by the LGBT community of discriminating against a transsexual woman they argue was the true winner of a contest to win breast enhancement surgery.

The competition was started by Kostbar – located on Gothersgade in central Copenhagen – and ignited a media storm when it was reported in early March. The premise was simple. Competitors were asked to send in a photo along with a brief explanation of why they should win a new pair of silicone breasts. The competitors were displayed on the bar’s Facebook page and the winner would be the individual with the most number of ‘likes’.

The bar now stands accused of creating a fake ‘mystery’ contender in order to avoid awarding the enhancement surgery to a transsexual woman who was winning the competition by a wide margin."


6-04-12:  NewsOK: "Transgender teen graduates in Tulsa"

"When Katie first came to Jazzlyn in tears about being transgender, worried she might live as an outcast, her mother promised there would be light at the end of the tunnel. “Katie, one of these days you’ll see — this is not a curse, this is a blessing,” Jazzlyn told her. “You’re meant to do something great with this.”

Something that was a dark period in her child’s life has turned out to be an incredible blessing, Jazzlyn said. “I never thought the light would be as bright as it is,” she said.

Katie is typical of her generation, in that she wears her heart on her sleeve and her life on her Facebook wall. Three days after she returned from California, started feeling better and spent time with family and Arin, Katie updated her status again: “So happy with life.”"


6-04-12:  New York Daily News: "Miss Rhode Island captures Miss USA crown after voicing support for transgender beauty queens" (more)

"A 20-year-old cellist from Rhode Island won the Miss USA crown and will represent the United States in this year's Miss Universe pageant after voicing support for transgender beauty queens. Olivia Culpo topped a field of 51 contestants on Sunday to take the title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

In the dreaded final question round, Culpo was faced with the most difficult question of the night: "Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?" Culpo never stumbled as she embraced the Miss Universe Organization's recent decision to admit transgender contestants. The question came from a pageant follower on Twitter, a first for the competition.

"I do think that that would be fair but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it's a free country," Culpo said."


6-04-12:  Philly Magazine: "The Realities of Transgender Aging ‒ A new resource provides insights into the issues aging trans men and women face"

"Thanks to Sage (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), transgender men and women have a new guidebook on what to anticipate as they get older. Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice not only takes on the current state of transgender aging, but also anticipates the challenges that older adults will face in their lifetimes – including disparities in health and healthcare access, employment and housing."


6-02-12:  The Mirror (UK re Canada): ""When you look in my eyes you’ll see there’s nothing inside of me": Chilling words of 'cannibal killer' fugitive to transsexual lover" (more, more, more)

"A transsexual former lover of cannibal killer suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta claims he would do “anything to be famous” and used to boast of warped killing fantasies. Nina Arsenault described the porn star fugitive as a “f****d up kid” who regularly spoke of murdering animals and people, including his own family.

She also revealed how the 29-year-old once chilling told her: “I’m afraid when you look in my eyes… that you’ll see there’s nothing inside of me.” Speaking to CityNews, 38-year-old Nina added: “He was a manipulative pathological liar.” Magnotta is currently on the run from police after his gay lover was killed and his body parts mailed to political parties in Canada."

[The UK tabloids are having a field-day with this "cannibal-killer" story, especially after connecting Magnotti with a transwoman.]


6-02-12:  Deccan Herald (India): "IGNOU opens doors to hijra, transgender communities"

"Education will not be a far fetched dream for transgender and hijra communities any more as IGNOU has opened admissions for distance education in all streams even for the "other" category.

Himadri Roy, associate professor from the School of Gender and Development Studies, IGNOU, said, “We are the first university to begin this in the country. There are courses for dropouts to finish their class 12 studies and then opt for higher education through distance learning.”

The professor from Indira Gandhi National Open University was speaking at the national consultation programme held in Delhi on Saturday."


6-01-12:  Democratic Underground: "NCTE Releases Trans Job Discrimination “Know Your Rights” Guide"

"Following the groundbreaking U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruling protecting transgender people under the Title VII sex discrimination law, we now know that the EEOC will take seriously and work to resolve claims of anti-trans discrimination. To help individuals understand and assert their rights in the workplace, the National Center for Transgender Equality is releasing Know Your Rights: Employment Discrimination and Transgender People, a new resource outlining the laws protecting trans people in the workplace and steps for reporting job discrimination. The resource details how individuals can file a complaint with the EEOC, as well as through a state or local civil rights agency or their union."


6-01-12:  Main Street Business Journal: "EEOC: Gender Identity Bias is Sex Discrimination"

"Acting in a federal administrative proceeding, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that claims of gender identity discrimination can be asserted as claims of sex discrimination. The case involved a federal agency’s decision not to hire a male applicant who was transgendering into a female. The applicant alleged gender identity and sex bias.

When the case reached the EEOC during administrative proceedings, the EEOC ruled that the gender identity issues were validly asserted under existing law because “gender discrimination occurs any time an employer treats an employee differently for failing to conform to any gender-based expectations or norms.” Thus, the EEOC concluded that discrimination based on transgender status in and of itself is sex discrimination.

The agency explained that this is true regardless of whether the employee’s bias is due to discomfort about an employee’s expression of gender in non-traditional ways or because of a gender transition process."



May 2012


5-31-12:  Huffington Post: "Kicking Off the 11th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference", by Jacsen Callanan

"The day is nearly here, the day that all the organizers of the 11th annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (PTHC) have been waiting nearly 12 months for: the first day of the conference. Planning a conference for 2,500 people that runs for three days and involves over 350 presenters, 2,000-plus workshops, and nearly 40 other gatherings, activities, shows, and parties takes a veritable army to pull off. But when I step back and consider where we've come from, and where we are today, it is nothing short of remarkable. What began in 2002 as a one-day gathering of transgender activists, allies, and service providers at a Quaker meeting house in Philadelphia's historic district has grown into the largest transgender-specific conference in the world. Last year's Trans-Health Conference drew an incredibly diverse group of more than 2,000 attendees from around the nation and the world to talk about all aspects of transgender health and well-being, including safety, education, employment, housing, and social support. "


5-31-12:  Rolling Stone: "The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel The frontman of the aggro-political punk crew Against Me! has always known he was really a woman. Now he's becoming one."

"For as long as he can remember, Gabel has lived with a condition known as gender dysphoria. As the textbooks explain it, it's a feeling of intense dissatisfaction and disconnect from the gender you were assigned at birth. As Gabel explains it, "The cliché is that you're a woman trapped in a man's body, but it's not that simple. It's a feeling of detachment from your body and from yourself. And it's shitty, man. It's really fucking shitty."

Over the past few months, Gabel has begun the public part of a process that's been going on privately for years: leaving his male identity behind and living the rest of his life as a woman. He's been doing research – reading books like Julia Serano's Whipping Girl, watching transition videos on YouTube. Soon, he'll start taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis. And down the road – in the next couple of years – he intends to have surgery. "Right now, I'm in this awkward transition period," he says. "I look like a dude and feel like a dude, and it sucks. But eventually I'll flip, and I'll present as female."

Walking through the streets tonight in a T-shirt and hoodie, Gabel doesn't look especially feminine. He's point-guard tall and rock-star skinny, with tattoos covering his arms and chest. But if you look just right at his blue eyes or already­lasered cheeks, or the way he brushes his brown curls out of his face, you can almost catch a glimpse of the woman he's becoming."


5-31-12:  The Hindu (India): "The third gender's right to dignity", by Prabha Sridevan

"The Pakistan Supreme Court recently ruled that those who do not consider themselves to be either male or female should be allowed to choose an alternative sex in their national identity cards. I thought of the times when I fill up forms, mindlessly marking (F), and what it must be like to have the pen faltering then, not knowing if I should mark the one or the other. I thought of the times when I enter the public restrooms for women, and if at all something hits me it is the sensory assault of those pit-places, and what it must be like to feel a sense of achievement that finally I gained my right to enter the restroom of my choice. A body which is built in one way, houses a mind which is crying to be something else. It is difficult to walk in those shoes, but that does not mean those shoes are not there.

The stories are heart-rending. Every citizen has a right to life, the right to self-expression, under the Constitution. The right of gender expression is inherent in it, as much as the right of expression of sexuality. This is a facet of the right to life. The space of the third gender is not a space that is easy to inhabit for the ones who are there, and not easy to imagine for the ones who are not there.

Parents and siblings do not understand why this child cannot be like the others. Nor does the child know why, when he looks like his brothers, he wants to be like his sisters or the other way round. Acceptance is denied and the child faces exclusion even at home. In Sunil Babu Pant vs Nepal Govt and others, the Supreme Court of Nepal used the Yogyakarta Principles and held that sexual orientation is not “mental perversion” or “emotional and psychological disorder” and that the people of different gender identities are entitled to enjoy their rights without discrimination. "


5-31-12:  The Independent (UK): "Heard the one about the ladyboy? Media jokes about trans people are not acceptable", by Paris Lees

"Impressionist Morgana Robinson claimed last week that: “you can tell a tranny by their hands and their feet.” Does the star of Channel 4’s Very Important People congratulate herself when she spies a woman with large shoes? Does she smile and think “Ah, look, it’s one of those trannies”, or is she humble; does she see it as an easy-peasy guessing game? I can only speculate.

I’m a trans woman and I hear these stupid comments daily. “Transsexual” has become shorthand for someone ridiculous, someone unnamed, someone that nice, middle-class people probably don’t know. Transphobia has passed the dinner table test because those who mock trans people simply don’t expect to see one of us at their dinner tables. I’d like to petition high profile trans newsreaders and politicians to raise awareness, but none exist. Trans people are today’s Aunt Sallys – and comics throw pies at us with impunity . . .

Of course, when trans people do conform to narrow beauty standards, we’re presented as deceivers. Cue Stand Up for the Week comic Paul Chowdhry, who recently humiliated a trans woman for entering Brighton’s Next Hot Model. Prepare for some “edgy” satire . . . "


5-30-12:  Think Progress: "News Flash: SEIU Resolves To Bargain For Trans-Inclusive Healthcare" (more, more)

"This week, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is holding its national convention in Denver. Yesterday, delegates proposed a resolution that local chapters of the union bargain for health care packages that are inclusive of transgender healthcare services. The resolution passed easily with no pushback from members. Hopefully this fresh committed to supporting trans employees will help raise awareness nationwide about the importance of making sure they have the resources they need and deserve. Last year’s large study of the transgender community found that half of all trans people have had to educate their doctors about their needs and 19 percent have been refused care because of their gender identity."


5-30-12:  The Jakarta Post (Indonesia re Thailand): "Thai transgender politician vows to fight for rights of all"

"Thai political history turned a new page on Sunday when a transgender candidate won a provincial election. The result became a media phenomenon that drew attention across the country, and spread across the world. News outlets from Japan, Germany, Mexico, USA and the UK all published reports about the landmark result.

"Nan people voted for me, showing that Thai people respect human rights," Nok Yonlada - or Kirkkong Suanyos, as she is named on her ID card - the new Nan Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) member-elect, said in an enthusiastic interview with The Nation.

Nok got 3,808 votes, while her rival, Pawat Sattayawong, followed with 3,659 votes. The unexpected result made her the first transvestite to get elected in Thai political history."


5-30-12: The Guardian  (UK; posted 5-25): "Radical feminists are acting like a cult The banning of trans people from RadFem2012 is just one of the disturbing aspects of this monolithic conference". by Roz Kaveny

"Twitter has been flooded with controversy for the last week about the RadFem2012 conference, currently booked into the Conway Hall, which announced its membership as restricted to "women born women and living as women" . . . This disturbed the trans community, which it is meant to exclude, but also those feminists who regard trans-exclusion as something other than radical.

To be clear, I know no trans women, still less trans men, who want to spend time in a space organized by people who slander us. However, one of the main speakers at the conference is Sheila Jeffreys, who has a forthcoming book critiquing trans medical care. In much of her earlier writing (see, for example, page 71 of this journal), she calls for "transsexualism" to be declared a human rights violation and then surgery banned by international law, so it's fairly clear that we have an interest in the debate . . .

Of course, the trans issue is only one aspect of the conference. Its mission statement makes it clear that this is a "female-only, activism-focused conference with a radical feminist agenda". Space will not be given to anti-feminist sentiments, which is arguably another way of saying that, on most crucial issues, the party line is predetermined and that any dissent from correct "radical feminist" thinking will be stigmatised and driven out . . . such a debate will not be allowed at RadFem2012.

I hate to say this of other feminists, but aspects of their feminism – the anti-intellectualism, emphasis on innate knowledge, fetishisation of tiny ideological differences, heresy hunting, conspiracy theories, rhetorical use of images of disgust, talk of stabs in the back and romantic apocalypticism – smack less of feminism than of a cult."


5-30-12:  The Guardian (UK; posted 5-25): "Let us be free to debate transgenderism without being accused of 'hate speech' Researchers and theorists who question the practice of transgenderism are subjected to campaigns of intimidation", by Sheila Jeffreys

"Criticism of the practice of transgenderism is being censored as a result of a campaign of vilification by transgender activists of anyone who does not accept the new orthodoxy on this issue. A recent Comment is free piece by the transgender activist Roz Kaveney, headlined "Radical feminists are acting like a cult", criticises a forthcoming radical feminist conference, at which I was to be a speaker, on the grounds that I and "my supporters" may be guilty of "hate speech" for our political criticism of this practice.

Though Kaveney's comments about me are comparatively mild in tone, the campaign by transgender activists in general is anything but. This particular campaign persuaded Conway Hall, the conference venue, to ban me from speaking on the grounds that I "foster hatred" and "actively discriminate". On being asked to account for this, Conway Hall appeared to compare me to "David Irving the holocaust denier". The proffered evidence consists of quotes from me arguing that transgender surgery should be considered a human rights violation – hardly evidence of hate speech . . .

There are many aspects of the practice which bear investigation, including the history and social construction of the idea of transgenderism, the recent increased identification of children as transgender . . . Given that the drug and surgical treatments have now been normalised and are increasingly embarked upon by young lesbians and sought out by parents for young children, it is most important that the rights of researchers and theorists to comment and investigate should be protected."

[This comment by 'whitesteps' exposes what's likely causing Jeffreys' rage:

"Well if you're going to choose your words as lazily and carelessly as that, it's no wonder you attract ire; those you are describing would often not choose to define themselves as lesbian; your use of the word pre-supposes that they are female, and their desire that of a lesbian. That is, most likely, your point - but to say it so bluntly makes it seem that you intend to provoke - about a topic so very personal, talk cautiously and sensitively, or accept that attacks on you are your own fault."

This comment by 'markinmanc' then says it well:

"The point of debate is for differing voices to be heard. To attempt to debate an issue such as transgenderism - whilst not allowing those who are transgendered a voice - seems odd. The arguments and concerns you express about those who wish to transition mirror those used to marginalise, medicalise and stigmatise LGB people as the move towards equality gained momentum."]


5-29-12:  Philadelphia Inquirer: "Philadelphia in vanguard of transgender tolerance"

"When the possibility of prohibiting discrimination against transgender people comes up, opponents often raise concerns about bathroom usage, of all things: "What about the men’s and ladies’ rooms?" It seems like a frivolous basis for denying an entire group of citizens their civil rights, but all too often, that’s the tenor of discussions about legal protections for transgender individuals. It places little stock in our ability to assimilate, sympathize with, and simply deal with people whose experience of the world does not match our own.

Fortunately, the experience in Philadelphia has been different. Ten years ago today, Mayor John F. Street signed into law a bill expanding the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. Passed by a wide margin in City Council, the protections apply to public accommodations, housing, and employment, and they are enforced by the city’s Human Relations Commission.

At the time, there were only two states, eight counties, and 34 cities in the United States with laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. Then-Councilmen Michael Nutter and Frank DiCicco, who were driving forces in the effort, and their fellow Council members deserve credit for doing the right thing. Rather than reject something unfamiliar to them, they took the time to educate themselves on it, recognizing that their role as public servants obliged them to serve all Philadelphians, not just those who look, think, and act as they do.

That the bill was passed with so little resistance is a testament not only to the fair-mindedness of the city’s leaders, but also the dedication of the community activists who were involved in bringing about the change."


5-28-12:  The Nation (Thailand): "Transgender woman wins provincial election for the first time" (more, more, more)

"A transgender who ran for a local political position in Nan province on Monday became the first transgender to win a seat. Yonlada or Nok, whose real name is Kirkkong Suanyos, received 3,808 votes while her rival candidate; Pawat Settayawong got 3,659 votes.

Yonlada's decision to run for the position made the news, as she is the first transgender to ever seek to enter political field. She is the president of Trans Female Association of Thailand and a PhD candidate who runs a satellite TV station and has her own jewellery business."


5-26-12:  Rolling Stone: "Against Me!'s Tom Gabel Makes Live Debut as Laura Jane Grace in San Diego 'I was worried people expected me to come out looking like Little Bo Peep,' says singer"

"Against Me! singer-guitarist Tommy Gabel made her live debut as Laura Jane Grace on Friday, performing with the band under her new name for the first time since coming out as transgender.

Charging through a 40-minute set at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay in San Diego – the first stop in a month-long U.S. tour with British rockers the Cult – the quartet played six new songs, including the rollicking anthem "Transgender Dysphoria Blues," the title track of an album they're working on. Decked out in a loose-fitting black tank top, tight black jeans and black eye shadow, Grace was in high spirits as she delivered her trademark, throat-shredding screams . . .

Though Grace says she's open to having a dialogue about her transition with fans, she kept stage banter to a minimum and never brought up her coming out or new name in between songs."


5-26-12:  Associated Press (posted 5-10): “Girl Scouts under scrutiny from Catholic bishops” (more, more, more)

"Long a lightning rod for conservative criticism, the Girl Scouts of the USA are now facing their highest-level challenge yet: An official inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. At issue are concerns about program materials that some Catholics find offensive, as well as assertions that the Scouts associate with other groups espousing stances that conflict with church teaching . . .

Earlier this year, legislators in Indiana and Alaska publicly called the Scouts into question, and the organization was berated in a series aired by a Catholic broadcast network. Last year, the Scouts angered some conservatives by accepting into a Colorado troop a 7-year-old transgender child who was born a boy but was being raised as a girl . . .

"I know we're a big part of the culture wars," said the Girl Scouts' spokeswoman, Michelle Tompkins. "People use our good name to advance their own agenda." "For us, there's an overarching sadness to it," Tompkins added. "We're just trying to further girls' leadership."

With the bishops now getting involved, the stakes are high. The Girl Scouts estimate that one-fourth of their 2.3 million youth members are Catholic, and any significant exodus would be a blow given that membership already is down from a peak of more than 3 million several decades ago."


5-25-12:  Philadelphia Inquirer: "A camp for sports and avoiding gay sex" (more, more, more)

"This weekend a group of men will gather at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to how learn to throw a spiral, make a three-point shot and hit a long ball — and to resist homosexual urges. Courage, a Catholic group that encourages people with same-sex attraction to remain celibate, is holding its 13th annual sports camp in which “men physically compete on the field while enriching their souls through a daily regimen of prayer, confessions, mass, and the Liturgy of the Hours,” according to the group’s website.

“They think that in offering people with same sex attraction the chance to learn how to play sports they will learn to be manlier,” said Ed Coffin, director of Peace Advocacy Network, a Philadelphia group which plans to protest outside the seminary on City and E. Wynnewood Avenues Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m . . . “It’s a ludicrous assertion. There are many, many out gay athletes and many gay men who play sports,” he said.

Robert Fitzgibbons, a therapist who runs the Marital Institute and has written extensively about what he calls healing homosexual attraction, said in an article on the Catholic Education Resource Center that boys who are rejected because they can’t play sports “begin to identify with the female instead of the male.”

At the root of the problem, he contends, is poor eye-hand coordination. Fitzgibbons spoke at a 2006 sports camp in St. Louis. “Fortunately, Catholic spirituality, combined with good psychotherapy, can result in a complete healing of those with this disorder,” he wrote in a paper presented at the Conference on Family and Education in Toronto in 1996."


5-25-12: NPR: “An Olympic Trial: Dealing With Transgender Athletes”

A central question of gender and sports is facing officials as they prepare for London's Summer Olympics: In a system that segregates athletic competition by sex for reasons of fairness, where do transgender athletes fit?

Take, for example, Keelin Godsey, the first openly transgender contender for the U.S. Olympic team. Last month, Godsey qualified for the women's track and field Olympic trials in the hammer throw.

Godsey was born female, identifies as male, and competes in the female division — a situation that attracted the attention of writer Pablo Torre and Sports Illustrated. As Torre tells NPR's Michel Martin, cases such as Godsey's might present "the most thorny question" for sports organizers . . .

"If you want to stay within your birth sex athletically," Torre says, "you need to forgo testosterone — which is really the big thing."

"And Keelin — let's make no mistake about this, this has been incredibly tough, and at times tormenting and tortuous, for Keelin Godsey, a person who identifies fully as a male, and wishes to live as a male in all walks of life. But, it's his passion for sports and the opportunity to make the Olympic team" that are behind Godsey's choice, Torre says.

As soon as the Olympics experience ends — either in the U.S. trials or at the Games in London — "Keelin will be taking testosterone, and physically transitioning," Torre says. "And that's this other, second dream, beyond Olympic contention, that Keelin hopes to finally fulfill."


5-25-12:  IOL News (re Chile): "Chile to cover sex change operations"

"Chile will soon cover sex change surgeries under its public health plan in order to allow citizens of limited means to “recover their true sexual identity,” Health Minister Jaime Manalich said.

Until now such operations were only offered in private clinics at a cost of $20 000 to $30 000, but will now be performed in public hospitals in the capital Santiago, Concepcion and Valparaiso, he said late on Thursday . . . The cost will now depend on the patient's income bracket, with the poorest citizens able to get the operations for free."


5-24-12:  NPR: "Can Children Know, At Age 2, They Were Born The 'Wrong Sex'?"

"Kathryn's Dad thought she was going through a tomboy phase. Kathryn's Mom suspected it might be something more. From the age of two onwards, Kathryn herself was utterly certain: "I am a boy," the child insisted.

Kathryn's story was told on the front page of The Washington Post last Sunday, and I found it a gripping tale. It explores Kathryn's sense, expressed consistently through her toddler years, that she is a boy, and her parents' "upheaval" in trying to do the right thing by their child. When Kathryn was four, after seeking professional counseling, the parents decided to let her live as a boy.

Tyler (the pseudonym chosen by the Post for Kathryn's new name) now dresses as a boy and attends preschool as a boy. Is Tyler a transgender child, with a natal sex (female) that does not match his gender identity (male)? Can children so young really know their own gender identity? How can families best support these children?

In a course I teach at William and Mary, Evolutionary Perspectives on Gender, my students and I grapple with questions of this nature. One of our primary texts is Sexing the Body by Anne Fausto-Sterling, a biologist and gender-studies expert at Brown University. Three days ago, I spoke with Fausto-Sterling by telephone about some of these issues."


5-24-12: New York Times (re Argentina): “Transgender Advocates Hail Law Easing Rules in Argentina”

"Under the glare of rainbow-colored strobe lights, a disc jockey spun Grace Jones’s disco version of “La Vie en Rose” one night last week as couples clinked beer bottles to celebrate passage of a new law that Argentina’s transgender community describes as groundbreaking.

Argentina has put in place some of the most liberal rules on changing gender in the world, allowing people to alter their gender on official documents without first having to receive a psychiatric diagnosis or surgery.

The measure, which won unanimous support in the Senate this month, would also require public and private medical practitioners to provide free hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery for those who want it — including those under the age of 18."


5-24-12:  Fox News: “University offers transgender student access to ladies' room after DOJ letter

"The ladies' room at an Arkansas university is now open to female-identifying transgender students -- and one report says the university's students have the Justice Department to thank. 

The news site Campus Reform reports that a DOJ letter led the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith to reverse its policy, which previously only allowed transgender individuals to use gender-neutral or unisex bathrooms. The letter was prompted by a complaint from transgender student Jennifer Braly -- an anatomically male student who identifies as a woman. Braly reportedly complained about being banned from the ladies' room as well as concerns about access to campus housing. 

A spokeswoman with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith confirmed to that the state's university system received the DOJ letter, though she could not discuss its contents. Spokeswoman Sondra LaMar also confirmed that the school changed its restroom policy "in consultation" with the system's general counsel. 

The Justice Department, though, says it never demanded the university make any restroom policy change -- and was simply following up on the complaint it received from the student."


5-23-12:  Daily Mail (UK re US): "Warren Beatty's transgender son Stephen 'having second thoughts about taking final step in sex change'"

"Warren Beatty's transgender son Stephen Ira, is said to be having 'second thoughts' about taking the final step in his sex change.

According to The National Enquirer, the 20-year-old student and activist 'has put his sex change plans on hold.' A family insider told the publication: 'He suddenly misses his feminine side, dressing up and wearing make-up and jewellery."


5-22-12:  Washington Post:  "Transgender children: Learning to listen to their reality", by

"The Post’s Petula Dvorak has this week written a series of moving columns about a 5-year-old-child, Tyler, who was not comfortable as a girl. After much angst and much research, Tyler’s parents made two difficult decisions. The first, to allow their child to identify as a boy. The second, to go public with their story. (Dvorak has not used the family’s full names.)

The reactions have poured in, to Dvorak and to The Post. Some readers have been critical, many have been supportive. Many have shared similar stories. This is new territory for many readers, though it seems as if Tyler’s story has given a voice to a struggle that parents have been wrestling with for years, even generations . . .

“I think we are seeing a sea change in our understanding of gender nonconformity and gender in general, and with this sea change comes a new openness to making room for children of all gender identities and presentations,” Diane Ehrensaft wrote me when I asked of her reaction to Tyler’s story.

Ehrensaft is an advocate for transgender children, a parent of son who as a child was gender-nonconforming and the author of the recently published “Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children,” . . . Last month, she spoke with me about the subject and gave a public talk at the Human Rights Campaign Washington D.C. headquarters. More on that talk is here.  I caught up with her today to ask her to elaborate on the issues that Tyler’s story raises — such as the question of what gender is, exactly.

These are children who have taught us that our gender does not lie between our legs, but between our ears,” she wrote.

“At a very early age they just appear to come to their parents — their parents did not mold them that way once they were born, and often the parents are as perplexed as anyone else when their child moans, ‘Why did you (or God) get this wrong? I’m not the gender you think I am. Why can’t you put me back in your tummy and make me come out the right one?’ “These children are typically persistent, consistent, and insistent from an early age that they are the gender opposite the one on their birth certificate, their ‘affirmed gender.’ ”

“I would say that the majority of gender-nonconforming people accept the gender assigned to them at birth, but not the expectations that accompany that gender, while a small number agonize that they are living in the wrong gender. We can think of that small minority like we have come over the generations to think about left-handed people — a very small minority of the population, but just as healthy and well meaning as right-handed people, nothing sinister about them at all.

She went on: “Gender nonconformity can make all of us anxious, and the increased support for these children comes from the professionals ... and from the growing evidence that children who are allowed to transition into their affirmed gender identity settle down and show better mental health. Children who are not allowed to transition persist in troubled behavioral and emotional distress. And it certainly comes from the increasing number of media reports sympathetic to the children and families, reports that have been widely disseminated."


5-22-12:  WSTP-TV: “NC pastor Charles Worley wants to isolate gays, lesbians until they ''die out''” (more, more, more, more)

"A North Carolina pastor's sermon is going viral after he explained his controversial plan to "get rid of" lesbians and homosexuals . . .

"I had a way... I figured a way out - a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers - but I couldn't get it past the Congress," he said."

"Build a great big, large fence - 50 or a 100 miles long - and put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals - and have that fence electrified so they can't get out. Feed 'em. And you know in a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce."

Members of a Charlotte group for equality call Pastor Worley's words shocking and terrifying. "Calling for violence against and mass murder of minorities is inexcusable," said Matt Comer of the Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE). "My heart aches for any of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) young people in his congregation forced to listen to this message of hate and violence. Physical, emotional, verbal and spiritual violence against any person has no place in civilized society."

[Some Baptist preachers appear to be experiencing a superstition-based collective-meltdown in response to recent rapid advances in LGBT civil rights – as evidenced by this and the following two stories.]


5-22-12:  New York Daily News (posted 5-02): “Pastor suggests parents hit their kids to stop them from being gay – Signs of femininity in young boys must be squashed, he says”

"A North Carolina pastor appeared to use a recent sermon to encourage parents in his flock to hit the gay out of their kids if they thought the young ones were displaying homosexual tendencies.

Sean Harris, senior pastor of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, greenlit parents to punch their kids to "squash like a cockroach" any stereotypically gay behavior."


5-22-12:  MSNBC: “Mississippi pastor-lawmaker denies endorsing the killing of gays”

"A Mississippi legislator and Baptist minister says he and his family have received death threats after he posted comments that some activists said endorsed the killing of gay men.

The comments were posted on the Facebook page of state Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, setting off fierce discussion that eventually went national."


5-22-12:  Huffington Post: "17-Year-Old to Facebook: I Exist, and Gender Identity Is Also a Civil Rights Issue" by CJ Kellman

"At 17 I have a lot to worry about: graduating from high school, keeping in touch with friends, staying out of trouble, dealing with sexual issues, etc. But who thought I would have pressure from Facebook to decide whether I am male or female. Maybe this isn't an issue for everyone, but it is for me.

I'm CJ, formerly known as Chana. I'm also "genderqueer," which, in my case, means that I feel part-female and part-male. I'm not sure yet whether I will transition or not. I have two sisters, a mom, and a dad. When I went away to school, we discovered that it was fun to communicate and share things on Facebook and see what the others were doing. (Of course, almost every kid I know has a Facebook account, too.) My mother requested to list me on Facebook as her daughter, but I didn't feel that that was totally right, but neither was "son." But there was no other choice. I either have to be a brother or a sister to my sisters on Facebook. And that's not me. It's troubling that I can't be Facebook friends with my family and correctly identify my relationships with them, because according to Facebook those relationships don't exist. Or maybe I don't exist. How strange is that"


5-22-12:  Washington Post: “Transgender at five: Tyler’s story leads to outpouring of other stories”, by Petula Dvorak

“I heard from transgendered senior citizens who lamented their decades living a lie.  I got e-mails from confused parents who had their aha moment when they read Tyler’s story.  And sure, I heard from the haters. The Internet troll employment benefits package apparently doesn’t offer vacation days, so they’re always there . . .

No one knows how many American children suffer from gender identity issues because they so often go unacknowledged by parents and pediatricians. Scientists and doctors offered guesses that ranged from one in 1,000 to one in 10,000. But given the hundreds of online comments and e-mails I received, I wonder whether it isn’t more common than we know . . .

Every fifth e-mail seemed to come from someone who knows someone who is transgender. “A transgender child just came into my kid’s sixth-grade class,” one parent reported. Or, “There was this child who used to play with my kids,” another parent wrote. “I always suspected there was something going on there.” Years later? Sure enough, the child is a transgendered adult. There were stories about transgender nieces, stepdaughters and co-workers. And I heard from transgender adults who didn’t have people around to believe them when they were little.

“I didn’t transition until my early 30s because of my Mormon family and because I thought I would never find a partner and have a family,” wrote JackC6a. “But I was wrong about my prospects for happiness. Though my family has been distant and cold, I have my own family now that includes an awesome partner and child. Tyler is a lucky kid to have such a supportive family.”


5-22-12:  National Review: “Transgender Five-Year-Old?  What decisions should small children be permitted to make?”, by Mona Charen (also posted on GOPUSA)

Parents who ignore or deny these problems,” warns the Post, “can make life miserable for their kids, who can become depressed or suicidal, psychiatrists say.” How many psychiatrists? The very most that can be said is that the practice of treating children for what is sometimes called “gender identity disorder” is highly controversial in the psychiatric world. Some psychiatrists want to change the name to “gender incongruence” to remove the word “disorder.” Others, like Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, think the whole idea of treating children for this condition is unwise. “We shouldn’t be mucking around with nature,” he told Fox News. “We can’t assume what the outcome will be.”

Apparently, hormone blockers are being prescribed more and more for children with “GID.” The hormone blockers postpone puberty indefinitely and thus, the Post explains, “give the kids more time to decide who they are and whether switching genders is the answer to their problems.” Dr. McHugh calls giving hormone blockers to children “child abuse.””

[Conservative Catholic psychiatrist Paul McHugh is the right-wing media's go-to guy for transphobic teachings, and he's been doing it for decades now.]


5-22-12: Vancouver Sun (Canada; posted 5-19): “No such thing as a natural-born woman: The category of women - and men, too - are human inventions, not facts of nature ... and many of us do not fit those categories”, by Peter McKnight

“Now in reality, biological phenomena are continuous, not discrete, so not everyone fits neatly into the male or female categories. Sex is always a messy affair, and "male" and "female" are categories humans have created to allow us to make sense of this mess, to understand sex despite the infinite variations nature produces . . .

Now to be sure, biology is not irrelevant, as we do rely on genetics, hormones and physical appearance in assigning sex. But biology is not determinative - or to put it more poetically, we do not, as Plato had it, "carve nature at its joints."

Indeed, our very language reflects the fact that biology does not, by itself, determine sex. For when a child is born, we do not "discover" his or her sex, but rather we "assign" it. And assigning a sex is always a social and legal act, never a biological fact.

This explains why Talackova had sex reassignment surgery rather than sex change surgery. Talackova's change, such as it was, involved our placing her in a different social and legal category, not a change in her nature. So for all the grumbling, Trump clearly made the right decision in eliminating the incoherent and self-contradictory natural-born woman requirement. For like every other contestant . . . Jenna Talackova was not born a woman; she became one."

5-22-12:  Mother Jones: "The Case of CeCe McDonald: Murder—or Self-Defense Against a Hate Crime? She pled guilty to manslaughter, but activists believe this trans woman was "on trial for surviving a hate crime.""

"Around midnight on June 5, 2011, a 23-year-old African American transgender woman named Crishaun "CeCe" McDonald was walking with four friends past Schooner Tavern in Minneapolis. A group of at least four white people outside the bar began harassing McDonald and her friends, calling the group, all of whom were African American, "niggers" and "faggots." One of the men in the group, who would later be identified as Dean Schmitz, said "look at that boy dressed like a girl tucking her dick in." As McDonald and her friends tried to walk away, Schmitz's ex-girlfriend Molly Flaherty hit McDonald in the face with a glass of alcohol and sliced open her cheek, causing an injury that would later require stitches. The groups began fighting, and when McDonald attempted to leave the scene, Schmitz followed. McDonald took a pair of scissors out of her purse and turned around to face Schmitz; he was stabbed in the chest and died from the wound. Though she was injured in the scuffle with Flaherty and claimed the wound inflicted on Schmitz was in self-defense, McDonald was arrested that night and then charged with second-degree intentional murder.

Since her arrest last June, support for McDonald's case and her self-defense argument has been steadily growing. According to Katie Burgess, executive director of the Trans Youth Support Network, a Minneapolis organization that McDonald was also involved with, this is because many believe McDonald was "on trial for surviving a hate crime.""


5-21-12:  Brisbane Times (Australia): "Cross-sex treatment on the rise" (more)

"An increasing number of Australian children are receiving treatment at a special clinic for gender identity disorder, including hormone treatments to make them feel more like the opposite sex. Since 2003, a publicly funded clinic at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital has treated 39 children and adolescents for gender identity disorder - a condition where a person feels trapped within a body of the opposite sex.

Seven of these children successfully applied to the Family Court to suppress puberty so they had more time to consider sex-change treatments in late adolescence or adulthood. Others have court applications pending, while some could not afford the legal costs or wanted to continue counseling . . .

Growing awareness of the service meant patient referrals had increased from one in 2003 to eight last year and they said the clinic had become the main service for children and adolescents across Australia having hormone treatments. ''We'd like to see clinics in other major cities,'' said Dr Paul, a psychiatrist and director of the clinic."


5-21-12:  People Magazine (re Canada; posted 5-20): "Jenna Talackova, Transgender Miss Universe Contestant, Makes Top 12"

"Close, but no crown. Jenna Talackova, the first-ever transgender contestant to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, was among the final 12 hopefuls before failing to make the cut for the top five in Saturday night's competition.

But she didn't go home empty-handed. The leggy 23-year-old Vancouver resident, who had earlier strutted her stuff in the bikini portion of the competition, was one of four contestants named Miss Congeniality."


5-21-12:  Washington Post: "Encounter in second-grade class leads to story of transgender 5-year-old", by Petula Dvorak

"I was volunteering in my son’s second-grade class when my world first intersected with transgender children. The kids were pitching story ideas for a class newspaper.

“How about a story about why people are transgendered?” one girl suggested. I was floored by her casual use of the word and a little flummoxed about how to respond. “Oh, that’s interesting,” I stammered. “Maybe we’ll follow up on that later, thanks! Any other ideas?”

I had no idea that the girl’s younger sister was about to officially become her little brother.

The next day, my son came home from school and said: “Mom, you know how you really didn’t know what transgender is? It’s just when you have a boy mind in a girl body. Duh” . . . 
His teacher explained to me that the family had been wrestling with their younger child’s gender identity, and this eloquent phrase — “boy mind in a girl body” — was the way big sis was explaining things to everybody . . .

I told a friend of the family that I was longing to tell their story. But I was afraid that approaching them would make them uncomfortable. A week later, the mother e-mailed me, asking whether The Post would be interested in doing a piece on their struggle. "


5-19-12:  Washington Post: "Transgender at five", by Petula Dvorak (more)

"She first insisted she was a boy at the age of 2. "I am a boy" became a constant theme in struggles over clothing, bathing, swimming, eating, playing. Eventually, a psychologist diagnosed gender identity disorder. Now Tyler 's parents allow him to live as a boy, and the 5-year-old is reveling in his new identity.

Parents who ignore or deny these problems can make life miserable for their kids, who can become depressed or suicidal, psychiatrists say. Outside their homes, the transgendered are frequently marginalized and scorned, pushed into an underworld, outside of the mainstream. More often than the rest of the population, transgender teens and adults are harassed, assaulted and even killed. Remember that beating caught on video at a Baltimore County McDonald’s last year? Or the off-duty D.C. police officer who was accused of standing on the hood of a car and shooting a transgendered woman through the windshield? Jean didn’t want Kathryn to hate herself or be subjected to hate from others. Maybe allowing her to declare herself a boy in preschool would make life easier in the long run . . .

Yet not everyone who treats gender identity disorder in children believes in allowing them to transition to the opposite sex when they are young. Kenneth Zucker, a child psychologist in Toronto who is serving on the psychiatric association’s task force, advocates neutrality for kids struggling with their gender identity. Children who see him get the Barbies or toy soldiers replaced by puzzles and board games. His theory is that kids should be allowed to grow into a gender and not be categorized."

[A very informative, in-depth article about parental support of a young child's transition  Note especially how Ken Zucker, who once so proudly and openly advocated trans-reparatism in media interviews, is now trying to COVER IT UP!  Unfortunately for Zucker, there's no escaping his looming legacy as the archetypal psychiatric trans-reparatist of the past.]


5-19-12:  New York Times: "Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure’"

"The simple fact was that he had done something wrong, and at the end of a long and revolutionary career it didn’t matter how often he’d been right, how powerful he once was, or what it would mean for his legacy.  Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of modern psychiatry, lay awake at 4 o’clock on a recent morning knowing he had to do the one thing that comes least naturally to him.

He pushed himself up and staggered into the dark. His desk seemed impossibly far away; Dr. Spitzer, who turns 80 next week, suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has trouble walking, sitting, even holding his head upright. The word he sometimes uses to describe these limitations — pathetic — is the same one that for decades he wielded like an ax to strike down dumb ideas, empty theorizing and junk studies. Now here he was at his computer, ready to recant a study he had done himself, a poorly conceived 2003 investigation that supported the use of so-called reparative therapy to “cure” homosexuality for people strongly motivated to change". . .

The study had serious problems. It was based on what people remembered feeling years before — an often fuzzy record. It included some ex-gay advocates, who were politically active. And it did not test any particular therapy; only half of the participants engaged with a therapist at all, while the others worked with pastoral counselors, or in independent Bible study.

Several colleagues tried to stop the study in its tracks, and urged him not to publish it, Dr. Spitzer said. Yet, heavily invested after all the work, he turned to a friend and former collaborator, Dr. Kenneth J. Zucker, psychologist in chief at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, another influential journal.

“I knew Bob and the quality of his work, and I agreed to publish it,” Dr. Zucker said in an interview last week. The paper did not go through the usual peer-review process, in which unnamed experts critique a manuscript before publication. “But I told him I would do it only if I also published commentaries” of response from other scientists to accompany the study, Dr. Zucker said.

Those commentaries, with a few exceptions, were merciless. One cited the Nuremberg Code of ethics to denounce the study as not only flawed but morally wrong. “We fear the repercussions of this study, including an increase in suffering, prejudice, and discrimination,” concluded a group of 15 researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where Dr. Spitzer was affiliated . . .

As I read these commentaries, I knew this was a problem, a big problem, and one I couldn’t answer,” Dr. Spitzer said. “How do you know someone has really changed?" . . .  It took 11 years for him to admit it publicly.

[Looks like Zucker is trying to get off the hook for publishing Spitzer's junk-science by insinuating that it wasn't science after all (i.e., that is was just a discussion topic or whatever), and that he also published critical peer-commentaries alongside the published article - as if that absolves him of any responsibility. Of course almost no one reads or cites such commentaries, because they cost $32 each to download! Thus while NARTH widely propagated the article's claims for gay-reparatism, the critical commentaries lay hidden-away and silent within the ASB.

BTW, is it any surprise that Zucker published a gay-reparatism-supporting article in 2001, right at the time his trans-reparatism was attracting wide-media publicity?  Note that this episode also set a precedent for Zucker's later ASB publication and wide promotion of his spokesperson Alice Dreger's revisionist history of the Bailey book fiasco, even though Dreger's biased work drew stinging criticisms from peer-reviewers when it was published. ]


5-18-12:  NBC Los Angeles: "Transgender Teen's Journey From From Meghan to Mason "Really, Really Good" – Doctors say the teen years may actually be the best time, both medically and emotionally, for this type of surgery"

"Southern California teen Mason Pierce, whose birth name is Meghan, is part of a growing group of teens undergoing transgender surgery. With parental support and the help of the transgender clinic at Children's Hospital LA, Mason is finding out the teen years may actually be the best time to do this, both physically and emotionally. Dr. Bruce Hensel reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 17, 2012."


5-18-12:  The Baltiimore Sun (posted 5-15): "Trauma still fresh for transgender beating victim – Chrissy Polis was beaten at Rosedale McDonald's" (more)

"A year later, Polis has faded from the public eye, as do so many others whose personal plights become the focus of broader social debates. But for her, it's hard to forget. She hopes she's made a difference — anti-discrimination protections for transgender people have since been enacted in Baltimore and Howard counties — but she still doesn't know what to make of it all.

"Suddenly, she's catapulted, and she's an icon," said Dana Beyer of the group Gender Rights Maryland. "Chrissy had no clue; she had no training, no experience, and suddenly this fame came pouring down on her and she had no idea what to do with it."

Polis wavers between saying she wants to tell her story to help others and declaring that she wants no attention at all. She doesn't follow politics or take part in transgender organizations. "I don't even talk to them, or associate," she says. "I'm not trying to be like everyone else, in their groups."

Heather Hock, Polis' roommate and childhood friend, says the attack and its fallout "messed her up big time." "She's never going to have a regular life and just walk down the road," Hock says."


5-18-12:  NBC Washington: "Exclusive: Male Student Suspended for Wearing a Skirt - Warren Evans says school officials are unfairly targeting him"

"A male student was suspended from a southern Maryland school for wearing girls’ clothing, and the incident has sparked a big controversy in Calvert County. Warren Evans, an openly bisexual student at Calvert High School, was suspended for violating the school’s dress code by wearing a skirt.

Evans says the school is discriminating against him and does not believe he violated any dress code."I don't think so. Why not? It didn’t say anywhere in the code of conduct or dress code that says boys can't dress like girls,” Evans commented . . .

School officials will not comment on the suspension. They did say the dress code applies to all students, regardless of gender."


5-17-12:  Pan American Health Organization: ""Therapies" to change sexual orientation lack medical justification and threaten health"

"Services that purport to "cure" people with non-heterosexual sexual orientation lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in a position statement launched on 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia. The statement calls on governments, academic institutions, professional associations and the media to expose these practices and to promote respect for diversity.

Twenty two years ago, on May 17, the World Health Assembly removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders when it approved a new version of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). "Since homosexuality is not a disorder or a disease, it does not require a cure. There is no medical indication for changing sexual orientation," said PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago. Practices known as "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy" represent "a serious threat to the health and well-being—even the lives—of affected people."

To address the problem, PAHO makes a series of recommendations for governments, academic institutions, professional associations, the media, and civil society, including:

“Conversion” or “reparative” therapies and the clinics offering them should be denounced and subject to adequate sanctions.

  Public institutions responsible for training health professionals should include courses on human sexuality and sexual health in their curricula, with a focus on respect for diversity and the elimination of attitudes of pathologization, rejection, and hate toward non-heterosexual persons.

  Professional associations should disseminate documents and resolutions by national and international institutions and agencies that call for the de-psychopathologization of sexual diversity and the prevention of interventions aimed at changing sexual orientation.

  In the media, homophobia in any of its manifestations and expressed by any person should be exposed as a public health problem and a threat to human dignity and human rights.

  Civil society organizations can develop mechanisms of civil vigilance to detect violations of the human rights of non-heterosexual persons and report them to the relevant authorities. They can also help to identify and report people and institutions involved in the administration of “reparative” or “conversion therapies.” "

[How long will it be before WHO and PAHO say the same thing about trans-reparatism, as practiced and promulgated by Ken Zucker at CAMH?]


5-17-12:  New York Post: "Chloe Sevigny fears she's 'unattractive' after transsexual role"

"Chloe Sevigny is concerned that her latest role might make her "unattractive" to men. Sevigny stars in the British series "Hit & Miss," coming soon on DirecTV, about an assassin with a secret -- that she is a pre-op transsexual. For the part, which Sevigny calls her "most extreme," she has to wear a prosthetic penis.

"I cried every day when they put it on," Sevigny tells Culture magazine. "I felt very exposed… having people so close to your personal parts anyway -- who you're not sleeping with -- for an hour-and-a-half each day, to put it on." But the experience got even more strange.

Sevigny continued, "Then looking in the mirror... it was weird. I was lonely and I felt really unattractive. I was confused about my desirability -- was I desirable? -- in having put that on, and having men see me with that on."


5-17-12:  United Nations Development Programme Press Release (re Asia): "Transgender persons are “Lost in Transition” on Human Rights and HIV Responses says new Asia-Pacific Report"

"A lack of targeted research on transgender persons in Asia and the Pacific is significantly hindering their access to health services and blocking effective responses to HIV, says a groundbreaking study released here today to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. In this region, where long marginalized sexual minorities are already bearing the brunt of the HIV epidemic, transgender persons are among the most socially ostracized, lacking fundamental rights including basic access to health care and social protection schemes.

Lost in Transition: Transgender People, Rights and HIV Vulnerability in the Asia-Pacific Region is a comprehensive review of material gathered from across the region over the past 12 years. This unprecedented research in Asia, jointly released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), calls for concerted action by governments, civil society, development partners and the transgender community itself to design and conduct further research to fill the lack of information about transgender people and their environments.

“Transgender individuals across Asia-Pacific are often highly stigmatized, targets of prejudice, harassment, violence and abuse,” noted Clifton Cortez, Regional Practice Leader on HIV, Health and Development at the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre in Bangkok. “We urgently need to shed light on their situation to better tailor social and public health responses to protect and empower these communities” . . .

To download the report, please visit: "


5-15-12:  The Guardian (UK): "Transgender journey: facing the reality of surgery After a consultation with her gender reassignment surgeon, the reality of impending surgery dawns on Juliet Jacques. Is she doing the right thing?"  (Part of the Series: A transgender journey)

"I'm finally moving towards the second major stage of the gender reassignment pathway – surgery. I asked myself: "Is this still what you want to do?" I'd never regretted coming out as transsexual or starting hormone therapy, but both were reversible (at least to a point). This, less so. Some people live full-time in their desired gender without pursuing surgery, but I felt as certain as ever that it was the right course for me . . .

. . . he asked how much I drink and smoke, if I have heart problems or diabetes, or have had any other operations. I was clear, so he raced through a detailed explanation of what they'll actually do to my body, covering potential outcomes and risks, with the ruthless efficiency of someone who does this several times a week.

Suddenly, I felt cold. I'd not read much beyond outlines of the available procedures. Certainly, I'd not been directly confronted with their physical realities in the way that Dr Bellringer put them to me. (If you want or need to know more about these – although I'm sure you're not reading this for voyeuristic reasons – he provides more information on what he offers here.) "Any questions?"

Slightly stunned, I regrouped. As I'm temping, with no annual leave or sick pay, I expressed my fears about surgery's after-effects making it impossible to work for weeks or even months – something I'd not anticipated when I entered the pathway nearly three years ago. Rightly, Dr Bellringer said that the clinic cannot help this. "You'll be on benefits. It won't be much.""

[It's informative to contrast this modern-day story with the one in the Daily Mail below.]


5-15-12:  Daily Mail (UK re France; posted 5-08): "The hidden history of transsexual Paris: Intimate portraits documenting the lives of the red light district's 'ladies of the night' Exhibition features intimate portraits of the lives of transsexuals"

"Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche - an exhibition described as raising profound issues about identity, sexuality, and gender - features 40 photographs, historical publications, and ephemera documenting young transgender males in the heart of Paris’ red-light district in the 1960s.
Stockholm-born Strömholm, who died in 2002, arrived in Paris in the late 1950s and settled in Place Blanche, home of the famous Moulin Rouge. There, he befriended and photographed young transsexuals - 'ladies of the night' - struggling to live as women and to raise money for sex-change operations.

Transvestites were outlaws in General Charles de Gaulle's ultra-conservative France and were regularly abused and arrested by the police for being 'men dressed as women outside the period of carnival'.

Over the course of 10 years Strömholm photographed his subjects in their hotel rooms, in bars, and in the streets of Paris. Some of these women had tragic fates. Others - like 'Nana' and 'Jacky' - eventually fulfilled their destiny and led happy lives as women."

[It's sad to see the Daily Mail referring to the pioneering young trans women of the 1960's as "transgender men" and "transgender males". These women risked all as they explored the radical new hormonal and surgical methods for reshaping their bodies to match their inner-feelings thus paving the way for many to follow (as in the Guardian article above). They did all  this while being persecuted and humiliated as 'outlaws' by the police and by society at large.]


5-15-12:  Huffington Post: "Jared Swank, Gay Pennsylvania Student, And Transgender Prom Date Allegedly Filmed By Teacher" (more)

"A Pennsylvania student claims he was the victim of bullying by school officials after a video of him dancing with his transgender prom date drew ridicule from fellow classmates.

The Associated Press reports that a teacher who was serving as a chaperone at the dance asked 18-year-old Jared Swank if she could film him and his date, who has been identified by the media only as a transgender girl, dancing at the Hanover Area High School senior prom in an effort to give her daughter a lesson in diversity. Instead, Swank claims the teacher played the video to her science class, who laughed at it, this week. "


5-15-12:  Gothamist: "Transgender Performer Dies In Suspicious Brooklyn Fire"

"While responding to a fire in Bushwick early yesterday morning, firefighters found the unconscious body of a 25-year-old woman who was pronounced dead at the scene. Now it turns out that the victim was a notable transgender performer, Lorena Escalera, who was the "Puerto Rican Beyoncé.""


5-14-12:  Fashionista (re Brazil): "Transgender Model Lea T. Makes Her First Post-Op Runway Appearance"

"Lea T. took to the runway in São Paulo Saturday night in celebration of Elle Brazil’s 24th anniversary–but her turn on the catwalk marked an important personal landmark in the model’s career as well: According to Made in Brazil blog’s Juliano Corbetta, this is Lea T’s first modeling job after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery. The model opened up about her plans to have surgery when she went on Oprah in February of last year . . .

The fashion world has long embraced Lea T. as a transgender icon–The past several years have seen her walk in countless shows for names like Givenchy, appearing in Vogue Paris spreads, and appearing on magazine covers alongside the likes of Kate Moss. We’re so excited to see Lea walking in Sau Paulo and find out what the future holds for her career now that’s she’s finally undergone her long-awaited procedure. Congratulations Lea T!"


5-14-12:  Huffington Post: "Beyond Male and Female: Creativity, Risks, and Resilience Among Genderqueer People in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey"

"Are you male or female? For many people, answering this question doesn't cause a moment's hesitation. But for genderqueer people, this question isn't so easy to answer, and survey research that offers only two gender options may overlook genderqueer people's experiences altogether.

Genderqueer people are those who identify their gender somewhere between male and female, reject traditional notions of gender, or reject the concept of gender altogether. The latest issue of the Harvard Kennedy School's LGBTQ Policy Journal presents new research focused specifically on genderqueer people and describes the risks and resiliencies of those who identify outside the male/female gender binary. This new article shows that genderqueer people have unique demographic characteristics and experiences of discrimination and violence when compared to transgender people who identify as "male" or "female.""


5-12-12:  The Hindu: "Transgender community demands civil, not special, rights"

"At the end of the public hearing, a jury headed by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah, recommended the government recognise the transgender community on the basis of their sexual orientation and start welfare schemes for them as a matter of right. He also recommended that every State Government, like Tamil Nadu, form a Transgender Welfare Board and Transgender Commission to protect the human rights of the marginalised community.

While inaugurating the public hearing, Delhi High Court acting Chief Justice A. K. Sikri, said: “It is important for the judiciary to come out with bold pronouncements in support of this community. In the case of the disabled, courts have always taken a firm stand in their favour, which has made a lot of difference to their lives. I hope it is going to be the same for this community in future.” "


5-11-12:  The New York Times: “Diagnosing the D.S.M.”, by Allen Francis

"At its annual meeting this week, the American Psychiatric Association . . . rejected one reckless proposal that would have exposed nonpsychotic children to unnecessary and dangerous antipsychotic medication and another that would have turned the existential worries and sadness of everyday life into an alleged mental disorder.

But the association is still proceeding with other suggestions that could potentially expand the boundaries of psychiatry to define as mentally ill tens of millions of people now considered normal. The proposals are part of a major undertaking: revisions to what is often called the “bible of psychiatry” — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M. The fifth edition of the manual is scheduled for publication next May . . .

Until now, the American Psychiatric Association seemed the entity best equipped to monitor the diagnostic system. Unfortunately, this is no longer true. D.S.M.-5 promises to be a disaster — even after the changes approved this week, it will introduce many new and unproven diagnoses that will medicalize normality and result in a glut of unnecessary and harmful drug prescription. The association has been largely deaf to the widespread criticism of D.S.M.-5, stubbornly refusing to subject the proposals to independent scientific review . . .

Many critics assume unfairly that D.S.M.-5 is shilling for drug companies. This is not true. The mistakes are rather the result of an intellectual conflict of interest; experts always overvalue their pet area and want to expand its purview, until the point that everyday problems come to be mislabeled as mental disorders. Arrogance, secretiveness, passive governance and administrative disorganization have also played a role."


5-09-12:  Washigton Post (re Argentina): "Argentina OKs transgender rights: ID changes, sex-change operations and hormone therapy" (more, more, more, more, more)

"Adults who want sex-change surgery or hormone therapy in Argentina will be able to get it as part of their public or private health care plans under a gender rights law approved Wednesday. The measure also gives people the right to specify how their gender is listed at the civil registry when their physical characteristics don’t match how they see themselves.

Senators approved the Gender Identity law by a vote of 55-0, with one abstention and more than a dozen senators declaring themselves absent — the same margin that approved a “death with dignity” law earlier in the day . . .

Any adult will now be able to officially change his or her gender, image and birth name without having to get approval from doctors or judges — and without having to undergo physical changes beforehand, as many U.S. jurisdictions require . . . When Argentines want to change their bodies, health care companies will have to provide them with surgery or hormone therapy on demand. Such treatments will be included in the “Obligatory Medical Plan,” which means both private and public providers will not be able to charge extra for the services.

“This law is going to enable many of us to have light, to come out of the darkness, to appear,” said Sen. Osvaldo Lopez of Tierra del Fuego, the only openly gay national lawmaker in Argentina."


5-09-12:  Rolling Stone Magazine (posted 5-09): "Tom Gabel of Against Me! Comes Out as Transgender ‒ Singer reveals plans to begin living as a woman in the new issue of Rolling Stone" (more, more, more, more)

"Against Me! singer Tom Gabel reveals plans to begin living as a woman in the new issue of Rolling Stone. Gabel, who has dealt privately with gender dysphoria for years, will soon begin the process of transition, by taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatments.

Gabel will eventually take the name Laura Jane Grace, and will remain married to her wife Heather. "For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news," says Gabel. "But she's been super-amazing and understanding."

Gabel only told a handful of family and friends about her plan to transition before talking to Rolling Stone. Because this is the first time a major rock star has come out as transgender, the singer made a point of speaking openly about it. "I'm going to have embarrassing moments," says Gabel, "and that won't be fun. But that's part of what talking to you is about – is hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind."

5-09-12:  CBS News: "Tom Gabel announces he's transgender: What is gender dysphoria?"

"Against Me! lead singer Tom Gabel surprised fans when he announced that he had decided to transition to into woman. Gabel described his long battle with gender dysphoria in Rolling Stone's latest issue, out on newsstands on Friday . . .

"I'm going to have embarrassing moments," Gabel said to Rolling Stone, "and that won't be fun. But that's part of what talking to you is about - is hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind." It seems that fans in the online community is supportive, but understandably many people have questions about what "gender dysphoria" is and what transitioning to another gender might entail.

Dr. Vernon Rosario, associate clinical professor at UCLA, Department of Psychiatry, says that the disorder - previously known as gender identity disorder of adolescence and childhood - involves feeling uncomfortable with one's biological sex."


5-09-12: "Tom Gabel's Transgender News: What Does It Mean For Her Marriage?"

Against Me! singer Tom Gabel has received an outpouring of support from her musical peers in light of her announcement on Tuesday that she plans to begin life as a woman. Her brave decision decision to go public with her transgender status earn praise from fellow musicians . . .

One of the most heartfelt notes was posted by Gaslight Anthem singer Brian Fallon, who preemptively struck out at anyone criticizing the decision. "So Tom's gonna be Laura now... and in 2012 I still find people on the internet commenting on another person's life how they insult and condemn a person for his choices," he wrote.

"How about the people who go through this and never find peace and end up committing suicide? Would you rather that? Or maybe he could become a raging drug addict and ruin his life and family? Would you rather that? Or maybe we could have rules from a dictator where everyone gets killed for anything they believe against the government, oh wait, that doesn't work ... How about you leave the guy alone. How about you let another human being make a decision about their lives without your snide prejudices and bigotry? This is one of the hardest decisions a person can make ... Whether you agree or don't, it's not your life. It's not your family. It's not your band, it's theirs."


5-09-12:  City Beat: "Music Stars and Gender Identity Before Against Me!'s Tom Gabel there was Wendy Carlos and Genesis P-Orridge"

"The Internet is abuzz today with Rolling Stone's teaser about an article in the mag's issue out this Friday. The magazine spoke with Tom Gabel, lead singer for successful Punk band Against Me!, about his plans to begin "gender transition" to become a woman (taking the name Laura Jane Grace). The article will include conversation with the singer about her years of struggling with gender dysphoria (gender identity disorder) and her plans to transition by undergoing hormone treatments and electrolysis.

It's a huge story because a Rock star with such relative mainstream popularity has never come out as transgender. But she's not the first notable music star to pursue gender reassignment. The Rolling Stone article says she's the first "major Rock star" to come out, but two other notable (and way more influential) musicians have gone from man to woman (or almost woman)."


5-09-12:  San Francisco Chronicle: "Transgender Tuesdays: Help Preserve A Piece Of San Francisco History", by Doc Gurlie

"There’s a little piece of San Francisco history – special to this wonderful city – that isn’t really all that well known except in a few communities. Transgender Tuesdays. 18 years ago a team of HIV providers at Tom Waddell Health Center and trans activists from every ethnicity broke the mold by providing something crucially needed. In 1993 Transgender Tuesdays clinic opened in the Tenderloin – the first public health clinic in the country specifically targeted toward transgendered people and their care.

Why is this important? Historically, trans people in the Tenderloin, the red light district of San Francisco, lived in lousy Single Room Occupancy hotels, and were at times homeless. Hormones came from medical “quacks” or on the unreliable street market. Even at the height of the AIDS epidemic, many transgendered folks mistrusted the health care system, and often faced life-and-death situations without help.

So why is it important now? Mark Freeman, a good friend of mine . . . is now directing a movie about the clinic’s groundbreaking work. You can find out more at the movie’s website, Transgender Tuesdays. And why would you care if you are not part of the trans community yourself? Well, first of all, the trans community is part of the rich tapestry of San Francisco . . . Second, the clinic described in the movie is an example of how to provide care and healthcare to a disadvantaged minority in the right way with dignity and respect. And finally, you simply should know more about the fantastic history of the community in which you live."


5-09-12: (Canada): "Sex-less passport considered for transgendered Canadians" (more)

"The federal government may start offering public passports that don't list the sex of the applicant, media outlets are reporting.

A Passport Canada official confirmed "the policy regarding transgender people is still under review," the National Post newspaper reported Wednesday.

The changes are expected to remove the sex from a passport for someone who wishes to omit it, or simply make it easier for someone to apply to change their sex on their travel documents."


5-09-12:  The City Wire: "Transgender issue creates controversy at UAFS"

"Melanie Stout is angry. The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS) student and managing editor of the school newspaper, said she has tried to follow up with involved UAFS administration in a recent conflict between the university and transgender student Jennifer Braly, but cannot find anyone willing to speak with her.

The issue began when Braly was asked by Dr. Laura King to speak on the issue of gender identity disorder for King’s general psychology classes. The two planned lectures were on King’s syllabus, according to Braly, and were set to occur on April 20. At 4 p.m., April 19, Dr. Rita Barrett, associate professor and department head in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at UAFS, sent an email informing Braly her lectures were cancelled.

Barrett’s reasoning was that “all of my faculty are now diligently preparing for the closure of the semester.”"


5-09-12: "A Transgender Transition Inside EA Sports: "Will Everyone Stare at Me?""

"Going from the person most co-workers know as a man to one they will know as a woman is a challenge most people won't ever have to face. Doing it in the sports division of a video game company probably adds a ridiculous degree of difficulty.

But when EA Sports producer John Worrall became Kelly Worrall, she says that company went to great lengths to prepare colleagues and support her decision."


5-09-12:  Lincoln News-Messenger: "Transgender youth loses job after one day Employer says reason is slow business"

"Hired and fired in the same day, one Lincoln youth says her transgender status resulted in losing a Massage Envy job. But according to S & C Therapy, Inc. president Christine Ambrecht, that’s not the case. Ambrecht said S & C Therapy owns the Lincoln Massage Envy.

Hawkins said she received a call from Massage Envy’s manager four and a half hours later that day, telling her she “wouldn’t be needed on the first shift and we have replaced you with another candidate with the company’s best interest in mind.” “The conversation on the phone lasted 30 seconds. It was so quick,” Hawkins said. “It was unexpected and shocking for me.” . . . Hawkins said she plans to contact an attorney to see if she has a legal case. "


5-08-12:  The Daily Mail (UK re France): "The hidden history of transsexual Paris: Intimate portraits documenting the lives of the red light district's 'ladies of the night' ‒ Exhibition features intimate portraits of the lives of transsexuals"

"Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche - an exhibition described as raising profound issues about identity, sexuality, and gender - features 40 photographs, historical publications, and ephemera documenting young transgender males in the heart of Paris’ red-light district in the 1960s.

Stockholm-born Strömholm, who died in 2002, arrived in Paris in the late 1950s and settled in Place Blanche, home of the famous Moulin Rouge. There, he befriended and photographed young transsexuals - 'ladies of the night' - struggling to live as women and to raise money for sex-change operations.

Transvestites were outlaws in General Charles de Gaulle's ultra-conservative France and were regularly abused and arrested by the police for being 'men dressed as women outside the period of carnival'.

Over the course of 10 years Strömholm photographed his subjects in their hotel rooms, in bars, and in the streets of Paris. Some of these women had tragic fates. Others - like 'Nana' and 'Jacky' - eventually fulfilled their destiny and led happy lives as women."


5-08-12:  GID Reform Advocates: “Final Public Comment Period For Proposed DSM-5 Criteria Ends June 15”, by Kelley Winters, Ph.D.

The American Psychiatric Association announced a third and final period of public comment on proposed diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), ending June 15. Criteria for the draft diagnostic categories of Gender Dysphoria in Children and Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents or Adults (formerly Gender Identity Disorder, or GID) are unchanged from the second round proposal in May, 2011. The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup of the DSM-5 Task Force only partially responded to concerns raised about the GID diagnosis by community advocates, allies and care providers. Their specific diagnostic criteria continue to characterize gender identities and expressions that differ from birth-assigned roles as pathological and therefore contradict access to medical transition care, for those who need it, rather than lower its barriers.

Worse yet, the punitive and scientifically capricious diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder (formerly Transvestic Fetishism) offers no medical justification for its continued inclusion in the diagnostic manual, despite growing insistence on its removal. Many in the trans and allied communities are outraged at defamatory “autogynephilia”/”autoandrophilia” specifiers in this diagnosis that falsely stereotype many transsexual women and men as self-obsessed sexual fetishists. An online petition, sponsored by The International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) now has over 6,700 signatures, calling for complete removal of the Transvestic Fetishism/Disorder category from the DSM.

[As predicted when they were given control of the GID-section revisions, trans-reparatist Ken Zucker and autogynephilia-witch-hunter Ray Blanchard have intensified the psychiatric stigmatization of trans people in the upcoming DSM in spite of massive social and medical evidence that their thinking is unsound.]


5-08-12:  The Indian Express (India; posted 5-07): "HC allows man to go for sex change" (more, more, more, more)

"In an order that would enable 21-year-old Bidhan Barua to undergo a sex change operation, the Bombay High Court on Monday asked the police to provide him protection if they felt it necessary.

“If he (Barua) is a major, he should not be hindered from doing what he wishes,” Justice S J Vazifdar said.

Barua approached the court after his parents allegedly threatened doctors at Saifee Hospital at Charni Road, telling them not to perform the operation. According to him, the doctors refused to operate upon him until he got an order from the HC . . .

Barua, who hails from Guwahati, had moved court last week seeking its intervention to enable him to get the surgery done. He claims he is a woman trapped inside a man’s body, and that he realised early in life that he was “born in the wrong sex.”

He calls himself Swati and apparently wishes to marry an Indian Air Force flight lieutenant. On May 2, after the HC declined to hear his petition immediately, he even threatened to commit suicide, in a letter addressed to the High Court Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of India and the National Human Rights Commission. In his letter, he said the High Court Chief Justice would be responsible if he was compelled to take his own life."


5-08-12: (South Africa): "Sex-change woman fights govt" (more)

"A woman who used to be a man obtained a court order on Monday against Home Affairs because, according to her ID book, she is still man, Beeld reported.  Jacqui . . .  (41) of Durbanville, Cape Town, stated in court papers submitted to the High Court in Pretoria that due to the disparity between her appearance and the information in her ID book, she had lost her job . . .

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba ordered the home affairs director general to consider within 30 days Louw's request to have her identity documents altered to reflect her new sex, and to inform Louw of his decision.

Louw said she had undergone the necessary surgical procedures to alter her sex, and was still undergoing oestrogen therapy. She originally applied at home affairs' Belville office on 26 June 2010 to have her ID book and birth certificate altered, but after 18 months she had received no response."


5-08-12:  The Mirror (UK): "Sex-change beauty queen: Transgender teenager wins place in the Miss England semi-final - Jackie Green will be the first transgender contestant to reach the semi-finals of the national pageant" (more, more, more)

"A teenager who had the world’s earliest sex change at just 16 has moved a step closer to becoming the new Miss England. Jackie Green, now 18, has clinched the public vote and will be the first transgender contestant to reach the semi-finals of the national pageant.

Jackie, who was asked to enter the beauty contest by scouts who knew nothing about her sex swap past, said: “I’m ecstatic to get through. I never expected it. “It’s been lovely to see the support from everyone and I have had so many people contacting me to say they hope I win. I have come this far and now I am in it to win it.

“Lots of people have been in touch and it makes me blush to think I have inspired others. I never thought I would be able to inspire anyone.”"


5-08-12:  The Daily Iowan (Univ. of Iowa): "Transgender patient files discrimination complaint against UIHC" (more, more)

"When Shay O'Reilly, a former DI employee, contacted the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics endocrinology clinic to get his hormone imbalance regulated, he didn't anticipate being turned away twice after allegedly being told they didn't see people with his "condition."

Iowa City resident O'Reilly is transgender — people who identifies with genders outside their biological one. The 22-year-old was referred to the endocrinology clinic by his primary-care physician after testing at the Emma Goldman clinic found his hormone levels half what they should be, an imbalance that could possibly lead to long-term complications.

O'Reilly was only able to schedule an appointment after contacting the clinic's director. "Had I not gone that extra mile, I wouldn't have been seen," he said. O'Reilly filed a discrimination complaint May 3 against the UIHC with the goal of prompting the university to make sure no other transgender individuals would be denied easy access to health care."


5-07-12:  New York Times (re India): "Tears and Broken Glass as India’s Largest Transgender Festival Closes"

"Dr. Mohan Kumar, a psychiatrist at Columbia Asia Hospital in Bangalore, made the trek down to Koovagam out of what he loosely described as a sense of dedication. Dr. Kumar has worked with transgendered female patients from across India’s vast economic divide, and says that the cathartic release the festival provides is very real, and in some ways, necessary. “You’d have to write a book rather than just an article or two to get closer to how it really feels,” Dr. Kumar says. “Most transgendered women in India are getting sex, sex, sex – but rarely do they receive compassion or love. And the majority of Indians still believe that it is a vile curse, that these people are disgraced in the eyes of god.”

Dr. Kumar says the ritualized enactment of the feminized Krishna’s love for Aravan is extremely powerful in hijra and Indian trangendered communities not only because of the cathartic healing the mourning ceremony provides through the release of tears but also because of a positive, aspirational element embedded in the story. The myth, ultimately, is about true love."


5-05-12:  The Daily Mail (UK re India): "Bidhan Barua may have been born a male but he has the right to change his gender", by Palash Krishna Mehrotra  (more)

"Bidhan Barua, 21, has been holed up in a Mumbai hotel for the past few weeks. Bidhan is a man who wants to be a woman. His parents don't approve of it; Bidhan claims they have frozen his bank account, and have tried to obstruct the surgery that'd enable him to realise his dream. He has moved the Bombay High Court and sought its intervention because the authorities at Saifee Hospital, Charni Road, have refused to perform the operation unless he gets legal permission . . .

Bidhan's case is fascinating because ours remains a society obsessed with the male child. The average Indian family craves sons; it's bad enough if your son wants to make love to another man, but for your son to want to become a woman and then make love to another man? What could be worse. Surely we are being sucked into the black hole of Western decadence, the warped lifestyle choices of mad white men. Except that sexuality has nothing to do with being white or brown or black. Sexual identity is a universal issue that has little to do with race and class, and only to do with gender.

A natural question to ask at this stage is: is it really possible? Can a man become a woman? The answer is: yes, it is. Well, they can't give you a womb, so you can't bear children, but, for all practical purposes, modern surgical procedures and hormone injections can bring you to a stage where you can have a sexually fulfilling life."


5-05-12:  The Arizona Republic: "Becoming Max: Confronting gender identity disorder"

"The teacher, Craig Kosnik, thought he knew what Max was about to reveal and told him he could still switch topics. Max thought about it that night, but decided he had to go ahead with it. "It's such a big part of me. I felt like it needed to be said," he says. "Anything else would have been a lie."

"Are you sure?" Mr. Kosnik asked the next day. Max was sure. Onstage, he pushed up his glasses, took a deep breath, and began: "June 20, 1996. Makenzie Ann Janssen." And then Max simply said that he had been born on that day, a baby girl . . .

Max said that for as long as he could remember, who he is on the inside didn't match the body he had on the outside. He told the class that feeling that way has a name -- "transgender" -- and that he finally began living as a boy two years before, then a year later legally changed his name, and how right he feels now. At the end, he went back to the beginning: "June 20, 1996. Max Andrew Janssen.""


5-04-12: San Francisco Chronicle: “Hate crime suspected in transgender death” (more)

"Before she was shot, Martell was with three other transgender women in the area of 13th and Franklin streets, a common gathering place for transgender women who feel unwelcome at bars and clubs nearby, Woods said.

Woods said witnesses had told her that Martell and the others were approached around 3 a.m. by two men who tried to persuade them to accompany them. Martell and her friends talked to the men for a while and told them they were transgender, after which the men left without incident, Woods said.

The men returned later, shot Martell and fled, Woods said. Police responded to the scene and found Martell dead in the car. No one else was injured, and no arrests have been made. Woods said she believes Martell was probably attacked because of her gender identity."

5-03-12: GLAD Transgender Rights Project: “A Groundbreaking, First-of-its-kind Book” (more, more)

"Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy is a must-have practical guide for attorneys interested in becoming effective advocates for their clients, and a valuable resource for any transgender person who is forming, expanding, or dissolving a family relationship.

This is the first book to comprehensively address legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context and provide practitioners the tools to effectively represent transgender clients. Transgender Family Law covers a full range of family law topics, including:

Culturally Competent Representation; Recognition of Name and Sex; Relationship Recognition and Protections; Protecting Parental Rights; Relationship Dissolution; Parental Rights after Relationship Dissolution; Custody Disputes Involving Transgender Children; Protections for Transgender Youth; Intimate Partner Violence; Estate Planning and Elder Law."


5-03-12: The Stranger (posted 4-01): “I Stand Corrected at Translations: The Seattle Transgender Film Festival”, by Charles Mudede

"I Stand Corrected, one of the full-length films in Translations: The Seattle Transgender Film Festival, is a remarkable documentary about a remarkable human being, Jennifer Leitham. Until six or so years ago, Jennifer was John Leitham, a brilliant jazz bassist who once worked with the Velvet Fog, Mel Tormé. John Leitham's life (boy, young man, grown man) was, of course, complicated . . .

The best part of this documentary, however, is not so much the story of how John became Jennifer, a story that's told with great warmth and intelligence by Jennifer, but, for me at least, the discovery of a truly major American musical mind. Listening to the way Jennifer plays, which was the way John played, one has the impression that no obstructions exist between the ideas in her head and their expression on the instrument . . . This, indeed, is her real genius: She is able to compress her complicated thinking into rhythms that are not hard to follow, that speak to the body directly. There is no poetry without music, no music without the dance. Jennifer Leitham is an American original."


5-02-12:  New York Times (re India): "Koovagam, India’s Largest Transgender Festival, Opens" (more, more)

"While Koovagam is officially only a two-day affair – May 1 and 2 this year – the festivities in Villupuram often go on for weeks. No one takes attendance, but the number of hijras flocking to the city easily number in the thousands – at this point on some streets in Villupuram hijras seem to outnumber non-Hijras by two to one.

It’s the largest gathering of male-to-female trangendered people in India, and arguably one of the most singular cultural celebrations an open-minded traveler could ever hope to encounter, where an influx of hijras, eunuchs, and cross-dressers swarm these usually desolate streets seeking spiritual cleansing, friendship and sometimes casual or paid sex. According to locals like Mr. Thomgon, the festival has been running for over a hundred years now – but it has only started to acquire fame over the past few, as attendance has soared because of more word of mouth in the Internet age."


5-02-12:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Transgender rights won - Concordia students will use chosen names in class"

"Transgender students at Concordia University will soon be able to use their chosen names in class and on their student ID . . .

Mota said students must continue to use their birth names on official university transcripts. However, they will be able to use their chosen name on their university ID, class lists, exams, lists of grades, the university's interactive Moodle site and correspondence with the university.

Under the new system, professors will have no way of knowing that a student has adopted a different name, even though his or her birth name will remain on the permanent transcript, Mota said."


5-01-12:  HLN: "'Kay's Transition': A transgender journey online"

"Kay's biceps protrude like small mountains. Kay's chin hair has started to come in like new grass. The voice is heavy, bottomed out. Kay's deltoids look like a man that has been working out. In a way, that's true. Kay -- who goes by K now -- is a man.

The transgender metamorphosis -- documented meticulously on Facebook and YouTube in a dazzling array of videos and pictures called "Kay's Transition" -- is unique in the respect that it's not a story of intense pain, or weeks of fragile and agonizing baby steps. No, for K, everything -- even the operations -- has been different. “The whole transformation was a breeze,” he says. “Physically speaking, I don't think I could have asked for a better transition . . .

K says he’s heard from those who disapprove of the transformation, but they have been far and few between. Besides, he says, the conversion inside has been undeniable. “Anybody who knows me has witnessed a change so drastic, the mere fact alone that I smile more now in a day than I did in my whole life speaks volumes,” he says”


5-01-12:  Dallas Voice: "EXCLUSIVE: Transgender woman ticketed for using women’s restroom at Parkland hospital"  (more, more, more, more)

"Police cited a transgender woman for disorderly conduct on April 25 for using a women’s restroom at Parkland hospital. An officer with the hospital’s police force wrote the citation for a class-C misdemeanor after a complaint was lodged by someone who saw the transgender woman, Paula Witherspoon, leaving the bathroom.

Witherspoon said she was at the hospital with her husband, who had a follow-up appointment after suffering a heart attack.

“I live full time as a woman,” Witherspoon said. She said hospital police told her they weren’t there to decide whether she was guilty. “Then they wrote me a ticket,” she said."


5-01-12:  KGO-TV San Francisco (Posted 4-30): "Death of transgender woman could be hate crime" (more, more)

"More is being learned about the murder of a transgender woman in Oakland over the weekend. Brandy Martell was shot to death in downtown Oakland at Franklin and 13th Street just a block from city hall. Her friends believe the killing was a hate crime.

37-year-old Brandy Martell was sitting behind the wheel of her car around 5:15 a.m. Sunday when one or two men walked up and began a conversation. A witness told ABC7 the conversation was cordial, but then a few minutes later, one of the men became angry and fired into the car right where Martell was sitting.

Until late last year, Martell worked as an outreach worker at the Tri-City Health Center in Fremont which serves the transgender and transsexual community. "When you don't provide a space in society for people who you think are the other or different, especially transgender women, especially transgender women of color, when you don't provide spaces for them to be in a safe environment or a safe space, whether it's socializing or services, this is what happens," Martell's friend Tiffany Woods told ABC7."



April 2012


4-30-12:  Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA): "For Jewish transsexual teaching at Yeshiva University, no easy path to being a daughter", by Joy Ladin (more)

"If your mother has never seen your face -- if you have never had a face to be seen -- if, in a sense, you have never been born -- do you have a mother? If your mother has always called you "son," can you ever really become her daughter?

For most of my life, I couldn't begin to ask such questions. My sister, three years my junior, was the only daughter in our family. And though I hated being a boy, I could be messy, dirty, ruthlessly self-centered, indifferent to my appearance, careless of others to the point of rudeness -- behaviors my sister could never have gotten away with. I hated myself for deceiving my family, and it broke my heart that they were so easy to deceive. I felt utterly alone, and as so often when I was child, my estrangement from the world around me drove me to the Torah. There, I found someone I recognized as the direct ancestor of my own unbearable tangle of love and lies. In a passage I read over and over, Jacob serves his blind, aged father Isaac his favorite dinner as a prelude to receiving his blessing. There's only one problem with this scene of filial devotion: Jacob is impersonating his twin brother Esau, who older by a moment, is his father's heir. Esau, a vigorous, hairy, hyper-masculine hunter, is his father's favorite.

Jacob is a smooth-skinned, domestic, almost feminine farmer. Lest his blind father become suspicious, Jacob conceals his smooth forearms under hairy swatches of fresh-killed kid-skin that will make his arms feel as hairy as Esau's. If his father recognizes that the manly Esau is really the feminine Jacob, Jacob will be cursed instead of blessed.

Like Jacob, I wasn't the boy my parents meant to bless with food, shelter, clothing, love. Under the skins of masculinity -- the pants and shirts I hated, the roles and games I forced myself to play -- was something too smooth, too soft, too feminine to be loved like the male "twin" I pretended to be. Like Jacob, I found deception heartbreakingly easy. As long as I kept my hair short and wore pants and shirts, no one could see the girl cowering beneath . . . "

[A powerful, must-read reminiscence.]


4-30-12:  Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TDLEF): "Victory! Transgender Woman Wins Health Insurance Coverage for Mammogram"

"We are thrilled to announce that we have resolved a claim on behalf of Beth Scott, a 44-year-old transgender woman in New Jersey who had been denied health insurance coverage for a mammogram. Ms. Scott underwent the mammogram in June 2010 at her doctor’s recommendation. Aetna denied coverage for the mammogram on the grounds that it fell under her policy’s exclusion for treatments “related to changing sex.” As a transgender woman, Ms. Scott was assigned male at birth and developed breasts after undergoing hormone therapy. Aetna refused to alter its position throughout the lengthy appeals process.

TLDEF intervened and argued that Aetna’s interpretation of the policy exclusion was overbroad and that it should apply only to treatments prescribed to change an individual’s sex characteristics. Because a mammogram is a procedure that has nothing to do with changing sex characteristics, Ms. Scott’s mammogram should have been covered. Aetna’s interpretation could have led to the continued denial of claims for medically necessary care for transgender patients, including treatment for conditions such as breast cancer."

[This case exposes the depth of the ongoing ostracism of transpeople by large segments of the medical establishment ‒ including widespread denials of insurance claims for  medical-examinations and life-saving medical care routinely available to cisgender people.]


4-30-12:  TV Worth Watching: "A Question of Identity", by Eric Gould

"One of the most hard-won achievements in life is finding out and knowing who we really are. For three young people in an upcoming National Geographic documentary, discovering their true selves was just the beginning...

American Transgender is a new work from writer and director Leslie Schwerin that unfolds in verite format, with the subjects speaking for themselves without narration. They recount becoming aware of their differences as children, and then discuss their courageous decisions as young adults to transition through surgery to the opposite sex. American Transgender premiere's Tuesday, May 1 at 8p.m. ET on the National Geographic Channel.

The documentary uses evocative montages of childhood pictures to introduce us to the show's subjects. Sarah and Jennifer go on to have hormone treatments and surgeries to become Eli and Jim. Alex, a young man, does the same to transition to Clair.

All three talk extensively about growing up having to "act" the role of girl or boy - all while being mocked and feeling trapped and tortured in the wrong body. One of the most uplifting parts of American Transgender is seeing the support and acceptance the three received from their families before and after the transition process."

[Must see programming. Please alert your friends.]


4-30-12:  National Geographic (posted 4-26): "Q&A With ‘American Transgender’ Stars"

"Most of us can answer that question without a second thought, but for some people, the answer isn’t so simple. American Transgender takes us firsthand into the daily lives of three individuals—Clair, Jim, and Eli—who each identify with a different gender from the one in which they were born and raised. We witness their struggles and triumphs, and experience their hopes and fears. How do they manage at work, build careers, maintain friendships, and nurture lasting, intimate partnerships? Each of the characters in the film tells their story in their own words as we follow them through life’s daily battles and victories, both large and small.

The following is a Q&A with the three characters in the film: Clair Farley, who was born male and transitioned to female, and Jim Howley and Eli Strong, who were both born female and transitioned to male."

[Premiere's Tuesday, May 1 at 8p.m. ET]


4-29-12:  Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines): "Finally, a woman: A transgender’s story", byLouie Cruz

"I have a husband now, and he didn’t know I was a man before . . . I eventually told him about my past, before we lived in. He eventually proposed, and we got married. We’re legally married, as man and wife. We’ve been together for 17 years. He is straight, not bisexual or gay. What’s wonderful is that he incredibly accepts me for who I am . . .

How can you genuinely satisfy your husband, having said that he is straight and not even bisexual?

I satisfy all his psychological needs. If he is happy with how I look, his mind tells him he is happy. If he is satisfied with how I keep house, then he is happy. If his sexual needs are met, he is happy. Marriages fail when psychological needs are not met, in spite of both parties being sexually compatible. Psychological needs are more important than anything else in a marriage.

What gender does it say in your Filipino passport? Male? Female? . . .

There are no laws that exist in the Philippines that protect transsexuals or transgenders. That is how backwards our country is on many issues. Science moves at such a rapid pace that new laws have to be made . . . I see no reason why a law should not be passed that one can change the gender description one was born with after a sex change."


4-29-12:  Columbus Dispatch (posted 4-25): "Couple learn to accept that son’s gender identity is as a girl"

"Sitting around the kitchen table, playing a spirited game of Monopoly, they look like the quintessential Midwestern family.

Take away the contemporary hairstyles and clothing, and the scene could be mistaken for a Norman Rockwell illustration from the 1950s: Mom is laughing, Dad is grimacing, and their daughters, Samantha and Jackie, are wearing conspiratorial smiles that suggest they’re just a few rolls of the dice from forcing their parents into bankruptcy.

This isn’t a typical family, though. Jackie began her life 11 years ago as Jack . . .

One week after his 10th birthday, Jack told his mother something that would change everything. “She said, ‘I’m a girl, and I can’t do this anymore,’  ” Lynn said.At that point, Michael and Lynn concluded that they never again would try to force their son to be something he wasn’t. From that moment on, they stopped using the pronouns he, him and his, and Jack became Jackie.

After dispensing with the idea of moving the family to another community to get a fresh start, Michael and Lynn began researching transgender youth. What they learned was a surprise — and a relief."


4-29-12:  Washington Post (posted 4-23): "Gender identity and children who struggle with it"

"Gender nonconformity is a new term for many of us, but for some families it’s an issue that has gone unrecognized for too long. Increasingly, more families with children who struggle with gender are speaking out and asking for more rights and more inclusion.

One high-profile story last year involved a mother and her transgender 7-year-old petitioning to join the Girl Scouts. Other families joined Anderson Cooper a few months ago to talk about their experiences on his talk show.

Experts are also beginning to pay attention to these children. In March, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a collection of studies on children and adolescents with gender identity disorders. "


4-28-12:  Indian Express (India): "For sex-change surgery, he seeks HC intervention" (more, more, more, more)

“A student from Guwahati, who wants to undergo a sex change operation on Friday moved the Bombay HC seeking court intervention saying his parents are opposing the surgery . . . Petitioner Bidhan Barua claims his parents threatened doctors at Saifee Hospital on Charni Road on April 17, thwarting his desire to perform the surgery. Doctors refused to operate unless he gets a court order. His lawyer claimed Barua’s parents have infringed on his fundamental rights and had frozen his bank account.
Barua says he “realized early in life he was born in the wrong sex.” He preferred to dress like girls and behave like them, which angered his parents. Barua, who calls himself Swati, approached HC after he got a psychiatric evaluation done in March, which he says confirmed he was fit for a sex-change procedure.”


4-27-12:  Huffington Post: "Victoria Cruz, Latina Transgender, Given Award From Justice Department For Her Work With Abuse Victims" (more)

"The Justice Department's National Crime Victim Service Award honors individuals and programs that provide services to victims of crime. Many of the service providers were at one time victims themselves. Such is the case of Victoria Cruz, a transgender activist and counselor for domestic abuse, who was a recipient of the 2012 award . . .

Alongside 11 others, Cruz was awarded the national honor by Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday in the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington D.C. All the people honored transformed “their own experiences into a positive force for sweeping change,” Holder said in a statement according to the NY Daily News.

"For me it's very humbling [to win this award] and I'm honored, but to me all of this is also very healing,” said Cruz. "When I see someone get the help that they need, I also get the help and I'm always glad that I'm able to help someone.""


4-27-12:  Inter-Press Service (re Argentina): "First School for Transvestites Opens in Buenos Aires", by Marcela Valente

"The "Mocha Celis" Popular Baccalaureate is the name of the tuition-free school supported by nonprofit organisations, which caters especially – but not exclusively - to transvestites, transsexuals and transgender persons over the age of 16.

The school is named after an illiterate transvestite who worked as a prostitute and was an activist with the Association of Argentine Transvestites. A week after Celis went missing, her body was found, showing signs that she had been beaten and shot to death. Activists suspect that Celis was killed by a federal police officer who had previously threatened her.

In an interview with IPS, Francisco Quiñones, the head of the new school, explained that the idea was "to create an inclusive school, free of discrimination, that takes into account and values the different trans identities, where they can manage to finish secondary school. "Public schools, which are governed by rules that cater to heterosexuals, drive these people away," and they end up dropping out of school at much higher rates than the rest of the population due to discrimination, which can even go as far as physical violence, he said."

[Note: Most English-language news-services mangle the translation of the Latin-American word "travesti" by using the English-language word "transvestite" (aka: heterosexual cross-dresser), which means something altogether different.]


4-26-12:  KCBS San Francisco: "Transsexual Woman Among SF Crime Victims Honored For Willingness To Testify"

"Mia Tu Mutch thought she would die when two men beat her up in the Mission District for being a transgender woman, but a year later she was honored by the San Francisco District Attorney for traveling the country to speak out against hate crimes.

“This horrific hate crime that happened to me really was a wake-up call,” Mutch said, both to live each day to the fullest and to work hard to guarantee rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community . . .

Mutch was just one of several crime victims, and witnesses to violent crimes, honored by District Attorney George Gascon on Wednesday for heroic acts that helped solve some of San Francisco’s highest profile cases."


4-25-12:  Truth Wins Out: "EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Robert Spitzer Apologizes to Gay Community for Infamous ‘Ex-Gay’ Study", by John M. Becker"

"Today, in a letter to Dr. Ken Zucker obtained exclusively by Truth Wins Out, Dr. Robert Spitzer made an unprecedented apology to the gay community — and victims of reparative therapy in particular — for his infamous, now-repudiated 2001 study that claimed some “highly motivated” homosexuals could go from gay to straight . . . "

 “. . . I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some “highly motivated” individuals.” ‒ Robert Spitzer. M.D.

Dr. Spitzer’s apology to the victims of “pray away the gay” therapy and the greater LGBT community marks a watershed moment in the fight against the “ex-gay” myth. We commend him for it, because not only will it solidify his legacy as a respected doctor and significant historical figure, but it will help to greatly hasten the day when the scourge that is reparative therapy is eradicated forever and LGBT people can live openly, honestly, and true to themselves."

[A deeper investigation should be made into the role of the Archives of Sexual Behavior (edited by Ken Zucker) in advancing bizarrely-unscientific ideologically-driven studies as if they were science. For example, in the 1970's the ASB published various "scientific" claims that transsexualism could be cured by exorcism. It went on, under Zucker's editorship, to publish self-serving reports that supported Zucker's own trans-reparatist treatments of gender-variant children, making Zucker the oft-cited darling of NARTH. Why is it that the ASB keeps being cited as a "scientific journal", when it so obviously is not?]


4-25-12: (re Netherlands): "Colette Berends: Her life and her art", by Lynn Conway

"It is with deep sadness that I learned of Colette's passing on April 23, 2012.

She was a wonderful friend, and I so enjoyed working with her as we brought her very special story onto the internet:

Colette was a true pioneer in life and as an artist. Her vibrant spirit lives on, in our fond memories and in her creative works.

Dear Colette, may you rest in peace.

Colette Berends [October 13, 1934 - April 23, 2012] Condolences Pages: (EN) (NL) "


4-25-12:  The Nation (Thailand): "Transgender's candidature a new first for provincial poll - A beautiful transgender has caused a stir by registering as an election candidate for the Nan Provincial Administration Organisation" (more)

""I'm confident that my experience and ability will be useful in the development of Nan," Yonlada "Kirkkong" Suanyos, 30, said yesterday. This is the first time a transgender has run for a political post at the provincial level. Although she is a new face in politics, she is famous as president of the Trans Female Association of Thailand.

For many years, she has campaigned for the rights of trans-females. The PhD candidate owns a jewellery business and runs a satellite television station. Last year, she was named by a media organisation as one of the most influential women in Thai society . . .  After undergoing a sex-change operation at the age of 16, she is physically a woman but her official documents give her title as "Mr"."


4-24-12:  Metro weekly (posted 4-23): "Transgender Breakthrough - EEOC ruling that gender-identity discrimination is covered by Title VII is a ''sea change'' that opens the doors to employment protection for transgender Americans" (more, more, more, more, more, more, Link to EEOC Ruling, PDF)

"An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person's gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to an opinion issued on April 20 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The opinion, experts say, could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation.

The opinion came in a decision delivered on Monday, April 23, to lawyers for Mia Macy, a transgender woman who claims she was denied employment with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after the agency learned of her transition. It also comes on the heels of a growing number of federal appellate and trial courts deciding that gender-identity discrimination constitutes sex discrimination, whether based on Title VII or the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

The EEOC decision, issued without objection by the five-member, bipartisan commission, will apply to all EEOC enforcement and litigation activities at the commission and in its 53 field offices throughout the country. It also will be binding on all federal agencies and departments . . .

Masen Davis, head of the Transgender Law Center (TLC), says the decision is a ''big leap forward.'' TLC advocates, who brought Macy's case, note that after today's ruling transgender people who feel they have faced employment discrimination can go into any of those 53 offices and the EEOC will consider their claims. What's more, the EEOC could take action itself to sue the employer for discrimination.

''Given the incredibly high rate of employment discrimination facing transgender people, this is incredibly significant for us. Data from the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that 78 percent of transgender Americans say they've experienced workplace discrimination at some point in time,'' Davis tells Metro Weekly. ''Given that transgender people do not have employment protections in the vast majority of states, this creates a whole new fabric of legal support for our community.''"

[Wow, this is HUGE!]


4-24-12:  Pink News (UK re Sweden): “Analysis: Sweden to deport trans woman assaulted and urinated on by Russian police”

As a Russian trans woman prepares to return to violence or worse if she is expelled from Sweden later this week, the latter country’s reputation as a less than welcoming place for the trans community is once more in the spotlight . . .

As with previous controversy over Sweden’s attitude toward gender identity, and a legal requirement for sterilization before trans identities are recognized, this case possibly sheds an unwholesome light on a deeper problem in the Swedish state.

Over the last few years, a succession of statements by the UN, the EU and CEDAW have expressed concern about the status of LGBT persons in Russia. In 2011, the European Parliament called for special protection of LGBT asylum seekers, while a recent EU Directive specifies that “gender related aspects, including gender identity, shall be given due consideration” in EU protection policies.

This is all very well as long as the flow of LGBT refugees from Russia remains but a trickle: however, with the passing of increasingly hostile anti-LGBT legislation and a rise in on-street persecution of LGBT individuals, that trickle may soon turn to a flood.


4-23-12:  Kuwait Times (Kuwait): "‘Build rehab centers for transgender individuals’"

"Kuwait should set up rehabilitation centers to treat cases of gender identity disorder, helping prevent cross-dressers and transgendered people from being abused, a parliament member suggested.

“The law that penalizes imitation of the opposite sex is being applied in an improper manner,” said MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi, further explaining that those that flout the law “are often subjected to abuse during arrest, during investigations as well as during confinement when they are jailed with other inmates.”

Instead, Al-Damkhi believes that sending ‘imitators’ directly to rehabilitation centers will help avoid abuse, as well as “receive treatment for their conditions.”

Al-Damkhi, a member of the parliamentary committee that focuses on tackling alien practices in society, states that the rehabilitation centers could be open to receive all individuals suffering from the disorder, and not only those arrested for imitating the opposite sex.

“Providing rehab to such patients has become a necessity,” the lawmaker said, adding that similar projects have been successfully adopted in Gulf and Arab countries . Meanwhile, Dr Al-Damkhi noted that the committee will discuss a proposal to establish a ‘center to treat negative practices and enforce values’ in society."

[Rehabilitation centers? These sound more like 'concentration camps' to me. The excuse: "it's to protect them"!]


4-23-12: Pink News (UK re France): “Presidential elections highlight trans voters’ rights gap”, by Jane Fae

"As the dust settles on the first round of the French Presidential election this morning, a sharp warning from France’s National Transgender Association (ANT), that discrimination by the French state means that trans citizens can no longer count on access to that most basic of Human Rights – the right to vote! . . .

Evidence that this issue is very live came as Madame Delphine Ravisé-Giard, ANT’s National Secretary found her attempt to vote last week blocked by officials in Toul in the Meurthe-Moselle Department in the North-East of France.

Despite holding papers from the court of Appeal in Nancy, dated September 2011, recognizing her change of status, and taking with her identity documents and a voting card all amended in line with that judgment, Delphine still found herself blocked from voting because the electoral register had not been updated.

Delphine was eventually allowed to vote – but only after she had been forced to provide detailed and very public explanation of her status to officials present . . . “I was required to provide detailed explanations, which in turn obliged me to reveal to all those present in the voting station a particular detail concerning my private life. I had to insist forcefully on my right to vote.”


4-22-12: GID (posted 4-21): "These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For: Gender Diversity, Scapegoating and Erasure in Medicine and Media", by Kelley Winters, Ph.D.

"On the April 18th broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show, Dr. Maddow reported an “explosive revelation” that Psychiatrist Robert Spitzer had rescinded his controversial 2001 claim that sexual conversion, or sexual reparative, psychotherapies can change sexual orientation in gay and lesbian people. Quoting an interview of Dr. Spitzer in The American Prospect, Maddow celebrated the historical significance of Spitzer’s reversal for the gay rights movement, calling it,

step one in what we’re now going to see as a real change, a real reckoning, in antigay politics.

Sadly, Dr. Maddow only told half of the story. For four decades, Robert Spitzer has played pivotal roles in mental health policies, not only on sexual orientation, but on gender diversity as well. This week, Rachel Maddow and other journalists turned a blind eye to Dr. Spitzer’s failure to retract a lifetime of trans psychopathologization, stereotyping gender identities and expression that differ from assigned birth roles as mental disease. This omission speaks to the marginal status of trans people within the GLbt rights movement and progressive media, as much as Spitzer’s omission speaks to trans marginalization by mental health policymakers.""

[A definitive exposure of the central role that Robert Spitzer has played in the psychiatric pathologization and socio-medical stigmatization of trans people, including laying the foundations for predatory trans-reparatism and institutionalization. A must-read essay. Please pass on widely.]


4-22-12: Asia One News (Singapore re Japan): "Transsexual talent finds the freedom to accept herself" (Part 2; See also Part 1)

"In April, Haruna released her fourth single, "Motto Ai o." She said, "I put my heart into that song, thinking that if the entire world is tied together with deep love, people will be happy." Looking to the future, Haruna intends to increase her international appeal. In 2009, she won the "Miss International Queen" transsexual beauty pageant held in Thailand.

"If I can make an impression on people, I don't care if they think I'm an odd person. If people are interested in me, I don't care if it's just for fun," Haruna said. "I'd like to make myself known to other people and take on activities to encourage people with gender identity disorder or people struggling with diseases.""


4-22-12:  Times Colonist (Canada): "Let reason rule gender issues"

"When Jenna Talackova competes at the Miss Universe Canada pageant in Toronto next month, a new phase in the campaign to broaden gender rights will begin.

Talackova was born a man. The Vancouver model had gender-reassignment surgery at age 19. Because of this history she was initially rejected, but the show's owner, Donald Trump, reversed that decision. She will be one of 61 competitors vying to represent Canada at the Miss Universe contest in December.

That seems fair. Talackova not only sees herself as a woman, she underwent a major operation to become one.

Yet the issue is anything but simple. The parliament of Canada is considering legislation that would recognize the rights of transgendered individuals. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to say in precise terms who is covered by the bill."


4-21-12: Stanford Medicine (Spring 2012 Issue): “Transition Point – The Unmet Medical Needs of Transgender People”, by Tracie White

"Transitioning is the process of changing gender, which can take anywhere from a few months to years. Its endpoint can entail simply living openly in the new gender, or undergoing hormone therapy and sex-change surgery, or any variation of these steps.

The problem is that in the United States, most physicians don’t exactly know what treatment for the transgender patient entails. For an untrained professional, it’s a challenge to provide care to a patient with a penis who wants a vagina, or to a patient who has been tortured emotionally by being told she’s a boy when she knows she’s a girl.

General practitioners — the majority of doctors who treat patients in the United States — are equally unprepared to care for those transgender patients after they have begun to take hormones and undergone genital-reconstruction surgery. The lack of medical education on the topic, a near-total absence of research on transgender health issues and the resulting paucity of evidence-based treatment guidelines leave many at a loss."


4-20-12:  Chicago Phoenix: "Communities to rally for slain transgender woman"

"A social worker at Taskforce Prevention and Community Services, is organizing a community event to call for answers in the murder of Paige Clay, a transgender woman who was killed on the city’s West Side on Monday morning.
Brian Turner, the organizer, said the motivation for this event is also due to the dissatisfaction over the police investigation. “My main reason for doing this is because it seems like it is in the process of being swept under the mat,” he said.

Clay, who was 23, was found with a gunshot wound to her forehead early Monday morning in an alley behind the 4500 block of West Jackson Boulevard. Area North detectives are investigation the case and no suspects are in custody. Initial information obtained from police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office could not confirm her gender identity."


4-20-12:  American Prospect (posted 4-16): "Was Adrienne Rich Anti-Trans? By failing to acknowledge the late author's views on womanhood, feminists risk writing trans people out of the movement." bySamhita Mukhopadhyay

"In the last few weeks, many obituaries have praised the revolutionary poet and feminist theorist Adrienne Rich. While these homages are well deserved, what has been largely ignored in considering the legacy of Rich is her history of transphobia. With the exception of a small group of critics, Rich’s ideas about trans identity—and trans women in particular—have gone unscrutinized. It’s indicative of the larger inability within the feminist movement to recognize trans voices.

Rich was a tremendous supporter of Janice G. Raymond, author of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male. Raymond even cites Rich in a viciously transphobic chapter, “Sappho by Surgery,” in which Raymond argues that biological sex is the same as gender (i.e., if someone is born with female body parts, they are always a woman). Raymond also suggests that men who go through sex-reassignment surgery are not real women but deviant men who use female bodies to enter female spaces. As a result, they are committing a type of identity rape.

It is understandable that so soon after her death, many were hesitant to criticize Rich—when famous people pass, we want to focus on their positive attributes out of respect. But it is imperative that we understand her full history—the good as well as the bad—to assess what her legacy means. Many people don’t know about Rich’s connection to transphobia, or the transphobia of many feminists in her era. But the specific brand of woman-centric feminism of the 1970s and early 1980s, championed by people like Rich and Raymond, set the schematic for how gender-based organizing would play out for generations to come.

Calling Raymond’s text transphobic is generous—it is essentially anti-trans propaganda. Raymond argues that not only are trans women not “real” women but that “the transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist feeds off woman’s true energy source, i.e., her woman-identified self. It is he who recognizes that if female spirit, mind, creativity and sexuality exist anywhere in a powerful way it is here, among lesbian-feminists.” She doesn’t stop at denying the existence of trans women but goes further: “I contend that the problem with transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence.” "

[Note:  For her assistance during the writing of The Transsexual Empire, Adrienne Rich was rewarded by Janice Raymond with a full paragraph in the book's short acknowledgements-section:

“Adrienne Rich has been a very special friend and critic. She has read the manuscript through all of its stages and provided resources, creative criticism, and constant encouragement. Her work, and her recognition of my work, have meant a great deal to me in the process of this writing.” ‒ Janice Raymond, The Transsexual Empire, Acknowledgements

[Lesson: The rampaging transphobes of the past are finally gaining the historical legacies they deserve ‒ and this includes those who supported and encouraged them.]

4-20-12:  Chronicle of Higher Education (posted 4-16): ""How to Apologize"

"Apologies are in order. Every week seems to provide a new crop of public figures apologizing for a poor choice of words, a regrettable action, or an effort to deceive . . .

All of us make mistakes; all of us have occasion to apologize. But we are increasingly without compelling examples of how to do it. There is, in fact, a small segment of the self-help industry that offers advice . . . Though it might be prudent for all potential apologizers to plan ahead by mastering this literature, I have some simple suggestions to keep on hand . . .  (ed: the suggestions included the following):

No conditional apologies: “I apologize to my students if I upset them,” is not an apology. It implies that the students had no good reason to be upset, and the apologizer is grudgingly going through the motions. Conditional apologies often announce themselves with conditional clauses, but not always. When Northwestern University professor J. Michael Bailey apologized for staging a live sex act for students to watch after class on February 21, 2011, he regretted “upsetting so many people in this particular manner.” This was an artful non-apology, in which the condition wasn’t stated outright but was plainly on the order of, ‘I’m sorry people were upset but I didn’t do anything wrong.’ The point was underscored when he added:

"During a time of financial crisis, war, and global warming, this story has been a top news story for more than two days. That this is so reveals a stark difference of opinion between people like me, who see absolutely no harm in what happened, and those who believe that it was profoundly wrong."

[Chuckle of the day: It's amusing to witness J. Michael Bailey's attack-mode verbal behavior now being cited within academic circles in recommendations on "What not to do".]


4-20-12:  New York Daily News: "Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly slams ‘Glee’ for transgender teen storyline: ‘kids might go out and experiment’"

"Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly wasn’t exactly singing the praises about this week’s episode of “Glee”. The conservative pundit blasted the musical sitcom, aired on sister network Fox, for its inclusion of a transgendered teenager, played by Alex Newell.

“Here's the problem with a show like this, though,” O’Reilly said in the segment of his Thursday night show, “The O’Reilly Factor”, flagged by the advocacy group Media Matters. “If you make the behavior of these people ... if children hear it, unsupervised children, okay who don't have parents watching their -- they might go out and experiment with this stuff.”

“Do you really think that this is the kind of thing that's contagious?,” responded guest Judge Jeanine Pirro. “I don’t know,” said O’Reilly."

4-20-12:  Huffington Post: "Raising a Transgender Child: A Star is Born"

"Eight months ago, my nine-year-old son tearfully shared with me that "his whole life, he had wanted to be a girl". Pressed by the therapist (who, thank G-d, was in the room with us) to clarify whether he wants to be a girl or is a girl, George immediately replied that he is a girl. And so began a crazy-ass adventure that I never, in a million years, expected to find my child or, frankly, myself, on . . .

We continued along with our "if-it-was-ever-normal-it-isn't-now" lives for a few weeks, noticing a huge change in our child's mood and temperament. Clearly, an enormous weight had been lifted. And then there came what we refer to as "the article". It was a Sunday in December, which also happened to be George's tenth birthday. On the front page of The Boston Globe there was an article about identical twin boys, one of whom had identified as transgender and was now living fully as a girl. I, not surprisingly, was raptly reading the story when George came up behind me, noticed the photo and asked who they were. Upon telling him he responded, with his mouth agape, "You mean I'm not the only one?" It was at that moment that Jessie was born, moved in and has since made herself comfortable in my house."


4-19-12:  The Rainbow Times: "GLAD Publishes Groundbreaking Transgender Family Law Book; organizations react" (more, more)

"Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, GLAD, is proud to announce the publication of Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book to comprehensively address legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context and provide practitioners the tools to effectively represent transgender clients. Featuring chapters by attorneys with expertise in both family law and transgender legal advocacy, the book was edited by Jennifer L. Levi , director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, and Elizabeth E. Monnin-Browder, a litigation associate in the Boston office of Ropes & Gray and a former GLAD attorney. Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy will be available in bound and electronic versions on May 16, 2012.

“Some of the most heartbreaking stories I have heard in my career as an LGBT legal advocate involve transgender people in family courts,” said Levi, a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues. “The rights of transgender people – as parents, spouses, and simply as human beings – are often trammeled in family court because of pervasive bias and misunderstanding. Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy is a road map for transgender individuals and their attorneys to navigate the family court system in this evolving area of law.”"


4-19-12:  CBC News (Canada): "Legal sex change doesn't require surgery, tribunal says" (more, more)

"Genital surgery isn't required for a man to be legally recognized as a woman, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal says.

Under current law, anyone who wants a change in sex designation on his or her birth certificate must first produce a certificate signed by two medical practitioners affirming that "transsexual surgery" was carried out. In a decision issued on April 11, the human rights tribunal said the Ontario government must now drop that requirement.

The government has 180 days to "revise the criteria for changing sex designation on a birth registration, up to the point of undue hardship, so as to remove the discriminatory effect of the current system on transgendered persons," wrote Sheri Price, a vice-chair for the tribunal. The government is "reviewing the decision," said Ciaran Ganley, a spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Government Services. He did not provide any further details."


4-19-12:  Pride Source (Michigan): "Transgender children share coming out stories"

"The little girl in the audience had a hard time sitting still. She lay across her grandmother's lap and kicked her little purple-tight-covered legs in the air, amused by the way her lavender tutu skirt crunched as she moved. In front of the crowd a panel of parents, and one grandparent - her own grandfather, spoke about what it's like to have a transgender child.

Dr. Antonia Caretto, a well-known psychologist, hosted the panel as part of Transgender Day of Empowerment. The issue of children transitioning can be a controversial one, but studies show that transgender people known from the time they are toddlers that they have a strong disposition towards a gender expression that is different from the one that is expected of them based on their body parts.

Brian, the six-year-old's grandfather, shared his experience and advice so that other parents who might have transgender children could learn from the things his family experienced.

"The best advice we can share is to be supportive," he said. "The worst advice we got, from a psychologist, was to remove the (female) clothes from the home." The psychologist said that "reparative therapy" was needed, and eventually Brian and his wife decided that the child is much happier being herself. Now she goes to a private school where she fits in with the other girls, who do not know she is transgender . . .

To find out more about Transgender Detroit, which organized the event, check out Learn more about Dr. Caretto and her services at"


4-19-12: New York Daily News (posted 4-17): "Transgender couple eyed in University of Pittsburgh bomb threats - Pair claims school is seeking revenge for previous dispute" (more)
"The FBI is eying a transgender couple with ties to the University of Pittsburgh as persons of interest in the string of bomb threats that have recently terrorized the campus. Seamus Johnston, 22, and his wife Katherine Anne McCloskey, 56, were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury on Tuesday, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The pair learned last Wednesday they were being investigated over the threats, which have occurred nearly 100 times since February.

“We didn’t do it,” McCloskey told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We had nothing whatsoever to do with the bomb threats. We think they’re despicable. We think the person or persons who did them need to be caught.” The threats have sparked disarray across the University of Pittsburgh campus, forcing several evacuations and disrupting classes since they began on Feb. 13.

McCloskey, who was born as a male but identifies as a female, is a Pitt-Johnstown alumnus. Johnston was expelled from the university in January after a clash he had with school authorities over which locker room he should use. He was charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct after using the men’s locker room instead of a private locker room that had been provided for him, the Post-Gazette reports.

Johnston, who was born as a female but identifies as a male, said FBI agents told him he was being investigated because of his expulsion."


4-18-12:  Huffington Post: "Transgender 101: 15 Things to Know", by Nicholas M. Teich

"Because I run a camp for transgender youth, Camp Aranu'tiq, I end up interfacing with parents soon after they have found out that their child is transgender. These parents are looking for resources for not only themselves but their family and friends. In my effort to help these parents find solid answers to the questions they face, I searched for resources. Most of the literature I came across was geared specifically toward helping professionals who already have a baseline understanding of transgenderism. Therefore, I decided it was time to write a book that could be used by parents, teachers, family, friends, professionals, and students alike . . .

The approach of Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue is easy and conversational. When writing the book, I thought about the following: if you were sitting in a room with me, and I was explaining what "transgender" means in the simplest terms possible, what would I say? For instance, one of the chapters in the book, "Gender vs. Sexual Orientation," explains in laymen's terms the differences between gay or bisexual people and transgender people, and how they may overlap, but how they may not. I felt that this was one of the many areas that needed attention, because I constantly hear people use "transgender" and "straight" ("heterosexual") as mutually exclusive terms, which they are not. The book also details what it means to come out, to transition and live as one's true gender, to live in between genders, to face daily discrimination, and more."


4-18-12:  Windy City Times: "Chicago House unveils new transgender housing"

"In an unprecedented move for the organization, Chicago House has unveiled a new nine-bedroom facility to house transgender people on Chicago's North Side. The organization opened up the building for tours at a special meeting of Chicago's Transgender Coalition April 18.

"We plan for this to be a safe haven and residential facility for transgender persons," said Rev. Stan Sloan, CEO of Chicago House. Nine transgender people will live in the four-story house before year's end.

Chicago House formerly used the building for hospice services, but as HIV-related deaths have slowed, the need for the site diminished. What has not diminished, said Sloan, is the need for affirming housing and support for transgender people. The location of the building is not being made public, due to concerns that doing so might make it a target for anti-trans violence."


4-16-12:  Huffington Post: "The U.S. Recognizes Straight Binational Marriages with Transgender Spouses" (Link to the USCIS Memorandum)

"USCIS will now issue immigration documents that reflect an individual's gender identity, so long as the individual presents "an amended birth certificate, passport, or court order recognizing their new gender; or medical certification of the change in gender from a licensed physician." The memo points out that these criteria are "based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health who are recognized as the authority in this field by the American Medical Association."

USCIS will also approve green-card petitions by American citizens or permanent residents for their spouses if a petitioner establishes that the transgender individual has legally changed their gender and subsequently married an individual of the other gender; that the marriage is recognized as a heterosexual marriage under the law where the union took place; and that the law where the marriage took place does not bar unions between transgender individuals and persons of the other gender.  The directive explicitly says that gender-reassignment surgery "is not required in order for USCIS to approve" petitions "unless the law of the place of marriage clearly requires sex reassignment surgery in order to accomplish a change in legal gender.""


4-16-12: "Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming People Among First, Most Affected by War on Terror's Biometrics Craze", by Alissa Bohling

"When Zev Al-Walid walks through an airport security scanner, he more or less willingly parts with his belt, his shoes and his pocket change, just like any other traveler. But by the time Walid - a man who was designated female at birth and later transitioned - is ready to reclaim his personal items, there's often an extra hurdle blocking the path to his gate.

Walid, who travels frequently to the United States and countries around the world from his home in Western Europe, remembers a particularly bad trip through a US airport's backscatter scanner machine.

"I wasn't really privy to what the picture looked like or anything," said Walid. "I could just hear the guy, in front of me, talking on the radio, presumably to the person looking at the image. And he was like, 'Yeah. No. He's right here. I'm telling you, he's a man. I'm looking right at him.'"

"I felt physically ill after that," said Walid."


4-16-12:  The Daily Texan (Univ. of Texas): "New policy will allow transgender students to list their preferred name on University records" (more)

"For some students, roll call in a classroom is exactly what it sounds like — the reading of a name. However, for transgender students who identify by a different name than the one listed, roll call can open the door to being outed to classmates.

The University will promote a new policy this summer to allow transgender students to list their preferred names on University records, a name that may be different from their legal name. Under this policy, a student’s preferred name will appear on class rosters, identification cards, medical files and other UT records. While transgender students were first allowed to use a preferred name on their official documents beginning last fall, this new policy will also update the preferred name to their medical records."


4-16-12: "Hong Kong University Vice-Chancellor: Save transgender research at HKU. Employ Sam Winter beyond 60"
"For twelve years Associate Professor Sam Winter of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been working in rights and health for transgender people. There are transphobic people at HKU , as anywhere else. So his work in this area has benefited from the fact that he had ‘tenure to 60’ (that is, security of employment until 60).


There are very few scholars working in this area in Asia. After Sam is removed there will be no one working exclusively in this area in HK. So please help save Asia-Pacific transgender health and rights research and advocacy at HKU. Sign the petition now."

[Sam Winter is widely recognized for his innovative research and teaching. His work has enhanced Hong Kong University’s reputation among scholars all around the world. It would be tragic if Professor Winter were prevented from continuing this work, because of transphobic reactions of a conservative Catholic administrator at HKU. Please sign the petition  For more on Prof. Winter's work, see his bio and his Transgender Asia website.]


4-16-12:  Color Lines: "How Gender Identity May Determine the Right to Vote in 2012"

"Over 25,000 transgendered American citizens may face stiff barriers to voting in the November 2012 election according to the report “The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters,” released last week by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s law school. This is, by any measure, the portion of the electorate that is among the most marginalized and stigmatized, and hence probably most in need of the right to have a say in who governs their lives. But discussions on both sides of voter ID laws tend to leave out transgendered citizens in discussions about who would be most adversely impacted.

I’m including myself in that critique. I briefly mentioned that transgendered citizens would be impacted in my first Voting Rights Watch blog, but have failed to consistently talk about their burdens in subsequent blogs. We often talk about black and Latino voters, elderly and student voters, women and those with low incomes as having trouble satisfying new photo voter ID mandates, but many transgendered voters will have an incredibly tough set of challenges before them if they are to have their vote counted in November. The cost of getting the appropriate ID to vote in some jurisdictions will be as high as getting surgery."


4-16-12:  The Williams Institute, UCLA (posted 4-12): "The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters", Jody L. Herman, Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow"

"While the debate over voter ID laws continues, little attention has been paid to the impact these laws may have on transgender voters. Transgender people who have transitioned face unique hurdles when acquiring or updating identification that would fulfill voter ID requirements because they must comply with the requirements for updating the name and gender on their state-issued or federally-issued IDs and records. Requirements for updating state-issued IDs vary widely by state and can be difficult and costly. Federal requirements also vary by agency. Recently, the U.S. Department of State revised their requirements for updating U.S. passports for people who are transitioning gender. These revised requirements may make updating one’s U.S. passport a more viable option for some transgender people to secure updated identification that meets voter ID requirements. Though updating one’s U.S. passport may be an option for meeting voter ID requirements, the cost of obtaining or updating one’s U.S. passport may be prohibitive for some transgender people."


4-15-12:  Asia One (Singapore re Japan): "TV personality Ai Haruna talks about her struggle with gender identity disorder" (more)

"The following is the first installment of a two-part story of how Japanese transsexual TV personality Ai Haruna, 39, suffered from and overcame gender identity disorder.

Ai Haruna sometimes shows her "manly" side on TV variety programs by speaking in a loud, hoarse voice, drawing laughter from the audience.

"I might have taken the long way in coming to terms with my more manly side, which--as much as I hate to admit it--is my attractive feature," Haruna said.

Born anatomically male, Haruna wanted clothes and toys for girls as a child. When playing house, she always played the role of the mother. "I believed that I would naturally be able to become a woman when I grew up," she said."


4-14-12:  Queerty: "Anchorage Election A Mess But Trans Woman Scores Court Victory Against DMV"

"While we’re all scratching our heads over the insanity that was the recent election in Anchorage, Alaska, there’s at least a little joy for the LGBT community in the Last Frontier.

In March, a trans woman going by the initials K.L. in court documents successfully sued the state to get the Department of Motor Vehicles to change its policy requiring drivers to undergo complete gender-reassignment surgery to change the sex on their license."

4-14-12:  Los Angeles Times: "LAPD plans separate jail for transgender suspects - Police will open a 24-bed facility in response to the risk of violence among the general inmate population. Chief Charlie Beck instructs officers to treat transgender people with respect."

"Responding to incidents of violence against transgender arrestees, the Los Angeles Police Department plans to open a segregated lockup for biologically male and female suspects who identify themselves as members of the opposite sex, officials said.

By early May, a 24-bed transgender module will open at the LAPD women's jail downtown, the first such police lockup in the nation, according to Capt. Dave Lindsay, the jail division commander. "This is a major change," Lindsay said. It will allow for "an environment that's safe and secure, as there's been a history of violence against transgender people" . . .

Up until now, transgender men and women arrested by Los Angeles police have been housed in the station closest to where they were detained — most often the jail at the Hollywood Community Police Station on Wilcox Avenue. Transgender women — men who dress and identify as women — were housed with the male population. Transgender advocates have long argued that such practices put transgender inmates at risk of being sexually assaulted or beaten."


4-13-12:  Huffington Post: "Peek into the Sex Life of a Transsexual Porn Star: An Interview with Madison Montag"

"While on the red carpet at the AVN Awards back in January, I couldn't help but notice a cute, petite girl in a mirrored dress coming down the carpet after me. Waiting in line to be interviewed by Showtime, I found out that that the tiny woman was Madison Montag, who was nominated as "Transsexual Performer of the Year." She has a real magnetism and a disarming kind of charm. A few weeks ago, I asked Madison if she would open up about the intimate details of her sex life, her struggles, and what it was like growing up trans. She revealed both titillating secrets and sweet dreams for her future."


4-13-12: The Pendulum (Elon University): "Author Kate Bornstein shares personal transsexual experience"

"She was a hippie that didn’t grasp the peace movement. A phone sex hostess with the voice of a man. A daughter who used to be her mother’s son.

Throughout her life, author and playwright Kate Bornstein, 64, has been a contradiction. And now, she’s best known for what she’s not.

“I am not a man; I am not a woman,” Bornstein said in a speech Thursday night at Elon University. “I’ve got a girl body, but it doesn’t make me a girl. It doesn’t make me a woman.”

Through a series of personal anecdotes and dramatizations, Bornstein illustrated her physical evolution from a man to a woman and her emotional evolution from hopeless confusion to contented ambiguity."


4-12-12:  BBC News Africa (re Angola): "Transsexual artist Titica takes Angola by storm" (more, more, more, video, video)

"She is bold, she is bright, she is beautiful and she is taking Angola by storm. Not bad for a transsexual in a Catholic African country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by hard labour.

Born in Luanda as Teca Miguel Garcia, singer and dancer Titica adopted her female persona four years ago following a breast enhancement operation in Brazil. Now, at 25, Titica is the new face of Angola's unique urban rap-techno fusion music style known as "kuduro".

By day her songs boom from minibus taxis, by night they fill Luanda's dance floors and at the weekends she has become the essential soundtrack for children's parties . . .

Speaking to the BBC during a make-up session before filming the video for her current hit Olha o Boneco, which features popular Angolan kizomba singer Ary, Titica said she was overcome with her success. "Thanks to God, I am very happy, it has taken a while to get here and involved a lot of sacrifice but thanks to God, everything is going well for me," she said.

Surprisingly shy for such a flamboyant and raunchy performer, Titica declined to comment on her sexuality when asked, but said her new-found stardom had not all been plain-sailing. "I've been stoned, I've been beaten, and there is a lot of prejudice against me, a lot of people show that. There is a lot of taboo," she said.

Despite that taboo, Titica appears to have no shortage of fans and most seem more interested in her music than in her sexuality. "I like Titica, I really like her. Some say that she's a girl, some say that she's a boy, I don't really know, we just like her music," said one young boy who had come to watch her video shoot . . . "


4-12-12: (re Angola; posted 12-14-11): "TITICA – KUDURO’S DANCE QUEEN"

"There’s something really phenomenal going on with Kuduro music at the moment. Half the time the Kuduro sound is really male influenced with a bit of a jagged edge. However, a unique twist on things has occurred - Titica who has aptly titled herself Kuduro’s Dance Queen is shaking things up beyond the dance-floor. Appearing to be Africa’s first public transexual artist, Titica is literally setting fire to an issue that is in need of serious addressing; the acceptance of LGBT individuals in Africa. Even though this may not be her manifesto, it’s great to see her own her image with supreme confidence."


4-11-12: AMERICABlog: "Prominent psychiatrist retracts study saying "ex-gay" therapy works", by Gabriel Arana

"Robert Spitzer—the guy who led the charge to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973—published a controversial study in 2001 saying that some gay people could change their sexual orientation. The study continues to be cited by proponents of "ex-gay therapy" (the notion that you can pray away the gay) as the chief piece of evidence that such therapy works; the fact that he is not a flack for the ex-gay movement and is an atheist made it hard to say he was biased. But when I met Spitzer in March, he asked me to retract the study:

Spitzer was drawn to the topic of ex-gay therapy because it was controversial—“I was always attracted to controversy”—but was troubled by how the study was received. He did not want to suggest that gay people should pursue ex-gay therapy. His goal was to determine whether the counterfactual—the claim that no one had ever changed his or her sexual orientation through therapy—was true.

I asked about the criticisms leveled at him. “In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct,” he said. “The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.” He said he spoke with the editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior (ed: i.e., Ken Zucker) about writing a retraction, but the editor declined. (Repeated attempts to contact the journal went unanswered.) …

Spitzer was growing tired and asked how many more questions I had. Nothing, I responded, unless you have something to add. He did. Would I print a retraction of his 2001 study, “so I don’t have to worry about it anymore”? "

[Ken Zucker, the editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, is now exposed as refusing to publish an important retraction in the so-called 'scientific journal' that he controls. Looks like trans-reparatist Zucker, who is a favorite source of opinion on gender identity by NARTH (more), is trying to prop up all the gay-reparatists out there. Great for the credibility of the ASB, eh?]


4-10-12:  The Harvard Crimson (posted 4-04), “Complex Gender Alignment: How do transgender issues and feminism overlap?”, by Sarah C. Stein Lubrano

“ . . . the existence of transgender people and the claim of transgender individuals that their gender is something innate could be seen as a threat to feminism. It has, in fact, been taken as such: another famous feminist, Germaine Greer, repeatedly argued in her book “The Whole Woman” that . . . Transgender people . . .must be mentally ill (perhaps as a result of being unable to cope with the confines of traditional gender roles) rather than actually of a different gender.

This approach is destructive because it effectively attacks transgender people and their right to self-definition and in doing so undermines feminism itself. Such an attack is hypocritical for feminists, who argue that women should have the right to define for themselves what it means to be a woman rather than being constrained to patriarchal values. Greer and feminists like her thus claim the right to define their own gender and then immediately deny this right to others. This is the replication or iteration of the same kind of oppression as patriarchy . . .

If one cannot imagine how gender could be innate, still one has the responsibility to let those who believe theirs is live their lives accordingly and only protest those who prevent one from living one’s own gender in the same autonomous fashion.”

[An important essay and food for thought, especially in light of the recent re-exposure of famed feminist Germaine Greer's rampant transphobia.]


4-10-12:  CBS News: "Miss Universe pageant allowing transgender women" (more)

"Transgender women will be allowed to participate in the Miss Universe beauty pageant next year, officials announced Tuesday, a week after they ruled a trail-blazing 23-year-old could vie for the crown this year.

Pageant officials said they are working on the language of the official rule policy change but expected final word to come soon. Trials for next year's Miss Universe pageant begin this summer. The move comes five days after the organization said that Jenna Talackova could compete in the Miss Universe pageant this year.

Talackova, a Vancouver resident, underwent a sex change four years ago after being born a male. Her sex change initially led organizers in Canada to disqualify her from the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant in May, citing a rule that she must be "naturally born" a woman.

Talackova pleaded with the pageant's leaders to drop the rule."


4-10-12: "Beauty pageant contestant waited to tell boyfriend about sex change at 19" (more)

"Miss Universe contestant Jenna Talackova has a boyfriend and hopes to have two kids some day, but didn’t initially tell him she was born male, the transgendered Canadian beauty queen said Monday.

In an interview with ABC Television’s Good Morning America, Talackova said she and her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years needed to get to know each other as friends before she told him about her sex change procedure. "Of course I had to let him know," Talackova said. "He was very supportive, very accepting. He saw me for who I was" . . .

Talackova, 23, had already made the Miss Universe Canada final before pageant organizers unleashed a wave of global media attention last month by disqualifying her on the basis she had to be a "naturally-born" female.

Pageant owner Donald Trump finally stepped in and overruled that decision, reinstating her ahead of the May 19 Miss Universe Canada contest."


4-09-12:  Palm Beach Post: "Could you unknowingly have sex with a transsexual?", by Dr. Maureen Whelihan

"There has been a lot of press about the 19 year old girl that won Canada’s pageant as a contestant for the Miss Universe Pageant. Research revealed that this girl was actually born a male and underwent hormone therapy beginning at age 14 and had sex reassignment surgery at age 19. She is now officially and legally a female according to reports, and will be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant. That led me to this discussion about Gender Identity Disorder and transgender/transsexual individuals."


4-08-12:  Gay Star News (UK re Hong Kong): "Trans woman to sue Christian rehab center in Hong Kong - A pre-op MTF transgender in Hong Kong is going to sue a narcotics school for delaying her operation by 10 years"

"A pre-op MTF transgender in Hong Kong is going to sue a Christian narcotics school for contributing to the delay of her gender reassignment operation by a decade. The 24-year-old who identified herself only as ‘C’ was forced by her parents in 2002 to enter Christian Zheng Sheng College, according to local tabloid Apple Daily . . .

‘The school kept saying how their tutors were psychologists and stopped me from going and shut me up.’ C also accuses Zheng Sheng for forcing her to live, bath and swim with other boys, rallying other students to force her to be a man, inviting preachers to 'cure' her of her sexual deviance and banning her from falling in love.

She tried to commit suicide twice before her mother brought her out two years later. C became even more addicted to drugs and engaged in some criminal activities.

The doctor in charge criticized how she had been forced to delay an evaluation by two years of her prime time and regarded the gender role C was fitted in as tormenting, C said."


4-08-12:  Edge Boston: ""In The Life" Episode Profiles Transgender Children"

"Jackie Singer of Laurel, Md., is not unlike other 7-year-olds. The first-grader enjoys reading books, riding her bike and picking on her brother. Her father, Brian Singer, remains very protective of his precocious child who also enjoys mermaids and Sponge Bob.

"The day she was born, she was a boy," he noted to EDGE in a recent interview as Jackie talked in the background. "I held her in my arms. I put her to sleep. I fed her. I changed her. I burped her and I did all these things for her. Those feelings don’t change, except now we have to accept her as a girl. Nothing has changed. I still love her."

The Singers are among those who appear in the latest episode of the LGBT newsmagazine "In The Life" that highlights families with transgender and gender non-conforming children that began airing on public television stations across the country on April 1. Michelle Kristel, executive director of In The Life Media, said she and her colleagues produced "Becoming Me" as a way to "elevate the discussion" around trans children . . . Log onto In The Life Media’s website for more information about "Becoming Me.""

[On this Easter Sunday, 2012, one cannot help but contrast the supportive parenting of trans-children seen in Becoming Me with the inhumane ostracisms of such children now being instigated by leaders of the Roman Catholic Church (see 4-07-12)]


4-07-12: New York Daily News: “Catholic Charities boardmember quits over Cardinal Dolan's stance on gay rights - Dolan accused of creating climate where parents turn against LGBT children” (more, more, more, more, more)

“Angered by Cardinal Dolan’s stance on gay rights, a member of the junior board of the city’s Catholic Charities revealed Saturday he has resigned. Joseph Amodeo quit after Dolan took umbrage at a letter from a group that works with homeless lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender youths.

“As a gay Catholic who teaches religious education (more than eight years in service to the Archdiocese of New York), is active in parish life and supports Catholic organizations, I’m afraid that the Archbishop has caused my heart to ache and my soul to feel pierced,” Amodeo wrote in his resignation letter.

“With a discerning mind, I have tried to overlook the Cardinal's actions and comments, but this has now become impossible in light of his curt words to \[the founder of the nonprofit Ali Forney Center\] and New York City’s homeless LGBT youth.”

The conflict was set in motion after Carl Siciliano (more), founder of the nonprofit Ali Forney Center, sent a letter to Dolan, saying his “loud and strident voice against the acceptance of LGBT people” creates “a climate where parents turn on their own children.””


4-07-12:  National Review Online: "Parting Ways", by Rich Lowry (editor of the National Review) ( more, more, more, more, more, more, more)

"Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he’s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer . . . Derb is also maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative. His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer.
Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer."

[Wow, that didn't take long!]


4-06-12: Think Progress: “National Review Writer Pens Racist Screed: ‘Avoid Concentrations Of Blacks,’ ‘Stay Out Of’ Their Neighborhoods”  (more, more, more, more)

“Popular conservative columnist and National Review writer John Derbyshire topped all of his previous racist screeds (and sexist rants) today by posting a long breakdown of all of the important lessons he has taught his children about race — and he’s outdone his own racism with this one.”

[You remember Derbyshire: He’s the stridently homophobic and transphobic National Review writer and the prominent national-media supporter of the now infamous J. Michael Bailey (those two guys deserve each other, eh?).  Note that although the National Review has denounced Derbyshire's racist rant, they've never said boo about his homophobic and transphobic pronouncements.]

For more about  Derbyshire, see the following investigative reports:

1. "Homophobic writer John Derbyshire writes a glowing review of Bailey's book for the conservative magazine National Review", by lynn Conway, June 30, 2003.

2. "Who Is John Derbyshire? Revelations of Bailey's and Academy Press' close PR connection with right-wing homophobic writer John Derbyshire", Lynn Conway, June 2003.]
3. "Bailey promoter Derbyshire goes on the defensive! The HBDG member tries to explain away his exposure as a lunatic-fringe homophobe and transphobe, by posing as a "victim" in the "culture wars", Lynn Conway, November 16, 2003.

For more about Bailey, see the following essay:

“The Fuckwit and the Fucksaw: Sex-Monger John Michael Bailey Strikes Again”, by Transmeditations (Joelle Ruby Ryan) , April 6, 2011.

4-06-12:  Pittsburgh City Paper (posted 4-04: "Pitt bathroom policy surprises, outrages transgender faculty, students"

"Since joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2003, Emilia Lombardi has never had to worry much about which bathroom facilities she should use on the Oakland campus. The choice was simple: As a transgender person who identifies as a woman, it's always made sense for her to use the ladies' room.

"I have never had any issue using any [women-only] bathroom or changing facility," Lombardi says. "I can't see myself using the men's room." Now she might have to.

On March 20, a university official informed Pitt's Anti-Discriminatory Policies Committee that transgender students and faculty must use bathroom facilities that match the gender on their birth certificate rather than the gender with which they identify. Since news of the controversial policy broke in the Pitt News student newspaper, critics have condemned it as a potentially harmful move that violates the university's anti-discrimination policy, which prohibits discrimination "on the basis of … gender identity and expression."

"A lot of people were really shocked that they had taken such a harsh position," says Jane Feuer, who chairs the ADPC, which advises the University Senate on issues regarding discrimination. "It was just dropped on us like a bomb.""


4-06-12:  The Sun Daily (Malaysia; posted 4-04): "Counsellors to be trained to tackle LGBT"

Counsellors need more professional training to be able to tackle the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) phenomenon in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said . . .

"The symptoms of sexual orientation disorder like LGBT, which was previously faced by the Western society are now faced in our society also," he said at the launch of National Counselling, Education and Career Carnival and Improving Professional Counselling seminar at Universiti Putra Malaysia today.

Pointing out that this phenomenon went against the moral, religion and norms of the country, Muhyiddin said the problem should be tackled wisely. "I believe that through an effective counselling approach, we will be able to curb this negative phenomenon from spreading in our community," he said.

[To learn how to do this, Malaysian counselors can study the teachings of George Rekers (re LGB) and Ken Zucker (re T).]


4-06-12:  ABC News: "Transgender Beauty Queen Knew She Was Different at Age 4" (more)

"Jenna Talackova, the transgender woman who was temporarily disqualified from a Canadian beauty pageant, said that even as a child she knew she was “in the wrong body.” While still a teen, she pursued her desire to become more feminine — through hormone therapy and more feminine clothing — and, as a result, endured name-calling like “tranny” and “it.”

“People would just, walk, lurking around my locker, like, ‘I can’t believe it, oh my God,’ ” she remembered.

Talackova sat down with ABC News’ Barbara Walters for an exclusive interview. She said she was just four years old when she realized she was different."


4-05-12: Xtra! (Canada): “Beauty queen saga highlights need for trans bill: MP”

"More than 40,000 people have signed a petition supporting Jenna Talackova's bid to compete in Miss Universe. The trans beauty contest hopeful who was disqualifed and then re-admitted to the competition has attracted an international outpouring of solidarity.

NDP MP Randall Garrison hopes that momentum will now shift to the Canadian trans rights bill that will be debated in the House of Commons April 5. It is the second reading of Garrison's private members Bill C-279, which adds gender identity and gender expression to the list of statuses protected under the Canadian Human Rights Code and amends the Criminal Code to include anti-transgender violence, assault and harassment. So far the second reading of Bill C-279 has received little media attention.

Yet over the past week almost every Canadian mainstream media outlet has covered Talackova’s story. Garrison thinks people seemed to understand and relate to how insulting it must have been when pageant officials told Talackova she could not compete because contestants must be “naturally born genetic women” . . .

“The story of the Trump beauty queen left a lot of people scratching their heads asking, ‘why would anyone try and exclude this woman?’” Garrison says. “That story has been very influential. It really focused a lot of people’s attention on the question of trans rights. It was so ridiculously discriminatory.”

4-05-12:  Chicago Phoenix: "Transgender health fundraiser also raises controversy over inclusion at CWHC"

"Subject to Change in conjunction with the Chicago Women’s Health Center put on Boom and Bloom, a dance party fundraiser to benefit CWHC’s Trans Greater Access Program Wednesday night at The Bulington in Logan Square, where the organization was met by critics who question their transgender inclusiveness . . .

The organization faces criticism that the program, which presents itself as providing affirming health services for transgender-identified individuals, leaves transgender women and transgender feminine people out by not providing the same hormone care as it does for transgender men and transgender masculine individuals . . .

Specifically, the demands include a statement of apology and explanation of the center’s priority in serving transgender men and transmasculine over transgender women and transfeminine individuals . . . "


4-04-12:  Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Health plan can't deny Red Wing wife coverage due to sex change" (more)

"A Red Wing resident who underwent a sex-change operation to become a woman and then married a man is entitled to medical benefits under her husband's health plan, a federal judge in Minneapolis has ruled.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ruled Tuesday that the health plan administrator for a United Parcel Service employee erred when it denied coverage to his transgender spouse on the theory that Minnesota law bars same-sex marriages.

Davis found in a 37-page order that the employee benefit plan had imposed its own definitions of gender and marriage on the plan's participants in violation of Minnesota laws.

Davis stressed that the case had nothing to do with same-sex marriage. And he said that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman -- had no bearing in the case.

"The question is purely one of Minnesota law," Davis wrote. He found that Minnesota law recognizes a married person's sex when the marriage takes place."


4-04-12:  IOL News (South Africa): "Muslim mother to have a sex change op"

"Today the Daily Voice lifts the lid on the incredible story of one woman’s lifelong quest to become a man. Shafieka (not her real name) bravely broke her silence about her ordeal in a heart-wrenching interview in a bid to educate others about her condition.

She was born into a traditional Muslim family on the Cape Flats 34 years ago. But since she was a little girl, Shafieka always felt different – as if she was a man trapped inside a woman’s body.

The tomboy grew up suffering in silence, terrified that someone would discover her secret . . . That was until three years ago when Shafieka – who is mother to a nine-year-old boy – embarked on the long, difficult journey to change her gender."


4-04-12:  MSNBC (re China; posted 4-03): "Chinese dancer becomes cultural icon after sex change operation"

"Jin Xing is one of the brightest personalities in China today. She’s a film star, talk show host and celebrated dancer, but it’s her life off stage that’s propelled her into the spotlight. She was the first person to have a sex change operation in China, and go public with it. Seventeen years later, she’s become a cultural icon in China and the government even uses her as an unofficial ambassador of the arts.

“They want to tell the world, ‘We do have an independent, free artist like Jin Xing,” Jin explains.

Jin recently embarked on her first U.S. tour with her company, Jin Xing Dance Theatre. The premiere was in New York City, the place where she studied modern dance 20 years ago. Now 44, her return to New York fulfilled a promise she made and kept for two decades."


4-04-12:  Asia One (Singapore): "Transgender show meanders to our shores"

"It's a small step for censorship, but a giant leap for Singapore's entertainment scene. During the early 1980s, event organiser Richard Tan said that he tried twice to bring a famous Thai transvestite show, the Tiffany's Cabaret Show, here . . .

Mr Tan said that while he was extremely pleased that his licence for the show was approved, he was surprised to find out that he could not advertise the performance on TV.

Explained the MDA spokesman: "Print publicity materials are required to comply with the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice administered by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS). "Under MDA's TV advertising code, R18-rated arts performances are not allowed to be advertised on television as the television is a mass medium accessible to all people, including the young.""


4-04-12:  CBS Detroit: "Transgender Woman Killed In Detroit" (more, more)

"Detroit Police say a transgender woman was killed during an early morning shooting on Tuesday. Police found the body of 35-year-old Coko Williams around 6:25 a.m. outside of a home on Parkhurst near Woodward, just north of McNichols.

Equality Michigan, a statewide anti-violence and advocacy organization, issued a statement that urges anyone with information to come forward.

“It is clear that sex workers are often targets of severe violence. Further, transgender women are far too often victims of the most severe violence … We unequivocally offer our support to law enforcement and the community so that Coko Williams’ killers are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice,” the statement read."


4-04-12:  Associated Press: "Trump wishes transgender luck in Canada pageant"

"A boy who became a girl got her wish to compete for title of hottest woman on the planet after Donald Trump said she could compete for Canada's spot in the Miss Universe pageant.

Trump, who runs the Miss Universe Organization, issued a statement Tuesday wishing Jenna Talackova "the best of luck in her quest for the crown." The statement came the same day that Talackova and her attorney Gloria Allred urged the organization to clarify its gender requirements."


4-03-12:  ABC News (re Canada) : "Transsexual Canadian Beauty Queen Asks Trump to Eliminate Miss Universe Rule"

"Jenna Talackova, the Canadian transsexual beauty queen, is asking that Donald Trump eliminate the rule that Miss Universe contestants must be naturally born females. "I want Mr. Trump to state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer from the discrimination that I have endured," Talackova said during a press conference today.

"I have never asked for special consideration. I only wanted to compete," Talackova said. Talackova was originally disqualified from the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition because she was not a "naturally born female," according to Gloria Allred, Talackova's attorney. Talackova was born a male but had sexual reassignment surgery at age 19."


4-03-12:  People Magazine: "Jenna Talackova Fires Back at Donald Trump, Pageant Officials"

"Jenna Talackova, the Miss Universe Canada contestant who was disqualified last week from competing in the pageant because she is transgender, fired back at the pageant's organizers, including its owner, Donald Trump, at a press conference Tuesday.

First her attorney, Gloria Allred, criticized Trump's handling of the situation."Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money," Allred said. "She did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant. She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally-born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy, to prove that he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?"

The pageant's organizers reversed their earlier decision on Monday, and issued a statement announcing that Talackova, 23, would be able to compete. She did not, however, confirm during the press conference whether she would actually be participating. Rather, Allred said, the organization's actions did not go far enough, and she implied that Talackova is considering suing the pageant."


4-02-12:  ABC News (re Canada): "Trump Won’t Bar Transsexual Beauty Queen From Shot at Miss Universe Canada Title" (more, more, more, more)

"Jenna Talackova, the Canadian beauty queen, won’t have to fight Donald Trump for a chance to compete for the Miss Universe Canada title after all, even though she was born a he.

Talackova is everything you think of when you hear the words “beauty queen.” With her bright smile, flowing blonde hair and viciously long legs, you can’t deny she’s stunning.

But Talackova, 23, was first disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition because she was born a male, according to CTV. Talackova was originally selected as one of 65 finalists for the Donald Trump-owned competition and her profile and photos were pulled from the Miss Universe Canada website.

But the Trump organization has reversed its decision, announcing today that it won’t attempt to keep Talackova out of the contest.

“The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions,” Michael D. Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Donald Trump, said in an email.

The Miss Universe Canada website states that to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. If basic requirements are met, they are asked to fill out a longer application form. The form does not mention any rules against sexual reassignment surgery."


4-02-12: 4-02-12: "In the Life" Features Family Life in Transgender Homes”

"This month, the award-winning newsmagazine IN THE LIFE debuts "Becoming Me," featuring eight families with transgender and gender nonconforming children ranging in ages from 5 to 25 . . .

While mainstream media coverage has portrayed transgender children as a spectacle, Becoming Me forgoes the sensationalism with this sensitive look into the real-life experience of families whose children fall across the gender spectrum. With the healthy development of their children at stake, parents must confront binary perceptions of gender, widespread transphobia and controversial parenting decisions.

Becoming Me begins airing April 1st on public television stations across the country and will be available for free video streaming from the In The Life Media website. To find out when it will air in your local area, or to stream it, go to


4-01-12:  The Times of India (India): "Transgender kills self after parents oppose sex change operation" (more)

"CHENNAI: A 23-year-old transgender committed suicide by consuming poison at Thiruverkadu on Friday after his parents allegedly opposed his plans to undergo a sex change operation . Police said that his parents had been shocked by his revelation that he was a transgender . . .

Karthik had run away from home two weeks ago as he did not want to tell his parents that he was a transgender. He left for the Koothandavar temple in Villupuram district and wanted to get a sex change operation.  His parents filed a missing person complaint and police brought him back home. Shocked to learn that he was a transgender, his parents took him to a doctor thinking he had a psychological problem. Police said the frustration of being misunderstood had probably pushed him to suicide."



March 2012


3-30-12:  Queen's Journal (Queen's University, Canada): "Random act of kindness - Train passenger en route to gender reassignment surgery encouraged by Queen’s student"

"“I’m emailing, calling my friends, I can’t believe how long it’s taken, the challenges, the struggles,” she said, adding that she was thanking her friends for their ongoing support.

Wooldridge made a quick trip to the washroom and returned to her seat, when the young Queen’s student turned to her. “The student hands me this piece of paper and she said ‘This is yours,’” Wooldridge said.

She paused to find her reading glasses, thinking she’d dropped a piece of paper when she’d gone to the washroom. As she put on her glasses, Wooldridge opened the note, which read “I couldn’t help over hearing during our stopover in Toronto – and it was inspiring. Never forget the journey; it’s the beginning of gratitude.” The young woman who had handed over the note had disappeared.

“It was overwhelming, tears came to my eyes,” Wooldridge said. “It was pretty amazing she would hand me that note as she got off the train.“Even though I had supporters along the way, here’s someone who became an ally and I hadn’t even spoken to her once.”"


3-30-12:  Huffington Post: "Alexis Rivera, Transgender Rights Advocate, Dies In California" (more)

"California's transgender community is mourning the loss of one of its most accomplished and revered leaders this week. A number of media outlets are reporting that Alexis Rivera, 34, died March 28 of complications related to HIV in San Francisco. Officials for the Transgender Law Center, where Rivera had worked as a policy advocate since 2007, wrote in an email statement:

"Alexis advocated for statewide policy change and trained hundreds of transgender community members to build relationships with their elected officials. During this time, Alexis was also a leader of the Transgender Law Center’s Health Care Access Project and helped secure affordable transgender health care services in several counties across California.

Alexis received many awards and honors in recognition of her leadership, including the Trans-Unity Trailblazer and Spirit Awards, the Latino Caucus on HIV Prevention Leadership Award, and the first QUEST Advocacy Pageant sash in 2002.""


3-30-12:  YouTube (posted 3-28): "Alexis Rivera, Activist, Leader, Friend"

"Tribute to Alexis Rivera

Music - Spark by Naomli Brennet

Alexis Rivera 3/28/2012 Gone too soon. Rest now lovely lady."


3-30-12:  Huffington Post: "The Right to Dream: Jenna Talackova's Miss Universal Slight", by Laverne Cox

"Do transgender people have the right to dream? This is what comes up for me most predominantly when I think about the recent disqualification of Jenna Talackova from competing in Miss Universe Canada because she is, in their words, not a "natural born female." She is transgender. Initially when I heard about this, I was like, "Well, yeah, that's been the rule for a really long time. That's just the way it is, and it's just a beauty pageant. Who cares?" What makes me sad about my initial response is that it demonstrates how used to my second-class citizenship I have become, that I, this supposedly empowered person, was willing to say, "Well, that's just the way it is.""


3-29-12:  Just Plain Sense (UK): "Till Political Convenience Do Us Part", by Christine Burns

"The coalition government has begun a three month public consultation on equal civil marriage for same sex couples . . .

Arguments against all aspects of these proposals will consume the media during the consultation period, and undoubtedly again when a Bill is debated in Parliament. All this noise threatens to erase the viewpoint of one group whose rights could be the "collateral damage" in whatever accommodation is made. These are the people whose interests I want to discuss . . .

What this boils down to is a fundamental failure of respect for the relationships of transsexual people and those who love them. The government are demonstrating that when a trans person's relationship stands in the way of an otherwise neat policy solution, it is the relationship that has to change, not the rules.

This time we must not allow transsexual people to be thrown under the bus as deals are fixed up for their more fortunate gay and lesbian associates. It was wrong in 2004 to legislate an obligation to dissolve trans marriages. It is wrong in 2012 to propose the same for trans civil partnerships. Only this time let's not brush it under the carpet . . .

And spare a thought too for those trans people and their partners who jumped through all the hoops that the government created. The equal marriage proposals promise that they, too, can convert their Civil Partnerships (the ones they were forced to transfer to) into Marriages ... for a fee. Think about that...

The government required you to dissolve your happy stable marriage in order to access rights decided for you by the European Court. It charges you for the legal recognition and for the civil partnership you enter instead. And then, seven years later, the government changes the rules and says you can now have a marriage again ... so long as you pay another fee.

[Christine Burns exposes the UK's weirdly-callous trampling upon trans people's legal rights ever since the April Ashley case.]


3-29-12: "Transgender Families In Depth On The Dr. Oz Show Today 3/29/2012"

"The Doctor Oz Show today is about men, who have made the decision to become women, and the effects it has on their whole family. Oz will show us the inside scoop on the process of making a man into a woman when he takes us into the operating room to see a sex change surgery. This show is all about Health, Family Wellness and Anatomy and will feature Michelle Angello, PhD and Dr. Christine McGinn as special guests"


3-29-12:  The Dr. Oz Show: "Transgender Families: When My Husband Became a Woman"

"This controversial episode includes husbands, fathers and men who were trapped in the wrong body. Hear about their decisions to become women. Dr. Oz goes inside the operating room for an in-depth look at the life-changing sex-reassignment surgery."

March 29, 2012, Guests: Michelle Angello, PhD, Dr. Christine McGinn


3-28-12:  Pam's Houseblend: "One Of Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 Under 40: Brittany M. Novotny", by Autumn Sandeen

"Oklahoma Magazine recently released their 2012 list of Oklahoma’s 40 Under 40. The magazine describes their list in this way:

There are overachievers, and then there is Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2012. These 40 individuals represent the cream of the crop in their respective industries; from health care and education to business and entertainment, we present 40 movers and shakers that make Oklahoma a more exciting place to live.

Number 32 on this list of Oklahoman movers and shakers is attorney Brittany M. Novotny. You may remember Novotny from her run against Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern — Kern being the state lawmaker who described homosexuality as a greater threat to the United States than terrorism. You may also remember Novotny from being President of the Young Democrats of Oklahoma . . ."


3-28-12:  Oklahoma Magazine (April 2012 Issue): 40 Under 40, the 2012 Class of outstanding young professionals: Brittany M. Novotny, 32, Attorney, Oklahoma City"

In 2010, Novotny ran for political office, a House of Representatives seat, against veteran Oklahoma politician Sally Kern. She lost the race, but it hasn’t hindered Novotny’s belief that with big risks come big rewards. “You have to take risks if you want to do big things,” she says. “You will undoubtedly fail and make some mistakes, but it’s learning from those mistakes that will help you reach your dreams.” A private practice attorney, Novotny sees herself as an advocate for Oklahomans whose rights have been violated. “Sometimes my job entails a lot of reading and paperwork, and other times it involves public speaking and convincing jurors to see my case the way I see it,” she says. Novotny serves on the Community Advisory Board for the SKIL program at Youth Services of Oklahoma County, which helps teens who find themselves without a home to stay in school and get their diploma. She also volunteers on local political campaigns and does pro bono legal work for needy individuals or organizations."


3-28-12:  Anchorage Daily News: "Supporters of Prop. 5 ask opponents to pull TV, radio ad"

"Supporters of a proposed ordinance to extend anti-discrimination legal protections to gay and transgender people in Anchorage are asking an opposition group to pull a campaign ad that says day care centers would be forced to hire transvestites or face jail time. They say the ad is offensive and misleading . . .

In the ad, a cartoon "transvestite" who wants to work at a day care is drawn as a man with a jutting jaw and body hair, wearing a short pink dress, red high heels and lipstick. If Prop. 5 passes, the narrator of the ad says, "it will be illegal for Carol to refuse a job to a transvestite who wants to work with toddlers."

That imagery is an "offensive, stigmatizing and distorted" representation of a transgender person, said Trevor Storrs, a spokesman for the One Anchorage campaign."


3-28-12:  Hufington Post: "What's Wrong with Gay Rights? Dean Spade Addresses the Problem in Normal Life"

"Normal Life, published in late 2011 by South End Press, is Spade's call for a reconsideration of our demands as gender nonconforming people, a rethinking of desires for inclusion in marriage, the military, the Census, and the police force. Spade argues that by fighting for acceptance in these institutions, the power of those systems is enhanced -- the very systems designed to marginalize the most vulnerable members of the transgender community, low-income people, and people of color.

"Trans politics should not follow the gay and lesbian rights path," said Spade in an interview with me. "We should absolutely not follow their model; they've fallen into all the traps. They bought into pro-military, pro-criminalization, and pro 'family' values, which inherently alienates the most vulnerable people in the gay and lesbian community."

As an alternative, Spade's book suggests other outlets for our activism, including supporting transgender people incarcerated right now, engaging in activism to get those people out, dismantling systems that don't work, decriminalizing sex work, and stopping local law enforcement from working as immigration officers.

"How can we get people the things that they need? That's really the question here," he said. "How can we build real safety in communities and achieve universal access to material well being?""


3-28-12:  National Post  (Canada): "Petition seeks to reinstate transsexual Miss Universe Canada finalist Jenna Talackova" (link to petition, more, more, YouTube, more)

"An online petition has been started to get transsexual Miss Universe Canada finalist Jenna Talackova of Vancouver reinstated.

The petition, which was started by a man in Brooklyn, N.Y., is being hosted on, a for-profit company that says it aims to promote social change through online petitions. The petition has more than 30,300 signatures toward the 35,000 goal.

“She is a woman who deserves to be treated like other women would be,” says the petition. “What kind of genitals she was born with [and even what kind she has today] is completely irrelevant.”"


3-28-12:  Shanghai Daily (China): "Twin sisters undergo sex change in Shanghai hospital"

"Two 25-year-old twin sisters from Yunnan Province in southwest China both received a sex change operation in Shanghai to become male, fulfilling a long-cherished dream. They are the first twins in China to undergo the gender reassignment surgery, said doctors of the PLA 411 Hospital in Hongkou District. The hospital said one of the twins has left for home while the other is still recovering from the surgery . . .

The doctors said the sisters talked and dressed like men. After reading about sex change operations on the Internet, they decided to do the same. Their family was shocked by their plan but gave up when they vowed never to get married as a woman"


3-28-12:  The Republic: "Law center claims transsexual prisoner at N.O. jail tested HIV positive after repeated rapes"

"The Southern Poverty Law Center accuses New Orleans jail officials of failing to protect a transsexual prisoner from being repeatedly raped.

In a letter Tuesday to Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, SPLC attorney Katie Schwartzmann claims the prisoner was gang-raped at knifepoint in February and tested positive for the HIV virus after another alleged rape."


3-27-12:  ABC News: "Transgender Parent: Child's Journey When Mom Becomes Dad"

"When Sabine Bartlett was 13 her mother, who had been divorced from her father for a decade, transitioned from female to male.

Even though Sabine had grown up in a Unitarian Church with lots of gender and sexual diversity, Sabine knew little about being transgender.

Now 16 and living in Somerville, Mass., Sabine remembers her mother was "never particularly feminine," but began to "present as more butch."

"I came home from a trip with to my Dad's house and mom sat me down on the couch and told me she was going to transition," she said. "It's hard to face the fact that someone who is close to you changes at all -- especially a change that big.""


3-27-12:  LGBTQ Nation: "Wisconsin anti- transgender law stuck down"

"The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal brought by the State of Wisconsin after Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the ACLU of Wisconsin successfully challenged a state law that prohibits medically necessary treatment for transgender people in prison.

In 2005, Wisconsin legislators passed a law—offensively coined the “Inmate Sex-Change Prevention Act”—that barred prison doctors from providing transgender prisoners medically necessary transition-related care such as hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery while in state custody.

Even though Wisconsin, to date, is the only state to pass such a repugnant law targeting an already marginalized, politically unpopular group of people, the law is symbolic of the widespread ignorance of transgender people’s health care."


3-26-12:  New York Daily News: "Ruling is victory for transgender New Yorkers who seek to change gender on birth certificates - City overreached by seeking a psychiatric report and detailed surgical records: Judge"

"He had been through sex-change surgery and wanted his birth certificate to reflect the man he’d become, at nearly 70.

City health officials said they needed a psychiatric report and detailed surgical records to switch the gender on his birth certificate — requirements that put up undue roadblocks, a judge recently ruled in a case that highlights legal questions around a sensitive issue of identity.

The ruling, made public last week , orders the city Health Department to re-evaluate his request and questions the agency’s understanding of “the lives and experience of transgender people.” It marks something of a victory for advocates seeking to make it easier for people who have changed gender to change their identity documents."


3-26-12:  The Roanoke Times: "Hollins ponders its own tolerance policy - The university's transgender policy stands out for its attempt to define when gender transition occurs"

"Feeling more like a boy than a girl wasn't always so complicated for Cal Thompson.

Back when he was a little girl named Torey, he opted for Hot Wheels cars, and played with Barbie dolls only if he could blow them up with bottle rockets. Even coming out as a transgender person -- someone whose gender identity doesn't align with his or her birth sex -- and changing his name to make his male identity more apparent wasn't such an issue.

But as a Hollins University sophomore who wants to have his breasts removed, things are more complicated. Thompson's dream is to have the surgery the day he graduates in 2014. If he does it a few months earlier, he can forget about graduating from Hollins.

Under a 2007 policy at the all-female Hollins, students are free to adopt a male identity. But if they also take certain further steps - taking hormones, having surgery or even a legal name change - they can finish the current semester and then pack their bags. Critics of the policy, which currently is under review, call it "draconian," "unfair," "invasive," and of questionable legality, not to mention out of step with other women's colleges, where the trend is to allow "transmen" to stay in school."


3-26-12:  The Listener (New Zealand): "Germaine Greer: glitter-bomb neither here nor there"

"If the Fellows had discussed the issue of Padman’s membership of the college, I would have argued against it, but if a subsequent vote had gone against me, I would have accepted the situation. If the principal had explained what she thought she was doing, I would have held my tongue. Instead she ignored the governing body and committed the Fellows to a course of action that some of them could not in conscience support.

A day or two later, an extraordinarily defamatory article appeared in the Guardian, alleging not only that I had outed Padman, but also that I was an eccentric and unreliable teacher. The college could have dealt with the matter by issuing a statement, but it did nothing. I had no option but to resign my fellowship and train as a lawyer, so that I could afford to bring a suit against the Guardian, which took a year to cave in and pay up."

[Here the unrepentant transphobe Germaine Greer tries to escape her widely-exposed past, in which she went on a rampage to defame and 'out' successful transwomen and cost them their careers. Fortunately, in the single case Greer raises (Rachel Padman of Cambridge University), the particular woman was not fired. Furthermore, if you read Rachel's story at this page and compare it with Greer's distorted version of events, it's easy to figure out who to believe.]


3-24-12:  Ethics Alarms (re Canada): "Fairness and the Transgendered Miss Universe Contestant - Changing mores, technology, laws and science create the damnedest ethical problems" (more)

"The Miss Universe Canada organizers have kicked contestant Jenna Talackova out of their beauty pageant because she was born male. Fair? Well, the qualifications for the pageant require that an entrant be a “naturally born female.” I’m sure that was seen as a clear and reasonable restriction when it was devised, but let a few lawyers at it today. Jenna says she was always female, but just trapped in a male body. She was also “naturally born.” Hmmmm.

Jenna falsely stated on her entrant forms that she was “born female.” Since she has told officials that this wasn’t true, she is obviously no lawyer, but really: why shouldn’t a transexual be able to compete? The issue should be whether she’s a female now, right? . . .

Jenna lied on her form, and that’s certainly enough to justify disqualifying her. But for the future, I’d suggest that the pageant enter the 21st Century. Transexuals are regarded as being members of their their new genders by the law, and should have all attendant rights, including the opportunity to enter a beauty contest. Nothing says a transgendered entrant has to win, but if one did—and Jenna certainly appears to have had a shot—it would be a rare example of the Miss Universe Pageant having positive social impact, for a change."


3-24-12:  LGBTQ Nation (posted 3-22): “SEC rejects ExxonMobil bid to block protections for sexual orientation, gender identity”

"The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a ruling Tuesday that halts an attempt by energy giant ExxonMobil to prevent a non-discrimination shareholder resolution with protections for sexual orientation and gender identity from being voted on during its annual shareholder’s meeting on May 30.

The New York State Comptroller’s office — in a request filed by comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli — requested that ExxonMobil “amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to substantially implement the policy . . .

“The SEC has cleared a path to progress for the thousands of LGBT people employed by ExxonMobil,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The company has been aggressively resistant to change and is way out of step with their direct competitors as well as the majority of Fortune 500 companies. Given this opportunity for change, we call on the ExxonMobil shareholders to adopt a legally binding policy that protects all employees.”


3-24-12:  Scallywag and Vagabond (re Germany): "German courts rule that an eleven year old German transgender girl can legally be institutionalized"

"The commotion came about as Berlin’s Kammergericht this past Thursday re affirmed a lower court’s decision allowing the state to institutionalize an eleven year old. At the time of the ruling, the child’s mother who had sought therapy for her child but to date has been inexplicably denied reiterated that she will now take her case to the constitutional court in an effort to allow her eleven year old to remain living as a female despite being born a male, something the mother supports.

The incident initially found itself in front of the courts as a consequence of the girl’s parents separating and being of different opinions as to how the medical treatment of the child should proceed, with state youth office mandating that the child should be treated in an institution before eventually being made available to a foster family.

Implicit in the court’s decision is the very real possibility that the child may now be preempted from pursuing her desire to live as a female, and exposed to a type of indoctrination that does not promote gender neutrality or choice."


3-24-12:  The Province (British Columbia, Canada; posted 3-23): "Miss Universe Canada disqualifies Vancouver-based transsexual contestant" (more, more, more, more, more, more, YouTube)

"She’s blond, 6-foot-1, and has the body of a goddess. Vancouver’s Jenna Talackova was everything Miss Universe Canada was looking for when she was selected among 65 finalists for the 2012 competition, to be held in Toronto in May.

But the Donald Trump–owned beauty pageant confirmed Friday that the 23-year-old has been disqualified from the competition. The reason, Talackova claims, is she was born male . . .

Talackova set the blogosphere abuzz earlier this week after it was discovered she had sexual reassignment surgery in 2010. Her profile and photos from the pageant’s website were subsequently pulled.

The statuesque blond told The Province Friday she needs to speak to her lawyer before taking part in interviews. But Talackova has made statements online over Twitter about being “disqualified for being born” . . .

Talackova has been rather open about her transsexual past online. During an interview for a transsexual beauty pageant in Thailand — Miss International Queen 2010 — the Canadian representative refers to herself as “a woman, with a history.”

That history includes recognizing herself as a female since the age of four and beginning hormone therapy when she was 14."


3-24-12:  Leighton Buzzard (UK): "‘Unashamedly Me’ - from mechanic to author"

"Two years after the Leighton Buzzard Observer broke the story about a transsexual mechanic in Leighton who had been shunned by her customers for revealing ‘he’ was actually a ‘she’, Teraina Hird has now become a published author telling of her ordeal in order to help others overcome prejudice.

She has just published a 226 page book called ‘Unashamedly Me - the story of a transsexual woman’s struggle to become herself’ which tells her story in a frank and sometimes amusing way, but be prepared for sadness along the way as she reveals all."


3-23-12:  The Rainbow Times: "GLAAD and MTPC Launch “I AM: Trans People Speak” Video Series"  

"GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), announced the upcoming national launch of the “I AM: Trans People Speak” video series and called for the public to submit their own stories. The campaign aims to spotlight the stories of transgender Americans and their allies in an effort to educate the public about transgender issues, as well as speak to transgender youth and adults . . .

“The stories of transgender Americans remain relatively invisible in both national and LGBT media,” said GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick. “These stories will not only empower members of the transgender community who rarely see relatable stories, but also educate Americans everywhere about the fact that the community is a valuable part of the fabric of our culture. The campaign will also shine a light on the high level of discrimination that our transgender brothers and sisters continue to face in schools, the workplace and in their own neighborhoods.” . . .

A trailer video of Laverne Cox, Isis King, Noah Lewis and Kit Yan, as well as more information about the campaign is available here: and "


3-23-12:  The Africa Report (re Indonesia): "Young Obama's transsexual nanny shares memories"

"The whole of Obama's multi-coloured and multi-reconstituted family, from Kenya to Indonesia via Hawaii, have been under the media microscope. But, henceforth, the mantle has fallen on Evie, the nanny who cared for little Barry (Barack Obama's nickname when he was young). However, Evie's case is different. She is a transsexual. Turdi is Evie's birth name, given that she was born a man. But Turdi considered himself a "woman"."


3-23-12:  Huffington Post: "Kaeden Kass, Transgender Student, Alleges Housing Discrimination At Miami University Of Ohio" (more)

"Kaeden Kass, a Miami University of Ohio junior who was born female but identifies as a transgender male, is petitioning against his school for saying he cannot be a resident adviser in an all-male dorm.

Kass said he was offered a position in a female dorm, but decided to file an official complaint of discrimination with the dean of students, the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity and the Office of Residence Life for a spot as an RA in a male dorm. He said he is not filing the complaint just to get attention or special treatment.

"It's because Miami is violating its own policies and contradicted its own stated values," Kass told The Huffington Post. "Miami has made a commitment to honoring, valuing, and respecting diversity, and then I hand them a situation where they have a chance to practice what they preach, and they completely drop the ball.""


3-22-12:  Huffington Post: "When the Gender Boxes Don't Fit", by Ericka Sokolower-Shain
"I already knew my teacher, one of many perks of going to the same school where your mom teaches, and I was excited about her class, "Identity and Ethnic Studies."

Our first activity was a game called "Stand and Declare": the teacher reads a statement, and students who feel the statement is true about themselves are instructed to stand silently. The idea is that the statements get deeper and more personal as the game progresses, but you have to start out easy. And what could be easier than the most basic aspect of human identity, the first question asked about a newborn baby? As my teacher read the first statement aloud, "Stand if you're a girl," my heart dropped.

What was supposed to be an easy question, a throwaway, a way to break the ice before delving into more personal issues, was for me a question I had been grappling with since elementary school. With what ease that teacher, herself a lesbian feminist, asked me to completely define my identity, something much more complex than standing for five seconds could ever express, something that I had been struggling with for years and continue to struggle with to this day. The simplicity of the question in her mind was apparent to me.

Although I was unsurprised, having lived my entire life in a world defined by a gender binary system, I was still angry.

That an otherwise excellent and caring teacher could so quickly alienate some of her students is a reflection of the way gender identity is taught and viewed in schools: the first and ever-present question on any school form, the gendered bathroom system, boys-vs.-girls locker rooms and sports teams. Even without looking beyond high school, it is clear how sharply gender divides and defines student life. For many this division is simple and their place on one side of the gender line is clear, but not for me -- and I'm not the only one in this situation."


3-22-12:  New York Times: "A Transgender Candidate Is Hoping to Make History"

"Zoning. School overcrowding. The design of New York’s transportation system.

These are just a few of the subjects that Mel Wymore, a candidate for City Council on the Upper West Side, brought up in an interview before addressing the elephant in the room: that, if elected, he would be the first transgender member of the Council.

“I’m not running because I’m transgender,” said Mr. Wymore, 50, who was born female but now, after testosterone therapy and top surgery, identifies as transgender. But, he said, that “doesn’t mean that being transgender doesn’t bring a certain perspective.”

Although gay men and lesbians have broken many electoral barriers — serving as mayors, state legislators and members of Congress — the same is not true of the transgender community. Only a few, including a Democratic district leader in Westchester County and a former member of the Hawaii Board of Education, have been elected to office around the country. "


3-21-12:  Huffington Post: "Study Finds Increasing Support for Transgender Rights in the U.S."

"Until recently, the struggles that transgender individuals face in both public and private institutions have been discussed primarily in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, but not by the wider public. Thankfully, a November study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has found that the majority of Americans support strong rights and legal protections for transgender individuals. This positive change in public opinion proves that civil rights movements have finally caught on with the general public. Whatever the case, it appears that the attitude of the majority of American toward transgender individuals is changing for the better.

The results of the poll have been reported widely in both LGBTQ and mainstream media sources. The historically queer magazine The Advocate wrote in its analysis of the study that the majority of Americans support transgender rights legislation at the federal level, an important change from previous attitudes. A handful of gender-studies Ph.D. commentators have suggested that support has cropped up even in traditionally conservative communities as awareness of trans issues has been raised in the media."


3-19-12:  The Jewish Daily Forward: "A Transsexual at Yeshiva University - Joy Ladin Traces Her Jewish Journey From Male to Female"

"A new memoir from Joy Ladin, “Through the Door of Life” — in which she describes in sometimes heart-wrenching detail her transition from Jay, the male English literature professor at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, to Joy, the first ever openly transgender person to teach at an Orthodox Jewish institution — brought home to me repeatedly how much horrifying pressure is still put on men to perform a very narrow and limiting kind of masculinity. And the book reveals the tremendous psychological pain of having to play that role when you have a deep internal sense that you are actually a woman. Ladin managed to keep up that facade for many years (during which she married a woman and fathered three children) until she was in her 40s. That was when, after increasingly deep and violent depressive crises, she began the transition. “Through the Door of Life” details the breakdown of her marriage following this decision, the psychological battles and career problems it caused, and her tentative steps toward a still-evolving female identity."


3-21-12:  Huffington Post: "Wrestling with the Church As an African-American Transgender Woman", by Toni Newman

"As an African-American transgender woman, I am spiritually sensitive and truthful, yet many religious organizations and churches reject and ostracize the transgender individual. Many churches claim that the life of the transgender person is doomed and headed to hell. The accusation of the church is that the transgender person lives in darkness and shame.

I was raised in a strict, Christian home by God-fearing parents, with the love and support of a strong church family. The Bible, the word of God, was our guide to following the teachings of Jesus Christ. As a family we were deeply involved in the church and were taught to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ. I enjoyed my 18 years in the church, because it taught me to be truthful and honest, to treat others with love, and to always love the Lord.

I knew even during this time, from the age of 6, that I was a different bird and a special child, but I did not have the knowledge to identify my inner feelings, which I now recognize as confusion around my gender identity. The church says transgender people are living a life of deceit and untruthfulness, against God's will, according to the Holy Word of God. Religious leaders and pastors have told me many times that the fact that I'm transgender will bring shame on the church and be offensive to many within the church body. But my response has always been this: how can truth and light be wrong in any individual's life?"


3-19-12: The Daily Pennsylvanian (Univ. of Pennsylvania): "Transgender support in Penn community grows - The decision to extend insurance coverage to faculty for gender reassignment surgery prompts a look into the history of LGBT issues on campus"

"Director of the LGBT Center Bob Schoenberg has seen history change in front of his eyes, and the after-effects have left him impressed by what has become.

In light of Penn’s decision to extend insurance coverage to employees seeking gender reassignment surgery — which was announced before spring break — members of the LGBT community believe that the University has achieved a milestone with regard to its changing attitudes about transgender issues on campus.

According to Associate Director of the LGBT Center Erin Cross, “the new policy symbolizes that Penn is open and working toward acceptance rather than just toleration of its gender minority members.”

For Schoenberg, who came to Penn in 1982, this insurance extension is just one among many recent developments that reflect unprecedented shifts in attitudes toward transgender issues.

“It’s a different world,” Schoenberg said. “Some of the things that are happening at Penn now would have been unimaginable when I started.”"


3-19-12:  Justia Verdict: "Sex Discrimination Claims Under Title VII and the Equal Protection Clause: The Eleventh Circuit Bridges the Gap," by David S. Kemp

"In December 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled in Glenn v. Brumby that the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal Constitution protects transgender government employees from discrimination on the basis of their transgender identity. Courts have long recognized that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits discrimination against individuals because of their gender, but only recently have courts begun to acknowledge that the term “gender” encompasses transgender identity.

Most gender discrimination cases in the workplace arise under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) because Title VII is enforceable against a vast majority of employers. In contrast, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause protects only against discrimination by governments.

Glenn is significant in large part because the defendant employer was a government agency, allowing the plaintiff to seek recourse via Title VII or the Fourteenth Amendment. Although the plaintiff chose to pursue only a remedy for the Fourteenth Amendment violation, the Eleventh Circuit still drew upon U.S. Supreme Court cases interpreting Title VII to reach its conclusion in favor of the plaintiff.

Thus, although Glenn itself involved a claim arising under the Equal Protection Clause of the federal Constitution, its greatest effect will likely be on subsequent claims arising under Title VII.

In this column, I will provide a summary of the facts and the court’s reasoning in Glenn; highlight the key differences between claims under Title VII and those arising directly under the Constitution itself; and discuss the significance of the Glenn decision and its potential role in subsequent claims arising under Title VII."


3-19-12:  Knox News: "Political Notebook"

"Sex change: Legislation authorizing amendment of birth certificates of people undergoing sex change operations to reflect their new gender has been killed on a voice vote in a House Health and Human Resources Subcommittee.

Sponsor Rep. Jeanne Richardson, D-Memphis, said Tennessee is the only state in the nation that does not allow for such a revision after a sex change operation."

[Tennessee remains the most backward state in the U.S. on this issue.]


3-16-12: "Miami transgender student wants to be in male dorm"

"Kaeden Kass returned to Miami University last fall as a new man. Kass, a graduate of Walnut Hills High School from Cheviot and a sophomore major in Viola Performance, switched his gender identity last summer and started living as a man.

Despite the switch, Miami assigned Kass to a female suite in Flower Hall for fall 2012 when he was accepted as a resident assistant.

In early March, he responded with an discrimination complaint through Miami’s Office of Equity & Equal Opportunity, charging that he should be in a male dorm.

“I feel like I should be treated like any other male,” said Kass, 19. “I’d still be in a room with two random chicks. They’re trying to make it look like they’re accommodating me, but still blatantly ignoring my gender identity.”

Kass said Miami officials told him they were going with the gender on his legal records."


3-16-12:  3 News (New Zealand): "Transsexual healing - Queer Avengers attack media" (more)

"A group of Wellington activists who call themselves The Queer Avengers have held a news conference to voice their concerns at the way transgender and gender-variant people are represented by the media . . .
In a statement, the Queer Avengers said the news conference “presents an opportunity for the media to learn about the personal burdens and the joys of being trans in addition to wider legal and medical obstacles that impede trans people's abilities to simply be recognised in the appropriate gender”. The group cited research from Trans Media Watch which claims 78 percent of those in the transgender community felt media portrayals were “either inaccurate or highly inaccurate” . . .

On Wednesday, members from the group ‘glitter-bombed’ feminist writer Germaine Greer for calling transgender women “ghastly parodies” of womanhood . . . The Avengers say ‘glitter-bombing’ is a way of highlighting transphobia and queerphobia by throwing glitter on public figures. . .

“Whenever we try and assimilate and fit in – because everyone’s goal I think is to try and fit in and not be an outsider – you have people like Germaine Greer out there thrusting you out. “When she was first doing it – and she did actually ‘out’ people – she was costing people jobs, she was costing people their income, their families and even worse, she was costing people their lives,” Brooklynne says."


3-16-12:  Gay Star News (Montenegro): "Montenegro champions new law for gender reassignment - National healthcare now covers sex change procedures"

"Montenegro has joined countries like Cuba in covering gender reassignment procedures through their universal healthcare system. The change in this Montenegrin law ensures that healthcare covers 80% of the three-step gender assignment procedure, which consists of: psychotherapy, hormone therapy, and the medical procedures in gender reassignment including changing genitalia . . .

Though the Montenegrin constitution continues to ban same-sex marriage, the country has recently made significant progress in the rights of its transgender population. In order to obtain membership into the European Parliament, Montenegro adopted an anti-discrimination law on 27 July 2010 that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."


3-15-13:  ABC News: "Feminization Surgery Gives Manly Women the Feminine Touch" (more

"Sarah, now 50, came out as transgender but was still "being clocked" as male. "You are walking through the mall and someone turns and says, 'Oh, my god, it's a man dressed as a woman,'" she said. "They figure it out."

But that rarely happens anymore. Thanks to facial feminization surgery in 2007, Sarah, not her real name, is living with the face she was believes she was supposed to be born with. It was the first big step in her new life as a woman and in 2009, Sarah went on to have sex reassignment surgery.

Now, the former electrical contractor said, "I get treated like any other woman there," she said."


3-15-13:  Huffington Post: "Two Gay Men And A Transgender Woman Hospitalized After Anti-LGBT Attacks Hit Washington D.C. Neighborhood"

"Three Washington D.C.-based residents are hospitalized this week after what has been deemed a "spate of LGBT violence" in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

As the Washington Blade is reporting, one gay man was shot in an International House Of Pancakes (IHOP) franchise in Columbia Heights on March 11, while another gay man and a transgender woman were badly beaten on the street the following day in separate incidents during a period of just over 24 hours. "


3-14-12:  The Local (Sweden): "Court slams sex change forced sterilization clause"

"Compulsory sterilization for people undergoing gender reassignment surgery is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and the rule should therefore no longer apply, an administrative court in Sweden has ruled . . .

“I think that it is important for anyone who has been involved in the issue that the legal community has taken a stand and that we receive confirmation that the convention’s support for human rights apply in practice,” said Kerstin Burman, lawyer at the rights organization Diskrimineringsbyrån, in a statement.

The verdict follows the appeal from a Swede opposing the demand for sterilization from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in order to legally change sex from female to male. According to political journal Riksdag & Departement, the court ruled that mandatory sterilization is a forced physical procedure and goes against the right to privacy in the European Convention.

“This is positive for our client. I am very happy. Now it will be interesting to see how the National Board of Health and Welfare will act,” said Burman to the paper."


3-14-12:  2B Magazine (re Mexico; posted 3-12): “Transgender activist Agnes Torres found dead in Puebla, Mexico”  (more, more, more)

Mexican transgender rights advocate Anges Torres was found dead last Saturday in a ravine in Atlixco, just outside of her home town of Puebla, Mexico. The writer and activist for LGBT human rights had been missing since Friday night. Friends and sympathizers are calling for a swift investigation into the crime.

The coroner reported that Agnes Torres Sulca, 28, had had her neck slashed, and her body showed burn marks, indicating that she had been tortured, according to Mexico news site “It is presumed to have been a hate crime,” the website reported.

“We condemn this crime against a woman, an academic, a psychologist, educator, role model and activist for human rights for women in general and for sexual diversity as a whole,” the Puebla-based organization Vida Plena Puebla. “We are distraught, pained, enraged and saddened by this crime, and feel powerless over how, yet again, a brave person has succumbed to the most brutal of gender-based violence… in this case, violence against a transgender woman.” The organization demanded in their statement that Torres’s murder case be treated the same way as that of “the daughter of any governor, politician, or attorney” and that it be solved swiftly . . .

The murder of Agnes Torres has generated an unprecedented amount of social media posts, according to Proceso, with hundreds of people calling for a swift resolution to her case’s investigation, and to express their outrage at the crime. “It’s a simple fact that in Mexico activism is suppressed and punished, this is is just one more on the list of injustices,” one Twitter post read. At 4 pm today in Puebla, mourners will gather in the main square of Puebla to observe a minute of silence for Agnes Torres, and begin public pressure on the state prosecutor to find her killer or killers and bring them to justice."


3-14-12: (re New Zealand): “Activists 'glitter bomb'Germaine Greer in NZ”

"Noted Aussie feminist author Germaine Greer, was left baffled after an LGBTI advocacy group ‘glitter bombed’ her at a book signing in New Zealand’s capital today. Covered in glitter as the culprits make their hasty getaway, she’s clearly not happy.

The Queer Avengers group, who argue that Greer espouses ‘transphobic feminism’, has claimed responsibility for the sparkly attack in Wellington. Transpeople’s concern over Greer stems from a 2009 column in The Guardian, in which she reacts to the row over whether intersex Olympian Caster Semenya can qualify in the women’s events.

“Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so,” she wrote. “We pretend that all the people passing for female really are. Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man’s delusion that he is female.”

“Transphobic feminism is so 20th Century,” Stacey of the Queer Avengers tells NZ’s gay media and Express. “It wasn’t okay then and it’s not okay now.”

[Germaine Greer is notorious among trans women as one of the feminist vigilantes who went on an anti-transsexual rampage in the 1980's and 90's. Along with feminist academic Janice Raymond, author of the notorious book The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, Greer went on a witch-hunt to find and 'out' successful postop women who were quietly living in stealth. They went after these women without remorse, in efforts to publicly defame them, cost them their livelihoods, and force them into social marginalization.]


3-14-12:  The Daily Mail (UK): "Should I still call her Dad? The girl whose oh-so average father decided to become a woman"

"Tash Ozimek was 16 years old when her father John sat her down one evening and pointedly asked: ‘What is the most embarrassing thing I could ever do to you?’ She was stumped, because, like most teenagers, she found all dads embarrassing.

So, after racking her brains for a few minutes, she flippantly replied: ‘Probably if you dressed up as a woman in front of all my friends.’ Tash’s joke was greeted by a long, awkward silence, broken only when her father started to explain, very gently, that this was exactly what he had in mind.

He told his daughter that he’d always felt his true gender was female, that he was desperately unhappy as a man, and that he wanted to change sex. Before he’d finished speaking, Tash, now 18, fled the room in tears. ‘It was pure shock,’ she says. ‘I remember crying for a very long time.’ "


3-13-12:  Daily Mail (UK): "'I never stopped wanting to play basketball': World's tallest transsexual hopes to make the U.S. Olympic team five years after he became a she"
"A seven foot tall basketball player who spent the first 21 years of her life as 'Greg' has set her sights on the USA women’s basketball team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Olympic hopeful Lindsey Walker, 26, is also hoping to gain the title of the world’s tallest transsexual. She built her successful basketball career as a man, with a future in the NBA a possibility. However, the exceptional basketball player from Cleveland, Ohio, believes she was playing the sport to cover her true feelings and decided to quit until recently when she took up the sport again as a woman. "

3-12-12:  Chicago Tribune: "Transgender teen sues Cicero and 2 officers, alleging police harassed her about her gender identity"

"Bianca Feliciano has learned as a transgender woman to brush off sideways glances at the grocery and ignore the crude comments strangers lob at her in the street.

But those experiences didn't prepare Feliciano for an encounter last year with two Cicero police officers who harassed her because of her gender identity as she walked to a restaurant with a friend, she said. The insults continued at the police station, where she was arrested for possessing tobacco as a minor, according to a lawsuit she filed against the department.

"It was the worst day of my life," said Feliciano, who is now 18. "I felt like I would have been better off not being born."

Feliciano sued the town of Cicero and the two officers in federal court last month, accusing them of violating her civil rights. According to the suit, police verbally abused her, accusing her of being a prostitute because she is a transgender woman. They also refused to accept her state-issued ID, which identified her as a woman, the suit says."


3-12-12:  Bangkok Post (Thailand): "Transsexual Thai air hostesses: gimmick or equality?" (more, more)

"Fledgling Thailand-based carrier PC Air has hired four transgender cabin crew in a highly publicised recruitment drive that has divided opinion over whether the move is in the spirit of equality or exploitation.

"I like a job where I can show my ability and I love to wear beautiful suits," said Phuntakarn Sringern, better known by her nickname Mew, embarking Friday on the airline's first commercial flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong. "This is just like my dream come true, and maybe this is a first step for transladies, transgenders, to have a good job in the future," the 25-year-old said . . .

Thailand has a culture of tolerance on issues of sexual orientation and gender, and "katoeys", as transsexuals are known in the kingdom, are considered a "third sex" in their own right. In spite of this, more conservative elements of society find it hard to accept, with some families sending their children to monasteries to be "re-educated" and transsexuals struggling to find work in many areas . . .

Buddhist Thailand is spared from the "weight of the Judeo-Christian sexual repression", but had in the past been influenced by some Western ideas that presented transsexuals as "mentally disordered", said Sam Winter, a psychologist and gender specialist at the University of Hong Kong. The result is "a practical and bureaucratic intolerance" towards a group of nearly 180,000 people, he says.

With few avenues for employment, growing numbers of Thai transsexuals are moving into sex work as a way to make money and for a "rare chance to affirm their identity as women", said Winter.

Despite their sex change operation, the law does not recognise Mew, and her transsexual colleagues as women -- a situation that forces PC Air to contact the destination country in advance, to avoid trouble at immigration gates."


3-12-12:  Calgary Herald (Canada): "From inside a man, a woman blooms"

"Being true to herself has released her, she says. For anyone else that is out of alignment with their true nature — whether that misalignment is gender-based or in some other way — one only has to spend minutes in Bogas’s peaceful and joyful light to understand that this change is good.

The hormonal therapy and androgen blockers, combined with the sense of peace in being true to herself, have had the blessed effect of calming Bogas’s legendary temper, but it hasn’t been enough to erase the stigma. Yet.

“I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes for jobs I’m over-qualified for,” she says. “I couldn’t even get an interview in places I consulted on.” Bogas, who once had hundreds of employees and lineups for reservations, trawled through Craigslist for work. He recently struck gold: a second chance.

Bogas will be head chef at Eagle Lodge, a Bella Coola fishing lodge set against a backdrop of pristine wilderness. She looks forward to cooking again, and to fishing, finishing her book, stepping back into her role as family provider, and once again holding up half the sky.

This time as a woman."


3-11-12:  USA Today (re Latin America): "Gays reach high government offices in Latin America"

"Tatiana Pineros is a man by birth and a woman by choice. Pineros, 34, is also a high-powered public servant who manages a $360 million budget and nearly 2,000 employees in Colombia's biggest and most powerful municipal government.

Her appointment by Bogota's new mayor to head the capital's social welfare agency was remarkable for how unremarkably it was received by Colombia's predominantly Roman Catholic public.

Across Latin America, public acceptance is gradually growing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, officials. It's a phenomenon that has accompanied activists' broader struggle to win rights to marry, adopt children or share financial benefits with same-sex partners, and to transform the way socially conservative nations view and treat gays."


3-10-12:  Deccan Herald (India): "Kalki comes to M’wood"  (more)

"It is an exciting phase for the Malayalam film industry, with new experiments on format and theme. One such experiment will see the birth of the first transgender star of Mollywood. Playing the lead will be Kalki, a writer, filmmaker and activist based in Chennai. Earlier, she had played the heroine in the Tamil movie Narthaki, which highlighted the problems of transgenders . . .

Kalki is the brain behind Sahodari, a movement that works for the welfare of transsexual women. She begins her day by browsing the Net and updating herself about the happenings in the world of transsexuals. She is a great believer in blogging, especially in vernacular language, and has initiated a campaign to train the transsexuals in Tamil Nadu to use the Internet and voice their concerns in their own language.

“Media often highlights juicy issues and ignores the core problems that affect us. So, we have now developed our own platform to highlight our issues."


3-09-12:  Huffington Post (posted 3-05): "Expanding Black Masculinity to End 'Black on Black' Anti-LGBT Violence"

"If we've learned nothing else over the past month, we've learned that we as black Americans need to have an open and honest dialogue around the meaning of "manhood." At the beginning of February, Deoni Jones, a 23-year-old African-American transgender woman, was stabbed to death at a Washington, D.C. bus stop -- the suspect, a 55-year-old black man. Later that month in Atlanta, 20-year-old Brandon White was viciously attacked and called a "fa**ot" by three gang members, because he didn't fit their idea of what a man is. And just days after that, Roland Martin, a famed CNN commentator, commented that a New England Patriots player, seen wearing an all pink outfit, "needed a visit from #teamwhipdatass."

I grew up in southwest Atlanta. I had friends that lived in the Pittsburgh neighborhood where Brandon's brutal attack took place. While I watched the video I could not help but think that the victim could just as easily have been me, or one of my childhood friends. All of these incidents put a very real face to jarring reality that gay and transgender people of color are far more susceptible to acts of violence. Last year a report released by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs showed that the number of hate crimes against members of the LGBT community rose 13 percent in 2010, and that people of color and transgender women were most likely to be targets of violence. The report also found that of the victims "


3-09-12:  SDGLN: "Supporting gay and transgender youth most in need - White House conference turns spotlight on housing and homelessness issues impacting gay and transgender population"

"The White House today is hosting the LGBT Conference on Housing & Homelessness in Detroit, Michigan. The event is held in partnership with the Ruth Ellis Center and is the second in a series of conferences being held across the country to address the unique needs of gay and transgender Americans.

The keynote speaker at today’s event is Secretary Shaun Donovan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In January, HUD Secretary Donovan spoke at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference in Baltimore, where he announced his department’s new equal access rule, which will help reduce housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Today’s conference signals the Obama administration’s ongoing commitment to advancing equality for gay and transgender people."


3-08-12:  San Jose Mercury News: "Homeless youth: the next battle for gay equality"

"Iro Uikka clutches his throat as he describes the violent clash that led to spending his nights sleeping in New York City subway cars.
"When I told my mother I was gay, she grabbed me by the neck and threw me out," he says. "Then she threw my coat on top of me and shut the door." That was five years ago when he was 18, still living at home in Florida.

Uikka is among tens of thousands of homeless youths across America who are LGBT—lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Most are on the streets because they have nowhere else to go—outcasts who leave home after being rejected by family members or flee shelters because residents bully or beat them."


3-08-12:  Winona360 (Winona State Univ.,MN): "Transgender: The journey to identity"

"Ashley, a sophomore Winona State University, in Winona, Minn., is part of a small population of transgender youth. While there are diverse forms of gender expression, transgenders do not identify with the gender roles they were born into. While teens and young adults are developing their identities, young transgenders add gender to the mix.

“The term transgender is a very broad term and can really include anything having to do with gender identity,” said Brad Becker, executive director of the GLBT National Help Center. “So that can include people who cross-dress and are comfortable with their biological gender, to people who are transsexual and know that the gender on the outside of their body is not correct and doesn't match the true gender they feel inside in their minds and hearts. Though a wide-ranging term, the transgender community continues to grow. But with the emergence of gender bending comes an array of struggles."


3-08-12:   Irish Medical Times (Ireland): "Children with gender dysphoria at a high risk of psychiatric problems"

"Reported in the first study to characterise a group of US children with GID, the results showed those who did not receive treatment could be at high risk of behavioural and emotional problems, including psychiatric disorders . . .

Following the gender clinic opening at Children’s Hospital, Boston, the researchers found the GID population increased four-fold, with 58 per cent receiving treatment after consultations. The increase in the number of GID patients reflected a “pent-up demand for medical intervention… the number of youths entering GID clinics worldwide has been rising,” they said.

The authors advocated early evaluation of children exhibiting gender dysphoria, with lead author Dr Norman Spack noting anecdotally that children who receive interventions early do better psychologically."


3-07-12:  Royal Purple News (Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater): "The pieces of the identity puzzle"
"He or she. Him or her. Male or female. Man or woman. At a young age, we learn that an individual can either be one or the other. There is rarely any description or acknowledgement of what lies in between or outside of these terms.

Senior Katka Showers-Curtis and junior Cristina McCracken are both individuals who struggle with the issue of lying outside of these generic terms.

Showers-Curtis uses “ze” instead of he or she. Ze identifies as genderqueer and trans*. Similarly, McCracken uses “e” as a possessive pronoun. E is someone who considers emself to be without gender. Refer to Opinion page 5 to view the entire table of preferred pronouns.

“As a culture, we are so focused on the binary that we believe there must be one or the other,” McCracken said. “We forget to think about things in the middle or outside of the binary.”"


3-07-12:  National Enquirer: "Beatty: No Peen Money for Trans-Gen Son!"

"Warren Beatty says he’ll spare no expense on his son’s education – but he refuses to spend a single cent on gender reassignment surgery . . . “Warren is ada­mant about not shelling out any of his hard-earned mon­ey for Stephen’s sex-change operation,” a family friend told The ENQUIRER.

“The whole concept of gender-bending is very difficult for Warren to accept. While he’s finally come to terms with his little girl living life as a man, he can’t fathom the thought of paying for the actual procedure."


3-06-12:  Chicago Tribune (posted 2-19): "A year after scandal, new sexuality class at NU Course offered as introduction to gender studies", by Lisa Black

"There's a new class on human sexuality at Northwestern University, but it's safe to say that this one won't feature any live sex-toy demonstrations.

A year has passed since school officials, amid a firestorm of embarrassing publicity, canceled another sexuality class after psychology professor J. Michael Bailey hosted an optional lecture on female arousal that concluded with a woman being penetrated by a motorized sex toy . . .

The new class, "Sexual Subjects: Introduction to Sexuality Studies," is taught by Lane Fenrich, a popular history and gender studies professor who also teaches yoga on the side. He's quick to emphasize that his course is not intended to replace Bailey's, but he expects it to grow to be just as popular. Fenrich's class was capped at 95 this first quarter; Bailey's at one time enrolled 600.

"That class was much more geared toward sexual practices. This is more broadly gauged," said Fenrich, 49, whose course also focuses on sex in culture and history. "This introduces them to the major questions, the major thinkers" . . .  Faculty members were already developing the course "when this whole debacle came with the psychology class. That was our opportunity," said Mary Weismantel, program director.

It comes at a time when sexuality studies are gaining legitimacy nationally, Weismantel said. Northwestern's program has helped establish it as a leader of the field, she said. The university launched the new course with the intention of showing that sexuality classes can be taught responsibly" . . .

Camille Beredjick, 21, of Tampa, said she took Bailey's class last spring, finding some of it useful and entertaining but not as academically rigorous . . . Fenrich's class "is what Bailey's should have been," Beredjick said. "This is a much better way of looking at these issues."

[NU has finally sidelined Bailey by (i) changing his exploitative human sexuality course (in which he openly defamed transwomen) into a modern meaningful one taught by a respected academic, and (ii) relegating Bailey to teaching introductory courses on statistics and small 'special topics' courses. With his undergraduate-teaching power-base rather publicly taken away from him (and for cause), Bailey's claim to fame as a major 'sex scientist' has gone down in flames.]

[Pulling the course NU's Psychology Department and giving responsibility for sexuality studies to the NU Gender Studies Program is also a slap in the face of the Psych Department, which looked the other way as Bailey's irresponsible teaching continued year after year.]


3-05-12:  Digital Journal (re Indonesia): "Barack Obama once had a transgender Indonesian nanny called Evie" (more, more, more, more)

"President Barack Obama once had a transgender Indonesian nanny called Evie. Evie was under the employment of Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, for two years, during which she took care of "Barry" then eight years old and his little sister Maya . . .

Neighbors, according to the AP story, also recall that Evie often left the house in the evening made up and in drag. But she says she does not think Obama ever knew about it. According to Evie: "He was so young. And I never let him see me wearing women's clothes. But he did see me trying on his mother's lipstick, sometimes. That used to really crack him up."
Evie said she did not know that her former charge had won the presidential election until she saw a picture of the family in the newspapers and on TV. She cried out when she saw the picture. "I couldn't believe my eyes," she said.

Many laughed and did not believe her when she said she had been nanny to the president of the United States until older people who still live in the old neighborhood confirmed her story."


3-05-12:  The Advocate: "Policy Clarified for Vets Changing Gender Markers" (more)

"The VHA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, issued a directive last year on providing respectful and appropriate care to transgender veterans, but it was not clear about the documentation needed for changing the gender marker, notes the National Center for Transgender Equality’s blog. The requirement for “official documentation ... was initially interpreted incorrectly by some staff and facilities to require proof of sex reassignment surgery,” the center reports.

Now, with the clarification, “a vet must simply provide a letter from a physician certifying that the vet has changed genders and has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition,” according to the blog. “To be clear, the physician’s letter does not need to certify that some specific surgery or any particular medical procedure has been completed — only appropriate clinical care for the individual veteran as determined by the physician.”"


3-05-12:  ABS-CBN News (Philippines; posted 3-03): "Heart Diño and Pinoy LGBTs in electoral politics"

"Heart Diño’s victory as chair of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Student Council (USC) is generating a lot of media attention. And why not? Heart is the first transgender woman to win as USC chair in the flagship campus of the state university.

Her candidacy was widely reported in online news sites and the blogosphere. Her victory last March 1, 2012 was reported by both local and international news media. It even landed on the front page of the March 3, 2012 issue of a major Philippine daily.

Reactions to news of Heart’s victory run the gamut from celebratory to condemnatory. On the one hand, people marvel at UP Diliman students’ openness to and celebration of diversity. They are glad that a transgender person has finally been elected to the highest position in the USC. On the other hand, there are those who deplore her election as an affront to heterosexual persons’ supposed entitlement to elective office."


3-05-12:  Hollywood Reporter: "'Frankie Go Boom' Poster Features a Transgender Ron Perlman - The "Sons of Anarchy" star makes a very ugly woman in the upcoming SXSW-premiering film."

"Eschewing his usual tough guy roles, such as those in Sons of Anarchy and Drive, Perlman finds himself in full drag for writer/director Jordan Roberts' upcoming indie comedy, playing a transgendered Phil-turned-Phyllis . . .

Perlman himself is talking up the insanity of the costume, telling Moviehole back in September, "You'll see me be the ugliest broad you've ever seen, in the history of womanhood. I can't wait to see it. I have not seen it yet, but it's quite funny.""

[Yet more trans-ridiculing from Hollywood. Ye gads, what kind of idiots watch movies like this?]


3-05-12:  Village Voice: "Transsexual Star Scores In Wheelchair Dancing Movie"

""Life as a black transsexual cripple--it's way too interesting to me," deadpans Laverne Cox as Chantelle in Susan Seidelman's Musical Chairs, a really warm, expertly done flick that brings us into the world of "chair dancing," ballroom style.

I saw the deeply romantic dance-ical at the Miami International Film Festival the other night and was delighted to find Laverne (known from VH1's Transform Me) in a major role, as a disabled transsexual who learns all new moves.

She's "ready to roll," if you catch my drift. Laverne is fabulous as she tells off a hater, inspires a new cripple to shine, and brings on the costumers (like drag comic Hedda Lettuce), whose big line is "Can you direct me to your ballroo"


3-04-12:  Japan Times (Japan): "Prisons to give special consideration to inmates with gender identity issues"

"The ministry used to treat GID inmates like any others on the grounds that meeting the requests of specific inmates would invite criticism or allegations of discrimination from other inmates. But the ministry said it decided to show more sensitivity to GID prisoners as the condition has become more widely recognized.

Under the new guideline, prisoners with GID will continue to be detained in gender-segregated prisons according to the gender they were registered with at birth but can request a solitary cell and bathe alone. If they are male by registration but identify as female, they will be allowed to wear female underwear and have long hair, and vice-versa."


3-04-12:  Omaha World-Herald: "Protecting rights hits home for transgendered prof"

"Nearly seven years ago, a widely known professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha went before a judge for a personal name change — from Walter to Meredith. On that morning of June 28, 2005, the judge approved, a public step in the professor's private transition from male to female.

Along with physical procedures and surgeries, legally taking a feminine name — Meredith — was significant for the former two-term president of the UNO Faculty Senate, previously known as Walter M. Bacon Jr.

"I am not gay," Bacon wrote to colleagues in the political science department. "I am not a cross-dresser or transvestite. I am transsexual, or transgendered." Despite her initial fears of becoming "a social outcast," the professor said, UNO faculty members and students accepted her new identity.

"Around here, I don't get many glances," said Meredith, who stands 6-foot-3. "Some might look at me and think 'I hope you play basketball' or something like that. But aside from that, I blend into the woodwork.""


3-04-12:  Orlando Sentinel: "Gay, transgender candidates wade into Central Florida politics"

"There are at least 26 LGBT elected officials in Florida, including Craig Lowe, who was elected mayor of Gainesville in 2010. But even nationwide, openly transgender candidates are still a rarity . . .

The most recent to win, Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court Judge Victoria Kolakowski, has described a common frustration of having to deal with media often focused on this one element of her life. "That's all reporters tended to ask her about," Victory Fund spokesman Denis Dison said.

Orange County District 5 Commission candidate Gina Duncan said she experienced the same media "flood of exposure" because of her transgender background. "But frankly, I find that I'm talking about the issues," she said. Duncan, a 56-year-old Democrat who has 30 years of experience in mortgage banking, is president of the Metropolitan Business Association, the region's gay chamber of commerce . . .

Duncan is among the first openly transgender candidates to run for office in Florida. One of the most recent was Donna Milo, a conservative Cuban-American who ran unsuccessfully for Congress and Miami City Commission.


3-03-12:  NIS News Bulletin (re The Netherlands): "Change of Sex on Birth Certificate to be Made Easier"

"The cabinet has decided that people who feel they are actually of the other sex will no longer first have to undergo a sex-change operation or hormone treatment to be recognised as transgender . . .

In the future, it will sufficient for an expert to determine that the conviction of a transgender is permanent. The cabinet expects that the transgender will be able to " function better in society because obstacles will be removed" as a result of the proposed bill."


3-03-12:  National Post (Canada): "Sex change: Early diagnosis of gender-identity disorder has doctors facing tough decisions"

"As gender-identity disorder has become more commonly diagnosed, it has also become more commonly diagnosed in children — today’s estimates say somewhere between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 10,000 have the disorder. Boys who tell their doctor they want to grow up into a woman. Girls who hope to become men.

Doctors say the rise is not necessarily because more children have the disorder than ever before, but because Canadians are now more aware of the disorder and more likely to show up at the growing number of gender clinics. And doctors are offering help: Sex-changing treatment is on the rise . . .

Dr. Ken Zucker, the head of CAMH’s Gender Identity Service in Toronto, said he and others across Canada are “sort of feeling overwhelmed” by the rise here, and Dr. Gail Knudson at the Transgender Health Program in B.C. said Vancouver has seen a five-fold increase of adolescents showing up at clinics over the past decade. There are now 101 teens in the program who are on puberty-blockers or cross-sex hormones, she said . . .

The situation today has sparked a discussion about whether children, especially pre-pubescent ones, are capable of understanding the complexities of gender and sex: Questions over whether parents and doctors should help children down a medical path they might later regret . . .

“What we went through, as a family, was extremely hard,” said Canadian author Anne Hines about daughter Jade’s transition at age 17, which she supported and said brought her daughter peace. “You don’t know what to do for your child. You don’t know if you’re encouraging them in the right direction or not. It’s tremendously confusing and terrifying…. There’s no going back [with sex-reassignment surgery]. Once the penis is gone, it’s gone.”

Dr. Zucker said CAMH data shows roughly 15% of children who have gender identity issues at a young age persist with a full-blown disorder later in life. He said researchers do not yet know whether young children whose parents support cross-dressing and other gender-bending behaviour are more likely to seek sex-changing treatments when they get older."


3-02-12:  Huffington Post (posted 3-01): "When Talking About Children's Gender, Words Matter", by Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D.

"Transgender and gender-nonconforming children and their families, like the ones I work with every say, constitute one of the least visible or understood parts of the LGBT community. They are just beginning to come into focus. As we see the media's and the public's growing interest in these families, I can't underscore enough the responsibility of journalists who cover them and the issues related to these children and young people to get the terminology right, as they are often the general public's main portal on these issues. All of us need to get educated; it is far too easy in the binary-gendered world in which we live to confuse and misinform people who are only just becoming aware of the children who live outside these gender boxes.

Take a recent, well-intentioned example of how terminology can lead readers astray. The Associated Press' Lindsey Tanner and her article "Sex-Changing Treatment for Kids: It's on the Rise," published last week, confused sex-change with delaying puberty, right from the headline and lead sentence: "A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics.""


3-02-12:  GMA News (Philippines): "UP elects nation's first transgender head of student government"

"The University of the Philippines elected on Thursday Gabriel Paolo "Heart" Diño as the nation's first transgender head of student government when she came out on top in UP's annual University Student Council (USC) poll. A graduate student in Applied Mathematics, Diño will be Chairperson of the USC for one year.

"It's a great win for human rights to have a transgender win the premier seat in the (UP) Student Council," said Clara Rita Padilla, the Executive Director of EnGendeRights, a non-governmental organization advocating gender equality. "Kung titignan ang kanyang stand, she fights against gender discrimination, corruption and hazing. This is something to be proud of because this means there's hope in Philippine society.""


3-02-12:  Ebony (posted 3-01): "A Look at African-American Trans Trailblazers - Living honestly is sometimes quite an accomplishment. Check out these pioneers who dared to be authentic", by Monica Roberts

"Though February has passed, there is never a bad time to get reacquainted with African American history makers- the events that shaped our lives, our heroes and “sheroes.” Over the last few years we've been paying closer attention to the accomplishments of Black gay and lesbian people such as Bayard Rustin. But there is another group of African Americans who have shaped our people's history: transgender people.

Consider the story of Lucy Hicks Anderson, who was born in 1886 in Waddy, KY. She made it quite clear that she was a girl and insisted on wearing dresses to school. The term “transgender” didn't exist at that time, but the doctor who examined her advised Lucy's mother to raise her as a girl . . .

In 1953, while much of America focused on the story of Christine Jorgensen (a White woman who was the first person widely known to have undergone sex reassignment surgery) JET Magazine readers learned about Carlett Brown's attempt to become the "First Negro Sex Change."

Transgender African Americans actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, incorporating tactics from those efforts into their own work toward liberation. The gender non-conforming African American youth in Philadelphia, PA who kick-started the Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit In and Protest in April and May of 1965 were a prime example of such involvement. It was the first protest specifically organized around and concerning trans issues, and preceded both the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riots and the better known 1969 Stonewall Riots . . . "


3-02-12:  Mirror (UK): "Transsexual 'doctor' arrested over British tourist's death after buttock injection - Padge “Black Madam” Windslowe, 42, was held by officers during a raid on an illegal “pumping party" (more, more, more)

"A transsexual suspected of killing a young British tourist by giving her buttock-enhancing jabs was arrested by police yesterday . . . She was named as the prime suspect in the death of Claudia Aderotimi, 20.

The aspiring dancer travelled to Philadelphia in the US last year from her home in Hackney, East London, for the silicone jabs. She hoped a bigger bottom would help her star in music videos. But she died of heart failure 12 hours after the botched £1,000 procedure."


3-01-12:  Montreal Mirror (Canada): "What’s in a name? - Critics charge that Concordia’s new policy regarding how trans students are addressed doesn’t go nearly far enough"

"Ben is presently going through the lengthy process of changing his legal name with the province, but in the meantime, he was hoping his request to go by his preferred name would be accommo­dated by his university. Since his arrival at Concordia in 2010, he has been repeatedly outed in class during roll call, despite his attempts at contacting his professors to plead with them to call him “Ben.”

By contrast, at the University of Toronto, a student who wishes to go by another name on documents, including academic records, simply has to send a letter to the registrar, without having to dis­close a reason. And at McGill, students can change their preferred name through the online portal, which will then appear on class lists and as part of the student’s university e-mail address. But a legal name change is still required for transcripts and ID cards. The change is also necessary to modify documents at UQAM.

Frustrated with what he calls a “lack of progress,” Ben has teamed up with the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy and the Concordia Student Union to push the university’s Senate to acquiesce to his long-standing request."


3-01-12:  Huffington Post: "Lessons I Learned from My Transgender Nanny"

"Y's transition changed me too. Watching Y's struggle with weekly hormone therapy, decide when to come out to his family, friends, and employers, and select the appropriate public restroom, transformed my beliefs on gender identity. Even though I always supported the notion that people could be born into the wrong gender, I now view gender as more fluid -- if there is a spectrum for sexuality, maybe there is also one with gender. I started making sure that I approach gender more sensitively with my own girls, allowing them to tell me who they are."


3-01-12:  Otago Daily Times (New Zealand): “Transsexual fined after dog 'cooked' in car”

"A 75-year-old transsexual found guilty of leaving her dog to die of heat stroke in her car has been fined $2500 . . . She was found not guilty of a more serious charge of reckless ill-treatment of an animal . . . The judge said he did not think Ms Quor meant to kill her dog but she had to be accountable for her actions. Ms Quor's lawyer Andrew McKenzie said the dog's death was akin to a parent accidentally injuring a child.  Ms Quor became depressed and personally suffered from the death of her companion.

On the day of Midgy's death she sought psychiatric help because of concerns she might harm herself. After the sentencing SPCA Canterbury Animal Welfare Manager Geoff Sutton said the fine might appear to be small in the circumstances but it reflected Quor's limited means."

[NZ media sensationalized this news by using the word "transsexual", even though Quor's gender history was irrelevant to the story. Worse yet, they greedily sought to trigger newspaper impulse-purchases by hinting in the title that she literally "cooked" her own dog.]



February 2012


2-29-12:  SDGLN: "NCTE welcomes transgender protections in immigration detention"

"Officials of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) welcome the release of revised standards for immigration detention from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

These new standards are an important step forward . . . However questions remain about how and when the standards will be implemented, and about ICE's commitment to implementing a law to prevent sexual abuse, and moving away from a prison-like detention model.

ICE's new detention standards . . . include making housing decisions on an individual basis that looks to protect the individuals rather than focusing on their sexual anatomy -- a change that should permit transgender women to be more frequently housed in women's facilities. The new standards also require that all transgender people have access to hormone therapy and other necessary medical care."


2-29-12:  Northhampton Chronicle (UK): "Cross-dresser remanded in custody for breaching ASBO by wearing school skirt and blazer"

"A CROSS-DRESSER who wants to be a woman has been remanded in custody by magistrates for wearing a skirt and a school blazer. Dr Peter Trigger, aged 62, was arrested and charged with breaching an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) after a parent of children who attend school near his Northampton home, twice saw him wearing a skirt, baring his legs and wearing a school blazer . . .

Trigger, who is seeking a sex change, denied breaching the ASBO but was convicted at trial and appeared in court for sentence yesterday.

Paul Harkins, in mitigation, said: “He wants, for want of a better phrase, to be a girl. That stopped when he was a teen but now, later in life, that’s come back to the fore. It’s important to him. The way he is is the way he is and that’s why he feels victimised. “He’s been told that if he wants to become a woman, then he needs to live more as a woman than he normally does. It’s quite obvious to him that the immediate neighbourhood does not like him for what he is and that’s why they make fun of him. He has been treated in an awful way by people who he would say do not understand.”

The magistrates’ bench declined to pass sentence yesterday stating their maximum powers of a year’s imprisonment were insufficient."


2-29-12:  The Telegraph (UK): "Vatican Secret Archives reveal abdication letter of 'hermaphrodite' Swedish queen"

"The abdication letter of a "hermaphrodite" Swedish queen is one of 100 unusual documents from the Vatican Secret Archives which will go on display on Wednesday in an unprecedented exhibition."


2-28-12:  The Daily Pennsylvanian: "Penn adds transgender employee insurance - Sexual reassignment surgery coverage for employees will be effective July 1"

"A year after deciding not to extend insurance coverage to transgender employees seeking gender reassignment surgery, Penn has reversed its decision. The University announced on Feb. 28 in the Penn Almanac that coverage for transgender benefits will be extended to include sexual reassignment surgery under the Aetna Point of Service II plan. Members of Penn’s LGBT community — who have lobbied for the addition of transgender insurance over the past few years — greeted the news with enthusiasm . . .

Although transgender students have had access to insurance coverage for reassignment surgery since fall 2010, yesterday’s announcement marks the first time that coverage has been extended to faculty and staff."


2-28-12:  Newswise/George Washington University: "Medical Student and Professors Examine the Financial and Psychological Costs of Self-Castration in a Transsexual Woman" (link to journal article)

"Michael S. Irwig, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine, Anton Trinidad, M.D., PhD., associate professor of Psychiatry, and Matthew St. Peter, a fourth year medical student at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, co-authored an article in the Journal of Sexual Medicine entitled, “Self-Castration by a Transsexual Woman: Financial and Psychological Costs: A Case Report.” Dr. Irwig and his co-authors discuss the case of a transsexual woman who presented to the emergency room after undertaking self-castration.

The researchers concluded that the health care costs associated with treating a patient after self-castration were almost four times greater than having an elective outpatient surgical castration and that further research in this area of medicine needs to be conducted.

“Patients who choose to perform self-castrations often face significant financial barriers as elective castration is typically not covered under health insurance plans in the United States” said Dr. Irwig. “They are often frustrated at the slow pace of their male-to-female transition.” In order to reduce the number of self-castrations, urologists who are willing to perform surgery on transsexuals must be identified and more pressure needs to be put on health care insurance companies to cover the procedure."


2-28-12: "New Gingrich Tells A Story About A 6 Foot ‘Transvestite’" (more, more)

"During an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday, Newt Gingrich was asked to explain what Republicans mean by the phrase “San Francisco values,” which the party often uses to describe Democrats’s support for liberal social policies like same-sex marriage. Gingrich responded by telling a story about his experiences in the city during the 1984 Democratic convention, when, while being interviewed by CBS News, the former Speaker was approached by “a transvestite” . . . "


2-27-12:  Gay Community News (Ireland): "ASAI Launches 'Ladies Day' Ad Investigation"

"The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) has launched an investigation into Paddy Power's 'Ladies Day' TV advertisement.

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) reports that on February 23, the ASAI wrote to Paddy Power to inform them that it was investigating the ad following numerous complaints. The advertising watchdog then requested that Paddy Power pull the ad while the investigation is ongoing.

On Friday 24 February Paddy Power responded, confirming that the ad would not be screened on TV3 or 3E after Sunday, February 26."


2-26-12:  Lastofthecleanbohemians (UK): "CHANGE IS POSSIBLE", by Paris Lees

"Loud voices shout about my people, filling me with fear. Perhaps they are reading the lies about my life, printed on papers which litter our vessel? . . . They humiliate us on the streets, spit on us, give us names which reduce and ridicule. They joke about us on their stages, and refuse to present us as equals. We appear, but it is as body parts, display items, oddities . . . They tell lies about us: malicious mendax, masquerading as concern. They don’t care about us. They discuss our state of being purely to entertain one another, and repulse our truths . . . They ignore the damage they’ve inflicted on ours for centuries.

Now. It’s time. We must not be bullied. We must be angry. We must mobilise. Our friends must join us, but it starts with you. Today. We can no longer kill ourselves. Instead, we must give birth to a better world, one which celebrates our natural diversity. We can live in that world. You have seen, in recent years, that determined minds can achieve great things. Yes, change is possible; we of all people know this. But only you can make it happen . . . "

[An important essay by Paris Lees, in response to the Daily Mail article that promoted the trans-reparatist teachings of Ken Zucker.]


2-26-12:  The Daily Mail (UK; posted 2-25): "Mixed-up five-year-olds and the alarming growth of the gender identity industry: 20 years ago the condition didn't exist. Now British children are being puberty suppressing drugs on the NHS"

"The Tavistock Clinic is based in an anonymous concrete building in North London . . . In layman’s terms, it treats patients who believe they are ‘trapped in the wrong body’. Few would associate such a place with children barely old enough to attend school.  But it emerged this week that a little boy called Zach Avery, just five years old, now wears his hair permanently in bunches after being assessed by ‘experts’ at the Tavistock and ‘coming out’ as a girl . . .
Previously, children had to wait until they were 16 to get hormone-blocking injections in Britain . . . Nevertheless, six children have already begun receiving the medication, with the consent of their families . . . Why did the National Research Ethics Service, the body responsible for sanctioning such studies, give the go-ahead after initially refusing permission? We can’t tell you because it declined to elaborate on its decision.

What we can say about youngsters such as Zach Avery, from Purfleet, Essex, is that 20 years ago their condition — if that’s what it is — didn’t exist . . . Gender Identity Disorder was first identified as a syndrome by the American Psychiatric Association back in the Nineties. With the rise of the internet, it quickly gained currency on this side of the Atlantic and elsewhere . . .
Puberty-suppressing drugs are given to children in the U.S. but their use has fiercely divided medical opinion. Those who favour them say they reduce rates of suicide and self-harm.

Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a world authority in this field, runs a specialist children’s gender clinic in Toronto. He is opposed to them. He told me: ‘Suppose you saw a black kid who came into your clinic and wanted to be white. Wouldn’t you try to understand what is happening in the child’s life that is making him feel like that? You certainly wouldn’t recommend skin-bleaching.’ He believes Gender Identity Disorder is the product of nurture, not nature — the result of ‘a dysfunctional family or cultural background.’"

[This incredibly distorted article in the Daily Mail promotes the old-time trans-reparatist teachings of Zucker, et al, at CAMH.]


2-26-12:  The Daily Mail (UK): "'I want to see my grandson kicking a football not wearing a dress': Heartbroken grandmother of 'gender neutral' boy, five, speaks of her torment"

"The grandmother of a five-year-old boy who is now living as a girl has admitted she would rather he were back to his old self than going around in pink dresses.

For more than a year Zach Avery from Purfleet, Essex, has worn his long fair hair done up in bunches and insisted on living his life as a member of the opposite sex. But Jill Recknell, from Alderney in the Channel Islands, who is in her mid 50s, confessed she cannot accept that her grandson has suddenly become a granddaughter.

Mrs Recknell added she was upset by Zach's parents' decision to go public, telling the People: 'I'd rather see him kicking a football than parading in a pink dress.' Her daughter, Theresa Avery, 32, earlier this week said she fully supports Zach after he became one of the youngest people ever diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID). "


2-25-12:  Huffington Post: "Jewish and Transgender: Follow the Words of Hillel", by Leora Tanenbaum

"On the face of it, "Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders" (just out from University of Wisconsin Press) is the story of how Jay Ladin, the author and an English professor at Yeshiva University in New York City, transitioned into living as Joy Ladin. But it's Ladin's relationship with Judaism that anchors this book and makes it stand out.

What do you do when you're drawn to religion despite the fact that your religion wants to reform you, erase you, abhor you? Ladin, who is not strictly observant but nevertheless remains strongly rooted to Jewish tradition, could have taken the easy way out: She could have walked away from Judaism. Instead, she argues with God. We get to listen in on her side of the conversation."


2-25-12:  The Rainbow Times: "MTPC’s former co-chair: Openly transgender woman to be appointed NHRC"

"The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is pleased to announce that Holly Ryan, a former chair of MTPC, has been appointed to the Newton Human Rights Commission by Mayor Setti Warren. Ms. Ryan was approved by the full board of Aldermen on February 21, 2012 and her term is for three years. Ms. Ryan is a life-long resident of Newton and product of the Newton School System, as was her 23-year-old daughter and her 16-year-old son who presently attends Newton South High School.

“This is an important step for the transgender community to have openly identified transgender woman appointed to a city commission. This shows that society is changing and because of that, we all benefit when citizen’s like Ms. Ryan are given the opportunity to participate in her community this way,” said Gunner Scott, executive director."


2-23-12:  India Today (India): "The big leap"

"Last week Channel V's chat show, My Big Decision, left viewers with food for thought about an issue that wouldn't have been aired at another time, that of sex reassignment surgery. The show featured young transsexuals and transgenders from middle class families who were quite vocal about their issues and open about their identities. In fact, the faces of transsexuals and transgenders appear regularly on reality TV: While Bobby Darling and Lakshmi stunned the audiences in the last two seasons of Bigg Boss, Sylvie has made her mark in recent Survivor India.

While some call it nothing but a TRP stunt, experts say this reflects a subtle change that's bringing the gender debate from closed-door film festivals to living rooms of ordinary Indians. "It's a welcome change," says Anjali Gopalan, executive director and founder, Naz Foundation (India) Trust. "Unlike earlier when transgenders were mostly portrayed as caricatures to be ridiculed at, the media is now presenting them as 'normal' human beings with intelligence, mannerisms and thinking ability," says Gopalan who has worked with sexual minorities for many years . . .

But do such portrayals by the media reflect a deep-seated societal acceptance? "Acceptance takes time. For a society that hasn't yet learnt to recognise and acknowledge the presence of transgenders in a healthy manner yet, it's too early to talk about acceptance," says Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, lifestyle expert and psychologist."


2-23-12:  The Guardian (UK): "Gender and the tyranny of the 'normal' - Sensationalist news stories about gender dysphoria only serve to isolate sufferers of this condition", by Philippa Perry

"In the past, the major difficulty with gender identity issues was that they were perceived as rare conditions and people who had them were therefore isolated and affected by being misunderstood. The transgendered were repressed, persecuted or not taken seriously, and consequently suffered with loneliness and depression.

A boy may have said he felt he was really a girl, but as such a thing was so little heard of he would not be believed and would learn to keep that subjective experience secret and suffer accordingly. The internet has made transgenderism in children more widely known, which makes it easier for it to be accepted and, hopefully, more normal. But as the recent spate of sensationalist news stories about young children with the condition show, we, as a culture, have work to do: "normality" needs to widen its net . . . "


2-23-12:  The Guardian (UK): "Paddy Power's 'transgendered ladies' ad pulled by Channel 4 and BSkyB - Broadcasters and ad-clearance body withdraw support for controversial ad, meaning it will not be shown on terrestrial TV"

"Channel 4 and BSkyB are to pull Paddy Power's controversial "transgendered ladies" ad, after originally pledging to broadcast it despite more than 400 complaints to the advertising watchdog. The commercial, which has already been pulled by sports broadcaster ESPN, asks viewers to spot the "transgendered" ladies among a crowd of racing fans at Cheltenham . . .

Clearcast admitted on Thursday afternoon that it had taken the highly unusual step of reversing its decision after consulting with Channel 4 and BSkyB, the broadcasters which were scheduled to air the ad.

"Following a number of complaints over the last few days, it appears that the ad has caused offence and in consultation with broadcasters, it has been decided that the ad should no longer run on their TV or VoD [video on demand] services in its current format," said Clearcast. "We regret offence that may have been caused.""


2-23-12:  The New Statesman (UK): "What do you do with a vile advertisement?", by David Allen Green

"Many trans people go about their lives in fear of the "mare or stallion" confrontations they have to suffer from strangers which Paddy Power is so gleefully happy to promote. And this mockery and taunting can sometimes lead to the sick violence of "tranny-bashing". As the journalist Jane Fae writes about the Paddy Power adverts . . .

Paddy Power may not have thought they were promoting bullying; they may well have been "only joking". But for them to seek some commercial advantage by stoking an already hostile environment for trans people was a vile and shameful exercise. Trans people surely have enough to put up with from other members of society, and it was wrong for Paddy Power to seek to make it yet more uncomfortable just so they can get more revenue from gamblers. "


2-23-12:  Jane Fae's Blog (UK): "Paddy Power: the real bill arrives", by Jane Fae

"So the Paddy Power ad campaign is all just a bit of fun? Just for laughs?

Sadly, the evidence already beginning to come in is just the opposite – and pretty much in line with fears expressed at the supposedly more “alarmist” end of the spectrum.

Earlier this week, a trans woman flew into London, where she stayed overnight in a reasonably upmarket hotel. Yesterday, at breakfast, two of the waiters huddled together, staring at her. Shortly after they were joined by two more staff. One of them pointed.

As she explained later, she knew she’d been ‘read’. However, the last thing she expected was for a young Spanish waiter to be pushed forward. He came over and asked her if she was in the Paddy Power advert.

He was speaking with sufficient lack of concern for her privacy that other guests were able to hear and, as a result, two business executives sat next to her loudly asked to be moved to a new table."


2-22-12:  Worcester News (UK): "Livvy James in TV's This Morning clash"

"A GIRL trapped in a boy’s body and her mum clashed with a social commentator on a TV show today after she suggested it could be just a phase. Livvy James, aged 10, and mum Saffron, aged 37, of Worcester were involved in a heated debate with journalist, novelist and broadcaster Anne Atkins on ITV’s This Morning today.

Ms Atkins said that between the ages of eight and 10 she strongly wanted to be a boy. She said: “I was eight. I dressed as a boy. I wanted very strongly to be a boy."But she said it was just a phase she grew out of and it would have ‘ruined her life’ if she had been encouraged to go in that direction.

Mrs James said Mrs Atkins was someone with “no experience” of the issue which has once again come to national attention because of Zach Avery, the five-year-old with Gender Identity Disorder from Essex who has chosen to live life as a girl."


2-22-12:  Medical Xpress: "Children with gender identity disorder are at serious psychiatric risk" (more)

"The first study to characterize a cohort of U.S. children with diagnosed gender identity disorder, led by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston, documents significant mental health risks as children struggle with strong feelings of being born “in the wrong body.” Findings appear in the March 2012 Pediatrics (published online February 20).

The study, led by endocrinologist Norman Spack, MD, at Children’s Hospital Boston, in collaboration with attending psychiatrist Scott Leibowitz, MD, reviewed the charts of 97 consecutive patients who were seen at the hospital from 1998 through early 2010 and met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) for gender identity disorder: a strong, persistent identification as being of the opposite sex (transgendered) and significant distress and discomfort with one’s biological sex.
Spack and colleagues call for . . . early evaluation for children who show persistent gender-related issues, including consultation with mental health professionals and consideration of medical treatment when patients near puberty. Anecdotally, children who receive interventions early do better psychologically."


2-22-12:  Daily Mail (UK): "Pity poor Zach, a five-year-old victim of the politically correct gender identity industry", by Carol Sarlar (more, more)

"No matter that he is probably just going through a phase, as young children tend to do. Darren and Theresa Avery decided that although their son was barely five, medical intervention was required. They duly set off to see their doctor who, in turn, sent them for specialist ‘help’. Unfortunately, Zach ended up in the hands of the controversial Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London, which specialises in Gender Identity Disorder, otherwise known as GID.

Anyway, the Tavistock diagnosed little Zach as having GID — well, of course it did; that validates their job — giving young Zach the dubious status of being one of its youngest-ever sufferers. And before you could say sequin, the show was on the road . . .

Stories like his do not, of course, happen in isolation. Even a single generation ago, it is doubtful his parents would have taken the first step towards the GP’s surgery.  Nasty parents would have clipped his ear; softie ones would have let him be, and I dare say most would have affected a compromise: a pair of unisex dungarees, maybe, teamed with a pink top.

These days, ‘gender identity’ has become one of the fashionable syndromes of our time and, in the hands of the politically correct, one of the latest social tyrannies, to which we must all pay heed. ‘Trapped in the wrong body’ has been said so often that it has slipped into public consciousness in such a way that it is now beyond the pale to question it."


2-21-12:  NPR: "More Children Struggle With Gender Identity Disorder"

"The March issue of the medical journal Pediatrics features an editorial looking at gender identity disorder in children. Pediatricians apparently are seeing more young patients who express an interest in changing their gender."


2-21-12:  Q13 "Seattle program helps evaluate children who want a sex change - More kids expressing desire to change gender" (more, more)

"Seattle is one of a few cities with a program that evaluates kids who want to change their gender. With their parents' blessing and the help of doctors, some are receiving hormone therapy, which could eventually help them change their sex . . .

Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper, a psychologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, co-authored one of the most comprehensive studies to date, just published in the medical journal Pediatrics . . .

Edwards-Leeper and others are working to treat kids with counseling and, if necessary, with puberty-blocking drugs, followed by sex-changing hormones. Edward-Leeper said parents are knocking down the doors to have their children evaluated, even though the treatment is expensive and seldom covered by health insurance."


2-21-12:  Baltimore Sun: "Balto. Co. Council approves transgender discrimination ban - Council does not pass 'bathroom amendment'"
Transgender people would be protected from discrimination in Baltimore County under a measure approved by the County Council Tuesday, making the county the fourth local government in Maryland to adopt such protections.

Council members did not add a heavily debated amendment proposed last week that would have specifically exempted bathrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms. Instead, the council left the bathroom issue open to interpretation in the legislation, amending the measure so that the protections do not apply to "distinctly private or personal" facilities . . .

Opponents of the bill have said it would lead to men dressed as women assaulting females in restrooms, though critics could not point to any specific incidents in places that have transgender anti-discrimination laws."


2-21-12:  Huffington Post (re Mexico): "Diana Sanchez Barrios: Hoping To Become First Transsexual Woman To Occupy A Seat In Mexico City's Municipal Assembly"

"Diana Sanchez Barrios is the first transsexual woman to seek a seat in Mexico City’s municipal assembly, and, she has no doubt that she'll be wining the upcoming elections on July 1.

"This isn’t a matter of transsexuality but of capability, and I’m capable of legislating for all citizens – I’m ready to win and I know I’m going to win," she told Efe, according to Latin American Herald Tribune.

At a very young age, Barrios explains that she never felt comfortable as a boy and that at the age of 12 she decided to start dressing as woman, despite the discrimination she faced. At the age of 16, Barrios decided to leave her home. It was then that she began the process of changing her body hormonally, preparing for several years for a sexual reassignment surgery. She has managed to change all of her documentation with her new identity including her birth certificate, and voter registration documents.

Barrios, at the age of 20, returned to Mexico City fully transformed into the woman she always wanted to be. She became an activist and hopes to represent the human rights of minority groups while in office -- especially the LGBT community. Barrios is a leftist in the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in Mexico City."


2-21-12:  Pink News (UK): "MPs condemn media hunt for trans man who gave birth", by Stephen Gray (more)

"Leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas has tabled an Early Day Motion at Parliament condemning the media’s attempts to discover the identity of a transgender man who gave birth to a child. Today’s motion calls on the media to stop “urging readers to try to identify this trans man and his child”.

The parliamentary call for debate has been backed by Julian Huppert MP of the Liberal Democrats and former leader of Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party, Mark Durkan MP.

Lucas, who is the MP for Brighton, specifically condemns The Sun’s decision to publish a hotline number for readers to call if they thought they knew the trans man, who was reportedly the first in the UK to give birth, and calls on the editor of The Sun to apologise for the “fear and distress” caused to trans people . . .

The motion then “calls on The Sun newspaper to immediately desist from urging readers to try to identify this trans man and his child, as it is not in the public interest; and further calls on the editor of The Sun to apologise for the fear and distress the newspaper’s hotline campaign has caused amongst many trans people and their families.”"


2-20-12:  CBS Chicago: "Chicago Doctor Wants To Develop Clinic For Transgender Children"

"A doctor at Children’s Memorial Hospital he would like to help develop a clinic for transgender children.

Dr. Joel Frader, who is also a professor at Northwestern University, made the remarks following a report published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics, which indicated that a growing number of teens and even younger kids are experiencing gender identity disorder.

Frader says he would like to model the clinic after a similar one at Children’s Hospital Boston. Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Norman Spack is the author of one of three reports on transgender children published by Pediatrics Monday."

[We wonder how J. Michael Bailey at Northwestern is reacting to these recent advances in medical treatment of transgender children -  which go totally against the old transreparatist methods of his mentor Ken Zucker? Especially since this news is being so widely covered by Chicago and National media (see next entry).]


2-20-12:  Live Science: "Without Treatment, Mental Health Problems Plague Transgender Kids" (more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more)

"When young people start puberty and experience serious distress about their bodies developing into a gender they don't identify with, there are solutions, Leibowitz said. The medical standard established by the Endocrine Society and the World Professional Organization for Transgender Health call for treatment with hormones that suppress puberty in teens who have not yet undergone major physical changes. These treatments "buy time," Leibowitz said, preventing the development of secondary sex characteristics such as breasts or an Adam's apple while kids mature mentally enough to make decisions about whether they'd like to transition to a new gender. These treatments are reversible. Older teens, ages 16 or 17, can begin to make decisions about taking estrogen or testosterone to promote the sexual characteristics of the gender they feel they are."


2-20-12:  Daily Mail (UK): "Boy, 5, lives his life as a GIRL after becoming one of the youngest ever to be diagnosed on the NHS with 'Gender Identity Disorder'"

"A five-year-old who felt he was a girl trapped in a boy's body has become one of the youngest-ever children to be diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder.

From the age of three Zach Avery, from Purfleet, Essex, refused to live as a boy, instead choosing to wear pink dresses and ribbons in his long blonde hair. He also became obsessed with the girly children’s TV character Dora the Explorer.

Parents Theresa and Darren Avery, 41, became worried by Zach's behaviour and took him to the doctor.
After numerous consultations and observations, he was last year officially diagnosed by NHS specialists with Gender Identity Disorder, making Zach – then aged four - one of the youngest affected children in the UK."


2-20-12: Pink News (UK): "Paddy Power thinks it’s fun to play ‘spot the trans lady’ – want to bet?", by Paris Lees

"Today, I can exclusively reveal that Paddy Power hopes to ‘plant’ trans women at Cheltenham Festival on Ladies Day, so that race-goers can try to spot them in real life. Nice, huh? . . .

The problem with “spot the trans lady” though is that, for one person in the game, it’s really not that fun. Ask any trans woman. Most of us, at some stage, have faced the humiliation of strangers playing it on us, (I use “on” as it’s something that’s done to you, not with you, and rarely with permission). You know it’s coming, as you walk down the street, like any other member of the public, on your way to buy milk. You see the curious look in a stranger’s eye, the excitement as they wonder if it could truly be – if they could really have found someone as laughable and as exotic as you. You note their lack of subtlety as they nudge the person next to them. They walk by. Seconds pass. And, no matter how you try to prepare for the certainty of what comes next, the phrase “Is that a tranny?” stabs like a dagger every time.

Paddy Power may think its advert is just a bit of harmless fun, but it feeds into an environment which dehumanises trans people, adding to the struggles of an already vulnerable minority. It’s not the first time the company has been accused of this either, and my source tells me that staff there are unhappy with the nastiness of recent marketing campaigns. Indeed, not only is this particular clip transphobic, it’s also sexist and personally insulting, referring to someone as a dog, in addition to “spot the stallions from the mares” horse comparisons."


2-20-12:  The Telegraph (UK): "Britain's first 'male mother': I want to live as a normal father"  (more, more)

"A man thought to be Britain's first "male mother" has said he wants to live as a normal father. The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, gave birth to a healthy baby girl in March last year. He was able to have a child after taking female hormones to reverse the effects of his female-to-male sex change treatment.

He had been living as a man for five years and had legally changed his name and gender before deciding to attempt to conceive with his male partner, from whom he is now separated. It is thought to be only the fourth case of its kind in the world. American transsexual Thomas Beatie, 38, gave birth to a baby girl in 2008 and then to a boy the following year.

The man, who lives in a mid-terrace home in a residential area of a town in the North of England, spoke to the Mail on Sunday but asked that he remain anonymous."


2-19-12:  LGBTQ Nation: "It’s 2012. Do you know where your transgender children are?"

"It’s 2012. Do you know where your transgender children are? Cisgender America, frightened of change and anxious about its identity, is in a panic over the growing visibility of gender-variant kids . . .
Something out of the ordinary happens when cisgender adults talk about transgender children. People who wouldn’t normally make a child’s genitals a public issue are suddenly desperate to publicly scrutinize and debate the intimate details of children’s bodies . . .

The desire to regulate trans people’s gender is motivated by a larger anxiety about gender, and that larger anxiety is in turn motivated by an anxiety about one’s own gender. What am I? What should I be? We are taught that only transgender people need to ask themselves these questions, but that is plainly not true–otherwise why would all these cisgender grown-ups be in such a flurry over what makes a seven-year-old and a fourteen-year-old male or female? They use us to answer questions about themselves.

But why do they keep talking about children, about the bodies of children? Why are they so obsessed with whether or not Bobby Montoya can be a Girl Scout, or Nicole Maines can use the girl’s bathroom?

America has realized something about transgender people: Not all of them are adults. This was promptly followed by a more sinister realization: the children are easier to get to."


2-17-12:  Endocrine Today (re Canada): "Pubertal blockade safe for pediatric patients with gender identity disorder"

"Pubertal blockade can safely be initiated in pediatric patients who experience gender identity disorder, according to researchers at the Canadian Pediatric Endocrine Group 2012 Meeting. With exposure to hormones such as estrogen or testosterone later in their adolescence, these patients will experience normal metabolic processes.

“If kids are persisting at puberty [about the need to be the other gender], they will almost always persist,” said Daniel Metzger, MD, FRCPC, a pediatric endocrinologist at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and a clinical professor, division of endocrinology in the department of pediatrics, University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Metzger spoke about the endocrine management of transgender youth and said pediatric patients who experience gender identity disorder require watchful management to reduce the risks for suicidality, depression, drug use and eating disorders, which are often secondary to gender identity disorder. 

“These issues are frequently dealt with if patients can get on the road to transition,” Metzger said, noting that parental support is key in making the transition smooth. Patients will undergo counseling and therapy if they express a desire to transition from male to female or female to male to ensure they are serious about their desire, he said. “The effect of the puberty-blocking drugs is reversible,” Metzger said. “If they change their mind, they would come off the (puberty-blocking) drugs and enter puberty”. . .

In response to Metzger’s presentation, Norman Spack, MD, an associate in endocrinology and co-director of the Gender Management Service Clinic at Children’s Hospital Boston, said not treating youths with gender identity disorder is beginning to be thought of as disregard for the Hippocratic Oath . . . “[These patients] often harm themselves if they are not treated because they are clearly in the wrong body,” Spack said. “The younger generation (of endocrinologists) who have grown up with gender-variant people is seeing this as a disregard for a human right.” "

[The trans-reparatist treatment of gender-variant children by Zucker at CAMH  is finally being exposed within the medical community for what it is: a serious violation of the Hippocratic Oath and a caustic disregard of a basic human right (the right to claim one's gender).


2-17-12:  News Observer (posted 2-12): "Gender change: Losing him, loving her"

"Lina Kok, left, and Diane Daniel look through photos to post on their travel blog. Lina underwent gender change. Diane says they stayed married because of "love, happiness, comfort," but the transition has been complicated and sometimes painful . . .

I share our story not necessarily to advocate that couples like us stay together - people should do what is right for them - but to encourage more acceptance of people who don't conform to the male-female gender binary.

Throughout our journey, I've heard too many heartbreaking stories, including that of a woman in Cary whose once-close neighbors refused to acknowledge her after her gender transition, or the woman in Raleigh whose adult children banished her and whose decades-long membership in a community club was abruptly canceled. Other people we know have lost jobs, friends, and even parents after they changed genders or showed any signs of blurring the boundaries.

I do understand the impulse. I had it, until I finally felt - truly felt - my husband's anguish. "What I fear the most," he said early on, his shoulders shaking with each sob, "is that you'll see me as a monster or some kind of a freak. That everyone will, but mostly you."

I told him I didn't, but I realized in some ways I had. Society's opinion had scrambled my own. Our relationship turned a corner that day."


2-17-12:  Pink News (UK): "Trans media charity slams attempts to ‘expose’ man who gave birth - The Sun asked readers to phone in if they knew the man"

"Calls to identify the anonymous transgender man reported to be the first in the UK to give birth have been decried by a charity calling for accuracy and respect for trans people in the media.

Trans Media Watch said today that trans men across the country had been “living in fear” after newspapers began trying to identify the man who had given birth.

Trans Media Watch had filed a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission over The Sun’s request for readers to phone in if they knew the man and reports that it was pursuing members of the trans community to find out his identity.

The Sun’s interim managing editor David Dinsmore explained the rationale behind the decision for yesterday, saying the issue was in the “public interest”. "



A charity calling for accuracy, dignity and respect for transgender and intersex people in the British press has condemned the Sun newspaper’s hunt for a pregnant man. TMW’s Project Manager, Paris Lees, accused the Sun of harassment and hypocrisy:

“This week, the Sun claimed it was subject to ‘a witch-hunt’. Odd, coming from a newspaper now trying to expose an innocent member of the public simply for being transgender.”

She continued: “Is it in the public interest if a private individual chooses to become pregnant? Quite frankly, this person’s gender identity is nobody else’s business – and certainly not cause for a national phone-in.”

The Sun has urged its readers to call a hotline to expose the man’s identity. This, says Paris Lees, has caused great anxiety in the trans community:

“There are trans men around the country who’ve been living in fear for the past few days, scared they could be paraded as freaks on the Sun’s front page. What right does a newspaper have to make innocent members of the public feel this way?”


2-16-12:  Aisa One (re Malaysia): "Serial transsexual-bashing gang on the loose in Malaysia" (more)

"A serial transsexual-bashing gang is on the loose here. At least 13 transsexuals have been attacked over the last six months, including a 24-year-old car wash attendant who preferred to be called Mona. He was assaulted and slashed in the neck in Jalan Haji Abdul Aziz here on Sept 1 last year and had to take 18 stitches.

Yesterday, a group of men beat up a pair of transsexuals at the same location. Make-up artist Rozi, 27, said six men on motorcycles surrounded him and three of them hit him with steel chains, helmets and steel bars. "They hit me non-stop till I fell, and then hit me some more. They sounded very angry," he sobbed, when relating the 3.30am incident.

His friend Sasha, 29, rushed to help but he too was beaten up, Rozi said, adding that their attackers did not take anything from them. Both victims suffered bruises and cuts on the body. Rozi received five stitches to close a deep gash on the back of his head.

Their friend, Mohd Bakri, said the attacks on transsexuals had occurred in Jalan Bukit Ubi, Jalan Pasar and Jalan Dato Wong Ah Jang, besides Jalan Haji Abdul Aziz. Six police reports have been made . . ."

[Sadly, Malaysian newspapers refer to these transwomen using male pronouns, thus further defaming them and compounding their misery.]


2-16-12:  Indiana Daily Student: "Erasing a hero", by Aidan Crane

"Initially, Manning’s gender identity remained a rumor, only confirmed by chat logs. Those chat logs have since been verified and allow us to see something of Breanna’s pain.

In one message, she said, “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.”

Since the beginning of her military trial, however, Manning’s defense team has openly acknowledged that she identifies as a woman. Evidence has been presented that Manning had told superiors she had “gender identity disorder,” and that she had information about hormone treatments in her room in Baghdad, Iraq.

Manning’s lawyers are now using her gender identity as a core component in proving that Manning was mentally unstable and should not be found guilty.

It’s tragic that Manning’s gender identity, something intimate and beautiful, is being turned against her. But those criticizing the decision have not spent years being tortured in a military prison under threat of execution or life imprisonment."


2-15-12:  KOTAKU: "A Salute to Dani Bunten, a Transgender Video Gaming Pioneer"

"There are plenty of legends in the world of video games whose names will fly off the tongues of casual fans. Nolan Bushnell. Trip Hawkins. Shigeru Miyamoto. Will Wright. Sid Meier.

It's a shame, then, that so few can name another of the all-time greats, Danielle Bunten Berry. Or, as she was known before 1992, Dan Bunten. The designer born as Daniel Paul Bunten in 1949 is important to video games for any number of reasons, some trivial, some vital to the progression of the entire medium . . .

Then, sadly, things went a little off the rails. In the same year, Bunten's third marriage fell apart, and in November 1992 he did something he'd been contemplating for a while: he underwent sex reassignment surgery. Now known as Danielle (or simply Dani) Bunten Berry, she would never maintain as high a profile as she had enjoyed while a male, in part because she withdrew from frontline development. While continuing in games to some extent, and continuing to work on pioneering the online interactivity of players, she quickly grew to resent her decision to undergo surgery . . .
Her games were rarely successful in term of sales, with only Cities of Gold selling enough to be called a "hit". Wheeler Dealers sold 50 copies. MULE, as important as it was, only sold 30,000. But Bunten's legacy hasn't been determined by sales. It can be measured in her influence on the industry and the developers who followed in her footsteps. Nearly every game Bunten designed or worked on turned out to be well ahead of its time, especially when it came to the possibilities for bringing multiple people together in the same game. That kind of vision made her a star to other developers."


2-15-12 The Arkansas Times (posted 2-08):  "Dani Bunten changed video games forever - The story of a (largely) forgotten game designer from Arkansas", by David Koon

"It is a measure of Dani Bunten's genius and enduring legacy, then, that Bunten is still considered something of a rock star among game designers and those interested in the history of games. For Bunten, an engineer who grew up loving family board games like Risk and Monopoly, the social aspect of gaming was the thing, as was the belief that a human opponent was always going to present more challenge and fun than even the best computer brain. That fueled Bunten's passion for multiplayer games at a time when the technology for making multi-play happen was so primitive that almost no one else in the field saw a future in it.

With the continued rise of the Internet and online gaming since Bunten's death, however, that message looks more and more prophetic as the years go by, leading her to be more revered than ever in certain circles. Though 14 years (and several quantum leaps in graphics and gameplay) have passed since Bunten died, hundreds visit "The World of M.U.L.E." webpage at every week to discuss and reminisce about the most influential game created by Bunten's Little Rock design house, Ozark Softscape. "


2-15-12:  Indian Express (India): "He asked for gender change in school papers, court said no"

"While approving the issuance of declaration for change of gender and name for a man who had undergone a sex reassignment surgery, a Delhi court held that it would not be correct to change his gender on his school records as it would amount to “changing history”. "


2-15-12:  Huffington Post: "Dreaming of Dresses: Transgender Books for Children", by B. J. Epstein

"Young people are coming out as transgender ever earlier, which often means that they want medical treatment at younger ages. This is a thought that worries and bewilders some adults, in part because they do not believe that children can really know who they are or what they want but also in part because they simply don't have enough information about gender dysphoria . . .

Then there's the perhaps more pressing problem of where trans or intersex young people themselves can read about other people like them . . . I am unfortunately aware of no texts about transgender characters for readers between five and twelve or so. However, there are a couple of picture books, which at least can be used with children up until the age of five or six, regardless of whether they are themselves trans or know any trans people . . .

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert is my favourite transgender book for any age group. The main character, Bailey, dreams about beautiful dresses and longs to make them and wear them. However, Bailey's family is not understanding or supportive, because Bailey is biologically male. Although Bailey faces some problems, she is still a very strong person who believes in herself and who looks elsewhere for support.

One thing I love about this book is that Ewert uses female pronouns when referring to Bailey, which suggests that the narrator has accepted Bailey for who she is and that, therefore, so should the reader. While this might confuse some young readers, it can be easily explained by an adult reading besides them, and also is a good starting point for discussion."


2-15-12:  Pink Paper (UK): "GT and DIVA publishers launch new digital magazine for trans community" (more)

"The publishers of Gay Times and DIVA magazine launch a groundbreaking digital publication aimed at the transgender community – META. META is a unique magazine designed for a wide community of gender variant people. It is written by trans people and their friends for trans people and their friends. Through in-depth features, community discourse, arts coverage, celebrity interviews, comprehensive event listings, and charitable causes, META is a celebration of diversity.

META is connected to the UK’s exciting trans activism movement and is committed to challenging bigotry. It’s dedicated to promoting positive self esteem and connectivity among trans people, generating creativity, motivation and aspiration through inspiring imagery and positive ethos."


2-14-12:  YouTube (UK; posted 2-13): "Paris Lees on BBC Breakfast (Part 1)"  (Part 2)

[Must-see video interviews with 10yr-old Livvy James and her mom, and with Paris Lees of Trans Media Watch, on the "BBC Breakfast" program.]


2-14-12:  Amnesty International (re Uganda): "Government raid on LGBT-rights workshop" (more, more, more)

"A Ugandan cabinet minister on Tuesday raided a workshop run by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Entebbe, prompting Amnesty International to call on the government to end its outrageous harassment of people involved in lawful activities.

The Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, who was accompanied by police, announced that the workshop was illegal and ordered the rights activists out of the hotel where it was being held. He told activists that if they did not leave immediately, he would use force against them."


2-14-12:  No More Lost (UK): "Beaumont Society in Confidence Breach: Equally Blessed and Cursed"

"Oh, the Beaumont Society; that oldest of UK trans ‘support’ organisations. In the minds of some a wonderful network of potential friends, support, and a font of knowledge, and in the minds of others a dangerous relic and bastion of old ideas, poor understanding, an overly inflated sense of importance and a certain air of self-aggrandisement. Simultaneously understated and overstated, many would be forgiven for wondering who they are, but the Beaumont society is never the less quite pervasive, and often in a rather unhelpful way . . .

The first rule, for trans organisations, for dealing with journalists is simple; it’s “Don’t feed the media!”. The Beaumont Society, on the other hand, have a different approach, as discovered by the journalist Jane Fae in her attempt to get to the bottom of all this. In speaking to the Beaumont Society, she recieved this little nugget:

As their spokeswoman put it, if other organisations want to be in the press, its up to them to get back and respond. She told me: “if they want a response, we’ll give response: if the rest of the trans community doesn’t respond, then that’s their problem.”

They didn’t name any names – nobody could be quite that incompetent. What they did was to confirm that the story existed, which gave the press all they needed to go wild with the statement that there was a trans man in the UK with a pregnancy. The gutter press need at least some basis for a story, after all, even if it’s just an interview where they take the basic facts, distort them, and make up all the rest… and the most basic fact required in this story was that simple fact of the existence of a trans man with child in the UK."


2-14-12: Jane Fae's blog (UK): "Oh what a mess…" (more)

"…and one that in the fullness of time may well come back to haunt the Beaumont Society which, on the face of it, appears to have come as close to outing a trans man as it is possible to come without naming names.

A large chunk of the trans community is now up in arms and less than happy at the role played by a body that has always been viewed with suspicion by the transsexual end of the “umbrella”, while the justification for its action given by that organisation seem more likely to fan the flames than put them out."


2-14-12: "A Transgender Life: Consuella's Story" (with video)

"They lived a life of privilege in Nicaragua but fled under the threat of war. "It was more the strength of our parents," says Consuella Lopez. And it was their strength that eventually helped the family cope with their biggest challenge yet. Young Carlos, now Consuella, wanted to become a girl. The main obstacle: getting acceptance from Consuella's military father. Afterall, Consuella was his only son. "It was hard for him," says Consuella's sister, Carla Lopez-Brown.

"You have to be happy with who you are," says Consuella. Consuella loves her father but says it was her mother who first embraced her. "I have one shirt my mom bought me at Nordstroms and she said, 'If you're going to be a girl you're going to a pretty girl," says Consuella as she tears up. That was 20 years ago . . .

Still, Consuella knows not everyone is comfortable around transgenders. So she is on a quest to raise awareness in hopes that if you take the time to meet her, and her family, you'll give girls like her a chance."


2-14-12: "A Transgender Life: Path To Personal Happiness" (with video)

"Monday night at 11 we introduced you to Consuella Lopez, born a man but living as a woman for the past 20 years. Tuesday morning, Delia Goncalves told us how Consuella's father came to terms with her decision and why she chose a path to personal happiness that sometimes leads to social stigma. "What is your hope for your daughter?" Delia asked her father. He replied, "Well, looking forward...I want her to be happy" . . . "


2-14-12:  Health Canal (UK): "My Transsexual Summer star calls for pre-teens to be given time to resolve gender confusion"

"Primary school children should be taught about transsexuals from the age of 10 and have the option of jabs that delay the onset of puberty, according to Drew-Ashlyn Cunningham, one of the stars of Channel 4's My Transsexual Summer documentary series.

Drew-Ashlyn was speaking while visiting Kingston University in London to talk to students about her experiences of living as a woman. "If you think you are transsexual, pre-puberty is the time you want to start taking jabs to delay puberty because once you've gone through it, the physical changes are very hard to reverse," she said. "I am all for youngsters who are confused being helped to postpone puberty so they can decide what gender they really are. I only wish this option had been available to me." Her comments come after it was revealed that six children in Britain will be given jabs to delay puberty on the NHS because they are convinced they are the wrong sex.

"I also think if younger children are educated about it in school from the age of ten, they won't question it," she said. "Adults question it because they were never educated about it, which explains all the prejudice. Once children understand that being transsexual isn't a problem, meeting one of us will become as normal as meeting a gay person.""


2-13-12:  The New Statesman (UK): "The turning of the tide - The media's monstering of transgender people is finally being challenged," by Juliet Jacques

"Whatever the long-term results of the Leveson inquiry, one appearance may prove a turning point for an increasingly visible and (hopefully) decreasingly vulnerable population. When Helen Belcher presented Trans Media Watch's submission last week, explaining the largely negative practices and consequences behind more than a hundred news items about transgender (but mainly transsexual) people, it felt like a turning point for a group no longer prepared to tolerate the media intruding into -- and sensationalising -- their personal histories.

Tabloid exploitation of transgender lives has now become so crude and so cruel that a 10-year-old is campaigning against it. Returning to her primary school in Worcester as female last September, Livvy James found her story strewn across the headlines after other children's parents took it to local newspapers and the nationals picked it up. Having been compelled to explain to the Daily Mail and ITV's This Morning why she let her child go to school as female (with the newspapers treating her decision as a countrywide concern), Livvy's mother Saffron has secured over a thousand signatures to a petition against media ridiculing of transgender individuals. Livvy felt that the abuse she took from her peers related directly to hostile print and screen portrayals."


2-12-12:  Daily Mail (UK): "Britain's first 'male mother': Man born a woman is first in UK to give birth despite having sex change" (more, more, more)

"A British man is believed to have given birth, causing an ethical controversy. The ‘male mother’ started life as a woman but underwent a sex change. He is thought to have had the baby last year, while living as a man.

Medical experts said that if the womb is not removed in sex change surgery, there is nothing to stop a woman who becomes a man from having a child. But others said that the welfare of the baby is paramount and queried how the child will deal with even the simplest of issues, such as whether to call the man ‘Mummy’ or ‘Daddy’."


2-12-12:  Baltimore Sun: "What's this obsession with transgender people and bathrooms?"

"It sounds good, like something all of us would want to join: Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government. But my perusal of the organization's website reveals little more than obsessive concern with transgender people being in society — and having to use, as all of us must at times, public restrooms. The organization suggests that transgender people are just a bunch of perverted, cross-dressing men who want access to women's bathrooms and locker rooms.

Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government has been fighting state and local efforts to outlaw specific discrimination against the transgendered . . . The organization calls Councilman Tom Quirk's bill "Baltimore County's Dangerous Peeping Tom Law." A handout says the new ordinance will "legally protect cross-dressers and transvestite behavior [and] allow cross-dressing men to enter women's bathrooms and dressing rooms even if they are sexually attracted to women."

The handout adds: "Cross-dressing is a mental illness, which can constitute a form of erotic fetish." Psychiatrists, psychologists and other clinicians would disagree with that characterization. They might also be tempted to speculate about the hangups and prejudices of people who see the transgendered as sex offenders in female camouflage."


2-11-12: "Porn’s taboo transsexual stars" - T-girls" are fighting for respect in the adult biz. What does it mean for the general acceptance of trans women?"

"Courtney Trouble, a queer porn star and director who has worked with many trans performers, hopes that porn might actually help reduce transphobia in society at large. “Porn, while seemingly a private, frivolous luxury, has the immense power to gently create an awareness for trans issues in the audience,” she says. “If porn can create a change in the minds of people outside the industry, that’s where the real rewards are.” . . .

Others predict transsexual porn will explode within mainstream straight porn. That’s in part because “so many transsexual stars are transitioning younger and getting more beautiful,” says Pierce. But she adds, “Sexuality in general is becoming more open-minded and the new generation is really pushing the limits on sexuality, and I think it’s going to push the transsexual market.”"


2-10-12:  InterPressNews (re Brazil): "Rio Police Reports to Respect Transgendered Identities", by Fabiola Ortiz

"The state of Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil will introduce a pioneering policy in March to reduce the under-reporting of crimes against transvestites and transsexual people, who will be able to identify themselves with their preferred names when they report crimes to the police. The right to use the names and pronouns chosen by transgender people, rather than the names on their official identity documents, is one that has been long sought after by their community.

Among sexual minorities, transgender people suffer the most from prejudice and discrimination, especially at the hands of the police, Claudio Nascimento, the coordinator of the state government's Rio Sem Homofobia (Rio Without Homophobia) programme, told IPS.  Worldwide, Brazil is one of the countries with the highest number of hate crimes against sexual minorities."


2-10-12:  Just Plain Sense (UK): "Pearls among swine", by Christine Burns

"This has been an exciting week for trans people concerned with the way the media represents them.

Watching some of the events from afar, I can imagine that some of those involved in the big news items will have experienced the same kind of mix of adrenaline and hope as my colleagues and I felt when our campaigning milestones came along, years ago.

In our day, it was watershed moments where we achieved legal rights advances … employment protection, the right to NHS treatment, legal recognition of our identities. (I would link to the historical record of those moments but, as I explained recently, the internet no longer has much of a live record of those events.)

Nowadays, the issues at the forefront tend to be the media (for the way it represents trans people), and medicine (for the way it handles patients who come looking for help)."


2-10-12: "META Magazine", by Tri Active Media Ltd
META is a unique digital magazine, which brings you the very best of trans and gender queer, news advice and entertainment. Our aim is to connect this community globally and so META is written by trans people, about trans people, for trans people."

[META magazine is now available for subscription/downloading!  Apple i Phone and iPAD users download from here; PC, MAC and Android users download from here.]


2-10-12:  Herald Sun (Australia): "Parents go in to battle for 11-year-old son who wants to be a girl"

"Parents could let their children change sex without court permission if a landmark legal bid is upheld. The family of the youngest Australian to receive sex-change therapy is fighting for the decision to be one made between parents and doctors, not the court.

"Jamie", 11, has lived as a girl for years, dressing in female clothing and using the girls' toilets at school. The court heard she had been diagnosed with gender identity disorder. Her parents said she first identified herself as a girl at age 3.

The Family Court last year approved drug therapy to stop her going through male puberty, but refused to allow later oestrogen treatment. The parents are appealing against that decision, claiming sex-change treatments should not fall under special medical procedures that courts must approve."


2-09-12:  Fox News: "Virginia school district considers cross-dressing ban for students"

"A Virginia school district is considering banning cross-dressing by students, out of what one board member called concerns for the safety of "several" male students who wear dresses and wigs to school.

The Suffolk Board of Education plans to take up the issue at a meeting Thursday night, amid criticism that such a ban would violate students' First Amendment rights. The proposal explicitly bans clothing "not in keeping with a student's gender," distracts others from the educational process or poses health concerns."


2-10-12:  Washington Post: "Police charged man with murder in stabbing of transgender woman at DC bus stop"

"Metropolitan Police have charged a D.C. man with second-degree murder while armed in the stabbing of a transgender woman. The victim, 23-year-old JaParker Jones of Washington, was stabbed at a bus stop in northeast on Feb. 2. She died the next day . . .

Police say the motive for the attack is not clear and it appears that Jones and Montgomery were strangers."


2-09-12:  The Observer (Uganda): "‘Female’ men: choice or self hatred?"

"Michael Bailey, in his book ‘The man who would be queen’ puts a scientific explanation to such behaviour: Men with higher levels of testosterone tend to have a more masculine appearance and behave in a more masculine fashion while those with less testosterone tend to look and act somewhat more like women . . .

To deal with the condition, Nyende advises parents to have their children counselled so they accept their male identity. “Consistence is the better way for effeminate men to embrace change as they appreciate their roles as males and nurture that role,” Nyende says. With such sons, Nyende says, it’s imperative that they are complimented on anything muscular they engage in like trimming their hair and dressing as males should. ‘Hair on your chest makes you a man’, ‘Boys don’t cry’ and many other sayings like these illustrate the mixed vibes society sends every day."

[Here we see J. Michael Bailey being cited to support Zuckerian childhood trans-reparatism in Uganda, a country already well-known for its genocide against gays. Interesting to see how and where Bailey's 'scientific research' is being applied these days, eh?]


2-09-12:  Alternet (re Uganda; posted 2-07): "How Deep Is the Republican Christian Right's Connection to the Anti-Gay Bills Sweeping Sub-Saharan Africa? - As the horrific "kill-the-gays" bill resurfaces in Uganda, Republican politicians deny connections, but their rhetoric is frighteningly similar", by Kristin Rawls

"Uganda’s notorious "kill-the-gays" bill, supported by some far-right Christian advocates in United States, was placed back on the Ugandan Parliament’s schedule for a vote yesterday. The proposed legislation punishes repeated instances of “homosexual behavior” – or sex – with the death penalty. Unless a member of Parliament releases the date and time to the public, it could be brought before the legislature’s Lower House for a vote at any moment. After that, it would need to pass the Upper House, and could become law very quickly."

[And while this is happening, the Ugandan national media is citing Bailey's book to support trans-reparatist 'cures' of trans-youth.]


2-09-12;  San Francisco Chronicle: "Gender-bending model pushes limits of the runway" (more)

"In this Jan. 27, 2012 photo, photographer transgender model Andrej Pejic has make-up applied by Cecelia Romero for a fashion shoot in New York. Transgender models have promoted the work of Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier, but it’s a man with no plans for gender reassignment surgery who’s straddling the line like no other. Pejic, 20, says he’s perfectly happy being gender neutral. Some in the fashion industry see Pejic as a sign of a new gender fluidity."


2-08-12: "Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children" [Paperback], Rachel Pepper (Editor) (Scheduled for release in May; now available for preorder)

"Transitions of the Heart is the first collection to ever invite mothers of transgender and gender variant children of all ages to tell their own stories about their child’s gender transition. Often “transitioning” socially and emotionally alongside their child but rarely given a voice in the experience, mothers hold the key to familial and societal understanding of gender difference. Sharing stories of love, struggle, and acceptance, this collection of mother's voices, representing a diversity of backgrounds and sexual orientations, affirms the experience of those who have raised and are currently raising transgender and gender variant children between the ages of 5-50. Edited by Rachel Pepper, a gender specialist and co-author of the acclaimed book The Transgender Child, Transitions of the Heart will prove an invaluable resource for parents coming to terms with a child’s gender variance or transition"

[With Foreward by Kim Pearson of Trans Youth Family Allies (TYFA)]


2-08-12:  Pink News (UK): "Trans charity to speak at Leveson Inquiry today"

"The Leveson Inquiry will hear today from Trans Media Watch, a charity which supports accurate and respectful reporting on trans and intersex people in the media. The Inquiry has been investigating invasions of privacy by the British press since it opened in mid-November.

Paris Lees, the charity’s Project Manager said: “Our evidence reveals monstrous intrusion into the lives of private individuals, including children and rape victims, leading to people being forced out of their jobs and the breakdown of families. Some have received death threats following unwanted and hostile press attention.”

She added: “Newspapers have incited witch-hunts by neighbours, and families with children have been trapped in their own homes by media camped on their doorsteps. Some children have even been forced to move school or to new neighbourhoods.

In their submission to the Inquiry, the charity refers to a “climate of prejudice” against trans people fostered by the media. They added that trans people are vulnerable to allegations which often disrupt their lives and put them at risk of violence.

The charity’s submission includes numerous tabloid headlines about individual trans people with multiple references to sex “swaps” and “changes” as well as incorrect use of pronouns and the use of quotes when discussing transgender and intersex status in a way which appears to cast doubt over their existence.

TMW’s witness for Leveson, Helen Belcher, says fear prevents many from seeking justice: “Perhaps most sinister are the many accounts of families and individuals afraid of complaining to the PCC, and who dare not take legal action – for fear that the bullying will start again.”


2-08-12:  Jane Fae's Blog (UK): "The day it changes…" (more)

"T-day. Transition day. The day it all changes. After today nothing will be the same. Even if, on the surface, all is still the same. Because today is the day when the UK’s press and media will finally, forcefully, be asked to face up to their awful responsibility for the hate and bigotry they foment on a daily basis.

It begins with an interview on the national flagship TV channel, the BBC, with trans advocate Paris Lees, and 10-year-old trans girl Livvy James. They will be there because of two other happenings that will, serendipitously, be coming together today. Its significant, too, because this is trans in the spotlight as serious (political) issue, rather than freak show stuff . . .

First up, Livvy has a petition doing the rounds that asks, simply, heart-breakingly that the press lay off. That they stop sensationalising her story – and that they stop treating trans issues as newsworthy just because there is a trans individual involved. Chillingly, matter-of-factly, she says that the language used by the press is not just hurtful, hateful, disrespectful. It kills . . .

Which is why Paris, now grown-up, is involved in the second big event of the day: a presentation by Trans Media Watch to the Leveson inquiry on standards in the press. It is hard to encapsulate just how big that step is: how much of a watershed moment it is likely to be. "


2-07-12:  USA Today: "U.S. appeals court strikes down Calif. gay marriage ban" (see also: SCOTUSblog)

"The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down as unconstitutional California's Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports. The ruling by the three judge panel is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge interpreted the U.S. Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared the ban, known as Proposition 8, to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians. The measure, which passed with 52% of the vote in 2008, outlawed same-sex unions just five months after they had become legal in the state.

It was unclear when gay marriages might resume in California. Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors and for two couples who sued to overturn the ban have said they would appeal to the Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit."


2-06-12:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Media, Protect Your Transgender Sources!"

"Too often, trans people give interviews to the media believing they will do a fair, objective job of reporting. And mostly, the media do a good job, even if some of the news outlets get their pronouns mixed up occasionally. BUT, where the media fails sometimes is in not monitoring the reader comments that are posted to the articles . . . and too often the trans people who gave the interviews are unfairly ripped to shreds by comments from homophobes, transphobes, bigots and all manner of ignorant people who don’t have a clue what they are talking about . . .

The media needs to wake up here: if you don’t protect the trans people you’ve interviewed when you post the articles online, the trans community will stop talking to your organizations. As for trans people, my advice is to ask reporters and editors for guarantees you won’t be unfairly attacked by bigoted readers in the comments sections of news stories. If they can’t guarantee it, don’t grant the interviews."


2-06-12:  The Times of India (India): "Meet India’s first transgender pastor"

"CHENNAI: Shunned and traumatized as a youngster, 25-year-old Bharathi now preaches to a congregation of 45 respectful parishioners, including 14 families, as India's first transgender pastor.

Bharathi, who completed her bachelor's degree in theology last April, has been a pastor at the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) branch in Chengalpattu, on the outskirts of Chennai, for the past eight months . . .

"Society generally ostracizes the transgender community, but Bharathi has an opportunity to preach to an entire community. It is something everybody is proud of," says Devi, a transgender who has adopted Bharathi as her daughter.

Bharathi, who left home more than seven years ago, visited her family two months ago. "I had resolved to return to my family only after reaching a position of repute. When I returned, my parents were proud of me.""


2-06-12:  BBC and Diversity blogs (UK): "Putting the T into LGBT History Month by Paris Lees"

"Research conducted in 2009 revealed that 78% of British transgender people felt that the media portrayals they saw were either inaccurate or highly inaccurate. It's a sobering statistic, and a phenomenon which television networks are starting to address. The findings were published by Trans Media Watch (TMW), a charity which calls for greater accuracy, dignity and respect for trans people. TMW was formed 3 years ago, as part of a realisation by the trans community that television coverage needed to improve. I help run TMW and, in the last 18 months, we've reached out to the BBC and other broadcasters through the Creative Diversity Network. If we want to see positive change, it's essential to work with the media . . .

If you're interested in our work, please keep an eye on the TMA blog, follow TMA and TMW on Twitter, and join the conversation on Facebook. Still want more? Then check out TMW's website: we have support for trans people dealing with the media, as well as advice for producers and journalists."

[Paris Lees is editor-in-chief at META magazine, and Projects Manager at Trans Media Watch.]


2-06-12:  Worcester News (UK): "I don’t want any more people to die of this"

"A GIRL trapped in a boy’s body says she sometimes feels suicidal but is determined to give hope to others like her.

Livvy James, aged 10, of Worcester, has gender dysphoria which means she was born a boy but feels she has always been a girl. We have previously reported how Livvy, which is an assumed name, was called a “freak” after she returned to her school dressed as a girl for the first time last September.

Her family launched an online petition on Thursday against the use of terms in the media which include “sex-swap/change’, ‘tranny’, ‘gender pot’, ‘gender confused’ and ‘gender bender’ because of the emotional scars it leaves on transgender people. The petition argues that people with gender identity issues are being murdered, beaten, threatened, bullied, teased, intimidated, disowned and are prone to suicide and self-harm."


2-05-12:  Just Plain Sense (UK): "Our history hangs by a thread", by Christine Burns

"The odd thing about this phenomenon is that most people think the reverse. We are all told to be careful about what we post on the Internet as it will be there forever and will be hard to remove . . .

For trans people, whose work and views have been virtually ignored by the mainstream media until very recently, the loss of historical references online is even more aggravated, because there is practically nothing in public archives that documents our history and work. This makes trans people vulnerable to people who would rewrite that history . . .

You may think that the Internet Archive is at least a way of mitigating these risks. It was started as a project in 1996 precisely for the reasons I've stated. However, the project is reliant on donations and was only able to complete a sweep of the entire web in 2007because of a generous grant. Dig deeper into their pages and you'll see how the system relies on a collection of second hand computers to operate. It too could disappear one day.

These days I look at my own paper and disc archives with renewed gratefulness that I kept them. Ironically, I feel as though I've got a better historical record of the early days of my work, in the pre-web days of the early 1990s, than I have for work undertaken at the Department of Health just three years ago. It's a reminder to treat those archives with care and I hope one day I will find a reliable home to look after them.

All I can say to a current generation is to keep this volatility of information in mind, and to ensure what you're doing today is still there for the people who follow you."

[An important essay that we all need to take to heart.]


2-04-12:  The Guerrilla Angel  Report: "“A man in a dress” in transgender news headlines . . . protocols for mainstream media?" by Lexie Cannes (more, more)

"Early Saturday morning when I was scanning the news reports about the stabbing of a transgender woman, I crossed several news reports that had the pronouns wrong or in some cases, sensational headlines like “A MAN IN A DRESS STABBED AT D.C. BUS STOP.”

These things are, sadly, par for the course. If I were to police the media, I’d never get anything else done — it is fairly time-consuming to confirm an actual gender identity and make the corrections for MY story without letting something else erroneous slip by. This has happened to me.

But today, “a man wearing a dress” stuck in my head. I was thinking there must be protocols already in place that one can easily point to help mainstream media get thing right in the first place. As it turns out, there is, in the AP Stylebook . . . Basically the protocol is this: If the person’s preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individual live publicly."


2-03-12:  Washington Post: "D.C. Trans Coalition speaks after transgender stabbing victim dies" (more)

"After a transgender person died after being stabbed at a bus stop Thursday evening, the D.C. Trans Coalition is asking for help in identifying the victim . . . On Thursday evening, a Metro transit police officer found the victim at a bus shelter. Officers were called to the 4900 block of East Capitol Street about 8:15 p.m., according to a spokesman.

Police have not characterized the stabbing as a hate crime. But the incident is the latest in a string of violent crimes committed against members of the local trans community over the past year, beginning with a brutal beating of a 22-year-old transgender woman in Baltimore. Three transgender people were shot over the course of the summer last year, and in November, Russell Brock-Smith, 25, was convicted of assault after attempting to rob a transgender woman in Northwest Washington.

“There is no safe city — there is no safe state — for transgender people in the United States,” Lisa Mottet, a co-author of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, told NPR in September."


2-03-12:  Hispanically Speaking News (re Mexico): "Woman Becomes First Transsexual to Run for Office in Mexico" (more)

"Diana Sanchez Barrios, the first transsexual women to seek a seat in Mexico City’s municipal assembly, says she is confident of winning. “This isn’t a matter of transsexuality but of capability, and I’m capable of legislating for all citizens - I’m ready to win and I know I’m going to win,” she told Efe.

Sanchez Barrios, who at 16 began a hormone treatment to modify her body and then for several years prepared herself for sex-change surgery, said that she spent more than 10 years developing her activism in defense of human rights and sexual identity. The activist has been a local councilor in the leftist PRD and is now seeking the party’s nomination for a spot in the municipal assembly."


2-03-12:  YouTube (re Mexico): "Diana Sanchez Barrios - Diversidad Sexual PRD - Mexico - Enkidu Magazine" (12:23 video)

"Agustin Villalpando & Armando Torres, Enkidu Magazine, conversan con Diana Sánchez Barrios, Comisionada de Diversidad Sexual del PRD."


2-03-12:  The Sun (UK): "This Morning sex addict Crystal Warren reveals: I used to be a man "

"The woman who stunned telly viewers by revealing she has slept with more than 1,000 men told The Sun yesterday: "I used to be a MAN."

Crystal Warren, born Christopher Snowden, changed gender in 2005.  The cougar, 42, who revealed her sex addiction to This Morning host Eamonn Holmes, said she told few lovers her secret but added: "They never asked."

Sex addict Crystal last night admitted many of her 1,000-plus lovers will be furious when they learn she used to be a man. Crystal said: "I'm scared there will be a lot of angry men out there reading this but I have to tell the truth"

[The Sun sells lots of papers with stuff like this.]


2-02-12:  Mother Jones: "The Right-Wing War on a Transgender Girl Scout - Why a fight to exclude a 7-year-old could mean no Thin Mints for you."

"Three Girl Scout troops in Louisiana won't be hawking Thin Mints this year. They've disbanded in protest after the Girl Scouts of Colorado accepted seven-year-old transgender child Bobby Montoya as a member.

Now, 95 years after the organization first starting selling cookies, its signature product has once again become a political pawn. Right-wing groups and some conservative parents and scouts have posted to a site called Honest Girl Scouts, YouTube, and Facebook pages—including one called "Make Girl Scouts Clean Again"—urging Girl Scouts everywhere to go on strike from selling cookies, and their parents to stop buying them. They want Girl Scouts USA to officially bans transgender children from membership, and kick out any known transgender scouts "hiding" in the troops.


2-02-12:  Jezebel: "In NYPD Custody, Trans People Get Chained to Fences and Poles" (more)

"A trans woman says that when she was arrested for a minor subway violation, NYPD officers belittled her, called her names, asked about her genitals — and kept her chained to a fence for 28 hours. Now she's suing. And it turns out she's far from alone.

In her lawsuit, Temmie Breslauer says she was arrested on January 12 in a subway station for illegally using her dad's discount fare card (only seniors and people with disabilities can get these). She says the arresting officers — the suit names one, Officer Shah — laughed at her. When they took her to the station, a desk sergeant asked her "whether she had a penis or a vagina." Breslauer explained that she was in transition. Then, instead of putting her with female inmates or in her own room, the department allegedly chose this course of action:

"[S]he was fingerprinted, seated on a bench, then painfully chained to a fence wherein, for no apparent reason, her arm was lifted over her head and attached to the fence to make it appear that she was raising her hand in the classroom. She sat there in that position for 28 hours."

She also says officers not only refused to call her "she," they instead referred to her as "He-She", "Faggot," and "Lady GaGa," and asked her "So you like to suck dick? Or what?" Meanwhile, people arrested for the same minor crime (misdemeanor "theft of services") she was were calmly processed and allowed to leave. Finally, she was able to go before a judge, who gave her two days of community service. She says the whole ordeal aggravated her existing PTSD and left her sleepless and suicidal."


2-02-12:  Psychology Today: "Sneaking Hebephilia Into DSM 5", by Allen J. Frances, M.D. (more: "DSM in Distress")

"Dr. Ray Blanchard, of the DSM 5 sexual disorders work group, has written a misleading blog that portrays the introduction of 'Hebephilia' into DSM 5 as no more than a minor change . . .

Remarkably, Dr Blanchard fails to mention (much less, take seriously) the harmful consequences that would follow the stealth inclusion of 'Hebephilia' in DSM 5. If a disorder is described in DSM, it can count in SVP cases. If not in DSM, it usually does not count. In my January 23 blog, Ron Mihordin MD JD of the California Department of Mental Health characterized 'Hebephilia' and other unrecognized disorders as "weed diagnoses." These are now facing an increasingly uphill struggle masquerading under the much overused rubric 'Paraphilia NOS'. But if Pedophilia is irresponsibly expanded to include 'Hebephilia,' the courts will have to treat this as evidence that 'Hebephilia' has attained widespread community acceptance- when most emphatically it has not. 'Hebephilia' will have become a qualifying diagnosis for SVP commitment -when certainly it should not be."

[An expose of Blanchard's effort to force "hebephilia" into the DSM-5 (using much the same methods as he's done with "autogynephilia"). A legend in his own mind, Blanchard apparently believes that dreaming-up and naming non-existent mental illnesses will make him a great scientist.]



January 2012


1-31-12:  Pink News (UK): "German trans girl ‘to be institutionalised’"

"News that an 11 year old trans girl in Berlin, Germany, is about to be committed to a mental institution by local authorities – following intervention by her absent father – has prompted grave concern by the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO). A petition has also been started on

According to a statement released by IGLYO yesterday, the girl, elsewhere identified only as “Alex” (Alexandra) lives with her mother, who supports her gender expression. However, the girl’s father, divorced and separated from her mother, strongly rejects this view of his daughter’s gender identity and wants to force her to grow up as a boy.

If all else fails, there is a real and present possibility that pressure from her father, supported by the Youth Welfare Office in Berlin, means that Alex will shortly be confined in a closed ward of a psychiatric institution to ensure that “he” returns to “normality” . . .  Now, with puberty fast approaching – and Alex claiming she would rather die than go through the changes it is likely to bring about . . . "

[Seems that some folks still believe that trans children can be 'cured' by trans-reparatist therapy, as advocated by Zucker. ]


1-31: 12: The Sun (UK): "'I was born this way': Teenage transsexual reveals how Lady Gaga inspired him to have full sex change"

"A teen transsexual who is celebrating after getting the green light to become a woman has revealed how he was inspired by singer Lady Gaga. Cambell Kenneford, 16, dreamed of being a female model - despite being born a man. Now the student, from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, plans to get gender realignment surgery following two years of hormone treatment which has recently been approved by doctors."


1-30-12: "META Magazine – Editor’s Letter", by Paris Lees

"Transgender writers have been gaining ground over the past few years, appearing in various respected titles including the New Statesman, the Guardian and the Times. Now, with new digital publication META, we finally have our own platform. META isn’t just for trans people though, it’s for anyone who’s ready for lively, intelligent discussion about gender – something we don’t always see in the mainstream media. Be sure to check out META’s Facebook page, follow META on Twitter, and keep an eye our for when it goes on sale! You can also read META’s mission statement here, featuring a promotional clip with Lewis Hancox from Channel 4′s My Transsexual Summer. Lewis also appears in the magazine, giving his side of the story following criticisms from the online trans community. Sneak preview below . . .

Isolation can be a real problem for trans people, but even those of us with good social networks can be excluded from mainstream culture. Research conducted by Trans Media Watch revealed that 95% of British trans people feel like the media doesn’t care about them. So welcome, then, to a publication that not only cares, but positively depends on you . . .

META is about having a voice. We’re produced by trans people for trans people – whilst never excluding our allies. We focus on the issues that matter to you, so expect campaigns, politics and, of course, lashings of humour. We have plans to expand our content over the coming months and we want you to let us know if we’re getting it right. We listen. Indeed, we asked you how you’d feel about a trans magazine using the word “tranny” – and over 60 per cent of you said “unhappy”. So don’t expect to read the t-word in META, apart from when we report other people’s speech. Or indeed when we discuss the term, as Natacha Kennedy and Dru Marland do in our debut debate (Pages 6 and 7)."

[In this letter, the brilliant and creative journalist Paris Lees provides a sneak preview of "META", a new, unique, high quality, ground-breaking magazine, soon to be available in Apple and Android stores. Please read the full Editor's Letter and stay tuned for more information at the links above.]

[For more about Paris, see these links: YouTube: "Paris Lees - It Gets Better"; Paris' blog: lastofthecleanbohemians; The Guardian: "My Transsexual Summer: a new view of gender", by Paris Lees; "Is it wrong to change gender?", by Paris Lees.]


1-30-12:  The Age TV (Australia): "Transgender Kids"

"From the moment we're born, our gender identity is no secret. We're either a boy or a girl. Gender organises our world into pink or blue. As we grow up, most of us naturally fit into our gender roles. But for some children, what's between their legs doesn't match what's between their ears - they insist they were born into the wrong body. They are transgender children, diagnosed with gender identity disorder, or gender dismorphia, and their parents insist this is not a phase. Most transgender children still live in the shadows, hiding from a world that sees them as freaks of nature. Rejected by their families, many grow up hating their bodies, and fall victim to high rates of depression, drug abuse and even suicide. Today, hundreds of families with transgender children - who have found each other over the Internet - are taking a dramatically different course. They're allowing their children to live in the gender they identify with, in order to save them from a future of heartache and pain."


1-30-12: (Canada): "New airport screening regs raise questions for trans Canadians"

"Marathon runner Jennifer McCreath has pointed out a recent regulatory change that the Harper Conservatives have made to the Aeronautics Act (i.e. passed by ministerial fiat, rather than shepherded through Parliamentary process) that potentially affects many trans (and cis) Canadians and could even ban some from air travel:

Sec 5.2(1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if

(a) the passenger presents a piece of photo identification and does not resemble the photograph;
(b) the passenger does not appear to be the age indicated by the date of birth on the identification he or she presents;
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents; or
(d) the passenger presents more than one form of identification and there is a major discrepancy between those forms of identification.

This is a regulatory change made on July 29, 2011, and so far, it doesn't appear that there have been any reports of transsexual or transgender people being refused passage on an airline because of this change. However, regulatory changes aren't always made instantaneously . . . "


1-30-12: (UK): "Jonathan Ross apologizes for 'lady boy' airline gag"

"The UK comedian may have swapped channels but he’s still courting controversy, with scores of people tweeting their anger about his transphobic joke on The Jonathan Ross Show.

Ross mentioned a recent news story about Thai airline PC Air’s decision to hire transgender flight crew. ‘They’re going to recruit more lady boys to be air stewards,’ he quipped . . .  He continued: ‘The biggest shock on that plane, I imagine, is when the plane hits turbulence because it’s not just the oxygen masks which fall down in front of your face.

‘What a great way to spend the flight though because you wouldn’t need puzzles or a movie. You’d just be, “Is she? Is he? Is she?” ‘And when you want to find out the answer you just press the buzzer and go, “Excuse me, do you have any nuts?”’

But some viewers, such as @cocoteacups, didn’t see the funny side."


1-30-12:  Huffington Post (with video; orig. posted 1-27): "Transgender Children", by Blake Owen Miggleton, Jr., Transgender teen

"This video is an update of my eighth week on testosterone. I've been noticing a little facial hair growth and also some increase in muscle mass.

This week I would like to tell you about a movie I watched at the Berkshire Museum that has to do with confusion about ones gender. It is a French independent film called Tomboy. It is about a 10-year-old who moves to a new town and begins presenting as a boy named Mikael. He meets a lot of new friends and a girl who is interested in him. But once Mikael's mother discovers what he's been doing, she tells his friends and they start to bully him.

Throughout the movie, it is unclear whether Mikael/Laure is a transgender boy or just a girl who is androgynous or confused about gender. But either way, it made me feel very sad to see the way Mikael's former friends treated him once they found out his secret. It reminded me very much of another transgender film called Boys Don't Cry. But unlike Brandon Teena, a real life young adult transman, Mikael was just a little kid. Although he was a fictional character, I felt a deep sympathy for him."


1-30-12:  The Age (Australia; orig. posted 5-15-10): "How the sex bias prevails", by Shankar Vedantam

[A well-framed essay on a vital topic. Hadn't seen this before, and want to make sure others see it too.]

"Madeline Heilman at New York University once conducted an experiment in which she told volunteers about a manager. Some were told, "Subordinates have often described Andrea as someone who is tough yet outgoing and personable. She is known to reward individual contributions and has worked hard to maximise employees' creativity." Other volunteers were told, "Subordinates have often described James as someone who is tough yet outgoing and personable. He is known to reward individual contributions and has worked hard to maximise employees' creativity."

The only difference between what the groups were told was that some people thought they were hearing about a leader named Andrea while others thought they were hearing about a leader named James. Heilman asked her volunteers to estimate how likeable Andrea and James were as people. Three-quarters thought James was more likeable than Andrea. Using a clever experimental design, Heilman also determined that four in five volunteers preferred to have James as their boss. Andrea seemed less likeable merely because she was a woman who happened to be a leader . . .

Bias is much harder to demonstrate scientifically in real life, which may be why large numbers of people do not believe that sexism and other forms of prejudice still exist. Many people think we live in a "post-racial" and "post-sexist" world where egalitarian notions are the norm. Indeed, if you go by what people report, we do live in a bias-free world, because most people report feeling no prejudice whatsoever.

What would be remarkably instructive in real life would be if women in various professions could experience life as men, and vice versa. If the same person got treated differently, we would be sure sexism was at work, because the only thing that changed was the sex of the individual and not his or her skills, talent, knowledge, experience, or interests.

Joan Roughgarden and Ben Barres are biologists at Stanford University. Both are researchers at one of the premier academic institutions in the country; both are tenured professors. Both are transgendered people. Stanford has been a welcoming home for these scientists; if you are going to be a transgendered person anywhere in the United States, it would be difficult to imagine a place more tolerant than Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area . . .

[The article continues with in-depth analyses of the before/after differences in the treatments of Barres and Roughgarden as they transitioned in different directions, revealing the deeply-embedded sexism that still exists in academia78.]


1-28-12:  American Psychological Association (DIV 32; posted 1-09-12): "Open Letter Committee of the Society for Humanistic Psychology Calls for Independent Review of DSM-5" (The psychologists' APA challenges the pychiatrists'[ APA!)

"As you know, it is common practice for scientists and scholars to submit their work to others for independent review. We believe it is time for an independent group of scientists and scholars, who have no vested interest in the outcome, to do an external, independent review of the controversial portions of the DSM-5. We consider this especially important in light of the unprecedented criticism of the proposed DSM-5 by thousands of mental health professionals, as well as mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe.

Will you submit the controversial proposals in DSM-5 to an independent group of scientists and scholars with no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association for an independent, external review?

We respectfully ask that you not respond again with assurances about internal reviews and field trials because such assurances, at this point, are not sufficient. We believe an external, independent review is critical in terms of ensuring the proposed DSM-5 is safe and credible. If you are unwilling to submit the controversial proposals for external, independent review, we respectfully ask that you provide a detailed rationale for your refusal."

[APA Division 32 throws down a challenge to the American Psychiatric Association.]


1-28-12:  American Psychiatric Association: "Letter in response to the call for an independent review of the DSM-5", by John M. Oldham, M.D., President"  (The response!)

"There is in fact no outside organization that has the capacity to replicate the range of expertise that DSM-5 has assembled over the past decade to review diagnostic criteria for mental disorders . . .

Since there is no “gold standard” for defining mental disorders and many other medical disorders without pathognomonic biological markers, each revision of diagnostic criteria has been seen as the best current set of diagnostic criteria that are meant to be used in clinical practice and tested for their validity . . . The work groups and the review groups have closely attended to these and an expanded set of validity criteria that are contained in the Guidelines for Making Changes to DSM on the website . . .

The work groups are accessing more than 30 years of research since the DSM III was first published in making their recommendations. Some of the proposed changes, such as the inclusion of more dimensional components, have been recommended by members of previous Task Forces and by many participants in the National Institutes of Health-sponsored conference series leading up to the Task Force. We will also have empirical data from our field trials on how these and other proposed changes are working. Final decisions about the revisions will only be made after all of these reviews are completed.

We hope that this additional information is responsive to your members, colleagues, and individuals who use mental health services to clarify that we are undertaking an exceptionally extensive review process involving an international and multidisciplinary clinical and scientific group of experts.

[I.e, the American Psychiatric Association completely dismisses the request of the American Psychological Association's Div 32.]


1-27-12:  The Mainichi Daily News (Japan): "Sex-change husband to file suit to register son as legitimate child"

"A 29-year-old man, who was born a woman but has legally changed his sexual status due to gender identity disorder, plans to file a lawsuit demanding that the government acknowledge his son born by artificial insemination as his legitimate child, he told Kyodo News Thursday.

"I want (the country) to recognize him as our child," the man, who resides in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, said. "I have decided to file a suit in Tokyo so that the Justice Ministry will take this issue seriously."

The man changed his sex from female to male in 2008 and got married. His wife gave birth to the boy the following year through artificial insemination using his younger brother's semen.

But when the couple submitted the birth registration at a municipal office in Hyogo Prefecture where they lived at that time, they were told the boy cannot be registered as his legitimate child because he is not the biological father. As a result, the boy, now 2, remains without a family register."


1-27-12:  SDLGN: "In Maryland, lies will not stop passage of laws to protect transgender people" (more)

"All of us who have worked long and hard for equality under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people know how strangely eager some people are to twist and distort the truth about us and our lives. Their ultimate goal? To dissuade public officials from passing laws to end discrimination. I won’t even dignify the ugliest things they like say by repeating them, but you know what I am talking about. Our opponents also make sweeping claims about what terrible things will happen if laws are changed to protect us from the bias and discrimination of others. Often their assertions are rhetorical, but sometimes they are so direct they can be squarely disproved.

And that is exactly what happened in Maryland last week, where a police chief caught anti-lgbt activists lying, and news of same went public in The Baltimore Sun."


1-27-12:  Sydney Morning Herald TV (Australia): "Transgender Kids"

"From the moment we're born, our gender identity is no secret. We're either a boy or a girl. Gender organises our world into pink or blue. As we grow up, most of us naturally fit into our gender roles. But for some children, what's between their legs doesn't match what's between their ears - they insist they were born into the wrong body. They are transgender children, diagnosed with gender identity disorder, or gender dismorphia, and their parents insist this is not a phase. Most transgender children still live in the shadows, hiding from a world that sees them as freaks of nature. Rejected by their families, many grow up hating their bodies, and fall victim to high rates of depression, drug abuse and even suicide. Today, hundreds of families with transgender children - who have found each other over the Internet - are taking a dramatically different course. They're allowing their children to live in the gender they identify with, in order to save them from a future of heartache and pain."


1-27-12:  Media Bistro: "LA Writer Pens Transgender Romance Novel" (more)

"Jaime Stryker‘s new romance novel Two Spirit Ranch sounds at first plot-glance like pretty standard genre fare. A successful female lawyer flees Manhattan for the quieter confines of Montana, where she meets and falls in love with a local sheriff. But the heroine of this one is actually a transgendered female. The title of LA based Stryker’s book is derived from an old Native American belief that some tribe members could assume the identity of the opposite sex and “still be accepted and respected by their community.”"


1-26-12:  Huffington Post: "Once a Daughter, Now a Son: The Mother of a Transgender Child Shares Her Emotional Transition"

"Two years ago, a woman named Kathy had a pivotal conversation with her daughter. At the young age of 24, her daughter told her she wanted to transition from being the woman Kathy and her husband had raised into the man she had wanted for so many years to become.

Without hesitation, Kathy found an online peer support group for parents of transgender kids that she says "saved her sanity" and provided "the support, compassion and information" she needed in order to process this new information.

Two months later communication between parents and daughter broke down, and anger took over. Kathy knew she needed to find a way to express her feelings, so she put pen to paper and wrote a letter she titled, "Things I Know," a list expressing her emotions that she hoped would inspire the two to rekindle their relationship. According to Kathy, "The letter I wrote made a huge difference." . . .

A year after sharing her letter with her daughter, now her son Marcus, Kathy updated her original note to reflect the journey she and her son had experienced together. An excerpt of the list summarized below demonstrates the difference a single year can make as Kathy went through her own emotional transition."


1-26-12:  WTAW: "Transgender Widow Gets Jail for Theft" (more)

"A Houston judge has sentenced the transgender widow of a fallen firefighter to almost two months in jail after she pleaded guilty to theft involving a wristwatch. Nikki Araguz was sentenced to 50 days in jail Wednesday after she confessed to stealing the Rolex off the wrist of a woman she met at a Houston bar Feb. 24. Her attorney says Araguz has already paid $2,800 in restitution for the watch."


1-26-12:  The Sun (UK): "Couple tell of journey from Mr & Mr to Mrs & Mrs - A PAIR of transsexual lesbians spoke of their joy at becoming "man and wife" AND "wife and wife" on day-time telly"

"Jenny-Anne Bishop, 65 — formerly known as Paul — and Elen Heart, 68, previously called Alan, have put their lives as men behind them.

Initally they got together as a male gay couple in 2004. Today the pair revealed how they were born in the wrong bodies and their journey to become "wife and wife".

The couple — who have five children and three marriages behind them — opened up to This Morning hosts Holly Willougby and Phillip Schofield about their transformation."


1-25-12:  Nashville Scene: "Ignoring Critics, Floyd Repeats Threat Against Transgender People"

"Gov. Bill Haslam seems sympathetic to fears that anti-gay rhetoric in the legislature could lead to more harassment and violence against GLBT people in Tennessee. Asked at a news conference today whether he shares that concern, the governor said: "Obviously, that’s not the environment we want to set in Tennessee. In terms of legislation, I think there’s better things for us to focus on this year."

But Rep. Richard Floyd remains unrepentant. Pith asked Floyd today whether he’d like to take back that threat to “stomp a mudhole” in any transgender person who offended his wife or daughters . . . "Do I regret saying it? No, I don’t regret saying it. Would I do it? Yes I would. Or try. ""


1-25-12:  Huffington Post (originally posted 12-05-11): "Brooke Fantelli, California Transgender Woman, Allegedly Tased In The Crotch By Imperial County Desert Rangers (VIDEO)"

"A California transgender woman is reportedly planning a civil lawsuit after allegedly being tased in the abdomen and in the genital area by officials. As LGBT Weekly is reporting, Brooke Fantelli, who is apparently a well-known figure in the off-road racing community, was allegedly stopped by a ranger while in the midst of a photo shoot in the Imperial County desert.

Though the 43-year-old Fantelli had been living as a woman for some time, she had been told by her physician that she needed to live two full years as a female before she could change her California identification. Only when the ranger saw Brooke’s identification card did the hostile interaction begin, according to the report.  Fantelli said the ranger went from referring to her as "ma'am," "her," and "she" to “sir,” "him," and eventually "dude." She said she was eventually told by the ranger that she was being arrested for being drunk in public after consuming beer (Fantelli claims she had two and a half beers, the officer said she had four) before finally being subjected to the excessive force."


1-24-12:  SFGN: "Albert Nobbs: A Complex Portrait of Gender Identity in Victorian Dublin"

"In her new film, Albert Nobbs, opening in South Florida theaters this weekend, Glenn Close portrays a woman, passing as a man in 19th century Dublin, in a performance that will raise much more complicated questions about gender identity than mere survival in a male-dominated world. This is no Victor/Victoria or Tootsie, however.

The diminutive, asexual Nobbs is a butler at a posh Dublin hotel. Trained—and perfectly content—to disappear into his surroundings, except when a bell summons him to his well-to-do guests . . .
Albert’s routine is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of the cocky Hubert Paige (Janet McTeer), temporarily hired to paint the hotel and assigned to share Nobbs’s room. When Albert’s secret is accidentally revealed, Paige makes a shocking revelation of his own that sets Albert’s very notion of existence on end. It seems he too is a “she,” having taken his act one step further and taken a wife (Bronagh Gallagher), living as a married couple."


1-24-12:  Republica (Nepal): "Transgenders taking the pill to look beautiful"

"Preeti Rana, 21, (name changed) always wanted to have soft hands and feet and a well-defined feminine figure despite having been born a male. Thanks to hormonal pills that (she thinks) have enhanced her beauty, she has not only been increasingly noticed by males but has even been proposed to by three guys within just the last eight months.

"I was shocked, but of course also extremely delighted, when I was proposed to; it was proof I really looked like a girl," Rana said blushing. "But I had a hard time pleading ´sorry´ with them". The stunningly beautiful Rana has been using the medicines since the last two years."


1-24-12:  Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Transgender Issues: Are you “A Queer Person”?"", by Jillian Page

"So how do you feel about being called “a queer person”? It’s happening more and more: some gay people are “reclaiming” the word and applying it to all LGBT people . . .

Increasingly these days, the “queer” word is appearing in the media. In fact, it’s in an article on our website tonight. It’s about a new book series focusing on LGBT films — mostly gay films, I think. The book series is called Queer Film Classics, and its mission is “to introduce a treasure trove of influential yet overlooked films about and by queer people.”

Personally, I don’t mind if someone wants to reclaim the word “queer,” but I don’t like the idea of using it to refer to people who might be uncomfortable with it. I don’t think anybody has the right to take such liberties . . . but it is happening, whether trans people (or LGB people) like it or not."


1-24-12:  The Telegraph (UK): "The transgender taboo is a threat to academic freedom", by Ed West

"The Sunday Times over the weekend had a feature about six children suffering from Gender Identity Disorder who are being given drugs to delay the onset of puberty, giving them more time to decide whether they wish to change sex later in life . . .

And yet the strange thing is that, taking aside the fact that “blockers” may affect cognitive ability and bone density, there's actually no accepted medical proof or consensus that sex change operations actually help someone's mental health . . .

Yet that hasn't stopped the growth of a political orthodoxy that boys and girls are sometimes born into the wrong bodies . . . is best fixed by hormone treatment and/or surgery later in life; and that anyone who finds this uncomfortable suffers themselves from a psychological condition, apparently, called transphobia.

This is the only explanation acceptable to the media and, indeed, the state, which spends a fair deal of money (which we don’t have) combating transphobia. Yet at the moment science is still quite confused about Gender Identity Disorder, and what is acceptable to say about it is constrained by taboo and threats, and academics who argue against the standard political narrative tend to get persecuted."

[The emergence of supportive medical treatment for transgender teens in the UK seems to have triggered a major meltdown among Zucker and Bailey fans.]


1-23-12:  The Daily Mail (UK):  "NHS has paid for 'gender-confused' children to have puberty-delaying jabs... so they can have sex changes when they're older"

"Six children in Britain will be given jabs to delay the puberty on the NHS because they are convinced they were born the wrong sex. The injections - to be administered monthly - will postpone the physical changes of adolescence giving them more time to make decisions about their identity. It will also make any sex-change operation far easier should they decide to permanently swap gender . . .

The injections contain drugs called hypothalamic blockers which suppress their sex hormones delaying the onset of puberty. In the past ten years they have been increasingly used in countries such as the US and the Netherlands to give children time to think about their identity. However, endocrinologists have expressed concerns that blockers could impact on a teenager's cognitive abilities and bone density.

Meanwhile Dr Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist at a specialist children's gender clinic in Toronto, believes social conditioning may be playing a part. He notes that children can find it hard to think in shades of grey - a boy who likes 'girlie' things can then assume he is a girl. With enough therapy, Dr Zucker believes children with GID can think more flexibly about gender and become comfortable with their birth sex."


1-23-12:  The Sun (UK): "The confused kids putting off puberty - Drugs halt sexuality until children choose gender . . . "

"Six children are being turned into real-life Peter Pans because parents say the kids are unsure about their gender. They have been prescribed drugs by an NHS clinic to delay puberty so later gender-change ops will be easier to carry out . . .

Critics say it is damaging because up to eight out of ten youngsters who think they are the wrong sex will change their minds after reaching puberty.

Supporters dispute this and say that almost a quarter of kids aged between 11 and 15 who are gender-unsure will be self-harmers — three times the average."


1-23-12:  Huffington Post: "Tennessee Lawmaker Threatens Trans Women with Violence"  (more, more, more, more, more)

"On Jan. 12 Tennessee State Representative Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) said he would "stomp a mudhole" into any transgender woman he saw attempting to use a women's restroom. That phrase means to sexually and violently assault someone to the point where they are unable to fight back. So far, Rep. Floyd's comments have been largely ignored and unchallenged by the mainstream media. How could something so incredibly outrageous and disgusting go unreported?

We are living in a world in which transgender people face extremely high rates of violence and discrimination. Every year I attend the Transgender Day of Remembrance and hear a new list of names of trans people who have been murdered. And, sadly, in my workplace, I hear stories of violence and discrimination on a regular basis. Rep. Floyd's hateful remarks validate people's misconceptions about transgender people and incite violence against anyone who is gender-nonconforming. "


1-23-12:  The Guardian (UK): "A transgender journey: Are you experienced? - Juliet Jacques reports on the 'Real Life Experience' living as a woman required by medical professionals before she can set a date for gender reassignment surgery"

""You won't see us again until after the operation" says my secondary clinician at the West London Mental Health Trust Gender Identity Clinic, supporting my main therapist's recommendation that I be referred for surgery. The questions – about whether I've made the right decision, about how family, friends and colleagues have reacted to my coming out and how I've dealt with transphobia – are over. Having lived and worked as female for two years, I've finally completed the Real Life Experience . . .

I thought I'd be jubilant, but leaving, I feel strangely indifferent. Perhaps this is because the referral represents a strange mid-point: I addressed the RLE's main challenges and became comfortable with my new reality so long ago that it seems surreal to link this official end to the (sometimes fraught) process of managing my social interactions; but 27 months after entering the pathway, I neither have a date for surgery nor any idea when I'll get one."


1-22-12:  New Orleans Times Picayune: "Transgendered Girl Scout in Colorado causes stir in St. Tammany"

"A Girl Scout troop on the north shore has collapsed after parents withdrew their children in the wake of a decision by a Colorado troop to admit a 7-year-old transgendered child. That's a move they saw as an objectionable leftward drift in Girl Scouting.

Louisiana Girl Scouts have never been asked to admit a transgendered child, said Marianne Addy, the spokeswoman for Girl Scouts Louisiana East, which provides scouting activities for 17,000 girls. And soon after the Colorado decision last fall, Louisiana Scouting directors, who are free to set local policy, decided transgendered children would not be allowed should one ever apply.

But Susan Cramond, a troop leader who had two children in the group that met at Northlake Christian School in Covington, said she and other like-minded parents felt Louisiana Scouting policy-makers should never have had to discuss the transgender issue in the first place. Cramond said when she first contacted Louisiana’s Scouting leaders to ask whether a transgendered child could be accepted into a local troop, she didn’t get the quick and unequivocal “no” she was hoping for.

So Cramond and fellow troop leader Susan Bryant-Snure, a Lacombe doctor, informed other parents. She said they collectively decided to abandon the Girl Scouts and seek affiliation with American Heritage Girls, a similar organization that describes itself as a “Christ-centered leadership and character development ministry.”"


1-21-12:  Huffington Post: "Transgender Rights: U.S. confronts Bathroom Issue once again", by Autumn Sandeen

"U.S. civil rights movements — ones formed to address the oppression of minority populations — have often had significant pushback by societal oppressors that have included bathroom and/or significant shower components . . .

And in the relatively new “bathroom bill” meme argument against trans people and their civil rights — especially used in relationship to trans women — is that “men in dresses”/”transvestites” are bathroom predators to be feared. Trans women are perceived to be sexual deviants, and as “men in dresses”/”transvestites” it’s argued that trans women — or men posing to be trans women — will engage in predatory behavior towards women and children in public restrooms and showers . . .

Let’s not make civil rights about bathrooms yet again.

This discussion of bathrooms is as wrong as can be. We don’t, or at least we shouldn’t, base equality under the law on others’ fears – if we did, we’d still have Jim Crow laws in the American south in part because many white men and women were afraid of what black men may do to white women — many still are afraid. We also wouldn’t have repeal of DADT because of a fear that most gays and lesbians are hypersexual sexual deviants that will leer at and rape their peer service members in latrine and shower facilities. Facts and logic don’t support these fears, but imagined fears are what many in majority society based their oppression of African-Americans, gays, and lesbians upon."


1-19-12:  Huffington Post: "Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Governor, Signs Transgender Equal Rights Bill Into Effect"

"Massachusetts officially became the 16th state to treat transgender citizens as a protected class today as Governor Deval Patrick hosted a ceremonial signing of the groundbreaking rights bill.

As Colorlines is reporting, the law legally protects transgender individuals from discrimination in housing, education, employment and credit, in addition to providing additional civil rights and protections from hate crimes.

"I sign this bill as a matter of conscience; people should be able to come before their government as equals," Patrick is quoted as having said as he signed "An Act Relative to Gender Identity" into law. Though Patrick had actually signed the bill in his office in late November, Thursday's event was a ceremonial start-of-the-year one that drew an overflowing crowd from the local transgender community, local network WWLP is reporting. "


1-19-12:  JTA News:  "Boston doctor finds treating transgender youth a transforming experience"

"As the co-founder of the country’s first clinic devoted to treating children with gender disorders, and as a leading authority on transgender youth, Spack has found himself at the forefront of efforts to educate the public about a widely misunderstood condition and to help transgender people secure their fundamental rights. “If we shun people, we never get the experience of knowing how special they are and understanding how courageous they are,” Spack told JTA.

A pediatric endocrinologist with deep roots in Boston's Jewish community, Spack was first exposed to transgenderism, a medical condition in which individuals do not identify with the gender into which they were born, in the mid-1970s. Spack at the time was treating street kids as a volunteer on a medical van in Boston. Many of the young people were “throwaway kids,” Spack said, having been shunned by their families and schools for gender variant behavior.

A decade later, a colleague referred a transgender patient to Spack -- a young adult Spack referred to as M. Unlike the street kids he'd seen earlier, M was a Harvard graduate. M would open up a whole new world for Spack. In exchange for medical care, he introduced the doctor to his friends, other young adults who were transgender . . . The experience proved to be a turning point. Spack began providing medical care for young adults and later older adults who were transgender. At the time, many physicians were reluctant to take on transgender patients; it's a problem that continues today.

In 2007, Spack co-founded the Gender Management Service Clinic, or GeMS, at Children's Hospital. The clinic has treated nearly 100 patients, most for birth disorders or other sexual development conditions. About one-third of the patients are treated with hormonal suppressants that delay the onset of puberty -- a controversial treatment that is fully reversible. Spack acknowledges the opposition to this sort of early intervention, but argues that transgender youth have high rates of self-harm and suicide attempts . . .

Treating these young people with hormonal suppressants is a way of buying them precious time, Spack argues. When they are teens, they are better able to decide whether or not to take the next step of taking the hormones of the opposite sex that triggers permanent physical change."


1-19-12:  The Daily Mail (UK re Czech Republic): "Transsexual 'posing as gynaecologist treated dozens of women at illegal practice'"

"A transsexual who posed as a gynaecologist and treated dozens of women at an illegal practice is today facing up to five years in jail. Alexandra Svobodova - born Martin Sloboda before undergoing a sex change operation - carried out internal examinations on her unsuspecting patients . . .

Six years ago, using the alias Sandra Svobodova, she posed as a lawyer representing high-profile clients in arbitration cases. After swindling £5million out of her customers, she was arrested and convicted of fraud in 2009. She was given a suspended sentence of one year."


1-18-12:  The Intersex Network (OII re UK): "Now they are LGBT+… are the UK’s Liberal Democrats moving towards overt intersex inclusion?"

"WE were pleasantly surprised to see that the United Kingdom’s LGBT Liberal Democrats wing of the Liberal Democrat party is now calling itself the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats."


1-18-12:  The Guardian (UK re Turkey): "From homophobia to a moving apology in Turkey - As a groundbreaking film launches, Turkish attitudes to gay and transgender people are slowly improving – in the media at least"

"Last week was tumultuous for Turkey's gay and transsexual people. A groundbreaking indie movie, Zenne Dancer, finally hit the screens, after winning five major awards at the country's foremost film festival, and receiving a shower of attention from the mass media – a shower that unfortunately quickly turned cold.

In daily parlance the word zenne refers to a man who dresses up like a woman and dances in front of an audience, a custom that goes way back to early Ottoman empire. The film itself is inspired by a true story, that of Ahmet Yildiz, a student who was gunned down by his own father for being openly and unrepentantly homosexual . . . "


1-18-12:  Windy City Times: "Store's specialty: transgender women"

"The yellow-brick boutique across from the Arlington Heights Village Hall was the talk of the town when it set up shop 12 years ago. It's a simple affair, built in the geometric style of an '80s strip mall . . . the building is, well, ordinary—from the outside.

Transformations by Rori (110 S. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights) is the only full-service commercial shop for transgender women in the Chicago area. (Its sister store is located in Key Largo, Fla.). The boutique is a refuge for those who have long embraced their inner chic and for those taking their first teetering steps in stilettos. It has two dressing rooms and a beauty bar where the staff works their magic. In walks a suit and tie; out walks Kimberley, Gina or Erica . . .

Transformations mirrors its clientele—you can't judge the business from the outside alone. It's not just a shop selling frills to the fringes of society. Transformation's true trade is in affirmation. It's a place where folks can shed the gender-role straight jacket and don a dress of ambiguity. From the high school student with two lip rings looking for a place to wear his wig, to the timid, middle-aged person who has finally found an outlet for the nagging sensation of being wrapped in the wrong color blanket at birth, there's a place for everyone."


1-17-12:  BBC News (UK):  "172 gender reassignment procedures took place in 2010"

"New figures from the Department of Health show a rise in the number of sexual transformation procedures. In the last 12 years the number of procedures in England has risen from 49 in the year 1999/2000 to 172 in 2010/11 . . .

Gendered Intelligence is a company which works with young transgender people from across the UK. It says it is seeing more cases of people identifying themselves as transgender at a younger age. It says this is likely to be down to more people being aware of transgender identities through the internet and television. Co-founder Jay Stewart told Newsbeat: "Compared to 2010, in 2011 our numbers of young people coming through the door or making enquiries has nearly doubled to about 500."

Mermaids, a charity which supports young transgender people under 19 and their families, also told Newsbeat that it has experienced an increase in inquires from parents, individuals and professionals regarding younger people."


1-17-12:  The Daily Beast: "The Transgender Revolution - From Albert Nobbs to "Dancing With the Stars" to the "Work It" controversy to the Girl Scouts, transgender issues are everywhere."

"Are we having a trans moment? Until recently, transgender issues were nearly invisible in the mainstream press—but now, everywhere you turn, transgender stories are being told. From Andrej Pejic and Lea T, two trans models currently walking the high-fashion runways, to the outrage over Work It, the hapless, now-canceled ABC comedy featuring two men who resort to drag to get a job, transgender awareness is growing exponentially by the moment . . .

Even the Girl Scouts have entered the fray. When a trans child was denied admittance into a Girl Scouts troop in Colorado, the child’s parents appealed and the Girl Scout relented. But that decision wasn’t pleasing to everyone: A Girl Scout, known only as Taylor from Ventura County, Calif., called for a boycott over the organization’s open-mindedness, resulting in countercalls from trans supporters vowing to buy even more cookies. And more important, last month, a federal-court ruling in favor of Vandiver Elizabeth Glenn, who was fired from her job after coming out as transgender, led Time magazine to declare transgender people’s legal issues to be the next big civil-rights frontier."


1-14-12:  Entertainment Weekly: "ABC fires polarizing comedy 'Work It'" (more, more)

"ABC has cancelled the controversial cross-dressing comedy Work It after two episodes . . .

Out of the gate, Work It was dismissed by both critics (who criticized its brand of comedy) and the gay community (for the message it supposedly communicated). The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign took to out an ad in a Hollywood trade to show how the sitcom . . . have a negative impact on the transgender community. Using photos of transgender Americans, an ad in Variety features statistics from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force on discrimination to demonstrate how the comedy could be misinterpreted by viewers."


1-14-12:  The Sun (UK): "Sex swap teenager to enter Miss England contest"

"A TEENAGE transsexual has become the first sex swap patient to enter the Miss England beauty pageant.

Jackie Green became the UK's youngest transsexual after an op in Thailand on her 16th birthday. The 18-year-old — who was born Jack but lived as a girl since age ten — was asked to enter by modelling scouts who had no idea of her history.

The aspiring model, from Leeds, hopes to use the opportunity to speak out about bullying and transgender issues. She said: "I went to the Britain's Next Top Model show in London and was really surprised when scouts came up to me. Miss England is a prestigious competition. I'd love to win. I've as good a chance as anyone.""


1-14-12:  The Guardian (UK): "Should trans screen roles be played by trans actors? - Transsexual characters promote positive discussion, regardless of who plays them. But trans actors need more opportunities"

"Critiquing stereotypical portrayals in Whipping Girl, Julia Serano stated that "in a world where transsexual and intersex works of art … are not considered mainstream enough to be nominated for Emmys and Pulitzers, the facade presented in [HBO drama] Normal … profoundly shapes audience opinions about transsexual and intersex people". The problem, argued Serano, was that Normal appropriated gender-variant experiences without including transgender perspectives, replacing them with the director's unchallenged prejudices, which, intentionally or not, felt deeply transphobic."


1-13-12:  Houston Chronicle: "Transgender widow jailed for tardiness"

"After Nikki Araguz, the transgendered widow at the center of a controversial lawsuit, was 40 minutes late to what was supposed to be her final appearance in criminal court Friday, a judge decided the Harris County Sheriff's Office will make sure she is not late for her next setting . . . She admonished the 36-year-old, then ordered a bailiff to put her in a holding cell next to the courtroom.

It was not the first time the polarizing defendant had raised the judge's blood pressure. Araguz was expected to admit to stealing a Rolex from an acquaintance at a bar last year in exchange for 30 days in jail and restitution. This was the second time Araguz was late to court, and it was not the first time a judge had to raise their voice."


1-13-12:  Out&About  (posted 1-12): "Chattanooga lawmaker threatens to 'stomp' transgender people - Rep. Richard Floyd has introduced a bill requiring birth-gender bathroom" (more, more, more, more)

"Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, has introduced a bill that would prohibit people from using public bathrooms and dressing rooms that don’t match the gender listed on their birth certificates. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Floyd introduced the bill after reading a news article about a Texas woman who said she was fired from Macy's after stopping a male dressed as a woman from using a dressing room.

“It could happen here,” Floyd said. “I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.”"

[This public official openly advocates life-threatening violence against transgender people, and from his snarly-mouthings in the video at this link it's clear this guy really means it. Be warned: if someone in such a mental state ever comes after you, it's time to either run like hell or prepare to fight for your life.]

[Note: Under Tennessee law, transgender people can not change the gender on their birth certificates, even after SRS.  Under the proposed new law, socially-transitioned transpeople in Tennessee could be challenged to show their BC's whenever using a public restroom or dressing room.  Imagine the fear and intimidation this would cause, especially among 'out' transitioners born in Tennessee, as hateful transphobes began ratting-them-out when they used such facilities.]


1-13-12:  YouTube: "A Brother's Perspective: Part 1", by Moonfire1777  (Part 2)
"My brother and I are answering your questions! Stayed tuned for more in the future!"

[A young transwoman and her brother discuss her family's adjustment to her transition and answer many viewers questions. See other links on Moonfire's channel for more information.]


1-13-12:  The Mainichi Daily News (Japan): "Minimum age lowered for starting hormone treatment for gender identity disorder"

"The youngest age at which hormone treatment for people with gender identity disorder (GID) can begin was lowered from 18 to 15 by the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology on Jan. 12. The decision was motivated by the fact that many young people with the disorder are so tormented by it that they attempt suicide or stop going to school . . .

It has also been decided to allow the use of anti-hormones that temporarily stop the development of secondary sex characteristics at puberty."


1-13-12:  MSNBC: "Woman says her fake penis got her fired - Worker says she was debating gender reassignment when she wore a prosthetic penis to work at a snack factory" (more, more, more)

"A northeastern Pennsylvania woman says she was fired from her job at a frozen-snack factory for wearing a prosthetic penis to work while contemplating gender reassignment. She is now suing.

Pauline Davis, 45, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday against J&J Snack Foods Corp., a maker of frozen sweets and other snacks, over her termination from the company's plant in Moosic, near Scranton.

Davis says she wore the prosthetic to work as a line inspector, confiding in several co-workers about the device, and someone told management . . . According to the suit, Davis was fired even though the device didn't interfere with her work. Davis' suit claims a male employee undergoing hormone treatments and female clothing was treated more favorably."


1-13-12:  WFAA-TV: "Transgender policy sparks Girl Scout cookie controversy"

"Girl Scout cookies are coming with a side of controversy this year.

"I ask all fellow Girl Scouts who want a true all girl experience not to sell any cookies," said a girl scout on a youtube video. A California scout is calling for a boycott of cookie sales, after the organization agreed to allow a transgender child in Colorado to join.

Now, supporters are coming to the organization's defense."


1-13-12:  The Atlantic Wire: "Anti-Transgender Rant Will Be a Boon to Girl Scout Cookie Sales"

"The latest person to troll Girl Scout with her weird social hangups thinks people shouldn't buy their signature cookies because the scouts let a transgender girl in last year, but it looks like her plan is going to backfire and cookie sales will climb. A video appeared last week, featuring a Ventura, Ca. girl identified only as Taylor, who said the organization was using proceeds from the cookie sales to promote "the desires of a small handful of people," Huffington Post reported on Wednesday. Sherry Sybesma, the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast, confirmed to us that the girl in the video is registered as a member of the council she runs. From what Girl Scouts administrators told us, and from what we're seeing online, the boycott effort is going to lead to more sales, if anything, from indignant supporters of the scouts and their decision last fall to accept a Colorado transgender kid named Bobby Montoya as a member. The group that apparently produced the video, called Honest Girl Scouts, has already started to walk it back."


1-12-12:  Daily Mail (UK): "'I have a boyfriend': Warren Beatty's transgender son reveals he has new lover" (more)
"Warren Beatty's transgender son has revealed he has a boyfriend. Stephen, 20, posted messages about the relationship on Twitter, revealing he received a home-made pair of socks for his recent birthday from his beau.

It is unclear whether his Dick Tracy star father approves, although he reportedly toasted his 'brave son' at a special family dinner in Hollywood last month."


1-12-12:  The Local (Sweden): "Sweden keeps sex-change sterilization law" (more)

"A move to scrap Swedish laws requiring compulsory sterilization for people undergoing gender reassignment surgery has been put on ice following opposition from the Christian Democrats. Opposition parties decried the move, claiming that a majority of members in the Riksdag support efforts to ditch the demand. 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."


1-12-12:  Telegraph (UK): "Sean Bean takes on transsexual role - Hardman actor Sean Bean plays 'Tracie' in transsexual role for BBC courtroom drama Accused." (more, more)

"TV hardman Sean Bean is to show off his more feminine side playing a transsexual in a courtroom drama. Bean, who made his name in the Napoleonic war drama Sharpe, dons a mini-skirt and a blonde wig for the role in the new series of BBC1's Accused . . .

Bean plays an English teacher called Simon Gaskell and his alter ego, Tracie Tremarco, whose quest for love leads to the courtroom."


1-12-12:  Southport Visitor (UK): "Pre-op transsexual Sandy Manley on why he’s now ready to be a woman"

"He said: “There is a big difference between knowing what you want and being ready for it.” His first tentative outings to ‘cut his teeth’ as a woman were in 2004 in the pubs and clubs around Manchester’s Canal Street. From there, he ventured to the Trafford centre.

He said: “When I first got there, I thought everyone was looking at me. Then I stopped and thought; ‘no, they’re not’, and I relaxed and enjoyed it.“ Seven years on from that day, and Sandy, of Southbank Road, seems happy and optimistic about the future. He finally decided he was ‘ready’ for the operation in the summer of 2010 and changed his name to Alexandra Clare Manley, or Sandy."


1-11-12:  Pakistan Today (Pakistan): "Male or female? Transgenders will now have a choice"

"Following the orders of the Supreme Court, the Sindh Election Commission on Tuesday convened a meeting with representatives of the transgender community at the commission’s provincial head office in Karachi to ensure that the names of their community members are entered in the voters list ahead of the upcoming elections.

Leaders of the transgender community would be asked whether they want their names to be entered in the ‘male’ column or the ‘female’ column, as many community members have female names, while others have male names.

The apex court had ordered the government to ensure that the names of the members of the transgender community are entered in the voters list, as this would prove beneficial for them to acquire proper jobs."


1-11-12:  The Montreal Gazette (Canada; posted 1-09): "Was the “Transgender” Necessary in David O. Russell Reports?"

"Hmm . . . Was it really necessary for the media to report that film director David O. Russell groped the breasts of his 19-year-old “transgender” niece? When I first saw the story, I wondered why the media felt compelled to refer to her as “transgender” person. Wouldn’t it have been enough to just say “groped the breasts of his niece”?

Hmm . . .Apparently, some media outlets feel the fact that the niece is transitioning is important to the story because Russell says he was curious about his niece’s breast enhancement/development and was invited to touch them during a workout at the gym.

Whatever the case, the police have determined that the incident was consensual and there will be no further investigation. But charges could still come from the state attorney’s office if the niece pursues the case any further."


1-11-12:  The Dominion Post (New Zealand): "Libra advert doesn't get the girls"

"Explaining, they say, is losing - especially when it comes to humour. If you have to explain why something's funny, then whatever it is you're explaining, it isn't a joke.

The same is true of advertisements: they either work or they don't. An advertisement that relies on humour that you have to explain is pretty much the definition of failure."


1-10-12:  Entertainment Weekly: "ABC chief on 'Work It' harming transgender community: 'I don't get it'"

"Sorry, GLAAD — ABC Entertainment topper Paul Lee doesn’t get why you have issues with Work It.

While talking to reporters at the annual Television Critics Tour in Pasadena today, Lee said he was stumped by a campaign from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign that accuses the cross dressing comedy of being harmful to transgenders. “I didn’t really get it,” he said. “I loved Tootsie. I still love Tootsie . . . ”"


1-10-12:  The Atlantic: "How Coming Out Became Cool for Celebrities"

"For some famous, secure people, official confirmation of their sexual orientation isn't just a matter of honesty: It's a highly valuable commodity."


1-10-12:  The Advocate (Feb. issue): "Marriage Equality is a Trans Issue, Too"

""In the vast majority of cases [involving marriages of transgender people], nobody has any problem," says Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who has handled many marriage-related cases. "Nobody even questions the validity of the marriage. Now there have been a handful of cases in very conservative states that have come out badly."

The reason? "Courts in these states have been so homophobic," says Minter. "They don't want to even come close to recognizing a same-sex marriage.""


1-09-12:  Washington Post: "Sex education standards encourage teaching of sexual identity, anti-bullying in schools"

"Young elementary school students should use the proper names for body parts and, by the end of fifth grade, know that sexual orientation is “the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or a different gender,” according to new sexual education guidelines released Monday by a coalition of health and education groups.

The non-binding recommendations to states and school districts seek to encourage age-appropriate discussions about sex, bullying and healthy relationships — starting with a foundation even before second grade. Beyond lessons about puberty by the end of fifth grade, the guidelines say students should be able to define sexual harassment and abuse . . .

When they leave middle school, they should be able to differentiate between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, according to the guidelines . . . Many of these issues the groups encouraged to be further addressed in high school as well. It’s unclear how much influence the recommendations will have among educators."


1-08-12:  Sunday Mirror (UK): "Couple marry for the second time...after husband has a sex swap"

"Like a lot of couples, Barry and Anne Watson wanted to renew their ­marriage vows.

But when they went ahead nine years after their ­wedding, there was a big difference... this time Barry was a ­woman called Jayne. And Anne was only too happy to go ahead with the ceremony to show how much she loved her new wife."


1-06-12:  The Economic Observer (China): "Banned on TV But Loved Online:  Jin Xing, the dancer and television show judge whose sexuality outraged the censors, has turned to the internet to challenge Chinese prejudices."

"In September, Chinese dancer Jin Xing (金星) posted on her Weibo account that she has been banned from judging a television program because of her transsexual identity.  Despite her professional skills, many people think transsexuals should not appear in the media, since they pose a moral threat among adolescents. In Jin’s opinion, this is pure prejudice caused by a lack of understanding and awareness. Her post drew wide support . . .

According to Jin, many Chinese people only know about transsexual people through the negative publicity generated by Thailand’s tourism industry. However, she said, most transsexual people are leading an ordinary life as lawyers, engineers, and workers. They are not different from others -- neither in their appearance or clothing nor in their hearts and spirit.

Transsexual people are just those who realize their real gender. However many people choose to ignore these facts and dislike transsexual people instinctively."


1-06-12:  ABC News: "Trans Chaz Bono Eyes Risky Surgery to Construct Penis"

"Chaz Bono may take the final step in his transition from female to male and have penile reconstruction, a complex procedure that can be risky.

Born Chastity, the son of '60s pop icons Sonny and Cher, Bono says he knew from an early age that he was born in the wrong body. Since going public in 2009, he has injected himself with testosterone, grown body hair and surgically removed his breasts. Now, the "Dancing With the Stars" contestant has told Rolling Stone magazine that "within a short while he will finally be able to afford to get himself a penis."

Bono said that he has looked into either the simplest procedure that uses clitoral tissue to build a micro-penis or a full phalloplasty, where surgeons take skin from another part of the body and roll it to create a phallus that is attached to the groin.

"It's true, it's something he will consider at the appropriate time," Bono's publicist Howard Bragman told "But it's not something that is imminent and not something he believes will make him a man. He feels comfortable with his own masculinity.""


1-05-12:  The Smoking Gun: "Hollywood Power In Bizarre Transgender Row - David O. Russell quizzed over gym incident with kin" (more)

"According to a Broward Sheriff’s Office report obtained by The Smoking Gun, Russell, 53, and Nicholas Peloquin, 19, were working out in the gym at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach. Peloquin, who also uses the first name Nicole, told a sheriff’s deputy that Russell is his mother's adopted brother . . .

Peloquin, who told the deputy that he is “a transgender but has not gone through the male to female operation,” said that Russell then asked him about the transgender transformation. Peloquin replied by telling Russell about “the hormones to increase his breasts.” At that point, Peloquin told Deputy Bridgman, Russell put his hands under his top “and felt both breasts.” While Peloquin said he felt uncomfortable, “he did not ask Russell to stop at any time.

After the consensual contact, Russell reported, he received a call from his sister to “discuss him touching Peloquin.” Russell told Deputy Bridgman that he told his sibling that “he had asked Peloquin several times if he was uncomfortable and he did not ask him to not touch him.” Russell also told the deputy that Peloquin is “always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive.””


1-05-12:  Huntington Post UK (UK): "World's Tallest Transsexual Lindsey Walker On Shoes, Taboos And Tattoos"

"However she explained how being tall does have some advantages:

"People occasionally shout stuff at me in the street but they do it at a distance, I mean I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to say anything to my face. "I do get emails that saying that I should kill myself or that I should die. No one's confronted me face to face or verbally, and no one has physically assaulted me."

Walker told Huffington Post UK how not all emails were negative: "As far as dating goes, I get a lot of emails, but they mainly just want to have sex with you. I mean everyone has a fetish to sleep with a transsexual, its not just men, women have the same fetish they just dont talk about it as much."


1-04-12:  BBC News Magazine (re US): "Transgender Americans take on New York"

"A group of transgender men and women want New York City to make it easier to change the "M" or "F" on their birth certificates. What makes a man or a woman, and why do governments care?

The issue at stake in New York and elsewhere - both inside the US and overseas - is not whether transgender people should be allowed to amend identity documents (only a US handful of states forbid a birth certificate change outright). Instead the debate centres on where officials draw the line between male and female.

The US government and many US states, as well as the UK and Australia, have done away with the requirement for surgery to convert the genitals. That is partly in response to transgender activists who say the requirement was based on an obsolete understanding of sexual identity."


1-04-12:  Radio New Zealand (New Zealand): "Controversial tampon ad may be canned"

"A company that makes women's hygiene products says it may cancel an advertisement which has been labelled transphobic and provoked a storm of criticism . . .  A spokesperson for Wellington Gay Welfare, Stu Donaldson, believes the ad is damaging to the transgender community and should never be broadcast again. "To have this ad on television and make a joke of it and ridicule transgenders, it's not really acceptable. It can lead to suicide. "You really have be brave to face up to the fact that you're transgender and do something about it. I mean, the consequences can be really serious.""


1-03-12:  The Bay Citizen: "Thrilling Nomination for Transgender Actor"

"When Film Independent announced its nominees for the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards last month, it may have just made history. Harmony Santana, a transgender actor, was nominated in the category for Best Supporting Female for her performance in "Gun Hill Road", writer/director Rashaad Ernesto Green's tale of a father who comes home from jail to discover that his son, played by Santana before she transitioned, is about to become a woman . . .

Not only was Santana's performance strong enough to put her in the running with nominees Anjelica Huston and Jessica Chastain, it marks a turning point for transgender actors everywhere. The New York Times used the opening of "Gun Hill Road" to examine the growing visibility of the transgender community in film and TV. And, as Asher Huey wrote on The Huffington Post, Santana "...seems to be the first trans actress nominated for a major Hollywood award.""


1-03-12:  Lez Get Real: "Transgender Law Center Offers Help With New Trans Friendly CA Laws"

"Two landmark transgender rights bills signed by Governor Brown last year became law on January 1, 2012. AB 887, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, strongly clarifies the existing employment, housing and other civil rights protections for all Californians. The law makes it clear that discrimination is not legal in California. AB433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, authored by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, streamlines the process for Californians to obtain and update birth certificates . . .

“This is a huge victory, and yet there is still work to be done in order to make sure all our laws and societal attitudes are fair and promote justice for transgender people,” said Kristina Wertz . . .

Transgender Law Center will continue to offer assistance to anyone who experiences challenges in obtaining documentation appropriate to their gender identity or anyone who experiences discrimination in housing, employment and other situations. "


1-03-12:  The Daily Mail (re New Zealand): "Company accused of being 'outrageously transphobic' over tampon advert that 'says transgender people are not real women'" (YouTube, more, more, more)

"A tampon maker has been branded 'outrageously transphobic' over its new advert. Critics say the television spot for Libra implies transgender people 'are not real women because they do not menstruate'.

The promo, which has been aired in New Zealand, shows a draq queen and blonde woman standing side by side in a nightclub toilet.
They seem to compete with one another - as they put on mascara, lip gloss and then adjust their bras. But, in what the advert portrays as a winning move, the blonde then pulls out her Libra tampon. The draq queen storms out of the toilets in a huff.

The advert, which wraps with the catch phrase 'Libra gets girls', has faced a storm of criticism, with dozens posting harsh comments on the company's Facebook page."


1-03-12:  New Zealand Herald (New Zealand): "'Transphobic' tampon ad causes outrage (+video)"

"Transgender advocates claim a new tampon advertisement takes the cringe factor surrounding women's sanitary products to new lows by stereotyping its community members. A preview of a Libra ad featuring a drag queen character and a blonde woman was uploaded to Facebook on December 21 to a storm of criticism. It is also playing on New Zealand television.

Both women sneak glances at each other while they get competitive about putting on their mascara in a mirror, lipgloss and adjusting their bras. In an apparent coup de grace the blonde pulls out a tampon and the drag queen walks out of the bathroom.

Agender NZ president Cherise Witehira, said many in the transgender community were outraged at the ads which were "blatantly transphobic"."


1-03-12:  The Daily Beast: "Boycott the Crossdressing Show! ABC's New Sitcom "Work It" Doesn't Work" (more, more, more)

"Tonight ABC debuts a sitcom in which two manly men don dresses to try to get jobs posing as women. The gay and lesbian community isn’t laughing. And neither will anyone else, says Noelle Howey, the daughter of a transgender parent . . .

They’re right that Work It would be a negative addition to our cultural conversation. Happily, there’s little chance of that happening. That’s because the show is unwatchable. It’s offensive not just to transgender people, with its stereotypical images of burly men in kitten heels hiking up their dresses to use the urinals, but also to any men, women, children—anyone—seeking entertainment."


1-03-12:  The Sun (UK): "7ft Lindsey set to be world's tallest transsexual" (more)

"A seven foot former basketball star is set to lay claim to the title of the world's tallest transsexual. Human skyscraper Lindsey Walker — previously known as Greg — has been living as a woman for two years and hopes to undergo a sex change later this year.

Strapping Lindsey, who has size 16 feet and weighs 20st, has already alerted the Guinness World Records Book in the hope she will be officially recognised as the world's tallest transvestite. But when she has her sex change, she could also bid to be the biggest transsexual in the world."


1-02-12:  Sun-Sentinal: "More gynecologists opening minds, offices to transgender patients" (more)

"In an effort to improve the quality of and access to health care for what it calls "a small but substantial population," the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is urging OB/GYNs to create a more open, welcoming environment for transgender patients.

The hope is to make a dent in the abusive treatment that traditionally has scared this unique community away from doctors. The snickers and stares from the nurses' station. The irrelevant questions about birth control and family planning. Judgmental looks, statements and — for 2 percent of the population, according to a recent study — outright violence and physical harassment from doctors and staff. Some have even been refused treatment."


1-02-12:  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG; posted 11-21-11) "Ob-Gyns: Prepare to Treat Transgender Patients"

"To address the significant health care disparities of transgender individuals and to improve their access to care, ob-gyns should prepare to provide routine treatment and screening or refer them to other physicians, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . . .

We need to make our offices settings that treat all patients with respect,” said Dr. Buyers. The College offers ob-gyns suggestions on how to create an office environment that is welcoming to transgender patients. For instance, asking patients their preferred name and pronoun, posting non-discrimination policies, ensuring confidentiality, and offering sensitivity training for staff are all steps that signal acceptance and let patients know that they will be treated with dignity. “We want the transgender community to know that we, as ob-gyns, care about their health.”"





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