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.
Feb, Mar, Apr,
Click here to access the currrent Trans News Updates
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
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
"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
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
6-28-12: CBC (Canada): "Toronto transgender people say they're targets
"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
6-28-12: NWCN: "Man accused of attacking transgender women in Old
"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
"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."
Liverpool JohnMoores University (UK): "The Strategic Management Group and
the Board of Governors have approved the University's Gender Reassignment
"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
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
"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
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
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
Until the hate started."
6-21-12 GIDReform.org (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)
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
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. "
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.
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.
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
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
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
"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
“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: Examiner.com: "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
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
"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
"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,
"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
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
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
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."
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
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,
"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? "
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
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
"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
"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
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
6-14-12: CBC News (Canada; posted 6-13): "Ontario passes law to
protect transgender people" (more,
"Ontario has become the first province
in Canada to recognize gender identity in its human rights legislation. An
amendment to the
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
Ken Zucker still operates the self-proclaimed "world's leading gender
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,
"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.
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.""
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
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
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,
Thapelo Makutle, 23, had argued late
Friday night with two men about his sexuality, his friend, Shaine Griqua
mambaonline.com. 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 mambaonline.com. 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
"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
"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. "
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
6-12-12: Boston Globe: "Mass. stalled antibullying guide under Romney
‒ Objections to writing ‘transgender,’ ‘bisexual’" (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
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
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
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
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
[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
"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
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."
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”
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.”
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
now available in e-pub format, making it far more accessible to
6-08-12: Edmonton Journal (Alberta, Canada; posted 6-07): "Province
reinstating coverage of gender-reassignment surgery" (more,
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.
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,
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
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
in its ad campaign.
The company first began printing
"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
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,
University of Georgia professor tells Channel 2 Action News he's embarrassed
after his arrest on prostitution charges in Gwinnett County.
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.
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
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
6-07-12: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Gender Identity Disorder: Damned
When You Have It and Damned When It’s Cured?", by
"A comment by a spokeperson for the
National Guard in Minnesota has me thinking about “gender identity
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
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
"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
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,
"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 Amazon.com'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
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
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,
"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,
"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
6-05-12: Pink News (UK re US): "Janet Jackson calls to ‘stop the hate’
towards transgender people in new documentary" (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
"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
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
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
"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"
(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,
"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
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,
"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"
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
The professor from Indira Gandhi
National Open University was speaking at the national consultation programme
held in Delhi on Saturday."
Democratic Underground: "NCTE Releases Trans Job Discrimination “Know Your
"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
"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
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."
5-31-12: Huffington Post: "Kicking Off the 11th Annual Philadelphia
Trans-Health Conference", by Jacsen Callanan
day is nearly here, the day that all the organizers of the 11th annual
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.
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."
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."
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
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."
The Hindu (India): "The third gender's right to dignity", by Prabha Sridevan
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
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.
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
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
for the Week comic Paul Chowdhry, who recently humiliated a trans
woman for entering Brighton’s Next Hot Model. Prepare for some “edgy” satire
. . . "
Flash: SEIU Resolves To Bargain For Trans-Inclusive Healthcare"
"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.
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"
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
"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
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
has been flooded with controversy for the last week about the
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
Jeffreys, who has a
forthcoming book critiquing trans medical care. In much of her earlier
(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 . . .
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
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,
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.
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."
Stone: "Against Me!'s Tom Gabel Makes Live Debut as Laura Jane Grace in San
'I was worried people expected me to come out looking like Little Bo Peep,'
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.
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 . . .
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,
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 . . .
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 . . .
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."
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
"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
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
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
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
"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.
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
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
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 FoxNews.com 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
has this week
a series of
Tyler, who was
as a girl. After
much angst and
first, to allow
their child to
identify as a
boy. The second,
to go public
has not used the
have poured in,
to Dvorak and to
The Post. Some
many have been
This is new
though it seems
as if Tyler’s
story has given
a voice to a
with for years,
. . .
“I think we are
seeing a sea
change in our
and gender in
with this sea
change comes a
new openness to
making room for
children of all
wrote me when I
asked of her
Ehrensaft is an
parent of son
who as a child
and the author
of the recently
. . Last month,
she spoke with
me about the
subject and gave
a public talk at
the Human Rights
More on that
I caught up with
her today to ask
her to elaborate
on the issues
story raises —
such as the
question of what
have taught us
that our gender
does not lie
“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
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?’
an early age
that they are
opposite the one
on their birth
“I would say
assigned to them
at birth, but
while a small
that they are
living in the
wrong gender. We
can think of
minority like we
have come over
to think about
people — a very
just as healthy
and well meaning
them at all.
She went on:
can make all of
us anxious, and
comes from the
... and from the
who are allowed
down and show
who are not
distress. And it
number of media
the children and
have been widely
5-22-12: WSTP-TV: “NC pastor Charles Worley wants to isolate gays,
lesbians until they ''die out''” (more,
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
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
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
"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”,
“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)
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.””
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
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?
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
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"
"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."
People Magazine (re Canada; posted 5-20): "Jenna Talackova, Transgender Miss
Universe Contestant, Makes Top 12"
"Close, but no crown. Jenna Talackova,
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
"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
“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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
5-18-12: The Baltiimore Sun (posted 5-15): "Trauma still fresh for
transgender beating victim – Chrissy Polis was beaten at Rosedale
"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
5-18-12: NBC Washington: "Exclusive: Male Student Suspended for
Wearing a Skirt - Warren Evans says school officials are unfairly targeting
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.)
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
[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
"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
"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,
"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
But the association is still
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,
"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
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,
"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
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
"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: MTV.com: "Tom Gabel's Transgender News: What Does It Mean For
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
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,
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
5-09-12: Canada.com (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
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
5-09-12: Kotaku.com: "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
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
5-08-12: GID Reform Advocates: “Final Public Comment Period For
Proposed DSM-5 Criteria Ends June 15”, by Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
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
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
5-08-12: The Indian Express (India; posted 5-07): "HC allows man to go
for sex change" (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
“If he (Barua) is a major, he
should not be hindered from doing what he wishes,” Justice S J Vazifdar
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."
(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
"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
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.”"
The Daily Iowan (Univ. of Iowa): "Transgender patient files discrimination
complaint against UIHC" (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
"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
5-05-12: The Arizona Republic: "Becoming Max: Confronting gender
"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
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
5-03-12: GLAD Transgender Rights Project: “A Groundbreaking,
First-of-its-kind Book” (more,
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."
The Stranger (posted 4-01): “I Stand Corrected at Translations: The
Seattle Transgender Film Festival”, by
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 . . .
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,
"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
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
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,
"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
“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."
KGO-TV San Francisco (Posted 4-30): "Death of transgender woman could be
hate crime" (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."
4-30-12: Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA): "For Jewish transsexual
teaching at Yeshiva University, no easy path to being a daughter", by Joy
"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.]
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
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
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
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
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
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
[Must see programming. Please alert
4-30-12: National Geographic (posted 4-26): "Q&A With ‘American
"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
and Eli Strong, who were both
born female and transitioned to male."
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
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
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
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"
a new term for
many of us, but
families it’s an
issue that has
with gender are
speaking out and
asking for more
rights and more
year involved a
mother and her
join the Girl
a few months ago
to talk about
his talk show.
Experts are also
beginning to pay
In March, the
4-28-12: Indian Express (India): "For sex-change surgery, he seeks HC
“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
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.""
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."
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
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
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: Lynnconway.com (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
Colette was a true pioneer in life and
as an artist. Her vibrant spirit lives on, in our fond memories and in her
Dear Colette, may you rest in peace.
Colette Berends [October 13, 1934 -
April 23, 2012] Condolences Pages:
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
""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
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"."
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, Link to
"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
''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
4-23-12: Kuwait Times (Kuwait): "‘Build rehab centers for transgender
"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
“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
"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 Reform.org (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.
the April 18th broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show, Dr. Maddow
reported an “explosive
revelation” that Psychiatrist Robert Spitzer had rescinded his
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
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
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
Spitzer has played in the psychiatric pathologization and socio-medical
stigmatization of trans people, including laying the foundations for
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."
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
"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."
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
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
“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
"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):
“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
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
J. Michael Bailey's attack-mode
verbal behavior now being cited
within academic circles in
recommendations on "What not to
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
"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,
"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
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,
"Genital surgery isn't required for a
man to be legally recognized as a woman, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
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
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."
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
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
http://www.transgenderdetroit.org. Learn more about Dr. Caretto and her
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
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
"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: Truth-Out.org: "Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming People
Among First, Most Affected by War on Terror's Biometrics Craze", by Alissa
"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
"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,"
4-16-12: The Daily Texan (Univ. of Texas): "New policy will allow
transgender students to list their preferred name on University records"
"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: Change.org: "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).
Sam’s work now faces the axe. Why? He
is approaching 60 and A KEY COMMITTEE HAS DECIDED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE IN
HKU’S BEST INTERESTS FOR SAM TO BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE HIS RESEARCH AND
WRITING, AS WELL AS SERVICE BEYOND THE CAMPUS, AS A FULL-TIME STAFF MEMBER
OF HKU . . .
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 Change.org. For more on Prof. Winter's
work, see his bio
and his Transgender
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
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
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
News Africa (re Angola): "Transsexual artist Titica takes Angola by storm"
"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
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: Malacism.com (re Angola; posted 12-14-11): "TITICA – KUDURO’S
"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”? "
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
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
4-10-12: CBS News: "Miss Universe pageant allowing transgender women"
"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
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
"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
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,
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) (
"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
[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,
“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.”
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:
"Homophobic writer John Derbyshire writes a glowing review of Bailey's book
for the conservative magazine National Review", by lynn Conway, June 30,
"Who Is John Derbyshire? Revelations of Bailey's and Academy Press' close PR
connection with right-wing homophobic writer John Derbyshire", Lynn Conway,
"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
“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
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:
"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 . . . "
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
"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
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"
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
4-04-12: Asia One (Singapore): "Transgender show meanders to our
"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"
"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
"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."
People Magazine: "Jenna Talackova Fires Back at Donald Trump, Pageant
"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,
"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
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
4-02-12: 4-02-12: Edgeonthenet.com: "In the Life" Features Family Life in
"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
Becoming Me begins airing April 1st on
public television stations across the country and will be available for
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."
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"
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
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
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)
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:
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.
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
(posted 3-28): "Alexis Rivera, Activist, Leader, Friend"
"Tribute to Alexis
Spark by Naomli Brennet
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
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
3-29-12: Just Plain Sense (UK): "Till Political Convenience Do Us
Part", by Christine Burns
government has begun a
three month public consultation on equal civil marriage for same sex
couples . . .
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
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...
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.
exposes the UK's weirdly-callous trampling upon trans people's legal rights
ever since the April Ashley case.]
3-29-12: CMR.com: "Transgender
Families In Depth On The Dr. Oz Show Today 3/29/2012"
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"
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
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
Magazine recently released their
2012 list of
Oklahoma’s 40 Under 40. The magazine describes their list in this way:
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
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
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"
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.
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
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 www.change.org, 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
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
3-28-12: The Republic: "Law center claims transsexual prisoner at N.O.
jail tested HIV positive after repeated rapes"
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
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
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.
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."
Roanoke Times: "Hollins ponders its own tolerance policy - The university's
transgender policy stands out for its attempt to define when gender
"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."
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.
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”
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"
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.
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,
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.
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.”
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
"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"
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:
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.
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
3-22-12: Huffington Post: "When the Gender Boxes Don't Fit", by Ericka
"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
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
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."
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.”
who came to Penn in 1982, this insurance extension is just one among many
recent developments that reflect unprecedented shifts in attitudes toward
“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.
"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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
the most backward state in the U.S. on this issue.]
3-16-12: Cincinnati.com: "Miami transgender student wants to be in
"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” . . .
members from the group ‘glitter-bombed’ feminist writer
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,”
3-16-12: Gay Star News (Montenegro): "Montenegro champions new law for
gender reassignment - National healthcare now covers sex change procedures"
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 . . .
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
3-15-13: Huffington Post: "Two Gay Men And A Transgender Woman
Hospitalized After Anti-LGBT Attacks Hit Washington D.C. Neighborhood"
D.C.-based residents are hospitalized this week after what has been deemed a
"spate of LGBT violence" in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.
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"
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
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
“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,
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
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
3-14-12: SameSame.com.au (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 GayNZ.com and
Express. “It wasn’t okay then and it’s not okay now.”
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
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
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
3-12-12: Bangkok Post (Thailand): "Transsexual Thai air hostesses:
gimmick or equality?" (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
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
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."
Deccan Herald (India): "Kalki comes to M’wood"
"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
“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
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
"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
"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
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
“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
"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
amid a firestorm of embarrassing publicity, canceled another sexuality
class after psychology professor
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
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
[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
Digital Journal (re Indonesia): "Barack Obama once had a transgender
Indonesian nanny called Evie" (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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
""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.
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
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"
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,
3-04-12: Omaha World-Herald: "Protecting rights hits home for
"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
"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
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.""
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
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,
"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
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
"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
[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.]
2-29-12: SDGLN: "NCTE welcomes transgender protections in immigration
"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
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"
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.
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.”
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"
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
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 . . .
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)
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
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.
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: Thinkprogress.org: "New Gingrich Tells A Story About A 6 Foot
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” . . . "
Gay Community News (Ireland): "ASAI Launches 'Ladies Day' Ad Investigation"
Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) has launched an
investigation into Paddy Power's 'Ladies Day' TV advertisement.
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
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 . . .
essay by Paris Lees, in response to the
Daily Mail article that promoted the
trans-reparatist teachings of
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"
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.
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.’"
incredibly distorted article in the Daily Mail promotes the old-time
trans-reparatist teachings of Zucker, et al, at
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"
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
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
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"
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"
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
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
"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 . . .
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
2-22-12: Medical Xpress: "Children with gender identity disorder are
at serious psychiatric risk" (more)
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
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,
"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
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 . . .
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.
‘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"
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 Fox.com: "Seattle program helps evaluate children who
want a sex change - More kids expressing desire to change gender" (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
. . .
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 . . .
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
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
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 . . .
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
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
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”.
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
"A doctor at
Children’s Memorial Hospital he would like to help develop a clinic for
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
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
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"
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
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.
and Darren Avery, 41, became worried by Zach's behaviour and took him to the
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? . . .
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
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,
"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
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
"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."
Endocrine Today (re Canada): "Pubertal blockade safe for pediatric patients
with gender identity disorder"
blockade can safely be initiated in pediatric patients who experience gender
identity disorder, according to researchers at the
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.
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.” "
trans-reparatist treatment of gender-variant children by
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
interim managing editor David Dinsmore explained the rationale behind the
decision for PinkNews.co.uk yesterday, saying the issue was in the “public
2-17-12: Lastofthecleanbohemians (UK): "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CHARITY
SLAMS SUN NEWSPAPER’S “HUNT FOR INNOCENT MAN”, by Paris Lees
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
“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:
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
2-16-12: Aisa One (re Malaysia): "Serial transsexual-bashing gang on
the loose in Malaysia" (more)
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
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.
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.
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 . . ."
Malaysian newspapers refer to these transwomen using male pronouns, thus
further defaming them and compounding their misery.]
Indiana Daily Student: "Erasing a hero", by Aidan Crane
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
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.”
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.
lawyers are now using her gender identity as a core component in proving
that Manning was mentally unstable and should not be found guilty.
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
2-15-12: KOTAKU: "A Salute to Dani Bunten, a Transgender Video Gaming
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 .
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
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
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.
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
worldofmule.net 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
2-15-12: Huffington Post: "Dreaming of Dresses: Transgender Books for
Children", by B. J. Epstein
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 . . .
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 . . .
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)
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
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."
(UK; posted 2-13): "Paris Lees on BBC Breakfast (Part 1)" (Part
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,
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.
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
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."
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
2-14-12: WUSA9.com: "A Transgender Life: Consuella's Story" (with
"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,
"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 . . .
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: WUSA9.com: "A Transgender Life: Path To Personal Happiness"
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"
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
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
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.
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
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,
"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.
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
2-12-12: Baltimore Sun: "What's this obsession with transgender people
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.
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."
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: Salon.com: "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?"
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.” . . .
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
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
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
"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: Apple.com: "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
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: Amazon.com: "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"
by Kim Pearson
of Trans Youth Family Allies (TYFA)]
2-08-12: Pink News (UK): "Trans charity to speak at Leveson Inquiry
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
“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
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.
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.
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…"
"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:
"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
2-06-12: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Media, Protect Your Transgender
"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
"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
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."
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
"A GIRL trapped in a boy’s body says
she sometimes feels suicidal but is determined to give hope to others like
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
"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.]
The Guerrilla Angel Report: "“A man in a dress” in transgender news
headlines . . . protocols for mainstream media?" by Lexie Cannes (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
“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
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."
(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
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:
"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.]
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
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
as advocated by
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: Wordpress.com: "META Magazine – Editor’s Letter", by Paris
"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
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
the full Editor's
stay tuned for more information at the links above.]
[For more about Paris,
see these links: YouTube:
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: Rabble.ca (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: Gaystarnews.com (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'
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
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,
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
"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 www.dsm5.org 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"
"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
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
1-24-12: SFGN: "Albert Nobbs: A Complex Portrait of Gender Identity in
"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
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
"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
"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
[The emergence of supportive medical
treatment for transgender teens in the UK seems to have triggered a major
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,
"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
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
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
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
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
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."
Entertainment Weekly: "ABC fires polarizing comedy 'Work It'" (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
"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"
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."
Out&About (posted 1-12): "Chattanooga lawmaker threatens to 'stomp'
transgender people - Rep. Richard Floyd has introduced a bill requiring
birth-gender bathroom" (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
“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
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
1-13-12: YouTube: "A Brother's Perspective: Part 1", by Moonfire1777
"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
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."
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,
"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
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
1-13-12: WFAA-TV: "Transgender policy sparks Girl Scout cookie
"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
Now, supporters are coming to the
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
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
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,
"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
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
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
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
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
"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
""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
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
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."
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
"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
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
"It's true, it's something he will
consider at the appropriate time," Bono's publicist Howard Bragman told
ABCNews.com. "But it's not something that is imminent and not something he
believes will make him a man. He feels comfortable with his own
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."
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
1-04-12: Radio New Zealand (New Zealand): "Controversial tampon ad may
"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,
"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
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
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
1-03-12: The Daily Beast: "Boycott the Crossdressing Show! ABC's New
Sitcom "Work It" Doesn't Work" (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
"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
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
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