Trans News Updates of 2012
This page links to
news of general interest to the trans community during the
second 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.
Link to first half of
Click here to access the currrent
Trans News Updates
12-30-12: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong): "Don't neglect
transsexuals in talks on discrimination law, say activists"
"There has been a growing clamour this
year for a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. It
reached a peak when lawmakers voted down a motion last month, calling for
public consultation on the issue . . . But while public discussions focus on
homosexuals and bisexuals, the struggles of transgendered and transsexual
people have been neglected. "People talk about LGBT, but they often forget
about the T," said Mimi Wong, 58, a man who had surgery to become a woman.
Reggie Ho Lai-kit, chairman of Pink
Alliance, a network of LGBT groups, agrees not enough attention is given to
transsexuals and transgendered people. Transgendered people are those who do
not conform to the sex to which they were assigned at birth, while
transsexuals refers to people who undergo gender reassignment surgery. The
Transgender Resource Centre estimates there are 200 to 300 transsexuals and
10,000 transgendered people in Hong Kong."
12-26-12: The Times of India (India): "India Inc gets Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual & Transgender community friendly at workplace"
"How many times have you heard
homophobic water-cooler jokes at workplace? Jokes that reinforce the cliched
assumptions of the homophobes. To reduce workplace bullying and intimidating
stare-downs, some companies in India have introduced inclusive HR policies
for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community . . .
The momentum for a strong case for
inclusion came with the Delhi high court revoking Section 377 of the Indian
Penal Code decriminalizing gay sex between two consenting adults. "Since the
2009 judgment, companies and employees are hungry to find ways to ensure
they operate in an inclusive environment. If your company is not
gay-friendly, you may start losing employees, future clients and revenue,''
said Bunty Bohra, CEO of Goldman Sachs Services India . . . The awareness
has grown with time. Companies are offering diversity training to sensitise
their employees about gender identity and expression at workplace.
"Research shows that an LGBT person
who does not need to hide his/her sexual orientation can be 30%-40% more
productive in the workplace. Relationships and trust are key in our
business," said Stephen Golden, head of diversity for Asia-Pacific at
12-24-12: LGBTQ Nation: "Anti-transgender pageant contestant ordered
to pay $5 million for defamation"
former Miss Pennsylvania USA, who gave up her state crown shortly after the
Miss Universe organization announced its decision to allow transgender
participants, has been ordered pay the pageant organization $5 million for
defamation . . .
claimed (Sheena) Monnin's allegations on Facebook and NBC's "Today" show
that the contest was rigged, cost the Miss Universe organization a $5
million fee from a potential 2013 sponsor. Miss Universe co-owner Donald
Trump retaliated by filing the lawsuit against Monnin, calling her
allegations an "utterly baseless claim."
Court Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz, acting as an arbitrator, agreed,
and said Monnin's statements were false, harmful and malicious. Monnin had
two motives, Katz said: "She was a disgruntled contestant who failed to make
it past the preliminary competition" and she objected to the pageant's
decision to allow transgender contestants. He wrote that the way the contest
is judged "precludes any reasonable possibility that the judging was
"We cannot allow a
disgruntled contestant to make false and reckless statements which are
damaging to the many people who have devoted their hearts and souls to the
Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant systems," Trump said in a
statement. "While I feel very badly for Sheena, she did the wrong thing. She
was really nasty, and we had no choice. It is an expensive lesson for her,"
12-23-12: The Advocate (re The Vatican; posted 12-21): "In Christmas
Speech, Pope Rants About Gender"
"The pope used
his Christmas message today to warn of an "attack" on the "true
structure of the family," which he defined as a father, mother and child.
Debate all over the world isn't only about marriage equality, he seemed to
say, it's about what it means to be human. In the address, Pope Benedict
rails about contemporary views of gender and says anyone who defends the old
way of thinking is actually defending God himself. The message grows more
alarming with each sentence."
12-23-12: The Daily Mail (re The Vatican;posted 12-21): “Pope Benedict XVI
denounces gay marriage in his Christmas message saying 'manipulation of
nature' will put future of mankind at stake – His Holiness says idea
destroys the very 'essence of the human creature'”
"The Pope has pressed his opposition
to gay marriage today saying the future of mankind is at stake.
Pope Benedict XVI denounced what he
described as people manipulating their God-given identities to suit their
sexual choices - and destroying the very 'essence of the human creature' in
He made the comments in his annual
Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy, one of his most important
speeches of the year."
12-23-12: Catholic Online (re The Vatican): “Pope Benedict XVI Exposes the
Profound Falsehood of the Philosophy of the Gender Identity Movement”
the Pope's 2012 Christmas Address,
"In an insightful address to the Roman
Curia on Thursday, December 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the
inherent falsity and social danger of what is being called "gender theory"
in many circles these days. The following excerpt from his address sets the
context for considering what is being called the gender identity or gender
expression movement . . .
"The profound falsehood of this theory
and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People
dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity,
which serves as a defining element of the human being . . . When the freedom
to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the
Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as
a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being.” . . .
We live in an age rushing headlong
into darkness while it professes to be enlightned. The Pope's insights
provide welcome clarity in the cloud of confusion . . . In this whole mix of
madness we also face activism being undertaken by people who undergo what
are euphemistically referred to as "Sex Change" or "Gender Reassignment"
surgeries. Though those who actually suffer from "Gender Identity Disorder"
(GID) deserve empathy, the facts remain; no such surgery can accomplish a
change of gender or sexual identity. In effect, they just mutilate the body
and destroy the bodily integrity of the person . . .
Removal of genitals and attachment of
artificial ones absolutely incapable of ovulation or conception, in the case
of a "transsexual" male who tries to be a woman, or the generation of sperm,
in the case of a "transsexual" woman trying to be a man, does not change
reality . . . In 2002 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the
Vatican issued a letter sent without public release to every Bishop. It
clearly stated that such surgical procedures do not alter a person's gender
and that in no circumstance are baptismal records of such individuals who
have undergone them to be altered. Further, the document made clear that no
one who has undergone such a surgery is eligible to marry, be ordained to
the priesthood or enter the religious life . . .
The Gender Identity or Gender
Expression Movement seeks the recognition in the positive law of a right to
choose one's gender and laws which accommodate, fund, and enforce such a new
"right". Those involved in the activist wing of the movement seek to compel
the rest of society to recognize their vision of a brave new world or face
the Police Power of the State. The Pope is absolutely correct, "the profound
falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained
within it is obvious."
[The centerpiece of the Pope's 2012
Christmas address is a vicious demonization of transgender people.
This is yet
another example of Vatican's behavior as a medieval institutional relic, out
of touch with modern cultural reality, whilst crumbling right in front of
our eyes. One can only imagine how many mobbings, beatings, gang
rapes and murders will directly result, as the Pope's message spreads out
amongst superstitious 'followers', all around the world.”]
12-23-12: New York Daily News (re The Vatican; posted 12-21): "Pope
Benedict denounces gay marriage during his annual Christmas message" (more)
" Pope Benedict used his annual
Christmas message to denounce gay marriage, saying that it destroyed the
“essence of the human creature.” In one of his most important speeches of
the year, the Pope stressed that a person’s gender identity is God-given and
unchangeable. As a result, he sees gay marriage as a “manipulation of
"People dispute the idea that they
have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a
defining element of the human being," he said at the Vatican on Friday.
"They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given
to them, but that they make it for themselves." The Pope has said that gay
marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace."
12-23-12: Bangalore Mirror (India): "In spite of ‘transsexual’ status,
tourism firm didn’t dither hiring her"
"Stigmatised, misunderstood and
discriminated against is usually the lot of someone born into the ‘wrong
body’. But Suma Mohan, who turned 28 only a few days ago, bravely wears her
gender on her sleeve. When filling out a job application form for a vacancy
in a tourism company, Suma, a BBM graduate with distinction, did not
hesitate to fill the gender field with the word transsexual.
Kudos are in place for her employer,
Equations, for not only calling her for an interview but also placing her.
Suma joined Equations as a program associate four months ago, becoming the
first transsexual to have joined a mainstream company in the capacity of a
professional and only the third from the transgender community to have
bagged a good job (of the other two, one works for Rajya Sabha member B
Jayashree and the other works in the High Court of Karnataka) . . .
At Equations, Suma finally got through
after several rounds of discussions and interviews. She had made her gender
known right from the start, so everyone was aware. Initially, she did face
the usual hostility at work, but gradually the discomfort eased.
“It was a different experience for me
as well as my colleagues,” Suma said. “But I won them over and now they like
me a lot. My director is also very supportive of me and encourages me a lot.
As part of my job, I have a lot of travelling to do which is a totally
different experience for me.” As a program associate, Suma handles the IT
part of the company’s portal. Since the company is into tourism-related
research. Suma takes care of updating the content on the portal.
Being accepted and respected in the
mainstream also helped her win back her family. “Now, they stay with me and
my career looks good. Transgenders in general lack opportunities and as a
result the community is always on the backburner. I am the third in my
community to get into a mainstream profession. I wish my fellow community
members find good avenues like me,’’ she said."
12-22-12: Center for American Progress (posted 12-18): "ID Accurately
Reflecting One’s Gender Identity Is a Human Right"
"This past week our nation joined
others around the globe in celebrating International Human Rights Day, which
marked the 64th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, signed
on December 10, 1948. This document declares that “inherent dignity” and
“equal and inalienable rights” are the foundation for a just, peaceful, and
free world. Decades later these principles continue to guide human rights
policies established around the world, acting as a foundation for the
evolving global understanding of what it means to acknowledge the equality
of all people.
Transgender people, however, continue
struggling to attain this innate right to dignified treatment and equality.
As the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has stated, “It is
clear that many transgender persons do not fully enjoy their fundamental
rights both at the level of legal guarantees and that of everyday life.” One
way in which transgender people have struggled is in accessing identity
documents that provide legal recognition of their gender identities. The
failure of governments to acknowledge the gender identities of all people
represents a rejection of the fundamental rights of self-determination,
dignity, and freedom.
Moving forward as a global community,
it is essential that all people—transgender or not—be given access to
official documents that accurately reflect each individual’s gender identity
and that respect the rights belonging to each of us as humans."
to PDF of the full report]
12-22-12: Huffington Post: "Top Transgender Stories Of 2012: Lana
Wachowski, 'Glee' And More " (includes a great slide sequence)
"While there's still a lot more work
to be done, 2012 saw some remarkable milestones for transgender people both
in the U.S. and abroad.
Vice President Joe Biden declaring transgender rights as the "civil
rights issue of our time," to the huge update made by the American
Psychiatric Association to its Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental
Disorders, trans acceptance has certainly made some enormous strides this
We even saw one of our favorite TV
shows, "Glee," include a
transgender character in its diverse cast, and the
transgender flag was flown in place of the iconic rainbow flag at Harvey
Milk Plaza in San Francisco for for the first time ever.
Check out some more phenomenal
transgender stories from 2012 in our roundup below and be sure to let us
know what other moments captured your attention in the comments section."
12-19-12: New York Magazine: "House of Style Visits Transsexual
Punk Rocker" (includes a wonderful video interview) (more)
"For its final episode of the season,
House of Style 2.0 headed to the St. Augustine, Florida, home
of Laura Jane Grace, lead singer of the punk band Against Me! . . .
For Grace, it's less about "passing" and more about feeling good: "I don't
mind being identified as a transsexual ... I'm very happy with myself and
I'm very comfortable with myself . . .
Grace came out as transgender earlier
in the year, but it's something that's been on her mind for a long time.
"One of my most vivid memories of associating with a female was seeing
Madonna, and just being like, That's me," she said. "I guess I kind
of made the decision to transition starting two or three years ago, but it
was something that really took a lot of building up to, to put into motion.
There's so many moments in life where you feel guilt and you feel shame and
all that, but you get to the point where you realize things aren't going to
change, so I just thought the best thing to do as a parent — also as an
artist — was try and embrace the truth that you feel inside of yourself."
"[We] can't say enough about how
impressed we were by her candor and warmth," Sophia Rai, VP of digital and
producer of House of Style told the Cut. "She is open and
eager to addressing fans and the transgender community about her transition
and we're honored to be a part of it." Hear more from Grace in the video."
12-19-12: Bangkok Post (Thailand): "Bell to be transgender role model"
(be sure to watch the video of her performance!)
"Thailand’s Got Talent star Nuntita
"Bell" Khampiranon hopes that her success can inspire other transgender
people to find work. Nuntita "Bell" Khampiranon hypnotises audiences on
Thailand's Got Talent.
Bell found fame last year on the
popular television talent contest when the 29-year-old switched from singing
in a woman’s voice to a deeper man’s tone. The performance went viral and
led to a role in her first feature film, It Gets Better.
“I think, when people see me, it will
help the transgender community in terms of career,”
Bell told Time Out Hong Kong. “I really want transgender people to be
able to find work. I hope when transgender people see me as a singer, they
know that they can make it in this industry too. I want to open up their
options and give them more confidence to work.”"
12-19-12: Washington Blade: "We must protect rights of transgender
"Two reports released earlier this
month paint a disturbing picture of the global status of trans communities –
a portrait of human rights violations, violence and marginalization.
Documenting the fight for human rights
of trans people,
The Night Is Another Country (more)
drills down on the situation of activists in Latin America and the
Caribbean. More than 80 percent of trans human rights defenders reported
experiencing violence or threats of harm from government officials. The
report details the systemic scope of abuses against trans communities,
including extrajudicial executions, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment and arbitrary detentions . . .
Taking a broader look at the well
being of trans people around the world,
Transrespect Versus Transphobia seeks to provide a comparative review of
the state of trans people’s rights globally. Drawing on input from hundreds
of activists and community leaders in 72 countries, the report documents the
murders of trans people, as well as legal and health care contexts . . . "
12-19-12: Voice of America (re Ivory Coast): "Transgender Sex Workers
in Ivory Coast Face Abuse"
"Transgender sex workers in Ivory
Coast say they face a long list of hardships, including social stigma, low
pay and - more recently - attacks from the national army. However, the women
say they continue to work the streets because it is the only chance they
have to truly be themselves . . .
A sex worker who asked to be
identified only as Jennifer says it has been eight years since she left her
job as a teacher to assume a female identity. She says she has to go out on
the streets every night - regardless of whether she is tired or whether she
has recently been beaten by soldiers . . .
Matthew Thomann, an anthropologist and
doctoral candidate at American University who has researched transgender sex
workers in Abidjan, says they have few outlets for support. “Not only do
they face direct physical violence from the state, they also face
discrimination and stigmatization from within the community,” he said.
He says authorities do not often take
complaints they might file seriously. And other gay men and lesbians - who
also face discrimination - are reluctant to be associated with them. Despite
the challenges, many transgender sex workers say they look forward to going
out on the strip for one simple reason: it is the only place where they are
able to be themselves."
12-18-12: The Daily Beast: "Candy Magazine Portrays Transgender Model
As Michelle Obama ‒ On the cover of Candy magazine's new issue, a
transgender model portrays Michelle Obama being sworn in on a Bible" (more,
"This year, we’ve seen Michelle
in a recycled dress or two, some glittering Michael Kors – and even
the new line from Jason Wu. But here’s one way we’ve never seen her
before: as imagined by a transgender model. The fifth issue of the
controversial Spanish “transversal” style magazine, Candy, hits
newsstands this week -- with a transgender model channeling Michelle
Obama on its cover.
The images, which were styled by
Brad Goreski, feature the model Connie Fleming in a tweed suit and a
string of pearls. She places her left hand on a Bible, and raises her
right hand as if she’s taking the Presidential oath. In another, she
wears a white dress and a beaded necklace while holding an American
flag. She has a perfect red manicure and dark red lips. The cover line
for the spread is: “The Candydate.” (Past Candy covers include
James Franco in drag as well as
12-18-12: 10TV: "Columbus Hits Business With Lawsuit Over
Treatment Of Transsexual"
"About two years ago, 53-year-old
Savanna DeLong changed her name and let people know she was making the
physical transition from a man to a woman. DeLong said that most everyone
was sympathetic, except one business where she said she worked.
Her complaint has now turned into a
lawsuit. And it could become the most significant legal challenge to alleged
'gender identity' discrimination in Columbus, since the city law was changed
four years ago. “It’s who I am. It’s at the core of my being. I always have
felt this way,” said Savanna DeLong.
DeLong said she started working about
12 years ago as a licensed massage therapist at Columbus' downtown Capital
Club, located in the Huntington Center. She said she eventually bartended
and helped with parties at the club.
About two years ago when she announced
her intentions to become a transsexual, she says the club management called
her in. “After some discussion, it was decided they wished to part ways and
not use me anymore as a massage therapist,” said DeLong . . .
“It was like a punch in the gut is the
way I described it to a lot of people. You feel like you're kicked to the
curb, or kind of an outcast, I guess is the feeling, based on why I was let
go,” she added."
12-14-12: NPR (re Spain): "Families Of Spain's 'Stolen Babies' Seek
Answers — And Reunions"
"Allegations of the existence of a
secret network of doctors and nuns who stole newborn babies and sold them
for adoption are reviving a dark chapter in Spain's recent history. More
than 1,000 people have gone to court hoping to track down sons and daughters
or brothers and sisters they were told died in childbirth.
The theft of newborns began with the
Franco dictatorship in 1939. It came to light three years ago after former
Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon investigated the abduction of children taken
forcibly from women imprisoned because they were leftists. He estimated that
by 1950, the number of abducted babies had reached 30,000.
Journalist Natalia Junquera says the
baby theft was an attempt at social engineering by Antonio Vallejo-Najera, a
psychiatrist trained in Germany in the 1930s. Vallejo-Najera considered the
mothers to be dangerous because, Junquera says, he thought "those women had
inside the seed of Marxism, and if those children remained with their
mothers, the Marxism [would] grow in those children."
The system outlived Franco's death in
1975 and continued at least through the 1980s. Some estimates put the total
as high as 300,000 stolen babies. The guiding principle was that the child
would be better off raised by an affluent, conservative and devout Catholic
family, who would also pay up to $25,000 at today's rates.
"To steal a baby you needed a doctor
willing to do it, and also a nun," Junquera says. "They were acting like
they were gods, deciding who deserved a child and who didn't.""
[The Church has already been exposed
as covering-up rampant institutionalized sex-abuse of young boys by Catholic
priests. Now we learn that Catholic nuns in Spain were complicit in the
stealing of perhaps hundreds of thousands of children from poor women, and
selling them to rich families who’d raise them as good Catholics ‒ all
spurred on by the pronouncements of a reactionary psychiatrist.
Did the Vatican know about, and
quietly approve of, these 'silent kidnappings'? What do YOU think? Meantime,
is it any surprise the Church continues to heavily demonize LGBT people?
Seems we've become the 'scary witches' they now use to frighten
superstitious people, thus diverting attention from themselves. Then too,
doesn't this all remind us of the hateful pronouncements of
another reactionary Catholic psychiatrist?]
12-14-12: NY Daily News: “Gabrielle Ludwig, first transgender
basketball player to play college ball as both man and woman, keeps head
high despite threats – Ludwig, who joined Mission College's Lady Saints as a
mid-season walk-on, had a sex reassignment surgery over the summer, and has
been living as a woman and taking female hormones since 2007”
who turns 51 this month, acknowledged that part of her motivation for
playing women's basketball was to be a role-model for transgender youth. She
finds hope, if not gratification in the temporary suspensions ESPN radio
hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin received this week because of the remarks
they made about her. But she wants her court accomplishments — not her
gender change — to draw comments."If men think that women's basketball is
easy, let them spend a day out here and get their butt kicked," she said.
College Athletic Director Mike Perez was all for Ludwig playing. He admires
her for working a fulltime professional job — as a systems engineer for a
pharmaceutical company — while carrying a full course load in computer
administration. He also has seen the way her young teammates look up to
Ludwig "and not just because she's tall."
tell that one, she was a person of substance and two, somebody who was
really sincere about what they were trying to do," Perez said. "Many people
have different views, but the most important view is she ... has a right to
be on this basketball team."
Amy Woo, 19, said Ludwig has brought a maternal influence, helping the team
keep problems in perspective. "We all love her," Woo said. "If someone is
going to talk against her, they are talking against all of us because it's
like she is part of a family."
tabloids initially mocked Gabrielle with harsh headlines and bad photos.
However, Gabrielle's amazing grace in the face of all that, plus the total
and loving support of her teamates, has quickly spun that around
as seen in this great
story in the NY Daily News.]
12-14-12: The Chronicle Herald (Canada): "LOWE: Transgender students
long for more change at school"
"Josh didn’t want to sleep in a room
with three girls on an overnight choir trip. And he wasn’t allowed to sleep
with the boys. “I had asked them if they felt comfortable with me staying
with them,” he says. “They had no problem.”
The teacher in charge did. She offered
the 17-year-old a room to himself. The absurdity wasn’t lost on Josh.
Gendered rooms may segregate penises from vaginas, but they do nothing to
address queer couplings. On another trip, Josh says, a couple who were
dating were sleeping in the same room. “There’s not a little box on the
permission form that asks: ‘What is your sexual orientation?’ (So they can)
put you in a room full of people you aren’t attracted to,” he says.
If he were going stealth, if no one
knew he were transgender, he points out, he’d be rooming with the boys
automatically. A crestfallen Josh skipped the trip."
12-11-12: Washington Times (posted 12-04): "Fight over sex-change
therapy escalates ‒ Conservative group to make emergency appeal to block new
California courts this week issued conflicting opinions on the state’s new
law aimed at protecting minors from so-called “sexual-change therapies”
designed to counsel gay young people who want to be heterosexual. A
conservative legal-defense group, looking to overturn the new law, said
Tuesday it would make an emergency appeal to the federal appellate court to
keep the law, known as SB 1172, from going into effect Jan. 1.
Sen. Ted Lieu . . . successfully pushed SB 1172 through earlier this year,
saying that “change” therapies were harmful to gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender youth, and had been discredited by major mental health
The law says that
“under no circumstances” shall a California mental-health provider engage in
sexual-orientation change efforts (SOCE) with a child or teen younger than
18. Minors cannot receive counseling that seeks to change gender
expressions, or eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions toward
people of the same sex. Professionals who violate the law face discipline
for unprofessional conduct. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law Sept. 29 . . .
president of the Pacific Justice Institute . . . said Judge Shubb’s ruling
sent “a clear signal to all those who feel they can stifle religious
freedom, free speech and the rights of parents without being contested . . .
We … are ready to fight this battle all the way to the [California] Supreme
Court, if necessary,” he added.
But a day later,
U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller blocked a second petition to
bar the implementation of the law. The complaint was brought by the National
Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH); the American
Association of Christian Counselors; three licensed mental-health
professionals; and two families with teen sons currently in gay conversion
treatments . . .
In response, Mat Staver, founder and
chairman of Liberty Counsel, said the opponents of the new law will file an
emergency appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals . . . The law is
politically motivated, interferes with counselors and clients, and permits
clients to receive only one viewpoint on same-sex attraction, he said . . .
The battle over gay conversion
therapies last week reached Capitol Hill, when
Rep. Jackie Speier, California Democrat,
introduced a resolution asking the House of Representatives to condemn
sex-conversion therapies for minors. Six other members of Congress joined
her in supporting the resolution."
12-11-12: Huffington Post: "Trans Womanhood on Trial: Transmisogyny in
the Assault Trial of Former FDNY Firefighter Taylor Murphy", by
"Violence against transgender people
is a serious and pervasive issue. Far too many trans people, and
particularly trans women of color, have been targeted in violent attacks. So
reading about the trial of former New York City firefighter Taylor Murphy,
who is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, model Claudia Charriez, I
was saddened and infuriated by the attempt of Murphy's legal counsel as well
as the press to discredit and delegitimize Charriez.
Many trans women who find ourselves
the victims of violence, domestic or otherwise, often don't report the
incidents, out of fear of being further victimized by the criminal justice
system or the press. This is what Charriez is experiencing.
percent of trans people have reported feeling uncomfortable seeking police
assistance. So with the epidemic of violence against trans people, it's
important to call out the demonization of Charriez, an alleged domestic
abuse survivor, by Murphy's defense attorney. It's also important to call
out the objectification, sexualization and dehumanization of Claudia
Charriez by the press, which by sensationalizing this trial and Charriez's
identity, trivializes the very serious issue of violence against trans
12-11-12: The Advocate: "ESPN Radio Hosts Suspended for Mocking
Transgender Basketball Player" (more)
"Transgender woman Gabrielle Ludwig, a
Desert Storm veteran, got to fulfill her life-long wishes by going back to
college and playing for Contra Costa Community College's basketball team at
age 50. But that didn't stop ESPN radio hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin
from brutally degrading her experience and mocking her appearance and
calling her "he/she" and "it."
Outsports, the radio hosts also say
transgender people should not play sports, and conveyed disgusted reactions
regarding her appearance.
Helen Carroll, an advocate for LGBT
people in athletics said the language used in the broadcast is
"inexcusable." The duo issued a 10-second apology, according to the report,
for calling Ludwig an "it.""
12-10-12: ABC News (re Ivory Coast): "Transgender Prostitutes Face Abuse in
"It seemed like a case of simple
blackmail. Late one night last month, two cars carrying around 10 soldiers
pulled up to a group of prostitutes in Abidjan's Vallon neighborhood and
began demanding bribes. To save themselves, some of the women in the group
approached the soldiers and told them what they knew would divert their
attention: They pointed to a sex worker cowering among them who goes by the
street name of Raissa. And they sold her out.
The soldiers cornered her, stripped
her and discovered her secret: Raissa, who requested that her real name not
be used out of fear for her safety, is not a woman at all, but rather a man
dressed as one. They savagely beat her with their belts. Such scenes have
become routine since the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast assumed control of
Abidjan in April 2011 at the end of a five-month conflict to oust
ex-President Laurent Gbagbo and install his elected successor, Alassane
In interviews with The Associated
Press, five victims and activists say transgender sex workers have been
regularly stripped and beaten. In the most extreme case, those dressed as
women who were discovered to be men were held overnight at military camps
and raped with Kalashnikov rifles, they say. Others charge their heads were
shaved with broken beer bottles . . .
Victims almost uniformly attribute the
attacks to the fact that many soldiers in the new army are Muslim. During
one attack in Abidjan's Zone 4 district in July, Raissa said a soldier
invoked the Quran in justifying the violence. "He said, 'In the Quran it
says that when you kill a homosexual you go to heaven,'" she recalled."
12-09-12: The Guardian (UK re US): "Transgender people get a status
update", by Paris Lees
"The American Psychiatric Association
(APA) no longer sees
transgender people as disordered. Well, sort of.
Gender identity disorder (GID) – the
psychiatric term given to people who wish to undergo gender reassignment –
is being dropped from
its new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5).
Say hello instead to
gender dysphoria, "a marked incongruence between one's
experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender". Hurrah! Gender identity
disorder is dead, long live gender dysphoria! Or something like that . . .
Labelling, most trans people agree, is
tricky. Previous DSMs classed a range of behaviours as "disordered" –
including homosexuality until the 1970s. And today you can be diagnosed with
a plethora of psychological conditions that apparently didn't exist 40 years
ago. Psychiatrists had yet to dream them up.
In a petition denouncing the APA's desire to medicalise
natural human variation, academic
Y Gavriel Ansara argues that
"pathologising human expressions, identities and experiences harms civil
rights and violates international human rights standards". The manual, he
says, ignores evidence from various cultures that celebrate trans
identities, rather than see them as problem.
Then there's US sexologist
best known for his ... well, problematic concept of autogynyphelia: the idea
that trans women are actually men who feel attracted to their female-selves.
Yes, really. Blanchard has expanded the DSM's "paraphilia" section (where
crimes such as paedophilia and exhibitionism go) to include transvestic
disorder. That's cross-dressing to you and me and, according to Blanchard
and the APA, there are two types – fetishism and autogynephilia. That's not
all: "transvestic disorder can be applied to any person who is sexually
active while wearing clothing incongruent with their birth-assigned sex." So
female-born humans who wear "men's" clothes while aroused will have
"autoandrophilia". Annie Lennox, in a suit, feeling raunchy? Androphile!
Just what is
"incongruent" clothing is not specified by the DSM – but watch out for
unisex hoodies, just in case."
12-05-12: Huffington Post: "The End of Transgender as a Mental
Illness", by Dana Beyer
"The march forward for trans civil
rights proceeds apace, its momentum unflagging. It was one year ago this
week that Judge William Pryor of Alabama, a man not known for his sympathies
for the LGBT community, stated in the 11th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals
in Atlanta that trans persons were a protected class under the 14th
Amendment. Now the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association
(APA) has ratified the DSM-5, the fifth edition of what is known
colloquially as the "psychiatrists' bible," so as of Dec. 1, trans persons
are no longer classified by the medical community as mentally ill, this
decision coming 39 years after homosexuality was declassified as a mental
illness by the same organization . . .
When the closing bell is rung, we
should remember those who toiled through the decades with little expectation
of recognition or success. Just as President Obama's support of the trans
and gay communities these past four years was only the final push of
sufficiency needed to create so much change, this landmark achievement would
not have been made possible without the yeomanly work of so many.
A few whom I feel are particularly
noteworthy of mention are Jack
Drescher, M.D., who has long been active on LGBT concerns within the
Edgardo Menvielle, M.D., who led the workgroup of the Washington
Psychiatric Society, which rewrote the gender dysphoria text, and on which I
was honored to serve; and
Roger Peele, M.D., Chief Psychiatrist for Montgomery County, Md., a
strong advocate for the trans community on the Board of Trustees of the APA.
We all owe a great deal to
Kelley Winters, Ph.D., who has been the conscience as well as the
motivating force in the campaign to depathologize the state of being
12-05-12: Washington Blade (posted 12-09): "APA modifies Gender
Identity Disorder diagnosis"
"Advocates welcomed the American
Psychiatric Association’s decision on Saturday to remove Gender Identity
Disorder from its list of mental disorders . . . The organization, which
represents more than 36,000 psychiatrists from around the world, has revised
the DSM five times since it was founded in 1844. The latest revision process
began 15 years ago.
Dana Beyer, who worked on the task
force that wrote the new language the APA adopted with the Washington
Psychiatric Society, said the removal of GID from the DSM is comparable to
the organization’s declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness in
1973 . . . Beyer added this change will have implications for children who
see a therapist for GID to trans activists fighting against what she
described as “fundamental opposition” in state legislatures. “We are no
longer mentally ill and that has huge implications just as it did for
homosexuality in 1973. It’s absolutely game-changing” . . .
Psychiatrists and other medical
providers had begun to commonly diagnose trans patients with GID by the
early 1990s — the APA added it to the DSM when it revised it for the third
time in 1987. The diagnoses, however, remain controversial among some trans
Kelley Winters, of the
group GID Reform Advocates told the
Blade the change in title from Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria
signifies the “problem to be treated is not the person’s identity,” but
rather “the distress that is often experienced by those who need access to
medical transition care.” She further noted the new terminology remains
within what she described as a “manual of disorder.”
She also criticized the APA for not
removing the “Transvestic Disorder” category she asserts remains defamatory
to cross-dressers and transsexuals
in a post on the Bilerico Project on Wednesday. Winters welcomed,
however, the move to change GID to Gender Dysphoria in the DSM."
12-07-12: GIDReform.org: "Gender Dysphoria Diagnosis to be Moved Out
of Sexual Disorders Chapter of DSM-5", by Kelley Winters,Ph.D.
"Dr. Jack Drescher, a member of the
DSM-5 task force, confirmed
yesterday that the Gender Dysphoria Diagnosis will be removed from the
sexual disorders chapter and placed in a separate category in the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . . .
This reclassification, along with the
change in title from Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria, is a
significant improvement in the diagnostic coding used for access to
medical transition care, for trans and transsexual people who need it.
Preceding diagnoses of Transsexualism/Gender Identity Disorders were grouped
with “psychosexual” disorders in the DSM-III. They were briefly moved to
. . . the DSM-III-R in 1987 but were returned to the sexual disorders
chapter in the DSM-IV, and DSM-IV-TR. Community advocates and supportive
medical providers have long
raised concern that this placement was clinically misleading and
reinforced false stereotypes about gender diversity. Gender identity, in
truth, is not specifically related to sexuality, sexual orientation or
sexual dysfunction. Political and religious extremists have exploited
the sexual disorder grouping in the DSM to
sexualize gender diversity and defame trans people as deviant. Trans and
transsexual individuals have consequently lost their jobs, homes, families,
children, and civil justice . . .
Unfortunately, the DSM-5 Task Force
and APA Board of Trustees
retained the Transvestic Disorder category in the sexual disorders
chapter. Previous known as Transvestic Fetishism, it is grouped with
paraphilic diagnoses such as pedophilia and exhibitionism and authored by
Dr. Raymond Blanchard of the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
(formerly called the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry). This
punitive and scientifically capricious category maligns many gender
variant people, including transsexual women and men, as mentally ill and
sexually deviant, purely on the basis of nonconforming gender expression. It
is written to promote Blanchard’s unfounded theories of “autogynephilia” and
“autoandrophilia” that conflate social and medical gender transition with
fetishism. More than 7000 people have signed an
online petition, sponsored by
the International Foundation for Gender Equality (IFGE), calling for the
removal of this harmful diagnosis from the DSM."
12-07-12: The Phoenix (posted 10-10-12; an important article I
missed): "How Norman Spack transformed the way we treat transgender
"At 20, Norman Spack learned the power
of hormones. By adjusting the prolactin and thyroid levels of tadpoles,
Spack found he could prompt metamorphosis; he watched from a bench in his
research lab as they grew legs and their gills were absorbed and replaced
Forty years later, a patient named
Mark walked into Spack's adolescent medicine clinic in Chestnut Hill and
told Spack he wanted to change. He was male, he told Spack, but his body was
a woman's. Back then, in the 1980s, many doctors might have seen Mark's
predicament as a mental-health problem: someone with a desire that
challenged the status quo of society and gender must need a psychiatrist,
not an endocrinologist. But Spack approached the personable young man in
much the same way he had approached his research on newts: Mark had a
practical problem, and Spack had the tools to address it. "I had given
plenty of testosterone to hypo-gonadal males," he recalls. "It just seemed
to me you'd give the same amount you'd give a guy." And that's what he did.
Now nearing 70, and at the edge of
retirement, Spack has gone on to change how transgender kids are treated.
When he founded the Gender Management Service, or GeMS, at Boston Children's
Hospital in 2008, it was the only pediatric clinic of its kind in the US.
Adapting protocols developed by doctors in the Netherlands — the "Dutch
masters," he calls them — Spack was one of the first doctors in the United
States, certainly the first based at a major urban academic children's
hospital, to try to tackle this problem, treating kids as young as nine with
hormone blockers to delay puberty.
Today, clinics for transgender kids in
British Columbia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis,
New York, Hartford, Providence, and Washington, DC, have either been created
or expanded. And in almost all of these places is a doctor that Spack has
trained, mentored, or guided.
"As centers like Norm Spack's are
starting up in a number of places, a lot more pediatricians and a lot more
child psychiatrists will be educated about this issue and will be able to
refer children," says Laura Erickson-Schroth, a psychiatry resident at NYU
and a former student of Spack's who is helping to set up a clinic like GeMS
in New York. This is both a result of Spack's work and a sign of the times.
As a result, "as a society, we're sort of beginning to accept that gender
and sexuality are not straightforward and simple."
Spack, for one, understands
transsexualism as a straightforward medical issue. "This is two conditions
that pediatric endocrinologists treat all the time," Spack says. "One is
precocious puberty. The other is delayed puberty. So for the transgendered,
it's the precocity of the puberty they never wanted, and a delay of the
puberty they affirm. "Gender dysphoria is a condition that can be treated
rather easily," he says. "You don't need to be a rocket scientist to take
care of a transgender patient.""
12-07-12: The Sun (UK re US): "World's first ever transsexual - called
Christine - seen in rare 1953 newsreel"
"This is the world’s first transsexual
- revealed in rare newsreel footage that was filmed nearly 60 years ago.
Christine Jorgensen, a former GI in the US Army called George, underwent
gender reassignment in Denmark in 1953 and was the first person to go public
after the surgery.
She is seen here at the age of 26 in
archive footage posted on the website of historic newsreel company British
Pathe. The black and white clip is billed as “GI” Christine Returns Home and
shows Jorgensen being greeted by a huge pack of cameramen as she touches
back down in the USA."
12-06-12: San Francisco Chronicle (re Brazil): "Transgender models
stars in Brazil"
"Walking the catwalk in a Brazilian
bikini is a nerve-racking experience for even the most seasoned of models,
Felipa Tavares it's nothing short of terrifying.
The 6-foot-tall Tavares is among
Brazil's small but growing ranks of transgender models - leggy,
high-cheekbone sirens who were born men and are causing a splash here as
well as in Paris and other international
Though they emerged onto the scene
here just around two years ago, Brazil's so-called trans-models have already
added a pinch of exoticism to the country's showcase modeling sector - long
dominated by blonde women such as Brazilian uber-model
Gisele Bundchen. The trans-models' newfound prominence also points to a
seismic shift in Brazilian society, which has seen macho, homophobic
attitudes soften in recent years as gays win more legal rights."
12-06-12: Daily Mail (UK re US): "Firefighter 'attacked pre-op
transsexual model girlfriend by slamming her into phone booth and dragging
her along by her hair'"
FDNY calendar boy punched, bit and spat at his blonde pre-op transsexual
model girlfriend, nearly leaving her unconscious, during a vicious brawl,
jurors heard today. Taylor Murphy, 29, is accused of assaulting his
ex-lover, Claudia Charriez, 31, who was kicked off American's Next Top Model
in 2006 for being born a man . . .
'He punched her in
the back on the right side, by the shoulder blade, assistant district
attorney Kevin Rooney said, according to
The New York Post.
'Enough to make her fear what was coming as he slammed the door shut... He
bit her on the forearm.'Ultimately he pinned her down on the bed... all 240
pounds of her on top of her . . . ' His voice rising, Rooney continued: 'He
spit at her. Covering her mouth so she couldn't scream.'
In his opening
statement, defense lawyer Jason Berland described the couple as having 'a
textbook dysfunctional relationship.' Berland told jurors that Charriez had
been working as a prostitute and the love affair 'unfortunately went south'
when Murphy discovered the woman was sick with 'a venereal disease.'
'Because he loved her he begged her to stop working as an escort' . . . 'But
his pleas fell on deaf ears' and Murphy, who is bisexual and has a penchant
for trannies, started seeing other people, which is when Charriez embarked
on a campaign of threats and allegations against the firefighter.
prosecution claims the breakup and subsequent beat-down was sparked by
Murphy's drunken jealousy."
[The Mail sure had a field day with
this one, getting a chance to repeat the nonsensical but time-worn assertion
that transwomen are born as fully-grown men, rather than as boys.]
12-06-12: The Advocate: "Op-ed: Transgender Dinosaurs and the Rise of
the Genderqueers ‒ Why the traditional concept of transgender is slowly
"She was a lovely 13-year-old girl,
with long blond hair, bright hazel eyes and the budding bosom and hips of
the woman she would soon be. Her smile betrayed none of the
self-consciousness that I had when I was young and began—as a
transsexual—dressing in feminine clothing. I assumed she was a friend of the
young transsexual woman I was there to meet. While I searched for our
assumed mutual friend, I ignored this young woman because it was simply
impossible to see her as anything but a woman . . .
With adolescents increasingly taking androgen blockers with the support of a
generation of more protective, nurturing parents, public transsexuality is
fading out. And I don't mean only that in a generation or two we may become
invisible in the public space. I mean rather that in 10 years, the entire
experience we understand today as constituting transgender—along with the
political advocacy, support groups, literature, theory and books that have
come to define it since transgender burst from its closet in the early 1990s
to become part of the LGB-and-now-T movement—all that may be vanishing right
in front of us. In 50 years it might be as if we never existed. Our
memories, our accomplishments, our political movement, will all seem to only
be historic. Feeling transgender will not so much become more acceptable, as
gayness is now doing, but logically impossible.
In other words, I may be a gender
dinosaur. Which is exactly how this young girl makes me feel as she smiles
and walks past me in a sky blue summer dress I was born too old to wear. She
walks out to the sunlit sidewalk where a young man turns to look at her and
12-05-12: GIDReform.org: "An Update on Gender Diagnoses, as the DSM-5
Goes to Press", by Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
"On December 1, the Board of Trustees
for the American Psychiatric Association
approved the final draft of the fifth edition of Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
controversial DSM revision in more than three decades, the DSM-5 has
strong concerns, ranging from overdiagnosis and overmedication of
ordinary everyday behaviors to poor diagnostic reliability in field trials.
The transgender-specific categories of
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and
Transvestic Fetishism (TF) have been especially contentious, beginning
2008 appointment of Drs. Kenneth Zucker and Raymond Blanchard of the
Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Illness (CAMH) to lead the workgroup
for sexual and gender identity disorders. They were key authors of the prior
DSM-IV gender diagnoses and leading proponents of punitive
gender conversion/reparative psychotherapies (no longer considered
ethical practice in the current
WPATH Standards of Care) . . .
Some of the proposed gender-related
revisions in the DSM-5 are positive, however they do not go nearly far
enough. The Gender Identity Disorder category (intended by its authors to
mean “disordered” gender identity) is renamed to
Gender Dysphoria (from a Greek root for distress). . . . This message is
reinforced by the August 2012
Public Policy Statement from the American Psychiatric Association
affirming the medical necessity of hormonal and/or surgical transition care
. . .
On the negative side, the proposed
diagnostic criteria for Gender Dysphoria still contradict social and medical
transition and describe transition itself as symptomatic of mental illness.
The criteria for children are particularly troubling, retaining much of the
archaic sexist language of the DSM-IV that pathologizes gender nonconformity
rather than distress of gender dsyphoria. Moreover, children who have
socially transitioned continue to be disrespected by misgendering language
in the diagnostic criteria and dimensional assessment questions. There is
very plainly no exit from the diagnosis for those who have completed
transition and are happy with their bodies and lives. In other words, the
only way to exit the GD label, once diagnosed, is to follow the course of
gender conversion/reparative therapies, designed to shame trans people into
the closets of assigned birth roles. While supportive care providers will
continue to make the diagnosis work for their clients, intolerant clinicians
will exploit contradictory language in the diagnostic criteria to deny
transition care access and promote unethical gender conversion treatments."
12-05-12: Los Angeles Daily News: "Transsexual woman -- 50 years old,
6 feet 8 -- debuts on Santa Clara junior college basketball team" (more,
"As the buzzer sounds to announce the
substitution, a handful of Mission College basketball supporters chant:
"Gabbi! Gabbi! Gabbi!"
Most of the 50 or so onlookers in the
dingy, yellow-tinted gym briefly look up from their chili-cheese nachos and
smartphones, and then back down. A few whisper and point at No. 42,
marveling at her size.
It was the debut of Gabrielle Ludwig,
and at 6 feet 8, 220 pounds, with tattoos on her arms and legs, she stands
out in the Contra Costa College gym. At 50, the Fremont resident is about
three decades older than her Santa Clara community college teammates and
opponents -- and much taller.
What many at the 19th annual Comet
Classic did not know was Ludwig had only been a woman since July, when she
had a sex change operation. They didn't know the long path traveled by the
father and Desert Storm veteran, and how she may be the first transsexual
athlete to play college sports as both genders.
While her coach, athletic director and
supporters applaud Ludwig's addition to the team, opponents and their
followers question whether it's fair."
12-01-12: Perth Now (Australia): "Same-sex marriage advocate Senator
opens up on relationship"
"WA Labor senator Louise Pratt has
opened up about life with her transgender partner, Aram Hosie, saying there
is nothing unusual about their relationship - it's "just two people who
happen to be in love".
"For us, it's not about getting caught
up in questions of sexual orientation", she says in an exclusive interview
in STM. "It's just about loving and supporting each other. "We are just two
people who happen to be in love."
When Senator Pratt, 40, first met
Aram, 29, he was a woman named Renae and their relationship has had to
survive his transition to male."
12-01-12: The Times of India (India): "Transgender, sex workers to
help draft women policy"
"A committee comprising members of
Parliament, legislative assembly and non-governmental sector has already
been formed for the review exercise. "Now, we will expand the committee to
include three representatives from the transgenders and the sex workers in
order to ensure that their concerns get reflected in the policy document,"
In a press statement, transgender
rights activist Laxmi Tripathi hailed the move as a historic step and urged
the minister to emulate the measures taken by the Tamil Nadu government to
constitute a transgender welfare board. The review was necessitated after
women's groups pointed out that the 2001 draft did not cover many aspects of
reducing discrimination against women. The state has asked NGOs working with
transgenders and commercial sex workers to forward the names of three
members who could be included in the expert committee that will review the
women's policy. "
11-29-12: New York Times (posted 11-27): "Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’
Faces Test in Courts"
"In New Jersey on Tuesday, four gay
men who tried the therapy filed a civil suit against a prominent counseling
group, charging it with deceptive practices under the state’s Consumer Fraud
The former clients said they were
emotionally scarred by false promises of inner transformation and
humiliating techniques that included stripping naked in front of the
counselor and beating effigies of their mothers. They paid thousands of
dollars in fees over time, they said, only to be told that the lack of
change in their sexual feelings was their own fault . . .
Since the 1970s, when mainstream
mental health associations stopped branding homosexuality as a disorder, a
small network of renegade therapists, conservative religious leaders and
self-identified “life coaches” has continued to argue that it is not inborn,
but an aberration rooted in childhood trauma. Homosexuality is caused, these
therapists say, by a stifling of normal masculine development, often by
distant fathers and overbearing mothers or by early sexual abuse. An
industry of “reparative therapy” clinics and men’s weekend retreats has
drawn thousands of teenagers and adults who hope to rid themselves of
homosexual urges, whether because of religious beliefs or family pressures.
But leading scientific and medical
groups say that the theories of sexuality are unfounded and that there is no
evidence that core sexual urges can be changed. They also warn that the
therapy can, in the words of the American Psychiatric Association, cause
“depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior” and “reinforce
self-hatred already experienced by the patient.” Those conclusions will be
at the center of the coming legal fights in the state and federal courts."
[Sometime down the line, former young
will similarly begin challenging
for the harm his
transreparatist therapy has done to them.]
All Africa (re Kenya): "Kenya: Gender Identity - the Other Sex, Part Three"
"In June, Alex, a transgender man, was
hanging out in a bar in downtown Nairobi when he got assaulted. His alleged
attacker who was with a group of friends walked up to him and started
hurling insults at him after which he told Alex, "I am going to hit you to
prove that you are not a man." Alex, who is also a member of Transgender,
Education and Advocacy, was helpless as his attacker and his friends beat
"The whole time, they taunted me
saying, 'bring your lesbian lawyers.'" Alex with the help of Audrey Mbugua,
TEA's programmes manager, reported the matter to the police at Central
Police Station. The police directed Alex to get a P3 form from the police
surgeon. Once he got it, Alex went back to the police and two days later his
attacker was arrested. Following the arrest, his attacker's friends
threatened him and tried to intimidate him to drop the charges, but Alex
stood his ground. His determination not to be cowed for being a transgender
person paid off when the court found his attacker guilty of assault and had
him jailed for two years.
"Taking Alex's attacker to court was
important for us because most times transsexuals will not report such
matters to the police for fear of repercussions. We transsexual people need
to represent ourselves because we know where the shoe pinches most and we
have brains and mouths to speak for ourselves."
11-29-12: CTV News (Canada): "Transgender teen allowed to use boys
washroom after petition signed by classmates" (more)
"A transgender teen initially banned
from using the boys washroom at his Toronto-area high school has been told
he can now use it freely. James Spencer, 16, was told Wednesday he could
access the boys washroom at Clarke High School in Durham region following a
meeting with school officials.
The move was a reversal of an earlier
decision by officials, who told the young teen to stop using the boys
washroom because some students felt uncomfortable . . . Following a school
request, Spencer launched a petition to find out how many of his schoolmates
would be OK with a transgender student using the washroom they identify
with. In just a few days, over 200 students signed the petition."
News Magazine (UK re US): "Christine Jorgensen: 60 years of sex change ops"
"News of a pioneering sex change
operation, one of the first involving both surgery and hormone therapy, was
announced in 1952 - exactly 60 years ago this weekend. "Ex-GI becomes blonde
beauty!" screamed one headline as newspapers in the United States broke the
news. George Jorgensen, a quiet New Yorker, shocked a nation by returning
from a trip to Denmark transformed into the glamorous Christine. As the
slender, blonde 27-year-old woman wrapped in a fur coat stepped out of the
plane on to the tarmac in New York, her long eyelashes, high cheekbones and
full red lips betrayed little of the shy man she had once been.
Jorgensen grew up in the Bronx, a
happy child in a large close-knit family. As a teenager he became convinced
he was trapped in the wrong body . . . in the late 1940s, during a
short stint in the US military, Jorgensen came across an article about a
Danish doctor, Christian Hamburger, who was experimenting with gender
therapy by testing hormones on animals. She began to hope Hamburger would
provide the solution to her problem . . .
Today sexual reassignment surgery
involves making an incision in the scrotum and pulling nerve endings from
the penis inside the body to design a vagina but this form of
penile-inversion surgery was not invented until several years after
Jorgensen's operation. "Apparently the surgery was successful enough for
Jorgensen to feel satisfied," says documentary maker Teit Ritzau . . . After
the procedure, Christine wrote to her parents back in New York: "Nature made
a mistake which I have had corrected, and now I am your daughter." Her
family seemed to be very supportive of her decision . . .
On her return to the US, Jorgensen was
greeted with curiosity, fascination and respect by both the media and the
public. There was relatively little hostility. Hollywood embraced her.
Theatre and film contracts began to roll in, she was invited to all the most
glamorous parties and even crowned Woman of the Year by the Scandinavian
Society in New York . . .
Jorgensen died of cancer at the age of
62, in 1989. Just a few years before her death, she travelled back to
Denmark for a reunion with the doctors who had helped her through her
transformation. Speaking to the media, she acknowledged the milestone her
case represented. "We didn't start the sexual revolution but I think we gave
it a good kick in the pants!"
Christine Jorgensen is the
subject of today's edition of Witness on
BBC World Service.
You can listen to the programme, download a podcast, and browse the Witness
11-28-12: Los Angeles Times: "UCLA starts master's program in law on
gender and sexuality" (more)
"UCLA’s law school will start a
master’s degree program next fall specializing in issues of sexuality,
gender identity and gay and lesbian rights, officials announced. The new
degree program was described as the first of its kind in the nation.
nine-month master’s program in “law and sexuality” will build on work of the
Williams Institute, a law school think tank already devoted to those
topics, according to Lara Stemple, director of graduate studies at the
school. She said she expects the new classes will have an international
focus both in the students enrolled and in studying such issues as anti-gay
violence and gay marriage worldwide.
The degree “will provide young lawyers
with the tools they need to engage in this dynamic and rapidly changing area
of the law,” Stemple said. Potential students must first earn a law degree
in the United States or elsewhere. The program will start out small, with
three to five students . . . "
11-28-12: Lansing City Pulse (Lansing, MI): "Whom You Love ‒ Gender
identity and children"
"Ken Zucker, psychologist-in-chief at
the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, is the 10th speaker
in Michigan State University’s semester-long series, “Whom You Love: the
biology of sexual orientation,” which aims to demonstrate that homosexuality
is a natural occurrence in humans. His speech is called “Gender Identity and
Sexual Orientation: Lessons Learned from Life-Course Research”
Zucker is the head of the Gender
Identity Service in the Child, Youth and Family Program at CAMH, and is also
a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Since 2002, he has been the editor of archives of sexual behavior and is
past president of the International Academy of Sex Research.
What general themes will your lecture
"My lecture will focus on psychosexual
differentiation from a developmental perspective. In my speech, I will
characterize the temporal sequence of three key phenomena: gender identity
(the emergence of a child´s sense of self as a boy, a girl or some
alternative gender), gender role (the behavioral expressions that mark the
constructs of "masculinity" and "femininity") and sexual orientation (one´s
erotic attraction to males, to females or to both, and the corresponding
self-labels that a person uses to characterize their own sexual identity,
which include gay, bisexual, heterosexual and asexual).
I will then discuss what we know about
the developmental predictors of both gender identity and sexual orientation
in adolescence and adulthood. These parameters include within-sex variation
in childhood sex-typed behavior, biodemographic variables (such as birth
order) and social class." "
[Comment: In an effort to
salvage has legacy,
is now posing as a 'gay-friendly scientist’ in lectures to gay/lesbian
academic audiences that are unfamiliar with his infamous history as a
trans-reparatist. However, this isn't going to work, because he’s
already boasted too much, on the record,
about his methods for 'curing' gender variant kids.]
11-28-12: Gay Star News (re Kuwait): ''Two trans women arrested in
Kuwait ‒ Kuwait continues with 'morality' campaigns that also target LGBT
people, and in particular the trans community, with at least 15 transgender
women now imprisoned"
"Two trans women were arrested today
(28 November) in Kuwait. The two, described by
Al-Watan daily as ‘cross dressers’, were driving their car, but a police
patrol became suspicious and tailed them. The two tried to escape, by
switching to different streets and increased their speed but were chased and
apprehended . . .
A transgender activist in Kuwait told
Gay Star News: ‘The media in Kuwait is trying to create a moral panic about
LGBT by distorting facts or even fabricating them.
'This is just another attempt to use
LGBT issues in the ongoing battle between the government and the Islamist
opposition. 'The government want to show that they are in control and just
as “moral” as the Islamists so the use as scapegoat . . .
'Meanwhile there is no recognition of
our existence, both the government and opposition use LGBT issues as tools
to attack each other, while refusing to recognize the rights of LGBT
community in Kuwait. 'Because of shame, religion, culture or any other
excuse that they can think of'.
This brings the total known number of
transgender women being held in prison awaiting trial to fifteen. The
arrests of the transgender women is part of an
on-going 'morality' campaign which also target lesbian, gay and
transgender people. The situation for LGBT people, and in particular
transgender people has been progressively deteriorating since 2007, with
this year in particular witnessing mass arrests."
11-28-12: The Advocate (re Uganda): "TRANSCRIPT: Ugandan Trans Woman
Pens Courageous Open Letter to Parliament ‒ The woman asked her members of
Parliament to reject the so-called "kill the gays" bill. "
"Cleo K., a transgender woman living
penned an open letter asking her members of Parliament to reject the
country's "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," which would criminalize LGBT Ugandans
and subject some to the death penalty.
Uganda's so-called "kill the gays" bill, which would proscribe long
imprisonment and even death for some LGBT Ugandans, including those who are
HIV-positive, and friends and family who refuse to turn in "known
homosexuals" to the authorities. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told reporters
last month that Parliament would pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a
"Christmas gift" to Ugandans who she says are "demanding it." On
Friday, a parliamentary committee moved the bill forward, and as of
Tuesday, the bill appears at the top of the parliamentary Orders Papers'
"Notice of Business to Follow," after second and third readings of other
While western activists rally against
the draconian legislation, Americans have heard precious little from LGBT
people living in Uganda. This morning, a transgender Ugandan woman, going by
the name Cleo K., posted an open letter to members of parliament on her
Facebook account, asking the legislators for tolerance and tepid acceptance
of variant sexual orientations and gender identities.
Read her entire poignant message, in which she delineates sexual
orientation from gender identity and chronicles her own family's long
journey to accepting her . . . "
11-28-12: Huffington Post: "Dashad 'Sage' Smith Missing: Virginia
Police Searching For Transgender Teen"
"Police in Virginia are searching for
a transgender teen who has been missing for more than a week. Dashad Smith,
19, also known as Sage, Sagey and Unique, was last seen Nov. 20, in the 500
block of West Main Street in Charlottesville. Smith was last seen wearing a
black jacket, dark-gray sweatpants, a black scarf and gray boots, police
Smith was supposed to meeting a man
for a date on the evening she disappeared, her father, Dean Smith, told The
Huffington Post. "I had talked to my son on Nov. 20. I talked to him about
5:00 or 5:30 p.m.," Dean Smith said. "After that he did not answer his
phone. His roommate said he was going to meet a guy ... I guess they were
going on date or whatever. That's all they have right now. It looks like
it's an abduction.""
11-28-12: LGBTQ Nation: "Openly transgender lawmaker may not resign,
despite felony conviction"
"Stacie Laughton, one of the nation's first
openly transgender state officials, said Wednesday she was reconsidering her
previously announced resignation, and may not relinquish her seat in the New
Hampshire House, despite pressure over a previously undisclosed conviction
for credit card fraud."
11-27-12: Yahoo News (re Belgium): "Belgian man discovers wife used to
be male after 19 years of marriage"
"A man from Belgium wants to have his
marriage annulled after discovering that his Indonesian wife of 19 years had
originally been a man and had undergone a sex change. The man, only named as
Jan, married Monica, his family's former au pair, in 1993 despite legal
difficulties posed by the Belgian immigration authorities.
"I feel I've been assaulted," the
Telegraph quoted him as telling the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper. "I brought her
to Belgium. That was not easy. The Belgian courts had serious doubts about
the authenticity of her birth and her identity papers, but eventually they
accepted it anyway.
"I thought she was an attractive
woman, all woman. She had no male traits," he said . . . "Even during sex, I
never noticed anything," he said. Jan, who is undergoing psychiatric
treatment following the discovery, has started legal proceedings to have the
11-27-12: The Shorthorn (UT - Arlington): "Transgender community
speaks out about transition process"
"Penelope Ingram initiates a lot of
discussion in her gender studies classes. Texas is a conservative state,
after all. So, when Liam Stone approached the associate professor in her
office after class one day, Ingram wasn’t sure what to expect — these
conversations can escalate quickly.
“She was nervous and prefaced it by
saying she hadn’t told anybody and said I’d probably think she was crazy,”
Ingram said. “She was thinking that she might be a boy.” “So, I said,
‘That’s awesome.’ I don’t think she was expecting that response.”
For many college students, what to
wear is as flip a decision as where to eat dinner. For about 700,000 people
across the U.S., including UTA students, everyday choices are not as easy.
Transgender people, whose gender identity differs from their birth gender,
must decide how much of their true selves they will expose that day."
11-26-12: Queerty: "UN
Passes Historic Resolution Condemning Executions Of Gay And Trans People"
United Nations has set a precedent by acknowledging the need to protect
individuals from executions based on gender identity in a new resolution
passed last week.
resolution by the UN General Assembly urges States to protect the right to
life of all people, as well as to investigate killings based on
discriminatory grounds, including,
for the first time in the resolution’s history,
As noted by the
International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission,
the resolution was particularly significant as it was passed on
Transgender Day of Remembrance,
dedicated to those murdered as a result of their gender identity or
11-20-12: San Francisco Chronicle: "Okla.
court: Name change allowed after sex change"
woman who became female through gender-reassignment surgery has the right to
change her name too, despite a trial court judge's ruling that suggested her
new name was misleading, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled
three-judge panel ruled that
Steven Charles Harvey did not attempt to
deceive anyone by seeking legal recognition of her new name, Christie Ann
Harvey. Oklahoma County District Judge
Bill Graves, a former Republican
lawmaker, earlier ruled against Harvey, ruling that gender-reassignment
surgery didn't change Harvey's DNA.
"Petitioner has stipulated that his DNA cannot be changed to that of a
female," Graves wrote in his ruling. "Thus, if a sex change cannot validly
change one's sex from male to female or vice versa ... his purpose would
the panel ruled the lower court "abused its discretion" by denying the
name-change application and ordered Graves to grant Harvey's change of name."
11-20-12: WhiteHouse.gov: "Transgender Day of Remembrance" (panorama
photo of participants)
"Earlier today, a group of transgender
community advocates met with White House staff to mark Transgender Day of
Remembrance and discuss ways in which we can work together to ensure
dignity, equality, and justice for all people.
Throughout America and around the
world, many transgender people face bullying, harassment, discrimination,
and violence. Far too often, we hear shocking and tragic stories about
transgender people who have been assaulted and even killed because of their
gender identity or expression. The Obama Administration is committed to
preventing violence against all people, including all members of the LGBT
community, and this meeting was an important opportunity to explore ways to
make our communities and neighborhoods safer.
At the meeting, community leaders
highlighted a range of issues and concerns of importance to transgender
people. In the months and years ahead, we look forward to working to ensure
the safety and wellbeing of all transgender people."
11-20-12: Center for American Progress (posted 11-15): "Ensuring
Benefits Parity and Gender Identity Nondiscrimination in Essential Health
"This issue brief explores the problem
of insurance discrimination from the perspective of one of the clearest and
most widespread examples of arbitrary discrimination in plan design:
coverage exclusions targeting transgender people for denial of benefits that
are routinely covered for nontransgender people . . .
To stay healthy throughout their
lives, transgender people also need preventive care to keep from becoming
ill, including services that are traditionally considered to be gender
specific such as Pap smears, prostate exams, and mammograms. Transgender
patients may need a mix of such screenings. Medically necessary preventive
screenings for a transgender woman, for example, may include both a
mammogram and a prostate exam.
Many health insurance plans, however,
specifically target the transgender population for categorical denial of a
wide range of services. In some instances these exclusions apply only to
surgical treatments related to transition while permitting coverage for
other benefits such as mental health services and hormone therapy. But most
coverage exclusions are sweeping—excluding, for example, coverage of any
“services, drugs, or supplies related to sex transformation,” “all services
related to sexual reassignment,” or “any treatment, drug, service or supply
related to changing sex or sexual characteristics.”
Further, insurance carriers routinely
invoke these exclusions to deny coverage for any services provided to
transgender individuals, including preventive screenings, setting broken
bones, and hospitalization for pneumonia . . . "
obsessive-pathologization of transpeople by American psychiatry has led to
extreme fear and loathing of transpeople by many in the medical community -
often leading to the complete denial of medical care for transpeople by
physicians and hospitals. This outrageous situation must be exposed for what
it is, namely superstition-based hysteria and fear, and it must be stamped
11-20-12: The Mirror (UK): "Monday's must-see TV: Transsexual Teen,
Beauty Queen follows Jackie Green, on a mission to become Miss England"
"Jackie Green used to be called Jack,
but all her life she’s known that she was really a girl. Being born in the
wrong body was just another birth defect. “Like a mole,” as she puts it. At
16, Jackie became the world’s youngest female transsexual. She’s now 18 and
on a mission to become Miss England. When we meet her, she’s a feisty,
confident teenager with a like-it-or-lump-it attitude to how people view her
. . .
It’s a thought-provoking documentary
and, whatever your views on beauty pageants, there’s no denying that
Jackie’s participation in both the contest and this programme will help
educate viewers about what it means to be transgender."
11-20-12: Bernama (Malaysia): "Transgender Community In Jakarta Seeks
Better Access To Jobs, Health Care"
"A transgender community group in
Jakarta is banking on the city's new governor to provide them with better
access to job opportunities and health care in the city. The group is also
asking Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, to provide training for the
community to improve their skills for better employment opportunities . . .
"We know that Pak Jokowi is close to the less fortunate people, so we hope
he will listen to us and give attention to the transgender community because
we are also part of the city," said Indonesia Transgender Forum chairman
Yulianus Rettoblaut, as quoted by English daily The Jakarta Post, Tuesday.
Yulianus, or Mami Yuli, said
transgender individuals, locally known as 'waria', often found it hard to
look for decent jobs because many people still viewed them "differently" . .
. According to the group, there are more than 8,000 transgenders in Jakarta,
mostly living in slum areas at train stations or under bridges."
11-19-12: Huffington Post: "Why Centering Race in Transgender Advocacy
Is Key to Equality for All", by Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Ph.D.
"Since the first Transgender Day of
Remembrance in 1998, the violent deaths of trans women of color have
unfortunately come to dominate the yearly event designed to remember and
celebrate the lives of those who were victims of transphobic murders. This
year is no different as events around the country are set out to mourn
recently deceased trans women of color, such as Brandy Martell, Coko
Williams, Paige Clay and Deoni Jones -- all black women whose only crime was
daring to live openly . . .
I do not need to stress the importance
of Transgender Day of Remembrance as a viable act of visibility and
resistance. However, it is not enough for us to simply mourn these victims;
we have to take the necessary steps to destroy the racist institutional
barriers that perpetuate their deaths and not leave the burden of
responsibility on communities of color. Instead, predominately white-led
transgender advocacy organizations, which undoubtedly have the greatest
access to resources, financial and otherwise, must begin to seriously
consider the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community by
developing and enforcing policy that takes an intersectional approach to the
identities of trans women of color."
11-18-12: The Guardian (UK re Cuba): "Cuban transsexual elected to
public office ‒ Adela Hernandez, jailed for 'dangerousness' in the 1980s,
becomes first transgender person to hold public office in Cuba"
"A Cuban transsexual has become the
first known transgender person to hold public office in the country, winning
election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the
central province of Villa Clara.
Adela Hernandez, 48, hailed her
election in a country where gays were persecuted for decades and sent to
rural work camps as another milestone in the gradual shift away from macho
attitudes in the years since Fidel Castro himself expressed regret over the
treatment of people perceived to be different."
11-17-12: Albany Times-Union: "Transgender teen's mom: Love beats
Mary Moss talks Sunday in Glens Falls at
a Transgender Day of Remembrance event, she will speak from the heart about
what she has learned by raising a transgender son and supporting him through
a rocky journey of discovery.
want to speak out because we need to get past the fear and ignorance that
surrounds this issue," said Moss, 41, of Delmar, who works for the State
Education Department. "I want to deliver a message of hope, because I
believe only love can conquer fear."
will be joined by
Janet Cordes of Glens Falls, who will
speak about her transgender daughter.
Drew Cordes underwent male-to-female
gender reassignment surgery in Montreal at age 29 in May 2011. Cordes was
profiled last year in a multi-media
Times Union project on transgender.
transgender remembrance day, an international event now in its 14th year, is
marked worldwide on Nov. 20, when there will be an event in Albany. The
Glens Falls event on Sunday will include speeches in the Crandall Public
Library and a candlelight vigil, procession and reception. It memorializes
those who have been killed in the past year in hate crimes and
11-17-12: Inchoaterica.wordpress.com: "you just build to destroy…", by
". . .
Kiira Triea/Denise Tree/Denise Magner has passed on at age 61. there’s a
number of reports out there on the Intertubes about her passing, but Kiira
played some role when i first peered out of the closet in the early 00s…i
had not suspected she was perpetrating a hoax until much later when i was
presented with clear and complete evidence that this woman, along with her
many sock puppets, lied to me along with other people i consider dear. Kiira
was the kind of silver-tongued liar who had a story that constantly changed
as her life went on, and though i sympathize with what probably led her to
do this, her choice to use sock puppets and her willingness to use other
people led to her much-deserved undoing . . .
i am very conflicted about
position as Alice Domurat Dreger’s sycophant, and
she told, but i confess i still cried a bit because i hoped one day
maybe we’d get the whole story…because i have no doubt her real story was
meaningful and maybe she’d even renounce her transfundamentalism."
[Yet another victim of
Triea's lies and hoaxes comes forward, on the record.]
11-17-12: TS Roadmap.com (posted 11-12): "Denise Magner aka Kiira
Triea: fabrications and hoaxes", by Andrea James
was written in November 2012
in response to published
eulogies repeating lies and unsubstantiated claims made by
Magner, one of the handful of transgender people active in the “autogynephilia”
died in November 2012 . . . Magner was also known as Kiira Triea, and
Denise Tree, and a host of fake online personae centered around the hoax
transkids.us. Anything Magner ever said or wrote needs to be
independently confirmed by an uninvolved party before it is believed. Basic
information she claimed about herself that I fact-checked against government
and medical records turned out to be false. Even basic facts she claimed
about herself that were printed in books and articles have turned out to be
false. Throughout her life, she lied to journalists, to academics, to
activists, to her closest friends, to her family, and to herself.
I’m sure the sexologists who exploited
Magner are rushing to eulogize her in their house organ, the
Archives of Sexual Behavior, so I thought I’d pre-emptively refute
their testimonial about her as some teller of great truths. I have much more
to say on this down the road, but this summary will suffice for now.
Magner’s fraud is very complicated and spanned decades, so bear with me as I
try to summarize . . .
It’s probably bad
to laugh out loud at a eulogy, but I am amazed at how Magner is able to play
Dreger like a fiddle even from beyond the grave. When Dreger tried to pick a
fight with another person,
Heino Meyer-Bahlburg of Columbia University, Magner knew just how to
manipulate Dreger, who writes:
“Kiira and her
bandmates recorded a version of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” that
exactly captured the terror and anger we both felt. I must have listened to
it a thousand times, especially the part we both knew was about the way she
felt toward Money and Heino.”
Because Magner was
such a pathological liar, I immediately determined that this cover song was
not recorded by Magner and her friends. Magner had no lasting friends, and
she never recorded music professionally (she just hoarded second-hand gear).
Magner appropriated the song she gave to Dreger from the metal band Nonpoint.
That’s right, Dreger listened to
“Magner’s” song “a thousand times,” never once stopping to wonder how a
60-something reclusive hoarder and drug addict might be able to create a
professionally-produced studio recording. That’s a perfect analogy for
what’s going on here. Magner was such a skillful liar and fraud, and Dreger
is so incompetent and blinded to the truth, that it didn’t even occur to
Dreger she’s been duped by Magner for over 20 years (and counting)."
[In this report Andrea James further
Triea, the creator of the Transkids.us hoax website, pulled the wool
over the eyes of
J. Michael Bailey and how they took Triea's fantasy-fabrications
literally, often citing her fabrications in support of Bailey's 'scientific'
Alicedreger.com (posted 11-04): "Losing Kiira", by Alice Dreger
"My friend and colleague Kiira Triea
died two days ago. Several people have asked me to provide an obituary that
they can share, so I am trying. I find I have begun by turning on far more
lights than the morning daylight really requires.
Kiira probably would have approved of
me summing up her extraordinary life this way: Science repeatedly nearly
killed Kiira, and art constantly sustained her. Kiira had two public lives,
which only occasionally overlapped. In one, she was an advocate for children
and adults who were intersex and transgender. In the other, she was an
extraordinarily talented musician, songwriter, and poet . . .
In the course of her adult life,
Kiira’s character was revealed again and again. She often put those
revelations into music and poetry. Kiira played electric guitar and bass,
professionally mostly in metal bands. That fact always made me and her
bandmates laugh, because she was not the sort of person you’d look at and
say “heavy metal rocker.” In fact, Kiira loved any good music, but I think
metal captured her anger and hope. As I was set to debate Heino at IASR in
Los Angeles in 2011, Kiira and her bandmates recorded a version of Phil
Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” that exactly captured the terror and anger we
both felt. I must have listened to it a thousand times, especially the part
we both knew was about the way she felt toward Money and Heino . . . "
[In this obit, it becomes clear just
Dreger was taken in by the fantasies and lies of
Triea, the creator of the Transkids.us hoax website, including Triea's
lies about being a professional musician and recording artist -
exposed in Andrea James' recent report.]
11-16-12: Marilyn Stowe Blog (UK):
European Court of Human Rights
rules on transsexual case"
European Court of Human Rights has
ruled that a law which would make the
marriage of a post-operative
transsexual invalid if she officially
registered her new gender did not violate her rights under the
H v Finland, H was a married
male-to-female transsexual from Finland who had undergone surgery. She
applied to change her official identity number as that records a person’s
gender. She was unable to do so, however, as under
Finnish law, legal gender can only be
changed if the person is either not in a civil partnership or marriage or if
their partner or spouse provides consent . . .
would not consent to transforming their marriage into a civil partnership.
The couple wished to remain married as ending the union would be contrary to
their religious beliefs and they also believed a civil partnership would
provide them and their child with fewer legal rights. H appealed the
refusal to issue her with a new identity number and record her new gender
through the Finnish court system but was unsuccessful.
result, H appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that her
rights under the Convention had been infringed by the Finnish legal system .
. . But the European Court ruled that both these claims were
11-14-12: San Diego Union Tribune (posted 11-12): "Transgender woman
sues BLM over Taser incident" (watch
video of the unprovoked Taser attacks,
video interview of
"A transgender Ramona woman has filed
a federal lawsuit accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of excessive
force for firing a Taser to her groin in an incident in the desert more than
a year ago.
The encounter between a BLM ranger and
Brooke Fantelli on public lands in the Imperial County desert near El Centro
was captured on a video posted on YouTube. The lawsuit, filed last week in
federal court in San Diego, contends that Ranger J. Peter’s attitude changed
markedly when he learned Fantelli had gone through a gender change . . .
According to the suit, the ranger had
approached the group Fantelli was with on Oct. 22, 2011, and asked to see
identifications. The group was in a spot off Split Mountain Road to take
commercial photographs using a classic Datsun truck Fantelii owns. At the
time, Fantelli’s driver’s license identified her as a male, Rodd Fantelli,
but she was in the process of changing her gender.
“He was super nice, until he saw the
ID,” Fantelli said in an interview Monday. “He went from calling me ’ Miss’
and ‘Ma’am’ when it first started, to ‘Sir,’ ‘Dude’ and eventually calling
me ‘it.’ ” . . .
Around then is when the video picks up
the confrontation. Fantelli stands with her hands in the air, with the
ranger and an Imperial County sheriff’s deputy a few feet away. The
Sheriff’s Department had been called to assist in the arrest and is also
named in the suit.
After a few moments, Fantelli turns
and says to her companions, “Take pictures. Take pictures.” Seconds later,
the Taser strikes her and she falls backward, moaning in pain. The ranger
and deputy roll her on her back and try to handcuff her. The ranger warns
her he will use the Taser again. Seconds later she is shot again with the
Taser, this time in her groin. "
11-14-12: The Jewish Daily Forward: "Transgender Jews Seek Place at
Table ‒ Conference Aims To Break Communal Silence on Issue" (more)
"Shortly before Emily Aviva Kapor
began the transition from male to female, she sat down to discuss the
process with her mother. “I told her I was going on hormones, and she said
the most Jewish thing to me,” 27-year-old Kapor recalled . “She said, ‘Well,
at least you’re not getting a tattoo.’”
It’s a funny line that anyone with a
Jewish mother can appreciate. But as it turns out, the most Jewish thing to
say on the subject of gender identity probably would have been nothing at
For many years, those knowledgeable on
the subject say, Jews and Jewish organizations largely met their transgender
co-religionists with silence. Slowly, that is beginning to change. From
November 2 to November 4, Kapor and nearly 30 other transgender,
transsexual, queer, intersex and gender-nonconforming Jews from across North
America sought to expand this opening-up process at a gathering here, billed
as the first-ever retreat for such Jews.
“With transgender and gender-queer
identity, there wasn’t a Jewish frame of reference in which to speak it,”
said Rabbi David Dunn Bauer, director of West Coast programming for Nehirim,
the LGBT group that sponsored the event. The result, he said, was “silence.”
On the other side of the equation, he
added, “Jewish transgender people did not want to speak their names or their
identities out loud — or if they did, they had to leave their communities
and restart somewhere else, kind of like the witness protection program. So,
there was silence from transgender people.” The Trans Gathering, as the
shabbaton was called, was “a space where people could be present in their
11-13-12: Toronto Star (Canada): "Transgendered student denied access
to men’s washroom"
"When James Spencer switched schools
to avoid bullies the last place he thought he’d run into them again was at
the main office. But that’s exactly what Spencer, a 16-year-old who
transitioned from female to male, says happened when Clarke High School in
Durham Region barred him from using the men’s washroom.
Despite collecting the signatures of
about half the students in the school, Spencer is still not allowed to use
the men’s washroom. He’s been granted access to the women’s washroom and a
private washroom that needs a key from the main office — neither of which
work for him.
“I thought, ‘They’re figuring it out,
it’s temporary,’ but as time went on they’re portraying the message that
transgender people are wrong and they need to be segregated. And I don’t sit
well with that,” said Spencer."
11-11-09: Herald-Sun (Australia): "Bombshell dropped as army officer changes
"ARMY chief David Morrison's
speechwriter, Malcolm McGregor, has secured the support of the Defence Force
to continue employment as Cate McGregor. The former journalist and political
staffer to John Hewson and Bob Carr shocked the political establishment
yesterday by choosing to publicly confirm the transition.
The army respectfully kept the secret
for months, allowing Lieutenant Colonel McGregor time off to write a memoir,
An Indian Summer Of Cricket, while undergoing hormone therapy and an
extraordinary personal transformation. In an exclusive interview with The
Sunday Telegraph Lt-Col McGregor said she was humbled the way the
defence forces had handled the matter."
11-11-09: Huffington Post (posted 11-08): "San Francisco Offers Transgender
Health Care As Part Of City's Universal Health Care Plan" (more,
"In 2007, San Francisco became the
first city in the nation to offer universal health care to its citizens
through the Healthy SF program, which provides government subsidized health
services to uninsured residents. Now, with a unanimous vote of the San
Francisco Health Commission, the Healthy SF program will extend to
"Until now, Healthy SF excluded care
for transgender issues, even when the procedures are medically necessary,"
said Kristina Wertz, director of policy and programs at the Transgender Law
Center. "A transgender man may need a hysterectomy as part of his
transgender operations and it wouldn't be covered, but a non-transgender
woman could need the exact same procedure and it would be covered."
The Bay Area Reporter explained that
Healthy SF previously offered some services to its transgender subscribers,
such as hormone treatment and mental health services, but excluded for them
many surgical procedures available to non-transgender individuals."
11-11-09: Christian Post: "Do Non-Discrimination Policies Justify
"How did it come to this? A
non-discrimination policy at Evergreen State College in Washington is
allowing a 45-year-old male student to expose himself inside a women's
locker room. Never mind the fact that teenage girls and even young children
have shared that locker room with him.
What gives this man the right to
commit this indecent act against children? Well....he is a transgender
man....that's it. That is his defense. He calls himself a woman, but he has
all the male parts in tact. His terminology is what he relies upon to get
inside that locker room. This self-proclaimed description of himself has
been enough for the college and the local district attorney to back off.
This is a perversion of nature, and of any reasonable measure of decency and
Has it really come to this in America?
Are these acts of perversion truly justified by a man-made policy?"
11-11-09: Seattle Weekly (posted 11-05): "Transgender Student in Evergreen's
Locker Room Draws Ire of Arizona Religious Group"
""Little girls should not be exposed
to naked men, period. A college's notions about 'non-discrimination' don't
change that," says Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker in a press release
distributed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which says it is acting on
behalf of parents concerned for their children's safety.
The September drama involving Francis
and members of the youth swim team came to the attention of campus police,
who logged a police report noting that a 17-year-old Capital High School
student "became upset" when she saw Francis' male genitalia in the locker
room sauna. The police report says that a female coach of another youth swim
team that utilizes Evergreen's pool facilities, Tiffany Wright, expressed
concerns that girls ranging in age from six to 18 use Evergreen's locker
room, and "were not use to" encountering transgender people with male
genitalia in the sauna.
Campus police notified the Thurston
County Prosecutor's Office of the situation, though no charges have been
filed related to the incident - one of many things Hacker and the Alliance
Defending Freedom takes serious issue with."
11-09-12: Red & Black (Univ. of Georgia): "Transgender students
encounter ‘awkward’ situations on campus"
"Jennifer Miracle, associate director
of student life at LGBT, said most of the problems transgender and
transsexual student face at the University center around the fact that the
University must “honor [the student’s] legal gender.”
Miracle said a transgender or
transsexual student’s legal gender can cause the biggest issue with
“If somebody’s transitioning from
female to male and their legal gender still says female, they would have to
be placed in a woman’s room,” she said. “I think it ... causes a lot of
anxiety because they don’t know who they’re going to have to live with and
if they’re going to be OK with them.” "
11-09-12: Washington Blade: "N.H. voters elect country’s first out
transgender statewide candidate"
"A New Hampshire Democrat on Tuesday
became the first openly transgender person elected to statewide office in
the country. Stacie Laughton, a Nashua selectman, will represent portions of
the state’s second largest city located on the Massachusetts border in the
New Hampshire House of Representatives. She and two other Democrats defeated
two Republicans who had also ran . . .
Laughton did not immediately respond
to the Washington Blade’s request for comment, but she said in a campaign
video she would “always fight for the rights of the LGBT community.” New
Hampshire lawmakers in 2009 rejected a bill that would have added gender
identity and expression to the state’s non-discrimination law . . .
Joelle Ruby Ryan, a transgender
activist who is also a professor at the University of New Hampshire, agreed.
“Words cannot express how excited I am about the election of Ms. Stacie
Laughton to the N.H. House of Representative,” she told the Blade. “As a
transgender activist in N.H. for 20 years now, I can honestly state that
this is a pivotal milestone in our long struggle for full equality and civil
rights.” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for
Transgender Equality, also described Laughton’s election as “historic.”"
11-09-12: Chicago Phoenix: "East Aurora schools committee: Our
transgender policy could change the country"
"An Ad Hoc committee of the East
Aurora School District 131 convened for the first time Thursday to discuss
its plans to create a new policy for protecting transgender students after a
previous district policy was rescinded late last month. This time, the
committee emphasized that it would get the policy right.
Anita Lewis, chair of the committee,
said it would take its time to make sure it would produce the very best
policy devisable, one that would protect not just transgender and gender
nonconforming students, but all students in the district from bullying and
“We want to take enough time to make
sure we get in the right policy to protect this group of students as well as
all students,” Lewis said, explaining that the committee should establish a
policy, and a mechanism for training district staff like teachers,
administrators as well as establishing means of support of transgender
students. “We have to do a better job,” she said. “The better we do at this,
the better it will be for our whole country.”"
11-09-12: USA Today (re Pakistan): "Transgender Pakistanis face
"Dressed up in elaborate, feminine
outfits and artfully applied makeup, they are showered with money while
dancing at all-male wedding parties. But the lives of transgender people in
Pakistan are also marked by harassment, rejection and poverty.
Transgender people live in a tenuous
position in conservative Pakistan, where the roles of the sexes are
traditionally starkly drawn. Families often push them out of the home when
they're young, forcing many to prostitute themselves to earn a living.
One role where they are tolerated is
as dancers at weddings and other celebrations at which men and women are
strictly segregated. In between the dancing and showers of rupee notes, they
must fend off groping from drunken guests. "I don't understand why people
feel it is their duty to tease and taunt us," said one transgender Pakistani
who goes by the name Symbal. Many in the transgender community pick a name
for themselves and do not use their last name to protect their family.
Others beg on the streets or earn
money by blessing newborn babies. The blessings reflect a widespread belief
in Pakistan and other South Asian nations that God answers the prayers of
someone who was born underprivileged, said Iqbal Hussain, a Pakistani
researcher who has studied the transgender community. But he cautioned that
didn't mean people were ready to give them equal rights."
11-06-12: Free Thought Blogs (UK): "On Detransition", byNatalie Reed
week a story broke in the British press concerning a young trans woman,
Ria Cooper, who at 17 had been the youngest patient to ever receive hormone
treatment for gender transition under the NHS. Ria was now considering
“detransition”, that is, the choice to eschew her scheduled lower surgery,
discontinue the use of exogenous hormones and anti-androgens, and
return to living and presenting as male, within general cultural concepts of
Obviously the often notoriously
vicious and transphobic mainstream British press seized on the story,
providing as it did an apparent “confirmation” of the initial fears and
doubts that the cis public had expressed when Cooper first sought treatment:
their outrage at the idea of “kids being given sex changes!”, the idea that
at 17 she was “too young” to make such a decision, the distrust of the NHS
funding gender transition at all, let alone for “unconventional” patients
like trans youth, the idea that it was a frivolous and risky expense of the
NHS’ public funding, and the general “gatekeeping” mentality: cissexist or
cis-centric biases that lead to the idea that medical gender transition is
something that demands an especially extraordinary amount of caution,
evidence that the patient is “sure” and capable of being “sure”, and
evidence that the patient is “really” trans. Cooper’s (immediately
publicized) choice to detransition offered an almost irresistible narrative
for everybody in Britain who had expressed outrage, disgust, unease or even
mild suspicion that it was a “bad idea” to “allow” her to be treated. It
offered them all a chance to feel smug, collectively shrug their shoulders
and sigh “I told you so” . . .
I can’t speak to what Ria Cooper’s
“real” reasons for this choice are. It would defeat every point I’ve tried
to make if I presumed to. But the least we can offer this young person,
discarded and hated from every corner of her life, is to not exploit her
situation ourselves. To not make it all about us and the effect it might
have for us or how it makes us feel. We can at least afford her the right to
regret, the right to make her own choices about what she needs and wants,
the right to want her family and friends back, the right to sacrifice
transition for the sake of human connection… the right to do what she
believes will make her happy. The right to do that without any of us
presuming we knew her and her interests better than she knew herself."
11-06-12: Parentdish (UK; posted 10-29): "Britain's youngest sex change
patient wants to go back to being a boy"
sex-swap patient has decided she want to go back to being a boy –
because she experiences too many mood swings as a girl. Ria Cooper, 18, from
Hull, has had thousands of pounds worth of NHS treatment involving hormonal
injections to turn her from a boy into a girl.
But the hormones affected her so badly
that she attempted suicide twice. Ria, formerly known as Brad, lives her
life as a female. She has developed breasts, wears her hair in a feminine
bob and has dated several young men. But now she questions whether she was
too young to be allowed to swap sexes in the first place.
"Life has really got on top of me
recently," she told the
Sunday Mirror . . . "A couple of months ago I'd had enough and took a
lot of paracetamol but my friend found me and made me sick. Just before
that, I'd tried to slash my wrists and ended up in hospital. I get these
dark moods when nothing seems right . . . The night I tried to slash my
wrists I'd downed a bottle of Jack Daniel's and just thought about how alone
I am, how my decision has alienated my family and how I will have to become
a boy again to resolve it."
The Sunday Mirror said that critics
warned two years ago that Ria's tender years meant she was too young to make
the decision to become a woman. Child psychologist Karen Sherr, formerly of
Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: "It's absolutely ludicrous for young
kids to make such huge, life-changing decisions... and for doctors and their
parents to support it."
11-04-12: GMA News (re Thailand, Philippines): "Pinoy transgender
crowned Miss International Queen" (more,
"A 21-year-old transgender beauty from
the Philippines — Kevin Balot — was crowned "Miss International Queen 2012"
in Thailand's seaside resort Pattaya on Friday.
One Filipino fan said that winning a
transvestite contest in Thailand, the land of "lady boys," was like winning
a soccer tournament in Brazil. An emotional Balot told reporters that she
hoped the win would help her gain acceptance from her father.
"I'm very proud to be first here, and
I hope my dad will accept me. Because in the family I'm the only boy, and my
dad has big expectations of me. I made it. I won the International Queen
Pageant, and I believe that my dad will accept me not only as his son but
also as his daughter," she said."
11-03-12: ABC News: "Transgender Student in Women’s Locker Room Raises
"The decision to allow a transgender
45-year-old college student who identifies as a woman but has male genitalia
to use the women’s locker room has raised a fracas among parents and
faith-based organizations, who say children as young as 6 years old use the
locker room. The locker room at Evergreen College in Olympia, Wash., is
shared with the Capital High School swim club and a children’s swim academy,
along with the students at Evergreen.
“The college has to follow state law,”
Evergreen spokesman Jason Wettstein told ABC News affiliate KOMO. “The
college cannot discriminate based on the basis of gender identity. Gender
identity is one of the protected things in discrimination law in this
state.” But according to parents, the fact that the student has exposed her
male genitalia, in one instance in the sauna, is cause for concern.
“[A mother] reported her daughter was
upset because she observed a person at the women’s locker room naked and
displaying male genitalia,” said a police report filed in September by a
mother on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter."
11-03-12: AFP (re Japan): "Japan transsexual denied recognition as
"A person who had a sex-change to
become a man has complained of discrimination after a Japanese court refused
to register him as the father of his wife's child, according to reports
The 30-year-old, who was born female,
had sought to be registered as the father after his wife delivered a boy in
2009 by way of artificial insemination using donated sperm. But the Tokyo
Family Court ruled the child must be registered as if he was born out of
wedlock as the man is physically not capable of reproduction -- despite the
fact sterile men are routinely recognised as the fathers of babies born
using artificial insemination.
The couple married in 2008, after the
husband officially changed his gender, and were recognised as husband and
wife under a new law that came into effect in 2004 . . . "I feel I am
being discriminated against. I will continue to fight so that I can live as
a husband and a father," he said, according to national broadcaster NHK."
11-02-12: The Guardian (re Iran): "Iranian film shines spotlight on
taboo subject of transsexuals ‒ Facing Mirrors brings transsexuality to the
big screen for the first time, even though Khomeini fatwa legalised it in
"Adineh and Rana are women from very
different sides of the track. Wealthy, modern and rebellious, Adineh has
fled the family home, harbouring a secret desire to become a man. Rana, from
a conservative religious background, gives her a lift in the taxi she has
been forced to drive since her husband was sent to jail.
The burgeoning relationship between
the two forms the heart of Facing Mirrors, a film that hit cinemas in Tehran
this week and brought the taboo subject of transsexuality to the big screen
for the first time."
11-02-11: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Transsexuals: Many Are Attracted
"I have to say that there appears to
be some major doubletalk going on out there when it comes to what some
people say about transsexuals and transgender people. While far too often we
see bigoted, transphobic, intolerant comments by readers to trans articles
on mainstream media sites, there is a huge interest in transsexual-related
articles and pictures, as any media outlet can attest to. For example, all
of us saw our online hit numbers soar when we ran items about Jenna
Talackova, especially on posts that featured photos of her. Even the fashion
world has got into the act by hiring trans models, both pre-op and post-op.
Many, many people are attracted to
transsexuals, and they far outnumber the bigots who post nasty comments.
Indeed, you’ve got to wonder why those alleged transphobes are reading the
articles in the first place, and wasting their time making intolerant
comments. I’m sure the therapists out there could offer some interesting
views on that."
10-31-12: Huffington Post (re Bolivia): “Transsexual in Bolivia”, by Lucas
“I wasn't shocked that roadside
prostitutes in Cochabamba, Bolivia were taunted by passers-by; this was
still-macho, provincial Latin America after all. But nothing could have
prepared me for the strength of character of these transgender sex workers
who, against all odds, have organized to argue for their right to health
care treatment -- and, more important, their rights as human beings.”
10-31-12: The Advocate: "Biden Calls Transgender Discrimination 'Civil
Rights Issue of Our Time'" (more)
"Vice President Joe Biden spoke with a
woman at a campaign event Tuesday in Sarasota, Fla., telling her that
discrimination against transgender people is the “civil rights issue of our
The woman, Linda Carragher Bourne,
said something inaudible to the Vice President, to which Biden responded
with the words, “civil rights issue of our time,” according to a pool
report. Bourne later told reports that her daughter was Miss Trans New
England and she had asked if the Vice President would help. "A lot of my
friends are being killed, and they don't have the civil rights yet. These
guys are gonna make it happen," Bourne told the pool about the Democratic
10-29-12: The Atlantic: "For Transgendered Soldiers, Don't Ask Don't
Tell Carries On"
"Unfortunately for transgender
veterans . . . The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
which determines what the medical community views as an official mental
problem, still considers being transgender a psychiatric disease.
Spack wholeheartedly disagrees with
the manual's assessment. That said, he "can't blame the military community
[for excluding transgender people] when the mental health community has it
on the DSM." As long as mental health professionals see being transgendered
as a disorder, he says, "the military will be the last to budge."
Kenneth Zucker of the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, has studied psychosexual
disorders in children and adolescents for over 30 years, and is the chairman
of the American Psychiatric Association Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
work group, the body that decides, among other things, whether or not
transgender people should be considered mentally ill. He vehemently believes
that they should.
NPR report from 2008, Zucker dismissed the argument that being
transgender is a product of the person's biological makeup, calling such
reasoning "astonishingly naive and simplistic." He told the New York
Times that he advocates making kids feel more at home in their
biological genders. The NPR report described Zucker counseling the parents
of a biological boy who believed he was a girl. He told them that the boy,
six years of age at the start of "treatment," should no longer be allowed to
play with girls, have dolls, or pretend to be a female character. If
transgender veterans want equal rights in the military, this may be the man
they'll have to persuade. (Over the course of six weeks, he didn't return
several calls and emails.)"
has been the driving force behind the psychiatric pathologization of
transgender people ‒ often proudly proclaiming that he could
"cure" transgender children of this "mental illness". However, rising
public outrage at his emotionally-destructive treatment-methods has finally
pulled the rug out from under him. Although he still stridently promotes his
methods among psychiatrists, he's now seeking cover and ducking media
10-28-12: Huffington Post: "Eden Lane, Transgender Broadcast
Journalist, Discusses Her Career, Being A Role Model And More"
""'The Book of Mormon' just launched
its national tour in Colorado, so I was able to get a sit-down with
[creators] Matt Stone and Trey Parker, " said Eden Lane, the host of
Colorado Public Television's
"In Focus with Eden Lane," a weekly interview program highlighting arts
and culture, discussing a recent trip to New York. "And I interviewed the
stars, including Gavin Creel, who is the most charming fellow you ever met!"
She was beaming with excitement,
hugely passionate about her work and the show, now in its fifth season. Each
week Lane speaks with artists, writers, directors, performers and others in
theater, dance, music, film and television, drawing them out with her warm
and inviting personality. And while her program is focused on her interview
subjects, she, too, is sometimes in the spotlight, making history as the
only known openly transgender mainstream television broadcaster in U.S.,
something that Lane says just sort of happened, and was nothing she ever set
out to do.
"I've been told that, for mainstream
television, I'm the only broadcast journalist that is known to be
transgender," she said in an interview on my
radio program. "I transitioned, in the way that your radio listeners will
understand, almost a decade ago. I became a married, suburban housewife and
mom, and never really intended to step in the spotlight. If I had known that
nobody else was identified as transgender as a news journalist on
television, I probably wouldn't have done it. I probably would have been too
10-27-12: Huffington Post (posted 10-26): "Making LGBT Great: Dana Beyer",
by Christopher Dyer
"Dana Beyer is one of the leading
transgender advocates in the country who continues to work towards making
the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents better. Dana
is a retired eye surgeon who was one of the first openly transgender
candidates for state office in 2006 and 2010. She is currently executive
Gender Rights Maryland which is working towards passing a state wide
gender identity anti-discrimination law.
Principles, calling for full LGBT civil rights. She led the coalitions
that helped pass gender identity anti-discrimination laws in three counties
and, and one of them against national right-wing forces trying to force it
to a popular vote in 2008. She was the trans representative on the
Washington Psychiatric Society Working Group that wrote the gender dysphoria
text for the DSM5.
Dana has been the vice president of
Maryland, executive vice president of Maryland NOW, founding board
teachthefacts.org, a Montgomery County parents group working in support
of comprehensive sex education, a Governor at the
Human Rights Campaign, a
founding member of the Progressive Working Group, Maryland's progressive
alliance, and a board member at Mobile Med, Montgomery County's premier
provider of medical care to the uninsured. She is on the board of the
National Center for
Transgender Equality (NCTE), Keshet, the national Jewish LGBT
organization and an inspiration to many LGBT activists across the country .
Note: This is the first in a series of
profiles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight allies who are
working to improve the lives of LGBT residents. This series includes a brief
summary of their work followed by answers to three questions.
10-27-12: Vancouver Sun (Canada): "Transgender director aims to change
attitudes ‒ Lana Wachowski of Cloud Atlas says some people 'want to crucify
me' but hopes by speaking out she'll engender acceptance"
"Lana Wachowski, the co-creator of
Cloud Atlas, said she made the gender-bending, multi-character film to
change the attitudes of bigoted people "who want to lynch me, want to
crucify me." Wachowski, sporting neon pink dreadlocks, showed a newfound
willingness to talk publicly about being transgender, a process she has
undergone in the past decade to become a woman.
Wachowski said at least one of the
characters in Cloud Atlas, a waitress of the future who foments revolution,
mirrored her own experience. "Like Sonmi, there are people who will spit on
me, want to lynch me, want to crucify me," she said. But she hopes by
speaking out she can effect change.
"I am interested in engaging with the
world, hopefully in a way that makes some people not as afraid of people
like me or view people like me as these others who aren't as human as them
or different than them," she added."
10-27-12: Wired (posted 10-25): "Lana Wachowski’s Moving Speech on Being
"On October 20, 2012, Lana Wachowski
did an amazing and brave thing. She gave a speech at the Human Rights
Campaign’s annual gala dinner about her own struggles with what it is like
to be transgender.
Geeks are well familiar with her body
of work. Lana
Wachowski and her brother Andy gave us
Matrix trilogy and
Racer. Tomorrow night is the initial release date for her latest
I strongly urge you to find the 30
watch the above speech. It is candid, humorous, and quite emotional.
Warning, Lana does drop the “b” word, but only once. She talks about why she
dropped out of the public for so long, her personal struggles with
depression and her suicide plan, her transition, and so much more.
Coming out to your family and friends
is never easy, even if you have a supportive tribe. Coming out publicly is
even more difficult. "
10-26-12: Gay Star News (re Brazil): "Brazil trans stoned to death ‒ A
Brazilian trans was stoned to death by a group of assailants in the city of
"A 39 year old trans person was stoned
to death in the city of Aracaju, Brazil. The 39 year-old was well known and
liked, known locally as ‘Madona’, died from her wounds earlier this week,
after she was attacked by an unknown group of people with cobblestones.
Madonna, who was birth-name was Amos
Chagas Lima, received mortal blows and was admitted to a hospital in
Aracaju, the capital of the state of Sergipe, Brazil, in the early hours of
Friday last week. She died four days later from severe head injuries . . .
Speaking with Gay Star News, Keila
Simpson, president of the National Counsel to Combat Discrimination of the
Secretary of Human Rights to the President of Brazil said: ‘The situation in
Brazil is very different from any other part of the world.
‘Trans people are the smallest and
most vulnerable part of the LGBT Brazilian communities, making up a mere
tenth, yet we suffer from the highest incidence of violence and murder.
‘Since January we have had over 100 transgender people murdered here – that
means over 10 people murdered every month. ‘Contrary to popular belief, most
of the murders are not crime of passion at all, but the murderers are people
who didn’t know their victims . . .
‘The violence is the principle reason
why so many Brazilian trans people immigrate abroad, principally to Europe.
‘Only yesterday I spoke with a trans friend who lives in Spain and she told
me: “Here people don’t get murdered in the street because they are trans,
I’ll never go back to Brazil.”"
10-26-12: Washington Post: "Off-duty D.C. police officer convicted of
assault with a deadly weapon"
"A D.C. police officer who jumped onto
the hood of a packed car and fired five gunshots at its occupants minutes
after offering a transgender woman $500 for sex was found guilty of assault
with a deadly weapon Friday. Kenneth D. Furr, 48, also was convicted of
solicitation. He was acquitted of the most serious charge he faced, assault
with intent to kill, and six related offenses stemming from an Aug. 26,
2011, argument that turned violent.
Furr faces a maximum of 10 years in
prison for the assault conviction and 90 days for solicitation when he is
sentenced in January. He could have faced up to 30 years behind bars if he
had been convicted of all the charges against him."
10-26-12: ILGA Europe (Europe): "ILGA-Europe’s statement on the occasion of
the International Intersex Awareness Day (26 October)"
"ILGA-Europe believes that this day is
a great opportunity for the raising of awareness on intersex issues,
generate greater understanding and call for the elaboration of human rights
in respect to intersex people.
The foundation of all discrimination
suffered by intersex people lies in the fact that our society is based on a
legal and cultural binary sex model. This system negates the existence of
intersex people. Within it, intersex bodies are ‘normalised’ through
cosmetic surgical and medical interventions in order for them to be aligned
to one or the other legally recognised sexes.
Across Europe, babies who are born
intersex, or those children who are identified as intersex later in their
lives, are routinely ‘normalised’ without prior personal and informed
consent through intrusive and unnecessary surgeries and medical
interventions which often have adverse long term effects on their
psychological, sexual and physical wellbeing.
ILGA-Europe commends the European
Commission for publishing a
report that expressly coves the human rights situation of intersex
people earlier this year, and calls on European Institutions and national
governments to review the practices that intersex people are subjected to in
their respective jurisdiction and take the necessary actions for the full
respect of their human rights."
10-25-12: Huffington Post (posted 10-24): "Lana Wachowski, Transgender
'Cloud Atlas' Director, Reveals Painful Adolescence, Suicide Attempt
"Lana Wachowski is one of the top
directors in Hollywood. She and her brother, Andrew, are behind films like
"The Matrix," "V for Vendetta" and "Cloud Atlas." These films have gained
her critical acclaim, but
Wachowski recently coming out as transgender made the most headlines.
Now, she is breaking her silence on her painful adolescence in hopes of
helping other LGBT individuals.
Wachowski delivered a heartfelt speech
at the gala fundraising dinner for LGBT advocacy group
Human Rights Campaign in
San Francisco on Oct. 20. There the director received the Visibility Award,
according to The Hollywood Reporter, and she revealed that she had struggled
as a transgender youth and once even considered committing suicide.
"Every one of us, every person here,
every human life, represents a negotiation between public and private
identity," she said. She revealed that she has been "out" to her family and
friends for over a decade, but knew that there would always be a "price for
it" once the public found out . . .
Now, Wachowski hopes to be an
inspiration. "If I can be that person for someone else, then that sacrifice
of my private civil life may have value," she said. Offering the love and
support she has received to others so that "this world that we imagine in
this world might be used to gain access to other rooms, to other worlds,
previously unimaginable." She delivered the moving speech in front of a
crowd about 600. After speaking, the director exited the stage and cried for
according to THR. "
what a wonderful video - must see!]
10-25-12: Windy City Times (posted 10-10): "Barbra Casbar Siperstein:
Breaking ground in N.J., nationally" (more,
"The story of Barbra "Babs" Siperstein
is one that will both break your heart and move you to action. It's a story
of the power of love, the passion of commitment and the importance of being
On Sept. 30, Siperstein, nee Barry
Siperstein, was at a surprise birthday party—her own. It was thrown by her
daughter and some friends. Her grandchildren were there, her oldest son flew
up from Florida. The party was for her 69 and 5/6 celebration. It was a bit
of a family tradition, because when Siperstein was nearing 50, her late wife
Carol Ann threw her a 49 and 5/6 birthday party because she knew Siperstein
was uncomfortable about turning 50.
But at the party last weekend, things
were somewhat different. It was still a big event, although Carol Ann wasn't
there. And the guests also had a present that Barbra couldn't have imagined
at that earlier party: a resolution from the New Jersey State Assembly,
noting the significance of the day. Because, as she approaches 70, Barbra is
no longer Barry, but one of the premiere transgender activists in the state
of New Jersey, if not the country. In September, she was elected as the
first transgender member of the
executive committee of the Democratic National Committee."
10-25-12: Huffington Post: "Allyson Robinson, Transgender Veteran,
Named To Helm Advocacy Group For LGBTs In Military" (more,
"Allyson Robinson will lead the
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and OutServe when they formally merge
this weekend. An Army veteran and a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military
Academy, Robinson commanded a Patriot missile unit in Europe and the Middle
East before resigning her commission in 1999 to become a Christian minister.
Her selection -- more than a year
after the end of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy allowed gay
and lesbian troops (but not transgender servicemembers) to serve openly --
is seen as an indication that activists consider their work unfinished.
Along with the inclusion of transgender men and women, the major stumbling
block to full equality for the LGBT community in the military is the federal
Defense of Marriage Act, which bars married same-sex couples from receiving
the same benefits as their straight peers."
10-25-12: The Hindu (India): "Transgender people crave for dignity"
" “We have no standing in society. We
are treated like untouchables. We do not even have a card to call ourselves
citizens of the State.” A group of transgender people, who gathered at the
office of the Democratic Youth Federation of India office here on Wednesday,
was venting its anger and frustration at being excluded from society.
“We have no ration cards or election
ID cards. Without these cards we cannot get jobs. The government does not
have any job schemes or welfare schemes for us. Because of this, we are
forced to beg for food and to pay rent,” said Rani (33) from Tumkur
district. At 18, her family disowned her after she confessed her gender
identity. After her father pronounced that his “son was dead” to him . . .
The six transgenders, who gathered at
the DYFI office, were candid about their suffering: some said that when
collections were low, they have had to resort to prostitution. “We hate it.
On days when we have not collected enough money, we dread the evenings
because we have to turn into sex workers to pay for rent and food. All we
ask is for the government to give us jobs, even as sweepers, to ensure we
can rid ourselves off of begging and prostitution,” said Kalpana. "
10-23-12: io9: "Miss Universe contestant petitions World Health
Organization to remove transsexualism as a mental disorder"
"I'm not sick. In fact I'm great! I'm
a woman that had to undergo transgender medical procedures to become who I
really am on in the inside. But the World Health Organization (WHO) insists
that I, and millions of other trans people are sick. The WHO actually
considers transsexualism to be a mental disorder.
Since facing and overcoming
discrimination for being a transgender woman back in March - when I was
kicked out of and then re-admitted to the Miss Universe Pageant - I've been
working to fight the stigma and discrimination facing people like me. Join
me in signing this petition and ask the World Health Organization to stop
considering transsexual people mentally ill."
[You can sign the petition
10-23-12: Daily Express (UK): "World's Youngest Transsexual Kim Petras
is YouTube Hit with Chris Brown Cover"
"A TEENAGER who became the world's
youngest transsexual when she was just 16 has become an internet sensation
after releasing a cover of Chris Brown's well known track Don't Wake Me Up
on YouTube. Kim Petras, who covered the well-known track, has racked up a
whooping half a million its on the video platform . . . The track has
become an overnight sensation with celebrity columnist Perez Hilton voicing
his appreciation for Kim. Kim, who has signed for an independent music label
in Germany also writes her own music.
One fan wrote below the video: "I
can't get over how fantastic Kim's voice is! I don't care who she was in the
past. The only thing that matters is that she is happy. She's comfortable in
her body, she's stunningly beautiful, and her voice is to die for." "
10-22-12: Frontiers LA: "2012 Angels of Change Runway Show Benefits
year's Angels of Change Calendar Release and Runway Show benefiting
transgender youth will take place this Saturday. Performer Calpernia Addams
chats with Frontiers contributor Michelle
McCarthy to tell us why Angels of Change is such an important organization
for transgender youth. Visit
angelsofchange.net to purchase tickets .
Now in its fifth year, the Angels of
Change Calendar Release and Runway Show, which celebrates and empowers
transgender youth, will take place Saturday, Oct. 27 at Arena Nightclub.
Angels of Change benefits the Division of Adolescent Medicine of Children’s
Hospital Los Angeles, Transgender Services. Beginning with a VIP Reception
at 5 p.m., the runway show will introduce the 2013 transgender youth
empowerment calendar, complete with a fashion show in which
transgender-identified models appear in multiple outfits designed by
students from the Art Institute of California.
“The transgender program at Children’s
Hospital Los Angeles provides services such as individualized case
management, mental health services, HIV prevention and care and general
health care,” says Bamby Salcedo, project coordinator. Angels of Change
allows the opportunity to raise funds while simultaneously showcasing the
beauty and strength of each model. This year, actress, author and activist
Calpernia Addams will host as 12 transgender youth models featured in the
calendar work the runway."
10-22-12: ABC News: "Man Petitions World Health Org: 'We Are Trans,
Zachs is on a global crusade to normalize what
until now has been considered a mental illness -- being transgender.
Zachs, 25, was born female, but three
years ago he transitioned to male. In 2009, he began taking the hormone
testosterone and in 2010, he went to Thailand for a double mastectomy and
male chest contouring.
"There is nothing wrong with me. I am
perfectly healthy, I just happen to be transgender," the Londoner told
ABCNews.com in an email.
Now, he has filed a
petition with change.org demanding that the
World Health Organization
(WHO) eliminate the diagnosis "transsexualism" from the mental disorders
section of the
International Classification of Diseases (ICD). He says the designation
only contributes to discrimination.
"I'm a person like everybody else and
I have the right to live my life without stigma, without people telling me I
am sick because of how I live or how I look," he says in his petition, which
has been signed by 42,000 people. "Gender is not an illness, it's just part
of who I am, like being Jewish or vegetarian or sometimes talking too much!"
10-21-12: Jezebel: "Tales of Transition: When the Gender Changes, the Love
"Marco and Sadie met and started
dating two and half years ago. However, at the time, Marco was Erica, a
woman. I know, I just blew your mind. Luckily, reporter Lilly O'Donnell at
VICE talked to the couple about what it's like to welcome a new person into
their relationship, and to say goodbye to another.
Erica was angry and tough as a woman,
but Marco is a relaxed, calm man. Sadie believes it's because Marco is,
"more at peace, and became a more peaceful person." However, the transition
has been a little harder on Sadie . . ."
10-21-12: The Brown Daily Herald: "Babies see gender constructs, study
"Before babies learn language, they
can perceive gender stereotypes. Studies suggest that at 18 months, before
they even have the ability to understand their own gender identity, infants
will focus longer on images that challenge typical roles — a man putting on
lipstick, for example. By age two, they can locate themselves in the gender
system and identify pictures of males and females based on external
characteristics like hair length and clothing. But they cannot discern a
naked person’s sex.
These phenomena are examples of ways
our social context influences our development, said
Fausto-Sterling, professor of biology and gender studies, in a public
conversation Friday with Debbie Weinstein ’93, assistant director of the
Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. Students and their
parents filled Pembroke Center 305 to listen to the talk, entitled “An
Alternative to Nature v. Nurture: Biology in a Social World.”
“These days the nature-nurture debate
is a fallback for a lot of people,” Fausto-Sterling said. “But actually the
whole contour of that so-called debate is really changing. It’s changing
across the board because people are becoming much more aware of the ways in
which nature and nurture are integrated phenomena.”
She explained a study of London taxi
cab drivers that illustrates the profound impact society has on biology. To
become certified, cab drivers must memorize more than 20,000 roads and key
sites in London. Scientists found that such training causes a key memory
structure in the brain, the hippocampus, to grow. “Training to fill a very
particular cultural niche results in their physical biology changing,”
The study’s results counter many
people’s belief in “nature” as permanently fixed and unchangeable. People
are also prone to believe in “nurture” as “infinitely pliable,” but certain
cultural phenomena are “extremely difficult to change,” Fausto-Sterling
said. Over time, she and other scientists have realized that even subtle
social differences can shape development. While early feminist psychologists
focused on whether children were punished or rewarded for behaving in
certain ways, “daily experience starts from the moment of birth on,” she
10-20-12: STP 2012 Press Release: "International Day of Action for
Trans Depathologization 2012: More than 100 Actions Worldwide" (Español,
"On October 20, 2012, International
Day of Action for Trans Depathologization, actions for trans
depathologization took place in different regions worldwide, within the
annual call of action of STP 2012, International Campaign Stop Trans
Pathologization. Specifically, this ‘Trans October’ included over 100
activities in 48 cities of different continents, organized by more than 80
activist groups and organizations. Furthermore, to date more than 350
groups, networks and organizations from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America,
North America and Oceania, as well as numerous individuals, have declared
their support for SP 2012.
STP 2012 demands the removal of the
diagnostic categories ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ and ‘Transvestic Fetishism’
/ ‘Fetishistic Transvestism’ from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association, and
from the ICD (International Classification of Diseases and Related Health
Problems), edited by the WHO, World Health Organization . . . STP 2012
proposes the introduction of a nonpathologizing reference of trans health
care in the ICD-11, as a health care process not based on illness or mental
disorder . . .
The activist movement for trans
depathologization is in a decisive moment: the publication of the DSM-5 is
planned for 2013, and the ICD revision process is currently in process, with
the publication of the 11th version announced for 2015.
Over the past few years, the demand for trans depathologization has achieved
an increasing recognition from activist networks, professional associations,
governments, as well as international bodies. At the same time, trans people
continue to be exposed to situations of pathologization, psychiatrization,
discrimination, social exclusion and transphobic violence. Finally, the
current situation of economic crisis encloses new risks for a loss of
citizenship rights and an increase of social inequalities."
10-19-12: Daily Mail (UK): "'I am not sick. I am transgender': World
Health Organisation urged to take transsexualism off list of mental
"The World Health Organisation has
come under pressure from campaigners to stop classifying transsexualism as a
mental illness. The body publishes an international classification of
diseases which informs government policy and health provision, but is
currently under review.
Now, more than 35,000 people have
signed a petition at Change.org calling on the body to change its
definition. It was set up by Max Zachs, 26, from London, who was featured on
Channel 4's show 'My Transsexual Summer'. . . Mr Zachs wrote on his blog:
'Petitioning the WHO to remove trans people from the list of mental
illnesses is about wanting to change the way medical professionals think
about trans people.
'It is about saying we have the same
rights as any other person, we are not mentally deficient, we are able to
make sane sensible decisions about our lives, there is nothing deficient
about our minds and the only way to 'cure' transsexuality is for our society
to give up its illogical and unscientific attachment to gender binary.'"
10-19-12: Chicago Tribune: " East Aurora school officials debate
transgender policy ‒ District 131 cites improper vetting in rescinding
policy giving students certain rights" (more,
"East Aurora School District officials
on Friday night rescinded a policy they put in place just days earlier that
would have given transgender students certain personal rights in school.
Cries of "shame" and "coward" were shouted after the 4-0 vote at a special
meeting of the District 131 school board. More than 100 people packed the
district's meeting room, lined the hallway and stood outside, listening on
speakers. Several carried banners, and about 20 addressed the board.
The policy, which the board approved
Monday, would have, among other things, allowed transgender students to use
the bathrooms and locker rooms of their identified gender and also allowed
students to be referred to by their gender- identified name.
Before voting Friday, officials said
the policy was not properly vetted before approval. They added that such
groundbreaking policies should be approved first by the Illinois State Board
of Education, not local boards."
10-18-12: Gallup: "Special Report: 3.4% of U.S. Adults Identify as
LGBT ‒ Inaugural Gallup findings based on more than 120,000 interviews"
"These results are based on responses
to the question, "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or
transgender?" included in 121,290 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted
between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2012. This is the largest single study of the
distribution of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
population in the U.S. on record . . .
Exactly who makes up the LGBT
community and how this group should be measured is a subject of
some debate. Measuring sexual orientation and gender identity can be
challenging since these concepts involve complex social and cultural
patterns. As a group still subject to social stigma, many of those who
identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender may not be forthcoming
about this identity when asked about it in a survey. Therefore, it's likely
that some Americans in what is commonly referred to as "the closet" would
not be included in the estimates derived from the Gallup interviews. Thus,
the 3.4% estimate can best be represented as adult Americans who publicly
identify themselves as part of the LGBT community when asked in a survey
10-17-12: Think Progress: "Illinois Hate Group Attacks School’s New
"The East Aurora, Illinois School
passed a new policy Monday affirming transgender students, guaranteeing
that they can use the bathroom and chosen name that match the gender with
which they identify. The Illinois Family Institute (IFI), which has been
identified as an
anti-LGBT hate group, published an
outraged response rife with offensive condemnations of transgender
people. Here’s a sampling:"
10-17-12: Huffington Post (re Northern Ireland): "Cellphone
Advertisement Blasted as 'Transphobic' (VIDEO)"
"An advertisement for a popular
cellphone network in Ireland has been heavily criticized as being
transphobic and promoting stereotypes of transgender people. The
advertisement depicts a young man dancing with a drag artist in order to
avail himself of the bar's free Wi-Fi. When he realizes that the cellphone
network Meteor offers a free Internet package, the young man stops dancing
and leaves the bar, while the drag queen spots another unassuming entrant to
The advertisement has been branded as
"encouraging a cheap laugh at the expense of trans people" by TENI, the
Transgender Equality Network in Ireland .
. . TENI are encouraging Twitter users to use the hashtag
#MeteorShame to speak their mind about the advertisement. Hundreds of
people have already voiced their complaints and opinions online, and
Giambrone stated that that amount of support for TENI's campaign has been
10-16-12: Center for American Progress: "FAQ: Collecting Sexual
Orientation and Gender Identity Data" (PDF,
"Health insurance exchanges,
established under the Affordable Care Act, are new state-based marketplaces
for uninsured individuals and small businesses to shop for affordable health
insurance products. The exchanges will also provide valuable new data on the
health care needs of people across the United States, including historically
underserved groups such as the LGBT population.
Exchanges will have the opportunity to
collect these data through optional demographic questions on exchange
application forms, as well as through their oversight of insurance carriers
offering plans in the exchange marketplaces. If done well, data collection
will help policymakers and advocates better understand and address health
disparities affecting the LGBT community, while also protecting the
confidentiality of those who volunteer information on their sexual
orientation and gender identity."
10-16-12: UPI (re Sweden): "Man guilty on appeal of transgender rape"
"A Swedish appeals court overturned
the acquittal of a Swedish man who assaulted a transgendered woman who is
still physically a man. The Gota Appellate Court ruled Monday what was
significant was the man's intent and not whether the rape would have been
physically possible, Sveriges Television reported. The court said the victim
"looked like and dressed completely like a woman." The 61-year-old man was
sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $6,000 (40,000 kronor)
10-15-12: Pittsburgh City Paper: "Short List: October 10 - 16"
"Transgender writer, director,
producer and activist Andrea James
spent 10 years working as an advertising copywriter. She produced content
for Super Bowl commercials and other major events before founding her own
production company to promote better media representation of trans people.
The prolific Los Angeles-based
activist speaks tonight at Chatham University in celebration of LGBT
Awareness Month. "This seemed like a great opportunity to talk about
bridging the gap between the feminist movement and the transgender
movement," James tells CP. "It was very strained in the late 1970s by
people who thought that trans women were part of a patriarchal movement to
undermine women's rights."
At Chatham, she will discuss current
transgender representation in the media. "In the past we were always
portrayed as prostitutes or psychopaths, and that's really started to
change. I still feel we're about 35 years behind gay and lesbian
representation." Reality TV, perhaps surprisingly, is helping. "It's an
opportunity to get people over their initial shock — to get acquainted with
viewing drag queens, for instance, on RuPaul's Drag Race." James
continues, "A lot of what we consider as masculine or feminine are social
constructs. RuPaul said, ‘It's all pretty much drag,' and I think that's
right." James' talk is open to the public. Catherine Sylvain
7 p.m. Wed., Oct. 17. Eddy Theater, Chatham campus, Shadyside. Free.
10-15-12: PGN: "Josephs looks to ban conversion therapy" (more)
"State Rep. Babette Josephs (D-182nd Dist.) last week
introduced a bill that would prevent mental-health providers from offering
so-called “conversion therapy” to minors . . . A similar bill is also being
worked on in New Jersey . . .
Although the bill refers to
“sexual-orientation change,” a staffer for Josephs contended that it also
extends to transgender minors. Such therapies are defined as attempts to
“change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or
romantic attractions or feelings toward members of the same sex.” . . .
Ed Coffin, campaign director at Peace
Advocacy Network — which has been working to raise awareness about the
practice of conversion therapy — welcomed the opportunity to increase
attention to the issue.
“Since [California’s] SB 1172 passed,
the media has been talking about conversion and reparative therapy and we’re
seeing how many people have been completely unaware that this happens,” he
“With our own campaign, more and more
people are now contacting us and realizing that this is pretty much quackery
that these people are doing. They’re destroying lives, and people are now
seeing that and getting mad.”"
10-14-12: New York Times: "Christian Group Finds Gay Agenda in an
"On Mix It Up at Lunch Day,
schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with
someone they normally might not speak to.
The program, started 11 years
ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and now in more than 2,500
schools, was intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying.
But this year, the American Family
Association, a conservative evangelical group, has called the project “a
to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools” and is urging
parents to keep their children home from school on Oct. 30, the day most
of the schools plan to participate this year.
The charges, raised in an e-mail
to supporters earlier this month, have caused a handful of schools to
cancel this year’s event and has caught organizers off guard. “I was
surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is,” said
Maureen Costello, the director of the center’s
Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program. “It was a
cynical, fear-mongering tactic.” "
10-14-12: The Advocate: "Over Half of Native Trans People Have
Attempted Suicide ‒ A new study indicates alarming poverty, abuse, and
suicide among Native Americans"
"As Native Americans celebrated
Indigenous Peoples Day last week (the reclaiming of Columbus Day that's
taken root in recent years), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and
National Center for Transgender Equality released the fourth and final piece
in a series of reports designed to specifically shine a light on the
experiences of transgender people of color. Injustice at Every Turn: A Look
at American Indian and Alaskan Native Respondents in the National
Transgender Discrimination Survey measured transgender people's experiences
of discrimination and showed that the combination of anti-transgender with
structural and individual racism meant that transgender people of color
experience particularly devastating levels of discrimination."
Trans-Kin.com: "Trans-Kin: A Guide for Family and Friends of Transgender
People", edited by Cameron T. Whitley and Eleanor A. Hubbard
"Trans-Kin is a collection of stories
from significant others, family members, friends, and allies of transgender
persons (SOFFAs). This 400+ page guide includes 50 personal stories plus a
comprehensive glossary, list of frequently asked questions and resources
including books, videos and organizations - all of which promote awareness,
insight and understanding of the transgender community.
Powerful, thought-provoking and
enlightening, this collection will tug at the heart of anyone who has ever
loved a transgender person. Trans-Kin is also an essential read for allies
of the transgender community and anyone who wishes to become one."
10-11-12: FreeThoughtsBlogs: "The Eunuch, The Rapist, The Whore And
The Child Who Simply Knew", by Natalie Reed
"The Child Who Simply Knew became a
conceptual possibility the moment that queer-and-trans-advocacy finally
severed the idea of transgenderism from the idea of sexual identity, when
suddenly it became possible for the mainstream to conceptualize an
alternative expression of gender separately from an alternative
expression of sexuality. Prior to that, being trans was a “sexual
orientation”, and the idea of trans kids was simply horrific, in that it
required viewing children as potentially sexual beings. Once gender and
sexual orientation had finally been decoupled by the progress of growing
queer awareness, Trans Kids offered a pre-sexual and therefore
non-threatening and innocent iteration of transgenderism . . .
This idea of pre-sexual
“purity”/”innocent” as adding a special legitimacy to transgender
identification, and sexuality “corrupting” it, has been wholly internalized
within the trans community too, something I talked about recently in regards
to the supremacy of the
“I Always Knew” narrative . . .
The question becomes: when the little
girl (I think her name was Nicole?) from the Boston Globe story, or Bobby
Montoya from the Girl Scouts story, grow up, are the same cis people (and
trans people!) who coo’ed and aww’d over their enjoyment of dolls going to
offer the same “support” and “tolerance” for their efforts to seek sexual
rights and sexual health?
Are they going to support healthcare
that provides them hormones and lower surgery? Are they going to support
their right to access Planned Parenthood, or women’s shelters, or women’s
crisis lines? Are they going to be there for them if they’re sexually
assaulted or abused or raped? Are they going to fully include them in
women’s spaces, as women, and in trans spaces, as trans women, without a
bunch of policing bullshit about the particulars of their histories and
bodies? If either one of them grows up to be queer, are they still going to
support their right to define their own identity? How about if they grow up
to be butch? Or non-binary? Or poly? What if they decide to take up sex
Fuck no. Those same people who were
all about the rights of a pure, innocent child to purely, innocently enjoy
playing princess are going to turn their backs the very second sexual agency
[An important essay on the
social-dynamics of transphobia.]
10-11-12: Asia One (re Malaysia): "Malaysian transsexuals lose
cross-dressing case" (more,
"Four Malaysian Muslim transsexuals on
Thursday lost a landmark case challenging an Islamic law that bars them from
dressing as women, activists said. The case was the first attempt to
overturn the prohibition on cross-dressing in the conservative,
Muslim-majority nation where homosexuality and transsexual lifestyles remain
taboo . . .
Thilaga Sulathireh, an activist who
helped them bring the case to court, said the judge refused to overrule the
ban. Malaysia has a dual-track legal system with Sharia courts administering
certain matters for Muslims. “The (judge) said they are born male, they are
still male and so the law applies to them... She said cross dressing is
condemned in Islam,” she told AFP . . .
The case was lodged by Juzaili Khamis, 24, Shukor Jani, 25, Wan Fairol Wan
Ismail, 27, and Adam Shazrul Yusoff, 25, who work as bridal make-up artists
and typically dress as women.
All have previously been arrested for
cross-dressing under Islamic law – administered by state authorities – which
bars Muslim men from dressing or posing as women. Juzaili and Shukor
currently face charges in court and if convicted, they face up to six months
10-11-12: Medical Xpress: "From gender identity disorder to gender
"Childhood gender independence, or
gender creativity, is often viewed as an abnormality in need of a cure – but
it's that attitude that needs to be fixed, according to Concordia University
political science professor,
Kimberley Manning. "The majority of gender independent children suppress
their identities because of societal pressure. In reality, it's at this
young age that these kids need the support and freedom to explore who they
really are so that they have a better chance to grow up to be healthy and
happy adults," she says.
Gender nonconforming children, many of
whom will self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer
by the time they hit adolescence, are more likely to be called names, be
made fun of, or be bullied at school . . . According to a recently completed
survey by Egale Canada, a national organization that advocates for human
rights, 95 percent of transgender students feel unsafe at school. Clearly,
the time to act is now.
There is hope. In recent years, more
and more Canadian families have been actively asserting an affirmative
approach to gender expression, seeking to understand and support their
child's declared gender. There are few resources, however, to support
families or to inform educators who are interested in creating safe and
inclusive spaces for these children. Manning is leading a multi-disciplinary
group that is doing something to address this lack. "Social science and
humanities research can play a vital role in puzzling through the structural
oppressions faced by gender independent children and their families," she
PrideSource: "Transformations: Transgender Man Works to Change Media,
""In a perfect world, everyone could
just look at me and know who I was," Hicks says, his sandy-colored hair
twisted neatly into dreadlocks. "But we don't live in a perfect world, we
live in this world, and it's more important to me to build relationships
with people who care about things that I think are important and are working
on things that I care about and are invested in trying to do the work that I
think is important. If you don't understand my race or you don't understand
my gender, that's okay as long as you can be respectful."
Growing up on Detroit's Northwest
side, Hicks said he always felt like a boy, even though he loved pink and
once refused to wear a dress until his mother glued a flower onto it, but
started identifying as transgender when he found the word on the Internet.
Though initially his mother, the first
person to whom he came out, thought he was joking, she researched the issue
and became fiercely supportive, driving him to Affirmations youth group
every week. There and at the Ruth Ellis Center, he found other trans youths
and the support he needed"
10-09-12: XTRA.CA (Canada): "Ontario alters gender-change rules ‒
Trans people no longer require full sex reassignment surgery to get new
"What was once impossible for
transgender Ontarians is now attainable in six to eight weeks for a $37
fee. And that’s good news, say activists.
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
ruled in April that the Government of Ontario’s regulations on
changing the designated gender on a birth certificate were
discriminatory. It sent Queen’s Park back to the drawing board to come
up with some new ideas.
Previously, transgender people had
to undergo full sex reassignment surgery before being permitted to
change their gender on birth certificates – the document that acts as a
foundation for the information on all other government-issued
identification. Many in the trans community thought this an unnecessary
But now all that’s required in an
application is a signed declaration and a note from a doctor or
psychologist. The only caveat for changing a birth certificate is that
the applicant must be 18 years of age."
10-09-12: Province of Ontario (Canada): "Changing Your Sex Designation
on your Birth Registration and Birth Certificate"
"The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
ordered the Government to cease requiring transgendered persons to have
"transsexual surgery" in order to obtain a change of sex designation on
their birth registration. In accordance with the Tribunal’s order, the
criteria for changing sex designation on a birth registration have been
revised and there is no longer a requirement for "transsexual surgery". At
this time, an applicant for a change of sex designation on a birth
registration must be at least 18 years of age."
BBC (re Italy): "Italy smashes transsexual prostitution ring"
"Italian police say they have broken a
prostitution ring which trafficked transsexual people from Latin America
into the country. Police said they arrested 28 suspected members of the
prostitution ring, 24 of whom are already in prison.
The group was made up of Italians and
Brazilians who were recruited from shanty towns in Brazil and other Latin
10-07-12: Los Angeles Times: "A transgender story: My daughter, my son
‒ When Sarah became Finn, her parents began their own journey." (more)
"One morning, in a half-asleep,
half-awake state, I realized what Sarah had done to be true to herself was
brave and incredibly courageous. Seeing Finn's action in that light gave me
cause for celebration. He was the same person he had been as a she.
Last week Finn came home for a visit. He took photographs for an art school
project. We laughed over coffee, made our favorite goat cheese pizza,
gossiped about family and reminisced about old times. I realized what I
should have known all along: The packaging may be different, but what's
inside Finn is unchanged.
There will be days when feelings of what-might-have-been will return. I'm
still struggling to swim across my river of sorrow and anger to join Finn on
the far bank. But I feel like I might be getting close."
10-06-12: Boston Globe: "Quincy couple talk about transgender son’s
"The Garbers had no idea what
transgender meant when, in 2003, a therapist finally put a name to the anger
and isolation Kristen was experiencing. She had just finished middle school,
where she had cut off her hair and was wearing boy clothes. Kids called her
a lesbian. She had no friends.
Where many parents would freak out at
the word transgender, the Garbers were relieved. “There were so many
struggles, and we couldn’t figure out why this kid was so miserable,” Marcia
Before Kristen entered North Quincy
High School, her parents spoke to the school psychologist and other
administrators. She was still dressing like a boy and played ice hockey — on
the girls’ team. The summer after her junior year, Kristen changed her name
to Christopher and had breast removal surgery. Christopher, or CJ, returned
to his senior year as a boy."
10-05-12: Huffington Post: "A Decade of Victories for Trans Rights",
by Mark Daniel Snyder
"A decade ago no news about
transgender issues was usually good news about transgender issues. Although
the rate of murders and violence against transgender people, especially
against transgender women of color, continues to be a tragedy (and one that
remains largely unaddressed), historic gains have been made. And today, when
you open the newspaper and read about transgender issues, you just may be
reading about an extension of health-care coverage, a third-grader allowed
to go to school as her authentic self, or the EEOC ruling protecting
transgender people from workplace discrimination under Title VII."
10-05-12: New York Times (re Malaysia): "Seeking the Right to Be
Female in Malaysia"
"The feminine figure dressed in jeans
and a T-shirt, makeup carefully applied, drew little attention from other
customers at the fast-food restaurant in Seremban, a city about an hour’s
drive south of Kuala Lumpur.
The 26-year-old began wearing women’s
clothing at age 13. Thanks to plastic surgery in neighboring Thailand, a
daily dose of hormones and a feminine nickname, she is able to present
herself as female to the outside world. But her official identification card
— which Malaysians must produce in dealings like job interviews — declares
that her name is Adam Shazrul Bin Mohammad Yusoff and that she is male.
The discrepancy between her appearance
and her officially recognized gender presents much more than just awkward
moments in Malaysia, where Shariah, or Islamic law, bans Muslim men from
dressing or posing as women. Penalties differ in individual states, but in
Negri Sembilan, where the 26-year-old lives, convicted offenders may be
sentenced to up to six months in prison, fined as much as 1,000 ringgit,
about $325, or both."
10-05-12: HuffPost British Columbia (Canada): "January Marie Lapuz,
Transgender Victim ID'd In New Westminster Killing" (more)
"A transgender woman has been
identified as the victim of a New Westminster homicide. John Carlo Embro
Lapuz was fatally stabbed on Sept. 29. In 2008, Lapuz officially changed his
name to January Marie, said RCMP on Thursday.
Alex Sangha, founder of
Vancouver, was "shocked" to hear of Lapuz's death. He described Lapuz as
a "bright light and shining star."
"The obstacles she overcame as an
immigrant, as a transgender person, as a person in poverty, as a person
working in a high-risk occupation, she really overcame a lot," Sangha told
New West Record."
10-04-12: Philadelphia Gay News: "DA refuses to account for key
document in Morris case"
"“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s
Office refuses to confirm or deny whether it has a police log in the Nizah
Morris case, even though such logs are considered public records under state
law. Morris was a transgender woman who was found with a fatal head wound
shortly after she received a courtesy ride from Philadelphia Police during
the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 22, 2002 . . . The log in question pertains to a
vehicle stop initiated by Skala while she was still assigned to the Morris
dispatch . . .
At last week’s PAC meeting,
commissioners expressed concern about several pieces of evidence in the
Morris case that appear to be redacted, including the vehicle-stop log.
“This is like something you’d find in communist Russia, when they would
erase people from photographs,” said Chuck Volz, an openly gay commissioner.
Kathleen R. Padilla, a local
transgender activist, said transparency in the Morris case holds the
potential of clearing police of any undue suspicion in the homicide. “The
[transgender] community would be pleased if the DA’s Office were half as
successful in solving our murders as it is in obfuscating the existence of
public information,” Padilla said.”"
10-04-12: Toronto Star (Canada): "Toronto school board introduces
policy for transgender students, staff"
"The Toronto District School Board has
new set of guidelines that spell out what kind of accommodation the
board must offer to “transgender and gender non-conforming students and
staff.” The policy says schools must keep a student’s gender non-conformity
or transgender status confidential and should never disclose it to a parent
or guardian without consent from the student.
“It is strongly suggested that staff
privately ask transgender or gender nonconforming students at the beginning
of the school year how they want to be addressed in correspondence to the
home or at meetings with the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s),”
the policy says. It also says students and staff have the right to use a
washroom that “best conforms to their gender identity” without having to
“prove” their gender. Schools must also offer an “accessible all-gender
single stall washroom” for any employee or student who needs “increased
privacy.” The guidelines were created as a result of a student’s recent
human rights complaint, Toronto District School Board spokesman Ryan Bird
[In a stunning and obviously
deliberate omission among the listed resources, the guidelines do NOT
Ken Zucker and
trans-reparatist clinic at CAMH. Looks like Zucker is being socially
"quarantined" by the Toronto health-care community, to prevent him from
emotionally damaging more gender variant kids. The TDSB guidelines
instead list a long series of "trans-positive" healthcare, counseling,
support-groups, and outreach services - including linking to the
multi-language translation pages in Lynn's website for Evelyn's book,
I need to be a girl".]
10-04-12: Toronto District School Board (Canada): "TDSB Guidelines for the
Accommodation of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students and Staff"
"These guidelines set out the TDSB’s
best practices related to accommodation based on gender identity and gender
expression. They have been designed to raise awareness and help protect
against discrimination and harassment. It is intended that this document
will support members of the wider TDSB community fulfill our shared
obligation to promote the dignity and equality of those whose gender
identity and or gender expression does not conform to traditional social
[A very thorough and well thought out
set of guidelines - something that school districts all around Canada and
the U.S. should look at. Includes an extensive list of resources available
to gender variant children and their families. Deliberately OMITS any
Ken Zucker and
trans-reparative clinic at CAMH.]
10-04-12: TS Roadmap: "Toronto schools list local trans-friendly
resources, CAMH rightfully omitted", by Andrea James
"The Toronto school board has just
posted a set of guidelines for accommodating transgender children and teens
in Toronto schools:
Toronto District School Board
“TDSB Guidelines for the Accommodation of Transgender and Gender
Non-Conforming Students and Staff” . . .
They list a number of great local
resources in Toronto, and I am very pleased to announce they list ”From
Within,” hosted on this site:
The Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health, the global epicenter of regressive ideologies about gender variance
and home to the world’s largest reparative therapy clinic aimed at “curing”
transgender youth, is notably absent from their home town school system’s
list. Despite this, the American Psychiatric Association continues to let
key CAMH personnel like
Kenneth Zucker set APA policy regarding trans adults and children. "
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund: "Victory! Transgender Woman Wins
Insurance Coverage for Sex Reassignment Surgery"
"We are thrilled to announce that we
have resolved a claim on behalf of a transgender woman who had been denied
health insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgery.
Hammer, a 34-year-old New York City resident, applied for
pre-authorization for male-to-female sex reassignment surgery in July 2011.
MVP Health Care denied her claim on the grounds that the surgery was
“cosmetic” and therefore was not covered under the policy. MVP refused
to alter its position and denied two internal appeals, even after
submitted extensive evidence in support of Ms. Hammer’s claim.
threatened to file a lawsuit did MVP reverse its position and agree to
cover the doctor-recommended procedure.
stated in its letter authorizing the surgery that “the requested surgery
is medically necessary.”
“I have been undergoing treatment for
gender dysphoria for the past five years. My doctors determined that
surgery is the only adequate treatment for my condition,” said Ms. Hammer.
“My insurance company should not be second-guessing my doctors. I’m
relieved that it is finally treating me fairly and covering the health care
10-03-12: Center for American Progress: "FAQ: Health Insurance Needs
for Transgender Americans"
"Transgender people face tough
realities across the United States in routine areas of life that most people
take for granted, including rights to employment, housing, and personal
safety. Health care, particularly health insurance coverage, is another area
where transgender people routinely experience serious and potentially
life-threatening discrimination on the basis of gender identity . . .
To ensure that transgender people can
access the care they need to stay healthy, insurers need to be held to
appropriate standards of nondiscrimination, and health plan benefit designs
must be based on medical science and sound actuarial data rather than on
outdated assumptions. This FAQ provides information on transgender health
issues and the obstacles that transgender people face in accessing insurance
coverage for even the most basic health care needs."
10-02-12: Huffington Post: "Dear Family and Friends: My Son Is Really
My Daughter", by Wayne Maines
"My last post talked about "Going
Stealth" about my transgender child's identity at school and in our
community. Deciding whom to tell is a complicated, risk-filled and dynamic
process. Dynamic because at different ages, the risks and rules change. Each
phase of the decision-making process requires asking questions. Who needs to
know and why? Is my child ready? Are we ready to expand our inner circle?
I often struggled with how to tell
long-distance family members, hometown friends, college buddies and past
co-workers that we have a transgender child. As time went on, every contact
with our outer circle from "away" became more stressful. Each conversation
started with how are the kids and when are you coming home for a visit? I
was running out of excuses. Frankly, I was afraid to tell them, partly
because I knew I might not like what I was going to hear and I thought I
could never help them understand. Fear is a powerful force; it made me avoid
things. Fear makes good people act poorly and some fears can close down the
minds of the people you love and respect. "
[An important essay about overcoming
the negative impact of fear.]
10-02-12: The Daily Mail (UK): "'He tried to cut off his penis with
craft scissors': The transgender nine-year-old who lived in turmoil before
finding peace as a little girl"
"When Danann Tyler was just two years
old, he insisted he was a girl, and asked to wear dresses and grow his hair.
His yoga instructor mother, Sarah, 39, and father Bill, 45, a police
officer, struggled to explain his behaviour, and put it down to a phase.
However two years later, Danann attempted to cut off his penis with a pair
of scissors . . .
Over the next two years, Dannan was
misdiagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder. Mrs Tyler, who also has an
older son, 11-year-old James, said: 'His school work suffered and he started
lashing out when I dressed him. I'd have bite marks and bruises. I was
When she refused to let him wear a
dress to a party, she says: 'He jumped out of the car and ran into traffic
saying, "I want to die". He was immediately seen by a psychiatrist after Mrs
Tyler contacted her local hospital, and after a month of tests and therapy,
Danann was diagnosed with gender identity disorder, a condition where
sufferers are unhappy with their sex.
Doctors said despite his young age, he
needed to start living as a girl, son his parents made the decision to bring
him up as their daughter, allowing him to grow his hair and wear girls
clothes full time, even to school. Danann, who hasn't changed her name as
it's unisex, is happy for the first time, and Mrs Tyler says she'll support
Danann if she wants a full sex change operation at 15."
10-01-12: NPR (re Argentina): "No More 'Lying': Law Bolsters
"Mateo Solares came to Argentina from
Bolivia a few years ago. The 25-year-old was born, and grew up as, Moyra
Veronica. Biologically female, Solares says he always felt like a guy.
The main reason Solares moved to
Argentina is because it seemed like an easier place to transition into a
life as a young man. He says having an ID card that reflects how he sees
himself is huge. "Before, it felt terrible to see documents that didn't
identify me as me," says Solares. "And those documents make you feel afraid.
If I had to buy anything, I'd only do it if I could pay in cash, because if
I paid with a credit card I'd have to show my ID. ... It was like I was
lying. It was horrible."
In other countries, like Bolivia,
changing your name and gender on ID cards often requires medical procedures
or making a case before a judge, and it can take years. But in Argentina,
because of the new gender law, the change is simple and takes only 15 days.
Under the law, if a person wants to have a medical procedure, like gender
reassignment, the health care system will cover it."
10-01-12: The Advocate: "WATCH: 'Voting While Trans' Helps Navigate
Voter ID laws" (more,
"Federal courts have struck down
pending voter ID laws in
South Carolina, and
Wisconsin, finding that the laws disproportionately affected immigrants,
the elderly, people of color, the poor, women, and trans folk. That's why
NCTE has launched a series of public service announcements to educate trans
folk on how to protect their right to vote.
"The fear of being turned away because
of my ID kept me from voting in previous elections," says queer actor,
artist, and gender-nonconforming filmmaker Ignacio Rivera in one PSA. "In
the last election, my daughter was of voting age, and it was too important
to me to show her that I vote. So I got the information, set an example, and
protected my right to vote."
"Turning away transgender voters
because of gender stereotypes is discrimination, and it's un-American," says
NCTE executive director Mara Kiesling in another video.
The six PSAs feature Rivera, Kiesling,
actress Laverne Cox, writer and advocate Janet Mock, Charles Meins, and poet
Kit Yan. Watch the entire series of PSAs
here, and watch the compounded PSA below."
10-01-12: Huffington Post: "Transgender New Yorkers Face Scorn And
Violence Using Public Restrooms"
"Long before her boyfriend was
slashed for defending her against an alleged gay-slur-spewing McDonald's
patron who questioned her use of the ladies' room, Jalisa Griffin came
to dread each time she needed to use a public bathroom.
Griffin, 22, who identifies as
transgender, said she is harassed at least once a week when she uses women's
bathrooms, where people seem to feel free to bombard her with dirty looks
and nasty comments . . .
And more than half of participants in
2011 study conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported being harassed in public
accommodations like restaurants, stores, hotels and hospitals. Nearly
10 percent reported being physically attacked . . .
The problems transgender people face
using public bathrooms even prompted the creation of a website and an an app
for those looking for safe spaces.
iPhone map application that launched in April, shows users the closest
gender-neutral and single-stall restrooms. It includes more than 4,000
user-submitted bathroom locations in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom
— 59 of which are in Manhattan . . .
The designer, who's based in Portland,
Ore., created the app using the gender-neutral bathroom directory
launched in 2006."
10-01-12: Montreal Gazette (Canada): "Transgender Issues: Some People
Just Can’t Accept Trans People"
"In my experience as a transitioned
woman, I’ve seen pretty good support from friends, family and colleagues.
But I am very aware that some of those people are just being polite and
professional, that they are uncomfortable about what I have done. And there
are some people who simply have not spoken to me (unless they have to) since
the day I made my big announcement to the world. Some of them avoid eye
contact when we pass each other.
I don’t blame anyone for this. I don’t
view their discomfort as transphobia, because they certainly don’t say
anything hateful to me. And I don’t judge them or try to analyze them. I
just have to accept that there are people in this world who are
uncomfortable about this sort of thing, as long as they do not commit
transphobic acts. They don’t have to like me."
9-29-12: U. S. Politics Today: "L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Commends
California Governor Jerry Brown for Signing SB 1172, Protecting LGBT Youth"
"In response to
California Governor Jerry Brown's signing of SB 1172, the bill that protects
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth from the dangers of "therapy"
intended to change their sexual orientation or gender expression, L.A. Gay &
Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean issued the following
"Finally, lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and questioning youth in California will be protected from the
dangerous and discredited quackery known as 'reparative therapy.' We applaud
Governor Jerry Brown for signing SB 1172 and its author, Senator Ted Lieu,
for saving lives through their legislative and moral leadership. It's my
sincere hope, for the benefit of all American youth, that this new law will
spark a wave of similar legislation in statehouses throughout the country.
It's outrageous that anyone,
especially under the guise of providing therapy, should be allowed to
practice discredited techniques known to inflict severe emotional harm and
sometimes suicide. All too often we see the results of these 'treatments' on
the many homeless LGBT youth we serve at the Center; repairing their harmful
effects is challenging, especially for the many who turn to drugs to deal
with their torment. Such practices should never have been protected by the
law here and they shouldn't be protected anywhere else.""
[This is a watershed development:
The new law not only bans reparatist therapy on gay children, but also on
trans children. Thus the
trans-reparatist therapy so heavily promoted by Ken Zucker, of CAMH in
Toronto, is now effectively banned in California. This could trigger a
wave of similar legislation in other states to protect LGBT children from
the inhumane practice of reparatist therapy. Meantime, folks at CAMH should
ask themselves how much longer they want to support (and be stained by
9-29-12: San Francisco Chronicle: "State bans gay-repair therapy for
"California has become the first state
in the country to ban controversial therapy practices that attempt to change
the sexual orientation of minors after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to
outlaw them Saturday.
The bill, SB1172 by Sen. Ted Lieu,
D-Torrance (Los Angeles County), bars mental health practitioners from
performing so-called reparative therapy, which professional psychological
organizations have said may cause harm. Gay rights groups have labeled them
dangerous and abusive.
"This bill bans non-scientific
'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These
practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be
relegated to the dustbin of quackery," Brown said in a statement to The
Chronicle . . .
Under the new law, which will take
effect Jan. 1, no mental health provider will be able to provide therapy
that seeks "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or
reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the
Mental health professionals who
violate the law, which applies to therapy for patients younger than 18, will
be subject to discipline by whatever group licenses them."
9-28-12: Salon: "A transgender child’s victory"
transgender third-grader in New Hampshire has won the right to be treated as
a girl in her school community — including being allowed to use the girls’
room. Score one for tolerance, and the increasing strides grown-ups are
making in understanding that gender isn’t always definitively settled the
moment a baby is born, nor is orientation only figured out in adolescence or
Children are a lot more complex than that.
The girl’s triumph is a well-earned
one. Her family . . .
told the Nashua Telegraph that after last year’s winter break she
returned to the second grade fully female-identified. She was dressing as a
girl and using a female name. The school initially accepted her as female,
but, the parents say, the staff began addressing her as a male and “the
child was ultimately separated from her classmates, seated in a single desk
in a room of shared tables and was no longer allowed to use the girls’
restroom.” Isolated and despondent, the girl’s “behavioral issues increased”
until the family removed her from the school. She finished out the year with
The child is now at a new school,
where the district superintendent Mark Conrad acknowledges, “The issues that
public schools must often address mirror the broader issues in our society …
It’s our policy not to discriminate against any student, and that would
include transgender students.” The district has agreed to treat the girl
“the same as all female students in every aspect,” including using her
female name in school records, and letting her use the girls’ room.
Furthermore, her transgender status is considered “confidential medical
information” that can only be shared among “appropriate and necessary” staff
. . . Kudos to the district, and to the child’s parents for putting the
needs of the girl first, and for being so encouraging of her right to be
9-28-12: Philadelphia Gay News: "Gender markers dropped for new voter IDs"
"In an unprecedented step announced
this week, Pennsylvania’s new state-issued voter identification card will
not include a gender marker. The revelation was made Tuesday during a
Commonwealth Court hearing on the contentious new law, which would require
voters to present a valid government ID each time they vote . . .
David Rosenblum, Mazzoni Center legal
director who, with Equality Pennsylvania executive director Ted Martin,
issued a letter to Secretary of Commonwealth Carol Aichele calling for
attention to the transgender-related issues surrounding voter ID, said the
move is groundbreaking. “To my knowledge, this if the first time the state
has ever issued an ID where gender doesn’t matter,” Rosenblum said.
While the card will be marked for “voting-purposes only,” Rosenblum said its
significance cannot be overlooked . . .
In what opponents of the law are
hailing as a good sign, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson told the
attorneys arguing the case this week that he was giving them a “heads-up”
that there is a “possibility there could be an injunction here.” "
9-25-12: International Business Times: "Psychiatrist Works to Include
Transgender Issues in Residency Training" (more)
instructor of clinical psychiatry, was recently appointed chairperson of
Transgender Committee of the Association
of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists. In this role, Pula says he would like
to create a network of psychiatrists and residents of all gender identities
who are interested in changing the curricula of medical schools and
residency programs nationwide to include training in transgender issues.
With homosexuality being removed from
the DSM in 1973 and the generally positive societal shift in attitudes
toward LGBT people, the tide is turning. But transgender people have not
ridden the wave quite yet, according to Pula.
In the medical and psychiatric
community, he explains, doctors still tend to think that transgender people
are ill, "that they are by definition psychotic or personality disordered.
They have not learned about transgender people who live healthy,
well-adapted lives . . . These assumptions have led Pula to want to change
the way psychiatric residents are trained.
"The problem is that residents still
don't get trained in transgender issues," Pula says. "[A transgender person]
can't really go to a psychiatrist and think they're seeing an expert. They'd
have to seek out an expert, and experts aren't easy to find. And the older
generation of psychiatrists haven't had any training and often have a
9-25-12: Huffington Post (posted 9-20): "'Collateral Damage' in the
LGBT Community: Straight Spouses, Still in the Darkest Corner of the
Closet", by Amity P. Buxton
"Tucked in a corner of the
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender closet is a little-known group: straight
women and men in heterosexual marriages whose husbands or wives come out as
gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender after marrying them as "the right
thing to do" . . .
Though some couples work out ways to
stay together, most divorce, their children now in a broken family. As
divorced LGBT partners begin to live their lives with integrity, their
straight ex-partners are left in shock, their own identity, integrity, and
belief system shattered. The spotlight on the disclosing partners, few
outsiders think about their wives or husbands . . .
It's time to pay attention to this
invisible group. A new book does just that.
Unseen-Unheard: The Journey of Straight Spouses, of which I am a
co-author, opens the window onto their emotional, sexual, cognitive,
psychological, relational, and spiritual trauma. Through personal stories
told by a diversity of men and women, the book traces post-disclosure coping
from their first cries of pain and shock through soul survival struggles and
turning points to transformation.
My co-author, R. L. Pinely, notes,
"They find strength they didn't know they had." Jack Drescher, M.D. . . .
hails the book's "eye-opening and sometimes heart-wrenching accounts...
stories of tragedy and triumph, offering some glimpses of hope and light to
those facing similar struggles.""
9-25-12: New York Times (posted 9-21): "Since Suicide, More Resources
for Transgender and Gay Students" (more)
"It has been two years since
Tyler Clementi, a gay freshman at
Rutgers University, committed suicide after learning that his roommate
had ridiculed his sexuality and invited friends to spy on him and another
man through a webcam. That terrible episode brought the school national
attention, none of it welcome: previously known as a large and diverse state
school, Rutgers became associated with homophobia and cruelty . . .
Rutgers has a long history of
inclusiveness; when the Rutgers Homophile League was founded in 1969, for
example, it was only the second such student group in the nation. But since
Mr. Clementi’s death on Sept. 22, 2010, the university has increased its
efforts, propelled by a vocal campus community, an energetic administrator
and an urgent need for damage control.
Even some of the students have been
startled by the strength of Rutgers’s embrace. In 2011, shortly before the
start of her first year at Rutgers, Nicole Margolies was talking with a
housing supervisor when she blurted out: “I’m transgender, and I don’t know
what to do about it. Where do I go?” Nick, as the student is now known,
feared he might not even be allowed on campus. Instead, he said, when he got
there the name on his dorm room door was up-to-date. His professors
addressed him as “he.” And no one made him feel it was anything other than
“Boom,” he said. “Mind blown.”"
9-25-12: Queerty: "Gay And Transgender Student Life Improved at
Rutgers In Wake Of Clementi Suicide"
"The Rutgers Homophile League, founded
in 1969, was only the nation’s second gay academic organization. Though
possessing a history of LGBT inclusiveness, Rutgers University was haunted
by the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi that painted the college as place
of intolerance. Thanks to stepped-up efforts from its administration and
campus community, students now have a wealth of resources available to them
including specialized housing, ally training programs and a gay fraternity.
While there are still traces of
homophobia on campus, the general atmosphere remains overwhelmingly positive
and welcoming, as illustrated in the case of a worried transgender student.
The New York Times reports:
"In 2011, shortly before the start of
her first year at Rutgers, Nicole Margolies was talking with a housing
supervisor when she blurted out: “I’m transgender, and I don’t know what to
do about it. Where do I go?” Nick, as the student is now known, feared he
might not even be allowed on campus. Instead, he said, when he got there the
name on his dorm room door was up-to-date. His professors addressed him as
“he.” And no one made him feel it was anything other than normal. “Boom,” he
said. “Mind blown.”""
9-24-12: LGBTQ Nation: "NCTE launches ‘first of its kind’ online hub
for transgender college students" (more)
"The National Center for Transgender
Equality (NCTE) has launched the
Transgender On-campus Nondiscrimination Information (TONI) Project, the
nation’s first online hub for transgender students to share
trans-affirmative college policies and practices, and exchange ideas for
organizing and action.
Key features of the site include a
searchable database of campus profiles that document a range of campus
policies such as housing, records and documentation, healthcare, safety, and
TONI is accessible to current and
prospective students in search of trans-affirmative colleges and
universities, and users also have access to a community forum where they can
share ideas for taking action.
“With the start of another academic
year, the TONI Project is urgently needed,” said Mara Keisling, NCTE
Executive Director, in a statement."
9-24-12: Union Leader: "Nashua school district, parents reach
agreement on transgender 3rd-grader"
"One month after a transgender
third-grade student transferred from one city school to another, the
superintendent says no district-wide policy is necessary. “We don't have a
specific policy on transgender students, but we do have policies in place
that prevent discrimination against students and bullying, and we regularly
review those policies,” Superintendent Mark Conrad said Monday.
Conrad refused to comment on the case
involving the third-grader, whose family reached an agreement with the
district that now allows her to wear girl's clothing, use her female name
and use the female restroom. The agreement was intended to help the student
thrive in the classroom, Conrad said.
Janson Wu, a staff attorney with Gay
and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, represented the girl and her family. Wu
also refused to comment on the girl's situation, but said that most school
districts and businesses in New England are looking for some guidance when
dealing with transgender issues. "
9-24-12: Gay Star News (re Guatemala): "Trans woman’s double-life as
male teacher and female sex worker ‒ A transgender woman has spoken out
about the injustices and violence trans women face in Guatemala" (more,
"Guatemalan transgender woman Linda
Elizabeth Tylor Martinez has spoken out about being forced to live in two
worlds. In a profile interview with The Associated Press, Martinez works as
a male schoolteacher during the day and as a female prostitute at night.
‘In the beginning it was out of
necessity because I was still getting my teacher’s license,’ she said. ‘But
now, it’s also because it’s the only place that I can really be a woman’ . .
Guatemala has a shocking reputation
for transgender hate crimes. A 2010 report showed that 13 trans women were
murdered over one year. Fearing repercussions, she would not allow The
Associated Press to use her teacher name or interview others at the school.
In the Central American country, transgender people are openly discriminated
against and face violence from a vicious police force."
9-22-12: Just Plain Sense (UK): "Paris Lees - LGBT Role Model", by
Christine Burns (more)
"Paris Lees appeared in
an earlier edition of Just Plain Sense about the signing of a Memorandum
on trans people at Channel 4. Even then she was probably not all that well
known outside of a small circle, having only moved to London the previous
year. These days she is rapidly emerging as a rising star.
She has quickly established herself as
an art reviewer and commentator on issues of diversity. Her writing has
appeared in the Guardian and the Independent, in Attitude magazine, and in
Pink News. She has regular columns in Gay Times and Diva. She has appeared
on Radio One and BBC TV ... and acted as a consultant on several programmes
about trans people. Most notably, she launched a unique magazine, META,
earlier this year.
Paris recently won the title 'LGBT
Role Model' at the National Diversity Awards. This interview was recorded
with her the following morning whilst she was still getting used to the
9-21-12: Huffington Post: "Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong, 'Project
Runway' Finalist, Talks Transgender Transition" (more)
"The popular "Project Runway"
contestant who appeared on the show as a gay man and is now living as a
speaking in depth about her ongoing transition. Nong Ariyaphon
Southiphong, who starred in the eighth season of the hit Lifetime series as
Andy South, tells Logo, "What people don't know is that I actually started
my transition before 'Project Runway,' [and] I had stopped right before I
went to New York...it just would've complicated a lot of things."
She also noted: "What I realized in
the past two years, after being on television, was that I was still missing
something, and that was really living in the body I wanted." In June,
the Hawaii native -- who made it into the top 3 while on "Project Runway" --
changed her name on Facebook, and appeared in a series of new profile
photos in long hair and in full make-up. "
9-21-12: New York Daily News: "Man defending his transgender
girlfriend slashed by 350-pound man at Greenwich Village McDonald’s"
"A McDonald’s in Greenwich Village,
notorious for previous acts of violence, was the scene of yet another attack
when A 350-pound man used gay slurs to berate a 24-year-old then used a
razor to slash the victim across the face and neck . . .
Jamar McLeod, 24, said he and his
girlfriend, Jalisa “JoJo” Griffen had just picked up her hormone medicine
Wednesday night and were headed back to their apartment in Bushwick when
they ducked into the fast food joint on W. Third St. to use the bathroom.
McLeod, who is 5-foot-6 and 170
pounds, was holding hands with Griffen, who was wearing a tight-fitting pair
of sweatpants and sweatshirt. The suspect, who was waiting for his
cheeseburger around 7 p.m., apparently overheard them talking about gay
9-19-12: The Link
(Canada): "That Transsexual Guy ‒ Interview With Jen of We Happy Trans"
"I had the privilege this week of
interviewing my beautiful friend Jen, of
We Happy Trans
Internet fame. We met online, where we managed to discuss Kant and flirt for
all the world to see. She kindly agreed to answer my questions . . .
What sort of lovely future vision
do you have for the trans* community?
If it’s up to me, one with a lot more
purple. More broadly though, trans people will soon be as visible, and as an
integrated part of global culture, as gay people are now swiftly becoming.
It is inevitable.
More prophetically, I can’t help but
contemplate how every despised minority develops some special strength while
building their own community on the margins, one that becomes valued by the
wider society. What precious jewels are being awakened in the crucible of
our suffering? I suspect that our boon will be nothing less than the wisdom
of active transformation. And what could be more needed in the world?"
9-19-12: The Bilerico Project: "Lawrence of Arabia as Transgender
Allegory [Part 1]", Filed By
"Despite the unanimous opinion of his
peers, however, Lawrence thinks highly of himself, and again much as trans
people often are, he is frustrated that how he is perceived differs so
greatly from the person he knows himself to be. The film elegantly
foreshadows this hidden potential when Lawrence performs a trick for his
countrymen - igniting a match and placidly allowing the flame burn down to
his fingers, extinguishing itself. Another soldier tries to duplicate the
feat, yelping in pain and shaking his hand.
"It damn well hurts!" he exclaims in
"Certainly it hurts," replies
"Well, what's the trick then?" he
Lawrence's answer is revelatory: "The
'trick' ... is not minding that it hurts". . .
This level of willpower is desired and
practiced at some point by everyone who transitions. Hour after hour after
hour of follicle-burning electrolysis, breast binding, crippling surgical
pain, insensitive conversations, legal and medical discrimination, fucked-up
pronouns, name confusion, discomforting stares, alienation from family and
friends - there's no shortage of sources for pain for the
gender-nonconforming. But we cannot be discouraged.
There will be pain - that is certain -
but we must not mind that it hurts if we want to be ourselves, if we want
inner feelings to match outward reality. "
[A powerful essay.]
9-19-12: The Advocate: "The Silent Soldiers Who Are Still ‘Unfit to
Serve’ ‒ It’s now OK to be gay in the U.S. military, but The Advocate spoke
with several transgender people on why policy means they must remain in the
"Resources to help transgender service
members navigate that hypermasculine environment do exist, and many reported
finding allies within their platoons and the larger veteran community. The
most frequently mentioned resources, though, included
Servicemembers Legal Defense
Network and OutServe,
which was once a secret member organization advocating for silenced gay and
lesbian servicemembers. Now, OutServe hosts a similarly secretive group of
transgender members, in addition to out and proud LGB soldiers. According to
OutServe magazine, that group now boasts more than 70 members —
about 1% of the organization’s total membership.
While current military law forbids
them from doing so — and pushes trans service members into secret
organizations — many who spoke with The Advocate said that they
would prefer to be out on the job, and that it would allow them to be better
soldiers . . .
The Department of Defense instructions
regarding medical standards list several trans-related procedures as
Section 6130.03 mentions “history of major abnormalities or defects of
the genitalia, such as change of sex [and] hermaphroditism.” The same
regulations also reference disqualifying mental health conditions, including
“current or history of psychosexual conditions, including but not limited to
transsexualism [and] transvestism.” The regulations also forbid service by
those with “sexual and gender identity disorders,” as defined in the
American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual."
9-18-12: New York Daily News: "Transgender tolerance campaign launches
in Washington D.C. in order to promote understanding and positivity" (MetroWeekly,
"In Washington D.C., the
transgendered population is making itself heard. Their message: We’re
doing fine -- why not get to know us?
In response to incidents of violence
and cultural misunderstandings that transgendered Americans face on a daily
basis, the nation’s capital rolled out their
#TransRespect campaign, in print ads and on
Twitter and Facebook.
The fiveads, which will appear all
over D.C. in the fall, feature actual city residents, photographed with
enthusiastic smiles along with a descriiption of themselves . . .
It’s the first government-sponsored
campaign in the country to focus on
treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming communities, Gustavo
Velasquez, Director of the DC Office of Human Rights, told the News in an
email . . .
So far, the campaign has been received
an overwhelmingly positive reception. D.C. Mayor Vincent Grey has reportedly
been in talks with several partners in other cities who are eager to spread
the message across the nation."
9-18-12: Jurist.org: " California Legislature Underscores Need for
Better Gender Identity Standards"
"JURIST Guest Columnist
Ziegler of the Saint Louis University School of Law says that the US
Supreme Court's decisions in reproductive rights cases may complicate
efforts to bring constitutional challenges against California's recent
legislation banning the use of sexual orientation therapy on minors . . .
"Interpreted broadly, Casey leaves
significant room for the state to regulate quasi-medical aspects of the
culture wars. In the case of the California statute, Casey also makes clear
that the courts may have a broad new role in adjudicating the truthfulness
of all medical speech — not just statements made during abortion care.
The idea of courts deciding the truth
of statements suggesting that homosexuality is a medical illness makes me
uneasy. I am not sure that courts are competent to determine the
truthfulness of supposedly scientific conclusions, especially when those
conclusions address hot-button social issues. I am even less certain that
courts should focus on truthfulness. The issue of "conversion" therapy
raises important questions about the scope of parental rights, the reach of
the Free Exercise Clause, and the meaning of equal citizenship under the
Fourteenth Amendment. Hopefully, courts will take on these issues directly
rather than expanding sadly inadequate truthful-and-non-misleading standard
"Conversion" therapy is part of an
ever-larger medical front in the wider culture wars. In the abortion wars,
the right has reaped substantial benefits from medicalizing a variety of
constitutional, moral and social issues. I expect that the California law
will show that both the left and right can play this game. What Casey has
given social conservatives in one context, Casey may well, in other
contexts, take away.""
9-16-12: News OK: "Oklahoma judge refuses to let men planning
sex-change operations have feminine names" (more,
"An Oklahoma County judge is refusing
to let men planning sex-change operations switch to feminine names. District
Judge Bill Graves has denied name changes in two such cases so far — last
year and again in August. The judge ruled both times the requests were made
for a fraudulent purpose.
“I wanted to give up and just die,''
said James Dean Ingram, who asked to legally be known as Angela Renee Ingram
but was turned down Aug. 30. “It's so important because it's who I am. I
can't be who I am with a male name,” Ingram said.
Five other Oklahoma County judges who
handle name change requests told The Oklahoman they routinely grant them in
transgender cases. Graves does not, for scientific reasons. He has concluded
a person cannot really change his or her sex because the person's DNA stays
the same . . .
“A so-called sex-change surgery can
make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more
than an imitation of the opposite sex,” the judge wrote in a seven-page
order last year . . . The judge also wrote about not wanting to be
“complicit in legitimizing sex changes through changes of names.”
The judge in his 2011 order gave three
specific reasons against allowing name changes in transgender cases. He
wrote it could result in someone unwittingly marrying a person “who appeared
to be of the opposite sex but was actually of the same sex.” He wrote it
also could hinder crime investigations — causing police officers searching
for a male based on DNA evidence to ignore a potential suspect the officers
believed was female. He wrote it also could let someone circumvent the
state's prohibitions against same-sex marriage."
9-16-12: Times Colonist (Victoria, Canada): "UVic's co-ed washrooms
are a big deal"
"So there are co-ed washrooms now in
the University of Victoria's Student Union Building. Big deal, we might say.
Toilets that can be used by both, or all, sexes have existed at other
European and North American universities such as the University of B.C.,
McGill and York for some time.
This is a big deal, though, to UVic
students who are transsexual and who can raise eyebrows, even abuse, if they
walk into a "ladies" or "gents" where they're not expected or accepted. The
wonder is, that in parts of the world where there aren't more pressing
issues like war and famine, it's taking so long for societies to embrace all
the diversities of those who make them up.
Ramps have been installed for those
who can't use stairs. Elevator buttons are low for those in wheelchairs and
with braille for those who can't see. People aren't excluded from public
lavatories, restaurants or beaches because of the colour of their skin or
what their religion or ethnicity requires they wear. Many churches, like
Victoria's own Christ Church Cathedral, have made inclusiveness a creed . .
Why, then, are washrooms the last
frontiers of sexual inclusiveness? Why must the human body's need to
eliminate be frustrated by the availability of places to do so because of a
societal fixation with sex that isn't supposed to have, really, anything to
do with it?"
9-14-12: The Daily Mail (UK re US): "Transgender woman, who claims
pills for male hair-loss sparked gender change, opens up about 'life and
"A transgender woman, who claims that
pills to prevent hair loss changed her gender identity, has spoken out about
her experience on Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show.
Mandi, 38, from Tampa, Florida, was
previously married father-of-one William McKee, a software engineer, who
began taking a generic version of the drug Propecia, called finasteride, to
halt the onset of hereditary baldness. Several months after taking the pills
daily, however, she says she noticed that her body was becoming more
9-13-12: LGBTQ Nation (posted 9-12): "Transgender advocacy group
condemns planned ‘Anderson Live’ segment ‒ Born male, guest claims 'hair
loss treatment caused him to become transgender'"
"The National Center for Transgender
Equality on Wednesday denounced plans by the syndicated talk show “Anderson
Live” to air a controversial interview with a person who claims an
anti-baldness drug made them transgender . . .
Mara Keisling, Executive Director of
the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement that the
NCTE was “surprised, saddened and disappointed that a respected show like
‘Anderson Live’ would give credence to this type of sensationalism and
“This segment is just another case of
sensationalizing an already marginalized population plain and simple,” she
said . . .
Keisling is urging transgender
advocates and allies to keep the journalist honest “about how this segment
does real harm to real trans people.” “Anderson Cooper knows better than
this. Anderson’s team is better than this,” she said."
9-13-12: Washington Post: "DC to launch campaign to promote awareness,
understanding of transgender people" (more)
"The District of Columbia government
is launching what it calls the nation’s first government-sponsored campaign
to promote awareness and understanding of transgender people.
Mayor Vincent Gray will unveil five
advertisements Thursday evening that will soon be displayed around the
nation’s capital. The ads feature transgender people who live in the
The mayor’s office says it wants to
ensure that transgender people have equal access to employment, housing and
public accommodations and that they feel safe. Transgender people have been
subjected to periodic violence in parts of the city."
9-13-12: The Guardian (UK re Brazil): "Transgender models the norm in
"With London's summer of sport over,
the focus moves to Brazil. The country is hosting the World Cup in 2014, and
the Olympics come 2016, and fashion, never to be outdone, is ready to make
its own handover. On course to become the fifth largest economy by 2025,
Brazil has the resources to become the next fashion capital, and the
international industry is beginning to take notice . . .
Fashion weeks in São Paolo and Rio –
previously dismissed as swimwear showcases – are firmly on the schedule of
international buyers and press. What they find, however, is still a little
different from the big four of New York, London, Milan and Paris. A film
made by Vice, as part of its Fashion Week Internationale series, goes behind
the scenes of the hype. Host Charlet Duboc finds transgender models as a
matter of course . . ."
9-13-12: This is Staffordshire (UK): "Gifted Hanley student was killed
by pills overdose" (more
in The Sun, with photo)
"A transsexual student died of an
overdose after she struggled to come to terms with her desire to live as a
woman, an inquest heard.
Natasha Lauren Brown was born Charles
Nicolas James Corcoran, but changed her name in 2011. The 20-year-old, of
Hanley, had also planned to undergo hormone therapy after making the
decision to live and dress as a woman. But the gifted Staffordshire
University photography student descended into depression after suffering
taunts, and was once knocked unconscious by a thug in a random attack . . .
Coroner Mr Curzon said her death had
resulted from liver failure due to paracetamol overdose, gender dysmorphia,
depression and personality disorder. He added: "This is a very, very sad
case. Perhaps one of the saddest I've come across . . .
Speaking after the hearing, Mrs
Corcoran said: "We'd just like to say we strongly believe the mental health
services could have done more to help her than they did.""
9-12-12: Independent Online (South Africa re Germany): "‘Transsexuals
have right to bigger boobs’"
"Kassel, Germany - Male-to-female
transsexuals have a legal right to breast enlargement operations when
hormone therapy fails to give them a feminine shape, a German federal court
ruled Tuesday. A transsexual may receive implants if her new breasts have
not yet reached the size of a bra's A-cup, the Federal Social Court in the
central city of Kassel said.
“Transsexual insurance policy-holders
can make a claim to treatment measures to allow them to adapt their gender,
including surgical procedures on healthy organs to minimise their
psychological suffering, so as to approach the appearance of the other sex
that is desired,” the court said. It said such a procedure was justified
even if the patient had not yet had a sex-change operation. "
9-12-12: Philadelphia Inquirer: "Philadelphia police seek information
on transgender woman's killing"
"Philadelphia police are searching for
information on the death of a 27-year-old transgender woman found shot in
the head in the Northeast last week. The victim, known to friends as Kyra
Kruz, was well-known in the city's gay community, said Gloria Casarez,
director of the city's Office of LGBT Affairs. "She was a visible, friendly
presence," Casarez said. "This has been surprising and upsetting to all of
us." . . .
Friends are planning a candlelight
vigil Thursday at 8 p.m. at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 13th and
Kruz, formerly known as Kris Herold,
grew up in Hatfield, said a childhood friend, Amanda Cerini. Raised
primarily by a single mother, Kruz moved to Philadelphia after high school.
Though she went by Kruz for years, she recently had her last name legally
changed to Cordova, Casarez said.
Kruz worked for about a year at the
Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, a nonprofit group that
focuses on HIV/AIDS outreach. Elicia Gonzales, the executive director, said
Kruz turned up one day in 2010, wanting to know what she could do to help.
She was initially stationed at the front desk, but later got a job
"She just immediately made the office
light up," Gonzales said. "She didn't think of it as her job. It was her
life's calling to give back to the community.""
9-10-12: The New Yorker: "Beyond the Matrix ‒ The Wachowskis travel to
even more mind-bending realms", by Aleksandar Hemon
Atlas’ is a twenty-first-century novel,” Lana said. “It represents a
midpoint between the future idea that everything is fragmented and the past
idea that there is a beginning, a middle, and an end.” As she spoke, she was
screwing and unscrewing two halves of some imaginary thing—its future and
its past—in her hands. If the movie worked, she continued, it would allow
the filmmakers to “reconnect to that feeling we had when we were younger,
when we saw films that were complex and mysterious and ambiguous. You didn’t
know everything instantly.”
Andy agreed. “ ‘Cloud Atlas’ is our
getting back to the spectacle of the sixties and seventies, the touchstone
movies,” he said, rubbing his bald dome like a magic lantern.
The model for their vision, they
explained, was Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which the
Wachowskis had first seen when Lana, then Larry, was ten and Andy seven . .
. Lana initially hated “2001,” and was perplexed by the mysterious presence
of the black monolith. “That’s a symbol,” Ron explained. Lana told me, “That
simple sentence went into my brain and rearranged things in such an
unbelievable way that I don’t think I’ve been the same since. Something
clicked inside. ‘2001’ is one of the reasons I’m a filmmaker.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, Lana’s
gender consciousness started to emerge at around the same time. In third
grade, Larry transferred to a Catholic school, where boys and girls wore
different uniforms and stood in separate lines before class. “I have a
formative memory of walking through the girls’ line and hesitating, knowing
that my clothes didn’t match,” Lana told me. “But as I continued on I felt I
did not belong in the other line, so I just stopped in between them. I stood
for a long moment with everyone staring at me, including the nun. She told
me to get in line. I was stuck—I couldn’t move. I think some unconscious
part of me figured I was exactly where I belonged: betwixt.” Larry was often
bullied for his betwixtness. “As a result, I hid and found tremendous solace
in books, vastly preferring imagined worlds to this world,” Lana said."
[A compelling interview with
Lana Wachowski (more).]
9-10-12: Tuoitre News (Vietnam): "Transgender contestant enters
Vietnam Idol’s top 16"
the ongoing singing contest Vietnam Idol have been surprised to know
that Huong Giang, one of the 16 contestants chosen to be a finalist, is a
transsexual. In the latest episode announcing the finalists,
broadcast on Thursday night, the jury spoke highly of the 25-year-old girl
from Hanoi, due to her effort during the competition.
“The thing that surprises me is not
your voice, it’s your effort. Your singing is not absolutely excellent, but
your effort makes us want to see how you can improve,” judge My Tam
commented. After that, the second judge, film director Nguyen Quang Dung
went straight to the point by questioning if Giang had auditioned for
Vietnam Idol before. After a few tentative seconds, the contestant admitted
that she previously took part in the competition under a male name, Nguyen
“I really appreciate young people who
dare to be true to themselves and other people. Whatever you do, you take
responsibility for it,” the film director said. The jury also didn’t forget
to ask why the young girl decided to make such a big change to her life.
“I’ve got passion for singing and
every single change in my life is for art. I didn’t change to win love or
any kind of happiness,” Giang replied. “I think this is the real me and I
have to change to be myself onstage.”"
9-09-12: Chicago Now: "A Personal View on Gender Identity, Sexual
Orientation and Marriage Rights" by
Trans Girl at
"I have found in my own transition and
discussions with friends; many people, Christian and non-Christian, believe
that being gay and being transgender are in some way related or linked. What
we as a society have to do is separate Gender Identity and Sexual
I’m going to get really basic and
truly don’t mean to offend anyone’s intelligence, but I have found that
approaching these two topics in this way is the easiest for many people
inside and outside of the LGBT community to understand the differences.
Believe it or not, there are just as many in the LGB community as the
straight community that have difficulty when it comes to understanding
9-09-12: LGBTQ Nation: "Mother of transgender child shares her family’s
journey", by Kergan Edwards-Stout
"While audiences nationwide became
acquainted with Sarah Tyler and her family following their appearance last
year on Anderson Cooper’s
talk show, I got to know them in a completely different manner: at
Living in conservative Orange County,
Calif., and being gay men with children, it was important that my partner
and I find a church family where every single person is welcome, which we
Church of the Foothills.
One of our pivotal moments as a
congregation occurred when we learned that Danann Tyler would be
transitioning from boy to girl, which prompted me to bring in a speaking
panel from the Orange County Transgender Coalition to help educate our
As would be expected, having a child
undergo such a transition caused numerous issues within the Tyler family, at
school, in their community, and at work. Sarah Tyler graciously took time to
share with me the journey her family has traveled, including not only the
many challenges they’ve faced, but also the joyful child the transition from
male to female eventually revealed . . . "
9-09-12: The Age (Australia): "Just a girl, in the world ‒ Life for
children who feel they are trapped in the wrong body can be a nightmare of
shame and isolation. But some are refusing to hide any longer."
" . . . Riley says puberty is a scary
time for children with gender identity disorder, when they feel very much
out of control. "That's when they can't cope any more. They somehow had a
fantasy that they might develop into the other sex at puberty, or the
implications [of the disorder] hadn't really struck them ” . . .
Riley views her condition
pragmatically as "a birth defect", and hopes by being brave she can change a
few people's attitudes in the process. "No one set the path for me, so I
want to set the path for the younger generation. There has to be a path
sooner or later because it is getting more common.”
She has no regrets about her decision
to start the year in a dress and just wants to be treated like a normal
teenage girl. "I definitely feel more confident at school. Sure, kids are
whispering already and spreading rumours, but I don't care . . .
"I consider myself as more of a lone
wolf who hasn't yet found my pack. I love being myself. If people have a
problem with me, then that's okay. I'm going to tolerate it and I'm not
going to change.""
9-09-12: Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand): "Transsexual backs law change to
alter her birth certificate"
"Stephanie Dixon looks like a woman,
talks like a woman and walks like a woman. She has breasts and female
genitalia, but when she had to provide her birth certificate as proof of
identification when signing up for a beauty technician's course, it said she
was a male.
The 43-year-old, who had gender
reassignment surgery and breast augmentation, is attempting to change that
and has a Family Court declaration to say she can.
However, the process has stalled
because Dixon is still technically married to the mother of her children,
and same-sex marriage in New Zealand isn't legal. Louisa Wall's Marriage
Equality Bill would change that. The bill would allow for transsexuals to
marry in their chosen sex or stay married in their chosen sex."
9-08-12: The Irish Sun (UK re Ireland): "Same sex wedding hell:
Transgender couples ‘must split’"
"Married transgender folk will have to
get divorced if their status gets State approval. The warning came as
equality groups gave a guarded welcome to government plans to give them
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton
said proposed legislation would soon be published. But she insisted a clause
on ‘forced divorces’ would stay in the Bill to maintain the constitutional
protection of marriage.
Transgender Equality Network’s Vanessa
Lacey claimed the new law would break up happy relationships. She said it
could hurt situations where one partner comes out with their gender identity
and is supported by their spouse."
9-06-12: The Advocate: "HHS Says Health Plans Cannot Discriminate
Against Transgender People"
"In a recent
letter hailed by advocates in the LGBT community, the Department of
Health and Human Services clarified that provisions in the Affordable Care
Act prohibiting sex discrimination in health insurance apply to transgender
With HHS declaring that it would be
discriminatory for employers, insurers and others to deny health insurance
coverage or benefits based on "gender identity or failure to conform to
stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity," advocates hope that
transgender people will take another step toward achieving equality in
9-06-12: Chicago Now: "New CPD Procedure for Handling Transgender
"In a recent overdue order, on
August 21, 2012, the Chicago Police Department put into place a new set
of procedures that will treat transgender detainees with more respect
and caution. A huge component of the order is language. It mandates that
officers use the detainees preferred name, that the CPD must use the
detainees preferred pronoun, and that CPD stops using derogatory
language against transpeople.
The second part of the order is
specific changes to standard police procedures. CPD cannot search the
detainees to find out the gender. The order also requires that
police transport and jail trans people alone when possible. Transpeople
will also continue to have access to hormones they are taking including
the needles they were carrying to give themselves the hormones. The
needles cannot be taken as evidence of a crime or to prove that the
transgendered detainee committed a crime."
On-Top Magazine: "Lana Wachowski Feared Losing Her Family In Coming Out
"Filmmaker Lana Wachowski has said she
feared losing her family in coming out transgender . . .
“For years, I couldn't even say the
words 'transgender' or 'transsexual',” Lana said. “When I began to admit it
to myself, I knew I would eventually have to tell my parents and my brother
and my sisters. This fact would inject such terror into me that I would not
sleep for days. I developed a plan that I worked out with my therapist. It
was going to take three years. Maybe five.”
But just a couple of weeks later,
sensing something was wrong, Lana's mother, Lynne Wachowski, flew to
Australia and Larry told her: “I'm transgender. I'm a girl.” Lynne
offered her unconditional support, and soon so did the rest of the family."
People's Daily (China): "Transsexual twin sisters to register as men"
"The country's first transsexual twin
sisters are expected to complete their surgeries and have their registered
gender changed at the police, said the younger of the two, who will be
discharged from a local hospital this week. The younger sister has finished
the three phases of surgery to change from "her" to "him," while the older
sister will return to the No. 411 Hospital of People's Liberation Army later
for the last phase.
"We will go back to our hometown in
Yunnan Province for the gender-swap registry after both of us complete the
surgeries," said the 25-year-old younger sister, who received the last
surgery on August 17 . . .
"I am so happy about the surgeries
allowing me to live as a man, which is what I have dreamed since my
childhood," said the younger sister, who is identified as Xiaoqing. "Only my
parents and a few close friends know about our surgeries. It is unacceptable
in a village like my hometown."
"We won't announce the news in the
future," said Xiaoqing, who keeps a tomboy haircut and outlook since
childhood. "After finishing all the surgeries, my brother and I will move to
a new city, look for a new job and start a new life. We may have girlfriends
and get married.""
9-05-12: Examiner.com: "Sen. Brown blasts order for sex-change
operation for inmate (Video)" (more)
"Yesterday, in what
Sen. Scott Brown calls “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars”,
convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek was granted a taxpayer-funded surgery
because U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled it was the only way to treat
Kosilek’s “serious medical need” . . .
Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who
introduced legislation that did not end up passing in 2008 to ban the use of
taxpayer funds for sex-change operations for prison inmates, issued a
statement saying, “I look forward to common sense prevailing and the ruling
9-04-12: Boston Globe: "Judge orders Mass. to pay for inmate’s
sex-change surgery" (more,
"In the first decision of its kind, a
federal judge has ordered state officials to provide a taxpayer-funded
sex-change for a transsexual prisoner, after finding that the treatment is
the only adequate care for the inmate’s gender identity disorder.
District Court Chief Judge Mark L.
Wolf said that the treatment for Michelle Kosilek, convicted of murder, had
been prescribed by Department of Correction doctors. He said the only
arguments for denying it were based on social bias against that type of
“This fact that sex reassignment
surgery is for some people medically necessary has recently become more
widely recognized,” Wolf wrote in a landmark 127-page ruling Tuesday.
“Denying adequate medical care because of a fear of controversy or criticism
from politicians, the press, and the public serves no legitimate penological
purpose. It is precisely the type of conduct the Eighth Amendment
8-31-12: Huffington Post: "Elementary Schools, Transgender Kids, and
"For seasoned education professionals
who have "seen it all," the new school year usually brings little cause for
alarm. But for the past few years, we at
QuERI have had an increasing
number of elementary schools contact us in the beginning of the school year
with reports that their teachers and school staff were "freaking out." The
cause for alarm? The new enrollment of a transgender child or the gender
transition of an already-enrolled student. Administrators, faculty, and
staff expressed high levels of fear and anxiety over trans kids in their
elementary schools and have wanted us to come in and "fix" the situation for
When this first began to happen
several years ago, we weren't sure how to respond and were a little taken
aback by the volume and force of fearful reaction to these young students.
As researchers we wanted to better understand their reported "panic," and we
began to study the experiences of elementary educators with transgender
students in an effort to better respond to their reactions and help these
schools support transgender kids. For most of the school professionals we
interviewed, the initial reaction to finding out a transgender elementary
student would be in their school was fear. The words they most frequently
used to talk about it were "freak out," "panic," "crisis," "fear," and
8-31-12: New York Daily News: "The next fight in gender rights ‒ A
tennis great who shattered stereotypes says New York can do more to combat
discrimination", by Billie Jean King
"I am concerned with equality for all,
which is why I’m calling for my fellow New Yorkers to support a law that
would offer transgender persons the protections the rest of us take for
granted. Known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, the
proposed law would explicitly ban discrimination based on gender identity
and expression . . .
It should go without saying that all
New Yorkers — including transgender New Yorkers — deserve to be treated
fairly and equally by the law. . . After all, our state has always led the
way for equality and justice, from the birth of the women’s movement in
Seneca Falls in 1848 to the passage of marriage equality last year . . .
People may be set in their notions of
what constitutes acceptable gender expression; all too often, this leads to
discrimination and injustice. But remember that gender rights are human
rights, too — how a person chooses to express his or her masculinity or
femininity cannot be the object of discrimination.
Sexism and transphobia won’t end when
we pass GENDA — but once we win this match, we’ll be a lot closer."
8-31-12: The Independent (re Malaysia): "Transsexuals challenge
"Four transsexuals are challenging an
Islamic law that bars men from dressing or behaving as women in
Muslim-majority Malaysia, saying it is unconstitutional. The landmark case
was heard on Thursday at the Seremban high court, just south of Kuala
Lumpur, where the four claimed the Sharia law of the state of Negeri
Sembilan infringed on their rights enshrined in the federal constitution.
Homosexuality and transsexual
lifestyles remain taboo and are considered a social and moral ill by many in
Malaysia, where sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Aston
Paiva, lawyer for the four, told AFP on Friday the constitution protects
“the right to live in dignity and not be punished for what you are born as,
including race and gender" . . .
The constitution states that “no
person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty”, bars
discrimination on the grounds “of religion, race, descent, place of birth or
gender” and protects freedom of expression. Muslims, who make up over 60
percent of Malaysia's 28 million people, are subject to both criminal laws
and Islamic laws. "
8-31-12: The Independent (UK): "Lies about transgender people (and how
to spot a rubbish journalist)", by Paris Lees
"Take the Telegraph’s Ed
West, for example, who
seems perfectly comfortable belittling the existence of “transphobia”
(hatred towards transgender people). His quotation marks, not mine. Guess
he’s never had a kick in the head. In fact, I doubt he has any subjective
experience of being trans, and nor will many of his readers. That’s the
I question everything, now. I recall
articles from years back, on various subjects; “facts” stuck in my head;
fears I was given; health advice. Were all those items poorly researched
too? I see so much rot written about trans people that I just don’t know
anymore. Does anyone – from legal correspondents to sports editors – really
know what they’re writing about? And, if not, why read their work? News is
produced on increasingly small budgets and research is becoming a luxury.
Press standards are
under scrutiny. Would cynics be better off reading blogs by real
So, how can you tell if what you’re
reading is rubbish? I have no idea how much of my daily news is true, but a
visit to Islamophobia-Watch.com suggests that trans people are not the only
minority group newspapers lie about. Still, there are 6 giveaways for poorly
written trans features"
8-31-12: The Daily Mail (UK): "Former policeman set to return to the
force as a WOMAN after undergoing sex change"
"A former police officer forced out of
the job 27 years ago because he wanted a
sex change is set to return to frontline duties as a woman. Karen Gale,
whose two-a-half-hour operation was controversially broadcast on television
last year, has applied to be a special constable and return to the
The 53-year-old, previously known as
Keith, worked as a PC with the Met between 1981 and 1985 before being forced
to resign when he told his inspector he wanted to start treatment for gender
change. Karen, from Purfleet, Essex, said: 'Back then things were different.
My inspector told me there was no way I could stay in the job.
'I was absolutely gutted. I loved my
job and I had spent two years passing all my exams to become a constable.'
But now Karen, who underwent the
sex-change operation at Charing Cross Hospital in London in August 2011,
is hopeful her application to become a special constable will be
[The media's ongoing use of the phrase
"sex change" insidiously pathologizes and ridicules transwomen, and as
Paris Lees has noted is a dead-giveaway of a poorly written trans
8-30-12: Huffington Post: "Transgender Activist Janet Mock to Give
Keynote at LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference"
"Janet Mock, People.com Staff Editor
and nationally renowned transgender activist, will give the keynote address
at the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition's 2012
LGBTQ Youth Empowerment
Conference. The free conference, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 20,
2012, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., educates and inspires LGBTQ youth of color
under the age of 25 to use their ideas, knowledge, and skills so that they
can create personal and social change.
Mock, a transgender woman of color,
uses media as a platform to explore and challenge "society's limited
portrait of womanhood." Her #GirlsLikeUs campaign empowers trans women to
speak up and out about their experiences and lives."
8-30-12: The Guardian (UK): "Transgender journey: time for sex
reassignment surgery at last ‒ The day of the operation has finally arrived.
Juliet Jacques recounts the final preparations, the surgery itself and the
aftermath", by Juliet
"Six weeks before sex reassignment
surgery (SRS), I am obliged to stop taking my hormones. I suddenly feel very
differently about my forthcoming operation. I'd previously seen transition
as a marathon: surgery was like breaking the tape, but the race was won far
earlier. Now I reconsider: perhaps this is more like a difficult cup final
after some hard previous rounds.
The surgery completely dominates my planning and thinking . . . It consumes
my conversations as it inches closer. I am constantly asked how I feel:
everyone expects a mixture of excited and nervous, and they are right. Above
all, I'll be glad when it is over. I take a little holiday in late June,
staying with friends in Scotland, and travel back on the first day of July.
Then, for the next fortnight, my concerns over the practical, physical and
psychological effects of SRS intensify by the day.
My psychotherapist, whom I've been seeing all year, tells me that I've
barely touched on the surgery, so I devote my final pre-surgical appointment
to it. After an hour of airing my anxieties, I feel calm and able to
8-29-12: Reuters (re US): "California lawmakers vote to ban gay "conversion"
therapy for minors"
"California's state Assembly approved
a bill on Tuesday to prohibit children and teenagers from undergoing a
controversial therapy that aims to reverse homosexuality, moving the state
closer to becoming the first to impose such a ban.
The 51-21 vote in the
Democratic-controlled Assembly marked a major victory for gay rights
advocates who say the so-called conversion therapy has no medical basis
because homosexuality is not a disorder. Opponents of the practice say such
attempts to change sexual orientation can cause depression and lead to
substance abuse and suicide . . .
The Senate passed its version of the
bill by a vote of 23-13 in May. Lawmakers must iron out minor differences in
the two measures by Friday before a final bill makes its way to the desk of
Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. Brown has not indicated whether he supports
the measure, and a spokesman for the governor said that he would not comment
on pending legislation.
Assembly member John Perez, the first
openly gay speaker of the California's lower house, said during floor debate
that "it is inappropriate for anyone, including parents, to subject anybody
to dehumanizing activity," referring to the therapy. The bill's sponsor,
state Senator Ted Lieu, said in a statement that the psychiatrist who
pioneered such therapy, Dr. Robert Spitzer, has since renounced it and
apologized to the gay and lesbian community.
If Brown signs the bill into law,
California would become the first state in the nation to outlaw such therapy
[If this bill becomes law, it will
doom reactionary psychiatrists' power over gay children. The question then
will be: When will
transreparatism of gender-variant children be similarly outlawed?]
(Azerbaijan): "Eight successful sex-change surgeries carried in Azerbaijan"
"Eight successful surgeries for change
of male sex into female have been done in Azerbaijan since 2002 until 2011.
According to member of the European Association of Plastic Surgeons Jamal
Azimzade, the demand for such operations is growing . . . the sex-change
operation in Azerbaijan takes some AZN 5,000, while it is much more
expensive in other countries."
8-28-12: Charlotte Observer: "Transgender DNC delegate delivers sermon
at local church"
" For Janice Covington, being selected
as the first openly transgender delegate from North Carolina to the
Democratic National Convention was “better than amazing” and is the
culimination of a long journey. Covington, 65, delivered a sermon Sunday at
Wedgewood Church, near SouthPark . . .
Of the 158 N.C. delegates, 13 are
members of the LGBT community, three times the number of the 2008
delegation, Walton Robinson, a spokesman for the N.C. Democratic Party, said
in an e-mail . . . Of the nearly 6,000 delegates expected at the DNC, the
total number of LGBT delegates is 471, Jerame Davis, the Stonewall
Democrats’ executive director, said in an e-mail . . .
It is unclear what the total number of
gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual delegates from North Carolina
attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week is. A
spokesman for the North Carolina GOP could not be reached for comment . . .
8-27-12: On Top Magazine (re Mexico): "3 Transgender Women Flee Mexico
To Escape Transphobia In 'Crossing Over'"
"The documentary Crossing Over looks
at the lives of 3 transgender Mexican women as they seek political asylum in
the United States to escape transphobia in their homeland.
Francis Murillo, Brenda Gonzalez and
Abigail Madariaga fled Mexico and are now living in Los Angeles to escape
the stigma, discrimination and persecution associated with being transgender
in the highly Catholic nation . . .
“I have always been passionate about
immigration issues and about highlighting the reasons for why immigration is
often necessary,” Castro told On Top Magazine in an e-mail. “In exploring
this issue, I learned more about the extent of transphobia in Mexico and in
the United States and have now become focused on shedding light on the
obstacles that the transgender community faces.”"
Magazine (UK): "META magazine: My Transsexual Summer's Lewis speaks out"
"Original video content from META
magazine (http://bit.ly/META-mag) and its pioneering debut issue. Lewis
Hancox won over the nation's hearts following his appearance on Channel 4's
My Transsexual Summer, with stars such as Stephen Fry contributing to his
fund for chest surgery. But he also faced severe criticism from sections of
the trans community, who accused him of setting a bad example by raising the
money himself. Lewis tells us why he made his decision - and the pressures
of representing a whole community on national television..."
8-25-12: Huffington Post (re Chile; posted 8-21): "Chilean Paradoxes:
LGBT Rights in Latin America"
"Over the past few years there have
been important milestones advancing LGBT human rights in Latin America.
Recognition of civil unions in Brazil and Uruguay, same-sex marriage in
Mexico City and Argentina, laws protecting gender identity in Chile and
Bolivia, and historic, progressive legislation in regard to gender identity
in Argentina. These advances question old stereotypes of the region as a
conservative macho culture dominated by the Roman Catholic Church."
8-25-12: Asia One (re the Mideast): "Transvestites, women warned
against sex trade in Mideast"
"Many Thai male cross-dressers get
legitimate jobs in Oman as masseuses but choose to also offer sexual
services on the side, a Thai embassy official in Muscat said. Panida Somao
said the laws in Oman were very strict and only men were allowed to work at
massage parlours for male customers.
"But some Thai transvestites have
exploited these laws and also offer sexual services," she said, adding that
many of these men came to Oman before undergoing the sex-change operation.
"Many of them work in Oman to earn enough money to finance this operation,"
Panida said. "Those who have already undergone the sex-change operation want
to save money for cosmetic surgery so they can enter beauty pageants."
She said a Thai transvestite usually
charged Bt2,000 (S$80.20) to Bt5,000 per hour for services in Oman, but this
comes with huge risks."
Transgender Law Center (posted 8-15): "Transsexual Pilots Cleared For Take
Off " (with video)
"Tamsyn Waterhouse, who had been a
private pilot since 2003, called Transgender Law Center’s legal helpline in
2009 after she was told she would have to undergo burdensome psychological
testing in order to renew her medical certification to fly. “I was honest
with the Aviation Medical Examiner about my gender transition, and that’s
when I was informed that I would have to undergo extensive psychological
testing that non-trans people did not have to endure. It would have cost
thousands of dollars. One psychiatrist described it as ‘every test in the
In response, Transgender Law Center,
in collaboration with the National Center for Transgender Equality and the
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, began to advocate for policy changes to
address this discrimination . . . “I could have paid the money and tried to
go through the process on my own,” noted Waterhouse. “But I wanted to make a
difference for all transgender pilots.”
The FAA regulatory decision is a part
of a growing trend among the courts, government, and private employers in
removing barriers transgender people have historically faced in accessing
employment and services. Most recently, in a case brought by Transgender Law
Center, Macy v. Holder, the Employment Equal Opportunity Commission
ruled that transgender people are covered under Title VII’s employment
“Tamsyn had the courage to stand up
and advocate for herself and other transgender pilots. Her willingness to
share her story illustrates the power one person can have in making a
difference. I am thrilled that Transgender Law Center was able to work with
her to remove these excessive barriers,” said Masen Davis, Executive
Director. “Transgender pilots, you are cleared for takeoff!””
8-23-12: Extra TV (posted 7-30): "Matrix’ Director Wachowski Makes
Debut as Transgender" (with video)
"Larry Wachowski is going by a new name these days: Lana. The
Hollywood director, who helmed the “Matrix” franchise with his brother Andy,
is transitioning from male to female. She made her sassy debut in a gray
dress and pink dreadlocks in a promo for the siblings’ new movie, “Cloud
8-23-12 ABC News (posted 8-18): "Transgender Pilots Cleared for Takeoff as
FAA Changes Rule"
Waterhouse learned to fly as a child under her
father's wing in his 1968 Cessna 150 -- a fuel-leaking, scrappy plane that
constantly tested her abilities and confidence.
"One afternoon I had to wedge myself
under the instrument panel in order to re-solder an electrical connection,
with a piece of scrap aluminum shielding my chest from dripping solder,"
said Waterhouse, 32, who works for Google in San Francisco.
She easily got her private pilot's
license in 2003, but nothing prepared her for the hurdles the Federal
Aviation Administration threw at her in 2009, when she tried to get her
airman's medical certificate renewed.
Waterhouse is transgender, and the FAA
required that she go through a battery of psychological tests -- five in all
-- that would "take a couple of days of my time and cost in the
several-thousand dollar range."
Upset and feeling "lost," she fought
that policy, clearing the path for other transgender pilots, to spare them
the onerous testing. The
FAA has now instituted a new policy that does not categorically impose
these tests on transgender pilots. "
8-23-12: ABC News (posted 8-08): "Trans Man Denied Cancer Treatment;
Now Feds Say It's Illegal" (with video)
"Jay Kallio, a former EMT who is
disabled with kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis and now cancer, has
struggled to get good medical care, but being transgender stood in the way.
At the age of 50, Kallio transitioned
from female to male, but never had gender reassignment surgery, only hormone
treatment. "I accept my body as I was born," he said.
But when a suspicious lump was found
in his breast and tested positive for cancer, the surgeon was so shocked
that Kallio's body didn't match his gender identification -- not knowing
whether to address him as "he" or "she" -- that he couldn't bring himself to
tell his patient the grim biopsy results.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said that under the
Affordable Care Act, it is against the law to discriminate against
transgender and LGBT patients in federally funded healthcare programs.
The policy follows a landmark 2010
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling on sex discrimination in
LGBT and transgender advocacy groups pursued a clarification from HHS
for harassment and gender stereotyping in healthcare settings. "
8-22-12: Ansaraonline.com: E-mail alert to APA DIV44, by Erica
J. Friedman, Doctoral Student, Social-Personality Psychology, The Graduate
"Jack Drescher recently posted to the
list serve regarding the American Psychiatric Association's release of their
historical position statements regarding access to care and the rights of
"transgender" and "gender variant" persons . . . Unfortunately, these
statements taken out of context may mislead activists, psychologists, and
others to believe the fight against the pathologization of and
discrimination against people with self-designated genders by the mental
health professions is over. These new positions need to be discussed in
the context of the American Psychiatric Association's past and present
treatment of aspects of people's genders and gender affirmation
experiences as psychopathology . . .
I am writing this with the goal of
reminding you all that in spite of their position statements, the fight is
not over. These statements are even evidence of their
current problematizing of certain classifications of people who designate
their own genders (e.g. they only "recognize" the benefits of access to
care for "appropriately evaluated" people). I am also writing this to urge
you all to help take action to call the American Psychiatric
Association out on their misguidance.
For more background,
please read Kelly Winters insightful article posted yesterday regarding the
APA's position statements.
I also urge you to
please read and consider signing this petition that I put together with a
number of colleagues (including Y. Gavriel Ansara who won the 2012 DIV
44 Transgender Research Award) some weeks ago in response to the APA Task
Force's recent publication regarding the "treatment" of "gender identity
8-22-12: Live Science: "Transgender People New Targets of Hateful
Political Ads", by Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
"Even amidst emotional fights over
same-sex marriage, anti-gay political advertisements have grown increasingly
civil since the 1970s, new research finds. For transgender people, however,
the media landscape is looking increasingly brutal.
Political attacks against transgender
people increasingly portray them as predatory and dangerous, even as ads by
conservative groups depicting gay people as pedophiles or sexual predators
have dropped nearly off the map, said Amy Stone, a sociologist at Trinity
University in San Antonio, Texas . . .
The shift has likely happened because
acceptance of gays and lesbians has grown, Stone said. Homosexual couples
are presented positively in the media, and many people know gay and lesbian
people personally. That makes scaremongering tactics less effective. At the
same time, portrayals of transgender individuals have not kept up.
"If we look at how transgender
individuals are represented in the media it's often in a very negative way,"
Stone said. "So they're on 'Law & Order' as a sex worker and they're
portrayed in a negative way in that fashion, or they are a victim of a crime
or they're a murderer, a killer."
Likewise, people are less likely to
know a transgender person in real life than they are a gay or lesbian
person, Stone said. That leaves a knowledge gap and a lot of misinformation
about what it means to be transgender."
8-22-12: Bangkok Post (Thailand): "Tiring of the attire debate"
"It is not the first time transsexual
students have been allowed to wear female attire during at the graduation
ceremony, but the topic gathered buzz after the biggest-selling Thai Rath
newspaper splashed it on the front page. Unfortunately, while it seems like
good news for the LGBT community, a more complex dimension of the issue has
slowly been revealed . . .
It was a brave move for Denjan to
follow her dream and fight for her right. For a transsexual, to be able to
dress according to her gender identity is a comfort, a basic right that
never harms anyone. Imagine if you are a man and being forced to wear
women's clothes. It is as simple as that.
But what is left for us, and the
transgender community especially, to ponder is the fact getting such
permission required Denjan to obtain a diagnosis of "gender identity
disorder" from a psychiatrist. Denjan admitted on one of her appearances on
television that she was not pleased to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist, but
it was the only way for her to wear female attire on her big day.
Denjan's case worries transgender
activists who have long fought against labelling transgender as a disease."
8-22-12: RocketNews24 (re Japan): "Toyota Japan’s Sexy New Topless Ad
Shocks Viewers" (with video)
"A racy new Japanese ad campaign
launched for the 2012 Toyota Auris, or Corolla as it’s known in some
markets, has been causing a commotion for boldly challenging convention—and
probably not in the way you would think . . .
The star of the commercial is
19-year-old Ukrainian transgender model
The commercial ends with the
campaign’s tagline “Turn Your Rear to Common Sense” (常識にお尻を向けろ) and you
feeling embarrassed about that warm stirring in your pants."
8-21-12: University of Surrey (UK; posted 6-22): "Gavi Ansara Wins
American Psychological Association Division 44 Transgender Research Award
"Congratulations to Gavi Ansara who
has won this year’s American Psychological Association Division 44
Transgender Research Award Prize. The award is given annually for
psychological research that addresses transgender issues, and Gavi is the
third recipient of the prize. Gavi won the award for the following paper:
Ansara, Y.G., & Hegarty, P. (2012). Cisgenderism in psychology:
Pathologizing and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008. Psychology and
Sexuality, 3, 137-160.
Well done Gavi!"
Abstract of Gavi's paper:
We assessed whether recent
psychological literature on children reflects or contrasts with the
zeitgeist of American Psychological Association’s recent non-discrimination
statement on ‘transgender’ and ‘gender variant’ individuals. Article records
(N = 94) on childhood ‘gender identity’ and ‘expression’ published
between 1999 and 2008 inclusive were evaluated for two kinds of
cisgenderism, the ideology that invalidates or pathologises
self-designated genders that contrast with external designations.
Misgendering language contradicts children’s own gender assignations and
was less frequent than pathologising language which constructs
children’s own gender assignations and expression as disordered. Articles on
children’s gender identity/expression are increasingly impactful
within psychology. Cisgenderism is neither increasing nor decreasing
overall. Mental health professionals are more cisgenderist than other
authors. Articles by members of an ‘invisible college’ structured around the
most prolific author in this area are more cisgenderist and impactful than
other articles. We suggest how authors and editors can implement American
Psychological Association policy and change scientific discourse about
[In this seminal research paper, Gavi
Ansara reveals the pathologizing impact on transgender children of
cisgenderist language-usage by psychologists, and exposes one 'invisible
college' in particular, namely that dominated by
as a primary source of such pathologization.]
8-21-12: The Times of India (India): "EC makes it easy for first-time
transgenders to vote"
"First-time transgender voters
henceforth need not bother looking for a sponsor or beg their parents to
sign the new registration form. A recent order of the Election Commission of
India (ECI) has relaxed conditions with the addition of 'chela' (assistant)
or guru (teacher) in the voter registration form. Till now, parents of
transgenders were signing the form and many refused to do so after their
wards declared themselves transgenders . . .
"Transsexuals may not be accepted in
some families and in such cases the eligible person may be deprived of
voting right due to the current enrollment process where proof of age and
proof of residence are required to be submitted. With this modification,
even a teacher can endorse a transsexual's case for registration as a
voter," a senior ECI official said."
8-20-12: GID Reform Advocates: "The American Psychiatric Association
Issues Historic Position Statements on Trans Issues", by Kelley Winters,
"The statement text reaffirms the role
of advocacy in the APA mission: “ Speaking out firmly and professionally
against discrimination and lack of equal civil rights is a critical advocacy
role that the APA is uniquely positioned to take.” Given the APA’s unique
position in setting diagnostic policy that has been
historically used to
limit civil justice and transition care access for trans people, these
position statements come far better late than never.
However, the APA statements fall short
of debunking the false stereotype that gender difference is inherently
pathological. The association’s ambivalence on the mental illness stereotype
is reflected in the “Report
of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Treatment of Gender
Identity Disorder ,” published in June, 2012 . . .
In other words, this APA Treatment
Task Force (a separate group from the DSM-5 Task Force) declined to refute
the false stereotype of “disordered” gender identity. This is troublesome,
because the proposed diagnostic criteria for the
Gender Dysphoria category in the pending Fifth Edition of the APA’s
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) continue
mischaracterize gender identities and expressions that do not conform to
birth-assigned gender stereotypes as symptomatic of mental illness . . .
Though long overdue, these position
statements on Discrimination and Access to Care for Transgender and Gender
Variant Individuals represent a historic step forward in reducing barriers
to civil justice and transition care access. But they do not go far enough
in deconstructing false stereotypes that equate gender diversity with mental
sickness and sexual deviance. In the context of the proposed gender
diagnoses in the DSM-5 and the recent treatment task force report, they
represent a mixed message. In contrast, the World Professional Association
for Transgender Health issued an unambiguous
De-Psychopathologisation Statement in 2010 that provides a model for
professional organizations that serve trans and gender diverse people:"
8-20-12: Reality Times: "Transgender Housing: One USC Student's Attempts To
"A University of Southern California
student has started a tumblr website to help transgender students search for
housing in a market that can be discriminating. The student, who only wished
to go by the name Dylan, said he came up with the idea for the website,
called the Transgender
Housing Network, while browsing through Tumblrs.
"I noticed that many of the people I
followed on Tumblr who identified as transgender needed a place to stay for
a night or more, and I thought that it would be fantastic and convenient to
have an aggregate of these listings all in one place," Dylan told the
Daily Trojan, USC's student paper . . . Dylan hopes his website,
which covers the entire country (not just USC campus), will also help the
general public gain an understanding of transgender people. "
8-18-12: Huffington Post: "Transgender Killings Reflect Deeper
"For the second time in Chicago this
year, the life of a gender-variant young person of color was lost to
Donta Gooden's body was found in an
abandoned building on the city's West Side late in the evening of August
14th. Gooden, 19, who also went by the name "Tiffany," was stabbed to death
just three blocks from where Paige Clay, a 23-year-old transgender woman,
was shot and killed in April, according to
media reports. The police investigation is ongoing.
The tragedy of these senseless
killings, still so raw and heartrending for the loved ones of Gooden and
Clay, is beyond comprehension and deplorable on every level. But perhaps
even more unsettling is how often violent crimes against LGBTQ people occur
and how little social outrage they ignite."
8-16-12: American Psychiatric Association: "APA Issues Official
Positions Supporting Access to Care and the Rights of Transgender and Gender
"The American Psychiatric Association
advocates for removal of barriers to care for gender transition treatment
and for the protection of civil rights for transgender and gender variant
individuals. APA has long expressed strong affirmation of lesbian and gay
civil rights since the 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Now APA is issuing position statements in support of access to care and
civil rights for transgender individuals . . .
The APA joins other organizations, including the American Medical
Association and the American Psychological Association, in endorsing strong
policy statements deploring the discrimination experienced by gender variant
and transgender individuals and calling for laws to protect their civil
[Here we see the APA, which for
decades has been the major instigator of trans-discrimination (by
declaring transpeople to be mentally-ill), covering that all up as if it
never happened - and coming out as wonderfully-supporting trans-rights.
Seems they've finally been shamed into that action. Even so, they've not
renounced their claim that gender variance is a mental illness (a position
long enforced by
8-08-12: New York Times Magazine: "What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants
to Wear a Dress?"
"Transgender activists have also
pressed for changes in the psychiatric establishment, which still officially
considers children’s distress over gender identity a mental illness. Now the
American Psychiatric Association is reviewing the diagnosis of “Gender
Identity Disorder in Children” for the next edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Critics, though, condemn the
association’s choice of Dr. Kenneth Zucker to lead the inquiry. Zucker is
the head of a well-known gender-identity clinic in Toronto and the most
prominent defender of traditional interventions for gender nonconformity. He
urges parents to steer their children toward gender-typical toys, clothes
and playmates and advises them to prohibit behaviors associated with the
other sex . . .
Transgender advocates and sympathetic
clinicians argue that telling children in that middle space to abolish their
cross-gender interests makes them more distressed, not less. There is also
little to no evidence that therapeutic interventions change the trajectory
of a child’s gender identification or sexual orientation. Clinicians who
oppose traditional treatments contend that significant gender nonconformity
is akin to left-handness: unusual but not unnatural. Rather than urging
children to conform, they teach them how to respond to intolerance."
8-07-12: Chicago Tribune: "Transgender woman settles suit with Cicero,
"A transgender woman who said Cicero
police officers harassed and humiliated her has settled a lawsuit for
$10,000 along with a pledge that the town will adopt a policy for dealing
respectfully with transgender people, her attorneys said Tuesday . . .
In the suit, Feliciano said two police
officers illegally stopped and searched her and a transgender friend in 2011
as they walked down a Cicero street. The officers allegedly taunted
Feliciano and her friend, wrongfully accusing them of being sex workers.
Police threatened to arrest Feliciano
for fraud, she said, after she presented an Illinois identification card
that listed her as female. The officers also made crude remarks to her after
transporting her to the station, according to her suit.
The suit alleged that the town’s lack
of a policy for dealing with transgender people led to the officers’ poor
conduct. The new policy, Feliciano’s attorneys said, should help remedy the
“We are hopeful that this ends the
unjust and abusive treatment of transgender people by Cicero police
officers, and we hope that other police departments follow suit,” Joey
Mogul, an attorney for Feliciano and director of the Civil Rights Clinic at
DePaul University College of Law, said Tuesday in a statement."
8-04-12: Los Angeles Times: "Feminism in an unlikely place — a
transgender beauty pageant; Ranking women on their looks seems like a step
back for feminism. But for Los Angeles' transgender community, pageants can
be a sign of progress." (photos)
"The idea of ranking women on their
looks had always seemed objectionable, like a step backward from feminism.
But this pageant sounded special. The Queen USA contest is billed as "the
premier transgender beauty pageant in the United States" . . .
There are countless expressions of
womanhood now, from female Olympic gymnasts to women cops to moms who decide
to stay home with their kids.
And those who choose to compete in beauty pageants, Queen USA included —
well, that's an authentic expression, too. But are we ready to accept them
for who they are?
Later that night, during a
question-and-answer session, the contestants ticked off harrowing incidents
of violence and discrimination they have faced simply for being themselves.
"We are existing," one contestant
said. "We will be a part of your world whether you like it or not," vowed
Beyond the flashy lashes and shiny
lips, strength and determination shone through. And it was clear that those
are qualities of womanhood, too."
8-01-12: Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK; posted 6-12):
"Technical note: Measuring Gender Identity" by Fiona Glen and Karen Hurrell
"Asking for information on individuals’ equality
characteristics can be controversial. There may be objections, for example,
to the way disability is defined or to the collection of data on sexual
orientation. Questions have been developed for both these characteristics,
and data collected in official surveys. However, there is currently no
standard approach to asking questions or collecting data on the
characteristic of gender identity, and a consequent lack of data.
The Equality Act 2010 gives protection
to transsexual people, that is to people who intend to undergo, are
undergoing or have undergone a process of gender reassignment. However, this
note addresses collecting data on a broader group of people, which could
give a more comprehensive picture of the trans population in Britain. We
have chosen not to restrict attention to people currently protected by the
legislation, but have opted for a more inclusive approach which allows other
trans people to self-identify . . .
The decision to collect data on these
issues requires careful consideration (EHRC, 2011). Nonetheless, there are
various arguments for and against collecting these data. By developing a
suite of questions on gender identity, an inclusive approach to collecting
all equality characteristics is then possible.
In this paper, we outline the process
followed so far in developing questions on gender identity and gender
reassignment and we report results from testing a suite of five questions on
an online, self-completion survey."
8-01-12: Daily Mail (UK; posted 7-30): "Beware of the sex change
zealots: Why IS the state so obsessed with whether we're transgender?"
"The law doesn’t explicitly demand
that public sector bodies ask staff, clients and job applicants whether they
are transgender. However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission advises
public sector bodies with more than 150 staff that — in order to comply with
the Act — they will be expected to produce data relating to the success rate
of job applicants, the take-up of training opportunities, and grievance and
dismissal. In other words, public sector bodies are effectively
obliged to ask for such information.
Given the tiny number of transgender individuals, it is questionable whether
any useful conclusions could ever be gleaned from such data. Only 300 people
a year apply to the Gender Recognition Panel — a quango established in 2004
to enable people to obtain revised birth certificates after transgender
surgery. Yet the equality industry seems desperate to try to prove that
society is awash with people secretly harbouring a desire to change sex."
7-29-12: The Guardian (UK): "Oxford University changes dress code to
meet needs of transgender students ‒ Students sitting exams or attending
formal occasions will no longer have to wear ceremonial clothing specific to
"Oxford University has rewritten the
laws governing its strict academic dress code following concerns that they
were unfair towards transgender students. Under the new regulations,
students taking exams or attending formal occasions will no longer have to
wear ceremonial clothing that is specific to their gender. It will mean men
will be able to sit tests in skirts and stockings and women will have the
option of wearing suits and bow ties.
The laws, which come into force next
week, follow a motion put forward by the university's Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Trans and Queer society (LGBTQ Soc) was passed by the student
union. Jess Pumphrey, LGBTQ Soc's executive officer, said the change would
make a number of students' exam experience significantly less stressful."
7-27-12: HR.BLR.com: "Gender identity protected by Title VII:
implications for employers"
the fact that EEOC relied on a 1989 Supreme Court precedent in ruling that
gender identity and stereotyping are
protected by Title VII, the change is a big one.
Attorneys with Seyfarth Shaw point out
that the agency explicitly reversed course and overturned several of its own
administrative opinions—not to mention that its holding is contrary to
several federal court rulings interpreting Title VII. This ruling is now
Further, it may lend political support
to efforts in Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or
ENDA, which would add 'sexual orientation' and/or gender identity to Title
VII's protected categories. What are the implications for employers?"
7-27-12: Irish Times (Ireland): "'They talk about gay or lesbian but
"A year ago the Government said it
planned to recognise the human rights of transgender people in law. What
progress has been made, asks ORLA TINSLEY , and how are Irish people with
gender-identity disorder coping in the absence of that legislation? . . .
Among the conditions it recommended is
that, as in the UK, people must be formally diagnosed with gender-identity
disorder or provide evidence of gender-reassignment surgery to a panel of
three judges (who will represent legal, medical and general fields, it is
believed). Candidates must also live in what is referred to as their
acquired or preferred gender for two years before seeking gender
Language is contentious. Transgender
people prefer to refer to their gender identity as their “true gender”, and
some activists say it is dehumanising to assess a person’s life before
granting a gender-identity change.
Perhaps the most controversial element
of the proposals is the recommendation that, in order to be recognised, the
person must be single and outside an existing marriage or civil partnership.
The Government’s logic is that to allow otherwise would be to go against the
Constitution by effectively permitting same-sex marriage. "
Courthouse News Service (posted 7-24): "Transgenderism More Likely in
Military, Study Finds"
" Biologically male U.S. veterans were
twice as likely as their civilian counterparts to identify as female, a
former military psychologist told Courthouse News, discussing a
soon-to-be-published study of more than 5 million service members. No
information has been released indicating whether the subjects of the study
sought sex-reassignment surgery, or more generally disassociate with the sex
of their birth.
The study by psychologist George Brown
follows up on his 1988 paper, "Transsexuals in the Military: Flight Into
Hypermasculinity," which relied on interviews with 11 service members who
identify as male-to-female transgender, meaning that they were born as
biological males but identify as female. Many prefer the umbrella term
transgender over the more narrow descriptor transsexual, which usually
implies surgical alteration.
"A striking similarity was noted in
the histories of nearly all of the military gender dysphorics," the 1988
study states. "They joined the service, in their words, 'to become a real
man.'" "Flight into Hypermasculinity" speculated that enlistment statistics
could bear out the theory that male-to-female transsexuals might enlist as a
way of "purging the feminine self."
"Current military policies, in
association with the proposed hypermasculine phase of transsexual
development, may actually result in a higher prevalence of transsexualism in
the military than in the civilian population," the 1988 study theorized."
7-27-12: BuzzFeed: "Obama Labor Department May Be Ignoring Protections
For Transgender Contractors"
"The Department of Labor may not be
enforcing protections for transgender employees of federal contractors —
despite a three-month-old ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission that should be applied to such workers under current Labor
According to an investigation by
BuzzFeed, in the past month alone the federal government has granted
hundreds of millions of dollars of contracts subject to the Labor
Department's oversight with companies that have not put in place rules
protecting workers from discrimination based on gender identity.
Of the 10 federal contractors that
received the most money in federal contracts in the past fiscal year, three
do not have nondiscrimination policies that include gender identity. All
three — Northrop Grumman, SAIC and L-3 Communications — have boasted of
multi-million dollar contracts awarded this month. Despite numerous requests
for comment over the past three months, Labor officials have thus far
refused to comment directly on the issue . . . "
7-27-12: Queerty (re UK): "Pioneering Trans Model April Ashley Gets
Movie Deal, Honor From Queen Elizabeth"
"One of the first people to undergo
gender-reassignment surgery, April Ashley has worked as an actress, cabaret
performer and Vogue model. Now 77, Ashley is seeing her life story
optioned as a movie even as she prepares to accept an MBE from Queen
Elizabeth this fall.
Lawless Entertainment has just teamed
up with Pacific Films and Limey Yank Productions
to bring Ashley’s story to to the big screen. It’s hardly her first
brush with fame, though—she had a small role in the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby
flick The Road to Hong Kong, and in her 2006 autobiography, The
First Lady, alleged affairs with Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif and Michael
Ashley also had the dubious
distinction of being one of the first British people outed as transgender
when a “friend” sold her story to the Sunday People in 1961. Her
marriage to British noble Arthur Corbett was annulled after seven years in
1970 on the grounds that she’d been born male, even though Corbett was full
aware of her background. Ashley was legally recognized as a female after the
passage of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act in 2004, and issued a new
with help from Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, an old friend."
7-27-12: Gay Star News (UK): "Ashley April project tracks UK trans
lives over past 70 years" (more)
"A project which aims to chart the
lives of transgender people living in the UK over the last 70 years will be
launched today (27 July).
The £250,000 project, run by
Liverpool-based LGBT organization Homotopia from July until December 2014,
will feature workshops and opportunities for members of the transgender
community to share their own experience, culminating in a major exhibition
at the Museum of Liverpool."
7-26-12: Alaska Dispatch: "Transgender Alaskans can change sex on
licenses easier under new DMV rule"
"The lieutenant governor signed a new
Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles regulation earlier this month that makes
it easier for transgender citizens to change their sex identifier on state
Residents wanting to change their
physical description -- including sex identifier -- must submit
certification from a licensed physician, social worker, psychologist,
professional counselor, physicians assistant or certified nurse
practitioner. In it, the provider must certify that the individual has been
undergoing treatment and that the change is expected to be permanent . . .
It's a big change from the previous
policy, which required people who want to change their sex identifier to
submit proof of surgery. A state Superior Court ruling in March found that
asking for such information was an invasion of privacy."
7-26-12: The Advocate: "Transgender Candidate Out to Make History in
"A transgender candidate for the
Orange County Commission in central Florida is drawing favorable attention
from local media. Gina Duncan, who was born Gregory Pingston and
transitioned in 2007 at age 50, is a small-business owner and former bank
executive focusing on economic issues in her race. Duncan, a Democrat, was
recently profiled by Orlando Fox affiliate WOFL.
The segment focuses on her tireless
campaign efforts and her emphasis on job growth in the region, treating her
transgender identity as incidental, while acknowledging the potentially
history-making nature of her candidacy, as she would be the first
transgender person elected to office in the southeastern United States.
Reporter Chase Cain does ask her when being transgender will not longer be
an issue, and she says, “Maybe not in my lifetime, but someday being
transgender means no more than being right- or left-handed.”"
7-26-12: Queerty: "Methodist Minister Shares Journey As
Transgender Man With Congregation"
"Preaching to the choir isn’t always
as easy as it sounds: On Sunday, Rev. David Weekley went before congregants
at the Morningside United Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon, and told them
he was transgender. Weekley, 60, was invited to preach at Morningside as
part of the church’s 17th anniversary as a Reconciling Ministry, a movement
within the United Methodists Church to welcome LGBT parishioners.
Transitioning starting in his early
20s, Weekley was ordained in 1984 but didn’t come out about being a trans
man until he
spoke to his own congregation in Portland three years ago. Since then,
he says, reaction has been mixed: “A lot of people have stood by us,
offering support, practical advice and hope. Some people rejected me and
Weekely—who is married and helped
raise five children—made news when he first came out, which was also when
his memoir, In from the Wilderness, was released. Though
he gets invitations like the one from Morningside pastor Michael Powell,
he’s also seen colleagues question whether he was fit for the ministry—”or
reports the Statesman Journal."
7-25-12: Herald Sun (Australia): "Changing genders: What it really
means to go from man to woman "
"A comparatively straightforward way
into this story about the experience of transgender people in Australia
would be to tell you just how many there are. But unfortunately, this data
remains unavailable. The potentially thousands of people who fall into this
category, including the unknown proportion who undergo gender reassignment
surgery (GDR), simply identify as either male or female.
As 65-year-old transsexual Josie Emery
put it: "I'm not interested in being transgender, I'm interested in being a
woman." This seems an obvious thing to those of us who will never know how
it feels to be completely not at home in our bodies. Or the sheer amount of
energy, commitment, and determination it takes to face up to yourself. But
according to Emery, there comes a time when being honest with yourself is
less overwhelming than continuing to deny your real gender and self."
7-23-12: New York Times (re Serbia): "Serbia Becomes a Hub for
" “It is surprising that a
conservative, patriarchal country is becoming a center for sex change
operations, but social attitudes are slowly shifting,” said Cristian, a
transgender activist from Belgrade who was unwilling to give his last name.
Nearly 100 foreigners and Serbs have
undergone sex reassignment surgery in the past year, and the numbers are
growing, according to the Belgrade Center for Genital Reconstructive
Surgery, with candidates coming from France, Russia and Iran, and from as
far away as the United States, South Africa, Singapore and Australia.
Serbia is becoming a transgender
surgery hub, experts say, in part because genital reassignment surgery is
costly, controversial and complicated and is shunned in many other countries
in the region, including Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece and
the other countries of the former Yugoslavia, according to
Dr. Miroslav Djordjevic, a
professor of urology who leads the Belgrade Center (more)"
7-23-12: The Sun (UK): "Head bans transgender pupil from exam... so
she shows him Equality Act" (more)
" Ashlyn Parram, 16, turned up for her
first examination in tights, skirt and blazer — but was told by teachers to
go home and change into the boys’ school uniform. The furious teen printed
off a copy of the law on sex discrimination, which includes specific
legislation on the treatment of transgenders and transsexuals, and marched
it straight to head Chris Wall’s office.
He admitted he could not ban Ashlyn
— but teachers made her sit away from other pupils at the back of the sports
hall at Giles Academy in Boston, Lincs.
Ashlyn — who used to be called Lewis —
said: “I have never felt so bad about myself. “It’s sad people can’t be more
open-minded. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of everything I’ve been
through. I really didn’t need to lose the support of my teachers.”
Her mum Miranda Johnson says Ashlyn —
who was officially diagnosed with gender dysphoria — is a girl born in a
boy’s body. IT manager Miranda said: “The way Ashlyn has been treated by the
school is just appalling. If Ashlyn had been black or disabled there would
be uproar. She’s a vulnerable teenager who needs the support of her
teachers, not their opposition. The way they’ve treated her is disgusting.”"
7-23-12: Huffington Post ‒ Weird News: "Mandi McKee, Formerly William
McKee, Claims Generic Baldness Drug Turned Her Into A Woman" (more,
"A 38-year old former software
engineer says that taking medication for baldness transformed him from a man
into a woman . . . McKee
does not see her transformation as a choice, however, but as something
forced upon her by the medication.
"The old me was killed," she writes, "by the drug company Merck."
McKee is not alone in her experiences with the drug.
A study published earlier this month in the Journal of Sexual
Medicine found that some men taking Propecia experience sexual side
effects that can last years after the individual has stopped taking the
Men in 27 states have filed lawsuits
against Merck on the grounds that Propecia affected their sexuality.
However, the courts do not permit lawsuits from those who took the generic
version, and so McKee is unable to take legal action,
according to MSN. Nonetheless, McKee has stated that she is
planning to sue Merck for $1 billion."
7-22-12: The Guardian (UK re US): "Laura Jane Grace: 'So I'm a
transsexual and this is what's happening' ‒ The lead singer of Against Me!
talks frankly about her gender dysphoria, and what it was like to tell her
bandmates, her family and her wife that she wanted to become a woman"
"Grace doesn't look like a woman, but then she only began
taking hormones a month ago. There's a subtle feminity in her posture,
though, and in the way her features soften as she talks. The twin
impressions of apprehension and an eagerness to please are for a moment
disconcerting – until you see just how extraordinary it must be to start
telling a total stranger about the very thing she's been keeping secret for
most of her life.
Grace's first intimation of gender
dysphoria came when she was just five years old. "The first time I had that
moment, when I knew, was seeing Madonna on a televised concert. And I
thought: 'Why not me?'" The son of a military man, she grew up on army bases
feeling lonely and confused, bullied at school and bewildered by an
indelible sense of toxic otherness.
"It's a feeling of great existential
dread. Peripherally, being aware of the way you are in your body and feeling
cognisant of the fact that I'm male – like looking down and seeing male
features – and feeling, internally, 'but I'm not'. You feel a detachment,
and you feel hyper-aware of everything that's around you. Then, at the same
time, you feel extreme feelings of shame and guilt and confusion, so that
all works into a nice little cocktail in your head.""
7-22-12: Washington Post (AP): "Transgender advocates push US
psychiatric establishment to revise mental illness labels" (more,
"Does a woman who
strongly believes she was meant to be a man have a mental condition or a
medical problem? Is a man who cross-dresses in need of psychological
help? What about a boy who pretends to be a girl in make-believe games
and chooses only female playmates?
psychiatric establishment is wrestling with these questions, among
others, as it works to overhaul its diagnostic manual for the first time
in almost two decades. Advocates have spent years lobbying the American
Psychiatric Association to rewrite or even remove the categories
typically used to diagnose transgender people, arguing that terms like
Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism promote
discrimination by broad-brushing a diverse population with the stigma of
“The label of
mental defectiveness really places a burden on trans people to
continually prove our competence in our affirmed roles,” Kelley Winters,
a Colorado scholar who has helped lead the push for changes, said.
association’s new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
is not scheduled to be printed until the end of the year, the updates
are taking shape after three rounds of proposed changes. Professionals
who have been part of or closely observing the amendment process say the
latest wording, while not going as far as many advocates wanted,
respects the broader shift in society’s understanding and acceptance of
what it means to be transgender since the last major revision of the
manual was published in 1994.
diagnoses occur within a cultural context,” New York psychiatrist Jack
Drescher, a member of the APA subcommittee working on the issue, said.
“We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not
seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories (of
male and female.) We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job
isn’t to pathologize.”"
7-22-12: Daily Mail (UK re US): "Boy obsessed with Britney Spears
spends £60,000 to get sex change to look like his idol"
"A male pop fan who idolised Britney
Spears has undergone a sex change operation to make himself look more like
Transsexual Kara Hays has now spent
over £60,000 on gender re-alignment surgery and breast implants. The
26-year-old, who was born a man and used to be known as Kody, now has
long-flowing blonde hair in imitation of the 90s pop singer . . .
'I focused on Britney and Christina
Aguilera for my inspiration: they were the stars that were around when I was
younger, they are who you looked up to. 'Nowadays people have Lady Gaga and
Katy Perry. 'I was just thinking, I want to be a girl now, who do I
7-20-12: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News: "Camp Aranu’tiq: A place where
transgender youth can be themselves ‒ Local LGBT ally, activist and
volunteer Courtney Ware shares her experience serving as camp counselor"
"Last week, at a location known only
to the parents, staff and counselors, I had the honor of volunteering with
Camp Aranu’tiq, a
week-long, overnight summer camp for transgender and gender-variant youth,
aged 8 to 15. The camp, started by
Nick Teich on the East Coast, was held on the West Coast for the first
time this year, right here in Southern California.
The mission of Camp Aranu'tiq is to
"provide transgender and gender-variant youth with a safe, fun, and unique
outdoor camp experience and to foster leadership skills in a place where
campers are able to express gender however they are comfortable and connect
with others in similar situations." . . .
Although I have worked with children
for many years and been very active in the LGBT community in San Diego, I
have never worked with transgender youth. I was unsure of what to expect at
camp, and was a little nervous. But my nerves were quickly calmed on the
first Sunday afternoon, as the campers started to arrive and all I saw were
just kids ready to have fun . . .
The week was structured like a
traditional summer camp and went by quickly. During the day the kids had
five different periods of sports, games and creative expression, like
hiking, rock climbing, archery, arts and crafts, volleyball, canoeing, drama
and writing. We ate all our meals together in the dining room and ended each
meal with camp songs. Each night we had special activities like karaoke
contests, a "Minute to Win It" game show, dance parties, campfires and on
the last night, a talent show . . . These kids felt accepted, safe and
“normal.” They could be who they are and have fun without worry. Camp
Aranu’tiq is something special ... I have never seen so many smiles in my
7-20-12: New York Daily News: "Huffs and puffs! Judge tells
transsexual smoker heiress to clean up act - Diane Wells must use air
purifiers and allow repairs in apartment" (more)
" A reclusive transsexual heiress once
convicted of beating her millionaire mom is in trouble for stinking up the
famed El Dorado on Central Park West with her secondhand cigarette smoke. A
Manhattan judge said Thursday that Diane Wells, 59, must begin using air
purifiers and allow ventilation repairs in apartment 9B after neighbors
complained her persistent puffing was giving them headaches, irritated eyes
and respiratory infections. “(It’s) so awful that on numerous nights it has
interrupted (our) ability to sleep,” upstairs neighbor Natalie Elsberg said
in an affidavit.
Building managers said Wells, who was
raised Jonathan Cheney, has ignored their pleas to address the problem and
owes $42,544 in building fees."
7-19-12: Human Rights Watch: "US: Police Practices Fuel HIV Epidemic"
"Police in New York, Los Angeles,
Washington, DC, and San Francisco are confiscating condoms from sex
workers and transgender women, undermining health department campaigns
to reduce HIV, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 112-page report, “Sex
Workers at Risk: Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in Four US Cities,”
documented in each city how police and prosecutors use condoms to
support prostitution charges. The practice makes sex workers and
transgender women reluctant to carry condoms for fear of arrest, causes
them to engage in sex without protection, and puts them at risk of HIV
and other sexually transmitted diseases . . .
In New York, Washington, DC, and
Los Angeles, many people, particularly members of the transgender
community, told Human Rights Watch they had been stopped and searched
for condoms while walking home from school, going to the grocery store,
or waiting for the bus. Broad loitering laws in these cities invite
profiling and discrimination and should be reformed or repealed, Human
Rights Watch said . . . Few of these women filed complaints, both for
fear of further abuse and because they had no faith that police would
respond with fairness and integrity. "
7-18-12: The Advocate: "WATCH: Transgender Son of Warren Beatty,
Annette Bening Answers Questions"
"Stephen Ira, the 20-year-old
transgender son of actors Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, reveals his
trans role models and the people who have been most supportive of his
transition in a video he's self-released.
Ira, who admits to being a rapid
speaker, answers several questions submitted via
WeHappyTrans, a website dedicated to
allowing transgender people to share their positive experiences. "My
friends, my peers who I'm lucky to have had relationships with since high
school, which is when I came out," Ira says in answer to who has been most
supportive of his decision to transition."
7-18-12: The Guardian (UK): "Transgender journey: 'I sit with teeth
gritted, fists clenched and toes curled'"
"In her final consultation before sex
reassignment surgery, Juliet Jacques is told exactly what will happen to her
body - and what could go wrong"
7-17-12: CBC News (Canada): "Transgender beauty contestant to lead
Vancouver Pride parade"
"A transgender beauty contestant who
made international headlines has been named grand marshal for this year's
Vancouver Pride parade.
created a splash at the Miss Universe Canada pageant earlier this year
when contest organizers disqualified her for being born male. She waged a
legal battle and was eventually allowed to compete, but failed to make the
final five on May 19.
The 23-year-old model from Vancouver
is one of three people named as grand marshal in Vancouver's Pride parade,
which takes place Aug. 5."
7-17-12: The Montreal Gazette (Canada): "There’s the “Transgender”
Label Again", by Jillian Page
"Sighs . . . and sighs again . . .
Does it surprise anyone that headlines yesterday and today on various news
websites are saying “Transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova named
Vancouver Pride Parade marshall”?
Do you think if it had been, say,
Anderson Cooper named marshall that they would be saying “Gay newsman
Anderson Cooper named . . .”? Call me Lady Nostradamus, but I predict the
word “gay” would not be part of the Anderson headline.
So why is the word “transgender” being
used in the Jenna headlines? Wouldn’t “Beauty queen . . .” suffice?"
7-16-12: Queerty: "Trans Group Boycotts American Apparel, Wants To Put
The “T” Back In T-Shirt"
"During Pride month, GLAAD and
American Apparel attempted to
sell show some LGBT love with a new
campaign advertising AA’s line of Legalize Gay shirts. But their efforts
have met with an unexpected backlash from
Media Advocates Giving
National Equality to Transgender & Transsexual People (MAGNET),
a small group that describes itself as “anti-defamation organization
dedicated to educating the media about transsexual, transgender and intersex
Ads for the shirts featured
transgender model Isis King, best known for her turn on America’s Next
Top Model , in a “Gay O.K.” T-shirt. But the fact that King isn’t gay,
but rather a heterosexual trans woman, rubs MAGNET the wrong way. “The real
issue isn’t if a particular model profits by promoting ‘Legalize Gay’ tees,”
MAGNET member Ashley Love
told The Advocate, “it’s the confusion sent to society by
feeding the already-widespread misconception that women of transsexual
history are really ‘gay’ men in dresses. The public is misled to perceive
‘gay’ as an umbrella term which includes transsexualism.”"
7-16-12: LA Weekly: "Jennifer Leitham Can Swing Like Nobody's
Business; Also, She Was Born a Man"
"In his late 40s, following a divorce
from his wife, John Leitham pursued the physical change he had always
desired. He then learned that many of those who had regularly hired John
were uncomfortable sharing the stage with Jennifer.
"My art is a lot better but my career
has suffered for it," says Leitham. "I can't rely on waiting for the phone
to ring anymore. I have to try pretty hard. Unfortunately in the jazz world,
[gender] is way too relevant. It comes from jazz coming out of the big band,
swing era. There is still a lot of that behavior amongst musicians, locker
room type stuff."
Understandably, Leitham was cautious
when approached by documentarian Andrea Meyerson. "Initially any interaction
you have with the media can be problematic if they are not properly informed
on the transgender subject," says Leitham. "I've been burned in the past but
I felt that she was very much an ally."
The two began filming in 2006 and
wrapped up late last year. The response to the film was positive, winning
the Audience Favorite Award at the American Documentary Film Festival in
Palm Springs and Best Documentary Feature at the Seattle Transgendered Film
Festival in the last couple of months."
[A possibly well-intentioned story
marred by a hideous title that demeans and dehumanizes all trans women.
Although it is medically impossible for anyone to be born as a full-grown
adult man, clueless journalists continue to demonize trans women in this
way. An obvious solution would have been to say " . . . She Was Born a
7-16-12: Global Post (Canada): "Starcraft 2: Transgender gamer quietly
wins, in more ways than one"
"The number of top Starcraft 2
professional gamers Sasha "Scarlett Hostyn has defeated continues to grow,
adding fan favorites like HuK, Drewbie and Ostojiy to the list. Last April,
at the IGN Pro League season four, Scarlett also managed to beat several top
Korean players, asserting her dominance even further.
But in an industry typically
characterized as sexist or hyper-masculine, Scarlett has had to overcome
more than just top Koreans to assert herself as a legitimate professional
After a breakout performance at the
IGN Pro League Season 4 Starcraft 2 championship last year, the 18-year-old
transgendered female from Ontario continued to dominate in Blizzard’s
Starcraft 2 World Championship in Toronto on Sunday, becoming Canada’s
national champion and earning $15,000.
Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn often shies
away from the spotlight. Clutching a Canadian flag onstage in front of
hundreds of people just after winning the Canadian national championship,
she was asked if there was anything she’s like to say to Canada. "
7-15-12: Philadelphia Inquirer: "‘Trans' a look at a transgendered New
Hope plastic surgeon"
"She's one of the transgender
community's most passionate advocates. Yet New Hope plastic surgeon
Christine McGinn has an equally intense suspicion of the news media even as
she relies on them to get her message heard. "There is so much ignorance out
there about transgendered people," says McGinn, one of half a dozen
transgender men and women profiled in Trans, a documentary screening Sunday
as part of Philadelphia QFest and one of an unusually large crop of
transgender films at the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film
"I've been on Anderson Cooper, Dr. Oz,
and Oprah Winfrey, and even these shows have a difficulty with transgender
representation," McGinn continues. "The most well-meaning hosts can end up
making a circus of it all.
Despite her reservations, McGinn
agreed to take part in Trans after meeting its producer, Mark Schoen, who
served with her on the board of the National Advisory Council on Sexual
Health, formed by former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher. "Basically we
got to talking about ... how there is a need for a well-made documentary
that covers some of the social issues that affect transgendered people,"
says McGinn, one of the few surgeons in America who specialize in
Schoen, founder of the sex
health-education company Sex Smart Films, says he and McGinn decided to
approach the topic from a new angle . . .
Schoen promised he would not
sensationalize his subjects, and his film does not dwell on McGinn's
"This film is about discrimination,
human justice, and civil rights," says Schoen, who moved to New Hope two
months ago. Issues covered in the film include workplace discrimination,
hate crimes, and the antipathy of the health-insurance industry to
transgender health needs."
News (re India): "Audio slideshow: India's transgender community"
"Millions of transgender people live
on the fringes of Indian society, ostracised because of their gender
identity. Most make a living by singing and dancing, or by begging and
prostitution. Here poor, jobless Tina and affluent Lakshmi Tripathi talk
about their lives. "
7-14-12: Canada.com (Canada): "Transgender prison guard finds freedom
in move from male to female"
"Michelle Hamelin, a supply officer at
the Kingston Penitentiary, doesn’t judge the inmates because, as she says,
“They’ve already been judged by a higher source — a judge and jury, the
people qualified for that particular job.” She’s likely hoping to be spared
some judgment herself.
This week, Hamelin will be announcing
her transition from Michael to Michelle, from male to female. She is on the
biggest journey of her life, a trip across the Great Gender Divide. The
guards, staff and prisoners who knew Michael Hamelin will now have to make a
substantial adjustment as they get to know their old supply officer as
Coming out as transgender requires
courage no matter what the circumstances. But doing it in the
testosterone-fuelled environment of the Kingston Pen, the place known as
locally as KP or the “Big House,” might be considered an exceptional act of
7-11-12: Washington Post: "Episcopal bishops OK trial gay blessing
prayer; full church affirms transgender ordination" (more,
"Episcopal bishops approved an
official prayer service for blessing same-sex couples Monday at a national
convention that also cleared the way for transgender ordination.
At the Episcopal General Convention in
Indianapolis, the House of Bishops voted 111-41, with three abstentions, to
authorize a provisional rite for same-sex unions for the next three years.
The liturgy next goes to convention’s deputies for their authorization.
In a separate vote Monday, the full
convention approved new anti-discrimination language for transgendered
clergy candidates and church members. Some dioceses already ordain
transgendered people or elect them to positions of parish leadership.
However, advocates for the amendment argued they needed an explicit
statement of acceptance as the churchwide policy."
7-11-12: Boston Herald: "Transsexual killer series has the makings of
"The British import “Hit & Miss”
sounds like a Mad Lib brought to life: A woman trapped in a man’s body
becomes a hit man and then a reluctant parent to her biological son and his
Think “Dexter” meets “Weeds” with
maybe a splash of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” tossed in.
Chloe Sevigny (“Big Love”) stars as
the transsexual killer Mia. The show leaves no doubt as to Mia’s pre-op
status. In the first two episodes, Sevigny has full-frontal nudity scenes
and shows off impressively realistic boy bits. Umm, props to the prop
7-10-12: The 519 (Toronto, Canada): "The 519 mourns the passing of
Kyle Scanlon" (more)
"It is with great sadness that we
share news of the passing of Kyle Scanlon, The 519's Education, Training and
Research Coordinator. Kyle completed suicide this week in his Toronto home.
Kyle has worked at The 519 for a
decade and during that time helped to redefine the face of trans community
services in Toronto and across Canada. Projects like Trans Access, Trans
Pulse and Project Open Door will continue to advance the rights, health and
vibrancy of our trans communities and will serve as a legacy of Kyle's
commitment and passion.
The entire 519 community mourns the
loss of our dear friend and a remarkable community leader. Counselling and
support services are being coordinated for staff of The 519 and a book of
condolences will be placed in The Centre's lobby for signing beginning on
Monday. We have been in touch with Kyle's family and close friends and a
community memorial event is being planned. Details will be posted as they
Words cannot express the grief and
loss our community is experiencing today. Our thoughts are with Kyle's
friends and family as they cope with this difficult news."
[A community memorial will be held
Thursday, July 19th at 7PM in Cawthra Square Park. This memorial will
feature speeches, video, performances and opportunities to share in
celebrating and remembering Kyle. This event is being coordinated by Kyle's
friends and colleagues with the support of The 519.]
7-10-12: TransPulse (Toronto, Canada; posted 7-09): "A tribute to our
friend Kyle Scanlon"
"It is with tremendous sadness that we
learned of the death of Kyle Scanlon, our dear friend and one of our
treasured Trans PULSE team members.
Kyle was a trans activist, researcher,
front-line community worker and leader who worked tirelessly and selflessly
for social justice. As one of the founding members of Trans PULSE, Kyle gave
of himself for years to the project, always present at meetings, making
significant contributions, and helping us to keep our feet on the ground.
The wisdom from his life experiences helped to shape the Trans PULSE project
from the very beginning. Kyle was on many occasions, our voice of reason;
when things got difficult, he was always there to remind us why we were
collectively there. Kyle was a champion of community-based research and held
great hopes for its ability to help to mobilize change in trans communities
. . .
For the past 10 years, Kyle worked at
The 519 Church Street Community Centre, first as the Trans Programs
Coordinator and then as the Education, Training and Research Coordinator. In
these roles, Kyle trained thousands of service providers around the province
to make their services accessible to trans people. He recently completed a
policy manual to aid organizations in including and serving trans people
well. He served on countless boards and committees, and despite his many
responsibilities, he responded with an open heart to the needs of members of
the trans community on a daily basis. Kyle made life more liveable for trans
people in so many ways and it was through his important work that Trans
PULSE was originally formed in collaboration with Sherbourne Health Centre .
More than anything, Kyle was our close
friend, whom we loved very dearly. He was always so generous with people. He
paid attention to process and was always, in the way he spoke to people,
kind, gentle and loving, assuring people that their input was important and
valued…indeed a great and valued teacher. We hope he knew how important he
Kyle was a leader and friend to so
many of us – we will honour your memory dear friend by continuing to ensure
that your ideas and wisdom shape the future of Trans PULSE. We will miss you
7-10-12: Just Plain Sense (UK): "First do no harm", by Christine Burns
"July 11th 2012 sees the tenth
anniversary of a key ruling from the European Court of Human Rights at
It was on that day in 2002 that 17
judges unanimously ruled that the United Kingdom violated the Article 8 and
12 rights of transsexual people, through the continued denial of any legal
mechanism to correct the gender registered for them at birth, and through
maintaining their inability to marry according to their acquired gender.
cases of Goodwin
& I vs UK were a watershed, requiring specific action by the Labour
government of the day, after previous administrations had dragged their
heels on the issue for 32 years."
7-08-12: MSNBC: "Transgender children in America encounter new
crossroads with medicine" (more)
"Puberty-suppressing drugs, commonly
called "blockers," have been around for decades for treating kids with
dangerously early puberty; sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) have
also been available for other medical purposes. With the "off-label" use of
blockers to treat transgender kids with severe anguish over their growing
bodies, these drugs together now comprise the one-two punch of medical
transitioning before the opportunity of sex reassignment surgery (18 is
considered the youngest age before it can be performed). This medical
process was almost unheard of for kids Josie's age just a decade ago, and it
has dramatically changed the narrative of today's transgender children and
It's a richly complex narrative
because the world of the transgender child is more time-sensitive than most.
If the child truly wants to live as the opposite sex in adulthood -- with
the most desired physical results possible -- then parents have to make
medical decisions for their child at a time when many people would question
a kid's ability to understand what he or she is asking for. But when people
feel that the child may be old enough to make that kind of decision -- age
14? 16? 18? -- it may already be too late, and that's especially true for
boys who want to be adult women. The child now has all the conspicuous
physical attributes of the sex they don't want to be, and many of these
features, such as height and voice, are irreversible without very costly and
invasive surgery. Experts say that the mental health and overall happiness
of transgender adults have a lot to do with their ability to pass visually
for their desired sex. Not being able to pass could result in a lifetime of
depression, or worse. "
7-08-12: San Francisco Chronicle: "'Hit & Miss' review: touching plot
"Here's the setup: A male-to-female
transsexual, who is also a hit woman, gets a letter from the woman she dated
when she was a he, telling her she's dying of cancer and, by the way, she/he
has a son. Mia, the hit woman, goes to the woman's rented farmhouse in the
hills above Manchester, England, but arrives too late. She's instead greeted
by her ex's children, including her own 10-year-old son, and informs them
their mother has designated her to be their guardian.
Before you make up your mind to cancel
your DirecTV subscription once "Damages" finishes its fifth-season victory
lap, give "Hit" a chance. With Chloë Sevigny as Mia, a gaggle of winning
actors as the kids, "Hit & Miss" doesn't take long to convince us that its
characters and plot are not only possible, but credible and, dare I say,
7-08-12: 7-08-12: AsiaOne (re Bangladesh): “Transgender romance movie
a hit in Bangladesh”
""Common Gender", Bangladesh's first
film dealing with transgender people, often known as hijras, opened in just
six cinemas two weeks ago but full houses have encouraged cinema owners to
extend its run and screen it nationwide.
"We opted to release the movie only in
six cinemas in the first week as it lacked big stars and some labelled it as
an art-house movie," said Enamul Karim, the film's distributor. "But it's a
resounding success so far. It is pulling in crowds and other cinemas are
taking it up" . . .
In the movie, Sushmita, a hijra, falls
in love with a Hindu boy but the boy's parents refuse to accept Sushmita,
eventually leading to her suicide . . .
Director Noman Robin said he made the
film after he saw a transgender person attacked for using a female toilet at
a shopping mall."The hijra was beaten in front of hundreds of people," he
7-06-12: The Local (Sweden): "Transgender woman appeals rape
"A transgender woman who was the
victim of an attempted rape has appealed a Swedish court’s decision to clear
the offender of the charges after the court argued the rape was "impossible"
because the victim was still biologically a man.
“We will appeal, of course. Sexual
violence can happen in many ways, it doesn’t need to be vaginal. The limits
of attempted rape were passed when he attacked her,” said the transgender
woman’s lawyer Gun Brodd Hedlund to the TT news agency.
The attacker, a 61-year-old man, was
“brutally violent” in the attack, tearing off the victim's pants and
grabbing at her crotch. However, he was acquitted of the attempted rape
charges by the Örebro District Court after the court deemed the allegations
to be “invalid”.
“The intended crime never had the
possibility of being fulfilled,” explained Judge Dan Sjöstedt at the time to
local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda."
7-05-12: CNN: "Treatment guidelines for Gender Identity Disorder in
"In recent years, stories about
transgender people have been front page news. The transformation of
Chaz Bono, son of singers Sonny and Cher, from female to male is perhaps the
most well known . . . Now the nation’s top psychiatrists are beginning to
talk about developing treatment guidelines for transgender people.
Mental health experts say Bono and
people like him have
Gender Identity Disorder (GID. “People with GID are distressed with the
sense that they were born in the wrong body”, says Dr. William Byne, chair
of the American Psychiatric Association
Task Force that recommended forming the guidelines.
As children, for example, people with
GID may insist they are a boy when they are biologically female. Experts
say it becomes a problem if they become anxious because of their gender and
it interferes with their relationships and work.
It’s difficult to know exactly how
many people have GID. Ken Zucker, Psychologist-in-Chief at the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, estimates 1 in 1,000 children have
the disorder, but many grow out of it. Only about 1 in 30,000 adult males
and 1 in 100,000 adult females seek sex-reassignment surgery.
The Task Force believes that the
guidelines will help psychiatrists improve the quality of care for
transgender people. The biggest concern is how to treat children. Experts
say when it comes to treatment, one size doesn’t fit all. Byne hopes the
guidelines will help parents make informed decisions about what’s best for
their child: Should they wait and watch, discourage the cross-gender
actions, or just encourage cross-gender identity? The Task Force report was
published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior."
Ken Zucker is now spinning the trans-prevalence numbers: He has slyly
adopted a 1:1000 number for gender dysphoria (no
longer being able to defend his long-standing public claim that it is
1:11,900), while continuing to proclaim 1:30,000 and 1:100,000 as the
prevalences of SRS, (numbers that
have been shown to be far too low (more).]
7-05-12: On Top Magazine (re Argentina): "Argentina's Cristina
Fernandez Delivers New Transgender Identity Cards" (more)
"Argentina President Cristina
Fernandez on Monday personally delivered new identity cards to people who
transitioned their genders, saying equality matters.
Congress overwhelmingly approved the
nation's new gender identity law, which allows anyone to switch his or her
gender without first seeking the approval of a judge or a doctor. The law
took effect last month. It also extends government health coverage to
include gender reassignment surgery.
Fernandez celebrated passage of the
law with a ceremony held at The Pink House, gay blog
Blabbeando reported.“Today is a day of tremendous reparations,” she told
the crowd. “Today we do not shout for liberation but instead we shout for
equality, which is just as important as freedom.”"
7-05-12: The Independent (UK): "Male teacher's bravery hailed as he
undergoes sex change before returning to take classes as a woman" (more)
"Pupils were called into a special
assembly at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford on Monday and told
the male teacher would be returning as a woman after the summer holidays. A
letter was also sent home to parents explaining the procedure. Pupils at the
secondary school are said to have taken the news well, with one sixth former
describing the unnamed teacher as "really popular".
The letter, from headteacher Tom
Sherrington, said: "In making the transition (the teacher) will now be able
to live the life that she has always known to be consistent with her true
gender identity. I would like to acknowledge (the teacher's) courage
in deciding to go through the transition process. I know that the
school community will support her to ensure that she makes a great success
of her ongoing career with us. "Without doubt she will continue to be
greatly loved and admired as the truly inspirational teacher that she is.""
People's Daily (China): "Society didn't accept him but is changing with her"
"Wang Maoli says she doesn't regret
the sex reassignment surgery she underwent 21 years ago. But that doesn't
mean life has been easy, she says.
She has spent the past two decades in
the media spotlight as the first person known to have undergone the surgery
in Chongqing municipality and the second in the country. She's also perhaps
the country's first person to change the gender on her ID card. "I might not
have survived if I hadn't done the surgery," she says.
While hardships have persisted, the
Sichuan Opera performer says the procedure lifted her life's greatest
burden. "I'm living a pure and moral life," she says. "My status is legally
recognized by authorities. I make people happy with my shows. I don't see
why I should be ashamed.""
People's Daily (China): "Risky sex change surgery ends nightmares"
"Tony has experienced physical and
emotional changes since taking testosterone injections 20 days ago. The
24-year-old from Shandong's provincial capital Jinan, who refuses to give
his Chinese name, says the pitch of his voice is now unstable. Facial
stubble has started growing above his upper lip. And he's irritable.
But, despite feeling grumpier than
usual because of the hormones, he's delighted with the changes. "This is the
first step to restore my true gender," Tony says. "I'm not a tomboy, a
transvestite or a lesbian. I'm a man born in a woman's body."
Tony's only social activity is
chatting online with about 200 people, who face the same issue, from all
over the country. He spends his leisure time chatting with the
female-to-male online community on Baidu, a Chinese search engine - an
avenue where "brothers" share their life experiences. "
7-05-12: Bangkok Post (Thailand): "PAO transgender defends wearing
"Yollada "Nok" Suanyos, a transgender
councillor on the Nan provincial administration organisation, says he has
been criticised by many people for wearing a skirt to work and has called on
the public to give equal rights to transgender people.
"I don't want to breach regulations or
offend our culture, but I've been living as a woman for some time now," Mr
Yollada said. "So I've decided to wear a woman's uniform, with dignity and
with respect for the regulations."
The 30-year-old model-actress-singer
and provincial official said he would like people to understand the
difference between rights and duties. The duties assigned to a gender group
were not compatible with their rights, he said. "I want to express myself,
so that many more men will accept the transgender group and treat us like
7-04-12: China Daily (China): "In Transition"
"Transgender activist Acid Chen, who
doesn't use her given male name, says she has discovered social acceptance
comes not only from society but also from transgender people's attitudes
about themselves. "You must be confident to get respect," she says.
The 23-year-old, who lives in Beijing,
hides nothing about her identity. "My family and friends felt ashamed when
they saw me acting feminine," the electrical engineer recalls. "But I gained
new confidence when I came out as a woman. And my employer and colleagues
accepted me, although my family still hopes I'll change. Having a job and
being independent is extremely important for a transgender person to
maintain confidence. I've realized we can live happy lives just like anyone
else." Much of this happiness comes from her work as an activist with the
LGBT group Aibai Culture and Education Center, she says.
Male-to-female transgender volunteers
use Aibai's online forum to post and respond to positive messages to empower
transgender people. Director of Sun Yat-sen University's Sex/Gender
Education Forum Ke Qianting says that, while the country has a long way to
go before fully accepting transgender people, the Internet enables today's
transgender individuals to engage each other. "They feel less isolated today
than in previous decades," Ke says. The Chinese male-to-female transgender
online community Xiasl.net, for
instance, has more than 110,000 registered members."
7-04-12: China Daily (China): "It's never too late to be yourself"
"While Qian Jinfan wanted to become a
female from age 3, it wasn't until age 80 that she did. And in June, the
84-year-old Foshan native in Guangdong province became the country's oldest
person to open up about her transgender identity, bringing a media maelstrom
that has led her wife and son to "ground" her.
However, she snuck out of her home to
speak with China Daily for an exclusive interview because she believes it's
time Chinese society understands its transgender members.
"People may ask why I come out as a
transgender person when I'm so old, but I ask, why can't I?" Qian says.
"Chinese stereotype the elderly as people who can't do anything but wait for
death. But I've just entered the best time of my life. I can finally be
7-04-12: Gay Star News (UK re South Korea): "Comeback for Korean
transgender popstar Harisu"
"South Korean transgender popstar
Harisu is back with a new single after six years. The new single, Shopping
Girl, is released on 9 July and a 10-track album will follow, K-pop news
Harisu, who goes by the name Lee
Kyung-eun in everyday life, was born male in 1975. She has sex reassignment
surgery in the 1990s and became the second person in South Korean to legally
change their sex."
7-04-12: National Post (Canada): "Transgender student named prom queen
at Ontario high school"
"The night of her high school prom,
Connor Ferguson anxiously pulled on a floor-length leopard print dress and
slipped her feet inside six-inch high heels covered in glitter. Despite
loving the outfit she’d chosen, the 18-year-old transwoman from Trenton,
Ont., considered not going to the prom at all, worried her peers might say
something nasty or rude. She never expected they would name her prom queen.
“It was absolutely unreal. I’ll
definitely remember that moment forever,” said Ferguson, who was crowned
queen at Trenton High School on June 22. “The cheers from classmates was
overwhelming as well … So much support I cannot even put it into words.”
Ferguson heard rumours she might
receive a vote or two from her classmates but she never saw herself
7-02-12: Ipwich Star (UK): "Ipswich: Building worker convicted of
threatening behaviour towards transsexual"
"Today, Thomas Sawyer’s defiant victim
Julia Ford told how the abuse she suffered from others as a result of police
getting involved in the case drove her to the brink of despair. Sawyer, of
Wellington Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty before the town’s magistrates to
two charges of threatening behaviour towards Miss Ford . . .
The 54-year-old said people would
shout abuse and physically block her, leaving her fearing for her safety. As
a result Miss Ford suffered drastic weight loss and police felt compelled to
move her from her home.
She said: “I felt it was destroying my soul. I turned from the happy, bubbly
person I was to this gibbering wreck when police came and rescued me from my
flat. “I was just completely drained and exhausted. I lost a stone in
weight. I was sleeping with the light on. I barricaded my door at night. I
felt I couldn’t get out. “I was trapped.”"
7-02-12: Boston Globe: "New Mass. law backs transgender residents ‒
Discrimination now illegal in state; supporters call it a ‘lifechanging
"The Massachusetts Transgender Equal
Rights Act bars discrimination in employment, housing, education, and
lending. The law also enables prosecutors to bring hate crime charges in
attacks that target someone for being transgender. Supporters praised the
law on Sunday as a significant step that will allow transgender residents to
live more openly.
“This is a tremendously historic and
life-changing day for transgender people across the state, and really for
anybody that values fairness,” said Kara Suffredini, executive director of
MassEquality, one of the organizations that lobbied for the law.
The law, which makes the state the
16th to enact a law protecting rights of transgender residents, took effect
Sunday, seven months after its passage and five years after proponents first
7-01-12: Boston.com: "Gender identity protections become law in
Massachusetts July 1" (more,
"On November 23, 2011, Governor Deval
Patrick signed into law H3810, An Act Relative to Gender Identity. This law
adds “gender identity” as a protected characteristic to Massachusetts’
employment, housing, credit and public education anti-discrimination laws
and to Massachusetts’ hate crimes law. All of these laws also protect
several other characteristics, including sexual orientation, disability,
sex, age, race, ancestry and religion, but this publication focuses on the
transgender protections that H3810 provides. The law goes into effect on
July 1, 2012."
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