Click here to sign the NO2ID refuse pledge

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Yee Introduces Bill to Prevent Discrimination Against LGBT People in Political Campaigns

indybay.org
by EQCA Saturday,
Feb. 26, 2005 at 12:33 PM

SAN FRANCISCO – Assembly Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/Daly City) announced today the introduction of Assembly Bill 866, legislation designed to prevent discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) individuals in political campaigns. The bill, sponsored by Equality California (EQCA), would prohibit the use of any negative appeal based on prejudice against LGBT people by candidates or campaign committees who sign the voluntary pledge provided for in the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.

Transgender woman questions labels

ButchDykeBoy
By CLARK LAMPEN
News Writer
2/24/2005

Katherine McIntyre gave a presentation on the hardship she faced while transitioning from living as a man to living as a woman, Tuesday night at Zoellner Arts Center.The event was a part of Lehigh’s V-Week, a week long series of events leading up to this weekend’s production of “The Vagina Monologues”, organized by Lehigh students Alexandra Milspaw, ’07, and Christina Diggs, ’07.The program is designed to raise awareness about violence, whether sexual or domestic, against women, Milspaw said.The proceeds of V-Week will also go toward Crime Victims Council and Turning Point, two organizations that provide services to women in the area, as well as to Iraqi women.McIntyre said as a result of constantly restricted emotions and growing instability, she became very aggressive and developed very abusive personality traits. McIntyre described how, for almost 20 years, she went from drinking excessively to doing hard drugs, sacrificing her job and marriage in the process. All the while, something always seemed like it was missing, McIntyre said.Kate Cartmell, a transgender woman, and Jan Davis, a lesbian, who are friends of McIntyre, spoke about the difficulty of growing up feeling as if something wasn’t quite right all along.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Jubologist links breast type to personality

The Register
By Lester Haines
Published Friday 25th February 2005 14:51 GMT

An Italian sexologist has claimed that he can tell a woman's personality from the size and shape of her breasts, and his research has revealed some interesting and previously unknown facts about human females.

Piero Lorenzoni this week expounded his mammicular theory to German tabloid Bild. Shortly thereafter UK jub enthusiasts at the Sun got their quips out for the lads.

Likewise, we at El Reg feel duty-bound to share Lorenzoni's expertise in the matter, as follows:

Melons: A woman with large, round breasts "likes eating and wants to be spoiled and admired, but seldom likes sex," says Lorenzi.

Grapefruit: "This woman may look erotic, but in reality is bashful and homely. She spoils her partner but prefers tenderness over sex."
Pears: "Loves love in all its variations. She can be very religious, but is known to have affairs."

Pineapples: "A woman with pineapple breasts is intelligent, often has a career but is still romantic. They are also faithful. Whoever wins their heart will not lose it quickly."

Oranges: "While she is self-confident and knows her goals, she has little interest in sex. She likes conversation and partnerships."

Lemons: "These women are full of life and can laugh at themselves. They want a balanced life without surprises."

Cherries: They are entertaining and intelligent. Make great partners both for everyday life and on holiday and are moderately interested in sex."
That's right - the shocking conclusion of Lorenzoni's study is that women don't like sex very much and the form and volume of their assets makes little or no difference in the matter.

Having said that, there is another possible explanation, and one favoured by our own Lucy Sherriff: that women do not want to have sex with Piero Lorenzoni and he has not realised that this may not apply to other males. Interestingly, a web search for a picture of the Italian breastologist returned absolutely no results whatsoever. There are only two conclusions to be drawn from this: that Lorenzoni is so breathtakingly handsome that women fear they may die of sexual ecstasy if they indulge in rumpy-pumpy with the Italian Stallion; or that he he so closely resembles John Merrrick that the merest glimpse of his hideous form provokes females to run screaming for the hills taking their fruit with them.

Whichever is the case, we can understand why Lorenzoni wishes to keep his appearance a closely-guarded secret.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

FTM 2005: A Gender Odyssey

FTM 2005

FTM 2005: A Gender Odyssey is a national conference for masculine-identified people who were assigned female gender at birth. It is place for us to gather together, share our lives, speak our truths, learn from one another, and celebrate our communities. This conference offers workshops addressing the practical aspects of trans lives, including: legal issues; intersections of race and gender; coming out to family and friends; transitioning at work; hormones and surgery; and dating, sex, and relationships. Accompanying events include a vendor fair, art exhibit, cabaret, all-ages dance, and much more. The conference will be held on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2nd-5th.

Now in its third year, Gender Odyssey is expanding and moving! In order to accommodate our growing numbers, we will schedule a third full day of programming and relocate to the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. Most workshops and panels offered at this conference are selected from our attendees' own programming submissions. In addition to other topics, we invite workshop proposals to address the issues of the older and/or post-transitioned FTM and the complex needs of families.

Monday, February 21, 2005

"Call on God, but row away from the rocks."

The Guardian Online

"Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism."

Hunter S Thompson dies at 67
Self-styled "gonzo journalist", novelist and gun collector Hunter S Thompson shot himself dead last night at his home in the Colorado mountains. He was 67.

-----------------------
May whatever gods you worshiped smile upon you, you lovable cantankerous old bastard.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

'Natural' breast implant advance

BBC NEWS
By Michelle Roberts
BBC News health reporter, in Washington DC

US scientists say they have made a breakthrough to produce natural breast implants using human stem cells.
The University of Illinois team took stem cells destined to become fat cells and grew them on a special gel-like scaffold, they told a US conference.
The scaffold can be moulded into any shape, which means the implants keep their size and shape better than artificial ones.
There is also no risk of rupture and leakage, they said.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Blue Diamond Weekly

The on-line edition of the blue diamond weekly can now be found HERE

SAMHSA Suicide Prevention: no gay, lesbian, bi or transgender

indybay.org

From David Byrom, Ph.D.,
President The National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers, Inc.

Hello colleagues and friends,
Recently, I was asked to help present a workshop on suicide prevention among GLBT individuals, at the third in a series of five regional conferences on suicide prevention in the U.S. This particular conference covers Public Health Regions 9 and 10 (basically, the entire west coast). Following is a statement my co-presenters and I have prepared outlining recent chilling events surrounding our workshop. One interesting thing to note is the two previous conferences, one in New Orleans and the other in Denver, contained workshops very similar to ours and were not a problem. The difference? Both were held PRIOR to the last election.

We give permission to forward this to whoever you believe needs to read it:

Please distribute as widely as possible:

Statement of Concern and Protest

Government funders within the Bush Administration at SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) notified the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) that SAMHSA Administrator, Charles Curie, would not be allowed to attend a SPRC regional conference on suicide prevention if conference organizers went forward with a workshop title that included the words gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. The conference is scheduled to take place in Portland, Oregon, February 28-March 2. The original title of the workshop was "Suicide Prevention Among Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender Individuals."

On January 31, Lloyd Potter, SPRC Center Director, contacted workshop presenters Ron Bloodworth, Joyce Liljeholm and Reid Vanderburgh and requested that we come up with alternative wording for the workshop so that the words "gay","lesbian","bisexual", or "transgender" did not appear in the workshop title or descriptor.

We worked with SPRC to create alternative wording so that the workshop could continue to be offered but we expressed deep concern about government intrusion to remove any reference to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the workshop title and descriptor. After agreeing to the title "suicide Prevention in Vulnerable Populations", we were told that the new title would be acceptable to SAMHSA and that we could use the term "sexual orientation" in the workshop descriptor but that the term "gender identity" would "not fly with SAMHSA."

We are still planning to offer the workshop as originally planned even though the workshop title and descriptor had to be changed but we will not be quiet about the heavy handed efforts of SAMSHA to render gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender people invisible. The action of our government in this regard is the very reason a workshop on suicide prevention with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender individuals is needed. How ironic! The discriminatory and intimidating actions of SAMHSA and the Bush administration should not go unchallenged and should be of concern to all Americans.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Girl, 15, wants a sex change

ButchDykeBoy.com

A 15-year-old Melbourne girl who is convinced she is a boy has started the process to have sex-swap surgery.The girl, who lives life as a boy, would be one of the youngest sex-swap patients in Australia if she has her wish.The teen's mother is distraught at the prospect and ethicists are outraged by the proposed surgery on someone so young.The girl's mother told the Herald Sun she was torn between a desire to end her child's agony and fear that her daughter may change her mindlater.

---------------------
It's a tough one for a parent, read the whole thing and make up your own mind.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Nigeria transvestite handed fine

BBC NEWS

A Nigerian Islamic court has sentenced a man to six months in prison and fined him $38 for living as a woman for seven years in the northern city of Kano.
The judge told 19-year-old Abubakar Hamza, who used his female identity to sell aphrodisiacs, to desist from what the "immoral behaviour".
Mr Hamza, who appeared in court dressed in a pink kaftan and matching cap, said he was now "a reformed man".
Since his arrest, he has become a celebrity in the strict Muslim city.
Posters of him dressed in women's clothing have been selling well.

Free man

Leading a double life, Mr Hamza had a wife in his village, but in town lived as a woman in quarters reserved for married Muslim women.
He used his female identity, Fatima Kawaji, to sell herbal aphrodisiacs to women.
Until his arrest, Mr Hamza lived with the Adamu family, who fondly called him Kawajo which in the Fulani language means friend.
The family's teenage daughters did not suspect he was not a girl, despite the fact that he always dressed and undressed in the bathroom.
"It is hoped that you have learnt some lessons during your trial and I hope you will be of good character and desist from this immoral behaviour of posing as a woman," Judge Lawal Isa Rabo said.
A Kano resident present in the court paid the fine on Mr Hamza's behalf and having already spent nine months in jail, he left the Sharia court a free man.
"I am grateful to them for paying the fine," Mr Hamza told the BBC's Hausa service.

Livelihood

But he called on the Kano state government to help him find a job.
"I used my previous identity [as a woman] to earn my livelihood, now that I have stopped that, I need a job."
When questioned about his high pitched voice, he said: "God makes people differently."
"This is how my voice is... and you know when you live with women and you are close to them, you take up their ways."
He was charged under the Prostitution and Immoral Acts law of the Sharia penal code, which was reintroduced in Kano in 2000.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Screwed by Gender and Charging for It

NYC Indymedia
by Darby Hickey

What does sexual self-determination mean? It begins with respect for the integrity of your own body, and your decisions about what to do with it. Further, it includes not being harassed, assaulted or raped.

A friend and I are engaging in dialogue online regarding another kind of self-determination: self-representation in the sexual realm. For her, a young Filipina woman, expressing her own identity and self while battling suffocating stereotypes about “Asian” women is a constant effort.

Our discussion was started by her incisive analysis of an instance of serious sexual harassment of her by a new Asian male housemate. While obviously our experiences are different, I saw a lot in her writing that I could identify with – being considered exotic (or freaky in an erotic way, as in my case); finding oneself stereotyped as sexually available; wondering how one’s own internalized oppression affects responses to problematic situations.

As a transgender person, sex is almost immediately connected to anything I do because public conceptions of transpeople have so thoroughly equated us exclusively with sex. Men hit on me because they think I’d be “wild” to have sex with. Others harass me, sometimes to the point of violence, because of how my gendered body interacts with their sexual desires.

For some, a logical resistance to this would be to forego or dislike being sexed up. But for me, as someone who both likes sex and uses sex to make a living, that is not an option that I consider possible, or of interest. Although I dislike my body and its sexualized and gendered parts, I still want to have sex – on my own terms.

My situation is not unique. Not only are there many other trans people in the world trying to navigate similar terrain, I know from discussions like the one I mentioned above, that many, perhaps most, people struggle with similar issues around sex and sexuality. Which is a weakness of the stream of “sex-positive” thought that is becoming more accepted in some circles: In its unequivocal celebration of sex (which is good), it sometimes fails to account for the many tumultuous sexual relationships people have, particularly those of marginalized communities.

Nonetheless, even those of us who experience sex interwoven with problematic dynamics keep doing it, and do it, and do it well. What does that look like? For me, it means I exploit my freakish/curiosity/exotic status in order to sleep with men who pay me large wads of cash. Am I playing into stereotypes of transgender women as sexually available and whorish? Yes. Am I exercising my sexual self regardless of stereotypes and social mores? Yes.

So if you are having an underwear party and I don’t participate, it’s not because I’m not sex positive. It could be that I’m not comfortable with my body and how it is gendered. But most likely it’s that I know I could get naked for someone else and get paid for it.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Zimbabwe female athlete 'was man'

BBC NEWS

One of Zimbabwe's leading junior athletes, who has won several gold medals in women's events, is really a man, police say.

Transgender rights bill bizarre, say Opposition MPs

Stuff.co.nz
10 February 2005
By DANYA LEVY

Proposed laws to stop discrimination against transsexuals, transvestites and cross dressers were yesterday slammed by Opposition MPs as bizarre, foolish and wrong.
Transsexual MP Georgina Beyer is proposing the Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill which will prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity.
The Human Rights Act already bans discrimination on other basis such as race or sex.
The member's bill would protect hundreds of inter-sex New Zealanders - those born hermaphrodite but reassigned the wrong sex - and thousands of transgender people, Ms Beyer said.
The bill would halt any barriers to welfare, justice, education, health and employment for the "minority within a minority" section of New Zealand.
"If we want these particular sectors of society to be able to fully function in society, then they deserve protection," she told NZPA.
People had a right to identify as being transsexual, Ms Beyer said.
"I am a transsexual: not a man, not a woman per se, although I tend to that side, obviously.
"This will not make me the third sex."
It was often assumed transgender people were protected under homosexual law reform, she said.
"But they were not. There is nothing specifically written in the law.
"This bill will take it beyond doubt."
National MP Richard Worth said the bill had far reaching implications.
"This is a stunning first to contemplate discrimination on gender identity," he told NZPA.
"I think it is bizarre in the extreme to contemplate that cross dressing will be an approved form of dress in the military, in the police and in the prison service."
The "foolish" legislation should be abandoned, Mr Worth said.
ACT MP Stephen Franks called the bill a "grab at political privilege which should not succeed".
It was an attempt to for another category of people to gain separate rights the majority of New Zealanders didn't have.
The Human Rights Act in its present form was wrong in its approach to gender matters and sexual identity, he said.
"It says there are some category of human behaviour or relationship that it is illegal to laugh at, or criticise, or decide not to associate with," Mr Franks told NZPA.
"As a male lawyer, I just have to endure lawyer jokes, and I endure jokes about aging white males.
"It's absolutely proper, that's what free society is."
Decisions on whether the member's bill will be voted on as a conscience issue or by party vote have not yet been made.
However, Ms Beyer said she has had support from the Greens and members of the Labour caucus, and United Future had indicated support for a first reading.
But it faces a lengthy process as member's bills are only debated every second Wednesday and there are five bills to be debated before it gets a turn.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Transgenders Lack Access to Proper Health Care

la.indymedia.org

Transgenders discuss how the health care system falls short of their needs.
A crowd of over 300 people including members of the state legislature and the West Hollywood City Council packed a West Hollywood auditorium on Friday, February 4 for a town hall meeting addressing issues of transgender health care.
The conflab at the Gay and Lesbian Center Village Campus was sponsored by the offices of state assembly members Jackie Goldberg, Paul Koretz, Mark Leno, and state senator Sheila Kuehl, who could not attend. Also in attendance were West Hollywood City Council members Abbe Land, Jeff Prang and Mayor John Duran.
“Transgenders experience unique barriers to accessing health care,” said Jenny Gross of the FTM (Female to Male) Alliance. Negative experiences in a medical setting, such as being laughed at by medical staff, make a patient uncomfortable and less likely to seek treatment from medical professionals in the future. Often transgender patients do not mention they are taking hormones if they are seeing a doctor to treat a cold, for example, to avoid the discomfort of a negative comment or reaction. Nearly 60% of transgenders do not discuss being transgender with their health care provider, according to a needs assessment survey by the Transgender Health Project of San Diego.
Discomfort and dissatisfaction with medical staff are not the only barriers that transgender people face. Low income is one of the largest barriers to accessing health care. About 50% of transgenders have an annual income of less than $12,000 according to a 2001 Los Angeles study of transgender health.
About two-thirds of transgenders in the study reported having no health insurance. Poverty is not the only reason transgenders lack health coverage. Some transgenders are denied insurance after they disclose their transgender status. When Lando Thomas had disclosed taking testosterone to a health insurance company, he received a letter of denial a week later. The insurer listed “gender identity disorder” as the reason for the denial. “I was just looking for basic coverage in case of an accident or if I got cancer,” said Thomas.
Having insurance does not guarantee that transgenders would have their health care needs met. Transgenders are not only denied coverage for hormones or sex reassignment procedures, but also for medical complications and for routine exams. An activist cited an example of a patient who was denied treatment for a silicone leakage from an implant received three years prior, despite the fact it could be life-threatening. Transgenders who have not fully transitioned often encounter problems when they ask for routine exams such as mammograms and pap smears, because insurance coverage only recognize one gender for these procedures.
Another issue is training of medical staff. Some continue to address the patient with a wrong gender pronoun, despite being corrected. Often doctors are ill-informed and uneducated on how to treat transgender clients’ needs, such as hormone therapy. Tracie O’Brien of the Transgender Health project of San Diego said she once saw a doctor who prescribed a hormone dosage recommended for post-menopausal women.
As a result of these barriers to health care, many transgenders resort to non-medical or “street” sources for medical needs, often putting their health at risk. In the Los Angeles study, 72% of the transgenders who inject hormones did so without medical supervision. Some inject other substances as silicone to enhance their appearance, as well. Inadequate funding continues to plague the transgender community. Many community-based organizations receive funding for specific programs that only help a narrow spectrum of the transgender population. One example of such a organization is the Transgender Youth Consortium, which provides services for transgenders between ages 13 and 24.
Prevention case manager Alexis Rivera said, “After age 24, there are no more services. I have no place to send these women.” Furthermore, the agency has funding to only serve a caseload of 35 people. “This is inadequate because there are more than 35 transgender women in L.A. County,” says Rivera. “The waiting list can be six months to a year.”
Solutions to dealing with these frequently occurring problems of health care were suggested. Herb Schultz, former deputy director of department of managed care, said that people who are denied coverage or have complaints against insurance companies could ask for an independent medical review. The Department of Managed Healthcare offers 24-hour toll free assistance at (888) 466-2199 in over 153 languages. Another resource is the Department of Insurance, which can be reached at 1-800-927-HELP.
Sources: Los Angeles Transgender Health Study: Community Report. May 2001. Transgender Health Project. Family Health Centers of San Diego. 2003
Author: April Ingram

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Don't decide my sex for me

Haaretz - Israel News
By Vivian Abu Raad


When `H.' was born, her male genitalia were underdeveloped, a syndrome known as intersex. When she was 11, the doctors decided to turn her into a woman. She hopes others can decide their gender for themselves.

"Congratulations, it's a girl," the parents were told. That was 30 years ago, and at the time, no one, not even the doctors, imagined that the newborn was not exactly a girl, that chromosomally, she was a boy, born with underdeveloped male and female genitalia

H. was born to an Arab family from the center of the country that raised her as a girl. When she was two, her mother noticed that her daughter's genitalia were different from those of all the other little girls and took her to the doctor to be examined.

"Your daughter is not exactly a girl or a boy," the doctors told H's concerned parents. An X-ray, they explained, showed internal testicles inside the abdomen. The parents did not know what to do with the diagnosis.

"My mother cried a great deal and went into a deep depression," recalls H. "They did not understand how it was possible to be neither a girl nor a boy. So what was I? At meetings with doctors, Mother always asked the same question: Was I a girl or boy?"

The doctors referred H. to a hospital in the north that treats similar cases, and there she began a long series of treatments and tests that lasted 18 years. H. had to go there with her parents once a month for intrusive and often humiliating tests.

"They would undress me, measure my sex organs and sometimes take photographs," recalls H. "I felt unprotected. I didn't understand when I was supposed to get undressed and who was allowed to undress me. For the doctors I was an intriguing phenomenon, which everyone wanted to see and touch. I recall one examination when I lay naked on a bed in the emergency room, with lots of doctors all around, all looking and touching. One kept saying, `I don't feel any testicles.' But I didn't understand."

The phenomenon that aroused such interest is called intersex, which means "between sexes." According to Professor Ze'ev Hochberg, an endocrinologist at Meyer's Children's Hospital, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, H. suffered from a genetic syndrome that affects the enzyme responsible for turning testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for the development and growth of the male genitalia in the male fetus. Because H., while still in the uterus, lacked DHT, her male genitalia were not formed, which is why everyone thought she was a girl when she was born.

This phenomenon was already known in ancient Greece, which called such individuals "hermaphrodites," from the names of two gods - Hermes, a male and Aphrodite, a female. Nevertheless, because it is such a rare phenomenon, the doctors did not immediately realize what was involved when H. was born.

Today, says Hochberg, there are four large families in the world that carry the gene for the syndrome, but that marriage within the extended family increases the risk of having a child with the syndrome. In Israel, marriage among cousins is relatively prevalent among Muslims, and consequently, there are more cases of hermaphrodites among Muslims than among Jews or Christians.


Warning as sex disease reaches UK

BBC NEWS

A sexually transmitted infection that before now has mainly been seen in the developing world is spreading in the UK and western Europe, experts say.

London is among a number of major cities that have reported outbreaks of lymphomagranuloma venereum (LGV).
The 24 cases confirmed in England have been in gay men but both sexes can contract LGV through unprotected sex.
Its symptoms include genital ulcers and swelling in the groin but it can be easily treated using antibiotics.

LGV is caused by a strain of bacteria, similar to the one that causes chlamydia, another sexually transmitted infection (STI).
In recent months, outbreaks of LGV have been reported in the cities of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Paris, Stockholm and Hamburg.
And this week, two men in New York were diagnosed with the disease.
Neil Macdonald, from England's Health Protection Agency, said: "LGV was previously hardly ever seen in the Western world.
"It is endemic in certain areas of Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.
"What we are seeing now is something that is quite new and is affecting gay men."
He said it was not clear how long LGV had been in western Europe and that it might be the case that now people are checking for it more cases are being found.

Symptoms of LGV :-
Rectal inflammation
Rectal bleeding
Swollen groin lymph nodes
Rectal ulcers
Fever
Fatigue


Since the HPA set up an enhanced surveillance system for LGV in October, there have been 24 confirmed cases in England.
The HPA has been able to trace 19 of the men. All are homosexual and 17 are also HIV positive.
"We know it's here and we know it is a problem," said Mr Macdonald.

"One of the biggest problems we have is that it doesn't present like a typical STI so not only the patients themselves but also their doctors may not realise they have got it."

'Get checked'

The first symptom of LGV is usually inflammation of the rectum (proctitis) - with pain, discharge, rectal bleeding and bloody stools commonly reported, as well as genital ulcers.
The person might also notice large painful swelling in the groin because the infection invades the lymph nodes.
People need to be aware of the symptoms
Will Mutland from the Terrence Higgins Trust
LGV can be easily treated with a three-week course of antibiotics.
But if it is not detected and treated, complications can develop such as fever, weight loss and lesions and permanent scarring of the rectal lining that might need surgical repair.
In some cases, the symptoms can be mistaken for a bowel problem which can delay the diagnosis, he said.
He urged anyone who thought they might have put themselves at risk of LGV or any other STI to go to their doctor for a check-up.
Will Mutland from the Terrence Higgins Trust said: "We are working with key target groups of HIV men to raise awareness about LGV."
He said as well as having unprotected sex with multiple partners, this group might be particularly at risk because of they have a condition that affects the immune system and ability to fight infections.
"People need to be aware of the symptoms.
"We also want to encourage regular screening, not just for LGV but for a range of other STIs."
The Terrence Higgins Trust has produced an information leaflet for gay men explaining the risks of LGV.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Shapeshift columist James (Cora) Birk goes full circle

bmezine.com/news

Shapeshift #10: Conclusion

“No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid, and however unpleasant the truth may be, it is better to face it once for all, to get used to it, and to proceed to build your life in accordance with it.”
- Bertrand Russell

This has been the most difficult Shapeshift column to write. It’s seen five revisions, four outlines, and two complete deletions and restarts. I’ve been having trouble with the sheer volume of material and the amount of detail appropriate for the subject, and I’ve decided that in the interest of simply getting it done and achieving some sense of closure, detail must be sacrificed.
Here’s what I wrote in my journal in the evening of April 25th, 2004.

Transsexuals get free reign in restrooms?

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
Posted: January 26, 2005
5:10 p.m. Eastern

Group blasts new anti-discrimination rule in California

A decision to expand anti-discrimination laws in the San Francisco Bay area is drawing fire from pro-family groups who say it will lead to conflicts between transgendered people and the public at large.

At a heated hearing in Oakland yesterday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution prohibiting discrimination based on a person's "gender identity."

It applies to Alameda County employment, services and facilities, according to Bay City News.

The measure is being blasted by the likes of Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, who says the action will "force women and girls to endure transsexual men entering and using women's restrooms on county-owned property, including parks and libraries where children gather. The resolution also forces county employees and contractors to agree with transsexuality and sex changes, or suffer retribution if they complain or resist."

Thomasson says there may be a religious freedom lawsuit brewing to try to reverse what he calls an immoral resolution. He also is telling the public to contact the board in Alameda to express outrage over the decision.

"Pro-family citizens must make an example of the sexual anarchy of San Francisco and Alameda counties," he said. "People who love God and family must repent from complacency and learn how to run for and elect pro-family representatives to local government."

Marcus Arana of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission is among those in favor of the resolution.

It shows that "hate is not a local value of Alameda County and reiterates Alameda County's commitment to protecting county employees and facilities from discrimination," Arana told Bay City News.

"I don't see why people get in such a huff and puff," Supervisor Nate Miley said, as he called for tolerance and love. "I don't understand why people want to change their gender, but it's not for me to understand it."



Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Alameda County Now Prohibits Gender-Based Discrimination

EMPLOYMENT, COUNTY SERVICES, AND COUNTY CONTRACTING NOW GRANTED IN ALAMEDA COUNTY REGARDLESS OF GENDER IDENTITY

January 31, 2005: Alameda County's Board of Supervisors last week voted 4-0 to pass a resolution that prohibits gender identity discrimination in county employment, county services, and county contracting. This includes use of facilities such as restrooms in county buildings. It forbids discrimination based on a person's "gender-related" identity, appearance or behavior, "whether or not stereotypically associated with a person's assigned sex at birth."

Board President Keith Carson and his staff wrote the resolution, and he was reportedly supported by community activists such as Patricia Kevena Fili and Jamison Green. Conservative groups have protested the resolution, saying that conflicts between transgendered people and the public at large would occur as a result of it.

LADY VICAR USED TO BE A MAN

Evening News
A WOMAN priest has revealed she was ordained nearly 20 years after she underwent a sex-change operation.
Sarah Jones, aged 43, has been a curate for the past six months - but her parishioners did not know until Monday that she led a former life as a man.
Her parishioners applauded the revelation and she has also received full support from the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis.
Miss Jones was among the first priests ordained by the bishop following his appointment last year.
Dr Priddis said Miss Jones had gone through "a painful process of becoming the woman she is".
"Sarah was open with us from the word go and has not sought to hide her medical history," he said.
"Everyone whom we felt needed to know, knew about her, and we are quite sure that no one has done anything wrong.
"Sarah has become a much-loved curate in the short time she has been part of the team."
Miss Jones' parishioners were told about her former life at an emergency meeting in the Ross-on-Wye parish church where she is assistant curate.
The Oxford University graduate left the meeting after the announcement so everyone could express their views, and she received "nothing but support".

Photograph

Anni Holden, director of communications for the Diocese of Hereford, said the decision was made to reveal Miss Jones' story after a national newspaper told them they wanted to publish a photograph of her as a man.
"We felt that churchwardens and others in the 14 parishes in Ross Team Ministry should be told about Sarah's background before they read it in the newspaper," she said.
"Sarah has received nothing but support from those who have been told".
"She was greeted with a round of applause when she went back into the church hall.
"We are sure that all parishioners will feel the same way."