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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Canadian Cyclist Kristen Worley Reveals She Is A Transsexual

All Headline News
Yvonne Lee - All Headline News Staff Reporter
February 22, 2006 10:00 p.m. EST

(AHN) - Canadian cyclist and 2008 Olympic hopeful Kristen Worley reveals that she had sex-reassignment surgery to change her gender from male to female, reports MSNBC.com.

Worley has been talking about her gender change to sports organizations in Canada in the hopes of receiving permission to compete in the Beijing Olympic games.

She speaks publicly about her gender for the first time to MSNBC.com.

Worley says, “I shouldn’t be worrying about what people are going to do when they find out, but I’m so afraid."

She adds, “I'm just like any other girl there.”

International Olympic Committee rules instituted in 2004 say a transsexual athlete must wait two years after sex-change surgery before competing.

Helen Carroll, sports project coordinator for the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, says to MSNBC.com: The new IOC rule "set a precedent for other organizations.

She adds, "The U.S. Track and Field Organization has adopted rules very similar to the IOC ruling. Australia and Europe changed their professional women’s golf rules so that Mianne Bagger could compete.”

No athlete in an Olympic game has ever admitted to being transsexual. Worley says she expects a backlash from fellow cyclists now that her sex change is public.

However, she says: “This could not be a more important issue — for sports and for society.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Guatemala: Transgender People Face Deadly Attacks

Human Rights Watch

Victims Concerned That Police May Have Been Responsible for These Crimes

(New York, February 21, 2006)— The Guatemalan government must take immediate steps to stop a pattern of deadly attacks and possible police violence against transgender women and gay men, and end impunity for these crimes, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Guatemalan President Oscar Berger.

One transgender woman was murdered and another was critically wounded on December 17 when they were gunned down on a street in Guatemala City. Paulina (legal name Juan Pablo Méndez Cartagena) and Sulma (legal name Kevin Robles) were stopped by four men on motorcycles at an intersection in Guatemala City's Zone One, the center of the city.

Eyewitnesses reported that the assailants were wearing police uniforms and riding police motorcycles that identified them as members of the national police. The assailants shot Paulina twice in the head, killing her immediately. They shot Sulma three times, and she is still recuperating from her injuries.

Paulina, a former sex worker, worked for the Organización de Apoyo a una Sexualidad Integral frente al SIDA (OASIS), a nongovernmental organization that works to prevent HIV/AIDS and to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Sulma is a volunteer with OASIS and a sex worker.

Since the attack, Sulma and other transgender sex workers have reported being subject to undue police surveillance, causing them to fear for their lives. According to Sulma's report to OASIS, police warned her that, as witness to the attack, her life is in danger. OASIS said that its office and personnel have been under undue police surveillance. According to OASIS, the Office of the Public Prosecutor has made no further investigations into the attack since preliminary investigations in late December.

"These cold–blooded shootings are just the latest tragedy in Guatemala's pattern of deadly violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity," said Jessica Stern, researcher in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The police have not done enough to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and now there is concern that they may be responsible for someone's murder."

LGBT people in Guatemala regularly face attacks and threats. In 2005, at least 13 transgender women and gay men were murdered in Guatemala. On December 21, two men in an unmarked car with tinted windows robbed two gay male sex workers at gunpoint in Guatemala City.

In the space of a single month, three gay men were murdered in Guatemala City late last year. Luis Sicán was shot to death on November 6 in Guatemala City’s Zone One. Flavio José Morales was shot to death in Zone Three of on October 12. Héctor Osmín García was shot to death by a security guard on October 7 while distributing flyers for a beauty salon. According to OASIS, there have been no prosecutions in any of these cases.

In its letter to Guatemala's president, Human Rights Watch outlined several steps that the government should take to end the violence and intimidation targeting LGBT people in Guatemala.

First, the government must ensure prompt, thorough and impartial investigations of the December 17 shootings — as well as other similar attacks reported over the past year. The authorities must also ensure that those responsible for these crimes are brought to justice.

In addition, the Guatemalan government should end any undue police surveillance of Sulma and other transgender sex workers, of OASIS and other NGOs advocating for the rights of LGBT people in Guatemala.

Human Rights Watch recommended that national police work with representatives of LGBT and sex worker communities to introduce sensitivity training in accordance with human rights principles to end discrimination against LGBT people and sex workers.

"Sulma has good reason to fear that the people who attacked her could strike again,"said Stern. "Guatemalan authorities must take immediate steps to protect LGBT people and hold their assailants accountable."

Human Rights Watch sent letters today detailing these human rights abuses to President Oscar Berger, the Office of the Minister of the Interior, the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the national police, the Solicitor for Human Rights, and the Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Is this justice?

Bay Area Reporter

Last month, three men were sentenced for their role in the Gwen Araujo murder. Two of these men, Michael Magidson and Jose Merel, were give a mandatory 15 years to life sentence. The third, Jason Cazares, was sentenced to a mere six years for voluntary manslaughter. As a further indignity, he was allowed to remain a free man until the end of March -- so he could see the birth of his third child.

Let me back up for a moment, to a night in October of 2002. My television was showing a grainy photo of a young boy and talking about the body of said youth being found. It caught my ear because they said something about the victim "dressing like a woman" or some such.

In the years that followed, we learned more. We heard about a transgender girl who fell in with a group of men -- the men who would ultimately beat and strangle her to death, then bury her in a shallow grave. We saw defense lawyers try twice to convince jurors that their reason for murdering this girl was because they "panicked" over her transgender status.

I was one of a handful of people who became close to this case, starting on that first night in 2002. I attended Gwen's viewing, and held hands in a circle of mourners outside her funeral. I went to the preliminary hearing, and helped stage a protest when Michael Magidson was attempting to get bail reinstated after that hearing. I attended court throughout both trials.

Throughout this, I asked for only one thing: justice. I find myself conflicted, with all of this over, as to whether we've achieved it.

Don't get me wrong: I'm glad that two of her murderers are going to prison, and will likely be there for many years to come. Fifteen-to-life, particularly in the case of murder, will tend to the latter end of the sentence.

At the same time, there is another man who will spend a mere six years total behind bars. This is less his time served, of course, which will make his stay seem all that shorter. He was fortunate enough to gain bail after the first trial, and has remained out.

Gwen's family gets to look at a box of ashes. They will never again see Gwen, or hear her voice, or feel her touch.

I am biased, of course, being a transgender woman who is also very involved with the issue of anti-transgender violence. I have also gotten to know Gwen's family, and feel the pain they have faced over the last three and a half years. I have a hard time finding justice, knowing that they will always have to live with this.

That said, there are things beyond the trials and sentences that I can look at. When the story first broke in the media, and for some time afterward, there was a continual fight to get the media to use Gwen's name and her preferred pronoun. Over the last three years, everyone has had to remain diligent with the media, continually reminding outlets when necessary.

Indeed, it only became common to see the correct name in use throughout the media because Gwen's family had her name posthumously changed.

That it remained in the media is another important aspect. This case has received more media attention that any anti-transgender murder before it. In my own archives -- used to create and maintain the Remembering Our Dead Project -- the folder of Gwen Araujo related material is larger than the records on all other anti-transgender murders combined. The case got heavy media coverage in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it was also covered throughout the country and in some foreign outlets. It was treated as a major news story.

The upshot of this is that the story is known outside of LGBT circles: it is a story that a great many people know at least the basics on, even if they've never knowingly met a transgender person in their life. This, if anything, increases awareness of transgender issues in ways that one could never expect.

This case has also spawned transgender civil rights bills in cities nearest the murder, has helped spur a bill to attempt to render useless the "panic" defense, and has even re-ignited efforts for a federal hate crimes bill that is inclusive of gender expression and identity.

Finally, this case has helped to bring awareness of transgender issues into schools. Last November, the Gay-Lesbian-Straight Educator's Network had me speak at a middle school not far from where Gwen Araujo used to live. I was very touched by this experience, knowing that somewhere amongst these 800 7th and 8th graders might be

Of course, I wish that could have come without Gwen Araujo's death in the first place -- but I'm glad that her death is not otherwise forgotten like so many others before and since.

So maybe this is how justice is achieved. There's no way that Gwen will come back, but maybe through her death we've seen the seeds be laid that will help prevent the same thing taking place again -- at least in her area.

Gwen is only one of hundreds, including the most recent case I've heard about -- the murder of Alexis King of Philadelphia. The local mainstream media is calling her a transvestite. The alleged killer is claiming a panic defense.

It begins again -- but, again, there is a chance for change.

Gwen Smith would do it all over again, if she had to. She's on the World Wide Web at www.gwensmith.com.

Trans/Forming Knowledge: A look at transgender identities, how they unsettle some basic assumptions

Chicargo Chronicle
By Jennifer Carnig
News Office
February 16

The Center for Gender Studies is sponsoring a conference this month that challenges the core of the fields of gender and sexuality studies by asking questions such as “What does it mean to be a woman?” “What does it mean to be gay or lesbian?”, and “Are those labels real or a construction imposed by a heteronormative society?”

“Trans/forming Knowledge” will focus on transgender studies, a relatively new field and one with few scholars and no established university or college department. But questions invoked by those in the field cannot be ignored, said George Chauncey, Professor in History and the College and Interim Director of the Center for Gender Studies.

“The emergence of transgender studies in recent years has raised far-reaching questions about the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of gender, women’s, queer and sexuality studies,” Chauncey said. “This symposium invites the community to consider the significance and implications of these questions by engaging in a sustained, interdisciplinary conversation with four of the field’s leading scholars.”

Included in the conference are two of the field’s founders—sociologist Aaron Devor and historian Susan Stryker—as well as Yale University women’s historian Joanne Meyerowitz and University of Southern California feminist theorist Judith Halberstam.

The contemporary transgender movement started in the early 1990s, emerging around the same time as queer studies but also intersecting with feminist theory, said Stryker, co-editor of The Transgender Studies Reader, due out from Routledge in June.

“The focus of the conference is to look at the impact of transgender studies on sexuality studies, gender studies and feminist studies,” she explained. “What’s interesting is that all of those fields in some way look at the relationship between sex, gender and sexuality—our bodies, our social roles and our desires. And each one of these fields has been productively unsettled by new work coming out in the field of transgender studies, which looks at the growing number of people who problematize what it means to be men or women. The self-identities of people that we call transgendered productively unsettle assumptions about sex, gender and sexuality for other people.”

Thinking about gay, lesbian and queer studies, Stryker explained, the whole idea of being same-sex depends on what the definition of “sex” is.

“You’re agreeing to an assumption of what a man is and what a woman is,” she said. “But how about somebody who was born female but never identified themself as a woman? Someone who had mastectomies, genital surgeries and now takes testosterone—who lives as a man—and has sex with men. Is that gay sex? That’s just one example of how transgender identities are unsettling a really basic assumption of queer studies.”

Thinking about women’s studies, Stryker asks a similar question—who is a woman? And perhaps more importantly, what is the nature of a gendered self—the nature of being a man or a woman?

While these questions may seem important only to a small segment of the population, Stryker said that the fact that such questions are being asked at all signals the start of a paradigm shift in gender studies and gay and lesbian studies that could have major repercussions.

“These questions become a critique for everyone and a launching point for a re-examination of how it is that all humans understand their bodies,” she said. “There is a whole new intellectual movement starting to happen.”

As she writes in her introduction to the forthcoming Transgender Studies Reader, “Ultimately, it is not just transgender phenomena per se that are of interest, but rather the manner in which these phenomena reveal the operations of systems and institutions that simultaneously produce various possibilities of viable personhood, and eliminate others. Thus the field of transgender studies, far from being an inconsequentially narrow specialization dealing only with a rarified population of transgender individuals É represents a significant and ongoing critical engagement with some of the most trenchant issues in contemporary humanities, social science and biomedical research.”

The conference begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Biological Sciences Learning Center 109, 924 E. 57th St. A screening of Stryker’s public television documentary, Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, will be followed by a discussion with the director. The film uncovers a 1966 event in which transgender people physically fought back against police harassment at a restaurant in San Francisco, a full three years before the more widely known Stonewall riots that occurred in New York’s Greenwich Village.

The discussion continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, in Room 122 of the Social Sciences Building, 1126 E. 59th St. In the morning, Chauncey, Devor and Stryker will discuss the intersectional origins and developments of transgender studies. Meyerowitz and Halberstam will then explore the implications of transgender studies in the afternoon session.

The conference is being organized with support from the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project and is free and open to the public. For more information, call (773) 702-9936 or visit http://humanities.uchicago.edu/orgs/cgs/.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fighting 'trans panic' through laws, disclosure

Southern Voice Online
Friday, February 10, 2006

When to reveal status remains tough subject in biased society, experts say.

Gwen Araujo died a brutal death.

After partying with a group of friends in September 2002, including having sexual contact with several young men, Araujo, 17, was invited to party with them again on Oct. 3, 2002.

But when the young men learned that night that Araujo had male genitalia, they beat and strangled her, leaving her body in a shallow grave. And when Araujo''''s attackers went on trial, they claimed their discovery justified their actions.

Late last month, the California Assembly approved a first-of-its-kind bill putting the state on record against the so-called "trans panic" and "gay panic" defenses used by some killers to receive lighter prison sentences.

Passed by the Assembly Jan. 26 and now pending before the state Senate, the bill is named for Araujo, and its approval came just one day before her assailants received the longest sentences allowed by law.

Michael Magidson, 25, and Jose Merel, 26, were sentenced to the mandatory terms of 15 years-to-life for second-degree murder. Jason Cazares, 26, pleaded no contest to manslaughter in a plea bargain and was sentenced to six years.

As part of their defense, the assailants said they believed Araujo to be female, had sexual contact with her, and then snapped when they found out she was biologically male. One defendant cried over and over, "I can''''t be gay, I can''''t be gay," according to court testimony.

California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-San Jose), who authored the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act, said her bill is dedicated to leveling the judicial playing field.

"It was exclusively Gwen''''s trans status that made her a target," Lieber said in an interview Feb. 8. "This murder was something we in the Bay Area thought only happened in rural, isolated places, and this crime really stuck with me and the residents here."

Obligation to tell?

Cole Thaler, staff attorney for transgender rights with the gay litigation group Lambda Legal, said the jury''''s decision to bestow the harshest punishments in the Gwen Araujo case is a hopeful sign the tide is beginning to turn against "trans panic" and "gay panic" defenses.

"These kinds of defenses are ''''heat of passion'''' defenses," Thaler said. "And the heat of passion defense results from how we as a society expect reasonable people to react in certain ways. When these kinds of defenses are successful, they are simply confirmation of homophobia and transphobia as being part of our values — and I argue that we don''''t want these as our societal values."

Courts haven''''t found that transgender people have any legal obligation to disclose their status to potential sex partners, Thaler said, tending to side against any kind of "sexual fraud" defense made in cases involving trans victims.

Society needs to be educated that trans people are who they say they are, regardless of their genitalia, he added.

"If you meet someone at a bar and decide to go home with them, there is no obligation to reveal your racial ethnicity or your religion," Thaler said. "A trans woman is accurately representing herself as a woman … The fact Gwen Araujo was born with male genitalia did not make her any less of a woman."

Disclosure ''''really big issue''''

Rachael St. Claire, a transsexual psychologist from Colorado, has experienced disclosure issues both personally and professionally, particularly with male-to-female clients.

"Disclosure is a really big issue for them," she said. "Male-to-female transgender people who are attracted to heterosexual men have a difficult time. And generally what I counsel is for the person to identify what their values are and what their intentions are," St. Claire said.

If a trans person is going to disclose to a partner for the first time, they may want to do it in a public place or even over the telephone to be safer, she said.

And as a transsexual woman who has faced disclosure many times in dating relationships, St. Claire said it''''s often a "relationship killer" with the heterosexual men to whom she is attracted.

"I don''''t think it is very safe to be having a relationship with a heterosexual man without telling them because of the potential violence," she said.

But even if a transgender person doesn''''t disclose her status to a date, it doesn''''t justify a physical attack, St. Claire stressed.

"That''''s like equaling a woman''''s responsibility for not being raped," she said.

Randi Ettner, a Chicago therapist and transgender specialist whose books include "Gender Loving Care: A Guide to Counseling Gender-Variant Clients," said the issue of disclosure is the most frequently asked question in her practice.

"Unfortunately, there is so much ignorance and prejudice about this condition that trans people have to be very careful who and how they tell someone," she said.

There is no "universal answer" when it comes to disclosure, she added.

"This is the most personal and private information about someone. You have to have some sort of trust," she said.

Ettner said she understands transgender people often walk a fine line, but she advises not waiting very long to disclose being transgender to someone you are dating.

"You don''''t want to let too much time go by so that the other person feels blindsided," Ettner said. "But in casual dating, there''''s also not the responsibility to bring up such a personal issue. I do think for pre-operative people engaging in sex who are not honest, they may be putting themselves in unsafe situations."

Still, revealing transgender status is not a first-date conversation, either, Ettner warned. Instead, she advocates getting to know a person and having that person get to know you, as well as trusting intuition about how the partner might react.

"You want them to know you have more value than just your genitals," she said.

No ''''100 percent protection''''

Gordene MacKenzie co-hosts and produces "GenderTalk" radio with her partner, Nancy Nangeroni, a transgender woman. MacKenzie said trans women, especially trans women of color, are particularly vulnerable to violence.

Education on every level — in schools, in state legislatures, with federal lawmakers — needs to occur to make the world safer for trans people as well as for people are simply different, MacKenzie said.

"We are dealing with a human rights and civil rights issue here," she said.

"Trans panic" defenses simply shift the blame to the victim, she added. "These strategies are defending bigotry and saying that because someone is of a certain gender, their deaths don''''t matter as much. We need to change our way of thinking."

Gwen Smith, a trans activist and writer, said she still faces some fear living openly as a transgender woman, and she has had friends murdered simply because of their gender identity.

"Being trans threatens a lot of people. It''''s the most visible form of homophobia, and it frightens people," she said.

In Araujo''''s case, she was simply living her life as honestly as she knew how, Smith said. Perhaps precautions could have been made, but the truth is there is no universal way to be safe in today''''s world for trans people.

"You can take self-defense courses, you can be more forthcoming with partners and be more careful about who you are with, but that does not guarantee 100 percent protection," she said.

Balancing safety, honesty

Law student Victoria Steinberg examined the Gwen Araujo case in an article titled "Heat of Passion Offense: Emotions & Bias in ''''Trans Panic'''' Mitigation Claims," published in the 2004-2005 Boston College Third World Law Journal.

Blaming trans crime victims for not disclosing their status removes responsibility from their attackers, Steinberg wrote.

Araujo "did not wear a sign on her forehead that said, ''''I am transgender, this is what my genitalia look like,''''" Steinberg argued. "But her killers didn''''t wear a sign on their foreheads saying, ''''We might look like nice high school boys, but really, we are transphobic and are planning to kill you.'''' That would have been a helpful disclosure."

A very deep distrust of gender non-conformity pervades our society, Steinberg observed, and that distrust is often acted out through violence against transgender people.

"We do not currently live in a society that is very tolerant of transgender identities, and so the transgender community is stuck with the difficult task of balancing two essential goals: safety and honesty.

"To this tricky balancing act is added the problem that even when a transgender person feels that he or she is honestly expressing their identity, that expression might feel to someone else like a lie or a surprise," she said.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hollywood hypocrisy

The Bay Area Reporter

Let's hear it for Felicity Huffman. To play the role of Bree in the film Transamerica, she had to be trained in how to play a transsexual learning to present as a woman, alter her voice, wear extensive makeup and a wig, and even don a phallus she nicknamed "Andy." All part of presenting her character – a pre-operative transsexual – to the masses.

As a result of her heartfelt portrayal, she won a Golden Globe Award. That's the latest in a slew of awards for this flick. There is even some Academy Award buzz around her performance. This would, of course, lead to comparisons between her and Hilary Swank, who took home an Oscar for her portrayal of Brandon Teena in the 1999 film Boys Don't Cry .

It really is great that Transamerica has done so well, and that Huffman's portrayal of a transgender woman has been so highly regarded. At the same time, I feel that the film and its accolades reveal another story, one that shows the shallowness, even hypocrisy of the world that is Hollywood.

The same week that Huffman won her Golden Globe, another story was unfolding on the small screen. On American Idol , we met Zachary Travis. Travis identifies as male, but has a look and sound that is decidedly female. He preformed Whitney Houston's "Queen of the Night" for the judges, and gave his all.

As fate would have it, I saw this performance with my sister, who just so happens to be active in music. She agreed that Travis's singing – while not the best out there by any stretch – was nonetheless better than some of the others who made the cut for American Idol 's Hollywood studios that night.

Unfortunately, Travis was not chosen. This was hardly a surprise, given that all the teasers leading up to his performance were playing up the gender issues. They made sure to save this one for last, telling us about high heels, and offering a clip of Idol judge Randy Jackson questioning said contestant's gender.

Simon Cowell – who is known as the tough judge of the trio – did indeed take Travis's gender to task, referring to him as "atrocious" and "confused." The softest of the judges – Paula Abdul – also nixed Travis, reassuring him and everyone else that she was basing her opinion purely on Travis's singing.

Also within this same week, a Rolling Stone article came out on one of the two Wachowski brothers, of The Matrix fame. It is hardly a new story that Larry Wachowski has – fairly firm rumor has it – begun to show signs of some pretty heavy feminization. There is also the issue of a name change from Laurence to Laurenca.

This Rolling Stone article – like those American Idol teasers – was plenty salacious, promising their real-life story may be "stranger than fiction." It was replete with tales of bondage clubs and pornography, and even quotes on "autogynephilia" from controversial professor J. Michael Bailey.

This is the heart of the issue. Huffman – and before her, Swank – did highly commendable portrayals of transgender people. They were showered with accolades for same. Yet the reality is that transgender people can only be portrayed: they will be hard-pressed to be accepted in Hollywood.

I am reminded of an issue several years ago, where it became obvious that Hollywood was hiring non-disabled actors and actresses to portray disabled characters. These performances also garnered those actors some acclaim.

Consider Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, Dustin Hoffman as Raymond "Rain Man" Babbitt, and Billy Bob Thornton as Karl Childers in Slingblade. One could contend that these performances gained so much notoriety because a non-disabled actor was able to "act" convincingly disabled. This is the same thing that Swank and Huffman have, perhaps, done within Transamerica and Boys Don't Cry .

Yet you would be hard-pressed to find actual, visible transgender people either in front of or behind the cameras. Huffman did indeed bring a reality toward playing the part of Bree – but why not a film featuring one of our real, actual transgender performers, written by transgender scriptwriters, and produced and directed by transgender filmmakers?

When Huffman appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, she was faced with a host focusing on "Andy" the phallus – and making disparaging comments about transgender people. Those watching got to hear Letterman say that he feels those who are gender variant might have once behaved as "normal," framing all who are transgender as being, by extension, abnormal.

The most telling moment in this interview, however, was when Letterman spoke of a former staffer of the show, now named Hope. Hope is a former staff member of the Late Show, and one who transitioned at that job.

Of course, to Letterman, Hope will always be – to paraphrase the talk show host – "Howard in a dress." Somewhere out there, Hope had to cringe through this, being both outed and disparaged in a single breath on late night television.

To her credit, Huffman corrected what she could correct, and appeared visibly pained over the things she could not. She has learned a lot from playing the part of a transsexual woman, I am certain – but there are far more people out there who would side with Letterman or Cowell before they'd side with her.

So kudos again to Huffman on her win, and for giving life to the character of Bree -- but let us not pretend that the dream factory that is Hollywood is enlightened. It remains a place of great stories, but precious little substance.

Gwen Smith wishes Hope, Laurenca, and Zachary the best out of a rough world. She's online at www.gwensmith.com.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Japan - Transsexual not allowed to register new gender in Gifu

Crisscross.com

GIFU — A family court in Gifu Prefecture has rejected a request filed by a male-to-female transsexual to officially register as a woman because she has two sons who were born before the sex change.

Atsuko Mizuno, 44, said Monday the Gifu Family Court rejected in a Jan 16 decision her request on the grounds that the law only allows people diagnosed with gender identity disorder to register their sex change if they do not have children. The law, implemented in July 2004, is based on the reasoning that children would be confused if a parent with such a disorder seeks to officially register a gender change.