poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Charity bans trannies
By Tim Benzie

Mission Australia will refuse services to transgender women at three inner-city welfare centres after being granted an exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act.

Elizabeth Riley (pictured), coordinator of the Gender Centre, told Sydney Star Observer the effect on the tranny community would be devastating.

“I find that it’s extremely un-Christian for a Christian organisation and it’s certainly counter to the principles of welfare,” Riley said.

Mission Australia asked for the exemption in the interests of women accessing services at A Woman’s Place in Potts Point and Lou’s Place in Darlinghurst who had experienced abuse by men and felt “particularly unsafe in their presence”.


2 Texas transsexuals among the delegates
By Jack Douglas Jr.
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

BOSTON - Texas delegates Christina Ocasio and Vanessa Edwards Foster mingle in the crowd, talk political strategy and don't reveal, unless asked, what distinguishes them from nearly everyone else at the Democratic National Convention.

They are transsexuals, two of the five delegates identifying themselves as transsexuals among the thousands of Democratic Party delegates who have come to nominate John Kerry as their candidate for president.

Foster, 47, of Houston, went by the first name of Marvin while growing up as a male.

"I used to play football in high school. I was a safety. I wasn't one of these sissy little kids who ran out of bounds," she said.


Are men the new women?

Why do New York's lesbian sheboys call themselves "he"? Stephanie Theobald reports.

The extent to which the gender boat is being rocked in New York became clear last week when a female friend took me to Moby's new vegan cafe, TeaNY, on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

This place is very hip, and my friend wanted me to meet her equally hip new girlfriend. Not only was she sporting the vintage pizza-delivery boy look fashionable among downtown lesbians, but she insisted on being referred to as "he", in spite of the fact that "he" resembled nothing so much as a cute, not even particularly androgynous, baby dyke.

I was just getting my head around referring to this 22-year-old girl as "he", when in came another girl with long, blonde hair stuffed up into a chimney-sweep cap, wearing a customised T-shirt that read, "Some fags fight back". Had  I noticed that "her" breasts were bound, asked my friend. I hadn't.

But over the weekend I was introduced to a variety of these no-hormones, no-surgery "boy poseurs". They were all fiercely intelligent, aged from 16 to 26 and identified variously as "boiz", "hes" "shes" and one "queer genderfreak transboygirl fagdyke". Their role models were people such as gender warrior academic and author of Female Masculinity (Duke University Press) Judith Halberstam, and Village Voice sex columnist Tristan Taormino (author of the cult classic The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women)


Court approves sex-change registration application

NAHA, Japan — The Naha Family Court on Wednesday approved an application by a transsexual to alter her officially registered sex from male to female under a new law, a support group said Thursday.

The approval is the first known case since legislation took effect July 16 enabling people with what is called gender identity disorder to change their sex in their family registry under certain conditions, according to a support group called ""


Latino gays to show pride in September
Club plans events
The Salinas Californian

A five-day series of Mexican gay-pride events are scheduled to take place at Franco's Norma Jean's, 10639 Merritt St., Castroville, on Sept. 10-19. Information: 633-2090.
When Hispanic Heritage Month arrives in September, the red, white and green flags won't be the only ones fluttering with pride in Monterey County: The rainbow flag that symbolizes gay solidarity also will fly.

Ernie Sanchez, owner of Franco's Norma Jean's Club in Castroville, will sponsor the first Mexican Gay Pride celebration, a weeklong series of events aimed at raising money to promote awareness of sexually transmitted diseases in the Latino gay community. Sanchez will use all proceeds to distribute free condoms and informational pamphlets about AIDS to his customers, he said.

"I'm trying to do something positive here," said Sanchez, who lives in Salinas. "There's nothing out there for the Mexican community."

The celebration will begin Sept. 10 with a Mr. Mexico contest, which will feature Mexican attire and swimsuit competitions and a $200 grand prize.


Gay teen settles suit against cops

LINCOLN -- What was originally a $1 million civil rights suit brought against the town's police department by a gay teen-ager has been settled for an undisclosed sum.

East Providence resident Jesse Ousley had claimed that, nearly four years ago, off-duty police officer Kevin Harty beat him bloody during a roadside confrontation, then conspired with other officers to cover up the evidence and trump up charges against Ousley.

Prior to settlement, the case had made its way through the pretrial process and was awaiting a slot on the ProvidenceU.S. District Court calendar.

In a July 17 letter to Police Chief Robert Kells, town attorney Michael DeSisto wrote, "Even though we agreed to the settlement, it does not mean we believe the officers were at fault.

"On the contrary, we believe that the officers did nothing wrong in this incident.However (Ousley's) settlement demand dropped so precipitously, and so low, that (a decision to accept) was the only responsible course."


Homophobia causes real emotional damage

Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, sites the work of the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and psychiatrist Robert Spitzer to back her claim that gays can be changed to heterosexuals ("Homosexuality needs change, not marriage," July 22). Anyone who believes her claim should read Wayne Besen's new book, "Anything but Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth." Besen's four years of well-documented research expose unscientific research, false statistics, and unsuccessful results of "ex-gay ministries" to discredit NARTH and Dr. Spitzer.

Real people are being harmed by the "ex-gay ministries" and the false belief that gays can change their sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association says, "The potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior." The APA is joined by all the leading medical associations in condemning "ex-gay ministries" as harmful practices that can cause severe emotional damage. In despair some gays resort to suicide after unsuccessful attempts to change and adapt to an adverse society.


Signature solicitors are removed from fair
Petitioners for ban on gay marriage asked to leave
By Craig Webb
Beacon Journal staff writer

TALLMADGE - Solicitors seeking signatures Wednesday to help place a proposal on the November ballot to ban gay marriage in Ohio were bounced from the Summit County Fair.

Sheriff's deputies asked the petitioners to leave the fair's ticket entrance while a dispute ensued over the interpretation of Ohio law governing activities at fairgrounds.

Tom Shirer, who works for California-based Arnold Political Consultants, argued that an Ohio law that prohibits anyone from attempting to ``cry, hawk, sell, or expose'' anything on any public road or within 1,000 feet of an entrance or exit to any fairground doesn't apply to him because he isn't selling anything.

Shirer said he is only seeking signatures for a petition to amend the Ohio Constitution and offering fairgoers the opportunity to register to vote.


Jacques pushes for gay rights
By Michael Kunzelman / News Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Less than eight months removed from her seat in the Massachusetts Senate, Cheryl Jacques used her turn on the Democratic National Convention podium yesterday to call for granting equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples -- a thorny issue for John Kerry's presidential campaign.

     Jacques, now head of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-rights political group, told convention delegates that "marriage equality" allows same-sex couples to "do what families do
best -- care for each other in sickness and in health."

     Even though Kerry has not expressed support for legalizing gay marriage, the former state senator from Needham offered a gushing endorsement of the Democratic presidential nominee and his running mate, John Edwards.

     "They know that the Constitution is a vessel of freedom, not a tool for discrimination," said Jacques. "Together we will send a message for all Americans to hear, that the light of inclusion will once again wipe away the darkness of division."


India HIV Children Suffer Discrimination
Associated Press Writer

NEW DELHI -- Sitting cross-legged on the cement floor of a home for abandoned children, 7-year-old Rupa -- one of at least 60,000 Indian children infected with the AIDS virus -- laughed excitedly, clicking the beads on an abacus.

"I've done it. I've won," she shouted, finishing her simple math problem ahead of a dozen other children crowding the sparsely furnished room. Rupa's bright eyes and high-spirited nature do not reflect her harrowing tale -- of being shunned by neighbors and turned away from the homes of relatives when they learned she had tested positive for HIV, contracted at birth from her mother.

Rupa's bright eyes and high-spirited nature do not reflect her harrowing tale -- of being shunned by neighbors and turned away from the homes of relatives when they learned she had tested positive for HIV, contracted at birth from her mother.

India and the United Nations have said 5.1 million adults are infected with the HIV virus here, the second-highest number in the world after South Africa. Child sufferers are not included in that figure, but the government's AIDS control agency said 60,000 Indian children have the virus, while independent organizations have said the number may be closer to 100,000.


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