poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Teenagers with HIV/AIDS dare to speak out
A. Junaidi, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

What does the public need to know when a group of young people with HIV/AIDS gather and engage in scientific -- not self-pitying -- discussion?

Certainly, their courage to "come out of the closet" and to share their life stories is something that must be lauded, against the prevailing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

The young people, mostly in their 20s, did not only make a public outcry of what had happened to them, but they also delivered a strong demand to the government to give much-needed attention to young people living with HIV/AIDS by establishing "youth-friendly services at health centers" immediately.


CNN refuses to air gay Republican ad

Cable news giant CNN has informed the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans that it will not air its new television advertising campaign, which calls for inclusion of gays and their issues in the Republican Party platform. The ad is in response to the rejection of a Log Cabin "unity plank" by the party's platform committee last week and the adoption of language calling for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and the outlawing of all legal recognition of gay relationships. While other cable and local broadcast outlets are airing the ad, CNN claimed that its images are "too controversial." "We are deeply disappointed that CNN has refused our voices the opportunity to be heard," said Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero. "Last week we told the Republican Party that you cannot sugarcoat the vicious and mean-spirited platform. Today we want CNN to know that you cannot sugarcoat the politics of fear and intolerance that lead to hate."

Brouder denies benefits for domestic partners
By NATE CARLISLE of the Tribune’s staff

The president of Columbia College says he will not act on a proposal to give domestic partner benefits to employees, killing the measure recommended by the faculty.

Columbia College President Gerald Brouder yesterday in an interview repeated what he said he told faculty in a meeting before the start of the semester: The proposal will remain on his desk and will not go to the institution’s trustees for their consideration.

Among other things, Brouder said allowing benefits for gay and lesbian couples might cause problems at the college’s 15 military campuses. He said he would not permit domestic partner benefits under his administration.


Supreme Court Allows Group to Intervene in Lawsuit

Little Rock (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court Tuesday granted a requested by leaders of an effort to constitutionally ban gay marriage to intervene in a lawsuit against the measure.

Last week, The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to knock the issue off the November ballot in Arkansas. The lawsuit claims the proposed amendment is deliberately vague to hide potentially far-ranging effects on civil unions, single people and heterosexual couples.

An attorney for the Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee said today that his group looks forward to presenting its case in opposition to the ACLU before the state's highest court.


Kansas Supreme Court Hears Gay Teen Appeal
by Newscenter Staff

(Topeka, Kansas) The American Civil Liberties Union today asked the Kansas Supreme Court to reduce the sentence of a young man who is serving 16 years more in prison than he would if he were heterosexual because of Kansas's so-called "Romeo and Juliet" law. The law makes sexual relations with a minor a lesser crime if both people are teens, but only applies to opposite-sex relations.

"The Constitution guarantees that all citizens are supposed to be treated equally, but Matthew Limon is set to be in prison until he is 36 years old, while he would have been released before turning 20 if he were heterosexual," said Dick Kurtenbach, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. "We're not saying the state shouldn't punish those who break the law. We are only asking that the state do the right thing and treat gay teenagers the same as it does straight teenagers."


Good Old Gays
Homosexuality was an intrinsic tradition of ancient India, states a new research. Delhi Times brings you the findings which might help resolve the contemporary debate...

When art-curator Alka Pande, set out to conduct a research on homosexuality, she realised that unlike today's societal disapproval, alternate sexuality had been an intrinsic part of ancient India. Her soon to be released Ardhanarishvara : The Androgyne -- Probing the Gender Within is evidence of the above fact. Says Pande, "Right from literature to mythology and religion, homosexuality in ancient India is considered to be the ultimate and acceptable form of the sacred kind."

In fact, while society maintains that men and woman are "made that way", various studies prove there are at least thirteen types of bisexualities, as defined by sexual desires and experiences. On the other hand, cross-dressing is considered to be a highly erotic form of sexuality. Reason? One becomes "more than what he or she was before and often feels more attractive in the guise of the opposite sex". Says Pande, "It draws attention to the real gender of the cross-dresser, while creating a hyper sexual illusion. "


Size matters

However well-meaning, doctors who perform intersex surgery employ a very finite tool in making their decision. The first measure of manhood is a ruler: If a penis is less than one inch (2.5cm) at birth, it doesn’t count. And if it’s more than three-eighths of an inch (0.9cm) long, it can’t qualify as a clitoris either. Any appendage that falls in the middle must be fixed. Then there’s the question of the urethral opening, which must be in the right place — men don’t pee sitting down. A curving penis must also be corrected.

For a boy to be a boy, he ought to have two testicles just below a straight penis, and only one opening down there. If the genitals fall short, a paediatric urologist will almost always assign the infant a female gender, remove anything protruding too far and prescribe oestrogen at puberty. A talented surgeon can construct a vagina using a piece of the bowel, although the woman who owns it will never experience any sensation inside.


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