poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Iran's transsexuals get Islamic approval, but!
Transsexuals face tough times from their families, discrimination in medical circles, are branded homosexual.
By Aresu Eqbali - TEHRAN

Javad says he never felt quite right in his body, and for the past two years he has risked having his "arms and legs broken" by a family that refuses to accept his efforts to sort the problem out.

"I'd rather die than stay like this," said Javad, a fresh-faced young man who would rather be called "Hasti", a feminine name meaning "existence".

The idea of a man wanting to become a woman, or vice-versa, is something of a taboo the world over. And Islamic Iran - with its conservative values and male-dominated make-up - is no exception.

Transsexuals face rejection and mockery in whatever state of gender they are in, and more often than not are simply branded homosexual - a criminal offence in Iran where th


This Man's Army
Retired gay general takes aim at 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
by Will O'Bryan

By 71, a thoughtful person should reach a point where he has learned a thing or two. One thing Keith Kerr has learned is that the Pentagon's policy for lesbian and gay military personnel, infamously known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," (DADT) is seriously flawed. As a retired, gay brigadier general of the California State Military Reserves, Kerr should know what he's talking about.

"It's not working," Kerr says, speaking by phone from his home in Santa Rosa, Calif. "It's still harming people. Careers are ruined. The military loses a lot of good people."

Kerr will be bringing his message to Washington on Oct. 2, when he addresses the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network "End the Witch Hunts" national dinner. SLDN is a national group whose mission is to end discrimination and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

During his military career, from his enlistment in 1953 to his retirement from the Reserves in 1995, Kerr says he never came out to another member of the armed forces. Kerr seems a very private person, though. It's not difficult to imagine him going through life with his cards very close to his chest. It's more difficult to imagine the courage it took for him to come out publicly in the pages of the New York Times in December 2003.


Military Recruits at HLS
Dean Kagan expresses strong objection to recruiting on campus
Crimson Staff Writer

Pentagon representatives visited Harvard Tuesday seeking to hire law students, despite recent efforts to keep military officials from using the school’s recruiting resources.

Dean Elena Kagan sent an e-mail to all Law School students and faculty Tuesday registering her vehement objection to the military’s presence on campus.

She wrote that the Armed Forces’ practice of discharging openly gay and lesbian service members—the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy—is a “fundamental wrong” that “tears at the fabric of our own community, because some of us cannot, while others can, devote their professional careers to the defense of their country.”

Students placed pink toy soldiers in classrooms Tuesday to protest Pentagon recruitment. And Samuel P. Tepperman-Gelfant ’00, president of the student gay rights group Lambda, said larger protests were slated to coincide with the military’s planned follow-up visits to the school next month.


Hate crime trial begins
By Jessica Portner
Mercury News

The three men who allegedly kicked and pummeled Angel Santuario near a Mountain View gay bar last year didn't know he was a married father of two small children who had just finished sweeping up at the nightclub, according to prosecutors.

But prosecutors say the trio shouted anti-gay epithets as they beat the 23-year-old man outside the King of Clubs bar on Leong Drive.

On Wednesday, the last of the three defendants, Jerrod Ian Cohn of Spokane, Wash., watched Santuario describe the beating as Cohn's felony assault and hate-crime trial began in Santa Clara County Superior Court.


Judge won't block gay marriage vote
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Fulton County judge on Wednesday declined to halt a Nov. 2 referendum on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, a major victory for supporters of the measure.

Opponents of the amendment said they will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Superior Court Judge Constance Russell ruled in a four-page order that the court has no authority to intervene before the legislative process is concluded. Until a constitutional amendment has been voted on by the electorate, she said, it is the equivalent of a bill that has not yet passed the General Assembly.


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