poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, September 12, 2004

New gender, new birth certificate
Law lets sex-change recipients get official ID

At least 21 Iowans over the past five years have successfully petitioned for new birth certificates that show a different gender.

The new documents, which replace the original birth certificates for all practical purposes, are issued under a 28-year-old law that allows sex-change recipients to rewrite the story of their births.

Advocates say the law simply allows them to have official identification that reflects who they truly are.

"Certainly, getting pulled over and your driver's license doesn't match is a fear," said Jordan Selha, who used to help run a transgender support group. "Changing the birth certificate is necessary to change other documents."

On the record
COPIES : To get a copy of your Iowa birth certificate, contact:
Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Vital Statistics,

Lucas State Office Building, First Floor, Des Moines, IA 50319; (515) 281-4944 (Callers should expect to hold - possibly 20 minutes or more - for an available operator.)

WRITTEN : Complete the application and attach a check or money order for $10 payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

PHONE : Credit cards are accepted for an additional processing fee.

OTHER: If you were born abroad, with U.S. citizenship at birth, you can request a birth certificate from U.S. Department of State, Passport Correspondence Branch, Overseas Birth, 1111 19th St. N.W. Suite 510, Washington, D.C. 20522-1705; (202) 955-0307


Tassie's transgender candidate
By Ellen Whinnett

TIFFANY Henderson has already stood for parliament six times, but this year's campaign will be her first as a woman.
Ms Henderson, 47, will be Tasmania's only transgender candidate when she runs as an independent for a seat in the Senate.

"I've had six attempts at parliament, in four names and two genders," she said.

"I also stood as the mayor of Brighton but I got bugger-all votes."


Bartlett backs teen bisexual for Senate
Nikki Protyniak

THE Democrats have picked a bisexual teenager, their party founder's son, a famous artist's great-granddaughter and an Italian immigrant to win over more women voters in Victoria.
Avowed bisexual Jess Healy, 19, will lead the party's Senate ticket on October 9


QUEER BEATS edited by Regina Marler (Cleis Press, $16.95, 207) The Beat writers, primarily Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, broke the reins of conformity in the 1940s and 1950s with their candid attitudes about gay sex, drugs and the celebration of individual expression. Marler's book, "Queer Beats: How the Beats Turned America On to Sex," includes book excerpts, poems, personal letters, interview transcripts and other writings of Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac and related figures on the Beat fringe. The book is divided into three sections: "The Road of Excess," "Male Muses," and "Queer Shoulder to the Wheel." Marler features excerpts from Ginsberg's "Howl" and Burroughs' "Naked Lunch."


Melissa’s fight, test case for new law
TODAY Nation Editor

“I was abused for 23 years . . . I did not come out . . . I wanted my marriage to work because I have three children. . .I was scared if I leave. What will happen to them [children]? . . . But that [her husband shooting her] was the last straw.”

Familiar words of countless, long-suffering Filipino women who refuse to leave the bondage of their abusive husbands for the sake of their family and children.

But these were not from an anonymous abuse victim. They came from Melissa Mercado Martel, now touted as the poster girl in the fight against violence on women and children. Her case, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said, now serves as an “inspiration for the countless women who can’t get out of their cases across classes, across the nation.”


Activists say they aren't satisfied with civil unions

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. Activists say they are not satisfied with Vermont's civil union law.

They described it at a Vermont Law School conference last week as second-class matrimony.

They say the law doesn't go far enough.

Law school professor Michael Mello says the civil unions route is the "separate but equal" approach to gay marriage rights. Mello said civil unions wouldn't pass civil rights muster.


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