poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Students Launch Campaign to Stop Bullying Based on Gender Stereotypes
“Girlie-Man! Bitch! Sissy!”

WASHINGTON (September 20, 2004) You may be out of high school, but you probably remember what it was like: some kids just did not fit in. They were too masculine or too feminine; too aggressive or too passive; they “threw like a girl” or “acted like a boy.” Even today students who fail to live up to classmates’ expectations of masculinity or femininity are targets for bullying, taunting, and ostracism, and sometimes even violent assault.

That’s why this month student groups on 24 campuses in 18 states are launching a coordinated campaign to combat bullying caused by gender stereotypes. Training and organizational assistance is provided by the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition’s GenderYOUTH Network. The campuses where actions are taking place include the Carleton College Gender and Sexuality Center (MN), College of Saint Scholastica (MN), Connecticut College, Cornell College (IA), Iowa State University, Manchester College (IN), San Lorenzo Unified School District (CA), Sarah Lawrence College (NY), University of Louisville, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, and Unity College (ME).

"Everyone - male, female, of color, gay, straight, transgender, young or old - has the right to learn and grow in a safe environment, regardless of whether they fit someone’s ideal for a real man or a real woman," said Kristin Effland , GenderYOUTH Program Coordinator. “Students around the country are saying it’s time to drop the labels, name-calling, and bullying aimed at kids who don’t perfectly fit gender norms.”

“We’d like to see a campus where a male student who studies more than he chases girls is as comfortable as the ‘All-American jock.’ And where a female student who plays sports and is aggressive is not automatically assumed to be a lesbian,” said Patricia Coleman, a graduate student at Iowa State University


Trouble rears up on ranch: Hermaphrodite (sic) horsewoman charges town with bias
By J.M. Lawrence

Gossips in a small, bucolic town are ruining a black female horsebreeder's business by falsely claiming she's a transsexual ever since she launched a plan to house migrant workers in mobile homes on her farm, she says in a lawsuit.

      ``They really don't want me here. They're trying to drum me out and I'm not going to let it happen,'' said Patricia Renee Pina, 45, who opened the Aces Wild Farm and Ranch in Plympton seven years ago.

      She's suing town officials and countered the gossip with a very personal declaration filed in federal court in Boston. Pina revealed she is a hermaphrodite.

      ``I was born on Aug. 15, 1959, with a physical condition characterized as, and commonly referred to as `genital ambiguity,' '' she wrote. ``This problem was resolved in my early childhood. I am a woman of Cape Verdean extraction, African-American, who is perceived not to be a woman by persons in positions of power in the Town of Plympton.''


A unique library for gays, lesbians:

[India News] Kolkata, Sep 26 : A unique library catering to the literary and academic needs of gays and lesbians has come up in this city.

This library, like any other, stocks on fiction, non-fiction, research documents, journals, magazines and newspapers. Yet it is different because it is meant to be primarily a resource for anyone interested in homosexuality or trans-sexuality.

Set up by Saathii, a voluntary group working with sexual minorities, the library aims to fill the void that exists in availability of information on homosexuality, trans-sexuality and sexual diseases.

The library's founders said homosexuality had a long history, but one could hardly find a place where material on homosexuality has been collated for ready reference, be it for research or personal knowledge.

"People want to know about homosexuality and its history all the time. They come up with doubts like whether homosexuality is legal in other countries," said Saathii member Anupam Hazra.


Questions and Answers With . .

Wanda R. Alston is the first acting director of the Cabinet-level Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, which Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) created this month. She had been the mayor's adviser on those issues. Alston, who is on leave until November to work for the presidential campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), spoke by telephone with staff writer D'Vera Cohn.

Q Tell me about yourself and your background in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

AIn the early '90s, I went to work for Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization for Women. I was an open lesbian looking for a job. I saw a correlation between women's rights and lesbian rights. It was based on the civil rights model. . . . I [also] got involved being co-chair of a local black gay and lesbian coalition, which at the time was the oldest one in the country. I was able to get involved with them and really work on local issues and see how irrelevant the black community was at the time in dealing with the white gay community..



What is the California Insurance Equality Act?

The California Insurance Equality Act (AB 2208) is a non-discrimination statute that prohibits insurance providers from issuing policies or plans that treat registered domestic partners and married spouses differently. It requires all policies and plans that provide benefits to spouses or registered domestic partners to provide them to both categories and do so in an identical manner.

Does the bill apply to all types of insurance?

Yes, in addition to health insurance plans (including managed care plans), the Act applies to auto, rental, disability, life, and all other forms of insurance regulated by the Department of Insurance.


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