poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, September 27, 2004

USM pilot program offers gender-neutral housing as alternative
By JUSTIN ELLIS, Portland Press Herald Writer

On the list of terrifying things you could expect in college, living in an unfamiliar place for a year with someone you don't know ranks pretty high.

For some students, that fear is amplified by concern over how others perceive their sexuality or sexual preference.

For growing numbers of college-age gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender students, wondering if they will be safe and understood where they eat and sleep is becoming a big question.

This fall, the University of Southern Maine began a pilot program designed to let students create a comfortable living arrangement.


Sex and gender in 1930s USSR
Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series part 15
By Leslie Feinberg

The question of when male homosexuality was re-criminalized in the Soviet Union is easy to determine: 1933-1934. Why such a regressive move occurred is, while politically indefensible, not inexplicable.

The czarist anti-homosexual legislation had been removed by the revolutionary Bolshevik leaders immediately after the October 1917 Revolution. When the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic first codified its own laws in 1922 and 1926, no anti-gay laws were written.

As late as 1929, the top medical body in the Soviet Union--the Expert Medical Council of the Commissariat of Health--held a conference to take up questions of homosexuality, cross-dressing, transsexuality and intersexuality (referred to as "hermaphroditism").

These deliberations did not demonstrate a uniform view, nor were they devoid of the prejudices or limitations on understanding of that era, but they were taken up with genuine scientific concentration. And the impact of, and respect for, the work of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld--a leader of the German Homosexual Emancipation Movement--was still apparent in the USSR.


Nine states vying in gay 'marriage' legalization race
By Cheryl Wetzstein

In the nine-way race to become the second U.S. state to legalize same-sex "marriage," New Jersey, Oregon and Washington state appear to be in the lead, lawyers and activists say.
  Legal advances in those three states make them the "likely candidates for following in the footsteps of the Massachusetts high court," said Lambda Legal lawyer David Buckel, referring to the landmark Goodridge decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which legalized same-sex "marriage" in that state as of May 17.

    Mr. Buckel and his colleagues represent seven homosexual couples who want to "marry" in New Jersey. Last week, they filed a request with the New Jersey Supreme Court, asking it to take their case immediately, bypassing the appellate court.

    If the New Jersey high court accepts the case, it will be on the fastest track because court briefings in that case are completed, Mr. Buckel said. The supreme courts in Oregon and Washington have also agreed to hear similar lawsuits, he said, but their briefing processes have only just begun.


Study suggests gender
UCLA research shows 54 genes influence sexual identity; challenges idea of homosexuality as lifestyle choice
Mary Pumphrey, Cavalier Daily Senior Writer

Questioning 30 years of research that attributes the differentiation between male and female brains to the influence of sex hormones, a study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles claims to have identified 54 genes that may trigger the differences between male and female brain development long before birth.

The authors of the study claim that their findings may offer physicians a tool for gender assignment for babies born with ambiguous genitalia and may lend support to theories of biological determination of gay and lesbian identity.


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