poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Critics call province cowards for failing to cover sex-change surgeries
Keith Leslie
Canadian Press

TORONTO -- Ontario's Liberal government has ''chickened out'' of reinstating medicare coverage for sex change operations for fear of a public backlash, deputy NDP leader Marilyn Churley charged Thursday.

Churley accused the Liberals of backing off a pledge while in opposition to restore funding for the procedures, which left numerous patients in the lurch when they were delisted by the previous Conservative government in 1997.

''They promised they'd reverse that decision,'' but backed out amid a storm of controversy over the more heavily publicized - and criticized - move last May to delist chiropractic services, physiotherapy and eye exams, she said.


Transmissions: No time to play it safe
By Gwendolyn Ann Smith

For me, November is dominated by two things. Seven years ago, I founded a project called Remembering Our Dead, focusing on anti-transgender violence. It is from this project that the Transgender Day of Remembrance began. It will be held on November 20 across the world and in your own hometown.

November is also the realm of political elections, and this year was one of the most involved elections I've ever been party to. It was also one of the first elections to so directly involve me, with an incumbent president who backs a constitutional amendment to ban my marriage, amongst other things.

This November, both the election and the Transgender Day of Remembrance have certain parallels that I suspect few would realize. Let me explain.

One case I've ended up intimately involved with due to the Remembering Our Dead project is the brutal murder of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo. Last Spring, her murderers were brought to trial, and everyone was pretty sure this case would be a "slam dunk." Nevertheless, there were some things that didn't seem right, such as the Deputy District Attorney's desire to downplay Miss Araujo's transgender status, and all-but-discarding the hate crime enhancement. Indeed, in retrospect, I feel he was doing all he could to pretend that Gwen's gender was irrelevant, even though she was killed due to her gender.


Letter From Phnom Penh: Gay Marriage Accepted Here
Commentary, Cyril Chin-Kidess,
Pacific News Service,

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia--Anyone disheartened by the way many U.S. leaders cast gay marriage as a "threat" to moral values should remember that there is a world beyond the reach of America's courts and legislatures, where gays and lesbians and their unions are acknowledged and accepted, often without great fanfare. Take my story, for instance.

Although I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I've lived abroad for the last 10 years and have been with my partner, Theo, for eight years. Theo is a German diplomat, so we move around a lot. At the beginning of this year, Theo was offered a posting to Phnom Penh. He accepted on the condition that the German foreign ministry find a way for me to accompany him.

While Germany legally recognizes same-sex unions and the German foreign ministry supports our partnership, the Cambodian government does not, nor would it grant me the same long-stay diplomatic visa typically issued to a diplomat's spouse. I could, of course, have tried to find a job in Cambodia and apply for a work permit. But if I wanted to live in Cambodia solely on the grounds of my relationship with Theo, I would have to go in and out of the country on a monthly tourist visa, become a student or go under the guise of Theo's domestic help -- a common scenario for gay diplomats and their partners worldwide, including those posted to the United States.


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