poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Up Close: The illegal, and sometimes deadly, pursuit of beauty
By Shern-Min Chow / 11 News

They've been dubbed "pumping parties" -- where people gather for what they believe are cheap alternatives to plastic surgery.

Doctors and prosecutors say what's happening behind closed doors is not cosmetic, but down right criminal.

From little old grandmothers to men who desperately wanted to be women, silicone seemed to be the answer.

It turned out be the wrong answer, and even a deadly one. Delifino Gonzales died as a result of the injections.


Scotland accused of homophobia

Glasgow, Scotland, (UPI) -- The Scottish government has been accused of homophobia after it delayed a sexual health plan following pressure from the Catholic Church.

The sexual health strategy was supposed to have been published already, but has been delayed until at least the end of the year, The Scotsman reported Sunday.

The sexual health experts who wrote the paper have claimed their findings were "watered down" by ministers in what they believe is an attempt by the government to avoid controversy.


Nazareth court sets precedent in same-sex couple case
By Yuval Yoaz

Same-sex partners are eligible to be considered common-law spouses according to the inheritance law, Nazareth District Court ruled yesterday in a precedent-setting decision.

According to the decision, taken by a majority of two judges to one, an individual who maintained a joint household for some 40 years with his partner, who died four years ago, is eligible to inherit that partner's apartment even though a will had never been written concerning the matter.

The relationship between the plaintiff, 77-year-old I.M., and his partner S.R., began in the early 1960s when they worked together at the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv. A romantic relationship developed between the two over the years. S.R. purchased an apartment in 1972 in which they both lived.

In 2000, S.R. died without formally leaving the apartment to his partner. As he has no close family members who could be considered heirs, S.R.'s property must be transferred to the state, according to law


At the Door of the Mosque
By Ty Jalal

In every mosque I have ever entered there are two doors. 

One door is usually wide, formal, inviting. Inside, you may find racks of shoes and then a large open space that quickly fills with neat lines of men in various stages of salat, saying their prayer of greeting to the mosque.

In the other door, often narrower, sometimes leading to a winding corridor or up a flight of stairs, women bustle in long dresses, jilbab, tunics and loose pants, their children running between them, little ones grasping at their mother’s legs. In the women’s prayer area they fan out. There is nothing orderly inside this door, as women sit leaning against walls or in small groups in the middle of the floor, trying to keep their children gathered around them. When the iqamah comes over the loudspeaker, they fall in


Republicans and Democrats, oh my!
Noncelebrity reporters are all treated with the same careful insouciance
By Rex Wockner

Do reporters for the gay press get treated the same as everyone else when they undertake the tedious process of getting credentialed for and covering the U.S. national political conventions? Yup, pretty much.
Since the people who issue the credentials don't fully comprehend the concept of someone like me who works independently and writes an article that is published simultaneously in multiple cities, Tracy Baim at Windy City Times "assigned" me to the conventions.
That gave me an actual place to apply for my credentials: the House Periodical Press Gallery in Washington, D.C. I sent an application, a letter from Tracy, clippings from past conventions, and a copy of my police-issued media ID.


Leaders In Eugene, Oregon Call For Calm
by Newscenter Staff

(Eugene, Oregon) Fearing that the passage an amendment to the Oregon constitution banning same-sex marriage will result in discrimination and possibly violence against gays and lesbians the mayor elect and the out-going mayor of Eugene have issued an appeal for calm.

Jim Torrey and Kitty Piercy issued the joint statement calling for understanding and tolerance.

The letter reminds people that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation remains illegal in Eugene despite the ban on gay marriage, and it says that everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but the mayors want to be sure everyone feels safe, and respected.

The public letter was the idea of Mayor Elect Kitty Piercy who then asked Mayor Torrey to join her in making the statement.">Krafty


US Presidential Election Reaction from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Statement of Paula Ettelbrick, executive director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:

"If the last four years is a guide, the result of this election will have disastrous consequences not only for LGBT people in the US, but around the world. Over the last four years, the Bush Administration has built undeniable alliances with the Vatican and the Organization of Islamic Conferences to fight any effort in the world to recognize the basic human rights of LGBT people. Together, this unholy alliance has waged a vicious battle against the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in the United Nations Human Rights Commission which, if passed, would call on nations around the world to refrain from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Together, this alliance has openly threatened governments inclined to support our basic human rights. The Bush Administration has exported its "faith-based initiatives" around the world, requiring adherence to abstinence only and other fundamentalist values as conditions for receiving HIV prevention funds, particularly in Africa. It has required that any clinic, social service program or other agency that receives international development funds from the US pledge that it will not use any of its funding - whether from the US or private foundations - toward work with or outreach to sex workers - a mandate with terrible consequences, especially, for many transgender people around the world for whom there are currently very few other economic opportunities.


Ruslan Sharipov Granted Asylum in the United States
Ruslan Sharipov, an independent journalist and human rights activist from Uzbekistan has been granted political refugee status in the United States. We celebrate this victory with him.

In a statement to IGLHRC, Ruslan Sharipov writes:

"I was told that if I didn't leave Uzbekistan I would either be killed in Bukhara or sent back to Tovaksay prison. Thus on June 25, 2004 I had to leave Uzbekistan. I fled to Moscow on June 28, 2004 where I spent several months. I was given asylum by the United States and an International Red Cross passport which allowed me to travel to the United States on October 21st, 2004.

I am currently living with my family in California and would like to express my gratitude to IGLHRC, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, the World Association of Newspapers, PEN and so many other organizations who offered me support during this time and played key role in ensuring that I am finally free and safe."


Andhra tribals forced into flesh trade

Warangal: When Bukhya Veeranna returned home a week ago, his parents were shocked. They could no longer call him their son.

The 20-year-old, who disappeared last year, had come back as a eunuch, wearing a sari, heavy make-up and had flowers in his plaited hair.

Veeranna also had a new name — Jyothi


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