poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, January 08, 2005

From: lbgt-india
Help required

Companions on a journey, appeal to the gay community to support fellow gay
brothers and sisters  affected by the recent tsunami strike.many  community
members who were living down Dehiwala, Koralawella, Mt. Lavinia and
Moratuwa and Mutwal beaches are badly affected by the recent disaster. As
of 09 members are reported missing while 131 members island wide reported
that they are affected by the tsunami.We are sad to report that 36 of our
community members have perished.

People could send their donations to drop-in centre of Companions at 46/50, Robert Drive, Robert Gunawardhane Mawatha, Kirulapone, Colombo-06.(between 10am to 4.30pm, persons in charge - Jude/ Ajantha, Tel:2514680)

Things that we need

1).Clean Clothes( medium sized)- Sarongs, T-shirts, shorts.


3). Bed Sheets and pillow slips

4). Towels

5).Dry rations- Rice, Dhall, sugar,curry power, chilli powder, sardine etc.

6). Soap and tooth brushes

7). cooking utensils

8). plates, cups, jugs, glasses, spoons etc.

in addition if you would like to assist an affected gay person financially,
we can arrange you to meet them direct and do so.We are also on the look
out for community members who can provide temporary shelter for affected gays.

Please help in any way that you can.

Sherman De Rose
Companions on a journey.

Friday, January 07, 2005


"No amount of money can replace the grief of people who have lost everything, including their families. However, we can only try to alleviate their hunger and their suffering so that they can have the strength to carry on with the rest of their lives. We urge all our members in the unaffected areas to give generously towards the victims of the tragedy".

“We need an enormous amount of help here" says Rosanna Flamer Caldera, co-secretary general of ILGA and funder of Equal ground, an LGBT association directly on the ground in Sri Lanka. "What is happening here is that we - and I mean just ordinary citizens - are buying food, water, medicines, clothes etc from our own money and sending it to the affected areas. We are running out of money now and we need more and more and soon!”

We are doing fine at the moment. Physically that is....emotionally and mentally....well, that is a different story. We are up to our necks in relief efforts. We have been helping to bag food supplies and doing admin and coordination - I have also volunteered to be the official photographer for the consortium of NGO's that are coordinating relief I will have to travel to the field in the next few days. Not sure how I am going to survive that...but one has to do that as well. It’s really grim here. We watch the death toll mounting...over 25,000 as of last night. The loss of livelihoods and displacement, the loss of infrastructure like roads, railways, hospitals etc is unimaginable. To recover from this we need a HUGE infusion of cash.

Equal ground has set up a charitable fund to collect monies for relief efforts. We hope to use those funds for small pockets of survivors who are not being reached by the larger agencies. We also intend using those funds for longer term sustainability rather than a short term injection”.

Rosanna Flamer Caldera
ILGA Co-Secretary general

You may donate online using ILGA’s donation page. Please indicate “Asia” in the Comments box at the bottom of the page. Money will be redistributed to LGBT, women and children organizations and administered by ILGA and Equal Ground.

It is difficult, even here in Sri Lanka, to imagine the extent and the magnitude of the catastrophic Tsumani that hit our small island on the morning of the 26th of December. Read more

In the aftermath of the terrible earthquakes and Tsunamis that have devastated parts of the Asian Region, both Kursad and I, speaking on behalf of the ILGA family, extend our deepest and sincerest sympathies and offer condolences and prayers to all our brothers and sisters and extended family in the Asian Region.
Rosanna Flamer-Caldera & Kursad Kahramanoglu, Co-Secretaries General ILGA

Transgendered Voices in 55 Words or Less - 2005
Transgendered Voices, Inc...a Wyoming, USA not-for-profit corporation...has organized a spoken works competition for Transgendered people of all types and nationalities..
The final date for receiving the entries is June 1, 2005 and submissions may be sent to Transgendered Voices starting on February 1, 2005.
There will be prizes of 500 USA dollars...currently the equivalent of 22,000 Indian rupees...for the best spoken work and the most innovative spoken work...and the total number of prizes will not be limited to two prizes.
An eBook of the text of the submissions and a CD of the spoken works will be published and sold for the benefit of Renaissance Transgender Association of Pennsylvania, of the oldest and most successful transgender organizations in America..
Each year TGVoices will choose another organization from a different country to support through the sales of the eBooks and CDs of that year's competition..
Please review our website at
 to learn the full details of the competition and to download the entry application..
Please forward this email notification of the competition to all friends, organizations and members of the organization that you feel may have interest in such a competition..
Thank You..
Elizabeth D. Jeffords - Executive Director
Transgendered Voices, Inc.
3333 East Bayaud Street - Suite 111
Denver, Colorado 80209
United States of America

303-320-6630 - Telephone

Thursday, January 06, 2005

check this web site out , if you can stand it, to see before and after satellite shots of tsunami areas ...

New York town scraps health benefits for gay couples

Four years after Eastchester, N.Y., became one of the first small towns to extend health benefits to city employees' same-sex partners, the rights were rescinded in a new labor contract. Only two employees had been receiving the benefits, and the Civil Service Employees Association and the police union agreed to drop the language conferring the benefits in contracts that were approved 3-2 Tuesday night by the town board. The two employees, whose names have not been made public, will continue to receive the benefits until age 65, and other employees have 60 days to sign up for them before the offer is revoked.

Gay Adoption Case May Evoke Supreme Court's 'Lawrence' Decision
Tony Mauro
Legal Times

Gay rights returns to the Supreme Court's agenda Friday, at the justices' first private conference of the new year.

The Florida gay adoption case, Lofton v. Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, is one of dozens of cases the Court will discuss at its conference with an eye toward granting or denying review.

If the justices do grant review, the case will give the Court its first chance to comment on the scope of its 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling that announced due process and privacy rights for homosexuals.

Note: please read the following article, and then, please send a letter to the editor about the lack of understanding of transgender people and use of pronouns.
thank you

Transsexual alleges rape in jail
Jason Auslander | The New Mexican

A transsexual arrested late last week in what Santa Fe police call a rare case of prostitution was allegedly raped early Sunday morning by an unknown man while incarcerated in the Santa Fe County jail, according to a news release from the sheriff's department.

However, the 31-year-old man was in protective custody -- meaning he was by himself in a cell -- at the time and was unable to give any description of his attacker, said Undersheriff Robert Garcia. The man apparently alleged that someone entered his cell and raped him, he said.

Welcome to
At a Crossroads

The struggle for gay civil rights is at a crossroads in America, and even within the GLBT community there are differences of opinion about how the struggle for equality should proceed. While many committed leaders are continuing the long march toward full equality, including equal marriage rights, others are arguing that we have gone too far, too fast, and that we should wait for society to catch up. In determining our path going forward, we should look to the past and learn from the leaders of the civil rights battles that have come before us.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his Letters from a Birmingham Jail in 1963 that "I had ...hoped.the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom...(people were arguing that the Negro needed to wait for a "more convenient season") Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills... Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right."

Important lessons come from the women's suffrage movement as well. As Susan B. Anthony said, "Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences."

New ACLU Report Highlights Gonzales Role in Detainee Abuse; Calls Civil Liberties Record Mixed, But Not Encouraging

WASHINGTON - In anticipation of this week’s expected confirmation hearings, the American Civil Liberties Union today released a new report on attorney general nominee and current White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.

Although as a matter of policy the ACLU cannot endorse or oppose nominees for any office other than on the Supreme Court, it can examine and publicize nominees’ civil liberties records.

"There are too many questions swirling around Mr. Gonzales’s role in developing the legal framework that may have led to the torture and abuse we all saw in those Abu Ghraib photographs," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "The Senate has a duty not to soft-pedal in its questioning."

Arguably the most pressing question for the ACLU is whether a document it received from the FBI as part of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit is in fact true. In it, an FBI agent describes highly aggressive interrogation tactics, including the use of military dogs, that he says were approved by executive order.

New Session of Congress Begins with Approval of Rule That Will Make It Harder to Launch Already Rare Ethics Investigations of Members

True, Republican House leaders backed away from plans to implement new rules aimed at allowing Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) to keep his job if indicted in Texas, and from weakening one of the most basic tenets in the House Code of Conduct. But the House on Tuesday night still made a harmful change to the ethics process.

As Members convened for the opening of the 109th Congress, the House approved along party lines a rules package that contained a provision that will make it harder for the Ethics Committee to launch an investigation against Members.

Under the old rule, if the Ethics Committee, which is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, deadlocked along party lines or otherwise, an investigation - rare to begin with -- would automatically be triggered within 45 days. Under the new rule, the complaint is dropped in the event of a deadlock. The Republicans call the reform the "presumption of innocence rule." Common Cause calls it the "party protection act," since no one will be investigated as long as Members vote along party lines.


Corporations are stifling our lives. Not only economically, where they can claim, arguably, that they bring prosperity (and, frankly, I’m certainly not schooled enough in economics to argue that point pro or con), but aesthetically speaking, culturally speaking, spiritually speaking. They flatten everything. They are the Big Empty. One of the virtues of Fahrenheit 9/11 is that you could see all the faces of the Bush administration, those empty faces, those handmaidens and bodyguards of the Big Empty. And then Moore contrasted them to all the faces of American soldiers over there: innocent, strong, idealistic or ugly, but real faces, real people. Plus all those suffering Iraqis. Obviously, people in such torment are always dramatic and eloquent on film. Still, most of those Iraqis had different kinds of faces. That shade of alienation from natural existence had not yet gotten into their skin. They might be hard to live with but they were alive.

The war against the corporations is profound. They are deadening human existence. That, I think, is the buried core of the outrage people feel most generally. There is, after all, a profound difference between corporations and capitalism itself, at least so long as capitalism remains small business. The small businessman is always taking his chances. He leads an existential life. He’s gambling that his wit, his energy, and his ideas of what will work in the marketplace will be successful. He can be a sonofabitch, but at least he’s out there in the middle of life. He could be creating something that’s awful, but at least, he’s taking chances.

A gay weekly for Nepal
Nepal's first gay weekly highlighting issues affecting the country's burgeoning gay community will hit the stands in the third week of January.
Sudeshna Sarkar
Indo-Asian News Service

Kathmandu, Jan 2 (IANS) Nepal's first gay weekly highlighting issues affecting the country's burgeoning gay community will hit the stands in the third week of January.

The eight-page Blue Diamond Weekly in English and Nepalese, funded by the British embassy, aims to sensitise locals about the gay community.

It is being launched by Blue Diamond Society, an NGO that was started in 2001 by Nepalese gay rights activist Sunil Panta to disseminate information about the risk of contracting HIV and AIDS through unprotected same gender sex and provide a voice to a community that alleges persecution by family members, employers and even police.

The Blue Diamond Society complains that its members are rounded up by police and beaten up. It is currently facing a case filed by a lawyer who wants the government to shut it down.

Mondo Washinghton
Indonesian Army Said to Block Tsunami Aid
Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil finds an extra $5 million for victims
by James Ridgeway

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In the last few days there have been accusations that the Indonesian military has used the tsunami disaster as a means to further crush a long-running rebellion, denying food and aid to rebel groups. The devastated Aceh province is under virtual martial law.

The cost of discrimination
Same-sex marriage isn't just about civil rights. It's about your money too
By Matthew Hirsch

As legal arguments in the same-sex marriage case got underway Dec. 22, City Attorney Dennis Herrera set out to convince the San Francisco Superior Court that discrimination against gays and lesbians affects all of us, not just the narrow interests of those couples wishing to get married. To help make the point, Herrera asked Controller Ed Harrington to examine just how much it costs to restrict marriage in San Francisco as a union between a man and a woman.

Harrington's conclusions were startling, especially because the city is laying off employees and cutting services in an effort to balance the budget. He estimated that a favorable ruling in the same-sex marriage case could boost the city budget anywhere from $15 million to $20 million a year.

Shakeup: Doctors Without Borders Tells Tsunami Donors to Give to Other International Relief Efforts

The medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders) urged donors Tuesday to stop sending it money for Asian tsunami victims, saying it had collected enough funds to manage its relief effort there and to focus on "humanitarian needs in war-torn Darfur, Sudan, and elsewhere in the over 70 countries where MSF is working around the world."

Phelps Clan Forces Vote On Gay Rights Law
by Newscenter Staff

(Topeka, Kansas) Opponents of a Topeka city ordinance banning discrimination against gays in city hiring have collected enough votes to either force the city council to repeal the law or put the issue to voters.

Followers of anti-gay crusader Fred Phelps gathered 6,333 names on a petition to reopen the issue - more than enough required under the city charter.

If the petitions are certified the city has 20 days to decide whether to rescind the law or put it to voters. A vote would have to come within 90 days. If approved, the measure would not only rescind the ordinance but try to prevent council members from passing a similar one in the future.

Five Senators and Eight House Members to Challenge Election
By David Swanson, ILCA

Four Senators Join Boxer, Seven House Members Join Conyers

Senator Barbara Boxer was the first, and Kim Gandy of the National Organization of Women announced it at a rally in Lafayette Square Park Thursday morning, across from the White House. Senator Boxer would be joining Congressman John Conyers and other House Members in challenging the electoral votes from Ohio in a joint session of Congress called to certify the election.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

'Sunrise Island' at heart of tsunami tragedy
By Pratap Chakravarty in Port Blair
Wednesday, 05 January , 2005, 17:25

It was known as a tropical heaven on earth, and the first place to see the dawn of the new millennium in India.

Now the island of Katchal, part of India's remote Andaman and Nicobar chain, has been turned into a vision of hell -- two-thirds of its 7,000 population is missing and feared buried under rubble from the tsunamis that slammed into the coastlines of Indian Ocean nations.

"From the damage we've seen, we can say Katchal is very badly hit," Lieutenant General B.S. Thakur, in charge of the mammoth Andamans relief operation, said in Port Blair

Some 4,657 people are missing and 96 confirmed dead on Katchal, according to government figures. Some 2,000 survivors are in relief camps

How you can help tsunami victims
A Correspondent | January 03, 2005 23:04 IST

1. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund

    Prime Minister's National Relief Fund


India responds: Rs 100 crore contributed to PM's relief fund

2. BAPS Care International
Contact: Shailendra Adroja; 1-732-744-1744
Checks payable to: BAPS Care International
195, Main Street, Suite # 304
New Jersey-08840
Payments can also be made online at

3. Association for India's Development:
Contact: Aniruddha Vaidya, 1-650-996-8249, 1-888-TALK-2-AID or (301) 422-4441
Contributions to AID can be made through secure on-line credit-card deductions from AID's website (, where further details and updates will also be posted. Please indicate that your contribution is for the "Relief and Rehabilitation Fund".
Checks payable to "AID" can be mailed to:
AID Zone 3,
P.O. Box 4801
Mountain View, CA 94040-0801
(Please indicate "Relief and Rehabilitation Fund" in the check memo)

4. The National Federation of India Organizations
Contact: Rajen Anand (703) 642-3156, (562) 537-1077
Checks (tax-deductible) will be sent to the International Red Cross for the use of ALL victims in all countries.
Checks payable to: NFIA
6912 Winter Lane,
Annandale VA 22003.

5. The Hindu Temple Society of North America
Contact: Dr Uma Mysorekar (718) 460-8484
Checks (tax deductible) payable to: The Hindu Temple Society of North America
Hindu Temple Society of North America
45-57 Bowne Street

6. India Development & Relief Fund (IDRF), USA
IDRF has already committed $10,000 towards immediate relief efforts and will match dollar-to-dollar for donations up to $10,000. It will channel your generous contributions to Sewa Bharati (Panchvati, Chetpet, Chennai), Jana Sankshema Samiti (Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh), Vivekanand Kendra and other voluntary NGOs providing relief and rehabilitation to affected families including:

· Medical services
· Distribution of fishing nets, assistance for purchasing and repairing fibre boats
· Repair of diesel engines and supply fuel
· Distribution of textbooks, notebooks and uniforms to students.
· Construction of houses, repair and construction of community infrastructure

Please make check payable to "IDRF" (mention "Tsunami" in the memo) and mail it to: IDRF, 4807 Phebe Ave, Fremont, CA 94555

* Suresh Deopura (510) 573-5100,
* Shri Narayan Chandak (309)- 662-8353,
* Raghu Verabelli 781-270-2349,
* Vijay Pallod (281) 568-4995,
Or email

Donate on-line through your VISA/MasterCard or Direct Debit from checking account.

IDRF is administered by volunteers without any honorarium or overhead. Thus, 100% of your contribution will be disbursed directly to the NGOs working in the field. Please check out our website
for latest information.

*Indians contributing to relief efforts

7. Sewa International, in association with local organisations, is planning to work for the rehabilitation of families affected by the tsunami waves in India by providing them:

Please send your donations to:

a. Sewa Bharathi Tamil Nadu
   Shakti, 1, M V Street, Panchvati, Chetpet, Chennai- 600031, 
   Tamil Nadu
   Ph: 044-28361049, 28360243 E-mail:

b. Jana Sankshema Samiti
   Madhava Sadhan, Kaleshwara Rao Road, Vijaywada- 520002, 
   Andhra Pradesh

All donations from outside India should be sent to:
Sewa International
Apte Bhavan, 10196, D. B. Gupta Road,
Jhandewala, New Delhi- 110055, India
Ph: 91-11-23517373, 23684445, E-mail:
Bank Account No: 21290, State Bank of India,
Jhandewala Extn., New Delhi-110055
Branch Code No: 9371

8. You can send donations through NDTV's trust fund, The Hope Trust. Donations can be made to: HOPE - Tsunami Relief Fund and sent to:
The Company Secretary, New Delhi Television,
W-17, Greater Kailash-1,
New Delhi-110048.
All donations are tax deductible under section 80G of Income Tax Act, 1961.

9. Give India Rehabilitation Fund

10. Volunteers for India Development and Empowerment or VIDE

11. Vibha
Tsunami Emergency Relief Website:

Tsunami Emergency Donation Page:

Donations can be made by check or Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) online at the above address or by mail. Checks can be made to 'Vibha' with 'Tsunami Emergency' in the memo section and mailed to:
1030 E El Camino Real #424
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(Donations are Tax deductible in the US)
Phone: 408-997-9992

though I am not a fan of andrew sullivan... this is a worthy read on Susan Sontag.

Susan Sontag and a Case of Curious Silence


THE INNING OF SONTAG: I have to say I'm amazed at the fact that almost all the obituaries for Susan Sontag omitted her primary, longtime relationship with Annie Leibovitz, the photographer. Of 315 articles in Nexis, only 29 mention Leibovitz, and most of them referred merely to their joint projects. Leibovitz was unmentioned as a survivor in the NYT and Washington Post. It's striking how even allegedly liberal outlets routinely excise the homosexual dimension from many people's lives - even from someone dead. But perhaps it is reflective of Sontag's own notions of privacy and identity. She championed many causes in her day, but the gay civil rights movement was oddly not prominent among them.

MORE ON SONTAG: I'm not the only one to notice how the big media has essentially lied by omission about Susan Sontag's life. An op-ed in today's L.A. Times notes the following: An unauthorized biography written by Carl Rollyson and Lisa Paddock and published by W.W. Norton in 2000, reports that Sontag was, for seven years, the companion of the great American playwright Maria Irene Fornes (in Sontag's introduction to the collected works of Fornes, she writes about them living together). She also had a relationship with the renowned choreographer Lucinda Childs. And, most recently, Sontag lived, on and off, with Leibovitz.

Even Hitchens mentions only her ex-husband. Privacy? From a woman who detailed every aspect of her own illnesses? From someone whose best work is redolent with homosexual themes? But, of course, Sontag understood that her lesbianism might limit her appeal in a homophobic culture - even on the extreme left, where she comfortably lived for decades. That was her prerogative. But that's no reason for the media to perpetuate untruths after her death. And it's certainly reason to review her own record in confronting injustice. Just as she once defended the persecution of gay people in Castro's Cuba, she ducked one of the burning civil rights struggles of her time at home. But she was on the left. So no one criticized.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

some shameless promotion.
in my absence a couple things got published on line.
please check them out.
thank you

2 poems @ Slingshot 5

@ tin lustre mobile /©
excerpt from: succubus in my pocket-fiction (PDF)

Monday, January 03, 2005

Sources of  Funds for Tsunami Relief
Please forward to anyone you feel would benifit

Here is a list of organisations raising funds for the disaster relief
they can be approached for funds if required.

As far as donating money we suggest you advice your friends to avoid the large multinational agencies such as those of the UN-UNDP -UNICEF etc as they a have large infrastructural costs a lot of money is spent on high salaries-lifetime tax free pensions meetings in five-star hotels and unnecessary studies. More about this read the book Lords of Poverty by Graham Hancock.

Dr Dayal Mirchandani, MD, DPM
Behavioural Science Network.
Mumbai India.
For further
To join the NGO Funding Group
Send a blank email to HYPERLINK

Association for India's Development, Inc. Relief and
Rehabilitation Fund
Old No 132, New No 242, Avvai Shanmugam Road
Gopalapuram, Chennai- 600 086
Ph: 044- 28350403, 28115058
US Tel: 1-888-TALK-2-AID

The Auroville Tsunami Rehabilitation Effort
P.O. Box 1534
Lodi, CA 95241-1534

Hindu Relief Fund
Kasturi Buildings
859 Anna Salai
Chennai 600 002

Ramakrishna Mission,
P.O. Belur Math,
Dt. Howrah, West Bengal - 711 202

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
PO Box 372
CH-1211 Geneva 19

International Medical Corps
Tsunami Emergency Response
1919 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90404-1950

International Relief Teams
Asia Earthquake/Floods
3547 Camino Del Rio South, Suite C
San Diego, CA 92108

International Rescue Committee
P.O. Box 5058
Hagerstown, MD 21741-9874
877-REFUGEE or 1-877-733-8433

Islamic Circle Of North America (ICNA)
166-26 89th Ave Jamaica, NY 11432
Tel. (718) 68-7028

Islamic Relief Worldwide Response
Southeast Asia Earthquake Emergency
P.O. Box 6098
Burbank, Calif. 91510

Lutheran World Relief
PO Box 17061
Baltimore MD 21298-9832

MAP International
2200 Glynco Parkway
PO Box 215000
Brunswick, GA 3121-5000

Mercy Corps
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208

Northwest Medical Teams
PO Box 10
Portland, OR 97207-0010

Relief International
11965 Venice Blvd. .405
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Operation USA
8320 Melrose Avenue, Ste. 200
Los Angles, CA 90069

Oxfam America Asia Earthquake Fund
P.O. Box 1211
Albert Lea, MN 56007-1211

Oxfam Canada
Asian Earthquake/Floods Relief, Oxfam Canada
200-215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, Ont.
M5T 2C7

Plan USA
155 Plan Way
Warwick, RI 02886

Project Concern International
5151 Murphy Canyon Rd, Suite 320
San Diego, CA 92123
858 279-9690 or 877-PCI-HOPE.

Project HOPE
Asia Tsunami Response
255 Carter Hall Lane
Millwood, VA 22646

SAWSO (Salvation Army World Service Office)
South Asia Relief Fund
615 Slaters Lane
Alexandria, VA, 22313

Save the Children
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880

Stop Hunger Now
SE Asia crisis
2501 Clark Ave, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27607

World Concern
19303 Fremont Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98133

World Emergency Relief
2270-D Camino Vida Roble
Carlsbad, CA 92009

World Vision
PO Box 70288
Tacoma, Washington 98481-0288

Action Against Hunger
247 West 37th Street, Suite 1201
New York, NY 10018

ADRA International
9-11 Fund
12501 Old Columbus Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Air Serv International
6583 Merchant Place, Suite 100
Warrenton, VA 20187

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC Crisis Fund)
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc.
"JDC: South Asia Tsunami Relief"
Box #321
847A Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017

American Jewish World Service
45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10018

American Red Cross International Response Fund
PO Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

AmeriCares Foundation
88 Hamilton Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
(800) 486-HELP or (800) 486-4357

Baptist World Aid
Asia Tidal Waves
405 North Washington St.
Falls Church, VA 22046

B'nai B'rith International
B'nai B'rith Disaster Relief Fund
2020 K. St. NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006

Brother's Brother Foundation
1200 Galveston Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Care USA
151 Ellis Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30303-2440
1-404-681-2552, 1-800-521-CARE

Catholic Relief Services
Tsunami Emergency
PO Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090

Christian Aid
London SE1 7YY

Christian Children's Fund
2851 Emerywood Parkway
Richmond VA 23289-3725

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
South Asia Earthquake
2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49560

Church World Service
PO Box 968
Elkhart, IN 46515

Direct Relief International
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres
PO Box 1856
Merrifield, VA. 22116-8056.

Food for the Hungry, Inc.
1224 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034-1102
800-2-HUNGERS or 480-998-3100

UNICEF: United Nations Children's Fund

US Fund for UNICEF
333 East 38th Street
New York, NY 10016

International Aid
17011 W. Hickory
Spring Lake, MI 49456

International Orthodox Christian Charities
Middle East Crisis Response
PO Box 630225
Baltimore, MD 21263-0225

Latter-Day Saint Charities (Mormons)
Welfare Services Emergency Response
50 East North Temple Street, Room 701
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84150-6800

From:The National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC)

2004: A Retrospective

Borrowing from the famous Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities opening, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." It was the year two thousand and four.

We might not be living the Tale of Two Cities history of the French Revolution and its excesses of righteous iniquity. Madame LeFarge may not be knitting while Madame La Guillotine beheads those whose politics are suspect, but we may not be far from it.

Not all was bad in 2004:
The number of jurisdictions with transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws grew from 68 to 74. Lexington, KY renewed its inclusive ordinance at years end despite vigorous opposition based on the concerns of some citizens that the seven-year old ordinance would lead to moral decay. Transgender-inclusive legislation now protects 25% of the nation’s residents.

The Human Rights Campaign decided to support only a transgender-inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) in the next session of Congress.

Britain enacted a gender recognition law that recognizes transsexuals in their new genders, including the right to marry. This effectively put an end to the infamous Corbett vs. Corbett case law used in the USA to deny recognition of transsexual marriage.

Seven transgendered delegates were elected to the Democratic National Convention. Through meetings with Democratic National Committee staff, participation within the GLBT Caucus, Convention events, and visibility within their state delegations, these seven placed a human face on the transgender community.

A major US insurance company, Aetna, announced that companies could include sex reassignment surgery as a covered benefit in the health insurance policies offered their workers. No reports yet of which companies may have signed up for this coverage.

An IRS Appeals Officer ruled that gender reassignment surgery is medically necessary and an integral part of a professionally prescribed course of treatment for a diagnosed condition, thereby allowing tax deduction for GRS. Predictably, the Traditional Values Coalition has urged IRS Commissioner Mark Everson to reverse the ruling stating that, "The IRS should not allow itself to become a pawn in the hands of the homosexual/transgender movement."

The Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil rights Act covers transgender people, lesbians and gays. On the other hand, not all was good in 2004: ENDA went nowhere in Congress with or without transgender inclusion.

Despite Senate passage and favorable House Motion to Instruct, a Congressional Conference Committee killed the Hate Crimes amendment.

A Florida Appeals Court ruled that transsexuals cannot marry in their new gender. The ruling reversed the well supported lower court ruling that Michael Kantaris is male and that his marriage had been legal.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) issued immigration law policy stating that CIS shall not recognize the marriage, or intended marriage, between two individuals where one or both of the parties claim to have changed their sex. Jiffy Javellana, Philippine husband of Donita Ganzon, has filed suit in Federal Court to overturn the CIS decision to refuse his application for permanent residency and to revoke his work permit. The CIS considers that Donita, a postop transsexual of 24 years, is still a man and that the marriage is, therefore, invalid. CIS officials invoked the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman but without a scientific definition of man and woman.

The Religious Right has been emboldened by George Bush’s slim margin of victory and claims a mandate to reshape the morals of America to reflect Old Testament views. The bad news is that intolerance and bigotry have found their way into a number of state constitutions and new efforts are promised to deny rights to GLBT families. The good news is that grassroots efforts on behalf of the GLBT community by fair-minded people have already increased at state and local levels.

A school district in Texas canceled its decades-old tradition of a day in which boys could dress like girls and vice versa. A few parents protested on the basis that that one day a year could cause boys to become cross-dressers and then gay. Hysteria reigns.

The pace of transgender murders continued unabated with 21 reported murders in 2004, the latest a transgender prostitute murdered in Hollywood by an off-duty Marine MP on December 27th. Following a high speed chase, the Marine was killed by police officers when he pointed a pistol at them.

The trial of the admitted killers off Gwen Araujo, 17 year old transsexual who was brutally murdered in 2003, ended in a mistrial when the jury couldn’t reach agreement between murder and manslaughter. The prosecution will retry the men next spring. What was made eminently clear in 2004 is that much remains to be done to reach the NTAC goal of establishing and maintaining the right of all
transgendered, intersexed, and gender-variant people to live and work without fear of violence or discrimination. This need must translate to increased cooperation among all civil right organizations, cooperation that NTAC pledges to support.

Also made clear is the need for work by transgender people at the grassroots in offices, churches, stores, restaurants, state legislatures, local government as well as at the national level to attain the moral result of equality for all.

What will you do to help reach our goal of transgender equality? Whether through Lobby Days in May, through contributions, through local ordinance development, letters to the editor, water cooler talk, or coming out to family and friends, NTAC needs you to help win the challenges of 2005.

What will we write in December 2005? Your efforts can help make it a
better retrospective.

Founded in 1999, NTAC - the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition - is
a 501(c)(4) civil rights organization working to establish and maintain
the right of all transgendered, intersexed, and gender-variant people to
live and work without fear of violence or discrimination.

The Auroville Tsunami Rehabilitation Effort

The first wave of the Tsunami hit the Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu coast at 8 AM on 26th December 2005. Seven thousand people died on the spot.

By 9:30 AM, a team from Auroville, the international township, which is situated near Pondicherry, swung into action. A first emergency meeting was called in the house of two Aurovilians and it was immediately decided to set-up a camp for the persons affected by the tidal waves. By 12 am, eight tents and seven shamianas (awnings), donated by the children of Auroville (who use them for their annual summer camps) were erected on a field near one of the Auroville communities. Two portable 5000 liter tanks, two generators, a field kitchen with four cooking ranges, eight ladies and four cooks were straight away put into service.

Three of Auroville's load carriers, two tractors and two buses to pick up refugees were also commissioned. The camp was manned by more than sixty Tamil youths from the villages within Auroville, as well as many Aurovillians from all parts of the world. By 2 PM, 750 people were fed and 350 food packets distributed. All throughout the afternoon, refugees kept streaming in and another 1200 people were fed in the evening. Blankets were arranged as the night was cold and windy. On the second day, everybody was moved to the Kuilapalayam Trust School, which is run by Auroville, as rain was threatening. There, the refugees were spread out in eight buildings as well as two tents and food was prepared this time for 1400 people, along with another 500 food packets for distribution. Clothes and blankets were also handed out.

The extent of the disaster was then becoming clear. A quick survey was done amongst the villages and the Auroville communities that dot the beach. In Ganagachettikullam, a village of fishermen at the extreme limit of Pondicherry state, the Auroville team was met by utter desolation: the mud houses which were the first ones on the beach front had been totally destroyed, or sometimes washed away. Broken furniture was lying on the side of the road, TV's beyond repair were nevertheless put in the sun to dry, pieces of thatched roof were blocking the road, electrical lines had fallen down, the steps leading to an old stone temple had also collapsed.

Three days after the catastrophe, women were still wailing, some of them foaming at the mouth, out of sheer desolation. On the beach, the team met Ranjani, a pretty girl of 18. That fateful morning of the 26th, her mother and father had gone to the market to sell the fish caught in the early morning and she was left alone with her little sister of 3 years, Anusuya. She was cooking the morning's meal, when suddenly her sister ran to her and clung to her shirt. Ranjani looked up and saw a huge wave advancing towards the house. "I climbed on a stool and as water reached my shoulders, I clung on a rafter from the roof with one hand, while holding my little screaming sister with the other, she recalled sobbing. After a few minutes my hands went numb and suddenly I saw that my sister had disappeared". Ranjani cried and cried for help, but nobody came. Anusuya was found dead a few hours later, one kilometer upstream in the village which has been totally flooded. 26 other people, mostly children and elderly persons, lost their lives. 75 houses were totally destroyed and 265 families affected one way or the other by the Tsunami which hit Ganagashetikkam.

Next to Ganagachettikullam, one finds Eternity, an Auroville beach community. There lives a wonderful family: Yuval the father is an Israeli, his wife Hannah is from Holland with five kids, all raised in Auroville, each of them speaking several languages. Yuval and his family moved in 20 years ago on this piece of barren land on the beach where nothing grew. With hard work and dedication, they turned it in a green forest, a place of beauty and peace. They also painstakingly built houses in the community, mostly using local material: mud walls, Palmyra leaves, thatch roofs, with one solitary high hard concrete house. On that fateful morning of the 26th, Hannah had one of her daughters with her, Jitta. Jitta has two children: a daughter of two years and a son who is barely eight months old. As usual in Auroville, where everybody sleeps early, everyone woke-up at 6 Am for an early morning tea in the community kitchen. At 6.30 AM, Yuval felt the earth shake and jokingly asked his wife 'if she was dancing on the bed". At 8.15 Am, Jetta decided to put back her son to sleep on the ground floor of a house which was 200 meters away.

Everything looked so peaceful and no different than a thousand other mornings in Eternity beach community. But suddenly Hannah heard a noise that sounded like the rushing of water. She went outside "I saw this huge wave rushing toward me and it immediately it flashed in my mind: 'Tidal Wave'". She grabbed her granddaughter, climbed on the first floor and shouted at her daughter to go and get her son in the nearby hut. Jitta ran as the water was already swirling around her, managed to get her baby just as he was being swept away, shouted at two guest who were sleeping in another hut - and would have otherwise died - and seeing that there was no way to go back where her mother was, ran towards a higher ground on the opposite side of Eternity. After ten minutes, Yuval and Hannah saw no sign of Jitta and her son and thought they had died. "We screamed and screamed and scanned every part of the community, while water was still rising", Hannah recalls, still sobbing. When the second wave receded, they were able to find their daughter and grandchild -a-l-i-v-e-.

Today Yuval and Hannah have lost everything and are painstakingly trying to salvage some of their personal belongings, thanks to an amazing wave of solidarity amongst Aurovillians and a lot of help from the nearby village. "I put so much work in this land and God took everything back, but he spared our lives and that is a miracle", says Hannah. But like the inhabitants of Ganagachettikullam, their lives have been shattered and Hannah still breaks down from time to time when she recalls the time when she thought her daughter and grandson were both dead, taken away by the terrible Tsunami waves. By the fourth day, it became clear to Aurovilians that they had to shift from immediate relief measures to long term solutions for the affected villages. Hemant and Jos were appointed as main coordinators, with teams for Office and administration, Financial management, Communication, Sourcing and Purchase, Village Relief Coordination, Auroville Relief coordination:. Government Liaison. An office has been opened equipped with computers, telephones and internet as well as ample storage space for goods for the next phase of the rehabilitation.

The two teams from the Village Coordination group went for the first assessment of the damage to nine coastal villages around Auroville in Villupuram district. It was found that a total of approximately five hundred houses have been destroyed and 62 deaths registered. It also became clear that the first basic relief : rice, clothing and 2000Rs cash, had already been given by the Government. What people now needed is to gather their life together. Most of the villagers wanted household utensils, metal trunks, clothing, blankets and notebooks for school children. The longer term concerns were housing and fishing nets and boats for livelihood. Suryangandhi reported how grateful people felt towards Auroville for their timely help in this moment of crisis. The next steps are to build a data-base for needs of all the affected families and set-up a system of distribution. All this would need allot
of men, material and money.

Transparency has been ensured by creating an accounting team and channeling funds through two new created accounts in the existing Financial infrastructure of Auroville which offers tax rebate and foreign donations facility. "What we need, one of the members of the team said, is more funds than goods in kind, specially from the West, as it has been shown in the past that grain can rot in storage, long before it is distributed and that most villagers using firewood to cook, western food stuff and utensils are often not compatible. However, blankets, tents and trunks are welcome". Another member of Auroville's Rehabilitation team emphasized: "that this is a catastrophe of unparalleled dimensions, specially after the warning of the 30th December noon, which sent again thousands of people from the coastal area of Tamil Nadu towards higher and safer grounds. We invite the world community to extend their generous support to rebuild the shattered lives torn by natures fury". And he adds: "if we receive sufficient funds, we will not only look after the rebuilding of the 12 coastal villages we have taken charge off, but we will include all those reaching up to Marakkanam (40 kms North of Pondicherry) "!

Checks payable to AVI USA can be mailed to
P.O. Box 1534
Lodi, CA 95241-1534

Online credit card donations:

From: "Lakshmi V."
Please forward this urgent appeal to all your friends and relatives.

Urgent Relief Needed for Tamil Nadu
Tsunami and Earthquake Victims

Dear friends and devotees,

Jaya Sri Rama. Please accept my humble pranams. We are all very saddened about the terrible devastation that has fallen on our brothers and sisters in South India and other parts of the world. In response to the recent tsunami, the Bhaktivedanta Ashram is arranging a team of volunteers in Tamil Nadu to begin relief work to help the victims. Relief activities are expected to begin on Thursday, December 30th. Within several days an additional team of volunteers from our Orissa ashram will join them to provide further relief supplies including basic necessities
for children and their families. Due to the long term effects of this disaster, the Bhaktivedanta Ashram plans to open a permanent relief center in Chennai so that relief activities can continue even after the immediate media attention dies down. With our past experience of the Orissa cyclone in 1999 we know that such disasters lead to long term difficulties for the victims that continue even after the relief organizations leave. With that in mind we are planning to maintain our relief center in Tamil Nadu permanently so that we can continue caring for those in need, especially the children who are affected by this disaster.

Reports indicate that the death toll in India has reached over 12,500 so far, with children accounting for up to a third of all the dead. Health reports state that the spread of disease could kill as many people in the coming weeks.

In such a situation with millions of displaced people suffering in need of food and clothing it seems an impossible task, but we should not let this discourage us. Let every one of us help in whatever little way we can.

We humbly request all those with sufficient means to donate towards the
tsunami relief work in Tamil Nadu. To donate by credit card you may visit
our website and enter your donation through our secure server:

Donations may also by sent by check made payable to "Bhaktivedanta
International Charities" with the words 'Tamil Nadu Relief' in the memo

Bhaktivedanta International Charities
P.O.Box 34153
Los Angeles, CA 90034
United States of America

I would like to again thank all of our friends and donors who have contributed towards our projects in the past and request everyone to offer whatever service they can, regardless of how small, to help this urgent cause.

Yours in service,

Jahnava Nitai Das,
Bhaktivedanta Ashram &
Bhaktivedanta International Charities

How you can help:

The following are among the aid agencies accepting contributions for
those affected by the earthquake and tsunamis in Asia. Contact the individual
group for information on how to send donations.

American Jewish World Service
45 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018-7904

American Red Cross
International Response Fund
PO Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

151 Ellis Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

Catholic Relief Services
PO Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090

Direct Relief International
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

International Orthodox Christian Charities
PO Box 630225
Baltimore, MD 21263-0225

International Medical Corps
11500 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 506
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Oxfam America
26 West Street
Boston, MA 02111-1206

Mercy Corps
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208

Operation USA
8320 Melrose Avenue, Ste. 200
Los Angles, CA 90069