poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, March 16, 2006

NEPAL: Sexual minorities face police brutality

KATHMANDU, 15 March (IRIN) - For Kala Rai, the freedom she so desperately craved as a 'meti', or transgender person living in Kathmandu, has never come easy. Arriving in the Nepali capital three years earlier from the small town of Dharan in Sunsari district, 600 km from the city, her plight is indicative of many in this particularly marginalised community.

"As a meti, I have always faced problems with my family and had limited opportunities," the demur


Iraqi cleric wants gays killed in "most severe way"

In the midst of sectarian violence that threatens to drag Iraq into civil war, the country's influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has issued a violent death order against gays and lesbians on his Web site, according to London-based LGBT human rights groups OutRage.


Bloomington considers transgender protections
Groups seek addition to discrimination law
Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON – Protections for transgender people might be added to the city’s human rights code under a proposal the City Council is expected to consider next month.


I n March, 2002, NASA and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luftund Raumfahrt, the German aerospace agency, launched a pair of satellites from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a former intercontinental-ballistic-missile site in northern Russia, to map changes in the earth’s surface. The satellites, nicknamed Tom and Jerry, have been chasing each other around the globe ever since. Separated by a gap of approximately a hundred and thirty-seven miles, they sometimes pull apart, only to draw closer again. By monitoring their relative positions to the fantastic exactitude of one micron—less than one-fiftieth the width of a human hair—scientists can detect tiny variations in the earth’s gravitational field.

Now, almost four years to the day after they were launched, Tom and Jerry have yielded a scarily significant result: Antarctica is losing ice. The rate of loss, according to researchers at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, who analyzed changes in the continent’s gravitational pull, is around thirty-six cubic miles per year. (For comparison’s sake, the city of Los Angeles uses about one-fifth of a cubic mile of water annually.) The finding, which was reported two weeks ago in the online version of Science, is particularly ominous, because climatologists had expected that even as the ice sheet lost mass at its edges, its over-all mass would increase, since rising temperatures would lead to more snowfall over the continent’s midsection. If the loss continues, it will mean that predictions for the rise in the sea level for the coming century are seriously understated.

PUB: open call for gender query

Dear activists and academics,

I am pleased to announce the call for submissions to the upcoming book, Gender Query: Explorations of Identity, Expression, and Embodiment which will be published by Cambridge Scholars Press later this year, or early 2007. The original concept of this book came out of the amazing activism currently going on in Eastern Europe around the areas of gender activism and LGBT human rights. The aim of this text is to provide a cross-cultural and interesting look into various issues surrounding gender.

I am currently seeking proposals for academic papers relating to gender variance and gender identity and/or expression. Gender variance can include anything that you feel goes against the expectations of men and women in a particular society. Papers need to be between 3,000 and 5,000 words and should address one or more of the following, in relation to gender: trans issues, performance, linguistics, sexuality, religion, or queer identity and culture. Proposals with an international scope will make me very happy, but this is not a requirement for publication. Additionally, please don?t feel that you have to be well known or widely published to submit something.

I am also looking for creative, preferably autobiographical, submissions of 1,000 to 1,500 words also dealing with the topic of gender variation. Although I am eager to receive proposals from anyone who has something interesting to say, people from outside the US and the UK are strongly encouraged to submit proposals.

This is an open call, please distribute widely.

The proposal deadline has been extended to March 30, 2006. Proposals should be no more than 500 words, please include your email address, postal address, and telephone number.

Final submission deadline: June 15, 2006

Please send proposals (and any questions you may have) to:

Jakob Hero
Gender Query editor

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Change of Heart

After living 57 years as a macho man, veteran Philadelphia police officer Maria Gonzalez will retire as a middle-aged woman.
by Steve Volk

At 8 years old he tried growing an onion but killed it through overwatering. His mom noticed that he liked flowers and taught him how to grow his own. Soon an L-shaped garden decorated the backyard where Heladio Gonzalez planted morning glories and snapdragons. Almost 50 years later he found out about the fights.


Ending trans panic

We're normally on the side of the defense lawyers when it comes to criminal-justice legislation. The state has gone way too far down the road toward a lock-'em-up mentality, and most bills that come through the state legislature limiting the rights of criminal defendants are dangerous and deserve to die.
But AB 1160, by Assemblymember Sally Lieber (D–San Jose) is different. The bill would limit the use of so-called gay panic or (more frequently) trans panic defenses: the argument that a killer was driven to rage by the discovery that a person who appeared to be female was, in fact, biologically male, and thus is not fully responsible for the murder.


Life in hell
In California prisons, an unconventional gender identity can be like an added sentence
By Tali Woodward

Rosa casts her dark eyes downward and then looks up from under wispy bangs to say matter-of-factly, "I've been raped six times.
"At one time I was raped by five individuals," she continues in slightly tentative English.
Rosa wasn't born female, but she says she was very young when she realized "I was special." Today, she doesn't just "pass" as a woman — it's hard to imagine how anyone would see this person with the bewitching eyes and feather-soft voice as anything else. 
Except that for the past eight years, Rosa has lived in men's prisons.


White House adds anti-gay language to security clearance requirements

The Bush administration last year quietly rewrote the rules for allowing gays and lesbians to receive national-security clearances, drawing complaints from civil rights activists.
The Bush administration said security clearances cannot be denied "solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual." But it removed language saying sexual orientation "may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance."



 Detectives in the London area of Waterloo are investigating an alleged rape of an 18 year-old man in the Pleasuredrome Sauna.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Transgender action to be launched

A Tasmanian transgender person will seek an injunction to halt two election advertisements she says incite hatred against sexual and gender minorities.

Martine Delaney will lodge two complaints with the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission, calling for a halt to campaign material that claims gender reassignment and same-sex marriages will destroy society.

In an attack on Greens policies, farmer Roger Unwin has published newspaper advertisements saying gender reassignment and recognition of intersex people will "ruin our families and society".

From: [lgbt-india] Another wave of "Sexual Cleansing" by Nepal police in Nepal!

We are very frustrated and concerned of such regular arrest and abuse of Metis (effeminate cross dressing males) by Nepal police.

Last night on the eve of Holi Festival (festival of color), from 9 pm to 12 pm Nepal police chased many Metis around Thamel, Durbar Marg area and rounded up 25 Metis. Many Metis were escaped and ran away but 25 Metis were arrested and taken to Hanuman Dhoka central Police station, Kathmandu. Nepal police chased Metis last night with their 10-12 police van in Thamel, Durbar Marg Area and many arrested from the taxi, or while walking in the street. No Reason has been given of the arrest.

This arrest has happened less than a week after the US state Department's report on Human rights situation in Nepal published where the report acknowledged violence against LGBTs by Nepal Police, which may have sparked the arrest.

Blue Diamond Society also, yesterday, announced the vacancy for several positions to start up HIV programs in 7 cities in Nepal with the support from DFID (through UNDP MSA) where HIV prevention, care support and treatment work is very vital but with such attitude of the Nepal police, its less likely that the program will be any effective.

As it’s a holiday for the festival "Holy" in Nepal and we don't know what charges will be brought up against the Metis and for how long the police will keep them in the custody?

Blue Diamond Society is very much concerned of such regular arrest of Metis and condemns such degrading action from the Nepal Police who supposed to protect the citizens.

Blue Diamond Society calls for your support and solidarity to protect the human rights of sexual and gender minorities and demand an immediate release of all the Metis arrested last night and complete end of such regular arrest of and violence against Metis in Nepal.

In solidarity
Sunil Pant
Blue Diamond Society

March 14, 2006

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Trans Mission
Can a 6-year-old make up his mind about being a her?
Parents at a recent conference say "yes."
by Doron Taussig

Nine years ago, after five miscarriages and 11 rounds of in vitro fertilization, a 36-year-old New Jersey woman named Stephanie gave birth to twins — one boy and one girl. She was ecstatic. She dressed her children in pink and blue and gave them traditional his and hers toys