poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Kodak updates health benefits for transgender employees in transition

Kodak Worldwide Benefits has updated health plan coverage to include procedures, services, and supplies for sex transformation (gender reassignment).

The updated plan coverage applies to expenses for sex transformation procedures, services and supplies (including therapy, sex hormones and transsexual surgery) that are provided on or after July 1, 2006, to any person participating in a self-insured option under Kodak's US medical plans.

This is great news for the employees who need this coverage! Lambda Network at Kodak is pleased that our educational activities have shed light on the need for these benefits to be offered. This change is further evidence of Eastman Kodak Company's support for all elements of diversity.It serves to reinforce Kodak's commitment to Equal Opportunity Employment, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.


Women-Only Event Organizers Ban Transgender Women From Attending

A women-only summer music festival in Michigan is under fire this week for asking transgender women interested in attending the event not to come.

After an openly transgender woman was allowed to purchase a ticket at this summer’s Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Camp Trans organizers released a statement on August 21 celebrating the end of an 15-year old divisive policy that served to police women’s bodies and exclude transwomen from attending the Festival.

Camp Trans is an annual gathering of people dedicated to promoting inclusion of all women at women-only events.

However, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, the celebration of this news was short-lived as management of We Want The Music Company (WWTMC), a for-profit corporation that runs the festival, issued a press release the next day reaffirming their belief that transgender women should police themselves and not attend the Festival. While the Festival box office will now sell tickets to transwomen, according to WWTMC’s Lisa Vogel, the only people welcome are "women who were born as and have lived their entire life experience as women."


The old college try? 
Schools in 26 states lack protections for trans students

As transgender rights advocates work to expand non-discrimination policies at U.S. colleges to include protections based on gender identity, some schools appear eager to cooperate, while others are slower to change.

Tyrone Hanley, youth program coordinator for Gender Public Advocacy Coalition’s Gender Youth Network, said his group wants to increase the number of colleges adding transgender protections to nondiscrimination policies.

He said the group is in talks with student GPAC groups at William & Mary in Virginia, Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Yale University in Connecticut to help student and alumni groups work for policy revisions, but thinks more needs to be done.

“In order to attract the best and brightest, colleges must ensure they are inclusive, diverse and welcoming for all students,” he said. “Students learn and achieve better in environments where they can be themselves.”


Batavia takes on transgender issue

Teacher's change prompts school district to reach out to community

(August 25, 2006) — BATAVIA — The Batavia City School District in Genesee County is embarking on a journey that appears unique not just for this area, but for the entire country — centering a community discussion on a high school teacher who has chosen to change gender.

The district will hold a meeting for parents Monday night that will feature the school district's attorney and a gender identity expert who will discuss the legal protections and medical issues surrounding those who wish to live their lives as transgendered people — a term that refers to people who live their lives as a gender other than the one they were born with.

Richard Stutzman Jr., Batavia's superintendent, said the school district's administration has researched and planned for community outreach ever since the male teacher sent Stutzman a confidential letter last school year about the teacher's plans to become a woman.


Newark man sentenced to 11 years in prison in transgender death
Associated Press

HAYWARD, Calif. - A 23-year-old man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing of transgender teen Gwen Araujo was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday.

Jaron Nabors of Newark, Calif., apologized to the victim, her family and his own family during an emotional hearing in Alameda County Superior Court.

"It's the end of the court process, but there's still a lot of healing to be done," said Gloria Allred, an attorney for the victim's family. "It's been heartbreaking. It continues to be very painful for them."


Sweden Considers Gay Marriage 
by Newscenter Staff

(Stockholm) The Swedish government will consider next year whether to abolish its civil partnership law and replace it with full marriage.

The civil partnership law was enacted in 1995 and gives most of the rights and obligations of marriage to same-sex couples who register. But the country's LGBT community has recently stepped up lobbying to have the law amended to permit gays and lesbians to marry.

A parliamentary committee studying the issue calls civil partnerships outdated and is recommending Parliament allow same-sex marriage. It also would allow gay couples to marry in churches.

A report issued by the committee on Friday notes that a recent public opinion poll showed that 46 percent of Swedes are supportive of gay marriage, while 31 percent are opposed. The remainder were undecided.


Criticism from all sides as it tries to appeal to a more diverse clientele.
By Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer

For Wal-Mart Stores Inc., even trying to make new friends is controversial.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based company is joining the corporate advisory council of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. But not all of its usual supporters — nor some gay activists — welcomed the announcement.

As the world's largest retailer tries to reach out to more diverse shoppers in its bid to keep expanding beyond its rural and Southern roots, it risks alienating loyal and long-standing patrons. It's a predicament common to any business that tries to grow or change with the times.



A TEENAGER who was part of a gang which beat up a gay schoolboy has been locked up.

And the Gazette has won the right to name the 16-year-old as Darren Murray, of Kirkstone Avenue, Jarrow.

South Tyneside Youth Court heard the 15-year-old victim, who described himself as "openly gay at school", was walking on a path by the A19 in Jarrow at 6.10pm on May 9 when he saw a gang of about six teenagers ahead of him.

As he approached the gang they started shouting homophobic insults at him, but he continued walking rather than be intimidated.

One of the gang then punched him in the head, and magistrates heard that during the next few minutes Murray took a leading role in a savage attack.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Transsexual not allowed to compete for Miss Shenzhen title

Li Guohua, a transsexual from Anhua County, Hunan Province, was refused entrance to the Miss Shenzhen competition by the organizing committee, which cited age and certain restrictions as reasons, according to the Southern Metropolitan News on August 25.

Li, realized his dream of turning into a woman at the age of 30 in August.

TAccording to regulations, women over 26 who don't hold a high school diploma are not qualified to participate in the Miss Shenzhen competition.


Cabinet assents to same-sex marriage Bill

The South African Cabinet has given the nod to the Civil Unions Bill -- which effectively allows recognition of same-sex marriages and grants gay couples similar rights to heterosexual couples.

At a media conference at Parliament on Thursday, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said the Bill takes into account the Constitutional Court judgement that found that the common-law definition of marriage in the Marriage Act of 1961 was unconstitutional, "insofar as it failed to give the same status, benefits and responsibilities to same-sex unions that marriage accorded to heterosexual couples".

Parliament was given until the end of the year to pass this legislation in terms of the court judgement. Maseko indicated that the Bill -- which will complement the existing Marriage Act -- will also provide for the recognition of domestic partnerships between adults "whether same or different sex who had not concluded a marriage or civil partnership".

Thursday, August 24, 2006

(from -gblt India) - First ever public gay wedding in Nepal

Two homosexual males have dared to challenge the culture, tradition, family values and Constitution of Nepal for the sake of their love. Anil Mahaju and Diya Kashyap (names changed) will "tie their knot" on Saturday, 26th August 2006, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Anil and Diya have been in a relationship for about a year and have now decided to live for each other. They will wed in a semi-traditional way, appearing as husband and wife, and will exchange rings and garlands but without priests chanting the "Wedding Mantra".

We wish them a happy marriage and everlasting love.

We would like to call on your support and blessing for this courageous couple for their happy wedding.

Place: Blue Diamond Society
Time: 10 am

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Health club harasses transwoman

Natasha Lee West, a transgender woman, was a member of the Bally Total Fitness club in Worcester for one year in what she calls “male mode” before deciding to take the step to present herself as female at the gym last June. For the past three years she has lived as female everywhere except for on the job and at the gym, but after finalizing her name change, getting breast implants and getting a new driver’s license with her female name and photo, she decided the time was right to live as female full time. West said when she first told the management at the gym in June that she was going to be living full time as female, manager Dale Stoddard seemed supportive. She showed Stoddard the document approving her name change from her birth name to Natasha as well as her new license.

“I presented this information to them and they didn’t seem to have a problem with it,” said West.

One week later she says things had changed. She said a female staff member, who she was unable to identify, asked her what her gender designation was on her driver’s license. West said that the gender marker on the license was male. The Registry of Motor Vehicles, according to Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, requires that individuals have completed sex reassignment surgery to change their gender marker, and while West has had breast implants, she has not had sex reassignment surgery.

West said the staff member told her she could not use the women’s changing facilities or restroom. West told her she was willing to forgo using the changing room, but she needed access to a restroom. She said the staff member led her to the gym’s daycare center and told her she could use the children’s bathroom. West said the bathroom consisted of a small plastic toilet with the seat raised only about a foot off the ground, but she agreed to use it.


Man gets 206 years for transgender, transvestite assaults

SAN DIEGO – A man who sexually assaulted three people at gunpoint last summer, including one dressed as a transvestite and two transgender individuals, was sentenced Friday to 206 years to life in state prison.

Joel Kuechmann, 40, was convicted April 17 of three counts of oral copulation by force, rape by a foreign object, robbery, three counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.

Superior Court Judge William Kennedy also found true allegations of multiple victims and that Kuechmann personally used a firearm in the August 2005 attacks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

US Transsexual Ordered From Britain 
by Newscenter Staff

(London) A transsexual who filed the biggest discrimination suit brought by a trans person in the UK has been ordered out of the country.

Jessica Bussert had been working for Hitachi Data Systems in London. In May, she filed the million dollar lawsuit against the company after being fired and now the Home Office says that because she is no longer employed her work visa is invalid.


Transsexual chef cooks up a storm

A cook who claims he was fired from a fancy Westchester, NY, restaurant after coworkers discovered he is a biological woman is protected by the state's human rights law, a judge has ruled.

State Supreme Court Justice Joan Lefkowitz held that although discrimination against a transgender person is not specifically listed in the law -- which does mention racial, religious, and sexual discrimination -- it is covered nonetheless.


Man Gets 206 Years for Sexual Assaults

A man who sexually assaulted a male transvestite and two transgendered women at gunpoint last summer was sentenced Friday to 206 years in state prison.

Joel Kuechmann, 40, was convicted in April on nine felony counts, including three counts of oral copulation by force, rape by a foreign object and robbery. Prosecutors said Kuechmann preyed on people who were less likely to report the crimes