poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Group raises funds to pass gay rights ordinance

FERNDALE -- A few thousand dollars could help decide the fate of a Ferndale ordinance that would stop discrimination based on sexual orientation, a gay rights advocacy group said.

In a letter dated Sept. 1, the Ferndale Alliance Valuing Our Residents asked citizens to vote, volunteer and send donations. "Let's put Ferndale on the map once again, saying emphatically and forever that we are (a) city that rejects division and unfair discrimination," it said.


Gay marriage opponents give up on Illinois referendum

ST. LOUIS - A group that opposes gay marriage says it is dropping a legal battle to hold a referendum on the issue in Illinois this fall.

"This is the end of the road for now," said Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute. "We're sad it's not going to be on there, but we've decided not to challenge the court's decision anymore."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Transgender Woman Wins Discrimination Ruling

DENVER -- The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled that the firing of a transgender woman was the result of illegal sex discrimination, according to lawyers representing her.

The case involved Danielle M. Cornwell of Arvada, Colo., and her employment with Intermountain Testing Company.

According to attorney Mari Newman, Cornwell was known most of her life as David Cornwell but began transitioning to a female gender in June 2005 and informed the company that she was a transsexual. She was fired a month later by Intermountain Testing of Greenwood Village, Colo., Newman said.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gay activists arrested at Marine recruiting office

Police took three people into custody after they refused to leave a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office in Shreveport, La., on Tuesday during a protest of the military's ban on openly gay recruits. The Virginia-based gay rights organization Soulforce said it was staging such protests in 30 cities around the nation in the coming weeks and months. Organizers have dubbed the campaign Right to Serve.

The three taken into custody were among nine who tried to enlist at the Marine recruiting station on Mansfield Road. Soulforce condemns the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as blatantly discriminatory and says it hurts recruiting at a time when recruits are needed.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

California Med School Criticized for Banning Gay Student Groups
The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Monday publicly decried the decision of the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, a private medical school in Vallejo, CA, to ban a student group that focuses on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and students.
In 2002, students at the school formed the Touro University Gay-Straight Alliance (TUGSA) with the mission of "promoting equitable health care delivery through awareness and education, and... representing diversity both on campus and in medicine." This month, Touro's administration, citing the school's Orthodox Jewish heritage, revoked the group's charter and rescinded its funding, which had already been approved.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Reflections on "He That Once Seemed Invisible" by Tobias Novak

      The “heartsong” in this poem is my transness, that part of my being where my sex/gender and body/mind do not match. What do I mean by transness? The answer is twofold.
   First, I mean transsexual, or, the fact that my body and brain chemistry feel completely wrong. My transsexuality is the feeling that I was “born in the wrong body.” It is the way my breasts hurt when I notice or think about them; it is the fact that my body does not feel like my own. It is that I look in the mirror and see a female body, but underneath I see a male body waiting to crawl out from underneath.

      My transsexuality is what drives me to start T (testosterone hormone therapy), shots I will inject in myself weekly or biweekly for the rest of my life to make my brain chemistry mirror that of a biological male.
      It is why I plan on getting top surgery, or removal of breasts and creation of a male-appearing chest. Bottom surgery refers to genital surgeries. For FTM’s (female-to-male transsexuals), bottom surgery is expensive, takes several surgeries to create one set of genitalia, and does not create a fully functional penis. Its risks and costs make me want to wait for a better surgery to come along. That’s only my opinion; many FTM’s get bottom surgery and are happy. My transsexuality is everything female about me that does not match my male self-image.


Lawyers Mull US Supreme Court Appeal In Nebraska Gay Marriage Case

(Omaha, Nebraska) Attorneys who lost an appeal of Nebraska's broad ban on any recognition of same-sex relationships say they are still considering whether to appeal the case to the US Supreme Court.

A panel on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in July overturned a lower court ruling that struck down the state's constitutional amendment, ruling that the issue is a matter of state rights and not a violation of the U-S Constitution.
Last month the full court declined to reconsider the ruling.  That leaves 90 days to decide whether to go to the Supreme Court. 

"We haven't made a decision at this point," Lambda Legal attorney Ken Upton tells the Associated Press.  "We have just begun weighing that option."