poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, October 27, 2006

Is there anything gay about them?

Vikram Seth might have signed the letter for decriminalisation of homosexual act. But the ground reality is still very different.

Recently, Baguiati residents Nisha Singh and Nisha Upadhyay committed suicide. The reason was the refusal of society to accept their same-sex love.

In the past two years, this is the fourth such incident in the state where couples have ended their lives. So, how difficult is it for city lesbians to stay afloat in such an unsympathetic environment?


Postal workers refuse to deliver 'anti-gay' mail

Canada Post plans to go ahead with the delivery of controversial booklets this week, despite protests from Vancouver postal workers who refused to distribute the mail they called "homophobic."

"It hasn't gone out today because of all the attention and we wanted to make sure other mail wasn't disrupted," Lillian Au, communications manager for Canada Post's pacific region, told

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Activists seeks UN transgender support

A Ugandan gay activist has called on the United Nations to protect transgender people in Africa.

Juliet Victor Mukasa, chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), revealed her experiences as a transgender in Africa when addressing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva this week. 

She described incidents of rape, being stripped in church and humiliated by police, “In church, “I was once stripped naked as in naked!, in church, before a multitude of people. The pastor ‘saw’ a spirit of a young man inside me and they burnt my clothes and shoes in order to kill the male spirit.”


Brooklyn prosecutor: Hate crimes charges for 3 in gay man's death

Three men have been indicted on hate crimes charges in the murder of a gay man who was attacked alongside a parkway and then was hit by a car while trying to escape, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

N.J. Supreme Court rules same-sex couples must receive identical rights

TRENTON, N.J. -- Same-sex couples must receive the same rights as married couples, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled today.

In a 4-3 decision, the court found that "denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate government purpose."

The court went on to say that it should be up to the "democratic process" to determine how those rights are given to same-sex couples, whether through marriage or "some other term," such as civil unions.

Important transgender rights victory in New York City

In a small but significant victory for transgender rights, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City that allows people to use MTA public restrooms in accordance with their gender expression.

The agreement arose from a complaint filed by the TLDEF and the New York City Commission on Human Rights on behalf of Helena Stone, 70, a transgender woman who had been arrested and continually harassed by MTA police officers due to her gender identity.

Stone had been assigned to repair pay telephones at Grand Central station in 2005 by her employer, Verizon. MTA police arrested her three times—twice in 2005, in September and December, and once more in January of this year—when surveillance footage showed her entering the women's restroom.


Model documents gay army abuse

Gay model Reichen Lehmkuhl has revealed the perils of the US military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy after documenting the bullying and homophobic remarks he had to deal with while hiding is sexuality in the US Air Force.

The boyfriend of N’Sync’s Lance Bass, was a captain in the Air Force, but had to keep his sexuality secret amongst an ’institutionalised acceptance of homophobia.’ 

Lehmkuhl told ABC News that it was always his dream to serve his country but was exposed to homophobic bullying which included a sexual assault, leaving him feeling suicidal


Historic Breakthrough: Federal Aging Report Explicitly Includes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders

The long-awaited Final Report of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA), released by the Administration on Aging, marks a milestone in the fight for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders. Months of intensive organizing, including town hall meetings held around the country and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force-convened Make Room for All diversity summit last December -- a counterpoint to the WHCoA -- have paid off in the explicit inclusion of LGBT elders in the report.

Resolution 34, for example, includes the following implementation strategy: "Expand the definition of minority populations to include -- gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders [sic] and seniors with disabilities, and increase federal funding to NIH, CDC, Title 3 and other federal agencies to reduce health disparities and promote health promotion programming for all minority populations."

LGBT elders and their advocates converged on the nation's capital last December for Make Room for All: A National Summit and Hearing on the Recommended Priorities for the WHCoA: Diversity, Cultural Competency and Discrimination in an Aging America. Sponsored by the Task Force, the event highlighted the growing diversity of the country's aging population, as well as the challenges that diversity presents to policymakers and service providers.


Soldier convicted in connection to anti-gay murder released early

A soldier convicted in connection to an anti-gay murder in 1999 has been released early by the U.S. Army, according to reports by an activist group.

Former Army Specialist Justin Fisher, who was convicted of conspiracy to murder Private First Class Barry Winchell at Fort Campbell, KY, has been released from prison after serving just seven years of a 12 1/2 year sentence.