poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, November 11, 2006

S. African gays suffer despite legal protection

At an informal, unlicensed bar at a house in a remote corner of Soweto, South Africa, men and women sip lukewarm beer, mingle, flirt and sometimes dance to driving and monotonous kwaito rhythms. They share a secret.

The bar, called a shebeen in the townships, is one of the places where young black gays don't have to hide who they are, where they can talk openly, and find companionship and a safe haven in an often hostile township.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Historic First Win for Openly Transgender Candidate in Hawaii 

(Washington, DC) — Tuesday's mid-term elections marked a historic first in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) movement for equality and civic engagement. With a comfortable victory garnering 81,532 votes, attorney Kim Coco Iwamoto was elected to Hawaii's state-level Board of Education (Oahu-at-Large), a non-partisan office.

Ms. Iwamoto, an openly transgender woman, is a member of the National Center for Transgender Equality's (NCTE) Board of Advisors. Iwamoto holds a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law, is a volunteer guardian ad litem for the First Circuit Family Court, and is a frequent speaker at high schools and colleges on civil rights issues and community service.

"This is a truly historic win and marks an important first in the American political landscape, said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. "Kim Coco Iwamoto is an outstanding individual with a long history of pro bono legal work and volunteerism benefiting her home state. She will serve the people of Hawaii well."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Two Orissa girls defy norms, get married

KORAPUT: Two Kondh women from Orissa's Koraput district have defied all norms of their tribal society to live as ˜man and wife" after tying the knot recently. Bateka Palang, 30, wed her bride, 25-year-old Maleka Nilsa of Ghumuru village in Bandhugaon block in a traditional ceremony at Dandabadi, a remote village in Narayanpatna block, in the presence of family.

The village has given its grudging approval ”the elders have asked residents not to talk about it to outsiders for fear of shame ”to the relationship that was formalised after all the usual wedding rituals, including dowry changing hands.

Villagers said the women who wed were cousins and their relationship had developed when Bateka used to visit her would-be wife's home. "About four years ago, I had gone to my cousin's home and found a nice friend in Maleka. She was caring and loving. Gradually we started spending more time with each other but we had never thought that one day we would get married," Bateka said.


Pakistan's ground-breaking transvestite

"Darling, you are sooo naughty," purrs an elegant sari-clad woman glowing out of primetime television.

Going by the name of Begum (Lady) Nawazish Ali, she hosts an eponymous talk show that has taken Pakistan by storm.

Flirting and skirting her way through politics, society gossip and plain old sexual chemistry, Begum has become the most popular icon to inundate Pakistani fantasy in a while.