Monthly Archives: November 2013

International Report: Nepal’s Transgender Persons Denied Voting

Why should we care about transgender rights in Nepal, or many of the other countries I occasionally have news from? Two reasons – first and foremost, these folks are out sisters and brothers, and we are part of the same large, multifunctional dysfunctional family. And second, knowing that the tide is rising – or lowering – for our family helps us appreciate what we do have, and take encouragement from the advances across the globe.

In this case, Nepalese transgender persons had hope 6 years ago, when their Supreme Court approved third gender citizenship and ordered the government to enact laws to guarantee the rights of all LGBT persons.

But here’s the rub – they cannot get proper documentation of their new status, and so they have become disenfranchised. From the article:

…the president of a prominent LGBT campaign group in the Himalayan nation estimates that just three out of 200,000 Nepalese transgenders have managed to change their citizenship from male/female to third gender — largely because of official intransigence and prejudice.

In case you’re surprised at that 200,000 number, that would make 1 out of every 137 persons in Nepal transgender, which seems a little bit of a stretch to me. However, it’s very difficult to apply the Western figures of 1 in 300 or so being transgender (and 1 in 7,000 or so being transsexual) to a nation with very different culture and demographics.

Nepal’s transgenders shut out of voting – xinmsn Lifestyle.

Warren Beatty and Annette Bening’s Transgender Son in Health Care PSA

Stephen_BeattyStephen Ira Beatty, born Kathlyn Elizabeth Beatty and the son of Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, appears in a PSA to push for equal health care coverage for transgender New Yorkers. Specifically, he is speaking out against a New York State Medicaid regulation that bars transgender people from accessing health care.

It’s nice to see some celebrity connection to help the transgender community, although Stephen doesn’t mention his parents in the video.

Annette Bening’s Transgender Son In PSA | WebProNews.

UPDATE: Transgender Texas Teen’s Tuxedo Triumph

I always enjoy alliteration…but now to the news. Transman Jeydon Loredo from the La Feria school district in South Texas just wanted his photograph in his high school yearbook. The school district originally refused, claiming it violated “community standards”, whatever the hell those are supposed to be…anyhow, after the Southern Poverty Law Center took an interest in the case, the district reversed its stance and his photograph will be in the yearbook.

Another win! When will the few remaining small-minded and bigoted public school officials finally realize that this is not a bunch of crazy kids trying to cause trouble, this is Little Rock, 1957, and these kids are on the front lines of our new civil rights movement? Every year now we have homecoming, prom, yearbook, and commencement kerfluffles and they never learn.

Transgender Texas student’s tuxedo photo approved – Beaumont Enterprise.

Missouri to Accept Joint Tax Returns From Same-Sex Couples

Jay_Nixon
Simply awesome news, and probably the start of of a trend. This will have broad impacts for Missouri LGBT couples, especially transgender couples where one partner is unable to change their legal sex.

Reading around the news sites for commentary on this announcement, some cynics have posited that the real reason this was done was to avoid a lawsuit brought by a same-sex couple for discrimination over their state taxes. However, most feel that this was primarily an initiative by Jay Nixon to expand LGBT rights administratively in the state.

I dearly hope Kansas and all other states follow Missouri’s lead.

Mo. to Accept Joint Tax Returns From Gay Couples :: EDGE New England.

Cristan from the Transadvocate Does Good Work Again – Intimidation by Anti-Transgender Signature Gatherers

Cristan Williams, who has campaigned tirelessly to expose the lies of the anti-transgender movement in California, has posted a new video showing verbal abuse by two of the good and righteous members of the anti-transgender proposition AB1266, which would repeal protections for transgender youth.

The video is both scary and unsurprising. Even if we win this battle, we’re clearly drawing the attention of the same hate groups who targeted lesbians and gays.

Add intimidation to the lies, fraud of the anti-AB1266 effort as signature gatherer caught bullying trans advocate | The Transadvocate.

Cuban Transgender Activist Comes to the US

Wendy_Iriepa1The lovely Wendy Iriepa Díaz and her husband have traveled to the US to tell the truth about the way LGBT persons are treated in the country, but especially the Transgender population, as Wendy is a post-op transwoman legally married to Ignacio Estrada Cepero. For example, although some trans activists like to shame the US by saying that “even Cuba gives SRS for free,” according to Wendy only 20 surgeries have been approved in five years.

I had to include the photograph below, because Wendy made such a beautiful bride.

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Florida congresswoman meets with Cuban LGBT rights activists : Washington Blade – America’s Leading Gay News Source.

Haters Threatening an Upset: Opponents of California Transgender Student Rights Get Signatures to Repeal

Pinkfloydhammers
This is a serious issue for every transperson in the United States, not just California, because California sets the precedent in many social issues. When the anti-SSM amendment was passed in California, several other states put their initiatives on hold or slowed them down until the recent US Supreme Court victories. What happens in California very often does not stay in California.

Take this threat seriously. The opposition has spread fear and lies and disgusting demonizations of transgender people, not helped by the recent Pacific Justice Institute’s fake and libelous “news” about a transgender student harassing girls in the bathrooms in Colorado. Remember how everyone thought that California would laugh at an anti-SSM amendment – only to discover that a large number of minority groups came out of the closet as “sudden conservatives” to vote against civil rights?

A loss to hate in California will hurt us all in the long run. I’m not certain what we outside of California can do to help, other than keep spreading the word and the positive message of civil rights.

Opponents Of California Transgender Student Rights Law Get Signatures To Repeal « CBS San Francisco.

The Paris Transwomen of Christer Strömholm

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Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm befriended the transsexual women who worked the streets of Paris in the 1950’s and 1960’s, documenting their lives as they fought to live as women and to save money for sex reassignment surgery.

I’ve collected what I feel are twenty of his most compelling photographs of these women and posted them with some commentary at the link below.

Christer Strömholm – Transwomen of Paris in “Les Amies de Place Blanche””

California Boy Charged with Hate Crime after Transgender Teen set on Fire

Well, here we go again, another transgender person attacked brutally for daring to exist. According to the Contra Costa Times, as well as later news posted yesterday, the victim, Luke “Sasha” Fleischman suffered serious burns requiring hospitalization after a 16 year-old sociopath set fire to Fleischman’s skirt while they slept on a public bus. The sociopath is one Richard Thomas, a student at Oakland High School, who admitted to police that he set fire to Fleischman’s skirt because he was self-described as “homophobic.”

Once he was actually arrested, however, he’s changed his story, and his family has come forward to declare that Thomas is a stereotypical good kid who does bad things.

Bad things like putting a person in the hospital and signing them up for a future of several painful surgeries to recover. Yeesh.

California boy charged with hate crime after transgender teen set on fire.

OK, You Should See This – Music Video Features Transgender Love Story

Nathanson_Video
I watched this video by Matt Nathanson for his song “Kinks Shirt” – the clip is below – It deals with a transgender romance in a quirky, cute, sensitive, and positive way. I thought it was actually very touching. It’s also a catchy tune, which I’ve downloaded to keep on my phone.

NOTE – the link below goes to a music video with sound, and is mostly work-safe…err on the side of caution.

Matt Nathanson’s ‘Kinks Shirt’ Music Video Features Transgender Love Story

Nikki Araguz, Transgender Woman, Weds After Heartbreak

Texas_HeartbreakThis is a sad story with a happy ending. Beautiful transwoman Nikki Araguz, who was raked over the coals in Texas for being transgender. She married a firefighter who was tragically killed in a fire, and then Texas decided to deny her survivor benefits by claiming SRS wasn’t good enough to prove she was married. The good news is that she met another man and fell in love, and after a fight in the courts and some searching, she and her fiancee were married in Corpus Christi.

There is a nice video at the link below, and a small photo gallery.

Nikki Araguz, Transgender Woman, Gets Married After Heartbreak.

Women’s College Admissions: Are Trans Women Left in the Dust?

DartmouthThis article creates some dismay in me, in that it appears that every single women’s college is unique, and they all have very different criteria for acceptance and continuation of transgender students. For example:

  • Hollins University will allow transwomen with SRS and gender marker changes to attend, but not transmen. In fact, a woman who transitions to male while already enrolled is not allowed to graduate.
  • Smith College requires a gender marker change to be accepted. However, unlike Hollins University, a woman who transitions to male while already enrolled is allowed to graduate.
  • Yet at the same time, Smith College *does* allow males from Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts to attend classes at the all-women’s facilities.

Thankfully transgender students are allowed at any State institution in the United States (with perhaps a couple of exceptions), although what gender they are recognized as may vary from University to University.

Women’s College Admissions: Are Trans Women Left in the Dust? :: EDGE Providence.

Victoria’s Secret Petitioned To Make Carmen Carrera Its First Transgender Model

Carmen_CarerraIt seems a bit unlikely – Victoria’s Secret has never been known to be interested in transgender models, even though they have been trying to break into the venue since the mid-2000’s. An unsanctioned event featuring Thai ladyboys once aired claiming to be sponsored by Victoria’s Secret, and the company went out of its way to distance itself from the event.

There is a video with sound at the link below, which features some top nudity.

NOT WORK-SAFE: Victoria’s Secret Petitioned To Make Carmen Carrera Its First Transgender Model.

Exclusive to Transas City – Foot and Shoe Size Differences Between Women and Men

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Exclusive to Transas City – I’ve done research on the differences in foot and shoe sizes between women and men, in the hopes that it will give some encouragement to transwomen and transmen who worry about the size and appearance of their feet. The complete study can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Foot Size Differences Between Women and Men – a Scientific Review by Una

Thailand: 2013 Transgender Beauty Pageant Crowned

2013_ContestThere is a gallery of 10 photos from the contest at the link below. But one story which may be both bigger and also more nebulous to report on is that just in the few years I’ve been tracking transgender news, I’ve seen a gradual but persistent improvement in the way in which transgender persons are reported on in Chinese media. Sure, civil rights are still a serious problem in China, especially for transgender persons, but the change sometimes starts with the media and how it treats a marginalized group.

2013 transgender beauty pageant crowned – People’s Daily Online.