Month: November 2003

Thanksgiving Trans*Am

Posted by – November 26, 2003

After you all finish eating with friends and family, and the femme in your is dying to get out, check out Sunday night’s Trans*Am, hosted by Ethan Carter – it’s Ladies’ Night, and only a $3 cover for T-girls!

from the flyer: Are you Trans-amorous? Then come show your love! A party for trans folks, gender queers and supporters!

Further information can be found at Ethan Carter’s site

To all, a happy Thanksgiving!

General Clark and Barry Winchell

Posted by – November 23, 2003

This just in, from the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition:

Critics Rail Against Senate Promotion of Gen. Robert Clark

WASHINGTON DC – On Tuesday, November 18th, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the promotion of Major General Robert T. Clark to the rank of Lieutenant General, the Army’s second highest rank. The senate confirmation drew rancor from the nation’s major Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Organizations, including the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC).

In 1999, Gen. Clark was the commander of Fort Campbell, Kentucky at the time PFC Barry Winchell was murdered when his fellow soldiers came to believe to him be gay. Winchell, whose death was subject of a Showtime Movie, “A Soldier’s Story,” had a romantic relationship with Calpernia Addams, a pre-operative transsexual woman.

Clark failed to take steps to deal with the homophobic climate of Fort Campbell, and obey and implement “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” regulations. Gen. Clark’s inaction in response to the anti-gay harassment suffered by Barry Winchell in the weeks leading up his death has been the subject of much controversy, and has been cited as a possible contributing factor to his murder.

“Instead of being considered for a “promotion,” General Clark should have been court-martialed, and sent to prison for dereliction of duty!” fumed Cliff Arnesen, Vice President of the New England GLBT Veterans. “George W. Bush, and all those in the U.S. Senate who voted to confirm Clark’s promotion, ought tobe ashamed of themselves”

“With the many other more deserving three-star generals who were encouraged to retire after being told there was no promotion for them on the horizon,” said Vanessa Edwards Foster, chair of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC), “it’s incomprehensible that this would be the candidate that the Bush administration deemed worthy of promoting.

“To the GLBT community of America, this sends a distinct message: Homophobic? Good job, soldier!” Foster commented, “the Bush Administration rewards apathy towards homophobia.”

Despite Gen. Clark’s claims that he was not aware of any homophobic incidents at Fort Campbell prior to the murder, there had been numerous reports of anti-gay harassment, graffiti, and assault at the post. A Department of Army Inspector General report also found Fort Campbell to be suffering from low morale, inadequate delivery of health care to soldiers and their families, andleader-condoned underage drinking.

Despite repeated requests, Gen. Clark refused to meet with Winchell’s parents, Patricia and Wally Kutteles, but finally relented this spring on the eve of his appearance before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. During the meeting, Clark expressed regret over Winchell’s death, but refused to accept any responsibility for the homophobic harassment that took place under his commandat Fort Campbell.

“There is compelling evidence that the anti-gay harassment at Fort Campbell was pervasive,” said Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate floor Tuesday, “General Clark says he agrees with these findings, but that he was, nonetheless, not aware of a single instance of anti-gay harassment prior to the murder.” “A brutal, bias-motivated crime is an extraordinary event in anycommunity,” Senator Kennedy continued, “the available evidence indicates that General Clark’s response was not adequate.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) expressed “utter disgust with the tragic and brutal beating that took the life of Pfc. Winchell at only 21 years old,”adding, “my deepest sympathies are with his family.”

NTAC was joined in opposition to Gen. Clark’s nomination by Service Members Legal Defense Network, the Democratic National Committee, People for the American Way, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Lesbian & Gay Task Force, the National Organization for Women, American Veterans for Equal Rights, the Transgender American Veterans Association and a coalition of state-wide civilrights organizations, including Michigan’s Triangle Institute.

Arnesen of the New England GLBT Vets noted, “the message conveyed to our Country’s GLBT service members is that they will have to continue to serve insilence, as we have a Commander-in-Chief, who was quoted in the New York Times as saying: “I’m a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Man.”"

“We at NTAC are quite anguished with the Senate and especially with the Administration,” commented NTAC chair, Foster. “The antipathy this decision communicates to all non-heterosexual servicemen and women, especially in time of war – in time of America’s greatest need – is profoundly disappointing.

“This unwise decision speaks volumes.”

You can find more info about Barry Winchell, hate crimes, and this story at a site dedicated to the memory of Barry Winchell.

You can find out more about the work that the NTAC does at their site .

Brooklyn & Beyond

Posted by – November 21, 2003

Last night, my husband and I got to meet two other married CDs who live near us. One came with his wife, and the other promised his wife would make our next gathering.

I don’t know if I can explain how satisfying it is to meet others who live nearby. There is a whole different feeling of companionship – and for lack of a better word, regularness – about meeting other couples face to face.

We are all expecting to invite others we know, and are already planning our next meeting.

That said, I would love to provide a space for others to meet people in their local area, and I think the message boards at this site might be the perfect venue. So please, use this forum to find others in your area:

Local Gatherings Message Board

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Posted by – November 20, 2003

Today, November 20th, is the Transgender Day or Remembrance, when the TG community remembers and honors TG victims of violence.

There is a website dedicated to the Day of Remembrance. For more about today, and a list of the memorials occurring around the country, check here

From that site: Day of Remembrance

“This site has gone black in honor of the Day of Remembrance, November 20, 2003, to honor the 38 victims of anti-transgender murder since last November�s event, and to remember all victims of anti-transgender violence or prejudice. For more details, see the Remembering Our Dead website.”

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the �Remembering Our Dead� web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities across the world. Rita Hester�s murder � like most anti-transgender murder cases � has yet to be solved.”

“Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgendered � that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant � each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgendered people.”

“We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.”

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn�t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgendered people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who�ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

For a list of those TG people we have lost.

Smaller Video

Posted by – November 19, 2003

Hey all, I managed to cut the file size in half of the promo video and it seems to be streaming now, which is a good thing. So, for those who didn’t get a chance to see it (and my lovely wife) check it out!

Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling

Posted by – November 18, 2003

Massachusetts First State in Nation to Grant Same-Sex Couples the Right to a Civil Marriage

WASHINGTON – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that same- and opposite-sex couples must be given equal civil marriage rights under the state constitution. The ruling in Goodridge et al. v. Department of Public Health makes the state the first in the nation to grant same-sex couples the right to a civil marriage license. Ruling that civil marriage in Massachusetts means “the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others,” the Court allowed the Legislature 180 days to change the civil marriage statutes
accordingly.

“Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Court made history,” said Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign. “This ruling will never interfere with the right of religious institutions – churches, synagogues and mosques – to determine who will be married within the context of their respective religious faiths. This is about whether gay and lesbian couples in long-term, committed relationships will be afforded the benefits, rights and protections afforded other citizens to best care for their partners and children. This is good
for gay couples and it is good for America.”

Key results from the ruling:

1. Same sex couples in Massachusetts who choose to obtain a civil marriage license will now be able to:
-Visit each other in the hospital, without question;
-Make important health care and financial decisions for each other;
-Have mutual obligations to provide support for each other;
-File joint state tax returns, and have the burden and advantages of the state tax law for married couples; and
-Receive hundreds of other protections under state law.

2. Churches and other religious institutions will not have to recognize or perform ceremonies for these civil marriages. This ruling is not about religion; it’s about the civil responsibilities and protections afforded through a government-issued civil marriage license.

3. By operation of law, all married couples should be extended the more than 1,000 federal protections and responsibilities administered at the federal level. Because no state has recognized civil marriage for same-sex couples in the past, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act has not yet been challenged in court.

4. Other states and some businesses may legally recognize the civil marriages of same-sex couples performed in Massachusetts the same way they treat those of opposite-sex couples.

The Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) brought the case on behalf of seven gay and lesbian couples after they were denied civil marriage certificates solely because they were same-sex couples.

“GLAD and Mary Bonauto, its leading lawyer, did an outstanding job arguing this case with professionalism and passion. This tremendous victory would not have been possible without their exemplary efforts,” said Birch.

The Human Rights Campaign signed onto a “friend of the court” brief in Goodridge to support and further explain the case for extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples under the state constitution. A variety of other civil rights organizations, religious groups, child welfare experts, family and legal historians and others also either signed or filed briefs of their own in favor of extending civil marriage laws to same-sex couples.

For the full text of HRC’s press release, please visit:
HRC site

My Husband Betty Publicity Photos

Posted by – November 13, 2003

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mhb_bettyface

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TransNews: Corporate Protections article

Posted by – November 10, 2003

This article appeared in Forbes magazine

FEATURE-Transsexuals new focus of companies’ legal protection
Reuters, 11.09.03, 10:55 AM ET

By Daniel Sorid

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Corporations and lawmakers are expanding protections against sexual harassment and discrimination to cover transsexuals,
cross-dressers and others who fall outside the traditional notions of gender identity.

In the last two years, 19 companies in the Fortune 500 — including Bank One Corp. and Microsoft Corp. — have banned discrimination based on “gender identity and expression.” Sixty-five cities and counties have similar protections, with 16 ordinances passed in 2002.

The measures extend protections to men perceived as effeminate and women viewed as masculine.

“There is a sense that laws specifically based on sexual orientation are not capturing everyone,” said Daryl Herrschaft, deputy director for work-place issues at the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest lesbian and gay political organization.

In August, California’s recalled governor, Gray Davis, signed legislation banning discrimination in housing and employment based on gender stereotypes or
transgendered status. Three other states — Minnesota, Rhode Island and New Mexico — have similar protections.

Another four states — New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts — have had either court or administrative rulings that could be interpreted as banning discrimination against gender expression or status as a transsexual, according to Human Rights Campaign.

Socially conservative groups have opposed the measures, arguing they force owners of religious businesses to support a way of life they morally oppose, and would hold up transsexuals as role models for children.

At some companies, however, the protections are seen as a straightforward way to comply with a patchwork of statutes that protect transsexuals in some cities and states, as well as to reduce taunting and discrimination against those whose appearances clash with more traditional beliefs.

Proponents see the trend as a natural progression from the protections for women and gays against harassment.

“Gender identity and expression was the next step,” said Maria Campbell, director of diversity at SC Johnson & Son, based in Racine, Wisconsin.

Transsexuals are disproportionately pushed out of jobs, kicked out of housing, and beaten up or murdered, according to studies. Excluded from a society confused and sometimes disgusted by their way of living, they tend to get less education and are more likely to lack health insurance, studies show.

A survey funded by the District of Columbia in 2000 showed that most “gender variant” residents earned less than $10,000 a year, with one in three saying
they had been a victim of violence or crime brought on by hatred of gays or transsexuals.

In a poll of 392 male-to-female transsexuals in San Francisco in 1997, nearly half the respondents reported facing job discrimination, while a quarter said they faced housing discrimination.

“Even though it’s only a patchwork, at this point this is how civil rights proceeds,” said Riki Wilchins, executive director of the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition in Washington, D.C. “Ten years ago there was none of this. All this has happened very quickly.”

A GROWING CONFIDENCE FOR TRANSSEXUALS

A growing sense of protection among transsexual workers is tangible in a city like San Francisco, considered one of the country’s most liberal places to live. Indicative of that is the experience of Ina Fried, a technology reporter who in May came out to colleagues and business contacts as transsexual.

Fried (pronounced Freed), who was born male and had always used the name Ian at work, said she wanted to feel “whole” in her life.

Her employer, CNET Networks Inc., said it has made a conscious effort to accommodate employees “transitioning” from one gender to another. When
designing its new headquarters building in San Francisco, for instance, it included unisex bathrooms to accommodate transgendered employees.

“I think I’ve been very lucky,” Fried said in an interview. “For a lot of people the experience of being transgendered is still greatly more difficult.”

The term “transgender” is often a term appended to the name of gay and lesbian groups, even though many transsexuals and cross-dressers do not consider
themselves gay. But it is the gay community’s success gaining protection and prominence in government and private-sector jobs in recent decades that has, in
part, led to calls for expanded transgender protections.

“Transgender issues are really seen as the next frontier, as a way to really make the work place safe for everyone,” said Selisse Berry, executive director of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, based in San Francisco.

“People are finally much more comfortable with the words gay and lesbian,” Berry added. “They’re not familiar with what the word transgender even means,
and sometimes people’s only connection is either drag queens, prostitution, or some movie.”

Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service

Kirkus Review

Posted by – November 4, 2003

This just in, my first official review:

“The forthright wife of a transvestite offers a revealing look inside the little-known world of transgendered men and their female partners. Boyd (a pseudonym), founder of an online support group for cross-dressers and their partners, pulls no punches here in telling her primary audience, women with cross-dressing boyfriends or husbands what she has learned from both personal experience and five years of research. Among the questions she tackles are why some men cross-dress and why women choose to stay with them. Profiling six couples from her online support group to demonstrate that there are various ways of dealing with cross-dressing, Boyd opens with a brief introduction to each couple (and photos of some), then let them describe themselves and their relationship in their own words. Elsewhere, she discusses the pros and cons of coming out, the most common sexual problems of cross-dressers, and the differences and similarities among cross-dressers, transsexuals, and homosexuals. She argues that cross-dressers, some of whom are quite adamant about being heterosexual and resist any linkage with other transgendered groups, could learn a lot from the gay community about facing harassment, discrimination in employment, and rejection from friends and family. The book has a helter-skelter feel: Boyd mixes big topics like history, politics, and psychology with up-close and personal material about cross-dressers she has come to know and like, her personal experiences living with a cross dresser, her clashes with those whose views she does not share. Whatever its organizational faults, however they’re balanced by the author’s honest voicing of her opinions, misgivings and fears. Back-of-the-book material includes a glossary of expressions and abbreviations used in the transgendered community, with supplemental terms that should have been folded into the main entry; an alphabetical list by first name of all the people mentioned in the text, which serves no readily discernible purpose; a chatty annotated bibliography, and a list of resources from cross-dressers and their significant others. Makes abundantly clear the complexities of life with a cross-dresser.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 11/15/2003

Happy Birthday, Adam Ant

Posted by – November 3, 2003

We will be fine, we’re 49…

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…for anyone who knows that reference, I’m very very sorry.