Month: June 2004

Third Printing

Posted by – June 28, 2004

I’m pleased to report that My Husband Betty is now in its third printing!

Tecate, Mexico makes crossdressing illegal

Posted by – June 24, 2004

from the BBC

(I personally love the detail about how the transvestite prostitutes threatened to out the politicians who have used their services, in Tijuana.)

Mexico’s transvestite ban draws gay protest
Gay rights activists are set to converge on a quiet Mexican border town in the wake of moves to criminalise cross-dressing.

Tecate’s new town ordinance, scheduled to go into effect in mid-November, bars men from wearing women’s clothes.

Men who flout the rule could be arrested and fined.

Transgressors would not face a jail term, although officials said that in practice it may mean imprisoning people at least overnight.

“The majority of votes for this was to avoid Aids, and prostitution if possible,” Tecate councilman Cosme Cazares said.

“That’s why we’re focusing on men who dress like women. This is for health reasons. It’s not to bother these boys.”

The new law has sparked outrage on both sides of the border, and gay rights protestors plan to hold Tecate’s first ever Gay Pride march on Tuesday.

Conduct code

The law is one in a series of measures in a “good conduct” code being taken up by the five municipalities in the Pacific coast state of Baja California, which borders California. Tecate was the first to enact it.

The ban on cross-dressing is one item in a 130-article ordinance that also bans everything from public urination to graffiti.

Tecate has already come under fire for imposing a 22:30 curfew on everyone under 18.

In Tijuana, council members pledged this week not to enact the ordinance – after transvestites threatened to publicise the names of officials who have solicited gay prostitutes.

The state’s other three municipalities have not taken up the ordinance yet.

Targeted crackdown

Town hall spokesman Jose Luis Rojo said the crackdown on transvestites targets those “who cause – how can I say this – who whistle and yell things at you while you’re walking. A lot go out in the night looking for customers and they take advantage of children.”

The town of 100,000 is said to be concerned over a rise in the number of transvestites who have moved to Tecate in recent years to escape Tijuana’s violence.

“We are not classifying this as a crime,” Mr Cazares said.

“It’s an infraction just like you get for driving the wrong way down the street.”

Transmale Nation

Posted by – June 23, 2004

(I thought perhaps many of us on the MTF side of things don’t know much about the FTM side of things, & I thought this article did a decent job of it.)

25th Annual Queer Issue
By Elizabeth Cline

Transmale Nation: Remaking manhood in the genderqueer generation

June 22nd, 2004 10:00 AM

A digital call to action spread on friendster.com last month, and a crowd of tranny boys descended on the East Village gay dive the Boiler Room. It was the very first Manhunt, a party for transmen and their admirers.

When several dozen genderqueers crashed the place, a few of the bar’s gay patrons threw a tantrum. They tried desperately to sort out who was a dyke and who was a dude by rating the tranny boys – with their flat chests, short hair, and male posturing – according to who still “looked like girls.” But eventually, these hecklers were outnumbered by some of New York’s au courant
gender outlaws, a mix of young masculine-identified dykes, bois, and trans guys clamoring for a space of their own. By the end of the night, the trans folks and the gay guys had made peace, and Riley MacLeod, a 22-year-old, gay-identified tranny boy, even stole a kiss from the bartender.

Just a few years ago, the transmale community was still underground, connecting with each other in group therapy and chat rooms. How things have changed. Some of the city’s hottest queer parties are fundraisers for chest-reconstruction surgery, tagged with names like “Take My Breasts Away.” Ethan Carter’s Trans*Am party has gotten so popular it has outgrown its digs
at the lesbian watering hole Meow Mix, and Manhunt plans to carry on through the summer.

By now, there are hundreds of personal Web pages, chat groups, and surgery-comparison sites by and for transmen. (Check out , ,
, or the more than 200 Yahoo groups that pop up under a search for FTM, meaning female-to-male transgender.) Brown University, Sarah Lawrence, and Wesleyan have gender-neutral dorms, bathrooms, and sports teams. New York’s LGBT Community Center has expanded its Gender Identity Project to include eight groups for the gender questioning.

Five years ago, if you were a transmale, you were FTM (or female-to-male) and you would probably change your name, go on testosterone, move to a new city, and perhaps consider sex reassignment surgery. Most of those FTMs wanted the world to know them and see them as real men. But there’s a new trans generation. They’re college-educated, raised on gender deconstruction, and not so interested in realness.

Today, most transmales don’t plan to have “bottom surgery,” which constructs male genitalia out of the labia and clitoris. For some, it’s a matter of cost (ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, which still doesn’t buy you a fully functioning, realistic penis). But a lot of trans guys say they’re doing just fine without one.

“I do not want a cock,” says K.J. Pallegedara, an 18-year-old tranny boy who hides his breasts by binding them with Ace bandages. “I know a couple of transmen who see their masculinity in their dick. But my masculinity is in my head.” K.J. does plan to take testosterone, and he’s saving up the outrageous $8,000 for “top surgery,” which removes the breasts and constructs a male-appearing chest. Dr. James Reardon, one of the nation’s best-known chest reconstruction surgeons, says he performs at least one such procedure a week – up from one a year in 1974, when Reardon saw his first patient.

Photo of: Rowan Foley, Stephen Alexander, Evan Schwartz, Tom Leger, Riley MacLeod, Patric Peter, Ian Lundy, K.J. Pallegedara, Eli Greene, and Ethan Mase
lla

As visibility grows, more transmales are changing their pronouns and hormones to fit their masculine gender identity, and many are starting the transition at a very early age. (A recent Oprah episode featured transmale guests as young as 11.) Along with this emergence has come an extensive lexicon. In addition to FTMs, there are female-bodied masculine-identified people who don’t consider themselves men. They include tranny boys (who feel and look, well, boyish), transfags (who act effeminate), bois (dykes who “play” with masculinity), genderqueers (an umbrella term for folks who challenge their gender) and the list is still growing.

In this brave new world, you can be a transmale who goes “no-ho” (meaning no hormones) or “low-ho,” and “no-op” (no surgery) – or you can be a genderqueer who has top surgery, identifies as a woman, and goes by the pronoun he. The possibilities are endless.

America has always been the land of self-invention, but lately that concept has been applied to the body in unprecedented ways. Thanks to technology, transmales can now invent the body they feel comfortable with. In the new thinking, gender and orientation are a highly personal creation, and while some transmales still strive for “realness,” the new generation is heading far beyond the appurtenances of masculinity. This isn’t about having a beard or chest hair. These guys look boyish, yet butch.

But in the end, the transmale identity can’t be described within the binaries of man/boy, butch/femme, or gay/straight. Says transman and performance artist Imani Henry, “It’s all about self-identity.”

As Manhunt and Trans*Am (meaning amorous) imply, transmales are on the prowl for folks who are willing to break the mold of gender and sexual orientation – or at least go out with someone who does. Along with this evolution has come a new breed of queer women who like dating trannies and who gag on the word lesbian. “I don’t give a shit if people read me as lesbian or straight,” says Alana Chazan, 24, a femme queer woman who has dated both dykes and transmen. “For me, it’s about respecting my partner’s gender identity.”

It remains to be seen whether gay men can respect a tranny boy in the morning. But there are same-sex couples who weren’t born that way. Some transmales call themselves transfags because they express femininity in a very gay-male way. And some of them are open to dating women. “I don’t define fagginess by who I fuck, because I’ve dated all over the place,” says Bran Fenner, 22. “I define it by how I demonstrate femininity.”

Bran has a crew of transfags of color that he met through a Yahoo group he started with a friend. Most of its members, like Bran, would call themselves pansexual. Riley, on the other hand, wants to date biological men (called bioguys), a hopeless prospect, he says, because of “male ignorance” about transmen. But those walls are coming down. The Center has started a new group for LGB trans people, and there’s now trannyfag porn featuring trans and bioguys, surprise, getting it on.

Whatever their sexual orientation, most transmales remain in queer women’s spaces because they feel safe there. Acceptance is growing in this community, but there still are dykes who gripe that all butch women are turning into boys, and feminists who label transmen misogynists out to gain male privilege. It’s true that some transmen ridicule women, but no more than “real” men do – and there are feminists and lesbians who ridicule femininity. So what’s the difference?

We live in a time when the attributes of manhood reign supreme, and not just for men. Women are appropriating the power and aesthetic of masculinity to redefine themselves, to the point where even our heroines – Uma Thurman comes to mind- kick ass harder than your average dude. Masculinity is no longer an exclusively male endowment, but it’s still a very desirable one. This explains why the stakes are higher for transwomen (MTFs) in the world at large than they are for transmen. It also explains why the new generation of genderqueers accords more status to the male-identified. And perhaps why there are so many queer women, as opposed to queer men, ridding themselves of their female identity.

Yes, the status of transmen is enjoying a boost thanks to our macho obsession. But the way this scene understands itself and the world challenges that hierarchy. Feminism and gay liberation made it OK to feel comfortable with yourself as the world labeled you. But the genderqueer
generation proposes a new reality in which the world doesn’t label our identities and our bodies; we do. If you spot these transmales at the Pride parade, or in your local bar, you have seen the future – and it’s very queer indeed.

Gwen Araujo trial declared mistrial

Posted by – June 22, 2004

from the San Jose Mercury News:

Posted on Tue, Jun. 22, 2004

Judge declares mistrial in Araujo case

JURORS SAID THEY WERE HOPELESSLY DEADLOCKED

By Yomi S. Wronge

Mercury News

An Alameda County judge this morning declared a mistrial in the Gwen Araujo case after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked on whether three men killed the transgender Newark teenager.

Superior Court Judge Harry Sheppard announced the decision in a Hayward courtroom shortly before 10 a.m. after hearing from the 8-man, 4-woman panel, and individually asking them if further deliberations would help them reach verdicts. Only two said that was a possibility, the others said it would do no good.

The had been deliberating the fate of Jose Merel, Jason Cazares and Michael Magidson, all 24, since June 3.

The three were facing first degree murder charges, with a hate crime enhancement, for allegedly killing Gwen.

Gwen, who was 17, was born Eddie Araujo Jr., but identified and lived as a girl. According to trial testimony, Gwen was beaten and strangled after her biological identity was revealed during a confrontation in the early hours of Oct. 4, 2002, at Merel’s house in Newark.

http://www.boston.com/dailynews/174/nation/California_jurors_unable_to_re:.shtml

California jurors unable to reach verdict in slaying of transgender teen
By Michelle Locke, Associated Press, 6/22/2004 14:32

HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the case of three men accused of killing a transgender teen after jurors declared they were deadlocked.

The case has been closely watched by transgender advocates, who said the verdicts would send a message about how much their lives are valued. Michael Magidson, Jose Merel and Jason Cazares, all 24, were charged with killing a 17-year-old who was known as Gwen but was born Edward Araujo.

According to trial testimony, Araujo was beaten and strangled after her biological identity was revealed during a confrontation on Oct. 4, 2002, at Merel’s house in Newark, a San Francisco suburb. Merel and Magidson had had sexual encounters with Araujo and had become suspicious about Araujo’s gender after comparing notes, according to testimony. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Harry Sheppard declared the mistrial after the jury foreman announced that the eight men and four women were deadlocked after nine days of deliberations. If they had decided to convict, the jury would have had the option of returning verdicts of first-degree murder, punishable by 25 years to life in prison; second-degree murder, 15-to-life; or manslaughter, which carries a maximum term of 11 years.

The case was charged as a hate crime, which could add four years to sentences. Cazares had sought acquittal, saying he wasn’t involved in the killing and only helped bury the body. Magidson’s attorney argued the case was not murder but manslaughter, a crime of passion triggered by sexual fraud.
More

TG Day of Remembrance announced

Posted by – June 17, 2004

Transgender Day of Remembrance announced.

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Contact:
Gwen Smith
Ethan St. Pierre

TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE ANNOUNCED
6th annual event will be held November 20, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO, June 16, 2004 – The 6th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance has been set for November 20th, 2004, with over 100 separate
observances expected world-wide.

“Since last year’s event, nine more people have died due to anti-transgender violence,” said Ethan St. Pierre of the Remembering Our Dead project. “So yet again, we will be making it known that such killings are unacceptable.

The most recent reported case of anti-transgender violence leading to death is that of Cedric Thomas of Baton Rogue, Louisiana, who was shot multiple times on May 18th. Thomas died from those wounds on June 5th.

The Day of Remembrance began in 1999 as a way to draw attention to the
issue of anti-transgender violence in the wake of unsolved murders such
as that of Rita Hester. Hester was killed November 28th, 1995. Her death remains unsolved.

Unlike the murder of Rita Hester, many recent cases — including the rash
of Washington, D.C. attacks that left two dead last August — show an increased vigilance on the part of law enforcement and the media to treat these crimes equally.

“That we’re seeing more stories about these cases, more arrests, and more
convictions says that our actions are being taken seriously,” said Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwen Smith. “yet there is still so much more to do.”

Last year’s event was honored in over one-hundred locations in eight countries.

The Remembering Our Dead project exists to honor individuals murdered as a result of anti-transgender hatred and Prejudice, and draw attention to the issue of anti-transgendered violence. Remembering Our Dead is a project of Gender Education and Advocacy, Inc.

Alternatives to HRC

Posted by – June 14, 2004

For those of you disturbed by the HRC’s dismissal of trans-inclusion, I have found two other groups that are much more hip to trans issues.

1) The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment. NCTE was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who saw the urgent need for a consistent voice in Washington DC for transgender people. NCTE provides this presence by monitoring federal activity and communicating this activity to our members around the country, providing congressional education, and establishing a center of expertise on transgender issues.

and

2) The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) is the national progressive organization working for the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, with the vision and commitment to building a powerful political movement.

These two groups work together and are a constant presence in DC. The lawyer who works on trans-issues at NGLTF is very dedicated and a strong speaker on trans issues. Mara Kiesling, of the NCTE, works way too hard – which is exactly what you want in a social justice organization!

So give them your money and time instead, and tell HRC to get bent.

Chicago Be-All

Posted by – June 8, 2004

Betty, Helen, Mariette Pathy Allen and Tony Bareto-Neto at the Chicago Be-All

Betty & I will be attending the Chicago Be-All from June 10th – 13th. I’ll be doing three workshop/seminars, and will also be reading at a bookstore called Women & Children First at 6:30 PM on Thursday, June 10th.

Mariette Pathy Allen will be presenting from her new book, The Gender Frontier, at 7:30 PM. Much thanks to her for letting me in on this event.

Trans-Partners Forum at the Center

Posted by – June 3, 2004

I’m on this panel! Do come! Partners especially welcome!!

**
Trans-Partners Forum
Tuesday, June 8, 7 – 9PM
Exploration and discussion of issues faced by individuals who are, or have been, or seek to be in relationships or partnerships with trans and gender-different individuals
$6 Center Members, $10 non-members (no one turned away)
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Trans-Partners Forum: the Center�s Public Policy Committee, Center Kids, and the Gender Identity Project present a forum on the challenges facing individuals who are, or have been, or seek to be in relationships or partnerships with transgender, gender-different and gender questioning people.

Community members will explore some of the social, legal, medical and personal issues facing partners of trans, gender-different and gender questioning people, including losing and maintaining our sense of identity and community, getting our needs met, being overshadowed by the needs of our trans-identified partners, financial concerns, barriers to medical care, stigma associated with our attraction to trans-people, and more.

Trans-Families Series: Trans-Partners is the second in the Trans-Families series of forums offered by the Center. The first forum, Trans-Parents, in January 2004, explored some of the social, legal, medical and personal issues facing trans, gender-different and gender questioning parents, moms and dads, including challenges facing transgender people who want to become parents. Trans-Partners broadens those concerns to include an expanded vision of family. The final forum, Trans-Families will be offered in the fall and will explore the concerns of trans-extended families.

For further information call (212) 620-7310
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center is located at 208 West 13th Street, New York City

News Forum

Posted by – June 2, 2004

Betty & I set up a news forum on the MHB message boards:

News Forum

We happen to have one friend, Donna, who is so expert at finding good articles, that we thought her efforts deserved a more public forum. Hopefully this forum will be useful to the rest of the community, so spread the word!