Friday Philosophy: Trans-Dimensional News

Every month or so, I like to do a summary of the recent news of interest to the trans-community.  Welcome to our world.

My continuing readers may be interested in hearing that we had some success since last week.  Israel Luna has decided to withdraw the offensive trailer for Ticked-off Trannies with Knives.

“After listening to some of the voices in the trans community,” Mr. Luna said, “I’ve decided to remove those references from the trailer.”

Meanwhile, for a better portrayal of transwomen, I hear James Rasin’s Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar is worthwhile.  Here’s a preview by Jillian Weiss, which includes the trailer.  Candy apparently dreamed of being Kim Novak.  Personally, I dreamed of being Shirley MacLaine.

Jared Polis says that an inclusive ENDA will come up for a vote in the next couple of weeks and will pass by a substantial margin…and that President Obama will try to use the bully pulpit it to get it through the Senate so he can sign it.

I hope so.  But I am not going to hold my breath.  I am not confident in this Senate.

In some ways it was a typical week:  Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, 29, was murdered in Queens and was referred to by her birth-name by some of the press:  cf. Fox News

If you really have a hankering to help some people, you could read the biography Memoirs of Randa the Trans by an Algerian transsexual woman who has been one of the leading voices in Arab LGBT circles.  After receiving death threats in Algiers, she ran to Beirut, where she was arrested and threatened with deportation back to Algeria.

Educated as a nurse, she was told in Beirut that it is against hospital policy to hire transsexual people.  The only jobs she was offered were as an exotic dancer and/or a prostitute.

A transsexual is also a human being, someone who thinks and who interacts in society just like other people.  Otherwise, we are seen as ‘things’ or simply as sexual objects


Personally, I prefer the usage of transsexual as an adjective, but whatever.  I look forward to perhaps discovering an English version of the book.

A federal judge in Wisconsin declared that a Wisconsin law prohibiting hormone treatment for transpeople in prison violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment since it ignores the individual medical needs of the prisoners and the medical judgment of their health-care providers.

”It’s a victory for these inmates who have a condition that is misunderstood and vilified for political purposes that can be very serious,” Larry Dupuis, an ACLU lawyer who represented the plaintiffs, said Thursday. ”To take away a whole class of treatment just because it’s politically disfavored is not constitutional.”

This decision recognizes that many inmates have a serious medical condition that requires individualized medical treatment. The court’s ruling doesn’t require inmates to receive hormones or surgery for sex reassignment, it simply means that doctors are the ones who make the decisions about treatment.  The court’s decision is just common sense.

John Knight of the ACLU.

The citizens of Wisconsin don’t want to have to pay for gender reassignment therapy, because that might make them communist or something, like those people in Cuba.

In another update of an older story, Chaz Salvatore Bono has filed court documents to formally change his name and gender, having had surgery by Dr. Michael Brownstein in September.  The hearing on the petition request will May 6.

In Philadelphia the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority seems to think it is their business to identify all riders by gender, to the point of requiring all riders to have stickers affixed to their passes (ironically called transpasses) and requiring drivers to verify the date and gender of the carrier of the pass.  This has resulted in “uncomfortable, humiliating, and bizarre moments” for transgender riders.  So there was a protest yesterday by Riders Against Gender Exclusion:  about 40 people in drag showed up for a show in Suburban Station.  The cards even come with pictures of “generic” men and women on them, but are not apparently distributed male cards to men and female cards to women.

The 4th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights took place in Addis Ababa earlier this year and generated this essay by Kavinya Makau and Zawadi Nyong’o:  Sexuality Discourses – Between Patriarchy, Pornography and Pleasure.


Transgender and transsexual people in Africa face major challenges as a result of the denial of their existence, stigma, discrimination, and the general fear they face in accessing medical and other public health services.

In other words, it’s not too much different from here.

I also like this line from the essay:  


So true.

Meanwhile in Turkey:

We want an initiative to include transvestites and transsexuals. We want our legal rights.  We don’t want to be alienated. We want to live humanely in this society.  We want the government to back our movement.

–Öykü Evren, the head of the Bursa-based association known as Rainbow

The Montreal Gazette was also on this story:

Singer Bulent Ersoy is renowned for her elaborate wardrobe, formidable decolletage, countless albums, a stint on Turkey’s most popular TV talent show and a spin-off film career.  She was also born a man.

The transsexual Ersoy – and a host of other ambiguously sexed entertainers – have achieved success despite the conservatism of Turkish society and the prejudice that faces the country’s gay and transgender communities.

It’s okay to be transsexual in Turkey apparently, as long as you be transsexual in the public media and Not In My Back Yard.

At least 8 transwomen have been murdered in Istanbul and Ankara since November, 2008.

Same-old same-old:

If you have money, if you are rich, you can be everything. If you are ordinary people, you can’t be anything.

–Nazan Ozcan, who writes for Radikal

Meanwhile, in the US Kristen Stewart and Nikki Reed want to appear

in a fact-based drama/comedy that would have them playing men.”

, a statement which shows how much they shouldn’t do their proposed project, K-11, since they don’t seem to understand about transpeople.

LINK to interview.

Kristen Stewart portrays a male to female transsexual prisoner with autism named Butterfly.  Nikki Reed also portrays a prisoner who is transgender (previously a woman) and is a meth addicted prostitute named Mousey.

Link to movie synopsis

And Lady Gaga has brought some news down on us.  Apparently a group called the Culture Campaign is concerned with the “moral freefall” of our nation…as evidenced by our existence.  So they have managed to have one version of Gaga’s new video blocked.  I’ve got what is referred to as the “clean version”, which co-stars Beyonce, over to the left.

There are transsexual women and transgender women and suddenly it becomes poisonous and something else because there are some people in this world that believe being gay is a choice.  It’s not a choice, we’re born this way. That’s why for me this video is groundbreaking because it has one foot in the art community and one foot in the commercial world.

Lady Gaga, who identifies as bisexual

And I’ll end with an excellent essay by Sam Schoenberg in today’s Yale Daily News:  A population the census does not count.

TDN will be back again next month.  Meanwhile, I’ll still be writing pieces on Friday Evenings and occasional other days, like a Greenroots piece this coming Sunday Evening.  I’ll spend tomorrow celebrating my 62nd birthday.


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    • Robyn on April 3, 2010 at 12:03 am

    …over at the Orange.

  1. and as I said before…..

    liberty,equality and solidarity……

    this should be every human beings stand……

    • Robyn on April 3, 2010 at 1:54 am

    …on the Rec List at the Orange.  You could help keep it there.

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