Stuck in Loneliness

April 15th, 2009

By Monica F. Helms

(This is the 3rd and final installment in the “Stuck in . . . ” series.)

We all know that loneliness does not limit itself to LGB or T people. This feeling probably strikes 100% of the human population at one time of another, many living in perpetual loneliness for most of their lives. A person can feel lonely because they have no one special in their life who loves them. Others can be lonely in a crowd of people who do love them. A majority of people don’t go out of their way to choose to be lonely, yet some do. But, loneliness goes out of its way to chooses us.

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Intersex Tennis Player Cleared for Women’s Tour

Intersex Tennis Player Cleared for Women's Tour

By David Salter

German tennis player Sarah Gronert has been cleared to compete in the Women’s Tennis Association tour, which will make her the first intersex player to play in the top league of professional tennis.

Gronert was born with both male and female characteristics, but underwent surgery at age 19 and is legally a woman. WTA rules state that if a player’s eligibility is questioned she must undergo “gender verification to determine sexual status.” After doing so, the WTA spokesman confirmed that a “medical delegate determined that sufficient independent and verifiable evidence existed to conclude that Miss Gronert had satisfied all of the requirements of the tour rules in order to be eligible to participate in tour events.”

Gronert’s case is somewhat reminiscent of that of Renee Richards, a post-operative male-to-female transsexual who was barred from competing in the WTA tour in the 1970s until a U.S. Supreme Court ruling gave her the legal right to compete in the 1977 U.S. Open. After reaching the quarterfinals the following year in that tour, Richards later retired and became a coach for luminaries such as famed lesbian tennis star Martina Navratilova.

In Gronert’s case, however, the player was in essence born female and has lived her entire life as such, actively and legally.

Gronert has won two titles in the ITF, the tennis association just below the WTA, and has advanced nearly 200 places over the past year to her current world rank of 555. After the WTA ruling, Gronert is now eligible to compete in any women’s event that rank or invitation merits.

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Transgender drag performer found dead in Fayetteville

Imaje Devera found on street near gay and lesbian bar Updated: 4/14 4:24 p.m.

by Matt Comer | April 14th, 2009

Originally published: April 14, 2009, 11:26 a.m.
Updated: April 14, 2009, 4:24 p.m.

Image Devereux was found dead near the gay and lesbian Club Emages in Fayetteville on April 14

Imaje Devera was found dead near the gay and lesbian Club Emages in Fayetteville on April 14

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Police confirmed on Tuesday afternoon the identity of a homicide victim found near a local gay and lesbian bar.

According to the Fayetteville Police Department, officers found transgender drag performer Imaje Devera (born Jimmy Ali McCollough), 34, shortly after midnight on April 14 in front of 119 Joseph St. The body was found near Club Emages, formerly Club Spektrum.

Police are not releasing any more information at the time, including how the victim died, citing the sensitive nature of the case.

Club Emages owner Dy’Mond Cartier told Raleigh news station WRAL that police said Devera had been stabbed and that the case was being investigated as a hate crime.

The club was not open on Monday evening, so it is not immediately clear why Devera was in the area. However, sources have told Q-Notes that Devera was involved in prostitution as a way to support herself. In many instances, transgender individuals are forced to engage in prostitution as a livelihood, due to high rates of anti-gay and anti-transgender employment discrimination.

The Joseph St. and Bragg Blvd. areas are known to have a high crime rate. Since the end of March, the Joseph St. area has witnessed an arrest for prostitution, an armed robbery and an aggravated assault wherein the victim was shot.

The identification of the victim was accompanied by a photograph taken after a prior arrest. No details regarding a prior arrest were immediately available.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Fayetteville Police Department Homicide Investigation Unit at 910-433-1856 or call Crime Stoppers at 910-483-TIPS (910-483-8477).

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