Diagnosing Difference

Diagnosing Difference
DOCUMENTARY / Timely film challenges gender identity disorder
Rob Salerno / Vancouver / Thursday, August 12, 2010
The timely documentary Diagnosing Difference examines the medical community’s ongoing practice of treating people whose gender expression is different from their birth-assigned gender as mental patients suffering from a disorder.

Since 1980, the American Psychological Association (APA) has included “gender identity disorder (GID)” in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) — what some call the Bible of psychological treatment.

The DSM shapes how doctors treat those who identify on the trans spectrum (not all people who are gender variant identify as trans), and how gender is treated under the law and in social life.

With the APA set to introduce an update to the DSM in 2012 (only the second revision since 1980), pressure is mounting for the section on GID to be removed or heavily revised.

Some of the talking heads in Diagnosing Difference note that GID diagnosis is for now an unfortunate but necessary tool for them to access medical treatment and eventual legal recognition of their chosen gender. Others say the diagnosis — implying sickness — is stigmatizing — socially, culturally and legally.

One of the key threads of the hour-long doc is that there is no monolithic trans experience or community with clearly defined goals and needs. Each trans person needs to be treated as an individual with unique experiences and desires for their gender expression.

It’s a stunningly obvious conclusion that nonetheless bears repeating for how often it is lost on people obsessed with genital status and normative gender expression.

At one point, a trans person recalls how her doctors asked if she enjoyed playing with dolls and makeup as a child, rather than asking if she liked Joan Jett and long guitar solos. It’s a clear reminder that gender is performed and enjoyed in ways as numerous and different as the sum total of humanity, and that we can’t reduce people’s gender expressions to simple categories.

Diagnosing Difference
Tues, Aug 17 at 7pm
88 W Pender St
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Mitrice Richardson’s Body Identified

From The Advocate: http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/08/12/Mitrice_Richardsons_Body_Identified/

By Michelle Garcia


The skeletal remains found Monday in Malibu Canyon in Los Angeles were identified as those of Mitrice Richardson, a 24-year-old lesbian who has been missing for nearly a year.

Richardson’s mother, Latice Sutton, was notified by the Los Angeles coroner’s office Thursday morning, CNN reports. The remains and a set of women’s clothing were found by park rangers after months of searching for Richardson turned up no results.

Richardson went missing September 17 and was last reportedly sighted approximately 2-1/2 miles from where her body was found. The site is located about eight miles southeast from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s station in Calabasas, Calif., where Richardson was released from police custody on the night she disappeared. She was arrested hours earlier for failing to pay an $89 restaurant bill and possessing a small amount of marijuana. When she was released, her car, which contained her cell phone and purse, was impounded.

Continue reading at: http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/08/12/Mitrice_Richardsons_Body_Identified/

How does one get home when one is stranded miles and miles from home without a car, money for the bus or a phone to call a friend to come and get you?

Does one walk those many miles or does one stick out one’s thumb and hitch hike?

Once upon a time hitch hiking wasn’t suicidal for women.

What those pigs did was murder and they should be indicted and charged as accomplices.

In the words of NWA “Fuck the Police”

Judge Allows, but Delays, Gay Marriage in California

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/us/13prop.html?hp


SAN FRANCISCO – Same sex marriage is legal again in California. Sort of.

Just a week after ruling that Proposition 8 – a 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage – was unconstitutional, a federal judge lifted his stay of his decision on Thursday, opening the door for untold numbers of gay couples to marry in the nation’s most populous state. But he delayed implementation of the order to lift the stay until Aug. 18.

Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, who invalidated Proposition 8 in last week’s decision, had issued a temporary stay to allow for arguments for and against resumption of same-sex ceremoniesas supporters of the ban pursued an appeal of his decision.

On Thursday, however, Judge Walker declined to extend that stay, ruling, “The evidence presented at trial and the position of the representatives of the State of California show that an injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8 is in the public’s interest. Accordingly, the court concludes that the public interest counsels against entry of the stay proponents seek.”

His decision set off joyous scenes at San Francisco City Hall, where several dozen gay couples had lined up outside the county clerk’s office awaiting word from Mr. Vaughn and where a large crowd of supporters had slowly built during the morning.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/us/13prop.html?hp

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Giving Voice to the Once-Silent

From The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/fashion/12gimlet.html?scp=2&sq=amos&st=cse

The Gimlet Eye
Giving Voice to the Once-Silent
Deidre Schoo for The New York Times

Amos Mac, left, a founder of Original Plumbing, a San Francisco transmale zine, at work in Brooklyn.

Published: August 11, 2010


“WE figured we’ll print 500 copies and they’ll take months to sell,” Rocco Kayiatos said the other day, referring to Original Plumbing, a quarterly he started a little over a year ago with a friend, Amos Mac.

“We just thought there was a need because the world is pretty much ignorant of the existence of transmen,” said Mr. Kayiatos, a poet and rapper who performs under the name Katastrophe and who, like Mr. Mac, identifies himself as a transman.

It turned out that Mr. Kayiatos’s assumptions were both right and wrong. It is true that a lot of people remain uninformed, if not about the existence of transmen — to use an umbrella term for someone born female who identifies as male (think of Chaz Bono) — then about the variety of the experiences that fall under the rubric and transmen’s growing cultural presence.

Those people probably don’t live in the Bay Area, where the zine is published, and where transmen have been gathering over the past decade in numbers no official agency has counted. But the scope of the population can be guessed at from its visibility on the local scene.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/fashion/12gimlet.html?scp=2&sq=amos&st=cse

I love ‘Zines and Blogs because DIY is the way we have a say in defining ourselves and what is important to us.  They are an alternative to the corporate propaganda machines.

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