When kids cross the gender divide

Like Kennith Zucker should be accorded an legitimacy…  When will the straights realize he is another quacker like George Rekers and all the rest of the reparative therapists?

From The Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/family/sc-fam-0817-gender-issue-20100817,0,1672852.story

Tomboy Shiloh Jolie-Pitt has inspired buzz on transgender issues. How parents can address the varying degrees of a child’s nonconformity

By Nara Schoenberg, Tribune Newspapers

2:07 PM CDT, August 17, 2010

Does your 4-year-old son dress up in his big sister’s tiaras and princess costumes?

Does your 3-year-old daughter hate dolls?

With celebrity gossip sites buzzing over Angelina Jolie’s comment that her 4-year-old daughter, Shiloh, wants to be a boy, media reports spotlighting rare cases of transgender children and even children’s books beginning to tackle the issue, concerned parents are sifting through a lot of contradictory information.

“I think parents are very worried and confused and there isn’t clear-cut advice,” says Ellen Perrin, chief of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “It’s a complex issue.”

Childhood gender behavior varies a lot, experts say, and there is a wide range of reasons a boy may want long hair (maybe he identifies with his favorite sports star) or a girl may refuse to wear dresses (perhaps they’re just not her style).

What’s more challenging for parents is when a child consistently pursues a range of behaviors strongly associated with the opposite sex. A boy might play with Barbies, wear dresses, vehemently reject sports and say that he wants to be a girl. A girl might insist on playing only with boys, get a boy’s haircut and express strong discomfort with her own body parts.

Often called gender variant or gender nonconforming, this pattern of behavior is still officially (and controversially) labeled childhood gender identity disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Experts say no good data exist on how many children are affected.

Gender-variant behavior in children usually begins between ages 2 and 4, according to Ken Zucker, a psychologist and head of the Gender Identity Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. The behavior is pronounced, broad in scope and continues over a lengthy period of time.

“We’re not talking about transient, episodic behaviors,” Zucker says. “Many children will engage in some cross-gender behavior or gender nonconforming behavior, but I think it’s really the combination and the persistence that co-occurs with the child verbalizing the wish to be of the other sex that leads parents to want to get the opinion of the professional.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/family/sc-fam-0817-gender-issue-20100817,0,1672852.story

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Sarah Palin Doesn’t Speak For Me!

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Ex-MP heads for dole queue

From The New Zealand Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10666900

By Isaac Davison

Georgina Beyer. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age

Georgina Beyer. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age
Georgina Beyer says she is ‘left with nothing’ after death of campaign funderAn aborted mayoral bid has cost Georgina Beyer her job and savings, and with no planned work she is heading for the dole queue.

The world’s first transsexual MP and former mayor of Carterton had planned a political comeback after keeping a low profile for three years.

After stopping work in June as a salesperson at Michael Hill Jeweller, she was struggling to pay her rent and bills and could not raise the $10,000 she needed to campaign in the mayoral race for Masterton.

“That’s left me with no income and having expended all my reserves for living expenses, I’m left with nothing,” she told the Wairarapa Times-Age.

“I have a couple of weeks left to pay the rent. I’m really, really struggling.”

The 52-year-old’s mayoral aspirations crumbled when a Taiwanese friend who was to finance her campaign unexpectedly died two weeks ago. She may leave Wairarapa to seek work, but in the meantime she is applying for welfare.

Continue reading at: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10666900

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Government to Restart Program to Watch Peaceful Civilians

From Info Shop Newshttp://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20100817145700635

by Joseph Caye
BAAM #36 (Boston Anti-Authoritarian Movement)

TALON (Threat and Local Observation Notice) was a program ostensibly created to track the activities of those deemed potential terrorist threats. The aim was to gather loads of raw, unfiltered data from citizen reports, and use it to stop disruptive or violent activity. The TALON program grew out of Eagle Eyes, a program created by the Air Force Office of Special Investigation that called on the denizens of each air force base to keep an eye on their scheming neighbors and report suspicious activity. TALON was essentially the same thing, but it was run under the Department of Defense, and so was no longer specific to Air Force bases, and it required hundreds of people and more than a billion dollars to collect and catalog the thousands of reports they received every year.

While it existed, if you had reason to believe someone was involved in any activity you deemed “suspicious,” you could call the toll free number, 1800-CALL-SPY, and leave an anonymous, unverified voicemail for the Pentagon. Like many government programs created in response to 9/11, it attacked our personal freedoms and instilled anxiety and distrust in many people. This is the program they’re going to revive.

Despite the government’s insistence that this program was for keeping tabs on those that threatened national security—those that would try to create fear and insecurity through violent force—they did not discriminate in their spying. Even the vehemently non-violent were subject to the government’s scrutiny. In a report regarding a group of Quakers near Springfield, IL, a concerned citizen warned the Department of Homeland Security that these potential terrorists were planning an action against a military recruitment center that would involve “raising awareness, education, visibility in community, and visibility to recruiters as part of a national day of action focused on military recruiters. “ When it was discovered that TALON had been policing a large number of lawful anti-war activists, the Department of Defense shut down the program after a lengthy bureaucratic process.

The new government program that watches peaceful US residents is FICOR, Foreign Intelligence and Counterintelligence Operation Records. Foreign is a very broad term that also includes those treading on US soil or in US water. In FICOR’s description, one piece of data they will try to collect are Social Security Numbers of suspects, and since only US citizens have SSNs ,then part of the program’s stated intent is to track US citizens. Although government spokespersons have said that the program will not commit the same civil liberties transgressions as TALON, there is nothing in FICOR’s stated intent that would restrict them from spying on citizens. They only have to identify someone as a person who poses a threat to the US or someone who could potentially become a threat. Threat is a broad term that could mean anything from a genuine violent attack that could harm or kill people to a planned upheaval of the imperialist, blood thirsty, America-the-indomitable mindset via non-violent slogans and educational literature. And potential is every bit as infinite as it is small, and impossible to identify until the potential has been spent.

US officials have tried to divorce the old publicity headaches (keeping records on those exercising a constitutional right and CIFA’s involvement in a major contracting scandal, which if successful, may have created a military secret police organization) from the new program, but there is little to separate the two. The Defense Intelligence Agency is the intelligence branch of the Department of Defense. Under the Bush administration, the DIA started CIFA, Counterintelligence Field Activity, which ran TALON. When CIFA was shut down in 2008 the DIA created the DCHC, the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center. The DCHC will be in charge of FICOR. Not only does the DCHC run out of the same offices that CIFA once occupied, but FICOR will inherit the records from the TALON program, and many of the employees stuck around. “Shutting down” meant little more than that their office ordered new letterhead stationery. There is very little to separate the two programs, and nothing to substantiate claims that they will stop prying into the lives of peaceful citizens. This is the same program that watches pacifists because they’re considered a national security threat. Although the new program will not have law enforcement powers itself, it will share the information it gathers to federal, state and local law enforcement through an electronic database. The violations to our civil liberties they once committed illicitly will now be done with the long arm of the law giving them a pat on the back.

Although Obama professes to run an administration sensitive to the civil liberties of even suspected terrorists, he’s not as transparent as his PR team makes him out to be. Guantanamo is still detaining suspects six months after its very public date of closure, and the Department of Defense is taking over the torture facilities Obama’s CIA “closed.” The change between the Bush administration and the Obama is subtle, and doesn’t include more freedom or privacy.

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Boycott Target

Target rejects calls to donate to gay rights groups

by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio


August 16, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — The controversy surrounding Target Corporation’s recent $150,000 donation to a group backing Republican Tom Emmer for governor refuses to die.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay and lesbian rights organization, said Monday that Target has rejected calls to give an equal or greater donation to groups that support gay rights.

Human Rights Campaign spokesman Fred Sainz said the organization will respond by giving $150,000 of its own money to help elect what the group calls “a pro-equality governor and legislature in Minnesota.”

“All that we are asking is that a pro-equality set of issues and candidates be able to have $150,000 to support that set of issues,” Sainz said.

Target spokesperson Erika Svingen said company officials feel it’s impossible to keep further actions from turning into a political issue, so the company will wait.

“We will use the benefit of time to make thoughtful, careful decisions on how best to move forward,” Svingen said. “We remain committed to the GLBT community and will continue to seek thoughtful ways to demonstrate the strong support for inclusiveness that we have held throughout our history.”

A recent Supreme Court decision allowed corporations to contribute to certain political committees.

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