Some Memorial Day Early Rock and Roll

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Carmen Carrera and Janet Mock on Lorena Escalera, Media Justice, and ‘Utmost Fabulosity’

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emerson-whitney/carmen-carrera-janet-mock-lorena-escalera_b_1542649.html


05/26/2012

A wildly insensitive New York Times article on the life and death of trans artist and drag performer Lorena Escalera flared tensions between the gender-variant community and the paper when it was published as part of the Sunday edition on May 14. The article, called “Woman Dies in a Brooklyn Fire That Is Deemed Suspicious,” served as a painful exemplar of the media’s salacious, oversexualized understanding of trans women of color, said Carmen Carrera, Escalera’s friend and fellow trans-identified drag performer. Carrera is most widely known for her performance on the third season of Logo reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“You know what it is? I knew Lorena from shows we did in the New York City scene,” said Carrera in an interview with me. “She was much more than what they were trying to portray her as. She was always happy, always having a good time. And she was definitely a big inspiration to me.”

Escalera, whose success as a drag performer likely inspired many, was a direct influence on Ms. Carrera, who recently came out as transgender herself.

“When I read that article, I was like, ‘Wow, are you serious?'” she said. “They put her gender above everything else. My first thought was, ‘When I die, is that how it’ll be? Nothing’s going to matter besides my gender? Nothing I do for others, nothing else? What’s the point, then?'”

Carrera described her disgust with The New York Times‘ depiction of Escalera as “curvaceous” and the fact that the writers of the article (Al Baker and Nate Schweber) depicted Escalera as a 25-year-old woman who “often drew admiring glances in the gritty Brooklyn neighborhood where she was known to invite men for visits to her apartment.”

“If she was a non-trans female that was killed, they wouldn’t have described her like that,” she said. “The article makes it OK to portray trans people like, ‘Oh, she was an escort. Oh, she was promiscuous.’  It’s just disrespectful and shows so much ignorance.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emerson-whitney/carmen-carrera-janet-mock-lorena-escalera_b_1542649.html

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Chile to cover sex change operations

From IOL News:  http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/chile-to-cover-sex-change-operations-1.1304964

May 25 2012

Chile will soon cover sex change surgeries under its public health plan in order to allow citizens of limited means to “recover their true sexual identity,” Health Minister Jaime Manalich said.

Until now such operations were only offered in private clinics at a cost of $20 000 to $30 000, but will now be performed in public hospitals in the capital Santiago, Concepcion and Valparaiso, he said late on Thursday.

Before the reforms, “a poor person had no possibility of completing the process of femininisation or masculinisation,” Rolando Jimenez, head of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), told AFP.

The cost will now depend on the patient’s income bracket, with the poorest citizens able to get the operations for free.

Complete article at:  http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/chile-to-cover-sex-change-operations-1.1304964

Transsexual People in Sports

Transsexual and transgender people in sports initially involved people who had been assigned male at birth, later having sex reassignment surgery that changed their sex to female.  Part of the procedure involved the administration of appropriate sex hormones.

The Olympics required females to pass a chromosome test.

In the 1970s Renee Richards won the right to compete in women’s tennis.  she was a much better coach of Martina Navratilova than she was a singles player.  She was  a pretty good doubles player which is where older tennis players continue to shine.

Since then the testing of Olympic Athletes has become much more focused on sex hormone levels and other steroid use.

They passed a ruling that permitted post-op transsexual women to compete.

But transsexuals in the news for competing in sports was pretty much a T to F story.

For the last 25 years or so we have had the Gay games which have been open to TS/TG people.

But now T to M folks are also competing.  Some are not taking testo even though they have top surgery and are socially male.

From Sports Illustrated:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1198744/1/index.htm

The Transgender Athlete

Playing fields have long been segregated on the basis of sex. But what happens to the athletes whose physiology doesn’t match their gender identity? Against whom do they compete? What obstacles do they face? And how are they being treated by sports’ governing bodies?

PABLO S. TORRE, DAVID EPSTEIN
May 28, 2012

If you’ve never seen the hammer throw up close, especially during a New England winter, the most arresting part of every heave is the conclusion: how hardened earth erupts when the metal comet splits the ground. Weighing nearly nine pounds with a four-foot wire tail, the stainless-steel ball is menacing enough that airports ban it from carry-on luggage. And on a brisk February morning in Williamstown, Mass., every toss by Keelin Godsey offers further proof of its violence.

At 5’9″ and 186 pounds, Godsey is tautly muscular. He wears glasses and is dressed in black from his sneakers to his knit cap, which sheathes his blond, spiky hair. Over and over, from in front of a chain-link backstop, he grips the hammer’s handle and whirls in accelerating circles until it’s no longer clear whether he is spinning the ball or the ball is spinning him. His target distance, 226’4½”, is out on a gravel path beyond the frost-covered craters. That’s the qualifying standard for the London Games—a mark Godsey finally surpassed last month (with a throw of 227’8″) at a meet in Walnut, Calif. With a top three finish at the trials in Eugene, Ore., in June, he will realize his lifelong dream: to make the U.S. women’s Olympic team.

For transgender men and women, the physiological traits that distinguish them as male or female don’t conform to how they feel about themselves. Some have undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy to make their biological and gender identities match. Others, such as the 28-year-old Godsey, have not: He was born as a female and therefore competes as a female, but he identifies as male. Imagine a body, especially one as finely tuned as an elite athlete’s, feeling inescapably foreign—as if it were intended for the opposite sex. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that I have a good amount of muscle mass, and I’ve done it naturally,” says Godsey. “But in some ways, this is the last body I would ever want.”

A physical therapist who was known as Kelly until his senior year of college, in 2005, Godsey is the first American Olympic contender in any sport to openly identify as transgender. When not competing he dresses and lives as a man, renting a ground-floor duplex in North Adams, Mass., with Melanie Hebert, his fiancée of three years. “I’m a female when I compete,” Godsey says. “Every day I have to sweat, stress and freak out. How do I look? What is someone going to think of me? Is someone going to say something at a track meet?”

Consider something as simple as going to the bathroom. When using men’s rooms—his preference—Godsey usually tries to conceal his chest; in women’s rooms he accentuates it by wearing what he calls tight “girl shirts.” Still, he has been escorted out of an airport ladies’ room by security, interrogated at restaurants and once had to flee a group of snarling men at a truck-stop bathroom in Nebraska.

Continue reading at:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1198744/1/index.htm

From Lexie Cannes:  http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/transgender-soccer-player-scores-big-against-prejudice/

Transgender soccer player scores big against prejudice

By Lexie Cannes
May 22, 2012

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Miranda Salman, knocked out of a sport known for “masculine ethos,” returns again, this time as a woman, and ends up as one of the top players on an all-women soccer team in Mexico.

Salman previously played soccer professionally as a man, but a broken ankle and harassment over her feminine mannerism put an end to her first go at the game. Marriage, a kid, and sex reassignment surgery followed. Eight years later she’s back on the field, and according to a teammate, she’s the best player on the team.

Salman told her story in an International Day Against Homophobia PR video. Further research into Salman’s background returned a lot of interesting hits, but my Spanish, by a long shot, isn’t good enough for use in the media. If anyone can provide further information about her, post it in this blog’s comment section! I can tell you she has 75,000 subscribers to her personal Facebook page – that’s a heck of a lot of people following a transgender soccer player!

Complete article with photos:  http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/transgender-soccer-player-scores-big-against-prejudice/

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It starts in Quebec: Our revolution of love, hope and community

From Rabble, Canada:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ethan-cox/2012/05/it-starts-quebec-our-revolution-love-hope-and-community

By Ethan Cox
May 27, 2012

In almost every report on the social movement now sweeping Quebec, including my own, words like conflict, crisis and stand-off figure prominently. Anger is omnipresent. The anger of protesters, the anger of government, the anger of those supposedly inconvenienced. Pundits scream about mob rule, anarchy in the streets and the dissolution of society as we know it.

Don’t get me wrong, there is anger, present of course. But that is not what you see if you take to the streets, or watch CUTV’s live stream. Pundits can’t stop bemoaning the inconvenience to “ordinary” Montrealers posed by these protests. But I wonder, are there any “ordinary” Montrealers left to inconvenience?

As I write these words there are demonstrations going on in every neighborhood of Montreal. “Casseroles,” where people leave their houses to bang pots in the street every night at 8:00 p.m., have led to marches everywhere. The police cannot keep up. Far flung suburbs like Vaudreuil and Île Perrot, the anglophone West Island and NDG, South Shore suburbs, Québec City, Sherbrooke, Gatineau, Rimouski, Trois Rivières and the list goes on. Some of these places have never seen a demonstration, certainly not since the days of the quiet revolution. Now their streets swell with hundreds, thousands.

The prevailing question in the media is, how do we end this? Supporters and opponents alike seek a “solution” to put an end to the “crisis”. And we need one, those on the streets need to be heard. Actions need to be taken to address the demands of the masses. But what exactly is so bad about what is happening? Why do we need it to end so urgently?

As this movement goes on, and grows by leaps and bounds, it is increasingly clear that it is not a movement of anger, of rage or of hate. It is a movement of love, of community and of hope. People who would be alone in their houses watching TV take to the streets and march with neighbours they never knew they had. Back when we had real communities, they were driven by the coming together of neighbours each night. Instead of watching TV, we met in the street, we exchanged details of our day and we made plans for our future. Just as the “casseroles” cause us to do now.

Continue reading at:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ethan-cox/2012/05/it-starts-quebec-our-revolution-love-hope-and-community

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‘Cancel homosexual superheroes immediately,’ says ‘One Million’ Moms

Wow these people are really freaking pathetic.

It must be horrible to go through life angry that Ellen is in ads for Cover Girl make-up and J.C Penny’s.  Or that companies are treating LGBT/T people as just another part of the community of people they market to.

For years my mother labored under the delusion that my finding the tabloids with April Ashley’s story in them were why I decided to get a sex change operation.

All the while pretending to ignore my being a little girl transkid. Maybe they thought they could abuse me into being a boy.

My having the words gave me power.  Knowing there were others like me meant I wasn’t alone.

But it didn’t make me transsexual. Transsexual was something I was born, not something I chose.

From LGBTQ News:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/cancel-homosexual-superheroes-immediately-says-one-million-moms/


Friday, May 25, 2012

The notoriously anti-gay group that bills itself as One Million Moms, but in reality has only about 47,000 supporters judging by its Facebook page, is now targeting Marvel and DC Comics over their announcements to introduce and marry gay characters in their mainstream comics.

Earlier this week, Marvel Comics announced that its first openly gay hero — Northstar — will marry his boyfriend in mainstream superhero comics’ first same-sex wedding in the June issue of “Astonishing X-Men.”

Marvel’s announcement came on the heels of DC Comics’ revelation that one of its iconic superhero characters will reveal he is gay, also in a June issue.

One Million Moms called the announcements “shocking.”

Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, “I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?”

This is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They don’t but do want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children’s superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable. As Christians, we know that homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-27).

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/cancel-homosexual-superheroes-immediately-says-one-million-moms/

Beyond Corporate Capitalism: Not So Wild a Dream

From The Nation:  http://www.thenation.com/article/168026/beyond-corporate-capitalism-not-so-wild-dream

It’s time to put the taboo subject of public ownership back on the progressive agenda. It is the only way to solve some of the most serious problems facing the nation. We contend that it is possible not only to talk about this once forbidden subject but to begin to build a serious politics that can do what needs to be done in key sectors.

Proposals for public ownership will of course be attacked as “socialism,” but conservatives call any progressive program—to say nothing of the modest economic policies of the Obama administration—“socialist.” However, many Americans are increasingly skeptical about the claims made for the corporate-dominated “free” enterprise system by its propagandists. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of corporations—a significant shift from only twelve years ago, when nearly three-quarters held a favorable view. At the same time, two recent Rasmussen surveys found Americans under 30—the people who will build the next politics—almost equally divided as to whether capitalism or socialism is preferable. Another Pew survey found that 18- to 29-year-olds have a favorable reaction to the term “socialism” by a margin of 49 to 43 percent.

Public ownership in certain sectors of the economy is the only way to solve some of America’s most pressing problems. Take the financial arena, where the current recession was hatched. Today, five giant banks control more than one-third of all deposits. Wall Street claims this makes it more efficient; but even if the Big Five banks were efficient (which is open to question—how “efficient” are institutions that didn’t know they were carrying a huge backlog of underwater loans?), they were all deeply involved in creating the meltdown that cost taxpayers billions in bailouts, and the overall economy trillions. Numerous economists, left and right, believe that these unbridled operations will inevitably lead to another crisis. JPMorgan Chase’s recent speculative loss of at least $2 billion should be fair warning.

The traditional liberal approach calls for more regulation. But, important as it is, this tool for controlling corporate behavior has been increasingly undermined by fierce lobbying. As Senator Dick Durbin observed, “The banks…are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they, frankly, own the place.” Most of those who created the mortgage crisis went scot-free, and the financial reforms that have since been enacted are flimsy in many areas and easily evaded. Nearly two years after the Dodd-Frank legislation was approved, only 108 of 398 necessary regulations have been written, 148 deadlines have been missed (67 percent) and nearly two dozen Congressional bills scrapping parts of the law proposed. The draft measures implementing the Volcker Rule (which limits proprietary trading by banks) are so full of holes as to be almost meaningless.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thenation.com/article/168026/beyond-corporate-capitalism-not-so-wild-dream

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