Buck naked

From The Irish Times:  http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2012/0803/1224321338483.html

Friday, August 3, 2012

A new documentary explores the pain of living with the wrong gender felt by female-to-male transsexual Buck Angel. But as the trans community role model tells DONALD CLARKE , he has also been fortunate enough to live as the person he wanted to be

AT FIRST I just hear the voice. Through the wonders of Skype, I have made audio contact with Buck Angel, transsexual role model, but the pictures have yet to appear. A friendly, mildly camp voice fusses at the other end. “Just getting it ready. Here we are.” And suddenly it seems as if, from the neck up, anyway, I am looking at a version of myself. A balding gentleman with spectacles and reddish stubble, Angel has a very Irish head on his mighty shoulders. If it weren’t for the tendons swelling beneath his trunk of a neck, I could just about imagine I was looking into a mirror.

“Yes, people think that all white guys of an age look alike. Don’t they?” he acknowledges.

He does himself a disservice. The archipelago of muscles dotted neatly about his wedge of a body sets him apart from the average, weedy Irish journalist.

It is, however, what happens (or doesn’t happen) below the torso that defines the cult of Buck Angel. A star of adult cinema and an engaging public speaker, Angel is happy to describe himself as a “man with a pussy”.

Born as a girl, raised in blue-collar southern California, he made the transition some 20 years ago and has spent the interim enjoying hitherto unimaginable peace of mind.

The transman community has relatively few high-profile role models. But Angel is a big enough personality to take up the slack all on his own. This weekend he flies to Ireland for the Gaze Dublin International LGBT Film Festival. After a screening of Sexing the Transman, a documentary on female-to-male gender reassignment, he will talk with the audience about his eventful life.

Continue reading at:  http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2012/0803/1224321338483.html


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Transgender Warrior: The story of Birmingham’s Jody Suzanne Ford

Being Transsexual or transgender has always been dangerous.  The police and courts have always had a tendency to treat us with extreme prejudice when we are brought before them as criminal defendants.  conversely they have bent over backwards to assure no one who assaults or murders us goes to prison.

It has only been through the efforts of TS/TG activists over the last 20 years that things have started to change and protections are starting to be extended to TS/TG people.

Nonetheless every year there are too many names appearing on the Day of Remembrance Lists and far too often the victims are also  people of color.  Further most but not all are TS/TG women who are misgendered by the press even in death.

From WELD Birmingham, Alabama:  http://weldbham.com/local/2012/08/02/transgender-warrior-the-story-of-birminghams-jody-suzanne-ford/

Aug. 02, 2012

Lou Reed made it seem easy. His 1972 “Walk on the Wild Side” pulled gender conversion out of the closet, on to the open road:

Holly came from Miami, Fla.,

Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.,

Plucked her eyebrows on the way,

Shaved her legs and then he was a she.

Because Holly was a glam-rock myth, Reed didn’t cover the reality of sex change. Holly went from Miami to New York. In places like Birmingham, going from a he to a she meant more than shaving legs.

Not long after Reed’s song hit Number 16 on the Billboard charts, the Birmingham Post-Herald profiled Sidney McFerrin Ford’s transition to Jody Suzanne Ford. In 1977, local papers covered Ford’s death from a close-range bullet to the chest.

Details about Ford’s life are sketchy. My own memory is like that of many Birmingham residents. I got my first “big girl” haircut at Ford’s popular Five Points South salon, Ms. Sid’s Coiffures. I remember her as media sensation, not as actual person.

Mostly, I remember my mother’s nine words on the subject: “Don’t stare, it’s not polite” and “Ms. Sid looked good.” Indeed she did, as existing photographs of her show.

Salon patrons describe Ford as kind – and as a character. At 6’4” and well over 200 pounds, she commanded the rooms she walked into.

Continue reading at:  http://weldbham.com/local/2012/08/02/transgender-warrior-the-story-of-birminghams-jody-suzanne-ford/

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“Abstinence Only” Exposed as Subversive of Actual Evangelical Values

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/abstinence-only-exposed-a_b_1737130.html


“Chastity is getting a makeover. Surrounded by a sex-saturated society, millions of young people are pledging to remain virgins until their wedding night. But how, exactly, are evangelical Christians convincing young people to say no when society says yes?” So writes Christine J. Gardner in her brilliant book Making Chastity Sexy: The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns (University of California Press).

Making Chastity Sexy is important and perceptive in a profound way that casts light on a large subject — religion in general and evangelicalism in particular when it comes to attitudes toward sex, life and religion. Gardner (an evangelical herself teaching at an evangelical school) takes her readers far past merely investigating the sex education/abstinence campaigns to make the point that individualistic society and the autonomous self has become the means of the “wait until marriage” virginity — sanctifying movement. In other words the evangelicals are using pop culture techniques to make abstinence only “sexy.”

Implicit in the abstinence sex “education” programs being promoted around the country, on which billions of dollars have been spent by the government especially during the Bush era, is the belief that committing to delay sex until marriage makes sense only if one has a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ. At the heart of the campaigns that are supposedly about sex education is a belief that without a “new life in Christ” the life of abstinence is almost impossible to follow. Thus abstinence only programs like True Love Waits, Silver Ring Thing, and the Pure Freedom are selling virginity as a sexy choice of personal affirmation using consumerist techniques that are promising “better sex,” in fact “great sex” and perfect marriages ifvirginity is maintained as a “gift” for the prince or princess, God will lead you to as a reward for putting on that ring, signing a pledge and delaying sex.

Studies have shown that those who pledge to maintain their virginity and who do not keep the pledge are less likely to use contraception when they break their pledge and have sex. A 2009 study published in the magazine Pediatrics uses the data to compare pledgers and non-pledgers who share similar characteristics and found that after five years the pledgers were just as likely to have had sex as the non-pledgers. Other studies find that the sexual behavior of virginity pledgers does not differ from that of closely matched nonpledgers, and pledgers are less likely to protect themselves from pregnancy.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/abstinence-only-exposed-a_b_1737130.html

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Voter-ID trial puts trans, elderly constituents on stand

From The Philadelphia Gay News:   http://www.epgn.com/view/full_story/19661961/article-Voter-ID-trial-puts-trans–elderly-constituents-on-stand

by Jen Colletta
Aug. 2, 2012

The showdown over Pennsylvania’s new voter-identification law made it to court last week.

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court trial began July 25 in the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania suit against the state over the new measure, which will require voters to present state-issued ID at the polls starting this November. The trial is expected to last through the end of this week.

Ten plaintiffs are involved in the case, including a transgender man, who testified last Friday.

Asher Schor told the court that he fears his PennDOT-issued license will not be accepted at the polls this fall.

The 23-year-old Pittsburgh resident presents as a male but his license bears his female name, a female gender marker and a photo that depicts him before he began his transition.

Schor testified that the testosterone regimen he began last November has made a marked difference in his appearance — with the growth of facial hair and redistribution of body fat.

He also told the court that, earlier this year, a U.S. marshal questioned the card when Schor, a legal assistant for a prisoners’ advocacy agency, presented it for a work visit at a courthouse.

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Pennsylvania Voter ID Case Could Upend GOP War On Voters In Swing State

From Alternet:   http://www.alternet.org/pennsylvania-voter-id-case-could-upend-gop-war-voters-swing-state

Compared to 2008, voting rights lawyers appear to have the edge in court.

By Steven Rosenfeld
August 2, 2012

When the dust settles after the November election and all sides in 2012’s voting wars look back, a lawsuit now before a Pennsylvania court over that state’s harsh new voter ID law may be a key turning point in a season where civil rights advocates and the Justice Department turned back the GOP’s latest voter suppression efforts.

The case brought by a coalition of voting rights groups—led by the American Civil Liberties Association’s Pennsylvania chapter—is doing several things in court that were not done four years ago, when liberal civil rights groups failed to stop Indiana’s new voter ID law before the U.S. Supreme Court.

First, the ACLU-PA put into evidence testimony from real people about real-life circumstances attesting to the hardship of meeting the new ID law—which wasn’t done before the Supreme Court in Indiana, where that court found no-one had been harmed because that law had not yet taken effect. In the Harrisburg court, the judge heard a handful of elderly people, newly eligible voters who are disabled and registered voters without drivers’ licenses, say why they could not obtain the newly required IDs. They lacked a mix of original documents, transportation to get it, time to get reissued birth certificates, and funds to get paperwork that is a precursor to a state  photo ID card.

Moreover, the testimony by Pennsylvania state officials defending their new voter ID law has been like a scene from an existential novel about kangaroo courts under Communism. Before the trial started, the state’s attorneys agreed in a stipulation that nobody had been found in the state to be impersonating other voters—the GOP’s political ‘justification’ when adopting the new ID law. They also said in that stipulation that they did not have any “direct personal knowledge” of voter fraud elsewhere. (That was followed by video-taped statements by Pennsylvania’s Senate Republican leader bragging the law would help Romney win).

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/pennsylvania-voter-id-case-could-upend-gop-war-voters-swing-state

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BREAKING: Chick-Fil-A Gets Multiple Human Rights Act Complaints Filed Against Them

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/breaking-chick-fil-a-gets-multiple-human-rights-act-complaints-filed-against-them/discrimination/2012/08/02/45487

by David Badash
on August 2, 2012

Today, multiple complaints against Chick-fil-A were filed with The Illinois Department of Human Rights by The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) on behalf of unnamed claimants. The complaints, according to a press release, quoted below, and official documents released to The New Civil Rights Movement, “allege that Chick-fil-A’s ‘intolerant corporate culture’ violates Illinois law, specifically Section 5-102(B) of the Human Rights Act, which prohibits a ‘public accommodation’ from making protected classes ‘unwelcome, objectionable or unacceptable’.”

Chick-Fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy has repeatedly made disparaging remarks about same-sex marriage. Chick-Fil-A CEO S. Truett Cathy is quoted in a 2007 Forbes profile stating he would probably fire someone who has been sinning.

In response to calls from ordained Baptist Minister Mike Huckabee, yesterday was deemed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

The allegations come from a man who is Christian, unmarried, and in a relationship with a male partner. Together they are raising a daughter in a “non-traditional” family unit, documents from The Civil Rights Agenda state.

“I do not believe that it is possible for me to eat at Chick-fil-A without being discriminated against simply because I am an unmarried homosexual in a ‘non-traditional’ family unit,” the claimant states, adding, “as a result of Chick-fil-A’s corporate policies which have been both directly and indirectly published by the company’s executive officers, I am being denied a public accommodation free from discrimination against me.”

Continue reading at:   http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/breaking-chick-fil-a-gets-multiple-human-rights-act-complaints-filed-against-them/discrimination/2012/08/02/45487

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How Class Works – Richard Wolff Examines Class

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