Friday Night Fun and Culture: Anne Briggs

Bullied transsexual died after painkiller overdose

From The Sun UK:

Published: 13th September 2012

A TRANSSEXUAL student taunted and beaten for living as a woman died after taking an overdose of painkillers, her inquest heard.

Natasha Lauren Brown, 20, was born Charles Nicolas James Corcoran but decided to live and dress as a woman last year.

The gifted photography student had planned to undergo hormone therapy after changing her name.

But she became depressed following months of jibes from bullies. Once she was even knocked unconscious in a random attack.

Natasha was found unconscious in bed by her girlfriend Susan Latham, surrounded by empty containers of powerful painkiller Co-codamol, at the house they shared in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, on May 10 this year.

Natasha was taken to hospital where doctors tried to flush the drug from her body.

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Finalist in Vietnam song contest comes out as a trans woman

From Gay Star News:

Huong Giang, finalist of the singing contest Vietnam Idol comes out publicly, live on TV, as a transgender woman

By Dan Littauer
11 September 2012

Huong Giang made history in Vietnam when she came out live during Vietnam Idol as a transgender woman.

On Thursday (6 September) the TV talent show jury delivered their verdict to the 25-year-old finalist from Hanoi, praising her effort and determination.

Judge and film director Nguyen Quang Dung asked if Giang had previously auditioned for Vietnam Idol. After a few hesitant seconds the contestant admitted that she previously auditioned under a male name, Nguyen Ngoc Hieu.

Quang Dung praised Giang saying: ‘I really appreciate young people who dare to be true to themselves and other people. Whatever you do, you take responsibility for it.’

The jury asked the young girl what made her decide to change to which she responded: ‘I’ve got passion for singing and every single change in my life is for art. I didn’t change to win love or any kind of happiness. I think this is the real me and I have to change to be myself onstage.’

The three judges expressed their admiration of the young girl, who has been so brave to be and reveal herself publicly.

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Have We Evolved in our View of Transgender People?

From RH Reality Check:

by Debbie McMillan, Transgender Health Empowerment
September 13, 2012

Like most people, the sum of who I am is much more than my individual traits. However, there is one fact about me that puts me way outside the mainstream. It’s that I’m a tran-sgender woman.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Massachusetts judge ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery for a murder convict.

The piece started by talking about a transgender woman who used to meet in dark parking lots with other transgender people for support. “How things have changed since then for transgender men and women in America, who have made great strides in recent years toward reaching their ultimate goal: to be treated like ordinary people,” the piece noted.

I agree, strides have been made. But “great” grossly overstates the reality. Discrimination and misunderstanding is still rampant. I frequently feel that I’m assigned to a class of sub-humans. Even the judge who ordered the surgery said it was to treat “gender-identity disorder.” As a society, we still view transgender people as being against the natural order and place the blame on our minds, rather than where the real problem is: our incorrect bodies.

A recent article in the New York Times Magazine would indeed lead sympathetic readers to believe things are not so bad for transgender people and that there’s really just left over misunderstandings to clear up. The piece told honest, compelling, sometimes gut wrenching stories of good people trying to navigate the world for and with their gender non-specific children.

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Transgender advocacy group condemns planned ‘Anderson Live’ segment

From LGBTQ Nation:

September 12, 2012

WASHINGTON — The National Center for Transgender Equality on Wednesday denounced plans by the syndicated talk show “Anderson Live” to air a controversial interview with a person who claims an anti-baldness drug made them transgender.

The segment, hosted by openly gay veteran journalist Anderson Cooper, is scheduled to air Thursday, September 13, and is “a story you’ll see only on “Anderson Live,” touts a promotional statement on the show’s website:

“Mandi, who was born male, speaks out for the first time, claiming that a hair loss treatment caused him to become transgender. Mandi is joined by her ex-wife, Michele, who opens up about how Mandi’s identity transformation has affected their son. How is this even possible? We will explore the latest research on Finasteride, the common compound found in most medical treatments used to treat male pattern baldness.”

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement that the NCTE was “surprised, saddened and disappointed that a respected show like ‘Anderson Live’ would give credence to this type of sensationalism and misinformation.”

“This segment is just another case of sensationalizing an already marginalized population plain and simple,” she said.

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See Also: Transgender activists protest ‘sensationalist’ segment from ‘Anderson Live’

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Statement by the Vice President on the Eighteenth Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act

From the White House:

September 13, 2012

Eighteen years ago today, the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law. It was founded on the basic premise that every woman deserves to be safe from violence, and since its passage, we have made tremendous strides towards achieving that goal. We gave law enforcement and the courts more tools to combat domestic violence and hold offenders accountable. We created a national hotline to direct victims to life-saving assistance. And since VAWA passed, annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent.

But we still have much work to do. Three women still die every day as a result of domestic violence. One in five women have been raped, many as teenagers, and one in six women have been victims of stalking. While women and girls face these devastating realities every day, reauthorization of a strengthened VAWA languishes in Congress. VAWA is just as important today as it was when it first became law, and I urge Congress to keep the promise we made to our daughters and our granddaughters on that day—that we would work together to keep them safe.

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At the end of the day – this isn’t about Islam

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