In the 1970s according to California Law the question of whether or not I could actually be raped hung upon whether or not I was legally female. The actual fact that I had been vaginally raped by a man using his penis seemed to count for very little.
I was surprised to learn that the jail house rape I had survived in 1968 wasn’t considered rape at all since it occurred when I was still living as a boy.
I was boggled. How could rape not be considered rape?
Rape should be considered rape even if it is male on male rape, something that occurs way too often in jails and prisons. Jokes about prison rape should be treated with the same seriousness as joking about the raping of women is treated.
When T to F or T to M person is raped the victim should have her or his rape treated every bit as seriously as a non-trans woman would.
One reason I support Slut Marches and Women Against Rape is because rape is a serious crime and the victim should never be the one put on trial or held responsible for the actions of the rapist.
We need to modernize rape laws to recognize that TS/TG people get raped too. Even non-trans men are the victims of rape as are both boy and girl children.
In the past telling TS/TG people they couldn’t be raped was part of the blame the victim culture of misogyny.
Domestic violence is similar. We know it is far more common than is reported.
We also know that it occurs in unmarried and same sex couples as well as in legally married families. Whether it is between a non-trans male and female couple or between partners in a same sex couple or a relationship where one partner is trans and the other is non, the violence is the same the injuries are as real.
The laws should be automatically inclusive.
Victims shouldn’t have to fight to have crimes committed against them recognized as crimes simply because they are members of a minority group certain people in the dominant culture have chosen to treat as “despised and dispossessed”.
In the United States the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal protection under the law. Inclusiveness in the laws against rape and domestic violence should be a no brainer, not something subject to debate.
This murder isn’t the hate crime that is all too common, but rather an act of domestic violence that claims the lives of way too many women.
It is one reason why TS/TG women need to be protected by the same laws that protect assigned female at birth women in matters such as rape and domestic violence.
From The Dallas Voice: http://www.dallasvoice.com/she-friend-everybody-10129957.html
26 Oct 2012
Friends, family members — and seemingly everyone who came into contact with Janette Tovar — will forever remember her vibrant personality and infectious smile.
Tovar died Oct. 15 after she and her boyfriend Jonathan Stuart Kenney fought. She was 43.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death a homicide, with the cause of death listed as blunt force trauma to the head. Kenney was later arrested in connection with her murder. As of press time, Kenney remained in the Dallas County jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
Kenney, 26, who police listed as Tovar’s life partner, allegedly committed murder Monday morning at 6:20 a.m. when he slammed Tovar’s head into the concrete in the 830 block of W. Davis Street. He then continued to assault her when they returned home at 918 W. Eighth Street.
Police responded to a 911 call after Kenney found her “not breathing and unresponsive” later that day and administered CPR. The apartment manager told police he heard the couple fighting that morning and said he often heard them fighting since he lives beneath their apartment.
Marisa Anguiano, Tovar’s cousin, said she and Tovar, a bar promoter, were inseparable for the last two decades, seeing each other at least twice a week for drinks, laughs and good times at The Grapevine Bar on Maple Avenue, one of Tovar’s favorite hangouts.
“She always had a smile on her face. She was always positive,” she said.
Continue reading at: http://www.dallasvoice.com/she-friend-everybody-10129957.html
See also planetransgender: Dallas Transgender Woman Janette Tovar Murdered
Brazil has had over 100 transsexual, transgender, transvestite and gender queer people murdered so far this year, mainly in Rio.
In 2014 Brazil is going to host the World Cup Football (Soccer) matches.
In 2016 Rio is hosting the Summer Olympics.
International pressure should be put on the nation to do something to stop the murders of TS/TG (and all the other identities people embrace)) people.
From planetransgender: http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/10/bloody-rock-brazilian-trans-woman.html
By Kelli Anne Busey
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Reposted with permission
This day and age you might expect death by stoning to belong to a bygone era, but for transgender and transsexuals in some parts of the world that sort of brutality is almost an everyday occurrence.
In fact, we would be fooling ourselves to think we are safe from that bloody rock anywhere in the world.
The image is gruesome but is it excessive? No because once I too lay on top of a rock just like that near death.
Source: September 24th 2012 Infonet: “The transvestite Amos Chagas Lima, 39, one of the most popular and well known of Aracaju, who earned the nickname of Madonna, was killed with blows of parallelepiped (the) crime occurred in the early hours of last Friday, 19, in downtown Aracaju.”
She didn’t die right away but suffered for days having just passed on.
I want to write this post with cisgender people in mind. I want you to understand the realities of being trans. We are murdered almost daily worldwide, just for our gender expression. In fact Keila Simpson, president of the National Counsel to Combat Discrimination of the Secretary of Human Rights to the President of Brazil told Gay Star News her country has suffered 100 transgender murders since January of this year.
This is why we fight so hard against being marginalized, and defamed regardless of who, what, when or where. We are never far from the Rock. I know.
18/05/2010 – Keila Simpson, vice-presidente da ABGLT, emociona platéia presente ao seminário “Direitos Humanos de LGBT: cenários e perspectivas”, no auditório Nereu Ramos, na Câmara dos Deputados. O texto que ela leu – “História de todas nós” – de Rafael Menezes está disponível no site da Comissão de Direitos Humanos e Minorias: http://www.camara.gov.br/cdh
18/05/2010 – Keila Simpson, vice president of ABGLT, wows audience at this seminar “Human Rights of LGBT: scenarios and perspectives,” in the auditorium Ramos Nereus, the House of Representatives. The text she read – “History of us all” – Rafael Menezes is available on the website of the Commission on Human Rights and Minorities: http://www.camara.gov.br/cdh
See also: Gay Star News: Brazil trans stoned to death
From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/28/eden-lane-transgender-broadcast-journalist_n_2034538.html
“‘The Book of Mormon’ just launched its national tour in Colorado, so I was able to get a sit-down with [creators] Matt Stone and Trey Parker, ” said Eden Lane, the host of Colorado Public Television’s “In Focus with Eden Lane,” a weekly interview program highlighting arts and culture, discussing a recent trip to New York. “And I interviewed the stars, including Gavin Creel, who is the most charming fellow you ever met!”
She was beaming with excitement, hugely passionate about her work and the show, now in its fifth season. Each week Lane speaks with artists, writers, directors, performers and others in theater, dance, music, film and television, drawing them out with her warm and inviting personality. And while her program is focused on her interview subjects, she, too, is sometimes in the spotlight, making history as the only known openly transgender mainstream television broadcaster in U.S., something that Lane says just sort of happened, and was nothing she ever set out to do.
“I’ve been told that, for mainstream television, I’m the only broadcast journalist that is known to be transgender,” she said in an interview on my SiriusXM OutQ radio program. “I transitioned, in the way that your radio listeners will understand, almost a decade ago. I became a married, suburban housewife and mom, and never really intended to step in the spotlight. If I had known that nobody else was identified as transgender as a news journalist on television, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I probably would have been too afraid.”
Though she had been in television in years past, Lane didn’t expect to get back into the business.
“I started working on television in Colorado just by accident,” she said. “I was a guest on a panel for ‘Colorado Outspoken,’ which was an LGBT [television] newsmagazine. I was invited back again, and started being invited to do segments. I had done work in television but not since I had transitioned. So all of that work experience, all of that education, wasn’t something I could publicize and own, because it was under a different name and a different identity. And without wanting to publicize that, so that there’s that obvious ‘before’ and ‘after’ ‘comparison, I just had to start from scratch. And I never really intended to. It just sort of happened that way. When the station was looking for extra help in covering the Democratic National Convention [in 2008 in Denver], I stepped up and worked for the station outside of the LGBT program. And then got offered a chance to have a platform to do this kind of programming.”
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/28/eden-lane-transgender-broadcast-journalist_n_2034538.html
From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/10/26/1095081/gay-exorcisms-distract-from-the-real-harms-of-ex-gay-ministries-and-anti-lgbt-beliefs/
By Zack Ford
on Oct 26, 2012
An exorcism can be an exciting thing to watch. No doubt, like many spiritual experiences, it is a phenomenon that taps into intense psychological manipulations to produce a result that can be traumatic both mentally and physically, making it jarring to witness. Because many conservative Christians believe that homosexuality is an abomination, some extreme believers will use exorcism to try to expel the gay “demon” from an individual. These sensationalized experiences serve as juicy bait for both viral videos as well as daytime talk-show intrigue. An abridged clip of Reverent Bob Larson exorcising a gay man — then selling his services — is making such rounds on the internet this week:
A similar, more timely, video went viral in 2009 when a Connecticut church tried to exorcise a young gay man, so traumatizing him that he writhed on the floor, seeming to seize and even vomit. Conservatives defended the church, and its leader even had to take to CNN to defend her religious practices. A few months later, the teenage victim appeared on Tyra, proclaiming that the exorcism had worked and he was now ex-gay.
There’s no doubt that exorcisms are dangerous and harmful, bordering on brainwashing as religious leaders stigmatize young gay people to their very cores. But because of how extreme — and for many viewers, so absurd as to be ridiculous — this phenomenon is, it desensitizes the public to the much more common and just-as-harmful practices of ex-gay therapy.
Often, ex-gay therapy is treated in both LGBT and mainstream media as somewhat fringe and perhaps even discountable. When a controversy erupts, like California’s recently passed law to ban ex-gay therapy for minors, the practice is acknowledged for a moment, then allowed to fade back into obscurity with the assumption that no one really believes something as silly as changing a person’s sexual orientation. But even though the number of people promoting ex-gay therapy may be low, the number of people who believe in it is much higher. The most prominent anti-gay organizations, including the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and even the National Organization for Marriage have all defended the practice and testified to its viability.
Continue reading at: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/10/26/1095081/gay-exorcisms-distract-from-the-real-harms-of-ex-gay-ministries-and-anti-lgbt-beliefs/
From The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/10/29/121029fa_fact_mayer
by Jane Mayer
October 29, 2012
Teresa Sharp is fifty-three years old and has lived in a modest single-family house on Millsdale Street, in a suburb of Cincinnati, for nearly thirty-three years. A lifelong Democrat, she has voted in every Presidential election since she turned eighteen. So she was agitated when an official summons from the Hamilton County Board of Elections arrived in the mail last month. Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, is one of the most populous regions of the most fiercely contested state in the 2012 election. No Republican candidate has ever won the Presidency without carrying Ohio, and recent polls show Barack Obama and Mitt Romney almost even in the state. Every vote may matter, including those cast by the seven members of the Sharp family—Teresa, her husband, four grown children, and an elderly aunt—living in the Millsdale Street house.
The letter, which cited arcane legal statutes and was printed on government letterhead, was dated September 4th. “You are hereby notified that your right to vote has been challenged by a qualified elector,” it said. “The Hamilton County Board of Elections has scheduled a hearing regarding your right to vote on Monday, September 10th, 2012, at 8:30 A.M. . . . You have the right to appear and testify, call witnesses and be represented by counsel.”
“My first thought was, Oh, no!” Sharp, who is African-American, said. “They ain’t messing with us poor black folks! Who is challenging my right to vote?”
The answer to Sharp’s question is that a new watchdog group, the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, which polices voter-registration rolls in search of “electoral irregularities,” raised questions about her eligibility after consulting a government-compiled list of local properties and mistakenly identifying her house as a vacant lot.
The Sharp household had first been identified as suspicious by computer software that had been provided to the Ohio Voter Integrity Project by a national organization called True the Vote. The software, which has been distributed to similar groups around the country, is used to flag certain households, including those with six or more registered voters. This approach inevitably pinpoints many lower-income residents, students, and extended families.
From The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/170753/conservative-media-ignore-gop-voter-registration-fraud#
on October 23, 2012
Republicans passed new voting restrictions in more than a dozen states since the 2010 election that were purportedly designed to stop voter fraud. Yet, in a deeply ironic twist, the most high-profile instances of election fraud this cycle have been committed by Republicans in states with new voting restrictions.
The RNC-funded Strategic Allied Consulting, run by checkered GOP operative Nathan Sproul, is under criminal investigation in Florida for submitting fraudulent voter registration forms to election officials. (Sproul is still running voter-canvassing operations for conservatives in thirty states.) Sproul’s associate Colin Small, who had worked for Strategic Allied Consulting and as “Grassroots Field Director at the Republican National Committee,” was charged last week with eight felony counts and five misdemeanors for trashing voter registration forms in Virginia.
Republicans claim that the voter registration fraud was committed by a few bad apples and pales in comparison to the fraud committed by ACORN in 2008. But ACORN was never funded by the DNC. And the abuses committed by Sproul and Small were far worse than those attached to ACORN. Unlike Strategic Allied Consulting, ACORN never changed the party affiliations on fraudulent voter registration forms and self-reported suspicious materials to election officials. Nor did ACORN ever destroy valid voter registration forms, as Small is accused of doing. (Not to mention that none of the fictitious characters falsely registered by ACORN workers, like Mickey Mouse, ever voted.)
Despite the right’s preoccupation with voter fraud, Sproul and Small have received scant coverage from conservative media outlets. Fox News, which ran 122 stories on ACORN from 2007–08, mentioned Strategic Allied Consulting only three times since the scandal broke in late September and hasn’t aired a single report on voter registration fraud in Virginia. Nor have National Review or The Weekly Standard, the pre-eminent conservative magazines, run an article about either case.
Continue reading at: http://www.thenation.com/blog/170753/conservative-media-ignore-gop-voter-registration-fraud#
From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/25/iwant-apple-gadget-consumers
• Are Apple product launches becoming more frequent?
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 25 October 2012
The comedian Louis CK had a wonderful routine called “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy,” in which he satirized our modern exasperation with pocket-sized gadgets that, a few years back, would have been considered powerful enough to send a man into space, or at least run a modestly-sized corporation.
“Uh,” he mocks one clueless citizen shaking her smartphone, which is taking time to load, “It won’t … uh!”
Louis CK comes back with a roaring rejoinder:
“Give it a second! It’s going to space! Can you give it a second to get back from space? Is the speed of light too slow for you?”
His searing conclusion is clear:
“We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.”
Louis CK delivered his routine years ago, but it has remained exceptionally relevant – particularly in a week such as this, when Apple is announcing several new products of overlapping abilities. The iPod touch, the iPad mini – all at exorbitant prices, while Microsoft introduces its new tablet, the Surface, and Android fans spar over whether it’s worth it to buy a Galaxy phone now or wait for the next Nexus to manifest.
But as more consumers obsess this season about the iPad mini and the new iPod touch, and whether the Google Nexus tablet is superior to the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and the virtues of the iPhone 5‘s lightning connector versus the old iPhone 4s connector that predated it by less than a year, it’s a good time to step back and wonder how we have come to this pass. These devices, as fragile as Faberge eggs, packaged like jewels – and priced accordingly – have become, in many minds, almost immediately disposable as soon as the next device with retina-display resolution makes us salivate for the next big thing.
Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/25/iwant-apple-gadget-consumers
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/28
by Jim Goodman
Published on Sunday, October 28, 2012 by Common Dreams
I’ve farmed all my life and I have to tell you, all food is not the same. No food or farming system is perfect, but as farmers, as citizens, we should not be forced to accept a globalized, industrialized, genetically modified system of agricultural production.
I have farmed with pesticides, chemical fertilizers and livestock hormones, and was lucky enough to jump off that ship before it went completely under the waves. I experienced the shortcomings and failures of pesticides, antibiotics and the system in general. I was concerned for the health of my family, my livestock and the soil, so I got out.
I dropped out of the conventional farming system (seeing organic production as a better, safer and more productive alternative) just as the revolution of genetic modification (GM) and its “promise” to feed the world was being forced upon the world.
When I say forced, I mean just that.
People were never given a choice (not in the U.S. anyway) as to whether or not their food would contain GM ingredients, or if they had a right to know. If you eat food with processed ingredients, you are eating GM ingredients.
Despite clear indications of health risks, our government maintains that food with GM content is substantially equivalent to non-GM, therefore labeling is not required.
When GM crops resistant to the weed killer Roundup were introduced, farmers were promised that one application of the herbicide was all they would ever need. Dream on. I watch spray rigs running across neighboring fields from April to November. Roundup is no longer doing the job; the promise of less chemical application was a false promise.
Some farmers still grow non-GM crops but it is increasingly difficult to get non-GM seed. If GM pollen contaminates their non-GM crops, it’s their fault their crops got in the way. And of course, since that crop now has GM genetics, GM kingpin Monsanto et al. can sue them for stealing patented crop varieties.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/28
From Counter Currents: http://www.countercurrents.org/cd271012.htm
By Common Dreams
27 October, 2012
Operators of Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are having trouble storing a perpetual accumulation of radioactive cooling water from the plant’s broken reactors, the plant’s water-treatment manager, Yuichi Okamura, told the Associated Press in an interview this week.
The plant currently holds 200,000 tonnes of highly contaminated waste water, used to cool the broken reactors, but operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, continues to struggle to find ways to store the toxic substance. TEPCO has said they are running out of room to build more storage tanks and the volume of water will more than triple within three years.
“It’s a time-pressing issue because the storage of contaminated water has its limits, there is only limited storage space,” Okamura said.
After the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe of 2011, the plant’s broken reactors have needed constant cooling and maintenance, including the dumping of massive amounts of water into the melting reactors — the only way to avoid another complete meltdown.
Adding to the excessive amounts of cooling water is ground water, which continues to leak into the reactor facilities because of structural damage.
“There are pools of some 10,000 or 20,000 tonnes of contaminated water in each plant, and there are many of these, and to bring all these to one place would mean you would have to treat hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated water which is mind-blowing in itself,” Masashi Goto, nuclear engineer and college lecturer, stated, adding the problem is a massive public health concern.
“It’s an outrageous amount, truly outrageous” Goto added.
Continue reading at: http://www.countercurrents.org/cd271012.htm
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/geoengineering-testing-the-waters.html
By NAOMI KLEIN
Published: October 27, 2012
For almost 20 years, I’ve been spending time on a craggy stretch of British Columbia’s shoreline called the Sunshine Coast. This summer, I had an experience that reminded me why I love this place, and why I chose to have a child in this sparsely populated part of the world.
It was 5 a.m. and my husband and I were up with our 3-week-old son. Looking out at the ocean, we spotted two towering, black dorsal fins: orcas, or killer whales. Then two more. We had never seen an orca on the coast, and never heard of their coming so close to shore. In our sleep-deprived state, it felt like a miracle, as if the baby had wakened us to make sure we didn’t miss this rare visit.
The possibility that the sighting may have resulted from something less serendipitous did not occur to me until two weeks ago, when I read reports of a bizarre ocean experiment off the islands of Haida Gwaii, several hundred miles from where we spotted the orcas swimming.
There, an American entrepreneur named Russ George dumped 120 tons of iron dust off the hull of a rented fishing boat; the plan was to create an algae bloom that would sequester carbon and thereby combat climate change.
Mr. George is one of a growing number of would-be geoengineers who advocate high-risk, large-scale technical interventions that would fundamentally change the oceans and skies in order to reduce the effects of global warming. In addition to Mr. George’s scheme to fertilize the ocean with iron, other geoengineering strategies under consideration include pumping sulfate aerosols into the upper atmosphere to imitate the cooling effects of a major volcanic eruption and “brightening” clouds so they reflect more of the sun’s rays back to space.
The risks are huge. Ocean fertilization could trigger dead zones and toxic tides. And multiple simulations have predicted that mimicking the effects of a volcano would interfere with monsoons in Asia and Africa, potentially threatening water and food security for billions of people.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/geoengineering-testing-the-waters.html