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Trans Rights Declaration endorsed by ILGA-Europe in Malta

This Declaration was adopted by great majority of the participants of the Trans Rights Conference in Malta on October 28th 2009.  It was endorsed on by ILGA-Europe and will be used as policy documents guiding the future work of both organisations.  
We, the participants of the European Trans Rights Conference, yearn for a Europe free from all discrimination(1), where all people are valued equally irrespective of their gender identity and gender expression.  We envision a Europe where people of all gender identities and gender expressions are fully respected and can live freely without any violations to their human rights and institutions’ interferences in their private lives, in accordance with the Yogyakarta Principles(2).  We want a Europe where health insurance funded adequate hormonal and surgical medical assistance is available in a non-pathologizing manner to all those trans people(3) who seek it, and where no trans person is required to undergo any compulsory medical treatment (such as sterilization or gender reassignment surgeries) or a mental disorder diagnosis in order to change legal gender and/or name.

Commissioner for Human Rights' ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper

We unanimously welcome the ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper(4) published by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, in July 2009.  Commissioner Hammarberg’s Issue Paper is a significant step forward in articulating the human rights and equality that national governments should provide to trans people. We endorse all of Commissioner Hammarberg’s twelve recommendations and urge all 47 Council of Europe Member States to implement these recommendations at their national levels, including the implementation of legislation/procedures that allows to change name and gender without compulsory medical treatments, or any form of diagnosis, and including strong anti-discrimination legislation inclusive of gender identity and gender expression.
arvan's picture

Chege and Ngengi; the accidental gay rights trailblazers

By Charles Onyango Obbo 

After the Sunday Nation broke the story of the gay wedding of Kenyans Daniel Chege and Charles Ngengi in London, hardly any other subject could get attention on call-ins into FM stations, the Kenyan blogosphere, and in Nairobi pub conversations.

Chege and Ngegi are the first Kenyan gay couple known to have publicly wedded. Chege has been in a previous gay partnership that broke up.

Most of the comments were, predictably, critical—and some downright hostile.  By almost a ration of 10 to 1, Kenyans thought what Chege and Ngegi had done was disgraceful, a shame upon the country, their families, an affront to God and good old African values.

But then something that no one seems to have paid attention to happened. In a follow-up, KTN TV station went to the village of Chege’s parents, and in one scene that has proved particularly controversial, stopped a very elderly relative of Chege along the village path, flashed the photo of the gay couple, and wanted to know her views.

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Buck Angel: Bucking the System (Episode 3)

Buck Angel's new series sharing his perspective on gender and sexuality, with the accompaniment of a sign language interpreter.

Show #3 Buck talks about disclosure and coming out. 

Buck is will answer questions every week on this show.  We will be posting the show here on  So, if you have questions for Buck about his career or life story, please send them to

arvan's picture

A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!

October 15, 2009

A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!

I have made a decision.  I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone.  I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility.  I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is "an abomination to God," about how homosexuality is a "chosen lifestyle," or about how through prayer and "spiritual counseling" homosexual persons can be "cured."  Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy.  I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate "reparative therapy," as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired.  I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people.  I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality "deviant."  I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that "we love the sinner but hate the sin."  That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement.  I will no longer temper my understanding of truth in order to pretend that I have even a tiny smidgen of respect for the appalling negativity that continues to emanate from religious circles where the church has for centuries conveniently perfumed its ongoing prejudices against blacks, Jews, women and homosexual persons with what it assumes is "high-sounding, pious rhetoric."  The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for me.  I will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer.  The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance.  They no longer talk to anyone but themselves. I will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness by pretending that there is some middle ground between prejudice and oppression.  There isn't. Justice postponed is justice denied.  That can be a resting place no longer for anyone.  An old civil rights song proclaimed that the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding was to "Roll on over or we'll roll on over you!"  Time waits for no one.

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You make it what you want it to be

from Victoria's Sex Blog

What do you want out of your sex life? No matter what your background is, what mistakes you think you’ve made, or what misfortunes you’ve come across, you always have something to say about how to envision your own sexuality. You probably already have alot more choice over your sexual identity, actions, and lifestyle than you realize - especially if you live in a part of the world where you have access to this blog – and the many other blogs and images and films and stories that take a positive view of sex. Elsewhere in the world, obviously, there are still many outside barriers that restrict people from the kind of freedom I believe life intended us all to have over our own bodies.

It takes time and experimentation for each of us to discover what exactly having a “sex life” means. For some people, it’s only possible to have one with themselves, during certain periods of their lives or over their lifetime, sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstance. But it’s the only body you get for this lifetime, so you might as well learn to love and enjoy it on all levels! You can choose to masturbate, or not; you can choose to look at others’ bodies but not touch, or not; and you can choose to look at images of others’ bodies and sexual lifestyles as much as you wish. Or not. There’s only one condition to  truly owning this kind of freedom:  no guilt allowed, no questionning, and no worrying. You must learn to be at peace with yourself and the way you see and experience your unique sexuality.

arvan's picture

GETAFE "transformista"

Here is a wonderful ad for a Spanish Futbol team, Getafe C.F.  The story is in Spanish with no subtitles, but none are really needed.  It shows a family, proud of their CD / Trans child, admiring, supporting and embracing as she prepares for her evening.  Afterward, we see them in another exchange, where they share their enthusiasm for the futbol team. 

The voiceover states (translated):

“My father is proud of me. I am (a) Getafe (fan).”

Given that Spain has a 'machismo' culture, the humane and loving inclusion of these images, broadcast over public TV - are heartwarming, encouraging and simply a joy to behold. 

(I still hate soccer, but you gotta love Spain!)

h/t to Singularly Bizarre


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Miss India Transgender to be held in Chennai

CHENNAI - Come December and India is set to join a select group of nations like Thailand and the Philippines in holding a national level beauty contest for transgenders. 

The country’s first Miss India Transgender contest is planned to be held here in December by a city based non-governmental organisation (NGO) in an attempt to change the majority view towards this community and also integrate them into the mainstream.

“Transgenders are viewed as sex objects and are ridiculed. We want to change this perception,” A.J. Hariharan, founder secretary of the Indian Community Welfare Organisation (ICWO), told IANS.

Speaking to IANS, Ross, a celebrity transgender anchoring television shows, said: “Thailand and other countries hold such events on an annual basis. Such contests will motivate the trangenders to care of their health and also increase their self esteem.”

“It will give some meaning to a person’s life with something to aim at.”

arvan's picture

A matrimonial website for transsexual community launched

CHENNAI - Members of transsexual community in Chennai launched the world’s first matrimonial website for their clan. 

A Chennai based transgender Kalki is the director and the founder of the website,, which is one of first websites in the world for transsexual marriages.

Kalki said that the reason why she thought of launching this website was because the profiles of the members of the transsexual community were being rejected by popular matrimonial websites.

“Some of the transsexual ladies wanted to upload their profiles on the popular matrimonial websites in the country and few of them even tried but their profiles were rejected because of the gender identity because they were not the biological women and that is the discrimination. So we wanted to take it in our own hands,” said Kalki.

Transsexuals in India are commonly referred to as ‘hijras’ and often do not fit easily into society.

But widespread superstitions have also accorded them a certain amount of fearful respect, while a handful has been elected to public office.

Singing and dancing bands of sari-clad hijras will often appear, invited or otherwise, at weddings and at the blessing ceremonies of newborn babies. (ANI)

arvan's picture

Sins Invalid 2009: Oct 2-4

(Rodney Bell and Seeley Quest perform the Opening to the Sins Invalid Performance 2008)


Announcing the 2009 Sins Invalid Performance: October 2-4

8pm Friday, October 2nd
8pm Saturday, October 3rd (interpretation provided by Stage Hands)
7pm Sunday, October 4th

Brava Theater
2789 24th St. (at York), San Francisco [map]
For more info please call 510.689.7198

Buy Tickets Now!

ACCESSIBILITY: This venue is wheelchair accessible. Although we cannot guarantee that this will be a scent-free event, we ask people to refrain from using scented products to create a more accessible environment.

WHAT: Sins Invalid is a performance event celebrating the power of embodiment and the tenderness of struggle, stripping taboos off of sexuality and disability and offering a vision of beauty that includes all bodies and all communities. Join Sins Invalid for a night of resistance to invisibility!

Please Note: Show contains explicit content

Artists include: Aurora Levins Morales, Cara Page, Antoine Hunter, Mat Fraser, John Benson, Maria Palacios, Ralph Dickinson, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Nomy Lamm, Todd Herman, Leroy F. Moore Jr., Seeley Quest, and Patty Berne.

Supported by the Aepoch Fund, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Zellerbach Family Foundation

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