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Flexible ID status suggested for Swedish trans teens by Dr. Rydelius

By David Landes
The Local

Young Swedes who suspect they are transsexuals ought to be issued special ID cards allowing them to hide their undesired gender during their trial phase as the opposite sex, according to one of the country’s most respected child psychiatrists.

“This has to do with the practical aspects of living life as the opposite gender,” Per-Anders Rydelius, chair of the maternal and child health department at Karolinska Institutet’s Astrid Lindgren's Children Hospital, told The Local.

“They must be able to show their ID card without people thinking they are being deceived.”

Since 2001, Rydelius has led a team of doctors, including an endocrinologist, a reconstructive plastic surgeon, and a gynaecologist, which is overseeing a two-year long “real-life test” or “real-life experience” for young Swedes who think they may fit the clinical definition of a transsexual.

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Islam and Trans / gender / sexual / vestite...persons

By Mohammad Hashim Kamali


ISLAMIC jurisprudence provides only some detail on the treatment of persons who combine the characteristics of both sexes: transgenders and hermaphrodites (khuntha), and men with innate effeminate tendencies (mukhannath). Issues of concern over their inheritance rights, qualification as witnesses, and rules of female privacy (satr) are discussed.
I shall review some of these, but then also pose the larger question of fairness over the stigma and prejudice that such persons face in our midst. Some of these were highlighted in a New Straits Times editorial (Dec 20), and several interviews and responses given by religious leaders and others on the subject.

Both khuntha and mukhannath are qualified to be witnesses if they are upright (‘adl) and do not actively exhibit or exaggerate their masculine or feminine tendencies, but not so if they do, as that would undermine their rectitude.

Yet the leading schools of Islamic law have differed due to a renowned hadith proclaiming that “Muslims are upright in relationship to one another”, which means that people are presumed to be upright unless proven otherwise.

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New Film About Gender Identity: Diagnosing Difference

How does it feel to have your gender identity included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?  Diagnosing Difference is a full-length length documentary featuring interviews with 13 diverse scholars, activists, and artists who identify on the trans spectrum (transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and gender variant) about the impact and implications of the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) on their lives and communities.

Historically, non-trans medical and mental health care professionals have positioned themselves as the “experts” on transgender experience, creating standards, guidelines, and diagnoses that inform legal policies and mediate every aspect of life.  Diagnosing Difference shifts the focus to explore the many complexities of the diagnosis from the perspectives of those it affects most directly and personally, including access to medical care, legal ramifications, social stigma, implications for psychotherapeutic care, treatment trauma, and differences in experience based on factors like race, class, gender orientation, and generation.

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On transsexuals and transvestites and Ray Blanchard's urge to classify everything as a perversion

The DSM manual is up for revision, and the psychiatric urge to label so-called "paraphilias" is very strong.

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Maasai warriors take on AIDS

It is not easy to tell morans to leave their girls, because they pass time talking about girls and sex, but today they know that condoms can protect them against HIV


MAGADI, 29 December 2009 (PlusNews) - Attempts to promote HIV awareness among Kenya's Maasai community have often foundered on the community's unwillingness to accept externally driven change; but a new initiative is using Maasai 'morans', or warriors, to spread the word.

"The Maasai are very traditional people and the best way to reach them is to go in without trying to dilute their culture - we give them free space to learn by using cultural systems to integrate reproductive health education," said Peter Ngura, programme manager for a nomadic youth project of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), a health and development NGO.

"We train 'morans' as peer educators and use them to reach out to their fellow 'morans' because these are the only people culture allows them to interact freely with," he added. "'Morans' will only listen to their 'moran' chiefs and this is the reason they are the people we train to train their fellow 'morans' who are under their command."

'Morans' form an age set of male youths aged from the mid-teens to the mid-twenties; they have a duty to protect their community and livestock assets, and during this phase they are encouraged to have multiple affairs. 'Morans' spend much of their time in the bush, where they are largely isolated from the rest of their community, only interacting with girlfriends, elders and chiefs who visit them to impart traditional Maasai wisdom.

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The Bridge: A short film about being gay in Georgia

A gay couple from Tbilisi, Georgia (former USSR) escapes homophobia in their home country by immigrating to Australia.  One has his application for permanent residency in Australia approved but their future together hangs in the balance awaiting the arrival of the second letter from immigration.

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Call for Proposals: Equality and Justice Under the Rule of Law

The International Women's Program (IWP) of the Open Society Institute invites proposals focusing on one or more of the following objectives:

1) Reducing discrimination and violence against women

IWP seeks to support initiatives that improve the status of women by:

  • Strengthening legal frameworks and enforcement mechanisms that focus on women’s rights
  • Strengthening civil society’s capacity to hold governments accountable to implement laws
  • Increasing women’s capacity to understand and claim rights

2) Strengthening women’s access to justice

IWP seeks to support initiatives that strengthen judicial response to women and reduce the obstacles to access by ensuring:

  • Legal aid, counsel and assistance is available and resourced
  • Judges, lawyers and prosecutors understand and apply gender justice
  • Transitional justice mechanisms are equitable and inclusive of women

3) Increasing women’s role as decision-makers and leaders

IWP seeks to support initiatives that encourage and increase women’s role as decision-makers in a number of arenas including the following:

  • Peace and reconciliation processes
  • Electoral and legislative processes
  • Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Security Sector Reform (SSR) and reconstruction programs
  • Local/indigenous independent nongovernmental organizations or initiatives that link local and international organizations

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Columbian Donkeys and Sex - now I've seen it all.

For the record, this site doesn't condone any illegal acts: either with children, animals or non-consenting adults.  This video came by today and I just had to share it because I sincerely doubt that many of you have already got this kind of entertainment in your holiday gift bag so far. 


- arvan

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Female Genital Mutilation Targeted In Several Countries

Reports of progress in halting, documenting and legally barring Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) come in this week from multiple countries and news sources. 

In Uganda (yes...that Uganda), MP Chris Baryomunsi submitted a bill to imprison practicioners of FGM to lengthy jail terms of 10 years to life. 

The Bill says a person commits aggravated FGM in situations where death occurs as a result of the act or where a victim suffers disability or is infected with the HIV virus.

It defines FGM as the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-therapeutic reasons. [Source: Sunday Monitor]

The bill had been tabled in September, but passed this week with no protest from a single MP.

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Push To Protect Sex Workers During World Cup

By Davison Makanga

CAPE TOWN, Dec 4 (IPS) - As the 2010 Soccer World Cup approaches, calls for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa have been renewed.

A steering committee has been set up with a mandate to push for reforms with the police commissioner and legislature before the world soccer showcase. Sex workers and activist organisations say the World Cup is an opportunity to decriminalise their trade.

"I have seen my colleagues harassed by the police and I have also experienced that," said Anna Sibisi*, a sex worker for the past eight years in Cape Town. "I would like to see this end before the World Cup."

Well aware of the resistance to changing the law, sex workers are pushing for at least a moratorium on arrests during the soccer event.

"We should be given temporary licences to operate during the World Cup as they map the long term plans," Sibisi said. She sees the World Cup as a chance to work uninterrupted and "make lots of money."

In South Africa, sex workers face a jail term if charged for at least three times. Fines of up to 200 dollars are paid on initial arrests.

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