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Groundbreaking Think Tank to Address Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes

(San Francisco, California, September 22, 2009) — A groundbreaking think tank sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation Initiative: It Takes a Team! Education Campaign for LGBT Issues in Sport will gather national sports leaders, legal experts, and policymakers to address equal opportunity for transgender student-athletes. As increasing numbers of young people identify as transgender in high school or college, the convening will provide an opportunity to identify best practices and develop model policies for high school and collegiate athletic leaders to ensure the full inclusion of transgender student-athletes.

“NCLR is pleased to join the Women’s Sports Foundation in our second national think tank addressing the equitable treatment of LGBT student-athletes,” said NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll. “By bringing together leaders in athletics and the legal field, we can develop effective strategies to ensure transgender athletes are treated fairly. Our goal is for individuals to be judged on their skills and abilities on the playing field, not on irrelevant factors such as gender identity and sexual orientation.”

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Intersexuality & Hermaphrodites

Mokgadi Caster Semenya (South African middle-distance runner and world champion) has been the centre of controversy the last few weeks.

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'I'm human, I’m not from Mars'

By Sophia Grootboom and Karabo Keepile (Mail & Guardian)

Many traditional African communities explain the birth of intersexed babies with cultural beliefs such as interventions by ancestors after the parents have broken customs. Sophia Grootboom and Karabo Keepile spoke to two intersexed Africans who have experienced severe discrimination and whose sexes were wrongly identified at birth

In the Heidelberg township community where 35-year-old Linda K lives, everyone -- including Linda K himself -- believes his parents got what they deserved.

He was born with a small vagina and a normal-sized penis and this is ascribed to the fact that his parents shared a surname and came from the same tribe, which is problematic as married couples should have different surnames and come from different tribes.

In Zulu culture, such marriages are forbidden, and “bad things will happen to you if you break the rules,” said Linda. His mother desperately wanted a daughter.

As a result, Linda was raised as Lindiwe, a girl, and had to endure years of mockery at school. “Schoolmates soon realised there was something different about me,” he said. “I was dressed in skirts, but acted like a boy. And I had two clear sets of genitals.”

When Linda joined the boys on the soccer field, they chased him away, shouting: “What are you? A girl? A boy? Or a homosexual?”

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ACE Hosts LGBTI Dialogue With Human Rights Consultation

ACE Media Release, 10 September 2009

The Australian Coalition for Equality (ACE) today hosted a meeting between members of the National Human Rights Consultation (NHRC) Committee and representatives of LGBTI organisations. The meeting provided the first opportunity for the committee to engage directly with the LGBTI* organisations before finalising its report on 30 September 2009.

Spokesperson Corey Irlam said ACE was pleased to provide the opportunity for a dialogue between the committee and community representatives.

“This consultation has the unique opportunity to strengthen the human rights of LGBTI Australians.”

“For example, after 14 years of discussion Australia still has very limited federal protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and no protections on the basis of gender identity or intersex. This committee’s recommendations will influence change in this area.”

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The Sad Saga of Caster Semenya

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Some Notes on Intersex

The Australian affiliate of Organisation Internationale des Intersexués (OII) published a great list of Intersex Terms for Journalists.  The goal is for people to understand Intersex persons better and to language conversations in respect and accuracy. 

I think the list is great for not only journalists, but for anyone in relationship with Intersex persons or with a desire to understand and respect the people we share this existence with. 

Read the list and comment with anything you would like to see added.

Disorders of Sex Development (DSD)

Intersex people find this term abhorrent and insulting, and ask that it not be used in connection with intersex. It was invented by a group of medical personnel to replace the word intersex and further medicalise and control being intersex when intersex is in fact a natural variation in human biology.

Intersex people object to the control that doctors have long exercised over our lives. Instead we wish to have them act as learned friends who practice client-centred health care in close consultation with us, and not one-size-fits-all solutions formulated under various unscientific belief systems and that do few of us any good.

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Surgeon pays damages to Christiane Völling

According to information from Christiane Völling, the surgeon, Prof. Dr. L. has given up and will not appeal the latest judgment after losing for the third time and he has already paid the damages! This is a victory from beginning to end for Christiane and her courageous lawyer, Georg Groth.

The payment [of damages] brought the "Hermtrial" which has been ongoing for over two years to a historic end more quickly than expected: for the first time ever in Germany a surgeon has been held accountable in a civil suit for non-consensual castration of an intersexed person - and the decision was upheld at all levels of the judicial system!

A huge day for all intersex people and all those who support them in their struggle to stop nonconsensual genital surgery and other nonconsensual treatments and those who support the right to self determination and human rights for intersex people.

- Translation, Curtis E. Hinkle, Founder of OII

(Source Intersex News)

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Transcending Boundaries: Call For Presentation Proposals

Transcending Boundaries Conference
November 20-22, 2009
Worcester, MA
Call For Presentation Proposals

*** Please forward to friends and allies as appropriate ***

Deadline: September 15, 2009

We are thrilled to announce the Transcending Boundaries Conference 2009. TBC is a conference for the bisexual/pansexual, trans/genderqueer, intersex and polyamorous communities. In an effort to create an exciting and informative event, we are searching for speakers who are passionate about their area of expertise and want to share it with the community.

Transcending Boundaries began in 2001 as a conference for those who blur the lines of sex, gender, and sexual orientation; and we need your help. We are actively seeking presentations on a variety of topics. Whether you're an experienced presenter or interested in leading a group for the first time, we'd love to receive your proposal.

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New NGO for eunuchs, trans & more - EKTA Foundation

EKTA FOUNDATION is a registered Charitable Trust formed by a few Eunuchs at Mumbai for the benefit of Eunuchs, gays & lesbians, Transloevers, male to female Cross Dressers, female Commercial Sex workers, their children, Highway Truckers, HIV/AIDS infected persons, senior citizens and all the deprived categories of society.

We have taken up the issues of Rights to Eunuchs known more commonly as Hijras or Chakkas or Kinnar and are in the process of getting Voter's Identity Cards, Ration Cards and other facilities for the members of our community.

EKTA FOUNDATION has been registered with the Charity Commissioner at Mumbai and the registration number is E-25751 dated 04 June 2009. Our Income tax examption Certificate is in the pipeline but we have already started conducting events to boost up the morale of members of our community who were till late leading a desperate life.

They look forward to your valued support and shall be glad to partner with any other likeminded organization, establishment and or individual.

16, Janaki Munna Chawl,
Lake Road, Sonapur,
Bhandup West,
Mumbai 400 078.
Maharashtra- India.
Contact Numbers
091 - 22 - 25966161, 9867646323
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DCI To Unravel Transgender And Intersex Issues In New Media

By Nthateng Mhlambiso (Managing Editor – Behind the Mask)

As one of the biggest journalism events, the Highway Africa Conference (Digital citizen Indaba) takes off at Rhodes University in Grahamstown on 6-8 September, it is not only gratifying but also empowering to see that this event has opened a platform for dialogue around marginalised groups in relation to the media, particularly digital media.

I will be a speaker in a panel about Gender, Civil Society and Digital Media and am delighted to share experiences of Behind the Mask on how the media reports on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues (LGBTI), whether digital media is opening up space for marginalised groups such as transgender and intersex people’s voices to be heard and whether the right to sexual orientation is recognised in new media.

Some of the issues that I will touch on, in my presentation, are the misrepresentation of LGBTI people in the media, through Behind the Mask’s experiences, also substantiated by a research called OUT in the media conducted by Community Media for Development (CMFD) for Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) as well as the gender and Media Diversity Journal and many other researches.

Although the findings are partly displeasing, and as it is our mission at Behind the Mask to create dialogue around LGBTI people’s issues, this opportunity is vital to raise awareness, particularly to journalists, who hold the power to set the agenda and shape society’s way of thinking.

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