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Thai Transgender success story

I found this video earlier today in my news mop mode, over on  I liked how she claims her own space.  Every day, more and more, I come to believe that inside the lives and conversations of transgender, the larger issues of who we are as humans is being worked out at an incredible rate of achievement and fluidity. Questions of identity and evolution that take hundreds or thousands of years to play out in cis-gendered society, are played out in years, hours or moments in a transgendered life. 

The ethics of humanity and the impact of them are felt by transgendered individuals not only as external events and concepts, but as internal, shaping elements of themselves.  I might be the cause of or feel the effect of a value judgment based on gender, sex or body.  I might venture a guess as to how my judgments impact someone else.  I will only see one side (mine) until I get some sense of the other perspective, but I will never have the same level of understanding for someone else's experience as that of my own. 

Someone transgendered lives in a state of fluidity that allows compels them to not only see both sides of the gender binary, but to be both sides.

All people have a unique perspective and gift to offer society, if we can only manage to listen when they speak.



Crystal, a Thai transvestite in Bangkok, led a quiet, normal life working as the Thailand brand manager for a well-known French cosmetics company -- until one day she is denied entry into a nightclub based on her sexual identity. Rather than accepting the discrimination, the episode springs her into action, and has much larger consequences than anyone could have imagined.

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Unemployed straight guys attend transgender job fair

" we're friends, eh?"

Maybe that's what the staff at a Transgender Job Fair were thinking when several seemingly cis-gendered people showed up looking for interviews.  Is this an indictment of hard times or open minds?  Perhaps, it merely indicates how arbitrary and flimsy the value judgments of other people's sex, gender, body - really are. 

By Ashley Harrell

(via SF Weekly)

When the man who had always been a man walked in, well, that was a little strange. After all, this was registration for the fifth annual Transgender Job Fair at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center last week. The point was to help connect transgender folks — who have a difficult time finding work, even in a thriving economy — with savvy, sensitive employers.

And although there were no hard and fast rules about attendees being gender-bending, it seemed pretty ballsy for a man who had always been a man and who identified as one to show up at the fair. He was in jeans and a buzz cut, and exuded regular-guyness. "What do I have to do?" he asked volunteer Sherilyn Connelly.

Connelly was also there to find work, as she was recently laid off from her job as a Web producer at Cubik Media. She made her male-to-female transition in 1999, and is fabulously distinctive with her darkly lined eyes and orange-, purple-, and platinum-dreadlocked hairdo, which she has affectionately dubbed "the Squid."

"Just have a seat at the computer and we'll get you registered," she told him.

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Whatever I feel...

I am really falling in love with The New Internationalist.  I ran across this well written and thoughtful piece today.  The question of whether the individual or the society is given preference in defining the individual, is being thrust into the spotlight as a topic of sex, gender, body - around the globe.  Every day, I see more news of people articulating for themselves, the terms of how they are to be defined rather than assume the terms that society would give them.  These are wonderous times, indeed.


'Boy or girl?' tends to be the first question asked when a baby is born.
And a cursory look at the genitals usually provides the answer.
But it's not that simple, says Zachary I Nataf.

'Whatever I feel, that's the way I am. I was born a girl, and that girl died one day and a boy was born. And the boy was born from that girl in me. I am proud of who I am. A lot of people actually envy us.' Chi-Chi, who lives in a village in the Dominican Republic, is speaking to filmmaker Rolando Sanchez for his 1997 documentary Guevote.

The film portrays the daily lives of Chi-Chi and Bonny, two 'pseudo-hermaphrodites', and the way in which their families, partners and other villagers respond to them.

They are not alone. A rare form of pseudo-hermaphroditism was first found among a group of villagers in the Dominican Republic in the early 1970s. Thirty-eight people were traced with the condition, coming from 23 extended families and spanning four generations.

Chi-Chi's mother has ten children. Three of those ten are girls, three of them are boys 'and four are of this special sort.' she says. 'I knew that this sort of thing existed before I had my own kids. But I never thought that it would happen to me... I told them to accept their destiny, because God knows what he's doing. And I said that real men often achieve less than those who were born as girls. And that's how it turned out. My sons who are real men haven't achieved as much as the others.' 1

The medical explanation is that, while still in the womb, some male babies are unable to produce the testosterone which helps external male genitals to develop. They are born with a labia-like scrotum, a clitoris-like penis and undescended testes.

In the Dominican Republic many of these children were first assumed to be female and were brought up as such. But because they were genetically male, they began to develop male characteristics at puberty, including penis growth and descending testes. Villagers gave these children the local name guevedoche or 'balls at twelve'.

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A Closer Look at the UN Guidelines for Universal Access for MSM and Transgender People

Over at Akimbo, the official blog of the IWHC, there is a nice assessment of the UN's recent report on AIDS and transgender.  They broke down the good, the bad and the awesome for you and include a link to download the entire document.  Take it in and take the knowledge to where you can make a difference.


by Chelsea Ricker on May 27, 2009

As we reported in our link round up on May 15, the United Nations has released a new action framework, UNAIDS Action Framework on Universal Access for Men who have Sex with Men and for Transgender People (which you can download as a PDF by clicking on the image to the left).

I’ve taken a bit of a closer look at it, and here’s a quick assessment:

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Running scared

Posted by Anna Webster at The New Internationalist, comes a piece on a community under duress for being themselves in a repressive, fundamentalist culture:

No reprieve for gay community living with 30 years of sharia law

Living in fear: a gay transvestite in Iran.

Living in fear: a gay transvestite in Iran. JeROeN OeRLeMANS / PANOS


On 1 April Iran marked the 30th anniversary of becoming an Islamic Republic and adopting sharia law. For the country’s gay community, the occasion was a stark reminder of their decades-long persecution. Homosexuality was already taboo under the Shah, but the birth of the Republic in 1979 led to its criminalization. In 2007, despite a penal code stipulating homosexuality as a crime, President Ahmadinejad declared that ‘in Iran we do not have homosexuals’. Following international pressure and derision, he later conceded that there ‘might be a few gay people in Iran’ but denied that they faced execution.

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Aimee Mullins on humanity and beauty

Aimee Mullins gave a truly delightful talk on being human.


I have watched this piece several times, each time coming away with something precious, that reaffirms the beliefs at the core of this site:

I define my sex, gender, body. You define yours.

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