Showing posts with label Dominican Rep.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dominican Rep.. Show all posts

July 8, 2016

In a Caribbean Village Many Boys are Born Without a Penis”Guevedoce”

Scientists and BBC presenter travelled to the Dominican Republic to meet the ‘Guevedoce' males who do not grow a penis until puberty

This little girl is a boy born without a penis but will develop one at 12

I hated going through puberty; voice cracking, swinging moods, older brother laughing at me. But compared to Johnny, who lives in a small town in the Dominican Republic, I had it easy. 
We came across Johnny when we were filming for a new BBC2 series, “Countdown to Life”, which looks at the consequences of normal, and abnormal, developments in the womb. 
Johnny is known as a “Guevedoce”, which literally means, “penis at twelve”. And the reason he’s called that is because, like 1 in 90 of the boys in the area, he first started to grow a penis when he was going through puberty. 
Guevedoces are also sometimes called “machihembras” meaning “first a woman, then a man”. When they’re born they look like girls with no testes and what appears to be a vagina. It is only when they near puberty that the penis grows and testicles descend. 
Johnny, who is now in his 20s, was once known as Felicita. He was brought up as a girl and remembers going to school in a little red dress. 
When he was young he would happily play with other little girls, but after the age of seven he started to change 
“I did not feel good, I no longer liked to wear a skirt, and I was no longer drawn to play with girls. All I wanted to do is play with toy guns and boys” 
When he turned obviously male he was teased at school because”, as he put it, “it is hard to imagine a girl that is now is a boy”.  
One of the first people to study this unusual condition was Dr Julianne Imperato, a Cornell endocrinologist. She travelled to this remote part of the Dominican Republic in the 1970s because of strange rumours about girls turning into boys 
She eventually unraveled the mystery of what is going on and by doing so helped make a surprising medical breakthrough. 
At conception we all inherit a set of genes from our parents that will, in time instruct our bodies to make us male or female. But for the first few weeks of our lives human embryos are neither. Instead we have a protrusion called a tubercle. If you’re genetically male the Y chromosome instructs the gonads to become testicles. They also send testosterone to the tubercle, where it is converted into a potent hormone called dihydro-testosterone This transforms the tubercle into a penis. If you’re female and don’t make dihydro-testosterone then your tubercle becomes a clitoris. 
When Dr Imperato investigated the Guavadoces she discovered the reason they don’t have male genitalia at birth is because they are deficient in an enzyme called 5-α-reductase, which normally converts testosterone into dihydro-testosterone. So they appear female when they are born, but around puberty, when they get another surge of testosterone, they sprout muscles, testes and a penis. 
Apart from being slightly undersized everything works and the Guavadoces normally live out their lives as men, albeit with wispy beards and small prostates. 
By a quirk of chance Dr Imperato’s research was picked up by the American pharmaceutical giant, Merck. They used her discovery to create a drug called finasteride, which blocks the action of 5-α-reductase. IT is now widely used to treat benign enlargement of the prostate and male pattern baldness. For which, I’m sure, many men are truly grateful 
Since he’s become male Johnny has had a number of short term girlfriends, but he is still looking for the love of his life. “I’d like to get married and have children, a partner who will stand by me through good and bad”, he sighs wistfully.


March 29, 2016

Dominican Gay Teacher Political Run Grateful to have Gay Ambassador

                                                                          Gay Pride marchers in Santo Domingo held signs earlier this year reading (R) 'Welcome Mr Ambassador James "Wally" Brewster' just days after Cardinal Rodriguez called Mr Brewster the Spanish equivalent of 'faggot' during a press conference

 Welcome: Gay Pride marchers in Santo Domingo held signs earlier this year reading (R) 'Welcome Mr Ambassador James "Wally" Brewster' just days after Cardinal Rodriguez called Mr Brewster the Spanish equivalent of 'faggot' during a press conference

Deivis Ventura is still just a candidate for the Dominican Republic's Chamber of Deputies, but he feels like he's already scored a victory.
The 42-year-old former private school teacher, the first openly gay person to run for his country's Congress, is delighted his campaign has not encountered overt hostility as it likely would have in the past.
"It's an important moment for our country," Ventura said one recent afternoon during a break from campaigning with a transgender friend. "The fact that we have openly LGBT candidates in an important political party speaks of change."
Another openly gay man, Yimbert Telemin, is running in the May election for city council in La Romana, an area of famed beach resorts on the southeastern coast.
That they can run openly as homosexuals is the sign of a cultural shift that activists say has been helped by the presence of U.S. Ambassador James "Wally" Brewster, the first openly gay top diplomat the United States has posted to a Latin American country. Brewster's appointment angered some religious leaders and their followers in the Dominican Republic, but it was an important move for people who've long felt marginalized in the conservative Caribbean country.
"Wally has become an iconic figure in the LGBT movement because the movement does have strong local figures," said prominent activist Alexander Mundary.
Dr. Victor Terrero, director of the National Council on HIV and AIDS, noted that Brewster and his husband have been guests of President Danilo Medina and the ambassador has hosted many of the country's notable figures.
"The presence of the ambassador has contributed to the breaking of much of the stigma," Terrero said. "It has shown in a way that (homosexuality) is not a sin, nor is it something to get crazy about."
Representatives of U.S.-based Human Rights First said every person they met with before issuing a December report on the status of LGBT people in the Dominican Republic mentioned Brewster in their conversations.
"Everyone seemed to think, even if they had mixed feelings about it, that overall it was a net positive," said Shawn Gaylord, a lawyer for the group who works on LGBT issues. "The presence of Ambassador Brewster has really spurred a larger conversation."
The Dominican Republic does not have laws criminalizing homosexuality as numerous English-speaking Caribbean countries do. But the U.S. State Department said in its annual human rights report that non-governmental organizations who work with LGBT people in the country have reported widespread discrimination in health care, education, the justice system and employment. Ventura says he was dismissed from his teaching job when he came out as gay in 2008 and others tell similar stories.
The Human Rights First report said transgender people are vulnerable to violence in the country, with several dozen suspected hate-crime murders since 2006.
A bill that included an article prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation failed in the Congress amid opposition to a provision for sex education in primary school. Terrero is coordinating an effort to get a bill that would bar any form of discrimination, including based on sexual orientation, before lawmakers in the coming weeks.
"The Dominican LGBT population has woken up," said Telemin, a 36-year-old attorney and activist. "People aren't afraid now."
Earlier this month, about 20 businesses came together to form the first LGBT chamber of commerce, with support from USAID.
"Ten years ago we would never even talk about it," Francisco Castillo, the president of the new chamber, said of homosexuality. "It was shameful to even mention it, we preferred to avoid the subject."
Brewster was guest of honor at the chamber's March 2 inauguration ceremony, prompting a wave of angry denunciations. Fidel Lorenzo, a pastor and leader of an evangelical Christian organization, accused Brewster of trying to promote homosexuality and led efforts that collected more than 31,000 signatures for a petition calling on President Barack Obama to remove the ambassador. Catholic officials also denounced the American diplomat, temporarily putting up a sign at one school that said he could not enter.
The ambassador, who had been a prominent fundraiser for Obama, encountered similar condemnations starting weeks before his arrival in November 2013 with his husband, Bob Satawake. But the Medina government accepted his credentials and business has apparently carried on as normal between two countries that have long had warm relations.
The U.S. Embassy did not respond to a request by The Associated Press for an interview with the ambassador. Brewster dismissed his critics in a radio interview. "I think it's a small group," he said. "People who are just haters and want to marginalize others."
Ventura said he has encountered only signs of support so far. He is running in the party of the main opposition presidential candidate, Luis Abinader, and his chances of victory are uncertain in his busy, industrial district. But he is optimistic about both his prospects and those of the Dominican Republic. "The country keeps getting better in terms of human rights and I, as a gay man, can exercise my right to be a candidate," he said. “People are supporting me, and they are supporting my candidacy."
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic 

June 18, 2015

Why the Cocks Fight and Ethnic Cleansing in the Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic has gone back 86 years to uproot not only Haitians but Haitian descendants who see themselves as Dominicans and their language is spanish and they know no other. To go back generations to up root people is immoral. Most people not aware of the rife between these two countries that share the same island ask why are the Haitians registering and not just mixing in the population? The answer is the color of the skin. Haitians are black of french heritage. Dominicans are mostly brown and see themselves as descendants of Spain. 

The Island was colonized by the spanish and the Haitians by the french but both have been occupied by the US. Having won Puerto Rico from Spain the US figured they had their presence guarantee in the Caribbean together with Cuba with an over friendly but corrupt Government. 
In Hispaniola (original name of the island) the US was more than happy to get out in which it saw as colony for just some US giant corporations. However the US intervened in the D.R. twice with US marines because of civil strife. Eisenhower sent the marines in the 50’s and also Lindon Johnson in the 60’s.  The Marines were also sent to Haiti by President Clinton after the brutal Dictator “Papa Doc” threatened to come back after leaving during a rebelion. Meaning the Us has seen itself a little responsible for helping this island from a distance.

It’s a shame that the Dominican Republic having been colonized just like Haiti and many of its residents having left for the US to look for a better life it’s a shame that they wont aloud the Haitians what they themselves have asked of this nation. One have to ask, if the Haitians were brown and white like most of the Dominicans, would there be such a rush to dislocate hundreds of thousand Haitians? (at least 250,000 have registered and almost all of them are due to be deported in the next 48 hours).

We have seen ethnic cleansing in Europe but never in the Caribbean or a Spanish country for that matter. The D.R. is making history the wrong way and one way in which the world particularly in the America’s would remember with a bitter taste in their consiences. 
Color of skin, gender, sexual orientation, nationality still play such an important negative role in the world when it should not. Its like those things I just mentioned made you human or not. Today in Africa people and the middle east people are slaughter in the name of nationality and religion. 
Color of the Haitian Skin:

There is an artificial line that splits the island of Hispaniola in two. On one side is Haiti, and on the other is the Dominican Republic.
There was a time when that split between the two countries was drawn with blood; the 1937 Parsley Massacre is widely regarded as a turning point in Haitian-Dominican relations. The slaughter, carried out by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, targeted Haitians along with Dominicans who looked dark enough to be Haitian -- or whose inability to roll the "r" in perejil, the Spanish word for parsley, gave them away.The Dajabón River, which serves as the northernmost part of the international border between the two countries, had "risen to new heights on blood alone," wrote Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat."The massacre cemented Haitians into a long-term subversive outsider incompatible with what it means to be Dominicans," according to Border of Lights, an organization that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the massacre in 2012.Today, things are as tense on the island as they have been in years. Within days, the Dominican government is expected to round up Haitians — or, really, anyone black enough to be Haitian — and ship them to the border, where they will likely be expelled.
 Island of Hispaniola


The Dominican Republic is set to begin what some are calling "ethnic purging," placing the fate of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent into limbo. Half a million legally stateless people could be sent to Haiti this week, including those who have never stepped foot in Haiti and don’t speak the language. In 2013, a Dominican constitutional court ruling stripped the citizenship of children born to Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic as far back as 1929, retroactively leaving tens of thousands without citizenship. Today marks the deadline for undocumented workers to register their presence in the Dominican Republic or risk mass deportation. However, only 300 of the 250,000 Dominican Haitians applying for permits have reportedly received them. Many have actively resisted registering as foreigners, saying they are Dominican by birth and deserve full rights. Dominican authorities have apparently organized a fleet of buses and set up processing centers on the border with Haiti, creating widespread fears of mass roundups. The Dominican Republic’s decision to denationalize hundreds of thousands of people has sparked international outcry. We are joined by the acclaimed Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat.

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