Showing posts with label Transexual Rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transexual Rights. Show all posts

December 27, 2016

8 yr Old transgender Kicked Out of Scouts After Parents Complaint


 Why would any parent, a real parent even non educated parent would want this boy kicked out because of what they think he carries underneath his pants? If so those parents are pornographically bigots. We are born the way we are and none of us are born with anything that can stick to someone else. adamfoxie blog



An 8-year-old transgender boy has been barred from Cub Scout Pack 87 because other Scouts’ parents complained he was born a girl, according to a report by NorthJersey.com.

The report says Joe Maldonado had been a member of the pack for about a month, and his status as a transgender boy wasn’t a secret. Joe had been identifying and living as a boy for more than a year, the report says. His mother said none of the fellow Scouts complained — only parents — according to the report.

“It made me mad,” the report quotes Joe saying. “I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”
According to the report, the Scouts organization declined to say whether it has a written transgender policy.

The Boy Scouts of America opened its membership to gay scouts in 2013, but made no mention of gender identity in its policy at the time. The Scouts’ longstanding ban on gay adults remained in force. In 2014, the Scouts’ new president said he would have moved to allow gay adults in the organization, but at that point opposed any further attempts to address the policy.
The organization eventually changed its stance on that issue as well — voting in 2015 to allow gay Scout leaders.

Last year in California, five girls — not transgender boys, but simply girls — endeavored to get their local Scout pack to accept them as members. A New York Times report noted the significant legal challenges they faced — in particular that Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination by sex, makes an exception for the Boy Scouts.

“We understand that the values and the lessons of scouting are attractive to the entire family,” the national Boy Scouts organization said in an email quoted by the Times. “However, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs for boys and young men.”
The Girl Scouts of America has no prohibition on transgender members — ebut says on its website placement will be handled “on a case-by-case basis.”

“Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority,” the organization says. “That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.”

December 22, 2016

NC Failed on Repealing Bathroom Bill





 
A deal to repeal North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill,” which limited LGBT access to facilities, fell apart late Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature clashed over the measure’s provisions.

Legislators then adjourned a special session called to consider the issue, leaving the law still in place.

A repeal measure put forward by state Senate Republicans Wednesday would have included a six-month moratorium on any local government that wants to “enact or amend an ordinance regulating employment practices or regulating public accommodations or access to restrooms, showers or changing facilities.”

Democrats argued the measure was only a partial repeal, because the moratorium could be renewed repeatedly, essentially making it impossible for cities to pass nondiscrimination laws.

“This wasn’t the deal,’’ Democratic state Senator Jeff Jackson said.

What is HB2?

In March, the Republican-controlled state legislature passed the law, commonly referred to as the bathroom bill. A wide-ranging bill, it’s most known for banning individuals from using public bathrooms, such as in schools or government buildings, that do not correspond with their biological sex, as dictated by their birth certificates.

It also bars cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.

The state pushed through HB2 after the city of Charlotte passed a nondiscrimination ordinance in February that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

North Carolina’s Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper said on Monday that lawmakers were to meet in a special legislative session to repeal the controversial measure that triggered a social and economic backlash against the southern U.S. state, costing it millions of dollars in tourism, sports and entertainment revenue.

“Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state,” Cooper said.

Citing the right to privacy, outgoing North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has staunchly defended the law, which largely impacts transgender people.

Backlash and lawsuits

However, HB2 has been blasted by gay rights groups. The backlash against the law resulted in job losses and sporting event cancellations for the state.

The bathroom measure led to lawsuits against the state, including in May by the Obama administration, which sued the state, saying the law breaks federal anti-discrimination laws.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the law is “state-sponsored discrimination” that reminds her of a time when blacks were barred from public facilities and states could dictate who was allowed to marry.

The gay advocacy groups Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina said in a statement, “It’s time for state lawmakers to repeal HB2 and begin repairing the harm this bill has done to people and the damage it has done to North Carolina’s reputation and economy.”

November 10, 2015

Is the time to take the “T" out of LGBT Coming?



                                                                         

I have been listening to a drum roll that gets louder slowly but surely. It is the reasoning that transexuals with gay, lesbians and bi’s don’t mix. I hear this noise coming mainly from both gays and transexuals but lately I read more gay bloggers saying gay and transexuals don’t mix because both have different views and needs from the political establishment. Actually I have always thought so but in the name of equality and having more power in the political establishment mixing the four categories made sense (many places in Europe you have a fifth category Q for queer). So actually this is coming from the American part of the Gay vs Transexuals.

Gays see themselves as men and they are happy with the realization that being a man has nothing to do with sexual attraction. The manlier the man the more attractive he seems to other gays (I’m generalizing here). On the other hand Transexuals don’t see themselves as the sex that they are and their fight is to become the sex they believe they really are in their brains. They mainly want to change their sex or if they can’t or wont they want to dress and behave as that sex they believe they are. Once this is accomplished particularly if there is a sex change operation then they become that sex and they want nothing to do with gays with the fear that they might be seen as connected to each other. Even before there is a sex change operation the mere mention that they might be gay will bring a fast corrective indicating they are not 'gay'.

A good example of the distance separating transsexuals from gays is represented by now Caitlyn Jenner who had a hard time accepting gay marriage for gay men. Not withstanding she was walking around with a penis between her legs most of her life and being fought for by the gay rights community still she though of herself not just different but better that she could get married once her operation took place and gay men could not,  even though they were not changing any part of their anatomy to ask for equal rights.

Unfortunedly others in her situation think the same way. No I don’t have a way to tell how many but even some transexuals wont deny that.
(what-ive-learned-caitlyn-jenner-changes)

Another aspect of the Transexual community that bothers some gays is the transformation from a quiet closeted community to a very outspoken, loud,  militant community. Many gays will say that this is because of the work gays have done in the political battle field that have made them feel more secure to come out and expose the good, bad and ugly. They will tell you there would have been laws protecting gays and lesbians way back if it wasn’t for the “T” they were carrying. They will point out to compromises made in the Democratic camp in which many congressmen and senators were willing to vote for the GL&B but not for the T because their constituents knew nothing about them and were scare of them.  Many gays also complaint of the militancy and sometimes the taking up of violence once offended one way or the other.

This is a subject that is very touchy with both communities because of the fear that a split would mean that there would be less political power when we still have a lot anti gay discrimination. Many gays say that they will not leave the Transexuals behind. Be what it will, that cat is coming out of the bag ever so slowly but is coming out and may be is time that everyone put their cards on the table.

One thing to rattled many gays just happened recently with the released of the movie “Stonewall.”  a contributor of the Federalist has written an interesting piece on the subject and I enclose it below.
Adam Gonzalez
                                                                            -*-
Several months ago, I reported on a growing schism between parts of the gay and trans communities regarding the history of the 1969 Stonewall riots, the seminal event of the gay-rights movement.

LGBT and trans advocates called for a boycott of the movie “Stonewall,” complaining that trans women and people of color were the true heroes of Stonewall, not the gay, white men depicted in the Hollywood version. Although opponents of the film offered almost no historical evidence for their claim, the boycott worked, and “Stonewall” performed miserably at the box office.


That is not the end of the story. This past week, a petition emerged on the website Change.org calling for the removal of the T (for trans), from LGBT. “Drop the T,” as the petition is known, criticizes more than the trans community’s appropriation of Stonewall’s legacy. The author of the petition also attacks how the trans movement treats children and its aggressive and authoritarian style of discourse, which does not allow people to question its claims.

The petition, which has more than 1,200 signatures at the time of this writing, was written by an anonymous gay man. I tracked him down, and he agreed to be interviewed. Clayton (not his real name) asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from the trans movement.

The following interview took place via email on Saturday. It has been lightly edited for length and house style. Thus far, two of the five organizations to which the petition was addressed (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and Human Rights Campaign) have responded. Both responses are short, dismissive, and fail to address the concerns of Clayton and the other signatories.

Federalist: How big a role did the Stonewall controversy and the appropriation of the Stonewall story by the trans movement play in your decision to start this petition?

Clayton: It was a very important role. I was a history buff as a child and eventually majored in history in college; when I hit puberty around 11 years old and realized I was gay, part of coming to understand myself was through reading as much history as I could find about gay men and women; naturally, the subject of the Stonewall riots loomed large.

When the brouhaha over the film ‘Stonewall’ first ignited, I was stunned to see the transgender crowd taking sole credit for it.
The majority of rioters were young, gay white men, with a handful of black and Latino men, some lesbians and a few drag queens. When the brouhaha over the film “Stonewall” first ignited, I was stunned to see the transgender crowd taking sole credit for it; even more frustrating was the fact that gay/lesbian media, such as The Advocate, Out, HuffPost Gay Voices, and their journalists who should know to check their facts (and these are easily verifiable facts), allowed this myth to flourish.

It was maddening and frustrating. The identity of the individual who threw the first brick isn’t (and probably won’t ever be) convincingly confirmed, though it is acknowledged that it quite possibly was Marsha P. Johnson, a transvestite, who, it should be noted, still identified as a gay male at the time; and it should also be pointed out that the handful of drag queens who were present at the riots were not transgender as we know them today—straight men who have transitioned to presenting as women. Statements I’ve seen such as “the gay rights movement owes its existence to transgenders” are completely false.

Federalist: I was at the Stonewall twenty-fifth anniversary march in 1994, and at that time we all thought we had a pretty good idea of what had happened at Stonewall. The Stonewall veterans— mostly gay, white men—were viewed as heroic. In the new version of events, the gay, white men at the riot are presented as weak followers, not primary actors. Why do you think so many established gay outlets have so easily accepted this narrative that echoes some of the worst stereotypes about gay men?

Clayton: I wasn’t able to go, but I remember the day clearly—I gathered with friends to watch it all day on C-Span and celebrate. It was wonderful. And, yes, we had a specific perception of Stonewall that has been massively altered by the media, although the historiography remains the same.

You can’t alter history to make you feel better.
It’s difficult for me to say why gay media has allowed this history to be re-written this way; we always acknowledged the role of the drag queens and the lesbian who called out for help for everybody else to fight back—but it seems as if this aspect has become the predominant theme, the story ends there and the fact that the white gay street kids DID start fighting back gets underplayed or thoroughly ignored.

I think there’s a general desire to find heroes in the past that aren’t the usual white guy, and I understand that completely, as a gay kid looking to find gay heroes in a heteronormative history myself. But you can’t alter history to make you feel better, and doing so by twisting a narrative so that heroic men become weak, dithering non-actors in an event is disrespectful to them and ultimately to yourself.

Federalist: Do you believe there are a significant number of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals who are uncomfortable with being associated with the trans movement, but who fear the social repercussions of saying so?

Clayton: Absolutely. Any attempt to rationally discuss issues that gays/lesbians/bisexuals are concerned about regarding the trans movement is met with unparalleled vitriol, harassment, death threats, and silencing—demanding that the person commenting contrary to the trans narrative be banned from forums, for example.

I know that lesbians have for several years been the object of attack from trans activists for their (rightful) desire to enjoy exclusively lesbian and women-only events such as the now shuttered Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, in the wake of the Stonewall brouhaha as well as the recent proliferation of stories about effeminate boys and masculine girls being directed by their parents and health professionals into the trans identity. So many gays and lesbians were “sissies” and “tomboys” as kids, I think they see themselves in these children and are concerned about them being directed down an inaccurate path.

Federalist: Do you then see a distinction between the gay rights movement, which has traditionally argued for acceptance of individuals as they are, and the trans rights movement which argues that hormones and surgery are often needed to fully transform a person into who they really are? Are these two basic arguments at odds with each other? 

Clayton: I think this is an absolutely important distinction that has not been discussed at all. Gay/bisexual men and women just ARE—we don’t need medicine or surgery to help us become who we believe we are, which is the case with the trans community.

We don’t need medicine or surgery to help us become who we believe we are.
To take it further, the first is about sexual and affectional orientation, who we are sexually attracted to and who we choose to share our love with; the latter is about gender identity, and altering one’s body to fit what one’s mind believes it should resemble. They are two very, very different ideas, and the problem that develops when we are all under the same umbrella is that so many of our enemies see us as one and the same—that Caitlyn Jenner, for example, is a “homo,” when that is not the case.

This is why I think the two groups should separate and fight for our respective rights on the more sure footing of our own ideas rather than conflating two divergent concepts.

Federalist: What kind of feedback has the petition been getting? I saw the tweet in favor from Milo Yiannopoulos and several tweets in opposition. Have people flagged the petition as inappropriate? 

Clayton: Based on comments I’ve seen at various forums around the net, I’m certain that it has been flagged, though I’ve not been notified of it. Articles about the petition have popped up on various gay blogs such as JoeMyGod and Gay Star News and, frustratingly, they are negative, although many of the comments are supportive.

The LGB movement has always been about expanding and re-defining concepts of gender.
A tweet by Milo Yiannopoulos (Nero) is probably what brought more attention to it, as he is a widely followed gay conservative columnist—which is ironic, since I’m not conservative in the least. I’m a socialist atheist gay man who is pro-choice, against the death penalty, and hoping we get real gun control.

To me, the LGB movement, with its celebration of all types of gay men and women, such as bears, leather daddies, drag queens, diesel dykes, lipstick lesbians, etc., has always been about expanding and re-defining concepts of gender; the trans movement, on the other hand, appears to be about re-asserting and codifying traditional concepts of gender.

Federalist: The gay rights movement made the great strides it did in no small part by emphasizing normalcy. The focus on marriage and adoption was a kind of “we want what you want” approach that was very successful. Do the more radical claims of trans advocates threaten that normalcy by placing everyone in boxes based on varying difference and levels of oppression? 

Clayton: It’s quite ironic to me that a generation that allegedly objects so much to labels has turned around and created the most expansive collection of labels there are: transgender, bigender, pangender, agender, genderfluid, genderqueer, etc. And then these self-applied labels are used to create a competition of oppression, where one wrong word can lead to a spewing forth of vicious invectives by the so-called oppressed.

These self-applied labels are used to create a competition of oppression.
Gay men and women succeeded partly because we expressed the desire to be treated equally—so that we could serve in the military, so that we could marry the people we love, etc.—and because we came out to our friends and families as what we are, just regular people trying to get through this journey called life; however, we did occasionally get pretty radical, too: the “zaps” of the 70s transformed into the absolutely necessary actions of Queer Nation and ACT UP in response to the AIDS crisis of the 80s.

But the important factor there was that the activists were, again, simply demanding that we be treated equally and the hetero audience could, in the end, understand that. My concern is that trans activism, which does not align with that of the larger gay/lesbian/bisexual community, is so radical and alienating—the insistence on access to women’s private spaces, the transitioning of young children who likely are just gay/lesbian/bisexual kids—that it will harm the community as a whole.

I wish no harm to the transgender community; I wish them all the happiness that life can offer. But our communities, linked together in such a slender fashion, no longer have a common ground, if we ever did in the first place.

David Marcus is a senior contributor to the Federalist and the Artistic Director of Blue Box World, a Brooklyn based theater project.

May 7, 2014

Maryland Joins 16 states that Extends Protections to Transexuals


                                                                           



MARYLAND THIS year joined 16 states in extending protection to transgender people in housing, lending, employment, public accommodations and other areas. Now a conservative group, including some of the Republicans who opposed the legislation, is trying to force the issue onto the state ballot this fall, in the hopes that voters will reject it. If it manages to get the proposal on the ballot, it’s not likely to prevail if recent history is any guide. Nor should it.
Incredibly, the conservatives’ main line of attack is that the law will turn women’s restrooms into fertile ground for peeping toms disguised in dresses and wigs, even for similarly attired rapists. This is middle school trash talk disguised as policy analysis. There is no evidence that this is a statistically detectable problem in other states that have banned discrimination against transgender people, nor in Maryland localities, such as Montgomery County, that have had similar statutes on the books for years.
For one thing, the law’s rigorous definition of a transgender person — someone whose core identity is expressed by consistent and uniform expression — does not extend to men who might get their kicks wearing dresses to spy on women. For another, transgender people generally already use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, according to their advocates.
More broadly, opponents of the legislation tend to miss its central point, which is to ban the blatant discrimination that transgender people report is pervasive. In a2011 survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, 71 percent of transgender people in Maryland said they had experienced harassment or mistreatment at work and 18 percent said they had lost a job or been denied a promotion as a result of their gender identification. Seventeen percent reported having been denied housing. Shocking numbers of students in public schools report harassment (81 percent) and assaults (38 percent).
In seeking to rally support for overturning the law at referendum, Del. Neil C. Parrott (R-Washington) has focused on the supposed risks it may pose in public restrooms. But Mr. Parrott opposed the anti-discrimination legislation several years ago when it did not even include public accommodations.
Republican legislators opposed the legislation en masse, much as they opposed extending in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants two years ago. In the case of the tuition issue, Maryland voters demonstrated that they were more tolerant than opponents predicted; when Republicans forced that legislation onto the state ballot in 2012, voters upheld it at referendum by a wide margin.
Mr. Parrott and his allies need to gather more than 55,000 petition signatures to compel a vote on the anti-discrimination bill. If they accomplish that, Maryland voters will again have a chance to demonstrate their preference for tolerance.

January 29, 2013

Nepal Issues Government ID Cards to Transgerders


Frank Prendergast ]

The government of Nepal has decided to issue citizenship cards that will allow those who do not identify as male or female to identify as a third gender. The new guidelines are a response to a 2007 court ruling in favour of activists in the country's queer community who had fought for the designation.
Sunil Babu Pant, who was the chief litigant in the court ruling and Nepal's first openly gay politician, says the move is a “late but accurate implementation of the court order.”
The new identification cards will list a third option of “other” in the gender category. 
Pant says the idea of a third sex or third gender is not new to Asian socities.

In the below video interview, done in 2009, Pant describes Nepal’s approach to trans issues, which he says differs greatly from the approach in the West, where identification as male or female seems to be more important.
XTRA.CANADA

July 23, 2012

UK: TransTeen Told Go Home 'Change to a Boy' Uses the Law


Ashlyn Parram
A transgender teenager banned from taking an exam unless she went home and changed into boys' clothing used UK equality laws to slam the school's bigoted headteacher.
Ashlyn Parram was told she wasn't allowed to take her first GCSE exam at Giles Academy, Boston, Lincolnshire, because she was wearing tights, skirt and a blazer, The Sun reported.
However, after refusing to go home and change into a boy's uniform, the 16-year-old went to the office of headtacher Chris Wall and showed him a copy of the Equality Act 2010, which protects transgender people from discrimination.
She was eventually allowed to sit the paper but was placed away from other students in the hall.
Ashlyn, who has been living openly as a girl at home for two years, told the British tabloid that she has 'never felt so bad about herself' and described how bullies at school spat and hit her in the past.
She said: 'It’s sad people can’t be more open-minded. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of everything I’ve been through. I really didn’t need to lose the support of my teachers.'
Ashlyn has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and is waiting to receive hormone therapy.
According to her mum Miranda, a senior teacher told her daughter that gender dysphoria didn't exist, while another imitated her walk in front of other pupils.
He blasted the school's treatment of Ashlyn as 'appalling' and 'disgusting'.
A school spokesman said: 'Giles Academy is an Ofsted Outstanding school in a caring environment with robust equalities policies. The governing body of the Academy rejects all the allegations.'
Anybody who has also experienced transphobic or homophobic discrimination at school, should contact education watchdog OFSTED here.
  BY MATTHEW JENKIN


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November 16, 2011

Transgender in Cuba } A Wedding in the Rainbow Cubano


Cuba, the beautiful piece of land that was in the middle of the Cuban Missile crisis at the beginning of the 60’s. A land in which with one non-democratic elected President 
which ruled for over 45 years with an iron hand in this island now we see changes in their human rights stance that does not align with their past.
However that should not be hard to understand. You now have a new generation with tools a lot more potent than the radio and RFA(Radio Free America). You have the internet which continues to to make changes in the societies that have never known another land except for what the government told them.
You have to give credit to this new generation of younger people but also  and equally important to the government of Cuba willingness to be more flexible and accept changes in how things were done in the past.
One of the changes in Cuba is how it deals with the LGTB community. The first signs of change in Cuba was the willingness to have sex change operations to Transgender people and then to give them the opportunity to get married. Now the next challenge is to allow gay/lesbians  their civil/human and to also allow them to marry. We see these changes comingadamfoxie*
Below you will see a posting By Dalia Acosta in IPS in regards to these gay changes I have been talking to you about:



Havana ( IPS ) - Nearly four years after realising her dream of changing her body into a woman's to match her transgender identity, Wendy Iriepa rode through the Cuban capital in a vintage convertible, wearing a stunning full-length white bridal gown and unfurling a rainbow flag, the symbol of the sexual diversity movement, for all to see. 

"Along the way, people waved and shouted 'valiant! plucky!' at me," Iriepa told the press at the Palacio de los Matrimonios (registry office) in the Havana municipality of Diez de Octubre, moments before her civil marriage to Ignacio Estrada, a 31-year-old gay dissident who, she says, makes her "very happy" and has evidently changed her life.

Loyalty to her love caused Iriepa to leave the state National Sex Education Centre (CENESEX) in July, bidding farewell to its director Mariela Castro and psychologist Mayra Rodríguez, in charge of care for transsexual persons at the centre, who for many years she had regarded as a second mother.

According to contrasting reports, she was either expelled from CENESEX or she resigned. Whatever the case may be, the 37-year-old transsexual underwent a radical change: from holding an active and distinguished post in the institution, to joining demonstrations by the dissident Women in White, a group of relatives of political prisoners.

She also invited internationally renowned dissident blogger Yoani Sánchez and her husband, journalist Reynaldo Escobar, to stand up in her wedding.

The marriage ceremony went off without a hitch on the afternoon of Saturday Aug. 13, and was attended by many representatives of dissident movements. Earlier, Estrada called the marriage a "birthday present to (former Cuban president) Fidel Castro to remind him of the atrocities he committed against the Cuban gay community, above all in the 1960s."

Fidel Castro turned 85 on Aug. 13. In the 1960s, many gay and transsexual people were fired from government jobs, jailed, sent to work camps or fled into exile.

"I don't know why it's been politicised, because Ignacio and I did not want to make it political," said Iriepa. However, she said apologies for past mistakes by Fidel Castro himself were not enough to redress the persistence of police harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in public places.

A further nuance was added Friday Aug. 12 by Mariela Castro - the daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro and Fidel's niece - who wished Iriepa every happiness in her marriage, but went on to claim that U.S. government funds are being used to promote LGBT groups on the island "that oppose the position of CENESEX."

"This (U.S.) policy is a media campaign against Cuba, with a lot of money behind it, and some people are being seduced by these things," Mariela Castro said. Her allegation was immediately denied by Leannes Imbert, the head of the Cuban Observatory on LGBT Rights, in which bridegroom Estrada is a prominent member.

The head of CENESEX said she was delighted that Iriepa was able to marry, "although not exactly with a heterosexual man as she wanted, but it seems she has found the love of her life and is celebrating it." CENESEX's work "has been for this, the well-being and happiness of our sisters," she said.

Iriepa was one of the first people on the island to benefit from free sex reassignment operations in late 2007, when a team of foreign specialists began training Cuban doctors in the surgical procedures, in a pilot programme largely arranged by CENESEX.

At an international market cost of around 15,000 dollars each, the operations were legally approved by a Health Ministry resolution in 2008 as part of a comprehensive health care programme for transsexuals, which CENESEX complements with a much broader strategy of social integration.

Since that time, 16 people have had sex reassignment surgery and another 15 are on the waiting list, out of 35 transsexuals accepted by the programme, Dr. Alberto Roque, coordinator of the National Commission for Comprehensive Care of Transsexual People, told IPS.

Roque, who is himself a gay activist, said three people who have been surgically reassigned to the female gender have succeeded in changing the legal designation on their identity documents, and 12 more are in the process of doing so.

"Wendy Iriepa's sex reassignment process is complete, according to the programme protocol, including the change on her identity document. However, she has every right and we are very willing for her to approach the Commission for medical care any time she wishes," said the internal medicine specialist.

Iriepa was one of the first transsexuals to obtain legal identity as a woman, giving her access to a civil marriage, which the constitution defines as the formalisation of a union between a man and a woman. But the wedding was not the first of its kind in Cuba.

In 1991, Mavi Susel, the first person to receive surgical sex reassignment within the public health system, in 1988, was married at a civil registry office in Cuba. Unlike Iriepa's, though, her wedding was a very private affair, far removed from the media spotlight, political tensions and controversies over human rights.

Sex reassignment surgery and changes of legal identity, which bring with them a string of benefits for the transsexual community, are among the chief accomplishments of CENESEX, that for years has promoted respect for freely chosen sexual orientation and gender identity as part of its vision that includes legal unions between same-sex couples.

"From this day forth, in our view, Cuba is entering a new era, for which all of civil society is united in struggle," Estrada said as he arrived at the registry office.

"I dedicate my wedding to all those who want to have their own," said Iriepa after the brief civil ceremony, adding that she had "fought hard for this."

October 3, 2011

Because She Is Transgender the DA Afraid to bring Case to Jury--Plea Bargains down

  By Lou Chibbaro Jr  


A transgender woman says she disagrees with a decision by the United States Attorney’s office to lower the charge against a man arrested for shooting her in the neck on Sept. 12 while she sat in her car parked in Southeast Washington.
District resident Darryl Willard, 20, pleaded guilty on Thursday in D.C. Superior Court to a charge of aggravated assault while armed in connection with the shooting. His plea came after prosecutors agreed to drop a more serious charge of assault with intent to kill while armed.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Ann O’Reagan Keary scheduled a sentencing hearing for Willard Dec. 6.
The assault with intent to kill charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail and a possible maximum jail term of 20 years. The aggravated assault charge, to which Willard pleaded guilty, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.
“I told them I was willing to go to a trial and testify” if prosecutors went with the more serious charge, said the victim, who spoke on condition that her name was withheld.
She said prosecutors informed her of their decision to lower the charge in exchange for Willard’s guilty plea last week shortly after she was released from the hospital and after the decision was reached.
“They said that going to trial with a jury could be a problem because they [the defense] would bring up my lifestyle,” the woman said.
Local transgender activists Earline Budd and Jeri Hughes said they, too, disagree with the lowering of the charge. Both said they were troubled that the U.S. Attorney’s office apparently didn’t consult the victim in advance of its plea bargain decision and appears to have presented her with a fait accompli on the matter.
“How about if a U.S. Attorney gets shot in the neck?” said Hughes. “Let’s see if someone gets just five years for that. That’s crazy. It’s an outrage.”
Budd, an official with the local group Transgender Health Empowerment, arranged for the woman to speak with the Blade

In discussing its general policy on plea bargain decisions, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the past has said it considers factors such as whether a jury would be likely to convict someone on a more serious charge.A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office has said the office never comments on why it chooses to offer plea bargain agreements that lower charges in specific cases.
Former Interim U.S. Attorney for D.C. Channing Phillips told the Blade in past interviews, at the time he served as spokesperson for the office, that the outcome of jury trials is always uncertain. He said jury trials sometimes result in an acquittal of a defendant that police and prosecutors strongly believe is guilty.
Arranging for a guilty plea by lowering the charge usually assures that a person charged with a serious crime will serve some time in prison and that justice will be served for the victim, Phillips has said.
In the case of the transgender woman shot in the neck on Sept. 12, a police arrest affidavit says the victim and Willard had known each other for more than a year and that Willard allegedly had paid the woman for sex in the past.
It says the woman picked up Willard in her car at 22nd and Savannah streets, S.E., and the two drove around the area. It says Willard asked the woman to perform oral sex on him and she refused. When she pulled over to let Willard out of the car, he pulled out a gun and demanded she turn over her money, the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, the woman refused to hand over her money, prompting Willard to shoot her at close range in the neck.
“The shot hit her in the right side of her neck, punctured both of her lungs, and lodged near her heart, where it remains,” says a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s office on Tuesday. “The defendant turned himself in to police the following day and has been in custody ever since,” the statement says.



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July 15, 2011

Cuban Transexual Couple Get Married On Fidel's Birthday


HAVANA  — A Cuban gay rights activist and his transsexual bride plan to marry on former President Fidel Castro's birthday next month in a move aimed at advancing homosexual rights on the communist-ruled Caribbean island.
Wendy Iriepa, 37, who became a woman in Cuba's first state-sanctioned free sex change operation in 2007, and Ignacio Estrada, who is 31 and suffers from AIDS, will tie the knot on Aug. 13, the 85th birthday of the veteran revolutionary.
Estrada said the wedding, which the couple called "a gift" for Castro, would be a first in Cuba's once-persecuted gay and lesbian community which has gained more space in recent years.
Same-sex marriages are not covered in Cuba's current marriage legislation, but Iriepa is now legally registered as a woman following her sex change.
The couple has scheduled their free, state-authorized nuptial ceremony at an official "wedding palace" in Havana, complete with cases of beer courtesy of the socialist state.
Cuban homosexuals, persecuted in the 1960s and 1970s by the communist authorities who sent many gays to military-run work camps, have gained more freedom in recent years thanks to a campaign of sexual education by Mariela Castro, the daughter of current Cuban President Raul Castro.
Fidel Castro, who fell sick in 2006, was formally replaced as Cuba's president by his younger brother Raul in 2008.
Iriepa, who used to work with Mariela Castro in the National Sexual Education Center (CENESEX) headed by the latter, said the wedding was not intended to be political.
"I always wanted to marry ... I wouldn't want this to be seen as political, as though I'm attacking the government, or maybe Fidel and the revolution, I want people to see us as two people marking a 'before' and 'after'," she told Reuters.

Fidel's regret Fidel Castro, who ruled the island for almost half a century after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, surprised many last year by expressing regret in an interview for the repression of homosexuals during the early years of his revolution.
"If anyone is responsible, it is me," Castro said in the interview with Mexico's La Jornada newspaper.
"During those years, I didn't have time to deal with the matter ... I was too busy with the October Crisis, war, and with political questions," he said, referring to the 1962 missile crisis with the United States.
Iriepa, while crediting Mariela Castro with winning more freedoms for Cuban gays, lesbians and transsexuals, said she stopped working with the president's daughter last year after she questioned her relationship with Estrada because of his activities as an independent gay rights activist.
Authorities view with suspicion Cubans who seek to work independently outside the communist system, and treat them as dissidents and traitors if they openly challenge it.
Estrada, along with government opponents such as prominent blogger Yoani Sanchez, says Mariela Castro has "hijacked" the gay rights movement for the government. Last month he organized an "independent" gay rights march in Havana, but only nine people showed up, witnesses said.
Iriepa denied being a dissident. "I am a patriot and revolutionary because I am going to continue making revolution inside my country, and doing new things," she said.
She said she was focusing on the details of her wedding. "I'm going to wear a strapless dress ... nothing traditional, I don't like traditional weddings, I can't stand them, I want my wedding to be as simple as possible," she said.
Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. 
msnbc.msn.com

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