Friday, January 30, 2009

Genetic Screening

This article is about a breakthrough in detecting Down Syndrome. However, it includes the following:

The maternal serum test developed by Lenetix medical director Dr. Stephen A. Brown at the University of Vermont incorporates the use of methylation-sensitive amplification (MSA) of fetal nucleic acid markers. In the preliminary studies, more than ten clinical plasma specimens of various ethnicities provided by clinical partners were tested with clinical partners using the MSA approach developed by Dr. Brown. Data from pilot studies indicate that highly accurate screening for common fetal autosomal (Trisomy 18, 21) and sex chromosomal (47, XXY) chromosome abnormalities is feasible, particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy when MSA features of early pregnancy-derived cells can be leveraged. This approach affords diagnostic confirmation by CVS, an invasive first trimester procedure, or genetic amniocentesis in the early 2nd trimester.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is the Equality and Human Rights Commission trying to “forget” trans people?

In 1996 the European Court of Justice issued an important judgement which compelled the United Kingdom to update the Sex Discrimination Act so as to outlaw rampant employment and education discrimination towards people who intend to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone Gender Reassignment.

The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations were eventually enacted in April 1999. Even so, research conducted for Trevor Phillips' Equalities Review and published in February 2007 showed that, among 872 trans people questioned, 42% said they had lived in fear of workplace discrimination when they needed to transition. (Engendered Penalties: Transgender and Transsexual People's Experiences of Inequality and Discrimination; Whittle, Turner and Al-Alami; Equalities Review; Feb 2007).

Ten years after the law was introduced, transsexual people continue to describe instances of discrimination. Meanwhile transgender people are not even protected, because they don't fulfil the law's criterion that changes in one's gender presentation must be under medical supervision in order to count.

That same year (1999), the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier High Court judgement against North West Lancashire Health Authority and in favour of three transsexual women who had been denied NHS treatment for their condition. The Court ruled that gender reassignment treatment was the proper clinical response to the condition described as 'gender dysphoria' and that it was unlawful for any NHS organisation to operate any system of control which amounted to a blanket ban.

Ten years after that judgement and in spite of countless guidance publications from the Department of Health, several Primary Care Trusts and whole regions of the country persist in operating policies which do amount, in effect, to blanket bans. Their rules, when obtained under Freedom of Information procedures, read like a travesty of the founding principles of the National Health Service.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Indians campaign for 'third sex'

Melbourne Community Voice, Australia
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:13

While the status of India's transgender community remains low, a public interest litigation (PIL) petition currently before India's Supreme Court could pave the way for official recognition of a third sex, according to campaigners for the country's eunuchs.

If successful, gender boxes on government forms could be ticked male, female or 'kinnar', the word India's estimated 1.5 million eunuchs use to describe themselves.

Eunuchs once enjoyed a proud place in Indian society, with many rising to position of power and gaining trusted positions in royal courts.

Today, London's Daily Telegraph reports, most eunuchs – born with 'deformed genitals', and later castrated – say they suffer serious discrimination, and are denied equal opportunities in employment and education.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

OII Demostrates before the UN in Geneva, Switzerland


Nicolas, OII-Switzerland
43 years old, Lausanne

“Everything was going just fine until a doctor decided to ‘normalize’ me, at the late age of 38. I was married and I had a child but I knew I was XXY. I found out I had this particular karyotype when I was 20 during a medical checkup and I thought for a long, long time before consulting a specialist. The only answer I got was that the doctor prescribed “something that would be good for me” and then told me not to read the warnings. Since he was afraid that I would be more of a girl, he gave me testosterone. For me, this treatment was like undergoing chemical castration: my joints started to swell, my testicles shrunk and I started getting hairy like a bear. My hairiness went back to normal when I stopped taking testosterone, but a very serious illness attacked my joints. Then a whole series of events started: a separation from my wife, changing professions. I have been fighting for three years and I can depend on my parents and friends for support: they understand that I was used as a guinea pig. But what keeps me going and gives me the courage to continue as an activist is my rage. It was not up to my doctor to decide to turn me into a “virile” man: the medical protocols must be changed so that this never happens to another person.

Intersex people are totally invisible. I prefer the term “intersex”. Hermaphrodite makes the public have fantasies because they supposedly have two sets of genitalia. I refuse to be the object of such fantasies.”

Summary of article by Curtis E. Hinkle
To read the original article in French: Click here

Four people showed up yesterday in Geneva to protest genital surgery of intersex infants. Among the participants was OII member Nicolas from Switzerland who is in the picture holding the placard.

There were four placards that were held by two intersex people and two activists who came to the Place des Nations (Nation’s Square) which is a very huge place for such a small gathering. Daniela Truffer stated that the reason only four people showed up is because of all the fear and shame that keep intersex people from showing up or coming out publicly. There are approximately 3,500 intersex people in Switzerland who were born like Daniela Truffer who have genitalia which resemble either a small penis or a large clitoris. She stated that the doctor was the one who chose her sex.

“Let the children decide!”

Only the most committed activists came to Geneva with a friend from Zurich. Matthias angrily stated that they had met at the University and when Daniela had confided in him about what had happened to her, he realized that this taboo was hiding one of the most serious human rights violations. Demonstrating was one of the few ways for intersex people to assert some power over their own lives. Matthias also pointed out that no legislators were taking up any of their demands and he wondered if it was because of the power of the medical lobby.

According to the medical authorities, allowing a child to grow up with ambiguity does not eliminate their suffering. They are of the opinion that a child cannot construct an identity if the parents cannot consider the child to be either their son or their daughter. They said that the choice of sex takes into consideration physical, genetic, hormonal and psychological chrematistics of the child but they also said that the feelings of the parents were also taken into consideration. However, the four demonstrators were of a different opinion and stated that these early sex assignments do not take into consideration the emotions and metabolism of the individual affected – the child. Philippe Scandolera, co-president of the gay rights association 360° also agreed: “Let’s accept their difference and let them decide.”

Daniela Truffer talked about her surgical assignment as a girl and how she was raised in secrecy and shame. At 12 she started synthetic hormones and at 18 she had a vagina constructed. She was born with a micropenis but the doctors decided that she should be a girl. This was all based on a lie. They told her parents that she had malformed ovaries when in fact she had testicles.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Antony and the Johnsons THE CRYING LIGHT

By Danica Li
Contributing Writer
Monday, January 26, 2009
Category: Arts & Entertainment > Music > CD Reviews

At first glance, the album cover of The Crying Light appears to feature a desiccated skeleton with clawed hands, vampiric canines and sightlessly staring eyes. The skeleton is the source of Antony Hegarty's love and inspiration, a famous intersexual Japanese butoh dancer, Kazuo Ohno, to whom the singer attributes his own growth as an unabashedly queer artist. After 2005's I Am a Bird Now fetched Hegarty's achy, tear-stained serenades the prestigious Mercury Prize and 20,000 pounds of pocket money to boot, the singer has indulged in a variety of collaborations. But none have risen to the realm of tortured, symphonic romanticism that he's consistently attained with the Johnsons.

Regardless of the lyrical content, Hegarty's voice is the sound of a man quietly derailing. Like the cover, Hegarty's songwriting veers frequently toward darkness. Repeated and grotesque invitations to "cut [him] into quadrants" urge the obvious comparison to past records, where implications about self-mutilation ran the gamut from cutting off one's digits to breast amputation. First single "Another World" mourns the impending loss of the world as we know it around a down-key piano medley, while "Daylight and the Sun" laments the absence of its title subject to a swelling, hoarsely cacophonous string section. Do we detect a running trend? Common here are classical composer Nico Muhly's swooning, orchestral arrangements-vibrations transmuted through wood and wire into the magnificent, gold-spangled stuff of romance and tragedy. Wretched and wrenching, Hegarty's voice takes the foreground and distorts a petite 39-minute record into a seemingly lengthy, difficult listen-one that nevertheless has its share of operatic peaks and elated, cathartic releases. Safe to say, then, that emotionally wringing will always be Antony and the Johnsons' calling card.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gender Identity Disorder in Childhood: Inconclusive Advice to Parents

Alice Dreger, “Gender Identity Disorder in Childhood: Inconclusive Advice to Parents,” Hastings Center Report 39, no. 1 (2009): 26-29.

For purposes of this essay, let’s invent a contemporary American child named William Lee. William is five years old and, as far as anyone can tell, his body is that of a typical male. But William has long acted in a fashion more typical of girls: he likes to play with “girl” toys like Barbie dolls and My Little Pony; he strongly prefers playing with girls to playing with boys; and he likes to dress up like a conventionally pretty woman, in pumps and dresses, with jewelry and make-up. He increasingly insists he is really a girl and indicates a belief—or a desperate hope—that he will grow up to be a woman. He wants to be called “Julie” and to go to school as Julie. He exhibits what psychologists call gender dysphoria. This stresses out his parents; it is not easy to have a child who challenges social norms, especially norms about gender.

Note from Curtis E. Hinkle: I find this to be a very good article which has many of the same findings that I wrote about in the following article:

Zucker: Manipulation of Young Feminine Boys

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Several months ago we printed an article concerning the failed attempt of a male petitioner to change the entry of his name and sex from male to female in order to reflect the result of a sex reassignment surgery. The Supreme Court in the case Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio vs. Republic, G.R. No. 174689, October 22, 2007, held that there is no such special law in the Philippines governing sex reassignment and its effects. It was emphasized that under the Civil Register Law, a birth certificate is a historical record of the facts as they existed at the time of birth. Thus, the sex of a person is determined at birth, visually done by the birth attendant (the physician or midwife) by examining the genitals of the infant. Considering that there is no law legally recognizing sex reassignment, the determination of a person's sex made at the time of his or her birth, if not attended by error, is immutable. The words “male” and “female” in everyday understanding do not include persons who have undergone sex reassignment. Furthermore, “words that are employed in a statute which had at the time a well-known meaning are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context compels to the contrary.” Since the statutory language of the Civil Register Law was enacted in the early 1900s and remains unchanged, it cannot be argued that the term “sex” as used then is something alterable through surgery or something that allows a post-operative male-to-female transsexual to be included in the category “female.”

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Punishing Difference

Vaibhav Saria

Tamil athlete Santhi Soundararajan attempted suicide in September 2007 in Pudukottai by consuming dangerous amounts of a veterinary drug. She was driven to take her own life because, in 2006, after winning the silver in the women’s 800m race at the Asian Games, she was stripped of her medal, her accolades, and her job (she had earlier that year won the gold in the 1,500m and the silver in the 800m at the South Asian Games in Colombo) and subjected to humiliation and governmental indifference. This is because a test ostensibly revealed that she was biologically intersexed. (which means that while the male has XY chromosomes and the female has XX chromosomes, there are instances when a person might have an XXY chromosome as well, hence, intersex, somewhere between the two sexes). Furthermore, I should just mention at the outset, that having this extra chromosome doesn’t necessary mean that you have external physical manifestations of both the sexes. Hence, let us straightaway clear Santhi of any intentional deception.

The way media represented the case didn’t help either; calling it “the sad story of” or “the mysterious case” or “the strange case of” Santhi Soundararajan instead of looking at what assumptions of gender and sex were problematically being made by the federation. Instead of raising a ruckus — the reports were relishing the sensation of the ‘freak’ and had hideous and offensive headlines like ‘Santhi runs like a man, but cries like a woman.’ The Olympic Council of Asia assumes that there are two genders and two sexes (the International Olympic Committee does not do gender tests), but also that these genders and these sexes have something universally definitive about them. There is a plethora of genders out there — male, female, intersex, hijra, transsexual, transgender, male-to-female transsexuals (MTF), female-to-male transsexuals (FTM): should they not be given the chance to become sportspeople?

There are a lot of sexes as well: the male sex (XY chromosomes), the female sex (XX chromosomes), the Turner Syndrome (XO chromosomes), the Triple xxx Syndrome (XXX chromosomes), the Klinefelter syndrome (XXY), XYY syndrome, XX male syndrome, Swyer syndrome (XY female). And I have just hit the three chromosomes list — the list is longer if you look at anomalies with four chromosomes. And none of these “deviations” necessarily imply any physical manifestations, deformities or incapacities. The point is that there are not just two sexes. The intersexed condition, with which Santhi was ostensibly diagnosed, itself has five variations. People are born with both or neither of the male and female gonads. Further, the stage of development of either results in more combinations, which ultimately makes it impossible to determine clearly whether you fall into the male or the female category. The ambiguity in the reports about Santhi in the Indian media shows this ignorance. References to her ambiguous sex organs, to her anatomy not matching her chromosomes, to her characteristics of a woman and the internal sex organs of a man.

If this is Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), she is not a man because her body does not respond to testosterone she is producing, but there is no space, at the end of the day, for an XY female athlete.Now, take the plurality of genders (which by no means is an exhaustive list) and take the numbers of choromosomal patterns (which again is not an exhaustive list) and create all sorts of permutations and combinations and see the number you come up with. How can then you clearly say this is a man and this a woman? Should people with all of these “syndromes” not be allowed to play? Should they not be allowed to live? The violence of such archaic notions of sex, uninformed by science, and unethical in practice are clear. Santhi tried to kill herself because she was an athlete, a brilliant athlete, who had won for her country one of the few medals that it manages to win every four years, who had been shamed and stripped of her hard-earned and well-deserved medal because of some outdated and unscientific beliefs about sex and gender. Very few among us can claim to know that feeling that an athlete, especially a lower caste athlete from a small town (Kathakurichi) gets, when, after years of toil and discipline, she holds the fruits of her work in her hands and makes her village and family proud. The shame and the violence of having all of that negated because of unsubstantiated and unjustified reasons backed by some old boys’ uninterrogated crap about sex and gender must be bafflingly painful to her.Nobody contested not only the administering of this test (the team comprising a gynaecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist and genetic expert — god save us from these!) but also what it assumed. I find such assumptions rich coming especially from the field of sports which has a long history of encouraging the consumption of performance-inducing drugs that play havoc with one’s hormonal system, starting from cocaine and opium in the 17th century. What kind of “natural” performance and “natural” athletes are the sports federations around the world looking for when they pump their athletes with all kinds of unnatural substances that they first allow and then ban? Give me the kabbadi tournaments in Punjab, the football clubs of Calcutta, and mohalla cricket over the cruel, discriminating arena of international sports. They apparently are not concerned with whether you’re a good athlete, but whether you have the right chromosomes.

The only relief for Santhi and for us is that the Tamil Nadu government recognised her as a female athlete and awarded and feted her. More recently, reports have stated that with the support of the TN government, she has started coaching youngsters in athletics. Along with the aravani voter rights issue, the Tamil Nadu government is proving to be arguably the most progressive government in the country. —Vaibhav Saria is doctoral student in Medical Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University researching HIV and AIDS in India. He can be contacted at

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Refusing to be classified

by Dheera Sujan

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"A woman with a penis surely is by definition a woman." Norrie is not a person to mince her words, and she's also not a person to ever be short of them.

"Some people may be puzzled by that remark Norrie," I challenge her tentatively, and she instantly has a comeback: "If you're saying one woman has black skin, another has white. Someone else may have a sixth finger, or there are hermaphrodites who have the ability to reproduce - having features that are masculine, doesn't stop them from being a woman." Norrie describes herself by many names - eunuch, androgyne - and woman. "Being a woman is a social identity. We don't see people's privates in public, yet we make assumptions about them. If you're talking like a woman, dressing like a woman, moving like a woman...then you're a woman."

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Whose Body is it anyway? Hermaphrodites, Gays, and Jews in N. O. Body's Germany

Sander L. Gilman

"N.O. Body" is a most appropriate pseudonym for Karl M. Baer (1885-1956) to have used when he sat down to pen his autobiography, which appeared in 1907. For being "nobody" was his way of seeing his body: it was neither male nor female. It was doubly foreign ("nobody" is English rather than German) as it was Jewish as well as German. This is how he imagined his past life raised as a woman, Martha Baer, in a Jewish family in Imperial Germany. But it is "nobody" that Odysseus tricks the Cyclops to answering when asked who has harmed him—"Who has hurt you?" "Nobody," the blinded giant responds. In his autobiography Baer is simultaneously the clever trickster but also the damaged giant.

On its surface Baer's autobiography is a remarkable fin-de-siècle document of "hermaphrodism," as the Berlin sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) notes in his afterward. Its subject suffered from false gender assignment because of the apparent ambiguity of his genitalia as an infant. He was registered and treated as a "female" child rather than a "male" child, an error of assignment that became evident only with puberty. He was a "pseudohermaphrodite," to use the terminology of the day, as his body was hormonally and psychologically gendered male, even though his genitalia seemed at first glance ambiguous. Sex was defined by the appearance of the body and was dimorphic—there were men and women. Any one who was neither or both was seen as pathological.

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I was born a hermaphodite

Published Date: 23 January 2009
By Staff reporter


I live overseas but I read your paper on-line. The story 'I'm not your aunt - I'm your sister' was very moving and I’m glad to see that things are changing over there.

As for me, I have been in exile well over 35 years due to family prejudices. I come from a small village outside Derry and I was born a true hermaphrodite.

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What "Consensus"?

By Sophia Siedlberg

Anyone who has followed the environmental debates of the past ten years will probably have noticed the use of the term "consensus statement" to give various documents an air of authority, in this case with the intent to clarify what is known about the impact of human activity on the environment, but also to send a message to critics of the current dogma that their dissent will not be tolerated. It is this second line of reasoning that has proven problematic. Personally I am not a "climate skeptic" but I do often sense that some environmentalists are going too far when trying to stamp out dissent. This is because some aspects of the criticism will inevitably involve legitimate scientific questions.

The concept of "consensus statements" actually originates in medical science. Often such a statement will be published with the intent to clarify an established diagnosis and lay the foundation for any future guidelines. But when the Euro DSD consortium started waving the "Chicago Consensus Statement" around like it was the medical equivalent of the Ten Commandments, knowing full well that this statement does not have the consensus of those it applies to (people with intersex health issues). It only has the consensus of a group of academics in Chicago, which was initially funded by an American health insurance agency, based in California (Blue Shield), with the purpose of making sure that poor outcomes of treatment will not end up being the subject of charges of medical malpractice in the US courts.

Putting it bluntly, the Chicago Consensus Statement was the culmination of American health insurers covering their backs, academics in Chicago wanting to engage in a political process of social cleansing and European "experts" who wanted to over simplify any future guidelines arising from this statement.

You will notice the absence of a broader patient consensus simply because patient input was deliberately ignored. Two “intersex advocates” were involved, but when one of these advocates lost her mandate among patient groups, amid accusations of fraud and serious conflicts of interest, the Chicago Consensus Statement came to lack any credibility.

Did Euro DSD seek to distance themselves from this statement? Far from it. They have obviously adopted the terminology of the Chicago Consensus Statement by defining intersex people as "Disorders of Sex Development". And the focus has shifted from simply treating any intersex condition as a health issue to what can at best be described as punitive psychological control of patients.

And today you will find Euro DSD publishing documents, most of which have titles starting with "Consensus Statement on." As I have pointed out before, the one thing that characterizes the Chicago Consensus Statement is the arbitrary manner with which they will assign a sex to a given condition, and this is designed to disregard what the patient may feel about it. I will go further and say that this protocol of arbitrary "sex assignments" has been purposefully designed to maximize the distress of the patient, forcing them to consult mental health professionals and thus making more money for said mental health professionals. Furthermore, they have made the prospect for their future victims so bad that their suicide will make savings for health insurers and healthcare providers. Simply put, talk is cheap and viable treatment costs money. Better then for healthcare providers and insurers to maximize profit by offering punitive "talking cures" and hoping that before actual cost enters the equation, the patient is dead.

I would like to see Dr. Olaf Hiort and Professor Euan Hughes (two leading specialists involved in the European side of all this) try to worm out of that accusation. Well, they don't have to, why? Because they constantly publish "consensus statements" which have been "agreed upon". A patient who is enduring a negative outcome will be subjected to deliberately damaging forms of mental "care", thus rendering their ability to question all this in the courts as good as impossible, and in this state they will then be put up against what is described as a "Scientific Consensus" which cannot be questioned.

Euro DSD is already enjoying a lot of funding from the European Union. Why? Because they have already conned the politicians into believing they have all the answers, but the truth is these "answers" are simply a means to alleviate the cost of health care and nothing else.

You have probably read this so far and sense that I am talking about conspiracies rather than a set of health care policies that appear to be badly thought out. Regardless of the underlying intent, the outcome will be as predicted because the level of anger among non affiliated patient groups is considerable. And affiliated patient groups have consistently been ignored and in some cases told by Bo Laurent, alias Charlie Sullivan, alias Cheryl Chase, alias Brian Sullivan and Bonnie Sullivan to avoid those organizations that disagree with the Chicago Consensus Statement. What makes this individual with more aliases than a con artist with a multiple personality disorder most interesting is the fact that “they” are currently an item via a civil partnership with someone who is involved with, wait for it, health insurance.

And just who ends up forming this "Consensus" anyway. Well, the well-heeled vultures who attend these "conferences" with charismatic grins on their faces presenting papers with titles like "Slicing, dicing, chopping, carving, hacking and liquidizing freakish brats in a Kenwood chef for the nation, an academic study of the misery we enjoy causing".

If you need proof of unethical intent, you need look no further than those conferences, organized by the likes of Hughes, Hiort, Morland and so on. They are nothing more than a pale imitation of a brainstorming session for a particularly sadistic reality TV show. Flapping around like bleached vultures talking about "sociomedical emergencies" while watching a PowerPoint presentation that involves very graphic images of carved up genitalia. Are these people ethical? I doubt it. Like the endocrinologist from Middlesex who is about to end up in court for telling "Maid Marion" about his interpretation of my medical history. Well, breaking confidentiality to defend the quack circle is not very clever.

This misuse of consensus statements is nothing new. In the 1930's they were very popular when defining who was "dysgenic" and who was therefore going to get gassed. The most important point to remember is that the Chicago Consensus Statement was little more than a total fraud, and the only people who really formed this "Consensus" were as Alice Dreger herself points out, those with "power": that is compliant parents and doctors seeking to make a fast buck.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

National Intersex and Transgender Rights Organization of Nevada

National Intersex and Transgender Rights Organization (NITRO) of Nevada is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Nevada.

NITRO seeks to improve the lives of transgender, intersex and genderqueer (TIQ) individuals by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring individuals are treated equally under the law and increasing public support through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs.

NITRO works to secure equal rights for TIQ individuals at the national and state level by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, providing educational programs, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other organizations.

NITRO of Nevada
PO Box 70040
Reno, NV, 89570

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Asexuality and the DSM

by David Jay

Near as we can tell, about 1% of the world's population doesn't like sex. Though we are not sexuality researchers, the folks from the asexual community have been working for years to create open, honest public dialogue about our orientation. You can find out more about asexuality on wikipedia or at Both have excellent breakdowns of the research that has been done on asexuality so far.

Recently people from the asexual community have put together a task force around the DSM V. The current DSM's definition of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder can be problematic for asexual people seeking treatment. Under the current rules, asexual people are diagnosed as having HSDD if we experience distress or if our partners do. This raises a couple of thorny issues. Lots of asexual people experience distress when we're coming to terms with our orientation, the same way that gay, bi and pan people do. Many more of us are in relationships with sexual partners and are working through the complicated issues that that entails. Neither seems like grounds for a disorder.

We want to make certain that the subcommittee working to revise the definition of HSDD takes asexuality into account, and we'd like your help. We're trying to solicit opinions from people in the sexual health field on effective ways to account for asexuality when treating low interest in sex.

Got an opinion? Drop us a line, we'd love to arrange a time to talk.

Book Announcement: Gender Madness in American Psychiatry, Essays from the Struggle for Dignity", by Kelley Winters, Ph.D.

More than three decades after the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, those who do not conform to their assigned birth-sex, either by inner identity or outer social expression, are labeled mentally ill in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), with grave consequences to their human dignity and civil liberties. For transsexual individuals, the current diagnostic categories of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and Tranvestic Fetishism also pose barriers to access to medical transition procedures. As the APA works toward its fifth revision of the DSM in 2012, these gender diagnoses provoke growing controversy while perpetuating harmful stereotypes that fail to explain the existence of countless well-adjusted transsexual, gender queer and gender transcendent people who have contributed to society for millennia.

Gender Madness in American Psychiatry: Essays from the Struggle for Dignity provides an overview of the literature and attitudes behind the current diagnostic nomenclature and a historical snapshot of the issues and challenges faced by gender transcendent people on the eve of publication of the Fifth Edition of the DSM. This book contains a collection of essays from the struggle for transgender dignity and health care access. They are expanded from pieces posted to the GID Reform Advocates web site in 2008 and incorporate the generous feedback and discussion from advocates and critics.

For students of psychology, sociology, anthropology and gender studies curricula, this book provides an overview of the literature and social context that led to the current diagnostic nomenclature. It offers a historical snapshot of the issues and challenges faced by the trans-community on the eve of publication of the DSM-V. For gender transcendent people, this book is a call for respect and celebration of the broad diversity that exists within our community. Yet, it is also a call for unity and solidarity in demanding change for psychiatric policies and stereotypes that harm all trans-people. For mental health clinicians who work with transitioning clients, this book is intended to provide some insight, from a trans-perspective, into the barriers to social legitimacy and access to medical care that are posed by the categories of current Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism.

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News from New Zealand

In a programme recently replayed on Radio New Zealand as part of the "best of" Kim Hill from 2008, Hill interviewed Mani Bruce Mitchell about the challenges of being an intersex person - one born with genetic and physical variations that mean they are neither wholly male nor female.

One point in particular struck me. Mani Mitchell told how she was born to parents in a small country community and at first was treated as a boy. But she had a uterus and, at the age of one, she had an operation and became Margaret.

The community held a meeting in the local hall to discuss how it should deal with this unusual situation. Mani Mitchell described this as an example of a rural community functioning as it its absolute best.

Hill seemed momentarily taken aback by this and asked if her guest was being sarcastic, to which Mani Mitchell assured her that she wasn't. The community agreed at that meeting to close the door on her past life as a boy and from that time on she was accepted as Margaret.

What was interesting was Hill's initial reaction. It seemed that, for a moment at least, she had difficulty accepting that a community in rural New Zealand in the conservative 1950s could have reacted to this predicament in a compassionate, positive way, rather than demanding that this freakish child be cast out.

It's common among sophisticated urban types to equate rural communities with bigotry and ignorance, but history shows country people are a lot more liberal and tolerant than urban stereotypes give them credit for.

It was a supposedly conservative rural electorate that elected feminist MP Marilyn Waring and kept returning her to Parliament even after Truth newspaper outed her as a lesbian. And it was a supposedly conservative rural electorate that voted for the world's first transsexual MP, Georgina Beyer.

The liberal farmer politician - of whom Tom Shand, minister of labour in the Holyoake government of the 1960s, is often held up as an example - is a recurring figure in New Zealand politics. Sir Keith Holyoake himself was from that mould and so too was Jim Bolger, who threw his weight behind the Treaty settlements of the 1990s.

Sure, you find rednecks and philistines in the country, just as you do in the cities, but not all country people have hair on the palms of their hands and eyes in the middle of the their foreheads.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

"La Pastora Durrut" of the Maquis a heroic story of autonomy.

iosaf | 20.07.2008 18:28

Hopefully later this year will see a book by José Calvo published which draws on files and archives and interviews and his own attendence as a youth at a trial of one of the "Maquis" those guerillas who offered the last organised resistance against Franco and fascism in Spain from the end of WW2 and the vain hope that the allies would re-establish the legitimate republic through to their dwindling end in the 60's.

His book will at last tell the story of One of the Maquis who has long needed reclaiming from the lies and distortions of the past.

An individual who took the nom de guerre as a Maquis, or member of the AGLA (usually denominated as communist), of "Durruti" (after the honoured Barcelona anarchist). Before that at the age of 32 he had taken the equally momenous step of taking the name "Florencio" in replacement of the "Teresa" which his parents upon seeing his genital malformation had registered on his birth certificate "to avoid later complications" & it was said "military conscription".

Teresa / Florencio Pla Meseguer was born in 1917 on a small farmstead in the Tossal de la Pallissa mountains, its nearest village was Vallibona itself closest to the town of Castellón in the Valencian region of the Catalan speaking eastern Iberian peninsula.

His remaining photos show clearly the gender confusion that this young man must have felt as he grew to maturity mostly hidden from any meaningful socialisation by his family who had put him to work as a shepherd dressed as a woman on the mountainside, hence the name "La Pastora" or shepherdess.

At the age of 32, he was subjected to an interrogation and sexual assualt by members of the Francoist "Guardia Civil" who characteristically given their role of enforcing parochial structures turned a village gibe into an excuse for torture. Such was and is how fascism is installed - by the most mediocre and insensitive use of violence.

Whatever the exact incidents of the occurence, Teresa never returned to female clothing and henceforth took the name Florencio. I have written many times that "autonomy begins with self", which of course it does for "auto-" means self, but I have written it many times believing that the act of naming oneself or declaring oneself is an essential rite of passage to individuation and liberty. It is my opinion that such a rite of passage is not one which may only initiate those who are or were "classified" as different, it can be experienced just as easily [to quote myself again] "to take the first step in the class war and recognise which side you're on".

Nonetheless it is a rite of passage which is familiar to many minorities who arguably today find their most tolerated "official fomentation of equality" in the modern Spanish state. But Francoist fascism which still holds more than a quarter million graves of republicans of all hues as well as the poet Garcia Lorca whose own prophecy of his death still rings a bitter sad bell over such catharsis which is modern Spain's equality laws on marriage or gender reassignment on official documentation :-

"Then I realised I had been murdered
They looked for me in cafes, cemeteries and churches ....
but they did not find me.
They never found me?
No. They never found me."

She who would be hunted through the posters of Franco's Spain as a member of the XXIII (23) sector of the "Agrupación de Guerrilleros de Levante y Aragón (AGLA) as "La Pastora" a "lesbian woman with criminal tendencies".

He was known as “Durruti” to his comrades in arms and their supporters in the territory [which the 23rd sector under the "command" of Jesús Caellas Aymeric, "Carlos the Catalan" took over from the 17th which had extended from Teruel in Aragon to Castellon in Valencia to also engage in Zaragoza]

One by one, or handful of handful the Maquis were literally hounded down and killed as their initial successes faltered for many reasons not least the decision by the allied powers not to restore the legitimate 2nd Spanish republic, and thus the ending of the supply lines which had allowed them antibiotics whilst Franco's troops were still bribing villages with sausage meat.

"Durruti" / "La Pastora" - Teresa / Florencio Pla Meseguer built a hideout in a gorge in the mountains of less than 3 metres length and 1.5 metres width camoflauged with branches, from whence any approaching could be seen. Several years of subsistence passed and his voice was lost for want of practise. One can only imagine the lonliness and agony of not only being a fugitive but certain that all others considered him to be a monster as well.

Eventually he tried to make the crossing into Andorra and what would have been the relative freedom of exile in France. He was arrested on the 5th of May, 1960 and tried as Florencio. Sentenced to death, this was later commuted and he would wait till the "general amnesty" of 1977 to sleep without a locked door or weapon by his side.


For more information in Spanish:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dr. Phil Show hosts homochromosexual, Dr. Nicolosi


We read Dr. Nicolosi's errant comments here on the NARTH site.

Perhaps it is good that he did not say this on the show. For the experts such as Dr. Siegel and Angello which appeared on the show, would likely have clarified these errant statements, further discrediting Dr. Nicolosi.

"No one on the Dr. Phil Show mentioned the implications of taking the opposite approach--actively preparing a boy for future sex-change surgery. Surgery can never truly change a person's sex. Doctors can remove the male genitals and form an imitation of the sex female sex organs, but they cannot make the simulated organs reproductively functional--nor can they change the DNA which exists in every cell of the boy's body to indicate that he is, and always will be, biologically a male."

Dr. Nicolosi is taking a chromosomal or genetic definition of sex even though this definition has been DISPROVED as being the decisive or true definition of sex.
There are persons with XY chromosomes in all of their cells who are nonetheless female. Some are caused by alterations on genes other than those on the X or Y chromosomes. BUT, some can also result from environmental factors interfering with male development, thus showing that a person with no atered DNA in their cells who is XY, can still be biologically female. Some XY females produce eggs. Some carry babies to term in their uterus when provided donated embryos through IVF. Some individuals are XY, don't have a uterus or ovaries, (thus they do not have reproductively functional female organs just like a post-operative m to f transsexual), yet have female appearing external female organs, such as cases of androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS or severe PAIS).

These examples demonstrate that phenotypic sex, morphological sex and hormonal sex are biological sex and CAN BE CHANGED, and that so-called genetic or chromosomal sex is not the ultimate definition. Thus, Dr. Nicolosi is in error. Perhaps Dr. Nicolosi has what some think could be labelled a disorder known as homochromosexuality.

Either way, Dr. Nicolosi is proven wrong in his statements here. We are glad that he did not further subject himself to further lack of credibility on the Dr. Phil show. But we need to correct him here so that others may see this.


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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Was Arthur James Balfour (1848 - 1930) intersex?

Arthur Balfour was born in East Lothian. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge where he read Moral sciences, and took a second-class degree.

He expected to marry his cousin, May Littleton, but she died of typhus when he was 27. He then remained a bachelor. He is credited with the expression: "Nothing matters very much and most things don't matter at all”. In middle-age he had a long friendship with Mary Wemyss, who was later Countess of Elcho, but biographers have not established that this was a sexual relationship. On the other hand he was in good terms with Harold Nicolson, the homosexual diplomat husband of Vita Sackville-West.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Honesty at Last

By Sophia Siedlberg, OII Spokeswoman - United Kingdom
12 January 2009

Katrina Karkazis' new book, Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience, made me sense that there really are some glimmers of hope. Okay, most reviews of her book start of with "What is a boy or a girl, how do we know XX or XY etc", so this is not a book review. I find such book reviews irritating and they are not conveying or looking at the message as I am reading it.

What I am reading and what I have heard of Karkazis is basically of someone who Alice Dreger should be but isn't. Here is an ethicist who stands back from this debate and looks at it objectively and then takes the time to discuss issues that are of importance to intersex people. While the core focus of her work still revolves around Dr. John Money's policies, much of what she is saying is actually very informative. She certainly explains something that has puzzled me for a long time, and that is how ISNA in particular focused almost exclusively on victims of infant genital feminization. Karkazis points out that much of this early activism in the 1990's had been drawn from the women's health movement. If you add this to the fact that Dr. John Money did operate a policy of blanket feminization, this does go some way to explaining why organizations such as ISNA took the focus that they did. Unfortunately this remained the tone of their activism which resulted in ISNA becoming irrelevant, if not harmful as the debate moved on.

What I particularly like about Karkazis is the way she questions the current medical approach which is indeed focused on the mechanics of sex and the outcomes of infant surgery relative to this. In fact she has pointed out that many follow up studies were about clinical outcomes and sexuality rather than quality of life. For me this is perhaps the most important issue she raises because even today this is what we see in the "DSD" guidelines. They are about sexual function and social acceptability rather than about quality of life and social acceptance.

Karkazis also correctly points out the way intersex people were treated as a threat to the established heterosexual order, by virtue of the treatment being dictated by various moralistic attitudes of the 1950's. My own description of the self same social order "The norm born rut" perhaps caricatures these attitudes, but that caricature does illustrate that as Karkazis herself says, this "moral order" still exists in an oppressive form. I find it deeply oppressive and describes it as I see it. Karkazis describes it more politely but manages to describe it well all the same.

If I am critical of Karkazis, I will say that it would be the focus on how intersex people were treated in the US, citing the case of Dr John Money, and how his blanket feminization even involved the feminization of a boy called David Reimer. But to be fair the American situation is the best documented from a historical perspective.

She mentions OII as "continuing on where ISNA left off", I would say that OII has done this mainly because OII is a multilingual organization which can as a result give voice to those outside the US and as such presents a broader picture of how we are all treated, and were treated in different cultures. Prior to OII there was the AISSG which is multi national and as such again had the advantage of understanding different cultures.

This above all else was ISNA's primary downfall. The political landscape and culture in which they existed did not represent anyone who was intersexed, but not living in the US and not treated under Money's protocols. I would say that Karkazis represents an honesty among academics that has not really been seen before. She openly states that there are people who reject their original sex assignment, and she also puts the discussion in a broader context by discussing the real complexity of the intersex experience. We are now reading more about how intersex people themselves are describing their lives, rather than the narrow clinical stereotypes presented by ISNA. Karkazis refers to other intersex groups and other intersex experiences.

I am sort of hoping that those who have yet to review her book take the time to read beyond the chromosomes and mechanics of sex, and avoid asking the now dumb question "What if it is not a boy or a girl, XX for a girl XY for a boy, what is this?" and actually read what I sense to be the true message of her book, which is to see intersex people as whole people, rather than mere bits of flesh and molecules that should be made to conform to social norms. For me this is the most important thing that can be gleaned from her book and the interviews I have heard her giving. She invites people to look at things in the broader context, to open their eyes and see what intersex people are really saying, and this is good because so far the discussion has been handled by spin doctors who talk about listening to intersex people but have consistently failed to do so. Here we have someone actually saying "listen to intersex people" and actually being honest about a lot of the issues that have been avoided to date.

Katrina Karkazis certainly gets my vote after having read and heard what she has to say.

See also:
Review by Curtis E. Hinkle, founder of OII: Click here

This article is also on OII's website:
Click here

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Discordant Alliances

By Sophia Siedlberg.

Accord Alliance is an organization that essentially acts as the central reference point for "Disorders of Sex Development". You can look at them in two ways. Either they are the fruition of Bo Laurent's evil plan to bring about more surgery, secrecy and shame, or they are primarily a group of doctors who, while having Bo Laurent as their patient representative, genuinely believe that the DSD model is the best way to present intersex health and health care. If they are a manifestation of the first definition, that is, an evil plan by Laurent, then I will oppose them at every turn. If however (as is beginning to look more likely) they are simply doctors "doing their job", then I am prepared to try to talk with them.

The problem they have is that at present Accord Alliance looks like a doctors talking shop with Bo Laurent as the "safe" patient representative. Now there was a time when Laurent (under the pen name of Cheryl Chase) was a bit of a firebrand, rather like some of us in OII are now, but she had all those contacts and funding which enabled her to take the prominent position she now has. But she is a "safe" activist.

I think that it will prove difficult for Accord Alliance to gain any credibility while they appear to have Bo Laurent as the main advocate. It is nothing against Laurent personally either, but no single person can encompass the whole range of intersex experience. Laurent is not popular with many of us because of her activism having being focused on the practices of Dr John Money. She only opposed blanket feminization and other John Money specific policies.

To read the whole article:
Click here

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Open letter to the IOC from Kristen Worley

Mr. Jacques Rogge
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Chateau de Vidy
1007 Lausanne

January 4th, 2009
Re: Releasing Ms. Santhi Soundarajan as the “martyr” of the IOC’s failed sex and gender policy in International sport.

Dear Mr. Rogge,

I wish I was writing you and the International Olympic Committee executive board under better circumstances as we start 2009. In recent days, because of the released article published January 2nd, 2009 by The Times of India, titled “Shanti Soundarajan weaving Olympian dreams all over again”.

To read the whole letter:
Click here

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

James Johnson (1975 - ) footballer.

Iyabo Abade was raised as a girl in a village in the then Bendel state, in southeast Nigeria.

She became the top scorer for the Super Falcons womens’ football team, the Nigerian national team, netting 30 goals a season.

However suspicions about her gender led to a confrontation with team-mates and a ‘tearful’ admission that she has an adam’s apple and small male genitals. A sex-test then determined that she was more male than female.

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Mexican intersex woman sets precedent for privacy for transsexuals on birth certificates

Summary of articles from the Mexican press by Curtis E. Hinkle, founder of OII

For information about intersex in Spanish: Click here
For information about intersex in English: Click here

The Supreme Court of Mexico decided in favor of an intersex woman who changed sex so that her new birth certificate will have no mention whatsoever of her previous sex as male and all information concerning the original sex assignment will remain private.

In a press release, the Supreme Court analyzed the case of a transsexual who appealed a decision in 2005 which required that her birth certificate include a marginal note concerning the change of sex which she considered discriminatory and a violation of her constitutional rights.

The plaintiff asked the authorities to issue her a new birth certificate and that there be no revelation of her change of identity and that request was denied by the District Court.

The judges of the Supreme Court agreed to the request of the plaintiff and ordered that a new birth certificate be issued without the marginal annotation which would be only kept privately without public access.

The plaintiff was assigned male at birth. However, during her preadolescence she was medically diagnosed as a hermaphrodite. After undergoing a thorough psychological follow-up which lasted for years and which finally ended with a change of assigned sex, she started her life as a woman.

This decision ratifies the validity of the article in the Civil Code which requires the change of sex to be registered on birth certificates but which also indicates that it is unconstitutional to reveal this information publicly because it violates the non-discrimination principles in effect.

Sources from the Mexican press:

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"We support the right of all persons to self-determination with regard to gender identity and sex. We therefore support the right of intersex and transgender individuals to be free from coercion and involuntary assignment of gender or sex. We support access to medical and surgical treatment for assignment or reassignment of gender or sex, based on informed consent."

"We support the inclusion of language in state and federal anti-discrimination law that ensures the rights of intersex individuals and prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, characteristics, and expression. We are opposed to intersex genital mutilation."

To read the 2008 Green Party Platform on Equality:
Click here

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gender Spectrum Family Conference - Now Accepting Submissions


Gender Spectrum Family Conference - Now Accepting Submissions
Update: Barbara Walters and 20/20
Family Support Groups - National Access
Challenging Economic Times

Gender Spectrum Family Conference - Now Accepting Submissions
New Workshop Submission Deadline - DUE FEB 29TH

Gender Spectrum Family, a one-of-a-kind national conference held in conjunction with Gender Odyssey, is devoted to the needs of families raising kids who do not conform to society's traditional gender expectations. We are seeking submissions from professionals, providers, and others who work with gender non-conforming and transgender children and teens. We encourage submissions addressing topics ranging from legalities, medical considerations, school-related issues, family
dynamics, issues related to adolescence and more.

Go to ( for more details.

In an effort to establish our program and have it available on our website sooner, we have revised our submission due date. Please make a note of this in your calendar.

New Deadline: Submissions are due February 29th, 2009

Update: Barbara Walters and 20/20: "A Spectrum of Paths to Parenthood"

In November, Barbara Walters spoke with Stephanie Brill, co-founder of Gender Spectrum, and an array of transgender families in an exclusive 20/20 special. Brill shared with Walters the discrimination that many transgender people experience when creating families. Brill says,

"Each time that something pushes the edge...our society, at first, tends to think it's wrong. Whether that was people having interracial babies, or whether that was single mothers by choice [or] whether that was gay or lesbian families. The same is true for transgender families."

Gender Spectrum is proud to have had the opportunity to work with Walters and 20/20 on this very important issue. To read the full article, visit 20/20's website
Click here

Family Support Groups - National Access

Gender Spectrum offers support groups for parents or guardians of gender variant or transgender children. For those who live in the California Bay area or in Seattle, Washington, we have groups that meet monthly at the
Oakland and Seattle Children's Hospitals, respectively. For more information, click here.

If you live outside of these areas or for any other reason are unable to attend these groups in person, we have tele-conferencing capabilities. Our tele-conference group meets on the third Sunday of every month from 5pm to 7pm PST. For logistical reasons, advanced reservations must be made for tele-conferencing access. Please call 1-877-809-4159 for more information.

Challenging Economic Times

We know that the economic recession will leave relatively few of us unscathed. Over the last few months since our last conference, Gender Spectrum staff has worked hard to ensure no increase in conference costs and continue to provide a number of ways to keep this conference financially accessible. We have successfully negotiated with our host hotel, the Silver Cloud - Broadway and our main venue, the Washington State Convention & Trade Center, to not increase their rates for our 2009 event. Additionally, we will continue to maintain our very affordable registration rate. For those who might need further assistance, there are scholarship and subsidy options available through our website.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CAF to introduce gender testing


The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is set to introduce gender testing before the next African Women Championship in 2010.

Equatorial Guinea hosted and won the last edition, but its victory was tainted by protests from Cameroun and Nigeria that two of the players used were men.

CAF declined to act on the protests but it gathered from the tourna-ment's Technical Study Group that the continental body had decided to act before the next tournament, which will also be the qualifiers for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

"CAF has made a ruling that before the next AWC, it will be doing medical testing before the tournament starts," was informed.

However, the situation is complicated by the fact that even at FIFA level, the issue of hermaphrodites remains a grey area.

Players are classed as girls if they are menstruating, even if they have both male and female organs.

There are ongoing discussions on the matter at the highest levels of the women’s game, but it is understood that genetic testing, to determine if the players have more male or female hormones, is also under consideration.

The most high-profile case of a hermaphrodite in women’s football was Nigeria’s Iyabo Abade, who subsequently had surgery in the United States and is now living as a man.


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Doctors Urge Puberty Blockers for Children Considering Sex Change

By Kathleen Gilbert

CHEVY CHASE, Maryland, January 5, 2009 ( - An international medical organization has recommended that children as young as 12 who question their sexual identity should be given drugs to block the physical changes of puberty.

The New Scientist reports that the injunction comes as part of a set of guidelines, the first of its kind, published last month by the Endocrine Society. The "Guidelines For Health Organisations Commissioning Treatment Services For Trans People" call for healthcare administrators around the globe to provide full coverage for hormonal and cosmetic procedures sought by individuals identified as "transsexual."

The doctors project that relatively new puberty-blocking drugs could "buy time" for young teens who may later decide they are unsatisfied with their sex, and thereby avoid undergoing the bodily changes that belong to the sex that they are dissatisfied with.

"We recommend that adolescents who fulfill eligibility and readiness criteria for gender reassignment initially undergo treatment to suppress pubertal development," New Scientist quoted the guidelines as saying.

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Click here

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Africa: CAF to Introduce Gender Testing

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) are set to introduce gender testing before the next African Women Championship in 2010.

Equatorial Guinea hosted and won the last edition, but their victory was tainted by protests from Cameroon and Nigeria that two of the players used were men.

To read the complete article:
Click here

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Genderfree Manifesto

A spectre is haunting the gender conservatives -- the spectre of gender freedom. All bigoted men and women have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Sunni and Sufi Islam, Catholic and Protestant, Israeli Orthodoxies, "True-Blue" Men, and Anti-Tranny Lesbians.

Where is the transgender in politics that has not been decried as immoral by her opponents in power? Where is the intersex celebrity that has hurled back the branding reproach of faggot, and accepted hir multigender birth? Where in the hallways of power are butches and drag queens respected as true men and women?

To read the complete manifesto:
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Friday, January 2, 2009

Shanthi Soundarajan weaving Olympian dreams all over again

BANGALORE: A failed gender test cost Shanthi Soundarajan more than the 800m silver medal
at the Doha Asian Games.

Publicly humiliated and socially scorned, suicide seemed like a good option for the elder daughter of brick kiln labourers - Soundarajan and Manimekalai. Some nine months after one of the saddest stories in Indian sport unraveled itself on an international stage, the village belle from Kathakurichi consumed veterinary medicines in a bid to end her life.

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Bo Laurent (1956 - ) intersex activist, programmer, translator.

Brian Sullivan was born in New Jersey (although some accounts say that he was named Charlie Chase at birth). He was surgically re-assigned to female at 18 months, when doctors found a uterus and ovotestes. While Brian was what was then called a ‘true hermaphrodite’ (although some accounts specify different intersex conditions), the doctors told the parents that he was actually a girl. They excised her penis/clitoris, and her parents moved to another town and called the child Bonnie Sullivan. The child stopped speaking for six months.

This article concludes:

Confusion has arisen from Bo's practice of using both 'Cheryl Chase' and 'Bo Laurent', sometimes in the same publication. Remember the brouhaha when Wayne Dynes also used the name Evelyn Gittone in The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. In Phyllis Burke's Gender Shock, Burke somehow managed to interview both Chase and Laurent without noticing that they were the same person.

Susan Stryker's Transgender History, which was published only a few months ago, mentions Chase only as an activist, without a single word about her Bo Laurent persona, and without a single word about the controversy over the DSD terminology.

The 'Cheryl Chase' Wikipedia page has a link at the bootom to a category called "American Intersex Activists'. When you click on it it turns out to be a set of one. There is no mention of Sherri Morris of the AIS Support Group, Hale Hawbecker who is developing a legal challenge to infant intersex surgeries or Curtis Hinkle, the founder of OII. These three are also missing from Stryker's book.

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Organisation Intersex International hoax origins: Kiira Triea sockpuppet “Deni”

Ten years ago, Kiira Triea, aka Denise Tree, began dabbling in the sockpuppetry that would culminate in the hoax site. was a successful enough hoax to be published as legitimate in textbooks and peer-reviewed journals by gullible academics like Alice Dreger, J. Michael Bailey, and Simon LeVay who didn’t bother to do any independent confirmation. Denise Tree said things these “scholars” wanted to hear, and sadly, there’s really no consequence for this sort of substandard fact-checking these days.

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Mill Valley author explores male, female and in between

Marin anthropologist and author Katrina Karkazis began researching her new book, "Fixing Sex," a decade ago, when she was working on her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University.

Now senior research scholar at Stanford University's Center for Biomedical Ethics, Karkazis became captivated in her graduate student days by an article in Rolling Stone magazine about the tragic case of David Reimer, who was born a healthy baby boy but was raised as a girl after his penis was burned off during a botched circumcision.

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