30 January 2006

Thai avoids caning due to new sex

A prostitute who has had a sex change has escaped caning for drug dealing in Singapore after a doctor confirmed her new gender, the Straits Times reports.

The confusion arose because Mongkon Pusuwan, from Thailand, was identified as a man - her original gender - in her passport, the paper reported.

A man could have faced up to 15 strokes of the cane, but women are exempt.

Mongkon Pusuwan pleaded guilty to charges including cocaine trafficking was sentenced to six years in jail.

She underwent a sex change from man to woman 10 years ago, the Straits Times said.

But her fate had been uncertain for weeks while the court waited for a medical report confirming her new gender.

She was arrested in December and charged with trafficking 1.52 grams of cocaine and 2.5 grams of ketamine.

A larger amount of drugs in her possession could have earned her the death penalty.

source: www.bbc.co.uk

14 January 2006

Brand New Policy

"Brand New Policy" screamed the headlines of the first page of a Indian Daily newspaper. I though they had announced the minimum wage policy, finally or they were going to introduce a public health insurance scheme. No! it was a flashy LUXURY CONFERENCE on Friday 13 Jan.

The commerce minister Kamal Nath said “ Luxury Brands do not pose a threat. You will not have to wait for long to see this happen”, referring to foreign direct investment in high end retailing.

Luxury brand hawker, Ginaluca Brozetti, CEO Asprey & Garrard said “India belongs to the world of luxury.. It has extreme potential but is a difficult market”.

“We sell dreams, not handbags” says Robert Polet, CEO Gucci group.

But what’s up down on the street, the Gen X and the luxury hawkers have forgotten the common man. 80% of the Indian population cannot access this luxury market and are fighting to survive with rising prices and inflation.

“Today, Luxury and necessity go hand in hand and the gap between them is being bridged fast” says P.R.S Oberoi, Chairman & CEO Oberoi group.

But how Mr. Oberoi can you say that? Do you really think that in the slums of Bombay, that they prefer a Gucci handbag to eating a decent meal. Do you think that the people of India need a ‘American’ style Shopping Mall selling luxury goods or a hospital? Do you think we need Chanel perfumes or do we need water on the tap? Do you think we need to buy an Ipod or just have electricity without power cuts?

Then you says this is going to create jobs! But for whom dear ladies and gentlemen of the India Inc, because I don’t see the common people in your offices, or if they are they are your cleaners and office boys and drivers, underpaid slaves to your luxurious life style.

You try hard to believe that India is becoming like any other western state… but just because you live in your air-conditioned houses and ride your air-conditioned cars and shop at the air-conditioned shopping Malls.
We don’t, India doesn’t… and they will not… because they cannot afford it… because you don’t pay the salaries… you don’t participate in the development of infrastructure… you don’t care about the people of India…

But beware… don’t push them more than they can bear… It has happened before and it can happen again. And it is your head that will roll… BEWARE the wrath of the people!

10 January 2006

Asian transgender woman livens up marriages

Asian weddings are big business in Britain, much as they are in any country amongst the middle and upper classes. And no such wedding would be complete without entertainment of one kind or another. One particular act, which is becoming more and more popular, is dancing queen Kiran Rani, and what makes this particular dancing queen stand out, is that under the makeup and the glamorous frocks, is a 24-year-old British Asian man, born and raised partly in Leeds and partly in Lahore by a Pakistani Muslim father and a Christian mother.

Even as a child Rani felt different. As he/she explained in an interview with the Eastern Eye newspaper: "Ever since I was little, I’ve been into fashion and hair and when my family watched a film, I’d be in a corner copying the actions and dance moves of divas like Rekha and Meena Kumari. I was fascinated by them".

Rani took up dancing professionally some three years ago and specialises in a dance form called mujra, which was performed by courtesans in the Mughal era. It’s an act that is now in great demand, not only at weddings, but also at private parties.

But, as you may imagine, such a way of life cannot be easy, as Rani explained: "I don’t deny it’s been a big struggle, more so in Britain than it would have been in Pakistan where it’s common to see people like me walking around and dancing at weddings. The more educated or open- minded Asians accept who I am and what I do but it’s mainly the younger generation that will dish out negative comments or insults. For example, sometimes if I walk past a group of Asian men, they will call me names like khusra or hijra. But I have learned to shrug such things off and I know what kind of positive response I get when I walk through the centre of Leeds or when I perform, people are just hypnotised by me".

British Asian male dancers are a rare breed; British Asian male dancers who dress and perform as women rarer still. Kiran Rani has had a difficult life and has worked very hard to convince people that he/she is a serious artist determined to keep an old tradition alive. With a certain amount of understanding and tolerance within the British Asian community, this person who is physically a male but psychologically a female should be able to have a successful career and a happy life.

Kiran Rani's Website

Source: Tribune India

08 January 2006



* Don't assume someone's gender identity.
* Don't constantly reference someone's gender identity in an attempt to seem OK with it. Likewise, don't think we care if you're OK with us or not. No one asked for your approval.
* Don't trip up on pronouns- if you fuck up, simply correct yourself and go on.
* Don't glamorize someone's gender identity or think it's "cool" or say that you're "into it."
* Read trans/gender theory. Know the difference between: transgender, transsexual, gender fucking, gender blending/bending, gender vs. sex, binary gender, passing, transitioning, binding, tucking, packing/stuffing, third genders, drag queens/kings, androgyny, butch, femme, crossdressing, boi, MtF, FtM, tranny boys, tranny dykes, boydykes, transfags, etc., etc., etc.!!!
* Know the difference between intersex and transgender. Think about how you would really feel if someone you loved transitioned. Think about your fears and why you have them.
* Recognize your own transphobia.
* Know about transitioning and surgery and hormones.
* Don't just name yourself a "trans ally" one day.
* Realize that some of us have struggled with our gender identity for a long time. Don't think that we just woke up one day and decided that we would identify as transgendered. So when we finally find a space that we're comfortable in (even if temporarily), don't co-opt that space or try to make it yours too.
* Even if you think fucking with gender is hot, don't talk about it in an objectifying way.
* Realize that it can be hard existing in in-between spaces and really know that trans oppression and transphobia exist. Know the fear of not being able to determine when you pass, the fear of being arrested/strip searched/thrown in the wrong holding cell, the threat of violence, the annoyance of having to "come out" about your gender identity constantly, etc.
* Understand the privilege of feeling at home in your body, using a public bathroom, knowing which M/F box to check, having people assume your gender identity and them being right, etc.
* Realize that there is a gender community and that the validation we receive from that community can be incomparable to what you could ever offer us and let us seek refuge there.
* Recognize how class and race fit into these equations.
* Recognize and respect someone's gender identity regardless of whether or not they choose to have surgery or take hormones. Similarly, don't judge someone for transitioning or not wanting to identify as "transgendered."
* Don't think of a transgender identity as "political."
* Don't partner with us out of some weird transitioning or coming out process for you. Don't ask us how we fuck.
* Question your own gender! (But don't then tell me, "You know, I've never felt like a 'real man'/'real woman' either." -What this means is don't assume our experiences are the same.
* Don't ask questions about someone trying to determine their "real gender."
* Don't think that FtM are dealing with some kind of internalized sexism.
* Don't assume our gender identity, render it invisible, or think it doesn't matter because of who we choose to partner with.
* Don't label our gender or sexual identity for us. Recognize the difference between the two!
* Don't think of our experiences and identities as monolithic.
* Don't think we are a "recent emergence" that somehow came out of gender/queer theory and academia.
* Realize that there are a variety of trans/gender expressions. Don't assume that people should express their gender similarly just because they both identify as transgendered. Likewise, don't judge someone because you think that their trans identity and gender expression conflict.
* Think about the language you use to differentiate between trans and non-trans people and if it's even necessary to differentiate.
* Don't assume trans people have a "shared experience" with people assigned the same gender.
* Don't assume FtMs are "better" than other men, or MtFs are not "as good" as other women (especially in terms of sexism).
* When doing introductions at a meeting, say the pronoun you prefer for that space along with your name, etc. (Facilitators should make sure this is done.)
* Be sensitive to pronouns you use for someone when dealing with authority, police. Keep in mind that people's pronouns/gender identity may not always match up with their I.D.
* Don't include us in your process of learning about intersex or trans issues unless we ask you about it.

source: http://www.geocities.com/gainesvilleavengers/intersextransdemands.htm

05 January 2006

2006 what now???

So another year gone bye. So what now? So who's going to get killed now? Which country? Which people? Whose children will now be orphaned? Who will die of hunger? Who will be crippled by phosphorous bombs? Who will loose their homes? Who will be raped? Who will be assasinated? Who will we hate? Who?

Why can't we just ban the bombs and the arms? Why don't we disband the military? Why don't we love one another? Is it so difficult to love?

Why can't we just live in Peace?