Rajee was recently interviewed by Dr. Phil on “Cosmetic Surgery Disasters” regarding illegal and toxic silicone injections. She has come forth speaking out as a victim and has decided to share her story with the intention of helping others.
How far would you go to enhance your feminine appearance? In The Life: Beauty on the Black Market explains the risks.
The diversity of gender identities and expressions necessitates entirely new ways of thinking and talking about gender.
By Genny Beemyn and Sue Rankin
A college professor is asked by a female-bodied student after class to use gender-neutral pronouns when referring to “hir.” A student assigned male at birth takes advantage of the ability to have one’s preferred name, rather than one’s legal name, on the institution’s online directory in order to change a male given name to a culturally female one. And another female-bodied student contacts the campus LGBT resource center to inquire about the process for having “top surgery”— that is, the removal of female breasts to have a traditionally male chest — covered by the college’s health insurance policy.
These examples are situations that we encounter regularly as college administrators and educators and that are borne out by the findings of our new book, The Lives of Transgender People. Based upon a survey and interviews with several thousand trans-masculine, trans-feminine, and gender-nonconforming people in the United States, the book shows in unprecedented depth the tremendous gender fluidity that exists today, especially among young people. For example, when asked to name their gender identities, the participants provided more than 100 different responses, including a number of individuals who said that there was no easy way to identify their gender. Some of these respondents resorted to percentages to describe their identities (such as one third male, one third female, and one third transgender) while others said simply, “I am me.”
Because of society’s failure to recognize the multiplicity of gender possibilities, transgender and gender-nonconforming people must face discrimination daily. Language is just one form this discrimination takes. Transgender people feel their existence is being erased when bathrooms are labeled for “women” and “men” and forms ask the person to mark either “M” or “F.” They are left isolated by groups and social spaces that are for “women” or “men” only. And worst of all, they become targets for verbal and physical assault and even murder for not conforming to gender norms.
According to the International Trans Murder Monitoring Project, more than 220 individuals around the world, most of whom are trans women of color, are known to have been killed in the past 12 months because of their perceived gender identity or expression. Many more individuals are undoubtedly murdered without their deaths being categorized as anti-trans hate crimes.
Our research demonstrates the need for a complete overhaul of how society treats gender. On a practical level, we should have single-user gender-inclusive rest rooms, rather than men’s and women’s bathrooms, and instead of forcing people to choose between “M” and “F” on forms, we should just ask “gender: __________ [fill in the blank].” In many instances, gender does not need to be requested at all — just as we no longer require that someone’s race be specified on most documents.
On a more fundamental level, the diversity of gender identities and expressions necessitates entirely new ways of thinking and talking about gender. Referring to male-appearing individuals as “Mr.” and ‘sir” and female-appearing individuals as “Ms.” and “ma’am” leaves out a growing number of people who consider themselves to be neither, as well as offends the “Mr.’s” who identify as “Ms.’s” and vice versa. An even larger issue is the use of gendered pronouns and the obliviousness of most people to the fact that there are alternatives — typically “hir” for “her/him” and “ze” for “she/he.”
As part of challenging the dismissal and invisibility of women a couple decades ago, feminists successfully contested the use of what linguists call a generic masculine. Instead of referring to “mankind,” for example, people learned to say “humankind” and to replace “chairman” with “chairperson” or simply “chair.” The same sort of learning now needs to occur to remove the remaining gender assumptions in our language and culture. Society cannot be reduced to black and white people, Jewish and Christian people, or lesbians, bisexuals, gay men, and heterosexuals; nor can it be limited to women and men.
Here’s the speech everyone is talking about today. It’s being heralded as a modern day “I Have a Dream” speech.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the United Nations in Geneva this morning and gave a speech about LGBT human rights in honor of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Her speech served as a solid statement following the Obama administration’s announcement this morning that it is instructing federal agencies and diplomats to protect and promote LGBT rights internationally.
Transcript of the speech is after the break.
Category : News Around The World
New Delhi, Nov 20: At least 14 eunuchs were killed and 40 others injured when a major fire swept through a community hall in an east Delhi locality where a congregation of the trans gender community was taking place. The incident took place at around 7 PM when around 1000 eunuchs from across the capital had gathered for a festival. 14 people died in the incident and over 40 were injured and rushed to various hospitals, police and hospital authorities said.
The fire, which started in the kitchen, spread through the premises and destroyed the tents which had been put up for the congregation. As the fire spread, people ran helter-skelter searching for a safe zone but many got trapped in the fire and lost their lives, police said.
Locals said they heard the huge cries of people and came out and saw that the entire community hall premises engulfed in flames. The locals also tried extricate trapped people till the police and fire service personnel came and began the rescue operations.
The congregation, which has been going on for the past three days, had begun at around 1 PM on Sunday and the participants were dancing and enjoying the evening when the fire took place. Sunday was the last day of the congregation.
Fire brigade official said 14 bodies have been recovered and 40 injured have been admitted to hospitals. Hospital authorities feared that the toll could go up further because many of the injured have suffered grievous burn injuries. Delhi government ordered a thorough probe into the fire incident. Delhi Health Minister A K Walia said Deputy Commissioner(Revenue) of East Delhi J P Sharma has been asked to invesitage the incident and file his report to the state government at the earliest.