To Be an Intersex Child in a Village

Do you know what it is like to be an intersex person in Anatolia, in a
village in Turkey? I know that pain, I know what it is like to be the kid
who got called names or heard a mother’s sigh when she was asked about it…
Listen to it from someone like me who once could not speak Turkish at all.

I guess I was 5 or 6 years old, I remember some women from our village and
my mother forcing me to lie down and touching me between my legs while I
was crying and screaming, making comments like they were doctors. They were
consoling my mother by saying: “Look, it is right there. It will open with
the grace of God’’ and my mother would agree with them with gratitude and
say, “Amen, please God.’’

For the first time I sensed that a part of me was bad. A connection between
my mind and that area had started. I stayed away from the adults and was
scared of them for days. It was the spring of 1978.

Because I was physically stronger, I used to win all the games. My friends
who could not stand this used to call me names. Kurdish nicknames one after
another, nicknames that implied that I was both a boy and a girl, and words
that described my genitals. I felt like I was going crazy. I used to leave
that cacophony, run home and tell my mother about it. My mother used to
curse them and console me by saying “You are better than them’’ and she
usually fought them.

When I was old enough to go to school, I learned what it means to be
excluded. I learned to keep people at a distance and that was when I
started to have conversations with myself. The new school year was about to
begin, all of my peers’ school supplies were ready and they were showing
them to me. I ran home from the square. My father, mother and brother were
at home. I was panting heavily and I asked them when they were going to buy
my school supplies. There was a silence for a while and then I barely heard
my mother saying “Let’s let her go.†My father angrily told my mother,
without even looking at me, “Stop growling. Children from three different
villages will go to the same school, the child will come home with a new
problem every single day, other children will not give them a rest. They
will be harassed; should we be disgraced even more?†I remember my mother
saying in response, “They should take a look at themselves. There is
nothing wrong with my child.†My brother supported my father and defended
the idea that I should not be sent to school. He looked at me with disgust
and grumbled, “Get out! School is not allowed!†He pushed me, then slapped
me so hard that I fell down. He had a say in it, after all his wedding was
only a week later. He also warned me strictly, “While the teachers are
passing through the village do not let them see you, hide. Or else I will
trash you.†I had to say, â€OK brother.†It was not only that. There were
trucks that carried workers to the factory. I used to hide when I saw them
as well because the truckers also used to call me with my famous nicknames.
Every morning and every evening, those were the times that I used to die.

I did not give up, because I was smarter and stronger than all of them. My
mother used to give me my food and I used to go to the pasture to graze our
animals. There, I organized my peers. Everyday one of them was going to
teach me whatever they learned at school. Behiye, Şevket, Satı, Fatma…
First, all the letters, then the numbers and then I learned how to read.
But this did not last long; all of them complained to their families about
me. The parents turned up at our door and my mother struggled with the
problem again.

I was the disgrace, the black sheep of the family in every way. But when
the topic was money, they were not ashamed at all, especially my brother.
He took me to the brick factory with him when I was 10. There, the warnings
continued, “Do not talk to anyone. If someone says something tell us and do
not beat anyone up.†Because I was tall and strong, they used to give me
all kinds of tasks and I completed them all with success. People were not
picking on me that much when I was working. I earned everyone’s respect
because I was practical. We bought a TV and so I learned to speak Turkish
very well. The personnel bus used to stop at the city center for three or
four minutes and I used to get off to buy newspapers such as Güneş,
Cumhuriyet, Bulvar, whichever I could find. Some people on the bus would
laugh at that and some would admire me. All of them knew that I had not
gone to school, but the ones who went could not read as well as I did. When
my dear brother’s control became less effective, he made more aggressive
decisions. He forbade me to buy newspapers. It was no big deal, I bought
books. I kept reading everything I found.

This is what I experienced in the village until the age of 12. I hope I
will also share the other phases of my life.

Source: intersexualshalala. com

Translation: LGBTI News Turkey

http://www.kaosgl. com/page. php?id=14976

 

Advertisements

Pro-trans music video from Matt Nathanson is a hit

New video from pro-LGBT singer features a transgender love interest
06 October 2013 | By Ashlee Kelly
New trans-positive music video by Matt Nathanson is a hit.

A new music video by American singer Matt Nathanson which shows a transgender person in a positive light has proved to be a big hit.

The video for his latest track, ‘Kinks Shirt’, features Nathanson starting a romance with a beautiful young woman, who he sees wearing a top with the logo of famous 60’s rock band ‘The Kinks‘.

After chatting with her in the street, Nathanson ends up in a bar where he watches his new love interest dance.

In the middle of her act, she takes off her top – revealing a male torso.

Nathanson is unfazed by this, and continues to applaud her as she finishes her routine, before kissing her at the end of the video.

The revelation that the woman is trans may be a reference to the famous Kinks song ‘Lola’ – about a man falling for a transvestite.

The video has become a hit with Nathanson’s fans – particularly the trans members of his fan base.

Nathanson shared a message he received on Facebook from a fan on Instagram, which he said: ‘This kinda made my year’.

It read: ‘Matt Nathanson, you are a beautiful light in this world, what this video means to me, as a genderqueer chick who calls the trans* community home, cannot be expressed in words.

‘You are an amazing ally, and I so love you for it.’

Nathanson has a history of showing support to the LGBT community.

Last year he released ‘Modern Love‘, a ‘celebration of San Francisco‘, which features gay and lesbian couples.

Watch the music video for ‘Kinks Shirt’ here:

http://youtu.be/J_4Od6hgs_Q

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/pro-trans-music-video-matt-nathanson-hit061013#sthash.bNyGliv9.dpuf

Job fair focuses on needs of LGBTQ community

SALT LAKE CITY – The inaugural Paint Your Future Job Fair was held this
weekend, and the job fair was meant for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual
, transgender and queer community.

Event organizers said they were happy with the number of employers who came
to the event, but they said they had hoped to see more potential employees
attend.

The job fair was free to the public, and it offered workshops for
interviewing skills, resume writing and dressing for success.

Candice Metzler is the board president with Transgender Education Advocates
of Utah, and she said the event was designed for those who may need a
little more help finding employment.

“We decided to put this event on to try and help bridge the gap for folks
who are struggling with finding places where they can find employment from
employers who might be more fair-minded and are looking for a skill set
from people and looking for what they bring to the organization rather than
maybe their identity or who they love,” Metzler said.

Metzler said TEA of Utah plans to put on the event again next year.

Copyright © 2013, KSTU

http://fox13now. com/2013/ 10/05/job- fair-focuses- on-needs- of-lgbtq- community/

 

Student banned from Christian college after officials discover she is trans

Domaine Javier was the focus of a 2011 documentary and will be taking the college to court
05 October 2013 | By Ashlee Kelly
Domaine Javier was banned from college after officials discovered she was trans.

Domaine Javier

A student in California was banned from a Christian college after administrators revoked her application because she is transgender.

Domaine Javier was hoping to study nursing at the California Baptist University in Riverside, where she was initially accepted onto the course with honours.

However, when college officials discovered her transgender history, her application was revoked, citing ‘committing or attempting to engage in fraud, or concealing identity’ because she had marked her gender as ‘female’.

College officials have also banned her from campus grounds for this reason.

Javier’s trans identity was discovered after a CBU official found she had appeared on MTV’sTrue Life‘ in 2011, where she had discussed her transition.

After discovering this, the college dean called Javier into a private meeting, in which she wasn’t allowed to take notes nor have anyone accompanying her. The dean then informed her that as she marked ‘female’ on her application, she had committed fraud as he believed she was ‘concealing her identity’.

The law firm Davis Wright Tremaine have since offered to file a lawsuit against CBU on behalf of Javier, describing the case as ‘enormously significant’.

Paul Southwick from DWT, who decided to take on the case, claims ‘the university breached its contract with Javier, and also violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits businesses from discriminating based on gender identity.’

Southwick says: ‘This case stands for the proposition that a religious institution that makes services available to the public and receives public funds can’t discriminate based on religious views.

‘When CBU chose to suspend, exclude, and expel Ms. Javier because of her gender identity, it violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act and must pay her damages for the injuries it caused her.’

CBU have tried to dismiss the case, claiming ‘religious freedom’ to discriminate against LGBT students.

Mara Keisling, of the National Center for Transgender Equality, has spoke about Javier’s treatment by CBU, saying: ‘California Baptist University should be ashamed of itself.’

‘First of all, she didn’t commit fraud. Second, that wasn’t their motivation. Their motivation was that they found out they had a transgender student, so they came up with an insulting, hare-brained excuse to expel her.’

Javier was born in the Philippines, where she lived until she was 12 when she moved to California.

She was the focus of a True Life documentary in 2011, where she discussed the difficulties she has faced from being transgender.

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/student-banned-christian-college-after-officials-discover-she-trans051013#sthash.xxpM9rqf.dpuf

 

Definitions

Definitions

transgender: someone who does not identify with their birth-assigned gender*

transsexual: someone who has, or is in the process of changing their
outward gender to match their spiritual and emotional gender *

two-spirited: an aboriginal term to describe someone who contains aspects
of both the male and female spirits*

genderqueer/ non-binary: someone who does not identify as being either male
or female

cisgender: someone whose gender identity aligns with their birth-assigned
gender

gender identity: the internal sense of being spiritually a man or woman

gender expression: the external manifestation of someone’s gender identity

LGBTQ: an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ two-spirited, and
queer/questioning; ideally, it encompasses everyone on the gender and
sexuality spectrum, including but not limited to asexual, genderqueer and
non-binary people.
 

‘Un-Russian faggots’: Author of anti-gay law attacks QueerFest guests

Vitaly Milonov, author of Russia’s law banning ‘homosexual propaganda,’ arrived with an entourage at yesterday’s QueerFest launch verbally and physically abusing attendees
20 September 2013 | By Jean Paul Zapata
Author of Russia's anti-gay law Vitaly Milonov arrived to an LGBT festival attacking and insluting guests.

The author of Russia’s gay gag law arrived at an LGBT festival yesterday to harass guests and allies.

The homophobic United Russia city parliament deputy Vitaly Milonov reportedly arrived with an entourage of five to six people calling guests ‘animals, ‘un-Russian’ and ‘faggots’, according to QueerFest organizers,

The Russian lawmaker, who co-sponsored the ‘non-traditional relationships’ law, previously said a gay activist must die for his ‘extremism’.

According to organizers, Milonov and his group also shoved around two guests, slapping them in the face.

After Milonov and his group started attacking guests, police reportedly arrived shortly after, harassing venue owners to show ownership papers.

In its fifth year, QueerFest gives Russian LGBTs the opportunity to take a visible stand against homophobia.

QueerFest organizers told Gay Star News yesterday there’s always a concern attacks will occur, or the venue will withdraw last minute, but they are still committed to hosting the event.

Speaking to Gay Star News yesterday, Polina, an activist with QueerFest, said QueerFest is a way to show solidarity with the Russian LGBT community.

Polina told GSN yesterday the LGBT community expects these threats and will continue to hold their ground: ‘Some hold to the opinion that the only path for Russian LGBT people today is out of the country.

‘While that may be so for the specifically targeted groups and individuals, such as same-sex families and LGBT rights defenders under risk, there are LGBT people who intend to live in this country and try and improve their lives and the lives of their loved ones.’

In its fifth year, QueerFest is Russia’s ‘queer pride and culture festival’ comprising seminars, discussions, photo exhibits and concerts to make a statement against homophobia.

On its first day QueerFest drew over 150 people to The Non-Existent Floor Gallery (Nesuschestvuyuschij Etazh) to St Petersburg. The festival is scheduled to take place until 28 September.

According to the QueerFest organizers, the attendees included representatives from:

  • Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg
  • Anti-dicsrimination Center “Memorial”
  • Russian LGBT Network
  • Side by Side LGBT film festival
  • Alliance of Heterosexuals for LGBT Rights
  • representatives of Swedish, Danish, Finnish cultural institutes
  • and several diplomatic missions of European countries and the US

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/un-russian-faggots-author-anti-gay-law-attacks-queerfest-guests200913#sthash.mf9b7Kvl.dpuf

 

Masha Bast, Top Russian Lawyer, Comes Out As Transgender In Protest Of Anti-Gay Laws

The Huffington Post | By James Nichols
Posted: 09/13/2013 12:27 pm EDT

Masha Bast, Chairwoman for the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human
Rights, has come out as transgender in protest of Russia’s anti-gay
legislation and recent crackdown on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) individuals. In the past, Bast has overseen some of the most
high-profile, politically- charged legal battles in the country.

In a press release dated last week, Bast announced <
http://www.themosco wtimes.com/ news/article/ qa-transgender- lawyer-comes- out-in-protest/ 486021.html>
that she would no longer be living her life as Yevgeny Arkhipov, but as
Masha Bast. The activist also extended an invitation to readers to follow
her journey via Facebook facebook. com/masha. abramova. 547> , as
she undergoes hormone treatment and surgeries in order to make her
physicality correspond with her gender identity.

In a recent question and answer interview with The Moscow Times <
http://www.themosco wtimes.com/ news/article/ qa-transgender- lawyer-comes- out-in-protest/ 486021.html>
, Bast adressed questions surrounding her advocacy, gender identiity, and
attempted to clarifiy what it means to be transgender within the hostile
anti-LGBT Russian climate.

When asked about her decision to come out publicly now, she responded:

«There were three reasons for my decision. First, it would have been very
difficult for me personally not to come out. Second, having represented
people in the Manezh Square, Primorsky partisans, and Bolotnaya cases, when
those finished up I finally had the opportunity to come out. Third, my
coming out was a protest against what is going on in Russia today. I
couldn’t just sit there and do nothing.»

She went on to explain her gender identity in further detail, noting in
part:

«There are people who actively choose their gender, and there are people
who don’t think about it, or they try and avoid questioning it because of
their religious beliefs or other reasons. Those who choose to decide their
own gender because their internal gender doesn’t match their external
appearance are called transgender, especially when they take visible steps
to make their external gender match their internal gender. I don’t think of
myself as transgender though — I just think of myself as a woman. I do,
however, consider myself part of the LGBT community because we are all in
the minority.»

Calling the gay propaganda law “completely wrong,” she went on to note, “I
remember being 10 and wanting to be a girl and putting on girl’s clothes. I
didn’t understand what was happening to me … I went to dances dressed as
a girl back when I looked more feminine.”

You can read the whole interview at The Moscow Times <
http://www.themosco wtimes.com/ news/article/ qa-transgender- lawyer-comes- out-in-protest/ 486021.html>
, and be sure to follow Bast’s journey via Facebook <
https://www. facebook. com/masha. abramova. 547> and YouTube <
http://www.youtube. com/channel/ UCdb4nv2lDOUDaXO m7DUy5bQ? feature=watch> .

Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda&qu ot; <
http://www.policymi c.com/articles/ 61689/everything -you-need- to-know-about- russia-s- anti-gay- propaganda– laws>
law has enabled and galvanized a culture of fear and violence for LGBT
citizens, resulting in public acts of violence <
http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ 2013/08/20/ russian-transgen der-woman- beaten_n_ 3779723.html>
and radical anti-gay discourse <
http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ 2013/08/12/ dmitri-kusilev- degrades- lgbt-tv_n_ 3743414.html>
from the mouths of Russian officials.

Most recently, Russian politicians are attempting to push a bill that would
take children away <
http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ 2013/09/05/ russian-lawmaker -proposes_ 0_n_3873095. html>
from their LGBT parents, resulting in a prominent activist threatening to
out closeted Russian politicians <
http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ 2013/09/09/ elena-kostyuchen ko-out-russian- politicians_ n_3895491. html>
that vote for the bill to pass. Well-known Russian news anchor Anton
Krasovsky was also fired in mid-August <
http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ 2013/08/14/ anton-krasovsky- russian-journali st_n_3758279. html>
after coming out while on the air.

Copyright © 2013 TheHuffingtonPost. com, Inc.

http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ 2013/09/13/ masha-bast- transgender- russia-lawyer_ n_3920998. html