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Trans woman judge hopes to make US history – from Pink News

Posted: June 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

"Victoria Kolakowski, 48, is the frontrunner candidate for superior court judge in Alameda County, California," Pink News reports. Victoria is a trans woman and, if elected, would "make history by becoming the first trans person to be…a trial court judge in the United States." She'd also be the first openly GLBT superior court judge elected in Alameda County.

On her website, KolakowskiForJudge.com, she writes, "I believe that interacting with a transgender judge would help the other judges, court staff, police, district attorneys and the private bench to see people like me as respectable professionals and even colleagues, and not as 'freaks'." As no candidate got a majority vote, a run-off will be held in November between Ms Kolakowski and lawyer John Creighton.

According to the Pink News article, Ms Kolakowski transitioned from male to female in 1989, lives with her wife, and married the first day gay marriage was legal in California.

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Transgender Men Go Topless At Delaware beach

Posted: June 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A brief tidbit about a few people who chose to take their tops off at an LGBT friendly Delaware beach. This article brands them as "transgender men," but over at Change.org they're referred to as transgender women. Apparently the individuals were all born male-bodied and retain male genitalia, but have augmented breasts, which they were attempting to get a bit tanner. They covered up before the police came, and then reminded the officers that they are still legally male, and so this is not in fact an issue of indecent exposure (not that it should be, anyhow). An interesting little bit of gender politics there, no?

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State Department Eases Passport Restrictions for Transgender Americans | GLAADBlog.org

Posted: June 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

"Transgender Americans will no longer be required to undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to change their gender on U.S. passports," Cindi Creager writes. The U.S. Department of State announced on Monday that the "new policy and procedures are based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)…." They also make it "possible to obtain a limited-validity passport if the physician’s statement shows the applicant is in the process of gender transition." Similarly, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad can also be amended.

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) executive director Michael D. Silverman praised the change, saying, "Adoption of this safety-focused policy is a giant step forward in protecting transgender Americans abroad, and in fulfilling the State Department’s commitment to protect all Americans when they travel, work or live overseas."

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Pakistan jails couple over gay marriage allegation – CNN.com

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

18 year old Rani, who was born as a man but lives as a woman, and 42 year old fertilizer dealer Malik Muhammad Iqbal, both Pakistani residents, were arrested and now face up to 10 years in prison. Peshawar police Chief Shoukat Ali said that their investigation "shows [Iqbal] likes these people more than women. He admitted it. This is a psychological disease when men are attracted to men and not attracted to women."

Iqbal and Rani deny the allegations. "We were only celebrating my birthday," Rani said, according to a CNN report, which says that "prosecutors say it was a marriage that was taking place. Police smashed their way in, broke up the party, arrested 43 dancing guests, Rani and Iqbal. Iqbal says he was just another guest at the party."

Rani is one of about 400,000 people known as 'khusra,' called eunuchs, transsexuals or transvestites. "After decades of discrimination, Pakistan's Supreme Court recognized khusras as a minority last year—but many are still mocked in public."

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In The Interest of "Equality," Malawian Woman’s Identity Is Erased | RHRealityCheck.org

Posted: May 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, residents of Malawi, Africa, were sentenced to 14 years hard labor after being found guilty of "unnatural acts" and "gross indecency." While news reports have consistently portrayed Steven and Tiwonge as "two gay men," Tiwonge has consistently self-identified as a woman. "Both the mainstream press and gay rights groups have consistently erased this fact from their statements," Audacia Ray writes. "The mainstream media is notorious for misgendering trans people; … they are described as being 'men dressed as women' and referred to persistently as 'he.' And although many gay rights groups include the letter 'T' in their acronyms and claim to be inclusive of diversity in gender identity, they don't hesitate to blatantly disregard gender identity when it serves their purpose of arguing for 'equality' in the treatment of gays."

In Africa, 37 countries enforce anti-homosexuality laws, but is silencing trans women an appropriate way to fight them? No.

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