Young, Queer, On the Air
An emerging voice in LGBT journalism, OutCasting covers the issues that gay young people care about — when the staff isn’t studying for the SAT.
In late July, a reporter named Travis interviewed dramatist Maggie Keenan-Bolger about her playQueering History on public radio. In-depth, well researched, and punchy in the right ways, the spot had NPR-level production values, and Travis performed like a seasoned journalist. What makes all this remarkable is that most of the people working on the show — Travis included — are barely old enough to drive.
The program was an episode of OutCasting, a radio series from Media for the Public Good — MFPG’s only series — produced and created by LGBT high school students and their straight peers to illuminate issues facing queer young people. “It’s a resource for LGBTQ youth,” explains OutCasting’s founder and executive producer, Marc Sophos, a broadcasting professional of several decades. “But it also serves to give information about LGBTQ issues to a general audience and inject an LGBTQ youth perspective into the media conversation we’re having in this country.”
Sophos came up with the idea for OutCasting in 2006, when the Elias Foundation, which has become one of MFPG’s backers, came to Sophos, asking how it could support underserved constituents. After Sophos reached out to local high school gay-straight alliances and assembled a volunteer staff,OutCasting hit the airwaves in October 2011, tackling topics including DOMA and its effect on bi-national couples, New York’s Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and teen suicide.
“It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in radio,” Sophos remarks, who plans on expandingOutCasting by founding bureaus in New York City and other parts of the country. “And [it’s] one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my whole life.”
With a New York City bureau, Sophos hopes that OutCasting will expand the number of queer perspectives it covers. “There’s a lot more diversity among the kids here in New York than there is up in Westchester, so that’s going to add a good dimension to the program,” remarks Sophos. “It’s the first of what we hope will be a whole group of bureaus in different places in the country, so OutCasting can reflect LGBTQ realities outside just the Northeast.”
STUDY: Yes, Trans Men Can Get Pregnant Despite Testosterone, Dysphoria
A small investigative study hopes to inspire more research into unprecedented findings that complicate assumptions about trans men's experience and emotions during pregnancy.
In a first-of-a-kind studypublished in Obstetrics and Gynecology this month, researchers set out to determine whether testerone therapy prevented pregnancy and asked trans birth fathers about what it felt like to be male and pregnant, reports NPR.The results were illuminating about the relationship between trans men, their healthcare, their bodies, and their senses-of-self.The study focused on 41 trans men who were currently pregnant or had given birth, and was developed by medical student Alexis Light after she was asked by several trans male friends what pregnancy was like and whether they would be able to conceive after using testosterone, notes NPR. Unable to find an answer in medical literature, Light designed a study with Dr. Jennifer Kerns, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.Drawing on survey results, Kerns, Light, and two other researchers noted patterns in their qualitative data about the daily experience of being pregnant and male. While the respondents described facing the expected discrimination and disbelief, they also addressed the unknowns that Kerns' friends wondered about: Testosterone did not prevent conception for the 25 participants who had undergone hormone treatment, and pregnancy resulted in a wide range of both positive and negative emotions.In terms of social interactions, respondents recalled numerous insensitive comments and exchanges, both in public and in doctor's offices, reports NPR. This included receiving uncomfortable stares, suspicion, hostility, being misgendered, being turned away from prenatal care, and even being reported to Child Protective Services. Kerns explained to NPR that these experiences often resulted in isolation from healthcare and a possible increase in depression during pregnancy and after.Several of the respondents noted that pregnancy spurred a re-emergence of gender dysphoria — discomfort or distress related to a felt difference between one's psychological and physical gender. As one 35-year-old respondent described it: "Heavy time, having a baby, not passing as male. All the changes and a society telling me to just be happy."Yet, according to NPR, researchers found that pregnancy can also lower a trans man's dysphoria, depending on the individual. Several respondents said that becoming pregnant allowed them to feel pleased or comfortable with their bodies, and feel that their bodies were doing something valuable that other male bodies couldn't do."Pregnancy and childbirth were very male experiences for me," said one 29-year-old respondent. "When I birthed my children, I was born into fatherhood."Light and Kerns are confident that their study will be helpful to providers looking for pointers on how to relate to their pregnant male patients. However, they emphasize that because of their small sample size, their results are not definitive and should be replicated by other researchers. They were unable to ascertain how many men have tried and failed to become pregnant, and were only able to estimate how many men become pregnant each year — a number that, as Kerns speculated to NPR, could "easily" be in the thousands.Source: Transman
Gender Nonconformity, Transsexuality and Eating Disorders
Too many people still mistakenly believe that eating disorders are for the Mary-Kates, Nicole Richies and Lara-Flynn Boyles, or vain adolescent and teenage girls aspiring to be just like them. Actually,, even male veterans in late middle age are not immune to struggling with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. All in all, males make up ~ 5-10% of all eating disorder sufferers.But what about those that dread having to check off “male” or “female” on a data form? What about individuals who feel their is not the same as their assigned birth sex. Perhaps they were born in a female body, with two XX , but they feel and prefer to think of themselves as males, or the reverse? There’s some research (albeit limited, due to the rarity of both and eating disorders) that suggests these individuals face an increased risk of developing eating disorders.The most relevant and recent study on the intersection of and eating disorders that I found was published by Vocks et al. in 2009. The goal of their study was to look at how individuals with what they call “Gender Identity Disorder/GID” but I will use a neutral term like (GN) or compare to control groups of both sexes and to people with eating disorders in “the degree of eating and disturbances, and depression.”The strength of this study was the number of women and men that they were able to enroll (88 and 43, respectively). Their control groups included 62 females with eating disorders (16 AN, 21 BN, and 25 EDNOS patients), and 56 male and 116 female control groups without EDs. Then, they gave them a whole lot of questionnaires to fill out: six in total.Trans Women· Scored higher in restrained eating, concerns about weight, eating and shape, drive for thinness, binge eating/purging behaviours, body dissatisfaction and than male· Scored higher in weight and shape concerns, body dissatisfaction and than femaleTrans Men· Scored higher in restrained eating patterns, weight and shape concerns, body dissatisfaction and checking than male· Did not differ from female in risk for eating and disturbances
The only difference identified between women and men groups was in ( women did more than men). No other differences were found. But, both groups scored lower than the eating disorder group in and eating disorder disturbances.The authors make many assumptions and post hoc explanations, but I don’t think they are anything more than, at the present time, unsupported justifications on the part of the author to explain the findings . Ultimately, we don’t know anything beyond what was reported in the questionnaires, so the “why’s” will be left unanswered.Snippets of their proposed explanations for women:.. higher degree of disturbed eating behavior and body image among [ women] compared to  of both sexes, might be explained by the fact that, on average, these persons have a higher BMI than  females… to attain a more feminine and thus a thinner body, [ women] might experience pressure to lose body weight, and thus display a higher control of food intake, resulting in an over concern with eating, weight, and shape….. the higher scores in bulimia in the [ women] compared to  male might be due to a more pronounced food deprivation status. The ﬁnding of the enhanced degree of body dissatisfaction among [ women] might be explained by the discrepancy between their own larger biological male shape and the ideal thinner feminine figure.For men:It can be speculated that this result is due to the observation that [ men] try to reduce body weight in order to suppress the secondary sexual characteristics… one could also assume that some [ men] might try to avoid losing weight or even to put on weight in order to avert sexual attraction for being a woman from men or to gain weight so as to reduce the prominence of breast and hip girth compared to abdominal girth.· self-identified * (perhaps not all of them fit the full “GID” criteria in -IV)· low· questionnaires were developed for ED patients – the men and women groups might interpret some of the questions very differently (quite obviously, body dissatisfaction could be unrelated to EDs in individuals).· no assessment of sexual orientation (previously implicated in predisposing toward EDs), which would have been interesting to considerI also came across a couple of papers discussing interesting of eating disorders in individuals with . I’ll briefly discuss one by Hepp & Milos from 2002.Hepp & Milos (2002) cite the following statistics:· of anorexia nervosa in males: 0.34/100,0000 (data from Switzerland, by Milos et al., 2001)· of transsexualism (in European countries) ~ 2/100,000 adultsWhile homosexual men are recognized to be a risk group for eating disorders, there exists hardly any literature about disorder  and eating disturbance.They report three cases of transsexual patients with eating disorders. They were referred to their “outpatient service for sex-reassignment [and] are first accurately assessed” (unlike in the Vocks et al., study) “Hormonal treatment takes place when identification has proved to be constant and the patients have succeeded in living in the new gender role for at least 12 month. The surgical sex reassignment takes place after a period of at least 6-12 month of hormonal treatment”.
“In adolescence [she] felt a deep body dissatisfaction, [she] engaged in restrictive eating behaviour and [her] body weight decreased to .. [a low BMI]…[ after sex-reassignment surgery], she again showed an increasing preoccupation with her body weight and shape. Her eating behaviour was again restrictive. She still avoids highly calorific foods and warm meals. She feels too fat and seeks an “ideal” body shape.”
Initially obese, after deciding to “come-out” and begin cross-dressing in public, [she] lost weight to a low-range of normal in 2 years. “The eating behaviour at the beginning was dietary restriction, followed by purging, binge-eating, and self-induced vomiting. [She] consumed anorexic medication and engaged in excessive sporting activities. The decision to come-out went hand-in-hand with the ambition to attain a more feminine shape by losing weight. [She] is convinced that [her] acceptance as a female would depend greatly on an ideal body shape.”
Although [he] was underweight during [his] initial visit, and [his] minimal adult BMI was low, accompanied by and [he] had never reached a normal weight, “[He] denied ever having intended to diet deliberately. [He] reported no binge-eating or self-induced vomiting, but [he] was purging. [He] denied preoccupation with her weight but reported a strong body dissatisfaction.” Unfortunately, “because of severe liver disease and the psychic instability and alcohol dependence, it was impossible to start a hormonal treatment.”Hepp & Milos hypothesize:The could be that for [ women] underweight is a way to suppress their libido, and at the same time their way to correspond to a female ideal of attractiveness. Many of the [ women] strive to be a “superfemale” and tend to accentuate female . Being female and attractive is put on the same level as being slim (Waters, 1998). For [ men] underweight is a possibility to suppress the secondary sexual characteristics and the menstruation. It is probably not so much the wish to be slim rather than the rejection of the feminization that leads to a weight restriction…Those are interesting hypotheses, but whatever the reasons may be (and I don’t feel expert enough to comment on this topic), there are clear clinical implications of these findings:Most treatment programs are designed for adolescent girls, and while that’s remains the majority of the treatment seeking population, a different approach to treatment and prevention is needed foradult women with eating disorders, adult men, young men, gay men, and people. These groups have different needs and need a different approach.Vocks et al concludes by stating this better than I can:Future research should develop and evaluate the effects of such prevention programs for persons with  with regard to eating and disorder.If you are interested in reading more, there are two other papers that I read for this post but didn’t have space to include, “s” by Winston et al., 2004 and “” by Hepp, Milos & Braun-Scharm, published in 2003.
Finally – this is not a topic I am familiar with but thought it would be interesting to discuss and read about, following a request by a reader to write about the intersection of and eating disorders. Do you think ED’s in individuals are the same, different or in some ways similar but in other ways different, from the typical young adult or adult female with an eating disorder?Source: Gender
ONE DAY ONE STRUGGLE 2014
Di tahun 2014 ini, GAYa NUSANTARA bersama C2o bekerja sama untuk memutar film berjudul "Lovely Man" di Wisma Jerman, Surabaya. Pemutaran film yang dihadiri oleh kurang lebih 30 orang ini memiliki alur cerita yang sangat menarik. Teddy Soeriaatmdja mampu menggambarkan bagaimana suasana malam waria di kota Jakarta. Selain itu, Donny Damara sebagai pemeran waria mampu memerankan perannya tersebut dengan sangat baik. Keunikkan film ini adalah film yang berdurasi sekitar 90 menit ini hanya mengisahkan kehidupan Ipuy (Donny Damara) dan anaknya, cahaya dalam satu malam. Film ini mampu menunjukkan aspek kehidupan yang kental. Bagaimana waria juga seorang manusia yang harus dihargai.Setelah pemutaran film ini, acara dilanjutkan dengan diskusi yang dipandu oleh Siti Y. Mazdafiah. Diskusi ini menyuguhkan diskusi bersama Dede Oetomo secara langsung dan Teddy Soeriaatmadja melalu Skype. Diskusi ini membawa penonton untuk mengetahui tentang acara ODOS (One Day One Struggle) dan CSBR yang merupakan pencetus pertama. Bersama Teddy Soeriaatmdja kita disuguhkan pemaparan film yang awalnya tidak memiliki ditujukan pada pesan tetapi pada sesuatu yang mengalir saja. Sedangkan Dede Oetomo mengelitik kita dengan ungkapan bahwa seksualitas itu kompleks, walaupun kita kadang memberikan label pada segala seksualitas itu, tetapi nyatanya label itu pun tidak menempel selama 24 jam.
Malaysian court overturns cross-dressing ban
Three Malaysian transgender women have won an appeal against a religious law banning Muslim men from wearing women's clothing.Appeals court Judge Mohamad Yunus said the "degrading, oppressive and inhumane" law discriminated against people with gender issues.Gender issues and homosexuality remain taboo areas in Malaysia.The appellants' lawyer said the ruling in the religiously conservative country would be "historic"."This will be a precedent. This court binds all other high courts," Aston Paiva was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.All Muslims in Malaysia are subject to Islamic laws, under a double-track legal system.Men dressing or acting as women is illegal under those laws, with offenders facing jail terms of up to three years. Some states also forbid women dressing as men.The appellants, all Muslims who were born male but identify as women, were arrested four years ago.The BBC's Jennifer Pak reports that they said they had been assaulted by Islamic officers and jailed for wearing things like hair clips.In 2012, a lower court ruled that they were born male so they had to wear men's clothing.The women did not appear in court but one told the AFP news agency by telephone: "I am happy we won the case. I feel more relaxed now."'Human dignity'But the three-judge appeal panel in Negeri Sembilan state said the law "deprives the appellants of the right to live with dignity"."It has the effect of denying the appellants and other sufferers of GID (gender identify disorder) to move freely in public place," said Judge Hishamudin Yunus.Rights groups welcomed the decision."This is a win for all Malaysians, as the constitution protects us all, irrespective of ethnicity, gender and class," Ivy Josiah of the Women's Aid Organisation told Reuters. "Surely no court, civil or Sharia, can refute the fact that human dignity is paramount."Human Rights Watch has listed Malaysia as one of the worst places in which to be a transgender person.In a report in September, the US-based rights group said they face worsening persecution with abuses including arrest and physical and sexual assault by religious authorities and police.The report points to instances of public shaming by forcing transgender women to take off their clothes in public and barriers to accessing healthcare, employment and education.
The gay people pushed to change their gender
Iran is one of a handful of countries where homosexual acts are punishable by death. Clerics do, however accept the idea that a person may be trapped in a body of the wrong sex. So homosexuals can be pushed into having gender reassignment surgery - and to avoid it many flee the country.Growing up in Iran, Donya kept her hair shaved or short, and wore caps instead of headscarves. She went to a doctor for help to stop her period."I was so young and I didn't really understand myself," she says. "I thought if I could stop getting my periods, I would be more masculine."If police officers asked for her ID and noticed she was a girl, she says, they would reproach her: "Why are you like this? Go and change your gender."This became her ambition. "I was under so much pressure that I wanted to change my gender as soon as possible," she says.For seven years Donya had hormone treatment. Her voice became deeper, and she grew facial hair. But when doctors proposed surgery, she spoke to friends who had been through it and experienced "lots of problems". She began to question whether it was right for her."I didn't have easy access to the internet - lots of websites are blocked. I started to research with the help of some friends who were in Sweden and Norway," she says."I got to know myself better... I accepted that I was a lesbian and I was happy with that."But living in Iran as an openly gay man or woman is impossible. Donya, now 33, fled to Turkey with her son from a brief marriage, and then to Canada, where they were granted asylum.It's not official government policy to force gay men or women to undergo gender reassignment but the pressure can be intense. In the 1980's the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa allowing gender reassignment surgery - apparently after being moved by a meeting with a woman who said she was trapped in a man's body.Shabnam - not her real name - who is a psychologist at a state-run clinic in Iran says some gay people now end up being pushed towards surgery. Doctors are told to tell gay men and women that they are "sick" and need treatment, she says. They usually refer them to clerics who tell them to strengthen their faith by saying their daily prayers properly.But medical treatments are also offered. And because the authorities "do not know the difference between identity and sexuality", as Shabnam puts it, doctors tell the patients they need to undergo gender reassignment.In many countries this procedure involves psychotherapy, hormone treatment and sometimes major life-changing operations - a complex process that takes many years.That's not always the case in Iran."They show how easy it can be," Shabnam says. "They promise to give you legal documents and, even before the surgery, permission to walk in the street wearing whatever you like. They promise to give you a loan to pay for the surgery."Supporters of the government's policy argue that transgender Iranians are given help to lead fulfilling lives, and have more freedom than in many other countries. But the concern is that gender reassignment surgery is being offered to people who are not transgender, but homosexual, and may lack the information to know the difference."I think a human rights violation is taking place," says Shabnam. "What makes me sad is that organisations that are supposed to have a humanitarian and therapeutic purpose can take the side of the government, instead of taking care of people."Psychologists suggested gender reassignment to Soheil, a gay Iranian 21-year-old.Then his family put him under immense pressure to go through with it."My father came to visit me in Tehran with two relatives," he says. "They'd had a meeting to decide what to do about me... They told me: 'You need to either have your gender changed or we will kill you and will not let you live in this family.'"His family kept him at home in the port city of Bandar Abbas and watched him. The day before he was due to have the operation, he managed to escape with the help of some friends. They bought him a plane ticket and he flew to Turkey."If I'd gone to the police and told them that I was a homosexual, my life would have been in even more danger than it was from my family," he says.There is no reliable information on the number of gender reassignment operations carried out in Iran.Khabaronline, a pro-government news agency, reports the numbers rising from 170 in 2006 to 370 in 2010. But one doctor from an Iranian hospital told the BBC that he alone carries out more than 200 such operations every year.Many, like Donya and Soheil, have fled. Usually they go to Turkey, where Iranians don't need visas. From there they often apply for asylum in a third country in Europe or North America. While they wait - sometimes for years - they may be settled in socially conservative provincial cities, where prejudice and discrimination are commonplace.Arsham Parsi, who crossed from Iran to Turkey by train in 2005, says that while living in the city of Kayseri, in central Turkey, he was beaten up, and then refused hospital treatment for a dislocated shoulder, simply because he was gay. After that he didn't leave his house for two months.Later he moved to Canada and set up a support group, the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees. He says he receives hundreds of inquiries every week, and has helped nearly 1,000 people leave Iran over the past 10 years.Some are fleeing to avoid gender reassignment surgery, but others have had treatment and find they still face prejudice. Parsi estimates that 45% of those who have had surgery are not transgender but gay."You know when you are 16 and they say you're in the wrong body, and it's very sweet... you think. 'Oh I finally worked out what's wrong with me,'" he says.When one woman called him from Iran recently with questions about surgery, he asked her if she was transsexual or lesbian. She couldn't immediately answer - because no-one had ever told her what a "lesbian" was.Marie, aged 37, is now staying in Kayseri after leaving Iran five months ago. She grew up as a boy, Iman, but was confused about her sexuality and was declared by an Iranian doctor to be 98% female."The doctor told me that with the surgery he could change the 2% male features in me to female features, but he could not change the 98% female features to be male," she says.After that, she thought she needed to change her gender.Hormone therapy seemed to bring positive changes. She grew breasts, and her body hair thinned. "It made me feel good," she says. "I felt beautiful. I felt more attractive to the kinds of partners I used to have."But then she had the operation - and came away feeling "physically damaged".She had a brief marriage to a man but it broke down, and any hope she had that life would be better as a woman was short-lived."Before the surgery people who saw me would say, 'He's so girly, he's so feminine,'" Marie says."After the operation whenever I wanted to feel like a woman, or behave like a woman, everybody would say, 'She looks like a man, she's manly.' It did not help reduce my problems. On the contrary, it increased my problems..."I think now if I were in a free society, I wonder if I would have been like I am now and if I would have changed my gender," she says. "I am not sure."Marie starts to cry."I am tired," she says. "I am tired of my whole life. Tired of everything."