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AEGIS Internet News, March – April, 1998

AEGIS Internet News, March – April, 1998

In May, 1995  when I was Executive Director of the nonprofit American Educational Gender Information Service, I compiled and transmitted what I believe was the first transgender-specific online news feed. It was called AEGIS Online News. The News initially went out to several hundred AEGIS members and other subscribers as a plain text file over the fledgling internet.

In those days there wasn’t much news to repost. Consequently, the News was initially distributed every other month; it took that long to compile enough material to create a newsletter. Within two years, however, there was almost too much news to handle.

I posted material as I came across it, both from primary sources and from other newsfeeds. Rex Wocker’s LGBT newslist was a valuable resource. Soon, subscribers were sending me material.

In November I moved the News to a majordomo automated list which kept track of subscribers; before that I handled subscriptions, unsubscriptions, and address changes manually and sent out the news via blind carbon copy. The name was changed to AEGIS Internet News and the introductory material about AEGIS was removed because it was available to readers on demand from the server. The list, initially hosted by my ISP (Mindspring) was eventually moved to a server hosted by Kymberleigh Richards, the publisher of the magazine Cross-Talk. This enabled me to send e-mails to the server as I came across news items, yet distribute them as a digest once per day– sometimes twice or three times daily if there was a lot of news. This was easier on both me and the readers, who had been receiving up to eight e-mails a day.

I stopped publishing AEGIS Internet News in mid-1998.

On January 1, 2000 AEGIS was repurposed as Gender Education & Advocacy. Under the supervision of the late Penni Ashe Matz, news went out as Gender Advocacy Internet News.

Many posts have been lost, but we have preserved several hundred. Here are issues of AEGIS Internet News from March and April 1998:

1998, 10 March

<HTML><PRE>Subj: AEGIS Internet News 3/10/98 Date: 98-03-10 10:27:52 EST From: (Dallas Denny) To:

AEGIS Internet News Tuesday, 10 March, 1998 AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to Contents:

1. Death of Betty Ann Lind 2. Good News from Panama 3. John Podhoretz Column 4. ITA Repost: HRC Boycot of HRC Dinner 6. 60 Minutes Program on “Ex-Gays”


From: TheXGrrrl <> Subject: WBA PRESS RELEASE – Death of National Transgender Leader

Washington-Baltimore Alliance (WBA) Press Release

Date: March 6, 1998

For Immediate Release

Contact: Helen Garfinkle, President The Washington Baltimore Alliance (301) 738-0389 DEATH OF NATIONAL TRANSGENDER PIONEER BETTY ANN LIND

Betty Ann Lind, transgender pioneer, organizer, author and editor, died of complications from a stroke on Wednesday, March 4,1998 at Sibley Hospital in Washington, DC. She had been in failing health for several years, and was recovering from recent surgery since her fall last year. She was 67.

Betty Ann Lind was the founder of the Delta Chi Tri-ESS chapter of Washington, DC in the early seventies. The Delta Chi Educational Association (DCEA) came into existance from that group and grew out of a need for a transgender group open to all trans people and their spouses. DCEA was the immediate forerunner of the current TransGender Educational Association of Greater Washington (TGEA) which today has nearly ninety members. More than a few current members of TGEA and the Washington-Baltimore Alliance (WBA) still remember where they first met – Betty Ann’s cramped apartment, packed with sisters of our special sorority. It is a fitting tribute that TGEA has grown from such a small seed.

Betty Ann Lind also was a nationally known transgender leader and author. She was a founder of the Fantasia Fair in Providencetown Mass. She later in 1985 became the Chair of the Fair. She has won numerous awards in the Community, including the Virginia Prince Award. She was also the primary force behind the Reluctant Press and the editor of My Sorority, an early transgender newsletter.

Betty Ann was famous for helping beginners reach heights they thought unattainable. “I was one of those girls” stated Helen Garfinkle, current President of the Washington Baltimore Alliance. “When I started, I was full of fear and worry, but she took me under her wing and guided me into the person I am today. I never thought I would become a leader of a group or serve on the board of national transgender conventions. But Betty Ann had faith in me and inspired me to serve the community, and to give back what I had received, by following her example. She was a true role model of community service, and a great friend to me and to many others in the community.”

A memorial service is planned in about a week, with an announcement to follow.


From Etcetera, 3/6/98. Reprinted with Permission.

Panama’s Justice and Interior ministries announced February 17 that for the first time gays would have their own Carnival queen in the Mardi Gras parade, reported Agence France-Presse. Transvestite Beatriz Melgar was crowned by members of the Gay Movement of Panama three weeks ago.


This is the only negative review of “Me Vie en Rose” I have seen. Someone needs to write Mr. Podhoretz and tell him that all of the female saints (take for example, Joan of Arc) were transvestites.

— Dallas New York Post Friday, 9 January, 1998

Post Insight, Opinion, and Views

Culture Wars

The Hottest Perversion in Town: Painting Transvestites as Saints

by John Podhoretz


“A delightful comedy,” raves Richard Corliss of Time magazine. “A jolly modern fairly tale,” trills Stephen Holden in the New York Times. The French-language movie they (and most other movie critics) are so excited about is a candy-coated celebration of a tragic sexual deviancy– all the more pernicious because it is so light and sweet in tone. It’s called “Ma Vie en Rose,” and it’s only the latest pop-cultural attempt to enlighten the middle class about the joys and wonders experienced by males who have a deep compulsion to dress up in women’s clothing.

In the past 15 years, transvestites have become a fixture in movies, plays, and on television. And while they may appear foolish, outlandish, even comic, they are usually the most unselfish, caring and wise people you would ever want to meet. The makers of “To Wong Foo…”, “The Birdcage,” and “The Crying Game” want to let us know that there is a lot about live, love, and pleasure we can learn from the kindly crossdressers who populate their movies. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Rent” features the unambiguously wonderful drag queen, who travels through the East Village saving souls as he goes– “an angel of the first degree,” according to Jonathan Larson’s lyrics.

The real-life celebrity transvestites who have been sprouting like weeds throughout the popular culture– drag performers RuPaul, Lypsinka, and the Lady Chablis, and the casts of the acclaimed documentaries “Paris is Burning” and “Wigstock”– are trying to serve as walking advertisements for the superiority of cross-dressing. Their very freakishness is, we are told, a sign of strength, health, and joie de vivre. Unlike the rest of us, reflexively tied to our assigned gender roles, they have decided they will not be bound by the dictates of a conformist culture. And they will have the thrill of knowing that they are doing what they want to do, not what they are told they should do.

Drag comedy is as old as comedy itself– I’m not crazy about it, though I’m in the minority historically, as cross-dressing farces from the Greek era through the Victorian favorite, “Charley’s Aunt” prove. But what we’re being fed these days isn’t really drag comedy, because the humor in drag comedy derives from the fact that a man is forced to wear women’s clothing unwillingly. Today’s drag entertainment is about men who -want- to wear women’s clothes, and about how they struggle for acceptance.

“Ma Vie en Rose” is the most astonishing salute to drag yet filmed. It tells the story of a 7-year-old Belgian boy named Ludovic, who goes through hell at the hands of his neighbors and his family because he insists he is really a girl. At first, Ludovic’s parents think he is going to grow out of his forays into drag. They make light of his desire to wear his hair long. But their patience wears think over time and they send him to a therapist, assuming he will be cured in short order.

He isn’t. After he shows up in a school play as Snow White and tries to kiss the neighbor boy, who is playing the Prince, everything goes sour. his father is fired, his family’s home is spray-painted with anti-gay slogans and they are forced to move. Ludovic’s mother, who had been his stout defender, finally turns on her son and, in a scene intended to make us cry at the abuse he is suffering, cuts his hair with an ominously buzzing electric razor.

Sound unwatachably horrible? Far from it; this movie is you’ll recall, a “delightful comedy”! Write-director Alain Berliner is a very effective filmmaker, and knows how to use cinematic trickery to make us feel happy when Ludovic is happy and sad when Ludovic is sad. And since Ludovic is happy when he is in drag, and sad when he is not, we are happy for him when he is dressed as a girl, and sad for him when this small child is not allowed to express himself as a transvestite.

And that’s what makes “Ma Vie en Rose,” and the new pro-drag movement, so upsetting– it is an effort to make an undeniable perversion seem normal.

The late psychiatrist Robert J. Stoller, who spent much of his life treating gender-confused patients with great sympathy and brilliance, wrote extensively about transvestism both in boys and men.

In his great book, Presentation of Gender, he agrees with the classic Freudian understanding that transvestites are driven by a self-destructive compulsion. But he thinks it has less to do with anxiety over sex and more to do with their inability to establish an identity independent from their mothers’. The budding crossdresser tends to come from a certain type of family- – dominated by a tomboyish mother whose own mother was unfeeling and was bitterly angry and envious of men in general. And he is driven to drag for a couple of reasons– often because he is first forced to do so by a neighbor or a sibling who is trying to humiliate him, nd the experience proves sexually stimulating. Thus a cross-dresser is made, not born– born out of humiliation and a toxic family dynamic. “The more mother and the less father,” he writes, “the more femininity.”

Such a think is not to be celebrated, not to be accepted. Transvestism is a form of “developmental arrest,” in Stoller’s words, and if it survives into adulthood, it is a tragedy, not a triumph– no matter what moral idiocy movie critics choose to spout about it.


The following item is reposted from It’s Time, America News Service [Received from Nancy Sharp,] [Original source: Rip Naquin-Delain,]

Please forward to news list. The publisher of Ambush, Rip Naquin- Delain, has requested that supporters of the boycott complete the form and e-mail it to him at Letters to the editor are also welcome. Ambush Magazine ( March 6- 19,1998)


Volume 16/Issue 5

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

HRC Dinner Boycott Threatens to Cut Last Year’s $90,000 Gross; Ambush, GAA, KCQ’s Endorse Boycott

Human Rights Campaign’s [HRC] non-inclusion of bisexuals and transgenders in its mission statement has led to a full-scale boycott of this year’s New Orleans dinner weekend in May. This action threatens to cut last year’s $90,000 gross. The New Orleans HRC Dinner Committee reportedly sent a net of $60,000 to the national HRC organization in 1997.

Hints of a boycott, at 97’s dinner, were put on hold, in hopes that HRC would reconsider its stance on transgenders. This did not transpire.

The Board of Directors and membership of Gulf Gender Alliance voted to initiate a boycott in January. “The boycott is being called because of HRC’s non inclusion of bisexual and transgender people in their mission statement and language.”

According to the HRC web site @, “The Human Rights Campaign envisions an America where lesbian and gay people are ensured of their basic equal rights – and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work, and in the community.”

Ambush wholeheartedly supports and endorses the boycott. Individuals, businesses and organizations are urged to join the boycott, by not purchasing tickets to the New Orleans dinner weekend, or donating items to the auction, or advertising in the dinner program.

In addition, HRC can be contacted directly to voice support of the boycott. Write HRC, 1101 14th St., NW, Washington, DC 20005; E-mail, call 202.628.4160, or fax 202.347.5323.

Four prior HRC award winners including Stewart Butler, Jim Kellogg, Charlene Schneider and Skip Ward are in support of the boycott. HRC dinner committee members Toni Pizanie and Rick Cosgriff resigned from this year’s committee in support of the boycott.

The Board of Directors of the Gay Appreciation Awards including President Sonny Cleveland, Vice President Toni Pizanie, Lisa Beaumann, Teryl-Lynn Foxx, Mickey Gil and Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, unanimously voted in favor of the boycott.

Another vote in support of the boycott came from the Royals of the Krewe of Queenateenas, including King Cake Queen [KCQ] II Jay Loomis, KCQ III Smurf Murphy, KCQ IV Reba Douglas and KCQ V Liz Simms. According to KCQ III Smurf Murphy, “In this day and age, when we have discrimination in every fashion and form, we as a collective group should support each> other, no matter what our gender orientation may be. I hate > discrimination on any level. It’s not fair. >> AMBUSHonLINE is developing a boycott web site currently. All of the >latest info on the boycott will be posted on-line at An on-line form will be provided for those> wishing to add their names to the boycott list. Please consider joining in the boycott tday. Out of town/state supporters are asked to join the boycott. Ambush Magazine wants to hear from supporters from around the U.S. !


——- Yes! I am in support of the HRC Boycott.

——- Individual ——- Business ——— Organization

——– My name may be used on an HRC Boycott List






( Address/phone #’s remain confidential )

E-mail: ——————

The following is reposted from the In Your Face! newslist.

Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 07:39:47 +0000 From: Clare Howell <> Subject: IYF


Contact: Clare Howell, (718) 638-7062 .HERMS TO PROTEST JOCELYN ELDERS AT UC-BERKELEY

Contact: Cheryl Chase,


[Berkeley, CA: 9 Mar 98] PROTESTING DR. JOCELYN Elders’ support of Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM), the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) and Hermaphrodites With Attitude (HWA) will picket Elders’ keynote address to a symposium for women leaders in university settings this Thursday (12 Mar 98) at the Clark Kerr Campus at UC-Berkeley. The demonstration is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.

Dr. Elders, a former U.S. Surgeon General, supports IGM, a cosmetic surgery performed on infants born with ambiguous genitals. In the vast majority of cases, the recipients of IGM are infants born with clitorises more than 3/8” long.

Many medical specialists fear that these children, if not operated on, will grow up to be lesbians or masculine women who would have difficulty functioning as “normal, heterosexual adults.” The resulting surgery leaves many intersex women with no clitoral sensation.

Cheryl Chase, founder of ISNA, emphasized that the demo is not aimed at the symposium but at Dr. Elders’ continued refusal to meet with the intersex community or survivors of IGM. Said Ms. Chase, “In spite of what even Urology Times called a ‘new tidal wave of opinion’ [among physicians who have begun to speak out against IGM], Elders remains committed to the idea that children born with large clitorises or small penises must be surgically ‘fixed’, and has ignored all attempts by ISNA to open a dialog.”


Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 18:07:51 -0700 From: Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation <> Subject: GLAADAlert 03.06.98

GLAADALERT March 6, 1998 The GLAADAlert is the weekly activation tool of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

60 Minutes Wrestles With Issue of “Ex-Gays”

On March 1, a 60 Minutes segment with Leslie Stahl began with the question, “What happens when your son tells you he’s gay and doesn’t want to be?” Stahl then introduces an anti-gay radical religious group called Exodus “which claims to change the sexual orientation of gay people, with a course of Bible study, behavioral modification and peer counseling.” They present a “PFOX” (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) meeting where several parents ask what they did to “make” their children gay. The main PFOX mom interviewed is so ashamed that she remains in shadow with her voice disguised. Her son has been in Exodus for two years and she claims he is happier now. She states her stereotypical view on being gay: “It’s the end of life as far as I’m concerned…. you’ve no family, no children, no life….God didn’t make anybody gay.” Then the show features John Polk, a current spokesman for Exodus (the two founders of the organization have long since condemned the organization and become comfortable with their real sexual orientation). Polk has been married for four years to a “former” lesbian and they have one child. Stahl asks for Exodus’ success rate, but not surprisingly, they refuse to provide it. Then Stahl interviews Cathy Tuerk, whose son came to her when he was eight years old and said, “I hate myself–I think I’m a fag.” Tuerk tells a deeply moved Stahl about trying to toughen him up, concluding, “I abused my son.” Next, Doug, an openly gay man, relates his own experience with two exorcisms and five years of religious-based “conversion therapy” without success. He tells Stahl that, “Being an ex-gay is like being an ex-black.” Stahl then refocuses on Tuerk, who eventually went to PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays), found herself among other parents who care deeply about their children, and is now president of a PFLAG chapter. The closing shot is of her at last year’s Youth Pride Day telling the crowd “I am a proud mom of a gay son, and I am here to tell you, you are not alone.”

Write CBS and 60 Minutes and thank them for their balanced portrayal, while mentioning that it should be more strongly emphasized that the American Psychological Association does not consider homosexuality to be an illness and therefore it cannot be “cured” by these so-called conversion therapies.

Contact: _ Andrew Heyward, President, CBS Television Network, 524 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019-2902, fax: 212.975.9387 _ Don Hewitt, Executive Producer, 60 Minutes, 555 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019-2925, fax: 212.975.2019

Contact GLAAD by e-mail at or by phone at 213.658.6775 (Los Angeles), 212.807.1700 (New York), 415.861.2244 (San Francisco), 202.986.1360 (Washington, DC), 404.607.1204 (Atlanta) and 816.756.5991 (Kansas City) – 30 –

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———————– Headers ——————————– Return-Path: <> Received: from ( []) by (v40.7) with SMTP; Tue, 10 Mar 1998 10:27:52 -0500 Received: from ( []) by (8.8.5/8.8.5/AOL-4.0.0) with ESMTP id KAA10362; Tue, 10 Mar 1998 10:27:45 -0500 (EST) Received: from MS. ( []) by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id JAA01156; Tue, 10 Mar 1998 09:04:58 -0500 (EST) Message-Id: <> X-Sender: X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2 Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii” Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 09:08:51 -0500 To: From: Dallas Denny <> Subject: AEGIS Internet News 3/10/98


1998, 13 March

AEGIS Internet News Friday, 13 March, 1998

AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to It’s Friday the 13th, there’s a full moon, and there will be a lunar eclipse tonight. Contents:

1. Controversy About Buenos Aires Contravention Code 2. The Lesbian Ear Hair Guy Studies Hormone Changes 3. Roberts’ Rules? Huh? Say What? 4. Amazon.Com Review of “A Female Marine” and “The Last Time I Wore a Dress.” 5. Conference Announcement: Gender, Health, History 6. NGLTF Legislative Update


From: (Alejandra Sarda) Date: Thu, 12 Mar 98 22:21:20 ARG Organization: Red Wamani – APC Networks – Argentina

Escrita en el Cuerpo – Lesbian, Bisexual and Different Women’s Archives and Library

Electronic News Service


On Monday, March 9, the City’s Legislature unanimously passed a new Code that includes some of the human rights and LGTB’s historical claims. According to the new Code, police no longer will be able to arrest people for being drunk, doing sex work, wear clothes “of the opposite sex”, sleep in the streets or beg. Only those who carry unauthorized weapons, start violent riots at sports’ events or sell liquor to clients who are under 18, can be arrested. For those found guilty of contraventions, the judges in charge of dealing with the matters have several alternatives: community work, economic penalties, bussiness closing, etc. but never arrests.

At the last moment, city major Fernando de la Rua submitted a proposal including penalties for sex workers and creating the figure of “being on the watch” that would allow the police to arrest anyone they find in a “suspicious attitude” – qualifier being assigned by the police officers, of course. The proposal was rejected by the representatives.

The new Code created strong reactions in the media as well as among politicians. The nation’s vicepresident, Carlos Ruckauf (whose homophobia has been known as remarkable for a long time), inmediately condemned the “licentiousness” supossely favoured by the new Code. “Let homos do their thing at home”, he stated. President Menem adviced Mr. de la Rua to veto the Code. The advice was rejected (let’s remember Mr. de la Rua belongs to the oposition, as a member of the “Alianza”) and instead an open debate was called by the Legislature in order to “impove” the Code (read, “stop the licentiousness”)

The media jumped in the opportunity to show respectable and horrified ladies asking “how do I explain to my 4 years old what a transvestite is?”, and journalists that are very progressive in other issues are asking for a “red zone” to be created. In that area, sex workers could work “freely”, with periodical check-ups by doctors (for sex workers, of course, nobody thinks client might need any checking). At the same time, everyone pays lip service to the sacred right of everyone to live as she/he wishes, “provided you are not doing it at my house’s door”. Traditional Argentinean hypocrisy runs very high these days.

Controversy finds the LGTB movement weak and scattered. With the noble exception of a very few LGB activists that are doing their best with the minimal resources at their disposal, our transgender sisters are struggling almost alone. Unfortunately, most gays, lesbians and bisexuals feel this problem as a foreign affair, something that only affects “those men dressed as women who are doing sex work”. There is no massive and public oposition to counteract the angry ladies and patronizing journalists’ voices.

Future looks very uncertain for the new Code. Behind greedy politicians and talk show presenters hysterically shouting in defense of “family moral” and advicing transgender women to look for another job now that policemen will no longer arrest them (in a country where 25% of the population – of conventional gender identities- is unemployed or underemployed), police maffias raise their ugly heads. Those maffias profit from marginalization and are staffed by the same criminals that 20 years ago did the dirty job for the military. Unfortunately, LGTB movement’s weakness has left us in the hands of the political opposition. They might support the Code just to differentiate themselves from the ruling party or for any other spurious motive. Very little can be expected from an Alianza that few months ago frustrated two of its most decent members’ attempt to repeal the Final Point and Due Obedience laws that are keeping the dictatorship’s murderers out of jail.

TV is on while I write this. Another talk-show, featuring the same ladies and politicians as always. Sensible replies by transgender activist Nadia Echazu or sex worker Elena are lost in a sea of screams, prejudices, hysteria and proffiting. Jesica, a young transgender woman, says to the camera: “You all are making us dizzy, please stop and let us think”.

They are alone, transvestites and sex workers. Too many vested interests are at play, too many LG “leaders” keep silent because they are decent people, in monogamous relationships, and the issue does not affect them. Too many gays and lesbians with stable jobs (for the time being), who pass as “normal” are not concerned either. A man from the public says that transvestites and sex workers are like louses, they have to be exterminated as soon as possible. Cheers from the audience. Horrified protests from the presenter and two male politicians. Jesica looks downwards. She is used to it. And she is alone.

Alejandra Sarda

Avenida San Martin 2704, 4to. C (1416) Buenos Aires, Argentina Phone (54 1) 581 01 79 – Fax (54 1) 382 90 95 – Email:


(Reposted from Trans-Academic Mailing List) Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 17:47:20 EST Subject: The Lesbian Ear Guy Studies Hormone Changes From: TheCallan <>

Dr. Dennis McFadden at the U. Texas at Austin, whose study showing lesbian ears act more like male ears was publicized last week, is interested in looking at males who were taking estrogen and females who were taking androgens.

The following is from him:

Wanted as Subjects for an Auditory Experiment People contemplating sex-reassignment surgery. Must be willing to come to the lab in Austin, Texas, approximately every 4-6 weeks for about 2 hours of measurements. First couple of test sessions must PRECEDE the beginning of androgen or estrogen therapy. Hearing must be reasonably normal. Modest payments made for each session. Confidentiality strictly maintained. For more information, call (512) 471-4324.


ROBERTS’ RULES by Shelly Roberts


Oh, come on. Geez, you didn’t really expect me to let this one go by, did you?

It’s just too good for this little ol’ lesbian frontporch philosopher to pass up. And it fully explains to me all of those growing up years hearing Dear Mom holler, “Whaz the matter w’ you, are YOU (with sincerest apologies to all of our wonderful brothers and sisters who are hearing impaired or “deaf,” which I hope is still the politically correct term, “deaf” having gone through about half a dozen pc iterations only to end up right back exactly where it started. Thank you.) DEAF!?”

For those of you who have recently been doing time in a gulag, what I am talking about is the newest (and probably the only) scientific study about lesbians. (Hey, at least we got one of our own. It’s a start.)

It’s the ear thing.

It seems, and I won’t bother to be swayed or influenced by too many actual facts here when impressions are so much easier to operate on, that, according to a study recently published out of the University of Texas, lesbians have a “click” response much closer to straight men than to heterosexual women. Lesbians and non-gay men aren’t as sensitive to certain sound decibels.

They are supposing that lesbians might be subjected to exposure to a high level of “male” hormones during the prenatal androgyne wash, and therefore lesbian ears are “masculinized.” Their words, not mine. I, on the hand, much prefer to think that perhaps men might be subject to the same “wash” as WE are, and therefore, men’s ears have been “lesbianized.” Guess it’s all in how you hear it.

The testers found out that lesbians and non-lesbians hear a particular clicking sound differently. Well we do know that lesbians respond to cliques differently than straight women, but I don’t think that’s what this study actually meant.

And we don’t know whether the study was conducted on a whole lot more Thelma’s than Louises, butch/femme, yin/yang controversies still abounding mightily among lesbians, but probably invisible to the naked researchers ear. So there’s no way of knowing which kind of lesbians were tested. The qualifiers were simply satisfied if your galvanic skin response was higher to girls than boys. Maybe they didn’t know that tofu lesbians are different than vanilla ones, or that we even bother to subdivide.

So hear we are.

Now we know that most non-gay men are insensitive to some audio cues. I certainly remember from all those years with Whatzizname that there are definitely things that men can’t hear. Like:

The word “No.” “Could you puleeeze stop and ask for directions?” “The lawn needs mowing.” “It’s your turn to get up and feed the baby.” “The opera is on PBS right now.” “Do you think we could we stop the car for a bathroom break this century?” “On your way home could you stop and pick up some milk/bread/thorazine/my folks from the airport?” “S/he’s YOUR child. YOU take care of it.”

Speaking as a lesbian there may be a bright side to this finding. As I think about it, there are a number of generic things that, as a lesbian, I’d just as soon never hear again. Like:

“We love you ANYWAY, dear.” “They can’t help it, they’re born that way.” “She couldn’t get a man.” “You’d look ever so much prettier in a dress/with a little makeup/in heels/wearing a girdle/with a boyfriend.” “Don’t tell your mother/father/grandparents/brothers/sisters/Aunt Gladys who put you in her will. It’ll kill her/him/them/your plans to buy a condo in Aspen.” “Who told you you could be gay?” “When did you decide to be a lesbian?” “You never did like to play with dolls.” “You’re a lot like your mother’s/father’s side of the family.” “You always did pay way too much attention to your dolls.” “Gee, you don’t LOOK like a lesbian.” “Genetic? Um_we never told you this, but you were adopted.”

And as an occasionally in-relationship lesbian (which, in most cases, would be redundant) I now understand perfectly why certain critical conversations with significant others have gone unattended. Like:

“We have to talk.” “Remember how you said it was ok for me to drive YOUR car. Well the insurance_” “Would you make sure to mail the mortgage payment.” “Really, honestly, we are just FRIENDS.” “Could you take out the garbage.” “I’d like you to talk to Dr. DeMileo with me at my next session.” “Hey, Cutie, what’re you doing all the way over on that side of the bed?” “On your way home could you stop and pick up some low fat, lactose free milk/seven-grain wheat,chemical, stabilizer-free bread/prozac/my ex from the airport?” “S/he’s YOUR cat. YOU take care of it.”

She just couldn’t hear me. Musta been a lesbian, doncha think?

The researchers have said that they can draw no definite conclusions until the experiments and their results are replicated by others. Until then, I guess we’ll all just have to play it by ear.

Huh? What? Sorry, I couldn’t quite hear you. You disagree? Must be a lesbian, doncha think? (C) 1998. Shelly Roberts. All rights reserved. A one-time simultaneous print right is hereby granted to subscribing newspapers; all other rights, including electronic or digital reproduction are reserved. Must be reprinted only in its entirety.

Shelly Roberts is an internationally syndicated columnist, journalist and author of the next set of Roberts’ Rules: Lesbian Dating. (June ’98 Spinsters Ink.)


Return-Path: <> Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 15:40:22 -0800 (PST) From: To: Subject: A Lesbian Dress Code Sender: Reply-To: The titles reviewed in this message include:

“The Female Marine” by Daniel A. Cohen Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press

“The Last Time I Wore a Dress” by Daphne Scholinski with Jane Meredith Adams Publisher: Putnam


“Love Ruins Everything” by Karen X. Tulchinsky Publisher: Press Gang

You can find these books and more at


There’s a show going on in my town right now, a popular musical about a bunch of women dressed up like pirates–in male garb, that is–who strut their way through thievery, lust, lewdness, and true romance on the very high seas of camp.

That females dressing in male clothing can be regarded as good, clean fun is–in the context of some of the books I’ve read this month–something of a miracle. “The Female Marine” was written in 1815, allegedly by a woman who dressed in men’s clothes so she could start a new life after the death of her illegitimate baby and her consequent conscription into the shame of whoredom. To a modern reader, this book reads not only as a frightening study of the plight of an unmarried woman in 19th-century America, but also as a narrative now endowed with multiple layers of irony. You’ll discover that the female Marine who claimed to write this autobiography was a mere fictional character, created by a man who hoped his tale of gender bending not only would attract social commentary, but also would sell.

“The Last Time I Wore a Dress,” on the other hand, is definitely an autobiography. The author, Daphne Scholinski, spent nearly three years in mental institutions because, among other things, she wore clothing deemed by others to be “male.” She neither walked like a girl nor wore makeup. As a result of these characteristics, she was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder. A girl being put away for seeming boyish sounds like a case one might hear about from the Puritan, Victorian, or even good ol’ Eisenhower era. However, this kid was incarcerated between 1981 and 1984–post-Stonewall, post-feminist movement, even after the American Psychiatric Association’s declaration that homosexuality is not a mental illness. Scholinski’s briskly written (with the help of Jane Meredith Adams) memoir is a harrowing account of what one contemporary queer had to go through to survive to adulthood.

Fortunately, not all criticisms of queer dress and presentation are so painful. Karen X. Tulchinsky’s first novel, “Love Ruins Everything,” features a lively, funny lesbian protagonist, Nomi Robinovitch. Though her mom wishes she’d wear a dress now and then, she doesn’t force her daughter to. Nomi and her mom are, in fact, good buddies. They spar on the phone, and tease and annoy each other, but they basically see each others’ lives and loves–Nomi’s search for a new girlfriend, widowed mom’s impending second marriage–as acceptable. Tulchinsky has made her name as an editor and anthologist recently: both of the Queer View Mirror anthologies were coedited by her, as well as the new “Hot & Bothered: Short Fiction of Lesbian Desire.” In some ways, this novel anthologizes many contemporary lesbian issues: family relations; romance; monogamy and nonmonogamy; bisexuality; violence against queers; and, in what gives the book a twist of mystery, the causes of AIDS.

Some of my friends affectionately tease me about my wardrobe: the same style of jeans (I never wore bell-bottoms), T-shirts, and high-tops that I wore when I was in grade school. I’m lucky to have a job where I can wear what I want, including pajamas if I don’t feel like changing before I get to the typewriter in the morning. More and more of us are similarly lucky. High-heeled, lipsticked femme is in; tailored butch and Springsteen butch are both in; dowdy is in; geek is in; chic is in; polyester, god help us, is even back in. Our lesbian dress code is what we decide it is, and it can change daily. These three books remind us that how we dress is not only a matter of how we cover ourselves, but how we choose to operate in the world.

–Rebecca Brown is the author of numerous books of fiction, including “The Terrible Girls,” “The Gifts of the Body,” and “Annie Oakley’s Girl.”


Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 13:02:16 EST Subject: Conference on “Gender, Health and History” From: JacCromwel <>

The following may be of interest to some. I don’t know if there will be any LGBT content but I would expect so. This was found in the Anthropology Newsletter, March 1998. Jason

A conference on “Gender, Health and History” will be held at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, April 24-25, 1998. The conference will explore the gendered effects of medical theories and practices, the gendering of bodies and diseases, political conflicts in reproductive health, and cultural constructions of health. Interdisciplinary panels will draw attention to ethical dimensions of these issues, interrelating perspectives from the present and the past. The conference is sponsored by the Institute for the Humanities, Medical Humanities Program and Center for Research on Women and Gender at the U of Illinois, Chicago.

For further information contact Lind Vavra, Asst Director, Inst for the Humanities, 701 S Morgan Ave, MC 206, U Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607-7040, 312-996-6354, fax 312-996-2938,


Date: Wed, 11 Mar 98 20:41:24 -0400 From: ngltf <> Subject: 3/11 State Legislative Update


Contact: Tracey Conaty, Field Organizer 202/332-6483 x3303, pager 800/757-6476

2320 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 TASK FORCE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:


WASHINGTON, DC—March 2, 1998 — Recent court rulings in favor of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) rights provided a welcome contrast to the recent, disappointing repeal of Maine’s civil rights law and slow-going progress in state legislatures. In less than a week’s time – February 27 to March 4 – three important court rulings have come down in favor of equality for GLBT persons.

“The courts have once again proved an important safety net in ensuring basic constitutional and human rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people,” stated NGLTF executive director Kerry Lobel.

Today the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released its latest Legislative Update. The Legislative Update tracks GLBT-related and HIV/AIDS-related bills in state legislatures throughout the country for the 1998 legislative year. This Update documents well over 100 pieces of GLBT and HIV/AIDS related bills in 33 states. Attacks against GLBT families in the form of anti-adoption/foster care, anti-marriage, and anti-domestic partnership measures were numerous. In addition to legislation, in other state news both the California and Kansas Republican parties adopted virulent anti-gay resolutions. The California resolution goes so far as to equate homosexuality with “incest, sexual child abuse, bestiality, and pedophiles.”

On the judicial front, on February 27 an Alaska Superior Court rejected the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two men for the right to marry. Similar to the way the Hawaii marriage case progressed, the judge ruled the State of Alaska must show a compelling interest to prohibit same gender couples from marrying. The state will likely appeal the ruling to the State Supreme Court. If the lower court ruling is upheld, a trial would be held where the state would be made to demonstrate a state interest in order to discriminate against same-sex couples. Also like Hawaii, there is now a measure in the state legislature calling for a state constitutional amendment to restrict marriage. The Hawaii measure passed that state’s legislature last year and is set to go before voters this November.

Days later after the Alaska decision, a New Jersey court came down with a ruling that put yet another dent in the armor of discrimination. On March 2, a New Jersey state appeals court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America prohibition against gay men was a violation of the state’s civil rights law which bans discrimination against based on sexual orientation.

Then on March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that federal sexual harassment law includes same-sex harassment. This is an important victory as harassment against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons often occurs as a form of sex harassment where men are ridiculed for being “too feminine” or women for being “too masculine.”

These rulings are stark relief to the repeal last month of Maine’s civil rights law. The measure was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Angus King last May. Right wing groups secured signatures to put the issue to a public vote, employing Maine¹s rarely used ³people¹s veto² provision. The law was repealed by less than two percentage points on February 10.

The invoking of New Jersey’s civil rights law in the Boy Scouts decision highlights the necessity of anti-discrimination laws and the disappointment in the repeal of Maine’s law. “These recent decisions further underscore the importance of civil rights laws for our community. Without the law in New Jersey, the court may not have ruled as it did,” said Kerry Lobel.

Ten states have laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. They are New Hampshire (1997); Rhode Island (1995); Minnesota (1993); California, Vermont and New Jersey (1992); Hawaii and Connecticut (1991); Massachusetts (1989); and Wisconsin (1982).

The text of the update with accompanying charts and maps is available at NATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN TASK FORCE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Contact: Tracey Conaty, Field Organizer 202/332-6483 x3303, pager 800/757-6476

2320 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

As of March 11, 1998, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force tracked 146 gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) or HIV/AIDS- related state legislative measures. They have been introduced in 33 states and Puerto Rico. The Task Force has classified 67 of these bills as unfavorable and 79 as favorable to the GLBT community. HIV/AIDS related bills account for approximately a third (49) of all measures tracked. When these HIV-related measures are taken out of the equation, 56 bills are considered favorable while 41 are unfavorable. Of these 97 measures, 17 relate to the issue of civil rights; 15 to domestic partnership; 17 to marriage;11 to hate crimes; 13 to schools and campus; seven to sodomy; six to families; one to health, and one specifically to the transgendered community. Attacks appear to be most pronounced against gay and lesbian families. Combining the areas of marriage, domestic partnership, and families, there are 27 measures that are hostile to GLBT families.

In the arena of civil rights, 14 favorable measures were introduced, though passage for most of them seems unlikely. In addition, while 4 states in 1997 passed hate crimes laws that included sexual orientation (see NGLTF’s Capital Gains and Losses 1997), it’s unlikely that 1998 will come close to a repeat of such a major legislative success.


On February 27, a Superior Court in Alaska rejected the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two men for the right to marry. Similar to the way the Hawaii court case progressed, the judge ruled the State of Alaska must show a compelling reason to prohibit same gender couples from marrying. In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski stated, “The Court finds that marriage, that is the recognition of one’s choice of a life-partner, is a fundamental right.” The state will likely appeal the ruling to the State Supreme Court. If the lower court ruling is upheld, then a trial would be held where the state would be made to demonstrate a “compelling reason” to discriminate against same-sex couples. An anti-gay lawmaker has since introduced a state constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to a man and woman. It must pass the state legislature by a two-thirds vote. It has already passed out of one committee and now moves on to another. If the amendment does pass the legislature, it would then go before voters in November. For more information, contact Dan Carter at EQUAL, Inc., 907/274-9226, or Sara Boesser at the Committee for Equality, 907/789-9604.

In other marriage news, Washington became the 26th state to adopt an anti-same-sex marriage ban (see NGLTF Marriage Map at, while New Mexico activists were successful in killing an anti-marriage bill in their state. Measures to ban marriage remain alive in eleven states (AL, AK, CO, IA, KY, MD, NE, NJ, VT, WV, WI). The Nebraska bill is a holdover from last year and very unlikely to get far. In Maryland, in addition to the anti-marriage bill, the ³Protection of Marriages² measure, a pro same-sex marriage bill, has been introduced.


On February 10th, Maine’s civil rights law was repealed through a voter referendum. The law was passed last spring. Opponents put it up for a vote in a process known as the “people’s veto.” Only 30 percent of the electorate voted, and it was repealed by less than two percentage points. Had the vote occurred during a regular election when a majority of the electorate was participating, it is likely the law would have been preserved. Maine is now the only state in New England without a civil rights statute that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

At least nine states (AZ, CO, DE, IL, IA, MD, MO, NE, NY) and Puerto Rico had broad-based civil rights measures introduced. The Arizona, Nebraska and Delaware bills are limited to employment, while the rest would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodation. The Colorado bill is officially dead, and the Iowa measure is effectively killed. The others remain pending. In California, there is a bill that would extend the time allowed to file an employment discrimination complaint, while in Kentucky there is a bill prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of health insurance and health care.

Three states (CA, HI, WA) have anti-civil rights measures pending. The Washington bill would prevent cities and counties from amending their landlord-tenant laws to include, among other things, non-discrimination ordinances (such as sexual orientation) that are not included in state law. The California measure would exempt all non-profits from a law banning employment discrimination, and the Hawaii measure would allow legislators to overrule state court decisions by a simple majority. This bill is motivated by court rulings in the state favorable to same-sex marriage.


Five states (CA, GA, MI, WA, WI) face unfavorable measures that would limit the provision of domestic partner benefits. The Wisconsin bill would forbid any entity in Wisconsin from receiving state dollars to offer domestic partner health insurance coverage. A similar measure in Michigan passed the Senate and now awaits action in the House. The California bill would prevent the University of California from providing domestic partner benefits to faculty and staff. This bill has passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly.

On the positive side, California has a number of favorable domestic partner bills, as does Massachusetts. Also, in Illinois there is a measure to extend health and insurance benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of state employees. Republican governor Jim Edgar is on record as supporting these benefits.


At least seven states (CA, CO, IN, MI, SC, VA, WY) had hate crime bills introduced that are inclusive of sexual orientation. While Virginia and Wyoming’s hate crimes bills are dead, favorable measures in Colorado, California, Indiana, and South Carolina are still alive. The California bill would include gender identity in the state’s hate crimes law. The law already includes sexual orientation. Meanwhile Kentucky has a bill to establish a hate crimes law; however, the measure does not include crimes based on sexual orientation. In Pennsylvania, there is a measure that would establish a hate crimes law inclusive of sexual orientation. However, it is attached as an amendment to a bill that is considered by many to be an infringement on first amendment rights. The bill would make it illegal to wear a mask on public or private property except under specific circumstances. The entire bill, along with its hate crimes amendment, is therefore being opposed by most GLBT groups.


A bill was introduced in Rhode Island that would allow individuals to designate the person they want to be considered immediate family for the purpose of hospital visitation. Along with Rhode Island, at least one other state, Arizona, has a pro-families measure. Meanwhile attacks on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender families continue in at least four states (AZ, GA, OK, TN). The Tennessee measure is not likely to go anywhere. In Oregon there is a broad sweeping anti-gay initiative that is likely to appear on the November ballot (see NGLTF Legislative Update (1/31/98).


Sodomy repeal measures have been introduced in at least six states (AZ, GA, MA, MO, RI, VA).


A slew of HIV/AIDS-related measures have been introduced in at least 16 states. Ten states (CA, CO, GA, IL, IN, MN, MS, MO, RI, VA) have measures that the considered favorable. These measures range from needle exchange programs to increased funding for education and prevention programs. In at least thirteen states (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IN, IA, MN, MS, MO, NY, WA, WV) there are unfavorable measures ranging from the criminalization of HIV transmission to a bill in West Virginia that would allow HIV testing without consent. It would apply to a broad and nebulous array of situations involving people who are exposed to blood, such as funeral home directors, health care workers, and those persons helping at accident scenes. The West Virginia measure has already passed out of one house.

On the non-legislative front, the California Supreme court let stand a lower court ruling prohibiting commercial enterprises from furnishing marijuana for medicinal purposes (marijuana is used by many people with AIDS to alleviate pain). Also, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced mandatory reporting by health-care providers of HIV using a number identifier rather than a patient’s name.

In the area of health, there is a bill in Kentucky that would exclude same-sex couples from domestic violence protections.


In Maryland, there is a bill allowing the reissue of birth certificates for persons who have a sex change operation.


In Kansas, the legislature requested that the Board of Regents submit a list of all academic courses with subject matter directly related to homosexuality or bisexuality. The request has since made it through the chain of command to department heads at some schools. It is not known which legislator(s) made the request, only that it was made through Legislative Research Services, which ensures the source of the request remains anonymous. The request and the fact that is being carried out by school officials have chilled many in the academic community who see it as an aggressive attack on academic freedom and the gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. For more information, contact Christine Robinson at the Freedom Coalition, 785/841-0992.

A measure in California would prohibit state schools from removing armed forces recruiters from campus. Some schools across the country have banned ROTC units because the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy conflicts with their state or campus non-discrimination policy. In Illinois there is a bill to add sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policy for the state’s community colleges and universities.


Measures pertaining to schools have been introduced in at least six states (CA, CO, GA, IN, RI, WA). Two unfavorable bills in Indiana would create an abstinence education study committee and mandate teaching abstinence in sex education classes. The Georgia bill would restrict information about homosexuality. There are two favorable bills. They are a safe schools measure in Washington and a resolution in Rhode Island requesting the Department of Education to make available sensitivity training about homosexuality.

– 30 –

Media Note: Contact information for state activists and organizations working on legislative issues is available from NGLTF Field Organizer Tracey Conaty at 202/332-6483 ext. 3303,

This information was gathered by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from a variety of sources, including news reports, activists, various organizations, and state legislative libraries. Due to the often fast pace of the legislative process, some of this data may be incomplete or quickly out of date. This legislative update is intended to provide an overview of the type of favorable and unfavorable activity happening in state capitals. NGLTF will release a final accounting of favorable and unfavorable bills later in the year in our 1998 edition of Capital Gains and Losses. Individuals with information on legislative activity not in this report should contact the NGLTF Field Department at 202/332-6483, extension 3303,

Founded in 1973, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force works to eliminate prejudice, violence and injustice against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people at the local, state and national level. As part of a broader social justice movement for freedom, justice and equality, NGLTF is creating a world that respects and celebrates the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully participate in society.

– 30 –

1998, 17 March

Subj: AEGIS Internet News 3/17/98 Date: 98-03-17 11:26:32 EST From: (Dallas Denny) To:

AEGIS Internet News Tuesday March 17, 1998

AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to Contents:

1. Special Issue of Chrysalis 2. Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Resolution on Intersex 3. NY Post: Transphobia as Usual 4. Letter from Jessica Xavier to Washington Post 5. Oberlin Trans Fest

Items 2 and 3 also appear on the It’s Time, America newslist.


Subject: Chrysalis special issue now available


A special issue of the magazine Chrysalis, devoted solely to intersex issues, is now available.

This issue of Chrysalis is 56 pages long, illustrated with black and white photos, and contains personal stories from intersex adults and partners, some history and psychology, and even a bit of humor. Edited by Cheryl Chase and Martha Coventry. Contributors (in alphabetical order) are: Tamara Alexander, Max Beck, D. Cameron, Raphael Carter, Cheryl Chase, Martha Coventry, Brynn Craffey, Alice Dreger, Annie Green, Morgan Holmes, Suzanne Kessler, Jeff McClintock, Angela Moreno, Sven Nicholson, Kiira Triea, and Heidi Walcutt. HOW TO ORDER

Single issues may be ordered directly from ISNA for $9 postpaid (US and Canada). Quantities of five or more receive a 40% discount. Bookstores receive a 40% discount. Overseas orders should add $3 for shipping and handling.

ISNA PO Box 31791 San Francisco CA 94131

If you contributed to the issue, a complimentary copy is on its way to you. Chrysalis is published by AEGIS (American Educational Gender Information Service). If you are a paid subscriber through AEGIS, your copy is forthcoming from AEGIS.


Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:48:30 -0800 From: ISNA News <>

GLMA Resolution on Intersex

The board of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association ( has passed a resolution establishing a policy on genital surgery on children with ambiguous genitalia. The text of the resolution follows.

Resolution: 105-98-105 Title: Call for Research and Disclosure Regarding Intersex Surgery Author: Peter Sawires Introduced by: Bob Cabaj, MD Endorsed by: Policy Committee Board Approval: March 7, 1998

WHEREAS, genital surgery has been practiced and encouraged for children born with ambiguous genitalia since the 1950’s; and

WHEREAS, comprehensive research on the long term effects of intersex surgery has not been done; and

WHEREAS, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association supports fully informed medical practice backed by solid research and ethical considerations and believes that reports of dissatisfaction with any medical procedure should be examined closely, and

WHEREAS, reports have recently surfaced of adults who are dissatisfied with the surgical interventions performed on them as children, citing both physical and psychological damage; and

WHEREAS, some adults who did not have surgical intervention during childhood are satisfied living without these interventions; therefore be it

RESOLVED: that the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association calls on medical centers involved in surgical intervention for intersex individuals to develop and conduct comprehensive retrospective and prospective research on the long-term physical and psychological effects, successes, and failures of surgical intervention on children with ambiguous genitalia; and be it further

RESOLVED: that the development and execution of these studies should involve the input and oversight of community representatives and psychiatrists and other psychological based clinicians involved in the intersex community; and be it further

RESOLVED: that GLMA encourages all medical providers to counsel parents with full disclosure regarding the possible positive and negative effects of surgical intervention, reported risks, the lack of long-term research associated with surgical intervention, and options including no surgical intervention and peer support groups before recommending any such procedure on a child born with ambiguous genitalia; and be it further

RESOLVED: that GLMA calls on physicians to encourage parents to fully consider various options before making any decision regarding how to proceed.


1998, 19 March

<HTML><PRE>Subj: AEGIS Internet News 3/19/98 Date: 98-03-19 09:59:04 EST From: (Dallas Denny) To:

AEGIS Internet News Thursday, March 19, 1998

AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to


1. ITA Press Release on MD Birth Certificate Reform Bill 2. Labial Surgery 3. Beyer to become first Transexual MP? 4. Billy Tipton Book 5. Malibu Men’s Retreat



For Immediate Release

Date: March 18, 1998

Contact: Jessica Xavier (ITMD) 301-949-3822, Voice MailBox #8

Hearings Held for Birth Certificate Reform Bill That Would Force State of Maryland to Issue New Birth Certificates to Post-operative Transsexuals

Annapolis, Maryland – Hearings were held yesterday in the Maryland House of Delegates for a bill that would permit post-operative transsexual men and women to obtain new, unadulterated birth certificates after their sex reassignment surgeries. It’s Time, Maryland! a state chapter of the national Transgender political organization It’s Time, America! was the lead group behind this bill. Recognition of change of sex has long been permitted in Maryland, but the state’s methodology for doing so has raised some serious concerns for transsexuals born in the Free State.

House Bill 1304, sponsored by Delegate Sharon Grosfeld (D, Kensington and Silver Spring) would modify sections of the state code of Maryland to require the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to issue new, unadulterated birth certificates to post-operative transsexuals. Under existing law, when such requests are received by the DHMH’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, it is their policy to either “white” out or scratch out the original name and sex, adding the new name and correct sex beside them on the proof copy of the birth certificate.

DHMH’s policies result in an obviously adulterated birth certificate that easily creates suspicion of fraud, and can get the bearer arrested and charged under Maryland law for either misdemeanor misapplication or felony forgery. In 1996, a transsexual woman was arrested and charged with felony forgery for presenting an adulterated birth certificate to the Gaithersburg MVA Office for a driver’s license.

Three transsexual women (including two who intend to do surgery in the near future) offered testimony showing other potentially serious ramifications for transsexual people who present adulterated birth certificates. Under the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s I-9 Regulations, a birth certificate is one of the most commonly requested forms of identification for proof of citizenship – now a requirement to legally be employed in this country. Since the documentation of many transsexual people does not reflect their current gender status, presentation of an adulterated birth certificate can result in denial of employment.

Birth certificates also are commonly used to obtain other forms of identification. Jessica Xavier, the Spokesperson of It’s Time, Maryland! had an application for a US passport rejected because she could not submit a copy of her birth certificate. According to Xavier, her petition for a new birth certificate was rejected by the Circuit Court of Rockville, the reason given being “no basis in law for this request.” In her testimony, she said “I spent the next fifteen months in court, attempting to get a Writ of Mandamus processed, which was the only way to get a new unadulterated copy of my birth certificate issued to me.” Mark Scurti, a Baltimore attorney who has represented many transsexuals, testified that a Writ of Mandamus is “an extreme request which should only be used in rare situations” and that a simple petition with the appropriate affidavits would afford a much more efficient means, lessening the burden on an already clogged court system.

If HB 1304 is passed, post-operative transsexuals would simply request a new birth certificate through a petition similar to their name change, attaching their surgeon’s affidavit attesting to their change of sex. Their original birth certificate would be permanently sealed and kept by the state.

This is the third consecutive year this bill has been brought before the House Environmental Matters Committee, chaired by Ronald Guns (D, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties). An earlier request by Delegate Grosfeld to obtain an administrative change to this policy was turned down by DHMH chief Dr. Martin Wasserman.


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 21:10:10 -0800 From: ISNA News <> Subject: Plastic surgery for reducing inner labia Labia Envy by Louisa Kamps

The current issue of the online magazine Salon features an article titled “Labia Envy”, by Louisa Kamps. The article discusses plastic surgery to make unruly inner labia properly petite and feminine, interviewing Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Gary Alter.

“Thanks to ‘surgical procedures designed to improve the appearance of female genitalia,’ Alter has found ‘perfect solutions to common problems; the ultimate way for women to be gorgeous absolutely everywhere.”

Read the full text at:


Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 09:09:27 +1200 Reply-To: Mark Proffit <mark.proffit@CLEAR.NET.NZ> From: Mark Proffit <mark.proffit@CLEAR.NET.NZ> Subject: [GLB-NEWS] (New Zealand) QNA: Beyer to become first Transexual To: GLB-NEWS@LISTSERV.AOL.COM

Copyright 1998 Akiko International – New Zealand on the Web – QRA at

15th March 1998

Beyer to become first Transexual MP?

Georgina Beyer, Carterton Mayor, is seriously considering standing for Labour as the party’s candidate for Wairarapa following an approach by Labour Party [] leader Helen Clark.

The discussion with Ms Clark followed an approach by former Labour MP Sonja Davies who now lives in Wairarapa to Ms Beyer suggesting she consider standing for Labour.

Ms Beyer said she realised it would be a tough job taking the Wairarapa seat from sitting MP Wyatt Creech (also National [] deputy leader) who won the seat in 1996 with a 7867 vote majority.

However she said there was some really disgruntled constituents about Wyatt at the moment in relation to the future of hospital services, and there is anger that he won’t front up to the public at public meetings on the subject.

Ms Beyer was the country’s first transexual councillor when elected to the Carterton District Council in 1993. In 1995 she made history again when she was elected as Mayor.

Mark Proffit or Akiko International – New Zealand on the Web – QRA – Online guide for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in New Zealand at


Return-Path: <> Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 11:29:53 EST Subject: Billy Tipton book From: JacCromwel <> To: trans-academic mailing list

According to the Seattle Times Pacific Magazine (March 15) a biography of Billy Tipton is now available. The following is from the magazine. Jason, who finds the wording interesting.

Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton (Houghton Mifflin), by Diane Wood Middlebrook. When jazz musician Billy Tipton diad at 74 a few years ago in Spokane, the revelation that he was in fact she and had lived a gender-bending life for more than 50 years made headlines around the world. Through files left by the musician, as well as recollections by friends and family, the author of the controversial “Ann Sexton: A Biography” tells Tipton’s fascinating story, including his five marriages, his adopted children and the deep pride he took in his masteful deception. (Italics in original)


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 11:23:12 +0100 Subject: (Fwd) Re: 2nd Annual Malibu Men’s Retreat From: “Stephen Whittle” <> To: trans-academic mailing list



Under Construction of Southern California is sponsoring a weekend retreat in Malibu, CA, USA for male identified, female birth assigned, men who want to learn about male socialization and experience male bonding in an all-male environment. Retreat will be in a confidential, remote location with 50 mile panoramic ocean and mountain views (weather permitting). Try to be present from Friday 5 p.m. to Sunday noon to obtain the most from this special event! Max E. Fuentes Fuhrmann, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist with extensive personal and professional experience with transgendered men, will provide an experiential participatory retreat. Attendance will be limited and all will have the opportunity to fully participate in the workshops and programs! Topics are scheduled to include: expectations of yourself and others; self disclosure; sexuality; transitioning at various life stages; body image; dealing with partners, friends and family; spirituality; reverse sexism; mentoring; transphobia and your role in the “transgendered community”. There will be numerous group facilitators of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Hot food, beverages and campsite will be provided for the duration of the retreat. This is an outdoor location so bring a sleeping bag and tent (if possible) and be prepared to rough it (there will be hot water but no showering facilities). Bring any special snacks or drinks (BYOB) you wish. Sunscreen recommended. Smoking will be permitted at restricted times and locations. Plan to arrive between 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Friday at the retreat. Retreat ends at 1p.m. on Sunday. A map will be sent to you. Limited transportation will be available from Los Angeles International Airport.

Price for entire retreat is $125.00 payable with registration due in full by Friday, June 5th. Saturday and Sunday only $100.00. Late registration (including same day) if space permits will be $150.00. Please make check payable to Max E. Fuhrmann, Ph.D. Send registration form and payment to: 3617 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Ste. 128 Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 or e-mail to Questions: (805) 496-4442. Refund policy: 100% if cancellation in writing received by Friday, June 12th. 50% if cancellation received by Thursday, June 25th. No refund if cancellation after this date.

Here’s some comments from last year’s attendees:

“I wanted to let you know that I got a whole hell a lot out of it…The shared information was valuable but the time spent together was even more valuable…Besides the serious discussions, the weekend still managed to be lots of fun. A bargain at twice the price!”

(The aspects I liked were) “the food, the diversity (of age, race ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, stage in transition, etc.), letting each man say as much as he needed to say…The retreat was excellent…It clarified so many things for me.”

“Thank you for the opportunity for me to see myself and how I perceive me.”

“There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like, I think it was great and that we should do it again!”

“Thanks for putting it all together…it was very helpful!”


All information kept in strict confidence!!

DATE: ________________

NAME: _________________________________

ADDRESS: Street ____________________________________

City, State, Country ___________________________________

E-Mail: ________________________________

PHONE: ( )___________________ (Best time to call, if necessary: ___________________)

Transportation needs? __________________________________________________________

Food Preferences/Restrictions?____________________________________________________

I’m willing to help with: _________________________________________________________ -30-

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———————– Headers ——————————– Return-Path: <> Received: from ( []) by (v40.9) with SMTP; Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:59:04 -0500 Received: from ( []) by (8.8.5/8.8.5/AOL-4.0.0) with ESMTP id JAA09680; Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:58:58 -0500 (EST) Received: from LOCALNAME ( []) by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id JAA23139; Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:25:48 -0500 (EST) Message-Id: <> X-Sender: X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2 Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii” Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:30:49 -0500 To: From: Dallas Denny <> Subject: AEGIS Internet News 3/19/98


1998, 30 March

<HTML><PRE>Subj: AEGIS Internet News Digest 3/30/98 Date: 98-03-30 15:14:52 EST From: (Dallas Denny) To:

AEGIS Internet News Monday, 30 March, 1998

AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to


1. SF Transsexual Fights Police Job Rejection 2. THAC Gets Grant, Recruits Phone Volunteers From: “Christine Burns” <> To: “Backup UKPFC News” <> Subject: Transsexual fights police job rejection… Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 22:31:26

Transsexual fights police job rejection

By Ray Delgado OF THE EXAMINER STAFF Friday, March 27, 1998 San Francisco Examiner

Cristiana Rivas has wanted to be a San Francisco police officer ever since she was a little boy. She felt more sure about that than she ever felt about being born as “Christopher.” To help reach that goal, she even joined the military and worked for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — back when she was a he. Last year, at age 38, Rivas celebrated the culmination of two dreams: She underwent her sex- change surgery in August and systematically passed the San Francisco Police Department’s written, oral, lie-detector and physical tests, along with a thorough background check.

But one of those dreams came crashing down on Jan. 2 when she opened a letter from the Police Department only to learn she had been disqualified based on her psychological exam. Now she’s fighting back, convinced she was the victim of a process that doesn’t understand transsexualism.

“I don’t have any disorders,” said Rivas, a tall, slender woman with high cheekbones. “I can’t explain it because they won’t let me see the test.”

The San Francisco native has enlisted the support of the Human Rights Commission and Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Leslie Katz and Jose Medina. Ammiano and Medina met with police Chief Fred Lau to discuss the case, and Katz sent a letter to Lau complaining about the department’s lack of sensitivity.

Lau would not discuss the specifics of the Rivas case, but said the department did not disqualify her because of her sex-change operation. Dr. Michael Roberts, a San Jose psychologist whose company has a contract with the Police Department to handle the evaluations, said his therapists do not ask candidates about sexuality or transsexual issues unless they are relevant in how that person will perform as an officer.

“It would have made no difference whatsoever,” said Roberts. “For us it was an irrelevant concern. She’s making it relevant because she’s unhappy with the results.”

Rivas doesn’t believe that, however, and wants the department to enroll her in the next academy class, starting in April.

Rivas says she is well qualified, having served eight years with the National Guard until her honorable discharge in 1985. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international relations and military affairs from San Francisco State University. She had applied for the police academy twice before but was disqualified for poor eyesight, something that has since been corrected with contact lenses.

She told police officials from the start about her operation. After passing every test, her last hurdle was the Nov. 17, 1997, psychological exam conducted by Roberts’ office.

The interview went smoothly, she thought. Rivas said she admitted some recreational drug use in her 20s and told the psychiatrist about the one-time solicitation of a female prostitute while in the military, issues she had already been cleared of during her background check.

The only odd aspect of the interview, Rivas said, was that the therapist kept referring to her as a cross-dresser.

“You don’t use the word cross-dressing with someone like me,” Rivas said. “She probably never interviewed someone like me before, so how could she understand who I am?”

Still, Rivas was so confident that she quit her six-year job as a clerk with the ATF to enter the academy on Jan. 26.

A few days after she quit her job, she got the bad news: She had failed the exam, but could appeal if she wanted.

Determined, Rivas paid $1,000 for her own psychiatric evaluation to send to the department. Dr. Mary Ann Kim concluded that she was “emotionally fit and stable” to be a police officer. The department upheld its decision, however. On April 6, she is scheduled for one last psychiatric review by an independent psychiatrist hired by The City’s Department of Human Resources. That decision will stand.

Regardless of the outcome, Rivas’s plight has put the spotlight on the department’s willingness to hire people who’ve undergone sex-change surgery. Although there is one transsexual sergeant already on staff — a woman who became a man while on the force — Rivas is the first transsexual applicant to go through the screening process.

The department’s policy prohibits discrimination against transsexuals, but city officials aren’t sure the department or its therapists truly understand these individuals, or would recognize their own bias.

“Because it’s such a new area, they’re probably not on the same page as other organizations might be,” said Ammiano, who met with Lau in January to discuss departmental hiring procedures, as well as the Rivas case. “Do they need sensitivity training? I would say so.”

Lau said the incident made him realize there were some gray areas in the psychological exam process that need to be evaluated. To that end, he has enlisted the department’s sole transsexual officer — Sgt. Stephan Thorne — to help review the guidelines. “Yes, we do have to sensitize this department for people going through the process,” Lau said. “We’re trying to be fair with everyone.”

Meanwhile, Rivas is proceeding with her final appeal. Should that fail, she said she may take legal action against the department of which she so badly wants to be a part. “I want to believe that the department is not pregnant with the old ways, because I give people the benefit of the doubt,” Rivas said. “But I’m aware of when the next class is and I think it would be very beneficial for my community and the department that I go through it.”


Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 00:03:38 -0500 From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM> Subject: GLB-PRESS Digest – 28 Mar 1998 to 29 Mar 1998 (#1998-19)

THAC (Philadelphia): press release/call for volunteers Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 11:00:08 -0500 From: Rica Ashby Fredrickson <rica@NETAXS.COM> Subject: THAC (Philadelphia): press release/call for volunteers MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII


PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 25, 1998) THAC, the Transgender Health Action Coalition, has received a grant from the partnership of the Philadelphia Foundation and the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund to train peer counselors to staff a hotline for transgendered people. The need for such a resource was documented in the needs assessment study completed by THAC last year.

THAC is thus seeking volunteers to receive training and then act as peer counselors for transgendered clients. The commitment required is one weekend of intensive training, one supervision training session per month, staffing of the hotline for two four-hour sessions monthly, and a 6 month commitment to the hotline. Certificates will be issued for volunteers completing these requirements. Transgendered persons and transfriendly allies are invited to apply. No professional training background is necessary. The first training session is the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd. Please call Rachel Adamec at (610) 828 – 4922.

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———————– Headers ——————————– Return-Path: <> Received: from ( []) by (v40.16) with SMTP; Mon, 30 Mar 1998 15:14:52 -0500 Received: from ( []) by (8.8.5/8.8.5/AOL-4.0.0) with ESMTP id PAA06817; Mon, 30 Mar 1998 15:14:59 -0500 (EST) Received: from LOCALNAME ( []) by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id OAA24291; Mon, 30 Mar 1998 14:53:48 -0500 (EST) Message-Id: <> X-Sender: X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2 Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii” Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 14:59:41 -0500 To: From: Dallas Denny <> Subject: AEGIS Internet News Digest 3/30/98


1998, 1 April A

Subj: AEGIS Internet News Digest 4/1/98 Pt. 1 of 2 Date: 98-04-01 14:26:31 EST From: (Dallas Denny) To:

AEGIS Internet News Wednesday, 1 April, 1998

AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to


1. F.D.A. Warning: Dangerous Chemicals Used in Nail Salons 2. Local (Atlanta, GA) Transgender Civil Rights Group Formed 3. Estrogen: A Male Hormone 4. GLAAD Alert: Bill Mahler of Politically Correct Shows Trans-Ignorance 5. Utah Social Workers Cast Doubt on Reparative Therapies 6. Jacob Hale, Ben Singer to Speak at Rutgers 7. New Jersey Trans Dance 8. EON seeks Trans Inclusive language in Syracuse Pride Proclamation 9. New TSCD Support Group in Florida


From New York Times 27 March, 1998 No author credited

F.D.A. is Investigating the Use of a Dangerous Fingernail Adhesive

Orlando, FL, March 27- In the aftermath of a fraud scheme that resulted in Florida’s revoking the licenses of 1,700 manicurists last year, officials here and in other states are investigating the use of a restricted chemical that is blamed for severe fingernail damage and other health problems.

The chemical, liquid methyl methacrylate, which the Food and Drug Administration prohibits for use on fingernails, is believed to have bene used by many of the manicurists whose licenses were revoked. The authorities said all of the manicurists were legal immigrants from Vietnam. Officials say they believe that the chemical is still in use at some salons nationwide.

“We are getting complaints that some cut-rate salons are using this chemical on their nails,” said Dave Fountain, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Methyl methacrylate, known as MMA and used to attach artificial nails, is “poisonous,” said Allen R. Halper, an F.D.A. official. “The most common injuries were either damage or deformity of the fingernail or contact dermatitis.”

The less-expensive salons are using it “because it is cheaper,” said Nesper LaKay Reddick, chairwoman of the Florida Board of Cosmetology and an Orlando cosmetologist. “We hear many cases of fungus and nails that won’t grow back.”

Ms. Reddick said she had recently received more than 15 complaints from women with nail damage believed to have been caused by MMA.

In January, Ms. Reddick’s agency imposed a $1,000 fine on each of the $1,707 manicurists who had paid as much as $1,500 each for certificates from the beauty school Artistic Nail Academy of North Miami Beach.

The authorities said the school had falsely attested that the students received 600 hours of training, enough to meet the standards of all states. In addition, “many of the applicants were found to have used false addresses and Social Security numbers on the applications.”

The state licenses were revoked in 1997 after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Service, but state officials said they believed that at least 350 of the manicurists had tried to use their Florida licenses to obtain licenses in other states.

So far, no charges have been filed against the school. The owners, Carolyn Jones and her daughter, Tracy Jones, voluntarily surrendered the license for the school and state law-enforcement officials said a criminal investigation was under way.

Jim Nordstrom, president of the Nail Manufacturers Council in Chicago, said his organization was trying to inform manicurists about the dangers of the toxic product, which has a strong odor.

MMA has been banned in California for several years, but it can be obtained from dental and beauty suppliers for other uses.

“We hear some stories out there,” said Susan Harrigan, assistant administrator with the California Barbering and Cosmetology Program, “but it is rare that we get a name that we can follow up on.”

The FDA said it would probably direct more of its investigations at manufacturers and distributors rather than retail establishments.


From Southern Voice, 27 March, 1998

Reprinted with Permission

Local Transgender Civil Rights Group Formed

by Laura Brown

Motivated by a desire to put “an out face” on Atlanta’s transgendered community, several members have formed It’s Time, Georgia!, a state chapter of the national transgender civil rights group, It’s Time, America!

The local organization, which Executive Director Karen Collins described as “the next step” for a community that already has successful support groups, will hold its first monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on April 2 at the Atlanta Lambda Center.

“I think we both felt there were places to go and get information and support on issues, but we both felt that there was a change in the way transgendered people approach their situation,” said Kim Bourne, who helped found the group with Collins and serves as its communications director.

“There is more of a desire to be ‘out’ post-surgery or whatever, and there needs to be an opportunity to foster some activism, some advocacy, and some education,” she said.

Collins and Bourne, both transitioning from male to female, said they hope It’s Time, Georgia! can lobby legislators and other public officials to help change policies that make sex-changes more difficult.

While Collins said her employer has been supportive, many transgendered people lose their jobs when they begin transitioning from one gender to the other, and then have difficulty finding new employment because their gender does not match what is noted on their driver’s licenses and other legal documents.

Georgia will not change one’s legal sex until sex reassignment surgery has been completed, meaning something as routine as a minor traffic stop can become a nightmare of explanations for those who either can’t afford the surgery, choose not to have it, or haven’t had it yet, but are already dressing and living as members of their new gender, Collins explained.

The group’s “short-term action plan” will also focus on education, by speaking at university seminars addressing transgendered issues, working with gay organizations to make sure the community is included in more than just name, and also within the transgendered community itself, Bourne said.

“In the same way that the G/L/B community is as diverse as the rest of society, the transgendered community encompasses everything from male-to-female transsexuals, female-to-male transsexuals, cross- dressers, transgenders, and we want to really try and establish a sense of identity among all of us,” she explained.

“I think there’s a lot we can do just to put an ‘out’ face on our community,” Collins said. “Everybody can’t do that, but we want to gather input even from people who can’t be out right now.” Who: It’s Time, Georgia!

What: Transgender civil rights group

When: April 2 at 7 pm

Where: Atlanta Lamba Center, 828 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta

Contact: 770-938-553


Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 20:38:14 -0800 From: ISNA News <> Subject: Estrogen: A male hormone

Estrogen: A male hormone

Though scientists know that both estrogen and testosterone play important functions in both males and females, the simplistic notion that estrogen is “a female hormone” and testosterone “a male hormone” persist.

Scientists at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have reported (Nature, 4 December 1997, Hess et al) yet another vital function of estrogen in men. Hess and his team found that the testes in male mice lacking receptors for estrogen quickly degenerate, leaving the mice sterile. The effect appears to be due to a failure of the efferent tubes which normally transport immature sperm to the epidydimis, where the sperm mature.

“Suddenly, the idea of ‘male’ and ‘female’ hormones begins to look thin,” noted Hess’s colleague Kenneth Korach.


Reposted from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Politically Incorrect’s Bill Maher Shows His Trans-Ignorance In the March 19 telecast of ABC’s Politically Incorrect, host Bill Maher tackled the subject of transgenderism. Maher focused his negative remarks on Alex Myers, a transgendered man at Harvard University, who has courageously and publicly come out on campus and advocated for inclusion of transgender in Harvard’s anti-discrimination policy. In a display of his ignorance regarding transgendered people, Maher expressed amazement that Myers could gender-transition without hormonal therapy and surgery. Maher repeatedly questioned the validity of Myers’ gender identity, referring to him as “she” or “it.” His comments mocked Myers’ physical appearance and commitment to his gender. Guest Sally Jesse Raphael repeatedly attempted to correct Maher, who often twisted what accurate information she provided for humorous effect. He expressed a belief that transgendered men are confused lesbians with masculine gender expressions. “This person is saying, ‘I’m a man.’ And he has a girlfriend. And they say they have heterosexual sex. I think if you dress like a man and have sex with a woman, you’re a lesbian,” he said. Maher also viewed Myers’ transgender identity without hormones or surgery as a unique case, exposing his ignorance of the many other transgendered people who, like Myers, are coming out in increasing numbers everywhere.

Let Bill Maher know that there is certainly more than “one” of “these” transgendered persons in the world, and tell ABC that Maher’s ill-informed and hurtful comments contribute to the discrimination that transgendered people and their families already face.


Bill Maher, Host, Politically Incorrect, 7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, fax: 213.852.4517, e-mail via WWW:

Jamie Tarses, Entertainment President, ABC, 2040 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90037, e-mail:, or call ABC at: 310.557.7777 (ask to be connected to their audience response line)


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 01:23:55 EST From: KathyWUT <KathyWUT@AOL.COM Subject: [GLB-NEWS] Utah Social Workers cast doubt on reparative therapies To: GLB-NEWS@LISTSERV.AOL.COM

UTAH: SOCIAL WORKERS OPPOSE THERAPY TO CHANGE GAYS Saturday, March 28, 1998 SALT LAKE TRIBUNE send letters to the Public Forum at P. O. Box 867 Salt Lake City UT 84110 or to The Tribune on line edition is at (Fax 801-521-9418 or 801-237-2800 or 2022, print run 111,994)

BY PATTY HENETZ THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE A Utah social-work professional organization has officially cast doubt on claims that people can change their sexual orientation via so-called reparative or conversion therapy. The policy adopted by the board of the Utah chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) discourages the practice of reparative therapy because there is insufficient scientific data supporting a practice that many believe is based on sexual bigotry. “Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes,” the NASW policy states. “Discomfort about working with this population may lead to inappropriate, ineffective and even damaging interventions by social workers.” The board’s action was a unanimous affirmation of a policy issued two years ago by the group’s national board. “We had an anonymous complaint redirected to us from the national committee,” said board President Joanne Yaffe. “They told us they knew of Utah social workers who were practicing reparative therapy and asked us what we were going to do about it.” The Utah board vote was a way of publicizing the policy that had been published in Social Work Speaks, a several-hundred-page compilation of all the new and revised policies ever approved by the NASW Delegate Assembly. “All we are saying is, of course we are in line with the national policy,” said Yaffe. “This policy is seen as a compromise because it doesn’t prohibit practicing reparative therapy.” Still, the action has provoked anger. Therapists, support groups such as Evergreen International, and LDS Social Services have been among those who have rebuked the organization for its stance. “The [LDS] Church’s licensed professional counselors take the position that there is substantial evidence that individuals can diminish their unwanted homosexual attraction and make changes in their lives,” said LDS Church spokesman Don LeFevre. “The church and these professionals are supportive of a person’s right to seek assistance in doing so.” “Some of the calls I have been taking from church members have been heated. `What are you doing with this organization, Gene?’ if you know what I mean,” said incoming Utah NASW President Gene Gibbons. “In this state, it filters down to a religious debate. Quite frankly, some people are nervous because the issue is being politicized.” Adds Yaffe: “Utah is considered a hotbed of reparative therapy. That is because of the society we live in, and that [the therapy] is being administered out of agencies that are religious. It can be seen as coercive. I’m not saying it is every time. But the question can be raised.” The American Psychological Association in August also passed a resolution opposing reparative therapy. Like the NASW, the APA stopped short of condemning the practice, but questioned the ethics of advocating a practice that can be viewed as a byproduct of homophobic prejudice. Reparative or conversion therapy attempts to change homosexuals to heterosexuals, and has existed for more than a century. Early practices incorporated electric shocks, castration, lobotomies and aversion therapy. Today, therapists instead use psychoanalytic, cognitive or behavioral therapy techniques to diminish or eliminate same-sex attraction. The NASW policy says such therapies assume that homosexuality is pathological and chosen; that no data support that the therapies are effective, and in fact may be harmful; that responsible social workers will inform clients of this lack of data; and that NASW discourages social workers from providing such treatments or referring clients to programs or therapists who claim they can change sexual orientation. Backers of the policy say homosexuality is biological, that there is no proof that conversion or reparative therapy works and point to a 60 to 70 percent failure rate. But advocates say people who have homosexual attractions can change their behavior and live as heterosexuals or at least curb homosexual behavior. NASW board member Shirley Cox, a Brigham Young University social-work professor and Evergreen International board member, said there is a distinction to be made between reparative therapy and what she calls “lifestyle-change” therapy. “Reparative therapy assumes people are broken and in need of repair. I don’t believe that,” she said. “But I will help people who want to live as heterosexuals. They have a right to choose.” Evergreen Executive Director David Pruden objected to NASW’s attempts to curb referrals for change therapy, and said that if they were to be required to tell clients about reparative therapy studies, they also should tell them about connections between sex and AIDS. “They make themselves vulnerable when, as an organization, they become the arbiters of lifestyle decisions,” Pruden said. “What happens if something goes wrong because they have affirmed a certain lifestyle?” Pruden said about 40 percent of the people served by his organization leave homosexuality entirely and about 30 percent diminish their homosexual behavior. But some of the techniques can backfire. Lon, a Utah County man who participated with Evergreen’s support group for about a year, said he found the experience “scary.” A counselor who blamed Lon’s homosexuality on his father “worsened my relationship with my father and drove me to a suicide attempt,” he said. “Any religious sect that takes the stance that homosexuality is bad, of course that will put pressure on anybody.”


Date: Fri, 27 Mar 98 17:40:27 EST Subject: Trans Talk at Rutgers From: Ben Singer <>

**Please Circulate**

For those in the vicinity of Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ:

Professor C. Jacob Hale


Prometheus UnPacked: Reconstructing Brandon/Teena

April 8th, 4:30 – 6:30, Scott Hall Rm. #119 on College Ave. (Ben Singer, Rutgers English, will lead a discussion on transgender, transsexual and gender-variant issues after the presentation.)

“Brandon Teena” is one of the many names used to refer to a young Nebraskan brutally murdered on New Year’s Eve in 1993. Media have represented Brandon Teena as a butch lesbian woman, female-to-male transsexual man, cross-dresser, sexual deviate, gender confused quasi-man, an “it,” and a wonder boychik. In this presentation, C. Jacob Hale examines and unsettles lesbian/gay and transsexual media representations that position Brandon solidly within any identity category.

C. Jacob Hale is an associate professor of philosophy at California State University, Northridge. His recent articles in transgender, feminist and queer studies have appeared in *GLQ*, *Social Text*, and *Hypatia*. Hale is the organizer of Genderqueer Boyzzz (a Southern California social group primarily for and about people assigned female at birth or in childhood who have masculine self-identifications some or all of the time), co-founder of the direct action group Transgender Menace Southern California, and a member of the Los Angeles County Transgender Task Force and the FTM International Board of Directors.



From: LisaBme <> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 19:20:22 EST Subject: 1998 NJ TransGendered Formal Dinner Dance

Make your Reservations NOW

The North Jersey Gender Alliance Presents 3rd Annual Formal Dinner-Dance

April 25, 1998 Marriot Glenpoint Teaneck NJ

7:00 – 8:00 Cocktail hour, Cash Bar 8:00 – 12:00 Dinner and Dancing

DJ and a Special Performance by Jacqueline Jonée of the Imperial Court of New York (973) 839-6572 for Reservations and Information

$50.00 Per Person for Tickets Purchased Before April 20th $60.00 Per Person After April 20th and at the Door

Additional information available at:


The following item is reposted from It’s Time, America! News Service

[Received from]

EON, Inc., Syracuse, New York

In 1997, EON, Inc. asked for Trans Inclusive language in the Syracuse Pride Proclamation sent to the Syracuse Common Council for approval and signature.

The Common Council would not sign the proclamation as submitted due to the Trans inclusive statements and asked them to be removed.

The PRIDE Committee refused to change the language and actually withdrew the proclamation noting that if it was not Trans Inclusive, they did not care about the Common Council’s opinion.

This year the Mayor will be asked to sign the Proclamation and has asked if there are any other cities that are Trans Inclusive either in their PRIDE proclamation or their Fair Standards Laws.

If anyone can assist by emailing information regarding a list of cities or individual cities, it will be forwarded to the Mayor of Syracuse for review and consideration.



The following item is reposted from It’s Time, America! News Service

[Received from: Krjeffreys <>]

ALSO4YOUTH announces the formation of a new support group for Transsexuals and cross-dressers in Sarasota, Florida. Initiated by Kristen Cameron, the group is sponsored by ALSO4YOUTH. For more information, please contact or phone 941-426-8681.

1998, 1 April B

AEGIS Internet News Wednesday, 1 April, 1998

AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to


1. Reponse of Tonye Barreto-Neto to Dallas’ 4/1 Opinion Piece 2. ITA and HRC Reconcile (ITA’s April Fool Joke) 3. Rex Wockner Quotes 4. Colorado Activism 5. Three Takes on the Millenium March by Human Rights Task Force of FLA


Tonye is right in that GenderPac has not officially formulated a strategy viz-a-viz ENDA and HRC. However, Riki Anne Wilchins, the Executive Director of GPAC, has set policy and has been carrying out that policy for several years.



From: TBhawk <> Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 22:56:58 EST Subject: Re: AEGIS Internet News 4/1/98 Pt. 2 of 2

A reply from the Chair of GenderPac follows:

< marks indicate quotation from AEGIS Internet News 4/1/98

< GenderPAC, the transgender lobby organization, has laid off HRC, claiming < that ENDA is lost to us because of the “30 Votes” issue (i.e., transgender < inclusion will cost 30 congressional votes). GenderPAC is concentrating on <learning how to effectively lobby, with HRC tutors.

Not all of the organizations which make up GenderPac agree with the above assessment. For one thing, there has not been a formal vote on where all the Board of GPac stands.

In the next two weeks, after a meeting of the Executive Committee of GPac, the results will then be taken to the Board for a formal vote. Until then, I reserve judgement on what GPac’s formal stand will be in relation to ENDA or the boycott of HRC.

Having said that, I , as National Executive Director of Transgender Officers Protect/Serve (T.O.P.S.) [also soon to be international, with the inclusion of a chapter in Canada], do have a few thoughts on both ENDA and the boycott.

1. I believe that HRC has shown their colors (or lack of them) when it comes to ENDA. I don’t believe they will entertain the addition of bisexuals nor transgender people in the conceivable future. Therefore, I support the continued pressure on HRC to be totally inclusive of all the GL”BT” Community. If all are not free, then none are free. As Dr. King said, “Judge people for the content of their minds and not the *color* of their skin. Please let me add, and I do so humbly, with great respect to the memory of Dr. King, let us not judge people by the *color* of their gender.

2. Although I understand where the people in New Orleans are coming from iwith respect to the boycott, I cannot agree with what it will accomplish. Most of the monies collected from the HRC dinners go to the local HRC activists who ARE “BT” inclusive. I have spoken to quite a few of the people, including Chris Daigle in New Orleans (Co-Chair of LAGPAC,[Louisana Gay Political Action Coalition],and also a supporter of the dinner). Their arugument against the boycott is that it will hurt HRC’s local chapters in their efforts to gain monies for use educating national HRC of their desire to include the bisexual and transgender communities.

I wish to help these people educate the National Leaders of HRC and believe they are better equipped to do so than we are. But taking money away from the local people will hurt that effort. These are the people we should be working with, and not against.

Perhaps a better strategy would be to lobby these local members of HRC so that they can put pressure on HRC nationally .

I remember the last boycott of HRC. We did get their attention. I also remember speaking with Nancy Buermeyer in Houston at ITCLEP, when she was at times stunned at the level of discordance with the local and national HRC people. She promised to go back to D.C. to appraise the leaders there about just this issue.

Was it done ? I can’t answer that. But I can tell you that the people I have talked to who are members of HRC are aware of HRC’s stand on “BT” issues and are not in agreement with them.

Perhaps the next question is to how best tap into these resources and seriously get HRC’s attention with their own members.

>Some transgender community leaders claim that those who cooperate are > falling prey to HRC’s cynical spindoctoring efforts to divide the community.

> For several years now, leaders of some national transgender organizations > have attended a GLBT summit meeting in Washington, DC. Only some > organizations have been invited. Transgender leaders, many of them > politically naive on the national scene, get to lecture seasoned gay and > lesbian activists about the importance of inclusion, and the gay and lesbian > activists express admiration and agree that it is really important. >Afterwards, the ones who are sincere– PFLAG and NGLTF, for example– get >busy and change their organizations, and the ones who aren’t– most notably, >HRC– don’t.

This is why I continue to support inclusion in ENDA. But HRC is just not going to go there…..It’s been proven over and over again. They are not interested in being inclusive….period.


OK folks, here is a BIG HINT: Notice the April 1release date!

From: Date: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 23:42:26 -0500 Subject: ITA Announces Truce with HRC



ITA Announces Truce with HRC

Contact: Penni Ashe, Media Director

[Washington, D.C., April 1, 1998] — In a surprising, conciliatory move, It’s Time, America! (ITA) announced today that it is calling for a truce between its state chapters and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) over trans-inclusion in ENDA and other issues. This move comes in the wake of several disruptions in the transgender community in which activists have called for a boycott/girlcott of HRC banquets and fundraising events. These protests have been aimed at pressuring HRC to change its policy and join the growing ranks of other organizations in becoming transgender inclusive.

In announcing ITA’s “charm offensive,” National Director Jessica Xavier said ITA is sending one of ITA’s most outspoken critics of HRC, Nancy Sharp, to meet with HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch, to work with her over HRC’s position regarding transgender and gender-variance. “We’ve tried ethical arguments, political arguments, technical arguments, and negative financial incentives. Since none of these have worked, we’re sending Nancy Sharp to Washington with a message of love,” Xavier said.

HRC communications Director Davey Smythe welcomed the move, but expressed some skepticism behind ITA’s motives. “Just because these transies can’t get jobs and can’t afford the $250 tickets to our banquets doesn’t mean we should comp them into our fundraisers. The next thing you know, they’ll be asking us to believe that gay men and lesbians are being discriminated against because of their gender expression.”

Initial meetings between HRC and ITA are slated to begin on April 15, 1998, at HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C. Due to the unavailability of HRC’s Board of Directors, HRC has announced that its cleaning staff will meet with ITA’s representatives after normal business hours.


Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 13:01:28 -0800 From: Rex Wockner <rwockner@NETCOM.COM> Subject: [GLB-NEWS] WOCKNER/QUOTE UNQUOTE #115

========================================= = QUOTE UNQUOTE #115 – Mar 18, 1998 = = by Rex Wockner = =========================================

Reprinted with Permission of Mr. Wockner


“When a butch walks into a room I always cruise a butch, I always will look at a butch. I’ll look at what a butch is wearing, I’ll look at her hair, I’ll wink at her because there’s an identification, there’s a solidarity there, there’s an angst there. It makes me really proud to see another butch on the street being herself.”

–Singer Phranc to Los Angeles’ Lesbian News, March issue.


“I do not consider myself to be a lesbian-separatist anymore, but all of my issues around politics get triggered by sexuality, transgender, all of those issues. I was taught by my own community to be kind of a lesbian bigot — by my own community! I can’t say that I’ve entirely let go of all my old ideas — I was very proud of that very fierce focus — bigotry, I would have to say. But I really don’t think that it serves me or my community to generate more criticism, opinions and discontent among my sister and brother queers.”

–Singer Phranc to Los Angeles’ Lesbian News, March issue.


Colorado Actvism

The sender of this wished not to be credited.

Just a quick note:

In Fort Collins Colorado, where we recently celebrated as the city council voted 7-0 to add sexual orientation to their new civil rights bill, a petition drive is underway by the church loonies to force the new law to be set aside until it is voted on by the citizens in an upcoming election.

But in the meantime, the city government has added sexual orientation to its own EEOC policies….! This is outside of whatever the church loonies do with their petition.

Hooray for what education can accomplish in a small and conservative city!


Millenium March/Take 1

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 08:15:33 EST From: HRTF FL <HRTFFL@AOL.COM> Subject: [GLB-NEWS] Millennium March: Who Decides?

Publications and lists have full permission to reprint and/or forward this article. Millennium March: Who Decides? by Billy Hileman

(Billy Hileman is a Pittsburg based activist and was one of four national co- chair for the 1993 March on Washington)

The current debate of a LGBT civil rights event in Washington, D.C. in 2000 may look like _political in-fighting_ if one only takes a quick glance. But just below the surface is one of the most important community discussions to occur in decades. Our community is in the process of redefining the movement. If organizing for a national LGBT civil rights event in Washington proceeds on its current course, then progressive, grass-roots, democratic organizing in our community will suffer a serious injury. The tragedy of this situation is that the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) executive director Elizabeth Birch, comedian Robin Tyler, and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches’ Troy Perry are the willing architects of this attack on queer democracy. Right now, Perry, Birch, and Tyler are frantically lobbying the community to support an event they decided to produce. They are trying to prop up grass- roots support for an event only they had input on. Perry has just sent out a letter with _six very specific steps, very definite steps_ …to lobby congress? …no, to lobby the president? …no, to zap Jesse Helms? No. Troy Perry is asking you to lobby the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum to support the Millennium March! What’s wrong with that? In Troy Perry’s plea for help, he says, “If you are a contributor, member or supporter of these organizations, be sure to mention that too.” That is sickening. The Millennium March is about money. It is not about whether 2000 is a good year to rally in Washington. It is not about ENDA, or domestic partnership, or about lesbians and gays in the military. Right now there is only one organization in our community with the resources to support a huge national action in Washington. And there is only one organization that has vowed to have 1 million members by the year 2000: HRC. Never before has one of our organizations been in a position to unilaterally call for a March on Washington. The Millennium March is a test of HRC’s new power. It is a test whether the community will allow HRC to circumvent the progressive, grassroots, democratic principles that were the basis of the three previous marches and the heart of our movement. At the end of Perry’s letter, he writes, “History’s greatest movements have been grassroots movements. And history’s greatest leaders have been those who heeded the call of their grassroots members.” But, there has been no _call._ HRC and UFMCC didn’t allow the forum for a _call._ And now that people are voicing their concern about the process, Birch, Tyler and Perry are putting a call out to the grass-roots instead of the other way around. In March of 1991 the executive directors of NGLTF and HRCF, Urvashi Vaid and Tim McFeeley hosted a meeting in Washington, D.C. for activists to discuss a third march on Washington. Minneapolis City Councilmember Brian Coyle had pushed the idea at the 1990 Creating Change Conference. During the March ’91 meeting, and a second national meeting in May, dozens of proposals and concerns were discussed by hundreds of activists. Proposals for marches in 1992 and 1993 were discussed. Bi-annual MOWs with a permanent committee; 52 regional marches: states, DC and Puerto Rico; and a MOW before every presidential election were all proposed. Stonewall 25 organizers pleaded that no national action take place before 1994. A call for inclusion of youth in the organizing was made and a request to be aware of the dates of the many women’s music festivals was voiced. Native American gays and lesbians explained that they could not participate in the fall of 1992 – the 500th anniversary of the survival of indigenous cultures. And that is a very small sample. In 1998, all that expression and creativity has been silenced in one meeting between Perry, Birch, and Tyler. They want to control the timing, message, and money associated with the Millennium March. They may achieve that. But in the process, they’ll lose the movement. Arrogance is not the word. Only sheer contempt for democracy can describe their organizing style. Several national leaders authored letters distributed at the 1991 meetings explaining why a march before 1994 was misguided. Where are their voices now? Some of the very same people have privately expressed their concerns about the Millennium March, but won’t do so publicly. Why? They’re afraid that in the year 2000, they’ll be on the outside looking in. There shouldn’t be an outside. Organizing a national civil rights event without a grassroots _call_ is exclusive no matter how much multicultural rhetoric they try to pour over it. But its worse than that. Birch is smart enough to know that Barney Frank is right when he says that big marches do nothing politically for the community. All that stuff about the political benefits of being in Washington before the election is a lie. Birch wants her Millennium March so she can get her 1,000,000 members and the associated loot. Grassroots democracy might produce 50 state marches. Big bummer for Birch. In a recent Out magazine article, Birch responds to her critics by saying, “Imagine what you would have done if three years ago you woke up and found that someone had handed you the movement, … I’ll bet that you would have made most of the decisions I made.” It’s time to wake up again. It’s not your movement. We can help.


Millenium March/Take 2

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 08:28:40 EST From: HRTF FL <HRTFFL@AOL.COM> Subject: [GLB-NEWS] Growing Criticism of proposed 2000 March

Publications and lists have full permission to reprint and/or forward this article. (Billy Hileman is a Pittsburg based activist and was one of four national co- chair for the 1993 March on Washington)

Barney Frank calls marches a “diversion” HRC’s “Millennium March” Plans Move Forward in the Face of Growing Criticism

by Billy Hileman

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has added his name to a growing list of gay and lesbian leaders who do not believe that the proposed “Millennium March” on Washington will do anything for the community politically. Frank told Planet Q in a phone interview on March 30th that “marches are a diversion” of community resources and “have no success politically.” Frank also said that if people in the community want change, they need to get back to basic political organizing such as doing voter registration. “We are ahead culturally compared to where we are politically,” explained Frank. He called marches “celebratory.” “The Promise Keepers held a big march and then laid off their staff. The Christian Coalition doesn’t march, the NRA doesn’t march, and they are very effective politically,” says Frank. The proposed “Millennium March” was first pitched by comedian Robin Tyler to the leadership of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) at the Creating Change Conference in San Diego last November. Tyler, who produces women’s’ music festivals was involved with producing the rally for the 1979 and 1987 Lesbian and Gay marches. She also was responsible for some of the rally production for the 1993 March on Washington (MOW). NGLTF rejected Tyler’s proposal for an event in Washington for the spring of 2000 citing the need to focus on the already proposed 50 state marches. Tyler took her “Millennium March” scheme, to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), who are now the lead organizers for the event. Tyler’s plan ” which isn’t really a march ” is a large rally to be staged on the Washington Mall and produced by Robin Tyler, the Executive Director of the “Millennium March.” On February 3rd, HRC released a press statement that announced the “Millennium March” for the year 2000. But the news of a fourth national civil rights event for the queer community was not embraced as wholeheartedly as HRC’s executive director Elizabeth Birch and UFMCC’s moderator Troy Perry would have liked. Less than two weeks after the announcement, criticism of the proposal and the process had put the rally on hold. But several weeks later Birch and Perry announced that they were moving forward with the rally plans. Moving forward with the rally did not slow the growing call for grassroots input to the process of organizing a national civil rights event. In a letter signed by several organizers of the past three national marches, the lack of democracy and inclusion in the decision making process was sharply criticized. Signers of the letter included ’79 and ’87 MOW co-chair Steve Ault, ’87 MOW co-chair Kay Ostberg, ’87 and ’93 MOW organizer Mandy Carter, ’93 organizer Jason Hefner, and others. In the letter, the millennium rally organizers were criticized for ignoring the “the integrity of the process which was developed for the previous marches.” which mandated inclusion and representation from the many constituencies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) communities. In a separate letter published in several gay newspapers across the country, the executive directors of 5 major lesbian and gay organizations (G&L Alliance Against Defamation, G&L Victory Fund, LA Gay and Lesbian Center, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum) questioned the political strategy driving the millennium rally. The authors questioned the timing of the rally, suggesting an event might make more sense after the 2000 national elections. “In 2000, we have the opportunity to reshape the political face of America by electing both national and local candidates supportive of our civil rights. How are our financial resources best allocated? Perhaps our money needs to stay in the trenches where we can focus efforts on fighting local and state ballot initiatives and electing supportive candidates,” wrote the executive directors. Planet Q tried several times to reach HRC executive director Elizabeth Birch, but she did not return phone calls, even after her assistant said Planet Q was on her “call-back list.” In a March 20th Washington Blade article Birch is quoted as calling the 1993 MOW a “strategic political disaster.” She explained that the gay community’s political leverage is greater before an election. Nadine Smith, co-chair of the 1993 MOW and current executive director of the Human Rights Task Force of Florida told Planet Q that idea didn’t make any sense. “Candidates don’t have political capital,” Smith said, “elected officials do.” And electing gay friendly officials is the meaningful work according to Barney Frank. Frank is now working on building and strengthening a national network of gay and lesbian Democratic Clubs. He says the real opportunity for the year 2000 is the election of a democratic president that has the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), domestic partnership benefits, and protection for lesbians and gays in the military as high priorities. “We need to focus on what we can lock in “a democratic president that will not only support ENDA, but will work for it.” Frank says that for the first time gays and lesbians have the opportunity to play the influential role in the Democratic party that other constituencies like African Americans and environmentalist have. “Marches were effective in the 50’s and 60’s when African Americans were physically not allowed to vote,” said Frank. He explained that it was the violent behavior of white racists that made marches effective. “People’s blood mobilized the rest of the nation.” But, these are different times and the reasons to “march” have changed. With HRC’s goal of 1 million members by the year 2000, Birch and Perry move forward, calling criticism of their rally a “mud fight.” But, whether they like it not, the national debate on a millennium event is likely to continue.


Millenium March/Take 3

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 1998 11:32:45 PM From: HRTF FL Subj: Stop the March Madness To:

Open Letter to the Community

I’ve spent a great deal of time pondering the recent turn of events that now has us grappling with what to do about the proposed Millennium March.

Because I was as a national co-chair of the 1993 March, people have frequently asked for my opinion on this situation. I’ve taken time before responding publicly because I understand how casually critical some people can be and I have worked hard not to be one of those who would rather attack our own than focus on our enemies.

But now I’ve come to realize that there is much more at stake here than hammering out the logistics of a march. In fact, what is at stake here is the very heart of our movement.

Currently, a huge segment of grassroots community leaders and many national groups believes that this march is ill-timed, strategicall weak and coordinated by people out of touch with the important work happening outside of Washington D.C. Even U.S. Rep Barney Frank, the most politically prominent openly gay elected official in the country called the proposed march “a diversion of resources” and “not a good idea.” And yet, rather than set up a structure for meaningful dialogue to balance pros and cons and evaluate the strategy of such a march, edicts are delivered via press release.

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest group involved in advocating for the march has publicly apologized for the ham-fisted manner in which it has approached the issue and that is good. However, it is not enough to say “sorry” and continue to move forward on the same misguided course.

In the past, a critical mass of support has been established before committing the enormous resources that marches require. Now, it appears, instead of doing the work of building broad-based support for such an effort, the movement is being hijacked and strategy and coalition-building have been thrown out the window.

We must decide whether this is a movement for social and political change that will continue to build and grow and grapple with the tough issues. Or will we be a product to be packaged and shaped according to the dictates of the latest focus group. We can’t replace courage with marketing.

There is without a doubt tremendous power in marching on Washington. My first March in 1987 was a significant turning point in my life. But this debate is not about the value of marches. It is about whether we best serve this movement by going to Washington in 2000, a major election year, and how we decide when and if the time is right.

Three times in the past two decades we’ve come to Washington D.C. and the community was told go home and build. Well, we’ve built and built and built and back home is where it is all happening.

For over a decade the idea of a march on the 50 state capitals has been gaining steam and for the first time there exist enough organizations to make this a powerful event. To truly have a strong national presence that isn’t merely a paper tiger, building local and state networks that can gain ground at home and feed the national effort is vital.

Talk to young people who are coming out. While they are thrilled to see Ellen and Martina and Greg and other celebrities, what they really want to see are people in their own communities who have lives similar to the ones they imagine for themselves. A gay janitor or principal. An openly gay business person or reporter in town. They especially want to see couples whose relationships are lasting and loving right in their own back yard so they know that is possible without being a rock star, television actor or moving to some gay mecca.

People have called marches on D.C. glamourous and media sexy events. That is perhaps our biggest problem. Too many people are wondering how they can become the Martin Luther King, Jr. for our movement when we are in desperate need of a million Rosa Parks. We’re mistaking style for real substance. We used to be a movement willing to demand full equality but savvy enough to occasionally settle for half a loaf. Now half is all we ask for and we seem grateful enough that we were granted an audience. We’ve traded true activism for occasional access at the national level. I was part of the first gay delegation to meet in the Oval office with President Clinton. Sure, it was a historic moment but I still came home to a state where I can be fired, denied housing and barred from adopting because of my sexual orientation; where sodomy laws remain on the books and gay kids are still threatened, beat up and harassed in schools.

At the brink of the next millennium, people aren’t waiting to come to D.C. to come out. In fact, the people who are coming out in record numbers need local structures to provide real assistance not just symbolic gestures far away. If ENDA is to pass nationwide it will come because the constituents back home sway legislators. We must have strong local groups, that form strong statewide groups, that support a strong national effort. Now is a great time to establish that priority

As I think back on the 1993 March, I am proud of the diversity displayed throughout the organizing and the March itself. But I agree with those who criticize the presence of Lea Delaria and a few other performers who lost sight of the March as a political act. It is however, astounding that having launched that criticism, HRC would then turn to the person responsible for putting that part of the March stage together to produce the next one.

Criticisms of Robin Tyler as the producer of this proposed march cannot be dismissed as “dredging up old stuff”. HRC and the other sponsors must address directly Tyler’s reputation for racism, exclusion, and questionable business dealings. I have heard Tyler describe efforts at inclusion as the “tyranny of the grassroots”” I’ve witnessed her sabotage group decisions that she disagrees with. While publicly purporting to be supportive of the transgender and bisexual communities, I’ve watched her work behind the scenes to try and ensure their exclusion. With her installed at the helm, promises of a broad-based, inclusive decision-making process ring hollow.

Over the years, HRC has developed a reputation for pulling money out of local communities without giving back, for swooping into town, treating the local organizers like rubes and setting up parallel organizing structures without respect to the wishes, knowledge or insights of thepeople who must live with the fallout. Now HRC has an opportunity to demonstrate a new attitude that supports those who work outside the D.C. beltway.

I state all of this as someone who has supported HRC since long before they dropped the “F” from their name. I have attended fund raisers and urged people to open their check books. I received the HRC’s national award for activism and just recently traveled with a member of their field staff to help organize in South Florida. I will support every effort to empower and strengthen local and statewide organizations because I believe it is the recipe for national success.

I believe that good people work at HRC who are passionate about achieving the same things I care so deeply about. And while the organization provides an important and powerful voice in the national media, I think too many of its leaders are woefully out of touch with the pulse of this movement and the shifting political ground. I fear we are headed for a massive, strategically foolish, financially draining march simply because a handful of people like the alliteration in the phrase “Millennium March” and their eyes flash dollar signs whenever they say it.

I have yet to hear a cogent, persuasive argument for a national march in 2000. I’m open to it. If convinced no one would work harder to bring folks to it. But right now I believe our priority is back home. We need massive voter identification efforts so we can start winning elections for ourselves and our supporters. We need to lobby our elected officials in their home districts. We need to build our memberships and fundraise for the referendums we continue to face on the local and state level.

Those of us who believe that our movement should not be strong-armed have a responsibility to speak up instead of accepting this as a “done deal”. For HRC’s own good, for our community’s benefit, we need to make clear that this march will not go on as it is now conceived. HRC is the wealthiest and largest gay organization in the country. I hope that it is big enough to admit its mistake and begin to heal this divide. This is not the way for us to greet the next millennium.

Nadine Smith Human Rights Task Force of Florida


1998, 3 April

Subj: AEGIS Internet News 4/3/98 Date: 98-04-03 12:27:15 EST From: (Dallas Denny) To:

AEGIS Internet News Thursday, 3 April, 1998

AEGIS Internet News is a service of American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to


1. Letter to the Editor from Charles Moser 2. Letter to the Editor, Ambush! 3. RuPaul Article


From: Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 08:44:17 -0800 Subject: discrimination

Dear Dallas,

I receive your AEGIS Internet News and want to comment on the issue of inclusion of Transgendered and Bisexual people in various legislation and the HRC. First let me assure you, I absolutely agree that both SHOULD be included. The purpose of this response is to alert you that there is another sexual/gender minority that is often forgotten by the political activists. This community is as large or larger than the Gay, Bi, or TG communities. This community is subjected to imprisonment, job discrimination and loss of child custody. It is still pathologized by the psychiatric community. There is no data to support any of these actions, in fact the scientific data strongly supports “normalcy” of these individuals, except for their sexual behavior. I should add that this is another mechanism for the discrimination of Gay, Bi, and TG individuals that also take part in this behavior or identify with this community.

My purpose in bringing this forth is not to add a long list of sexual minorities that should be included in all legislation and lobbying activities. Rather to assert that it is the duty of all sexual/gender minorities that understand discrimination, not to let others suffer the same sanctions or fate. To that end, when discussing human rights and sexual/gender freedom, it is important to include other sexual/gender minorities and not allow their continued discrimation by the silence of the better organzied activists.

The community of which I speak, is so closeted that it has several names and has not been able to speak with a clear unified voice. I am speaking about the community, that calls itself B/D and S/M and D/s among other names. It is known in the vanilla press as sadomasochism. It is a shame that all sexual/gender minorities can not work together for freedom and inclusion.


Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D.


From: StressGone <> Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:38:07 EST Subject: Letter to editor re HRC hits the mark!

Someone else has it figured out!!! He is not tg. Dear Editor:

The official HRC responses to the boycott of its fund-raising dinner are sufficiently disturbing to provoke this reply.

1) Contrary to Deyette Danford’s claim, boycott supporters are not “naive.” On this issue the choice is between political expediency and ethical integrity. HRC argues broadly for gay and lesbian rights because they are “human rights”, but then legislatively defines these human rights narrowly so as to exclude transgenders. HRC says it does this to expedite passage of ENDA, and that those left behind will be taken care of later.

But if the argument is for human rights, there can be no ethical basis for including some now, others later. All human rights are of equal value, and cannot be rank-ordered into those we will defend today, and those that can be passed over until tomorrow. Either we are all human, now, deserving of all human rights, or we are not. Either HRC must change its name and argument – it is not championing human rights at all, but only the subset of gay and lesbian rights – or it must accept the full burden of its claim, and be there for all humans. Now.

Clearly, many people opt for political expediency, and do not mind advocating an internally inconsistent argument if it will pass ENDA. Others of us, however, are at least as equally committed to principle as we are to results., to means as to ends. We ask not only what are we getting, but what is the price. The price HRC is charging for ENDA is too high if it betrays our most fundamental rationale for the legislation in the first place. This may be idealistic, but certainly not “naive.”

2) Robert Ripley compares boycotters to the “religious political extremists” which have damaged the Republican Party. With one stroke he “marginalize[s] and trivialize[s]” (his words) the very serious point of the boycott by likening its participants to the kookiest and most irrational segment of society.

To thus alienate a significant segment of one’s base is at best tactless, but is not atypical of HRC member relations. The need for a boycott would probably not have arisen had HRC spent more time at least pretending to communicate with its members. I have myself written letters to HRC leadership (including Mr. Ripley) which have received no response. Many letters in Ambush have recounted similar tales of being ignored by HRC when trying to express concerns. The lesson most of us have learned is that HRC wants our money, not our opinions. If the boycott is a public relations embarrassment, HRC has no one to blame but itself.

3) Ripley expresses the opinion that it is effective to tell HRC that you disagree with its policy of discrimination, while not assigning a “cost” to that disagreement, such as withholding monetary contributions. Sadly, the way HRC itself operates shows that you “don’t get something for nothing.”

In its last big push to pass Elizabeth Birch’s top priority, ENDA, the anti-same-sex marriage bill (DOMA) was also up for consideration. HRC was very clear on its strategy: It would sacrifice same-sex marriage by allowing DOMA to pass virtually uncontested in hopes of shaming Congress into approving ENDA. We lost on both issues, but in the process accrued the unnecessary burden of HRC’s implicit endorsement of the myth that same-sex relationships are spurious and need not be taken seriously by society.

I personally consider HRC’s priorities skewed: most of us value our relationships more than our bank accounts. But the point here is that HRC functions in an environment where political stances are based not upon what is good or right, but upon what pressures can be exerted in which directions.

There is little indication that HRC is motivated to do the right thing for its own sake, and plenty of evidence that it will deliberately refrain from doing the right thing if it is seen as Politically expensive. HRC will rectify this lapse only if it decides that the expense within its own community for this discrimination exceeds the expense outside our community for including transgenders explicitly.

To claim to oppose HRC’s policy of discrimination without putting a price tag on that opposition is essentially to agree to allow HRC to continue to discriminate while trying to minimize personal complicity in that organizational policy. Who do they think is being fooled?

Sincerely, -James M. Donovan, Ph.D.


The article originally appeared in Etcetera, 27 March, 1998

RuPaul a Go-Go

by Jeffrey aL. Newman Andy Warhol once said that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame. If that’s true, then drag diva, TV and radio personality, author and singer RuPaul is on his ninth life. After 17 years in show business, the man who made “Supermodel” a number one dance tune, counseled Jan Brady on the silver screen, and made donning drag glamorous and chic, has far surpassed his 15 minutes and earned his place in the annals of pop culture.

The singer, performer, and author was honored this month as the 1998 recipient of the Gay and Lesbian American Music Awards’ Out Music Award, which is given to an openly gay artist who has done extraordinary work in the entertainment industry. “It actually means more to me to get the Out Music Award, than any other award, because it comes from my gay brothers and sisters,” says the 36- year-old performer and MAC Cosmetics spokesperson.

“In this world this is so masculine and male-based, where anything that goes against masculinity is put down, to be honored for what I’ve done is a real achievement, because it shows that people understand what it’s like and what it means to go against the grain.”

With a career based on gender bending, RuPaul, who currently hosts his own variety show on cable TV’s VH1, is proud to be honored for breaking the stereotype and not limiting himself to society’s designated male role. “Anyone who is pumping femininity or pre-fab femininity into society is a hero in my book,” he says.

RuPaul has also just released “RuPaul’s Go-Go Box Classics,” a dance compilation on Rhino Records paying homage to his days as a club dancer.

“When I moved back to Atlanta in the early ’80s, I was a go-go dancer [at Weekends] for two-and-a-half years. This album reflects that time in my life,” says the singer, who hand picked each of the tunes on the set, including his recent duet with Martha Wash. “The CD is for people to go and be a go-go dancer at home. The songs are all tried and true classics, and not the same ones you hear on every other CD, either.”

Born RuPaul Andre Charles in the early 1980s, international fame only found its way to the six-foot-seven diva after he released the drag anthem “Supermodel” in 1993. The single topped pop and dance charts around the world and made him a star. “The biggest difference between Andre and RuPaul is that off stage is that me off stage is much more Scorpio-istic and intense. I tend to be somewhat heavy and introverted,” the singer/performer says.

“RuPaul on stage is ongoing, outrageous, very accessible. It’s a balance for my Scorpioism. But RuPaul on stage is an act. Entertainment,” he adds. “I’m much more subdued. I’m a man living a human life, which is very different from being a super human on stage.

“When you are on-stage you pump up the volume.”

And pump up the volume Ru will do May 2, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he’ll be performing at the House of Blues during the South Carolina Pride celebration.

Since 1993, RuPaul has released three full-length CDs- “Supermodel of the World,” “Foxy Lady,” and last year’s successful Christmas opus, “Ho, Ho, Ho.” He scored four top 10 dance hits, including 1997’s number one smash, “It’s Raining Men- The Sequel,” a remake of the disco camp version with Martha Wash. He also hosted his own morning radio show on New York’s WKTU for two years. He recently resigned from the job to begin work on a syndicated radio show, which is expected to launch this summer by Chancellor Media, the same company that owns WKTU.

“Ten years ago I was in L.A., with holes in my shoes, wishing that ne day my name would be on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard,” he says. “Today my picture is up there. I feel like I have finally made it.”

In his 1995 autobiography, “Letting It All Hang Out,” the Ru- meister offered an eclectic look as his accession to fame. From his dysfunctional relationship with his mother (whom he affectionately calls Mean Mrs. Charles) and his father, to his drug use (LSD was a regular dietary supplement between ages 20 and 30) to his days as a go-go dancer, RuPaul literally let it all hang out.

The darkest time in his life came when he turned 28. “I had just moved to New York from Los Angeles and couldn’t get arrested to save my life. I had no money, no real place to stay. I was still doing the drugs. My sister had kicked me out of her house. It was a pretty dark time,” the singer recalls. “I thought about committing suicide, but I never came close to doing it. I knew that if I just hung tight and kept the faith, that I would get through it. I knew change was coming, and I just had to hold on.”

As for the future, RuPaul has no plans to slow down or retire the wig and pumps. (For those who can’t get enough, he’ll be forever immortalized in wax at the soon-to-open Madame Tussaud Wax Museum in New York.) With nearly a-half-a-dozen films, including Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn,” “The Brady Bunch,” and “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar,” RuPaul hopes to explore more of his thespian side. In June he will be seen in the made-for-television movie “An Unexpected Life,” with Stockard Channing on the USA Network.

RuPaul says, while being a celebrity has been great, he’s never worried about losing his 15-minutes of fame. “Even if I had been a one-hit wonder, I’d still be working, I’d still have ideas and aspirations, and I’d see my inspiration come to light,” he says. “Success is something that is between you and yourself. The most important thing is for you to love and adore yourself. That is true success. I’ve accomplished that. So, with or without the fame, I’ve been successful.”

The annual South Carolina Pride celebration takes place in Myrtle Beach, SC, April 30 through May 3. Of the numerous events planned, the House of Blues (803-272-3000) has booked RuPaul for a concert May 2, at 11:00 p.m.