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Entries in transgender (7)

Friday
Jan112013

WATCH: Australian Woman Posts Time-Lapse Video of Gender Change

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Using more than 1,000 photos taken over a period of three years, a woman from Sydney, Australia, has documented her transformation from man to woman in a one-minute video clip.

Ashley Caccamo, 24, began her gender transformation from man to woman on Dec. 8, 2009.  As the images fly by in the video she posted to YouTube, her features change, as does her expression -- into an ever-so-slight smile.

“I have had FFS [facial feminization surgery] during the process,” Caccamo said on her YouTube page.  ”I started roughly around when I was 20–21 years of age.”

The video clip begins with a notice that it has a “T” rating -- approved for all transgendered people.  Caccamo set the clip to “Girl” by the Beatles.

Facial feminization surgery often includes procedures such as a brow lift, rhinoplasty and lip augmentation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul122012

Film Exposes Transgender Life in South Asia

ER Cinema(NEW YORK) -- First-time director Noman Robin accidentally walked into a shockingly violent scene that propelled him into the movie making spotlight in his native Bangladesh -- and around the world.

Robin was at a mall as a hijra or transgender female was thrown first out of the men's room and then the ladies' room. As customers began screaming, security guards dragged her to the street and began beating her.

"What are you doing here?" shouted the guards. "I'm human! I need to go to the toilet," she replied.

Today, Robin's film, Common Gender, exposes the shunned hijra -- transvestites, transgender and intersex -- who cling together in slums, rejected by their families and exploited by society that treats them as sub-human.

"The hijra was beaten in front of hundreds of people," said Robin. "She was just standing there, saying, 'What is my fault?' ... I am thinking, 'Oh my god, it's my duty to show this community."

The film has been a surprise hit in conservative and mostly Muslim Bangladesh. Robin sold it as a love story to draw people to the theaters to hear his message.

Sushmita, a hijra and outcast, falls in love with Sanjay, a Hindu boy. His parents refuse to accept his girlfriend and Sushmita kills herself.

Although she is a fictional character, Sushmita's story has struck a realistic chord, making cultural waves not only in Robin's native Bangladesh, but in India and soon, the United States.

It portrays the cruelty and discrimination that plagues those who are transvestite, intersex or transgender. The film's tag line is, "A man who exists between a man and a woman is also a human ... he is the best human!"

Filmed in the Bengali language and with no famous stars, it opened two weeks ago in just six local theaters, but because of its popularity will now go into general release. Mahi B. Choudhury, a former member of parliament and chair of ER Cinema, is producer of the film. This week he is on his way to New York to promote the film with American producers.

Pakistan's supreme court has issued a series of judgments in favor of hijras, according to the Guardian newspaper. And last October more than 1,000 hijras participated in government-sponsored demonstration to raise awareness of their rights.

In fact, film director Robin has said that some of the profits from Common Gender" will go to help the hijra in Bangladesh. He hopes to buy land in the outskirts of Dhaka to build a graveyard for those who are transgender.

Bangladesh theaters continue to show Common Gender to packed audiences. Robin said filmgoers have reacted positively, hugging hijras afterward, telling them how sorry they are that they have been treated so badly.

"They came out of the movie theaters crying, saying, 'What can we do?' They are human. We should love them," he said.

"Now the shopkeepers are calling them to give them money -- 'Take this and come to my home, take my dress,'" said Robin. "Before, they were the people who begged for money and food. Now the shopkeepers call the: 'Tell me your story. Who is your mother or father?'"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun142012

Transgender Pageant Winner Murdered in South Africa

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KURUMAN, South Africa) -- Gay activists in South Africa say the gruesome murder of a transgender pageant winner known as “ThaBling” has created a “fear crisis” in the local gay community.

Thapelo Makhutle, 24, was found dead in his apartment last week in the town of Kuruman.  His body was severely mutilated, according to a friend and director of the LEGBO Northern Cape gay rights advocacy group where Makhutle volunteered.

“We and his family are just devastated,” said LEGBO Director Shaine Griqua.  “This has a very negative impact on the gay community here.  Many live in fear and are afraid for their security. Now it is worse. We are trying to counsel them through this fear crisis.”

Griqua said another friend saw two men arguing with Makhutle about his sexuality the night he was killed.  He said the attackers broke down the door to Makhutle’s room in order to kill him, nearly severed his head, and cut off his genitals.  Northern Cape police told the South African Press Association they are still looking for suspects.

Makhutle was recently crowned Miss Gay Kuruman and participated in the Kimberley Out in Africa Gay and Lesbian Festival.

“He was a friend you could always count on to cheer you up and help you get through any difficult time,” said Griqua.  “He was openly gay. He was proud of who he was and believed that freedom in South Africa was attainable.”

South Africa is the only country in Africa with constitutional protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, yet gays and lesbians in rural areas and black townships are frequently victims of discrimination and violence.

LEGBO members are calling on police to do a thorough investigation of Makhutle’s death, which they believe is a hate crime.  They are organizing a march to call for justice in the case before a memorial service on Friday afternoon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr062012

Transgender Beauty Queen: ‘I Always Knew … I Was in the Wrong Body’

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) -- Jenna Talackova, the transgender woman who was temporarily disqualified from a Canadian beauty pageant, said that even as a child she knew she was “in the wrong body.”

“As soon as I was conscious, I just always knew that I was not what they were saying.  It wasn’t right,” Talackova told ABC News’ Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview.  “I thought that I was in the wrong body.”

Talackova went from local beauty queen to a headline-grabbing transgender rights activist in the span of just a few weeks after the Ms. Universe Canada pageant informed her that she would be disqualified from the competition because she was not a “naturally born female.”

Representatives for Donald Trump, whose company owns the Ms. Universe pageants, said earlier this week that he would reverse the decision to disqualify Talackova and that she would be allowed to compete in the pageant.

Shortly thereafter, Talackova’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, criticized Trump for having the “natural born female” rule at all.

The Trump organization later released a statement saying that pageant rules had “been modernized to ensure this type of issue does not occur again.”

Talackova, who was born with the name Walter Talackova, had gender reassignment surgery at the age of 19 and also had hormone treatments.  She called the surgery “intense” but ultimately “rewarding.”

“It was terribly painful, but seeing something on your body for that long and not being able to look at myself in the mirror because I couldn’t stand seeing the other part, it was actually very rewarding, too,” she said.

Talackova said she’s now committed to helping others.

“I feel like the universe, the creator just put me in this position as an advocate,” she said.  “And now it’s like this, and I’ll take that position.   If it’s helping anybody else, my story and my actions, then I feel great about it.”

Watch Barbara Walters’ exclusive interview with Talackova and her mother, Myrtle Perry, Friday night on 20/20 at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr022012

Trump Won’t Bar Transsexual Beauty Queen from Shot at Miss Universe Canada Title

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Jenna Talackova, the Canadian beauty queen, won’t have to fight Donald Trump for a chance to compete for the Miss Universe Canada title after all, even though she was born a he.

Talackova is everything you think of when you hear the words “beauty queen.” With her bright smile, flowing blonde hair and viciously long legs, you can’t deny she’s stunning.

But Talackova, 23, was first disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition because she was born a male, according to CTV. Talackova was originally selected as one of 65 finalists for the Donald Trump-owned competition, and her profile and photos were pulled from the Miss Universe Canada website.

But the Trump organization has reversed its decision, announcing Monday that it won’t attempt to keep Talackova out of the contest.

“The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions,” Michael D. Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Donald Trump, said in an email.

The Miss Universe Canada website states that to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. If basic requirements are met, they are asked to fill out a longer application form. The form does not mention any rules against sexual reassignment surgery.

Talackova and her attorney, Gloria Allred, had scheduled a news conference for Tuesday in Los Angeles to discuss “why Jenna should be permitted to compete and what action [Allred] plans to take in the United States on behalf of Ms. Talackova if the Miss Universe Pageant refuses to change its discriminatory rule.”

The blonde beauty has not tried to hide her past. In a 2010 YouTube video for Miss International Queen, a transgender/transsexual competition in which Talackova was a contestant, she states that she began hormone therapy at age 14. At 19, she had sexual reassignment surgery.

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A petition was started on Change.org asking Miss Universe Canada to “reverse the unfair disqualification of Jenna Talackova.” The petition was signed by tens of thousands of people.

Other fans have flocked to Facebook and Twitter to express their feelings over Talackova’s disqualification.

“Disgraceful. This is flat-out discrimination,” one fan commented on the Miss Universe Canada Facebook page.

“@JennaTalackova should NOT have been disqualified from @MissUniverse! Beautiful is beautiful. Down with discrimination,” one fan tweeted.

But reactions to Talackova’s story have been mixed.

“If she never stated on her application such detail, I support this decision,” one Facebook user posted to the Miss Universe Canada page.

This isn’t the first time a transgender woman has been disqualified from a competition. In 1976, Renèe Richards, a professional American tennis player who had sexual reassignment surgery to make her a woman, was denied entry into the U.S. Open by the United States Tennis Association unless she agreed to chromosomal testing. The USTA cited an unprecedented, women-born-women policy. Richards took her case to the New York Supreme Court, which ruled in her favor in 1977, allowing her to play as a woman.

The crown for Miss Universe Canada will be awarded May 19 in Toronto.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar262012

Miss Universe Disqualifies Transgender Contestant

CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Jenna Talackova, 23, has been disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition because she was born a male, according to CTV.

Talackova was originally selected as one of 65 finalists for the Donald Trump-owned competition. Her profile and photos have since been pulled from the Miss Universe Canada website.

“Jenna Talackova from Vancouver, British Columbia will not compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition because she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form,” Miss Universe Canada said in a statement Friday. “We do however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best.”

The Miss Universe Canada website states that to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. If basic requirements are met, they are asked to fill out a longer application form. The form does not mention any rules against sexual reassignment surgery. A representative for the Miss Universe Canada did not respond to request for comment.

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Denis Davila, the national director of Miss Universe Canada, told CTV, “she was dishonest.” Talackova was disqualified after she admitted her birth gender last week.

“We have to have the facts straight. There is no discrimination here at all,” Davila said. “You can look at it the way she wants to look at it, but we all have to follow the same rules.”

Talackova could not be reached by ABC News for comment.

The blonde beauty has not tried to hide her past. In a 2010 YouTube video for Miss International Queen, a transgender/transsexual competition in which Talackova was a contestant, she states that she began hormone therapy at age 14. At 19, she had sexual reassignment surgery.

A petition has been started on Change.org asking Miss Universe Canada to “reverse the unfair disqualification of Jenna Talackova.” The petition currently has more than 20,000 signatures.

The crown for Miss Universe Canada will be awarded May 19 in Toronto.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep152011

'X' Now a Gender Option on Australian Passports

Medioimages/Photodisc(CANBERRA, Australia) -- The Australian government is taking action to minimize discrimination against intersex or transgender people.

The government announced on Thursday that Australian passports will now offer three gender options: male, female, and indeterminate. This measure will enable intersex individuals, those who are biologically not entirely male or female, to categorize their gender as “X” on passports.

Transgender individuals, however, cannot select “X,” and will have to pick between male and female. Their choice must also agree with a doctor’s statement.

In the past, Australian citizens had only two choices: “M” or “F” and were only able to make changes on their documentation following a sex change surgery. Now birth certificates or citizen certificates will not need to be altered in order to have a new passport issued.

The United States also made a similar change in 2010 that eliminated the surgery requisite for transgender people.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio