Wednesday, February 01, 2012

GENDER IDENTITY

Gender Identity Disorder
Gender -- being male or female -- is a basic element that helps make up an individual's personality and sense of self. Gender identity disorder is a condition in which a male or female feels a strong identification with the opposite sex.
A person with this disorder often experiences great discomfort regarding his or her actual anatomic gender. People with gender identity disorder may act and present themselves as members of the opposite sex and may express a desire to alter their bodies. The disorder affects an individual's self-image, and can impact the person's mannerisms, behavior, and dress. Individuals who are committed to altering their physical appearance through cosmetics, hormones and, in some cases, surgery are known as transsexuals.
Recommended Related to Sexual Health
Sex After Orgasm in Men
I am a 30-year-old male, very healthy, active, and fit. I've been married for five years and have a very healthy, satisfying sex life. There are times after having intercourse and reaching orgasm that my wife and I would like to have sex again, but it takes 30-40 minutes for me to achieve an erection again, and when I do it is not as firm as I would like it and I'm often unable to achieve orgasm. Is there anything we can do?
Read the Sex After Orgasm in Men article > >
What Causes Gender Identity Disorder?
The exact cause of gender identity disorder is not known, but several theories exist. These theories suggest that the disorder may be caused by genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities, hormone imbalances during fetal and childhood development, defects in normal human bonding and child rearing, or a combination of these factors.
How Common Is Gender Identity Disorder?
Gender identity disorder is a rare disorder that affects children and adults. It can be evident in early childhood. In fact, most people recognize that they have a gender identity problem before they reach adolescence. The disorder occurs more often in males than in females.
What Are the Symptoms of Gender Identity Disorder?
Children with gender identity disorder often display the following symptoms:
Expressed desire to be the opposite sex (including passing oneself off as the opposite sex and calling oneself by an opposite sex name).
Disgust with their own genitals (Boys may pretend not to have a penis. Girls may fear growing breasts and menstruating and may refuse to sit when urinating. They also may bind their breasts to make them less noticeable.)
Belief that they will grow up to become the opposite sex.
Rejection by their peer groups.
Dressing and behaving in a manner typical of the opposite sex (for example, a female wearing boy's underwear).
Withdrawal from social interaction and activity.
Feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety.
Adults with gender identity disorder often display the following symptoms:
Desire to live as a person of the opposite sex.
Desire to be rid of their own genitals.
Dressing and behaving in a manner typical of the opposite sex.
Withdrawal from social interaction and activity.
Feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety.
How Is Gender Identity Disorder Diagnosed?
Gender identity disorder typically is diagnosed by a trained mental health professional (psychiatrist or psychologist). A thorough medical history and psychological exam are performed to rule out other possible causes for the symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or psychosis. Gender identity disorder is diagnosed when the evaluation confirms the persistent desire to be the opposite sex.
How Is Gender Identity Disorder Treated?
Individual and family counseling usually is recommended to treat children with gender identity disorder. Counseling focuses on treating the associated problems of depression and anxiety and on improving self-esteem. Therapy also aims at helping the individual function as well as possible within his or her biological gender.
Counseling is recommended for adults, as is involvement in a support group. Some transsexual adults request hormone and surgical treatments to suppress their biological sex characteristics and to achieve those of the opposite sex. The surgical alteration of a person's sex is called gender reassignment surgery (sometimes referred to as a "sex change" operation). Because this surgery is major and irreversible, candidates for surgery must undergo an extensive evaluation and transition period.
What Are the Complications of Gender Identity Disorder?
If not addressed, the disorder can cause a poor self-image, social isolation, and emotional distress. Untreated, the disorder can also cause severe depression and anxiety, and can interfere with an individual's ability to function, leading to problems in school or work, or with developing relationships.

GAY PARENTS

What happens to kids raised by gay parents?
Research suggests that they turn out about the same, no better, no worse and no more likely to be gay than other kids
Sunday, June 10, 2007
By Mackenzie Carpenter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Rebecca Meiksin, 22, is white, middle-class, college-educated, with plans to earn a graduate degree in public health.
Annie O'Neill, Post-Gazette
Terrance McGeorge, a 20-year old African-American man whose father came out when he was six and left Terrance's mother shortly afterwards, was raised in the Hill District and never felt he wasn't loved. But as a black gay man, he has and continues to confront a number of obstacles, including an African-American community that seems to view him with suspicion and derision. He shares some of his experiences with Post-Gazette staff writer Mackenzie Carpenter.
Rebecca Meiksin, a 22-year-old graduate of Oberlin College, doesn't feel as if she's any different from anyone else just because she was raised by a lesbian mother in Squirrel Hill. She shares some of her thoughts with the Post-Gazette's Mackenzie Carpenter.
Terrance McGeorge, 20, is black, grew up in the Hill District, has a high school degree and works in an AmeriCorps service program at Beginning With Books.
Despite their differences, both of these young people have something in common with the new grandson of the vice president of the United States, who was born to Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, on May 23: They grew up in a family with a gay parent.
And both of them believe they have turned out just fine-- in no small way because of how they were raised.
"My dad has been my best friend since I was a kid," said Mr. McGeorge, a tall, friendly young man who wants to pursue a career in theater and fashion. "He always encouraged me and was there for me, for whatever it was, graduations, performances, he was there, immediately."
Mr. McGeorge, like his father, is gay. That might provoke an "Aha!" moment for those who warn that children of gays are more likely to adopt their parents' lifestyle, but he says his father had nothing to do with it, except, possibly, providing DNA.
"I've always known I was that way, since I was 3- or 4 years old, when I started getting crushes on other boys. My father didn't come out until I was 6," he said.
Ms. Meiksin is heterosexual.
"Um, I'm going to spend the month of June with my boyfriend," she says with a shy laugh. Asked if her lesbian mother encouraged her to follow in her footsteps, she rolls her eyes.
"I never felt any pressure to be gay," she said. "Although I did take my boyfriend to a gay pride parade once, which was a real trip for him."
Ms. Meiksin represents part of a first wave of babies intentionally conceived or adopted by gay parents in the 1980s as the gay pride movement took off. Mr. McGeorge, on the other hand, is part of a different group of children -- many from minority and low-income communities -- born of a heterosexual union that dissolved when one parent came out as gay.
So how are they doing, now that they've reached young adulthood?
Some critics have suggested these children -- along with Samuel David Cheney, Mary Cheney's infant son -- are doomed to a life of struggle compared with those raised in a more traditional, Ozzie-and-Harriet-model family, with a mother and a father.
But most studies have found that outcomes for children of gay and lesbian parents are no better -- and no worse -- than for other children, whether the measures involve peer group relationships, self-esteem, behavioral difficulties, academic achievement, or warmth and quality of family relationships.
No one knows precisely how many children in the United States have at least one parent who is lesbian or gay. Estimates range all the way from 1 million to 9 million.
For many of these young people, though, growing up in what census researchers call a "same-sex parent household" doesn't have to be a big deal -- except that, these days, it is.
"With all due respect to Cheney and her partner," Dr. James Dobson of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, wrote in Time magazine in December, "the majority of more than 30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father."
Some liberals chimed in too, notably Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, who cited "a growing body of research that tells us the child raised without his or her biological father is significantly more likely to live in poverty, do poorly in school, drop out altogether, become a teen parent, exhibit behavioral problems, smoke, drink, use drugs or wind up in jail."
The problem with the research cited by both Dr. Dobson and Mr. Pitts is that it compares children of heterosexual couples only with those of single parents and not with children of same-sex parent families, said Gary Gates, a senior research fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law and an expert on census data involving gay and lesbian households.
"There are virtually no studies that make a direct comparison with same-sex parents," he said, noting census data show one in four same-sex couples are raising a child under the age of 18.
A number of professional medical organizations -- including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association -- have issued statements claiming that a parent's sexual orientation is irrelevant to his or her ability to raise a child.
For the most part, the organizations are relying on a relatively small but conclusive body of research -- approximately 67 studies -- looking at children of gay parents and compiled by the American Psychological Association. In study after study, children in same-sex parent families turned out the same, for better or for worse, as children in heterosexual families.
Moreover, a 2001 meta-analysis of those studies found that the sexual orientation of a parent is irrelevant to the development of a child's mental health and social development and to the quality of a parent-child relationship.
More research needed
The problem with these studies, Dr. Gates says, is that most of the children are from "intentional" same-sex parent families, where the parents tend to be better educated, more affluent and more open about their sexual orientation, and who deliberately conceive or adopt children with the intention of raising them in a same-sex parent family.
"My research suggests that's not the typical gay parent household," Dr. Gates said.
In fact, only 6 percent of same-sex parents have an adopted child, and a sizable number appear to be living in some kind of step-family arrangement, in which parents "come out later and have children from an earlier heterosexual marriage or relationship," he said.
While white couples of relatively high income have been the focus of most studies, Census figures show that about 45 percent of same-sex parents are either black or Latino. And most of those same-sex couples with children have household incomes below that of their different-sex married counterparts.
Mr. Gates speculates that the omission of children from minority and low-income communities may be because the children have been pressured by their parents not to talk since "there may be higher levels of stigmatization in minority communities regarding homosexuality."
Mr. McGeorge says he knows about that firsthand. When his father first came out, he recalls, children in his Hill District neighborhood "cut me no slack whatsoever. They all knew about it. He looked different, acted different, and they made sure I knew it."
Despite that childhood trauma, and continued harassment when he himself came out as a teenager, Mr. McGeorge says he's proud of who he is -- a working adult with a partner and big plans for a career. He says his own robust self-esteem stems from a strong relationship with his father. (His father declined to be interviewed for this story.)
"He doesn't mind that I'm talking to you," he said, "but he's a more private person than I am."
One of the reasons for that is because of a high level of intolerance of homosexuality in the African-American community, Mr. McGeorge believes.
"Oh my God, I think maybe four or five times a week I'm getting called 'faggot,' " he said. "I can't go into a store to buy cigarettes without being told I'm a 'faggot' and I'm going to hell. I can't get on a bus without someone getting in my face. Sometimes the discrimination hurts, but I'm unapologetic for who I am. I won't apologize and I won't change for anyone. I've always just been myself."
On the other hand, Ms. Meiksin, born to a single lesbian mother in Squirrel Hill who moved in with a partner when Ms. Meiksin was 12, says she rarely felt any kind of discomfort growing up. (Her mother declined to be interviewed for this story.)
Ms. Meiksin says she is very comfortable talking about growing up with a lesbian mother -- and challenging anyone who believes it might not be appropriate or beneficial.
A graduate of Allderdice High School and Oberlin College, in Ohio, she says her life "always felt normal to me. A lot of my mom's friends are gay, and she's really politically active. She took me to gay pride marches and whatnot. I remember sitting out on the deck at New York New York [a Shadyside bar] eating french fries while she was at meetings."
Ms. Meiksin is probably part of the "intentional" same-sex parent family that Dr. Gates was talking about, but at least one prominent researcher takes issue with his contention that they may be overrepresented in studies.
"I've actually seen lots of diversity in the psychological literature, although what is right about what he said is that more of the research focuses on middle and upper classes," said Dr. Charlotte Patterson, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, editor of two books published by Oxford University Press on gay and lesbian identity and youth, as well as the author of a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Still, she and others noted that in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which surveyed 12,000 high school students across the socio-economic and ethnic spectrum -- outcomes for children of gay parents and heterosexual married parents were comparable.
Conservative skeptics
All of this is anathema, however, to Peter Spriggs of the Family Research Council, a conservative group that assailed Mary Cheney's pregnancy.
He also dismissed studies cited by the American Psychological Association, saying the researchers used flawed methodology and self-selected subjects inclined to favor homosexuality.
"I don't trust that group at all," said Mr. Spriggs.
The feeling appears to be mutual.
Judith Stacey, a sociology professor at New York University and co-author with Tim Biblarz of "(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?" in the American Sociological Review, says conservative groups distorted the findings of her 2001 study, which found some slight differences in children of lesbian mothers in terms of career choices and sexual experimentation. And while some of her ongoing work is finding "minor differences in sexuality and possibly in the range of comfort, but just barely, with non heterosexual behavior," a European study of daughters of lesbians has found a skew toward more heterosexual partners.
Conservative groups have cited Ms. Stacey's writings to bolster their contention that children in gay families don't turn out "the same" as children of heterosexuals, but Ms. Stacey said what few differences she detected had no impact on child well-being.
"These groups just cherry-pick the data to suit their needs," she said of the Family Research Council, which, she noted, performs no research that has been peer-reviewed by a credible, mainstream professional institution.
Still, the battle between political conservatives and university researchers rages on.
When Dr. Dobson, in his Time magazine essay criticizing Ms. Cheney, cited research from Kyle Pruett at Yale University to state that children need fathers, Dr. Pruett, author of "Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child," was furious, claiming Dr. Dobson had misrepresented his findings to suggest that children of gay parents would somehow suffer developmentally. After attempts to contact Dr. Dobson proved fruitless, he taped an interview and posted it on YouTube.com excoriating the conservative leader.
"Look, I said, if you're going to use my research to judge and implicate personal decisions people are making, you are going to hear from me about it because I consider this a destructive use of good science," Dr. Pruett said in an interview.
While "fathers make unique contributions to children, never do I say in my book that children of gay parents are at risk. Love binds parents and children together, not gender. There are plenty of boys and girls from these families with masculine and feminine role models who turn out just fine."
Mr. Spriggs remains unrepentant about his and Dr. Dobson's use of research to bolster their contention that children do best with a mother and a father.
"No scholar has the right to dictate how another person will use his data, just because he happens to disagree from a political point of view," he said.
Perhaps not, but from Ms. Meiksin's perspective, all the fuss about Ms. Cheney's baby will mean nothing if the child is loved by his family -- as she has been loved by hers.
"It doesn't really bother me that there's a focus on it because she's the daughter of this beloved conservative leader and is being accepted by him and his wife. Granted, I don't think he has a respectable policy on gay rights, but from what I have read, it seems that [Vice President Cheney] and his wife are totally accepting of their grandson as their family, and that's helpful."
First published on June 9, 2007 at 10:59 pm
Mackenzie Carpenter can be reached at mcarpenter@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1949.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07161/793042-51.stm#ixzz1lBubJPpi

GAY LIBERATION MOVEMENT

The Early Gay Liberation Movement

by Adam Ritscher / 2003

Many tend to think that the gay liberation movement did not begin in earnest until the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York – the now infamous event where when attacked by police, patrons of the gay & lesbian bar stood up and fought back. As important an event as Stonewall proved to be though, it was not the birth of the gay liberation movement. In fact authors John Lauritsen & David Thorstad, in their book “The Early Homosexual Rights Movement,” argue that Stonewall should be viewed rather at the 100th anniversary of the GLBT movement. Below is a synopsis of the forgotten chapter of glbt history that they present in their book.

While gays & lesbians have of course been engaging in politics and struggle since the beginning of our species. Lauritsen & Thorstad hold that the modern gay liberation movement began in the late 1860s and early 1870s.

During this time the government of the unifying German state began a debate on a new legal code. It represented an attempt to unify the new German nation under a single legal code, and though no such laws had been on the books previously, one of the proposed new laws was one that would make homosexual acts illegal.

This spurred Karoly Maria Kertbeny, a German-Hungarian writer, to write an open letter in 1869 pleading against the adoption of this new law. Karoly’s letter represented a bold act, and though the anti-gay law was subsequently passed into law in 1871, a torrent of letter writing and pro-gay literature distribution followed. The gay community was awakened and called to come out into public to defend itself. Out of this arose the first openly gay rights organization – the Scientific Humanitarian Committee.

The new organization sought to unite “Uranians” – as some gays then called themselves, and to organize a campaign seeking to overthrow the new anti-gay legislation. The committee began issuing an annual publication, “Yearbook for Intermediate Sexual Types,” and took upon itself three goals: 1) to abolish the anti-homosexual law, 2) enlighten public opinion on homosexuality, and 3) “interesting the homosexual himself in the struggle for his rights.”

The main vehicle the new organization used for all three of these goals was a petition drive, which was launched that same year. The petition, which called on the German government to repeal anti-gay legislation, quickly won the support of thousands. An aggressive campaign to send materials to each and every judge, politician and newspaper in Germany was also launched. And while the campaign had its ups and downs – such as an anti-gay backlash in 1907 following several sensational trials against homosexuals – the degree of support the Committee received was unprecedented in any other country.

Foremost amongst the allies of the new movement was the Social Democratic Party of Germany – a party that at the time included socialists of almost all stripes, from reformists to revolutionaries. Particularly outspoken on the question was August Bebel, one of the most respected leaders of the Social Democrats, who railed against the anti-gay law in the German parliament. In fact some have argued that the size and support of the Social Democratic Party accounted to a certain extent for the political space for the gay rights movement to grow in Germany.

The coming of World War I, and the ensuing restrictions on civil rights that took place in almost all belligerent nations, forced the Scientific Humanitarian Committee to largely cease operations. After the war though, and the crushing of an attempted socialist revolution in 1918, the Committee reorganized itself and formed a united front with other German gay & lesbian groups. It also launched the Institute for Sexual Sciences, which came to contain a huge library, and organized classes on sexuality. It’s motto became “per scientiam ad justitiam” (justice through science).

At around the same time the Committee decided to commit time and resources to taking the struggle for gay rights to countries outside of Germany. Magnus Hirschfeld for, the leader of the Committee, toured several European countries and helped to launch the World League for Sexual Reform.

The response they got was varied. In many countries the gay and lesbian movement was still very much underground. Anti-obscenity laws in the United States for example make even the mentioning of the word “homosexual” a potentially legally punishable offense (though such laws didn’t prevent some figures, such as Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman, from speaking out). And is some countries, such at Britain, where even though a branch of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee was established, and support was again provided by various socialist and working class organizations, state repression necessitated a much more modest movement that was able to be develop in Germany.

An interesting exception though came from the new workers’ state in Russia. Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution led by V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky, Russia became the 1st nation to legalize homosexuality. The new Bolshevik legal code contained within it the concept that if there was no victim, there was no crime. This unprecedented championing of sexual freedom gave hope to gays and lesbians the world over.

The new revolutionary state also become an active participant in the World League for Sexual Reform, and sought to educate the world as to why it held the views it did on homosexuality. It should be noted though that the position of the Bolsheviks did not constitute a full-blown endorsement of the ideas of gay liberation. In fact some Bolsheviks held less than enlightened views on homosexuality, but still held to the view that it was a scientific question, not a legal one. An inadequate position, but still head and shoulders above that of any other state of the times.

Unfortunately the 1930s would usher in a dark age for the gay & lesbian movement, both in Germany and in the USSR. Following the coming to power of Adolph Hitler in 1933 the Scientific Humanitarian Committee and similar groups were quickly smashed. Leading up to 1933 SHC meetings were frequently attacked by Nazi lynch mobs, and leaders were often attacked and beaten. The Institute for Sexual Science was seized, and its library destroyed in a massive book burning orgy. Following 1933, partisans of the movement who didn’t flee early on would soon find themselves in the new fascist concentration camps.

In the USSR, following the death of Lenin and the defeat of Leon Trotsky by Joseph Stalin and his bureaucratic clique, the Russian government’s attitude towards homosexuality began to change. These changes came about bit by bit. Initially Stalin’s government took the position that homosexuality need not be illegal, but should be actively discouraged. This position was even presented at one point at a World League for Sexual Reform conference. This took place at the same time that Stalin began taking away many of the gains that women had made in Russia since the revolution, such as legal and free abortions & contraceptives.


By the mid-1930s, Stalin had unleashed a full-fledged offensive against gays and lesbians. When the USSR constitution was written up for example, Stalin personally intervened to have a provision added that from now on any one caught and convicted of having committed a homosexual act would be sentenced to eight years of hard labor. The Stalinists’ homophobia was so deep that gay-baiting was initially one of their main attacks upon Hitler’s fascist movement. Official state propaganda (and even writings by the novelist Maxim Gorky) denounced the Nazi movement as being led by homosexuals and representing politics based on sexual deviancy. Using many of the same arguments Hitler used to persecute gays & lesbians in Germany, Stalin’s campaign for “proletarian morality” snuffed out sexual freedom in the USSR.

It would end up taking the international gay and lesbian movement decades to recover from the twin blows delivered by Hitler and Stalin – leaving it to the 1960s & 70s generation of activists to revive the movement.

Human Needs, Not Profits!

GANGS-- in the Northwest

Welcome to the Northwest Gangs website. This website was made to give
general information on street gang activity in the Pacific Northwest region of
the United States.My main objective is to focus on the youth and young
adult street gangs (e.g. Bloods, Crips, Folk Nation, People Nation, Nortenos and
Surenos). I have done little research on White Racist and Outlaw Motorcycle
Gangs, so therefore you will not find anything about those groups on my
website. (If you are seeking info on those groups though, please contact me and
I can point you in the right direction as to look).Modern day street
gangs have been active in the Northwest since the late 1970's and early 1980's.
Since then the Bloods, Crips, Nortenos and Surenos all made the move up here
from California. Also in the 1980's the Gangster Disciple Nation came to the
greater Seattle-Tacoma area from Chicago, Illinois. More recently the Vice
Lords and Latin Kings from Chicago's People Nation have been showing up in our
communities. On here you will find listings of several hundred
different gangs throughout the Northwest. Gangs in the Northwest are very
transient, and sometimes do not follow the strict rules one would find in LA or
Chicago. Several gangs here are multiracial, and have even joined forces with
other gangs, creating hybrid gangs using multiple gang symbols and colors. Some
of our gangs have connections to larger gang nations in the United States, some
are homegrown with only local connections. We have gangs as small as 3 or 4
members, to upwards of several hundred members.
~Brad~Email me at:
northwestgangs@gmail.com

FREEDOM AND ART

Gottfried Helnwein talks about the freedom and independence in art. A short clip from the movie "Helnwein - The Silence of Innocence".

Fossil Fuels Beer

Pint glasses full of Fossil Fuels Beer are raising
eyebrows around northern California. This could be due to the fact that the
unique ingredient for the line of Fossil Fuels beer is a yeast strain dating
back to the Eocene Epoch, which is about 45 million years ago. A team of
scientists, Dr. Raul Cano (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA) and Lewis “Chip”
Lambert (Fremont, CA), are partnering with brew master Joe Kelley (Kelley Bros.
Brewing, Manteca, CA) and attorney Scott Bonzell (Oakland, CA) to produce what
is surely one of the most interesting and unique beers of this or any time.
With the green light from beer critics, brewers and end consumers alike, the
team that comprises Fossil Fuels Brewing Co. is gearing up to share the product
with the public.
The history of the yeast literally dates back before
the dawn of man, to a time when the earth was warm, tropical and teeming with
life. Modern mammals that we see today were beginning to appear in what is
known as the Eocene epoch (from the Greek word eos meaning “dawn”). During this
time, a snapshot of biological life was trapped by tropical tree sap. Over the
course of millions of years, the sap hardened into amber, which preserved and
protected its contents. That is, until Dr. Cano, using amber obtained from
locations around the world (including Burma, Central and North America),
isolated and revived a bacterium, which had lain dormant in the gut of an
encased bee for approximately 40 million years (Science 268, pp. 1060-1064,
1995). During his research, Dr. Cano, periodically working with Mr. Lambert,
isolated a few yeast strains that resembled modern Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In
other words, they are similar to the yeast we use every day for brewing and
baking, except the newly discovered yeasts were much further back in the
evolutionary chain. Essentially, Dr. Cano isolated the long lost ancestors of
modern brewing yeast.
Fossil Fuels Brewing Co. hosted a launch party at
Kelly Brothers Brewing Co. in the summer of 2008 to commence the release of
their new beer brewed with its truly remarkable yeast to the public.

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