ellen degeneres

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Happily Partnered – Gay Marriage

Published May 20, 2008 by Katy J Went

This month California has become only the second state in the US, after Massachusetts, to legalise same-sex marriage. California’s Supreme Court said the “right to form a family relationship” applied to all Californians regardless of sexuality. Two media couples will be the first to tie the knot. Ellen DeGeneres swiftly announced plans to marry her girlfriend and fellow actress Portia de Rossi.

Not content with the first ever interracial screen kiss between Kirk and Uhuru, now Star Trek‘s Mr Sulu, the veteran actor, George Takei, is to marry his partner of 20 years. Takei also appears in the current hit TV show Heroes.

Contrast this with the hypocritical stance of Iran which countenances sex change surgery but not gay partnerships. Just today, the British Home office ruled that a gay Iranian teenager who might have been executed if he had been sent home, could be granted asylum in the UK. Mehdi Kazemi, 19, came to London as a student in 2005, but subsequently discovered his boyfriend back in Iran had been arrested for being homosexual, charged with sodomy and hanged. Over the last 30 years, it has been estimated that some 4000+ gay people have been executed in Iran.

In the UK and elsewhere transsexual people formerly had to divorce before being allowed a sex change as otherwise their gender reassignment would have led to a same sex marriage. Perhaps now gay partnerships and trans marriages will be allowed to stay together.

Marriage is part legal contract and part social construct. In some churches and religions it is also a sacred covenant or even sacrament. Biblically, however, the earliest marriages were simpler affairs. Adam and Eve were thrown together, their children obliged to marry their siblings. Abraham took his maid as a second wife, Isaac married Rebecca by just entering his tent. King David and Solomon had multiple wives and concubines. God married, divorced and remarried, Israel many times in the language and writings of the biblical prophets.

At the end of the day all human interaction involves relating and hence relationships. Not all relationships are sexual, and not all those that are sexual involve penetration (sex can be defined by many means). Similarly, not all partnerships are exclusive in business, social or romantic contexts.

If marriage is essentially legal and social only then it should be available to all. If there are religious objections they should be dealt within their communities, it is no business of the state. If relationships and partnerships, married or otherwise, are about love rather than procreation then what has gender to do with it?

Transgender on TV

Published April 2, 2008 by Katy J Went

Transgender and transvestitism are becoming more ok on the appropriately abbreviated TV. In the last month alone I have caught the following shows.

BBC2 ran a programme on Transsexuals in Iran, watched by 1.7 million UK viewers, portraying how this Islamic country allows gender change but not homosexuality. More sex change operations are carried out there than anywhere apart from Thailand. Admittedly, for some it seemed the only way to have a legal gay relationship, and others have suggested that it is part of an Iranian program to stamp out homosexuality. Crossdressing is only allowed if you are scheduled for surgery, hence transvestitism is illegal but transsexuality ok. Triple standards.

C4’s Cutting Edge documentary Sex Change Soldier aired on 20 March 2008. Jan Hamilton, formerly Captain Ian Hamilton was a British paratrooper officer who served in the Gulf War and Afghanistan. S/he is the first British Army officer to complete gender reassignment but was dismissed from the army and cut off from her family. (Wiki)

Sexcetera ran episodes on shemale parties and visits to Fairplay Imaging‘s crossdressing services on Staten Island, NY.

Married US senator to be William Baldwin cannot end his affair and love for his transgender shemale lover in Dirty Sexy Money, the new hit US show.

Gorgeous lesbian and sexily named Portia de Rossi (she changed her name at just 15 after the famed character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice) from Sirens and Ally McBeal now appears in Arrested Development. In a currently aired episode she is passed off by her daughter Maeby as a pre-op transexual to her school chums as her mum is getting more attention than she is and trying to date one of the high school seniors.

In the same show Barry Zuckerkorn, the Bluth family attorney, played by the Fonz, Henry Winkler is portrayed as having ambiguous sexual preferences including transvestite hookers.

Back to Portia, who wouldn’t? She is now dating Ellen DeGeneres since coming out as lesbian in 2004/5. First she feared Hollywood’s reaction then she had problems convincing anyone she was gay!

Portia de Rossi and spookily similar seeming Joely Richardson, who plays Julia McNamara coupled up as a gay relationship on Nip/Tuck in 2007, an episode about to air in the UK. Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy says that was no accident “Since the show is always about the search for identity”.

Julia’s coming out to her ex-husband Sean and fellow surgeon Christian leads the men to offer vile anti-lesbian insults. Apparently,the scripts brought back some of de Rossi’s own early experiences. “It makes me remember all the people I had to come out to and how often I had to come out,” said de Rossi, “People think you just hold a press conference, but you don’t – you tell individuals. And you cross your fingers with every single person you care about, hoping that they’ll love you just the same.”