And the winner is…

17 05 2009

The winner of the 2009 Miss Tiffany Universe is Sorawee Nattee.  She is the recipient of the grand prizes and the cash from the world’s “most prestigious transgender beauty pageant”.

Sorawee Nattee (center), winner of the Miss Tifffany pageant, along with runners up Writtorn Narapaipimol (left) and Napatsawan Cholakorn (right) in Pattaya

Sorawee Nattee (center), winner of the Miss Tifffany pageant, along with runners up Writtorn Narapaipimol (left) and Napatsawan Cholakorn (right) in Pattaya

Nattee also received 20,000 baht for winning the Best Costume category.

Sorawee Nattee

Later on this year at the Tiffany’s Cabaret Theater in Pattaya, she will be competing in the Miss International Queen pageant.  Here’s a big congrats to her!

Motherhood should be safe for all women

17 05 2009

Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed published in yesterday’s New York Times about the plight of mothers in Sierra Leone, West Africa.  Around the globe, too many women die of childbirth when they shouldn’t have to because these deaths are preventable.  Kristof writes:

According to the World Health Organization, Sierra Leone has the highest maternal mortality in the world, and in several African countries, 1 woman in 10 ends up dying in childbirth. It’s pretty clear that if men were dying at these rates, the United Nations Security Council would be holding urgent consultations, and a country such as this would appoint a minister of paternal mortality. Yet half-a-million women die annually from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth without attracting much interest because the victims are typically among the most voiceless people in the world: impoverished, rural, uneducated and female.

He later builds on this:

I’ve seen women dying like this in many countries — on the first win-a-trip journey in 2006, a student and I watched a mother of three dying in front of us in Cameroon — and it’s not only shattering but also infuriating. It’s no mystery how to save the lives of pregnant women; what’s lacking is the will and resources.

What is being done about this?  Well, President Obama has restored funding to the United Nations Population Fund which renovates hospital wards, provides free medication and works to ensure that poor women in labor don’t die because they can’t afford to pay $100 for a Caesarian section.  Organizations that are working on this issue include:

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood


Averting Maternal Death and Disability

There has also been a bill introduced earlier in March, the Newborn, Child, and Mother Survival Act, which would champion the United States as a leader in the global community in improving the health and lives of newborn babies, children and mothers.  Unfortunately this bill has not been given prompt or due attention.

Five-year anniversary of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts

17 05 2009

Today is the five-year anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, the first US state to grant marriage equality to same-sex couples.  Here is some of the original footage taken by Human Rights Campaign on May 17, 2004 at the midnight celebration of the historic day.

Check out HRC “Reflections of Mass. Marriage Anniversary” for more original video footage from Faneuil Hall from the HRC archives.

Protest in San Francisco May 18th for APA Reform of Gender Disorders

17 05 2009

via Bird of Paradox

For those of you who happen to be on the West coast:

There is a protest tomorrow, May 18th in San Francisco, California to demand that the American Psychological Association reform “Gender Identity Disorder” and related diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fifth Edition.  From the site:

Protesters call for Reform of Gender Disorders at American Psychiatric Association Convention

What: San Francisco, California (May 15, 2009) A coalition of transgender community advocates and mental health providers will gather in San Francisco May 18 to protest how the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is handling revisions to “gender identity disorder” and related diagnoses in their fifth edition of the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM-V).

Where: At the corner of 4th Street  and Howard Street –Outside the Moscone Center

When: Protest starts at 6:00pm, Monday May 18th

Who: Community leaders scheduled to speak include Julia Serano, PhD; Madeline Deutsch, MD; Masen Davis, MSW; Kelley Winters, PhD; Danielle Askini, MSW; Mara Keisling; Andrea James, MA; Lore Dickey, PhD; Michele Angello, PhD; and Rebecca Allison, MD.

Great Visual Opportunities, as key leaders and advocates for Transgender civil rights will be present, protesters with signs, educational materials and a large crowd. is a coalition of gender-variant and transgender people, medical and therapeutic professionals, and allies who have grave concerns about the current diagnostic classification and lack of disclosure by the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group about plans for the DSM-V. The protest is at 6pm May 18th at the Moscone Center at Howard & 4th street, San Francisco, California.

For more info, visit

Also, see “Why feminists should be concerned with the impending revision of the DSM” on Feministing.

In related news, France will no longer classify transsexuality as a mental illness.