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News: Pajamas, Salman Rushdie, Ipod, Zac Efron, Meat Eating

road.jpg Gay marriage ban unanimously approved in Cayman Islands.

Pajamasroad.jpg NY fashion week menswear trend: pajamas?

road.jpg Piece of what? Britney Spears cleans up at VMAs.

road.jpg All of Daniel Radcliffe on stage in Equus (nsfw): the smuggled phone-cam shots.

road.jpg Russian prosecutors want to ban 'extremist' cartoon South Park from playing in the country: "South Park, a cartoon aimed at adults and featuring a group of nine-year olds in a Colorado ski town, has courted controversy from its 1997 debut, parodying celebrities, politicians, religion, gay marriage and Saddam Hussein. Basmanny regional prosecutors office spokeswoman Valentina Titova said investigators filed a motion after deciding an episode broadcast on Moscow television station 2x2 in January 'bore signs of extremist activity.'"

road.jpg UN suggests "one meat-free day a week" to help combat global warming: "The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation has estimated that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. These are generated during the production of animal feeds, for example, while ruminants, particularly cows, emit methane, which is 23 times more effective as a global warming agent than carbon dioxide. The agency has also warned that meat consumption is set to double by the middle of the century."

Transsexualroad.jpg Salman Rushdie reports on the transsexuals of India: "'The MSM sector is getting so strong,' Laxmi says. 'But we are not simply MSMs. We are not even simply TGs [transgendered persons]. We are ... hijras. I am carrying a whole culture with me. It's that collective aspect, the hijra culture, that is important. We cannot sacrifice it. We are different.' The hijras of Bombay and the rest of India are held to be the community most at risk of HIV infection. There have been improvements in organisation, outreach, education and self-help, but for many hijras, their lives continue to be characterised by mockery, humiliation, stigmatisation, fear and danger. Laxmi of Thane and the 'peer educators' of Malwani may be success stories, hijras who have taken charge of their destinies and are trying to help their fellows, but many hijras are mired in poverty and sickness."

road.jpg Focus on the Family's James Dobson is mum after McCain campaign aide tells Log Cabin Republicans: “Your organization is an important one in the fabric of our party.”

Ipodroad.jpg Apple admits British man invented iPod, and uses him to win a patent lawsuit.

road.jpg Zac Efron to make West End debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?

road.jpg POLL: Romania remains extremely homophobic. "According to the poll, more than half of the Romanians do not want to have HIV infected persons within their group of friends. Moreover, close to 40 per cent of them would not agree with having HIV infected persons among their neighbours. 39 per cent of them prefer not to work alongside persons infected with HIV or diagnosed with AIDS. The Romanians have the same attitude when it comes to sexual minorities. Most of Romanians discriminate against them in public places, on employment or in the education system, and close to 70 per cent of Romanians perceive homosexuality as something bad. More than a third of the respondents consider that homosexual relationships should be sanctioned. More than half of the respondents claim that homosexuality should be punished by restricting certain rights and almost a third consider that homosexuals should be jailed. More than 60 per cent of Romanians think that homosexuals should not be able to marry or adopt children."

road.jpg VMA's: Miley Cyrus almost gave Katy Perry what she wanted.

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  1. The Caveman Islands suck anyway so no need for them to get any of the gay tourist dollars$$$$. Fuck them. Sad to hear Romania is so homophobic considering how many hot porn stars have cum out of that tiny backwards country.
    One Meat-Free Day a week might also combat global obesity and better health for the world. The UN might actually do some good in the world yet?
    If Russia is that threatened by a cartoon's extremist activity then just imagine if the cartoon characters of McPain and Palin were to win? It's too scary to even imagine. :)

    Posted by: SFshawn | Sep 8, 2008 4:42:06 PM

  2. Video Music Awards ??
    when is the last time you saw a music video channel actually play a music video ???
    music videos are dead... much like CD's.

    Posted by: A.J. | Sep 8, 2008 4:49:04 PM

  3. Surprised that there is no mention of our girl Rachel Maddow's big premiere after Countdown. Go Rachel!

    Posted by: Brad | Sep 8, 2008 5:05:04 PM

  4. YAY for all hijras, fa'afafines, rae raes, mahus, baylans, bayoguins, berdache, two-spirits, baklas, nanshokus, etc. Notice a pattern here in native, indigenous global cultures? The ubiquitous acceptance of non-traditional gender roles.

    Posted by: Bading | Sep 8, 2008 6:32:32 PM

  5. Um, the hijras aren't exactly "accepted." They are an acknowledged part of the social system, but so are untouchables -- their status is very, very low. Their social and economic marginality is one of the things that makes them vulnerable to HIV.

    Also, any boys who are sexually non-typical are likely to be pressured into the narrow social role of the hijra -- which includes undergoing castration!

    For a fuller view of the hijras' place in Indian society, read The Invisibles by Zia Jaffrey.

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Sep 8, 2008 7:50:16 PM

  6. Here's a link to The Invisibles:

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Sep 8, 2008 7:52:14 PM

  7. I suspect the Invisibles became such only as 'foreign' mores took root in Indian culture. In ancient Vedic literatue such as The Mahabharata and The Kama Sutra, physical mutilation (including castration) was greatly discouraged and was considered to be 'in the mode of darkness'. The currently illegal practice of hijra castration is now commonly attributed to subsequent centuries of Islamic influence.

    Posted by: Bading | Sep 8, 2008 9:30:20 PM

  8. "Vedic society was all encompassing, and each individual was seen as an integral part of the greater whole. Thus all classes of men were accommodated and engaged according to their nature. Third-gender citizens were neither persecuted nor denied basic rights. They were allowed to keep their own societies or town quarters, live together within marriage and engage in all means of livelihood. Gay men could either blend into society as ordinary males or they could dress and behave as females, living as transvestites. They are especially mentioned as being expert in dancing, singing and acting, as barbers or hairstylists, masseurs, and house servants. They were often used within the female sections of royal palaces and also engaged in various types of prostitution. Transvestites were invited to attend all birth, marriage, and religious ceremonies as their presence was a symbol of good luck and considered to be auspicious. This tradition still continues in India even today. Lesbians were known as svairini or independent women and were permitted to earn their own livelihood. They were not expected to accept a husband. Citizens of the third sex represented only a very small portion of the overall population, which most estimates place at approximately 5 percent. They were not perceived to be a threat in any way and were considered to be aloof from the ordinary attachments of procreation and family life. In this way they were awarded their own particular status and welcomed as a part of civilized Vedic society."

    from 'Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex' by Amara Das Wilhelm

    Posted by: Bading | Sep 8, 2008 9:45:28 PM

  9. You're right that India's present law criminalizing homosexuality -- section 377 -- was originally passed by the colonial English government.

    Hopefully the ancient pre-European (and pre-Islamic) Vedic traditions you refer to will be of some help in the present effort to abolish this law.

    However, in present-day India the most fervent Hindus in public life (the BJP) are not, on the whole, great supporters of sexual freedom.

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Sep 9, 2008 12:04:11 AM

  10. No, you are right, Distingue, what is important is how hijras are being treated now. Here's a site that advocates for them.

    Posted by: Bading | Sep 9, 2008 1:26:14 PM

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