Israel protects GLBTs, even Palestinian GLBTs
I am writing in response to the “Who’s Hot/Who’s Not” box in the September 2010 issue. Specifically, when discussing “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid”, the author writes; “…neither side in this complex, long-standing dispute are especially hospitable to the LGBT population.” This assertion is both incorrect and deliberately misleading. GLBT Israelis (both Jewish and Muslim) are accorded protection from hate crimes, can adopt children, can enter into civil partnerships recognized by the government and can serve openly in the military. In other words, Israel offers the GLBT community more rights than the United States does – let alone any other Middle Eastern country. On the other hand, international human rights groups have reported that gay and lesbian Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are burned alive at the stake or stoned to death. Their only recourse is to flee to Israel, which recognizes GLBT Palestinians as a protected group. Platitudes are nice, but are rarely accurate.
– Corey Shefman, Winnipeg
Festival continues to reject trans-women
Barbara Abramchuk’s article about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (July/August Outwords), now in its 35th year, fails to mention a major part of its history: the ongoing struggle of trans-women to be included in the womyn-only “part utopia, part paradise.” In 1991, the festival began enforcing a policy of allowing only “womyn-born womyn” to attend when they ejected Nancy Burkholder after she came out as a trans-woman. Since then, trans-women have been organizing and demanding to be included. Camp Trans is an annual gathering of transgender people and their allies that protests the exclusion of trans-women from the festival. Their website, www.camp-trans.org, provides a history of this discussion and struggle. This year Camp Trans ran from Aug. 1-8.
– Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Winnpeg
We’ll be quoting Melvin for years
Charles Melvin’s column, Chocolate Cherry Gender (September 2010) is brilliant. His take on the gender gap is awakening. The “bimbo/himbo limbo” closing line will be quoted for years. Great insight!
Tony Barry, Winnipeg