TV & Radio
Gov't-backed gay forum makes cautious debut
Updated: 2006-08-15 06:29
Beijing's first government-backed Internet forum for homosexuals has slowly begun to take off, despite initial reluctance by authorities to give it too much publicity.
Fu Qingyuan, an official with the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Chaoyang District, said the centre created the forum two months ago but did not publicize it until Sunday because they did not want to cause unnecessary public debate.
The forum was created to promote HIV/AIDS prevention awareness among China's homosexuals and offer professional assistance to the group, Fu said.
It has two chatrooms: one for same-sex lovers to share their emotions and experiences, and the other for health advisors to offer counselling and advice on HIV/AIDS.
However, Fu admitted the forum had failed to attract postings on the notice board of www.cystd.com, the centre's official website to spread HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge, due to lack of publicity.
Fu said the centre was considering launching a moderate media campaign to publicize the forum.
"We'll remain cautious because this is the first government-backed forum in Beijing to openly discuss same-sex love and it's a highly sensitive issue in China."
But after a report in yesterday's Beijing Times newspaper, the number of postings began to soar.
"I am so exited to find this website today through media reports," wrote an Internet user who gave his name as "Sina Chen." "I hope the government will pay more attention to same-sex lovers who are living at the edge of society."
Another Internet user named "Call for Love" said on the forum: "We are as good, faithful, law-abiding and love our parents as much as anyone else. Please do not discriminate against us, or treat us only as AIDS patients."
Alongside the forum, the website also publishes domestic and international developments on AIDS diagnosis and treatment.
"Homosexuality is an inevitable social issue we have to face," said Shi Wei, director of the centre.
"Homosexuals are more vulnerable to AIDS and other venereal diseases and therefore need extra care and help," Shi said.
［世界名作紀行］アンネの日記 松本侑子（寄稿） (読売・西部版 2006/08/09夕刊)
［世界名作紀行］アンネの日記 続 松本侑子（寄稿） (読売・西部版 2006/08/16夕刊)
Democrat Dana Beyer fights to be Maryland's first transgender delegate
Interview by Will O'Bryan
Photography by Todd Franson
Published on 08/10/2006
To say that Dr. Dana Beyer has had a rich life is the definition of understatement. In her 54 years, she's campaigned for Robert Kennedy, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell, and earned a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She has offered her medical services in Kenya, the Himalayan foothills, and to low-income patients in Hattiesburg, Miss. In the 1990s she went back to school to earn her master's degree in organic chemistry.
Today, retired from her medical practice, Beyer has thrown her hat into the political arena, running to be one of District 18's three delegates to the Maryland General Assembly. Her experience is complemented nicely by her two picture-perfect sons. Beyer's two ex-wives, however, may seem something of an anomaly.
Beyer, should she win a seat in Annapolis, would enter a very exclusive club as one of only a handful of openly transgender people who have been elected to public office. While even a Beyer candidacy, let alone a win, can't help but raise transgender awareness, Beyer has a platform that goes far beyond gender issues. She's a vocal proponent of universal health care, the environment, political reform, and a host of other issues that make her the sort of left-of-center progressive popular in much of this suburban district that includes Chevy Chase. Accordingly, the race here is historically decided not during the general election in November, but during the Democratic primary Sept. 12.
Beyer spoke with Metro Weekly in her home with her golden lab, Kyra, never far away. And while Kyra is eager to cozy up to any visitor who will offer a pat on her head, Beyer is quite a bit less needy. She makes it clear she hasn't taken up the race to Annapolis to be a lapdog in the capital.
''I'm not going there to be a wallflower,'' she insists. ''And I'm not intimated by Republicans or conservatism or anything like that. And I wouldn't be doing this if I were. It wouldn't be worth the effort.''
METRO WEEKLY: You've said that you identified as female at an early age.
DANA BEYER: I was 11 years old when I first mentioned it to my parents. That's when it became a serious issue. My earliest memories are that I was always a girl and there was something wrong about people calling me a boy, but those memories really only go back to about age 6. I remember thinking, ''Gee, I would really like to look like the 'Breck girl' on the TV commercials.''
MW: What about your relationships with other children?
BEYER: I was more comfortable with the girls. I hung more with the girls, but I didn't exclusively do so. I tried to engage in sports -- I was not very competent at it. I was much more bookish, as the phrase used to go. I grew up in a Jewish environment. My parents were Conservative but they sent me to a yeshiva, which is an Orthodox Jewish day school, so I was with a bunch of guys who weren't quite athletic either. So I wasn't the runt of the litter, as has been true for many of my friends in public school.
MW: Did you ever hold any class office?
BEYER: I never did that because I was never comfortable being in public. I was usually a leader and a troublemaker behind the scenes.
MW: A troublemaker?
BEYER: In the yeshiva, yes. I didn't like the quality of my math teacher in seventh grade, so I made sure that the students brought it up to their parents. We had him dismissed. I guess you'd call that political action, but I wasn't president of the class. I was not comfortable going out and saying, ''Hi, vote for me,'' because I wasn't comfortable with the ''me'' part of it.
MW: When did you become comfortable with the ''me'' part?
BEYER: Jan. 13, 2003, which was when the drugs finally wore off after my surgery and I went out for the first time as myself and felt good. It took me 50 years to get to that point. I was never willing to put myself out publicly [before then] because I felt wrong, a fraud, dishonest, totally uncomfortable being in public.
MW: In your campaign, you've also said that 9/11 was a turning point for your decision to have gender-reassignment surgery.
BEYER: It wasn't a turning point per se, but it was the final catalyst that pushed me over the mountaintop and sent me to do this. I had tried to [gender] transition back in 1992 to '94 and I got about halfway there. Then I backed off. I started again about 2000, but it was rough going. I needed a kick to get me over, and Sept. 11 did that.
I was at a best friend's wedding in Manhattan on Sept. 20  and it just all came together -- the frenzy of this Jewish wedding, the fact that he had waited 50 years to finally get married, all the family was there together and glad to be alive, yet the pall of the smoke at Ground Zero was visible. My recognition at that time was that what had truly inhibited me from transitioning was looking around at all my friends from the yeshiva days, my elementary school friends, and worrying about what would they say. I expected to be rejected by all of them, which is a very common feeling -- even more so because many of them were still Orthodox. But after 9/11, I looked at them and I said, ''You know, it really doesn't matter anymore. I'm just going to do this and if they accept me, they accept me. If they don't, they don't.''
MW: And did they?
BEYER: All of them. I haven't lost anybody. The only thing I lost was my marriage, but I didn't lose [my second wife] as a friend. If anything, I've gained much closer friendships, much closer family ties as a result.
MW: I want to ask you, specifically because you're an M.D. and because universal health care is part of your platform, the process of transitioning -- did you find it to be unnecessarily bureaucratic or cumbersome?
BEYER: No. Because I was an M.D., I was treated with much greater respect than the average person would be. I basically was able to dictate what needed to be done. I'm sure you're well aware of the ''therapy'' one must go through in order to get approval, which is absurd. It's the only medical procedure one needs psychiatric approval to undergo when it's not even a psychiatric problem in the first place. I went in there saying, ''Look, I'm a doctor. I know who I am. I've been through all this. Let me tell you what it's about. And this is what I need from you.'' Nobody gave me a hard time at all. They wouldn't, because I have the credibility and self-confidence of being a physician. But your average transperson out there doesn't have that, and they're often not treated with the respect they deserve.
MW: With universal health care, I don't know many American M.D.s who seem think it's a good idea.
BEYER: Actually, your experience is remarkably limited. When I go out canvassing, I meet lots of doctors, and [the health care system has] gotten so bad that they all support it now as well. There's a lot less resistance out there. My former chief of medicine during my medical school years at Penn, Arnold Relman, has come out in the New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious medical journal in the world, in favor of a national single-payer plan.
MW: Is there one country's system that you look at that would be applicable here?
BEYER: No, I don't think so. We're different and there will probably be more of a two-tier system here because Americans simply don't want to be told they have to do something, and they can't do something else in addition to it. We're talking about a basic, affordable, high-quality system. And then if you want to go for plastic surgery, it will cost you more. If you want facial surgery for your transition, it would cost you extra. You can buy a separate policy to cover that. There are lots of opportunities for physicians to make extra money outside of the system and for people to spend more if they want to.
I'm ashamed that we're the only civilized nation that doesn't provide this. I'm learning, too, during this canvassing. When I knock on these doors, when I say I'm in favor of universal health care, people tell me their stories. Most kids these days, when they get out of school and go to do their first job, don't get health care with that first job. In the past week I've run into a half-dozen parents who have brought that to my attention. There are always gaps in these systems, and now there's this new gap.
MW: How would you describe the demographics and values of District 18? Are they aligned with your own?
BEYER: I think this is one of the most progressive districts in America. It's highly educated, it's progressive, it's mixed as far as identity politics goes. You have, I think, 12 percent African Americans, 18 percent Hispanics. It's highly educated and very liberal.
I believe most of the people, not only in this district, but I think most Marylanders, really are progressive people and they'd like to see their money spent on things that they desire rather than on unnecessary, immoral wars and such. They really want to live in a first-rate, high quality community. The main problem I see is that we're not willing to admit that you have to pay for that. We're willing to pay for things in our private lives, but we don't seem to be willing to pay in our public lives. I think that's beginning to change.
MW: You're running for office, so you must be hopeful you can change things.
BEYER: Oh, sure. Whenever there's a need for someone to speak with the Christians, fundamentalists, on issues of sexuality, [I'm there]. I have my yeshiva background. I know how fundamentalists think because I used to think that way when I was growing up. I understand when somebody who is religious says, ''You don't respect me.'' What they're saying isn't, ''I want you to believe what I believe.'' They're just saying, ''My faith, my religion colors my moral values and colors the way I speak and look at the world. I want you to relate to that.'' And I can do that. And I can do it in the original language.
MW: How does your religious upbringing influence your values today? What did you come to reject and what do you embrace?
BEYER: I come from a very egalitarian, ethical, progressive Jewish tradition. The only thing I have rejected has been a fundamentalist approach to religion and spirituality. Even during the most rigid times of my education, Jewish education deals with questions all the time. So much of the Talmud, for instance, ends [with] tayku, which means, ''We throw our hands up, we don't know the answer, let's move on.'' So there's very little of this rigidity, the literalism that you get out of the Protestants these days. I guess the only thing I rejected was a very simplistic, superficial reading of the Torah. But I'm still very Jewish in my core -- culturally, historically, spiritually, morally.
MW: There are eight candidates running for three seats in District 18. How do you set yourself apart from the other seven?
BEYER: Well, first of all, there are two incumbents and I'm competing for the vacancy. I'm not running against the incumbents, so I put that aside. I'm just running against five earnest young men. I'm glad that there are young people getting involved in the political process, but I'm the candidate with the maturity, life experience, professional experience, the social and diplomatic skills to be a legislator, to be a leader. [I have] the political will, courage and fearlessness from my life's history to stand up and change the agenda, which is what Democrats have not been doing and what the American people are upset with Democrats for not having done, not having had a backbone. Having had [gender] transition, I'm not afraid of anything. Nobody scares me.
MW: Has your status as a transgender woman hurt you in your campaign? Have you experienced any sort of transphobia?
BEYER: No. People rarely say anything. The few times I've sat down with people on their porch and really gotten into who I am and who they are, they've always spoken of it in an honorific sense: ''Wow, you've accomplished so much. You were a doctor in Nepal, and you've gone through a gender transition and you've raised your kids.'' They just throw it in the mix, which is what it is. It's part of the mix. Nobody has said anything negative. I've never heard anybody bring it up. There are still six weeks to go [until the primary], and who knows? But, for the most part, it's a good bunch of people who are running, and I would like to believe that we've all agreed that we're going to act decently. It's really hard to do negative campaigning when you're all progressive. I mean, what are you going to say? ''Well, you're for single-payer and I'm for employer-based insurance. You bastard!''
I have a campaign team with 60 years' worth of experience. They said, ''Look, you've been living here for three years. Just assume that everybody knows.'' And so I just assume that everybody knows. I talk about everything else. I don't bring it up and they don't bring it up. Nobody has ever said, ''Oh, you're the trans person.'' They don't say, ''What was it like being a guy?'' or anything like that.
MW: If you win the nomination, do you think it might come up then?
BEYER: You mean for the general election? No, the Republican Party had to drag four people out of a basement somewhere to run against, just to not be embarrassed.
MW: How do you identify your sexual orientation?
BEYER: I'm bi, but again, it depends on how you define that. I'm not trying to be difficult, but my erotic desire has always been towards men. My experience has always been with women, until the past few years. So by definition I'm bi, right? Right now at this stage in my life, it's tough finding any kind of partner. I would just like to find somebody I could love and be loved by and it really doesn't matter what their sex is. You know how complicated this gets. If you saw a photo of me from 30 years ago and you're thinking, ''Well, she was interested in guys so that makes her a gay man.'' Well, that's the last thing in the world I ever was. I never identified that way. Nobody ever labeled me that way. Nobody ever could have labeled me that way because that was completely wrong. You have to be very careful. You have to define the two protagonists in a relationship before you can define the relationship.
MW: With the campaign specifically, can you share any of your strategy? Are there endorsements that you're seeking?
BEYER: My first [endorsement] was the [Gay & Lesbian] Victory Fund. That was the toughest because the Victory Fund is unlike any of these other single-issue groups. The Victory Fund vets you thoroughly. They're not interested in how you line up politically or socially or ideologically. They're interested in whether or not you're going to win. They want to make sure you have a viable, valid campaign plan, that you're a credible candidate. That application was sort of like doing a graduate dissertation, or a year of self-psychoanalysis. That was done early in the campaign, and it helped me focus on what needed to be done.
I got Equality Maryland's endorsement a couple of days ago. I got the Montgomery County Public School Retiree Association endorsement yesterday. A lot of people don't decide until the very last minute. A lot of them wait to see who's winning. They want to back a winner. But it's also who you know. Since I was on the board of Equality Maryland, obviously I had an ''in'' with Equality Maryland.
MW: Say you don't win the primary...
BEYER: God forbid! [Laughs.]
MW: God forbid. Speaking hypothetically, worst-case scenario -- what do you see yourself doing if you don't win?
BEYER: I would just continue doing what I'm doing. I'm sure other opportunities will arise, just as a result of this experience. Every door I knock on, I am changing the culture. I am changing hearts and minds, just by doing that. All I have to do is get out and do it. I don't even have to get a single vote and I've accomplished a great deal.
MW: If you get the seat, it would be a milestone. How far beyond Maryland do you think that would go? You would be the first trans legislator in America at the state level, and one of the few in the world.
BEYER: One of three, one of whom has my surname: Georgina Beyer in New Zealand. We've communicated. She thinks it's hilarious, as do I. She's retiring next year so I will be only one of two.
MW: Has she offered you any advice?
BEYER: ''Just go for it. You can do it.'' She saw my Web site and said, ''It sounds like you've got it together. You can handle it.'' There's a woman named [Vladimir] Luxuria, who is a Communist in the Italian Parliament. I don't know if I have too much in common with her, but who knows?
I hope it will be an inspiration to some of my friends and others. Part of why I've been doing all this is to simply give back to those who paved the path before me. I feel that I'm in a position to do it. I feel obligated to do so. I feel I can help out. I know how difficult it was for me all those years to come to grips with this and finally decide to act. I want to see kids transitioning when they're kids, not when they're 50.
MW: Your ambition seems to have followed you throughout your life.
BEYER: My kids say that when I set my mind on something I'll see it through. Now what I'm seeing through is getting elected. Once I'm elected, seeing it through is getting health care taken care of and dealing with all the other issues that come up. Energy and the environment are important to me, too.
A few months ago, there was no vacancy, so I wasn't running for anything. I had no plans to run for office. This is just another step in my life story and my growth. It gives me a platform that's a little bit broader than what I had before, to make a contribution.
So when you say ''ambitious,'' who knows, really? It's silly. To give you an idea of the difference between living in the closet and living outside of it, for most of my life, I was focused on these Communist-like ''five-year plans.'' I had four-year plans: four years of high school, four years of college, four years of med school, four years of internship and residency. Set up your practice, have your kids, do this and that. I was never enjoying the here and now.
Since I've transitioned, I've just given all that up. Who knows where it's going to go? Four years ago, I couldn't have conceived of running for office anywhere. I couldn't have conceived being on a stage in front of people and feeling comfortable. Now I enjoy it. I've become an extrovert, and that changes things.
I'm ambitious in that I want to give back, I finally am able to give back. I want to make the world better for my kids and I think I'm capable of doing it. I have the credibility and the maturity to do it. I've spent my life with my eyes open and my ears open, listening and reading and traveling. I've been around the world three times. I've worked abroad, so I have a pretty broad perspective on the world. I think I can make a fair contribution. But I don't think Hillary needs to worry.
More information on Dana Beyer's campaign can be found at www.danabeyer.com.
Maryland General Assembly
県生活学習館の性差書籍撤去：性差関係リスト、一転公開 県、同意得られたと (毎日・福井版 2006/08/13)
UCLA ウィリアムズ・インスティテュートによる米国におけるアジア・太平洋諸島系同性カップルに関する新報告書 (PDF)
平成18 年7 月
マスコミ担当：ゲリー J.・ゲイツ (310) 825-1868、firstname.lastname@example.org
ホーニン・ロー 劉浩寧、(310) 206-5782、email@example.com
ロサンゼルス – UCLA ウィリアムズ・インスティテュート法学部は、米国在住の38,000 人以上のアジア・太平洋諸島人（APIs）が2000 年度人口統計調査において同性パートナーとの同居を認めたという新研究書を発表した。
同研究では、我が国で同居中の同性カップルの半分以上が子育てに従事しており、その内、17,000 人以上の子供達は18 歳未満で、これらの家庭が米国在住の他のAPI 家庭と同様の経済的負担に直面していることを表した。
「米国在住のアジア・太平洋諸島人の同性カップル：2000 年度人口統計調査データ」と題する同研究は、アメレイジア・ジャーナル誌に最近掲載された「結婚均等論争におけるアジア系アメリカ人の位置づけ」（30:1 巻）の中で発表された。
同記事の共著者及びウィリアムズ・インスティテュートの主任研究員であるゲリー J.・ゲイツ氏は、「2000 年度人口統計調査のデータは、アジア人と太平洋諸島人が我が国の同性愛家庭数の中のかなり大きな部分を占めていることを数値化したものであると述べた。
• APIs の同性カップルは米国内の一般的なAPI 人口の多様性を反映している。APIs の同性カップルのかなり大きな部分は、フィリピン人（18%）、中国人（17%）、インド人（11%）、ベトナム人（8%）、日本人（7%）、韓国人（7%）が占めている。またかなり大きな部分が二種以上の人種（18%）に属しているとしている。
• カリフォルニア州には最も多くの同居中のAPIs の同性カップル（13,288 人）が在住し、ニューヨーク州（4,775 人）とハワイ州（2,186 人）が続く。
• 人口統計上、及び、社会経済上の側面では、API 同性カップルの個人個人は、API 異性カップルの個人個人と大差ない。市民権、軍事サービス、収入、教育、雇用率においては、さほど異ならない。
• 同居中のAPI 同性カップルの49%は、最低5 年間同居を続けている。
• API 同性カップルは、（API 及び非API）異性カップルよりも乏しい資源による子育てを強いられている。子供を持つAPI 同性カップルの世帯収入は、子供を持つAPI 異性カップルの世帯収入よりも平均して$12,200 以上少なく、子供を持つ非API 異性カップルの世帯収入よりも$8,100 以上少ない。
• 同性カップルを親に持つAPI 児童の88%は少なくとも片親がAPI であり、66%の児童は両親がAPI であった。
Time to get sex education right
Mainichi Daily News August 13, 2006
Dr. Kunio Kitamura is head of the Japan Family Planning Association. He specializes in dealing with issues such as sex, birth control, abortion, puberty worries, sexually transmitted diseases, child-raising (he is a father of five), general gynecology and domestic violence. If he cannot handle directly a problem he has been presented with, he will draw on a wide variety of specialists to provide assistance.
It took everything in my power not to scream out at Miss Y: "You're a college student. What the hell do you think you're doing?" "Stop doing this all the time. All the tests you did last week are going to go to waste."
Miss Y is in her second year at university. She went through an all-girls secondary education combining junior high and high school. Not that there's any meaning in mentioning this. The way she gets along with guys is awkward, and she constantly complains about how horrible guys are. She's going out with a guy who won't use condoms properly, but at the same time is doing little to protect herself and she gets filled with anxiety after every time she has sex. Complaining of vaginal discharges, she wanted a check-up to see if she had contracted a sexually transmitted disease, so she came to my clinic. I suppose it is better than her not coming to see me at all, but she's wasting her money.
"He told me he would use a condom this time, but he did it again!" Miss Y said. "Why are guys all such liars?"
I recommended that she start taking the Pill, but she wasn't keen.
"It makes you fat, doesn't it?" was her reply.
I resisted the urge to scream out at her to stop being such a twit, but that was the easy way out and doing so would rob Miss Y of her safe haven, so I held my feelings under control and practiced a bit of patience.
Miss Y had spent most of her childhood studying to pass entrance exams, but she'd studied so much she hadn't had the opportunity to learn about life. Schools want as many of their students to go through to prestigious universities as possible, so Miss Y's parents were happy to see her studying so hard. Her parents saw only the daughter who brought home good grades and never caused trouble, so they had nothing but pride for her. Worry didn't even come into it. What Miss Y's parents didn't know, though, is that she maintained physical relationships with several different men and she was spending nearly all the money she made from her part-time job having check-ups or treatment for STDs.
During a Diet session not too long ago, a female Diet member thrust up before Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi a copy of "Seimei wa do yatte dekiruka (How Does Life Come About?)," a third grade sex education reader that explains with pictures how life is created in a wide variety of mammal and marine life.
"Oh, that's disgusting. It's a problem," the prime minister said, creating a news story.
Koizumi did not say exactly what was disgusting or a problem, but it was a bit difficult for me. I grew up in the country, where, among other things, I spent my youth watching cats mate on the roof, dogs going at it under trees and stag beetles or grasshoppers working away in their insect boxes. Having seen these things at close hand, I could only laugh at such a comical exchange going on in the Diet. I can still remember once forcing some stag beetles to mate so that I could get some eggs. Some may say this misspent youth may go a long way to explaining why I am like I am now, but I don't think that I'm leading a wrong lifestyle.
It's hard to permit the recent moves by a minority that constantly criticizes all types of sex education, good and bad, and has forced some frightened schools to withdraw the book from their curriculums, thus depriving citizens of an opportunity to learn, which is one of their fundamental rights. I concede that there may be some problems with the way sex education is instructed. But in a world where the Internet and videos are rampant with sexual information and all sorts of sexual lifestyles are recognized, we are neglecting to provide information in a detailed and scientific manner. There's a lot more needed for a happy life than simply a good education.
Another problem with sex education can be seen in the United States, where the Bush Administration is a strong advocate of celibacy education. According to the June 20 edition of the New York Post, 13 percent of teenage girls living in the Bronx -- the same children taught that sex education is taboo and that they should abstain from sex until marriage -- have been pregnant. A group of 10 teenage girls in public schools in the Bronx reacted to this tragic reality by starting a petition to have sex education in schools, with the result that they now receive six lessons.
Incidentally, the Japan Family Planning Association carried out a survey for the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in which we asked the 3,000 respondents to tell us what they considered an appropriate age for people to learn about things related to sex, such as intercourse, contraception and the correct manner to use condoms. Despite this survey, there is clearly a gap between what people think and what's happening in Japan's schools. I'd really like the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, as the body responsible for administering education in this country, to listen to what citizens have to say. (By Dr. Kunio Kitamura, special to the Mainichi)
Gay parade attacked in Estonia, 12 injured
Sat Aug 12, 5:05 PM ET
Anti-gay protesters armed with stones and sticks attacked a march for homosexual rights in Estonia, injuring around a dozen people in a country that prides itself on its tolerance, organizers said.
Around 20 young men attacked the parade as some 500 gay-rights supporters with rainbow-coloured flags made their way through the winding streets of the capital, Tallinn, in Estonia's third such annual event, according to march officials.
Parade spokeswoman Lisette Kampus said about 12 people were injured, including a Frenchman who needed to be hospitalized with a head injury.
Gay rights activists said they were "in shock at this absolutely unacceptable behavior."
"It's particularly revolting that the gang, calling themselves Estonian patriots, attacked women demonstrators first. Then they started throwing stones and sticks at everyone," Kampus told AFP.
She also criticized police. "There were too few police present so they could not really handle the violent attack."
Police said they detained six people for violating public order.
Only one person had so far officially complained of being attacked, police spokeswoman Julia Garanzha told AFP.
The colourful gay parade set off 20 minutes late after police received a call warning that bombs would explode in Tallinn's Old Town shortly before the event was to begin. No explosive devices were found.
Marchers carrying rainbow-coloured flags, the international banner of gay and lesbian movements, were earlier pelted with eggs as they began making their way through the cobblestoned streets, said Maali Kabin, another spokeswoman for the parade.
Dancing to music that blared from loudspeakers, demonstrators carried placards with messages such as "Love Doesn't Ask About Gender," "Right to Be What We Are," "Children of Gays Need Protection Too," "We Heteros Support Gays," and "Anarchists Against Homophobia."
"The aim of our parade is to show that we exist," Kabin said. "We don't promote a certain kind of sexual orientation, but we remind people of our right to be equal with everybody else."
Despite calls from some critics to ban the march -- the culmination of a week-long gay cultural festival called Tallinn Pride -- authorities gave permission for the parade.
Two earlier gay pride events held here over the past two years passed without violence.
Estonia's lesbian and gay community has become more visible after the country regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and became a member of the European Union in 2004.
In the run-up to the Tallinn Pride week, organisers said Estonia had proved the most tolerant to homosexuals of the three Baltic states, which include Latvia and Lithuania.
"Unfortunately, Estonia is now in line with Latvia and Poland, where gay and lesbian parades have been viciously attacked," Kampus said.
A poll conducted in June showed that one in four Estonians would not want to live next door to a homosexual.
The survey was commissioned by the Postimees newspaper after the Dutch ambassador to Estonia, Hans Glaubitz, asked to be transferred to another posting, saying his partner -- a black, gay male -- had been harassed.
A gay parade in neighbouring Latvia was banned last month. Alternative gay pride events ended violently with homosexuals, journalists and tourists assaulted and 14 people arrested.
Hundreds of protesters blockaded gay-rights activists including a Dutch European lawmaker inside a church in central Riga and pelted them with excrement as they left.
♪ 同じ日、14時から世田谷区三軒茶屋のパブリックシアターでは、「Jazz for Kids」が行われていた。
前欧州議会議員・第1回 LGBT人権世界会議 共同代表（2006年）
第1回 LGBT人権世界会議 共同代表（2006年）
Message to the participants in the Tokyo LGBT Pride March
I would like to convey to you my very best wishes on the occasion of the Tokyo LGBT Pride March. I send you my support and my solidarity. I wish you every success. I also hope you will have some fun!
Former Member of the European Parliament
Co-President of the First World Conference on LGBT Human Rights (Montreal,
ILGA（International Lesbian and Gay Association）は、世界中のプライドフェスティバルとともに存在しておりますが、本日、我々が地球上の80以上の国々の仲間たちを代表し、こうしてTLGP2006へ心からの願いを送ることができ、とても嬉しく思います。
ILGA（International Lesbian and Gay Association）
Rosanna Flamer-Caldera （Co-Secretary General ）
It is with Pride and Honour I send this message of solidarity for the Pride March of Tokyo 2006. The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) has been associated with PRIDE all over the world and we take delight in sending warm wishes to Tokyo Pride on behalf of all our member organisations in over 80 countries across the globe.
Best wishes, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera ILGA（International Lesbian and Gay Association） Co-Secretary General
On behalf of Human Rights Watch, I want to offer both congratulations and gratitude to the organizers of, and participants in, Tokyo's pride celebrations.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch
Mayor's message of support - Tokyo Pride (12 August 2006)
Ken Livingstone Mayor of London
Tokyo Pride is a timely opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Japanese lesbian and gay people and to acknowledge their ongoing struggle for human rights and legal equality.
I send my best wishes for a successful event.
Mayor of London
アメリカ合衆国 下院議員 タミー・ボルドウィン（ウィスコンシン州選出・民主党）
Message to the participants and organizers of the Pride March in Tokyo in August
Yves de Matteis
City of Geneva
CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION
Tokyo Pride. （以下略）
以上からわかるのは、原文がTokyo (LGBT) Pride といっているのに、故意に東京レズビアン＆ゲイと訳していることだ。
ここから推測できるのは、メッセージ依頼時に、"Tokyo Pride"として説明したということであろう。そうだとすると、主催者は、海外向けにはTokyo (LGBT) Pride、国内向けにはTokyo Lesbian & Gay Paradeと使いわけていることになる。これはあまりに卑劣ではないだろうか。
Gays' High Risk for HIV Gains Recognition
BANGKOK, Aug 11 (IPS) - When the Thai government accepted men who have sex with men (MSM) as a vulnerable community in the country's fight against AIDS, earlier this year, it gave them hope of being covered under HIV prevention programmes.
It was an unprecedented gesture, bringing to an end over two decades of silence, since governments in Bangkok had chosen to ignore the spread of the killer disease among the country's homosexuals and bisexuals. ''That was the first time that MSM were identified as the most at risk population and needed preventive programmes,'' Paul Causey, an independent HIV programme consultant in Bangkok, told IPS. ''The government is now going to community groups working with MSM to ask what they need, which was never the case earlier.''
What precipitated this spirit of openness were stark revelations about the high percentage of HIV prevalence within the MSM community in Thailand. It shattered the belief that had taken hold in this South-east Asian country that its success at slowing down the spread of the deadly virus through awareness programmes and condom-use campaigns aimed at heterosexuals was enough.
But the disturbing rise in the prevalence of HIV among Thai MSM is part of a more worrying trend across Asia, reveals a report released Friday ahead of a major international conference on AIDS that begins on Aug. 13 in the Canadian city of Toronto. HIV rates among MSM is as high as 28 percent in some of the 23 Asian countries surveyed in the report by TREAT Asia, a network of clinics, hospitals, and research institutions promoting safe and effective delivery of HIV/AIDS treatments throughout Asia and the Pacific.
''In recent years, MSM in Asia have experienced an extraordinary rise in HIV prevalence. Various studies report infection rates as high as 14 percent in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; 16 percent in Andhra Pradesh, India; 28 percent in Bangkok, Thailand,'' states the report, 'MSM and HIV/AIDS Risk in Asia.'
A lack of political will and resources will condemn MSM in Asia to ''face a crisis more devastating than that experienced by gay men in the West during the epidemics earliest years,'' warns the 85-page report. ''The nature of MSM activity across the continent is so diverse that it forces us to rethink the basic strategies of fighting AIDS: awareness, outreach, education and testing.''
''The prevalence of consistent condom use among men is as low as 12 percent, and up to half of all MSM is some regions have never used a condom. Yet a majority of these men believe that they are at low risk,'' it states. ''Up to half or more of these men also have sex with women ... (due to) situational sex (or) the social pressure to marry ... and can then serve as a bridge population for HIV/AIDS infection.''
''Given the difficulty of surveillance in these populations, rates of HIV infection could actually be far worse,'' says Kevin Frost, director at the Bangkok-based TREAT Asia. ''This report shines a light on the extent of high-risk MSM behaviour and serves a wake-up call for Asia.''
The debate that the report is expected to generate at the 16th International AIDS Conference will be a continuation of a dialogue that began at the 15th International AIDS Conference, held in Bangkok in 2004, where the once marginalised issue -- MSM -- moved from the margins to mainstream discussions.
Lack of MSM-targeted education, resulting in unsafe behaviour, has, according to the report, triggered HIV prevalence rates of up to 2.5 percent among MSM in Jakarta, Indonesia, 4 percent in Kathmandu, Nepal, 6.5 percent in Chennai, India and 4.4 percent in Tokyo. In addition, there are eight percent MSM with HIV in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, eight percent in Taiwanese bathhouses, 16.8 percent in Maharasthra, India and 15.3 percent in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
''Many countries in which overall HIV prevalence is low (less than one percent) nevertheless have high (MSM) HIV prevalence,'' the report adds. ''Of reported HIV cases in the Philippines and Hong Kong, 23 percent and 24 percent respectively are attributed to MSM.''
In Cambodia, for instance, the HIV prevalence rate among all adults is 2.6 percent, but in the capital Phnom Penh, there are 14.4 percent of MSM with HIV. China offers a similar case, where the HIV prevalence rate among all adults is 0.1 percent, but the MSM HIV prevalence rate in Beijing is 3.1 percent.
Thailand's picture is the most troubling, according to the report. Tthe prevalence of HIV among all adults is estimated to be 1.5 percent, while the HIV rate among MSM in Bangkok is 28.3 percent. And while HIV prevalence among all of Vietnam's adults is 0..4 percent, the HIV prevalence rate among MSM in that country is six percent.
Other reasons that have fuelled the spread of HIV among Asian MSM include ''misconceptions about risk factors; high levels of unprotected anal intercourse; high level of transactional sex; high numbers of sex partners,'' it adds. ''MSM congregate where sex is solicited or sold. This greatly increases the chances of greater promiscuity -- in Bangladesh, for example, 26 percent of MSM respondents averaged over 10 different sexual partners a month.''
The report warns Asian countries about a potential spike in their HIV/AIDS numbers as a result of spread among MSM. It comes in the wake of U.N. agencies raising the alarm about the general spread of AIDS across the continent. There are close to 8.3 million people living with HIV in Asia, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said in its 2006 report released this year. ''Approximately 930,000 people were newly infected with HIV in 2005, while AIDS claimed an estimated 600,000 lives.''
''MSM in Asia need not suffer the same fate as many gay men in the West,'' says Frost. ''We've paid for that lesson with too many lives.'' (END/2006)