TV & Radio
The New York Times
November 7, 2006
New York Plans to Make Gender Personal Choice
By DAMIEN CAVE
Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.
Under the rule being considered by the city’s Board of Health, which is likely to be adopted soon, people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that their proposed change would be permanent.
Applicants would have to have changed their name and shown that they had lived in their adopted gender for at least two years, but there would be no explicit medical requirements.
“Surgery versus nonsurgery can be arbitrary,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city’s health commissioner. “Somebody with a beard may have had breast-implant surgery. It’s the permanence of the transition that matters most.”
If approved, the new rule would put New York at the forefront of efforts to redefine gender. A handful of states do not require surgery for such birth certificate changes, but in some of those cases patients are still not allowed to make the change without showing a physiological shift to the opposite gender.
In New York, the proposed change comes after four years of discussion among health officials, an eight-member panel of transgender experts and vital records offices nationwide. It is an outgrowth of the transgender community’s push to recognize that some people may not have money to get a sex-change operation, while others may not feel the need to undergo the procedure and are simply defining themselves as members of the opposite sex. While it may be a radical notion elsewhere, New York City has often tolerated such blurring of the lines of gender identity.
And the proposal reflects how the transgender movement has become politically potent beyond its small numbers, having roots in the muscular politics of the city’s gay rights movement.
Transgender advocates consider the New York proposal an overdue bulwark against discrimination that recognizes an emerging shift away from viewing gender as simply the sum of one’s physical parts. But some psychiatrists and doctors are skeptical of the move, saying sexual self-definition should stop at rewriting medical history.
“They should not change the sex at birth, which is a factual record,” said Dr. Arthur Zitrin, a Midtown psychiatrist who was on the panel of transgender experts convened by the city. “If they wanted to change the gender for all the compelling reasons that they’ve given, it should be done perhaps with an asterisk.”
The change would lead to many intriguing questions: For example, would a man who becomes a woman be able to marry another man? (Probably.) Would an adoption agency be able to uncover the original sex of a proposed parent? (Not without a court order.) Would a woman who becomes a man be able to fight in combat, or play in the National Football League? (These areas have yet to be explored.)
The Board of Health, which weighs recommendations drafted by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is scheduled to vote on the proposal in December, and officials say they expect it to be adopted.
At the final public hearing for the birth certificate proposal last week, a string of advocates and transsexuals suggested that common definitions of gender, especially its reliance on medical assessments, should be abandoned. They generally praised the city for revisiting its 25-year-old policy that lets people remove the sex designation from their birth certificate if they have had sexual reassignment surgery. Then they demanded more freedom to choose.
Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, said transgender people should not have to rely on affidavits from a health care system that tends to be biased against them. He said that many transgender people cannot afford sex-change surgery or therapy, and often do not consider it necessary.
Another person who testified, Mariah Lopez, 21, said she wanted a new birth certificate to prevent confusion, and to keep teachers, police officers and other authority figures from embarrassing her in public or accusing her of identity theft.
A few weeks ago, at a welfare office in Queens, Ms. Lopez said she included a note with her application for public assistance asking that she be referred to as Ms. when her turn for an interview came up. It did not work. The woman handling her case repeatedly addressed her as Mister.
“The thing is, I don’t even remember what it’s like to be a boy,” Ms. Lopez said, adding that she received a diagnosis of transgender identity disorder at age 6. She asked to be identified as a woman for this article.
The eight experts who addressed the birth certificate issue strongly recommended that the change be made, for the practical reasons Ms. Lopez identified. For public health studies, people who have changed their gender would be counted according to their sex at birth.
But some psychiatrists said that eliminating identification difficulties for some transgender people also opened the door to unwelcome advances from imposters.
“I’ve already heard of a ‘transgendered’ man who claimed at work to be ‘a woman in a man’s body but a lesbian’ and who had to be expelled from the ladies’ restroom because he was propositioning women there,” Dr. Paul McHugh, a member of the President’s Council of Bioethics and chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University, wrote in an e-mail message on the subject. “He saw this as a great injustice in that his behavior was justified in his mind by the idea that the categories he claimed for himself were all ‘official’ and had legal rights attached to them.”
The move to ease the requirements for altering one’s gender identity comes after New York has adopted other measures aimed at blurring the lines of gender identification. For instance, a new shelter policy approved in January now allows beds to be distributed according to appearance, applying equally to postoperative transsexuals, cross-dressers and “persons perceived to be androgynous.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also agreed last month to let people define their own gender when deciding whether to use the men’s or women’s bathrooms.
Joann Prinzivalli, 52, a lawyer for the New York Transgender Rights Organization, a man who has lived as a woman since 2000, without surgery, said the changes amount to progress, a move away from American culture’s misguided fixation on genitals as the basis for one’s gender identity.
“It’s based on an arbitrary distinction that says there are two and only two sexes,” she said. “In reality the diversity of nature is such that there are more than just two, and people who seem to belong to one of the designated sexes may really belong to the other.”
（時事通信） - 11月8日9時0分更新
Web posted at: 20:24 JST
The New York Times
November 5, 2006
Abortion, Condoms and Bush
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
It seemed the perfect way to shame President Bush for disregarding the poor: I suggested that he had presided over a surge in abortions.
In that column two years ago, I cited a study indicating that the abortion rate had risen sharply after Mr. Bush took office. Conservatives protested furiously, saying that the figures weren’t reliable.
Now we do have better statistics, and my conservative critics seem to have been right.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do show a tiny increase in abortions in 2002 (the most recent year available). But more comprehensive figures from the Guttmacher Institute, which does research on reproductive health, indicate that abortions fell — albeit by tiny amounts — in the first three years of Mr. Bush’s presidency.
In 2003, the institute estimates, there were 1.29 million abortions in the U.S., 26,000 fewer than in President Bill Clinton’s last year in office.
Yet abortions fell much faster under Mr. Clinton, and the evidence shows that condoms do more to bring down abortion rates than pious moralizing. That’s why staunch “pro-life” presidents like Mr. Bush or Ronald Reagan have accomplished far less in reducing abortions than a “pro-choice” president like Mr. Clinton.
Here’s the quick overview. After abortion was legalized in 1973, abortions surged under Democrats and Republicans alike and reached a peak of 1.6 million in 1990. President Reagan favored a constitutional amendment banning abortions, but in practice the number of abortions rose modestly on his watch.
The numbers began to fall late in George H. W. Bush’s presidency and plummeted during the Clinton years. There were 180,000 fewer abortions in Mr. Clinton’s last year as president than in his first year. But that trend line flattened out so that the declines in Mr. Bush’s first term were tiny.
“The new numbers strongly suggest that a decades-long decline in U.S. abortion rates is stalling out,” the Guttmacher Institute’s president, Sharon Camp, wrote in a recent analysis. She told me that the institute was gathering data for 2004 and 2005 and feared that they might even show an uptick in abortions.
One reason is that in half the states, family planning spending hasn’t kept pace with inflation. Thus, at last count, 11 percent of sexually active women and girls were not using contraception even though they did not want babies, up from 7 percent in 1995. Half of unwanted pregnancies come from that group.
Then there’s the rise in the poverty rate under Mr. Bush and the increase in the number of uninsured Americans. The number of women who say they need help paying for prescription contraceptives rose by one million between 2000 and 2004.
So let’s require all health insurers to cover the cost of prescription contraceptives, as many already do. And let’s increase our investment in family planning, since every tax dollar spent on contraceptives reduces Medicaid spending on pregnant women and newborn babies by $3.
The evidence is solid about how to reduce abortions: promote contraception and comprehensive sex education (rather than “abstinence only” programs). California has led the country in these areas, and as a result it cut teenage pregnancy rates by 39 percent over eight years.
Western Europe and Canada both emphasize sex education and family planning programs. The result is that American women are almost three times as likely to get abortions as women in Belgium or Germany. Or take Canada. Among women and girls aged 15 to 19, Americans are 38 percent more likely to get abortions than Canadians. And American teenagers, both boys and girls, are nearly 10 times as likely to catch gonorrhea.
Bush family members were pioneers in supporting the family planning services that can reduce abortion rates. President Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, lost an election for U.S. senator in Connecticut in 1950 partly because he was denounced for his ties to Planned Parenthood.
Later, George H. W. Bush was, as a young congressman, a prime sponsor of the 1970 public health program that provides family planning services in the U.S. He was so enthusiastic that his nickname then was Rubbers.
If Mr. Bush revived that legacy, he could lead a bipartisan campaign to promote sex education and increase access to contraceptives. Some experts estimate that this could cut the number of abortions in the U.S. by half a million annually. So Mr. Bush, step down from the pulpit, roll up your sleeves — and go back to your family roots!
More marketing aimed at gay consumers
Updated 11/2/2006 4:00 AM ET
By Edward Iwata, USA TODAY
SAN FRANCISCO — During what some gays jokingly call "the dark ages" a decade or two ago, companies shunned the gay market out of ignorance or fear of a backlash. Many cities and convention-and-visitors bureaus overlooked gay travelers. Marketing people lacked hard data to target gay consumers nationwide.
Today, the market for gay and lesbian consumers is highly coveted and hitting the mainstream in a huge way, say consultants, marketing professionals and executives.
The 16 million gay consumers age 18 and older in the USA boast $641 billion in buying power, or cash to spend after taxes, reports Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive.
And corporations and local governments know it.
Last year, 175 Fortune 500 companies — airlines, automakers, financial firms, retailers and others — actively courted the gay dollar through advertising, compared with 19 in 1994, reports the 2005 Gay Press Report by the Prime Access advertising firm and Rivendell Media Co.
What's more, dozens of cities that didn't cater to gay travelers decades ago — including Miami, Dallas, Philadelphia, Phoenix, even Bloomington, Ind. — are wooing gays to their hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
"We're at a tipping point, with gays coming out in society and business," says Andrew Freeman of Andrew Freeman & Co., a hospitality and restaurant consultancy in San Francisco. "All of a sudden, we've become a great market for all industries to go after."
Recent research, based on U.S. Census data, shows that gays and lesbians live in virtually every county in the USA and aren't segregated in big cities and "gay ghettos" such as San Francisco, New York, West Hollywood, Calif., or Provincetown, Mass. And millions are smart, technology-savvy consumers and partners with dual household incomes and no kids.
"We have more discretionary income, and we love to spend our money on travel and shopping," says Thomas Roth, president of Community Marketing, a gay market research firm that recently hosted a gay tourism conference here. "That's really opening the eyes of Corporate America."
The gay market is drawing attention from:
•Companies. Travel industry-related firms from United Airlines to Travelocity have stepped up their marketing to gays. ABC Carpet & Home in New York has a gay wedding registry for same-sex partners. Wal-Mart (WMT) offers seminars to employees, called "Why Market to Gay America."
At American Airlines (AMR), managers George Carrancho and Betty Young head a team that markets to gay travelers and small businesses. The airline sponsors community events and offers a gay-oriented website (www.aa.com/rainbow) with travel deals, an e-newsletter, podcasts and a gay events calendar.
American has focused on gay consumers since 1994, when a gay manager persuaded former CEO Robert Crandall that gay travelers were an untapped market. Crandall agreed. Since then, the company has enjoyed annual, double-digit revenue growth for gay customers.
"We're committed to this market," Carrancho says.
•Cities and tourism bureaus. In years past, local governments and tourism offices — aside from San Francisco and a handful of other cities — "politely ignored" gay travelers and businesses, Roth says.
Now, dozens of cities and convention bureaus are going all out to lure gay visitors. They're spending millions of dollars on print, TV and online advertising. They're showcasing cultural and film festivals, gay parades and gay-friendly hotels and restaurants.
In Miami, tourism officials — downplaying Florida's old image as a retirement site — use splashy travel literature and commercials to showcase the region's nightlife, museums, the performing arts and ethnic neighborhoods. They work closely with the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, whose travel guide reads: "Miami: Diversity Celebrated Daily ... Come feel the vibe."
"Gays are good for business and good for our community," says George Neary, director of cultural tourism for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The partnership works."
•Mainstream marketing. Many more businesses engage in crossover marketing, advertising not only in gay media outlets, but also mainstream ones.
Frances Stevens, founder and publisher of lesbian magazine Curve, jokes that the new ads are much classier than the old ones, which featured brawny, hairy men toting beers.
Advertisers are much more sophisticated about the buying habits of gays and lesbians. They know, for instance, that many lesbian couples live in the suburbs, raise children and are very loyal to particular brands, whether cars, cellphones or clothing.
"The old image of lesbians wearing flannel and eating granola bars is not an accurate picture of the market," says Stevens, whose current issue of Curve features advertisers Showtime, Pepsi and Washington Mutual.
At Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, a San Francisco-based chain of boutique hotels, consumer research has found that straight and lesbian businesswomen and vacationers share similar values, lifestyles and hobbies, Chief Operating Officer Niki Leondakis says. They like spas and fitness offerings, classy interior décor and personal service from friendly staffers. They prefer to spend on companies that support women and give to non-profits. Also important: personal safety and good security at hotels.
Kimpton offers getaway packages and many other popular promotions to lesbians and straight women — a large and growing segment of their regular guests.
"The market has enormous potential that just now is coming to light," Leondakis says.
Companies that cater to gays and lesbians still risk a backlash from fundamentalist religious groups, which have called for boycotts of companies that market to gays, donate to gay non-profits or portray gays as "normal" families in ads.
In recent years, Ford Motor, Walt Disney, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble and other companies have felt the ire of the American Family Association and other fundamentalist groups.
Despite the potential for controversy, a recent survey by Opinion Research and Fleishman-Hilliard found that 68% of Americans would still buy from companies that marketed to gays.
Demographers have found that, contrary to old stereotypes, gays cut across all lifestyles, ethnic groups and generations, says Bob Witeck, head of Witeck-Combs and author of Business Inside Out: Capturing Millions of Brand-Loyal Gay Consumers.
Many are "early adopters," or consumers who love new technologies, from the latest laptop computers to the flashiest personal digital assistants.
Gary Humbarger, 44, a gay copywriter, travel adviser (http://travelcoach.blogspot.com/) and avid online shopper, loves the special touch from companies.
On a recent trip with his partner to Santa Fe, he rented a car from Budget and was pleased to learn that he didn't have to pay the typical charge for an extra driver. Why not? Because Budget treats gay partners like married spouses.
"If a company has a good record with gays, I'm certainly going to remember that," Humbarger says. "I speak with my dollars."
Posted 11/2/2006 1:01 AM ET
Updated 11/2/2006 4:00 AM ET
毎日新聞 2006年11月4日 10時24分