Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Memorial for kari edwards

You are invited to
a celebration

of the life and work of

kari edwards (1954-2006)

This event will celebrate kari's indomitable spirit and compassionate revelation of body and language. The tribute will focus on kari's considerable legacy and include, poetry, music, performance and presentations of visual art.

Friday, April 27, 2007 at 7:30 PM

San Francisco Campus of the California College of the Arts

1111 Eighth Street

San Francisco, CA 94107

This event will be co-sponsored by Small Press Traffic and the CCA MFA Writing Program

Monday, December 04, 2006

My loving partner and publisher of this blog, kari edwards died on 12/2/06 her birthday. She touched many people with her writing and her blogs. Her presence in the world and on the internet will live on. Thanks

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Metis Birthday celebration turned into death ceremony, it may not be just an unfortunate tragedy

On the eve of 25th November, Nima a Metii (cross-dressing effeminate male, age about 25 years), who celebrated her birthday with few friends and friend's of friends in kumarigal near Baudha in Kathmandu, died yesterday afternoon around 2 PM, 25th November, at the Teaching Hospital. The hospital told that Nima died with "methyl" that may have contained at the alcohol they drank in the 25th Night. Nima was rushed to the hospital just before 2 mp after started vomiting, the doctors at the emergency unit told that it was too late and Nima died soon after. Then at the evening other people who were at the party and drunk same alcohol started getting sick and rushed to the teaching hospital and were cared for methyl. They were treated by ethyl agent to neutralized methyl. 3 Metis were released yesterday after the treatment, 6 others were in serious condition and teaching hospital told us to look for other hospital as the condition may get worse and need ICU support.

It may look an unfortunate incident but after knowing that two children came and sold the "cheap and best" alcohol to the Métis that contained Methyl makes the case mysterious and may have linked with 24rd nights attack against Metis by 4 men who called themselves "Maoist" in Lazimpat, Katmandu, we came to know that the house owner in Lazimpat called the Durbar Marg Police station while Metis were looted by these 4 men but the police never turned up.

There was a police for a while, keeping Nima's blood report, disappeared after other metis started getting sick.

Blue Diamond Society and its branch offices and staffs also received few threat calls of burning down Blue Diamond Society's office in recent days.

This is a matter of grave concern and Métis are feeling extremely unsecured. We demand the police to take through investigation find the source of the Methyl alcohol that was sold to the Métis by two children.

We call your support and solidarity in this crisis.

Sunil Pant
Blue Diamond Society

Metis, victims (of political change?) in Nepal by Sunil Pant

After the recent peace deal between the Nepal Government and Maoist, like every other Nepalese, Métis (cross dressing effeminate males) also were in expectation that their rights would be ensured and they would also enjoy freedom and safety. But the situation and hate crimes they faces from many angles everyday makes them believe that the situation for Métis has become far worse than before. Before, most of the violence against Métis were committed by Nepal police but recently many Métis were victimized by men who called themselves Maoist. On night of 24th November 2006, four men, tow of them were in combat dress came to the Métis room at Lazimpat where few Métis share a apartment building and the group of Métis were abused physically, verbally, beten badly, threatened not to become Métis anymore. Their mobile phones, money, jewelries were also looted. Those 4 men, who claimed themselves from Maoist party, told Métis to come and collect the phones at Maoist office either in Kalanki or in Kupondole.

Yesterday Blue Diamond Society contacted the Maoist valley operation in charge, Yadav. He came and talked with Métis and told the unfortunate incident last night was not carried out by Maoist as they don't do this kind of looting especially from the most poor and marginalized section of population. However, Yadev told at the meeting that this was not the only case that these kind of criminals carrying out using Maoist's Name and his party was also looking for these criminals. Many Métis told it could be a group of petty criminals who constantly need money for substance use or some kind of organized move to compromise the Maoist Credit amongst the general Neplai.

One of the looter some how dropped his photograph and Métis handed over the photo to Yadav. Yadav insured the Métis that their party would try their best to crack down these kind of criminals who are using their names.

In another incident, Police from Durbar Marg Police station arrested two Métis on the same night, no charge has been filed and it's already more than 36 hours. Two Métis, nick name Bagini and Rekha (age about 25, 24) were arrested from Durbar Marg, front of Royal Palace. They were taken to the Kamal Pokharai saying they don't have enough room to keep the Métis separate in Durbar Marg Police Station, then they were brought to Durbar Marg Police station yesterday. They were not given any food or drink yet. One of the police officer told they couldn't file the charge as it was Saturday that's they had no mandate to provide the Métis food or drinks. One of the police officer also told that they didn't know why these Metis were arrested as it was done by the Police Inspector who was also in charge of that Police station.

Blue Diamond Society is very concern of such violence and arrest from state and non state parties and demand thorough investigation over these incidents by the Police and Maoist and bring the perpetrators into justice. We also demand that government must bring law and policy that prohibits discriminations and hate crimes against Métis on the basis of sexual orientations and gender identities. This kind of violence and discrimination against Métis will be no longer tolerated and government must take immediate action to ensure the safety and freedom on minorities in Nepal.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

*Rally among Discrimination of Transgender Kokila on 18th October 2006 -**Pondicherry,India.*

One Transgender named Kokila age 32 was suffering from abdominalpain and was admitted in Female surgical emergency ward at G.H Pondicherry. She was advised to have an operation. She was also found that she was HIV positive. The nurses attending on kokila asked her to lift her saree show her "sex organ" – if male or female. Then she was allowed to sleep on the floor. She asked a blanket for her use and was scolded as "Transgender like you, can do without any comfort. And the doctor threw the case sheet in her face and she threw her out of the room cursing her and warning her never to step again into G.H.

Being a Transgender, Kokila is also a human like any others; shehas all rights in the society, to have proper treatment when in ill. The doctors who have to save lives behaved in this manner. Then how can one expect the general people to be kind to Aravanis.

"Sahodaran", a CBO working in the field of prevention forSTD\HIV\AIDS in Pondicherry conducted a massive rally on this issue to show the opposition to such insult and violation of rights and to show the unity of MSM people and the T.G of all over Tamil Nadu and Pondy. They invited all the organization all over Tamil Nadu and Pondy.

* *"FMSASHP" *Federation for Male Social And Sexual HealthProgramme* is formed at Trichy by the CBO`s in Tamil Nadu. It has nearly 21CBO`s as the members in it. Out of it 15 were registered and the remaining was in process. All over Tamil Nadu, the CBO is willing to show their opposition for this Kokila matter. They formed under FMSASHP and arranged a bus and took part in the rally on 18th Oct 2006, at Pondy. Nearly 13 CBO`s from FMSASHP participated in it. From this 13 CBO`s nearly 70 MSM people and Transgender participated and showed their protest against Pondy Government.

With regard to this issue the rally starts from in front of Forest Department on and passes thru Subbiah square – Anna Square – Anna Salai – Nehru Street – Mission Street – General Hospital and closing stage at Gandhi Thidal on 18th October 2006, between 11.30 am to 1.00 pm. About 350 MSM Peoples, Aravanis, CBOs, and NGOs participated from all over Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

They shouted slogans against Pondicherry Government and Hospital Officials to take immediate action. They also demanded their basic rights. The Inspector of Police Mr. Saravanan negotiated the mass. Mr. Ganesh, Project Manager, Sahodaran Pondy, explained the issue and their demands to the officials.

At the end of the rally Mr. Ganesh, Project Manager, Sahodaran Pondy, Mr. Jaya Kumar, Secretary, FMSASHP Trichy, Mr. Killivalavan Human Rights Activist, Pondy, Ms. Aasha Bharathi, Director, THAA Chennai, Ms.Priya Babu, Director, Sudar Foundation Kanchepuram, met the Chief Minister and handed over a memorandum. The Chief Minister Mr. Rengasamy took immediate action at the spot for immediate enquiry.

Organizations attended:

- THAA [CBO] Chennai
- Sudar Foundation [CBO] Kancheepuram
- Sahodaran [CBO] Chennai
- Sahodaran [CBO] Pondicherry
- Sahodaran [CBO] Karaikal
- Lotus [CBO] Kumbakonam
- MCDS [CBO] Chennai
- PNP+ [CBO] Pondicherry
- READ [NGO] Cuddalore
- Villupuram Aravanigal Association [CBO] Villupuram


- SWAM [CBO] Chennai
- Snegyitham [CBO] Tiruchirapalli
- Naam [CBO] Dindigul
- Friends [CBO] Tanjore
- Nesam [CBO] Coimbatore
- Udayam [CBO] Pudukkotai
- MSMS [CBO] Erode
- Wheel [CBO] Karur
- Gokulam [CBO] Madurai
- Bright [CBO] Ramanadhapuram
- CARE [CBO] Theni
- ADAMS [CBO] Salem
- Pasam [CBO] Cuddalore

Mr. Jaya Kumar, secretary, snegyitham request every reader of this
email to send a response email to
sahodaran_pondy@ sifymail. com, snegyitham@yahoo. com.

As a solidarity measure,

A-53 Ground Floor,
Park View Road,
Anna Nagar, Tennur,
Tiruchirapalli- 620 017.
Tamil Nadu, India.
Ph: +91 (0) 431 2794719.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

UN: New Report Says Violence Against Women Is a Human Rights Violation

Classification Obliges States to Punish Perpetrators and Prevent Abuse

(New York, October 9, 2006) - The Center for Women's Global Leadership and Human Rights Watch welcomed a report issued by the United Nations today that classifies abuse against women - whether it happens in the home or elsewhere - as a human rights violation. As such, states are obliged by international human rights standards to hold perpetrators accountable.

The 140-page report, entitled "In-depth study on all forms of violence against women," which was issued by Secretary-General Kofi Annan's office, confirms that violence against women by spouses, family members and employers is a human rights violation, settling any outstanding debate on this issue. By squarely stating that it is, the report says that governments have an obligation to protect women whether the perpetrators are state or non-state actors.

"This report acknowledges for the first time from the highest levels of the United Nations what human and women's rights advocates have documented over the past few decades: violence against women is a massive human rights violation that is both a cause and a consequence of deeply ingrained inequality between men and women," said Charlotte Bunch, executive director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University, and a member of the secretary-general's International Advisory Committee for the study.

The report describes promising practices in the fight against violence against women, but dismisses state efforts so far as mostly ineffective. Even with a sophisticated analysis of the problem and, in certain cases, strong laws related to this violence, most national-level responses have been inadequate, and have not eradicated the impunity perpetrators too often enjoy.

"The secretary-general's study conveys a very simple message," said LaShawn R. Jefferson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Women's Rights Division. "The individual who carries out any form of violence against women has committed a crime. A government that does not develop, fund and implement all necessary laws and programs to prevent and to punish this violence violates international human rights law. Both the individual committing the violence and the government blithely letting it happen must be held responsible."

The study highlights the need for additional attention to violence suffered by women from marginalized groups (such as indigenous peoples or ethnic minorities). The report also draws attention to the problem of under-documentation of violence and control of women's bodies and sexuality as an insidious component of gender inequality. In addition, the study addresses violence in conflict situations, pertinent issues related to criminal justice systems, service provision for survivors, the need to work with men to address violence, and needs of women who are facing multiple forms of discrimination.

It is incumbent upon the next UN secretary-general to commit to advancing the specific recommendations set out in Kofi Annan's study, and it is imperative for human rights advocates to keep pressure on governments to fulfill their responsibility, said Human Rights Watch and the Center for Women's Global Leadership upon the launch of the report.

The report's recommendations are directed at member states and at various entities within the UN system, and include a call to document and register all forms of violence against women and to provide leadership at all levels in the condemnation and prevention of violence against women.

"What the secretary-general's study makes clear is that this violence is not inevitable: with sufficient political will, funding, and carefully developed and targeted programs, violence against women can be significantly reduced," said Bunch. "The issue now is, will governments and the United Nations make a firm commitment to act on the findings of this report?"

To read the UN report, "In-depth study on all forms of violence against
women," please visit:


For more information, please contact:

At Center for Women's Global Leadership, Charlotte Bunch (English):
+1-732-932-8782; or +1-732-642-5271 (mobile)

At Human Rights Watch, LaShawn R. Jefferson (English, Spanish):
+1-212-216-1290; or +1-917-442-8256 (mobile)

Monday, October 09, 2006


Arsham Parsi's speech in 2nd Session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva:

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen:

My name is Arsham Parsi. I am Secretary General of the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization. PGLO for the past four years has volunteered its efforts to paint an accurate picture of LGBTs’situaton in Iran. And we will spare no effort in the struggle to increase the basic human rights of Iranian LGBTs. Today, I have the immense responsibility of reporting the situation of Iranian LGBTs in but a few minutes.  And, there is inevitably much that will be left unsaid. Our organization has prepared information packets that are available to you, and that you can study at your leisure to gain a better understanding of the living conditions and the hardships we face.

First of all let me thank the conveners of this gathering, and express my sincere appreciation to the organizers, who have provided us Iranian LGBTs with this opportunity, however brief, to express our concerns, and to demand our basic human rights after many years. But today is also an important day for us. Today is the anniversary of the first expression of the desire for freedom by Iranian LGBTs- the first time we raised our voices.

It was about three years ago we decided that since no one was hearing our voices, we should announce our existence and make our presence felt. Three years ago on October first, we asked our members, who numbered less than fifty at the time, to break their silence- to gather on a Yahoo chat room for a discussion, which we named “Celebration of Voices”.

Some twenty individuals did sign on, but no voices were heard. Our fear and apprehension were so high that we could not even speak amongst ourselves. No one dared to utter a word. But although our “celebration of voices” passed in silence, we did write to each other. This October first is the third anniversary of our “celebration of voices.” But now, we have a membership of more than five thousand, and millions can hear our voices.

Iranian LGBTs stand here in Geneva today, in the seat of Human rights in the world and can break their long silence. This is truly the celebration of our voices.

And I hope that our gathering will raise international voice demanding that any form of discrimination, persecution, abuse and murder of LGBTs is intolerable. I hope that we can send a message to Iranian LGBTs that they are not alone, and that they are part of a global family.

We want to say to Iranian families: “Do not drive your children away because they have a different sexual orientation- They need your support.”

We would like to say to all Iranians that the only difference between LGBTs and other Iranians is their sexual orientation- that human rights are for all, not the domain of only one group. We Iranians have to be united; to respect and defend each other's rights, if we are to achieve freedom and democracy. We want to ask, “If we do not recognize each other's rights, how can we fight for freedom and democracy?”

We in PGLO would like to tell the Iranian government that we, the LGBTs of Iran, solely because of our sexual orientation, are denied our civil rights; that we are not allowed to organize openly, or to assemble freely; that we are denied the right to register as an NGO. We would like to say that because of misinformation, we are even denied physical safety, and worst of all, because of anti-homosexual laws, we are forced into exile. But today we also recognize the rise of anti-Muslim stereotypes and racism in the West, and we condemn these racist expressions of Islamophobia. We condemn any portrayal of Islam as a lesser, violent religion. So we ask, not from the Western states, but from the Head of Islamic States, why the death penalty is applicable to LGBTs in nine countries, the majority of which are Islamic states. Therefore, we ask that if you believe Islam is not a religion of violence, then you must not consent to this travesty that is committed in the name of Islam in
 silence. We ask you to defend the rights of LGBTs in your countries.

Today, we would also like to say to countries that have accepted and gave safety to our refugees in their lands, and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee: “If Iranian LGBTs of leave their homeland, it is because they are persecuted and their rights are denied in Iran. By not properly supporting them and leaving then stranded in different countries, stateless and homeless, you also perpetuate the violation of their rights.”

We also want to tell the United Nations and its new Human Rights Council that the only words that define Iran today should not be “Uranium Enrichment.” LGBTs, ethnic and religious minorities, Iranian women and children, Iranian workers and political activists; each and every Iranian is under pressure today and defending their rights must be on the top priority of this honorable organization.

PGLO objects to the lack of civil rights in Iran, and demands that the systematic violation of human rights in Iran be effectively addressed. PGLO declares its readiness to cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations which defend human rights, especially the rights of LGBTs, and will devote all its efforts in promoting peace and tolerance.

Finally PGLO asks all legal and civil rights organizations to coordinate their efforts in defense of human rights and the rights of LGBTs.

- Islamic republic of Iran’s Punishment code must decriminalize homosexuality.

- Homophobia should be fought against.

- The systematic denial of Human Rights in Iran should be ended.

- We are humans- Human Rights are our rights.

- Rights are never given, they are struggled for.

- Do not forget Iranian LGBTs.

- Do not leave us alone.

Communication Coordinator
Persian Gay & Lesbian Organization – PGLO
(Recently renamed Iranian Queer Organization – IRQO)