Friday, December 7, 2007

Protest for an inclusive Anti-Discrimination bill!

http://lgbtact.org/english

Join the facebook group:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5888274167

Sign the online petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/lgbtsk/petition.html

In South-Korea a general Anti-discrimination bill announced on October 2, 2007 by the Ministry of Justice included sexual orientation along with a range of other categories as prohibited grounds for discrimination.



However due to pressure from (christian) conservative groups in South-Korea the current draft of the law was changed to exclude protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, medical history, national origin, language, educational background, family situation or family status, and criminal or probation history.



The alliance Alliance against Homophobia and Discrimination of Sexual Minorities is campaigning to restore all 7 deleted categories and include "Gender Indentity" as well. The ensuing controversy caused it to be withdrawn for further study and revision. It is expected to be re-released on Nov 27 before coming to a vote in the National Assembly sometime in March 2008. In the mean time campaigning continues


Monday, November 5, 2007

Rated X - Alternative Erotica Film Festival

www.videoinferno.nl

VideoInferno presents

RATED X - AMSTERDAM ALTERNATIVE EROTICA FILM FESTIVAL

15.16.17.18 NOVEMBER 2007 – OT 301 – Overtoom 301– AMSTERDAM

VideoInferno, in collaboration with De FilmFreak and Blue Artichoke Films, presents Rated-X, Amsterdam Alternative Erotica Film Festival, the first Dutch film festival entirely dedicated to alternative, artistic and radical erotica. Three days and four nights of big screen sexuality coming from a myriad of different perspectives.

Plenty of shorts and feature films, from Anna Biller's tribute to the lost innocence of 60's sexploitation "VIVA", to Maria Beatty's fetish fantasies. From Danish female oriented erotic cinema to Willem Van Batenburg's Pruimenbloesem, the first full length Dutch porn movie.
Several guests and speakers, among which Maria Beatty (director) and Willem Van Batenburg (director). Jennifer Lyon Bell (director of Blue Artichoke Films) will discuss the many confronting themes related to sexuality, eroticism and pornographic imagery in cinema and society.
Multiple video-installations, an exclusive presentation of the erotic/esoteric work of Italian painter Saturno Buttó, a sultry opening party with live acts and D&Vj's, and a dirty electro afterparty by Electronation on Saturday. This and much more to celebrate all of the tastes and flavours of erotic cinema.

For more information on VideoInferno and RATED X - AMSTERDAM ALTERNATIVE EROTICA FILM FESTIVAL, please check the website

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Which Female Action Hero Am I?

http://www.brainfall.com/test31_1.php

Okay I was insuffrably bored... this is the result... The other options were Rogue (X-Men!), Princess Leia and The Bride.

I wanted to be Rogue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



You are part Wonder Woman. You have a powerful and strong personality, and you use your persuasiveness and wisdom to keep firm control over your world. You are hard to break.
You are part Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You are outgoing, warm, and sociable. Your intelligence and intuition give you a strong sense of right and wrong; you may be soft, sweet, and a little air-headed at times, but you are fully capable of proving yourself more than a stereotype.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Seven...

- Oct 9th, 2007 Seoul -

Seven needles pierced my heart
but it doesn't bleed,
it cherishes the edges
and there is no pain,
not one drop
of seven flowers.
a rose, two lilies, one azalea
two eyes, just one more for me

I hold on to the air
but it fails me
it doesn't mean to
it just feels
like seven drops of ocean...

if I would believe in god,
then would god believe in me?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Airport security

So...

I arrived at Schiphol airport to leave for Sydney, looking towards a 26 hour travel time, including a 6 hour transfer at Incheon. Right in time as usual, nothing wrong, all as planned. All as planned and expected, including this: Airport security... I always get some sort of trouble from them in they need to search me, the entire is she-a-man-or-is-he-a-woman, by now I am so used to it that it even bores me. In any case I have learned to make sure that there is no reason to search me. I just make sure I follow all security regulations to the smallest detail and dress so that the metal detectors would not even notice me walking through in the slightest.

No, when I was rushing to pack, I stuffed my dilator in my handluggage as I didn't had room anymore in the suitcase I was going to check-in, and I was stressing as well. Bad idea... Schiphol airport security are %&#! in every sense of that word. So they noticed the thing in on the X-ray, big deal. So it looks like a dildo, big deal. So they wanna giggle-slash-laugh a bit about it, big deal... I would do the same. But no, thinking that I don't understand Dutch they start this loud conversation right in front of me about whether I was a man or a woman and that it would be weird to have it as a man and blablablablabla... No, I am a patient and sweet girl, but this time they didn't put a toe out of line but marched straight over it. So I snapped at them in Dutch, in any other situation the look on their faces would be fun when they realised I understood every word they had said, in this situation their silent imitation of a drowning fish was not amusing. A polite "sorry for my rude behaviour" would've been very welcome.

So, that's what you get at Schiphol. Same handbag, same content at Incheon at the security: nothing but a polite goodbye and a smile. Sydney: nothing. Schiphol: full of shit!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oxfam International Youth Partnerships 2007 - 2010

www.iyp.oxfam.org

Friday I will fly halfway across the world to Sydney for Kaleidoscope 2007. This event is the start meeting for the Oxfam International Youth Partnerships 2007 - 2010 organised by Oxfam Australia. I'm one of the lucky 300 selected out of 3000 applicants.

The Oxfam Internationa Youth Partnerships bring together young people and youth from all over the world that work in their specific communities towards social change. All those selected are involved in social minority communities, like lgbt or indiginous people, are youth activists and advocates. The Partnerships itself consists of a three year program. Mainly of course through the internet, the event in Sydney takes 8 days and is only a start off. But I'm looking forward to learning more and for new oppurtunities to collaborate with others working in similar fields in the rest of the world.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sexuality and D66

Sex and Politics... it feels like a Long Island Iced Tea with too much sour mix.

Yesterday I gave a workshop about sexuality for D66, a small social-liberal polical party in the Netherlands, together with the Björn van Roozendaal, Chair of IGLYO and Thirza Bronner, Chair of D66 Amsterdam-West. I was asked to talk about sex work and the sex industry in the Netherlands. Personally, while I don't really identify with any polical party in the Netherlands, I feel more for GreenLeft than D66. Though any oppurtunity to lobby shouldn't go wasted, and truthfully said: it's still one of the better parties in the Netherlands.

The discussion floated easily to the recent discussions about the famous Red-Light District in Amsterdam. Just to place things into context, here is the speedy version":

A long ago, in the land of Amsterdam, there was a Red Ligh District... Skip to present: this Red Light District is going to be gone if it's up to the PvdA, the Dutch labour party. More specifically: two of the PvdA city council members (aka Schaapman and Asscher) have taken up a personal (aka moralistic) crusade against the sex industry. Schaapman, drawing on her own experience in prostitution, feels she has to "save" us from such vile and a-moral practices. Apparently she feels that just because she had it bad, none other should feel better than she did. Tackling windows in Amsterdam is symbolic, nothing more. It's a hypocritical move, hoping to make this industry invisible and underground so they can pretend to have done a good job, regardlessly how bad to sex workers end up when the windows are gone. Take in mind, windows are one of the more independent and transparent ways of working in the sex industry. But of course "some people" think it's justifiable to force a group of independent and strong worker into the invisible and strip them of their independence just so other can feel good about themselves. Yes there is still coercion happening, but it's stupid and irrational to quote numbers like "99%" etc., even then actions should take the labour rights of the independent sex workers into account.

D66 does not yet have a position about this subject, but hell I wish they'd for one soon, and one that reflects their social liberal background and takes the rights and lives of sex workers themselves into account. Some humanity in all this hypocrisy wouldn't do any wrongs.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Barbie Doll Demo!

www.sexworkeurope.org

Protesting in public may be too big a risk for you but not for Barbie or Ken, they are used to the paparazzi!



Ruth Morgan Thomas from the ICRSE and SCOT-PEP is organising a “Doll demo”. From Bishkek to Barcelona, from Malmö to Manchester sex workers across Europe speak out!
Beg, borrow or steal a doll or two, dress them up and make a protest sign for them.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Way-too-full-time-job

Seriously...

Recently I've been having headaches and just now I am starting to realise why. Simply that I have, not just one but several, way-too-full-time-jobs. It just fucks with my head that the 28th is my first day off in whole of September. Not to mention the meager 3 days without at least 5-6 hours work that I was allowed to cherish in August. Summing up: IHLIA, YouAct, OIYP, PIC, etc. I'm losing track myself actually. It was easier to deal with it not knowing and just taking it on day by day, there is a reason I don't have an agenda of 2007 and just use a stack of notes for upcoming days, it makes it all seem less because the overview is lost.

A solution of just not working so much is difficult. After a while I the mind goes numb and I must admit a certain lack in common sense because of it. I guess denial is the first stage of this vicious circle. The second stage is just adrenaline and endorfines and other hormones that keep rushing in your body because of the stress. Lack of judgment keeps me from taking proper lunches or dinners resulting in a further decline of proper judgment... And there we are, an addiction to rival a crack addict. I am in need for Workaholics Anonymous.

Anyways, I guess it is not all that dramatic. Relieve will come soon in the form of my amazing Korean friends in October when I'll be in Korea again for three weeks after more 15 months of absinth (freudian slip... I mean absence of course). Though there are times I just want to smash my head into the computer screen in front of me, hoping that the shards of the monitor will jam into my forehead giving me a blissfull peace. Unfortunatly even that is taken away from me as they replaced all screens with flat-screens that are not strong enough to even just knock me out for an hour or so, but just break down and only supply me with a very bad headache.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

20 years Remembrance

www.homomonument.nl






"Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen"

"For friendship such an endless desire"


Jacob Israël De Haan (1881-1924)


On September 5th, 1987, history was written with the unveiling of the first "gay monument" in the world "to inspire and suport homosexual men and women in their struggle against denial, oppression and discrimination." It is placed on the Westermarkt in Amterdam, around the corner of the Anna Frankhouse. Funded partially by restoration funds for homosexuals in WOII, it's still the biggest and most visible monument specifically for gay people in the world. For 20 years it is a symbol of hope, recognition, acceptance,... Maybe not just for gay and lesbians, but all those who love differently.

The monument was designed by Karin Daan and consists of three equilateral triangles made of pink granite that are connected by an inlaid band. This band creates a fourth, larger equilateral triangle. One of the triangles is situated on the edge of the Keizersgracht and protrudes into the canal. This triangle has a set of steps that leads from the street and narrows to create a point that is suspended above the water. The point of this triangle, which symbolises the present, faces the National War Memorial on Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam. The second triangle, which is raised sixty centimetres above the ground and doubles as a podium, symbolises the future. Daan placed the third triangle between the paving stones. It points to the Anne Frank House and is the "memorial" that symbolises the past. A line from a poem is engraved in this stone: "Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen" ("For Friendship such an endless desire"), from the poem, "To a Young Fisherman" by Jacob Israël De Haan.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Amsterdam Pride (and Prejudice...)

Amsterdam Gay Pride, 1-4 August 2007

I've never really understood Gay Pride in Amsterdam. I mean, there are things to like (it's an nice party in the end, lots of visibility and a chance to take that queer looking outfit out of the closet) and things not to like (it's a nice party mostly for gay men, and mostly gay men who are visible and who are wearing the outfits), but there is something more to it I sometimes feel. Every time there is this huge fight... if it's not between the lesbians and gay men, it's between the city and the organizers, and if need the organizers will just organize the fight among themselves and the different partners to ensure the fight to happen. This year I didn't hear much fighting between the partners (Gay Business Amsterdam and the rest) but mostly between the city and the organizers. The issue at hand: the fact that during pride weekend there was also a football tournament and the expectation of lots of young handsome men that might not be so nice to all the pink stuff happening (aka homophobic hooligans).

Sometimes I honestly don't know what to be proud about during Amsterdam Pride. Just a look at the boots in the Canal Parade: ING bank, Job agencies, Television stations that never screen anything related to LGBT, Insurance companies,... Are we being proud of consumerism? No offense, we all consume, but this cashing into LGBT community just shows that Gay Pride here is more about companies promoting themselves in boots far out-decorating the gay and lesbian organizations and bars thanks to their budget than it is about a movement striving to make a change. Apart from that I feel there should be more to a "Pride Parade" than just gay men half naked on boats with only half a message attached to the nudity...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Closing... Closure

It's a strange feeling, aproaching closure, and maybe with that new beginning?

I've had my main bottom-surgery, decided not to have top-surgery. Maybe a small corrective surgery later this year, but that's not sure yet, and no big deal actually. A new law in Belgium has made it easier to change my gender on my birthcertificate (or in my case the transfer certificate cause of my adoption, not sure what it is called) and my first name.

I had to get a visa for Australia and dug up my passport for that, it's like looking at the passport of a stranger. Sure enough I am so used to being He-Jin that my old name and gender-registration feel so distant and vague. Sure enough I feel strangely distant from the surgery that I had only recently, almost as if it had happened three years ago instead of three months. Soon, no pills anymore, just 6 monthly injections for hormones. So I guess soon it'll be over (as far as something like this can be over), it's taken 6 years of my life... And to be honest, 6 years ago I thought I'd feel different.

When something's been a driving force for such a long time, when it's no longer needed and it fades away so quick, it leaves you feeling empty. Strange how that goes, henna? Anyways, already when I had surgery and got out of the hospital it seemed that others were more excited about my surgery than I was myself. For me, I've always been me, and the physical change didn't affect my feeling that much. It just gave me a little wisper "it's over, you can start living on your own now."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Support ZiTeng

http://www.ziteng.org.hk/aboutus/2007JUN29_e.html

SEND YOUR LETTER OF SUPPORT TO ZITENG AND SIGN ON TO THEIR PROTEST AGAINST POLICE RAIDS! ziteng@hkstar.com

ZiTeng is an NGO supporting the rights of sex workers in Hong Kong.


One-person-one-letter campaign against police extensive raids on one-apartment women
Recently, the police have started extensive raid on one-apartment women’s websites, flat owners. They also visit sex workers’ workplace for the survey, in which they force sex workers to provide all kinds of information. Sex workers have great worries that such police actions may end their business. Although the police spokespersons often claim that their actions are directed at the triad groups, the fact is that currently sex workers are mostly self-employed. The recent police raids on websites, flat owners, real estate companies and other people related with the work of one-apartment women only hurt sex workers. One-apartment women themselves are not illegal in Hong Kong. The police also state in different occasions that the sex work-related laws in Hong Kong (such as living on earnings of prostitution of others) are set up to protect sex workers from exploitation. However, police raids on websites and flat owners only discourage sex workers’ business. Sex workers are the ones to be eradicated. They can no longer make their living. They become the poorest victim. Hence, we now carry out a one-person-one-letter campaign to urge the police to respect sex workers. They have to stop police abuse immediately and all kinds of actions against the one-apartment women. Your support is highly appreciated. Please kindly send us your support and signature at ziteng@hkstar.com.

Our demands are as follows:
1. The police stop all actions against sex workers.
2. The police stop forcing sex workers to provide any kind of information and sign on the papers.
3. The police stop misusing the law, as well as wasting police manpower and resources on raiding sex workers. The Government should well use its resources on the development and betterment of the community’s social life, but not discouraging the business of one marginalized but self-reliant group.
4. Decriminalize sex work, repeal all the laws related with sex work, so that sex workers can enjoy their life.

一人一信反對警察洗太平地
警方近日洗太平地打擊一樓一網站、業主,又到性工作者的工作地方進行問卷調查,威迫她們提供資料,性工作者擔心警方會藉此把她們趕絕殺絕。雖然警方強調其行動只為打擊集團,但現時大部份的性工作者都是自僱人士,警方近日打擊網站、業主、地產及其他與一樓一工作有關人士的行動只是在打壓性工作者本身。香港一樓一並非違法,而警方亦經常強調與性工作者相關的法例(例如依靠妓女為生)背後目的是為了保護性工作者免受剝削;但警方現時拘控網站、業主等,卻令性工作者無法經營,最終的事實是性工作者被趕絕,無以為生,是最大受害者。因此,我們現發起一人一信行動,要求警方尊重性工作者,立即停止濫權及所有趕絕一樓一性工作者的行動,希望大家支持。請把你的支持和簽名電郵到 ziteng@hkstar.com。

我們的要求如下:
1. 警方停止打壓性工作者的行動
2. 警方停止強迫性工作者提供資料及簽名
3. 警方停止濫用法例、浪費大量警力和資源打擊性工作者。政府應善用資源,把資源投入發展改善香港民生,而非打擊一些自食其力的邊緣社群
4. 性工作非刑事化,消除有關性工作的法例,令性工作者活得更自在

Saturday, July 7, 2007

New tattoo!

난 새로운 타투 있어!

I have a new tattoo!



I love it, just down-left of my left breast, accentuating my breast! Yes vanity is my favourite sin.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

제3회 여성노동문화제

6월 21일(목)~23일(토)- 창원대학교 사림관

21일에는 15시에 언/고잉홈을 상영될꺼에요.

http://www.ww5050.org

Thursday, June 7, 2007

SeLFF 2007

http://www.selff.com, http://www.kqcf.org

At the Seoul LGBT Film Festival 2007 "Un/going home" is screened in the section "L Shorts". SeLFF takes place within context of the Korea Queer Culture Festival 2007, a festival which I unfortunatly will have to miss this year since I'm not in Korea... Anyways, the screening is Wednesday 6th (already past I know) and this Saturday 9th.

6월 6일(수)과 6월 9일(토)에는 서울LGBT필름페스티발에서 L-Shorts으로 언/고잉 홈을 상영되고 있어요.

Funny on their website with info about the films it says in the English section:

Hailing from Amsterdam, Hye-jin cannot be defined solely as an adoptee, transgender, lesbian, or sex worker. Jolly and less than adorable by turns, she has a ball at the KQCF and takes part in public discussions on amending laws on gender reassignment. During her short stay in Korea, has Hye-jin finally found home? Or must she once again set out in search of a home

Well it's funny to me, maybe others can't see the humor I see... I just wonder what they mean with "less than adorable..."?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hijras of Mumbai - Photo exhibition

http://www.transgenderfilmfestival.com

From 18th till 28th, May 2007, A photoseries by Anita Khemka (New Delhi, 1972) was shown at the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam in light of the 4th edition of the Netherlands Transgender Filmfestival. The photo's were taken during the shooting of the documentary Between the Lines: India's Third Gender featuring three the lives of three Hijras and Anita's interactions with them as a female photographer, which was screened at the festival as well. Not overly dramatic, neither casual, Both the film and the photos give provide an interesting look at the lives these Hijras. Meeting Anita and Laxmi (one of the Hijra featured in the film) was amazing. Both are very strong people, sharing and interesting friendship. I admire both of them for their creativity, their strength and courage.




Anita Khemka has worked as a documentary photographer for organisations like Unicef and UNAIDS with a focus on the position of women and sexual minorities in India. Khemka’s photographs are rooted in her experience as a woman, and her interest in how sex occupies a major part of people’s lives. Khemka is drawn to eunuchs and prostitutes whom she follows for years to film these intimate portraits.

Sex Work and Human Rights report - Asia and the Pacific

http://www.apnsw.org

A report by the Asia-Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) from a meeting organised by the Sex Workers Health and Rights Project (SHARP) and the Open Society Institute in March 2007 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Little swing...

Once upon a time in a land far far... More specifically June 2005 in South-Korea. I wrote this during my first trip their, for someone who's nickname just lingered on in my head. Maybe cause she was so kind to get me in a cab and pay for it when I was so drunk that I couldn't stand up. This poem is not her, it's only a tribute...

- Jun 4th, 2005 Seoul -

그네...

A swing on a playground
moves by wind and rain
it swings forth
but not back...

A girl once played
with a swing
on a playground
her footsteps are kept
frozen in the sand

A swing on a playground
pretending it swings
by the movement of a girl
that left long ago

That swing
on this playground
by wind and rain
it still swings
and plays
waiting for another girl

Monday, May 21, 2007

Empty Space...

I decided to post some of my old poems on here, since my old webbie is down. Hope anyone who reads is finds it nice.

- May 9th, 2006 Amsterdam -



Empty, filling up
half full and empty
a space is filled up

Empty, it feels
this space, looking at me
with eyes from walls so white
and air as hands, touching
and feeling, as empty
as ever...

Filled up,
half empty, yet so full
this space as life
so indecisive
and so true



A Korean artist friend of mine, Sanghee, used this poem in one of her
projects: "evening primrose" [달맞이꽃 / 夜來香] she did in the red light district in
Amsterdam. She gathered poetry from sex workers all over the world and projected
it on the streets and in the old church in the middle of the district at
night.



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

4th Netherlands Transgender Film Festival

www.transgenderfilmfestival.com

May 23 - 27, 2007. De Balie, Amsterdam

T-Image Foundation organises the 4th edition of the bi-annual Netherlands Transgender Film. This year's festival broadens its expected programming of cutting edge films to highlight other arts forms like photography, music, spoken word and live performance. Also this year there are two performances from veteran cultural agitators: the stand up comedy One Freak Show from Lynnee Breedlove that will open the festival and Kate Bornstein: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us from America's most wanted speaker on gender issues and theories Kate Bornstein will close the festival.

The programs range from the serious - such as a discussion of what needs to be done to secure civil rights for transgender people whether in prison or on the street in Get My Gender Right(s)! - to the timely - such as a consideration of how different generations of transpeople create images of themselves in Image Generation.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Parting...




A car drove by
a train as well
they ran into each other
maybe
someday they'll part again

Railroad sorrow
and backseat pain
turned around, collapsed
into each other they cry

Car and train, sorrow and pain
tears of joy, and smiling...
they ran into each other
maybe
someday they'll part again

Friday, April 27, 2007

B-day

Today I'm hitting 23.

Young to some, old to others. And I'm spending today without a party, but with a pussy. I guess I can't have everything.

어늘은 제 생일이에요. 지금 저는 만 스물세살이에요! 많이 선물을 주세요.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Un/going Home

http://www.indieforum.co.kr/

directed by Young-Ran Kim [김영란]
- South Korea/2007/34 min/Color/DV -

영란이라는 제 친구가 Un/going Home라는 다큐멘터리를 연출했어요. Un/going Home은 2006년에 한국에 제 여행에 관한 이야기에요.
5월10일에 서울에 열리는, 인디포럼2007에서 개막작으로 상영될꺼에요.

Un/going Home is a short docu that Young-Ran, a friend of mine, made about my trip to South- Korea in 2006. It will be screened at Indieforum 2007 at the opening on May 10th.

I met Young-Ran in 2005 during my first visit to South-Korea. When she heard I was coming back again, she asked me if she could film it. At first I didn't see why I should say yes. But she was very persistent and persuaded me.

The filming itself was stressfull, I'm not at all used to having a camera directed at me all the time. Although I can enjoy attention, I turned very very self-conscious, especially with the eczema I was suffering from at that time. And I closed up more than usual, it wasn't easy talking in front of a camera about personal things and feelings. At times I told Young-Ran to stop filming because I couldn't handle it for a moment. But she was very patient with me, maybe more patient than I might have been were I in her position .

When I watched the end result for the first time I had to take breaks every 5 minutes or so. It's so strange to see yourself in a docu. My cheesy dancing and in times stupid comments combined with the signs of some severe drinking doesn't really help me getting over the embarrasment. I know, that's my own fault.




Anyways, to summarize: it's a 30 minute introduction on how I talk to much, can't sit still, complain a lot and act definitly not my own age. Of course for me it's different to see it than others. It's a nice memory of a nice, yet stressfull, trip. For my Korean friends... well I don't know what they will think.

I guess I am somewhat scared of reactions to it, some of the few people who saw it were positive, but I do tend to say controversial things (especially when I'm drunk) in a maybe a bit of a black and white way. Things that may be interpreted in a wrong way, since packing 5 weeks into 30 minutes does tend to put things a bit out of context occasionally. I had my problems in South-Korea in queer community because of my outspoken comments before and wouldn't be happy with causing a stir again. And this time I would be talking about sex work as well... But then again, my politics are my politics, even if they get in the way of my social life.

I guess the only thing I miss is some footage of a hike I took up bukhan mountain. I was telling Young-Ran constantly that I would go climb a mountain just to make her climb that mountain with me with the camera and feel sadistic, and she thought I was joking. At the end she didn't include the footage, despite her efforts to get good shots in the narrow path with her maybe to big for such a hike camera. Actually I wanted to go up DLI 63 Building, the largest skycraper in Seoul, by stairs to for the same reason but didn't have time in the end...

In any case I'm happy that Young-Ran created a very balanced and diverse picture of me. It shows me at my best and worst, and mostly inbetween. Most important she showed my voice, my politics and my opinions. Not hers about me as happens so often with documentaries.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My vagina

My vagina... well it will look okay once it is healed, at least from what I see and hear from the doc.

For all of you that have been wondering how things have been the last seven days, here's the story:

Thursday, sleepy and bit stressed I thought it was more convenient to take the bus to the hospital than bike given that I wouldn't be biking home afterwards. Being a bit chaotic in packing my stuff (I managed to forgot pyamas, shampoo and toothpaste) I was already somewhat late, additionally I had no clue what so ever how long the trip was from my house to the hospital on public transport, since I usually bike. And of coruse I "forgot" that I didn't have a "strippenkaart" (the dutch variant of the public transport payment method), and not enough cash on me. Rushing to the ATM I found it none operational... Okay I was late... no worries since mostly I was bored out of my skull waiting in the hospital for several checks.

Friday, nervous and tired, since I didn't sleep at all despite the sleeping pills. I was scheduled for 8:30 AM I was told, so was fixed up (shower, shaving, pre-meds, the cute little blue weirdies they make you wear, ...) and rolled with bed and all to the roof. Yes the roof, okay that sounds really stupid but let me explain: The surgery rooms were due for renovation, so temporarily they flew in fully operational state of the art surgery-room-containers, no biggie, don't even notice that they're containers let alone they're on the roof. Nevertheless: I got surgery on the roof of the hospital. Anyways, back to the story, there was a mistake in the schedule apparently and I was taken back to my room and had to wait for another three hours. By that time I was so nervous that I cause an earthquake when I was rolled back into surgery shaking. Luckely the assistant-nurse person gave me something to calm down before she inserted the infuse or she would have missed the vane. Her words: "This stuff just feels like a good drink, you'll relax". That's where my memory ended that day...
Oh, for the record: yes I shaved myself.

Saturday, sunday, monday... they all can be shorted easily into pain-fever-dizzy-pain. On top of that I wasn't allowed out of bed at all, and wasn't allowed to eat... I survived on astronaut liquid chemical stuff, ulllhhhggggg!!! Anyways, basically I slept a lot, got lots of painkillers, had nurses and doctors check stuff between my legs (is a lot more boring than it sounds, sometimes painfull but not in a fun way).

Tuesday, I was allowed two biscuits!!! Jeeeeezzzz, never ever thought they would taste that damn good! they were dry, and bit old maybe, but they were the best two biscuits I ever had in my life!

Wednesday, they removed a lot of bandages, tubes, etc. and after some cleaning up it actually looked sort of like the end result, I mean I could imagine it would look like after the swelling would go away (which is a slow process so have to be patient, very very patient) I went out in the evening, to a friends house for a while.

That's where I am right now. Things are pretty okay, still pain but manageble, still exhausted easily but my friend does the house stuff. Surgery went well, took longer than expected, had some blood of someone else pumped into me, but all in all, it's all well.

Now all I need to think of a name ^^;

Monday, April 2, 2007

"Belle" honors sex workers all over the world


There is a new girl in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Her name is "Belle", and she stands proudly and strong in a window. She, however, is not a real sex worker, it is a statue there to honor sex workers. The statue was an initiative of Mariska Majoor, founder of the Prostitution Information Centre in Amsterdam and herself a long standing activist for sex workers' rights. "Belle" is there to remind the world that all sex workers, men, women, transgender or not alike, have a right to respect, dignity, livelyhood and agency.

The statue was unveiled 31st of March, during the open day held in the Red Light District where she now stands. During the open day 20 businesses, ranging from brothels and sex theaters to flowershops and churches, opened their doors for the public. It was a unique chance to take a look behind the scenes. Visitors could take a look inside the windows and were given explainations about how the women work, they could take a free coffee in one of the caffees, they got a free 5 minute show (with clothes) in the Cassa Rossa, the biggest live sex theater in Amsterdam.

Of Course the main event that day was the presentation of "Belle". At 5 pm, Mariska and several other sex workers ceremonially unveiled her in front of a croud of several hundreds. She was received with much applause, the sense of the day was a positive one. While not forgetting that still there is a lot to be done in the Netherlands to improve the working conditions and specially the regulations, the Netherlands is one of those places where working at least is legal. "Belle" now stands among the real women in the windows in one of the most famous Red Light Districts in the world, to tell everyone that we deserve respect!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My future vagina...

My future vagina...

Well, it'll be soon. 13th of April, Dr. Niessen at the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam will give me my (early) B-day present: vaginoplasty, a vagina, a cunt, a pussy, 보지, un colis, 보지... Oh yeah!

Anyways, let me just give some context to my future snatch.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, that wanted a vagina. 5 years ago she enrolled at a gender clinic to get it, 5 fucking years... indeed that's how long this gal had to wait. Worthwhile? maybe, but sooner 'ld been better.

This girl didn't think having an oversized clitoris and no vaginal opening disqualified her as a genuine female specimen, a fine female specimen she has always been, a pussy wouldn't make her even more genuine, or better, or perfect. No pussy would let her play nice, let her be penetrated by fingers, tongue, by vibrators, by dildo's, strapped-on or held by bitches who'd know how to get it right. A pussy would let her be naked, on beaches, in bathhouses, in many other places for sure, without feeling ... somewhat shy. Realising fully that her shyness wouldn't necessarily disappear when having a cunt, it would at least make her feel more comfortable with herself.

A funny note:
When I went for the first consultation some weeks ago, this Dr. Niessen asked me: Are you going to have sex with it? ... Silence ... While in my head a little voice sarcastically remarked: No, I'm gonna use it as a storage compartement for my mobile phone, you dork!
Well, I didn't say that out loud of course, since I do want to be on friendly footing with him. I'm sure he's mature and won't do a louze job out of sheer spite for my bitchy attitude, but still...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Disconnecty...

http://www.last.fm/music/Grandaddy/_/Disconnecty

The first time I heard this song was because a friend, 영란, used it in one of her films. The film was sort of about me. Anyways it just lingered, especially the lyrics, and it keeps lingering because I'm shamelessly playing it over and over and over and over (god thank for the repeat function on my mp3 player.)


Dearest Mom
Your yearling son
Has sent a message through
He's disconected, but he still loves you

Weather lies and motor rules
The color printer blues
On the engine air his thoughts flow through to you

Disconnecty said to disconnect
But has he read the tiny text
That said to disconnect
He'd best decide
The rest of all your life
Will be your right to fly alone
Forever more

Dearest Mom
Your yearling son
Has sent a message through
He's disconected, but he still loves you

Disconnecty said to disconnect
But has he read the tiny text
That said to disconnect
He'd best decide
The rest of all your life
Will be your right to fly alone
Forever more

And ever more

Album: Just like the fambly cat
Artist: Grandaddy
Year: 2006

"one-whore" from APNSW's Star Whores show

So, for all those into Karaoke, here is a political song. It's fun and amazing, and true to the bone.

Sing along to the song "one-whore" from APNSW's Star Whores show.

A song about why sex workers don't need to be rescued!

This is the Karaoke slide-vid and in 5 weeks we have a karaoke music vid up featuring different performers doing the song from across Asia and Pasific.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

For women's rights in Europe and across the globe...

What are European Values?
2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the 50th anniversary of the European Union. In light of that the German presidency will organize a meeting in March. All Heads of State and Government of EU member States will assemble and adopt a "Berlin Declaration" about European Values.

Personally I don't believe in "European Values". I don't believe in a "European culture" or "identity". Europe is a group of states that are so culturally different that grouping the values within these cultures together as "one" is simply impossible, it would be ever contradicting. Nevertheless an active lobby of religious leaders wishes to ensure a prominent mentioning of specifically "Christian Values" as an overarching European value.

The rights of social and sexual minorities are often restricted or discarded in name of religion and culture. – Newsflash - the crusades are not something in the past, they’re happening today and they’re as violent and damaging as in the past. Under the banner of morals and values oppression continues. Where in the past there was the inquisition, today there is more subtlety in what religious conservatives propaganda calls for. But an oppressive legislation can be as damaging as an inquisition.

If “Christian Values” are accepted as a so called European Value, what about access safe abortions? The rights of same-sex couples? Access to comprehensive sexual education? What about the right to choose your own religion, and your own religious values…?

I do not oppose Christianity, only the conservatism and its consequences. The Vision for Europe project is a joint venture between the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the European Humanist Federation and Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC). They have come to develop a one-page summary of their common values: the Brussels Declaration. A document that states the liberal values of individual freedom, democracy and the rule of law on which modern European civilisation is based. Values don’t need to be oppressive, they just can be.

But most of all, I would like to see is an assembly of all Heads of State and Government of EU member States that adopts a declaration about "European Rights" instead of "Values". Europe does not need a moral guideline, it doesn't need a declaration trying to tell what's "right" and what's "wrong". What Europe really needs is a strong statement that this Union will forever commit itself to promoting rights, in every sense of that word.

Under their MyBody brand, the World Population Foundation has initiated a petition for the rights of women in Europe. It is meant to draw attention of Heads of State and Government, gathered in Berlin on the 25th of March, to women’s rights and the importance of the neutrality of the State. Sign it!


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Will you be my Valentine...

The 7th day from now is Valentine's Day, the holiday of love.

And also the holiday of Hallmark, cheesy advertising and broken hearts... Truly what Saint Valentine originially intended to happen in his name on his day, I'm sure. But what would love be worth anyways if it couldn't be exploited for marketing? In this world not much, right? In any case at least Saint Valentine, if he ever existed, can rest in peace since the Catholic church stripped him of his day back in 1969 and the 14th of february is now officially dedicated to dedicated only to Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius.

Marketing efforts in Japan and Korea have shown even more brilliance. Not only do they capitalise on love for Valentine's Day, they further argue that March 14th should be similary garantee extra profit and there for is presented as "White Day". Whereas concentrated marketing has given rise to the custom of women having to give gifts to men for Valentine, of course men should return the favor and boost sales of cards, chocolate, lingerie, etc. for a second day. After that Koreans thought it be nice to honour those who are single and were left out for two succesive days and on "Black Day", April 14th, those who didn't receive anything for Valentine's or White Day gather to eat Jajangmyeon, noodles in black sauce. Maybe singles are still feeling left out because obviously their Black Day only gives extra profit to Chinese food delivery and thus they cannot share in the feeling of being exploited by capitalism.

Of course, mostly it is those queers that don't fit into the mainstream and heterosexist advertising and marketing for what is commonly mistaken as "love" that are left out. While I feel that queer visibility is important, the more capitalistic and disgustingly cheesy Valentine becomes, the less I mourn about being queer and not seeing my kind of "love" reflexed in this day. In all honestly I have something against Valentine, something that probably started due to the fact that I never seem to get Valentine cards or presents.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Faceless Things

얼굴 없는 것들 Faceless Things

directed by Kyung-Mook Kim [김경묵]
- South Korea/2005/65 min/Color/DV Cam -

I saw the film at the 36st edition International Filmfestival Rotterdam (IFFR 2007). Before seeing it I already read the descriptions in the program of the filmfestival, and those didn't leave and other conclusion that it would be an eye-opener and shocking. Though after watching it I wished that they hadn't written so openly about it, knowing to much detail about it beforehand takes away from the experience of watching it. And it is an interesting experience to watch it.

It comprises only three shots. The first is fiction, although based on fact: man meets a young rent-boy for sexa middle-aged family in a motel room. The manner it is filmed in gives a voyeuristic feel to it, which makes it look very realistic. The second is documentary: two young men meet in an anonymous room for a sexual experiment. In the middle of the shot an overlay animation interrupts the documenting with a poetic reference to the first shot. And the third gives a turn to the story, it moves the perspective from firstly voyeuristic/hidden camera and secondly documentary to a strikingly personal conclusion. All three sections, while at first sight seemingly unrelated, have visual and poetic links to each other.

Faceless Things is an experiment, and not one for the faint-hearted. It is a controversial and shocking, visually aggressive at times. The director himself says it is a disgusting film, but it's disgusting in a poetic way.