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oliviajillxx2 : (22 December 2014 - 09:46 AM) Hello, I just joined, looking for support and friends in similar confusing condition. Not shouting just spaking calmly but sincerely. :)
CharityLynnC... : (22 December 2014 - 03:00 AM) https://www.youtube....h?v=wdVu7RhjjhY from 8am pst to 4pm pst im having a live christmas party on youtube for all who wants to join me. happening dec. 25th folks.
PamalaFlinn : (21 December 2014 - 08:11 PM) The publics attitude & tolerance toward us must change . More & more scientific research is needed to support our biological and physiological differences to the norm.  This research is imperative to our fight for our own civil liberties.
jennifer38 : (20 December 2014 - 03:43 PM) I'd like to thank everyone who dialed into my phone conference, earlier today.  It was a wonderful time.  Lord willing, I plan to do more of these after the holidays.  I will announce one as time gets nearer.
carrell : (19 December 2014 - 01:40 PM) Any members in New Mexico ?
jennifer38 : (19 December 2014 - 12:16 PM) I still plan to have another phone conference, tomorrow.  All members are invited.  Details are on the calendar.
UsernameOpti... : (18 December 2014 - 07:55 PM) Happy Birthday to stephani
MonicaPz : (18 December 2014 - 06:17 PM) Happy birthday, Stephani!
AshMich1945 : (18 December 2014 - 10:57 AM) Hello...my name when I'm transformed, is Ashleigh Michelle James. I'm a lifelong cd/tg from sw Connecticut. I've been fascinated by female attire and femininity since I was very young. Now that I'm mature, I can enjoy all the benefits of being a woman. I hope to meet many more members from CT and share my experiences with them as well as possibly go out for shopping trips, coffee latches and brunch.
CharityLynnC... : (16 December 2014 - 01:24 AM) lol
veronicabeta : (15 December 2014 - 10:16 PM) Recalling all the times I cursed "dial up" and was worried the Interweb might have become self aware !
UsernameOpti... : (15 December 2014 - 09:30 PM) Duct tape, bailing wire, bubble gum and a good hammer will usually fix nearly anything!
Lori : (15 December 2014 - 08:43 PM) Sorry about the outage today. We had server problems but banging on it with a hammer seemed to work! ;)
CharityLynnC... : (15 December 2014 - 08:22 PM) what in the world cause this site to be down for a day...lol..tried to get on and got an sql server error..
jennifer38 : (15 December 2014 - 10:56 AM) I plan to hold another conference this Saturday at 3 PM Eastern.  For those who came to the last one, the number and meeting ID are the same.  Anybody who does not have the number and is interested, please message me, as I've been advised to not openly post the number and ID for fear of them falling into the hands of troublemakers.  Also, anytime I bring up religion and The Bible, it is not meant to intimidate or embarrass anyone.  I'm sorry if anyone feels put down, because I have no intentions of doing so.  In spite of my transgender feelings, I have a deep love for Christ, but I respect those who don't believe like I do.  My goal of these telephone chats is simply to create a telephone hang-out for us fellow trans on all levels of the spectrum, and for our allies.  I hope to see you all there.
cross2play : (13 December 2014 - 07:57 PM) I cross dresser 1st time in days & walked on high street as her it was amazingly incredible : cdsing in moderation he he !
PamalaFlinn : (12 December 2014 - 02:56 PM) Jay P . I am in Baltimore sometimes.
MonicaPz : (12 December 2014 - 01:15 PM) Jen, it was great, and I can't wait!
jennifer38 : (12 December 2014 - 01:12 PM) I thank everybody who called into my telephone conference.  It was wonderful.  I feel good about talking to others and hearing their perspectives.  Lord willing, I will hold another one, soon.  The conference number and ID will always be the same.  I will let you all know when I plan to do this, again.  God bless you all.
JayPea25 : (12 December 2014 - 11:50 AM) Anyone in Baltimore!?

Noor Talbi


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olcharlie

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Morocco’s transgender dancer courts acceptance


[img]http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/wp-content/plugins/user-avatar/user-avatar-pic.php?src=http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/wp-content/uploads/avatars/150/1386886185-bpfull.jpg&w=75&id=150&random=1415922178[/img]Filed on December 22, 2014 by Associated Press
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Posted Image
Actress and dancer Noor poses for photographers as she arrives at the Marrakech International Film Festival in Marrakech, Morocco.(AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar, File)


CASABLANCA, Morocco (AP) — It was a slow night on the red carpet at the opening of the Marrakech film festival for the photographers and everyone was complaining over the lack of celebrities.


Then a car pulled up and out stepped Noor Talbi, Morocco’s most famous belly dancer. The photographers went wild. Darling of the jet set and a fixture for any society party or hotel opening, Noor’s statuesque six feet frame was clothed in a spangled, off-the-shoulder ballgown slit up the side to reveal her long legs.
Legs, that as a teenage athlete, won her a gold medal in the 440-meter hurdles at the national level — back when she was a boy who went by the name of Nourreddine.
In this conservative Muslim country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in jail, a transgender woman like Noor is not only accepted but is a celebrity. Her ability to seemingly transcend the restrictions of her culture speaks both to her star power and to a certain kind of tolerance toward sexual minorities in this North African nation — and even in the wider Middle East.
There are references to men affecting the clothes and attitudes of women in the Quran. In countries like Iran and Egypt, while homosexuality is illegal, gender change surgery is allowed, especially for those born hermaphrodites. Cross-dressing is also often found in the entertainment world and in Turkey one of the most famous singers of classical music was also once a man.
Casablanca, Noor’s hometown, looms large in the history of gender-reassignment operations. From the 1950s to the 1970s it was home to the clinic of George Burou, who revolutionized the science of turning men into women, including British model April Ashley and French cabaret dancer Coccinelle.
Noor appears to enjoy nothing but success: She has starred in several movies, headlined weddings for the wealthy, and is a regular on red carpets and big events. But there are limits. She cannot get her identity card changed to reflect her new gender, and Moroccan state television refuses to put her on air.
“Gender non-conformity is entertaining and confusing as long as it’s safely confined to a stage or TV screen, not something you meet on the street,” warned Scott Long, a rights activist with long experience in the Middle East. “Social prejudice against people who don’t conform to gender norms is very strong.”
When Noor arrived for her interview with The Associated Press, she glided into the lobby of the Sofitel in Casablanca dressed in a form-fitting black jacket and pants with heeled boots that set her well above everyone else in the room. She sat with the perfect posture of adancer and in her husky voice spoke in French about the performances she was giving around the world.
She’s even appeared on American television, with a role on Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model back in 2011, where she taught the aspiring models to dance with a tea set on their head during an episode filmed in Marrakech.
Noor does not want to talk about Nourredine, the boy she used to be, for she is now an “integrated woman,” she said. She referred only in vague terms to her “history,” comparing it to the checkered pasts of Hollywood screen sirens Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth.
“They tell me my costumes are too suggestive or my past — what past? We are speaking now of the woman of today, who is an artist and seduces her public,” she said about the TV executives. Noor often uses the word seduce, and one point gently tugs down the zipper of her jacket as she says it.
Noor’s past is the secret everyone knows but few mention.
“We accept Noor, it is burlesque, a kind of reality and fiction and it plays with the imagination of people,” said Ahmed Najim, director of the news site goud.ma who has followed Noor’s career for years. “She introduced Moroccans to the costumes, music and choreography (of belly dancing) and made it famous.”
Najim noted that there is a tradition of men dressing up as women in small villages to dance, when it wasn’t considered proper for women to do so.
While homosexuality is illegal under Morocco’s penal code, the measure is only sporadically enforced. In September, 60-year-old British tourist Ray Cole was arrested along with his young Moroccan boyfriend and sentenced to four months in prison, before being released.
For the most part, though, there is an atmosphere of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” with none of the witch-hunt mentality found in places like Egypt.
Noor isn’t interested in being cast in some sort of activist role for the gay community. She has hung up the phone in the past when contacted by activists. “I don’t consider myself part of that environment, I am now a woman, quite simply, and integrated.”
Born the southern resort town of Agadir, Noor grew up in Hay Mohammedi, one of the Casablanca’s many sprawling slums. As a teenager she was a track and field star, especially in the hurdles, but on the side she was always dancing.
“I was already dancing at 10 years old and my mother would stay ‘stop, this is a family wedding, don’t put the scarf on,’” she said, referring to the scarf worn around the waist by belly dancers. She left for Europe at 18, came back years later as Noor and began to dance in earnest.
Noor admits that as she breaks taboos, wows audiences and endures obstinate government officials, the struggle is hard and she yearns for that final official acceptance. The topic of her 10-year battle to get her gender change officially recognized on her state ID card still incenses her.
“A little piece of paper that’s just 4cm (1.5 inches), is this going to make me a real woman? I am 1.85 meters of woman and my body explodes with femininity,” she said.
Even so, her words quickened and her eyes flashed in annoyance as she described her humiliation when bureaucrats — or police officers — comment on the disjuncture between what is written on her ID and her appearance.
“If I wasn’t such a strong woman, religious, humanly and social, another might have killed herself,” she said.

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