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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Predicting a sex change...

American and European Santa Claus to change his sex and sexual orientation
12/17/2004 10:42
When Christmas was reinstated in Russia as an official winter holiday, it never regained its erstwhile festivity and popularity

The tradition to celebrate Christmas in Russia was broken after the Great October Revolution. Christmas is still considered a minor winter holiday in Russia, giving way to grand New Year celebrations. Christmas was persecuted in Russia as a religious vestige. The New Year was much luckier: the first New Year tree appeared in the Soviet Union in 1936. The main figure of the winter holiday, Father Frost (the Russian Santa Claus), appeared at that time too.

The image of a kind, fairy old man was obviously borrowed from the Western culture. The Soviet Santa Claus, however, has a granddaughter, known as Snegurochka (Snow Girl). The character was taken from the fairytale written by the Russian writer Alexander Ostrovsky.

When Christmas was reinstated in Russia as an official winter holiday, it never regained its erstwhile festivity and popularity. The majority of Russians feel nostalgic about their Soviet past. Russian people still prefer to celebrate the New Year. Patriarch Aleksi II could not become a substitute for Father Frost; the divine service in the Christ the Savior Cathedral has not become as popular as the New Year celebrations in the Kremlin.

Father Frost and Snegurochka appeared during the Stalin's era, but they managed to become something purely Russian - they are the two most popular winter characters in Russia nationwide.

Christmas is obviously the central of all holidays in the West. Europeans and Americans think about nothing but Christmas sales in December. However, Western Christmas traditions are changing nowadays for political reasons first and foremost. A curious incident has recently happened in the US city of Denver. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper decided to decorate the City and County Building with "Happy Holidays" sign instead of the traditional "Merry Christmas" lighted phrase. The mayor believed that the neutral display of the Christmas wishes will be a token of respect to atheists, Jews and Muslims. Christian activists showered the mayor with protests and he had to reverse his decision.

Catholics and Jews are fighting over the Chrismukkah holiday in New York. The holiday unites Christian Christmas and the Jewish Chanukah. The idea to unite the two holidays sprang from businessman Ron Gompertz and his wife Michelle. They were inspired with the TV series "The Orange County," in which the family of the main character celebrated the fictitious Jewish-Christian holiday.

Christmas problems appeared on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean too - in England. The Anglican Church had big ideas about one of the most important symbols of the holiday - the Three Wise Men. Members of the special committee of the Anglican Church decided not to mention the Three Wise Men in the new editing of the prayer book. Modern English theologians are not sure if those men were actually men.

Members of the House of Lords of the British Parliament thought in 2001 if they could make Santa Claus a woman. The discussion was caused with a scandal, when personnel agencies protested against commercial ads in supermarkets, which invited men to work as Santa Clauses. According to the law about the sexual discrimination, a person's sex is not considered a job criterion. Spokespeople for personnel agencies said that the above-mentioned advertising in supermarkets was demeaning to women. To crown it all, Santa Clause job ads were considered illegal too. Bruce Robinson, the owner of the supermarket chain, suggested a slight change to the jobs ads to welcome women too. However, female candidacies for Santa Claus's position were supposed to be tubby, big and muscular. In addition, they were supposed to have a low bass voice. Needless to say that the fighters for women's rights were even more infuriated with such a suggestion. The dispute ended, when the House of Lords ruled that the Santa Claus job was solely a male prerogative.

Christmas brings surprises every year. Rotary International, a public organization of Great Britain, issued special instructions for Santa Clauses in 2002. The instructions regulated Santa's interaction with children to prevent any pedophilia-related scandals. Santa is not allowed to put children on his lap, and he is not supposed to let little children kiss him on a cheek. A modern Santa Clause can only blow kisses with the wind and shake children's hands.

American film-makers were obviously tired of the sickly-sweet image of Santa. Terry Zwigoff's movie called "Bad Santa" presented a whole new look at Christmas holidays. The movie is about a man, who puts on Santa's clothes every Christmas Eve to rob supermarkets. The man encounters an eight-year-old boy, who takes him for the real Santa, and the boy eventually changes the inveterate criminal.

It is not ruled out that Santa Claus will change his sex, color of the skin and sexual orientation. Western wise politicians are ready to take all religious aspects away from Christmas not to hurt Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and atheists. All Christmas characters might vanish from our lives in the future, but the Christmas tree, the politically correct tree, will most likely stay - green is the color of Islam.

Read the original in Russian: (Translated by: Dmitry Sudakov)

3,690 Posts
Custer said:
...Members of the House of Lords of the British Parliament thought in 2001 if they could make Santa Claus a woman... /QUOTE]

Christine Jorgensen found the answer to that question in 1952.

19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For those that don't know of the reference:

In 1952, She Was a Scandal;
When George Jorgensen decided to change his name ? and his body ? the nation wasn?t quite ready
By Michele Ingrassia
Newsday, May 5, 1989, Friday

IT WAS meant to be a private affair, a quiet series of operations that would change the 26?year?old Bronx photographer into a woman and, in the process, exorcise the personal demons that had haunted him since childhood. But even before she left the Copenhagen hospital in February, 1953 ? transformed from George Jorgensen Jr., the 98?pound ex?GI, into Christine Jorgensen, ?the convertible blonde? ? word had leaked out. Overnight, it became the most shocking, most celebrated surgery of the century. And even if the furor eventually waned, the curiosity lingered, following Jorgensen to her death Wednesday at San Clemente General Hospital after a 2 1/2?year battle with bladder and lung cancer. She was 62.

?I could never understand why I was receiving so much attention,? Jorgensen said in a 1986 interview. ?Now, looking back, I realize it was the beginning of the Sexual Revolution, and I just happened to be one of the trigger mechanisms.?

Christine Jorgensen ? with her sleek hair, smoky voice, slender body and smart clothes ? exploded into the nation?s consciousness in the halcyon days of the postwar Baby Boom, in the placid I?Like?Ike, I?Love?Lucy era when issues of sexuality, much less transsexuality, were strictly taboo. It didn?t take much to propel her private, two?year odyssey from man to woman into the object of international debate ? and ridicule. ?EX?GI BECOMES BLONDE BOMBSHELL,? screamed the headline in the Daily News, which broke the story on Dec. 1, 1952, after it was leaked word about the second of Jorgensen?s three operations.

Unwittingly, Jorgensen?s surgery proved to be something more than the lurid tale it was made out to be at the time: It was also the beginning of greater candor and understanding in the way the world looked at issues of transsexuality. According to the International Gender Dysphoria Association, by 1980 an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 American adults had undergone hormonal and surgical sex changes ? among them, tennis pro Renee Richards and British?born writer Jan Morris.

And while transsexual surgery has hardly become commonplace since it was pioneered in Europe in the 1930s, it has certainly become

less?than?scandalous in most quarters. Indeed, by 1982, when news spread that a Nassau County police officer had undergone a sex?change operation and was planning to return to the force, the response, from the county executive to the police commissioner, was more support than embarrassment. ?It [the surgery] wouldn?t get on the 95th page of the newspaper if it happened today,? Jorgensen said last year in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. ?It?s not news anymore.?

But it was news ? scandalous news ? when Jorgensen did it.

In those pre?feminist days, there was no end to the cutting appellations: The press described her variously as ?mankind?s gift to the female species,? ?the latest thing in blonde bombshells,? ?tops in swaps? and ?the turnabout gal.? In and out of the press, she became the subject of endless

conversation and the butt of thousands of titillating jokes. And that was just the beginning. While Jorgensen was still in Denmark, she had sold the rights to her life story to the Hearst Corp.?s American Weekly Magazine for $ 20,000. But that contract did little to dissuade other journalists ? and everyone else ? from besieging her.

On Feb. 12, 1953, when she stepped off the plane from Denmark at what was then Idlewild Airport, Jorgensen was greeted by more than 350 ?admirers, autograph hounds and just plain curious people.? Not to mention hordes of reporters and photographers who catalogued everything from her baggage (13 pieces of luggage) to her destination (?the swank Carlyle Hotel? in Manhattan) to her first beverage in America (a Bloody Mary ?containing two shots of vodka and tomato juice?). From then on, wherever Jorgensen went, neither the press nor the attendant carnival atmosphere was far behind. Every detail was grist for the mill: Her size 9?AA shoes. Her $ 10 contribution to a volunteer fire department in her new Long Island hometown. Her first Easter bonnet ? which landed her on the front page of Newsday on Easter weekend, 1953, a much?vaunted accolade traditionally reserved for Long Island?s society matrons.

The press couldn?t get enough of Jorgensen. The press was there on Feb. 26, 1953, when she took her driver?s test in Garden City ? as a Newsday reporter noted on the occasion, ?She, then he, had once been employed as a chauffeur. But her license had expired and so, said one wag, had the sex of the owner.?

The press was there on May 8, 1953, when Jorgensen made her debut at Hollywood?s Orpheum theater, narrating a 20?minute travel documentary she filmed in Europe: ?Her paycheck is reported to be $ 12,500 for a week?s work.? And the press was there a week later, on the flight back to New York, when Jorgensen announced that she planned to make her home in Massapequa, on a 150?by?100?square?foot parcel of land where her father, George, a carpenter, would build a six?room, $ 25,000 ranch?style house, complete with the most up?to?date burglar alarm system. ?Long Island,? she said, ?[is] a lovely spot to settle.? It became her home base until 1967, when her parents died and she moved to California. But if the press fueled the furor over Jorgensen, it was feeding a public that couldn?t get enough of her and a society that didn?t know what to make of her. Was she some sort of sideshow freak? Or a modern pioneer? There was no consensus. While gossip columnist Walter Winchell ridiculed her, hostess Elsa Maxwell feted her. While the Stork Club banned her, the Waldorf?Astoria welcomed her.

Jorgensen, from the beginning, never regretted what she did. ?I regretted at the beginning, that the press got hold of it and made my life such an open book,? she said in a 1979 Newsday interview. ?But the publicity, too, hasn?t been altogether bad. It?s enabled me to make an awful lot of money.?

Although Jorgensen preferred to be known as ?the noted color photographer? ? she even went to London in 1953 to photograph the coronation of Queen Elizabeth ? she made her money, and her mark, from her celebrity. The offers of Hollywood stardom that poured in from film producers when she returned to the United States never panned out. Nevertheless, Jorgensen decided that if the notoriety that was following her wasn?t going to die out, she might as well cash in on it.

During the ?50s and ?60s, she earned a more?than?comfortable living on the talk?show and lecture circuit and, most notably, as a stage actress and nightclub performer. The act, which she took from the Latin Quarter in New York to the Interlude in Los Angeles to clubs in Havana, Caracas and throughout England and Australia, was both serious and fun. With a straight face, she sang ?I Enjoy Being a Girl.? With tongue?in?cheek, she performed ?Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered? as a parody of her life before the operation.

Throughout the years of living under a magnifying glass, Jorgensen retained her sense of humor. But in her 1967 book, ?Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Biography,? it was obvious that she had considered life before the operation anything but joyous. As a child growing up in the Bronx, Jorgensen said, she was a ?frail, tow?headed, introverted? little boy who ?ran from fistfights and rough?and?tumble games.? When she was 5, she wrote, her Christmas dream was for ?a pretty doll with long gold hair.? Under the tree, there was a red railroad train.

A graduate of Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx ? Class of ?45 ? Jorgensen was drafted into the Army a few months after the end of World War II, as a 19?year?old who admitted years later that he felt like a woman trapped in a man?s body.

The road to Jorgensen?s transsexual surgery in Copenhagen began in New York, with years of independent research. At the Manhattan Medical and Dental Assistants? School, Jorgensen devoured information on the subject of sexual hormones and glandular imbalances. Then, through a friend who was a physician, the young man discovered it was possible to obtain sex change treatments and operations in Scandinavia. In 1950, George Jorgensen Jr. left for Denmark, staying with friends and keeping his plans a secret from everyone, including his family. It was not until two years later ? on the eve of the second operation ? that Christine Jorgensen finally wrote to her parents in New York: ?Nature made a mistake, which I have corrected, and I am now your daughter.? Although Jorgensen?s parents were shocked by the news, they welcomed their child home.

Jorgensen herself never married, but there were countless reports of liaisons: In 1952, a Texas GI told the world that he had dated her in Copenhagen ?and she had the best body of any girl I ever met.? In 1959, she became engaged; her fiance later broke the engagement. ?I?ve never been married,? she said in the Newsday interview, ?but I have been engaged twice, and I?ve been deeply in love twice. I was never engaged to the men I was in love with, and I was never in love with the men I was engaged to.?

When the notoriety died down, Jorgensen settled into a fairly private existence. After she left Long Island in 1967, she lived quietly in California, first at the Chateau Marmont, the historic apartment?hotel on Hollywood?s Sunset Strip, then in a four?bedroom house in Laguna Niguel, 60 miles south of L.A., and for the last two years in San Clemente.

Although she had dropped out of the lecture circuit for 15 years, she returned onandoff during the 1980s. She had also been planning a sequel to her autobiography and had been trying to find a U.S. distributor for a Dutch?made documentary on transsexuals, lesbians and female impersonators. After she was diagnosed as having cancer in 1987, she confessed that one of her remaining dreams was to appear on the hit TV show, ?Murder She Wrote.?

Jorgensen never found even fleeting fame on TV. But she didn?t need it. To many, she had won more enduring recognition, as a pioneer, as a man?turned?woman who broke down at least one of society?s sexual barriers. For her own part, though, she saw it as nothing more than a case of self?preservation. ?Does it take bravery and courage for a person with polio to want to walk?? she once said. ?It?s very hard to speculate on, but if I hadn?t done what I did, I may not have survived. I may not have wanted to live. Life simply wasn?t worth much. Some people may find it easy to live a lie, I can?t. And that?s what it would have been ? telling the world I?m something I?m not.?

3,690 Posts
Chromebolt said:
It scares me that you knew that Custer. :thumbup1:
The question is whether Custer knew her in the biblical sense.

19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BERLIN (AFP) - "Jawohl Viktoria," there is a Santa Claus.

That's what a couple of German state parliaments have said after being asked to consider a motion that the American-style is "nothing more than a fraud without any historical significance."

Peter Hahne, the curmudgeon who asked the state parliaments to ban the American-style Christmas icon -- a "Coca-Cola product" -- in favor of the old Saint Nicholas of German legend is clearly in the second of the three ages of man, in which:

He believes in Santa Claus.

He doesn't believe in Santa Claus.

He is Santa Claus.

The parliament in the state of Hesse said it was impossible to debate the subject in "an objective manner" and that it would be impossible to banish the old gentleman in a realistic fashion.

"I'd have to hide from my four-and-a-half year-old daughter if she found out that I had voted for the abolition of Father Christmas," said deputy Peter Beuth.

The deputies of the city state of Berlin said they "refused to participate in the exclusion of Father Christmas from public life, or to interrupt him in the exercise of his mission."

By the way, the American-style father Christmas was invented by a German, the Landau-born Thomas Nast, who was also responsible for the elephant and donkey symbols of the US political parties.
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