Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Heat of the Moment

Saturday 9: The Heat of the Moment (1982)



On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) What's something you did or said "in the heat of the moment?"
I don’t usually do things in the “heat of the moment,” I am slow and methodical.

2) Asia's founder and bass player, John Wetton, passed away in January. One of his bandmates remembered him as a reliable performer who made everyone around him look better. Do you enjoy being the center of attention? Or would you, like Mr. Wetton, prefer to play a supporting role?
I rather be on the shadows, when you are in the spotlight you get hit with a lot of sharp barbs.

3) Asia is a British band who played their first US concert at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. The nearest major city -- Ottawa, Canada -- is a 90-minute drive from Pottsdam. When you were last in the car for an hour or more? Where were you going?
Yesterday (see my answer to question #9) when I went to court* in Danielson CT.

4) The song refers to disco hot spots, which apparently, by 1982, no one wanted to go to anymore. Let's make that negative into a positive. Describe your perfect night out with friends. Where would you go?
Dinner and a play, anywhere there is a theater and I have gone to about a half a dozen different theaters.

5) In 1982, the year this song was popular, someone laced bottles of Tylenol with cyanide. That's why we now have tamper-proof caps on many products. Have you used anything in a tamper-proof bottle yet today?
Yes, I think the next time I order my meds I will request regular bottles.

6) In 1982, Time Magazine's Person of the Year wasn't a person at all, it was "the computer." What do you use your computer for most often?
Everything! I use my laptop for work, suffering the web, games, and to keep my papers rom blowing around.

7) 1982 also saw the premiere of The Weather Channel. Where do you learn the day's weather forecast? (Watching the local news on TV, checking your phone, looking out the window ...)
Mostly from the TV, but I have a weather bug on my homepage.

8) In 1982, Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie, Conan the Barbarian, was a hit in theaters. When you settle down to watch a movie, is it usually a fantasy, like Conan? Or do you prefer another genre (action, comedy, adventure, romance, drama, classic ...).
I like SiFi, and old classic mystery or spy movies.  But I don’t like horror or monster SiFi movies, my favorite is Outlander.

9) Random question: What is something you try to avoid?
Going through Hartford during rush hour, which I couldn’t do yesterday. It took 40 minutes to drive from way up in the northeast corner of Connecticut which is about 40 miles and 40 minutes to go the 5 miles through Hartford.

*I did training for the court staff and judges.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Written Out

When we try to pass legislation or seek grants one of the questions that we face is how many people does this affect? We use various sources to answer these types of questions; we use the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, the Census, and other government research to justify our needs. But when surveys and other researchers don’t ask questions it becomes harder for us to validate the needs of the community.
Federal surveys trim LGBT questions, alarming advocates
ABC News
By Matt Sedensky
March 20, 2017

LGBT advocates are questioning the Trump administration's quiet deletion of questions on sexuality from two federal surveys.

Combined with the withdrawal of another planned survey evaluating the effectiveness of a homelessness project for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, the moves have alarmed watchdogs who worry they may point to a manipulation of government data collection to serve the ideology of a government they view as hostile to their causes.

"In an age when LGBT rights are such a part of the national discussion, the Trump administration is choosing to not only ignore us but erase us from the discussion," said Laura Durso, vice president of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, a nonprofit liberal advocacy group. She worried officials might be rolling back such data collection elsewhere.

Each year, a survey done by the Department of Health and Human Services gathers data from those receiving transportation, homemaker and meal services, visiting senior centers, or taking part in other programs funded by the Older Americans Act. A draft of this year's National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, released this month, removes a single query asking whether a respondent is gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual from a battery of demographic questions.

A second HHS-sponsored survey, the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living, gathers feedback on counseling, skills training and other services provided to the disabled. A revised draft posted four days after President Donald Trump's inauguration included a question on sexual orientation, but the survey was subsequently edited, with the deletion of the sexuality question the only apparent notable change.
This could cause us grave consequences; with lose of funding for many LGBT programs and identifying our needs.

It also marginalizes use by denying our existence and I have to wonder if we will be even counted in the next Census.



This afternoon I am going to court.

I am giving Cultural Competency training to state judges and their support staff.



Update 8:20 PM

The bill banning Conversion Therapy was voted out of committee and the next stop is the floor of the House

From The Frying Pan In to The Fire

If you thought that it couldn’t get any worst on the national level you were wrong, it just got a whole lot worst. According to NCTE,
Trump Appoints Radical Anti-LGBT Activist to Lead HHS Civil Rights Office
Roger Severino spent much of his career demeaning and marginalizing LGBT Americans; civil rights groups express deep concern, urge recusal

This statement was co-signed by the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Health Law Program, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Women's Law Center, and Out 2 Enroll.

President Trump this week quietly appointed anti-LGBT extremist Roger Severino as Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS/OCR). The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Health Law Program, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Out 2 Enroll expressed grave concern that Severino, whose extreme views opposing women’s rights and transgender people brought him to prominence on the far right, will now be in charge of enforcing the very same civil rights protections he has worked to undermine.
And get a load of this…
Until this week, Severino served as Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society for the Heritage Foundation. There, he authored a report opposing OCR's implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex in federally funded health programs. Severino has called the efforts of agencies such as OCR to protect transgender people from discrimination an “abuse of power” wielded “to coerce everyone…into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology.” Contrary the conclusions of most courts to consider the issue, Severino has claimed that applying Section 1557 to gender identity discrimination constitutes a “radical” “redefining” of sex discrimination that is “not justified” by the law.
We just went back to the era of Jim Crow.

And there is still gets even worst…
Further, Severino has falsely asserted that HHS’s 1557 rule “create[s] special privileges based on gender identity” that can “force doctors to perform sex-reassignment surgeries” even when they are not medically necessary. The rule does no such thing. And these medical treatments, which Severino calls “controversial,” are supported by decades of research and the opinions of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and American Academy of Family Physicians, among others, as being medically necessary for many patients.
And women are not immune to his wrath.
Severino also strongly opposed HHS’s commonsense interpretation of Section 1557 to apply to discrimination related to pregnancy termination, including denying care to patients just because they have previously had an abortion. He has been a staunch opponent of access to contraception and other sexual and reproductive health services, opposing the ACA’s contraceptive access provision and calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
We have elected a psychopathic monster!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Not Good News

I think if you read the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey you will find a lot of the stress that we face is not because of our gender dysphoria but because of social pressures that we face. That stress manifest in many ways and according to Science News one of them is…
Transgender college freshmen drink more, experience more blackouts, study shows
Transgender students had more physical, social, academic problems due to alcohol
Date:
March 22, 2017

Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
A survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen found that students who identified as transgender were more likely than their cisgender peers to experience negative consequences from drinking, including memory blackouts, academic problems and conflicts such as arguments or physical fights.

Full Story:
A survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen found that students who identified as transgender were more likely than their cisgender peers to experience negative consequences from drinking, including memory blackouts, academic problems and conflicts such as arguments or physical fights.

The 989 students who identified as transgender were also more likely than their cisgender peers to cite stress reduction, relationship troubles or the sedating effects of alcohol as motivation for drinking, according to an analysis of the survey publishing March 21 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The results suggest transgender college students may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse, which can negatively affect their academic standing and their physical health, said Scott Swartzwelder, Ph.D., senior author of the analysis and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine.
[…]
A survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen found that students who identified as transgender were more likely than their cisgender peers to experience negative consequences from drinking, including memory blackouts, academic problems and conflicts such as arguments or physical fights.

The 989 students who identified as transgender were also more likely than their cisgender peers to cite stress reduction, relationship troubles or the sedating effects of alcohol as motivation for drinking, according to an analysis of the survey publishing March 21 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The results suggest transgender college students may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse, which can negatively affect their academic standing and their physical health, said Scott Swartzwelder, Ph.D., senior author of the analysis and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine.
The report ends with,
"Why do these students drink more, and what's making them more vulnerable to these negative consequences of drinking?" Swartzwelder said. "These are very important social questions we hope to answer."
I think I can answer this question. It is because societal pressures to conform, when you are being harassed, bullied, and marginalized the stress that builds up needs to find a way to be released and for many people including trans people they release that stress by forms of self-harm.

I would like to see if trans men show the same behavior or if society is more condoning on trans men because they gain status as oppose to lose status?



This afternoon I am doing training for town’s Community Services Council and their social workers.

A Bit Of Good News

With all the anti-trans and anti-LGBT bills being proposed it is nice to see one bill die in committee.
Tennessee transgender bathroom bill fails in Senate panel
WRCB
AP
March 22, 2017

NASHVILLE (AP) - A transgender bathroom bill in Tennessee has failed in a state Senate committee.

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday made no motion to consider the legislation by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet. The lack of a motion effectively kills the bill for the year.

The bill sought to require students at public schools and colleges to use restrooms and locker rooms of their sex on their birth certificates.
We need every victory that we can get in today’s political environment. What makes this noticeable is that the Tennessee Senate is controlled by Republicans. Maybe they are starting to see that they are going too far and the voters are not behind them and they feel exposed.