Saturday, August 30, 2014

All Night Long (All Night)

Saturday 9: All Night Long (All Night)
(because Lia asked for an 80s song)

If you're not familiar with today's song, you can hear it here.

1) This music video was produced by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Can you name a Monkees song?
Last Train to Clarksville

2) The song includes the foreign sounding phrases, "Oh jambali Tom bo li d, say de moi ya," and "Oh, Jambo Jumbo!" Mr. Richie meant to include language indigenous to the Caribbean, but was writing the song under deadline and simply made those phrases up instead. Tell about the most recent time you cheated or "cut corners."
I can't remember the last time that I "cut corners" it is not something that I consciously do

3) Richie was a frat boy at college. Kappa Kappa Psi, to be exact. Were you a member of a fraternity or sorority? 
Yes, and I try to hide that fact now. It was an engineering fraternity.

4) When this song topped the charts (September 1983), Vanessa Williams became the first African American to be crowned as Miss America. Do you watch beauty pageants?
Nope, never

5) Since it's Labor Day weekend, that holiday established to celebrate the American worker, let's talk about the workplace. Tellers work in a bank, actors work on a stage or a set, auto workers work on an assembly line. How would you describe your workplace?
What’s a workplace? I’m retired, I’ll be watching all you working stiffs go back to work on Tuesday from the deck of the cottage.

6) An estimated 40% of us have dated a coworker. Have you ever had an office romance?
No, but I tried.

7) Labor Day is a big weekend for travel. How did you book your last vacation? (Online, through a travel agent, over the phone ...)
I called them up on the phone. I looked up all the places in the area online and when I decided where I wanted to stay, I picked up the phone and called.

8) Mother Winters won't wear white again now until next Memorial Day. Sam thinks that's just crazy. Where do you fall in this heated mother/daughter debate? 
Wear white whenever you want. If I’m down in Florida in February I’ll wear white if I want to, so there Mrs. Winters.

9) When you look at back on Summer 2014, what will you remember?
Having friends up to the cottage, the trip to Fire Island and going to Falcon Ridge.

Speaking of Labor Day weekend, I'm up at the cottage with my brother's family so I don't know if I will have time to comment on everyone's blog.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Business As Usual

Once again the conservatives are crying over bathrooms, this time in Houston.
Bathroom Battles: Scaremongering Abounds about Transgender Public Restroom Usage
Huston Press
By Jef Rouner
Aug. 27 2014

In March 2013, Alexis Hollada, better known by her stage name, Doomstress Alexis, is on her way back from Austin with her drummer, Raymond Matthews, in tow. The pair have just rocked a gig during SXSW with their doom metal act, Project Armageddon, and now just want to get back to Houston after picking up a bite to eat at a diner on U.S. 290. There isn't much on the bass player and vocalist's mind aside from food and a chance to use the bathroom before the long drive home, and she's still high on the adrenaline from performing.

She and Matthews seat themselves and order coffee, which arrives a minute later while they look at their menus and wait for the server to take their order. And wait. And wait.

Time crawls along in the diner, which doesn't look particularly busy. Repeated attempts by the pair to make eye contact with or flag down a server are ignored. Even polite calls for help and service elicit either a dead stare or no response at all. Hollada finally realizes what's happening.
Since them Houston passed a non-discrimination ordinance, Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and three guesses what the conservative and religious leaders objected to… and the first two answers don’t count. Bathrooms! I bet you never would have guest.
Opposition to the bill, which includes a gender identity provision, comes mostly from the conservative and religious right, including former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Earlier drafts contained a paragraph mentioning specifically that businesses would not be allowed to refuse entry to any public restroom that was consistent with a person's gender identity.

Most of the opposition has been based on the notion that the ordinance made all bathrooms gender-neutral and that transsexual and transvestite men would now be able to easily and legally stalk women and female children in the stalls. Opponents call it the Sexual Predator Protection Act.
Wow, where have you heard that before?

And they used the same old lies like the one involving 2012 incident at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington which was a total lie. Who said that if you tell a lie often enough and long enough it becomes true?

Good Luck

There are twenty one states and the District of Columbia that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and there are eighteen states and the District of Columbia that ban discrimination based on gender identity. The EEOC has ruled that gender identity is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. However, there is no such protection federally for sexual orientation.

In California a gay man is suing Little Caesars pizza company and their franchise for discrimination because they would not give health insurance coverage to his spouse.
Pizza chain sued over healthcare for gay couples…
BY DAINA BETH SOLOMON
Wed Aug 27, 2014

(Reuters) - A former trainee manager at Little Caesars pizza in California sued the company for discrimination on Wednesday, accusing the Detroit-based chain of denying employees health insurance benefits for their legally wed same-sex spouses.

The lawsuit was brought in state Superior Court in Orange County, regional headquarters for the nation's third-largest pizza chain, by Frank Bernard, 47, who said he quit his job after Little Caesars refused to extend coverage to his husband of six years.
[…]
The Supreme Court ruled separately last year that same-sex married couples were entitled to spousal benefits available under federal law, striking down provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. But that decision did not extend to benefits private companies provide to their employees.
Those twenty one states that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, well Michigan is not one of them. And Little Caesars is self-insured under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) so therefore they are under federal law not state.

So I say to Mr. Bernard, good luck. I really do hope that you will win, but the deck is stacked against you.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dignity In Death

One of the last places that we are mis-gendered is in death where we have no say on what they put on the document.
Death certificates would reflect gender identity under California bill
Reuters
Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Sandra Maler

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Death certificates in California would be changed to reflect the gender identity of people at the time of their death rather than their sex at birth under a bill passed by lawmakers on Wednesday, the latest effort by the state to further the rights of transgender residents.

The bill, which passed the state senate on Wednesday and has already passed the state assembly, must now go back to the assembly for final approval of amendments before it is sent to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to be signed and become law.
[…]
"Once we are deceased, we are often at the mercy of others to treat us with dignity," said California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego. "The very least we can do is ensure individuals are given basic human dignity by honoring their authentic selves when they pass so that more pain is not inflicted upon grieving loved ones or the community."
And that is so true, in death treat us with dignity.

Update 9:00PM: Transgender Law Center reports that,
(Sacramento) Today, California’s Respect After Death Act (AB 1577) was sent to Governor Brown for his signature, having now passed in both the Assembly and Senate. The bill will provide guidance to help ensure that transgender people have their gender identity reflected on their death certificates. It was authored by Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins and sponsored by Equality California and Transgender Law Center.

A National Disgrace…

In a survey of foster youth in the Los Angeles County 11.5% gender non-conformity, 5.6% identify as transgender, and overall 19% of these youth identify as LGBTQ. Keep in mind that LGBTQ people make up only 5% of the population at large and trans-people are only about 0.5%.

The survey also found that,
Disparities in Experience.
LGBTQ youth have a higher average number of foster care placements and are more likely to be living in a group home. They also reported being treated less well by the child welfare system, were more likely to have been hospitalized for emotional reasons at some point in their lifetime, and were more likely to have been homeless at some point in their life. The significance of these findings is supported by previous scholarship that has linked multiple placements, mental health concerns, homelessness, and placements in group homes are barriers to permanency faced by all youth, and LGBTQ youth in particular.
We see this in Connecticut with Jane Doe; she is being bounced from one therapist to another and from facility to facility. She is currently in solitary confinement in a boy’s facility.

We see many children in DCF custody who “age out” of the system without a high school education. An article in the Hartford Courant about how the DCF does not track their children, the Courant said that,
The risks posed by losing track of children formerly cared for by DCF are significant. One of the concerns for child advocates, as well as DCF, is that children may become homeless if they age out at 18 without an education and family connections. With homelessness comes a raft of other issues: depression, drug and alcohol addiction, suicide.
We do not know what will happen to Jane Doe in two years when she ages out, but the odds are against her.