Monday, December 22, 2014

Special Rights!

We hear it a lot that LGBT people are demanding “special rights” when we want equality, when we want to be treated just like everyone else, but what do you call it when a group of people want to be exempt from the law? Exempt from domestic violence laws, exempt from child abuse laws, exempt from autopsies in cases of suspected homicide, being able to refuse full prescriptions or provide healthcare, and just about any other law, would you call that “special rights?”

Well that is what is happening around the country with states passing broad religious exemption laws,
Some conservatives urging right not to serve gays on religious grounds
Washington Post
By Sandhya Somashekhar
December 17, 2014

Conservative lawmakers in states nationwide are pushing to expand the right of individuals and businesses to not provide certain services to same-sex couples on religious grounds.

In North Carolina, a state legislator has proposed allowing government workers to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples even though such unions are now legal. A bill in Texas would permit voters to amend the state constitution in a way that supporters say would enhance religious liberty but that critics warn would harm the civil rights of gays and others.

A legislative fight is underway in Michigan, where the state House recently passed a set of contentious religious liberty bills, including some that would allow adoption agencies to refuse placements that violate their faith.
To me that seems like granting special privileges to religious organizations, to place them above the law.
James D. Esseks, director of the LGBT and AIDS project at the American Civil Liberties Union, said forces that oppose gay rights and were unable to stop the legalization of same-sex marriage in the courts and state houses have turned to a new strategy. They are “using religious freedom arguments in an effort to justify anti-gay discrimination because they want to ensure LGBT equality doesn’t affect them,” he said.
These laws could open up a huge gap in the way laws are enforced, one set of laws for atheists, and another set of laws “believers.” You can just about find in the Bible or other scriptures something to justify any discrimination or any behavior.

At one time we were a nation of one law, but now that is no long true.

How It Should Be Done…

When Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was repealed it was only for gays and lesbians; trans-people were still barred from serving in the military, but that doesn't have to be, in many of our allied militaries trans-servicemembers serve alongside, straight, gay, and lesbians servicemembers.
'Next time I work with you, I'll be a woman': What Britain's first transgender military pilot told Prince William as she speaks movingly of her momentous decision... and why she's frozen her own sperm to start a family
  • Flight Lieutenant Ayla Holdom is Britain's first transgender military pilot 
  • The 34-year-old worked alongside Prince William at RAF Valley in Anglesey
  • One of her first work events as a woman was to the Royal Wedding in 2011 
  • Here she reveals how working in the RAF has eased her gender transition 
Daily Mail
By Mark Nicol and Sarah Oliver
Published: 20 December 2014

Search-and-rescue pilot Flight Lieutenant Ayla Holdom flashed her ID badge at the security gate of RAF Valley in Anglesey.

It showed her as she had appeared just a few weeks earlier… as a man. ‘In you go, Ma’am,’ said the guard. ‘Don’t worry, you aren’t the first and you won’t be the last,’ his words acknowledging the fact that Ayla was returning to work as a woman.

Flt Lieut Holdom, 34, is a decorated RAF officer who is Britain’s first and only openly transgender military pilot. She has been, she says, ‘one of the boys as both a man and a woman’.

Among the colleagues she told in a series of emotionally gruelling one-on-one meetings was Prince William, who was at the time a fellow co-pilot within the tight-knit team of 20 at RAF Valley.
No big deal, just a routine day at work. In Britain she servers alongside the Prince and it is not the first time royalty met a trans-person, Princes William and Harry met a trans-person, one of their professors at Sandhurst was a trans-person. At Sandhurst she was a military historian, a Senior Lecturer in War Studies, she was with the Strategic Horizons Unit in the Cabinet Office, and was a History Channel commentator. But here in the U.S. you still can get discharged for being transgender, the conservatives are fighting it tooth and nail to block trans-servicemembers.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Manspreading

We all have seen it. One of the big things that I noticed when I transitioned was when I went to the movies if a guy sat next to me he took up the leg room for two people and not only that but he hogged the arm rest.

Well now there is a campaign to end "manspreading" on the subway… good luck!
A Scourge Is Spreading. M.T.A.’s Cure? Dude, Close Your Legs.
New York Times
By Emma G. Fitzsimmons
December 20, 2014

It is the bane of many female subway riders. It is a scourge tracked on blogs and on Twitter.

And it has a name almost as distasteful as the practice itself.

It is manspreading, the lay-it-all-out sitting style that more than a few men see as their inalienable underground right.

Now passengers who consider such inelegant male posture as infringing on their sensibilities — not to mention their share of subway space — have a new ally: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
A poster taking aim at the practice of manspreading is part of a new civility-themed campaign by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Credit Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
I wish them luck, it has become a male right, seize all the territory that you can. Dominate others by taking their space and continue pushing until you have it all.
Several blogs regularly highlight instances of manspreading where knees stretch several feet apart. On some sites, images of large objects like the Death Star from “Star Wars” have been added with Photoshop into the space between the splayed legs. While there are women who take up more than their share of space, the offenders are usually men.
[…]
For men who think that sitting with their legs spread is socially acceptable, manners experts say it is not. Peter Post, the author of the book “Essential Manners for Men” and great-grandson of etiquette guru Emily Post, said the proper way for men to sit is with their legs parallel rather than in a V-shape

“I’m baffled by people who do that kind of thing, who take other people’s space,” he said.
There is nothing baffling about it; it is a male dominance thing… “this in my territory!”

Having transitioned you notice even more, before I transitioned I avoided “manspreading,” I never felt comfortable doing it and I tried to keep my legs together. And I noticed that the trans-guys waste no time picking up the trait, the classic “guy poise” arms crossed, legs wide open.

I Am Off To Mystic

This morning I’m heading down to Mystic Seaport with some friends. Today they waiver their regular admission when you bring canned food for the local food pantry so I usually bring around $10 worth of food since the normal admission for seniors is $22 I figure I will still get in at half price.

I’m bring my camera and I’ll post them once I process them.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether -- either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas?
I can’t remember that far back, but my guess is that since if you told Santa want you wanted for Christmas, greed probably overrode my shyness.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?
Nice, I’m never naughty she said with a gleam in her eye.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?
Well kind of since I’m driving down with my presents to give out.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year? 
I thinking about buying a tablet after the first of the year.

5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie?
Probably “White Christmas” because I was stuck watching it with my parents back when I was a kid

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day?
Yes, last year. I forgot what we watched but we all came out of the theater scathing our heads trying to figure what the movie was about and then we went and had Chinese takeout.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party? 
No, but I had fun watching others make a fool of themselves. Some of the guys who worked on the factory floor drank Polish vodka that was 180 proof and the only thing they cut it with was a maraschino cherry, just one. I tried a sip one time and WHEW!

8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather?
It used to be hot mulled cider but now I switched to cinnamon apple spiced tea. The cider has way too many carbs for me now.

9. What will you remember most about 2014?
The year has been rather uneventful so probably the high point was going to see the Broadway play “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” staring Neil Patrick-Harris with a former classmate. We went down for a Sunday matinee, on the night that it won three Tony Awards. It was the first my first Broadway.