Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trans Employment

Finding a job when you are trans is very hard, you never know why you were not hired and the company can give just about any reason why you were not hired.

So when a company hires 23 trans people that is news and so is when nine of them quit.
Nine transgender employees quit working for Kochi Metro
One India
Written by: Deepika
Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kochi, June 26: Kochi Metro's move to hire 23 transgenders, extending a helping hand to the marginalised section that often faces violence and discrimination has been praised by all. But within a week of operation, nine of them have quit their jobs as they were unable to find cheap accomodation in the city.

The employees had brought the issue to Kochi's mayor and the district collector but they have turned a blind eye towards the issue. Unable to cope up with the accomodation and wage system, nine of them have quit the job since its operation.
The company worked to find them affordable housing,
Sensing the issue, the authorities of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd on Saturday discussed the issue with the district collector and the Social Welfare Department so as to arrange affordable lodging facilities for them.
Too bad the railroad didn’t pay them a living wage in the first place. Like so many companies world wide by paying their worker below a living wage they for their employees to go on government assistance.

Saturday, June 24, 2017



The Republicans like to go back to our founding fathers… what would they do? They like to cherry pick quotes from the Federalist Papers and correspondences of the Continental Congress members, so lets look welfare in colonial America.

Back when I was in grad school for my Master’s in Social Work we read about how towns in New England took care of disabled or needy town residents and I was amazed at what they did back then.
Poor Relief in Early America
by John E. Hansan, Ph.D.

Early American patterns of publicly funded poor relief emerged mainly from the English heritage of early settlers. The policies and practices of aiding the poor current in England when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts were shaped primarily by the Elizabethan Poor Laws of 1594 and 1601, and the Law of Settlement and Removal of 1662. The English poor laws classified poor/dependent people into three major categories and established a requirement for “residency” before aid was provided. Dependent persons were categorized as: vagrant, the involuntary unemployed and the helpless. In effect, the poor laws separated the poor into two classes: the worthy (e.g., orphans, widows, handicapped, frail elderly) and the unworthy (e.g., drunkards, shiftless, lazy). The poor laws also set down the means for dealing with each category of needy persons and established the parish (i.e., local government) as the responsible agent for administering the law. Parish officials were given the authority to raise taxes as needed and use the funds to build and manage almshouses; to supply food and sustenance in their own homes for the aged and the handicapped, (e.g., blind, crippled); and to purchase materials necessary to put the able-bodied to work. If vagrants or able-bodied persons refused to work they could be put in jail.
In time, colonial legislatures and later State governments adopted legislation patterned after these English laws, establishing the American tradition of public responsibility for the care of the destitute while also requiring evidence of legal residence in a particular geographic locality (i.e., town, municipality, county) as a prerequisite for receiving assistance. The most popular means for caring for the poor in early American communities using public funds included: the contract system, auction of the poor, the poorhouse, and relief in the home, or “outdoor relief.” The contract system placed dependent persons under the care of a homeowner or farmer who offered to care for them for a lump sum. The process of “auctioning” the destitute resulted in an individual or family being placed with a local couple or family bidding the lowest amount of public funding needed to care for them. It should be noted the contract system and auctioning the poor were not prevalent outside rural or lightly populated areas. Part of the reason was evidence that the practice of entrusting the care of the poor to the lowest bidder essentially legalized abusive behavior and near starvation existence.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s as people moved off the farms and into the cities and as immigration increased we see the rise in Settlement Houses and away from the towns.

In Massachusetts town records indicated how welfare was handled in the towns, on the website Colonial Society of Massachusetts they write,
Once the overseers of the poor or selectmen in the towns determined that a pauper needed and was entitled to assistance, they typically turned to local families to provide care. In both seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Massachusetts, the care of paupers generally remained with the family—the basic economic and social unit that could provide housing, food, clothing, education, and nursing in the event of illness. But in the eighteenth century, family care began to assume a different quality, becoming more custodial as it was linked legally to the public poor relief system. Town officials employed families to care for the aged, poor widows, and orphans. While the town officials turned naturally to the family to resolve problems of poverty, the custodial families undoubtedly benefitted from the cash paid by the town as well as the labor of the working poor.

Agreements between town officials and custodial families were remarkably uniform; the towns paid a fee, usually for a year’s duration, for a resident to provide food, housing, and clothing for a pauper. If the pauper was physically able, the agreement would stipulate that he or she would perform labor. Similarly, the town usually agreed to provide the costs of medical care. These contracts for custodial care usually lasted one year. At the end of the year paupers often found themselves placed in another family. Ezekiel Day of Wenham, for example, lived with seven different families between 1757 and 1764. But widow Elizabeth McLane, a pauper from Northampton, remained with Samuel Clapp at the town expense between 1746 and 1760. Obviously a mutually satisfying relationship existed between Samuel Clapp and widow McLane for the town to continue support for fourteen years. Similarly, the Selectmen of Littleton employed John Bridges to care for John and Margaret Barret, two of the town poor, for nearly ten years. Bridges took the Barrets into his home in 1755, receiving four pounds for one year of care. When Margaret Barret died in 1761, Bridges buried her at a cost of twelve shillings to the town. Two years later, Bridges moved to Groton, and John Barret went with him “at the Desire and Request of the Selectmen of Littleton.” While living in Groton, the Littleton Selectmen paid Bridges ten pounds for Barret’s support. After twelve months, however, the Littleton Selectmen refused to pay maintenance costs for Barret, arguing that both Bridges and Barret had become residents of Groton. The Groton Selectmen, however, refused to support the eighty-five-year-old Barret. The sessions court resolved the dispute, holding that Littleton was legally responsible for Barret.
As we look at the budgets proposed by Congress and the Trump administration we see masses cuts to programs like WIC, SNAP, TAFNF and we see major cuts to Medicaid that low income families need desperately.

Just this week Trump said at a rally…
Trump: Immigrants Should Not Get Welfare for at Least Five Years
NBC News
By Ali Vitali
June 21, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — President Donald Trump said in a speech here Wednesday night he would soon introduce legislation that immigrants to America should not receive welfare benefits for at least five years.

The new measure will stipulate that “those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump said as the crowd of thousands at the campaign-style rally exploded into extended applause.
However, none of the Trump administration staff seem to know that the law already exists,
Legislation backed by then-President Bill Clinton, called the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996," states immigrants are "not eligible for any federal means-tested public benefit" for five years beginning when they come into the country. However, the law has exceptions and additional legislation since its passage has also affected eligibility
Also what a lot of people don’t know is that for programs like SNAP and TAFNF unless you are disabled you are required to be working after 18 months on the programs.

Finally I like to quote the Preamble to the Constitution,
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of


Saturday 9: Listen to the Music

Saturday 9: Listen to the Music (1972)
Because Zippi requested it.

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…

Once again I am up at the cottage cleaning it up to get ready for the closing on June 30th, sadly it is the end of an era. I will miss it terribly. I will do my best to reply to your comments.

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The lyrics say, "What the people need is a way to make them smile." What song lifts your spirits and makes you smile every time you hear it?

2) Lead vocalist/composer Tom Johnston reports that he's made a lot in royalties because so many radio stations use this as a jingle. Tell us a jingle that sticks in your head.
A jingle has been stuck in my head but now that you asked I can’t remember it, so thank you for getting it out of my head. So I will give you an oldie but goody to stick in your brain…

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz…

3) The Doobie Brothers got their start in San Jose, California. San Jose is the largest city in Northern California, thanks to all the tech companies that have headquarters there. Let's talk about the device you're on right now: are all your applications up to date?
Yup. And I hate Microsoft for forcing updates on you, they come at the most untimely times like when you are late for a meeting and you shutoff your laptop on to be told that there is a huge update that is being implemented and don’t turn off the computer.

4) When they were still a local band, the Doobie Brothers had a strong following among bikers. Are you attracted to biker culture?
But a little known fact, back in high school (when the drinking age was 18) a local biker gang used to have a keg party once a year and many of the members knew me, their nick name for me was Einstein

5) This week's song is from Toulouse Street, which is considered their "breakthrough" album. Tell us about a moment in your own life that you consider a "breakthrough."
When I thought that I was having a heart attack, that brought much change in my life… I started to transiton.

6) In 1987, the Doobie Brothers did a benefit performance for Vietnam Veterans at the Hollywood Bowl. Next to the Beatles, it was the fastest-selling ticket in Hollywood Bowl history. Which group do you listen to more often -- the Doobies or the Beatles?
WOW! How can you pick between the two bands, they both were at the top of the music industry back then and they have different styles of music, so I am going to pass on this question.

7) In 1972, when this song was popular, Wranglers were America's best-selling jeans. Are you brand-loyal to one jeans manufacturer?
Nope, I don’t pay attention to brands.

8) Grocery stores saw seafood prices fluctuate wildly in 1972 because of a series of confrontations between the United Kingdom and Iceland regarding fishing rights in the North Atlantic. (Iceland won.) What was the most recent seafood dish that you enjoyed?
Stuffed sole with lobster and crab stuffing. Mmm…

9) Random question: Which of these "top ten" lists would you prefer to be on -- the sexiest, the smartest or the richest?
In this time of life I would go for the richest.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sounding Board

This fall I am giving a couple of class lectures in the fall while the professor is away and part of the lecture will be on the intersection of race and trans people and how the two interact. So I have been searching Google Scholar (I miss having the research database from school, many of the papers that I find on the topic I can read unless I pay an outrageous fee.) for papers on the topic and I have come across a number of interesting papers.

One of the papers that I found is “Transgender Youth of Color and Resilience: Negotiating Oppression and Finding Support” and the Abstract reads in part…
Abstract This qualitative study explored the resilience of 13 transgender youth of color in the Southeastern region of the U.S. The definition of resilience framing this study was a participant’s ability to “bounce back” from challenging experiences as transgender youth of color. Using a henomenological research tradition and a feminist, intersectionality (intercategorical) theoretical framework, the research question guiding the study was: “What are the daily lived experiences of resilience transgender youth of color describe as they negotiate intersections of transprejudice and racism?”
So now I’m off finding information on, “intersectionality theoretical.”

Most studies that have focused on violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have overlooked the intersections among race, class, and gender (Mason 2002). Conversely, I examine LGBT, or queer, people's violent experiences through a feminist and intersectional lens, exploring the evaluations of 47 respondents interviewed in New York City. In particular, I build on studies that have examined the severity of anti- queer violence, focusing particular attention on LGBT people's evaluations of physical and verbal abuse (Herek, Gillis, and Cogan 1999; Rose and Mechanic 2002). Previous research has suggested that lesbians and gay men generally perceive homophobic physical attacks as more severe than verbal abuse or violence that is not based on their sexuality (D'Augelli and Grossman 2001; Dunbar 2006; Herek et al. 1997). In contrast, my results reveal significant intersectional differences, thereby dispelling the notion that LGBT people evaluate forms of anti-queer violence in uniform ways.
Still another paper “Gender Affirmation: A Framework for Conceptualizing Risk
Behavior among Transgender Women of Color” and its abstract reads,
Experiences of stigma, discrimination, and violence as well as extreme health disparities and high rates of sexual risk behavior and substance use have been well-documented among transgender women of color. Using an intersectional approach and integrating prominent theories from stigma, eating disorders, and HIV-related research, this article offers a new framework for conceptualizing risk behavior among transgender women of color, specifically sexual risk behavior and risky body modification practices. This framework is centered on the concept of ‘gender affirmation,’ the process by which individuals are affirmed in their gender identity through social interactions. Qualitative data from 22 interviews with transgender women of color from the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States are analyzed and discussed in the context of the gender affirmation framework.
Plus I have a copy of the 2015 GLSEN School Climate Survey along with a copy of the 2015 Transgender Survey. So I have lot of reading to do this summer, many of you probably find this all boring, so do I but if I am going to teach it I have to understand it.

Anyone have any thoughts on what I might also want to cover in the lectures for future teachers?

Another Nail In Our Coffin

As many of you might remember the guidelines that the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued for trans students under the Obama administration which said that schools had to recognize our gender identity. These guidelines were not pulled out of a hat but based on court rulings including cases heard before the Supreme Court (Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins) and other courts around the country. The case that I liked was…
The Schroer [U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in Schroer v. Billington] court compared a change of sex to a change of religion, noting that "[d]iscrimination 'because of religion' easily encompasses discrimination because of a change of religion." The court stated:
"Imagine that an employee is fired because she converts from Christianity to Judaism. Imagine too that her employer testifies that he harbors no bias toward either Christians or Jews but only to 'converts.' . . . No court would take seriously the notion that ‘converts’ are not covered by the statute."
And there are dozens of other federal cases that found we are protected under Title VII and Title IX.

So now the Trump administration is ignoring all the legal precedent and issued their own guidelines,
Trump administration issues new letter on transgender students
Catholic World News
June 23, 2017

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education has issued an instruction stating that schools that fail to use transgender students’ “preferred names and pronouns” are committing harassment.
In February, the Trump administration withdrew the previous year’s directive.

The Trump administration’s new instruction states that this withdrawal “does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying or harassment.”
And now schools can force us to use the bathrooms of our birth gender or to use a staff bathroom.

This is just another case of the Trump administration refusing to enforce federal law.