Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hat In The Ring

A number trans people are running for office including one here in Connecticut who is running for governor.
Trump Bump? More Transgender Candidates Seek Public Office
By Julie Moreau PH.D.
April 25, 2017

From the reversal of Obama-era guidance on transgender protections to the appointment of an Army Secretary who implied being transgender is a "disease" and the introduction of new state "bathroom bills," discontentment with the administration of President Donald Trump and the state of local politics has led an increasing number of trans Americans to come to the conclusion that public office is the best way to ensure their rights are protected and other hard-fought progressive policies aren't rolled back.

"Tired of Waiting for Change"
The number of transgender candidates seeking public office is on the rise, according to Logan Casey, Research Analyst in Public Opinion at Harvard Opinion Research Program. The recent announcement by Utah Democrat Misty Snow of a bid for U.S Congress brings the tally to 15, according to the LGBTQ Representation and Rights Initiative. This, however, still remains "a drop in the bucket" compared to non-transgender candidates, according to Casey.

Up until now, transgender candidates have focused on running at the state, local and administrative levels, Casey noted. However, with eyes on 2018, trans candidates are not only aiming to make an impact at the local level.
So who is running?
Brianna Westbrook, 32, is running as a Democrat in Arizona's 8th Congressional District on a platform of women's rights, environmentalism and education. Westbrook, who spent the past 11 years working in car sales, describes herself as "just a normal person."

Danielle Pellett, 36, is also running for U.S. Congress as a Democrat. She is looking to oust Rep. Pete Sessions in Texas' 32nd Congressional District, which he has represented since 2002. Sessions, who serves as Chairman of the House Rules Committee, received widespread criticism for denying Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history, was a gay club.
And here in Connecticut,
Transgender candidate running for Conn. governor
CT Post
By Neil Vigdor
March 7, 2017

Jacey Wyatt doesn’t conform to labels the way most politicians do.

She has run for local office in Branford, Conn. as a Republican and a third-party petitioning candidate.

Wyatt, who grew up as John Christian Pascarella before undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 2003, is running for governor as a Democrat.

“I don’t care if people are wondering what I have under my pants,” Wyatt told Hearst Connecticut Media on Monday. “My body obviously does not look like a typical politician.”

But Wyatt, 46, a former model who was born an intersex person, said she is not running to be the face of transgender rights. Nor is she looking to take sides in the ongoing clash between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and President Donald Trump’s administration over restroom laws, she said.
She is going to have a very uphill battle to get on the ballot, as one commenter said, “She will be known as the transgender candidate.”

Meanwhile over in the Philippines,
Congresswoman Geraldine Roman’s election was a breakthrough in the devoutly Catholic country – now she hopes Manila will pass a bill to outlaw discrimination against the LGBT community and build on her success
South China Morning Post
By Ana P Santos
27 APR 2017

There is an elevated stage in the basketball court-cum-community hall that Philippine Congresswoman Geraldine Roman is using to address her constituents, but she chooses not to use it.

Instead she remains on their level, cracking jokes and singing as she outlines her local government platform – emphasising her education and livelihood programmes and underlining her commitment to a national bill that will outlaw discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

It’s an issue close to her heart, for Roman is the first transgender woman to be elected to public office in the devoutly Catholic Philippines.
How do I look sitting in
the committee co-chair seat?
When I was in grad school for my MSW I took Nancy A Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work two day Campaign School workshop and the woman there from EMILY's List tried to talk me into running for office.

I‘m Beside Myself… An Interesting Duet.

For us trans women our voices do not change, once the vocal cords are stretched there is no going back but for trans men their voice does change and that creates an interesting opportunity.

Trans Singer Records Duet With Himself Pre And Post Transition
“This is my heart medicine for those in need.”
Huffington Post
By James Michael Nichols
April 11, 2017

A transgender singer named Charlie Peck has recorded a beautiful tribute for the transgender community: a duet with himself featuring his higher register before beginning hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and with his lower register, recorded nine months into HRT.

Peck told The Huffington Post that he decided to make the video, which features a cover of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, after watching other people’s voice comparison videos online ― and after thinking about how much of his identity is presented through his voice.

“I was first and foremost hoping for a voice that I could identify with,” Peck told The Huffington Post. “In contact with other humans, the filter through which everything you say is perceived is your voice. I was also really scared that I would not be able to sing any more. With these thoughts in my head an idea about singing as a way to show others my journey started to form. When I contacted my very talented friend, André Åhl Persson, who is also a musician, and he was willing and thrilled to do this project with me this seed of an idea started to grow.”
This must have taken a lot of planning once he decided to transition, he had to plan the dialog and choreograph the songs. Because there is no going back for a second take and I say songs because while I was looking up the song on YouTube I found he had done other songs…

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Once Again This Is Something That We All Know

That the really is no difference between trans and non-trans children, that once we get over our transition we are the same as everyone else.
Study: Trans and Cisgender Kids Aren’t That Different
Two University of Washington researchers find that ‘in many ways, the basic gender development of socially transgender children is quite similar to that of other children.’
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
April 25, 2017

Transgender children aren’t all that different from other children, a new study published in the journal Child Development suggests. They just have a gender other than the one assigned to them at birth.

For the study, University of Washington researchers Anne Fast and Kristina Olson recruited 36 transgender 3- to 5-year-old children who had socially transitioned, meaning that they are living as their gender but are still too young for medical treatment.

They also assembled a control group of 36 cisgender (non-transgender) children as well as a third group comprised of 24 cisgender siblings of transgender and gender nonconforming children. All of these children were asked to complete various tasks and answer standard questions related to gender.

Ultimately, the researchers found that the transgender children were remarkably similar to their cisgender peers, discovering that “young transgender children were just as likely as [cisgender] children to (a) show preferences for peers, toys, and clothing culturally associated with their expressed gender, (b) dress in a stereotypically gendered outfit, (c) endorse flexibility in gender stereotypes, and (d) say they are more similar to children of their gender than to children of the other gender.”

“These findings suggest that, in many ways, the basic gender development of socially transgender children is quite similar to that of other children,” they concluded.
I know maybe a half a dozen trans children and teenagers and it would be very hard to tell who is trans and who is not.

If their parents are cool with trans children their children will  be cool with trans children but if their parents make a fuss over trans children so will the children. The children get along fine, it is the adults who stir up trouble.

We Are Unique!

Every time I think about how unique we are these lyrics come to mind by Judy Collins’ song "Both Sides Now"
I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
And I would like to change the lyrics to…
I've looked at gender from both sides now
From male and gender and still somehow
It's gender's illusions I recall
I really don't know gender at all
We as trans people have looked at both genders and have seen male privilege, as trans women we have lost our male privilege while trans men have gained male privilege.
“As a man, people actually listen to what I say and pay attention”
The Independent
By Rachel Hosie
Thursday 13 April 2017

Most cisgender people will never really be able to understand what it’s like to be the opposite gender - as a woman, you might assume a man feels a lot safer walking the streets at night, and a man might presume people are friendlier to women.

But is it true?

Transgender people are in the position of having experienced both, and some have been sharing in a Reddit forum the differences in how they’ve been treated as a man or a woman.
“When I presented as a girl, they might not talk much or know what to say - I certainly wasn't treated like a granddaughter - but they feel much more comfortable around me as a guy.”

He explained that he’s also asked to do more errands than before: “partly because girls are seen as weaker/more delicate and partly because it's ‘character building’ for a boy, I think.”

One transgender woman revealed an interesting difference she’d spotted - since becoming female, men give her much more eye contact when passing by but less in conversations: “They're more likely to be looking around the room or at their phones or something,” she explained. Eye contact from women has stayed the same though.

What’s more, she revealed that the most annoying difference in treatment for her is that since becoming a woman, men constantly  make her justify and prove her interest and knowledge of sports: “When guys find out I enjoy baseball and basketball, they try to test my knowledge of trivia and see if I’m a ‘real fan’.”
I have a trans man friend who says that now all of a sudden he is an expert on cars, he could say that “I think your muffler bearing is going” and would nod their heads in agreement. While a trans woman who is a project manager at a large international company says it is like getting lobotomy and no one listens to you, that it takes a man saying the same thing and everyone’s agrees with him.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Please Give Us Money! But Not From You.

Right now as things stand, it is against federal law to block LGBT people from homeless shelters that receive federal funding.

Homeless shelters are always in need of funding but they turned away one donor,
Homeless Youth Shelter Refuses Donation From Gay Men's Chorus
The New Civil Rights Movement
By David Badash
April 21, 2017

40% of Homeless Youth Are LGBTQ, So Why Not Accept the Donation?
Hearts With A Mission, a faith-based homeless and at-risk youth shelter in Medford, Oregon, has refused a nearly $3000 donation from the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. The only youth center in Josephine County, it seems clear they're helping the most vulnerable in their community, but it's unclear how they can refuse a donation from a group just because that group is gay.

Hearts With A Mission recently asked the city council for an extra $26,000 to cover unexpected expenses, on top of the $50,000 they already receive from taxpayers.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports "officials from the faith-based group that runs the shelter said the decision to turn down the money was made with thoughts to the safety of the at-risk youths the shelter serves, not to discriminate against the gay men’s group."
Yeah right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
On its website Hearts With A Mission says it "is not a religious organization," and "not associated with any particular religious congregation." But it makes clear its Christian ideals.
Hearts With A Mission was founded on the same Judeo-Christian values that our nation was built upon. Faith at the shelter will be "lived" not "preached". As founder, I believe in God and the saving grace of His Son Jesus Christ. It will be our desire to serve God by the demonstration of our faith through action by our love for Him and the support of homeless and at-risk youth. It will be our highest honor to serve youth and their families of all backgrounds.
It seems to me that Oregon has the same non-discrimination law as Connecticut and Connecticut bans homeless shelters from refusing LGBT homeless people, so  if they do get the city funding they will not be able to ban LGBT youth from their shelters and they can’t preach to them about “their sins” either.

Shut Up!

Are we going back to the 50’s? Back to a time when anything LGBT was hidden in the closet?

Well one group is trying to do that to a math high school teacher.
Fla. teacher targeted by Kim Davis’s lawyer for promoting LGBTQ ‘propaganda’
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
April 21, 2017

A lesbian who teaches math at a Tampa Bay, Florida high school is being silent on this Day of Silence, in response to accusations leveled at her by Liberty Counsel, the law firm and extremist organization that advocates for anti-LGBT discrimination. Its most famous client by far remains Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

Lawyers Mary McAlister and Richard Mast, Jr., signed a letter of demand emailed to the Hillsborough County Public School district, demanding action against Lora Jane Riedas by end of the business day Friday.

The allegations against Riedas are in keeping with prior actions Liberty Counsel has made nationwide to earn it a black mark from the Southern Poverty Law Center, under the guise of “religious freedom.” In their letter to Superintendent Jeff Eakins, attorneys McAlister and Mast claim:
Ms. Riedas has prohibited at least three children from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming on occasion that they are ‘gang symbols.’
So what are their demands?
As of press time, Arja did not address the demands laid out by the Liberty Counsel lawyers:
1) prohibit Ms. Riedas from interfering with student religious expression, by banning cross necklaces, or otherwise appropriate clothing or jewelry containing religious references or symbols;
2) prohibit Ms. Riedas from promoting LGBT political activism during instructional time on April 21, or at any other time, using any of the attached ideas in GLSEN’s “guide;”
3) require Ms. Riedas to remove partisan political LGBT materials from her classroom, and remove all unrequested LGBT stickers from each student’s notebook; and
4) replace her as sponsor of GSA, and appoint a teacher of the District’s choice who can be trusted to be present at non-school-sponsored student clubs like GSA in a supervisory, not activist, capacity.
In other words shut up and go back into the closet!

I don’t know about the necklace incident, it could be a red herring to distract the issue of silencing us to make it more than LGBT rights and make it a religious freedom issue.

The issues of GSA and having LGBT material has been settled by the Supreme Court a long, long time ago, but it looks like to me that Liberty Counsel sees an opportunity to get it overturned by the current Supreme Court.

I feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg that we are going to see many more court cases challenging our rights to exist by the right-wing conservative. They feel that in today’s climate that they can bring back the oppressive fifties with a conservative court and a Republican controlled Congress.

On Sunday I went to the GLAD fundraiser with Stana and you can read about it on her .blog