Sunday, April 30, 2006

When It All Clicks and Comes Together

Well for all of you out there wondering how the weekend went, it went wonderful. In the morning I cleaned and I ran around all afternoon Saturday shopping. I went to Linen & Thing for curtains for my guest room, Borders Books & Music for a gift for my Nephew’s daughter ( A book and a stuff animal set ), Target for a new robe and Stop & Shop for the food for dinner. When I got home I laid down on the couch and the next thing I knew the doorbell was ringing. The dinner went off without a hitch, the only reaction I got when I answered the door was an “Oh” and a smile and the only negative of the night was that they called me Don and “he”, but I’ll work on that.
Today we went up to my nephew’s condo for the birthday party, but I went as Don, I still have to tell the extended family.
So without future ado, here some photos I took on a walk of Litchfield (They are all within a half a mile of my nephews condo at the school)............















The above house is the house is the birthplace of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Litchfield located in the northwest hills of Connecticut, has many other historic sites. The town itself is an old farming town and county seat dating back to the colony days. It is where Sarah Piece opened to first academy for girls in America in 1792 and in 1738 Revolutionary War leader Ethan Allen was born here. Now many movie stars and New Yorker’s have weekend homes in the area such as Susan Saint James.



And this is the private school where my nephew teaches.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

FOUR FOR FRIDAY + 1

From belicove.com

Q1 - Possessions: Do you think that the more stuff you own enhances your life or adds to your burden?

No, the more stuff you accumulate the more you have to find a place to store it.

Q2 - Oil: If OPEC decided to turn off the oil spigot, do you think that the United States would have the right to wage war to protect its interests?

I don’t think we would have the right, but that won’t stop us.

Q3 - Movie: Have you seen the movie Ellie Parker with Naomi Watts? If so, would you recommend it to a friend?

Nope, never seen it or for that matter never heard of it either.

Q4 - Birthday: What are the maximum number of days someone should spend celebrating his/her birthday?

1 hour or maybe 2 hours at most.

Bonus Question...
Q5 - Dancing: How often do you dance... and I don't mean just boogying to your favorite tunes inside your car or in the shower. We're talking real dancing here, with a partner on a dance floor (weddings count).


About three or four times a year. Last time was at our COS Banquet in March

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa..............

I am guilt of slacking off writing an update for my Blog, I have been busy cleaning the house for my brother and sister-in-law who are coming down Saturday night to stay over. They are coming down to stay over for my nephew’s daughter’s birthday party on Sunday, my grand niece will be three. So I have been putting away the clutter that has been building up around my house and running errands to get some stuff that I have been putting off. I am planning on cooking Shrimp Creole for them Saturday night when they get here and they don’t know yet but they are going to be having dinner with Diana. We’ll see how that goes over when I answer the door for them. I don’t think they will problem with it and my brother has eaten dinner with me, however my sister-in-law hasn’t.
I just got back from the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition’ Board meeting where I offered to help out with writing a request for a grant. I have never written one before and I think that this would be good training for me. Here is a little secret of mine, I am thinking about going back to college to get my Master’s in Social Work. Now there’s a 180 turn from a Bachelors in Electronics to a Masters in Social Work. But as I get more and more involved in the GLBT community the more I want to help and the degree would help out immensely. However, I am scared of all the what if’s, what it I don’t do well, what if I can’t handle the class load, what if......... It has been over thirty years since I sat in a classroom and had to take tests, what if I freeze up on the tests. Well anyhow writing a grant would be a positive step towards that goal.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

SOS......SOS........... We have to Stop this Amendment

"AN ACT CONCERNING DISCRIMINATION. "

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and
internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. Section 46a-81p of the general statutes is repealed and
the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1,
2006):

(a) The provisions of sections 4a-60a and 46a-81a to 46a-81o, inclusive, shall not apply to a religious corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society with respect to the employment of individuals to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society of its activities, or with respect to matters of discipline, faith, internal organization or ecclesiastical rule, custom or law which are established by such corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society.

(b) The provisions of sections 4a-60, 46a-59, 46a-60, 46a-64, 46a-64c and 46a-66, as amended by this act, that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression shall not apply to a religious corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society with respect to the employment of individuals to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society of its activities, or with respect to matters of discipline, faith, internal organization or ecclesiastical rule, custom or law which are established by such corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society.”


They are already exempt from the law (a), why do we need this (b) amendment, it is only to rub salt in our faces.

Sec.46a-59. (Formerly Sec. 53-35a). Discrimination in associations of licensed persons prohibited. Penalty. (a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section for any association, board or other organization the principal purpose of which is the furtherance of the professional or occupational interests of its members, whose profession, trade or occupation requires a state license, to refuse to accept a person as a member of such association, board or organization because of his race, national origin, creed, sex or color.

Sec.46a-60. (Formerly Sec. 31-126). Discriminatory employment practices prohibited. (a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section:

Sec.46a-64. (Formerly Sec. 53-35). Discriminatory public accommodations practices prohibited. Penalty. (a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section: (1) To deny any person within the jurisdiction of this state full and equal accommodations in any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, age, lawful source of income, mental retardation, mental disability or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness or deafness of the applicant, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons;

Sec.46a-64c. Discriminatory housing practices prohibited. Disposition of complaints. Penalty. (a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section:

Sec. 46a-66. (Formerly Sec. 36-437). Discriminatory credit practices prohibited. (a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section for any creditor to discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status, mental retardation, learning disability, blindness or physical disability against any person eighteen years of age or over in any credit transaction.

As I understand this we can be discriminate against......

If we are want to join the a union, trade group....... etc etc

We can be denied admission to amusement parks, ballparks, hotels..... etc.

We can be denied rent, mortgages, loans, credit..... etc.

All they have to say is that it is against my religion and it would be all right to discriminate against us.
So if you were going to a ballgame and the person selling tickets says they do not want you there and they would have to say is that it is against my religion to sell tickets to your kind. And they are home free.
If you go to the DMV for a license, the person behind the counter could refuse to wait on you by saying those magic get out of jail words......... that it is against my religion
So if you are reading this and you are from Connecticut call or write or e-mail your Representative NOW. To find out how to contact your Representative, go to this web-site. http://www.cga.ct.gov/maps/Townlist.asp

Monday, April 24, 2006

III.) Less We Forget

Tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 25, it the day that Jews mark to remember the Holocaust. It is to remember, “......The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were "life unworthy of life." During the era of the Holocaust, the Nazis also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), the handicapped, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals”

When we think of the Holocaust we only think of Germany from 1939 to 1945, but that wasn’t the first genocide in recent times. In 1915 the Armenians were virtually wiped out by the Turks. In the 1970’s there was killing fields of Cambodia . More recently Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Bosnia, Brazil, Paraguay and on and on. It is a never ending list.

So tomorrow, stop and pause and think and remember.

Four For Friday

From Belicove.com:

Q1 - Sleepover: A friend calls you up and says, "Hey, me and some of my buddies are headed your way for a [insert reason here... concert, bike race, conference/trade show, etc.]. Can we crash at your place Saturday night?" What do you say... yes; no; depends on how many people they're bringing? Despite what you'd tell this friend of yours, if you made the effort, how many people could you accommodate for a one-night sleep over?

Yeah, I would let them crash. It wouldn’t be the first time nor would it be the last time. The most on a one night sleep over was ten, friends stayed over night to go to a Grateful Dead concert the next day.

Q2 - Learning: When did you last learn something entirely new, and what was it that you learned?

Four years ago I got my Web-Masters Certificate.

Q3 - Natural Disasters: A major earthquake (estimated to be about 7.7 magnitude) rocked a sparsely populated region of eastern Russia earlier today. Considering that certain regions of the planet are more prone to earthquakes than others, would you go out of your way to avoid those regions, even when traveling for leisure? For example, would not visit San Francisco, California, because of its earthquake-related reputation?

The threat of an earthquake would not stop me, you are more likely to get hit by lighting than be in an earthquake.

Q4 - Reading: Quick, I need to suggest a book for my guys & gals book club. What title should I assign to everyone to read (for the month of June)?

No, the books I have been reading lately would not make a good book club read. Although it was on Oprah’s book list, Jennifer Boylan’s "She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders"

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Working on the Cottage


Over the weekend I went up to the family cottage to work on the addition to the cottage. It rained most of the time and also we worked all day, so no pictures except the one I took from the cottage deck. As you can see the sky is overcast and it was raining lightly at the time.
I was hard for me because I went as Don, my brother’s brother-in-law doesn’t know about me and that made it hard on me. It was a “Men’s Weekend” a lot of male bonding and talk of sports, of which I don’t care about either one.

Thursday

I have a lot of catching up to do top bring my blog up to date.

Thursday was one of those days when everything came together. I took the day off from work, that was the first plus ( any day off from work is always a plus. ) and then I was on a panel discussion at Central Connecticut State University with three other transgender person, two FtM’s and one other MtF. That went excellently, there were about 150 -200 people in the audience and they asked a lot of good questions. Afterwards I went out to lunch at Rudy’s Tuesday with the panel organizer; she is the Director of True Colors and the other MtF.
Then I went grocery shopping, you say big deal! Well it was for me, it was the first time I ever went grocery shopping other than run in like a scared rabbit and run out. After I put away the groceries I went out to dinner with two friends and then over to Real Art Ways to see a new exhibit and hear a talk by the artist.
Then three friends and I went over to University of Hartford to listen to another lecture entitled “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights as a Freedom of Expression Issue". Once again we were the small "t" in GLBT, at least the professor admitted at the beginning of the lecture, when he saw us, that there was no “T”. It was interesting in spite of the fact it was all Gay and Lesbian based court cases.
Afterwards we raced back to Real Art Ways for the end of the cocktail party.
It was a very long day.

II.) Lest We Forget

A friend sent me this link to A.E.Brain Blog...........
http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2006/04/homosexuality-transsexuality-and.html

I.) Less We Forget

Transexual Found Slain In Suburban Motel
Police Looking For Killer


POSTED: 2:40 pm CDT April 19, 2006
UPDATED: 5:31 pm CDT April 19, 2006

CHICAGO -- Autopsy results confirmed that a 31-year-old Michigan
transsexual found Tuesday in a Motel 6 in Elk Grove Village was a
homicide victim.

Krystal Heskin, 31, of 6819 Meadow Ave. in Warren, Mich., died as a
result of craniocerebral injuries and blunt force trauma to the
head, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said after an
autopsy on Wednesday. Heskin was pronounced dead at 12:40 a.m.
Tuesday at the Stein Institute, according to a an office spokeswoman.

No one was in custody for the murder as of early Wednesday
afternoon, Elk Grove Village police said.

Heskin was found dead at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Motel 6 at 1601
Oakton St., Elk Grove Village police Chief Stephen Schmidt said.
Hotel workers called police after finding Heskin dead on the bed,
fully clothed, Schmidt said, and added that the body was not badly
decomposed.


While the medical examiner's report noted the victim as a white
male, police are referring to the victim as a woman.

The deceased "has male anatomy, but also has female anatomy, and has
been referred to as a she, Krystal," Schmidt said.

No weapon has been recovered and it did not seem that Heskin's room
had been broken into, Schmidt said. It was not immediately clear if
anything had been stolen from the room, he added.

The victim had been living at the Motel 6 for about six months,
Schmidt said, though he did not know what Heskin did for a living.

"We are following up with a couple of different friends of
Heskin's," Schmidt said.

Tests were being conducted to determine if Heskin had been sexually
attacked, Schmidt said.

Copyright 2006, Chicago Sun-Times Inc.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Up in New Hampshire

I will be away until Sunday working on our cottage.

See you then.................

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Right Wing Agenda

I came across a couple of blog entries that caught my attention. The first was Peterson Toscano blog.

“........And Jim Maynard, a Memphis gay blogger at the very pink Queer Notes who often considers political issues, writes about GOP Election Plan: Flag-Burning, Gay Marriage Amendments.

Here they go again! USA Today reports that Senate Republicans are laying out their election plan and, surprise!, it will be to push for the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment and resurrect their old chestnut "anti-flag burning" amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and of course more restrictions on abortion rights.

Let's see...we are in a "war on terror", a quagmired military occupation in Iraq, a criminal scandalridden Republican Congress and White House, American workers are falling behind in the "class war," and these are the issues the Republican Reich think matter the most to American voters!”


The second was on Helen and Betty Boyd forum, (en)Gender was discussion on the article.

Fletcher removes language protecting gays from bias
By Joe Biesk
Associated Press

FRANKFORT - Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed an executive order Tuesday removing language from the state's affirmative action plan specifically protecting gay people from discrimination.
Fletcher administration officials touted the change as a way of improving Kentucky's record when it comes to hiring blacks and women in high-ranking state jobs. But gay rights advocates warned that Fletcher - who signed the order at an event celebrating diversity - may have made gays more vulnerable to unfair treatment.
"This is such a callous act," Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, the state's only openly gay lawmaker, told reporters. "There was no need for it. He's singling out a minority of Kentuckians for foul treatment, and that is totally unacceptable."
Fletcher's order removed language from Kentucky's previous state government affirmative action plan that prohibited discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Former Gov. Paul Patton signed an executive order in May 2003 that protected state employees from discrimination based on a number of reasons including their sexual orientations or gender identities.
Administration officials on Tuesday spun the move as a way to further boost the number of blacks and women in state government. Brett Hall, Fletcher's spokesman, said state government has about 44 percent women and about 7.5 percent blacks. Last summer, Fletcher set a new hiring goal to raise minority employment within state government from about 7 percent up to 10 percent.
Fletcher said in a statement that his order "equalizes the playing field" for people seeking state jobs. Managers and other personnel employees would have mandatory training on the state's new affirmative action code, Fletcher said in the statement.
"My administration has set diversity as a priority," Fletcher said in the statement.
Hall said the change did not mean state government would allow discrimination against gays or lesbians. Rather, Fletcher's move guaranteed "greater representation for woman and minorities."
"At no time has any gay or lesbian employee - and will no gay and lesbian employee of this state - be discriminated against," Hall said.
Nevertheless, the move should be viewed as a step backward for gay people, said Christina Gilgor, executive director of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance. It was also a political move intended to boost the governor's popularity among his political base, Gilgor said.
"Governor Fletcher's unbridled spirit has just hit reverse," she said. "Reversing protections that are in place is going backward."
Beth Wilson, executive director of the ACLU of Kentucky, said the General Assembly needed to intervene and pass legislation to protect gays and transsexuals.
"I'm stunned that the governor would be taking us back in time, and this certainly points to the need for broader protection at both the state and federal level," Wilson said.
But Hall said the state's previous affirmative action plan left the state open to potential lawsuits. It also could force state government to provide separate restrooms and other facilities for transsexuals, Hall said.
"This is in no way to discriminate against anyone or deny anyone or make them vulnerable to discrimination," Hall said. "It's merely to relieve us from certain burdens that we otherwise shouldn't be incurring."
There have not been any lawsuits or formal complaints filed against the state, Hall said.
However, the issue arose last year with an Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet employee, Hall said. Mark York, a spokesman for the cabinet, said the issue was over which bathroom the employee would use and how that would affect other employees. Cabinet officials located a nearby unisex restroom for the employee to use, York said.
Scorsone, a Lexington Democrat, said Fletcher had "reached a new low" with the plan. State employees should be judged on their job performance, not their sexual orientation, Scorsone said.
"If the governor had a shred of decency left, it's gone now," Scorsone said. "Governor Fletcher has declared open season on gay state employees."


It seems to me that the Republicans are using these fear tactics to avoid debating the real issues. They are using the Radical Right Wing of the party to mobilize the voters, it get them out to vote with one voice. They can avoid talking about the budget, the war, loss of jobs; instead they can just talk to the single issue voter gay rights, abortions and all the other hot button issues that bring them out to vote.
While the Democrats on the other hand have no decisive hot button issues to rally behind and have a hard time mobilizing voters. They can talk about the war, the budget, corruption and all the other pressing issues until they are blue in the face but the voter will not turn on and vote. The “Silent Majority” as Nixon called them, just don’t vote anymore. Until they wake up and start voting, then the Republicans will just walk all over them.

Photos...........

1. Are you the photographer in the family, or is it someone else?
I was always stuck with the chore. I hate taking staged family pictures, candids yes.

2. What kind of camera do you have? Digital or film?
Nikon D70 and process them on Photoshop. In the old days Minolta SRT101 and developed in my darkroom

3. Are you photogenic? Or do you run whenever someone breaks out the camera?
Somewhat, a friend always seems to catch me with a drink in my hand though.

4. If you could take a moment in your life, the best one you've ever had, and photograph it so that you could remember it forever, which moment would it be?
The only thing that stands out is our trip out west driving down Rt 101 and Rt 1 along the Pacific ocean in ‘99. I did a good documenting the trip by combining the stills ( Shot on the ol’ trusty SRT101 ) and the video on to a video CD

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ah........ Spring


Spring has sprung! The cherry tree in my front yard is in blossom, the maple trees are getting their red blossoms and my nose is stuffed up.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Sunday

Yesterday I drove down to New Jersey for Easter to be with my brother and family. While down there we went on a walk in a near by nature preserve, well my 62 year old brother had to show off to his grandson. My nephew walked across a log on the trail so my brother though he could do it. WRONG! He nearly broke his ankle and instead of walking back to the car that was only a 100 yards down the trail he came with us. The more we said to go back and rest it the car, the more he was determined to come. Men! Too much testosterone! I'm glad I not afflicted with that stuff anymore. Anyhow, by the time we got back to the car his ankle was already inflated to about twice it’s normal size and when I left there to come home, he was laying on the couch with his foot wrap with a bag of frozen peas on one side of the ankle.
On the way back home I got stuck in a twenty mile traffic jam going over the Hudson River at Tappan Zee. I listened to the sound track from “Rent” as I crawled along.
Here a couple of photos from trail side as we walked.



Sunday, April 16, 2006

My Backyard

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I had to get out and do something so I took a hike in my back yard, well not really there is a forest preserve a block away from me. As usual I over did it, too much in too short of time. The preserve is about a mile square on the top of a local mountain. Now we are talking about a Connecticut mountain, the base of it is about 250 ft Above Sea Level and it rises to about 750 ft ASL. The east side of the mountain slopes up to the west and than drops of in a cliff, which has some of the best rock climbing areas in the east. The mountain has basalt ridges that run up its back toward the cliffs. At the base of these ridges and at the base of the cliff is usually a steep talus slope.




There are fire roads up the mountain that follow the ridges lines, but there is also a hiking trail that cuts across the ridges. So if you take the trail you are constantly going up and down the ridges while the fire road is relatively easy. Well anyhow I walked up the fire road and I thought I would walk back down along the trail. BIG mistake, I was worn in a very short time going up each ridge was hard but going down trying to walk on the talus slope was even harder. I eventually cut across through the woods and came back down the fire trail.
Here is a view looking south toward New Haven which is just beyond the last mountains that you came see.




This is looking north towards Hartford which is just out of the picture to the left and my house is also just out of the picture to left also just about a quarter mile from the pond.



Some of the other photos while hiking, a lichen covered tree ( Using the macro setting on the lens ) and a small brook coming down from the mountain.






One of the hardest things to do on a computer is to show photographs because everyone’s monitor is adjusted slightly different. The color balance, the color saturation, the brightness and the contrast are all set to their own individuals taste. I tried to set mine so that when I work with a photo or scanner that what I see is what I print. But it is still hard to adjust, so I hope these photos come out good.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gender and Gender Expression

Why having the phrase “Gender Expression” is so important to the Anti-Discrimination bill, it is because without that phrase the bill would be meaningless. Without it, if a transsexual showed up dressed as the opposite gender and got fired. All the employer has to say is that they didn’t fire the employee because they were a transsexual but because they expressed themselves by coming to work. Or fired because a woman didn't look womanly enough or a man didn't look manly enough. The bill is for anyone who crosses the gender norms.
I have a friend who the mother of two daughters but she doesn’t look womanly enough, she is tall, heavy set, has somewhat of a deep voice and she is always getting “Sired” or is asked to use the men’s room. That is a form of discrimination based on gender expression; she does not fit the gender norms of what a woman should look like.
So we need the phrase “Gender Expression” included in the legislation in order to be inclusive of everyone who crosses the gender norms.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Four For Friday

Every week belicove.com post questions of the week, here are my answers.......

Q2 - Websites: The U.S. Postal Service allows anyone to see the authenticated physical address of a commercial PO Box owner, while at the same protecting vigorously the address of a non-commercial owner. Phone companies protect the privacy of unpublished phone numbers' owners. Should website owners be allowed to register site names anonymously?

Yes, they should be allowed to be to register a site anonymously. I have a web-site and I am constantly get mail and e-mail addressed to me care of the web-site. The only way they could of got that information is off the web site registry.

Q4 - Gasoline: Economists are predicting that gasoline prices in the U.S. will reach $3.00 per gallon within the next three months. How will this summer's gas prices impact your travel plans?

I bought a Toyota Prius. My mileage varies from about 45 – 55 mpg.

Q5 - Health Insurance: Do you think all employers should be required by law to pay some or all of the costs associated with their employees’ health insurance?

I think there should be a national health insurance. Massachusetts just pasted a law that everyone has to have insurance, but I think it has to be done nationally. Otherwise it will be a hodgepodge of insurance plans pitting one state against another.

Q7 - Taxes: Did you file your 2005 taxes yourself or did you enlist the services of a professional tax preparer? In either event, did you file online or by hand?

Mine were just finished today and had it done by a professional. It was filed on-line and now I have to send the check.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Documentary on Gays in the Media

Tonight I went to a lecture at the University of Hartford entitled,

DOCUMENTARY ON GAYS IN THE MEDIA

The Humanities Center features the debut of the documentary, “Further Off the Straight and Narrow: A Decade of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Visibility, 1995-2005” on Thursday, April 13 at 7 p.m. The documentary will be shown in Wilde Auditorium which is in the Harry Jack Gray building at the University of Hartford. Katherine Sender, the producer and director, will be present for a discussion about the documentary after the screening.

The documentary is an entertaining, provocative and thoughtful examination of the portrayal of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people on television over the past ten years. Popular shows like “Ellen”, “Will and Grace”, “Queer as Folk” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” are examined, as well as the representation of gay people in television news and sports. Sender asks how are we to make sense of the great increase in gay representation--from virtual invisibility before 1970 to the "gay chic" of today? “Further Off the Straight and Narrow” is one of the first in-depth documentaries to cast a critical eye over the growth of gay images on TV. Leading media scholars provide the historical and cultural context for exploring the social implications of these new representations. The documentary also includes many clips from television shows representing gay people from 1995 to 2005.

Katherine Sender is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of the book “Business, not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market”, and a new article, “Queens for a Day: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and the Neoliberal Project”, as well as many other articles on gay media and marketing. She is also the producer, director, and editor of a number of documentaries, including the original version of “Off the Straight and Narrow” which examined gay representation on television from the 1950s to 1990s.


The documentary was a rough cut, not the final version and she asked for our input to it, what we thought was good and what we thought could stand improving. I thought that over all it was a good documentary, however I thought that the part on transgender was a little weak and could be improved. We recommended a couple of TV shows that she could include; like “The Education of Max Bickford”.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Public Funding to Church Supported Institutions

Hmmm............ “Church program won't care for woman who once was a man” Does this sound familiar? Substitute “Plan B” for the soup kitchen, now does it sound familiar?
In Massachusetts the fight is over adoption by same sex couples, the church will not allow them to adopt so the state has cut off funding to the Catholic charities.
Public moneys should not be going to religious organization. There was a purpose to the First Amendment.

Easter Thoughts

I am debating whether to go down to my niece’s in New Jersey for Easter. My brother and most of his family are heading down there for Easter, but it is a long drive for me almost three hours and then three hours back. So I am trying to decide, I would like to be there with them but on the other hand it is six hours of traveling just to see them and have dinner. So I will probably decide some time Saturday at the last minute.
But am one of the lucky one, I have a family that cares and I know that many friends in the GLBT will be sitting home alone this holiday weekend. They don’t have a family to go to, they have been disinherited for being themselves, their family has cut off all contact with them because they are Trans or Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual. If you know someone like that give them a call this Easter, talk to them or better yet, invite them over for Easter dinner.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

“This Divided State”

I just got back from seeing the Michael Moore movie “This Divided State” at Real Art Ways. It is about his being invited to talk at Utah Valley State College and how it divided the college, town and state. I liked it very much, but of course I am a Liberal, so some might say I am biased. What stuck me most was the fallout after the speech; a lawsuit was filed by the town mayor for use of student funds to have Moore talk, the Student Body Vice President resigned and the college lost $200,000 in donations that year.
The whole movie reminded me of the Ann Coulter's Speech at Uconn, only that time it was the liberals that behaved badly. Her speech divided the Uconn campus and her speech was disrupted by protesters outside and by hecklers inside.
For me the idea of a college education is to exposes the students to all ideologies, to allow a free intercourse of ideas to take place so that the students can develop their own beliefs. Maybe I am old fashions, but I feel that a college or university should be a place where liberals, conservatives, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Atheists can come an express their views openly. Am I a radical now for thinking that or is that just an old outdated notion?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Picture of the Week

Since I didn’t have any photos this week, here is one that I took on our lake in New Hampshire this past December.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Too Nice of a Day to Stay Inside

After last Saturday’s walk, I was going to walk again today but this time in Cheshire to a Rails to Trails path there. I went as Diana and when I got there the parking lot was packed so I drove to another location along the path and it also was mobbed. I guess everyone had the same idea. So instead I decided to go to Hubbard Park and maybe walk there and take some photos of the daffodils there ( They have acres and acres of daffodils and a daffodil festival there every spring.) but that also was mobbed, they had a soapbox derby going on there. So no pictures this week!

The Most Subversive

On Peterson Toscano's blog, “Peterson Toscano's A Musing” he wrote, “...I popped into the Victory Christian Bookstore to ask, "What resources do you have for gay Christians?" The woman behind the counter smiled, consulted a co-worker then replied, "Sorry we don't have anything." Okay, so I'm subversive, what's new.”
Sometimes the simple things are the most subversive. Every time I walk down the street, it is a statement; “I am here, I am out and I am proud.” I think every time a Gay couple or a Lesbian couple or a Transperson is out in public it is a little piece of activism.
These simple forms of activism can be hard, sometimes very hard and sometimes deadly for us. Should we hide? Should we say hiding indoors? That is a decision that each of us must make and we cannot judge them for the decision that they make.
I have made my decision, I have hiding in the closet for fifty years and I will not hide any more. It is not easy sometimes you meet a jerk who just has to let his opinion be known. Sometimes it is too easy to fall back on to the “White Male Privilege” and go someplace as Don, like last week when I went walking.
So am I an activist, am I subversive? Some would say so. But I don’t really feel like one, I just want to live my life in peace.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Transcommunity and Marriage Equality

I keep on hearing people in the transcommunity question why they should support Marriage Equality, that it does not affect them, so why care? And my answer to them is that it affects us greatly, we do not want a definition of a Man and Women. Think about it, right now we are flying under the radar, if you are married before you transition and stay married afterward then you are now in a same sex marriage! I know of some who have done that and up until last year there was no definition of marriage, now there is and their marriage just became invalid.
The other question is how are they going to define a Man and a Woman? Any way they do it someone in our community, to put it bluntly, is screwed. Would it be by gender assigned at birth ( I would like that since I would still be able to marry a woman. )? Would it be what is on your Birth Certificate ( Here in Connecticut we can get the Birth Certificate changed once we have surgery, not amended but actually changed and the old one is sealed. I wouldn’t like that because that would mean I can only marry a man. )? Would it be by chromosomes ( What would happen to all the XX male and XY females [ Yes, there are people who are XX male and XY females Google it! ] or for that matter what about a intersexed person? )? However they define it someone in our community is going to be affected.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Judiciary Committee has passed House Bill 5597

Please email your legislator TODAY...
Let OUR Supportive Voices Be Heard!
Dear Diana,
The Judiciary Committee has passed House Bill 5597

An Act Concerning Discrimination. The bill will now move forward through other committees on its way to the House and Senate.

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS!

WHAT IS HB 5597, AN ACT CONCERNING DISCRIMINATION?

HB 5597 clarifies and updates Connecticut’s non-discrimination laws to ensure that they clearly and uniformly protect all people regardless of their gender identity or expression by simply adding the phrase “gender identity and expression”, as defined in Connecticut’s “Hate Crime law”, to all statutes that address discrimination.
From both a priori and empirical studies it is well known that gender non-conforming people experience widespread discrimination in Connecticut. Your support of this bill is vital and is needed to protect transgender and gender non-conforming individuals from being fired, denied basic housing, denied credit and most basic services.
Currently, a number of major Connecticut Corporations (e.g. Aetna, IBM, Pfizer, Xerox, Chubb) as well as small businesses have explicit policies prohibiting discrimination based on ones gender identity and expression as well as employing Transgender individuals.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR TODAY by CLICKING HERE!

YOUR VOICE MATTERS... FORWARD THIS EMAIL to your friends and loved ones. Every call makes a difference!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

View HB 5597 -

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Learn More...
------------------------------------------------------------
GLAD Fact Sheet on the HB 5597... -

Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition - CTAC

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Transgender Civil Rights

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*CLICK HERE TO EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS! *

*Take action now on House Bill 5597 - An Act Concerning Discrimination*

*It only takes a moment!*

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Last week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that out of state couples could not get married in Massachusetts and that couples that did get married in Massachusetts their marriages would not be legal outside of Massachusetts. I fine it ironic that they used a law that was written in 1913 to block interracial marriages, that they had go back to the time of bigotry and segregation to fine a law for their own prejudices.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tax Time!

Tomorrow I am having my taxes done and that should be interesting. My father passed away last year and I have all the probate tax forms, insurance beneficiary, annuities 1099 forms and the sale of my parent’s house to figure out how to file them. It is going to be a nightmare.
Also I made donations to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, like GenderPAC, as Diana and all the paperwork from them came back as Diana. You see Mr. accountant, Don and Diana are really one and the same, honest!

Real Men Don’t Read Manuals

At work a piece of test equipment that we are renting arrived and two of my technicians were trying to figure out how to get it working. After about ten minutes of them trying to get it to work, I walked over and picked up the manual and started to read it. One of my technicians said, “What are you doing real men don’t read manuals!” I just about gagged laughing so hard, little did he know. I wonder if all that Estrogen flowing through my veins is having a strange an affect on me?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Broke Back Tooth

Over the weekend I broke a tooth ( well it was one of my teeth in the back ) while I was eating a supposedly pitted olive. Luckily it didn't hurt so I could wait until today to have it fixed. With a shot of Novocain I didn’t feel a thing but for the next couple of hours I had a lopsided smile and my whole mouth was numb. This is the second time within a year that I broke a tooth and the dentist said at my age that I should be prepared for more of them to break, ugh!

Now if only I could get some Novocain for Thursday when I have my taxes done.

Anti-Discrimination Transcript

I just noticed that a partial transcript of the testimony at the Anti-Discrimination was posted on the Connecticut General Assembly web site. You can visit it here.

They only list one testimony in opposition to the bill.........................

Deacon David W. Reynolds, M.P.A., Legislative Liaison, Connecticut Catholic Conference- First, I would like to make it clear that the Church does not in any way support violence or harassment against any individuals having gender identity issues. All individuals have a right to live a life free from threats of violence or persistent harassment. Current hate crime statues in Connecticut already provide these individuals such protections. However, this bill goes far beyond protecting individuals from violence and harassment. This proposed legislation would raise a cluster of various sexually related orientations, such as transsexualism and transvestism, to a protected class. Establishing gender identity as a protected class raises many issues.

If gender identity is established as a protected class, all persons within our state would be forced to accept, and support, the transsexual lifestyle. Many people of faith would be forced to violate their religious beliefs. Employers would have no discretion in the hiring of a transsexual person or removing that person from employment. If that employer found that person's behavior related to their gender identity to be negatively impacting their business, or disruptive to other employees, no action could be taken to alleviate the situation. Religious employers also would not be able to consider a person's behavior related to their gender identity, even if it violated their religious beliefs. Schools, public and private, would not be able to consider behavior related to their gender identity when hiring or evaluating teachers. Religious schools also would be forced to violate their religious tenants under this legislation, by affirmative action mandates.

Well first of all it is not a lifestyle! If I had a choice I sure wouldn’t chose being a transsexual, it is no fun at all. It is not fun being laugh at, it is no fun being stared at and it is no fun being the butt of jokes.

Second about violating their religious beliefs that is the very same argument that they used to justify slavery, that the bible allowed it so it must be alright to enslave people. They used the same argument to justify segregation and they used the same argument to ban interracial marriages. We have since found these to be wrong and have outlawed them.

There are 307 Employers of which 82 are Fortune 500 Companies, 9 State Governments 78 City and County Governments and 37 Colleges and Universities that include Gender Expression in their EEO polices ( According to the Human Rights Campaign) without having problems. Also an employer always has the right to fire a disruptive employee.

Then they bring up the school question, how it will affect the children at school if their teacher transitions, lets be truthful about it, the kids don’t have a problem, the adults do. Everywhere a teacher has transitioned on the job, the kids never really complained about the teacher, but a very small but vocal group of parents did.

Their last argument is that the religious schools will be forced to hire transsexuals, that doesn’t hold water either because the religious establishment is exempt from the Anti-Discriminations law, they always have been.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Plan B

Here in Connecticut there is a debate going on over a bill to require all medical facilities in Connecticut to provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims and there is strong resistance to the bill because of the religious right.

I believe that all hospital that severe the public should be required to prescribe all legal medications, including the morning after pill. The argument against it is that the rape victim can go to another hospital to get the morning after pill, but suppose they are so badly beating that they cannot be transported to another hospital. In Waterbury the nearest hospitals besides St. Mary’s I believe are in Meriden, New Haven, Danbury and Torrington and that is a long way to transport a patient who is critically ill.I guess Waterbury Hospital is near by. If the hospitals want to make exceptions then let them become private hospitals that only admit patients of their own faith, but once they want to serve the public they should be required to honor all medical needs. Otherwise where do we draw the lines?

Would they have to honor a Living Will if it violates their tenets of their faith? Would they have to admit gays and lesbians or would they have to honor Civil Unions? Where do we draw the line?

Religious organizations own a lot of apartment buildings that they rent to the public; can they deny renting to unmarried couples? After all that violates their religious beliefs.

If religious organizations receive exemptions from having to give out medications that they do not agree with then what is to stop them from denying others things. Where do we draw the line, once you start to let institutions that caters to the public deny certain services we start down a very slippery slope.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rails to Trails






I did take a walk today even tough I couldn’t find anyone to go with, so I went as Don. Right now I am not comfortable in going on something that visible as Diana, there could have been a chance in bumping into someone from work.

I walked along the “Rails to Trails” path that runs along the Farmington River in Collinsville/Burlington. It was a nice walk of about two and a half hours but I was stopping along the way to take photos. The pictures are of the old Collins Axe Factory and their old hydroelectric dam.

Day Light Savings Time


I just don’t like these time changes, maybe I am getting old, but my body takes a long time to adjust to these time shifts. Besides I have fourteen clocks or watches to change. Going forward isn’t bad but in the fall when we set the clocks back the digital clocks you have to advance all the way around the dial is what I hate. Anyhow this morning chore was to set them all to the correct time.

Speaking of chores, on the list today is to continue looking for the missing credit card, do a couple loads of wash, trim back the spider plants in the atrium ( see photo ) and go on a walk. The friend I usually go walking with broke his ankle and he won’t be able to go hiking until late summer. So far I haven’t found anyone to go with.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Lost It Again!

Argggg!............ I did it again! I misplace my credit card! Two weeks ago I misplaced it and I thought I lost it so I canceled the card and got a new one. Well I just did it again, but I know it’s in the house somewhere. I ordered some stuff off the web and I put it in the pocket of my robe and then I must have done something with after that because I can’t find it now. Very frustrating!

Last night I went out to a GLBT bar in Hartford to meet up with some friends. I don’t really like the bar scene that much but I didn’t want to sit around the house. The music was loud, chest pounding loud but at least it not smoky. While we were there a woman came up to us and we talked to her for awhile. While we were talking to her, her partner kept coming up and putting her arm around her, you could see that she was jealous of her talking to us and very possessive. My friends took of off around eleven thirty to go to another bar that was up in Springfield and I headed home.

Shopping Trip

March 29th

Last night I went shopping at the Buckland Hills Mall with a friend from COS. It was the first time that I ever went to a mall shopping as usual nothing happened except that I spent over a hundreds dollars on clothes; a skirt, top and sweater. But no trouble at all with any of the stores, I even tried on the clothes. So I had a great time wandering around the mall. Afterwards we went over to a Starbuck's for a coffee and some good conversations.

Also yesterday I found out some disturbing news about the COS Banquet about some teenagers at the hotel that came by and knocked our stuff off the table in the hallway. Then later one of the parents came by and had some rough words with the person at the table, he pounded both of his hands on the table and shouted in her face "Why are you with these freaks, sex weirdo's". You know there is always one or two jerks in the world.

COS Banquet


March 26th

You know sometimes everything just comes together just right. The last five days were like that, even though it was hectic, it was a good sort of hectic and it cumulated in the COS Banquet last night. Yesterday morning I rushed over to the True Colors conference ( As usual I was a little late. ) and help out all morning trying to co-coordinate the presenter and trying to get that part to run smoothly, it was like controlled chaos. But it was rewarding knowing that I helped out in some small way. I left at noon to rush home and pack for the Banquet.


Then I rush over to the Meriden railroad station to pick up Helen and Betty, our guest speaker and her spouse, they are two of the nicest people I have ever met. The Banquet ran smoothly thanks to our tireless efforts of our Banquet Committee of one, she put it all together and I don't who was more nervous me or her, but it came off flawlessly. The Awards Committee, myself and one other handed out the awards to our members, a Newcomer and a Service Awards. When I gave the award out I got so tongue tied I couldn't say anything right, but when I do outreach I can talk and talk with no problem. Stand me up behind a podium and I become speechless. Go figure! They surprised me with and acknowledgement my efforts for COS. It brought me to tears, thanks from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate it and it means a lot to me. I managed to crawl up to my room around twelve-thirty.

This morning I took Helen and Betty to the train station, we stopped first to have a late breakfast and a nice leisurely conversation. Once again, thank you for coming to speak and for treating me to breakfast.

And now tomorrow, back to the reality of work.

True Colors Conference

March 24th

It was a long day for me at the True Colors conference; I got there a little after 8:00am and stayed until around 4:30pm. In the morning I got signatures for a petition in favor of the bill to add Gender and Gender Expression to the Anti-Discrimination Act so I was on my feet most of the morning. In the afternoon I helped out off and on as one of the Presenters Liaison with a two-way radio ear piece sticking out of my ear. That was weird! With all of these conversations going off in my head as I was trying to care on a conversation, it was very distracting. Kind of like the Pink Floyd's song Brain Damage, "...There's someone in my head but it's not me...." it took a little getting use to.

Anyhow, tomorrow more of True Colors in the morning and then I have to get ready for the COS Banquet in the evening. I have to pick up our guest speaker at the railroad station and then off to the hotel. Another long day................

March 23rd

I have been really really busy! Yesterday I had my hair done at 4:30 in Glastonbury, had electrolysis at 6:00 in Rocky Hill and at 7:00 the COS meeting in Waterbury at Tonkin's Wigs. The meeting is always so nice and the store owner is always so friendly, it is always a pleasure going there.

Today after work I rushed over to the Farmington Post Office to pick up the COS mail, went to the True Colors in New Britain to help them set up for a couple of hours and then up to Hartford for the CTAC Board meeting..

Tomorrow is the True Color Conference all day, from 8:00am until 5:00pm, it is going to be a long day.

Lost Slacks

March 20th

Hee.....Hee......Hee .........
I looked all over for a black pair of slacks last week, every where I could think of but I couldn't fine them anywhere. Well this morning getting ready to go to work, I grab my male clothes and started to put on my pants. As went to zip up the fly I noticed that the zipper was on the wrong side. I found them! Luckily I wasn't half asleep and wore them to work.

Dinner

March 19th

I went out to dinner in Middletown to Tuscany's with a friend from COS. I was getting boarded from eating at home so I sent out a SOS to some friends and she replied that she would love to go out to dinner.

As I said many times before it is nice to be able to go out to dinner and relax, enjoy the meal, a glass of wine and good conversation. Ah...........

St. Patrick's Day

March 18th

Yesterday, I went to a St. Patrick's Day party complete with Corn Beef, potatoes and cabbage. This morning when I weighed myself I gained a couple of pounds, too much good food!

I was going to go help clean the Hartford Pride Center this morning but I didn't get home until after midnight and I had a fitful sleep, so I am dog tired. Maybe I try to make it this afternoon.

Uconn Health Center

March 16th

Today I went to Uconn Health Center to be on a panel discussion for second year medical students. There were eight of us on the panel and once the doctor who was teaching the class got through with his talk we got to tell our life stories. After that there wasn't much time left for the Q & A secession afterwards, but it was a productive afternoon.

Then tonight I went to the Real Art Way's Creative Cocktail Hour and met up with some friends. I got there early and wandered around looking at the art before my friends showed up. So over all it was a nice day. The day ended in the plus column.

Sixty Minutes tonight

March 12th

PM

Did anyone see Sixty Minutes tonight? They had a segment call "The Science Of Sexual Orientation" They discussed the possible causes of being gay and how it might be caused by pre-natal hormones. They presented some interesting theories on how and why this may happen.

I tend to agree with most of what they said and I think that it is caused by pre-natal hormones and genetics. However, I don't think that Adam in the opening piece is not gay but transgender.

AM

Ok, where to being? Well on Thursday I went up to uniTy in Springfield for their meeting.

Then on Friday, I went out to dinner with a couple of friends. First we met at a teasroom in Hartford that had all types of awards from a local avant-garde newspaper. Well I was very disappointed in the place, it was nice, but they did not have any de-caffeinated teas! They didn't have any; Earl Grey, Ceylon or Orange Pekoe teas they only had fruity flavored teas that were de-caffeinated. Uck! The coffee shop up in Springfield, where uniTy meets, has a better selection of tea than then this so called number one rated tearoom.

Anyhow, we got some work done there, I am redesigning the CTAC web-site so we went over re-design of a couple of pages I did on a beta test page and I got the go ahead to proceed with the design. Then after we left the tearoom ( Or the so called tearoom ) went out to dinner at a local restaurant for dinner.

Then yesterday was the Twenty Club and COS meetings. At the COS meeting we tried having a fashion show, I was a little leery of the idea when it was brought up at the Board meeting, but it turned out rather well. I took part as well as three other gals. We had three categories, casual, day/business and evening wear. It was rather fun in doing and I was glad that I took part in it.

After the COS meeting broke up, I went over to a local bar with a group of friends, the bar was having their monthly lesbian night. Anyone who knows me, know that I usually don't like going out to bars, but last night I was in the mode so I went. It was OK, but most of the women there were in there twenties, a little bit too young for me. I got a chuckle though, the bar is mainly a gay bar and the guys there last night looked a little lost. They had the look on their faces like that of a house dog when somebody sits on their favorite chair. Kind of lost, not knowing what to do, their comfortable spot was taken over by these, these girls! Like, "There's a woman sitting on my barstool!" what do I do now? One guy was just standing there looking at the bar stool, not the woman, just the stool, stand there with a drink in his hand, looking at the bar stool in the corner; the one where you can sit on it and lean back against the wall and rest your drink on the bar. Well he looked so lost, you could read it all over his face. It was so funny!

I did something really really stupid today

March 6th

I did something really really stupid today, I accidentally printed out my testimony for the Anti-Discriminations bill on the network print at work today. And one of my employees read it!

I think I am going to curl up in to a ball and cry..................

Business Trip

March 3rd

I have been away on a business trip to our corporate headquarters' for most of the week and I was stuck in boy mode. However on the bright side, I got to fly out and back on the corporate jet. That was so neat that it almost, almost made up for being stuck in boy mode. The plane is a Gulfstream IV and it holds eight passengers. When I arrived at the private plane end of the airport, I just walk up to the plane and handed the co-pilot my bags and she checked off my name. On takeoff from Bradley field I looked down the aisle and out the cockpit window, I could watch the pilot and co-pilot and see the runway. We cruised at 30,000 ft at 497 mph, on the bulkhead of the passenger cabin there was an altimeter and ground speed and on the rear bulkhead there was also an altimeter and speed but it also had airspeed, mile to go and a map with our location.

The only thing that got me a little nervous was when the co-pilot brought out the plane manuals and started reading. I thought what is she doing that for, is there a problem? But they both seemed OK, not rushed or excited and there were no flashing lights in the cockpit. So I thought it couldn't be any major problem, probably something minor like a radio or something. At work today, someone who is a pilot said that she was probably just reading the manual learning the aircraft.

On the way back the plane was almost filled and there were a couple of VP's on board as soon as we got airborne they raided the icebox and broke out the beer and snacks They started talking about business so I had to sit there while they were talking about some contract or other. Then one of them started making small talk with me. When someone mentioned that there was six inches of snow on the ground, I said "Shit". He asked me if I had some plans for the night and I said "Yeah, I was planning on going out." My brains slip's into "Little White Lie Mode", after all I couldn't say I was going out drag bar with some tranny friends and me dressed as Diana, so I said I had a date. So he asked, "Where were we going?" Brain spins a couple times trying to get into gear, so I said, "Hartford for dinner, but they probably have a parking band so I probably get a pizza and go over to her apartment", wink, wink, nod, nod and after that he just smiled and stop asking questions. Whew!

We made great time coming back, our airspeed was 600 mph with a 100 mph tailwind, but once we got on the ground and I had to drive home, it took longer to drive home than fly back from almost Ohio. I-91 traffic was going 30 - 40 mph in the snow, the roads were very bad.