Thursday, April 30, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #122

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #122

ffi

And...here we go!

1. The first rule of working in an office and getting along is _always fill the coffee pot when you take the last cup_.

2. _Steamed_ clams.

3. When I think of carnivals I think of _over stuffed animals_.

4. _Lilac_ my favorite spring flower.

5. Things on my desk include _a water bottle_.

6. _The smell of a apple pie_ makes me wanna _eat the whole pie_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to our usual Friday night coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _going up to Northampton Pride Festival_ and Sunday, I want to _do something since this will the first weekend in a long time that I didn’t have to work on homework_!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H. R. 1913) Passes The House

(NTCE Press Release)
Today the United States House of Representatives voted 249 to 175 in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H. R. 1913), moving one step closer to the passage of the first federal law to include gender identity and transgender people in a positive way. This bill would add sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability to the categories included in existing federal hate crimes law and would allow local governments who are unable or unwilling to address hate crimes to receive assistance from the federal government.

Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act - H.R. 1913.

Today the U.S. House of Representatives are voting on the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act - H.R. 1913." Please contact your congressional representatives to ask the to vote for the bill. (To find you representative click here.)

Dear Rep. Larson

I urge you to vote in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act - H.R. 1913.

I am a graduate student at the University Of Connecticut School Of Social Work and I am also a trans-woman I have seen the results of the violence against the transgender community. We all must work to stop this violence.

Every November 20th we remember those of our community who were brutally murdered and the list is too long. This year’s list included…

Patrick Murphy (Found Dressed in Women’s clothes)
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Cause of Death: Shot Several times in the head
Date of Death: January 8, 2008
Patrick was 39 years old.

Stacy Brown
Location: Baltimore, MD
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Date of Death: January 8, 2008
Stacy was 30 years old.

Adolphus Simmons
Location: Charleston, SC
Cause of Death: Shot to Death (Aldophus was 18 yrs. old)
Date of Death: January 21, 2008

Ashley Sweeney
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Date of Death: February 4, 2008
The age of Ashley Sweeney is unknown, she was only described as a young transgender woman in a press release.

Sanesha (Talib) Stewart
Location: Bronx, NY
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: February 10, 2008
Sanesha was 25 years old.

Lawrence King
Location: Oxnard, California
Cause of Death: Shot to death by a classmate because he liked to wear
women’s clothes. (Lawrence King was 15 years old).
Date of Death: February 12, 2008

Simmie Williams Jr.
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Cause of Death: Shot to death, Simmie was found wearing women’s clothing. (Simmie was 17 years old)
Date of Death: February 22, 2008

Lloyd Nixon
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Cause of Death:Repeatedly beat in the head with a brick.
Date of Death: April 16, 2008
Lloyd was 45 years old.

Ebony (Rodney) Whitaker
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Cause of Death:Shot (Ebony was 20 yrs. old)
Date of Death:July 1, 2008

Angie Zapata
Location: Greeley, Colorado
Cause of Death: She was found in her home with two severe fractures in her skull.
Angie was murdered by 31 year old, Alan Ray Andrade. Angie was 18 years old.
Date of Death: July 17, 2008

Jaylynn L. Namauu
Location: Makiki Honolulu, Hawaii
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: July 17, 2008
Jaylynn was 35 years old.

Nakhia (Nikki) Williams
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Cause of Death: Found near the dumpster next to her home, she had been shot.
Date of Death: August 20, 2008
Nikki was 29 years old..

Ruby Molina
Location: Sacramento, California
Cause of Death: Drowned
Date of Death: September 21, 2008
Ruby’s naked body was found floating in the American river.
She was 22 years old.

Aimee Wilcoxson
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Cause of Death: undetermined (Police have yet to reveal cause)
Date of Death: November 3, 2008
Aimee was found dead in her bed. She was 34 years old.

Duanna Johnson
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: November 9, 2008
Duanna was found dead in the middle of the street. She was 42 years old.

Teish (Moses) Cannon
Location: Syracuse, New York
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: November 14, 2008
Teish was 22 years old.

Help us end these tragic deaths, vote yes on Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act - H.R. 1913.

Thank you,
Diana

Monday, April 27, 2009

Manic Monday #165

Lisa’s Manic Monday #165



What's the best summer job you ever had?
Taking inventory of state owned equipment in high schools across the state. We went all around Connecticut stopping at high schools and counting the number of typewriters (you remember those thing that you put paper in and press keys and magically words appeared on paper without a computer) or woodworking laths. We were given a stack of schools to be done that week and told not to return until Friday (Ah, state jobs, your taxpayers’ dollars at work).

Tell me about the worst date you ever went on.
I never made it on the date, the girl that I was suppose to go out with called to say that she was sick. Latter, that night I saw her at the local (translated “the only one in the state”) McDonald’s with a football player. She ducked down in the car when she saw me and they drove though without stopping. Oh, well.

Do you think the age for a driver's license should be raised (currently 16 here in the U.S.)?

Good question! I think that Connecticut is doing it the right way, by having a graduated license. I believe that they cannot have any passengers in the car except for adults for the first six months and cannot drive after dark. I think also there is something about not being able to drive after 1:00AM the first year or two. That is in addition to a zero alcohol policy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Saturday 9

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9



1. If you could have just one more conversation with a person from your past, who would it be?

My mother, to tell her she doesn’t have to worry about me any more. I did good.

2. Do your friends tend to be male or female?
At one time they were. :-)

3. What is in your car’s trunk?
A snow shovel and a bucket of sand, which I have to take out and store for the summer.

4. What was the last CD that you purchased?
Namoli Brennet's “A Live”

5. What is your favorite movie and why?
I hate questions like that where you have to pick out one movie out of close to 60 years of movies. There are just too many movies to pick one.

6. If you could wake up with a new talent tomorrow, what would it be?
To be able to sing or play a guitar (Deja, I am so envious that you can do both)

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
Now that school is almost over (one more day of class) and my internship is done, plus I am retired, one day is just like any other day.

8. What are you wearing when you feel you’re at your best?
Jeans and a tee

9. When was the last time cried?

Wednesday, was my last day of my internship. I cried as went around the office saying my goodbyes. Even though I will probably see them all again when I stop by for meetings, it still felt like a milestone was reached.
They gave all the interns a book as a parting gift, and they gave me, “Annie Leobovitz At Work” her autobiography. I found that we had two things in common, she loves photography and her first camera was a Minolta SR-T 101.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #121

Janet's Friday Fill-ins #121

ffi

1. Apparently there's some sort of _spring fever bug going around_.

2. _Tomorrow is suppose to be a_ sunny day.

3. 2009 _has been very good_ so far.

4. _The story she told_ that was it.

5. For too long I've been _snacking all day_.

6. I am not obsessed with _food_; I am not!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _visiting a snow bird who just came north_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to the cottage in New Hampshire_ and Sunday, I want to _visit my cousin_!

Guilty Verdict In The Murder of Ms. Zapata

Yesterday, the jury found that the defendant guilty of her murder and that it was a hate crime.

Murder and Hate Verdict in Transgender Case
New York Times
By DAN FROSCH
Published: April 22, 2009

GREELEY, Colo. — A jury took just two hours Wednesday to find a Colorado man guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of an 18-year-old transgender woman, and determined that the act was a hate crime.

The defendant, Allen Andrade, 32, was convicted of murdering Angie Zapata in her Greeley apartment last summer and was sentenced to life in prison without parole, the mandatory penalty in Colorado for first-degree murder.

Mr. Andrade beat Ms. Zapata to death with his fists and a fire extinguisher, prosecutors said, once he realized that Ms. Zapata, whom he had met on the Internet not long before, had been born male.

The case drew national attention not only because of the killing’s grisly nature but also because it is believed to be among the first in which a hate crimes law was applied in a murder trial where the victim was transgender.
In the trail the defense attorney tried to blame it on the victim...
“Justin Zapata lived like a female, looked like a female, sounded like a female,” said one defense lawyer, Annette Kundelius. “That’s what Mr. Andrade believed. And when he found it wasn’t Angie, it was actually Justin, he lost control.”
The prosecutor said...“
Justin Zapata lived like a female, looked like a female, sounded like a female,” said one defense lawyer, Annette Kundelius. “That’s what Mr. Andrade believed. And when he found it wasn’t Angie, it was actually Justin, he lost control.”

Connecticut Legislature Passes Marriage Equality Bill

Last night the House passed a bill to codify the Connecticut Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, the Senate passed the bill earlier in the day.

Amendment Gives Religious Organizations Exemption To Same-Sex Ruling

By DANIELA ALTIMARI | The Hartford Courant
April 23, 2009

State legislators on Wednesday approved a measure that strives to strike a balance between the rights of gay couples and the rights of religious institutions that object to same-sex marriage.

A spokesman for Gov. M. Jodi Rell said she will sign the bill.

Votes in both the House of Representatives and the Senate came after hours of often impassioned discourse that touched on broad themes of religious liberty, freedom from discrimination and the state's long history of tolerance. The debate capped a multi-faceted campaign by gay marriage opponents that included newspaper and radio ads and messages from the pulpit.

The language exempting religious organizations, borrowed from the statute that legalized same-sex marriage in Vermont, wasn't essential to protecting religious liberties, said state Rep. Beth Bye, D- West Hartford.

"But there were people who felt it needed to be there," she said at 11:15 p.m., moments after the measure passed in the House by a vote of 100-44.


The two amendments that were added are...

Amendment A,
"Sec. 501. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage and such solemnization or celebration is in violation of their religious beliefs and faith. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action, or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society.

Sec. 502. (NEW) (Effective from passage) The marriage laws of this state shall not be construed to affect the ability of a fraternal benefit society to determine the admission of members as provided in section 38a-598 of the general statutes or to determine the scope of beneficiaries in accordance with section 38a-636 of the general statutes, and shall not require a fraternal benefit society that has been established and is operating for charitable and educational purposes and which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization to provide insurance benefits to any person if to do so would violate the fraternal benefit society's free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and section 3 of article first of the Constitution of the state.

Sec. 503. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Nothing in this act shall be deemed or construed to affect the manner in which a religious organization may provide adoption, foster care or social services if such religious organization does not receive state or federal funds."
And Amendment C (the amendment just added part of the last sentence in blue),
"Sec. 503. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Nothing in this act shall be deemed or construed to affect the manner in which a religious organization may provide adoption, foster care or social services if such religious organization does not receive state or federal funds for that specific program or purpose."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Diversity – One Bold Step

OK, so Easter was a couple of weeks ago, but this is one of those stories that have to be told and I now have time to write it. It is a story that I read on Donna Rose’s Blog.

White House Invites LGBT Families to Easter Egg Roll
April 08, 2009

The White House has invited LGBT families to its annual Easter Egg Roll on Apr. 13, a historic first that is part of the Obama administration’s outreach to the LGBT community. Officials from the White House Office of Public Liaison said that tickets for the event were distributed to LGBT organizations, and representatives from the Family Equality Council, the Human Rights Campaign and the Task Force have all confirmed being encouraged to have their members participate.

“This president made sure there were going to be LGBT families at this event … It’s clear to me that when the Obama administration thinks about American families, they think about LGBT families, as well,” said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, to The Washington Post.

While LGBT families have attended the Easter egg hunt since 2006, they were not invited by the Bush administration and families that participated felt like they were hidden from the press, according to Chrisler and others.

Monday’s Easter Egg Roll, which has been a White House tradition for 130 years, will start on the South Lawn at 8 a.m., and will include families from across the nation.

# # # # #
Transgender Families at the White House Today

NCTE got to focus on inclusion and acceptance of transgender people and that was a wonderful thing. We do a lot of meaningful work that involves listening to and telling stories about the discrimination and violence our community faces but it’s important to also celebrate what is right in our lives.

Today, I went with a group of children and parents to the White House Easter Egg Roll. Different people that went with NCTE went in in different shifts (there were five total time slots), but the group I was in included a family with a trans child and members of my family who have always accepted me.

It was great to hear about a child picking out a very special outfit for this occasion, one congruent with a child’s sense of self and gender. Talking with the child’s mom, she said you would have thought they had gone shopping in Paradise. We all need those moments when the world seems absolutely perfect.

When I came out to my brother and sister-in-law more than a dozen years ago, long before they had kids, one of their first comments was that I was going to be a great uncle to their kids. I think I helped make good on that today by taking the kids to the White House.

The kids participated in the Egg Roll, wielding their wooden spoons very effectively, including tossing one egg over the fence. We saw Spongebob and Clifford the Big Red Dog and, of course, the Easter Bunny. We found the jungle gym that has recently been installed for the new, young residents of the White House and listened to Bob Marley in the distance.

Of course families aren’t perfect and with the kids today came the usual challenges of standing in lines, being hungry, dealing with siblings stepping on each other’s shoes. But there was also the beauty of families that accept transgender people in their midst exactly as we are. Family is, after all, not about who you can leave out but about who you can come home to with all of the exciting and tear-filled moments of school and life and the world out here.

The Obama Administration extended invitations to all kinds of children, recognizing that the America we live in has families that are very diverse. NCTE was proud to help bring transgender children and trans-affirming families to the White House on this special day.
Amid all the lies and hate the Christian Right have been spreading, I felt that I had to tell this story to show that we are making progress and there is hope.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fears and Half Truths

There is a media blitz by the “Christian Right” over SB899 “An Act Implementing The Guarantee of Equal Protection Under The Constitution Of The State For Same Sex Couples” in newspapers, on the radio and on the internet.

There is one point that I want to make first, SB899 already has provisions in the bill that allows exemptions to churches and clergy from performing same-sex marriages. They want to go beyond this and allow for exemptions from anyone based on religious beliefs.

The main thrust of their campaign is an ad called “The Gathering Storm” and in the ad, they make several claims,

1. Their first claim is from a California doctor who lost a law-suite to keep from performing artificial insemination for lesbian couples because it was against her religious belief.

The court ruled that the State had a “compelling interest in ending sexual orientation discrimination” so yes she is being forced by the State to insemination lesbian couples. However, what would you say if she had demanded the right not to perform artificial insemination on an interracial couple or on a Muslim because it was against her religion? Do you think it would still be OK for her not to inseminate them?

2. Their second claim is about a New Jersey church that punished because they refused to rent to out a pavilion on the boardwalk for the marriage of a lesbian couple.

Yes, they were denied their tax-exempt status because they refused to rent to out a pavilion, but the rest of the story is…

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights ruled today in favor of a same-sex couple who sued the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association for banning civil union ceremonies at the town's public boardwalk pavilion.

The Division ruled that the couple, Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster, have "probable cause" to claim that the ban violates New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination. Today's opinion was based on the boardwalk pavilion's being public by nature of its historic use, open to everyone for decades without restrictions. In fact, the Camp Meeting Association had for years advanced that very argument, by applying for – and receiving – state tax breaks under New Jersey's "Green Acres" program that requires facilities to be open and nondiscriminatory to all.


3. They then point out that a parent in Massachusetts complains that the school system is forcing the teaching of same-sex marriage as normal.

In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruling they held that public schools “have an interest in promoting tolerance, including for the children (and parents) of gay marriages.”
However, the state of Massachusetts does not require any school system to “teach” same-sex marriage. In addition, school systems teach evolution and that the world is not 7000 years old nor flat.

4. Lastly, they argue that allowing same-sex marriage would change the way that they live.

They have never said how allowing same-sex couples to marry would affect their lives. Just how would marrying two people, who happen to be the same sex and who are in love affect them? Is it because they would they have to sell flowers to them? Is it because they would they have to serve same-sex couples in restaurants? Is it because they would they have to rent out apartments to them? However, it has been against the law since 1991 to discriminate based on sexual orientation, so this bill would not change anything.

So in other words, the “Christian Right” is asking for “Special Rights” to be able to discriminate against homosexuals.

I also wonder how we are going to prove that it is a religious exception. Are we going to give them a test their knowledge of their holy book? Maybe you could discriminate if you attend church more than once a month but if, you attend church only three or four times a year you cannot discriminate. Are we going to have a list of religions that it would be OK for them to discriminate? Members of religion X can discriminate but if you are a member religion Z can’t because the are accepting. Or could a person just say it is against their religious beliefs and be allowed to discriminate?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let's Have Some Fun

Space Invaders made by Neave Games


// Control keys
Move left – left arrow key
Move right – right arrow key
Fire laser – space key
Pause game – P
Quit game – Q
Mute sound – M

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #164



Describe to me your favorite lounging clothes.
Jeans, Tee and sandals (in the summer; in the winter sneakers).

If you promised to never lie again in your lifetime, in what area would it be hardest to uphold the promise?
When someone asks me how do they look.

Give a one word answer to the question "why is life worth living".
That’s hard, I can give a multi-word answer; “To see what a new day brings.” But a single word answer maybe is “Love,” love of life, love of family and friends.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hmmm… Good Question About What Box To Check

On Bilerico there is a blog entry about jury duty, which box for gender to check off on the form. For most people that is an easy question, but when you are transsexual it becomes a legal nightmare, on the bottom of the form you have to swear that the information is correct.

On my driver’s license, I am female; on my birth certificate, I’m male. I identify and express myself as female

Which box would you check-off? Would it be the same for both the state and federal jury duty forms or would you check them off differently?

Lastly, why do they even ask for your gender? Would being male or female make a difference on a jury since they cannot discriminate based on gender.

Your comments are welcome.

Saturday Six - Episode 262

Patrick's Place Saturday Six - Episode 262

1. What is the last drink you drank at home?
Drink, as in drinking a liquid? It was a glass of water. Drink as in a mixed alcoholic beverage, then it was so long ago I don’t remember.

2. You’re ordering a latte: do you prefer caffeine or decaf? Flavored or regular? Lowfat or regular?
Decaf, flavored, regular. (I didn’t even know that they made decaf latte, maybe I will order one the next time I go to a coffee shop.)

3. What is the last non-alcoholic drink you ordered at a restaurant?
That is an easy question to answer because that is all I ever order, cranberry juice and soda with a line.

4. What’s the most exotic mixed drink you remember trying? Did you enjoy it?
I was never big into exotic drinks, my choice was always rum and coke. When I could not have caffeine any more because of health reasons, I have Cape Coder’s (vodka and cranberry juice)

5. Take the quiz:
What Flavor Margarita Are You?



You Are an Orange Margarita



At first glance, you are very unique - but deep down you are still quite a traditionalist.
A margarita may be "too fancy" for you, but you'll never turn a free one down.



6. How likely would you be to order the drink listed as the answer to the previous question?
Not likely, maybe if I went to a Mexican restaurant I might order a Margarita.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday 9: Almost Famous

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Almost Famous



1. Have you ever been told that you look like some famous?
No, I have a look all my own.

2. Name a celebrity that shares your birthday.

John Lennon

3. Tell us about your first kiss.

I like keep certain things to myself

4. When you meet someone attractive, what do you notice first?
Their face

5. What was your biggest mistake ever?
By the time you get to be 60, you have made so many that it is hard to pick one.

6. Give us one random, but candid fact about you.

I can wiggle my nose and ears.

7. What about your current or most recent lover excites you?
I like keep certain things to myself

8. What really annoys you?
Now, that the weather is getting warmer and our windows are open more, I would say loud music

9. How many other Saturday 9’ers answers do you usually read?

I read everyone who has commented on my blog and maybe 3 or 4 others

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #120

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

ffi

1. Join me in _having a good belly laugh_.

2. Put a little _smile_ in your day!

3. Happiness is _just a smile away_.

4. _I’m not lost_ and confused.

5. I'm waiting for _everyone to be treated equality and with respect_.

6. _Chocolate_ is hard to resist.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _doing a little homework_, tomorrow my plans include _during the day, working at the Trans Health and Law Conference and at night going to Love Makes a Family partyEat, Drink and Be Married”_ and Sunday, I want to _put my feet up and relax_!

Busy, busy day.

The day started out with stuffing 200 conference folders, we had a stuffing party at work from 9 until 1. Afterward, I went over to Lover Makes a Family to discuss a workshop that I am presenting with two of LMF staff.
When I left there, I was going to go home and change and go down to Yale with a friend to listen to a talk by author Jennifer Boylan. However, my plans got changed when I got stuck in traffic due to an accident. I was stuck for 45 minutes just 100 yards from my exit, it was torture to see the exit so close, but so far away.
Jennifer Boylan read some of her work, one piece she had just written (a humorous story about visiting dead authors’ graves) and she was worried how the audience would like it. I thought it was very good.
When that was over, we raced back to Hartford for a planning meeting on the conference, when that was over, I went out to a local diner with a couple of friends. I got home around nine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Transgender Lives:The Intersection of Health and Law Conference, Saturday April 18, 2009

The third annual Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference is being held on Saturday, April 18th, 2009 at the UConn Health Center from 8:00 AM till 5 PM. This year we will be featuring as our keynote speaker Michael D. Silverman, Esq the Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Due to the growth of the conference we have over 30 workshops that cover such topics as the Taboo's of Our Bodies, the Debate over GID Reform, Making your Provider Office more Trans Friendly and Community Discussion on Surgeries. Jennifer Levi, Esq, Dr. Stanton Honig, Dru Levausser, Esq and Aleah Nesteby, RN, MSN are just a small sampling of the highly qualified and experienced people we have presenting workshops; and of course the most experienced presenters are you!

This all day conference is geared towards Service Providers, Medical and Legal Professionals, Trans and Gender non-conforming individuals, allies and all those interested in the Health and Law issues facing the Trans and gender non-conforming communities. Visit TransgenderLives.org for a full listing of workshops, presenters, sponsors, directions, etc. And most importantly Register Today!

High Level Conference Timeline

* 08:00 - 09:00 AM - Registration and Continental Breakfast
* 09:15 - 11:30 AM - Morning Workshops
* 11:45 - 12:45 PM - Lunch
* 01:00 - 03:15 PM - Afternoon Workshops
* 03:30 - 04:30 PM - Keynote Speaker and Q&A - Michael D. Silverman, Esq., Exec Dir of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.
* 04:30 - 05:15 PM - Conference Reception

2009 Transgender Lives Conference sponsored by:


* CT Outreach Society ~ Organizing Sponsor
* CT TransAdvocacy Coalition ~ Organizing Sponsor
* CT Women's Education and Legal Fund ~ Organizing Sponsor
* Debra Parlato ~ Silver Sponsor
* City of Hartford LGBT Issues commision ~ Silver Sponsor
* Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective ~ GOLD Sponsor
* Holly McHaelen - Life Coach/True Colors - Silver Sponsor
* IFGE Winslow Street Fund ~ Gold Sponsor
* Lambda Legal ~ Silver Sponsor
* Love Makes a Family ~ Gold Sponsor
* Planned Parenthood of CT ~ Organizing Sponsor
* Susan Nagle ~ Silver Sponsor
* Twenty Club ~ Organizing Sponsor
* University of Connecticut Berdon Fund ~ Silver Sponsor
* University of Connecticut Health Center ~ Organizing Sponsor
* University of Connecticut Rainbow Center ~ Silver Sponsor
* University of Connecticut School of Law ~ Gold Sponsor

2009 Transgender Lives Conference Workshop Titles

* Transgender Legal Protections: Federal and State
* Blended families, Ct Courts and Custody
* Community panel on Sexuality
* Take a seat on the SOFFA
* Intersex 101
* Bringing your employment discrimination claim ~ How it really works
* Mental Health needs for transgender individuals
* Parenting and your Trans child
* Taboo's of Our Bodies: Masculine spectrum
* Taboo's of Our Bodies: Feminine spectrum
* Community panel on planning transitioning costs
* The Debate Over GID Reform: How does it play out in the courts?
* Working with Trans Sexual Assault (SA) clients
* Working with Trans Domestic Violence (DV) clients
* Creating a Trans-affirming Practice: Real Life Lessons
* Hot and Sexy Safer Sex for everyone
* The Paperchase
* What the Patient and Health Professional Needs to Know about Gender Reassignment Surgery
* Passing Gender Identity/Expression legislation in Connecticut
* Counseling and sex therapy with Gender non-conforming clients
* Housing issues facing your trans clients
* Considering Educational Tools for Providers
* Roadblocks to transitioning
* Community Advocacy and Organizing
* Transitioning at work
* Spiritual Mediation and Mindfullness


I am on the organizing committee that has worked on the conference these past nine months. There is a lot of work that has to go into planning and organizing a conference like this and it seems like everything ends up having to done at the last minutes. No matter when we start planning it all boils down to a mad rush the last week. In addition, I am facilitating a panel discussion on "Community Engagement in Trans Legislation" from 1:00 to 2:00.

I had the honor of attending a Master's Defense yesterday of a friend thesis. She organized the first conference as part of her Master's Program in Public Health and what she leaned while she organized the conference. Her research into the health and legal issues filled four 3" looseleaf notebooks.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #119

Janet’s Friday Fill-in

ffi

1. Anonymous..._comment left on blogs are like trolls_.

2. _Love_ is a _many splendor thing_.

3. Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, _to sweating you with honey_.

4. _Being out in the fresh air_ what I look forward to most about Spring.

5. Who needs therapy when _I got you_.

6. _Chocolate Easter Eggs_ MUST go into the Easter Basket!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop again_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to my brother in Maine_ and Sunday, I want to _dinner with my brother and sister-in-law_!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

sisters are doin it for themselves...

Look-y what I got from “what if this is as good as it gets?
The rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link the person from whom you received your award.

I nominate Lisa and Janet for their great photographic skills

Trans-gender rights bill passes House by one vote

By TOM FAHEY
State House Bureau Chief
38 minutes ago

Concord – By a single vote, the New Hampshire House today reversed itself and passed a bill that bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The proposal was dubbed the "bathroom bill" by its opponents.

The bill, House Bill 415, allows individuals to bring actions at the Human Rights Commission when they feel they have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexual identity, or the way they express it, such as with their clothing or makeup.

Gov. John Lynch did not endorse the bill after its passage. His spokesman, Colin Manning, said, "We have a comprehensive anti-discrimination law here in New Hampshire. We are not convinced that the concerns raised by the supporters of this legislation aren't already covered under existing law."


It looks like the trans-community has it work cut out for themselves to convince the Governor to sign the bill.

The Difference Between Damnation and Hate

There is a big difference the two, one is expressing religious beliefs and the other is bigotry.
I was in a heated discussion during Obama’s inauguration with a friend about Rick Warren and he could not see the difference. I said that Rick Warren was a bigot and my friend said that he was only expressing his religious views.

In a Time magazine article, Rick Warren said that "in the hierarchy of evil ... homosexuality is not the worst sin." and in my opinion that is a religious belief. However, he goes on to say, “he thinks allowing a gay couple to marry is similar to allowing ‘a brother and sister to be together and call that marriage.’ He then helpfully added that he's also ‘opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage.’ The reporter, who may have been a little surprised, asked, ‘Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?’ ‘Oh, I do,’ Warren immediately answered.” and I believe that is hate speech when you compare gay marriage to incest and pedophiles.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a bigot as, “a person who is 'obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."

When people express their beliefs based on their religious tenants and believe that homosexuals should not married or adopt children or be allowed in the military, they are expressing their views, which I do not have a problem with them expressing. However, I believe that they cross the line when they say that homosexuals are pedophiles and rape young children. They are using hate speech and one of the definitions of hate speech is that it is used to demonize.

Angelle N. Guyette writes in an opinion article in the Pittsburg Post Gazette about a hearing in Allegheny County for an anti-discrimination bill that…

"Sinner! God himself will judge you," a fellow snarled as I passed. Angry men and women stared me down, posturing, as I made my way through the crowd.

One minister's face contorted as he spoke, "Homosexuality is offensive because it is a sin. People choose to commit this sin. My congregants should not have to hire gays and condone a sinful lifestyle they find offensive.
"

These are religious beliefs and I believe they have a place in public discussion. However, compare that to what Curtis Bowers who is an Idaho representative from District 10 said in an opinion column in the Idaho Press-Tribune,

They [the Communist Party USA] had a three part agenda. They would use their manpower, influence and funds to back anything that would destroy our families, businesses and culture.

Finally, to destroy our culture, they needed us to abandon our heritage of religion and morality. They believed the homosexual movement, if accepted, would begin to effectively extinguish these values.


By equating homosexuality to the supposed down fall of the American way of life creates fear, which leads to hatred of homosexuals and therefore is hate speech.

The People for the American Way “Right Wing Watch” states in their “Marriage Equality Opponents Blur Distinction Between Civil And Religious Marriage” that “Like many other Religious Right political strategies, this is grounded in falsehood and deception.” It is through these distortions that generate an atmosphere of distrust and hate against the LGBT community.

The Southern Poverty Law Center list twelve anti-gay organizations as hate groups. They define a hate group, as “Anti-gay groups are organizations that go beyond mere disagreement with homosexuality by subjecting gays and lesbians to campaigns of personal vilification.

Yesterday, at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) there were two Lobby Days, the Anti-Discrimination Coalition’s Lobby Day to help pass a law to add gender identity and expression to the state Anti-Discrimination statutes and the other Lobby Day was by a group who wants to prevent the passage of the law. According to the Connecticut Post, the group sent an email that said, "While we need as big a turnout as possible, it is important to make our members aware of this so that those with small children can plan accordingly," ….. "It is perfectly fine to simply come and attend the rally and not the Lobby Day. We are asking you to do whatever you can to protect religious liberty and the family!" What are they trying to insinuate? And does the email fit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s definition of a hate group? Why did they send the email, was it to be used as an excuse to claim that they could have had a larger turnout if it was for the ADC group? In addition, consider what was published by WTNH, “It appears [they] organized the rally when they discovered that a group called the Connecticut Anti-discrimination Coalition planned to lobby lawmakers today on behalf of transgender and gender non-conforming people who want to add transgender protections to the non-discrimination law.” What was their motive?

Let us encourage public debate but let us speak up against hate and lies.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Remeber Every Vote Counts!


After the Lobby Day was over, I couldn't resist having my photo taken at the speaker podium in the hearing room.


Photo by Deja

Connecticut Lobby Day For Gender Idenity

I am sitting here in the Legislator Office Building (LOB) in hearing room 1D with about 100 people who are here today to talk to the legislators. We had speakers from the LGBT community, legislators, parents, and business leaders.
It is an empowering feeling to know that so many have taken the time to come the LOB to lobby.

From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you all for taking the time to come here and support the trans-community.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #162

How often do you change your toothbrush?

I do not have any fixed time, when they start to wear out, I replace them.

What is your favorite item of clothing to shop for?
Tops. Shoes that fit comfortably are hard to find, slack and skirts are hard to fit because of the fact that I have no waist.

Do you use social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)? Which do you use most often?
LinkedIn and Facebook. I use Facebook all the time, it is good tool for activists to keep everyone in touch and informed. I have a LinkedIn account but I have never used it.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday Six 260

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six 260


1. If money was tight, which of the following would you be most likely to give up: cable television, internet access or your cell phone?
I think I would drop cable and high-speed internet and I would get dial-up internet.

2. Of that same list, which would be least willing to part with?
The internet, I use it all the time and the item that I would want to keep is my cell phone for emergencies only

3. Your car dies: the only car you can afford, without going into serious debt, is a demo model that doesn’t have working air conditioning or heat. Assuming that it cannot be fixed (or that you can’t afford the repair, could you get by with that car?
No, manly because of the heat. It winter it can get very cold on a winter’s night and I assume that with no heat that you would not have any defrost heat for the windows.

4. If remote controls ceased to exist tomorrow, would you watch less television or about the same amount?
About the same, but I wouldn’t channel hope.

5. Take the quiz: Which Remote Button Are You?




You Are Record



Compared to most people, you are very aware and in the moment.
You pay very close attention to what's going on around you.

You see events from many perspectives, and you tend to be a detached observer.
Whenever something is going on, you're all eyes and ears!



6. What percentage of mail that you send to friends and family is email versus snail mail? In a perfect world, which would you most prefer?
99% email and I would prefer email over snail mail.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Saturday 9

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9



Saturday 9: Organize This

1. Are you an organized person?
I am a very disorganized person. However, my concentration in college is community organization.

2. What is one thing about your home that has to be just so or it drives you crazy when it comes to organization?
The piles of junk on the floor, every pile is a different category and can contain only one category. The pile of conference handouts cannot be mixed in with research papers or I would never find them.

3. Do you have one little nuance about your organization that most people consider to be a little over the top? What is it?
I use the right side of stairs to the second floor as a filing cabinet. The second step is bills, the third step is financial papers like bank statements, etc.

4. What is your favorite organizational tool? (bins, closet organizers, etc.)
The stairs.

5. Where is your favorite place to buy organizational needs?
I don’t have any, you don’t need anything if you keep the piles separate.

6. Are you more organized at work or at home?

At work, everything is electronic, no records to keep

7. Are you more or less organized than your significant other?
D.N.A. (Does Not Apply). I am single.

8. Does your significant other help or hurt organization?
D.N.A.

9. What is the most important recreational items that you organize?
I would I try to organize day trips during the summer, like last summer, I instigated a trip to Newport Rhode Island.

Iowa Supreme Court Overturns Marriage Law!

Unanimous ruling: Iowa marriage no longer limited to one man, one woman

REGISTER STAFF REPORTS • April 3, 2009
The Iowa Supreme Court this morning unanimously upheld gays’ right to marry.

“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

The court rules that gay marriage would be legal in three weeks, starting April 24.
Already the Right Wing Conservatives are crying “Judicial Decree,” “the courts are making the law.” However, the courts are just starting to see the discrimination and the injustice in banning marriage equality. They when you treat one class of people differently it is inherently wrong and they are only correcting that injustices.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Friday Fill-in #118

Janet’s Friday Fill-in #118

ffi

1. Angel or not, I will _die when my time is up_.

2. _I will cut the cake_ any way you want me.

3. As my mother used to say, you're full of _baloney _.

4. _I take a hot whirlpool bath_ after I'm done working out or doing something strenuous.

5. Even in the most crowded of rooms _I stand out_.

6. _The last day of class_ is a day fraught with peril.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the local coffee house to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _writing a paper for class_ and Sunday, I want to _continue writing the paper_!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Love Makes a Family Announces That They Will Close At The End Of The Year!!!

Today at a noon press conference at the Legislative Office Building LMF announced that they have meet their goals of bring marriage equality to Connecticut and will close their doors at the end of December.
What this will mean for the trans-community community in our fight for equality is unclear. They have been one of our strongest allies in the campaign for our human rights, since it now appears that the bill for adding gender identity and expression will not be voted out of committee this year our future is uncertain.

To Our Love Makes a Family Friends and Supporters:

As you know, in October of 2008--after eight years of dialogue with neighbors, community leaders, clergy and our elected officials--Connecticut's highest court upheld the right of every individual to marry the one they love. In acknowledging the inherent logic and fairness of providing equal marriage rights to same-sex couples in Connecticut, the Connecticut Supreme Court has brought closure to a decade of work by Love Makes a Family volunteers, supporters and staff.

Having accomplished our core purpose, Love Makes a Family has begun preparations to cease operations on December 31, 2009, allowing our staff, board and community of supporters to focus their energies on the myriad of community issues still facing our state and country.

As I have always planned to do once our marriage goal was accomplished, I will be stepping down from my position at Love Makes a Family as of July 1st. It has been a wonderful eight years, but it is time for me to take a break and to spend time with my very patient wife, Charlotte. I would not be leaving if I did not feel confident that the plan laid out by our Board of Directors will secure for all time the marriage rights now provided to our citizens, and empower LGBT and civil rights activists across the state to continue their work to make Connecticut a safer and better place for all our residents.

MAKING THE DECISION

In September 2008, Love Makes a Family began a strategic planning process to help determine our place in the future of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activism in Connecticut. We knew that marriage equality was on the horizon--whether through the courts or through the legislature--and we wanted to be prepared for next steps once this occurred.

During this planning process, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that marriage was a right of all citizens of the state without regard to gender or sexual orientation. Love Makes a Family had achieved our core purpose, and our planning process became even more critical.

As part of our process, we engaged the assistance of members of the Love Makes a Family community (both board and non-board) to serve as members of a Strategic Planning Committee. The mandate of the Committee was to thoughtfully consider Love Makes a Family's relevance and role in the LGBT community and to recommend a course of action for our future.

Over several months, the Committee gathered ideas, opinions and perspectives from Love Makes a Family constituents and community leaders via surveys, focus groups, 1:1 meetings, and phone calls. Information gathered in this process was analyzed, and options for our organization's future were developed.

After long and careful consideration and dialogue about the best interests of the LGBT community and its resources in Connecticut, we have concluded that the organization should plan to complete its work, and then cease operations on December 31, 2009.

We understand the emotional response this decision may evoke in our supporters and coalition partners. Being a part of this successful marriage equality movement has been an amazing experience for so many of us here in Connecticut. But we have accomplished our mission, and now we want to conclude our work on a high note: celebrating our successes, completing the work that is left to do, and sharing our organizational resources with others to further empower the Connecticut LGBT community for many years to come.

NEXT STEPS: AN ACTIVE NINE MONTHS

Love Makes a Family's plan over the next nine months will include:

* Smoothly Enact Marriage Equality

We are absolutely confident that marriage equality is here to stay in Connecticut. We would never close our doors if we felt otherwise.

In the coming months, ensuring that Connecticut's new marriage law is understood and properly implemented is our top priority. We have held informational forums and provided one-on-one assistance to couples, to clergy and Justices of the Peace, and to employers--and we will continue to do that over the coming months.

On the legislative front, what we expect to pass this session is a bill that won strong, bipartisan approval in the Judiciary Committee on Monday that conforms state statutes to the Kerrigan ruling and clarifies the status of civil unions for the future. Marriage equality is now the law in Connecticut, but we will be working hard over the coming weeks to ensure that this bill is enacted.

* Secure Support of Connecticut Congressional Delegation to Repeal DOMA
A significant majority of Love Makes a Family supporters said very clearly that after protecting marriage equality in Connecticut, repealing the federal DOMA is their top priority. (DOMA is the law passed by Congress in 1996 that deprives legally married same-sex couples of significant federal rights and protections of marriage, such as Social Security survivor benefits).

The repeal of DOMA will not happen overnight and will require advocacy efforts in every state. But as one of only two states that currently allows same-sex couples to marry, Connecticut has a unique role to play in collecting and sharing real stories of discrimination and added hardships faced by married couples because of DOMA.

For that reason, we will use the next nine months to focus our organizing and lobbying efforts on the seven members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation (Senators Dodd and Lieberman; Representatives Larson, Courtney, DeLauro, Himes, and Murphy) to ask them not simply to vote to repeal DOMA, but also to be leaders in its repeal. Many in our Congressional delegation already support a repeal of DOMA, but with your continued advocacy over the coming months, our goal is to have 100% support. GLADs recent legal challenge to DOMA--Gill et. al. v. Department of Personnel Management

http://www.lmfct.org/site/R?i=3OT-R9GaNbP-P6HmrKPK4g..

--will move forward in the courts, but advocacy work in Congress must begin as well.

* Lobby for Legislation to Protect the Transgender Community

Love Makes a Family's primary mission has been to win marriage equality for same-sex couples, but in 2005, we joined the state Anti Discrimination Coalition to help pass legislation to prohibit discrimination against transgender people. A strong coalition of organizations is working hard to make 2009 the year that bill passes, and Love Makes a Family will remain an active part of that effort this session.

* Ensure a Pro-Equality Legislature for the Future/Provide an Ongoing LGBT Political Voice in Connecticut

Before anyone worries that the LGBT community is losing its political presence in the state, let me say very clearly that while our educational and lobbying arms will cease operations in December, we will maintain and strengthen the Love Makes a Family Political Action Committee.

Love Makes a Family's Political Action Committee exists to elect individuals who support equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. New threats to LGBT equality may surface in the future, and it is critical that elected officials remain supportive and accountable.

* Document our Successful Strategies and Share with Other States

We recognize the importance of documenting the strategies that have been successful in Connecticut and sharing them with other states. There are first-rate LGBT organizations across the country that we have worked with and learned from over many years. By compiling the story of how marriage was won here, we hope it will provide helpful, replicable ideas for other states to use.

**********

The work of creating a better community for all our citizens is not complete. However, we at Love Makes a Family are proud to stand hand-in-hand with the community partners whose work has made, and will continue to make, a difference to the lives of so many of Connecticut's residents. Over the coming months, we will be working closely with our organizational partners to ensure that any gaps in service are covered.

It would be impossible to thank all the individuals and organizations who have played a role in making our work a success. There are simply too many to name. Please know, however, that your heartfelt dedication, your time, your financial support and your thoughtful input were the basis for achieving marriage equality in Connecticut.

In July, I will leave Love Makes a Family in the steady hands of our dedicated Board of Directors and an Interim Executive Director to oversee the final months of operation. Several of our staff members have already moved on to other states to continue the marriage equality work elsewhere; others will remain until December to implement our remaining organizational goals.

My nearly nine years at Love Makes a Family have been the highlight of my career. This work has been so much more than a job because I have been able to work with committed individuals like each of you, individuals who never questioned the right of all to be equal. Thank you for your support of our mission and your support of me. I have no immediate plans for the future other than taking a break and enjoying the summer. What I do know is that I will be around to help the community in any way that I can.

In closing, let me reiterate that Love Makes a Family is proud of the legacy it leaves, both in our work with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and others to bring marriage equality to our state, and in the changed face of activism in Connecticut. The successful grassroots organizing model implemented by Love Makes a Family has created skilled and thoughtful new leaders who know their elected officials, who know how to organize, and who will continue to work for a better quality of life for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in a variety of life-changing areas, in collaboration with the experienced leaders at the helms of the many other excellent LGBT organizations across our state.

All of us who have been a part of Love Makes a Family over the last nine years look forward to an exciting future for the LGBT community in Connecticut and to the engagement of new leaders for change.

Sincerely,

Anne Stanback
Executive Director