Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Gets Me So Mad!!!!

They say they are for family values; well one of my family values is not lying. I don’t know where their values lie.

Last year, the organization Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government tried to repel a gender inclusive anti-discrimination law, by staging a fake incident and this year they are using a woman’s rape to try to pass a law to repel the gender identity and expression law.

1. The rapist was a man dressed as a man who raped a woman in a restroom – it has nothing to do with a gender inclusive non-discrimination law.
2. They are demonizing transgender people.
3. They are also giving a false sense of fear that result in women being wary of the wrong person and not realizing where the real danger lies.
4. There has never been a rape that was by a transgender person.

Saturday Six – Episode 307

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 307

1. Someone posts a question on a website’s message board asking a simple question that could easily be answered with a Google search: does that bother you? Do you tell them to look it up, or would you just provide the answer?
I would cut & paste the answer with a link to the other site.

2. A co-worker in the cubicle next to you clips his fingernails regularly. Would this annoy you enough to make you complain?
No, this wouldn’t annoy me to point where I would complain. After all, I’m probably doing some that annoys him just as much.

3. You’re in line at a checkout counter when the person being waited on is delaying things because they won’t stop talking on her cell phone. Would this bother you? Would you say something about it?
Yes, I probably wouldn’t say anything for about 30 seconds, but then I might do something to indicate my inpatients.

4. At work, you go to the coffee area and see that the person before you has left a minor spill of coffee and sweetener. Would it bother you enough that you’d clean it up, or just leave it for someone else?
When I was working, I would clean it up and as Safety Director, I would probably post signs about cleaning up after yourself.

5. A co-worker’s cell phone keeps ringing every few minutes while they’re away from their desk. The ringtone is particularly annoying. If you knew they wouldn’t be back for an hour or more, would you be annoyed enough to turn the cell phone off?
No, I wouldn’t touch their phone… it might be buried by some mysterious way under a ton of papers

6. Someone you know regularly returns a, “Hello, how are you?” with a simple, “Fine” and no effort to ask how you are. Would this bother you enough to make you stop asking them if you knew they’d never return the courtesy?
It sounds like you are talking about me! :-)
I tend to not to reply, I fell it is a rhetorical question. Let me ask you a question, how do you feel when someone answers that they feel bad and goes off on a litany of their aliments?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Saturday 9: Should I Stay or Should I Go

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Should I Stay or Should I Go

1. Have you ever been on a date and you had to tell the person to just go away?

2. Do you wish you were someplace else right now? If yes, where?

No, not really, here in CT is pretty good right now. It has been a mild winter and little snow.

3. Do you have any pet peeves?

Yes, people who pull on the highway going 40mph, you know there is a reason why they call it an acceleration lane. And conversely, people who slow down for an exit a mile in advance. Did you know that the exit ramps are designed so the you can safely decelerate from 70mph?

4. Tell us about a guilty pleasure of yours.

5. If you could change places and become a celebrity, who would you'd like to be?
I wouldn’t like to be any celebrity, they get hounded by the paparazzi

6. What do you consider your biggest talent?

7. Do you have a favorite actor/actress that is not a big star, yet they are your favorite?

Emily Deschanel from Bones

8. Name your five favorite rock bands of all time.
The Grateful Dead
Jefferson Airplane
Led Zeppelin
Pink Floyd
I think you can tell what generation that I'm from.

9. If you were to start a new relationship (for whatever reason), how much of your sexual history would you share? Would you resort to lying?
Not much, it is best to keep some secrets. No, lying in a relationship is wrong.

Friday Fill-ins #165

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #165


1. A cup of tea _is sometimes not yours_.

2. _A pile of dirty clothes in the corner of the closet_ makes a place feel like home.

3. Everything has its beauty _you just need to take the time to see it_.

4. _The chocolate truffles have hint of_ the taste of strawberries?

5. Art makes me _slow down and take the time to enjoy it_.

6. LOL I just noticed I forgot _put my name on my exam in my nervousness_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the same ‘ol coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _talking to my Independent Studies professors about giving a presentation to the faculty_ and Sunday, I want have to _study for the exam that was postponed from last week because of the snow_!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Story Part 19 – Cry Me A Story

This is a story about crying…

My earliest memories are not about play children’s games or birthday parties, but of crying. What great memories to have!

I remember probably when I was six or seven crying myself to sleep at night whishing that I was a girl. I don’t know why I thought about becoming a girl, I have thought it over and over many times… where did those thoughts originate? Was there some type of trigger that made me want to be a girl? I just don’t know, it’s that old battle, is it nature or is it nurture. But in the end it doesn’t really matter, I am who I am.

At various times through out my early years, I was subject to fits of crying. Mostly when I was almost caught crossdressing and I would have a crying fit, promising myself never to do it again.

When I graduated from college, I moved back home and it was the same year that my father retired. I had most of the year to myself because my parents traveled a lot, so while they traveled I could be Diana. Then in ’81 they bought the cottage in New Hampshire and they were up there most of the summer and during the winter they rented a condo in Florida. That meant that I could be Diana except for December and April when they were home. During one of those years a was watching TV in the sunroom when a friend stopped unexpected, I couldn’t run and hide because he would have seem me and he knew I was home because the my car was in the driveway. So I peeked around the door and told him that I was getting ready for a shower. (Late when I came out to my friends, I found out that he did see me crossdressed but never said anything.) That night, I cried and vowed never to crossdress again.

Late in the ‘80’s, my aunt retired and moved in with us. At first she went up to the cottage with them during the summers, but she decided that it was too quite up there and wanted to stay in town for the summer… it was now time to move out and get my own home. I built my house, playing general contractor (I will never do that again!), had the house designed by an architect and the house built by my cousin (Also, I would never have a family member build my house again). When I moved in, I could be Diana full time expect for work. One day, I was smoking pot out in back of my house, dressed as Diana, when I saw the guy that I hired for the landscaping in back of my neighbor’s house and he saw me. I went back in and changed back to being Don. Just then, the doorbell rang and it was he, he said that he had a job next door and that he just wanted to see how everything came out. That night, I dried myself to sleep.

In ’99, I came out of the closet and my whole world changed. I started to attend meeting at a support group, the Connecticut Outreach Society. They had field trips to stores in the area that open their shops up just for their members. Many times, I drove to the store and never went inside, instead I just cried outside in the car because I didn’t have the courage to get out of the car and go inside.

When I started to admit to myself that my feeling ran deeper than crossdressing. I knew that in order to transition that I would have to be able to shop for food, buy cloths and all the other stuff that one needs to do in order to live as Diana. The first couple of times that I went to buy groceries, I sat out in the car and cried because I couldn’t get myself to go in to the store.

When I knew that I had to tell my brother and his family, I cried for weeks fearing the worst that I would lose them. Once I told them, I cried because they were so accepting.

I cry a lot less now a days. Most of the stress is gone, but now I cry over the effects of hormones… a sad move or a love story. However, now it’s a good cry.

For Facebook users, this is part of a series that I am writing on my blog… “Diana’s Little Corner in the Nutmeg State

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Manic Monday #201

Lisa’s Manic Monday #201

If you could invite any five people to your birthday party, who would they be?
My brother, my cousins and their wives. However, that would be six people.

What birthday has been your favorite so far? What about it made it special?
My sixth. What made it so special was my brother, my cousins and their wives were there and it was my first birthday as Diana.

What one thing are you craving today?
What I always crave, lobster.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Conservative Agenda

In Kansas, the House passed a bill that would make divorce harder to obtain for some, they call it a “Covenant Marriage”. A couple could enter into a special type of marriage that will make it harder to obtain a divorce. The Kansas City Star writes that,
Kansas House OKs covenant marriage legislation

TOPEKA | Kansas would become the fourth state in the nation to allow covenant marriage under a bill progressing in the House.

Covenant marriage would be a voluntary agreement committing a couple to a higher threshold for divorce than conventional marriage.

Proponents say the option would strengthen marriages in Kansas. Couples choosing covenant marriage would have to receive premarital counseling and sign an affidavit stating their intentions.
The bill will also let couples enter into a “Covenant Marriage” retroactively. The problem with this is that an abusive spouse can coerce their partner to sign the agreement, one of the traits of an abusive relationship is that one partner dominates the other. This bill only give the abuser even more power to abuse the partner.

Kansas is not along in creating these draconian laws, Arkansas, Arizona and Louisiana have already passed “Covenant Marriage” laws, while there is a ballot initiative effort in California to have “Covenant Marriage” as a ballot question this year.

This is only one part of the “Conservative Agenda”, flush with their victories against marriage equality the conservatives not only want to ban abortions, they also want to criminalize miscarriages! In Utah, there is a bill that would criminalize “a woman's "intentional, knowing, or reckless act" leading to a pregnancy's illegal termination.” according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The article goes on to state that…
Some Senate Democrats attempted a last-minute amendment to remove the word "reckless" from the list of criminal acts leading to miscarriage. They argued that criminalizing reckless acts leaves open the possibility of prosecutions against domestic violence victims who return to their abusers only to be beaten and lose the child.

"It's part of the cycle of domestic violence," said Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City.
Will all miscarriages now be subject to criminal review? Will there be a special panel set up to analysis miscarriages?

Look what happened in Florida, a woman was ordered by the court to stay in bed during her pregnancy. According to a New York Times article…

Is Refusing Bed Rest a Crime?

Arguments are under way today in the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee, Fla., in the case of Samantha Burton, who was confined to her bed by a judge earlier this year because she was at risk for a miscarriage.

Burton was in her 25th week of pregnancy in March 2009 when she started showing signs of miscarrying. Her doctor advised her to go on bed rest, possibly for as long as 15 weeks, but she told him that she had two toddlers to care for and a job to keep. She planned on getting a second opinion, but the doctor alerted the state, which then asked the Circuit Court of Leon County to step in.

She was ordered to stay in bed at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and to undergo “any and all medical treatments” her doctor, acting in the interests of the fetus, decided were necessary. Burton asked to switch hospitals and the request was denied by the court, which said “such a change is not in the child’s best interest at this time.” After three days of hospitalization, she had to undergo an emergency C-section and the fetus was found dead.
The “Conservative Agenda” does just stop with reproduction rights. Besides banning marriage equality, they want to criminalize homosexuality. The Michigan Messenger writes,
Family group says it wants homosexuality criminalized
By Todd A. Heywood 2/9/10 7:26 AM

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, has added his voice to a growing chorus of American leaders calling for the re-criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S.

In an e-mail to Michigan Messenger, here’s how Glenn responded when asked if he supported the criminalization move proposed by the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg’s comments last week on Hardball:

“The short answer to your question is yes, we believe that states should be free to regulate and prohibit behavior that’s a violation of community standards and a proven threat to public health and safety — including, as most of the United States did throughout its history, homosexual behavior.”
They are also in favor of allowing businesses to discriminate against the lesbian, gay men, bisexuals and transgender, they have labeled the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) bill, the "Transgendered Bathrooms for Business Act”.

The conservatives are always talking about a “Gay Agenda”; however, it is time that we recognize the “Conservative Agenda”. That the “Conservative Agenda” is based on repression and control while the “Gay Agenda” is based upon equality and human rights. That we realize that what they want is to go back to the time of “Father Knows Best”, where the wife was subservient to the husband and stayed home and raised the kids (which in itself is alright, but women should have a choice and not be forced into that role by law) and “gays” were in the closet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 306

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 306

1. What’s your least favorite part of the morning?
Waking up, it comes way too early. I usually wake up around 4:30 – 5:00, I don’t want to wakeup that time but that is when my internal alarm clock goes off.

2. Is there generally any day of the week that you usually sleep later than normal? If so, which day, and how often do you actually get to sleep in late?
No there isn’t. since I am retired any day is just like any other morning. Also my first class this semester begins at 2:30, last semester I had an 8:30 class and it was hard to get motivated to get there on time.

3. When the alarm clock first goes off, do you immediately get up, or do you take advantage of that snooze button?
I don’t set the alarm clock, but when I was working I usually woke up before it went off.

4. Do you sleep with the television on or off?
I go to sleep with it off. However, if I wake up in the middle of the night I sometimes turn it on and set the timer for 30 minutes. It helps me to get back to sleep.

5. Take the quiz: What Part of the Morning Are You?

You Are the Sun

You always wake up with a smile on your face. Even if you're tired, you're happy that you lived to see another day.
You feel especially perky when the sun is already up and shining. You are definitely solar powered.

You are optimistic and forward looking. Mornings may be tough sometimes, but you hardly even notice.
Just like the sun, you get up every day with little fuss or effort. There's work to be done, and you're ready to do it.

6. What’s the part of your morning you least look forward to every day?
Breakfast. I think I think about it too much.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday 9: Don't Stand So Close to Me

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Stand So Close to Me

1. Who would you like not to stand so close to you?
There was a person where I worked that I always kept my distance from him.

2. Which of the following aspects of your life would you think rates the highest: mind, body or spirit?
Mind, because with your mind you would just be a plant.

3. What is your favorite movie line?
I am not very good at remember line from movies

4. What is your favorite movie title?
Nor titles.

5. What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?
Being able to like my life as myself.

6. What do you try to stay away from?
Food or more specifically fat foods.

7. What is it too late for?
Hmmm. That is a hard question to answer, because it is never too late to do something.

8. Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
For standing by me.

9. Would you rather be famous now & forgotten after you die or forgotten now & famous after you die, forever? And why?
I don’t really care for either choice, w
hy do you want to be famous? It doesn’t matter if I famous after I die because I will be dead and to be famous now only causes problems.

Friday’s Fill-ins #164

Janet’s Friday’s Fill-ins #164

1. Johnny Weir, _who?_. (I had to google him in order to find out who he is.)

2. _I miss my favorite TV programs because of the_ 2010 Olympics.

3. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud _was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -Anais Nin_. (Hmm… where have I seen that quote before? ;-) )

4. _You can have some candy, but only_ if you get an urge.

5. Having sweet dreams _makes a sound night’s sleep_.

6. What does it take _to get something done around here?_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _writing a report for my Research Method’s class_, tomorrow my plans include _speaking at a local community college on trans issues_ and Sunday, I want have to _finish the report_!

P.S. I'm fighting a cold. Do you know how hard it is to write a paper, while battling a leaky nose and a sinus headache?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mid-Terms Are Coming Up...

Mid-terms are next week; therefore, I will not be posting as much. It's going to be study, study, study... PANIC!!!!

I will try to do the memes (everyone needs a little break now and then), but there will be no "My Story" this week.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Manic Monday #200

Lisa’s Manic Monday #200

What's your least favorite word?
Duh! I think that is making fun of people of have learning difficulties.

Where do you go when you need really good advice?
My brother, but it really depends on what advice I am looking for.

If you could participate in any winter Olympic sport, what would it be?
The Skeleton. Those athletes are daredevils… just point the sled downhill and go.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Thoughts On The Tax Court Ruling On GID Deductions

Earlier in the month, I commented on the U.S. Tax Court’s ruling on treatment for gender identity disorder that it qualifies as medical care under the Internal Revenue Code, and is therefore deductible.

The Huffington Post has an article on insurance coverage for GID related medical care. As some of you know if you have been following my blog. Most insurance policies do not cover any treatment for transsexual procedures, some insurance companies even go so far as not to cover heart attacks if you are taking hormones because it might have been cause by them. So it was with interest that I read the Huffington Post article,
Transgender Surgery is Deductible; Medical Coverage Coming

Joanne Herman
Posted: February 3, 2010 12:52 PM

The treatment procedure O'Donnabhain undertook is the generally accepted procedure set by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), a group of medical doctors, psychologists and other professionals. Its pre-qualification hurdles for surgery are some of the most rigorous existing for any medical procedure.

Ironically, this lawsuit might never have happened if transgender health care was covered by medical insurance, which it generally is not. How can something that is medically necessary not be covered by insurance?

The first reason is lack of general understanding about the seriousness of GID. Without this understanding "the surgery" can seem frivolous, just one step beyond a nose job. But the medical standards are based on results over time showing that people with GID are much happier after surgical treatment. If the IRS is now convinced, one can hope health insurance companies will soon fall in line.

The second reason is that insurance companies and employers fear that covering sex reassignment surgery will "break the bank." The experience of the City and County of San Francisco shows otherwise. San Francisco started covering transgender health care for municipal employees in 2001. In 2006 San Francisco disclosed it had collected $5.6 million for the coverage and had paid out only $386,417 on 39 claims, a 93% profit. Cost is clearly not the issue.

But how was it that San Francisco was so far off? Their actuaries knew there were twenty-seven transgender municipal employees, and therefore geared up to pay for thirty-five surgeries each year. But they missed the fact that many transgender people never have surgery and those that do generally only have it once in a lifetime. Actual cost experience has been no worse than that for gall bladder removal or heart surgery.
In a report by Horton, M. PhD on the cost of health care coverage for transgender individuals, she found that…
The survey found that the average cost for MTF SRS in 2001 was about $10,400 and for FTM primary surgery (top surgery) was about $8,500. FTM bottom surgical costs averaged about $9,500/patient. Total surgical cost, compared to the number of US residents in the 2000 US Census, is 5.3¢ per year.
Adding typical THB [Transgender Health Benefits] nonsurgical cost per resident for mental health (.7¢,) Hormones (6.6¢,) and doctors office visits (4.6¢,) the total estimated annual cost per resident would be 17.3¢. The margin of error analysis concludes that the total cost per resident might be as low as 9¢ or as high as $4.01. These costs represent the total cost, including employer and employee shares, and include any costs already being covered by the employer. Increased costs to employers would be less, probably 6.6¢ or less.
So why do businesses not provide health care for transgender procedures when the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) all say that treatment for GID is a medical necessity?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 305

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 305

1. What is the most snow you remember ever seeing where you live?
The most that we had where I live is around 3’ of snow during the blizzard of ’78. The most snow at one time was when I was at college on the early 70’s in Rochester NY, just south of us they got 50” of snow and that was followed by another 50” a few days later. It was from “Lake Effect” snow, Lake Ontario didn’t freeze that winter and the cold north wind blew across the warm lake picking moisture. It then deposited the moisture as snow on Ontario County

2. Given a choice, would you prefer a day of snow or a day of rain?
Rain, as long as it is not freezing rain, because you don’t have to shovel rain

3. How easily does your local area respond to snow or ice on roads?
They are very good with clearing the roads. Being in New England they better be good.

4. Considering the source from which you most often get your forecast, how accurate was that source over the past week?

They blew the forecast miserably, they forecast 10” – 14” of snow and we got 3”. The major businesses let everyone out early fearing the worst, but it was all for naught.

5. Take the quiz: Are You a Snow Bunny?

You Are a Snow Kitten

You like snow in small doses. You find snow to be comforting, and you love to snuggle up under a blanket of snow.
You're not a big fan of the hassles of snow. You're happy to see it come, but you're also happy to see it go.

Go ahead and venture out in the snow from time to time! Throw a snowball or make a snow angel.
You have an inner snow bunny inside you, and it's time to let that bunny play.

6. Okay, it’s time to confess: when the snow starts moving in, do you go to the grocery store and buy up all of the milk and bread?
Nope. I am a good scout and always have about a weeks worth of food on hand.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Saturday 9: It's a Beautiful Morning

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: It's a Beautiful Morning

1. Are you a morning person?
Yes, unfortunately. I wish is wasn’t and I could sleep late.

2. Tell us of a news story that truly shocked you.

The power plant explosion, I sleep right through it. I was taking a nap because I was up at 5 in the morning (see above) and I woke up to the sound of car alarms going off on the street.

3. What was your very first job?

Summer job or regular job? My first summer job was with the state, taking inventory of state owned equipment in high schools around the state. My first regular job was for Pioneer Medical making the first portable EKG machines for ambulances.

4. What characteristics do you despise?

Hmmm… that is a hard question to answer. maybe holding a grudge. Get over it!

5. To where would you retire?
Since I am retired, I would to say right here in central Connecticut

6. Are you named after anyone?
Well, which name are you talking about? The name given to me at birth? If so then yes, I was named after our family doctor. The name that I gave myself, was a name that I liked.

7. How do you release anger?
I very rarely get angry, and when I do, I walk away.

8. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

9. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
My weight and my inability to lose it.

No Robo-Cams!

There is a move afoot to allow traffic lights camera to record red light violations and then the violator would be sent a ticket. The Hartford Courant has an Editorial about the cameras this morning…

Red-Light Cameras Keep Drivers Honest

Of the several stupid and dangerous things that a person can do with a car, running a red light is one of the worst. The all-too-common practice imperils pedestrians and bicyclists, and can cause particularly dangerous right-angle crashes.

A coalition of state and local officials including New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., police and safety activists are introducing a bill that would allow towns to monitor traffic lights with cameras.

This is the third time the "red-light camera bill" has been introduced in the legislature. It should pass.
They go on to say the cameras only take pictures of the license plate (Hmmm… I wonder how many people will have dirty license plates now.) and that you would be able to challenge the ticket in court. They said the ticket would not cause you to get any points against your driver license, they will only be fined and it will not be reported to your insurance company. They close the editorial by saying, “What is the downside?”

Well the downside is that the punishment is not immediate. When you are stopped by a police officer there is a direct interaction, run red light, get a ticket and there is an immediate behavior adjustment. With a robo-cam there is no immediate feedback, run a red light, run a red light, run a red light… and a month later you get a dozen tickets.

Contesting the photograph will be nearly impossible, how would you remember the circumstances, let alone prove what happen during the particular instance.

The other day is was driving down Trout Brook in W. Hartford, I was following a trailer truck (I wasn’t tailgating, I was about 3 – 4 car lengths in back of the truck and we were going 35 mph) since the lights are on the opposite side of the corner, I didn’t see the red light until the truck drove through the intersection. If I slammed on my brakes to stop, the car tailgating me would have struck my car. If a cop saw it, he would have been able to make a judgment call right there. If a robo-camera took a picture, all it would have gotten in the picture was me running the red light. Then four or five weeks later, I would get a ticket, it would be hard to recall the incident over a month later and then argue it in court.

We do not need robo-cams.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We Punish The Victim

There is a column in yesterday’s Hartford Courant by Susan Campbell on racism in the suburbs.

In her column, she wrote…

Talking About Race In Suburbia
February 10, 2010

For the past 2½ years, Taylor Atkins, a 15-year-old African American high school junior in Stafford Springs, has been threatened and harassed. She's been pushed and called racial names. Someone put feces in her mailbox at home. Someone handed her a Confederate flag to sign.

School administrators say when incidents are reported, they investigate and punish culprits. Local troopers say the same, but the hate continues.

For a moment, it felt like the veil between races was rent. Superintendent Therese Fishman said the school planned to tutor Taylor Atkins for a while to give everyone a chance to cool off. The board might implement an Anti-Defamation League program, A World of Difference. They've called for help from the University of Connecticut. But Fontanella spoke about the need for reporting of each incident, and when people tried to react, he banged his gavel. Paula Atkins reiterated that she wanted an education for her daughter — and that the board was risking a lawsuit for not helping her daughter feel safe — and then Taylor Atkins fled the room, followed by students who'd come in support. That group was followed by the grown-ups when Fontanella said the board was moving on to talk about the budget, although school Principal Francis T. Kennedy spoke later of efforts that the school is making.
What was the superintendent answer to the harassment? It was to give her home schooling, in effect punishing the victim by isolating her. Home schooling is usually reserved for student who are given suspension.

We see this type of behavior by other school districts, to remove the victim. A trans-women who was a victim of bullying at her school was moved to a school for troubled students. Later the bully was transferred to her school where he began bullying her again. She was then given home tutoring, in effect revictimizing her again, instead of punishing the bully.

This does not only happen in school systems but as I reported in another blog entry, in prisons. A trans-woman was put in solitary confinement just because she was transgender and she was only allowed out of her cell one hour a day. Solitary confinement is usually reserved for hardened criminals who have disciplinary problems. Once again, they punished the victim.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Story Part 18 – Ops… Pardon My Slip

Before I transitions I was living 16 hours a day as Diana five days a week and full time on weekends. There were a number of times that I almost slipped up.

One of the near misses happen when I was on a business trip to our corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania back in the winter of ’06. I went out there with a project engineer to discuss a manufacturing problem with one of our suppliers. The night that were arrived in town, the VP of Engineering invited us out to dinner. Well they were delayed at the office, so the project engineer and I sat at the bar drinking beers. I was rather relaxed (they were two hours late) when the VP and his wife arrived, I went to induce myself to his wife and I said “Hi, I’m Di….[cough].” I almost said I’m Diana instead of Don and I tried to hide the gaffe by coughing, which worked. Whew!!!

What happen was I separated Don from Diana by location in my mind. Work = Don. Non-working hours = Diana. I was relaxing in a non-work setting, I had about three beers already and it was a place that would have associated with Diana, hence the slip up.

Coming back from that trip on the corporate jet there were a couple of VPs on board (us peons can ride in the corporate jet if there are any open seats, otherwise we get bumped to the commercial jets). They were talking about the weather conditions back at Bradley airport and when one of them said there was six inches of snow, I said “Shit!” and the two VPs looked at me. One of them asked I was planning on going out that night (Friday) and I could not very well say that I was going to a fundraiser Drag Show at a local gay bar. So made up a little white lie and I said I had a date and he asked where we were going. After some quick thinking, I said that we were going to the movies, but I will probably now just pick-up a pizza and go over to her apartment. Two close calls in less than a week.

Every October, I went up to Provincetown on Cape Cod to Fantasia Fair for a week and for the whole week, I was Diana. That made it somewhat difficult when I got home (There is even a workshop at the fair that covers this effect, the workshop is called “Lost in the Pink Fog”) and went back to work. The first problem was that I couldn’t talk about my vacation, all I could say was that I had a great time, I was afraid of even saying that I was up in Provincetown because of the reputation P’town has about being a “Gay” town. Anyhow, the other problem was that I was use to answering when somebody said “Diana” and at work that was a problem because we had a Diane who worked with me. One Monday when I had just come back from FF, I was in the copier room and someone said, “Diane, can you make copies of these for me?” and over the noise of the copiers, I thought they said Diana. I was about to turn and say yes, when I heard Diane answer. I had not realized that she was standing behind me and if I answered, it would have been rather hard to say that Don sounded like Diane even with all the noise of the copiers.

Well now all that is behind me, the stress that I had living two lives is gone. I don’t have to hide now and also everyone where I use to work has since found out that I’m trans, so are accepting and others are not.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I Just Don’t Understand Why We Can’t Pass Anti-Discrimination Laws

In the former Soviet block country of Albania they just unanimously passed an Anti-Discrimination law. According to the ILGA

Albania is a potential candidate country for joining the European Union and is required to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. ILGA-Europe regards new Albanian anti-discrimination legislation as very positive step as Albania is now one of a very few countries in Europe which explicitly bans discrimination on the grounds of gender identity. It also goes further compared to some latest EU Member States which only ban discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment and not in other areas of life.
While here in the United States we get this…
SAFE SCHOOL PROPOSAL: Two lawmakers want to exclude gay and lesbian students
Gay rights groups say the bill singles out gay students for harassment
WHO Ch 13
By Emily Carlson
Two Iowa legislators are getting heat from the gay community. The lawmakers want to remove protection to lesbians, gay and transgender students from the Safe Schools Law, in and effort to reverse the Iowa's Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

"The Bully Bill or Safe School Act doesn't protect anyone anyway. Schools are already doing this, so to remove few words doesn't change the intent or effect of the law," says Rep. Jason Schultz.
And on the MSNBC Chris Mattews show, Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg from the said…
MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: Well, I – I think certainly it’s defensible.

MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: I think the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.

SPRIGG: Uh, yes.
Mean while our supporters in Congress go off on a tirade about lack of support for the ENDA bill. Rep Barney Franks had this to say on the Michelangelo Signorile on SiriusXM…
On Thursday, Representative Barney Frank gave an interview to Michelangelo Signorile on SiriusXM. Frank was alternately defensive and apoplectic. He spent the entire time blaming the LGBT community for lack of movement in Congress. He was full of rage and contemptuous of the community. It was a shameful performance.

The incredibly unflappable Signorile asked about the failure of Congress to move on ENDA and DADT, and the President's failure to lead. Frank's angry response was that the LGBT community has failed to lobby Congress. He characterized our community as "lazy" and "whining". He said "that is why we will lose" on ENDA and DADT. It was obvious he was more interested in defending himself and his cronies than in providing any leadership. .
Lobbying has increase substantially over the years, when you consider that the LGBT community makes up only around 5% of the population, we have strong national and local support for Anti-Discrimination laws. The polls show a strong support for Anti-Discrimination laws. Gallup polling shows that in 1978, 56% favored Anti-Discrimination laws and by 2010 it was up to nearly 90% supported the law, in Massachusetts in 2010, 76% support the legislation, in 2008 a New York poll found that 76% of the voters backed a non-discrimination law there, and in Maryland in 2006 over half of the voters supported Anti-Discrimination laws.

Unlike marriage equality ballots votes, anti-discrimination laws have passed when they went before the voters. Just recently, they passed in Gainesville FL with 58% of the votes and Kalamazoo MI, 65% of voters has approved the non-discrimination ordinance.

Its time for our legislators to pass the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and for Connecticut to pass an amendment to the state Anti-Discrimination law adding gender identity and expression to the statutes. It is time for the legislators to listen to what the people want; a fair and equal chance for all. Not the radical right wing conservation agenda of re-criminalizing homosexuality, banding divorces and abortions.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Its The Little Things

I went grocery shopping this afternoon.

As I was going down the isle, this sweet little old lady asked me... "Ma'am could you get that for me from the top shelve."

She made my day. :-)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Super Bowl Commercial

OK, most of you will be watching the Super Bowl today. Lets see how many of you remember this 1997 commercial from Holiday Inn…

The ad was yanked right after it was shown and according to Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was because…
This spot -- perhaps the first to deal with sex-changing transsexualism -- was very popular in the ad industry and received positive reviews. Nonetheless, unhappy Holiday Inn's franchisees and a call-in campaign from the Southern Baptists convinced the hotelier to yank the spot after its $1 million debut on the Super Bowl -- thus few people ever saw it.
The interesting thing about the ad, the LGBT was split 50/50 on whether the commercial was transphobic. Me, I liked the ad, maybe because I have friends who went back to their class reunions.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 304

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 304

1. What is the most extreme weather you’ve experienced where you live in the past week?
Well earlier in the week it was sunny and around 45o and now it is around 25o. That is it. Maybe all you people who live in the Middle Atlantic states should move north for the winter.

2. What’s the worst kind of storm you’ve experienced in person?
Hmm…that hard question. I could say the hurricanes of ’55 or ’57 or maybe the tornado of ’79 or it could be the blizzard of ’78 where we got 3ft. of snow and the governor closed the state for 3 days.

3. Where are you more likely to get your weather forecast: on TV, on the radio, in the newspaper, or online?
Yes. I watch the local TV channels for the weather, but they only have the forecast 4 times a day. I listen to the radio forecast when I am driving and I go online when I am heading up to our cottage in New Hampshire.

4. Do you have access to 24-hour channels like The Weather Channel or WeatherPlus? If so, how often do you watch them?
Yes, and I usually watch them 2 or 3 when I wake up in the middle of the night. I find their droning voices put me to sleep.

5. Take the quiz:
What Kind of Storm Are You?

You Are a Tornado

It may seem like you can't do much damage, but you can pack a big punch. You're very powerful.
You rarely swing into action, but when you do, look out! You can spin yourself into quite a frenzy.

When you're in a bad mood, it's easy for you to suck others into your drama. You can be a bit of a black hole that way.
At your worst, you leave a serious path of destruction. You pretty much wipe out everything in site.

6. What’s your favorite kind of food to eat when you’re home on a chilly, rainy [snowy] day?

Something hot, either soup or chili.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Friday’s Fill-ins #162

Janet’s Friday’s Fill-ins #162


1. I know _they say that a ground hog can tell how long the winter will be, but I don’t believe it_.

2. _It seems like February_ the longest month. (Because I can’t wait until spring gets here!)

3. You can't help but _thank you for asking_.

4. _SPRING_; bring it on!

5. Where have you looked _in the refrigerator_?

6. _My cousin’s new CD_ is now available.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the same old coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _going to my cousin’s new CD release party (This is from another of her CDs)_ and Sunday, I want have to _do homework (transcribe an interview – Oh fun)_!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Victory! U.S. Tax Court Allow Medical Deduction!

GLAD Press Release...

Victory! On February 2, 2010, the U.S. Tax Court issued an important decision in O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, ruling for the first time that treatment for gender identity disorder qualifies as medical care under the Internal Revenue Code, and is therefore deductible.

Ms. O’Donnabhain deducted costs related to her sex reassignment when submitting her federal tax forms in April 2002. She received her tax refund in June 2002, but six months later she was audited.

Ms. O’Donnabhain contacted GLAD, whose attorneys assisted her in appealing the tax examiner’s decision. After an initial indication by an Appeals Officer to allow the deduction, the local IRS office decided to seek a decision from Washington. The IRS Chief Counsel issued an Advice Letter on October 14, 2005, once again denying the deduction and the matter progressed to US Tax Court, where trial took place July 24 – August 23, 2007.

The Court's conclusion:

The evidence amply supports the conclusions that petitioner suffered from severe GID, that GID is a well-recognized and serious mental disorder, and that hormone therapy and sex
reassignment surgery are considered appropriate and effective treatments for GID by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who are knowledgeable concerning the condition.

Given our holdings that GID is a “disease” and that petitioner’s hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery “[treated]” it, petitioner has shown the “existence * * * of a disease” and a payment for goods or services “directly or proximately related” to its treatment. See Jacobs v. Commissioner, 62 T.C. at 818.

She likewise satisfies the “but for” test of Jacobs, which requires a showing that the procedures were an essential element of the treatment and that they would not have otherwise been undertaken for nonmedical reasons. Petitioner’s hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery were essential elements of a widely
accepted treatment protocol for severe GID. The expert testimony also establishes that given (1) the risks, pain, and extensive rehabilitation associated with sex reassignment surgery, (2) the stigma encountered by persons who change their gender role and appearance in society, and (3) the expert-backed but commonsense
point that the desire of a genetic male to have his genitals removed requires an explanation beyond mere dissatisfaction with appearance (such as GID or psychosis), petitioner would not have
undergone hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery except in an effort to alleviate the distress and suffering attendant to GID. Respondent’s contention that petitioner undertook the surgery and hormone treatments to improve appearance is at best a superficial characterization of the circumstances that is thoroughly rebutted by the medical evidence.

Petitioner has shown that her hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery treated disease within the meaning of
section 213 and were therefore not cosmetic surgery. Thus petitioner’s expenditures for these procedures were for “medical care” as defined in section 213(d)(1)(A), for which a deduction is allowed under section 213(a).

My Story Part 17 – Your Car Is Ready, Ma’am

I was trying to think of what to write for this weeks “My Store” (Its getting harder to think of what stories to tell) and I was taking to my brother on the phone when he said about his car being in the car dealers for service. He said they showed him how his tires were wearing, which triggered a memory of my first time as Diana at the car dealership back when I first transitioned in 2007 and I thought, “Ah ha! I got my next story.”

It was a day that I dreaded, bring my car to the dealer the first time as Diana. I know that I couldn’t put it off forever, that I had to eventually bring it in for service. So one day I bit the bullet and made an appointment. As usually I was nervous, my anxiety level increased and I imagined all types of thing that could happen, like being laughed out of the garage or everyone staring at me. I imagined the worst.

So the big day came and I drove up to the garage doors, left my keys on the dash and went inside. Checked-in, and went into the waiting room, open my computer and started doing my homework. After about an hour, the counter guy came out and said that they thought I needed a new tire, the side wall of the tire was all cut up from what a nail in the sidewall. He wanted me to look at the car tire for approval, which meant that I had to go out into the garage area. So here I am nervous as all hell walking by the whole line of testosterone driven auto mechanics, of course my car had to be in the last bay. I looked at the tire and he was right, it had to be replaced and I told him to replace it. Then I had to walk all the way back to the waiting room. No one said anything or did anything; they all treated me just like any other customer. Once again, all my worrying was for nothing!

Last semester, when I was there in the waiting room with my computer and books working on homework, one of the salesmen came by and saw me working on my paper. He asked if I would like to use one of the vacant offices, (they had a lot of them) and I said yes. So they set me up in an office and I was able to get most of my paper written.

However, not all of my visits to have my car serviced turned out to be that friendly. I was interning in Hartford and I thought instead of going to the car dealer, I’ll stop by one of those quick lube shops near work on the way home. I pulled into the place on the turnpike and one of the mechanics took my cars and drove my car into the garage. I went into the office and the manager said, “What can we do for you ,SIR”
It’s “MISS.” I just want an oil change.
OK, sir.
I waited while they changed to oil and the manager came out with my air filter and said, “You really need a new air filter, SIR”
No, I don’t want a new air filter and do you want me to call your company’s national complaint line to report you?
After that, he didn’t call me sir nor miss. If they hadn’t already drained the oil I would have driven off, so I had to sit there and do a slow boil.

However, when I gave my testimony in favor of the anti-discrimination bill I used them as an example of bigotry. Also I used the story when I went around the state talking about the legislation at various town hall forums and it moved several people to sign up to call their legislators for the bill.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Manic Monday #199

Lisa’s Manic Monday #199

What was your best day of the week last week and why?

Saturday, because I went up to the museum in Springfield during the day and at night I played Bingo for a fundraiser for a local health clinic.

What's the longest you've ever gone without sleep?

Lately, I would have to say around 18 hours. However, back in my college day probably 36 – 40 hours.

Is how old you look and/or how old you feel right now different from your actual age?
I look in my fifties and I feel like I’m in my late sixties. Hormones make your skin look younger.