Monday, April 24, 2017

A Very Complex Topic

Being trans and dating can create a complex of problems and rewards. If a trans woman dates a man many non-trans people thinks that it’s a gay relationship while trans people see it as a straight couple and the same holds true for trans guys.

This article popped up on Facebook the other day and it deserves a second look.
The Straight Men Who Have Sex with Trans Women
Wanting to have sex with trans women is not synonymous with undoing the stigma against loving them.
Broadly
By Diana Tourjee
September 17 2015

[…]
Matt's first sexual experience with a trans woman was in 1987, with a girl he picked up on the West Side Highway. This stretch of New York road runs parallel to the Hudson River, from the southern harbors of Manhattan to the Upper West Side. It used to be an infamous pickup spot for trans sex workers. Though Matt loved the sex itself, it wasn't long after orgasm that he felt a throat-clenching sense of anxiety. "I was driving her back and I was so nervous, 'Is someone going to see me?' Absolute fear—HIV, Did I give myself HIV? I was so afraid [thinking of] how I'd tell anybody."
That is how many trans women end up dead, John’s remorse and worrying that others will think him gay.

I have to wonder how many men date trans women because they are secretly gay and think that they can “hide the gay” by dating a trans women. I also have to wonder how many of those same men would date a post-op trans women?
As Cristina Herrera [Is the head of the Gender Identity Project (GIP) at New York City's LGBT Community Center] sees it, guys like Matt have the cards stacked against them. The cultural stigma against loving trans women is deeply ingrained into our society to the point of ubiquity. "There is a lot of bullying going on," Herrera said. "Public figures that have been discovered having sexual relations with trans women have paid a heavy price." Herrera said these public shamings "hurt the whole process. It makes other men much more nervous. They know it could happen to them, that their friends or colleagues might treat them the same way if they knew."
I wonder what Matt would do if Alicia announced that she was having Gender Confirming Surgery?

I know many lesbians that I know that say that they support us but would never date a trans women. Which is saying that they don’t believe that we are women, therefore they are not supporting us if they don’t see us as women.

Let’s face it being trans and dating is very complex. But that doesn’t mean that love doesn’t happen.

A Little Lesson In Types Of Governments

Both Republicans and Democrats like to through around words like fascism, communism, socialism, republic, and democracy without any understanding of what they truly are.

So let’s look to Merriam-Webster dictionary to help us out…
Communism
1
a :  a theory advocating elimination of private property
b :  a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
2
capitalized
a :  a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the U.S.S.R.
b :  a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production
c :  a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
d :  communist systems collectively

Democracy
1
a :  government by the people; especially :  rule of the majority
b :  a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
2
:  a political unit that has a democratic government
3
capitalized :  the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S.
from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy — C. M. Roberts
4
:  the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
5
:  the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges

Fascism
1
often capitalized :  a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2
:  a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
early instances of army fascism and brutality — J. W. Aldridge

Republic
1
a (1) :  a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) :  a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
b (1) :  a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) :  a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
c :  a usually specified republican government of a political unit the French Fourth
Republic
2
:  a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity the republic of letters
3
:  a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the U.S.S.R., or Yugoslavia

Socialism 
1
:  any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2
a :  a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b :  a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3
:  a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
Then each of them can be right-wing or left-wing. Right-wing is conservative and left-wing is liberal. So fascism and communism tend to be right-wing because they are usually conservative, while , socialism, a republic, and a democracy can be either right or left winged depending upon whether they are conservative or liberal and can change.

Right now we are closer than we have ever been to being fascist with a one party controlling government and the elected president thinking he can run government as a business.

Say Ah…

One of our concerns is healthcare, are we getting the best healthcare or are we just getting lip service?
Making Primary Care Trans-Friendly
The medical knowledge needed to treat transgender people is not particularly complex, but patients still often struggle to find doctors who are prepared to treat them.
The Atlantic
By Keren Landman
April 21, 2017

Two days after the 2016 presidential election, Isabel Lowell appeared on a panel at the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians annual meeting in midtown Atlanta. As a family physician who sees transgender patients, Lowell was leading a full day of training on providing trans-competent care. When not speaking, she sat in the back of the room next to her wife and new baby.

The mood of the room was grim, but lightened when another panelist wistfully described her fantasy: a multidisciplinary health center dedicated to transgender health, where patients would visit for a day-long lineup of appointments with reproductive, preventive, mental-health, and surgical specialists, all focused on transgender issues.

Inwardly, Lowell bristled. “I used to think that was the gold standard,” she said afterward. “Transgender patients could just go [to these clinics] and get everything they need. I think it’s wonderful in theory, but … it lets everyone else off the hook. It makes it this special ‘other’ thing that you have to go to a special center for.”

Transgender care should be primary care, she thinks. It should require no special center, and unless a procedure is needed, no specialists.

“Any doctor should be able to do this,” she said.
More healthcare providers and therapist are starting to learn the needs of our community, from cultural competency to our special healthcare needs.

Medical colleges are also starting to provider training, a couple of weeks ago I did training at a local medical school for their first year medical students and I know hospitals are also giving training to their staff.
And sometimes, providers focus on someone’s trans identity way too much. In 2015, writer Naith Payton wrote about the “trans broken arm”: “‘In the five minutes it takes … to grill me on gender stuff and write it all down, the orthopod has squandered a quarter of the time they’ve got to fix my broken arm,’” a transgender patient told Payton.

“The more a person’s trans status is blamed for a person’s unrelated health problems, the less likely they are to bring it up—even when it is relevant,” Payton writes.
That is one that I brought up in the classes at the med school, if the patient is there for something that does not involve healthcare related to transitioning or being trans then don’t ask questions about their surgery or other trans health issues. If you do need to ask question about their trans status then tell them the reason why you are asking.

So we are making progress but there is dark clouds on the horizon; a leaked draft of a Trump Executive Order indicates that they are going to give special rights to certain religious group to discriminate against us.

From the draft it looks like anyone receiving federal funds has to allow their employees to discriminate against and that could supersede state laws! It could mean disaster for us! Hospitals, EMTs, doctors, clerks, and all other private businesses that have a federal contract can refuse to treat us, care for us, rent to us, sell to us or even work with us.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Favorite Punching Bag

Yes, it is Caitlyn Jenner.

She is starting to see the errors of her mistakes.
Caitlyn Jenner Claims Trump’s Anti-LGBT Policies Are A “Deal Breaker”The reality TV star spoke out against Trump in an interview with Diane Sawyer.
NewNextNow
By Cody Gohl
April 21,2017

Caitlyn Jenner has opened up about her feelings toward President Trump and his anti-LGBT policies, says she’s “coming after” him.

Jenner discussed Trump’s poor track record with the LGBT community in a recent interview with Diane Sawyer.
“The question has been raised… are you still a Trump Republican?” Sawyer asked.
[…]
“When it comes to all equality issues, for the entire LGBT community, what we need is federal guidance,” she continued. “I’m trying to get the Republican party to make a change.”
Good luck!

The Republicans are getting too many votes and donations from bigots then to give up a cash cow.

The Huffington Post writes,
“Here’s the deal: yes, I have always had views that lean more towards the Republican party when it comes to politics (as in) less government, believing in the Constitution and all that kind of stuff,” Jenner told People magazine. “But my loyalties and my fights are not going to be with the Republican party. My loyalties are with my community and fighting for my community.”

“My loyalties lie with my community and not with the Republican party, and not with Donald Trump,” the self-described conservative added.
Is this too little too late?

So how is she going give it to Trump?
Caitlyn Jenner’s way of protesting Trump: ‘I won’t be playing golf with him’
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
April 21, 2017

So how does she plan to do that? The Kardashian co-matriarch reveals her preferred form of protest in response to a question about her conversations with the president, which so far have been a total of one.

“When I was at the inauguration I did say ‘hi’ at a cocktail party, and he wanted me to play golf with him,” she revealed. “At the time I thought it was a pretty good idea, but since Title IX, it’s not a good idea, and so I won’t be playing golf with him.”

Take that, Donald!
OH NO! That is really hitting below the belt… not to play golf with him is going to make Trump change his tune!



This afternoon I am at a fundraiser for GLAD, “Justice For All: GLAD’s 2017 Connecticut Event” which is honoring Kevin Limbo the state comptroller, who I met many years ago. This is something like the fourth or fifth year that I have attended the event.

GLAD has supported every trans legislation here in Connecticut and around New England, and I have worked the their Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi for over ten years. We have worked together on the gender non-discrimination bill, on the birth certificate legislation, and now on the bill to ban conversion therapy in the state.

Jennifer is third from the right


I’m Not Very Religious But,

I do know that the major religions of the preach peace but there are those who want to twist that preach hate. On this Sunday morning,
Gay Christian rock star Vicky Beeching faces vile abuse from Christians
Pink News
By Joseph Patrick McCormick
21st April 2017

Out lesbian Christian rock star Vicky Beeching said she has been forced to take a break from social media after reading messages saying she should be killed, and that she can’t be gay and a Christian.

The star, who came out back in 2014, took to her Twitter account to say she was forced to take a break after reading comments about herself from those who say they are Christian.
[…]
“Social media can be brilliant but it can also dehumanise people. It all just got a bit too much for me this week. Especially thinking that 20,000 fellow Christians wanted to share such an offensive meme- they should see people like me as a sister in Christ, not someone ‘destined for hell’.”
Then we have this pastor from three years ago who is still preaching…
Megachurch Pastor says ‘gays must be put to death’
Patheos
By Michael Stone
September 3, 2014

Claiming that being gay is a choice like drug abuse, the senior pastor for a megachurch in Tennessee says that “gays must be put to death” because God commands it.

Last Sunday, Brainerd Baptist Church Senior Pastor Robby Gallaty told his large congregation that Christians should never stop discriminating against homosexuals, claiming that gays could choose to be straight if they only accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Gallaty explained why gays should be put to death:
God said that the sins of the people had infected the very land in which they live. So what happens to people who engage in this activity, this sexual immoral activity? Go to Leviticus 20, God gives us the punishment for engaging in these sins… ‘If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have both committed a detestable thing. They must be put to death. And their blood is on their own hands.’
Pastor Gallaty tried to justify his Biblically inspired hatred for gays and lesbians by repeatedly trying to argue that being gay is a choice, and some sort of rebellion against his imaginary God’s divine plan.
These preachers have learned that if you preach hate you gather the likeminded haters and they open their pocketbook and give donations.




Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday 9: Don't Sleep in the Subway

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Sleep in the Subway (1967)



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

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

1) Subways can be bright and noisy. Do you need it dark and quiet before you can fall asleep?  
I prefer a dark and quiet to fall asleep, now I found  a website that has the sound of rain and distant thunder and that helps me fall asleep.

2) In this song, Petula encourages her lover to talk it out instead of walking out. Do you usually remain reasonable during a disagreement? 
My brother would say no and he is probably right, I get very emotional when someone is denying  me the rights that everyone else has.

3) Petula was a child star in England during WWII. Her BBC broadcasts were very popular with the British troops, who nicknamed her The Singing Sweetheart. Soldiers pasted her photo onto their tanks for luck as they went into battle. Do you have any little rituals or good luck charms that calm/comfort you when you're afraid?
Yes, I run around in circles, flapping my arms and yelling OMG!

4) Now 84, she recently told London's Daily Mail that she's surprised and thrilled to have found love again with a new man. Do you believe you'll ever be too old for romance?
Nope, love can strike at any age.

5) Her family is far flung. She lives in London, her middle daughter is in Paris, her son is in Los Angeles and her oldest daughter lives in New York with Petula's two grandchildren. Who is your nearest friend or relative? Which one is farthest away?
One nephew lives in the northwest part of Connecticut and another nephew lives in Asheville NC.

6) In 1967, when this song was popular, Rolling Stone published its first issue. John Lennon was on the cover. Publisher Jann Wenner reports that, either individually or as a group, the members of The Beatles have appeared on the most Rolling Stone covers. What's the first Beatle song that comes to mind?
Norwegian Wood, I wish that song be a lot longer.



7) In 1967, Star Trek was in its second season on NBC. Who is your favorite Star Trek character?
Dr. McCoy, he is a lot like me, always thinking the worst.

8) RANDOM QUESTION: When you slip into jeans or slacks, which foot do you put in first?
Either one, I have no set pattern.

9) As you considered #8, did you mime pulling on your pants?
Nope.

Friday, April 21, 2017

We Can Make A Difference.

All it takes is one person to make a difference, you don’t need a fancy law degree, you don’t need a large organization behind you, all you is to stand up and tell your story.

That is how I started out. I just kept asking one question, “What can I do to help?”

Yes now I have a MSW degree and a director of a very small non-profit (there is just me and the Board of Directors and my position is a volunteer position (I don’t get paid a dime). But it is still getting up and telling our story.

I did training at a courthouse in the eastern part of the state last month and I just got a thank you note.
Dear Diana
Thank you for coming to Danielson with your presentation. It was edifying. The audience included judges, clerks, marshals, prosecutors, court reporters, and defense attorneys. Each of us will bring your message to more people. Thank you very much for sharing.
If you want to make a difference, start out by asking that question, “What can I do to help?” You might not get an answer at first, but keep asking. Ask at your local LGBT center, ask at your local speaker bureau, ask anyone you think might have an answer.

But ask because nothing will happen if you don’t ask.

I Wonder About Trans People…

…And how this affects us, does it affect us the same way. I know when I do my nails I have to concentrate and pay attention to what I’m doing.
Painting My Nails Kept Me Sane Through College, And Science Backs Me Up On That
Turns out, I’m not alone in using polish as a coping skill of sorts, and there’s a sound psychological basis for doing your nails.
Huffington Post
For Glamour, by Elizabeth Logan.
04/17/2017

I firmly believe it’s weird to pay to hold hands with a stranger for the better part of an hour, which is to say, I don’t like getting manicures. But I do like having my nails painted, so in eighth grade, I set upon the tedious task of teaching myself to do it. At that point, I’d owned two bottles of polish: black and iridescent blue. (So punk.) My mother hated to see me wear the black, and I admit it didn’t look right with my Sailor Moon–style school uniform, so I alternated between blue and black with blue over it.

One day during the fall of freshman year, as I reached to get something from my backpack, I guess my iridescent blue fingernails (still working with two colors at this point) caught the light, because the coolest/most terrifying girl in school we’ll call Karen (name changed, you think I’m gonna commit social suicide?), a sophomore with great style, grabbed my hand and demanded, “Where did you get this color?”

“Walgreens.” I mumbled, starstruck. Karen said I was wearing the “exact” shade Hallie Parker (Lindsay Lohan) wears in The Parent Trap’s infamous poker scene, and she’d been searching for it “forever.” (Bear in mind we were having this conversation circa 2007 and The Parent Trap came out in 1998, but a girl doesn’t forget an iconic nail color.)
I have to admit that there is something about painting your nails that is liberating, picking out “your color” to make that unique statement of who you are.
Turns out, I’m not alone in using polish as a coping skill of sorts, and there’s a sound psychological basis for doing your nails.

“I often recommend that clients include painting their nails as one of many helpful coping skills,” said Greta Angert, a Los Angeles–based licensed psychotherapist specializing in anxiety. “Sitting down to paint your nails is a simple gesture that tells you ‘I’m worth it,’ ‘I deserve this.’” Angert added: “People also talk with their hands, and seeing a pretty color can brighten their mood. Women also compliment each other’s manicures quite frequently, and there’s nothing wrong with a little ego boost during your day.”

According to Angert, people who struggle with minor anxiety often find solace in the repetitive motion of nail painting, and — because it requires concentration — those of us who have racing negative thoughts can get a reprieve.
Right now my color is “Vanilla” it is almost flesh tone and one the weather gets warmer so will my nail color.

There is also something in the fact that now I can wear nail polish and not have to worry if I got it all off in the morning. Also after you have your nails done for a week or so you don’t notice them and then you might be reaching for something or washing dishes and you notice them; it somehow confirms your femininity.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This Is So Moving

I hate it when people say trans kids are too young to transition, too young to understand their gender.
Stanford launches short online course to boost understanding of transgender kids
Stanford Medical
By Erin Digitale
March 27, 2017

In 2011, Stanford Medicine lecturer Maya Adam, MD, had just finished teaching her undergraduate course on critical issues in child health when a student approached her with some feedback. “I loved your class, but you are missing one issue,” the student said. “You need a lecture on transgender children’s health.”

Adam’s response was “You’re right … but I know so little about that.” Her own medical training had never mentioned transgender children; she was unsure what difficulties they faced. Adam soon realized this knowledge gap was common, not just among physicians but also among teachers and other professionals who work with kids.

This week, which happens to be LGBT Health Awareness Week, Stanford is launching a free online course that Adam created to fill the gap. The course, which consists of 18 short videos, grew from her desire to raise awareness of the needs of transgender children beyond the small audience of Stanford students she teaches. In the videos, Adam interviews Stanford experts and gives basic explanations of what it means to be transgender.
I know that UConn School of Medicine used to have a half a day class on LGBT clients for their second year students, but now they moved to their first year students because they are doing clinical rounds in their first year and the school thought that they needed earlier exposure to LGBT clients. Instead of the huge lecture hall this year they are doing it in their classrooms to see if it is better than the lecture hall approach.

So here is the first video…

This Should Never Have Happen

Especially in California, even when you have all the laws protecting us there are still some people and organizations that think the law doesn’t apply to them.
Transgender Patient Suing Hospital Over Canceled Hysterectomy
CBS Sacramento
By Jennifer McGraw
April 19, 2017

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) – A transgender patient is suing Dignity Health for discrimination after canceling an elected hysterectomy.

“As soon as she said, ‘Your hysterectomy is canceled,’ I just fell down to the floor,” said Evan Minton of Orangevale.

Possibly one of the hardest things he’s has had to hear.

Just two days before his scheduled hysterectomy, the doctor called saying the hospital had canceled it.
Why?
Dignity Health does not provide elective sterilizations at its Catholic facilities due to ethical and religious directives.
Looking up Dignity Health I find that the hospital is “a California-based not-for-profit public-benefit corporation.” You got that? It is a public corporation, it is not a private hospital, it’s a licensed public hospital.

The ACLU reports on their website,
“The refusal of Dignity Health to allow a doctor to perform this common procedure simply because the patient is transgender is discriminatory,” said Elizabeth Gill, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. “This is a hospital that is open to the general public so it’s illegal for them to turn away someone based on gender identity.”

Dignity Health regularly allows hysterectomies for patients who are not transgender.

“I routinely perform hysterectomies at Mercy San Juan,” said Dr. Lindsey Dawson, Minton’s doctor. “This is the first time the hospital has prevented me from doing this surgery. It’s very clear to me that the surgery was canceled because Evan is transgender.”
The hysterectomy is a medically necessary surgery.

There are some people who will argue that because it is owned and operated by a Catholic organization it is exempt from the non-discrimination laws… wrong! If it was a private hospital and only served the Catholic  community then they are within their rights to discriminate, but because it is a public hospital they have to treat the whole public and not pick who they will treat,

This is not the first time that the ACLU has sued Dignity Health back in June of last year,
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the fifth largest health care system in the U.S., Dignity Health, because it denies transgender employees health insurance coverage for medically necessary transition-related health care.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

No It Is Not True

It is only a phase that they are going through or we are just confused… we all has heard that and it is not a phase that we go through and we are not confused, it is a part of our being.
My Daughter Is Not Transgender. She’s a Tomboy.
By Lisa Selin Davis
April 18, 2017

“I just wanted to check,” the teacher said. “Your child wants to be called a boy, right? Or is she a boy that wants to be called a girl? Which is it again?”

I cocked my head. I am used to correcting strangers, who mistake my 7-year-old daughter for a boy 100 percent of the time.

In fact, I love correcting them, making them reconsider their perceptions of what a girl looks like. But my daughter had been attending the after-school program where this woman taught for six months.

“She’s a girl,” I said. The woman looked unconvinced. “Really. She’s a girl, and you can refer to her as a girl.”
[…]
My daughter wears track pants and T-shirts. She has shaggy short hair (the look she requested from the hairdresser was “Luke Skywalker in Episode IV”). Most, but not all, of her friends are boys. She is sporty and strong, incredibly sweet, and a girl.
There is only one person who truly knows if she is trans or a “Tom boy” your children, listen to what they say not what others think.
But when they continue to question her gender identity — and are skeptical of her response — the message they send is that a girl cannot look and act like her and still be a girl.

She is not gender nonconforming. She is gender role nonconforming. She does not fit into the mold that we adults — who have increasingly eschewed millenniums-old gender roles ourselves, as women work outside the home and men participate in the domestic sphere — still impose upon our children.
Just because a child doesn’t conform to gender norms doesn’t mean that they are trans, once again listen to them. They know best.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Tis the legislative season and there are a number of bills introduced around the country that affects us in the trans community, the first is here in Connecticut.

The bill to ban conversion therapy for those under 18 needs a push to get it started again. Are any of these legislators from your districts? We need you to call them and ask them to sponsor HB6695.
_________________

1) Calls to Uncommitted Legislators: 
Ask constituents to call or email the following legislators who have not yet indicated that they will support the bill. The ask is simple: “I am a constituent and I hope that you will vote to support HB 6599, AAC Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy."

73 Rep. Berger D Jeffrey.Berger@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1372
86 Rep. Candelora R Vincent.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8734
S09 Sen. Doyle D paul.doyle@cga.ct.gov 860-240-0475
47 Rep. Dubitsky R Doug.Dubitsky@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8725
148 Rep. Fox D Dan.Fox@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1372
3 Rep. Gonzalez D Minnie.Gonzalez@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1373
107 Rep. Harding R Stephen.Harding@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8381
S28 Sen. Hwang R Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov 860-842-1421
S07 Sen. Kissel R John.A.Kissel@cga.ct.gov 860-842-1421
S2 Sen. McCrory D Douglas.McCrory@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1453
122 Rep. McGorty R Ben.McGorty@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8389
S24 Sen. McLachlan R Michael.McLachlan@cga.ct.gov 860-842-1421
140 Rep. Morris D Bruce.Morris@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1373
125 Rep. O Dea R Tom.ODea@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8778
69 Rep. O Neill R Arthur.ONeill@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-1342
80 Rep. Sampson R rob.sampson@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8398
33 Rep. Serra D Joseph.Serra@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1378
31 Rep. Srinivasan R prasad.srinivasan@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-1310
S13 Sen. Suzio R Len.Suzio@cga.ct.gov 860-240-8321

2. Thank you calls to HB 6599 co-sponsors:
If your legislator is a co-sponsor of HB 6599, AAC Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy, (and either your State Rep. or State Sen. likely are because there are over 90 co-sponsors!), PLEASE call and thank them for their support. You can find the list of co-sponsors here: (scroll down to find co-sponsor list; Note: they are not in either alphabetical or numerical order): https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB06695&which_year=2017

If you don’t know who your state representative and state senator are, you can find them here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp



Down in Texas we are still battling to stop an anti-trans bill there,
Gov. Abbott says he wants to sign a transgender bathroom bill
Statesman
By Chuck Lindell
April 18, 2017

No longer silent on an issue that has roiled the Texas Legislature for months, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that he wants to work with the House and Senate to approve a transgender bathroom bill.

“I support the principles of both the Senate and House to protect privacy in bathrooms. We will work to get a bill to my desk,” Abbott said via Twitter.

Abbott’s statement of support came one day before a House committee was to begin debate on a new measure that would block cities, counties and school districts from enacting or enforcing transgender-friendly restroom policies.
Hmm… sound familiar? Maybe the North Carolina law comes to mind?

But there are some roadblocks, and one of them is,
House Speaker Joe Straus has also questioned the need for legislation aimed at bathroom use by transgender people.
[…]
“I would suggest that it’s worse than SB 6, which was limited to government buildings and schools, while this applies to everywhere in the state, all restroom facilities anywhere in the state,” said Chuck Smith with Equality Texas.

Smith said HB 2899’s ban on bathroom-related protections for what the legislation broadly calls “a class of persons” was one-sided and unfair.

“It says you cannot protect a class of people, but it would allow any of those jurisdictions to pass ordinances that would specifically discriminate against those people,” Smith said
Stay tune for the continuing saga of Texas legislature.



Meanwhile up in Idaho
Transgender woman sues to change Idaho birth certificate
Magic Valley
By Nathan Brown
April 19, 2017

BOISE — A transgender woman is suing the state of Idaho for the right to change her gender on her birth certificate.

Identified be her initials F.V. in the court papers, which were filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, the lawsuit says F.V. has been living as a woman since she was 15 and has undergone sex reassignment treatments and changed her name to a feminine one on her driver’s license and in Social Security records. It says she contacted the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics in March to change her gender on her birth certificate but was told she could not.

According to a news release from Lambda Legal, a pro-gay and transgender rights legal organization that is representing her, F.V. is now 28 and lives in Hawaii.

“Unlike nearly every other state in America, Idaho currently enforces a categorical ban against transgender people changing the gender on their birth certificates, which is an archaic policy that defies logic,” said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn. “In fact, government officials in Idaho know this, given that they allow transgender people to change the gender on their drivers’ licenses.”
Connecticut is one of the few states where you can change your birth certificate with a letter from you doctor or therapist.



In North Carolina the NCAA buys it hook, line, and sinker.
NCAA returns to North Carolina after transgender bathroom law repeal
Reuters
By Daniel Trotta
April 18, 2017

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday formally reversed course and scheduled championship games in North Carolina, returning to the state after previously stripping it of events to protest a law on transgender use of public bathrooms.

Transgender advocates immediately criticized the decision, saying although the bathroom law was repealed last month, North Carolina still discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and did not deserve to be rewarded.

The controversy started with the March 2016 approval of House Bill 2, which required transgender people to use bathrooms matching the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. In response, the NCAA disqualified North Carolina from hosting neutral-site championship events for the 2016-17 academic year.
But the new law does nothing for us!
Seeking to win back business, state lawmakers repealed the law on March 30, but they also approved a new measure banning cities from passing their own anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people until 2020, drawing outrage from civil rights advocates.
The Charlotte Observer writes,
This was the first real test of leadership for Gov. Cooper, a Democrat, and he failed spectacularly by inexplicably discarding his earlier promise not to accept any deal that left people vulnerable to discrimination. The new law ensures that all gay people – not just transgender people seeking to relieve themselves without being harassed – are susceptible to unequal treatment for at least the next 3 ½ years.

HB2 was a Republican-written law, passed primarily by Republican supermajorities. It has been an embarrassment for North Carolina since the day it passed – so much so that even House and Senate Republican leaders eventually agreed it needed to be repealed. The onus was on them, not on Cooper and other Democrats, to make things right. Purely from a political strategy perspective, Democrats held the upper hand, not because they had the numbers but because they had public opinion on their side. Yet they caved anyway and essentially locked in HB2’s key requirements for years.
It seems to me that at the very least the NCAA should have waited until the new law goes into effect.

Once again we get the short stick.



Update 9:15 AM

Down in Alabama, they are trying to a pass special rights for religious bigots to hide behind. The HRC wrote on their blog,
Today, HRC denounced the Alabama State Senate and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh for passing the anti-LGBTQ H.B. 24. HRC Alabama calls upon Governor Kay Ivey to not sign this bill, which would most harm the children in Alabama’s child welfare system.

The bill, deceptively titled the “Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act,” would enshrine discrimination into Alabama law by allowing state-licensed adoption and foster care agencies to reject qualified prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s religious beliefs.

“Plain and simple -- H.B. 24 is discrimination dressed up as a ‘solution’ to a fake problem,” said Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama State Director. “It creates an unnecessary hardship for potential LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents in Alabama and primarily harms the children looking for a loving home. It’s unfortunate that leaders continue to push this bill, even as child welfare organizations, faith leaders and fair-minded Alabamians are standing up and calling this bill out for what it is: discrimination. We now ask Governor Kay Ivey to not sign into law this harmful bill.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Hate That Phrase

I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body, or in this case I’m a man trapped in a woman’s body. I hate those phrase, they over simplify a complex topic and it makes us sound shallow.
No Dear, You’re Not A Gay Man Trapped In A Woman’s Body
You’re making a statement that you can walk away from any time it becomes too difficult.
Huffington Post Voices
By Marshall Thornton
04/13/2017

Every so often a straight woman will blurt out some version of “I’m a gay man trapped in a woman’s body.” This might feel like a supportive thing to say, but if you stop to think about what it’s really saying, you should realize it manages to be offensive to trans men, gay men, and women in one short sentence. It’s the trifecta of putting your foot in your mouth. Here’s why:

Trans men attracted to men actually were once gay men trapped in a woman’s body. If you’re not trans, making this statement minimizes and even erases their experience. If you’re not presenting as a man and asking us to use male pronouns when we refer to you, then you’re being glib about someone else’s challenging and deeply felt experience. And that’s offensive.

Often, when a woman pops out this statement she’s identifying with gay men’s taste in clothing or music or approach to relationships or just plain fun. What she’s not doing is volunteering to be afraid to hold her husband’s hand in public, to be legally denied housing or a job in more than twenty-six states, or to have her marriage threatened by the political party currently running this country. She’s making a statement that she can walk away from any time it becomes too difficult. It trivializes our experience. You can like me, you can have a lot in common with me, but you cannot be me.
To me it sounds like “It’s so gay!”

And another phrase that I hate is Metrosexual; it belittles gay men and reduces them to the clothes that they wear, as if all gay men are good dressers.

She Handled It Nicely

Intersections, when to different ideologies collide.

I can understand their protest, she represents an oppressor but at the same time she is the oppressed and it is that intersection that brought about protests.
Transgender protesters heckle trans cop: ‘We don’t want a pig in here’
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
April 17, 2017

The first transgender officer in the San Diego Police Department was greeted by hundreds of supporters at the city’s LGBT center Friday and was also targeted by a group of trans radicals who shouted offensive slurs at her, including, “We don’t want a pig in here.”

Transgender activist Autumn Sandeen was in attendance and posted on Facebook, “the horizontal community violence was heartbreaking.”
I think that I have to take exception to Autumn, I don’t think it fit the definition of Lateral Violence,
Lateral Violence occurs within marginalized groups where members strike out at each other as a result of being oppressed. The oppressed become the oppressors of themselves and each other. Common behaviors that prevent positive change from occurring include gossip, sabotage, backstabbing and shunning.
I think it was more an intersection of race and trans oppression and not lateral hostilities.

The article goes on to talk about how she handled the protest.
Garcia, however, was unfazed by those in the crowd who heckled her, and instead asked the audience of some 400 people — there to celebrate the city’s Transgender Day of Empowerment — to respect the rights of those protesting, to free speech, “as long as it’s peaceful.”
I think she did the right thing in letting the protesters have their say; it was a step in deescalating the tension in the room.

I don’t what happened after officer said officer Christine Garcia said to let them speak. Did they make a statement, did they quiet down afterward? None of the articles that I found answered those questions.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

I’m up at brother's and sister-in-law's condo today. I hope that all of you who celebrate Easter are with the ones you love. However, for many people holidays are a stressful time, so open your hearts and invite them in you your home.

I leave you with some Easter humor...









Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday 9: This Is the Way the Bunny Hops

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: This Is the Way the Bunny Hops


On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Why do you suppose there are so many songs about Santa Claus, yet very few about the Easter Bunny?
More money is made off of Christmas than Easter.

2) This song was written by The Kiboomers, two early education teachers who are passionate about the power of music to help kids learn. Tell us about a teacher who had an impact on your life.
Mr. Downer, he was my science teacher.

3) Legend has it that the Easter Bunny was introduced to America in the 1700s by German immigrants. These children waited for a magic creature who left colored eggs. Today's kids dye Easter eggs themselves. When did you most recently color eggs?
Hmm… probably 50 years ago.

4) The Easter Bunny is usually shown carrying a wicker basket filled with eggs, toys and candy. Is there any wicker in the room you're in right now?
Nope, but in the kitchen I store all my wicker baskets.

5) While marshmallow Peeps are manufactured all year around, they are most popular at Easter. Do you prefer the chicks or the bunnies?
Neither! Remember I’m diabetic.

6) A little time in the microwave can do ugly things to a Peep. Have you ever nuked a Peep?
No, but don't give me any ideas. I nuked an egg; they explode nicely in the microwave. I’ve nuked a pencil, they are interesting because it all depends upon the length of the pencil (actually the length of the graphite) when you hit upon a multiple of the wavelength the graphite glows cherry red and the wood catches fire.
Moral to the story; don’t put a microwave in an engineering dorm, we are going to experiment with it.

7) Would you prefer a hollow or a solid chocolate bunny?
See my answer for #5.
I remember having chocolate bunnies that were filled with Baileys Irish Creme Liqueur, now those were bunnies that I liked.

8) A traditional American Easter dinner usually includes glazed ham or roast lamb. Which would you rather have as your main course?
At my sister-in-law’s we are having lamb.

9) Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What makes you feel refreshed or rejuvenated?
A nice hot bubble bath in the whirlpool tub with a glass of wine with shrimp cocktail.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Photo Shoot Monday

Last Monday I went over to Devil’s Hopyard SP* to photograph the falls with a friend, but that was not my first trip, I went on Sunday by myself but it was mobbed, cars were parked everywhere you could fit in a car. I could see that there was a large volume of water going over the falls because of over two inches of rain we had early in the so I went back on Monday.




You can easily spot the photos with the long exposures and the one taken at the fast shuttle speeds





*About Devil's Hopyard State Park and falls...
In 1919, the former State Park and Forest Commission obtained an 860 acre parcel located in the Millington section of Haddam. The principle feature of the park, Chapman Falls drops more than sixty feet over a series of steps in a Scotland Schist stone formation. The falls also once powered "Beebe's Mills" which were named after the original owner. The mills operated until the mid 1890's.
A search for the origin of the name "Devil's Hopyard" reveals a wide variety of different stories; none of them are verifiable and all are likely to be more fiction than fact. One of the most popular of these stories is about a man named Dibble, who had a garden for growing hops used in the brewing of beer. It seems that through usage, Dibble's Hopyard became Devil's Hopyard. There are records of several farmers having hopyards in the area, but there is no mention of a landowner named Dibble. However, Dibble might have been a tenant.
Another tale focuses on the potholes near the falls, which are some of the finest examples of pothole stone formations in this section of the country. Perfectly cylindrical, they range from inches to several feet in diameter and depth. These potholes were formed by stones moved downstream by the current and trapped in an eddy where the stone was spun around and around, wearing a depression in the rock. When the rock wore itself down, another would catch in the same hole and enlarge it. We know this now, but to the early settlers the potholes were a great mystery that they tried to explain with references to the supernatural. They thought that the Devil has passed by the falls, accidentally getting his tail wet. This made him so mad he burned holes in the stones with his hooves as he bounded away.
The park today offers some of the finest birding in the state and fishermen find the clear, cool stream water an excellent source of brook trout.

Follow Up To Yesterday’s Post

Special noon edition.

In yesterday’s post We Face This Bigotry Everyday I post about the trans man being outed on Survivor, there was an article about the decision to show his outing.
‘Survivor’: CBS Supports Producers’ Handling Of Transgender Outing Episode – Update
Deadline
By Liz Calvario
April 13, 2017

UPDATED, 2 PM: CBS released a statement Thursday expressing support for the way producers handled Wednesday night’s episode, in which a contestant told his tribemates that a fellow contestant is a transgender man, outing his castmate against his will. You can read the statement below in full:
“After the tribal council scene in last night’s Survivor was filmed, we consulted with Zeke Smith and with GLAAD in advance of the broadcast, including the issue of how Zeke would tell his story after the episode aired. This is his second consecutive season on Survivor. From his first season through the current edition, we have always been guided by the principle that this is his story to tell, and it remains so.

We support how Jeff Probst and the producers handled a very sensitive situation and marvel at the grace Zeke exhibited under extraordinary circumstances. We also have respect for how Jeff Varner has expressed remorse for his mistake, both in the episode and in his subsequent dialogue with the media. In the end, we believe this episode, accompanied by Zeke’s own remarkable writing and speaking on the subject, has provided an unexpected but important dialogue about acceptance and treating transgender people with respect.”
I don’t think that I can criticize CBS and the producers of the show if they asked Zeke first if it was okay to show the footage, it seems like CBS and the producers did the right thing in asking.

But in no way does it let Jeff Varner off the hook, he had only one thing that motivated him in outing Zeke… MONEY or one million dollars to be precise.

And I still want to know how Jeff Varner found out Zeke is trans.



Update 4:00PM

I came across two more articles that I want to share.

The first is from GLAAD,
Nick Adams, Director of GLAAD's Transgender Media Program, said:

"Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves, and it is dangerous and unacceptable to out a transgender person. It is heartening, however, to see the strong support for Zeke from the other people in his tribe. Moments like this prove that when people from all walks of life get to know a transgender person, they accept us for who we are."

GLAAD's Transgender Media Program worked with Zeke Smith and CBS for several months to ensure that when the episode aired Zeke would have the opportunity to speak for himself about his experience.
And in a comments…
Before any more conversations/actions an issue needs to be addressed. Mr. Varner the "outer" is a GAY MAN. Mr. Varner has said this himself and on the progam (sic) mentioned "that he has been fighting for gay righrs (sic) for a long time". REALLY???? REALLY?????
So here was have a gay man who should have known better than to out a person.

The other article is,
Outing Transgender People Isn’t Just Wrong... It’s Potentially Deadly
This week’s “Survivor” controversy sheds light on a fatal issue.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Noah Michelson
April 14, 2017

Zeke Smith was outed on national television on Wednesday night during one of the most shocking episodes of “Survivor’s” 34-season history.

In a strategic ― but wholly reprehensible ― move, contestant Jeff Varner revealed that Smith is transgender, thereby attempting to curry favor with the rest of his tribe with this disclosure and avoid being voted off the show.

“There is deception here. Deceptions on levels... that these guys don’t even understand,” Varner said. “Why haven’t you told anyone that you’re transgender?”

Smith and the other players were stunned ― and outraged ― and after his indefensible scheme backfired, Varner was sent packing.
[…]
“I think [Varner] hoped others would believe that trans people are dangerous and fraudulent,” Smith told People. “That reasoning is infinitely worse than him outing me because it’s the same one used to discriminate against, attack and murder trans people. What’s great is that nobody bought it.”

Unfortunately, too many people still do “buy” the lies that are told about trans people and those lies can have deadly consequences. In fact, seven trans people, all of them trans women of color, have been murdered in 2017, and that’s just the victims that we know about. In 2016 at least 27 trans people were killed.

“It’s crucial to note that when people can make the choice to keep their trans identity private, as Zeke was able to until recently, they sometimes do so to shield themselves from the potential safety risks that come with being openly trans,” Jay Wu, Media Relations Manager for the National Center For Transgender Equality, told The Huffington Post in an email on Thursday. “Framing privacy as ‘deception’ plays into some of the same tropes that can lead to discrimination and violence against trans people. Trans people face discrimination in all areas of life―including finding housing, seeking work, and going to school.”
We are the ones who get to decide where and when or even if we want to share our history.

You Never Know Where You’ll Find A Story

This post has its roots in a far right wing Christian website.
DOVE AD FEATURES TRANSGENDER MOM: 'NO ONE RIGHT WAY'
'We are both his biological parents'
WND
April 13, 2017

(Newsbusters) Just like entertainment media, advertisements have the power to both shape and reflect the culture. While capitalizing on social trends, brand experts are pushing to mainstream controversial themes – and Dove soap is the latest to participate with a transgender star.
So this leads me to dig out the ad.
Dove features transgender mother in new ad campaign
NBC 26
By Alex Hider
Apr 13, 2017
Dove is making waves on social media with a new ad for baby products that features a transgender mother.

The ad, titled "#RealMoms," features women from all walks of life — first-time moms, working moms, single moms and others — discussing what it means to be a good mother.  But the ad’s most striking moment comes from a woman named Shea, who identifies herself as a transgender woman.

“We are both his biological parents,” she says, seated next to her son’s mother. “You get people who say, what do you mean you’re the mom? We’re like, yep, we’re both going to be moms.”

The ad is earning both praise and criticism from LGBT advocates.

“Love how inclusive Dove is for all walks of life, regardless of color, gender and sexuality. Keep it up!” YouTube commenter Rafael Huezo wrote.
But they didn’t say what the criticism is from LGBT advocates.

On the blog Mombian she writes,
Kudos to the brand for not only being LGBTQ inclusive, but for being willing to think beyond the more common solution of showing a cisgender two-mom couple (much as I love seeing LGBTQ parents of any type on my screen). (Side note: Not all transgender women who are parents go by “Mom,” as singer Laura Jane Grace recently reminded us. I’d suggest asking for someone’s preferred parenting title just as you’d ask for their pronouns.)

I love the campaign’s overall theme of “There’s no right or wrong way to be a mom – only your way.” As one of the other moms in the ad says, “Do what fits your family. And trust yourself.” That’s pretty much the best parenting advice I can imagine.
I think this is a really good ad because it shows us in a positive light and as Dove said, “There’s no right or wrong way to be a mom – only your way.”

And there’s no right or wrong way to be trans  – only your way.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

We Face This Bigotry Everyday

What is between our legs is nobody’s business. The fact that we are trans is nobody’s business.

But we are constantly being outed by people who think that we shouldn’t exist,
Zeke Smith outed as transgender on 'Survivor'
CNN
By Lisa Respers France
April 13, 2017

(CNN)The outing of a "Survivor" cast member on television has sparked outrage.
Zeke Smith, who appeared on back-to-back seasons of the reality series, was revealed to be a transgender man by fellow contestant Jeff Varner in an episode that aired Wednesday night.

Varner, who is gay, shared the information during an emotional Tribal Council on "Survivor: Game Changers."

"Why haven't you told anyone you're transgender?" Varner asked Smith.

Other contestants reacted negatively, telling Varner that was personal and he shouldn't have said it. Varner insisted he did it to show that Smith was deceptive during the game.

Smith responded by explaining that he didn't want to be labeled "the trans 'Survivor' player."
"I wanted to be Zeke the 'Survivor' player," Smith said.
Exactly, we don’t want to be labeled trans, we just want to live our lives without interference and I am glad that the other contestants defended him.
Smith said moving to New York where people knew him only as "Zeke" was "tremendously liberating."
Well now the whole world knows, thanks to that idiot.
 "I cannot imagine anyone thinking what was done to Zeke was okay on any level, under any circumstances, and certainly not simply because there was a million dollars on the line," Probst ["Survivor" host] said. "I think the response from the tribe, as it so often does, mirrors what the vast majority of society will feel. You just don't do that to someone."
Um… then why did you show it on TV?

I have one question; how did Jeff Varner find out that Zeke was trans?

This said it best...
From the comic Assigned Male



I was outed like that where I worked, one of my technicians told my co-workers about me. Early in the year he found my testimony for the non-discrimination legislation and he waited until after I was laid off because they were closing down the factory.

I think the results were not what he expected, I was flooded with supporting emails from work.


Connecticut One Of The Leaders

Connecticut is one of about eight states that do not require trans women to be sterilized to change their birth certificate.
European Court Strikes Down Required Sterilization for Transgender People
The New York Times
By Liam Stack
April 12, 2017

Changing the name or gender on a government-issued document like a driver’s license has long included a frightening step for transgender people in almost two dozen European countries: mandatory sterilization.

But those days may be coming to an end. Gay and transgender activists in Europe have argued for years that the sterilization requirement was an institutionalized violation of human rights, and last week the European Court of Human Rights agreed.

On April 6, it issued a ruling in favor of three transgender people in France who had been barred from changing the names and genders on their birth certificates because they had not been sterilized. In so doing, activists said, the court set a new legal standard that calls for changes to laws in 22 countries under its jurisdiction.

“This decision ends the dark chapter of state-induced sterilization in Europe,” Julia Ehrt, the executive director of Transgender Europe, an advocacy group based in Berlin, said in a statement. “The 22 states in which a sterilization is still mandatory will have to swiftly end this practice.”
Here in the U.S. most states require Gender Confirming Surgery (GCS) before you can change the gender markers on your birth certificate. But for many trans people they cannot have surgery because of preexisting medical conditions, or they cannot afford it even with insurance because they can’t afford the copayment or the doctor wants their money up front. Also for many trans people surgery is not need to quell their gender dysphoria, why force them to have medical procedures that are not need just to change their documents?



I want to say “Congratulations” to a friend Anne Stanback who is receiving the Connecticut Bar Association's Citizen of the Law award tonight. The Hartford Courant writes,
Anne Stanback's advocacy for gay marriage in Connecticut and other LGBT civil rights issues made her no stranger to lawyers. Now, a group representing the state's legal profession is recognizing Stanback for her contributions to the cause.

Gay marriage was legalized in Connecticut by the state's Supreme Court in 2008. As director of the now-closed Love Makes a Family, Stanback was at the center of advocacy efforts that led to the ruling. On Thursday, Stanback will receive the Connecticut Bar Association's Citizen of the Law award. That honor is given annually to someone who is not a lawyer but has made important, voluntary contributions to resolving significant legal issues.

Stanback said on Monday that she is gratified to be recognized because of the support, coaching and mentoring she received from lawyers over the years but sees something in the award that is bigger than her.
I first met her back in around 2006 when I starting working with the Anti-Discrimination Coalition to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination law. I went around the state with the Love Makes a Family crew to talk about our bill while they talked about marriage. I remember one time when I was speaking at the town hall meeting, a lesbian couple came up to me and said that they never thought about trans rights but now they wanted to know what they could do to help us.

She is a powerhouse for human rights and she fought hard to pass the 2011 law giving us protection from discrimination, even though Love Makes a Family closed she made sure we had enough funding to get the law passed.

Our paths have crossed many times since then, when we were trying to pass the birth certificate bill she was there to help us. Now we are trying to pass the bill to ban conversion therapy here in Connecticut and she is coordinating the effort.

Congratulations Anne!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Love Makes A Difference

But when there is hate there is also makes a difference, for the worst.

Having a support network can bring all the negative effects of society has upon us back down to the levels of the general population.
Beyond the bathroom: Report shows laws' harm for transgender students
USA Today
By Susan Miller
April 11, 2017

It is not just about the bathroom.

Singling out transgender students to use certain restrooms sends a signal that they aren’t valued in the public education system — and can cause devastating physical and psychological harm, a report out Tuesday says.

“It’s a rejection of who they are in the most core way,” said Naomi Goldberg, policy director for the Movement Advancement Project and co-author of the report, which lands amid a contentious debate over LGBT rights and bathroom bills.
Some of the effects are…
When kids start restricting their fluid and food intake to avoid using a restroom, a host of physical issues such as urinary tract infections and kidney-related problems can ensue, Goldberg said. Emotional and psychological fallout such as depression also can cut deep. The message that comes across from schools: “We don’t recognize you and who you are,” Goldberg said.

And ultimately GPAs plummet, students lose a desire to pursue higher education — and many start skipping class, she said.

“How are you supposed to be able to focus on learning, which is why they are there,” she said. “People think ‘it’s just a bathroom,’ but there’s a disconnect. The issues are so much broader.”
And these are just some of the effects of discrimination, other studies have found an increase in violence and bullying against trans people, and an increase in self harm. But the legislators don’t really care about the effects of their laws, they only care about votes.

Some Republicans have suggested concentration camps for trans people… so you don’t think what is happening in Chechnya can happen here; well last year everything was going our way, it was the year of the Trans.

And remember a Connecticut Republican wanted trans people to register with the DMV so that we could be tracked!

Adjectives Don’t Come Even Close…

…In describing the horror!

If this is true then this is something out of World War II, concentrations camps for gays.
Alleged Gay ‘Concentration Camps’ In Chechnya Spark Global Outrage
Over 100 gay men are said to have been detained and tortured.
Huffington Post
By Curtis M. Wong
April 11, 2017

International human rights activists are decrying reports that at least 100 gay men have been arrested, and three killed, in the Russian region of Chechnya.

A Moscow-owned Russian opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, cited claims by federal law enforcement officials who said the men, ranging in ages from 16 to 50, were detained “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.” Those arrests apparently began when a local LGBTQ rights group, GayRussia.ru, applied for pride parade permits, which were immediately denied, The Independent reported April 3.

The reports, however, were quickly dismissed as “absolute lies and disinformation” by a spokesman for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. The spokesman, Alvi Karimov, then suggested that no gay people were living in the Muslim-majority region. “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,” he said, according to The New York Times.
Maybe they don’t exist because they are rounding gays up and putting them in concentration camps and everyone else have gone into hiding in fear for their lives.
Details of the alleged detainments remain frustratingly vague. Chechen activist Kheda Saratova, who is on Kadyrov’s human rights council, dismissed the claims, saying she hasn’t had “a single request” on the issue in a Russian radio interview cited by The Guardian. Much like Karimov before her, however, Saratova downplayed the existence of gay people in the region at large. “In our Chechen society, any person who respects our traditions and culture will hunt down this kind of person without any help from authorities,” Saratova said, “and do everything to make sure that this kind of person does not exist in our society.”
This is really scary, if this is true this is on the same level as what happened in Germany in World War II when along with Jews, gays, lesbians and trans people were rounded up an put in concentrations camp and murdered. So far from reports coming out of Chechnya they haven’t started murdering gays.

Will our president speak up? Will the rest of the world remain silent? Of the mainstream media so far only the New York Times has covered the story.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Outreach

 Is not for everyone but if you can do it you will find it very rewarding.

I started doing outreach with the support group Connecticut Outreach Society and then moved over to the Stonewall Speakers. The Stonewall Speakers is usually is a panel where we all tell our stories and then answer questions. Later on I was also invited to do outreach for a professor at Southern Connecticut State University.

It was fun and we were making a difference. Once I was waiting for our reservations at a restaurant in Hartford when someone stopped and said to me that she now has a trans client and because what we said in class that day she knew how to treat a client who came out to her as trans. Wow!

But I also saw that wasn’t really covering what they need to know. We received a lot of questions about our former names and we usually told them, but I started to question the wisdom in that because they didn’t really learn anything with that question. They didn’t learn that you really shouldn’t ask that question to a trans person.

When I was working on my MSW I realized that there had to be a professional level of training that students and professional needed to know. So as part of an independent studies class I developed a 16 week class in trans issues. Once I graduated I distilled that down into a 90 minute workshop that I started giving at the NASW conferences and from that I started getting requests from out organizations to train their staff. I also have been invited to give guest lectures in social work and other classes.

Some of the feedback that I have received,
2016 University of Connecticut Multicultural Education Class:
When it was announced that we would have a guest speaker for our next class I originally thought nothing of it. I’ve had a good experience with guest speakers in the TCPCG [The Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates] program so far and I was excited to hear what the guest lecturer would say. When I walked into class on Wednesday I remember seeing the back of a tall woman standing in front of our class, thinking she was our guest, and proceeded to sit down and open up my computer. About 5 minutes later the guest came forward and she said that we were going to start the lecture. Once the guest lecturer starting talking and I began to look at her a bit more in detail, I realized something very interesting - our guest speaker was a transexual.
Now being an educated grad student I was fully aware of was exactly a transsexual was and that the transexual community is growing every day, however, as far as I know, this was my first time meeting one. The weird thing however was that it didn’t seem like I was meeting a transexual, but rather just another women - a guest lecturer. Once you get past the deep voice and the 6’2” figure, there was nothing weird or different here, just another woman. When the lecture started I was expecting to learn all about life as a transsexual, and while she did touch on this a little, she was focused more on the big picture. The picture being that there are thousands of transexuals and people dreaming of being a different gender all around us, and often times they either go unnoticed or are looked as weirdly or differently. I think the message she was trying to tell us is that although on the outside we may look a little strange, it is really who they are on the inside that matters.

++++++++++++++

I got to class on weds at 4 minutes past 2pm. When I walked into the class I was given a soft accepting smile from the person who appeared to be teaching for the day, so I quickly put down my stuff, shook off all the wet, (it was absolutely pouring outside, which is why I was a little late((people can't drive in the rain in Hartford)) and begin to listen. I was very taken by how brave she was and I found her life story to be quite moving and inspiring. The video clips that she played were particularly touching and I found it hard to turn away. Especially the girl that wanted her parent to call her Jazz and to block her puberty. Overall, I learned a lot on weds and I must admit I knew nothing about the subject of trans gender before I walked into class, but I knew a ton after I left.

2015 Quinnipiac University Multicultural Education Class:I was so inspired by Diana this week. She knew who she was and wanted to show the world. Even at an older age, she wasn't content to live out the rest of her life as someone else, so she did something about it. It must have taken so much courage to even just tell her brother. It's even better that her family was so accepting of who she truly is. She also was really informative about her community as a whole. Some of the points she raised, about bathrooms and such, were very interesting. I really knew nothing about any of the stuff she talked about so it was very informative.

2013 presentation at the University of Connecticut Counseling and Mental Health Services,Hello Diana,
I wanted to write and thank you so much for your presentation at CMHS at UCONN last Thursday. When I picked up my daughters (ages 12 and 13) after school that I day I told them I had just heard from one of the bravest people I'd ever met. We then had a very long conversation about what it means to not identify with your birth gender and the challenges and discrimination faced by the Trans-Gender community.
Besides classes I have also done training at hospitals, community service agencies, maximum security prisons, and court houses where I had a number of judges in the workshops.

Okay, why this?

Well today and tomorrow I will be at UConn School of Medicine doing training for the first year med students, it won’t be a lecture but rather a panel and then a breakout session.


Monday, April 10, 2017

I Don’t Believe It!

There is a report out of Australia that says children are faking it and I don’t believe it.

Psychiatrist notes increase in children's use of transgender as way to be different
9Honey News
By Felicity Nethery
April 10,2017

A growing number of Australian children confused about sexuality are identifying as transgender as a way of "standing out," according to a Brisbane psychiatrist.

Psychiatrist Dr Stephen Stathis, who runs a gender clinic at Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's Hospital said out of the 180 children with gender issues the clinic is expected to see, only a minority would be diagnosed with gender dysphoria — a strong, persistent feeling of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned gender.

When speaking with the Courier Mail, Dr Stathis said he had noticed many adolescents adopting a "try out" mentality towards being transgender as a way to be different.

"One said to me, 'Dr Steve ... I want to be transgender, it's the new black'," Dr Stathis told the Courier Mail.
[…]
Specific cases within the study of the clinic’s girl patients showed that some who had been sexually abused welcomed a transgender label.
To me this seems more anecdotal than a true research and it can harm the community. It makes us seems like we are running away from abuse as the conservatives are saying. That we are trans because of a domineering or an abusive father figure, or because of sexual assault. This doesn’t like the author did and research at all but rather, Gee, there are an awful lot of children who have been ____________,  you can fill in the blank.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

An Ally In A High Place

A surprising trans ally has spoken up.
Judge compares transgender teen in Gloucester to civil rights icons
Richmond Times-Dispatch
By Alanna Durkin Richer The Associated Press
April 9, 2017

An appeals court judge has compared a Virginia teenager who sued his school board for the right to use the boys bathroom to civil and human activists throughout history who have “refused to accept quietly the injustices that were perpetrated against them.”

Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Andre M. Davis used an inconsequential ruling in Gavin Grimm’s case to pen an opinion hailing the 17-year-old as a champion for transgender rights, comparing him to such icons as the Virginia couple who fought to overturn the ban on interracial marriage.

“Today, G.G. adds his name to the list of plaintiffs whose struggle for justice has been delayed and rebuffed; as Dr. King has reminded us, however, ‘the arc of the moral universal is long but it bends toward justice.’ G.G.’s journey is delayed, but not finished,” Davis wrote Friday, referring to a quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr
Wow! This is big. The judge realizes that our struggle is for our human rights.

But there was a loss that happened in the Grimm’s case,
The 4th Circuit on Friday denied Grimm’s request to hold oral arguments in May to facilitate a decision by his June graduation. It also formally vacated a preliminary injunction that ordered Grimm’s school to let him use the boys restroom.
That hurt.

When you look at the history of people’s struggled for human rights there are a number of similarities between them. When we demand our rights are called uppity, comeuppance, we face segregation (you can’t use this bathroom), and that we don’t know our place, also we face violence because of who we are. In addition, there is legislation that try to dehumanize us by banning where we can go, what facilities that we can use, and to allow people to legally discriminate against us.