Saturday, June 24, 2017

Welfare

[RANT]

The Republicans like to go back to our founding fathers… what would they do? They like to cherry pick quotes from the Federalist Papers and correspondences of the Continental Congress members, so lets look welfare in colonial America.

Back when I was in grad school for my Master’s in Social Work we read about how towns in New England took care of disabled or needy town residents and I was amazed at what they did back then.
Poor Relief in Early America
by John E. Hansan, Ph.D.

Introduction
Early American patterns of publicly funded poor relief emerged mainly from the English heritage of early settlers. The policies and practices of aiding the poor current in England when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts were shaped primarily by the Elizabethan Poor Laws of 1594 and 1601, and the Law of Settlement and Removal of 1662. The English poor laws classified poor/dependent people into three major categories and established a requirement for “residency” before aid was provided. Dependent persons were categorized as: vagrant, the involuntary unemployed and the helpless. In effect, the poor laws separated the poor into two classes: the worthy (e.g., orphans, widows, handicapped, frail elderly) and the unworthy (e.g., drunkards, shiftless, lazy). The poor laws also set down the means for dealing with each category of needy persons and established the parish (i.e., local government) as the responsible agent for administering the law. Parish officials were given the authority to raise taxes as needed and use the funds to build and manage almshouses; to supply food and sustenance in their own homes for the aged and the handicapped, (e.g., blind, crippled); and to purchase materials necessary to put the able-bodied to work. If vagrants or able-bodied persons refused to work they could be put in jail.
[…]
In time, colonial legislatures and later State governments adopted legislation patterned after these English laws, establishing the American tradition of public responsibility for the care of the destitute while also requiring evidence of legal residence in a particular geographic locality (i.e., town, municipality, county) as a prerequisite for receiving assistance. The most popular means for caring for the poor in early American communities using public funds included: the contract system, auction of the poor, the poorhouse, and relief in the home, or “outdoor relief.” The contract system placed dependent persons under the care of a homeowner or farmer who offered to care for them for a lump sum. The process of “auctioning” the destitute resulted in an individual or family being placed with a local couple or family bidding the lowest amount of public funding needed to care for them. It should be noted the contract system and auctioning the poor were not prevalent outside rural or lightly populated areas. Part of the reason was evidence that the practice of entrusting the care of the poor to the lowest bidder essentially legalized abusive behavior and near starvation existence.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s as people moved off the farms and into the cities and as immigration increased we see the rise in Settlement Houses and away from the towns.

In Massachusetts town records indicated how welfare was handled in the towns, on the website Colonial Society of Massachusetts they write,
Once the overseers of the poor or selectmen in the towns determined that a pauper needed and was entitled to assistance, they typically turned to local families to provide care. In both seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Massachusetts, the care of paupers generally remained with the family—the basic economic and social unit that could provide housing, food, clothing, education, and nursing in the event of illness. But in the eighteenth century, family care began to assume a different quality, becoming more custodial as it was linked legally to the public poor relief system. Town officials employed families to care for the aged, poor widows, and orphans. While the town officials turned naturally to the family to resolve problems of poverty, the custodial families undoubtedly benefitted from the cash paid by the town as well as the labor of the working poor.

Agreements between town officials and custodial families were remarkably uniform; the towns paid a fee, usually for a year’s duration, for a resident to provide food, housing, and clothing for a pauper. If the pauper was physically able, the agreement would stipulate that he or she would perform labor. Similarly, the town usually agreed to provide the costs of medical care. These contracts for custodial care usually lasted one year. At the end of the year paupers often found themselves placed in another family. Ezekiel Day of Wenham, for example, lived with seven different families between 1757 and 1764. But widow Elizabeth McLane, a pauper from Northampton, remained with Samuel Clapp at the town expense between 1746 and 1760. Obviously a mutually satisfying relationship existed between Samuel Clapp and widow McLane for the town to continue support for fourteen years. Similarly, the Selectmen of Littleton employed John Bridges to care for John and Margaret Barret, two of the town poor, for nearly ten years. Bridges took the Barrets into his home in 1755, receiving four pounds for one year of care. When Margaret Barret died in 1761, Bridges buried her at a cost of twelve shillings to the town. Two years later, Bridges moved to Groton, and John Barret went with him “at the Desire and Request of the Selectmen of Littleton.” While living in Groton, the Littleton Selectmen paid Bridges ten pounds for Barret’s support. After twelve months, however, the Littleton Selectmen refused to pay maintenance costs for Barret, arguing that both Bridges and Barret had become residents of Groton. The Groton Selectmen, however, refused to support the eighty-five-year-old Barret. The sessions court resolved the dispute, holding that Littleton was legally responsible for Barret.
As we look at the budgets proposed by Congress and the Trump administration we see masses cuts to programs like WIC, SNAP, TAFNF and we see major cuts to Medicaid that low income families need desperately.

Just this week Trump said at a rally…
Trump: Immigrants Should Not Get Welfare for at Least Five Years
NBC News
By Ali Vitali
June 21, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — President Donald Trump said in a speech here Wednesday night he would soon introduce legislation that immigrants to America should not receive welfare benefits for at least five years.

The new measure will stipulate that “those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump said as the crowd of thousands at the campaign-style rally exploded into extended applause.
However, none of the Trump administration staff seem to know that the law already exists,
Legislation backed by then-President Bill Clinton, called the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996," states immigrants are "not eligible for any federal means-tested public benefit" for five years beginning when they come into the country. However, the law has exceptions and additional legislation since its passage has also affected eligibility
Also what a lot of people don’t know is that for programs like SNAP and TAFNF unless you are disabled you are required to be working after 18 months on the programs.

Finally I like to quote the Preamble to the Constitution,
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of

[/RANT]

Saturday 9: Listen to the Music

Saturday 9: Listen to the Music (1972)
Because Zippi requested it.



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

Once again I am up at the cottage cleaning it up to get ready for the closing on June 30th, sadly it is the end of an era. I will miss it terribly. I will do my best to reply to your comments.

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


1) The lyrics say, "What the people need is a way to make them smile." What song lifts your spirits and makes you smile every time you hear it?
Bubbly


2) Lead vocalist/composer Tom Johnston reports that he's made a lot in royalties because so many radio stations use this as a jingle. Tell us a jingle that sticks in your head.
A jingle has been stuck in my head but now that you asked I can’t remember it, so thank you for getting it out of my head. So I will give you an oldie but goody to stick in your brain…

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz…


3) The Doobie Brothers got their start in San Jose, California. San Jose is the largest city in Northern California, thanks to all the tech companies that have headquarters there. Let's talk about the device you're on right now: are all your applications up to date?
Yup. And I hate Microsoft for forcing updates on you, they come at the most untimely times like when you are late for a meeting and you shutoff your laptop on to be told that there is a huge update that is being implemented and don’t turn off the computer.

4) When they were still a local band, the Doobie Brothers had a strong following among bikers. Are you attracted to biker culture?
No.
But a little known fact, back in high school (when the drinking age was 18) a local biker gang used to have a keg party once a year and many of the members knew me, their nick name for me was Einstein

5) This week's song is from Toulouse Street, which is considered their "breakthrough" album. Tell us about a moment in your own life that you consider a "breakthrough."
When I thought that I was having a heart attack, that brought much change in my life… I started to transiton.

6) In 1987, the Doobie Brothers did a benefit performance for Vietnam Veterans at the Hollywood Bowl. Next to the Beatles, it was the fastest-selling ticket in Hollywood Bowl history. Which group do you listen to more often -- the Doobies or the Beatles?
WOW! How can you pick between the two bands, they both were at the top of the music industry back then and they have different styles of music, so I am going to pass on this question.

7) In 1972, when this song was popular, Wranglers were America's best-selling jeans. Are you brand-loyal to one jeans manufacturer?
Nope, I don’t pay attention to brands.

8) Grocery stores saw seafood prices fluctuate wildly in 1972 because of a series of confrontations between the United Kingdom and Iceland regarding fishing rights in the North Atlantic. (Iceland won.) What was the most recent seafood dish that you enjoyed?
Stuffed sole with lobster and crab stuffing. Mmm…

9) Random question: Which of these "top ten" lists would you prefer to be on -- the sexiest, the smartest or the richest?
In this time of life I would go for the richest.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sounding Board

This fall I am giving a couple of class lectures in the fall while the professor is away and part of the lecture will be on the intersection of race and trans people and how the two interact. So I have been searching Google Scholar (I miss having the research database from school, many of the papers that I find on the topic I can read unless I pay an outrageous fee.) for papers on the topic and I have come across a number of interesting papers.

One of the papers that I found is “Transgender Youth of Color and Resilience: Negotiating Oppression and Finding Support” and the Abstract reads in part…
Abstract This qualitative study explored the resilience of 13 transgender youth of color in the Southeastern region of the U.S. The definition of resilience framing this study was a participant’s ability to “bounce back” from challenging experiences as transgender youth of color. Using a henomenological research tradition and a feminist, intersectionality (intercategorical) theoretical framework, the research question guiding the study was: “What are the daily lived experiences of resilience transgender youth of color describe as they negotiate intersections of transprejudice and racism?”
So now I’m off finding information on, “intersectionality theoretical.”

Another paper that I found was “AN INTERSECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER(LGBT) PEOPLE'S EVALUATIONS OF ANTI-QUEER VIOLENCE” and it begins…
Most studies that have focused on violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have overlooked the intersections among race, class, and gender (Mason 2002). Conversely, I examine LGBT, or queer, people's violent experiences through a feminist and intersectional lens, exploring the evaluations of 47 respondents interviewed in New York City. In particular, I build on studies that have examined the severity of anti- queer violence, focusing particular attention on LGBT people's evaluations of physical and verbal abuse (Herek, Gillis, and Cogan 1999; Rose and Mechanic 2002). Previous research has suggested that lesbians and gay men generally perceive homophobic physical attacks as more severe than verbal abuse or violence that is not based on their sexuality (D'Augelli and Grossman 2001; Dunbar 2006; Herek et al. 1997). In contrast, my results reveal significant intersectional differences, thereby dispelling the notion that LGBT people evaluate forms of anti-queer violence in uniform ways.
Still another paper “Gender Affirmation: A Framework for Conceptualizing Risk
Behavior among Transgender Women of Color” and its abstract reads,
Experiences of stigma, discrimination, and violence as well as extreme health disparities and high rates of sexual risk behavior and substance use have been well-documented among transgender women of color. Using an intersectional approach and integrating prominent theories from stigma, eating disorders, and HIV-related research, this article offers a new framework for conceptualizing risk behavior among transgender women of color, specifically sexual risk behavior and risky body modification practices. This framework is centered on the concept of ‘gender affirmation,’ the process by which individuals are affirmed in their gender identity through social interactions. Qualitative data from 22 interviews with transgender women of color from the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States are analyzed and discussed in the context of the gender affirmation framework.
Plus I have a copy of the 2015 GLSEN School Climate Survey along with a copy of the 2015 Transgender Survey. So I have lot of reading to do this summer, many of you probably find this all boring, so do I but if I am going to teach it I have to understand it.

Anyone have any thoughts on what I might also want to cover in the lectures for future teachers?

Another Nail In Our Coffin

As many of you might remember the guidelines that the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued for trans students under the Obama administration which said that schools had to recognize our gender identity. These guidelines were not pulled out of a hat but based on court rulings including cases heard before the Supreme Court (Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins) and other courts around the country. The case that I liked was…
The Schroer [U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in Schroer v. Billington] court compared a change of sex to a change of religion, noting that "[d]iscrimination 'because of religion' easily encompasses discrimination because of a change of religion." The court stated:
"Imagine that an employee is fired because she converts from Christianity to Judaism. Imagine too that her employer testifies that he harbors no bias toward either Christians or Jews but only to 'converts.' . . . No court would take seriously the notion that ‘converts’ are not covered by the statute."
And there are dozens of other federal cases that found we are protected under Title VII and Title IX.

So now the Trump administration is ignoring all the legal precedent and issued their own guidelines,
Trump administration issues new letter on transgender students
Catholic World News
June 23, 2017

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education has issued an instruction stating that schools that fail to use transgender students’ “preferred names and pronouns” are committing harassment.
[…]
In February, the Trump administration withdrew the previous year’s directive.

The Trump administration’s new instruction states that this withdrawal “does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying or harassment.”
And now schools can force us to use the bathrooms of our birth gender or to use a staff bathroom.

This is just another case of the Trump administration refusing to enforce federal law.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Excellent!

With all the stuff the Trump administration is doing to remove anything LGBT, the Department of Justice employees just thumbed their noses at the administration.
At DOJ Pride Event, LGBT Employees Plan To Honor Lawyers, Student Behind Pro-Transgender Lawsuits
BuzzFeed
By Chris Geidner
June 21, 2017

DOJ Pride — the Justice Department's group for LGBT employees and allies — plans to give its community service award to Gavin Grimm, the transgender student challenging his high school's bathroom policy, and its award for contributions to the environment for LGBT employees to department lawyers behind pro-transgender litigation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to rescind Obama-era guidance supporting the rights of transgender students is set to get a strong, if symbolic, rebuke from Sessions' own employees next week.

On the morning of June 28, the Justice Department is scheduled to hold its annual LGBT Pride Month Program in the Great Hall of the department's main building on Pennsylvania Avenue, in between the Capitol and the White House.
[…]
This year, DOJ Pride — the department's group for LGBT employees and their allies — plans to present Gavin Grimm with its Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award at the event, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Yes!

I have to wonder if this will be the last year for DOJ Pride

Healthcare

The trans community is always looking for trans friendly healthcare providers*; we worry when we walk in to a medical office how will I be treated. As a volunteer at a LGBT health care providers I get calls from trans people asking for trans friendly healthcare providers from a database that they have.

Connecticut is one of the states that embraced the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or as it is otherwise known Obamacare, as a results many trans people now have insurance for the first time and are looking for a PCP or endos.
How doctors in Texas are trying to protect transgender patients from a persistent threat: HIV
LA Times
By Alexandra Zavis
June 21, 2017

When the Kind Clinic began offering free or low-cost hormone therapy for transgender people in March, word spread quickly here. Within days, the service was booked up until the end of June. Now the next available appointment is in December.

For the patients flocking to the clinic north of downtown — the first of its kind in central Texas — it’s a chance to begin a transition many thought they could not afford. But for the doctors, the rush is a chance to start addressing another major health problem facing the transgender community: the staggering rates of HIV.

By offering hormone therapy, the clinic aims to earn the trust of a population that often feels alienated by mainstream medicine and persuade those at high risk of exposure to the virus to start on a drug regimen that can prevent infection.
There are a couple of clinics here in Connecticut that offers hormones on a sliding scale but now that HUSKY insurance (Connecticut version of Medicaid) has increased the number of insured trans people are now cover hormones.
The population is so vulnerable because the stigmatized place that transgender people occupy in society translates into extremely high rates of poverty, substance abuse, mental health difficulties, homelessness and incarceration — all of which increase the odds of having sex without condoms or sharing needles, the two most common ways that HIV is spread in the U.S.
[…]
A survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015 found that 23% of the nearly 28,000 respondents hadn’t seen a doctor when they needed one in the last year, because they were afraid of being mistreated. A third couldn’t afford to see one.
Because of HUSKY there is less needle sharing for hormones.

As for “afraid of being mistreated” it is a real fear but I feel it is declining, at least here in Connecticut. Healthcare providers and hospitals are now treating more trans people and are learning how to treat us (sometimes by legal enforcement). However, all it takes is for one trans person to have a problem with the healthcare providers or staff for the news to spread throughout the community.

But I haven’t had any problems with doctors or healthcare providers since I transitioned and I have seen a number of specialists. Yesterday I had an invasive routine test, most of the staff didn’t know I was trans until I arrived at the outpatient facility and the staff was excellent.

*By healthcare provider I mean doctors, APRNs, nurses, therapists, LCSW, medical technicians, or anyone else treat us.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

While We Are On The Topic Of Movies…

There is an independent movie that just came out, “And Then There Was Eve.”
‘And Then There Was Eve’ can’t survive on good intentions alone
Substream Magazine
By Leigh Monson
June 19, 2017

The following review of And Then There Was Eve is coverage for the Los Angeles Film Festival.

And Then There Was Eve is exactly the kind of film I hate to review, and that’s for two reasons. First, this is the kind of film where I can’t really talk about it in any great depth without getting into the nitty gritty of second and third act plot details that could be considered spoilers, so if you don’t want to know where this plot is going, stop reading after the second paragraph. However, the second reason I hate reviewing movies like And Then There Was Eve is because it very, very clearly has its heart in the right place on a very critical social justice issue, but it misses the mark so earnestly and yet so misguidedly that I can’t help but feel that by criticizing it I’m doing some sort of harm to the social progress it’s trying to further, which I’d absolutely hate to do. And yet, despite its morals being firmly where they need to be, its perspective and the degrees by which it grants its characters empathy are disproportionately skewed toward emphasizing the suffering of the privileged over the discriminated against.

The film focuses on Alyssa (Tania Nolan) one year after her husband Kevin mysteriously disappeared. In attempting to track him down, she discovers his work acquaintance Eve (Rachel Crowl), who agrees to help her through this troubling time. Eve suggests that Alyssa move on, encouraging that she grieve the loss of Kevin with a wake and that she join a support group for widows. And as Alyssa begins to move on with her life, she starts to discover a love for Eve that she fears exploring further.
Okay, I have to give a disclosure… I know Rachel Crowl and her spouse Helen Boyd the author of “My Husband Betty,” I have known them for about ten years now, I first met them at Fantasia Fair. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Rachel is Betty.



Speaking Out

Trans actors are speaking out against the freezing them out of trans parts in movies.
Transgender Actors Calls For Equality In Hollywood Via New Video From GLAAD, ScreenCrush
Deadline
By Anita Busch
June 20, 2017

Transgender actors have a message for Hollywood and have taken part in a video to spread the word and equality. In a video written by actress/writer Jen Richards, a number of actors — Alexandra Billings (Transparent), D’Lo (Sense8), Elliot Fletcher (The Fosters), Alexandra Grey (Transparent), Ian Harvie (Transparent), Jazzmun (When We Rise), Trace Lysette (Transparent), Jen Richards (Nashville), and Rain Valdez (Lopez) — take their plea to producers, studios and networks:
“You have the power to educate, to change minds, shape public opinion, and open hearts so we need you to show us, as we really are. Tell our stories with the creativity, dignity, humor and depth that make us real people. Let us help you tell those stories or better yet, help us tell them ourselves and then put us in them. And in everything else. In all kinds of parts. Yes, you’ll be giving us a job, and thank you for that, but you’ll also be making the world a little bit safer for an intensely maligned, under-represented, and vulnerable population.”
This comes shortly after GLAAD released its Studio Responsibility Index, which mapped the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven major motion picture studios during the 2016 calendar year found just one transgender character in film, and the character was used as punchline. On television, GLAAD’s latest Where We Are on TV Report found that transgender characters accounted for only 6% of the 278 LGBTQ characters on broadcast, cable and streaming programs.
I don’t think that producers and directors will listen; I think that there is a strong bias against trans actors.

They say that they want named actors in their movies and shows but it is a Catch 22 when they freeze out trans actors because they can never get name recognition if they are not allowed to play in major movies or shows.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Your Papers Please

We dread hearing that, whether it is when we get stopped by police for a driving infractions or standing in line at a TSA checkpoint.
Why Transgender People Suffer from ‘ID Anxiety'
Time
By Jacob Tobia
Jun 19, 2017

Think about the last time you went through TSA before getting on a flight.

No matter how well you packed or how often you’ve traveled, the experience probably managed to be a relatively unpleasant one. As you got in line, you might’ve been worried about how far away your gate was, about whether or not your flight would be delayed, or about if your feet were going to smell when you took off your shoes. If there was traffic on the way to the airport, you might’ve even been quietly (or not so quietly) panicking that you were going to miss your flight.

But odds are, no matter how stressed you were, you weren’t worried about missing your flight because the gender on your ID didn’t “match” how the TSA officer perceived you.

For trans people, “ID anxiety” can be an almost daily occurrence. As a gender nonconforming writer and producer, I travel at least once a month to make appearances at events or perform at colleges and universities. Each time I go through TSA, I take a deep breath and say a prayer that the officer at the podium won’t take one look at my dress, then the “M” on my driver’s license, and decide that I need to be held for more thorough questioning.

This anxiety isn’t just limited to TSA. When I see blue lights behind me on the highway and I worry that I’m being pulled over for a speeding ticket, ID Anxiety kicks in again. When a police car drives up behind me, my first thought isn’t “I wonder how much the fine is going to be?” My first thought is “Oh God, what am I wearing today? Am I wearing too much makeup? Will this dress be a problem? Is the officer going to have an issue with the M on my license?”
When I was in traffic accidents I worried about that. The first accident I was after I transitioned when a guy hit my car at a Maine tollbooth. Then in 2012 my new Prius got hit with only a 197 miles on the car and in both instances the police were very professional in the way they treated me.

But when you call 911 there is that little nagging worry… how will treat me?
Clearly we still have some fairly serious gender problems to solve. As a society, we have to begin redefining the role played by gender markers. That’s why, along with the rest of the transgender community, I am ecstatic about a recently-proposed bill in California that would create a gender-neutral designation on state ID documents and allow individuals to change their gender marker without undergoing clinical treatment or getting a court order.

If passed, the proposed law — Senate Bill 179 — would represent a historic leap forward for the transgender community in California and across the country. As a genderqueer person living in Los Angeles, I could then apply for a new driver’s license at the California DMV that simply listed “nonbinary” in the gender category.

The impact of having that on my driver’s license would be profound. I’d no longer have to worry about getting strange looks from TSA officers, and instead of assuming that I want a man to pat me down, they would simply ask me if I had a preference for a man or a woman. When being pulled over by a police officer, I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about my gender being treated as some sort of interrogation, or have to deal with the implications of simultaneously having makeup on my face and an “M” on my license.
Well I am not too sure about not being hassled by police anymore; it just might make it worst if you encountered a bigoted officer or a TSA agent.

Confusion From On High

The Obama administration issued guideline for trans students to schools, many schools ignored them some got sued and other had their cases continued to the new administration which has closed the cases on them.
Education Department Closes Transgender Student Cases, Scales Back ‘Systemic’ Civil Rights Investigations
“It’s Open Season on Transgender Students”
New Civil Rights Movement
By Ryan Williams-Jent
June 17, 2017

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights this week has closed a case in which it had determined a transgender student had suffered discrimination at school. The move follows the office’s announcement that it will scale back “systemic” civil rights investigations.

“The agency communicated its decision in a letter this week to lawyers representing the girl, an elementary school student in Highland, Ohio,” The Washington Post reported.

“The letter provided no reason or legal justification for withdrawing its 2016 conclusion that the girl’s school wrongly barred her from the girls’ bathroom and failed to address the harassment she endured from classmates and teachers, who repeatedly addressed her with male pronouns and the male name she was given at birth.”
Then the OCR issued their guideline under the Trump administration,
Clarity or Confusion?
OCR issues new guidance that clear way for investigating some cases of transgender bias, but advocates for transgender students say the document is inadequate.
Inside Higher Ed
By Andrew Kreighbaum
June 19, 2017

A memo from the Department of Education on handling of transgender civil rights complaints instructs officials to continue investigating those complaints as they would have before 2016 guidance issued by the Obama administration.

The Obama administration's guidance said that anti-transgender bias was covered by laws against gender bias, and thus opened the way for investigations into such discrimination. Prior to that guidance, some cases involving transgender students were investigated as gender discrimination, but advocates for transgender students said some of their cases needed to be defined as anti-transgender bias.
[…]
But advocates said the significance of the document was unclear and they feared that it could create even more confusion for civil rights enforcement. Sejal Singh, campaigns and communications manager at the Center for American Progress's LGBT Research and Communications Project, said the whole point of guidance from the Office for Civil Rights is to clarify unclear law. The document notably does not mention access to bathrooms matching a student's gender identity as among the types of complaints officials should investigate, she said. That issue has been a key one at some colleges and in state legislation.

"It is definitely creating ambiguity that leaves actors space to create discriminatory actions," Singh said.
It is also not clear on how these new guidelines will effect Connecticut and other states that have protections for trans students.

Monday, June 19, 2017

While We Are Talking About Health

I came across this article on WPATH Facebook page about things to consider if you are going to have Gender Confirming Surgery…
Interested in Having Gender-Affirming Surgery? Keep These Four Pieces of Advice in Mind
By Kellee Terrell
TheBody.com
June 15, 2017

When it comes to transitioning, there is no one or "right" way to undergo your process. For some, being their most authentic self may come solely through changing their pronoun or receiving hormone therapy or having a form of gender-affirming surgery -- or a combination of all three.
[…]
Make Sure You Do Your Research!
Whatever form of surgery you are planning to have, not only do you need to know what the surgery entails but also who is the most-qualified surgeon in your area.

Work on Your Health Prior to Surgery
You cannot underestimate the seriousness of these procedures.

They can be major reconstructive surgeries that require a lot of healing and can result in complications and certain infections. This is why you need to be in optimal health beforehand, says Zil Goldstein, NP, the program director for the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai in New York City. [Dr. Zil was an intern at the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition while she was an undergraduate]

"We are not going to perform surgeries on people who are unhealthy," she says.

With any surgery, you have to be medically cleared first, and that requires having a certain body-mass index (some require no higher than a 33) and a physical to ensure that any chronic diseases you have -- such as diabetes or high blood pressure -- are in check.
The third item is,
Factor in Aftercare and the Need for a Strong Support System
As we stated above, many of these surgeries are pretty major and can require time off work, being incapacitated for weeks to a few months and aftercare that can include dilation of the genitals and draining tubes from various parts of your body.
Many of the surgeons have special residences for recovery after surgery, while others just have you get a motel room.

Lastly,
Please Set Realistic Expectations
While numerous studies have shown that undergoing gender-affirming surgery can improve one's quality of life and mental health, Jenna Rapues, M.P.H., the interim director of the Center for Excellence for Transgender Health in San Francisco, says she's encountered clients with unrealistic expectations about how surgery will change their lives.

"I have so many trans female clients who have told me, 'Once I get my surgery, I'll be a normal woman, and all of my problems will be solved.' The surgery is one piece of transitioning, but it doesn't necessarily address or solve the other issues in our life. That is always going to be an ongoing process, and we are constantly evolving."
Oh how many times have I heard that!

I know of one trans woman who spent close to a hundred thousand dollars on plastic surgery including FFS, breast enhancement, a tummy tuck and GCS… but she is six foot six, and has large hands and feet.

Just remember one thing, it is your life and you will have to live with your decisions.

An Epidemic In The Making

The rate of new HIV’AIDS case is increasing and it is especially increasing in states where the legislature has cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
Indiana Shut Down Its Rural Planned Parenthood Clinics And Got An HIV Outbreak
Huffington Post
By Laura Bassett
03/31/2015

Scott County, Indiana, the center of an exploding HIV outbreak, has been without an HIV testing center since early 2013, when the sole provider — a Planned Parenthood clinic — was forced to close its doors. The clinic did not offer abortion services.

The Scott County clinic and four other Planned Parenthood facilities in the state, all of which provided HIV testing and information, have shuttered since 2011, in large part due to funding cuts to the state’s public health infrastructure. Those cuts came amid a national and local political campaign to demonize the health care provider. Now, the state is scrambling to erect pop-up clinics to combat an unprecedented HIV epidemic caused by intravenous drug use.

The fact that Scott County was “without a testing facility until a few weeks ago is a glaring example of the kind of public health crisis that results when prevention and testing are left unfunded,” said Patti Stauffer, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky’s vice president for public policy.
Now we might see the same thing nation wide with cuts to funding for HIV/AIDS screenings.
HIV/AIDS cuts in Trump budget called ‘shocking,’ ‘cruel’
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
May 31, 2017

Proponents of funding to combat HIV/AIDS continue to express alarm over cuts to federal programs, which in some cases are massive, in the budget proposal that President Trump unveiled last week amid questions of whether Congress will agree to the reductions.

Carl Schmid, deputy director of the AIDS Institute, said the decrease in funding for HIV/AIDS proposed in the Trump administration’s $4.1 trillion budget request was “pretty shocking” after years of bipartisan agreement to confront the disease.
[…]
Among the more drastic cuts is a $186 million reduction in Centers for Disease Control funding for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STIs, and TB prevention. A full $150 million of the reduction would come from HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

“We would have probably a million fewer HIV tests because of that and we don’t know how many more people will become [HIV] positive and not get the messages,” Schmid said.
And it will hurt on an individual level also with cuts to Ryan White Health Care Act.
For Ryan White, the budget seeks a $59 million reduction to the program as a result of cutting $34 million from programs for children, youth, women and families and $25 million for programs of special significance.
[…]
Consistent with the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the budget proposal also seeks to eliminate $800 billion in Medicaid. That’s a major of source of assistance for people with HIV/AIDS because an estimated 40 percent of them are on Medicaid.
Meanwhile,
Six Experts Resign From President’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Panel in Protest
NBC News
By Phil McCausland
June 19, 2017


Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned in protest of the Trump administration, which they allege "has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic."

Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, explained in a Newsweek op-ed Friday that he and five colleagues decided to leave their posts on the council for a number of reasons.
But their largest expressed gripe was that the Trump administration has not sought input from the council when formulating HIV policy.

Schoettes, who is HIV positive, added that the White House is also pushing legislation that would harm people with HIV and “reverse gains made in the fight against the disease.”
[…]
In the op-ed, they note that Trump removed the Office of National AIDS Policy website and has not appointed someone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, who held a seat on the Domestic Policy Council under Obama.

"Because we do not believe the Trump Administration is listening to — or cares — about the communities we serve as members of PACHA, we have decided it is time to step down," Schoettes wrote.
You might be thinking, “Well this doesn’t apply to me because I don’t have HIV/AIDS.” Wrong! This affects everyone because right now the disease is being aggressively being fought but link in states that have cut funding to organizations that do testing we see the infection rate climb and when that happens we can expect to see HIV increase in the general population.

Also, under the Republican healthcare plan HIV/AIDS is a preexisting condition and might not be covered by insurance plans.

No Bones About It

Okay so I’m using a pun to get your attention, but this is a serious topic for everyone on Cross Gender Hormones… Have you had a bone mineral density scan?

Hun? What’s that?

Well your body needs either estrogen or testosterone for healthy bones without or if the levels are not high enough your bones lose calcium and weaken.
Bone health and osteoporosis
Center for Transgender Excellence
Primary authors: Asa Radix, MD, MPH and Madeline B. Deutsch, MD, MPH

Introduction
Adaptation of recommendations for osteoporosis screening to transgender populations is complicated by existing recommendations that vary widely for non-transgender people, including lack of consensus about screening for non-transgender men, and no U.S. national level recommendations on the frequency of screening.

Osteoporosis screening is currently age- and sex- based, and also individualized on the basis of risk factors. There are a number of lifestyle, genetic, endocrinologic, hematologic, rheumatoid and autoimmune diseases, as well as medications that contribute to osteoporosis. Known risk factors for osteoporosis include Caucasian or Asian race, older age, alcohol >10 drinks/week, low body mass index, smoking, chronic corticosteroid use, hypogonadism, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperparathyroidism, immobility, vitamin D deficiency and HIV infection.[1,2]

Osteoporosis risk in transgender women
In one study, researchers found that transgender women had factors which may contribute to an increased risk of osteoporosis, independent of and existing prior to hormone use, such as reduced levels of physical activity, lower muscle mass and grip strength, and lower levels of vitamin D.[3] Studies investigating BMD in transgender women receiving hormones have shown both lower, higher and no change in bone density after initiating hormones.[4-11] The differences in results may be due to the regimens used (some used unopposed androgen blockers for a period of time before initiating hormones) and length of follow-up. Known risk factors for osteoporosis include underutilization of hormones after gonadectomy or use of androgen blockers without or with insufficient estrogen. GnRH analogues also may result in short term decrease in bone mineral density (ie, GnRH analogues without concurrent estrogen, and when estrogen added, or blockers stopped bone density returns to normal).

Osteoporosis risk in transgender men
Most published studies to date have shown either no change, or an increase in bone mineral density in transgender men treated with testosterone. Risk factors for osteoporosis in this population include oophorectomy before age 45 without optimal hormone replacement.[4,6,9-13]
[…]
Recommended screening for transgender women and men

There is insufficient evidence to guide recommendations for bone density testing in transgender women or men. Transgender people (regardless of birth-assigned sex) should begin bone density screening at age 65. Screening between ages 50 and 64 should be considered for those with established risk factors for osteoporosis. Transgender people (regardless of birth assigned sex) who have undergone gonadectomy and have a history of at least 5 years without hormone replacement should also be considered for bone density testing, regardless of age (Grading: X C W).
So have you had a bone density scan?

I have and I am schedule for my next scan before my next endo appointment; if you haven’t had one yet I would suggest that you talk to your healthcare provider for one. It is not only a good idea for trans people but also cisgender people over 50.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Why Can’t They Let Us Act?

I have said this over and over and I know some of you don’t agree with me, it is time to end transface actors, actors who play trans parts who are not trans.
Anything, starring cis male as trans woman, to debut at LA Film Festival
Solzy at the Movies
Written by: Danielle Solzman
June 13, 2017

Anything will make its debut on Saturday during the LA Film Festival this and many of us in the trans community are not pleased about the casting of a cis actor in a transgender role.

Written and directed by Timothy McNeil, the film stars John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer, Maura Tierney, Margot Bingham, and Micah Hauptman.

Here’s where there is a major problem: cisgender actor Matt Bomer is playing a transgender woman post-transition.  There are many transgender actresses in the United States.  Why is it so hard to cast one of us in a trans role?  It shouldn’t be that hard to cast a trans actress in a trans role.  More so, by casting a gay actor in the role of a trans woman, it only goes on to help the stereotype that trans women are men.  This isn’t fun and it’s not something any of us love to deal with on a daily basis.  I may not speak for others but I definitely speak for myself.
And this was from a cisgender person, not a trans person; people are beginning to realize that trans actors are being shut out of acting.

Read what LGBT Nation has to say,
First look at Matt Bomer playing a trans woman in latest movie made by cis men
By Dawn Ennis
June 14, 2017

We’re finally getting a look at Matt Bomer playing a transgender woman in the movie that took a ton of heat when it was revealed that Mark Ruffalo had cast the cisgender gay actor instead of someone actually trans. The movie, Anything, is about to have its world premiere.

Bomer stars as Freda Von Rhenberg, a sex worker who lives next door to a straight man from the Deep South, Early Landry, played by John Carroll Lynch. The plot centers around the Mississippi native moving to Los Angeles after losing his wife, to be cared for by his over-protective sister, played by Maura Tierney. Landry escapes her clutches to start a new life, reported Deadline Hollywood, and eventually begins an intense relationship with Freda.
[…]
The cause of casting trans actors to play trans roles has an ally in award-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor, the cisgender star of Transparent who has publicly challenged Hollywood to “give transgender talent a chance.”
There are a number of excellent trans actors out there; Jamie Clayton from Sense8, Jen Richards, Angelica Ross, and the other actors in Her Story, and there is Michelle Hendley from Boy Meets Girl that they could have chosen instead of a cisgender actor.

One of the arguments that I hear in favor of using cisgender actors is that they have name recognition and I agree but add how is a trans woman going to get name recognition without being cast in any part? If they don’t even get hired then they are not going to be known.

 Lana and Lilly Wachowski hired a trans actress, and Jen Richards hired trans actresses it seems like the only way for trans actors to get hired is because of a trans director.

Leading The Way

Oregon just became the first state to have a third option for gender on driver licenses, F, M, or X.
Oregon becomes first state to add gender-neutral option on driver’s licenses
PBS Newshour
By Corinne Segal
June 15, 2017

Oregon officials voted Thursday to add a gender-neutral option on state IDs, making it the first state in the country to recognize non-binary people on their driver’s licenses.

The unanimous decision by the Oregon Transportation Commission is the final step in a year-long process that began in June 2016, when Portland resident Jamie Shupe became the first legally non-binary person — identifying as neither male nor female — in the country.

The option, which will be available starting July 3, will make a difference for non-binary and transgender people for whom using an ID marked “M” or “F” is inaccurate or even dangerous, advocates say.

“I think this will make a real difference in people’s lives, and I think it is a great step for removing even more barriers,” said Amy Herzfeld-Copple, co-director of LGBTQ advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon.
As more and more people identify as non-binary I think this is a good option but I do have some reservations in how other states will deal with the Oregon license and as someone on the internet pointed out, how will states like North Carolina and Texas handle non-binary people? Will they face more discrimination?

So what do you think?



Friday, June 16, 2017

Our Neighbor To The North

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey data is being broken down to the state levels and the results are being released,
Survey suggests transgender Maine residents face discrimination
Many respondents say they have experienced problems in housing, health care and when dealing with law enforcement.
Press Herald
By Dennis Hoey
June 15, 2017

A new survey of transgender life in Maine and the United States suggests transgender people in Maine face discrimination in health care, housing and the criminal justice system.

The U.S. Transgender Survey was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality through an anonymous online survey in 2015 of nearly 28,000 people in all 50 states, 182 of them in Maine.
[…]
“This data gives voice to the experiences of Mainers from Aroostook to York,” Quinn Gormley, president of MaineTransNet, said in a statement. “We, as advocates, face a constant struggle to impress upon providers, politicians and the public the severity of discrimination faced by transgender Mainers. These statistics come as no surprise to anyone in our community.”
[…]
“From employment to housing, to education, to police violence, sexual assault, access to health care and beyond, transgender Mainers experience disparities that can scarcely be compared to the lived reality of the general population,” Maggie Campbell, director of communications and development for the Health Equity Alliance, said in a statement.
Surveys are important because when you deal with legislators usually the first question that they ask is “show me the data” and without any data it is hard to show a need for the legislation. That is why the removal of any questions about LGBT people from the 2020 U.S. census if going to hurt us. If you are not counted you don’t exist.



I went to see the musical with three other fiends and the show was excellent! I always love going to a play, I am drawn to the live performance and I am amazed at all the line that the actors have to memorize. I have a hard enough time memorizing a sentence let alone a whole play.

The Goodspeed Opera House is from the 1870s,
The Goodspeed has endured as a majestic presence on the Connecticut River since it was built as the Goodspeed Opera House in 1876 by William H. Goodspeed, shipping and banking magnate and avid theatre lover. Since that time The Goodspeed has lived two lives: the first as a bustling center of commerce housing a theatre, professional offices, steamboat passenger terminal ,and a general store; and the second, after a period of neglect and deterioration, as a magnificent professional musical theatre fully restored in 1963 to its original splendor.
[…]
The theater in the Victorian-style building is located on the fourth floor of the tallest wooden structure on the Connecticut River, and was constructed in 1876. A new stage was built over the original and incorporates what were formerly audience boxes into the downstage left and right areas. The boxes now serve as actor entrances below and lighting positions above.
We had seats in the balcony, or the nosebleed section overlooking the stage. The theater is on the second floor and the balcony up on the third floor which is accessed through a winding staircase and it is a good climb up the stairs, I wasn’t the only one huffing and puffing by the time you reach the third floor.

Give me a play any day over a movie or television.

Another Brick From The Wall

The Trump administration just took another brick from the wall of protections for us that President Obama’s administration build for us.

Last year in July Trump said at the Republican convention,
During his 75-minute speech at the Republican National Convention in July, Donald Trump looked genuinely surprised at the roar of applause when he said, “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens.”
Yup right.
Trump administration narrows civil rights investigations, reportedly will stop investigating transgender bathroom access
LA Times
By Joy Resmovits
June 16, 2017

The U.S. Department of Education is telling civil rights investigators that they can limit the scope of their work, according to an internal memo uncovered by ProPublica.

The Department also is reportedly circulating an internal memo on enforcing gender discrimination laws that specifically tells officers to stop investigating whether transgender students have been denied the ability to use the bathrooms of their choice. A spokeswoman from the Department did not immediately respond to request for comment on this directive.

During the Obama administration, the department's Office for Civil Rights frequently made waves. The office named colleges that faced scrutiny for mishandling sexual assault; outlined protections for transgender students (which recently have been revoked) and identified patterns of discrimination in school districts and universities.
The Obama administration didn’t just pull their protections for us out of a hat, it was based on a long history of court victories. Going back to the Supreme Court 1989 decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins where they ruled that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sex stereotyping where a woman was not made partner in the firm because she didn’t look feminine enough, they told her to change her hair style, use more makeup, and wear a dress and high heels. From that decision the courts started recognizing the gender identity and expression is a form of sex stereotyping. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity issued their ruling CHRO Declaratory Ruling on behalf of John/Jane Doe  it was based on the Supreme Court ruling (it is a good read if you want to understand the logic behind our legal protections).

So when the Trump administration revokes protection for us they are going against years of legal precedents.

The Secretary of Education said,
DeVos press secretary Elizabeth Hill said the rules are meant to speed up the resolution of complaints.

"These internal enforcement instructions seek to clear out the backlog while giving every complaint the individualized and thorough consideration it deserves," she said in an e-mail. "There is no longer an artificial requirement to collect several years of data when many complaints can be adequately addressed much more efficiently and quickly."
But Senator Murray called her out on it…
"President Trump and his Administration can claim to oppose discrimination all they want, but actions speak louder than words," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement. "Everything they are doing is making it clear that they want to defang and weaken the federal government’s tools to protect the civil rights and safety of people across the country."

Lhamon [Catherine Lhamon lead the Office for Civil Rights under Obama] called the new guidelines her "worst nightmare." The drive to reduce caseloads and close cases quickly, she said, leads to an "assembly line justice that does not open its eyes to the kinds of harms that OCR staff know exists in schools."
It is going to be a long four years and I have a feeling it is going to get worst.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hate Runs Rampant

The place with the golden arches and Ronald McDonald has a HRC Corporate Equality Rating of 100! But to their employees it is anything but 100%.
This Transgender Woman Is Suing McDonald's For Discrimination
The former crew member reported verbal and physical abuse to her manager and was later fired, a lawsuit alleges.
BuzzFeed
By Cora Lewis
Posted on June 14, 2017


A transgender McDonald’s crew member experienced multiple cases of sexual harassment and discrimination on the job, including being barred by managers from using the women’s and men’s restrooms and relegated to a rear bathroom that was used as a storage closet, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed against the restaurant owner and the parent company.

La’Ray Reed worked at a McDonald’s in Redford, Michigan, for six months in 2015, during which time coworkers called her a "boy slash girl" and other sexual insults, and one groped her, the lawsuit alleges. She reported the mistreatment to the franchise owner and was later fired, she alleges.
[…]
In the lawsuit, Reed alleges a coworker groped her genitals at the urging of a store manager who wanted to know whether she had a penis. “You can’t feel it from the front. You have to feel it from the back,” the manager allegedly said over the headset system used by all employees.

Another time, a manager allegedly told a crew member to follow Reed into the ladies’ room to see if she was standing up or sitting down to use the toilet. “I had never had a problem using the ladies room until this day,” Reed wrote in an email to BuzzFeed News. “When I came out the restroom, the manager told me I could no longer use either of the restrooms in the lobby.”

Instead, the manager allegedly had Reed go to the back of the store and clean the out-of-use bathroom, which was being used as a storage closet. That became Reed’s bathroom, she says, which she was also made responsible for cleaning.
I hope that she also files sexual assault charges against the manager for groping her.

Meanwhile McDonald’s has a 100% HRC rating!
Activists point to the complaints as evidence that McDonald’s attempts to brand itself as an LGBT ally are empty rhetoric.

During this past weekend’s gay pride celebrations, McDonald's posted signs that read "Lovin' is Lovin'" and served fries in rainbow-colored boxes at stores in Washington, DC. Cathy Martin, vice president of McDonald’s for the region, called the themed items “a fun way to show our support of the LGBTQ community.”

Detroit-based LGBT rights advocate Heather Aymer said the promotion "smacks of hypocrisy" and that the company is "pretending to support the LGBT community by putting up flags, but not taking action against the unsafe culture it has created in the workplace for LGBT workers."
Don’t look for any help from the Trump administration…
During the Obama presidency, the Department of Labor issued guidance that suggested companies like McDonald’s should be considered the joint employers of the workers in their franchised restaurants, in a move that was cheered by labor activists and denounced by industry groups. Last week, the Trump administration formally withdrew that guidance.
Hate runs rampant in this country on both side of the political divide, there is no leadership in Washington, just oppression.



This afternoon I am at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT watching Thoroughly Modern Millie with some friends.

Hate

There is a difference between opposing and hating someone or thing. I oppose the Republicans, I do not hate them. Both the Rev. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi brought about change without violence by using peaceful non-violence tactics.

When you pick up a weapon the other side has won.

It is a hard thing to do, stand in the middle of threats and intimidation. It is hard when you face discrimination, when someone purposely uses derogatory words and not strike back.

There was a Pride march down in Alabama over the weekend where the KKK tried to intimidate the marchers but the marchers didn’t take the bait, they ignored the taunting.
KKK members protest LGBTQ pride march in Florence: Hate 'reared its ugly head'
AL.com
By Connor Sheets
June 13, 2017

Several members of white nationalist groups dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and other regalia staged a protest at a Sunday event in Florence described by organizers as Northwest Alabama's first-ever LGBTQ pride parade.

The relatively rare sight of people wearing KKK robes in public left many of the hundreds of LGBTQ folks and allies who attended the march feeling "shocked and then embarrassed," according to Benjamin Newbern, executive director of the Equality Shoals advocacy group.

"It was just crazy. This was a huge day for the LGBTQ community with the fact that nothing like this had happened before with members of the LGBTQ community marching in the streets here," Newbern said.

"Hate has always been here but it reared its ugly head yesterday to show that it's still around."
The KKK was lucky if they protested at a Pride rally here in Connecticut with their hoods on…
Public Act No. 11-55
Sec. 36. Section 53-37a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

Any person who, with the intent to subject, or cause to be subjected, any other person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities, secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of this state or of the United States, on account of religion, national origin, alienage, color, race, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, blindness or physical disability, violates the provisions of section 46a-58, as amended by this act, while wearing a mask, hood or other device designed to conceal the identity of such person shall be guilty of a class D felony.
And in Connecticut a class D felony carries some weight behind it…
Class D Felonies. A class D felony is the least serious type of felony in Connecticut, punishable by a state prison term of one to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. 
Please stop the hate.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Is She The One?

There have been a number of trans people who have run for office, a couple of them have won minor races, but no trans person as far as I know won a major race.
Va. trans candidate wins primary, now faces anti-LGBT lawmaker
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
June 13, 2017

A transgender former journalist pulled off a surprise victory in a Virginia primary on Tuesday, winning the Democratic nomination to face off against anti-LGBT Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) in the general election.

Danica Roem, who was seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 13th District seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, beat out Steve Jansen, Andrew Adams and Mansimran Kahlon to win her party’s backing, the Associated Press reported at 8:30.

If Roem succeeds in besting Marshall, she could become the first openly transgender person to be elected and seated as a state legislator. The general election will be held Nov. 7.
I hope that she wins, but it is going to be a hard battle to win the seat. She is going up against an incumbent Republican representative in a strong conservative district.
A Trans Woman & A Bathroom Bill Sponsor Could Compete For A Seat In Virginia's General Assembly
By Suszannah Weiss
June 13, 2017

Danica Roem could soon become the first trans person to serve in Virginia's General Assembly, Rewire reports. But to get the seat, she'll have to beat out a sponsor of one of the country's harshest bathroom bills.

On January 3, Republican Delegate Bob Marshall proposed a bill that would limit trans people's bathroom access even more than North Carolina's infamous bathroom bill. In addition to prohibiting people from using a bathroom that doesn't match their birth certificate in all government buildings, the "Physical Privacy Act" required schools to out trans kids to their parents. Roem announced that she'd be running for the General Assembly on the same day Marshall proposed the bill, which was ultimately killed.
I wish her luck, she will need it.

Uber

I don’t know if you have been following the news of the shakeup at Uber because of a corporate culture of sexual harassment that is becoming epidemic are large companies like Fox and Tesla.
David Bonderman resigns from Uber board after making joke about women at company event on sexual harassment
Washington Post
By Brian Fung and Craig Timberg
June 13, 2017

Billionaire businessman David Bonderman, a member of Uber’s board, resigned Tuesday after making what he called an “inappropriate” comment about women at a company-wide meeting that was aimed at addressing the harassment of women and other unprofessional conduct within the company.

The comment came as an interruption of fellow board member Arianna Huffington, who was explaining the benefits of having more female representation on Uber's board.
What do all these companies have in common?

They all share one trait that I feel leads to these complaints… they all have binding arbitration.

So what does this have to do about sexual harassment?

Well for one thing you can’t talk about it and these women who have come forward with their complaints are violating their contracts and can be sued by their employer. Second the companies hire the arbitration judge and if you lose you pay for the cost of arbitration which can cost thousands of dollars. Lastly if the company breaks the law, you can’t sue in court. So the deck is stacked against us because of binding arbitration.

In other words, you call you cable company and the tech come out to your house and starts cursing you and making derogatory comments and you file a complaint with the state agency that enforces the non-discrimination laws. The cable company can have it thrown out because you signed a binding arbitration clause… What! Wait I never signed anything about binding arbitration! Yes you did when you got cable; way down in the contract that you signed was the clause.

Just about everything you get have a binding arbitration clause.

What can you do about it?

Absolutely nothing.

There were a number of bills in Congress that would have limited binding arbitration to billing disputes and not violations of the law, however, the Republican Congress have let the bills die.

A Break Through

A couple of days ago I wrote about an article that said that there was no medical evidence supporting gender dysphoria, well this week the American Medical Association has come out supporting us with a trans policy.
American Medical Association Adopts Transgender Policies
'Broadening how gender identity is defined within medicine'
The Washington Free Beacon
By: Elizabeth Harrington
June 14, 2017

The country's largest organization of doctors is adopting a series of transgender policies, with the goal of expanding how "gender identity is defined within medicine."

The American Medical Association, a professional organization of over 200,000 doctors, is holding its annual meeting this week at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

The House of Delegates, which sets policy for the association, announced changes dealing with transgender issues on Monday, including a policy stating that gender is "incompletely understood."

"Acknowledging that individuals' gender and sexual identities do not always fit neatly into binary paradigms, delegates to the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago took several actions that support broadening how gender identity is defined within medicine and how transgender patients are treated by society," the association said.

The group said the new policies are focused on transgender individuals and the "many others who do not identify with one particular gender."
In other words they now support non-binary people. They don’t have force us in to two boxes.

This is really a major shift in thinking!

I remember when the norm was trans women had to be attracted only to men and that is one of the reasons why we got the reputation of being liars because we would say anything to get our hormones and surgery.

Now the doctors are finally realizing that nature doesn’t do things as either or but tries experimenting all different types of combinations.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Let’s Make Connecticut #3!

I found out she was transgender, I just lost it! And I killed her.

That is what is known as the gay or trans panic defense and here in Connecticut, even with all our protections is still legal to use.
In 48 states, being scared of LGBTI people is still an acceptable murder defense
The so-called 'gay panic' or 'trans panic' defense is often used in cases of violence against LGBTI people
Gay Star News
By Rafaella Gunz
June 11, 2017

Back in 2013, The American Bar Association (ABA) released a resolution, calling for all states to ban ‘gay panic’ or ‘trans panic’ defenses in cases of murder and assault.

‘The American Bar Association urges federal, tribal, state, local and territorial governments to take legislative action to curtail the availability and effectiveness of the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses, which seek to partially or completely excuse crimes such as murder and assault on the grounds that the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction,’ their statement read.

They argue that these ‘panic defenses’ have no basis in medicine or psychology. In fact, ‘homosexual panic disorder,’ introduced in 1920 by psychiatrist Edward J. Kempf, is no longer recognizes as a legitimate affliction by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

However, only two states – California and Illinois – have successfully passed bills banning this type of defense. That means, in 48 states, claiming one was ‘freaked out’ by someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation is still a valid excuse for violent crimes against LGBTI people.
Let’s make this illegal here in Connecticut in 2018!

State Rights!

State rights! State Rights! You have heard the Republicans say over and over again. On the floors of the Senate and House. In congressional hearing. On the campaign trail. Their mantra was “State Rights!”

Betsy DeVos in her hearing to confirm her as Secretary of Education said she would not enforce Title IX she said she would differ to the states.

Scott Pruitt in his hearing to confirm him as head of the EPA said he is in favor of state rights.

On and on the Republicans talk about state rights…
Jeff Sessions personally asked Congress to let him prosecute medical marijuana providers
Washington Post
By Christopher Ingraham
June 13, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is asking congressional leaders to undo federal medical marijuana protections that have been in place since 2014, according to a May letter that became public Monday.

The protections, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, prohibit the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent certain states "from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana."

In his letter, first obtained by Tom Angell of Massroots.com and verified independently by The Washington Post, Sessions argued that the amendment would "inhibit [the Justice Department's] authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act." He continues:
I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.
Sessions's citing of a "historic drug epidemic" to justify a crackdown on medical marijuana is at odds with what researchers know about current drug use and abuse in the United States. The epidemic Sessions refers to involves deadly opiate drugs, not marijuana. A growing body of research (acknowledged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) has shown that opiate deaths and overdoses actually decrease in states with medical marijuana laws on the books.
So whatever happened to “State Rights?” The state legislatures voted for medical marijuana, so if you truly believe in state rights you will let the states decide on their marijuana laws and keep the federal government out of it. It will be interesting to see what the Republican Congress does with this request.

Human Rights Should Never Be A Popularity Contest

Back when the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution the founders wisely knew that there were certain basic rights that should not up to a vote, and over time we have come to realize that there are other basic rights that should not be put to the popular vote.
Pullman hospital accepting public comment on performance of gender reassignment surgeries
KHQ 6
Posted: June 09, 2017

PULLMAN, Wash. -
Dr. Geoff Stiller, a board certified surgeon who has staff privileges at Pullman Regional Hospital, is advancing his surgical training to include gender reassignment surgeries and the hospital is accepting public comment from June 12 to July 3, 2017.

As part of the process, the hospital says Dr. Stiller will be performing the procedures at Pullman Regional Hospital under the personal instruction and supervision of a preceptor. Other steps will also be completed before a decision on adding gender reassignment surgery to the services offered by Pullman Regional Hospital.

"Two key steps are completing the medical staff privileging process and receiving public comment regarding performing gender reassignment surgery," the hospital said in a statement.
Did they have public comments for open heart surgery? What about if they would treat cancer patients?

Then why are they having it for another AMA medically necessary approved procedure?

P.S. At least they could do if they are going to treat trans patients is to use proper terminology... Gender Confirming Surgery or Gender Affirming Surgery, not Gender Reassignment Surgery

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Target On Our Backs

With the climate of hate that Trump is stirring up is spreading out on to the streets and the bullies have been giving the green light.
Group Attacks Transgender Women, Tells Them to 'Get off Their Block': Cops
NBC News
June 11, 2017

Two transgender women were attacked by a group of people screaming insults in Brooklyn on Saturday, police say.

Around 1 a.m., London Jade and another transgender woman left the Happyfun Hidaway bar in Bushwick and attempted to buy alcohol at a liquor store nearby, police said.

Once they left the store, a group of three men and one woman approached the women and harassed them, screaming slurs and telling them to get off their block, police said.
The number of attacks on us is increasing. The Southern Poverty Law Center writes about the interview on NPR’s All Things Considered,
BEIRICH [Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich]: Well, we have seen since the latter parts of the Obama administration an incredible rise in the frequency of attacks like this, hate crime attacks and domestic terrorism attacks. And the targets of those hate crimes have tended to be those populations demonized by the Trump campaign and now Trump administration.

And, you know, we tracked almost 900 hate and bias incidents between the election and 10 days later. Those are numbers that are quite extraordinary for such a short period of time.
The latest data is from 2015 but Raw Story reports,
Although the FBI have no data post 2015, many local governments and police departments are better equipped. "We’ve had an uptick in hate crimes—actually a little bit more than an uptick," said New York City police commissioner James O’Neil in a radio interview. "We’re up 31% from last year. We had at this time last year 250; this year we have 328. Specifically against the Muslim population in New York City, we went up from 12 to 25. And anti-Semitic is up, too, by 9% from 102 to 111."

"I have no scientific evidence as to why," O’Neill explained. "But you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in the country over the last year or so and the rhetoric has increased, and I think that might have something to do with it."
The haters are crawling out of the wood work, be careful out there, beware of your surroundings.

Pure Hate!

When people are fighting for their human rights you expect backlash using lies and half-truths. All throughout history we see it making those who are demanding equal rights as sub-human, mentally deficient, unable to care for themselves, or mentally ill.

We see that in those who are trying to deny us of our rights.
Ten Transgender Truths for Legislators and Concerned Citizens
AmericanThinker
By Selwyn Duke
June 12, 2017


Whether you’re a lawmaker considering a “bathroom bill” or some other “transgender”-oriented legislation, or a citizen pondering a vote influencing the matter, you need the facts. The following are 10 “transgender” truths:

There is no sound science behind the transgender agenda. No “expert” can point to any physiological markers, in any given case, proving that at issue is a biological phenomenon and not a purely psychological one.
Wrong!

Totally wrong! There is a lot of research that shows otherwise. Just a short search on any online research databases like EBSCO or Google Scholar you dozens of peer reviewed papers.

The same argument can be used for left-handedness, no one knows why people are left handed but around the world is about 10 percent and for some unknown reason  LGBT people have a greater left-handedness percentage (gays 13% versus 11% lesbians 11% versus 10%).

The article went on to list,
The “transgender” diagnosis is based purely on feelings relating to what’s called strong “cross-gender identification”…
So what! There are numerous disorders that the only way of diagnosis is by talking to the patients.
This is also BULL! There are a whole slew of research on intersex babies who were giving Sex Reassignment Surgery (I use that term because they didn’t have gender dysphoria) and they knew their true gender. Case in point David Reiner that Dr. Money tried to “correct” knew his true gender no matter what Dr. Money said.

Then there is this one…
Proponents of transgender bathroom social engineering argue that such people have been using the opposite sex’s facilities for decades without raising objections. Yet this only proves that these individuals — who convincingly pass as the opposite sex — don’t need a law to gain access. Conclusion: The push to open bathrooms isn’t mainly about access; it’s about changing the way people think. Social engineering is the goal.
Um yeah, we never had a problem with bathroom until the Republicans stirred the pot of hate, now we need laws to protect us. Especially from the Republicans who are trying to ban us from going the bathroom.

They write these are with no references,  and use half-truths to force us back in the closet.



One year ago today was the attack at the Pulse and we remember the 49 murdered and the 68 injured.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old
Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old