Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Major Step In Trans Health Care

This could bring about my doctors and therapist going into trans related healthcare,
First US Transgender Surgery, Psychiatry Fellowships
Medscape
By Deborah Brauser
August 11, 2017

In response to the growing need for treatment for transgender individuals, the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City has launched two medical fellowships – the first of their kind in the United States.

The fellowships, one in transgender surgery and the other in transgender psychiatry, have been given to Bella Avanessian, MD, who completed a plastic surgery residency, and to Matthew Dominguez, MD, who completed a general adult psychiatry residency.
[…]
"These fellowships will train the next generation of surgeons and psychiatrists to improve healthcare disparities in the transgender community," he added in a press release.
[…]
Dr Ting noted that the fellowships were created upon realization that there were none with this type of transgender focus in the United States – a statistic that wasn't surprising to him.

"Before I started doing these operations, I had very little knowledge of transgender people and how to care for them. That wasn't something that was taught in traditional medical education," he said.

"Thankfully, now things are changing, as transgender health is becoming a part of medical school curriculum and residency training."
This can have the potential to create more doctors who are trans savvy.

I know that UConn School of Medicine has training for their medical students on trans health care, they have a LGBT panel for their students that I have been on for the last ten years or so.

Also the fellowships are not the only initiative for trans healthcare, there is also a call for grant proposals by the NIH for the development of an evidence-based for transgender affirming medical school curriculum.

A Sad Story

You are invited to a pool party by someone who you think is a friend only to turn on you in the worst possible way.
Police investigating after horrific assault on transgender teen by over a dozen people
LGBTQ Nation
By Jeff Taylor
August 21, 2017

Phoenix police are investigating the assault on a transgender teenager by up to 20 people.

The horrifying incident was filmed by one of the attackers and posted to social media. In the video, Dakota Kern, 18, can be seen at a pool party she says she was lured to, where a group of people began attacking her. She is seen lying on the ground, as people punch and kick her.

Kern told the local CBS news affiliate that after people began yelling anti-gay slurs at her, she and her friend tried to leave. At that point, a man yelled “get it, get it,” prompting the attack, she reports
I cannot imagine the horror that she went though.

But the story didn’t begin then but four days earlier according to RAW Story
Trans woman attacked at Phoenix pool party — days after sharing video of herself beating a black girl
By Eric W. Dolan
22 AUG 2017

A transgender teen who was attacked by a group of people at a pool last week had uploaded a video of herself pummeling a black girl just days before.

A group of up to 20 people attacked the 18-year-old transgender woman, Dakota Kern, at a pool party in Phoenix on August 16 — and the brutal beating was shared on social media by the perpetrators.

On August 12, just four days earlier, Kern had shared a video of herself pulling a black teen by the hair and pummeling her in the head. The Facebook video shows Kern calling the black girl a “b*tch” as she drags her across pavement. Kern also says in the video not to call her a “dude.”
It appears that girl had been taunting Dakota and the first attack might have been the result of the harassment.

Arizona hate crime law doesn’t include gender identity or expression but it does include sexual orientation which might be used for the hate crime charges since they shouted anti-gay slurs. Hopefully they throw the book at them in this climate of hate.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

It’s Bad Enough Dealing With Insurance Without Having Gender Dysphoria

But when you throw in gender dysphoria in to the mix it can become a nightmare where even routine treatment is denied.
Some Health Insurance Companies Still Deny Care To Transgender People
REFINERY29
By Kasandra Brabaw
August 21, 2017


Last month, an investigation by the California Department of Managed Health Care found that Health Net, a health insurance company in the state, discriminated against seven transgender people between 2013 and 2015. The patients were denied coverage for gender-affirming surgeries such as testosterone injections, bilateral mastectomy, facial feminization surgery, and gender reassignment surgery, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle, because the company claimed the treatments were cosmetic.

Health Net was ordered to pay $200,000 for violating state anti-discrimination laws, and to update their policies to comply with state law by September 30, according to a letter of agreement. It's a huge win for transgender rights to healthcare in California, but also highlights out how difficult it is for transgender people to access gender-affirming treatments.
[…]
Yet, even in a state that has had a law explicitly banning discrimination from health insurers since 2012, transgender people still faced discrimination and restrictions to coverage
.
That can mean that transgender people aren't able to afford hormone replacement therapy that, for example, would deepen a transgender man's voice and facilitate body hair growth. Trans people have also been denied coverage for top surgeries that would augment breasts for a transgender woman or remove them for a transgender man, and other treatments to aid in transition on the misguided idea that these treatments are not medically necessary.

Even health screenings that are considered medically necessary for everyone else, like prostate exams for transgender women and pap smears for transgender men, are more difficult to access once a person has legally changed their gender identity.
The best advice that I can give is DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!

You are going to have to fight for the coverage that you are entitled to by law! But it is no different than any other insurance claim that was denied by the insurance company, they are just like Mikey who hates everything in the Life cereal commercial, they say no to everything.

Many of us are not used to standing up to big corporations and are easily intimidated, including me, but when it comes to insurance we have to fight them because they are counting on you not to contest them. So don’t be afraid to go to the insurance commissioner or to your state agency that enforces the state non-discrimination laws. Those of you who are covered by Medicare will have to appeal to CMS.



This morning I answered an inquiry from a trans person about insurance coverage for electrolysis on the CTAC email…
Was it in CT, other states as well? Yes, one was in the Torrington area
What was the sex of the person, as insured? She was female on her insurance which I think was important because I heard of others who were denied who were listed a male on their insurance
What were the diagnostic codes, or how was it ‘prescribed’? 2017 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code L68.0 Hirsutism -- I think that the doctor writing the prescription can't say anything about gender dysphoria
Was it covered by any specific insurance? I don't know but I think she had either Husky or ACA
What region of hair removal was covered (face/neck, whole body, genital, etc)? Unknown
What method of hair removal was insured (laser, electrolysis) ? Unknown, but I know it was a doctor or electrologist who could bill the insurance company
What was the coverage amount? (100%, less?) ? Unknown



This afternoon I am doing training at a homeless shelter that has a trans resident and the shelter wanted information and training on how they should treat trans residents.

And I just got a frantic phone call from the agency that this afternoon's training just went from a group discussion of about a dozen people to 65-70 and a full blown PowerPoint discussion. Yikes!

I’m Back!

I’m back from Maine, I went up with two friends to Wells and we did a lot of walking, eat a lot of seafood including my favorite lobster. We also laid out on Wells beach and I went in the water but it was very cold, make that very, very cold. I imagine the Canadians thought the water was warm, speaking of Canadians,   I was trying to fold up a backpack chair when we were leaving Wells beach and we couldn't figure out how to do it. A nice Canadian guy came down and showed us how to do; he had nice sexy French accent, short red hair and beard.

Okay, back to my news posts; today it is about a new episode of “What Would You Do?”
These People Faced A Big Decision About Transphobia On Hidden Camera Show
A recent episode of “What Would You Do?” challenged shoppers to take action or remain bystanders.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By James Michael Nichols
August 21, 2017

A recent episode of ABC’s hit “What Would You Do?” presented a clear challenge to a group of shoppers: intervene in a blatantly transphobic interaction or allow a transgender woman to be misgendered and humiliated.

“What Would You Do?” is a hidden camera TV show that places unsuspecting strangers in a situation that forced them to make a judgement call about how they will respond to what they’re witnessing. In this episode, a transgender woman is shopping for dresses when a sales associate begins making transphobic remarks, including calling her “sir” and asking if the dress is for a “costume.”
I have to wonder if all the people who came in to the store reacted the same way or did they just not show them. Either way is okay with me.  It would be great if everyone had a positive response but if not they showed how you should  behave.



Sunday, August 20, 2017

On Vacation…

I am up in Wells Maine this weekend with two friends who have never been up here. I was up here at me brother’s and sister-in-law’s condo on Thursday and meetup with my friends on Friday afternoon and we are staying until Monday morning.

Friday was a rainy day and we went to Ogunquit for supper at Barnacle Billy's in the Perkin’s Cove section of Ogunquit, let’s just say it wasn’t what we expected. The food was good but we later found out that there are two Barnacle Billy's, and the one that served what we wanted, a sit down meal was the other restaurant. The one we went to you had to go up an order you food from basically a “take-out” window and then went into the dining area until they called your number. I had BBQ chicken which was good and a tropical rum fruit punch.

We then walked around Perkin’s Cove in the light rain and then we walked around the center of Ogunquit and had some ice cream at one of the stores.

Saturday, we walked around the Rachel Carson Wildlife Sanctuary, we then drove by the Bush Compound and stopped at Cape Porpoise. We then went to see Wood Island lighthouse which is a quarter mile walk from the road, while there the sun came out and the temperature and humidity rose.




For dinner we went to Billy’s Chowder House where I had a Pomegranate Martini and Baked Stuff Haddock with Newburg Sauce… both were excellent!

Today we are supposed to walk the Marginal Way and then go out to one of the beaches.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Sick Sense Of Humor

To joke about an oppressed community is not funny.
Anti-transgender sign defended as ‘satire’
news.com.au
By Frank Chung
August 18, 2017

A BUSINESS owner who sparked outrage with a sign referencing transgender people has defended the move as “satire”, saying people are too easily offended these days.

Richard Tisch, owner of Will County Loan Company, a pawnbroker in the US town of Lockport, Illinois, about 50km southwest of Chicago, caused a stir this week with a sign reading, “Help wanted — must be female from birth.”

It was seen as a clear show of support for US President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender servicepeople in the military last month, a reversal of a decision made by former President Barack Obama in 2016 to allow transgender people to serve openly for the first time.
Well if it was satire then why did he also have at one time signs that read,
Mr Tisch, a 71-year-old retired Vietnam veteran, has previously caused a stir with provocative signs, including “Become a liberal, remove half your brain” and “Hillary’s health plan — free condoms for Wild Bill”. He also has a sign inside the store warning of a “two per cent surcharge for Democrats”.

“Does anybody think that’s serious?” he told local news station WGN9. “The sign is, no question, satire. People are just too serious. Everybody’s becoming offended in this country today. I mean, the place has gone crazy.”
Yes, I think you are serious only this time you got called out for it and now you laugh and say “I was only joking.”

Are There Transphoblic Gays And Lesbians?

I have to say yes, but…

But there are also homophobic trans people.

However, I have found that there are not many transphobic gays and lesbians that I have met. I have found many more gays and lesbians .

I bring this up because of a Facebook post.

Where the person described and meeting she had and the pushback that she received from lesbians and gays at the meeting.
I've been feeling troubled lately by what feels like transmisogyny from certain gay and lesbian friends. Is that true? Is it me? How is this possible?
Well one reason is that it conflicts with their goals and another reason is that they are transmisogyny.

In my limited time in being out (some 18 years) I have encountered some transmisogyny.

One time when I was in grad school for my MSW senator Lieberman came to the LGBT center on campus to talk about ENDA, and DADT. Well the talk started to center around DADT and I brought up us being excluded from serving in the military. Well about a dozen gays complained that I was sidetracking the discussion, but the senator answered my question.

Another time it was at a bar in of all places LGBT friendly Ogunquit ME, they were having a women’s ”T” dance (“T” as in tea dance because it is held at 4 PM, tea time). They didn’t want to let us in and after staring at each other for what seemed like 5 minutes (which probably was only about 30 seconds) she backed down and this is in a state with the same gender non-discrimination law as Connecticut (the draft version of the law was written by the same person).

I was invited once to a focus group by the representative, now senator Murphy to talk about LGBT issues (I believe that I was their token trans person) and they were all interested in the plight of the trans community. I had positives comments

So this brings me to an article in Bilerico Project written back in 2009 by Dr. Jillian T. Weiss,
Transphobia In the Gay Community

Q: What are the sources of transphobia? Is it best combatted by telling it to go away?
A: Its source is not mere prejudice, but old and complex power relations that must be changed, a task that is neither quick nor easy, and is not accomplished by adding a letter to an organization's name. It is based in heterosexism and heteronormativity masked as "radical" critique. Gold [Ronald Gold, posted a transphobic diatribe on The Bilerico Project.], and the many others of his ilk, are sheep in wolf's clothing. This needs to be called out and addressed by the gay community. It should not be up to the transgender community to battle alone, thus furthering the divide.

I see many such opinions like Gold's, often in the averted eyes and cold demeanors of gays and lesbians I meet. Just a week ago, I was invited to join a meeting of gender and sexuality scholars. When I told them of my research on a possible constitutional right to have a legal transgender identity, some of them derided the idea. What if I said I was 6'2", one asked. Another suggested that it would be better to avoid the idea of rights, and just hope for policy makers to do the right thing. No one seemed to think these opinions problematic in any way, although I was left squirming in my chair. No one said a word to me at the end of the session. I thought about it all the rest of that day, and into the next, when I wrote one of my detractors, hoping to politely clue him into an understanding that this was not on. He said we'd have to agree to disagree. It was as welcoming as an iceberg.

I know there has been much progress and the LGBT community has come a long way. But we are not yet at the promised land where we judge each other by the content of our characters, rather than the color of our skin or, I might add, the stripe of our sexuality or gender.
[…]
Too Queer, And Not Queer Enough
Transsexuals violated the tacit social understandings of the homosexual community in the U.S. both by failing to pass and passing too much. Transsexuals, and later transgenders, were disparaged because some were "passing" as straight through embrasure of stereotypes of gendered behavior, i.e., effeminacy for MTFs and hyper-masculinity for FTMs, and embrasure of heterosexual practices and privilege by identifying their same-sex practices as heterosexuality, thus rejecting homosexual identity. They were also looked down upon because they violated cultural norms of sexual behavior through gender ambiguity, visible androgyny and genderqueerness, thus violating the accommodationist idea that they are "just like you." The resulting split has incorrectly been attributed to fear -- "transphobia," rather than social and political forces.

Gold might argue that he is not one of the accommodationists, because he is fighting for the right to act in ways that violate gender norms. He ignores the context of the times, however. In the 1960s, such an argument was radical and liberating. The argument is no longer a radical one. It is now a regressive argument. By arguing that those born male must retain identification with maleness, even if not with masculinity, his critique lags well behind the radical curve, and begins to merge with the opinions of conservative traditionalists. At one time the use of bronze tools was the latest in technology. To advocate their use today would be silly.
I move around in LGBT community a lot, I attend many events for the LGBT community and I have never had any problems. I am a member of a senior LGBT and lesbian social groups, I have been to many a house party at the homes of lesbians, the Connecticut chapter of a national gay philanthropic organization raised money for CTAC (CT TransAdvocacy Coalition) and I went to all of their events without any problems.

I think the animosity between us stems back to when the lesbians and gays political organizations were trying to show… “See we are just like straight people” and they didn’t want anyone who wasn’t gender conforming.



I am up in Maine for the weekend so my posts are going to be limited... instead of writing I willbe out having with family and friends


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Are You Dysphoric?

I have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria but that doesn’t mean that I am dysphoric. An article from 2015 makes my point.
Not All Transgender People Have Dysphoria – And Here Are 6 Reasons Why That Matters
Everyday Feminist
By Sam Dylan Finch
August 13, 2015

I remember talking with a friend of mine who is transgender with the assumption that we both experienced dysphoria, which is the distress or discomfort that occurs when the gender someone is assigned does not align with their actual gender.

As I was talking, I could see their eyes start to stare off in another direction.

“Are you alright?” I asked, puzzled by their sudden disinterest in our conversation.

On an ordinary day, Kai and I could talk gender for hours. The only person who seemed more passionate about trans identity than me was definitely Kai.

But suddenly, in conversation that should’ve excited them, they seemed to be someplace else entirely.

“Well, I don’t…” Kai paused. “Don’t judge me or anything, but like, I don’t experience dysphoria.”
[…]
But in my years as an advocate, I continue to meet more trans folks like Kai who don’t experience dysphoria, and further, who are afraid to open up about it.

I’ve been lucky enough to learn from them, and I understand now why my gut reaction – to exclude them – was such a problematic one.

So why shouldn’t we define transgender people on the basis of dysphoria?
For me once I transitioned my gender dysphoria went away, once I transitioned and living my life in my true gender the stress went away.

That doesn’t mean that I am stress free, the bigots does make life easy. Their hatred does cause pain, it is hard to realize that someone hates you but that is not gender dysphoria.

What are your thoughts?

Where You Live

Where you live has a lot to do with you rights, some state have a strong human rights record but in other states they are doing everything can to make our lives hell on earth for us. One trans woman wrote this about living in a red state.
Living transgender in a red state
Red Dirt Report
By Chelsea Copeland
August 16, 2017

[…]
Natalie is in a difficult situation living in Oklahoma and being transgender.

“Living in this state has caused me to pause my transition completely out of concern for my wellbeing. If a person doesn't "pass" (meaning they come off as one sex or the other and not someone in between), the least that can happen are stares and whispers everywhere they go. Last month a trans woman was attacked on the street I live on, and I had always felt rather safe from violence in a city more liberal like Tulsa. Only my friends know that I am out; I wouldn't dare apply or reveal myself on a job for concern of backlash. I'll probably wait to get on estrogen until I move. The mood in the state has definitely shifted since the end of 2016. People are more vocal in their hate.”

Despite her travels from Ohio and Oklahoma, Natalie may not be settled just yet. She’s having trouble finding specialized healthcare for transgender people. “I'm hoping and working toward Colorado with a fallback plan of the west coast. The only available option here for a trans person with limited resources who can't get a therapist to sign off on hormones would be Planned Parenthood. I'd have access to healthcare in both options.”
[…]
“I've gotten hate messages on Facebook for speaking out against prejudice. I don't go into women's restrooms as I don't "pass", and if you don't pass in this state there's a heavy stigma that you're probably trying to creep on children in a bathroom

“I've yet to be physically assaulted. I don't go out presenting as female due to concerns for my safety Only in controlled environments, with friends and such usually their homes, or at the Transgender support group nearby.”
Some people don’t have a choice where they live, it takes money to move that they don’t have or need just to survive.



I am going away to Ogunquit this weekend with some friends so my blogging might be sporadic.

Marginal Way


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Have Always Said…

That we need to give trans actors a chance to prove themselves, that only by having trans actors play trans parts and cisgender parts can we bring about change.
TV DRAMAS SPUR SUPPORT FOR TRANSGENDER RIGHTS
Research finds fictional shows can change minds.
Pacific Standard
By Tom Jacobs
August 15, 2017

Given our current anxiety over resurgent racism, it's reassuring to remember that there is a ubiquitous presence in American life that actually teaches tolerance. It's called television.

The increasing presence of racial and ethnic minority characters on comedies and dramas has been linked to a gradual decline in racial prejudice. Newly published research suggests this welcome dynamic also applies to the transgender community.

It reports viewers of a popular cable drama who caught an episode featuring a transgender teenager had more positive attitudes toward transgender people than those who missed it.

"Mainstream entertainment narratives have the potential to cut across the echo chambers we construct around ourselves," writes a University of Southern California research team led by Traci Gillig. "By inspiring viewers to identify with members of marginalized groups, and eliciting positive emotions such as hope, such narratives are truly more than just entertainment."
The Abstract of the report that they cited says,
Numerous studies have demonstrated the power of entertainment narratives to influence attitudes and behaviors; fewer have examined the effects of TV portrayals on attitudes toward marginalized groups. The present study is among the first to explore how entertainment narratives depicting transgender individuals influence viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people and related policies. The study examines the impact of exposure to a TV storyline on Royal Pains (USA Network) and cumulative effects of viewing other TV series featuring transgender individuals. An online survey of 488 U.S. viewers of Royal Pains was conducted (391 had seen the relevant episode). ANCOVAs revealed exposure to both the Royal Pains’ storyline and other storylines portraying transgender individuals were associated with more supportive attitudes toward transgender people and policies. Mediation models revealed that for viewers of the Royal Pains’ storyline, the relationships between political ideology and attitudes toward transgender people and policies were mediated by identification with the main characters and the emotion of hope. Disgust mediated viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people, but not policies. Post hoc analyses revealed that exposure to transgender narratives reduced the influence of viewers’ political ideology on their attitudes. The attitudes of more conservative viewers became increasingly positive as they saw more media portrayals of transgender individuals. These findings highlight the potential for entertainment narratives to influence attitudes toward marginalized groups, and they demonstrate the importance of emotion in the context of divisive topics. Social, political, and public health implications are discussed.
The article goes on to point out that,
Intriguingly, "neither exposure to news stories about transgender issues, nor the highly visible Caitlyn Jenner story, were associated with (more tolerant) attitudes towards transgender people or policy issues." Jenner's story may have been interesting, but it didn't soften hearts; the plight of a fictional character did.
The actress that was in Royal Pains was Nicole Maines and she was our keynote speaker at the Trans Health and Law Conference this year.

One Of Our Worst Fears

Is being incarcerated and put into a men’s prison, we worry about being raped by other inmates but there are worst things that can happen in prisons.
California prison psychologist alleges guards locked her in with a convicted rapist
The Sacramento Bee
By Adam Ashton
August 15, 2017

 A California prison psychologist has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging she was threatened and demoted after she reported mistreatment of gay and transgender inmates at a correctional facility in Vacaville.

On two occasions, psychologist Lori Jespersen alleges, a correctional officer locked her in a confinement area with dangerous criminals after she filed complaints on behalf of transgender inmates at the California Medical Facility.
[…]
The lawsuit describes a number of incidents in which Jespersen believed prison employees were complicit in the abuse of gay and transgender inmates. It says she attempted to report the incidents to prison officials and to outside state departments but believed her complaints did not receive appropriate attention.

Her allegations include:
  • A correctional officer failed to lock a shower door in March 2016, which enabled a prisoner to rape a gay inmate.
  • An officer in June 2016 prevented transgender inmates from attending a therapy group and insulted them. The correctional officer reportedly told the transgender women, “You’re no woman ... your breasts can’t give milk and you will never have a man” and “I don’t agree with your lifestyle and I never will, and this is a men’s prison, you are not ‘she.’ ”
  • Correctional officers have compelled transgender inmates to strip in the open and denied them privacy screens. Correctional officers also have used derogatory language around transgender inmates.
  • Three prison employees in July 2014 “outted” a transgender inmate by disclosing personal information about her on Facebook. The prison employees referred to the inmate as “he/she” and “that thing,” the lawsuit says.
It is bad enough to fear the other inmates but now you have to fear the transphobic correction officers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ding Dong, The Wicked Bill Is Dead… At Least For Now

It looks like the anti-trans bill is dead down in Texas, will it be resurrected again by the governor is the question.
Bills are all but dead, but transgender bathroom fight lives on
The Statesman
By Chuck Lindell
August 14, 2017
Bills to limit transgender-friendly bathrooms are on the brink of death, if not dead already, but that didn’t stop opposing sides from traveling to the Capitol on Monday to take a final stab at the special legislative session’s most contentious issue.

Opponents of the bills began the day by delivering petitions to Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican leaders that represent 50,124 Texans who have shown opposition to legislation that would require Texans to use restrooms and changing rooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate or other government document.

“We’re here to say Texans across the state won’t rest until the final gavel — and beyond that, we won’t rest until our leaders recognize that discrimination is reprehensible,” said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network.
You can’t let up, if you do they will sneak in the bill again or an amendment to a bill that has to be passed.
“We’re going to fight to the end for amendment potential. I know the Senate’s doing the same thing,” he said. “This issue’s not going to go away just because we don’t handle it in the special session. This is going to continue to be an issue for the people of Texas. If we don’t deal with it now, we’re going to have to do it later.
It is simple amazing that the Republicans are so gung ho to pass this law when there is such strong opposition to this bill by the people, religious organizations, businesses, and businesses just to support their conservative bigoted base.

I don’t think that it takes much political insight to know we are going to see this type of bill again.

You’re In The Army Now… Maybe

With Trumps edict the role of trans people are in limbo, no one knows what is going to happen to trans servicemembers who are serving in the military or are planning on serving.
Pentagon may propose changes to Trump transgender ban
The Hill
By Ellen Mitchell
August 14, 2017

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday hinted that the Pentagon may propose its own changes to President Trump’s plan to ban all transgender individuals from the military.

Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that he has “no doubt” that the White House would soon send official guidance on the issue, but added that the Pentagon would study the policy once it’s handed down and may incorporate its own changes.

“I’m going to wait until I get the direction from the White House and then we will study it and come up with what the policy should be,” Mattis said.
[…]
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said last week that “any patriot” should be allowed to serve.
[…]
And earlier this month, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft asserted he “will not break faith” with transgender individuals serving in his service.
Is there going to be wiggle room for the military to do an end run around the policy and still obey any lawful order from Trump?

Then we have this guy…
Column No right to serve: An opinion on Trump's transgender ban for the military
San Diego Union-Tribune
By Ed Hiner
August 14, 2017

Immediately when you join the military, you learn that you fight for a democracy — but you don’t work for one.

You also learn that you change to meet the needs of the military. It doesn’t change to meet your needs.

I say this in the controversy surrounding the recent social engineering issues: The opening of combat jobs to women and President Donald Trump’s announcement last month that he will reverse the Obama-era acceptance of transgender troops.

The military serves one purpose, and that is to win our wars as efficiently as possible.
Stop right there! Eighteen countries around the world allow trans troops and trans people have fought alongside our troops in the middle east, so don’t tell me that having trans troops effects the fighting status of our military.
For good reason the military is governed by a strict Uniform Code of Military Justice that in effect strips away many of the constitutional rights that civilians enjoy.

The UCMJ has its roots all the way back in the Second Continental Congress of 1775. It may be antiquated in some people’s eyes — but it works!
But you know what? The military still has to obey the U.S. Constitution. There is something called the Fourteen Amendment that guarantee equal treatment to everyone,

Then get this… he compares us to overweight and unfit servicemembers!
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance has been around for nearly 50 years, but I don’t hear them complaining about fat people not being able to serve.

I mean, if they can pass the fitness standards why are they being blatantly discriminated against?
And then he says this!
But here’s one potentially crucial difference that could stop us from comparing the transgender minority to a racial minority: One large study of transgender people found that more than 40 percent had attempted suicide, according to research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
He quotes figures that he knows nothing about. If he did any research he would know that those figures drop back to almost the levels general population if they have family and friends support. That the high suicide rates is caused by discrimination, harassment, and bigots.

His bio says,
San Diego resident Ed Hiner retired in 2012 as a Navy SEAL lieutenant commander.
He should know that he has served alongside trans servicemembers of the coalition in the middle east and that there was a trans SEAL, Kristin Beck.

Eighteen countries have trans servicemembers: Canada, The United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Bolivia, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Netherlands, Spain, and Germany. Many of them are NATO and SEATO nations.

Major Alexandra Larsson of the Swedish Armed Forces, second from left, speaks alongside fellow transgender service members—Corporal Natalie Murray, right, of the Canadian Armed Forces; Major Donna Harding, second from right, of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps; and Sergeant Lucy Jordan, center, of the New Zealand Air Force—during a conference in Washington on October 20, 2014.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


Monday, August 14, 2017

When You Walk Out The Door

For many of us we never knew fear, we were white and male and ruled the world but all of sudden we walk out the door and we have a target on or backs. And if you are black or another oppressed class it is not additive but multiplicative.
For Transgender Women, an Extra Dose of Fear
New York Times
By Abby Ellin
August 9, 2017

[…]
“The political climate is a catalyst to our danger,” said Ms. Paige, 58, who lives in Lake Worth, Fla., and is a buyer for a company that manufactures ventilation systems for ships. “Generally, people want to see you as male or female. Nothing in-between seems to be acceptable.”
[…]
“I’ve met many transgender patients who have faced horrific challenges to societal acceptance, from discrimination to violence,” said Dr. Rian Maercks, the Miami plastic surgeon who performed some of Ms. Paige’s and Ms. Carr’s surgeries. “When their femininity or masculinity is natural in appearance, it protects them from the traumas they may otherwise experience.”
Passing is a privilege, those who can’t blend into society face discrimination and violence while those who can integrate into society find jobs, housing, and even a mate.
Insurance companies often refuse to provide coverage for many surgeries, like facial reconstructive procedures or breast augmentation, because they are thought to be cosmetic and not medically necessary. The 2015 transgender equality report found that 25 percent of the nearly 28,000 respondents had experienced a problem with their health insurance, including being denied transition-related coverage or routine care because they were transgender. Fifty-five percent of those who sought coverage for transition-related surgery and 25 percent of those who sought coverage for hormones were denied — a much higher rate than the typical rate of all claim denials, said Mr. Baker.
Money talks, while those who can’t integrate are unable to finds jobs and cannot afford surgeries and are on a downward spiral. While those who can integrate into society can get jobs and they can afford the surgeries so as a result you see that most trans people who have Facial Feminizing Surgeries (FFS) are typically white and middle income.
“The uncertainty of the current political climate played a large part in my decision to have facial feminization surgery,” she said in an email. “Since my surgery, I have felt an enormous weight lifted off of my shoulders.”

I Have Said Many Times That…

I am not a religious person, I believe it is more important in how you live your life and treat others, but one thing I do know is that those who use religion against us pick and choose and twist passages to suit their bigotry.
New book concocts a religious excuse to demonize trans people
"Love the sinner, hate the sin" is back and more harmful than ever.
Think Progress
By Zack Ford
August 10, 2017

In God and the Transgender Debate, due out next week, Andrew T. Walker has written a wickedly dangerous book. He has repackaged the “love the sinner, hate the sin” mantra — used to condemn the gay community for decades — to help evangelical Christians reject transgender people in exactly the same way.

As Director of Policy Studies for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Walker’s anti-transgender stance is neither new nor surprising. Nevertheless, the way he sugarcoats his condemnation in love and compassion throughout this book is shockingly nefarious.

Walker acknowledges that the Bible does not actually mention transgender people. His argument, instead, is rooted in pure creationism (yes, that creationism): God created Adam and Eve as male and female, and to question whether He got that right is to rebel against Him. “To misunderstand, blur, or reject the Creator’s categories for humanity doesn’t just put us in rebelling against the Creator and creation — it puts us at odds with how each of us was made,” Walker explains. “When someone rejects this blueprint, they are not merely rejecting a thousands-of-years-old text. They are rejecting Jesus.”
He also acknowledges that we are not mentioned in the Bible, but that didn’t stop his from attacking us on “religious” grounds.

Of course he cites medical doctors who have been discredited but the medical community,
 In a footnote here, Walker cites Paul McHugh, the infamous Johns Hopkins University psychologist who believes trans people are mentally ill. McHugh made this argument in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, basing it entirely on one particular 2011 study out of Sweden that, he claimed, showed that trans people still had high rates of suicide years after undergoing surgery. But that’s not what the study found.

Indeed, the author of that Swedish study, Cecilia Dhejne, has repeatedly — including just recently on Reddit — rebuked attempts like McHugh’s to distort her results to suggest trans people don’t benefit from transitioning. As Dhejne explained to The TransAdvocate, her study didn’t actually evaluate the effectiveness of surgery, and even her results show that the higher suicides rates disappeared for patients who received their surgeries after 1989. “If we look at the literature, we find that several recent studies conclude that [World Professional Association for Transgender Health] Standards of Care-compliant treatment decrease[s] gender dysphoria and improves mental health,” she corrected. In other words, there is a consensus that transition is what best helps trans people.
Some religious scholars have found what maybe positive references in the Bible about trans people. In his play Transfigurations, Peterson Toscano points out possible gender nonconforming passage in the Bible.



Where in the Bible does it say you can’t be transgender? Nowhere.
Washington Post
By Eliel Cruz
August 26, 2016

A funeral director in Michigan recently won a court fight by claiming his Christian beliefs would not allow him to employ a transgender person. When Target said it would allow its customers to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, protesters shouted and walked through some of the retailer’s stores holding up Bibles. When parents published a Washington Post essay about their happy transgender 5-year-old recently, a reader wrote, “As a Christian this deeply disturbs me!”

What’s behind this animus toward transgender people in the Christian community? As I see it, it’s not the Bible.

There is not a single verse in scripture that discusses transgender identities. Yet these Christians have decided that trans identities are sinful, mostly through their lack of understanding of what being trans means.
[…]
When the funeral director says his beliefs come from the Bible, he seems to be referring to Deuteronomy 22:5, which says, “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”

That verse talks about cross-dressing. It is clear that the funeral director does not understand what it is to be transgender. Being trans is not cross-dressing. It is embodying a gender that does not align with the one that was given at birth.
They twist passages to conform with their bigotry, they use the Bible to justify their hate.

As I said before many religions are affirming, but the ones that are not create fear and loathing in their flock.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Have Mixed Thoughts.

The day camp for trans children that I wrote about I have mixed feelings about the camp (In case you missed it here is the link).

On one side I can see that it is really great for kids, a safe space where they can be themselves and make new friendships for a life time. Instead of being on-guard all the time against insults, harassment, isolation and even violence against them.

In today’s environment fostered by the current administration I realize the need to protect our most at vulnerable children and having a safe space for them is important but I wish that wasn’t true.

I wish that we could live in a society that doesn’t care if you are trans, lesbian, gay, or bi.

I wish that we could live in a society that doesn’t care the color of your skin.

I wish that we could live in a society that doesn’t care about your religious beliefs.

Sadly we don’t.

Sadly we live in a time when the President of the United States does not condemn the white supremacist in Charlotte nor the bombing of a mosque in Minneapolis

So we need safe spaces for our children as much as I don't like the idea.




Why Does It Take A Family Member…

…To bring about change.

It seems like some ardent anti-trans people when all of a sudden they have a child come out as trans change their tune while others disown their child because of their religious beliefs.
Christian Parents of LGBTQ Children: The Church Has Been Wrong
By John Pavlovitz
August 8, 2017

Parents out there with LGBTQ children: I see you.

I see your held back tears and the weariness you wear and the weight upon your shoulders.
[…]
I hear the grief in your voice when you talk about the faith you used to have or the prayers you used to say or the church where you used to feel welcome or the God your child once believed in.
He goes on to write,
If the Church ever forced or pulled your child out of a ministry position he or she loved simply because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, the Church was wrong.
[…]
If the Church ever shunned your family with silence or forced distance upon you because of your desire to love and accept your children fully, the Church was wrong.
I am not a religious person, I believe it is much more important on how you live your life and treat others but I am not against religion if they leave me alone. However, if they try to demonize me, deny me my human rights to live in peace, have a job, support my family, and have a roof over my head at night then I will fight them.

The current administration is pushing for “religious freedom” laws but what it is a license to discriminate against us, to hide their bigotry behind their religion. Remember that this is the same religion that said it was okay to own human beings.

These “religious freedom” bills give special rights to people to ignore the laws, there can be no religious test, because how can you prove that it is not a person’s belief?

I was raised as a Catholic and went to a Catholic junior high school and what I remember from my catechism is that God is about love not hate. However, hate seems to be the center of their teaching for many so called Christians.

He ends his article with,
I hope you never let the Church when it is wrong, temper your love for your children, your confidence in your own worth as a parent, or your belief in a good God who completely adores you and them.
To that I say “Amen.”

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday 9: Start Me Up

Sam’s Saturday 9: Start Me Up (1981)
... because Kwizgiver recommended The Rolling Stones



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

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

1) That's a goat wearing a high heel. What's on your feet as you answer these questions?
Slippers.

2) More fashion: In the video for this song, Mick is wearing white pants with an elastic waistband. Are you wearing a belt as you answer these questions?
Yes, on my robe.

3) In this song, Mick pleads, "Don't make a grown man cry." When is the last time you shed a tear?
I do it all the time, I’m very emotional and empathic.

4) Keith Richard has said this is a song he could play "forever and ever."
What in your life doesn't get old, no matter how often you do it?
Good friends, good food, good music, and a bottles of good wine.
And if the food happens to be a lobster… I’m in heaven.

5) While The Rolling Stones enjoy performing songs, like this one, from Tattoo You, Mick Jagger has dismissed the songs from their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request as "rubbish." Do you have a favorite Rolling Stones song?
This is another questions where it is impossible to answers. How can you pick between
Lady Jane, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Get Off of My Cloud, Wild Horses, Paint It Black, and Sympathy for the Devil?



6) This recording of "Start Me Up" features a cowbell. Do you remember which Saturday Night Live host made, "More cowbell!" a catchphrase?
SNL is way past my bedtime.

7) Bassist Bill Wyman once said he thought he should have been a archivist because he loved to make lists. Do you have a to-do list?
Yes, but I need a to-do list for the to-do list because I forget to look at it.

8) Mick finds it hard to stand still when he sings, not only on stage but also in the studio. The engineer for this song reports that Mick would have to run across the room to get back to the microphone for his vocal. Are you more fidgety, or still?
Both, it depends on the circumstance. I was fidgety when I was waiting to go on a Sunday morning talk show but other times it doesn’t affect me to talk before an audience of 200.

9) Random question: Do you believe men are inherently more sensible than women?
Oh wow! I think we are pretty much the same with only some minor differences. I do think that women are more of consensus builders and men are more authoritarians, but that is only a generalization.

Friday, August 11, 2017

I Have To Transfer You To Security…

I have heard that many times when I call my credit card company or bank, they don’t believe that I am Diana, however I never had this happen, but was close.
Trans woman’s bank account blocked because she ‘sounded like a man’
Pink News UK
By Meka Beresford
8th August 2017

A transgender woman in the UK has said that her bank account was blocked “because she sounded like a man”.

Drew Dalziel Santander account was blocked off by a customer service representative who misgendered her upon hearing her voice.

Dalziel is currently in vocal training and had phoned up the bank to query a charge she had incurred on her account.

She said that when answering security questions, she was told that her account would be blocked for a week because “she sounded like a man”.
Yeah, I’ve been there, so far I have been lucky and never had my account frozen, but I had it done for another reason that I will talked about later.
Dalziel said: “While I can see why this happened, it has been stressful.

“I haven’t had access to my money and have had to borrow to get by.

“I personally told the bank that I was transitioning and gave them my new deed poll papers, so they knew of my situation.

“I hope this doesn’t happen to other transgender customers.”

Since the incident, Dalziel has tried to lodge a complaint with Santander but came to no avail as she was told that gender is part of their security checks and the representative was just “following procedure”.
I agree that they followed policy just like they did for me, I believe that  voice should be one of the security checks but…

The policy should take into account trans people and other people who have a voice that doesn’t match their gender. There should be a way to notate that someone’s voice doesn’t match their gender if they are going to use a person’s voice.

Okay, what happened to me?

Well it was when I changed my name; all my credit card companies required a copy of the Probate Court order except one. They said that they could change my information over the phone, but the person on the phone spoke English as a second language so he was having a hard time understanding that I only was changing my first name. He ended up changing my last name also but he misspelled it and when I got my new credit card it had a wrong last name, so back to the phones. Another person who English as a second language and once again they misspelled my last name. This time when I called I got transferred to security and they froze my account until they figured it all out.

So now when I get my annual credit report it has on it an AKA with the two misspelled last names.



My blog is listed on Top 100 Transgender Blogs and Websites for the Transgender Community, it is number 52!
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog  
Diana’s Little Corner in the Nutmeg State has been selected by our panelist
as one of the Top 100 Transgender Blogs on the web.
http://blog.feedspot.com/transgender_blogs/
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your
contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100
Transgender Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of
this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.



It’s Hard.

For many trans people it is hard to get over what she did, but Vogue has an article about Chelsea Manning  in their September edition.

The article has a lot about what she is wearing but it Vogue
Chelsea Manning Changed the Course of History. Now She’s Focusing on Herself
By Nathan Heller
August 10, 2017

One hot, humid early-summer evening in New York, a hired car slows on Bleecker Street, and a young woman inside prepares for her first party out in years. She is wearing a midnight-colored semiformal dress by Altuzarra and Everlane ankle boots with heels. Her hair is trimmed into a pixie cut; her makeup softens, but won’t hide, a dust of freckles. “I don’t know if I’ll know anybody,” she fretted earlier, but she seems to have quelled what nerves remain. She is accompanied by a couple of men who surround her like guards. For the first time in a long time, that’s a welcome thing.
The article goes on to talk about her life history and what lead up to her conviction on the espionage charges (22 of them including theft chages) and about President Obama commuting her sentence.
In his statement announcing the commutation, President Obama emphasized that it was not a pardon for her crime. “Let’s be clear: Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence,” he said in a press conference. “I feel very comfortable that justice has been served.”

On the day of Manning’s release, things happened quickly. She picked her first outfit for life as a woman: a black-and-white striped blouse, with matching sneakers. She stopped at a roadside pizza joint, got a pepperoni slice, and posted a photo of it to Instagram. (“Freest pizza ever!” she tells me.) She had the lawyers who picked her up drive her to the countryside. “I think I spent, like, five or six hours sitting outside.”

A day after leaving Fort Leavenworth, she posted a new photo (“OK, so here I am everyone!!”) with the coder-inspired hashtag #HelloWorld. She had on a trim black dress by one of her favorite designers, Gabriela Hearst. Her hair was crisply coiffed; she wore a vibrant lip. In a Guardian column, written while in prison, Manning had discussed her nervousness about moving through the world as a woman. Now that she’s no longer worried about being “found out” by the military, she says, the fear is gone. “It feels natural. It feels like it’s how it’s supposed to be, instead of this anxiety, this uncertainty, this ball of self-consciousness that comes with pretending to be male,” she says. “It didn’t feel right. I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t describe it. Now that’s gone.”
What will her future be?
She is also at work on a memoir. “I’m trying to tell the story as if it was happening now and you’re with me,” she explains. Hawkins, the documentarian, says he plans to stop shooting soon, as Manning’s personal narrative finds its own way in the world: “She’s too young for this film to attempt to be the definitive story of her life.”

Manning does not know what her career will be. While living as Bradley Manning, she expressed an interest in running for political office. I ask whether that’s still on her mind. “I’m certainly not going to say no, and I’m certainly not going to say yes,” she says. “My goal is to use these next six months to figure out where I want to go.
There are people who look upon her as a hero while other despise as a traitor however you look at her, she is going to have a very hard life ahead of her.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

HRC CEI

If you don’t know what those initials stand for well it is the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index which is supposed to measure how much a company supports LGBT employees, well it has been falling short lately. I wrote about the shortfalls  of the CEI twice this year so far (here and here), how they should also take into account the actual experiences of their employees. Case in point,
Ky. man, transgender wife allege threats from Amazon co-workers. What happened next led to lawsuit.
Lexington Herald Leader
 By David Crary AP National Writer
August 9, 2017

A Kentucky man and his transgender wife sued Amazon on Wednesday, alleging that they endured sustained discrimination and harassment during a year as co-workers at the mammoth online retailer’s warehouse in northern Kentucky.

A lawyer working with the couple said the case is notable in part because Amazon, one of the nation’s largest corporations, has a record of strongly supporting gay and transgender rights.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Covington, alleges that Dane Lane and Allegra Schawe-Lane were targeted with threats, slurs and sexual harassment by numerous colleagues at their shipping facility. Their complaints to superiors led to retaliation in some cases, rather than any effective steps to halt the abuse, the couple contends.

At one point, according to the suit, the brake line of their car was severed while parked in a secure lot at the workplace in Hebron
So what is Amazon’s CEI?

It was a whopping 90%!

The article goes on to say…
The fund’s executive director, Jillian Weiss, noted that Amazon has intervened in other court cases in support of transgender rights, and that the company’s Amazon Studios produced the acclaimed television series “Transparent” with a protagonist who transitions from male to female.

“We have a company that touts its transgender friendliness,” Weiss said. “Yet in Kentucky, when a transgender person comes and says, ‘Look, I’m being harassed,' they get no help.”
Instead of just going by a form a company fills out the HRC should also look at the lawsuits that have been filed or complaints by its employees.

People based where they look for jobs on the CEI and the HRC has a responsibility to be as actuate as possible.

The support group that I attend used to have a list of trans friendly businesses which we took down because we could not guaranty to be safe so when a trans person went their they wouldn’t be harassed, the CEI also has that responsibility.

Why Can’t The Just Do The Right Thing?

Why does it always take a law suit to get them to do the right thing?

There has been a number of law suits that have been brought against businesses and schools to force them to do the right thing for trans people.
Pennsylvania school district settles with transgender teens who alleged discrimination over bathroom policy
Washington Post
By Moriah Balingit
August 9, 2017

A Pennsylvania school district has settled a lawsuit with three transgender teens, moving to allow all transgender students to use bathrooms in accordance with the gender they identify with and scrapping a rule that required students to use bathrooms that corresponded to their “biological sex.”

Transgender teen Juliet Evancho, whose sister Jackie sang at President Trump’s inauguration and later pleaded to meet the president on behalf of transgender students, sued the Pine-Richland School District after the board passed a resolution barring her from the girls’ bathroom last fall. She was joined by two transgender classmates: Elissa Ridenour and a boy identified as A.S.
[…]
The three teen plaintiffs graduated from Pine-Richland High School on June 2, but the settlement will apply to all students. As part of the agreement, the school board repealed the bathroom restrictions, extended nondiscrimination protections to transgender students and directed schools to give them access to the bathrooms of the gender they live as. The board cleared the policies on July 17 with a 6-to-2 vote.

“As a result, any student across the District may access restrooms based upon his or her consistently and uniformly asserted gender identity. Any student may also access a single-user restroom,” the school district said in a statement.
Then the military is also facing law suits from several people and organizations.
Transgender Service Members Sue Over Planned Ban On Trans People In Military
NPR
By Camila Domonoske
August 9, 2017

Five openly transgender members of the U.S. military are suing President Trump and other leaders of the U.S. government over Trump's declaration, over Twitter, that trans people will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. The suit alleges that Trump's directive is "arbitrary and capricious," unconstitutionally depriving the service members of due process.
[…]
The five plaintiffs are in different branches of the military (the Coast Guard, the National Guard, the Army and the Air Force) and have collectively served for "decades," the suit says. Two were deployed overseas, in Afghanistan and Iraq. One plaintiff in the Army and the plaintiff in the Air Force have served for 17 years and "nearly 20 years," respectively.
GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) had this to say about the suit…
Diana,

This morning, GLAD along with our partner organization, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, sued Donald Trump over his baseless, discriminatory, and unconstitutional efforts to get rid of transgender people in the military.

Over 15,000 courageous, dedicated servicemembers had their Commander-in-Chief demean their service and announce that they are no longer welcome in the military - simply because of who they are.

Trump’s efforts to change settled military policy is devastating to these soldiers and harmful to our country.

GLAD is fighting back.
[…]
Military experts have concluded after extensive review and consideration: allowing transgender people to openly serve strengthens the nation. Trump’s unfounded reversal of a sound policy damages military readiness and debases our country. Our plaintiffs and other transgender servicemembers are already paying the price.
Amazon is also being sued for having a hostile environment for their trans employees, the couple’s suit is being handled by Jillian Weiss the Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund.



Last night I went to a town concert-on-the-green that featured a Neil Diamond tribute band and while I was there I had a thought… This is just like when my parents went to Las Vegas and saw a tribute band for Glen Miller… YIKES!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I Want My Mapyo!*

A couple of weeks ago (it seems like a life time), Trump tweeted that,
"After consultation with my and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,"


"Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
We had no other information except for the tweet.

Neither did the Secretary of Defense, nor the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nor other military generals or admirals.

Well we are slowly learning that it was worse than we dreamed of…
An unstable commander in chief: Trump's ban on transgender troops was result of a tantrum
Daily Kos
By Hunter
August 06, 2017

We already knew that Donald Trump's new ban against transgendered troops in our nation's military came as a surprise to military leaders. Now we're learning that the impetus for the sudden policy change was considerably more crude than even detractors suspected.

The short version? Politico reports that Donald Trump announced a ban on transgendered military members because he was frustrated with the government's lawyers trying to explain the implications of such policies to him.

President Donald Trump’s White House and Defense Department lawyers had warned him against the transgender military ban for days. They were concerned about the ramifications of the policy, how military officials would respond and what legal backlash it could cause, two West Wing officials familiar with last month’s discussions said. The lawyers thought there would be plenty of time for more discussions and were analyzing arguments.

Frustrated with being “slow-walked,” in the words of one White House official, the president took to Twitter last week — jarring many in the West Wing out of complacency and startling his lawyers, Defense Department officials and West Wing aides, who learned of the change in a series of tweets.
[…]
Apparently, however, it was these discussions themselves that set Trump off. Too dim or hotheaded to grasp the nuances of the issue and too impatient to tolerate substantive explanations of it with others, he instead lashed out with his new, most simplistic "policy" banning transgendered service members apparently as an attempt to stop his own staff from asking him further questions on it.
The administration had no plan in place, but Trump told others they would have to “get in gear” if he announced the ban first, one White House adviser who spoke to Trump said. He also said the announcement would stop the lawyers from arguing with him anymore.
So he did it to get everyone off their butts.

When you stop and think about this has horrible implications for a president.

Right now we are in a verbal war with North Korea. The latest statement for Trump was,
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state and as I said they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Can you imagine if he gets frustrated with the way talks are progressing with North Korea and he tells the generals… “Fuck it, lob some nukes at them.”

*Okay, for those who are not of a certain age, a little kid used to say “I want my Maypo” in a cereal commercial and Trump reminds my of that kid,





A Request

I know Helen Boyd and Betty (that is the names that they went by professionally when Helen published her first book). I first met them up at Fantasia Fair, and our paths have crossed many times.

Well Rachel Crowl starred in an independent film “And Then There Was Eve” and now she is in another movie… Helen explains it best on her blog.
AUGUST 8, 2017 HELEN BOYD  LEAVE A COMMENT
Hey all

As you know, my wife got her first part in a movie last summer, which premiered a month or so again at Los Angeles Film Festival, where it also won its category.

She is right now in Las Vegas at work on her second film.

That’s where you all come in: she needs to join SAG, the actors’ union because she’s now gotten two movies (and those in addition to when she was on All My Children back in the day). It’s a $3000 fee to join the first time, and frankly, after many months of her working sporadically, we just don’t have that kind of cash around. If you can donate, please do, and thank you so much to everyone who already has, and to Darya, who started the fundraiser.
If you want to see more trans people staring in movies, this is a good cause.


How many trans people do you recognize in this video clip from the soap.

At the very end where Zoe said "First the first time in my life I know I'm not alone." hit a cord with me, that is how I felt at my first support group.

Intersex

The AMA came out with a paper on surgery for intersex babies, and it is about time that they did.
Are Physicians Blameworthy for Iatrogenic Harm Resulting from Unnecessary Genital Surgeries?
AMA Journal of Ethics
By Samuel Reis-Dennis, PhD, and Elizabeth Reis, PhD
August 2017

Abstract
We argue that physicians should, in certain cases, be held accountable by patients and their families for harm caused by “successful” genital surgeries performed for social and aesthetic reasons. We explore the question of physicians’ blameworthiness for three types of genital surgeries common in the United States. First, we consider surgeries performed on newborns and toddlers with atypical sex development, or intersex. Second, we discuss routine neonatal male circumcision. Finally, we consider cosmetic vaginal surgery. It is important for physicians not just to know when and why to perform genital surgery, but also to understand how their patients might react to wrongful performance of these procedures. Equally, physicians should know how to respond to their own blameworthiness in socially productive and morally restorative ways.
And their conclusion was,
We have argued that physicians should not modify children’s genitals for nontherapeutic reasons. In addition, we believe that they should play a bigger role in educating their young patients about genital and body variability and consider their motivations when advocating surgical normalization. When physicians do perform genital surgeries for nonmedical reasons, a wronged patient’s feeling and expression of blaming attitudes can be both fitting and justified. In fact, the expression of anger can be part of a productive social interaction that can, under certain circumstances, prompt apology and facilitate psychological healing.
IT IS ABOUT TIME!

Hopefully, the AMA will develop this as a policy… no genital surgery without the patient’s permission.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A Tale Of Two Governors

Separated only by about fifty miles the two states are as different as night and day, one governor embraces our community and the other shuns us.
My Turn: Sununu’s position on transgender Granite Staters is dangerous
Concord Monitor
By Ray Buckley
August 04, 2017

This past weekend, a diverse crowd of nearly 300 from every corner of New Hampshire gathered together to fight for transgender equality and to oppose President Donald Trump’s shameful decision to prevent transgender Americans from fighting in the military.

The rally was a celebration of equality and an aspirational call for the N.H. tradition of equal protections under the law to be extended to transgender Granite Staters.

Gov. Chris Sununu was not among the elected officials to attend.

This is no surprise, given Sununu, unlike his predecessors, neglected to even once mention LGBT Pride Month in any platform, proclamation, statement, event or interview this past June. Unfortunately for New Hampshire, Sununu has an embarrassingly weak record when it comes to defending transgender rights.
Now compare this to our governor, Dannel Malloy, he personally pushed through the gender identity/expression non-discrimination law, he backed the birth certificate law, and he supported the law banning Conversion Therapy for minors. Just last month he said that the Connecticut National Guard would not discrimination against us.

And that brought a scathing email by the “family” organization here in Connecticut.
The far left is apoplectic about President Trump’s decision, via tweet, to ban transgender individuals in the U.S. armed forces. “The reality is that a person’s gender identity or expression has nothing to do with their (sic) willingness or ability to defend our nation,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday. “Any able person who wishes to serve in the military should have that right – regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

Trans Kids

Most people don’t get it, you hear them say that the children are too young to know their gender but the children prove them wrong.
California transgender camp one of only of its kind in the world, plans underway for branch in Colorado
The camp in the San Francisco Bay Area city of El Cerrito caters to transgender and “gender fluid” children ages 4 to 12
Denver Post
By Joclyn Gecker | The Associated Press
August 7, 2017

EL CERRITO, Calif. — In some ways, Rainbow Day Camp is very ordinary. Kids arrive with a packed lunch, make friendship bracelets, play basketball, sing songs and get silly. But it is also unique, from the moment campers arrive each morning.

At check-in each day, campers make a nametag with their pronoun of choice. Some opt for “she” or “he.” Or a combination of “she/he.” Or “they,” or no pronoun at all. Some change their name or pronouns daily, to see what feels right.

The camp in the San Francisco Bay Area city of El Cerrito caters to transgender and “gender fluid” children ages 4 to 12, making it one of the only camps of its kind in the world open to preschoolers, experts say. Enrollment has tripled to about 60 young campers since it opened three summers ago, with kids coming from as far as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. – even Africa. Plans are underway to open a branch next summer in Colorado, and the camp has been contacted by parents and organizations in Atlanta, Seattle, Louisiana and elsewhere interested in setting up similar programs.
It is the children that lead the way…
“Once she could talk, I don’t remember a time when she didn’t say, ‘I’m a girl,'” said her mother, Molly Maxwell, who still trips over pronouns but tries to stick to “she.”
Gender is formed much earlier than sexual orientation. When I get asked in workshops about how children know they are trans, I usually reply “When did you know you were a boy or girl?”
This is not the first youth trans camp. There is Camp Aranu'tiq which is a part of the Harbor Camps which I believe is the first overnight summer camp for us. According to their website,
Aranu'tiq was founded in 2009 by Nick Teich, who dreamed of a safe & fun place for youth who felt like they might not fit in at other camps because of their gender and/or who wanted to be with others like them. We launched our first summer week in New England in 2010 with 41 campers. We now have our very own camp in New Hampshire! We have our flagship summer camps in NH & CA as well as leadership programs for older teens and weekend family camps, serving 500 campers over the course of one year.
And they now have two summer camps in California.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Machismo

That is the death of us!

Machismo is defines by Merriam-Webster as,
:  a strong sense of masculine pride
And that is what is killing us!

That somehow having sex with a trans woman I an affront to their maleness that justifies killing us.
Analysis: How ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Fuels Transgender Victimization
NBC Out
By Ales Berg
August 4, 2017

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s surprising announcement on Twitter that he was banning transgender people from the military, many comedians roasted the president for his decision. On the popular morning radio show “The Breakfast Club,” however, standup comic Lil Duval took a position where he appeared to have more in common with Christian conservatives peddling anti-transgender bathroom bills than his fellow funnymen.

During an appearance one week ago on the nationally syndicated show, following a question about the trans military ban, DJ Envy, one of the program’s three co-hosts, asked Duval what he’d do if he found out a woman he had a relationship with was transgender.

"This might sound messed up, and I don’t care. She dying. I can’t deal with that,” Duval responded. When pressed by co-host Charlamagne Tha God that “you can’t go around killing transgenders,” he went one step further. “If one did that to me and they didn’t tell me, I’m going to be so mad I’m probably going to want to kill them,” he said.
It is that supposed threat to machismo that he sees as justifying killing someone.

The courts enhance this belief by allowing “gay or trans panic” defense.
In a year that is stacking up to be among the most deadly for transgender people in the U.S., Duval’s comments rang of the “panic defense” used in court by those who kill LGBTQ people to justify their violence. As states introduce legislation to push trans people out of public life, the remarks resembled the rhetoric employed by the Christian right to cut off trans people’s access to bathrooms. And, for their part, DJ Envy and Charlamagne demonstrated how the media “cosigns” transphobia when they allow these narratives to go unchecked, according to Ashlee Marie Preston, the editor in chief of Wear Your Voice.
When I was growing up on the playground there wasn’t as much of the machismo that we see today, kids today are being taught by their peers that somehow by not responding violently that their manhood is at stake.

One of the things that we can do now is ban “gay or trans panic” defense in courts. No one should be allowed to use their homophobia or transphobia to justify their attack or murder of trans person or a gay or lesbian. But the ban should not cover just us but also race and religion.

People Are Behind Us

People are starting to realize that the Republicans are on a vendetta against us and against lesbians and gays and the polls are beginning to show.
In every state, majorities oppose Trump’s proposed ban on transgender military service
Washington Post
By Andrew R. Flores, Daniel C. Lewis, Patrick R. Miller, Donald P. Haider-Markel, Barry L. Tadlock and Jami K. Taylor
August 4, 2017

After President Trump recently proposed to ban transgender people from military service, pollsters quickly noted that a majority of Americans seemed to disagree with him.

Our own research has found the same. Since 2015, we’ve published several studies on public attitudes about transgender people and rights, and in an October 2015 survey, 42 percent opposed a policy not allowing transgender people to serve openly, while only 22 percent supported it. The remainder were neutral.

When we removed the neutral option in a June 2016 national survey that we fielded, the results were even less favorable to Trump: 33 percent of the public thinks that transgender people should not be allowed to serve openly and 67 percent think they should.
The question is why is the Trump administration still pushing his anti-LGBT agenda?
But would a ban on transgender military service play well in key areas of the country? That’s what at least one Trump administration official thinks:
This forces Democrats in the Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue. How will the blue collar voters in these states respond when senators up for re-election in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this key plank of their campaigns.
But this is not what the pollsters have found,
The state with the most support for Trump’s proposal was Wyoming, where we estimate that 45 percent agreed with Trump. In the Rust Belt states such as Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin cited by the Trump official, less than 33 percent thought that transgender people should not be allowed to openly serve in the military.

Even in states that are more socially conservative, support for transgender military service exceeded opposition. For example, in Mississippi, 64 percent supported transgender military service and 36 percent opposed it.
It all boils down to the Republicans think they can get votes and campaign donations from persecuting us and our gay and lesbians brothers and sisters.

The Texas Caller-Times reported that,
Recent polling suggests the current bathroom bill debate carries little of the passion generated by the 2005 same-sex marriage issue. After the regular legislative session ended May 29, a poll by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Tribune found that only 44 percent of respondents thought the measure was important; 47 percent said it was not.
[…]
Miller, who has advised politicians on both sides of the partisan divide during his three-decade career in Austin, said supporters of the bathroom bill have not been able to demonstrate the same sense of urgency – that a major pillar of society would crumble – without the legislation targeting transgender people’s restroom preferences.
Just maybe, the people are starting to wake-up to the Republicans trying divert attention from the legislative agenda to us.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

We Are Guinea Pigs

There isn’t much research in the off label use for Cross Gender Hormones for us, so we are the researchers guinea pigs.

This is from a 2014 article that is worth repeating…
Largest Study to Date: Transgender Hormone Treatment Safe
Medscape Medical News
By Kathleen Louden
July 02, 2014

CHICAGO — Cross-sex hormone treatment of transgender adults leads to very few long-term side effects, according to the authors of the largest study to date to examine this issue.

More than 2000 patients from 15 US and European centers participated in the retrospective study, called Comorbidity and Side Effects of Cross-Sex Hormone Treatment in Transsexual Subjects, and nearly 1600 received at least 1 year of follow-up, the authors reported.

"Our results are very reassuring," principal investigator Henk Asscheman, MD, PhD, who heads HAJAP, his clinical research company in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, told Medscape Medical News. "There are mostly minor side effects and no new [adverse events] observed in this large population."
Some of the results that they found were,
Venous Thromboembolism Lower Than Prior Reports
The primary serious side effect, venous thromboembolism, occurred in 1% of persons undergoing male-to-female (MTF) transgender transition and was due to estrogen treatment.

Dr. Asscheman said although this incidence is still high, it is lower than reported in the past.
For us ladies the areas of concern are…
Type 2 diabetes 3.2%
Morbid obesity 2.5%
Prostate cancer 0.4%
Yes, we have to have our Prostate checked! There still is a slim chance but why gamble on your life?

For the guys the areas of concern are…
Morbid obesity 2.5%
Hypothyroidism 2.3%
The article mentions Hypothyroidism in trans males,
Unexpected Findings: Hypothyroidism and Male Cancers
An incidence of hypothyroidism greater than 2% in a population that was largely younger than 40 years is surprising, according to Dr. Asscheman, who said he would expect it to be closer to 1% in these younger adults.
What it all boils down to is “Treat the body, not the gender.”