Thursday, December 14, 2017

Now It Is Official

We knew that Trumps election affected many trans and LGB people psyche now we have data to confirm it.

A nationwide survey found disturbing data…
First National Survey Published After 2016 Presidential Election Finds Gender Minorities’ Sense of Safety and Well-Being Impacted
Columbia University School of Nursing
By Elizabeth Holliday
November 1, 2017

NEW YORK- The first quantitative analyses published on the outcome of the 2016 election on the LGBTQ community showed that participants reported high levels of election outcome-related concerns, including psychological and emotional distress, since the election.

“Terrified,” “scared,” and “shell-shocked” were some of the words that LGBTQ survey participants used to describe their reactions to the 2016 presidential election, Cindy B. Veldhuis, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Columbia University School of Nursing and colleagues found.

The study entitled, “We Won’t Go Back into the Closet Now Without One Hell of a Fight: Effects of the 2016 Presidential Election on Sexual Minority Women’s and Gender Minorities’ Stigma-Related Concerns,” was published  in Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

The mixed-methods survey, which collected qualitative and quantitative data from online survey participants across the country who identified as sexual minority women and gender minorities, showed nearly 70 percent of participants reported having “moderately” or “much” higher concerns about their safety since the election, while 73 percent reported higher levels of sadness or depression, and 76 percent, of anxiety.

“What we found suggests the need for prevention and intervention strategies to ensure that marginalized and minority populations have support and effective coping tools to weather potential increases, or perceptions of increases in stigma, and to prevent such perceptions from becoming internalized and increasing risks for engaging in unhealthy behaviors,” Veldhuis said.
I think if they did the survey today that the outcome would be even worse.

I know that right after the election the non-profit that I am the ED started receiving phone calls from distraught trans people that just wanted someone to talk to about their fears. The impact has died down but I don’t think that the fear and anxiety has gone away.

I bet that if the current administration read this report that they would be filled with glee and probably giving high-fives to everyone. Yes I am bitter, the administration has done everything in their power to force us back in to the closet, they hate anything LGBT.

The Republicans Play Dirty

You remember that they held up President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination

You remember that they held up President Obama’s federal judges appointments for years

Now they say they will hold up the seating of a duly elected senator

Then they confirmed a Supreme Court justice who has publically said that he puts the Bible before the Constitution

Now they are appointing over a 197 federal court justices whom most of them have also said that they puts the Bible before the Constitution. Many of them also have no judicial experience and the American Bar Association has rated them as unacceptable and also for the first time in over 200 years the Republicans are overriding the vetoes from the senators from the state where the judges are being appointed.

Lastly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he may not seat Senator elect Jones until after the vote on the tax bill which over 60% of the votes don’t want.

Update 2:40 PM:
It is now official... The FCC voted to repeal net-neutrality!

The repeal was right down party line.

They ignored the voters
They ignored the businesses that rely on it
They ignored the politicians who were against it
They voted in favor of their billionaire puppet masters

And it is now in the hands of the courts (which Trump is packing with his cronies) and Congress (which has received millions from the lobbyists)

New Technique For GCS

There is a new surgical procedure for Gender Confirming Surgery (GCS) that is all the rage in the trans community, trans women are demanding the surgery… but what is it? Is it for everyone?

There is a report [note the date of the publication, even though we just discovered the procedure but it has been around for a while] on the procedure on the NIH website PubMed…
New laparoscopic peritoneal pull-through vaginoplasty technique
By Pravin Mhatre, Jyoti Mhatre, and Rakhi Sahu
J Hum Reprod Sci. 2014 Jul-Sep; 7(3): 181–186.
doi:  10.4103/0974-1208.142478


Many reconstructive surgical procedures have been described for vaginal agenesis. Almost all of them are surgically challenging, multi-staged, time consuming or leave permanent scars on abdomen or skin retrieval sites.

A new simple technique using laparoscopic peritoneal pull-through in creation of neo vagina has been described.

Total of thirty six patients with congenital absence of vagina (MRKH syndrome) were treated with laparoscopic peritoneal pull through technique of Dr. Mhatre between 2003 till 2012. The author has described 3 different techniques of peritoneal vaginoplasty.

This technique has given excellent results over a period of one to seven years of follow-up. The peritoneal lining changes to stratified squamous epithelium resembling normal vagina and having acidic Ph.

Apart from giving excellent normal vaginal function, as the ovary became accessible per vaginum three patients underwent ovum retrieval and pregnancy using surrogate mother, thus making this a fertility enhancing procedure.
The article goes on in great detail the steps of the procedure for women who were born without a vaginal and the authors also cover sexual satisfaction, some of the highlights were…

  • Almost 90% of patients required supervised glass dilatation in the first postsurgical week.
  • 100% of women required vaginal lubrication for first 3 months.
  • The need for lubrication declined drastically after 6 to 9 months in the married group of patients (66.5%)
  • 50% of patients complained of pain and discomfort in the early period. The pain free intercourse was usually performed after 3 to 6 months.

The conclusion of the report was,
In conclusion the new laparoscopic peritoneal pull-through vaginoplasty offers a relatively easy surgical procedure with excellent results on long term follow up. This procedure is practically devoid of morbidity associated with other techniques. Peritoneal lining having the same parentage of mullerian duct undergoes metaplasia and transforms itself in to stratified squamous epithelium resembling normal vagina. This transformation has been documented in nine patients. As the ovary became accessible per vaginum three patients underwent ovum retrieval and pregnancy using surrogate mother, thus making this a fertility enhancing procedure.
There has been discussions on the WPATH Facebook page and on their elist server. Some of the Facebook comments were:

  • This is the surgery I want
  • This is the most promising news in a long time for a lot of trans women, who lacked available tissues for conventional inversion/graft methods or experienced severe post-op complications.
  • So exciting...can I get a redo? (Kidding...mostly)
  • This sounds like a very desirable procedure.

While on the elist serve some of the emails said that the procedure looks interesting, while others question the long term impact for the long term on the peritoneum's vitality, and some see that a combination of penile inversion and with peritoneal tissue. The peritoneal tissue would add depth and lubrication.

So what is the answer should we use peritoneal tissue for GCS?

Well like all things trans we are the guinea pigs. My suggestion is do your homework, don’t just rush to have the surgery because it is the “new” wonder procedure but stop, look, and listen before proceeding. Ultimately it is your life, it is your decision to make.

My guess is that in the end it will be a combination of penile inversion and with peritoneal tissue.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Here Comes The Judge

Even with a the protection that we have it all boils down to the judge, the judge sets the environment in the courtroom and if he is a bigot it all flows downhill.
Transgender rights: Los Angeles families complain of insensitive treatment during court hearings
LA Times
By Marisa Gerber
December 3, 2017

The Liljestrand family walked into the courthouse confident — if a bit nervous.

They'd come to get their eldest child's name legally changed to Melissa Rose and her gender designation switched from male to female.

When it was finally their turn to be heard, the judge cleared the courtroom. Before long, he turned to the 14-year-old and asked how she knew she was a girl.

"Convince me," the judge said, according to the family.
Now this should have never happened, California has a great set of laws protecting us and the judge’s questions were out of bounds… but he is the judge.
While battles over workplace discrimination and access to public accommodations, such as restrooms, have drawn intense public scrutiny, one facet of transgender rights — treatment inside the courtroom — is less well documented. Families have complained that efforts to change names and gender designations were met with callousness and antiquated stereotypes. They hope that raising the profile of the issue will lead to better training of judges.
So what do you do if you have a judge that is biased?

Do you speak up and maybe watch your case go down the drain?

Do you bite your tongue and kowtow down?
Everman complained to the Commission on Judicial Performance about what she characterized as "a traumatic experience." The commission's director, Victoria B. Henley, said the agency doesn't comment on whether a complaint has been lodged against a judge.
It got even worst for the family,
After the session resumed, the judge asked if a letter to the court saying Melissa had undergone "clinically appropriate treatment" was from a "real doctor," Everman said.

Moreton agreed to sign the papers, but first flapped them in the air, Liljestrand said.

"Just a piece of paper," he recalled the judge saying. "It does not make you a woman… Now you're just going to have a lot more problems than other people."
The judge didn’t just cross the line , but torn it up.

I Am Always Amazed…

But I shouldn’t be that these so called “Family” organizations will do anything for their cause even deceit which everyone knows is a “family” value.
The American College of Pediatricians Is an Anti-LGBT Group
A small but clever anti-LGBT group created a legit-sounding name.
Psychology Today
By Jack Turban MD MHS
Posted May 08, 2017

Did you read this headline and think I was accusing The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) of opposing the LGBT community? That’s the problem. A small anti-LGBT group called the “American College of Pediatricians (ACP)” created a name that is easily confused with the AAP, the largest pediatrics organization in the country.

It is disturbing that news organizations and physicians are citing the "ACP" as a reputable source. The ACP is a small group of physicians that left the AAP after the AAP released a 2002 policy statement explaining that gay parents pose no risk to adopted children. The Southern Poverty Law Center has repeatedly labeled the ACP as an anti-LGBT hate group that promotes false claims and misleading scientific reports. Chillingly, the group has moved beyond its online reports, deeper into the political arena. They have gone as far as filing amicus briefs to U.S. courts for major cases concerning LGBT rights. Their reports have gained traction, despite clear criticism from expert physicians in the field. When asked about the ACP, Dr. Scott Leibowitz, medical director of the THRIVE program at Nationwide Children's Hospital and chair of the sexual orientation and gender identity issues committee for the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, did not parse his words, "It can hardly be a credible medical organization when it consistently chooses to ignore science and the growing evidence base that clearly demonstrates the benefits of affirmative care with LGBT youth across all ages."
Look at what they are saying…
1. Reparative Therapy for Homosexual Youth Is a Good Idea 
2. Gay Parents Are Bad Parents
3. Affirming Transgender Youth Is a Bad Idea
And they twist legitimate research in to sounding like the results supports their “finding”
1The ACP, in this report, claims that 97.8 percent of prepubescent transgender children change their minds about being transgender after they hit puberty. This is based on a study from 1987, and researchers explain here why such studies are flawed (the gist is that the kids in that study and others were never transgender to begin with). Furthermore, pre-pubertal children do not receive hormonal interventions under Endocrine Society Guidelines. Only adolescents who have reached puberty do, and all existing literature suggests that transgender identity is stable after kids hit puberty (Cohen-Kettenis 2003, deVries 2014).
2 The ACP claims that hormonal interventions make it impossible for transgender individuals to have biological children. This is false. Transgender teens receiving hormonal interventions are offered fertility preservation measures as explained in Endocrine Society Guidelines and detailed here.
Now take a look at what is happening in Hartford CT where the City Council passed an ordinance requiring anti-abortion agencies to tell the truth. The agency was intercepting clients going to a OB/GYN clinic and lying to them that they were the family planning clinic when in reality they were an anti-abortion organization.
Hartford Council Approves Proposal To Halt Alleged Deceptive Practices At Anti-Abortion Centers
Hartford Courant
By Jenna Carlesso
December 11, 2017

Beginning next year, Hartford’s faith-driven crisis pregnancy centers, which critics say sometimes pose as clinics to lure women and hand out misleading information about abortions, will have to disclose whether its staff carry medical licenses.

The centers are also banned from engaging in false or deceptive advertising practices under a proposal adopted Monday by the city council. The new regulations take effect July 1.

The hot-button issue of the so-called anti-abortion centers has stirred debate in recent weeks, and drew hundreds to a public hearing in Hartford last month.

Advocates of the proposal say staff at the centers have approached women looking for legitimate clinics and beckoned them inside. The employees sometimes pose in white coats to make visitors believe they’ve arrived at a medical facility, they said, and then provide them with false information.
So the ordinance is basically a “truth in advertising” for businesses, but what does the “family” organization has to say?
“It was always a steep climb,” he said after the vote. “It was always unlikely that we were going to stop this.”

“If it’s not going into effect until July, why the rush?” he added. “It seems to us further evidence that there were larger forces at play here, that the majority of the council is very much in bed with the abortion industry.”

Council members said the new regulations are not meant to take a side for or against the anti-abortion centers. They said the plan was simply about banning false advertising.
They are claiming that it is a First Amendment issue; they feel that it is their free speech to use deceptive advertising. All the ordinance does is require a business to tell the truth, also the ordinance is modeled after other ordinance that have passed to the courts.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Are You A Younger Sibling?

Does having an older brother make you gay?

There seems to be research that shows more younger brothers are gay than old brothers being gay and the researchers are beginning to believe that something is going on in the mother’s uterus after the birth of an older brother.
Having older brothers increases men's likelihood of being gay
By Jen Christensen
December 12, 2017

(CNN)If you're a guy with an older brother, there's an increased chance you're gay.

Scientists have noticed this pattern in previous research, but now they think they have a biological explanation as to why, and it starts long before birth. The results were published in the journal PNAS on Monday.

The researchers say that if their findings can be replicated, we may know at least one of the biological reasons some men are gay.

Many factors may determine someone's sexual orientation, but in this case, researchers noticed a pattern that may be linked to something that happens in the womb. The phenomenon is related to a protein linked to the Y chromosome (which women do not have) that is important to male brain development.

Researchers think it's possible that when a woman gets pregnant with her first boy, this Y-linked protein gets into her bloodstream. The mother's body recognizes the protein as a foreign substance, and her immune system responds, creating antibodies. If enough of these antibodies build up in the woman's body and she gets pregnant with another a boy, they can cross the placental barrier and enter the brain of the second male fetus.
This is not a new theory; back in 2012 Scientific America had an article about this,
Is Homosexuality a Choice?
By Marcia Malory
October 19, 2012

We know, from many twin and adoption studies, that sexual preference has a genetic component.

A gay man is more likely than a straight man to have a (biological) gay brother; lesbians are more likely than straight women to have gay sisters.
The article also points out something I have been saying,
Gay women and gay men are more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous than straight women and straight men, according to a number of different studies. Some researchers have suggested that this difference in handedness – preference for one hand over the other can be observed in fetuses - is related to differences in the corpus callosum.
So all this raises serval questions.

First is being LGBT a Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD)? If it is, is a form of intersex?

If being LGBT is the result of the prenatal environment than this whole thing with “religious freedom” becomes an ethical question… is damning a person because of the way they were born “moral?”

I have two questions for all of my readers...

  1. If you are LGBT do you an older brother?
  2. If you are LGBT are you left handed?

Just leave a comment #1 yes or no, #2 yes or no.

For me,my answer would be #1 Yes, #2 Yes

Harbinger Of Things To Come?

The Supreme Court has refused to hear a case of employment discrimination against lesbians and gays letting a lower court ruling against us stand.
Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case on Bias Against Gay Workers
New York Times
By Adam Liptak
December 11, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would not hear an appeal in a case that could have resolved whether a federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against gay and lesbian workers.

The case concerned Jameka Evans, who said a Georgia hospital discriminated against her because she is a lesbian. She sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on sex.

In March, a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that Title VII’s reference to sex did not encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The reach of Title VII has divided the federal appeals courts. In April, by an 8-to-3 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, said Title VII covered gay people. “It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation,’” Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote for the majority.
Is this an omen of things to come in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission? This is the case where the store owner said that he should be able to discriminate against people claiming that it violated his religious creed.

The Times article goes on to suggest some reason why the court refused to hear the case,
Such conflicts between appeals courts can prompt Supreme Court review. But the justices may have been troubled by an unusual aspect of Ms. Evans’s case. Lawyers for the hospital argued that it had not been properly served with legal papers, and they told the Supreme Court that they did not intend to appear to participate in the case.
The Advocate wrote…
He emphasized, however, that “this was not a ‘no’ but a ‘not yet.’” He added, “Lambda Legal will continue the fight, circuit by circuit as necessary, to establish that the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. The vast majority of Americans believe that LGBT people should be treated equally in the workplace. The public is on the right side of history; it’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court has refused to join us today, but we will continue to invite them to do the right thing and end this hurtful balkanization of the right of LGBT people to be out at work.”
This is the second case LGBT that the Supreme Court has turned down to hear,
This month the Supreme Court declined to hear another LGBT rights case, saying it won't review a Texas Supreme Court ruling that marriage equality doesn't necessarily mean employers have to provide equal benefits to all spouses, same-sex or opposite-sex. The Texas high court had sent that case back to the Harris County District Court in Houston for consideration, and that is where it stands now.
It appears that the court is waiting for a nice clean case for them to hear; let’s hope that is the case.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Lot Is Happening In Massachusetts

Besides the ballot initiative to take away public accommodation for us there is a trans woman running for office next November.

This will be a first if she wins,
Transgender Woman Runs For Massachusetts Congressional Seat
December 8, 2017
Heard on All Things Considered
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks to Alexandra Chandler. She's a transgender woman and a former intelligence analyst at the Pentagon. Now, she's running for Congress. She hopes to represent the 3rd district of Massachusetts in the House of Representatives.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Last winter, I interviewed a woman named Alexandra Chandler. I'd wanted to talk to her for two reasons. One, she was one of the military's top intelligence analysts. And number two, while working at the Defense Department, she transitioned from living as a man to living as a woman. When we spoke, Chandler told me that ended up being a great career move.

ALEXANDRA CHANDLER: I became a leader, which I had never really been at work before. And I did a lot more good for the mission than I would have ever done otherwise. And I'll tell you why. When you can barely stand the sound of your own voice, where you can barely stand the sight of yourself, how can you properly go into a meeting and discuss the toughest problems out there and bring your best solutions to the table? You can't. So once that was dealt with, I was so much more effective.
KELLY: Events have kept moving, and the decision you have made now is to run for Congress.

CHANDLER: Yes, I have. So what happened was our home district member of Congress, Niki Tsongas, a wonderful representative from our district, suddenly announced her retirement. And I took no immediate notice of this insofar as for myself, I just saw that we lost a great representative. Then people started calling me. People had to ask me. People had to encourage me. It wasn't something that I saw myself immediately doing.

But then I realized that the fact that I spent years leading teams of analysts that could tackle the toughest problems on this planet - we're talking about stopping the proliferation of nuclear and missile technology from countries like North Korea. We're talking about arms smuggling to terrorist groups and in war zones. We could get it done with Americans of every background, every political persuasion. So if we can get the toughest problems done inside the intelligence community, then what I realized is I was the best in this political environment to actually get things done in Congress.
I wonder if she wins will the Republicans if they still control Congress be as petty as the Virginia Republicans to change the way they call the representatives, Congressman/Congresswoman or will they just use “Honorable?”

The Freedom To Bully And Harass

That is what a Christian teacher wants, he wants to deadname and misgender the students.
TRANS ROW Christian teacher ‘suing school after being suspended for calling a transgender pupil a girl instead of a boy’
Joshua Sutcliffe was suspended when the pupil's mother lodged an official complaint six weeks after the event
The Sun
By Guy Birchall
10th December 2017

A TEACHER who was suspended after ‘accidentally’ calling a transgender pupil who identifies as a boy a ‘girl’ during a lesson is suing this school for religious discrimination.

Joshua Sutcliffe was suspended when the pupil’s mother lodged an official complaint six weeks after the event.

He is now reportedly taking the Oxfordshire school to an employment tribunal, claiming he has been singled out for his Christianity.

He also faces claims he breached equality policies by referring to the pupil by name rather than saying “he” or “him”, reports the Mail on Sunday.
He said that he “accidentally” called him a girl… um if he is suing for religious discrimination it doesn’t sound accidental, further more…
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Mr Sutcliffe in the case, said: “This is one of a large number of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line with the current transgender fad.”
Let’s see he thinks that it is okay to misgender and harass a student in the name of “religious freedom,” I don’t think he can be a very good teacher if he treats students that way.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lesbians & Gays

From time to time I hear negative comment from the trans community about lesbians and gays being transphoblic… please do not paint them all with a broad brush.

I have many lesbian and gay friends who are totally accepting of me. The other night I was over a lesbian couple’s house for Science Night (don’t laugh) where we talk about a science topic, the other night it was longevity and there were two couples and two other women beside myself. And we had a fabulous time.

I also go to Game Night with a number of lesbians, we have our own table and there are usually six or eight women who play board games, it is a nice night out once a month.

I know many gay guys and they are very friendly towards us. A trans friend and me took a bus tour with a gay group, the Prime Timers, to West Point and the Culinary Institute of America and we had a great time.

I know there are transphobic lesbians and gay just like there are homophobic trans people. Just don’t think that they all are against us because it is only a few who are.

I am taking a day trip, a very long day trip up to Cape Cod today.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Saturday 9: My Church

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: My Church (2016)

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

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

1) This song is about a woman who loves singing along with her car radio. Is that something you enjoy?
Photography (Ops... I misread the question,that is what happens when you answer at 4 AM)
Yes, I do and one time I was signing along with Queen Bohemian Rhapsody at a stop light
and a police car up along side in the turn lane. He saw me signing and had a frown on his face so I lowered so he could hear the song and he started laughing.

2)  The video begins with Maren Morris finishing her cigarette before getting behind the wheel. Do you allow smoking in your car?

3) In this song, Maren admits she's lied. What's the last fib you told?
It has been so long ago and I really don’t keep track of that.

4) She mentions having her radio on the FM dial. Are you loyal to a single radio station? Or do you spin the dial?
Okay, first off nobody spins a dial anymore… you press the “Scan” button
I have a number of Sirius channels and also regular AM and FM stations presets on my radio.

5) Maren was inspired to write this song while on a long car trip from Nashville to Los Angeles. When do you get your best ideas? (In the shower, behind the wheel, over lunch with friends ...)
At 3 AM when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep

6) She performed this song on Saturday Night Live last year. The host that week was John Cenna. Do you follow professional wrestling?
First I had to Google John Cenna to find out who he is. I think professional wrestling is a joke (and don’t forget that Connecticut is the home of the WWF and the McMahons.

7) In 2016, when this song was popular, Alex Rodriguez played his final Major League Baseball game. He has embarked on a second career as a broadcaster. Would you be comfortable on camera?
Um… I been on television about a dozen times including the talk heads on Sunday morning shows.

8) A 2016 study revealed that 43% of Americans own mutual funds, many in their 401(k)s and IRAs. Are you involved in the stock market?
Oh yes, the market has been very, very good to me.

9) Random question: You have something awkward and embarrassing that you simply must tell a pal. You know your friend will not be happy with the news. Would you prefer to deliver it by email, in a phone call, or face to face?
Face to face, if you something bad to tell them you should do it face-to-face and not copout by doing it by email. Over the phone is a little better than by email. I know someone who got fired by email; as far as I’m concerned the boss didn’t have the guts to do it in person.
I have had to fire some of my technicians and for one technician I cried they entire time I did it (he showed up drunk work, we had already sent him to rehab two times and would have done it for the third time or for how many times he needed but he refused treatment so I had to fire him after 20 years with the company), while for another technician I was glad to fire him after he tried to strangle another tech. I was scared to fire him, he was aggressive and short tempered, also he was always talking about guns; so I told HR that I was talking a few days off after I fired him. HR hired a couple of guards for a couple of months afterwards, the whole factory was nervous about him (he was transferred from another division when they closed the department that he worked in, it added over a half hour each way to his commute. If he didn’t take he would have been let go without unemployment insurance… so he was not a happy camper.).

Friday, December 08, 2017

Here Is A Question: What Does Trans And “Switched On Bach” Have In Common?

If you know your trans history and music history you will know that Wendy Carlos used a Moog  Synthesizer to make “Switched On Bach” which was a breakthrough for synthesized music, it was a landmark album… but also breakthrough for trans people.
Moogfest Shines a Spotlight on Female, Nonbinary and Transgender Musicians
New York Times
By Elisabeth Vincentelli
December 6, 2017

The music, ideas and technology conference Moogfest is responding to a complaint that was voiced often over the last year — that music festivals frequently overlook or under-book L.G.B.T. artists and women — by beginning to roll out its 2018 lineup with an announcement of female, nonbinary and transgender performers.

The event, which runs May 17-20 in Durham, N.C., will feature the D.J.s Honey Dijon and Ellen Allien; the mysterious British pop producer-musician Sophie; the multidisciplinary sound explorer Fatima Al Qadiri; LCD Soundsystem’s synthesizer maven Gavin Rayna Russom; and the Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada, among others. A keynote conversation with Chelsea Manning will close the festival. Additional artists will be announced in January.
Many trans people do not know about trans people who lead the way, one of them was Wendy Carlos…
Meet Wendy Carlos: The Trans Godmother of Electronic Music
In 1968, Wendy Carlos brought electronic sounds into the mainstream.
Thump VICE
By Natasha MacDonald-Dupuis
August 11, 2015

In 1968, Wendy Carlos took a Moog synthesizer, an unknown instrument at the time, and electronically reconstructed Johann Sebastian Bach's six "Brandenburg Concertos" into the first ever platinum-selling classical album, "Switched on Bach." The album became the most influential "electronic" classical recording of all time, smashing the borders between classical and synthesized music. It won her three Grammys and sent a message to the world that a synthesizer was a musical instrument, rather than just an obscure machine used by professors in labs to make weird robot sounds.
" The early electronic instrumentation was not of a kind that allowed you do the literal-minded sampling of every instrumental note to try to assemble later. That became too much like pasted clip art. You ' d have to take a sample, say, of every way that a head can face, and all the expressions, the hand motions, and then try to create real art from pieces." Carlos muses about her earlier creative processes in a 2007 interview with Frank J. Oteri.
Carlos was born in a working-class family in Pawtucket, R.I., and started piano lessons at age six. She went on to study music and physics at Brown University and music composition with pioneers Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, the first electronic music center in the U.S.A. She started working as a tape editor at Gotham Recording and struck up a friendship with Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, consequently becoming one of his first clients.
In 1971, Carlos famously composed and recorded music for the soundtrack of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, which included her reinterpretation of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique used during the opening scene. She went on to score and perform soundtracks for The Shining, and the original Tron, which incorporated orchestra, chorus, organ, and both analog and digital synthesizers.
She did an interview for Playboy in 1979,
Carlos was born on November 14, 1939, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He took up the piano at six, went on to study music and physics at Brown University and earned a masters in music at Columbia. One of his teachers there was the pioneer electronic composer Vladimir Ussachevsky. A year before graduation, Carlos began collaborating with engineer Robert Moog. Their vision was to produce an instrument whose sound was as expressive as the piano’s: It was to be an instrument that grew out of what had gone before, much as the piano grew out of the clavichord. The synthesizer was the result. Unlike the piano or the electric organ, one had to perform a single note at a time on the synthesizer, searching for the right timbre and its right adjustment, then combine many performances of the individual colors and musical lines, using multitrack studio practices. To work it most effectively, one had to be a conductor, performer, composer, acoustician and instrument builder. Carlos was all of those.
In 1971, Elkind heard that Stanley Kubrick was planning to direct “A Clockwork Orange,” based on Anthony Burgess’ bizarre, violent, futuristic novel. She called Kubrick’s attorney and suggested that Kubrick consider the synthesizer as a novel way of scoring his movie. “The attorney said he’d get our stuff to Kubrick via air freight,” recalls Elkind. “I sent him “Switched-On Bach” and “The Well-Tempered Synthesizer.” Kubrick’s assistant called a few days later. He asked if we could come to England immediately. Two days later, we were on a flight.”

What eventually resulted was a sound track that The New York Times  lauded. “As sheer music,” its critic wrote, “it is a giant step boast the banalities of most contemporary film tracks.”
Wendy Carlos a true Pioneer for the trans community.

How The GOP Tax Cuts Affect Trans People

Not good.

With the high unemployment and underemployed in the trans community we will be hit hard. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey reported,
The findings show large economic disparities between transgender people in the survey and the U.S. population. Nearly one-third (29%) of respondents were living in poverty, compared to 14% in the U.S. population. A major contributor to the high rate of poverty is likely respondents’ 15% unemployment rate—three times higher than the unemployment rate in the U.S. population at the time of the survey (5%).
In addition many trans people cannot afford to buy health insurance on the open market, the survey reported…
Respondents were asked a series of questions about health insurance coverage. Eighty-six percent (86%) reported that they were covered by a health insurance or health coverage plan, and 14% reported that they were uninsured. This compares to 89% of adults in the U.S. general population who were covered by a health insurance or health coverage plan in 2015…
The most common source of health insurance reported by respondents was an employer sponsored insurance plan (either through the respondent’s employer or someone else’s employer) (53%). Fourteen percent (14%) of respondents had individual insurance plans that they or someone else purchased directly from an insurance company, through, or from a health insurance marketplace, and 13% were insured through Medicaid
Yahoo News reported in an article that,
The current tax bill in the Senate would devastate support systems and services for LGBT Americans, especially transgender people, by making deep cuts in their accessibility to healthcare and other programs they rely on.

The bill would raise the cost for people living with HIV/AIDS, cut food stamps, housing and homelessness efforts and lead to cuts in Medicare and Social Security—social programs important to the LGBT community.

“This bill is a disaster for everyone really, but specifically for LGBT [people],” Christopher Stoll, a senior staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told Newsweek. “It will result in deep cuts in programs that LGBT people depend on.”

This tax bill will repeal Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision used extensively by people living with chronic health conditions, like those with HIV/AIDS—gay and bisexual men accounted for 82 percent of HIV diagnoses among males and 67 percent of all diagnoses in 2015, according to census data.
“For transgender people living with HIV in particular, this bill could mean the loss of life-saving treatment and fuel an epidemic that the U.S. government has ostensibly pledged to end,” Kris Hayashi, the executive director of Transgender Law Center said in a statement.
Besides healthcare the bill will also cut,
LGBT people disproportionately struggle with poverty—20 percent of LGBT people have annual incomes less than $12,000, compared to 17 people of non-LGBT people. Transgender people are four times more likely to have incomes under $10,000 per year, despite having higher rates of education.
Medicare could be cut up to $25 billion just in 2018, millions could be cut from social security, and deep cuts are being made into the food stamp program, housing and homelessness efforts—all of which benefit LGBT people disproportionately.
The cuts will not only affect us but also any group of people that are affected by discrimination causing high unemployment or underemployed. The cuts will be devastating on those who are disabled.

The tax bill will have the most impact on the most needy of us while rewarding the most greedy.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

What Happens When You’re LGBT And Your Parents Are Against You?

What happens when you are a minor and your parents want to “pray-away-the-gay” or in our instance pray away the trans. What are your options?

Well in one case the trans person is suing his parents.
Transgender Teen Sues Parents For Not Allowing Her Gender Reassignment Surgery
The Daily Caller
By Grace Carr
December 6, 2017

Ohio social workers are siding with a transgender teen against her parents, asking that she receive treatment at a hospital instead of the Christian-based therapy the parents desire.

The complaint, filed in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, asks Judge Sylvia Hendon to order Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to provide treatment to the transgender teen, against her parents’ wishes. Court documents posit that the girl’s parents refuse to acknowledge her transgender identity, won’t let her receive treatment at Children’s Hospital, and haven’t let her change her change her appearance to look like a man, according to

The case comes after the unnamed 16-year-old transgender teen emailed a crisis hotline in November 2016, saying that one of her parents had told her to kill herself, according to the complaint. Court documents also allege that the mother screamed “You’re a liar!” at her child when she tried to read a letter during a therapy meeting.
Cincinnati prohibits doctors or therapists from practicing conversion therapy on gays and transgender, in accordance with a 2015 ban passed largely as a result of Alcorn’s death. The city fines anyone practicing conversion therapy $200.

“No licensed medical professional can perform any type of ‘treatment’ to change the sexual orientation or gender identity/expression of a minor in the City of Cincinnati. It is now the law of the land in Cincinnati, Ohio,” openly gay Cincinnati city councilmember Chris Seelbach said after the ban passed.
This case has big ramifications.

The first question is, are parent’s rights to raise their children absolute? Even if it means harm to the child?

The next question is, can the child file for emancipation? At what age is a child old enough to make their own decisions?

Lastly, is a ban on conversion therapy on a minor legal? Or is it a violation of the parent’s rights to seek help where they want or is it a violation of their “religious freedom?”

It Is A Two Edge Sword And It Cuts Deep

Sports can be biased against LGBT people and in any business it needs to be top down, the management has to buy in on it.
“Sport is a vehicle for social change”: Chris Mosier on transgender athletes
University of Colorado CU Independent News
By Georgia Knoles
December 6, 2017

CU’s Conference on World Affairs hosted Chris Mosier, a Nike-sponsored triathlete and the first transgender athlete to make a US men’s national sports team, on Tuesday night. He spoke in Wolf Law about his experiences as a transgender triathlete and as an advocate for transgender rights.
Even his competitors treated him with great respect. When Mosier won first place in a men’s race, the second place winner congratulated him. Later when that second place athlete found him on Facebook and read his bio, he was even more congratulatory, saying “keep it up.” Mosier describes that there has been “very good sportsmanship” all around due to the fact that so such dedication to a sport and the hours of training pro athletes put in automatically gains that athlete respect.
It is excellent that the college, the athletic department, and the athletes are so supportive, but I have to wonder about the fans. How will behave toward a trans athletes?

Look what happened down in Argentina…
This rugby team won’t stop fighting for their team member hospitalised by a homophobic attack
PinkNews UK
By Katharine Swindells 
6th December 2017

A rugby team in Argentina is seeking action after a member of their team was hospitalised by a homophobic attack on Friday.

Jonathan Castellari was buying breakfast with a friend at a McDonald’s in Buenos Aires early on Friday morning, when he was targeted by seven men, saying homophobic words.
They followed Castellari into the car park, where they attacked, shouting slurs.

“Today at 6am, a group attacked my friend to within an inch of his life, shouting ’Fa*got’ and ’Fucking fa*got,” Castellari’s friend said on Twitter.
And what will happen when the soccer’s World Cupis held in Russia next year?
Gay soccer fans warned to not hold hands in Russia at 2018 World Cup
An atmosphere of intolerance makes it dangerous to show same-sex affection.
By Jim Buzinski 
November 29, 2017

A group dedicated to ending discrimination in soccer has a warning for any gay soccer fans going to Russia for the 2018 World Cup: Don’t hold hands or show affection in public. It could be dangerous.

The executive director of Fare (which used to be known as Football Against Racism in Europe) told the Guardian that the group will be issuing guidelines to LGBT fans in the run-up to the World Cup, which runs June 14-July 15, 2018.
Piara Powar, executive director of Fare, said:“The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT community. The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans — do go to the World Cup but be cautious. If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so — that depends on which city they are in and the time of day.
“The guide will also include some detailed explanations of, for example, the actual situation of the LGBT community in Russia. It is not a crime to be gay but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors. Issues relating to the LGBT community are not part of the public discourse. Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite hidden and underground.”

Russia in 2013 passed what is called a “gay propaganda” law to prohibit promoting homosexuality. Attacks against LGBT people are not uncommon and the situation in the Russian republic of Chechnya is downright terrifying and deadly for gay people. Fare’s advisory makes total sense, especially for games played outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Let’s face it the world in general is not LGBT accepting. I don’t care whether you are traveling on a tour like in “Under The Tuscany Sun” or just traveling to another part of the U.S. or in your hometown there is always that chance you walk into a bigot but when you walk in to a testosterone saturated sports event  you chances of being harassed and assaulted increases.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

So You Want To Sue Because You Were Discriminated Against

With all these women coming out now about sexual assaults and harassments people are asking why are they coming forward now? We have all these laws banning discrimination against us but very few are using them why?

Maybe this article explains the reasons why…
A congressman's accuser: Blackballed and babysitting for cash
Lauren Greene wanted a career in Washington politics. Then she accused Rep. Blake Farenthold of sexually harassing her.
By Rachael Bade

North Carolina native Lauren Greene aspired to a career in politics when she arrived on Capitol Hill as an intern in 2009. She spent the next five years climbing the Capitol Hill ladder, ultimately becoming a communications director for a congressman in 2014.

But Greene’s budding career imploded, she said, the minute she accused Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) of sexually harassing her.

Since the summer of 2014, when she says Farenthold fired her for raising concerns about a hostile work environment, Greene has been unable to land a full-time job. She’s making $15 an hour working temporary gigs for a homebuilder. She babysits on the side to earn extra cash.
She later added: “I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, ‘blackballed’ if I came forward. … That’s exactly what happened.”
You see when you file a discrimination complaint it becomes a matter of public record and before the internet if a future employer want to find out about a perspective employee they had to hire a private investigator to do a background check. Now they just go on the internet and do a Google search.

I have a friend and their (I am using gender neutral pronouns to hide their identity) employer came out and told them flat blank that the company was firing them because they’re trans. My friend sued and lost because of an incompetent lawyer (he missed filing deadlines and sued under the wrong statutes). Now when they go for a interview, everything goes great in the interview but then they don’t get hired. If you Google their name there are dozens of hits about the case, do you think that might be one of the reasons that they don’t get hired?

Do you think an employer wants to hire a “trouble maker?”
But putting 500 miles between her and the Beltway didn’t erase the stigma. Over the past three years, Greene said she’s applied to dozens, if not more than a hundred, jobs in communications to no avail. One person told her that she didn’t get one job because of her harassment claims against a congressman.
Yup, the good old internet.

Yes we have laws but like most weapons it cuts both ways. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said,
Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.
The laws may not being used to sue but maybe it is restraining the heartless from discriminating against us and it is changing the environment.

We Talk About What Not To Say To A Trans Person

But we are constantly asking questions of our selves. I think trans people are the most self-reflecting, introspective group of people, we are always asking questions to ourselves, which is probably a good thing.

I came across this article on Facebook,
5 Totally Normal Questions Transgender People May Be Afraid to Ask, Answered
Everyday Feminism
By Sam Dylan Finch
February 17, 2016

One of my favorite concepts that I’ve encountered as an activist is the idea of “holding space.”

To break it down further, “holding space” is about making room for certain experiences, feelings, or perspectives to be acknowledged and affirmed that may otherwise be pushed aside or invalidated.

Holding space can be powerful. I’m a big believer in giving people the space to open up – and in doing so, building greater understandings of where someone is coming from. A little affirmation can go a long way in making someone feel whole.
So let’s talk – and I mean really talk – about some of the questions many transgender people are thinking about, but might be afraid to ask. And together, let’s hold space for all of the complicated feelings that arise as we explore them.

1. Am I Really Trans? What If I’m Making This Up?

Confession: I ask myself this a lot.

“Wait, Sam,” you might be saying. “You write publicly about your identity! You’re active in the community! You’re even taking hormones! And you mean to tell me that you’re unsure if you’re trans?”

Yes, that’s precisely what I’m saying.

In fact, I can assure you from firsthand experience that many, many transgender people grapple with this question – even years into their transition.

And I have some theories as to why, too – if it helps.

If someone told you your whole life that you were a terrible dancer and suddenly you received a first prize trophy for a dance competition, you’d probably feel like an imposter, right? Similarly, when society tells us we’re cisgender (and that being cis is the only option), it can take years and years before we feel secure in ourselves as trans.
I think that introspective is good, I think forging ahead without stopping to take inventory of our goals and our future is a healthy. I think society questioning our existence is wrong, they cannot know how we feel; we are the only ones who know our souls.

This I thought about long and hard before I transitioned, many hours I spent crying myself to sleep over this.

This is another biggie,
3. What If I Regret My Medical Transition?

So it’s important to first say that not all transgender people will medically transition. That’s a completely valid choice; medical interventions do not make someone more or less trans.

But for those of us who do pursue some form of medical transition, it’s unbelievably common to worry about regret.

Because our validity as trans people is always coming under fire, it doesn’t surprise me that we question our choices – especially when these choices involve some form of permanent or semi-permanent change.
There are many reasons why people choose not to medically transition, the main one is medically. Some trans people cannot take hormones of susceptibility to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), heart conditions, or other medical problems. Some do not medically transition because of their spouse.

The important thing to remember is that the goal is to end gender dysphoria and if society transitioning does the trick why force someone to undergo risky medical intervention?
5. If This Is My Truth, Why Do I Feel So Ashamed?

The hardest thing about being trans, for me, has been coming face-to-face with the fact that I deal with shame and guilt around being transgender.

When you grow up with the idea that there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to do gender, it’s a perfectly reasonable response to suppress or resist who we are or who we want to be in favor of what feels safer or more socially acceptable.
Ah yes, we are so self-centered that we don’t care about our spouse, family or other. It is all our fault that your father had a heart attack. We get laid with a guilt trips all the time.

Then there is from our own community… you don’t dress feminine enough! Which is what I hear a lot because my usual dress is jeans and sneakers. Or you can’t be trans because you are taking too long to transition, we are supposed to say “we want surgery NOW!”

Many trans people do not “get” gender neutral or gender variant or gender non-conforming people, but when you stop and think about it makes sense. If you think of gender as a spectrum or a continuum as a opposed to a binary then there must be people who identify in the middle.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

You All Seen And Heard It, The Purposely Misgendering Of Us.

Trump and his cronies behave like bullies on an elementary school playground with their name calling and refusing to use proper pronouns.
The Political Pettiness of Misgendering Transgender People
As the general public moves closer to accepting transgender people, the phenomenon of misgendering is coming into sharper relief—and being seen as the petty move that it is.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
December 2, 2017

But as transgender people enter the public sphere more noticeably—as we win elections and become the subjects of high-profile court cases—we’re witnessing a surge in a much more nefarious phenomenon: The active, willful misgendering of transgender people by our political opponents on large and influential platforms.

I’d hesitate to call it the last gasp of anti-LGBT forces who know they’re on the wrong side of history—but it is almost certainly an embarrassing sign of desperation.

After Danica Roem won her election to the Virginia House of Delegates last month—potentially becoming the first openly transgender candidate elected and seated in a state legislature—the Republican House Majority Leader in Virginia proposed doing away with the traditional “gentleman” and “gentlewoman” titles, as The Washington Post first reported.
How childish of the Republicans changing a 400 hundred year old rule just so they don’t have to say gentlewoman to Ms. Roem.

Then we have the conservative legal counsel doing it also,
If the Liberty Counsel did continue to misgender Grimm, Finch noted, “they seem deliberately disrespectful at best and biased on moral grounds at worst, which undermines their case by revealing an existing bias.”

Indeed, the Supreme Court seemed none too pleased with the stunt, telling the Liberty Counsel in a letter that “his” was the proper pronoun to use in this case, and to “please ensure careful compliance with this requirement in this and other cases in the future.”
Of course, far-right media outlets have been gleefully misgendering transgender subjects all along.
Well we didn’t expect Fox News and the other conservative news outlets to use the proper pronouns.
The article points out that as the general public becomes more accepting of us…
But as the general public slowly moves closer to accepting transgender people, this phenomenon is coming into sharper relief—and being seen as the petty move that it is.
I remember a trans man with a beard and balding telling me of an incident where he was being misgendered on purpose in a restaurant and when the person went to the bathroom he told the waitress that the person had early onset Alzheimer's.

Chipping Away

The chipping away of our rights be the courts have begun, this time it spousal benefits. Will we be next?
Supreme Court Lets Stand Texas Ruling That Could Undermine Marriage Equality
The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
December 4, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a Texas Supreme Court ruling that said the right to marry did not mean same-sex couples also had the right to spousal benefits.

The Texas court made its ruling last June in a case involving the city of Houston, which was sued by a coalition of conservatives to block a plan put forth in 2013 to offer spousal benefits to municipal employees in same-sex marriages. A local court ruled against the city, but an appeals court ruled in its favor, leading the coalition to appeal to the state Supreme Court, which found that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling did not necessarily mean government entities must provide equal benefits to all couples. It sent the case back to the Harris County District Court in Houston to decide this question.
Does that make sense?

We can marry legally but states do not have to prove benefits? So we are right back to separate and unequal
Houston appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which today rejected the case without comment, the Austin American-Statesman reports. This lets the Texas ruling stand, and the Harris County court will consider the matter. The high court does not usually comment when rejecting an appeal.
That is one ray of hope; it means that the case could be resubmitted. It is not dead just in limbo.

So now the case goes back to the Texas Supreme Court,
Two LGBT-focused legal groups, GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, issued a reminder not to give up: "This case is not over. It will now return to the Texas trial court for a final decision. It was an uphill battle to persuade the Supreme Court to grant review at this juncture because of the court’s firm rule about taking cases only after a final judgment even where, as we noted in our friend of the court brief, a lower court ruling is subverting an important federal policy. We hope and expect the Texas trial court, on remand, will uphold spousal benefits for employees married to a person of the same sex, as Obergefell and common sense require."  
And don’t forget that today the Supreme Court hears the oral arguments for the Masterpiece Cakeshop religious exemptions case.

Expect to see more bad decisions as Trump packs the courts with religious bigots.

Monday, December 04, 2017

School Books

Texas dominates the school book market; they have so many students that printers use Texas school books for other states around the country. But lately other school districts have been shying away from them because of their conservative leaning on science, the environment, and evolution; in walks California.
California just approved 10 LGBT-inclusive textbooks for elementary & middle school
By Alex Bollinger
November 12, 2017

The California State Board of Education just agreed to recommend ten LGBTQ-inclusive history textbooks for grades K through 8. The board also rejected two books from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that failed to include LGBTQ people.

In 2011, California passed the FAIR Education Act, which added people with disabilities and LGBT people to the list of minorities whose contributions must be included in textbooks in the state.
Meanwhile Texas is removing all reference about LGBT people.
“This long fought victory is the next step for California students to learn about the contributions and history of LGBTQ people,” Equality California executive director Rick Zbur said.

School districts in California do not have to choose a book recommended by the state, but many do. Either way, their curriculum has to meet state standards.
A 2012 article in the New York Review of Books had this to say,
No matter where you live, if your children go to public schools, the textbooks they use were very possibly written under Texas influence. If they graduated with a reflexive suspicion of the concept of separation of church and state and an unexpected interest in the contributions of the National Rifle Association to American history, you know who to blame.

When it comes to meddling with school textbooks, Texas is both similar to other states and totally different. It’s hardly the only one that likes to fiddle around with the material its kids study in class. The difference is due to size—4.8 million textbook-reading schoolchildren as of 2011—and the peculiarities of its system of government, in which the State Board of Education is selected in elections that are practically devoid of voters, and wealthy donors can chip in unlimited amounts of money to help their favorites win.
And this is where California comes in… they have enough of a clout to be able to offer alternatives to the Texas school books.

Of course according to the LGBTQNation article there is opposition to the books and it comes from the usual anti-LGBT sources,
Conservatives, of course, opposed any inclusion of LGBTQ people at all. The California Family Institute, in a blog post, said that the law “doesn’t take into account the sincerely held moral and religious beliefs of millions of California parents.”
We can have our little children finding out that Walt Whitman and Emily Dickenson were gay and lesbians, might make the children start thinking it is okay to be LGBT.

We Live This Everyday

When Trump got elected last year the non-profit that I’m the executive director started receiving phone calls from trans people who were scared and wanted someone to talk to. We never had calls like that before, but people were scared so this article comes as no surprise.
Study Shows Queer Women, Trans People, Are More Depressed After Donald Trump’s Win
Mike Pence "doesn’t even believe I exist," wrote one respondent. "I should just kill myself now."
By Trish Bendix

We’ve all felt down since Donald Trump took the White House, but researchers have uncovered higher rates of anxiety and depression among queer women and trans people since the election.

Ironically, Cindy Veldhuis, a researcher at Columbia University’s School of Nursing, had originally planned on a more uplifting study.

“We thought that there would be all these positive effects from same-sex marriage being recognized,” Veldhuis tells NewNowNext, “And then the election happened and we realized all those positive effects, we just were not seeing. So we regrouped and added a bunch of questions about the election to capture that duality—both the positive effects of marriage recognition and then the potentially negative effects of the election.”

In December, Veldhuis and her team surveyed some 930 adult women who identified as lesbian, bisexual, queer, or otherwise not exclusively heterosexual, as well as trans men and women. Trump was still a month away from being inaugurated, but the effects were clear: Many participants used words like “terrified,” “scared,” and “shell-shocked.”
Why are the lesbians and gay not as “shell-shocked”
Cisgender lesbians felt somewhat less anxious and depressed than trans people, in part, Veldhuis theorized, because they could to “pass” better. “People with more marginalized identities were more aware of how others with even more marginalized identities were going to be affected.” She also found that participants with partners from multiple marginalized communities were more likely to report challenges in their relationships.
Our anxiety is based on how well you can integrate into society, trans people who stand out fear more about discrimination and harassment. I use this slide in my PowerPoint presentation that quotes from the 2015 Transgender survey by NCTE.

The article goes on to say,
“We need to look at this longitudinally and figure out how people are doing longterm,” she says. “This is a snapshot in time, but those affects didn’t go away. It’s an ever-shifting landscape,” with Trump in the White House now. “So it’ll be hard to really capture well what has happened and how people are reacting since every day is a new policy or a new Tweet.”
I don’t think the fear will go away until 2020 and even then it might continue for another four years.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Kids Transitioning

When I was first poking my head out of the closet the best advice for trans children and their parents was to document everything because you are going to get a visit from DCF (Department of Children and Families).

Well the time are changing for the better but we still have our naysayers… it is only a phase that they are going through, or it is because of the family, there is no father figure or the mother is too domineering. They also cite erroneously studies that they say shows a high number of detransitors.
When “desisters” aren’t: De-desistance in childhood and adolescent gender dysphoria
Gender Analysis,
By Zinnia Jones
October 31, 2017

The progression of childhood gender dysphoria has historically been characterized by two known developmental pathways: persistence, in which dysphoria and cross-gender identification continue into adolescence and typically lead to social and medical transition, and desistance, in which the dysphoria abates and adolescents go on to identify and live as their assigned gender. While studies have found that anywhere from 2-27% of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria will persist in feeling dysphoric (Steensma, McGuire, Kreukels, Beekman, & Cohen-Kettenis, 2013), these findings have crucial limitations and have been widely misconstrued in the public discourse.

One issue is that until recently, diagnoses of gender identity disorder in childhood were made using criteria in the DSM-IV and earlier editions. These criteria were so broad that they allowed for gender-nonconforming children to be diagnosed with childhood gender identity disorder even when they did not identify with another gender or want to live as another gender. For that reason, most samples of “gender-dysphoric children” likely included large numbers of children who did not actually experience gender dysphoria in the first place – meaning that their dysphoria did not “desist” at adolescence, but rather was never present. Regarding changes from the DSM-IV-TR to the DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association has stated:
For children, Criterion A1 (“a strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that he or she is the other gender . . .)” is now necessary (but not sufficient), which makes the diagnosis more restrictive and conservative.
Steensma & Cohen-Kettenis (2015) further noted:
What should be emphasized is that these studies did not use the fairly strict criteria of the DSM-5, and children could receive the diagnosis based only on gender-variant behavior. With DSM-5 criteria, the persistence rate probably would have been higher.
Additionally, there is a tendency among the public to misunderstand claims such as “80% of gender-dysphoric children will desist in their dysphoria at adolescence” (already called into question by the aforementioned diagnostic issues) as meaning that any individual child with gender dysphoria can, all else being equal, be assumed to have an 80% likelihood of desisting. But these are two distinct claims, and the latter claim does not accurately represent what is known about the developmental course of childhood and adolescent gender dysphoria.
Much of the research into children with gender dysphoria have been taken out of context by the opposition and some of the authors of the various studies have refuted the opposition’s interpretation of their data.

I have had the honor of knowing a number of trans children and have watched them grow up, and they are the most well-adjusted children that I know. None of them have detransitioned.

I recommend read the whole article.

Merry Christmas… Except For You And You.

If you were black or LGBT it seems like you never got an invitation to the party at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, surprise, surprise.
It was Thanksgiving day when Chris Johnson, the chief political and White House reporter for the Washington Blade, learned he hadn’t been invited to the annual White House holiday party for the press.
Yahoo News
By Emily Shugerman  The Independent
November 30, 2017

Mr Johnson, a reporter for the nation’s oldest LGBTQ paper, had attended every such party for the last seven years. He assumed this year’s invitation hadn’t gone out yet, until he heard other reporters discussing them over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mr Johnson is one of at least two long-time White House correspondents who were not invited to this year’s event – a casual, off-the-record gathering for members of the administration and the press.

The other is April D Ryan, the White House correspondent and DC bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks. She has been invited to the party for the last 20 years.
Naw, it couldn’t be because the White House is full of racists and homophobes.
This year’s party will be held on a weekday, and will start earlier than past events. The first couple will not pose for pictures with reporters, as previous administrations have done. The administration will, however, stick to one tradition: keeping the event off the record.
Trump probably wants to get away to Mar-a-Lago to play golf in the morning.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Saturday 9: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (1971)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
For those who want to read about my 50th high school reunion you can read about it here.

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

In memory of David Cassidy, who died on 11/21/17.

1) This song mentions celebrating the holidays in "the new old-fashioned way." What's a holiday tradition that began with you (or your generation)?
Um… nothing. We just have a traditional Christmas.

2) The lyrics include dancing, caroling and pumpkin pie. Will you enjoy any of those three between now and year-end?
Nope. I don’t dance. I don’t sing. I can’t stand anything to do with pumpkins, as far as I’m concerned they are for carving on Halloween not eating.

3) David Cassidy and The Partridge Family were intensely popular for a short period of time. For example, this song was from the best-selling Christmas album of the 1971 holiday season. Have you added any holiday music to your collection this year?
No. But what I do have is my mother’s Christmas CD collection which includes Nat King Cole singing Christmas carols.

4) In 1971, the official David Cassidy fan club had a membership that exceeded both Elvis' and The Beatles'. Have you ever joined a fan club?
Nope. I think that those are stupid.

5) David recalled that his first hero growing up was the Yankees' Mickey Mantle. When you were a little kid, what grown-up did you look up to?
My father, he was the one who had most influence in my life.

6) David was a notoriously bad driver. In 1990, he was sentenced to traffic school for speeding. He was late for the class because he was stopped for speeding en route. Do you have a "lead foot?"
Um… I take the fifth. I have been known to set the land speed record.
In truth I usually drive around 5 mile per hour over the limit but I have been known to keep up with traffic.

7) David's parents divorced when he was only four years old. He and his mom lived with her parents until he was 10. Have you ever lived in an extended, multi-generational household?
Yes, my material grandmother lived with us when my grandfather died.

8) In 1971, when David and the Partridge Family were at their height, the US Mint introduced the Eisenhower Silver Dollar. Think of the last thing you bought. Did you pay with cash or plastic or your phone?
I very rarely pay cash for anything, but yesterday I paid cash for one of my meds. It was only two dollars.

9) Random holiday question: Let's talk regifting. Tell us about a time you regifted, or you received a present you suspect was regifted.
It was a support group Yankee Swap*. For a while a singing fish made it rounds at the group’s holiday party.

*How we do a Yankee Swap.
  1. Everyone draws a number from a hat or mug.
  2. Number one goes first and picks a gift from the pile. You can pick it up or shake it first and then you unwrap it for everyone to see.
  3. Number 2 can either take the gift from #1 or pick a gift from the pile. If you take #1’s gift then #1 gets to pick again from the pile.
  4. The process is repeated with all the numbers until the last person has picked a gift or taken a gift from anyone other player and that player picked the last gift..
  5. Then #1 gets to swap the gift they have from anyone else.
So who ever has drawn #1 has the best choices while the lower numbers have fewer choices than the higher number players.

Friday, December 01, 2017


Trans parents have faced an uphill battle for custody or joint custody of their children, here in Connecticut they cannot discriminate against the trans parent but that is not true for other states and that also goes for adoption.
Flap over Montgomery County resolution reflects transgender rights debate
Houston Chronicle
By Mike Snyder
November 30, 2017

You could call it the accidental nondiscrimination measure.
Terri Jaggers, the president of the Montgomery County Child Protective Services board, tearfully apologized on Facebook after including - inadvertently, she said - certain language in a resolution designating Nov. 15 as "adoption day" in the conservative suburb north of Houston.

As Jay Jordan reported in the Conroe Courier, the resolution stated "there are no restrictions on who can adopt based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or marital status."

County commissioners unanimously approved the resolution, prompting outrage from social conservatives disturbed by the mere mention of "gender identity." The meaning, intended or not, was clear: Transgender people have as much right to adopt a child as anyone else does.
And of course the conservatives are hopping mad.
County commissioners unanimously approved the resolution, prompting outrage from social conservatives disturbed by the mere mention of "gender identity." The meaning, intended or not, was clear: Transgender people have as much right to adopt a child as anyone else does.
And they are attacking the Republicans on the committee for voting in favor of the resolution, how dare they vote for anything LGBT!

My prediction is that you are going to see legislation introduced banning LGBT adoption.

Yes, I Am Biased

I know that I am biased.
I am biased against people who discriminate.
I am biased against people who want to deny my existence.
I am biased against people who want to make me a second class citizen.
I am biased against people who are islamophobes.
I am biased against people who are racists.

We can argue all day about big government v. small government, taxes, and the environment, but when it comes anything about human rights I don’t give any quarter. It is not open to discussion.
Will You Admit You’re Biased, Have Preferences And Discriminate?
Social Justice Solutions
By Kelly Mitchell
November 30, 2017

Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Discrimination: the ability to discern what is of high quality; good judgment or taste.
Ah, but then there’s our first definition of discrimination up there at the top of this piece. This is the definition of discrimination we are likely to want to distance ourselves from; well most of us. We could argue that someone like the current President of the United States is discriminating when he puts forward an, “America first” agenda, or proposes legislation that bans people of certain countries from flying, and of course there is his plan to build a wall separating his country from Mexico. Discrimination? Absolutely! Yet there he is at the very pinnacle of power and influence. So, holding such a polarizing view can get you to the top and, apparently, allow you to stay there too; at least for a while.
A friend has a saying “When you hear mean, intervene”

Many of you probably have heard about what happened at the University of Connecticut the other day. Lucian Wintrich, who is a white supremacist gave a speech at UConn where a fight broke out, a woman stole his speech off of the lectern and he grabbed her and pulled her back.

The Hartford Courant had this editorial today…
Free speech is American to the core. Voicing opposition to the mainstream is a guaranteed right.

But when debate devolves into shout-downs, then there are problems all around. And that's what happened at the University of Connecticut on Tuesday night.

The university's College Republicans invited a young man to campus who is more provocateur than pundit, a choice that from the start did nothing to foster robust debate and instead seemed designed to inflame.

Lucian Wintrich, who writes for "The Gateway Pundit" website, seems to specialize in rhetorical bomb-throwing. He gave a speech titled "It's OK To Be White," which was advertised with posters that bore striking similarities to posters from Nazi Germany. Hundreds packed an auditorium on campus Tuesday night to hear it, or to condemn it. Clearly, Mr. Wintrich and the College Republicans wanted to provoke rancor.
Mr. Wintrich's schtick is an attempt to divide along the lines of race. In the online transcript of his speech (which he recited mostly intact on Tuesday, extemporizing from time to time), Mr. Wintrich describes an "America run by illegal immigrant tranny communists."

He claims "the left" tells "black people ... that they are oppressed minorities who are subjected to incredible — but unperceivable — human injustices on a daily basis and that they'll never be able to get ahead because of the systematic oppression that looms over this entire nation."

Unperceivable perhaps from Mr. Wintrich's white point of view, but daily human injustices can be rather obvious for African Americans. Not surprisingly, much of the audience responded with howls when he delivered that line.

We have a right to say what we think!

Well no, you don’t and the Supreme Court agrees that there are limits to free speech.

There is a case called Brandenburg v. Ohio in which the Supreme Court said,
Brief Fact Summary. An Ohio law prohibited the teaching or advocacy of the doctrines of criminal syndicalism. The Defendant, Brandenburg (Defendant), a leader in the Ku Klux Klan, made a speech promoting the taking of vengeful actions against government and was therefore convicted under the Ohio Law.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Speech can be prohibited if it is “directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action” and it is likely to incite or produce such action.
Held. Yes.
(Per Curiam) The Act properly made it illegal to advocate or teach doctrines of violence, but did not address the issue of whether such advocacy or teaching would actually incite imminent lawlessness. The mere abstract teaching of the need or propriety to resort to violence is not the same as preparing a group for violent action. Because the statute failed to provide for the second part of the test it was overly broad and thus in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Discussion. In order for “incitement to violence” speech to be constitutionally barred, Brandenburg sets a new standard. The language must (1) expressly advocate violence; (2) advocate immediate violence and (3) relate to violence likely to occur.
I think that condition “3” has been met since violence did break out.

Who Would Have Thought

When I was growing up I never imagined that I would transition, society was so against us. Then in the late nineties rays of hope started to peek through the gloom and now businesses are actually fighting for us.
Milwaukee-area businesses form coalition to lobby for transgender rights
Would adapt law to prevent employment discrimination
Biz Times
By Molly Dill
November 30, 2017

Four southeastern Wisconsin companies are included in the five founding members of a new group, Wisconsin Businesses for Equality, that is advocating for transgender equality legislation.

Wauwatosa-based Froedtert Health, Kohler-based Kohler Co., Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup and the Milwaukee Bucks have signed on, along with Madison’s UW Health.

The coalition was organized by the Milwaukee-based Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Fair Wisconsin, and will advocate for updating Wisconsin’s non-discrimination law to protect the transgender community.
Connecticut has a GL Chamber of Commerce; it changed its name from Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities.

I was a member of CABO and then they decided to change their name to reflect more who they are and I was asked to attend the name change meeting. It was an all afternoon meeting at the house of a Board member, well I lobbied for LGBT chamber of commerce; the other people there didn’t like “LGBT” it was too long of a name. So they chose CT Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce… sayonara, goodbye.