Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Heat of the Moment

Saturday 9: The Heat of the Moment (1982)



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

1) What's something you did or said "in the heat of the moment?"
I don’t usually do things in the “heat of the moment,” I am slow and methodical.

2) Asia's founder and bass player, John Wetton, passed away in January. One of his bandmates remembered him as a reliable performer who made everyone around him look better. Do you enjoy being the center of attention? Or would you, like Mr. Wetton, prefer to play a supporting role?
I rather be on the shadows, when you are in the spotlight you get hit with a lot of sharp barbs.

3) Asia is a British band who played their first US concert at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. The nearest major city -- Ottawa, Canada -- is a 90-minute drive from Pottsdam. When you were last in the car for an hour or more? Where were you going?
Yesterday (see my answer to question #9) when I went to court* in Danielson CT.

4) The song refers to disco hot spots, which apparently, by 1982, no one wanted to go to anymore. Let's make that negative into a positive. Describe your perfect night out with friends. Where would you go?
Dinner and a play, anywhere there is a theater and I have gone to about a half a dozen different theaters.

5) In 1982, the year this song was popular, someone laced bottles of Tylenol with cyanide. That's why we now have tamper-proof caps on many products. Have you used anything in a tamper-proof bottle yet today?
Yes, I think the next time I order my meds I will request regular bottles.

6) In 1982, Time Magazine's Person of the Year wasn't a person at all, it was "the computer." What do you use your computer for most often?
Everything! I use my laptop for work, suffering the web, games, and to keep my papers rom blowing around.

7) 1982 also saw the premiere of The Weather Channel. Where do you learn the day's weather forecast? (Watching the local news on TV, checking your phone, looking out the window ...)
Mostly from the TV, but I have a weather bug on my homepage.

8) In 1982, Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie, Conan the Barbarian, was a hit in theaters. When you settle down to watch a movie, is it usually a fantasy, like Conan? Or do you prefer another genre (action, comedy, adventure, romance, drama, classic ...).
I like SiFi, and old classic mystery or spy movies.  But I don’t like horror or monster SiFi movies, my favorite is Outlander.

9) Random question: What is something you try to avoid?
Going through Hartford during rush hour, which I couldn’t do yesterday. It took 40 minutes to drive from way up in the northeast corner of Connecticut which is about 40 miles and 40 minutes to go the 5 miles through Hartford.

*I did training for the court staff and judges.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Written Out

When we try to pass legislation or seek grants one of the questions that we face is how many people does this affect? We use various sources to answer these types of questions; we use the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, the Census, and other government research to justify our needs. But when surveys and other researchers don’t ask questions it becomes harder for us to validate the needs of the community.
Federal surveys trim LGBT questions, alarming advocates
ABC News
By Matt Sedensky
March 20, 2017

LGBT advocates are questioning the Trump administration's quiet deletion of questions on sexuality from two federal surveys.

Combined with the withdrawal of another planned survey evaluating the effectiveness of a homelessness project for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, the moves have alarmed watchdogs who worry they may point to a manipulation of government data collection to serve the ideology of a government they view as hostile to their causes.

"In an age when LGBT rights are such a part of the national discussion, the Trump administration is choosing to not only ignore us but erase us from the discussion," said Laura Durso, vice president of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, a nonprofit liberal advocacy group. She worried officials might be rolling back such data collection elsewhere.

Each year, a survey done by the Department of Health and Human Services gathers data from those receiving transportation, homemaker and meal services, visiting senior centers, or taking part in other programs funded by the Older Americans Act. A draft of this year's National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, released this month, removes a single query asking whether a respondent is gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual from a battery of demographic questions.

A second HHS-sponsored survey, the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living, gathers feedback on counseling, skills training and other services provided to the disabled. A revised draft posted four days after President Donald Trump's inauguration included a question on sexual orientation, but the survey was subsequently edited, with the deletion of the sexuality question the only apparent notable change.
This could cause us grave consequences; with lose of funding for many LGBT programs and identifying our needs.

It also marginalizes use by denying our existence and I have to wonder if we will be even counted in the next Census.



This afternoon I am going to court.

I am giving Cultural Competency training to state judges and their support staff.



Update 8:20 PM

The bill banning Conversion Therapy was voted out of committee and the next stop is the floor of the House

From The Frying Pan In to The Fire

If you thought that it couldn’t get any worst on the national level you were wrong, it just got a whole lot worst. According to NCTE,
Trump Appoints Radical Anti-LGBT Activist to Lead HHS Civil Rights Office
Roger Severino spent much of his career demeaning and marginalizing LGBT Americans; civil rights groups express deep concern, urge recusal

This statement was co-signed by the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Health Law Program, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Women's Law Center, and Out 2 Enroll.

President Trump this week quietly appointed anti-LGBT extremist Roger Severino as Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS/OCR). The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Health Law Program, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Out 2 Enroll expressed grave concern that Severino, whose extreme views opposing women’s rights and transgender people brought him to prominence on the far right, will now be in charge of enforcing the very same civil rights protections he has worked to undermine.
And get a load of this…
Until this week, Severino served as Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society for the Heritage Foundation. There, he authored a report opposing OCR's implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex in federally funded health programs. Severino has called the efforts of agencies such as OCR to protect transgender people from discrimination an “abuse of power” wielded “to coerce everyone…into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology.” Contrary the conclusions of most courts to consider the issue, Severino has claimed that applying Section 1557 to gender identity discrimination constitutes a “radical” “redefining” of sex discrimination that is “not justified” by the law.
We just went back to the era of Jim Crow.

And there is still gets even worst…
Further, Severino has falsely asserted that HHS’s 1557 rule “create[s] special privileges based on gender identity” that can “force doctors to perform sex-reassignment surgeries” even when they are not medically necessary. The rule does no such thing. And these medical treatments, which Severino calls “controversial,” are supported by decades of research and the opinions of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and American Academy of Family Physicians, among others, as being medically necessary for many patients.
And women are not immune to his wrath.
Severino also strongly opposed HHS’s commonsense interpretation of Section 1557 to apply to discrimination related to pregnancy termination, including denying care to patients just because they have previously had an abortion. He has been a staunch opponent of access to contraception and other sexual and reproductive health services, opposing the ACA’s contraceptive access provision and calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
We have elected a psychopathic monster!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Not Good News

I think if you read the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey you will find a lot of the stress that we face is not because of our gender dysphoria but because of social pressures that we face. That stress manifest in many ways and according to Science News one of them is…
Transgender college freshmen drink more, experience more blackouts, study shows
Transgender students had more physical, social, academic problems due to alcohol
Date:
March 22, 2017

Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
A survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen found that students who identified as transgender were more likely than their cisgender peers to experience negative consequences from drinking, including memory blackouts, academic problems and conflicts such as arguments or physical fights.

Full Story:
A survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen found that students who identified as transgender were more likely than their cisgender peers to experience negative consequences from drinking, including memory blackouts, academic problems and conflicts such as arguments or physical fights.

The 989 students who identified as transgender were also more likely than their cisgender peers to cite stress reduction, relationship troubles or the sedating effects of alcohol as motivation for drinking, according to an analysis of the survey publishing March 21 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The results suggest transgender college students may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse, which can negatively affect their academic standing and their physical health, said Scott Swartzwelder, Ph.D., senior author of the analysis and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine.
[…]
A survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen found that students who identified as transgender were more likely than their cisgender peers to experience negative consequences from drinking, including memory blackouts, academic problems and conflicts such as arguments or physical fights.

The 989 students who identified as transgender were also more likely than their cisgender peers to cite stress reduction, relationship troubles or the sedating effects of alcohol as motivation for drinking, according to an analysis of the survey publishing March 21 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The results suggest transgender college students may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse, which can negatively affect their academic standing and their physical health, said Scott Swartzwelder, Ph.D., senior author of the analysis and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine.
The report ends with,
"Why do these students drink more, and what's making them more vulnerable to these negative consequences of drinking?" Swartzwelder said. "These are very important social questions we hope to answer."
I think I can answer this question. It is because societal pressures to conform, when you are being harassed, bullied, and marginalized the stress that builds up needs to find a way to be released and for many people including trans people they release that stress by forms of self-harm.

I would like to see if trans men show the same behavior or if society is more condoning on trans men because they gain status as oppose to lose status?



This afternoon I am doing training for town’s Community Services Council and their social workers.

A Bit Of Good News

With all the anti-trans and anti-LGBT bills being proposed it is nice to see one bill die in committee.
Tennessee transgender bathroom bill fails in Senate panel
WRCB
AP
March 22, 2017

NASHVILLE (AP) - A transgender bathroom bill in Tennessee has failed in a state Senate committee.

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday made no motion to consider the legislation by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet. The lack of a motion effectively kills the bill for the year.

The bill sought to require students at public schools and colleges to use restrooms and locker rooms of their sex on their birth certificates.
We need every victory that we can get in today’s political environment. What makes this noticeable is that the Tennessee Senate is controlled by Republicans. Maybe they are starting to see that they are going too far and the voters are not behind them and they feel exposed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

When To Transition?

Some say it is too early for a child to know that they are trans or not. Others say let the child explore their gender.
Transitioning early is beneficial for transgender children 
Colorado Springs Independent
By Heidi Beedle
March 22, 2017

On Feb. 22, the Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidance, which urged schools to allow trans students to use facilities that correspond to their identified gender. This guidance originally emerged in response to efforts to ban transgender people from public restrooms, pushed by conservative state legislators, many of whom were provided with pre-written legislation and lobbied by groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel.

The rescission of the Obama guidance was not about states' rights — as the Trump administration's saber-rattling over legal marijuana the very next day proved — but about erasing the existence of trans youth from public schools.
Right On! The Republicans want us back in the closet, out of sight, out of mind.
Adults often wring their hands over the impact of the "gay agenda" on young people, ignoring both personal agency and the immutable nature of sexuality and gender identity. The pushback against trans rights in recent years has been bolstered by dubious claims from discredited mental health professionals such as Kenneth Zucker and Paul McHugh, and the advocacy of thinly veiled hate groups such as the American College of Pediatrics (not to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatricians, a legitimate medical group which opposes any legislation that discriminates against trans children).
She got that right. They hide behind so called medical professionals, but really it is just a few conservative medical professionals who are trying to hide behind a highfaluting sounding organization designed to confuse people in to thinking it is a legitimate organization.
Trans youth face seemingly insurmountable obstacles to assert their identities, even though they overwhelmingly report an improved quality of life as a result of their transition. The actions taken by the Trump administration and by various state legislators to block trans people from restrooms are an attempt to block trans people from public life, to bully kids back into the closet. Take it from me, bad-faith arguments about desistance don't stop kids from transitioning, it just forces them to wait until they're 30.
Let them find their way,we should only be their guides through life and not lead them.



This morning and afternoon I was down in New Haven at Southern Connecticut State University teach two classes on public health.

Is Feeling Uncomfortable A Justifiable Excuse?

I am old enough to remember when segregation was the norm in the south. When I was probably ten years old we drove down south to visit the Civil War battlefields and I can vaguely remember seeing signs saying for blacks to use another facility.

One of the reasons that they gave other than the “Good Book” says it is OK to discriminate was that if a black person was in the bathroom with a white boy, the black person may sexually assault the white boy and that having a black person in the bathroom made them feel uncomfortable.

Well now those same arguments are being used against us.
Locker room lawsuit: Boy claims his transphobia outweighs trans student’s rights
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
March 21, 2017

Joel Doe is one very upset high school junior, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday. He is embarrassed, humiliated, “does not feel secure in the locker rooms or restrooms” at school and even avoids using the restroom during the school day, all because of his gender identity.

But Doe is not transgender. He’s cisgender, and his lawyers at the Alliance for Defending Freedom are using every legal argument cited by advocates for trans youth to win equal access to bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams, in hopes of reversing those gains with what may prove to be a landmark case of reverse discrimination.

This legal twist is just the latest outrageous maneuver by the anti-LGBTQ and far-right Christian-based ADF, a non-profit organization that has been labeled an extremist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Doe — not his real name, of course — claims that his Pennsylvania school district has violated his civil and constitutional rights by respecting the rights of transgender classmates.
Back in the fifties it was the southern Democrats who were in favor of discrimination and blocked legislation to outlaw segregation; they finally saw the light and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What it took to change their minds was television coverage of the wanton attacks on blacks who were marching for their human rights.

Well now it is the Republicans who are attacking us for political gains and then don’t care if we get hurt in their efforts to gain political power.
No court date has yet been assigned to hear the case. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has yet to officially define how the Department of Justice will proceed on cases of Title IX although it has already removed itself from notable cases involving trans plaintiffs, including the appeal of a Michigan woman fired by her employer because she transitioned. The federal judge in that case determined a funeral home owner’s religious beliefs outweighed Aimee Stephens’ right to express her gender identity at work.
Will the Justice Department stand against discrimination or will Attorney General Jeff Sessions follow his Southern roots and come in on the side of segregation and discrimination.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Deadnaming!*

I never heard of that before until a couple of months ago but it is fitting.

A few years ago on a forum there was a thread about going to schools doing outreach and I said there we some questions that I wouldn’t answer such as telling my old name. I got tons of flak over that with comments saying I should answer all of their questions because they are there to learn.

My response was learning to ask trans people what their old name was is not educating them it is responding to their curiosity, it is better to teach them that it is impolite to ask trans people about their old name.

When I heard the word “Deadnaming” for the first time I thought “Wow, that is a good name for that” because it is from our past, I don’t hate my old name it is just that is ten years in the past and it seems foreign to me now.

I still get mail with my old name and I cringe a little when I see it. I still get some checks form stock dividends with my old name on them, I don’t change my name on them because they will only reissue a stock certificate to replace a lost certificate with my old name not my legal name.

I change all my legal documents over to my legal name and gender including my birth certificate but the question remains; can you ever really change all your records? Credit reports list my old name as AKA. I also wonder if my death certificate will list me a “female” or will they just go by what is between my legs?

When we were passing the birth certificate we asked the question to our lawyers do we need legislation to make sure the death certificate doesn’t list our old gender? They when back and researched the question and at the next meeting they said in their lawyer talk that they thought we didn’t need to add anything to the bill because it should follow what is on their birth certificate and when questioned by us they said that In their opinion it should reflect the gender on our birth certificate.

So time will tell if we are “deadgendered” in our death.


*From Wiki Gender
Deadnaming is the act of referring to a transgender person's birth name instead of their chosen name.

Deadnaming normally occurs for one of three reasons:
1: Someone accidentally deadnames because they're used to using that name.
For example: John Doe called his transgender sister, "Steve" by accident because he had referred to her as that for most of his life. He apologized and corrected himself.
2: Someone purposefully deadnames to cause distress.
For example: At school, while Jen was walking down the hall, Anthony walked by her and coughed "Steve." Jen got upset and tried to correct Anthony, but he just walked away snickering.
3: Someone purposefully deadnames because of their beliefs.
For example: Great Aunt Mary called Jen "Steve" because she believed that Jen is still a boy.
Many consider deadnaming to be a form of transphobia.
Some ways people avoid deadnaming:
  • use stand-ins like [boyname]
  • use the single initial of the former first name
  • refer to that identity as pre-[current name]

The Times They Are A Changing

Sometimes for the worst and sometimes for the better and in this case for the better. All around the country there is legislation to ban us and demonize us being proposed but I one town…
Parents express anger at school district's exclusion of transgender students from anti-discrimination policies
PennLive
By Daniel Simmons-Ritchie
March 21, 2017

SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP - In a feisty meeting that drew occasional shouts and boos from parents, the board of the Cumberland Valley School District unanimously approved revisions to its non-discrimination policies on Monday night that omitted protections for transgender students and staff.

That vote followed impassioned pleas from a crowd of 100 attendees, many of them parents, who requested that the district update its policies to add those provisions.
[…]
In a surprise move on Monday night, the board voted to add protections for sexual orientation. However, that addition didn't go far enough for many of the meeting's attendees.
Yup you read right, the parents were mad because trans students were not included in the school’s non-discrimination policy. And it even gets better,
Some parents said they felt particularly slighted that none of the board's nine members discussed any of the challenges facing transgender students that were raised by parents at the meeting.

"I just think that it's ridiculous that it wasn't even discussed," said Sarah Goldblum, addressing the board. "When you know these children are being bullied, and you know they are having trouble in schools and committing suicide.
And what did the Board do in response to the parents? They said we will study the feasibility of including gender identity, in other words they brushed them off.

Monday, March 20, 2017

What The Opposition Thinks

Those of you who follow my blog know one of the things that I do is cultural competency training; I have seen a wide range of acceptance from total rejection to tacit acceptance, to total acceptance. Well here is a look at a conservative view of cultural competency training.
Trans Conference Celebrates Getting People Fired For Not Calling Men Women
If this is the workplace of the future, I would rather be prepared ahead of time than surprised later. But it’s going to be quite the journey.
The Federalist
By Anonymous
March 20, 2017

“I was scared to go alone to my ultrasound; so I took a friend. Throughout the procedure, the nurse kept referring to me as a ‘she’. Each time, my friend would correct her. After a while, the nurse seemed confused. ‘She’s having a baby,’ she insisted.” ‘No,’ my friend responded, ‘he’s having a baby.’ It was very upsetting. A week later, the nurse called and left a voicemail with the results of my exam. ‘His cervix and bloodwork look healthy,’ she said. I was so happy. The nurse had finally gotten it.”

This is one of the stories I heard at a recent conference on how to create a transgender-inclusive workplace culture. I went because I wanted to learn the perspective from transgender individuals personally. I also realized that if this is the workplace of the future, I would rather be prepared ahead of time than surprised later.

The conference was administered by a group of transgender individuals, from male-to-female, female-to-male, and even gender-to-genderless. Predictably, it wasn’t a conference for the squeamish. Throughout the day, we were regaled with stories of penis amputations, breasts being bound or removed, and even someone who removed nipples because those represent either gender.
Unfortunately, this is true, there is a "pecking order" in our community,
I was fascinated to learn that there is a pecking order within transgender culture known as “privileged trans.” The first tier of a privileged transgender is someone wealthy enough to be able to afford the full gauntlet of surgeries to appear as a man or woman. Unprivileged transgenders must settle with cross-dressing and shaving. However, the highest level of privilege is someone who is both wealthy and already has certain physical attributes of the preferred sex, such as feminine facial features, a low voice, or broad shoulders.

The penultimate goal of transition is when a person is in “stealth,” which means one is always recognized by strangers as one’s intended gender. When you’re in stealth, you no longer have to worry about “being read,” in which a stranger tries to figure out whether you’re a boy or a girl.
We as a community is hung up on being able to integrate in to society and it is a form of privilege to be able to do so. Many trans people are not able to integrate in to the cisgender community and as a result they face much more bigotry and discrimination but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be able to transition.

The article goes on to say about being fired for harassment and discrimination,
I learned it’s illegal in my state to refuse to use someone’s preferred pronoun. Almost every presenter had a story of a time they got a coworker, employee, or boss fired. A speaker (pronouns xe, xyr, xemself) passionately told us of a time when xe had an older coworker who referred to xem as “ma’am.” When xe repeatedly told him xe preferred to be referred to as xem, he responded that he couldn’t, because he had been brought up to be polite and use sir and ma’am.
You know it is all a matter of respect, having respect for others. If you cannot not respect your other coworkers do you belong working there? Before I was laid off there was this guy at work that I hated, he was a complete ass. A bragger who knew everything and just made life hell for those who were around him but he was excellent in his job in contracts. Every time I went to him I always took a deep breath and let it out slowly before I went into his office to calm me down because I knew that as part of my job I had to deal with him. If you can’t work with your coworkers you have no business working for that company.

The article ends with…
Even after being trained, I still have questions. If gender is not biological, then why do we think someone who claims to be trans-black is crazy? Under what moral standard do we prosecute polygamists? Why don’t we consider depression or suicide adequate lifestyle choices? Why is transgender considered a fulfilling life but those with Downs Syndrome should be aborted? Apparently, the only thing society can agree on is that nothing’s worse than being a straight, white man.
Well the first question “If gender is not biological…” is wrong, gender is biological it is just not binary but rather a continuum, a spectrum.

As far as I know, I don’t know anyone who thinks that fetuses with Downs Syndrome should be aborted and I don’t see how that is related to being trans. No, “Apparently, the only thing society can agree on is that nothing’s worse than being a straight, white man” the only thing that we should be able to agree is to treat everyone with respect and dignity.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Voice Of Sanity

In a country that makes the Mad Hatter Tea Party look normal.
Joe Biden Slams Trump Administration for Rescinding Protections for Trans Kids
The Advocate
By Tracy E. Gilchrist
March 18, 2017

Former Vice President Joe Biden voiced disapproval with the Trump Administration over its rollback of transgender rights during an impassioned speech while accepting his award from Help USA in New York City on Thursday.

Biden’s speech to accept the Help Hero Humanitarian Award from the organization that provides shelter and housing to homeless people including veterans, children, and victims of domestic violence focused great deal on safeguarding protections for women but he pointedly took aim at the Trump administration over its treatment of LGBT, specifically trans, people.

“As much great work as we’ve done, we face some real challenges ahead. We thought things were moving in the right direction,” Biden said, touching on the Trump administration’s unraveling of trans protections. “But there’s a changing landscape out there, folks, and we have a hell of a lot of work to do.”

Without mentioning Trump or the administration by name he suggested that they were wrongly focused on which bathrooms transgender children use when LGBT homeless kids face a myriad of issues.
See how easy it was to take away our human rights, with just a stroke of pen were lost a decade of advancements in LGBT civil rights.

New York state pay attention, your protections are just by a stroke of a pen by the governor and another governor can just as easily take them away.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

This And That In The News

There were a number of articles in this morning’s news all of them not good.
Man Charged With Hate Crime, Accused Of Attacking Transgender Women In Queens
CBS New York
March 18, 2017

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man has been arrested and charged after he allegedly attacked two transgender women outside a McDonald’s in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Patrick O’Meara, 38, was charged with a hate crime in the Friday afternoon incident, police told CBS2.

Police alleged that around 4:30 p.m. Friday, the suspect began yelling at the women as they tried to enter the McDonald’s at 37-59 82nd St. and called them slurs. He then allegedly pushed one woman to the ground and punched her and kicked her, police said.
The attacker has been arrested.
Visa Delayed: Transgender US judge’s visit cancelled
Victoria Kolakowski, who became the first transgender trial court judge in 2010, was expected to participate in a programme on LGBT law and policy as part of an event by the US Embassy
The Indian Express
Written by Shubhajit Roy
March 19, 2017

An American transgender judge has been forced to cancel her trip to India this week after her visa was allegedly stalled. Victoria Kolakowski, who became the first transgender trial court judge in 2010, was expected to participate in a programme on LGBT law and policy as part of the American Embassy’s speaker programme.

In a Facebook post, Kolakowski, 55, wrote that the visa was not ready a day before her departure on March 9 even as she had applied applied for it on February 20. Kolakowski was told to return in the afternoon on March 9 when she visited the front office for Indian visas. She was later told to come back again the next morning to get a manager’s authorisation to pick up the visa at the Indian consulate in San Francisco. “We came back Friday morning at 9 a.m., with my bags in the car, awaiting a 1:40 p.m. flight.” Kolakowski was eventually told the visa was still unavailable while the organisers told her “they were in urgent discussions” with US State Department officials.

Kolakowski later went to the consulate with her invitation letters and other documentation. “Just before they closed at noon, a man came out to return the letters,” she said. “He pointed to the letter where it said ‘to participate in a program on LGBT law and policy in India.’ He explained that they needed to know more about the programme, so they had directed their inquiries to the Indian Embassy in DC, who forwarded the matter to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.”
Ah yes… we don’t want you LGBT here in India stirring up trouble. Bigotry knows no international boundaries.

Bigots in Oklahoma are feeling they can discriminate against with impunity.
Oklahoma City Restaurant Warns 'We Don't Have A Transgender Bathroom'
On Top Magazine
By Carlos Santoscoy
March 18, 2017
A restaurant owner's anti-transgender bathroom policy is raising concerns in Oklahoma City.

Bob Warner, owner of the Steak and Catfish Barn, began warning his customers 10 months ago that his restaurant does not have “a transgender bathroom.”

“We do not have a transgender bathroom,” a sign outside the eatery reads. “So don't be caught in the wrong one. Thank you, Bob.”

Paula Schonauer, a transgender woman, said that the sign carries “an implied threat” of violence.

Warner told NBC affiliate NewsChannel4 that he was just trying to protect his property and customers.

“We have a lot of redneck guys that come in here,” Warner said. “Truck drivers and everything. They're big husky guys and I said, 'Man alive! If their wife or their little girl walked in that bathroom and a man followed them in there, I wouldn't have a restaurant.'”
The green has been given by the Republicans for violence and discrimination.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

It Was A Long Day Yesterday.

I was up at the True Colors conference at UConn main campus in Storrs all day yesterday. When I was going for my MSW I interned at True Colors but I have known Robin the director way before my internship, we probably go back fifteen years, we worked on many legislative bills together.

I got up there a little after 11 AM and I got home at 7 PM after having dinner with Stana at Adams Mill in Manchester.

I normally go to lunch with a former UConn School of Social Work classmate and her students, she is a high school social worker but when I got to Storrs the parking lots were filled because of the conference and all the women’s NCAA basketball tournament was going on at Gampel Pavilion. The conference was maxed out with around 2500 attendees for the conference.

When I got to the Student Union I went to the presenter’s table and checked in, while I was standing there in line I spied my classmate and talk to her for a while apologizing about not being able to join them for lunch with her LGBT GSA students because of the long walk across the campus and up a couple flights of stairs, it would have been too much for my back. Then I went to the vendor area and stopped by the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective’s table and dropped my stuff coat off and left flyers for our conference in April, and then over to PFLAG’s table to drop off more flyers for them to hand out.

Since it was now after noon I went up  to the Rainbow Center on the fourth floor of the Student Union for lunch (the presenters get free lunch), I said “Hi” to the assistant director of the center and I was hoping to meet the former Director who now has a job out in Colorado but she had already left. I found a place to park my butt next to a friend who does the radio show Gay Spirits at WWUH. A couple of trans people that I know walked by and we said “Hi” to each other, also Peterson Tuscano sat down and we had a talk about his new projects that he is working on.

Things quieted down at the center and I was able to stretch out on a couch to ease me back.

I then started over to the classroom for my presentation. I had a fair turnout for my workshop on Trans History, I glanced at the workshop evaluation forms after my lecture and I got rated all fives!

Then it was off to Adam’s Mill to meet up Stana. The waitress remembered us from last year… one of the things about being trans is that people don’t forget you.

One of the people who attended my workshop was “Dave.” He is a gay man that I first meet way back around 2003 – 2005 time frame at the True Colors conference (back then it was called “Children from the Shadows”). I was a attending a Trans 101 conference that a friend was giving and he was in the audience, after the workshop we walked back to the main lobby and he was asking questions about being trans. Well every conference since then our paths cross and we catch up on what has happened to us that year, this year he told me sad news, his mother passed away during the year. We also usually met at the LGBT Film Festival opening night.

Along Again, Naturally

Saturday 9: Along Again, Naturally (1971)



On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Not familiar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1. Friday was St. Patrick's Day, March 17th! Did you celebrate with green beer or a green milkshake? 
Nope.  But I did have an Irish beer with my supper.

2. Did you remember to wear green?
Nope… I don’t believe in St. Patrick's Day, it seems like it is just another excuses to get drunk just like Cinco de Mayo.

3.  What color do you look best in?
I like the denim look.

4. This week's featured artist, Gilbert O'Sullivan, was born in Waterford, Ireland. Waterford is famous for Waterford Crystal. Do you have glassware that you save for special occasions?
Yes, I have my grandmother’s crystal (What is left of the set).

5. This week's featured song includes the line, "To think that only yesterday I was cheerful, bright and gay." How were you feeling yesterday?
I was cheerful, bright and gay at the True Colors’ conference where I gave a workshop.

6. It begins with reference to a wedding that didn't quite come off because the bride left the groom at the altar. When were you most recently at church? Was it for a holiday service, a regularly scheduled service, a special event (a wedding or baptism)?
It was for a special event, a funeral for a friend.

7. In 1971, when this song was popular, Malibu Barbie was a big seller for Mattel. This doll had a perpetual tan. For a human to achieve this, a tanning bed or self tanner is usually required. Have you used either method to give yourself a tan?
I don’t like to tan, you can usually find me in the shade.

8. In March, 1971, James Taylor appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. What's your favorite James Taylor song?
How can you have just one favorite James Taylor song when there is so many to choose from? When there is songs like Carolina on My Mind, Fire and Rain, Our Town, and of course You've Got a Friend.

9. Random Question: What word or phrase do you hear yourself saying too often?
Um…

Friday, March 17, 2017

From The Other Side

You have heard what we the victims say about conversion therapy, what does the other side say?
Does Science Support Bans on ‘Conversion Therapy’ for Gender-Identity Issues?
National Catholic Register
By Joan Frawley Desmond
February 22, 2017

[…]
Opponents of reparative therapy claim the practice has harmed patients, who suffer from higher levels of depression and suicidal feelings. Its defenders say practitioners adhere to professional protocols and many people have benefited.

Now, “transgender-rights” activists are adopting similar claims of the therapy’s harm as they seek to ban therapies designed to help patients realign their gender identity with their biological sex. Their arguments have received relatively little public scrutiny, though the medical debate on treating gender dysphoria, formerly known as “gender-identity disorder”— an intense experience of conflict between one’s biological sex and the gender with which one identifies — in the young is far from resolved.
[…]
Dr. Paul Hruz, a pediatric endocrinologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, challenges the claim that science supports a ban on corrective or neutral responses to this condition. Likewise, he questioned whether research endorses an “affirmative model,” which has led to guidelines that direct students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
[…]
The American College of Pediatricians’ statement raised similar concerns. Treatment protocols that combine puberty suppressants and cross-sex hormones result “in the sterility of minors,” the professional group stated, while disputing the scientific basis for arguments that present gender-identity disorder as “innate,” and thus fixed.
The highfalutin sounding name “The American College of Pediatricians” is really conservative Christian association of about two hundred doctors compared to "The American Academy of Pediatrics” which has over 60,000 members.

And who do they cite?
Released in August 2016, the report was written by Dr. Lawrence Mayer, scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University, and Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who served for 25 years as psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The authors expressed grave concern about the high rate of suicide associated with individuals who identified as “transgender,” but they also said the science did not support recourse to medical intervention and surgery, and more research was needed.
There are already a number of good peer reviewed studies that contradict their findings. They go on to defend Dr. Zucker…
Meanwhile, the furious reaction of activists to the nuanced methods of experts like Kenneth Zucker highlights the political stakes for the “LGBT” movement, which increasingly opposes any suggestion that gender may not be a fixed condition. That resistance deserves more scrutiny from policymakers than it has received, say critics who argue that gender ideology, not science, is behind this trend.

“For decades, gay activists have claimed that people who have same-sex attraction are born that way,” said Katherine Kersten, a policy fellow at the Minneapolis-based Center of the American Experiment, who published an article on gender ideology in the February issue of First Thing.
Yes, the 60,000 plus doctors are wrong and the 200 with their Alternate Facts are right.



I have been at the True Colors conference all day and my workshop should have just started right now. My workshop is on trans history, hopefully I can educate the younger generation about our history.

We Are Everywhere Doing Everything

Wherever you look you find trans people doing all sorts of jobs including…
Life As A Transgender Intelligence Analyst
NPR
March 5, 2017

Here are two things to know about our next guest, Alexandra Chandler. First, she's a senior intelligence analyst for the U.S. Defense Department. Over her career, she's worked to keep the country safe from urgent and long-term threats, including weapons of mass destruction. So that's the first thing to know. Here's the second - she's a transgender woman. She was born biologically male and raised by her family as a boy. A little over a decade ago, while working in military intelligence, she made the decision to live openly as a woman. Chandler recently wrote about that experience and her life since in an op-ed in The Washington Post. We invited her to come to our studio to tell us more of her story. And I asked her if back in 2006 when she made the transition she knew of any other openly transgender people in her very traditional workplace.
[…]
ALEXANDRA CHANDLER: At the time, no, I did not know a single person that was transgender within either ONI, within the...

KELLY: Office of Naval Intelligence.

CHANDLER: ONI - Office of Naval Intelligence, that's right. So the way that I dealt with my fear, and my fear was profound, was to reach out to those close to me. And this is part of the lesson that I wanted to bring forth with the article, which is transgender people out there, you are never alone because there are people that can surprise you with the love, the acceptance. When I came out to my first-line supervisor, the senior analyst in my group - these were people who just by happenstance happened, I would say, be more conservative than most Americans, yet I could have not chosen greater fighters for me anywhere.
KELLY: You felt like they were fighting for you.

CHANDLER: Yes. I would call them champions. Straight up the chain of command, I had unified support from very early on.
She was a trailblazer,
CHANDLER: ...From the first instance, when I first went in to come out, I was coming out with the intent of saying clearly I can no longer work here, and I'm going to have to go, so I want to ensure a soft landing for the important projects that I'm dealing with.

KELLY: Why did you assume you'd have to quit?

CHANDLER: Because it's - it had never been done before, and I was afraid. So what they did for me was help me get past that fear and to say, well, why don't we try? But when it comes to the broader workforce and people who had not actually interacted with me...
She had support from management,
I was sitting in my cube at the time hearing this over a closed-circuit audio-video, and hearing that, my heart sunk because I was in the middle of negotiating when I was going to come out, what it was going to look like at work and hearing that. But then the captain gave a speech that is etched into my brain. He had made a decision based on the value that he put on mission coming first above all else and that he wanted to bring his entire workforce to that fight that I was part of at the time and that his decision was final. And though he recognized that people can have different personal opinions about this, we are all here to fulfill a mission, and we will all be valued in doing so.
And remember this was back in 2006. She sums it up by saying...
CHANDLER: I've seen the backlash that's come through society regarding the progress that transgender people have made. I saw it in North Carolina in terms of the quote, unquote, "bathroom bill," instances of hate crimes of trans people being harassed. I wanted to make the most revolutionary statement I could in such a climate, which is to become more visible than I'd ever been before, and to assert that trans people can do things and do jobs and have careers and have contributions to this society that you probably didn't realize.

And what's true for trans people is true for people of color, immigrants, other groups that have been feeling a lot of that fear and hate in this climate today. And then to wrap that up to say that we're all in this together and that me as a trans person, I only succeeded because of people that were not trans people, of extremely conservative people, of extremely liberal people, of people who've served in the military, who haven't, people from all walks of our society who, from childhood to my actual transition and my job, made this happen.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Some Progress

In all the doom and gloom there are a few rays of hope.

We are seeing some progress in being able to change our birth certificate without having surgery.
Plan would make changing birth certificates easier for transgender people
Chicago Tribune
By Haley BeMiller
March 15, 2017

A proposal that would make it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity cleared an initial hurdle Wednesday, as supporters said the existing process in Illinois often can make life unnecessarily difficult.

A longtime Illinois law says transgender people can only change the sex listed on their birth certificates if a doctor says they've had transition surgery. Under a new plan approved by a House committee, a birth certificate could be changed if a medical or mental health provider confirms someone has received "clinically appropriate" treatment. A range of practices including hormone therapy would be covered, using a similar standard that applies to U.S. passports.

Supporters say doing away with the surgery requirement would relieve a burden put on transgender men and women and reflects scientific findings that operations are not a necessary medical treatment. Grayson Alexander, a high school senior in Springfield, said he can't change his birth certificate in Illinois because he can't afford surgery without jeopardizing his plans to attend college.

Advocates said people can be denied coverage for preventive care like pap smears and prostate exams if their birth certificates and identities don't match.
Yeah, it is annoying that I have to fight to get my prostate exam covered by insurance but it is only a minor nuisance compared to have my birth certificate reflex my true gender.

But more importantly,
 "It's also a symbolic thing to be recognized by the state as the gender that you identify as," Alexander said. "That is immensely important. It's very validating."
And in Oregon State…
Transgender Birth Records Bill Passes Oregon House
U.S. News
Associated Press
March 15, 2017

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A proposal that would privatize the process for transgender individuals to make changes to their birth certificates cleared the Oregon House on Wednesday in a 37-23 vote.
Here in Connecticut we are trying to pass a bill banning Conversion Therapy for minors and we are facing opposition who are saying that there are only a few LGBT minors who go through conversion therapy but we say that even one is too many.

We have some news organizations that support the bill,
Frank J. Bewkes: Conversion therapy has no place in Connecticut
The Hour
By Frank J. Bewkes
March 3, 2017

Imagine, as a parent, a medical professional recommending to you that your child undergo a therapy regimen that includes induced vomiting or paralysis, electric shocks, and extreme shaming. Chances are, you would not request it for your child, nor would ethical medical professionals provide the treatment.

Yet these are just some of the dangerous techniques that so-called “conversion therapy” — the ineffective and discredited practices that attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity — uses. Shockingly, conversion therapy remains legal in Connecticut — even for children.

Hopefully, thanks to a new bill introduced this session by state Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, and state Rep. Jeff Currey, D-East Hartford, this will soon no longer be the case. The bill, HB 6695, would prohibit licensed health professionals from providing conversion therapy to minors.
[…]
Children who experience such a strong rejection of their identities are almost six times more likely to experience high levels of depression and are more than eight times more likely to have attempted suicide. This is especially concerning, considering that, according to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Connecticut’s lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are already more likely to be bullied, experience depression, and consider or attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
The there was also an article in the Hartford Courant by Dr. Christy Olezeski of the the Yale School of Medicine and by  Laura M. I. Saunders PhD at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital.

Doom And Gloom

It is hard to find positive trans news to write about, most of it is all doom and gloom, since Trump was elected there is an increase in legislation against us and an increase in violence against us.
Indiana judge dismisses transgender man's name change suit
The Indy Channel 6ABC
The Associated Press
March 16, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a transgender man's lawsuit challenging an Indiana law that prevents him from changing his first name to a male name matching his gender identity.

The man's parents brought him illegally to Indiana from Mexico at age 6. His lawsuit argued Indiana's law requiring anyone seeking a name change to provide citizenship proof is unconstitutional.

He said he's forced to "out" himself as transgender whenever he displays his driver's license because it lists his gender as male alongside his female birth name.

An Indianapolis judge dismissed his suit Monday, finding he hadn't established his legal standing to sue.
In Washington State there was a violent attack against a trans student.
Transgender teen bullied, punched at Vancouver middle school
KATU
By KATU Staff
March 15th 2017

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A transgender 13-year-old girl was bullied and punched in the face at her Vancouver school Wednesday.

A Facebook post about the attack from the teen's aunt is going viral; she says the teen was bullied by a male student, who called her a boy and said "she has to go to the doctor to tell them she's a girl."

The boy then allegedly punched the girl several times in the face, and she has visible bruising.
So much for providing a “safe learning” space in school as required by law.



A follow up on yesterday’s story about the anti-trans group using a woman’s assault for their political gains.
Group apologizes for using assault victim's story to push bathroom bill
KING5
By Kelsey Mallahan
March 15, 2017

SEATTLE -- A group backing I-I552 posted a public apology Tuesday to a woman who survived a sexual assault in a public restroom at Golden Gardens Park last week.

_______ said the Facebook group Just Want Privacy used her name and story to push the ballot initiative aimed at rolling back the state’s law that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.

“I refuse to allow anyone to use me and my horrific sexual assault to cause harm and discrimination to others,” said _______ in a release.

_______’s story went viral last week after she posted about being attacked on her Instagram account.
It is too late to apologize, they already exploited her and spread her photo and name all over the internet and used her to raise money for them. Are they going to give back her privacy? Are they going to give back the money they raise by using her?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Using Our Images

You would think that you have control over who can use a photo of you… well you don’t.

There are many cases where your photo is public property and people can use it without your consent. The phrase they use is “where you don’t have expectation of privacy” like walking down the street or at a public rally or your mugshot or police photos.
Assault victim says ‘not today’ to I-1552 campaign
MyNorthwest
By Dyer Oxley
March 14, 2017

When a man assaulted ________ in a public Seattle bathroom, she made it clear she was not to be messed with. “Not today …” she yelled as she fought off her attacker at Golden Gardens.

It’s a sentiment she is now turning on a political organization — the Yes on I-1552 campaign that is using her face to promote a political agenda she vehemently opposes.

“I’m done being polite. I’m done being politically correct,” _____ told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.”Because what they are doing is not correct. What that man did to me, was to me. It was him and me. We fought it out. There is no question about the wrongness of it … now my face is being used to raise money for discrimination … It’s bull.”

It’s a sentiment she is now turning on a political organization — the Yes on I-1552 campaign that is using her face to promote a political agenda she vehemently opposes.
And this is where we come in, I-1552 is an anti-trans voter initiative they are trying to get on the ballot and they are will to victimize the victim again.
“I’ve been pretty even keeled throughout this recovery time,” _____said. “I haven’t really cried very much or been angry. Then I opened up this link to a newsletter that went out for the bill, the Yes on I-1552. And it’s got my bloodied face on the cover of this newsletter, and on their Facebook page, using my violent sexual assault to promote an initiative that discriminates against transgender people. What?!”
The Seattle Times wrote,
________ probably thought she was finished with the expletive-anchored rallying cry she yelled when fighting off a sexual assault last week.
[…]
The Just Want Privacy campaign, which is trying to get Initiative 1552 on the ballot, used an image showing ______’s injuries and recounted her story in a fundraising appeal. The campaign also shared a news item on its Facebook page with Herron’s image and story.
To make it even worst…
But ________ didn’t know they were being used; the image that Just Want Privacy reproduced was one she had shared with news media.

In a statement through Washington Won’t Discriminate, _______ called on Just Want Privacy to issue a retraction and refund any money that was raised off her story.

“To the people behind I-1552, I say ‘Not today, mother (expletive),’ ” _______ said, using the same language she says she shouted at the man who assaulted her last week.

“I refuse to allow anyone to use me and my horrific sexual assault to cause harm and discrimination to others,” she added.
These anti trans people have no morals, they believe the end justifies the means. It is amazing how low they will stoop for their cause. They used her assault to raise money for them and they didn’t care who they hurt, I will not publish her name because I do not want Google to index it, I want her to maintain as much privacy that she has left.

Our Dream Job

I think it is natural to dream of being a glamorous model walking down the runway, for one woman the dream came true.
Top international model Andreja Pejic to walk for Smith & Caughey's fashion show
Stuff
March 15, 2017

Iconic New Zealand department store Smith & Caughey's has scored a major fashion coup with this week's announcement that top New York-based model Andreja Pejic will walk in their 'Last Friday' show on 31 March.

Pejic, who has modelled for many of the world's biggest designers, is also famous for being the most successful openly transgender model.

Born Andrej, Pejic fled with her family to Serbia at the outset of the Bosnian war, settling in a refugee camp near Belgrade before emigrating to Melbourne as political refugees when she was just eight years old.

Initially celebrated as an androgynous model and walking in both men's and women's runway shows in 2011, in early 2014, Pejic underwent sex reassignment surgery and came out publicly later that year as a transgender woman, marking her transition from androgynous model to female model.

The first openly transgender model profiled by Vogue in its May 2015 issue, the 25-year-old said in her interview that she was determined to show that there was more to her modelling career than "cynical stunt casting".

"It is about showing that this is just not a gimmick."
Little girls dream about being a fashion model, so did many of us but for us we had to hide our dreams. I remember seeing Christie Brinkley, Lauren Hutton, Brook Shields, Cheryl Tiegs, Twiggy… well maybe not Twiggy and wanting to be like them but I knew it was impossible. But now our dreams are possible.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We Are Under Attack

There are a whole slew of laws being proposed to take away our human rights and limit our freedoms.
Transgender bathroom bill reaches Texas Senate
The Hill
By Reid Wilson
March 8, 2017

A controversial measure to restrict transgender people’s access to public bathrooms will head to the full Texas Senate after passing a key test vote early Wednesday morning.

The measure, Senate Bill 6, is modeled on North Carolina’s House Bill 2. It passed on a 7-1 vote in the Senate State Affairs Committee after more than 250 people testified for over 13 hours.

The bill’s chief sponsors, state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), say it is necessary to maintain a single, statewide standard, rather than a patchwork of local laws.
Then in Indiana we face another challenge,
Federal court dismisses lawsuit challenging state law in transgender name change case
WTTV
March 14, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A lawsuit surrounding an Indiana immigration law and its effects on a transgender man who wants to change his legal name has been dismissed.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

The suit was filed in September 2016 against then-vice presidential candidate and former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and other officials, including former Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge and retired Indiana Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration Executive Director Lilia Judson.

A transgender man identified in court documents as “John Doe” said Indiana law prevented him from changing his legal name. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and Transgender Law Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 31-year-old resident.
Trump’s take back on our rights is causing turmoil in the trans communities around the country.
 A NEW PHASE OF CHAOS ON TRANSGENDER RIGHTS
The New Yorker
By Jeannie Suk Gersen
March 13, 2017

With a one-sentence order last week, the Supreme Court dashed hopes of a big transgender-rights decision this term. The Court was supposed to review the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen-age boy who sued the Gloucester County School Board for the right to use the boys’ bathroom and won, in the Fourth Circuit. But the basis of the Fourth Circuit’s decision was the Obama Administration’s view that Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating “on the basis of sex,” requires schools to treat transgender students in a way consistent with their gender identity. Last month, the Trump Administration retracted that position. Both Grimm and the school board urged the Supreme Court to review the case as planned, arguing that the government’s shift made it no less urgent for the Court to declare Title IX’s meaning. But the Supreme Court decided to vacate the lower court’s decision and send the case back for reconsideration. Grimm’s victory in the lower court was tethered to the Obama guidance, and disappeared along with it.

That leaves the Fourth Circuit to directly confront what Title IX means for schools and transgender students. Given that a 1975 federal regulation implementing Title IX permits “separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex,” can schools keep transgender students out of facilities that correspond to their gender identity? The losing party in that decision will surely ask the Supreme Court for review, but, in the meantime, the transgender-rights fight resumes in lower courts and states, in a landscape greatly altered by the government’s change of position. When a divisive social issue plays out in courts, legislatures, and communities, the process is normally messy, and filled with pain and struggle for the people involved—in this instance, schoolchildren. But the combination of the sharply conflicting Obama and Trump guidances, the Supreme Court’s refusal to review a case it had already agreed to hear, and the elimination of an important lower-court transgender win has escalated the confusion to an unusual degree.
The Supreme Court decision to turn the Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board could have a profound influence in North Carolina,
Trump’s new transgender policy could radically change HB2 fight
Charlotte Observe
By Michael Gordon and Jim Morill
February 22, 2017

The Trump administration’s planned rollback of federal protection for transgender students could cripple the court fight against House Bill 2 and make a political compromise to rescind the controversial North Carolina law even harder to achieve, legal and political experts say.

Both the Departments of Justice and Education under President Barack Obama argued that the right of transgender students to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity was protected under federal anti-discrimination laws.
[…]
That change not only undercuts the federal government’s 2016 lawsuit against HB2, it eliminates a key argument in the legal fight by HB2 critics.

“The (federal) lawsuit brought against North Carolina almost certainly will be dismissed,” says Greg Wallace, a Campbell University law professor who has followed the HB2 fight from the start.
All the court cases that we have won over the last eight years are now all in jeopardy.

The ease that Trump was able to overturn years of human rights advances shows how important to have laws to protecting us. Executive Orders and regulation like they have in New York state can be easily changed with a stroke of a pen.

The people are behind us but the Republicans stick fast to their ideology.
In the conservative leaning website “The Hill” they even say that the people are in favor of our rights,
Poll: Most oppose bathroom transgender laws
By Nikita Vladimirov
March 10, 2017

A majority of Americans do not support laws that require transgender people to use bathrooms based on their sex assigned at birth, a new poll finds.

According to a Public Religion Research Institute survey released Friday, 53 percent of responders said they opposed laws that would limit transgender bathroom rights.

Thirty-nine percent of responders said that they would support such laws, and 8 percent remained undecided.
The results are split down party lines 59% of the Republicans favor denying our rights while 65% of the Democrats are against the so called “bathroom bills” but more importantly 57% of independent voters are also against taking away our rights.

Woe Is Me Or You Make Your Bed And You’ll Have To Lie In It

Okay how many feel sorry for former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, it seems he can’t find a job.
Ex-NC Governor: ‘No One Will Hire Me Because of The Transgender Bathroom Bill!’
Heatstreet
By Emily Zanotti
March 13, 2017

Former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory says that he’s now jobless, and that no one will hire him because he’s associated with his state’s hugely unpopular “bathroom bill”, also known as HB2.

Speaking to a North Carolina-based Christian news site called, the WORLD, McCrory, who left office Jan.1, says his reputation has been “ruined” by “political correctness.”

“If you disagree with the politically correct thought police on this new definition of gender, you’re a bigot, you’re the worst of evil,” he told the site’s podcast. “It’s almost as if I broke a law.”
Well you violated the Human Rights of about fifteen percent of North Carolina’s population, and you tried to force your religious views upon the people of North Carolina. I know if I was running a company I would be leery of someone who couldn’t get along with the other employees.
The law has, “has impacted me to this day, even after I left office. People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’ – which is the last thing I am,” he said.
Yup.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Not Only Is The Political Climate Harsh

But so is our healthcare in Texas.
First free transgender care clinic to open in central Texas
KVUE
By Erin Jones
March 09, 2017

A recent UCLA's Williams Institute study shows that Texas has the second-largest transgender population in the country.

Just over 125,000 Texans identify as transgender.

Right now, there is no Central Texas health care clinic tailored to their needs, but that's about to change. On Thursday, a free transgender clinic will open to the public.

Texas Health Action's Kind Clinic's newest extension is filling a need that is great here in our community.

The gender care clinic will be the first of its kind in Central Texas.

"Right now, there is no specific clinic where people who are seeking help for gender issues can feel at home," Texas Health Action's medical director Dr. Cynthia Brinson said.
[…]
McAdams said some of the services that will be offered at the gender care clinic will gender affirming care such as feminizing hormones, masculizing hormones, STD screenings and HIV treatment and prevention drugs.
Here in Connecticut there is a backlog of trans people looking for health care. Planned Parenthood in New Haven offers healthcare on a sliding scale but it is about 6 months to get an appointment. In Hartford there is  Community Health Services and word has it that Middlesex Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospitals are starting gender clinics and they probably accept Medicaid (Husky).

If You’re Trans,

If you are black and live in New Orleans be careful.
Murders of 3 transgender women highlight alarming trend
CBS NEWS
By Don Champion
March 12, 2017

NEW ORLEANS -- The recent murders of three transgender women in Louisiana are not linked, but their deaths are part of a disturbing trend.

The fear is real in New Orleans for trans women like Imani Dupree.

“I’ve been frightened, but not like this before,” Dupree said.

Last month, Dupree’s close friends Chyna Gibson and Ciara McElveen were murdered within days of each other. A week earlier, Jaquarrius Holland was killed in another Louisiana town.

All of the victims were trans women of color.

“What scares me the most is that people will feel like they can get away with these things and nothing will be done about it,” Dupree said.
What do some experts blame for the sudden rise in murders of black trans people?
Beverly Tillery, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, tracks these cases and feels the political climate including bathroom bills are making the trans community less safe.

“When you can’t be valued for simply who you are then that sets up a situation where people think they can do anything to you,” Tillery said.
Sadly I believe that is true, people see us as less than human.

And it is just not us but also anyone who associates with us.
Brick thrown through window of New Orleans church days after it held transgender town hall, minister says
The New Orleans Advocate
By Della Hasselle
March 12, 2017

A brick was thrown through the window of First Unitarian Universalist Church during services held Sunday morning, according to Rev. Paul Beedle, the minister of the church.

Beedle said the window hit had been a gift given to the church after Hurricane Katrina. The damage occurred in a side hall of the church, away from sanctuary windows. No one was injured, the minister said.

He added that a member of the church had found the brick after he had taken a child on a walk, while services were still taking place.

The New Orleans Police Department was called following the incident, Beedle said, and a report was taken.

The brick-throwing occurred two days after the church had opened its doors for a well-attended town hall meeting held in support of New Orleans' transgender community.
So what is stirring up this violence against us?

I think two factors are at play, the first is the political climate that is fostering the hate and they feel that they have the green light to spread their hate and second it is harder now to find employment and it is forcing many black trans people to make their living off of alternative means

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Our Rights Are Human Rights

I have said that over and over and we should not be left to states or a popular vote.
QUORA: TRANSGENDER RIGHTS SHOULD NOT BE LEFT TO THE STATES
By Quora
March 12, 2017

I grew up in the south. Thirty years ago, in southern grade schools, we were taught that the Civil War (you know, the War of Northern Aggression) was a war about states’ rights. We were taught about northern “exploitation” of southern states and… We were taught a bunch of specious nonsense to mask what was fundamentally a war motivated by racism and a desire to maintain slavery.

If history has taught us a lesson it is that a strong federal government is necessary to protect the rights of citizens. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1968 and the Title IX amendment of 1972, laws enacted at a federal level, have been critical to protecting the rights of women, people of color, immigrants and people of a number of religious persuasions. These laws were passed to help our nation live up to its creed that we are all created equal. Without federal protections, our nation would be a patchwork quilt where citizens of different backgrounds could lose fundamental rights simply in crossing state lines.

We see this again and again and again on civil rights issues. When opposition to protecting a minority is couched in terms of “states’ rights,” the notion of states’ rights is being used to cover decisions motivated by bigotry. It’s one of many that have been deployed recently on transgender issues.

In the US, we’ve had a struggle since the founding of our nation between the competing ideas that we are a single nation unified under the federal government and that we are a collection of sovereign states. The founders of our nation fought furiously among each other over this very concept.

If history has taught us a lesson it is that a strong federal government is necessary to protect the rights of citizens. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1968 and the Title IX amendment of 1972, laws enacted at a federal level, have been critical to protecting the rights of women, people of color, immigrants and people of a number of religious persuasions. These laws were passed to help our nation live up to its creed that we are all created equal. Without federal protections, our nation would be a patchwork quilt where citizens of different backgrounds could lose fundamental rights simply in crossing state lines.

We see this again and again and again on civil rights issues. When opposition to protecting a minority is couched in terms of “states’ rights,” the notion of states’ rights is being used to cover decisions motivated by bigotry. It’s one of many that have been deployed recently on transgender issues.
And the courts have found that gender identity and expression are covered under “sex” discrimination and the courts based their decisions on the Supreme Court ruling on the 1989 Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins case.

State’s rights didn’t work on racial discrimination, and we have seen that it won’t work of trans discrimination with the passage of the North Carolina law and all the other prosed bills in other states such as Texas.



Bad news out of New Hampshire
NH transgender anti-discrimination bill tabled
New abortion limits stall while buffer zones at clinics standEagle Tribune
By Nicholas Golden
March 12, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. — A bill prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity was shelved by the state House of Representatives Thursday as were measures aimed at limiting abortion of "viable" fetuses and eliminating buffer zones around clinics and medical offices providing the procedure.

On Thursday, the Houses tabled HB 478, which would have prohibited discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations, by a margin of 187 to 179.

“(The) vote sends the message that discrimination is OK and it motivates me to redouble my efforts to ensure everyone in New Hampshire is treated equally and fairly under the law, including transgender residents and visitors,” said State Rep. Ed Butler, D-Harts Location, who sponsored the bill, which would have added gender identity to the state's anti-discrimination laws.

“I introduced HB 478, because transgender Granite Staters need to be protected from the real and pervasive discrimination they face,” Butler said in a statement from Freedom New Hampshire, which advocated for the bill.

Democrats also raised the question of why Republican Gov. Chris Sununu hesitated to weigh in on protection for transgender residents.

"The question is: Where was Gov. Sununu? He did not make his position known until yesterday, when he said he had 'no personal opinion,'" Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said.
It is going to be very, very hard to get a non-discrimination bill through the Republican controlled House.

You are going to need a grassroots effort to change the House, get out there and start knock on doors and inviting legislators into your homes for a one-on-one talks. You are going to have to show the legislators that it is much more than bathrooms.

Thankfully We Are All Getting Old

With more LGBT getting to retirement age we are facing new problems as we look at senior retirement communities we have to wonder if we will be welcome there. Laws don’t mean anything if the people shun us.
Elderly gay and transgender being forced 'back into the closet' in retirement homes
Stuff
By Emily Spink
March 12 2017

Elderly people who identify as gay and transgender are hiding their true identities in aged care facilities due to fears of being outed.

Transwoman Diane Sparkes, 76, says she is among a growing number of aging LGBTI people who face having to go "back into the closet" when they enter retirement homes for fear of being stigmatised.

Sparkes spent 55 years struggling with her identity. At 67 years old and after gender reassignment surgery, her transition from male to female was complete.

The retiree doesn't want to risk having her identity compromised again by being put in a rest home that is not rainbow-friendly.
[…]
"Gay people particularly, they've had to go back into the closet. It's still happening here."
And trans people!

I don’t intend to go back into the closet.

I hope that the retirement community is accepting on me and other trans people and lesbians, bi and gays people. Right now I don’t want to go a LGBT senior community; I want to be in an integrated senior community.

Then there is the question are LGBT senior community centers ghettoizing us? Are they isolating us from the general population? I am in favor of LGBT living centers but only on a voluntary basis, it should not be forced on us.

A nursing home or a long term care facilities might be LGBT friendly but what about the other residents? Will they be open and accepting? Or will be shunned?

If we are in a long term care facility will we be allowed in the women's ward or would be isolated in a single room?

One of the things that I tell healthcare providers when I do training is that their staff could be in violation of HIPPA if they divulge our gender dysphoria.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday 9: Fist City

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Fist City (1968)


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 wife warning another woman off her man. Who received the last warning, of any type, that you issued?
I can't remember anyone that I gave a warning to since I retired, when I was the boss I gave a lot of them.

2) Loretta sings that when her husband picks up trash, he puts it in a garbage can. She's being metaphorical, but we will be literal: If you spot litter on the sidewalk, do you pick it up or just walk on?
It depends upon how icky it is and if there is something to throw it away in.

3) She taught herself to play guitar. If you could learn something new in 2017, what would it be?
Opera. Just kidding! I’m learning how to use a new video editing program, I learned how to install Ubuntu and now the program OpenShot.

4) She broke her shoulder in a fall and surgery was required to repair it. When were you last in a hospital? Were you a patient or a visitor?
Neither, I was a teacher. I did a workshop for the staff.

5) In the 1970s, Loretta Lynn was the first country singer to appear on the cover of Newsweek. Who is your favorite country singer?
Willie Nelson

6) Rowan and Martin's Laugh In premiered in 1968, when this song was popular. What's the last TV show you watched? Did you watch it live, did you stream it, or catch it on DVR/Tivo?
Um… I don’t have a DVR. I watched 20/20 on Conversion Therapy, I am working with a group to ban it here in Connecticut.

7) In 1968, Jacqueline Kennedy shocked the world by marrying Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis. What's the last thing you heard that surprised you?
Well I don’t follow what’s happening in Hollywood, so I don’t know who’s marrying, who’s expecting, and who’s getting a divorce. Nothing in Washington DC surprises me now. I guess what happened to a friend might qualify.

8) 1968's top-rated car was the Chevy Corvette. Could your car benefit from a trip to the car wash this morning?
Naw, it rained all day yesterday so Mother Nature took care of that.

9) Random question: You're staying in a hotel and find you can faintly hear the couple in the next room. Would you ignore their voices, or try to hear them better?
It is not the voices that bother me.


Friday, March 10, 2017

A Wise Judge

Most judges don’t get it. They don’t understand that gender is a lot more than chromosomes but one judge does.
Judge: Gender Laws Are at Odds With Science
Time
By Noël Wise
Mar 08, 2017
Wise is a Judge for the California Superior Court, County of Alameda.

Deep-seated religious beliefs, cultural constructs, the regulation of sports (such as the rules confronted by Texas high-school wrestler Mack Beggs) and recent laws are premised on the bedrock belief that each of us is either a man or a woman. Yet the reality is that today in the United States alone there are approximately one million people who — from the moment of birth — cannot clearly be defined as either male or female.

This physiological truth is unrelated to whether someone is straight, gay or transgender. Many individuals are born with sex chromosome, endocrine or hormonal irregularities, and their birth certificates are inaccurate because in the United States birth records are not designed to allow doctors to designate an ambiguous sex. Countless people likely have no idea that they fall into this group. The more we learn about our DNA, the more that biological sex — from the moment of conception — looks like an intricate continuum and less like two tidy boxes. This understanding makes it virtually impossible for judges to consistently apply a law that permits or prohibits conduct based on whether someone is a man or a woman.
[…]
Enacting a law is just the beginning of the legal process. The executive branch must handle law enforcement. In North Carolina, for example, police officers and district attorneys must determine whether to arrest and prosecute someone for using a public bathroom that is inconsistent with the “perpetrator’s” sex based on their birth certificate. A law cannot be vague — a person of ordinary intelligence must know what conduct the law requires or forbids, and judges must be able to consistently apply the law in a non-discriminatory manner. There is no room for ambiguity.
Wow! This is radical coming from a judge, and how did he come about to understand gender is a continuum?
Many people share the ubiquitous notion that biological sex falls into two, mutually exclusive categories. In 2009 my perspective changed when I read an article written by a woman who learned shortly after marriage that she and her husband couldn’t have biological children because she had an XY chromosomal pairing. While she looked like a woman, and she and her parents had always believed she was female, from a genetic standpoint she was a man. The article was published the year after California passed Prop 8, a version of DOMA
[…]
I was curious whether her situation was an obscure medical anomaly that was statistically and legally irrelevant. It wasn’t. A regularly cited 1991 study of nearly 35,000 newborn children found that 1 in 426 did not have strictly XX or XY chromosomes. In addition, the World Health Organization reports that 1 in every 2,000 births worldwide are visibly intersex, because the child’s genitals are either incomplete or ambiguous, which equates to five newborn Americans a day. This represents a sizable U.S. population that cannot be ignored by the law.
And then he makes this statement…
If such individuals have the right to equal protection, to privacy and to use a public restroom, what clear and science-based legal principle can our judiciary employ to determine whether they lawfully used the correct bathroom?
His closing paragraph is dynamite!
In the United States, judges are obligated to see the world through a secular lens. They must apply the law without the influence of any religious construct or political agenda. If modern science recognizes that sex has countless natural permutations, and if birth certificates, physical observation and even chromosomal testing cannot reliably categorize every individual as either male or female, then our judiciary cannot be required to make gender findings antithetical to that reality. When legislators blur the lines of church and state and enact laws that permit or prohibit conduct based on biologic gender as only male or female — whether it is for the purpose of authorizing marriage or designating the use of public bathrooms — they place an impossible burden on our judiciary, and ultimately on our country and all of its people.
Hopefully other judges will start to understand that gender is a lot more than your chromosomes and the judges in the Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board case I hope will have this wisdom.

Many Republican politicians like simple things because they start getting a headache when they think too hard and the complexities of gender is one of those topics. Male = XY Female = XX Two little boxes to check, nice and simple.

Thing like Klinefelter’s, Turner’s syndromes, Mosaic, AIS, and Alpha-5-reductase deficiency make politicians heads spin. The Bible says God made man and woman… nice and simple, no thinking involved.