Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday 9: Jump

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Jump (1984)



On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
This afternoon I will be at the Women’s March in Hartford, followed by a birthday party so it might be not until tomorrow that I reply to your comments.

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

1) David Lee Roth does a lot of jumping in this video. He credits his flashy moves to his study with marital artist Benny Urquidez. Have you ever tried karate, judo, or jiu-jitzu?
Naw, too much like work.

2) Dave claims to be fluent in Spanish. Say something "en español."
Buenos días señora
I have to thank Google Translate for this answer.

3) Dave appeared as himself in an episode of The Sopranos, playing poker with Tony Soprano. Are you a good poker player?
I can’t keep a straight poker player face

4) Though known for his prowess on the guitar, Eddie Van Halen wrote the opening of this song at the keyboard when he was still new to the synthesizer. When do you recently venture outside your comfort zone? Was it a success?
Some time it is, but it is hard for me to leave my comfort zone.

5) Eddie's older brother Alex is the Van Halen drummer and his son, Wolfie, began touring with the band in 2007. Have you ever worked with a family member?
Kind of, back in the days when a lot of summer jobs were nepotism jobs, I worked for the state Department of Education and my father worked for the CT Department of Education. So he had a list of summer job openings.

6) Van Halen's first manger was Marshall Berle. Mr. Berle's uncle was Milton Berle. Does the name Milton Berle mean anything to you?
Yes and he has a very bad reputation in the trans community for his portrayal of Carmen Miranda

7) In 1984, when this song was popular, AT&T/Bell Telephone was broken up into 24 separate companies. Today, who is your phone provider?
Frontier

8) Also in 1984, Michael Jackson was severely burned while filming a Pepsi commercial. Would we find any Pepsi in your kitchen right now?
You will not find any soda in my house at all.

9) Random question: Have you ever been so angry that you kicked or hit an inanimate object?
Sadly I have to say yes, it was one of those days when nothing went right and I got very frustrated and I threw the object and it broke (I don't even remember what it was now). I ended up sitting on the floor cross legged crying. Not a good day.


Update 10:00 AM


Friday, January 19, 2018

Data Mining - Homeless Data

There is a lot of data out there about us that needs to mined, one of them is what is called the “Point-in-Time” Count or PIT where they count homeless people around the country. I took part in one count and I will like to do it again but this year it will be in the morning and the count is outside.

The PIT count is mandated by HUD (at least for now) and it is done on the same day around the country and after the data is compiled it is reported to Congress.

So what is the data on us?

Well first some facts about the homeless in Connecticut from the CCEH
Key Findings
  • On the night of January 24, 2017, 3,387 people were experiencing homelessness in Connecticut. This represents a 13% decrease from last year and a 24% decrease from 2007.
  • The number of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness (long-term homelessness and living with a severe disability) has decreased, 60% since 2014, down 11% since 2016.
  • Nearly 60% of those counted as chronically homeless were in the process of securing permanent housing.
  • 34 Veterans were identified in emergency shelter. This represents a decrease of 24% since last year. 14 Veterans were unsheltered – a decrease of 67% from last year.
  • 4,396 youth under the age of 25 were estimated to be homeless or unstably housed, including 269 counted as literally homeless in the PIT.
  • 392 families were experiencing homelessness, a decrease of 13% from 2016.
  • 415 people were unsheltered, representing a 38% decrease from last year.
  • 2017 now represents the lowest total ever in a statewide CT PIT Count for Individuals,
  • Families, Veterans, and Chronically Homeless since the first statewide count in 2007
Okay what about us?

Another interesting fact is the quality of care given to youth under DCF care,
Forty-three percent of homeless or unstably housed youth reported involvement with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or Foster Care. See Table 16. National studies have shown that foster care and involvement in the child welfare system are significant predictors of future episodes of homelessness. According to USICH in the Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness: “Every year, 30,000 youth age out of foster care and 20,000-25,000 age out of the juvenile justice system. Most have limited options for housing, income, and family or other social support.”
Okay what about us?
Demographics
Data collected from the 2017 CT Youth Count! indicate that the majority of homeless and unstably housed youth are 18-24 years old. Of the youth surveyed, 74% were over 18. Fifty-two percent were male and 43% were female. The average age of respondents was 20. Twenty-three percent of youth also identified as LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual). See Table 10 for more details.
From the table…
Gender:
Male 52%
Female 43%
Unknown 2%
Transgender 2%
Genderqueer 1% 
The report goes on…
Victims of Domestic Violence are people who answered “yes” to “Are you a victim of domestic violence?” or were in an emergency shelter or transitional housing project for domestic violence victims. Also, the calculation is only for adults who identify as Female or Transgender. Past data analysis indicated a high false positive rate when men were included in the calculation.
While the national report to Congress says,
  • Just under 61 percent of people experiencing homelessness (335,038 people) were men, and 39 percent (215,709 people) were women. Fewer than one percent were either transgender (2,092) or did not identify as male, female, or transgender (903).
  • Homelessness declined among women but increased among both men and people identifying as transgender. The number of women experiencing homelessness declined by one percent (1,559 people), while the number of men increased by one percent (4,148 people) and the number of transgender people experiencing homelessness increased by 18 percent (or 322 people).
Whether it is due to better counting methods or we have more homeless trans people it is distressing.

Two Countries Under One Flag

There are now two sets of laws here in the United States and we are on the cusp of being torn apart. All the news is concentrating on the utterance of Sh*thole counties but in the background the Department of Justice, Department of Education, the Department of Labor, the Health and Human Services have said that they will not enforce the laws of this country.

The Department of Justice has issued a statement that they will not enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while the Department of Education have said they will not enforce Title IX, the Department of Labor will not enforce Title VII, and Health and Human Services have said they will not enforce the Fair Housing law. All the agencies have said that they will defer to the states to enforce the federal laws. In addition the administration said they there are not going to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Those agencies have also come with a policy that creates special policies that allow anyone to disobey any federal and state laws just by says these magic words… “it is against my religious beliefs.”

Think about that for awhile.
Trump administration creates new religious, moral protections for health workers
The Hill
By Jessie Hellmann
January 18, 2018

The Trump administration has created new protections for health workers who have religious and moral objections to certain procedures, such as abortion or assisted suicide.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday it will create a new division under the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) responsible for investigating complaints filed by workers claiming that their employers have violated their religious rights.

The changes represent a major shift for the OCR, which in the past has primarily focused on enforcing patient safety and privacy concerns.

"No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice," OCR Director Roger Severino said at the announcement ceremony Thursday morning.
You got that!
Democrats and other critics worry the changes could restrict access to health care for some.

“I am deeply troubled by reports of the unconscionable approach being considered by President Trump’s Administration to use the civil rights office at the Department of Health and Human Services as a tool to restrict access to health care for people who are transgender and women," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Health Committee, said in a statement.
Suppose you are dying of cancer in a hospice and the nurse comes to relieve your pain you are suffering and the nurse sees you holding hands with your spouse who is of another race. The nurse stops and starts spewing Bible passages and refuses to give you the pain medication. Then the rest of the staff also complains about you and the hospice says you are not welcome there and puts you out on the street and the nearest hospice that will accept you is twenty miles away.



Connecticut governor Malloy said it best… “President Trump’s ‘Fake News’ awards as ‘fascist propaganda.’”

In article in The Hill,
In a statement Wednesday, Malloy praised journalists and rebuked the GOP for “challenging” the free press.

“The modern-day Republican party seems to have taken a page out of the 20th century fascist regime propaganda playbook,” Malloy said. “The primary purpose of today’s theater regarding ‘fake news’ awards is to bully and intimidate members of an independent press who seek to report the facts.”

On Wednesday, the Republican National Committee announced the “winners” of the “Fake News Awards,” which Trump has touted as a way to identify news outlets he claims have shown “unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news.”
Stop for a moment and think why is Trump always say “Fake News?”

Also think about when else was there “Fake News” in history.

Nina Khrushcheva, the grand-daughter of Nikita S. Khrushchevsaid in an article on NBC that…
In the early years after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, and particularly under Joseph Stalin’s despotic regime in the 1930s, “enemies of the people” emerged as the regime's most terrifying label. During Stalin’s Great Purges of 1936-38, the term vragi naroda (enemies of the people) branded all those who disagreed with the Kremlin — whether about the planned economy, unfree press or predetermined election results. That label, which defined Soviet reality, typically resulted in immediate death or imprisonment within the Gulag of harsh labor camps.
Also consider what the National Socialist Party (NAZI) did in Germany in the 30s under Joseph Goebbels the Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany and his “Big Lie.”

What Trump is doing is nothing news, by seeding doubt in the nation he seeks to energize his base.

Lastly another common trait among dictators is a scapegoat… the NAZI used Jews to focus the people’s anger. The NAZI took away the rights of the Jews, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
During the first six years of Hitler's dictatorship, from 1933 until the outbreak of war in 1939, Jews felt the effects of more than 400 decrees and regulations that restricted all aspects of their public and private lives. Many of those laws were national ones that had been issued by the German administration and affected all Jews. But state, regional, and municipal officials, on their own initiative, also promulgated a barrage of exclusionary decrees in their own communities. Thus, hundreds of individuals in all levels of government throughout the country were involved in the persecution of Jews as they conceived, discussed, drafted, adopted, enforced, and supported anti-Jewish legislation. No corner of Germany was left untouched.
Now compare that to what Trump has done to the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people with taking away our rights. To healthcare, to education, to employment, and to housing. He has given permission for us to be persecuted in the name of “religious freedom.”

Trump along with his white supremacists and evangelical christians backers are out to create two Americas one that has to obey all laws and those who can discriminate against blacks, Muslims, Jews, and LGBT people with impunity just by saying those magic words… “It is against my religious beliefs.”

It is the beginning of the end to “One Nation under God.

We are heading down a dangerous path that will tear us apart as a nation.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pitchforks, Tar, And Feathers

The assault on us never ends but there are some rays of hope.

Once again the Republicans are again trying to dehumanize us…
Delaware's transgender students: Separate but equal?
Delaware Online
By Margie Fishman
January 17, 2018

A proposed statewide anti-discrimination regulation, designed to protect transgender students and other vulnerable groups, has touched off an explosive debate in Delaware that threatens to derail the policy's implementation. 

The conflict pits Democrats against 14 House Republicans, conservative Christians against LGBTQ advocates, parents against school superintendents, local school boards against state educators, and the central Delaware NAACP against the state NAACP.

Absent an explicit directive from the General Assembly, one House Republican has threatened to sue if the state moves forward.
Of course the right-wing and white supremacist haters stepped in to stir up bigotry and lies into the debate,
Almost immediately, Breitbart News and other alt-right media outlets seized on the most controversial piece of the guidelines, which would allow students to self-identify their race and gender at school –– regardless of their age, even if their parents object.
And it had its effect with over 11,000 comments from around the country.

Meanwhile down in Tennessee they Republicans introduced their annual “bathroom bill.”
Group vows 'massive resistance' to retooled McCormick transgender bathroom bill
Times Free Press
By Andy Sher
January 18, 2018

NASHVILLE — For just a little while Wednesday, it appeared that Rep. Gerald McCormick was giving up on a controversial bill the Chattanooga Republican introduced that resurrects Tennessee's transgender school bathroom controversy.

McCormick moved on the floor to withdraw the measure, drawing attention from both Democrats and LGBT advocates who had criticized the measure that would have required the state attorney general to defend school policies from legal challenge or have the state pay their legal costs.

But no, the issue is not going away, McCormick said in an interview, adding he plans to introduce a re-tooled version.

"We got another one coming in behind it which should be a little clearer," McCormick said, adding sarcastically that "plus, I wanted to give the Democrats time to introduce their own legislation since they're so opposed to this and in favor of men being in little girls' bathrooms."
But he doesn’t have much support in the bill…
More than 700 Tennesseans flooded McCormick with emails "telling him to withdraw the bill he ran," Sanders said. "And he's going to get that again from all over the state if he runs another one. It's going to be a lot of work to run this bill. I would hope that he will reconsider."
We are not alone in his attacks,
Meanwhile, action on two controversial bills left over from the 2017 legislative session has been delayed because original sponsors have departed from the House and Senate.

One defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and directs state officials to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Obergefell ruling in 2015 that effectively legalized same-sex marriage.
But all is not gloomy as the season.
Glenbrook 225 residents express support for transgender student policy
Chicago Tribune
By Alexandra Kukulka
January 6, 2018

A group of residents addressed the Glenbrook High Schools District 225 Board of Education Monday night and made statements of support for the district’s first transgender student policy as the board prepares to vote on the measure.

At its December 2017 meeting, the board was presented with a draft of the policy, which states that its purpose “is to ensure that all individuals who identify their gender differently from their sex assigned at birth do not encounter discrimination based on that identification.”

Superintendent Michael Riggle said at the December meeting that what is stated in the proposed policy has already been common practice at both high schools. The administration decided to create an official transgender student policy after Northbrook School District 27 created a similar policy over the summer, he said.

The policy is meant to provide teachers and staff with a framework for working with transgender students and to protect the district from possible lawsuits, Riggle said. While doing research for the policy, Riggle said he discovered nearby school districts do not have official transgender student policies.
[…]
No one spoke out against the policy at the meeting and Riggle said the district did not receive any emails opposed to it.
The outcome is sure different if you don’t have the white supremacist and evangelical christians stepping in to cause trouble.

Homeless

For many Americans we are only one paycheck away to being homeless. It you are trans you probably have one step out the door already. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey reported that…
Even more concerning, nearly one-third (30%) of respondents have experienced homelessness at some point in their lifetime, and 12% reported experiencing homelessness in the year prior to completing the survey because they were transgender.
So when I see this bigotry my hair stands on end.
Exiting the program; Other churches step up as two suddenly leave Family Promise
The Daily Times
By Melanie Tucker
January 16, 2018

Two Blount County churches with a long history of partnering with Family Promise to help homeless families have ended those relationships.

Mount Lebanon Baptist Church and Broadway Baptist Church notified Family Promise of Blount County they will no longer serve as host churches. For the past nine years, these two have given homeless families a place to stay at their houses of worship. They have cooked meals and taken on other responsibilities with the other churches who take turns in the program.

But both recently inquired if Family Promise has a same-sex couple in the program. They were told there are two moms with three young children enrolled. A short time later, both sent messages saying they are ending their affiliation with the nonprofit.

When this happened, Kathi Parkins, Executive Director of Family Promise, sent out an email to the other participating churches, asking if some of them might be able to step up and cover the weeks now left vacant by the exits of Mount Lebanon and Broadway.

It didn't take long. Catherine Nance, senior pastor at Maryville First United Methodist Church and Freida Herron, Family Promise coordinator at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, volunteered their congregations to take on the extra weeks.
Somehow I don’t remember when I was in Catechism class do I remember an asterisk after…
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…
Or
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Saying that it only applies to certain people.

They call themselves “Christians” but they discriminate… that is not the Christianity that I learned, I learned Jesus taught love and peace not hate and bigotry.

And thank you for all the churches that stepped in to help everyone with open arms.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Think It Worked Too Well

There is a new study out about us, it is about eating and hormones…
Hormone therapy may reduce eating disorder symptoms in transgender people
University of Nottingham
By Emma Thorne
January 11, 2018

New research has shown that receiving cross-sex hormone therapy (CHT) can help to reduce the feelings of body dissatisfaction associated with eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia in transgender people.

The study was led by academics at the universities of Nottingham and Loughborough who recommend that clinicians working at eating disorder services should assess patients for gender identity issues and refer them to transgender health services to be evaluated for hormone treatment.
[…]
He [Professor Jon Arcelus, of the Institute of Mental Health, based at the University of Nottingham, and at the Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health] said: “Young transgender people may restrict their food as a way to control their puberty, stop their period or reduce the development of breasts. Eating disorder professionals should consider the gender identity of the person when assessing a person with symptoms of an eating disorders.
[…]
For some transgender people, striving to achieve a masculine or feminine body shape can influence their eating behaviours, while in the case of transgender males (assigned female at birth but who identify as male) who are not on hormone treatment some may even restrict what they eat as a way of stopping menstruation.
[…]
Evidence from one previous study showed that eating disorder symptoms were found to reduce in transgender women once they had progressed through their medical transition. However, the study was limited as it looked at a small number of participants, only at transgender women and only considered the role of surgery, not hormone therapy.
I don’t know about you but I gained a lot of weight once I went on CHT and it is a lot harder to lose. I know a lot of other trans who fight the battle of the bulge every day. I was told by my endo that I might gain weight once I went on hormones and I did.

Personally, I feel one of our problems stems from being used to eating a “man” size portions and not gaining weight, now we have to “downsize” our portions.

Also according to the current medical wisdom we are more likely to get diabetes because of the weight gain and I did [There is also a history in the family of diabetes].

[RANT]
Okay, those who follow my blog know one of my pet peeves is calling Cross-sex Hormone Therapy (CHT) or as it is also known as Cross-gender Hormone Therapy [which I prefer] HRT. It is not HRT, HRT dosage can be a thousand time smaller than what we take. Why is it important not to say HRT when you are being wheeled into the ER with pains in your chest? Well having a blood clot in your lungs is less likely [I said “less likely” not that it doesn’t happen on HRT] if you are on HRT than CHT and they might not look for blood clots first if you say HRT. Personally I rather give them a list of the meds that I am taking then use "Cross-gender Hormone Therapy" because there is no one dose for us, we all take different amounts and medications for our CHT.
[/RANT]

More Bad News Heading Our Way

Under the Obama administration an executive order said that hospitals and other healthcare facilities that receive federal funding  could not prevent same-sex partners from visiting their partners. Well the current administration is about to issue an edict.
Administration to shield health workers who refuse to perform abortions or treat transgender patients
Politico
By Dan Diamond and Jennifer Haberkorn
01/16/2018

The Trump administration is planning new protections for health workers who don't want to perform abortions, refuse to treat transgender patients based on their gender identity or provide other services for which they have moral objections.

Under a proposed rule — which has been closely guarded at HHS and is now under review by the White House — the HHS office in charge of civil rights would be empowered to further shield these workers and punish organizations that don’t allow them to express their moral objections, according to sources on and off the Hill.
[…]
Roger Severino, the Trump administration appointee who now leads the HHS civil rights office, has repeatedly stressed that strengthening conscience protections for health care workers is a top priority for his office.

The pending rule, which could be released as soon as this week, has been described to POLITICO as establishing a new “division” of the HHS civil rights office that would conduct compliance reviews, audits and other enforcement actions to ensure that health care providers are allowing workers to opt out of procedures when they have religious or moral objections.
This is what I fear.

You get in a car accident say down in Florida and the EMTs come rushing up to your car, stop when they see that you are trans, turn around and walk away saying we don’t help freaks, it is against our religion. So as you are bleeding out they find EMTs who will help you, and they rush you to the nearest hospital.  As they wheel you into the ER you hear the doctors saying “get ‘IT’ out of here this is a religious hospital."

Sound farfetched? Not if these rules goes through. This will probably override non-discrimination state laws; I see it end in a battle in the courts.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Elephant In The Closet

I remember when I first joined CT Taransadvocacy Coalition (CTAC) back around 2003, the director at the time was looking for a shelter for a trans woman who was a victim of domestic violence and the trans woman was from Massachusetts and no DV shelter would take her in, she eventually went to a New York City shelter.
Brutal murder highlights intimate partner violence in transgender community
NBC News
By John Paul Brammer
January 13, 2018

Police say Steele-Knudslien, 42, was found stabbed and beaten to death in the home she shared with her spouse, Mark Steele-Knudslien, in North Adams, Massachusetts. Her husband was charged with her murder and pled not guilty on Monday, but according to police, he had previously admitted to killing her after an argument.
[…]
"A lot of the murders that have happened over the last few years have been domestic violence or intimate partner violence," Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality told NBC News. "Unless we understand that, we can’t really help or address it."

Loree Cook-Daniels, the policy and program director at FORGE, a Milwaukee-based national transgender advocacy group, said, “We don’t have complete data ... but based on what we do have, we think up to half of the murders of trans people are murders by either partners or dates.”
One of the traits of DV is that some of the victims have low self-esteem, many also fear of having no place to turn for help and feel helpless.

The website Psych Central says,
Again, the victims often have some common characteristics. Women who are victims of domestic violence often:
  • Abuse alcohol or other substances.
  • Have been previously abused.
  • Are pregnant.
  • Are poor and have limited support.
  • Have partners who abuse alcohol or other substances.
  • Have left their abuser.
  • Have requested a restraining order against the abuser.
  • Are members of ethnic minority or immigrant groups.
  • Have traditional beliefs that women should be submissive to men.
  • Do not speak English.
Trans people are not exempt from DV and we have another common trait, we are trans and feel that no shelter will take us in.

A couple of years ago I did training for a DV shelter in the eastern part of the state because they just took in a trans person who fled spousal abuse.

It happens to us!

If you know of someone that you suspect is a victim of DV here are some things that you can do…
12 Things Everyone Can Do To Help Victims Of Domestic Violence
Odyssey Online
By Ann Liles Cox
October 26, 2015

1. Know the warning signs.
Learn the tell-tale signs that someone has an abusive partner. Maybe your friend is constantly checking in with her partner before she'll go anywhere or spend even the smallest amount of money. Maybe your co-worker's spouse always finds ways to shame him in public. There are many clues you just have to know what to look for.
[…]
3. Don't pressure them to leave.
There are so many reasons why a victim of domestic violence might stay in the relationship: fear for themselves or loved ones, lack of resources, and love for their abuser are just a few. As strange as it sounds, pressuring a victim to leave could actually make it less likely that they'll ever get out of that situation. If a victim of domestic violence has finally summoned up the courage to open up, pressuring them to leave might frighten them back even further into secrecy. Not only that, but you are becoming yet another person trying to control them, and that's the last thing they need. Refraining from judgement is one of the most important things you can do for someone in an abusive relationship.
Some of the other 12 tips are…
4. Help them develop a safety plan.
5. Find different ways to support them.
8. Look into domestic violence protection orders.
The Connecticut 24-hour Statewide, Toll Free Domestic Violence Hotline 888-774-2900 (English) or 844-831-9200 (Español).

The national toll-free phone number is 800-799-7233 (SAFE).

As trans people we are not immune so if you are or you suspect someone is being abused there are things that can be done to get the person out of the relationship safely.

Could This Help Us?

There is a lot of research out there on us, I think we are becoming the new “in” research studies. I think many researchers are now studying gender dysphoria causes and outcomes.
This Test Could Change How You Transition
Trans people need to be evaluated for BRCA genes. Here’s why. 
The Advocate
By Jacob Anderson-Minshall
January 5, 2018

A study unveiled at the 36th Annual National Society of Genetic Counselors suggests transgender individuals should be aware of their family history of breast cancer and consider getting tested for the BRCA gene mutations before they make decisions about medical interventions.

Having an elevated risk of breast or ovarian cancer could impact when trans men and women choose to start hormone treatments as well as which gender-confirming surgeries to undergo.

The lead author of several case studies, Rosalba Sacca, a genetic counselor from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, argued in a written statement, “Some healthcare providers are afraid to ask relevant medical questions of their transgender patients because they fear it may be offensive. But awareness and testing are important because they may impact their decisions.”

Mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have been shown to increase cisgender women’s risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and so doctors recommend that cis women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer undergo genetic testing to see if they have the mutation. Unfortunately, those providing trans people with health care frequently avoid such conversations.
So have you had a mammogram?

Since I am over 60 I have it done every year, and because my gender is “F”, I do not pay anything and if you have a “M” on your ID you probably still get it covered by your insurance.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Down In Texas There Are A Number Of Trans People…

…running for for office. I think in the largest state in the contiguous U.S. they have the largest group of trans people running.
MEET THE FIVE TRANSGENDER TEXANS ON THE BALLOT IN 2018
Out Smart Magazine
By Lourdes Zavaleta
Posted On 05 Jan 2018

Bathroom bills, national successes fuel unprecedented slate.

As a child, Jenifer Rene Pool was picked on mercilessly. She was small in stature, and relied on thick eyeglasses due to poor eyesight.

“Classmates would grab my glasses and throw them around to each other,” the Houston transgender activist recalls.

“I hate bullies. Everyone should be treated fairly,” Pool adds. “This is the premise of our national Constitution, and for the most part, the Constitution of the State of Texas. It is why I have decided to run for State representative in 2018.”

In 2016, Pool was the first openly trans person to win a party primary in Texas, becoming the Democratic nominee for a Harris County commissioner’s seat before losing in the general election. This year, she is among five openly trans Texans running for office, which is by far the most ever.
[…]
Vanessa Edwards Foster, cofounder and president of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC), is running as a Democrat for the Congressional District 27 seat held by U.S. representative Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi), who announced his retirement last month amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

In Texas House District 94, Democrat Finnigan Jones is running for the seat held by incumbent State representative Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) who is rabidly anti-LGBTQ and authored legislation in 2017 that would have defined “sex” as the “physical condition of being male or female.”

Jones is the co-founder and executive director of Trans-Cendence, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit that supports and provides resources for trans people. He hopes his campaign will show trans youth that they can one day run for office, too.
[…]
In Texas House District 29, Dylan Wilde Forbis is running for the seat held by incumbent State representative Edward Thompson (R-Pearland), another bathroom-bill supporter. Forbis leads Queers with Careers and Trans Living Anthology, two LGBTQ support groups that allow queer people to share their testimonies.
[…]
Pool, meanwhile, will face attorney Adam Milasincic in the March 6 Democratic primary in Texas House District 138. The winner will take on incumbent Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), a bathroom-bill supporter who received a grade of “F” on Equality Texas’ 2017 Legislative Scorecard. Pool says she is running in part because Bohac had no Democratic opponent in 2016.
I wish them all luck, it is going to be a hard fight to win with the way the Republicans have gerrymandered the districts in Texas to block out Democratic candidates.

I meet Vanessa Foster at Fantasia Fair a number of years ago and have been friends with her on Facebook for a number of years.

Hmm… Very Interesting…

Back when I started hormones back in 2004 as the standard back then I had to have a letter from a therapist in order to begin hormones after a three month evaluation.

So I went for my first appointment, so here I was sitting in an overstuffed leather chair and I was doing a word association test, you know that is where the therapist says “Big” and you respond with the first word that pops into your head. Well I started giggling and the therapist asked me why I was giggling and I said “This is so Freudian.”

So how did Freud view homosexuality?

Well of course this is leading into an article that I read on a Facebook newsfeed…
This advice by Freud on how to cure a gay child might surprise you
Pink News
By Joseph Patrick McCormick 
12th February 2015

Some assume positions on controversial issues such as gay “cure” therapies evolve over time. This letter from Sigmund Freud written in 1935 may debunk that.

The famed father of psychoanalysis an amazing and eloquent response to one parent’s concerns over having a gay child.

In the letter he writes that being gay ” is nothing to be ashamed of”, that it “cannot be classified as an illness” and names Plato, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci as “several of the greatest men”, who were gay.

Continuing, he considers the case of whether he could make the child into a “normal heterosexual”, but instead of “treatment”, recommends “analysis”, to “bring him harmony, peace of mind”.
In the letter that Freud wrote he said,
Dear Mrs [Erased],
I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual. I am most impressed by the fact that you do not mention this term yourself in your information about him. May I question you why you avoid it? Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them. (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime – and a cruelty, too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.
Wow! He didn’t say “Lock him up!” or that “He is damned and going to hell!” he goes on to say,
By asking me if I can help, you mean, I suppose, if I can abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place. The answer is, in a general way we cannot promise to achieve it. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies, which are present in every homosexual in the majority of cases it is no more possible. It is a question of the quality and the age of the individual. The result of treatment cannot be predicted.
So even Freud was against Conversion Therapy!

So maybe the New Hampshire legislature should consider Dr. Freud’s views on the effectiveness of Conversion Therapy and reconsider voting to ban it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

What I Am

For me I find it amusing how so many people don’t get me being attracted to women. I get this blank stare which is usually followed by then why did you transition if you are attracted to women?
I’m a lesbian and a transgender woman—and those two aren’t mutually exclusive
The Daily Dot
By Ana Valens
January 12, 2018

It was sometime during my first half-dozen dates with my girlfriend when I first became conscious of my body as a queer one. We would hold hands, walking through Manhattan, cuddling up against one another on the subway. But if it was late at night, our interlocking fingers would separate within seconds. We never knew who we were sharing the streets with when it was dark. Because when you’re a gay woman, signaling your queerness can be an invitation for violence.

I had been thinking what my body meant as a trans body for a long time. I knew I looked like a woman to the rest of the world, and I certainly had the secondary sex characteristics to prove it. But I felt caught in an endless feedback loop: knowing my body was a woman’s body but still struggling to fully accept myself as a woman.

Thinking of my body and my identity as a “lesbian” strangely helped me to solidify my relationship with my womanhood. During those first few months of dating my girlfriend, I really began to own the term. There was the fact that I was seen as a lesbian, much to the approval of other queer people who walked past us on the street. Then there was the fact that I was a trans woman in a relationship with a trans woman; it didn’t matter whether I had breasts or a penis or looked feminine from hormone replacement therapy. I was a lesbian. We were queer women. We knew each other’s bodies for women’s bodies.

But for some trans women, calling themselves a lesbian remains an uphill battle. And even now, I still struggle to accept that I can be both a transgender woman and queer. Sometimes, it feels like “lesbian” isn’t my word to use.
I hang out with a lot of lesbians and as far as I know they are accepting… but would they date a trans woman? That is the question.
This is because lesbian women are primarily seen as attracted to cisgender women. The L Word shows lesbianism as purely cisgender, more often than not shrugging at trans experiences, and indie faves like Blue Is the Warmest Color put a spotlight on cisgender lesbians while completely avoiding trans ones altogether. Sometimes, it’s even cisgender lesbians themselves who are pushing the point of view.

“I am a lesbian who doesn’t want to date trans women,” one Reddit user wrote on on r/offmychest, a subreddit for anonymous confessions. “If you’re pre/non-op, you have a penis, and I’m not into penises. If you’re pop-op, you have a neovagina, which is not, in my eyes, identical to a natal vagina.”
That is the thing, I know that they accept me as trans but do they accept me as a woman? That is the million dollar question.

So What Else Is New?

Surprise, the Catholics don’t like us. [Maybe I should say that the clergy do not like us.]

I don’t think that will surprise anyone, here is what the Catholic website has to say about us.
Transgender issues next battle in culture wars
Letter from US religious leaders comes out calling transgender identity a 'false idea' that is 'deeply troubling'
National Catholic Reporter
By Heidi Schlumpf
January 13, 2018

In December, while the rest of the country was debating tax reform and net neutrality, four Catholic bishops and 16 other conservative religious leaders issued an "open letter" about transgender issues, firing a shot in what has become the next major culture war issue after same-sex marriage.

Not surprisingly, progressive Catholic groups — including New Ways Ministry, Call to Action and Dignity USA — denounced the document, while traditionalist Catholic websites and media supported it. Lost in the battle were transgender people themselves.

"It's like we're collateral damage in the culture war," said Hilary Howes, a Washington D.C.-area Catholic and founder of TransCatholic, a ministry to transgendered people. "It's painful to have people think of us in this way."
It’s about the children. Why does it always boil down to “The Children” I know of many trans children who transitioned and they have turned out okay, while those who are forced to live in the wrong gender have a lot higher suicide rates.
The bishops and other signers warn that children are harmed when told they can change their sex, "sowing confusion and self-doubt."

"Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of 'first, do no harm,' " the letter said.
Sorry guys you are wrong. Those who are sowing confusion and self-doubt are you guys sticking to the ridged gender binary that are causing harm.
In a statement, New Ways Ministry called the December open letter "dangerous because it distributes false information which can lead to attitudes, policies, and practices which will do physical and emotional harm to transgender people, a community already with a high risk of becoming victims of hate crimes."
Then we have the moms… the millions of moms who are in a tizzy over us,
‘One Million Moms’ Is Furious That Scholastic Is Selling Books About Transgender Kids
“Scholastic is not safe for your child,” the conservative anti-LGBTQ group warned parents.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Carol Kuruvilla
January 12, 2018

A conservative “pro-family” group is trying to rally mothers against the Scholastic Corporation for publishing children’s books that honor diverse gender identities.

One Million Moms, an advocacy group that has largely focused its efforts on condemning progressive ideology in the entertainment industry, on Wednesday aimed its sights on Scholastic, one of the world’s largest publishers of children’s books.

In a post on its website, One Million Moms took particular issue with one book, George, a chapter book intended for kids in grades 3 to 7. Written by the queer activist and author Alex Gino, George tells the story of a transgender fourth grader. The 10-year-old hopes that by playing Charlotte in her school’s upcoming production of Charlotte’s Web, she’ll finally get her parents and teacher to look past the gender that was assigned to her at birth and accept her as a girl.

George, which was published by Scholastic in 2015, was praised by critics as a “profound, moving” book. But One Million Moms doesn’t think the book is “family-friendly” material.
So where did they get all this false information?

Well from a fake medical association where else?
As part of its pitch against Scholastic, One Million Moms cited a statement from the American College of Pediatricians that claimed accepting kids’ transgender identities amounted to “child abuse.” According to the Human Rights Campaign, the American College of Pediatricians is a small, socially conservative organization that holds extreme views about LGBTQ people.

On the other hand, the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is composed of 66,000 pediatricians in the United States, has expressed support for transgender children and adults and condemns attempts to stigmatize or marginalize them.
And on a final note…
One Million Moms is a division of the American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an extremist group for its anti-queer ideology.
They are not the type of “family” organization or religion that I want to be a part of; they spread hate instead of love.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Only Ten Days Into The New Year And Already Two Dead.

This year is starting off another brutal year for trans people.
LAPD investigating apparent murder of LA transwoman Viccky Gutierrez
Los Angles Blade
By Karen Ocamb
January 11, 2018

Late Wednesday, TransLatin@ Coalition founder Bamby Salcedo announced the death of the group’s friend and client, Viccky Gutierrez. The Los Angeles Police Department has not yet officially identified the burned body found in Gutierrez’s apartment as the young trans Latina, but Salcedo and Gutierrez’s friends are certain it is her.

LAPD spokesperson Officer Drake Madison told the Los Angeles Blade that the LAPD’s West Bureau Division and the LA Fire Department responded at 3:15 am Wednesday morning to a fire in a multi-family house in the 1700 block of South New Hampshire Boulevard in the Pico Union district. The flames were contained to the attic and a single unit on the second floor of the two-story, 116-year-old building.

“One person was found dead inside,” KTLA reported, “and officials believe the death may be suspicious.” However, “no further details on why the death was suspicious were given.” KTLA also reports that arson investigators are talking to witnesses and looking into the source of the fire. The other families escaped without injury.
[…]
Ask why Salcedo suspects murder, she says: “her body was burned so we think she was murdered before they got there. It’s not confirmed—police are still investigating. But one of her closest friends, Cristy—who comes from the same small town in Honduras—had dinner with her that night and said she was okay.  So there is a lot of speculation—we know the danger we experience everyday. We think it’s possible she was killed before they burned her apartment. She was completely unrecognizable. People kept calling her cell phone and she didn’t answer. It was late at night and her neighbors were sleeping and no one heard her screaming. So my assumption is that she was dead or unconscious before she was burned. That’s why I’m 99% sure she was brutally murdered and burned to death.”
Sadly at this rate we will surpass the record number of trans people murdered last year.

Stop the Hate!


Saturday 9: Piano

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Piano (2013)



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

I think that I have a touch of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) I just find it hard to get up and do things that I like doing, I even skipped the photo club at the senior center yesterday. It has been exceedingly cold and snowing this season so far and yesterday and today it has been pouring so it is another day stuck inside.

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

1) As she sings, Ariana muses about the songs she could compose on her piano. Do you play the piano?
Nope I don’t play and musical instruments, I can’t keep a beat and being tone deaf nor do I sing.

2) She compares love songs, saying there are sad ones about how hard love is, and happy ones that make you want to dance. What's your favorite love song? Is it sad or happy?
"To Sir With Love"
It is happy, the opposite of the way I’m feeling right now.



3) Ariana's mother always told her that they took her name from Princess Oriana in the 1988 movie Felix the Cat. Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Donald Duck, he gets frustrated so easily.

4) Ariana's favorite board game is Monopoly. What's your favorite board game?
Oh that is an easy answer… Backgammon.
But I also like Qwirkle and Mexican Train Dominos

5) She relaxes by baking. When you feel keyed up, what do you do to relax?
Right now sleep.

6) She is a huge Florida Panthers fan, even though once, as a little girl, she got hit by a puck. Now that the NHL season is underway, how's your favorite team doing?
Nope, I don’t follow sports. Now if you asked my brother’s family they all would say the Bruins.

7) In 2013, when this song was popular, the NHL reached an agreement with the players union and averted a strike. Have you ever belonged to a union?
Nope, I was always management but I support them 100%

8) Also in 2013, Pauline Philips died. Ms. Philips was better known to millions of readers as "Dear Abby." At its height, her advice column appeared in 1,400 newspapers across the country. Do you still read a printed copy of your newspaper?
No, and that reminds me to cancel the paper copy and only subscribe to the electronic copy.

9) If you could get the answer to one question about your future, what would that one question be?
Will I find a mate before I die.

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!"

Friday, January 12, 2018

It Is Hard

When I do diversity training one of the things that I talk about is how when we transition everyone around us transitions also and for our parents they go through a grieving process. Today’s post is about that process, however, I think that the article portrays it in somewhat of a negative light.
Transgender man reveals mum's struggle with 'loss of daughter' and how she fainted after seeing his 'swelling'
Karen and her son Lucas, who are starring in ITV documentary Transformation Street, opened up about his decision to undergo transgender surgery
Mirror
By Kyle O'Sullivan & Hayley Minn
11 JAN 2018

A transgender man has revealed his mum's struggle with the 'loss of her daughter' and feelings of 'grief'.

20-year-old Lucas, who was born a girl but has been living as a man for two years, opened up about his decision to undergo transgender surgery.

Speaking on This Morning, Lucas said: "When I first came I was very scared, more so about losing my mum. I wanted to show people there is help out there, the process isn't as hard as you think."

Karen admitted her foundations were rocked when Lucas explained he was transgender and struggled to deal with the 'loss' of daughter Lauren.

She said: "It took me a year plus to even use the name Lucas. Even writing cards I'd just sign it from mum. Then I put the initial L. But I couldn't actually write Lucas - it took a long time."

Karen described it as a 'grieving process' which is still ongoing but she stood by her son's side throughout.
I try to point out through my training that it is very hard on our parents and siblings, for our parents they have a choice to make to either support their child unconditionally or to disown them. Either path is hard.

It take time for us to transition and it also takes time for others to adjust to our transition, it is something that we have to remember, all of our lives we have fought with our gender dysphoria but for our family this is entirely new to them and it takes time to coop with our transition.

It is up to us to decide on when it is long enough; my advice is to cut them some slack especially if they are trying but I also understand how hard that is for us.
Speaking to camera, she says: “Boy or girl, I still love him, that doesn’t change. It’s kind of like a grieving process for Lauren. And then I have to think, I’ve got a new son.”
My last bit of advice; don’t burn your bridges.

I know of trans people who thought that they lost their family but their families eventually came around. I even know of one couple who split up after her transition only to come back together again.



Updates on the other day’s post about trans people changing their birth certificates…
‘Legitimate’ to make transgender people get full sex reassignment to amend Hong Kong ID, court hears
Government lawyer refutes claim the requirement is inhuman or degrading
South China Morning Post
By Raquel Carvalho
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 January

Complete sex reassignment surgery is a “legitimate and sometimes necessary medical treatment”, the Hong Kong government argued in court on Wednesday, rejecting claims that requiring transgender people to undergo it before amending their local identity cards was cruel, inhuman or degrading.

“It’s a legitimate medical treatment practised by doctors around the world, including in the public health system in Hong Kong,” said Stewart K M Wong SC, for the government.
“It cannot be described as inhuman or degrading. That would require a level of severity.”
[…]
Wong, for the government, argued that a “fair number of European countries” still imposed a similar requirement.

The senior counsel tried to refute the argument that transgender people were being coerced into surgery they did not want.
The plaintiff argued,
 The hearing began with Hectar Pun SC, for the applicants, proposing a “workable model” based on a self-declaration in which a person would say they wanted to live permanently in their affirmed gender. Pun suggested that only minimal medical evidence would be required.
It is now in the hands of the judge.

The other case is here in the U.S. in Utah,
Utah Supreme Court considers plight of two transgender people who want their IDs to reflect their ‘actual reality’
A 2nd District judge’s rulings left Angie Rice and Sean Childers-Gray in a mismatched legal limbo, in which their driver licenses and other documents still list the sex designations assigned to them at birth.
The Salt Lake Tribune
By Jennifer Dobner
January 9, 2018

Does a judge have the authority to change a person’s gender identity under existing state law?

In 2016, an Ogden judge said no to that question — and that’s why on Monday it landed before the Utah Supreme Court, which has been asked to overturn rulings by 2nd District Judge Noel Hyde that left Angie Rice and Sean Childers-Gray in a mismatched legal limbo.

Hyde allowed for name changes, but he said a lack of clarity in state law precludes him from granting gender identity changes.

He’s wrong, contends Christopher Wharton, the attorney who represents Rice and Childers-Gray.
The judges focused in on…
The questions from justices had three main focuses Monday: how gender marker petitions are handled in other states, how they have been handled in Utah and whether the absence of an opposing party in the appeal presents a problem for deciding the case.
[…]
Justice Thomas Lee questioned whether the petitions should be first handled by a state agency, such as the health or vital statistics departments, instead of the courts.
The plaintiff said afterward,
“I think it will be a close vote,” said Rice, now a special education teacher in Morgan who has been married to her spouse for nearly 30 years. “I think [the case] brings to light that the standard ought not to be political or theological; it’s a life issue and a civil issue to us, and that standard should not be different based on where you live or what judge you get to see.”
I wish them luck in both cases and will post any new updates about the cases.

New Flash! If You Live In New Hampshire…

The hearing for the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill is scheduled for January 31st!

The bill does have bipartisan support with both Republican and Democratic legislators sponsoring the bill (the full text of the bill can be read at the link of the bill below)…
HOUSE BILL 1319

AN ACT prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.

SPONSORS: Edward Butler (d)
Yvonne Dean-Bailey (r)
Jeb Bradley (R)
Karel Crawford (r)
Brian Stone (r)
Jeff Woodburn (D)
John Fothergill (r)
Philip Bean (R)
John Reagan (R)
Stephen Darrow (r)
Daniel Innis (R)
Carolyn Gargasz (r)
Erin Hennessey (R)
Martha Fuller Clark (D)
Charles McMahon (r)

COMMITTEE: Judiciary
The hearing will be held in LOB 208 at 1:00 PM.

My guess is that if you want to testify or submit testimony you should contact Freedom New Hampshire.

It Would Be Great If This Passed.

Connecticut is one of only nine states to ban Conversion Therapy and now New Hampshire could have been number ten, but for the Republicans…
New Hampshire Lets Debunked Gay Conversion Therapy Remain Legal
At least nine states and over two dozen municipalities have banned the potentially harmful treatment.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Sara Boboltz
January 10, 2018

A ban on “conversion therapy,” a discredited practice that attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity, failed to pass Tuesday in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives.

Two proposed bills would have protected minors from treatments aimed at erasing LGBTQ identity that medical professionals have labeled ineffective and potentially harmful.

Both the House and Senate versions of the legislation failed narrowly in a vote that fell largely along party lines, with Republicans generally opposing any change to existing state law. The measure was introduced in the New Hampshire Senate by Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D) after a similar change failed in the state two years ago.
Once again the Republicans have shot it down.
Supporters of the New Hampshire legislation noted that being gay is not a mental health issue and should not be treated as such. Those who argued against the ban said it went too far in preventing counselors from talking to minors about temporary crushes.
They lie, they used to same argument here in Connecticut, the bill in both states would not ban counselors from discussion being LGBT, the law only prevents a therapist from trying make someone straight.
Lawmakers also said they found no evidence the practice existed in New Hampshire, the Associated Press reported.
They also used the same argument here in CT, our reply was what do you want someone to commit suicide first? Also there are probably groups in New Hampshire that are practicing Conversion Therapy, there were some in CT, they didn’t advertise but religious officials knew where to look for therapist who practiced Conversion Therapy.

New Hampshire is the only state in New England that hasn’t passed a gender inclusive non-discrimination law.

There state motto is “Live Free or Die” unfortunately they don’t want us to live free, they rather have us die.



Update 1/13/18:

New Hampshire Speaker Casts Tie-Breaking Vote That Killed The State’s Gay Conversion Therapy Ban
“I want all children to be able to grow up without being told that they should not be who they are.”
NewNowNest
By Dan Avery
January 12, 2018

Democrats in New Hampshire hoped to join their ranks, but two bans before lawmakers failed to pass by razor-thin margins this week. In fact, bills in both the House and Senate ended in ties, with House Speaker Gene Chandler stepping in to cast the deciding vote against each.

 Most lawmakers voted along party lines, though Rep. Brian Stone, a Republican in Northwood called the widely discredited therapy “an unethical practice that causes long-term trauma to children… It is neither efficacious in science nor in practice.”

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Doctor Is In

But is “in” for us? Or do we still need to go find a trans friendly healthcare provider?

Healthcare and insurance have been a big thorn in our sides and with the current administration it could get even worst.
The Future of Transgender Healthcare Is Online
Transgender patients often travel long distances and pay more for less-than-competent medical care. But as doctors embrace virtual treatment models, those problems may soon be obsolete.
Vice
By Keren Landman
January 10, 2018

M, who is non-binary and transgender, first sought care for gender dysphoria at their local Planned Parenthood clinic in South Carolina. (Because M has not disclosed their transgender status at work, they requested anonymity for this story.) The staff there was very caring, they said, but the clinic was underfunded and understaffed, with a long waiting list for follow-up appointments. "It was almost like musical chairs," said M, "with more people than seats." When M began taking hormone therapy for gender transition, delays in care led to month-long lapses in hormone prescriptions, resulting in an emotional and physical roller coaster.
[…]
The demand for affirming, competent transgender care far outsrips what’s available, and in rural areas, physicians able to provide that care are often few and far between. By bringing doctors as close to patients as their nearest high-speed internet connection, telehealth offers a potential solution to that gap.
And it is going to get worst with Planned Parenthood possibly being cut from the federal budget. Planned Parenthood is one of the biggest healthcare providers in the nation for trans people. Maybe in the cities and on the coast finding healthcare for is not as bad as that in the rural areas but it is still hard to find competent providers; I can’t imagine what it is like in rural West Virginia.
As a result of all of these factors, transgender people living in rural and exurban areas are often faced with a vacuum of physicians willing to perform the bread-and-butter work of transition-related care: prescribing and adjusting hormone replacement therapy and related medication, ordering and reviewing laboratory results, responding to concerns about medication side effects, and monitoring patients' overall health within the context of transition. And while medical educators are beginning to catch up with the demand for trans-competent doctors, there’s still a long way to go.
So more trans people are turning to online medical providers…
The technology essentially removes the geographic barrier to specialty health care for marginalized populations, said Yadin David, a biomedical engineering consultant and founder of the Center for Telemedicine and e-Health Law. "[For people] who think, 'I'd never be able to make it to the medical center, it's too far, it's too expensive, I don't have a car, I cannot leave the home,'" he said, telehealth offers an opportunity to get better, more appropriate and faster care.
But as the article points out there still are major hurdles to jump through, namely licensures.

I remember sitting in on a National Association of Social Workers (NASW) talk about having online patients and about the ethics involved and whether you need to be licensed in the state where you client is located. Another consideration was insurance, do you need to have insurance in the state where you client is located. The same discussion was on the WPATH listserver.

It seems like this will be destined for the courts to settle. Right now the country is a hodgepodge of laws and interpretation of those laws.

Ironic

Down under in Australia their legislature just legalized marriage equality, but three guesses who was left behind under the bus.
'FORCED DIVORCE' LAWS FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE UNDERMINE AUSTRALIA'S SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LEGALIZATION
Newsweek
By Christianna Silva
January 10, 2018

Australia legalized same-sex marriages in December, and on January 9, 2018, same-sex couples began getting married across the country. But there’s still one glaring issue with the law that makes marriage for transgender people significantly more difficult—if they want to legally change their sex, they have to get a divorce.

Australians can only legally change their sex on their birth certificate if they meet four qualifications: their original birth certificate is registered, they’re over 18 years old or their parents agree, they have had sex reassignment surgery, and they are not currently married.

This law was established to prevent same-sex marriages, which were illegal in Australia before 2018. So, if a man and woman were legally married and one of them underwent a sex change, they wouldn't be legally married in the country anymore. But the Australian law still stands, even though same-sex marriage is legalized.
I guess nationally the law was repealed but it is still on the books in the states…
No matter what the country chooses to do, it will be illegal to refuse a transgender person the right to change their sex based on marital status by December 9, 2018. When the Parliament passed same-sex marriage legislation, they repealed a subsection of the Sex Discrimination Act that allowed the states to ban married transgender people from changing their birth certificate, according to BuzzFeed News.

But Campbell told the news outlet that the issue is still just as important. She added that keeping the law will result in continued discrimination against transgender people. "It might take months, it might be left to the last minute," she said. "State governments with a particularly difficult parliament, it might fall off. What’s the scenario then? Trans people will be forced to make unnecessary anti-discrimination complaints for no good reason."
Now that the gays and lesbians have won the right to marry, let’s see if they continue the fight for us?

Or will they continue their partying and high fives and walk away leaving us behind?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Your Papers Please

That can cause dread in the trans community when we are asked for our IDs, depending on where you live and were born it can create problems and “out” ourselves.
2 Transgender People Want Sex Designation on IDs Changed
Two transgender Utah residents, who have been denied a change in their sex designation on their driver's licenses by a state judge, are asking the Utah Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
U.S. News & World Report
By AP
Jan. 9, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two transgender Utah residents, who have been denied a change in their sex designation on their driver's licenses by a state judge, are asking the Utah Supreme Court to overturn the decision.

Angie Rice and Sean Childers-Gray both have driver's licenses and insurance cards that have their new names, but still bear the sex designations that were assigned to them at birth.

Second District Judge Noel Hyde granted the name changes, but said a lack of clarity in state law precludes him from granting a change in their gender identity.

Christopher Wharton, the attorney who represents Rice and Childers-Gray, said Judge Hyde is wrong.

State laws that reference sex changes, name changes and gender identity, along with the inherent discretion that judges have, leave more than enough room for granting the petitions, Wharton said.
[…]
Hyde's 2016 denials are believed to be the first issued in Utah, said Wharton, who successfully represented clients in more than 30 other such cases.

Wharton said in every state but New York, name and gender identity changes are handled in the courts. And in Utah, judges statewide have granted the petitions under "common law authority," The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
We should have to be forced to have surgery to change out gender markers…
Frist, it is forced sterilization.
Second, for many trans people they cannot afford surgery
Third, for some trans people they have medical problems that make surgery dangerous.
Fourth, the first rule in medicine is to try the least invasive procedures first.

And forcing us to have surgery in order to change our documentation is wrong.

There is a major error in this article; “Wharton said in every state but New York, name and gender identity changes are handled in the courts.” is totally WRONG!
I know firsthand that Connecticut does not require a court order to change your gender identity, it is WRONG!

Under Connecticut law the only thing that you need a court for is your name change and that does not change your gender markers. To change your gender markers you need a letter from a doctor or other medical provider and with that letter you can change your birth certificate and driver license gender markers. I believe eight states allow you to change your birth certificates without surgery.



Over in China that are also talking being able to change your gender markers.
Three transgender men challenge Hong Kong policy requiring full sex change before they are legally considered male
Applicants say refusal to recognise their adopted gender amounts to inhumane treatment
South China Morning Post
By Raquel Carvalho
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018

Hong Kong’s High Court on Tuesday began hearing the case of three transgender men challenging the government’s requirement for them to undergo a full sex change before their local identity cards are amended to state they are male.

The applicants are seeking a judicial review over the Commissioner of Registration’s refusal to recognise their adopted gender. They said the rejection infringed their rights not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, as well as their rights to privacy.

They also said that the refusal amounted to indirect discrimination under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.
[…]
These cases come after the city’s Court of Final Appeal issued a landmark decision in 2013 to allow a female – who had undergone sex reassignment surgery after being born a male – to marry her boyfriend. In its ruling, it said that requiring a transgender person to undergo full sex reassignment surgery before officially recognising their acquired gender “may have an undesirable coercive effect on persons who would not otherwise be inclined to undergo the surgery”.
Let us hope that they win; no one should be forced to have surgery that they don’t need.

Teaching The Docs

We have always said that we need more healthcare providers trained in trans medicine, well now they are doing it!

I came across this ad for a three day seminar at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York,
Live Surgery Training Course for Gender Affirmation Procedures
A WPATH Certified Course
Featuring Didactic & Live Gender Affirmation Procedures
Mount Sinai Stern Auditorium
The Mount Sinai Hospital
1468 Madison Avenue New York, New York

THURSDAY, APRIL 26 | One-Day Didactic Course Only
Ideal for Healthcare Professionals Interested in Gender Affirmation Procedures

THURSDAY, APRIL 26 – SATURDAY, APRIL 28 | Full Program(Includes One-Day Didactic Course & 1.5 Day Live Surgery Course)
Comprehensive Live Surgery Course for surgeons, surgical residents, surgical fellows, peri- and post- operative care providers.
And the workshops are…
Thursday, April 26, 2018
7:30am – 7:35am: Welcome
7:35am – 7:40am: Introduction
7:40am – 8:00am: Course Overview: Introduction to Transgender and
8:00am – 8:30am: Introduction to the Standards of Care
8:30am – 9:00am: Development of Gender Identity
9:00am – 9:30am: The Role of the Mental Health Professional
9:30am – 10:00am: BREAK
10:00am – 10:30am: Hormone Therapy
10:30am – 11:00am: Pre and Post Operative Care & Primary Care
11:00am – 11:30am: Fertility Preservation & Hysterectomy
11:30am – Noon: Ethics
Noon – 1:00pm: LUNCH
1:00pm – 3:00pm: Afternoon Session 1 TRANSFEMININE PROCEDURES
1:00pm – 1:30pm: Facial Femininization Surgery / Tracheal Shave
1:30pm – 2:00pm: Breast Augmentation
2:00pm – 3:00pm: Vaginoplasty Techniques: Penile Inversion & Intestine
2:30pm – 3:00pm: BREAK
3:00pm – 5:00pm: Afternoon Session 2 TRANSMASCULINE PROCEDURES
3:00pm – 3:30pm: Chest Surgery
3:30pm – 4:00pm: Metoidioplasty
4:00pm – 4:30pm: Phalloplasty RFAFF v ALT
4:30pm – 5:00pm: Sexual Functioning After Gender Affirming Surgery

Mount Sinai / WPATH - Friday, April 27, 2018
Live Surgery Morning Session (Runs Concurrently with Video Sessions)
8:30am – 10:00am: OR 1 - First Case: Laryngeal Surgeries for Voice (Live Surgery)
8:30am – 10:00am: Tracheal Shave / ENT Surgery (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
8:30am – 10:00am: OR 1 - First Case: Laryngeal Surgeries for Voice (Live Surgery)
10:00am – 10:30am: BREAK
10:30am – Noon: OR 1 - Second Case: Breast Augmentation (Live Surgery)
10:30am – Noon: Breast Augmentation Surgery (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
10:30am – Noon: Facial Feminization Surgery (Live Surgery)
10:30am – Noon: Facial Feminization Surgery (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
Noon – 1:00pm: LUNCH
1:00pm – 5:00pm: OR 1 – Vaginoplasty (Live Surgery)

Mount Sinai / WPATH - Saturday, April 28, 2018
8:00am – 11:30am: OR 1 – Metoidioplasty (Live Surgery)
8:00am – 11:30am: Chest Surgery (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
8:00am – 11:30am: OR 2 – Chest Surgery (Live Surgery)
8:00am – 11:30am: Metoidioplasty (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
10:00am – 10:30am: BREAK
10:30am – Noon: OR 1 - Second Case: Breast Augmentation (Live Surgery)
10:30am – Noon: Breast Augmentation Surgery (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
10:30am – Noon: OR 2 - Facial Feminization (Live Surgery)
10:30am – Noon: Facial Feminization Surgery (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
Noon – 1:00pm: LUNCH
1:00pm – 5:00pm: OR 1 – Vaginoplasty (Live Surgery)
Mount Sinai / WPATH - Saturday, April 28, 2018
8:00am – 11:30am: OR 1 – Metoidioplasty (Live Surgery)
8:00am – 11:30am: Chest Surgery (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
8:00am – 11:30am: OR 2 – Chest Surgery (Live Surgery)
8:00am – 11:30am: Metoidioplasty (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
10:00am – 10:30am: BREAK
10:00am – 10:30am: Metoidioplasty (Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
11:30am – Noon: Surgery Concluded: Complication Management and Implant (Live Surgery)
11:30am – Noon: Metoidoplasty and Phalloplasty Panelists(Video Presentations with Panel Discussion)
Noon – 12:05pm: Closing Remarks
This is something that the community really needs, I hope that doctors and healthcare providers take advantage of this training.

Just a little bragging… one of the presenters (Zil Goldstein, NP) used to be a CT TransAdvocacy Coalition intern and while she interned with us she complied a list of trans friendly healthcare providers. She is now…
Program Director, Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

A Small Step For Trans People

But every step is a good one when it is in the right direction. In New Hampshire it has been a hard battle to pass trans non-discrimination bills, but one step that direction was the election of a trans woman to a school board and the introduction of a new gender inclusive bill.
Transgender people seek equal protections in NH
Forster.com
By Alexander LaCasse
Posted Jan 7, 2018

Somersworth resident and newly elected School Board member Gerri Cannon enjoyed a great job in the computer industry for more than 31 years, but she still wasn’t happy.
[…]
Cannon said over the course of the next year, she was put on “watch” at her job; with superiors keeping tabs on her to ensure she was dressed “appropriately” at work. When she was finally laid off, she had to sign a waiver agreement in order to obtain her sizable severance package to support her two kids going to college and paying the mortgage on two properties after her spouse at the time asked her to move out.
[…]
The workplace discrimination transgender people face is just one reason why Cannon and Freedom New Hampshire are working to include the term “gender identity” as grounds for protection under New Hampshire’s anti-discrimination statute with House Bill 1319.
The last time there was a trans non-discrimination bill in the New Hampshire legislature even the sponsors of the bill didn’t vote for it but the trans and LGBT organizations have been laying the ground work for the bill, hopefully this year will be the year that it passes.
Freedom New Hampshire anticipates similar opposition this year and has prepared a “myth busters” document explaining why the bill’s supporters feel those fears are unfounded, noting the bill is supported by the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Dover Police Chief Anthony Colarusso is among those who spoke in favor of the bill last year, saying at the time, “In places where legal protections are in place, rates of violence against transgender individuals go down with no uptick in public safety incidents.”
Back when the first bill was introduced in 2009 they didn't line up their supporters, it seems like they have done that this year.

Not All Cut From The Same Mold

First it was the “Nashville Statement” and then it was the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s letter condemning us but out of Rhode Island comes support for us.
My Turn: Chontell Nelson Washington: Listen to those who are transgender
Providence Journal
By Chontell Nelson Washington
Posted Jan 8, 2018

The Rhode Island State Council of Churches is deeply troubled by the letter released on Dec. 15 and signed by a variety of leaders in the Christian tradition as well as other faith traditions (published as the Dec. 27 Commentary piece, “God created each person male or female”). That letter was a response to the newly raised consciousness in our society, far too long in coming, of those who are transgender. It dangerously labels the transgender experience as a “false idea.”
[…]
We are deeply concerned with the negative spiritual, emotional and physical impact that this letter may have because it dismisses the lived experiences of our church members, friends and family who are transgender. There is the very real danger that suggesting that parents should not allow children to explore their true gender identity will result in more deaths.

The statement refers to Holy Scripture as a foundation for the disregard of people who are transgender, quoting Genesis 1:27 (“male and female he created” humans). We are concerned that only one verse from the Bible is used for such wholesale rejection and would encourage people of faith to examine all of scripture for guidance in this matter.

We would point out the many stories in which God offers loving acceptance to those who are despised and rejected by their family or society. For example, we would point to God’s rescue of abandoned Ishmael, God’s providential care of Ruth, God’s rescue of the widow of Zarephath through the prophet Elijah, and Jesus’ own ministry among lepers and Samaritans.
As I have said in the past, don’t paint religions with a broad brush.

There are many religions that support us and have stood up by our side in the fight for justice. I know a number of trans people who are religious leaders and some are even priests and ministers.

I don’t believe in organized religions, it seems to me that all of these religions say that only they are the “True” religion. For me it seems more important in how you live your life. I see all the major religion have a message of peace and love your brother, but I see many fringe religious sects have corrupted the message of  love and tolerance to a message hate and demonizing.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Trail Blazers

Trail blazers don’t usually start out breaking new ground but rather they just want to do something that no one else has done.

When model and actress Caroline (Tula) Cossey made her modeling and acting debut they drove her out of town when they found out she was trans.
MODEL BEHAVIOUR Who is Paris Lees? The first openly transgender model to feature in British Vogue, journalist and activist
From being bullied at school to an eight-month prison spell and a battle with depression at university, it's been a long and often difficult journey to where Paris is today
Sun
By Josie Griffiths
5th January 2018

TODAY, she's a fierce feminist, human rights campaigner, writer and model - but life wasn't always so easy for Paris Lees.

As she becomes the first openly transgender woman to be featured in British Vogue, here's what we know about Paris...
[…]
Where would I recognise Paris Lees from?
Paris founded META, the first British magazine aimed at the trans community, and was the acting assistant editor of Gay Times.

You may remember her from past Sun columns - and can read her views on gender-neutral toilets here.

She also writes for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Vice and has appeared on Channel 4 news.

In January 2018, she was the first openly trans woman to appear in British Vogue, during a special shoot celebrating 100 years since women got the right to vote here in Britain.
She has led the way for many trans women who want to go into modeling.

News Flash… Supreme Court…

This morning the Supreme Court refused to hear a case that would have overturned the new Mississippi state law that gives special rights to people to discriminate against others just by claiming it is against their religion.
Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to Miss. LGBT law
The Hill
By Lydia Wheeler
January 8, 2018

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear two cases challenging a Mississippi law that allows businesses and government employees to deny services to LGBT people based on their religious beliefs.

The court’s refusal to hear the case leaves intact the law, known as H.B. 1523, that says the state government will not take any discriminatory action against persons who don’t believe in same-sex marriage, homosexuality and transgenderism.
[…]
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a lower court order putting the law on hold and dismissed the challenges brought by state residents and two groups — The Campaign for Southern Equality and Joshua Generation Metropolitan Community Church.

The court said the challengers did not prove they’ve been personally injured by the state law, which is required to bring a legal challenge. The court added the residents and LGBT advocates only claimed to suffer a “stigmatic injury” and that’s not enough to bring a case.
This is bad, from the sounds of it the courts want someone to be discriminated against to bring the law suit. However, the court didn’t say anything about it being Constitutional or not, they just rejected it on what seems to me as technical groups.