Sunday, February 18, 2018

“It's Just This Little Chromium Switch Here"

I have my theories (totally unscientific) with the causes of gender dysphoria and I think that it all happens in the womb.

I think that there are serval vectors that might cause GD, the first is that the fetus get washed with male hormone around the 8th to the 10th week the fetus which starts out in life as female gets washed with testosterone that creates the male genital. Then around the 20th week the fetus gets a second wash to masculinize the brain, if that doesn’t happen then the brain continues to develop as female. I also believe that there can be various degrees of transformation of the brain, that the brain can be masculinized to various degrees.

Another possibility can be that there are no androgen receptors for the DHT (testosterone is changed into DHT by enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, lacking the enzyme the fetus will continue developing as a female) the BSTc area of the brain, the area that is believed to determine gender.

Though out the body there are DHT receptors, a classic case where there are no receptors where there are supposed to be receptors is male pattern baldness which is cause by a genetic mutation that did away with the DHT receptors on hair follicles. So why can’t a similar type of mutation be involved with gender dysphoria? Maybe there is a lack androgen receptor (AR) in the brain’s BSTc area?

So maybe there is no switch to turn on the masculinizing the brain.

Amend The Second Amendment?

[RANT]
I am against it for the following reasons; there are two ways to amend the U.S. Constitution, the first is Congress by a vote two thirds of its members can propose an amendment and then three fourths of the states have to vote in favor of the amendment or the states can call for a Constitutional Convention where three fourths of the delegates vote in favor of the amendment.

I fear a Constitutional Convention because once convened they are limited to just the Second Amendment, I can see the Republican states delegates adding an antiabortion, an anti-LGBT, and a pro “religious freedom” amendments. Since the Republicans control almost enough states to get the ¾ is the states this is a real possibility.

The second reason that I am against is that this country is already divided on gun control and passing an amendment to the Second Amendment would rip this country apart.

I much rather that they pass sane gun laws first as I wrote about in this rant.
[/RANT]

Follow-Up… We Won!

I have been following (here) a case in Cincinnati where a trans woman has applied to have her grandparents appointed as her guardians because her parents will allow her to get Cross-sex Hormone Treatment (CHT).
Judge paves way for transgender teen to get hormone therapy at Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Cincinnati.com
By Kevin Grasha,
February 16, 2018

A Hamilton County judge has paved the way for a 17-year-old who wants to transition in gender to undergo hormone therapy. The case pitted the teen against his parents.

Sylvia Hendon, a visiting Juvenile Court judge, issued a ruling Friday granting legal custody to the teen’s grandparents, who according to a prosecutor "accept their grandson for who he is."

But the ruling comes with conditions.

Hendon said before hormone therapy can begin at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the teen must be evaluated by a psychologist not affiliated with the hospital.
I don’t think that will be a problem as long as the therapist has worked with trans clients.

It must have been a hard decision for the judge to make, to take away custody from the parents.
Hendon said it was understandable that the teen’s parents “were legitimately surprised and confused when the child’s anxiety and depression symptoms became the basis for the diagnosis of gender dysphoria.”

She also said it was unfortunate the case had to be resolved in the courts.

“The family would have been best served if this could have been settled within the family after all parties had ample exposure to the reality of the fact that the child truly may be gender nonconforming and has a legitimate right to pursue life with a different gender identity than the one assigned at birth," she said.
She is right that it is best to keep the guardianship with the parents but unfortunately the parents are deeply religious and they forced her to listen to Bible verses for six hours and the father wanted her to go through conversion therapy.

I have heard rumors that in Connecticut the Department of Families (DCF) has taken the stance that not letting a child transition is a form of child abuse.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Violence

[RANT]
Have we become immune to the everyday violence we see? Have we become numb to it?

We are exposed to so much violence today, from video games, to television shows, to the movies, to the Middle East, and all the bombings and mass killings around the world.

From what I read in the news the common thread in all the killings at schools around the country and there are two things that stand out for me. The first thing is that they are all young white males. The second thing is that they all played violent video games.

I am not saying that everyone who plays video games is going to be a mass killer but it does make you think that in certain young individuals there could be a link there.

Other thing that makes me wonder about is all the violence in the movies and on television. Go and watch some old movies, the westerns, the mysteries and the crime dramas, do you see any blood and guts and gore? No. The bodies are covered with a sheet or there is no blood showing when a person got shot. Even without all the blood and guts they still manage to make a great movie. But now movies and television shows seems like they are competing with each on who can make the bloodiest, goriest, and blow-them-up movies.

Everyone said you got to watch “Wonder Woman” well I did and it is just like all the other super hero movies with violence is glorious living color. I imagine “Black Panther” is the same way.

For me, I’ll stick with Alfred Hitchcock with movies like “Dial M for Murder”, “Rear Window”, and classic suspense movie “North by Northwest.”


[/RANT]

Saturday 9: Baby Love

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Baby Love (1964)



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

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

1) When this song was popular, the Supremes were known for their elaborate hairstyles, make up and full-length gowns. When was the last time you got dressed up?
In October for the fundraiser for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective’s One Big Event

2) "The girls," as they were known to the engineers and executives at Motown Records, were Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. They began singing together when they were high school classmates. Are you still in touch with any friends from your high school days?
Yes, a couple of them but now it is more with them on Facebook.

3) Mary Wilson was born in Mississippi and her family moved a great deal before settling in Detroit, where she fatefully met Florence and Diana. Were you uprooted often when you were a child? Or did you spend your school years in the same neighborhood?
I only lived in two towns, my current town where I lived since 1955 and the town in Connecticut (which shall remain anonymous since it is used as a security questions) where I was born.

4) The Supremes began as a quartet called the Primettes. In addition to Mary, Flo and Diana, there was Betty McGlown. In 1960, Betty left the group to get married and was replaced by Barbara Martin. In 1962, Barbara left the group to have a baby. They quit trying to replace the fourth voice, soldiered on as a trio, and made pop history. Have you ever found yourself in a position similar to Betty's or Barbara's, where you had to make a difficult decision and choose between your personal life and your career?
No not really, but in life I have made some wrong decisions which sometimes worked out for the better.

5) Thinking of babies and "baby love," is anyone in your life expecting a baby in 2018?
Not that I know, last year was different it seemed like it was a marathon year for friends who were having babies.

6) With twelve #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, The Supremes remain America's most commercially successfully recording group, and this song (along with "Stop! In the Name of Love") is one of the most popular karaoke songs. If we handed you the mic this morning and absolutely insisted you perform, what song would you choose (any song, any genre)?
Okay, here is the deal I cannot carry a tune or stay on key.
At work we had contracts with South Korean companies and I was told (or rather ordered) that I had to have a karaoke song ready is we went out with our customers, so… I picked Row, Row Your Boat.

7) Original group member Florence Ballard left the group in 1967. She died of cardiac arrest in 1976 at the age of 32. Since February is National Heart Month, it seems appropriate to ask: Is anyone in your life battling heart disease?
Not right now that I know of, but my father had a heart attack once when he was in his nineties (he died of aspiration pneumonia).

8) Florence Ballard's brother, Hank, wrote Chubby Checker's famous dance song, "The Twist." When did you last dance?
Wow! I can’t remember maybe five or ten years ago.

9) Random question: Close your eyes and visualize the most beautiful place you've ever been. Now describe it to us.
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness in the Adirondacks.
It is a seven mile walk into the lake and the wilderness area, there are no motors allowed, it is accessible only by foot and horseback. It is pristine mountain lake surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains. The lake is over 400 acres with not a motorboat on it and if you want a canoe you will have to carry it in.
At night the stars come out and the sky is a blaze with them, you can hear the cry of the loons echo off the mountains.
One time when we backpacked in the Northern Lights lit up the sky and reflexed off the lake. It was the first time in 50 years that the Northern Lights were visible that far south.



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!" Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Do We Ever Forget The Past?


I am a women!

We all have heard trans people say that they are a woman or a man after they have transitioned or had surgery but can we ever forget our past history?

I transitioned over 10 years ago when I think or dream I am just “I” I am genderless in my dreams, in my memories. When I think of the time long,long ago when my father and my brother used to go out on Lake Winnisquam (A smaller lake off of Lake Winnipesaukee) at night and come back with a bucket  loaded with bullheads, I am just me. I am not a little boy or girl in my memory but just me.

But when I think of when I was a scout I know I was a boy scout, I know that I was never in the girl scouts.

I know many trans people who do not want any pictures that remind them of their past, many tear up or burn all their old pictures… do does that really do away with our past?

When we destroy our past are we destroying ourselves? When we burn all our old photos and anything that reminds us of our past are we erasing a part of ourselves? Are we performing Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) therapy on ourselves to burn out the past? 

I transitioned when I was 59 so I have a lot of history.

At one of my birthday parties
What about someone who transitioned when they were five? Will they ever forget that they are trans?

I know many trans people who transitioned at an early age; when they are 59 will they still remember that they are trans?

When I get comments on my blog saying that “I am a woman because I had surgery and you didn’t so you are just “a man in a dress.” my thoughts are… well if you are a woman why does it bother you so much that I am an out trans woman? You must still be remembering your past. Why are you still visiting trans blogs?


I read a news article about a trans woman down under in Australia and she described herself as a “Woman with a unique history.” I like that definition, it doesn’t destroy our past but acknowledges it

My Two Cents

[RANT]
We need gun control!

We cannot as a nation go on like this with mass killings every week, we need sensible gun control.

I am not against guns, I have used guns in the past. However, personally I don’t want to own a gun.

When I was a teenager I went squirrel hunting, we used to  go over a friend’s house and sit on the back porch to shoot woodchucks in his corn field (I don’t know how much wood a woodchuck can eat but they sure eat a lot of sweet corn). In college I took skeet shooting for one of my gym classes and I learned the difference between a pump shotgun and semi-automatic shotgun; the difference is when I used the pump I had a sore shoulder the next morning (on my final exam I shot 18 out of 25 clay pigeons).

So I am no stranger to guns.

I like the laws that Connecticut has and I think they should be national. In Connecticut…
  • There is no “Stand your ground” law, instead requires an individual to retreat when able to do so except inside your residence. We have the Castle Doctrine which means that you have no duty to retreat if you are in your home or on property owned by yourself.
  • We have a limit on the capacity of magazines (10 rounds).
  • We ban “military style assault rifles”
  • We ban the sale or possession of armor-piercing bullets
  • We require federal background checks on all gun purchases, both private, in shows, and dealers.
  • We require that an applicant must complete an approved safety course, background check and mental health records check prior to issuance of certificate for the purchase of a gun or ammunition.
  • We require guns to be taken away from people who have restraining orders for domestic violence against them.
In the current legislative session they are hearing bills on banning “Bump Stocks” and “Ghost Guns” and I hope that they pass.

What I would like to see added are,
  • A law requiring a gun owner to show their permit went asked by a law officer.
  • A law banning open carry
  • A law requiring the registration of guns
  • A law requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen guns 
I think these are sane laws that allow reasonable restricts on guns.
[/RANT]

Panic Attacks

I used to get three or four panic attacks a year before I transitioned but after I transitioned they dropped to one. I joke about that one, it was during writing my capstone paper for my masters degree, other than that one they have all disappeared.

I am a member of WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) and I just got a batch of their journals for last year. One research study caught my attention…
Transgender and anxiety: A comparative study between transgender people and the general population
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM
2017, VOL. 18, NO. 1, 16–26
By Walter Pierre Bouman, Laurence Claes, Nicky Brewin, John R. Crawford, Nessa Millet, Fernando Fernandez-Aranda & Jon Arcelus

ABSTRACT

Background: Anxiety disorders pose serious public health problems. The data available on anxiety disorders in the transgender population is limited by the small numbers, the lack of a matched controlled population and the selection of a nonhomogenous group of transgender people.

Aims: The aims of the study were (1) to determine anxiety symptomatology (based on the HADS) in a nontreated transgender population and to compare it to a general population sample matched by age and gender; (2) to investigate the predictive role of specific variables, including experienced gender, self-esteem, victimization, social support, interpersonal functioning, and cross-sex hormone use regarding levels of anxiety symptomatology; and (3) to investigate differences in anxiety symptomatology between transgender people on cross-sex hormone treatment and not on hormone treatment.
[…]
Results: Compared with the general population transgender people had a nearly threefold increased risk of probable anxiety disorder (all p < .05). Low self-esteem and interpersonal functioning were found to be significant predictors of anxiety symptoms. Trans women on treatment with cross-sex hormones were found to have lower levels of anxiety disorder symptomatology.

Conclusions: Transgender people (particularly trans males) have higher levels of anxiety symptoms suggestive of possible anxiety disorders compared to the general population. The findings that self-esteem, interpersonal functioning, and hormone treatment are associated with lower levels of anxiety symptoms indicate the need for clinical interventions targeting self-esteem and interpersonal difficulties and highlight the importance of quick access to transgender health services.
For me the stress of living two lives and keeping them separate created the panic attacks and once that stress was removed the anxiety attacks disappeared.

They also found that Cross-sex Hormone Treatment (CHT) had an effect on anxiety disorders,
Comparison between people on CHT and those not on CHT
Analyses comparing transgender people on CHT with those not on CHT found a statistically significant difference between both groups with more transgender people using CHT in the category of no anxiety disorder compared to those on not on CHT [x2 (1) D 20,266, p < .001].
…The new analyses showed that for trans females, being on CHT was associated with less anxiety disorder as there were more trans females not on CHT in the category of anxiety disorders compared to trans females on CHT [x2 (1) D 21,802, p < .001]. This was not the case for trans males [x2 (1) D 1,379, p < .240].
This was true for me, once I started taking CHT the number of my panic attacks decreased.

In the discussion they said,
Compared with a cisgender matched control group from the general population, transgender people had an almost threefold increased risk of probable anxiety disorder. Trans males showed higher rates of possible and probable anxiety disorder (71.1%) than trans females (59.8%), which is in keeping with the literature on gender differences in anxiety disorders, if the pattern of birth gender is followed (McLean et al., 2011).
[…]
Further findings confirmed the benefits of cross-sex hormone treatment, particularly for trans women on CHT, as they were significantly more prevalent in the category "No Anxiety Disorder" compared to those who do not use cross-sex hormones. That these findings do not apply to trans men is surprising, and certainly do not reflect our clinical experience. One explanation may be that the higher risk of developing anxiety disorder for people whose sex was assigned female birth offsets the positive psychological benefits of CHT in trans men. This specific area needs further study. The findings confirm existing research (Bouman et al., 2016; Colizzi et al., 2014; De Vries et al., 2014; G omez-Gil et al., 2012; Heylens et al., 2014b) and add further weight to the rationale of early treatment for gender dysphoria.

In many countries, long waiting lists and lack of clinical services for transgender people combined with overly prescriptive pathways to access CHT in standards of care (Coleman et al., 2012; Wylie et al., 2014) continue to be significant barriers to treatment for transgender people.
Okay I see a couple of areas that should have been studied; the first is that they should also have looked at how well an individual was able to integrate in to society. I think they would have found that a trans person who can get by in society without being identified as trans would have a lower incidence of panic attacks. The other thing was how much support did they receive from family and friends to see how that would affect their panic attacks.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

As Trans People There Is Violence All Around When We Walk Out The Door

For trans people who don’t integrate in to society we have a target on our backs for hate, bigotry, and violence.
How the Transgender Murder Rate Reveals the Ugly Lie of ‘Acceptance’
As 2018 starts with the murder of four more trans women, the author reflects on the contrast of increased media representation set against more brutal, life-extinguishing reality.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
February 13, 2018

Measuring anti-transgender violence by the year, as both LGBT organizations and media outlets do, feels about as arbitrary as measuring anything on annual basis. Years are just numbers—lines drawn in an agreed-upon place between units of time.

Yet somehow, every year, I naïvely expect the pace of anti-transgender killings—that relentless, awful thrum of headlines—to slow down.

And so far, 2018 has offered no reprieve.
[…]
Mere days later, 33-year-old Viccky Gutierrez, as the Los Angeles Times reported, was stabbed to death and then had her home lit on fire, allegedly by a man she met online who was attempting to rob her.
And the violence was close to home, it struck someone who attended the support group meetings that I attend.
The Berkshire Eagle, citing a friend of Steele-Knudslien, described the pageant founder as “a bubbly, vibrant fighter who encouraged those around her to be their best selves.”
It is an abstract concept when you read off the names of the dead on November 20th but it becomes so real when one of those names you know; it is not long abstract but real.

In this new violent world of hate and violence we must stand up to the hate.
Perhaps most importantly—or, at least, initially we need to stop assuming that anti-transgender violence will just decrease on its own. It won’t.

A Broad Brush

Many times I have said don’t paint religions with a broad brush, there are  many religions that support us and lesbians and gays.
Transgender Pastor Is Welcomed Into Church With A New Name
“Jesus, again and again, uses people on the outskirts of society to proclaim the message of God’s compassion,” he said.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Carol Kuruvilla
February 13, 2018

Many Bible stories recount how God changed followers’ names to recognize their new identities. In Genesis, Abram’s name was changed to Abraham to reflect his new identity as the father of the Jewish people. And in the Christian gospels, Jesus changed his follower Simon’s name to Peter to symbolize that the apostle would be the “rock” upon which the church was built.

Echoing that tradition, a Lutheran congregation in New Jersey recently marked a milestone in the life of its pastor with a renaming ceremony. On Sunday, parishioners watched their transgender pastor take on his new chosen name ― Peter.

It was a sacred way for Hoboken’s St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church to acknowledge and bless the Rev. Peter R. Beeson’s gender transition.
I know of several priests and ministers that are trans and two of them have their own parishes.
“It was powerful to hear the congregation re-commit to their long history of inclusion and promise to be a safe and welcoming congregation for all people who are seeking a Christian community,” Beeson said about the ceremony.
I have done diversity training at a number of churches including Episcopal churches and Unitarian Universalist.

When my aunt died I had to make arrangements with the minster at my aunt’s Congregational Church and the minster didn’t even blink when I showed up, she was so affirming.

I am not a religious person; I can take it or leave it when it comes to religion. My thoughts are that it is more important how you live your life than going to church one day a week and calling yourself a Christian when for the other six days you are a bigot.

The only thing that I ask from those “religious persons” is to let me live my life and I will let you live your life. But if you want to butt into my life then I will oppose you.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Yes, It Is Possible

When I first went on Cross Sex Hormones I was taking Estrogen along with Progesterone, I took Progesterone for the first year only… but I had an interesting side effect.
Transgender woman becomes first in the world to breastfeed for six weeks after DIY hormone therapy and breast pumping
  • Patient, 30, told doctors at Mt Sinai her partner was pregnant but didn't want to breastfeed
  • Doctors helped design a hormone and breast pumping regimen
  • By two weeks before the due date the patient was producing 8oz a day of breastmilk
  • She was able to breastfeed for six weeks exclusively after the birth, then with other food sources for another six months as recommended for newborns 
By: Mia de Graaf
14 Feb, 2018

A transgender woman has become the first in the world to exclusively breastfeed her baby despite not giving birth nor undergoing gender-reassignment surgeries.

The 30-year-old woman, who has not been identified, told doctors at Mt Sinai's Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery that her partner was pregnant but did not wish to breastfeed, and she hoped to try instead.

For three-and-a-half months before the birth, the woman was put on a dose of hormone replacement therapy which the patient obtained from Canada, as well as breast pumping, until she could produce eight ounces of milk a day.

By the time the child was born, the patient was producing enough milk to exclusively nurse for six weeks, then continued breastfeeding alongside other food sources for six months.
[…]
They upped the dosage to 20mg a day, while doubling her increasing her 'feminizing hormones' (micronized progesterone and estradiol), plus an extra breast pump per day. A month later, they increased her progesterone and estradiol doses once again.
While I was taking the progesterone I started to lactate and that scared me because I didn’t know what that white liquid was coming out of my nipples. And it happened at work! I had these two wet spots on my shirt and it freaked me out, I called my endo and he said, “Oh don’t worry that happens to some trans women when they start progesterone.”

But I had a complication… one of the milk ducts became clogged and it swelled up like a zit, and it hurt like hell. My doctor told me to put warm compresses on it until the clog cleared.

So this just goes to show you how close the male and female bodies are. Even males have milk ducts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It Is All Up To The Judge

The both side have presented there cases and the witnesses have been heard, now it is up to the judge.
Parents want custody to stop transgender teen having hormone treatment
CNN
By Jen Christensen
February 13, 2018

CNN)An Ohio court will decide the fate of a transgender teen who is in what the judge describes as a "gut-wrenching situation."
The 17-year-old identifies as a boy. Neither he nor his family can be named, according to court instructions. The teen's parents want court authority to stop their child from getting the treatment and therapy that was recommended by his medical team in what it characterizes as a possible life-or-death situation.
Medical experts testified that the father's ongoing refusal to call the child by his chosen name and the parents' rejection of the teen's gender identity have triggered suicidal feelings.


The teen was hospitalized in 2016. He has been diagnosed with depression, an anxiety disorder and gender dysphoria, according to court records. Gender dysphoria is a psychiatric diagnosis the American Psychiatric Association defines as "a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify."


The teen is in the temporary legal custody of Hamilton County Job and Family Services and lives with his maternal grandparents, who want custody and are supportive of the teen's gender identity. He wants to stay with them.
[…]
But in her written closing argument, their attorney, Karen Brinkman, argued that the parents maintain that they love their child and said that the child's mother said the child has "nothing to fear" from her and that she wants to have a relationship with her child. She also acknowledged that if the parents are granted custody, they want the child to continue to live with the maternal grandparents, "not in an effort to avoid parenting their child, but because they believe that the current living arrangement is in (the teen's) best interest."


Citing the teen's mental state, Brinkman said, "it does not appear that this child is even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time."
But the state pointed out that,
But Donald Clancy of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office argued that the reason why the parents don't want their child to receive hormone replacement therapy is because it is also against their religious beliefs. "Father testified that any kind of transition at all would go against his core beliefs and allowing the child to transition would be akin to him taking his heart out of his chest and placing it on the table," according to a transcript of Clancy's closing argument.
Now it is up to the judge…
The juvenile court judge, calling it "obviously a gut-wrenching situation for all of you to face," has said she will issue a ruling by Friday.
Last month's post on this case can be seen here.



Update: February 11, 2018, Zipper That Lip
The bill to prohibit discussion trans issues failed to pass…
South Dakota lawmakers defeat transgender bathroom proposal
Argus Leader
By Dana Ferguson
February 12, 2018


PIERRE — A legislative committee on Monday voted down a proposal to require schools to write and make public their policies governing transgender bathroom use.


The House Judiciary Committee on an 11-1 vote deferred House Bill 1296 to the 41st legislative day, effectively tabling the proposal.


Lawmakers expressed fatigue about the issue of transgender students' bathroom access prior to defeating the proposal.


"We have discussed and discussed and discussed this," said Rep. Susan Wismer, D-Britton. "Every time this bill is introduced it targets a vulnerable population, and I regret that very much."


The bill comes two years after the South Dakota Legislature approved a bill barring transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that don't match their biological sex at birth. Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed that proposal.
So we won but giving their track record we can see the Republicans introducing the bill next session.

Your Papers Please

Having proper documentation is critical in today’s legal climate. In many states we can change our documentation without surgery, all we need is a letter from a doctor or therapist. In other states you need to have surgery to change your documentation, and in some states you cannot change them at all.

Down in Alabama there is a battle going to allow you to change your driver license.
How Alabama's Driver's License Law Injures Transgender People
By Gabriel Arkles, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project
February 6, 2018

Many people use a driver’s license or other ID without giving it much thought. We carry it with us when we drive and show it if we get pulled over. We use it to get into a bar, board an airplane, or open a bank account. We use it to rent a car, pick up prescriptions, buy beer, claim a senior citizen discount, or check into a hotel. Sometimes we have to show it to enter an office building or make a purchase using a credit card or check. In some places, like Alabama, we need it to cast a vote.

Unfortunately, Alabama is one of nine states that still demands proof of surgery from transgender people before issuing an accurate driver’s license. For many transgender people, gender-confirming surgical procedures are an important, necessary form of medical care. But not all transgender people need or want surgery, and others can’t afford to get the treatment they need. That means that in Alabama many transgender people have no ID they can use safely.

Today, the ACLU and ACLU of Alabama filed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s policy of restricting access to driver licenses for transgender people that accurately reflect their gender identity. The government has no business dictating what treatment transgender people get, especially as a prerequisite for a basic government service. After all, it has nothing to do with how people drive.
[…]
As with all forms of discrimination against transgender people, this problem does not affect all transgender people equally. Assault after showing ID that did not match their gender was twice as common for Black transgender people, three times as common for Middle Eastern transgender people, almost five times as common for Native transgender people, and almost eight times as common for undocumented transgender people, compared to transgender people overall.
So you don’t think we need to worry about having our ID checked; well it is now becoming more important than ever for having IDs that match your presentation.
Video: Border Agents Demand Papers From South Florida Greyhound Bus Riders, Arrest Woman
Miami New Times
By Tim Elfrink
January 22, 2018
"This is new?" a worried passenger asks while she films U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stalking the aisle of a Greyhound bus in Fort Lauderdale and demanding proof of citizenship from the riders. Moments later, the agents arrest a passenger, pulling her and her luggage off the bus.

In fact, the tactic isn't new. Federal agents have targeted bus riders for random citizenship checks for years. But amid Washington's shutdown over the Trump administration's refusal to discuss immigration reform, the South Florida video went viral this weekend, with activists blasting the arrest as an example of enforcement gone wrong.

"Incidents like these erode public trust in police and authority figures whose job is to serve and protect our communities," says Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, membership director for Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), which tweeted out the video Saturday. "Without an official judicial warrant, border patrol agents should not be permitted to board the private property of the Greyhound corporation to harass its customers and violate their civil liberties."
Imagine that you, a U.S. citizen and a trans man of Latino heritage, are on a city bus and all of sudden these “officers” in full combat gear gets on the bus and demands your ID and on your ID is a picture of a woman and this helmeted with bulletproof vest on demands “Who is this?”

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Powerful Ally

Many might not see them as allies but I do, there are so many lawyers who fight for us but there are many who are also against us.

The American Bar Association has mixed reviews with Jim Crow laws and other discriminator laws but last week they came out in support of our rights,
ABA takes timely stand on sex harassment
ABA Journal
By Lee Rawles
February 5, 2018

In one of its final acts at the 2018 Midyear Meeting, the ABA House of Delegates has taken a stand against sexual harassment, approving a resolution to urge all employers to create and enforce effective sexual harassment policies.

“There can hardly be a resolution more timely,” said Stephanie Scharf, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, as she introduced the resolution on Monday in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Scharf pointed to earlier leadership from the ABA on the issue of sexual harassment, when it passed a 1992 resolution that sexual harassment should not be tolerated.

Unfortunately, Scharf says, “it continues to affect individual people by driving them away from work they enjoy and that they are eminently qualified to perform.”

Resolution 302, which was introduced by the Commission on Women in the Profession, the Section of Litigation and the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, also garnered support from numerous other ABA entities and minority bar associations.

It urges that all employers adopt and enforce policies to “prohibit, prevent, and promptly redress” harassment and retaliation based on “gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and the intersection of sex with race and/or ethnicity.”
[…]
Wendy Shiba, the representative from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, praised the resolution for specifically using referencing the “intersection of sex with race and/or ethnicity,” pointing out that women of color experience particular types of sexual harassment and at higher rates than their white women colleagues.
I do not know how much of a difference this will make but at the very least it makes a positive statement that discrimination is wrong.

This will not mean, just like other professional associations, that they can stop bad apples from discrimination but it does mean that the association will not support laws and policies that discriminate against us.

Even China Recognizes Us

The courts over in China just ruled in our favor…
Chinese court says employers should not treat workers differently based on gender identity
Hong Kong Free Press
By Catherine Lai
8 February 2018

A Chinese court has maintained an original ruling in favour of a transgender man who sued his former employer for allegedly discriminating against him. It said that employers should not treat workers differently based on their gender identity and expression.

Known as “Mr. C,” the plaintiff was born as a woman but identifies as a man. He was dismissed after working for just over a week at a health centre named Ciming Checkup in the southwestern province of Guizhou.

The plaintiff won the case against his former employer in January 2017 – the first such unfair dismissal case in China. However, the court found no evidence that he was dismissed because of discrimination against transgender people.
Hmm… I think it lost something in translation because,
According to an excerpt of the verdict posted online by LGBT NGO Common Language, which has been following the case, the court said: “An individual’s gender identity and gender expression falls within the protection of general personality rights, [everyone] should respect others’ rights to gender identity and expression.”
[…]
“Workers should not experience differential treatment based on their gender identity and expression.”

The NGO said it was the first time that a court in China has made this recommendation.
Hopefully we will continue winning court cases here in the U.S. but as Trump and the Republicans pack the courts with judges who put the Bible before the Constitution I don’t know what the future lies for us.

I worry about our future; it is one thing to argue the points of the Constitution about of we are covered  by it but it is entirely another thing to ignore the Constitution and use a Bible as your guide.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

In The Land Of “Live Free Or Die’

There is some progress in trans rights coming from New Hampshire, slowly.
Discussion continues around Windham school board transgender policy
Board voted 4-0 to pass it
WMUR
By Cherise Leclerc
February 10, 2018

WINDHAM, N.H. —
There is debate in Windham after a new transgender policy was recently approved by the school board.

The policy allows transgender students to choose bathrooms and locker rooms based on the gender they identify with.

It passed 4-0 at a school board meeting on Jan. 30.

One member of the school board, who was not present during the vote, said he would have voted against it.

The policy allows for students who identify as transgender to choose the bathroom, locker room and intramural sports team that aligns with their gender identity.

The locker room they choose will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Now we shall see what the state legislature does with the non-discrimination that is before the legislature this session.

I sometimes feel that their state motto of “Live Free Or Die’ means you live free and I die because you wanted the right to discriminate against others people because you don’t like us.

Zipper That Lip

Censorship out west.

One state is trying to prevent anyone from talking about trans issues in schools, they want us to disappear.
This bill would prohibit South Dakota teachers from acknowledging transgender kids exist
So what happens to transgender students?
Think Progress
By Zack Ford
February 8, 2018

For the second year in a row, South Dakota could be the first state legislature to push through an anti-LGBTQ bill in 2018, and it’s a brand new kind of attack. The proposed bill would censor schools from discussing transgender issues until students are in eighth grade.

S.B. 160 is short. It adds the following to the state education code:
No instruction in gender identity or gender expression may be provided to any student in kindergarten through grade seven in any public school in the state.
The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Phil Jensen (R), believes the issues aren’t age-appropriate and actually argues that they could get in the way of learning other skills. “I think we need to be focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic,” he said.

The bill is a new spin on a series of “no promo homo” laws that are on the books in seven other states. These laws vary from state to state in the way they either prohibit discussing homosexuality in schools or dictate teaching that homosexuality is harmful or even against the law — even though sodomy laws have been unenforceable since the Supreme Court overturned them in 2003. South Dakota’s bill would be the first to extend such censorship to gender identity issues.
This should be called “The Emperor Has No Clothes” bill, we are here and we will not go away no matter they try to do to sweep us under the rug.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine (1991)



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

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

1) In this song, Ms. Kitt sings that her lover is her favorite work of art. Tell us about a piece of artwork you can see from where you're sitting now. (Yes, that crayon drawing created by your 5-year-old nephew counts.)
Um… none. Unless the picture of my parents that I took counts.

2) She asks him to not change his hair. When will you next find yourself in the stylist's chair?
Ha! You got to have hair to go to a stylist.

3) Ms. Kitt always wanted to be a performer and attended the New York School of Performing Arts (aka the "Fame" school). Think back to your high school self. In what ways would you be surprised by how your life turned out?
Well in high school I wanted to be an engineer and I did.
Back then I was so deep in the closet that I nevered dreamed that I would be so out.

4) Ms. Kitt took over the role of Catwoman on TV's Batman. Name another Batman villain.
My old boss… JK
The Joker

5) Ms. Kitt enjoyed tremendous success performing in Parisian nightclubs. Have you ever been to Paris?
Nope, I would like to sometime but I rather “See the USA in my Chevrolet.”



This is the last Saturday  9 before Valentine's Day and so this morning we shall focus on the upcoming holiday.

6) The holiday is also known as The Feast of St. Valentine. Do you have a special meal planned for next Wednesday?
Nope.

7) The phrase "wear your heart on your sleeve" began in medieval times. On Valentine's Day, men would celebrate the holiday by displaying their lady love's name on their sleeves. If you were going to adopt this custom, whose name would you wear?
Well if you were Trump you would wear your own name on your sleeve.

8) Women buy and send more Valentines than men do. What's the last greeting card you received?
A Christmas card

9) Men buy and send more roses at Valentine's Day than women do. What's your favorite flower?
Lilacs

I’m late today.

As many of you know I am looking for a cottage on the Cape (if you are from around here you would know there is only one “Cape” and that is Cape Cod); well on Friday there was a nice year round condo (3 BD and 2 BA) that went on the market on Friday the 2nd and I emailed my agent Saturday… no reply. I emailed her Monday… no reply. I used a different email account and the message got through, she never received the other emails. So we set up a viewing for yesterday, well late Thursday night I get an email from her saying it is under contract.

Well I guess it hit me harder than I expected… I have been down in the dumps yesterday and today (the classic symptoms… eating junk food, not feeling like doing anything, and sleeping), and that is why I am late with the post.

Friday, February 09, 2018

In The Ballot Box

Last November we saw a wave of trans people elected to office; some of the reasons this happened is because they stayed on local issues, they had good organization skills, and they had money.
Dollars, data support record number of transgender U.S. election candidates
Reuters
By Daniel Trotta
February 8, 2018

(Reuters) - Alexandra Chandler was a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst when she came out as a transgender woman in 2006. She could have been fired, but instead she said the conservative Republicans in her chain of command promoted her to division chief.

A decade later, that kind of acceptance was overshadowed by what Chandler called the hate and divisive language of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, prompting her to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The real simplistic answer to why I‘m running: It’s to answer a call. It’s to a answer a call to service like I did after 9/11,” said Chandler, one of more than a dozen Democrats seeking the nomination in the third district of Massachusetts.
[…]
Chandler is among an estimated 40 transgender candidates running for all levels of government in the November 2018 elections, an unprecedented number. Many of the candidates will have the backing of advocacy groups such as Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in the United States.

HRC’s $26 million commitment to the elections, nearly as much as it spent in the 2012 and 2016 campaigns combined, is part of a push to regain momentum after Trump became president and Republicans kept control of Congress.
[…]
In addition to those who have declared their candidacies this year, nearly as many parents of transgender children are also running, said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, the leading trans advocacy group.
So you want to run for office.

Where do you start?

Well I can name two places to start…

The first is my Alma Mater, the University of Connecticut School of Social Work’s Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work's Campaign School.

I took it when I was a grad student and it is excellent and their next class is March 3 & 4 (You do not have to be a social worker to attend or a UConn student).

My second recommendation is Emily’s List.
EMILY's List members are dedicated to building a progressive America by electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. We believe in the power of women as candidates, as contributors, as campaign professionals, and as voters to bring about great change in our country. EMILY's List is committed to a three-pronged strategy to elect pro-choice Democratic women: recruiting and funding viable women candidates; helping them build and run effective campaign organizations; and mobilizing women voters to help elect progressive candidates across the nation. By working together, we can make a difference -- and change the face of American politics.
They are another excellent source and when I was going to the campaign school (they teach a part of the Friday’s class) they tried hard to recruit me to run for office, they are very trans friendly.

Get out there this year and be active! If you can’t run for office help out on a campaign or donate for a candidate. I will be.

High Tech Companies

The high tech companies have lead the way in LGBT rights (but it seems like that is not so for women rights) and now they can put their money where their non-discrimination policies are.
Gay-rights groups say Amazon should avoid these 9 cities for second headquarters
238 cities across the United States were eager to become the home of HQ2, Amazon’s new headquarters. Amazon has trimmed down its list to just 20 cities.
USA Today
By Elizabeth Weise,
February 1, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Gay-rights advocates ran a "No Gay? No Way!" campaign Thursday to pressure Amazon to avoid building its second headquarters in a state that does not protect its residents from discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Of the 20 cities on Amazon’s list of finalists, nine are in states with no anti-gay-discrimination laws, according to the campaign. They are Austin; Dallas; Nashville; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Miami; Raleigh, N.C.; and the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia.
[…]
That prize needs to go somewhere all workers are welcome, says the ad hoc group launching the campaign.

“We were frankly just stunned that a company with such a great track record of equality and diversity had put all these states into the mix,” said Conor Gaughan, the ad-hoc campaign's manager and communications consultant, told USA TODAY.
[…]
Like many tech companies, Amazon has long been a supporter of gay rights and anti-discrimination legislation. It has had a robust gay and lesbian employee group, GLAmazon, since 2005. Before it was common, advertisements for the e-tailer featured gay couples. And CEO Jeff Bezos contributed heavily to the push for gay marriage in Washington state. The company was one of the more than 50 tech firms that last year signed a friend of the court brief in a case involving a transgender high school student in Virginia.
I hope that the company will take into consideration laws that protect LGBT employees and their families.

I would think for a company that has such an excellent record of support LGBT issues that they would let their fingers do the walking away from states that have a track record of discrimination against us.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

You Thought That This Was Settled

Trump never gives up he is like a rabid dog once it sinks its teeth in you. He is still trying to get us kicked out of the military.
Trump officials to release new policy on transgender troops
The Hill
By Josh Delk
February 7, 2018

The Trump administration is planning to release a new policy later this month on enlisting transgender individuals in the military, according to a Wednesday report from BuzzFeed News.

Justice Department lawyers told U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis they will be defending a new policy that will be revealed Feb. 21. That lines up with the date set in an August memo from President Trump for the Defense Secretary to provide an implementation plan.

Last year, the administration issued a policy that would have barred the military from enlisting transgender individuals and prevented those already in the ranks from serving openly.

But that policy is on hold after a number of challenges that are working their way through the courts. Garbis is overseeing one of those cases.
The courts have ruled that the ban violates the 14 Amendment so this case is going all the way to the Supreme Court where the government will argue for the right to discrimination against us.

Meanwhile, the states are not taking this laying down,
New Jersey joins fight opposing Trump's transgender military ban
Politico
By Katie Jennings
February 7, 2018

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Tuesday signed on to an amicus brief in a federal lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on transgender people serving in the military.

“The President’s ban doesn’t just demean our armed forces, including the many brave transgender soldiers who have served openly and with great distinction. The President’s ban also violates the Constitution,” Grewal said in a press release.
[…]
These actions include joining a multi-state lawsuit to protect undocumented immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and overturning Christie-era regulations loosening concealed-carry standards for handguns, among others.
[…]
The amicus brief, signed by a coalition of attorneys general from 15 states and the District of Columbia, calls on the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington to grant the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and declare the ban on transgender military service unconstitutional.
I believe in Connecticut that Governor Malloy has said we are one of the fifteen states that sign amicus.



We must always be vigilant what one administration has done another administration can undo we have seen it with Trump undoing all the good that President Obama has done.

We also see it in Bermuda,
Bermuda Bans Same-Sex Marriage Less Than 1 Year After Legalizing It
LGBTQ activists are calling for people to #BoycottBermuda after a law reversing same-sex marriage was passed.
Huffington Post
By Carla Herreria
February 8, 2018

Less than a year after same-sex marriages were legalized in Bermuda, the governor of the British island territory signed a bill into law on Wednesday that replaced it with domestic partnerships.

According to the local news site Bernews, Gov. John Rankin said the new law grants same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. However, the law permits same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships only ― not legal marriages.

The Bermuda government will continue to recognize same-sex couples who wed before the law was reversed as married couples.
[…]
After the ruling was handed down, conservative leaders argued that it did not reflect the majority interests of the people in Bermuda, per The New York Times.

In December, Bermuda’s Senate and House of Assembly passed legislation designed to reverse the Supreme Court ruling. It passed by wide margins.
This is scary!

More conservatives are ignoring court rulings. The Bermuda Supreme Court has ruled to legalize marriage equality but the conservative legislature and governor ignored the court and repealed the marriage equality.

We have seen it here; Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the state voting districts have been gerrymandered and for the districts to be redrawn but the Republican legislature has refused and there is talk about impeaching the justicies.

The Trump administration has ignored the law signed by Trump to impose sanctions against Russia and they are picking and choosing which laws they will follow. The Justice Department, the Department of Labor and the Department of Education all have said that they will not enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Education Amendments Of 1972.

These are dangerous precedents.

This And That In The News

It seems like it is a never ending battle in schools over trans students, the more we gain the more the pushback we face.

In Rhode Island they have had a non-discrimination law long before Connecticut passed our law so this should be a non-issue now…
R.I. hearing elicits clashing views on transgender student policy
The hearing began with a statement that the proposed regulation aims to follow through on state law that calls for protections for transgender students as well as for students whose gender expression differs from stereotypic expectations.
Providence Journal
By Mark Reynolds
February 6, 2018

PROVIDENCE — In Justice Gaines’ earliest childhood memories, she was a girl in every possible way save her anatomy.
She felt she was on the wrong team when the boys and girls were split up. She says she remembers “so distinctly” being the only one who knew she was a girl. Later, she concluded wrongly that she was a boy, according to the statement that Gaines gave to Rhode Island’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
The commissioner, Ken Wagner, is taking public input on the establishment of a regulation that forces all schools to adopt policies protecting the rights of transgender students.
[…]
The proposed regulation says every local school district must adopt “a policy addressing the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming students to a safe, supportive, and non-discriminatory school environment.” It sets a deadline of July 1.
Here in Connecticut the Department of Education issued guideline and a FAQ last year.



Then up in Massachusetts...
‘I Can Now Say It’: Elementary School Principal Comes Out As Transgender
CBS Boston
February 7, 2018

SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) – A Massachusetts elementary school principal announced in a letter to the community they are transgender.

Shannon Daniels, principal of Stanley Elementary School in Swampscott, said they have struggled with gender identity since elementary school.

“I did my best to suppress those feelings for more than 40 years, and while I was successful to a degree, I have never felt completely happy or at peace. I got to the point that I thought I would never be able to reveal my true self. Frankly, the prospect of doing so was terrifying,” Daniels wrote.

“That has changed. … I can now say it: I am transgender.”

Daniels asked to be called Principal Daniels, and said people can use “he,” “she,” and “they” as pronouns.
Congratulation to Shannon.

I don’t think that the students will have any problem with her transition but I think that the adults will and that some of them will be very vocal about it.



The nationally parents from around the country have petitioned the Secretary of Education...
Parents of transgender students criticize DeVos
USA Today
By Greg Toppo,
February 7, 2018

The parents of more than 700 transgender students nationwide are accusing U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of abandoning their children after the Trump administration rescinded restroom guidance designed to protect them from discrimination at school.

In a letter signed by families from 47 states and the District of Columbia, the parents note that nearly half of students who identify themselves as "transgender, non-binary, or otherwise non-cisgender" now say they never use school restrooms. Of those, 90% say they're "personally restricted" from using facilities that align with their gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQ civil rights group.

The Trump administration last February rescinded Obama-era protections for transgender students that let them use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
They better watch out… Trump might accuse them of treason for criticizing a cabinet member!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Do You Get An Annual Physical?

I do and an annual mammogram, but many people do not. Some because they don’t having insurance, some because they hate doctors, while might not even know they insurance companies don’t charge for an annual wellness exam.
Transgender, gender nonconforming teens have diminished perceptions of health
Healio
By Rider GN, et al.
Pediatrics. 2018. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1683

Teenagers who identify as transgender and gender nonconforming are more likely to report poorer physical and mental health than those who identify as cisgender, with less use of preventive health care measures, according to findings published in Pediatrics.

Additionally, perceptions of health were varied based on perceived gender expression of these students, with the largest representation of students reporting a gender perception of equally masculine and feminine.

“Some of our previous research indicates that, when compared to cisgender youth, [transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC)] adolescents report experiencing higher rates of bullying and subsequently higher rates of emotional distress and substance use following from these incidents,” Nic Rider, PhD, from the Program in Human Sexuality in the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, told Infectious Diseases in Children.

“These health outcomes may also be a result of negative experiences such as discrimination and other interactions that do not affirm their gender identities and expressions, which other studies indicate does happen in health care settings,” Rider continued.
I think it is not only their personal experiences but also from the experiences community; we have all heard the horror stories from other trans people who had bad encounters with healthcare providers and the stories have a profound effect on the community.
“When health care providers do have the opportunity to work with TGNC adolescents, it is important to ask them about these health risks as well as barriers they experience in terms of accessing, utilizing and receiving competent and quality care,” Rider said. “It is especially important for health care providers to also identify and refer to appropriate follow-up care when necessary. These are some of the ways health care providers can bolster wellness within this community.” – by Katherine Bortz
I would also add, limit your questions to relevant questions about the nature of the office visit. If we are there for the flu asking about what’s between our legs is not relevant, but asking about our sexual history because many STIs start off feeling like a cold. But if the healthcare just says, “so tell me about your sex history” our hackles might be raised (why is has asking about my sex life when I have the flu), but if instead the provider says, “many diseases start out wth cold symptoms so I am going to asked you about some other factors that may cause your symptoms” would less offensive.

I know one time I had to train one of my doctors about gender dysphoria, I didn’t like doing it (he should have learned it is college) but I am glad he asked and took the time to listen.

I Don’t Think You Have To Tell Us

We know that there are people out there who go out of their way to misgender us. You know the ones… they are the ones who stab you with their words and then they twist the knife.
THREE IN FIVE PEOPLE INTENTIONALLY MISGENDER TRANS PEOPLE: REPORT
A new study shows we have a long way to go with how we treat trans folks.
Star Observer
By Jess Jones
February 1, 2018

A new international report shows most people would still misgender and use the wrong pronouns for trans people, with non-binary people faring the worst.

The study by market research group Ipsos surveyed people in 27 countries, including Australia, on their attitudes about trans people, The Financial has reported.

Only two in five people in majority English-speaking countries said they would refer to a trans man or woman by their correct gender pronouns, rather than as the sex they were assigned at birth.

Australia performed relatively well, with just 13 per cent of respondents saying they would call a trans woman ‘he’, and 14 per cent saying they would call a trans man ‘she’.

Americans did the worst, with 22 per cent saying they would intentionally misgender a trans woman and 21 per cent saying they would misgender a trans man.
Yeah we are the worst but still it is only about a fifth of the population that would misgender someone that means four fifths of the people would not.

We are also last in…
America fared poorly in its attitudes about trans people, being the most likely to consider being trans a mental illness (32 per cent) or a sin (32 per cent), and the most likely to think that society has “gone too far” in allowing trans people to live as their true gender (36 per cent).
We know all this.

If you are trans and you don’t integrate into society that easily you know that there are people out there that go out of their way to harass us. It is even worst when you live in certain areas here in the U.S.

If you are trans and you integrate into society easily you probably wonder what’s all the fuss about.



When someone purposely misgender you it is called a “Microaggression” and some of us handle it better than others but others it is like getting stabbed by a thousand pins. Some of us can handle the microaggressions but then at times it could also be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

This is the video that I use in my training…



Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Now That There Are More Trans Children Coming Out

Healthcare providers need to catch up; we need more medical schools teaching trans medicine. We need more healthcare providers that are more affirming and not turn us away because “I don’t know how to treat a trans person.”
What a Pediatrician Learned from a 9-Year-Old Transgender Child
KQED
By Lesley McClurg
February 5, 2018

The number of transgender people in America has doubled in the last decade, but that doesn’t mean the medical profession has caught up. Transgender patients are often unable to find quality healthcare. Research shows they may face stigma, discrimination and cannot find medical interventions like hormone therapy and/or sex reassignment surgery.

Ximena Lopez is a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas, and is one of the few in the country who specialize in care for transgender youth. Recently she shared the story of her steep learning curve at the TEDMED conference in Palm Springs.
[…]
Parents Desperate for Help
I was not prepared when my first transgender child walked into my clinic. I didn’t get any training in medical school, my residency or my sub-specialty training to care for transgender children. And there were people in my clinic who questioned whether I should take the appointment. I decided to see whether I could help, but I didn’t think I’d actually provide care.

During the first appointment the most striking thing was how desperate the parents were for help. They told me they had called 100 doctors and nobody wanted to provide treatment to stop Tyler’s puberty. Then they said, ‘We don’t care if you experiment with our child. We will do anything for his mental health.’

They said a phrase that really stayed with me, ‘We prefer to have a living son than a dead daughter.’

I knew I had to help.
We need more healthcare providers!

We need more healthcare providers trained who can provide care for us, not just endos and surgeons but GPs, GYN/OBs and other specialists who will not turn us because “I don’t know how to treat a trans person.”

Are There More Of Us?

I remember when I was first exploring my transness online and the APA said that we were 1 in 30,000… then it went to 1 in 5000, it now dropped down to 1 in 200. Are there now more of us or are we just seeing the results of a more inviting climate for coming out?
Not just boy and girl; more teens identify as transgender
AP
By Lindsey Tanner
February 5, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Far more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options, new research suggests.

The study looked at students in ninth and 11th grade and estimated that nearly 3 percent are transgender or gender nonconforming, meaning they don’t always self-identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes kids who refer to themselves using neutral pronouns like “them” instead of “he” or “she.”
[…]
“Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect,” said lead author Nic Rider, a University of Minnesota postdoctoral fellow who studies transgender health.

The study is an analysis of a 2016 statewide survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota teens.
Three percent! Compare that to the Williams study that said we are only 0.5% of the population, why the disparity?
Although the study only included teens in two grades, the rates are higher than a UCLA study released last year estimating that 0.7 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 are transgender, or about 150,000 kids. That study used government data on adults to estimate numbers for children. It said 0.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as transgender, or about 1.4 million.

Some experts believe rising awareness of transgender issues has led increasing numbers of transgender teens to come out, or to experiment with gender identification.
Is that the reason?

I think that it is. Medical studies have looked at brain development and they know that male/female changes to the genitals take place around 9 to 12 weeks but around the 24th the brain develops sexual characteristics because they don’t happen at the same time there can be a disconnect between brain sex and the genital sex.

I also think that it is more common than we think. I think gender and sex are a continuum and not a binary so therefore there can be subtle changes to the brain that do not create gender dysphoria while other changes are enough to trigger gender dysphoria. That is why I think gender dysphoria is a form of intersex.



With more people coming out as LGBT because of the affirming environment from the Obama administration because they felt safer and the bigots were forced underground. However now the current administration has giving a green light for the bigots to crawl out from under their rocks.
Report Shows Massive Increase In Anti-LGBTQ Violence Since Trump Took Office
It’s incredibly scary to be LGBTQ in Trump’s America.
Huffington Post
By David Lohr
January 22, 2018

The New York City Anti-Violence Project’s annual Crisis of Hate report shows a remarkable upsurge of hate-based killings of LGBTQ people.

According to the report, an 86 percent increase in hate violence homicides in the U.S. last year makes 2017 the deadliest year yet for the LGBTQ community. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a coalition of 40 community-based anti-violence groups, noted the escalation toward the end of the presidential election cycle, and it shows no signs of slowing, according to Beverly Tillery, executive director of the project.

President Donald “Trump won the election by saying it was time to take back America for people feeling pushed out by LGBTQ people, immigrants and people of color,” Tillery told HuffPost.

“It was a tactical move to attack those communities,” she added. “It worked, and there are more instances of violence because the climate in the country has changed. It has given an opening for people to feel like they can commit acts of hate-based violence without much repercussion.”
And what does all this hate focus on?

On the most marginalized of those marginalized…
As in previous years, LGBTQ people of color appear to have borne the brunt of the violence. Of the total number of homicides last year, the report indicates 71 percent of the victims were people of color, and 23 percent were white. Victims were overwhelmingly transgender women and queer, bi, or gay cisgender men.
All the swamp creatures are crawling out of the sewers and spewing their hate, violence, and bigotry. Trump has embolden the white supremacist, the racists, the xenophobes, the homophobes, and the transphobes to act their hate.

I just hope that the violence doesn’t affect the children coming now.

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Forecast Said 3 Or 4 Inches Of Snow…

We got over two feet of snow with drifts to six feet!

I remember it well.

I was working at Allied Control in Plantsville CT that Monday morning as a senior electronic technician, at the time I was four years out of college and I was still living with my parents at the time. The drive to work took twenty minutes and it wasn’t snowing yet but the forecast was what I called a nuisance storm; it wasn’t enough to close work but just enough to have to shovel and make driving treacherous.

I had already given my two week notice and I still had plenty of vacation days left, so around noon the snow was coming down hard and I told my boss that I was taking a half day vacation.

Well that twenty minute drive took over three hours and many at work never made it home that night, some even stayed at work over night.

I woke up to silence that morning; everything was dark and cold… no electricity and the snow was still coming down!

So I started a fire in the fireplace and went down in the basement and brought up my camping stove and gas lantern. I made coffee for my parents and we huddled around the battery powered radio listening to WTIC and Bob Steele.

Around noon I started the snow blower and started clearing the driveway. The snow was way over the top of the snow blower so I was shoveling it down into the snow blower. After many trips inside to warm up by the fire the driveway was done but there was no place to go because the road wasn’t plowed and there were six foot drifts across the road.

We then learned that the governor had shut down the state for three days.

Late Tuesday a bulldozer came down the street clearing one path. We later learned that a neighbor died that morning from shoveling the snow and they couldn’t get an ambulance there until the afternoon when the bulldozer came through.

On Wednesday we finally had the street plowed and with the roads still all closed I cross country skied over to a friend’s house on Chamberlain Highway.

Thursday we back to work…

So the big boss came around and asked me if I called in on Tuesday and Wednesday and I said no the state was closed. He said that the company rules were that you had to call in, so I got docked two days pay even though I was salary non-exempt. He went and asked the other technicians if they called in, since they all heard what he said to me they all said that they called but there was no answer and they got paid.

I could have made a stink about it but since Friday was my last day there I let it go.

Here are some articles about the Blizzard of ‘78

The Hartford Courant
The Hartford Courant photo spread
WTNH



R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

What does being Politically Correct mean?

People get mad when you say “Happy Holidays”

People get mad when you say “Undocumented immigrants”

People get mad when you say “mail carrier”

What do all these have in common?
Transgender student: professor refused to use preferred pronoun
New York Post
By Dean Balsamini
February 3, 2018

An 88-year-old NYU psychology professor is under fire for, among other things, not using the preferred pronouns in referring to transgender students.

August Enzer, a transgender man, lodged a complaint in November against Professor Edgar Coons, who has been teaching at the college since 1965.

The junior is demanding the professor be disciplined and the resolution be made public, according to the Washington Square News, NYU’s student newspaper.

Enzer told the paper Coons made “transphobic” comments during his Introduction to Psychology course freshman year, even using the term “abnormalities” in referring to transgender individuals during a class about gender and sexuality.
What this has in common with the above comments is RESPECT!

Using proper pronouns, using “mail carrier”, using “Happy Holidays” are show respect for other people.

When you use “Mailman” you not acknowledging the fact than many mail carriers are women. When you use “Merry Christmas” you are ignoring the fact that many other religions have their observances around the same time of the year.

When you use the wrong pronouns you are not showing respect for the trans person. You are not acknowledging the student’s identity or using the phrase of today’s young people; you are “dissing them,” you are disrespecting us.
The conflict has sparked a passionate campus debate.

“This is insane … gender politics is a relatively new phenomena and I bet a lot of the older professors aren’t aware of these nuances,” wrote one commenter to the student newspaper story.
Funny how my older relatives had no problem with respecting my wishes.



Sunday, February 04, 2018

Going After Marginalized Communities

We are easy pickings for politicians but sometimes there is pushback when they go too far with their hate and bigotry.
Ives ad targets transgender community, immigrants and women who get abortions
Chicago Sun Times
By Tina Sfondeles
February 3, 2018

A controversial new ad by Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives targets the transgender community, illegal immigrants and women who get abortions — in a statewide television ad that some are calling “repulsive” and “appalling.”

The Ives campaign said the ad “represents Gov. [Bruce] Rauner’s chosen constituents based on the policy choices he made.” Spokeswoman Kathleen Murphy said the ad will begin airing this weekend throughout the state.
[…]
The ad marks a sharp public shift to the right in Ives’ campaign. Ives had been gaining attention following a debate with Rauner at the Chicago Tribune last week. And her sharp critiques of the governor were used in a digital ad by Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker.
Yeah let’s attack those who are already marginalized to get votes and campaign donation, let’s stir up hate. Who cares if someone gets murdered or physically attacked or verbally attacked… hey I made another $10,000 in donations and I went up in the polls with more voters who crawled out from under a rock.
The Huffington Post reported that there has been kickback from the ads,
Illinois GOP Rep. Under Fire For Ad Mocking Transgender Community, Feminists
Both Democrats and Republicans called Rep. Jeanne Ives’ gubernatorial campaign ad “bigoted” and “homophobic.”
By Carla Herreria
February 3, 2018

The Republican primary challenger in Illinois’ gubernatorial race is in hot water for a campaign ad that mocks the transgender community, Women’s March activists and immigration activists.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, who is running against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary, released the ad Saturday in an attempt to challenge her opponent’s conservative values.

Her 30-second spot features actors outfitted to portray a transgender woman, an anti-fascist protestor wearing a hood and a bandana over his face, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union and a Women’s March activist.

Each character mockingly thanks Rauner for enacting policies that support their supposed demographic. The ad, as the Chicago Tribune pointed out, misrepresents the effects of Rauner’s policies.
[…]
“We already have enough hate and bigotry in the White House,” Rebecca Evans said on behalf of Kennedy. “We don’t need a governor who stands silent against Donald Trump, and we certainly don’t need a governor who echoes Donald Trump.”
It should be interesting to see how she does in the primaries. Will all that hate turn off the Republican voters? Or will it energize her base?



All those of you who will be attending a Super Bowl party stay safe on the way home! If you can’t drive call a ride don’t become a statistic.

 I am hosting a Super Bowl party and I made sure that everyone knows that they can sleep over at my house if they need to. I am also willing to take away anyone’s keys and get them a ride home or give them a blanket and a couch.

A Busy Spring

The spring speaking engagements are shaping up nicely;
  • February 13: CCSU – Discussion 
  • February 21: Institute for Community Research – Presentation 
  • March 16: True Color Conference – Presentation
  • March 27: Albertus Magnus College – Lecture 
  • March 29: UConn SSW – Panel discussion
  • May 4: NASW Conference – Presentation

Hopefully more speaking engagements will come along for later spring, I usually get a few after my workshop at the NSAW Connecticut chapter’s conference in May.

I don’t like just answering questions in a classroom, I much rather give a workshop because I think that I cover much more usefully topic when I give a presentation that a discussion in a classroom. With a discussion in a classroom setting most of the questions are of the type that I call curiosity questions like “how did you pick your name?” while with a presentation I can cover a topic as to why you shouldn’t ask a trans person what their “deadname” was. I do only one “discussion” because I have been doing it for a professor’s class for almost ten years now. I have stepped away from the Stonewall Speakers for the same reason, the questions that are asked are for the most superficial and also the quality of their speakers sometimes are lacking.

A couple of feedback responses from the student’s journals…

When it was announced that we would have a guest speaker for our next class I originally thought nothing of it. I’ve had a good experience with guest speakers in the TCPCG [Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates] program so far and I was excited to hear what the guest lecturer would say. When I walked into class on Wednesday I remember seeing the back of a tall woman standing in front of our class, thinking she was our guest, and proceeded to sit down and open up my computer. About 5 minutes later the guest came forward and she said that we were going to start the lecture. Once the guest lecturer starting talking and I began to look at her a bit more in detail, I realized something very interesting - our guest speaker was a transexual.

*****

Now being an educated grad student I was fully aware of was exactly a transsexual was and that the transexual community is growing every day, however, as far as I know, this was my first time meeting one. The weird thing however was that it didn’t seem like I was meeting a transexual, but rather just another women - a guest lecturer. Once you get past the deep voice and the 6’2” figure, there was nothing weird or different here, just another woman. When the lecture started I was expecting to learn all about life as a transsexual, and while she did touch on this a little, she was focused more on the big picture. The picture being that there are thousands of transexuals and people dreaming of being a different gender all around us, and often times they either go unnoticed or are looked as weirdly or differently. I think the message she was trying to tell us is that although on the outside we may look a little strange, it is really who they are on the inside that matters.

*****

I got to class on weds at 4 minutes past 2pm. When I walked into the class I was given a soft accepting smile from the person who appeared to be teaching for the day, so I quickly put down my stuff, shook off all the wet, (it was absolutely pouring outside, which is why I was a little late((people can't drive in the rain in Hartford)) and begin to listen. I was very taken by how brave she was and I found her life story to be quite moving and inspiring. The video clips that she played were particularly touching and I found it hard to turn away. Especially the girl that wanted her parent to call her Jazz and to block her puberty. Overall, I learned a lot on weds and I must admit I knew nothing about the subject of trans gender before I walked into class, but I knew a ton after I left.