Sunday, April 22, 2018

Breaking The Barrier

Slowly we are breaking the trans glass ceiling when it comes to trans actors and actresses. But it helps if you don’t look trans.
"Rise" Actor Ellie Desautels Explained Why Showing Transgender People on TV Is a Huge Deal
"Me having that visibility gives other non-binary people confidence."
Teen Vogue
By Brittney McNamara
March 31, 2018

According to GLAAD, representation of LGBTQ people on television is getting better, but it's still not great. That's particularly true when we're talking about transgender people on TV. According to GLAAD's 2017 "Where We Are on TV" report, there were 17 transgender characters on television last year, including nine transgender women, four transgender men, and four non-binary people. In order to truly and fully tell the stories of transgender people, however, GLAAD notes that it's critical that transgender people be involved in doing so — both in front of and behind the camera. Still, that's not always the case. We see cisgender characters cast to portray transgender people on screen, shot through the eyes of cisgender people. But on NBC's Rise, things are different.

Ellie Desautels, who plays Michael on the show, is a non-binary, trans-masculine actor playing a transgender character on TV. Rather than showing Michael's transition, or him trying to parse through his gender identity, the show focuses on other aspects of Michael — like his singing talent and love for theater. While Michael does face what Ellie called barriers on the show that are related to identity, Michael's story line is much more than those moments. For Transgender Day of Visibility, Teen Vogue caught up with Ellie to talk about why their role is important, why it's critical that Michael is portrayed as more than his gender identity, and what Ellie hopes the show imparts on viewers.

Teen Vogue: What has your experience like been on the show so far?
Ellie Desautels: On the show I have such a fantastic time. Everything just was fun, and I loved going to work every day. Working with the cast was obviously incredible, everybody’s amazing. Since we stopped shooting and since it’s come out, I’ve gotten such an amazing response from fans.
Then there is Law & Order SUV…
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Tackles Trans Military Debate With Powerful Storyline
And they cast a trans actor of color to depict it, too.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Curtis M. Wong
April 12, 2018

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” struck a nerve this week with a storyline that reflected the ongoing debate over transgender people in the military.

Wednesday’s episode, titled “Service,” focused on a trial involving a young woman, Sandy “Sky” Ksenivch (played by Morgan Taylor Campbell), who worked as an escort and was allegedly raped in a hotel room. One of the witnesses in the case was a soldier named Jim Preston (Marquise Vilsón).

Preston, who was in the same room at the time of the alleged incident, was initially hesitant to cooperate with investigators. By the episode’s conclusion, it became clear why: Testifying would require Preston to reveal that he identifies as transgender.

In a climactic scene, Preston took the stand and discussed his gender identity during cross-examination by attorney James Olson (Christopher Wiehl).

“I am a transgender man. If you wanted to know that, you could have just asked,” he said in the scene, which you can view above.
The very last scene was excellent, you got to see it.

We are making headway in televisions but now we need to have trans people portray trans people in the movies and end “transface.”

We also need trans people to also play cisgender characters.

On Vacation!

I will back to my regular posting schedule on Tuesday! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

They Can’t Pass Our Bill But They Can Pass This…

The gender identity/expression non-discrimination bill is struggling in the legislature but they can pass a bill banning Conversion therapy.
Ban on gay conversion therapy clears NH Senate
Union Leader
By Dave Solomon
April 19. 2018

CONCORD — Opponents of gay conversion therapy have been trying to get the practice banned in New Hampshire since 2016, and on Thursday moved one step closer to their goal.

The state Senate voted 14-10 in support of a House-passed bill, HB 587, which bans the practice of attempting to change a juvenile’s sexual orientation or gender identity from gay to straight through psychological or spiritual intervention.

The Senate amended the bill slightly, which will require more negotiations with the House. If the bill survives negotiations in a House-Senate conference committee, it will go to Gov. Chris Sununu for his consideration.

Sununu has said he is opposed to gay conversion therapy and likely to sign a bill if it gets to his desk.

“We’ve been dealing with this issue again and again,” said Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield. “The confusion has been designed to make this bill unsuccessful, and we have to recognize this is something we need to do. This practice is backward, barbaric and aimed to scare the gay away. We need to call it what it is and move forward.”

A proposed Senate amendment exempting “talk therapy or religious counseling” from the ban was defeated, and the bill was passed in a way that more closely mirrors the House-passed version.
Once again it is the Republicans who are opposed to this bill.
Sen. Bob Giuda, R-Warren, described the bill as unfairly one-sided.

“I don’t see anything in this bill that prohibits encouraging conversion to a gay lifestyle,” he said. “There is nothing in this bill that is fair. It is all pushing in one direction. There is conversion therapy that goes the other way. We have allowed a certain segment to define conversion.”
The Republicans are masters of demeaning language with words like “lifestyle” and “bathroom bill,” they try to hide their bigotry behind religion and fear, they try to make sound like it is choice that we are trans or gay or lesbian.

It is typical Republican strategy to create division, fear and loathing of “others.”

This Is The Type Of Appointments The Administration Is Making

Many of them are anti-LGBT and believe in the Bible overrides the Constitution.
Senators Are Scrutinizing A Trump Nominee After His Transgender Daughter Accused Him Of Using Slurs
Bailey Coffman alleges her father, Frank M. Coffman, a nominee to be US Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, said she was “possessed by the devil” when she came out as transgender. In his Senate questionnaire, Frank Coffman denies the claims.
By Dominic Holden
April 16, 2018

Two Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are probing a presidential nominee about his views on transgender people after his daughter, a transgender woman, accused her father of calling her a “freak in dress” who’s “possessed by the devil.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s ranking member, and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey asked Trump’s nominee for US Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Frank M. Coffman, about the allegations and his politically charged Twitter feed in a questionnaire in March.

Coffman denied the allegations in a reply submitted last week, saying his daughter is “my child whom I love very much.”

“Never in my entire career spanning over 25 years of service have I demonstrated bias or prejudice against any individual or group of individuals, including those in the LGBT community,” Coffman said in the questionnaire obtained by BuzzFeed News. “If confirmed, I will perform the duties of a United States Marshal in the same manner.”

But Bailey Coffman, his 30-year-old transgender daughter, is trying to stop her father’s nomination.
In the questionnaire, the senators also asked Frank Coffman about his retweets that said professional sports franchises had “lost their moral compass” by supporting transgender rights, and that former president Obama’s policy to allow transgender people in the military was “immoral garbage.”

Frank Coffman replied in his questionnaire, “I often re-tweet tweets from a variety of individuals on a variety of issues to elicit conversation. These re-tweets are not endorsements.”
Oh yeah, right! He only does to open a dialog, if you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Listen how her brother described the situation…
Bailey’s brother told BuzzFeed News in a phone call that he does not remember their father making the anti-transgender statements. “I know it was a shock to our family,” said Jacob Coffman, Bailey’s brother, of Bailey coming out as transgender. He added that their dad “was just confused about whole situation. I remember my dad hugging him and saying, ‘I want to understand.’”

Jacob also supports his dad’s confirmation to the job. “Even if he wasn’t supportive of that type of, I don’t want to say lifestyle, but that lifestyle, when it comes to his job, that is not going to change anything he does in the law.”
I have to wonder if his nomination is approved would he click the handcuffs that one extra notch on a trans person that he take into custody?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Times They Are A – Changing

Come senators and congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorways
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'
                          BOB DYLAN
Over the last 10 or 15 years we have seen states over and over again try to pass anti-trans legislation only to fail time and time again. The only state to pass a hateful bill was North Carolina, so are we winning?
Bills to Curtail LGBT Rights Are Failing in US Legislatures
New York Times
By The Associated Press
April 17, 2018

NEW YORK — In a striking shift from recent years, major legislation curtailing LGBT rights has been completely stymied in state capitols around the country this year amid anxiety by Republican leaders over igniting economic backlash if they are depicted as discriminatory.

In the thick of this year's legislative sessions, LGBT activists were tracking about 120 proposed bills that they viewed as threats to their civil rights. Not one of them has been enacted as many sessions now wind down; only two remain under serious consideration.

A key factor in the shift: In the Republican-led states where these types of bills surface, moderate GOP lawmakers and business leaders are increasingly wary of losing conventions, sporting events and corporate headquarters.

North Carolina, Indiana and Arizona were among the states that faced similar backlash in recent years over such legislation.

"Being anti-equality is not considered good politics anymore," said legislative specialist Cathryn Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT rights organization.
It all boils down to money. Not if it is immoral, or if it demonizes a whole community but rather if it hurts our pocketbooks.

This does not mean the battle is over, it means that they are now trying a different attack strategy; hiding their bigotry behind religion in the so called “religious freedom” laws.
Later this year, perhaps in June, a potentially momentous ruling is expected from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether businesses that serve the public can cite religious objections to refuse service to LGBT people, even in states that protect them in their nondiscrimination laws. The case involves a Colorado baker who did not want to make a cake for a same-sex couple to celebrate their wedding.
If the Supreme Court rules that they can discriminate against by claiming “religious freedom” I think you will see a lot more cases of discrimination not only against us but also against blacks, Latinos, Jews,  Muslims, and other minorities after all you can just about that it is “against your religious beliefs” to associate with any minorities. In the past the Bible has been used to justify all types of discrimination. You are going to see more white supremacist claiming that they can discriminate against non-white and non-Christians.

If You Are Not Counted You Don’t Exist

When we were trying to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill the top question was “How many trans people are there in Connecticut?”

Everything needs to be quantified; no matter if it is healthcare, the number of people with same-sex spouses, the number of homeless, everything needs to be counted so when we are not counted we do not exist.
The Justice Department Wants To Make It Harder To Track Crimes Against LGBT Teens
Advocates worry the move could put an already vulnerable group at even greater risk.
New Now Next
By Jeff Taylor
April 18, 2018

The Department of Justice has signaled it wants to stop asking 16- and 17-year-olds about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Conducted twice a year, the National Crime Victimization Survey tracks crimes from theft and burglary to sexual assault, to measure trends, including the vulnerability of minority communities.

Since July 2016, all respondents 16 and older have been asked to identify if they are LGBT, but the DOJ announced this week that it was requesting the age be raised to 18, “due to concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions for adolescents.”
So what does this mean?

Well if the data on LGBT victims are not collected then there can be no hate crimes, if there is no data there can be no increase in crimes against us, if there is no data on crimes against us there can be no disparaging data against the administration.

This is nothing more than a way for the current to hide their bigotry and rise of hate crimes against the LGBT community.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Now This Is The Paper That I Knew

In New Hampshire there is a conservative newspaper that last month had a pro trans article but now they are back to the conservative ideology.
Denying science: Transgender agenda mocks biology
Union Leader
April 15. 2018

Men who think of themselves as women can run in the women’s division of the Boston Marathon today, and vice versa.

It has become socially accepted that we humor this fiction. If people are happier pretending to be something they are not, even resorting to surgery to mimic the opposite sex, we wish them well.

An effort to force everyone in New Hampshire to accept someone’s “gender identity” faces a public hearing in the New Hampshire Senate this morning.

House Bill 1319 would add “gender identity” to the state’s various non-discrimination statutes. This goes far beyond tolerance. It is forced compliance.

Transgender individuals share the same rights as everyone else. No one should be subject to abuse or harassment. That does not require creation of a special protected class.
They are back to their ignorant stance based on 1950’s science. They don’t want to hear the truth because it will go against their bigoted ideology, for them people should be allowed to discriminate. Many conservatives belief that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is wrong, they should be able to discriminate against blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, and LGBT people, anybody who is not like them.

When The Jail Doors Slam Behind You

And it echoes down the hall it is an eerily feeling even when you are just visiting.
Transgender Woman Booked Into Male Section Of Jail During Protest
CBS13 Sacramento
By Angela Musallam
April 17, 2018

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A transgender woman claims the Sacramento County Jail discriminated against her by booking her into the male section of the jail.

The woman was one of two people arrested during a Stephon Clark protest in front of the district attorney’s office on Thursday.

The woman’s arrest drew attention from city and county officials, who say they stepped in to help move the woman into another part of the jail.

Ebony Ava Harper was arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail on charges of failing to disperse during a protest, and resisting an officer.

Harper, who identifies as a transgender woman, says her experience Thursday was humiliating, and a nightmare.
I know that I would be worried about where they are going to place you if you’re arrested whether it is for protesting, DUI, or something else that I would probably end up in the men’s prison and I would be scared s**tless.

Even though we have gender inclusive laws that recognizes our true gender, the department of corrections ignores it and goes by body parts. But they also do intake interviews with a social worker who decides in which prison you are going to be placed in. So if you are a trans woman with passing privilege you will most likely end up in a women’s prison even if you don’t have Gender Confirming Surgery (GCS).

A couple of years ago I did training at a maximum security prison and it was disconcertingly feeling when you knew that there was only one way out and that was locked.

At the Trans Health and Law Conference there is a workshop about a trans woman’s experience in prison.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Behind The Story

Last month I wrote about a court decision out in Washington that we won but the story is a lot deeper than winning the case; I came across an article that looks into the impact of the court case on us.
Constitutional milestone on transgender rights
Constitution Daily
By  Lyle Denniston
April 16, 2018

For the first time in any court, a federal judge in Seattle has ruled that transgender people are entitled to the fullest protection of the Constitution against discrimination.  U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman issued that ruling Friday in a case involving President Trump’s move to bar almost all transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, but the decision would also apply to other kinds of discrimination claims by transgender people.

In doing so, the judge refused an Administration request to lift a temporary order she had issued in December barring enforcement of the ban that was first announced last July by President Trump in a Twitter message that caught the U.S. military by surprise.  The ban was designed to undo completely a policy that the Obama Administration had adopted, permitting transgender individuals to join or continue serving in the military.

“Any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care” by the courts, Judge Pechman wrote.
What made this decision unique was…
Judge Pechman reached her historic ruling on the level of constitutional protection with two conclusions.

First, she ruled that transgender people have long been the targets of discrimination based on their gender identity, that their identity is something basic to their human character rather than a personal choice, that they are fully capable of functioning in society, and that they lack political power sufficient to protect themselves against bias.  That meant she had designated them as what technically is called a “suspect class” – not because their identity stirs suspicion, but because that identity is so basic to them that any official policy that treats them less favorably is “suspect” under the Constitution’s guarantees of equality and due process.

Second, the judge said this designation entitles transgender people to have official forms of discrimination against them judged in court by “strict scrutiny” – the toughest test that government policy must meet in order to survive as constitutionally valid.  Under that test, a government policy challenged as discriminatory will be struck down unless it is proven to serve a “compelling government interest” and is “narrowly tailored” to do so.
I have two thing that I think are important, first “…that identity is so basic to them that any official policy that treats them less favorably is “suspect” under the Constitution’s guarantees of equality and due process.” I have to agree we tend to be dismissed by the police when we are assaulted… what do you expect when you dress as a woman, we are inviting assaults or they think that we all work the street. And second, if a “bathroom bill” is passed then the government must show that there is a “compelling” need to ban us from using the bathroom.

So this ruling goes a lot further than just barring the Trump administration from banning us from serving in the military. Under this ruling the government must show that we will cause harm to the military and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will appeal her decision.

This Is Important For The Community

A few years ago we were trying to get funding for a trans house here in Connecticut but we found it hard going to get enough support to make it a go. Even through the article is a year old it is still important for us.
OutFront: Transgender Advocate Creates Safe Space for LGBTQ Homeless
By Julie Compton
April 13, 2017

Transgender activist Ruby Corado is fighting for Washington D.C.’s most vulnerable. Known as "Mama Ruby" among the city’s LGBTQ youth, the advocate is the proud founder of Casa Ruby, a homeless shelter and advocacy organization for the LGBTQ community.

“I’m known as the person in the city who will work with those people nobody wants to touch,” Corado told NBC Out.

A transgender woman who grew up in El Salvador, Corado overcame many hardships before opening her center. In the 1980s, her father paid human traffickers to get her out of the war-torn country. She said a bus took her to Washington D.C, where traffickers gave the then 16-year-old a room and took all the money she earned working odd jobs.
For many trans people a homeless shelter is not an option, for many trans people no matter how trans friendly the shelter is they don’t feel safe there or they are concerned that they will be “outed.”

One of the problems that we have here in Connecticut is that we are a small state and I believe that we don’t have a large enough base to make it viable. It makes more sense to have shelters in large cities like New York and Boston. There are only two Pride centers here in Connecticut, one is in Norwalk and the other is in New Haven, there hasn’t been a community center in Hartford in over ten years.

I personally believe that one of the side effects of marriage equality is the lack of need for LGBT community centers and the decline of “gay” bars.

Monday, April 16, 2018

On My List To Watch Today.

The television show Law & Order: SUV had a show about us last week and from the reports that I read it was done tastefully.
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Tackles Trans Military Debate With Powerful Storyline
And they cast a trans actor of color to depict it, too.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Curtis M. Wong
April 12, 2018

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” struck a nerve this week with a storyline that reflected the ongoing debate over transgender people in the military.

Wednesday’s episode, titled “Service,” focused on a trial involving a young woman, Sandy “Sky” Ksenivch (played by Morgan Taylor Campbell), who worked as an escort and was allegedly raped in a hotel room. One of the witnesses in the case was a soldier named Jim Preston (Marquise Vilsón).

Preston, who was in the same room at the time of the alleged incident, was initially hesitant to cooperate with investigators. By the episode’s conclusion, it became clear why: Testifying would require Preston to reveal that he identifies as transgender.

In a climactic scene, Preston took the stand and discussed his gender identity during cross-examination by attorney James Olson (Christopher Wiehl).
Whew, I sure wouldn’t want to testify in a trial, I can just imagine how the defense attorney would try to tear us apart trying to discredit our testimony.
“There will be people watching this episode who have never met someone like Jim Preston and may have had preconceived notions about someone like him,” he said. “Following this episode, they may actually see him for who he is and not what they believe him to be.”
I think that would also be true for anyone who is sitting on a jury.

Me, I hope that I get called to jury duty because I would like to see how I would be perceived by the legal system. Connecticut is unlike most states in that each prospective juror is questioned under oath by lawyers from both sides of the case… it would be interesting to hear what questions they would ask me.

When You Live In A Small Community

It is so much harder to transition when everyone knows your name. Whether it is a small own or an island nation in the middle of the Pacific. it is hard because everyone knew you before transition and many might not accept your transition and there is no place to avoid meeting them.
Leitis: Tonga's transgender community fights for visibility from the conservative Pacific Kingdom
Pacific Beat
ABC Australia
By Yara Murray-Atfield
April 16, 2018

Transgender women and gender-diverse 'leitis' in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga say, "they cannot be silent anymore" about their fight for visibility.

Joey Joleen Mataele is one of many in Tonga's island chain who identifies as a 'fakaleiti' or simply 'leiti', which translates roughly from Tongan as "like a lady".
"The role of leitis in our society is more of a housewives role, a domestic worker, we're known in the public eye in our churches and for helping the youth programs, but when it comes to our personal choices, that's when the barriers start," she told the ABC's Pacific Beat program.

Leitis often identify as women or men who dress and behave in a feminine way, but mainly don't identify as either men or women.
It is not easy in the island nation because of the laws, just like the laws that were here in the U.S. they have their own laws banning us…
While in some cases leitis are accepted as caretakers and workers, they are also outlawed, shunned and even face jail time.

Tonga's Civil Offences Act criminalises cross dressing and sodomy, with both carrying jail terms of up to 10 years.
And of course the laws have a religious history behind them.
"It is probably the most religious country I've ever been to, which makes the story of how you work for change when it comes to how LGBT people are viewed very interesting and very challenging, but also very hopeful because in this case the Tongan leiti community is also very well integrated into their church communities," Mr Wilson told Pacific Beat.
The push for decriminalisation and the rising public presence of the leitis comes at a time of heightened religious tension in the country, with American-funded televangelists fuelling a new campaign against the LGBT community in Tonga.
Yep, our right-wing conservative religious bigots are spreading their hate for us around the world. Their bigotry knows no national boundaries.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sad, It Is Sad That They Want To Force Children Straight

All the states so far had bipartisan support to ban conversion therapy for minors, but in Maine…
Tempers flare as Maine House approves ban on conversion therapy
The bill to prohibit state-licensed therapists from applying methods aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors fuels sharp conflicts.
Press Herald
By Kevin Miller
April 12, 2018

AUGUSTA — A House debate over legislation to ban conversion therapy in Maine devolved Thursday into an emotional and, at times, personal display of the lingering cultural divide at the State House over sexual orientation and religion.

House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, sternly warned several speakers against “impugning the motives” of other lawmakers and even suspended debate for nearly a half hour before the chamber approved the controversial bill on a 76-68 vote.

The largely party-line vote raises doubts about the prospects for a bill that would prohibit state-licensed therapists from engaging in conversion therapy treatment that attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of individuals under age 18.

“This therapy always leads to a bad outcome, and I support this bill,” said Rep. Patricia Hymanson, D-York, a neurologist.
The Republicans claim…
But several of the conservative Republican lawmakers who spoke against the bill on the House floor couched their opposition in moral, religious or political terms.

Rep. Larry Lockman, an Amherst Republican well known for his hard-right views and controversial comments on social issues, predicted the bill will only “punish licensed professionals who dissent from the prevailing progressive orthodoxy” on sexual orientation and transgendered individuals.
Well if the bill is like Connecticut’s law and other state laws there are exemptions for clergy unless they are licensed therapists, then they could lose their professional licenses, so far nine state ban conversion therapy including Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island.

So I guess that the Maine Republicans are comfortable with the high suicide rates among LGBT children who are forced going to conversion therapy.

Do you want to speak-up about the future of Connecticut’s LGBT community well…

Community Town Hall Meeting

Come and join us to discuss the future of the LGBTQ community and how we can make Connecticut more LGBTQ friendly.

  • What laws are we lacking?
  • What can we do to improve the quality of life for the LGBTQ community?

When: Wednesday, May 16 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: New Haven Pride Center
     84 Orange St,
             New Haven, CT 06510

I am on the ctEQUALiTY steering committee as the CTAC representative, so come on down to let me know what you think the future should hold for us here in Connecticut.

Do You Trust Them?

One of the criticisms that we face is that there is no long term studies of trans youth, well now there is research going to answer that question.
$1 million federal grant will help study of transgender kids
Washington Post
By David Crary  AP
April 12, 2018

The first large-scale, national study of transgender children, including some as young as 3, is poised to expand thanks to a five-year, $1 million grant awarded Thursday by the National Science Foundation to the professor leading the project.

University of Washington psychologist Kristina Olson, 36, was named winner of the NSF’s annual Alan T. Waterman Award, the government’s highest honor for scientists still in the early phases of their careers. The NSF said the choice was unanimous, and noted that pediatricians are already using her findings to raise awareness about gender diversity.

While the award citation honors Olson for a broad range of her research on children’s perceptions, she has become best known as creator and leader of the TransYouth Project, which is widely considered the most ambitious long-term study of transgender children being conducted in the U.S.

Launched in 2013, the project has recruited more than 300 children ages 3-12 from 45 states, with the goal of tracking their development over 20 years. The NSF grant will help Olson maintain the study as many of the children go through adolescence; she hopes to continue it into their adulthood.
This is what we need, my only concern is that it is being done during the Trump administration, will they doctor the results to find anti-trans results?
Some of the study’s early findings were reported two years ago in the journal Pediatrics — notably that the 73 children being tracked at that time had rates of depression and anxiety no higher than non-transgender children in control groups. The trans children were supported by their families and allowed to live openly as the gender they identify with — suggesting to Olson that family support was a key to avoiding the mental health problems identified in studies of other transgender youths.
One of the important differences in this study than other studies is that all of these children have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria not like other studies where most of the children were not true trans children and also those who drop out of the study will not be labeled as detransitors.

However, the right wing conservatives are challenging the study…
The TransYouth Project received positive coverage following the Pediatrics article, but Olson’s research also has been the target of criticism. An article last year in The Federalist, a conservative online magazine, asserted that it was “utterly ridiculous” to open a study on gender identity to a 3-year-old child “who is just learning to use the bathroom, spell his name, and the days of the week.”
“People frequently compare early-identifying trans children with those who go through phases of believing they are cats or dinosaurs or who have imaginary friends,” Olson wrote recently. “Yet decades of work on gender development suggests these are precisely the ages at which nearly all kids are coming to understand their own and others’ gender identities.”
I would think they would welcome 3-year-olds to the research, after all they are the ones who are saying young children are too young to know that they are trans. I would think that if that was true there will be a higher dropout rates as they realize they are not trans, but I think they already know we are right and that there will be a low dropout rates for young children so they are running scared.

But will the Trump administration tamper with the results since it is federally funded.

So where was I the last couple of days?

I was at the closing of my cottage; it is a standalone condo and is part of a three condo complex. It is a lot smaller than our New Hampshire cottage that we sold last year but it is all mine.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I Remember When

I first started to stick my head out the door back in 2000 someone that I knew in the community was going through a divorce and she had to fight to keep joint custody of her son. The Department of Children and Families wanted to take away her parenting privilege because she is trans.
Why parents are losing custody of trans and gender non-conforming kids
AZ Central
By Maria Polletta,
April 10, 2018

The divorced parents had joint custody of their three children and equal parenting time.

But soon after the mother began allowing their male child — identified in legal documents as "L." — to wear a skirt to school, the father took his ex-wife to court.

Arguing that the mother, "through various acts, was pushing a female gender identification on L.," the father asked for sole legal custody to make decisions about the child's health care and schooling, according to court records. He also requested L. live with him full-time.

A family-court judge responded with sweeping injunctions forbidding the mother to discuss gender-related issues at home; dress L. in female clothing; let the child have any "female-oriented" toys; or refer to L. as "her," "she" or a "girl."

Though the injunctions were described as "temporary," they remained in place for more than two years while the case was under review. When they were partially lifted in early 2016, they accompanied a ruling "that all three children’s best interests" would be served by granting the father sole legal custody.
The judges are playing Russian roulette with the children’s lives.
"In a lot of these cases, children are stating, 'I don’t want to live,' or they’re getting admitted to Phoenix Children’s because they’re slamming their heads against floors," said Cammy Bellis, founder of Mothers in Transition. The non-profit group connects moms of gender non-conforming children with legal resources.
There are many, many studies that show if children are allowed to explore their gender identity suicidal ideation vanish but by forcing them in to gender roles that they do not identify with their suicidal thoughts sky rocket to over 40%.
Scholars and advocates said L.'s case reflects a widespread lack of experience with gender issues among family-court professionals in the U.S.

They drew parallels with the family-court environment of the 1970s and 1980s when ex-partners of gay and lesbian parents used stereotypes about homosexuality to win custody.
Here in Connecticut DCF is starting to believe not allowing a child to explore their gender is a form of child abused, a 180 degree change from when my friend was fighting for joint parenting with her ex.

Like A Bad Penny

It is back again, the law suit about a trans woman in the locker room; you thought the case was over but the Planet Fitness case has been thrown back to the lower court.
Appeal revived in lawsuit over transgender at health club
Posted: Apr 11, 2018

The Michigan appeals court has been ordered to take a second look at a lawsuit filed by a woman who said her rights were violated after she encountered a transgender person in the locker room at a Midland health club.

The state Supreme Court says the appeals court erred in declining to consider Yvette Cormier's claims under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.
You might remember this case from 2015 when a woman claimed she was discriminated against because she objected to having a trans woman in the locker room.

MLive wrote…
Cormier's lawsuit claims invasion of privacy, multiple violations of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, exemplary damages and a violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. The hearing Friday sought to decide if those claims are valid, following the recent filing of motions for summary disposition by both defendants, who claim all nine parts of the lawsuit are invalid and should be dismissed.
The judge rejected all the plaintiff’s claims.

There was some discussion if this case was a set-up, ThinkProgress reported that…
Cormier’s representation by Kallman Legal Group is likely not a coincidence. David and Stephen Kallman, a father and son team, already have a reputation for opposing LGBT equality in Michigan. In October of 2013, they submitted a legal memo challenging proposed LGBT nondiscrimination protections in Delta Township, claiming that the ordinance would violate others’ religious freedom. The memo compared homosexuality to extramarital sex, polygamy, pedophilia, serial killer rapists, necrophilia, bestiality, and incest and suggested that because gender identity is “internal to the person,” someone accused of discrimination would be required to be a “mind-reader” not to discriminate. Their suit against Planet Fitness for respecting how individuals self-identify their gender seems to disprove this last concern.
So like a bad penny always turns up, the case is back in court again.

Other blog posting about the case, here, herehere, and here, and about the set-up here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


The Pride season is beginning with the first Pride in New England is May 5th in Northampton MA which will be followed by a new Pride in Bethel CT.

But all is not nice in this climate of hate; there have been pushback in communities where Pride events are being held.
Your Turn: It's not safe for LGBT people of color, and Phoenix Pride doesn't care
Your Turn: Trans Queer Pueblo interrupted last year's Pride parade because Phoenix Pride has turned its back on the LGBT community.
AZ Central
By Karla Bautista, Deybeth Ruiz and Crystal Zaragoza
April 3, 2018

The LGBTQ+ Pride tradition started in 1969, when Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major and others sparked an anti-police riot to challenge state violence against LGBTQ+ people. Today, as racist police departments and anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynist politicians target us, this legacy is vital.

We are a coalition of trans- and queer-led organizations building justice for black and brown communities in Phoenix. We continue Marsha, Sylvia and Miss Major’s legacy by inviting you to LGBTQ+ Justice Week, a new tradition that celebrates all our identities in the struggle toward a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free.

We interrupted last year’s Pride parade because Phoenix Pride had turned its back on the community.
They bring up some very important issues. Pride should before everyone, not just for white middle class.
Pride offers photo-ops for politicians but refuses to hold them accountable. Pride pays respect neither to the founding mothers of Pride nor to the native people upon whose land we march.
There is a legacy from the early Pride events where they didn’t want anyone who could assimilate into society; they want only people of looked like white middle class straight people to march and sometimes I think that legacy is still with us.

Down in Mississippi they had a legal battle to fight before they were able to hold the Pride parade.
After Homophobes Tried to Stop It, Mississippi Pride Parade Attracts Thousands
It was a long journey to this weekend's jubilant event.
The Advocate
By Ariel Sobel
March 27 2018

Weeks after the Starkville, Miss., city council initially denied LGBT organizers a parade permit, over 2,500 people marched this Saturday for the city's Pride event. The Pride celebration took place without incident, according to the Associated Press, and was the city's biggest parade in its history, reports the Starkville Daily News.

Starkville's city council originally denied the parade a permit in February, even though more than a dozen people spoke in support of Pride, in contrast to two residents who opposed the event. The outcome led to a federal lawsuit against the city, which prompted another vote on the issue. The council was in a 3-3 tie, which was broken by Mayor Lynn Spruill, who green-lit the parade
Opponents to the parade claim they aren't bigoted; resident Tim Cummings said being a veterinarian taught him that same-sex relationships are unnatural, allegedly due to antaomy. However, it has been scientifically proven that plenty of animals engage in homosexual mating and have been observed doing so for decades.
Yeah right… they are not bigots. That’s why it took legal action to hold the prade.

Down in Miami there was violence after the Pride parade.
Brutal attack of gay couple caught on camera after Miami Pride
Police called it 'uncalled for and unnecessary'
Gay Star News
By Anya Crittenton
April 10, 2018

Unveiled surveillance footage shows a group of men brutally attacking a gay couple at Miami Pride this weekend.

Rene Chalarca and his boyfriend, Dmitry Logunov, were holding hands as they left the celebration. Outside of a public restroom, four men attacked them in an alleged anti-gay assault.

Another man, Helmut Muller, tried to intervene but he was knocked unconscious when one of the four men struck him and he hit his head on the pavement. He received four stitches at the hospital.
The police made arrests in the case…
Suspects in attack after gay pride parade could be charged with hate crime, cops say
Miami Herald
By Carli Teproff, Kyra Gurney and David J. Neal
April 10, 2018

Four men turned themselves in to Miami Beach police on Tuesday afternoon in the case of a gay couple brutally attacked after the city’s gay pride parade.

The men surrendered through an attorney and have been charged with aggravated battery, according to the arrest reports. It is now up to the state attorney's office to decide whether to classify the attack as a hate crime, the Miami Beach Police Department said in a statement.

The attack occurred Sunday evening around 7:40 p.m. as two gay men identified in the police reports only by their last names, Logunov and Chalarca, left a bathroom area near Ocean Drive and Sixth Street following the parade. Logunov and one of the attackers, 21-year-old Juan Carlos Lopez, bumped into each other, according to the arrest reports. Lopez and his companions, Luis M. Alonso Piovet, 20; Adonis Diaz, 21; and Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa, 21, began to call the victims "maricones," an anti-gay slur in Spanish.

Out Of The Shadows

There have been a number of cases of trans people fleeing their country to avoid violence and seeking asylum here in the U.S., in the past many of them were granted asylum but what will happen under the current administration?
To live openly as a transgender woman, she had to flee. In the migrant caravan, she realized she wasn't alone
By Khushbu Shah and Emanuella Grinberg
April 11, 2018

Mexico City (CNN)Nikolle Contreras says she is about to make her third attempt to cross into the United States -- her first since she came out as a woman. And one way or another, she says it will be her last.

She tried to cross the border for the first time in 2016, she said. She tried again the following year, attempting to swim across the river from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. She nearly drowned, she says, and spent two days in a coma. After a brief hospital stay, she was detained and deported back to her native country of Honduras.

After she returned, she decided to start living openly as a transgender woman. It didn't take long for her to realize that, in order to continue doing so, she needed to leave Honduras -- one of the most dangerous countries in the world for transgender people -- even though it would mean leaving her beloved family.

"I'm making this trip out of necessity, you could say," she said in an interview in Mexico City, the latest stopping point on her journey.

Contreras is one of roughly 25 transgender and gender nonconforming individuals who have joined a caravan of Central American migrants planning to cross through Mexico to the US border. On the journey, they have found safety in numbers and solidarity -- no small thing for a community that faces high rates of violence and persecution in their home countries and along the migrant trail.

Like some caravan members, she hopes to apply for asylum or some form of refugee status when she reaches the border. But even if they make it across the border, American lawyers say their fate remains uncertain.
For many trans people it is a matter of life and death. Central and South American countries have some of the highest murder rates for trans people of any other country. Hopefully they will be granted asylum.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Another Trans Candidate

There is another trans candidate running for office this time for governor in the state of Vermont.
Hallquist Makes History As A Transgender Candidate For Governor
By Amy Kolb Notes
April 9, 2018
History was made at a crowded bar in Morrisville Sunday afternoon, as a Democratic challenger to Governor Phil Scott kicked off her campaign.

"I’m Christine Hallquist and I’m running to be the Governor of Vermont."

With those words, Hallquist became the first openly transgender person to officially run for governor as a major party candidate in any state in the country. But she says she hopes voters will move past that.

"My transgender role, although it will be historic, my wish is that everybody just overlooks that and looks at the policies and my resume and the history of what I’ve done."

Hallquist is the former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative. She says her priorities include rural economic development, moving toward single-payer healthcare, education, addressing climate change and promoting renewable energy.
I wish her luck. It is going to be a long hard fight to get recognition and raise campaign funds. Down her in Connecticut Jacey Wyatt in her race for governor accord to the CT Post has only raised $1,117
Jacey Wyatt, the state’s first transgender hopeful, reported a meager $1,117 raised, with $73.71 on hand at the end of the reporting period, March 31 for her Democratic candidacy.
And a convicted former mayor from Bridgeport has raise over a half a million dollars for his try at governor so Ms. Wyatt has a long, long was to go in order to get campaign funding from the state.

The Selling Of America

“No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
What do…
President Barack H. Obama,
President George W. Bush,
President Bill Clinton,
President George H. Bush,
President Ronald Reagan,
President Jimmy Carter,
President Richard Nixon
all have in common?

They all released their tax returns.
New York Magazine

501 Days in Swampland
A constant drip of self-dealing. And this is just what we know so far …
New York Magazine
By Joy Crane and Nick Tabor
April 1, 2018

On the day he took the oath of office, Donald Trump delivered two messages about what to expect from his administration. First came the lofty promise of his inaugural address. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” he vowed. “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth.”

The second message, which Trump delivered without speaking a word, was aimed at a much smaller, but very rich, audience. As the new president’s motorcade left the Capitol, rolling past knots of supporters and protesters, it suddenly stopped three blocks short of the White House. Trump, the First Lady, and the rest of his family got out of their limos and took a three-minute turn in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

This was no random spot. The very first place Trump headed after being sworn in — his true destination all along, in a sense — was the Old Post Office and Clock Tower, which only 12 days before the election had been repurposed as the Trump International Hotel Washington. The elegant granite structure, whose architectural character Trump had promised to preserve, was now besmirched by a gaudy, faux-gold sign bearing his name. The carefully choreographed stop sent a clear signal to the foreign governments, lobbyists, and corporate interests keen on currying favor in Washington: The rewards of government would now be reaped by a single man — and the people would bear the cost.
The article goes on to say that Trump “After hiking the nightly rate to $653 — 32 percent higher than other local luxury hotels — Trump collected $2 million in profits from the property during his first three months in office.” Now remember the Emolument Clause… of those staying at the hotel many are foreign dignitaries and lobbyists.

Then we go down south to Mar-a-Lago, do you remember when he met with Chinese president Xi Jinping guess who got paid to use Mar-a-Lago for the meeting… why it is none other than Trump.

The Cut reported that,
Ivanka Trump’s Brand Was Cleared for Chinese Trademarks the Same Day She Dined With Chinese PresidentBy Claire Landsbaum
April 18, 2017

Ivanka Trump became an official White House employee (albeit an unpaid one) to avoid ethical concerns, but it seems the First Daughter is still finding it difficult to keep business and politics separate. According to an Associated Press report, on April 6 Ivanka’s company won approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, “giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka-brand jewelry, bags, and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy.” Later that night, Ivanka sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping during a formal dinner at Mar-a-Lago.
A little bit about the stock market and the commodities markets, there are two types of trades… long and short. Long is the most common type of trading, you buy stock in the hopes of the stocks climbing in value, while short trading is when you think the price of the stock is going to drop.

A short trade is selling stock you haven’t bought yet (sounds fishy doesn’t it); so I sell you a hundred shares at a dollar a share and I promise to buy the stock in 90 days (or 7 days, 30 days or some other time) the same thing is true in the commodities markets but they are called futures (so if you think the price of oranges is going to go down you buy short*).

So what does this has to do with Trump?

Well since we do not know what shock holding he has I wonder how his tweets are affecting his holdings? Is he making money when he tweets about Amazon? When he announces tariffs on steel do he make money on the down market?

We do know that one of Trump’s friends dumped millions of dollars of steel stock just before Trump announced the steel tariffs. ABC reported that,
A former Trump adviser is raising eyebrows in the investment community after disclosing a multi-million dollar sell-off in shares of a construction company reliant on steel just weeks before the President announced a 25 percent tariff on steel imports.

Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor and former special adviser to President Trump, disclosed in a February 22 SEC filing that his companies had shed a $31.3 million stake in Manitowoc. The company, according to its website, is a leading “manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions with manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities.”
Is Trump milking our country dry?

We will never know unless Congress takes action. But do the Republicans want to look under the rocks?

* I knew a woman who was studying to become a broker and she saw the long range weather forecast and a cold front was going to move through Florida and thought that the orange crop would freeze so she bought futures for oranges hoping the price will go up. Well the cold front never made it to Florida and they had a bumper crop of oranges and the price dropped like a rock and she got murdered on the trade. So she held off selling them hoping the price would go back up, well one day she got a call from her broker… next week you will now own 10 railroad cars of oranges where do you want them delivered? Needless to say she immediately sold the oranges and took the loss. When you buy commodities you are buying a physical thing, so those million barrels of oil or pork bellies futures that you bought you better have a place to put them.

Don’t You Just Love It When You Have To Teach Your Doctor?

What are you taking Estrogen for?

That is what one doctor asked me before I transitioned and was on Cross-gender Hormone Therapy (CHT). It was great that he asked but I sure wish that he learned it in medical school.
Transgender Patients: Are You Asking the Right Questions?
Spencer Miller, RN, discusses approaches and barriers
Med Page Today
By Spencer Miller, RN, Minority Nurse
April 08, 2018

How often should a man get breast and cervical cancer screenings? Should a woman get screened for prostate cancer? The answer to these questions and more depends on knowing if your patient is transgender.
When it comes to healthcare, are we ready to meet these patients' needs? Several cases where a transgender or gender-expansive person was not properly identified, or their provider simply was not aware of issues regarding transgender individuals, have been in the news lately

My county hospital is rolling out changes to our health information management system (HIMS) to try to capture this complete information on all of our patients, including transgender and gender-expansive patients. These questions are called SOGIE, which stands for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression. At intake, we ask:
  • What is the sex listed on your original birth certificate?
  • What is your gender identity?
  • What is your sexual orientation?
Our initial goal is to capture 10% of our patient population with rolling increases as we move forward. In the hopes of meeting all of our patients' needs, we will ask these questions just one time over the patient's lifetime. However, the patient can initiate changes at any time in the future.

Our LGBTQ patients can have health issues that are occult if we don't have correct data. A female-to-male (FTM) person with residual breast cancer did not know he needed breast cancer screenings. By the time it was diagnosed, the cancer was advanced. Another patient, male to female (MTF) did not discover her prostate cancer until it metastasized to her bones.
It is a two way street… we have to be up front with our healthcare providers.

Maybe in the emergency room when we go in for a broken wrist do we need to tell them that we are trans. But if you go in for a pain in your stomach and you are a trans man you should tell them that you are trans, it could be a matter of life or death… your death.

When I go for my annual physical this week I have a printout of my meds that I give the healthcare provider.

So where am I today?

Today and tomorrow I am at a medical college on a panel talking about LGBT health issues for second year med students.

Yes, I did time this post to be published while I’m at the university.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Fleet Footed

Not me, but other trans people are and they are running in races and marathons around the country.
Transgender Runners Can Race Boston Marathon Under Identified Gender
By Alexis Diao
April 8, 2018

Transgender runners who qualify can take part in the Boston Marathon as their identified gender, according to Boston Marathon officials.

The issue has garnered attention following a profile in Canadian Running of three transgender women signed up for the race.
Though there is no explicit policy on trans runners, according to the Boston Athletic Association, the organizers behind the marathon, runners have been asked for "several years" to compete in the marathon with the same gender identity which they qualified. In a statement to NPR, the association says:
"We don't require that runners outline their gender identity history with us, so we can't say for certain how many trans runners are in our race. We do know that we have had several transgender runners in the past."
At the levels of elite competition, registering under one's identified gender has been more of an issue for transgender athletes who were assigned male at birth. The Olympics revisited its guidelines ahead of the 2016 Rio Games allowing athletes to participate without gender confirmation surgery, but requiring female transgender registrants to prove their testosterone levels did not exceed a certain amount.
ABC News reports that…
At least five openly transgender women are signed up to run the storied 26.2-mile race through Boston and its suburbs April 16. And while they aren't the first, their presence helped bring clarity to the race's stance on transgender runners.
And Boston is not alone,
Several other major marathons said they have no official policies but are taking a similar approach to Boston. Organizers of the Chicago, New York City, London and Los Angeles marathons all said they honor the gender that runners submit during sign-ups.
But there's still a wrinkle: Many races, including Boston, New York and Chicago, require runners to show IDs with the same names and genders as their application forms, which can be an obstacle for trans athletes who haven't legally changed their personal information. Race officials said they haven't fielded complaints but will monitor their policies to make sure they're inclusive.
Other sports also have policies allowing trans athletes to compete in their true gender. There was a minor problem here in Connecticut where the sport association said it was only open to “women born women” but when it was pointed out to them that the national sport association did not have that requirement and that it also may have violated state law they quickly withdrew the requirement. By-the-way it was a lesbian who fought for us to have “women born women” rescinded.


Do you remember what that stands for?

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch"

And that is true about the internet, it is not free! You are paying for it with your personal data!

The big brouhaha over Facebook with a number of my friends leaving Facebook is not an isolated event, all the social media sell your data. When you click on “I agree” for an app you just agreed to let them harvest your personal data (I joke that you just agreed to give away your first born child and it is not far from the truth), the web browsers that you use also collect your personal data, the website that you visit also collects you search data, even when you use “incognito” some of your data is collected by the websites you visit, some apps even collect you physical location,* and your internet provider is also collection data on you.

So what can we do to stop this?

No much.

You see Congress has decided not to act on data collection on their citizens unlike Europe (I think you are going to see a big dog and pony show over the Facebook but in the end nothing meaningful will be do done. Why? Because there is BIG MONEY to be made off of our data.).

So let’s take a look at Europe…
Data protection and privacy
Collection and processing of personal data
EU data protection rules mean that your personal data can only be processed in certain situations and under certain conditions, such as:
  • if you've given your consent (you must be informed that your data is being collected)
  • if data processing is needed for a contract, for a job application or a loan request
  • if there is a legal obligation for your data to be processed
  • if processing is in your 'vital interest', for example if a doctor needs access to your private medical data when you've had an accident
  • if processing is needed to carry out tasks in the public interest or tasks carried out by government, tax authorities, the police or other public bodies
Personal data about your racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership or health may not be processed except in specific cases (e.g. when you've given explicit consent or when processing is needed for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of EU or national law).
These rules apply to both public and private bodies.

Processing personal data
The person or body handling your data is called the 'data controller'. They have to respect EU rules about how they handle and store your personal data:
  • your data can only be collected for clearly defined legitimate purposes
  • the data requested from you must not be excessive
  • data which identifies you as an individual (i.e. your name or contact details) must not be kept any longer than needed
  • you must be able to correct, remove or block incorrect data about yourself
  • your data should be protected against accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration and disclosure
If sensitive personal information is stolen, lost or illegally accessed – known as a 'personal data breach' – the provider must report it to the national data protection authority. The data controller must also inform you directly if there are any risks related to your personal data or privacy due to the breach.

Your privacy in electronic communications (internet and mobile phone networks)
EU rules on personal data protection and privacy in electronic communications cover internet communication, such as access to internet, and communication via mobile and fixed phone networks.
Your service provider must comply with the following rules:
  • confidential communications – banning the listening into, tapping or storage of communications without your consent
  • secure networks and services – ensuring that electronic communications providers put measures in place to ensure their services are secure
  • data breach notifications – if a provider experiences a security breach that leads to the loss or theft of personal data, it has to inform the national authority and, in some cases, the subscriber or individual
  • traffic and location data – this data must be erased or made anonymous when no longer required for communication or billing purposes, except if you've given your consent for it to be used in another way (or if required for law enforcement purposes)
  • spam – you must give your consent before unsolicited commercial communications (known as 'spam') are sent to you. This also covers SMS text messages and other electronic messages
  • public directories – you have to give prior consent before your telephone number, email address and postal address is listed in a public directory
  • caller identification – you must have the option for your telephone number not to be shown when you make a call.

What about cookies?
A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site. Cookies are widely used to make websites work more efficiently by saving your preferences. Tracking cookies are also used to follow your internet use as you browse, make user profiles and then display targeted online advertising based on your preferences.
EU rules mean that any website using cookies has to inform you that they use cookies, and you have to give your consent. You should always have the option to deactivate or to not accept cookies on your device. You also have the right to know how the cookie information will be used.
The right to be forgotten
You have the right, in certain cases, to ask data controllers to correct, remove or block incorrect data about yourself. This is known as 'the right to be forgotten'. These rules also apply to search engines, such as Google, as they're also considered to be data controllers.
You can ask for links to personal information about yourself to be removed from a search engine where the information is inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive for the purposes of data processing.
What if your data is collected illegally or misused?
If you think that your data is not being handled according to the rules or has been processed illegally, you can send a complaint to the data controller (the person or body processing your data).
You have the right to:
  • ask for the data to be corrected, erased or blocked
  • demand that the data controller notify those who have already seen the incorrect data, unless this requires a disproportionate effort
If you don't get a reasonable answer from the data controller, you can send a complaint to your national data protection authority.
National data protection authorities
Each EU country has to have at least 1 data protection supervisory authority. They make sure that data protection law is correctly applied and handle any complaints about breaches of the rules.
You should send your complaint in writing to your national data protection authority. In some countries there is a standard form for complaints or complaints can be sent by email.
If the supervisory authority finds that data protection law has not been respected, it can order data to be erased or destroyed, and can ban further data processing by the data controller in question.
Search in the list of national data protection authorities.
Infringements of the ePrivacy Directive are sometimes enforced by a different national authority rather than the data protection authority. Search in the list of competent authorities for ePrivacy.
You can also present your case directly to the competent national court.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had the same protection here… but alas it will never happen here.

* I bought a new car last year and the nav system shows the traffic information. I was like “wow, that’s neat” and I asked the dealer have long before I have to pay to get the information and he said “Its free!” Remembering TANSTAAFL I knew somehow they were making money off it so I researched it.

Do you know how they get the traffic information? It is through your phone. You phone is constantly sending your location to the phone company so that they know where to send your phone call through what relay tower; well somebody thought… gee if we calculate the distance and time we will know how fast traffic is moving and if we rebroadcast it on a FM radio channel they will be able to see it on their GPS. So I doubt they are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts so somebody is paying for it? The car companies?

Support From An Unexpected Source

Maryland is on the path to pass a law banning Conversion Therapy for minors and support for the bill is coming from both sides of the aisle.
A Republican dramatically came out to pass a conversion therapy ban in Maryland
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
April 5, 2018

Maryland‘s legislature passed a bill that bans licensed mental health professionals from trying to change the sexual orientation and gender identity of minors.

And the debate over the bill brought out a strange story from two politicians.

Delegate Meagan Simonaire (R) gave a speech against the bill, describing how her parents tried to “fix” her by getting her to go to conversion therapy when she came out as bisexual.
Her father is Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R), and he voted against the bill, and was one of the most vocal defenders of the practice.

“I wonder if Jesus would have been banned if he had been licensed in Maryland,” Bryan said during the debate.
Um… I am by far not a Bible scholar but I don’t seem to remember anything that was written about Jesus’s preaching against LGBT people, to the contrary I remember something about “loving thy neighbor.”
The conversion therapy ban passed the Maryland House of Delegates in a 95-27 vote and the Maryland Senate with a 34-12 vote. All Senate Democrats and two Republicans voted for it, while only Republicans voted against it.

If signed into law, conversion therapy will be classified as “unprofessional conduct” and mental health professionals will be subject to discipline from the state licensing board if caught practicing it.
Connecticut passed a similar law last year and it had bipartisan support in both chambers, in the Senate the vote was 36-0.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

When You Can’t Win On Your Own, Blame The Trans Kid

Down in New Zealand the Commonwealth Games are being held and a trans weightlifter is being challenged by the other players.
Commonwealth Games: Rivals take aim at transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard
NZ Herald
8 April, 2018

New Zealand transgender weightlifer Laurel Hubbard has come under fire from her rivals, just a day out from competing in the Commonwealth Games.

Hubbard, who is favoured to win gold tomorrow afternoon in the women's over 90kg category, has been a hot topic for some in the weightlifing community, and Samoan coach of one of her rivals has voiced his displeasure that Hubbard is allowed to compete.

"It's just very unfair," Jerry Wallwork told the ABC.

"A man is a man and a woman is a woman and I know a lot of changes have gone through, but in the past Laurel Hubbard used to be a male champion weightlifter," he said.
However, despite Wallwork's verbal protest, there is not going to be an official protest which stops Hubbard from competing.
"She's done everything according to the IOC rules and she's proven that she's a woman," Paul Coffa told the ABC.
So are they just “sour grapes” or do they have a point.

Well I’m no expert but what I do know is that after I had been on hormones for a year I lost a lot of muscle mass and upper body strength. The loss of muscle mass is one of the reasons that we tend to gain weight after we have been on hormones, muscles burn calories just by being muscles so with less muscles our metabolism decreases.

Whether bone structure has anything to do with wrestling I don’t know. But I do know a trans female wrestler and she doesn’t win all of her matches.

So does the disparagement against trans wrestlers have merit? The IOC has researched it exhaustively and has come out with rules for trans athletes so I don’t think she has an advantage over the other athletes, but then I’m biased.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

This Explains A Lot!

Oh wait… back when I was born most women didn’t wear jeans.
By Shane Crocher
April 5, 2018

A controversial botany professor has sparked outrage by claiming that women who wear jeans and shirts give birth to transgender children because they are dressing "like men".

Dr Rajith Kumar, who lectures at the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit in Kerala, India, made the comments during an “awareness” class for students, reported The Times of India.

"If mothers wear jeans and shirts and dress like men, they will beget children who are transgenders [sic],” Kumar told students.

Kumar also claimed that children with autism and cerebral palsy “are born to parents who are not of good character.”
The professor might be in hot water for his far out theories,
Now he’s facing legal action from the state government in Kerala. Kumar has “not withdrawn his controversial statements so far. The government is mulling initiating legal action against him," said a statement from the Keralan Health Minister K K Shailaja.
Too bad he doesn’t live here in the U.S., he would be a Fox News darling and probably be on every conservative talk show.

Friday, April 06, 2018

When There Is Hate In The Family

A friend Deja wrote in her column in the Rainbow Times when a family member doesn’t want anything to do with you. It can be a sticky situation,  she wrote.
Trans Talk: Keeping the Lines Open With Those Who Disagree With You Can Be Trying

I have been observing various trans friends on Facebook and how they deal with those who have differing viewpoints from their own. Some answer politely with their response, often backed up by facts, some fire back with anger, fear, and frankly, hate, while others just let it go with no response. All three responses, or non-response, do have their merits.

I realize that some subjects, such as religion and politics, can evoke strong emotions, so I can’t say that I am surprised that would drive someone to anger, fear, and hate. These situations may lead to someone blocking another person. Now, I can’t possibly know every situation and why the blocking was done, but it does break my heart a little when a friend blocks someone and then posts that they just booted someone off their Facebook wall and are proud of doing so. Others may comment that the blocking was merited, but I look at the whole situation and it still makes me feel a little sad.
Now, I am not saying to stop paying attention to differing viewpoints. As a matter of fact, I think we should always note differing viewpoints. To let the differing viewpoints upset us and lead us to anger, fear, and hate, though, I’m not so sure is such a good idea. This behavior can solidify a partisanship and cement a hard divide between people with different viewpoints and a wall may come up. Maybe that’s what some folks want and, in some cases, that’s the way it probably should be, but in any case, it does close the communication line.
For me I have no problems when we disagree on politics, you want smaller government, I want a safety net for those who through no fault of their own cannot make ends meet. Fine.

You want less regulations, I want to protect the environment and the work place. Fine.

We can agree to disagree, but…

You want to dehumanize me and deny my existence… click, I will unfriend you.

You are a racist… click, I will unfriend you.

But what do you do if they are a member of your family?

I have seen a number of trans people who were disowned by their family only to have them get back together again; Deja writes,
Sometimes, I may reach someone on a post, and they suddenly begin to understand what I must go through in my life as a trans person. Sometimes I can reach some of these folks and they just might begin to understand me better and realize that my gender is truly female and that I have obstacles that I must face every day. If I block someone, then they won’t see my stories and I might miss an opportunity to bring them to better understand me and trans people in general.
Last week I was on a panel for a book reading at Barnes and Noble where the mother at first had a hard time accepting her trans son but over time she saw that she was wrong and now is his biggest supporter.

I have a trans friend who was disowned by the family but now the person has reached out and has opened a dialog between a brother, it is a rocky start, but it is a start.

It can be particularly hard if the estrangement is based in religion, there might be no solution but my advice is the same, keep the line of communication open, and let them make the cut not you. You might be able to keep in touch through another family member as an intermediary, I know of serval cases where that has worked, they kept in touch through a common friend.

Take the moral high ground.

So my advice is the same as Deja’s keep the lines of communication open, don’t burn your bridges. That racist brother may see the error of his ways. It might take a long time for the wounds to heal but it is worth the effort to try.

Diseases Don’t Play Politics

Diseases are bipartisan, they don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative and if you give them an opening they will take advantage of it.
Fenway Health
February 2018

This week, President Trump released a proposed budget that, if enacted, would sharply reduce global and domestic spending for HIV care and prevention. It would also reduce access to Medicaid, and move categories of healthcare spending, such as federal investment in community healthcare centers, from mandatory to discretionary spending.

The budget would eliminate AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) and Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS), which are run under the auspices of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The education centers and special projects program assists with rapid response to outbreaks of disease. When nearly 200 people were diagnosed with HIV in rural Scott County, Indiana over a 15-month period in 2014-15, the Midwest AIDS Education and Training Centers provided in-depth training to doctors and care providers in the area and helped get those newly diagnosed with HIV into immediate care.

The education centers and special projects program are also central to pioneering and evaluating innovative HIV care models that improve access to and retention in care for vulnerable populations disproportionately burdened by HIV, such as gay men and transgender women, particularly gay men and transgender women of color.

“The proposed cuts in domestic HIV prevention and treatment would undermine the dramatic progress seen since the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” said Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research. “We urge Congress to reject these proposed cuts and maintain the bipartisan support that HIV prevention and treatment have traditionally received.”
Any disease you need to stay on top, if you let down your guard you are going to find yourself in the middle of an epidemic.
“It’s impossible to overstate the deadly impact these proposals could potential have,” Cahill added. “We have been lulled into believing that HIV and AIDS is no longer a concern globally thanks to the scale up of treatment. But these advances mean nothing if you’re cut off from life-saving medicine.”

The proposed budget would also eliminate the expansion of state Medicaid programs that occurred under the Affordable Care Act. Expanding state Medicaid programs contributed to dramatically reducing the rates of healthcare uninsurance among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The CDC and the Kaiser Family Foundation estimate that following implementation of key elements of health care reform the percentage of PLWH who lacked any kind of health insurance coverage dropped from 22% in 2012 to 15% in 2014. The percentage of PLWH who received their health insurance through Medicaid increased from 36% in 2012 to 42% in 2014. Medicaid expansion played a major role in expanding access to insurance for PLWH.
The Daily Beast reported…
Three-hundred thousand deaths per year.

That’s the human cost of President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut more than $1 billion cut from global HIV funding in 2019, a 20% reduction from current levels, according to a report by the ONE campaign. And it comes just when American-led efforts are paying off, and the global tide of the epidemic appears to be turning.
In a report Fenway Health said…
For decades now, researchers and activists have promoted adding sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) questions to federal surveys to capture health and demographic data about LGBT people. Under the Obama Administration the number of federal surveys and studies measuring sexual orientation increased to; seven of these also measured gender identity or transgender status. SOGI data are now included in many public health surveys, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (SOGI questions) and Youth Risk Behavior Survey (sexual orientation (SO) question), the National Health Interview Survey (SO), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (SO), and the Health Center Patient Survey (SOGI). Several other surveys are now collecting SOGI data that examine social determinants of health, such as the National Crime Victimization Survey (SOGI), which collects data on intimate partner violence, and the National Inmate Survey (SOGI), which collects data on sexual assault in prison as mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

The collection of population-level data is important to better understand the experiences of LGBT Americans. LGBT people, especially Black gay and bisexual men and transgender women, experience a disproportionate burden of bias-motivated hate violence. On a per capita basis, LGBT people are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other group in America.18 Bisexual women and men, and lesbians, are more likely to experience intimate partner violence than heterosexual women and men. Gay men are 11 times as likely as heterosexual men to be sexually assaulted in state prisons. Bisexual men and transgender people  are 10 times as likely to be sexually assaulted in state prisons as heterosexual men.
Research needs data! Without data you don’t know what to target your effort, you might be targeting the wrong area for it to be effective. Without data funding is hard. When we were trying to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination law the top question from the legislators were how many trans people are in Connecticut and the same is true for funding for HIV/AIDS healthcare.

Cutting funding to Planned Parenthood will also cut testing for HIV/AIDS which in turn will increase the spread of AIDS. In many areas Planned Parenthood clinics are the only place where you can get tested for AIDS and many times at no cost to the patients.

The Daily Beast article ends with…
Are we really going back to the Eighties, when HIV/AIDS was a “gay disease” and Reagan White House officials joked about it? Trump himself seems trapped in the decade – making comments about Haitians having AIDS, for example. Is that what this is all about? Is that the reason for the slashing of effective health programs here and abroad?

And if not, then what is it?
People this is important, you might think that this doesn’t affect me because I don’t have AIDS but if the disease take roots in the general population it will affect you. The blood supply might be in danger because of not enough AIDS free donors, if the disease moves out of the marginalized community it could become an epidemic.