Monday, May 21, 2018

How Does It Go? “Put Your Money Where…”

All these Silicon Valley tech companies say they are LGBT friendly; Amazon refused to locate HQ2 in North Carolina because of the state’s bigotry against LGBT but Apple may not have any qualms about locating there.
Gay-friendly Apple weighs North Carolina despite LGBT laws
Orlando Sentinel
By Emery P. Dalesio Associated Press
May 20,  2018

Gay-rights advocates are divided on whether to cheer or bemoan a potential marriage between the state of North Carolina and one of the global corporations most friendly to LGBT workers and causes.

Feelings remain raw over North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill, which prompted a boycott campaign. Many advocates remain frustrated that a legislative compromise that put an end to the controversy still allows discrimination against them.

Apple Inc. is close to deciding whether to build a planned corporate hub in the Raleigh-Durham area, a North Carolina government official and an economic development official told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality promises surrounding business recruitment.
Well I don't have doubts that Apple is selling us out for their bottom line.

Greed wins out over morals.

Amazon refused to locate in North Carolina saying that they want to locate where all their employees are welcome but it seems like that Apple is willing to disenfranchise their LGBT employees. I know that I wouldn’t want to live in a state that wants to criminalize me.

I am old enough to remember when companies had a conscious, when they had a link to the community, and when the salaries of CEOs were only fifties times their average employee salaries instead of 500 times their average employee salaries, but that all changed in the eighties when greed took over where everything was the bottom line.

Books Are Feared

The right quake under the fear of books that open children minds, they afraid of people who can think for themselves. That want schools only teach reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic.
Book About Transgender Girl Breaks Ground — And Stirs Controversy — In Oregon Schools
OPB
By April Baer
May 19, 2018

As grown-ups start to shop for summer reading, school kids are laying into the titles they’ll read for next fall’s Oregon Battle of the Books, or OBOB.

It’s a statewide competition, in which kids read from a list of about dozen books, curated by a team of librarians. They duke it out answering Jeopardy!-style questions about the books.

One of the books contenders will read this summer is unlike any before it.

The novel “George” by Alex Gino is the first OBOB selection to feature a transgender protagonist. Gino’s fourth-grade heroine thinks of herself as Melissa, and the narrative identifies her with female pronouns throughout, but she’s carrying the male name she was born with and hiding feelings she can only let loose when she’s totally alone…
[…]
“We liked the story,” Berkley said. “We liked that it was about a trans child — something we’ve never had on the elementary list before.
OMG! A trans book in school! What is this world coming to?
But the book has raised some hackles. Two Oregon school districts will withhold their third- through fifth-grade students from regional competitions, in which kids might be asked about “George.”
Of course you know who are behind this censorship.
The range of reactions to “George” varied. The conservative group Parents Rights in Education rolled the debate over “George” into their existing arguments against transgender rights (arguments in direct conflict with existing science on the mental health of transgender people).

PRIE director Suzanne Gallagher suggested that a reading list including stories about transgender people could cause children to question their gender identities for “attention.”
Let’s bury our heads into the sand.

Down in Texas they are also covering their ears…La, la, la, la la, I can’t hear you!
Opposition to 6th grade transgender lesson recalls battle over bathroom bill
By The Star-Telegram Editorial Board
May 19, 2018

The hysteria that surrounded bathrooms for transgender students may have found a new target.

It comes in the form of a 6th grade health curriculum guide, Abstinence, Puberty & Personal Health, published by ETR Associates, being used in 26 Fort Worth middle schools. It includes a lesson on gender identity where what it means to be transgender is discussed.

We hope we’re wrong, but the flap building over this lesson feels like the transgender-phobic crowd is gearing up for another fight that could help revive a bathroom bill when the legislature convenes again in January. Or it might add fuel to a looming battle over what state education officials approve next year in the health curriculum.

We don’t need or want the legislature to revisit the bathroom bill and waste the taxpayers’ money. And when the new health curriculum is written it would be wrong not to acknowledge we have people living among us who do not identify as heterosexual.
The editorial goes on to say…
The real aim of Stand for Fort Worth seems to be in taking gender identity off the table as a topic of classroom discussion.

“There is no such thing as gender expression,” said Pent. “You have boys and girls,” he told the Star-Telegram.

Two years ago Stand for Texas referred to transgender people as possible “predators” during the debate over bathrooms available to transgender students. The group, which includes parents, opposed the Fort Worth school district’s guidelines for allowing transgender students to use a restroom where they feel “comfortable and safe.”
What gets me is these so called “do gooders” point to the high suicide idealization rate among trans people and they don’t even see the correlations between their hate and suppression of anything trans as the cause of the depression in trans people.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

It Is Illegal

Here in Connecticut and in California it is illegal to video record in places that you have an expectation of privacy like a bathroom.
A woman running for Congress filmed herself yelling at a transgender woman for using the bathroom at Denny's
Business Insider
By Kate Taylor
May 19, 2018

  • Viral footage appears to show a transgender woman being kicked out of Denny's after using the women's restroom.
  • Jazmina Saavedra, who's running for US Congress and is the spokeswoman for Latinos for Trump, posted a video of herself monitoring the restroom and saying there was "a man inside saying he's a lady."
  • Denny's said that it is "extremely disturbed by the incident" and that the customer was removed after drug paraphernalia was spotted in the bathroom — not due to the person's gender identity.
According to a spokesperson, Denny's policy is "that our transgender guests and team members should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with."

Viral footage shows a transgender women being confronted in a Denny's bathroom by a woman running for Congress.

Jazmina Saavedra, who's running for US Congress in California's 44th District and is the spokeswoman for the California branch of Latinos for Trump, posted a video on Facebook on Tuesday from inside a Denny's in California. The video shows Saavedra monitoring the women's restroom, loudly discussing that a person who appears to be a transgender woman is using the bathroom.

"They put us in danger ... a woman like me trying to use the ladies' room with a man inside saying he's a lady," Saavedra says.

The person, originally hidden inside a stall as Saavedra films in the bathroom, says that the congressional hopeful is "invading my privacy." Saavedra then accuses the individual of invading her privacy.
Okay, both California and Connecticut have non-discrimination laws that protect us and allows us to use the bathroom of our gender identity and clearly Denny’s violated the law. Here in Connecticut where a trans person was kicked out of a bar on karaoke night because she was “making the other customers “uncomfortable”  we fined by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and they allow had their liquor license suspended, I imagine the same thing can happen in California.

Now about the woman video recording in the bathroom. Around the 30 second mark you can see she was video recording in the bathroom itself. Legal Beagle says…
Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution contains an explicit guarantee of privacy in Article I, Section 1 of its Declaration of Rights. Its courts have applied this protection to the workplace, schools and the state government. For this right to be violated, video surveillance must fulfill three criteria: 1) It constitutes an intrusion. 2) It intrudes in a location or context where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. 3) It outweighs other interests by the gravity of the alleged violation…
[…]
Under federal law, a conversation or other encounter may be videotaped as long as one person consents to the recording. However, California has expanded the law to both parties. As a result, if you wanted to interview a celebrity in a private location, he or she would need to consent to being taped before you could proceed. Violation of this law is punishable under Cal. Penal Code §§ 631, 632. A first offense of electronic eavesdropping is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year of jail. Recording and disclosure of footage carries a separate penalty. Under Cal. Penal Code § 637.2(a), any victim of these violations can recover punitive civil damages of up to three times the amount of actual damages.
So she is in deep do-do.

  • First, she video recorded a conversation with getting permission from all parties.
  • Second, she posted the video online.
  • Third, this one is interesting. If she recorded the video without sound it would not be an additional crime but because she had audio on the recording she committed another crime, she needed the consent of all parties in the audio recording.

Connecticut has a similar law where you cannot make a video recording where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
 

This Is Interesting

Because it is a federal agency did it violate federal law as well as state law?
Transgender veteran sues state, alleging sex discrimination in hiring
The News Tribune
By Camille Lemke
May 18, 2018

A transgender Air Force veteran has sued the state Department of Veteran Affairs, alleging sex discrimination when she was denied employment in 2015.

The Fife woman filed the lawsuit May 4 and in Pierce County Superior Court. She is seeking lost wages and damages for emotional distress, humiliation and “degradation” of her civil and constitutional rights. No dollar amount is mentioned in the lawsuit.
[…]
Her suit contends the department violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination, failed to give a veteran preference in hiring and intentionally and negligently caused emotional distress.

Asked for comment on the suit, the veterans department provided documents noting that the woman had filed complaints against it with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state Human Rights Commission and both commissions investigated. The Human Rights Commission found there was not sufficient evidence to show the alleged actions had happened. The EEOC said it was unable to conclude the veterans agency violated the law.
I suppose it will also depend upon how quickly the EEOC case is heard because right now the commissioners term hasn’t expired and they are still president Obama’s appointees.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sam’s Saturday 9: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life!

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life! (1982)



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


1) This song is about a girl who is heartbroken about a boy who won't take her calls. Do you screen your calls, deciding to let some go to voicemail? Or do you pick up whenever you possibly can? (We're referring to calls from people you know.)
I assigned a ringtone to all of phone numbers that I have on my phone, so I can tell if it is a friend or not. Friends have one ringtone, family another and businesses a third ringtone. I ignore all the other calls, so if you want to talk to me leave a message and I will call you back if you are not going to try to sell me something.

[RANT] Why would I want to do business with a company that ignores the law? I am on the “Do Not Call” list so they are breaking the law. [/RANT]

2) When she was feeling her lowest, she heard a song on the radio that lifted her spirits. What's the last thing you heard on the radio?
It was Dragnet on Radio Classics on SiriusXM.

3) This song includes the sound of squeaky wheels, indicating a sudden stop and perhaps a near-miss. Tell us about your most recent traffic mishap.
It was a dark and rainy night and all the lines on the road were invisible and making a left turn I didn’t see the car next to me and he honked at me.

4) "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life!" is featured in the 2002 video game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Do you spend much time on video games?
Nope.

5) This week's featured artist, Indeep, was a trio. We've had many groups, some duos and tons of solo artists on Saturday 9, but not many trios. Can you name another popular trio?
Pete, Paul, and Mary

So fitting even today.

6) The last time Indeep performed together was in 1997, at a New Year's Eve show in Paris for French TV. Have you celebrated a holiday in another land?
Nope.

7) Britain's Royal Family is in the news this weekend, with attention centered on the nuptials. The Royals made news in 1982, as well. When this song was popular, Michael Fagan gained momentary fame by breaking into Buckingham Palace. He found The Royal Bedroom, where he came face-to-face with the Queen. He reports that Queen Elizabeth sleeps in a nightie that "reached down to her knees." What did you wear to bed last night?
In the winter the same as the queen, in the summer it is sleeveless and shorter.

8)  In 1982, you could buy a loaf of white bread for 50¢. Today, the national average price for that loaf of bread is more than $2.50. When you go grocery shopping, do you comparison shop and make purchases at more than one store? Or do you prefer one-stop shopping?
I shop at the local supermarket it is only a couple of miles down the road.

9) Random question: What's the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
I like the one on the top of my blog from the Eagles
"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key"
It resonates with me, how many times do we hold ourselves back for whatever reason?

Friday, May 18, 2018

We Are Diverse

We share something in common… we are all trans but we come in many flavors. We are not all white healthily middle class trans women, there are trans men, black trans people, Latinos trans people, indigenous trans people, Asian trans people, and disabled trans people. We cover the whole spectrum of the rainbow both the visible and invisible spectrum.
Why the LGBTQ+ Community Must Fight for Disability Rights
"As long as trans disabled people like me exist, disability issues are trans issues, and trans issues are disability issues."
Them
By Nora Whelan
May 14, 2018

The past year and a half has been particularly difficult for many queer and trans people, as politicians ostensibly charged with our protection have worked to harm if not altogether erase us — and LGBTQ+ people with disabilities, who have faced attempts to repeal critical healthcare services, policies that make education accessible, funds that help subsidize their often sub-minimum and/or forced part-time wages (if even that), and other life-saving necessities, have received the government’s ire twofold.

To learn more about how we can come together as a community to fight for LGBTQ+ liberation for all of us, we spoke with three queer and trans disability activists about the work they're doing and their hopes for the future.
[…]
“Because of my multiple types of disabilities, I’ve faced a lot of discrimination in receiving healthcare, and it's been worse when people discover that I'm transgender,” he says.

“I’ve almost died because of a nurse who wanted me to prove I was a trans man before she’d order the blood that I needed from doctors to replace the significant amounts of blood I was losing at the time.”
Then there is intersectionality…
“Many of us are multiply marginalized, and we all need to start respecting one another and working together. Allies, too, need to make sure we are included, actually listen to what we say, and not talk over us. I want to bridge the gap between my communities. This administration is attacking all of us, and it's harder to fight alone,” says Evans. “When are we going to stop oppressing ourselves?”
Those of us who are advocates; we need to be an advocate for the whole community not just the healthy white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Those living on the margins of the intersections need our help the most.

All In Week In America


14-Year-Old in Custody, 1 Student Injured in California High School Shooting
Time
Associated Press
May 11, 2018

At least 10 dead in Santa Fe High School; shooter had multiple guns, bombs
Houston Chronicle Updated 11:34 am, Friday, May 18, 2018

Gunman exchanges fire with police at Trump golf club in Florida
CBS This Morning
Published on May 18, 2018

A Sad Month

It has been a sad and dangerous month for us; the number of trans people killed for just being themselves has increased dramatically.
2 Texas transgender women dead within a week of each other
ABC News
By Abigail Shalawylo and  Alyssa Pone
May 17, 2018

Two Texas transgender women died less than a week apart though there seems to be no connection between the deaths, according to Dallas Police who are investigating both cases.

Jimmy Eugene Johnson III was arrested in connection with the death of a 26-year-old Latina transgender woman, police announced Thursday.

Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon was found by police unconscious in her Dallas apartment on May 9, and she was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after.
[…]
Just a few days after Flores-Pavon was killed, an unidentified black trans woman was found floating in the water at White Rock Creek in Dallas. Her body was discovered on May 12, in a severe stage of decomposition, police said.
Then over in Atlanta…
Transgender man shot, killed in northwest Atlanta
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Raisa Habersham
May 17, 2018

A 36-year-old transgender man was shot and killed during an argument in northwest Atlanta, police said.

Police are still searching for suspects in the fatal Sunday morning shooting.

About 3 a.m., officers found Nino Fortson, who identifies as a man, with multiple gunshot wounds in the 700 block of Woods Drive, Atlanta police said. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died.
[…]
Fortson is the 10th transgender person to die in the United States this year and the first known homicide of a transgender man, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
One time when I was first coming out a group of us decided to go to a drag show at a bar in Hartford and when I was leaving I was a little worried. I was a newly out trans woman in a strange area and I had to walk to my car a half a block from the bar.

Another time I was at the closing night gala for the LGBT film festival, it was a warm summer night and to walk back to my car I had to pass by a sports bar that had a lot of drunken guys sitting in the patio area next to the sidewalk. I stood at the door where the gala was being held looking at the bar when four or five lesbians came out of the event and one saw where I was looking and asked if I wanted to walk them back to our cars. She slipped her arm around mine and we all walked to our cars together.

Be safe. Know your surroundings.

eHarmany suggests…
First, meet in a public place. There is safety in numbers and meeting for the first time in a restaurant or coffee shop would provide enough witnesses should the date turn sour. Never – and I mean never – meet a man at his home or even think of inviting him to your home until you really get to know him.

Second, tell a friend about your date. Yes, tell a friend or family member the details about where you are meeting, give them his contact details like name and phone number and any other additional information you have about him. Check in with your friend during the date or ask your friend to call you during the date to let them know how you are doing. Besides, this can be used as an escape clause if you feel like the date isn’t going well: “Hey Jim, my friend needs me because of an emergency and we have to end the date.”

Third, drive yourself to the date and drive home by yourself. Having your own wheels gives you control should the date go bad. The worst thing is to be reliant on somebody else for transportation as it gives them the control on how long you spend together and let’s face it, it’s safer to have your own car just in case.

Fourth, stay sober. This may be obvious, but alcohol creates bad judgement and I have known too many women who have said yes to coming to my home after a few drinks. Now remember, I’m a safe guy and so are most; however, alcohol impairs our senses and the last thing you want to say in the morning is, “Why did I do that?”



While we are on the subject…
IDAHOBIT 2018: Transgender women are still being killed at an alarming rate
Pink News
By Jess Glass
17th May 2018

This International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), it’s important to highlight one of the most maligned and discriminated against groups in the acronym – transgender women.

IDAHOBIT is marked every year on May 17, with the date chosen to mark the anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from their classification of diseases in 1990.

When thinking about the difficulties and discrimination that is still faced by the LGBT community in many ways, it’s important to look at the setbacks and tragedies that have lined the way and see how much progress still needs to be made.

2017 was the deadliest year for transgender people in the US on record, but 2018 is shaping up to be almost as violent once again, particularly against trans women of colour.
Be safe! Be aware of your surroundings.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

We Cannot Fall Into The Trap

There can be many reasons why we are trans and not just one thing that makes us who we are, or it could even be a series of events that makes us trans and this might be one of them.
The Transgender Brain: New Insights
MedScape
By Pauline Anderson
May 16, 2018

NEW YORK — There's the male brain and the female brain, and now researchers believe there may also be the transgender brain.

Generally, male and female brains differ with respect to total brain volume, gray matter volume, and cortical thickness. New imaging findings suggest that the brains of transgender individuals may "fall somewhere in between," at least from a volumetric standpoint, researcher Murat Altinay, MD, Center for Behavioral Health, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, told Medscape Medical News.

"Classic medicine focuses on chromosomes, on genes, and on the body representation of gender, such as genital organs, but we're changing our focus to the brain, introducing the concept of 'brain gender' and saying that gender is actually in the brain," he said.
A lot trans people have been diagnosed with mental health disorders such ADHD and other autism spectrum disorders but they may have been masking or misdiagnosed gender dysphoria.
"A lot of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people, and especially transgender people, are misdiagnosed as having a mood disorder or anxiety, but in many cases, what inexperienced clinicians see as mood disorder is actually gender dysphoria," he said.

Some research suggests that mood disorders are overdiagnosed in the transgender population, Altinay added.
The article concludes with…
"The brain is the governing organ, and any dysregulation that occurs in the brain can absolutely change not just your maleness or femaleness from a biological perspective but also from a psychological perspective in terms of how you feel," she said.
However, we cannot take this as gospel, there may be many more factors that cause gender dysphoria and we cannot be ruled out of having gender dysphoria of our brain scans do not show this brain pattern, asking us is still the best way to find out if we are trans.



Last night ctEQUALITY held the first in a series of town hall meetings to find out what the LGBT community thinks are the important issues facing our community. Over 75 people showed up at the New Haven Pride Center.

The concerns were from healthcare, to banning Gay/Trans Panic defenses, to safe schools, and a whole host of other issues were discussed in the two hour session… it was an excellent discussion last night.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

From Russia With Hate

With the hearings in Washington turn up all types of Russian medaling around the world and now we heard about the Facebook ads that Russian used to stir up hate here.
These are the most popular stealth Russian Facebook ads from each month
The Washington Post
By Philip Bump
May 10, 2018

On Thursday, Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee released several-thousand ads that had been run on Facebook as part of Russia’s efforts to interfere in U.S. politics from mid-2015 through August of last year. We broke down the numbers behind those posts, including how many clicks they got each month and how much they cost.

We thought it would be interesting, though, to also pull out the most popular ads that were introduced each month to get a broad sense of which advertising efforts were actually effective. Below, the ad campaigns initiated in each month from June 2015 to August 2017 that received the most overall clicks. (No data is available for June 2017.)
They had a number of pro-LGBT ads along with anti-LGBT and it looks like they were trying to generate a wedge between us.

Then get a load of this ad, talk about siring up hate and divisiveness.

They also had pro and anti-Black Live Matter ads, anti-immigrations ads, and patriotic ads

But this isn’t a recent phenomenon do you remember the uproar over Jade Helm and using the military to take everyone guns and political dissidents?
Hysteria over Jade Helm exercise in Texas was fueled by Russians, former CIA director says
Gov. Greg Abbott's decision in 2015 to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor a federal military exercise prompted significant criticism. A former CIA director said Wednesday that the move emboldened Russians to next target elections.
The Texas Tribune
By Cassandra Pollock and Alex Samuels
May 3, 2018

A former director of the CIA and NSA said Wednesday that hysteria in Texas over a 2015 U.S. military training exercise called Jade Helm was fueled by Russians wanting to dominate “the information space,” and that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to send the Texas State Guard to monitor the operation gave them proof of the power of such misinformation campaigns.

Michael Hayden, speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe podcast, chalked up peoples’ fear over Jade Helm 15 to “Russian bots and the American alt-right media [that] convinced many Texans [Jade Helm] was an Obama plan to round up political dissidents.”
[…]
Jade Helm 15 was a planned military training exercise that became a fascination of conspiracy theorists before it even began. The exercise, which spanned several states, began in Texas in Bastrop County in 2015 and was described by federal officials as routine. But some conspiracy theorists speculated that the exercise was a covert effort to institute martial law. Hayden was not CIA director at this time.
The governor bought it hook, line and sinker, and he order the State Guard to keep an eye on the military.

I think that if Russia cannot play nice in the world sandbox that we should give them a “time out” and cut their internet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Desistors

Are people who detransitions or were not really trans to begin with, there has been much talk in the trans community about them and the “fake” news reporting 80% of trans people detransition. Well now there is research that debunks the myth.
Teach your parents and providers well
Call for refocus on the health of trans and gender-diverse children
Canadian Family Physician – The College of Family Physicians of Canada
By Julia Temple Newhook, Kelley Winters, Jake Pyne, Ally Jamieson, Cindy Holmes, Stephen Feder, Sarah Pickett and Mari-Lynne Sinnott
May 2018

Beyond the desistance myth
Directives regarding the care of gender-diverse children have derived primarily from a small body of research based on children in clinical settings in Toronto, Ont, [All footnote reference have been removed by me] and in the Netherlands. These studies have been interpreted to suggest that about 80% of children who we might think of as transgender will not identify as transgender as adults. It has become common to see these studies cited as a reason to discourage children’s assertion of a non–birth-assigned gender, framing transgender children as “confused.” Yet recent reviews suggest the utility of the concept of desistance is limited, and have raised the following 7 critiques.

Many children never asserted a transgender identity.
Many children in these desistance studies never asserted a transgender identity and thus would not have been expected to seek transition. The outdated tools from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edition, revised, and 4th edition used in these studies conflated gender identity and gender expression. This means that a small subset of children who asserted a non–birth-assigned gender identity (and thus might be termed transgender) were mixed in with a much larger superset of children (who might be termed gender non-conforming) who behaved in ways that resisted gender-stereotyped expectations, but who might have continued to identify with their birth-assigned gender.
The paper also said…
Assumptions were made about loss to follow-up.Youth who refused or neglected to participate in follow-up should not be assumed to be cisgender.16–19 These studies tended to count participants lost to follow-up—more than 30% in one study—as desisters. This risks a substantial overestimation of the number of young adults assumed to be cisgender.
The paper ends with…
Conclusion
And so, become yourself,
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Teach Your Children Well”
Every child is unique. To thrive, every child needs to be seen, valued, and loved for who they are—not for who we expect them to be. Rather than attempting to “fix” gender-diverse children,3 medical providers have a key leadership role to play in the acceptance of the gender spectrum as a fundamental element of our human diversity. Through affirmation in the present, and celebration of whatever the future might hold, our goal is for all children to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives.
The right like to quote or pick and choose data from research papers that support their biases and the authors of the papers also deny the inferences the conservatives draw the research papers. So this article goes a long way to debunk the myths that the right wing conservatives are pushing.

I also believe that many trans people who de-transition are still trans, that many detransition because of family, religious, or social pressure. For them being trans is too hard, they cannot find a job, or they are being harassed at work, or they are facing pressure from family, or they are facing pressure from their religious leaders.

I know two trans people who detransitioned; one was because she couldn’t find a job and moved back in with her in-laws. The other trans woman detransitioned because of family and employment pressures and then retransitioned and is now having GCS.

We Are Everywhere!

The latest trans person to show up in a high office is a trans woman in Rhode Island,
Rev. Don Anderson of RI State Council of Churches Is Transgender
RI NPR
By Scott Mackay
May 14, 2018

The Rev. Donald Anderson, executive minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, is taking a three-month sabbatical to continue to transition to being a woman, council president Chontell Washington announced today in a news release

Anderson, who has been executive minister of the council, which is made up of mainline Protestant denominations, informed the council Governing Board last fall that she is transgender and is transitioning.
Congratulations!

She is one of a growing number of trans women in the ministry. I have a friend who is the parish priest of an Episcopal priest of a parish here in Connecticut and two trans men who are ministers.

Monday, May 14, 2018

What Do You Think Of When You Hear Bullying?

No not Trump… even though he is a bully

Don’t you think of children on the playground or in schools?

What about senior centers? Do you think about bullying there?
Bullying a problem at senior centers nationwide
The Press Democrat
By Matt Sedensky AP
May 12, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Fistfights broke out at karaoke. Dances became breeding grounds for gossip and cruelty.

It became clear this place had a bullying problem on its hands. What many found surprising was that the perpetrators and victims alike were all senior citizens.

Nursing homes, senior centers and housing complexes for the elderly have introduced programs, training and policies aimed at curbing spates of bullying, an issue once thought the exclusive domain of the young.

“There’s the clique system just like everywhere else,” said Betsy Gran, who until recently was assistant director at San Francisco’s 30th Street Senior Center. “It’s like ‘Mean Girls,’ but everyone is 80.”
[…]
There is far less recognition of bullying as a problem among seniors compared with young people. Even among those who have been called bullies, many are unaware how problematic their behavior is until it’s labeled. Campaigns around the country have sought to spread the word, including a booklet circulated last year by the National Center for Assisted Living.
[…]
Most senior bullying isn’t physical but rather involves name-calling, rumors and exclusion, said Pamela Countouris, a longtime schoolteacher who now runs a Pittsburgh-based consultancy that offers training on bullying. Women constitute the bulk of the bullies Countouris encounters among seniors, a reflection of lifespan disparities and the gender makeup of those who live at or participate in programs at senior facilities.
So what does this have to with us, LGBT seniors?
In the worst cases, bullying goes far beyond bingo squabbles. Marsha Wetzel moved into a senior apartment complex in Niles, Illinois, after her partner of 30 years died and her partner’s family evicted her from the home the couple shared. At Glen St. Andrew Living Community, she said she was met with relentless bullying by residents mostly focused on her being a lesbian.

One man hit Wetzel’s scooter with his walker and unleashed a barrage of homophobic slurs. A woman rammed her wheelchair into Wetzel’s table in the dining room and knocked it over, warning “homosexuals will burn in hell.” In the mailroom, someone knocked her in the head, and in an elevator, she was spit on.
Our generation hid most of their lives and they are the generation that fought for our rights, unfortunately it was against the same generation that they are now housed with that they fought.

Most people don’t even think about harassment in senior centers, long term care facilities or senior housing but it is a growing problem in those facilities that has to be addressed now.

I can just imagine what prosecutors will think if they had a case of an eighty year old straight person attacking a 80 year old trans person? Will they prosecute the person for a hate crime or would they just try to make the case go away?

Where I Have Been

I have been missing posts the last couple of weeks; well life throws roadblocks in your life every now and then.

The last couple of weeks I have had appointments for a root canal… oh so much fun on Mondays! And to tell the truth I wasn’t really interested in writing a blog post those days.

The weekends were up at the cottage cleaning; the weekend before last a friend Sue and my brother came up to help clean and this past weekend and friend came up to help me put together a wall hutch and a charcoal grill along with some more cleaning. For dinner on Saturday night we went to the Lobster Pot and I had Lobster Newberg.

I wanted to cook a steak on the new grill but the weather didn't cooperate, this weekend was cold damp and rainy so we went out to Tin Pan Alley in Provincetown and I had lobster ravioli in a cream sauce... Mmm!

I also found a good pizza place and one not nice pizza place in Wellfleet that harassed me when I picked up the order.

I am going up this coming weekend to do more cleaning and put up window curtains and shades.

Once thing settle down I will be able to write my blog regularly again.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mother and Child Reunion

Crazy Sam’s Mother and Child Reunion (1972)



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

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

1) The title of this song, "Mother and Child Reunion," came from a dish Paul Simon had at a Chinese restaurant. "Mother and Child Reunion" was chicken and egg drop soup. When did you last eat chicken?
I had chicken salad with cranberries the other day.

2) Paul Simon's mother, Belle, was an English teacher Monday through Friday and then gave piano lessons on the weekends. Have you ever worked more than one job?
No, but I have worked the clock around, a 24 hour shift in Xenia Ohio. We were installing emergency radio equipment in a hospital ER. We started just before 1st shift and when 1st shift came in one of the nurses said we were there early and I said we never went back to the motel. Why did I do that? Well we were getting double time, plus travel bonus.
This was just after 7 tornados hit the town and we were restoring their radio equipment.

3) Mother Winters taught Sam to always dispose of the dry cleaning bag, as storing clothes in the bag may discolor the fabric. Do you have any useful household hints to pass along?
Nope.

4) Have you put away your winter clothes yet?
Ha… the way the weather is going I will be putting them away just in time to take them out again.

5) Flowers and plants are popular on Mother's Day. How is your yard or garden? Is it green and/or blooming?
Well on the Cape where I am now, the leaves are not even out on the trees, while back home all the trees have leaves.

6) In the 1600's, the British began celebrating "Mothering Sunday." Children presented flowers to their mothers after Sunday service. When did you last place flowers in a vase? Where they store-bought, or picked from someone's garden?
Last week, I was given flowers when I was at our conference.

7) The German word for "mother" is "mutter." What other German words do you know?
 Danke

8) When Sam was a teen, her mother used to scold her for monopolizing the family landline. With the advent of cell phones, do you think parents and children still clash over telephone etiquette?
I think that they should. You know I am not really interesting hearing about your hot date while standing in line at the grocery store.

9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away her mother's favorite, Hershey Bars! Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds?
Milk chocolate with almonds, dark chocolate is deadly to me. Too much caffeine.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Title IX

Title IX bans sex discrimination in schools and the courts are ruling it covers trans people also but in today’s climate schools are trying to wiggle out of protecting us.
College dumps transgender protections after GOP, community pressure
WyoFile
By Andrew Graham
May 10, 2018

Eastern Wyoming College’s board of trustees abandoned proposed policies protecting transgender employees and student athletes from discrimination Tuesday after an estimated 120-190 people showed up to oppose them.

Wyoming GOP chairman Frank Eathorne and state representative Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle) were among the crowd opposing the policies at the trustees meeting in Torrington. Eathorne was speaking for the Wyoming Republican Party when he opposed the policies, he told WyoFile.
[…]
Tuesday’s meeting came two weeks after a former Republican county party chairman was suspended from his job as a talk-radio host for making homophobic remarks on air during an interview with a Fremont County school superintendent. During the interview, host John Birbari took an initially anonymous phone call from Rep. Tim Salazar (R-Dubois), who joined in the questioning of the superintendent.

LGBTQ advocates in the state have begun to wonder if an anti-LGBTQ position has become mainstream for the Wyoming GOP.
I really don’t think that they have to wonder… it is.

The hate and bigotry of the Republican party is there to see and it is not just against us but also it is against anyone not a WASP.



There is an anti-conversion therapy rally that is scheduled at the Capitol in the near future and there is talk of a counter rally.

I am against the counter protest because…

  • The conversion therapy bill passed in the Senate 36 - 0 and in the House it was also nearly unanimous so there is strong bipartisan support for the law.
  • I think that a counter protest will lend credibility to the anti-conversion therapy people.
  • It looks like there isn't any support for the anti-conversion therapy protest (the last that I heard only 16 people signed up).
  • I don't think those who want a counter protest will have many people there either and it may look like that we don't have strong support for the law.

So I think we should just ignore the anti-conversion therapy protest and let them fall flat on their face when no one shows up, but we should have a statement ready to hand out.

It Is All About Jobs

The number one question that I hear from trans people is where can I get a job.

For those who are about to transition and are looking for a job, my advice to them is don’t. Don’t, if at all possible transition until after you find a job and you have at least one performance review under your belt. It becomes so much hard to fire you then because before the review all they have to say is that you couldn’t do the job you were hired to do. However, once you have that performance review stating that you do go work it will make it harder for cause.
Transgender community struggles with unemployment, MetroHealth hopes job fair will help
News 5 Cleveland
By Homa Bash
May 10, 2018

CLEVELAND - For the fourth year, MetroHealth will host a transgender job fair this Saturday, making Cleveland one of the few cities in the country to take on such an initiative.

Lourdes Negron-McDaniel is the director of inclusion and diversity for the MetroHealth system. She said according to research, the unemployment rate for transgender people is twice as high as the general population. For transgender people of color, the unemployment or underemployment rate is four times as high.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Negron-McDaniel said. “It is the right thing to do for us to create a safe space for a very vulnerable population to come professionally and seriously and search for employment.”

So far, MetroHealth has lined up 25 companies to be at the job fair — big names like the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Giant Eagle, Hyland, Keller Williams, KeyBank, MetroHealth, PNC, Starbucks and more.
And they have 80 trans people who want to attend the job fair!

This is really great; this is great for the trans community.

Will it work here in Connecticut? It would be hard to do it here in Connecticut because of the small population base. What would be needed are two things, first thing is to get the word out to the trans community and the second is companies for the job fair.

Trying to find enough trans people to come will be a challenge because we are so spread out around the state and there is no one place to announce the job fair. Most trans people don’t attend support groups, many are not on social media and trying find them would be hard but not impossible. You would need two or three months to spread the word.

I was at a Target store the other day and there was a checkout person who may have been trans and I know of a number of big box stores that hire trans people and at the local super market they had a trans person working for them.

Having a job fair for trans people here in Connecticut is just hard but not impossible.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black*

The right pushes junk science in their argument against us and our rights, organizations like the American College of Pediatricians that push the works of Dr. Paul Hugh and Dr. Zucker.

I came across this article on a conservative news site…
In the Transgender Debate, Conservatives Can’t Compromise the Truth
National Review
By David French
May 9, 2018

Over on the home page, J.J. McCullough has penned a piece urging a “compromise on transgenderism,” but as I read it, this proposed compromise looks a lot like capitulation. While J.J. rightly notes that the Left has overreached in its “effort to strong-arm sweeping social change as a flex of their power,” he asks conservatives to essentially abandon their central argument and accept the radical left’s premise that a man can be a woman or a woman can be a man. This paragraph stands out:
Though transgenderism is a far rarer phenomenon than homosexuality, I think most adults could admit it does seem like a rather persistent aspect of humanity. Most can probably recall a transgender person making at least some minor appearance in their life. If we concede that transgenderism is not going away, and is not something anyone intends to exert effort toward ending, then Americans, especially conservative ones, should reflect on our culture’s honest and fair attitude toward homosexuality and acknowledge that the most sensible path out of the present acrimony will probably require similar compromise. Some degree of cultural ceasefire and consensus seems the only path for both sides to maintain a degree of pride while avoiding a more radical, disruptive societal transformation. (Emphasis added.)
I can acknowledge that gender dysphoria is a “persistent aspect of humanity,” but I will not concede that gender dysphoria trumps biology, and I don’t think our culture should cease efforts towards “ending” the dangerous notion that men or women should amputate healthy organs in the quest to sculpt their bodies to become something they’re not. Gender dysphoria may not “go away,” but transgenderism is something else entirely. Our culture is in the midst of a live and important dispute over the very nature of biological reality — and over the psychological and spiritual health of hundreds of thousands of precious souls — and now is not the time to abandon the field.
I find this totally ironic when the title says “Can’t Compromise the Truth” and then they write “I will not concede that gender dysphoria trumps biology” and they totally ignore current research and base their thinking on 1950 science. There is so much new research that shows that there are differences in the our brains and there are so many factors that determine "sex" than just chromosomes.
But once you grant the premise that a man is, in fact, a woman, don’t all these consequences flow directly from that concession? After all, existing nondiscrimination statutes are quite clear in their scope. And judicial precedents are increasingly aligning with this new fiction. To “compromise” on identity (including on pronouns) is to end the dispute.
Once again they have their heads in the sand.

Maybe it is because the law is keeping up on science and the precedent of the Supreme Court Price Waterhouse ruling that “sex” discrimination also includes sex “stereotyping” and not ignoring or twisting the facts.

The article ends with,
I understand the desire for social peace. Truly I do. The culture wars are exhausting and divisive. But treating every single human being with dignity and respect means not just defending their constitutional liberties and showing them basic human kindness, it also means telling the truth — even when the truth is hard. Any compromise that requires conservatives to grant the other side’s false and harmful premise is no compromise at all.
Have you looked in a mirror lately?

I would tell you yes “it also means telling the truth — even when the truth is hard” maybe there is a reason that the AMA, APA, NASW, AAP, the Endocrine Society, and a host of other professional associations all disagree with you.



* If you are not familiar with this saying, according to Slate it means… “This saying, which personifies kitchenware in order to make a point about hypocrisy, means “to criticize someone for a fault you also possess.” Per WiseGeek, the phrase dates back to the early 1600s, when most pots and kettles were fashioned from cast iron, a material that acquires streaks of black smoke when heated over a flame.”

We Are Under Attack!

Don’t you just find it so ironic when evangelical Christians say they are under attack?

Have you seen any evangelical Christians being beaten and killed by the police?

Have you seen any evangelical Christians being beaten by white supremacist?

Have you seen any evangelical Christians being denied the right to marry?

Have you seen any evangelical Christians being told that they cannot use the bathroom?

Have you seen any evangelical Christians worrying about being erased…
Passport Peril
Why transgender Americans are so worried about Mike Pompeo serving as secretary of state.
Slate
By Evan Urquhart
March 15, 2018

Mike Pompeo, one of the most rabidly anti-LGBTQ politicians in America, is President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, bringing extreme Christian conservatism to the State Department. At the CIA, Pompeo’s views made members of the intelligence community deeply uncomfortable. If confirmed to State, he’ll be able to influence U.S. policy abroad in ways that negatively affects international efforts to address human rights abuses of LGBTQ people. He’ll also have the power to reverse hard-won improvements to the policy on gender changes for transgender individuals.

Before 2010, the government required sex reassignment surgery to change the gender marker on a U.S. passport. SRS procedures are expensive and complex, and many transgender people do not feel they need it. So in 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton modernized the process to let people update the gender marker on a passport by providing either a doctor’s note certifying the applicant is undergoing treatment for gender transition or a birth certificate that has been updated to show the correct gender.
One of my concerns is that I will get a letter from the State Department ordering me to turn in my passport to “correct” a “mistake” in the gender marker. I wouldn’t put it pass the current administration’s purging of any LGBTQ changes that the Obama administration made.
Which brings me back to Pompeo. This is a man who canceled a speech at the CIA by the parents of hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard, co-sponsored acts attempting to slow the spread of marriage equality and protect religious discrimination against LGBTQ people, and opposed gay and lesbian military service in a speech at the 2011 Values Voter Summit—after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” As secretary of state, Pompeo would have the authority to reverse the Obama-era change, once again requiring surgery to change a passport, or even prohibiting trans people from updating their passports at all.
Why is it that when the oppressed stand up against the oppressor we are being uppity, ungrateful, rebellious, and that we are picking on them?

So I find it laughable when the evangelical Christians say we are attacking them when they are doing everything that they can to deny our existence.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Interesting Paper

I remember when I first went on hormones and I was taking progesterone and I started lactating… surprise!
Case Report: Induced Lactation in a Transgender Woman
Transgender Health
By Reisman Tamar  and Goldstein Zil
Published Online: 1 Jan 2018

Abstract
Objective: Our report describes a case of nonpuerperal induced lactation in a transgender woman.

Methods: We present the relevant clinical and laboratory findings, along with a review of the relevant literature.

Results: A 30-year-old transgender woman who had been receiving feminizing hormone therapy for the past 6 years presented to our clinic with the goal of being able to breastfeed her adopted infant. After implementing a regimen of domperidone, estradiol, progesterone, and breast pumping, she was able to achieve sufficient breast milk volume to be the sole source of nourishment for her child for 6 weeks. This case illustrates that, in some circumstances, modest but functional lactation can be induced in transgender women.
It isn’t that hard to stimulate the milk ducts…
Previous investigators have reported the following basic framework for nonpuerperal induced lactation: (1) increased estradiol and progesterone dosing to mimic high levels seen during pregnancy, (2) use of a galactogogue to increase prolactin levels, (3) use of a breast pump with the speculation that it would increase prolactin and oxytocin levels, and (4) subsequent reduction in estradiol and progesterone levels, with the intention of mimicking delivery.
I find it amazing that we can do this and it shows that male and females are not that different.

There is a little difference in the milk…
One major difference between the induction of lactation in cis and transgender women is the need for androgen blockade in the latter group. Our patient continued to take spironolactone while breastfeeding for androgen blockade. A known metabolite of spironolactone, cancrenone is excreted in human milk. This has been shown to be 0.2% of the maternal daily dose, which is thought to be clinically insignificant. Spironolactone has been reported to have tumorigenic potential in rats, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is thought to be compatible with breastfeeding.
I wish that I knew beforehand that I could lactate because it wouldn’t have scared me when I saw a white discharge from my breasts.

In The Spotlight

If you Google me you get something like 34,000 hits!

There is no doubt that I’m trans but I’m retired and not looking for a job; what happens if you are 18 and looking for a job?
Column: Two years later, transgender woman struggles with life's unique challenges away from national spotlight
Chicago Tribune
By Jerry Davich
May 8, 2018


Two years ago this week, Dakota Yorke became a national media darling after announcing her hopes to be crowned prom queen at Portage High School.

The transgender woman unintentionally blazed a trail for other transgender teens amid our country's “gender panic” controversies at that time. She continues to do so, though more under the radar these days.
[…]
Her new life took a detour to Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (population 3,000), where she lives with a relative, works as a server at two restaurants, and struggles with the realities of being a transgender woman in a small community.
[…]
After arriving in Wisconsin Dells, she landed a job at a retail clothing store, where she continues to work part time. She also works as a server at a popular national chain restaurant.

Yorke ended up moving back into her parent’s Portage home for four months while she figured out her next move.
Let’s face it, once you come out in the media your name is forever out there in cyberspace.

I am always torn the need to be seen and the consequences of coming out on young trans people.



[Rant]

Maybe I am an old grouch.

Yesterday I had to be at a function at 8:30 AM and I got stuck behind a school bus, I was about the tenth car behind the bus and the line of cars behind ended out of sight.

Yes, I realize that the school bus has to stop at houses along a busy street with no sidewalks, but… all the students were inside their houses, it wasn’t raining, the sun was out and the temperature  was in the 50s

Then when the bus stopped in front of their house, they didn’t run to the bus, they dragged their feet getting to the bus. It was like a contest of who could take the longest to get to the bus.

Meanwhile, the line of cars kept getting longer as the bus moved to the next house and then waited for the student to shuffle out of the house.

When I was a high school student you had to be at the bus stop when the bus came. I don’t know how many times I missed the bus because I wasn't at the bus stop when the bus came. I remember running with all my books a hundred feet from the bus when the driver looked at me, closed the door and drove off.

I don’t understand why the Board of Education doesn’t have a policy where you have to be standing next to the road when the bus comes. Also I do not understand why when there are sidewalks why the bus stops in front of the house instead of at one bus stop on a corner.

[/RANT]

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

I Hate The Word

It has such a bad connotation, it makes up sound like sneaks, that we are doing something underhanded; but the word passing is used by us all the time.
i haven’t failed to ‘pass' as a woman, i want to look transgender
i-D Vice
By Juno Roche
April 25 2018

Fashion and pop culture only embrace transgender people who don’t look trans. The real ‘tipping point’ will come when we embrace queer beauty outside of the binary, says author Juno Roche.
[…]
In 2014, Time magazine put actress and campaigner Laverne Cox on the cover, and declared the moment a ‘transgender tipping point’. A point at which trans people could, and would, come out of the shadows and claim their rightful and authentic place within wider society. It heralded a time of widespread acceptance, surely, if we were now on covers of magazines, on the sofas of breakfast television and beginning to appear in ones and occasionally twos across the media spectrum. But this visibility had a catch: to be accepted, you had to ‘pass’.
For many trans people they will never be able to integrate into society as a cis gender woman, let’s face it being able to “pass” is a privilege.
There were many voices around me, personal and societal, telling me that safety and success lay in ‘passing and blending’ -- that the more I looked like ‘them’, the easier my life would be. To be visibly or audibly trans would mean risking rejection, economic stability and intimacy, so extinguishing my trans fault lines would help me to have an ordinary life. Our (fairly) recent ‘tipping point’ did nothing to challenge that notion, hiding the amazing work done by the people often depicted as utterly hetero- and cis-normative.
I think the young non-binary trans people are on to something by breaking down the gender barriers.

“Visual non-conformity is a risk factor in causing anti-transgender bias and its attendant social and economic burdens.” The 2015 Transgender Survey hit the nail on its head with that statement; if you have the privilege to be able to integrate into society you are going to get the jobs, you will not be harassed on the street or in a store.

People tell me that I should take voice lessons to hide my transness but I feel that for almost 60 years I lived a lie, and by using a “false” voice I will be living another lie… I just want to be myself.


While we are still on “integrating” I came across this article about beard removal how some trans people are forgoing electrolysis or laser treatments to remove their beards.
I'm a Trans Woman, and My 5 O'Clock Shadow Is a Badge of Visibility
But it also makes me a target for transphobic abuse
Them
By Lucy Diavolo
April 30, 2018

I've been having a lot of feelings about my 5 o'clock shadow. The hair that sprouts from my jaw has always been a physical manifestation of a biology that I never could accustom myself to. I have a bad habit of making everything into a metaphor, and so the faint outline of a goatee and the stubble on my cheeks is more than just hair. It is symbolic of the catch-22 that is visibility for me as a trans person. Being visibly trans, whether through my facial hair or my willingness to be open about my identity, gives me the power to advocate for myself and lift up my trans siblings — but it also makes me a target for transphobic abuse.
[…]
As much as I never want to be clocked as trans again, I'm far too proud of who I am to give up because I can't achieve full stealth. I've seen too many people spend decades in hiding only to lose the families, careers, and lives they built when they decided to finally come out.
While I realize not every trans person can afford to have their beard removed or that they can withstand the pain, I personally cannot understand why they don’t shave. They are going to get so much more harassment and discrimination because they don’t shave.

But it is their life and they get to make their decisions but they also have to live with their decision.



I didn’t even know that this bill existed; I thought that they had given up.
PRO-TRANSGENDER RIGHTS BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY, MOVES ON TO STATE SENATE  
A proposed pro-transgender rights bill passed the New York State Assembly, and was presented to the New York Senate Monday.
Posted By: WKTV
May. 7, 2018

A proposed pro-transgender rights bill passed the New York State Assembly, and was presented to the New York Senate Monday.

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA, A3358/S7010) would protect transgender New Yorkers under State Human Rights Law, and the hate crimes law.

ACR Health officials said they’re encouraged that the assembly is taking up the discussion, and possibly voting to pass the legislation. But spokesman Elliott Sharrow said his concern is getting the bill through the Republican-led state Senate, which has never seen the legislation come up for a vote.

“I think over time, there’s been a lot more momentum as far as the need for this. I think there’s been a lot more talk about GENDA and trans people in general, so I think that’s definitely playing to our favor,” Sharrow said.
All the other years the bill made it out of the house and died in the Republican controlled Senate, will this year break the pattern? I hope so.


Battling Articles

How safe is Cross-gender Hormone Therapy?

When I started CHT I was warned about all the dangers of going on hormones by my endo, WPATH Standard of Care advises about the risks of CHT and now there are two articles that are 180 degrees apart.
Transgender Women Are At Greater Risk For Heart Attacks And Strokes, But “There Are Still A Lot Of Question Marks”
We know that men and women have different cardiovascular issues—where do trans women fit in?
NewNowNext
By Dan Avery
May 1, 2018

New research is pointing to a possible link between cardiovascular disease and transgender women undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

Analysis of nearly two dozens studies incorporating 3,231 transfeminine patients found 139 deaths attributed to heart disease, as well as eight strokes, 14 heart attacks, and 56 incidents of deep vein thrombosis—considerably higher rates than in either cisgender women or men. The study also found transgender women taking estrogen had higher blood pressure and increased levels of triglycerides, high concentrations of which are a risk factor for stroke.
[…]
A separate European study comparing outcomes for transgender and cisgender patients in the Kaiser Permanente health care system found that transfeminine patients had an increased risk for stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
Meanwhile this article says the opposite,
Hormone Therapy for Transgender Patients Potentially Safer Than Previously Thought
MD Mag
By Jenna Payesko
May 2, 2018

A new study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai Health System found that in a retrospective chart review of nearly 100 transgender (male to female) patients receiving feminizing hormone therapy, levels of prolactin did not rise—alleviating concern about the possibility of developing autonomous prolactinomas later in life.

This is the first study to measure prolactin levels in transgender patients receiving the standard feminizing hormone therapy regimen that’s used in the US. The study demonstrates that gender-affirming treatment for transgender individuals may be safer than initially thought.
[…]
“Our data suggests that there may be no significant rise in prolactin when transgender women are treated with estrogen and that it may be unnecessary to monitor prolactin in patients receiving this treatment,” lead author, Joshua Safer, MD, executive director, center for transgender medicine and surgery, Mount Sinai, said in a statement.
So take your choice… yes it is bad for us… no it is not bad for us…

I believe that it is bad for us… kind of. I believe that the is an increase in negative health effects but the good mental health effects outweighs the bad effects.



Meanwhile we still have healthcare access problems,
Healthcare Difficulties Persist for Transgender Americans, Despite Increased Insurance Access
WVTF NPR
By Brad Kuntner
May 7, 2018

As state lawmakers consider broadening healthcare access for lower-income people through expansion of the federal Medicaid program, transgender Virginians are sure to be among those who benefit.

But barriers, either from insurance providers or from the federal government, are still in place.

Katrina Cunningham is participating in a panel of transgender men and women at Diversity Richmond’s National Transgender HIV Awareness Day. Part fashion show, part learning opportunity, Cunningham recalls the earliest days of her transition, without healthcare and seeking treatment anywhere she could.
[…]
Lewis said there’s a myriad of reasons trans people can be denied coverage, and its often the result of not understanding the medical needs they deal with daily.  “Insurance companies say that these are cosmetic procedures even though they are recognized to treat gender dysphoria.”
I advise trans people if they get denied coverage to try calling back again to get a different customer assistant operator, sometimes that’s all it takes but most of the time it is a long drawn out process to get what we are due.

Monday, May 07, 2018

A New Law!

Last week the Senate and House passed a bill that the governor said he will sign that will require the Department of Corrections to house us in the prison of our gender identity.

Sometimes amendments are added to bills that can change the meaning of the bill, sometimes it is a poison pill to defeat the bill, sometimes it enhances the bill or clarifies some questions that came up in committee. I found last weekend that there is a bill being heard in the legislature that affects us. I was at a GLAD fundraiser when I found out about the bill about incarceration of women in prison. A friend, former classmate, and the community organizer for a non-profit told me about the amendment to SB13 which reads…
Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Any inmate of a correctional institution, as defined in Sec. 18-78, who has a gender identity that differs from the inmate’s sex assigned at birth and has a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, as set forth in the most current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, shall: (a) be addressed in a manner consistent with the inmate’s gender identity; (b) be provided with access to commissary items, clothing, programming, educational materials and personal property that are consistent with the inmate’s gender identity; and (c) have the right to be searched by a staff member of the same gender identity, unless the inmate requests otherwise or under exigent circumstances. An inmate who has a birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license that reflects their gender identity or who can meet the standard for obtaining such a document to confirm the inmate’s gender identity shall be presumptively placed in a correctional institution with inmates of the gender consistent with the inmate’s gender identity. That presumption can be overcome by the institution’s demonstration that the placement would present significant safety, management, or security problems.  In making determinations pursuant to this section, the inmate’s own views with respect to his or her own safety shall be given serious consideration.
The bill itself is about providing proper feminine healthcare products and pregnancy healthcare for the inmates. Our section was added by the ACLU and GLAD to codifying the DOC administrative directive regarding gender non-conforming folks in the system (I didn’t even know this existed!). Notice the part that says “or who can meet the standard for obtaining such a document to confirm the inmate’s gender identity shall be presumptively placed in a correctional institution with inmates of the gender consistent with the inmate’s gender identity.” that means that trans inmates who cannot afford to have therapy or to change their documents can still be housed in a facility of their gender identity. Thanks to GLAD and the ACLU we will have one of the strongest statutes in the country to protect transgender people who are incarcerated!

The fundraiser honored Nancy Wyman the Lieutenant Governor before she was the Lt. Gov. she was the State Comptroller, and she has a strong history of supporting LGBT rights.

I do think that it is a little bit ironic that it is section 8... Al la M.A.S.H., Kliger, and Section 8



Having laws is one thing, knowing about them and enforcing them are other problems that need to be overcome. If you are arrested and or detained for using the bathroom because they don’t know the law is no comfort as you are sitting there behind bars.
Transgender woman sues SF, alleging discrimination in denial of restroom
San Francisco Chronicle
By Bob Egelko
May 4, 2018

A transgender woman is suing San Francisco, saying her rights were violated when a city employee refused to let her use a women’s restroom on city property during an organized event and later called her a “freak” and a “f—ing man.”
[…]
Tanesh Nutall was attending a city-sponsored training session in February 2016 when she encountered the employee, who worked for the Department of Police Accountability, an oversight agency formerly known as the Office of Citizen Complaints. She said she was so traumatized by how she was treated that she suffered a nervous breakdown and left her job with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, where she had worked as an AIDS educator and transgender program manager.
[…]
In a court filing seeking dismissal of the state agency’s lawsuit, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office argued that the laws prohibiting discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation apply only to businesses and state-funded programs, and not to the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability or its staff.
The Transgender Law Center which is based in San Francisco said…
“They’re claiming that the city of San Francisco ... has the right to discriminate against trans community members who walk into government buildings,” said Jill Marcellus, spokeswoman for the law center. “This is an alarming departure from the public face that San Francisco presents as a leader on trans rights.”
It is of no help to us as we are harassed for doing what is legal.

Truth Comes Out

We now know the makeup of the “expert” panel that came up with the new trans military policy and it was just what we expected… all religious bigots.
New documents suggest Trump administration rigged military panel on transgender ban
It just doesn't add up.
Think Progress
By Zack Ford
May 2, 2018

The process that led to the implementation of President Trump’s transgender military ban in March is becoming clearer, thanks to a trove of new documents that shed some light on the otherwise murky closed-door dealings.

Four different lawsuits are currently challenging the ban, which was first announced in a tweet last summer and then re-issued on March 23. A ThinkProgress review of several documents included in discovery finds a massive disconnect between what was discussed in the meetings and what was ultimately recommended, reinforcing concerns that the process was rigged from the beginning — in favor of a ban.
[…]
Many of the details from the documents are redacted to block anything that might convey the panel’s “deliberative process,” i.e. the ways in which the panel used the information provided to make their determinations. The names of every guest who spoke at the meetings, as well as the “other attendees” present, were also blacked out.

What was left unredacted, however, is still revealing. Discussion at the first meeting (October 13, 2017) suggests that the military panel was divided on whether to allow trans service. Some offered positive comments about trans service members, but others expressed concerns about how “individual desires” might dictate what treatment they might receive. They seemed to believe that there should be a clear line as to what transition steps are “medically necessary” and which aren’t that could be objectively applied.
We knew intuitively that the panel was made up non-scientific panelists and that they didn’t look for anything that disproved their belief of trans servicemembers should not be in the military.

Trans servicemembers called before the panel reported…
Still, some of the panel members wrestled with understanding transgender identity, with one of the military leaders asking, “When are you not transgender anymore?” According to King, he was trying to figure out whether a person no longer needs that label if they completed all necessary medical interventions. As documented in the minutes, one of the trans service members replied, “I am no longer transgender when it is no longer relevant.”
[…]
“We were as surprised by what was said in the [final] recommendations, as a lot of other people were, because that was not our experience talking to the panel members,” Dremann said. “They seemed to realize that we had not caused any problems with the units or with our medical care.”
Medical personnel reported that…
Both groups of medical experts conveyed that allowing transgender service was the right call. Implementing a ban would hurt trans people who continue to serve in silence as well as civilians stigmatized by the ban. One medical expert also confirmed that allowing transgender transitions would “increase the lethality and readiness of the force” by “providing health care to an unserved population.”
So with all these positive testimonies you would think that they one find that there was no  problem with trans military servicemembers… Wrong!
Contrary to previous assumptions, this memo is the only final work product from the committee. Wilkie’s recommendations include:
  • Transgender people can only join the military if they serve “in their biological sex.” In other words, if they took any steps to transition (or plan to), they are forbidden from joining.
  • Transgender people who are already serving may serve openly, “but only in their biological sex and without receiving cross-sex hormone therapy or surgical transition support.” In other words, for trans people to continue serving, they have to forego transitioning and any related medical treatment.
  • A diagnosis of gender dysphoria (past or present) is disqualifying, except for those service members who came out as transgender when the ban was originally lifted.
But the real panel was run by the Vice President,
As both ThinkProgress and Slate previously reported, Vice President Pence created his own separate “working group,” which included anti-LGBTQ activists like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation. Despite rumors that the military panel and Mattis himself favored allowing transgender people to serve, it was Pence’s recommendation to ban service, sources claim, that “effectively overruled” the panel’s work. Indeed, the final recommendations directly mirror the anti-transgender talking points those conservative groups regularly use.

The court record suggests, then, that Pence’s influence was already at work when Wilkie submitted his action memo. While questions remain, that continues to be the only explanation for how a panel that only heard information affirming transgender military service arrived at the opposite conclusion.
Let’s face it the current administration hates us and will do anything to force not just us but also lesbians and gays back in to the closet and set the clock back to the 1950s.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

I See Life From Both Sides Now…

Exampling both sides are important but you need to examine both factual sides, you need to filter out the “fake news.”

An let’s face it reporters are dumb.

When it comes to trans issues they usually don’t have a clue about the facts, I will not say they are lazy but rather they do not have the luxury to research the topic they have just been order to report on. They have a deadline and doing through research on the topic is not an option.
How ‘Both Sides’ Journalism Is Failing Transgender People
In the spirit of ‘balance,’ journalists are giving credence to the junk science and misinformation of anti-trans activists. Readers are better served with clear facts.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
May 4, 2018

Yet something similar has been happening with too much reporting about transgender people in the Trump era: Journalists omit facts in ways that make public debates over supposedly “controversial” issues—like transgender restroom use, or transgender military service, or transgender health care—seem less settled than they really are.

They present quotes from anti-transgender voices without providing the necessary information to assess the claims being made therein. They give equal weight to the opinions of anti-LGBT groups and to the positions of major medical associations, or the conclusions of independent studies.
[…]
This lazy “both sides”-style reporting is ill-fitted to the task of capturing the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to drive an already-endangered population out of public life. And it’s only becoming a more glaring problem as those attacks continue.
I wouldn’t characterize them as lazy but rather there is no incentive or time to weed out the “fake news” when they do a Google search for transgender pediatrics what pops up in the top search results? The top result is the American College of Pediatricians which is a fake doctors organization that has only a couple of hundred of doctors while American Academy of Pediatrics has tens of thousands of members.
The New York Times correctly noted in its coverage that the move would fly in the face of “many medical experts,” and reported the extremely relevant fact that the American Medical Association “opposes” altering the rule.

This is absolutely vital contextualizing information for a health care debate: The largest body of physicians in the country, with a membership of almost a quarter-million, wants the regulation left alone.

But the Associated Press story that followed eight days later made no mention of the American Medical Association’s opposition to the rewriting of the rule.

Rather, the rhythm of the AP story is like a game of ping pong, bouncing back and forth between opposing viewpoints: First a Trump official gets a quote, then a Lambda Legal lawyer, then a “religious liberty” lawyer, and then a pro-transgender Republican.
[…]
Instead of firmly situating the debate in that context, the dueling claims in the AP story seem to exist in a vacuum, where everything everyone says carries equal weight: In one section, for example, the “religious liberty” lawyer claims that the Obama-era rule “would have forced doctors to perform gender transition procedures on children.” That quote is directly followed by a paragraph contradicting that claim which begins: “The American Academy of Pediatrics says…”
[…]
The problem lies not with the AP, chosen here as a recent representative example, or with any specific story, but with the limitations of “both sides” journalism as a genre.
I remember an interview that I gave to a local television station before the interview began we were trying to direct the report to the AP and GLAAD sites on the use of pronouns and he wanted nothing to do with our suggestions… but later on the evening news he got it. He used the correct pronouns.

I remember way back in the Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, and Peter Jennings era new was not a profit center to television but then the bean counters took over and the nightly news had to make a profit and the news went downhill from there.

I’m Not A Big Fan Of Telemedcine

Somehow I am more comfortable sitting in the doctor’s office than sitting in front of a computer screen.
Telemedicine Takes Transgender Care Beyond The City
NPR
By Keren Landman
May 5, 2018

At an outpatient lab in Tifton, Ga., where Karen Williams gets her blood drawn, a clerk looked from her computer screen to Williams' printed lab order, then back again.
"This is not right," the clerk said, squinting at the lab order. There, the birthdate and address matched the ones on the screen, but the name displayed was a male one.
A transgender woman, Williams lived as a man for nearly 50 years before beginning to make physical changes several years ago. She's grown out her hair and has gotten most of an old goatee lasered off. One of the things that hasn't changed, however, is her legal name – so in most health care situations, she usually uses her old name and driver's license.
[…]
For many transgender people, moments like this, when a health care worker first becomes aware of their gender identity, are often fraught with fear and anxiety.
This is always hard for us, coming out to healthcare* providers; many of us avoid going to healthcare providers because of our tangled identity documents. Our driver license might show a different name or gender than our medical records and even when the documents are in agreement we have to out ourselves to make sure we get proper medical coverage.

But then we still need to find doctors who will treat a trans patient.
Williams has a primary care doctor at a family practice in town, where framed Bible verses hang on the wall and Christian music plays in the waiting area. When she felt ready to begin taking hormones for gender transition, she didn't bother asking her local doctor. Instead, she made an appointment with Dr. Izzy Lowell, a family practitioner who specializes in caring for transgender and gender non-conforming people. But Lowell is based in Atlanta, a three-hour drive away.
And now thanks to the current administration healthcare providers can legally refuse to treat us, and it may even override state non-discrimination laws.
It's those patients Lowell had in mind when she opened QMed in the late summer of 2017. The practice offers care exclusively to transgender and gender nonconforming patients in the southeastern United States. Lowell's intent was to lower the barrier to access for adults and adolescents living in rural parts of the region. In less than a year, she's been able to do that, with only occasional hiccups.
[...]
In a study of rural sexual and gender minorities, 14 percent of transgender people reported traveling more than an hour to see their primary care provider – not necessarily the doctor who provided gender-related care. And in a 2017 survey by the Center for American Progress, 30 percent of transgender people living outside metro areas said it would be very difficult or impossible to find an alternative to their existing provider.
Okay as I said I am not a big fan of telemedicine, I feel there’s a great advantage to being there in person rather than a remote location. Body language tells a doctor a lot about how you are feeling, you might say everything is great but your body language says otherwise.

One other concern that I have is licensing…  I know there has been talk on WPATH elist and also in NASW about licensing of providers who are telehealth providers with patients not in their state where they are licensed. Questions arise about the need to be licensed in the state where the patient resides, telehealth are raising some questions that need answers. If you are in a state with minimal licensing requirements and your patient is in a state with stricter standards which state takes precedent?

But I have to admit that for patients who do not have access to a trans friendly healthcare provider this can be a blessing.

*I use the term “healthcare providers” because more and more of us are seeing not just MDs but also APRNs and Pas, RNs, therapist, and we also see a large number of lab techs and other specialists who are not doctors.