Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Roof Over Our Head On A Cold Winter Night, That’s All We Want

For the last couple of years I have been working with other organization and HUD to training for homeless shelters. Ever since 2011 homeless shelters are supposed to allow trans to stay in shelters of their gender identity.
The Intercept
By Camille Baker
May 23, 2019

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION on Wednesday announced a new rule that would permit homeless shelters receiving Housing and Urban Development funds to turn people seeking shelter away based on their gender identity.

The plan, which is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget and could result in a formal change as early as September, would modify the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2016 Equal Access Rule. That rule, issued by the Obama administration, required single-sex or sex-segregated shelters to admit people based on their gender self-identification.

Civil rights advocates have slammed the Trump administration for the proposal, which could have particularly dire consequences for transgender people. Thirty percent of transgender people have at some point experienced homelessness, and transgender people of color are more than three times as likely as the total U.S. population to be living in poverty, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.

Shelters could consider factors such “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities, the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with” in deciding whether a person should be admitted to a shelter, an abstract published about the rule reads.
The proposal would also allow shelter providers to consider their own religious beliefs when deciding whether to admit a person experiencing homelessness. In explaining the change, HUD blasted the 2016 Equal Access rule for offering “no flexibility for faith-based shelter providers with deeply held religious convictions.”
Back in 2008 trans woman Jennifer Gale in Austin Texas was found dead after sleeping overnight on a bench when a homeless shelter wouldn’t let her in unless she use her male name and dressed as a male.
Even when they can access shelters, transgender women are uniquely vulnerable to abuse. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 70 percent of transgender survey respondents who stayed in a shelter in the year prior reported some form of mistreatment, including being harassed, sexually or physically assaulted, or kicked out because of their gender identities. They were also four times less likely to own a home than the overall U.S. population.
I became involved with homeless shelters when I got a call at around 11 PM on a very cold January night on the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition phone. The caller said she was just thrown out of a male shelter, she was put in a male shelter and was attacked by a couple of men who threw a chair at her. The shelter labeled her as the trouble maker even though she did nothing but defend herself from the attackers.

I called a friend at the CT Fair Housing Center and he found her a place to sleep at a women’s shelter.

When I posted the incident on Facebook a classmate from UConn School of Social Work who now is at CT Coalition to End Homelessness contacted me, out of that meeting came an ad hoc group to do training for homeless shelters. Including a woman from HUD and last year she told us that she could no long do training with us. So this policy comes as no surprise given the hate and animosity that the current administration has against trans people and LGBTQ+ people it comes as no surprise.

So we don’t have to worry because Connecticut has strong anti-discrimination laws to protect us… WRONG!

The way the new policy is written it also allows for religious discrimination and that will supersede state laws, so just by calming that allow a trans person in the shelter is against their religion they can not only refuse trans people but also they will be able to refuse unmarried woman with a child, interracial couple, and even someone from a different religion. So just like Jennifer Gale we might find another trans woman frozen on a bench outside of a homeless shelter.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday 9: God Bless America

Sam’s Saturday 9: God Bless America

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

Unfamiliar with Deanna Durbin's rendition of week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.

1) Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, this is when memorials, as well as the graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers on this day to show our appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood?
Here at the Cape I believe that there are at least one in Provincetown and back home there are a couple of war memorials.

2) Andrew Johnson, our 17th President, was in office the first time Memorial/Decoration Day was celebrated. Have you ever met one of our 45 Presidents?

3) According to the AAA, more than 30 million Americans will hit the road this weekend and drive more than 50 miles. Will you be traveling far from home this weekend?
Well I’m up on Cape Cod this weekend and I will be home Sunday night to avoid the madness getting off the Cape on Monday.

4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
Burgers, potato salad, baked beans, and a green salad.

5) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on?
No the heat is on it is only 45 out this morning.

6) Though she's belting out one of America's best loved patriotic songs, Deanna Durbin was born in Canada. Is there anyone in your family or circle of friends who wasn't born in the USA?
Yes,  a couple of people I know were born in Canada and one in India.

7) No longer a household name, Ms. Durbin was once one of the biggest stars in the country. One of her most popular films was 1937's One Hundred Men and a Girl, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Recommend a movie that you really like, but don't think many Saturday 9ers have seen.
'And Then There Was Eve'

Someone I know plays Eve in the movie, it has an interesting twist to the movie.

8) Back in 1938, Deanna Durbin had her handprints cemented in front of the TCL Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. Have you ever visited that Los Angeles tourist attraction?
The only part of California that I visited was down the coast to San Francisco.

9) Random question: What food did you hate as a child, but enjoy now?
I was a very picky eater when I was little and still am.

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

Friday, May 24, 2019


What will your legacy be when you are pushing up daisy? What will your balance sheet look like?

I will like my legacy be that I made life for the next generation of trans people easier. For politicians some will be balanced positively while others will be doing time in hell for the hell that they made our life here.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s LGBT legacy as she resigns
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
24th May 2019

UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday (May 24) that she will resign next month after failing to negotiate a Brexit deal in parliament ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Standing outside 10 Downing Street on Friday morning, May revealed she will stand down as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7. She will remain prime minister until a new leader has been elected to take over.
May has a complex legacy on LGBT+ issues. We explore the former Prime Minister’s stance on LGBT+ rights and why she will no longer be UK Prime Minister.

The politician first entered politics as a firm opponent of equality, but evolved her stance as Home Secretary, and as Prime Minister reaffirmed the party’s commitments on LGBT+ rights—though she also faced criticism from LGBT rights activists.
She started off her political career on a negative footing as far as LGBTQ+ right but she moved left over time.
Theresa May’s stance on LGBT+ rights continued to shift under David Cameron’s leadership. It was May who helped first ensure that proposals for same-sex marriage made it onto the Conservative agenda, promising a review ahead of the 2010 election.
May was frequently criticised by asylum groups for the degrading treatment of LGBT+ asylum seekers, who fled homophobic persecution.
The leader’s most significant intervention came on transgender rights.

Speaking at the PinkNews Awards in November 2017, she pledged: “We’ve set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and de-medicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”
What about politicians over here?

President Obama legacy…

  • Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • Dylan Orr – Special Assistant for the Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy 
  • Amanda Simpson – Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI) 
  • Trans attorney Shannon Minter to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
  • Raffi Freedman-Gurspan– White House Staff
  • First time transgender is mentioned in a State of the Union Address
  • Health insurance: ACA & Medicare
  • Recognized protections: EEOC, OSHA, DoJ, & DoEd
  • Appoints trans woman Freedman-Gurspan as the White House’s LGBT liaison
  • Affirmed trans Title VII & Title IX protection
  • Executive order requiring companies with government contracts to not discriminate against LGBTQ employees.
  • Executive order requiring hospital to respect same sex marriages 

He is going to have to answer his maker one day and I think we all know where his scale will balance.
Connecticut governor Malloy…

  • Many here in Connecticut hate the governor Malloy but he was a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Back in the early 2000’s he gave to trans groups, I attended a number of GenderPAC fundraisers where I first met him.
  • He pushed through the Gender Identity/Expression Non-Discrimination bill. When the bill was bogged down in the House without enough votes to pass it; the governor walked out on the House floor which is against the House rules and the Speaker was banging the gavel saying repeatedly “Will the governor get off the floor.” I don’t know what he said but the bill passed in the next half hour.

We can debate on taxes, tolls, the size of the government but I think what most politicians will be remembered for is how they protect and treat their citizens.

*Links to the laws are down the right side of the blog.