Friday, September 21, 2018

Harbinger Of Things To Come

The religious right is planning a full-court press on our rights and they are holding a conference to set their agenda.
5 things you need to know about one of the anti-LGBT movement's biggest events: the 'Values Voter Summit'
SPLC
By Hatewatch Staff
September 17, 2018

One of the most powerful anti-LGBT hate groups, the Family Research Council (FRC), is getting ready for its annual gathering in the nation’s capital.

Thousands of supporters and partner organizations are gearing up for speeches, networking and political action focused on “pro-family” issues — including spreading false information about, denigrating and working against the rights of LGBT people.

With topics including “Restoring a Generation’s Identity” and “Reclaiming and Preserving Conservatism in a Counter-Christian Culture” on the agenda, the 2018 Values Voter Summit is set to serve up its usual lineup of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim vitriol.
[…]
2. VVS sponsors and exhibitors include other anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim organizations as well as an antigovernment extremist group
The event is hosted by FRC and gets support from sponsors, including:
  • FRC Action : The legislative arm of FRC.
  • American Family Association Action (AFA Action): An anti-LGBT hate group focused on “combating the homosexual agenda.”
  • American Values: A nonprofit founded by former FRC leader Gary Bauer, who has a history of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim sentiment.
In addition to sponsors, other organizations can participate by purchasing a booth at the VVS exhibit hall. As of the week prior to the summit, nearly 40 exhibitors were listed on the VVS website, including a number of other hate and extremist groups:
Liberty Counsel: A legal organization advocating for anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.
Religious Freedom Coalition: An anti-Muslim hate group.
John Birch Society: An antigovernment extremist group that trafficks in conspiracy theories.
And what are they going to talk about… us.
3. Multiple VVS sessions focus on issues related to LGBT rights
The FRC, its members and supporters have a long history of demonizing the LGBT community and continue to align their views and work with anti-Muslim groups. VVS is focused on advancing the worldview and associated policy priorities of the FRC and theocratic Christian Right, including working against LGBT equality and rights and pushing the dangerous and debunked practice of “ex-gay therapy.”

A session that promises to “equip attendees with resources to identify and elect Christian conservative candidates to office” is being led by two staffers from anti-LGBT hate group AFA.

The student mixer event “Restoring a Generation’s Identity” will “examine God’s design for sexuality and marriage” in “an age of transgenderism.”

A speaker from the Heritage Foundation will discuss how the “new progressive ideology about sexuality, marriage, and the family” is “threatening to reduce the freedoms of Americans to think, speak, and work according to our deepest beliefs and values.”

And multiple elected officials will take on the topic of “Connecting with the Next Generation,” including state representatives from Michigan (Lee Chatfield), Ohio (Christina Hagan) and West Virginia (Kayla Kessinger).
The Heritage Foundation, Liberty Counsel, the Family Research Council are some of the organizations that advised Trump on his Supreme Court nominees.
4. The vice president, secretary of state and ACT founder among big names set to speak
This year’s featured speakers include big names in both the anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim world as well as elected officials. Vice President Mike Pence is a confirmed speaker at the Saturday morning plenary session titled “How Gender Ideology Harms Children.” Dr. Michelle Cretella, the executive director of the anti-LGBT hate group the American College of Pediatricians, is also speaking at that session.

Other VVS speakers include:
  • Mike Pompeo: The current secretary of state has a long history of making anti-LGBT statements and associating with hate groups. He has also implied that American Muslim leaders are “potentially complicit” in terrorist attacks.
  • Gary Bauer: The former leader of FRC and founder of American Values is a longtime activist in, and promulgator of, the modern Christian Right. Bauer has spent decades pushing anti-LGBT sentiment and, more recently, anti-Muslim sentiment. Bauer has called homosexuality “three times more deadly than smoking” and has advocated for harmful conversion therapy. Despite this hateful rhetoric, Trump appointed Bauer to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
  • Brigitte Gabriel: The founder and chairman of the anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America has become a regular at VVS. Gabriel just finished hosting her organization’s annual political gathering where she boasted that she has “a standing meeting at the White House once a week.” She has previously stated that Muslims are a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western civilization.”
  • Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina): As chair of the House Freedom Caucus, Meadows played a key role in the administration’s ban on transgender troops by threatening to vote no on the defense budget unless it included a provision to deny medical funding to trans troops. The administration banned trans troops outright. Meadows is also a frequent guest on FRC president Tony Perkins’ radio show, “Washington Watch,” including an appearance in late June.
Many other voices from various corners of the anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim movements will make appearances on panels and at networking events during the conference.
And you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a lot of White House attendees with a lot of business cards handed out giving to the other attendees direct access to the White House.

R.I.P.

It happened again.

Last week a trans woman was killed by a serial border patrol killer, this week a fifth trans woman has been murder in Florida
Florida sees fifth murder of black transgender woman with killing of Londonn Moore
Orlando Weekly
By Monivette Cordeiro
September 17, 2018

A black transgender woman was shot to death in North Port last week, making her the fifth trans woman to be murdered in Florida within the past seven months.
Londonn Moore, 20, was found lying in the road around 7:30 a.m. Sept. 8 on Sawyer Circle in North Port, several miles away from her hometown of Port Charlotte, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. North Port Police and several local media outlets have misgendered Moore and referred to her dead name. People with information about Moore's murder are asked to call North Port Police Detective Chris Maki at 941-429-7323 or CMaki@northportpd.com.
[…]
The first rash of homicides involving black trans women started in February when Celine Walker, 36, was found shot dead inside a room of the Extended Stay America hotel in Jacksonville. Four months later on June 1, Antash’a English, 38, died in the hospital from gunshot wounds after deputies found her between two abandoned homes in a Jacksonville neighborhood. Weeks later on June 24, deputies found the body of Cathalina James, 24, after she was gunned down at a Quality Inn and Suites hotel in Jacksonville.
And Sasha Garden was murdered two months ago.

None of the killers or killer have been arrested.
Equality Florida, a statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, called out Gov. Rick Scott and other elected state officials for their lack of response after the five homicides.

"Regardless of whether this is the act of a single person, multiple people working in concert, or a heinous act that’s a direct result of the dehumanization of transgender people seen across the nation, the spike in anti-transgender violence is a terrifying pattern that must be addressed," said Gina Duncan, Equality Florida's director of transgender equality, in a statement. "It is critical that our state’s highest office address the growing concerns of the community and clearly condemn the rise of violence towards black transgender women in Florida."
This is something like the 21st  trans person killed this year so far. The exact count is unknown because the police and news media misgender a lot of trans who were murdered.

For all of my trans friends in Florida stay safe.

The 10 simple rules of staying safe on a first date (from Daily Bits Of)
  1. Do meet in a public place...
  2. Do take your mobile phone...
  3. Do pre-plan your route home...
  4. Do leave if you feel uncomfortable...
  5. Do communicate your plans with someone you trust...
  6. Don't leave beverages or personal belongings unattended...
  7. Don't meet at your house or place of work…
  8. Don’t let your date drive you home…
  9. Don’t go home with your date…
  10. Don’t drink too much…
And I will add an eleventh commandment;
Have a friend call you on while you are on a first date and have a code word for get me out of here.


Banned In Boston

When you heard that you knew it was a good book to read.

Book banning is a thing of the past; they don’t ban books anymore, do they?
Anti-gay preachers want LGBT books banned—from a display of banned books
Pink News UK
By Nick Duffy
19th September 2018

Local church leaders tried to censor a library’s display of banned books, in order to remove books referencing homosexuality.

The coalition of preachers took exception to the display at Rumford Public Library in Maine, which marked the American Library Association’s annual Banned Books Week.

Annual rankings for Banned Books Week are consistently dominated by LGBT-themed books, which still face disproportionate censorship and complaints across the US.
In a bitterly ironic twist, the display standing up against book censorship has itself faced calls for book censorship, after attracting attention from conservative church leaders.
You got that?

They want to ban the books that are banned!

So what were the books?
My Lesbian Experience with Lonliness by Kabi Nagata and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.
And Tango Makes Three, based on the real-life story of a gay penguin couple, and lesbian-themed classic The Color Purple.”
However…
Nowhere in the letter did the men object to the BDSM-themed erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which was also part of the display, despite their explicit objection to PG-themed children’s books.
So BDSM is okay, but LGBTQ is not.

What did the library say?
Fournier [a library employee] said: “I’ve been coming to this library just about every day since I was five years old, and I now work here.

“Those complaining, you don’t come here. I don’t see you. This is the first time I’ve seen any of you show up to a meeting.

“Where were you when we were talking about what we’re going to do for the troubled kids that come here? Did you know that we feed these kids?
[…]
Fournier continued to point out misleading and hypocritical claims that were made in support of censoring the display.

She said: “I’m getting frustrated. I’ve been yelled at for doing my job. The library code of ethics says we are not supposed to censor.

“This display, you’re all saying you don’t want it in the eyes of your children. But it’s upstairs in the adult section!
Some rabble-rouser sent out a call to action and once again they protest the not knowing the facts.

We have to protect the kids!

We have to protect the kids!

Oh it in the adult section… not important… We have to protect the kids!

As I said a couple of days ago, know your subject, do your homework.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Positive Outcomes

There are many factors that assist in creating a positive outcome for trans children and the number one factor is love, loving parents.
Gender-Diverse & Transgender Children
Healthy Children.org
By: Jason Rafferty MD, MPH, EdM, FAAP
Some children have a gender identity that is different from their gender assigned at birth, and many have interests and hobbies that may align with the other gender.

Some children, as the American Academy of Pediatrics explains, do not identify with either gender. They may feel like they are somewhere in between or have no gender. It is natural for parents to ask if it is "just a phase." But, there is no easy answer.
[…]
What parents can do:
When your child discloses his or her identity to you, respond in an affirming, supportive way. Understand that although gender identity is not able to be changed, it often is revealed over time as people discover more about themselves.

Accept and love your child as they are. Try to understand what they are feeling and experiencing. Even if there are disagreements, they will need your support and validation to develop into healthy teens and adults.

Stand up for your child when he or she is mistreated. Do not minimize the social pressure or bullying your child may be facing. See How You Can Help Your Child Avoid & Address Bullying.

Make it clear that slurs or jokes based on gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation are not tolerated. Express your disapproval of these types of jokes or slurs when you encounter them in the community or media.

Be on the look out for danger signs that may indicate a need for mental health support such as anxiety, insecurity, depression, low self-esteem, and any emotional problems in your child and others who may not have a source of support otherwise.

Connect your child with LGBTQ organizations, resources, and events. It is important for them to know they are not alone.

Celebrate diversity in all forms. Provide access to a variety of books, movies, and materials—including those that positively represent gender diverse individuals. Point out LGBTQ celebrities and role models who stand up for the LGBTQ community, and people in general who demonstrate bravery in the face of social stigma.

Support your child's self-expression. Engage in conversations with them around their choices of clothing, jewelry, hairstyle, friends, and room decorations.

Reach out for education, resources, and support if you feel the need to deepen your own understanding of LGBTQ youth experiences. See Support Resources for Families of Gender Diverse Youth.
The 2015 Transgender Survey found that having a supportive family greatly reduces suicidal ideations. Other factors that reduce suicidal thoughts are affirming religions, and a support network in schools such as a GSA. And self-harm is usually caused by external factors such as the current political climate, discrimination, and bullies.

Some Good News

It is hard to find good news to  write about but I came across this article...

It is probably every teenager dream; becoming Homecoming Queen or King.
Sweetwater High crowns its first-ever transgender queen
ABC News10
By Laura Acevedo
September 19, 2018

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) — Sweetwater Union High School is celebrating a milestone that's breaking social barriers.

Karl Cruz was crowned the first-ever transgender homecoming queen in the district at Friday's homecoming game. She was voted in by her classmates.

The 18-year-old says she was shocked but happy to know her classmates are accepting of who she is.

"Everyone started cheering for me. I didn't really expect that from anyone," Cruz said. "After the fireworks, I just started crying my eyes out."
[…]
Cruz is not only homecoming queen but she's also on the principal's honor roll and is involved in several school clubs.
Congratulations!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

AAP v. ACPeds

Do you know the difference?

AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics
ACPeds = American College of Pediatricians

The ACPeds has been around since 2002 while the AAP was created in 1937.

Did that help?

How about this from the Southern Poverty Law Center
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PEDIATRICIANS
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a fringe anti-LGBT hate group that masquerades as the premier U.S. association of pediatricians to push anti-LGBT junk science, primarily via far-right conservative media and filing amicus briefs in cases related to gay adoption and marriage equality.

ACPeds opposes adoption by LGBT couples, links homosexuality to pedophilia, endorses so-called reparative or sexual orientation conversion therapy for homosexual youth, believes transgender people have a mental illness and has called transgender health care for youth child abuse.

In its own words
“Homosexual men and women are reported to be promiscuous, with serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed relationships. Individuals who practice a homosexual lifestyle are more likely than heterosexuals to experience mental illness,substance abuse, suicidal tendencies and shortened life spans.”
—“Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for A Change?” updated July 2017, available on ACPeds website

“Driving in this morning I began to wonder. Why isn’t the movement of LGBT not the PLGBT movement: ‘P’ for pedophile? ...In one sense, it could be argued that the LGBT movement is only tangentially associated with pedophilia. I see that argument, but the pushers of the movement, the activists, I think have pedophilia intrinsically woven into their agenda. It is they who need to be spoken to and against.”
—Blog post on ACPeds website, July 15, 2015
While the AAP had this to say in a press release,
AAP Policy Statement Urges Support and Care of Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents
September 17, 2018

Transgender and gender-diverse children face many challenges in life, but, like all children, they can grow into happy and healthy adults when supported and loved throughout their development.

That is the underlying message within a new policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) called, “Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents.” The statement, to be published October 2018 issue of Pediatrics (published Sept. 17 online) aims to help pediatricians and parents navigate health concerns of gender-diverse youth while advocating for ways to eliminate discrimination and stigma.

Despite increasing public awareness and some legal protections, children who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or gender-diverse often lack adequate health care, including access to mental health resources. In its first policy statement on the topic, the AAP reviews the latest research and provides recommendations that focus specifically on children who identify as transgender or gender-diverse, a term used to describe people with gender behaviors, appearances or identities that do not align with those culturally assigned to their birth sex.

“We know that family and community support are essential for any child’s healthy development, and children who are gender-diverse are no different,” said Jason Rafferty, MD, MPH, Ed, FAAP, lead author of the statement. “What is most important is for a parent to listen, respect and support their child’s self-expressed identity. This encourages open conversations that may be difficult but key to the child’s mental health and the family’s resilience and wellbeing.”
Do you see the difference now?

If you do any or plan on doing any trans advocacy you need to know the difference!

No ifs, ands, or buts you will hear people quoting the ACPeds and you have to be ready to rebut them.

The SPLC goes on to say,
Though it sounds official, the ACPeds is not the leading organization for U.S. pediatricians; that designation goes to the 66,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). ACPeds was founded in 2002 when a small number of socially conservative AAP members broke away from the AAP after it endorsed adoption by same-sex couples. ACPeds subsequently issued its own report stating that gay parenting puts children’s health and development at high risk.

ACPeds supports “reparative” or sexual orientation conversion therapy for homosexual juveniles, the debunked theory that homosexuality can be “cured” through therapy, and has encouraged the practice in communication with schools nationwide. ACPeds has also called being transgender a mental illness, and opposes families’ support of their transgender children, calling such support “child abuse.” Though membership is believed to be just a few hundred, ACPeds spreads its falsehoods by acting as a go-to authority for far-right media outlets like Breitbart and the Daily Caller, and Christian publications and websites.
You will see quotes from the ACPeds in campaign literature, in testimony, and in letters-to-the-editor and they need to be challenged. We need to point out that the ACPeds is a right-wing conservative organization with only between 200 – 300 members compared to the membership of the AAP.
ACPeds now claims more than 500 members, though its current president, Dr. Michelle Cretella, wouldn’t answer a direct question about its membership numbers in 2016. In 2012, ACPeds was estimated to have no more than 200 members. AAP currently has more than 66,000 members.
The AAP is in-line with other medical professional organizations such as the AMA, APA, NASW, and the Endocrine Society. While,
In response, ACPeds joined with the reparative therapy organization the National for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH, now the NARTH Institute) to attack “Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth,” calling it “biased and grossly misleading,” and published an online rebuttal called “Facts About Youth” in 2010.
Let me reiterate… You will hear people quoting ACPeds.

While we were trying to pass the Connecticut gender inclusive non-discrimination there were people quoting the ACPeds.

In Massachusetts for Ballot Question 3 I can guaranty you will see facts and figures from the ACPeds being quoted. To be an activist you have to do your homework… that means reading the opposition websites and newsletters.

Do your homework!

R.I.P.

Sadly another trans woman has been murdered, this time by a border patrol agent.
Trans Woman Shot and Killed, Allegedly by Border Patrol Agent
Nikki Enriquez is at least the 21st transgender person killed in the U.S. this year.
NewNowNext
By Jeff Taylor
September 19, 2018

A transgender woman is among four alleged victims of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Juan David Ortiz, who is said to have shot and killed them between September 3-15, in Laredo, Texas.

Nikki Enriquez, 28, who was initially deadnamed and misgendered by law enforcement, also went by the name Janelle, reports TransGriot and Caller Times.

Her body was recovered by authorities along Interstate 35, near mile marker 15.

Trans Around The World

Many trans people face imprisonment and even worst for just being themselves. Many face violence by the police while everyone looks away.
Transgender community in Jordan faces abuse, discrimination
Journalists for Human Rights
By Staff
September 19, 2018

LGBTQ rights in Jordan are tenuous, to say the least. Although the country decriminalized “same-sex behaviour” in 1951, cases of abuse and widespread discrimination continue. Senior government ministers in the conservative country make public remarks against what they believe to be “sexual deviance” tarnishing the decency of the state.

In June, JHR Jordan supported local journalist Hiba Abu Taha in producing an in-depth story on transgender rights in the country. Abu Taha spoke with two transgender individuals about the challenges of transitioning in Jordanian society. Both have faced abuse, discrimination and persecution for identifying as transgender.
[…]
In Jordan, sex reassignment surgery is also difficult to obtain; its legal status is currently unclear, though some activists are working to change that.
The article then takes you to the original story…
Transgender Men and Women Forge their Way towards Unprotected Rights
By: Hiba Abu Taha
This story was originally published in Arabic in My.Kali Magazine, a conceptual webzine for/from the Middle East and North Africa. The below is a translation. To read the story in Arabic see: https://bit.ly/2N8aYBx
When Muna met with the reporter, he started to describe the difficult days he had filled with fear, humiliation, frustration and insults, as he was discussing his gender identity.
[…]
Muna is not the only one who has suffered on his transition journey. There are many people like him in Jordan, those who are unable to seize their right to determine their identity because of restrictions from religion, social norms, and more recently, the law.

Social Struggle
“Why should we lose the people we love just because we are different than they are?
Why do they stand between us and the fulfillment of ourselves and our freedom?” wonders Reem, who would like to transition to male.

Reem did not speak randomly. Their comments were the result of society standing between them and their right to determine their gender. Reem told us with sadness that “…we [transgender men and women] are not causing society’s destruction. We are part of society, and by entrenching freedoms we will build it together.”

Human rights activist Lina Jazrawi attributes society’s negative views towards transgender men and women in Jordan to prevalent social norms. The Jordanian society is conservative and does not accept any form of behavior that is not perceived to be ‘normal’. Anything outside the norm is considered a violation of religion and traditions. For many, this is sufficient cause to reject them.
In Jordan you can put locked up for being trans,
“What I remember was that the psychiatrist was very nervous,” he recounts, “and I firmly believe he needed therapy himself. I will never forgive him for the horrific way he treated my case”.

The physician referred Muna to a Psychiatric Hospital for Mental Illness. He says, “I felt that I was in a large prison, I could not talk to anyone because everyone was crazy. Additionally, there were repeated insults by the physician. He made me sit in a room among trainee students and provoked me with his questions in front of them. They would then mock me.”
Life must be hell!

I cannot even imagine what life must be like in a strongly religious country when you’re trans.

We complain about not being able to sever in the military, we seek our legal protection when we are denied service in a restaurant, but imagine what it is like to live in a country where violence against is common and the government looks the other way and imprisons doctors who try to help.
 Last April, the Jordanian Parliament passed the “Medical Responsibility Law” which stipulates in Article 22, “Anyone violating the provisions of paragraph H of Article 8 of the same Law shall be punished by temporary hard labor for no less than 3 years and no more than 10 years”. The paragraph prohibited “service providers to conduct sex reassignment surgeries”.

Advocate Al Khayyat commented on this saying: “Considering sex reassignment surgeries as a crime raises an important point in our penal legislation that allows for punishment to be made harsher. Harsher criminalization is being prioritized over acceptance. This is very dangerous and does not entrench the rule of law instead it leads to a vengeful society”.
I have to stop and wonder if here in the U.S. we are becoming a “vengeful society” with the way that the Republicans are trying to legalize religious persecution against us.

Are we becoming Balkanized where members of religious organizations don’t have to follow the laws that everyone else have to obey?

I will be turning 70 shortly, if I am lucky I will have another 20 years to live but I wonder what life here in the United States will be like then. Will I be forced to live in exile? Will I be forced back in the closet? Or will the pendulum swing back toward the middle? Or will the world be run by a theocratic plutocracy?