Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NEWS FLASH! Trans Women Wins In Primary


This is something I didn’t expect…
Progressive Christine Hallquist becomes 1st transgender gubernatorial nominee for major party
ABC News
By Lee Harris
August 15, 2018

Christine Hallquist, who is running as a progressive Democrat in Vermont, made history on Tuesday as she became the first transgender gubernatorial candidate nominated by a major political party.

Advancing a progressive platform focused on economic and social justice, including a $15 minimum wage, environmentally sustainable rural development and expanding access to internet services, Hallquist edged out challengers in a crowded primary. She led the field with 39 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the secretary of state at the time of The Associated Press projection.

"I am so proud to be the face of the Democrats tonight," Hallquist said, addressing supporters at a victory party Tuesday night.

Describing her push for education reform, a living wage, and Medicare for All, Hallquist said, "this is called being a civil society."
I like the Tweeter tweet they have in the article…
All 4 letters in LGBT acronym have won Democratic nomination to run for governor this year:
L — Lupe Valdez, lesbian candidate in Texas
G — Jared Polis, gay candidate in Colorado
B — Kate Brown, bisexual incumbent in Oregon
T — Christine Hallquist, trans candidate in Vermont
Maybe come November the Republicans will get trounced by a LGBT wave of incumbents.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Who Got Our Backs?

Support for us comes from many places and sometimes it out shines the haters.
This Oklahoma school is closed because parents threatened one of its transgender students
Parents in a community Facebook group referred to the 12-year-old as "maggot," "thing," and "it."
Think Progress
By Zack Ford
August 14, 2018

A group of parents planned a silent rally outside an Oklahoma school Tuesday morning on a behalf of a transgender 12-year-old who has been subjected to threats of violence.

The school is closed through Wednesday in response to those threats.

The student, identified simply as “Maddie” to protect her identity, has identified as a girl at school for over two years now, but has typically used the staff bathroom to avoid being harassed. However, when she arrived at the newly-reopened middle school building this year, she was reportedly unable to find the staff bathroom and used the girls’ room instead.

Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, later clarified to CBS affiliate KXII that Maddie had only used the girls’ room “one single time.”
But that was enough to get the bigots and haters to crawl out of the woodwork,
“The transgender is already using the girls bathroom,” Jamie Crenshaw wrote before misgendering Maddie several times. “We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he [sic] has his [sic] own restroom yet he [sic] is still using the girls.”

Other members of the group piled on with similarly transphobic language. “How old is this thing?” one user asked.
But then…
The comments quickly turned to threats of violence. “If he [sic] wants to be a female make him [sic] female,” one user wrote. “A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.”

“Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want come back!!” another suggested.
And the comments triggered the school to take action.
Those treats are taking a toll on the child and the parents have taken out a protective against ,
According to Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, her daughter has gone from being upbeat and positive to being afraid for her life.
Now the parents across the state have stepped up I support of the student, including PFLAG members and the law enforcement agencies have become interested in the case.
The FBI and several other law enforcement agencies have stepped in to investigate the threats against 12-year-old Maddie, in order to determine whether any of the comments “constitute a hate crime,” KXII reported Tuesday. No arrests have yet been made.

One place they are not going to find support is… you guessed it.
Trump administration signals that it’ll look the other way on LGBTQ discrimination
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
August 14, 2018

A new directive from the Department of Labor encourages the government to allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people more.

This past Friday, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at the Department of Labor issued a directive that asked investigators to take religious exemptions into account.

While the directive doesn’t overturn the executive order that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity among federal contractors, it encourages the people who enforce the ban on discrimination to consider the “religious freedom” of federal contractors.

Specifically, the directive tells OFCCP staff:
  • They “cannot act in a manner that passes judgment upon or presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices” and must “proceed in a manner neutral toward and tolerant of … religious beliefs.”
  • They cannot “condition the availability of [opportunities] upon a recipient’s willingness to surrender his [or her] religiously impelled status.”
  • “[A] federal regulation’s restriction on the activities of a for-profit closely held corporation must comply with [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act].”
  • They must permit “faith-based and community organizations, to the fullest opportunity permitted by law, to compete on a level playing field for … [Federal] contracts.”
  • They must respect the right of “religious people and institutions … to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government.”
The Department of Labor has also removed information about protections from discrimination and how narrow the religious exemptions are.
This is unbelievable, this is from the lawyers that AG Sessions appointed and they cites the Supreme Court Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling as one of the justifications for the directive. However, the ruling was narrow, it only faulted the civil rights commission’s findings of discrimination because they brought religion in to consideration of discrimination, the court did not find the discrimination law unconstitutional.

But that little pesky detail didn’t stop the Trump administration.

Today’s A Travel Day.

I’m heading up to the Cape for a few days and one of the things that I want to see is the Carnival parade on Thursday.  I plan on going by bus to P’town, right by my cottage there is a shuttle bus stop at the Dunkin Donuts (kind of like killing two birds with one stone… the bus and a coffee.). Round trip will be four dollars and in parking P’town will be $3.50 per hour so it will be cheaper to take the bus. Also I will not have to worry about pedestrians and with the parade I think it will be miserable trying to get a parking space.

The parade is from 3 to 5 so I figured to catch the bus at 2 and I think it will get there around 3 because of all the stops.

So here are some photos…
 Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

 Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

 Highland Light (Cape Cod Lighthouse)

 Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

 Nauset Lighthouse

 Wellfleet Indian Neck Beach

Wellfleet Indian Neck Beach

Monday, August 13, 2018

I Don’t Know.

I love lobster in any form… boiled, baked, stuffed in rolls, Newberg, mac & cheese with lobster, and the list goes on and on but I don’t like the idea of lobster as an emoji for us.
Transgender advocates adopt lobster emoji
In the meantime, they are pushing an online petition for their own pink-and-blue emoji.
Press Herald
By Penelope Overton
August 13, 2018

British transgender activists frustrated by a lack of online representation are claiming Maine’s beloved new lobster emoji as their own.

The group, Lobsters Against Transphobia, launched an online petition last month to push Unicode, a nonprofit consortium that signs off on new pictograms, for a pink-and-blue flag emoji. Until they get their own flag, the group urged supporters to turn to the lobster, one of 157 new emojis that Unicode approved this year, as a substitute.

Lobsters can display both male and female characteristics.

“Emojis are a way for the world to connect and trans people shouldn’t be left out of the conversation,” the group said. “Unicode granted the lobster emoji proposal, which argued that people suffered ‘frustration and confusion’ at having to use a shrimp or crab emoji instead of a lobster. Imagine if that was your gender. Surely we deserve the same rights you have afforded crustaceans?”

Trans advocates are jumping on board the online campaign by adding the lobster emoji to their Twitter handles, dressing up as lobsters during Trans Pride parades and decorating colorfully polished fingernails with lobster stickers. On Twitter, they have gathered under the single banner of #ClawsOutForTrans.
Nope! I am not jumping onboard.

There are so many other symbols that we can use for an emoji and two come to mind,

  • The trans flag
  • The trans symbol (which is already in the public domain)

We need an emoji that we can recognize at first glance.
“I would be surprised if this caught on here,” said executive director Matt Moonen. “It’s basically already a symbol of our entire state.”

The Mainer who kicked off the online lobster emoji campaign, Luke Holden of Luke’s Lobster, said he doesn’t mind sharing.

“Lobster is for everyone,” the Cape Elizabeth native said by email. “So until Unicode does right by the trans community, we fully support using the lobster emoji to advocate for their right to be represented.”
Well I do mind sharing, because what you are really doing is stealing it from Mainers.

Let’s have our own emoji and not one that is “borrowed.”

Being Out

As I have said many times, just walking out the door is a step in courage for us. The haters are coming out of the woodwork.
Suspect arrested in connection with beating of man in Montrose
Houston Chronicle
By Jay R. Jordan and Julian Gill
August 2, 2018

A man has been charged with misdemeanor assault in connection with the violent beating of a man in Montrose early Wednesday morning, Houston police said.

Caleb Tout, 19, is accused of beating Christopher Bradford while he was walking home from a Montrose bar around 1:50 a.m., leaving him hospitalized with a brain bleed and significant head injuries. Bradford said he was beaten with a belt, rock and boots, and he ultimately needed staples in his head.

And in Oklahoma…
Achille ISD parents threaten to harm transgender student in Facebook posts
By Kristen Weaver
August 12, 2018

ACHILLE, Okla. (KXII) - Comments left on an Achille ISD parents Facebook page have garnered national attention after several parents made threats to harm a 12-year-old student.

It all started when a 12-year-old transgender girl in Achille used the girls' restroom on Thursday-- her first day of seventh grade.
Parent Jamie Crenshaw found out and took to social media on the private Achille ISD Parents Group, which has since been deleted.

"Basically talking about how she shouldn't be allowed to co-exist or use the female restroom," said local Darius Douglas.

Parents referred to Maddie as "maggot," "thing," and "it," saying those were the "perfect names" to describe her.

Some said a "good sharp knife" and being beaten in the bathroom would be the solution.

"It turned from concerns to violent threats made by not children, but adults who have children of their own," Douglas said.

It's not just the latest Montrose assault. LGBTQ people are under attack.
Houston Chronicle
By Andrew Edmonson
August 6, 2018

For gay men of a certain age, the brutal attack on Christopher Bradford in Montrose on Aug. 1 was shocking, but not surprising.
The anti-LGBTQ violence on the streets of Montrose is not an isolated incident. In Trump's America, LGBTQ Americans are under attack in a number of ways at the city, state and federal level.

In July, the Houston Public Library introduced Drag Queen Storytime, in which drag queens read to children at Houston-area libraries. The program followed on the heels of similar successful programs that have been introduced from New York to Oklahoma to San Francisco to Alaska. Conservative Houston activist Steven Hotze seized on the chance to reignite the culture wars, labeling the story time "a form of pedophilia" and declaring, "Just like we have opposed the godless Communists who are trying to destroy our American values, so we must oppose the sodomites who are undermining the Biblically based moral values of our nation."

Hotze leads the organization Conservative Republicans of Texas, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Councilmember Michael Kubosh further stirred the pot at City Council on July 17 and took to Fox News to denounce the program. After his appearance, the next drag queen story time drew its largest attendance ever. A heterosexual friend of mine, the doting mother of a teenage son, proposed a pragmatic solution to the controversy: "If you don't want your children to see drag queens, then don't take them to the Drag Queen Storytime."
Thanks to Trump and his cronies our lives have become more threatened; white supremacists run rampant in the streets, people are being verbally assaulted as they ride the subway, eat at restaurants, or just walking down the street.
What is to be done in the face of this onslaught?
1) Vote as if you're life depended upon it. The deadline to register to vote in the November 6 election is October 9.  Find more information on how to register here.

2) If you're interested in electing fair-minded leaders who will oppose discriminatory measures, download the endorsements of the Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus from their website in early October. The Caucus has one of the most rigorous, respected and transparent screening process of any Houston political organization.

3) Equality Texas is the statewide advocacy organization fighting for LGBTQ equality. They have a new pledge: "If you attack one Texan, you attack all Texans." Sign the pledge online, and they will alert you when discriminatory legislation is pending, with ways to contact your legislators and advocate against discrimination.

4) Join the Texas Freedom Network, a nonpartisan grassroots organization which has been building coalitions with faith leaders to fight for the civil rights of LGBTQ Texans. Sign up for their daily e-newsletter, which contains news articles on the latest developments impacting religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.
If you vote Republican you are condoning this violence against us. You might think you are voting for a small government, lower taxes, or to get government off you back but that is the hook that got you. Read their party platform

  • The platform asserts that laws and government regulations should only “recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” and explicitly calls for “judicial reconsideration or a Constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to states.”
  • The platform “supports adoption organizations that refuse to serve gay couples,” and suggests that “children raised in households without a mother and father are more prone to use drugs, commit crime and get pregnant outside of marriage.”
  • The platform vigorously endorses the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a deeply discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bill that would sanction unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people.
  • The platform includes affirming language about so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and discredited practice that falsely claims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Republicans cited “parental rights” to justify supporting the practice, which is tantamount to child abuse.
  • The platform in two separate amendments calls for legislation to prevent transgender people from “using public restrooms that align with their gender identity,” arguing speciously that it is “illegal and dangerous” and “alien to America’s history and traditions.”

And how many state Republican legislators have introduced bills to criminalize us for just going the bathroom.

And then there is this…
Police Lured a Gay Man Into Sexual Activity — Then They Arrested and Outed Him
If you thought police raids on queer sex were a relic of the '60s, think again.
By John Paul Brammer
August 2, 2018

You might think police raids of gay cruising are an anachronism, a relic of oppression that has since been vanquished as society becomes more tolerant. But trial attorney Abbie Cuellar, who is representing one of the 13 men arrested in a recent gay sex sting operation in Broward County, near Miami, will remind you that’s not necessarily the case.
When the Miami New Times reached out to the Miami Herald to question why it published the names and faces of the men arrested, the Herald rescinded that sensitive information and issued an editor’s note that portions had been removed due to content not meeting the paper’s standards.
“One problematic thing the police departments did was they didn’t put photos with anyone arrested except in stings like these,” he says. “They didn’t even put photos with escapees. That was hard and fast evidence of a PD whose goal wasn’t public safety, but to ruin the lives of men doing something they didn’t think they should be.”
I thought “gay shaming” went out in the 60s but I guess in today’s climate it is coming back.

Those are the tenets that you voted for. There is no way you can separate them from smaller government or lower taxes and as for “getting the government off of you back” what could be more intrusive then having government telling you where to go the bathroom.

We need to stop the Republican hate machine!