Tuesday, August 04, 2020

In This Day Of Hate

This has not been a good year for us, the death toll of trans people is increasing at an alarming rate.
Data from the FBI and UCLA’s Williams Institute shows that LGBTQ Americans are more than twice as likely to be killed in the United States
NBC News
By Chase Cain,
July 29, 2020

Transgender people have more visibility in America than ever before, but that visibility has come at a deadly cost in 2020.

Through the month of July, at least 22 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed in the United States. That puts 2020 on track to be the most deadly year for the trans community since the Human Rights Campaign began tracking violence against them.

The uptick in murders has taken the lives of young, mostly Black transgender people from Philadelphia and Chicago to Miami and Dallas. It also comes as the “Black Trans Lives Matter” movement has gained momentum. Massive rallies in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. drew diverse crowds, hoping to bring attention to the epidemic of violence against the trans community.

Data from the FBI and UCLA’s Williams Institute shows that LGBTQ Americans are more than twice as likely to be killed in the United States, but when you look specifically at Black trans women, their risk of being murdered is more than 7 times higher. 

Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears was attending the vigil of a murder victim
By Harriet Sokmensuer
August 03, 2020

Police in Oregon are investigating the killing of a transgender woman who was fatally stabbed at a vigil for a murder victim Tuesday night.

Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, 33, was attending the vigil of murder victim Tyrell Penney when she and one other person were stabbed, according to a Portland police statement.  The vigil, which was held near the 15800 block of Southeast Division, moved to a home with 20 to 30 people in attendance, including Rhone-Spears.
Police said in the statement that despite "multiple witnesses" being present, they "encountered hostility and a lack of cooperation." No arrests have been made.

This year is on track to be one of the deadliest for transgender Americans, particularly trans women of color, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
NBC Out News
By Sakshi Venkatraman
August 4, 2020

Rosa Diaz and her daughter were riding their motorcycles through rural Brawley, California, this year when they noticed a young person who appeared lost walking down the town's main street. Diaz, who runs the only LGBTQ resource center for miles, sensed that the person might be in need of support.
"I asked her for her name," and the person shared a male name, Diaz said in an interview. "I said, 'Is there another name that you prefer?' And that's when she told me, 'Well, I like Marilyn.'"

Diaz asked her whether she needed anything. "I need a new wig," Diaz recalled Marilyn saying, gesturing to her worn clothes and hairpiece. Diaz gave her a business card, and Marilyn promised to call her after the weekend. Diaz's team found her a wig, but the call never came.
Marilyn Cazares, 22, was found dead last month in an abandoned building in Brawley, about a half-hour north of the Mexican border. It has been a particularly deadly year for trans people — especially trans women of color. In 2019, 27 trans people died because of violence in total. In 2020, the number has already reached 25, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Damion Campbell also indicted on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
July 31, 2020

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County grand juries handed down nearly 230 felony indictments this week, including one against the man behind a deadly barbershop attack back in May.
In another KSAT article about the murder…
SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: San Antonio police have arrested a man in the slaying of a 20-year-old at a Northwest Side barber shop Wednesday afternoon.
The affidavit said a female employee was also injured, but was able to run to a nearby business for help. A third employee escaped unharmed.

One woman was fatally shot while another was hospitalized with multiple stab wounds after a disturbance turned violent at a Bandera Oaks barber shop, San Antonio police said Wednesday.
The owner of the Diesel Barbershop, Shayne Brown, told KSAT his employees were getting ready to reopen the business starting Friday when a man walked in asking to make an appointment.

The employees told the man he needed a form of payment, Brown said. The man stepped out to get it, and when he returned, he was armed.

The Trump administration refused asylum for a trans woman who said she was in fear for her life in her home country.
Camila Díaz Córdova was deported from the United States despite telling American asylum officers that she feared for her life in her home country.
NBC News
By Tim Fitzsimons
August 3, 2020

Three police officers were convicted in a Salvadoran court in the 2019 murder of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman who had been deported from the United States the year before.

The three officers convicted of aggravated homicide July 28 were Jaime Geovany Mendoza Rivas, Luis Alfredo Avelar Sandoval and Carlos Valentín Rosales Carpio, according to the newspaper El Diario De Hoy. Each officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Diaz left El Salvador in 2018 and traveled to the U.S. with a migrant caravan to request asylum, as NBC News previously reported. After her claim was rejected, she went back to El Salvador where she reportedly returned to sex work. After midnight on Jan. 31, 2019, she was arrested for public nuisance and intoxication.

According to El Diaro De Hoy, she was beaten by the arresting officers in the patrol car and left in the road for dead. She was found and later taken to a hospital where she died from her wounds on Feb. 3, 2019.

In 2017, the United Nations called for an investigation into the surge of violence against transgender women in El Salvador. Local LGBTQ groups have counted the killings of at least 600 transgender people since 1993.
The current administration here lacks any moral compass, they are devoid of any empathy or compassion.

Overseas we also face discrimination and violence.
Vladimir Putin’s relentless assault on LGBTQ rights in Russia continues, helped by ex-senator Yekaterina Lakhova, who recently said rainbow-colored ice cream was “gay propaganda.”
The Daily Beast
By Anna Nemtsova
August 03, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—Dozens of young people were singing lyrics by a local band on Palace Square: “We’ll be together, like Sid and Nancy, we’ll never live long enough to be pensioners.”

The warm July night was young. In spite of the dark context of the song, people looked happy. The wind played with a young woman’s rainbow-dyed hair, while she was kissing her girlfriend. That scene was hardly unusual, even in Russia, where authorities ban what they call “gay propaganda,” same-sex marriage and even the rainbow itself. 
But the Russian repression machine is working full force. The leader of Russia’s Women’s Union, ex-senator Yekaterina Lakhova, recently complained to President Vladimir Putin about an ice cream ad “promoting homosexual behavior among minors” because it included a rainbow, signifying a multi-flavored ice cream.
On July 1, Russians voted in a referendum for dozens of constitutional amendments allowing Putin to stay in power until 2036, defining “belief in God” as a Russian national value, and constitutionally banning same-sex marriage.

The amendments also allow Russia to ignore international courts’ rulings on cases of human rights violations. Lakhova was one of the amendments’ lobbyists. At a meeting earlier this month, Putin told Lakhova he needed a loyal network of organizations to keep an eye on any type of “gay propaganda” that might come up, since he alone “cannot follow everybody.” 
Authoritarians love us.

They love us because they can use us for the scapegoat of everything that is going wrong in their countries. The world disastrous economy is our fault! COVID-19 is our fault. We are being blamed for everything.

Trump was brought up in a family of hate.
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
July 17, 2020

Mary Trump, whose tell-all book reveals new unflattering secrets about her uncle as he pursues re-election, is a lesbian and kept her sexual orientation a secret from her family in the late 1990s, according to multiple media accounts of the book.
“Growing up, it was sort of normal to hear them use the N-word or use anti-Semitic expressions,” she reportedly said.

Mary Trump added, “Homophobia was never an issue because nobody ever talked about gay people, well, until my grandmother called Elton John” a slur.
In that background you can easily see where Trump gets his hate for us.

Monday, August 03, 2020

"Have You No Sense of Decency?"

That is what Edward R. Murrow on his television show “See It Now” asked Wisconsin Republican senator Joseph R. McCarthy and another Republican needs to be asked that question today.
By Dawn Ennis
August 1, 2020

Some political hot water reached the boiling point this week in an ongoing tiff between an outspoken Republican opponent of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

After months tolerating slurs involving her gender identity, Levine spoke out on Tuesday in response, ahead of a news conference on the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in her state. One day later, State Rep. Russ Diamond of Lebanon County, Penn., issued a statement that parroted Levine’s words, but he did so in defense of those — like him — who refuse to wear masks to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Diamond, who was elected to the statehouse in 2014, has openly criticized Levine’s order that requires most Pennsylvanians to wear a mask in public, except in rare cases of health concerns.
Like Senator McCarthy, Representative Diamond needs to be asked if he has if he has any decency. It is one thing to attack the Democrat policies and another to attack a person.
The governor called on Diamond’s superiors in the Republican legislative caucus to censure the representative for mimicking Levine, calling it a “thinly veiled attack on the LGBTQ community,” according to the Pa Post.

“To equate any disrespect for those not wearing masks to the decades of disrespect, threats, and violence against our LGBTQ community goes far beyond the hallmarks of a decent society,” Wolf said in a statement. “For these actions to come from a legislator elected to fairly represent all his constituents is simply unforgivable.”
But somehow the Republicans don’t seem to see the difference. They have no sense of decency at all.

The Daily Maverick
By Glen Retief
August 2, 2020

In Johannesburg, three decades ago, the homophobes were out in force: bible-thumpers trying to save our souls; right-wingers with their AWB swastikas. Last week, too, there were missionaries galore, with bibles and salvation brochures; giant pickup trucks, with gun racks and Trump 2020 signs, revving their engines at us, and in some cases shouting ‘queer!’ and ‘faggot!

What a blistering summer this is turning out to be for the United States. It is not just the literal heat, unprecedented here in my adoptive home of Pennsylvania.

Patients are running fevers, too. Like South Africa, the US is a world leader in uncontrolled coronavirus spread, at around 18 new cases per day, per 100,000 residents: the comparable figure for Greece is only 0.3. 
Enter Dr Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health—the equivalent of, say, Dr Bandile Masuku or Dr Nomafrench Mbombo. Levine has, for the past four months, been the public face of Pennsylvania’s coronavirus response. In semi-weekly television briefings, she has explained and justified one of America’s tougher Covid regulatory regimens, one which has spared our state the spectacle of, say, people crowding into bars, nightclubs and churches, even as hospital morgues order refrigerator trucks for excess bodies.
Jumping back into time to before the plague when she was nominated for Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health…
By all accounts, Levine is a star, having earned degrees from Harvard and Tulane, and rising to become one of the top doctors at the famed Hershey Medical Centre. The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate unanimously confirmed her, without any attention to her gender identity.
You got that? The Senate unanimously confirmed her!

But now things have changed, the Republicans are falling behind in the polls and have a chance of losing control of the Senate and House and the Republicans go for the jugular.

Then at a country fair in Pennsylvania, they had a dunking booth just like at the fair in my hometown but unlike my hometown where you dunk a high schooler…
Then came Saturday, 18 July. A group of hose companies held a fundraiser at the grounds of the Bloomsburg Fair, a giant agricultural fair held down the road every September. Hose companies – volunteer firefighting clubs in small-town America – have, like everyone else, been hit hard by the coronavirus, since they make most of their income from late-night bars.

However, the most popular game that day turned out to be a dunk tank. There, a man dressed in a garish parody of Levine – long, blonde wig, bookish spectacles, and a flowery dress – sat under a target. For a fee, locals could throw a ball, and if they hit the bull’s eye – bam, the mock cross-dressed Health Secretary would end up in a tank.
No they don’t have any decency. What they don't see that belittling and mocking people and communities is wrong they have lost their moral compass.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

He Will Just Thumb His Nose At Them

The gutless Republican Senators will do nothing
Democrats in the House of Representatives quietly dealt a devastating blow to US president Donald Trump’s trans military ban on Thursday (July 30).
Pink News UK
By Josh Mikton
July 31, 2020

A measure pitched by California representative Jacki Speier and sponsored by a bloc of 28 fellow Democrats barred the use of Pentagon funds to implement the policy, which went into effect April 2019.

Lawmakers added the amendment as part of a package of reforms to a six-bill, $1.3 trillion spending measure, Politico reported.

While no lawmakers during the voice vote spoke for or against it, the tweak will no doubt serve as a symbolic broadside against the administration, coming only weeks after justices extinguished Trump’s attempt to roll back employment protections for LGBT+ people.
“The Department of Defense should not be spending taxpayer money on a politically motivated policy that keeps qualified people out of the military, particularly when the military continues to face enlistment shortfalls,” director Aaron Belkin said in a news release.
Yeah, that’s right it is just a symbolic gestural because you know the Republican senators will block it.
As much as activists have pleaded for government officials to curtail the ban, the Department of Defense have not budged. “The Department is not considering adjusting existing policy,” the bureau said in April.
You know how to change it… vote!

Even if the bill passes and Trump signs it he will continue to fund and withhold funds where he wants to, he will just thumb his nose at them because he knows nothing would come of it.

The only way we are going to change this policy is to take control of all of the branches of government. The Republicans have shown that they are spinless to stand up against Trump and the Party.

Vote as if your life depends upon it because it does.