Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Is It A Vendetta?

With the Trump administration anything is possible that’s why when a U.S. trans woman is stranded in another country and the State Department will not issue her a new passport you have to wonder if it is the result of her activism against the current administration.
A US transgender activist is stuck in Sweden. The UN wants to investigate.
WLRN
By Rupa Shenoy
January 22, 2019

Danni Askini knew she had a dangerous job as the founder of a Gender Justice League, a transgender rights advocacy organization in Seattle, Washington. She’s a transgender woman and is used to occasional threats.

But after she and others sued the Trump administration over its transgender military ban, the threats became constant and specific, Askini says.
After threats were made and an attack while she was driving Askini decided to get out of the country until things quieted down, then her problems with the State Department began.
At that point Askini and her family decided she needed to leave the country. But when she tried to renew her passport, she says officials told her that she had obtained it fraudulently because she didn’t provide documentation including her gender at birth. A State Department official says there has been no policy change in regard to transgender applicants, and, although they can’t comment on any individual’s application or circumstances, they are committed to treating all passport applicants fairly and with respect, including transgender individuals. 

Askini's congresswoman, Democrat Pramila Jayapal, intervened to get Askini a temporary passport. Askini went to Sweden, where her ex-husband lives.  
And that is when her problems with the State Department began.
State Department Revoking Trans Women's Passports
The Trump administration is launching another attack on transgender Americans.
The Advocate
By Ariel Sobel
July 30, 2018

The State Department has refused to renew the passports of multiple transgender women, even though documents identifying them as female have already been approved, reports Them.
She said the U.S. Passport Office told her in June that after 20 years of having a passport that matched her gender identity, she needed to provide proof of gender transition.
Other important notes: 1. I have already showed them a birth certificate with my current legal name (which it has been since 1999) and my legal gender as "Female". They claim this is not the "original" because I had previous names. The "original" documents no longer exist.
— Danni Askini (@danniaskini) June 30, 2018
Danni Askini, whose documents have read "female" since she transitioned in 1998 at age 16, was denied the right to renew her passport because "failed to disclose” that she was transgender, she told the site.
[…]
“Make no mistake, this was an intentional action by the State Department to withhold recognizing my gender,” said Askini, who is executive director of the Gender Justice League.
So now she is stuck in Sweden with no passport and is seeking asylum there. Gay Star News reported…
She worries she may be imprisoned or detained by ICE if the State Department doesn’t accept proof of her United States citizenship, despite being born in Maine.

Though she believes her chances to be slim, Askini is seeking asylum in Sweden due to these fears.
Let’s face the Trump administration hates our guts and want us to go away.

News Flash… It Is A Sad Day

It is a day of victory for bigotry and hate the Supreme Court just banned us from serving in our country military!
Supreme Court allows transgender military ban to go into effect
CNN
By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
January 22, 2019

The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational.

The Justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but will allow the ban to go forward while the lower courts work through it.

The four liberal justices on the Court objected to allowing the administration's policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military to go into effect.

The policy, first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter, and later officially released by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.

The court's move is a victory for the Trump administration. While government lawyers wanted the Court to take up the case, they also fought to allow the ban to go into effect while the case plays out in the lower courts.

"Today's dual rulings on the transgender ban allow the controversial policy to go into effect for now, but also allow the appeals to go forward in the lower courts," said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analysis and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.
Sadly my worst fears are coming to fruition, the unethical packing of the Supreme Court justices who want to put their bigotry and the Bible ahead of the Constitution.

The ruling lifts the ban on blocking the Executive Order while the case is being heard, but it also signals that the court is predisposed to allowing Trump to ban us from the military.

Bigotry and hate just became the law of the land.

Whenever There Is Trans Legislation You Can Count On One Thing…

…That the opposition will use fear of trans people as part of their effort to defeat the bill.
Editorial: On transgender issue, choose facts over fear
Argus Leader Editorial Board
January 21, 2019

Here we go again.

Despite past failed attempts to sanction discriminatory treatment of transgender high school students, the South Dakota Legislature is plodding forth with yet another ill-fated proposal.

Republican lawmakers Jim Bolin and Thomas Brunner have introduced legislation aimed at sinking a South Dakota Activities Association policy that allows transgender students to participate on sports teams that reflect their gender identities rather than the biological sex listed on their birth certificate.

The SDHSAA policy was crafted in 2015 after a survey showed that 77 percent of South Dakota high school superintendents wanted a statewide directive on the transgender issue, just as 44 other states have done. It calls for an independent hearing officer to review school and medical transcripts and personal statements before rendering a decision on eligibility.
[…]
Bolin has attacked the SDHSAA policy in the past with bills that passed the House before stumbling in the Senate, where less reactionary leaders were mindful of potential lawsuits that could put local school boards in a bind, not to mention the harmful effect of further targeting transgender students.
This piece of legislation is aimed at one thing… to rally the Republican voter base.

A judge saw through the hate,
The judge called the school board’s arguments in attempting to forbid the student to use the restroom corresponding to his gender identity “resoundingly unpersuasive.”
The Republicans have been losing the “bathroom battle” obsession so now they turned their focus at trans athletes.

Here in Connecticut two trans women student athletes won in trans & field and the mothers’ of the women that lost are trying to change the rules for trans student athletes. Published reports say that they are looking for a friendly legislator to introduce the bill (here in CT the deadline to introduce bills has past, a committee can still introduce a bill, and there are also amendments for a bill and there is no limit to when an amendment can be introduced).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Allies Speak Out (Part 2)

When we speak up about our rights we seen as biased but when an ally speaks up they are speaking from the heart. This ally doesn’t have any connections to the trans community and speaks from the heart.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turns up on Donkey Kong stream to back trans rights
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
21st January 2019

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned up on a viral Twitch livestream of Donkey Kong 64 to talk about trans rights.

UK-based YouTuber HBomberGuy (Harry Brewis) has raised more than $200,000 for transgender children’s charity Mermaids with a non-stop playthrough of the Nintendo 64 Donkey Kong game, beginning in the evening of January 18.

The stream, which had featured guests including whistleblower Chelsea Manning, had been live for more than 50 hours when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a surprise appearance via a Discord call.

The newly-elected Congresswoman, who has earned a strong following online, spoke about the importance of trans rights, adding: “Trans rights are civil rights are human rights.”
But her support didn’t end there…
Ocasio-Cortez Includes Trans Women in Fiery Women's March SpeechThe freshman congresswoman touched on numerous issues at one of the many Women's Marches held around the nation today.The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
January 19, 2019

As Women’s Marches proceeded around the nation Saturday, with thousands attending despite controversy over the march’s national leadership, a New York event was marked by a fiery, inclusive speech by freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ocasio-Cortez, who wore pins representing LGBTQ and Transgender Pride, made the point that “being polite is not the same thing as being quiet,” and touched on numerous intersectional issues:
“Let us remember that a fight means no person left behind. So when people want to stop talking about the issues black women face, when people want to stop talking about the issues that trans women or immigrant women face, we’ve got to ask them, Why does that make you so uncomfortable? … This is not just about identity, this is about justice and this is about the America we are going to bring into this world.”
So we have another ally in Congress!

We are getting closer to passing an addition to the Civil Rights Act that will protect us, all we have to do is win control of the Senate and elect a Democratic president… simple right?

Well the presidency should be a snap if the Democrats don’t blow it by running someone unelectable but the Senate is going to be a hard nut to crack. Most think their legislator is okay it’s the other legislators that need to get thrown out. We need to concentrate on the purple states, the red states are hopeless.

Allies Speak Out (Part 1)

When we speak up about our rights we seen as biased but when an ally speaks up they are speaking from the heart.
NBA's Reggie Bullock Opens Up About Losing His Transgender Sister to Murder
A new documentary from Vice Sports follows Bullock's journey into LGBTQ activism after his sister Mia Henderson 2014 murder in Baltimore.
Broadly
By Diana Tourjée
January 16 2019

Reggie Bullock is a small forward and shooting guard for the Detroit Pistons, currently finishing his sixth season in the NBA, marking the end of a two-year contract worth $5 million. The 27-year-old is about to become a free agent, building hype for the future of his career as, he recently told The Detroit News, "the best shooter in the league."

Bullock's success in sports began in high school and elevated him to new heights. But his professional life has more recently become entwined with social justice activism after his older sister, Mia Henderson, a transgender woman, was killed in July 2014. Henderson was stabbed to death in Baltimore, a violent fate that follows a disproportionate number of transgender women to their end. Mic's 2016 project to count and analyze the deaths of transgender women, Unerased, found that one in 2,600 transgender women of color between 14 and 34-years-old, is murdered, compared to one in 12,000 in the general population.

In 2015, a man named Shawn Oliver was charged in Henderson's murder, but was later acquitted on all counts. Though Bullock and his family had been supportive of Henderson, her death shocked her brother into action. Today, he serves as an ally to LGBT people, and has appeared at events like NYC Pride, the GLAAD Media Awards, and the NBA Voices event for LGBT Youth and Allies. Bullock views his position in sports with great responsibility and power; because sports is such a widely consumed form of entertainment in the US, he can use his platform in the NBA to help make society more hospitable toward LGBT people. It's something he can do for his late sister, whose name he writes on his shoes before games, and whose face is tattooed on his body.
My heart goes to him and his family, it is hard when you lose a family member but it is some much harder when you lose someone to violence.

Much of the violence against us is the result of “toxic masculinity” that promotes transphobia and homophobia in which the perpetrator fears that he will be labels gay by his friends or guilt of having sex with a trans woman.

Some of the killers dates the trans woman for a while and it was when their friends find out that the relationship turns violence.

We see many of the perpetrators also use “Trans Panic” defense to get acquitted the juries think we are deceitful if we don’t announce to the world that we are trans and deserve what we got. Of course we can’t tell our side of the story because we’re dead.

I don’t know why Shawn Oliver got off of murdering her but I would bet that a part of the reason was trans panic defense.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

New Legislation

For the first time I am not involved with the current proposed bill, the bill will ban unsinf trans/gay panic defense in criminal trials.
Leader seeks to end “gay and transgender panic” defense
CT Post
By Emilie Munson
January 18, 2019

HARTFORD — Several Democratic lawmakers have filed bills to ban “gay and transgender panic” as a criminal defense.

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, D-New Haven, introduced this legislation, as did Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, D-Bethel, and Rep. Jeff Currey, D-East Hartford. Allie-Brennan and Currey are the General Assembly’s only openly gay lawmakers.

Looney, an attorney who practices criminal law, wants state statutes to be amended so a criminal defendant may not claim the “shock” of learning that a person was gay or transgender to justify or excuse the violence perpetrated against that person.

California was the first to ban the defense in 2014, followed by Illinois.
Looney said Thursday he was unaware of the number of occasions the defense has been used in Connecticut.
You know even one is one too many and the idea of the legislation is to prevent it from being used for the first and letting a killer walk free of murder and I think that trans/gay panic defense has been tried once in the state when a trans woman was murdered in New Haven back around twenty years ago. She was stabbed multiple times and her body set on fire.

Okay back to why I am not involved in this legislation…

[RANT]
There was a loose coalition of many non-profits that worked to pass LGBTQ+ legislation that was called the Anti-Discrimination Coalition and that morphed in ctEQUALITY to pass trans protections. The non-profits came together each time we wanted to pass legislation.

We it was decided that ctEQUALITY should become more formalized and incorporate as 501(c)4, so planning meetings were held, and held, and held. It been a year and a half and still talks are being held. But now it has morphed from a lobbying organization to an umbrella organizations for all things LGBTQ+.

We held meeting around the state to learn what the community wants, the town hall meeting were a great idea and I learned something from them… that many of the people at the meetings didn’t know what laws we do have now. Some wanted laws to protect LGBTQ+ students! A law that has been on the books for eight years.

But mainly what I saw was moving away from the original idea of providing a PAC to lobby for legislation and to help LGBTQ+ friendly legislators to something entirely different.

I know that several smaller non-profits are worried that they will lose their identities and funding as ctEQUALITY expands and starts to compete with their corporate funding. I worry that it will become another “GAY Inc.” that is funded by national gay foundations that will control the purse strings.

Back in November I started hearing rumors that a trans/gay panic defense bill was going to be introduced and also some published news article about a group of women who ban trans athletes. They were upset that trans athletes are competing on the teams of their gender identity, even though only a small fraction of the trans athletes were winning and most were losing they still wanted a law forcing us to compete in our birth gender. The articles stated that they were looking for a friendly legislator to introduce a bill for them and I imagine there are a lot of Republican legislators who will be more than will to introduce a bill or an amendment for them.

I brought up my concerns about the legislation and was met the first time by silence, when I brought it up again I got a reply from one person saying these are the bills that they are supporting this session, all the bills that were mentioned I support whole heartily such as paid family leave and $15 minimum wage none of them were LGBTQ+ legislation.

So for the first time in almost 20 years the coalition is not supporting any LGBTQ+ legislation and is letting others take the lead.

I will testify for the bill at the hearing and I will continue to contact my legislators for the bill.

There have been signs that the coalition was falling apart last year with the passage of an amendment to…
Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Any inmate of a correctional institution, as described in section 18-78 of the general statutes, who has a gender identity that differs from the inmate's assigned sex at birth and has a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, as set forth in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", shall: (1) Be addressed by correctional staff in a manner that is consistent with the inmate's gender identity, (2) have access to commissary items, clothing, personal property, programming and educational materials that are consistent with the inmate's gender identity, and (3) have the right to be searched by a correctional 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 his or her gender identity or who can meet established standards for obtaining such a document to confirm the inmate's gender identity shall presumptively be placed in a correctional institution with inmates of the gender consistent with the inmate's gender identity. Such presumptive placement may be overcome by a demonstration by the Commissioner of Correction, or the commissioner's designee, that the placement would present significant safety, management or security problems. In making determinations pursuant to this section, the inmate's views with respect to his or her safety shall be given serious consideration by the Commissioner of Correction, or the commissioner's designee.
I never heard a word about the passage of this amendment, I heard about it in an “Oh by the Way” there is new legislation that passed that you might be interested in.

Some of the laws the coalition passed…

  • Adding gender identity and expression to the hate crime law (2004)
  • Passing the gender identity and expression non-discrimination act (2011)
  • Passing the birth certificate law (2015)
  • Blocking a law stripping our insurance coverage (2015)
  • Passing a law to stop conversion therapy for minors (2017)

And now will it come to an end in 2019”
[/RANT]

Yesterday.

Because I was speaking I had to get there early to register but I had to swing around to pick up a friend who wanted to go to the rally and another friend followed me up to the Capitol. When we got there people were just arriving so there was plenty of parking and we parked on a side street next to the Supreme Court.

Once I signed in I noticed that they were letting people park in the Capitol parking lot so I asked a capitol police officer if I could park in at the EV charging station, he said yes. So I had the best parking space of the rally, the spot right next to the rally.

So then it was wait… wait… wait. I had two hours before my speech.

The crowd was a lot smaller this year, last year they had around 10,000 people and this year I would say the crowd was around a thousand or two. Was it the weather? Was it because people are losing interest in the movement?  Was it the false allegations that the organizers were anti-Semitism?

The Hartford Courant had this to say about the rally,
Thousands rally for rights at Connecticut Women’s March
By Edmund H. Mahony

The Connecticut Women’s March drew nearly 3,000 people to the state Capitol on Saturday, rallying to expand the rights of women while vowing continued resistance to the Trump administration, which marchers condemned as an obstacle.

The spirited rally of mostly women marked the third year of a movement born in an almost spontaneous reaction to the election of President Donald J. Trump. After the election, 10,000 people flooded the Capitol grounds for a first rally. Capitol Police estimated that 2,500 to 3,000 arrived Saturday to listen to hours of speeches in bitter cold and under a threat of stormy weather.
The article also mentioned the controversy…
There was no discussion of the allegations of anti-Semitism that divided the national Women’s March group after one of its leaders refused to vigorously disavow remarks offensive to Jews by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

But Fliegel, in her remarks, described early support for women’s right by Jewish women and called for an end to anti-Semitic hatred. And earlier in the week, Women’s March Connecticut, in a statement, “unequivocally [denounced] all forms of bigotry from any source” and specifically criticized Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has ties to several of the national Women’s March leaders.

"We absolutely condemn the words of Minister Louis Farrakhan and acknowledge that he is perpetuating hate speech against Jewish people and the LGBTQIA+ community,'' the Connecticut group said. "There is no way we can support hate speech and maintain our values. We will continue to support women of all religions, ethnicities and creeds and a part of that means admonishing those who use hateful language.''
From what I have seen in their organizing they are very inclusive, if you look are the organizers and the speakers they are very diverse. I can’t help to wonder if they are being attacked because they brought about change and the right is running scared. Is this a campaign to discredit the women’s movement?

While I was waiting another friend showed up followed by another so the four of took in the sights and sound of the rally. A few other acquaintances stopped by and I went over to talk to some other friends.

Then it was my turn to speak (you can read my speech here)… here is a photo that I took while I was waiting on stage.


A couple of times I had to wait for the applause to die down, two of the things that brought applause was when I mentioned the 19 women elected judges down in Texas and one of the other times was I mentioned Massachusetts’s Question 3 winning by 67%.

After I was finished we all headed out to eat since we haven’t eaten since the morning so we stopped at a Mexican restaurant that I like… the Margaritas went down so easy.

Photos courtesy of Jaime

Photos courtesy of Jaime
So yesterday I met my goal of staying up until 9 PM



Update 9:15 AM:
Out in California there was another trans speaker…
Laverne Cox at 2019 Women’s March: “It Is Subversive to Choose Love”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave a shout-out to trans women in her speech.
NewNowNext
By Brandon Voss
January 20, 2019


Laverne Cox, trailblazing trans actress and LGBTQ activist, delivered a powerful speech Saturday at the third annual Women’s March in L.A., one of numerous Women’s Marches held around the country.

“The achieving of basic human rights, dignity, justice or equity for one group of people does not mean that something is being taken from another group,” Cox said. “That’s scarcity thinking and scarcity thinking will always drive us further from each other.”

“Divide and conquer is one of the primary tools of the oppressor to control marginalized people. And when I say oppressor let me be clear, each and everyone of us has the capacity to be an oppressor, no matter who we are, where we are located on social hierarchies or how we identify. And each of us has the capacity to be liberators for ourselves and each other.”

“We have seen the tool of divide and conquer be used to attack this very march,” Cox continued. “Mary Pipher in her book Reviving Ophelia so beautifully writes, ’Social change is a million individual acts of kindness. Cultural change is a million subversive acts of resistance.’
[…]
Many politicians, celebrities, and previous sponsors have distanced themselves from this year’s Women’s March in response to accusations of anti-Semitism and homophobia leveled at its organizers, who publicly addressed the controversy at the Women’s March in Washington D.C, CNN reports.

“Over the last year, my sisters in Women’s March and I have faced accusations that have hurt my soul,” Carmen Perez-Jordan told the crowd. “Charges of anti-Semitism and neglecting our LGBTQIA family. And I want to be unequivocal in affirming that Women’s March and I and my sisters condemn anti-Semitism and homophobia and transphobia in all forms.”
Divide and conquer this is right out of Saul D. Alinsky playbook, find a weakness and exploit it and that is what the conservatives are doing because they are afraid of us.

They found one person out of the thousands of organizers who backs an anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ+ and they labeled the whole movement as being anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ+ if you look at the speakers at the event yesterday, and the attendees you will see it is very diverse.

Don’t let the “ol’ boys club” divide us!