Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Setting the Record Straight

The University of Connecticut student newspaper, “The Daily Campus” ran an editorial on October 18th about the Governor of California signing legislation that defined gender as sex for the state’s Anti-Discrimination statues. This law now gives us protection in California. The editorial criticized the law using language towards us that was very troublesome and showed a complete lack of understand of gender identity and expression.
I as a student of UConn I felt that the editorial deserved a response to present an opposing view. However, they chose not to publish it so I will publish here even though I would have liked to express it in the newspaper where it could be read by those who read the article.
This is what I found troublesome…

California Wrongly Redefines Gender

“As a result of the law, instead of basing gender identity on purely biological means, the words "mom," "dad," "parent" and the plurals of each have been banned from official school communications because "they enforce traditional gender stereotypes." Biologically, however, every sexually reproducing organism has a mother and a father. These words have nothing to do with the domestic or workplace actions of the people they describe, simply their responsibility for the life they created.”

. . . . .

The problems with this should be blatantly obvious, but in case they are not, the law tells all teenage boys that it is OK to use the girls' locker rooms and bathrooms as long as the boys tell school administrators that they are, in fact, transgendered. In addition, there is no way to prevent this from happening. Should a school administrator attempt to stop a student identifying as female from entering the girls' locker room, the student is, under law, allowed to file a discrimination lawsuit and sue the school district. In addition, teachers are not allowed to monitor locker rooms for fear of sexual harassment lawsuits….

. . . . .

GLBT students should be able to walk the halls of their schools free from discrimination and intimidation, but to allow students unfettered access without specific regulations is ridiculous. As of now, there is no concrete way to identify which students are transgender and which ones are not. In order to determine whether a student is transgender, school officials must rely on that student's vocalized opinion….

My reply to the editor (That they did not print) was….

To the Editor

Do you really think that someone is going to spend up to a hundred thousand dollars, have hundreds of hours of electrolysis, spend hundreds of hours on a psychiatrist couch, take hormone to change their bodies and in addition have to put up with all the discrimination just so that they can peek into a women’s bathroom?
Do you have any idea what it is like to be transgendered? When you walk down a street everyone stares at you and you hear the giggles and snickers as you walk by them. Do you think that a person would do that just on a whim?
Currently, the states of California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington include protections to individuals based on their gender identity or expression. The California law just expanded it to cover schools. In the states that currently have anti-discrimination status there has not been any problems. Rhode Island has had their anti-discrimination law for four or five years now, and they have not had any issues with school bathrooms. Most state have laws regarding sex-segregated facilities, as does Connecticut, which provides for an exemption for sex discrimination for public accommodations regarding bathrooms and locker rooms. So your argument does not hold true, your worrying about “the law tells all teenage boys that it is OK to use the girls' locker rooms and bathrooms as long as the boys tell school administrators that they are, in fact, transgendered.” that would not be allowed. Also a teenage boy could not just one day say that they are transgender and I demand to use the women bathrooms, they would have to go through at least three months of counseling (The Harry Benjamin Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders which dictate the treatment for Gender Identity Disorder.) before they would even be able to begin to transition.
Here in Connecticut I know of three students that have transitioned in high school and two of them were met with intimidation and harassment on a daily basis, they dropped out of high school. The school system did nothing to try to help them by stopping the bullying. While in another school district the Board of Education adopted a policy to help a student to transition safely.
With the proper policies and support by the Board of Education; students can transition safely and without creating disturbances for the rest of the students.

Diana L
School of Social Work

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Provincetown Photographs

I finally found some time to work on some of my photos that I took in Provincetown MA while I was up at Fantasia Fair.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday Six - Episode 184

Patrick’s Place

1. Which of the following two would you find more offensive if you saw it out in the open in a family restaurant: two men holding hands or a woman breast-feeding a child? Why?

I won’t find either one of them offensive. Why would you find two men holding hands any different then a heterosexual couple? Why should they have to hide their sexual orientation?
And why would you find a woman who was discreetly breast-feeding a child? Should the woman have to hide, like it was something shameful to be done only out of sight?

2. Which of the following would you find more offensive if you heard someone say it: a blond joke or a racial joke? Why?

Both; they are both demeaning. When you make a joke about somebody you are really, how ever subtly, you are trying to dominate the other group.

3. Which of these would you generally consider more offensive: An atheist who badmouths Christians, or a Christian who badmouths atheists? Why?
I find them both offensives; see my answer to question 2. We all should respect each other views and the only exception to this is when one group tries to impose their believes on to other (i.e. slavery).

4. Which of the following ideas about a presidential hopeful would you find more offensive: that a woman shouldn’t run for president because a woman doesn’t belong in the White House, or that a black man shouldn’t run for president because a black man doesn’t belong in the White House? Why?
Once again I do not believe in either statement, I find both offensives. Ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion should not be the basis for electing a President. We should vote for who can do the best job for the country.

5. Which of the following political terms or movements would you find the most offensive: “Pro-Life” or “Defense of Marriage”? Why?

Both once again, I do not believe in abortion, I believe that we should be responsive adults and take the proper precaution to prevent unwanted pregnancies. That said, I also believe in the woman’s right to choose what she wants to do with her body.
I do not believe a religious organization should impose their belief on others.

6. Which of the following forms of protest are you likely to find most offensive: an animal rights group’s members shedding clothes to encourage people not to buy fur, or a war protest group’s members burning the American flag to criticize war policy? Why?

This is a little complicated; I would be most offended be the animal rights groups because they are destroying private property and they are trying to impose their will by violence.
Now then about the flag burning, I believe that flag burning makes a very strong political statement. But I believe it makes the wrong statement and I would not want to be associated with any group, cause or organization that burns the flag. That burning the flag it their right and it is my right to protest again them burning the flag.

ENDA the Debate Begins in the House

WOW! When I heard this speech shivers went down my spine(I found it posted on Donna’s Blog.
This is one Representative who gets it.

On her blog, Donna also posts an excerpt of the Representative's speech…

If we’re going to make a symbolic stand the symbolic stand shouldn’t be, “Let’s pass a one-house bill with only part of the protections we need.” Let’s let the symbolic message be that we’re sticking together. That when we say GLBT we mean it.
And, we should do something else. We should also make it very clear to those watching this discussion that we’re not going to negotiate against ourselves. We’re not going to say, “Well, if we toss this element or that element off to the side maybe we’ll be able to get what we need.” There are some things that are immutable – some civil rights that are immutable – and this is one of them. We’re going to stick together, pass an inclusive ENDA or we’re going to come back again and do it right.

Wow! He gets it. I just hope that all the other Representatives also get. To contact your Representative click here for a list of Representatives (You will have to search their Home Pages for contact information, it seems they all like to bury it deep in side the web-site.) and ask them to support the Baldwin Amendment to H.R. 3685 to include gender identity.

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for October 29, 2007

If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be and why?
I would like to have been exposed to more different cultures. I now find that the world is an amazing place, not just ethnic and racial cultures but also the arts, musical, etc. I was just exposed to a white, middle income, suburban culture.
But knowing myself at that age I would have turned up my nose at the idea.

Do you think that the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now?
Unfortunately I feel that the world will be a lot worst of a place in a 100 years. I think we will be fighting more wars for limited resources; with global warming limiting agriculture regions, a decrease in the oil production and ocean fisheries areas dying off as the oceans get warmer. Also the world is becoming more polarized because orthodox religions and the increase in the gap between the rich and the poor nations.

At the beginning of a relationship, do you trust your new partner unless there is something specific to make you do otherwise, or do you withhold your trust until he/she has earned it?

How can you go into a relationship without trust? That is not a relationship. I always trust people unless they prove me wrong; maybe that is why I am so gullible.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

By the Way Sunday

By the way...

Hayride or hike?
Hike, as a matter of fact I just went on a hike this afternoon

Picking out pumpkins or picking apples?
Picking apples

Hot apple cider or hot chocolate with marshmallows?

Hot mulled cider with rum.

Fall festival or trick-or-treating?
Fall festival

Roasting marshmallows or bobbing for apples?
Bogging for apples

Cute little scarecrows or ugly, scary monsters?
Cute little scarecrow of course

Colorado Rockies or Boston Red Socks? Hehe

This is Red Socks country

Great Weekend Retreat!

I just got back from a three day workshop at the Volutonwn Peace Trust, the workshop was given by David Hooker he is a great presenter. I learned a lot about facilitating meetings and the workshop was well worth the time, he kept it moved right along and the hours went by fast. The workshop was held in the A.J. Muste Conference Center on the property and I stayed at the women’s dorm, Rachel Corrie House the two nights. The Volutonwn Peace Trust is a communal living farm with about eight or ten members living there, while we were there they were harvesting some of the crops before the first frost. We all helped out with cleaning up after meals and cleaning up the conference hall and the dorm after the workshop. The workshop participants came from mostly non-profits or religious organizations and were mostly young activist.
The only negative thing about the Voluntown Peace Trust was that most of the members are vegetarians so there was almost no meat; the only meat that they severed was the sausages that I brought. Another workshop participant came up to me and thanked me for bring them. The first that I did on the way home was stop at a fast food place and had a hamburger.
After the workshop was over I stayed around awhile to go hiking with some of them at a local state park and while we were hiking we came along on a seagull that was trapped in fishing line. The bird was exhausted and didn’t move while we set him free. It got me so mad that fisherman leave the fishing line around like that and animals get caught in the line.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Semester is Winding Down

I finished the paper on parenting yesterday with an hour to spare, that was what I was studying for when I was up at Fantasia Fair in Provincetown. For an in-class exercise we had to breaking into groups and go over a questions that he asked of each group. For our group the question was; is your professional you different from the you that your friends know and if so describe the difference. I started laughing. Well, yeah! There was just a little difference; at work I was the mild manor supervisor and at night I was the activist ready to storm the gates, besides the fact that I was Don during the day and at night I was Diana. So I ended up given a little Trans 101 to the class.
The classes are ending in November; for the Research class the final is the sixth and the Micro class ends on the fourteenth. In the Micro class the professor asked if we want a final exam and we voted no. So he said that for those who feel they need the extra credit they can take the exam.
Today I helped out at the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective and for lunch I went up to Windsor to have lunch with some friends from work. It was nice to see some friends again that I haven’t seen in awhile, to get caught up on who is still working at the shop and where they got jobs.
On the agenda for tonight is the CTAC Board meeting and then tomorrow its off to Voluntown for Facilitator Training until Sunday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Judge Southwick should not be appointed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Today is the vote in the Senate for Judge Leslie Southwick appointment to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. I just found out about this just now, I wish I knew earlier and I would have urged you to contact your senator about this. But now we just have to sit with our fingered crossed and hope for the best.

In 2001 in the S.B. v. L.W. case, Judge Southwick joined a majority opinion which upheld a chancellor’s decision taking an 8-year-old child away from her bisexual mother and awarded custody of the child to the father (who had never married the mother), in large part because the mother was living with another woman in a “lesbian home.” The language in the majority opinion repeatedly used terms like “homosexual lifestyle” and “lesbian lifestyle.” The dissenting opinion, by contrast, stated that sexual orientation has no bearing on child custody decisions.

Judge Southwick went beyond even the majority opinion and was the only judge to join an additional concurring opinion by Judge Payne. Judge Payne’s concurrence appears to have been written for the sole purpose of underscoring and defending Mississippi’s hostility toward gays and lesbians. The concurrence also suggests that sexual orientation is a choice and explicitly states that while “any adult may choose any activity in which to engage, that person is not thereby relieved of the consequences of his or her choice.” Thus, according to the reasoning adopted by Judge Southwick, one consequence of being gay or lesbian is possibly losing custody of one’s own child.

Judge Southwick was repeatedly asked about these opinions and he refused to disavow himself from the highly offensive language and reasoning in these opinions to which he put his name.

Senate Floor Statement of Senator Cardin

Can you even imagining such a ruling? This is something that is out of the fifties and not from 2001

Dumbledore was Gay!

Boy, I can just hear all those conservatives who were against the Potter series because it about magic. Now the revelation that Dumbledore was gay!

Dumbledore was gay, JK tells amazed fans

David Smith
Sunday October 21, 2007
The Observer

There could hardly have been a bigger sensation if Russell Crowe, Rod Stewart or Sven-Goran Eriksson had come out of the closet. Millions of fans around the world were yesterday digesting the news that one of the main characters in the Harry Potter novels, Albus Dumbledore, is gay….

….A 19-year-old from Colorado asked about the avuncular headmaster of Hogwarts School: 'Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?'

The author replied: 'My truthful answer to you...I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.' The audience reportedly fell silent - then erupted into prolonged applause.

Rowling, 42, continued: 'Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald [a bad wizard he defeated long ago], and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent, but he met someone as brilliant as he was and, rather like Bellatrix, he was very drawn to this brilliant person and horribly, terribly let down by him.'

Monday, October 22, 2007

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for October 22, 2007

Would you be able to serve on a jury and sentence the defendant to the death penalty if he/she were found guilty of a crime that the court felt warranted the death penalty?
No, I would have a hard time convicting somebody and sentencing to death. Our court system is not perfect and is subject to errors. After you execute them you cannot go back and say; “Ops, we made a mistake. Sorry.”
Here in Connecticut we had a very horrific triple murder of my doctor’s family, they caught that criminals just about red handed and I do not think I could even sentence them to death. I do not believe a life for a life; I believe it is wrong to take a life for any reason.

Have you ever faked being ill to avoid doing something you didn’t want to do?

No, that is a coward’s way out. They have been many times I wish I could avoid doing something but I never did.

Would you state you were guilty of a crime you didn't commit to free a loved one?

No, I believe in personal responsibility. I think I would love that person more if they admitted their crime, unless it was a deliberate violent act. Then I would have to seriously rethink why I love that person if they are capable of doing violence to another person.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

By the Way Sunday

By the way...
How are you at acrostics?
Pick 3 words, any 3 words you like and make acrostics out of them.
For example...
Be creative, express yourself!

I do not know if this is correct, I did it with four letters…


I didn't know what an Acrostic was so I looked it on on Wikipedia and they had this poem by Edgar Allan Poe poem titled simply An Acrostic as an example:

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not" — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His follie — pride — and passion — for he died.

Doctor! Doctor! I got it bad!

What is the first thing I did when I got home? Checked my emails and blogs of course.
I just pulled in from the trip back from P’town, it took a little over four hours to get home, traffic was light. I came home via Providence instead of going up to the Mass. Pike like I did on the way up. Thanks for all of you comments and support.
I had a good time, there were a lot of seminars that I enjoyed, took a lot of pictures yesterday after the sun came out and also today. I also took some video with my 8mm camcorder that I hope to digitize and post on my blog to see if it will convey the feel of P’town more then with stills. But, I do not know when I will get to all of that; I still have a lot of homework to do this week and next weekend I have a three day seminar on group facilitating. The seminar is going to be at the Voluntown Peace Trust it should be interesting and another new experience, take a look at their Mission Statement.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Price winner,

Who would have thought that South Africa leads the way in Human Rights for GLBT people? One of the seminars that I attended today was about Transgender Rights around the world and one of the points that they talked about was…

Desmond Tutu: "Homophobia equals apartheid"

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

afrol News, 7 July - Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Price winner, has lent his name to the fight against homophobia in Africa and around the world. The prominent South African says homophobia is a "crime against humanity" and "every bit unjust" as apartheid.

The former head of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa made these statements at the launching of the book "Sex, Love & Homophobia", published last week by Amnesty International UK. Mr Tutu has written the foreword to the human rights group's book….

… Yet, all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are persecuted, writes Archbishop Tutu. "We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God - and this must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy. We blame them for what they are," he adds….

…For Archishop Tutu, these "destructive forces" of "hatred and prejudice" are an evil. "A parent who brings up a child to be a racist damages that child, damages the community in which they live, damages our hopes for a better world. A parent who teaches a child that there is only one sexual orientation and that anything else is evil denies our humanity and their own too," Mr Tutu concludes.

This is a lesion that we should learn here as we debate whether gender inclusive ENDA should be passed.

Pronouns and Being Sired

This evening I went down to the town pier to take some photographs at sunset. As I was walking back a group of ladies asked me if I could take their picture, so I did. While we were talking they started using the pronoun “He” mixed in with “She” and I could tell that they didn’t really know what pronoun to use or that it was accidental. So it did really bother me that much.
But when I went down for dinner to a pizza place, I had a shaker of cheese on my table. A man came up to me asking; “Sir, can I use the cheese?” and I said yes I was finished with it. He replied, “Thank you Sir” picked it up, sprinkled some on his pizza slice and putting it back on the table saying, “Thank you Sir”. He stood there for a second grinning and walked away. Emphasizes his.
I didn’t react one way or another to give him the satisfaction but keep eating. But that asshole really pissed me off, he had to go out of his way just to show he knew that is was trans. He was on a little ego trip at my expense but all it showed me was that he was an idiot.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Provincetown and Fantasia Fair

I made it up here in time to go the seminar on Social Constructs, it was an excellent discussion and it was well worth getting up at five AM. The noon Keynote Address was also very good but not quit what I thought the topic was going to be about. Today I went to the Keynote address given by Helen Boyd to a packed room; her topic was the middle path. The middle path for those of us who are not transitioning for various reasons, health, financial or as in her partner’s case not wanting to break up their marriage.
I didn’t take any photos because yesterday because it was very foggy all day and today it rained most of the day and the light was flat, so instead I did my homework. I probability will not be going to the Follies tonight nor the Banquet tomorrow night because of homework on the paper I have to write for Wednesday.
We went out to dinner last night at Enzo’s and I had lobster over fettuccini with a curry sauce; it was delicious!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Join the Boycott

God Hates Shrimp
Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver's and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye's shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema. We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants.

Leviticus 11:9-12 says:
9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

Deuteronomy 14:9-10 says:
9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

Copyright © 2004-2007 by Joe Decker and Ryland Sanders.
Please don't hotlink images on this site; you are free to copy them to your own server.

All kidding aside why do the people who persecute homosexuals and transgenders always quote the Bible but there are so many other things in the Bible that they totally ignore? Like shellfish or wearing fabric made up of two types of fibers or selling their daughter into slavery or divorce or marrying you brother’s wife if he should die (My favorite) or… I could go on and on but you get my point.
When you pick out just one part of the Bible to justify the persecution of homosexuals and transgenders individuals that makes you a bigot. The religious right wing conservatives are flooding Congress with email, letters and phone calls to stop the passage of ENDA. So contact your Congressperson let the know that you support ENDA and that you support a gender inclusive ENDA (HR2015)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I am going on my annual pilgrimage to the town where the Pilgrims first landed, Provincetown MA. for Fantasia Fair. Usually I go for the whole week but because of classes I will be going up on Thursday and coming home on Sunday.

There are so many things going on during the conference that it is hard to pick what seminars to attend. So theses are some of the seminars that I want to attend are: “Body Talk: Are Transpeople’s Bodies Real or Social Constructions” by author Jamison Green; “Trans-ing the World, Making the closet an artifact” by Hawk Stone; “The Middle Path, Finding Your Way In Genderland” by author Helen Boyd; a panel discussion, “Looking Forward: The future world of trans” with Jamison Green and Moonhawk River Stone; Trans Around The World: Being trans in different cultures and different ways” by Hawk Stone. The first seminar is onThursday morning so that means I have to leave my house at 5:30am in order to get there on time.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for October 15, 2007

If you could have a romance with any fictional character, who would it be?
Hmm… I had a hard time with this question since I do not watch that many movies and I would have to guess it would be Honor Harrington in the Sifi series by David Weber. She is suave, brave and takes no talk back from anyone.

If you could be invisible for one hour, where would you go and what would you do?

I do not know, I don’t see any reason to be invisible. I think only something bad would come of it, to sneak in and listen in on a conversation would be a breach of trust.
Maybe on second thought on Halloween to have some fun with the Trick or Treaters.

If you could ask God any single question, what would it be?
Why? Why do people hate me for being myself?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday Six - Episode 182

Patrick’s Place: Saturday Six - Episode 182

1. If you’re all alone on a dark and stormy night when a particularly scary movie comes on, will you watch it or change the channel?
I am not a big fan of scary movies. I rather watch a Sifi movie like the “Lord of the Rings”.

2. If you could remake any old horror movie, which one would you choose and why?

One from the fifties, before they had the blood and guts special effects.

3. If you had the chance to spend the night in a room that you really believed was haunted by a malevolent ghost, would you?
Yes, since I really do not believe in ghosts.

4. Take the quiz:
What is your Halloween personality?

What Your Halloween Habits Say About You

You are an outgoing person who's a bit of a showoff. It's likely that you dress up for Halloween every year.

You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side. And part of having that dark side means not showing it.

Your inner child is stubborn and a bit bossy.

Your fears are irrational and varied. It's hard to predict what you may be afraid of on any given day.

You're logical, rational, and not easily effected. Not a lot scares you... especially when it comes to the paranormal.

You are picky and high maintenance. If you wear a Halloween costume, it's only when you really feel like it. And it has to be perfect.

5. Who is your favorite horror writer/novelist?
I usually do not read horror stories; once again I would rather read a book by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

6. How many years has it been since you last went trick-or-treating?

About forty years ago.

By the Way Sunday

By the way...

What do you have the most of right now? ones, fives, or tens?

Two Twenties.

Do you give yourself a weekly cash allowance?
No, I have monthly budget since that is the way I get paid.

When you're out shopping, which do you use, credit, or debit?

Food – debit
Items under about $20 with cash and all others with a credit card.

Do you use coins in your transactions or stick strictly to bills?

Strictly bills and when I get a gallon jar fill I cash them in.

Do you keep track of what cash you spend?

No, I don’t keep track of cash, but I do for credit card purchases.

Have you ever lost a lot of cash?

Would losing a check for $50,000 count? I misplaced my father life insurance check after he died. The check came the day I was going on vacation, I put it in the proverbial safe place and I could not find it when I came back from vacation. They did issue a new check, but I found the old check about six months later.

What is the largest amount of cash you have seen?
Would you believe a Million dollars? When I was probably ten or twelve we went to Washington DC and visited the Bureau of Engraving where they had a pile of newly print $100 bills that was worth $1,000,000. It is something you do not forget.

Class Photo Shoot – Part 2

I went on another photo shoot (You can find the photos from the first photo shoot here.) with some friends yesterday up to the northwest corner of Connecticut where it meets New York and Massachusetts. One of the stops that we made was at Bash Bish Falls, it was a ¾ mile walk in and the trail climbs up along the gorge until you reach the falls.

I passed up a photo shoot with the class this morning of the sunrise with the Hartford Skyline. It was just a little too early for me, being retired has spoiled me in to sleeping late.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oprah Show Today

On the Oprah Show Today
Meet transgender individuals who had the courage to say, "This is who I am." Find out what happens in a family when Dad becomes a woman. A discussion with the new American family Oprah wanted to meet

Microsoft's sex change

I came across this news article on Helen Boyd’s forum (en)gender

More and more high profile persons are transitioning and they are showing that the world does not come to an end when an employee transitions. When a company takes a positive attitude with the transition of their employee, everyone benefits as when sports writer Christine Daniels transitioned. The latest company to do so is Microsoft.

Microsoft's sex change

Michael Wallent, a general manager at Microsoft, will return to work in January as Megan Wallent. He came out to colleagues as transgender last month, first in person and then by email. Wallent says he encountered nothing but support -- mixed, of course, with some awkward curiosity. That's unremarkable. Microsoft is located in the progressive Pacific Northwest, where one's less likely to raise an eyebrow at Wallent's self-discovery and more likely to worry about the politically correct term to describe it. (For the record, "sex change" is considered derogatory by many; the preferred word is "transitioning.") He's unlikely to encounter blatant transphobia on the job. He should worry instead about plain old-fashioned sexism. How will Wallent's developers react when they come to work on January 2 and it hits them: They're working for a girl?

How will Microsoft handle her transition? Only time will tell, but as the article points out only 100 of the 900 top executives at Microsoft are woman. That means that Megan will have more of a problem as a woman at Microsoft than being trans.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Create A Connection

Getting to Know You Day: Aromatherapy

1) Throughout childhood and even adulthood certain people always smelled different to us, what scents remind you of a loved one?
I remember my grandmother always smelled of lilac.

2) Are there any scents that remind you of a special place or time in your life?
Well some of the obvious smells; pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving; evergreen, Christmas; the smell of fireworks on the Forth of July and the smell of wood smoke of a warm and cozy home.

3) What are some comforting smells for you?

The smell of apple pie.

4) Do you use any form of aromatherapy in your home or throughout the day?

No, not really. Maybe when I am having a party I might use some potpourri.

5) What scents evoke the most powerful memories for you?

I think the smell of freshly made bread, it reminds my of my grandmother’s house.

6) What are some of your favorite scents/smells?

See my answers to question #2. All of them bring back fond memories.

7) If you had to describe yourself as a scent (or combination), what scents would you be?
I have no idea; I hope that it is something sweet or flowery.

National Coming Out Day

Today October 11th is the National Coming Out Day.

When we come out it affects not only us, but all of those who love and know us. When we are in the closet we are living a lie and many of us are in denial, that this is a passing phase or that I can change, all I really need is love and I can be straight. We cannot face the fact that we are trans, gay or lesbian. We are under a lot of pressure to conform; society exerts a huge amount of force to be “Normal”. The stigma attached to being different is unbearable for some people and they would do anything just to be “Normal”.

Last night, I was waiting with the other students from my class for the class before us to get out. The janitors were going around collecting the waste paper and were standing in front of me laughing and talking in a foreign language while looking at me. After they left one of the students said innocently, “I wonder what they found so funny?” She didn’t have a clue why they were laugh and I felt like saying, “Three guesses and the first two don’t count.”

That is an example when I say that the social pressure to conform is so great, society lets you know in not so subtle ways that you are different and don’t belong. For those who do come out, it take a tremendous amount of courage and bravery to stand up to that type of pressure because it will change your life forever. You cannot say afterward, “I was only kidding.” If you are thinking of coming out today, keep this in mind and ask yourself is it really necessary to come out, is there a really a need to come out?

For me it was literally a matter of life or death. I was slowly killing myself by hiding from the truth. I had medical problems that were being cause by stress and the only way I could see to relieve that stress was by being true to myself. A friend once commented when coming out to her, I showed her pictures of me as Diana and her comment was “You are smiling!” Isn't it hard? Yes, it is very hard and probably that hardest thing I have ever done. Isn’t it still stressful? Yes, but that picture of me smiling says it all.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

'Dear Abby' Says She's for Gay Marriage

'Dear Abby' Says She's for Gay Marriage


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For years, rumblings have surfaced on the Internet, conjecture about her casual references to "sexual orientation" and "respect."

Now, Dear Abby is ready to say it flatly: She supports same-sex marriage.

"I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless 'em," the syndicated advice columnist told The Associated Press. "That is the highest form of commitment, for heaven's sake."

What Jeanne Phillips, aka Abigail Van Buren, finds offensive and misguided are homophobic jokes, phrases like "That's so gay," and parents who reject or try to reform their children when they come out of the closet.

Her views are the reason she's being honored this week by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a national advocacy group that provides support for gay people and their families. The original Abby, Phillips' 89-year-old mother, Pauline, helped put PFLAG on the map in 1984 when she first referred a distraught parent to the organization….

….Her outspokenness on gay rights issues has never caused a strong backlash, said Kathie Kerr, a spokeswoman for Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the column. It's possible some editors choose not to run the segments dealing with homosexuality, but if so they have not complained to the syndicate, Kerr said….

….Right now, Abby, as Phillips prefers to be called, is working on a reply to a woman who wanted to know whether she should include childhood photographs of her transgender brother-in-law in a family album. The woman is worried what she will tell her children when they see pictures of their uncle as a little girl.

Phillips' guidance to Worried Reader will be simple, she said: Include the photos, of course. Silence is the enemy. Answer any questions the kids have honestly — Uncle John was born with a body of the wrong sex, so even when he was called Jane he was really John inside….

Monday, October 08, 2007

For those who thought it did not exist!

I found it...

And you thought there was no such place, huh????

I just got this email from my brother.

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for October 8, 2007

Which month of the year do you think best describes your personality?

I think I would pick May because we have shaking off the cold winds of winter and a brand new season is coming into full bloom. Full of promise and hope.

If you could have had the starring role in an existing movie, which movie would you pick?
I don’t watch many movies so I don't know which one to pick, but I would want to star maybe in a movie set in the Victorian era with all those lovely gowns.

Are you attracted to people whose personalities are very similar to your personality or very different?
No I don’t I want to be with a person with a similar personality, we would just be sitting around worrying all the time. I would want someone with drive.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

By the Way Sunday

By the way...

Do you watch daytime soap operas? If so, which one is your favorite?
No, I just have no interest in Soaps. They story lines just seem to drag on and on.

Have you ever heard of Bobby Sherman? If so, name something he did.
Yes, but I had to Google him to remember who he was. I remember one or two times watching “Here Comes the Brides”

What old TV show would you like to see brought back to TV, remade for today?

“All in the Family”, but remakes are never the same. I was watching “Bionic Woman” this week and it is nothing like the original.

Can you name the members of the Jackson 5?

Michael and he is the only one I can name, but then again I couldn’t name them back in the seventies.

If you had to, which would you give up, your TV or your computer?

TV! I don’t watch much TV but I am on the computer four or times five (Well maybe ten or fifteen times) a day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Class Photo Shoot

I went on my first class photo shoot and we went to Gay City State Park. The fall foliage was not that spectacular and none of the pictures that I took of the pond was inspiring so for the class I chose these photos…

Saturday Six - Episode 181

Patrick's Place Saturday Six - Episode 181

1. If you were to count to three on your fingers, would you hold up your thumb, index and middle finger, or your index, middle and ring finger?
My thumb, index and middle finger

2. What was the last thing you remember counting in your home?
I think the operative work here is “remember”. I guess it most likely was money.

3. When you are listening to someone who uses repetitious phrases when speaking, such as, “you know,” how many of them do you generally need to hear before you begin subconsciously counting the occurrences?
I do not think that I have any set number, but when it is used two or three times in a single sentence, I might notice it.

4. Take the quiz: What is your expression number?

Your Expression Number is 11

You tend to be associated with idealistic concepts and spiritual issues.
You have high potentials that are somewhat difficult to live up to.
You have very strong intuition and you can be a bit psychic at times.

Highly inspirational, you can lead merely by your own example.
You have an inborn inner strength and awareness that helps you advise others.
Although you have what it takes for a successful career, you belong outside the business world.

Overly sensitive and temperamental, you tend to have a lot of nervous tension.
You dream a lot, so much so that you may be more of a dreamer than a doer.
Fantasy and reality tend to get intermingled for you, and that leads to impracticality.

5. You’re calling a friend on the telephone and he’s not home: assuming he didn’t have voicemail, do you actually count how many rings go by or do you just hang up after a time you feel is sufficient for him to answer?
I hang up after I feel is a sufficient amount of time or maybe give it another two or three rings.

6. You go out to eat and you order a plate of twelve chicken wings. Do you actually count them before eating?
No. But if a ordered a plate of chicken wings and it only have six or seven wing, I might count them to see how many I got for the price and divide the price per wing. (i.e. if I am paying six or seven dollars for six or seven wing, they better be the size of turkey wings.)

More on ENDA (I know, you are thinking; “Oh no, not that again.”)

I am starting to think that maybe that what has happen in the last two weeks has been one of the best things to happen to ENDA. It has stirred up a backlash that has united our community. There is a huge coalition that formed of GLBT organization and business that have stepped forward saying that they would only support a gender identity inclusive bill.
Take a look on UnitedENDA web-siteat all the organizations that have signed up and the numbers keep on growing. Some of the organizations are:

ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
Al-Fatiha Foundation for LGBTIQ Muslims
COLAGE (Children of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere)
Equality Federation
Faith In America
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
GLSEN – the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Metropolitan Community Churches
Mautner Project: the National Lesbian Health Organization
New Ways Ministry
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Pride At Work, AFL-CIO
Queer Muslim Revolution
Reconciling Ministries Network (United Methodists)
Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity
Transgender American Veterans Association
Transgender Law and Policy Institute
Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
TransYouth Family Advocates
Unid@s, the National Latin@ LGBT Human Rights Organization

That is only a small portion of the national organizations on the list, and then there are all the state organizations that have signed up. The list is growing each day; I know CTAC has signed up today and I hope that other trans-organizations in Connecticut well also sign-up.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Grrr… !

I made chili this morning before I had to go out. Red peppers were on sale this week for $.99 a lbs. so I thought it was a good time for a fresh pot of chili to freeze for winter (I use old margarine tubs to freeze it in. I can usually get six or seven of the cups full from a pot of chili.)
When I got home I expected to be welcomed to that wonderful smell of freshly made chili. I walked in the door and nothing, where’s that great smell? I look at the crock pot and I saw that I forgot to plug it in!
Well I guess supper is going to be a couple of hours late.

* 1 LB. Lean chopmeat or Beef Cubes
* 1/2 LB. Salt Pork
* 1 Green Pepper
* 1 Onion
* 16 oz Can Red kidney beans
* 16 oz Can Pinto beans
* 16 oz Can Tomato sauce
* 2 TBS Cumin
* 2 TBS Chili power
* 1 TBS Minced garlic
* 2 Cups Water ( Option - Beer )
* 1/4 Cup Corn Flour
* Tobasco sauce

Brown the chopmeat and salt pork in a skillet. Chop the onion and pepper. Except for the flour, add all the ingredients into a 4-quart pot and simmer for 1 hour (Crock pot for 4 - 6 hours). Before serving stir in the flour to thicken. Season to taste.


The outreach went a lot better than I expected, we really got some good questions from both of the class and they kept the pace of the questions up for the whole class. There were no dead times when there were no questions asked. So the outreach got two thumbs up from me.
The banquet also went well, I kind of feel sorry for the Director because with over four hundred attendees she was running around saying “Hi” to everyone and the staff was asking her a hundred last minute questions, I bet today she is just sitting back and relaxing. They handed out the Maria Miller Stewart Award to four fabulous ladies. All of them were involved in civil rights through out their lives.
Now I have to make up for the day off from doing homework.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Create a Connection

Getting to Know You Day: Creating

1) Do you do something creative every day? If not, do you wish you could?

No I do not, my creative inspiration comes in spurts. I wish I could control it but it controls me.

2) Where do your ideas come from? Are you inspired by others art, music, your children?
In photography I am inspired by the world around me and in poetry by the stresses in my life.

3) What is your favorite art form? Why does it call to you?

Photography. Because I can see the image in my mind, I can visualize the shot. While poems on the hand pop into my mind usually at two or three AM when I can't sleep.

4) What is one art form you long to try? What holds you back from trying it?

Painting, I just do not have the patience’s to sit and paint.

5) Are you the type of person that concentrates on one thing at a time or do you have many projects started that you are trying to finish?
Do you mean like now? I should be doing homework and cleaning the house. Instead I do a little homework, and then do a little cleaning, while in between I surf the web and answer memes; with nothing really getting done.

6) Do you belong to any creative communities, swap groups, yahoo groups that encourage creativity/art?
No. Unless you want to count the class I am taking in photography

7) Is there a group of friends in your community that you get together with to help each other out with your art?


8) What is the most important reason you create?

For my own enjoyment and relaxation, but it is also nice to share with others.

An Interesting Email

The other day I got an email from a student in a class called Visual Statements - The Art of Social Commentary and she asked if she could use one of my poems for her class project. I was both honored and intrigued about the project and I gave her permission to use the poem “The Box” which was a poem that I wrote when I was struggling to cope with my gender identity. In the poem I switched the image of a closet with that of a box, instead of fighting to get out of the closet; I fought to get out of the box which I felt made a much more powerful image than a closet.
Here is the poem…
The Box
It would plea and beg to be let out of the box.
Other times it would bang its fist and try to claw out of the box.
I would take it out and let it play when nobody was around, but I would always put it back in the box.
I would be able to go to work or play because I had it in the box.
At night I would open the box, but by morning it would be back in the box.
I could hear it praying to be let out of the box but I always ignored it and only when I wanted to I’ll let it out of the box.
As I went about I could hear it make comments “Oh, that’s a pretty
dress.” or “I wish I could look that pretty.” but, I always forced it back in the box.
But, once in awhile a painted nail or a hairless arm would be seen out of the box.
It’s walking around in public and eating in restaurant and it is now getting harder to put it back in the box.
When it’s out of the box it knows freedom and when I try to put it back in the box, it turns and smiles and says, “I have the key and when ever I want, I can get out of box.”

As an aside, last year when some friends were playing their guitars, I was looking over the lyrics to the Eagle’s “Already Gone” when I read the lyrics "So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains. And we never even know we have the key" that is kind of the same thing I was saying about the key in my poem; that we control our own destiny.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Barney Frank’s Little Secret

The trans-community was not the only one to get the short stick.
Read the report from Lambda Legal....

Lambda Legal’s Analysis of Stripped Down Version of ENDA: Gender Identity Protections Gone and Inadequate Protections for Lesbians and Gay Men

‘You can’t be fired for being a lesbian or a gay man, but you can be fired if your boss thinks you fit their stereotype of one.’

(New York, October 1, 2007) — Lambda Legal's preliminary assessment of the revised version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act shows the bill to be riddled with loopholes in addition to failing altogether to protect transgender people against discrimination.

"Leaving out protections for transgender people is unacceptable, and passing a bill riddled with loopholes will make it harder to achieve equality on the job," said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director at Lambda Legal. "You can't be fired for being a lesbian or a gay man, but you can be fired if your boss thinks you fit their stereotype of one."

"After working together for so many years on a bill to provide protections for the LGBT community on the job — we can do better than this," Cathcart added.

Preliminary Analysis Summary:

* As a point of clarity for the community: The recent version is not simply the old version with the transgender protections stripped out — but rather has modified the old version in several additional and troubling ways.

* In addition to the missing vital protections for transgender people on the job, this new bill also leaves out a key element to protect any employee, including lesbians and gay men who may not conform to their employer's idea of how a man or woman should look and act.[Emphasis added] This is a huge loophole through which employers sued for sexual orientation discrimination can claim that their conduct was actually based on gender expression, a type of discrimination that the new bill does not prohibit.

* This version of ENDA states without qualification that refusal by employers to extend health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of their employees that are provided only to married couples cannot be considered sexual orientation discrimination.[Emphasis added] The old version at least provided that states and local governments could require that employees be provided domestic partner health insurance when such benefits are provided to spouses.

* In the previous version of ENDA the religious exemptions had some limitations. The new version has a blanket exemption under which, for example, hospitals or universities run by faith-based groups can fire or refuse to hire people they think might be gay or lesbian.

Lambda Legal has long worked on employment discrimination issues and has represented clients who have faced discrimination or harassment at work based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As Gomer Pyle use to say… Surprise! Surprise!
One Mid-term Exam Down, One to Go

I just got back from taking my mid-term exam in Research I and now just one more mid-term on Wednesday the 10th for Human Behavior in a Micro Environment.

Last night I had my first Photography class and we have a photo shoot on Saturday. Out of the dozen or so classmates only about a third of us would I rate as advanced. I am a little disappointed in that there isn’t more advanced photographers in the class. I was hoping that I would get some good critiques from the other students, so it will be interested in what I will learn form the class.

This week I have an Outreach speaking engagement at college down in New Haven on Thursday. Now get this… the class is the “History and Principles of Phy. Ed”. I can just it now, a whole class of jocks just sitting there, arms crossed and an expression on their face that looks like there are eating a lemon. Yup, it should be a fun class.
Also on Thursday I am going to a fundraiser banquet for CWEALF

Monday, October 01, 2007

How Good is Your ISP Connection?

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for October 1, 2007

If technology was sufficiently advanced, would you be willing to clone yourself?

Egad! Two of me? I don’t think the world can handle two of me, come to think of it, I don’t think I could stand two of me. So the answer is no.

At the local grocery store you see an elderly woman shoplift a chicken. Do you tell the management?

That is a very hard question to answer. I do not believe in stealing but the social worker side of me would think that maybe she trying to living on Social Security and can not afford to by food.
So I would like to think that I would step up and offer to help her to buy the food.

If you could be 8 years old again for an entire day, knowing what you know now, how would you spend it?

I would to go back and play with the girls in the neighborhood.