Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year In Review – 2008

It is that time of the year to look back at this year’s milestones for me and in trans-community. Most list look back at the celebrities, or those who died or other major events that occurred this year. However, I feel it is important to look at the high and low points within our own community (The Links are to my Blog entries)…

The first major political event in the trans-community was New Jersey passing a gender inclusive Anti-Discrimination law. (Link)

Heating oil price went to $3.35 (Link)

I went to the First Event Conference in Boston (Link)

I was worried about the growing budget deficit (Link)

I went up to see Kate Bornstein at Smith College in Northampton MA (Link)

A trans-woman is murdered in Detroit (Link)

A 15 year old trans-youth was murder in Oxnard California (Link)

Lobby Day at the state Capital (Link)

Another murdered trans-youth in Detroit and a 10 year old hangs herself because her mom would not let her go to school as a girl and a 17 year old Fort Lauderdale trans-youth was shot to death. (Link)

I sent in my application for grad school (Link)

It was a bad month for being trans…

In March the results of a poll by the Empire State Pride Agenda was released that found… that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support passing a law that provides transgender people with protections from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and other areas of everyday life. The survey found that 78% of New Yorkers favor such a law while just 13% do not. (Link)

The Judicial Committee’s hearing for the Anti-Discrimination legislation was held
and I testified at the hearing, the bill passed the committee with a vote of Yeas 37 & Nays 6.(Link 1(Link 2)(Link 3)

The support group (Connecticut Outreach Society) that I am a member of gave me a lifetime achievement award at our annual Banquet.(Link)

Traveling down to Washington DC to lobby for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (Link)

The Trans Health and Law Conference (Link)

My acceptance to the graduate program at the University Of Connecticut School Of Social Work (Link)

National Public Radio (NPR) had two excellent shows on Gender Identity Disorder in children (Link 1)(Link 2)

A “Silent ‘T’ Party” a video on the non-inclusive ENDA and it shows the warped thinking of the HRC (Link)

Jesse Ventura gets it! (Link)

Northampton Trans Pride Rally (Link 1)(Link 2)

The American Medical Association (AMA) - Removing Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients(Link 1)(Link 2)

A local “LGBT” newspaper wrote an editorial about the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and totally dis’d the trans-community by saying that it was “only” the gays who rioted. The editorial created a firestorm not only in the trans-community but also in the lesbian community because they had fired the woman editor earlier. The paper basically became a gay newspaper and they only throw a bone to the lesbian and trans communities once in awhile. (Link)

Congressional hearing on the gender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was truly a historic event, it was the very first time that there were hearing on Capital Hill involving transgender people.(Link 1)(Link 2)

My first anniversary of my transition. (Link)

The looming mortgage crisis… (Link)

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) issued a statement about the medical necessity of treatment for gender-related issues. (Link)

The House Armed Services Subcommittee held a hearing on the military Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. (Link)

The American Psychological Association (APA) issues a resolution supporting transgender right and the “Medical Necessity” of treatment for transgender individuals. (Link)

What would September be without the Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition’s Fashion show. (Link)

Diane Schroer wins her court case against the Library of Congress for discrimination (Link)

Marriage Equality, at last! (Link 1)(Link 2)

At Fantasia Fair conference in Provincetown, I gave my first workshop presentation. (Link)

We lost! And the bigot won. California Proposition 8 passes and in Florida and Arizona, the homophobes won.(Link 1)(Link 2)

The Transgender American Veterans Association released their survey of the Veteran Administration treatment of transgender veterans and the survey shows that the VA has a long way to go end discrimination. (Link)

Transgender Day of Remembrance(Link 1)(Link 2)

An exhibit at UConn Storrs campus called the "Margins to the Mainstream: GLBTQ Culture and History" has no “T”(Link 1)(Link 2)(Link 3)

The first “out” trans-person is hire by Barney Franks to be on his Washington DC staff. (Link)

The Kalamazoo City Commission passes an ordinance banning discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender individuals in housing, public accommodations and employment. (Link)

Three murders in Memphis Tennessee and two in Indianapolis Indiana (Link)

Monday, December 29, 2008

It Is Time To Stop The Hate!

Hate crimes are not just limited to the “T” community, lesbians and gays are also being murdered and raped because of the way they were born.

In Richmond California, a Lesbian was brutally ganged raped…

Lesbian rape victim in Richmond not alone in 2008
By Lisa Leff
Associated Press

In Richmond, the crime-ravaged city where the 28-year-old lesbian reported being assaulted by four men 10 days ago, police on Tuesday received so many calls from community members wanting to help that they asked the local rape crisis center to set up a fund to aid her.

In Indianapolis Indiana, a trans-woman and her partner was murdered…
Bilerico Project
Two Indianapolis residents were killed over the holidays. While details aren't definite, it would appear one or both individuals were specifically targeted. If the double slaying is a hate crime, nothing will be done about it. Indiana doesn't have a hate crimes law; instead we have a "hate crimes reporting" law, but there is no recourse if police departments don't report to the state. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department stopped documenting hate crimes years ago.

In a video released by the local NBC affiliate, Lt. Kevin Kelley can be seen stating "the two individuals did live an alternative lifestyle" at a press conference yesterday.

While I didn't know either victim and know nothing more than what has been reported, I'd bet my bottom dollar that Elzy is transgender. This leads me to one obvious question. If she is trans, has the media not only incorrectly identified her gender, but also released her picture under her male name? (As far as I've seen reported, IMPD referred to Hunt and Elzy as "individuals" without assigning gender.) Of course, both victims were obviously not considered consequential since mug shot photos were released to the media instead of the usual family-supplied photo.

Instead, as is often the case in Indianapolis, all remote mentions of the LGBT community is silently being swept under the rug…

UPDATE: Elzy has been identified in the comments section as Layia Lovely. Hunt was her boyfriend. Layia presented as female and was involved in sex work. Police have not confirmed this information or included it as a possible motive.
Once again, in Memphis Tennessee, a third trans-woman in six months was murdered…
Memphis transgender woman shot
by O&AN Staff Reports
Posted 12/25/2008
Three transgender women have died in Memphis. The city has become a dangerous place for the GLBT community. Out of a total of 56 anti-gay hate crimes that were reported to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in 2007, 21 of those cases occurred in Memphis.

Memphis Police say the shooting happened sometime around 5 a.m. on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 in the 3100 block of Boxtown Road in south Memphis near T.O. Fuller State Park.

The victim, Leeneshia Edwards was last seen about an hour earlier at the “C.K.’s Coffee Shop” on Union Avenue in midtown Memphis.
Also in Memphis this year, Duanna Johnson was shot to death on November 9 and Ebony Whitaker was murdered on July 1.
The Mercury News article also stated…
FBI statistics show there were 1,265 hate crimes based on sexual orientation [gender based hate crimes are not reported to the FBI] in 2007, up from 1,017 two years earlier and 1,239 in 2003. That compares with 3,820 racially motivated incidents in 2007 and 1,400 in which the victim's religion was a factor.

Because not all states allow attacks motivated by anti-gay bias to be charged as hate crimes and because some victims are reluctant to reveal their sexual orientations to police, advocates suspect the numbers to be much higher.

The vast majority of brutality against gays is carried out by young men, usually acting in groups, said Riki Wilchins, executive director of Gender Public Advocacy Coalition, a Washington nonprofit that works in schools to address discrimination.
It is time to end the violence and hate. It is time for the police to enforce the hate crime laws and to pass a national hate crime law. It is time to end the scapegoating of the LGBT people. This has to come from the top down, President Bush did everything in his power to demonize and oppress the LGBT community. The religious leaders must stop their hate speech and this includes the Pope. The Pope in his Christmas sermon blamed the ills of humanity on the homosexual transgender communities, this is hate speech!
Speaking on Monday, Pope Benedict said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was as important as protecting the environment.
Or what Rick Warren said…
L.A. Times
By Katha Pollitt
December 22, 2008
Warren doesn't just oppose gay marriage, he's compared it to incest and pedophilia. He doesn't just want to ban abortion, he's compared women who terminate pregnancies to Nazis and the pro-choice position to Holocaust denial…

Speaking of Jews, Warren has publicly stated his belief that they will burn in hell, presumably along with everyone else who hasn't accepted his particular brand of Christianity
This type of speech is used by an oppressor to deflect the people from seeing their internals problems and to put the focus on an external minority to make them less than human. To drum up the troops to battle the external forces of evil; we can see it used through out history.

Stop the Hate

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #148

What is the biggest mistake you made in 2008 and will not make again in 2009?

I don’t know if I made any mistakes. I think that this year went rather nice.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Why or why not?
I make just a half hearted resolution, I just do not see what is so special about making a New Year resolution.

Who do you nominate as “Man or Woman of the Year” for 2008?
Well, I think, President-elect Obama wins hands down. I don’t think anyone else is even close.

What was your greatest accomplishment in 2008?

I think that it is my school work. Being accepted to grad school and maintaining a 3.71 GPA.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

OK, Lets Have Some Fun...

Simon made by Neave Games

// Control keys
Use the mouse to select the lights, or the following keys:
Red light – R
Green light – G
Blue light – B
Yellow light – Y
Quit game – Q
Mute sound – M

I am horrible with this game, I cannot get more then five or six levels before my mind goes, DUH!

Saturday Six - Episode 246

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 246

1. How many members of your family not living with you did you see on Christmas Day?
There were sixteen members of our extended family at my niece’s house in New Jersey and that is counting my sister-in-law’s sister’s family.

2. When spending time with family, how long after you arrive do you begin to feel “antsy” about being there too long?
Would you believe five minutes? Well actually, it was around eight at night and I got there at nine in the morning.

3. Is your family more likely to have pleasant discussions or heated arguments during a big meal? Do you join in or quietly listen in?
We were discussion the state of the economy and the environment over dinner, with topics such as sending the kids off to college next year.

4. Take the quiz: How Do You Really Feel About Your Family?

You Feel Inadequate Around Someone in Your Family

You are very quick to forgive your family for wrongdoings. You don't expect them to be perfect, and you try to help them out whenever it's possible.
You feel like your family is prone to too many arguments and instability. You never feel like things can be completely peaceful.
You feel envious toward someone in your family. You can't help but be jealous of someone's success or popularity.
You tend to be the rock in your family. You support everyone in their times of need, and they take your advice seriously.

They had somethings right and the others were way off the the mark. I am quick to forgive and I take everyone's advice seriously, but everything else is totally off the wall.

5. Consider the family member whose views are most opposite of your own: If your friends or co-workers met the person, what single topic would probably be the source of the most embarrassment for you if your friends heard that person talking?
I think that they would get along very well together; the touchy topic would have been the unions.

6. Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? What one thing that you didn’t get would you like to have received?

I think that I got everything that I would have liked get. I really didn’t want much and I received the DVD that I wanted, “Momma Mia.”

Friday, December 26, 2008

Saturday 9: Crazy Sam's Last Meme of 2008

Saturday 9: Crazy Sam's Last Meme of 2008

1. What was the best thing that happened to you personally in 2008?
Getting accepted to grad school.

2. What was the worst thing that happened to you personally in 2008?

The Stock Market crash

3. What was the best thing to happen to all of us in 2008?
Obama being elected.

4. What was the worst thing to happen to all of us in 2008?

The economic depression (I will not use “Recession” because for those that are affected it is a depression).

5. What was the best gift you receive during the ’08 holidays?

A necklace.

6. What was the best gift (most appropriate or best received) you gave during the ’08 holidays?
The books that I gave to my nephew’s kids.

7. Do you have any regrets about what you did in 2008?

Yes, but I don’t want to talk about it.

8. Do you have any regrets about what you didn’t do in 2008?
No, it is what I did that I have regrets abouts.

9. Did you meet anyone that became important to you in 2008?


New Jersey’s Jug Handles

I hate them! I stayed at a motel while I was visiting my niece in New Jersey and when I drove over to her house, the jug handles were driving my nuts. I had to make a left turn to get to her house. I got in the left lane for the left turn lane at the intersection, but there was a “No Turns” sign at the intersection, after a couple of intersections like that I notice the jug handle after the intersection. I got in the right lane for the next intersection to take the jug handle after the intersection, but it was before the intersection… Grrr!

OK, now I looked for the jug handle either before or after the intersection. However, the next intersection had a left turn lane… Arrrggg!!!

I went miles before I was able to make the U-turn and I had to drive miles back to the intersection that I originally had to take.

What does New Jersey have against left turns?

Friday Fill-Ins #104

Janet’s Friday’s Fill-ins #104

1. I must _stop feeling like Scrooge_ before I die.

2. You can't stop _snacking on sweet breads on Christmas Day_.

3. I wish I never had to buy _Christmas present_ again.

4. _My friends_ has have helped me change my life.

5. I know the song _Frosty the Snowman_ by heart.

6. If I weren't so afraid, I would _ jump out of an airplane_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm not looking forward to _driving back to Connecticut_, tomorrow my plans include _doing nothing_ and Sunday, I want to _do more nothing_!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Joyous Chanukah!

I am one of the lucky ones today, I am with my family. However, for many people including a great number of LGBT individuals they are alone today. This year is particularly hard on many because of the economic crisis; I ask to reach out and help those in needs in anyway that you can.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Are The Only Ones…

We are the only one of the major western nation that did not sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Surprise, surprise!
Alone among major Western nations, the United States has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

According to some of the declaration's backers, U.S. officials expressed concern in private talks that some parts of the declaration might be problematic in committing the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In numerous states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.
Yahoo News
Mean while…
The 66 countries reaffirmed “the principle of non-discrimination, which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
They stated they are “deeply concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” and said that “violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and prejudice are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The statement condemned killings, torture, arbitrary arrest, and “deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health.” The participating countries urged all nations to “promote and protect human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” and to end all criminal penalties against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Dallas Voice
Who else didn’t support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Some of the nations were Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan and the Vatican.

Who did sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The Human Rights Watch

Monday, December 22, 2008

Anti-Discrimination Protections can be just a House Vote away and your voice is needed so

In 2009 we will be looking to raise and pass the Gender Identity and Expression Anti-Discrimination Bill. But we can't do it without you...

Ct TransAdvocacy and the Anti-Discrimination Coalition members are working now to raise and PASS in 2009, the Connecticut Gender Identity and Gender Expression Anti-Discrimination legislation! We are optimistic in our efforts in 2009, however we will only be able to do this with strong support and sweat equity from each and every one of you. As we all know from prior years, our stories, our talking to legislators, our Lobby Day and our calls and letters go a long way in moving each of our individual legislators to support this bill and to assure it passes as raised and not amended in any way. Since there are 151 members in the Connecticut House of Representatives your help is critically needed since we need to assure that many of them hear our stories and willing to support raising and passing of this legislation in '09!

So please complete the following survey and let us know how you can help assure that Connecticut passes a Gender Identity and Gender Expression anti-discrimination bill in '09!.

What is the Gender Identity and Expression Bill?

The Gender Identity and Expression Anti-discrimination Bill clarifies and updates Connecticut's non-discrimination laws to ensure that they clearly and uniformly protect all people regardless of their gender identity or expression by simply adding the phrase "gender identity and expression", as defined in Connecticut's "Hate Crime law", to all statutes that address discrimination.

From both a priori and empirical studies it is well known that gender non-conforming people experience widespread discrimination in Connecticut. Your support of this bill is vital and is needed to protect transgender and gender non-conforming individuals from being fired, denied basic housing, denied credit and most basic services.

Currently, a number of major Connecticut Corporations (e.g. Aetna, The Hartford, IBM, Pfizer, ESPN, Chubb) as well as small businesses have explicit policies prohibiting discrimination based on ones gender identity and expression as well as employing Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

Whenever this bill (SB 1044 or HB 5723; Click links for bill details) has come up for a vote in Committee's or the Senate, it has passed overwhelmingly with Bi-Partisan support. However, we cannot take this strong support for granted and your help this coming session will be vital to assure the bill is raised and passed, without any amendments, in both the House and Senate of the Connecticut General Assembly.

This bill is NOT about Special Rights but rather simply about assuring Basic Human Rights for all those who are discriminated against because of their Gender identity or Expression!

What is the Anti-Discrimination Coalition?

The Anti-Discrimination Coalition (ADC) is comprised of individuals and local, regional and national organizations interested in ensuring that any people vulnerable to discrimination are given equal protection under the law. Currently, because Connecticut has no law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression in education, housing, employment, credit, or public accommodation we are working to pass a bill that will include the phrase "gender identity or expression" in Connecticut's non-discrimination law. The ADC is working collectively with individuals and agencies to create permanent systemic change to strengthen all of our communities.

If you are interested in our work and would like more information on how you or your organization can fight for equality for all Connecticut citizens, please contact me at (replace the X with a @) or call (860) 247-6090 ext. 21 (I will be out of the office until Jan 5)

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #147

If you were at a friend’s house for a holiday dinner and you found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do?
I would eat it, mmm… good protein!
I think that I would try not to freak out and I would not eat the salad. I would be suspicious of anything else that they severed. Hopefully, it was from the supermarket and not from their house.

If you could put anyone you know on Prozac, who would you choose?
President Bush and maybe a straight jacket also.

How do you feel about public displays of affection?
I am a bit of a prude, holding hands is OK and maybe a peck on the cheek, but any other display of affection is best left for a private moment.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cabin Fever

It has just stopped snowing and it started snowing Friday at one o’clock, over forty-eight hours of snow. We received a little less than 11 inches, most of the snow came down Friday night, Saturday the snow was very fine and it did not amount to much.
Some long icicles formed the back of the house.

# # # # #

’Harvard Business Review’ tackles trans issues in the workplace

From the Boston Edge,

The Harvard Business Review (HBR), which reaches an elite readership of corporate CEOs and high-level executives, published a case study in its December issue highlighting the issues that companies face when an employee announces plans to change his or her gender.

"As we started to talk to experts in the field, for example human resources lawyers, they told us that the part of their practice that was growing the fastest was companies that had concerns about their employees transitioning," said Gary, who is associate director of leadership development and public affairs at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

"In this environment companies want to make sure that they’re doing nothing to put off or scare away potentially excellent talent," said Gary. H.R. executives from Raytheon and Prudential provided commentaries to the case study, as did Stasha Goliaszewski, a transgender employee at Boeing.

Trans issues may seem like the next frontier to some companies, but in researching their case study Elliot and Gary found that for other companies the gender changes are old news. In the commentary section following the case study Linda Taylor, an H.R. executive at Raytheon Missle Systems in Tucson, explains that in her seven years on the job she has overseen three gender changes, and she said her predecessor was aware of at least four others. Beginning in 2005 she worked to create a standard procedure to accommodate gender changes, leading gender identity training sessions for employees and instituting rules to ensure that coworkers use appropriate pronouns and names…

"I hope that it serves to legitimize trans issues in the workplace. Now that it’s out there there’s a resource that can be used by trans folks in the business community, by trans allies in the business community, that they can take to a CEO when these issues arise or before these issues arise and say, ’This is an issue, it’s in HBR,’" said Elliot.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Six - Episode 245

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 245

1. On an average year, how many days before Christmas do you generally finish your Christmas shopping?
Would you believe the day before, well maybe not, but it is just a few days before Christmas.

2. Is the economy making you spend any less on gifts this year, or are you spending about the same?
About the same, I did get presents for my niece and nephew kids this year but that was because they will be with us this year.

3. What part of the Christmas scene do you find the most chaotic? What part do you generally worry most about?

All the kids running around fighting over toys. Traveling to New Jersey and the weather.

4. Take the quiz:
What Movie is Your Christmas Most Like?

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

5. What Christmas movie is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite?
"A Christmas Story" is my favorite because I like the way Jean Shepard narrates the movie. My least favorite movie is “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase, I just don’t like his movies.

6. What Christmas tradition from years past do you miss the most now?
I don’t know, we pretty much celebrate the way we did in the past with the family all coming together, well at least on the even years, on the odd years they are at their in-laws.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Saturday 9: Holiday Cheer

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Holiday Cheer

1. Does the holiday season stress you out? If yes, how do you cope?
Yes, I need time to decompress afterwards. Having 17 people (of which there are 4 kids under 7 and 2 teenagers) in a small house for two days is too much for me, I need quiet time, so this year I am sleeping at a motel.

2. Are you ever so busy in December that you have to force yourself to chill?

This year is especially busy, not only did I have to finish classes and buy Christmas presents for the kids. I am also working on trying to past legislation and I have a couple of meetings a week in all parts of the state.

3. Do you sleep well at this time of year?

No, I toss and turn all night long. Today because of the snowstorm, I curled up in front of the woodstove, read, surfed the web, napped, read, surfed the web (Hence the reason why I am one of the first responders on this meme.)… Somehow, I do not think that I am going to sleep well tonight.

4. Have you ever taken a sleigh ride? If yes, tell us about it.
No, never did. It is something I would like to try though.

5. Do you live close to the parts of your family you spend the holidays with?
No, they are spread all over the northeast and one nephew is out in San Francisco with his girlfriend. For Christmas, I am going down to New Jersey.

6. What will you have for Christmas dinner?
I have no idea; all I know is that I am supposed to bring the Rum.

7. Do you diet after the holidays?
I should.

8. What’s the best part of the season for you?

Getting a few days off from work.

9. How many generations of your family get together during the holidays?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday Fill-in

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #103

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, _button up your coat, its going to be a cold night_.
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, _I’m not changing his diapers _.
3. _Snow fell_, over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, _the UFO in the sky_.
5. _Wine will_, let your heart be light.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing _at the karaoke_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _snuggling up in front of the fire and watch the snow fall_, tomorrow my plans include _going out to a fundraiser_ and Sunday, I want to _wrap my presents_!

The Battle For Human Rights and Fairness

I found this on Donna Rose’s blog.

The Kalamazoo City Commission passed an ordinance banning discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender individuals in housing, public accommodations and employment. However, once again the right wing Christian conservatives are terrified of change and are circulating a petition to rescind the ordinance. The American Family Association of Michigan is supporting the ballot initiative, they state as examples of what is wrong with the ordinance,

…a landlord could not refuse to rent an apartment to a gay or lesbian couple based solely on their sexual orientation.
In addition, contractors seeking to do business with the city must show proof they have a policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

They have used the same arguments when women were given the right to vote, they used it again for interracial marriages and civil rights. It is time for them end their bigotry and oppression. This is about equality and fairness; we want the right to work, to have a roof over our heads, to support our families, to be treated the same as everyone else.

They are willing to let gay, lesbians and transgender people freeze out in the cold rather than give a job and shelter. In Austin Texas, a homeless woman was found dead this week…

She was lying in an outdoor walkway at the First English Lutheran Church in Central Austin.
“She had started to sleep in the doorway of the Lutheran Church across from the park just as a way to shelter herself from the weather,” said Martinez.

It is time to end this inequality, this bigotry and hatred; speak up and act.

Updated 12/19/08

There was really nowhere for Jennifer Gale to go to protect herself from the cold last night. The Salvation Army (the only shelter in town that takes in women) would not let her in there unless she was grouped with the men (which includes sleeping with, and showering with, other homeless men). They would make her use her male birth name and completely disregard, and disrespect, her identity as a trans-woman. There is so much to be learned from Jennifer Gale, and so much to be worked on in our community.
Texas Civil Rights Review

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WOW! This Is Fantastic News!

This was just posted on "My Husband's Betty" forum...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Paul Twitchell, 617.450.1215


Portfolio includes Healthcare, LGBT, Labor, Veterans and Census Issues

BOSTON, Dec. 17, 2008 -- Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman, House Financial Services Committee, named Diego Miguel Sanchez, APR, as Legislative Assistant for LGBT, Healthcare, Labor, Veterans and Census issues, effective Jan. 6, 2009, based in Washington, D.C. Sanchez is currently Director of Public Relations & External Affairs for AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, New England's first and largest AIDS organization, and AIDS Action Council in Washington, DC, and brings 28 years of expertise In LGBT and healthcare policy, public relations, issues and diversity management and marketing. He also drives media relations for the National AIDS Strategy Coalition that successfully urged President-elect Barack Obama to design and implement a national AIDS strategy for the United States. (

"While we'll miss Diego and are grateful for his contributions in Massachusetts, we're heartened that his skill, intelligence and compassion will be on Capitol Hill, focusing with Barney Frank on many issues of importance to our community," said Rebecca Haag, President and CEO, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts and Executive Director, AIDS Action Council. "He's heading for Washington at a time when great progress is anticipated from both the Executive and Legislative branches, including for HIV/AIDS and healthcare overall."

Sanchez is former Work Plan Committee Chair of the CDC-mandated Massachusetts HIV Prevention Planning Group and is on the Board of the Harvard/Boston Medical Center AIDS Clinical Trial Unit.

Before joining AIDS Action In 2004, Sanchez was director of JRI Health's TransHealth and GLBT Health Access Programs and directed its Ryan White Title IV Program for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Named among the Top 100 Most Powerful Latinos in Corporate America by Hispanic Business magazine and one of the 100 most powerful Latinos in Massachusetts (Poderometro/ Power Meter) by El Planeta newspaper in 2007, Sanchez has introduced more than 50 global programs and 20 global brands including Diet Coke® and The St. Regis®. Sanchez was named "Outstanding Community Activist" by the Bay State Stonewall Democrats this year.

He is the first transgender person appointed to a Democratic National standing committee, named to The DNC Platform Committee by Chair Gov. Howard Dean and appointed a Party Leader (PLEO) and At-Large Delegate to the 2008 Convention in Denver. Sanchez successfully gained historic inclusion in the Platform of his three designated priorities: calling for a National AIDS Strategy by name, adding gender identity to non-discrimination in employment alongside sexual orientation and including same-sex couples as families.

He testified before Congress this year as one of three individual transgender witnesses on the issue of employment non-discrimination for transgender people. Reps. Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin also testified at the hearing. He also delivered Congressman Frank's testimony at the Massachusetts State House hearing in support of HB1722 which would prohibit discrimination for gender identity and expression in employment, housing, hate crimes, credit, public accommodations and public education.

Sanchez is a member of the Human Rights Campaign Business Council and Diversity Co-Chair of its Boston Steering Committee, founding Board member of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and SomosLatinos LGBT, first Co-Chair of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and on The Board of Boston's Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Sanchez served on President-elect Barack Obama’s LGBT Policy Advisory Committee and Transgender Policy Sub-Committee and previously was a national LGBT advisor for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Candidacy. A University of Georgia cum laude graduate and Rhodes Scholar candidate, Diego holds a B.A. in Journalism with a major in public relations. Diego is a Senior Fellow of The Emerging Leaders Program of the Center for Collaborative Leadership in the College of Management at UMass/Boston.

This is really great news that Diego will be working with Rep. Franks, maybe we just might have some hope with passing a gender inclusive ENDA. As far as I know, Diego is the first trans-person to be on a member of Congress's staff.

Maybe there is some hope with Congressman Barney Franks, he has been talking wishy washy statements about the gender inclusive ENDA. We will have to see if Diego can persuade Rep. Franks to back the bill.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Manic Monday #146

Lisa’s Manic Monday #146

Have you ever returned an item to a store for a refund after having used it?
No, before I buy something I usually make sure that I want it or need it.

You are going out for the evening. If your partner objects to what you are wearing, would you change your clothing?
It depends on a lot of variables like why, where we are going, and how much time we have.

What item that you don’t currently possess would you most like to have in your home?

A wide screen HDTV

Friday, December 12, 2008

Saturday 9: 'Tis the Season

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: 'Tis the Season

1. Do you enjoy receiving or giving presents more?
I think that it is about even between giving and receiving gifts, but I will tell what I hate the most, it is shopping. I do not like to fight the crowds

2. What is you favorite holiday film?
I am not a movie fan and it is hard to pick a movie. But if I had to pick a movie… I would pick "A Christmas Story" because I like the way Jean Shepard narrates the movie.

3. Have you started or finished your gift shopping?

Nope, I have not started. I plan on starting next week.

4. What does this time of year mean to you?
Bring the family all together to celebrate the holidays.

5. What is your favorite holiday song?
The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

6. What do you love about the holiday season?
Being with the family, it nice to be all together.

7. What do you hate about the holiday season?
Being with the family, it gets to be too much after awhile being cramped up in one house.

8. Do religious ceremonies play a part in your holiday traditions? If yes, how?

9. Who will you spend the holidays with?
I will be spending Christmas at my nieces house in New Jersey with my brother, sister-in-law, my sister-in-law’s sister’s family, my nephew’s family and my other nephew and his girlfriend. A total of fourteen people (four children under 7 and three teenagers).

It Is A Matter Of Human Rights

This was based on an email from the TGStateCoalition and from the blog “Queercents

Last Saturday, Rep. Barney Franks say at the Victory Fund and the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute dinner that he believes that a gender inclusive Hate Crime bill will pass Congress and President Obama will sign the bill in to law. However, he said that he does plan to introduce a non-gender inclusive ENDA bill this and he feels the bill has a good chance to pass. His reason for not introducing a gender inclusive bill is the same ol’ bull; “There is still a lot of ignorance about transgender in society.”

All of the polls that I have seen show that the majority of the voters are in favor of passing anti-discrimination legislation. The people get it! The trend in the polls is upward, the early polls (polls by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Garden State Equality and the HRC) showed that over seventy percent of the people were in favor of a gender Anti-Discrimination legislation. Last year the poll conducted by Empire State Pride Agenda found 78% of New Yorkers believed in protecting gender identity and expression. The people know that this is an issue of fairness, of allowing everyone an equal chance at employment and to make a living to support their families.

How can you help? You can help by contacting your representatives in Congress and tell them to support only a gender inclusive ENDA and Hate Crime bills.
Congressman Barney Frank
2252 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

In addition, you can contact President-elect Obama and ask him to keep his campaign promise of only supporting a gender inclusive ENDA.
Obama for America
P.O. Box 8102
Chicago, IL 60680

To find your Congressional representative contact information, click here and your Senators contact information, click here.

Your help is important, especially if you are an ally because we need all the help that we can get. Please help spread the word.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fill-in Friday #102

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #102

1. Friends _are there to lend a shoulder in times of need_.
2. _Good_ health; it's _only heart beat away_.
3. I'm ready for _the ice storm_.
4. _Apple pie_ is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells (I am not big on perfumes).
5. The oldest ornament I have is _my grandmother's_.
6. Take some _spices and apple cider_, mix it all together, heat it and you have _hot mulled cider_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the usual coffee shop to listen to folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _going to _Christmas parties_ and Sunday, I want to _hmm… I don’t know, for the first in a long time, I don’t have homework to do_!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Does Any One Look Familar?

While we were in class last night, a news team was filming a part of the class. My class is :43 seconds into the video and the women standing is the professor who made the comment about learning about questioning her identity.

I have my back to the camera and I am wearing the brown stripped sweater.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Classes Are Over For This Semester!!!!


It was a good semester; I think that I did real well this semester.
One of my professors wrote on my term paper, “a real pleasure to read. Best of luck as you continue your studiers.”

Tonight at the last class we were reviewing the semester and the professor said, “I learned something also, I learned to question my ‘identity,’ thanks Diana.”

I want to thank everyone who helped me by proofreading my papers, thank you.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #145

What is the most expensive meal you've ever eaten?
That is something that I will never forget! It was in Provincetown MA, where I had a $45 lobster (those who follow my blog know that I LOVE lobster) tail not a whole lobsters mind you just the tail for $45 and even being stuffed with crabmeat it was still ridiculous! I leaned my lesson, when it says “market price” ask! I had a whole lobster a couple of day earlier and it was only $27.

What is the fastest speed you've ever traveled in a car?
Can I plea the “Fifth?” It was 112 mph back in my teenage years (I wasn't driving, my cousin was).

What is the highest building you've ever been to the top floor of?
The Empire State building and that was back when it was the tallest building in the world.

Once Again We Are The Invisible "T" Part 3

I received a very nice letter from the curator saying I was right and she could have done more. However, she was also limited to the books and material that the library had in its collection. She also thanked me for my email and said she welcomed my comments, she mentioned that the library is expanding its transgender collection.

In addition, she noted that they are “putting together a student library diversity advisory committee for this exact purpose-- to find out how the libraries can better serve all students here, and if you would be interested in becoming a part of that once it is formed, please let me know.” Hmm… I smell another committee that I am going to be on; it will be hard to turn down since I negatively commented out their lack of diversity.

Once Again We Are The Invisible "T" Part 2

This morning I am still thinking about the "Margins to the Mainstream: GLBTQ Culture and History." exhibit and I sent this email to the curator of the exhibit...


I visited the exhibit Saturday with a couple of friends and I was terrible disappointed with the exhibit. I expected to see more on displays about transgender history than the few exhibits that were displayed. In the list of notable historic events, only the Compton Riot was mentioned and we were just reduced to a fragment of a sentence during the Stonewall Riots. You had Leslie Feinberg’s “Stone Butch Blues” but did you read ze’s interview with Sylvia Rivera about the Stonewall Riots in “Worker’s World”
( That could have added a different perspective to Stonewall.

You mentioned Mathew Shepard, but did you know that only a couple of weeks after his murder Rita Hester
( was brutally murder in Boston, she was a trans-woman from East Hartford and had moved to Boston area. It is in her honor the Transgender Day of Remembrance is held (

More trans-history can be found here
here ( and here

There are so many books on transgenderism that you could have highlighted such as Jan Morris’ “Conundrum”, Renee Richards’ “Second Serve” and Christine Jorgensen’s “A Personal Autobiography” to name just a few. Plus there are so many modern books that you could have shown like Jameson Green’s “The Visible Man”, Jennifer F. Boylan’s “She’s Not There: a life in two genders” and Helen Boyd’s “My Husband Betty”

Another point of contention was the statement on the wall by the entrance, about the passage of Connecticut’s “comprehensive” Anti-discrimination law. From the transgender point of view, it was not comprehensive since we were left out and we are still fighting to be included.

The reasons that I am so passionate on this is because I am trans and because when Congressman Barney Franks pulled the gender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act from the floor of the House in 2007 and replaced it with non-inclusive ENDA, the reason he gave was that trans-community didn’t earn it. He said the gay community had fought for ENDA for thirty years and the trans-community just recently lobby for the bill; Rep. Franks just totally discounted forty years of trans-activism.

I am disappointed, there was so much you could have done to include the "T", but you did so little. We are still marginized. If you are going to advertise the “T,” then have the “T”.


Saturday Six - Episode 243

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 243

1. How many stores did you visit on Black Friday? If you visited any, which one got the most of your money that day?
- ZERO -

2. How many store sites did you visit on Cyber Monday? If you visited any, which one got the most of your money on that day?
- ZERO -

3. Are you closer to being finished with Christmas shopping this year versus last year, or are you further away from being finished?
Nope! There still are seventeen shopping days left.

4. Take the quiz: What kind of shopper are you?

You Are a Reluctant Shopper

You really don't enjoy shopping. For you, it's just another chore.
You approach shopping systematically. You research what you're going to buy and come prepared with a list.

Of all the types, you are the most likely to not buy things you don't need.
You try to de-emphasize stuff in your life. You find shopping and buying things to be a rather empty experience.

5. Do you prefer letting your friends give you a list of things they’d like, or trying to match their personality to a gift you’d buy on your own?
A list, it is so much easier, we limit it to fifty dollars. I just give gifts to my brother and sister-in-law and my grandnieces and nephews if I am with them on Christmas day.

6. Are you spending more, less, or the same on this year’s Christmas gifts?
About the same, maybe a little more because I will be with my grandnieces and nephews this year.

"Prop 8 - The Musical" starring Jack Black, John C. Reilly, and many more...

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Thanks Deja!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Once Again We Are The Invisible "T"

I went to see an exhibit at UConn Storrs campus called the "Margins to the Mainstream: GLBTQ Culture and History" and I was terrible disappointed with the exhibit. I expected to see more on displays about transgender history than the half a dozen exhibits that were displayed. In the list of notable historic events, only the Compton Riot was mentioned. We were just reduced to a fragment of a sentence during the Stonewall Riots.

In addition, another point of contention was the statement on the wall by the entrance about Connecticut’s “comprehensive” Anti-discrimination law, from the transgender view it was not comprehensive since we were left out and we are still fighting to be included.

The reasons that I am so passionate on this is because I am trans and because when Congressman Barney Franks pulled the gender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act from the floor of the House and replaced it with non-inclusive ENDA, the reason he gave was that trans-community didn’t earn it. He said the gay community had fought for ENDA for thirty years and the trans-community just recently lobby for the bill; Rep. Franks just totally discounted forty years of trans-activism.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Saturday 9: How Do You Sleep

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: How Do You Sleep

1. How long do you sleep each night?

About five hours a night, I wish it was more.

2. Do you fall asleep easily?

Yes, I usually fall asleep fast, it’s not like I measure it or something.

3. Do you fall asleep at times not in your bed?
Yes, in my recliner, sometimes if I am sick or can’t fall back to sleep, I try sleeping in the chair.

4. Do you listen to music or use “white noise” to sleep?

5. Do you sleep through the night or get up a couple of times?
I wake up during the night, rarely do I sleep through the night.

6. Do you have trouble sleeping away from your own bed?

7. Do you need an alarm clock to get you up?
No, I am usually awake waiting for it to go off.

8. Do you ever take medication to help you sleep?
Yes, maybe two or three nights a month. It is usually when I am stressed out or have something special going on the next day.

9. Do you/have you slept with pets?
I don’t have any pets. When I am dogsitting my brothers dog she tries to climb in bed with me but I kick her out. She gives my the saddest look when I do kick her off the bed.

Goodnight. Sweet Dreams.

Fill-in Friday #101

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #101

1. Snow _is coming for the weekend_.

2. I'm looking forward to _Tuesday, the last day of classes_.

3. _This semester_ is the best hardest _semester_ ever!

4. One of my favorite old tv shows is _”I Dream of Jennie”_.

5. I'm done with _classes_!

6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is _no more term papers_! (Hmm… I see a theme here.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop to hear a folk singer_, tomorrow my plans include _relaxing (Wow, I haven’t that since the semester began.)_ and Sunday, I want to _go shopping_!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

President-elect Short List for Secretary of Labor

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Mary Beth Maxwell is on the short list for Secretary of Labor! You ask who is she? Well I looked up her CV on the web and I found out that she is, Executive Director of American Rights at Work, past National Field Director for Jobs with Justice, former Deputy Field Director for NARAL, on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Working Families and the Discount Foundation. In addition, she is an active member of the Human Rights Campaign, the Family Equality Council.
During her college years, she was strongly involved with social justice issues (civil rights, anti-poverty and women’s rights issues).

Monday, December 01, 2008

President George W. Bush to Receive 'International Medal of Peace' on 20th World AIDS Day

I found this on Pam’s Houseblend

This unbelievable! They are awarding President Bush the 'International Medal of Peace'!
I just can’t believe that they giving him the award with his “Abstinence-only” policy which is one of the main causes of the rise in AIDS in the Third World nations and here in the United States. You cannot teach sex education without talking about birth control methods, in the states that teach “Abstinence-only” they have the highest teenage pregnancy rates.
It make a mockery out of Global PEACE and World’s AIDS Day.

Christian Newswire
This award is in recognition of the President's tireless efforts and unprecedented contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

"No world leader has done more for global health than President Bush," Warren said. "The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR] has saved millions of lives in the past five years, so it is fitting that he be awarded the first 'International Medal of PEACE.'