Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Six - Episode 251

Patrick's Place Saturday Six - Episode 251

1. What is more important to you: your relationship with yourself or your relationship with those who are close to you?
My relationship with those that are close to me.

2. Which of the above do you tend to have the least problem cultivating?
Relationship with myself, it took a while to accept myself. But with relationships with other you have to cultivate.

3. Something goes wrong in your life. Of the people you are most likely to turn to, are they the same gender as you or the opposite?
Good question! :)
I do not think gender is a component of who I turn to for help, but family is the factor.

4. Something goes wrong in a close friend’s life and you’re the person that friend chooses to call first. Is that person likely to be the same gender as you or the opposite?
The same, transgendered.

5. Take the quiz: What Makes You a Good Friend?

You Are a Good Friend Because You're Supportive

You are almost like a life coach for your best friends.
You give them help when they need it... but you also know when to give them a push.
People tend to rely on you for moral support and advice.
You've probably always been mature for your age, so this is a role that's you're comfortable with.
A friend like you is one of the rarest kinds.
You are both a good mentor and companion.
Your friends need you most when: They are confused or worried.
You really can't be friends with: Someone who only wants to complain.
Your friendship quote: "The only way to have a friend is to be one."

6. What single trait listed in the response to question #5 would your closest friend most agree with?
“People tend to rely on you for moral support and advice.”

Friday, January 30, 2009

Saturday 9: Going to Pot

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Going to Pot

1. When was the last time you smoked pot?
Spring of ’99 when I thought I was having a heart attack

2. What do you think is your biggest weakness?
My shyness, yes I am shy. I am the quite one in the corner at a party

3. What is your biggest fear?
Of rejection.

4. Is there a particular goal that you’d like accomplish this year?
To continue my “A” average in college

5. What do you miss most from your youth?
Not to have to worry about money.

6. What is your best physical feature?
Well it is definitely not my voice; I would have to say my eyes.

7. Are you very confident?
Yes. A lot more so now then before I transitioned

8. Tell us about the last time you were drunk.
Super Bowl X, after that I stopped partying at Super Bowls

9. Have you ever cheated on a lover?

No. I believe in commitments.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #109

Janet’s Friday Fill-Ins #109

1. I'd really like _winter to be over_ right now.

2. _F@#K_ is the word you'd most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.

3. Possession is _better than wishing_.

4. _A really cool dude is_ Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like _cheese in a fondue_.

6. _Winter seems like it is going_ on and on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going down to New London to visit some friends_, tomorrow my plans include _studying_ and Sunday, I want to _attend a party_!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two More States Have Raised Gender Non-Discrimination Bill

In New Hampshire and North Dakota there have been gender non-discrimination bills raised in their state legislature. In New Hampshire, it is House Bill 0415, “AN ACT adding certain terms regarding non-discrimination to the laws” and in North Dakota the bill is Senate bill SB 2278. They will have a hard battle ahead to pass the bills because they will be facing strong opposition from the conservative right wing. The opposition will use every dirty trick in the book to defeat these bills.
If they use the same tactics, the conservative far right will use fear of “men in dresses” in bathrooms to scare the voters. The so-called Family Institutes will use the fear of a teacher coming one day dressed as an man and the next dressed as a woman to scare parents.
These things just don’t happen. In states that have gender inclusive non-discrimination laws, there has not been any rapes caused by transgender people, not one! But, that does not stop them from their lies. There are many transgender teachers in the United States and it has not been a problem for them to transition in school. If a school board has a good policy on how a teacher can transition at work, it does not become an issue.
When I was watching the movie “Milk,” I was struck by the fact that back in the late 1970’s the Christian ring wing conservatives used the same fear campaign against lesbians and gays using the bathroom and the teachers issues, with Anita Bryant leading the smear campaign (“in 1978, when California voters rejected Proposition 6, which would have barred gay and lesbians from working in the schools.”[1]). Why are they still using the same tactics, because it works. Back then most people didn’t know anyone who was lesbian or gay, so they were afraid of the unknown.
In the end, these bills will be passed, because people know that it is simple a matter of fairness and equality.

[1] “Harvey Milk, Anita Bryant, and religion”, Posted by Michael Paulson November 25, 2008 10:57 AM

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #152

What gives you hope?
I don’t know, right now I am down in the dumps. Maybe the movie that they just shown on Lifetime channel, “Prayers for Bobby” or the movie “Milk” may give hope. Hope that their lies are shown for what they are, bigotry. (I am sorry to be so negative on a meme, I try to keep them light but this has been a down couple of days. Besides watching “Milk” this afternoon and “Prayers for Bobby” this evening, I had a heated discussion with someone close to me yesterday. He didn’t understand why I was upset that Rick Warren spoke at the Inauguration. I will end my rant here.)

How often do you get your haircut? Describe your worst haircut.
Not often enough, about every three months. My worst haircut was when I went to the local barber shop with my father before I transitioned. I told the barber that I wanted my hair cut to collar length, it was about an inch over the collar and barber cut it a 1/4 inch long.

What's your most treasured piece of jewelry? Why?
A necklace that I got from my mother, it a brass necklace with a brass pyramid hanging off the chain with about three inches of brass necklace material hanging off of the pyramid. You can see it here in one of my blog entries.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Six - Episode 250

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 250

1. If you could recycle only one of the following, would you be most likely to choose paper, aluminum cans or plastic containers?
Plastic, you can grow more trees to replace the ones cut down, aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth, but plastic comes from oil and cannot be replaced.

2. Check out your bathroom: what color are the metal fixtures: silver, gold, bronze, or pewter? (If you know the actual material rather than just the color, name it too.)

3. When cooking, do you prefer non-stick surfaces or traditional surfaces? Do you have more copper-bottomed pots or stainless steel?

Non-stick, aluminum pans

4. Take the quiz: What’s Metal Are You?

You Are Copper

You are provocative and challenging. You help people realize who they really are.
You live a very balanced life. You always take time for love and art.

You are both a powerful and generous person. You always have time to give back.
People find you to be incredibly ethical and loyal.

5. Consider the jewelry you wear most often: is it gold, silver, platinum or something else?
Gold plated or costume jewelry

6. Have you ever had a piece of jewelry turn your skin a different color? Did anyone else notice before you did?
No, I never had any jewelry turn my skin a different color.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Saturday 9: What's Cooking?

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: What's Cooking?

1. Which meal is the one you cook best?

Pork Loin, Rice Pilaf and a salad (lettuce, walnuts, dried cranberries and feta cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette)

2. Tell us what you would never eat.

3. Is your hometown famous for anything or anybody?

4. Can you play a musical instrument?
Nope, I am tone deaf

5. Tell us about your second ever lover.
Nope, I will pass this up.

6. What is your favorite restaurant?

I really do not have one favorite restaurant, I have a number of them that I like. However, a current favorite restaurant is in Kennebunkport ME, Arundel Wharf Restaurant.

7. If it were your call, how often would you make love?

It is not the quantity, but the quality that is important.

8. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

President Obama, I would like to talk to him about human rights

9. Tell us about your job.
Well technically I am retired, but I am a full time graduate student and I am interning at a women’s rights organization lobbying for gender equality.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

>Friday Fill-ins #108

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #108

1. Oh, I am so _sick of being sick_!

2. _In my life right now I am going through_ changes, big and little.

3. During _the Inauguration_, I _tried watching it on the internet at work_.

4. _The Supreme Court Justice got the oath wrong_; are you kidding me???

5. Right now I'd like to be _healthy_.

6. _Mp3 player_ is my favorite gadget.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _ resting up due to my cold and studying _, tomorrow my plans include _ resting up due to my cold and studying _ and Sunday, I want to _ recuperating from my cold and study _!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rev. Lowery's Inauguration Benediction

Rev. Lowery was a good counterpoint to Rick Warren. I think that Rev. Lowery got it right…

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

Full text here

The New Whitehouse Web Site

Support for the LGBT Community
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
  • Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
  • Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
  • Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

The New Digital Television Rip-off

As many of you who follow my blog know, my family has a cottage in New Hampshire and we and many other people are going to lose free TV reception. A power grab by the telecom companies at our expense is going to cause millions of people to lose free TV. They will have to either get cable or a dish or not be able to receive any television.
Because they are in rural areas where there is no coverage. I went to the official government web site to find what channels are available for our cottage in New Hampshire and I found out that there were not any channels listed. I enter our address and I got this message “There are no stations predicted to serve this location.” GREAT. The nearest cable is ten miles away! That leaves us with the only option to get a satellite dish. We will now have to pay for something that we were getting for free.
Here is what one web site had to say about the transition…
Digital TV Time Bomb--Hiding the Whole Picture from the American Public.
There's a deep, dark secret that no one is talking about. On February 17, 2009, the country's estimated 13 million over-the-air TV viewers will no longer receive the current analog picture because stations across the country will convert their signal to digital. Consumers who have a regular, working television that is not connected to a satellite or cable company, ---i.e.; free TV, will have to go out and get a converter box that can change the over-the-air signals to the newer digital format.

"According to the Consumer Electronics Association, there are currently about 13.5 million analog OTA [Over The Air] households in the United States. Non-English speaking/minority, rural/tribal, senior, disabled and low-income populations represent, on average, a higher proportion of OTA households."

Finally, if you are now getting just an OK signal now with 'some snow' - you will now get pixilations, drop-outs in sound quality, or just a blank screen - making some channels unwatchable.
Here is what the telecommunication companies had to say…
TO: SPIRIT Team, Government Affairs Committee and State Association Executives
FROM: _______ ______, NTCA PAC and Grassroots Coordinator
SUBJECT: ACTION ALERT - Rapid Conclusion of DTV & 700 MHz Spectrum For Wireless Broadband Services

We urge you to immediately contact your members of Congress, both House and Senate, to request that they support legislation that will ensure the rapid conclusion of the transition to digital television (DTV) and the freeing of 700 MHz spectrum for wireless broadband services.

This high quality spectrum is vital to providing rural consumers widespread access to affordable broadband alternatives and all the economic and public interest benefits that they bring.

Remember, that it is best to e-mail or fax your communications to your congressional contacts, as the restrictions on mail coming into the Capitol complex will delay delivery.

At this time, no specific bill number needs to be referred to in the letter.

Thanks for your prompt action, and please let us know of your actions and any responses you receive!

If you have any questions regarding this action please contact government affairs at

Broadband access is essential to economic development in rural communities in the United States. The hundreds of locally owned telecommunications providers, who serve millions of customers across rural America, have taken a leading role in providing service to high-cost rural areas that otherwise would lack service provider alternatives. Broadband services deployed over wireless spectrum can often be a desirable solution for reaching remote and underserved communities, where cable modem and digital subscriber line (DSL) service alternatives may not be viable options. For this reason, I ask you to support legislation that will ensure the rapid conclusion of the transition to digital television (DTV) and the freeing of 700 MHz spectrum for wireless broadband services.
Translated: we want to screw the people by taking away their free television so that we can sell them wireless internet services.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love Makes A Family - Town Hall Forum

Last Thursday I took part in a town hall forum at the University Of Connecticut School Of Law. The forum was sponsored by Love Makes a Family and it was about the future of LMF now that Connecticut has marriage equality. They asked me to speak about the gender identity anti-discrimination legislation.

Here I am giving my talk. The photo was taken by Glenn Koetzner.

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #151

What do you do to make yourself feel better when you are sick?
Sleep, drink orange juice or lemonade and sleep.

What is the most amazing weather you've ever seen?
It was while I was at college, a squaw line moved through and there was a micro down burst. The winds reached 100 knots (115 mph). It was amazing and later I drove by the Rochester airport, the small private aircrafts were piled up on the chain link fence like leaves.

Do you listen to music or talk radio in the car?
When I commute to work, I listen to talk radio but when I travel I have my mp3 player that I listen to while I drive.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday 9: The First Apartment

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: The First Apartment

1. Where had you moved from?
I moved from Milford CT to my present town in 1955 and when I moved out of my parent’s house, I moved two miles away.

2. Describe your first apartment.
It was on Avenue A in Rochester NY and it was the bottom floor of a two family house. On the second floor were two lesbians and they sold pot out of their apartment, their boyfriends were in Attica prison. (I know it complicated, but it is a city.) Across the street was a family that had a shrine of Jesus on their front lawn and at least once a week the police was over there for domestic violence. Ah…the joys of living in a city.

3. How old were you when you had your apartment?
I was in college.

4. Did you have roommates? If yes, tell us more.

Yes, there were seven of us living in a three-bedroom apartment. Two girls and five guys (it was not a “love nest” (my father's term) we all had single beds.), one guy slept in the pantry. (it was converted into a bedroom.)

5. What was your place of employment then?

We were all in college at the time.

6. How were you finances at the time?
Our finances were slim to none. However, the rent was right, $75 each.

7. Tell us about a lover who spent a night there.

There was no privacy there.

8. Tell us about a band you listen to then. (You can cheat. Look it up.)
The Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Jimmy Hendrix, Cream, Steppenwolf, Credence Clearwater Revival, etc. We use to sit around in the living room with black lights, black light posters on the wall, incense burning, and smoking weed. And saying real heavy things like “Far Out Man,” “Oh Wow” and “Dynamite” (Hmmm… do you think that might have had anything to do with me being on academic probation for three semesters?)

9. How long did you live there and why did you move from there?

I graduated, got a job back in Connecticut and went back to the real world to become a electrical engineer. I lived there for one semester during the summer to make up the courses that I flunked.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Six - Episode 249

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 249

1. What commonly-used word in speech annoys you the most? When did you hear it last used?
"You know", I hear it so much it doesn’t register any more.

2. Which commonly-used word annoys you the most when you hear it mispronounced? What’s the most common mispronunciation you hear for this word?
I am not going to comment on this question, because I do it all the time and it is one of the symptoms of dyslexia.

3. Which word(s) do you wish people would use more often?

Thank you and please.

4. Take the quiz: What’s Your Word?

Your Word is "Peace"

You see life as precious, and you wish everyone was safe, happy, and taken care of.
Social justice, human rights, and peace for all nations are all important to you.

While you can't stop war, you try to be as calm and compassionate as possible in your everyday life.
You promote harmony and cooperation. You're always willing to meet someone a little more than halfway.

5. Which internet expression or abbreviation do you use most often?
I usually do not use internet shorthand. But I do use emoticon a lot.

6. Which internet expression or abbreviation would you most like to see disappear forever?
YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Friday Fill-ins #107

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #107

1. Enough with the _sub-zero weather_.

2. _Gender_ causes me to be conflicted.

3. I've been craving _for a pizza with sausage peppers and onions_.

4. _A good joke_ makes me laugh.

5. I wish I could go to _Vermont_ next week.

6. _Going back to classes_ has been on my mind lately.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _relaxing_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to Peabody MA to a conference_ and Sunday, I want to _recuperate_!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Same Lies, Different Town

A month ago, I wrote about the passage of the Kalamazoo MI anti-discrimination ordinance, well a handful of vocal bigots got the City Council to repeal the law by spreading lies. They used fear and innuendos to scare the people, they said no one will be safe in the public bathrooms but the truth is there has NOT been any attacks by trans-people in bathrooms.

They are using the same tactic in Gainesville Florida, they put a vile ad on television claiming that no one is safe in bathroom. The television ad has a grubby man follow a young girl into the women’s bathroom.
Cain Davis, chairman of Citizens for Good Public Policy, said the issue is about regulating a "government gone wild" and ensuring public safety, charging that sexual predators could now simply enter a women's restroom claiming to be a transgender individual.

"We know when men go into women's restrooms, bad things can happen," Davis said.
This is just fear mongering, the truth is…
Since the ordinance took effect [one yeaar ago], police have reported no problems in public restrooms stemming from the law.
I am not a big fan of Al Sharpton but read what he had to say at the Human Rights Ecumenical Service held at Atlanta's Tabernacle Baptist Church last Sunday about this crusade against anything LGBT…
"There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people's bedrooms and claim that God sent you," Sharpton told a full house on Sunday.

"It amazes me," he said, "when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being [relegated] into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners."

"I am tired," he went on, "of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they're preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade...We know you're not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you. We would have heard from you when people were starving in California--when they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When [accused Ponzi scammer] Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren't there you had nothing to say.

… "This is an issue of human rights," he said. "And I think it is dangerous to give states the right to deal with human rights questions. That's how we ended up with slavery and segregation going forward a long time...Whatever my personal feelings may be about gay and lesbian marriages, unless you are prepared to say gays and lesbians are not human beings, they should have the same constitutional right of any other human being."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #150

If you were to name the most creative outlet that you have, what would it be?
My photograph, I can get lost when I get in the “zone” taking photos. The concept of time just disappears.

What spot in your body would you say is the center of your emotional being?
The brain. I believe that the brain is the center of our ‘self.”

What do you think is the secret to a tranquil soul?

Being at peace with yourself, accepting who you are.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

When Police Break The Law…

it can cause irrevocable harm.

Here in Connecticut, a crossdresser was changing in her van in front of her apartment and a neighbor saw her and thought she was being assaulted or abducted and called the police.

The neighbor blocked the crossdresser's van with his car to prevent escape and the crossdresser panicked, drove over a snow bank and fled with the neighbor following her.

The police gave chase and eventually appended her after running over spike sticks and she was charged with interfering with police, engaging police in pursuit and driving with a suspended license.

The local newspaper covered the story, publishing her name and address.

Was the neighbor right to call the police and follow her? Yes.
Was the police right in giving chase? Yes.
Was the police right in arresting her? Yes.
Was the police right in reveling how she was dressed? No.

In Connecticut, it is AGAINST the law to enter in a police report how a person was dressed unless it had a direct bearing on the case, which this did not.

The original call was about a women being abducted or assaulted and the police could have just said, “That she mistook him for a woman.” The other charges had nothing to do with the way she was dressed.

Because of the police misconduct this person may lose their job and from now on whenever you google her name you will find about this. In addition, this would have been just another traffic offense and not something that would have been sensationalized in the media.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Six - Episode 248

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 248

1. Which of the following methods of travel do you most prefer: plane, train or automobile?
Automobile, I like to see the country side and see new sights as I travel

2. What is the furthest distance you have travelled by each method listed above?
From Connecticut to Colorado the summer I graduated from college.

3. When flying, do you prefer to fly during the daytime or during the night?
Daytime, I like to look out the window and try to figure out where we are flying.

4. Take the quiz: What’s Your Travel Personality?

Your Travel Personality Is: The Adventurer

For you, travel is how you learn about the world.
And you like to learn the stuff that's not in guidebooks.
You truly have wanderlust. When you're not traveling, you're dreaming about where you'll go next.
And your travels are truly legendary - they leave you with stories you'll be telling for the rest of your life!

Boy, are they ever off the mark, I am not a wanderlust. I like to travel but my travels are not something that “I would be telling for the rest of my life.”

5. If you had the chance to take a one-year vacation and spend that time traveling anywhere in the country you wanted by motor home, would you do it, and if so, where would you most likely wind up?
The good ol’ USA and visit all of the national parks.

6. Do you have any superstitions or rituals you rely on before or during a big trip?

No, only when I get there… I bang my head against the wall remembering all the things I forgot to bring like the battery charger for my camera or cell phone.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Saturday 9: The Phone is For You

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: The Phone is For You

1. Your phone rings. Who is the most likely caller?
My brother, I very rarely get a call other than my brother.

2. How long to you chat on the phone each day?

Zero minutes, I usually talk to my brother about a half hour a week. I am from a different generation. We didn’t go around with a phone plugged into our ear.

3. Who do you speak to the most?
My brother

4. Do you often not answer if a certain person comes up on your caller id?
I do not have caller ID. I told you I am from a different generation.

5. Do you phone friends at work?
Kind of, but it is business other than work business. She is the director of Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition so we discuss CTAC business, but that is not her work.

6. Do you make personal calls at work?
Very rarely.

7. Who do you always say “I love you” at the end of the call?
No one.

8. Do you use a landline or cell more often?

Both about the same amount of time, rarely.

9. Who in the blogosphere that you haven’t chatted with but would like to?

No comment.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #106

Janet’s Friday Fill-in #106

1. It's January _and the snow is coming down_.

2. _A hot fudge Sunday_ is what I crave most right now.

3. Cork and wine go together like _lid and a jar_.

4. _A salad_ is so nourishing.

5. Let us dare to _dream about summer_.

6. _My castle is _ my home.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the same ‘ol coffee shop to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a support group_ and Sunday, I want to _catch up on some reading_!

Why Can’t We Be Like Europe With Transgender Rights

All we are asking is to live our lives in peace, to earn a living to support our families, to have a roof over our heads to shelter our families and to be able to sit down at a luncheon counter to eat. Is that asking for too much?
In Europe they understand what we are asking, the Council of Europe just released a statement today…
Discrimination against transgender persons must no longer be tolerated
[05/01/09] During missions to member states of the Council of Europe, I have been reminded of the on-going discrimination many face on account of their gender identity[1]. Transgender persons encounter severe problems in their daily lives as their identity is met with insensitivity, prejudice or outright rejection.

Some people seem to have a problem with the mere existence of human beings whose outer expression of their inner gender identity is not the same as their gender determined at birth. Aggression against transgender persons cannot however be excused as resulting from ignorance or lack of education. These attitudes cause serious harm to innocent and vulnerable people and must therefore be countered.

I have been struck by the lack of knowledge about the human rights issues at stake for transgender persons, even among political decision-makers. This is probably the reason why more has not been done to address transphobia and discrimination based on gender identity. The result is that individuals are discriminated against all over Europe, in areas such as as employment, health care and housing.

To require surgery as a prerequisite to enjoy legal recognition of one’s gender identity ignores the fact that such operations are not always desired, medically possible, available, and affordable (without public or other funding). It is estimated that only 10% of transgender persons in Europe actually undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Data presented by EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency shows that in some countries the unemployment rate of transgender persons can reach up to 50%. Some jobless transgender persons are unable to find employment, and see no other option but to work in the sex industry. A report from Human Rights Watch on Turkey called attention to the situation of transgender sex workers in that country - victimised by violence, drug addiction, sexual abuse, lack of health insurance, homelessness, police attacks, and a high risk of HIV/AIDS.

There is no excuse for not immediately granting this community their full and unconditional human rights. Council of Europe Member States should take all necessary concrete action to ensure that transphobia is stopped and that transgender persons are no longer discriminated against in any field.

1. Gender identity is understood to refer to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.

The full article is available at the Commissioner's website at
Why can’t our legislators see that it is a matter of human rights and equality? They are hung up on bathrooms and teachers when what really is at stake are lives.
Please help us by calling you legislators and asking them to support “An Act Concerning Discrimination.” You can find your representative and senator here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Yesterday’s Hartford Courant Article – Anti-Discrimination Legislation

There was a very good article about the anti-discrimination bill that will be raised shortly…
Connecticut To Consider Transgender Anti-Discrimination Proposal
The Hartford Courant
January 6, 2009
Transgender activists believe this is the year they will gain equal protection under the state's anti-discrimination laws.

"We feel good," said Jerimarie Liesegang, who leads the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition. "We've done the groundwork, we've done the education and we know we have the votes."

A proposal, to be introduced in the legislative session that begins Wednesday, would prevent people who in any way blur gender lines from being discriminated against in the workplace or while seeking housing or obtaining credit. More than a dozen states, including California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Rhode Island, have enacted similar laws.

Bills that bar discrimination based on gender identity or expression have come up several times over the past few years, but failed to win passage. In 2007, both the judiciary committee and the Senate approved such a bill, but it died in the House of Representatives.

Activists say the new proposal would extend those protections to people whose appearance doesn't mesh with gender stereotypes, such as women who favor traditionally "masculine" clothing or hairstyles, or men who appear effeminate.Such individuals would be protected even if they don't view themselves as transgendered.

"How many times do we discriminate against someone based on how they look?" Liesegang asked. "If a woman is a little more masculine, that doesn't mean she has a right to be fired. ... This isn't about special rights, it's about basic human rights and making people comfortable with difference."
Of course, the opposition has to bring up the bathroom and teacher issues…
The measure has its critics. Kevin Witkos spoke out against the bill in 2007, while he served in the House. Witkos, a Republican from Canton, was recently elected to the Senate and continues to have reservations.

In particular, Witkos expressed concerns about the ramifications of the measure on the state's public schools. "It impacts the learning environment," he said. Witkos and other critics would also like to see a "restroom except" to prevent men from using a public women's bathroom, for instance.

"There are a lot of perverse people, I see it as a policeman," said Witkos, a Canton police sergeant. "They could use the provisions in this bill to try and go into the opposite sex's bathroom. That would have to be addressed in the legislation or it will not get my support."
As a police officer, he should know that there is already laws on the books in Connecticut mandating sex segregated facilities. This law would not in any way change those laws. In addition, he should also know that in Connecticut the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has already ruled that gender discrimination is sex discrimination.
He should also know that there are Anti-Bullying laws covering students here in Connecticut. When a teacher transitions, it can be a positive learning experience. It can teach the students about diversity and accepting people who are different. On the other hand, by banding teachers from transitioning it teaches students that it is all right to discriminate against people who are different. Which lesson do you want to teach you children?

See also my blog on Kalamazoo Equal Rights Ordinance Suspended

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Kalamazoo Equal Rights Ordinance Suspended

Last month I wrote about the Kalamazoo City Council passing an Anti-Discrimination ordinance, well the Christian Conservative Right managed by spreading lie and fear to suspend the ordinance. The American Family Association of Michigan on other petition that they circulated used the title "IS THERE A MAN IN YOUR DAUGHTER'S BATHROOM?" The American Family Association of Michigan also claimed that “as well as possibly violate the privacy of women and children.” This is fear mongering!

The National Organization of Women (NOW) in Massachusetts wrote in testimony of the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination bill that “…It does not alter individuals’ privacy nor expectations of safety in restrooms. CMF’s [Coalition for Marriage and Family] claim that this bill will "threaten bathroom and locker room safety" for women is a deliberate scare tactic. An individual who enters a women’s bathroom to harass or attack women would emphatically not be protected by this law.”

How can these so-called “Family” organizations that say they are protecting the American family lie? Is lying one of their family values?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #149

Do you have any idiosyncrasies or unusual quirks when it comes to food and/or eating?
I hate mushrooms and I am very picky when it comes to vegetables

Have you ever written love letters? If so, do you still have any of them?

How easy or difficult is it for you to say you're sorry?
It is very easy, you should owe up to your mistakes.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Saturday Six - Episode 247

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 247

1. Have you ever been asked to speak in front of an audience? If so, what was the occasion and how do you feel you did?
Yes, many of times, once was before an audience of about 200 people. I have also been interviewed by a TV crew (out of a 5-minute interview the used one sentence) and I have been on a cable access program (you know the ones that nobody watches).
I do outreach (educational training) at colleges, universities and I lobby legoslators about gender discrimination and when I am talking I don’t have time to be nervous, I am too busy think about what I am going to say.

2. If you were asked to appear on David Letterman’s show, do you have a “Stupid Human Trick” you could perform?
I can wiggle my nose and ears at the same time.

3. If you were asked to be in a circus, would you be more comfortable as a clown, a trapeze artist, a tightrope walker, a juggler, an animal trainer, or the ringmaster?
A juggler, I am not clownish, I do not like heights, I don’t like to torture animals and I don’t like the center stage.

4. Take the quiz
: What Circus Act Should You Perform?

You Should Juggle

You've got the talent to go far in life, but you don't really like to take risks.
You rather practice your well honed skills than put your life in danger.

You are agile and coordinated. You can work magic with your hands.
You truly mesmerize people. You don't have to resort to cheap tricks and gimmicks.

5. How old were you the first time you visited a circus? How did you like it?
Somewhere around 7 – 10 years old, I thought it was fantastic.

6. How often would you describe your real job as a “circus?” Do you think it seems to be getting more or less like a circus?

Before I retired, I thought that work was a circus everyday. The last company that bought us out, had no idea how to run a manufacturing company.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Milk Is Excellent!!!

I just came from watching “Milk” and by the end of the movie, I was in tears.

We have come so far, yet at the same time we haven’t progressed at all. The same issues are still being brought up today as they were back in the seventies. The religious right is still telling us the world will end if we have equality. They are still using the same fear tactics to scare people.

Here in Connecticut last month the religious right was upset because at a school in Enfield the teachers crossedressed for a day for a fundraiser and exposing the students to “transvestite behavior.”

In Windsor Locks, a trans-women was thrown out of a bar because she made the other customers feel uncomfortable when she used the bathroom

In Memphis Tennessee, the third trans-women in six-months was murdered last week.

In Indianapolis Indiana, a trans-woman was murdered last week also.

In Richmond California, a lesbian was brutally ganged raped by four men

All we are asking is to live our lives in peace, to earn a living to support our families, to have a roof over our heads to shelter our families and to be able to sit down at a luncheon counter to eat. Is that asking for too much? The Family Institute of Connecticut thinks so, that say we are asking for “special rights.”

Speak up; we need all your help. Call your legislator and tell them to vote for the gender inclusive anti-discrimination legislation without any amendments. Tell them it is about equality and fairness.

Saturday 9: Dying to Know

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Dying to Know

1. What do you believe happens when we die?

You’re dead.

2. Do you consider yourself religious?
Some what, I believe in God

3. Do you believe in ghosts?

4. Do you believe that people live on other planets?
In our solar system, no but in solar systems in our and other galaxies, yes. I also do not believe in UFO’s

5. Have you ever seen something abnormal?

6. Do you believe in reincarnation?

7. Have you ever witnessed a miracle?

8. Is there a person living or dead that influences your philosophies?
Yes, Martin Luther King Jr.

9. Is there a work of fiction that closely matches your spiritual beliefs?
No, not that I know or have read.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Fill-in Friday #105

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #105

1. The world is _”Going to Hell in a Hand Basket” (I am an old Grateful Dead fan)_.

2. _Good-bye_ was the last thing I said.

3. I wonder _what the new year will bring_.

4. _Money is_ at the end of all things.

5. There's something to be said for _living your life for today_.

6. _Sunny Hawaii_ is where I want to be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _I have no idea what I am going to do_, tomorrow my plans include _doing nothing_ and Sunday, I want to _do something_!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Look Ahead

With the beginning of the New Year, I want to gaze into my crystal ball and look to the future. I see the economic depression getting deeper for the first half of the year with the stock market bouncing around trying to find its bottom and the recovery will not happen this year. I see unemployment steadily climbing until it peaks sometime in the fall and not declining until the fall of 2010. With raising unemployment, I see the foreclosure rate remaining high until employment picks up in late 2010. The number of bankruptcies and fraud cases will continue to climb through out the year. In addition, I see the price of gas going back up (that is a no brainer prediction) in the summer to about $2.50 a gallon. The next crisis that will happen this year is the bursting of the credit card bubble sometime during this summer. In other words, I see the depression worst than the economists forecast.

For the political front on the national level, I see the Obama presidency focusing on jobs. I see the federal government pouring billions of dollars to rebuild the infrastructure; the transportation systems, buildings, national parks, etc. I also see Congress reintroduce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) but I do not think that the bill will be gender inclusive. I see the white male dominated power structure looking out for their own interests first and passing a non-inclusive bill. They will tell us not to worry because they will still push for an inclusive bill and then they will focus their energies to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) instead of the inclusive ENDA.

In Connecticut, I see the passage of the gender inclusive Anti-Discrimination legislation. It will be a battle to get the bill passed but I think it is doable this year. Now that marriage equality has been achieved, the legislature can focus on the gender inclusive Anti-Discrimination bill. Our allies can now give us their full support. It also means that our opposition, the Christian right wing conservatives, can also focus all of their attention on us, they have much deeper pocket than we do and they can preach from their pulpits to thousands people the dangers of equality. However, I do think that we can win this year and pass the legislation.

What do you see for the future this year?