Sunday, January 31, 2010

An Afternoon Break From Studying

I went up to the D’Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield MA yesterday with a friend and one of my favorites was a French impressionist painting by Antoine Blanchard of a street scene in Paris. It caught eye because of its composition and color and I liked it better than the painting by Claude Monet that they had there, it was more alive. This isn’t the painting but it is almost same streetscape, but you can see what I mean.

There were a number of other exhibits of contemporary art along with a Currier & Ives exhibit of their prints. It was like walking through one big calendar of their prints. I like most art, however, I’m not a fan of 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish artists, the paintings are too stoic and dark. They had a few Hudson River School paintngs which I love for their style and I am also a sucker for landscapes.

Overall, it was a good break from studying.

Saturday Six – Episode 303

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 303

1. Without looking it up, how many of the following could you correctly name off the top of your head: your state slogan, your state tree, your state flower, your state bird, your state dog, your state song, your state dance, and your state beverage?
The state motto is Latin for “He who transplants, still sustains.”
Mountain Laurel
We have no state dog, dance or beverage; however, we do have a state insect, a Praying Mantis.

2. Suppose you started your own state: based on your personality, what would you want for your new state’s slogan?
Equality for all.

3. If you had to choose one kind of animal to represent your state — mammal, fish, reptile, insect…but just one — which would you choose and which specific breed would you select?
A Copperhead snake

4. What would be the pick for your state’s official drink?

Water, clear fresh mountain spring water

5. Take the quiz: What State Are You?

You Are California

You are cutting edge and diverse. People may call you flaky, but you can't help that you have a lot going on.
In general, you are friendly and laid back. There's nothing you like better than a quiet afternoon at the beach.

You are socially progressive and open minded. Anyone is welcome into your circle of friends.
You may be a bit image conscious, but you understand that appearances matter!

6. Go to Wikipedia and look up that state: what is its slogan and how good of a fit would it be for your new state?
Maybe it would fit, I would want people to move to the state (transplant).

Friday, January 29, 2010

Saturday 9: Everybody is a Star

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Everybody is a Star

1. Did you ever think that you'd be a star? If yes, doing what?

Naw, I never be a star. My life is too plain.

2. Tell us about the last time you had a romantic dinner.
That was a long, long time ago, my girlfriend made a candlelight dinner.

3. Tell us about your worst job interview.
I never had a bad job interview. I always was hired when I was interviewed. I only had three real jobs in my life (not counting summer jobs). The first job I got through an employment agency. My second interview, a friend was interviewed a couple of days earlier and told me about the test they gave, so I studied up on it and passed. Later on, I was talking to my boss about my friend telling me the questions, he laughed and told me I was the only one ever to pass the test. My third and last job, my boss left the second company and I gave him my resume when he left. They hired me and I worked there for 28 years.

4. Tell us about your stupidest date.
It was the one I got stood up, she went out with a football player instead.

5. How much in common do you think you should have with a romantic partner?
I can’t answers that, it is one of those question that you will know it when you see it.

6. Tell us about a favorite meme that you loved but no longer posts.
He was a bigot. I will not name names, but he asked deep thought provoking questions. After I played a couple of times, I couldn’t post to the site anymore. I got a message saying that my IP address was blocked. I emailed him saying that for some reason my IP address was being block, he email me back and said that he didn’t want “your kind of people playing his meme.”

7. How did you get into blogging?
I had a Geocites web-site (the same name as my blog) and I was posting the same type of posts that I post on my bog (except for the memes). A friend emailed me and said that he would love to comment on my post, and I should get a blog. And, as they say, the rest is history.

8. Do you share all your fantasies with a significant other?

If I had a significant other, I would.

9. What change in your life would you like to happen this year?

That I win Powerball.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #161

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #161


1. Wouldn't it be easy _to just do nothing all day_.

2. _My Lobster Newberg is_ better than ever!

3. I love the taste of _ Chocolate Truffles_.

4. _There is a big pile of research books on the floor_ in the living room.

5. The first thing we're going to do is _relax_.

6. _My shower stall goes_ drip, drip, drip; _its drives me crazy_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward have to _go to a meeting at 5:30 and when that gets out go over to the coffee shop to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _playing Bingo_ and Sunday, I want have to _do homework_!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Story Part 16 – School

This is going to be a short, short story because of my homework and I figured what better to write about then my first days in class.

As I wrote about before in another “My Story”, I am in grad school to earn my Master’s in Social Work. I started taking classes in the STEP program which is a non-matriculating program that the class credits can be transferred over to the matriculating program. Anyhow, I went to register for my first class and I told them that I identified as Diana even though I haven’t transitioned, they said it would be no problem. They would just add a note to the professor. One of the two classes that I took was “New Perspectives on Gays and Lesbians Individuals”; I thought that it would be an interesting class, so I signed up for the class.

The first day of class, I walked in and found a seat and there was actually someone in class that I knew from the Stonewall Speakers. So that was a nice surprise, I didn’t feel as nervous on my first day of class in over 40 years. The teacher was writing the name of the class, when she turned around and looked at the students, she then wrote on the blackboard, “New Perspectives on Gays, Lesbians and Transgender Individuals”. She then read the class roster of students and she called my male name and I said “Here, but I go by “Diana” and she said OK. All my homework and exams I use “Diana” all through the STEP program with no problems.

When I applied to the School of Social Work to become a matriculating student, I had already transitioned. I had to submit my grades from my other colleges and they were all in my male name. One day I had a message on my answering machine when I get home, it was from admissions… “There seems to be a discrepancy your school records, could you stop by the office.” Right away, I knew what the problem was, so a grabbed a copy of my Probate Court order for my name change and drove up to the school. When I walked into her office, the admission’s director look up from her desk, didn’t ask me for my name, or why I was there, but just said, “Oh, I think I got the problem straightened out now.” I said well just to make it official, here is a copy of the Probate order.

I have to say that other then that, I have no problem with anyone at school. That I have been treated by everyone as just another student. Oh yeah, there have been an occasional slip of pronouns but nothing on purpose and I few students that had an initial apprehension with working with a trans-student but the all got over it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why I Get Emotional Over Discrimination

Some people don’t under stand why I get so emotional over organizations that discriminate. I was in a heated discussion once with somebody who couldn’t understand why I was so down on the Boy Scouts. He said look at all the good they do, look how they train young man to be leaders. I said, yeah, they train them to be bigots! He just couldn’t see my point of view.

I have always been against discrimination and for diversity, long before I ever had any thoughts about coming out. Now that I have transitioned I have seen the results of discrimination first hand. I have seen what if does to families, I have seen what it does to people’s sprite, and I have seen the fear in their eyes when they thought that they were “outed”. I know personally what that fear is like, when you think that your whole world is coming crashing down. When you want to crawl into a hole. I know what it is like to have someone laugh in your face

When I was first coming and I was going to a COS banquet, I was walking across the lobby in the hotel where the banquet was being held. A guy who was checking in to the hotel saw me and started to laugh so hard that he almost fell down. I wanted so badly to run back to my room and hide and just cry, but instead I stood up straight and continued walking. This past Saturday, while I was getting up to leave a restaurant where I had dinner with some friends, three teenage girls took our picture on their cell phone and started laughing.

In political campaigns, they use lies and fear against us, they call us freaks, perverts, pedophiles. In Loudoun County VA., the Washington Post reported that
At a Jan. 6 meeting, supervisors voted to expand Loudoun's nondiscrimination policy to prohibit bias on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring by the county. Delgaudio [Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling)] fought the change in the meeting, saying he was especially offended by language in the measure that sought protection for transgendered people. In the debate, he called the board's attempt to protect transgendered people "freaky" and "bizarre." In a subsequent newsletter to supporters, Delgaudio wrote that "if a man dressed as a woman wants a job, you have to treat 'it' the same as a normal person."
When he was challenged on his bigotry, he said,
Delgaudio responded, reading a revised statement with the word "it" taken out. He continued: "With apologies to real-life Tootsies" and "to all their defenders who are calling me all sorts of names and, like Mr. Burton, are saying I should apologize."
Delgaudio is not alone in his hate and bigotry, in Michigan there is a candidate for Secretary of State that is also running on a platform of hate. The Michigan Messenger reports that, State Rep. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc) said,
”I will make it a priority to ensure transgender individuals will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver’s license in any circumstance”

“It’s a social values issue. If you are born a male, you should be known as a male. Same as with a female, she should be known as a female,” he said.

He said his mandate would be in place even for those who had completely undergone sex reassignment surgeries.

“That’s who you are. You can have cosmetic surgery or reassignment surgery but you are still that gender,” he said.

“I think because the [LGBT] community is going to become a flash point for getting voters,” said Volk [Phil Volk, chair of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender and Ally Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party], “[Republicans are] going to go into a lot of churches and into a lot of teabaggers groups etc. and say, ‘be frightened of these people because…,’ and that is going to instigate a lot of violence. We are going to have to be very cautious in this area.”
Wherever, the issue of discrimination has been raised, the conservatives have come in to spread their lies, hate, and fear, in Gainesville FL., in Kalamazoo MI, in New Hampshire, in Massachusetts and here in Connecticut.

And people wonder why I get so emotional when I hear that the Boy Scouts do such great work and the fact that they are teaching bigotry against gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, atheists, and agonistics should be over looked.

I close with the lyrics from “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” from the 1949 play South Pacific…

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Manic Monday #198

Lisa’s Manic Monday #198

If you could only have one section of the bookstore to visit, which section would it be?

The SiFi/Fantasy section

If you could only subscribe to one publication for the rest of your life, what would it be?
OK, OK…I’m geeky. It has and will be Science News. I first started to subscribe to it back in my college days. I use to get PC Photo, but they had the same articles over and over again.

What activity always makes you lose track of time?
Photograph, as I have said many times in memes, I can lose track of time were easily and get lost in the view finder.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2009 Computer Pioneer Award Recipient

Lynn Conway

2009 Computer Pioneer Award Recipient

“For contributions to superscalar architecture, including multiple-issue dynamic instruction scheduling, and for the innovation and widespread teaching of simplified VLSI design methods”

Lynn Conway is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emerita, at the University of Michigan.

After earning her B.S. and M.S.E.E. from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Lynn joined IBM – where she made foundational contributions to superscalar computer architecture in the mid-1960’s, including the innovation of multiple-issue dynamic instruction scheduling (DIS).

At Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Lynn went on to innovate scalable MOS design rules and highly simplified methods for silicon chip design, co-authoring the famous “Mead-Conway” text and pioneering the new form of university course that taught these methods – thereby launching a world-wide revolution in VLSI [Microprocessors - computer chips] system design in the late-1970’s.

Lynn also innovated the internet-based rapid chip prototyping infrastructure that was institutionalized as the “MOSIS” system by DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] and NSF [National Science Foundation] – supporting rapid development of thousands of chip designs and leading to many Silicon Valley start-ups in the 1980’s.

After serving as Assistant Director for Strategic Computing at DARPA from 1983-85, Lynn joined the University of Michigan as Professor of EECS and Associate Dean of Engineering, where she continued her distinguished career.

In a remarkable form of career closure, Lynn’s VLSI design revolution enabled her multi-issue DIS innovation from the 1960’s to finally “come to life” in the 1990’s – in the Intel Pentium microprocessors and their contemporaries – greatly enhancing the power of modern PC’s.

Lynn has received many awards and honors for these contributions, including election as Fellow of the IEEE, Pender Award of the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania, Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute, Secretary of Defense Meritorious Achievement Award, Society of Women Engineers National Achievement Award, Presidential Appointment to the USAFA Board of Visitors, an honorary Doctorate from Trinity College, election to the Electronic Design Hall of Fame, and election as a Member of the National Academy of Engineering.
I know that for many of you when you read this it is all Greek to you, but I think that you understand the basics of what the article means.

When I was working back in the late 70’s early 80’s I read their book “Introduction to VLSI Systems.” At that time I knew nothing about her background, you see, Ms. Conway is a trans-woman. She transitioned back in 1968. Therefore, the computer and the internet that you are reading this on, can be traced back to the pioneering work of a transsexual.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 302

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 302

1. You’re offered your own late night talk show. If it were completely up to you, what would you the name of the show to be?
The Insomniac’s Dream

2. Which actor or actress would you want as your first guest?
Hmmm… I’m not that up on who’s who in Hollywood so I have say an actor friend of mine, Peterson Tuscano.

3. Which comedian would you want as your first comedy performer?
Karen Williams

4. Which musician or group would you want to be the first musical performer on your show?
Namoli Brennet

5. Which existing song or melody would you select for your theme song if writing something specifically for your show wasn’t an option?
A lullaby like Rock-a-bye, baby

6. Suppose you could magically go back in time and bring back any performer of any kind, living or dead, to be your first guest: who would you select?
That is easy, “The Beatles”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Saturday 9: I Think We're Alone Now

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Think We're Alone Now

1. What celebrity in a fantasy would you like to be alone with?
The woman who plays Bones on the show

2. Have ever dated a good friend?
No, it would be too complicated

3. What is the most embarrassing song that you like?
The Monster Mash

4. What is your favorite tear jerker movie?
Fifty First Dates

5. What about yourself makes you least secure?
Worrying that I hurt some one’s feelings

6. Do you believe in destiny?

7. What 'issue' do you think your opinion is so right about that you end up trying to sway others to your point of view?
Equality, every should be judged on their merits, not what or who they are.

8. What are 5 things you don't care about?
Who’s Tiger Woods dated
Who’s the biggest loser
What celebrity is not talking with what celebrity
What fashion is hot this year and what is not
Who is playing in the Super Bowl

9. Have you ever been in a situation where you weren't sure if you were seducing or being seduced?

Nope. But that’s a nice spot to be in

Friday Fill-ins #160

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #160


1. You have a chance to _make things right, only once in life_.
2. _I wish I was on a warm tropical beach_ right now!
3. There is a _large spider crawling on your shoulder_.
4. _You can pay the toll now_ and pay later.
5. It's time to _pay the piper_.
6. _The decision to hirer a band_ up in the air but _but we have to decide by next week_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee house_, tomorrow my plans include _doing homework_ and Sunday, I want have to _do homework_! (I have read 5 chapters by Tuesday + work on my Independent Studies class project)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supreme Court Update

The blogshere is alive with the latest SCOUS decision.
From Mother Jones,

But Justice John Paul Stevens, in a stinging dissent written for the minority, argues that the right wing of the court has engaged in a brazen act of activism--and has done so to award corporations more legal rights than they have previously been afforded.

A few excerpts:

* Even more misguided is the notion that the Court must rewrite the law relating to campaign expenditures by for-profit corporations and unions to decide this case.

* The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case.

* Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters.

* The financial resources, legal structure,and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races.

* The majority’s approach to corporate electioneering marks a dramatic break from our past. Congress hasplaced special limitations on campaign spending by corporations ever since the passage of the Tillman Act in 1907....We have unanimously concluded [in 1982] that this “reflects a permissible assessment of the dangers posed by those entities to the electoral process"...and have accepted the “legislative judgment that the special characteristics of the corporate structure require particularly careful regulation...The Court today rejects a century of history when it treats the distinction between corporate and individual campaignspending as an invidious novelty born [in a 1990 opinion].

* The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.
From the Huffington Post
"That's regrettable, obviously, from where I stand and the positions I've taken and argued here," Snowe told HuffPost Thursday to describe her reaction to the decision.

"It's very disappointing, frankly," she said. Other prominent members of her party, including Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, have endorsed the decision.

"Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters," writes Stevens. "The financial resources, legal structure, and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races."
In another article from the Huffington Post
"We are moving to an age where we won't have the senator from Arkansas or the congressman from North Carolina, but the senator from Wal-Mart and the congressman from Bank of America," said Melanie Sloan, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
From the Wall Street Journal,
Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. whose family owns the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise, is forming a political organization with other individuals to run advertisements against lawmakers who use spending earmarks to steer government funds to home-state projects, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
From the Christian Science Monitor,
The chief justice addressed this shift in a concurring opinion joined by Alito. During his confirmation hearing, Roberts told the Senate in often quoted remarks that he would be a judicial minimalist who would follow the rule that "if it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more."

The majority justices said the government restrictions interfered with the open marketplace of ideas rather than protected it. “By suppressing the speech of manifold corporations, both for-profit and non-profit, the government prevents their voices and viewpoints from reaching the public,” Kennedy wrote.
Yup, we now have an open marketplace! Elections are now for sale to the highest bidder.

Update: Jan. 22 10:38
I have a question about the Supreme Court decision that maybe you lawyers out there can answer.
If the company is a multi-national corporation how would it effect their political ads?
How about if it is a foreign owned company like UBS or Toyota, could they run political ads. Because they do have U.S. corporations affiliates (Toyota North America)?

This Is A Horrible Supreme Court Ruling!

The Supreme Court has just handed down a ruling the companies have a free hand to spend as much as they want on elections! The court has just ruled that elections can go to the company with the deepest pockets.

High Court Rolls Back Campaign Spending Limits
By a 5-4 vote, the court ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, overturning a 20-year-old decision that barred such contributions.

The new ruling blurs the lines between corporate and individual contributions in political campaigns. It also strikes down part of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that banned unions and corporations from paying for political ads in the waning days of campaigns.
At least they threw a small bone to the masses…
At the same time, NPR's Peter Overby points out that one important limit remains inAt the same time, NPR's Peter Overby points out that one important limit remains intact: Corporations still cannot give money directly to federal candidates or national party committees. That limit dates back to 1907. The justices also upheld some other restrictions, including disclosure requirements for nonprofit groups that advocate for political candidates. [Thank goodness for small favors]

From the Washington Post article
Strongly disagreeing, Justice John Paul Stevens said in his dissent, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation."

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined Stevens' dissent, parts of which he read aloud in the courtroom.
It sure does, we now have the best government that money can buy!
The Washington Post goes on to say…
"It's going to be the Wild Wild West," said Ben Ginsberg, a Republican attorney who has represented several GOP presidential campaigns. "If corporations and unions can give unlimited amounts ... it means that the public debate is significantly changed with a lot more voices and it means that the loudest voices are going to be corporations and unions."

Stevens complained that those justices overreached by throwing out earlier Supreme Court decisions that had not been at issue when this case first came to the court.

"Essentially, five justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law," Stevens said.
The Right Wing Conservatives are always complaining about judicial activism, well let see if they will complain about this judicial activism! The court went way beyond the question before the court. I bet that if you ask people if that want corporation to have an unlimited pocketbook for campaign advertising, they would say no.

Corporations cannot vote, they should not have a say in the elections. Corporations were created by law and they should be able to be limited in their scope in what they can and cannot do.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Only In Florida, I Hope

From the state that seems to like to invade one privacy and make personal decisions by court order there comes a new battle. Do you remember the Terri Schiavo case where the state stepped in to stop her wish not to "kept alive on a machine." Well they have done it again, this time ordering a mother to bed rest in a hospital because she might have a miscarriage!

The New York Times reported…
Is Refusing Bed Rest a Crime?

Arguments are under way today in the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee, Fla., in the case of Samantha Burton, who was confined to her bed by a judge earlier this year because she was at risk for a miscarriage.

Burton was in her 25th week of pregnancy in March 2009 when she started showing signs of miscarrying. Her doctor advised her to go on bed rest, possibly for as long as 15 weeks, but she told him that she had two toddlers to care for and a job to keep. She planned on getting a second opinion, but the doctor alerted the state, which then asked the Circuit Court of Leon County to step in.

She was ordered to stay in bed at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and to undergo “any and all medical treatments” her doctor, acting in the interests of the fetus, decided were necessary. Burton asked to switch hospitals and the request was denied by the court, which said “such a change is not in the child’s best interest at this time.” After three days of hospitalization, she had to undergo an emergency C-section and the fetus was found dead.

The ACLU has now appealed the case to a higher court and in their brief they say that they want “to protecting the constitutional rights of privacy and reproductive choice.” The brief goes on to state,
Moreover, to ignore this fundamental constitutional distinction between the State interest in protecting fetal life and its interest in the protecting the lives and health of people is to risk virtually unfettered intrusion into the lives of pregnant women.

The right to have control over one’s body is, I believe, sacrosanct. I do not believe that the government has the right to tell me what I can or cannot do to my body. I believe what the ACLU says in their brief is true…
“Thus, the overwhelming weight of federal and Florida precedent required the circuit court to apply the strictest level of constitutional scrutiny by giving full weight to Ms. Burton’s fundamental rights of liberty, bodily integrity, and medical autonomy and requiring the State to carry its heavy burden of demonstrating an overwhelming interest in fetal health that justified the extreme liberty deprivation in this case.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Story Part 15 – Life On A Roller Coaster

The roller coaster ride began for me, back in the fifties when I first started questioning my gender and it has never stopped. As I mentioned before I remember crying myself to sleep wanting to wake up a girl, back then I did not any sense of guilt. However, in my early teen years I started to develop low self-esteem, because of the pressures that society places on people who do not conform to the societal norms. Many transgender people, crossdressers or transsexual go through purging where they throw out all their clothes of the opposite gender, promising never to do crossdress again. I think that we all at an early age begin to pick-up social clues on what society expects from us and one of those expectations is to dress in gender conforming clothing and that is our source of the guilt and the ride in the roller coaster.

In one of my classes I had to write a paper on a chapter in Aronson’s book, The Social Animal the chapter that I chose was on conforming, I wrote this on why I chose that chapter,
It was a toss up between the chapter on Conformity and Prejudice, both of them affect me personally but I chose Conformity because it is about us, not what is done to us. Even though the Trans-community does have its prejudices, we are more a victim of prejudice. However, conformity is something that all of us in the trans-community have in common that we have to overcome in ourselves in order to be whole. It is the fear of what will our family say or what will the neighbors say or what will…. the list just keeps going on and on, every time we walk out of the house we face the results of non-conforming. The social pressures to conform builds up in us until we reach a point where we say, “Screw You World” and are able to break the hold that the desire to conform has on us.
It is that guilt that creates the roller coaster. Several times, I came close to being caught and each time that happen, I went into a depression and I vowed never to dress again. When I did start dressing again, it pushed me deeper into depression. I had always thought that if my family or friends found out, they would disown me and I would be cut off from the world. Because the guilt, we become secretive and learn to tell little white lies. One of the lies that we tell is to ourselves, that we can stop any time that we want. Another lie that I told myself was all it would take to stop is love, that if I found a woman that I loved I could stop crossdressing. I think that many of us in the LGBT community think the same thing and that is how we end up in disastrous relationships. Well for me it never worked, I think that the women that I dated felt that I was holding something of me back.

Later on in the paper for my class, I wrote this about how knowing about conformity would help me in my field,
There is tremendous pressure when you reach the point in your journey where you have to come out to your family; I know when I came to that point I felt a betrayal to my family. I felt that I had let them down in some way in not living up to their expectation and I still feel that way at times. Many of the members were in fear that they would be found out by their loved ones; they are not so much victim of prejudice but more victims of not conforming to society’s norms.
The field of my concentration is Community Organization and understanding conformity will help in trying to change society’s view of gender variant persons. By organizing grassroots political action coalition to help chance the laws to be more trans-friendly, we also can educate the community at large to the needs of the trans-community and maybe change society to become more accepting.

When I was growing up, the only way that transgender people were portrayed in the media was as crazies and people living in the fringes of society. The Christine Jorgensen’s and the Renee Richards’ of the world were portrayed as a novelties and someone to be the butt of jokes, but now there are positive roll models for those who are growing up today. They can find success stories all over the internet. Maybe the child of today will not have to live on that roller coaster.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Manic Monday #197

Lisa’s Manic Monday #197

Growing up, what was your favorite sitcom?
Wow, that is a very hard question to answer! The top contestants for my favorite sitcom, in no particular order, are:
All in the Family
Mary Tyler Moore
Happy Days
Dick Van Dyke Show
The Lucy Show
Bob Newhart Show
Home Improvements
Mork & Mindy
Now how do you pick a favorite from this list from of five decades of great sitcoms

What's your idea of a romantic date?
Dinner for two with good food, good wine, soft music, a fire in the fireplace and snowing.

What are you most afraid to lose?
My family.

The Supreme Court - Doe#1 v. Reed

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of whether the names on a petition should be made public. According to the “Blog of LegalTimes” the case is about…
The Court on Friday afternoon announced it was granting review in five new cases, including Doe#1 v. Reed, a case from Washington state asking whether that state's public records disclosure law violates the privacy rights of voters who signed petitions to launch a referendum aimed at overturning a law allowing same-sex domestic partnerships. Sponsors of the ballot initiative went to court to keep the names from being posted on the Internet, claiming that would violate their right to anonymous speech and would subject signers to threats and harassment.
I think both sides of the case have valid arguments; one side is lobbying for open government and the other side’s argument is that it stifles unpopular stands on issues.

A little background on the issues before the Supreme Court, in 1972 a ballot initiative was passed by the voters of Washington state,
Washington's public records and open public meetings laws, passed separately in the early 1970s, are a product of the "open government" climate brought about by distrust of government accountability and by misuse of government power during the civil rights and Vietnam protest era. Citizen groups such as the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Coalition for Open Government, and others succeeded in promoting such legislation at a time when conservative opposition to such measures was discredited. (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
The law is now being challenged by a group (Protect Marriage Washington) that tried to overturn the domestic partnership law. They are claim that by disclosing the name of the people who signed the petition for Referendum 71, that it will expose them to undue harassment and/or reprisals. While the other side is making the argument for an open governmental process. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the names should be released, saying that, “protecting the integrity of elections through transparency and providing voters with information about who supported placing the referendum on the ballot.” So now the case goes before the Supreme Court.

I can see the arguments made by both sides as valid, but I tend to lean towards the side that wants to block the names. I tend to look at it as a form of voting. However, I am really torn on this question, I believe in open government, but should that include people who petition government or just government operations?

As a member of a highly oppressed and marginalized community, I have seen how fear has prevented members of our community from speaking out. When I try to get people to come out and speak to their legislators or testify, I hear the same thing over and over again. They are afraid of losing their job or their family or their housing or being harassed or stigmatized and that fear is real. When we talk to legislators they say that they hear from those who are against the anti-discrimination legislation, but they never hear from anyone in favor of the bill. We try to explain to them being such a small oppressed community that it is hard for anyone to overcome their fears. When I testified before the Judiciary Committee, I stated my name, my address and town and imagine my dismay when I heard the committee co-chair announce proudly that they were the first committee to post the testimony on-line. To this day, if you Google my full name you come up with my address and the fact that I am a transsexual.

Therefore, I will be waiting for the Supreme Court decision and see what are their thoughts on the issue.

Just to clarify some points. I am in favor of a transparent government and I believe in the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and I also think that campaign financing should be public information. I think that we have the right to know who are funding campaign ads and I see that as being distinctly different from who are signing a petition.

Please leave comments on your thoughts, I would love to hear what others think on this topic.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 301

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 301

1. You’re at an Italian restaurant on a first date: how do you eat your spaghetti: do you cut it with the folk or roll it onto the tines? (And eating something else isn’t an option!)
Since I am Italian, there is only one correct way spaghetti. You take the fork in one hand, the spoon in the other hand and you roll the spaghetti on to the fork using the spoon at the end of the fork to keep the spaghetti on the fork.

2. You’ve prepared a nice soup for dinner when you happen to hear a news story that bay leaves, even after being cooked, are sharp enough to tear internal organs when eaten whole. (It’s true.) Do you fish them out of your masterpiece, warn your guests in advance not to eat them, or just assume everyone knows to not eat the extra greenery?

I usually take them out of the soup before I serve the soup. All the recipes that I have tell you to remove the bay leaves.

3. You’re having dinner at a nice restaurant with a group of friends and acquaintances. The sauce of your main course is the best you’ve ever tasted. You’ve eaten most of the dish, but you’ve got part of a roll and some sauce left. Do you sop up a little sauce for one more taste?

I would be terrible tempted to sop up the sauce, but I wouldn’t. Maybe lick the plate instead....just kidding!

4. This time, you’re at a seafood restaurant with folks you don’t know as well. Do you order a crab or lobster, a dish that would involve a lot of shell-cracking and a potential minor mess, or do you stick with something cleaner like a nice grilled fillet?
If you follow my blog at all, you would know that if there is a lobster on the menu, I’ll have it. I never walk away from a lobster.

5. You’re invited to a cookout by a friend, but when you get there, you discover that the main thing being cooked, that everyone else is a big fan of, is something you don’t like. Would you still eat a serving to be neighborly, or try to talk your way out of that one dish?
I am not big on ethnic foods; however, I would eat some if I had to. I feel that sometimes you just have to do some things that you don’t like. I hate Chinese foods, but if everyone wants to go to a Chinese restaurant, I will go them and have some.

6. You’re back at a seafood restaurant with friends. Unknowingly, you order a fish that is served whole, head and all. Do you send it back or just deal with it?
I would eat it and maybe make a joke, “Here’s looking at you kid.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sam’s Saturday 9

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: When We Was Fab

1. Is there a blog as far as its appearance goes that you think is the most fabulous?
Yes, but I'm not telling. I don't want to make my other friends mad for not picking their blog.

2. Do you like the look and the contents of your blogs?
Yes, it is pedestrian, but it OK.

3. Have you ever thought what would happen to your blog in case you died?

Yes, I thought about putting in my will or have a friend enter the last entry.

4. Has any particular blogger had a great impact on how you set up and write your blog?
Yes, a friend suggested that I get a blog, instead of using a Geocites site.

5. Would you want a fellow blogger to give you suggestions or criticism of what you write?
No, but they could drop me an email if I murder the English language too much

6. Is the number of visitors each day to your blog important to you?

Yes, I judge how a topic is received and try to tailor by blog entries to my audience.

7. What percentage of your readers do you think actual comment?

8. Do you have a favorite blogger who does the memes that you participate in?
Yes and I’m telling. (See the answer to question 1)

9. How often do you update your blog/site and why?
I try to do it every day because it keep the traffic to my site up. If I go four or five days without an entry, it takes a long time to get my readers back.

Friday’s Fill-ins #159

Janet’s Friday’s Fill-ins #159-1/15/10


1. The lesson I learned yesterday was _to leave forty minutes early for a 5:30 meeting in Hartford because of traffic_.

2. _Our cottage is_ where friends and family meet.

3. All these years _I still hate having a cold_.

4. _I was 15 minutes late to the meeting_ when I arrived.

5. The truth is _that I’m looking forward to classes beginning next week_.

6. _Getting ready to stick my hand out to pay the toll, when the other car struck my car_ is what I remember most from that day. ( Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma’am)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _not doing much_ and Sunday, I want have to _attend a Board meeting_.

Even though the number of spam has increased, I decided to remove the comment moderating because it was cutting into the number of comments that I am receiving.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Is It With These People?

Everyone is pouring aid to Haiti and what does Pat Robinson do? He lays on the guilt!
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," he said on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club." "They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."

Robertson said that "ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other" and he contrasted Haiti with its neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
Pat Robertson: Haiti 'Cursed' By 'Pact To The Devil' Huffington Post

What Rush Limbaugh said about President Obama is just as bad…

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Story Part 14 – My First, First Event

Every year for the last eight years I went up to a conference in the Boston MA area called “First Event”. I had gone to another conference in the fall that was held up in Provincetown MA and this the first time that I attended the Boston conference. Of course, I had to lie to my family and tell them that I was going to a computer conference. But at least now I had a cell phone and I didn’t have to give the cell phone number of a friend to call. I commented about my experience in my diary,
January 21st
I came down with a cold on Thursday and was out of work Friday. When I went up to the Tiffany Club's "First Event" on Saturday I was still feeling the effects of the cold. I went
up with T and G, we had light snow all the way and the driving was slow. But, we made it all right. At the Banquet, we all had a good time with good food, old friends and some new friends. We had a good turn out for the COS crew with nine members.

For the keynote speaker they had Diana Rivers, she is from California and was a teacher who was fired when she transitioned. Her causes was picked up by the national news media and she became an instant celebrity. That must have been real hard on her, all she wanted was to transition quietly, now she is a national figure that everyone wants her to speak at their events. It takes great courage to do what she is doing.

We left around one o’clock when the snow stopped with about a foot of new snow on the ground. It was a long ride back with me driving, the sun was shining off the wet roads and of course, I left my sunglasses home.
Over the years, one thing that always marked First Event was a snowstorm on Sunday; a year has not gone by that it didn’t snow on the last day of the conference.

The picture was taken at the First Event Banquet in 2001 and you can see that I have come a long ways since then.

The following year, 2002, I went up on Thursday and I wrote in my diary,
January 24th
I had a great time up Tiffany’s Club “First Event”. The only down side was on the way up we had a flat tire on the Mass. Pike. I went up with T and R and we were three old ladies changing the flat and the truck drives passing us by were honking their horns at us. Luckily the weather was good and we were able to safely pull off the road.

When we got to the hotel around five thirty we grabbed a bite to eat and went to the pool party. The “First Event” has a pool party every year and the hotel has a heated pool and spa. I went up to my room and changed into my bathing suit, I have a royal blue maillot bathing suit and it was really neat to swim around the pool. I stayed in for over an hour going between the heated pool and the hot tub.

On Friday I went to the morning seminar “Your Transgender Road map” and in the afternoon I went to “Coming out to Family and Friends”. Diane Ellaborn who is a licensed social worker in the Boston area and has many transgendered clients presented both of the seminars. That night they had a fashion show, after that I went down to the bar and left it around eleven.

Saturday I sat in on the “Your Transgender Team” seminar, which was very interesting. They had various medical and professionals who support the transgender community in the local area. The question that I asked Dr. Meltzer was what can be done for male pattern baldness and his answer didn’t hold much promise. The afternoon seminar I went to was “Driving While Dressed” which cover mainly DUI, there were some interesting topics that were covered, but in
general I wasn’t that interested in it. The evening brought their Banquet in which they hand out
their awards and their guest speaker was Jennifer Levi who is a staff attorney for GLAD and she talked about the gains that we have made through out the year.

On Sunday was the farewell brunch were we all said are good-byes. One of the highlights at the brunch for me is trying to figure out who’s who in male mode. It’s also a little sad for many because of the realization that they will have to return to boy mode again after three days in girl
mode. A lot of hugs and tears as we say our good-byes. One of the things that I like about the conventions is the sense of community that you get. You develop many new friendships and you realize that you are not alone. You see many of the same faces and couple at these events.
Everyone seems warm and friendly, outgoing. After all they are in their chosen gender when they are at these events and you can see it in their faces.

On Monday morning at work everyone asked you, “How was your vacation?” and you have to answer, “Ok, I guest.” When what you really want is stand on your desk and yell, “It was fantastic!” But, you know they would never really understand. Oh, well. There is always our Banquet coming up.
My little ruse was almost found out…
I also learned that R [my brother] was in Burlington, Ma. on Friday and was thinking about stopping by for a drink. Boy, would he have had a surprise. That’s another reason to tell him, but I still feel that I would place an unreasonable burden on him and that it would also be selfish of me.

That was one of the reasons I went to some of the seminars, to learn how to come out to R. It’s no simple matter, some of the ones that came out to siblings were rebuffed and others had no problems with their brothers or sisters. You just don’t know which way it will go.
I did tell him the following month, but that’s another story.

I am going up to the conference again this Saturday with a friend for the day, but now I don’t have to hide it anymore. The conference is at the Boston Peabody Marriot in Peabody, MA and you can find more information about the conference here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Manic Monday #196

Lisa’s Manic Monday #196

What is one thing you wish you could change about yourself?
My weight. I would love to lose 55lbs.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
Nope. Things happen because they happen. (Now how profound is that!) However, I not talking about mistakes or sloppy work.

What would be your dream job?

A job helping others, with no set hours. You can come in and work when every you want, for how long that you want. It is called volunteering when you are retired.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

These are some of the stories that have caught my eye and I want to comment on them.

The first is an update on the story about Amanda Simpson who was appointed to the Commerce Department by President Obama, it turns out that she is not the first transgender person appointed by the President. Dylan Orr was the first. Orr began on December 7th at the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor. This is from PrideSource…
Obama makes first trans appointments
Dylan Orr, Amanda Simpson make history in newest positions
By Lisa Keen

Amanda Simpson starts work this week as one of the first presidentially appointed transgender persons to the executive branch of any administration. The honor as the first belongs to Dylan Orr, a 30-year-old law school graduate from Seattle.

Orr, a native of Seattle, graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in July and was admitted to the bar in November. During law school, his studies focused on disability rights, civil rights and employment and immigration issues. He served as president of the law school's GLBT student organization. He did his undergraduate work at Smith College in Massachusetts, and also worked for a time with the Department of Social Services in Salem, Massachusetts.

In addition, President Clinton appointed Lynn Conway to the Air Force Board of Visitors…

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 31, 1996

President Clinton Names Lynn Conway to the Air Force Academy
Board of Visitors

President Clinton announced today his intent to appoint Lynn

Conway of Michigan, to the U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors.

Conway is professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Professor Conway is widely known as a pioneer in microelectronics and as co-author of the classic text on very large scale integrated (VLSI) chip design.

During the early 1980's she also led the Defense Department's Strategic Computing Initiative, a major research program that developed intelligent weapons technology. In 1989, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Conway is also director of a major visual communications demonstration project at the University of Michigan.

Conway, who was born in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., earned a B.S. and an M.S.E.E. from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University.

The Air Force Academy Board of Visitors visits the Air Force Academy annually and provides the President and the Air Force with consultations and advice concerning overall activities of the Academy.
At the same time we were celebrating our victories on the federal front, there was another victory on a state level. The New York State Thruway Authority was found by the state Division of Human Rights to have discriminated against an employee. The Times Union in Albany NY in an article reported,

Transgender bias at Thruway
Former Army dispatcher wins $55,000 after firing at authority

By BRENDAN J. LYONS, Senior writer

ALBANY -- A transgender woman who was secretly subjected to harassment, openly called "drag queen" and "freak," and later fired by the New York State Thruway Authority has been awarded more than $55,000 for her ordeal.

A judge with the state Division of Human Rights has issued an order sustaining a complaint by Mackenzie W. Valentine, 29, a former Army dispatcher and military police officer from Cohoes who was diagnosed with gender identity disorder and underwent a court-approved gender change several years ago. The transformation took place around the time that Valentine, who changed her name from "Matthew Valentine," began working for the Thruway Authority in Albany as a $15.30-an-hour dispatcher.

Valentine's co-workers, including supervisors, learned of Valentine's gender history and began secretly using state computers to view information about her on publicly accessible Web sites.

"This work atmosphere encouraged employees from the beginning of (Valentine's) tenure to engage in making disparaging remarks about her sex and GID (gender identity disorder)," states a 24-page decision by Migdalia Pares, an administrative law judge with the state Division of Human Rights.

The judge's decision was signed Dec. 22, six days after Gov. David Paterson signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from discriminating against people on the basis of gender identity.
In another discrimination case in Des Moines Iowa case, I think you will be surprise to see where I stand on this case.
Searching their souls: Can church include transgendered?

It began innocuously enough when the incoming priest at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center at Drake University noticed a piece of paper on a copy machine in the parish office.

On it was a counselor's authorization of hormone therapy for a transgendered person about to undergo a sex change. On a letterhead that included the center's name and address.

What came quickly after is changing a community:

The intervention of the bishop, worried about liability for the Diocese of Des Moines. The firing of the transgendered woman who worked part time as parish housekeeper and who, as an independent social worker, used parish offices to provide counseling for transgendered clients. Nearly 100 parishioners organizing separate prayer services instead of going to Mass because they said they sought a welcoming place for all. And angst in a once-tight faith community about how the church should minister to those whose lifestyles aren't condoned by the church.
I believe the church had a right to fire her, because it was a religious organization. I do think that a religious organization has the right to be bigoted and discriminatory when it comes to their religious organization. It was their church and they can chose who they want to include or exclude. However, having said that, I also believe that if a religious organization has facilities that are open to the public, then they cannot discriminate and must obey the anti-discrimination laws.
In 2007, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization in New Jersey was involved in a battle over using their pavilion on the boardwalk for civil unions. A NY Time article said,
Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue
Published: September 18, 2007

A boardwalk pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove, N.J., that has been at the center of a battle over gay civil union ceremonies has lost its tax-exempt status because the state ruled it no longer met the requirements as a place open to all members of the public

In a letter to the administrator of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization that owns the pavilion property, the state commissioner of environmental protection, Lisa Jackson, declined to recertify the pavilion as eligible for a real estate tax exemption it has enjoyed since 1989 under the state’s Green Acres Program, but did renew the tax-exempt status of the rest of the boardwalk and the beach, also owned by the association.

“When people hear the words ‘open space,’ we want them to think not just of open air and land, but that it is open to all people,” said Ms. Jackson. “And when the public subsidizes it with tax breaks, it goes with the expectation that it is not going to be parsed out, whether it be by activity or any particular beliefs.”
In this case I believe that the religious organization did discriminate because of the couples sexual orientation. The religious organization was not operating the pavilion as a private church, but they operated the pavilion as a public accommodation, therefore subject to the sate anti-discrimination laws.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 300

Patrick's Place Saturday Six – Episode 300

1. From the scenario described above, would you press the button if the stranger claimed that you’d immediately receive $10 million, but a total stranger elsewhere would die: would you press the button?
Nope! My life is a lot more valuable to me than $10 million.

2. What if the offer were increased to $50 million, but the catch was that someone you know personally — either family, a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance — would die, and you’d have no control of who it was: would you press the button?
Nope! I would consider it murder.

3. What if he told you that pushing the button would give you $10 million, but that an inmate on death row would die of natural causes: would you press the button?
Nope! I do not think anything justifies taking a human life.

4. What if, in addition to the scenario in #2, he confirmed that the death row inmate had genuinely committed the crime of which he was convicted, so there was no chance of killing an “innocent” man: would you then press the button?
Nope! I do not believe in capital punishment.

5. What if, instead of any of those scenarios, the stranger said pressing the button would give you $1 million dollars and the knowledge of exactly what day and what time you would die: would you still press the button?
That would be too scary to even think. I think you would go insane with the knowledge of your death.

6. And what if, instead of any other scenario, the stranger told you that pressing the button would give you just $10,000, but that you’d also have a one-hour, one-on-one encounter with God, removing all doubt that He exists, but that you’d then have to live a life that reflected your newly-found knowledge. Would you press the button?
Yes, I would even do it for free. Since I believe in God, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with learning that He exists. I would love to ask Him about the origins of the universe and why there is evil in the world.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Saturday 9: Call Me

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Call Me

1. Who is someone that phones you routinely that you never seem to be up to talk to, but you are not ready to push them out of your life?
I don’t have anyone like that calling me.

2. What is something that effects you deeply, to your core, no matter your mood or what else is going on in your life?
Seeing all the hate in the world, I just don’t understand why we all can’t just get along. Why do people hate those who are different from them?

3. Tell us of something that relaxes you and always makes you happy.
Taking photographs, it is very relaxing for me. Here is a photo that I took earlier in the week up in Maine.

4. If you could take the train from anywhere to anywhere, where would 'anywhere' be?
I would take the trans-Canadian railroad, from Halifax to Vancouver.

5. If you could look into the future, how far down the road would you like to see? 10 years? 100 years? A million?
A thousand years, it would be interesting to see if man is still alive.

6. Did you do your shopping online for this Christmas, how did it go? Did things come in on time? Any significant failures? ...and if you didn't, will you consider trying online shopping sometime this year?

I shopped all in one store, I got books for everyone.

7. What people or projects are worth your time, money or effort?
Working for Human Rights.

8. Think back when you were in high school. Are you proud of the way you dressed, or do you wish you could go back and change it all?
Wow! That is a long time ago. Back then, you really did have much choice in what clothes that you wore in high school. It still was the “Leave It To Beaver” look. It wasn’t until I got to college that you could dress the way you wanted. Having a Beatle’s hair cut was seen as radical.

9. Do any of your friends, family or co-workers know about your blogs? For those that do, did you tell them or have they stumbled upon it by themselves?
Yes, I told some of my family and friends about my blog, but people from where I used to work found out about it after I left. There was quite a surge in hits per day about a month after I was laid-off.

Friday Fill-ins #158

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #158


1. There are places _that I would like to visit and there are places that I never wanted to visit_.

2. _I wish the ol’ sun would_ blow those clouds away.

3. Standing in the _doorway I yelled, is anyone home_?

4. _I can wait to have my lobster dinner,_ oh boy.

5. He went out tiger hunting _and came back with a cute little orphaned tiger cub_.

6. _I have a hard time to keep_ my mind from wandering.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _maybe going out to the coffee shop to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _doing nothing_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends_!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Here is an update from my post on the appointment n Amanda Simpson to the Commerce department, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC has an editorial comment on her...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here is an update from my post on President Obama's bBanong Discrimination Over Gender Identity for Federal employees...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

My Story Part 13 – Social Work?

This is going to be a short story this week; I have an interview this morning for my internship next fall.

When I was still working and they had announced that they were going to close the factory next year, they offered us a severance package that included tuition reimbursement for a year. So I started to take STEP classes at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. The STEP classes are non-matriculating courses that came be transferred to into the matriculating program. It is a way to see if you can handle the classes in the master’s program.

When I told my fellow employees that I was going to get my Master in Social Work, they all said why? I told them that I wanted to give back to society, but that was only half of the story. What I really wanted to do was work for the trans-community to achieve equal rights.

I was planning on retiring a year after when I was laid-off so I was already thinking about what I wanted to do when I retired, the lay-off just speeded up my plans by a year. I was asking friends and acquaintances what I could do to help the trans-community and everyone said, get my MSW. It was only a couple of years later that I found out that everyone I asked had a MSW.

So that is why I am working for my MSW and why I am heading off for my interview.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Obama BansDiscrimination Over Gender Identity

The NY Times has an article in toady's paper about an executive order by President Obama banning discrimination based on gender identity on government contracts,
U.S. Job Site Bans Bias Over Gender Identity
Published: January 5, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has inserted language into the federal jobs Web site explicitly banning employment discrimination based on gender identity.

The protection is expected to apply to the small transgender population — people who identify their gender differently from the information on their birth certificates — and it merely formalizes what had been increasingly unchallenged government practice over several years.
Of course, the right wing conservatives are against this, they would rather see us out in the streets homeless then be able to have a job...
“We at the Family Research Council oppose including gender identity as a category of protection,” said Peter S. Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies.

Mr. Sprigg said his group believed that what it calls “gender identity disorder” should be “treated with therapy to help people be comfortable with their biological sex rather than affirming and celebrating and protecting those who want to deny their biological sex.”

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Update: Uganda – Death To Homosexuals

Last month I wrote about the law that was being proposed by the Uganda legislature, making repeated homosexual acts punishable by death. The New York Times just ran a story about the bill.
Americans’ Role Seen in Uganda’s Anti-Gay Push

KAMPALA, Uganda — Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.

For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.

Instead, Uganda seems to have become a far-flung front line in the American culture wars, with American groups on both sides, the Christian right and gay activists, pouring in support and money as they get involved in the broader debate over homosexuality in Africa.

“I feel duped,” Mr. Schmierer said, arguing that he had been invited to speak on “parenting skills” for families with gay children. He acknowledged telling audiences how homosexuals could be converted into heterosexuals, but he said he had no idea some Ugandans were contemplating the death penalty for homosexuality.

Mr. Lively and Mr. Brundidge have made similar remarks in interviews or statements issued by their organizations. But the Ugandan organizers of the conference admit helping draft the bill, and Mr. Lively has acknowledged meeting with Ugandan lawmakers to discuss it….

“What these people have done is set the fire they can’t quench,” said the Rev. Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian who went undercover for six months to chronicle the relationship between the African anti-homosexual movement and American evangelicals.

Mr. Kaoma was at the conference and said that the three Americans “underestimated the homophobia in Uganda” and “what it means to Africans when you speak about a certain group trying to destroy their children and their families.”

Uganda has also become a magnet for American evangelical groups. Some of the best known Christian personalities have recently passed through here, often bringing with them anti-homosexuality messages, including the Rev. Rick Warren, who visited in 2008 and has compared homosexuality to pedophilia. (Mr. Warren recently condemned the anti-homosexuality bill, seeking to correct what he called “lies and errors and false reports” that he played a role in it.)
The radical Christian right wing conservatives are no longer satisfied in pushing their, lies, hate, bigotry and homophobia here in the United States, but now they are exporting it to third world countries with disastrous results.

When I was little and went to Bible study, I was taught the Jesus was compassionate, tolerant, loving and understanding. But somehow, these radical Christians have perverted his message into hatefulness, vengefulness and a message of exclusion.

I believe that the vast majority of Christians do not believe what the radical Christians are preaching. That they are a small vocal minority that preaches this hate. I believe that the vast majority of Christians are open and affirming and I recognize that some are struggling with the issues of marriage equality and gay, lesbian and transgender priests and ministers. But at least they are examining their beliefs and are trying to understand

Monday, January 04, 2010

Manic Monday #195

Lisa’s Manic Monday #195

What did you get in trouble for the most when you were a kid?
Fighting with my brother.

Which is your wish that is not yet fulfilled?
I don’t know, I have fulfilled one major goals. I guess one thing that I would like to do, is to sail the coast of Maine in a windjammer.

If you have to choose a movie title for your life story, what would that be?

Update On Virginia Transgendered Inmate

Last week I reported that a transgender inmate was kept in solitary confinement, not for anything that she did, but just because that she is transgender. There has been an update in her condition that was reported in the Washington Examiner,
Va. transgendered inmate removed from lockdown
By: Freeman Klopott
January 3, 2010

A transgendered woman who was locked down in solitary confinement for six months in a Virginia jail has been moved to a medical wing, her attorney told The Examiner.

Officials at Central Virginia Regional Jail said they had initially placed Maria Benita Santamaria in solitary confinement because they feared she would be raped by male inmates. Her attorney, Cathy Alterman, said they moved the 35-year-old to the medical wing late Wednesday night after U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis ordered them to do so.

During her stay in solitary confinement, Santamaria was treated no different than inmates on punitive lockdown, Deputy Superintendent Susan Fletcher said. She was allowed out of her cell for one hour a day and allowed to shower every three days.

Alterman said jail guards referred to Santamaria as "it" and the conditions have pushed her to consider suicide. Despite the threat of being raped by male inmates, Santamaria has repeatedly asked to be placed in general population.

The disrespect exhibited by jail and prison guards -- such as referring to transgendered inmates as "it" -- creates a cycle of disrespect that filters down to the other inmates, Williams said.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Connecticut Outreach Society’s Annual Banquet

Every year since I have been a member of COS they have had an annual banquet and this year is no exception. And every year we rack our brains for find a guest speaker and this year our director invited a friend and actor to be our keynote speaker, Peterson Toscano.

I remember the first banquet that I went to, it was one of the first times that I ventured out in public as Diana. Back then every time I went out in public was an adventure. I wrote in my diary…

May 14, 2000

I did it…. The banquet was GREAT.
I got there a little after 2:30 to help them setup. I walked by the room twice and didn’t recognizes anyone, they were all in boy mode. Then I spotted K and I knew it was the right room. Helped them (K, J and B) until we finished around 4:30. Went up to my room (Yep I rented a room at the hotel for the night) to change into my dress and makeup.

The evening was great, about 50 people were there, dinner was good and the speakers and entertainment also. Then at 11 it ended and we torn down the stage. We finished around midnight and I was beat…The heels. I didn’t sleep to good I was all wound up, to many Cokes
(Caffeine). I got up early and left for home, lucky I did, Mom called around 9. I hate telling them lies…but the truth will hurt them to much….sigh.

Oh yea, I forgot. . While the show was on kids at the hotel were peeking through the windows, I could hear them laughing and giggling. Some of the acts were funny, the songs they did was a gas.

The following year, I wrote,

March 4th, 2001
Last night was the COS Annual Banquet, the turn out was a lot less than last year’s. Only forty-two people compared to around sixty before. I had a good time, I got there around three o’clock and went to see if they needed any help in stetting up, they didn’t it was pretty much all done by that time. During the COS Follies I ran the spot light again this year.

They also had the installation of the new Executive Director A as K stepped down and passed the
torch. I was elected to the board as a “Member at Large”. A couple of weeks ago Dad was trying to get me to join a service organization, little did he know that I already had, just not the type he thought. I also got an award last night, a complete surprise! It was for the newcomer who helped out the most.

After the Banquet some of those that were left went downto the motel bar for more drinks. Mixing with the common folks, I stayed to a little after one. Those that know me know that I rarely stay up past ten on most nights, so you know that I must have been having a good time. At the bar I also found out that J besides being a professor at a university, also runs a computer Internet company and that E besides performing in Drag she also has a job with web design company. She was interested in that I was doing streaming video on the web. Even networking at the Banquet, you never know when it might come in handy

This year’s banquet is March 20th and for many of the member, this will be their first or only time that they go out in public. For them the excitement of the event will be something that they will always remember.

The banquet details will be posted on their web-site once they are finalized.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Beautiful Blogger Award

I was just awarded the Beautiful Blogger award from Staci at “Femulate.” I am honored that she thought of me and bestowed the award to me.

The award does come with the some responsibilities.

1. I must thank the person who bestowed this honor upon me.

2. Copy the award and place it on my blog.

3. Link to the bestowers’ site.

4. Enumerate seven interesting things about yourself. Here they are:

* I am retired

* I am going back to college for my Master’s degree and I am having a blast going back to college at my age.

* I graduated from college in ’74 after many years of trying to get through college.

* I graduated from high school in ‘67

* All my life I lived in the same small town and grew up only a mile from where I live now.

* I dreamed of owning a sailboat and cursing the coast of Maine in the summers.

* I transitioned on June 30, 2007 at 11:00AM and I was laid-off from work after 28 years on June 30, 2007 at 11:00AM.

5. Nominate seven bloggers that you find beautiful.
Here I’ll break the rules and nominate only one blogger, I nominate Kwizgiver at "What if this is as good as it gets?" She is a beautiful person who is so accepting of others

Saturday Six – Episode 299

Patrick’s Saturday Six – Episode 299

1. What is your favorite holiday of the year?

2. What are the three things that makes this your favorite?
The gathering of the family, the food and the food.

3. What is your least favorite holiday of the year?
Christmas. Why Christmas? Because for many people who are less off or without a family it is very depressing. I know someone who has been estranged by her family in the Midwest and is here in Connecticut all alone and this time of the year is very hard on her. If I could, I would invite her to our family gathering, but it is always out of state.

4. Considering days that are celebrated but that are not holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day, for example, which one would you make into a national holiday if you had the chance?
I wouldn’t make any more national holidays, in fact, I’ll take them away. I would only have, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas and New Years.

5. Take the quiz: What Should You Celebrate?

You Should Celebrate Champagne

You really don't need a reason to celebrate. In fact, you celebrate all the time.
New Year's Eve is just another reason for you to make merry. In fact, you may even refer to it as amateur's night.

On New Year's Eve, you won't be looking back or looking ahead. You'll just be looking for another glass of bubbly.
You'll toast, cheer, and maybe even kiss a stranger... just like every other night of the year.

6. If there were a holiday created to celebrate the specific thing listed as the answer in #5, would you willingly celebrate it?
There wasn’t any specific things listed, except that I like partying, which is not true. I like a quite dinner party at a fine restaurant.