Monday, May 31, 2010

I Smell Smoke!

At our cottage in southern New Hampshire this morning when we woke up, there was a haze on the lake and in the mountains forest. I thought it was from the humidity, I had seen on humid days a haze just like that.

My brother goes out on the porch and said “Its smoke! There must be a forest fire.”
Me: “It is probably from woodstoves.”
My brother: “No, it must be coming from a forest fire somewhere.”
Me: “No, it is smoke from woodstoves mixed in with the haze.”
I continue packing up my car to leave to go home. Phone rings.
My brother comes out and tells me that my sister-in-law friend who lives out on Nantucket said that the smoke is from a forest fire up in Quebec. That they can smell it and see it on Nantucket Island.
Me: “Wow!”
Smoke From Canada Fires Wafts Into NH
Hazy, smokey air is covering most of the state
POSTED: 11:59 am EDT May 30, 2010
New Hampshire --
New Hampshire has sent more than a dozen firefighters to Canada to help fight a forest fire that is sending smoke over much of New Hampshire.

People in Quebec are evacuating their homes because of wildfires burning out of control in the central and northern parts of the province. About 400 people who evacuated are taking shelter in a hockey arena.

There are 60 fires burning that ignited because of dry conditions and lightning. The Canadian Broadcasting Co. reported that the fire has scorched about 150,000 acres so far. So far, firefighters have managed to keep the flames away from people's homes.

Strong northwest winds are bringing smoke into Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont from wildfires that are burning in Canada. In New Hampshire, a haze hung over mountains, and, in some parts of New England, visibility from the fires is down to about 3 miles. Residents in the North Country, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, Manchester and the capital area are noticing a strong smell of smoke and reporting respiratory issues.

There is a video of the news story on WMUR web-site.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Presidential Proclamation

Presidential Proclamation--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.

LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.

My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban. I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.

In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. HUD also announced the first ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders.

Much work remains to fulfill our Nation's promise of equal justice under law for LGBT Americans. That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring Federal employees receive equal benefits. We must create safer schools so all our children may learn in a supportive environment. I am also committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so patriotic LGBT Americans can serve openly in our military, and I am working with the Congress and our military leadership to accomplish that goal.

As we honor the LGBT Americans who have given so much to our Nation, let us remember that if one of us is unable to realize full equality, we all fall short of our founding principles. Our Nation draws its strength from our diversity, with each of us contributing to the greater whole. By affirming these rights and values, each American benefits from the further advancement of liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Saturday 9 Midnight Confessions

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9 Midnight Confessions

1. Have you ever had to confess something to a lover or friend?


2. How well do you handle rejection?
Not very well, I get a little bit depressed

3. What makes you feel old?
Knowing that we are now the oldest generation in our family

4. What makes you feel young?

Going to school

5. What’s something you are old school about?
My music, I look the music from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s

6. What TV show's seasons would you buy on DVD? Tell us why it rocks.

I wouldn’t. I don’t like TV enough to go out and buy a program

7. If you could create your own TV channel, what would it be?

They already have it, the SiFi and History channels

8. Where do you like to go for a day trip?

Newport, RI

9. Name some things that you still want to do in your life.

Win Power Ball for $260 million.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #178

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #178


1. _Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Baked Beans and Potato Salad_ -- the best food to take on a picnic.
2. Summer _feels like is already here_.
3. _I hate_ flip flops.
4. To love someone is _to know happiness _.
5. _I’d like to go on_ a long hike.
6. When I crave food, it's usually _foods I shouldn’t eat_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _driving up to New Hampshire_, tomorrow my plans include _cleaning the cottage_ and Sunday, I want have to _clean some more_! On Memorial Day, I’m driving home.

My Story Part 31 – Wondering

Did my parents know about my crossdressing and if so, what did they think? It is something that I always wondered but it is something that I will never know because both of my parents have passed away. There were some little clues that indicated that my mother knew, like when I use to keep my stash of clothes hidden in the back of my closet and one day they vanished. Or another time when I had my mother’s dress on and I was smoking pot when a seed popped and burnt a hole in it. She came to me and asked if I know anything about it. Which indicated that she most likely knew, but what did she think? Did she tell my father? If she did, what did he think?

These incidents happened back in the sixties, when crossdressing was considered as being gay and being gay was against the law.

I think we all want our parent’s love; I know that they loved me, but what did they think? Was that why my mother always worried about me? Did she fear that I might be gay? These are questions that have been with me all my life.

When she was dying, I wrote this poem

The Question
You never asked.
I always wondered.
But, I never asked.
It was our little secret.
The question unasked.
Little things that let me know that you knew.
But never asked.
The little hints here and there.
But the question remained unasked.
Hints just loud enough for my ears.
Oh, I always wondered about the question unasked.
Would our love survived.
If asked.
What would it have been like with the question asked?
What might have been if you asked?
What might have been if I asked?

This was crossed posted from my blog, "Diana’s Little Corner in the Nutmeg State"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spartanburg’s Pride Proclamation

The on-line edition of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal called GoUpstate had an editorial yesterday that I felt was wrong. The editorial argued that a mayor’s proclamation was a violation of freedom of religion.
White's proclamation shows uneven nature of morality debate
Published: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 6:38 p.m.

This nation and community are having a very one-sided discussion on the merits of religious faith in the public arena.

The truth is that every moral debate is at heart about religious faith. That faith dictates our sense of moral absolutes or our disbelief in any absolutes. That faith determines the moral authority we look to for our sense of right and wrong.

For instance, someone who believes in God may look to Scripture for the definition of right and wrong, while an atheist may have no higher moral authority than his own thoughts and sense of reason. But every moral position is at heart a matter of religious faith of some kind.
I object to the author’s saying that only faith determines “moral authority” and that atheist do not have a higher authority. I believe that our “moral authority” in each and every one of us comes from our parents, our community that we live in and our culture, which may included our religious beliefs. However, to say that only a religious person is moral is presumptuous.
For instance, Spartanburg Mayor Junie White has issued a proclamation on behalf of the city of Spartanburg, declaring June 19 to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Day.

The debate over sexual issues is fundamentally a moral and therefore religious one. Some people follow the Jewish and Christian Scriptures and see that authority as prohibiting homosexuality. Others adhere to a different moral authority that allows homosexuality.

If a mayor who believed the scriptural admonitions against homosexuality had issued a proclamation condemning the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Day, he would be vilified by all those who support White's decision. They would cry that this mayor is forcing his religious beliefs on everyone in the city. And they would be right.
I agree with part of the author’s argument in that there would be an outcry if the mayor issued a proclamation against the Pride day. I would say that the issuing of a proclamation depends upon if the mayor has issued other proclamations in the past for other organizations like Black History Month, Puerto Rican Day, St. Patrick’s Day (which celebrates the Protestants being driven out of Ireland) or Columbus Day. That if he has, then recognizing Pride Day is nothing more then recognizing another organization’s or ethnic day and does not show any particular bias. However, conversely if he wrote a proclamation against Pride Day and he has never done that to any other organization or ethnic group, then I would say that it showed bias against Pride Day.

In addition, other people follow the Jewish and Christian Scriptures and see that authority as accepting of all God’s people including homosexual. Are their beliefs no less important then the religious views of those who are intolerant? Further more, it presupposes that people who are LGBT are not religious and cannot be Christians or Jewish which is impertinent.
Why is this tolerated from one side when it would never be tolerated by the other? Why is one set of groups told that their religious beliefs have no place in the public arena, no business informing public policy or social evolution, but other groups are encouraged to bring their moral senses into the debate?
I think the whole idea of Pride Day is a celebration by people including people who have a different religious view about LGBT individuals. LGBT people have just as much right to have a day of celebration as any other community and if the mayor issues a proclamation for those group, he should be able to issue a proclamation for Pride Day
It [tolerated from one side] probably comes from the fallacy that moral views informed by a traditional religious faith are somehow less valid than moral views stemming from a lack of faith or a less traditional faith. In particular, if Scripture is treasured as the word of God and moral authority resides in that word, our social conventions dictate that this moral sense is personal, should be kept under wraps and has no business in public. But if moral absolutes are held only in personal thought, if someone recognizes no moral authority higher than his own mind, then that moral perspective is deemed to be nonreligious and is valued in the public arena.
Again I ask, why does the author only believe all people of “traditional religious faith” oppose homosexuality? There are other people of “traditional religious faith” that are inclusive, their religious beliefs are just as valid. Religious views should not be brought into this debate, the proclamation makes no mention of people’s religious beliefs, and the proclamation is only a celebration of a culture.

The author sees this as a religious issue; I see it as a culture issue, just as Puerto Rican Day, St. Patrick’s Day or Columbus Day are issued proclamation so should Pride Day be issues a proclamation.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When Is The Violence Going To Stop!

Another transgender woman murdered in Puerto Rico
by Michael K. Lavers
National News Editor
Tuesday May 25, 2010

For the second time in less than two months, Puerto Rican police are investigating the murder of a transgender woman in her home.

Police say Angie González Oquendo, 38, was strangled to death with an electrical cord in her Caguas home on Monday, May 24. El Nuevo Día reported González, 38, was last seen alive on Thursday, May 20. And Carlos H. Cruz Burgos, director of the Caguas’ Criminal Investigation Corps, told the newspaper he believes González was killed later that day.
González’s murder comes roughly five weeks after authorities discovered Ashley Santiago stabbed to death in her home in Corozal; and less than two weeks after the man prosecutors had accused of killing gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado before decapitating, dismembering and partially burning his body before dumping it along a remote roadside pleaded guilty.

Meanwhile, Congress is arguing over bathrooms instead of passing an anti-discrimination law! When is this violence, bigotry and hatred going to stop?

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

These news articles caught my eye in the last week…

I wish her well but I don’t think she will get the Republican nomination to run for Congress.
Transgender candidate a label-free conservative
Donna Milo, a transgender conservative Republican running in the GOP primary for Congress, will speak Monday night to a gay Republican club in Fort Lauderdale.

By Steve Rothaus
The Miami Herald

MIAMI — Donna Milo — a Cuban-American, conservative Republican, transgender woman running for Congress — says she doesn't like labels.

"I'm an American. I make my way on the basis of ability. My triumphs are based on my abilities, not on a label or a crutch," said Milo, a Miami Planning Advisory Board member running to replace U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, one of the House's most liberal Democrats.
In an interview on the Mike Signorile Show she said…
While she confirmed to me that she is in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("of course"), it turns out she is opposed to marriage equality, giving the religious line on marriage being between "a man and a woman." On the issue of adoption Milo also believes that, though kids should go to gay and lesbian parents if it means they'll be in an institution, "traditional families" should have priority over gays. She also believes the government should not have a role in funding gender reassignment surgery for transgender people. It was quite an interview.
Speaking of same-sex adoption, it seems that in Iowa the director of the Department of Public Health does not believe that when their Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality that the equality extended to adoption…
Gay couple sues over birth certificate
May 14, 2010

The Iowa Department of Public Health in March rejected the couple's request on grounds that Melissa Gartner had not legally adopted Mackenzie and was not biologically related.

Iowa Department of Public Health Director Tom Newton, who is named in the lawsuit, said in a statement Thursday that his office will fight the claim. Newton said current state law only allows the name of a "husband" to appear on birth certificates when the mother is married, unless a judge grants parental rights to someone else.

Newton said naming a lesbian couple as parents without a legal adoption could jeopardize the rights of a biological father.
Hmm… maybe they should just change the birth certificate to read, “Parents”.

The Iowa Department of Public Health does no ask a straight couple who is the father, only same-sex partners. A straight couple might have used an anonymous sperm donor, or the wife might have had an extramarital affair and the father of the child might not be the husband. Therefore, it is only right that any married couple have their names recorded as the child’s parents.

While we are talking about children, here is article about children coming out at an earlier age LGBT kids coming out earlier age. From of all places, Salt Lake City…
"I prayed every single day ... I didn't want to feel like this and I didn't want to go to hell."

By Rosemary Winters
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 05/17/2010 07:32:28 AM MDT

As society has become more open about sexuality, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) are coming out at younger ages. It's no longer rare for a high school -- or even a middle school -- to have one or more students who are openly gay or bisexual. They are taking same-sex dates to proms and launching gay-straight alliance clubs.

And people who are transgender, who feel their gender differs from their biological sex, are sharing that with their families -- and sometimes their peers -- during adolescence. Some might start a transition from one gender to another as teenagers. Others can come out as "gender queer," meaning they don't see their gender identity as solely masculine or feminine.

"As a community and as a society, we're hearing more and more about LGBT people," she [Jude McNeil, youth programs director at the Utah Pride Center] said. "We're thinking more about what it means to be LGBT. Parents are learning more. Schools are learning more."

"If you're a member of an ethnic minority group and you're bullied at school, you can go home and talk to your parents about it and they understand -- provided you're not adopted," said David Huebner, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Utah. "For gay kids, they can't necessarily count on that. Often they experience the same mistreatment in the home that they do outside."
And sadly…
Transgender woman murdered on Milwaukee street
by Joseph Erbentraut
EDGE Contributor
Thursday May 20, 2010

While mainstream media’s news reports of Dana A. "Chanel" Larkin’s murder on Friday, May 7, in Milwaukee have focused on the alleged perpetrator’s version of what he said happened, the crime’s scant media coverage has offered little to no information on who she was.

According to those who did know her, Larkin, 26, was a young transgender woman of color who loved her family and friends. She had turned to sex work to make ends meet.

Milwaukee prosecutors contend Andrew Olacirequi had met Larkin on the street late Thursday, May 6, while he was driving around the city looking for a prostitute. He reportedly encountered Larkin near North 27th Street and North Avenue around 1 a.m. on May 7, and offered her $20 to perform a sex act. Larkin reportedly asked the suspect if "it was OK with him actually being a man." Olacirequi allegedly pulled out a .357-caliber revolver when Larkin reportedly made an advance on him and shot her in three times in the head.
All too often trans-people end up unemployed because of discrimination in employment and the only avenue open to them is working the streets. As a result, we are more likely to be victims of violence, have a higher chance of acquiring AIDS/HIV and are exposed to hard drugs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 319

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 319

1. Would you describe your desk as generally cluttered or generally neat?
When I was working, my desk was cluttered. The HR director use to leave little hints on my desk, like booklet on how to maintain an organized desk or “A cluttered desk, a cluttered mind”

2. There’s the old saying about one’s clutter being “organized” just where he can find everything: considering the most cluttered part of your workspace, can you really find everything easily?
Yes, I could 99% of the time. I had a pile for each job, stuff to be reviewed, stuff to be filed. If someone couldn’t find some paperwork in the shop, they always came to my desk first.
OK, just let me say this in my defense. I use to have an administrative assistant to enter the records into the database and then file the records. When we were bought out by a large corporation they did away with the position. So besides supervising 8 technicians, I also had to do all or her work and I am not the worlds fastest typist, so work backed up on my desk.

3. You have an important appointment to remember: where’s the first place you’re likely to make note of it: on a desk calendar, your computer, or your phone?
On my computer, because I could enter appointments both at work and at home, in addition it sent out automatic reminders. I tried using my phone, but it just had a basic calendar that didn’t send out reminders.

4. Take the quiz: What Does Your Desk Say About You?

You Are a Creative Worker

You are a very personally expressive person, especially outside of work. Your individuality matters to you.

You draw a lot of inspiration and energy from your own internal world. You get bored easily around other people.

You are confident and competent. You tend to not make mistakes, and you trust your judgment.

You are down to earth and practical. You achieve success one step at a time, by paying attention to details.

Hmmm… to bad, my boss didn’t know that, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten all those hints.

5. How many personal photos do you have on your desk, and who are the photos of?
I had copy of these photos on my wall and as you can seen that are all nature scenes

6. Is your desk too big for you, too little, or just right?
To small, but then on the other hand “nature abhors a vacuum” and the clutter will fill whatever the size of my desk

Friday, May 21, 2010

Saturday 9: Upside Down

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Upside Down

1. When was the last time that you felt your world got turned upside down?
Hmmm… that is hard to say. It could mean many thing when you say the “world got turned upside down.” Maybe when my aunt died in March, all of a sudden we became the oldest generation.

2. Should the United States do more to help its own citizens before helping people in other countries?
Most definitely. In the U.S. 12.7% of the people live below the poverty level, which is for a family of three, $13,003 in annual income. Do you think that you could live on $13,000? (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)

3. What was something you memorized for school and still can recall?

That was SOoo long ago. I just remember Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
I don’t remember any more then that.

4. With what types of people do you tend to associate?

Friendly, outgoing people

5. Besides blogging what is the last creative thing that you've done?

Take some photographs, I plan on going on a photo shoot with a friend shortly.

6. In nature, what outdoor activities do you enjoy the most?

7. When was the last time that you had a great belly laugh?

A very long time ago. It was at Real Art Ways and an author was reading from his book and he was talking about the time he got his chest waxed.

8. What kind of fashion-sense attracts you?

Casual, jeans and a top with sneakers.

9. What traits in others turn you off?
Pushy and talkative.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #177

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #177


1. _An ice cream cone_ never fails to make me smile.
2. I'm looking forward to _Memorial Weekend and going up to the cottage for the first time this season_.
3. _Cream’s White Room _ is what I'm listening to right now.
4. Potato salad must have _sweet relish_ in it!
5. _Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich_ was the best thing I ate today.
6. Today was _so-so_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _maybe going to the coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a meeting_ and Sunday, I want to _look for a dress to wear to my nephew’s wedding_!

My Story Part 30 – Outreach

Very early when I first started going out as Diana, I use to attend the Board meetings of the support group mainly because it gave me another opportunity to get out of the house dressed as Diana. At one of the Board meeting they mentioned about doing outreach at a conference and it sounded interesting and it also gave me a chance to go out in public as Diana again.

My first time speaking in public was at a Children From The Shadows (now True Colors) conference in March of 2002. I was on a panel that was called “Bridging the Gender Gap”; it was a discussion about “How it was back in my day”. We had a small turnout at the workshop, but those that were there ask some good questions and I felt that doing outreach was worthwhile. In September of that year, I did my first outreach at a college and in my diary I wrote…
But the best day was Friday when I went on the “Outreach”. It was for a class in Human Sexuality, at the University of Hartford. The professor was Dr. _________. B, W and I gave them a brief biography of ourselves and then answered questions from the students. They asked very thoughtful and interesting questions. Through these encounters, I feel that we can increase awareness of the Transgender community and give them a face and a person that they can learn from, not just from a book. It makes the whole exercise personal. As one of the students was leaving she stopped and thanked us for coming, she said to me that she had only one complaint, that my legs looked so much nicer than hers.
I think that what I said is so true, that we do make a difference and put a human face to an abstract concept. I few years later, that feeling was validated when I was standing in-line waiting for our dinner reservation when this young woman came up to me. She said, “You probably don’t remember me, but you spoke my class at the University of Hartford. I now have a client who is transgender and I remembered what you said that day and that helped me treat her in therapy.”
I have continued doing outreach and on average, I do about a half a dozen outreach a year, but I am also doing training for state agencies or organizations on working with gender variant clients. I have giving a number of workshops to professional therapists, one of the workshops was at the True Colors conference (photo on the left) and another workshop was at Uconn School of Social Work. It actually has been a two way street, I have learned from the questions that they have asked and in one training session, someone asked a question about coping skills that I didn’t know the answer. When I got back to school, I asked one of my professors what are some of the coping skills he teaches and I also did a Google Scholar search and I found a number of references.

Not only am I doing outreach, but I am also educating the public on the need to pass a gender inclusive anti-discrimination legislation, both locally and nationally. (Photo on the right) Talking about legislation is different from doing outreach, doing an outreach we basically talk about ourselves, but when I talk about legislation, I talk about the marco view. How legislation and policy affect the trans-community. After one such talk, a woman came up to me and said that she never really thought about what it was like being transgender and she said that we had her support in passing the legislation.

So, one person can make a difference. We can affect how society sees the transgender community and us. By our actions, we can make another trans-person life a little bit easier.

Photos by Glenn Koetzner

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Follow Up On It Is A Mixed Up, Muddled Up, Shook Up World - Kinks' Lola

On Sunday I wrote about a woman in Texas who is intersexed and the problems that she was having getting married there in Texas. How her documentation identified her as both male and female, and as a result the state was questioning her marriage. Well she is not alone, half way around the world a man is being jailed because he is interesexed.

The BBC article reports,
Indonesian in transgender wedding 'fraud' trial

A man has gone on trial in Indonesia accused of falsifying his gender identity in order to marry a woman.

Doctors say Alterina Hofan has the rare condition Klinefelter's syndrome, where a male has an additional X chromosome that makes him look more like a woman.

He says he officially changed his identity papers to show he was a male but his wife's parents have accused him of document fraud.

Mr Hofan is being held in solitary accommodation in a women's prison.

Mr Hofan's mother told the BBC that when he was born, doctors said he was a girl, so he was registered and brought up as such.

But when he was two years old he began to develop male genitalia and had always behaved like a boy, she said.

The staff at that prison, however, ruled he was a man and could not be accommodated with female prisoners. He has since been detained in private facilities at the female jail.

Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights has criticised the authorities for their treatment of Mr Hofan.
When are we going to realize that gender is not just male and female and get over our Puritan bias and our hatred of those who are different?

Monday, May 17, 2010

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

In more than 80 countries around the world, homosexual acts are still illegal. Sometimes the law dictates life imprisonment. In seven countries the death penalty may be applied. Even in countries where homosexuality is not illegal, discrimination and physical assault is more than frequent. It is even worse for trans people who are particularly exposed, and for lesbians, who are particularly made invisible. In some countries, there is a positive progress, but it is fragile. In others, the situation is worse every year.

Each year, for May 17th, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia reminds everybody there is a need for action. It is celebrated through actions (exhibitions, screenings, debates, shows, TV or radio programs, etc.), and promoted by individuals, organizations, institutions, cities, governments in more than 60 countries, on every continent, from Albania to Zimbabwe.

Today, for May 17th, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we ask:
• all political leaders to fight by any means against violence and discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender identity;
• all citizens to use this day to encourage hope, diversity and peace in the world, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

This common appeal is published by 28 Medias in 22 countries IDAHO Committee

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It Is A Mixed Up, Muddled Up, Shook Up World - Kinks' Lola

When man tries to put things into nice orderly boxes, nature rebels, case in point, gender. Most humans like to think that in nature there is only male and female, but in reality, there in an infinite number of combinations of male and female. The Intersex Society of North American list sixteen different categories and when we as a society tries to label people to fit into only male and female, it will disenfranchise intersex people. With the conservatives pushing to have marriage defined as only between a man and a woman. They then are defining a man as a person with XY chromosomes and a woman as a person with XX chromosomes, intersex people will never be able to marry anyone.

In Texas, the Texas Tribune wrote,
Anatomy of a Controversy
by Brandi Grissom
May 14, 2010

The two women are hardly the typical Texas married couple, yet their union has been blessed by the courts. That's because Hill is a transgender female: She was born with both male and female genitalia, and her father ordered surgery to make her a male. Three decades later, she would surgically reverse his decision. Today, Hill's driver’s license and a judge’s order say she’s a woman — but her birth certificate and now her marriage license say she’s a man. The county clerk in San Antonio gave Hill and Bur a license to wed, putting the couple at the center of a decade-long fight over whether unions like theirs are legal in a state that has overwhelmingly opposed same-sex marriage in polls and at the ballot box.

In a complex and ironic twist of Texas politics, a 1999 conservative court ruling actually sanctions unions like Hill and Bur’s — though they are, by their own definition, a gay married couple. That's because the ruling, which sought to establish gender as unchangeable, established a person's birth certificate as the legal document that defines his or her gender, regardless of later sex-change operations. And so it had the odd side effect of allowing transgender homosexuals to legally marry. It’s a conundrum that dismays social conservatives, confounds some county clerks and has advocates for gay and transgender rights calling for clarification. In perhaps their sole point of consensus on social issues, some conservatives and gay and transgender advocates agree, for different reasons, that people like Hill shouldn’t be allowed to identify as one gender in daily life but another when getting married.

“It’s all screwy, and the reason why it’s screwy is because people are worried about same-sex marriage,” says Houston lawyer Phyllis Randolph Frye, a transgender woman who represented the plaintiffs in the 1999 case.

State Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, the author of the 2005 constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in Texas, believes, as many Texans do, that sinful men and woman choose homosexuality and God chooses gender. So the case of Hill and Bur presents something of a Hobson’s choice. Prohibiting both gay marriage and legal recognition of sex changes means accepting something potentially even less acceptable: the gay marriage of transsexuals.
It is time that we stop labeling a person gender for them and instead to allow them to define their own gender and to be able to marry the person that they love.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 318

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 318

1. Assuming you’re single and available, you find yourself really attracted to someone, but in the back of your mind, something tells you that this is definitely someone to avoid. If you can’t put your finger on anything specific that would be a warning sign, would you pursue anything?
That is a hard questions, I think that I would ignore the warning signs. I think you should get to know someone first before you pass judgment.

2. Who tends to be “higher maintenance:” you or the people you date?
I don’t know, I haven’t dated in a long while.

3. Are you more likely to be too quick or too slow to apologize when you realize you’re wrong?
I apologize quickly, get it over with and move on.

4. Take the quiz:
Do You Follow Your Head or Your Heart?

You Follow Your Heart

You're romantic, sentimental, and emotional.
You tend to fall in (and out of) love very quickly.
Some may call you fickle, but you can't help where your emotions take you.
You've definitely broken a few hearts, but you're not a heartbreaker by nature.
Your intentions are always good, even if they change with the wind

5. You have feelings for a lost love but you know that the relationship would have been a disaster had it continued. How easy is it for you to set aside those feelings?
I think would be very hard. I think the last person who knows tat it would be a disaster is yourself. Love is blind.

6. How sentimental are you when it comes to love notes or personal letters that meant a lot to you from people you were once close to, even if you’re no longer close to them?
Very, I still have letters and memorabilia from high school girlfriends.

Saturday 9: Lies

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Lies

1. When was the last time you lied and why?
I don’t lie very much, I did before I transitioned, but afterward I had no need to hide. I use to have to lie about where I went on vacation because I couldn’t say where I really went without “Outing” myself.

2. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you, where would you go and who would you take?
If I could move anywhere, I would move either to southern Maine or the Santa Fe area of New Mexico. I don’t know if I would take any particular friend, that is why I don’t because I have a whole network of friends and I don’t want to leave them.

3. What was the last thought before falling asleep last night?
It was about the party I’m going to tomorrow, I have to bring a dish and I was thinking what I needed to buy to make it.

4. What’s your favorite style of underwear for the opposite sex?

I never gave it any thought

5. If you didn't have to work, would you? If you work from home, are there days you’d rather be in the workplace?
I am retired and yes, I do miss the workplace and the company of other people. That is the main reason why I do so much volunteer work, it is for social companionship.

6. What is a secret that you wouldn't mind everyone knowing?

My secret beame public when I transitioned.

7. What’s a favorite movie that you wouldn't want anyone to find out about?
Since I don’t even have a favorite movie, I don’t have a secret movie.

8. What’s you favorite all time medical and why?

Hun? Medical what?

9. What’s the worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?
When I broke off the relationship with my girlfriend, but maybe that was a good move. I might have married her and had children and that would have made my transition so much harder.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #176

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #176


1. I just had _another pizza and I ate too much_.
2. _What is the meaning of_ is.
3. The third sentence on the 7th page of the book I'm reading: _”For this reason, Towers like Hali and now-ruined Tamontana stood apart from other human habitation”* _.
4. _Right now, Lobster Newberg_ tickles my fancy.
5. I was walking _back to the car when it started to rain_.
6. _The looks I get_ makes me laugh!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _the coffee house again_, tomorrow my plans include _making the Cream Cheese Tortilla Roll for Sunday’s party _ and Sunday, I want to _a party_!

*Zandru's Forge by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross

My Story Part 29 – Oh My Gwd… They Talk In Here or The Line Forms To The Right

As I have written about before, one of the things that we as trans-people have to learn when we transition is about socialization. There are many things that we take for granted as we are growing up but we have to learn when we transition.

For me the biggest culture shock came when I went to the restroom… women talk in the bathroom and they socialize there. Men on the other hand tend to never say word to a stranger when they past through those doors, don’t make eye contact, do you business and get the hell out of there. It is a very awkward if someone strikes up a conversation. Another thing, the men’s restrooms tend to be drab. No decoration just bare painted walls.

Women’s restroom tend to be decorated, some have flowers (they maybe plastic sometimes but they at least try to brighten up the room) and women talk to other women in the restroom. It is a total different atmosphere. (One observation: women stalls are narrower than mens)

Personally, I feel that the different is that men are so afraid that there might be called a homosexual or get hit upon by someone, that they make the atmosphere cold and negative.

Culture shock number two, “Oh, I like your blouse!” or “I like how you done your hair.” I just didn’t know how to respond at first. It was a culture shock, do you ever hear men say, “Oh, I like your shoes!” Men just do not comment on other men looks without being invited to do so. It takes a brave man to tell a stranger, “I love that sports jacket.” It is one thing to ask where you bought it and another to just say that you like it. That was why when someone told me that they liked my blouse and told them where I got it, it was an automatic response and not to take it as a complement.

Culture shock number, standing in line at a checkout counter and a woman starts a conversation with me. As a man, no one EVERY spoke to me in a checkout line before, except about poor service or “Can you get a package of gum for me?”

This is why I think that it is so great that kids are transitioning at an earlier age, they will not have to go through the strong culture barriers. They will not have 50 years of culture conditioning to break.

Of course, my lens when I was a man was colored because I always filtered my thoughts through a trans-lens. Therefore, my interpretations might be slightly off, maybe I was just scared that someone might guess my secret was the reason I was more introverted and now I have nothing to hide.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We Are The Ones Who Need To Worry

The right wing conservatives are always harping about bathroom safety, and I agree, it can be deadly for trans-people. Case in point…
Man attacks transgender college student, carves "IT" into his chest
by Joseph Erbentraut
EDGE Contributor
Wednesday Apr 28, 2010

The attack happened around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, when the 27-year-old graduate student encountered a man who addressed him by name inside a men’s bathroom outside the lecture hall in which he had a class. The attacker slammed the student against a stall, pulled his t-shirt over his head and carved "IT" into his chest with a sharp object before fleeing the scene. CSULB [California State University-Long Beach] police continue to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
This is not an isolated incident…
A Quest for a Restroom That's Neither Men's Room Nor Women's Room
Published: March 4, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Political epiphanies can occur in unexpected places. For Riki Dennis, a 35-year-old humanities student who is transsexual, it was the women's room at a rest stop on Highway 101 north of Santa Barbara.

"The boyfriend hit me, even in mellow California," said Ms. Dennis, who was in the early stages of becoming female when she was assaulted by a stranger after using the women's room. "I said, 'Sir, I have no designs on your girlfriend.' I just want to use the bathroom."
Amnesty International in July of 2007, reported that,
Christina Sforza, a transgender woman, told Amnesty International how she was attacked in a New York restaurant in July 2006 by a man wielding a lead pipe. She said she was attacked for spending too long in the women's rest room which an employee gave her permission to use. The assailant shouted verbal abuse that was picked up by other staff and customers who allegedly egged him on shouting "kill the fag". Christina Sforza says that when officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrived they refused to allow the emergency medical services to examine her injuries and arrested her, not her attacker.
Not all assaults get reported to the police or make the headlines. The Transgender Law Center wrote in their booklet “Peeing In Peace” that,
For many transgender people, finding a safe place to use the bathroom is a daily struggle. Even in cities or towns that are generally considered good places to be transgender (like San Francisco or Los Angeles), many transgender people are harassed, beaten and questioned by authorities in both women’s and men’s rooms. In a 2002 survey conducted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, nearly 50% of respondents reported having been harassed or assaulted in a public bathroom. Because of this, many transgender people avoid public bathrooms altogether and can develop health problems as a result. This not only affects people who think of themselves as transgender, but also many others who express their gender in a non-stereotypical way but who may not identify as transgender (for instance, a masculine woman or an effeminate man).
It is not just trans-persons who are caught up in this conservative bathroom phobia. In 2006, I wrote about a lesbian that was harassed going the bathroom and in 2007, I wrote about lesbians who were thrown out of bar because they tried to enter the women’s bathroom.

It is time to end this madness and hysteria that the far right wing conservatives is trying to create and bring about some sanity to the bathroom issue.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) Is Heating Up Again

There are all sorts of rumors flying about what is the language of bill. As of today, the markup of the bill has not been released; however, there seems to be some type of wording in the bill that will include bathrooms.

On the Capitol Hill news-site, “Roll Call”, they say that ENDA,
A repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law banning openly gay people from serving in the military and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act could be on the floor this month, according to senior Democratic aides and lawmakers.
The vote count of the Representatives indicates that there may be enough votes to pass ENDA in the House.
Meanwhile, the whip count on ENDA, which Obama also backs, is entering its fifth week. The effort has most recently focused on rechecking support among Members thought to be more comfortable with the legislation than politically imperiled moderates who have raised most of the concerns, one source familiar with the effort said. That, the source said, bodes well for its progress. But many Members remain officially undecided and have quietly voiced frustrations about the prospect of taking a tough vote that they see as a distraction from an agenda focused on job creation.
And what are the moderates worried about? Bathroom!
He said concessions were made in the drafting of the language to address moderates’ concerns. For instance, Frank said, transgender people with “one set of genitals” would not be able to go to a bathroom for people with another set of genitals.
Come on people, lets get over your hang-up on bathrooms. There are over 300 businesses that report having gender identity non-discrimination policies and those companies have no problem with bathrooms.

A web-site that has a good discussion on this topic is “Ask A Manager” and it is worth reading.

On the Capitol Hill news-site, “The Hill”, they have a different perspective on the passage of the bill,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership are pushing legislation, written by Rep. Barney Frank, that would made it illegal for employers to discriminate against transgendered people.

The bill scares centrist Democrats, who don't want to be forced to vote on a hot-button issue popular on the left as they approach November congressional elections in which heavy Democratic losses are expected.

The Democratic whip’s office has circulated an e-mail asking members if they’d support a version of the non-discrimination act that includes the transgender protection and if they’d oppose an anticipated motion to recommit that would water down or strike that provision.
However, if you look at polls that have been taking on voter support for gender inclusive non-discrimination legislation; the people are overwhelmingly in favor of such legislation.
Polling on transgender employment discrimination Issues:
  • National: Sixty-one percent believe that the country needs laws to protect transgender people from discrimination (2002; poll conducted by Lake Snell Perry & Associates).
  • Ohio: Sixty percent of Ohio registered voters believe that laws should be passed banning discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on both sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (2006 Glengariff Poll commissioned by Equality Ohio Education Fund).
  • New Jersey: In 2005, a Zogby poll indicated that 70 percent of likely voters in New Jersey favored a state bill that would expand the state's law against discrimination to include gender identity and expression, while only 19 percent opposed it (released by Garden State Equality).
  • New York: Seventy-eight percent of New Yorkers support a statewide bill that would provide protection against discrimination based on gender identity or expression, while only 13 percent do not (2008; poll conducted by the Global Strategy Group, released by Empire State Pride Agenda).
This will not be a make or break issue in the fall elections, health care and the economy will be, bit not trans-issues.

Until the mark-up is released we will not know the wording on the bill. So until then, I am not going to contact my senators and representative until I know what the exact wording of the bill.

To listen to an interviews with Diego Sanchez, the transgender congressional aide to Congressman Barney Frank and others talk about ENDA, click here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The New “McCarthyism”

The President has nominated Elena Kagan, to the Supreme Court and what are the conservatives worried about? Would you believe that she might be a lesbian?
A "Conservative Action Alert" by Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt has gone out stirring up a rumor claiming Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is a lesbian. The White House is trying to snuff the issue, denying that Kagan is gay.
San Francisco Chronicle
Are we going to hear the Republicans ask her during her confirmation hearings, “Are you now or have you ever been a lesbian?”

This is the same type of “red baiting” or in this case “gay baiting” that Sen. McCarthy pulled back in the fifties during the “Red Scare” when they saw a communist behind every rock. What difference will her sexual orientation makes? Would they ask a straight judge to recluse them self from a case because the case involves a straight person. The Republicans never complained when Supreme Court justice Scalia, who is a Catholic, heard the case of the Bridgeport Catholic diocese. Why do they think that a lesbian or gay cannot make an impartial decision any more than a woman or a Christian or African American can?

Teach Our Children Well…

More and more doctors are realizing that when a child tells their parents that they believe that they should have been born the other gender, that we should listen to the child. In the old days, the child was forced to live in their birth gender. That process is called conversion therapy or reparative therapy. However, reparative therapy is know to worsening of internalized transphobia, depression, anxiety, self-hatred, and self-destructive behaviors. While on the other hand affirming therapy, the process where the child explores their gender identity. If you look at both course of therapy, they both have about the same outcomes, about 25% of the children are identified as transsexual. However, I think it is obvious which treatment has less stress on the child and is better for the emotional wellbeing of the child.

Here is an article in the Huffington Post that discusses this topic…
New-Age Parenting for Transgender Youth
By: Joanne Herman
Posted: May 4, 2010 05:27 PM

Parents have a new and welcome option this summer for their transgender or gender non-conforming child -- a weeklong, overnight summer camp called Camp Aranu'tiq. Its organizers recently held a reception in the Boston area to introduce the program. In attendance were several new-age parents who, instead of rejecting their child's persistent gender non-conformity, are seeking ways to be understanding and helpful.

Parents have traditionally been told gender non-conformity is "just a phase," and psychiatric studies back that up assessment. Yet the research comes in part from the work of Dr. Kenneth Zucker, whose Toronto clinic provides treatments that encourage the child to accept their natal sex and associated gender. One has to wonder if Zucker's research is truly without bias.

New-age parents, frustrated at seeing their child become even more miserable after trying this approach, have begun looking elsewhere for help. And they have good reason to. Dr. Caitlin Ryan, head of the Family Acceptance Project, says that gay and transgender children rejected by their families were three times more likely to use illegal drugs, six times more likely to report high levels of depression and eight times more likely to have attempted suicide. No parent wants this for their child.

Transgender people have had a tough time being recognized as ordinary citizens. The presence of supportive parents changes everything. These parents lend critical third-party credibility to our quest for basic human rights and dignity. With them leading the way, there is no doubt that we'll see social advances for transgender people at what feels like warp speed compared to what we have seen so far.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 317

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 317

1. Pancakes or Waffles…and why?
Pancakes, because I don’t have a waffles maker.

2. Bacon or Sausage…and why?
Both, why settle for only one? I usually have sausages with pancakes and bacon with eggs.

3. Orange Juice or Grapefruit Juice…and why?
Actually neither, orange juice it too expensive and high in potassium and I can’t have grapefruit because I’m taking a statin. So I drink lemonade instead to get my Vitamin C.

4. Grits or Cream of Wheat…and why?
Cream of Wheat, because I never had any grits and didn’t really know what they were until I just looked it up just now. Maybe I’ll have some when I go down to Asheville NC in June for a wedding.

5. Hash Browns or Fried Apple Rings…and why?

Hash Browns, I’m from New England and ever diner serves Hash Browns with eggs. My grandmother use to make something called apple pancakes which sounds like Fried Apple Rings. Hmm, another to add to my list for wnem I go down south this spring.

6. Bagel or Biscuit…and why?
Bagels, also it is a New England thing. It is the staple food of office meeting up here. Every production meeting had bagels and cream cheese. (I always chuckled when the company was pushing health fitness and at the employee meeting they had bagels and cream cheese.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Saturday 9: Hey Jealousy

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Hey Jealousy

1. When was the last time that you got jealous?
I don’t think that I ever got jealous. It is a waste of energy.

2. At what point do you finally decide it's time to move forward with your life (like, major changes)? How do you know? What do you do?
For me it was lying on a bed in the emergency room thinking that I was having a heart attack and realizing that life was too short. What did I do? I became a woman.

3. When is it time to just let it ('it' can be whatever you choose) go? How do you know? What do you do?
I don’t think that you can set limits on something like this, you will know it when you know it.

4. How many times must someone push your buttons before you've just had enough? Why?
Once again, I don’t think you can say X number of times. Each person or circumstance will dictate the limits.

5. If I S/O were to cheat on you, could you ever see yourself giving them a second chance? Or a third?

No. They lost my trust and I would never marry someone who cheated on their spouse either.

6. What was the last thing that someone did that you were very grateful for?
I can’t remember. Maybe I would remember it later, but I can’t remember it right now. Its on the tip of my tongue (or in this case, mind) but all I remember was saying Wow! Thanks.

7. How much time do you spend online in a given weekday? What about the weekends?
Oh too much, but you must remember that I am retired and I am active in many organization and we keep in touch by emails. Also I do a lot of research for my blog articles.

8. How many online journals/blogs do you read regularly? What are some of your favorites and why?
Probably six or seven, see the list on the left side on my blog, the “Blog List”

9. What was the last major purchase that you made?

I bought a Mac PowerBook to give as a honorarium.

Friday Fill-ins #175

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #175


1. Salsa and _eggs for breakfast_.

2. _You got the food for the picnic_ and you've even got mustard.

3. By the time I get home _the frozen food will have melted_.

4. _The free samples_ is what I look forward to most when grocery shopping.

5. And I was dreaming _when I drove by my exit_.

6. _UConn ice there anything else better?!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop to listen to some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a conference in Norwalk and sitting at our organization’s table_ and Sunday, I want to _do nothing_!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Follow-Up: High School Graduation To Be Held In A Church

Here is a follow-up to my blog entry about the graduation…
Americans United and ACLU File Lawsuit Over Public School Graduations at Church

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU of Connecticut and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit in federal court charging that the Enfield (Conn.) Public Schools’ decision to hold their high school graduation ceremonies at a Christian church unconstitutionally imposes religion on students.

The groups are bringing the legal action on behalf of two Enfield High School seniors and three of their parents. The lawsuit asserts that holding commencement at First Cathedral, a Bloomfield church replete with religious signs and symbols, violates the separation of church and state and the religious liberty rights of students.

The complaint points out that there are many secular facilities in the area that the Enfield Schools could use, including a number that compare favorably to the Cathedral in terms of cost, size and distance from Enfield.

Americans United and the ACLU have engaged in lengthy correspondence with Enfield Schools officials about this matter, seeking to resolve the issue outside of court. Officials at four other Connecticut schools agreed to stop using First Cathedral for graduation. Members of the Enfield Board of Education at first agreed to not use the church. But on April 13, they changed their minds, after being heavily lobbied by a right-wing religious organization.
As I said before, holding the graduation ceremony there would force some students who religious values do not allow them to enter another faith’s house of worship to not attend their high school graduation and not to walk across the stage to be handed their diploma before their family and friends.

Also according to one comment in the article in the Hartford Courant the Chair of the Enfield Board of Education is “an evangelical Christian minister who has publicly stated that he puts his faith above the concerns of others.

On the Family Institute of Connecticut blog site they said, “We [FIC] contacted the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Archbishop LeRoy Bailey and BOE Chairman Greg Stokes. It was FIC’s involvement that brought these three parties into contact with each other for the first time.

It is hypocritical of the FIC to force students to choose between their religion and high school graduation, when on the web-site they say, “At the Family Institute, our mission is to encourage and strengthen the family as the foundation of society and to promote sound, ethical and moral values in our culture and government.” How are they strengthen the family as the foundation of society when the child is forced to choose between their religion beliefs or to graduation with their high school classmates.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Earth Stopped Over The Weekend… Did You Feel It?

In New Jersey a boy went crossdressed to his senior prom and you know what? Nothing happened. The earth didn’t stop revolving around the sun, the sun rose the next day and New Jersey didn’t slide into the Atlantic!
Cross-Dressing Teen Sparks Prom Debate In NJ

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS 3) ―

A New Jersey student, who is a cross-dresser, spoke to Eyewitness News about his fight to go to the prom in a knee-length black dress and heels.

Lutz had no worries until he was told Thursday that wearing the dress to the prom would violate the school's dress code.

"I was asked to go to the principal's office," Lutz said. "Basically, he just said I couldn't wear a dress to prom."

In the meantime, his friends started a petition and collected more than 600 signatures. Hundreds more joined a Facebook page created and titled: "Let Derrek Lutz Wear A Dress To Prom."

In response, the school's principal told Eyewitness News: "There was a discussion between the principal and a student. That discussion was taken to other parties in the district and the issue was resolved."
Now contrast that with what happened in Fulton Mississippi in April, when a lesbian wanted to bring her girlfriend to the Itawamba Agricultural High School prom. It took a court order to allow them to attend the prom. The students then held a secret prom, the girls were the only ones beside special needs students at the official prom and everyone else attended the secret prom. But that was the first time that school system did something like that, they did the same thing back in the sixties when integrated, the white students held secret prom parties and didn’t invite the blacks students.

Which school system taught a better civics lesson to their students?

Video Link

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 316

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 316

1. Do you first think of “Equality” as opportunity or as an even playing field?
I think of it as a level playing field, where everyone has an equal chance for jobs, housing, credit, etc.

2. Do you first think of “Freedom” as the absence of restrictive power abuse and inequality or as the chance to achieve or fail?
I see Freedom as a chance to succeed or fail, to be able to follow your own course.

3. Do you feel generally comfortable with government being able to step in and make changes to society and social lives when necessary, or is this something you think should never happen?
It depends, I believe the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and laws to prevent discrimination. I also believe that government has the duty to regulate the environment or businesses. They have the right to regulate the environment, becuase what you do on your property will affect others, it will affect the air they breath or the water they drink. They can regulate business because it is interstate commerce.

4. Should children receive more discipline or more nurturing?
I believe in more nurturing. The United States does not meet the minimum standards for Human Rights for children set by the WHO, we are not even close to the top of the list, but way down on the list of countries.

5. What leads to a happier person: being fulfilled or being self-reliant?

I think that people are happier when they are self-reliant. I think they are the happiest when a person is able to take care for themselves. I think that government should supply s safety net for people who need help.

6. What’s more important with regard to your own rights: that others not interfere with yours or that others must observe yours?

I think that this is a loaded question, it is not an either or question, both answers are correct. That when it comes to employment, housing, public accommodation, credit everyone should be treated equally. You have the right to believe and say what you want to say, to worship where and how you want.
You have the right to be a white supremacist, you can say anything you want, you can form a political party, you can preach it from the pulpit. However, if you own a business that serves the public, you cannot discriminate and not serve any blacks customers.