Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 329

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 329

1. How many different spices are there in your kitchen?
Oh, I have no idea. I have a whole self fill of spices.

2. Of the spices you have on hand, which one is your favorite one to use?
Basil this time of the year, I use it when I make Insalata Caprese (mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.)

3. What liquid flavoring did you use most recently?
Vanilla in the fresh Peach Cobbler that I made yesterday.

4. You decide to marinade a steak or chicken: do you use a powdered or liquid spice mix?
It depends in the cut of meat, for a London Broil I used a marinade but a Rib Eye steak I might use a rub. For chicken, anything goes, I like to use a marinade, a rub or BBQ sauce.

5. Take the quiz: What Spice Are You?

You Are Garlic

Of all the spice types, you are the most universally loved.
You get long with pretty much everyone, and you leave a lasting impression.
You adapt yourself well to situations. You can fit in or stand out, depending on what you're called on to do.

I like this question, “Hot... not exactly. But you definitely leave an impression.” Yup, I definitely leave an impression.

6. Which spice — whether you have it in your home or not — do you consider the most “exotic”?
I bought some Vanilla beans and the price was out of sight!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Saturday 9: Bad Day

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Bad Day

1. Is there anything that you tend to do to cheer up when you are having a bad day?
A lobster dinner

2.What’s the last card game you played, and with whom did you play?
Uno and I played it with my sister-in-law and my grand-niece up at the cottage.

3.What’s the last board game you played, and with whom did you play?

Yikes, that was a long ting ago and it was backgammon, and I don’t remember who I played.

4.What’s the last computer game you played, and with whom did you play?
Solitaire and the computer won.

5.Is there somewhere you’d like to visit but have not, and where is it?
The Grand Canyon and it is in Arizona.

6.Think of your favorite movie (or a movie you really like, if you can’t think of a favorite). Some people say that the reasons you love your favorite movie are related to what you value in romantic relationships. How is this true or untrue in your case?
Well the movie is Harry Potter and I really don’t think I want a romantic relationship with Harry

7.What physical attributes do you find the most attractive?
Their heart and brain.

8.How many people live in your house? Tell us about them.
Not much to tell since I live alone.

9. Ever punch someone in the face?

All the time. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever been in a fight. Not counting ones with my brother, that just was sibling rivalry.

Friday Fill-ins #187

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #187


1. I'm going _shopping for back to school clothes_.

2. _Base jumping in wingsuit are for those who are looking for_ adventure and daring.

3. Perhaps today you can make it a point _of treating people with respectfully _.

4. _When you are reading a book it sometimes takes a_ true adventurer’s spirit.

5. Compassion is _key to understanding_

6. _Do the right thing_ no matter how difficult.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _reading and a little bit of cleaning_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends_!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Story Part 38 – Close Calls

There were so many close calls of being found crossdressed when I was growing up and I don’t know if I was lucky or not. I often wonder how my life would have changed if I had been caught.

My first narrow escape was way back in the early sixties (I was about thirteen) when my brother came home from a summer job for lunch. My mother went to Hartford for her monthly allergy shots and that meant that I was home alone…yeah!!! So I was crossdressed when my brother unexpectedly came home for lunch, I heard a car pull into the driveway and when I looked out the window, I saw it was my brother. I didn’t have time to change back into my male clothes so I jumped into bed and pulled the sheets up to my neck. When he saw me in bed he chided me for still being in bed, I was so scared that he was going to pull the sheets off, but he didn’t. When he went into the kitchen to make lunch, I managed to wiggle out of my clothes and join him in the kitchen. Whew!

My next brush with a close call was when I was in my late teens or early twenties and my parents went to the wedding of a neighbor’s son, so I had the whole afternoon to crossdress. About an hour after they left, I heard a car door slam and I looked out and saw my parents. I couldn’t run back to my room because I would have had to run by the front door, so I ran into the garage. I hid in the foot well of my car and later when they came home after the reception (they came home earlier because they had forgotten the wedding present), they asked me what I did that day. I lied and said that I went out with some friends.

One winter when my parent’s were down in Florida for the winter, I took a few days off from work to spend the long weekend crossdressed. Instead of going to the front door, for some reason, he went to the back door. I was trapped with no place to run! So I opened the door slightly and told him to come back a little latter. I thought that I was safe and that he didn’t see me, but years latter when I came out to my friends, he said that he saw me crossdressed then but never said anything…thank you.

When I moved into my new home, I was standing outside the basement door smoking some pot (Oh no, tell me it not true! Yes, in my younger days I use to smoke pot.). I thought that I was safe because no one could see me because there are all woods behind me. Well it turned out that a contractor friend was back there looking at job that he was bidding on to fill in some wetlands (that is another story) and he saw me. A few hours latter he stopped by and asked me if I was satisfied with the landscaping work that he did for me a month earlier; I think he just wanted to see if it was I standing there.

The last incident wasn’t a close call, but an actual outing. I was touching up my testimony for the anti-discrimination bill at work, when I accidentally printed it out on the department printer. One of my technicians found it and came to me and said, “Is this your crap!” Since it had my female name and my address on it, all I could do was deflect it slightly by saying that I was reviewing it for my cousin. In three months I was laid-off (not because of the incident, but because they were closing the shop and moving the work out of state.) and I then never had to worry ever again about being found out because I transitioned.

Transitioning removed a lot of stress from my life; I didn’t have to worry about leading a double life and living a lie. I don’t have to worry any more about close calls or accidentally outing myself.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Health Care Or The Lack Of

Many of us have gone to emergency rooms take for granted that we are going to be treated and be treated equally, but for many people that is not true. We are mocked and scorned and sometimes ignored. That happened at a hospital in Indiana to a trans-person, she and her family were mistreated and harassed when she had to go to an emergency room because she was coughing up blood.

Austen Crowder at Bilerico writes that,
[…] On Sunday I coughed almost a cup of blood and decided to go to the E.R. The doc told me if I had to go to the E.R. to go to Muncie rather than New Castle, as they would be more tolerant being a bigger city and a university hospital.

[…]So I go to the desk, my partner and son with me and start giving them my info. There were two people at the desk doing my intake; I think one was training. When they got to the surgery question, I told them all my surgeries, and she kept pressing, "Are you sure you haven't had any other surgeries?" I said that I didn't.

They completed my registration and I saw that had put "M" as my gender. I pointed out that my ID says female. She looked annoyed and the lady next to her snickered. She told this jock type triage person to take my vitals; he glared at me for a second and turned his head and said, "Remember payback sucks." I looked at him with a slightly angry look; he said, "Not about you, something from earlier."

We were sitting in the room with the door shut, and a nurse came in and told us they will probably want a urine test and she took me to the bathroom. While I was in there, I heard suppressed laughing and someone muttered something about "good thing it's a unisex bathroom." This was through the door - not to my face.

I was still trying to tell myself that it wasn't how I saw it until I got back to the room, and my partner was looking like she wanted to cry and fight someone at the same time. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me that people kept laughing while I was in there, and poking their heads in the room and asking about me. One nurse finally asked, "So is it a he or a she? Or a he-she?"

[…]o she came back in not long after bringing the coloring book and asked a series of bizarre questions. "Do you ever feel so angry you might lose control?" "Are you able to buy groceries every week?" "Do you ever feel overwhelmed?" "Have you ever thought about suicide?" We were confused and still are.

I was quite mad, but I kept it in check and said, "When are we going to see a doctor?" She told me that I could not be seen until I had my doc write orders. (For tests, I think she meant.) I said "Why do I need to do that? This is an emergency room."

She said, "Well, we don't know how to go about treating someone with your condition."

I responded, "I don't even know my condition. That's why I'm here!"

She replied, "No. Your other condition. The transvestite thing." I felt angry, and I was fighting my hardest to keep from crying, I was embarrassed and I grabbed my son and we left quickly so they wouldn't see me cry.
No one should have to go through this degrading and inhumane ordeal at the hands of medical personnel that are sworn to help people.

If you think that this could not happen here or that this is an isolated incident, you are wrong. In 2009, I wrote about a friend who slipped and fell at work and was taken to an emergency room here in Connecticut…
At the hospital, she was attended to by three medical staff people. They began treating her by cutting off her clothes. "S" was frightened, cold, alone, and in desperate pain. Then….they stopped. And walked away.

Having learned she was a transgender person, they left her lying alone on a table for two long hours without any medication or care. At one point one of the doctors said to the other, "you deal with `it;' I'm not dealing with `it.'

The "it" was a human being: "S". Both doctors left the room, and the nurses told "S" to "start walking." They threw off her bed covers, then left the room for 45 minutes.

X-rays ultimately revealed a fractured vertebrae, but the hospital still released "S". She was told to have her primary doctor evaluate her further with a CT scan, MRI, and more x-rays. She was told to find a ride home.

Finally, "S" was fully evaluated at another local hospital. Her diagnosis: three fractured vertebrae, two crushed vertebrae, and one fractured rib.

Since then, "S" has had severe chest and back pain and months of physical therapy, while missing over six weeks of work.

These unfortunately are not isolated incidents, according the Human Rights Campaign in the Healthcare Equality Index 2010 report said that…
83.7 percent of HEI-rated [Healthcare Equality Index] facilities (149 of 178) include sexual orientation in their Patients’ Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy, while less than 30 percent (52 of 178 facilities) of those policies include “gender identity or expression” or “gender identity.”

Similar to the 2009 report, these survey results show a large disparity between the number of policies inclusive of sexual orientation and those inclusive of gender identity.
I worry that if I ever had to go to an emergency room or even just for routine tests about the way I would be treated.

In 2008, I wrote about a survey by the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) on how transgender vet were treated and they found,

In addition, there were many reports of interpersonal discrimination, via lack of respect from VA doctors (22%), non-medical staff (21%), and nurses (13%). These cases of interpersonal discrimination ranged from what many veterans describe as “typical” – refusing to change to gender-appropriate pronouns, failure to use a new name consistently – to the extreme – refusing to look at transgender patients, referring to them in dismissive ways, refusing to treat them for general medical care.
Lets work together to stop this bigotry and hatered and work for a health care system that treats everyone equally no matter if they are rich or poor or what race they are or their sexual orientation or their gender identity or expression. Lets make this our goal.

(This is cross posted in Facebook and blogger)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 328

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 328 (A couple of days late)

1. When you visit a supermarket, do you usually buy all of the things you need to hold yourself over for a week or so, or do you make multiple short stops during the week?

I visit the supermarket several times a week. Mainly because if forget to buy something and I have to go back to the store on another day.

2. When you’re able to enjoy a night with the home to yourself, what are you most likely to do?
Since I am single and retired, that is just about every night. I usually attend a meeting of organizations where I do volunteer work, that is usually one or two nights a week and Fridays I usually go to a coffee shop with some friends.

3. Consider the last time you ate a well-grilled steak: who did the grilling: you or someone else? Was it to your satisfaction?
Again, since I am single, I do all the cooking. No cooking = no eating. A couple of weekends ago, I had company up at the lake house and I cooked a Pork Loin rubbed with McCormick’s Garlic and Herb seasoning. I cooked it on a charcoal grill with hickory chips using indirect heat. I also made rice pilaf and a salad.

4. What was the last meatless meal you ate? Did you enjoy it, or did you find yourself missing the meat?
Yesterday’s lunch. I made a tomato salad with tomatoes out of my garden and I added red onion, olives, mozzarella cheese, parsley and basil, balsamic vinegar.

5. Take the quiz: What Toe Are You?

You Are the Fourth Toe

You tend to be a cooperative and social person. You like being around others.
You are pretty attached to your friends and family... but only in a healthy way.

Love and relationships are the cornerstone of your life. People come first for you.
You are independent when you need to be, but you prefer not to travel solo. You like having your support system.

6. What part of your body would you say is the most ticklish?

Just under the rib cage.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Manic Monday #215

Lisa’s Manic Monday #215

What's your secret recipe?
You know how the saying goes if I tell you.
But you do not have to worry, I have all my recipes here.

Imagine you want to write a book. What's going to be in it and what is it going to be about?
It would be a science fiction book about time travel and sailboats with an interesting twist.

Name 5 things in your freezer.
Loafs of bread (rye and cinnamon raisin)
Homemade chili
Homemade lasagna

Transforming New Hampshire Conference

I have been away to a three-day conference in Concord NH at the Franklin Pierce College of Law and they were a long three days. I went up to the cottage with a friend and we arrived at my cottage around 2:00pm on Friday and left to go the conference at 4:00pm because it started at 5:00pm and end at a little after 8:00pm. So we didn’t get back to the cottage until 9:00pm. The next day the conference started at 8:00am and we didn’t get back to the cottage until 9:00pm, thirteen hours of workshops. In addition, we didn’t stay for Peterson’s play Transfigurations because I have seen it three times already and that would also have meant that we would not have gotten back at the cottage until after ten. On Sunday, the conference did not start until 9:00am and we left around 2:00pm, we then had to clean up the cottage and pack, so we left for home around five. I took the back way home, down Rt. 10 to avoid the rat race on I-91 and to have a more relaxing drive home.

The reason that I attended the conference was to network and to see how I could help with passing a gender inclusive anti-discrimination law in NH. I met my goal and met many people from the state, some I had met before and reconnected with, others I met for the first time, including a long time reader of my blog, a Facebook friend. I also met a mother and child from a town near by where we have the cottage, her child is in the process of transitioning. So it was a very productive weekend.

Friday night was mostly a meet and greet, there was a welcoming and then Peterson did a couple of short vignettes from his various plays, including scenes from “Doin' Time in The Homo No Mo Halfway House”. There was also the Keynote speaker, Tony Barreto-Neto who talked about his activism in helping to pass the gender inclusive Anti-discrimination law in Vermont. One of the comments that he made resonated with me, he said that ever morning he would wake up thinking, am I going to be treated as an equal today. At times I think the same way, especial if I am going somewhere that I worry about, such as to see an auto mechanic. I wonder how they are going to treat me; I have had both good experiences and bad at garages.

On Saturday all the workshops were held, they had twenty workshops to choose from. I chose four workshops to attend, the first session that I attended was about media and how the trans-community of portrayed in movies. I attended the workshop because for my independent studies course which was the creation of a curriculum to teach a class on “Working with Gender Variant Clients” and one of the class lectures was about the media. I think that I will re-organize the presentation for that class based on what I learned in the workshop. Right now, it is organized chronologically and instead I will organize it by, victim such as “Boys Don’t Cry”, perpetrator as in the Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and by comic relief, where the trans-person is the butt of the jokes, such as in “Some Like It Hot”.

I had wanted to go a workshop also on the media, but that one was cancelled when the speaker didn’t show up. The next workshop that I went to was a panel discussion about the state of transgender politics in New Hampshire and I got a lot out of the discussion, it got a little heated at times over the fact that the marriage organization is closing now that they have marriage equality in New Hampshire. Gee what a surprise! Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah… Love Makes a Family. They closed their doors once Connecticut had marriage equality.

The last workshop that I wanted to attend was “The Legal Challenges of Being Transgender”; however, they added a new workshop on activism and organizing which I attended. I thought the workshop would be a “How To” workshop, but it was a person talking about what she did, it was a lot of “I did this” and I was disappointed. I wished that I went to my first choice.

They also had a number of keynote speakers and in the evening, Allyson Robinson from the HRC talked about privilege and how we don’t even know when we have it until we lose it. She gave several examples of some of the privilege that we lose when we transition. One example was walking in a parking lot a night, a man doesn’t give it a second thought, but a woman is wonders, who is that man behind me or why is that guy hanging out in the parking lot. She said that privilege is invisible to those that have it and they have a vested interest in not recognizing it because then you would have to act on it. Allyson went on to say that, privilege comes in many forms, race, class, and gender and for us, passing privilege (able to be not be identified as a trans-person). She said that once you aware of your privilege then you are in an ethical dilemma, what to do about it. Then she said the only way to deal with it is to give your privilege away and she listed three ways to do that. “Come Out” of the closet as trans or become an ally of trans-people. Help out, help out in support groups, in elections to help elect trans-friendly legislators, or to become an activist. Lastly, she said that you can “Pay Out” help by donating time or money.

I enjoyed the conference and I think that they did a very good job of organizing it. My only comment is that in the closing panel discussion the group that helped sponsor the conference, Trans Mentors, mentioned at have conferences in other New England states and I have a slight problem with that. I can see having conference where there is not a strong trans presence, but not where there is already a local presence. Connecticut has four active trans-support groups, one advocacy organization, two trans-conferences and one annual banquet. I know that Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition’s Transgender Lives conference doesn’t make money on the conference. The Connecticut Outreach Society’s annual banquet usually just about breaks even and that is only because of the people who wait to the last minute to make reservation. If a national organization comes here with a conference it could spell disaster for the survival of the local groups. I hope when they consider where they are going to have their conferences that they consider how many existing trans-organizations are in the area and try to build support where there is none now.

Lastly, the conference was covered by a local newspaper, the Concord Monitor and you can read it here.
Saturday morning when I woke up, it had rained over night and there was fog up on the mountain on the other side of the lake.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #186

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #186


1. I feel _tired all the time because I wake-up so early each morning_.

2. _When you get back from a vacation you have a lot_ to catch up.

3. Do _drive safely_.

4. _Each day is_ completely unique.

5. It's hard to know how much _how much food to buy when I have guest up at the cottage_

6. _In Hearts you have to_ follow suit.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _driving up to the cottage again_, tomorrow my plans include _going to the conference in Concord_ and Sunday, I want have to _come home_!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Story Part 37 – The Cottage

Since this is summer and I have been going up to the cottage a lot lately, I thought that I would write about it this week. My parents first bought it shortly after my father retired, they had been traveling around the world on tours and decided that they wanted a place where they could spend the summers. Therefore, in 1981, they went looking for a cottage in southern New Hampshire to buy. When I was little we use to spend a week on Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire and before that at a cottage that my mother’s Aunt Mabel owned (I was too young to remember it now), so New Hampshire and lakes are in our blood.

They settled on a cottage about three hours from home in southern NH and they spent most of their summers there. Then they would rent a condo down in Florida for the winter months. I was living at their house at the time and I was able to be Diana most of the year, except for November and December, and April and May. When my brother and his family or I went up to the cottage, they came home. Most of the time I invited friends up to the cottage, but some times I went up by myself. It was during those times alone, that I crossdressed, and on one of the occasions I heard noise outside the dinning room window (Even though the dinner room window had curtains, they were kind of like crochet drapes and you could see through them.). I was laying on the couch reading dressed as Diana when I heard a noise. I went to one of the bedroom windows, and with the lights off, I looked out. I saw three kids running away from the window. One of them I recognized, he was the kid from across the street. I ran to my bedroom and changed back to my male clothes and I cried. The next day, I went home early and I cried all the way back home. The guilty that I carried with crossdressing brought me into a depression for a long time after that incident.

A year or two latter at a holiday family gathering, my cousin, who knew someone whose family had a cottage on the lake, mentioned that there was a crossdresser at one of the cottages on the lake… my depression came back. I did know if her comment was just a general comment or the comment was aimed at me. (Now, I know it was just a general comment and she didn’t know that it was me.)

After incident with the kids, I tried to talk my mother into getting new drapes from the window, but I could never tell her my real reason for my concern and to this day, the drapes are still there. The window is now on the second floor because we raised the cottage up to add a walk in basement.

I have not let that incident spoil my enjoyment of the cottage. I have had many good times that far out weigh that one incident. However, that trauma of that night lives on, the feeling of being violated is still very strong. My brother just recently had the kid (now a man) do some work around the cottage (I have never really explained to my brother my feeling about the kid, so he didn’t know how I felt when he asked the kid to do the work). I left before the kid came over with his backhoe because I couldn’t stand to be around when he was there

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Candidates From Around The Country

There are a number of elections from around the nation that have attracted my interest, they are in Maryland, Florida and Oklahoma this year.

In Maryland, Dana Beyer is running for a seat in the Maryland House…

Dana Beyer to launch Maryland delegate bid
Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Jun 24, 2010

Eye-surgeon-turned-political activist Dana Beyer will officially launch her campaign Saturday to become the first transgender person elected to the Maryland Legislature.

Beyer, a Democrat, is challenging Democratic incumbent Alfred Carr for the District 18 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in Maryland’s Sept. 14 Democratic primary. The district is located in Montgomery County and includes Silver Spring, Wheaton, Kensington and Chevy Chase, among other jurisdictions.
You might remember Ms. Beyer from the fight to pass a gender inclusive anti-discrimination law back in 2008. There was strong opposition to the bill by the Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government, a conservative religious group who organized a petition drive to repeal the law. The petition drive effort ending up in court when they failed to gather the required signatures to get the question on the ballot.
Anti-Bias Law Wins In Md.'s High Court
Transgender People Protected In Montgomery

By Henri E. Cauvin and Ann E. Marimow
Washington Post
September 10, 2008

A Montgomery County law banning discrimination against transgender people took effect yesterday, county attorneys said, after the state's highest court rejected a petition effort that would have forced the issue to a referendum.

The measure, passed by the County Council in November, had been set to take effect in February, but it was blocked when some religious and conservative groups launched the petition effort.

The dispute soon moved to court, where the two sides argued procedural points, disagreeing on such issues as the number of signatures necessary to place the matter on the November ballot.

Looking further south in Florida, there is a Republican candidate running for office…
Three-Way GOP Battle to Take On Debbie Wasserman Schultz
The Sunshine News
By: Kevin Derby
Posted: July 1, 2010

While U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz represents what appears to be a safe Democratic district, three Republican candidates have emerged to take on the incumbent.
Born in Cuba, Donna Milo, who works in the construction industry, said she saw similarities between the communist nation her family fled and the policies of the Obama administration.

While Milo has been getting attention for being transgendered, she stresses that she is a conservative. “I am a lifelong conservative Republican,” said Milo. “I am proud to say that I voted for Ronald Reagan.”

Milo blasted Wasserman Schultz for supporting the Obama administration on economic and international issues, noting that Jewish voters in the district are not happy with the congresswoman for backing the president’s policy on Israel. She said that voters were increasingly unhappy with Washington -- and Wasserman Schultz.

“The voters are not being heard,” said Milo on Wednesday. “The government is serving itself. People are concerned about spending.”
In an article in the Bay Area Reporter by Matthew S. Bajko, said that,
On the Republican side, in South Florida Donna Milo, a Cuban American transgender woman, is running in the Republican primary for the state's 20th Congressional District.

Milo, who opposes same-sex marriage and is a Tea Party member, is running against two other GOPers to take on incumbent Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the fall.
I am surprised that the Tea Party would back Milo in the primaries.

Lastly, in Oklahoma, there is another transgender candidate running for office…
Oklahoma's first openly transgender candidate will face Kern in fall election
Tulsa World
Published: 6/8/2010

OKLAHOMA CITY — A controversial lawmaker known for her comments against homosexuality likely will face the state’s first-known transgender candidate in this fall’s elections.

Oklahoma City attorney Brittany Novotny, a Democrat, filed Tuesday to run for the seat held by Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City.

Novotny, 30, said the campaign is not about her gender identity.

“For six years, we’ve had someone who has not represented her district, has been ineffective on problems and is bad for business,” she said.

Novotny said Kern is pushing her personal agenda instead of focusing on issues that are important to House District 84, and because of that, the state and Kern’s Oklahoma City district have suffered.
Just because a candidate is transgender, does not mean that I support them, I would never support Milo because she is against marriage equality and is a Tea Party member. However, I would support the other candidates.

These candidates are not the first transgender candidates to run for office and they will not be the last candidates to run for office. However, they are part of a growing list of trans-people who are running for public office. There was a time when trans-people would never dream of being out in public, let alone run for office. At one time, when you transitioned the medical profession forced you to start your life over again in another location from where you lived. Now, we are becoming roll models for other trans-persons.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Top Ten Songs On My MP3 Player

(1) Turn on your MP3 player/iPod.
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
(3) Write down the first TEN songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please (even if letting the world know you listen to crap "Weekend in New England" will humiliate you).
(4) Choose FIVE people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you, since there should be new songs appearing with Shuffle every time.

Take a Chance on Me - ABBA
Monday, Monday - The Mamas and the Papas
Hey Jude - The Beatles
Legend in Your Own Time - Carly Simon
Hard Rock Cafe - Carole King
Wheel in the Sky - Journey
Lady - Kenny Rogers
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? - The Kingston Trio
When You Go - Namoli Brennet
Ashes Are Burning - Renaissance

My Next Couple Of Days

Over the weekend I was up at the cottage with a couple that I have know for several years, that I first met up at Fantasia Fair in Provincetown. I had hoped to get some homework done while I was there, but we were having too much fun. I volunteer for many projects and organizations, and one project that I volunteered to write a procedure for the HIV/AIDS survey that we are doing. I wanted to formalize the process so that when I go back to classes we can train someone to take my place. With the survey going live, I will be interviewing respondents who said they would take the survey and I will be working with a woman from the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective at their office to give the surveys.
Besides the survey, I also have to write up the minutes to the last Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition Board meeting that I have been putting off.

As if that wasn’t enough, I am going back up to New Hampshire this weekend to go to the TransForm New Hampshire 2010 conference in Concord at the Franklin Pierce Law Center (I hope that it is air-conditioned) and while I’m up there, there is some work on the cottage that I want to do. I want to attend the conference because I’m a property owner in New Hampshire and I want to get involved in helping pass a gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill in NH.

The covered bridge is in Henniker over the Contoocook River. Where we had dinner Sunday night.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Manic Monday #214

Lisa’s Manic Monday #214

Imagine you have a hundred dollars, but you couldn't keep it. You have to give it away to a person or charity. Who would you give it to? What would you want them to do with it?
I would give it to the Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition to help the trans community find housing, therapist, etc.

If you could cook any meal for your friends or family, what would you cook?
Funny you should ask this question because I just cooked a dinner for some friends up at the cottage. I cooked Pork Loin rubbed with McCormick’s Garlic and Herb seasoning. I cooked it on a charcoal grill with hickory chips and used indirect heat. I made rice pilaf and a salad. The salad was iceberg lettuce (I normally use spinach but I didn’t like the looks of it at the store, it looked wilted.), walnuts, dried cranberry, goat cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette.

List 5 things you want to do in your life.
Travel to see all the national parks.
Take a train ride through the Canadian Rockies, from what I understand; Lake Louise in Banff National Park is beautiful.
Take a windjammer cruise up the Maine coast
Take a balloon ride
Take a barrage ride along the Mohawk canal

Edited: to add link for rice pilaf and change "I looked wilted" to "it looked wilted"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 327

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 327

1. What local non-chain restaurant serves the best pizza you’ve ever had?
Well when you ask someone who is in their sixties that question, it covers a lot of ground. Recently, it was the place that we had pizza down in Asheville called the Mellow Mushroom.

2. You decide to order pizza from a chain: which pizza chain are you most likely to order from?
I don’t know, I usually order pizza from a local pizzeria. I don’t think I have ever ordered a chain store pizza, but if I had to I’ll chose Pizza Hut.

3. What’s your favorite style pizza on the menu of the restaurant from Answer #2?

Ugh… I don’t know. If they have a sausage, pepper and onion pizza, I’ll have that.

4. Which toppings do you absolutely not want on a pizza?

Mushrooms… they’re fungus!

5. Take the quiz: The Coffee Shop Test

You Are Mushrooms

You are down to earth and practical. You appreciate hearty foods and people.
You are very grounded. You aren't unnecessarily fanciful, and you appreciate the little things in life.

You are in tune with nature and the world around you. You appreciate the outdoors and animals.
You are likely very handy and good at doing things yourself. You're the type most likely to make your own pizza.

Yuck… I hate mushrooms.

6. What’s your favorite kind of pizza crust: thin, pan or cheese-stuffed?

Thin, followed up by pan

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday 9: Love Hurts

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Love Hurts

1. Tell us about the last time that you got hurt in the arena of love.
Well it was way back in high school, I had a date with a girl and at the last minute she cancelled out, saying she had to baby sit her sister. Later that night, I saw her at McDonald’s with a football player from school.

2. Have you ever been part of the wedding party, other than your own?
Yes, many times.

3. Let's say you find yourself in Hell after you die. Think about everyone you've known in your life. Who would be the one person that would least likely to surprise you by being in Hell with you?
I have no idea. I don’t think that I know one particle person I would be surprise to see there, I think I would be surprised to see anyone that I know there.

4. What brings you good luck?
I don’t believe in luck.

5. Do you have a photo blog? If so, feel free to share the link with us!
It is over on the right side of my blog, labeled “My Photos”

6. What is your biggest source of news? (Internet? Newspaper? Television? Radio? The Daily Show? Other?)
Yes, to all of the above.

7. What's the hottest you've ever been in your life?
I think earlier in the month we reached 103F which broke the record.

8. If you had to choose a theme song for your blog, which would would you choose and why?

9. Who was the last person you had an online conversation with that you've never met or talked to on your phone?
Kwuizgiver via email

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday’s Fill-ins #185

Janet’s Friday’s Fill-ins #185


1. This is what life does. It lets you _build your hopes and then it lets you down_.

2. _A beautiful sunset lets you_ appreciate the moment?

3. Upon reflection _I should never have said that_.

4. _It has been hot and humid_ for quite a long time.

5. Later, you wake up _with a snort_

6. _Someday I would like to sail_ to the far and boundless sea.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _being with some friends at the cottage_, tomorrow my plans include _floating around the lake in an inner tube_ and Sunday, I want to _floating around the lake in an inner tube_!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I’m Heading Up North This Weekend

I’m going up to the cottage in New Hampshire for the weekend with a couple that I know from Fantasia Fair. The weather looks great, high in the mid-eighties and a low overnight in the low sixties, I just hope its not too humid overnight.

Then I’m going up the following weekend to a conference in Concord, TransForm New Hampshire. It is a three day conference that…
“Equal rights for Transgender People is the next front in the equal-rights-for-all effort. But more of our citizens need to understand the experiences, challenges and needs of their trans neighbors. This conference is an extraordinary opportunity to hear national leaders as well as local activists, speaking to the experience and needs of our trans citizens. Even gay and lesbian people are often uneducated and unfamiliar with the complexities of our trans brothers and sisters who have been so supportive of our efforts for full equality. Run, don't walk, to sign up for this great conference!”

Bishop Gene Robinson
Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

My Story Part 36 – The Future

In the past, I wrote about how past events have shaped my life, but today I want to write about my dreams of the future. Next May, (May 7th to be exact, not that I’m keep track or anything like that) I will be graduating from UConn with my Masters in Social Work and I have been thinking about what I want to do then. One of the ideas that I have been thinking that I might like to do after I graduate, is teach. Last semester, I developed a curriculum to teach a course called “Working with Gender Variant Clients” and I would to peddle the course to the local colleges. One of the biggest complaints that I hear from the trans-community is that we end up teaching our therapists because they are not exposed to any classes about trans-issues in college. I would like to rectify that omission. I would also like to give
workshops on diversity to businesses and universities. People have joked with me about getting my doctorate and I joked along with them, but there is a little seed in the back of my mind that says, “you know, that might not be a bad idea.” I would say the probability of that happening is only about 10%. However, if I did go for my PhD, it wouldn’t be in social work, but in gender studies.

I would also like to continue helping the trans-community with civil rights, housing and employment. Hopefully, once I get my MSW that it will help me to bring about change here in Connecticut. I just see so many trans-people who are struggling to get by that it makes me feel so helpless.

I have been also thinking about traveling. Someday I would like to travel around the country in a RV to visit the National Parks. I have been to almost all the National Parks this side of the Mississippi and now I would like to travel west of the Mississippi and visit the parks there. I loved the trip that we took out west to the Pacific coast when my cousin’s son was married in Everett Washington in 1999. On that trip my brother, sister-in-law and my nephew drove up to Port Angeles and then drove down the coast to San Francisco. I loved seeing new places. Another dream of mine is to take a trip in a windjammer along the Maine coast in the fall.

I have no desire to travel overseas, there is enough to see here in the United States. Except I would like to take a train ride through the Canadian Rockies, from what I understand, Lake Louise in Banff National Park is beautiful. Also I would like to visit Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Manic Monday #213

Lisa’s Manic Monday #213 (A couple of days late)

Name 5 of the simple pleasures in your life:

Drifting around the lake in an inner tube
Did I mention eating… oh yeah. Did I mention sleeping… well I guess I would have to say sitting around drinking coffee with friends

What do you like to do on a rainy day?
Read and sleep

I deserve a _New England shore dinner (Steamers, New England clam chowder, lobster, corn on the cob and beer to wash it all down)_. (It was so hard not to write “A break today” it just goes to show you how much advertising is part of our life)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Little Of This And A Little Of That - The Good

Yesterday I wrote about violence and hatred against LGBT people around the world, but there is also hope. It was hard to find positive articles about trans-people, the articles wee buried under the many articles about violence and hatred against trans-people, but there are some glimmers hope to be found.

The biggest victory that we have had in a long time was a case of discrimination in Georgia, where a trans-woman was found to have been discriminated against when she was fired from her job.

Transgender woman wins ruling against Legislature
By Bill Rankin
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 6, 2010

A federal judge in Atlanta has handed a legal victory to Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as legislative editor for the Georgia General Assembly after announcing she would transition from male to female.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Story ruled Glenn was subjected to sex discrimination. The judge also scheduled a July 13 hearing to determine what remedy should be granted to Glenn.
Story, in a 50-page ruling, dismissed concerns that legislative leaders would lose confidence in the Office of Legislative Counsel if Glenn remained employed there. "[A]voiding the anticipated negative reactions of others cannot serve as a sufficient basis for discrimination and does not constitute an important government interest," Story wrote.
On the DiversityInc web-site they write that…
Transgender Woman Wins Discrimination Suit
By Gail Zoppo
Jul 8, 2010

Last September, Glenn testified at a congressional hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which, if passed, would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. It's currently legal to fire or refuse to hire someone for being lesbian, gay or bisexual in 29 states, while transgender workers can be denied or refused jobs in 38 states, reports the Human Rights Campaign.

In this case, however, "the court proved that the Georgia General Assembly isn't above the constitution," says Lambda Legal transgender-rights attorney Dru Levasseur, who is co-representing Glenn, in a press release. "The evidence was clear—Vandy Beth was fired because her boss didn’t like who she is, and that kind of treatment is unfair and illegal."
Here is a video of her testimony to Congress…
The Human Resources Executive Online had this to say about ENDA…
Time for Action
By Susan R. Meisinger
July 10, 2010

Talent-management programs require hiring managers and HR leaders to focus on skills and abilities, and ignore the irrelevant. That's why bias -- for whatever reason -- ultimately harms a company's bottom line as the most-qualified candidates are ignored in favor of nonproductive reasons.
Just as it was time to enact the ADA 20 years ago to recognize that disability shouldn't be a job disqualifier, its time to enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- and recognize that sexual orientation and transgender status shouldn't disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate.

ENDA isn't a new proposal; bills have been introduced in Congress since 1994. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have already made it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation, and 12 states and DC have made it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity.

And just as most major companies adopted policies stating they wouldn't discriminate against people with disabilities well before the ADA was enacted, growing numbers of companies have enacted policies protecting their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

As of September 2009, 434 (87 percent) of the Fortune 500 had implemented nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 207 (41 percent) had policies that prohibit bias based on gender identity.
And what is the status of ENDA? It is tied up in Congress over BATHROOMS! They are worried that some people might be offended by have a trans-person going the bathroom.

The United States as usual is trailing the rest of the world in Human Rights issues. Europe has recognized trans-rights as Human Rights for years and in Ireland the government there just lost a court case about trans-rights,
Appeal against transgender ruling withdrawn
The Irish Times
By Jamie Smyth
June 22, 2010

THE GOVERNMENT has withdrawn its appeal against a landmark ruling by the High Court that Irish law on transgender rights is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The decision brings to an end a 13 year legal battle against the State by Dr Lydia Foy, a former dentist who was registered as male at birth and fought for legal recognition to live as a woman.

It also paves the way for the Government to propose new legislation giving transsexuals the right to obtain birth certificates showing their acquired sex and the entitlement to marry in that gender.
Under current law a transgendered person cannot have a birth certificate issued with his or her new gender, and does not have the right to marry in that identity.

However, in October 2007 the High Court, in a case brought by Lydia Foy, stated that Irish law on issuing identity documents to transgendered people was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
But here we are still debating to end employment discrimination for LGBT people, never mind housing, public accommodations, and credit, which isn’t even being discussed by Congress. It is still legal in over 25 of the states to deny housing to a LGBT person or to sever a LGBT person in a restaurant or refuse to give them a loan.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Little Of This And A Little Of That - The Bad

In the news last couple of weeks were these articles that I felt that I had to comment on. The first is about the murder of six LGBT people over in Iraq.

US and UK failing to take Iraq's gay pogrom seriously
Both countries deny any Iraqi state involvement in anti-gay militias, but LGBT supporters suggest otherwise
Paul Canning
The Guardian
Wednesday 23 June 201

Last week, 12 Iraqi police officers burst into a house in Karbala, beat up and blindfolded the six occupants and bundled them off in three vans, taking the computers they found with them. The house was then burned down by unknown people.

The house was a new "emergency shelter" run by the Iraqi LGBT organisation.

Two days later, one of the men turned up in hospital with a throat wound saying he'd been tortured. Iraqi LGBT has ordered those in its other two safe houses to move immediately.

The group says the police action is consistent with other state attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Iraq. It has information that the other five – two gay men, one lesbian and two transgender people – have been transported 100 miles north to the interior ministry in Baghdad, where they'll be interrogated (ie tortured) to find out more about the group. Then, going on past experience, they'll probably be handed to militias loyal to Shi'a clerics Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani and Muqtada al-Sadr (both of whom have called for homosexuals to be put to death) and their mutilated bodies will turn up later.

But it is also clear from past experience that there is unlikely to be a sustained international outcry from gay people, governments or others about this latest incident.
Ali Hili, Iraq's LGBT leader, said "people in the west have been too quiet for too long about the violence against LGBT people in Iraq. The militia and the powers that be know they can get away with it while that silence continues."
Iraq is not alone in its inhumane treatment of LGBT people, many of our “allies” also torture and murder LGBT people, such as Saudi-Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen where the death sentence is handed out for being homosexual to transgender. While in many other countries the police look the other way when it LGBT people are murdered as in many of the African, Middle Eastern and Micro-Indonesia counties. However, we do not need to look to the other side of the world to find bigotry and hatred against LGBT people, we only have to look down in the Caribbean. There were three murders of trans-women in Puerto Rico within the last year, and they all have been brutal murders where the bodies were mutilated.

Meanwhile, here in the United States we have a hard time keeping LGBT prisoners safe in jail. It is one thing to be convicted and serve your time, but it is another to be in fear of your life while in jail.
'I Was Scared to Sleep': LGBT Youth Face Violence Behind Bars
The Nation
By Daniel Redman
June 21, 2010

Over the phone, Krystal has a calm and lilting Southern accent. She identifies as a woman now, but when she entered Louisiana's juvenile justice system at 12 years of age, she presented herself as a boy and used male pronouns. Today, she's 18 and was just recently released from the system. Being closeted about her gender identity was never an option for her. "It's very obvious with me because of how I walk, talk, the way I do things," she says. And while her sentencing judge had told her that she wouldn't be in prison for long, it was five years before a sympathetic counselor made a formal request for her release. In her letter to the judge, the counselor mentioned in passing that Krystal had confided in her that she was probably transgender, and that she was in a romantic relationship with another boy at the facility. On the voicemail he left in response to the counselor's report, the judge openly laughed and called the recommendation a joke. He said that based on those facts, he would absolutely deny the request for a release hearing. "Many judges in rural Louisiana still conflate sex offenses with sexual orientation and gender identity," says Wesley Ware of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. It was months before Krystal was finally set free.
Once adjudicated and sent to secure care, LGBT youth often face abusive peers. "I was scared to sleep at night because I didn't know if I was going to wake up in the morning," writes one incarcerated youth at Louisiana's Swanson Center for Youth. One 15-year-old who was shuttled back and forth from group homes and secure facilities in Shreveport, New Orleans and Baton Rouge reports that staff did nothing when he reported a rape because he "reported it too late," that he was "whipped with a clothes hanger" for rule violations and that the abuse from staff and other youth was so bad that he tried to kill himself. Two of Krystal's gay friends were raped in prison by other youths. One of them was assaulted so viciously that the injuries required internal stitches. Staff put Krystal's other friend in isolation to protect him from further assault.
Besides using isolation to purportedly protect queer youth, guards also use lockdown as punishment. "We had one kid who wouldn't go to school because he was afraid" of the other youth in the facility, says Wesley Ware. And because he was on the mental health unit, a certain amount of social interaction was required as part of his rehabilitation program. For refusing to leave his cell, he was put on lockdown for noncompliance, and his chances for release diminished yet again.
More blatant and brutal antigay conversion efforts have taken place across the country. In an East Coast state that's the subject of an ongoing investigation, prison authorities permit religious volunteers to enter a youth facility to lead explicitly antigay Bible classes. Lesbian youths who refuse to attend the programs have had their sentences extended from nine to upwards of thirteen months. In Mississippi, a judge—with parental approval—sent a lesbian youth to a private hospital for two weeks to cure her homosexuality. In Pennsylvania, a counselor handed out antigay religious tracts to youth in her facility. In Georgia, when a child who had never committed a sexual offense came out as transgender, she was sent to a facility for youth likely to commit sexual offenses against children. Every major mental health, pediatrics or child welfare organization strongly condemns these practices.
It is time that we pull our heads out of the sand and demand that action be taken to stop the violence against LGBT. It is especial important to stop the violence in correctional facilities and it can be stopped by holding prison officials accountable.

In Rhode Island, Governor Carcieri vetoed a bill that would have added gender identity and expression to the hate crime law.
Carcieri’s veto of ‘gender’ bill criticized
The Providence Journal
By Karen Lee Ziner
July 10, 2010

PROVIDENCE –– Leaders of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations and their supporters criticized Governor Carcieri on Friday for vetoing a bill last month that would have added “gender identity and gender-related expression” to Rhode Island’s Hate Crimes Monitoring Act.

The bill would support additional police training and data collection about such crimes. It passed by majority in the House and Senate.

Carcieri said he vetoed the bill, as he did in 2008, because he found the terms gender identity or expression “confusing.” He signed the veto on June 22, a little more than a week after the General Assembly wrapped its tumultuous 2010 legislative session.
Ellingsen [director of LifeLines, a transgender organization] added, “We’re not talking about cases where someone has a problem with the victim’s gender identity or expression. We’re not talking about cases where someone doesn’t approve or agree with the way someone else is living their life. We’re talking about cases where someone beats them up, or rapes them, or shoots them, or stabs them because of it. This would keep track of how often crimes like this happen.”
Sometimes, I feel like Don Quixote fighting windmills.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 326

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 326

1. Think of the last time you were in a coffee shop: were you with a group, one-on-one, or alone?
With a group, on Friday nights, they have folk music.

2. Other than national chains like Starbucks, how many local coffee shops are there in your immediate area?

There is only one that I know of in the next town over. However, there are four national chains in town, three Dunkin’ Donuts and a Whole Donut.

3. Do you have a specific favorite coffee shop near you that you usually go to when you’re in need of a coffee fix?
I very rarely need a coffee fix. The only time that I go to a coffee shop is when I am traveling early in the morning someplace and I buy a coffee and a bagel for the road

4. Do you find yourself ordering the same item no matter what coffee shop you visit, or are you very open to each individual shop’s “signature drink”?
At the coffee shop where they have the folk music, I buy iced decaf coffee in the summer and decaf tea in the winter. I also usually have a biscotti to go with the coffee or tea. However, this week the Key Lime pie looked good and maybe the next time I go there I’ll have the pie.

5. Take the quiz: The Coffee Shop Test

You Are a Pacifist

You seek peace in all aspects of your life. You get stressed out easily and have to avoid noise of all sorts.
You are happiest when things are quiet, calm, and mellow. What other people find boring you find enriching.

You are caring and easy going. You are simply a great person to be around.
You have a lot of friends, and you're very popular. And you're even quite humble too!

6. When it’s just you at the coffee shop, how likely are you to order a pastry or something else to go with the coffee?
A bagel with cream cheese.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Saturday 9: Go Your Own Way

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Go Your Own Way

1. When was the last time you were told to go your own way?
I don’t think that I have ever been to “go your own way.” I been told to go away, but not “go your own way.” However, I have gone my own way.

2. What one experience has strengthened your character the most so far?
Transitioning. If that doesn’t strengthen you, nothing will. Learning to deal with bigots hardens you.

3. What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Read. There is no better time to read than on a rainy or snowy day.

4. How long can you go without your cell phone?
A long time, I use my cell phone maybe at the most 15 minutes a month.

5. Do you wish you were somewhere else right now?
Yes, up at the lake, just drifting around in an inner tube.

6. Of all the people you've ever known, who have you most feared?
There was one person at work, whom I supervised that I had to fire and I took the next couple of days off because I was worried he would come back with a gun. He went off his meds and tried to strangle one of my technicians.

7. Do people tell you that you look your age?
They think that I look younger.

8. Your ex shows up randomly at your house, what do you say?

Since I was never married, I would say, “Who the hell are you?”

9. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

No, it would depend on what they did. The technician who tried to strangle one of the technicians, does not, but the technician who had an alcohol problem does.

Friday Fill-ins #184

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #184


1. Layers of _deceit hide their true motive_.

2. _Looking back at the accident gave me some_ insight.

3. I'd be willing to bet _that this is going to be a record breaking summer for heat in the northeast_.

4. _Fireworks_ scares the dog.

5. I'm fond of _lobster and steamers_

6. _Staying out in the sun all day is just_ too much!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _the coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _watching the rain come down_ and Sunday, I want to _get outdoors and enjoy the cooler weather_!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

My Story Part 35 – Smile For The Birdie

We have all grown up with cameras; we have boxes and boxes of old family photos of birthdays and vacations. The only time we bring that out is when we blackmail our siblings or to confuse our children (Why is great-grandma in that funny dress and in a horse and buggy?). For the transgender community old photographs (here and here) are a window into our past. The trans-community has always had a fascination with the camera, however, there was one major drawback… you needed to get the pictures developed! It was a brave soul who took their pictures to be developed at the corner drug store and have copies of their photographs pasted on the wall in the back of the store. The Polaroid camera was a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t until the advent of the digital camera that the revolution took place.

The digital camera has become a must have accessory for a trans-person. When I attend conferences, just about everyone has a camera out and they are taking pictures of themselves and their friends. I have to admit, that I am not immure, I have a whole file on my computer of pictures of me at conferences. I purposely bought a camera with a self-timer so that I could take a picture of me. Vain? Kind of, but you have to consider for many of us, it is an emotional charged occasion when we are going out into public or to a conference the first time and like anybody else we would like to recorded it. And like old family photo albums my photo album is sitting in a dusty corner of my computer and they never are looked at again.

However, like all technology, it does have its downside. I do not like the phones with digital cameras; I have had too many negative experiences with them. There have been many times when I was in restaurants and I see kids taking a photo of me and my friends that are being sent to their friends. I get a little tense when I see a flash from a camera in public and wonder who took a photo of whom. People were afraid of the camera phones being used in locker rooms, I’m afraid of my photos being plastered all over the internet. I am very careful of when and where I post photos of other trans-people on the web, but to many people they it is funny.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Rewriting History

I want you to look at this short video (2:11) and tell me, who was involved in the Stonewall uprising.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

In articles about the movie they say…
The summer of 1969, which saw the first moonwalk, Woodstock and the Manson murders, was marked by another watershed moment: a police raid on a Mafia-run Greenwich Village gay bar called the Stonewall Inn that would spark a three-day riot and, in many eyes, launch the gay rights movement. This rebellion — it's been called the "Rosa Parks moment for gays" — and the decades of oppression that led up to it are vividly chronicled in the documentary "Stonewall Uprising."
Los Angles Times
Documentary about the Stonewall riots back in 1969 that started the gay rights movement. People who were involved in the riots are interviewed--gay men, lesbians and even a police officer. They paint an incredibly horrific picture of how gay men and lesbians were treated back then. Th They also show some truly fascinating clips from TV specials about homosexuality done back in 1967. It makes it clear that gays are mentally ill and chose this way of life (of course this is all ridiculous). Then they get to the riot. There's no footage of it happening but they show us pictures and all the participants describe what happened and the aftermath.
The Internet Movie Database

I have not seen the movie, but reading the reviews and seeing the trailers of it on the web gives me a distinct impression that the uprising was by white gay men and lesbians.

An article in the Huffington Post titled, “On Stonewall Riot Initiator Sylvia Rivera's Birthday, Her Words About Gay Oppression Against Trans People Still Ring True” had this to say,
Today, a new documentary is making the festival circuit called Stonewall Uprising. Shockingly, but not surprisingly, the white gay and lesbian people primarily responsible for making the film totally "white washed" what really happened, by mainly interviewing white subjects, to having only white men on the promo poster. And it gets even more inaccurate and appalling- the film totally belittles the involvement not only LGBT people of color had in initiating our movement, but it downplays the significant role trans people had in igniting the flame that Stonewall accomplished.
NPR “Weekend All Things Considered” did a show on the Stonewall Uprising back in 1989 and on the web-site where the show is archived, has this to say about the uprising…
But this particular Friday night was different. It sparked a revolution, and a hidden subculture was transformed into a vibrant political movement. What began with a drag queen clobbering her arresting officer soon escalated into a full-fledged riot, and modern gay activism was born.

It weaves together the perspectives of the participants, from Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine, who marshaled the raid, to Sylvia Rivera, one of the drag queens who battled most fiercely that night.
Why it is important that the trans-community stand up and demand that history not be rewritten?
Because of comments like Congressman Barney Frank made to the House in October 2007…
The millions of people that talk openly and to take on the prejudice against people who are transgendered is newer. It is also the case that prejudice begins with people reacting against those who are different from them in some way. People are rarely prejudiced against their clones. So we have this situation where there is more prejudice in this society today against people who are transgendered than against people who are gay and lesbian, partly because we have been working longer at dealing with the sex orientation prejudice; partly because the greater the difference, the greater the prejudice is to start, the more people fail to identify, the more they are put off by differences, especially when those differences come in matters of the greatest personal intimacy.
That is why we need to stand up and challenge any one who tries to rewrite trans-people out of history.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Reflections On Pride Month

In the LGBT community, Pride celebrations mark the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village in 1969, when the community stood up against oppression by society. Pride is both a remembrance of the discrimination that the LGBT community faced and still faces every day and it is also a celebration of life. In other countries, violence, hatred and discrimination are never far away. Most Pride celebrations are peaceful, but not always so…
Violence at Lithuania's First Gay Pride Parade
The Advocate
By Michelle Garcia

A violent attack marred Lithuania's first gay pride parade Saturday, when about 400 people marched for equality in a sealed-off area of downtown Vilnius
Gas Attack on Pride Parade "Premeditated"
YLE, Reuters

Helsinki police took three young men into custody on Saturday suspected of launching a pepper spray attack at the Helsinki Pride festival. Officers are also looking for three other individuals suspected of participating in the assault.

Over 30 people were hit by the spray. No one was seriously injured, however, some of the victims were children.
Pride celebrations also are protested against…
Nationalists in Bulgaria protest Gay Pride Parade
The Daily Inquirer

Hours before the Sofia Gay Pride Parade on Saturday, Bulgarian nationalists gathered in the country’s capital to protest the event.

Among the slogans of the protesters, who went to downtown Sophia before proceeding from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the Palace of Culture, were the words, “No to Moral Decay.”

In 2008, nationalists successfully disturbed the parade, resulting in chaos that led to the arrests of 80 people. Last year, the parade proceeded quickly and under heavy police protection, with some 300 people participating.
However, the United States is not immune from violence and hatred directed towards the LGBT community. In Anchorage, Alaska a Pride float was torched in a Fourth of July parade…
Gay Community Rallies Back After Parade Float Burnt
Natalie Travis
Created: 07/04/2010

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTVA-CBS 11 News) Two days after fire officials call a blaze that destroyed a gay pride float possible arson, leaders from the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community's Imperial Court were able to rebuild their float, taking first prize in the July 4 parade contest.

On a day meant to celebrate freedom of self-expression, the LGBT community seemed to express that this obstacle could not stop them from rising again.

Back from the ashes, the float's theme depicted a phoenix rising, surrounded by the fun parade goers expected to see on the Forth of July. Through that, one soldier's mom says Lady Liberty's true meaning was reaffirmed.
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis the conservatives Christian right wanted to hand out Bibles at the Pride Festival.
Pride Festival taking park board to court over anti-gay activist
Minneapolis City Pages
By Hart Van Denburg
Jun. 22 2010

About 200,000 people are expected to show up for the Twin Cities Pride Festival centered on Loring Park this weekend, and one of them is bible-totin' anti-gay activist Brian Johnson, of Hayward, Wis.

Should he be allowed on the grounds? The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board says yes. Pride Fest organizers say no. And they plan to file an injunction today in federal court to keep him out.

And here's the irony: Organizers are basing their argument on a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed St. Patrick's Day parade organizers in Boston to exclude GLBT marchers from taking part in the procession.

The court said that a private organization holding a permit to use a public street for expressive purposes could not be compelled by the government to include a group whose message is different from the organizer's.
How do you think the judged rules?
Judge Says Evangelist Can Preach at Gay-Pride Festival
Wall Street Journal


Organizers of the Twin Cities Pride festival had sought to bar Brian Johnson, 53 years old, from distributing literature, conducting polls and engaging in theological debates on festival grounds where 200,000 people are expected to gather. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim in Minneapolis ruled that such limitations would have violated Mr. Johnson's constitutional right to free expression.

"As a festival attendee in a public forum, Johnson is entitled to speak and hand out literature, quintessential activities protected by the First Amendment, so long as he remains undisruptive," Judge Tunheim wrote in a 19-page ruling.
I don’t know about you, but this ruling seems to go against the Supreme Court ruling. I do not see any difference in “a private organization holding a permit to use a public street” and a private organization holding a permit to use a public park. The conservatives always criticized ruling “by activist judges” when a court decision went against them, but this seems like an activist judge who choose to write his own law and not follow the Supreme Court.

Monday, July 05, 2010

I’m Back!

I just got back from our cottage in New Hampshire, my brother, sister-in-law, a couple of their kids with their kids and I (a total of 6 adults, 4 kids and three dogs) were up there for the weekend. Friday night it was nice and wasn’t too warm or humid but each day it was muggier. The water was too cold for me; however, the kids loved it.
Sunday night my brother shot off some fireworks and there were a number of other cottages around the lake that also shot off fireworks. In years past, I use to go out in our boat and watch the displays around the lake, but this year I just sat on the deck and watched ours and a neighbor's firework displays.
The sunset Sunday night was gorgeous…

Manic Monday #211

Lisa’s Manic Monday #211

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
No, most of the books that I read are SiFi.

Name one book you had to read but hated, and explain why you hated it.
Weathering Heights, do I have to explain why?

If you could pick a book you’ve read to make into a movie, which one would you choose?
I would pick two book series. The first is the Darkover series by Marion Zimmer Bradley and the other is the Honor Harrington series by David Weber.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 325

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 325

1. Think of the people you hang out with most at work: are they more positive or negative?
Since I’m retired this question doesn’t apply.

2. Think about the people you hang out with most outside of work: are they more positive or negative?
I hang out with positive people.

3. Of television shows you’ve watched, what role or job would you most like to have?
No, I don;t want to be a CSI investigator.

4. Based on people you know, is there a single person in your life now that you want to be more like?
Yes, she is a very moving public speaker.

5. Would you ever consider actually telling that person that you feel that way?
Yes, she is more or less mentoring me.

6. Take the quiz:
Are You Living the Wrong Life?

Your Life is 30% Off Track

In general, your life is going very well.
You're quite happy with where you are and what you're doing.
And even if you get a bit off course, you're usually able to get back on track easily.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Saturday 9: Make Me Say It Again, Girl

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Make Me Say It Again, Girl

1. Do you feel that you need to keep repeating yourself when talking to a particular person?
No. I don’t understand why you would repeat yourself unless they are hard of hearing.

2. It's July. Do you have anything special planned?
Just go up to the cottage in NH

3. Who is your big celebrity crush?

I don’t have one, since I don’t care at all what celebrities do.

4. Tell us about a local restaurant you are sure we'd love.

Well, since I don’t know your taste in restaurants and right now I’m up in New Hampshire, I’ll tell you about two that I like. The first is the Hancock Inn, it is an old colonial inn that I like and the other is Daniel's which is a nice family style restaurant.

5. Tell us about the shyest person that you deal with regularly.


6. What is your vision of heaven and hell?

It depends upon your point of view. I remember an old Twilight Zone show that was titled (if I remember correctly) “Heaven and Hell”. It was about a biker who was killed in a motorcycle accident and he went down a chute that was labeled “No deposit No return”. He ended up in a room with an old couple who were listening to Lawrence Welk, showing pictures of their grandchild and talking about the weather. They were in heaven and he was in hell. So it all depends on what you think it is.

7. What is your neighborhood like?
Up here at the cottage neighborhood it is mostly seasonal residents who come up here for a week or weekends. There are a few seniors who are snowbird, they live here in the summer and go south in the winter.

8. What's your favorite cook-out food?

Pork loin or London Broil.

9. When was the last time that you saw fireworks?
Up here in New Hampshire, it is legal to by fireworks so everyone is shooting them off. Tomorrow night around the lake, just about every cottage will be shooting them off. I like to go out in the boat and just sit in the middle of the lake watching the show.