Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 346... A Couple Of Days Late

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 346

1. How long did you spend browsing Black Friday ads on Thanksgiving Day?

2. What’s the earliest you’ve ever been to a store on any Black Friday?
The earliest that I have been to a store on Black Friday was December 24.

3. Which store would be your first choice as one to line up outside before it opened on Black Friday?
Dunkin’ Donuts

4. What is the first thing you purchased on Friday?

A bridge crossing… I drove home from New Jersey on Friday

5. Take the quiz: What’s Your Black Friday Shopping Style?

You Are an Online Deal Seeker

You are technologically savvy and extremely comfortable with online shopping.
When it comes to Black Friday, there's no other choice but to shop online. How else can you be at multiple stores at once?

Besides, you don't even have to leave your warm home to shop. You may have to get up early to get the best deals, but at least you can do it in your pj's.
You don't need the stress of crazy crowds and long lines. The sales are just as good online!

6. How much of your Black Friday shopping did you do online?
Zero. I do not go shopping until just before Christmas, that way you just buy what’s left in the selves.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Manic Monday #227

Lisa’s Manic Monday #227

What do you cook when home alone?
I cook a wide variety of foods, chicken, pork, and seafood dinners, along with side dishes. I just made a couple of Quiche and last week I made an apple cobbler.

What is something you'd like a chance to eat or cook?
Lobster, I haven’t had it in a while.

What is your favorite cookbook?
My mother’s old Betty Crocker cookbook.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Saturday 9: Dark Lady

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Dark Lady

1. Have you ever been to a fortune teller? If yes, what happened?
Nope, I don’t believe in them.

2. How do you cope in an uncomfortable social situation?
Wow, that is a broad question, which can cover anything from burping at the Thanksgiving table to walking in on your college roommate having sex.
It all depends upon the social situation.

3. A genie appears (of course). She asks, “If you had 3 wishes but each took 3 years off your life, what would you wish for and why?”
I would ask for 10 more additional years, win the Powerball lottery for $300 million and 10 more wishes.

4. Would you rather lose your soul mate or never meet them at all?
I would rather lose a soul mate then never have met them.

5. What is the hardest thing that you have ever had to do?
Ha! Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

6. Have you ever had a miracle happen to you or your loved ones?
Nope, I don’t believe in them

7. Tell us about a quote that you can relate to. Why can you relate with it?
I have a number of quote that I like on my blog, down the right side of it. But my favorite quote ringht up on top of my blog.
"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key"
Already Gone – Eagles

I carried shame and stigma around all my life and it wasn’t until I realized that inside me held the key to break out.

8. What personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble?
My shyness.

9. For those in The States, how was your Turkey Day? If not from the US, do you celebrate a day like Thanksgiving?
It was so, so… for something I rather not discuss here.

Friday Fill-ins #201

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #201

1. Three things I must have on my Thanksgiving table: _Turkey, stuffing and gray_.

2. _I had shrimp cocktail as I_ sacked out on the couch.

3. This is _great holiday_.

4. _It is not time_ to decorate _for Christmas yet_.

5. Oh, man, thankfully it's _stopped raining_.

6. _Thanksgiving is the time to_ perfect the art of _craving_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm not looking forward to _driving home from New Jersey_, tomorrow my plans include _relax_ and Sunday, I want have to _do homework_!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Classic

Happy Thanksgiving

It this time of year that we reflect on all that has happened this past year and to give thanks. However, for many it is not a time to rejoice, it is a time of loneliness, their families may have moved and left them behind, their family or spouse might have pasted away leaving them without any close relatives or their children might be at their in-laws for this holiday. However, for whatever the reason, it is a lonely time.

For many in the LGBT community it is an especially lonely time, they might not have seen their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them. Sometimes when we do attend the gathering, we feel like outcasts, like the square peg in the round hole, we just don’t fit in, we are tolerated when we bring our partners or ourselves to the table.

So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Order In The Court!

There have been a number of trans-items in the news lately, so good some bad. First the bad news…
Arrested Transgendered Woman Speaks to FOX 26 News
By: Isiah Carey
Monday, 22 Nov 2010
MyFox News

HOUSTON - Tyjanae Moore is the transgendered woman who was cited and thrown behind bars by a Houston police officer because she was caught using the ladies restroom. "I felt so belittled going to a jail over something so simple and stupid," says Moore.
Moore was arrested Nov. 17 at the Houston Public Library in downtown. The offense? Police say despite being a transgendered female, she is still officially a man -- a man who was caught using the ladies' restroom.

"When I came out, the female told me I wasn't supposed to be and I asked if there was any particular reason why not. She said I'm a transgendered female and I was really shocked that they even stopped me for this," says Moore.

Even though she is seen as a protected class by the City of Houston, Moore entered a guilty plea.
Bad legal advice from her lawyer. There have been a number of similar cases in Houston where the courts have ruled in favor of the trans-person. She should have never been arrested in first place and in the second place she should have plead not-guilty.

Now the good news…
Judge Appointment Angers Pastors
First transgender judge in Texas
By: Sally MacDonald
Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010
MyFox News

HOUSTON - Hundreds of area pastors say Houston Mayor Annise Parker is pursuing a personal and radical agenda at City Hall.

They're not happy with one of the mayor's appointments. Today Mayor Parker announced her associate municipal judge appointments, and one is longtime transgender activist Phyllis Frye. Frye becomes the first transgender judge in Texas and only the third in the country.

City Council unanimously approved the appointment. Mayor Parker addressed the new judges and appeared to fight back tears when acknowledging Frye.
"She is a well-qualified attorney. She has done civil and criminal work for decades. She is also a certified professional engineer so she has pretty good knowledge that will help with building code violations. I think she's a great addition to our judiciary here as an associate municipal judge. I'm very proud I was able to nominate her and she agreed to serve."
The Houston Area Pastoral Council, which represents about 300 churches, has a big problem with the appointment. Executive Director Dave Welch says for years Frye has been undermining Texas marriage laws. He says the appointment confirms Mayor Parker, who is openly gay, is making her lifestyle a central part of her policy agenda.

"This is not just a benign act. This is someone (Frye) who is very well known as an aggressive activist on sexual diversity issues and very much against the mainstream of most of the people....As we all know municipal court judges are the first step in the elevation of different judgeships. They typically go on to civil district court judges or family court judges and beyond, so this is not a benign appointment. It's a statement. It really is. We'll be calling on the churches to stand up and be involved," said Welch.
Hey… Wait a minute, are we talking about the same city? Yup. Kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

So the mayor appointed a highly qualified person for the judgeship, someone who understands the law and the building code and the Christian Churches see the appointment as a diminishment of their rights? Why? Is it because they are afraid of someone who will see both sides of the case and threat them both equally or is it because they want someone who is biased and bigoted to rule in the churches favor all the time.

Now out to San Francisco where another transgender person is now a judge…
Victoria Kolakowski, First Openly Transgender U.S. Trial Judge, Elected In California
Huffington Post

OAKLAND, Calif. — A 49-year-old California patent lawyer has been elected as the nation's first openly transgender trial judge.

Alameda County elections officials say Victoria Kolakowski beat prosecutor John Creighton 51 to 48 percent – a margin of nearly 10,000 votes – in the Nov. 2 election to fill the vacancy in California's Superior Court.
I’m still against electing judges, but I happy to have another highly qualified trans-woman as a judge and the voters saw the person, not that she's a trans-woman.

Lastly, lets go to another type of court…
Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team
By Katie Thomas
November 1, 2010
New York Times

Monday was a lazy day for Kye Allums, a typically busy junior playing Division I basketball at George Washington University. Without any classes or practice on his schedule, Allums woke up late, stopped in at a team meeting, worked on a class project, then took an afternoon nap.

But Monday was anything but ordinary because it was the day the world would learn about the decision Allums had embarked on one year earlier: to come out as a transgender man playing on a women’s basketball team.

Advocates for transgender athletes said they believed Allums was the first Division I college basketball player to compete publicly as a transgender person, although not the first to play as a college athlete. In a statement, a George Washington official said Allums would remain on the women’s basketball team.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Story Part 54 – Testosterone

I normal write this column on Thursday, but since it is Thanksgiving this week, I’m writing My Story today. Today I’m writing about Testosterone, that evil compound that makes you do all sorts of weird things.

This afternoon I have to stop by an auto parts store to pick up a headlight for my car and I am not looking forward to going there. It is going to be all young guys there and I know how they behave, crude and rude because I was one once. Not crude and rude, but a young male and I use to go to the store and I know people who used to work in auto parts stores. Not all of them are like that, only 99% of them. I usually worry over nothing, lets hope it turns out that way.

The same thing with hardware stores, not the big box stores, but the small local hardware stores. I have had problems with the local store when I went to get the gas grill’s propane tank filled. I got harassed when I walked through the store. The big box store have a harassment policy while the little stores don’t have a policy.

At the car dealer ship where I bought the car, I am treated very well. However, those little drive-in oil changed places, I got harassed.

It is the young males that give me problems. The small local stores tend to hire the young kid because the stores are not looking for experience, only cheap labor. While the big box stores and car dealerships are looking for the mature experienced worker.

So after work today, I will take a deep breath, stand tall, look them in the eye and think… you’re an a**hole, when are you going to grow up!

I’ll update the column when I get home and let you know how it went.

Update: 4:30PM

I didn't have too much of a problem, but it seemed like everyone in the back-room had a reason to come out to the counter. They all seemed to me to take a long stare at me. The clerk asked to see my driver license when I charged the headlight bulb to my credit card, something I have never been asked to do before.

But I think that as usual, I did worry too much.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 345

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 345

1. What do you most look forward to about Thanksgiving week?
Being with the family.

2. How many people do you plan to have around the Thanksgiving dinner table this year?
Five, my brother and his wife, my niece and her son and myself. My nephews will be with their in-laws this Thanksgiving.

3. What Thanksgiving food do you most look forward to?
The leftovers, my favorite is a turkey sandwich with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. And a Liptor on the side.

4. Which Thanksgiving food do you avoid?
The squash and green beans (not together, but separate dishes)

5. Take the quiz:
What Fall Spice Are You?

You Are Cinnamon

You are warm and friendly. You are a social creature and a true extrovert.
You are welcoming, and you love to have people over to your place. You make everyone feel at home.

You are sweet, but you aren't overwhelming. You know how to be subtle with people. You have tact.
You love life, and people love to be around you. You are very popular without trying to be.

6. What aroma most reminds you of fall?
Pumpkin pie or apple pie.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998
Location: Rome, Italy
Cause of Death: Burned to death
Date of Death: November 20, 2009

Wanchai Tongwijit
Location:Wichit, Phuket City, Thailand
Cause of Death:Shot in the head
Date of Death:November 21, 2009
She was 35 years old.

Mariah Malina Qualls
Location: San Francisco, California
Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma to the head.
Date of Death: December 9, 2009
Mariah was 23 years old

Estrella (Jose Angel) Venegas
Location: Mexicali, Mexico
Cause of Death: Shot in the chest and the forehead
Date of Death: December 13, 2009
Estrella was 32 years old

Location: Bernama, Malaysia
Cause of Death: Wong had stab wounds in the right side of the stomach and left side of the chest plus bruises in the right hand.
Date of Death: January 1, 2010
Wong was 64 years old.

Myra Chanel Ical
Location: Houston, Texas
Cause of Death: Many wounds and defensive bruises.
Date of Death: January 18, 2010
Myra was 51 years old.

Derya Y.
Location: Antalya, turkey
Cause of Death: Stabbed to death
Date of Death: February 8, 2010
Derya was 35 years old.

Fevzi Yener (nickname – Aycan)
Location: Şehremin, İstanbul
Cause of Death: Stabbed 17 times
Date of Death: February 16, 2010

Dino Curi Huansi
Location:Parma, Italy
Cause of Death:Stabbed and left in roadside dump
Date of Death:March 26, 2010
She was 28 years old.

Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar
Location: Queens, New York
Cause of Death: Strangled
Date of Death: March 27, 2010
Amanda was 29 years old.

Unidentified transgender woman
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Cause of Death: dismembered and mutilated
Date of Death: estimated to have taken place the last week in March

Unidentified transgender woman
Location: Chihuahua, Mexico
Cause of Death: Beheaded
Date of Death: April 3, 2010

Toni Alston
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Cause of Death: shot to death
Date of Death: April 3, 2010
Toni was 44 years old.

Ashley Santiago Ocasio
Location: Corozal, Puerto Rico
Cause of Death: Stabbed to death
Date of Death: April 19, 2010
Ashley was 31 years old.

Location: Izmir, Turkey
Cause of Death: Shot in the back of the head
Date of Death: April 27, 2010
Azra was 30 years old.

Chanel (Dana A. Larkin)
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Date of Death: May 7, 2010
Chanel was 26 years old.

Unidentified transgender woman
Location:San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
Cause of Death: Raped and shot 3 times
Date of Death: May 15, 2010

Angie González Oquendo
Location: Caguas, Puerto Rico
Cause of Death: Strangled with an electrical cord
Date of Death: May 24, 2010
Angie was 38 years old

Sandy Woulard
Location:Chicago, Illinois
Cause of Death:Shot in the chest
Date of Death June 21, 2010
Sandy was 28 years old.

Roy Antonio Jones III
Location: Southampton, NY
Cause of Death: Punched repeatedly and grabbed by the neck
Date of Death: August 1, 2010
Roy was 16 Months old.
Note: 20 year old Pedro Jones told police he had struck the infant several times with a closed fist. Jones said he was “trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl.”

Imperia Gamaniel Parson
Location: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: August 30, 2010

Location: Houston, Texas
Cause of Death: shot to death
Date of Death: September 6, 2010

Victoria Carmen White
Location Maplewood, New Jersey
Cause of Death shot
Date of Death September 12, 2010
Victoria was 28 years old.

Justo Luis González García
Location Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico
Cause of Death shot in the head
Date of Death September 13, 2010
Justo Luis was 34 years old.
This is 1 of the 2 transgender people found murdered, they were found together.

Unidentified person dressed in women’s clothes
Location Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico
Cause of Death shot in the head
Date of Death September 13, 2010
This is 1 of the 2 transgender people found murdered, they were found together.

Location Bursa, Turkey
Cause of Death Drowned in her apartment
Date of Death September 20, 2010

Stacey Lee aka Stacey Blahnik
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of Death unreported by police
Date of Death October 11, 2010
Stacey was 31 years old

Unidentified person dressed in women’s clothes
LocationSheikhupura, Pakistan
Cause of Death Brutally tortured and burned
Date of Death November 6, 2010

Unidentified Eunuch
LocationSheikhupura, Pakistan
Cause of Death Brutally tortured and burned
Date of Death November 7, 2010

Emanuelly Colaço Taborda
Location:Parana, Brazil
Cause of Death:Strangled
Date of Death:November 9, 2010
She was 39 years old.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Saturday 9: Happy Turkey Day 2010

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Happy Turkey Day 2010

1. Tell us about you very favorite (yes we know that's redundant) Thanksgiving.

It was the Thanksgiving in 2007. What made it special was that the whole family was up at our cottage in New Hampshire and it was that first Thanksgiving that I was able to be myself.

2. What are you doing for Turkey Day this year?
Driving down to my niece’s in New Jersey, it will just be my brother and his wife, my niece and her son and me.

3. If you were to go to somebody else’s house, what would be your favorite dish to bring?
Corn pudding

4. Tell us about the funniest person that you'll be with this Thanksgiving.
I don’t think that I will be with any funny people.

5. What would surprise us to know about your Thanksgivings?
Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe that I drive 3 hours to go for dinner. But it is all worth it to be with family.

6. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you’re happy to see?
Nope, we are all happy to see each other. And we even stay that way until we leave.

7. What did your family do for Thanksgiving when you were a kid? Do you still do it?
When to grand ma’s house in a sleigh… over the river and through the woods. Actually we went to my aunts or cousins houses for the holidays, rotating the locations each year.

8. We know you've been asked this probably 15 times this week. But share with us in 2010, what are you most thankful for?
That when I fell on the stairs this morning that I didn’t break any bones. I just twisted my ankle. I had just printed something on my printer and was coming down the stairs to go to the kitchen when I slipped and fell.
Lesson leaned: at 6 in morning turn on the stairway light and don’t read when going down the stairs.

9. Okay, the big question: are you going to 'attend' any of the "Black Friday" sales? ...and if you are, are you hard core serious like the 5 am "be there" crowd?
Why go shopping so early, you will still have 28 more shopping days until Christmas. Heck, it’s real easy to go shopping the day before Christmas, everything is gone off the selves and it makes picking a gift real easy. They can always exchange later for something that they want.

Friday Fill-ins #200

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #200


1. Why does _everyone have turkey on Thanksgiving_.

2. _On Thanksgiving, how does a turkey_ see the world.

3. Thank you for _helping out in the kitchen_.

4. _Thanksgiving_ is my favorite holiday because _of the food_.

5. I am SO _hurting, I just twisted my ankle_. I was just coming down the stairs when I slipped and twisted it. I got my foot elevated, I put a compression bandage on it and icing it.

6. _Pain_ make up our minds to be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _well, everything I was going to do this weekend just went out the window_, tomorrow my plans include _putting my foot up_ and Sunday, I want to _to get better_!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Transgender Day of Remembrance

9th Annual
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Gather in honor and remembrance. Unite in strength and hope.
Saturday 20 November 2010

CT TransAdvocacy, ctEQUALITY and MCC of Hartford, announces that in addition to our speakers lined up for this event, we will welcome State Representative Michael Lawlor to talk at the rally! Representative Lawlor has been a champion for this issue and our equality work in years past and we look forward to welcoming him on this important day!

- 5:15 pm: Gather at First Presbyterian Church, 136 Capitol Avenue and walk to State Capitol

- 5:30 pm: Rally and name-reading at the State Capitol (North steps)

- 7 pm: Program of Remembrance at Hartford Metropolitan Community Church, 155 Wyllys Street

Transgender Day of Remembrance is an international day we set aside to remember the transgender people we have lost to violence and anti-trans bias. Please join us.

This year we will gather as a community of transgender people and allies to remember those we have lost. We will have a vigil, reading of the names, and inspiring words from members of CT's transgender communities, all followed by a program of remembrance at Hartford MCC.

Please join us in making this a unifying, empowering event!


CT Outreach Society, Twenty Club, CT AIDS Resource Coalition, Transitioning and Loving Life, National Association of Social Workers CT, CT Anti-Defamation League, American Civil Liberties Union CT, Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, True Colors, Women & Gender Resource Center, LGBT Center at CCSU, PFLAG of Hartford, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, CT Alliance for Business Opportunities, Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective.

My Story Part 53 – Teacher

I never really thought about teaching before I came out, but as I travel around the state talking about the anti-discrimination legislation, I have grown to like talking to groups. I think one of the things that I would like to do when I graduate is teach diversity. Hopefully, we will pass the bill in 2011 and that should create a market to give workshops on diversity training to businesses.

Last semester for an Independent Studies class, I created a curriculum for a fifteen-week course for “Working with Gender Variant Clients” that I hope I can teach to social work students. I think will fill a gap in education that I hear from trans-people. They complain that many caseworkers do not understand what a trans-person goes through when they transition. If I could teach that class for one semester a year, it will go a long way towards creating an understanding of the trans-community. I was a guest lecturer for a class and it gave me a positive feeling as if I was really helping the students to learn something that they never knew before. I also think that it would be good to have a trans-person teach the class.

I just submitted a workshop proposal to teach a workshop at the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) annual conference in the spring. The workshop will be a shorten version of the class. It will at least be a start to get my foot in the door teaching.

So how did it all start? In the e-list for the support group, Connecticut Outreach Society, there was an email asking for a volunteer to go and speak to a class at the University of Hartford. Back then, I was always looking for ways that I could go out as Diana and I thought that this was a good opportunity. I could do something positive and be Diana for a while. I enjoyed talking to the class and I wanted to do it again, it made me feel like I was bringing about a change in attitude about trans-people. For the outreach, we told our story and then answered questions. Sometimes we get a lot of questions and the class is really interactive, other times, it’s a dud. The worst class that I spoke to was a sports medicine class with all jocks, they didn’t ask one question and sat there with their arms folded and their legs wide open… the type male dominance pose.

Then once with Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition, I was asked to teach a workshop for a state agency instead of just doing an outreach. I really enjoyed that, I actually taught the workshop and afterward I realized that I had a knack for teaching. Since then, I have taught other workshops and as I mentioned above, I was a guest lecturer for a college class and it felt so good standing up there and talking to all the students.

I firmly believe that change is brought about by educations. It can be as simple as telling our stories or as involved as teaching a class.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Manic Monday #226 - On A Wednesday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #226

What is your favorite, can't-do-without beauty product?
Lipstick, I don’t use much make-up, but I tend to wear lipstick when I go out to a meeting.

Have you ever colored your hair? What do you think about men coloring their hair and/or facial hair?
Yes, I have colored my hair to cover the grey. However, I decided to let it go grey, but you won’t see my natural hair. If men want to color their hair, that’s their choice and on some men facial hair looks good.

What is your favorite outfit that you own? What makes it so special to you?
Well I guess right now is the red dress I wore to banquet last weekend since I received so many comments about it. I got the dress at a store Auburn MA that buys overstock.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Poems

From time to time (translated - when I don't have time to research and write a column) I post one of my poems...

Climbing the Mountain

I walk across the plateau to the face of the cliff,

Looking up I think that I’ll never make it.

It looks insurmountable, a formable wall in my journey.

I see others look up at the wall, shake their heads and walk away.

Deep inside me that inner voices calls.

I know that I have climbed others and have always made it,

But this looks different,

I know that I will have to summon my courage.

The plateau is comfortable, but my inner voice calls me.

I reach out and find a handhold, then another.

Slowly I pull myself up.

One handhold and one toehold after another.

Looking back from where I came, I can see the hills and valleys.

They all seemed like they were mountains and canyons then.

Now from this vantage point, I laugh at them.

Up I climb, always knowing that I may fall before I reach the top.

There will be no sage or wise man at the top,

Only the wisdom gained along the way.

I realize I have come a long ways but I still have far to go.

That inner voice calls me.

One handhold and one toehold after another I climb.

I know that at the top I will find another cliff,

And another mountain to climb after that.

Monday, November 15, 2010


There has been much written about bullying in the last month. How LGBT kids have been committing suicide, but bullying is not just a LGBT issue, it effects all students. Tall students, short students, fat students, it effects all students who are different from the other students. In Mississippi, it was bedause of the students name.
Girl Beaten for Having "Boy's Name"
by Dana Rudolph
November 12, 2010

What's in a name? A 12-year-old girl at Hernando Middle School in Mississippi was beaten by five fellow students -- reportedly because they said her name, Randi, was "a boy name."

"They started talking about me like I was a man," she told local news station WREG. "That I shouldn't be in this world. And my name was a boy name." The four girls and a boy surrounded her after a Fellowship of Christian Students meeting, and, she said, kicked her in the rib and leg, hit her in the face, sat on her, pushed her face into the floor, and threw her onto a cafeteria table.

Apparently, the incident was caught on surveillance camera, but in order to maintain student privacy, the film has not been released. A school administrator issued a statement, said WREG, that "fighting is not tolerated and that disciplinary action will be taken to the fullest extent of the law." No charges were filed, however, because the police were not called. Whether the attack was an isolated incident or part of ongoing bullying remains unknown.
Like many other school bullying incidents school officials either look the other way or try to minimize the incident. This was clearly an assault, but the school minimized the attack to a “disciplinary action” instead of criminal assault.

The only way we are going to stop bullying is bring about a change in culture, not just school culture but a societal change. We must all work together to bring about that change. We need the community, parents, school administrators, teachers and students all standing together and saying we will not tolerate bullying. That anti-bullying initiatives cannot just start at high school or in the middle schools, but must start in kindergarten with age appropriate training. Having anti-bullying policies does not stop bullying, schools that have the worst bullying are schools that do not enforce their policies. There are numerous studies that show that bullying can be stopped if we all work together.

This is what I mean when I say the culture has to change at the top…
Board: Teacher discipline is administrative matter
By Jason Carmel Davis
November 9, 2010

A number of people from various Michigan communities with thoughts on the disciplining of Howell High School teacher Jay McDowell got those thoughts out during Monday's Board of Education meeting.

Several people from various teachers' unions, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups and areas such as Ann Arbor, Lansing and Saline spoke on behalf of McDowell, urging the board to rescind the disciplinary action the district handed out after McDowell on Oct. 20 got into a heated exchange with two students about gay rights. More than 100 people attended the meeting.
Ann Arbor resident Graeme Taylor, who is gay, told the story of how fear of bullying led him to a suicide attempt at 9 years old. He talked about how he wished he had someone to stick up for him the way some believe McDowell did for gay students in Howell.
Students and staff in the district were taking part in a national Spirit Day on Oct. 20 — a Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation event aimed to raise awareness of anti-gay bullying after the recent suicides of six gay teens across the United States. Students in support of the day wore purple T-shirts that read "Tyler's Army," for one of the six who died. Others wore shirts featuring a rainbow, which signifies gay pride. Not all students were required to participate.

A student, 16-year-old junior Daniel Glowacki, was then ejected from McDowell's economics class, along with another student, after Glowacki and McDowell argued about another student wearing a belt buckle featuring the Confederate flag. The district said McDowell deviated from curriculum, disregarded school policy in relation to suspension and violated a student's First Amendment rights in the incident.

District officials stated students' First Amendment rights were violated when McDowell directed the student to remove the belt buckle the teacher found offensive. That led to McDowell being suspended one day without pay.
So was this a First Amendment rights issue or was it a bullying issue? The article does not go into enough detail to make the judgment. However, if there were gay slurs used in the arguing between the students, then I agree with the student being ejected from the classroom. I trend to think the argument was over LGBT issues because it was during the Spirit Day.

This is the video of Graeme Taylor telling his story…

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Weekend

The last couple of days have been fun; I went for a walk and attended a banquet.

Late Friday afternoon I went to the capitol for a Die-in and then the leaders said that they were going to march. Little ol’ naive me thought, “Oh we are going to march around the capitol.” Wrong, we marched down Capitol Ave to Main St, by the federal building, by city hall and then back to the capitol through Bushnell Park. A distance of slightly over one and a half miles, up and down and then back up the hills. We ended up having a police escort as we marched through the intersections. They wanted me to say something about the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th and I muffed my words. Oh well.

Last night, I went to a semi-formal banquet/fundraiser for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective. I got there a little after six and left just before ten o’clock when the band started. Here are two pictures that my friends took of me.

Every time I see a photo of me now, I think "Gwd, I have to lose weight!"

Saturday Six – Episode 344

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 344

1. Which late night host, past or present, would you consider television’s all-time greatest?
Johnny Carson

2. Which late night host, past or present, would you consider television’s all-time worst?

I don’t know, I’m not a fan of late night TV, I’m sleeping because I have to work in the morning. I consider late night after ten.

3. On average, how many nights per week do you actually watch a late-night talk show?

4. Which popular late-night skit are you most likely to enjoy: a good monologue, a man-on-the-street segment, an audience quiz, a funny headlines segment, or a hidden camera segment?

5. Take the quiz:
What Late Night Show Are You?

You Are the Late Show with David Letterman

You are a bit sarcastic and cynical. It takes a lot to wow you.
Your sense of humor is pretty dry. Sometimes people don't even realize that you're joking.

You're the type of person that people are dying to impress. People often make a fool of themselves around you.
Your standoffishness and aloof demeanor only makes you more appealing!

6. If you had to appear on a late night talk show, which one do you think you’d be most comfortable as a guest on?
One that is taped in the afternoon. Since I don’t watch late night TV, I don’t know any of the shows.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday 9: Just What I Needed

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Just What I Needed

1. Who was the last person who entered your life and was just what you needed?
I don’t know, there has been a number of people who have entered my life in the last couple of years

2. What is one of your fondest childhood memories?
The summers we spent up in New Hampshire at a cottage that we use to rent on Lake Winnisquam

3. What would you like to be doing in 7 years?

4. Tell us about a blogging pet peeve.
People who leave comments who rant about my facts being wrong and then they go off on a rant about something I didn’t write about.

5. Tell us about a general pet peeve.
People who slow down for an exit miles before the exit or pull on the highway doing 40mph

6. For one day, who would you like to trade places with?
Bill Gates, I would put some money in my saving account for the next day.

7. Where is your least favorite place to be?
In a room fill of strangers

8. What do you like about fall?
The leaves rustling under your feet.

9. If you or someone you know are chronically late, do you believe it's the result of poor planning or choosing to be late?
I am chronically late; I think it is from poor planning and kind of a left over subconscious rebellion against my father who was always very punctual.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #199

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #199


1. When pigs fly _I’ll vote Republican_.

2. _With the way you behave, who will take you_ seriously?!

3. Call me _in the morning_.

4. _Life is like a bowl of cherries_ if you know what I mean.

5. The most entertaining person in my life is are _grand nieces and nephews_ because _you never know what they are going to say_.

6. _With all of those teenagers who are committing suicide and I wonder_ who's next?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _the coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a semi-formal banquet_ and Sunday, I want to _go waking and later do some homework_!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Story Part 52 – Mirror

Wow! It has been one year since I started writing this column.

I am not talking about the mirror that you look in, but the image that society mirrors back to you. We all respond to the way society sees us and reflects back to us and it gives us the sense of who we are, the mirror validates us. For trans-people it is even more important, for us because it reflexes back the image that matches our soul. Each time I go out, I am at easy because the image that I project is the image of my inner self. It is that validation that I get every time that I go out when people say ma’am or miss or having the door opened for me that is validating. It is also is the interactions with others that I find validating. When I sit down with a bunch of classmates and we are interacting, and my transness is not an issue, that is strongly validating to my inner self. It is when they treat me as a person, not a trans-person

When I was first going out in public and someone ‘Sired” me, it was devastating because I hadn’t had many positive instances of mirroring to reinforce validation. However, now a vast number of people validate me daily. It still gets me mad, but I don’t go into a depression like I use to in the past.

There is a paper by Aaron Devor called “Witnessing and Mirroring: A Fourteen Stage Model of Transsexual Identity Formation” in it he says,
There are two overarching themes which run throughout the entire process of transsexual identity formation which, indeed, run though the lives of many people as they search for self-understanding. Each of us are social beings and as such we live in a sea of other humans with whom we interact during most of the waking hours of our lives. Even when we are not in contact with others, we devote a tremendous amount of our psychic energies to being psychologically engaged with others. It would therefore be difficult to underestimate the powerful effects that the opinions of others have on each of us.

Each of us has a deep need to be witnessed by others for whom we are. Each of us wants to see ourselves mirrored in others’ eyes as we see ourselves. These interactive processes, witnessing and mirroring, are part of everyone’s lives. When they work well, we feel validated and confirmed—our sense of self is reinforced (Poland, 2000). When the messages which one receives back from others do not match how one feels inside, various kinds of psychological distress and maladaptive behaviours can result. When the situation is especially severe it can lead to psychotic and/or suicidal behaviours.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Give Me Shelter From The Storm

’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
Lyrics by Bob Dylan 1974 & 1976 Ram's Horn Music

More trans-people are fleeing their country to seek asylum because they fear for their lives…
Mexican transgender asylum seeker allowed to stay in U.S.
By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post

When Alexandra Reyes' father caught her wearing her sister's shoes and clothes, he tied her up and beat her with spiked pieces of a tree.

"It was so horrible, I would scream," Reyes said in Spanish. "He told me he had a son, not a daughter, and he did not accept me."

Reyes, 32, was born a boy named Carlos but began living life as a girl at age 8, infuriating her traditional Mayan family in Cenotillo, Mexico. One night, an aunt walked into Reyes' bedroom and tried to kill her with a machete because she didn't want Reyes in the family.

The Mexican police wouldn't arrest Reyes' abusers. So 10 years ago, she paid a smuggler to get her across the border. She walked four days and four nights through the desert into the U.S. and made it to Colorado, where a friend told her she would be safe. […]
Last week, an immigration judge granted Reyes a form of asylum that allows her to stay in the U.S. based on the persecution she suffered as a transgender woman in Mexico.

The Board of Immigration Appeals withheld her removal from the U.S. after determining the Mexican government would not protect her from abuse if she was deported.
And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured
I’ll always do my best for her, on that I give my word
In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

The first trans-person to be granted asylum to the U.S. was back in 2008 during the Bush administration
Asylum for transgender individuals? US say 'yes' to Indonesian case

For the first time, The United States have granted asylum to an Indonesian transsexual as Michelle Saraswati, 42, formerly known as Michael Setiabudi, won her case at the San Fransisco Immigration Court in July.
Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

They are not just fleeing here, but also to other countries…
Mahtab, an Iranian Transsexual, is at Risk of Deportation
(April 7, 10)

Mahtab Mirghaderi is a male to female transsexual and she left Iran for Turkey with her boyfriend, Saleh Shahsavar, in June 2007 due to social problems and fear of threat for his boyfriend’s family safety. Unfortunately after waiting a long time for their asylum, they got a letter from the office from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey stating that their file was rejected a few times and they decided to close their case. They do not have any protection in Turkey and now, due to local circumstances they have to go back to their country since UNHCR did not recognize them as refugees and they risk being deported back if they do not leave Turkey voluntarily. IRQR shares its deep concern about Mahtab and Saleh’s situation due to many reasons, including the fear of their lives being in danger. They need international protection as refugees.
She is now seeking asylum in Canada.

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
Transsexual who feared prison at home qualifies for refugee status

By Bernard Lane
The Australian
March 03, 2010

A MALAYSIAN transsexual who feared prison, whipping and life as a prostitute if returned home has qualified for refugee status as a member of a persecuted social group.

The Refugee Review Tribunal emphasised her poverty, powerlessness and inability to get an identity card as a female, which would have allowed her to work.

The 38-year-old Hindu Malay was born male, had a sex-change operation in Thailand, returned to Malaysia with a female name, was arrested during a beauty pageant, came to Australia last year on a tourist visa and found work as a fruit-picker.

Lawyers said it was very rare for transsexuals to gain protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention as members of a persecuted social group.
Sometimes when we are demanding our rights here for marriage equality or to serve in the military or demand our rights to employment, housing and public accommodation we forget that others have it a lot worst, they are in fear of their live.

Suddenly I turned around and she was standin’ there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


As many of you know, I am attending University of Connecticut School of Social Work for my masters and one of the areas we cover is the effects of discrimination on a marginalized community. Some of the effects are high unemployment, homelessness, high drug and alcohol use, high suicide rates and includes that lack of or poor healthcare. The results of a study on healthcare in the trans-community were released last month and it sadly confirms what we learned in class.
National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on health and health care
Findings of a Study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

By Jaime M. Grant, Ph.D., Lisa A. Mottet, J.D., and Justin Tanis, D.Min.

With Jody L. Herman, Ph.D., Jack Harrison, and Mara Keisling
October 2010

  • Survey participants reported very high levels of postponing medical care when sick or injured due to discrimination (28%) or inability to afford it (48%);
  • Respondents faced significant hurdles to accessing health care, including:
  • Refusal of care: 19% of our sample reported being refused care due to their transgender or gender non-conforming status, with even higher numbers among people of color in the survey;
  • Harassment and violence in medical settings: 28% of respondents were subjected to harassment in medical settings and 2% were victims of violence in doctor’s offices;
  • Lack of provider knowledge: 50% of the sample reported having to teach their medical providers about transgender care;
  • Despite the barriers, the majority of survey participants have accessed some form of transition-related medical care; the majority reported wanting to have surgery but have not had any surgeries yet;
  • If medical providers were aware of the patient’s transgender status, the likelihood of that person experiencing discrimination increased;
  • Respondents reported over four times the national average of HIV infection, 2.64% in our sample compared to .6% in the general population, with rates for transgender women at 3.76%, and with those who are unemployed (4.67%) or who have engaged in sex work (15.32%) even higher;
  • Over a quarter of the respondents misused drugs or alcohol specifically to cope with the discrimination they faced due to their gender identity or expression;
  • A staggering 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population, with unemployment, low income, and sexual and physical assault raising the risk factors significantly.
Before I transitioned, I know I didn’t go to the doctors when I had a high fever because I feared what they would say when they saw my shaved body. I use to plan my annual physical for September because I could let my body hair grow out over the summer. I then would shave my body after I saw the doctor and one year my doctor wanted me to see a specialist for some test that you normally take when you get older. It turned out that I couldn’t see him until after Fantasia Fair (a transgender conference that is held every year in Provincetown MA.) but if I wanted to shave my body before I went that would mean I would be seen with my body shaved. I worried over it but in the end, I shaved. When I went to the specialist, his nurse inquired on my shaved body and I told her I was a crossdresser. Even now I still worry about how I will be treated when I go back for the same test again and I worry about going for a mammogram.

I have a friend who fell on ice one winter and at the hospital when they were cutting away her clothes they found out that she was Trans, they stopped and walked away. She could hear them talking about her and calling her “it”. They came back and told her to go home and tale two aspirin. The next day she went to her doctor, he sent her to get a MRI and they found her that her back was broken in three places.

And you wonder why we avoid doctors?

Monday, November 08, 2010

We Have A Governor!

Foley Concedes Race for Connecticut Governor
New York Times
November 8, 2010

The Connecticut governor’s race is finally over.

Thomas C. Foley, the Republican nominee, conceded on Monday that he had fallen a hair short in his bid to defeat Dannel P. Malloy, the Democratic candidate. And though Mr. Foley said that he was still concerned about voting chaos in Bridgeport, the state’s largest city, and other possible sites, he and his advisers could not envision a chain of events in which he would be able to make up a gap of roughly 6,000 votes.

Elder Care

Have you ever thought what you want to do when you get old? Will you move to an assisted living center? Or will you have to go to a nursing home.

For trans-people those questions invoke fear of the unknown. An article on the web-site About.com reports that,
Experts estimate that between 1.75 and 3.50 million Americans ages 60 and over are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Their numbers should increase as the older population grows in the next 30 years. A major challenge in meeting their needs is the limited research on older persons who are gay or lesbian. Even fewer studies have examined the experiences of bisexual and transgender elders. Existing research suggests that older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults are satisfied with their lives. The concerns they express about aging are often the same that other older people typically report. Research highlights several issues that are particularly important for LGBT elders.
Like other older adults, older LGBT persons are interested in housing options, such as continuing-care retirement communities and assisted-living facilities. However, they sometimes encounter homophobic attitudes among fellow residents and some facilities may exclude them entirely. Many older LGBT people express interest in gay-oriented senior housing, but few such facilities exist.
And there are no trans-elder care facilities.
LGBT older persons who live in nursing homes may be especially vulnerable if the healthcare staff is not sensitive to their needs. For example, nursing homes may not allow LGBT residents to share a room with their partner, or some LGBT persons may receive substandard care if they are open about their sexual orientation.
This is even truer for trans-people. In addition, we wonder what wing will be put into, the male wing or the female wing. Will I be stuck in a male ward? Will I be shunned by the other patients? Will I be able to get my hormones or will they be denied to me because they are not covered by insurance? How will Alzheimer or Dementia affect us? Will trans-women be able to get wigs or for that matter will they even be allowed to wear wigs in a nursing home? These are all questions that we should be asking.

However, there is very little that is written on trans-elder care. The report on LGBT elder care, as usual, contains very little on trans issues and deals mainly on issues such as same-sex benefits, inheritance and partner’s access to take an active part in the health care of their partners. A search on Google Scholar find very little in research into elder care of trans-people. So I wish I could give you all the answers, but I can’t because once again all the articles are written for our gay brothers and lesbian sisters even though they tack a “T” in the title. Even an article from the Transgender Aging Network (TAN) is mainly about LG and has very little information on the hardship that trans-people will face in their elder years.

We are going to have to fight for our rights; we are going to have to demand that we are put in the proper wards. We are going to have to fight for our right to senior housing. We are going to have to fight discrimination and bigotry in our old age.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

TG In The Election News

We gained a big win on San Francisco, in Ohio two ballot questions are still up in the air and in Iowa we lost.

In San Francisco, a transgender judge was elected to office…
Victoria Kolakowski, transgender candidate, leads
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
November 3, 2010

An Alameda County Superior Court election remained undecided Wednesday, with Victoria Kolakowski - who would become the nation's first transgender judge - holding a slight lead over John Creighton.

Kolakowski, an administrative law judge for the state Public Utilities Commission, led Creighton, a deputy district attorney, by 50.22 to 48.77 percent, or 3,300 votes out of 230,000 total votes cast, the county registrar's office reported.
In Bowling green Ohio, the anti-discrimination bills are still up in the air and hinge on absentee ballots
Provisional ballots will decide fate of Bowling Green ordinances
Votes now split on two LGBT equality measures
Gay People’s Chronicles
by Eric Resnick
November 5, 2010

Bowling Green, Ohio--After the vote on two equal rights ordinances was split in election-day returns, their fate will come down to provisional ballots.
With all precincts counted and the results posted after 11 pm on November 2, Ordinance 7905 won by 24 votes. The measure had trailed for most of the night. The count was 4,104 to 4,080.

Ordinance 7906, covering equal employment and public accommodations, failed by 116 votes. The count was 4,003 to 4,119.

Kim Welter, the director of the campaign in support of the ordinances, credits the efforts to promote early voting and student voting as the campaign turns its efforts to certification of about 500 provisional ballots.
Will the results turn out like Gainesville Florida, where the university carried the election? Stay tuned for the results…

Mean while in Iowa, there is a good example why I don’t feel judges should be elected nor do I like ballot questions…
Removal of Iowa judges may inspire similar efforts
Associated Press
By Michael Crumb and Nomaan Merchant
November 5, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Emboldened by the success of a ballot initiative to oust Iowa judges who supported gay marriage, conservative activists are looking for new ways to use the power of the vote to strike back against the courts
"For those who impose what we perceive as an immoral agenda, we're going to take them out," said David Lane, executive director of AFA Action, the political arm of Mississippi-based American Family Association, which contributed about $100,000 to the Iowa campaign. He said the group would do so again wherever judges "impose their will on free people."
"impose their will on free people", well sometime the majority are wrong when they impose discriminatory laws on the minor by denying them of their right. It takes an impartial court to rectify the wrongs and if the judges have to worry about reelection or recall, then they cannot be impartial. In addition, outside organizations come in and try to influence the elections with tons of cash. I also have another question that needs to be asked. According to the article…
Lane, of AFA Action, said the distribution by conservative churches of 200,000 voter guides was a big factor that will be effective in future judge-recall efforts.
Churches are 501(c)3 tax exempt organizations, they may take part in legislative lobbying as long as it does not result in expenditures of around 5 – 10% of their budget. However, they may not take part in elections, 501(c)3 cannot endorse a party or candidate. I would be very interested in finding out if those “voter guides” endorsed a candidate, if so the churches could lose their tax exempt status.

As I have said before, I am against ballot initiatives. At one time, they were a good idea, but now they are being used to take away the civil rights of minorities. Outside organizations are dumping millions of dollars to deny the civil rights to the LGBT people. I wrote this when Maine voted to repeal the marriage equality law…
It took 144 years for women to get the right to vote! Only 13 states passed a Women’s Suffrage ballot imitative, but some of those took multiply attempts before they passed, in Oregon, it took six attempts before it passed. However, 16 states did not pass the Women’s Suffrage voter initiatives.

Human Rights should not be subject a popular vote! The LGBT population is only about 5% of the population, but 47% of the people came out to vote in favor of the basic Human Right to be able to marry the person that you love. I do not think that Human Rights be at the whim of the majority.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 343

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 343

1. What is printed on your favorite coffee mug and what makes it your favorite?
I just changed mugs, my old mug was getting worn out and chipped, so I am now using a new mug. My old mug had my name in it and my new mug says, “Field Instructor, UConn, School of Social Work”.

2. Your favorite mug gets a crack in it: do you continue using it or toss it?
Neither, it is on the top self of my mug self.

3. Of the mugs that depict a specific place you’ve been to, which of them is your favorite?
I have a set of mugs with the names of where I worked.

4. How many mugs do you own that have company or organization logos on them, and which is your favorite?
Hmm, I have five mugs from the companies where I worked, even though I never changed my desk, the company was bought out five times and the last time they closed us down. When they closed down and they were throwing out the mugs, I grab ten of them to use down in the den when I have a party.

5. What color are the majority of your coffee mugs, and how did you end up with that color as the predominate one?
They are all different colors, but the majority of them are the corporate blue of my where I used to work.

6. What do you prefer to drink out of your favorite mug: coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Tea, but I also once in awhile have hot chocolate and coffee.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Saturday 9: Watching the Wheels

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Watching the Wheels

1. What do you see when you are watching the wheels go round?
A wheel.

2. Do you watch reality shows? Which ones?

3. What's your favorite all time reality show?
I never watch any so I don’t have any favorites

4. Do you feel "reality" shows are real or are they faked?

5. What does your personal neon sign say to the world?
Feed me.

6. Ever seen a neon sign with certain letters burned out so that it said something unintended?
Yes, “OLD ROC”

7. What gives you a headache? Could be a scent, a sound, someone's actions - anything.
Doing too much homework

8. What song, artist or album in your music collection would you pull out and play if you wanted to give your roommate/neighbors a huge, head-splitting headache?
Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”

9. What do you do to relieve stress?
Go walking.

We Have A Governor! I Think.

Bridgeport just released their results, according to the Hartford Courant
The Bridgeport vote went for Malloy, with 17,800 votes to Republican Tom Foley's 4,075 votes. That margin of 13,725 appears to be enough to overcome the 8,409-vote lead that Foley held before the Bridgeport votes were counted. If the numbers hold up, Malloy will have won the race by a margin of 5,316.
I imagine that will be contested by the Foley camp. So stay tune…

I was listening to a radio show yesterday and the radio announcer was interviewing a first grade girl…

Radio Announcer: I’m going to give you a math test, OK?
Little girl: OK
Radio Announcer: If there are 69,000 register voters and you need one piece of paper for each voter, how many pieces of paper do you need?
Little girl: 69,000
Radio Announcer: There you go, a math test so simple even a first grader can pass

Friday Fill-ins #198

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #198


1. Sometimes, _I hate cold weather_.

2. _I’m glad the elections are over. All the negative ads make me feed up _ about the whole thing.

3. Small _is the number of people who think before they act_.

4. _Connecticut_ is very enlightening.

5. I keep meaning to _go on a diet_

6. _Is it all over_ ...yet. (The final election result were just released by the city of Bridgeport. Three days late.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _the coffee shop to unwind_, tomorrow my plans include _homework_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends and do homework_!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My Story Part 51 – School

This is going to be a short “My Story” because of my internship and homework, so what could be more fitting then to talk about school.

When I was in grades K – 12, I was shy and had only a few friends. The only club that I was a member was the Science Club and all my friends were members, we were the typical geek/nerds. We built this massive 6 foot Tesla Coil that got us mentioned in an article in the local newspaper, which was picked up by the New Times.

My college days were a blur of drugs and rock and roll. I went to Rochester Institute of Technology from 1971 to 1974 and squeaked by with a GPA 2.1 after being on academic probations a couple of semesters, but I finally graduated with a Bachelor of Electronic Technology. I spent many weekends smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and other rock groups of the sixties and early seventies. “Far Out Man!”

Now, it is a 180 degree turn, I am doing fantastic, I have many friends, I am involved in student organizations and I will truly miss it when I graduate next spring.

What I am thinking now is that in another 3 years I can go to state colleges and universities for free… Hmmm.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Money Didn't Buy The Election

After spending more than 40 million dollars Linda McMahon lost and so far the Democrats have swept the state. The governor's is still too close to call, but in all the other major races the Democrats won.

Now I'm heading off to Norwich to take part on a panel discussion on employment discrimination. Its just another busy day.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Get Out And Vote!

Did you know that in Connecticut, that if you vote for a third party candidate who is also is a candidate for another party that the votes are totaled together.

Suppose a Democratic candidate is also on the Green party ballot, the candidate receive the total of the two votes. Say the candidate receives 1500 vote from the Democratic Party ticket and 500 from the Green Party ticket, the candidate total vote would be 2000 votes and if the Republican candidate received 1750 votes the Republican would lose.

Connecticut is one of a few states that tally the votes for the candidate, not the party. Therefore, you are not reducing the votes for the candidate, but you are sending a message that you support the alternative party platform. I had always not voted for the minority party because I didn’t want to let the other major party win by default, but now that I know this I will be voting for the minority candidate to send a message. I wish other states did that, it will break the strangle hold that the major parties have and allow minority party to form.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Schools, Schools And More Schools

With all the student suicides as a result of bullying the U.S. Department of Education sent out a letter reminding schools that they must provide a space learning environment.
Dept of Ed warns schools: Tolerating ethnic, sexual bullying is violation of federal law
CHRISTINE ARMARIO Associated Press Writer
October 25, 2010

The U.S. Department of Education is warning schools: Tolerating or failing to adequately address ethnic, sexual or gender-based harassment could put them in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.

After several high-profile cases of bullying, the department is sending letters to schools, colleges and universities across the country on Tuesday, reminding them of their federal obligations.
The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has issued similar guidance letters to educators in the past. But this is the first time the agency is addressing all statutes, not just those protecting against gender or sexual offenses, and in the context of bullying and harassment, Ali said.

The letter also clarifies protections for students of religious groups and gay and lesbian individuals.

While the laws the OCR enforces do not protect against harassment based on religious or sexual orientation, there are protections for students from religious groups that share ancestry or ethnic characteristics, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students based on gender stereotypes.
In March the Department of Justice stepped into a bullying case in the Mohawk Central School District in New York for not protecting a student against bullying. Maybe now schools will start getting the message that it can cost them money if they don’t protect their students.

In Connecticut a report on the achievement gap in schools, what they found was an eye opener. The achievement gap does not depend upon school system, but rather on income levels. The states richest school systems have the widest gaps.
Ed group says Conn. should close performance gap
Associated Press
Associated Press Writer
October 19, 2010

Improved early childhood education, student curricula, and accountability among educators are among a list of recommendations put forth by a state-appointed education committee Tuesday to help reduce the academic performance gap between Connecticut's low-income students and their peers.

The Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement said the state has the highest achievement gap in the nation but maintained that if the group's proposals were implemented the state would close the gap within ten years.

"Connecticut students on a whole do quite well nationally, but if you dig below the numbers and look at how the low-income group does versus the non-low income group, there's where the most work needs to be done," said Steven Simmons, the commission chairman.
On an interview on NPR the committee chair said that they found a cycle of low achievement, low-income families produced low achievers, which resulted in lower incomes for the children. They found that children from low-income families had only a vocabulary of about 3000 words while middle and upper income children had a 40,000 to 50,000 word vocabulary.

Meanwhile out in Arkansas a Midland School Board member said this on Facebook…
"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves," the posting reads. "The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin."
He has since resigned from the Board.