Monday, February 28, 2011

A Few Words About Wisconsin.

Yesterday, I was watching a streaming video from inside the capitol, I was amazed with the technology that allow me to watch live as the events unfolded half a continent away. First of off let me state that I am in favor of unions; I believe that they have a right to collective bargaining. That's what Governor Walker is doing is to bust the unions. Wisconsin was one of the top states that when it came to a balanced budget, that is until the governor cut taxes.

An article Bloomberg Business Week has a good summary of what is happening in Wisconsin.
U.S. Recovery Might Need Public-Sector Unions: Tom Juravich
Bloomberg Businessweek
By Tom Juravich
February 27, 2011

There is no evidence that public-sector workers in Wisconsin have higher total compensation than their counterparts in the private sector. It is true that a gross comparison shows many public-sector workers earn more, but they are significantly better-educated than most workers in the private sector. When one compares Wisconsin public-sector workers with their real counterparts, as the Economic Policy Institute has done, Wisconsin pays its public-sector workers 14.2 percent less than workers in the private sector.
However, little has been made of Walker’s own fiscal frivolity. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau of the Wisconsin Legislature released a report in January indicating the state should have a surplus of $124 million on June 30, which instead would turn into a $137 million deficit because of some twists in the budget process. Walker, in a special session in January, went on to grant $117 million in tax cuts to business. Clearly it’s not the state pensioners at $23,000 a year who are the real problem in Wisconsin. These corporate tax cuts should be reversed immediately.
Union leaders in the state haven’t been unresponsive to this fiscal crisis. They have already agreed to significant wage and benefit reductions, yet Walker hasn’t budged on the savaging of collective bargaining and refusing to allow unions to collect dues automatically. The manner in which union dues are collected has absolutely no impact on the state budget, but can only be seen as a political move by the governor to eviscerate his political rivals.
Maybe this is what Walker had in mind all along. Destroy the unions and underfund the public sector so that it truly becomes ineffective, and then try to justify wide-scale privatization. While Republicans like Walker see privatization as the magic bullet, Walker’s own botched experiment with privatizing union courthouse security guards in Milwaukee illustrates just how disastrous it can be.
The is not about balancing the budget, but to gut the unions that supported the Democrats. Consider the fact that the governor wants to take away collective bargaining for all the unions except for two, police and fire unions, the unions that supported him in the elections. The Madison Wisconsin newspaper had this to say…
Plain Talk: With ‘Koch’ call, it’s clear whose side Walker is on
Dave Zweifel
Feb. 28, 2011

There is now mounting evidence that this entire anti-public union gambit isn’t even Walker’s own idea, but the first step in an orchestrated national campaign to destroy the power of the union movement and hence the protections they afford to ordinary American workers.

The influence of outsiders first became apparent when the pro-Walker demonstrators showed up at the Capitol Square a week ago and among them was Tim Phillips, whom the New York Times described as “a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.”

Phillips is the president of Americans for Prosperity, which just happens to be the creation of the billionaire coal and oil barons, the Koch brothers, David and Charles. Their Koch Industries, one of the nation’s largest conglomerates, was one of the biggest contributors to Walker’s campaign, as Judith Davidoff of our staff reported last week.
This is not about the budget, but is a part of an effort to deny the Democratic party a major source of funding, the unions by big business, the major source of funding for the Republican party.

The Republicans have away talked about the “Democrats secret agenda”, LGBT rights. Well now, we know the Republicans “secret agenda”, to deny women the right to self-determination and break the Democratic Party.

What ever happened to the Republican cry that it is all about “Jobs”? It has been two months since the Republicans took control of the House. How many jobs bills have they introduced?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Miscarriage = Felony Murder

Yup, you read right. Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill (HB 1) in the state legislature that will require a woman who had a miscarriage to prove it was an act of nature or she can be charged with murder.
Ga. Law Could Give Death Penalty for Miscarriages
Mother Jones
By Jen Phillips
Wed. February 23, 2011

It's only February, but this year has been a tough one for women's health and reproductive rights. There's a new bill on the block that may have reached the apex (I hope) of woman-hating craziness. Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin—who last year proposed making rape and domestic violence "victims" into "accusers"—has introduced a 10-page bill that would criminalize miscarriages and make abortion in Georgia completely illegal. Both miscarriages and abortions would be potentially punishable by death: any "prenatal murder" in the words of the bill, including "human involvement" in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death. Basically, it's everything an "pro-life" activist could want aside from making all women who've had abortions wear big red "A"s on their chests.
Holding women criminally liable for a totally natural, common biological process is cruel and nonsensical. Even more ridiculous, the bill holds women responsible for protecting their fetuses from "the moment of conception," despite the fact that pregnancy tests aren't accurate until at least 3 weeks after conception. Unless Franklin (who is not a health professional) invents a revolutionary intrauterine conception alarm system, it's unclear how exactly the state of Georgia would enforce that rule other than holding all possibly-pregnant women under lock and key.
These Republicans are sick! They are totally off the wall.

They also, want to take away funding for Title X which is health care for low-income women. Title X covers gynecological examinations and basic lab tests, breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing and risk reduction counseling, pregnancy testing, general health screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes and anemia, and other services. It does not cover abortions. For millions of Americans, Title X is the only health care available to them, doing away with Title X will end health care for those low-income people.

Saturday Six – Episode 359

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 359

1. Have you filed your state and federal taxes yet?
Nope, I haven’t even gotten all my 1099s yet

2. When do you traditionally file?
April 15th. The longer I keep my money, the more interest I make.

3. Are you expecting a refund or a balance due this year?
I owe, I owe, It’s off to jail I go.

4. Do you file them yourself manually, with help from software, or do you take it to a tax professional?
A professional.

5. If you are expecting a refund, what would you be most likely to buy with that money?
Refund? What is that?

6. What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever purchased with a tax refund?
Why get a refund? If you are getting a refund you should decrease your withholdings, why give the government an interest free loan. You should adjust your withholdings so you just break even or pay a little at the end of the year.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Never Thought I Would See This In Fox News

I have a very low opinion of Fox News, but they got this right...

I believe that the pensions for government employees are too high, but it should be discussed over the bargaining table. Not be taking away collective bargaining.

Saturday 9: Monday, Monday

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Monday, Monday

1. How does your day usually go on Monday?
Meetings, meetings and more meetings

2. Who was the last band you saw live?
I can’t remember that far back.

3. When was the last time you purchased something over $50?
Does having you car repaired or your furnace count?

4. Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?
It depends upon the setting.

5. Do you wish you were someplace else right now?
Nope. Right here is just fine.

6. Tell us about the last wedding that you attended.
My nephew's wedding this past June down in Asheville NC.

7. What's annoying you right now?
My back and knee. Probably my knee is affecting my back.

8. What is your best skill/ability? Why?
Photography, I like it and it is relaxing.

9. If someone asked a friend of yours, "Hey, what is one thing your friend is exceptional at?", what would they say about you? Why?
Listening. My empathy makes e a good listener.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fill-ins 2011-08

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins 2011-08

1. Ooooh, I _saw that lobster was on sale at the local fish store_.

2. _The kids were play their Rap music_, I can't stand it!

3. How the heck did I end up with so many _single socks_.

4. _The New Britain Museum of American Art_ is one of my favorite places to visit.

5. I'm not a _person who likes tailgate other cars_, I'm not! (This is a hard one to answers, what did other write for this one?)

6. _To the very last drop_ it has to be good.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing _homework_, tomorrow my plans include _helping out at lobby training for the anti-discrimination bill_ and Sunday, I want have to _do more homework_!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Story Part 66 – Under Pressure

When I transitioned, it was different then when a man or woman comes out as gay or lesbian. We all face the pressure to conform but it is not constant, however for a trans-person it is constant. For some of us it is 24/7. For many transsexuals, transition is just as the word implies, they pass from one gender to another and then fades back into society. They are lucky ones who can pass and not be “read” as trans, but for many others who do not pass or are often are read as trans, it is as Shakespeare said, “All the world's a stage” and we are the actors on that stage and we, the actors, face harsh critics each day. By our actions the whole trans-community will be judge, we will be the model for the transgender community whether we want to or not be the poster girl for the trans-community.

Society has a million of ways to show its disproval of those who transgress the gender norms, from snide comments, to little boxes on forms, __ Male __ Female. There are so many little thinks that create tiny little push backs each day, that mount up to a constant nagging pressure that never let you forget your transgressions. I saw a video once, there were a bunch of about 5 year-olds playing, the boys in one side of the room with their trucks and on the other side of the room the girls were playing with their dolls. One little boy was playing with the girls and this other little boy, too his hand and brought him back over with the boys, no words were said he just took his hand and brought him back to where he belonged. That is social pressure being taught, subtle but effective. We learned at a very early age that we have to play a different actor in order to survive, that of a little boy.

Sarah Hoffman writes in Salon in her article “My son, the pink boy” that
A random mom on the playground, looking serious and a little bit concerned, asks me, "Do you think your son might grow up to be gay?"

It's never crossed my mind. Really. Not since that last Random Mom asked me five minutes ago.

Watching Sam on the monkey bars, his long hair blowing in the wind, I say, "I don't know. He's always just liked feminine things."

Random Mom looks at me like she knows something I don't.
That is societal pressure, that gentle little hints, the little smirks, they all pass the message along that you crossed that invisible line. I learned my lesson quickly and well; no one ever guessed that I was trans. O learned my part in the play. I learned that society disproves of those who transgressed the gender norm and I feinted my masculinity well. We learn to act on the world stage quickly. Now I face that pressure again every day, not as an actor on a stage, but more like a model on a runway where all the eyes are on you.

For some of us it gets to hard to bear. There was a sports writer in California who transitioned and for reason only he knew, he detransitioned and a few months later committed suicide. We don’t know why he did it, but my guess it was because it was the pressure to conform. Being a sports writer must have been hard to deal with male athletes all day and when he transitioned back, he couldn’t live with himself as a male. That’s my theory.

I get comments all the time that I’m so brave, I just don’t know how to answers them. On one hand I know what they mean, but on the other I know that if I didn’t transition, I would have lived my life in sadness never having fulfilled life. I would have just been an actor on a stage.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Department of Justice Will Not Defend DOMA

GLAD Statement on DOJ’s Announcement it Won’t Defend Constitutionality of DOMA in Pedersen
February 23, 2011

Statement of Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD Civil Rights Project Director

The Department of Justice announced today that it will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in two challenges pending in the District Courts within the jurisdiction of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, including GLAD’s case Pedersen v. O.P.M. in District Court in Connecticut.

It is extraordinarily significant that the Dept. of Justice recognizes what we have been saying for years in our litigation. Laws that distinguish between people based on sexual orientation are more likely to reflect prejudice against gay people than good public policy. Discrimination based on sexual orientation needs to be justified by the government with exceptionally good reasons rather than being assumed to be permissible. The Attorney General concedes that DOMA fails this test.

This is a welcome acknowledgment but is not the end of GLAD’s DOMA litigation. Ultimately, the courts will decide the standard of review. Moreover, the Attorney General notified Congress that it will not defend the Second Circuit cases and either chamber may step in and appoint counsel to defend DOMA. We are prepared to address head on whatever arguments Congress may make, and bring to an end the harms DOMA imposes on our plaintiff couples and surviving spouses in the litigation and others like them. More information on the litigation and plaintiffs is available at

At this time, it is unclear what effect these developments will have in the government’s pending appeal in the First Circuit in Boston of rulings striking down DOMA in cases brought by GLAD and the Massachusetts Attorney General.

The administration will continue to enforce DOMA, and it will remain in effect until the law is either repealed by Congress or finally declared unconstitutional in court.
But don't hold your breath. Congress can still defend the law and I expect the House to pick up the defense of the case.

Trans-News From India

I came across this article in Women’s eNews about trans-people in India and how one person can make a difference.
Indian Video Activist Puts Transgender in Focus
By Paromita Pain
WeNews correspondent
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kalki Subramaniam's video project for transgender women in India began with her own scholarship in video making. Now she's assisting other transgender women to shoot their own video as a way of breaking out of poverty and abuse.

CHENNAI, India (WOMENSENEWS)--About six months ago Kalki Subramaniam asked herself a question.

"What if India's transgender women created their own media?"

She got her answer recently, when eight brief documentaries--each between two and five minutes--were shown at the Russian Cultural Center here and drew a standing ovation from viewers after the lights came back on.

The filmmakers turned their attention outward. One movie was about the struggles of the differently abled. Another concerned the abandonment of old people. Another showed the way of life of fishermen.
Transgender women here are often forced out of their families and left to find whatever way they can to survive. Many, according to Subramanian, join other transgendered women who, by long tradition in South India, form a familial structure under a "mother" figure. To forge a new identity many take on female names and often conceal their surnames as a safeguard against harassment.

One of the filmmakers who spoke with Women's eNews is Kanchana.

"I live in a slum," she said. "For years my identity was a transgender who begged for a living. The day they saw the camera, instead of my begging bowl, it changed people's reactions towards me forever."
"As the first openly transgender person in my college, my life was a lot about sneering teachers and classmates who thought jokes about gender identity were funny," she [Kalki Subramaniam ] said recently in a phone interview. "But the course taught me to appreciate the power of the media. Mainstream media has usually depicted us as depraved creatures to be mocked for our gestures and orientation."
"Most of the funding that comes into India is meant for HIV-affected transgender people," she said. "What we need are also services to make sure that transgenders are not left open to abuse that increases their chances of becoming positive. Creating an atmosphere more accepting of us will prevent hate crimes, enable us to get educated and thus be less exploited in life."
One person can create change, all you need is a vision.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Those of you who follow my blog, know what I think about the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), well it is not all bad. I give them credit for tightening up their requirements for their Corporate Equality Index (CEI). In the past, a company could get a 100% CEI rating by just offering to cover just one of the five choices and most companies chose mental health care benefits. Now more companies are starting to cover surgery for their trans-employees in order to keep their coveted 100% rating becuase the tightening of the requirements.
More companies covering transgender surgery
By Lisa Leff

SAN FRANCISCO — When Gina Duncan decided to undergo the medical treatment that would make her a woman, she had plenty to fear. The reactions of her children, her professional colleagues and friends. How her body would respond to hours on the operating table. If, at the end of it, she would look female enough so strangers wouldn't gawk.

What the Orlando mortgage banker didn't have to be anxious about was how she would pay for two of her surgeries. Her employer of 10 years, Wells Fargo, included breast augmentation and genital reconstruction as coverable expenses under its employee health plan. Duncan was told the San Francisco-based bank already had had 16 other employees transition to new genders and assigned a benefits specialist to walk her through the process.
With little fanfare, more and more large corporations, including Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup and Walt Disney, have expanded their insurance coverage to meet the needs of transgender workers. The trend follows a concerted push by transgender rights advocates to get employers and insurers to see sex reassignment the way the American Medical Association does — as a medically indicated rather than an optional procedure.
American Express, Kraft Foods, AT&T, Yahoo!, Eastman Kodak, Sears, Morgan Stanley, Price Waterhouse, General Motors and State Farm are among 85 large businesses and law firms that cover the cost of at least one surgery, according to a 2010 survey by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group.
Some businesses see covering the cost of transgender surgery as not only an important human resources statement, but good business sense.

"Wells Fargo elected to offer this benefit to be competitive as an employer and also to support our comprehensive corporate commitment to diversity," company spokesman Mary Eshet said.
Many companies still see coverage for trans-people as elective treatment similar to cosmetic surgery, but it is not. The American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychological Association (APA) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) all said that health care coverage for surgery for trans-people are a medical necessity. In addition, the IRS allows tax deductions for all medical procedures dealing with transition, including electrolysis.

It is time for companies to end their discrimination against their transgender employees.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another Busy Monday and the True Colors Conference

It seems like every second and fourth Mondays are crazy with meetings. This Monday is even crazier than the other Mondays because the True Colors conference is only three weeks away. Since it am interning at True Colors everyone is focused on the conference and we are having our last planning meeting tonight at UConn in Storrs.

The first time that I went to the conference was back in 2002 when it was held at the University of Hartford and was called “Children from the Shadows”. I wrote in my diary (the grammar is “as written” with no correction and the name have been changed to just initials)…

March 24th
The conference was excellent! I had a great time and enjoyed ever minute of it.
So a little after seven in the morning on Friday March 22, M A stopped by my house and we went off to the “Children from the Shadows.” I only had a vague idea what the conference would be like, but when we got to the University of Hartford where the conference was being held the parking lot was starting to fill up. There were a number of school buses and cars in the parking lot already, with lines forming at the registration desk.

We went in and set up the table and before we got settled in people were already stopping by the table. From then on it was none stop people. Some just walked by and glanced at our table, some took our flyers and other stopped and talked to us. They were interested in where to get support, not for themselves but for their students. Because most of the people who stopped and talked, were faculty advisor or guidance counselors. I would estimate that over all percentage of students to professionals to be about 85 percent students to around 15 percent faculty and professionals.

A little later M E came and joined us at the table, she was also going to be on the panel with us. From time to time B, A, J and A2 would stop by and see how we were doing as they were going to various seminars.

There were over two thousand people who attended the conference that day. They came from all over the Northeast United States and Connecticut, students, teachers, faculty advisor, guidance counselors and professional counselors.

All for one purpose to learn more about GLBT issues at the over a hundred workshops and seminars that were offered. After lunch, our replacements arrived, J2 and T M. Then M A, M E, myself and F from the Twenty Club went off to the seminar that we were going to give, “Bridging the Gender Gap”. The seminar was a little disappointing, there were more panel members then the audience, but it turned out all right. It made for a good group discussion and I think we all learned a lot, both young and old. We learned what it is like to be transgender now and they learned what it was like to be transgender back then in the thirty’s, fifties, sixties and the seventies.

When the seminar broke up we went over to the next seminar, this one was presented by M A, F and S G who is from the “Connecticut Women’s Educational and Legal Fund” and was called “The Politics of Peeing”. A catchy title about the legal and political issues of transgenderism. The room was packed and they were even sitting on the floor to listen to the presentation.
M E and myself, along with K from the Twenty Club and another transgender couple from the Boston area were among those in the audience. But all most all of the audience were professional people from the education field. One member was a mother whose son just came out and told her that he was a transsexual. Another member of the audience was a Guidance Counselor from Stratford who was working with a transsexual student who wanted to come out to his parents. The counselor was looking for help in how to prepare in telling the parents about their son. We were the first transgender people that they had meet and they were there to lean from us. They wanted to be able understand and help their students if the need arouse. The question that they asked showed that they were willing to listen and learn what they could.

What did I get out of it? When I waked out of the conference that night, I felt a little pride in that I had helped in some way. I had gained a little knowledge in what it’s liked to be GLBT now. That there are now people willing to listen, learn and help.
This year the conference is March 11 & 12.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

All The World’s A Classroom

What is happening on the streets of Cairo or Yemen or Bahrain or the streets of Madison Wisconsin is truly amazing. It also comes at a time when I am studying social movements and we are getting to watch first hand as they unfold. As we talk about theory of social movements, we can look at Egypt or Madison and analyze what is happening.

I’m reading the Facebook messages from friends as they happen on the streets of Madison. Their impressions, the signs (I love the ones that said “Official Tea Party Grammar Corrector” and “You can’t scare me, I teach Middle School”).

It is priceless.

Now I have to go back to writing the paper.

It’s Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Or Is It?

Do you remember back in November what the Republicans said the number one issue that we were facing, was it women rights or was it jobs? Just look what the Republicans and the Tea Party are focusing on across the country and it is not jobs…
Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.

2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."

3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up).

From MoveOn
Remember this is all on top of continuing the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and tax cuts for big oil. In addition, the Republicans on the House floor were arguing that cutting funding for Planned Parenthood was to stop abortions, but the truth is by law there are no federal funds used for abortions. The funding that they are cutting are for Title X programs for low-income women.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 358

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 358

1. Counting paintings, photographs and other artwork, no matter who created it, how many pieces do you have hanging on your walls in your home?
Oh about a dozen.

2. In which room of your house do you have the most art?
In my office

3. Describe the one that you think is the coolest?
I took this photograph when I was visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Maine. If I remember right, my brother and I were just driving back from an aborted walk (too much snow still on the trail), when I saw this wharf. I stopped the car and I snapped this photo. The wharf is located in Cape Porpoise.

4. Describe the one that has the greatest sentimental value to you.
It is a photograph that I took of my parents. They wanted a photo on their 60 anniversary, and they were posing for the picture, when I snapped a candid photo that turned out to be the best. Sometimes the best photographs are the one that are not staged. What I like about this photo is that you can see their love in their eyes.

5. Take the quiz: What Artist Should Paint Your Portrait?

Who Should Paint You: M.C. Escher

Open and raw, you would let your true self show for your portrait.
And even if your painting turned out a bit dark, it would be honest.

6. If an artist actually asked you to pose (clothed) for a local artists’ group so that they could all paint your portrait, would you do it?
Yes, it would be fun to see how they all saw me.

Saturday 9: Gimme Three Steps

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Gimme Three Steps

1. Has anyone ever got angry with you for flirting with their partner or date?
Nope, never… well maybe. It wasn’t flirting, it was for saying “Wow!” at a keg party back in my college days. This woman passed out on her feet and fell face first on the floor, nothing to stop her fall, just splat face first. I said something like, “Wow, far out man!” Her boyfriend grab me by my shirt and held me again the wall and started to yell at me while his girlfriend bleed all over the floor with a broken nose. Needless to say I left the party right away.

2. What is your favorite movie line or speech? (Set the scene so we appreciate it in context.)
I don’t have any, I usually only watch one possible two movies a year.

3. What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?
Where I am right now in my life.

4. What do you try to stay away from?
Food, or at least I should.

5. What is it too late for?
Turning back

6. If you could write three newspaper headlines, which would come true, what would they be?
Peace Comes To The World
Republicans See The Light And Provide Aid To The Poor
Scientists Find Cure For All Diseases

7. When was the last time you apologized to someone?
I do it all the time, I don’t make excuses.

8. If you to find out now that you would very well known after you die, what do you think it might be for? (Feel free to pick an accomplishment that you have yet to do.)
Helping other

9. Are you easily angered or able to handle every situation calmly?
“Beware the Fury of a Patient Man.”
It takes a lot to get me made, because I do not believe it is worth getting angry over something, tomorrow will be another day and all things will work out.

Now back to the exciting reading for my homework (Yawn) and writing a 5 page paper on the readings.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Friday Fill-ins 2011-07

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins 2011-07

1. New experiences and possibilities _greets each day_.

2. _Seeing the sun was_ unexpected turn on a daily walk _along the Rails to Trails_.

3. I'm looking forward to _the coming of spring_.

4. _The amount of snow this year I could_ never have imagined.

5. Try to find _the newspaper buried in all the snow was an adventure_.

6. _My smile_ is what's extraordinary about me.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to a conference at Yale_, tomorrow my plans include _writing the 5 page paper that is due Tuesday_ and Sunday, I want have to _finish my paper_!

My Story Part 65 – Transition

When I know that I was going to transition, I knew that I had to be able to function in society and that meant shopping. Shopping for food, shopping for clothes, shopping for all of the daily thing that you have to have to live. The first time that I went out shopping was with the support group Connecticut Outreach Society; they had a meeting at a boutique called the “French Butterfly” in West Hartford. I drove there but I couldn’t bring myself to go in to the store. I just sat there staring at all the members inside; I couldn’t bring myself to walk across the parking lot.

Another time I went to a large box store to buy some summer clothes. This time, I went with a friend for support. I wanted her to stay near me while I shopped, but keep within eyesight. I just needed to know that she was there if I needed her. She just shadowed me around the store and was behind me when I went through the check out.

Later, I knew that I would have to eventually have to buy groceries. So I went to a store in the neighboring town. Once again, I couldn’t bring myself to go in to the store and I just sat out in the car and cried. The next morning I tried again and I had the same results, it wasn’t until the third time that I went into the store.

Over time, I got over my fear. However, I still do not like to go to stores that are male territory, like an auto parts store or a home improvement store.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


When a trans-person transitions, their whole family transitions with them, this is practically harder if they are married and they have children. I came across this essay and I want to share it with you.
"The Hopeful Road"
by Shellie Ruge
Posted 2/8/2011

When Randi initially disclosed to me five years ago that she was transgendered, I couldn't find anyone who could give me HOPE that my marriage could survive. I didn't even know yet if I wanted my relationship to survive, but I wanted the option, if that makes sense. The general consensus from everyone, including professionals, was that we would not make it. I think that was just as traumatic as the idea of transition at the time. I was in crisis, and I couldn't really tell up from down yet, but I just needed someone to tell me that staying married to Randi was an OPTION, that marriage and transition was POSSIBLE.

The moment of Randi's could I ever forget the visceral feeling of my heart falling to the floor...that feeling of knowing that my life would never be the same. I couldn't stay in the dark anymore and pretend that this wasn't happening. The moment of truth arrives at disclosure and there is no escaping it, no matter how hard you look for the door, no matter how hard you look for that time machine to take you back to those few moments before the words came out and hung in the air in front of your eyes. There is simply no going back. Then there is that couple polarity when two people love each other: one is relieved that the secret is finally out, and the other is devastated and still trying to find some semblance of reality.

After the initial shock, came the feelings of anger and betrayal. I knew these feelings were a normal part of the grieving process. But I didn't even have a concept of my future either with or without Randi to help me step out of the grief. I was crushed at the idea of not having her in my life, and I was crushed to think of how my life was going to change with transition. I needed a model so I could just see what my relationship COULD look like in the future. I couldn't even put a picture to it or understand my future relationship potential with Randi. I realized that there really wasn't a relationship model for me to follow. If I wanted options, it was going to be up to me.
Today I have HOPE for my marriage; I have HOPE for my future; and I have HOPE for other spouses experiencing the crazy ride of transition. There is no question that it is the road less taken. Unquestionably, there have been many hard moments. But it's a road that has taught me things about myself and others that I could not have experienced without Randi in my life. It's a road that has made me who I am today, and I will forever be grateful for that.
There are no easy answers, there are no guarantees. There is only hard work.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Having my homework on-line is nice because it saves money because I don’t have to buy as many books. It also saves money and time because in the past you either had to spend time in the library reading the assignment or spend money to copy it to take home to read. When it is on-line in pdf format, you just access the reading material on read it off you computer.

However, as I read the assignment, my computer goes “beep” when I get email and it is usually someone leaving a comment on Facebook. So I check it out and leave a few more comments and then my computer goes, “beep”, “beep”, “beep”, “beep”, “beep” because of all the comments that I left. Then next thing I know is that I only read a paragraph in a hour.

I get the most done during the morning because no one else is on Facebook then. Hmm… I think I'll go and play a game of solitaire.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Remember The Tax Cuts The Millionaire Got In January?

Well guess on whose shoulders the tax loss is going to be made up upon?
Obama reportedly to seek changes in Pell Grants
By Darlene Superville
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's budget plan would cut $100 billion from Pell Grants over a decade through belt-tightening but use the savings to keep the maximum college financial aid award at $5,550, an administration official said.
I spent that in one semester and I’m only taking two classes. Let alone two semesters.
The first proposal would end the "year-round Pell" policy that let students collect two grants in a calendar year, with the second grant used for summer school. The official said the costs exceeded expectations and there was little evidence that students earn their degrees any faster.
Um…Mister President, In today’s economy the faster you get your degree the faster you can to begin looking for a job.
A second proposal would reduce loan subsidies for graduate and professional students. That would free $2 billion next year and save $29 billion over 10 years, according to the official.
For many of my fellow students, the Pell Grants are the only way the can afford to get their masters in Social Work and if you are going into practice you need to get a MSW in order to be licensed.
Faced with growing annual budget deficits and a national debt into the trillions of dollars, Obama has said his latest budget proposal would save $400 billion over the next decade, including a five-year freeze on most discretionary spending and cuts to programs that even he cares about.
Mister President o you remember when you extended Bush era tax cuts back in December and it costs us hundreds of billions of dollars? So now you are making up this tax cuts for the rich on the shoulders of the poor.
The Pell Grant program is the primary college financial aid program for low-income students. The program helps more than 8 million students attend college each year, according to the White House, and under Obama the maximum award was increased to $5,550.

Demand for the grants — which don't have to be repaid — has increased sharply since the economic slump because more job seekers are returning to school to learn new skills and they need help paying the tuition, the administration official said.
So now you want to cut them just when they need it the most. (Just for the record, I am not receiving any government funding for my schooling, but I do think those that need it, should get assistance.)

Update: I just learned that another area of cuts is home heating assistance. Yup, lets take away the safety net for the most needy and give the money to the rich, sort of like ‘Robinhood” in reverse.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Do You Believe There Is No Such Thing As A Hate Crime?

People argue that there is no hate crime that if you are beaten because of your race, sexual orientation or gender identity that it should be the same punishment as an “ordinary” beaten. I disagree.
Neighbor: Arson victims suffered anti-gay harassment
Posted: February 5

Clayton, N.C. — Johnston County authorities were investigating a fire Saturday that gutted a home near Clayton and displaced a gay couple who had been victims of harassment for more than a year.
A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash against her, said there have been at least three separate incidents of anti-gay harassment at the home. A note with derogatory language was left in the mailbox, an anti-gay slur was written on the house with marker, and the tires of a car parked in the garage were slashed, the neighbor said.
The difference between a crime not committed because of hate and those that are, is the motive. The motive for this crime might have been to intimidate not only the couple that lived there, but also all the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. To send them a message that they are not welcome in the neighborhood.

We separate levels of punishment by motive in many crimes. Look at murder, if your actions unintentionally causes a death it is the lowest level of murder (in a bar you push someone and they fall over backward, hitting their head and they die). If you should have known that your actions may cause a death, you are punished more than an unintentional death (in a bar fight you pick up a bottle and strike a person in the head and they die). We reserve the worst punishment for what we usually call premeditative murder (in a bar fight, you go out to your car and get a gun, come back in a shoot the person to death). The same is true for a hate crime, if the motive is also to intimidate a person or class of people.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 357

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 357

1. Which is easier for you: looking someone directly in the eye when you’re telling them something that’s very personal, or looking someone directly in the eye when they’re telling you something that’s very personal to them?
I try to look everyone in the eyes when I’m talking to them,

2. Who is the person you find easiest to make eye contact with during a conversation?
As I mentioned in the question above, I try to make eye contact in a conversation all the time.

3. If you could change the color of your eyes, would you?
Hmm, I don’t even know my eye color now, so I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea

4. Take the quiz: What Color Should Your Eyes Be?

Your Eyes Should Be Brown

Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdom
People find you to be: Loyal, honest, and comforting
Your best trait: You are comfortable with who you are, and you don't pretend to be someone you're not
What's hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart

5. If you could choose a new option for eye color, besides blue, green, hazel and brown, which would you choose to add to the genetic mix?

Black or yellow, that would be so creepy

6. If you were given x-ray vision for one hour, where would you go first?
To where they sell scratch off lotto tickets.

Saturday 9: I Saw It on TV

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Saw It on TV

1. What new TV show rocks your world this year?
I don’t know, maybe the one with Tom Selleck, “Blue Bloods”

2. What is your least favorite ethnic food, and what makes it your least favorite?
Asian and Indian food, I do not the types of seasoning they use. I like just your basic soy or teriyaki sauces.

3. When does liking someone a lot become loving that person?
That depends, there is no checklist for love.

4. Is there a job you would do for free, and is it your current job?
What I am doing now, helping others and I am doing it for free. It’s a labor of love.

5. What is one person/thing that inspired you to take action of some sort?
Hearing all the stories from people who have been discriminated against.

6. Though you might not believe in it, would you like fate to exist?
No, then all that we are doing is preordained and we have no choice.

7. Tell us about a news story that truly shocked you
Oh, there are so many that I would not know where to begin, last week a gay couple was firebombed out of their home and this week a survey of 6,450 people on discrimination was released.

8. What's something you're looking forward to?
Graduation, with mixed feelings. I am looking forward to graduating, but at the same time I will miss all my friends that I have made there.

9. What characteristics do you despise?
My weight.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Fill-ins 2011-06

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins 2011-06

1. Family _is so important to me_.

2. _Life sometimes seems like a roller coaster with all its_ ups and downs.

3. Trust _is earned_.

4. _I think everything works out_ for the best.

5. Parents _are forever_.

6. _What politicians do once they are elected bear no relation to_ what was said.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _just doing homework_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a support group_ and Sunday, I want to _finish up my homework for the week_!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Story Part 64 – Little White Lies

When you are in the closet, you get to be very good at telling little white lies. Before I came out to my family I use to have to make up stories about where I was going. When I went to Fantasia Fair in Provincetown, I couldn’t tell my parents where I was going because P’town has a reputation of being a “Gay town”. That might raise too many questions. So I use to tell them that I was going to a computer convention in Boston. Well that created another problem, they asked for the phone number for the hotel in case of an emergency. If I told them the phone for the Bed and Breakfast that I was staying at in P’town then it would have a Cape Cod area code and if they did call and the B&B answered, that would create more problems. A friend came to the rescue, she told me to give them her cell number and say it is too expensive to call the hotel directly and she would pass the call on to me. When I got home, I bought my own cell phone… problem solved

Another time I went to a trans-conference in Woburn MA and also said it was a computer conference. Well the following week when I talked to my brother, he said he had a job interview in the area and he had planned at stopping by the conference, but he got out of the interview late and headed home. Can you imagine if he stopped by the conference and asked where was the computer conference and they told him that there wasn’t one, but they have a transgender conference. A couple of months later I came out to my brother… problem solved (that wasn’t the only reason why I came out to him, but it was the trigger).

At work it was a different problem. I couldn’t tell them that I was going to a computer conference because they would have known that there were no conferences there. So I created another “little white”, I told work that I was going up to my brother’s for the week. However, when I returned from vacation I couldn’t talk about it. I was having the best time of my life and I couldn’t talk about it. All I could say was, “Oh I had a great time at my brother’s”. Imagine what it is like not to be able to talk about the best things in your life, your family, your vacation, your sports team or your hobbies to your colleagues at work, that will give you an idea of how I felt.

Therefore, when I did come out, it was like a dam bursting. You could not shut me up about talking about trans-issues. For fifty years it was all pent up inside me and finally I could talk about, some people said that I went overboard. But I think it was totally understandable.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Court OK's hormone therapy for inmates

Finally some sanity is coming to the court system. This is just one of the many court battles that have gone our way. Another big ruling was last year when the Tax Court ruled that surgery for trans-people is an allowable tax deduction.
Court OK's hormone therapy for inmates
February 9,2011

CHICAGO, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin attorney asked a federal appeals court to reverse a decision and rule constitutional a statute denying hormone therapy to transgender inmates.
The trial judge, U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert, said the statute amounts to "deliberate indifference to the plaintiffs' serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment" because it denies hormone therapy to prisoners regardless of their needs or doctors' recommendations.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Promises, Promises - Part 2: The Republican Attack On Planned Parenthood

During the campaign the Republicans promised that jobs were going to be top priority, now they are in power we find out that their real number one priority was to do the bidding of the far right Christian conservatives. In an opinion column in the New York Times on February 5, Gail Collins writes,
As if we didn’t have enough wars, the House of Representatives has declared one against Planned Parenthood.

Maybe it’s all part of a grand theme. Last month, they voted to repeal the health care law. This month, they’re going after an organization that provides millions of women with both family-planning services and basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t use government money to provide abortions; Congress already prohibits that, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. (Another anti-abortion bill that’s coming up for hearing originally proposed changing the wording to “forcible rape,” presumably under the theory that there was a problem with volunteer rape victims. On that matter at least, cooler heads prevailed.)
The use of federal funds was banded a long time ago Hyde Amendment in 1997 banned abortions, except in the case to protect the mother. So the Republican attack on Planned Parenthood is not about abortion, instead it is an attack directed solely at Planned Parenthood.

In Feministe, Jill wrote,
It’s pathetic, but the media is biting, and anti-choice congressmen are pushing bills that would cut federal funds to Planned Parenthood because of PP’s status as an abortion provider. But more than 90 percent of the services offered by Planned Parenthood are preventative; abortion makes up a tiny fraction of what the organization does. PP provides contraception for nearly 2.5 million patients every year; four million tests and treatments for STIs, including HIV; nearly one million life-saving screenings for cervical cancer; and more than 830,000 breast exams. One in four American women has received care from Planned Parenthood. I certainly have — I was able to get an annual exam and contraception for free at a time when I didn’t have insurance. I was very thankful that PP was there when I needed them.
The effort to defund Planned Parenthood got a boost from the same conservative organization that did the hatch job on ACORN. When all the accusations were investigated they found that no laws were broken…
Brown Releases Report Detailing a Litany of Problems with ACORN, But No Criminality
SAN DIEGO - California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released a report, including newly obtained videotapes, that shows some members of the community organizing group ACORN engaged in "highly inappropriate behavior," but committed no violation of criminal laws.
Videotapes secretly recorded last summer and severely edited by O'Keefe seemed to show ACORN employees encouraging a "pimp" (O'Keefe) and his "prostitute," actually a Florida college student named Hannah Giles, in conversations involving prostitution by underage girls, human trafficking and cheating on taxes. Those videos created a media sensation.

Evidence obtained by Brown tells a somewhat different story, however, as reflected in three videotapes made at ACORN locations in California. One ACORN worker in San Diego called the cops. Another ACORN worker in San Bernardino caught on to the scheme and played along with it, claiming among other things that she had murdered her abusive husband. Her two former husbands are alive and well, the Attorney General's report noted. At the beginning and end of the Internet videos, O'Keefe was dressed as a 1970s Superfly pimp, but in his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, he was dressed in a shirt and tie, presented himself as a law student, and said he planned to use the prostitution proceeds to run for Congress. He never claimed he was a pimp.
The same people were involved with the video that was released against Planned Parenthood, using the same tactics.

What disturbs me more than the questionable tactics and editing is the fact that it was filmed in the doctor’s office. I don’t know about you, but when I go to a doctor’s office I want him to tell me all options that are available to me and I do not want the doctor worrying about if there is a hidden camera recording what he is telling me.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Another Very Busy Day

It is going to be another nine to nine day today, ugh!

I’m leaving my house at 9:00am to go to my internship and I get out of there 3:30, then head over to the meeting on the research project that we are working on. Where we are having a meeting with the agency at Yale that we received the grant for the project. Leave that meeting at 5:30 and head up to UConn Storrs campus for a meeting until 8:00pm and then drive home. I hope that the weather stays good until I get home.

So I leave you with this video about an eye witness of the Stonewall Inn Uprising…

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Promises, Promises - Part 1: The Republican Attack On Abortion

Do you remember during the elections when the Republicans and Tea Party said its jobs, jobs, jobs. So what was one of the first bills that they introduce this year? Abortion rights. Please tell me what that has to do with jobs? There are a number of bills that have been introduced so far dealing with abortion and the meanest one is a bill that redefined rape as only being forced (Which the Republicans have since withdrew under overwhelming pressure).
The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape
Mother Jones
By Nick Baumann
Fri Jan. 28, 2011

Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith's spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

Given that the bill also would forbid the use of tax benefits to pay for abortions, that 13-year-old's parents wouldn't be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn't be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense.
How could the Republicans and the Tea Partyers even conceive of the idea that rape is only rape if it is forced and to make it their top priority in Congress!

It gets even worst; the second meanest bill that they introduced was…
New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion
By Evan McMorris-Santoro
February 4, 2011

The controversy over "forcible rape" may be over, but now there's a new Republican-sponsored abortion bill in the House that pro-choice folks say may be worse: this time around, the new language would allow hospitals to let a pregnant woman die rather than perform the abortion that would save her life.

The bill, known currently as H.R. 358 or the "Protect Life Act," would amend the 2010 health care reform law that would modify the way Obamacare deals with abortion coverage. Much of its language is modeled on the so-called Stupak Amendment, an anti-abortion provision pro-life Democrats attempted to insert into the reform law during the health care debate last year. But critics say a new language inserted into the bill just this week would go far beyond Stupak, allowing hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives.
Do you believe that, the Republicans and the Tea Party want allow a hospitals to be able to turn away a dying woman!

You don’t think that their craziness could get much worst, well you are wrong! Georgia state representative Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) introduced a bill that
Georgia State Lawmaker Seeks To Redefine Rape Victims As 'Accusers'
Huffington Post
Amanda Terkel
February 4, 2011

WASHINGTON -- A Republican state legislator in Georgia doesn't like the term rape "victim." In fact, he has introduced a bill mandating that state criminal codes refer to these people as, simply, "accusers" -- until there's a conviction in the matter.

According to the legislation introduced by state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta):
To amend Titles 16 and 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal law and criminal procedure, respectively, so as to change the term "victim" to the term "accuser" in the context of a number of statutes making reference to circumstances where there has not yet been a criminal conviction; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Jennifer White, attorney for legal programs at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, said that even when victims do come forward, prosecutions and convictions are still often incredibly difficult to get.

"Changing, just for these particular crimes, the word 'victim' to 'accuser' really buys into an outdated and disproved myth about victims who come forward with these kinds of allegations," said White. "I think it's a sad reality that for some reason, it's easier for society, in some respects, to believe that a victim would fabricate this type of crime than to believe that a person is capable of committing certain atrocities. And it really has a chilling effect for victims who already have an extremely difficult time coming forward."
What is it with these Republicans and the Tea Partyers? They get up on their campaign soapbox boxes and say it is the “Economy and Jobs” and the first thing that they do is push their secret rightwing Christian agenda. They are just like all the other politicians they will say anything to get into office.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 356

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 356

1. What was the first car you ever owned, even if it was a hand-me-down?
A Chevy Vega… don’t laugh please. After all it was named car of the year by Car and Driver.
The car burned so much oil, I use to buy it by the gallon and my friends nicked named it “The Blue Streak” after the clouds of oil smoke it left behind.

2. Which car drove better: the first one you ever drove or your current car?
My current car, it never burns any oil.

3. Which car did you feel safer in: the first one you ever drove or your current one?
My current car, it has six airbags, anti-lock brakes and skid control. While the Vega had an all metal dash and a lap belt.

4. Take the quiz: Are You a Good Driver?

You Passed Your Driver's Test

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct.
You're a good driver - at least, when you want to be.

I got 9 out of 10 right; however, the question I got wrong on the quiz was state specific. Here in Connecticut you can only cross the street legally in a crossway or at an intersection.

5. Consider the last “close call” you had with another driver on the road: was it your fault or theirs?
It was my fault. I couldn’t see the traffic light without bending forward to see it and when the car next to me went, I went. Unfortunately, he a left turn arrow and I still had a red light…ops. Luckily nobody on the other side was making a left turn.

6. If you could place “traffic light” cameras at any location to catch any kind of violation, where would you place them and what violation would you be hoping to put a stop to?
I am against them; they are way too much Big Brother. When the proponents of the bill say it cuts down on the number of side collisions it is correct. However, the number of rear end collisions goes up dramatically, with a corresponding number of back and neck injuries. Traffic light camera are just a source of revenue for the cities.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Saturday 9: Margaritaville

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Margaritaville

1. Tell us about a time that you had way too much Jose Cuervo
I’ll tell about all the tequila Sunrises that I had, but I don’t remember much about it.

2. Do you agree with the following statement: "The older you get, the faster time goes by"?
Yes, and I tell you my theory. When you are ten, each year is a tenth of your life, when you are forty each year is a fortieth of your life, etc. So each year gets to be a tinier part of your life.

3. What do you usually do during your "down time?"
Surf the web and play stupid memes

4. When it comes to the opposite sex, do you feel you have a grasp on 'em - or do they continue to just surprise you?
I have a pretty good grasp of them; after all I use to be one of them.

5. What is your hometown famous for?
The Yankee Peddler.

6. How many romantic relationships have you had?

7. What's the best concert that you've ever been to?
Now here we go again, how can you pick one out of so many. I would say the Grateful Dead concert at Dillion Stadium, but I don’t remember much about it… it is also kind of lost in a smoky haze .

8. Which famous person would you like to meet? Why?
The founders of the Constitution. So that I can say, "Hey, you know this little Second Amendment here, well in 200 hundred years it is going to cause a whole lot of problems." Maybe you can just re-write it a little to explain what you meant.

9. Has a newspaper or television reporter ever interviewed you? If so, what were the circumstances and what did you think when you read or saw what you said?
Yes, to both. Some were good, while others where like, “I never said that!” I had one television crew interview for ten minutes and they only used one sentence.

Friday Fill-ins 2011-05

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins 2011-05

1. We are on this earth because _we are to supply a spare part to aliens stranded on Titan, a moon of Saturn*_.

2. _The best classroom is the_ experience _that you learn in life_.

3. One of the hardest things for me to learn _proper grammar_.

4. _Facebook is a great place to get_ connected.

5. I remember _the blizzard of ‘78_.

6. _Being around family and friends_ is one of the best parts of my life.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward have to _read some more of my homework assignment_, tomorrow my plans include _if it is not snowing, going to the coffeeshop in Plainville to listen to some folk music_ and Sunday, I want have to _do homework_!

*The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Gay Marriage In Iowa

He is an excellent speaker. He is the straight son if a lesbian couple.

My Story Part 63 – Hair

Ok, this is scraping the bottom of the bucket, but I have been doing homework all day Wednesday and I don’t time for a long essay. This is about a personal observation that I have about why men and women seem to be on other planets when it comes to room temperature.

I have a theory. When I use to shave off my body hair in the fall, I always felt chilly once I removed my hair. In addition, in the summer I felt warmer once I didn’t have body hair. Before I was on hormones, every year after my annual physical in the fall I would shave off all of my body hair and I was more susceptible to drafts. In spring, I would let my body hair grow back so that in the summer I would have hairy legs and chest. In September, a couple of days after the doctor’s visit, off came the hair and I would feel chilly again. When I began taking hormones, all my body hair disappeared and I was chilly all the time in the fall, winter and spring. However, I now felt hot during the summer.

So here is my theory, the body hair in the winter creates a space where warm air is trapped like a down jacket. In the summer the opposite if true, the hair keeps the moist clothes away from the skin and the evaporation of the perspiration cools the air between the skin and the clothes. Also, hormones play a factor, men have more muscle mass and muscles burn calories, stoking their internal fires. Hence, the never-ending battle of the thermostat.

I'm off to have service in my car and then off to my internship...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Great Debate: Nature v. Nurture

That is the debate that is playing out in the transgender community over the latest studies. There were two studies released last week in brain structures in Male to Female and Female to Male transsexuals, which showed that brains of pre-hormonal FtM transsexuals closely matched those of males and that brains of pre-hormonal MtF transsexuals fell between male and female brains.
Transsexual differences caught on brain scan
New Scientist
by Jessica Hamzelou
January 26, 2011

Differences in the brain's white matter that clash with a person's genetic sex may hold the key to identifying transsexual people before puberty. Doctors could use this information to make a case for delaying puberty to improve the success of a sex change later.
And that is the crux of the debate. Will that be what defines a transsexual? Many trans-people worry that will be the case, no other factors will play into the diagnostic; if your brain is normal then you cannot be trans. Then there is the ethical question, if there is a biological difference, will they develop a test to check fetuses for the trait? If so, will some parents choose to have an abortion? Or a treatment given to children, here take these two pills and you will no longer have those thought of being another gender.

The article goes on to say,
They found significant differences between male and female brains in four regions of white matter – and the female-to-male transsexual people had white matter in these regions that resembled a male brain (Journal of Psychiatric Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.05.006). "It's the first time it has been shown that the brains of female-to-male transsexual people are masculinised," Guillamon [lead the research at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain] says.

In a separate study, the team used the same technique to compare white matter in 18 male-to-female transsexual people with that in 19 males and 19 females. Surprisingly, in each transsexual person's brain the structure of the white matter in the four regions was halfway between that of the males and females (Journal of Psychiatric Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.11.007). "Their brains are not completely masculinised and not completely feminised, but they still feel female," says Guillamon.
If it is true, then for many of us our question will be answered…Why me? It will also have a big impact on the anti-discrimination laws if there is a biological cause.

I believe that this might be one of many factors that might cause transsexualism, I believe that it is a mix of biological and environmental factors. Not only prenatal, but also how a person is nurtured, that it is a blend of both. Maybe if you have the pre-natal factors and you do not have an environmental trigger, you will just grow up with a vague feeling of wrongness. For me, maybe that trigger was the first time I crossdressed and looked in the mirror, there was something that went “click”. Maybe if there was no pre-natal factors and a person crossdressed and there was no “click” it might be something that they out grow crossdressing. The third case is maybe if there were no strong pre-natal factors and a person crossdressed, there might be a weak “click” and they might go on crossdressing.

That is why I believe in a blend of nature and nurturing factors that creates a spectrum of gender identities, that there will be no smoking gun.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


What does the word “Diversity” mean to you?

Does it mean that there is a balance of men and women, white and non-white employees in the workplace or school? Well it means a lot more than integration. In one of my classes, we discussed the meaning of Diversity and I want to write about two of those meanings, genetic and culture diversities.

If you look at Europe, Asian and the rest of the world, you will see one thing that set the United States apart from the rest of the world until recently. Take for instance my fraternal grandparents, my grandfather married a woman from the neighboring town, just like most of everyone else in the world. People usually married someone within 25 miles of their hometown; as a result, the gene pool was very limited. However, for my father that was not true, he married a woman, my mother, that was thousands of miles from his parent’s hometown. Not only that, but my mother had a diverse ethnic heritage, she was part Swiss, part German and part English. That mixing of the gene pool is what makes us such a great country, you can look at as having fresh blood. When you stay within a local region, some traits are inbred and in some regions of the world, you can identify people who are from that area just by their looks. I am not saying anything negative the rest of the world, this came about because people never traveled, if you lived in a village and you didn’t travel very far from your village. If you wanted to move somewhere else, land or a job were very hard to find in your native country, it was America that had both land and jobs as a result we truly were and are the melting pot.

When I went to college in the late 60s and early 70s, the overwhelming majority of students were white. Now it is a diverse population and I have learned so much from other cultures that they brought to school. Every year the Student Organization has a holiday party; there they let people explain their religious holidays and I found it so fascinating to learn about Hanukah, Three Kings Day, Kwanza and other traditions from around the world. We have so much to learn from others.

Diversity at work is much more than numbers. Diversity is good for business. I don’t know how many of you remember IBM back in the 60s and early 70s, but you could always spot an IBMer by their blue suite and thin blue tie. They looked like they were stamped out of a cookie cutter. Well along came this man, he had just invented a revolutionary way to compute numbers for them, and told them that he was a transsexual and he was going to transition. They couldn’t show her the door fast enough. Lynn Conway went on to become one of the great pioneers in computers and was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The process that she invented in 1965 went on to become one of the keystone inventions of the modern microprocessor. IBM also made another blunder, when the PC first came out, IBM wanted nothing to do with it. The world belonged to the mainframe computers; those behemoths that took up a whole room and IBM believe nothing would ever replace them. When two hippies back in the 70s built this little computer in their garage, IBM flipped off the idea thinking that it will never mount to anything more than being a toy. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the founders of Apple went on to become billionaires and IBM shrank to become a fraction of its glory days.

Diversity means so much more than equality in the workplace. It means a rich mix of genes, culture and a different way at looking at things.