Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. I need _a break today, it has been one hell of a week_.

2. _You couldn’t believe how_ lucky we were.

3. A great deal _can be had by all_.

4. _I like my ice tea in a_ big tall glass.

5. It was announced _that what I have been worrying about and planning for the last week was not necessary_.

6. _The Filet Mignon was so tender that you do not need_ steak knives.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading up at the cottage_, tomorrow my plans include _going up Mt Sunapee on the chair lift to go some leaf peeping with former classmates (hopefully the rain will hold off)_ and Sunday, I want to _say good bye to my friends and relax before I head back to Connecticut_!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Story Part 93 – Teachable Moments

The article below reminded me of when I was in a check-out line at the grocery store about four or five years ago. A child of around 12 or 13 who said to his mother, “Look at that guy dressed as a woman”, that could have become a “Teachable Moment” but the mother didn’t step up and teach her son about diversity. Instead you laugh and made fun of me. What do you just teach your son?

There are many “teachable moments” in life and we can teach our children about diversity and how people are all different. I remember when I was younger than the boy, I was out in public with my mother and there was a black person there. I blurted out something like “look at his tan” and my mother sat down with me and told me about how people are all different, she made it a “teachable moment” for me. I don’t remember where or when this happened, but I remember the lesson that she taught me.

This article is about a lesbian who was in a public bathroom…
Dear Lady in the Women's Washroom
Ivan Coyote
September 22, 2011

I can only surmise from our recent interaction that I startled you in the women’s washroom at the mall today. I guess I don’t look much like what you seem to think a female washroom user should.

This is not the first time this has happened to me; in fact, this was not the first time this happened to me this week. Forgive me if I was not as patient with you as you seemed to feel I should have been, but I would like to point out that your high-pitched squeal startled me, and I needed to urinate very badly. Perhaps I was not as gracious as I could have been.
The next time this happens to you, I would like you to think twice before screaming. I would like you to imagine what it feels like to be me. Imagine being screeched at by a perfect stranger. Now imagine being screeched at when you really need to pee, or your tampon gave out 20 minutes ago. Sucks, doesn’t it?
I also would like you to know that trans and genderqueer people suffer from many more bladder infections, urinary tract issues and general pee–related health problems than the general population. I humbly ask you to consider why this might be the case.
See, when you scream at me without thinking in the women’s washroom, you are implicating yourself in a rigid, two-party gender system that tells others it is okay to discriminate against people like me. Even little children who are like me.
We have many “teachable moments” in life, it is up to us to take advantage of them and not let them pass us by.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I just ordered my hormones from a pharmacy located in Vanuatu. Never heard of Vanuatu, we neither did I, I had to look it up. So why do I take a chance on ordering my medication from some on-line company? It is because of discrimination. The company that I retired from has an insurance exclusion for anything related to being trans, therefore I have to buy them myself. So why do I buy it on-line instead of from my local pharmacy, price on-line $168 for a 3 month supply and the local pharmacy charges $310.

So why do I think insurance should pay for my meds and surgery? The insurance companies base their exclusion on 1970s and 80s research that is hopelessly out of date and the following organizations all say that it is a medical necessity…
The Endocrine Society
IRS – treatment is tax deductible because courts have ruled that treatment a medical necessity.

Monday, September 26, 2011

WPATH Issues A New Standard Of Care

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) issued this press release about the new SOC
The Top 10 Things Trans People Should Know About the New Standards of Care

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) today released a newly-revised seventh edition of its Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People. The revised Standards of Care are a critical resource for providers, healthcare consumers, and advocates, and are a step forward in ensuring that transgender and gender non-conforming people receive high quality care individualized for their needs.

Significant features of the new edition include:

  • Recognition that gender nonconformity in and of itself is not a disorder.
  • Strong affirmation that attempts to change a person’s gender identity through “reparative” therapy are ineffective and unethical.
  • Strong affirmation that transition-related treatments such as hormone therapy and surgery are medically necessary for many individuals and should be covered by insurance.
  • Continued emphasis on the individual nature of transition-related care and the flexibility of treatment guidelines.
  • Additional guidance on the treatment of adolescents and children, including guidelines for puberty-delaying treatment.
  • Near elimination of the “real-life experience” requirement as a prerequisite criteria for medical transition in adults, with the exception of some genital surgeries.
  • Discussion of a wider range of treatment options, including voice and communication therapy.
  • Discussion of the preventive care needs of transgender people.
  • Clarification that the Standards of Care should be applied in their entirety to those who are incarcerated or otherwise living in an institutionalized setting.
  • A call for health professionals to advocate not only for their patients – for example by helping them obtain updated identity documents – but also for larger policy and legal reform promoting tolerance and equality.

The revised Standards of Care represent a step forward in ensuring that all transgender and gender nonconforming people have access to high-quality, respectful care responsive to their individual needs.
Download the WPATH Standards of Care

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Are You Better Off This Year?

Well I’m betting you are not unless you are a billionaire…
Connecticut's Billionaires Richer This Year, Along With Many On Forbes List
The Hartford Courant
September 22, 2011

Connecticut's slice of the Forbes annual list of wealthy Americans held steady in 2011, with the same 11 billionaires on the Forbes 400, and most of these very rich got richer.

Thomas Peterffy, founder of Interactive Brokers Group, leapfrogged to No. 60 from No. 209 in 2010, as his net worth soared to $5 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago. That made him the state's third-richest resident, up from seventh.

Once again, the wealthiest Connecticut resident on the 30th annual Forbes list was hedge-fund executive Steven Cohen, whose net worth of $8.3 billion earned him a spot at No. 35. Even though Cohen's net worth rose in 2011 by 14 percent from $7.3 billion last year, his position on the list slipped from No. 32.
But meanwhile the other Connecticut…
Typical CT Families Lost Ground Sharply In 2010 As Incomes Rose For Wealthier
Drop Was Second-Largest Among States
The Hartford Courant
September 22, 2011

Median household income dropped last year in Connecticut more than in any other state except Nevada, even as the state's per-capita income rose by 2.9 percent.

Median income — the point at which half of household earnings are more and half are less — declined by 6.08 percent in Connecticut last year, falling to $64,032 from $68,174 in 2009, according to U.S. Census estimates released Thursday. Estimates are based on the ongoing American Community Survey.

In the same period, median household income for the U.S. as a whole fell by about 2.2 percent, decreasing to $50,046 in 2010 from $51,190 in 2009, the report said.
And the Republicans claim that taxing the rich is class warfare. But at the same time they are cutting the safety net for the middle class and the poor, isn't that class warfare? There is a picture on Facebook that some one posted from the Wall St protest that said "They only call it Class Warfare when we fight back"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. When I walk around my neighborhood I see _a middle class neighbor where the only time you see someone outdoors in when they get the mail_.

2. _Stir fry_ is my favorite thing to cook.

3. Life is _an adventure_.

4. My _slippers_ makes me feel all warm and fuzzy

5. _Apples_ is my favorite Autumn vegetable (in the form of Apple Cider).

6. _Apple cider_ is better when it is _mixed with Captain Morgan rum_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _relaxing and reading_, tomorrow my plans include _supervising my intern_ and Sunday, I want to _go up to the cottage_!

Here We Go Again

The Republicans are once again saying that they are willing to shut down the government and cause another financial crises to get their way.
Government Shutdown Looms: House Rejects Short-Term Budget Bill
Huffington Post
Jennifer Bendery
September 21, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The House on Wednesday failed to pass a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded past next week, a major defeat for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who was banking on having the votes to pass a package that tied emergency disaster aid to spending cuts.
Does this sound familiar? Didn’t we just go through this last July and August? Back then the stock market dropped thousands of points; can we stand that to happen again in this shaky economy? However, this time the Republicans have upped the ante, they are also refusing to increase FEMA funding to cover the disasters from Irene, the tornados in Joplin, Mo and the fires in Texas. As a result forty-eight Republicans jumped ship and voted with the Democrats.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Class Warfare

[Rant] I am tired of hearing the conservatives crying that it is class warfare to tax the millionaires and billionaires and then at the same time they are cutting the safety net for unemployed and the disabled. When you take from the middle class and the poor and give it to the rich; folks that is class warfare.

The conservatives say that the rich create jobs and we have to keep their tax cuts. Well if that was true, then we must not be in a recession, Bush’s tax cut for the super-rich in 2001 should have prevented us from going into the longest and deepest recession in our history and creating the largest deficit ever.

During the Bush years, the wealthiest 400 Americans saw their wealth increase by some $400 billion and are collectively worth over $1.3 trillion. Today, the top one percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90% and earns more income than the bottom 50%. What is trickling down is not green, but brown. More people are unemployed, more people are on food stamps (SNAP), more people do not health insurance, more people are below the poverty level, and more people are working multiple jobs than ever before.

The conservatives say that the tax cuts for big business will create jobs. DuPont between 2005 – 2009 cut their US workforce by 9% while their worldwide workforce grew by 54%, at the same time they were getting tax breaks. The Republicans want to increase corporate tax breaks, while the Democrats want to reward companies that create jobs in the US (Don’t forget that the Supreme Court said last year that international corporation can influence the US elections directly supporting candidates or parties. DuPont’s CIO told AP that, “We are a global player out to succeed in any geography were we participate in.” In other words they do not owe their allegiance to the US, but to their stockholders.).

I’ll tell you what is class warfare, back before I retired, one year we were told that our salaries would be frozen. Okay, in this economy we were happy to have our jobs. A couple of months later we were told that our division met our profit goals for the year and management thanked us for our work in accomplishing the goals. A few days later, our HR director came to me and asked if I wanted to go up to corporate for a reception to celebrated making our goals (we were the only division to make our goals). I went up there with another supervisor and we stood around talking to engineers from corporate that we knew. So here we all are eating those fancy hors d'oeuvres and drinking wine. The president of the company got up on stage and thanked us for our hard work and then awarded our VP his bonus for making our profit goals, his bonus was $300,000! Well engineers being engineers pulled out their calculators and start figuring… knowing the division employment budget and what we would have gotten in raises, they calculated that our total raises for the division would have been around $200,000. So they took our raises out of our pockets and gave it to the VP for freezing our salaries. That is class warfare. And they had the nerve to rub it in our face at a reception that had to cost at least $5,000 with all the free food and booze.[/Rant]

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Today Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed! Today gays and lesbian can now serve openly in the arm forces and I am extremely glad that they can now do so openly. As I say in my profile I believe in Equality, and today gays and lesbian can now die equally for their country; however, trans-people still cannot. A trans-person can still be discharged for who they are.

The LGBT newspaper the Houston Chronicle reports that in Boston,
Gay rights supporters to stage protest in Boston
Houston Chronicle
Published September 20, 2011

BOSTON (AP) — Supporters for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights are marking the end of the military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy by staging a protest in Boston to draw attention to the fact that transgender American are still unable to serve openly in the military.
However, the LGBT magazine the Advocate does not mention that that trans-people are not covered in the repeal of DADT. In the mainstream media, there is nothing that mentions the trans-people are not on the CBS News web-site, nor the Time web-site, nor on MSNBC website, nor on CNN, nor on… well you get the picture. Now let’s see if the LGBT organizations fight just as hard to prevent trans-people from being discharged or will they turn their attention to repeal of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).

When Sen. Lieberman came to the UConn Rainbow Center to talk about DAPT last year, I asked him about DADT and if it covered trans-people and he said no, it only covers gays and lesbian. When I posted that on a national LGBT blog and I got pounced on by over a half a dozen gays who said that I was trying to hijack DADT and make it into a trans-issue. It is a LGBT issue folks, we should be working together to allow anyone to serve in the military, not just gays and lesbians. It was the trans-community that was thrown under the bus again when we tried to fight for our rights.

Just for some background information, all other NATO countries allow trans-people to serve in the military and trans-people have served right alongside of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. So this wouldn’t by like the US military blazing a trail, but more like the US catching up to the rest of the world.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Australia has changed their rules on gender markers on passport and they seem to have jumped ahead of the world in diversity. The Australians added a third option for gender for those who apply for passports, they now can chose a “X” for indeterminate.
Australians have third option for gender on passports
Globe and Mail
By Zosia Bielski
Published Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011

The arrival of a new gender category beyond male and female on Australian passports has revealed an emerging battleground in gender rights: the indeterminate or X category.

Under guidelines released Thursday, Australian passports will now give citizens three gender options – male, female and indeterminate – in an effort to curb discrimination against transgender and intersex Australians as they travel.

Intersex individuals, those who do not identify as completely male or female biologically, can now legally list their gender as “X.” Transgender people, those whose biological gender doesn’t fit the way they see themselves, will not be allowed to tick “X,” but will be able to choose whether they are male or female, as long as they have a doctor's statement that they are transitioning.
Activists in Australia forced the government to reconsider their passport requirement for changing gender markers on their passport,
Passport victory for diverse Australians
The Canberra Times
18 Sep, 2011 12:00 AM

A transsexual Canberra woman has forced the Australian Passport Office into an embarrassing backdown, after the office admitted guidelines it relied on to reject her application to change her passport didn't exist.

Required to travel overseas for work, Marcelle, who asked not to have her surname published, applied to the Australian Passport Office for a female adult passport in November last year.

She was refused on the grounds that her birth certificate said she was male and that she did not meet humanitarian guidelines.
However, the Australians are not the only country considering to change their passport regulations…
The gender-free British passport: UK travellers may no longer have to declare their sex, to spare feelings of 'transgender people'
Daily Mail
By James Slack
19th September 2011

Britain is preparing to rip up centuries-old rules by introducing passports which do not contain details of the holder’s sex.

The move, following pressure from the Lib Dems, is designed to spare transgender people and those who have both male and female sexual organs from having to tick ‘male’ or ‘female’ on their travel papers.

Currently, everybody must identify themselves as a man or woman, even when they are undergoing a sex-change operation or if they are considered ‘intersex’.
To satisfy international laws, the passport would still list a category titled ‘sex’, but would then contain a simple ‘X’ for everybody.

Supporters say it will solve the problem of embarrassing situations at border controls, where people whose sex appears to differ from that in their passport are grilled for long periods by guards.
One backbench MP, Julian Huppert, said: ‘There does not seem to be a need for identity documents of any kind to have gender information. It is not a very good biometric; it is roughly a 50:50 split.

Military ID, such as the MOD90, which obviously can have quite a high security clearance, contains no gender information. That might be what we should look at.’
Three cheers for the Brits…Hip, hip, hooray! Finally some sanity! Why do you need gender markers on passports? You have a picture to look at, how do you know what they got under their clothes?

What is the US State Department regulations on passport for gender?
In June 2010, the Obama Administration announced a new policy for updating gender markers on passports and CRBAs. For the first time, the June policy enabled transgender people to a passport that reflects their current gender without providing details of specific medical or surgical procedures. Instead, applicants could provide certification from a physician that they had received “appropriate clinical treatment” for gender transition. This policy was the result of years of advocacy, and represented a significant advance in providing safe, humane and dignified treatment of transgender people.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It Is All About The Children

I don’t know how many times that I have written that title. It seems that children bring out the worst in adults. The adults always claim that they are looking out for the wellbeing of the children, but really they are imposing their bigotry onto the children. Last week I wrote about a child who transitioned in England, this week it is about a trans-child down in Georgia.
Georgia school denies use of boy's bathroom to transgender child
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Christian Boone
September 14, 2011

The father of a 7-year-old born a girl said the second-grader, prohibited from using the boys bathroom at school in McIntosh County, has never fit traditional gender roles.

At 18 months, the child told Tommy Theollyn, 28, "I'm a boy."

The child's father, who gave birth a year before beginning his own gender transition, said he wants school officials in this rural southeast Georgia county to view his son the way the child has always viewed himself.
There was little controversy at the time [when he transitioned] because D. was attending a more liberal private school in Atlanta, his father said. Financial problems forced Theollyn and his son south to McIntosh County: population 14,333.

Theollyn met preemptively with his son's teacher, who said she would accommodate D., allowing him to use the boys facility when it was unoccupied.

After D. was told to use the girls bathroom instead, Theollyn arranged a meeting with McIntosh school superintendent William Hunter, who threatened to alert the state's Child Protective Services division about the situation. The superintendent did not return calls for comment from the AJC; Theollyn said CPS was never contacted.
The threat of calling the state child protection agencies is very real and they can make life hell for the parents and children when they step in. There are many cases where they removed the child from their parents and their parents arrested on child abuse. One of the things that child advocates recommend is to create a "Safe Folder" which contains information with proof that you are working with therapist or anything that proves you are seeking professional help for the child, that you are following standard medical treatment. It is kind of sad that you have to worry about protecting yourself and your child from over zealot state agencies, but that is what you have to do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

all In The Family

I'm heading off to Connecticut Pride on Hartford, so for now I'll leave to watch this episode of "All in the Family" where Archie saves the life of a transgender person...

This episode I have mix feelings about, on one level it uses a trans-person for comic relief but on the other hand it is educational.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday 9: Tuesday Afternoon

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Tuesday Afternoon

1. Where will you be and doing this Tuesday afternoon?
Sitting in the Function Room at Hartford City Hall for a Commission meeting

2. Do you belong to any group(s)?

Several and I am on the Board of Directors of a non-profit

3. Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? (If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend?)

It depends, some people keep rambling on and on off topic.

4. Is there a role you naturally put yourself while adapting when in group situations?
Listener, I tend to listen and absorb the facts before I speak. Unlike the ramblers who rather talk to hear themselves talk.

5. In business or formal situations, do you mind hugs or are you offended if it goes past a handshake?
It depends, I usually like handshakes. But sometimes when it is in a formal setting and the other person is in the seat of power (like the chairman or a political figure) they use the “hug” to show that they approve of you (unless you are Julius Caesar, then a hug might get you a knife in the back).

6. Do you find what we'd call “ice breakers” a playful way to build community in a lighthearted manner, or a complete and utter hell of forced fun and awkwardness?
I hate ice breakers!!!!!!!! I had to use them when I ran a meeting during my internship. Yes, they have their advantages to get group dynamics going, but only for a causal group.
I’m use to business meetings… can you imagine starting a meeting with the VP, general manager, project engineer and the customers equivalent staff there and the VP says, “OK we are now going think of an animal that we want to be and why.” I think that would go over like a lead balloon.

7. What word do you use far too frequently?
Um. Um let me see I understand that. Um. I think Um that Um…

8. What word do you use not frequently enough?
Hmmm… that is a tough question because if I knew I would use it more. I like to listen first and get a consensus. When I’m supervising I don’t order people, I ask them and I always thank them.

9. What word do you use when swearing is not appropriate?
Darn nab it! Or “fiddle sticks”

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Why do I _crave lobster_.

2. _I am debating whether or not_ to stay.

3. By far the most important _thing is to be loved_.

4. _Politics is dividing_ American. _I wish people would just take the time to research the issues and learn from past mistakes._

5. But when _will they ever learn_.

6. _I was in denial_ for the longest time.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading by the fire tonight_, tomorrow my plans include _going to Pride_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends_!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Story Part 91 - Intern

While I was in college I had to do two internships. My first internship was with the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) and I was mainly working to help pass the gender inclusive anti-discrimination law. I enjoyed being a part of the effort to pass the law and I also enjoyed working with the people at CWEALF, I made some lasting friendships. And I learned a lot.

My other internship was with True Colors, and I can say the same thing about them. They were a good crew to work with and it was interesting to work with the other interns, especially the high school and undergrad students… boy do they have a different view of the world.

For my internships I had to sign an Educational Contract where you agree to learned stuff and the agency agrees to teach you stuff. For an example, my contract said my work hours were…
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00 – 3:00 (1/2 hours lunch)
Starting Date: September 13, 2010
Completion Date: April 22, 2011
And it required certain work environment and skills,
Objective: To gain knowledge about diverse populations and ability to work with a range of populations served by the agency.
Assignments and experiences:

Diana will be interning at [the agency’s name] which serves a diverse youth population with different socioeconomic, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations and gender identities or expressions. In addition, she will be working with staff from other organizations around the state. She will be leading the planning sessions for the annual conference held in March at UConn’s campus in Storrs.

Objective: To gain practice skills informed by social work values, knowledge and theory in the student’s method concentration. (Identify the method concentration and the skills to be learned).
Specific objectives:
Community Organizing
Assignments and experience:
Diana will be working to organize and train the GSA’s on the legislative process and on the gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill. In addition, she will facilitate the planning meetings for the True Colors conference that will be held in the spring and she will be looking for way to increase the number of Community Organizing volunteers for the conference. She will also research LGBT scholarships and information on Intersex (Disorder of Sexual Development) to update the conference Resource Guide.
Then I was graded on how well I met my goals.

Now that I have graduated with my MSW, I can supervise interns. This semester, I have an intern that I am supervising and it is a lot harder on the this side, filling out the paperwork and attending field supervisor training (in October). The training should be boring, the title of the workshop is “Helping Students Wrestle with Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work", now that is all well and good for case work or group work, but for someone whose concentration is “Community Organizing” it falls a little flat. Oh well, it is for a good cause and it will be interesting to see how they deal with a trans-person.

One of the reasons of why I went back to college to get my Master’s was to help the trans-community. When I was told that they were going to shut the factory where I worked for 28 year, I asked friends “what is the best way to help our community” and the answer came back, get your MSW. My intern is trans and I am trans… this might be the first time that a trans-social worker is supervising a trans-intern, at least for the college that she is attending.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When Children Transition

More and more children are coming out as transgender. Why?

No one really knows, but my guess is that they now have positive role models. I don’t think that there is any change in the number of trans-children, but now they feel safer and now they see other children who have come on and they now have a vocabulary to describe their feelings. Also parents and others are better at recognizing the signs of transgenderism. Some of the children are transitioning in elementary school and in kindergarten. Many times the classmates are accepting, but their parents are not,
Mother of transgender girl says adults, not children, taunt her
by Staff Writer
September 12, 2011

The mother of a ten-year-old transgender girl in Worcester has told how adults, rather than children, taunt and harass her daughter.

The 36-year-old woman, who has not been named to protect her daughter’s identity, told the Worcester News that while the girl’s classmates had largely accepted her, other parents and adults had not
Her family took the decision over the summer to allow her to return to school as a girl and say her headteacher has been “fantastic” about the issue.
“Some of the parents were unhappy she was allowed to go into the school. They were walking past, coughing, and saying, ‘That’s that freak family. That’s that freak child’.”

She added: “I don’t expect people to understand. I just don’t want people abusing my child.

“I don’t want her to be called a freak. I want her to be left alone.”
Hate is taught. What are the parents teaching their children? That it is OK to be a bigot?

When I read or hear about stories like this, the song from South Pacific, Youve Got To Be Carefully Taught comes to mind…
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

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

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!
Oh, it is so true. Bigotry is passed along generation to generation and we have to break the chain.

There is one other thing that I want to mention, I hear a lot of older trans-people say, “Oh the kids have it so easy now a days”… WRONG! They do not have it easier, just different. In our childhood we learned at a were early age not to discuss our feelings of being trans or we were picked on out in the playground. But it can be a hundred times worst for an “Out” trans-child and they are at an age when they haven’t learned coping skills yet. So please stop and think before you say that they have it easier.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Deadly Washington DC

If you are trans, Washington DC is becoming a place of death for us. The third attack on a trans-person this summer happened this week. WTOP reported
The latest incidents occurred Monday morning, when a transgender woman was shot in the neck and drove herself to a police station, and a group of three transgender women were attacked near a Metro station on Minnesota Avenue.
At least seven muggings of transgender women also have occurred in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood of D.C. over the past three weeks. And all of the attacks come after two transgender people were attacked -- one killed -- on Dix Street in Northeast in July.

Police additionally are investigating the death of an unidentified transgender woman wearing makeup, blue shorts, a black and purple jacket and carrying high heels who was found unconscious in the 2600 block of 11th Street NW early Saturday morning.
This was on top of a dunking off duty Washington DC police officer who fired several shots into a car with five trans-women in it. WTOP reported that,
WASHINGTON - An off-duty D.C. police officer who is in jail for shooting at members of the transgender community stood on the hood of the car while firing his Glock 9, according to court records.

Court papers say Officer Kenneth Furr fired multiple shots into the car with five people inside. One victim was hit multiple times.

Furr is in D.C. jail but segregated from the general population for his safety since he is a police officer.

As he was standing on the hood of the car, court records say Furr shouted "I'm gonna kill you."
Meanwhile just north of Washington in Baltimore Mayland, the sentencing of the woman who brutally beat a trans-woman at a McDonald’s is today (I blogged about it here), the juvenile who also took part has already been sentenced and is serving time in a juvenile facility.

Update: 11:25am

I just came across another story about Washington DC...
A D.C. Department of Corrections officer is under investigation for making death threats against two women, one of them a transgender inmate.

The officer allegedly threatened to kill the transgender inmate and an activist that works with transgender individuals after the pair complained to authorities that the officer was harassing the inmate and behaving in a trans-phobic manner.

Update: 12:20pm

The woman in the McDonald's beating was sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years suspended. I think it should have been a lot longer, but at least she pleaded guilty and the victim did not have to testify.


Monday, September 12, 2011

This And That In The News – Health News

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment about. There are three articles about health care that caught my attention today.

The first article is about the training of medical students, how training on LGBT patients is almost non-existence…
Medical Schools Pay Less Attention to LGBT Needs: Study
Schools & Degrees
By IBTimes Staff Reporter
September 8, 2011

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals experience health and health care disparities and have specific health care needs.

Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in the study suggested that the medical schools spend very less time teaching students about the health issues the LGBT community faces.

“It is just five hours in the entire curriculum.”
As many of you know, I do outreach at local universities and colleges, and one of the universities that I do outreach at is a medical school. At the medical school the 2nd year med students get a half hour on “focus on [medical] history taking and rapport building with LGBTQI community.” A half hour panel discussion on “their experiences as LGBTQI individuals with emphasis on interactions (both positive and negative) with healthcare providers and Q & A from students” and then the “Panelists [A few LGBT speakers and me] spend time in small groups with students and faculty (Q & A from students)” for a half hour. That is all the training that they get a total of ninety minutes and that half hour breakout session in small groups is really more like 15 minutes. By the time we walk to the classroom and the students get settled we only have time for one or two questions. So for the 90 minute session we answer maybe six questions total. Whoopi!

The next article is also about the study,
GLBT Issues Absent From Med School Courses
Boomer Health & Lifestyles
Posted by Caitlin Bronson
September 8, 2011

Another overarching concern is that GLBT patients may not have access to care. According to study author Mitchell Lunn of Harvard University, many are reluctant to come to a new doctor because they must face the process of “coming out” again.

“There is a lot of fear about how that is going to go,” Lunn explained in a statement. “The fear of discrimination has pushed some people away from the doctor and some never return.”

Lunn said the findings were particularly concerning because it shows that medical schools are ignoring health factors that affect a growing part of the population. He said that doctors need to be able to ask “potentially embarrassing questions” and have some background in the specific needs of his or her GLBT patients.
This is so true, before I transitioned, I avoided going to a doctor when I had a high fever because I feared that he would ask me why I shaved my body hair. I hate having to go to a new medical facility or doctor, I have to come out to them and go through “Trans 101” to doctor and staff… so much fun [Not]. I know of trans-people who the staff referred to as “it” and refused to treat. I know trans-people who when they were in the hospital, it was like a freak show, all the staff had to come in to her room and see the tranny.

The last article is about diversity,
BlueCross' push for diversity incurs wrath of conservative group
Chattanooga Times Free Press
by Andy Sher
September 8, 2011

NASHVILLE — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender business owners in a push for supplier diversity is generating fire and brimstone from a conservative Christian advocacy group headed by former state Sen. David Fowler.

In an email, the one-time Signal Mountain attorney who is now president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee accuses the Chattanooga-based insurer of having "officially joined the 'culture wars' with a quiet little move."

"Appears that the insurer is trading in its traditional blue for a rainbow of colors," jabbed Fowler, alluding to the color blue BlueCross uses in promotions and the multicolored gay-pride flag.

He cites an Aug. 24 letter BlueCross sent to company suppliers. In it, BlueCross states the company, through its Supplier Diversity Team, is "passionately adopting the spirit of diversity within its supplier business relationships," including lesbian-, gay-, bisexual- and transgender-owned businesses.
David Fowler was the state senator who passed a law banning cities and municipalities from passing an anti-discrimination law that is more inclusive of the state anti-discrimination law, now he wants to control what private businesses can do… hey wait, I thought conservatives were against dictating what private businesses can do. Oh I guess that doesn’t apply to things about the LGBT community.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It Is Chili Making Time

I made a crock pot of chili today. When the green and red peppers go on sale, I buy one or two each and chop them up along with the other ingredients. My recipe that I use is a simple basic recipe...
~~ Diana's Chili ~~

  • 1 LB. Lean chopmeat or Beef Cubes
  • 1/2 LB. Salt Pork
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 16 oz Can Red kidney beans
  • 16 oz Can Pinto beans
  • 2 - 16 oz Can Tomato sauce
  • 2 TBS Cumin
  • 2 TBS Chili power
  • 2 TBS Minced garlic
  • 1 Cups Water ( Option - Beer )
  • 1/4 Cup Corn Flour
  • Tobasco sauce

Cut the salt pork up into 1/4 inch strips. Brown the chopmeat and salt pork in a skillet. Coarsely chop the onion and pepper. Except for the flour and the Tobasco sauce, add all the ingredients into a 4-quart crock pot and simmer on high for 4 hour. Stir in the flour to thicken. Season to taste with the Tobasco sauce.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Saturday 9: Ready or Not

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Ready or Not

1. When severe whether happens, generally speaking, are you ready for it?
I am prepared. The problem is that for the next week I will be eating all the can food that I bought for hurricane Irene.

2. If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would it be?
To be able to sing in key.

3. What do you strive for in life?
A lobster dinner every night. Instead of a chicken in every pot, I want a lobster in every pot.

4. If you were given a vacation home and you could have it anywhere, what location would you choose?
New Hampshire on a lake… Oh wait, I have one already. Then maybe one down in Key West.

5. Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend?
I’m not good in a group situation. I’m usually the quite one in the group.

6. When you're sick do you take "sick days" or do you force yourself to continue working?
Well since I’m retired, I can take all the sick days that I want. However, when I worked, I took sick days.

7. What is your absolute favorite piece of furniture you have and why?
The living room couch, it is front of the fireplace and I like to lay down and read there. Like I’m doing here at the cottage.

8. When you go out, where do you like to go? What do you like to do?
I like to go out have dinner with friends and watch a play afterward.

9. How's life? Is it treating you well right now?
So, so. It’s boring during the day, but at night I’m usually busy.

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Do they have _Moose Track ice cream_.

2. _The rain never let up for three days_; it was as if _rain was the new normal_.

3. That was a _some storm; some people didn’t get their power back for over a week_.

4. _My new shoes_ seemed so comfortable.

5. As I said, _you can’t have it both ways_.

6. _Every time I finally learn Microsoft Word, they add_ some new twist.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _relaxing and reading_, tomorrow my plans include _going to my cousin’s restaurant for a New England lobster dinner_ and Sunday, I want to _go over to my cousin’s for a family get together_!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

My Story Part 90

This week it is not about me, it is about all of the people who have tried to or have commit suicide. This week is national suicide prevention week.

Before I came out I never knew anyone who committed suicide, unfortunately that is not the case anymore. Since I have come out, one acquaintances has committed suicide and three others have tried it. Through the support group that I attend and the public speaking at schools and colleges that I do, I have learned that so many of my acquaintances have attempted suicide that I have lost count. I have seen their scares on their wrists.

A national survey of transgender people found that,
A staggering 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population, with rates rising for those who lost a job due to bias (55%), were harassed/bullied in school (51%), had low household income, or were the victim of physical assault (61%) or sexual assault (64%).
From the National Suicide Prevention web-site,
What Are The Warning Signs For Suicide?
These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. Seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following signs:

Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
Talking about being a burden to others.
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
Sleeping too little or too much.
Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
Displaying extreme mood swings.
Here are two important phone numbers,

National Suicide Prevention Hotline… 1-888-628-9454

For LGBT Youth… The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Poll Results.

First off, the results are in no way scientific and second; I have no way of knowing if they read my blog entry or if they watched the video before they voted.

About forty percent thought that the media hyped the hurricane. However, over eighty percent were from outside of New England and they didn’t witness the Tropical Storm wind and rain first hand. They didn’t see the center of their town flooded or photos of their friend houses flooded waist high in water or worried about a friend who lives in Vermont that you haven’t heard from since the Irene.

When I went up to New Hampshire for the Labor Day Weekend, many of the roads that I saw from the highway were washed out. Interstate 91 south bound was closed in Deerfield because of damage to the bridge over the Deerfield River. I was thinking about visiting my friend in Vermont, but there were signs along I-91 that said Rte. 9 westbound was closed.

Thirty percent think the budget should be cut before those whose homes were washed away get relief. However, over eighty percent are from outside of the disaster area and are sitting in a warm dry house. Of all the Republican candidates, only Rick Perry seems to have a realistic view of FEMA maybe that is because his state is always getting hit by natural disasters.

Many times I have gone out to eat with my cousins and we usually pick a restaurant in Vermont because it is kind of like midway for all of use. One of the restaurants that we want to go to was Simon Pearce in Quechee VT. This is the restaurant’s web-site (how peaceful it looks in the photo) and this is a video of it during the floods…

What is amazing is the volume of water in the gorge; this is a painting of the covered bridge just about a couple of hundred feet south of the restaurant.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

This And That In the News – I Fought The Law And The Law Won

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment about. There are four articles about trans-persons and the police that caught my attention today.
D.C. Police Officer To Appear In Court For Shooting At Transgender Women
By: Armando Trull
September 2, 2011

D.C. Police Officer Kenneth Furr will appear in court Friday to answer charges that he shot at five people inside a car, wounding two transgendered women and their male friend during an early morning altercation last week. Activists call it the latest evidence of homophobia and transgender phobia within the police department.

Court documents quote witnesses as claiming that Furr, who was off duty and in plainclothes at the time, stood on the hood of the victims' car and shot through the windshield while yelling, 'I'm going to kill all of you."
This is one of the major fears of the trans-community, police brutality. I know a number of trans-persons that they were victims of discrimination or outright assault. A black trans-man that I know said that before he transition he (as a female) in a primarily white neighborhood where he lived, could walk down the street without being questioned by the police, but now as a black man, he is routinely stopped by the police and questioned. Another trans-man friend was stopped for a traffic violation and when the officer saw that the gender on his driver license didn’t match the way he gender he was presenting as, the officer dragged him out of the car and threw him on the hood of the car, all the while the officer was called him by derogatory names. He was still binding (wrapping tight bandage or elastic material around the chest to hide their breasts) and officer made it a point to feel there to see if he had any hidden weapons.

Then in Canada…
Transgender woman sues city for false arrest
Published: September 01, 2011

A transgender woman who claims police officers yanked her from her car at gunpoint and mocked her because of her sexual orientation is suing the City of Winnipeg for allegedly breaching her rights against unlawful and unjustified detention.
Cox, who is in her 30s, says she was alone and out for a drive on the early morning of June 14 and pulled into the St. James Civic Centre’s parking lot to have a cigarette.

Shortly after, the police helicopter appeared directly overhead, followed by squad cars that boxed her vehicle in.

She alleges officers with guns drawn forced her out of the car and to the ground before being kneed in the back, roughly handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.

Her vehicle was searched and officers mistakenly believed another person was inside, Cox states.

While in the police car, she “could hear some officers talking in chuckling voices saying ‘he’s a tranny,’” the lawsuit states.

Cox claims she was released shortly after, offered an apology and told officers were investigating a possible break in nearby.
OK, maybe there was a burglary in the area, but that in no way justifies the mockery that she had to endure. There is no reason why the officers did not behave in a professional manor.

The next article is about the police treatment of a trans-woman in Florida…
Sensitivity Training - Wilton Manors Police Department
South Florida Gay News
Written by Victoria Michaels
Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A new report released in July found violence against transgender individuals is on the rise nationally. Certain segments of the population were disproportionately effected in 2010 and the incident of violence against LGBT individuals rose 13 percent according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).
Back in 2008, shortly after I had won the Miss Florida Pageant I was on my way to work and was pulled over by a Wilton Manors Police Officer. When he approached the window of my vehicle he seemed very friendly and referred to me as "Miss." After engaging in some friendly conversation he asked me to sit tight as he would run my drivers license through the system and suggested if I had a clean driving record he would issue me a simple traffic warning.

When the officer returned to my vehicle I was taken by surprise as his demeanor had completely changed and he began referring to me as "Mister" several times. I explained to him that I was a transgender female and he responded, "But you were born a man weren't you?" He added, "So you are still a man!" I was in tears because I felt humiliated. I asked him why he was disrespecting me, but he continued to be rude and hateful. He ended the conversation by once again referring to me as mister and issuing me a traffic citation.
To my shock and disappointment in September 2010 Wilton Manors Chief of Police Richard Perez was suspended 30 days without pay for sending out racist emails and was ordered to attend "racial and cultural sensitivity training." Perez was eventually forced to resign or be fired.

In July 2011 Sgt. Peter Bigelsen resigned after being accused of making "hateful" comments about blacks and Hispanics. It seems obvious that the "sensitive training" agreement that was signed in 2008 was perhaps a hoax to silence me from bringing my incident to the media.
They can have “sensitivity training” up to their ears, but if the administration does not enforce the policies or does not create a culture of respect then all that training is meaningless.

The last news article is about a trans-woman who was beaten with a baseball cap…
Police unsure if attack on transgender woman a bias crime

Seattle Times
By Christine Clarridge
August 30, 2011

Police are continuing to investigate an attack against a 21-year-old transgender woman who was beaten with a baseball bat in Ballard but have stopped short of labeling the assault as a bias crime

"We just don't have enough information at this time to know if this is a quote-unquote hate crime," said Seattle Police Department spokesman Mark Jamieson.

"Just because the victim is a transgendered person does not necessarily mean it was a bias crime," Jamieson said.

According to police, the victim reported that she had been crossing the road at 28th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 67th Street on Aug. 16, headed toward her home, when a woman with a baseball bat, and a man, started following the victim.

The woman with the bat approached the victim, according to a police report taken four days later, and said, "I don't want to see you around the skate bowl anymore." The Ballard Commons Park, at 5701 22nd Avenue Northwest, has a skate bowl.

The bat-wielding woman then struck the victim on the side of her head with the bat, the victim told police.
It seems to me that this was a hate crime because the attacker was transphobic, she worried about a trans-person hanging around the park. Her bias against trans-people was what motivated her to try to bash in the head of the trans-woman.

I am always aware of the possibility that someone might become violent because I am transgender. I am always cognizant of my surroundings, I imagine that women are also more aware of their surrounds, but I think it is even more so for trans-women. When I was in an accident on the Maine Turnpike a couple of years back, the accident wasn’t on my mind; it was how was the state trooper going to react to me being trans. As usual, I had nothing to worry about, he treated me in a professional manor and with respect. Maybe that is the difference between a Blue state and a Red state.

Monday, September 05, 2011

I Was Up At The Cottage For The Holiday Weekend

I just got back from the cottage and it was nice to be with my brother's family again. I am so lucky to have a family like that.

I will be back tomorrow with a new blog entry.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. When I was 10 years old _I hated school_.

2. _Corn on the cob_ is my favorite vegetable because _it is so fresh and it is fun to eat_.

3. My dream pet is _a dog, nothing fancy, just a mutt_.

4. _Love_ surrounds you.

5. If I could live anywhere in the world I'd live in _the town that I am living in right now. I am surrounded by friends, why go off and live somewhere else_.

6. _Luck_ keep on shinin' on me.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _being up at the cottage with my family_, tomorrow my plans include _jumping in the lake_ and Sunday, I want to _watch movies on a rainy Sunday at the cottage_! On Labor Day, I will be enjoying the quiet after everyone goes home and I have the cottage all to myself.

My Story Part 89 – Superwoman

A couple of weeks ago I started to get a panic attack… I didn’t know why after almost eleven years I should be getting one now. I use to get two or three a year before I transitioned from the stress of living two lives, but why am I getting one now?

I laid down on the couch and put on my mp3 player and listened to the Eagles. While I was relaxing I was trying to think of what was stressing me out (of course that in itself was stressful). I was planning for the weekend with the gang up at the cottage and thinking… did I do this, did I get that, I have to do that, etc. But I also realized that it was much more than the weekend trip, it was all of those little grains of sand that was piling up.

Looking at my calendar I have meetings one or two nights a week and for two weekends in September I am committed to helping out. I’m planning a fashion show, a seminar on the new non-discrimination legislation, the trans health and law conference, the NASW conference and then there are the CTAC Board meetings and the Hartford Commission on LGBT Issues meetings. At the Hartford Pride on Sept. 17, I will be working at two booths. Today I had a meeting this morning and I have a meeting for lunch. In addition, I am also going to be supervising an intern and the supervisory meetings are on Wednesday’s morning. And to top that off, I was planning on become a Board member of CABO.

I wanted to go up to my brother’s in Maine for a few days and I was thinking where can I fit that in, then it dawned on me… there was no “Me Time.” Even through my days are boring, I have a hectic schedule at night which was what was stressing me out.

A friend once told me that we burn out our leaders and now I see what she meant, so now I’m going to cut back and find some time to go out with friends and get up to my brother’s sometime this fall. I am going to have to learn to say no.