Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Hate Mongers – Part 2

This time they are attacking President Obama’s EEOC general counsel David Lopez who is up for reconfirmation in the Senate and he has the right wing conservatives in a tizzy over the Macy’s Decision which resulted in gender identity being covered under Title VII and also the EEOC lawsuit against two companies for violating to transgender employee’s rights under title VII.
Right-Wing Group Targets Trans-Friendly Federal NomineeDavid Lopez, the current EEOC general counsel awaiting Senate confirmation for his second term, has built a career fighting for the rights of LGBT and disabled workers. Now the Family Research Council wants him to pay for it.
BY Sunnivie Brydum
November 25, 2014

It was only a matter of time before the anti-LGBT forces in Washington set their sights on the trans-inclusive record of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission leader nominated for another term with the federal agency.

And in a Tuesday fundraising pitch, that's exactly what the right-wing Family Research Council, certified as an anti-LGBT hate group, did — employing discredited, transphobic scare tactics in an effort to drum up opposition to the reconfirmation of the EEOC's general counsel, an attorney who helped file landmark federal lawsuits challenging antitrans discrimination.
The head of the “family” organization that is in a lather over the EEOC lawsuit is Tony Perkins, he called Obama’s reappointment of David Lopez a "a dagger aimed at freedom of religion."
But to hear FRC explain it, the lawsuits are a surreptitious effort to pass the long-languishing Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has stalled in Congress since the Senate passed it with a bipartisan majority last November. The legislation, introduced in every Congress except one since 1996, would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or decline to promote someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. As the bill was passed in November, it included a "religious exemption" that would allow faith-based employers to disregard the federal law. That exemption has been critiqued as overly broad, prompting several major LGBT organizations to withdraw support for the legislation in its current form.
That simply isn't true. Perkins's rhetoric is characteristically reactionary, calling ENDA "one of the most dangerous proposed laws ever." If ENDA were to pass, Perkins contends that "'free exercise of religion' will become a meaningless phrase" and Christian employees will be required "to affirm same-sex propaganda at work — and thus deny important aspects of their faith to keep their jobs."
These right wing conservatives want to expand the religious exemptions that anybody would be able to say they are not obey the non-discrimination laws because it is against their religion and they will not even have to prove that it is against their religion.

The Hate Mongers - Part 1

You all probably have seen the articles about how the military is starting to soften its stance of trans-people in the military,
A change to a Pentagon personnel policy three months ago loosens the rules barring transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military, giving the individual services leeway to retain these personnel.
But that softening of the transgender exclusion has brought out the hate mongers; under the headline “Oh, boy! Pentagon cozies up totransgender troops” the
WND has reported how one of Obama’s major goals as president seems to have been to open the U.S. military to alternative sexual lifestyles of all sorts, and how that has created a lashing out against military members who support a traditional heterosexual lifestyle.

For example, a legal case has developed over an officer’s decision to stop two subordinate officers from engaging in a French-kissing “make-out” in public.

Because the subordinates are lesbian, the military is in the processing of removing that officer from the service.

The details are in a federal lawsuit filed against the service, charging violations of the officer’s constitutional rights. He claims the decision to dismiss him was influenced by the military’s desire for a highly visible mark of its success integrating homosexual behavior in the ranks.
If you have figured it out yet, we are lumped in with the “alternative sexual lifestyles” and of course they are complaining that allowing gays, lesbians, and transgender servicemembers in the military will affect military readiness because the soldiers will be making out in the foxholes,
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, which also opposed allowing open homosexuality among the military ranks, has argued the military’s goal is to defend the country, not serve as a giant social experiment.

“This is putting an extra burden on men and women in the military that they certainly don’t need and they don’t deserve,” she told CBS.
We are also lumped in with “homosexuals” because to the far right wing conservatives being transgender is just another form of being gay or lesbian.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Six #555

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #555

A sad passing, this is Patrick’s last Saturday Six, I have been playing the meme every Saturday since Episode #125 on September 03, 2006.

1. What epitaph would you like to have engraved on your tombstone?
Not an epitaph but dates…
*Male Name* Born Oct 9, … June 30, 2007
Diana June 30, 2007, Died ****

2. If you could be certain that there is an afterlife, what would you want heaven to be like?
I do not think there is an afterlife, when you are dead, you’re dead.

3. If you could bring back a deceased relative you knew in your childhood back today to have a conversation with, whom would you choose and why?
My maternal grandmother and talk about our family history.

4. Do you consider death to be more of an ending or more of a beginning?
An ending, see question #2.

5. Do you ever feel as if you “hear” from people you know who have died, as if by hearing “their voice” or sensing an insight that you don’t think you would have gained on your own?
No I haven’t but even after all these year I sometimes think I should ask my mother and then I remember that she passed away ten years ago next month and shed a tear (Like I'm doing now).

6. Aside from your epitaph, how do you hope those who have been closest to you in your life will truly remember you?
Not that I was brave but that I made a life better for others.

Saturday 9: Paint It Black

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Paint It Black (1966)
Not familiar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song was chosen because yesterday was Black Friday, the traditional day of sales. Have you begun your Christmas shopping?
HA! I wait until December 24, that way you don’t go around wonder what to buy everyone you just get what’s left on the selves. It makes Christmas shopping a snap and takes all the stress out of shopping (Just be sure to give them a return slip and that way they can get what they really want to get.).

2) Are there any Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator right now?
Nope, I was at my nephew’s this and they have all the leftovers.

3) AAA says Thanksgiving is a big travel weekend. Did you venture far from home for your holiday dinner?
Yes, see above. It was a lovely drive to their house, it snowed the night before, and all the trees were coated with snow. The trees were plastered with snow clinging to their limbs and trunks; it was a landscape of black and white, when I came to a top of a hill as far as you could see it was all white.

4) Keith Richards likes France but, alas, the French authorities haven't always been fond of him and his criminal record. Have you ever been to France?
Nope and I don’t care to go there.

5) Mick Jagger jokes that, to be polite to fellow hotel guests, he always finishes trashing his room by 10:00 PM. What kind of hotel/motel guest are you? Are you rockstar rambunctious, or are you quiet? Are you neat? Have you stolen any towels, bathrobes, etc.?
I am a very neat and quiet guest and the only thing I have ever taken from a motel room are the shower caps and shampoo.

6) Mick Jagger got his financial savvy as a student at the London School of Economics. Are you good with money?

7) In the early 1990s, a then little-known actress named Angelina Jolie appeared in a Rolling Stones video ("Anybody Seen My Baby?"). Name an Angelina Jolie movie.
I didn’t know who she was so I had to google her. Yes I seen her "Lara Croft" movies.

8) In the early 1960s, the Stones nearly avoided tragedy when their tour bus skidded off a bridge. Tell us about a near miss you're thankful for.
I had a number of near misses but I don’t but I don’t think I’m was thankful for any of them. one time on a very icy room I did a series of 360o and missed all the other cars on the road, so I guest I thankful that I didn’t hit any.

9) In 1966, when this week's song was popular, CBS telecast How the Grinch Stole Christmas for the first time. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss story?
I’m at a disadvantage here, I didn’t have any kids so I have to remember back sixty years and the only one that I remember is “The Cat In The Hat” and that probably because I saw it on television.

Its time to make the chili!

I make 4qt, of chili and freeze it for the winter; this year I couldn't find salt pork so I'm using slab bacon. I usually add salt pork along with the stew meat but I hunted in two supermarkets and couldn't find any, I really should buy it in the summer when the stores have it.

Also I'm using chili seasoning instead of chili powder and cumin. When i was up at Fantasia Fair I went to Atlantic Spice Co. in North Truro and saw the package of seasoning.

After a lot of research and experimentation here is my secret award winning* chili recipe...

My Chili Recipe
  • 1 LB. Lean ground beef 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 Cornmeal
  • Tabasco sauce
Cut the salt pork up into 1/4 inch strips. Brown the ground beef and salt pork in a skillet. Coarsely chop the onion and pepper. Except for the cornmeal and the Tabasco sauce, add all the ingredients into a 4-quart crock pot and let the ingredients mingle and get to know one another for about 4 hours on high.. Stir in the cornmeal to thicken. Season to taste with the Tabasco sauce.

I don't use corn flour any more because I'm diabetic and I have to watch my carbohydrates.

*Before I retired the factory where I worked had a blind chili contest and I won.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Poverty: I have a friend who is working three part-time jobs and still is wondering if she will be evicted from her apartment or will she have enough money to buy food. She would like to go to a community college but she can’t afford it or find the time after working 60 hours a week.

The average wage has been dropping and at the same time the safety nets are being cut. My friend makes too much to qualify Section 8 rental support and if she did qualify there is a long waiting list. At the same time Food Stamps (SNAP), WIC, and Head Start programs have all been cut and more are in the works. Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security cuts are looming on the horizon.

Middle class jobs are being sent overseas. Ever since NAFTA the middle class has been declining and it will continue to decline as more “Free Trade” agreements are signed. It is a downward spiral down to the lowest common denominator; all we will be left with are service or government jobs, or jobs that cannot be exported.

While at the same time the one gateway out of poverty, education is being cut which is driving college education out of most people grasps. At the same time funding for secondary education is being diverted to charter schools where they can cherry pick their students and toss back to the public schools those student who do not make the grade. Meanwhile, public school funding is being cut because they are not meeting their achievement goals.

People have nothing to look forward to and are turning to drugs.

Drugs: With nothing to look forward to people are looking at the low hanging fruit, selling drugs. The users are coming from the white suburbs to buy their drugs in the inner cities. The buyers get a slap on the hand if they get caught while the sellers get thrown in jail. Jail has become the cost of doing business for the drug dealers, and jail has become a business.

As a result of President Reagan's war on drugs jail has become a big business, we now incarcerate as a percentage of the population more people than any other nation in the world! As a result prisoners in the U.S. are predominately black and Hispanic and when they get out of prisons they have no hope in getting a job.

In Louisiana prisons have become a major business, in 2012 about 1 in 86 adults were doing time; the inmates are housed in for-profit jails that is a $182 million industry.

Just like in Prohibition the gangs have intensify the violence in order to protect their turf with guns.

Guns: As the numbers of guns on the street increase so does the capacity and caliber of the guns. With no limits on guns, automatic weapons are on the increase, larger caliber armor piercing ammunition is becoming commonplace. Due to this weaponization and wild west mentality the police have developed a mentality of shoot first ask question later and over reacting to the situation with SWAT teams and armor vehicles, their attitude is “its them or us.”

On top of this mix is the “War on Terror” which has militarized the police force with armor vehicles and surplus military equipment. In addition, many of the new police officers are now ex-military personnel that were trained under different rules of engagement.

The majority of police officers are white middle income males which results in prejudice against minorities.

Discrimination: Discrimination is the fourth connection of the cycle, discrimination not only in the police force but also in the population. How many times have you heard people say that welfare recipients are all black welfare cheats or blacks are lazy? And the news media reinforces that image. Discrimination here in the U.S. has gone from overt to covert. Employers have learned not to use the “code words” of discrimination or they don’t hire anyone with a criminal record. Police target blacks and Hispanics and then use the arrest records to justify their heighten arrests. Meanwhile, the justice system gives whites a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again.

Out of the vicious cycle came Ferguson, the product of poverty, drugs, and guns and if you want to end the violence then you must break the cycle.

We need to refund the antipoverty programs. We need to restore SNAP, WIC, Head Start, and all the other programs. We need to have low interest student loans or better yet lower the cost of a college education. We need to fund the public school systems and not give all the money to the elite charter school that will only accept the best and the brightest, there should be room for both.

We have to reassess our “Free Trade” agreements and make sure they protect our workers and not the big corporations. We cannot allow big corporations to export of jobs to countries where the workforce is basically working for pennies a day with no benefits.

We need to end the “War on Drugs” because what it really is is a war on us. We need to legalize marijuana and treat the other drugs medically not criminally. We need to get the profit motive out of drugs. Just like in Prohibition once alcohol because legal much of the gang violence ended once there is no money to be made selling drugs the gangs will get out of the business.

Lastly we must have sensible gun controls back to the pre-Reagan era. Limit those who can own automatic weapons, large caliber guns, large capacity magazines, and we need to have background checks for all guns sales, including private gun sales and gun shows. We need to go after those people who make straw purchases for criminals.

We need more minorities in the police force and not just middle class blacks and Hispanics but also lower income blacks and Hispanics. We can’t just try to reform police departments because the underlining causes are still there; poverty, discrimination, guns, and drugs, and they all have to be attacked at the same time because focusing on just one of the four will not break the cycle.

It Is Hard To Put Labels On…

…People who lived over a hundred years ago when we do not know their thoughts,
PHOTOS: Civil War LGBT — and Feminist — Heroes
A photo exhibit celebrates those who crossed gender lines to serve in the Civil War.
By Trudy Ring
November 26, 2014

When you think of the Civil War, you might think of Gone With the Wind or a Ken Burns documentary, but most likely not of LGBT history — and art teacher Scott Angus is out to change that.

Angus has collected images of women who dressed as men to fight in the war and modified them slightly with colors representing the modern transgender rights movement for an exhibit called “Forgotten Heroes,” being displayed throughout November at the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis for Transgender Awareness Month.
Angus, who is gay, became interested in cross-dressing Civil War soldiers after happening upon a few images of women who presented as male in order to fight in the conflict. Additional research showed him the phenomenon was widespread — U.S. government records document that at least 800 female-bodied soldiers served on the Union side alone. There were also some who fought for the Confederacy; various sources estimate the number at 250.

It’s difficult to say how many of these soldiers identified as lesbian or bisexual, or as transgender men, he notes. Such concepts weren’t even recognized at the time. He has found evidence, though, that at least a couple of the female-bodied soldiers featured in his exhibition identified as male and lived as men long after the war was over.
The author tells the story of Albert D. Cashier who was found to be female bodied,
However, in old age he moved to a veterans’ home in Quincy, Ill., where his female anatomy was discovered, and he was therefore diagnosed as mentally ill. He was sent to a mental institution in Rock Island, Ill.; there he was put in a straitjacket and forced to wear dresses.
The article tells the story of the lives of four soldiers who were female bodied. 

What A Difference Forty Years Makes

Forty years ago this weekend I went backpacking around Mt. Marcy in the Adirondack State Park in New York. And the other photo was taken last month, notice the smile.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What I Am Grateful For…

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of reflection, so here is a list of what I’m grateful for this year;

  • My health, even though I am not in the best of health the problems that I have are not life threatening. Chronic yes and maybe eventually fatal but they are not debilitating.
  • My family, I am grateful having a family to go to today.
  • For being trans. That might see odd to be thankful for being trans, but it has changed my life and made me stronger, it has greatly increased my quality of life once I was able to accept being transgender.
  • For being able to retire and doing what I want to do, not what I have to do.
  • For being able to help others.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving.!

I am away today with my brother's family, but for many people Thanksgiving and the Holidays are an especially lonely time, they might not have  estranged from their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them and for them Thanksgiving is a time when they feel their loss the greatest. Thanksgiving is a time where we reflect on all that we have been thankful for the year but for those of us it could also be a time a great sadness while they see others around them celebrating during the holiday seasons. So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

On the lighter side... what would Thanksgiving be without "Alice's Restaurant"

One of my favorite sitcom skits was from WKRP in Cincinnati, "Turkey Drop"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On TV And In the Movies

GLAAD has a report on their blog about trans-people on the television,
GLAAD's third annual Trans Images on TV report finds some improvement
By Megan Townsend, GLAAD's Entertainment Media Strategist
November 18, 2014

In the latest installment of its annual Trans Images on TV report released today, GLAAD finds some improvement over the previous year's results when it comes to transgender representation on scripted television. This year, GLAAD reviewed 13 new scripted episodes with trans characters that have aired since November 2013. In a slight improvement, 46% (6) of the 13 episodes tracked were considered defamatory. This is a drop of 8% from the previous two reports. Another 39% (5) fell in the range of problematic to acceptable. But still only two episodes (15%) were considered outstanding: Drop Dead Diva's "Identity Crisis," and Orphan Black's "Variable and Full of Perturbation." Both episodes focused on transgender men, which is quite unusual as trans men remain largely invisible in mainstream media.
There was only one episode this year in which a trans character was portrayed as a victim, and none where they were portrayed as the villain. In the previous two reports, 35% of episodes tracked included characters classified as victims, while 19% of tracked episodes included trans characters in the role of murderers or villains. Additionally, only one character this year was portrayed as a sex worker, Venus Van Dam on FX's Sons of Anarchy. This is an improvement over previous years in which the most common profession for trans characters was sex worker.

Unfortunately, anti-transgender slurs, language, and dialogue continue to be prevalent in television. Of the 13 episodes tracked, 39% (5) of them contained problematic language - often spoken by popular or sympathetic characters with whom the audience is supposed to identify. These slurs typically go unchallenged by anyone else in the episode.
Candis Cayne was back on TV show, this time for a guest appearance as a housekeeper on CBS' Elementary, the last time she was on TV it was on the show “Dirty Sexy Money” and she played a prostitute. The only other show that had a trans-actress actually playing a trans-person was the Netflix’s show “Orange is the New Black.” All the other shows had actresses imitation a trans-person.

On the big screen, even though the article didn’t cover movies, there was one movie that is making the rounds of LGBT film festivals that is getting acclaims, Boy Meets Girl, it is a very good love story, and it actually has a trans-woman playing a trans-woman. I have seen the movie twice and want to buy the DVD when it comes out.

The other movie is in the works, “The Danish Girl” about the life of Lili Elbe who will be played by actor Eddie Redmayne.

Will Florida Become Number Nineteen?

A sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination bill has been introduced in the Florida legislature.
Florida lawmakers peg anti-LGBT discrimination bill to economic viability
Tampa Bay Business Journal
By Margie Manning
Nov 24, 2014

Measures that would prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the job and in public housing and accommodations will get another chance in the Florida Legislature.

Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, and Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, filed bills in the Florida House and Senate respectively that would add protections for more than 536,000 LGBT adults in Florida, according to a statement from Equality Florida, a civil rights organization focused on the LGBT community. Florida is one of 29 states that lacks statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals.
Raschein co-sponsored the measure last year, but it failed to advance out of committee.
Will the bi-partisan bill make it out of committee this year or will it meet the same fate as all the other bills? Will we be dropped in order to pass the bill?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We Are Different

We have our own unique problems, we are a lot like gays and lesbian but we are slightly different in one sad way… we commit suicide more often. In the national survey of trans-people they found that 41% of us have tried to commit suicide, which is almost one in two of us!

So when it comes to suicide hotline are problems might be just like everyone else’s but having a hotline that is just for us is a lot better,
Trans Lifeline: Trans People Helping Trans People to Prevent Trans DeathsHuffington Post: Gay Voices
By H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D
Posted: 11/20/2014

As the world marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate the transgender and gender-nonconforming people taken from us by violence in the past year, a new resource -- the trans-staffed crisis phone line Trans Lifeline -- is now available to help trans people. "According to the most recent and comprehensive statistics available, 41% of trans people attempt suicide at least once in their lives, and the figures go up to 50% if their trans status is known or disclosed," said Trans Lifeline President Greta Gustava Martela. "We'd like to get that to zero. Our community needs every one of our members." Trans Lifeline launched on November 1, 2014 and is staffed and managed by volunteers and staff who are themselves trans. It is the first crisis and suicide prevention hotline specifically focused on the trans community and all services are free. The hotline number is 877-565-8860.
About one in three transgender people worldwide are reported to die from suicide attempts, including after beginning transition. Though a few vocal opponents of gender transition may use this statistic to argue against trans* identities entirely, a careful contextual analysis of the discrimination against trans people (the main trigger for suicide attempts) demonstrates discrimination, which only occurs after a transgender person has revealed their gender complexity to others, to be a significant triggering factor in the majority of attempts. Thus, trans suicides are driven not by our gender itself but by our reactions to transphobia -- social hatred of us expressed in countless daily microaggressions (not being able to use a public restroom for example); being excluded from and even hounded by our own faith communities; job discrimination and all that ensues -- homelessness, lack of access to medical care, poverty, and so much more. Legal protections have helped some of us, but they are not always enforced. And as Martin Luther King, Jr. always said, one can legislate public morality but the real work (spiritual work) is to change people's hearts, to grow beyond hate and fear of the "other."
For many of us just going out in public every date takes its toll. As he says it the daily it is the social isolation and the daily microagressions that take taxes us. It is like a dripping faucet at night, it is not that one drip that gets to us but rather the drip, drip, drip…

We are social animals we need the personal interaction in our daily lives, society pushes us into boxes and the more we do not conform to those boxes the harder society pushes back. We need to talk to others who know what that pressure is like and that is why a trans specific hotline makes so much sense.

When Will They Ever Learn – The Continuing Saga

You would think by now that schools will have learned by now that they cannot block GSAs (Gay Straight Alliances) in their schools.
Putnam County principal: Adding LGBT club would ‘create bullying’
The Charleston Gazette
By Mackenzie Mays, Staff writer
November 14, 2014

A Putnam County high school will not allow a Gay-Straight Alliance club on campus, despite students’ requests.

Winfield High School Principal Bruce McGrew said that, while there was student interest in such a group, no teachers wanted to sponsor it.

“It’s not a subject to even discuss, because [we] don’t have one,” McGrew said. “That’s all I’ll say about it.”

When asked if he would allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender student support club at the school if a teacher did offer to chaperone, McGrew said he would “rather not answer that.”

McGrew said he believes the creation of such a group would allow more opportunities for students to bully other students.

“It’s an issue. If you’re asking my personal beliefs, that’s one thing, but what you’ve got to understand is we don’t want to have anything where there’s bullying involved, and if you bring attention to that sort of thing, it’s going to create bullying,” McGrew said. “It would bring more problems to the issue of bullying and so forth if it were to occur. Our job is to protect all kids from that.”
Yes, your job is to protect the students and it is not done by discriminating against them. The Equal Access Act (1980’s) applies to LGBT organizations and the courts and the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice has made it very clear that schools must allow GSAs and also provide a safe learning environment for all students.

An article in QUEERTY said that under pressure the school has agreed to have a GSA there,
The petition [a petition] garnered over 150 signatures and got the media’s attention. This ultimately prompted McGrew to reverse course. Within a day, he located a faculty member to oversee the group and gave the GSA the green light.

Jeff Haught, the school’s show choir director, will be the club’s sponsor.

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Acceptable Alternative

Most of the time you see where a trans-student is delegated to use a teachers’ or nurses’ bathroom which segregates us from the rest of the school population. But this practice is illegal under Connecticut law.

Clifton Park school district in New York has an acceptable alternative,
School district weighing transgender policyOfficials plan to offer alternative bathrooms, locker rooms for studentsTimes Union
By Dennis Yusko
November 21, 2014

Transgender students at Shenendehowa schools could soon gain access to alternative bathrooms and locker rooms under a move the district says reflects "the changing needs and demands" of students.

The new policy would allow Shenendehowa High School students to request to use bathroom facilities that correspond to their gender identity. The superintendent of schools and a building-level administrator would decide whether to grant the requests on a case-by-case basis.

The policy also would ensure that all of the district's 9,797 students have access to single-user bathrooms and alternative areas to change their clothes. Students would not be required to use a facility that conflicts with their gender identity or makes them uncomfortable.
Did you notice the difference?

All the students can use a single-user bathroom or locker room. They are not forcing trans-students to be isolated from the school population but instead are allowing any student who is uncomfortable to have a private area to go the bathroom or change. Many students are uncomfortable changing in public and they should not be forced to change in front of other.

This is a great policy.

Dissed In Death

A trans-woman who dies last month was dishonored in death by her family,
Transgender woman dies suddenly, presented at funeral in open casket as a man
Miami Herald: Gay South Florida
By Steve Rothaus

Jennifer Gable, an Idaho customer service coordinator for Wells Fargo, died suddenly Oct. 9 on the job at age 32. An aneurysm, according to stunned friends.

Just as shocking, they say, when they went to Gable’s funeral in Twin Falls, Idaho, and saw her in an open casket — hair cut short, dressed in a suit and presented as a man.

“I am disgusted,” Stacy Dee Hudson posted on Facebook. “A great and dear friend’s mom went to the funeral today. It was not closed casket. They cut her hair, suit on. How can they bury her as geoff when she legally changed her name. So very sad. Jen you will be missed and people who know you know that you are at peace.”
Mike Parke of Magic Valley Funeral Home and Crematory in Twin Falls said Gable’s death certificate listed her as male.

“The death certificate says Geoffrey AKA Jennifer Gable,” Parke said Friday night. “The last few years she lived as Jennifer. They buried him as Geoff. A tormented situation for all those involved.”
But out in California this past September…
Calif. governor signs bill allowing transgender status on death certificates
LGBTQ Nation
Associated Press
September 26, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Transgender Californians will have the right to have their gender identity properly recognized on death certificates under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The governor announced Friday that he signed AB1577, the “Respect After Death Act,” introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a fellow Democrat from San Diego.

Starting in July 2015, the legislation requires the person who fills out a death certificate for a transgender person to record the sex that reflects his or her gender identity.
It is time for us to be respected in death!

One of the things that you can do is have a will and have the executor that you can trust to carry out your wishes.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It’s Nice To Hear Them Say That…

…All their policies now cover transgender healthcare.

I was at a banquet last night for a health clinic and one of their sponsors said that they now cover all healthcare for trans-people and I thought, “That’s nice, they just said that they are obeying the law.” It is just like when we had marriage equality here in Connecticut, insurance companies were advertising that their polices now covered same-sex partners… well DUH they had to cover them and it is the same thing for us. The insurance commissioner issued a statement last December saying that the insurance companies had to provides the same coverage for trans-people as they did for non-trans-people, so when I heard statements like last night’s I think the companies are just bragging that they are conforming to what the law requires.

A little talked about exception which is if your employer is self-insured under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) they do not have to follow state law. However, I have heard that there is a case before the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) that asked if denying healthcare coverage for us is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, discrimination based on sex.

In addition, Medicaid here in Connecticut does not at this time cover healthcare for us. There was an open comment period on the removal of exclusions in Connecticut’s Medicaid plan for gender dysphoria treatment, GLAD, CTAC, and True Colors submitted a letter for its removal. It read in part…
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition and True Colors appreciate the efforts of the Connecticut Department of Social Services to remove discriminatory exclusions from public health programs…
We strongly support the revised regulations that remove coverage exclusions for gender transition services. Gender transition-related care, including provision of sex-reassignment surgery and other related surgeries and treatments such as hormone therapy, is recognized as medically necessary for the treatment of gender dysphoria.
We applaud the Department of Social Services for making regulatory changes that are in accordance with actions taken by the Connecticut Insurance Department on December 19, 2013. On that day, the Insurance Department issued Bulletin IC-37, which prohibits exclusions in individual and group insurance policies for treatment for gender dysphoria. The prohibition was based on Public Act 11-55, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in employment, public accommodations, housing, credit, public schools, state contracts, and numerous other areas, including health insurance practices. That Act applies to state agencies.
I believe that Lambda Legal also submitted a comment to the Department of Social Services.

Change is coming, sometimes it seem like moving too slow, but we are making headway.

A Tale Of Two Cities

One here in Connecticut and one in Texas guess which one treats their transgender police officers better? The Blue state with a gender inclusive non-discrimination law or the Red state that is against anything trans?

Austin police has first openly transgender officer
By Angie Beavin
Published: November 20, 2014

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department now has its first openly transgender officer. Senior Officer Greg Abbink has been with the force for a decade. Joining as a woman, it wasn’t until this year that he says he really started living.

“So, for about 10 years, the folks here in this department that know me have known me as Emily,” said Sr. Officer Abbink.

That all changed for him this past spring.

“I’m Greg now,” he said, “and so that’s been interesting for folks to have to make that transition.”

Outside of Austin’s city hall on Thursday, people gathered for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Each year someone from APD’s Lesbian and Gay Police Officers Association is one of the speakers. This year was the first time the department had a transgender officer be that person.
Meanwhile here in Connecticut…
Connecticut transgender cop gets fired after long-running dispute with city hall, police department
BY David Harding
New York Daily News
Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Connecticut transgender cop has been fired following a long-running dispute with officials.
The Middletown cop claims to have found her work environment hostile when she reported for duty as a woman, claiming that a lieutenant referred to her as "Frank" and "him."
This should happen here in Connecticut, if Texas hasn’t a problem with transgender police officer, why does Connecticut and I can’t help but wonder if the fact that the Texas police officer is a trans-man and the Connecticut police officer is a trans-woman has anything to do with it.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Six #554

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #554

1. When is the last time you spent time, in person, with your best friend?
A couple of weeks ago.

2. When is the last time you went for a drive with absolutely nowhere to go and no plan in mind, but just wanted to see a new place?
I do that all the time, usually it side trips I might be coming back from place and instead of driving directly home I take another roundabout way home.

3. When is the last time you walked along a beach?
The week of October 19th through the 26th. I was up in Provincetown on Cape Cod and my motel was on the water, I walked along the beach taking pictures.

4. When is the last time you found a way to truly think “outside the box”?
I’m always out of the box.

5. When is the last time you literally did “laugh out loud”?
Unfortunately it very hard to get me laughing.

6. When is the last time you took what you genuinely felt was a major leap of faith?
My life is too unassuming to need a leap of faith.

Saturday 9: The Main Event

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: The Main Event (1979)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun.

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This is the theme from a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of boxing. Sam admits she's not crazy about boxing. What about you? Do you enjoy boxing, martial arts or wrestling?
Nope, and I won’t comment on what I think of people who watch them.

2) If you went to a dance club on a Saturday night in 1979 or 1980, you might well have danced to this. What are your plans for this Saturday night?
I am going to a small intimate banquet with 500 other people.
My favorite disco song...

3) Gilda Radner was one of the original Saturday Night Live performers and in 1979, she parlayed her TV popularity into her own one-woman show on Broadway. Who is your alltime favorite SNL cast member?
I don’t have one because I never watched SNL

4) Sally Little and Nancy Lopez were at the top of the LPGA  in 1979. Do you golf? 
Nope, my father did and he always tried to get me to play but I never saw the point of chasing a ball around a field.

5) The movie The Main Event co-starred Ryan O'Neal. He is better known for Love Story, and saying the line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." When did you last apologize?
I don't remember the date but it was not too long ago.

6) O'Neal got his big break on the nighttime soap opera, Peyton Place. He played Rodney Harrington, the handsome golden boy that all the girls dreamed of dating. Tell us about your big high school crush.
Naw, that is water under the bridge

7) In researching this week's Saturday 9, Sam discovered that The Main Event is a popular name for sports bars all across the country. Do you enjoy sitting at the bar or do you look for a booth or table?
A booth or a table.

8) The Mane Event was the salon Sam went to for years. She switched when it got too hard to get Saturday appointments. As a consumer, what's more important to you -- convenience or price?
Convenience as long as isn’t too much more.

9) More than 50 years after her first million-selling album, Streisand recently had a #1 hit with her current CD, Partners. What's the last song you bought/downloaded?
Actually I have never downloaded a song or bought a song, I buy the CD and the latest CD that I bought was by Namoli Brennet, a singer song writer.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Bet You Never Heard Of Them

There is a journalism institute that their mission is “…dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses.” Yesterday when I was searching for material for my TDoR speech I came across an article on their blog about resources for the TDoR where they talked about the ways different media covered the murder of Jennifer Laude.
When Jennifer Laude was murdered in October, a U.S. Marine was charged in her death. Many media outlets fumbled as they covered the story, seeming confused about how to refer to the young Filipina, who was transgender. Bloomberg BusinessWeek identified her as “a 26-year-old man who identifies as a woman.”  CNN, The Associated Press and Fox News, among others, published her birth name. Many news outlets paid special attention to the fact that Laude was transgender, and chose to call her death a “transgender death” or “transgender murder.”
The New York Times’ Floyd Whaley treated Laude that way in this story, noting that she was transgender but letting her status as a transgender woman be the final note in a story, not the opening line. While Jim Gomez’s story for the Associated Press did include Laude’s birth name, it does treat her and her family with the respect and care you would expect from a story about a victim of a brutal murder. Gomez uses the correct name, respectful photos, appropriate pronouns and a sensitivity for the families.
They then had a link to, “Nine Ways to Do Justice to Transgender People’s Stories” which provided some excellent advice. Here are some of the nine ways to write a story about a trans-person.
1. Stop writing the same story.“There was a time in the 1970s and 80s when every story about a gay person was the coming out narrative,” Nick Adams, associate director of communications for GLAAD, said in a phone interview. But, he added, “with trans stories we’re still in that period.”
2. Pursue the ordinary.When journalists focus too much on the “heavy” issues and get stuck on medical transitions, they miss the opportunity to show that most transgender people live full lives that don’t revolve around these issues…
3. Stop asking for before and after photos.Journalists often ask transgender people for before and after photos, and sometimes refuse to write about them without such material. Before making such a request, journalists should ask themselves whether they want the photos to tell a full story or just to entice readers.
And here is a real biggie,
4. When you’re told someone’s name, use it.Even in stories where the appropriate pronouns and names are used, Truitt said, journalists will sometimes say things such as “she goes by this name” or “she wants to be called” or “she calls herself.” Such distancing by the journalist casts doubt on the transgender person’s identity.
They go on to say stop asking about medical procedures and stop using outdated or dehumanizing language. And number nine says it all,
9. Remember that transgender women are women, transgender men are men, and everyone is human.“It’s not actually all that complicated,” Truitt said, offering a simple question for journalists reporting on transgender people to ask themselves: “I’m speaking to someone who is a person — is this okay to say to a person?”
As I said they offer excellent advice on the major points that that are sticking points for us.

Yesterday' TDOR Speech

At the Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial that was held at the MCC church Hartford last night I gave this speech...

I have been asked to speak  about  progress we have made this past year and what is on the horizon; back in 2011 the gender inclusive non-discrimination laws was passed and it effects are now filtering down. Last December the insurance commissioner issued a bulletin saying that insurance policies must cover all medically necessary healthcare for us, but the problem is that no one knows what is covered and what isn’t covered. We need to educate the healthcare providers because many of them believe that they do not have the training to treat us so they refuse to care for us even though the medical condition that we are seeing them for has nothing to do with our transition.

Also when we do have insurance coverage the companies only pay for a fraction of the cost and we have to pay the rest which many trans-people cannot afford.

With the passage of the non-discrimination bill we must now begin the work to educate employers, landlords, and business owners about the law. In many schools around the state they still force trans-students to use the nurse’s or teacher’s bathrooms. We need the DCF to obey the law and recognize our gender identity. In homeless shelter we need to educate them on the law, that the law says we can use the shelter of our gender identity not of our birth gender. We need better training for healthcare workers so that they treat us with respect and dignity.

On the legislative agenda… the national scene looks bleak but we have to keep laying the groundwork for trans-friendly legislation. We must continue to work to pass a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act with a narrowly defined religious exemption. We must pass a new Civil Rights a\Act that will give us protection in housing, credit, and public accommodation 

Locally we need to work towards changing the law for birth certificates so that we do not need surgery to change the gender on our birth certificate. Seven states and the District of Columbia allow us to change the gender on our birth certificate; the states are Rhode Island, Iowa, New York, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California.

We must also be on the defensive to make sure that our gains are not taking away. Our non-discrimination law is still number two on our opposition (whose shall be nameless because naming them gives them power) list of laws to be repealed and they still call the law the “Bathroom Bill.” The opposition is also gloating over the loss of one of our champions in the House, Fairfield, Rep. Kim Fawcett who courageously stood up on the floor of the House to defend our bill. 

We have been given the tools by the legislature and now it is time for us to act, we have to speak up when we hear hate, we have to act when there is discrimination.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What’s Not Talked About?

Today we remember all the trans-people who have been murdered throughout the year but what we don’t talk about are all those who committed suicide or tried to commit suicide.
48% of young trans people attempt suicide, 30% in the last year
'While society’s attitudes towards transgender people are changing, it is still not fast enough and the negative impacts on trans people’s mental health every day are huge.'
20 November 2014
BY Joe Morgan

Nearly half of young trans people have said they have attempted suicide, with 30% saying they have done so in the past year.

As the world pays tribute on Transgender Day of Remembrance, UK's LGBTI mental health charity Pace has revealed new research that shows how difficult it can be growing up trans.

They found young trans people were eight times more likely to attempt suicide. 48% of trans people said they have attempted it compared to 6% of the general 16-24 population.
It is hard to track those who commit suicide, the news usually do not report suicides because we don’t know the reason why they did it.

It hard when you don’t fit the norms. It doesn’t matter how you are different, whether it is your height, weight, color of your skin, sexual orientation, or gender identity when you are outside of the bell curve society punishes you. Even with all the anti-bullying laws, the non-discrimination laws, and all the GSAs (Gay Straight Alliance) there is still so much stigma and societal pressures that many trans-people just can’t bear the pressure. We all need to work together to help those on the margins, we need to work to change society, we need to make everyone welcome.

The Trevor Project: Suicide Hotline for LGBTQ Youth: 1-866-488-7386

The Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255

National Suicide Hotlines USA: 1-800-784-2433 & 1-800-273-8255
Deaf Hotline: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

CT Sexual Assault Crisis Services Hotline: English 1-888-999-5545 & Español 1-888-568-8332

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today we remember those of us who were murdered for who they were; not for money or passion but were murdered because of hate. Because they had the courage to live their lives as the person they were.

Every November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance where we memorize the trans-people who were murdered in the last 12 months. I first attended a TDOR in 2002 and about five years later I was organizing the day’s event until a couple of years ago when we turned it over to the MCC of Hartford.

The first year that I went to a TDOR I read the name of one of the victims and in my diary I wrote,
I went up to read one of the names and I had a hard time doing it, my eyes were all tears; it was very emotional.  As I sat back down in my seat the woman next to me touch my hand and just nodded slightly, and her gesture brought on more tears. I never knew any of those that were murder, but my heart goes out to them for we had one thing in common that we are all transgendered. It is hard to believe that they were murdered only because they were trying to be themselves; that some people hate us enough to kill us for just trying to live our lives.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance at the following locations in Connecticut...

November 20, 2014 7:00 PM
Parish House, Church of the Good Shepherd (3rd floor ballroom)
Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford, 155 Wyllys Street, Hartford CT

New Havens
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 5:00PM
Amistad Memorial

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 19:00 PM – 7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Unitarian Church in Westport, 10 Lyons Plains Road, Westport, Connecticut 06880

New Britain
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 7:00 PM
Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain CT, 06050

Those who have lost their lives this past year because of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

Jacqueline Cowdrey (50 years old)
Cause of death: unknown
Location of death: Worthing, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Date of death: November 20th, 2013
Rosa Ribut (Jon Syah Ribut – 35 years old)
Cause of death: blunt force trauma
Location of death: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Date of death: November 24th, 2013
Betty Skinner (52 years old)
Cause of death: blunt force trauma to the head
Location of death: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Date of death: December 4th, 2013
Brittany Stergis (22 years old)
Cause of death: gunshot wound to the head
Location of death: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Date of death: December 5th, 2013
Elizalber Oliveira de Mesquita (39 years old)
Cause of death: stoned to death
Location of death: Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: January 5th, 2014
Cause of death: multiple gunshots to the head and chest
Location of death: Belém, Pará, Brazil
Date of death: January 8th, 2014
Rayka Tomaz (20 years old)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds.
Location of death: Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
Date of death: January 10th, 2014
Prince Joe (Joseph Sanchez – 18 years old)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds, dumped on the street
Location of death: Belize City, Belize
Date of death: January 12th, 2014
Toni Gretchen (50 years old)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds
Location of death: Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: January 16th, 2014
Luana (20 years old)
Cause of death: gunshot to the chest
Location of death: Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death: January 10th, 2014
Cristal (Alexandre Nascimento de Araújo – 22 years old)
Cause of death: Gunshot
Location of death: Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
Date of death: January 19th, 2014
Thifani (18 years old)
Cause of death: dismembered
Location of death: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of death: January 27th, 2014
Joice (José Antônio Vieira Freitas – 32 years old)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds
Location of death: Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: January 28th, 2014
Sarita (Marcos de Almeida Oliveira)
Cause of death: gunshot
Location of death: Itabela, Bahia, Brazil
Date of death: January 29, 2014
Juju (Julian de Souza Cruz – 32 years old)
Cause of death: beaten and stoned to death
Location of death: Salgueiro, Pernambuco, Brazil
Date of death: January 29th, 2014
Raíssa (Lourivaldo Xavier)
Cause of death: 6 gunshots to head and chest
Location of death: Cuiabá,Mato Gross, Brazil
Date of death: February 1st, 2014
Cause of death: facial injuries
Location of death: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Date of death: February 7th, 2014
Rafaela (Alexsandro Alderotti José dos Santos – 32 years old)
Cause of death: multiple gunshots
Location of death: Recife, Brazil
Date of death: February 11th, 2014
Alex Medeiros (8 years old)
Cause of death: Beaten to death by father for refusing to cut hair, liking women’s clothes, and dancing.
Location of death: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of death: February 18th, 2014
Cause of death: multiple gunshots to the face
Location of death: Taguatinga, Brazil
Date of death: February 19th, 2014
Camila Veronezi (24 years old)
Cause of death: suffocation
Location of death: Bragança Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: February 21st, 2014
Lu (Célio Martins da Silva)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds
Location of death: Nova Serrana, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: February 23rd, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: gunshots
Location of death: São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: February 27th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: gunshots
Location of death: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of death: February 28th, 2014
Cause of death: 3 gunshot wounds to the head
Location of death:Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil
Date of death: Feburary 28th, 2014
Sarita do Sopão (39 years old)
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds
Location of death: Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: January 29th, 2014
Andressa Pinheiro
Cause of death: 15 stab wounds, dragged, fractured skull
Location of death:João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil
Date of death: March 1st, 2014
Rose Maria (32 years old)
Cause of death: stabbed in the neck
Location of death: Brás, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: March 5th, 2014
Vitória (16 years old)
Cause of death: 2 gunshot wounds to the chest
Location of death: Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil
Date of death: March 12th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: burned to death
Location of death: Jardim Ingá, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death: March 14th, 2014
Paulete (Paulo Roberto Lima dos Santos – 19 years old)
Cause of death: gunshot
Location of death: Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: March 17th, 2014
Cause of death: gunshot
Location of death: Iguatu, Ceará, Brazil
Date of death: March 24th, 2014
Nicole (Marcos Vinicius Machado – 20 years old)
Cause of death: hands and feet bound, stabbed in the neck and abdomen
Location of death: Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil
Date of death: March 28th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: dismemberment
Location of death: São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: March 23rd, 2014
Giovana Souza Silva (33 years old)
Cause of death: gunshots
Location of death: São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: March 29th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: beaten with weapon, fists by several people, dragged through the street.
Location of death: João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil
Date of death: March 29th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: blow to the head with iron bar
Location of death: Sobral, Ceará, Brazil
Date of death: April 2nd, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: beaten and strangled to death.
Location of death: Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Date of death: April 2nd, 2014
Cause of death: 4 gunshot wounds
Location of death: Santo Antônio, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Date of death: April 7th, 2014
Valquíria (aka Josivaldo Ribeiro Oliveira Brito)
Cause of death: gunshot to back.
Location of death: Praça dos Carreiros, Rondonópolis, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Date of death: April 20th, 2014
Çağla Joker
Cause of death: gunshot to the chest
Location of death: Tarlabaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Date of death: April 21st, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: four gunshots
Location of death: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Date of death: May 29th, 2014
Marcia Moraes (34 years old)
Cause of death: four gunshots
Location of death: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Date of death: May 29th, 2014
Kandy Hall (40 years old)
Cause of death: massive trauma, body left in a field
Location of death: Montebello, Maryland, USA
Date of death: June 3rd, 2014
Paola (Anderson Arruda Camote) (29 years old)
Cause of death: knife wounds to neck, feet and hands tied
Location of death: Arandu, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: June 8th, 2014
Zoraida “Ale” Reyes (28 years old)
Cause of death:choked to death
Location of death: Anaheim, California, United States
Date of death: June 10th, 2014
Mia Henderson (26 years old)
Cause of death: massive trauma, found dead in alley.
Location of death: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date of death: June 16th, 2014
Yaz’min Shancez
Cause of death:murdered, and burned
Location of death: Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Date of death: June 19th, 2014
André Luiz Borges Rocha
Cause of death: gunshot wounds to the face
Location of death: Tijucal, Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Date of death: June 23rd, 2014
Tiffany Edwards (28 years old)
Cause of death:shot to death
Location of death: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Date of death: June 26th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: raped before being brutally executed with blows to head.
Location of death: Coruripe, Alagoas, Brazil
Date of death: June 30th, 2014
Kellen Santorine
Cause of death: raped before being brutally executed with blows to head.
Location of death: Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: July 13th, 2014
Mackelly Castro (age:24)
Cause of death: hanging
Location of death: Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: July 18th, 2014
Lele (age:24)
Cause of death: beaten to death
Location of death: Roatán, Honduras
Date of death: July 18th, 2014
Dennysi Brandão (age:24)
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds to the hip, chest, and back.
Location of death: Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: July 24th, 2014
Alisson Henrique da Silva (age:25)
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds
Location of death: Macaíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Date of death: July 31st, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: found dead, with eyes removed.
Location of death: Jardim dos Ipês Itaquaquecetuba, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: August 9th, 2014
Alejandra Leos
Cause of death: gunshot to the back
Location of death: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Date of death: September 5th, 2014
Karen Alanis (age:23)
Cause of death: thrown from vehicle, ran over
Location of death: Caçapava, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: September 9th, 2014
Marcela Duque (46 years old)
Cause of death: stoned to death
Location of death: Medellín, Colombia
Date of death: September 9th, 2014
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds
Location of death: Portal da Foz, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
Date of death: September 13th, 2014
Marcela Lopez
Cause of death: Stoning
Location of death: Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Date of death: September 14th, 2014
Cause of death: pushed off moving train
Location of death: Malleshwara, Karnataka, India
Date of death: September 25th, 2014
Bruna Lakiss (26 years old)
Cause of death: gunshot wound
Location of death: Várzea Grande, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Date of death: September 30th, 2014
Aniya Parker
Cause of death: gunshot wound to the head
Location of death: East Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of death: October 3rd, 2014
Gaivota dos Santos
Cause of death: three shots to the face
Location of death: Rio Largo, Alagoas, Brazil
Date of death: October 1st, 2014
Géia Borghi
Cause of death: shot in the chest, bound, gagged, set afire
Location of death: Monte Mor, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: October 9th, 2014
Jennifer Laude
Cause of death: asphyxiation by drowning
Location of death: Subic Bay, Zambales, Philippines
Date of death: October 11th, 2014
Sara (27 years old)
Cause of death: Gunshot
Location of death: Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil
Date of death: October 12th, 2014
Aguinaldo Cláudio Colombelli (45 years old)
Cause of death: 30 stab wounds
Location of death: Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Date of death: October 16th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death: beaten to death
Location of death: Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Date of death: October 16th, 2014
Cause of death: three gunshots
Location of death: Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death: October 20th, 2014
Mary Joy Añonuevo (55 years old)
Cause of death: stabbed 33 times
Location of death: Lucena, Quezon, Philippines
Date of death: October 21st, 2014
Ashley Sherman
Cause of death: shot in the head
Location of death: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Date of death: October 27st, 2014
Cause of death: Gunshot
Location of death: Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death: November 1st, 2014
Cause of death:stabbed in the chest
Location of death: Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: November 6th, 2014
Cause of death:Gunshot
Location of death: Parnamirim, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Date of death: November 6th, 2014
Adriana (16 years old)
Cause of death:Gunshot, body wrapped in sheet, tied to tree trunk, thrown in river.
Location of death: Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil
Date of death: November 9th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death:throat cut
Location of death: Jundiaí, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: November 9th, 2014
Unknown woman
Cause of death:shot and burned
Location of death: Tblisi, Georgia
Date of death: November 10th, 2014
Gizzy Fowler
Cause of death:Gunshot
Location of death: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Date of death: November 10th, 2014

“Remembering Our Dead”
From the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Regrets are never talked about but they happen, just a small fraction of those who transitioned have regrets. But they do happen, however, they are usually the result of other factors like family or religious pressure and not because they are not transgender.
Myths About Transition Regrets
Huffington Post
By Brynn Tannehill
Posted: 11/18/2014

Recently there has been a spate of blog posts raising the specter of transgender people regretting transitioning. They cite their two favorite studies, without actually looking at what the actual studies said, and drag out some old anecdotes. In short, they try to muddy the waters the way climate-change deniers or creationists do by throwing up a cloud of chaff and hoping no one will look any closer. And then there's the fact that the authors of these blog posts also think that same-sex marriage will abolish all marriage.
She then goes on to list the myths one by one…
3. Regret is common.
Surgical regret is actually very uncommon. Virtually every modern study puts it below 4 percent, and most estimate it to be between 1 and 2 percent (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfafflin 2003, Kuiper & Cohen-Kettenis 1998, Pfafflin & Junge 1998, Smith 2005, Dhejne 2014). In some other recent longitudinal studies, none of the subjects expressed regret over medically transitioning (Krege et al. 2001, De Cuypere et al. 2006)...

4. But what about the people who had regrets?
Any surgery comes with a risk of regret. It just happens that the risk of regret for GCS is actually much lower than for many other surgeries. Indeed, the regret rate for GCS compares favorably with gastric banding.

When asked about regrets, only 2 percent of respondents in a survey of transgender people in the UK had major regrets regarding the physical changes they had made, compared with 65 percent of non-transgender people in the UK who have had plastic surgery…

5. The transgender community is intolerant of people who regret surgery.
No, we just really don't like it when people try to get between us and our doctors…
As the article points out the percentage of regrets are in-line with other surgeries and in research papers that I read many of those who had regrets said that they were rejected by family and friends or had problems finding employment. In other words those who followed the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) Standard of Care (SoC v7) their regrets weren’t because they were not trans but rather because of societal pressures that they regretted having surgery.

Friends In High Places

I came across an article about a Florida Congresswoman who has a trans-son.
Congresswoman on transgender son: I love my child no matter what
USA Today
By: Catalina Camia
November 18, 2014

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has words of advice for other parents with transgender children: Don’t reject them, and always show your love.

“Don’t freak out, stay calm and don’t be afraid,” the Florida Republican told CBS News. “Love your child because that person is your child whether it’s the person you wanted him or her to be or not. That’s my advice to parents: Never, never reject your child. That’s unconditional love no matter what.”
Lehtinen, now 28, was born Amanda. She came out as gay in high school and decided in college she would become a transgender man. Rodrigo’s mother — the first Cuban American elected to Congress in 1989 — is the most senior Republican woman in the House. His father, Dexter Lehtinen, is a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.
Besides USA Today mangled the pronouns (they seem to use female pronouns before his transition and male pronouns after his transition) the article goes on to say that his mother was a co-sponsor of legislation to repeal DOMA and the only Republican in the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

In 2011 when our bill was being debated on the floor of the House, one of the representatives said in the floor debate that he has a cousin who is trans. He said that he sent his cousin a Christmas card using her female name and received a thank you from her telling him how she cherished the card.

It is important that we do have allies in legislative bodies because they can add personal experiences and lobby better for us then any of us can. They speak from the heart.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Some Interesting Facts

There is an article in the Huffington Post about a genetic link to homosexuality that it tends to run in families, I don’t think that surprises anyone.
New Study Suggests Genetic Link For Male Homosexuality
By Lindsey Tanner
Posted: 11/17/2014

CHICAGO (AP) — A large study of gay brothers adds to evidence that genes influence men's chances of being homosexual, but the results aren't strong enough to prove it.

Some scientists believe several genes might affect sexual orientation. Researchers who led the new study of nearly 800 gay brothers say their results bolster previous evidence pointing to genes on the X chromosome.

They also found evidence of influence from a gene or genes on a different chromosome. But the study doesn't identify which of hundreds of genes located in either place might be involved.
There are also studies that show birth order and age of parents at the time of conception also contributes to factors homosexuality. WebMD has an article about birth order,
Men may be more likely to be homosexual if they share their birth mother with older brothers, even if they didn't grow up with those brothers.

"These results strongly suggest a prenatal origin to the fraternal birth-order effect," writes Canada's Anthony Bogaert, PhD, in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Only biological older brothers, and not any other sibling characteristic, including nonbiological older brothers, predicted men's sexual orientation, regardless of the amount of time reared with these siblings," writes Bogaert.

Bogaert's findings don't prove that birth order determines sexual orientation. However, Bogaert writes that the study supports the idea that sexual orientation starts before birth.
Another interesting finding is that gays and lesbians are more likely to be left handed, a BBC Science article about a study by Richard A Lippa and our friend (sic) Ray Blanchard said,
Recent studies have documented that gay men and lesbians are more likely to be left-handed (or ambidextrous) than heterosexuals are. Also, gay men are more likely to have an excess of older brothers, compared to heterosexual men—a phenomenon termed 'the fraternal birth order effect'. The most recent studies that look at both factors at the same time suggest that the fraternal birth order effect is true for right-handed gay men but not for left-handed gay men – that is, older brothers increase a man's odds of being gay only for right-handers.
More gay men than heterosexual men reported being left-handed (13% versus 11%). Similarly, more lesbian women than heterosexual women reported being left-handed (11% versus 10%).
There have been also some studies that gender identity is also affected by birth order and also runs in families.

The thing to remember that there is probably no one reason a person is LGBT, it is probably a very complex process. That is they ever do find a “gay gene” it will not mean that everyone has to have the gene or conversely if you have the gene you have to be LGBT. It probably a mixture of genetic, prenatal, and environmental factors that contribute to gender identity and sexual orientation.

Bigotry Rear Its Ugly Head

In a comment made on a social network about gender neutral housing at a college campus cause hateful comments.
Online exchange over Rowan's transgender community turns ugly
Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Monday, November 17, 2014

A Rowan University student's recent online posting, aimed at advancing a conversation about the needs of the school's transgender community, took a turn for the worse, prompting a university memo Monday and again putting a popular social media application under scrutiny.

The student's message on the Yik Yak app last week proposed gender-neutral housing and better education for professors about transgender identity. The ideas were met by inflammatory remarks on the app, which allows users to anonymously contribute to a single thread based on geographical location.
On Monday, a message from the dean of students, Richard Jones, to the university community called the comments "highly insensitive" and listed campus resources for students exploring their identities.

"Comments that marginalize students in any form [are] not acceptable," Jones said in an interview. "We decided that one negative comment is one negative comment too many."
I am not a fan of anonymous comments, it seems to me that it brings out the worst of people, it emboldens the bigots and the racists. That is why I went to comment moderating on my blog; I get transphobic comments that I will not post. I do allow respectful negative anonymous comment but I will delete and comments that I feel that are hateful.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I Am Surprised At Australia

I always thought it was more progressive…
Family Court Chief Justice calls for rethink on how High Court handles cases involving transgender children
ABC News (Australia Broadcasting Corporation)
November 16, 2014

Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant says she would like to see the court's jurisdiction tested in cases involving medical treatment for transgender children.

"I'd like to see the High Court have the opportunity to examine these kinds of cases, these gender identity cases and to decide whether or not the court has to be involved at all," she told the ABC's Four Corners program.

As it now stands, a child wishing to change gender needs to apply to the Family Court for the second stage of treatment involving gender-changing hormones.
There is no need to have the courts involved with a medical treatment. The medical treatment is totally reversible when they are on puberty blockers and once they get old enough they can decide if they want to go on hormones.
Chief Justice Bryant made it clear the court and legal system needs to respond.

"I think society is changing about these issues as well, and I think it is important to remember that," she said.

"I think from what we've seen, it's completely innate and when you read all the psychiatric reports and all the reports about how it affects young people, it is undoubtedly innate."
The judge is absolutely correct. It only adds a layer of cost and hardship to something that is better handled by doctors and therapists.

The Global View

As more and more companies become global they face cultural pressures that run counter to ours. When an American company expands into Muslin countries they face backlash for their support of LGBT human rights.
MetLife’s Gay Rights Support Draws Criticism of Malaysia Partner
Insurance Journal
By Zachary Tracer and Claire Obusan
November 17, 2014

MetLife Inc.’s support for gay rights in the U.S. is drawing criticism to the insurer’s partner in Malaysia. A group in the nation called for a boycott of AMMB Holdings Bhd.’s AmBank, citing MetLife’s recognition as among the best places to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
Jaringan Melayu Malaysia, the group pushing for a boycott, also called on Malaysia’s government to reconsider allowing the MetLife venture to offer the takaful products.

Subtly Deceiving
“It is clear that the entire time MetLife has been promoting LGBT, subtly deceiving the Muslim people in this country,” Jaringan Melayu Malaysia said on its website. “This looks like a bigger agenda that has malicious intent that obscures the vision of banking, especially Islamic banking in this country.”
Other corporations are also feeling the pressured in Muslim countries and I wonder how Apple is going to fair because of Tim Cook coming out. Will Apple be boycotted and how will this affect U.S. Companies that want to trade globally? Will companies still want a 100 in HRC’s Company Equality Index if it means losing business worldwide?