Saturday, April 30, 2016

Trans Health and Law Conference

I'm off all day at the conference, it is going to be a long day culumating in a dinner with Kate Bornstein and the Board of Directors 

Friday, April 29, 2016

What Makes An Activist?

There is an article in ESPN W with Jennifer Boylan and Kate Bornstein and one answer that resonated with me was,
AG: When did you both decide that you would become public figures and advocates?
JB: I don't think I ever decided. I wrote my memoir, "She's Not There," in a summerhouse in the middle of winter in complete isolation. I had no idea that it would ever see the light of day or that anyone would ever read it. The publisher didn't particularly think a semi-comic story of changing genders was an automatic best-seller. The book's success took me by surprise, took the publisher by surprise, and kind of catapulted me into a role for which I was not particularly prepared.
“I don't think I ever decided.” was what resonated with me, I never decided to be an activist, all I did was ask what can I do to help and did it.

So what makes an activist?

Someone who hears means and intervenes is an activist.

Someone who calls their legislators is an activist.

Someone who testifies before a hearing is an activist.

Someone who stands up for their rights is an activist.

Someone who overcomes their fear and goes out in public is an activist.

It doesn’t take much to be an activist; all it takes is to act.

Here is another activist...
Fight for transgender rights growing
Activists are pushing for more protections after the landmark same-sex marriage ruling last year.
The Portland Press Herald
By Sandhya Somashkhar The Washington Post
April 29, 2016

After decades of fighting her family, her community and herself over her gender identity, Kendall Balentine finally made peace with it. She became content to live out her retirement quietly, for the first time in her life as a woman, with her wife and dogs in the relative isolation of Deadwood, South Dakota.

That is, until last month. The South Dakota legislature advanced a bill requiring transgender students to use the bathroom matching the sex on their birth certificates. When an organizer with a national gay rights group called to see if she would come forward to call for the governor to veto the bill, requiring her to push herself into the limelight in a way she never imagined, she didn’t hesitate.

“All my life, I put myself in harm’s way because I couldn’t be who I was,” said Balentine, 49, a retired Marine and deputy sheriff who fully transitioned from living as a man to a woman last year. “I decided now I was willing to die for who I am and fight for those who didn’t have a voice.”
She is one type of activist; she is willing to be in the spotlight, while other activist just come out to their family.

A Snowball Chance.

You know the saying, well this bill in North Carolina has that much of a chance in passing.
Bill to repeal anti-transgender NC law sent to committee that never meets
By Colin Campbell
April 29, 2016

State Senate Democrats’ proposal to repeal House Bill 2 appears to be dead just a day after it was filed.

On Wednesday, Sens. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte, Terry Van Duyn of Asheville and Mike Woodard of Durham filed Senate Bill 784, which would repeal the controversial LGBT law in its entirety. The bill is identical to one filed Monday by House Democrats.
The three-member Ways and Means Committee hasn’t held a meeting in years. It’s widely known as the graveyard of the Senate – the place where Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca sends legislation that he wants to kill.
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

We don’t care what people think of North Carolina, we do not care the businesses are leaving the state, we don’t care that it is another Jim Crow law, we are standing our ground and going down with the ship. It is the principal of it.

Anyone who says that the Republicans are for business, for government that gets off your back, this law puts businesses between a rock and a hard place. If a business obeys the state law in puts them in direct violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and what could be more invasive as checking what is between your legs.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bathrooms And A Lot More.

I wrote about women being arrested for using the bathroom and I burned because it was a fake news site, but these I think are real and not spoofs.
IT BEGINS: Watch Cops Drag Girl Out Of NC Bathroom For “Not Looking Like A Woman”
Occupy Democrats
April 27, 2016

In this shocking video, an unidentified young woman is manhandled and ejected from a ladies’ bathroom by male police. Because she didn’t adhere to their ideas of how a woman is “supposed to dress,” they accused her of being a male and invaded her space, humiliating and insulting her in their ignorance and bigotry. While onlookers yell at the cops that “she’s a girl” and inform them that she is a lesbian who chooses to not conform to conventional gender standards, the cops angrily demand ID of “sir” and then frisk the woman after she is unable to produce identification.

The video was posted to Facebook by prominent BlackLivesMatter activist Tamara McDaniels. There is no indication of where this takes place, but as she references the bathroom laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi in her post description, one can make a reasonable guess:

“Lesbian harassed and forced to leave a public restroom because the police insist she’s a man. Is this what “Make America Great Again” means? This makes me very sad and I want no part of this irrational fear.

Notice the female cops says this is a girl but the male officers ignores his fellow officers.

We are coming down to the wire for the Transgender Health and Law conference and I am going to have just prewritten blogs and no blog on Saturday, Sunday is going to be iffy also because I will have to drive our keynote speaker to the railroad station in the morning.

Bathrooms And More.

The news media sank their teeth into Target’s non-discrimination policy but Target is not alone.
How other stores are handling transgender bathroom policies
USA Today
By Hadley Malcolm
April 27, 2016

Retailers are weighing in on the question of transgender rights as momentum builds against Target, whose stance on which bathroom transgender customers and employees can use in stores has sparked major backlash from customers who say they're going to stop shopping there.

Starbucks, Hudson's Bay Co. — parent company to Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue — and Barnes & Noble all told USA TODAY that employees and customers in their stores are welcome to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley said the company is "looking into additional opportunities to have more gender-neutral signage in our restrooms where jurisdictions allow it."
"HBC respects and affirms each person’s right to self-identify and access facilities that reflect their gender identity," spokeswoman Tiffany Bourré said.

"As a company, Barnes & Noble treats all employees and customers with dignity and respect," spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said. "For our transgender employees and customers, that means that they are allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with."
And other stores also have non-discrimination policies including Sears Holdings, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks have signed on to the HRC open letter denouncing the law.

All these store polices are doing is obeying the law.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Safe Space

One of the things that I mention in my presentations is if you say you’re a safe space make sure you are.
Defining diversity: LGBTQ faculty often find themselves outside the bounds
The Daily Pennsylvanian
By Chloe Cheng

In recent years, recruitment of a diverse faculty has been a topic of much discussion within Penn’s administrative circles. But LGBTQ faculty members — an already marginalized group — may often be pushed to the wayside or forgotten under the umbrella of diversity. Once on campus, many then face institutional and personal challenges stemming from their identities.
Other than in this introduction, sexual orientation — and not to mention, gender identity, which isn’t included in the official action plan in any respect — is not explicitly referred to at any other point.
Out of the four undergraduate schools, only the School of Nursing and the Wharton School include both sexual orientation and gender identity under their definition of diversity. The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science include only sexual orientation in their definitions.

Mathematics professor and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dennis DeTurck said that SAS’s action plan may only include sexual orientation and not gender identity because he imagines that “those two things mean the same thing to a lot of people.”
So much for diversity training if they don’t even understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. It seems like they are only providing lip service to diversity, the article mentions the fact that they don’t even ask about SO and GI on their diversity surveys.
While the University collects concrete data on race and gender, the fact that sexual orientation and gender identity is left out of the process has led some administrators to question how they can ensure that progress is being made.
Allen said that information on race and ethnicity, as well as gender, is routinely collected because the University is required to report such information to the federal government. Other categories, such as sexual orientation and gender identity, are not required, but without the relevant data collection, keeping track of the university’s progress in recruiting and retaining LGBTQ faculty becomes harder.
In the 2010-2011 survey they did ask about SO but not GI.

What is worse than having no policy at all is saying you LGBT friendly when you are not, it leads to LGBT people letting their guard down only to get slammed later on.

This afternoon I am co-presenting at the HIV Educational Forum that is presented by the Bristol Mayor’s Task Force on HIV/AIDS

The Search Continues

Every morning I search the news for trans articles and lately it has become harder. If you go to Google News or Yahoo News and use “transgender” as the search word I used to find dozens of topics to write about, but now there is only one. Bathrooms.

What does that have to say about us, in us I mean the U.S.? What does it mean to the rest of the world? So I entered the search terms “transgender bathrooms” in to a number of foreign newspapers sites.  BBC had an interesting topic…
Mapping safe toilets for transgender Americans
31 March 2016

For most, the act of going to the bathroom is an unremarkable part of their daily routines. However, for transgender people, fear of harassment makes this small decision a tough obstacle.

In North Carolina a recent law has been introduced requiring people to only use bathrooms that match the gender they were assigned at birth.

Web designer Emily Waggoner was "devastated" by the new legislation, and decided to do something to help those in need of a safe location to use non-gendered bathrooms.

Waggoner created a map peppered with small toilet roll icons, showing the locations of businesses that have declared their facilities safe for those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming.
The British newspaper The Guardian had this article,
From Jim Crow to transgender ban: the bathroom as battleground for civil rights
North Carolina’s ban on transgender people using public bathrooms matching their identity is the latest in a history of contention over a very private space
By Maria L La Ganga
30 March 2016

But transgender people are hardly the first to be embroiled in a very public bathroom brawl. The commode has been at the center of civil rights battles since the first modern public lavatory with flushing toilets opened in Victorian London.

Who were the interlopers back then? Women, of course, and they’re still fighting for “potty parity”. The US Congress, for example, has yet to pass the Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act to make sure government buildings are built or leased with, at minimum, the same number of toilets in women’s restrooms as in men’s. Urinals are included in the count.

In the segregated south, Jim Crow laws banned black people from public “whites only” bathrooms until the 1960s, in perhaps the most elemental form of segregation. People with disabilities were not promised access to public lavatories until the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by then-president George W Bush in 1990. Homeless people still struggle to find restrooms they are allowed to use.
And that is about it. The rest of the world just doesn’t care about bathrooms, it seems to be an American obsession.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Target Has A Target On Its Back.

The conservatives have Target in their sights; there are supposedly 400,000 who have signed up to boycott Target.
Dad Takes Daughter to Target to Confront Manager on Transgender Bathroom Policy — and Isn’t Happy About What the Manager Tells Him
The Blae
By Dave Urbanski
April 25, 2016

A dad posted on Facebook last week that he took his young daughter to Target to have a chat with the store’s manager about a delicate subject.

Izzy Avraham wrote that he told his little girl on the way to Target “how some men think they’re women and wear dresses and makeup and want to use the women’s washrooms instead of the men’s. I asked her what she thought of that. She said, ‘That’s weird.’ And was quiet for a bit. Then she said, ‘If a man walked into the women’s washroom I’d fight him until he got out!’”
Avraham added: “We kept talking and I explained to her that we should be kind and loving to everyone, because everybody is a person with a heart and feelings. But that you can also disagree with the way they’re acting, and think it’s weird.”
So what did the manager had to say?
“She said Target has always had a policy of non-discrimination, and that if parents had concerns we could use the family rooms, or Tirzah could come in the men’s washroom with me,” Avaraham wrote. “I told her that as a concerned dad, I’m uncomfortable with Target’s decision to allow people with male bodies in the women’s washrooms. And that we think it’s weird. We thanked her and left. I kept the whole conversation really polite and as relaxed as possible.” 
But he didn’t buy it.

The thing is “Target has always had a policy of non-discrimination” so this is nothing new, what is new is that the conservative press got wind of it. The history of the policy is important because over the years Target never has there been an incident where the policy has been used for illegal purposes.

So I am going shopping today at Target.

Well The New Leaf Didn’t Last Long

Yesterday I wrote about to Fox hosts who defended trans people, well Fox is back to being the ol’ Fox.
Fox News Doctor Proposes A Harmful New “Treatment” For Transgender Children
Media Matters
By Rachel Percelay
April 25, 2016

Fox News "Medical A Team" member Dr. Keith Ablow speculated wildly about medical care for transgender children, proposing his own harmful treatments that go against scientific evidence and professional standards from mainstream medical associations.

In a rant where he compared being transgender to pretending to be 65 to get Medicare, Ablow proposed injecting transgender children with hormones corresponding to their gender assigned at birth to “go with nature” and make them “feel more comfortable.” Ablow’s proposed “treatment” is his own extreme variation of discredited ex-gay “conversion therapy” which falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Ablow’s suggestion is reminiscent of 1940’s era “treatments” where lesbians were forced to submit to estrogen injections and men were given testosterone to “cure” them of being gay. These type of “reparative therapy” practices have been rejected for decades by all mainstream medical associations.
This is what happens when political beliefs override medical research. Millions of people listen to Dr. Keith Ablow who twists medical research to fit his conservative dogma. Dr. Ablow uses the same thinking as the American College of Pediatricians which believes “conversion therapy” and that trans people can be cured. The American College of Pediatricians has about 200 members compared to the American Academy of Pediatrics that has over 60,000 members.

I can't help but wonder how many trans people have been sucked into the web that these so called medical associations have spun.

Monday, April 25, 2016

What Is Going On At Fox

Here are two articles that I never thought I would see on Fox.
Chris Wallace destroys myth of transgender predators: ‘This is a solution in search of a problem’
By David Edwards
24 April 2016

Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday shot down the conservative argument that anti-transgender bathroom laws were necessary to stop sexual predators from committing crimes in public restrooms.

During a panel discussion on Fox News Sunday, Wallace wondered if GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was making a mistake by using the issue to attack Donald Trump, who recently said that he disagreed with laws that prevent transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice.
Wallace, however, dismissed Domenech’s assertion with a quick fact check.

“We actually tried to find out whether it is a public safety issues,” the Fox News host explained. “Whether it is a problem with transgender people misusing bathrooms to prey on others.”

Wallace noted that PolitiFact had looked into the issue and found that there was no known “instance of criminals convicted of using transgender protections as cover in the United States.”

“This seems to be a solution in search of a problem,” he concluded.
Here is another Fox host defending our use of the bathroom and he is not alone…

The Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer had this to say about trans bathrooms,
Krauthammer: There’s No ‘Epidemic of Transgenders Being Evil in Bathrooms’
Merdia ITE
By Josh Feldman
April 21st, 2016

On Fox News tonight, Charles Krauthammer dismissed the giant conservative freakout about transgenders using bathrooms of the gender they identify as. (Or, as Ted Cruz and others have put it, grown men leering at young girls in bathrooms.)

Laura Ingraham said this should be a state issue and “not exactly Rosa Parks on the bus here.” She warned that allowing transgenders into the bathrooms they feel comfortable in would lead to people exploiting the system to do harm. 
Dr. Krauthammer replied,
“This is a solution in search of an issue. I mean, do we really have an epidemic of transgenders being evil in bathrooms across the country? I haven’t heard of a single case.”

“It is not a major national problem,” he concluded, “and it should have been left that way.”
Would you have ever thought that you would have ever heard two Fox hosts taking our side in the great bathroom debate.

“This is a solution in search of an issue." must be their talking points both Dr. Krauthammer and Chris Wallace said the same thing.

I Was Surprised By This Article

With so many religions against us I was very surprised to see this article from the Baptist News.
When religious liberty demands cease to be legitimate
Opinion by Amy Butler
April 19, 2016

I think most Americans, even non-religious Americans, are on board with the idea of religious liberty — in the abstract. But like so many of the things we hold dear, what sounds great in theory becomes deeply complicated when the “rights” we cling to individually begin to conflict.

All of us have been watching news reports of contentious legal claims unfolding almost every day across America. From North Carolina to Mississippi and lots of other places in between, the stories vary in theme from contraception mandates to wedding cakes to who gets to use the bathroom where.
It was such a strange turnabout, a moment when the abstract suddenly became painfully personal. I could see the leader of the religious group just a few seats over, and I wanted to go talk to him and say something like, “Listen, I get it. I’m a person of faith too, and I understand that it can be really difficult to hold beliefs that are counter to the culture around you. But trying to force everybody around you to conform to your view of the world is just as bad as the rest of the world trying to force you to conform to it.”
Exactly, it seems more states are passing “religious freedom” laws which are really a license to discriminate. Religious freedom means the freedom to worship not the freedom to ignore laws you don’t like.

Also, please don't label all religions the same, there are many affirming churches who welcome trans people.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I Wonder What A Certain Celebrity Trans Person Thinks

Senator Cruz last week said what he thought of trans people,
Ted Cruz Capitalizes On Opportunity To Bash Transgender People
By Zack Ford
April 22, 2016

This week, the New York primary guaranteed that it will be impossible for Ted Cruz to secure the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot of the convention, and the candidate responded by reminding voters just how eager he is to discriminate against transgender people.

Two different incidents prompted Cruz’s latest trans-bashing campaign: Donald Trump’s remarks condemning North Carolina’s HB2, a law that bans transgender people from using the appropriately gendered restrooms in schools and public buildings, and ESPN firing analyst Curt Schilling after the former MLB pitcher promoted an anti-trans meme on his Facebook page.

Cruz’s reaction to Trump’s comment Thursday morning was swift. “He thought that men should be able to go into the girls’ bathroom if they want to,” Cruz said in a comment. “Now let me ask you: Have we gone stark-raving nuts?” He joked that Trump was proving “he could be the most politically correct person on Earth” and that he should get new hats that say “Make PC Great Again.”
Friday morning, the Cruz campaign released a brand new ad again attacking Trump. Like the fearmongering ads used to overturn the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance this past fall, it contains creepy music and images of women’s bathrooms and little girls.
Well I wonder what the well-known celebrity trans person thinks now of Senator Cruz? I don’t think there is much wiggle room about how Cruz thinks about trans people, that we are a way to rally voters to him at our expense.

Also in the news about Senator Cruz, a trans boy was kicked out of a Cruz rally.
Transgender teen booted from Ted Cruz rally as campaign of transphobia ramps up
"Ted Cruz kicked me out of his rally ... just because I was trans," a 16-year-old Maryland teen alleges
By Sophia Tesfaye
April 22, 2016

“As a member of the LGBT community, and considering that Ted Cruz is extremely homophobic and transphobic, I came here to represent the LGBT youth that are hurt by his propaganda and rhetoric,” 16-year-old Maryland teen James Van Kuilenburg told the Fredrick News-Post on Thursday. Kuilenburg, a transgender boy, said he and his mother were kicked out of the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign event in their town simply because James is transgender.

Cruz, the most conservative contender for the Republican presidential nomination in decades, has been a vocal and longtime propagator of the transgender bathroom predator myth and has his campaign has faltered, he’s desperately turned up the volume on his campaign of transphobia to gin up votes by scapegoating vulnerable communities as inherently criminal.
I think he is a very brave boy to walk into the lion’s den like that.

We All Saw This Coming

You all probably knew that the Virginia school board would apply the Appeals Court’s decision.
Virginia School Board to Appeal Transgender Bathroom Ruling
NBC News
By Pete Williams
April 22, 2016

The Gloucester County, Virginia School Board says it will appeal this week's ruling which said the board violated federal law when it barred schools from allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The decision was a victory for a high school student, Gavin Grimm, who challenged the policy. Grimm, was born female but identifies as male, underwent hormone therapy, and legally changed his name.

The ruling came from a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, finding that the board violated Title IX, the provision of federal law that bars sex discrimination. The board says it will appeal to the full appeals court.

"The Board understands that the claims were sent back to the district court for further consideration and that no injunction was granted by the court. After considering the opinions of the 4th Circuit panel, it is the school boards' unanimous decision to file a petition for an en banc hearing with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals," read a board issued statement.
So now if the court approves to hear the case we know that at least two of the judges agree with the U.S. Department of Education’s ruling on Title IX and we only need two other judges who think the same thing. From what I could find of the fifteen judges six judges were appointed by either President Reagan or Presidents G W Bush or G H Bush and nine judges were appointed by either Presidents Clinton or Obama. I believe that the judges are selected by a lottery of available judges.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday 9: LIttle Red Corvette

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: LIttle Red Corvette

Every Saturday I take time off from written on serious topics to have some fun…

From the archives.
In memory of Prince (1958-2016)

1) The subject of this song is frankly sexual. Do you blush easily?

2) Prince was his real first name (Prince Rogers, to be exact). Growing up, his relatives called him "Skipper." Do you have any nicknames within your family?
My brother sometimes calls me “D”

3) Prince said he was "obsessed" with Mozart and read whatever he can find about the composer. What's the last book you read?
Well right now I am reading the Falling Kingdom series by Megan Rhodes, but my current thing is audio books. I found a source of free audio books of the classics, LibriVox and I am listening to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars books about John Carter.

Also speaking of books this week I was on a panel about LGBT at the Connecticut Library Association conference
4) Between Prince and The Beach Boys, the Corvette is a much sung-about car. Tell us about your vehicle. 
It is a blue 2012 Plug-in Prius and right now I am getting 67 mpg.

5) In the 1980s, when Prince was popular, MTV could turn a song into a hit. In 2016, where do you hear new music?
I really don’t here “new music” because I mostly listen to the classic songs from the sixties and seventies.

6) In 1982, when "Little Red Corvette" ruled the airwaves, Braniff Airways shocked the travel industry and threw passengers into chaos by declaring bankruptcy. When did you last fly? Did your trip go smoothly? 
My last airplane trip was in March of 2006 and it was for business and I flew on the company’s jet. That was my first post on this blog.

Before that my last vacation that I traveled on a plane was to Washington state to my cousin’s wedding in 1999.

7) 1982 is also the year Disney opened Epcot. Have you ever been to a Disney park?
Nope and I don’t intend to go to any amusement parks. If I could get in free to walk around then I might go, but I have no interests in any of the rides.

8) 1982 is the year Cheers premiered. The sitcom was set in a bar where "everybody knows your name." Tell us about your favorite local bar or restaurant. 
My local restaurant where everyone knows my name is at a whole in the wall seafood place called the Blue Lobster.

9) The 1980s were considered a highpoint in professional tennis, with Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe dominating the sport. Do you play tennis?
Nope, too much like work chasing a ball around.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Double Down

Even after all the fallout and the Appeals court ruling the governor of North Carolina is doubling down.
North Carolina Governor Sets Up Hotline To Report Anyone Not Using Correct Bathroom
By ABC news
April 21, 2016

Raleigh, NC — At a press conference today, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory took further steps to ensure that his controversial bill, HB2, will be upheld when it comes to law enforcement. McCrory announced that his office has setup a 24-hour hotline for individuals to call if they witness someone not abiding by the new law.

“If you see a woman, who doesn’t look like a woman, using the woman’s restroom, be vigilant, call the hotline, and report that individual.” McCrory told reporters. “We need our state to unite as one if we’re going to keep our children safe from all the sexual predators and other aberrant behavior that is out there.”
So now we are sexual predators. This is typical of how conservatives demonizing us, making us the boogieman.

I wonder how long it will be before they snare ciswoman in their web?

Stop Your Grumbling And Get Over It.

Governor John Kasich tells LGBT people to get over with it and stop your complaining.
John Kasich to LGBT People Facing Discrimination: 'Can You Just Get Over It?' (Video)
GOP Presidential Candidate Suggests Christians Should 'Pray For' Same-Sex Couples
The New Civil Rights

By David Badash
April 17, 2016

Republican Gov. John Kasich on Sunday told LGBT people who face discrimination they should just get over it. The third-place GOP presidential candidate who is the sitting governor of Ohio also told people of faith who oppose same-sex marriage and LGBT people to "pray for" them. Both comments were made under the guise of uniting the nation.

CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" asked Kasich if there are any steps he "would take to try to stop states from passing" anti-LGBT, so called "religious freedom" laws. The Ohio governor responded, "No, I wouldn't," then admitted that he hadn't even "thought about" it.

"There is a legitimate concern for people being able to have their deeply held religious beliefs, religious liberty," Kasich continued. "But there's also people who we shouldn't be discriminating against. We need to have a balance," he insisted.  

"I just wish that everybody would just take a breath and calm down, because, you see, trying to figure out how to legislate that balance is complicated, and you keep doing do-overs, because nobody gets it right," he admitted.
Notice how he said "But there's also people who we shouldn't be discriminating against.” and he didn’t name who we shouldn’t discriminate against. Somehow I don’t think he meant us.

So if someone refused to serve us in a restaurant we should just get over being made second class citizens.

It seems like that is his favorite phrase last year he used to describe the Social Security cuts,
John Kasich on Social Security cuts: 'Get over it'
By Tal Kopan and Cassie Spodak, CNN
October 10, 2015

Exeter, New Hampshire (CNN)Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Friday that a New Hampshire audience member would "get over" cuts to Social Security payments as a result of his reform plan -- and the left is already pouncing on the comment.

The Republican presidential candidate was asked about entitlement reform during NH1's "Fiscal Fridays" series in Concord, New Hampshire, on Friday, and he said it was something that would have to get done.

"We can't balance a budget without entitlement reform. What are we, kidding?" Kasich said when asked about his opponents who say they won't touch entitlements.
Um… governor, Social Security is not an entitlement we paid for it! You know that deduction that you see on your paycheck each payday, well that is us paying for our retirement.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I Find This Refreshing

Trump to me seemed like he is playing at the primaries, so when he said this I was a little surprised.
Trump on transgender bathroom debate: 'Leave it the way it is'
The Hill
By Jesse Byrnes
April 21, 2016

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday said North Carolina is "paying a big price" for a controversial bathroom law that has been blasted by LGBT advocates, adding that officials should just "leave it the way it is."

Trump said the state unnecessarily mandated that transgender people use public restrooms that correspond with their biological gender, adding that transgender people should use whatever bathroom they want.

Trump was asked during a town hall interview on NBC's "Today" show whether he would let Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman, walk into Trump Tower and use any bathroom that she wanted.

"That is correct," Trump responded.

"North Carolina did something – it was very strong. And they're paying a big price. And there's a lot of problems," Trump said.
Trump also noted that "there is a big move to create new bathrooms" for transgender people.

"I think that would be discriminatory in a certain way. It would be unbelievably expensive for businesses and the country. Leave it the way it is."
Wow! I know in the past he let a trans woman be a contestant in the Miss Universe contest. He said,
Days after the disqualification drew worldwide headlines, the Trump organization Monday said it would not attempt to keep Talackova out of the competition.

"The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions," Michael D. Cohen, Trump's executive vice president and special counsel, said in an email statement announcing the change.
What surprised me was that he said what he did in the strongly conservative race.

I Think We Know This

I think we all have found that the younger generation is a lot more accepting than older generations.
Exclusive: Women, young more open on transgender issue in U.S. - Reuters/Ipsos poll
By Daniel Trotta
April 21, 2016

Transgender Americans may find greater acceptance in the future, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll that shows young adults and women more open to people using public bathrooms matching their gender identity.

The issue is polarizing much of the United States, notably in North Carolina, where big businesses and rock stars are boycotting the state over a new law requiring people to use the public restroom matching their birth certificate.

Americans aged 18 to 29 favor letting transgender people use the restroom of their identity by a 2-to-1 ratio. Among Americans aged 60 or more, the ratio was 2-to-1 in reverse with people saying restroom use should be mandated by the gender on one's birth certificate.

Forty-four percent of women favor letting a man who is in transition from male to female into their public toilets, compared to 39 percent who say they must use the facilities matching their gender assigned at birth.
As a product child of the sixties we were way more liberal as our parents and I think the same is true with generation. However, as we got older we got more conservative. Those Americans who are in their sixties were the hippies of the sixties and now many of them are conservatives.

The article goes on to say,
The results should be encouraging for advocates of transgender rights, who might also take heart from how rapidly public opinion shifted on the issue of same-sex marriage, said Paisley Currah, an author on transgender issues and a political science professor at Brooklyn College.
The poll found 92 percent of respondents have heard of the term transgender, which refers to a range of people who do not conform to the sex assigned to them at birth, regardless of whether they have undergone any medical procedures toward gender reassignment.

Democrats, by 57 percent to 29 percent, and people in large metropolitan areas are more likely to allow transgender people to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity. Republicans side with the birth certificate criteria by 64 percent to 23 percent.

New England and the Northeast were the regions most accepting of transgender people choosing restrooms by identity while the Southwest, Southeast and South were most inclined to side with the birth certificate standard.

People who frequently attend church are more than twice as likely to agree with the North Carolina law, although Roman Catholics are evenly split.
No surprises here.

When I was in grad school learning about political activism we learned that there are three types of people those who are fixed in their ways against us, those that are the fence sitters, and those who are fixed in their ways for us. You put 10 percent of your effort in those who are against us, you put 10 percent of your effort in thanking those who are with us, and you put 80 percent of your effort in to the movable middle.

There are just some people who you will never change their minds and there are those who with education you can move over to your side of the fence.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Yikes! She Doesn’t Get It!

One of the things that we as a community have to do is better education, there’re so many people who think being trans is a lifestyle, that it is a choice and we have to educate people about the truth.
From Kristi Merritt Facebook page via the BBC

How one woman's 'bathroom bill' campaign went viral
By BBC Trending
20 April 2016

Meet Kristi Merritt, from Washington in the US.

She's posed for a string of photographs that compare dressing up as a Mexican, or a pirate, to being transgender.

More than 70,000 people have shared the images that Merritt posted to Facebook, and more than thirty thousand have hit the like button. But many are unhappy about the comparison, and it's triggered a slew of negative articles online as well.

The caption accompanying the pictures reads: "A man in women's clothes does not make him a woman. Men should not get to be in our bathrooms or lockers!" which explains Merritt's bone of contention.
Messages on the post were limited to Merritt's friends and were mostly sympathetic. "This is not hate speech, this is basic common sense," and "seems to me she has a point," wrote two users. Not all of her friends agreed, however. "These posts are PURE ignorance. Please keep your hate to yourself. It's just a bathroom!" wrote another.
Is it hate? Or is it the fact that they don’t understand?

I think it is the latter, I think she doesn’t understand that it is a lot more than just the clothes. That it is part of our identity. For many it is about hate but for many more they have no knowledge of transgenderism, all they know is what they see on the news or read either online or in their newspapers.

Unfortunately, it still has a negative effect on the community.

"Hoist With His Own Petard"

You all probably have heard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruling in the Virginia case, but this ruling can only be appealed to the Supreme Court and that is where the Republicans have been hoist with their own petard. Because there are only eight justices if Virginia does appeal the case we have two chances to win. If the ruling is 5-3 and justice Kennedy votes in our favor we win nationally; the ruling would cover the U.S., but if the vote is 4-4 then we win but only in the 4th which includes North Carolina.

But even though everyone is shouting victory it is still too early for that, all the ruling does is send the case back to the federal district court. The New York Times said,
The ruling by a three-judge panel on Tuesday reversed the lower court’s dismissal of the Title IX claim, stating that the District Court “did not accord appropriate deference” to regulations issued by the Department of Education. The department’s current guidelines dictate that schools “generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”
But the judge they sent the case back to is a conservative judge who was appointed by President Reagan, so he could still rule in the state’s favor by denying the injunction. We would back to square one with the case going back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

In a related issue the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights put their two cents into the North Carolina law.
Civil rights commission says N.C. bathroom law jeopardizes physical safety of transgender people
Washington Post
By Mark Berman
April 19, 2016

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights this week criticized controversial laws that were passed recently in North Carolina and Mississippi and considered in other places, describing the measures as discriminatory and potentially dangerous.

In a statement released Monday, the commission said that the North Carolina law directing transgender people to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate “jeopardizes not only the dignity, but also the actual physical safety, of transgender people.”

The commission said it had the same concerns about a Mississippi law that allows some businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples, because that measure also allows certain businesses decide who is allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on a person’s “anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
But unfortunately, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights does enjoy any enforcement powers, so everyone can ignore them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Does Anti-Trans Bill Create Hate?

I cannot but help wonder if all these anti-trans legislation create an environment that condones bullying and violence against us.
Police: Transgender-woman found dead at Maryland Red Roof Inn
By Jeff Goldberg, ABC7
April 18, 2016

OCKVILLE, Md. (ABC7) — Detectives continue to investigate an adult found dead in a hotel room at a Red Roof Inn Saturday in Rockville, the Montgomery County Police Department said.

Police said on Monday that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.

Initially the victim was identified as 22-year-old Kenneth Anthony Blakeney, but police say detectives have determined that the victim identified herself as a transgender female named "Keyonna."

Police say Keyonna may have been engaging in prostitution at the Inn.

Court records show that a Kennethy Anthony Blakeney was arrested on April 3 in Prince George's County for a third degree sex offense. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 29.

Keyonna died from trauma to the upper body, according to police.
What a sad commentary on one’s life “died from trauma to the upper body.”

All she did she did to survive.

For some trans women of color it is almost impossible to find jobs but many dropped out of school because of bullying or they were thrown out of their family and must do whatever to survive.

This afternoon I am doing training at a local hospital children's unit.

A Tale Of Two…

Well not cites but rather the cities and the suburbs.

Here in Connecticut it is the cities that carry the elections while in North Carolina it is the opposite.
Transgender Bathroom Brawl Punishes North Carolina Mayors Twice
By Tim Jones
April 19, 2016

In the battle over which bathrooms transgender people may use, North Carolina’s mayors are being pummeled by both sides.

A legislature dominated by rural Republicans punishes them for setting their own anti-discrimination policies. Then, corporations and entertainers respond with boycotts that affect North Carolina’s job-producing regions -- its cities.

“The weird thing is that they’re actually hurting us at the same time,” said Jennifer Roberts, mayor of Charlotte, where Bank of America Corp. is based and Wells Fargo & Co. operates a large trading floor. “It’s really a paradox.”
The dispute mirrors battles between rural Republican lawmakers and urban Democrats in a growing number of states. While many have centered on cultural issues, taxes and economic development also have touched off clashes. In Missouri, Republicans who control the legislature have tried to revoke income taxes in Democratic Kansas City and St. Louis. Texas legislators have moved to curtail city efforts to ban oil and gas drilling, as well as restrictions on carrying guns.
We see that same battle here in Connecticut, the suburbs are mostly white and the cities are mostly minorities, the suburbs are mostly salaried and the cities are mostly hourly. The suburbs are bedroom communities with their gated compounds are mainly Republican and they see the cities as drain of their wealth, it is us against them.
“This is in the court of national opinion right now, with corporations and entertainers deciding how to respond,” Roberts said. “It’s become much larger than the cities of North Carolina versus the state of North Carolina.”

The national debate stems from local upheaval. In 2010, for the first time in 140 years, Republicans won control of the legislature. That cleared the way for stricter abortion restrictions, a tough voter identification law and private-school payment vouchers. The uproar over the bathroom ban prompted Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is McCrory’s opponent in November, to decline to defend the law against court challenges.
Look at the laws that the Republicans have passed in North Carolina, they are all centered in a class system. Whites can afford to travel to other states to have an abortion while inner-city residents are forced to have backroom abortions. While those who live in the suburbs have easy access to their birth certificates those who live in the cities are dependent on public transportation and work multiple jobs have a much harder time getting a copy of their birth certificate. In many states they make it much harder to get a copy of your birth certificate because you have to go in person to request a copy of it.

Private-school payment vouchers encourages segregation, it is those who are more affluent that can afford to pay the difference between what the vouchers pays and the tuition. It is the minorities who are left in the public schools.
“The same people who said they were sick and tired of Washington telling them what to do are now in power, and then they start micromanaging cities,” said Foy, now an assistant professor at the North Carolina Central University School of Law. “It’s really hard to extract a principle from all this.”
It is ironic that the party that says they want less government is passing laws to regulate who can go to the bathroom and what you can do to your body.

Update 10:00AM
Meanwhile down along the gold coast they are having problems.
Crystal Coast losing bookings because of bathroom bill; Indian Beach supports
By McCrory
April 18, 2016

CARTERET COUNTY, NC (WITN) - Tourism dollars are starting to bypass the Crystal Coast because of House Bill 2, while one beach town has come out in support of the governor and state lawmakers.
Rental property management companies say they are feeling the repercussions from the transgender bathroom bill after some vacationers are backing out of their rentals.
Emerald Isle Realty told the Crystal Coast Tourism Board they have already lost between $50,000 and $80,000. Another smaller management group told WITN they have seen the same thing and worry more and more people will back out from summer rentals.
And then there is this comment from the Indian Beach town commissioner,
"We're letting a small minority of people, gays and lesbians are driving an agenda that's being pushed on us on those of us that don't believe in their agenda," said Indian Beach town commissioner Joel Fortune.
Ah yes the famous comment by the oppressor to the oppressed

Monday, April 18, 2016

There Is No Wiggle Room

The Supreme Court has been emphatic you cannot discrimination against LGBT families. But states are trying to wiggle around it by passing “religious freedom” laws and by trying to block adoptions.

Now Florida is taking it vengeance on LGBT youth.
Florida takes gay fight to foster youth
Orlando Sentinel
By Scott Maxwell
April 15, 2016
  You'd be hard-pressed to find a state more obsessed with battling gay folks than Florida.
 OK, maybe North Carolina. But Florida is right up there.
 We were the last state in America to openly ban gay adoptions.
 We were one of the final states fighting gay marriage.
 Once, Republican House members tried to deny movie-making incentives to any films that even featured gay people.
 And just last month, a federal judge penned a scathing decision, chastising Gov. Rick Scott's administration for continuing to fight equal rights that have already been clearly established in this country.
 Now, Florida has taken its obsession with fighting all things gay to some of our most vulnerable citizens … foster youth.
 Specifically, the state wants to change the proposed guidelines for group homes to allow bullying and discrimination against gay and transgender youth.
 They say that's not what they're doing. But read it for yourself.
 A few months ago, the proposed rules banned group homes from allowing "harassment or bullying of children by staff or other youth based on their race, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other characteristic."
So who is behind the removal of gender expression, sexual orientation?
So the anti-bullying rules were included. But somewhere along the way — after some faith-based groups complained and Gov. Rick Scott may or may not have gotten involved (neither Scott nor DCF will say) —DCF decided to strike all the LGBT protections.
Surprise, surprise! Who would have ever thought that “faith-based groups” were behind this?

Let’s allow to foster parents beat the gay or trans out of a child, let’s look the other way when the kids bullying and assault the trans and gay kids.

The Time For Dialog We Before Not Afterward

The Republicans were so hell-bent to pass the bill they had no idea what the ramifications were, now they say let’s talk.
NC governor: More dialogue needed on transgender issues
LGBT Nation
By Martha Waggoner, Associated Press
Monday, April 18, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina‘s governor called Sunday for more dialogue on the issue of transgender people and bathroom use while saying he stands by provisions of a bill regarding access to facilities.

Gov. Pat McCrory appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to talk about the bill, which he signed into law last month. On Tuesday, he issued an executive order expanding protections for many state workers based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“But I will tell you what I have learned through this is we’ve got to have more dialogue, not threats,” McCrory told the show’s host, Chuck Todd.
These are not threats. This is reality, businesses and people don’t like Jim Crow laws. Business know they are put between a rock and hard place, that if they have an employee who objects to a trans woman and cites the North Carolina law to discriminate, the companies know that can be sued for violating federal law.
McCrory said that “what we’ve got to do is deal with this extremely new social norm that has come to our nation in a very quick period and have these discussions about the complexity of equality while also balancing the concept of privacy in the most private areas of our life, which is a restroom, locker room or shower facility in our high schools.”

McCrory reiterated that he will ask legislators to repeal a part of the law that bans workers from filing discrimination claims in state court. Even when he signed the bill into law, he disagreed with that provision, he said. That part of the law “was very poorly thought out,” he said.
Sorry governor, that will still not undo it, you need to repeal the law.

And no matter what you do you will never undo the black eye you gave your state. This is what happens when you rush through legislation without proper hearings and a time for the public comment. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Research (Part II)

They are different from us. This study says that there is a difference in brains between liberals and conservatives. This is an older article but it is fitting in this political season.
Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain
Los Angeles Times
By Denise Gellene
September 10, 2007

Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.
In a simple experiment reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.

The results show "there are two cognitive styles -- a liberal style and a conservative style," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected to the latest research.
They found that,
Based on the results, he said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.

"There is ample data from the history of science showing that social and political liberals indeed do tend to support major revolutions in science," said Sulloway, who has written about the history of science and has studied behavioral differences between conservatives and liberals.
This can help explain why conservatives resist marriage equality and trans people, the new ideas are just too much for them to process. Too many new ideas, for their brains to handle.

Research (Part I)

In my search each morning to find trans topic to write these two studies caught my attention.

I think many of you have heard of this study but this article has a little bit more data about the study.
Fraudulent study on transgender prejudice is successfully replicated
It turns out that if you actually gather the data, you get the same result.
Ars Technica
By Roheeni Saxena
April 15, 2016

In 2015, a study was published that claimed that reducing prejudice against homosexual people was relatively easy. All it took was a brief conversation with a stranger who was going door to door talking about prejudice against homosexuals. Supposedly, participants’ attitudes remained changed up to three months after said conversation.

The study received widespread media coverage and was considered groundbreaking because we knew so little about how to reduce prejudice. Unfortunately, it turned out to be built largely on fraudulent data, and the study was retracted.

Ironically, the researcher who uncovered the fraudulent data in this first canvassing study, David Broockman, has now published his own study on the same issue. It demonstrates that canvassing actually does change participants’ attitudes toward transgender individuals and that this change in attitudes persists for at least three months.
I think empirically we all knew that one on one discussion does make a difference, it is like Harvey Milk that by coming out we can change how people think about us.

The article then goes on to talk about methodology of the current study,
In the study, participants were randomized to receive a canvasser who would talk to them about either transgender prejudice (the experimental condition) or about recycling (the control condition). The canvassers who talked about prejudice used a scripted conversation that asked participants to recall a time when they were judged negatively, to help them empathize with transgender people who experience prejudice. This technique is known as “analogic perspective-taking.”

In addition, Broockman and Kalla also tested the “contact hypothesis,” which suggests that exposure to a member of a stigmatized group reduces prejudice toward that group. They tested it by including transgender canvassers in their study.

Before and after the conversation, participants were given a variety of survey questions. The researchers took care to conceal the true nature of the survey, which probed attitudes about transgender individuals. Participants showed no indications of suspicion about the true nature of the survey.
I think this is probably a hard thing to measure especially if you are trying to not influence the subject about what you are testing for. It will be interesting to read the full report.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday 9: You're Beautiful

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: You're Beautiful (2005)

Every Saturday I take time off from written on serious topics to have some fun…

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

1) The first line is of this song is, "My life is brilliant." Using one word, describe your life.

2)  This is about a chance encounter between strangers in a crowd, specifically the subway. What "crowded place" were you most recently in?  
A bar last night for the NASW Meet & Greet

3) Near the very end of this song, James Blunt sings, "It's time to face the truth." Do you believe you face things head on? Or do you tend to deny or put off the unpleasant?
I face thing head on, I’m old enough to know that problems will not go away by themselves.

4) James Blunt went to an all-boys school. Some educators recommend single-sex classrooms because they maintain girls just naturally approach subjects like math and science differently than boys do. Do you agree?
Nope, separate but equal just doesn’t work.

5) Blunt put his father in charge of his finances. Income taxes are top of mind for many of us this time of year. Do you do your own taxes? Or do you go to an accountant or tax preparation service?
No, my taxes are complicated and you have to know what you are doing.

6)  In 2005, the year this song was a hit, the sitcom How I Met Your Mother was also popular.  Do you know how your parents met?
My mother had a “blind date” which wasn’t really a blind date.

7) 2005 is also the year Tom Cruise famously jumped on a sofa. Do you remember where he did this?

8) 2005 was also the year YouTube really took off. What's the last video you watched?
Petula Clark Downtown. I posted it when I was going up to Hartford one night.

9) Random question ... Which of these high profile jobs would you enjoy more: head of General Motors, CEO of Apple or president of the New York Yankees?
General Motors, you get to drive any car that you want.

Friday, April 15, 2016

New York Values!

Senator Ted Cruz shot himself in the foot. You don’t come into someone’s house and criticize their beliefs.
At G.O.P. Dinner, Donald Trump Serves Heaping Helping of ‘New York Values’
By Jonathan Martin
New York Times
April 15, 2016

Donald J. Trump on Thursday used the last high-profile gathering of Republicans before Tuesday’s New York primary to extol “New York values,” repurposing Senator Ted Cruz’s attack on him into a tribute to what he described as his hometown’s virtues.

Mr. Trump, reading at times from prepared notes, unfurled a series of attributes and vignettes to evoke the city, drawing applause and encouragement from a boisterous group of Republicans at a fund-raising dinner in Manhattan, called the New York State Republican Gala, which drew the party’s three remaining presidential candidates.
Mr. Cruz has been dogged here by his derisive suggestion earlier in the campaign that Mr. Trump represents “New York values” and, while refusing to back off his characterization, has been unable to formulate an explanation for what he meant. At a debate in January he said the reference was in regard to the city’s cultural liberalism, but he also pointed to the “focus around money and the media” in New York.
The thing is we all know what he meant about values, his values “Christian conservative” values, not Christian but “Christian conservative” and I think Senator Cruz

But in a way this whole campaign is about “Christian conservative” values. I think ever since President Reagan the Republican Party has become a party of “Christian conservative” values. At one time to be a Republican was to want smaller government and lower taxes but ever since the Moral Majority it has moved away from financial conservative to a theocracy of far right conservative Christians. We see this in Tennessee trying to make the Bible their official state book. We see this in state legislatures passing “Religious Freedom” laws which are anything but religious freedom and instead are trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.

An article in the Daily Kos about Christian privilege had this to say,
Ted Cruz: 'I'm a Christian first, American second.' Imagine if Muslim or Jewish politician said that
By Ian Reifowitz
January 22, 2016

His Christianity is probably the last thing Ted Cruz ever thought would give him problems. However, a new ad produced by Americans United for Values attacks him for being, get this, a “false prophet.” Among other slings and arrows hurled, the ad slams Cruz for not tithing—donating 10 percent of his income to charity—something many Christians believe is a sacred obligation. Cruz, it seems, has donated only about one percent of his income—which came to around $1 million annually—to charity between 2006 and 2010.

In response to the ad and other attacks on his Christianity as well as his conservatism, Cruz responded:
“I’m a Christian first, American second, conservative third and Republican fourth...I’ll tell ya, there are a whole lot of people in this country that feel exactly the same way.”
The politics of this aside, I want to highlight here something we might call Christian Privilege. Could you imagine, for example, a Jewish candidate for president saying that he or she was a Jew first and an American second? Now imagine the sheer outrage if a Muslim American of any prominence whatsoever declared that he or she was Muslim first and American second. People’s heads would explode.
Back in the sixties when President Kennedy was running for office the big worry about Kennedy was would his Catholic religion overly influence him, well now in 2016 we now have a candidate who is embracing that they will ignore the Constitution and follow the Bible.

Yes, the Republican Party has changed; even here in Connecticut I see a shift in the party it is still financial conservative but there are elements in the Connecticut Republican Party that are pushing it towards “family values” we saw a glimmer of that when the bill was introduced to repeal insurance coverage for trans people.

I have no doubt that if the Republicans gained control of the government that we would see our “Religious Freedom” law expanded from the narrow law that it is now to a broad sweeping law and we would see our LGBT non-discrimination laws rolled back.

Update 4:00PM

I just came across this article about Governor Kasich and his advice to women,
John Kasich Tells Woman Asking About Sexual Assault To Avoid Parties With Alcohol
By Alice Ollstein
April 15, 2016

At a town hall in Watertown, Pennsylvania on Friday, a local college student asked Ohio Governor and presidential candidate John Kasich what he would do as president to make young women like her feel safer on campus. She cited what many consider a current epidemic of “violence, harassment and rape” at colleges and universities.

Kasich at first ignored the student’s question and turned to his staffer, joking that he had to go and didn’t want to miss his ride. He then suggested that all colleges offer victims of sexual assault “confidential reporting,” rape kits, and “the opportunity to be able to pursue justice after you have had some time to reflect on it all.” He concludes by telling the woman, a first-year at New York’s Saint Lawrence University: “I will give you one bit of advice. Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”

The Democratic National Committee blasted Kasich for “blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence,” and noted, “It is no wonder women are turning away from the Republican field in huge numbers.”
Remember the Republican who said that you can’t get pregnant from a rape or the other Republican who to keep your legs crossed?

These are the people who want to run this country.

It Is That Dripping Faucet

It is not that one drip, but the constant drip, drip, drip that gets to you. It is the same for harassment, it is not that one misgender but constantly being misgender. That one “Sir” might not be the trigger but if it is after a whole day of being harassed it might be the one that “breaks the camel’s back.”
Allies and Microaggressions
When you see microaggressions occurring against colleagues, how should you respond? Kerry Ann Rockquemore offers guidance.
Inside Higher Ed
By Kerry Ann Rockquemore
April 13, 2016

Dear Kerry Ann,
I’ve only recently learned what microaggressions are and the impact they have. Now that I know, I can see them happening frequently to my junior colleagues who are minorities and women, particularly in faculty meetings, hallway conversations and informal gatherings.

My problem is that I see what’s happening and understand the impact on my junior colleagues, but I don’t know what to say or do in the moment. I know what’s happening is a problem, and I want to do something, but I freeze. The best I can do is to go see the targeted person afterward to say, “I’m sorry that happened.”

I feel terrible that these kinds of things happen at all, but I feel worse that I don’t know what to do in the moment. I want to be a better ally for my colleagues, but I’m not sure how to do so or whom to ask for help. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Awkward Ally
And her answer was,
Dear Awkward,
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your question and your desire to be a better ally. While there are lots of ways to be an ally (e.g., mentoring, being a sponsor, shaping policy), the one that is often unexpectedly challenging is how to respond to microaggressions in the moment. The sad truth is not only are microaggressions a regular occurrence, but they’re also painful to receive and observe, and they have a lasting impact.

I experience microaggressions regularly. For example, a few days ago, I attended a local executive club meeting where I was the only female CEO present. In a discussion about expanding the group, I observed that the time of meeting (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and the activity (we toured a model of a hockey stadium that is being built) might be contributing to the lack of gender diversity in the group. One of the members responded by suggesting, “Maybe we should we meet at the mall next time and focus on shopping.”
Zing! Talk about male privilege that was wrong on so many levels. Usually microagressions are from a place of superiority to a marginalized community.
This comment was met with silence. I waited for an ally to emerge and say something, but nobody did. So I smiled and said, “Actually that’s a really bad stereotype.” People laughed, the awkward silence was broken and we moved on. Afterward, several men in the room came up to me individually to comment that they “couldn’t believe” what was said, apologized that such an inappropriate comment was made and requested that I plan the next event.
Robin McHaelen, the director of True Colors has a saying, “If you hear mean, intervene.” The author goes on to say,
I’m sharing this story with you for two important reasons. The first is to get concrete about the reality of silent allies. I think you know this already, but I’ll say it anyway:
  • Silence communicates tacit approval.
  • Apologizing to the target afterwards adds insult to injury.
  • The worst ex post facto response of all is asking the target of a microaggression to fix the problem. (For example, “You plan the next event if you think we need more women.”)
The second reason I’m sharing this story with you is because I want you to know that even though I experience microaggressions (as a woman of color), I also observe other types of microaggressions where I am in a position to be an ally for others (i.e., around homophobia, religious intolerance and disability issues). Even though I know the pain of being the target, the truth is that I still occasionally freeze when it’s my turn to act as an ally.
As Robin says “If you hear mean, intervene.” Because if you do not you are implying that what was said was okay. Sometimes it is very hard to speak up, it might be that it was your boss who said it or you are a member of the targeted class.

The author goes on to write about ways that to can fight miscroagressions,
In other words, it’s not just one person acting like an asshole; what’s occurring in everyday interactions is a continual manifestation of privilege. As such, my words and actions matter to the higher-level goals of equity and inclusion. Microresistance empowers me and makes me feel that my daily choices contribute to the overall climate in which I’m embedded.
“If you hear mean, intervene.”

Intervention can take on many meanings it can mean to answer the microagressions to addressing the company climate or the school climate.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

What Me Worry?

As Alfred E. Neuman would have said regarding when courts get involved you never know what the outcome will be, a lot of times the verdict is based on the judge’s bias.
Federal law dooms transgender bathroom bans: Column
Punitive laws in North Carolina and other states defy logic, economics and federal protections.
USA Today
By Jillian T. Weiss
April 13, 2016

North Carolina recently became the first U.S. state to mandate discrimination against transgender people by statute, banning them from using bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity in government buildings and schools. The new law also guts protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Charlotte and nine other municipalities.
What makes state laws like these even more irrational is that transgender people are currently protected by federal law. They are protected in their use of gender-conforming bathrooms in schools by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The Occupational Safety and Health Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 have been interpreted to cover gender-appropriate restrooms in the workplace. There are constitutional provisions requiring equal protection of the law and a due process right to privacy that apply to state laws restricting access to public accommodations. And the Affordable Care Act protects people in medical facilities.
But these rulings are only based on court’s interpreting what a law says and on previous rulings. None of the laws specifically say gender identity but instead specify sex discrimination instead the courts have said that sex discrimination also includes gender identity.
So many federal courts have specifically held that federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination also include sex discrimination against transgender people that such protections should be considered a given. For example, just this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, covering Georgia, Florida and Alabama, ruled in favor of my client Jennifer Chavez, reiterating that sex discrimination includes discrimination against a transgender person for gender non-conformity.
Washington Post reported on a case in Virginia that has been heard by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, the lower court rejected the claim that Title IX covers gender identity.
Judge denies transgender student’s request to use boys’ bathroom
By Julie Zauzmer
September 4, 2015

A federal judge has denied a transgender teenager’s request to allow him to use the same bathroom as his peers at his public school in Virginia.

Instead, the judge ruled Friday, the teenager must continue using a separate, private bathroom that he has said makes him feel “singled out and humiliated.”
But on Friday, Judge Robert G. Doumar of the Eastern District of Virginia denied Grimm’s request for a preliminary injunction, which would have allowed him to use the boys’ bathroom upon returning to school.
Judge Robert G. Doumar was appointed by President Reagan for his support of the Republican party, so when you leave it to the courts it can be a crapshoot and many times it boils down to the judges bias.

What’s That Smell?

If you search the news all you find are articles on North Carolina and state legislatures trying to pass hate legislation. So on the lighter side…
'Perfume' that turns moths 'transgender' used to curtail pest populations
Transgender moths are the latest weapon in the war to save our
14 April 2016,

Transgender moths are the latest weapon in the war to save our woollies.

Scientists have found a way to force the fabric-munching pests out of the closet by making them sexually confused.

The trick is to lure male moths and cover them in a pheromone "perfume".
The scent signal delivers a message that says: "I am female".

When female moths get a whiff of the pheromone they lose interest in breeding.

As a result they fail to lay eggs which would under normal circumstances hatch out into hungry larvae.

In scientific trials, the "gender reassignment" treatment - called Moth Population Control Assist - disrupted the life cycle of clothes moths enough to reduce their populations by 90%.
I use chemical warfare to control moths in my house, but what I use is the opposite of this “perfume” what I use is a sex lure that attracts the horny male moths.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our Lives Are Complex

We are the sum total of our life experiences and part of that includes our life before we transitioned. The other day I had to return an old cable modem to the cable company, after waiting in line for ten minutes I finally got to a salesperson she took the modem and then asked me to sign in on an electronic device. I started to walk away when she informed me that I had to wait in another line to sign off that I returned the device. After waiting another ten minutes my name was called and I was livid by now, not at the clerks but at the system. When he had me type my name on another screen I started out typing my old male name! Yikes!

I bring this up to introduce this article in the Huffington Queer Voices,
My Transgender Life: He’s Still Inside Me
By Grace Anne Stevens
April 12, 2016

“No, he is not dead and I have not mourned him,” was the response I gave to the audience. I followed up with, “He’s still inside me.”

I think that many there, in addition to the person who asked the question were a bit surprised.

This happened last November when I was honored to be asked to do a Talkback after a performance of Casa Valentina here in Boston. About 70 people stayed after the show as I and the play’s director were on stage answering any and all questions that came our way.

The question that led to my response above was how did I mourn the loss of the “man” I used to be?

I know that many transgender women may have done this, and feel that the man or male history of themselves was never true, never existed or died. I have said many times, there is no single or even “right” way to have the trans experience. I was only a bit surprised by the question about this, but it gave me a public opportunity to teach there are many different transgender experiences. For me, with a long and pretty wonderful life behind me, I have never felt that part of me has died or even missing. HE really is still inside me! HE no longer is running the show or me, and HE has a new job. In my book, I describe how the girl who is now in charge, has built a new relationship with the old man who worked so hard, for such a long time. Here is that story....
And for me I think she is right, we have our past with us all the time. When I do training one of the things that I touch upon is this, we have a past. I tell a story of a friend who was flying out to the west coast.

She was going through her purse and the woman in the seat next to her say a picture of her son, the woman who was visibly pregnant asked about her son and how was her labor. My friend had a choice to lie and make up a story or tell the truth, she chose the truth that she was the father.

The author goes on to write,
Last week along with two colleagues, we presented a workshop at the Massachusetts Social Worker Symposium. I shared some of this story to the group of over 40 social workers, most who have not had a much training in supporting gender variant clients. Many volunteered that they have clients who are struggling with the feelings they need to kill or mourn the man inside them. I offered them another frame or lens to look through; all with the guidance that each person’s story will be theirs and theirs alone. I am hoping that by sharing my experience with you now, you can appreciate how different and unique we all are.
We can accept our past or we can bury it, but with each comes their own set of complications.

A Court Butts Into Territory It Doesn’t Understand

Today I am covering two controversial topics. The first is a court ruling in New York that sounds like that the judge has a bias in a custody case.
Court Declares Mother Cannot Refer To Trans Child As “She,” Let Her Wear Women’s Clothing
"I am a mother, and I will do anything and everything in my power to protect and support [my child]."
By Dan Avery
April 11, 2016

New York woman has launched a petition after a judge reportedly ruled she must not allow her child to identify as transgender, including a prohibition referring to the child with female pronouns or allowing her to wear girls’ clothes—even in private.
Lauren Wisser of Geneseo, New York, writes that her six-year-old child, “S,” identifies as female.
What the article doesn’t say is if the child has seen a therapist, I think that is an important that was left out. If she has gone to therapy and she has the support of medical professionals than the judge stepped way over the line. I am not say that she cannot be trans without seeing a therapist but rather that if she did that the judge is going against medical advice for what is best for the child and is inserting his bias into the ruling.

Ms. Wisser has started a “” petition, I doubt that it will change the judge’s ruling because I think the judge is incapable of understanding what the results are to deny a child of their gender identity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It Makes A Big Difference.

There is one thing that reduces all the negative impact being transgender have on children and adults and that is having a support system.
Parent Support May Help Transgender Children's Mental Health
NPR Heard on Morning Edition
By Gabriel Spitze
April 11, 2016

Six-year-old Sophie says she has always known she's a girl. "I used to be Yoshi," she says. "But I didn't like being called Yoshi." And she didn't like being called a boy.

Sophie lives with her family in Bellingham, Wash. Her mother, Jena Lopez, says she started seeing the signs before Sophie turned 2.

"She'd say things like, 'I'm a she, not a he,' " Lopez says. "She would cry if we misgendered her. She'd become angry."
I think anyone who has been in the community long has seen trans children. It is amazing how transitioning changes them. When I do guest lectures I give them a homework assignment to read “Learning To See: A Mother’s Story” from Tapestry Vol 112.

The article is about a mother who finds out that her son is trans and want to transition to become a girl. “He” was diagnosed with ADD but once she transition all the negative diagnoses vanished. In a video that I show in class another child is taking 14 pills a day and when she transitioned she didn’t need any medication.

It is simply amazing to see the transformation in the children.
There's very little data on children who have fully socially transitioned, says Kristina Olson, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Olson got interested in the subject when a friend's 10-year-old was transitioning from male to female. Olson knew attitudes about transgender people were changing, both in society and in science.

"Forty years ago everyone considered this to be a pathology," Olson says. It was considered a "gender identity disorder" until 2013, when it was changed to "gender dysphoria" in the fifth edition of the DSM, the diagnostic manual for mental health.

Olson says a lot of research still works under this assumption and is based on children in clinical settings where they've often been brought to be treated. 
Ms. Olson was amazed in what she saw in the child after she transitioned.
So Olson decided to do her own study looking at families who are supporting their child's decision to live as a gender different from their biological sex. The study, published in the March issue of Pediatrics, looked at the mental health of 73 transgender children between ages 3 and 12. What it found was strikingly different from other research.

"They had exactly the national average for depression," says Olson. "They are no more or less depressed. They show a marginal, like, a tiny bit of an increase in anxiety, but nowhere near the rates that previous work has found."
And I can’t help but wonder if the increase in anxiety is due to the way society treats trans children and the hate like I talked this morning.
The hope is that if Sophie's gender identity is validated early on, she will be less vulnerable to mental health issues. Her mother says that rings true for her family. "She's blossomed," Lopez says.
What we do need is to follow these children throughout their life time to see what the long term results are, how will they be in their forties, fifties and in their eighties.