Friday, September 30, 2016

Schools And The Courts

When it comes to schools and trans students where you live makes a big difference, here in Connecticut on the whole schools have been pretty good to trans students but in other states it can be hell.
Parents pull transgender third grader from school due to bullying
By Staff
Posted: September 29, 2016

A Grapevine family said they had no choice but to pull their third grader out of school because she was being bullied for being transgender and wasn’t getting proper treatment.
Marilyn Morrison started the school year as a girl for the first time in her life, but she’ll finish the school year at home.

Marilyn, who was a boy at birth, returned to Cannon Elementary School in Grapevine this year as a transgender girl. The third grader says many of her classmates and teachers didn't embrace the change.

“I just can't take it,” she said. “It's too much for a kid like me.”

“In the end, it was getting to the point that she had already lost faith,” explained her mom, Chelsa Morrison. “Every time she would try to go to a teacher and follow proper protocol, it always ended up in it is a misunderstanding. You send it to the point that she didn't want to talk to them anymore.”
By law school are required to provide a safe learning space and by not stopping the bullying by not only the students but also they are in violation of that law.

See the video of the interview below…

From there we go to Lincoln Nebraska,
For transgender students, acceptance goes beyond a bathroom stall
Lincoln Journal Star
By Margaret Reist
September 27, 2016

Being transgender today means living something that’s become a flashpoint in the culture wars, an intensely private journey playing out in legislative chambers and courtrooms and drawing impassioned crowds to school board meetings.

The debate often centers on the use of high school bathrooms and locker rooms.

The Obama administration pushed the issue with a directive in May that says Title IX protections include gender identity, which means public schools must allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender expression.

The directive prompted numerous states, including Nebraska, to file lawsuits alleging federal overreach. Last month, a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the directive, prohibiting schools from enforcing it while the case proceeds.

Here, the Nebraska School Activities Association passed a controversial bylaw creating a path for transgender students to participate in high school sports based on their gender identity, but it stopped short of allowing transgender students to use locker rooms they choose.
I believe that today there is a hearing in federal court to limit the court actions to just the states in its jurisdiction.

I saved the worst to last, down in North Carolina…
This North Carolina sheriff compared transgender kids to lice infestation
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
September 29, 2016

The sheriff of Wake County, N.C. is reconsidering the dedicated assignment of his police officers to protect school children and teachers, as a result of a standoff with school administrators, who he accuses of not adequately defining the district’s policy on transgender children.

“I’m thinking about pulling my school resource officers out of those schools,” Sheriff Donnie Harrison told reporter from WRAL-TV last week. “If we can’t have a better relationship, if they can’t work with us, I don’t know how we can work with them.”

And in defending his position to a Raleigh-Durham news website, the sheriff implied in an email that the policy regarding infectious diseases, such as head lice, should be applied to transgender students. He denied reports that his stance has anything to do with North Carolina‘s anti-LGBTQ legislation, House Bill 2, which restricts trans individuals from using any public bathrooms except the ones that corresponds with the birth listed on their birth certificates.
Yeah, right. I believe HB2 had nothing to do with the sheriff’s comments.

In this year’s election remember that whoever wins the election will be appointing maybe up to three Supreme Court justices and a good number of lower court judges that the Republican controlled Senate has refused to confirm. All the gains nationally that we have made is the result of court rulings that are set to be challenged before the Supreme Court, we will learn on Monday if the court will hear the cases or let the lower court rulings stand.

I Got Challenged Once…

…When I went to vote, the guy at the door questioned if my driver license was actually mine and Connecticut is one of the more liberal states.
Transgender voters face disenfranchisement
Indiana Daily Student
By Melanie Metzman
September 30, 2016

State voter ID laws may create barriers for nearly 31 percent of transgender residents eligible to vote in Indiana.

Indiana has more than 18,000 eligible transgender voters, but at least 5,000 do not have accurate IDs for voting, according to a UCLA Williams Institute press 

Many transgender people who have transitioned do not have identification that reflects their correct gender, Jody Herman, a Williams Institute scholar, wrote in the study, “The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2016 Election.”

In order for voting-eligible transgender people to obtain the accurate IDs for voting, they must meet state and federal requirements to update IDs, according to the press release.
So that is easy to do so what’s the big deal?

Well for us it is easy if you have enough money, but for those trans people living on the margins it can be near impossible.
 These requirements vary widely by state or federal agency and can be difficult and costly to meet.

“Lawmakers and election officials should not overlook the impact on transgender voters when enacting voting restrictions based on identity documents,” Herman said in the press release. “Transgender people have unique, and sometimes insurmountable, burdens to obtaining accurate IDs for voting in states that require it.”

If a person transitioned and wanted to do a name-change, their identity documents are all implicated in the process. This includes driver’s licenses, passports and birth certificates, she said.

Transgender people of color, youth, students, people with low income, and people with disabilities are likely overrepresented among those who do not have an accurate ID for voting because they face additional barriers along with being transgender, according to the press release.
For many of us getting the proper ID is a poll tax. We need to pay so many fees that many of us can’t afford and if you are lucky you live in a state that allows you to change your name or the gender on your IDs without surgery. In some states you cannot change your birth certificate and you must have surgery to change your gender on many of the state’s legal documents.

Here in Connecticut what you need to vote is either a government issued picture ID or a utility bill with your name and address on it. And you know what, we don’t have any cases of voter fraud and we know this because the Secretary of State’s office audits a random selections of towns to verify the integrity of the vote. What they do find a lot of is people moving and never bothering to remove their name from the voter registration but they don’t find that other people used their ID to vote.

In an article in the Washington Post they reported,
A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls.

This year, News21 reviewed cases in Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Kansas, where politicians have expressed concern about voter fraud and found hundreds of allegations but few prosecutions between 2012 and 2016. Attorneys general in those states successfully prosecuted 38 cases of vote fraud, though other cases may have been litigated at the county level. At least one-third of those cases involved nonvoters, such as elections officials or volunteers. None of the cases prosecuted was for voter impersonation.

“Voter fraud is not a significant problem in the country,” Jennifer Clark of the Brennan Center told News21. “As the evidence that has come out in some recent court cases and reports and basically every analysis that has ever been done has concluded: It is not a significant concern.”
What I worry more about are people like the person who questioned my legal ID with my picture, address and gender on it. I don’t worry at least here in Connecticut of the databases being hacked because all the towns use paper ballots which are then counted by machine; this way there is always the original ballots can be used to verify the count.

One of the things that I do not like is the ballot initiatives; I do not feel human rights should be put to the popular vote. The Civil Rights act would never have been enacted; women would never have the right to vote. And now in Massachusetts the far right wing conservatives are trying to get the public accommodation law reversed and they just might get it on the ballot.
Transgender law opponents say they have signatures for ballot
Lowell Sun
By Michael P. Norton, State House News Service
September 29, 2016

BOSTON -- Activists working to derail the new state law aimed at preventing discrimination against transgender individuals in public accommodations say volunteers have already gathered enough signatures to place a repeal measure on the 2018 ballot.

The ballot-question committee Keep MA Safe reported Wednesday that local clerks have certified nearly 33,000 signatures, more than the 32,375 required to ensure ballot access in 2018.

The committee said hundreds of volunteers, resisting "radical transgender policies," had collected more than 50,000 signatures over the past two months. The deadline to submit certified signatures to Secretary of State William Galvin's office is Oct. 6.

Announcing its signatures, Keep MA Safe wrote Wednesday: "Parents have been particularly alarmed to learn about this law, signed in early July, which would allow men to use the women's bathroom, locker room, shower or changing facility if they identify as female. There have already been incidents reported here in MA where women's privacy and safety in public accommodations were violated."
So our human rights could boil down to a popularity contest.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Even With All The Laws It Doesn’t Stop This

California has some of the strongest gender inclusive non-discrimination laws you still get things like this.
Urban Outfitters misses the mark on gender nonbinary acceptance
By Nicholas Gorham
September 19, 2016

Recently, while attempting to try on some clothes at Urban Outfitters, I was told I couldn't use the women's dressing room. It was a moment of realization: Not everyone is as far along in breaking down the gender binary as I'd thought.
When we got to the dressing rooms, Tamara, a cis woman, was taken in and given a room before the attendant began leading me to a completely different area to change.

She could feel the awkwardness and offered: "Well the thing is there are young girls over there so I can't really ..."

"Uh, OK," I replied, "Well, I'm trans."

"I know," she said. "It's just that it's the policy."

There was a long pause — the tension undeniable. "I mean, I guess I can put you in here," she finally said, motioning to a spot on the other side of a number of rooms now separating Tamara and I.
That is illegal in California, but the law didn’t seem to have any effect of the clerk.
After tweeting about the incident (it's 2016, after all), Urban Outfitters contacted me to discuss. Following some minimal correspondence, I was sent this:
Thanks for following up with us, Nicholas, Urban Outfitters does not aim to discriminate against any of its customers or employees, and its stores operate in accordance with state and federal law. Although some retailers in the US are currently beginning to offer gender neural bathrooms are dressing rooms, there are no binding regulations at this time in the state of California to which stores must adhere when making this decision as regards their own retail space. Given this, we’ve shared your feedback with the store location in question, as well as the upper management overseeing the store, providing the information that was included in your direct message. I’m sorry if you feel this does not sufficiently address you concerns.
Well crickets
These experiences may seem small to someone looking at it from the other side, but they can have a profound effect on trans folk and gender-fluid people and should not be trivialized.
The corporation legal counsels seem to have a very narrow view of gender that seems to be in opposition to the state law and they are circling the wagons. Hopefully Gorham will follow this up with a complaint to the California human rights commission.

This Is what I Have Been Saying

There is a word that the trans community hates, it has been labeled on us without any scholarly research it just used a “convenience sample” of trans people at gay bars. No validation of the survey instrument, no control group, no random samples, nothing just a bunch of questions that someone put together and asked trans people at a gay bar.
Why Are Trans Women Penalized For Body Fantasies Everyone Has?
The Establishment
By Noah Berlatsky
May 16, 2016

“Autogynephilia” is an ugly word that is supposed to describe an ugly mental state. The term was developed by sexologist Ray Blanchard to classify what he saw as a specific type of “transgender” woman—those who were sexually aroused by the idea of having a female body. For Blanchard, the identity of these “transgender” women was built on a fetish. Anti-trans feminist Janice Raymond argued that “transgendered” women were innately rapists who stole female bodies. Blanchard was less confrontational, but also suggested that many trans women were perverts motivated by deviant sexuality.

Treating trans women as sexual deviants has done them real, concrete harm. As activist Julia Serano writes, “Reducing a person to their sexual bodies or behaviors sexualizes them. And in our culture, sexualizing someone (i.e., reducing them to their sexuality, rather than seeing them as a whole person) is one of the most effective ways of invalidating a person.” Feministing editor Jos Truitt writes that that the diagnosis of autogynephilia presumes that “the concept of autogynephilia has had a cruel impact on trans women who aren’t straight, telling us our genders are actually just sexual perversions.” Truitt points out that autogynephilia has been used in the past to deny trans women access to medical services and that this can still be a problem, especially in rural areas.

Autogynephilia continues to be touted by some high-profile writers and gender theorists, most notably Alice Dreger. Nonetheless, as a scientific theory, autogynephilia has been largely debunked. In particular, a 2009 study found that more than 90% of cis women experience “erotic arousal to the thought or image of oneself as a woman.” In other words, autogynephilia—or, in less pathologizing terminology, female embodiment fantasies—does not represent deviance at all. It’s normal.
I don’t like ad hominem attacks on the person who are pushing autogynephilia, their lack of scientific research is enough to disprove their theories without the name calling.

Back in 2015 I wrote,
If I did a study to see if drinking coffee lead to a life of crime and I studied only prisoners who drank coffee and then said that it was true you would be laugh at. But suppose you studied only trans people from a gay bar and said that all trans people are autogynephilic, you would become famous.
And that is the problem with the research, the data was collected a gay bar! They chose a sample that proved their hypothesis; they didn’t try to get a cross section of the trans community. They didn’t have a control group of women. Just a bunch of drag queens (not that there is anything wrong with drag queens).

When we were putting together a pilot program to survey the trans community for AIDS/HIV we chose our seeds (individuals picked to begin the sampling) with care, we made sure we had trans people from all socioeconomic classes, race, and broad sample of the trans community to minimize sample bias.

As Charles Moser showed in his non- scientific research (which he states in the beginning of his paper “A convenience sample of female professional employees of an urban hospital was obtained.”) women also have autogynephilic fantasies. I think that just about everyone on the planet have autogynephilic fantasies, who doesn’t think of themselves as sexy.

So to sum it up… a garbage study generated more garbage at the detriment of the trans community.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

When Healthcare Isn’t

Most of us take healthcare for granted but sometime when a trans person is involved healthcare can do more harm than good.
Mother sues Rady Children's for allegedly insensitive transgender care
The San Diego Union Tribune
By Paul Sisson
September 28, 2016

A Vista mother sued Rady Children’s Hospital in federal court Monday, alleging its workers broke the law when they repeatedly addressed her 14-year-old transgender son, Kyler Prescott, as a girl.

Katharine Prescott said Kyler was extremely distressed after being treated as a female patient, causing his psychiatrist to request that he be released only 24 hours into a 72-hour suicide hold at the hospital.

The teen committed suicide on May 18, 2015 — 41 days after his discharge. The death received international attention after it was featured on the inaugural episode of “I Am Cait,” the documentary television series that chronicled the life of Caitlyn Jenner after the gold-medal-winning decathlete’s gender transition.
What caused him to take his own life?

Microaggressions by the hospital staff.
“I don’t call it malicious. I think it’s a complete lack of understanding and training. If you say you are trained to take care of transgender youths, you need to be able to do that. And if you’re unable to, it may have dire consequences,” Prescott said.
The suit said Kyler was “bullied and harassed about his gender identity by his peers and teachers.” This discrimination, Prescott said, made her son extremely sensitive to being address with the wrong pronouns.

She said when the staff at Rady Children’s Hospital began treating her son as a girl, she objected over and over, escalating the matter to the charge nurse responsible for the ward where Kyle was admitted.
Misgendering, using the wrong pronouns, not using his preferred name all added up to cause him to do self-harm.

In my training I call it the dripping faucet; it is not the one drip that causes problems but rather the drip, drip, drip that adds up over time to cause physiological stress. The hospital called itself trans friendly,
…but it [the law suit] does accuse the region’s only children’s hospital of misrepresenting the capabilities of its Gender Management Clinic. Promises of sensitivity to transgender issues were not honored, Prescott said.
When you say you are LGBT friendly make sure you are. It is even worst when you say you’re trans friendly ad then you don’t deliver on your promise.

At a training I did Monday I said being an ally is not just giving your staff an hour of training and putting up rainbow stickers. It is an ongoing process. You need constant training and constant review of your operations. You need to be active ally, you need to speak up; as the director of True Colors says “If you hear mean, intervene!”

Expanded Coverage

One of the hardest things to find is a healthcare provider for our hormones; many doctors don’t want to treat us so finding an endo who will treat us is hard.
Planned Parenthood Trans-Specific Services Are Expanding To Some Florida Locations — Here Are All The States They're Available
By Marissa Higgins
September 26, 2016

Planned Parenthood offers a huge array of essential health care services, treatments, and resources for people across the board — and now, Planned Parenthood's services for the transgender community, including hormone replacement therapy and mental health care, have expanded to a new state. According to the Naples Daily News, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida — a region which includes Tampa, Fort Meyers, and Orlando — will begin offering these trans-specific resources in 11 of their clinics in October. Interestingly, these 11 clinics will be the first Planned Parenthood locations in the state of Florida to offer services specifically for the transgender community. (Bustle has reached out both to Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida for comment.)

Of course, Planned Parenthood has always been open to people of all sexual and gender identities, but the expansion of trans-specific services is super important. According to Dr. Sujatha Prabhakaran, an OB/GYN and vice president of medical affairs for Planned Parenthood in the region, speaking with the Naples Daily News, these 11 clinics will now provide prescription-based hormone replacement therapy to trans people while they transition; furthermore, these hormone treatments will be available whether or not individuals opt to undergo surgery.

Separate from hormone treatments, these Planned Parenthood clinics are also offering cancer screenings, STI screenings, and mental health care referrals for the transgender community — all of which are hugely important, especially since many people in the transgender community lack equal, safe, and affordable access to medical care. Additionally, the Naples Daily News reports that Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida also plans to add the services to their roster later.
The article goes on to list the states where they provide healthcare to the trans community, but the article don’t list Connecticut which also does provide cross gender hormone therapy, so the article might not have a complete list.

However, I have heard a couple negative comments about their service. One comment that I have heard is that they are backed up with new clients seeking hormones, that there is over a three month wait for appointment to see their endo but I think that is normal for any endo appointment. The other complaint is that they require more than informed consent to get CGH therapy, that they require a therapist for the letter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


We are now getting insurance coverage for healthcare related to our transition and that is starting to make hospitals take notice.
With Insurers on Board, More Hospitals Offer Transgender Surgery
Doctors say demand is high from transgender people seeking medical procedures
Wallstreet Journal
By Sumathi Reddy
September 26, 2016

Surgery is becoming more available for transgender people as a growing number of academic centers and hospitals offer the procedure and insurance companies provide coverage.

Stacey Parsons, a 45-year-old from Kent, Ohio, had genital surgery in August at Cleveland Clinic, which last year launched a transgender-surgery-and-medicine program. For years the procedure was unattainable for Ms. Parsons because it costs upward of $20,000 and was rarely covered by insurance.

Other medical centers also have begun offering transgender surgeries, including Boston Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had one of the first such centers in the 1960s, is in the process of re-establishing a transgender program and will begin accepting patients by early next year. Previously, patients wanting transgender surgeries had to seek them out through private-practice plastic surgeons or in countries such as Thailand.

Demand is high, say doctors. Boston Medical Center, which opened its Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery this year, began performing vaginoplasty, which creates a vagina, earlier in September. It currently has 200 people on a waiting list for the procedure, says Joshua Safer, the transgender center’s director.
Cha-Ching $$$$! That is the sound that the hospital administrators are hearing… there’s gold in them thar surgeries.

Here in Connecticut I know of a couple of hospitals that are thinking of starting a gender clinic and there is one hospital that has started to offer Gender Confirming Surgery, but they are off to a rocky start because not everyone is on board and that the administration is timid with the idea.

But not everyone is hearing it.
Anthem Sued by Transgender Librarian Over Surgery Coverage
Bloomberg BNA
By Patrick Dorrian
September 27, 2016

Sept. 26 — A transgender public library worker in Cincinnati is asking a federal court to order her employer and its health insurer to cover the cost of her upcoming sex transformation surgery ( Dovel v. Pub. Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Cty. , S.D. Ohio, No. 1:16-cv-00955, complaint filed 9/26/16 ).

Rachel Dovel alleges that the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s policy with Community Insurance Co., doing business as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, unlawfully excludes coverage for the sex transformation surgery required to treat her gender dysphoria—an intense and persistent discomfort with the characteristics of one’s birth sex. Dovel says the library’s board of trustees has continually refused her calls to change the policy, forcing her to advance the costs of her scheduled November 2016 surgery and incur high-interest debt and depleted savings.

The lawsuit is notable because it’s similar to one filed in June by the American Civil Liberties Union against Dignity Health. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal job rights laws and has ruled administratively and otherwise publicly taken the position that discrimination based on gender identity is discrimination based on sex under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The EEOC in August filed an amicus brief supporting the plaintiff in the case against Dignity.
This case is based on cases like the one where the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have ruled that Title IX covers gender based discrimination. Both cases have their bases in the Supreme Court on the Price Waterhouse decision and other court cases that found that we are indeed covered because sexual stereotyping.

Will it go to the Supreme Court? Or will they see the handwriting on the wall and cover the medically necessary healthcare.

One thing you have to realize that even with insurance not every trans person can afford to pay the co-pay. In many cases we still have to come up with several thousand dollars which they can’t afford, the same is true for their hormones and they end up buying them off the street or from the internet.

Some trans people may have a medical condition that precludes surgery like a heart condition, diabetes, or another condition that makes surgery risky.

Trans Actor

Well yesterday I wrote about the lack of trans actors and actresses and yesterday it was announced that there will be a trans actor on a television show.
The Daily Brief
By Jazmin Kopotsha
September 27, 2016

There are so many reasons to love Modern Family. It’s nestled into our hearts as one of the few sitcoms that’s actually IRL relatable and it always seems keen to bulldoze its way through all sorts of barriers.

Most recently the Modern Family team cast an openly transgender child actor which, needless to say, is really great to hear.

In an episode called A Stereotypical Day eight-year-old Jackson Millarker plays Tom, Lily’s transgender friend who comes over for a playdate, reports Variety.

As we can all too well imagine, Cam and Mitchell are over the moon about how well they’ve raised such an accepting and broad-minded daughter (we can hear the humble bragging now). But according to the synopsis, that quickly disappears when they hear Lily insulting Tom, and the couple realise they need to teach Lily a lesson about acceptance.
BBC said that,
The director of the comedy show, Ryan Case, has tweeted to say that she is "super proud" of the episode, which is part of the eighth series of the show.

It's called A Stereotypical Day and will air in the US on 28 September on ABC.

Parents of transgender children have posted messages on social media thanking the sitcom for "giving a voice" to their community.
Maybe this will wake up producers and directors that we can act, that we can bring in the viewers, and we can make money for them.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The First Monday In October…

…Is only a week away.

It is on that day that the court announces the cases they will hear this season, and the big question for us is will they hear any cases on trans rights.
Supreme Court has reasons to duck transgender rights fight
By Lawrence Hurley
September 25, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide within weeks whether to hear a major transgender rights case for the first time, a dispute involving which bathroom a Virginia high school student can use, but the justices have reasons to duck the issue.

The case involves a 17-year-old transgender student named Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male and is mounting a legal challenge to gain the right to use the boys' bathroom at his public high school in Gloucester County, Virginia.

The local school board is asking the justices to hear its appeal of an April 19 ruling by the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found that transgender students are protected under U.S. laws that bar sex-based discrimination.
This is the big one for us, there are so many things hinged on this case. If they refuse to hear the case we have a limited win since it will only apply to the appeals court.
If the high court refuses to hear the case, the justices would leave in place the groundbreaking appeals court ruling in favor of transgender rights that Grimm could use the bathroom of the student's choice. If the justices hear it, it would be one of the biggest cases of the 2016-17 term that opens Oct. 3.
There are several reasons why the court could turn away the appeal, including the fact that there are other cases on the same issue pending in lower courts, meaning the justices could weigh in at a later date.
However, if they will hear the case it will be a crap shoot.

On the Keen News Service website they have a legal analysis of the case,
Gloucester v. Grimm (Case No. 16-273)
In its petition to the Supreme Court, the school district’s primary argument is that, when Congress passed Title IX, it intended the word “sex” to mean “nothing more than male and female, under the traditional binary conception of sex consistent with one’s birth or biological sex.” The U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation of “sex” to include “gender identity,” it argues, amounts to creating new law.

 Attorneys for Grimm, which includes the ACLU, submitted their reply brief September 13. Their primary argument is that this case is “the wrong case at the wrong time.” There are no conflicts –yet- among the various federal appeals courts, says the brief, and the 4th Circuit has not yet had a chance to rule directly on the merits of the central issue. ACLU attorneys also suggest Gloucester is attempting to expand the case into a challenge of the Department of Education guidelines; instead, says the ACLU, the case is just about the school district’s own determination that Title IX does not cover gender identity.

Attorneys from most LGBT legal groups are expected to submit briefs on behalf of the student.

At deadline, the case had not yet been scheduled for a “conference,” a meeting where the justices decide whether to take up the case. But Amy Howe at says the case could be on the agenda for the October 14 conference.
If they accept the case you can expect tons of legal briefs, I imaging that ever pro and every anti LGBT organizations will file a brief.

The website also has another case that they say we should watch is the case of,
Trinity Lutheran v. Pauley (Case No. 15-577)
One case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this session also implicates state laws against non-discrimination and the church.

Trinity v. Pauley involves a conflict is between the state of Missouri and a church-run daycare school that wants state funding to provide a softer surface for the school’s playground.

The state’s program, funded through a fee it imposes on the purchase of new tires, provides grants to non-profit groups for such playground resurfacing. But non-profits operated by churches are not eligible for the program. That’s because the Missouri constitution states, “no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion….”
Why we should watch this case…
Lambda Legal submitted a brief saying it was concerned that many non-discrimination laws might be undermined –not only those prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination but also religious discrimination. It notes the school’s policy states it “does not discriminate [against] students on the basis of sex, race, color, national and ethnic origin….” It does not include religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

“The omissions are unsurprising given that Trinity’s parent denomination, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, holds that being lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender is ‘intrinsically sinful’,” states Lambda’s brief.

“There is thus reason for concern that the [school] seeks government aid that would support discrimination in its program based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion….”

Missouri’s constitution, says Lambda, properly erects a fence between church and state.
I believe that if you accept public funding it should be for everyone that you cannot discriminate against people even if it violates your religious dogma. If you want to limit who can go to your daycare then don’t accept public funding.

So next Monday it should be very interesting to hear what cases they have decided to hear.

Breaking The Lavender Ceiling

We are like so many other minorities when it comes to Hollywood. Do you remember those Saturday morning westerns where the Indians were white men, the only indigenous American was Jay Silverheels but he was always subservient to the ranger. Charlie Chan was also played white men, Warner Oland and Sidney Toler and then we had black actresses and actors play submissive characters or were played as bumbling fools.

Jill Soloway the creator of Transparent speaks up and cisgender actors playing trans people.
‘Transparent’ Creator Jill Soloway on Caitlyn Jenner, Lena Dunham, and Mark Ruffalo’s Trans Casting Controversy
In a candid talk, Transparent creator Jill Soloway calls out Hollywood’s cis male privilege and reconsiders her decision to cast a cis actor as the trans lead of her show. 
By Kevin Fallon
September 20, 2016

The week before we sat down with Transparent creator Jill Soloway at the press day for the third season of her hit Amazon series, a controversy of sorts was unfurling in the media over the casting of a cisgender male to play a transgender character in a new film.

Two weeks after our conversation, Sunday night, both Soloway and Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor, a cisgender actor playing trans character Maura Pfefferman, accepted their second consecutive Emmy Awards for the series—she for directing, he for acting—with Tambor using his time at the microphone to say, “I would be happy if I were the last cisgender male to play a transgender female.”
In a series of tweets endorsed by many members of the LGBT, specifically trans, community, trans actress Jen Richards took the opportunity to educate Ruffalo and Bomer on their complicitness in silencing trans women by not giving them the opportunity to play trans roles, not to mention the risk of inciting violence against trans women by perpetuating the notion that trans women are really just men. Ruffalo responded in kind: “I hear you.”
Those who say that we have to earn our dues before we can be in movies, I say that we have. There are trans actresses and actors who have been nominated for Emmys and Oscars and there are a number of trans actresses who are in televisions shows.
From tackling privilege and race in season three to the recent Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer controversy and, as mentioned, her impassioned plea that we stop allowing cis white men to exclusively be the ones to tell the stories that aren’t theirs to tell, here’s our conversation…
At the very least we should be giving a chance to audition for the parts instead of being locked out of even trying out for the parts.

Today I am doing to outreaches at CCSU, one in the morning and then again in the professor's afternoon class.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Name Change

One of the rights of passage is changing our name to our true name. Most of my life I lived under an assumed name and I hide my true name from everyone. It wasn’t until I attended a my first support group that I was able to say my true name, Diana and it wasn’t until 2007 when it became my legal name.

The process was simple, fill out a form, pay $150, swear that I wasn’t changing my name for any illegal purpose, and stand before the judge. But in some states it is a much different process…
A new frontier for Florida courts: Transgender name changes
Tampa Bay Times
By Sue Carlton
Saturday, September 24, 2016
On a rainy summer afternoon inside the courthouse by the railroad tracks in Plant City, the case is halfway down the crowded docket.

Petitioner: Christine Rose Novak, it reads. Name change.

Weary-looking people fill the benches in family court, most of them here for divorces. But in the third row, wearing a vibrant blue necktie and the beginnings of a beard, sits the petitioner, his girlfriend at his side.

"Novak," the bailiff calls.

The petitioner stands, starting to sweat. He wonders if the judge will be judgmental. He has had some experience with judgmental.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan waves him up close to the bench, looks into his file, asks a few questions.

"And you are currently Christine Rose?" she says.


"And you wish to change your name to Christopher Skye?"

"Yes ma'am," says Novak, 27.

By now the restless audience has stilled to listen. "He's a girl?" a woman whispers to her friend.
In Florida, as long as it's not for nefarious purposes like avoiding a bankruptcy or hiding a criminal record, you can change your name for pretty much any reason. Pay your fee ($414 in Hillsborough County, $395 in Pinellas), submit your paperwork, show up for your court date. You don't even need a lawyer.
In Connecticut it is now $225 to change your name.

In Indiana a trans man was denied a name change and is suing to overturn the law barring his name change.
Transgender man suing over Indiana law blocking name change
CBS News
September 24, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS A transgender man granted asylum by the U.S. last year is challenging an Indiana law that prevents him from changing his first name to a male name that matches his gender identity.

The 31-year-old, who was brought to Indiana from Mexico illegally by his parents at age six, contends in his federal lawsuit that Indiana’s law requiring anyone seeking a name-change to provide proof of U.S. citizenship is unconstitutional and essentially forces him to “out” himself as transgender whenever he must display his driver’s license.

That law was passed in 2010 amid what his attorneys say was a spate of “anti-immigrant lawmaking” in several states.

The man’s federal lawsuit says his driver’s license lists his sex as male alongside the female birth name he wants changed, a contradiction that’s forced him to disclose to complete strangers the “deeply personal information” that he’s transgender, causing him embarrassment, humiliation and fears of harassment and violence.
He was granted asylum so that means he is here legally and all the other legal immigrants the ability to change their names, why? We see in other the states the only reason to be denied a name change is for illegal purposes and he isn’t doing that. He has changed the gender on all his documentation so now he has a female name on all his legal documents with an “M.”

There maybe help coming…
The author of Indiana’s law, former Democratic state Rep. Dave Cheatham, said he would support amending it to avoid difficulties for immigrants who “have legal status and want to change their name.”
Let’s hope that the bill passes so that he can change his name.

Here in Connecticut it all hasn’t been smooth sailing, some of the Probate Judges, who are elected, are refusing to allow hardship cases where the fee is waivered. One judge down in the Gold Coast is rumored to say that a name change is not necessary so he is not granted hardship cases.

First The Good News

This is a story of both good and bad of a teen coming out in school as a trans man. First the good news…
Canadian High School Football Team Welcomes 1st Transgender Player
ABC News
By Avianne Tan
September 15, 2016

A Canadian high school football team is welcoming its first transgender student player, who recently transferred after he said he felt unaccepted and lonely at his former school.

The team is "very family-oriented," Kennedy Cooley, a senior at Halifax West High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, told CTV News.

"You feel like you’re a brother, you don’t feel like you’re a player," the 17-year-old, who plays wide receiver, said. "They’re just so open and they accept you for who you are."

The welcome has been a pleasant surprise for Cooley. At his former school, the teen said he felt some of the student body "wasn't very accepting of the LGBTQIA community."

But after transferring to West Halifax, however, he said he's found the opposite to be true.

Though Cooley was initially "really nervous" to try out for the football team and scared "maybe somebody wasn't OK with me being transgender," he was proven completely wrong.

"Everybody has been welcoming and just treats him like one of the other guys," his mother, Pam Reinders-Cooley, told CTV News.
Wow! That is really great!

However, sadly his story doesn’t end there.
This transgender teen was allegedly fired from McDonald's after getting media attention
MIC Network
By Mathew Rodriguez
September 24, 2016

This injustice is super-sized.

Only about two weeks ago, Kenny Cooley, a transgender teen and high school football player in Halifax, Canada, received international media attention for being an out transgender football player on the Halifax West High School football team. Now, Metro reports, he says he has encountered backlash after his moment in the spotlight: He's been fired from his job at McDonald's.

Cooley, who was profiled by ABC News,  told Metro that only two days after his story appeared in the Canadian newspaper, management at his McDonald's called him in and said he was being terminated, "one because of the media, and two because we had some schedule mishaps," Cooley told the paper.

Bob Smith, owner operator of the McDonald's where Cooley works, told Mic in a statement that he was "shocked by these allegations as they are simply not true."
I tend to believe Cooley more than the manager, I believe that the manager fired him because of the reasons he said and the manager didn’t think his firing of Cooley would be covered in the news media and now he is making up excuses.

And here is the take on Cooley by a conservative religious news site (Make sure you have taken your blood pressure pills first!),
Girl Who Identifies as Boy Becomes First ‘Transgender’ Allowed on School’s Football Team
Christian New Service
By Heather Clark
September 23, 2016
HALIFAX, Canada — A Canadian girl who identifies as a boy has become the first “transgender” player allowed on her school’s football team.

Kennedy Cooley, 17, transferred to Halifax West High School after students at her previous school made her feel “unaccepted” for identifying as a boy. She had heard that Halifax West would be more accepting, but was still apprehensive.

“I’d heard that a lot of the guys are like family, they really get along together, they all know each other, and they’re really close friends,” Cooley told CTV News. “I was just really nervous about going in there and maybe, somebody wasn’t okay with me being transgender.”
“He’s never been afraid of challenge, and we’ve always supported him as much as we could,” Robert Cooley told ABC News. “It isn’t always easy, but at the end of the day, your goal as a parent is to make sure your child is a productive citizen in society, and when we look at him, we see that he is a good kid.”
Halifax Head Coach David Kelly said that Cooley hasn’t played on a football team before and so she is still learning.

“He’s very new to the sport, so I think he’s still in the process of learning the game,” Kelly explained.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday 9: One Night in Bangkok

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: One Night in Bangkok (1984)

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 song is from the play Chess. It's been said that the most successful players are fluid in their thinking. Do you consider yourself flexible or set in your ways?
Yes, I think I have a touch of OCD. If I made plans I don’t like to change them at the last minute.

2) Nigel Short, a real-life chess grandmaster, used to wear a t-shirt that said, "He who cares, wins." Do you always play to win? Or do you play board/card games or sports for the fun of it?
I play for fun, my game is Backgammon and if I play cards I lie Hearts

3) The singer is in Bangkok for an important tournament. He maintains that he doesn't mind missing the sights and dismisses Bangkok is just another "crowded, polluted stinking town." Do you find big cities exciting? Or do you think of them as noisy and dirty?
Noisy, dirty, and claustrophobic and next weekend I am going to see the play Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway. I have a good sense of direction but in “The City” I’m lost, wherever you look are just walls of buildings and I can’t see the sun to get my bearings.

4) Air pollution has reached serious levels Bangkok. Do you suffer from allergies, asthma or another condition that could be aggravated by pollution?
No, I am slightly allergic to pollen. But I'm old enough that I can remember smog, driving into Hartford on Route 15 when you see the Hartford skyline seeing it encompassed in a blue hazy.

5) To reduce traffic, commuters travel through Bangkok on ferries that make regularly scheduled trips up and down the Chao Phraya River. When was your last boat ride?
I have a cottage on a lake you would think that I’m always in a boat but I not, so the last time on was on a boat was the ferry trip to Long Island and back.

6) Round trip airfare between ATL and BKK is $1750. If we gave you a travel voucher for that dollar amount, how would you spend it? 
On a tour of the western National Parks

7) The Holiday Inn Express in Bangkok has a McDonald's onsite. When you go somewhere new, do you find it comforting to be surrounded by what's familiar? Or would you prefer to try new things?
I am not really into ethnic foods; my stomach can’t stomach it.

8) One of Bangkok's most popular restaurants is DID, which stands for Dine in Dark. The dining room at DID is 100% light free -- cell phones must be stored in the lobby to avoid distracting from the experience -- so customers eat their four course meal without seeing it. This heightens the diner's sense of taste and smell. When you prepare a meal, do you put a great deal of care into its presentation?
Nope. My presentation is I just place the plate in front them and say “eat.”

9) Random question: Think about your last professionally prepared meal. Did you dine in, carry out, or have it delivered?
Well it all depends on if you consider pizza a “professionally prepared meal” otherwise I dined in the restaurant.

Today I will be up at the Moveable Senior Center in Manchester and I will be sneaking out after lunch.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stressed Out

There have been a number of research studies done on the effect of stress on the human body, such as living next to an airport or a busy highway. Now there is a study of the effect of stress on trans people in Transgender Health, “Expecting Rejection: Understanding the Minority Stress Experiences of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Individuals

The introduction begins,
Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals have a current gender identity or expression that differs from their assigned sex at birth. Although research investigations that focus specifically on the health and well-being of TGNC individuals remain limited, peer-reviewed published articles have documented the pervasiveness with which TGNC people face enacted experiences of stigma, discrimination, and victimization. Prevalence estimates of discrimination among TGNC individuals are shown to be extraordinarily high, exceeding 60% in several published studies. Similarly, estimates for victimization are commonly greater than 40% for TGNC people. Emerging research also has highlighted an association between enacted stressors and indicators of negative mental and physical health. For example, TGNC individuals who reported having experienced physical or sexual abuse, compared to those who did not, are significantly more likely to report a history of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Likewise, experiences of gender-related discrimination are shown to be significantly associated with elevated levels of psychological distress for TGNC individuals. Thus, enacted stressors appear to be detrimental to the health of TGNC individuals and continued and ongoing research, particularly longitudinal studies examining the relationship of such stressors to health over time, is needed.

Enacted stressors, however, represent only the external processes and experiences faced by TGNC individuals. TGNC individuals likely experience internal stressors and processes in response to these and other external stressors. Consistent with the theory and empirical research underlying Meyer's Minority Stress Model, internal or proximal stressors are considered more subjective and related to self-identity. According to the model, the three specific proximal stressors recognized are as follows: (1) identity concealment, (2) internalized stigma, and (3) expectations of rejection.

Expecting rejection—the focus of the present article—is described in the literature as a form of felt stigma, which is understood as an individual's knowledge of society's stance toward nonmajority individuals, and expectations regarding the likelihood of stigma being enacted in a given situation as a result of having a minority status, for example, for sexual and gender minority individuals. Notably, research has demonstrated that having a dual minority status (e.g., being a person of color who is also a sexual minority) can further complicate and heighten experiences of enacted stigma, which has implications for expecting rejection, especially among individuals who represent more than one marginalized identity.
And their conclusion…
This research represents one of the few studies designed to qualitatively investigate proximal stressors in TGNC individuals. These data demonstrate the extent to which expecting rejection might operate as a pervasive daily experience in the lives of TGNC individuals. Furthermore, this study provides evidence regarding the adverse impact of expecting rejection, as shown by the stressful cognitive and emotional responses reported by participants. Although emerging research has shown the deleterious impact of distal stressors (i.e., violence, discrimination, and stigma) on the health of TGNC individuals, the current finding demonstrate that proximal stressors likely have a similar devastating impact.

Given the frequency with which proximal stressors were reported by TGNC participants—and the reported experiences of fear, hypervigilance, sadness, and anger, in particular—there is a clear need and urgency to further evaluate the cumulative impact of the stress over time and identify future targets to intervene upon to mitigate potential harms. This is especially relevant given the current cultural climate in which TGNC individuals continue to remain targets for violence and discrimination—which has resulted in the murder of countless TGNC individuals worldwide, and the suicide of individuals who can no longer withstand the experience. Future research, including clinical intervention development and testing, should begin to prioritize the needs of this vulnerable population.
One of my questions is does the stress lessen over time? Is the stress more when a person first comes out and over time does the person become more relax as their transition becomes familiar to them? Or does each new situation generate new stressors?

I would think it is a blend, that each new situation generates new stresses such as having a repair man come into your house or if you are in a car accident and wondering how the police and the people in the other car going to treat you. But the familiar would reduce the stress, such as going to work every day or going grocery shopping at the same store would cause the stress to abate.

The Far Right Is At It Again

The right wing conservatives now want us to get permission before we go the bathroom and this is their craziest idea yet.
Ask Me First Campaign Wants Trans People to First Get Permission to Use Public Restrooms
The New Civil Rights Movement
By Carlyle Addy
September 21, 2016

Campaign Backed by Faith-Based Anti-LGBT Groups“We are moms, daughters, students, athletes, survivors and businesswomen who believe our voices matter.”

This is how the Ask Me First campaign introduces itself.

Ask Me First is an anti-transgender campaign asking politicians to ask women for permission before protecting trans people – whom they call "gender-confused" – who are attempting to use public facilities or participate in public events. The campaign features a few stories on their website from women upset about trans inclusive policies at various levels. They call equal rights "special accommodation."

"As we all consider the policy changes we're seeing concerning privacy and safety in restrooms and locker rooms, we think there are certain voices that are being ignored -- perhaps on purpose," Ask Me First accuses, ignoring the fact that transgender people's voices have always been ignored.
And who is behind this latest campaign, why it is none other than our favorite nemeses,
 The campaign is backed by faith-based anti-LGBT groups, including the Family Policy Alliance, formerly Citizen Link, which is the public policy arm of James Dobson's Focus on the Family. The FPA is also associated with Tony Perkins' Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Some of them have been labeled “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Why can't they just let us pee in peace.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

One Of Our Worst Fears

Is being put into a male prison and being rapped; well it happened down in New Orleans.
Transgender woman raped inside Orleans Parish jail with guard absent for over an hour, lawsuit says
The New Orleans Advocate
By Jim Mustian
September 20, 2016

A transgender woman booked on municipal warrants last year was assaulted and raped at the city's new jail by a male cellmate who was awaiting trial on armed robbery charges, according to a lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, raises questions about the treatment of transgender inmates at the Orleans Justice Center, an understaffed lockup plagued by violence since shortly after it opened a year ago.

The U.S. Department of Justice issued national guidelines months ago calling for inmates' gender identity to be considered in their housing assignments, but that approach has not been implemented at the local jail. Federal and local officials are now discussing a new housing policy for transgender inmates in New Orleans.
He got 12 years but the trans woman will never get over being sexually assaulted.
The 20-year-old victim, described in the lawsuit as a "male to female transgendered individual" from St. Bernard Parish, had been booked three weeks before the attack for failing to appear in New Orleans Municipal Court on charges of disturbing the peace and theft of goods under $500.
She was in there for minor offenses and she didn’t deserve a sentence of rape.

The prison system in Louisiana is not known for its country club atmosphere,
"The lack of management at (the Sheriff's Office) and lack of adherence to classification systems has a disproportionate impact on women and especially transgendered women inside (the jail), who find it difficult to find safety and advocacy outside the jail and even more difficult to find it inside the jail," said Nia Weeks, of Women with a Vision, a member of the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition. "The sheriff’s responsibility has been to ensure the safety and well-being of those that are arrested and put in his care, and he failed to do so once again."

The lawsuit draws upon the well-documented history of violence at the New Orleans jail, which has been the subject of a federal consent decree for three years.

Conditions at the lockup became so dire earlier this year that hundreds of inmates were sent to other jails around the state, and a federal judge recently approved the appointment of an outside administrator to take over day-to-day operations at the facility.
Hopefully better conditions for all inmates will be the outcome of this lawsuit.

Been There Done That

Once a month I do training for homeless shelters around the state for integrating shelters for trans people, in general it has been well received. So this is nothing new for Connecticut.
Homeless shelters facing new transgender rules
The Hill
By Tim Devaney
September 20, 2016

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said Tuesday that homeless transgender women, who were assigned the male gender on their birth certificates but identify as female, should be housed with other women at shelters.

The transgender protections will apply to certain federally funded shelters.

"This new rule will ensure equal access to the very programs that help to prevent homelessness for persons who are routinely forced to choose between being placed in facilities against their gender identity or living on our streets,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said.
But in reality we were protected this new rule. Back in February 2012 HUD published “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity final rule (Equal Access Rule) (77 FR 5662)

From our presentation,

  • The Equal Access Rule requires that HUD’s housing programs be made available to individuals and families without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status
  • It prohibits owners and administrators of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing, approved lenders in an FHA mortgage insurance program, and any other recipients or subrecipients of HUD funds from inquiring about sexual orientation or gender identity to determine eligibility for HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing
  • It provides a limited exception for inquiries about the sex of an individual to determine eligibility for temporary, emergency, shelters with shared sleeping areas or bathrooms, or to determine the number of bedrooms to which a household may be entitled
  • HUD stated in the Final Rule preamble that is was not mandating a national policy on placement of transgender persons in single-sex shelters but would instead monitor its programs to see if additional guidance or setting a national policy might be appropriate;
  • HUD has subsequently determined it is necessary to provide additional guidance on how best to provide shelter to transgender persons in a single-sex facility. HUD is continuing to evaluate whether setting a national policy through rulemaking is necessary.

And that is what the new guidelines do, provide guidance.

We have done over a dozen trainings so far around the state to shelter staff and 211 operators. As I said we have had some pushback from shelter staff, one even wrote a letter to Connecticut’s senators complaining about us and the policy, and at another training we got into a heavy discussion with another shelter staff person, but those were the only two people who objected to the federal policy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Playing With Fire

The healthcare system here in the U.S. is broken. Over the weekend they had a free dental clinic in Hartford and over a thousand people lined up to dental work done. The trans community is also facing a healthcare crisis.

To transition it cost money, money that many insurance programs don’t cover. Money for electrolysis, money for therapy, and money for hormones.
Sketchy Pharmacies Are Selling Hormones to Transgender People
Burdened by cost and medical discrimination, many people are taking a do-it-yourself approach to transitioning.
The Atlantic
By Gillian Branstetter
August 31, 2016

After meeting a few transgender women at the famed music and arts festival, Andrea decided to pursue her own transition. But when she sought out feminizing hormones through clinics around her home in Philadelphia, she ran into lengthy waiting lists and high costs. So she decided to experiment on her own. She ordered Estradiol, a commonly prescribed form of estrogen, and Spironolactone, a testosterone blocker traditionally prescribed to transgender women, from an online pharmacy without a prescription.

Andrea’s decision to manage her own transition outside of a doctor’s care is common. With a lack of transgender-related services across the country, as well as discrimination from medical professionals and insurance companies, many transgender patients are conducting their own hormone replacement therapy, a regiment of medications meant to help them develop some of the secondary sexual characteristics of their gender identity.
When I first started on CGH therapy back in 2004 my insurance didn’t cover the Estradiol and I had to pay for it out of pocket, almost $200 for a three month supply from an online pharmacy. Now that insurance pays for it I pay the same price because I have to pay the deductible gap but at least I am buying it from a U.S. pharmacy.

The other problem is,
According to Joshua Safer, the medical director of Boston University’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, Katherine’s story is common. “The big roadblocks are lack of providers who have been willing to provide the treatment in the first place and lack of financial support,” he says. “It is still the case in much of the country … that transgender individuals will reach out to their existing and logical providers and are told ‘I don’t do that. I won’t prescribe you those hormones. I don’t feel comfortable.’”
Trying to find an endo is near impossible and those who work on an informed consent is even harder to find. But self medicating is even riskier, hormones are very powerful and they should only be used under health provider supervision.

Then there is a problem of being shunned by doctors because we are trans…
Safer believes this hesitance is less a matter of malice than it is a matter of ignorance. Still, he sees discrimination as an “enormous” problem within the medical community. He admitted to hearing “snide jokes” and “honest, hostile opinions” of transgender patients from his colleagues. “There are still providers with outright hostility,” he says. “I have a patient who reported coming in for a broken limb to an emergency room and being sent out of the emergency room because the doctors determined they were trans—which is entirely unrelated to the situation.”
This is such a real problem!

Trans men have a hard time finding an OB/GYN to take care of their medical needs.

A trans man who co-presented with me at a training for homeless shelter staff said the other day said when he was found with a heart problem during a routine exam they rushed him to the hospital. When the ER doctor found out he was trans and on “T” the refused to treat him and told him to go back to the doctor who prescribed that “shit.”

Ops… That Didn’t Work, Let’s Try This.

We are the Guinea Pigs, there is very little research in to the long term effects of Cross Gender Hormone therapy and they are learning from us. Because we are such a small community the drug companies really don’t care about us, why spend money on 0.5% of the population when we can make billions studying ED.
Hormone Therapy is Lifesaving — But Why is No One Studying Its Long-Term Effects?
By Diana Tourjee
TUE, 2016-09-20

Charlene Incarnate had been taking Spironolactone, a testosterone-blocking medication, for several weeks when she noticed that she was feeling tired and out of it all the time. “It has a stony effect that just makes you want to lie in bed and sleep all day,” she says. The drug plays a central role in male-to-female hormone replacement therapy, but its listed side effects, which include drowsiness and confusion, are sometimes too much for patients. Incarnate isn’t alone in her lament. Last fall, her friend, trans musician Macy Rodman, wrote “Lazy Girl,” a song about the foggy effects of early gender transition. It contained lyrics about exhaustion and never leaving your bedroom. “I just can’t deal with the dehydration — especially in the summertime — and the brain fog,” Incarnate says. “There’s never a clearheaded moment.”

Informed physicians have been routinely prescribing cross-sex hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to transgender people for decades. These regimens are designed to produce the secondary sex characteristics of the opposite gender, effectively causing the patient to undergo an alternate puberty. Providers generally agree that this treatment is safe and lifesaving, as does the American Medical Association, which endorsed medical transition for trans people in 2014. There have been other major advancements in trans health care in the United States in recent years. Health insurance companies that have historically denied coverage for trans care are beginning to change their policies, and Medicaid programs in states such as Massachusetts, New York, and California are now obligated to pay for gender transition, as is Medicare nationwide.
Is the lethargic feeling because of the spiro or is it because of low testosterone? I doubt we will ever learn because no one wants to study us because research takes money.
The fact that HRT consists of generic drugs that have been on the market for years makes it far less likely that pharmaceutical companies will ever spearhead further research. “There’s no money to be made,” Deutsch says. “Nobody’s going to go do Phase III trials on a medicine that’s been generic for 15 years.”
When I was starting out on CGH therapy the doctor stepped up my dosage of spiro until the increase in spiro didn’t cause any more of a drop in “T” and then he backed me off one step, as a  result I am now taking 150 mg.
She was initially prescribed 200 milligrams of Spironolactone a day, but she cut her dose in half, hoping that would cause her testosterone levels to drop significantly without eliminating them altogether. “Even on [100 milligrams] my testosterone [level registered] at a cold zero,” Incarnate says. “That’s not a normal human body — male, female, or otherwise. That’s not a normal level of testosterone for anyone.” According to the Boston University School of Medicine, the side effects of low testosterone in women include sexual dissatisfaction, muscle weakness, and mood problems. Incarnate recently halved her dosage again, down to 50 milligrams per day.
Bottom line; don’t expect any research unless the moneys come forth.

But there is research being done and once again we are being used as lab rats.
New research discovers how opposite-sex hormonal therapy influences the brain
Published on August 24, 2016

Women and men often show marked differences as regards mental illnesses. In order to learn more about this phenomenon, a project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF explored how opposite-sex hormonal therapy applied to transgender individuals influences the brain.

In basic research, breakthroughs are often the result of a combination of curiosity and chance. In order to explore biological factors in mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders, a team of researchers at the Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Wien) investigated the impact of sex hormones on the brain. Working in close cooperation with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy and the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, the scholars from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy were rewarded with a significant new insight. They demonstrated that gender identity is reflected in the brain, including the brains of transgender individuals, formerly also known as transsexuals.
Using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), the researchers examined both transsexual subjects and control subjects to observe what happens in the brain when opposite-sex hormones are administered over a prolonged period in order to achieve opposite-sex hormonal blood levels. "We were able to demonstrate the effect of hormones on language processing, on functions such as risk-taking behaviour, spatial cognition and impulsiveness, as well as on structural brain connections between female and male subjects", Lanzenberger explains. It was interesting that the scans also showed that, prior to hormonal treatment, the brain structure of transgender individuals exhibited levels falling in the mid-range between the two sexes.

In concrete terms, the research teams from MedUni Wien were able to show that an increase of blood testosterone levels induced a decrease in the volume of two brain regions of central importance for language processing, and it also changed their connections. "This suggests that the impact of testosterone on language processing occurs via the influence it has on the structure of grey and white matter in the corresponding brain region", notes Lanzenberger and goes on to say:
We assume that some of the difference in white matter we found may emerge very early on, perhaps in the womb or before puberty. That would make it a type of biological information, a marker for gender identity.
The knowledge that brain connections and their functions can change as a result of hormone administration even in adulthood may be important in certain situations, for instance when the neuroplasticity of the brain is reduced, as is presumably the case in depression. Using another imaging procedure, positron emission tomography (PET), the researchers therefore explored the impact of hormones on the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to improve an individual's mood. The result showed that testosterone significantly increased serotonin transporter density.
Oink, oink

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Quarter Million!

Since I started using Statcounter in 2008 I have had 250,000 viewers! Blogger has my total pageviews as 620,781.

The top three pages most read pages were:
As You Sow So Shall You Reap with 1535 pageviews (Probably because of the Biblical title)
A Trans-Woman Who Lives As A Women with 781 pageviews (It was this post that cause me to go to moderating comments because of lateral hostility)
Transphobia with 528 pageviews

Number of comments: 5779

Thank you all who made that possible!

Across The Pacific

A trans woman was elected to the Philippines Congress and she introducing a non-discrimination bill.
First Filipina transgender lawmaker pushes passage of Anti-Discrimination Bill
September 20, 2016

MANILA, Philippines -- “We are proud Filipinos, who just happen to be LGBT.”

In an emotionally-charged privilege speech, Bataan 1st district Representative Geraldine Roman appealed to fellow lawmakers for the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill which has been languishing in Congress for the past 17 years.

As a co-author of the Anti SOGI (Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity) Discrimination Act, the neophyte lawmaker lamented the lack of legal protection for people of diverse SOGI.

Roman started her first privilege speech paying an emotional tribute to her father, the late Congressman Tony Roman. She recalled how her father told her that he dreamt of Geraldine giving a privilege speech in Congress, urging her colleagues to treat her as an equal, to respect her human rights.

“If my father could hear me now, I would tell him this: ‘Daddy, you and I need not beg my colleagues for respect,” said Roman, sharing that her fellow lawmakers have dealt with her as an equal. “Daddy, you would be glad to know that they have treated me with the dignity and respect that is due all human beings.”

However, Roman bemoaned that hers is a privilege – not a shared experience for a majority of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community.
The debate should be interesting and I hope for the best.

Something That I Have Been Saying

Let’s see if his comments make a difference.

I have only watched a couple of episodes of Transparent, I don’t like it because I don’t like to watch shows of dysfunctional families and also I don’t like shows that have a serial plot where you have to keep watching to find out what happened. Maybe I catch a couple of more shows to see how the series progressed.

In her blog Helen Boyd’s blog EN|GENDER said this about her wife who is an actress,
More than a decade ago, the most talented actor I’ve ever known gave up acting. She needed to transition, and her acting career was the hardest thing she had to give up, but she didn’t want to be a pony show, a novelty, gag casting. She had played so many amazing roles – Henry V, Algernon, The Chocolate Cream Soldier, even Larry Foreman – and despite what people think about acting, playing men on stage requires a lot of gender. She couldn’t grow her nails or her hair or go on hormones that would change her face or physique too much. She squeaked by for a few years by starting her own theatre company with friends and colleagues, and without much of a thought, came out as trans in The New York Times while doing so.
So when Jeffrey Tambor said this at the Emmys last night, I thought two things: I am glad things are changing so that people like my wife don’t feel that they have to give up their careers in order to be who they are.
Now, listen to me. … I’m not going to say this beautifully. But to you people out there, you producers and network owners, and agents, and you creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story. Do that. And also, one more thing: I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television. We have work to do. I love you.
I also thought: those of us who come to work with you and know your stories almost always become your biggest supporters, and that doesn’t surprise me even a little.
We have the talent all they need is a chance to show it.

There are so many brilliant trans talent out there just begin to get a start, many of them have been in shows that have been nominated or won Oscars, Emmys, and Tonys so all we need is as Jeffrey Tambor said, “But to you people out there, you producers and network owners, and agents, and you creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions.”

I leave you with a video clip from 2007 of "All My Children" where Rachel Crow, Jennifer Boylan, and other trans actors and actresses take part in a support group meeting.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hate Generates More Hate

When you stir up hate you have no idea where it will lead. When you demonize a minority you give a green light to violence and discrimination.
Report: Hate Crimes Against Muslims and Transgender People Rose Sharply in 2015
By Hannah Gold
September 17, 2016

The FBI won’t be releasing their hate crime statistics for 2015 until November. But in the the meantime the New York Times obtained an advanced copy of a new study conducted by researchers at California State University, San Bernardino that found hate crimes against Muslims and transgender people rose dramatically last year.
Buried in literally the 14th paragraph of the article is that the report’s finding that hate crimes against all other groups barely fluctuated, except for one—those against transgender people rose by about 40 percent. It’s previously been reported by the Human Rights Campaign that 2015 was the deadliest year on record for gender-nonconforming people, and that trans women of color are “exponentially” more likely to experience violence, harassment, and discrimination.
The Republican Party in its quest to get votes and donations has demonized us. They have tried to put a $2500 bounty on us, they have tried to criminalize us, they want to have us register with a government agency, and in North Carolina they made it crime for us to go the bathroom.

The result of their attacks on us has not only increased the violence against us, it has also increase the calls to suicide prevention hotlines.
After North Carolina’s Law, Trans Suicide Hotline Calls Double
Being denied basic human rights—like bathroom access—has life-threatening consequences.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
April 20, 2016

Anti-transgender bathroom laws like North Carolina’s HB 2 are not just inconvenient for transgender people. They may also be life-threatening.

Greta Gustava Martela, co-founder of Trans Lifeline, a crisis hotline for transgender people, told The Daily Beast that their call volume has “nearly doubled” since North Carolina restricted the use of public bathrooms based on birth certificate gender markers.

“This would normally be a time of year when we would be on an upswing,” Martela told The Daily Beast, explaining that suicide prevalence generally rises in the spring, but to her the steepness of this increase is “indicative of some event happening, rather than the normal seasonal fluctuations.”
From April 8 to April 16, the most recent date included in the data set, the hotline has only seen two days below 200 incoming calls. On April 13, they received what Martela notes is an “unprecedented” 357 calls.

When asked if the call volume increase could be attributed to any media attention directed at Trans Lifeline post-HB 2, Martela cited internal analysis showing that the hotline had already reached two-thirds of U.S. counties—“basically all the populated places in the United States”—within six months of its 2014 launch.
If you vote Republican you are condoning the attacks against us. You cannot separate financial conservatism from their social agenda, when you vote for one you are voting for the other.

This afternoon I am down in Bridgeport doing training for homeless shelter staff on the law and how to make their shelter safe for trans people. The only thing is that the training gets over a 3:00 PM and driving home will not be fun.

Update 5:00 PM
Traffic wasn't bad at all and at the training we had sixteen attendees.

Tangled Up In A Web

A lesbian got snarled up in a web of hate.
Lesbian mistaken for man, questioned in restroom at L.A. concert venue
LGBTQ Nation
By Erin Rook
September 18, 2016

A lesbian woman says she was questioned by staff at L.A.’s Staples Center Wednesday after they mistook her for a man in the women’s restroom, PinkNews reports.

Mary Looper was attending a Carrie Underwood concert with her aunt when a female security officer stood outside her restroom stall, demanding proof of her gender. Looper, who is tall with close-cropped hair, took to Facebook to call out the venue.

“They literally just tried to escort me out of the women’s restroom at the [Staples Center],” she wrote that evening. “Shame on them.”

Loopers friends expressed shock that something like this could happen in Los Angeles. Some event wrote “reviews” of the Staples Center, expressing their distaste for the venue’s actions, and vowing never to return.
California has some of the most strongest non-discrimination laws in the nation and at this day in age for security officer to not know the law is criminal.

And she is not alone,
Grandmother files $5M suit after Florida jail puts her in an all-male cell
Fox News Latino
By Rebekah Sager
September 15, 2016

When Fiordaliza Pichardo, an attorney and city councilwoman from Bonao in the Dominican Republic, was detained at the Miami International Airport en route to see the birth of her first grandson on an old New York warrant, she never imagined she would end up in a Miami jail for 10 hours surrounded by at least 40 male inmates.

On Thursday Pichardo’s attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Miami-Dade Corrections Department seeking $5 million in damages and an effort to repair her reputation.

Despite the fact that Pichardo, 50, has been married to her husband for 32 years, has three children, and is also a grandmother, a nurse employed by Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, examined her and determined that she exhibited “non-traditional male characteristics and male reproductive organs,” and placed Pichardo in an all-male jail cell.

According to the suit, as a correctional officer was placing her in the cell, he said to her in Spanish, “Suerte si te veo viva manaña.” (You’ll be lucky if I see you alive tomorrow.”)
Since the first transgender inclusive non-discrimination law was passed in 1975 we never had a problem but now with all the hate that the Republican Party has stirred up these incidents are becoming common place. Lexie Cannes reports on her blog that so far there has been at least 8 reports of cis women being misgendered as male including the woman in Danbury Connecticut.

Warning: Video contains graphic language that some viewers may find offensive.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

We’re Trans, We’re Everywhere!

People are slowly become aware that there are trans people everywhere and that we have been around for a very, very long time.
Transgender story correct not to change the past 
The Blade
By Jack Lessenberry
Published on Sept. 18, 2016

For many Americans, the discovery of a significant transgender community in our society is still a relatively new thing.

Not surprisingly, your ombudsman and The Blade’s editors got a wide range of reaction to Kirk Baird’s major story that ran in the paper’s Aug. 28 Living section: “Inside Out: For transgender people, a difficult but liberating journey to becoming their true selves.”
From there the article goes downhill. But that is not what I want to write about; instead I want to write about how people never knew that there were trans people.

We have been denied our past, all throughout history we have been lumped with “Gays.” I remember at a support group where some of the early pioneer healthcare providers were talking about the Gender Identity Clinic of New England and how it got its start back in the late sixties and early seventies.

The Reverend Cannon Jones ran a support group for gays called “Project H” and he kept coming across gays who said they were women and not men; this was around the time when Harry Benjamin started his clinic and it fascinated Reverend Cannon Jones and as a result the Twenty Club was formed.

If you look back at history many trans people were labeled gay or lesbian. LGBTQ Nation has an article about our history (I like the first sentence of the article “History is written by the victors.” and they lumped us together with the gays and lesbians).
Trans History 101: Transgender Expression in Ancient Times
By Mercedes Allen
February 24, 2016

History is written by the victors. Unfortunately, this tends to mean that a lot of truth gets lost over the eons, peaceful tribes can become demonized, portrayals of nature reverence can be twisted into “witchcraft” and a lot of the accurate documentation becomes lost over the years in intellectual pogroms, such as the burning of the library at Alexandria in Egypt by the Romans.
It may sound far-fetched, but history (even if written by victors) offers little glimpses of reality at times, and many of these glimpses tend to indicate that the gender transgression and gay / lesbian / bisexual love that is often vilified today was once quite respected and at times even encouraged. As a transgender and bisexual woman, I’m not personally inclined to think of myself as better than anyone or to try to portray myself as such, but a careful look at history does provide a rewarding sense that I have something to offer, and am a being worthy of respect.

It is impossible to know the motives of the early civilizations’ approach. We can only see history in modern light and with our own experiences. Without the economic and socio-political backgrounds to some of these notations, we don’t know if transgender behaviour was any result of coersion, conspiracy or other motivations. I would like to think that much of the experience was genuine, although I’m not so naive to believe that accounts of castrated boys raised as wives of Roman or Turkish military leaders were consensual. History unfortunately sometimes can only touch the surface, not revealing the beauty and ugliness underneath.
There is a lot that we can only speculate about. For example John Quincy Adams was involved in a trial of a trans woman and then there was Chevalier d'Éon who spied for the King of France. In modern times there are people like Dr. Alan Hart or George Sand or the fictional character Albert Nobbs who we do not really know if they were trans or not, they might have crossdressed to survive; women in those days had a hard time living on their own so taking on a male persona might have been the only way to make a living.

The article goes on to say,
What we understand as transgender (in its many different forms) has been understood quite differently at various periods of time. In the earliest ages, people who were seen to bridge the genders were quite often thought to possess wisdom that traditionally-gendered people did not, and were venerated for this. As civilizations transformed from matrilineal and communal societies into male-driven (patriarchal) societies with rigid class divisions and emphasis on property ownership, those male-driven cultures reduced the status of women… and because they were threatened by a persistent belief that those who blurred gender lines possessed some greater insight, they set out to crush gender-transgressive people most of all. Into the modern age, transfolk resurfaced, but it is a long climb back just to restore any sense of equality.
For centuries, Muslim tradition differentiated between MTF transsexuals who live as prostitutes or criminals, and those in whom femininity was innate and who lived blamelessly. The latter were called “mukhannathun,” and accepted within the boundaries of Islam. Mukhannathun could have relationships with either men or women, but only those who had been castrated or were exclusively attracted to men were allowed into womens’ spaces. Later, it was ordered that all mukhannathun undergo castration.
And the article ends with,
Alas, history is written by the victors, and the victors were largely not transgender or homosexual / bisexual persons.
Now the general public is just finding out that we live among them and they think that this is a new phenomenon. They forget that just back in the fifties and sixties it was a crime to not wear three items of clothing of your birth gender and I thing many people if they knew about those laws would want them reinstated.