Monday, October 31, 2016

A Very Nice Start

A lot of times we thing negatively about sororities but once in a while they do something to break that image.
Sorority to include transgender women after student petition
By Kristen Weiser
October 30, 2016

Dissatisfied with the current bylaws about transgender members, senior philosophy major Deanna Merced wrote a petition Oct. 18 urging the Pi Beta Phi sorority to become nationally inclusive to transgender women.

“As a member of Pi Beta Phi, I was disappointed to learn that my own organization did not have a similar policy (to other sororities),” Merced wrote in the petition.”I couldn’t help but think of our values, and how we could truly be living them out to the fullest extent if we were to include these women in our membership.
Within hours of sharing the petition, a member of Pi Beta Phi’s headquarters staff contacted Merced saying that the sorority agreed with her statement, and that an update to Pi Beta Phi’s national non-discrimination policy will be released soon. Eily Cummings, Pi Beta Phi’s senior director in marketing and communication, told The Panther that a release date has not yet been set.

Merced and her 86 supporters on the petition felt that a sorority cannot truly be a safe, supportive place for women until it includes every woman.
Wow! I am surprised but it is a nice surprise but it didn’t end there.
In early October, senior Kati Simpson, Panhellenic’s vice president of scholarship and standards, updated the bylaws of the Chapman University Panhellenic Association. Among Simpson’s updates was an addition to the non-discrimination policy that made Chapman’s sororities inclusive to transgender women.

“The Chapman University Panhellenic Association is committed to equal opportunity for all and does not discriminate in membership or access to its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ability, age, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation or gender identity (as long as the person in question identifies as a member of the female gender),” the updated bylaws said.
While only two of Chapman’s sororities, Delta Gamma and Kappa Kappa Gamma, are nationally inclusive to transgender women, the newly rewritten bylaw reassures any person who identifies as a woman that she will not be excluded from a Panhellenic organization on campus based on the gender she was assigned at birth.
It sounds like fraternities are also included in the new policy and not just sororities. I wonder how the national organizations think about this, are they going into a frenzy over this?

I was a member of a fraternity and when I transitioned I sent them a copy of my probate letter and asked them to change my information in their records. I never heard back from them and all correspondence from them ended, it turned out it was an easy way to get off their mailing list, no more begging for money nor the quarterly magazine.

A Good Day Yesterday

Except for the rain on the way home it was a good day for me. A friend came over to my house and then we headed down to New London to pick up another friend, then the three of us had lunch at a German restaurant and I had a beer and latkes.

We then drove over to a house concert by Namoli Brennet as usual it was a great concert. It was a nice cozy home concert with about only 20 people there, and most of the people who were there have her heard many times.

The first time I heard Namoli Brennet was up in Provincetown as part of Fantasia Fair; she played at the Vixen and I probably have seen her play over a dozen times since then and I have all her CDs.

Here is a video of her singing her song "We Belong"…

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Children, When Is It Too Young To Transition

Boy trying to find some other news besides the Supreme Court hearing the Grimm’s case is hard, but I found a number of articles on children transitioning.
COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE Fury as BBC broadcasts transgender show for children featuring a 11-year-old schoolboy who takes puberty-stunting medicationCampaigners warn show could sow 'seeds of confusion' among children
Politicians slam Beeb and demand show be taken off CBBC website immediately
BBC defends actions saying its content aims to 'reflect true life' of youngsters

The Sun
By Paul Miles
30th October 2016

FURIOUS parents have lashed out at the BBC following a children’s programme which features a schoolboy who takes sex-change drugs.
The organisation has been accused of acting ‘irresponsibly’ over the programme which is available to watch on the CBBC website.

Writing on the mumsnet website, where hundreds of people have vented their anger over the show, one mother said her daughter had become worried after seeing the video. She said the girl, who likes playing

football and wearing boys' clothes, had "asked me, anxiously, if that means she was a boy".

Another posted "Completely inappropriate. Please turn it off. Our kids need protecting from this nonsense."

The programme features on the CBBC website, which is aimed at children as young as six, alongside other shows such as The Next Step, Blue Peter and Danger Mouse.

Just A Girl is the fictional video diary of a child who calls herself ‘Amy’ and dresses as a girl.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday family campaigner Norman Wells said: "It is irresponsible of the BBC to introduce impressionable children as young as six to the idea that they can choose to be something other than their biological sex."
So at what age is it appropriate to transition?
Transgender kids coming out younger, experts say after judges ordered 4-year-old to dress like a boy
'No matter how much you try to bury it, suppress it, pretend it’s not there, that's not how it works'
CBC News
Posted: Oct 25, 2016

More young transgender people are coming out, a sign that societal attitudes are becoming more welcoming when it comes to gender issues, according to an Alberta psychiatrist.

Edmonton-based Dr. Lorne Warneke is speaking out after CBC News reported Monday that two judges in southern Alberta had ruled that a child at the centre of a custody battle — who was born male but began identifying as a girl as early as age three — must dress as a boy.

A third judge later overturned that ruling, but Susan Smith — not her real name — is still fighting to regain primary custody from the child's father, who blamed her for the child's gender confusion and anxiety after she vowed to support the child's desire to wear feminine clothing.
More young transgender people are coming out, a sign that societal attitudes are becoming more welcoming when it comes to gender issues, according to an Alberta psychiatrist.

Edmonton-based Dr. Lorne Warneke is speaking out after CBC News reported Monday that two judges in southern Alberta had ruled that a child at the centre of a custody battle — who was born male but began identifying as a girl as early as age three — must dress as a boy.
The option of not supporting creates a high probability of having grave negative effects on the child compared to allowing the child to explore their gender.

In the Newsweek they write,
By Jessica Firger
October 20, 2016

Jordan is one of approximately 700,000 people in the U.S. who identify as transgender, according to the Williams Institute, an independent organization dedicated to research on sexual orientation and gender identity. Thanks to greater awareness and acceptance, transitioning is now an option at an increasingly younger age. However, the medical interventions used—hormone treatments, drugs to halt puberty—are highly controversial. Critics argue that the treatments are unethical and that young people are not psychologically or emotionally equipped to make such a momentous decision.

Others in the medical community vehemently disagree, and they are working hard to normalize the process by providing these treatments at children’s hospitals
Seattle Children’s Hospital is the fifth to open a clinic dedicated to the complex needs of this young patient population young patient population. Breland and his colleagues will see children and adolescents ages 8 to 21, offering a high level of care that include specialists in endocrinology and behavioral medicine. At the Seattle clinic, children will also have access to psychological counseling. They may also be provided with pubertal blockers to “buy the family some time” before starting a child on cross-sex hormones at the onset of puberty, says Breland. Though the hospital isn’t doing reconstructive surgery to alter the appearance of genitals or the chest, it does provide guidance and referrals if a patient wants to undergo surgery later, most likely after reaching the age of 18. Experts in this specialized field say it’s clear that transitioning earlier in life can result in fewer medical procedures as an adult. Hormones administered in early puberty can prevent a person’s features from becoming too masculine or feminine, and the process is much less painful than the often drastic and costly cosmetic surgery some patients require to look the way they see themselves. Early transition, some say, also results in improved mental health.
Most doctors in this growing specialty follow established protocols for early transition. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a nonprofit, provides education and training for physicians to learn about caring for this patient population. It also advises the growing number of children’s hospitals offering these services on standards of care for transgender patients.

Other, more mainstream medical organizations have also weighed in. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, recommends physicians and adults have the first discussion about transitioning when the child is 12, but the organization believes the process should start at 18.
So when is too young, too young?

Well I think that when a child expresses their dysphoria that is the time to consult professionals. I know children who transitioned socially before kindergarten and not they are about to start junior high school and they are doing very well. And I know other trans children who transitioned in junior high and are now in college with no problems.

What I would like to see is more longitudinal studies, there are some studies under way now but we need more and we need to follow them all through their life to see how they are doing in their sixties.

This afternoon I am at a house concert with Namoli Brennett down in New London

Treat The Body Not The Gender

Being trans that is one the things that we care, getting the proper healthcare for our bodies, but sometimes that is hard to do.
Breast Cancer Poses Unique Challenges for Trans Community
NBC News
By Julie Compton
October 28, 2016

For six years, a California transgender man neglected a lump growing on his right breast.

"It was scary. I just kind of ignored it and ignored it," said the 53-year-old man, who asked to be identified only by the initials, "SK."

SK was in his 40s at the time and didn't have health insurance, or money to get his breasts removed, something he desperately wanted to happen. He also couldn't stand the idea of getting a mammogram, which would force him to acknowledge his breasts.

"Those things didn't belong on me," he said. SK always felt dysphoria about that part of his body and would layer his clothes so his chest would look flat.
Many trans women feel the same way about getting prostate exams, they don’t want nothing to do with it.
SK managed to get into a California health care program for low-income individuals called Every Woman Counts. It covered the cost of the surgery to remove his breasts, radiation therapy and other treatments. As a female, he would have been able to stay in the program, but after he transitioned and changed his legal identification to male, he was only allowed to remain in the program for 18 months, he said.

"I was trying to see if I could get back into that program as a trans man, because I had the woman parts, but since I switched my identity over to male, everything says 'male,' then it doesn't count anymore," he added.
It is common for transgender people to experience these kinds of uncomfortable interactions in hospitals and doctors' offices, according to Deutsch [Madeline B. Deutsch, MD, MPH, Director of Clinical Services; UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health].
I have a hard time getting the insurance to pay for my prostrate exams, it usually requires many calls to the insurance company and the lab until it finally dawns on someone to properly code it with Code 45. So far I haven’t had any problems with hospitals.
"There has not been any definitive research done and that is a big problem," she explained. Deutsch said only two breast cancer studies have been done on transgender women, and the studies look only at current rates of breast cancer in those women instead of how it may affect a large population of them receiving mammograms over a long period of time.

"So part of the problem is if transgender people are not being screened, then we have no idea what these numbers mean," Deutsch said.
And there is also a lack of research for trans women and prostate cancer.

The UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health recommends for trans women,
Existing recommendations in non-transgender women vary with respect to the frequency of screening. As with the age of onset, given the likely lower incidence in transgender women, it is recommended that screening mammography be performed every 2 years, once the age of 50 and 5-10 years of feminizing hormone use criteria have been met. Providers and patients should engage in discussions that include the risks of overscreening and an assessment of individual risk factors (Grading: T O W). Risk score calculators such as the GAIL method may be unreliable when used in transgender women.
And for trans men…
Transgender men who have not undergone bilateral mastectomy, or who have only undergone breast reduction, should undergo screening according to current guidelines for non-transgender women. No reliable evidence exists to guide the screening of transgender men who have undergone mastectomy. Since most or nearly all breast tissue may have been removed, mammography for the evaluation of a palpable lesion may not be technically feasible, and alternatives such as ultrasound or MRI may be necessary.
While trans women should get…
Regardless, primary care providers should remain aware of the possibility of prostate cancer in transgender women, even those who have undergone gonadectomy. The decision to perform screening for prostate cancer in transgender women should be made based on guidelines for non-transgender men. If a prostate exam is indicated, both rectal and neovaginal approaches may be considered. Transgender women who have undergone vaginoplasty have a prostate anterior to the vaginal wall, and a digital neovaginal exam examination may be more effective.[5] It should be noted that when PSA testing is performed in transgender women with low testosterone levels, it may be appropriate to reduce the upper limit of normal to 1.0 ng/ml.[4]
And the trans men should get…
Cervical cancer screening should never be a requirement for testosterone therapy. Cervical cancer screening for transgender men, including interval of screening and age to begin and end screening follows recommendations for non-transgender women as endorsed by the American Cancer Society, American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), American Society of Clinical Pathologists, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the World Health Organization (Grading: X C S).[13-15] As with non-transgender women, transgender men under the age of 21 should not have pap smears regardless of their age of sexual debut.[13] Pap smears on transgender men have a ten-fold higher incidence of an unsatisfactory result compared to non-transgender women, which is positively correlated with length of time on testosterone.[16] If erythema of vaginal and/or cervical tissue is noted, evaluation for usual causes of inflammation is warranted prior to reaching a diagnosis of exclusion of testosterone-mediated atrophic cervicovaginitis. Inflammation may obscure cervical cytological evaluation and result in an unsatisfactory result. In addition, the requisition should indicate any testosterone use as well as the presence of amenorrhea, to allow the pathologist can accurately interpret cell morphology.
As such, routine screening for endometrial cancer in transgender men using testosterone is not recommended. Unexplained vaginal bleeding (in the absence of missed or changed dosing of testosterone) in a patient previously with testosterone-induced ameorrhea should be explored. (Grading: X C M). Transgender men should be educated on the need to inform their provider in the event of unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Please, I know how hard it is for some trans people but make sure that you get routine medical exams for your body. During my annual physical I get a mammogram and a prostrate exam.aa

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mixed Feelings

Yesterday in the mail my new birth certificate arrived and when I opened the envelope I kind of mixed feelings about the changes. My thoughts went back to my parents and I kind of felt sad that they never knew the real me and I also felt that it in some way I lost a piece of their history or that they might not have approved. Because it somewhat in some way invalidated them, they thought they had a son that they raised but rather it was a sad little boy who always dreamed of being the inner girl.

But I also felt proud because it started with an email that I sent Robin at True Colors in a reply to the comment she made about my blog post. We started the ball rolling that brought about the change in the law. I made a difference. I made life easier for a lot of trans people born here in Connecticut. It took the work of a lot of organizations and individuals to bring about the change; I was just a cog in the process that got the machine moving to pass Public Act 15-132 An Act Concerning Birth Certificates.

It also felt like I burned the bridge behind me.
The signing of PA 15-132
At the signing; CWEALF, Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective, NASW, ACLU, and CTAC

The actual law that the governor signed which I donated along with one of the pens that he signed it with to the Center Connecticut State University Library to add to their LGBT collection

Saturday 9: Tubular Bells

Crazy Sam’s  Saturday 9: Tubular Bells (1973)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) According to Reader's Digest, The Exorcist is the scariest movie of all time. Have you seen it, and if so, did it scare you?
Yes, I saw it and no I wasn’t scared.

2) The Exorcist has been made into a TV series on Fox, premiering last month. Have you become a fan of any of the season's new shows?
Nope, and I don’t intent to.

3) "Tubular Bells" is a popular ringtone for both Android and iPhone. What's your ringtone?
Ring, ring, ring. It is just an old fashion telephone bell ringing sound
I have the Tubular Bells album by Mike Oldfield on vinyl form 1973.

4) As Halloween approaches, do you watch more scary shows and movies?
Not and I actually hate the fact that the only movies on TV this week are horror movies.

5) Do you have any recurring nightmares?

6) Have you carved a jack o' lantern this year?
Nope and I hibernate on Halloween night with the lights off and watch a movie on Netflix or Amazon

7) Do you like the taste of pumpkin seeds?
I never really cared for them; I am not a fan of them or sunflower seeds. I feel they are more for the birds.

8) What will the trick or treaters who knock on your door get?
A bucket of cold water… just kidding. Actually the neighborhood has grown up, the only kids are the grandkids visiting their grandparents.

9) A Halloween "let's pretend:" Back in the 1950s, a home in your neighborhood was the site of a gruesome murder/suicide. Relatives retained ownership of the house but declined to live there. During the ensuing decades, a legend grew: The tragic couple haunts the halls. Generations of schoolchildren insist they heard strange sounds and saw curtains often move mysteriously. Now the house is about to be demolished. A local charity is raising money by sponsoring a Halloween sleepover. Would you be willing to stay in this haunted house over night?
No problem, I don’t believe in ghosts or goblins.

But funny you should mention that; I had a mass murder live on the street behind me and I went to school with him, his nickname for me was Einstein. He robbed a bakery with another guy and they killed 7 people, the bakery was a bookie joint (kind of dumb to rob a mafia joint, but then they weren’t that bright to begin with) and the other guy’s cousin walked in while they were robbing the place.

Hey! I am actually home this weekend!
So I will be able to reply to your posted comments.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Breaking News… The Supreme Court Will Hear The Gloucester County v. Gavin Grimm Case!

The Supreme Court must have read my blog post from earlier in the week,
Supreme Court takes up school bathroom rules for transgender students
Washington Post
By Robert Barnes and Moriah Balingit
October 28 at 4:21 PM

The Supreme Court on Friday said it will decide whether the Obama administration may require public school systems to let transgender students use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, putting the court once again at the center of a divisive social issue.

School districts across the country are split on how to accommodate transgender students in the face of conflicting guidance from courts, the federal government and, in some cases, state legislatures that have passed laws requiring people to use public restrooms that coincide with the sex on their birth certificates.
This is BIG! The U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Education, the EEOC, HUD, and a number of other federal agencies have based their protection on us because of lower court cases that found we were protected under Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act because of a Supreme Court ruling dating back to the 1989 Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins ruling that sex discrimination also includes sex stereotyping.

Now it is nail biting time. How will they rule a 4-4 tie and then the appeals court decision stands? 5-3 in our favor and it becomes the law of the land or a 3-5 ruling and we lose all that we have gained on the federal level for the last eight years.

New Research Old News

A lot of times we heard show us the research, and it is not real unless you have data backing you up.

I think the trans community knew that by suppressing a child’s gender dysphoria it will create health problems and increase the likelihood of suicide, well I just came across this peer reviewed study…
San Diego clinic finds high need for treatment of transgender youth

San Diego, CA-- A new study has confirmed that transgender youth often have mental health problems and that their depression and anxiety improve greatly with recognition and treatment of gender dysphoria. The results will be presented Saturday at The Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

"Youth with gender incongruence or dysphoria need a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to care," said principal investigator Maja Marinkovic, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist and Medical Director of the Gender Management Clinic at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, an affiliate of the University of California, San Diego. "They are in great need of experienced endocrinologists, therapists, psychiatrists, primary care providers and surgeons."
Forty-two patients participated in the study at the Rady Children's Hospital clinic. Twenty-six (62 percent) reported that they had depression, anxiety or both and/or cut themselves, with seven patients having a self-cutting history, Marinkovic said. Eleven patients had additional psychiatric or behavioral problems, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, Asperger's syndrome/autism spectrum disorder and bipolar disorder.
Of the 42 study participants, 28 were making a female-to-male transition, 13 were male-to-female and one natal girl was gender fluid. That patient reportedly later chose male hormone treatment.
Treatment consisted of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa), which Marinkovic described as "puberty blockers," in seven patients and cross-gender hormones in 32 patients, with only two patients taking both types of hormones. The average age of starting puberty suppression was 12.5 years, and treatment with cross-gender hormones began at an average age of 16.5 years. Two female-to-male patients had breasts surgically removed at ages 16 and 18 years, she reported. Several other patients wished to get this type of surgery, but their insurance plans did not cover it or they could not find an experienced surgeon locally.
And what they found was…
"To date, none of the patients expressed regret or stopped therapy," Marinkovic stated.

Mental health follow-up data were available for 22 out of 26 patients. With treatment, depression, anxiety and/or self-cutting improved in all but two of these patients.
The study’s conclusion says,
Conclusion: Pediatric transgender care, though provided in more US centers, is still sporadic. Research and systematic monitoring as done at our and other centers, may help standardize transgender care of youth. Our fast growing GeM Clinic is providing endocrine care to large number of children and adolescents with GD. These patients are in need of experienced therapists, psychiatrists and surgeons. It is essential to increase awareness and accessibility to care for this minority group.

I Had A Phone Call Yesterday

From a reporter from a Connecticut newspaper, she saw that there was a webinar Monday and the organization that I am the Executive Director of we part of the webinar and she wanted to learn more of the problem that trans people have in homeless shelters.

As Dawn Ennis wrote in her keynote talk at Fantasia Fan and latter published on her blog “The Media Is Not Your Friend” I am always leery of talking to reporters because you never know how they are going to spin it.

I was baptized under fire; I was in Washington DC back in 2007 lobbying for ENDA when I was interviewed by WTSP Ch. 10 from Tampa Bay Florida. When we were on the Capitol steps for a group photo a report who was following Susan Stanton around asked me if I was going to meet with my legislators and I said yes. Well when I went for my appointment there was the news crew waiting for me, after I came out of Congressman Larson’s office they interviewed me for about five minutes they only used “I don’t think the bill will pass this year and we are in it for the long haul.”

What I learned from that interview was talk in “sound bites” they will edit your answers down to a few seconds and spin it the way they want (they called me a season professional).

Since then I have been interviewed probably five or seven times and if you ever see me doing an interview you can almost see the gears turning in my head trying to keep from saying something that might be used out on context and frame the question in a ten second sound bite. Once I was being interviewed by a woman reporter that I was about a head taller than her and the camera man was standing on the road and we were standing on the edge of the sidewalk. The first thing that I thought of was the camera was looking up at me and I was looking down on the reporter so I stepped off the road on to the street, now I was still looking down at the reporter but she was just below me and not a foot shorter, also the camera was at eye level with me.

The best interview was by a channel 8 reporter and the worst was on Face the State. The channel 8 interview was about 2 hours long and they did an excellent report and the worst was live-to-tape and the host just kept on talking about bathrooms and locker rooms.

The other thing that I learned is how not to answer a question just like a politician (Ugh… yeah I know) but you have to do it. After the third time I answered the “locker room question” I didn’t answer him but instead talked about how there was never a been an incident since the law was passed in 2011 nor nationally since the first law was passed in 1975.

What Ms. Ennis said in her keynote speech is that the media is not our friend and that is how you have think when you are going to be giving an interview and go in thinking the worst. But the thing is we have to give interviews to get our message out. When the hearings were going on for the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill we needed to counter the opposition interview, we couldn’t let their view be the only one heard.

One of the things that Dawn said in her talk was that the TV crews like to get video of us walking so they can have stock footage of a trans person. When I heard that I thought ugh, they got footage of me walking both in the channel 8 footage and also in Washington DC. The cameraman walked backward down the hall as I walked to my Congressman’s office, we can see me trying not to laugh as he did that.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Controlling The Purse Strings

Who controls the purse string controls you and you have to dance to their tunes.

We are a small cash strapped community, we face high unemployment and underemployment and it takes money to bring about change so we are at the mercy of those who “support” and sometimes their wishes do not correlate to our needs.
Top LGBT Leaders Are Divided Over Compromising On The Bathroom Fight
Conservatives have blocked LGBT nondiscrimination bills by claiming transgender people pose a threat in women’s restrooms. How to break the logjam? Some LGBT leaders say it’s time to support bills that cover housing and employment, but not public accommodations — and largely avoid the bathroom issue. The second article in a BuzzFeed News series on transgender rights in America.
By Dominic Holden
October 25, 2016

On Aug. 1, two dozen of the country’s top LGBT activists held an invitation-only phone call to hash out a disagreement that had pitted them into two camps.

After winning marriage equality in 2015, many of them envisioned passing LGBT nondiscrimination laws nationwide — but they hit roadblocks. Conservatives have argued those policies would let transgender people prey on girls in bathrooms and force Christians to sell wedding cakes to gay couples. The bills foundered in state legislatures and Congress. By August, the leaders were fractured over how to break the logjam.

On the 90-minute call, one faction argued they could make gains with Republicans by accepting a compromise. In particular, several supported a bill in Pennsylvania that would ban LGBT discrimination in workplaces and housing — but not in public places, like restaurants and stores. Many on the call believe this could emerge as a model for other swing states where they’ve hit barricades — namely in Ohio, Florida, and Arizona.

By dropping public accommodations from the bills, they would mostly avoid the bathroom issue and religious objections. Transgender people, like LGB people, would be covered in housing and employment. But such a deal would allow, for example, business owners to reject gay customers and require transgender women to use male facilities.

That sort of concession breaks from years of consensus among LGBT leaders, who have tacitly agreed that civil rights bills in state legislatures or Congress should be all-inclusive. Anything less, the orthodoxy has gone, could betray transgender people who bear the brunt of discrimination in public.

This is, in a sense, a fight for the future of the LGBT movement and even a battle over whether organizations can remain fully funded.

One key player is the Gill Foundation, which gave more than $6.5 million to LGBT causes in 2014, the most recent year for which it has disclosed financial records. Gill and several groups that receive its grants, including Freedom for All Americans and the National Center for Transgender Equality, contend this sort of compromise may be their only shot of winning civil rights for millions of LGBT people at the state level in the next decade, even if those gains are incomplete. Leaders of those organizations say they can return to these legislatures in the future to finish the job of passing public accommodations when the issue becomes more palatable.
The Gill Foundation helped pay for Connecticut’s effort to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill; ctEQUALITY received a grant from the foundation to pay for hiring staff, they were one of two organizations that gave grants ctEQUALITY.

But now the Gill Foundation wants to ram legislation down our throats that does not include public accommodation in the non-discrimination laws and to my great disappointment NCTE is willing to go along with this. I am friends with Mara but I think this is wrong and sometimes we have to stand up to bullying. And that is what it is, bullying. Some of the largest LGBT organizations are rolling over to the Gill Foundation and it is surprising the organizations that are not dancing to the foundation’s tune.
But groups across the field, including the ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign, have argued the short-term gain approach could amount to entering a box canyon. It may take years to pass laws that provide public protections in the future — if ever. And leaving them out may even send a message that discrimination in public is acceptable.
The ACLU took the Gill Foundation head on by pushing a public accommodation bill and the foundation said,
The group added that passing the bill could show “public accommodations for LGBT people is politically toxic,” and “perhaps most troubling, that LGBT advocates are willing to compromise away public accommodations protections that are perhaps most acutely needed by the transgender community.”

The fallout from this letter led the Gill Foundation, which supports the compromise, to tell the ACLU not to apply for another grant. And in more than a dozen interviews with BuzzFeed News, several normally outspoken activists talked about the divide in hushed tones — or they refused to speak at all. The ACLU declined to provide comment for this article in any capacity.
When your major funder say jump they jump.

I don’t know the extent of the funding that the Foundation gives NCTE but I hope that they will realize that the Foundation is wrong and try to raise their funding from other sources.

The strategy of passing public accommodation latter does not work!
Gill and the other groups cited Massachusetts as a case study in effective incrementalism. Lawmakers enacted nondiscrimination laws in 1989 and 2011, but only passed a bill protecting transgender people in public accommodations this year. The memo called this a “capstone.”
Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, told BuzzFeed News that as a general matter, “I am very concerned that it would take an extraordinary period of time to come back and pass a law concerning public accommodations alone.”
I would like to point out that New York state passed SONA in 2002 and we were promised they would come back for us and pass Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), well that has never happened. Instead Governor Andrew M. Cuomo introduced regulations banning discrimination against us and the Empire State Pride Agenda declared victory and wiped their hands of us.

I would also like to point out that 32 states have sexual orientation protection and only 18 have laws protecting us. So what makes them think anyone will come back for us? The gays and lesbian will stop their donations and never comeback for us.

Take a stand against bullying by Gay Inc.!

Update 5:10 PM

Can you imagine if the Supreme Court said lesbians can marry but not gays what the up roar would have been?

Or if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title III--Desegregation of Public Facilities didn't get included in the act and the Civil Rights Act only banned housing and employment discrimination based on race and allowed discrimination of public accommodation based on race. It would have made the whole Civil Rights Act unacceptable, well why is it alright for us to be left out?

Will the Gill Foundation leave out public accommodation for all LGBT people or just for us?


You probably all have seen the headline about the double digit increase in ACA polices and how they say that Obamacare is a disaster, CNN reported
The HHS report documents what has already been widely reported -- that after two years of moderate premium increases (2% for 2015 and 7.5% for 2016) premiums are going up sharply for 2017. Across the 39 states using the platform, the median second-lowest cost silver plan, which sets the benchmark for premium tax credits, will increase 16%, while the average increase looking only at states on the federal exchange is 25%.

Opinion columnists and politicians will undoubtedly seize on the report as further evidence that the Affordable Care Act is a failure. But a deeper dig reveals a different story.
But lets a closer look… ABC 10, KXTV in California says,
Most Americans won't be affected by Obamacare premium increase

Health care may pinch a little more out of your wallet in 2017- but it likely won't be a problem for the majority of Americans.

Obamacare health plan premiums are expected to increase by 22 percent on average, according a U.S. Department of Human Health and Services (HHS) report released Monday.
But for many, the price hikes will be relieved by federal subsidies, since 84 percent of Obamacare purchases receive financial aid, according to the report.

The marketplace also offers tax credits for majority of people who enroll in Obamacare, which also helps cover premium costs so many under the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) will see minimal rate increases.
Hmm…. So most of the increase offset by tax credits.

What about non-ACA health plans?

The Connecticut News Junkie reported that here in Connecticut the non-Obamacare insurance companies requested these rate increases: Aetna Life 25.8% to 31.5%, Cigna -10.4% to 17.1%, CT Care 26.1%, and Golden Rule 23.8% to 36.2% So it is not just Obamacare but all health insurance policies premiums have risen!

It is the cost of meds that I think is driving the cost increases, insulin which was first used in 1921 and the price has steadily been dropping until 5 - 7 years ago and now it has increased over 300%!
Exclusive: Makers took big price increases on widely used U.S. drugs
By Caroline Humer
August 5, 2016
Major drug companies took hefty price increases in the U.S., in some cases more than doubling listed charges, for widely used medications over the past five years, a Reuters analysis of proprietary data found.

Prices for four of the nation's top 10 drugs increased more than 100 percent since 2011, Reuters found. Six others went up more than 50 percent. Together, the price increases on drugs for arthritis, high cholesterol, asthma and other common problems added billions in costs for consumers, employers and government health programs.

Extraordinary price hikes by two small companies, Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO), drew new attention to drug costs. Turing expected to book $200 million by raising the price of Daraprim, an antiparasitic used for a rare infection, by 5,000 percent, according to company documents released by Congressional investigators.

Routine price increases by bigger players may draw less attention, but they add up. Sales for the top 10 drugs went up 44 percent to $54 billion in 2014, from 2011, even though prescriptions for the medications dropped 22 percent, according to IMS Health data.

At the top of the list was AbbVie Inc (ABBV.N), which raised the price of arthritis drug Humira more than 126 percent, Reuters found. Next were Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA), which raised prices for arthritis treatment Enbrel and multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone by 118 percent.
The New York Times compares health care around the world and guess where we stand?
 First and foremost, Obamacare was about improving access to health care. While it did improve access to insurance, in many, many other ways the United States is falling short. Things are likely to get worse before they get better.

Even with Obamacare, the United States still ranks poorly among comparable countries in insurance coverage. Even in 2016, when the rate of insured is the best it has ever been in the United States, Americans still have a greater percent of the population uninsured than pretty much any other industrialized nation in the world.
The biggest access problem in the United States is the expense of obtaining care. More than one third of Americans said they did not fill a prescription they were given, did not visit the doctor they should have or did not get the tests that were ordered because of the cost.
Perhaps most telling, when adults were asked about their views of the health care system in 2013, 75 percent of Americans said that it needed fundamental change, or that it needed to be completely rebuilt. This percentage was higher than for any other country surveyed, Canada included. Primary care physicians feel similarly. Yet years after the Affordable Care Act was passed, Americans are still litigating whether to return to the previous system.

Access was a problem before. Access is a problem now. Americans can’t seem to have a discussion on how to make that better. Without that, it’s hard to see how things will improve.
Also consider this…
Who Bears the Cost of the Uninsured? Nonprofit Hospitals.When governments do not provide health insurance, hospitals must provide it instead.Kellogg Insight
Based on the research of Craig Garthwaite, Tal Gross and Matthew J. Notowidigdo
June 22, 2015

But in new research—based on decades of previously confidential data—Kellogg School assistant professor of strategy Craig Garthwaite and his coauthors find that when the population of uninsured Americans increases, hospitals end up bearing the cost by providing uncompensated care. In fact, their results suggest that each additional uninsured person costs local hospitals $900 per year.

That means hospitals are effectively serving as “insurers of last resort” within the American healthcare sector by providing care to uninsured patients who cannot afford to pay their medical bills. “People are still going to the emergency room,” Garthwaite says, “and they are still receiving treatment—so the cost is still there. When governments do not provide health insurance, hospitals must effectively provide it instead.”
We need a single payer health insurance now!

Update Oct.28, 2016 6:00 PM

The Binary Does Not Exist

Most people think of gender as a binary but it is not, it is a continuum.
We Are Non-Binary Trans People And Yes, We Exist
Huffington Post Living Canada
By Joshua M. Ferguson
Posted: 10/11/2016

At my birth, my mother asked "What is it?" immediately after I left her body, as if I was not human until I was sexed, gendered and categorized into the sex and gender binary (assigned both a sex and a gender identity in line with this sex). The doctor curiously responded, "It's a girl. No... it's a boy!" And so my life as non-binary began. I am neither a girl/woman nor a boy/man, regardless of the sex category assigned to my body.

The transgender metanarrative in our society is often focused on the lives of binary trans people -- trans men and trans women. So, even when we think about the possibility of someone being trans, we assume that they are either a trans man or a trans woman. This elevates the lives of binary trans people while excluding non-binary trans people from social and legal recognition.

Trans people are diverse, but we are not all the same. Non-binary trans people have been largely excluded from the discussion about trans people, and this erasure delegitimizes our identity. This erasure is increasingly important for non-binary trans people of colour who are already at an increased risk of discrimination, violence, police surveillance and incarceration.
That is something many of us trans people forget that nature loves diversity while us humans hate diversity. We like to put things into nice little labeled boxes but Mother Nature likes to blur the lines.

We entirely dismiss intersex people, so much so that doctors want to fit the baby into a nice pink or blue box.

At Fantasia Fair this year there was a sub-current of breaking the binary culture in the trans community. I know when I first came out I wanted to “pass” to be “stealth” and I used makeup, I went to all the workshops that I could on how to be a “woman.” But over time I realized that wasn’t who I am, I lived all my life a lie and I didn’t want to go back and live another lie, I wanted to be me.

I also learned that there are more to being a woman than a dress, heels, and make-up.

Yesterday I went to a LGBT senior center function and do you know what… none of the women in the room wore any makeup, none of the women wore a dress or a skirt, and none of the women wore heels. I remember when the marriage equality law was passed in Connecticut and I was at the Love Makes a Family office the day when there was going to be a big party to celebrate the passage and I asked what the dress was going to be for the party. Should I wear a dress? One of the women in the office gave me a blank stare and said she was going to the party that was celebrating the victory with what she was wearing, a flannel shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

What is so strange about non-binary gender? We dress in unisex clothes; we wear our hair with gender neutral styles; we are trying to break down the gender barrier in the workplace, but as trans people we are reinforcing the gender binary.

It seems like the younger generation gets it, but those my age don’t. I was in a discussion group about lesbians and trans people, and in workshop we never got that far, when we went around the room telling something about ourselves the twenty something lesbians included their pronouns and wanted to know why the older lesbians didn’t. It got to be a heated discussion, the older lesbian said that their gender was obvious while the younger generation said you cannot go by looks.

But you know what, the young people are right, the older generation fought to break down the gender barriers but are reinforcing the gender binaries.

Most languages have gender neutral pronouns but English doesn’t, I am not a big fan of using they/them, why can’t we steal some gender neutral pronouns from other languages?

When you stop and think about it makes sense to question the gender binary.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

He Doesn’t Know What She Is Talking About

The first thing that clued me in was using the word “transgendered” and then the rest of the article proved it.
Transgender debates require distinction between theory and people
By Austen Ivereigh
October 23, 2016

How should the Church respond to the twin challenges of gender ideology and the suffering of those with gender dysphoria? So far popes and bishops have been better at the first, suggesting Catholics are more concerned with teaching than people -- but that is now changing.

The cocktail of controversy that includes gender theory and transgendered people is fast becoming the new culture-frontier challenge. The Church’s position has been, to put it mildly, ‘developing’.

The transgender issue is in reality two discrete phenomena, requiring very different responses, yet the two have been too often, tragically, folded into one.

On the one hand, it involves the growing awareness of a suffering group that often has been marginalized and brutalized. On the other, it is an academic theory that has grown out of feminism and gay rights that challenges the notion that gender is rooted in biological sex.

A person’s gender, in this thinking, is an arbitrary social construct, the result of social conditioning that can (and should be) thrown off in the quest for self-realization. Expressed in political action, it demands not just ‘rights’ for transgender people - their own bathrooms, and so on - but the abolition from public documents and passports of the very notions of masculinity and femininity.
Whoa! Hold it right there… “arbitrary social construct” what decade is he living in?

He goes on to write…
The first is that genuine gender dysphoria is a very rare (0.005 to 0.014 percent of males and 0.002 to 0.003 percent of females) but highly distressing condition triggered by a chromosomal variance that appears difficult to reconcile with the text of Genesis that God made human beings both male and female.
Those numbers were used by the APA back in the 90’s, current number by the Williams Institute estimate our population to be around 0.5% and the number of trans women and trans men are about the same.
Benedict XVI put it best in 2012 when he critiqued the way “people dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”
Sorry but I can’t go along with that; I cannot grin and bear it. I cannot ignore who I am. I hide all my life and as a result I developed medical problems because of the stress, the stress caused my heart condition, it caused my panic attacks. I will not go back to living a lie to satisfy your religious beliefs.

It’s All About Jobs

And there is a restaurant out in California that is doing something about it.
California Restaurants Launch Nation's First Transgender Jobs Program
By Leo Duran
October 19, 2016

The unemployment rate for transgender people is double that of the general population. Now, California has set up the nation's first ever large-scale program to help transgender people find jobs.

And it's all because of Michaela Mendelsohn, a trans woman who's employed trans people at her restaurants for years.
In 1988, before she transitioned, Mendelsohn bought her first El Pollo Loco franchise. She just happened to like their menu. "I didn't go to college to figure out which restaurant!" she says, laughing.

She acquired several more stores by the time she transitioned in 2004. Now she owns a total of six El Pollo Locos in Southern California.

But it wasn't until 2012 that she hired her first trans employee. That person told her how hard it was to get a job.

Mendelsohn was moved, and she started to reach out to other trans people looking for work.
"Currently, we have 8 to 10 percent of our total workforce is transgender, out of about 150 employees," she says.
Then she had a thought: Is there a way to get other restaurants to follow her lead?

Earlier this year, at a conference of the California Restaurant Association, Mendelsohn was chatting with other association members at a hotel bar — including her longtime friend Jot Condie, who heads the group.
Condie says he was convinced to have the Restaurant Association back Mendelsohn's big idea. "To me it wasn't like, 'Whoa are you serious?' To me it made sense," he says.

The idea was this: Mendelsohn would start a program connecting trans people looking for jobs with restaurants looking for workers.

The association has 22,000 members, large enough that it could make a real difference.
And thus was started the California Transgender Workplace Project.

For many trans people they already have the skills needed for jobs, what they do need is a foot in the door. Many trans people find that when they submit their resumes they are invited in for an interview and once HR sees them they job is mysteriously filled already, or they are over qualified, or under qualified and that type of discrimination is hard to prove. Or if they answered a job ad their employment applicate ends up in the circular file after they walk out the door.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I Don’t Think That They Can Avoid It Any Longer

The time has come for the Supreme Court to hear our cases. I know they are hoping for a full court but the road block with the Senate not doing their Constitutional job is creating chaos.
U.S. Judges Issue New, Conflicting Opinions on School Transgender Rights
Education Week
By Mark Walsh
October 20, 2016

The national debate over the rights of transgender students to use school restrooms and locker rooms of their gender identity, and the authority of the federal government's guidance on the topic, grew a bit more uncertain this week.

The federal district judge in Texas who in August issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Obama administration's guidance meant to expand transgender students' access to restrooms and locker rooms in schools on Tuesday sought to clarify the scope of his order.

Judge Reed O'Connor of the U.S. District Court in Wichita Falls, Texas, issued an order to clarify that "the preliminary injunction applies nationwide," and could not be limited just to the 13 states that have challenged the transgender guidance.

Meanwhile, a federal magistrate judge has recommended against a preliminary injunction sought by a group of parents and students to block a school district in that state from permitting transgender students to use the restrooms or locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert of Chicago issued an 82-page opinion, also on Oct. 18, that explores many angles of the transgender debate in the nation's schools, including the U.S. Department of Education's policy guidance from earlier this year. And it offers more discussion of the use of locker rooms (as opposed to restrooms alone) by transgender students than in some other high-profile cases.
[UPDATE Friday 11:15 a.m.: The Obama administration on Oct. 20 filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, indicating that it will appeal Judge O'Connor's Aug. 21 and Oct. 18 orders in the case by Texas and other states.]

The opinions come as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to take up the appeal of a Virginia school district that is seeking to avoid the federal guidance on transgender student rights.
If the Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester High School case is heard by the Supreme Court there are three possible outcomes. First we win, all of the schools in the country must respect our gender identity; second possible outcome, is a tie. In that case then only schools in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit district would have to respect our gender identity. And the worst possible is we lose and we end up with only protections in the in the eighteen states and the District of Columbia that have laws that protect us.

Right now we have a hodgepodge of courts issuing decrees and a Texas federal district court judge who is overstepping his bounds and is trying to enforce his decree on other federal district courts.

My guess is that if the Democrats win big and take control of the Senate you will see a rash of lame duck judicial confirmation hearings by the Republicans of moderate Obama judicial appointments including Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland.

It Is Happening At Last!

The first soldiers has come forward to declare that they are trans! And she is followed by other trans soldiers.
First Transgender Soldiers Seek Formal Army Recognition
By Lolita C. Baldor AP
October 24, 2016

PARIS — Within weeks of the Pentagon allowing transgender service members to serve openly, Army officials said 10 soldiers have formally asked to be recognized as their new, preferred gender.

The small number represents only those who have publicly said they are transgender, and doesn't include soldiers who may be considering or beginning gender transition or those who don't yet want to make an official paperwork change.

Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army, said the key now is to educate the force, particularly commanders who will have to make decisions about soldiers in their units who request a gender change.
According to Carter, a RAND study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.

Milley said the Army numbers so far are low, but the service doesn't track the number of soldiers who may be starting the gender transition process.

"We may not know the full scope yet," said Milley. "Others that may consider themselves as transgender but haven't self-identified publicly may be holding back because they want to see how things progress."
Let’s hope for the best, that their transitions are smooth with not too many bumps in the road.

But the Army wasn't the first, back in September the Navy promoted Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann.

Monday, October 24, 2016

This I Think Is Something That Is Obvious

There are some poll results that you want to say “No kidding Sherlock!”
Poll: Education, age influence stance on transgender bathroom issue
By Alia Beard Rau
October 23, 2016

The question of who should use which bathroom has permeated state legislatures, courtrooms, classrooms and political campaigns this year.

Arizona voters overall don't lean strongly either way, according to a new Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll. But the younger and more educated the voters, according to the poll, the more likely they are to believe people should be allowed to choose a restroom "based on how they define their own gender."

Of the 779 likely Arizona voters surveyed, 50.6 percent said individuals "should be required to use the restroom that matches their gender at birth," while 39.3 percent said individuals "should be allowed to use whichever restroom — men's or women's — based on how they define their own gender."
No surprise there but what is interesting is…
Registered Republicans overwhelmingly supported regulating bathroom access, while Democrats opposed it. Individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher were more likely to support allowing individuals to choose a bathroom, as were individuals age 18-35.
Kilar [American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona spokesman Steve Kilar] said younger voters are more comfortable with transgender people because there are more openly transgender younger people than there are in older age groups. As individuals of all ages learn more about transgender individuals, Kilar said, he believes the tide of support will turn quickly.
I don’t think that this is surprising, the more education you have the more you know that chromosomes have just a little influence in determining gender and sex and gender are two different things, that there are a number of things that determining one’s gender.

And that young people have been exposed to trans people and are more understanding of us and to people my age are more fixed in their views.

One of the topics at this year’s Fantasia Fair was that our stories change people. Jennifer Boylan told how a conservative Republican wanted to talk to some trans people and she arranged for him to talk to trans children and their families and the legislator changed his opinion of trans people and will vote for our protection when the legislation comes up. Diego Sanchez, Mara Keisling, Lorelei Erisis, and Dawn Ennis all talked about how our stories change people. Ms. Keisling said that the new trans survey has found that over 280 trans people reported being attacked in bathrooms.

This afternoon I am giving my first webinar as part of the coalition that does the training at homeless shelters. 

This And That In The News

It is catch up time. Since I have been away I want to touch on some of the news stories from last week.

Dawn Ennis touched on this during her keynote speech,
DoD School to Let Transgender Student Use Girls' Restroom
Military Times
By Oriana Pawlyk
October 23, 2016

Beginning Monday, the transgender daughter of a U.S. airman at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will be allowed to use the girls' bathroom after being denied access to the facility, according to the Department of Defense.

The principal of Ramstein Intermediate School, one of four schools located on the base, had planned on allowing the 11-year-old fifth-grader (who goes by the name Blue) to start using the restroom the week of Oct. 10.

But that decision was overruled by Dr. Elizabeth Dunham, the superintendent of schools Europe East region of the Department of Defense Education Activity, for reasons that remain unclear. After news of the case broke on Friday, the activity apparently reversed Dunham's ruling.
The Department of Defense Education Activity in its statement noted that the departments of Education and Justice issued guidelines in May "to allow students who are transgender access to restroom facilities and other accommodations consistent with their gender identity." While the guidelines have been legally challenged, the department "is not precluded from following the guidelines and granting accommodations requested by parents and students," it stated.

In addition, Todd Weiler, the Pentagon's assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, "will engage and reaffirm the guidance with schools and other facilities that provide services to school aged children," according to the statement.
Once again there was a policy in place that school officials chose to ignore, the woman who barred her from using the correct bath didn’t state her reason for violating the policy but my guess it was for personal reason and not based on any facts.

Then down in Texas a trans woman said that she was discriminated against by a Uber driver.
Transgender woman claims she was thrown out of Uber
By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter
Posted: October 23, 2016

HOUSTON - “An Uber driver just literally kicked me out because I was transgender,” Chanel Santini said as she wiped away the tears that streamed down her face.

It’s not the kind of picture that Santini would ever want anyone to see, but still she posted the video Thursday morning on Snapchat. Moments later, she said she was left stranded and standing in a gas station after an Uber driver ordered her out of his car.

“No matter what my identity is, at the end of the day, transgender or not, I’m still a woman and you don’t treat women like that”, Santini said.
When the driver arrived, Santini said he immediately sexually harassed her and asked cruel questions.

“He asked if I was a stripper. I mean, who asks that kind of question? He said I sounded like a man, my voice he said, sounded like a man.  He told me my body was like a man’s”, Santini said.
And Uber said,
“We have a strict policy prohibiting discrimination of any kind on the Uber platform and will not tolerate the behavior that has been described here.”
My question what is Uber going to do about the driver?

It is hard to prove any type of employment discrimination, first you have to prove you are a member of a protected class and then you have to prove that you were discriminated because you are a member of that class.
On LGBT Job Discrimination, The Courts Are Finally Correcting Congress
New Civil Rights Movement
By Claude Summers
October 23, 2016

Courts May Finally Prohibit Employment Discrimination On The Basis Of Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity

The difficulty in passing a national bill protecting LGBT workers from employment discrimination highlights the dysfunction of American government. Despite the fact that a large majority of Americans supports such legislation, Republicans have steadfastly blocked proposed nondiscrimination laws through a variety of tactical maneuvers or poison pill amendments. However, the courts may finally do what Congress has been unwilling to do.

Currently, LGBT people are partially protected from employment discrimination by a patchwork of state and local laws, executive orders, and court rulings.

Although there is no federal law explicitly addressing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, executive orders--the first of which was issued in 1995 by President Bill Clinton--prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal employment and--thanks to President Obama--by government contractors.
Recent court rulings, at both the district and appellate levels, have affirmed that transgender people are protected from discrimination in employment.

For example, on December 6, 2011, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Glenn v. Brumby upheld a lower court ruling that the Georgia General Assembly discriminated against Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as Legislative Editor after she told her supervisor that she planned to transition from male to female.
The victory was the first ruling on transgender rights from the Eleventh Circuit, considered one of the most conservative circuits. The ruling brought the Eleventh Circuit in line with other circuits in applying to transgender individuals the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989) that said that gender non-conformity is included in the Civil Rights Act's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex.
At Fantasia Fair I was talking to a trans woman who just won her federal case here in Coonnecticut, one of the things that she mentioned was how hard it is to find a lawyer to take her case. The LGBT legal organizations don’t want to handle these cases, they tend to take ground breaking cases and not those who have plain vanilla cases.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Day 7 At Fantasia Fair

The party's over!

All good things must end.

Today is the last day of the Fair, the brunch and then I head home, and the four hour drive back home then back into the same ol' grind.

It was another good day yesterday, the keynote speaker after lunch was Dawn Ennis the bio on the Fantasia Fair website says,
Dawn Ennis successfully transitioned from broadcast journalism to online media following another transition that made headlines; in 2013, she became the first trans staffer in any major TV network newsroom. She was the first out transgender editor at The Advocate, and the first trans journalist to interview Caitlyn Jenner one on one. Now the native New Yorker is a contributor to several publications. In her 30-year media career, she has earned more than a dozen awards, including two Emmys. With the blessing of her three children, Dawn retains the most important job title she's ever held: Dad.
She talked about her transition, detransition, and then transitioning again. She talked about getting fired and hearing from fellow journalists supporting her and also hearing from those that didn’t. She talked about going from a six figure salary to earning $75 an article from the LGBT press.

After her talk she stayed for a little while and answered questions before she had to leave to take care of her kids.

In the evening was the Awards Banquet and now this morning is the Farewell Brunch and our sad goodbyes and promises of seeing everyone next year.

One of the workshops that have every year is “Lost in the Pink Fog
You finally made it to Provincetown, and Fantasia Fair was the most fabulous experience of your life. You're pumped up, full of new self-confidence and unable to think about anything but expressing yourself in your preferred gender role. Back at home, the world seems drab and you chafe at having to hide part of yourself from your family, friends, and co-workers. You want to burst forth, heedless of consequences, and proclaim yourself to the world, and you think you just might. Congratulations. You're in the pink fog. The pink fog (blue fog for FTMs) is the state of euphoria we experience when we take our gender expression to a new level. It's a dangerous time to make decisions, and yet a time when we most want to. Come talk about the pink fog with those in attendance and suggestions on how to find your way out of it. Highly recommended for first timers
It is true, it is very emotional for those who were themselves for eight day to go back into their male or in the trans guys cases female roles, it takes a toll on ones emotions. I remembered before I transitioned of driving home after being up here all and crying. One time Monday morning at work I almost answered a question another employee asked Diane the boss’s executive assistance, I was running copies off and someone said “Diane, can you run these copies for me?” and over the noise of the copier I thought they said “Diana.” I started to turn around and say yes when she answered… Whew!

I always have mixed feelings on leaving, it will be nice to sleep in my own bed tonight but I do like the area around the tip of Cape Cod… who knows, I might buy a place up here someday.

Update 10/24/16 6:30 AM

On her blog Life After Dawn, Ms. Ennis has her keynote address online here

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saturday 9: Can't Stop the Feeling!

Crazy Sam;s Saturday 9: Can't Stop the Feeling! (2016)

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

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

1) This is an upbeat, positive song. Are you feeling upbeat and positive right now?
Yes, I am on vacation in P’town or as it is officially know as Provincetown MA.

2) Justin Timberlake is a good dancer. And why not? In this song, he sings he has "good soul in my feet." Consider your own dancing talent and compose your own lyric: I have ___________ in my feet. 
Two lead weights…

3) In the video, there's dancing in the laundromat. Do you have dirty clothes in the hamper, or are you all caught up with your laundry?
Nope, I got a week’s worth of dirty clothes in my suitcases.

4) There's also dancing in the supermarket. What do you need to pick up at the store?
Chocolate milk and antacid (Too much of that Lobster Newberg from the LobsterPot).

5) This song will appear in the upcoming Dreamworks Trolls movie. Some people believe Troll dolls are good luck. Do you have a good luck charm?
Nope, I don’t believe in them.

6) Justin Timberlake loves to dunk Oreos in milk. Crazy Sam thinks this is all wrong -- the way to eat an Oreo is to twist the two halves apart and lick the cream first. Which method do you prefer, Justin's or Sam's?
Let’s do the Twist!

7) Justin admits to some fashion fails. He and Britney Spears wore matching denim outfits that he regrets, and he's sorry he ever tried cornrows. What about you? Can you think of a look you thought was cool at the time, but now it makes you shudder?
When I was in my Hippie era.

8) He is a very good golfer. When were you last on the golf course?
I played miniature golf this summer does that count?

9) Random question: Think about your romantic involvements. Were you in love with one of them, some of them, or all of them?
I thought I was, they didn’t.

I am up in Provincetown at a conference this week and I don't know when I will be able to reply to your comments.

P.S. Did you happen to notice when Provincetown was founded?  1686!

Day 6 At Fantasia Fair

Aranu'tiq a Yup'ik word meaning “man-woman” assigned male at birth

I always wonder what that word meant and yesterday I found out during the keynote talk, it was by Nick Teich is the founder and CEO of Harbor Camps which run Camp Aranu'tiq a summer camp for gender non-conforming children. Founded in 2009 they had 40 children attend the weeklong overnight summer camp and this summer they had over 500 attendees and they went from renting a camp for a week in Connecticut to owning their own camp in New Hampshire. They have since branched out to also having weeklong overnight summer camp called Camp Seneb for youth with skeletal dysplasia & their siblings.

It was a fascinating talk and the question that I asked was where did the name of the camp come from and that is when I found out it was native Alaskan name meaning two-spirit.

After the keynote I went to a workshop by Dallas Denny “Gender Transgression in the Victorian and Edwardian Eras” it was a very fascinating talk. We sometimes think that being trans is something new but we have been around for a very long time. In her talk she pointed out Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park (I wrote about them here) who were arrested for crossdressing.

For dinner I went with some friends to George’s Pizza where we have somewhat made it a tradition to go to in Friday nights. Afterwards some went to the follies but I didn’t attend because after a dozen or so times seeing the follies it becomes old hat. From what I have been told they had some new people in the show and I hear that the show was three hours long with intermission.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Day 5 At Fantasia Fair

The Tourists by Chaim Gross
Yesterday was another day that I didn’t do anything, the keynote talk was by Trace Peterson on poetry which was after lunch. Lunch at the fair is paid for and you have a choice of two or three restaurants and I like Bayside Betsy’s the best and that is where I had lunch.

I wish that I paid a little more attention to the schedule because in the morning they had a tour of the Pirate Museum that would have liked to attend and there wasn’t any other workshops that I was interested in. I ended up polishing up a presentation that I am giving next week and napping in the afternoon. One of the things that you do a lot at the Fair is walking, I have been to other conferences but they are in one hotel and you never leave the hotel, but here you end up walking all over town and if you are not used to walking it can take a lot out of you.

The first time I attended the Fair was way back in 2000, and I came up for just for the long weekend and didn’t register for the FF. Back then you could just buy tickets for the evening events and I only attended the Follies Friday night and the banquet Saturday night.  Back then I was like a deer caught in your headlights, it was the very first time that I was dressed as Diana out in public for more than a brief excursion.

But what I wanted to write about today was not that first time but what went on back home. I wasn’t “out” to anyone so at work I had to tell little white lies to explain my little trips up to Provincetown, however, I could say I was going to P’town because everyone knew that was where all the “gays” went for vacation. So I made up two stories one for work (I going up to my brother’s to help him paint.) and one for my family (I’m going to a computer conference in Boston)

So those little lies created another problem, my family wanted my contact information and the area code is different than Boston’s. A friend bailed me out, she told me to use her cell phone number and to say that the hotel charged too much for phone calls. When I got home I went out and bought my own cell phone.

Times have changed, I am out or as Miqqi Gilbert “I am OUT!”

Yesterday morning I submitted two workshop proposals, one for the True Colors conference and one for the NASW conference, and confirmed a presentation for the Norwich city employees.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Day 4 At Fantasia Fair

Today was a day that I didn’t do anything except go to the keynote talk by Lorelei Erisis. I skip the evening fashion show and ended the day with a nice talk with Dallas Denny after dinner. We were talking at activism, trans history, and ideas for workshops that she can give at the Transgender Health and Law Conference in April.

As I said the keynote speaker was Lorelei Erisis who is an activist, comedian, a columnist, writer, and an actress; she talked about telling your story. She told her story and used all her talents in the telling excellently, she got the importance of our story in creating change across to the audience.

For dinner I went to Bayside Betsey’s with three friends for dinner and I had a bowl of their famous New England clam chowder. On the way out I saw Dallas in the restaurant and sat down to talk to her for a bit before heading out to watch some of the debates.

So here are some of the photos that I took yesterday…

Provincetown Library with the world famous statue of the "Tourists"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 3 At Fantasia Fair

It was a great day today, it didn’t start out great but it ended up great. What wasn’t great was waking up at 3 AM and not being able to falls back to sleep, I went to bed at around 10:30 PM so I got a little five hours of sleep. I was talking to someone after the comedy show and they said they went to bed at 4 AM and slept till noon so they got more sleep than I did! She was at 308 Commercial St. which is kind of a drop in center for insomniacs.

It rained overnight and when I looked out the door to the deck in the morning there was a blanket of fog covering the harbor which burned off after a couple of hours and it turned out to be a nice day. I had lunch at the Post Office… no not that post office but rather it is a restaurant where the old post office used to be located. They served meatloaf, mash potatoes, mixed vegetables, and for dessert a decadent chocolate cake which was all excellent,  but I’m not used to a large lunch so when dinner came around I wasn’t that hunger.

The keynote speaker was Jennifer Boylan, author, professor, and television star.  I first meet her way back when she was on the book tour for her new book “She’s Not There” at a bookstore in South Hadley, then our paths crossed again in Washington DC when she was lobbying for ENDA. I had pizza with her and her wife when she spoke at Smith College in Northampton, and again our paths crossed when she spoke at Yale.

Her topic for the keynote was telling our stories, how our stories make a difference, that they are powerful tools for making allies. She told her story and also touched on some of the new books that she has and is writing including a free book for the Kindle “Falcon Quinn and the Bullies of Greenblud.” She talked a little bit about the TV I am Cait and her work for GLAAD. She then did a workshop after the keynote where she did a Q&A session; she is a great public speaker, humorous and informative and you can see easily why she is a professor.

After the workshop I went back to my motel room to take a nap which didn’t happen. At six we took a taxi to the Provincetown Theater for the Butterfly Music Transgender Chorus and then comedian Jaye McBride. The chorus needs a little work but since they only started six months ago I think they did pretty well for the first soloist I think that they said that this was the first time she sang solo, she looked like she was in her late teens or early twenties.

The comedian was funny but raunchy for my tastes, and she did have me laughing but I guess I am getting old and starting to be more like my parents every day; the younger generation loved her and I was watching the young soloist during the comedy act and she was rolling around laughing at the comedian’s jokes.