Sunday, April 30, 2017

We Won A Skirmish

We won a settlement against a hospital that wouldn’t cover a trans person's healthcare.
Dignity Health, transgender employee settle discrimination suit
SF Gate
By Bob Egelko
April 28, 2017

A lawsuit by a transgender employee against Dignity Health hospital chain for denying insurance coverage for sex-reassignment surgery and other medical treatment has been settled for $25,000.

The American Civil Liberties Union had represented the employee, Josef Robinson, in a lawsuit contending discrimination based on gender identity violates the federal law against sex discrimination.
[…]
Dignity Health declined to comment. The San Francisco company is the largest private hospital chain in California and the fifth largest in the United States. Formerly an arm of the Catholic Church, it owns 39 hospitals, 24 of them church-affiliated.

Robinson was hired in January 2014 as a nurse at a non-church Dignity hospital, Chandler Regional Medical Center in Arizona. Born female but considering himself male, he underwent a double mastectomy in August 2015 and paid $7,450 because his insurance did not cover it, his lawyers said. He has also paid for hormone therapy.
Religious affiliated hospitals have claimed that they were exempt from non-discrimination laws saying that it infringed upon their religious liberties but they have not been winning in court or with state human rights commissions.

The courts and state human rights commissions have rightfully found that  just because they are owned by religious organizations does not automatically grant them exemption from discrimination laws. They cite that the hospitals are licensed as public hospitals therefore must treat all of the public and follow state non-discrimination laws including their health insurance for their employees.

A Really, Really Big Day Yesterday

Whew! It is over for this year but now the planning for next year begins.

Yesterday started at 7:15 AM and ended at 7:30 PM and I was on the run all day which I am paying for it today, my legs are like rubber and during the night I had massive leg cramps over night from walking all around UConn School of Medicine for the conference.
Conference in Farmington provides advice on health, legal issues for transgender community
Fox 61 Hartford
By Doug Stewart
April 29, 2017

FARMINGTON – The eleventh annual Transgender Lives Conference took place Saturday at the UConn Health Center.

The all-day conference highlighted health and legal panels, and discussions of the challenges facing transgender people in the state.

Health care providers, religious organizations and local LGBT social organizations were on hand to provide information.
Photo by Stana
All my worrying was for nothing, the conference went off with just minor hitches. We had enough meals, the keynote speaker showed up on time, there were no parking problems, there were no problems with the shuttle bus, the academic entrance was open, and all my worries did not come to fruition.

When I gave Rev. Moonhawk Stone the CTAC Community Service Award I was crying.

I first met Hawk back in 2006 at the Targeted State transgender right conference in Albany which was , it was the first time I ever when to a conference on lobbying and strategy, and he was sitting their leaning on his cane no saying anything. But when he spoke everyone listened.

Since then our paths have crossed many time over the decade

This was my last year of organizing the conference after three or four years, it was time to step aside and let another Board member run the conference but I will still be helping out with the conference. When I announced that I was stepping aside I received an ovation.

So today is a day of recuperation, just relaxing out in the sun on my deck with the phone turned off.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday 9: I Won't Last a Day without You

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Won't Last a Day without You (1972)



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

But this Saturday I am at our Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conferencethat we have been planning all year and we are expecting 200 plus attendees. This week was a very crazy with all the last minutes details and problems that crop up so I don’t know if I will be able to get to reading all of your blogs.

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

1) This song makes reference to rainbows. Have you seen one lately?
Yes, a big double rainbow and it was in a perfect location to see it. I only wish that I had my camera with me.

2) When Sam heard this song, it occurred to her that she wouldn't last a day without a game of online Yahtzee. What little commonplace pleasure reliably brightens your day?
Being with friends.

3) Richard Carpenter was emphatic that his group's name was "Carpenters," NO "the." Whenever he hears the group referred to as "The Carpenters," it gets on his nerves. What little commonplace annoyance reliably sets you off?
Right now people who don't open their email and email you asking a question that was answered in the email.

4) Karen Carpenter said she drank iced tea all day long. What beverage do you think you'll have with your next meal?
Ice tea, I made a pitcher of sun tea yesterday. I use a blend of black tea and peach tea, for a quart I use 4 black teabags and 2 peach teabags.

5) "I Won't Last a Day without You" was written by Oscar-winning composer Paul Williams. He also tried his hand at acting, most notably appearing with Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit. Back in the 1970s, the three movies in the Smokey series were very popular. Have you seen any of them?
I saw the first one on TV and didn’t see the rest of them.

6) This song was recorded in 1973 by Diana Ross. Now in her 70s, Miss Ross is still going strong with a busy calendar of appearances in 2017. What's your favorite Diana Ross song?
Two of them come to mind, “Stop in the Name of Love” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

7) In 1972, the year this song was popular, the United States and the United Kingdom joined forces and launched the Copernicus satellite. Today it's remembered for the discovery of long-period pulsars. Crazy Sam got bored writing this question. Do you enjoy reading about science?
Yes I am always reading science article online.

8) Before Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz was American's premier Olympic swimmer. In 1972 he won seven Gold Medals. After making millions in endorsements and TV appearances, he settled into a career as a realtor in Los Angeles. Are you contemplating a change in residence any time soon? If you move, will you be consulting a realtor?
Nope, I’m a homebody. Except for college I lived almost all my life herein town. But maybe next year I going to look for a summer place up on the Outer Cape Cod and yes I will consult a realtor, my brother.

9) Random question: Which of these is completely, 100% UNTRUE of you -- boring, lazy or stupid?
Stupid, I am boring and lazy.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Allies In High Places

Sometimes we have some important allies on our side, this time it is down in Texas.
Two hundred faith leaders, opposing bathroom bill, urge equal treatment for gay, transgender Texans
San Antonio Express News
April 27, 2017

AUSTIN - Some 200 ministers, rabbis and other religious leaders wrote to select House members Thursday asking them to support policies that treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans on an equal basis with other people.

The letter went to lawmakers including members of the House State Affairs Committee, which is considering legislation that would restrict the restrooms transgender people can use. The religious leaders didn’t confine their message to the bathroom bill, although they cited it among other legislation.

“Our faith compels us to oppose anti-transgender legislation (‘bathroom bills), discriminatory laws masquerading as “religious freedom,” or any other attempts to treat Texas’ LGBT community as second-class citizens,” said the letter from Texas Believes, which according to its website is a project of the Texas Freedom Network and Equality Texas.
And get a load of this…
“We will continue to speak out against all attempts to use religion to demonize, discriminate against or bring harm to our LGBT sisters and brothers. And we encourage you, as leaders in our state, to support policies that treat all Texans equally under the law, including the LGBT community,” said the letter.
Many trans people are looking for a religion that affirms their gender and makes them welcome in the congregation.
Transgender people looking for welcoming faith communities
The Columbus Dispatch
By Danae King
April 28, 2017

For many transgender people, faith communities are a place of judgment and rejection. For Marilyn Lloyd, they are a place of possibility.

Lloyd, 62, and a transgender woman, found God at North Congregational United Church of Christ on the Northwest Side. God and the church filled a void in Lloyd’s life she didn’t know was there, and now she hopes to help others fill the same void.

Lloyd will often ask transgender friends if they would go to church if they could find one that accepts their gender identity. If the answer is yes, she goes on the hunt for a church, testing each by its reaction to her.

Although churches are becoming more accepting of transgender people, she said, it’s no easy task.
[…]
“A faith community that is a safe haven can be an incredible gift to any marginalized community,” Tanis [Justin Tanis, managing director at the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion in Berkeley, California] said.

Lloyd is an example of that. She said she doesn’t know where she’d be without her church and the community it has provided.
We hear a lot about far right wing religious conservatives attacking our right s to exist, well there are many more that support us. When we passed the non-discrimination law here in Connecticut we had several dozen churches that support us including an Episcopal Bishop who came and testify in favor of our bill.

The news media survives on conflict, they love the religious right with their fire and brimstone preaching and the media doesn’t want someone who believes in our human rights. So don’t put down all religions there are so many that support us. I know several trans clergy that are out to their parishes.

Our Worst Fears

In being arrested by a bigoted officer and for one trans woman that became true.
Case Claiming Police Verbally Abused Transgender Man Is Revived
New Jersey Law Journal
By Charles Toutant
April 27, 2017

Comments that might not create a hostile work environment may nonetheless violate the Law Against Discrimination in a public accommodation context, an appeals court said Thursday in a published decision reopening the case of a transgender man who says he was subjected to threats and demeaning comments by officers of the Jersey City Police Department.

The man's lawsuit was revived by a panel of the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division, which held a trial judge applied the wrong discrimination standard in the case.

The three-judge panel observed that the trial court's dismissal was based on reasoning that would apply in cases of employment discrimination.
[…]
The plaintiff, Shakeem Malik Holmes, said he was subjected to the threats and demeaning comments after his arrest on shoplifting charges, and was afraid that other inmates would attack him based on officers' comments. Holmes alleges that officers referred to him as "it," called his situation "bullshit," and stated, "so that's a fucking girl?" He also asserts that an officer threatened to put his fist down the plaintiff's throat "like a fucking man."
[…]
 Holmes' suit raises a "hostile environment" claim against the police department, but the trial judge below concluded the remarks did not rise to the level of severe or pervasive violations of the Law Against Discrimination, citing Heitzman v. Monmouth County, a 1999 Appellate Division case. In Heitzman, the Appellate Division upheld the dismissal of a hostile work environment suit, finding that anti-Semitic remarks made to the plaintiff by co-workers were not sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment.
But on appeal the judges had another opinion,
"In reaching that conclusion, we consider that plaintiff, as an arrestee temporarily incarcerated in the police station, was in a uniquely vulnerable position; that the individuals making the hostile comments were police officers, who wield tremendous power over arrestees; and that the comments included a physical threat. Under all the circumstances, a jury could find that the conduct was sufficiently severe that a reasonable transgender person in plaintiff's position would find the environment to be hostile, threatening and demeaning," the court said.
[…]
The appeals court also cited a case in which a single discriminatory comment by the owner of a recreation facility was held sufficient to allow the plaintiff to survive summary judgment, and another where a single instance of racist remarks by the owner of a donut shop to a customer was sufficient to establish a prima facie case of public accommodation discrimination.

The appeals court remanded the case for a new trial on the hostile environment claim.
So what the Appeals Court seems to have said is that discrimination case have a lower standard of a hostile environment than employment cases of a hostile work environment.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hat In The Ring

A number trans people are running for office including one here in Connecticut who is running for governor.
Trump Bump? More Transgender Candidates Seek Public Office
NBC Out
By Julie Moreau PH.D.
April 25, 2017


From the reversal of Obama-era guidance on transgender protections to the appointment of an Army Secretary who implied being transgender is a "disease" and the introduction of new state "bathroom bills," discontentment with the administration of President Donald Trump and the state of local politics has led an increasing number of trans Americans to come to the conclusion that public office is the best way to ensure their rights are protected and other hard-fought progressive policies aren't rolled back.

"Tired of Waiting for Change"
The number of transgender candidates seeking public office is on the rise, according to Logan Casey, Research Analyst in Public Opinion at Harvard Opinion Research Program. The recent announcement by Utah Democrat Misty Snow of a bid for U.S Congress brings the tally to 15, according to the LGBTQ Representation and Rights Initiative. This, however, still remains "a drop in the bucket" compared to non-transgender candidates, according to Casey.

Up until now, transgender candidates have focused on running at the state, local and administrative levels, Casey noted. However, with eyes on 2018, trans candidates are not only aiming to make an impact at the local level.
So who is running?
Brianna Westbrook, 32, is running as a Democrat in Arizona's 8th Congressional District on a platform of women's rights, environmentalism and education. Westbrook, who spent the past 11 years working in car sales, describes herself as "just a normal person."

Danielle Pellett, 36, is also running for U.S. Congress as a Democrat. She is looking to oust Rep. Pete Sessions in Texas' 32nd Congressional District, which he has represented since 2002. Sessions, who serves as Chairman of the House Rules Committee, received widespread criticism for denying Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history, was a gay club.
And here in Connecticut,
Transgender candidate running for Conn. governor
CT Post
By Neil Vigdor
March 7, 2017

Jacey Wyatt doesn’t conform to labels the way most politicians do.

She has run for local office in Branford, Conn. as a Republican and a third-party petitioning candidate.

Wyatt, who grew up as John Christian Pascarella before undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 2003, is running for governor as a Democrat.

“I don’t care if people are wondering what I have under my pants,” Wyatt told Hearst Connecticut Media on Monday. “My body obviously does not look like a typical politician.”

But Wyatt, 46, a former model who was born an intersex person, said she is not running to be the face of transgender rights. Nor is she looking to take sides in the ongoing clash between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and President Donald Trump’s administration over restroom laws, she said.
She is going to have a very uphill battle to get on the ballot, as one commenter said, “She will be known as the transgender candidate.”

Meanwhile over in the Philippines,
THE TRANSGENDER POLITICIAN FIGHTING FOR GAY RIGHTS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Congresswoman Geraldine Roman’s election was a breakthrough in the devoutly Catholic country – now she hopes Manila will pass a bill to outlaw discrimination against the LGBT community and build on her success
South China Morning Post
By Ana P Santos
27 APR 2017

There is an elevated stage in the basketball court-cum-community hall that Philippine Congresswoman Geraldine Roman is using to address her constituents, but she chooses not to use it.

Instead she remains on their level, cracking jokes and singing as she outlines her local government platform – emphasising her education and livelihood programmes and underlining her commitment to a national bill that will outlaw discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

It’s an issue close to her heart, for Roman is the first transgender woman to be elected to public office in the devoutly Catholic Philippines.
How do I look sitting in
the committee co-chair seat?
When I was in grad school for my MSW I took Nancy A Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work two day Campaign School workshop and the woman there from EMILY's List tried to talk me into running for office.

I‘m Beside Myself… An Interesting Duet.

For us trans women our voices do not change, once the vocal cords are stretched there is no going back but for trans men their voice does change and that creates an interesting opportunity.


Trans Singer Records Duet With Himself Pre And Post Transition
“This is my heart medicine for those in need.”
Huffington Post
By James Michael Nichols
April 11, 2017

A transgender singer named Charlie Peck has recorded a beautiful tribute for the transgender community: a duet with himself featuring his higher register before beginning hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and with his lower register, recorded nine months into HRT.

Peck told The Huffington Post that he decided to make the video, which features a cover of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, after watching other people’s voice comparison videos online ― and after thinking about how much of his identity is presented through his voice.

“I was first and foremost hoping for a voice that I could identify with,” Peck told The Huffington Post. “In contact with other humans, the filter through which everything you say is perceived is your voice. I was also really scared that I would not be able to sing any more. With these thoughts in my head an idea about singing as a way to show others my journey started to form. When I contacted my very talented friend, Andrรฉ ร…hl Persson, who is also a musician, and he was willing and thrilled to do this project with me this seed of an idea started to grow.”
This must have taken a lot of planning once he decided to transition, he had to plan the dialog and choreograph the songs. Because there is no going back for a second take and I say songs because while I was looking up the song on YouTube I found he had done other songs…


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Once Again This Is Something That We All Know

That the really is no difference between trans and non-trans children, that once we get over our transition we are the same as everyone else.
Study: Trans and Cisgender Kids Aren’t That Different
Two University of Washington researchers find that ‘in many ways, the basic gender development of socially transgender children is quite similar to that of other children.’
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
April 25, 2017

Transgender children aren’t all that different from other children, a new study published in the journal Child Development suggests. They just have a gender other than the one assigned to them at birth.

For the study, University of Washington researchers Anne Fast and Kristina Olson recruited 36 transgender 3- to 5-year-old children who had socially transitioned, meaning that they are living as their gender but are still too young for medical treatment.

They also assembled a control group of 36 cisgender (non-transgender) children as well as a third group comprised of 24 cisgender siblings of transgender and gender nonconforming children. All of these children were asked to complete various tasks and answer standard questions related to gender.

Ultimately, the researchers found that the transgender children were remarkably similar to their cisgender peers, discovering that “young transgender children were just as likely as [cisgender] children to (a) show preferences for peers, toys, and clothing culturally associated with their expressed gender, (b) dress in a stereotypically gendered outfit, (c) endorse flexibility in gender stereotypes, and (d) say they are more similar to children of their gender than to children of the other gender.”

“These findings suggest that, in many ways, the basic gender development of socially transgender children is quite similar to that of other children,” they concluded.
I know maybe a half a dozen trans children and teenagers and it would be very hard to tell who is trans and who is not.

If their parents are cool with trans children their children will  be cool with trans children but if their parents make a fuss over trans children so will the children. The children get along fine, it is the adults who stir up trouble.

We Are Unique!

Every time I think about how unique we are these lyrics come to mind by Judy Collins’ song "Both Sides Now"
I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
And I would like to change the lyrics to…
I've looked at gender from both sides now
From male and gender and still somehow
It's gender's illusions I recall
I really don't know gender at all
We as trans people have looked at both genders and have seen male privilege, as trans women we have lost our male privilege while trans men have gained male privilege.
TRANSGENDER PEOPLE REVEAL HOW THEY'RE TREATED DIFFERENTLY AS A MAN OR WOMAN
“As a man, people actually listen to what I say and pay attention”
The Independent
By Rachel Hosie
Thursday 13 April 2017

Most cisgender people will never really be able to understand what it’s like to be the opposite gender - as a woman, you might assume a man feels a lot safer walking the streets at night, and a man might presume people are friendlier to women.

But is it true?

Transgender people are in the position of having experienced both, and some have been sharing in a Reddit forum the differences in how they’ve been treated as a man or a woman.
[...]
“When I presented as a girl, they might not talk much or know what to say - I certainly wasn't treated like a granddaughter - but they feel much more comfortable around me as a guy.”

He explained that he’s also asked to do more errands than before: “partly because girls are seen as weaker/more delicate and partly because it's ‘character building’ for a boy, I think.”

One transgender woman revealed an interesting difference she’d spotted - since becoming female, men give her much more eye contact when passing by but less in conversations: “They're more likely to be looking around the room or at their phones or something,” she explained. Eye contact from women has stayed the same though.

What’s more, she revealed that the most annoying difference in treatment for her is that since becoming a woman, men constantly  make her justify and prove her interest and knowledge of sports: “When guys find out I enjoy baseball and basketball, they try to test my knowledge of trivia and see if I’m a ‘real fan’.”
I have a trans man friend who says that now all of a sudden he is an expert on cars, he could say that “I think your muffler bearing is going” and would nod their heads in agreement. While a trans woman who is a project manager at a large international company says it is like getting lobotomy and no one listens to you, that it takes a man saying the same thing and everyone’s agrees with him.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Please Give Us Money! But Not From You.

Right now as things stand, it is against federal law to block LGBT people from homeless shelters that receive federal funding.

Homeless shelters are always in need of funding but they turned away one donor,
Homeless Youth Shelter Refuses Donation From Gay Men's Chorus
The New Civil Rights Movement
By David Badash
April 21, 2017

40% of Homeless Youth Are LGBTQ, So Why Not Accept the Donation?
Hearts With A Mission, a faith-based homeless and at-risk youth shelter in Medford, Oregon, has refused a nearly $3000 donation from the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. The only youth center in Josephine County, it seems clear they're helping the most vulnerable in their community, but it's unclear how they can refuse a donation from a group just because that group is gay.

Hearts With A Mission recently asked the city council for an extra $26,000 to cover unexpected expenses, on top of the $50,000 they already receive from taxpayers.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports "officials from the faith-based group that runs the shelter said the decision to turn down the money was made with thoughts to the safety of the at-risk youths the shelter serves, not to discriminate against the gay men’s group."
Yeah right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
On its website Hearts With A Mission says it "is not a religious organization," and "not associated with any particular religious congregation." But it makes clear its Christian ideals.
Hearts With A Mission was founded on the same Judeo-Christian values that our nation was built upon. Faith at the shelter will be "lived" not "preached". As founder, I believe in God and the saving grace of His Son Jesus Christ. It will be our desire to serve God by the demonstration of our faith through action by our love for Him and the support of homeless and at-risk youth. It will be our highest honor to serve youth and their families of all backgrounds.
It seems to me that Oregon has the same non-discrimination law as Connecticut and Connecticut bans homeless shelters from refusing LGBT homeless people, so  if they do get the city funding they will not be able to ban LGBT youth from their shelters and they can’t preach to them about “their sins” either.

Shut Up!

Are we going back to the 50’s? Back to a time when anything LGBT was hidden in the closet?

Well one group is trying to do that to a math high school teacher.
Fla. teacher targeted by Kim Davis’s lawyer for promoting LGBTQ ‘propaganda’
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
April 21, 2017

A lesbian who teaches math at a Tampa Bay, Florida high school is being silent on this Day of Silence, in response to accusations leveled at her by Liberty Counsel, the law firm and extremist organization that advocates for anti-LGBT discrimination. Its most famous client by far remains Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

Lawyers Mary McAlister and Richard Mast, Jr., signed a letter of demand emailed to the Hillsborough County Public School district, demanding action against Lora Jane Riedas by end of the business day Friday.

The allegations against Riedas are in keeping with prior actions Liberty Counsel has made nationwide to earn it a black mark from the Southern Poverty Law Center, under the guise of “religious freedom.” In their letter to Superintendent Jeff Eakins, attorneys McAlister and Mast claim:
Ms. Riedas has prohibited at least three children from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming on occasion that they are ‘gang symbols.’
So what are their demands?
As of press time, Arja did not address the demands laid out by the Liberty Counsel lawyers:
1) prohibit Ms. Riedas from interfering with student religious expression, by banning cross necklaces, or otherwise appropriate clothing or jewelry containing religious references or symbols;
2) prohibit Ms. Riedas from promoting LGBT political activism during instructional time on April 21, or at any other time, using any of the attached ideas in GLSEN’s “guide;”
3) require Ms. Riedas to remove partisan political LGBT materials from her classroom, and remove all unrequested LGBT stickers from each student’s notebook; and
4) replace her as sponsor of GSA, and appoint a teacher of the District’s choice who can be trusted to be present at non-school-sponsored student clubs like GSA in a supervisory, not activist, capacity.
In other words shut up and go back into the closet!

I don’t know about the necklace incident, it could be a red herring to distract the issue of silencing us to make it more than LGBT rights and make it a religious freedom issue.

The issues of GSA and having LGBT material has been settled by the Supreme Court a long, long time ago, but it looks like to me that Liberty Counsel sees an opportunity to get it overturned by the current Supreme Court.

I feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg that we are going to see many more court cases challenging our rights to exist by the right-wing conservative. They feel that in today’s climate that they can bring back the oppressive fifties with a conservative court and a Republican controlled Congress.



On Sunday I went to the GLAD fundraiser with Stana and you can read about it on her .blog

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Very Complex Topic

Being trans and dating can create a complex of problems and rewards. If a trans woman dates a man many non-trans people thinks that it’s a gay relationship while trans people see it as a straight couple and the same holds true for trans guys.

This article popped up on Facebook the other day and it deserves a second look.
The Straight Men Who Have Sex with Trans Women
Wanting to have sex with trans women is not synonymous with undoing the stigma against loving them.
Broadly
By Diana Tourjee
September 17 2015

[…]
Matt's first sexual experience with a trans woman was in 1987, with a girl he picked up on the West Side Highway. This stretch of New York road runs parallel to the Hudson River, from the southern harbors of Manhattan to the Upper West Side. It used to be an infamous pickup spot for trans sex workers. Though Matt loved the sex itself, it wasn't long after orgasm that he felt a throat-clenching sense of anxiety. "I was driving her back and I was so nervous, 'Is someone going to see me?' Absolute fear—HIV, Did I give myself HIV? I was so afraid [thinking of] how I'd tell anybody."
That is how many trans women end up dead, John’s remorse and worrying that others will think him gay.

I have to wonder how many men date trans women because they are secretly gay and think that they can “hide the gay” by dating a trans women. I also have to wonder how many of those same men would date a post-op trans women?
As Cristina Herrera [Is the head of the Gender Identity Project (GIP) at New York City's LGBT Community Center] sees it, guys like Matt have the cards stacked against them. The cultural stigma against loving trans women is deeply ingrained into our society to the point of ubiquity. "There is a lot of bullying going on," Herrera said. "Public figures that have been discovered having sexual relations with trans women have paid a heavy price." Herrera said these public shamings "hurt the whole process. It makes other men much more nervous. They know it could happen to them, that their friends or colleagues might treat them the same way if they knew."
I wonder what Matt would do if Alicia announced that she was having Gender Confirming Surgery?

I know many lesbians that I know that say that they support us but would never date a trans women. Which is saying that they don’t believe that we are women, therefore they are not supporting us if they don’t see us as women.

Let’s face it being trans and dating is very complex. But that doesn’t mean that love doesn’t happen.

A Little Lesson In Types Of Governments

Both Republicans and Democrats like to through around words like fascism, communism, socialism, republic, and democracy without any understanding of what they truly are.

So let’s look to Merriam-Webster dictionary to help us out…
Communism
1
a :  a theory advocating elimination of private property
b :  a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
2
capitalized
a :  a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the U.S.S.R.
b :  a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production
c :  a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
d :  communist systems collectively

Democracy
1
a :  government by the people; especially :  rule of the majority
b :  a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
2
:  a political unit that has a democratic government
3
capitalized :  the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S.
from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy — C. M. Roberts
4
:  the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
5
:  the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges

Fascism
1
often capitalized :  a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2
:  a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
early instances of army fascism and brutality — J. W. Aldridge

Republic
1
a (1) :  a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) :  a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
b (1) :  a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) :  a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
c :  a usually specified republican government of a political unit the French Fourth
Republic
2
:  a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity the republic of letters
3
:  a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the U.S.S.R., or Yugoslavia

Socialism 
1
:  any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2
a :  a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b :  a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3
:  a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
Then each of them can be right-wing or left-wing. Right-wing is conservative and left-wing is liberal. So fascism and communism tend to be right-wing because they are usually conservative, while , socialism, a republic, and a democracy can be either right or left winged depending upon whether they are conservative or liberal and can change.

Right now we are closer than we have ever been to being fascist with a one party controlling government and the elected president thinking he can run government as a business.

Say Ah…

One of our concerns is healthcare, are we getting the best healthcare or are we just getting lip service?
Making Primary Care Trans-Friendly
The medical knowledge needed to treat transgender people is not particularly complex, but patients still often struggle to find doctors who are prepared to treat them.
The Atlantic
By Keren Landman
April 21, 2017

Two days after the 2016 presidential election, Isabel Lowell appeared on a panel at the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians annual meeting in midtown Atlanta. As a family physician who sees transgender patients, Lowell was leading a full day of training on providing trans-competent care. When not speaking, she sat in the back of the room next to her wife and new baby.

The mood of the room was grim, but lightened when another panelist wistfully described her fantasy: a multidisciplinary health center dedicated to transgender health, where patients would visit for a day-long lineup of appointments with reproductive, preventive, mental-health, and surgical specialists, all focused on transgender issues.

Inwardly, Lowell bristled. “I used to think that was the gold standard,” she said afterward. “Transgender patients could just go [to these clinics] and get everything they need. I think it’s wonderful in theory, but … it lets everyone else off the hook. It makes it this special ‘other’ thing that you have to go to a special center for.”

Transgender care should be primary care, she thinks. It should require no special center, and unless a procedure is needed, no specialists.

“Any doctor should be able to do this,” she said.
More healthcare providers and therapist are starting to learn the needs of our community, from cultural competency to our special healthcare needs.

Medical colleges are also starting to provider training, a couple of weeks ago I did training at a local medical school for their first year medical students and I know hospitals are also giving training to their staff.
And sometimes, providers focus on someone’s trans identity way too much. In 2015, writer Naith Payton wrote about the “trans broken arm”: “‘In the five minutes it takes … to grill me on gender stuff and write it all down, the orthopod has squandered a quarter of the time they’ve got to fix my broken arm,’” a transgender patient told Payton.

“The more a person’s trans status is blamed for a person’s unrelated health problems, the less likely they are to bring it up—even when it is relevant,” Payton writes.
That is one that I brought up in the classes at the med school, if the patient is there for something that does not involve healthcare related to transitioning or being trans then don’t ask questions about their surgery or other trans health issues. If you do need to ask question about their trans status then tell them the reason why you are asking.

So we are making progress but there is dark clouds on the horizon; a leaked draft of a Trump Executive Order indicates that they are going to give special rights to certain religious group to discriminate against us.

From the draft it looks like anyone receiving federal funds has to allow their employees to discriminate against and that could supersede state laws! It could mean disaster for us! Hospitals, EMTs, doctors, clerks, and all other private businesses that have a federal contract can refuse to treat us, care for us, rent to us, sell to us or even work with us.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Favorite Punching Bag

Yes, it is Caitlyn Jenner.

She is starting to see the errors of her mistakes.
Caitlyn Jenner Claims Trump’s Anti-LGBT Policies Are A “Deal Breaker”The reality TV star spoke out against Trump in an interview with Diane Sawyer.
NewNextNow
By Cody Gohl
April 21,2017

Caitlyn Jenner has opened up about her feelings toward President Trump and his anti-LGBT policies, says she’s “coming after” him.

Jenner discussed Trump’s poor track record with the LGBT community in a recent interview with Diane Sawyer.
“The question has been raised… are you still a Trump Republican?” Sawyer asked.
[…]
“When it comes to all equality issues, for the entire LGBT community, what we need is federal guidance,” she continued. “I’m trying to get the Republican party to make a change.”
Good luck!

The Republicans are getting too many votes and donations from bigots then to give up a cash cow.

The Huffington Post writes,
“Here’s the deal: yes, I have always had views that lean more towards the Republican party when it comes to politics (as in) less government, believing in the Constitution and all that kind of stuff,” Jenner told People magazine. “But my loyalties and my fights are not going to be with the Republican party. My loyalties are with my community and fighting for my community.”

“My loyalties lie with my community and not with the Republican party, and not with Donald Trump,” the self-described conservative added.
Is this too little too late?

So how is she going give it to Trump?
Caitlyn Jenner’s way of protesting Trump: ‘I won’t be playing golf with him’
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
April 21, 2017

So how does she plan to do that? The Kardashian co-matriarch reveals her preferred form of protest in response to a question about her conversations with the president, which so far have been a total of one.

“When I was at the inauguration I did say ‘hi’ at a cocktail party, and he wanted me to play golf with him,” she revealed. “At the time I thought it was a pretty good idea, but since Title IX, it’s not a good idea, and so I won’t be playing golf with him.”

Take that, Donald!
OH NO! That is really hitting below the belt… not to play golf with him is going to make Trump change his tune!



This afternoon I am at a fundraiser for GLAD, “Justice For All: GLAD’s 2017 Connecticut Event” which is honoring Kevin Limbo the state comptroller, who I met many years ago. This is something like the fourth or fifth year that I have attended the event.

GLAD has supported every trans legislation here in Connecticut and around New England, and I have worked the their Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi for over ten years. We have worked together on the gender non-discrimination bill, on the birth certificate legislation, and now on the bill to ban conversion therapy in the state.

Jennifer is third from the right


I’m Not Very Religious But,

I do know that the major religions of the preach peace but there are those who want to twist that preach hate. On this Sunday morning,
Gay Christian rock star Vicky Beeching faces vile abuse from Christians
Pink News
By Joseph Patrick McCormick
21st April 2017

Out lesbian Christian rock star Vicky Beeching said she has been forced to take a break from social media after reading messages saying she should be killed, and that she can’t be gay and a Christian.

The star, who came out back in 2014, took to her Twitter account to say she was forced to take a break after reading comments about herself from those who say they are Christian.
[…]
“Social media can be brilliant but it can also dehumanise people. It all just got a bit too much for me this week. Especially thinking that 20,000 fellow Christians wanted to share such an offensive meme- they should see people like me as a sister in Christ, not someone ‘destined for hell’.”
Then we have this pastor from three years ago who is still preaching…
Megachurch Pastor says ‘gays must be put to death’
Patheos
By Michael Stone
September 3, 2014

Claiming that being gay is a choice like drug abuse, the senior pastor for a megachurch in Tennessee says that “gays must be put to death” because God commands it.

Last Sunday, Brainerd Baptist Church Senior Pastor Robby Gallaty told his large congregation that Christians should never stop discriminating against homosexuals, claiming that gays could choose to be straight if they only accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Gallaty explained why gays should be put to death:
God said that the sins of the people had infected the very land in which they live. So what happens to people who engage in this activity, this sexual immoral activity? Go to Leviticus 20, God gives us the punishment for engaging in these sins… ‘If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have both committed a detestable thing. They must be put to death. And their blood is on their own hands.’
Pastor Gallaty tried to justify his Biblically inspired hatred for gays and lesbians by repeatedly trying to argue that being gay is a choice, and some sort of rebellion against his imaginary God’s divine plan.
These preachers have learned that if you preach hate you gather the likeminded haters and they open their pocketbook and give donations.




Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday 9: Don't Sleep in the Subway

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Sleep in the Subway (1967)



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

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

1) Subways can be bright and noisy. Do you need it dark and quiet before you can fall asleep?  
I prefer a dark and quiet to fall asleep, now I found  a website that has the sound of rain and distant thunder and that helps me fall asleep.

2) In this song, Petula encourages her lover to talk it out instead of walking out. Do you usually remain reasonable during a disagreement? 
My brother would say no and he is probably right, I get very emotional when someone is denying  me the rights that everyone else has.

3) Petula was a child star in England during WWII. Her BBC broadcasts were very popular with the British troops, who nicknamed her The Singing Sweetheart. Soldiers pasted her photo onto their tanks for luck as they went into battle. Do you have any little rituals or good luck charms that calm/comfort you when you're afraid?
Yes, I run around in circles, flapping my arms and yelling OMG!

4) Now 84, she recently told London's Daily Mail that she's surprised and thrilled to have found love again with a new man. Do you believe you'll ever be too old for romance?
Nope, love can strike at any age.

5) Her family is far flung. She lives in London, her middle daughter is in Paris, her son is in Los Angeles and her oldest daughter lives in New York with Petula's two grandchildren. Who is your nearest friend or relative? Which one is farthest away?
One nephew lives in the northwest part of Connecticut and another nephew lives in Asheville NC.

6) In 1967, when this song was popular, Rolling Stone published its first issue. John Lennon was on the cover. Publisher Jann Wenner reports that, either individually or as a group, the members of The Beatles have appeared on the most Rolling Stone covers. What's the first Beatle song that comes to mind?
Norwegian Wood, I wish that song be a lot longer.



7) In 1967, Star Trek was in its second season on NBC. Who is your favorite Star Trek character?
Dr. McCoy, he is a lot like me, always thinking the worst.

8) RANDOM QUESTION: When you slip into jeans or slacks, which foot do you put in first?
Either one, I have no set pattern.

9) As you considered #8, did you mime pulling on your pants?
Nope.

Friday, April 21, 2017

We Can Make A Difference.

All it takes is one person to make a difference, you don’t need a fancy law degree, you don’t need a large organization behind you, all you is to stand up and tell your story.

That is how I started out. I just kept asking one question, “What can I do to help?”

Yes now I have a MSW degree and a director of a very small non-profit (there is just me and the Board of Directors and my position is a volunteer position (I don’t get paid a dime). But it is still getting up and telling our story.

I did training at a courthouse in the eastern part of the state last month and I just got a thank you note.
Dear Diana
Thank you for coming to Danielson with your presentation. It was edifying. The audience included judges, clerks, marshals, prosecutors, court reporters, and defense attorneys. Each of us will bring your message to more people. Thank you very much for sharing.
If you want to make a difference, start out by asking that question, “What can I do to help?” You might not get an answer at first, but keep asking. Ask at your local LGBT center, ask at your local speaker bureau, ask anyone you think might have an answer.

But ask because nothing will happen if you don’t ask.

I Wonder About Trans People…

…And how this affects us, does it affect us the same way. I know when I do my nails I have to concentrate and pay attention to what I’m doing.
Painting My Nails Kept Me Sane Through College, And Science Backs Me Up On That
Turns out, I’m not alone in using polish as a coping skill of sorts, and there’s a sound psychological basis for doing your nails.
Huffington Post
For Glamour, by Elizabeth Logan.
04/17/2017

I firmly believe it’s weird to pay to hold hands with a stranger for the better part of an hour, which is to say, I don’t like getting manicures. But I do like having my nails painted, so in eighth grade, I set upon the tedious task of teaching myself to do it. At that point, I’d owned two bottles of polish: black and iridescent blue. (So punk.) My mother hated to see me wear the black, and I admit it didn’t look right with my Sailor Moon–style school uniform, so I alternated between blue and black with blue over it.

One day during the fall of freshman year, as I reached to get something from my backpack, I guess my iridescent blue fingernails (still working with two colors at this point) caught the light, because the coolest/most terrifying girl in school we’ll call Karen (name changed, you think I’m gonna commit social suicide?), a sophomore with great style, grabbed my hand and demanded, “Where did you get this color?”

“Walgreens.” I mumbled, starstruck. Karen said I was wearing the “exact” shade Hallie Parker (Lindsay Lohan) wears in The Parent Trap’s infamous poker scene, and she’d been searching for it “forever.” (Bear in mind we were having this conversation circa 2007 and The Parent Trap came out in 1998, but a girl doesn’t forget an iconic nail color.)
I have to admit that there is something about painting your nails that is liberating, picking out “your color” to make that unique statement of who you are.
Turns out, I’m not alone in using polish as a coping skill of sorts, and there’s a sound psychological basis for doing your nails.

“I often recommend that clients include painting their nails as one of many helpful coping skills,” said Greta Angert, a Los Angeles–based licensed psychotherapist specializing in anxiety. “Sitting down to paint your nails is a simple gesture that tells you ‘I’m worth it,’ ‘I deserve this.’” Angert added: “People also talk with their hands, and seeing a pretty color can brighten their mood. Women also compliment each other’s manicures quite frequently, and there’s nothing wrong with a little ego boost during your day.”

According to Angert, people who struggle with minor anxiety often find solace in the repetitive motion of nail painting, and — because it requires concentration — those of us who have racing negative thoughts can get a reprieve.
Right now my color is “Vanilla” it is almost flesh tone and one the weather gets warmer so will my nail color.

There is also something in the fact that now I can wear nail polish and not have to worry if I got it all off in the morning. Also after you have your nails done for a week or so you don’t notice them and then you might be reaching for something or washing dishes and you notice them; it somehow confirms your femininity.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This Is So Moving

I hate it when people say trans kids are too young to transition, too young to understand their gender.
Stanford launches short online course to boost understanding of transgender kids
Stanford Medical
By Erin Digitale
March 27, 2017

In 2011, Stanford Medicine lecturer Maya Adam, MD, had just finished teaching her undergraduate course on critical issues in child health when a student approached her with some feedback. “I loved your class, but you are missing one issue,” the student said. “You need a lecture on transgender children’s health.”

Adam’s response was “You’re right … but I know so little about that.” Her own medical training had never mentioned transgender children; she was unsure what difficulties they faced. Adam soon realized this knowledge gap was common, not just among physicians but also among teachers and other professionals who work with kids.

This week, which happens to be LGBT Health Awareness Week, Stanford is launching a free online course that Adam created to fill the gap. The course, which consists of 18 short videos, grew from her desire to raise awareness of the needs of transgender children beyond the small audience of Stanford students she teaches. In the videos, Adam interviews Stanford experts and gives basic explanations of what it means to be transgender.
I know that UConn School of Medicine used to have a half a day class on LGBT clients for their second year students, but now they moved to their first year students because they are doing clinical rounds in their first year and the school thought that they needed earlier exposure to LGBT clients. Instead of the huge lecture hall this year they are doing it in their classrooms to see if it is better than the lecture hall approach.

So here is the first video…

This Should Never Have Happen

Especially in California, even when you have all the laws protecting us there are still some people and organizations that think the law doesn’t apply to them.
Transgender Patient Suing Hospital Over Canceled Hysterectomy
CBS Sacramento
By Jennifer McGraw
April 19, 2017

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) – A transgender patient is suing Dignity Health for discrimination after canceling an elected hysterectomy.

“As soon as she said, ‘Your hysterectomy is canceled,’ I just fell down to the floor,” said Evan Minton of Orangevale.

Possibly one of the hardest things he’s has had to hear.

Just two days before his scheduled hysterectomy, the doctor called saying the hospital had canceled it.
Why?
Dignity Health does not provide elective sterilizations at its Catholic facilities due to ethical and religious directives.
Looking up Dignity Health I find that the hospital is “a California-based not-for-profit public-benefit corporation.” You got that? It is a public corporation, it is not a private hospital, it’s a licensed public hospital.

The ACLU reports on their website,
“The refusal of Dignity Health to allow a doctor to perform this common procedure simply because the patient is transgender is discriminatory,” said Elizabeth Gill, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. “This is a hospital that is open to the general public so it’s illegal for them to turn away someone based on gender identity.”

Dignity Health regularly allows hysterectomies for patients who are not transgender.

“I routinely perform hysterectomies at Mercy San Juan,” said Dr. Lindsey Dawson, Minton’s doctor. “This is the first time the hospital has prevented me from doing this surgery. It’s very clear to me that the surgery was canceled because Evan is transgender.”
The hysterectomy is a medically necessary surgery.

There are some people who will argue that because it is owned and operated by a Catholic organization it is exempt from the non-discrimination laws… wrong! If it was a private hospital and only served the Catholic  community then they are within their rights to discriminate, but because it is a public hospital they have to treat the whole public and not pick who they will treat,

This is not the first time that the ACLU has sued Dignity Health back in June of last year,
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the fifth largest health care system in the U.S., Dignity Health, because it denies transgender employees health insurance coverage for medically necessary transition-related health care.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

No It Is Not True

It is only a phase that they are going through or we are just confused… we all has heard that and it is not a phase that we go through and we are not confused, it is a part of our being.
My Daughter Is Not Transgender. She’s a Tomboy.
By Lisa Selin Davis
April 18, 2017

“I just wanted to check,” the teacher said. “Your child wants to be called a boy, right? Or is she a boy that wants to be called a girl? Which is it again?”

I cocked my head. I am used to correcting strangers, who mistake my 7-year-old daughter for a boy 100 percent of the time.

In fact, I love correcting them, making them reconsider their perceptions of what a girl looks like. But my daughter had been attending the after-school program where this woman taught for six months.

“She’s a girl,” I said. The woman looked unconvinced. “Really. She’s a girl, and you can refer to her as a girl.”
[…]
My daughter wears track pants and T-shirts. She has shaggy short hair (the look she requested from the hairdresser was “Luke Skywalker in Episode IV”). Most, but not all, of her friends are boys. She is sporty and strong, incredibly sweet, and a girl.
There is only one person who truly knows if she is trans or a “Tom boy” your children, listen to what they say not what others think.
But when they continue to question her gender identity — and are skeptical of her response — the message they send is that a girl cannot look and act like her and still be a girl.

She is not gender nonconforming. She is gender role nonconforming. She does not fit into the mold that we adults — who have increasingly eschewed millenniums-old gender roles ourselves, as women work outside the home and men participate in the domestic sphere — still impose upon our children.
Just because a child doesn’t conform to gender norms doesn’t mean that they are trans, once again listen to them. They know best.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Tis the legislative season and there are a number of bills introduced around the country that affects us in the trans community, the first is here in Connecticut.

The bill to ban conversion therapy for those under 18 needs a push to get it started again. Are any of these legislators from your districts? We need you to call them and ask them to sponsor HB6695.
_________________

1) Calls to Uncommitted Legislators: 
Ask constituents to call or email the following legislators who have not yet indicated that they will support the bill. The ask is simple: “I am a constituent and I hope that you will vote to support HB 6599, AAC Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy."

73 Rep. Berger D Jeffrey.Berger@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1372
86 Rep. Candelora R Vincent.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8734
S09 Sen. Doyle D paul.doyle@cga.ct.gov 860-240-0475
47 Rep. Dubitsky R Doug.Dubitsky@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8725
148 Rep. Fox D Dan.Fox@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1372
3 Rep. Gonzalez D Minnie.Gonzalez@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1373
107 Rep. Harding R Stephen.Harding@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8381
S28 Sen. Hwang R Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov 860-842-1421
S07 Sen. Kissel R John.A.Kissel@cga.ct.gov 860-842-1421
S2 Sen. McCrory D Douglas.McCrory@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1453
122 Rep. McGorty R Ben.McGorty@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8389
S24 Sen. McLachlan R Michael.McLachlan@cga.ct.gov 860-842-1421
140 Rep. Morris D Bruce.Morris@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1373
125 Rep. O Dea R Tom.ODea@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8778
69 Rep. O Neill R Arthur.ONeill@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-1342
80 Rep. Sampson R rob.sampson@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-8398
33 Rep. Serra D Joseph.Serra@cga.ct.gov 860-240-1378
31 Rep. Srinivasan R prasad.srinivasan@housegop.ct.gov 860-240-1310
S13 Sen. Suzio R Len.Suzio@cga.ct.gov 860-240-8321

2. Thank you calls to HB 6599 co-sponsors:
If your legislator is a co-sponsor of HB 6599, AAC Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy, (and either your State Rep. or State Sen. likely are because there are over 90 co-sponsors!), PLEASE call and thank them for their support. You can find the list of co-sponsors here: (scroll down to find co-sponsor list; Note: they are not in either alphabetical or numerical order): https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB06695&which_year=2017

If you don’t know who your state representative and state senator are, you can find them here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp



Down in Texas we are still battling to stop an anti-trans bill there,
Gov. Abbott says he wants to sign a transgender bathroom bill
Statesman
By Chuck Lindell
April 18, 2017

No longer silent on an issue that has roiled the Texas Legislature for months, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that he wants to work with the House and Senate to approve a transgender bathroom bill.

“I support the principles of both the Senate and House to protect privacy in bathrooms. We will work to get a bill to my desk,” Abbott said via Twitter.

Abbott’s statement of support came one day before a House committee was to begin debate on a new measure that would block cities, counties and school districts from enacting or enforcing transgender-friendly restroom policies.
Hmm… sound familiar? Maybe the North Carolina law comes to mind?

But there are some roadblocks, and one of them is,
House Speaker Joe Straus has also questioned the need for legislation aimed at bathroom use by transgender people.
[…]
“I would suggest that it’s worse than SB 6, which was limited to government buildings and schools, while this applies to everywhere in the state, all restroom facilities anywhere in the state,” said Chuck Smith with Equality Texas.

Smith said HB 2899’s ban on bathroom-related protections for what the legislation broadly calls “a class of persons” was one-sided and unfair.

“It says you cannot protect a class of people, but it would allow any of those jurisdictions to pass ordinances that would specifically discriminate against those people,” Smith said
Stay tune for the continuing saga of Texas legislature.



Meanwhile up in Idaho
Transgender woman sues to change Idaho birth certificate
Magic Valley
By Nathan Brown
April 19, 2017

BOISE — A transgender woman is suing the state of Idaho for the right to change her gender on her birth certificate.

Identified be her initials F.V. in the court papers, which were filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, the lawsuit says F.V. has been living as a woman since she was 15 and has undergone sex reassignment treatments and changed her name to a feminine one on her driver’s license and in Social Security records. It says she contacted the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics in March to change her gender on her birth certificate but was told she could not.

According to a news release from Lambda Legal, a pro-gay and transgender rights legal organization that is representing her, F.V. is now 28 and lives in Hawaii.

“Unlike nearly every other state in America, Idaho currently enforces a categorical ban against transgender people changing the gender on their birth certificates, which is an archaic policy that defies logic,” said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn. “In fact, government officials in Idaho know this, given that they allow transgender people to change the gender on their drivers’ licenses.”
Connecticut is one of the few states where you can change your birth certificate with a letter from you doctor or therapist.



In North Carolina the NCAA buys it hook, line, and sinker.
NCAA returns to North Carolina after transgender bathroom law repeal
Reuters
By Daniel Trotta
April 18, 2017

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday formally reversed course and scheduled championship games in North Carolina, returning to the state after previously stripping it of events to protest a law on transgender use of public bathrooms.

Transgender advocates immediately criticized the decision, saying although the bathroom law was repealed last month, North Carolina still discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and did not deserve to be rewarded.

The controversy started with the March 2016 approval of House Bill 2, which required transgender people to use bathrooms matching the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. In response, the NCAA disqualified North Carolina from hosting neutral-site championship events for the 2016-17 academic year.
But the new law does nothing for us!
Seeking to win back business, state lawmakers repealed the law on March 30, but they also approved a new measure banning cities from passing their own anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people until 2020, drawing outrage from civil rights advocates.
The Charlotte Observer writes,
This was the first real test of leadership for Gov. Cooper, a Democrat, and he failed spectacularly by inexplicably discarding his earlier promise not to accept any deal that left people vulnerable to discrimination. The new law ensures that all gay people – not just transgender people seeking to relieve themselves without being harassed – are susceptible to unequal treatment for at least the next 3 ½ years.

HB2 was a Republican-written law, passed primarily by Republican supermajorities. It has been an embarrassment for North Carolina since the day it passed – so much so that even House and Senate Republican leaders eventually agreed it needed to be repealed. The onus was on them, not on Cooper and other Democrats, to make things right. Purely from a political strategy perspective, Democrats held the upper hand, not because they had the numbers but because they had public opinion on their side. Yet they caved anyway and essentially locked in HB2’s key requirements for years.
It seems to me that at the very least the NCAA should have waited until the new law goes into effect.

Once again we get the short stick.



Update 9:15 AM

Down in Alabama, they are trying to a pass special rights for religious bigots to hide behind. The HRC wrote on their blog,
Today, HRC denounced the Alabama State Senate and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh for passing the anti-LGBTQ H.B. 24. HRC Alabama calls upon Governor Kay Ivey to not sign this bill, which would most harm the children in Alabama’s child welfare system.

The bill, deceptively titled the “Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act,” would enshrine discrimination into Alabama law by allowing state-licensed adoption and foster care agencies to reject qualified prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s religious beliefs.

“Plain and simple -- H.B. 24 is discrimination dressed up as a ‘solution’ to a fake problem,” said Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama State Director. “It creates an unnecessary hardship for potential LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents in Alabama and primarily harms the children looking for a loving home. It’s unfortunate that leaders continue to push this bill, even as child welfare organizations, faith leaders and fair-minded Alabamians are standing up and calling this bill out for what it is: discrimination. We now ask Governor Kay Ivey to not sign into law this harmful bill.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Hate That Phrase

I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body, or in this case I’m a man trapped in a woman’s body. I hate those phrase, they over simplify a complex topic and it makes us sound shallow.
No Dear, You’re Not A Gay Man Trapped In A Woman’s Body
You’re making a statement that you can walk away from any time it becomes too difficult.
Huffington Post Voices
By Marshall Thornton
04/13/2017

Every so often a straight woman will blurt out some version of “I’m a gay man trapped in a woman’s body.” This might feel like a supportive thing to say, but if you stop to think about what it’s really saying, you should realize it manages to be offensive to trans men, gay men, and women in one short sentence. It’s the trifecta of putting your foot in your mouth. Here’s why:

Trans men attracted to men actually were once gay men trapped in a woman’s body. If you’re not trans, making this statement minimizes and even erases their experience. If you’re not presenting as a man and asking us to use male pronouns when we refer to you, then you’re being glib about someone else’s challenging and deeply felt experience. And that’s offensive.

Often, when a woman pops out this statement she’s identifying with gay men’s taste in clothing or music or approach to relationships or just plain fun. What she’s not doing is volunteering to be afraid to hold her husband’s hand in public, to be legally denied housing or a job in more than twenty-six states, or to have her marriage threatened by the political party currently running this country. She’s making a statement that she can walk away from any time it becomes too difficult. It trivializes our experience. You can like me, you can have a lot in common with me, but you cannot be me.
To me it sounds like “It’s so gay!”

And another phrase that I hate is Metrosexual; it belittles gay men and reduces them to the clothes that they wear, as if all gay men are good dressers.

She Handled It Nicely

Intersections, when to different ideologies collide.

I can understand their protest, she represents an oppressor but at the same time she is the oppressed and it is that intersection that brought about protests.
Transgender protesters heckle trans cop: ‘We don’t want a pig in here’
LGBTQ Nation
By Dawn Ennis
April 17, 2017

The first transgender officer in the San Diego Police Department was greeted by hundreds of supporters at the city’s LGBT center Friday and was also targeted by a group of trans radicals who shouted offensive slurs at her, including, “We don’t want a pig in here.”

Transgender activist Autumn Sandeen was in attendance and posted on Facebook, “the horizontal community violence was heartbreaking.”
I think that I have to take exception to Autumn, I don’t think it fit the definition of Lateral Violence,
Lateral Violence occurs within marginalized groups where members strike out at each other as a result of being oppressed. The oppressed become the oppressors of themselves and each other. Common behaviors that prevent positive change from occurring include gossip, sabotage, backstabbing and shunning.
I think it was more an intersection of race and trans oppression and not lateral hostilities.

The article goes on to talk about how she handled the protest.
Garcia, however, was unfazed by those in the crowd who heckled her, and instead asked the audience of some 400 people — there to celebrate the city’s Transgender Day of Empowerment — to respect the rights of those protesting, to free speech, “as long as it’s peaceful.”
I think she did the right thing in letting the protesters have their say; it was a step in deescalating the tension in the room.

I don’t what happened after officer said officer Christine Garcia said to let them speak. Did they make a statement, did they quiet down afterward? None of the articles that I found answered those questions.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

I’m up at brother's and sister-in-law's condo today. I hope that all of you who celebrate Easter are with the ones you love. However, for many people holidays are a stressful time, so open your hearts and invite them in you your home.

I leave you with some Easter humor...









Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday 9: This Is the Way the Bunny Hops

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: This Is the Way the Bunny Hops


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

1) Why do you suppose there are so many songs about Santa Claus, yet very few about the Easter Bunny?
More money is made off of Christmas than Easter.

2) This song was written by The Kiboomers, two early education teachers who are passionate about the power of music to help kids learn. Tell us about a teacher who had an impact on your life.
Mr. Downer, he was my science teacher.

3) Legend has it that the Easter Bunny was introduced to America in the 1700s by German immigrants. These children waited for a magic creature who left colored eggs. Today's kids dye Easter eggs themselves. When did you most recently color eggs?
Hmm… probably 50 years ago.

4) The Easter Bunny is usually shown carrying a wicker basket filled with eggs, toys and candy. Is there any wicker in the room you're in right now?
Nope, but in the kitchen I store all my wicker baskets.

5) While marshmallow Peeps are manufactured all year around, they are most popular at Easter. Do you prefer the chicks or the bunnies?
Neither! Remember I’m diabetic.

6) A little time in the microwave can do ugly things to a Peep. Have you ever nuked a Peep?
No, but don't give me any ideas. I nuked an egg; they explode nicely in the microwave. I’ve nuked a pencil, they are interesting because it all depends upon the length of the pencil (actually the length of the graphite) when you hit upon a multiple of the wavelength the graphite glows cherry red and the wood catches fire.
Moral to the story; don’t put a microwave in an engineering dorm, we are going to experiment with it.

7) Would you prefer a hollow or a solid chocolate bunny?
See my answer for #5.
I remember having chocolate bunnies that were filled with Baileys Irish Creme Liqueur, now those were bunnies that I liked.

8) A traditional American Easter dinner usually includes glazed ham or roast lamb. Which would you rather have as your main course?
At my sister-in-law’s we are having lamb.

9) Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What makes you feel refreshed or rejuvenated?
A nice hot bubble bath in the whirlpool tub with a glass of wine with shrimp cocktail.