Thursday, August 31, 2017

We Are All Heading There… Hopefully

To become senior citizens and as we get older we will be facing a new problems, many of the problems are the same as senior gays and lesbians face.
I’m An Older Gay Man And I Know It Will Get Worse
If you are gay and not partnered at this age, you face much of the same criticisms that single straight people do.
By David Toussaint, Contributor
August 23, 2017

It breaks my heart when I read about a gay man over 60 talk about his loneliness, his lack of family, his lack of friends because of AIDS, his “invisibility.” Many of them were deserted by their nuclear family decades ago, and there was no lifeline to grab onto. I realize that I could be headed in the same direction, though I take comfort in the fact that I have siblings and in-laws and an extended family. For now I am good. I’m not immune to the temporal thrill of “fabulous at 50,” labels, or any of the other saccharine titles publications use to make our lives appear forever glamorous. We’re all scared. We’re all doomed.
Not a week goes by where one of my gay, single peers doesn’t tell me of aging fears — “it ain’t for sissies,” ironically, is a perfect expression for the process. Most of us have witnessed, or are witnessing, the natural progression of parents, and know our number will soon be called. “Invisibility” is the most common phrase I hear, as well as scenarios in which they’re living with cats or their one, other single friend.
As a single trans woman I face the same fears as he does and for us it is even worse because it is so much harder to find a mate.

As the three day weekend approaches I wonder what I am going to be doing for the weekend, will I sit around the house until Tuesday when I volunteer at the health collective? Will I connect up with some friends and find something to do together? I know that I am better off than some people who are isolated, for me I volunteer at the health collective, I go to the town’s senior center, and I have the training and meetings that I also go to which gets me out of the house, but others do not.

I am going to be on another panel for the AARP showing of Gen Silent at the Heritage Village in Southbury.
AARP CT, Western CT Area Agency on Aging and
Gay Heritage of Heritage Village present

Aging with Pride in Western CT

Enjoy a free luncheon, view the “Gen Silent” film about the lives of six LGBT seniors & join a community conversation

         Hosted by Gay Heritage of Heritage Village and sponsored by WCAAA &  AARP CT
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 12:00 - 2:30p.m.

Heritage Village, Sarah Cooke Hall
Activities Building, 11 Heritage Way, Southbury
Free parking adjacent to building.
RSVP Required: or 877-926-8300

The Hand Writing Is On The Wall

And it is not good. It looks like the Trump administration is on the verge of ignoring Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare. That section mandates health coverage for us.
Trump Health Officials Prepare to Promote Anti-Trans Discrimination
By Harper Jean Tobin
August 17, 2017

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the latest federal agency to make moves against the transgender community under the Trump administration.

Last month, the agency removed web pages that contained frequently asked questions about a law ensuring that trans people are covered by non-discrimination laws when seeking health care.

As if that wasn’t enough, HHS also announced preparations last week to rewrite a non-discrimination regulation so that it no longer recognizes transgender people. The regulation makes it clear that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — Obamacare — prohibits discrimination against transgender people by health care providers or insurance companies.

Like other federal agencies, HHS has demonstrated a desire to roll back policies that are aimed at improving health care for LGBTQ people.
Hey if you don’t like a law ignore it! That seems to be the philosophy of the Trump administration. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities. Notice that it doesn’t include gender identity or sexual orientation.
The Obama administration used a history of court cases to find that sex does cover gender identity but the Trump administration used bigotry to declare that sex means just sex.
Section 1557 is part of federal law, and the regulation interprets and enforces that law. The regulation was first published in 2016 after six years of development, and was accompanied by frequently asked questions that summarized parts of the regulation about unlawful insurance exclusions that target transgender people, harassment in health care settings, and the need to treat patients in a manner consistent with their gender identity — among many other issues.
And the Obama administration had in their FAQ that Section 1557 also included gender identity well the Trump Administration removed all of the references from the FAQ claiming a Bush appointed federal judge ruled that sex does not mean anything but sex.
A single federal judge in Texas — ignoring case law from around the country — temporarily stopped HHS from enforcing Section 1557 to protect trans people. Shortly thereafter, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) updated its FAQs to include a note about this judge’s decision, clarifying that it would still enforce non-discrimination protections based on race, color, national origin, age, or disability, but that it would only cover some sex discrimination cases.
Specifically, the note said:
Areas of sex discrimination that HHS OCR may continue to enforce include: harassment based on sex and allegations related to sex stereotyping that do not involve gender identity claims, as well as other forms of discrimination based on sex other than gender identity or termination of pregnancy. (Emphasis added.)
The FAQs further noted that, “More than 25 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that discrimination based on stereotypical ideas about gender is unlawful sex discrimination.”
So what does that mean for us?

It means we are screwed!

My guess that the Trump administration will attack the CMS* ruling that we are covered under Medicare.

*CMS = Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the governing body that controls Medicare.
From Wikipedia
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), is a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and health insurance portability standards. In addition to these programs, CMS has other responsibilities, including the administrative simplification standards from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), quality standards in long-term care facilities (more commonly referred to as nursing homes) through its survey and certification process, clinical laboratory quality standards under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, and oversight of

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

We Need This Here!

People will probably say we don’t need this here,
Illinois becomes second state to ban ‘panic defense’ as excuse for killing LGBT people
LGBTQ Nation
By Jeff Taylor
August 29, 2017

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law on Friday banning the gay panic and trans panic defense in murder cases, making Illinois the second state to do so, after California.

The law prevents people in the state from claiming the murder victim was gay or bisexual and made a sexual advance that caused them to react violently, or that the victim’s gender identity caused the same.

The American Bar Association has come out against the gay and trans panic defense, and urged local, state, and federal governments to pass legislation banning it.

Rauner also signed a bill into law making it easier for transgender and intersex individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificate.
“‘Gay panic’ and ‘trans panic’ defenses rely on anti-LGBT bias and reinforce it, perpetuating a vicious cycle of violence against our communities,” Clark added. “LGBT people, especially transgender women of color, are more likely to be victims of violent crime. We look to courts for justice, not to put victims on trial. We hope that other states will take Illinois’ example and do the same.”
Now is the time to pass this law here in Connecticut!

Not after someone gets off scot-free for murdering a trans person or a gay or a lesbian by claiming that the person that killed one of us panicked when they found out that were trans. We have to stop that defense before it happens.

But not only do we have to ban the panic defense for us but also for all the other protected classes, so that somebody can’t use the defense of “I freaked out when I found out that she was a Muslim!” or  “I freaked out when I found out that she was a black!”

No Its Not.

Headlines proclaim Mattis defies Trump’s military ban!
Mattis freezes transgender policy; allows troops to continue serving, pending study
USA Today
By Tom Vanden Brook,
August 29, 2017

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late Tuesday announced that transgender troops will be allowed to continue serving in the military pending the results of a study by experts.

The announcement follows an order from President Trump — first announced in a tweet — declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. The order also affects the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.

"Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction," Mattis said in the statement. "In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place."
It makes it sound like they are studying whether to allow trans servicemembers, well they are not.
Mattis hailed as ‘hero’ for ‘defying’ Trump on transgender policy. But did he?
Washington Post
By Fred Barbash and Derek Hawkins
August 30, 2017

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was trending on Twitter overnight, praised by the LGBT organization GLAAD and hailed by some as a “hero” for “openly defying” Trump by “disregarding” the president’s order. Some on Twitter confessed they never thought they would be cheering on generals or ex-generals for refusing to carry out the orders of the commander in chief.

But defying orders was not what Mattis was doing.

What Mattis did Tuesday with President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military was to freeze its  impact for the moment, at least on those currently serving.

But such a delay was pretty much authorized by Trump in his formal memorandum (as opposed to his tweet) delivered to Mattis and the Department of Homeland Security on Aug. 25. It said:

As part of the implementation plan, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving in the United States military. Until the Secretary has made that determination, no action may be taken against such individuals …

That sounds an awful lot like a freeze, or at least an invitation to one. Mattis gladly accepted it.
Mattis declared in his statement that a panel of experts would be set up to “provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president’s direction.” Once the panel delivers some recommendations, Mattis continued, he’ll go back to the president. That could give Mattis an opening to quash the ban entirely. But he did not do that Tuesday.

Mattis could justifiably state, as he did, that far from defying the president, he was only carrying out “the president’s policy direction” and acting “as directed.”
Read what The National Center for Lesbian Rights as reported by Towleroad said,
NCLR’s Shannon Minter responded to the angle of a USA Today story reporting on Mattis’s statement:

The USA Today story is grossly misleading. Secretary Mattis did not make a decision to “buy time” or to “freeze” the current policy. The President’s August 25, 2017 Memorandum expressly provides that the new ban does not go into effect until March 23, 2018 and expressly states that no one can be discharged for being transgender in the meantime. There is nothing new at all here, and suggesting otherwise is terribly misleading.

This inaccurate reporting is playing into a patently bogus strategy to make it appear that there is going to be some new “study” that will legitimate what is already a forgone conclusion: the discriminatory banning of military service by transgender people, based on a characteristic that has no bearing on their fitness to serve. The August 25 Memorandum is perfectly clear: President Trump has ordered the military to ban transgender people from serving. That ban will go into effect in about 7 months, on March 23. That appalling decision is not (and cannot possibly be, given its timing) based on any hastily assembled, post hoc “study” that is being cooked up now in a transparent effort to provide a retroactive fig leaf for the President’s bigotry. This order is an act of pure animus toward transgender people. The military spent two years carefully reviewing all of the relevant evidence on this issue and concluded that there is no reason to exclude transgender people from military service. The cost of inclusion is literally negligible, and there is no evidence that permitting open service will have any negative impact on military readiness. The notion that there is any good faith “study” being conducted is a blatant pretext for unmitigated, vicious, baseless discrimination.

More than ever, we need reporters to fact check these stories and not simply repeat false information that is being used to set up an attempted cover for one of the most shocking acts of official discrimination the transgender community has ever experienced.

There is no new “freeze.” This is just what the August 25 [Memorandum] ordered — along with a permanent ban on enlistment, effective now, and a new ban on open service, effective on March 23, 2018.
So all Defense Secretary Mattis is doing is looking at the best way to kick us out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Why Is It The So Called Family Organizations Have To Butt In?

A so called “Family Association” is against our marriage down Australia and they are raising a ruckus over it.
WTF Is Up With "Transgender Marriage" And The Same-Sex Marriage Debate?Here's the deal with "transgender marriage".
BuzzFeed News
By Lane Sainty
Posted on August 29, 2017

As Australia carries out its postal survey on same-sex marriage, the spectre of "transgender marriage" has been raised by some anti-LGBTI groups, as well as former Labor leader Mark Latham.

The Australian Family Association and the National Civic Council, which are very much opposed to same-sex marriage, have warned against allowing any two consenting adults to marry, claiming it will lead to changes in other laws.
The question you'll tick "yes" or "no" to in the postal survey later this year is: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?"

But a "yes" vote won't automatically change the law — the parliament still needs to pass a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. And it's the wording of this bill that will determine who can and can't marry in Australia, not the postal survey itself.
The law will simple state, “Marriage means the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life".

But once again that put the right wing in to a tizzy,
But some groups already in opposition to same-sex marriage have wielded the notion of "transgender marriage" as a tool in the debate.

A few days after the postal survey was announced earlier this month, the Australian Family Association sent out an email to supporters titled, "It's not same-sex marriage, it's transgender marriage".
So here is what got the bug under up their you know what,
It also claims that the "two people" change would mean transgender women can legally access "female school showers, change rooms and toilets, compete in women's sports and access female shelters". (These issues are dictated by anti-discrimination law or local laws and regulations, and are unrelated to any proposed change to the Marriage Act.)
But here is the kicker…
Many transgender, intersex and non-binary people in relationships can already marry, depending on their personal legal status when it comes to sex and gender.

For instance, Greens senator Janet Rice is legally married to her wife, Penny Whetton, who is transgender. Whetton's birth certificate still reads that she is male, and under current Victorian law, she and Rice would have to get divorced before it could be changed to read female.
So all these right wingers are doing is trying to stir up trouble to kill the postal survey.

The Right Wing Is In A Tizzy Again

Or an alternate tile… “So What Else Is New?” What got them all worked up is a proposed bill to stop harassment of trans residents in nursing homes.
'This Criminalizes Speech': Tucker Battles Dem on Bill to Jail People Who Misuse Transgender Pronouns
Fox News
Tucker Carlson Tonight
August 28, 2017

Tucker Carlson debated a Democratic strategist who supports a California bill that would suggest jail time for elder care workers who "willfully" misuse pronouns when referring to transgender residents.
"It doesn't sound very American," Carlson said. "You go to jail if you say something someone doesn't want you to say."

Biro [Democratic Strategist] said the bill is essentially a way to extend the Patient Protection Act to cover transgender individuals.

He said 28 percent of transgender elders in nursing homes suffered such harassment from their providers.

Carlson said Biro was ignoring the principle of free speech for political reasons.

"You can be put in prison for saying what you think is true," he said of the bill. "This bill criminalizes speech."

"If you use the wrong pronoun, you can be put in jail. That's grotesque."
Yeah but… there are exceptions to “free speech” such as yelling fire in a crowded space.

The American Bar Association has a webpage devoted to the First Amendment in schools which can apply to nursing homes.
To assess whether there is a violation of a harassment policy, three critical elements must all be present:
  • Targeting of a protected class (gender, race, religion, etc.);
  • Unwelcomeness of harassing behavior or verbal, written, and/or online conduct; and
  • Deprivation of educational access, opportunities, rights, and/or peaceful enjoyment therefrom.
Okay, the last bullet is key “Deprivation of educational access, opportunities, rights, and/or peaceful enjoyment therefrom.” In a nursing home you could argue that they are deprivation of the nursing home access, opportunities, rights, and/or peaceful enjoyment therefrom.

The ABA website goes on to say…
To summarize, merely offensive harassing speech is protected speech. Speech that rises to the level of discriminatory harassment is not protected speech. Examples of such speech are rare and unusual. Most school and campus speech is going to be merely offensive unless it is repetitive or widespread, which does, we should acknowledge, become more likely when disseminated online.
So if a nursing home resident merely says it once or twice, maybe a dozen times it is free speech but if they follow you around and keep calling you names it can cross the line to become hate speech and harassment and fall under the proposed law.

A follow up on yesterday’s post about the teacher reading “I Am Jazz” to the students, of course Fox News had to add their two cents.
Exclusive: Parents Speak Out After Children Upset By Transgender Kindergarten Lesson
Fox News Insider
August 28, 2017

Two parents of children who were taught a Kindergarten lesson on transgender people spoke out to Martha MacCallum after their kids told them about the curriculum.

The parents asked that their identities remain anonymous in fear of retribution by folks in the community who disagree with them.

The lesson was reportedly taught because a boy in the class was transitioning to become a girl.
You can read my thoughts in yesterday’s blog.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Internet A Double Edge Sword

All my life I hide in the closet and it was the internet that opened my eyes and unlocked to door. But at the same time it brought hate.
Police investigate online abuse against charity for transgender children
Mermaids UK says abusive and threatening messages on social media may stop young people from coming forward for support
The Guardian
By Sarah Marsh
Sunday 27 August 2017

Police in West Yorkshire are investigating after the UK’s largest charity supporting transgender children received a stream of abusive messages online.

Mermaids UK reported a sharp rise in abusive and threatening comments on social media, saying it had been forced to block 20 people a day on Twitter.

The charity, which supports transgender children and their families, said it had been falsely accused of “enticing” children by attending recent Pride UK events.

One tweet sent to the charity included a poster that described Mermaids UK as a “dangerous cult”, saying staff planned to “groom gay kids”.
Green said: “[It’s got worse] because of the massive changes in the US, for example Donald Trump’s recent ban on transgender people serving in the military ... we have also attended double the number of pride events ... so we are becoming more visible.”
Trump is spreading his hate and bigotry around the world; he is giving a green for the scum to crawl out from under the rocks where they were hiding.

And the internet has giving them the anonymity for them to spew their hate.

Oh Their Little Minds

“We have to protect the children!” How many times have we heard that to justify discrimination? The latest cry came from when a teacher read “I Am Jazz” the world shook and stopped spinning!
‘A girl brain but a boy body.’ Kindergarten parents outraged over transgender book read in class
Sacramento Bee
By Diana Lambert
August 25, 2017

A book about a transgender child read during story time in a kindergarten classroom in Rocklin has divided a school along ideological lines and sparked a flurry of vitriol on social media and conservative web sites.

The children’s book “I am Jazz” was brought to Rocklin Academy Gateway School on June 7 by a transgender student who wanted to share it with classmates during story time. “I am Jazz” is the story of a real-life transgender girl named Jazz Jennings.

“I have a girl brain but a boy body,” Jazz says in the book. “This is called transgender. I was born this way!”

Later that same day, the Rocklin teacher selected and read “Red: A Crayon’s story,” a book about a crayon struggling with an identity crisis, according to a letter from the public charter school, which is part of the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools. The books are geared to children ages 4 to 8.
OMG! Just think how horrible it is that the children learn that people are different and that we should embrace people’s differences instead of hiding them. What a radical idea.
Upset parents called the school and met with administrators. They protested at a June board meeting. Two families pulled their kids from the school. The issue has become so heated that the district hired a public relations firm to help handle the fallout.
One thing that we know if that bigotry is taught and is passed down in families, and these families have already passed on the lesson.

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught
Rodgers And Hammerstein
South Pacific

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Victory

We need victories now more than ever and we won in Pennsylvania court.
Judge Upholds Bathroom and Locker Room Policy for Transgender Students Amid Lawsuit
The judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction that would have banned transgender students Boyertown Area School District from using bathrooms and locker rooms in line with their expressed gender identity instead of their sex assigned at birth.
NBC 10
By NBC10 Staff
August 26, 2017

As a lawsuit continues to play out in court, transgender students in the Boyertown Area School District are still allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity after a ruling from a federal judge in Easton, Pennsylvania Friday.

Judge Edward G. Smith denied a request for a preliminary injunction that would have banned transgender students in the Boyertown Area School District from using bathrooms and locker rooms in line with their expressed gender identity instead of their sex assigned at birth.
"The existence of a transgender person living their life appropriately at school cannot constitute sexual harassment," Byard [Eliza Byard, executive director of Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network] said. "It might make another student uncomfortable and in that case, there is a common sense legal remedy of providing separate accommodations to the student who feels uncomfortable."
During the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s you heard the argument that having blacks in the bathroom with whites would terrorize the children. In the 70s and 80s it was the gays who were the target of the bathroomphobes and now it our turn to be targeted by the right-wing bigots.

Yesterday I was at the Pride festival in New London with five other friends at Ocean Beach Park, a private park on the tip of New London overlooking Fisher Sound. It was first time I attended it because of the high price of parking but since I was with other people it wasn’t like going along and spending an hour wandering around. Yesterday we set up two canopy tents on the beach and hung out in their shade al day, we arrived a little after noon and left a little bit before six.

Tales Of Courage And Not.

Where we are has a lot to do with how accepting our neighbors are towards us and other trans people.

When I transitioned I didn’t tell my neighbors, I figured they could figure it out easy enough and besides I almost never see any of my neighbors. The only times I see them is when walking to the mail box or driving out of the driveway and I include myself in that assessment.
By Nick Fouriezos
August 25, 2017

Swartz is transgender, having started her transition more than two decades ago, long before Caitlin Jenner entered the cultural lexicon — back when few even knew what “trans” meant. Since then, the 55-year-old has crisscrossed the sandy plains of the deep-red Cornhusker State, where less than a fifth of residents live in communities with explicit workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Sharing her story in schools, churches and community centers, Swartz has been asked to speak by the ACLU of Nebraska and the pro-LGBT group Caring Catholic Families, among others.

In a state of fewer than 2 million people, where residents joke there is just “one degree of separation” from one person to the next, the power of her lone voice is amplified. “Here is a person who has transitioned, and yet is still assimilated in our culture,” says Chaplain Royal, a gay pastor who operates a nondiscriminatory wedding service in Omaha. “Whenever we create opportunities for the Ashleys of the world to share their story, we create safer spaces for people to learn, ask questions and break down those barriers.” And as progressives and LGBT activists debate how to make gains nationwide, Swartz is showing the impact of choosing to stay within one’s own community. “If you want to make a difference, Nebraska is the front lines,” says Adam Morfeld, a Democratic state senator, the place “to be fighting the battles that need to be fought.”
And her transition hasn’t been easy on her family,
Of course, that doesn’t make the fight any easier. After transitioning, Swartz watched as children picked on her two kids, and her former church friends called in a gay-conversion therapist. Nor did it help that President Donald Trump tweeted in July that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military, although no such bans have been implemented yet. “Nobody has been complaining about [trans service members], so it’s kind of frustrating that it’s happened,” Swartz says.
Swartz’s activism in Malmo has mostly taken the form of her quiet, but powerful, presence. Sitting in the local firehouse, where she has served as a volunteer firefighter for almost three decades, her journey is displayed for all to see. A dusty squad photo from long ago shows an unsmiling “Kevin Swartz,” but farther along the wall there’s a newer photo of Ashley posing confidently with her fellow firefighters. Although one squad member said he would feel uncomfortable going into a fire with her, she says most have been supportive. Back when she was considering gender reassignment surgery, a banker responded that he didn’t know what she was talking about — and didn’t care. “It’s kind of old news here,” the banker, Stuart Krejci, told the Omaha World-Herald in 2015, adding: “You have to hand it to her. It did take a lot of courage 20 years ago.”
I remember reading a book when I was little that my mother bought me for a birthday present (…Ugh a book!) but I read and it made a lasting impact on me; the book was written by President Kennedy and was “Profiles in Courage” and I think we all can write our own “Profiles in Courage.”

Then we have the other side of the coin, with those trans people who support Trump, yes there are those who do other than Caitlyn. We might not understand why they support a person who wants to make us sub-human and criminalize us.
Who’s behind the mysterious rally in Berkeley this Sunday?
The transgender Trump supporter hosting the event says it will be peaceful
The Mercury News
By Patrick May
August 25, 2017

While the Bay Area braces for a whole slew of political rallies of various persuasions this weekend, plans for a reportedly white-supremacist protest in Berkeley on Sunday have gotten a bit complicated, featuring a President Trump supporter and transgender event host known to her colleagues as “Based Tranny.”
Amber Cummings, a transgender woman who lives in the Bay Area but has reportedly refused to reveal where exactly she lives, made a surprise appearance outside City Hall earlier in the week, responding to reporters questions about the “anti-Marxist” rally planned for Berkeley’s Civic Center Park by her and her colleagues.

Cummings, who is associated with groups that have held three other rallies in the same park and has appeared in photographs holding a sign that reads “TRANSWOMEN FOR TRUMP,” told reporters that her event is not about hate speech or white supremacy.
Still, Cummings once appeared in a photograph at a rally next to Norther California activist and white supremacist Nathan Damigo, founder of Identity Evropa and a player in recent violent clashes in Berkeley and the more recent incident in Charlottesville.
She then goes on to state,
Cummings goes on to say that “I do not invite or condone anyone showing up to this event with the intent of starting violence. I also want to add I do not stand with any racist groups like the KKK , Neo Nazis, or any form of racist groups. You are not welcome at this event and please stay away. I myself am a transsexual female who embraces diversity and loves diversity. This event is not a event of hate speech it is a event about concerns of Marxism in America.”
I have news for her; if she supports a racist, transphobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, and sexist president you are one also.

The way I see the trans people who support Trump is that they put their money before human rights.

I read a comment on Facebook asking where is the condemnation by the Log Cabin Republicans? There has not been peep out of them.

Friday, August 25, 2017

It’s Nice To See Them Do The Right Thing

You know I always get a kick when I see a news article boasting how a business makes a big deal about being trans positive when in reality they have to do it because it is the law.
Connecticut colleges work to accommodate transgender, non-binary students in safe learning environmentCollege and universities work to accommodate transgender, non-binary studentsThe New Haven Register
By Brian Zahn
August 20, 2017

In the 16 years that Campus Pride, a national nonprofit that advocates for college campuses to be safer for and more inclusive of LGBT students, has been operational, co-founder Shane Windmeyer said more than pride has improved on the nation’s campuses.

Colleges are also starting to recognize and address issues sensitive to students who identify as either transgender or outside of the gender binary, Windmeyer said.

“The language and general awareness has increased in the last decade,” Windmeyer said. “We’re seeing more transgender men and women in the media and spotlight, it is has an impact on young people today and their identities.”

Windmeyer said that in Connecticut, “as well as in other progressive states,” the discussions have moved beyond wrestling with the existence and humanity of transgender folks, on to conversations such as how to address people by their correct gender pronouns.
Well yeah… it is Connecticut law that they do that.
At New Haven’s Southern Connecticut State University, one of its most recent changes in the field of transgender issues is its “gender inclusive housing.” The on-campus housing, which gives students who don’t identify as the gender they were assigned at birth the ability to live in an arrangement with which they are more comfortable, actually dates back to 2012, but not under its current name.
The University of Connecticut offers a comprehensive gender transition guidelines, offering transitioning students the opportunity to “utilize a transition team.” This includes “Determining when the individual will begin using the sex-segregated facilities that match his/her gender identity; and facilitating the creation of gender neutral facilities where practicable;”
Yale University provides resources for transgender, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and gender-questioning students, faculty and staff, including programming resources, preferred name use, gender-inclusive housing and readily accessible online information, such as an “all gender restroom map”.
It is one thing to offer “gender inclusive housing” or an “all gender restroom map” but it can also be a problem if they require us to use them.

When I was a grad student at UConn a group of students came to me all proud with a petition for me to sign, but I didn’t sign it. The petition stated for the university to create gender neutral bathrooms for trans people to use and I wouldn’t sign it because it could be read as requiring us to use only gender neutral bathrooms. I told them to go back and rewrite it and change to just creating gender neutral bathrooms for anyone to use.

It is nice that colleges and universities are creating gender inclusive housing and bathrooms but they can’t ghettoize us, we should be given a choice. There might be some trans and gender neutral students who would like gender inclusive housing but others might not.

P.S. If you want to read the school guideline or the Connecticut Law (PA11-55) I have the links on the right hand side of my blog.

This afternoon I am out to lunch with some friends, it is the first time that we went to the restaurant in Coventry. It looks like a nice restaurant that is right on Coventry Lake.

The Customer Is Not Always Right

Especially when they are a bigot and transphobic as one employee found out.
Transgender employee’s firing from Philly coffee shop results in controversy
Philly Voice
By Marielle Mondon
August 24, 2017

Controversy surrounds Function Coffee Labs, a coffee shop in Bella Vista, after its co-owners Ross and Meghan Nickerson terminated a transgender employee who claims the former employee faced ongoing harassment from one of the shop's regular customers.

In a Facebook post from Aug. 15, one Facebook user commented a statement about the events on behalf of the ex-employee, who wished to remain anonymous.

"I am starting a new post, as asked, to share this statement from the employee," the post reads.
In the statement, the ex-employee identifies as a transgender, mixed race person, assigned female at birth and now uses gender-neutral pronouns. The post, in part, read as follows:
"I provide this statement as a neutral and fact-based account of the events that led to my being fired on the evening of August 10, 2017."
“I was fired in response to being harassed and physically threatened by a regular customer. The harassment had been taking place since April. In that time, myself, Ross and Meghan had engaged in two conversations about this individual, as well as the specific difficulties I face as a gender nonconforming person in the service industry.”
The shop owners reply…
The owners wrote that it was not until Aug. 6 that they learned the employee felt threatened and unsafe.

“As we were out of the country for our wedding, we replied on August 10th asking [the former employee] to file a report to the police and stating that we would ask the customer not to return,” they wrote.

“We regret that we did not respond earlier and as a result, our employee was not sufficiently reassured in this matter. Since then, this particular customer has not entered our store but if they do, we will immediately ask them to not return.”
So what is the status of the employee? Are they still fired? Are they welcomed back?

It is hard for a business when a customer harasses a store employee; we are ingrained with “The customer is always right” but that is not always true when the customer is harassing an employee but the employer has a legal duty to provide a safe working environment and one free from discrimination.

The key to this is swap another protected class like race instead gender identity/expression, if the customer was harassing a black employee what would the owner do in that situation? Hopefully, the right thing and throw out the customer.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Science Got Our Backs

There is more and more evidence that gender dysphoria has a biological component and might be an intersex condition.
The New Science of Sex and Gender
Why the new science of sex & gender matters for everyone
By The Editors
Scientific American
September 2017 Issue

Sex is supposed to be simple—at least at the molecular level. The biological explanations that appear in textbooks amount to X + X = and X + Y = . Venus or Mars, pink or blue. As science looks more closely, however, it becomes increasingly clear that a pair of chromosomes do not always suffice to distinguish girl/boy—either from the standpoint of sex (biological traits) or of gender (social identity).

In the cultural realm, this shift in perspective has already received a wide embrace. “Nonbinary” definitions of gender—transfeminine, genderqueer, hijra—have entered the vernacular. Less visible perhaps are the changes taking place in the biological sciences. The emerging picture that denotes “girlness” or “boyness” reveals the involvement of complex gene networks—and the entire process appears to extend far beyond a specific moment six weeks after gestation when the gonads begin to form.

To varying extents, many of us are biological hybrids on a male-female continuum. Researchers have found XY cells in a 94-year-old woman, and surgeons discovered a womb in a 70-year-old man, a father of four. New evidence suggests that the brain consists of a “mosaic” of cell types, some more yin, others further along the yang scale.

These findings have far-reaching implications beyond just updating the biology textbooks. They have particular bearing on issues of personal identity, health and the economic well-being of women. That is because arguments about innate biological differences between the sexes have persisted long past the time they should have been put to rest.

But I think this is something that we knew empirically, we knew that we didn’t choose to be trans, it chose us. We knew from an early age that we were trans, we may of not had the vocabulary but we knew deep down inside that we should have been a girl or a boy instead of what they assign us at birth.
And they go on to list the article in the magazine, and the one that attracted my attention was,
Is There a "Female" Brain?
The debate over whether men and women have meaningfully different brains could have profound implications for health and personal identity
By Lydia Denworth
But alas we are going to have to buy the issue to find out more.

There have been many research studies that I have written about and if you click on the tag “research” they will be listed.


The Trump administration has issued decrees banning us, with a stroke of a pen he has overturned all the federal protections that the Obama presidency initiated. Well folks it doesn’t work that way, we need hearings and legal reviews. You might remember the Williams study or the hearings that the Departments of Labor and Education held before they issued their policies. It took years for Medicare to come out with their policy on healthcare for us. Well you need to do it in reverse to undo it.

The lawsuits have begun…
LGBT rights group sues for documents on federal transgender bathroom guidance
The Hill
By Lydia Wheeler
August 23, 2017

An LGBT rights groups is suing to force the Trump administration to turn over documents related to its decision to withdraw guidance that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

In the complaint Lambda Legal filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, the group claimed the Education Department and the Department of Justice (DOJ) violated the Freedom of Information Act by withholding information the group requested more than five months ago. Lambda Legal requested documents about the agencies’ February decision to repeal guidance issued under former President Barack Obama to ensure schools follow Title IX anti-discrimination laws.

Among the documents requested was an unpublished opinion letter James Ferg-Cadima, acting deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, wrote in January 2015.
This is only the first step in the legal battle.

I don’t think that they will find that the administration has any legal grounds to stand on, that it is nothing but bias against us that lead to the repeal of Title VII and Title IX protections for us.

Then there are lawsuits moving forward to block Trump’s decree banning us from the military.
5 Transgender Service Members Sue Trump Over Military Ban
New York Times
By Charlie Savag
August 9, 2017

WASHINGTON — Five transgender people serving in the United States military sued President Trump and top Pentagon officials on Wednesday, asking that transgender troops be allowed to stay in the military.

The lawsuit was filed in response to Mr. Trump’s ban abruptly announced last month on Twitter.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit under pseudonyms — “Jane Doe” Nos. 1-5 — in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The case was organized by two rights groups, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD.
But Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said he believed the case was already ripe for a lawsuit because active transgender service members — such as those deciding whether to re-enlist — were already being harmed by the uncertainty created by Mr. Trump’s statements on Twitter.
And the legal reasons they are suing are because,
The lawsuit complaint argued that banning transgender people from serving in the military would be unconstitutional discrimination, violating their rights to equal protection and due process. It also argued that the Pentagon could not end people’s military careers for coming out openly as transgender because they did so in relying on the Pentagon itself saying they would be permitted to serve.
In a press release National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders said that,
Plaintiffs serve in the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Army. Their years of service range from three years to two decades, and include tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  As a result of the President’s statements, they face dramatic uncertainty about their futures including the potential loss of their professions, livelihoods, and post-military and retirement benefits.

The complaint, which can be viewed here, rests on claims of equal protection, due process and estoppel, based on the inequity of the reversal of military policy after thousands of service members followed protocol and informed their chain of command that they are transgender.
So let’s hope that the court cases proceed and hold off the edict by Trump at least until 2020.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Major Step In Trans Health Care

This could bring about my doctors and therapist going into trans related healthcare,
First US Transgender Surgery, Psychiatry Fellowships
By Deborah Brauser
August 11, 2017

In response to the growing need for treatment for transgender individuals, the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City has launched two medical fellowships – the first of their kind in the United States.

The fellowships, one in transgender surgery and the other in transgender psychiatry, have been given to Bella Avanessian, MD, who completed a plastic surgery residency, and to Matthew Dominguez, MD, who completed a general adult psychiatry residency.
"These fellowships will train the next generation of surgeons and psychiatrists to improve healthcare disparities in the transgender community," he added in a press release.
Dr Ting noted that the fellowships were created upon realization that there were none with this type of transgender focus in the United States – a statistic that wasn't surprising to him.

"Before I started doing these operations, I had very little knowledge of transgender people and how to care for them. That wasn't something that was taught in traditional medical education," he said.

"Thankfully, now things are changing, as transgender health is becoming a part of medical school curriculum and residency training."
This can have the potential to create more doctors who are trans savvy.

I know that UConn School of Medicine has training for their medical students on trans health care, they have a LGBT panel for their students that I have been on for the last ten years or so.

Also the fellowships are not the only initiative for trans healthcare, there is also a call for grant proposals by the NIH for the development of an evidence-based for transgender affirming medical school curriculum.

A Sad Story

You are invited to a pool party by someone who you think is a friend only to turn on you in the worst possible way.
Police investigating after horrific assault on transgender teen by over a dozen people
LGBTQ Nation
By Jeff Taylor
August 21, 2017

Phoenix police are investigating the assault on a transgender teenager by up to 20 people.

The horrifying incident was filmed by one of the attackers and posted to social media. In the video, Dakota Kern, 18, can be seen at a pool party she says she was lured to, where a group of people began attacking her. She is seen lying on the ground, as people punch and kick her.

Kern told the local CBS news affiliate that after people began yelling anti-gay slurs at her, she and her friend tried to leave. At that point, a man yelled “get it, get it,” prompting the attack, she reports
I cannot imagine the horror that she went though.

But the story didn’t begin then but four days earlier according to RAW Story
Trans woman attacked at Phoenix pool party — days after sharing video of herself beating a black girl
By Eric W. Dolan
22 AUG 2017

A transgender teen who was attacked by a group of people at a pool last week had uploaded a video of herself pummeling a black girl just days before.

A group of up to 20 people attacked the 18-year-old transgender woman, Dakota Kern, at a pool party in Phoenix on August 16 — and the brutal beating was shared on social media by the perpetrators.

On August 12, just four days earlier, Kern had shared a video of herself pulling a black teen by the hair and pummeling her in the head. The Facebook video shows Kern calling the black girl a “b*tch” as she drags her across pavement. Kern also says in the video not to call her a “dude.”
It appears that girl had been taunting Dakota and the first attack might have been the result of the harassment.

Arizona hate crime law doesn’t include gender identity or expression but it does include sexual orientation which might be used for the hate crime charges since they shouted anti-gay slurs. Hopefully they throw the book at them in this climate of hate.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

It’s Bad Enough Dealing With Insurance Without Having Gender Dysphoria

But when you throw in gender dysphoria in to the mix it can become a nightmare where even routine treatment is denied.
Some Health Insurance Companies Still Deny Care To Transgender People
By Kasandra Brabaw
August 21, 2017

Last month, an investigation by the California Department of Managed Health Care found that Health Net, a health insurance company in the state, discriminated against seven transgender people between 2013 and 2015. The patients were denied coverage for gender-affirming surgeries such as testosterone injections, bilateral mastectomy, facial feminization surgery, and gender reassignment surgery, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle, because the company claimed the treatments were cosmetic.

Health Net was ordered to pay $200,000 for violating state anti-discrimination laws, and to update their policies to comply with state law by September 30, according to a letter of agreement. It's a huge win for transgender rights to healthcare in California, but also highlights out how difficult it is for transgender people to access gender-affirming treatments.
Yet, even in a state that has had a law explicitly banning discrimination from health insurers since 2012, transgender people still faced discrimination and restrictions to coverage
That can mean that transgender people aren't able to afford hormone replacement therapy that, for example, would deepen a transgender man's voice and facilitate body hair growth. Trans people have also been denied coverage for top surgeries that would augment breasts for a transgender woman or remove them for a transgender man, and other treatments to aid in transition on the misguided idea that these treatments are not medically necessary.

Even health screenings that are considered medically necessary for everyone else, like prostate exams for transgender women and pap smears for transgender men, are more difficult to access once a person has legally changed their gender identity.
The best advice that I can give is DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!

You are going to have to fight for the coverage that you are entitled to by law! But it is no different than any other insurance claim that was denied by the insurance company, they are just like Mikey who hates everything in the Life cereal commercial, they say no to everything.

Many of us are not used to standing up to big corporations and are easily intimidated, including me, but when it comes to insurance we have to fight them because they are counting on you not to contest them. So don’t be afraid to go to the insurance commissioner or to your state agency that enforces the state non-discrimination laws. Those of you who are covered by Medicare will have to appeal to CMS.

This morning I answered an inquiry from a trans person about insurance coverage for electrolysis on the CTAC email…
Was it in CT, other states as well? Yes, one was in the Torrington area
What was the sex of the person, as insured? She was female on her insurance which I think was important because I heard of others who were denied who were listed a male on their insurance
What were the diagnostic codes, or how was it ‘prescribed’? 2017 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code L68.0 Hirsutism -- I think that the doctor writing the prescription can't say anything about gender dysphoria
Was it covered by any specific insurance? I don't know but I think she had either Husky or ACA
What region of hair removal was covered (face/neck, whole body, genital, etc)? Unknown
What method of hair removal was insured (laser, electrolysis) ? Unknown, but I know it was a doctor or electrologist who could bill the insurance company
What was the coverage amount? (100%, less?) ? Unknown

This afternoon I am doing training at a homeless shelter that has a trans resident and the shelter wanted information and training on how they should treat trans residents.

And I just got a frantic phone call from the agency that this afternoon's training just went from a group discussion of about a dozen people to 65-70 and a full blown PowerPoint discussion. Yikes!

I’m Back!

I’m back from Maine, I went up with two friends to Wells and we did a lot of walking, eat a lot of seafood including my favorite lobster. We also laid out on Wells beach and I went in the water but it was very cold, make that very, very cold. I imagine the Canadians thought the water was warm, speaking of Canadians,   I was trying to fold up a backpack chair when we were leaving Wells beach and we couldn't figure out how to do it. A nice Canadian guy came down and showed us how to do; he had nice sexy French accent, short red hair and beard.

Okay, back to my news posts; today it is about a new episode of “What Would You Do?”
These People Faced A Big Decision About Transphobia On Hidden Camera Show
A recent episode of “What Would You Do?” challenged shoppers to take action or remain bystanders.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By James Michael Nichols
August 21, 2017

A recent episode of ABC’s hit “What Would You Do?” presented a clear challenge to a group of shoppers: intervene in a blatantly transphobic interaction or allow a transgender woman to be misgendered and humiliated.

“What Would You Do?” is a hidden camera TV show that places unsuspecting strangers in a situation that forced them to make a judgement call about how they will respond to what they’re witnessing. In this episode, a transgender woman is shopping for dresses when a sales associate begins making transphobic remarks, including calling her “sir” and asking if the dress is for a “costume.”
I have to wonder if all the people who came in to the store reacted the same way or did they just not show them. Either way is okay with me.  It would be great if everyone had a positive response but if not they showed how you should  behave.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

On Vacation…

I am up in Wells Maine this weekend with two friends who have never been up here. I was up here at me brother’s and sister-in-law’s condo on Thursday and meetup with my friends on Friday afternoon and we are staying until Monday morning.

Friday was a rainy day and we went to Ogunquit for supper at Barnacle Billy's in the Perkin’s Cove section of Ogunquit, let’s just say it wasn’t what we expected. The food was good but we later found out that there are two Barnacle Billy's, and the one that served what we wanted, a sit down meal was the other restaurant. The one we went to you had to go up an order you food from basically a “take-out” window and then went into the dining area until they called your number. I had BBQ chicken which was good and a tropical rum fruit punch.

We then walked around Perkin’s Cove in the light rain and then we walked around the center of Ogunquit and had some ice cream at one of the stores.

Saturday, we walked around the Rachel Carson Wildlife Sanctuary, we then drove by the Bush Compound and stopped at Cape Porpoise. We then went to see Wood Island lighthouse which is a quarter mile walk from the road, while there the sun came out and the temperature and humidity rose.

For dinner we went to Billy’s Chowder House where I had a Pomegranate Martini and Baked Stuff Haddock with Newburg Sauce… both were excellent!

Today we are supposed to walk the Marginal Way and then go out to one of the beaches.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Sick Sense Of Humor

To joke about an oppressed community is not funny.
Anti-transgender sign defended as ‘satire’
By Frank Chung
August 18, 2017

A BUSINESS owner who sparked outrage with a sign referencing transgender people has defended the move as “satire”, saying people are too easily offended these days.

Richard Tisch, owner of Will County Loan Company, a pawnbroker in the US town of Lockport, Illinois, about 50km southwest of Chicago, caused a stir this week with a sign reading, “Help wanted — must be female from birth.”

It was seen as a clear show of support for US President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender servicepeople in the military last month, a reversal of a decision made by former President Barack Obama in 2016 to allow transgender people to serve openly for the first time.
Well if it was satire then why did he also have at one time signs that read,
Mr Tisch, a 71-year-old retired Vietnam veteran, has previously caused a stir with provocative signs, including “Become a liberal, remove half your brain” and “Hillary’s health plan — free condoms for Wild Bill”. He also has a sign inside the store warning of a “two per cent surcharge for Democrats”.

“Does anybody think that’s serious?” he told local news station WGN9. “The sign is, no question, satire. People are just too serious. Everybody’s becoming offended in this country today. I mean, the place has gone crazy.”
Yes, I think you are serious only this time you got called out for it and now you laugh and say “I was only joking.”

Are There Transphoblic Gays And Lesbians?

I have to say yes, but…

But there are also homophobic trans people.

However, I have found that there are not many transphobic gays and lesbians that I have met. I have found many more gays and lesbians .

I bring this up because of a Facebook post.

Where the person described and meeting she had and the pushback that she received from lesbians and gays at the meeting.
I've been feeling troubled lately by what feels like transmisogyny from certain gay and lesbian friends. Is that true? Is it me? How is this possible?
Well one reason is that it conflicts with their goals and another reason is that they are transmisogyny.

In my limited time in being out (some 18 years) I have encountered some transmisogyny.

One time when I was in grad school for my MSW senator Lieberman came to the LGBT center on campus to talk about ENDA, and DADT. Well the talk started to center around DADT and I brought up us being excluded from serving in the military. Well about a dozen gays complained that I was sidetracking the discussion, but the senator answered my question.

Another time it was at a bar in of all places LGBT friendly Ogunquit ME, they were having a women’s ”T” dance (“T” as in tea dance because it is held at 4 PM, tea time). They didn’t want to let us in and after staring at each other for what seemed like 5 minutes (which probably was only about 30 seconds) she backed down and this is in a state with the same gender non-discrimination law as Connecticut (the draft version of the law was written by the same person).

I was invited once to a focus group by the representative, now senator Murphy to talk about LGBT issues (I believe that I was their token trans person) and they were all interested in the plight of the trans community. I had positives comments

So this brings me to an article in Bilerico Project written back in 2009 by Dr. Jillian T. Weiss,
Transphobia In the Gay Community

Q: What are the sources of transphobia? Is it best combatted by telling it to go away?
A: Its source is not mere prejudice, but old and complex power relations that must be changed, a task that is neither quick nor easy, and is not accomplished by adding a letter to an organization's name. It is based in heterosexism and heteronormativity masked as "radical" critique. Gold [Ronald Gold, posted a transphobic diatribe on The Bilerico Project.], and the many others of his ilk, are sheep in wolf's clothing. This needs to be called out and addressed by the gay community. It should not be up to the transgender community to battle alone, thus furthering the divide.

I see many such opinions like Gold's, often in the averted eyes and cold demeanors of gays and lesbians I meet. Just a week ago, I was invited to join a meeting of gender and sexuality scholars. When I told them of my research on a possible constitutional right to have a legal transgender identity, some of them derided the idea. What if I said I was 6'2", one asked. Another suggested that it would be better to avoid the idea of rights, and just hope for policy makers to do the right thing. No one seemed to think these opinions problematic in any way, although I was left squirming in my chair. No one said a word to me at the end of the session. I thought about it all the rest of that day, and into the next, when I wrote one of my detractors, hoping to politely clue him into an understanding that this was not on. He said we'd have to agree to disagree. It was as welcoming as an iceberg.

I know there has been much progress and the LGBT community has come a long way. But we are not yet at the promised land where we judge each other by the content of our characters, rather than the color of our skin or, I might add, the stripe of our sexuality or gender.
Too Queer, And Not Queer Enough
Transsexuals violated the tacit social understandings of the homosexual community in the U.S. both by failing to pass and passing too much. Transsexuals, and later transgenders, were disparaged because some were "passing" as straight through embrasure of stereotypes of gendered behavior, i.e., effeminacy for MTFs and hyper-masculinity for FTMs, and embrasure of heterosexual practices and privilege by identifying their same-sex practices as heterosexuality, thus rejecting homosexual identity. They were also looked down upon because they violated cultural norms of sexual behavior through gender ambiguity, visible androgyny and genderqueerness, thus violating the accommodationist idea that they are "just like you." The resulting split has incorrectly been attributed to fear -- "transphobia," rather than social and political forces.

Gold might argue that he is not one of the accommodationists, because he is fighting for the right to act in ways that violate gender norms. He ignores the context of the times, however. In the 1960s, such an argument was radical and liberating. The argument is no longer a radical one. It is now a regressive argument. By arguing that those born male must retain identification with maleness, even if not with masculinity, his critique lags well behind the radical curve, and begins to merge with the opinions of conservative traditionalists. At one time the use of bronze tools was the latest in technology. To advocate their use today would be silly.
I move around in LGBT community a lot, I attend many events for the LGBT community and I have never had any problems. I am a member of a senior LGBT and lesbian social groups, I have been to many a house party at the homes of lesbians, the Connecticut chapter of a national gay philanthropic organization raised money for CTAC (CT TransAdvocacy Coalition) and I went to all of their events without any problems.

I think the animosity between us stems back to when the lesbians and gays political organizations were trying to show… “See we are just like straight people” and they didn’t want anyone who wasn’t gender conforming.

I am up in Maine for the weekend so my posts are going to be limited... instead of writing I willbe out having with family and friends

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Are You Dysphoric?

I have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria but that doesn’t mean that I am dysphoric. An article from 2015 makes my point.
Not All Transgender People Have Dysphoria – And Here Are 6 Reasons Why That Matters
Everyday Feminist
By Sam Dylan Finch
August 13, 2015

I remember talking with a friend of mine who is transgender with the assumption that we both experienced dysphoria, which is the distress or discomfort that occurs when the gender someone is assigned does not align with their actual gender.

As I was talking, I could see their eyes start to stare off in another direction.

“Are you alright?” I asked, puzzled by their sudden disinterest in our conversation.

On an ordinary day, Kai and I could talk gender for hours. The only person who seemed more passionate about trans identity than me was definitely Kai.

But suddenly, in conversation that should’ve excited them, they seemed to be someplace else entirely.

“Well, I don’t…” Kai paused. “Don’t judge me or anything, but like, I don’t experience dysphoria.”
But in my years as an advocate, I continue to meet more trans folks like Kai who don’t experience dysphoria, and further, who are afraid to open up about it.

I’ve been lucky enough to learn from them, and I understand now why my gut reaction – to exclude them – was such a problematic one.

So why shouldn’t we define transgender people on the basis of dysphoria?
For me once I transitioned my gender dysphoria went away, once I transitioned and living my life in my true gender the stress went away.

That doesn’t mean that I am stress free, the bigots does make life easy. Their hatred does cause pain, it is hard to realize that someone hates you but that is not gender dysphoria.

What are your thoughts?

Where You Live

Where you live has a lot to do with you rights, some state have a strong human rights record but in other states they are doing everything can to make our lives hell on earth for us. One trans woman wrote this about living in a red state.
Living transgender in a red state
Red Dirt Report
By Chelsea Copeland
August 16, 2017

Natalie is in a difficult situation living in Oklahoma and being transgender.

“Living in this state has caused me to pause my transition completely out of concern for my wellbeing. If a person doesn't "pass" (meaning they come off as one sex or the other and not someone in between), the least that can happen are stares and whispers everywhere they go. Last month a trans woman was attacked on the street I live on, and I had always felt rather safe from violence in a city more liberal like Tulsa. Only my friends know that I am out; I wouldn't dare apply or reveal myself on a job for concern of backlash. I'll probably wait to get on estrogen until I move. The mood in the state has definitely shifted since the end of 2016. People are more vocal in their hate.”

Despite her travels from Ohio and Oklahoma, Natalie may not be settled just yet. She’s having trouble finding specialized healthcare for transgender people. “I'm hoping and working toward Colorado with a fallback plan of the west coast. The only available option here for a trans person with limited resources who can't get a therapist to sign off on hormones would be Planned Parenthood. I'd have access to healthcare in both options.”
“I've gotten hate messages on Facebook for speaking out against prejudice. I don't go into women's restrooms as I don't "pass", and if you don't pass in this state there's a heavy stigma that you're probably trying to creep on children in a bathroom

“I've yet to be physically assaulted. I don't go out presenting as female due to concerns for my safety Only in controlled environments, with friends and such usually their homes, or at the Transgender support group nearby.”
Some people don’t have a choice where they live, it takes money to move that they don’t have or need just to survive.

I am going away to Ogunquit this weekend with some friends so my blogging might be sporadic.

Marginal Way

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Have Always Said…

That we need to give trans actors a chance to prove themselves, that only by having trans actors play trans parts and cisgender parts can we bring about change.
Research finds fictional shows can change minds.
Pacific Standard
By Tom Jacobs
August 15, 2017

Given our current anxiety over resurgent racism, it's reassuring to remember that there is a ubiquitous presence in American life that actually teaches tolerance. It's called television.

The increasing presence of racial and ethnic minority characters on comedies and dramas has been linked to a gradual decline in racial prejudice. Newly published research suggests this welcome dynamic also applies to the transgender community.

It reports viewers of a popular cable drama who caught an episode featuring a transgender teenager had more positive attitudes toward transgender people than those who missed it.

"Mainstream entertainment narratives have the potential to cut across the echo chambers we construct around ourselves," writes a University of Southern California research team led by Traci Gillig. "By inspiring viewers to identify with members of marginalized groups, and eliciting positive emotions such as hope, such narratives are truly more than just entertainment."
The Abstract of the report that they cited says,
Numerous studies have demonstrated the power of entertainment narratives to influence attitudes and behaviors; fewer have examined the effects of TV portrayals on attitudes toward marginalized groups. The present study is among the first to explore how entertainment narratives depicting transgender individuals influence viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people and related policies. The study examines the impact of exposure to a TV storyline on Royal Pains (USA Network) and cumulative effects of viewing other TV series featuring transgender individuals. An online survey of 488 U.S. viewers of Royal Pains was conducted (391 had seen the relevant episode). ANCOVAs revealed exposure to both the Royal Pains’ storyline and other storylines portraying transgender individuals were associated with more supportive attitudes toward transgender people and policies. Mediation models revealed that for viewers of the Royal Pains’ storyline, the relationships between political ideology and attitudes toward transgender people and policies were mediated by identification with the main characters and the emotion of hope. Disgust mediated viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people, but not policies. Post hoc analyses revealed that exposure to transgender narratives reduced the influence of viewers’ political ideology on their attitudes. The attitudes of more conservative viewers became increasingly positive as they saw more media portrayals of transgender individuals. These findings highlight the potential for entertainment narratives to influence attitudes toward marginalized groups, and they demonstrate the importance of emotion in the context of divisive topics. Social, political, and public health implications are discussed.
The article goes on to point out that,
Intriguingly, "neither exposure to news stories about transgender issues, nor the highly visible Caitlyn Jenner story, were associated with (more tolerant) attitudes towards transgender people or policy issues." Jenner's story may have been interesting, but it didn't soften hearts; the plight of a fictional character did.
The actress that was in Royal Pains was Nicole Maines and she was our keynote speaker at the Trans Health and Law Conference this year.

One Of Our Worst Fears

Is being incarcerated and put into a men’s prison, we worry about being raped by other inmates but there are worst things that can happen in prisons.
California prison psychologist alleges guards locked her in with a convicted rapist
The Sacramento Bee
By Adam Ashton
August 15, 2017

 A California prison psychologist has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging she was threatened and demoted after she reported mistreatment of gay and transgender inmates at a correctional facility in Vacaville.

On two occasions, psychologist Lori Jespersen alleges, a correctional officer locked her in a confinement area with dangerous criminals after she filed complaints on behalf of transgender inmates at the California Medical Facility.
The lawsuit describes a number of incidents in which Jespersen believed prison employees were complicit in the abuse of gay and transgender inmates. It says she attempted to report the incidents to prison officials and to outside state departments but believed her complaints did not receive appropriate attention.

Her allegations include:
  • A correctional officer failed to lock a shower door in March 2016, which enabled a prisoner to rape a gay inmate.
  • An officer in June 2016 prevented transgender inmates from attending a therapy group and insulted them. The correctional officer reportedly told the transgender women, “You’re no woman ... your breasts can’t give milk and you will never have a man” and “I don’t agree with your lifestyle and I never will, and this is a men’s prison, you are not ‘she.’ ”
  • Correctional officers have compelled transgender inmates to strip in the open and denied them privacy screens. Correctional officers also have used derogatory language around transgender inmates.
  • Three prison employees in July 2014 “outted” a transgender inmate by disclosing personal information about her on Facebook. The prison employees referred to the inmate as “he/she” and “that thing,” the lawsuit says.
It is bad enough to fear the other inmates but now you have to fear the transphobic correction officers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ding Dong, The Wicked Bill Is Dead… At Least For Now

It looks like the anti-trans bill is dead down in Texas, will it be resurrected again by the governor is the question.
Bills are all but dead, but transgender bathroom fight lives on
The Statesman
By Chuck Lindell
August 14, 2017
Bills to limit transgender-friendly bathrooms are on the brink of death, if not dead already, but that didn’t stop opposing sides from traveling to the Capitol on Monday to take a final stab at the special legislative session’s most contentious issue.

Opponents of the bills began the day by delivering petitions to Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican leaders that represent 50,124 Texans who have shown opposition to legislation that would require Texans to use restrooms and changing rooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate or other government document.

“We’re here to say Texans across the state won’t rest until the final gavel — and beyond that, we won’t rest until our leaders recognize that discrimination is reprehensible,” said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network.
You can’t let up, if you do they will sneak in the bill again or an amendment to a bill that has to be passed.
“We’re going to fight to the end for amendment potential. I know the Senate’s doing the same thing,” he said. “This issue’s not going to go away just because we don’t handle it in the special session. This is going to continue to be an issue for the people of Texas. If we don’t deal with it now, we’re going to have to do it later.
It is simple amazing that the Republicans are so gung ho to pass this law when there is such strong opposition to this bill by the people, religious organizations, businesses, and businesses just to support their conservative bigoted base.

I don’t think that it takes much political insight to know we are going to see this type of bill again.

You’re In The Army Now… Maybe

With Trumps edict the role of trans people are in limbo, no one knows what is going to happen to trans servicemembers who are serving in the military or are planning on serving.
Pentagon may propose changes to Trump transgender ban
The Hill
By Ellen Mitchell
August 14, 2017

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday hinted that the Pentagon may propose its own changes to President Trump’s plan to ban all transgender individuals from the military.

Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that he has “no doubt” that the White House would soon send official guidance on the issue, but added that the Pentagon would study the policy once it’s handed down and may incorporate its own changes.

“I’m going to wait until I get the direction from the White House and then we will study it and come up with what the policy should be,” Mattis said.
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said last week that “any patriot” should be allowed to serve.
And earlier this month, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft asserted he “will not break faith” with transgender individuals serving in his service.
Is there going to be wiggle room for the military to do an end run around the policy and still obey any lawful order from Trump?

Then we have this guy…
Column No right to serve: An opinion on Trump's transgender ban for the military
San Diego Union-Tribune
By Ed Hiner
August 14, 2017

Immediately when you join the military, you learn that you fight for a democracy — but you don’t work for one.

You also learn that you change to meet the needs of the military. It doesn’t change to meet your needs.

I say this in the controversy surrounding the recent social engineering issues: The opening of combat jobs to women and President Donald Trump’s announcement last month that he will reverse the Obama-era acceptance of transgender troops.

The military serves one purpose, and that is to win our wars as efficiently as possible.
Stop right there! Eighteen countries around the world allow trans troops and trans people have fought alongside our troops in the middle east, so don’t tell me that having trans troops effects the fighting status of our military.
For good reason the military is governed by a strict Uniform Code of Military Justice that in effect strips away many of the constitutional rights that civilians enjoy.

The UCMJ has its roots all the way back in the Second Continental Congress of 1775. It may be antiquated in some people’s eyes — but it works!
But you know what? The military still has to obey the U.S. Constitution. There is something called the Fourteen Amendment that guarantee equal treatment to everyone,

Then get this… he compares us to overweight and unfit servicemembers!
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance has been around for nearly 50 years, but I don’t hear them complaining about fat people not being able to serve.

I mean, if they can pass the fitness standards why are they being blatantly discriminated against?
And then he says this!
But here’s one potentially crucial difference that could stop us from comparing the transgender minority to a racial minority: One large study of transgender people found that more than 40 percent had attempted suicide, according to research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
He quotes figures that he knows nothing about. If he did any research he would know that those figures drop back to almost the levels general population if they have family and friends support. That the high suicide rates is caused by discrimination, harassment, and bigots.

His bio says,
San Diego resident Ed Hiner retired in 2012 as a Navy SEAL lieutenant commander.
He should know that he has served alongside trans servicemembers of the coalition in the middle east and that there was a trans SEAL, Kristin Beck.

Eighteen countries have trans servicemembers: Canada, The United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Bolivia, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Netherlands, Spain, and Germany. Many of them are NATO and SEATO nations.

Major Alexandra Larsson of the Swedish Armed Forces, second from left, speaks alongside fellow transgender service members—Corporal Natalie Murray, right, of the Canadian Armed Forces; Major Donna Harding, second from right, of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps; and Sergeant Lucy Jordan, center, of the New Zealand Air Force—during a conference in Washington on October 20, 2014.