Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday 9: Little Woman

Saturday 9: Little Woman (1969)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I’ve been away for the last couple of weekends… but I’m back now for awhile.

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

1) This song contains many weather references (clouds, rainbows, sunshine, rain). How's the sky where you are today?
Showers for today, I’m going to be at a clambake this afternoon and I’m hoping that the rain ends by then.

2) Bobby Sherman sings that when he's alone, he imagines his "Little Woman" is right there beside him. Do you often daydream?
Oh yes, very often. Especially when I am read, imagine being the heroine.

3) Bobby had a very bright smile. Do you ever use whiteners on your teeth?

4) He was beloved for his shiny hair. If we were to peek in your bathroom, how many haircare products would we find?
It depends, none if you don’t include wigs because I’m as bald as a cue ball.

5) After high school, Bobby attended Pierce, a community college in the west San Fernando Valley. For culinary students, Pierce offers courses in canning -- specifically apples and peaches. If we were to peek into your pantry, would we find canned fruits?
This depend also if you mean canned by me. I buy canned fruits at the local orchard.

6) As an actor, one of Bobby's earliest performances was on the TV show Honey West. That series revolved around a female "private eye" adept at martial arts. Do you have any self-defense moves (that don't involve a weapon)?
Yes, run as fast as my two feet can carry me.

7) In 1966, Bobby did this rather energetic commercial for milk. Do you often enjoy a glass of milk?
Yes especially before I go to bed, I have a small glass of chocolate milk.

8) When his show business career waned, he became a paramedic. Have you ever called 911?
Yes three times. Once when I thought I was having a heart attack, once when I thought a friend suicidal and once when my father was trying to open a bottle of Tabasco sauce and got some in his eye.

9) Random Question: Which book do you think you could learn more from -- The Joy of Sex or The Joy of Cooking?
In my life right now it would be the Joy of Cooking.

Friday, September 29, 2017

So You Want To Be An Activist.

I get asked a lot about trans people who want to be an activist, my answer is simple… go out the door or pick up the phone. It is as simple as that.

By being out there and being seen in the world as trans is a form of activism* by showing you are not afraid, by showing that we are trans and we are proud changes cis-people. I have known many people who have come up to me and told that they never meet anyone trans. I was on a panel Wednesday for the showing of the movie Gen Silent at a retirement village that was sponsored by the AARP and afterwards I had a number of people tell me that I was the first trans person that they met (one of the other things that they said I will talk later in this post.)

As I said it doesn’t take much to an activist, just going out in public or calling your legislators on a bill or an issue you felt strongly about. It doesn’t have to a bill or issue that is trans related, it can be on anything. In town I went to a Park and Rec committee meeting to protest a park that they wanted to convert to soccer and lacrosse fields. It was the only park in town with wooded paved trails that were handicap accessible and I got up at the meeting and spoke about why it was a bad idea… we would file an ADA complaint.

Now if you want to get involved that is different aspect of being involved, it takes work.

How many of you are a member of a political party? How many of you have talked to a legislator? How many of you have donated to a candidate? Have you ever been to a rally for any other causes besides a trans rally? Have you ever went to a LGBT center? If you have, have you talked to any of the staff there? Have you read the executive summary of the 2015 Transgender Survey?

I had a trans person keep asking me what can I do to help and one time I told her that the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities was having a free seminar on trans student’s rights in Connecticut. She said, “oh that doesn’t sound very interesting.” Beep… one strike against her. From that seminar I learned about Guidance on Civil Rights Protections and Supports for Transgender Students that I wrote about on my blog here. I also networked at the event I met the Commissioner for the agency and said hi to others who were there. Do you subscribe to any government agencies newsletter? Well you just might learn about upcoming events about trans issues.

When I was at that event yesterday a number of people and a co-panelist came up to me said I was very knowledgeable on trans issues… well the internet can only teach you so much the rest you have to learn by meeting people. Do you go to support groups?  “…Oh support groups are not my thing.” Well it is also a place where you can hear the problems and concerns of our community, go there to listen.

When I see my state representative or email him I usually say that ”it’s that trouble maker Diana again.” He laughs and says that I’m not a trouble maker, well a couple of weeks ago I was in the grocery store and who was walking down the isles? It was my state representative and he stopped and said “Hi,” he remembered me and my name.

So if you want to be an activist it’s easy, but if you want to get involved it takes work and learning about the issues, the community, and government agencies. Also you have to willing to have your name all over Google; if you google my name you get about 5 million hits and I pity the woman who has the same name as me.

Also I have a webpage that I write about; writing your testimony for a public hearing, testifying at a public hearing, and talking to your legislators.

*This is for those who want to be an activist, I realize that not everyone wants that or that they can be out.

Don’t Use A Broad Brush

I know it is hard not to but not everyone feel the way the “stars” of the show. I know a lot of drag queens and they do not feel the same way as some of the stars of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and I know a few drag performers who have transitioned.
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Willam Belli shocks fans with transphobic comments
Pink News UK
By Steph Kyriacou 
28th September 2017

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Willam Belli stunned fans in  an online show with comments about trans people.

The drag artist, who appeared on the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, was called out by fans over comments made on her live TV show ‘Suck Less’.

During one segment on the Fullscreen show, Willam and fellow drag queen Courtney Act answered questions from viewers seeking help and advice.
The question was…
It was sparked by an email from a female viewer who has asked for advice about dating a transgender man, and feeling uneasy about him not having a penis.

While Courtney Act tried to give some good advice, Willam [sic] stunned viewers by insisting: “just because you cut your titties off and take testosterone, that doesn’t change your chromosomes.”
The drag artist incredibly appeared to try and justify Brandon’s murder, saying: “He bamboozled the girl… he was trans but he could have told them.”

Addressing the person asking for advice, William added: “Here’s the thing, he’s not your boyfriend if he’s not a boy and he’s not f**king you… just because someone says they’re a boy, doesn’t make them a boy.
What is with the show?

Is it because they are rich white drag queens?

RuPaul is known for his transphobia and now it seems William share his views.

Courtney Act tried to correct Williams but he would have none of it.
Courtney Act derided Willam’s comments as “transphobic”, before noting that the quote mirrors trans-exclusionary feminist author Germaine Greer, who claimed that “just because you lop off your d**k and then wear a dress, that doesn’t make you a f***ing woman.”

Courtney told Willam: “You just accidentally quoted Germaine Greet!”

After the quote was recounted, Willam emphatically agreed with Greer.
Once again not all drag queens think the way of RuPaul and William, don’t paint them with a broad brush but do call out those who preach hate.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Sad Commentary On Us

I have been depressed lately, I see all this hate, bigotry, and discrimination increasing around the country and I don’t like the way our country is heading. People who want to nuke North Korea, people who spray paint the home of an interracial couple, people who vandalize a Hindu temple, and people who throw out their child because they are LGBT and I don’t know what to do.
Trans, Teen and Homeless: America's Most Vulnerable PopulationAn estimated 70,000 transgender youth lack secure housing – this is what life on the streets is like for six of themRolling Stone
By Laura Rena Murray
September 26, 2017

One summer evening, in New York's West Village, Justice and Sophie peer into passing cars, searching out men who might offer a bed for the night and some cash for sex. A black Lexus stops at the curb, and Sophie leans into the window. She wears her curly hair pulled back at the nape of her neck, and slopes her shoulders in the hope of making her lanky frame appear more petite. Two pearl bracelets slide down her right forearm, and her chipped mauve nail polish matches the leggings under her short black halter dress. The driver, a familiar client, is an older man wearing a baseball hat. He asks to see Sophie's penis for 10 bucks. She turns him down, hoping he'll offer more. Justice tells Sophie the same man was looking for her the previous night. He circles the block three more times but they ignore him. "He's playing with me too much," Sophie says.
Sometimes life at home is unbearable, sometimes they are thrown out but they all end up in the same place, the streets.

Here in Connecticut there have been a few laws passed to curb human trafficking. One of them require motel clerks to take training to spot human trafficking which has had a positive result in the arrest of a pimp who was pimping out a young girl.

The law PA17-32 states in part mandates,
(A) Develop a list of key indicators that a person is a victim of trafficking;
(B) Develop a standardized curriculum and conduct training for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, emergency medical services personnel, teachers, school counselors, school administrators and personnel from the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Public Health to identify victims of human trafficking, using the list of key indicators developed under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, and assist such victims;
(C) Develop and conduct training for personnel from the Departments of Children and Families and Public Health on methods for identifying children in foster care who may be at risk of becoming victims of trafficking;
(D) Develop a plan for mental health, support and substance abuse programs for individuals identified as victims of trafficking and those arrested for prostitution in violation of section 53a-82. The plan shall provide for (i) the diversion of victims of trafficking and prostitution offenders into community-based treatment and support services, including, but not limited to, substance abuse recovery, housing, healthcare, job training, treatment and mental health support, and (ii) after the successful completion of the program, the dismissal of any related criminal charges against the accused.
Many of the children in danger are trans,
There are now more than 350,000 transgender people under the age of 25 in the United States, the majority in the largest cities of New York, California, Florida and Texas – and an estimated 20 percent of them lack secure housing, though many service providers believe that figure is low. Craig Hughes of the Coalition for Homeless Youth notes that the federal definition of homelessness does not include those who trade sex for shelter; instead, they are considered "unstably" housed. "There are thousands who go uncounted," Hughes says. "They are disconnected from services, sleep on multiple couches a month and spend some nights trading sex for shelter."
For the rest of my life I will always remember a meeting that I went to by the Judicial Support Services. It was about a runaway teen trans girl at the Bridgeport bus station who was picked-up by a pimp and was forced on heron and then put out on the street.

She was busted for prostitution and turned in the pimp, the pimp put out a contract and the girl was shot on the court steps. She survived and the Judicial Support Services were looking for someplace to take her in but no shelter wanted her… a trans girl, an addict, and a contract on her head. The witness protection service didn’t want her, she was a small fish and they only want a big fish.

There are thousand like her around the country.

The Devil In The Details

Like any research it is all in your hypothesis which is your question that you want to investigate and from that designing the research.
Bath Spa University 'blocks transgender research'
25 September 2017

A therapist says he is "astonished" by a university's decision to stop him studying people who decide to reverse gender reassignment operations.

James Caspian wanted to write a thesis on "detransition" as part of his master's degree in counselling and psychotherapy at Bath Spa University.

He said it was rejected by the university's ethics committee because it could be "politically incorrect".
"I think that a university exists to encourage discussion, research - dissent even, challenging perhaps ideas that are out of date or not particularly useful."

He says he wanted to study people who had swapped gender and then changed their minds after coming across evidence of a growing number of people who regretted having the surgery and finding no research had been done into the subject.
I do to, that “a university exists to encourage discussion” but that it is all in the details of the discusssion. However, I also believe,
American transgender activist Riki Wilchins said studies on transgender people could have a "political undercurrent" and potentially have a negative effect on the way they are treated.
If the study goes through I think it has a very good potential of being missed used be those who are anti-trans.

I think that if a study is ever done on detransitioning it would have to include if those who detransitioned were properly diagnosed with gender dysphoria and the study should also include the reason why they detransitioned.

I believe from the people that I know who have detransitioned that the reason wasn’t from not being trans but rather socioeconomic reasons such as not being able to find a job or because of family/religious/employment presures.

I met a trans woman who was turned down for surgery because she wanted the surgery on-demand. She didn’t want to go through all the hoops to get it, and she found a surgeon in another country that would do it for her. I always wonder how she made out, did she have any regrets?

If a study on detransitioning is done with the goals of improving out-comes and refine the guidelines I think it might be worthwhile, but if the study is done as a hatchet job on us then no.

Another factor, is detransitioning a bad thing?

I don’t think that is bad for us, just because a person found out that transitioning wasn’t right for them it doesn’t mean that it is not right for us. It also doesn’t mean that they are not trans, it just might mean that they are still trans just that going full time is not right for them.

If you believe that there is a “gender spectrum” like I do, then why do we need the binaries?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

We Are Lucky Here In The U.S.

No matter how bad it looks here in the U.S. for LGBT rights it is a lot worst around the globe.
Seven people arrested in Egypt accused of promoting homosexuality after flying Pride flag
Pink News
By Meka Beresford
26th September 2017,

Seven people have been arrested in Egypt after authorities accused them of being gay and promoting their homosexuality by flying a rainbow Pride flag at a gig.

Over the weekend, on September 24, a group of people were watching the Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila in Cairo.

The singer of the band is openly gay and at the concert, the people waved a Pride flag.

They have since been wrongfully arrested and charged with “inciting immorality” as they allegedly promoted homosexuality by raising the flag.

Homosexuality is not prohibited by law in the country, however, the conservative society thinks of it as a taboo.
And it is even worst in Azerbaijan,
The new Chechnya? 100 gay and transgender people reportedly arrested and tortured in Azerbaijan
Pink News
By Josh Jackman
22nd September 2017

At least 100 gay and transgender people have been arrested, tortured and beaten in Azerbaijan, according to local reports.

Police conducted a number of raids in the capital of Baku and forced those who they arrested to give up their friends’ addresses, activists have said.

Some of those detained have reportedly had their heads shaved.
Other reports from inside the country state that the raids were carried out in the name of “protecting national moral values.”

Ayaz Efendiyev, deputy chairman of the Justice Party, responded to the reported arrests with a prejudice-filled diatribe.

“Defending these creatures who are sources of immorality, dangerous diseases, and who have been cursed by God, Western circles are trying to destroy our national traditions under the name of ‘human rights,’” he said.
Hate is spreading around the world and it is coming here in America as the numbers bias crimes and hate groups increase since they received the green light from the president.

While economic hardships increase around the world, governments need something to distract and blame from the economic oppression the governments are creating and folks we are it. We are the cause of all the inequalities in the world, not the one percenters, not the cuts to the safety nets programs, but us demanding equal rights, us demanding to be treated just like everyone else.

From The Frying Pan Into The Fire

Last week I posted on Facebook an article about the Republican primaries in Alabama and how one candidate was anti-LGBT,
Alabama Senate Front-Runner: Evolution Is Fake And Homosexuality Should Be Illegal
Former judge Roy Moore says “God’s law” should trump man’s.
Huffington Post
By Antonia Blumberg
September 21, 2017

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has approached his work over the decades as he once approached mastering kickboxing and building a house with own hands: with laser focus and a fervent belief that he has God on his side.

Moore, 70, is vying to become the next U.S. senator for Alabama, and his chances are looking good. A poll released Monday by Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling found that the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court holds an 8-point lead in the Republican primary run-off over his opponent, U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed by Alabama’s governor in February to temporarily fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Whoever wins will face Democrat Doug Jones, whose odds are low in the overwhelmingly red state.

Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and President Donald Trump back Strange. But Moore’s unabashed religious views and apparent disregard for the legal establishment have won hearts in the overwhelmingly Christian state.

In February, several months after being suspended from court for defying federal orders on same-sex marriage, Moore appeared on the radio show of a pastor who has claimed the Bible calls for the death penalty for gay people.
When the pastor asked him: “What does one do when God’s laws conflict with man’s laws?” Moore responded, “God’s laws are always superior to man’s laws.”
While Senator Strange was no cupcake either but Moore is a lot worst and he will probably be the next U.S. senator from Alabama.

He is quoted in the Washington Post saying that,
Moore, unlike any other Senate candidate in recent history, made his belief in the supremacy of a Christian God over the Constitution the cornerstone of his campaign.

“I want to see virtue and morality returned to our country and God is the only source of our law, liberty and government,” Moore said during Thursday’s debate with incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was backed by President Trump and the Republican establishment.

The central argument of Moore’s campaign, The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer reported, is that removing the sovereignty of a Christian God from the functions of government is an act of apostasy, an affront to the biblical savior as well as the Constitution. He even carries a pocket pamphlet that he published with a legal theory of God’s supremacy.
The only good news out of this is…
Trump appears to delete tweets backing Strange after primary loss
The Hill
By Jacqueline Thomsen
September 26, 2017

President Trump on Tuesday apparently began deleting his tweets supporting Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in Alabama's Senate primary after Strange lost the race to former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore.

Trump had tweeted about Strange several times in the days leading up to the primary, including the day of, but those tweets had disappeared as of Tuesday night.

The deleted tweets included those he sent the night before the election and the day of the race. A project from ProPublica documents the deleted tweets.

“Big election tomorrow in the Great State of Alabama. Vote for Senator Luther Strange, tough on crime & border — will never let you down!” read one of the deleted tweets.
(I don’t know if the president realizes that you can never delete anything on the internet)

This doesn’t bode well for us or the country, a senator who outspokenly believes that the Bible trumps the Constitution is not good and one that believes that we should be stoned to death is not good for us.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

They Got Our Back

As many of you know I am a social worker and a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), my concentration is community organizing. I am not a therapist and I am not licensed.

Well the NASW issued a comment to the Office of Management and Budget for the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants in it they asked to reinstate data collection on gender identity within the survey.
To Whom It May Concern,

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the notice issued by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in the Federal Register on June 22, 2017. This letter follows up on the comments NASW submitted to ACL on May 12, 2017, in response to the administration’s proposed changes to the National Survey of Older American Act Participants (NSOAAP).

NASW appreciates ACL’s consideration of our previous comments, and we commend ACL for its decision to restore data collection about sexual orientation within the NSOAAP 2017 Revised. At the same time, we are distressed that the question about gender identity has not been restored to the revised version. Such an omission would leave transgender older adults at risk of services essential to their health, well-being, and independence.  Moreover, the omission decreases ACL’s ability to fulfill the mission of the Older Americans Act (OAA): to “promote the well-being of older individuals by providing services and programs designed to help them live independently in their homes and communities.”

Realizing the OAA mission is a high priority not only for ACL, but also for NASW. As the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the United States, with 130,000 members  NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. Social workers play an integral role throughout the Aging Network in providing services funded by the OAA, and NASW consistently supports reauthorization of and funding for OAA programs. Furthermore, social workers engage with and advocate for transgender older adults across service settings.
In conclusion, NASW urges ACL to reinstate and modernize data collection on gender identity within the NSOAAP. Such demographic information will help the Aging Network to ascertain the extent to which it reaches transgender older adults, understands this community’s needs, and meets those needs—as well as to identify and implement strategies to enhance service delivery to transgender older adults. Ultimately, these steps are essential to achieving the fundamental principle of the ACL: “that older adults and people with disabilities of all ages should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities.” From the perspective of the social work profession, equitable, culturally competent service delivery to LGBT older adults is also central to the realization of human rights and of social and economic justice.
However, I doubt very much that the current administration will listen; they have to appeal to their extremist base.

Human Rights Should Never Be Put To A Popular Vote

The oppression of the minority by the majority is the reason why basic human rights should never, ever be a popularity vote. Such rights as being able to worship whatever god or goddess you belief in, to be free to voice your political opinions, and to marry the person that you love should never be a popularity contest.
Australians’ Support of Gay Marriage Weakens in New Poll
NBC News
By Associated Press
September 25, 2017

CANBERRA, Australia — Support for legalizing gay marriage in Australia has weakened just as a national postal ballot asks voters where they stand on the contentious issue, according to a new opinion poll.

The government said Monday it has sent ballots to all of Australia’s more than 16 million voters asking whether the nation should lift its prohibition on same-sex marriage. Results of the balloting that began Sept. 12 will be announced Nov. 15.

A poll by Sydney-based market researcher Galaxy Research published in The Australian newspaper found support for gay marriage had slipped in five weeks from 63 to 57 percent. Opposition had grown from 30 to 34 percent.
Why is marriage equality slipping in the polls?

According to it is because the ad campaigns from the organizations against marriage equality,
On Monday morning, crossbench Senator Derryn Hinch, who supports Yes, lashed out at the No campaign saying similar, “divide and conquer” tactics employed in the republic referendum were now being used in the marriage debate.

On Channel 7, he said the No side’s plan was to “sow seeds of doubt (and) spread the issue so it’s not about Yes or No to same-sex marriage”.

Mr Hinch said he was worried the more confused people were about the issue, the more they might side with the status quo.

On the survey itself, the ABS states that they are “asking just one question”. That question is “should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

But the Coalition for Marriage (CfM) insists the issue is a “package deal” with the now largely withdrawn Safe Schools program and freedom of religion.

In a recent flyer sent to homes, the words “radical” and “religion” appear three times each, “freedom” six times while “schools” takes out the crown appearing seven times.

The words “love” and “relationship” do not appear once.
Sounds just like what they tried in California… if marriage equality passes people what will stop people getting married.
At the heart of the No campaign is an attempt to steer the discussion away from the question on the ballot paper and to create doubt, Prof Young [an associate professor of social and political science at Melbourne University.] said.
Where is the opposition coming from? Well according,
Conservative religious organisations are mobilising again. However, given increasing public support for same-sex marriage, including among religious adherents, they often argue that same-sex marriage is really about broader issues, such as gender roles and parenting.

 A key argument – espoused recently by Tony Abbott – is that same-sex marriage will threaten “religious freedom”. Such arguments, often based on a small number of yet-to-be-finalised overseas cases, or a Tasmanian complaint that was later withdrawn, effectively reframe the debate away from discrimination against those in same-sex relationships.

Consequently, conservative Christians now depict themselves as potential victims of discrimination. This is despite the long history of past discrimination against gays and lesbians, including criminalisation of male homosexuality and the ineligibility of same-sex couples for many federal government entitlements. Such reframings have proved an effective political tactic in the US.
As I have said who a person loves should never be put to a popular vote.

Monday, September 25, 2017

What Does It Mean To Dead Name Someone?

I never heard the phrase dead-naming until repentantly and I think it is a fitting name for it.

I got a lot of flak when I said that when I do outreach if I am asked my old name I don’t tell them, instead I talk about what we think of our old names and gentle tell them why it is wrong to ask someone about their old name.
What It Means to "Dead-Name" a Transgender Person, and Why You Should Stop
Pop Sugar
By Ryan Roschke
September 24, 2017

In the first season of Amazon's incredible, visceral series Transparent, we meet Maura, a transgender woman who decides to come out later in her life. Maura has three kids and an ex-wife, all of whom struggle to see this new side of a person they've known for decades. During this time of struggle (and in flashbacks), we also learn what is known as Maura's "dead name" — aka the name she had prior to her transition.
To get a better understanding of the deep significance of selecting a given name, we spoke to writer Caleb Camacho. "I think selecting a name and hearing people refer to me with that name was pretty solidifying in the transition process," Camacho, who is transgender, told POPSUGAR. "It made me feel like I was being seen as the man I was presenting myself as. When I finally got my legal documentation changed over to reflect my chosen name, it was a major deal. Yes, it's time-consuming and frustrating, but it's so worth it in the end. I no longer get strange looks when I present my ID card or license."

It's clear that choosing a new name to go with a more authentic identity is a very private and personal aspect of an individual's transition. That said, there have been several prominent and public examples of transgender people addressing how they wish to be referred to — both in pronouns and by formal names — especially in the last decade. As we already mentioned, Transparent introduces us to a transgender woman who renames herself Maura after coming out. Since Maura's dead name is Mort, her choice of name signifies a common way for an individual to self-identify after transition: to take their previous name and use a version of it that reflects their new identity.
“It's clear that choosing a new name to go with a more authentic identity is a very private and personal aspect of an individual's transition.” I would say that is totally true, for many of us it is a very private and personal experience but for some they talk it over with their spouse and/or parents. One of the things that I learned when I was exploring transitioning was that it can be a good way to get family or your spouse buy-in to your transition.

I did that for my middle name, I wanted to keep my same initials and the middle name that I liked was my sister-in-law’s middle name so when we were all sitting around the dining room table after supper one time. I didn’t like “Robin” not because of the name but because I know a lot of Robins. We did come up with a middle name that I liked and we had fun doing it.
Refusing to call someone by their new name is just the same as refusing to acknowledge their new gender identity, and it's often employed as a transphobic way to demean and deny a transgender person's true expression of self. In 2015, radio host Glenn Beck said in a rant that he would not call Caitlyn Jenner by her new name and would not call her a woman. Instead, he repeatedly used her dead name and only referred to her with masculine pronouns. It's easy to see how the two go hand in hand. The embrace of one facet of a person's identity would, logically, beget the embrace of another.
I think this is a good example of why we don’t like people to dead-name us, which is because, it is used to humiliate, belittle us and to deny our existence.
But even when dead-naming isn't intended to be malicious, it is not harmless. As Camacho notes, you can only give those around you the benefit of the doubt for so long. Furthermore, it's important to acknowledge the effect it might have in more grave situations. For instance, consider how the police often fail to use correct names and pronouns when referring to transgender murder victims, impacting the data and understanding of the violence that community faces. And in smaller moments, consider how it might deny a person the simple right and respect to live as the person they truly are. In moments like this, using a proper name and gender identity means everything.

Did You See 60 Minutes Last Night?

I only saw part of it because every time I checked the game was still on so I only saw a part of it, Oprah’s focus group where one woman said she believes that being trans is not a choice and a man saying it was a choice.

I believe that many, many people here in the U.S. are science illiterate and just don’t want to learn… learning gives them a headache. I do a lot of training at colleges and I see so many students just texting all through class.

I read comments on news websites and you read people who say XY = male XX = female or they say what is between your legs defines your gender and if someone post a link to a scientific article showing they are wrong they call it “Fake News.”

Well here is a website that I came across on the UN website has an interesting webpage on Disorders of Sexual Development…
Genetic Components of Sex and Gender

Humans are born with 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. The X and Y chromosomes determine a person’s sex. Most women are 46XX and most men are 46XY. Research suggests, however, that in a few births per thousand some individuals will be born with a single sex chromosome (45X or 45Y) (sex monosomies) and some with three or more sex chromosomes (47XXX, 47XYY or 47XXY, etc.) (sex polysomies). In addition, some males are born 46XX due to the translocation of a tiny section of the sex determining region of the Y chromosome. Similarly some females are also born 46XY due to mutations in the Y chromosome. Clearly, there are not only females who are XX and males who are XY, but rather, there is a range of chromosome complements, hormone balances, and phenotypic variations that determine sex.
Genetically Determined Disorders of Sexual Differentiation
Typical sexual development is the result of numerous genes, and mutation in any of these genes can result in partial or complete failure of sex differentiation. These include mutations or structural anomalies of the SRY region on the Y chromosome resulting in XY gonadal dysgenesis, XX males, or XY females; defects of androgen biosynthesis or androgen receptors, and others.
ELSI of Genetic Components of Sex and Gender

The issues of gender assignment, gender verification testing, and legal definitions of gender are especially pertinent to a discussion on the ELSI of gender and genetics. These practices, however, are misnomers as they actually refer to biological sex and not gender. Such a discrepancy is highlighted by the existence of intersex individuals whose psychosexual development and gender sometimes do not match the biological sex assigned to them as infants. In this report the term ‘sex’ will be used where the practice refers to biological sex and not the more social construct of ‘gender’.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is an inherited autosomal recessive condition that can affect both boys and girls. It is the most common cause of intersexuality in females with 46XX, where untreated girls develop an outwardly male appearance. This disorder, also called adrenogenital syndrome (AGS), results from a genetically caused deficiency of cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex. The disorder occurs with a frequency of 1:5000 and results in incomplete female sex differentiation and increased androgenic effects due to a compensatory increase in adrenocortical hormone (ACTH). (33)

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) is an X-linked recessive disorder in which affected individuals have external female genitalia and breast development despite being genetically male (46XY). Tissues of affected individuals are unresponsive to male hormones (androgens) yet respond to estrogens.

Wisniewski et al. assessed the physical and psychosexual status of 14 women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) by questionnaire as well as medical examination in order to determine the participants' knowledge of their disorder as well as their opinion of medical and surgical treatment. (34) Most of the women questioned expressed satisfaction with their psychosexual development and sexual function. All of the women who participated in the study were satisfied at having been raised as females, and none of the participants desired gender reassignment. (35)
When you see people who defines gender and sex in 1950’s terms they don’t want to read anything like this, they don’t learn new things. The guy on 60 Minutes who said it is a choice you will never convince him otherwise no matter how much you show him wrong.

For me when I see something that I question or want more information I research it. I find learning new thing fascinating, I learn something new every day not a goal but because I like learning and I am even a member of a women’s group that discusses scientific topics each month.

What do we do about people who don’t want to challenge themselves?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

We Are Different And That’s What Makes The World Go Round

What a boring would be if we were all the same, it is all our difference that makes us interesting; can you imagine if we were all like Jim and Margaret Anderson in “Father Knows Best” what a dull place the world would be. We would all be like ants.
Not As Simple As XX or XY.
Written by Laura Haines
September 22, 2017

A sweet friend of mine recently found out that she can bear children. That’s great news, right? And it is, it totally is. We’re giddy happy for her. But to say we’re also stunned, dumbfounded, amazed, including her, is an understatement.

You see, my friend is a transgender woman. Or was.

I say “was” not because she’s not with us anymore. She is. But because a transgender female was what she honestly thought she was. She thought she was a dysphoric male transitioning to her more authentic female form. She’d just had the surgery to remove the gender-dysphoria-making male bits she was born with, had consummated a marriage with, and helped create children with. But in the midst of a somewhat serious complication that necessitated a trans-vaginal ultrasound on her newly surgically constructed vagina, her doctor discovered an intact female reproductive system — including a womb, ovaries, and a cervix.
Natural is amazing!

You know all those comments you see at the end of a news article about us, well…
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. “If you have a penis, you’re a male. If you have a vagina, you’re a female. XX means female. XY means male. Don’t get mad at me. It’s not bigotry. It’s genetics. It’s science.”
You can’t tell me it’s as simple as XX is a girl and XY is a boy. You can’t tell me the presence of male or female genitalia tells us all we ever need to know about someone’s gender. You can’t tell me we know everything about everything and there’s nothing left to discover in this world let alone within our own bodies. My friend, who’d had the shit beaten out of her as a little boy by the one relative she’d trusted enough to confide in that God may have put him in the wrong body, that he should be a girl, and could grandpa please talk to his Mommy and Daddy to help him fix it — this friend, who had been dysphoric and suicidal for years resignedly trying to live life as a male, but since transitioning has bravely and blessedly remained alive and happily married, raising their children together – this friend just found out she’s intersex, has been both male and female all along, and may be perfectly able to conceive and bear a child inside her own body – at 40.
The article ends with,
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. There are broader spectrums within God’s creation than some of us are willing to acknowledge, let alone allow. Embrace the rainbow people. Embrace it. And stop trying to use what little you know or think you understand about science to justify your bigotry. Ask any geneticist, science teacher, transgender, or intersex person. They’ll tell you, “The world is way too weird for that shit.”
Last week I wrote about the ICD-11 which might list us in the section of disease of sexual development and I think that if it does get moved into the DSD it could very well be labeled an intersex condition.

Nature doesn’t even know what a box is.

We Are Different, Or Are We?

There is an interesting new study out looking at brain differences in adolescents transgender boys and girls and they found the same results as in trans women and men.
Brain functional connectivity patterns in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria: sex-atypical or not?
Journal of Psycho­neuro­endocrinology
By Nienke M. Nota, Baudewijntje P. Kreukel, Martin den Heijer, Dick J. Veltman, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Sarah M. Burke, and Julie Bakker
September 15, 2017

  • Cisgender adolescents show sex-dimorphic brain functional connectivity patterns within sensorimotor network-II and the posterior default mode network.
  • Adolescents with gender dysphoria show sex-atypical or gender dysphoria-specific brain functional connectivity patterns within visual network-I, sensorimotor network-II and the posterior default mode network.
  • Brain functional connectivity patterns are comparable between prepubertal children with gender dysphoria and prepubertal cisgender children
…Within one of the three VNs (VN-I) [visual networks], adolescent transgirls showed stronger FC [functional connectivity] in the right cerebellum compared with all other adolescent groups. Within these networks adolescent transgirls showed FC patterns similar to their experienced gender (female). Also adolescent transboys showed a FC pattern similar to their experienced gender (male), but within the SMN-II [sensorimotor networks] only. The prepubertal children did not show any group differences in FC, suggesting that these emerge with aging and during puberty. Our findings provide evidence for the existence of both GD-specific and sex-atypical FC patterns in adolescents with GD.
So what this study seems to show is that our brains are different at an early age, there has been research adults that found the same changes in our brains. What causes these changes is still unknown.

Friday, September 22, 2017

We Can Have All The Laws, But… (Part 2)

Even with all the laws and regulations can’t stop hate.

It seems like all the bigots are crawling out from under the rocks now that the current administration has rescinded the protections of Title IX in schools.
Transgender students told to leave South Glens Falls school bus
Post Star
By Michael Gott
September 21, 2017

SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Two transgender high school students were told to get off a South Glens Falls school bus on Wednesday after they say the driver became upset because they wanted to sit on the side of the bus with the boys.

A school official said the district regretted the incident, which was recorded on video and posted on Facebook, and said it never should have happened.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton called the matter “unfortunate” and said it was not handled appropriately at all. The students should not be segregated by sex on a bus, he said.
For some reason the bus driver segregated the students by gender on the bus and that is when the trouble began.
Leo Washington, 16, and 15-year-old (Aaren) Layla Sweenor both identify as neither male nor female, which is referred to as trans nonbinary. (Sweenor said people know her by both names and it was how her email was signed.) They wanted to sit on the boys side.

“Before he started the bus, (the bus driver) gave us this weird look and he told us to get to the girls side of the bus and we didn’t move because we felt more comfortable where we were sitting. When we tried to explain it to him, he started yelling at us to move to the other side of the bus,” Washington said.
The bus driver said that he segregated the students by gender to keep the peace on the bus; the school system’s superintendent said “wanted to create some type of order on the bus” But the driver sure went at it the wrong way and he probably violated Title IX in the process.

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

Politic is a lose, lose proposition, no matter what you do you lose and that is especially true at the state level. Connecticut is caught between a rock and a hard place, it all boils down to whom do you want to squeeze, the rich, or the workers, or education, or the towns & cities?

The Republican and Democratic budgets suck!

The three proposed budgets do not balance, the Connecticut Mirror says…
Despite their many disagreements over how the next state budget should look, Republican and Democratic legislators have one key element in common
Neither of their respective plans would spare Connecticut from grappling with another massive budget deficit two years from now.

The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis says the two-year budget crafted by Republican legislators and passed in the House and Senate late last week would balance the state’s books this fiscal year and next — wiping out a $3.5 billion deficit in the process
But that same plan, unless adjusted, would run $3.31 billion in the red between 2019 and 2021.

And the alternative budget developed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Democratic legislative leadership would fare even worse, with a potential shortfall of $3.58 billion.

In other words, when Connecticut’s next governor arrives at the Capitol in January 2019, that person and the General Assembly effectively would face the same challenge that has confounded Malloy and legislators for the past eight months. And that’s after taking into account the wide array of spending cuts and tax hikes both sides have built into their latest budget plans.
You just cannot balance the budget without some type on new sources of revenue.
Malloy has said he will veto the Republican plan, citing several problems. The governor says that budget would:
  • Unilaterally reduce employee pension benefits after mid-2027 and reap some of the savings now, reducing pension contributions by $321 million across this fiscal year and next.
  • Impose excessive cuts on public colleges and universities.
  • Cut income tax relief for the working poor by $150 million.
  • Provide insufficient aid to Hartford to avert insolvency.
  • And require the governor to find $260 million more in undefined savings after the budget is in force than the Democratic plan would demand.
So when the Republicans say there budget doesn’t have any tax increase they are full of… well baloney. According to the Hartford Courant some of the things that the Republican budget does away with are.
While the Republicans rejected Democrats’ proposals to institute new or higher taxes on cellphone plans, Uber and Lyft rides, restaurant meals, cigarettes and vacation homes, the GOP is calling for other changes that could result in less money in people’s pockets.

For instance, proposed changes to the earned income tax credit would result in less money for the working poor. An increase in the fee for criminal background checks could cost businesses more. And the elimination of an exemption to the admissions tax at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the XL Center and other venues would cost concert-goers and minor league baseball fans a collective $2 million in fiscal 2019 and another $2 million the following year.

The Republican plan calls for $20 million in unspecified fee increases in fiscal 2019 to cover administrative expenses. It also would generate millions by raising the state’s hospital tax in a complicated maneuver that is designed to bring in more federal funding, with the promise that some of that money would be sent back to the hospitals.
So how do you define tax increase? Me, I define it by having to pay more to the government. Increased usage fees I define as tax increases, losing earned income tax credit is a tax increase.

So where do you get new funding sources?

Personally I would like to see an increase in usage fees such as hunting & fishing licenses, professional fees and increases in cigarette and liquor taxes. I would like to see tolls (but the locations of the tolls would have to be made so it didn’t pick any locations. i.e. just at the borders), and I would like to see marijuana legalized and taxed.

I also think part of the problem is in Washington as they cut grants to states. The Republican rush to cut the taxes on millionaires and billionaires is causing federal budget deficits to increase and plus the drastic increase in military spending is going squeeze the states even more as the Congressional Republicans move to cut spending and funds to the states to pay for the tax breaks on the rich and increase in military spending.

There is not easy answer, with the move by Congress toward “state’s rights” states will be battling each other on a race to the bottom.

Many people say that government should be run like a business.

I say it is not a business. It is a government that have certain duties and responsibilities to the people.

How do you put food assistance in a profit/loss statement? Are there certain number of acceptable deaths due to starvation?

What about budgeting for hurricane relief? Or snow removing? How do you run that like a business?

You can only make so many cuts and then people start dying. What is an acceptable ratio for the Department of Social Service case workers to clients? How about the roads, how do you put them in a profit/loss statement?

Do we want parks? What about libraries, do we need them?

Government is not a business.

We Can Have All The Laws, But… (Part 1)

They cannot stop the heartless.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said,
Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.
However, when the president gives the green light to hate, laws are not enough. Washington state has laws to protect us…
Friend of transgender woman assaulted on Capitol Hill: "It's destroyed us a bit"
By KOMO News Staff
September 22nd 2017

SEATTLE -- Seattle police are trying to identify three men after a transgender woman was assaulted at a restaurant on Capitol Hill.

The assault happened early Sunday morning inside Rancho Bravo on East Pine Street, the victim reported to officers. The assault her bruised and in stitches.

"It was my birthday last week, so she wanted to take me out," said close friend Chris Ferrentino, who was with the victim at the time of the assault.
When they sat down at the restaurant she noticed a person taking photos of her,
His friend, who is a transgender woman, soon noticed some guys were taking photos of her on a cell phone for no reason and questioning her gender.

"And she politely asked them not to. And then it just escalated," Ferrentino said.

The victim told officers she confronted the men and they exchanged words, according to the police report.

The next thing Ferrentino knew, one of the men punched his friend so hard in the face that she fell to the ground, he said.
The police are looking for the suspects and are investigating it as a bias crime; they have a description of the suspects and their car. Hopefully there are surveillance videos of the car and can get the license plate numbers from the video. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Human Rights Should Never Be Put To A Vote

The founders of our Constitution realized that there are certain thing that should not be put to a vote, they saw that the majority should not be able to oppress minorities by a popular vote. They created protected classes such as religion and over time the states have also expanded the rights of their citizens.
Montana must rewrite transgender bathroom ballot description
SF Gate
By Amy Beth Hanson, Associated Press
September 20, 2017

 HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court ordered the state attorney general to rewrite ballot language for an initiative that would require people to use public restrooms and locker rooms designated for their gender at birth.

The court ruled Tuesday in a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, saying the language did not include the initiative's specific definition of "sex" and was otherwise vague.

The justices agreed with the ACLU that the ballot language does not specify that the law would apply to local government buildings and public education facilities and does not include how much it would cost them to comply.

It also isn't clear in the language that people could sue the state for emotional or mental distress if they encounter a transgender person in a public bathroom and the facility had not taken reasonable steps to prevent it, the court said.
And who is behind this attack on us?
The conservative Montana Family Foundation has until June to gather nearly 26,000 signatures to get the initiative on the November 2018 ballot. State lawmakers rejected a proposed referendum on the issue this year.

Foundation President Jeff Lazloffy said the organization is happy with the decision and that the issues raised by the ACLU were "fairly minor." But he said it may not be possible to determine the financial effects of the initiative.
Let’s hope that this ballot initiative will never get on the ballot.

Judges Interpret The Law Not The Bible

Under the Trump administration it is the other way around, the administration seems to be applying a religious test to its judicial appointments.
Report: Trump's judicial nominee from Texas called transgender kids part of "Satan's plan"
Jeff Mateer, one of President Donald Trump's latest judicial nominees and a high-ranking official in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office, said transgender children are part of "Satan's plan" in a May 2015 speech, CNN reported. 
Texas Tribune
By Cassandra Pollock
September 20, 2017

Jeff Mateer, a high-ranking official in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office whom President Donald Trump has nominated for a federal judgeship, said in speeches in 2015 that transgender children are part of "Satan's plan" and argued same-sex marriage would open the floodgates for "disgusting" forms of marriage, according to CNN.

"In Colorado, a public school has been sued because a first grader and I forget the sex, she's a girl who thinks she's a boy or a boy who thinks she's a girl, it's probably that, a boy who thinks she's a girl," Mateer said in a May 2015 speech first reported by CNN, referencing a Colorado lawsuit that involved a transgender girl's parents suing her school for prohibiting her from using the restroom she preferred. "I mean it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on."

In the same speech, Mateer also criticized the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage as taking the nation back to a time of "debauchery."
The Republicans stopped appointing federal judges under president Obama and as a result there are over a hundred federal judicial openings and now they the Republicans are in control of Congress and the presidency the juggernaut is in full gears to appoint judges that are anti-LGBT, anti-women’s rights, and believe in special rights for religious bigots.
Mateer was one of five Texas judicial nominations Trump made last week and among two with ties to the First Liberty Institute. Trump's other Texas nominations were:
  • Matthew Kacsmaryk, a deputy general counsel to the First Liberty Institute, to be a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
  • Walter David Counts III, a United States Magistrate Judge, to be a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
  • Fernando Rodriguez, who currently works as a field office director for International Justice Mission in the Dominican Republic, to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
  • Karen Gren Scholer, a partner at Carter Scholer PLLC in Dallas, to be a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
  • Jeff Mateer, tapped by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in 2016 amid a staffing shakeup, has built his career as a tenacious champion of religious expression in the public square. [Full story]
  • Before his recent nominations, the Trump administration faced 17 legal vacancies in Texas. [Full story]
Be afraid, be very afraid!

Federal judges are appointed for life!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Finally, At Long Last

The medical profession is starting to come about and realizing that they have been wrong about intersex surgery on babies.

We are so hung up with the gender of a baby that the first question usually asked is “Is it a boy or a girl?” There is so much stigma in a babies gender that answering “We don’t know.” is not an option.
Why Intersex Patients Need the Truth and Doctors Need to Listen
As an intersex woman and a doctor, I’ve seen the dangerous stigma the US medical establishment attaches to our community.
The Nation
By Katharine B. Dalke
September 12, 2017

When I was 22, I sat in the kitchen and did something I never imagined I would do: discussed my medical history with my grandfather. Tears stung my eyes as we talked openly about a secret my parents had fiercely protected me from for years: I’m intersex.

“You must be mad as hell,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

In my case, “intersex” means that I am a woman with XY chromosomes. My condition, called Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, meant that my body did not respond to male hormones, and so I developed an externally typical female body. When I was 6, I had routine surgery for a hernia in my groin. During the procedure, instead of ovaries and a uterus, my surgeon found undescended testes.
This was the legacy of the now-discredited “blank-slate” theory of gender that gained traction in the 1960s. For intersex children, the thinking went, “If we make this child look and function like a ‘normal’ boy or girl, and never tell them otherwise, everything will be fine.” Although we now understand that gender identity and expression is informed by a combination of nurture and nature, the importance of an intersex child’s genitals’ being surgically altered remains the bedrock of an ongoing medical paradigm.
The problem is that gender is in the brain, no matter how much you change the body, the brain knows you true gender.

A liberal think tank, The Palm Center came out with this policy paper… Re-Thinking Genital Surgeries on Intersex Infants and in the paper they say,
Fortunately, a consensus is emerging that concludes that children born with atypical genitalia should not have genitoplasty performed on them absent a need to ensure physical functioning. Government agencies in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and Malta, as well as human rights groups, including the World Health Organization, have examined this issue and found that these irreversible medical procedures, which are performed before individuals can articulate whether they wish to undergo such surgery, are not necessary to ensure healthy physical functioning, and that such surgery is not justified when performed on infants. These bodies have called for a moratorium on cosmetic infant genitoplasty so as to allow individuals with a DSD to have substantive input into decisions affecting their own identity and appearance.
Surgery was not always done on intersex babies, it was like the doctors came up with a procedure and looked for areas where they can do the surgery and they found intersex babies and sold a bill of goods on parents when they were most vulnerable.
Performing cosmetic infant genitoplasty was not always the default practice. Before the middle of the twentieth century, most children born with genitalia that did not fit the male-female binary norm were not subjected to surgery. Beginning in the 1950s, however, an era when pressure to conform to social norms was often unyielding, the standard treatment protocol shifted. Infants born with atypical genitalia were subjected to surgical procedures such as clitoral reduction, vaginoplasty, gonadectomy, and hypospadias repair, primarily to “normalize” gendered appearance, not to improve function.
And we can also thank doctors like Dr. Money for pushing their pet theories that gender was a social construct and not an intrinsic part of our brains.

Hopefully, "corrective" surgeries will be delayed until intersex people can decide for themselves what they want.

Stand In Support

When we protest for trans rights we are thought of having an axe-to-grind but when an ally speaks up they do it from their heart.
When football players join in to mock transgender people, Kansas high school students protest with a sit-in
Washington Post
By Cindy Boren
September 20, 2017

Holding signs that said “trans rights = human rights” and “I shouldn’t have to be cis to be safe,” students at a Kansas high school cut classes and held a sit-in Monday, protesting an extracurricular text conversation that included slurs about transgender people and involved more than 200 students, including football players.

More than 100 students refused to budge in the Lawrence High rotunda, citing derogatory comments and slurs that compared transgender issues to mental disorders and asked, “if a [slur for transgender person] hits you, is it still hitting a woman or no?” Yet another stated that the gender listed on a person’s birth certificate should determine a person’s identity. One issue being protested: Football players who were in on the conversation were allowed to play in a game Friday night. That decision, sophomore Elliot Bradley told the Lawrence Journal-World, led students to believe that “LHS is valuing their players over their minority students.” So Etana Parks and Jonavon Shepard, co-presidents of Total Equality Alliance at the school, organized the sit-in.
Students decided to hold the sit-in because of what they perceived to be administrators’ reluctance to take action for something that happened outside school and was unaffiliated with clubs or staff. “The entire protest,” senior Rollin Love told the Kansan, “was purposed around the inaction we as students saw from the administration in dealing with transphobia and discrimination going beyond the groupchat.”

Administrators spent the day interviewing students, and the protests ended peacefully at the end of the school day.
Why does it seem like that if you are a football or basketball player you can get away with murder as long as you are good on the playing field? We have a new idol that we worship and put up on a pedestal, the athlete.

I want to thank all those who came out to protest for us.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Battle Lines Are Drawn

But does there have to be battle lines at all?

I do not condone violence of any type but it is hard not to when someone is denying your right to exist.
CONFUSED? Feminists who OPPOSE equal rights in outdoor scrap with transgender group!
A PUBLIC discussion over transgender rights erupted into a brawl between radical feminists and transgender activists. 
By Harvey Gavin
September 19, 2017

Maria MacLachlan, 60, was hit in the face by an activist protesting Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists - feminists who oppose equal rights for trans people - and protestors campaigning for transgender rights.

The punch-up broke out on Wednesday, September 13 in Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner, an area usually celebrated as a bastion of free speech.

Video footage showing part of the clash between the rival groups has been posted online and viewed nearly 60,000 times.

TERF’s Ms MacLachlan said she was punched in the face and kicked to the ground after the fight broke out.
Logo’s NewNowNext website reported that,
A group of transgender activists got into a physical altercation with anti-trans feminists in London’s Hyde Park last week.

A video posted to YouTube shows the altercation between a group of transgender people and members of the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) in Speaker’s Corner on Wednesday.

TERFs, a fringe element in mainstream feminism, deny the validity of trans people’s self-affirmed gender and are known to ally with anti-feminist and anti-LGBT groups to work against transgender rights.
“There was quite a generation thing. These studenty-looking types were turning up and some arguments started to take place.
I think that it is a generational, the young kids get it, while the adults have a hard time understanding the gender spectrum because they grew up in the gender binary. The teenagers and the twenty something are growing up in a non-binary world.

NewNextNow reported that,
Action for Trans Health London said in a statement, “We condemn violence against women in all forms. We’re proud that many self-organizing activists, allies and supporters stood against hatred, misogyny and intimidation.”
What do you do when someone denies you right to exist? What do you do when a white supremacists wants to enslave you? What do you do when someone uses their religion against your religion?

These are all tough questions and there are no definitive answers. Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said violence is wrong and advocated peaceful protests. Many became impatient and demanded more violent actions to bring about change now.

What do you do when a peaceful protest is taken over by violence? We are seeing this happening much more where a thousand peaceful protesters are invaded by a handful of people that are bent on violence. In the Hyde Park incident it was one person who attacked a TREF and that person’s action created a martyr, a 60 year old grandmother TREF. That one attack changed the focus of the trans people who were protesting peacefully the hate directed against us to us as bullies.

These are all relevant questions today as they were in 30s with Mahatma Gandhi, in the 50s and 60s with King, and in the 70s and 80s with Nelson Mandela.

Personally I do not believe in violence, violence only begets violence. Violence gives legitimacy to the haters.

I Dub Thee…

How did you pick your name?
One way that we are unique is that we pick our own names, most people are given their names by their parents but we get to pick our own name.
9 Transgender People Share How They Chose Their Names
By Kasandra Brabaw
September 18, 2017

Choosing a new name can be a big part of transitioning for transgender and gender non-conforming people, who often aren't comfortable still being called by their birth name (also sometimes called a "dead-name"). But just like parents choosing a name for their newborn, the decision isn't always easy.

As we can see from the answers on an AskReddit thread, where someone asked transgender people on Reddit to explain the inspiration behind their chosen names, names can come from pretty much anywhere — including the Disney movies we loved so much as kids.
"That dude from the Atlantis Disney film."
"Milo. That dude from the Atlantis Disney film, man I wanted to be him when I was a kid. Also it sounds like a dog name and I like that."
"It literally means victory."
"I picked Victoria.

For one, it literally means victory. Finally getting to be yourself and becoming comfortable in your body is a huge victory, hence the name.
"My mama chose my birth name, and she chose my new name too!"
"Just legally changed my name to Finn (I'm FTM). My mama chose my birth name, and she chose my new name too! My middle name is Alistair, a carry over from Alice, which was a family middle name."
For me it was from doing a high school term paper on Roman mythology; I came across a god who made the other gods mad at him and they changed him into a goddess (I have never been able to find the reference that I used back in the mid-60s) and when I went to my first support group meeting someone asked my fem name and I thought back to that paper and said “Diana.” My middle name was by family consensus, I wanted to keep my middle initial.

So how did you get your name?

Monday, September 18, 2017

One Of Our Wishes

We wish that we didn’t have to train the doctors about ourselves, that they could get that information in college, well now there are more medical school that are teaching about us (Being cynical I would say it is because we now have insurance coverage and they can make money off of us).

Anyhow, here is a research paper on teaching trans health in college,
Implementation and Evaluation of a Pilot Training to Improve Transgender Competency Among Medical Staff in an Urban Clinic
Transgender Health Volume: 1 Issue 1
By Corina Lelutiu-Weinberger, Paula Pollard-Thomas, William Pagano, Nathan Levitt, Evelyn I. Lopez, Sarit A. Golub, and Asa E. Radix
January 13, 2016


Transgender individuals (TGI), who identify their gender as different from their sex assigned at birth, continue facing widespread discrimination and mistreatment within the healthcare system. Providers often lack expertise in adequate transgender (TG) care due to limited specialized training. In response to these inadequacies, and to increase evidence-based interventions effecting TG-affirmative healthcare, we implemented and evaluated a structural-level intervention in the form of a comprehensive Provider Training Program (PTP) in TG health within a New York City-based outpatient clinic serving primarily individuals of color and of low socioeconomic status. This pilot intervention aimed to increase medical staff knowledge of TG health and needs, and to support positive attitudes toward TGI.
Results: Compared to pre-training scores, post-training scores indicated significant (1) decreases in negative attitudes toward TGI and increases in TG-related clinical skills, (2) increases in staff's awareness of transphobic practices, and (3) increases in self-reported readiness to serve TGI. The clinic increased its representation of general LGBT-related images in the waiting areas, and the staff provided highly positive training evaluations.

Conclusion: This PTP in TG health shows promise in leading to changes in provider attitudes and competence, as well as clinic systems, especially with its incorporation in continuing education endeavors, which can, in turn, contribute to health disparities reductions among TG groups.
One of the sections that I like in the study was.
Acceptability of the trainingLastly, based on the training evaluation surveys we collected at the end of each training session, we obtained 37 anonymous evaluation forms between the three training sessions (Table 3). Ninety-two percent of participants found the training to be very helpful, 87% of participants found the training to be very informative, and 95% of participants found the trainers to be highly knowledgeable.

Eighty-seven percent of participants highly agreed that the training helped them gain more knowledge and helped them feel more motivated to make changes in their interactions with TGI. Eighty-nine percent of participants highly agreed that the training helped them develop a better understanding of TG identity and 84% highly agreed that it further prepared them for interactions with TGI.

Qualitative text evaluations provided in the free-writing areas by participants reflected a positive experience, with statements such as “The session was very informative”; “I believe it was a great training and it covered a lot of material. Great information, I liked it!”; and “Everything was very good. Thanking you for being so open and informative, using personal life it always makes it interesting and engaging.”
It is good that the healthcare providers were interested in learning about us and that they thought highly of the training. I have don’t cultural training at a couple of hospitals and both had standing room only, the medical staff wants to learn about us if given an opportunity.

The non-profit that I am the Executive Director of was asked to  support a study entitled, "Development of a Transgender Affirming Medical Curriculum to Improve Medical Care and Cultural Competency for Transgender Individuals." We were asked to be a part of the Community Action Board and assist in the process of participant recruitment for the project’s in-depth interviews, as well as provide input on the development of a transgender-affirming curriculum and survey development if they receive the grant. In the past we have worked with the research organization on a pilot study of the trans people and HIV/AIDS in the Hartford area.

I hope that they receive the grant because this looks like an interesting study.

The Non-Binary

For many trans people they do get “non-binary” and they are not alone many cis-gender don’t understand transgender let alone “non-binary.”

The California legislature gets it.
California Just Got One Step Closer To Recognizing A Third Gender
“We need to make it easier for transgender and gender non-conforming people to live their lives as who they are,” said the coauthor of the landmark bill, which is headed to the governor's desk.
By Jessica Testa
Posted on September 14, 2017

The California legislature passed a bill Thursday that would make the state the first in the US to widely recognize a third, nonbinary gender.

On May 31, the Gender Recognition Act, or Senate Bill 179, passed the California Senate with a 26-12 vote. On Wednesday, more than three months later, it passed the California Assembly with a 57-21 vote. The bill then went back to the Senate for approval of amendments made in the Assembly. On Thursday, SB 179 finally passed the legislature, one day before the deadline for bills to be passed this legislative session.

SB 179 now awaits a decision from Gov. Jerry Brown, who has not yet indicated whether he’ll make it law. As the bill passed the legislature on Thursday, intersex activist Sara Kelly Keenan told BuzzFeed News she’s “guardedly optimistic, because we still need the governor’s signature … until he signs on the dotted line, I’m not doing any jigs.”
Hopefully he will sign the bill into law.

When you stop and think, non-binary makes sense. If you think gender as a spectrum with masculinity and femininity, male and female it makes sense that there is something in the middle; androgyny or non-binary.

Through research we have learned that trans women brains closely resembles that of a women’s brain and the same thing for trans men, their brains resemble that of a man, so it is not hard to think that maybe for non-binary people that their brains might not have developed in to either distinct brain pattern.

Nature is amazing; it is always experimenting with new combinations.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More Med Stuff

You all probably know by now that a couple of years ago that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders came out with new version DSM V and now there is a new version International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes.

One of the people who was on the committees to bring about those changes was Dr Jack Drescher, clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and in a video and article in MedScape he talks about the changes and the reasoning behind the changes.

In the article New Diagnostic Codes Lessen Stigma for Transgender People he says,
In addition, we removed the specifier for sexual orientation. There was a time when it mattered, for some reason, whether a person's sexual orientation was involved in making the decision to transition. For example, in the middle of the 20th century, if you were born a man, assigned male at birth, and you were attracted to women but you believed yourself to be a woman and wanted to undergo a transition, you could not tell the doctors that you were attracted to women. The doctors were only involved in making heterosexuals at the end of the treatment. They were not going to make any lesbians or gay men by transitioning people who, at the end, would be attracted to the same gender. That is not the case in terms of how clinicians practice today, but that was the case then. Thus, we removed the sexual orientation specifier because it is irrelevant to clinical work. Those were some of the DSM changes.
He goes on to say about the new ICD-11,
We also made a slight change at the international level. The World Health Organization's ICD-11 will come out in 2018. There was more flexibility in the ICD compared with the DSM, where a diagnosis is either in or out. The ICD includes all diagnoses, psychiatric and medical. The recommendation, which has been followed, is that the new diagnosis, called gender incongruence, will be moved from the mental disorder section to another chapter, called "Conditions Related to Sexual Health." This allows countries that have national healthcare systems to have a diagnosis code, to continue to provide care for people, and to reduce the stigma of a mental disorder.
I think that this could be a major step forward moving out of the section on mental disorders into "Conditions Related to Sexual Health." As the doctor pointed out in the video is that there has to be a code number in order for the insurance companies to pay for our healthcare, so the question where to put the diagnoses.

Also I have to wonder does this make gender dysphoria an intersex condition?

What do you think?

Big Surprise… Not

All of a sudden people are starting to notice that beside trans girls there are trans boys. They have been around for a long time, they were Tom Boys, some went on to become heterosexual women, some went on to be lesbian women, and some transitioned to be trans men.
Why Are Trans Youth Clinics Seeing an Uptick in Trans Boys?
By Evan Urquhart
September 13, 2017

Clinics that treat gender nonconforming youth have noticed two clear trends over the past 20 years or so. First, the number of total youth seeking treatment has steadily increased: What began as a tiny trickle of patients from the 1970s through the ’90s saw an uptick in the early 2000s and has become a steady stream of cases today. Second, during the post-2000 period, the gender balance of youth seeking treatment seems to have changed. According to anecdotal reports from clinicians and a handful of small studies of transgender youth, trans youth clinics in North America and Europe have seen a shift from a majority of transfeminine patients (assigned male at birth) to a majority of transmasculine patients (assigned female) now. In contrast, studies of adult trans patients thus far have either documented a majority of trans women or roughly equal numbers of trans women and trans men.

Why has the ratio of transfeminine to transmasculine youth seeking treatment changed, and what does this shift mean? Unsurprisingly, the opponents of transgender rights have a theory: Blogs from this contingent weave a story that transness is a social mania that seeps into the minds of young “girls” and, Svengali-like, causes them to believe that they are trans. Of course, devotees of science and research-based medicine don’t have the same freedom to take an interesting phenomenon and spin a conspiracy around it. Still, it’s worth asking what we actually know about the changes in who is seeking treatment for gender dysphoria, and what experts in transgender medical care think that a shift might signal.
Well I think that part of the uptick in the number of trans masculine children is that the doctors are not dismissing them as Tom Boys and are now taken them seriously.

At onetime therapist didn’t think that there were any trans men if you look at the early history thought that trans women were 1 in 30,000, now by some accounts it down around 1 in 200 and for trans men it used to be 1 in 300,000. I believe that the number of trans men is probably at the same rate as the number of trans women. Dr. Johanna Olsen-Kennedy from the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles thinks it is even greater,
There have been soft papers, observational papers, describing more people presenting for care at a younger age. At our clinic, the balance was about 50/50 when I started [7-8 years ago], and it’s shifted to be maybe 65-to-70 percent transmasculine today. We also see a different trajectory for our transfeminine and transmasculine patients, such that more of the younger kids under 12 are transfeminine/trans girls, and then we see transmasculine patients coming in for care at or slightly after pubertal development. This is unfortunate because what happens is, because of the age, it’s often dismissed as just an adolescent phase.
The article goes on to say,
“When you look at the earlier studies [of the make-up of adult trans populations], what you see is that they’re collecting data on genital surgery,” Olsen-Kennedy explained. “But the reality is that it’s easier to surgically create a vagina than it is a penis—there’s just no way of knowing how many trans men there always were that studies missed.”
Studies are finding more and more trans people are not having Gender Confirming Surgery (GCS) they are finding that just by living their lives in their true gender their gender dysphoria is under control.

Medical Xpress said this about trans healthcare, their article “Experts issue recommendations for gender-affirmation treatment for transgender individuals” about the Endocrine Society new guidelines said,
Over the last few decades, there has been a rapid expansion in the understanding of gender identity along with the implications for the care of transgender individuals. The new guideline establishes a framework for the appropriate treatment of these individuals and standardizes terminology to be used by healthcare professionals.

Many transgender individuals are prescribed hormone therapy to reduce the distress caused by having a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned at birth. Endocrinologist—specialists who untangle complex symptoms to diagnose, treat, research or cure hormone-related conditions—play a key role in treating transgender individuals, but a broader healthcare team is needed to provide mental health services and other treatments, such as gender-affirmation surgery [I prefer using Confirming instead of Affirming (GAS)].
Other recommendations from the guideline include:
  • Hormone treatment is not recommended for pre-pubertal gender-dysphoric /gender-incongruent persons;
  • For the care of youths during puberty and older adolescents, an expert multi-disciplinary team comprised of medical professionals and mental health professionals should manage treatment;
  • For adult gender-dysphoric/gender-incongruent persons, the treating clinicians (collectively) should have expertise in transgender-specific diagnostic criteria, mental health, primary care, hormone treatment, and surgery, as needed by the patient;
  • All individuals seeking gender-affirming medical treatment should receive information and counsel on options for fertility preservation prior to initiating puberty suppression in adolescents and prior to treating with hormonal therapy in both adolescents and adults;
  • Removal of gonads may be considered when high doses of sex steroids are required to suppress the body's secretion of hormones, and/or to reduce steroid levels in advanced age; and
  • During sex steroid treatment, clinicians should monitor, in both transgender males (female to male) and/or transgender females (male to female), prolactin, metabolic disorders, and bone loss, as well as cancer risks in individuals who have not undergone surgical treatment.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday 9: Don't Talk to Strangers

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Talk to Strangers (1982)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I’ve been away for the last couple of weekends… but I’m back now for awhile.

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

1) When did you recently have a conversation with a complete stranger? What did you two discuss?
Apples and peaches.
I was at a local orchard and looking at the peaches and the woman standing next started talking about how this year’s crop of apples and peaches were so good this year.

2) In the video for this song, a woman is having a "hot" conversation on a corded, rotary dial phone in her bedroom. Do you have a landline? If so, do you have an extension in your bedroom?
Yes I have a landline and I do have a remote phone in my room.

3) This week's artist, Rick Springfield, says he wrote this song when he was worried that his girlfriend (now his wife) would cheat on him when he was touring. Would you describe yourself as suspicious or trusting?
Trusting, that’s I near should have any children… “What are doing?” “Nothing.” I would totally believe them.

4) He became a daytime heartthrob as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. Do you think it would be cool to have a really attractive doctor? Or would it make you uncomfortable?
I do already, she is my endo and she is totally hot and she is a divorced lesbian. But alas, she's in her late 30s and I am in my late 60s.

5) He's discussed how sad he was when, as a boy, he had to leave his dog Elvis behind when the family left Australia. While you were growing up, did your family often move?
Once, when my father got transferred to Hartford.

6) In 1982, when this song was popular, Italy won the World Cup. Do you ever watch soccer?
Nope… I don’t watch sports.

7) "Smiley," the first emoticon, was introduced in 1982. Do you use emoticons in your communication? Or do you avoid them?
Sometimes but not on a business email.

8) The Vietnam Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, in 1982. Do you know any veterans of that conflict? If so, tell us about him or her.
He doesn’t want to talk about it. My other neighbor was the first to come home in a box. A couple of times I was 1A and I quickly went back to school. One time I got a job at a defense contractor to keep me out of Vietnam. My draft number was 348 while my friend’s number was 1, he said the only thing he won in his life was a free trip to Vietnam. While my other neighbor signed up in the Marines, stepped on a land mine and came home in a box.

9) Random Question:  Your friends are throwing a birthday "roast" in your honor. Which one quality of yours are you sure will be singled out for laughs?
My worrying.

This afternoon I will be at the local agricultural fair where I entered one of my photos.