Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NEWS FLASH! Trans Women Wins In Primary


This is something I didn’t expect…
Progressive Christine Hallquist becomes 1st transgender gubernatorial nominee for major party
ABC News
By Lee Harris
August 15, 2018

Christine Hallquist, who is running as a progressive Democrat in Vermont, made history on Tuesday as she became the first transgender gubernatorial candidate nominated by a major political party.

Advancing a progressive platform focused on economic and social justice, including a $15 minimum wage, environmentally sustainable rural development and expanding access to internet services, Hallquist edged out challengers in a crowded primary. She led the field with 39 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the secretary of state at the time of The Associated Press projection.

"I am so proud to be the face of the Democrats tonight," Hallquist said, addressing supporters at a victory party Tuesday night.

Describing her push for education reform, a living wage, and Medicare for All, Hallquist said, "this is called being a civil society."
I like the Tweeter tweet they have in the article…
All 4 letters in LGBT acronym have won Democratic nomination to run for governor this year:
L — Lupe Valdez, lesbian candidate in Texas
G — Jared Polis, gay candidate in Colorado
B — Kate Brown, bisexual incumbent in Oregon
T — Christine Hallquist, trans candidate in Vermont
Maybe come November the Republicans will get trounced by a LGBT wave of incumbents.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Who Got Our Backs?

Support for us comes from many places and sometimes it out shines the haters.
This Oklahoma school is closed because parents threatened one of its transgender students
Parents in a community Facebook group referred to the 12-year-old as "maggot," "thing," and "it."
Think Progress
By Zack Ford
August 14, 2018

A group of parents planned a silent rally outside an Oklahoma school Tuesday morning on a behalf of a transgender 12-year-old who has been subjected to threats of violence.

The school is closed through Wednesday in response to those threats.

The student, identified simply as “Maddie” to protect her identity, has identified as a girl at school for over two years now, but has typically used the staff bathroom to avoid being harassed. However, when she arrived at the newly-reopened middle school building this year, she was reportedly unable to find the staff bathroom and used the girls’ room instead.

Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, later clarified to CBS affiliate KXII that Maddie had only used the girls’ room “one single time.”
But that was enough to get the bigots and haters to crawl out of the woodwork,
“The transgender is already using the girls bathroom,” Jamie Crenshaw wrote before misgendering Maddie several times. “We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he [sic] has his [sic] own restroom yet he [sic] is still using the girls.”

Other members of the group piled on with similarly transphobic language. “How old is this thing?” one user asked.
But then…
The comments quickly turned to threats of violence. “If he [sic] wants to be a female make him [sic] female,” one user wrote. “A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.”

“Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want come back!!” another suggested.
And the comments triggered the school to take action.
Those treats are taking a toll on the child and the parents have taken out a protective against ,
According to Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, her daughter has gone from being upbeat and positive to being afraid for her life.
Now the parents across the state have stepped up I support of the student, including PFLAG members and the law enforcement agencies have become interested in the case.
The FBI and several other law enforcement agencies have stepped in to investigate the threats against 12-year-old Maddie, in order to determine whether any of the comments “constitute a hate crime,” KXII reported Tuesday. No arrests have yet been made.

One place they are not going to find support is… you guessed it.
Trump administration signals that it’ll look the other way on LGBTQ discrimination
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
August 14, 2018

A new directive from the Department of Labor encourages the government to allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people more.

This past Friday, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at the Department of Labor issued a directive that asked investigators to take religious exemptions into account.

While the directive doesn’t overturn the executive order that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity among federal contractors, it encourages the people who enforce the ban on discrimination to consider the “religious freedom” of federal contractors.

Specifically, the directive tells OFCCP staff:
  • They “cannot act in a manner that passes judgment upon or presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices” and must “proceed in a manner neutral toward and tolerant of … religious beliefs.”
  • They cannot “condition the availability of [opportunities] upon a recipient’s willingness to surrender his [or her] religiously impelled status.”
  • “[A] federal regulation’s restriction on the activities of a for-profit closely held corporation must comply with [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act].”
  • They must permit “faith-based and community organizations, to the fullest opportunity permitted by law, to compete on a level playing field for … [Federal] contracts.”
  • They must respect the right of “religious people and institutions … to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government.”
The Department of Labor has also removed information about protections from discrimination and how narrow the religious exemptions are.
This is unbelievable, this is from the lawyers that AG Sessions appointed and they cites the Supreme Court Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling as one of the justifications for the directive. However, the ruling was narrow, it only faulted the civil rights commission’s findings of discrimination because they brought religion in to consideration of discrimination, the court did not find the discrimination law unconstitutional.

But that little pesky detail didn’t stop the Trump administration.

Today’s A Travel Day.

I’m heading up to the Cape for a few days and one of the things that I want to see is the Carnival parade on Thursday.  I plan on going by bus to P’town, right by my cottage there is a shuttle bus stop at the Dunkin Donuts (kind of like killing two birds with one stone… the bus and a coffee.). Round trip will be four dollars and in parking P’town will be $3.50 per hour so it will be cheaper to take the bus. Also I will not have to worry about pedestrians and with the parade I think it will be miserable trying to get a parking space.

The parade is from 3 to 5 so I figured to catch the bus at 2 and I think it will get there around 3 because of all the stops.

So here are some photos…
 Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

 Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

 Highland Light (Cape Cod Lighthouse)

 Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

 Nauset Lighthouse

 Wellfleet Indian Neck Beach

Wellfleet Indian Neck Beach

Monday, August 13, 2018

I Don’t Know.

I love lobster in any form… boiled, baked, stuffed in rolls, Newberg, mac & cheese with lobster, and the list goes on and on but I don’t like the idea of lobster as an emoji for us.
Transgender advocates adopt lobster emoji
In the meantime, they are pushing an online petition for their own pink-and-blue emoji.
Press Herald
By Penelope Overton
August 13, 2018

British transgender activists frustrated by a lack of online representation are claiming Maine’s beloved new lobster emoji as their own.

The group, Lobsters Against Transphobia, launched an online petition last month to push Unicode, a nonprofit consortium that signs off on new pictograms, for a pink-and-blue flag emoji. Until they get their own flag, the group urged supporters to turn to the lobster, one of 157 new emojis that Unicode approved this year, as a substitute.

Lobsters can display both male and female characteristics.

“Emojis are a way for the world to connect and trans people shouldn’t be left out of the conversation,” the group said. “Unicode granted the lobster emoji proposal, which argued that people suffered ‘frustration and confusion’ at having to use a shrimp or crab emoji instead of a lobster. Imagine if that was your gender. Surely we deserve the same rights you have afforded crustaceans?”

Trans advocates are jumping on board the online campaign by adding the lobster emoji to their Twitter handles, dressing up as lobsters during Trans Pride parades and decorating colorfully polished fingernails with lobster stickers. On Twitter, they have gathered under the single banner of #ClawsOutForTrans.
Nope! I am not jumping onboard.

There are so many other symbols that we can use for an emoji and two come to mind,

  • The trans flag
  • The trans symbol (which is already in the public domain)

We need an emoji that we can recognize at first glance.
“I would be surprised if this caught on here,” said executive director Matt Moonen. “It’s basically already a symbol of our entire state.”

The Mainer who kicked off the online lobster emoji campaign, Luke Holden of Luke’s Lobster, said he doesn’t mind sharing.

“Lobster is for everyone,” the Cape Elizabeth native said by email. “So until Unicode does right by the trans community, we fully support using the lobster emoji to advocate for their right to be represented.”
Well I do mind sharing, because what you are really doing is stealing it from Mainers.

Let’s have our own emoji and not one that is “borrowed.”

Being Out

As I have said many times, just walking out the door is a step in courage for us. The haters are coming out of the woodwork.
Suspect arrested in connection with beating of man in Montrose
Houston Chronicle
By Jay R. Jordan and Julian Gill
August 2, 2018

A man has been charged with misdemeanor assault in connection with the violent beating of a man in Montrose early Wednesday morning, Houston police said.

Caleb Tout, 19, is accused of beating Christopher Bradford while he was walking home from a Montrose bar around 1:50 a.m., leaving him hospitalized with a brain bleed and significant head injuries. Bradford said he was beaten with a belt, rock and boots, and he ultimately needed staples in his head.

And in Oklahoma…
Achille ISD parents threaten to harm transgender student in Facebook posts
By Kristen Weaver
August 12, 2018

ACHILLE, Okla. (KXII) - Comments left on an Achille ISD parents Facebook page have garnered national attention after several parents made threats to harm a 12-year-old student.

It all started when a 12-year-old transgender girl in Achille used the girls' restroom on Thursday-- her first day of seventh grade.
Parent Jamie Crenshaw found out and took to social media on the private Achille ISD Parents Group, which has since been deleted.

"Basically talking about how she shouldn't be allowed to co-exist or use the female restroom," said local Darius Douglas.

Parents referred to Maddie as "maggot," "thing," and "it," saying those were the "perfect names" to describe her.

Some said a "good sharp knife" and being beaten in the bathroom would be the solution.

"It turned from concerns to violent threats made by not children, but adults who have children of their own," Douglas said.

It's not just the latest Montrose assault. LGBTQ people are under attack.
Houston Chronicle
By Andrew Edmonson
August 6, 2018

For gay men of a certain age, the brutal attack on Christopher Bradford in Montrose on Aug. 1 was shocking, but not surprising.
The anti-LGBTQ violence on the streets of Montrose is not an isolated incident. In Trump's America, LGBTQ Americans are under attack in a number of ways at the city, state and federal level.

In July, the Houston Public Library introduced Drag Queen Storytime, in which drag queens read to children at Houston-area libraries. The program followed on the heels of similar successful programs that have been introduced from New York to Oklahoma to San Francisco to Alaska. Conservative Houston activist Steven Hotze seized on the chance to reignite the culture wars, labeling the story time "a form of pedophilia" and declaring, "Just like we have opposed the godless Communists who are trying to destroy our American values, so we must oppose the sodomites who are undermining the Biblically based moral values of our nation."

Hotze leads the organization Conservative Republicans of Texas, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Councilmember Michael Kubosh further stirred the pot at City Council on July 17 and took to Fox News to denounce the program. After his appearance, the next drag queen story time drew its largest attendance ever. A heterosexual friend of mine, the doting mother of a teenage son, proposed a pragmatic solution to the controversy: "If you don't want your children to see drag queens, then don't take them to the Drag Queen Storytime."
Thanks to Trump and his cronies our lives have become more threatened; white supremacists run rampant in the streets, people are being verbally assaulted as they ride the subway, eat at restaurants, or just walking down the street.
What is to be done in the face of this onslaught?
1) Vote as if you're life depended upon it. The deadline to register to vote in the November 6 election is October 9.  Find more information on how to register here.

2) If you're interested in electing fair-minded leaders who will oppose discriminatory measures, download the endorsements of the Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus from their website in early October. The Caucus has one of the most rigorous, respected and transparent screening process of any Houston political organization.

3) Equality Texas is the statewide advocacy organization fighting for LGBTQ equality. They have a new pledge: "If you attack one Texan, you attack all Texans." Sign the pledge online, and they will alert you when discriminatory legislation is pending, with ways to contact your legislators and advocate against discrimination.

4) Join the Texas Freedom Network, a nonpartisan grassroots organization which has been building coalitions with faith leaders to fight for the civil rights of LGBTQ Texans. Sign up for their daily e-newsletter, which contains news articles on the latest developments impacting religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.
If you vote Republican you are condoning this violence against us. You might think you are voting for a small government, lower taxes, or to get government off you back but that is the hook that got you. Read their party platform

  • The platform asserts that laws and government regulations should only “recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” and explicitly calls for “judicial reconsideration or a Constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to states.”
  • The platform “supports adoption organizations that refuse to serve gay couples,” and suggests that “children raised in households without a mother and father are more prone to use drugs, commit crime and get pregnant outside of marriage.”
  • The platform vigorously endorses the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a deeply discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bill that would sanction unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people.
  • The platform includes affirming language about so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and discredited practice that falsely claims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Republicans cited “parental rights” to justify supporting the practice, which is tantamount to child abuse.
  • The platform in two separate amendments calls for legislation to prevent transgender people from “using public restrooms that align with their gender identity,” arguing speciously that it is “illegal and dangerous” and “alien to America’s history and traditions.”

And how many state Republican legislators have introduced bills to criminalize us for just going the bathroom.

And then there is this…
Police Lured a Gay Man Into Sexual Activity — Then They Arrested and Outed Him
If you thought police raids on queer sex were a relic of the '60s, think again.
By John Paul Brammer
August 2, 2018

You might think police raids of gay cruising are an anachronism, a relic of oppression that has since been vanquished as society becomes more tolerant. But trial attorney Abbie Cuellar, who is representing one of the 13 men arrested in a recent gay sex sting operation in Broward County, near Miami, will remind you that’s not necessarily the case.
When the Miami New Times reached out to the Miami Herald to question why it published the names and faces of the men arrested, the Herald rescinded that sensitive information and issued an editor’s note that portions had been removed due to content not meeting the paper’s standards.
“One problematic thing the police departments did was they didn’t put photos with anyone arrested except in stings like these,” he says. “They didn’t even put photos with escapees. That was hard and fast evidence of a PD whose goal wasn’t public safety, but to ruin the lives of men doing something they didn’t think they should be.”
I thought “gay shaming” went out in the 60s but I guess in today’s climate it is coming back.

Those are the tenets that you voted for. There is no way you can separate them from smaller government or lower taxes and as for “getting the government off of you back” what could be more intrusive then having government telling you where to go the bathroom.

We need to stop the Republican hate machine!

Sunday, August 12, 2018


For trans people it can be a problem and it is becoming worse because of all the barriers the Republicans are putting in the way of voting.
Thousands of transgender people may be prevented from voting in US election
Pink News
By Lydia Smith 
10th August 2018

An estimated 78,000 transgender Americans may be barred from voting in the upcoming US elections due to strict voter ID laws, according to a new report.

Research by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found people without identification or documentation that accurately reflects their gender identity are at risk of losing their ability to vote in November.

Eight states require voters to provide a government-issued photo ID at polling places, where officials decide whether the ID photo matches their registration information.

The rules could prevent trans people from voting in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

According to the report, there is “no way to predict precisely how election officials and poll workers will treat transgender voters” at the polls if they present identification that does not accurately reflect their gender.
In many states you cannot change you gender marker on your ID unless you have surgery therefore your ID might say “Male” but you are presenting as female.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law says,
Forty-six percent of transgender adult citizens who have transitioned and participated in the USTS reported that they had no IDs or records that accurately reflect their gender, meaning that their identity documents list the incorrect name, incorrect gender, or both. If that percentage holds true for the full

U.S. adult transgender population, about 450,000 transgender adult citizens who have transitioned have no identification documents or records that accurately reflect their gender. Analysis of USTS data reveals that transgender citizens who have transitioned were significantly more likely than others to have no IDs that accurately reflect their gender if they were people of color (48%), young adults (ages 18 to 24; 69%), students (54%), those with low incomes (less than $10,000 annual household income; 60%), and people with disabilities (55%). American Indian or Alaskan Native (52%), Asian (49%), Multiracial (48%), and Black (48%) respondents lacked accurate IDs at the highest rates among racial and ethnic groups in the USTS.
Also for low income people it might be hard to get a copy of your birth certificate because in many states you have to apply in person for a copy of your birth certificate or your birth certificate might be in another part of the state and you would have to take a day off from work or worst yet in another state.

You might say so what’s the problem if you photo shows a woman but the gender marker says “M” will probably not be a problem, but… the ID checker might be another Kim Davis who answers “to a higher authority.”

The Connecticut primary elections are this Tuesday.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday 9: The Nanny

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: The Nanny (1993)

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

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa for not replying to last Saturday’s Saturday 9. The drive home from the Cape last Saturday was crazy. There were 3 accidents; one on “Suicide Alley”, one just east of Providence on I-195, and the other was west of Providence on the other side of I-95. The last two were because of the heavy rain, when I was at the Rhode Island Massachusetts border it was pouring so I stopped at the rest area and took a nap, when I woke up it was just raining lightly.

I got home around 4:30 unpacked the car and just laid down for a sec, woke up three hours later all groggy from sleep.

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

1) This week's song is the theme from a sitcom that originally aired from 1993 to 1999. Were you a fan?
No, I am not a big fan of sitcoms and Fran Drescher character was too brash.

2) The song tells us that Fran once worked in a bridal shop. Have you ever worked in a retail setting?
No thank goodness, I don’t think I could put up with customers

3) The kids in the Sheffield household appreciate their nanny's "joie de vivre," which is defined as "exuberant enjoyment of life." Are you feeling joie de vivre this morning?
No, I am still groggy from waking up.

4) "The Nanny" is the colorful one, the one who wears red when everyone else wears tan. What color do you think you look best in?
Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe black or denim.

5) The TV show, The Nanny, was the brainchild of actress Fran Drescher. She got the idea while visiting her an old friend in London. Her friend's pre-teen daughter enjoyed having Fran as a confidante and shopping buddy. Do you enjoy shopping as a leisure activity? Or would you prefer to just dash into a store, grab what you need, and get out and go home?
I dash in and out. I check out stuff on the web and then try to find it in the “brick and mortar” store.

6) The friend Fran was visiting in London was Twiggy, who was the world's most famous model in the 1960s. Name another famous model.
I have no idea, I am not a follower of fashion.

7) The Nanny: The Complete Series is available on DVD on Amazon. It consists of 19 discs and takes 55 hours to watch, start to finish. What TV shows have you recently binge watched?

Here is the season 1 trailer, they are now on season 4.

8) The Nanny theme was sung by Liz Callaway. Her father, the late John Callway, was a long-time Chicago newscaster. Have you, or has a loved one, ever been on TV?
Oh yes many times.
The latest was last month, a 5 minute interview on Comcast Newsmakers.
(try googling comcast newsmakers and my first name)

9) Random question -- Which of these adjectives comes closest to describing you: sexy, sophisticated or down-to-earth?
Down-to-earth, my engineering side of my brain.

Friday, August 10, 2018

We Are Running For Office…

… not only here but in Pakistan trans women is running for parliament.
Once ostracised, now Pakistani transgender people are running for parliament
A new law lets people self-identify their gender on official documents and offers protection to 13 trans candidates in this week’s election
The Guardian
By Memphis Barker in Islamabad
July 2018

Cast out, marginalised and even murdered, transgender people in Pakistan used to have to rely on their wits to survive. Now they are running for parliament.

The country is conservative and deeply religious and homosexuality is illegal, but it has nonetheless introduced laws that are at the global forefront of trans rights. Pakistan has officially recognised a third gender since 2009.

Laws were liberalised still further in March with a wide-ranging piece of legislation that grants intersex people, eunuchs and trans men and women the option to self-identify their gender on official forms. A person born male can now hold a female passport.
There are 13 trans candidates to choose from in Wednesday’s election. Nadeem Kashish, a 35-year-old transgender woman running for office in Islamabad, smokes a cigarette on the street below her makeup studio.

In 2018, transgender women are running for governor, Congress and more
Washington Post
By Kayla Epstein
August 9, 2018

Much has been made of 2018 being “The Year of the Woman,” but that narrative tells only part of the story of this election cycle. In fact, the country is seeing an increase in potentially historic candidacies across many demographics, including the LGBTQ community.

Within the next four weeks, three transgender women will appear on ballots across the United States. They are part of what’s being called a “rainbow wave” of LGBTQ candidates in this year’s midterms.

“This year has been especially notable in that we have more trans women running for office than at any other time in history,” said Elliot Imse of Victory Fund, which helps elect LGBTQ candidates. He pointed to the 2017 victories of Virginia Del. Danica Roem (D) and Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins (D) as helping pave the way for more transgender candidates to emerge in this cycle.

Two transgender candidates will be on ballots in the next week: In Hawaii, Kim Coco Iwamoto, a lawyer and advocate for the homeless, is seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. In Vermont, Christine Hallquist, the former chief executive of Vermont Electric Cooperative, is vying to be the Democrats' gubernatorial nominee. And on Sept. 4, former military intelligence officer Alexandra Chandler will be seeking the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts 3rd Congressional District. All three are embracing liberal policies as their campaign platforms, and they all face steep odds.
As usual Connecticut gets left off the list.

Last year a transgender candidate, Raven Matherne won the election for Stamford City Representative and we also have a trans woman, Jacey Wyatt who is running for governor.

Worldwide Struggle

As we fight for our healthcare here in the U.S. we are not alone, around the world other trans people are battling for their healthcare.
'No Consideration': Death Of Transgender Woman In Georgia Prompts Health-Care Outcry From Activists
RFE/RL's Georgian Service
By Ron Synovitz
July 22, 2018

TBILISI – Gay rights activists in Tbilisi have taken up the case of a transgender woman who died on July 19 from complications of AIDS, saying the way she was treated by the country’s health-care system illustrates a gap between Georgia’s antidiscrimination laws and the realities faced by transgender patients.

Nino Bolkvadze, a lawyer from the Tbilisi-based rights group Identoba, says taboos against homosexuality cause many difficulties for lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men in the predominantly Orthodox Christian country.

But Bolkvadze told RFE/RL on July 20 that the 24-year-old who died of tuberculosis at the Batumi Center for AIDS and Tuberculosis, who has been identified only as Lika, faced even greater difficulties as a transgender woman with AIDS.

As a transgender patient, Bolkvadze argued, Lika required special treatment to ensure her “honor and dignity,” as required by Georgia’s law on patient rights, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
This sounds so familiar.

We have laws and company polices banning discrimination but so many times it boils down to the staff and how they treat you. All it takes is for a doctor’s receptionist making our lives miserable or for lab tech to refuse to do their job because of their “religious freedom” or an emergency room staff who tells you that you are okay and see your doctor in the morning after you hear them calling you derogatory names.

We might have laws, insurance, the best company non-discrimination policies, done the training but it all boils down to the employees.

And I think that it is only going to get worst with today's political climate as it emboldens the bigots. 

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Facial Recognition, Or I See You

I remember about fifteen years ago at Fantasia Fair one of the trans people staying at the Bed and Breakfast was what I thought was paranoid about her picture taken saying that she was worried about facial recognition software identifying her; well it turns out she was ahead of her time.

But facial recognition software is now creating problems for trans people.
Some transgender drivers are being kicked off Uber’s app
By Jaden Urbi
August 8, 2018

Uber has revolutionized the taxi industry with its easy-to-use service, but its current features lack options for transgender drivers to identify themselves correctly, which get some of them kicked off the app.

Transgender drivers across the country are finding their accounts either temporarily or permanently suspended due to an Uber security feature that requires drivers to take a selfie to verify their identity. If the photo doesn't come back as a match to other photos on file, it will get flagged.

Janey Webb began transitioning her gender around the time she started working for Uber in October 2017. Since then, her physical appearance has changed quite a bit. For another job that might not be a huge issue, but for Uber drivers a drastic change in appearance raises an algorithmic red flag.
But Uber is not alone in this problem; other applications are also creating problems for us.
Uber’s ‘Real-time ID Check’ doesn’t deal well with transgender drivers
The Next Web
By Tristan Greene
August 8, 2018

In this latest facial recognition SNAFU, originally reported by CNBC, Uber’s software (which runs on Microsoft’s Cognitive Services) flagged driver Janey Webb during a routine check. The company randomly requires drivers to take selfies periodically in order to prove they’re who they claim to be when they log in.
There’s certainly an argument to be made that knowing facial recognition technology is currently incapable of identifying people of color and trans individuals with the same accuracy as white cis-gendered people, yet still deploying it and requiring all employees to use it, is an act of malicious bigotry.

Because it’s not just Uber. Facial recognition technology is proliferating throughout the US. Police in Florida and Oregon recently trialed a system called Rekognition from Amazon, prompting Brian Brackeen, the CEO of facial recognition AI company Kairos, to tell TNW “I see a world where Amazon Rekognition could send more innocent African Americans to jail.”
The companies deploying facial recognition technology with total disregard for its technical limitations are, apparently, more interested in profits than civil rights. It wouldn’t be acceptable to sell a smart phone that doesn’t work for white women or open a company break room that gay men aren’t allowed to use. Why is it acceptable for any company to deploy identification software that doesn’t work for its transgender employees?
They got that right, “…are, apparently, more interested in profits than civil rights”

I think the woman at FanFair was ahead of her time, this could become a big problem for us. Not only by misidentifying us but also identifying trans people who are not out.

Trans Athletes

Those that know me know I am not a big fan of sports but many trans people are and many of us take part in sports.
CrossFit to allow transgender competitors in 2019 events
Athletes can compete under the gender they identify with.
By Jim Buzinski
August 5, 2018

CrossFit will allow transgender competitors to compete in events in the gender class they identify with starting next year, CrossFit’s CEO announced this weekend.

“In the 2019 CrossFit competitive season, starting with the Open [a series of elimination events], transgender athletes are welcome to participate in the division with which they identify,” Glassman said in Madison, Wisconsin, where this year’s Reebok CrossFit Games are being held. “This is the right thing to do. CrossFit believes in the potential, capacity, and dignity of every athlete. We are proud of our LGBT community, including our transgender athletes, and we want you here with us.”

This is a major change for CrossFit, which was sued for $2.5 million in 2014 by Chloie Jonsson, a competitor who was outed as trans and then told she would have to compete as a man since that was the gender assigned to her at birth. In the four years since, CrossFit had stuck to its position, often using bigoted and ignorant language, until this weekend’s announcement.
According to Them
Glassman spoke Friday at “Big Gay Happy Hour,” an event sponsored by LGBTQ+ CrossFit group OUTWOD. The group’s name refers to “WOD,” or Workout of the Day, CrossFit code for the series of exercises that a CrossFit coach gives athletes.

Alyssa Royse, a CrossFit affiliate gym owner and board member at the Out Foundation — the nonprofit that oversees OUTWOD — says she’s worked closely with CrossFit leaders to bring the new policy to life.

“I think it's important to realize that CrossFit is the largest fitness brand in the world, and where we go, others — we hope — will follow,” Royse says.

Out Foundation executive director Will Lanier calls the policy change “magical.”
Well I wouldn’t call it “magical” but I would say a 2.5 million dollar law suit might have had something to do with it.

This comes on the heels of a debate here in Connecticut over trans athletes student sports. The Hartford Courant reported two months ago,
The success of transgender female athletes participating in high school track and field events has parents, athletes and coaches in some communities calling for a change in the current rules, as they question a possible competitive advantage.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which governs high school sports in the state, allows athletes to compete in the gender specific sport in which they identify. Continued success by transgender athletes has prompted two petitions — one started in Glastonbury and another in Plainville — from critics who say transgender athletes have an advantage. Together, the petitions have about 150 signatures, though neither has been submitted to CIAC officials.
At the end of the article in the Courant the newspaper’s editors write,
Editor’s note: The rules under which transgender athletes are allowed to compete in high school sporting events in Connecticut have come under renewed scrutiny, sparked in part by the recent success of one athlete. Critics of the policy say it is unfair to cis girls, as it forces them to compete against athletes with higher levels of testosterone.

The Courant has also been criticized for not mentioning the athlete’s gender identity as part of its sports coverage.

Our decision follows extensive discussion and debate among reporters and editors here. While some felt it was central to our mission to deliver a complete accounting of this issue – including the athlete’s name – in the end we have opted to report on the issue and the debate around the rules but not single out any single athlete for scrutiny.
Last, there are those who argue we are ignoring the fact that a transgender girl may have an “unfair” advantage. But what is fair or unfair in sports is, to a degree, subjective. Tall people have an advantage on the basketball court. Athletes whose parents can afford to send them to year-round training have a clear-cut advantage in soccer, tennis and other sports. Our notions of what is fair and unfair are often driven by our own frames of reference.

In discussing this issue, we were not unmindful of the way an athlete who has been working toward a goal might feel when dealing with this changing landscape. But it is also crucial to reflect on the nature of high school sports. Everybody wants to win and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s more to it; playing on a team is also about commitment, dedication, teamwork and inclusion. Many great — and lasting — friendships were forged on the playing field.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Our Favorite Punching Bag

Is back in the news, Caitlyn Jenner with her efforts to sway Trump…
How Caitlyn Jenner Is Secretly Fighting Trump’s White House on Transgender Rights
By Ramin Setoodeh

The world’s most famous transgender woman has retreated from the public spotlight that once engulfed her and the hounding paparazzi who once tracked her every move. In her first lengthy sit-down magazine interview in more than a year, Jenner speaks with Variety about her conscious choice to focus, unheralded, on being a behind-the-scenes advocate for transgender rights on Capitol Hill.

“I don’t do a lot of media. I don’t want to be seen everywhere,” the 68-year-old Jenner says on a recent afternoon, her bare feet up on a lounge chair. “Today, I’m very politically involved. Nobody really knows it. I do it very quietly because I have been so criticized by the liberal side of the media. I can get more things done if I don’t stick my nose into everything publicly.”
So she is now using her name power to sway Republicans,
Every few weeks, Jenner travels to Washington to tell her story. She’s held long meetings with members of Trump’s White House and roughly 50 members of the House and Senate — to personally make the case for equality.

She’s patiently endured invasive questions about her body and genitalia, all in an effort to change people’s minds.

She says that these meetings are conducted away from the cameras. “I met with Paul Ryan,” she says. “I’ve met with just about everybody. Publicly, they aren’t supportive of transgender rights.” What do they say to her? “I’ve never had anybody not be nice to my face,” says Jenner, who did not want to elaborate on conversations that were confidential.
Republicans only respect one thing… money.
In February 2017, Jenner lashed out against Trump on Twitter for withdrawing federal guidelines that allowed transgender youths to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity. “From one Republican to another, this is a disaster,” she tweeted. “You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.”

Jenner says Trump never reached out. (A source with knowledge of her thinking says Jenner would like to meet with the president after the midterm elections, but not in front of the press.) “He’s not been doing a very good job, but it’s not over yet,” she says.
They are not all of sudden become enlighten about our struggle because it will cut off the money supply the evangelical Christian base. Let’s face it there is money to be made in hate and the Republicans are not giving up their cash cow.

As for Caitlyn Jenner; she will never change political views, she likes her money too much.

It Didn’t Take Long

For people to figure out how to use “Religious Freedom” to push bigotry, a group of TERF lesbians have formed a church.
Lesbians Want A Church Of Their Own And IRS Approves
By Peter J Reilly
August 3, 2018

Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft might strike you as something you would find in the Onion, rather than here on a Forbes tax blog, but it is a real deal.  You can find it on Charity Navigator and Guidestar.  The IRS recognized it as a 501(c)(3)  organization and went the extra step of recognizing PCMW as a church, the most enviable of all tax statuses. exempt not only from income tax but also from the transparency that filing Form 990 creates.  A church does not have to apply for exempt status, but it is a prudent step particularly for an innovative organization like PCMW.  My source indicated that the approval process was reasonably quick and there was no push-back from the IRS.

The Controversy
To understand what is going on with PCMW, you need to be aware of a conflict that is going on between some radical feminists and the transgender community. It is long running.  A recent manifestation occurred during the London Pride parade.

Anti-trans protestors, mostly made up of trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) invaded this weekend's London pride celebrations, disrupting and eventually being allowed to lead the parade by officials.

The article by Rose Dommu takes the transgender side of the controversy in her report on the incident.  That is what seems to be close to the consensus in progressive circles framing the issue as one of discrimination against an oppressed minority.

Ground zero of the controversy was probably the Michigan Womyn's Festival.   Michelle Goldberg's article in The New Yorker - What Is A Woman? might be a good place to start if this forty years war is news to you.   If you want to dig into the radfem side there is a collection of essays Female Erasure: What You Need To Know About Gender Politics War On Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights.

This is a tax blog, so that's enough on the underlying controversy.  By the way, some people consider TERF to be a slur.  I don't know if there is a satisfactory substitute.  I did see "gender critical" suggested.  It took me a long time to come up with "not conventionally tax compliant" as a neutral way of describing "tax protesters", but that term has not taken off, so I hesitate to even make an attempt with TERF.  I will try GCRF for a start, but it probably won't come up that often.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. I can foresee “The Church of the KKK” and other hate groups forming churches.

Can you imagine people kicking out blacks from their restaurants because it is against my religion, “I’m a member of the Church of the KKK and we don’t believe in mixing the races.” and there will be nothing you can do about it.

Attorney General Sessions in his abhorrence of anything LGBT has created what can become a haven for bigotry. They will be exempt from all discrimination laws!

This administration is using religion as a sword to drive its white supremacy/xenophobia/Islamophobia agenda, they are using the evangelical Christian zeal to back their bigotry.

The Church of Hate would only need to prove…
Here is what the IRS says about whether an organization is a church.
Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches.  These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions.  They include:
  • Distinct legal existence
  • Recognized creed and form of worship
  • Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
  • Formal code of doctrine and discipline
  • Distinct religious history
  • Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
  • Organization of ordained ministers
  • Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study
  • Literature of its own
  • Established places of worship
  • Regular congregations
  • Regular religious services
  • Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young
  • Schools for the preparation of its members
The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for federal tax purposes.

You can almost starting going point by point comparing the PCMW articles to the requirements.  They don't have an established place of worship yet, but they are working on it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Not All Are Against Us

There are affirming religions out there that support us and one of them has a trans decon.
The United Methodist Church has appointed a transgender deacon
By Julie Zauzmer
June 7, 2017

The bishop spoke the traditional words as she placed her hands on the new deacon named M with just a slight difference from the way those words have always been spoken before.

“Pour out your Holy Spirit upon M,” the bishop said. “Send them now to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to announce the reign of God and to equip the church for ministry.”

Not “send him now” or “send her now.” “Send them now.”

That’s what M Barclay has been working for 12 years to finally hear.

Barclay, a transgender person who identifies as neither male nor female and thus uses the pronoun “they,” was commissioned on Sunday as the first non-binary member of the clergy in the United Methodist Church.
I am friends with two trans clergy one is with the MCC church and the other is an Episcopal priest (she is the parish priest) and I am also friends with a number of lay trans people who are very active in their churches.

Trans In Politics

I haven’t heard if the trans woman who is running for governor here in Connecticut but there is an article about a trans woman running for governor in Vermont.
Meet the Vermont CEO vying to be the nation’s first transgender governor
Christine Hallquist looks poised to win this month's Democratic primary.
By Ben Scheckinger
August 7, 2018

MANCHESTER, Vt. — Christine Hallquist leaned back in her swivel chair inside a private room at the Northshire bookstore and dialed up potential donors, trash-talking the plummeting approval numbers of Vermont’s incumbent Republican governor and touting her chances against her Democratic rivals. "It's clear it's for us to lose, which I won't, 'cause I'm disciplined," she assured one prospective contributor of the upcoming primary.

Beating her fellow Democrats and then defeating a sitting Vermont governor for the first time since 1962 are only the beginning. From there, Hallquist, a first-time candidate, plans to reverse the decline of rural Vermont and maybe even solve climate change.
In large parts of the country, the appearance of a viable statewide transgender candidate would have caused a political earthquake, but here, her transgender status has been largely an afterthought.

“It will be irrelevant in Vermont,” former governor Howard Dean, who recently offered Hallquist campaign advice over breakfast, told POLITICO.
The article goes on to say…
That her transgender status has been relegated to a non-issue — in fact, she’s starting to wield it as an asset — is in part, a testament to the state’s longstanding progressive culture. Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery, the first to grant same-sex couples civil unions with full marriage rights, and the first to legalize same-sex marriage through its legislature, rather than by court ruling.
I wish her luck.

She does have one thing going for her, she has money. Let’s face it politics is becoming a “rich man’s sport.” How many races around the country have millionaires and billionaires running for office?

But I feel it is going to be a long uphill battle for the governor seat, maybe the folks that are coming out to meet her are okay with her being trans but let’s face it there are some who do not want anything to do with us. I think they may be the difference between winning and losing.

Here in Connecticut I don’t think she has much of a chance winning; the Hartford Courant reported…
Jacey Wyatt, a Democrat from Branford, made national headlines when she announced her gubernatorial candidacy. If elected, Wyatt would be the country’s first transgender governor.

But her campaign has gotten little attention since, which she admits is frustrating. Wyatt has appeared at a number of Democratic forums alongside better-known candidates, but a few towns have excluded her, she said.

“The media rarely mention our names,” Wyatt said of the lesser-known candidates.
Wyatt said some Democrats have been turned off by the fact that she voted for President Donald Trump and she has been extremely critical of Malloy. But she believes running for governor will provide her with contacts that could help her with a future campaign or potentially land another job in public service.
Like I said she’s a long shot and she doesn’t have my vote.

Monday, August 06, 2018

This Is What The Conservatives Think About Us.

It is not nice, this one article from the ultra-conservative The Federalist…
What I Learned From Attending ‘Transgender 101’ At My Local Library
The auditorium screen set the tone: ‘If you judge people, then you have no time to love them.’ The slogan implied that only heartless faultfinders would be skeptical of transgender dogma.
By Maureen Mullarkey
August 6, 2018

“Transgender 101,” a recent presentation in my local library, was more evidence—if any were needed—that transgenderism is an aggressive movement. And that today’s transgenderisti are way ahead of the old fascisti in socially driven language change.

The movement shares with Mussolini’s Fascist Party an appetite for dominance by means of language, with special attention to pronouns. Il Duce disallowed the formal lei and mandated universal usage of the informal, more comradely voi for ideological purposes. Like Mussolini’s partisans, transgender activists campaign to bend language to their will, radicalizing the populace by transforming speech customs. In time, behavior conforms to custom.

Control of language was a keynote of the July 19 program in the Chappaqua Library in New York state. Jillian Celentano, a 57-year old transwoman, rides the library talk circuit through Westchester County and Connecticut advocating for the movement.

This is typical language of the oppressors coming from white privilege.

Well the first thing I noticed was “transgenderisti” and “fascisti”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as,
: a member of an Italian political organization under Mussolini governing Italy 1922–1943 according to the principles of fascism
So I guess “transgenderisti” means a transgender political organization.
The audience was on notice against heresy before the transwoman introduced himself. A motto glowing across the auditorium screen set the tone: “If you judge people, then you have no time to love them.” A stealth bullying device, the slogan implied that only heartless faultfinders would be skeptical of transgender dogma or question the program’s agenda. Any inkling that conscientious love does not affirm delusional behavior or enable psychopathology was short-circuited on take-off.
Okay I think you get the picture, they are very anti-trans and anti-LGBT.

She is right in one aspect “Control of language was a keynote…”

When the blacks were struggling to end segregation back in the fifties, the language was the same. back In the 70s  when gays and lesbians were fighting for their rights, when Anita Bryant and her “Save the Children” campaign the language was the same.

In an essay by Stephanie M. Wildman and Adrienne D. Davis  they write in Language and Silence: Making Systems of Privilege Visible
Other words we use to describe subordination also serve to mask the operation of privilege. Increasingly, people use terms like racism and sexism to describe disparate treatment and the perpetuation of power. -Isms language serves as a way to describe discriminatory treatment. Yet this vocabulary of -Isms as a descriptive shorthand for undesirable, disadvantaging treatment creates several serious problems
Similarly, the phrase -Isms itself gives the illusion that all patterns of domination and subordination are the same and interchangeable. The language suggests that someone subordinated under one form of oppression would be similarly situated to another person subordinated under another system or form. Thus, someone subordinated under one form may feel no need to view himself/herself as a possible oppressor, or beneficiary of oppression, within a different form. For example, white women, having an -Ism that defines their condition-sexism-may not look at the way they are privileged by racism. They have defined themselves as one of the oppressed.
Thus, the very vocabulary that we use to talk about discrimination obfuscates these power systems and the privilege that is their natural companion. To remedy discrimination effectively we must make the power systems and privileges which they create visible and part of the discourse. To move toward a unified theory of the dynamics of subordination, we have to find a way to talk about privilege. When we discuss race, sex, and sexual orientation, each needs to be described as a power system which creates privileges in some people as well as disadvantages in others. Most of the literature has focused on disadvantage or discrimination, ignoring the element of privilege. To really talk about these issues, privilege must be made visible.
Though out the article she quote Paul McHugh PhD and uses studies that have been refuted, she brings up the fact of high suicide rates in the trans community but doesn’t mention that the incidents drop down to normal levels with family support or a support network.

She criticizes the speaker (whom she uses male pronouns) for not talking about “scientific studies” but she doesn’t mention them either only in passing…
What about puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for children? Jill was all for them. They give children time to decide which gender they choose to inhabit. If they go off the meds, they just go back to normal, he chirped. It was a patent falsehood. Puberty suppression involves radical, experimental procedures with adverse effects on bones and adult fertility, in addition to as-yet unknown effects on the brain.
And there are a number of research studies on blockers, all you is search Google Scholar. You will find many studies on puberty blockers such as Serving Transgender Youth: Challenges, Dilemmas and Clinical Examples.

The bottom-line is that just like all the other struggles to end oppression we are in a struggle over language and domination of the oppressor.

Right now the pendulum has swung far right and it is our job to bring it back… speak up and VOTE!

Think Before Acting


I don’t know how many times in the last couple of days have I seen posts on Facebook about the State Department changing the rules on passports.

I don’t know how many times I heard that we need to protest a business because they dissed a trans sister or brother.

It turned out with the passports that there were other issues involved with the passports being revoked and with businesses it turns out to be an isolated incident.

One of the things that I leaned in grad school is to know the issue and the facts before you take action.

If you read the original article in Them about the passport she wrote
Today I was denied a renewal of my US Passport and told I would need to get a judge to unseal child welfare records from Foster care in order to "prove" my US Citizenship. Despite having had all "Female" ID since 1999, they are now demanding "Proof of Transition" for the 1st time.
Notice she said “…in order to "prove" my US Citizenship” not that she is female and the other passport that was revoked was because…
Rose had successfully changed the gender marker on her passport in 2017 using a letter signed by the nurse practitioner at her clinic. The clinic, she says, told her they’ve never encountered a person being told that that letter is invalid or that they need to have it written by an M.D. instead.

“It seems pretty clear that even if the policy hasn’t changed, something has changed in terms of guidance on how to enforce this — because it’s being enforced differently now,” says Rose.
Well here is the sample form on NCTE website…

I, Physician’s Full Name, Physician’s medical license or certificate number, Issuing U.S. State/Foreign Country of medical license/certificate, am the physician of Name of Patient, Date of Birth of Patient, with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whom I have treated (or with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whose medical history I have reviewed and evaluated).

Name of Patient has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female).

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct.

Signature of Physician
Typed Name
Notice it says “Physician’s Full Name” not APRN or PA. The APRN who provides healthcare to me signed the form and was co-signed by the doctor.

There were reports last fall of a restaurant here in Connecticut disrespecting a trans woman who wanted to protest the restaurant but digging deeper I found out that many trans people had no problems at the restaurant. What would you do? Join the protest?

Another incident in another state happened at a big box store where another trans woman was harassed by a store employee and she wanted an action in front of the store. The store apologized and said the employee violated the store policy; in addition the store has a good record of hiring trans people.

I am not saying we shouldn’t have protests or actions; I am just saying we should investigate first. Know your target and know your goals what do you hope to accomplish?


Sunday, August 05, 2018

This Is Hard

There are no easy answers.

When a woman is the target of domestic violence where does she turn for help? Many times it is a domestic violence shelter. Where does a trans woman turn for help when she is the target of domestic violence?
Forced to share a room with transgender woman in Toronto shelter, sex abuse victim files human rights complaint
But when Hanna called the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, they said that she was the one engaged in discrimination for describing her new roommate as a 'man'
National Post
By Joseph Brean
August 2, 2018

A woman has filed a human rights complaint against a Toronto shelter for female recovering addicts, claiming staff forced her to share a small double room with a pre-operative male-to-female transgender person.

The formal complaint against the Jean Tweed Centre, which runs Palmerston House, followed Kristi Hanna’s efforts to inquire about her own legal rights in this unusual situation, only to be told by Ontario’s Human Rights Legal Support Centre that, by describing her new roommate as a “man,” Hanna was the one engaged in illegal discrimination.

Hanna, 37, is a former paramedic who has lately worked in the service industry, and has been struggling with the lingering effects of sexual abuse and resulting problems with addiction to alcohol and cocaine. She described herself as an “active ally in the LGBTQ community,” but said this conflict has left her feeling as if vulnerable women are unable to voice their own gender-based rights for fear of violating someone else’s.

“It’s affecting everyone in the house. This can completely ruin your recovery, let alone your safety, let alone your life,” Hanna said in an interview.
The dispute began in mid-July, when the transgender woman arrived and, according to Hanna, was acting odd and failed a sobriety test. Residents must be clean for a month before they are admitted. After some time in detox, the trans woman was admitted July 20 and assigned to Hanna’s bedroom, a double room with beds about five feet apart.
“With respect to accommodating trans women, we do not discriminate; nor do we impose modifications with respect to accommodation,” Hume said in a written statement to the National Post. “We do, however, do our best to meet the needs of all parties affected in a way that complies with the requirements of shelter standards and trauma-informed practice.”
One of her complaints was…
Hanna said the woman is in her late 20s, has facial hair, chest hair, and wears large black combat boots that “trigger” her with their thumping. She said at one communal dinner, the roommate talked about having had a wife in the past, and a pregnant fiancée, and was overheard talking about some unidentified women as “hot” and expressing her preference for Latina women. Hanna said her mannerisms came across as “piggish” and inappropriate.
It costs a lot of money to remove facial hair and without hormones and androgen blocks the body hair will not go away and it takes time for them to work. As for combat boots, there are a lot of women who also wear them and I don’t mean just in the military.

This is hard to answer, but there are answers. First I hope that the shelter used female pronouns when discussing her, this is very important to validate the resident’s gender.

Second I hope that they sat down and talked to the other residents saying that they are an affirming safe space.
She was offered the alternative of moving to a room that, because it leads to a fire escape, does not even have a door that closes. She declined.
Well I also don’t think that was an acceptable alternative, I think they should have offered other alternatives.

Lastly, did they have any training about trans residents?

Domestic violence is real in the trans community, just this past spring a trans woman was murdered by her husband. I know of other trans people who are targets of their partners and there are also trans men who are mentally and physically assaulted by their partners. Another thing to keep in mind there is also domestic violence in the lesbian and gay communities and they also need safe shelters.

But all else we should keep in mind that Ms. Hanna fears are valid.

Let's hope that DV shelters move into the 21st century and realize that DV shelters should be for everyone. They might need to expand their programs to cover all victims of DV.

We Have It Easy Here

But in other states around the country we are not so lucky; Connecticut Probate Courts just take your money and a few days later you see the judge.
Warren County family sues judge over transgender name change
Dayton Daily News
By Denise G. Callahan
August 3, 2018

Saying he has or likely will trample their constitutional rights, three Warren County families have sued a Warren County judge for denying name changes for their transgender teens.

The lawsuit filed Friday against Warren County Common Pleas Court Judge Joseph W. Kirby in federal court comes after the judge in June denied a name change for a 15-year-old girl who identified as a boy, saying the change was premature.

“The court is sympathetic to the parents of the child and their desire to assuage their child,” a transcript of a hearing attached to the lawsuit reads. “In essence, the court isn’t saying ‘no’ to the name change. The court is simply saying ‘not yet.’ Age. Develop. Mature.”
The lawyers suggest there is a pattern and the judge is ignoring what all the experts are telling the parents.

“Judge Kirby has demonstrated animosity towards transgender adolescents seeking a name change without any rational basis,” the lawyers wrote.

The transcript shows a lengthy conversation where Kirby asks a lot of questions about how the teen is coping at school and in public, how far the family plans to take the transformation from female to male, what will happen if the child has a change of heart later, and how and when the teen discovered their gender identity.
In some states it is even harder to legally change your name, it has to be published in newspapers… John Doe wants to be Jane Doe. Wouldn’t you love see that in the paper telling the whole world to know you are trans?

Here in Connecticut the only problems that I have heard about is a judge down in the Gold Coast denning fee waivers but I have heard that he was spoken to by the Chief Justice.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Saturday 9: Along Comes a Friend

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Along Comes a Friend (Theme from Kate and Allie) (1984)

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

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

1) This week's song is the theme from Kate and Allie, a sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1989. Were you a fan?
Nope, I watched it a couple of times but I am not much of a fan of sitcoms

2) The show was about two divorced women who live and raise their children together. Were you ever a single parent? Were you raised by a single parent?
Only after I was 54 years old when my mother died.

3) Allie is proud that she can make a perfect cup of coffee: "Just the essence of the bean. No acidity." Kate is proud that she can belch the alphabet. What are you proud of?
A couple of times I have been stopped by a social worker in a store or in a restaurant to tell me that because of the training that I give to them that they knew what to do when a client came out to them as trans.

4) Kate and Allie share half of a duplex in Greenwich Village. Many episodes had them doing laundry in the basement. Where are your washer and dryer?
Well right now 200 miles away since I’m up at the cottage. But at home they are in a room just off of the kitchen.

5) Kate was played by Susan St. James. She was familiar to viewers as the "wife" in McMillan and Wife. Without looking it up, do you know who played McMillan?
I never really pay attention to their names. It my memory serves me, his wife was Susan St. James.

6) Allie was played by Jane Curtin. She was one of three women in the original Saturday Night Live cast. Without looking it up, can you name the other two?
That was way past my bedtime.

7) On the set, Jane Curtin ran a poker game for the cast and crew. Do you think winning at poker takes more luck or skill?
Yes both. You have the luck of the draw and the skill in playing the hand that you were dealt.

8) The Kate & Allie theme was cowritten and sung by John Lefler. Years later, Mr. Lefler wrote the theme for the Pokemon show. Is anyone in your life into Pokemon?
Ugh… no thank goodness.

9) Random question: What's the last thing you whispered?
Probably at a legislative hearing.

Right now I am up at the cottage but I will be driving home this morning so I will not be able to approve your comments until I get home.

Friday, August 03, 2018

I Wouldn’t, Would You?

I have thought about it but I decided to not do it because of serval reasons. What I am talking about? Voice training.
Helping transgender women find their voice
The Washington Post
By Amy Ellis Nutt
July 30, 2018

A soft-spoken, middle-aged woman slides into a chair in a small, bare room at George Washington University’s Speech and Hearing Center, then smiles at the clinician sitting across from her. After a few minutes of chitchat, they begin their hour-long session, during which the woman repeats sentences and answers seemingly random questions:

“Why do you go to school?”

“Why do we have stop lights?”

“Why do we use clothes hangers?”

As it turns out, it’s not the answers that matter. It’s the sound of those answers. The woman is transgender, and she is here to learn a new voice.

“We’re not just changing their voice pitch,” said Adrienne Hancock, an associate professor at George Washington and a pioneer in the field, according to many of her professional peers. “We’re changing how they express themselves.”

It is vital to transgender women to find the feminine voice that matches their gender identity, gives them confidence and helps prevent harassment.

Dena, the woman undergoing the training session — she asked that her last name not be used — explained the danger of being a transgender woman with a man's voice in the company of strangers.
Okay these are my reasons that I didn’t want to have voice lessons, I realize we are all different and people will have different opinions on voice training.

For me I hid my true self for 60 years and I feel that voice training is just another way of hiding.

I also don’t think it works and if effective.

I think that it also reinforces the binary; it strengthens the stereotypes that all women use the same hand gestures and talk the same way.

I find that after eleven years since I transitioned my voice doesn’t matter most people just don’t care and I am more concerned about how people treat me. I know of several trans people who have had voice training and I realize that for some trans people  it is a matter of survival.

So would you go to a voice therapist?

As I mentioned I know of serval people who have had voice training and they went to the therapist at UConn…

Too Late

I am always suspect of apologies given after all hell breaks loose, if they really are apologetic they would have apologized immediately.
New York Times Theater Critic Apologizes for Offending ‘Transgender and Nonbinary Communities’
Ben Brantley “deeply sorry” for review featuring Broadway’s first openly trans woman in a principal role
The Wrap
By Jon Levine
July 30, 2018

New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley apologized for his review of the broadway show “Head Over Heels,” featuring the first openly trans woman to play a leading role on Broadway.

“I feel horrible about having offended transgender and nonbinary communities,” he said in a statement posted to the New York Times Communications Twitter account on Friday.

“I was trying to reflect the light tone of the show, as well as a plot point in which one character learns to acknowledge another not as ‘she’ but as ‘they,'” he said. “This unfortunately read as more flippant than I would ever have intended, especially with regard to a performance that marks a historical first. I am deeply sorry.”
What did he write?
Brantley’s original review “purposefully misgenders a non-binary character, played by trans actress Peppermint (the first openly trans woman to play a principal role on Broadway) – writing “Dametas (Tom Alan Robbins), the King’s viceroy and father of Mopsa, finds himself strangely drawn to her – I mean them,” wrote Alan Henry of Broadway World. Henry added that early in his review, “Brantley seems to invalidate an entire gender identity, writing ‘And its dichotomous nature matches the didactic thrust of a show that celebrates the importance of not being (and pardon me, for trotting out what’s starting to feel like the decade’s most overused word) binary.'”
The writer of the article should also rethink what he said,
Brantley’s statement was only the latest in a weekend of walkbacks for remarks deemed insensitive by aggrieved communities. Around the same time, editors at The Nation issued a lengthy statement of contrition for publishing a poem about homelessness they later deemed “ableist.”
Reporters should really analyze their privileges and review how it influences their writing. They should also do a little research on transgender, at the very least check the AP Stylebook.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Yeah Right!

What a deal!

Freemasons accept transgender women who joined as men
August 1, 2018

Transgender women should be allowed to remain Freemasons if they joined as men, the largest UK lodge has said.

Expelling masons for transitioning was "unlawful discrimination", the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) warned.

Women who transition to become men should also be allowed to join, its new gender reassignment policy states.

The guidance document says that a Freemason's gender reassignment should be "treated with the utmost compassion and sensitivity".

Irrespective of gender identity, the UGLE's 200,000 members will still formally be referred to as "brothers", the document says.

But informally they should be addressed "by the name and title he/she has chosen".
Wow, isn’t magnanimous of them.
Trans people were misgendered & confronted in bathrooms at an LGBTQ concert
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
July 31, 2018

The LoveLoud concert in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a fundraising event for LGBTQ charities like The Trevor Project and The Tegan and Sara Foundation. The annual event was started by Dan Reynolds, lead singer of pop-rock band Imagine Dragons.

So it’s disconcerting that transgender people were confronted and misgendered at bathrooms at the event this past Saturday.

“When I was confronted, saying I was in the wrong bathroom, it kind of threw me off,” she said, adding that while the man didn’t threaten her, she felt unsafe.

She talked about the situation with other members of Queer Meals, and they decided to leave. So did Provo Pride.
“When I was confronted, saying I was in the wrong bathroom, it kind of threw me off,” she said, adding that while the man didn’t threaten her, she felt unsafe.

She talked about the situation with other members of Queer Meals, and they decided to leave. So did Provo Pride.
We were saddened to hear that a few of our LGBTQ+ community members faced discrimination at last night’s festival. We have a zero-tolerance policy toward any behavior that makes anyone feel unsafe or unwelcome. As an organization dedicated to creating safe and affirming events for our LGBTQ+ friends and families, our staff, volunteers, and charity partners were asked to participate in an LGBTQ+ cultural competency training. We are committed to learning from our mistakes and will continuously work to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in our community and beyond.
Wow, isn’t nice of them.

Too bad they said that after the incident and didn’t have that message before the concert and not after the hurt is done.
Transgender woman sues Starbucks for harassment, discrimination during Fresno tenure
The Sacramento Bee
By Brianna Calix
July 31, 2018

A former Fresno Starbucks employee is suing the coffee chain claiming harassment and discrimination after she began the process to transition from male to female.

In the complaint filed in Fresno Superior Court, plaintiff Maddie Wade alleges Dustin Guthrie, her manager at the 6701 N. Milburn Ave. Starbucks in northwest Fresno, reduced her hours and discriminated against her after she disclosed her gender dysphoria disorder and her plans to start hormone therapy and have facial feminization surgery. She eventually was forced to resign because of the “intolerable conditions,” the complaint says.
Wade says in the complaint that her relationship with her coworkers remained positive, except with Guthrie. Her hours were cut, and Guthrie refused to use female pronouns with her, continuing to call her “Matt,” “brother” and “man.” At one point Wade confronted Guthrie about the treatment saying she felt punished, but Guthrie assured her that was not the case.
So what did Starbucks say?
“At Starbucks, we strive to create a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome and have zero tolerance for the harassment of our partners or customers. We encourage all of our partners to alert their local leadership the moment they feel uncomfortable or unsafe at work. In those instances where partners don’t want to speak with their manager or choose to remain anonymous, we have processes in place that allow them to provide details over phone, email or fax.”
I am getting tired of businesses many of whom are listed on the HRC Corporate Guide as having a 100 percent rating discriminating against us by their employees. I am hearing more and more reports of trans people facing discrimination by employees of mega corporations, then to add pour salt in the wounds they give us a discount coupon when we complain about the treatment.

We don’t want your apologies, we don’t want your 20% off coupons, we just want to not be harassed by your employees.

There’s Money To Be Made

Ever notice how we were ignored by healthcare providers and businesses until they realized that they could make money from us.
How 4 Next-Gen Makeup Lines Are Serving the Transgender Community
By Ivana Rihter
July 30, 2018

It’s been a celebratory season in the name of Pride. Virgil Abloh used his newly minted title as menswear artistic director of Louis Vuitton to send a global message of inclusion by showcasing a diverse casting of models down a rainbow-hued catwalk in Paris. Celebrations commenced stateside and a mosaic of glitter filled streets across the U.S. in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Lady Gaga, ever the ally, debuted a showstopping neon eye, a gradient wash of red, orange, yellow, and blue, at New York City’s parade. Aquaria won RuPaul’s Drag Race and appears in Ryan Murphy’s 1980’s dance musical Pose, which debuted to great success on FX and now serves as the show with the most trans people in front and behind the camera in television history. Even more? Earlier this summer, Miss Universe’s first-ever transgender contestant was named—26-year-old Angela Ponce from Spain—and will compete to win the beauty title later this year. It’s a major feat, and the cosmetics industry is finally falling in line.

Because even though it may seem like makeup has long been at the center of the queer community, often considered a tool for self-expression, identification, and reinvention, most transgender people “don’t feel included in the beauty world,” says the trans makeup artist Dominique Anderson, who currently teaches a course called Classes for Confidence: Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community at Sephora. The good news is, in addition to the big-box beauty retailer’s in-store makeup classes which are offered free of charge to anyone interested in tips for covering up unwanted facial hair and tutorials for sculpting cheekbones to desired effect, there is also a slew of gender nonbinary brands and charities that are supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community—with even the Kardashians offering a hand. Here, a closer look at how brands and individuals are bridging the gap between the transgender community and the beauty industry.
Hmm… I wonder if the makeup will be for drag queens or for the rest of the community?

There are a number of good cosmetic companies out there already that have a good line of cosmetics for us like Mac and Avon, and a number of trans people are selling them. At the support group we had a number of sales people come in and do makeovers.

A friend who ran a boutique that catered for the trans community once told a story of going to a shoe conference in Las Vegas and wanted to buy women’s shoes in sizes 11 to 16. The clerk at the vendor table asked what he wanted such large shoe sizes and he told him they were for crossdressers. My friend said the salesman stepped back and said something to the effect we don’t sell to those people! My friend said he wanted 200 shoes in each size, he said that the salesman looked at him for a second, grabbed a pad and pencil and started figuring pricing.

You want our money… treat us just like your other customers.