Sunday, December 09, 2018

I Am A Woman!

One of the hardest things to get across while teaching cultural understanding is non-binary or genderqueer. People are just so set in thinking the binary, that it is hard break them out of it.
When Does She Become He
Medium
By Brettany Renée Blatchley
Aug 23, 2016

What makes a woman and what makes a man; what is male and what is female? What was once a very taboo subject in our culture, only seriously (and quietly) contemplated by doctors and researchers, is becoming dinner-table talk with the new, greater visibility of transgender and intersex people. Perhaps a little thought experiment can add to this conversation?

Say that Sarah is an ordinary woman inside and out. When would she stop being a woman, a female, and what would it take to make her a male, a man? Consider:

DNA: Let’s exchange one of Sarah’s X chromosomes for a Y. Would this make her a male, a man? Not necessarily. Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome is an intersex condition in which a person’s body is unable to respond to testosterone. So their body does not masculinize from the default female form of all mammals, including humans. With Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS), Sarah is a girl to all outward appearances: she is assigned female, usually knows herself to be a girl, and is raised as a girl. Then as she approaches womanhood, it is discovered that she cannot menstruate and is sterile; further investigation reveals her to be a female with XY DNA.
[…]
Gonads: Okay, let’s give Sarah some testes. Various combinations of X and Y genes can do this, as can faulty XX genes. Another way Sarah could develop testes is because she might have the DNA of two (or more) people in her: chimerism, which is quite rare, but happens. Yet another possibility is that her gonads might be a blend of ovaries and testes known as ovotestes, and as their owner she would be hermaphrodite (an outdated term). Like virtually all of our sexual anatomy, male “bits” develop from existing female structures. Testes and ovaries develop from the same fetal tissue, for example.
She goes on to write about Hormones and then…
Internal genitalia: What if Sarah did not develop a uterus or fallopian tubes? This can happen with various intersex conditions like Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia(CAH). In this condition, an XX person masculinizes, which can mean missing or undeveloped internal genitalia. And there are other, far more common, non-intersex reasons why women may be missing their inner “bits.” Does this make them a male, a man?

External genitalia: Few people realize that our genitalia (both internal and external) develop from the same tissue. So, for example, the scrotum forms from tissue that would otherwise be a labia majora. The penis and clitoris are likewise related. Much of sex distinctive male and female anatomy is homologous.
This is the one I find interesting…
Social rearing: What if Sarah is raised as a boy? What if her genitalia were ambiguous enough that she was “marked” as a boy and everyone treated her that way? The social pressures involved are as insidious and pervasive as they are powerful, and anyone who deviates from these expectations (in many cultures) can expect generally harsh, even lethal treatment. Does Sarah’s rearing determine whether she is a girl or boy, and whether she will grow to be a woman or man?
I find this interesting; I use the “John/Joan” case of David Reimer in my training. If you are not familiar with his case it is about Dr. Money’s theory that gender is a social construct. The Intersex Society of North America writes this about him.
David Reimer was born an identical (non-intersex) twin boy in 1965. At the age of 8 months, David and his brother each had a minor medical problem involving his penis, and a doctor decided to treat the problem with circumcision. The doctor botched the circumcision on David, using an inappropriate method and accidentally burning off virtually all of David’s penis. At the advice of psychologist John Money at Johns Hopkins University, David’s parents agreed to have him “sex reassigned” and made into a girl via surgical, hormonal, and psychological treatments—i.e., via the system Money advocated for intersex children.

For many years, John Money claimed that David (known in the interim as “Brenda”) turned out to be a “real” girl with a female gender identity. Money used this case to bolster his approach to intersex —the approach that is still used throughout much of the U.S. and developed world—one that relies on the assumption that gender identity is all about nurture (upbringing), not nature (inborn traits), and that gender assignment is the key to treating all children with atypical sex anatomies.

As it turns out, Money was lying. He knew Brenda was never happy as a girl, and he knew that as soon as David found out what happened to him, David reassumed the social identity of a boy.
What I thing his case points are two things… well three things

First gender identity is inborn in all of us.

Second is that clothes do not make the boy into a girl or the girl into a boy. So no matter how much the conservatives what to argue about parents pushing their child to be trans, it just doesn’t happen.

Lastly that unethical* and inhuman treatment of people can have disastrous consequences.

She ends the article with,
“In the end it is only the children themselves who can and must identify who and what they are. It is for us as clinicians and researchers to listen and to learn. Clinical decisions must ultimately be based not on anatomical predictions, nor on the ‘correctness’ of sexual function, for this is neither a question of morality nor of social consequence, but on that path most appropriate to the likeliest psychosexual developmental pattern of the child. In other words, the organ that appears to be critical to psychosexual development and adaptation is not the external genitalia, but the brain.”
*This was before the Belmont Report and the creation of ethical guideline for the treatment of human subjects.

To The Supreme Court?

Is this case heading to the Supreme Court, it is a case that the conservatives dream of… religious bigotry… um… I mean religious freedom to discriminate.
West Point HS teacher at center of transgender controversy terminated
Board voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the superintendent's decision
By:  WRIC
Posted: Dec 04, 2018

WEST POINT, Va. (WRIC) -- The school board for West Point Public Schools voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the termination of a teacher at West Point High School who was at the center of a transgender controversy at the school.

Peter Vlaming, a French teacher at the school, was put on paid administrative leave on Oct. 31 for not using a student's preferred identity pronoun.

Several people, including Vlaming, spoke during the public hearing on Thursday.

"My religious faith dictates that I am to love and respect everyone, whether I agree with them or not. Because we are all made in God's image," Vlaming said, reading from a prepared opening statement.

“I am also aware of, and agree, with speech limits that are placed on public school teachers, concerning matters of religious faith. I represent the state in my role as a public school teacher and therefore speak with a certain authority. That authority is not to be used to promote any one specific worldview, and I don’t. However, we are here today because a specific worldview is being imposed upon me," he continued. 
I can see the religious bigot’s salivating over this case and giving the current anti-LGBT pro religious bias climate in the Department of Justice and the packing of the Supreme Court justices who put the Bible about the Constitution this case has a good chance to overturn the school board decision to fire the teacher.

What I find interesting is the teacher’s statement “I represent the state in my role as a public school teacher and therefore speak with a certain authority.” But then he says, “…we are here today because a specific worldview is being imposed upon me…” It is not a “worldview” it is one that every medical professional association sees it as an inborn trait and not a “lifestyle.”

These “religious freedom” cases remind me of the Scopes Trial only with far wider implication, if Vlaming wins that will mean we will now have two sets of laws in the country, one for religious fanatics and one set of laws for everyone else.

Think about this.

What will stop someone from refusing to serve a black person because it violates their religious beliefs?

What will stop someone from refusing to serve a Muslin or a Jew because it violates their religious beliefs?

What will stop someone from refusing to serve an interracial couple because it violates their religious beliefs?

All they have to do is say… “It is against my sincerely held religious beliefs” and there is no way to prove otherwise.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

I'm Off To A Saturday Morning Meeting

No Saturday 9 this morning, I have a meeting this morning to plan for the future of LGBTQ+ activism here in Connecticut.

If I have time in the afternoon I will answers the nine questions.

Friday, December 07, 2018

They In The Dictionary

Non-binary and genderqueer people have a problem with the English language we don’t have any gender neutral pronouns.

Someone post this on Facebook…
It’s OK To Use “They” To Describe One Person: Here’s Why
Dictionary.com

Has someone ever asked you to refer to them as they instead of him or her? Are you hedging because you can’t possibly refer to one single person as they? What if we told you that they has been used to refer to just one person since at least the 1300s?

How can they be a pronoun for one person?
Elementary English teachers tend to go over the basic pronouns. Those are the words in the English language that can be subbed in when nouns (people, places, or things) aren’t up for playing … or when it just takes too much time to say the full noun form.

I, he, she, and you are all pronouns you might have learned along the way. Maybe you also learned that they were used to refer to singular nouns or words that describe just one person, one place, or one thing. “I am going to eat chocolate for breakfast.” is a sentence that you automatically know is just about you, the one person who is living their best life with a decadent daily treat.

But, you notice how we just used they when we were talking about a whole bunch of pronouns? They is often used as something called a plural pronoun, a word that’s used to describe multiple people, places, or things. They all read Dictionary.com, for example, would probably mean a bunch of really cool logophiles sat around on a Friday night looking for definitions together, right? (Hey, we tried).

But, they is not only a plural pronoun.
But get a load of this…
This chameleon word is also a singular pronoun, and it has been for centuries. Etymologists estimate that as far back as the 1300s, they has been used as a gender neutral pronoun, a word that was substituted in place of either he (a masculine singular pronoun) or she (a feminine singular pronoun).
So that got me thinking what does the Merriam-Webster dictionary have to say about “they?”
Can they, their, them, and themselves be used as singular pronouns?: Usage GuidePronoun, plural in construction

They, their, them, themselves: English lacks a common-gender third person singular pronoun that can be used to refer to indefinite pronouns (such as everyone, anyone, someone). Writers and speakers have supplied this lack by using the plural pronouns.  and every one to rest themselves betake  — William Shakespeare  I would have everybody marry if they can do it properly  — Jane Austen  it is too hideous for anyone in their senses to buy  — W. H. Auden The plural pronouns have also been put to use as pronouns of indefinite number to refer to singular nouns that stand for many persons.  'tis meet that some more audience than a mother, since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear the speech  — William Shakespeare  a person can't help their birth  — W. M. Thackeray  no man goes to battle to be killed. — But they do get killed  — G. B. Shaw The use of they, their, them, and themselves as pronouns of indefinite gender and indefinite number is well established in speech and writing, even in literary and formal contexts. This gives you the option of using the plural pronouns where you think they sound best, and of using the singular pronouns (such as he, she, he or she, and their inflected forms) where you think they sound best.
As Dictionary.com said…
So, next time someone asks you to use they in the singular, tell them you’re on board. The dictionary approves!

Danger! Danger!

[RANT]

In the last fifty years there have been a shift in the retirement of the workers in here in the U.S. and you should be worried.

Over the last fifty years there have been a shift from pensions to IRAs and 401(k)s where I worked back in the 80s they changed from a retirement pension to IRAs and then later on to a 401(k). Being single never traveling and not being a big spender I amassed a good retirement nest egg so I would could live in retirement without a worry.

In 2007 the company shut down and I took an early retirement, my severance and COBRA lasted in to the spring of 2008. In October under Bush W. I watched the crash of the stock market and in one week I lost a third of my life savings!

Over the Obama administration I watched my retirement savings creep back, never getting to the level where it was before the Bush stock market crash.

Now the market is crashing under another Republican, Trump.

This time I have lost about 20% of my savings so far.

The news media says don’t worry, in the long run you still do better than banks… well if you are retired there is no long term, you need your money now to live. Tens of million retirees are worrying as they watch their nest egg disappear.

My warning to all you younger generation… you are screwed!

With your college debit (when I went to college you could earn over the summer and part-time job enough to pay for college), with no pensions, with no long term employment possibilities (I worked for 28 years with the same company), and with flat pay raises you are going to be hurting in your retirement.
Stocks plunge for second session in a row after arrest of Huawei exec reignites trade worries
Market Watch
By Sue Chang and Chris Matthews
Published: Dec 6, 2018

U.S. stocks sank Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding more than a 1,000 points in two consecutive sessions, after the arrest of a Huawei executive reignited trade worries.

How are the benchmarks trading?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.38%  declined 372 points, or 1.5%, to 24,655, though the index was down by as many as 785 points at the low. The index of blue chips shed 800 points on Tuesday, as fears about heightened trade tensions sparked a selloff.

The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.24%  dropped 38 points, 1.4%, to 2,661 and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.32%  fell 44 points, or 0.6%, to 7,115.

Thursday’s losses have put the Dow and the S&P into the red for 2018 while the Nasdaq clung to gains on the year.
What are the concerns?
Investors are also facing a heavy load of economic data.

The private sector added 179,000 new jobs in November, according to payroll firm ADP, below consensus estimates of 195,000, according to FactSet.
  • 231,000 Americans applied for jobless benefits in the week ending Dec. 1, according to the Labor Department, surpassing the 224,000 reading expected by economists polled by MarketWatch.
  • The Labor Department also raised its estimate of third-quarter productivity growth to 2.3% from 2.2%, while unit labor costs rose 0.9%, less than the initially reported 1.2% climb.
  • The Institute of Supply Management said a gauge of services sector in November climbed to 60.7%.
  • The Commerce Department said factory orders fell 2.1% in November.
  • At 12.15 a.m. Atlanta Fed Chief and FOMC member Raphael Bostic will give a speech on the U.S. economic outlook.
What are the strategists saying?
“There’s not much incentive to be heroic and step in here expecting some kind of rally in the next two weeks,” before we see liquidity dry up during the holiday season, Aaron Clark, portfolio manager with GW&K Investment Management told MarketWatch.
We are heading for another recession!
U.S. Economy Will Slow in 2019, May Enter Recession in 2020, Economists Forecast. Trump Administration Disagrees
Fortune
By Kevin Kelleher
November 21, 2018

The good economic news for 2019 is that the odds are still against the U.S. economy entering a recession. The bad news, according to many economists, is a series of economic forecasts that calls for growth to not only be slower in the U.S., but also globally.

2018 has been a banner year for economic growth, with the U.S. gross domestic product rising at an annual pace of 3.5% in the third quarter and at 4.2% in the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Statistics. The economy has been firing on most of its cylinders, as consumers spent more, companies invested in inventories, and local governments maintained their spending, the BEA said.

As economists crunch the numbers for their 2019 forecasts, however, they are expecting a slowdown. Goldman drew some attention this week after it said U.S. GDP growth will slow to 1.8% in the third quarter of 2019 and to 1.6% during the fourth quarter. The positive impact of the tax cuts passed in late 2017 will fade while financial conditions will tighten, Goldman predicted.
[…]
Separately, a survey of fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed that 44% of respondents expect global growth to slow in 2019. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note to clients that global growth could be zero in early 2020. “Gravity can’t be defied forever,” Shepherdson said.
The NASDAQ said…
In fact, economists are the last people to see recessions coming. And by the time they identify that we are in recession, especially mild ones, they are often just about over by the time they recognize it.
The Republicans and the Trump administration are leading us over a financial cliff.

[/RANT]

STOP!

When I had minor surgery the doctor’s office gave me a list of meds I should stop before my cataract surgery not on the list was my hormones.
Review found little evidence linking hormones to surgical complications
MedPage Today
By Kristen Monaco, Staff Writer,
December 05, 2018

Little evidence supports the practice of suspending hormone therapy prior to surgery for transgender individuals, according to a new systematic review.

The analysis, published online in JAMA Surgery and conducted by Elizabeth Boskey, PhD, of Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues, included 18 studies assessing the perioperative risks associated with the use of various hormones.

"As part of starting our Center for Gender Surgery, we reviewed other surgeons' policies and protocols," Boskey told MedPage Today, adding that one thing that was particularly noteworthy to her was that the vast majority of surgeons required individuals to stop cross-sex hormone therapy before gender-affirming surgery and to remain off of it for some time following surgery.

"Since I'd spoken to many transgender people about how dysphoric and generally unpleasant this was, I suggested looking at the evidence to see if stopping hormone use was actually necessary," she explained. "That way, our policies could be based on evidence and, ideally, not cause unnecessary harm to our patients."
And the same is true for the guys…
One retrospective cohort study that exclusively looked at transgender men found that testosterone cross-sex hormone treatment was not tied to an increase in complications during chest reconstruction surgery. Although transgender men who continued testosterone at the time of surgery tended to have a higher risk for hematoma compared with those who suspended testosterone therapy, but this difference was not statistically significant.
And then there is Spiro…
As for spironolactone, three studies in the review found no link with postoperative atrial fibrillation or acute kidney injury, although this quality of evidence was also ranked low. Only one study assessed anti-estrogens, including tamoxifen and the aromatase inhibitors anastrozole (Arimidex), letrozole (Femara), and exemestane (Aromasin). In this study, there was an increase in complications related to wound healing after breast reconstruction, including infection, fat necrosis, and delayed healing.
So this sounds like good news for us, for one thing no more hot flashing before surgeries.



Follow up on Wednesday’s post Do We Have A Chance? on the trans woman in the Miss Universe contest. I came across this article yesterday,
Despite being crown Miss Universe Spain, Ángela Ponce still faces anti-trans backlash
The Miss Universe pageant takes place on 17 December in Bangkok, Thailand
Gay Star News
By Rafaella Gunz
25 November 2018

[…]
Backlash
Since her win, Ponce has been the topic of anti-trans media reports throughout Latin America. They have gone so far as to show childhood photos of Ponce, as well as photos of her without makeup. Numerous television programs in Mexico, Argentina, and Venezuela have spent hours on the subject of Ponce, debating whether or not she’s truly a woman.

Twitter users added fuel to the fire by sharing memes questioning Ponce’s femininity and her right to compete in the pageant.

Other Miss Universe contestants, both former and current, have also made comments about Ponce to the press.

‘They may call me old fashioned but I think there should be a competition, which already exists, for transgender people and another for girls,’ Vivian Sleiman, Miss Venezuela 2001, recently said.

‘I believe that a beauty pageant like Miss Universe is for women who are born women,’ echoed Valeria Morales, Miss Colombia. ‘And I believe that for her it will also be a disadvantage. And so we’ll have to respect it but not agree with it.’

Morales will be competing against Ponce in this year’s Miss Universe pageant, taking place on 17 December in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Hate From A Surprising Source

Maybe it is because of fear that the parents would be blamed somehow if the child was trans, but whatever the reason the parents overreacted.
Mother pulls son from preschool after he wore a dress while allegedly playing dress-up
Yahoo Lifestyle By Elise Solé
December 4, 2018

A mother has pulled her son from preschool after she claims the school allowed the boy to wear a dress.

On Friday, Kayla Bedford, 24, a stay-at-home mother in Wichita, Kan., withdrew her 2-year-old son Zach from the private Christian school Bethany Early Childhood Center after her girlfriend reportedly saw the boy “parading around in a dress” after she dropped him off that morning.

Kayla says after saying goodbye to the boy, her girlfriend turned to look and saw that the 2-year-old was putting on a dress. “She came back into the classroom and took off the dress saying, ‘We don’t do this’ in front of the teacher,” Kayla tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I am a lesbian, but I don’t push my son in any direction. Whatever he decides to do or wear in the future is his decision.”
The mother came back later in the day to talk to the teacher when she saw her son in  dress again and called her father.

The Daily Mail reported that…
Malcolm confronted the teacher, who was surrounded by children in her classroom, and later posted a clip of their conversation on his Facebook page.

'My daughter called me and told me she had an issue here about my grandson being in a dress,' Malcolm tells the teacher. 'I'm trying to see what the issue is about.'

The teacher, whose name has not been released, told Malcolm he needed to talk to the school's director. But he wasn't satisfied with her response.

'I come down here because we don't do that transgender and all that,' he tells the teacher. 'We don't do that.'

'He's two,' she replies.
'I don't appreciate you encouraging him to put on no dress, for a second day too,' Malcolm continues. 'I don't appreciate that.'

'And don't think this is going away, I'm going further with this. The next time you put any kid in a dress, we're going to make you go viral.' 

'Okay, you need to go talk to my director,' the teacher tells him.
[…]
'No, I'm speaking to you,' Malcolm replies, raising his voice.

'Please don't speak to me in that tone with my children around,' the teacher tells him.
Well first off I think the grandfather was very wrong to raise his voice in front of the children and I think that the mother was also wrong in criticizing the teacher in front of the children.

The children are innocent from the concerns of the parents and now all the children are probably afraid that they did something wrong. How will that anger affect the children’s lives? What if one of the children is trans how will it affect that child would they be afraid to come out now when they see this violent reaction to crossdressing?

What the Yahoo article didn’t mention that the Daily Mail did is…
She then stormed back into the classroom, took off the dress, and told the teacher 'We don't do this'.

'I am a lesbian, but I don't push my son in any direction,' Bedford told Yahoo!
Does learning that she is a lesbian change your thoughts about the incident? If so how?

They Lied… Surprise!

We all know that they lied, the data shows that it wasn’t true, but fear goes a long ways to create hate against us even if it isn’t true.

I am not a religious person but I remember my Sunday school teachings about the Ten Commandments, the Eighth Commandment is… “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” But the Evangelical Christians have added a footnote; unless it is against trans people then it is okay to lie, cheat, and create hate.

The “families” liars came out in force in Massachusetts to repeal our rights but they were rebuffed by the voters.
Anti-LGBTQ Activist Admits Bathroom Predator Myth Was 'Concocted' As Cover for Transphobic Hate
INTO More
By:  Dawn Ennis
05 DEC 2018

A controversial TV commercial this fall featured a teenage girl, undressing in a ladies locker room, while a hooded cisgender man leers at her from within a stall. As she unbuttons her top, the creepy guy reveals himself, and the message of this horrifying ad becomes clear: allowing trans people to use bathrooms matching their gender identity gives male sexual predators permission to prey upon women and children.
[…]
“Our side concocted the ‘bathroom safety’ male predator argument as a way to avoid an uncomfortable battle over LGBT ideology, and still fire up people’s emotions. It worked in Houston a few years ago,” reads the post.

“But the LGBT lobby has now figured out how to beat it,” the Mass Resistance post continues. “Their lopsided victory in Massachusetts will likely be repeated everywhere else unless the establishment pro-family groups (and their wealthy donors) are willing to change their tactics.”
Yeah with the truth. The voters saw the lies for what they were.

This is what the so called “family” organization had to say.
Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly say “yes” to transgender “bathroom” law. What happened?
Question 3 passes by lopsided 68-32 margin, keeping horrible law in place.
Big changes needed – or this will keep happening
November 9, 2018

On November 6, a nightmare happened in Massachusetts. There’s no way to whitewash this. Two-thirds of Massachusetts voters voted to keep a lunatic “transgender anti-discrimination” law in place. It’s a law that punishes people with fines and even jail time if they refuse to treat mentally dysfunctional men wearing dresses as if they were actual women.

How did this happen? It’s the old story of conservative groups trying to use a clever side argument to avoid getting into the real fight. It works for a while, but eventually the Left figures it out – which is what happened here.
[…]
The LGBT lobby
The rallying cry of the LGBT lobby trying to keep the law in place was that this is about “civil rights.” (And they portrayed their opponents as being “against civil rights.”) Using that mantra, they gathered an unbelievably huge list of endorsements from corporations, small businesses, politicians, and other entities. Then they raised an enormous amount of money, nearly $5.7 million, which was about 20 times what the pro-family side raised.
[…]
The Massachusetts pro-family groups
The rallying cry of the pro-family groups trying to repeal the law was the well-known “bathroom safety” argument – that in addition to transgenders, this law allows male sexual predators to lurk in women’s restrooms to prey on girls and women. This was technically true, but was largely contrived. They also talked about privacy in restrooms and locker rooms. They did NOT address the “civil rights” claim – which gave the LGBT lobby a complete free pass to use it without pushback. Nor did they address the bizarre and delusional nature of transgenderism itself in their arguments, except to say that transgenders “already have good legal protections” and didn’t need more. [My emphasis]
Maybe the voters saw through you deceit, maybe the voters saw that in the two years the law was in effect none of the direr consequences you predicted happened.

Maybe the voters saw though your hateful rhetoric.

Next they blamed it on their supporter being out matched in fundraising. Their cries to their supporters that they didn’t donate so we lost!
Now with the “transgender anti-discrimination” bills the same thing is happening. Our side concocted the “bathroom safety” male predator argument as a way to avoid an uncomfortable battle over LGBT ideology, and still fire up people’s emotions. It worked in Houston a few years ago.
Maybe it says something about the quality of the voters in Massachusetts.
But the LGBT lobby has now figured out how to beat it. Their lopsided victory in Massachusetts will likely be repeated everywhere else unless the establishment pro-family groups (and their wealthy donors) are willing to change their tactics.
Hate is their only tactic and maybe the voters realized that they are cloaking their hate in religion.

This isn’t the first time in Maryland in 2008 Theresa Rickman of the Citizens For A Responsible Government staged an event at a gym, she said on the radio that…
THERESA RICKMAN: Yes, at Rio Sport and Health up in Germantown. A guy  dressed as a girl went into the ladies bathroom. And, ah you know,  essentially what uh, that was meant to get some media attention,  you know, and the guy left immediately apparently, I mean but there was,  this is the Rio Sport and Health Club,  you know and Sport and Health  has steam rooms, and there are ladies changing in those locker rooms,  people in various stages of undress [laughing] all the time, so there's  lots a guy can see.
And then there were these that I wrote about here.

For these so called Christians the end justifies the means.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Sexual Assault!

Okay what would you call when someone breaks into the stall you are going the bathroom in and video you? I would call it a sexual assault.
Transgender teen posts video of school staff opening bathroom stall on her
CBS News
By Caitlin O'Kane
November 30, 2018

A transgender teen from Minnesota posted a video on Facebook showing school staff confronting her while she is in a stall of a high school bathroom.

The video shows the teen sitting on the toilet when a member of the Osseo Senior High School staff unhinges the lock of the bathroom stall using a long ruler. "I'm using the bathroom right now and they just violated me," the student says from the stall.

Several staff members can be seen standing in the girl's bathroom.

In another video, the teen confronts the staff members in the hallway, calling several of them out by name. "This is the dude that violated me," she said, pointing at a man in front of her.

In the Facebook caption, the teen said she was violated by the principal, administrators and hall monitors. She wrote that she cannot use the girl's bathroom because she is transgender and she wanted people to share the post to make it go viral. The videos have nearly 800,000 views combined.
The school said…
The full statement was posed on the school district's website. It says staff only intervenes in the restrooms in limited situations, including when there's a concern about safety, health-related issues, or suspected illegal activity.
Um… what was the safety, health, or illegal concerns? She was just going to bathroom.

According to OutFront Minnesota,
What Minnesota ProtectsIn 1993, the Minnesota Legislature amended the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) to prohibit many forms of discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation.” The broad definition of “sexual orientation” in MHRA made it the nation’s first state civil rights law to protect transgender individuals from discrimination.

Defining “Sexual Orientation”“Sexual orientation” is defined as “having or being perceived as having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one’s biological maleness or femaleness. “Sexual orientation” does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult.”
And…
Discrimination Prohibited under MN Law
  • Employment, including labor union membership
  • Real property (housing)
  • Public accommodations (such as theaters or restaurants)
  • Public services (those provided by government)
  • Education, including private, secular schools
  • Credit
  • Business contracting
So it would seem that under Minnesota law she has the right to use the bathroom of her gender identity.

What did the school system have to say about the invasion of privacy (You can read their statement here)?
CBS Minnesota reports a spokesperson for Osseo Schools also released a statement regarding the videos. "Social media posts are significantly misrepresenting the incident and that staff works very hard every day to help ensure an inclusive school where all students feel welcome, respected and safe," the statement said. The spokesperson also said further details could not be shared due to "the student's right to data privacy."
So in an Orwellian twisted the school system cannot comment on a breach of privacy because of privacy concerns.

I hope her family is contacting a lawyer.

Do We Have A Chance?

A trans woman is in the finals, does she has a chance to go all the way and win the Miss Universe Pageant?
Gamblers Doubling Down on Transgender Miss Universe Contestant to Win Pageant
Blast
By Gary Trock and Mike Walters
December 4, 2018

Miss Universe is breaking new ground at this year’s pageant with the first transgender contestant to ever compete for the crown, and those betting on the competition are declaring her a heavy favorite.

Angela Ponce won her qualifying rounds in Spain and will represent her country at the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ponce, who hails from Seville, was the first transgender woman to be crowned Miss Universe Spain and is competing to promote gender diversity and equality.

As the competition nears, online bookies are taking action, and Ponce has grown to become the clear favorite with current odds of +600.
Does she really have a chance or are the betters just betting on a long shot?
The pageant airs December 16 at 7:00 PM. Good luck to all the competitors gamblers!
I don’t know if she has a chance, she is a beautiful woman but there is backlash against her.



Oh by the way Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers has odds of +2,000

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Another Ally Cones Out Of The Closet

Sometimes when an ally steps up to defend us it is a big surprise, such was the case this month…
Dick Van Dyke has perfect response to Piers Morgan ‘gender fluid’ tantrum
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
3rd December 2018

92-year-old Mary Poppins Returns actor Dick Van Dyke has quietly shut down Piers Morgan after the host’s latest swipe at gender fluid people.

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has made an increasingly-bizarre series of digs at gender fluid people, frequently bringing the subject up on TV, in newspaper columns and on Twitter.

But the TV host’s obsession backfired on him when he posted a tweet on the subject referencing Dick Van Dyke, who recently reprised one of his most iconic roles for Mary Poppins Returns.

Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: “Imagine being called Dick Van Dyke in this PC-crazed era? Poor guy. He’ll have to change his name to Richard Van Non-Binary-Gender-Fluid.”
The comment didn’t sit well with Mr. Van Dyke…
The actor, who was born 78 years before the full decriminalisation of homosexuality in the United States, told NOH8 of his reasons for opposing homophobia: “Hate eats up your insides.”
[…]
“There’s nothing in there about the rest of it, casting judgement on them or administering the punishment. That’s God’s job… I think, really, she’s got it wrong. She’s not supposed to administer the punishment.”

He added: “Some people never change their mind through their whole lives, about anything, despite new information that comes in.

“And now that we know that homosexuality is not a choice, it’s biological, I think we have to love and understand them.”
We have so many allies way more than the haters but the haters are vocal and the press loves controversy, it sells ads. But remember one thing… 67% of the voters voted for us in Massachusetts.

Allies have our backs.

Point Counter Point

There is a hatchet job on us in Psychology Today that resurrected the Brown University survey, in the article the author writes about the bogus Rapid Onset of Gender Dysphoria. Of course the article stirred up backlash from our community and in response the wrote follow-up articles.
Teen Transgender Identity: A Response to Critics
Ideology or scientific rigor?
By Samuel Veissière Ph.D.
November 29, 2018

I have received numerous private comments from readers about my recent article on the rise of transgender identity among teens.

Many of those comments were supportive, others inquisitive, while others still were very hostile.  Many among those who wrote to me expressed surprise at my reporting on a “flawed study”.

Some readers pointed out that I did not mention the controversy and significant public backlash that ensued after the study was first published in August 2018. You may read about it here, here, here, and here.
So I pose a question; writing about something controversial in an article before and not references the controversy in the current article, is it proper? Or should you also mention it in the current or at the very least reference it in the current article?
The bulk of the critique of Prof Littman’s study has been directed at the methodology and population sample. Littman obtained her reports from websites where parents discussed their challenges in dealing with a trans teen. This was seen as biased by many. In other words, critics accuse Littman of cherry-picking her sample from a population that was already critical—by some account dismissive—of transgender identities.
Um… there is an omission here. Yes it was a “websites where parents discussed their challenges in dealing with a trans teen” but it was more than that, it was an anti-trans or at least a negative trans website, it definitely is not a supportive website.

He goes on to say,
In a recent survey of 250 families whose children developed symptoms of gender dysphoria during or right after puberty, Lisa Littman, a physician and professor of behavioral science at Brown University, found that over 80 percent of the youth in her sample were female at birth.
Should Dr. Veissière have mentioned that the website drew her subjects from was an anti-trans website and that the parents on the site rejected their child’s trans identity?

The rebuttal article went on to say,
Littman’s study passed the test of scientific review and was deemed worthy of publication in a reputable journal. The study has also remained in print after further scientific review was conducted after publication as a response the moral outrage.
Well actually from what I read it didn't pass “the test of scientific review and was deemed worthy of publication in a reputable journal” it was pulled from the university and publication websites.

In the third article he writes…
For those who are just discovering the controversy, the basic claim of those concerned with ROGD is that cultural shifts, novel social pressures, and new idioms of distress may underly the unprecedented numbers of young adolescents who now wish to identify as trans…
Well first off if you want a discussion then get rid of Rapid Onset of Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) because there is no such thing as that it is a made term by the anti-trans people.
Countless struggling parents, in turn, find in ROGD a reassuring explanation for their child’s unexpected (and from their perspective, very scary) behaviour, while trans activists find the parents unsupportive or hostile.
Second if you want to find out about gender dysphoria in children… ask the children not the parents.

When I came out to my brother for him it was out of the blue, he had no idea that I was struggling with gender dysphoria all my life. Of course it seems sudden with the parents and family but this something we have been struggling with until it reached a point where we have to come out of the closet.

Third, being trans is not contagious, in the first article he writes,
The plot thickens again: First, many of the youth in the survey had been directly exposed to one or more peers who had recently "come out" as trans. Next, 63.5 percent of the parents reported that in the time just before announcing they were trans, their child had exhibited a marked increase in Internet and social media consumption. Following popular YouTubers who discussed their transition thus emerged as a common factor in many of the cases. After the youth came out, an increase in distress, conflict with parents, and voiced antagonism toward heterosexual people and non-transgender people (known as “cis” or “cisgender”) was also frequently reported. This animosity was also described as extending to “males, white people, gay and lesbian (non-transgender) people.” The view adopted by trans youth, as summed up by one parent, seemed to be that:
“In general, cis-gendered people are considered evil and unsupportive, regardless of their actual views on the topic. To be heterosexual, comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth, and non-minority places you in the ‘most evil’ of categories with this group of friends. Statement of opinions by the evil cis-gendered population are consider phobic and discriminatory and are generally discounted as unenlightened.”
It is only natural to reach out for help. I did, if you look at my internet usage there was a marked increase in searching about “trans” but you would find the same increase when I was diagnosed with Diabetes… I wanted to find out more about the disease and the same was true for my research into gender dysphoria.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Caught Up In Frenzy

I don’t envy women who don’t pass the conservative muster for how a woman should look; there are a number of women who got caught up with the gender police.
Grandma mistakenly booked into all-male jail, staff thought she was transgender
WWLP
By:  WFLA
December 01, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - A woman is suing employees of a Florida jail after they allegedly forced her to spend nearly 10 hours in a cell surrounded by 40 men because they suspected she was transgender,the Miami Herald reported.

Fior Pichardo de Veloz, 55, was had come to Miami from the Dominican Republic to witness the birth of her grandchild when she was arrested at the airport on an outstanding drug charge in 2013.

The arresting officer listed her gender as female. She was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and processed as a woman, then strip-searched, the newspaper reported.

Due to her history of high blood pressure, Pichardo was taken to a medical unit to be examined as a precaution.  A nurse noted she had been taking hormone pills and asked her whether she was a man. Despite Pichardo's denial of this, the nurse added this note to her file: "Transgender, male parts, female tendencies.”

The nurse told the doctor, who reclassified Pichardo as male without an examination, according to a newly-released appeals court opinion.
[…]
But this month, an appeals court ruled the conduct of the nurse and doctor amounts to “deliberate indifference, the newspaper reported.

"Every reasonable prison officer and medical personnel would have known that wrongfully misclassifying a biological female as a male inmate and placing that female in the male population of a detention facility was unlawful," Judge Frank Hull wrote in an unanimous opinion.
The prison guards made fun of her and took pictures while she was being examined to confirm she was female.

I wrote about her back in 2016 and also two other cases where women was harassed because of the way she looks. The other woman was harassed at a L.A. concert by security and the third woman was harassed here in Connecticut at a Walmart in Danbury. Back in 2006 I wrote about a lesbian that they tried to kick out of a restroom in Anchorage.

As the “hate police” start casting their nets they are rounding up a lot of cisgender women.



To the Republicans we are just a footnote.

Congress has threaten to not ratify the new Mexico, Canada, U.S. trade treaty because of a clause in it about protecting LGBTQ employees, but anti-LGBTQ Trump covered that base…
LGBTQ protections in Trump’s new trade deal were nullified… in a footnote
LGBTQ  Nation
By Alex Bollinger
December 3, 2018

A North America trade agreement’s LGBTQ provisions have been rendered meaningless – by a footnote.

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) – the trade deal meant to replace NAFTA – includes a paragraph protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace. It says that the countries will “implement policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including with regard to […] sexual orientation, gender identity.”

Canada worked to get that provision in the deal, but Republicans in Congress denounced it as “insulting to our sovereignty.”
But we have been written off in a footnote…
The United States’ existing federal agency policies regarding the hiring of federal workers are sufficient to fulfill the obligations set forth in this Article. The Article thus requires no additional action on the part of the United States, including any amendments to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in order for the United States to be in compliance with the obligations set forth in this Article.
Which is total BS because we don’t have any federal laws protecting us, the Trump administration has seen to that. the administration has taken the position that we are not covered by Title VII and Title IX even through the courts have said otherwise.

Divisive

File under “stupid” what a town did in England, they took us out of LGBT and added us as an “And.”
Middlesbrough Council votes to change LGBT acronym
Pink News
By Sofia Lotto Persio
2nd December 2018

A council in England has voted to change the LGBT acronym, adding a distinction between sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Middlesbrough Council’s Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel will now longer be using the LGBT acronym to signify “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender” but LGB&T.

A committee produced a report to consider possible changes to the LGBT acronym, according to local news outlet Teesside Live.
What did the local trans community think of being a “&T?”
Local transgender charity Trans Aware welcomed the decision, with founder and director Ellie Lowther telling BBC the change represented a “massive stride forward.”

“I think there’s a discussion to be had and I think it’s currently not being had,” Lowther added.
I think it was a massive step backward from being inclusive to exclusive.

LGBT is more than sexual orientation and gender identity… it is about the struggle that we went through for our rights, it is about the discrimination that we face together, and it is about our roots.

Back in the fifties we were all grouped under “gay” it wasn’t until we struggled for our individual identities that the LGBT became popular in the nineties because our history was being forgotten under the “Gay” umbrella.

I see the “&T” movement as part of the TERF efforts to marginalize us.
But the change is likely to be controversial. Following the anti-trans protest by a lesbian group during Pride in London in July, which parade organisers condemned as “vile,” members of the LGBT+ community think it is important to highlight unity rather than differences.

“The two things go hand in hand in the sense—without supporting one another, we are already a marginalised group. Let’s not marginalise an already marginalised group. Let’s stick together and let’s support one another,” said Anjeli Patel, a senior consultant with EY’s [Ernst & Young] people advisory practice, in a recent video filmed by LGBT+ charity Stonewall.
This battle reminds me of a meeting I was invited to; a state LGBT organization wanted to rebrand itself from a nondescript name to one that was more reflective of the LGBT community it served. Well as the meeting advanced it became obvious to me that my view of having an inclusive name using LGBT was being pushed aside in favor of just “LG” when I heard the consensus of the attendees favoring LG over LGBT because LGBT was “too” confusing to people. People didn’t know what the “BT” stood for, may answer was then let it be our mission to educate people about all the aspects of our community… nope, they went with Gay and Lesbian.

That was the last meeting that I attended of that organization.

I see the “LGB&T” movement gaining popularity in the “Gay Inc.” part of the LGBT community.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Now That The Court Is Packed

We can only hope for the Supreme Court to step above politics and religion and judge us on the law.
These 6 upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases will determine the future of LGBTQ rights
LGBTQ Nation
By Daniel Villarreal
December 1, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court has six cases available that could determine the future of LGBTQ rights nationwide, says Zack Ford of Think Progress. While the court hasn’t yet agreed to hear any of these cases, let’s take a quick look at them and the issues involved in each.

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia
– Gerald Lynn Bostock says he was fired from his position as a county child welfare services coordinator because he’s gay; his employer alleges that he mismanaged program funds.
Okay for us trans people way back in 1989 the Supreme Court ruled Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins case that sex stereotyping is a form of sex discrimination; in that case the court ruled that denning a promotion because a woman didn’t “look feminine enough” was discrimination based on Title VII. The trans community has used that argument to win Title VII discrimination cases, well now the lesbians and gays have used that argument to win a case which is now before the Supreme Court and our jobs are on the line.

The Supreme Court in a cop-out might narrowly interpret the cased based on the mismanagement of funds instead of Title VII.

The other cases mentioned in the article are:

  • Zarda v. Altitude Express – A gay skydiver was fired because he is gay... Title VII
  • R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – A trans employee was fired because being trans is against the owners religious beliefs.
  • Trump v. Karnoski – The military ban
  • Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries – A do-over Colorado Masterpiece Cake case but this time the Human Rights Commission didn’t make the mistake of bring religion into its ruling.
  • Doe v. Boyertown Area School District – Which is about trans bathroom policy

In the last case…
The anti-LGBTQ legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is pushing the case. So far, courts have ruled against the ADF’s anti-trans reasoning.
Which really should be named more aptly Alliance Defending Bigotry.

We the LGBTQ community have a lot to lose this session, it could send us back to the fifties where we had to hide in the closet to keep our jobs and apartment.

Impeach! Impeach!

Not so fast, look who we’ll have in his place! Would it be out of the frying pan and into the fire?
Mike Pence insults LGBTQ people at White House World AIDS Day ceremony
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
November 30, 2018

Mike Pence delivered comments about World AIDS Day at the White House, despite his long history of anti-LGBTQ views and opposition to funding for the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS.

And, for the second year in a row, he omitted LGBTQ people entirely from his remarks.

When Pence ran for Congress in 2000, his campaign website said that federal HIV/AIDS funding from the Ryan White Care Act should be audited “to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus” and that money should instead be given to organizations that “provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

In other words, he thought conversion therapy was a decent way to fight the spread of HIV.
If Trump is impeached don’t look for any change in the Pence administration if anything it might get worst, instead of having a bubbling idiot we would have a cold calculating bigot as president.
As Governor of Indiana, Pence opposed a needle exchange program aimed at curbing a major outbreak of HIV infections in rural counties. Nearly 200 people were infected in one county alone before Pence begrudgingly “compromised” and allowed the local government to seek state approval to set up an exchange.
[…]
“Mike Pence has spent his career putting people in danger by denying them access to HIV prevention and treatment,” said HRC’s Ashland Johnson.
[…]
Yesterday, Donald Trump signed a bill to extend funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), two days before World AIDS Day. Pence said that $100 million of that money would be directed at religious organizations.
We are damn whichever one is in the White House… they both want to erase us!


Saturday, December 01, 2018

Saturday 9: Call Me

Sam’s Saturday 9: Call Me (1966)

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



Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) Chris Montez sings that you can always call him, regardless of the hour. Do you believe that it's ever too late to phone someone?
Yes, at least it is true with me but on the other hand I have gotten phone calls at 3 in the morning. They saw me on Facebook and called.

2) He insists that you can depend on him, even when your friends desert you. Who is someone you can trust to have your back, no matter what?
My brother. I know I have this week… long story about my health.

3) Billy Crystal serenades Meg Ryan -- via answering machine -- with "Call Me" in When Harry Met Sally. Answering machines have been replaced by voice mail. Who most recently left you a voice mail?
The doctor and that’s why I called my brother.

4) Chris Montez is a graduate of El Camino College in Torrance, California. The average daytime temperature in November in Torrance is 70º. How is the weather where you are today?
It rained yesterday a bit and the roads are slick with black ice in spots.

5) Today Chris actively promotes a healthy lifestyle to children. He was honored for his efforts by the group SOPA (Stop Obesity, Promote Activity). Do you believe you get enough exercise?
Ha! I am so overweight that it make exercise hard. 

6) Released in late 1965, "Call Me" became a big hit in 1966, reaching #2 on the charts. Even though it sold millions of copies and was certified as a Gold Record, it never hit #1. Is winning, or being the best, important to you?
Nope, I have found the older you get in life the less winning is important to me.

7) In 1966, when this was playing on juke boxes, kids were watching Batman and Star Trek. If you had your choice of watching an episode right now, which would you choose: Star Trek or Batman?
Star Trek!

8) Also in 1966, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was born. Do you enjoy cooking?
My mother asked me that once and what I told her still holds true today… I like to eat.
I don't like boring foods and I like to eat good tasting foods not the same old, same old foods.

9) Random question -- You have the opportunity to perform in the circus! Would you rather be shot from a cannon, or put your head in the lion's mouth?
Um… I’m not too keen on either one. Did the loin have it teeth cleaned first?

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!



Today is World's AIDS Day

Friday, November 30, 2018

I’m Going To Tell You A Story

It all started when the company announced the factory was shutting down (You know just like GM now), I was going to take an early retirement but then they announced the shutdown and one of the options they offered us was an option for early retirement.

When I was planning on retiring I knew that I wanted something to do in retirement so I did research and asked some friends about what I should do in retirement.

So I asked JL and her wife AS and they said to get my MSW, I said that I’m not a people person.

I asked CM who is a LCSW (which I didn’t know about then) what should I do in retirement and she said get your MSW…but I’m not a people person I would sitting there crying along with the client, I have too much empathy.

At a meeting of the Anti-Discrimination Coalition I asked AM and LB and they said get a MSW and I said… but I’m not a people person and they said not all social workers are clinicians that they were macro social workers like them. Hmm…

When I got the Connecticut Outreach Society’s mail there was flyer in the mail from UConn School of Social Work about a program called STEP that allows you audit courses in social work and if you do good and apply for the MSW.

Then the company announced the shutdown in early September and one of the parachutes they offered was tuition reimbursement… Hmm, where was that flyer on social work.

So I talked it over with HR (I had come out to her in early spring) and she thought it an excellent idea so I registered for the STEP program and started to take classes in the spring semester. Of the two classes that I registered for I got an A and a B- and I talked to the professor in the class that I got the B- (that was my lowest grade that I got in the MSW program, all the other grades were A or A-) and he said my low grade was because of grammar (no kidding Sherlock, I knew that my grammar was bad, I used to say “I are a ingineer”) and that I should have had the paper proofread. I didn’t know at the time that you could have someone proofread your papers.

Well grad school was one of the best moves that I made in my lifetime.

It opened the doors to so many opportunities, it allows me to attend meeting on issues that affect the trans community, it allows me to teach our culture and our needs to social workers, healthcare providers and future teachers.

This week I taught three classes for education majors both undergraduate and graduate students at two universities.

In January I am attending a planning meeting with the Connecticut Department on Aging to explain the needs of our community. In the past I sat on committees that developed the education guidelines for trans students.

I made many friends in grad school and I still keep in touch with, many of them are LCSW and one specializes in trans clients.

When I was in grad school my concentration was community organizing and one thing that I learned was the inside and outside approach to activism. But my age is creeping up on me and rallies are getting harder to attend because of health reasons so I am concentrating on the inside game.

I like electrical engineering, my undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Electronic Technology and I ran an electronic test department for twenty-five years, I made good money and it allowed me to retire at 59 and to pursue social work.

I did well in both professions.

How Many Times Have We Seen This?

The conservatives say we have some kind of secret agenda well if we do then this is it.
‘The only transgender agenda is to live a normal life and feel safe’
Spinoff
By Kylie Parry | Guest writer
November 29, 2018

Amid the misinformation and anger, Kylie Parry, parent of two beloved transgender children, serves up the important facts. And her kids pitch in, too.

As a parent of two transgender children I try really hard not to read the opinions of people who have issues with transgender youth (and with transgender adults).  I couldn’t avoid the latest opinion piece in the NZ Herald, though. It’s amazing and a bit disheartening how much misinformation is around. So I thought I could help by explaining a few things that we’ve learnt over the past few years.
[…]
Important fact 4: Trans people are just people.
Before agreeing to write this we had a discussion as a family. We all agreed this was a good idea. Our kids also wanted the opportunity to have their voices heard. So here are our kids (aren’t they great!)

Our daughter (age 12): “I wasn’t forced to be trans, it’s not like my parents decided they wanted a girl better and forced me into this. We were all born this way, we as a community have been through so much.  Nearly every individual has gone through hardship, had to fight through so many hard times and in some cases went through actual physical pain to be ourselves and there are still people saying parents are forcing us to transition, for us to change our lives. It doesn’t make sense, so just stop. “

Our eldest (age 18): “Transgender people are just people. We come from all walks of life with all number of views on the world. I wish that people would just realise that the only transgender agenda is to live a normal life and feel safe.  I think the reason we’re seeing more transgender youth coming out is because while NZ isn’t perfect, it’s a lot safer than it was. We still have so much work to do, but I am very heartened by the positive changes we’re seeing and I’m hopeful for the future.”
If we have any secret agenda it is to live our life in peace. We don’t want any “special rights” we just want what everyone else wants is to live our life without drama, to be able to go into a restaurant without being stared at, or the wait staff snickering.

If anything it is the conservatives that have an agenda which is to force us back into the closet and being able to discriminate against in the name of God.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Social Network Said Enough

Tweeter took steps to block the hate against us…
Twitter has banned misgendering or ‘deadnaming’ transgender people
The Verge
By Adi Robertson
November 27, 2018

Twitter now prohibits misgendering or “deadnaming” transgender people, alongside other harassment and abuse tactics. The change appears to have happened in late October, but news of it began circulating late last week. It’s part of a more general rewording of the hateful conduct policy, which now emphasizes the fact that certain groups — including transgender people — are disproportionately targeted with abuse.

The hateful conduct policy previously banned “repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.” The new policy specifies that “this includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” — i.e., deliberately referring to a transgender person with the wrong pronouns or using their pre-transition name.

The new policy includes more detail about threats and references to violence. For instance, it bans sending “media that depicts victims of the Holocaust” or “media that depicts lynchings” to another user — a common way of harassing people that isn’t formally a threat. It also bans certain uses of hateful imagery, which includes “images depicting others as less than human, or altered to include hateful symbols, e.g., altering images of individuals to include animalistic features.”
Now if only Facebook will do the same.



Again this afternoon I will be a guest lecturer at a college down in the New Haven/Hamden area, I will be doing part two for the afternoon class and both parts for the evening class which will make for a very long day.

A Racist Elected To Senate

Mississippi just elected to Congress a senator who said she wanted a front row seat to a hanging but that’s not all, she also tried to keep LGBTQ people arway from her.
She tried to keep lesbians off state property. She was just elected Senator.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
November 28, 2018

In a 2012 incident when she was commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, a lesbian couple was told that they couldn’t hold a commitment ceremony at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, even though straight couples could get married there.
[…]
This didn’t sit well with Hyde-Smith, who “strongly objected” to the ceremony and asked that state law change to provide “clear and straightforward definitions about what activities can take place on the property owned by the State of Mississippi.”
It seems like the bigots are serial bigots, it is not just race but also LGBTQ people, foreigners, non-Christians, and other people who are not like them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

At One Time This Was Settled

But with conservative religious judges being packed into the courts we might see all the court precedents thrown out.
Debate about transgender rights and those of religious objectors heats up
Spectrum
By Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News
November 25, 2018

The "T" in LGBT rights will be in the spotlight in 2019, as states and courts across the country debate transgender rights and their impact on the religious groups.
[…]
LGBT rights advocates and religious-freedom activists say they don't want to repeat battles waged over protections for gays and lesbians, which are still ongoing. But the two groups remain divided on the value of religious exemptions to civil-rights law and many people of faith argue the concept of gender identity isn't compatible with their faith.
[…]
Already, religious business owners and faith-based nonprofits have cited conscience rights to defend against allegations of transgender discrimination. Members of the LGBT community, as well as their supporters, argue that religious freedom doesn't include a right to discriminate.

Reducing conflict between the LGBT community and conservative people of faith and reaching compromises will be difficult, but a growing group of leaders is committed to the task, said Naomi Goldberg, policy and research director for the Movement Advancement Project, an independent think tank that does research and advocacy work on LGBT rights.
The radical “Christians” think they should be exempt from the law.

In 1879 Supreme Court case of Reynolds v. United States allowed the banning of plural marriages even though their religion allowed plural marriages.

In the 1963 case of Sherbert v. Verner, the court said that the government needed to demonstrate both a compelling interest and was substantially burdened by a law. The case was about an unemployed person turning down a job because it required Sunday work

In 1990 the court in the case Employment Division v. Smith
In a 6-3 decision, the Court then held that, because ingestion of peyote was prohibited under Oregon law, and because that prohibition is constitutional, Oregon did not violate the Free Exercise Clause in denying persons unemployment compensation when their dismissal results from use of the drug. 
Then in the case of United States v. Lee the court was asked if an Amish farmer had to pay Social Security to his employees,
a) While there is a conflict between the Amish faith and the obligations imposed by the social security system, not all burdens on religion are unconstitutional. The state may justify a limitation on religious liberty by showing that it is essential to accomplish an overriding governmental interest. Pp. 455 U. S. 256-258. 
In all of these case the Supreme Court found that there were limits to the First Amendment religious freedom clause. That a neutral religious law that didn’t place an undue burden and that the government had a compelling reason for the law was Constitutional but that all may change with the current crop of justices.

Well I’m About To Find Out.

It is always an adventure finding a primary care physician and even more so if you are trans.
PCP-transgender patient relationships need improvement
Healio
By Goldhammer H, et al. Ann Fam Med. 2018;doi:10.1370/afm.2321, Shires DA, et al. Ann Fam Med. 2018;doi10.1370/afm.2298.
November 27, 2018

Although most primary care physicians surveyed said they were willing to provide routine care to transgender patients, the results still concerned researchers, according to findings recently published in Annals of Family Medicine.

A separate article in Annals of Family Medicine offered guidance for PCPs seeking to learn more about treating transgender patients.

In the study, Deirdre A. Shires, PhD, MSW, MPH, of the School of Social Work at Michigan State University, and colleagues reviewed survey responses from 140 general internists and family medicine clinicians (mean age, 39.7 years; male, 58) from a health system in the Midwest.

They found 85.7% were willing to provide routine care to transgender patients and 78.6% would provide a Pap test to a transgender male. However, multivariate analysis showed the willingness to provide routine care lowered with increasing clinician’s age (adjusted OR = 0.89, P = .019). In addition, 68.6% of respondents said they were capable of providing routine care to transgender patients, 52.1% lacked familiarity with transition care guidelines, 47.9% said they lacked training on transgender health, 37.1% said they lacked exposure to transgender patients, and 32.1% said their staff lacked knowledge on transgender care.

"While many primary care clinicians provide excellent and sensitive care to transgender individuals, mounting evidence – studies of how transgender patients experience health care – suggest that this is not always the case," Shires told Healio Family Medicine.
My PCP doctor is retiring so I had to find a new PCP doctor, the clinic gave me a list of doctors to choose from and I picked a doctor who looked around 10 years out of school rather than those who looked like they just graduated.

In my eleven years since I transitioned I have had a number of specialists and only one I have questions with. That doctor didn’t look at me during my two visits but for all the others they didn’t show any reactions with my transness. One I think was over joyed in having a trans patient she just treated me just as another other patient.

My endo is an APRN and was with the doctor who I originally saw me for my hormones so I have been a patient of her since 2004.
Shires added that her research “indicates that unwillingness [to provide care to transgender patients] is likely not about training or inexperience but may be more related to bias against transgender people.”
Yes, I agree based on the doctor who didn’t look at me during either of the office visits.

One of the commenters on the article said in part…
Openly transgender and gender nonconforming people now occupy seats in classrooms, chatrooms, board rooms and our exam rooms.
I bring this up as a segue in to talking about yesterday’s classes which were on multicultural education. I taught two classes, one an undergraduate class had about twenty students and the other a graduate class had six students.

Besides the class size there was a big difference on class participation, the undergraduate class no one asked a question, they sat there like bumps on a log while the in the graduate class we had a good discussion with the students asking probing questions and they also asked question to each other.

I don’t know if it was class size that made a difference or the maturity of the students or if it was the grad student’s job experience that made the difference.

I know in business that if I sat there without adding input to a meeting I wouldn’t be with the company that long. You learn how to add value to meetings and take part in the discussion while students fresh out of high school hasn’t learned that skill yet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Conversion Therapy With An Evil Twist

The right-wing conservatives are looking at the ban of conversion therapy as applying to therapists who are helping children to transition.
Supporting transitioning trans people is not conversion therapy. It is the right thing to do.
The Article
By Florence Ashley
November 26, 2018

In a recent article for this site, philosopher Dr. Kathleen Stock expressed concern over the definition of conversion therapy put forward by Stonewall and major UK mental health organisations because it includes both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Her article raises two primary arguments against the inclusion of gender identity within the definition of conversion therapy. Firstly, she implies that gender identity isn’t unchangeable or harmless, unlike sexual orientation. Secondly, she argues that affirming gender identity would be tantamount to conversion therapy by omission with regards to sexual orientation.

Both arguments are unfounded. Her first argument is empirically mistaken, as available evidence doesn’t support the claim that gender identity is patently more malleable than sexual orientation. Even if it were that would not make conversion therapy ethical, as no evidence supports the claim that being transgender is harmful. Her second argument is theoretically mistaken, as it relies on a confusion between sexual attraction and sexual orientation labels. Although those who transition may change the label they use for their sexual orientation, it doesn’t make their sexual attraction vary: their sexual attraction remains the same.
[…]
Even if gender identity was malleable, altering it wouldn’t be ethical. It is morally objectionable to seek to change harmless traits which faced historical and ongoing stigma. Trying to make people straight would still be wrong if it was possible. Why would trying to make people cisgender be any different?
Can you believe this? Helping a child to transition in not conversion therapy, first therapist are not forcing children to transition it is to guide them to find their own way and second they are not using “aversion therapy” to force them to be trans trans, they are trans when they seek out therapy and the therapist helps them to explore their true gender.
At the end of the day, affirming gender identity and affirming sexual orientation are not only compatible practices, but mutually reinforcing ones. Anti-trans and anti-gay conversion therapy aren’t two different practices that independently threaten trans and queer people, but two fruits of the same tree. Conversion therapy by licensed professionals has historically targetedgender expression to discourage both trans and queer adulthood. When the Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood was added to the DSM-III in 1980, the same version of the DSM which removed homosexuality as a diagnosis, it was heavily criticized by feminist and critical scholars for indirectly pathologizing homosexuality by pathologizing of non-conforming gender expression. By treating non-conforming gender expressions as evidence of mental illness, both trans and gay youth could be subjected to conversion practices.
Leave it to the right-wing extremists to twist things around make what is good evil.



This afternoon I'm teaching two classes at two universities as a guest lecturer for a professor and I will be doing it again on Thursday.

Justice?

Can justice come for a brutal death of a trans woman who was murdered while in custody of ICE?
Activists Allege Assault, Abuse In Death Of Transgender Asylum Seeker
KPBS
By Andrew Bowen
November 26, 2018

Transgender and immigrant rights activists Monday announced plans for a lawsuit over the death of Roxsana Hernandez, a trans asylum seeker from Honduras who died in government custody, alleging she endured "assault and abuse" before her death six months ago.

Hernandez, 33, entered the United States legally at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in May and was eventually transferred to a unit for transgender detainees at the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico. Activists say she was seeking asylum and that the legal aid group Al Otro Lado was planning to represent her claim.

One day after arriving in New Mexico, Hernandez was hospitalized with symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration and complications from HIV, according to a press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She died May 25. The press release properly referred to Hernandez with female pronouns but did not use her chosen first name of Roxsana.
[…]
"According to an independent autopsy report, Ms. Hernandez endured physical assault and abuse while in custody," the letter says. "Specifically, forensic evidence indicates she was handcuffed so tightly as to cause deep tissue bruising and struck repeatedly on the back and rib cage by an (ASP baton) or similar instrument while her hands were restrained behind her back."

Andrew Free, an immigration attorney partnering on the case with the Transgender Law Center, said the group would file a similar wrongful death claim against ICE before the end of the year. He said they are also litigating Freedom of Information Act requests related to Hernandez's death.

"They treated her like an animal," said Transgender Law Center Deputy Director Isa Noyola, reading from a statement from Hernandez's sisters. "Now all we have left with us is the hope that we can see justice for her."
I can’t imagine the pain and suffering that she want though before her death and the hands of our government.

The prison was run by a private company for our government with little oversite and for low wages to maximize profits.
The Cibola County Correctional Center is run by the private, for-profit prison corporation CoreCivic.

At least 11 people have died in ICE custody in 2018. The agency announced the latest death on Monday — that of Russian national Mergensana Amar, who officials say attempted suicide Nov. 15 and was removed from life support after his brain activity ceased.

A report released earlier this year by a coalition of advocacy groups found half of the in-custody deaths reported by ICE in recent years were linked to substandard medical care. ICE responded saying the agency is committed to ensuring all detainees receive timely access to medical services and treatment.
The Transgender Law Center said,
Advocates point to the conditions Udoka Nweke faced when he presented himself for asylum also at SYPOE in December 2016. He was detained for nearly two years before being released in September after being held in solitary confinement and attempting suicide. His testimony upon being released from Adelanto Detention Facility corroborated a scathing report by Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General that points towards a drastic overhaul necessary in Adelanto. The report listed as areas of concern:
  • Nooses in Detainee Cells
  • Improper and Overly Restrictive Segregation
  • Untimely and Inadequate Detainee Medical Care
“Immigration prisons are teeming with human rights violations,” said civil rights attorney Andrew Free. “From forced labor to inadequate access to medical care, they are horrific places to lock people up. We have requested records from the relevant federal agencies regarding  the conditions Roxsana was kept in under the Freedom for Information Act. In the next few weeks, if they do not turn over those files we will be filing a suit against them. We will not rest until those responsible for Roxsana’s suffering are held to account, and until the systems of oppression that gave rise to her suffering are abolished.”
This is what is going on in the Trump administration with human rights violations and totally ignoring the laws and the Constitution.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Meet The New Governor… Kid Governor That Is

Hey we have another new governor here in Connecticut a fifth grader, Ella Briggs.
Avon student selected to be next CT Kid Governor
WFSB
By Caitlin Nuclo, Kaitlyn Naples
November 21, 2018

AVON, CT (WFSB) -- It was a tight race, but the results are in for the next Connecticut Kid Governor.
There were 6,400 fifth graders around the state who cast their ballots to elect their next leader.
On Wednesday, the mood inside the Ana Grace Magnet School in Avon was electric and emotional, as they waited for results, from the Secretary of the State.
The fifth graders chose Ella Briggs, who ran on a platform of LGBTQ safety and acceptance.
[…]
That message resonated with voters.
Do you believe that… the fifth graders voted for a LGBTQ safety platform.

According to the article it was a very close race between all the candidates, one candidate ran on a platform to end poverty, another candidate ran on a platform to limit electronic use, and the others ran on platforms including; recycling, food for all, foster care, and children’s literacy. All of which are very important issues of the day, the students did great!

WTNH reported that "6,300 5th graders across the state are registered to vote for Kid Governor." and that,
This program is much more than a contest that promotes civic engagement and participation.

"It's actually an election for a student to serve a year of leadership and advocacy," Brian added.

Our newly-elected Kid Governor will serve for one year. Their office is even located in the old state house where historic Connecticut governors once sat. He or she will travel the state when the school schedule allows for it and promote their platform
The Kid Governor website said this about him…
Candidate’s Name: Ella BriggsCandidate’s Community Issue: LGBTQ Youth SafetyCandidate’s School: CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary Magnet School, Avon
Here is the campaign video…