Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It Is Another Country

Here in Connecticut we have two casinos that are owned by Native Americans. Connecticut has some of the strongest gender inclusive laws in the nation but once you cross over to tribal lands the laws of the state do not apply and you are under tribal law.
"It made me feel subhuman" Transgender woman detained for using the wrong bathroom at valley casino
By:  Alexandra Pierce
Posted: Jan 30, 2018

A transgender woman claims she was harassed, handcuffed, and detained after being accused of using the wrong bathroom at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio.

"It made me feel subhuman it was just totally wrong," said Ella. That's how Ella says she felt after the incident at Fantasy Springs.

Ella says she was playing blackjack at the casino when she got up to go to the restroom. She says that as she was washing her hands, four men came into the women's restroom and demanded to see her ID.

"I said I don't have to show you an ID I'm not breaking any laws. So, next thing I know, these four guys grabbed me, handcuffed me and walked me across the casino like I was some kind of animal.  And then they put me in a cell. I was there for a couple of hours," Ella said.
California is ahead of Connecticut with laws that protect us, but my guess is that tribal law also applies when you go to the casino which is owned and operated by Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and it is also a federally recognized tribe.

So I don’t know what the tribal policy is for trans people, I do know that here in Connecticut the tribes have a non-discrimination policies, but I don’t know if the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians have any polices.
Thomi Clinton, the CEO of the Transgender Community Coalition, said she has reached out to casinos to work with them so things like this don't happen. She says it comes down to educating the employees.
And that is the problem everywhere.

Inadequate training can happen anywhere. It happened in Hartford a couple of years back at a conference center in the state; the security guards detained a trans women when she used the bathroom.

But nothing justifies the detention of us. Ignorance is no excuse. It is a terrifying to be detained and/or arrested especially if you haven’t done anything wrong. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Strange Bed Fellows

Sometimes we find allies in strange places or not so strange, this time it is the American Bar Association.

I read an employment blog regularly and many times I find some interesting articles relating to us, this time it is about resolutions coming up before the Vancouver Midyear Meeting of the ABA.

These resolutions will be a slap in the current federal administration…





RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports an interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a), that its prohibition on sex discrimination in employment by covered employers includes discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the Attorney General of the United States to withdraw the interpretation proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice in October 2017 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e16(a), does not protect transgender citizens against workplace discrimination.
Wow! You got that? The resolution says that we are covered under Title VII and not only us but also lesbians and gays!

The American Bar Association (“ABA”) adopts this Resolution to support an interpretation of federal employment law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This report addresses the legal authority supporting this interpretation and the importance of interpreting “sex” discrimination broadly to include all aspects of such discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The report goes on for several more paragraphs to list their reasoning in the resolution.

But this is not alone; there is also this resolution,





RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal courts to recognize that service in the United States Armed Forces should not be restricted and individuals should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal courts to hold that the policies and directives encompassed in President Donald J. Trump’s Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, dated August 25, 2017, and entitled “Armed Forces Service by Transgender Individuals,” violate the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.


The American Bar Association (“ABA”) adopts this Resolution urging federal, state, local, territorial and tribal courts to recognize that service in the United States Armed Forces should not be restricted and that members should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This report addresses the legal authority and extensive research supporting this Resolution.
This accompanying report will address three key arguments as follows:
I. Transgender individuals openly serving in the Armed Forces will have an insignificant impact on military readiness.
a. Transgender individuals openly serving in the Armed Forces will have only a marginal impact on an ability to deploy.
b. Unit cohesion will not be affected by allowing transgender individuals to serve openly in the Armed Forces.
II. Costs associated with extending health coverage for transgender individuals is negligible.
III. The transgender service ban violates the constitutional guarantees of Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause.
a. The transgender service member ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
b. The transgender service member ban violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
But the good news isn’t finished there is another resolution (according to a note, this resolution was received after the deadline and will be taken up if time allows),


RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments and relevant private stakeholders to both recognize and work to reduce, through appropriate legal and policy means, the social determinants of health that drive the HIV/AIDS epidemic, such as poverty, stigma, discrimination, and racism; housing, food, and transportation insecurity; over-criminalization of HIV non-disclosure; and misinformation about HIV transmission risk;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments and relevant private stakeholders to ensure health care equity to marginalized populations disproportionately impacted by HIV, including those who are economically disadvantaged; underserved racial and ethnic minorities; LGBT persons; people with disabilities; and residents of underserved geographic regions;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments and relevant private stakeholders to provide and maintain updated, evidence-based information pertaining to HIV transmission risks, prevention options, and health care resources available to individuals living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments and relevant private stakeholders to ensure comprehensive health care and HIV education and prevention services;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments not to criminalize HIV status or HIV non-disclosure, except in the narrow circumstances where there exist (1) a clear specific intent to harm, (2) a substantial risk of transmission, and where (3) transmission occurs;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments and relevant private stakeholders to ensure affordable, reliable, and safe housing to people with HIV or AIDS, and to combat housing discrimination based on HIV or source of income;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments and relevant private stakeholders to ensure affordable legal services to people with HIV or AIDS; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges governments and relevant private stakeholders to ensure that no stigma based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression is created by administrative guidance provided in the promulgation or implementation of laws and regulations regarding HIV and AIDS.
These are all excellent resolutions!

There are two other resolutions about adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child  and an other about sexual harassment.

I doubt very much that it will change the current administration because they are bent for hell or high water to forge ahead with their agenda and be damn what anyone else thinks.

Once Again With A Target On Our Backs

Another conservative writes a book that twist research in order to discriminate against us, this time it is from someone at the Heritage Foundation. According t the foundation’s bio of him, “he received his doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame” so that really qualifies him to write on medical issues [Sarcasm].
An Anti-Trans Book Is Topping Amazon’s Gay & Lesbian Best-Seller List
In "When Harry Became Sally," Ryan T. Anderson argues trans identity is "a politically correct fad built on a shaky platform."
New Now Next
By Dan Avery
January 26, 2018

Amazon is by far the world’s number one purveyor of books. So it’s disturbing that a title topping one of its LGBT charts is a tome dedicated to denouncing trans people as mentally ill and a threat to children.

It’s not officially out until February 20, but Ryan T. Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment is already a best-seller on Amazon’s Gay & Lesbian Civil Rights History list. (The Kindle version of the book is currently Number 6.)

Anderson claims the book offers “a balanced approach to the policy issues, a nuanced vision of human embodiment, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.”

But he also insists the current “trans moment” in our culture is happening “not in light of new scientific evidence, mind you, but as a result of a growing ideological movement.” (Anderson’s previous book, Truth Overruled, argues how the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality threatens religious liberty and “marriage culture” in this country.)
It is just another hatchet job by the far right wing conservatives that dosen’t know what they are talking about.

Then there is a problem with the #6 ranking in the Amazon Best Sellers list.
“Amazon is giving credibility to an anti-trans book by allowing it to gurgle its way up to the #1 spot in the category of Gay & Lesbian Civil Rights History,” wrote journalist Matt Baume on Facebook. “A place it could not possibly deserve less to be.”

Baume calls the title, “inappropriate, dangerous, violent, unacceptable.”

There’s all kinds of problems with Amazon’s best-seller rankings, as laid out in this piece on Quartz from February 2017, in which Brent Underwood managed to make a photo of his foot a best-seller in five minutes for just $3.

But it doesn’t change the fact that many uninformed people will see this book branded a best-seller and assume it’s well-researched, objective and informative. Some of those people may be looking for advice about a loved one who’s come out as trans, or grappling with their own gender identity.
It is just another case of GIGO*

And you also don’t want to read the Logo New Now Next comments… there are lot of flaming going on by “experts” in medicine and Psychology.

*Garbage In Garbage Out

Monday, January 29, 2018

77 Years Ago

Our fathers and mothers fought a global war to fight fascism and imperialism.

But before our country was attacked we curled up in our little shell of isolationism where we didn’t care about China, Korea, and Indonesia being attacked by Japan. We didn’t care that Germany invaded a list of countries a yard long.

That was “over there” and we didn’t belong fighting another war to end all wars.

Meanwhile while we looked the other way Japan and Germany were waging genocide on “inferior” races and people. In Germany they used their scientific efficiency to murder millions of people, Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, blacks, the physically and mentally disabled, the Romani (Gypsies), and also social undesirables which included lesbians, gays, and trans people.
Holocaust Memorial Day: The lessons we should learn from the Nazi persecution of gay people
Pink News UK
By Benjamin Cohen
27th January 2018

PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen reflects on the persecution of gay people by the Nazis as Britain marks Holocaust Memorial Day.

If I was alive 75-year-ago and living in Berlin and not London, my outlook would not have been looking good and not just because I’m Jewish. Like some of those who found themselves in concentration camps, I also have a disability, I am member of a trade union and perhaps more pertinently, like many of the people reading this article, I am gay.
What happened during the Holocaust also stands to us as a warning to all of us that societies can go backwards as well as forwards. In the 1920s, Berlin was one of the gay capitals of the world, where Germany’s prohibition on homosexuality was widely ignored by the police and a large, open, flourishing gay community was in existence. Just before the Nazis took power, the German legislature was poised to repeal the legal ban of male homosexuality. It took a political climate that had nothing to do with gay people to radically alter the treatment of this minority group. The Nazis drew on deep rooted, latent homophobia within the population to stigmatise gay people to justify to ordinarily rational people the single largest act of persecution on the basis of sexuality that the world has ever seen, just as it engulfed the largest single act of anti-semitism on the planet.
I have to wonder is it happening again?

I see the streets Charlottesville and it sent a shiver up my spine. I heard what Trump said and another shiver ran up my spine.

I see it around the world in Russia, Chechyna, in the Middle East, in Indonesia, Africa, and here in the States where we are being used as scapegoats for the world troubles.

This Is A Step In The Right Direction

I don’t like it, but what are the options?

Without proper care the risk of self-harm grows exponentially, so what do you do when the parents are totally against their child transitioning, one child to their parents to court.
Judge to rule on transgender teen who wants to pursue hormone therapy
By Kevin Grasha, The Cincinnati Enquirer Published
January 27, 2018

CINCINNATI — An Ohio judge will decide next month whether to grant full custody to the grandparents of a transgender boy so he can pursue hormone therapy, which his parents oppose.

Closing arguments in the case, which began in December in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, took place Friday.

The now-17-year-old wants to transition in gender, but prosecutors say his parents deny he is transgender and have refused services from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Instead, one of their attorneys said Friday, the parents prefer therapy to “get to the underlying causes” of the teen’s desire to transition.
The state prosecutor said,
A Hamilton County assistant prosecutor who is representing Job and Family Services said the parents’ stance could lead the teen to suicide.
According to LGBTQ Nation…
The parents refused to accept their son, forcing him to spend six hours a day in a room listening to Bible verses. They did not allow him to change “appearance to a male look” or seek hormone replacement therapy.
Later that year, the boy emailed a suicide crisis hotline and said that his parents refused to take him to therapy “unless it was Christian-based.”
It is very hard for a minor to get proper treatment when their parents are against it; I have heard some rumors that here in Connecticut has taken some trans children from their parents when the parents were opposed to their child’s transition. Also Connecticut is one of the few states to ban Conversion Therapy for minors; but there are limits to the ban, first is that they have to be licensed healthcare or therapists and second religious organizations are not banned from practicing Conversion Therapy because of the First Amendment. However if a religious official is licensed therapist or healthcare provider they can lose their medical license.

Whatever you do you don’t want to read the comments… very hateful, even the ones on LGBTQ Nation/

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hate Is Starting To Push Love Out

We were making headway with acceptance of LGBT people but we are losing ground to the haters. The latest poll shows loses in acceptance.
Less Than Half Of Americans Say They’re Comfortable With LGBT People
New Now Next
By Samantha Manzella
January 25, 2018

Despite increased visibility and awareness, acceptance of LGBT people in America actually decreased in 2017.

GLAAD and The Harris Poll’s fourth-annual Accelerating Acceptance report found that less than half (49%) of respondents said they were “somewhat” or “very” comfortable with queer people in different social situations, down from 53% in 2016.

It’s the first decline since the report was launched in 2014, and is in contrast to studies that have shown increased acceptance in the U.S for things like marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws.

Nearly 2,200 Americans—including 1,900 cisgender heterosexuals—were asked about their attitudes toward LGBT people—including “having LGBT members at my place of worship,” “learning my child has a lesson on LGBT history in school,” and “learning a family member is LGBT.”

That’s not the only bad news, unfortunately: 55% of LGBT respondents reported experiencing homophobic or transphobic discrimination, an increase of 11% from 2016.

And 2017 saw record highs in anti-LGBT homicides, which shot up 86%. At least 52 queer Americans, including 27 trans people, lost their lives to hate-fueled violence.
This is sad news but not unexpected with all the hate coming out of Washington. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King once said,
Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.
But when the heartless reign there is nothing to keep them in-check and hate runs wild.

The Stock Market

The stock market has been climbing at what seems like an exponential rate. What is driving the climb? It is sure not wages, corporate profits have been climbing but not to warrant this growth, so is it a bubble that is going to burst?
Can anything stop the stock market's relentless rise?
Hartford Courant
By Stan Choe and Marley Jay Associated Press
January 26, 2018

It's been 365 days since the Dow Jones industrial average first crossed 20,000, and it's already up another 30-plus percent as the stock market's relentless rise to records keeps going.

Few market watchers see a sharp reversal for stocks anytime soon, at least this year. But press them on what could possibly derail the market's run, and they usually land on a similar list of potential threats.

The warnings come couched with caveats: The general expectation is for stocks to keep rising, albeit at a slower pace, because the odds seem low for a recession this year. Economies around the world are finally in sync and growing together, and the U.S. is getting an extra kick from recently passed tax cuts. That should keep profits on the upswing for companies, and stock prices tend to follow the direction of profits.

But many potential potholes lie ahead. One concern centers on just how long and strong this bull market has been. Since they began rising in 2009, stocks have become more expensive than they've historically been, relative to corporate profits. That said, stocks have managed to keep climbing in the past, even when they've been as expensive and as deep into a bull run as they are now.

Here's a look at other potential threats that could trip up what's been one of the best runs for stocks in history:
— An unexpected spike in inflation.
— Central banks around the world tightening too quickly.
— A trade war.
— A real war.
So has any of these have happened?

Well the Feds just increased the interest rates and Trump just started a trade war…

Should we be nervous?

So did you ever wonder how the stock market worked?

Well a company that is worth 100 million dollars wants to raise money so they decide to sell some stock, say they have a million shares at a hundred dollars a share or a100 million dollars in stock.

Well if they decide to sell another million shares that is going to devalue the stock price in half, they will now be worth fifty dollars a share.

People see that the company has good potential so I buy the shares at $50 a share.

You come along and think well, this company has good potential so you offer them $55 dollars a share but no one wants to sell, so you offer $75 a share, you walk away with a nice profit.

George sees that the stock price increased by 50% and thinks, “Hey this stock is moving!” so George buys it for a $100 a share.

Sue sees that it has doubled in price and think “Hey I have to get on the band wagon.” She pays $150 a share.

You then see how it has moves and offer a $125 a share.

Around and around it goes with you and George, and Sue until it is a thousand dollars a share. Wow!

Pete comes along and thinks, “Hey wait the company is only worth 100 million dollars and the stock is worth two billion dollars!” and he decides not to buy any shares.

All of a sudden the bubble goes “POP!” and the shares drop to $50 a share.

The company is happy because they raised enough for the expansion, you are happy because you sold your shares to George and George is happy because he sold his shares to Sue who got stuck with it when the music stopped.

Now take a look at today’s stock market at over 26,000 does anyone else think that there is a pin out there ready to burst the bubble?

Teaching Healthcare Providers

In the past I was on a panel for the School of Medicine at UConn Health Center but this year I haven’t heard from them, but I know that they were revamping the curriculum so I don’t know if they are still including us in the student’s curriculum.
Nurse With Transgender Expertise Helps People Live Authentic Lives
By Lee Nelson
January 26, 2018

The wait list of young people wanting to get help at the Center for Transyouth Health and Development in Los Angeles runs usually at over 100 people long. These children, teens and young adults come from everywhere to seek support.

“I like being part of the team that helps them get to that place of being who they are,” says Bianca Salvetti, pediatric nurse practitioner and HIV and transgender health specialist.

The center she works at is located at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Salvetti coordinates and implements HIV clinical research and medical care activities within the Risk Reduction Program. She provides primary care to teens and young adults, as well as specialty care to transgender youth and young adults living with HIV.
How did you get interested in working with transyouth?
During her own nurse practitioner training, Salvetti shadowed a nurse practitioner who worked with homeless youth.

“Something about that drew me in. You worked with young people, and it was more laid back, not so formal. It was just a conversation, and I liked that,” Salvetti adds.

When the job opened up in the transyouth clinic, she knew she had to apply.
Some wonder if you need training because we are so few that there would not be a big demand for nurses trained to work with trans youth.
Where are jobs for transgender nurses?
The jobs can be limited, Salvetti says.

“However, there are definitely more trans programs opening up which opens up more opportunities for nurses and medical providers. I think this is due to the visibility of trans and gender non-conforming folks on TV and social media.

She also believes that young people are pushing for more acceptance and medical care access.

“My plan is to stick with this job. But the hard part is if I ever decided to move from Los Angeles, it would be limited where I could go,” she says. “I’m from Oklahoma originally. My thoughts are that maybe I could buy a house there. But I’m sure the jobs for my skills don’t exist there yet.”
I think that being trained in how to work with trans youth is invaluable training even if you don’t specialize in healthcare for trans people.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday 9: Heartbreak Hotel

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Heartbreak Hotel (1956) 

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

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

1) Elvis checked in to the hotel at the end of Lonely Street. Where was the last hotel or motel you stayed at?
Down in New Jersey for Thanksgiving, the family had Thanksgiving at my niece’s.

2) He sings that Heartbreak Hotel is always crowded. The fear of crowds is so prevalent that it has four names (enochlophobia, ochlophobia, demophobia and agoraphobia). Are you comfortable in a crowd?
Nope not at all… my introvert clock starts running until I get antsy and have to leave. It wasn’t bad at the Women’s March because it was out in the open.

3) The desk clerk at Heartbreak Hotel is dressed black. Do you often wear all black?
Yes, sometimes. Today I have a black turtleneck and black tights with black Maryjane’s. But I have a denim skirt and jacket with a gold necklace.

4) The song was written by Mae Boren Axton, who said it was inspired by the story of an anonymous young man's suicide in a hotel. She said she read in The Miami Herald that the John Doe left behind a note that said, "I walk a lonely street." What's the last note you handwrote? (Hopefully it was more upbeat.)
It was a note to the guy who plows my driveway and mows my lawn (not now but in the summer).

5) When Elvis was 11, his parents bought him a guitar. He had asked for a rifle, but his mama convinced him a guitar was a better idea. Tell us about a time one of your parents was right about something.
Oh that is hard because they passed away over ten years ago and them being right probably did happen but who wants to remember when your parents said “I told you so.”

6) Not long before "Heartbreak Hotel" was recorded, Elvis' father recommended he give up the guitar and become a truck driver. Tell us about a time one of your parents was wrong about something.
They thought I was an angel and my brother always got into trouble, boy were they wrong about me. I bet you they would roll over in their graves if they found out that I used to go to motorcycle gangs keg parties and my nickname was “Enstien.”

7) There are many stories about Elvis' manager, Col. Tom Parker. One anecdote, about his career before Elvis, has the Colonel painting sparrows yellow so he could sell them as canaries. Have you ever been ripped off?
Yes and even to this day I still have trouble dealing with it, it still hurts. My parents’ house cleaner ripped off my mother’s 10 dollar gold coin from 1897

8) Speaking of birds, Elvis once owned a peacock. It damaged his cars, so he gave it to the Memphis Zoo. In earlier days, it might have been dinner, for peacock was considered a medieval delicacy. What's the last poultry you prepared?
Chicken stew.

9)  Random question: You and a friend have dinner at a restaurant. Your friend left her wallet at home, so you pick up the entire tab of $62, including tip. A few weeks later, you two meet for lunch and when the bill comes, she puts down half. Do you remind her that she still owes you $31 from the last time you dined together?
I would not have said anything except to one person who also does that to us when we go out to eat and they are loaded. They own a hundred acres with a 50 acre pond and they have a McMansion. He owns a dozen antique motorcycles, a couple of antique cars and trucks and drives a $185,000 car. But when we go out to eat he always has a drink orders an appetizer, a big meal, dessert and has a coffee, then he says we should divide the check.

My post for the Women’s March in Hartford

Friday, January 26, 2018

Memorial Service

One of our community was a victim of Domestic Violence only a few days in to the new year and was murdered by her husband.

A memorial service will be held…
Saturday at 11 AM - 12 PM
Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence
220 Main St, Northampton, Massachusetts 01060

Northampton memorial set for slain trans activist
Daily Hampshire Gazette
By Bera Dunau
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — A memorial for Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, a transgender activist with deep connections to the Pioneer Valley, will be held at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence on Saturday.

Steele-Knudslien, 42, was killed Jan. 4 in her North Adams home. Her husband, Mark Steele-Knudslien, allegedly told police that he killed her. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is being held without right to bail.
She said that when people think about violence against LGBTQ people, they don’t always think of violence within relationships. She also said that transgender people have been historically hesitant to seek help on these issues. Winters said Safe Passage is working on a project to make it easier for trans folks to seek out help with domestic violence.

Update 7:56 PM:

The Battles Have Begun

There are a record number of court case about discrimination against us, the Supreme Court heard the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and there have been a number of court cases being held in lower federal courts and also on the state level and most of them we are winning.
For LGBT Rights, 2018 Will Be the Year of the Courts
Reversing a gloomy 2017, advances in equality are occurring around the globe.
The Advocate
By Neela Ghoshal
January 24 2018

It started in India January 8 with an announcement from the Supreme Court that it would revisit section 377 of India’s Penal Code, which criminalizes consensual same-sex conduct. In 2013, a two-judge bench of the court took a giant step backward by reinstating section 377, reversing a celebrated 2009 Delhi High Court ruling that had invalidated the law as unconstitutional. In 2014, nongovernmental organizations filed what is known as a curative petition — a last-resort effort to challenge a Supreme Court ruling. And in 2016, five gay and lesbian Indians filed a writ petition, as individuals directly affected by the law, which prompted the Supreme Court to order a reconsideration of the 2013 decision by a larger bench, saying that the ruling was inconsistent with a recent ruling on privacy rights.
With regard to same-sex couples, the court chose to go beyond Costa Rica’s query on economic rights. It assessed the steps countries need to take to ensure that same-sex couples benefit from all the same rights as different-sex couples. It concluded that true equal protection of the law could only rest on equal access to the institution of marriage itself. Even if a state established a legal framework for civil unions that guaranteed the same rights as marriage, the court said, the very existence of two separate legal frameworks — one only accessible to couples of different sexes — is a mark of inequality, an acknowledgment that the state values one type of relationship over another. Therefore, the court found, all countries must begin to take steps toward marriage equality.

The court emphasized that its opinion constitutes an authoritative interpretation of countries’ treaty obligations under the American Convention on Human Rights, applicable to all members of the Organization of American States.
Two days after the Inter-American Court ruling, on January 11, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice issued his opinion in a case pending before the court. The case involves a Romanian national, Adrian Coman, who married his American partner, Clai Hamilton, in Brussels in 2010. When the couple sought to move to Romania in 2012 under E.U. free movement rules, the Romanian authorities denied a residency permit to Hamilton on the grounds that it does not recognize same-sex marriages.  Coman and Hamilton challenged the refusal, and the Romanian Constitutional Court referred the case to the European Court of Justice.
But back here in the states we are going to be facing an uphill battle in the courts as Trump packs the courts with young conservative who believe that the Bible overrules the Constitution and know little about the law.
Trump’s judge picks: ‘Not qualified,’ prolific bloggers
But Republican senators still get on board.
By Seung Min Kim
October 17, 2017
President Donald Trump has nominated 50 candidates to lifetime appointments to the federal bench — including a man who asserted transgender children were evidence of “Satan’s plan,” one deemed unqualified by the American Bar Association and a handful of prolific bloggers.

And the GOP has unanimously stuck by Trump’s judges. Senate Republicans have cleared judicial nominees at a comparatively rapid clip this year — even as the conservative base has complained they’re not moving fast enough — and are planning to pick up the pace even more in the coming months.

Among the more eyebrow-raising judges is Charles Goodwin, who has been nominated to the federal bench in Oklahoma. He is the first judicial nominee since 2006 to earn a “not qualified” label from the American Bar Association, which has screened judicial candidates since the 1950s. (It’s possible Barack Obama considered judges the ABA would have found “not qualified,” but his administration worked with the ABA to evaluate nominees before they were announced, something Trump has declined to do.)
So who is advising Trump?

Why it is no other than the Family Research Council, you know the group… it is the one that is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

And remember that federal court appointments are for life! So these young judges might be serving on the bench for 40 years.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

We Are On Our Way To The Oscars!

How many times have you heard me say it is about time that trans people have parts of trans people in the media, but not only play parts for trans people but parts for cis-gender roles. Well it is happening,
Oscars 2018: Transgender Artists and Stories Earn Historic Nominations for ‘Strong Island’ and ‘A Fantastic Woman’
In a watershed year for representation, Yance Ford is the first transgender director of an Oscar-nominated film.
Indie Wire
By Jude Dry
January 23, 2018

Tuesday morning’s Academy Award nominations included several historic nomination for women and people of color, including Rachel Morrison, Jordan Peele, and Greta Gerwig. However, the biggest victory may belong to the transgender representation of two smaller films, Best Documentary nominee “Strong Island” and Best Foreign Film nominee “A Fantastic Woman.”

With Yance Ford’s “Strong Island,” a powerful and deeply personal film about the murder of Ford’s brother, he became the first transgender director of an Oscar-nominated film. After many years producing documentaries, “Strong Island” is Ford’s first feature-length film.

“A Fantastic Woman” stars Chilean transgender actress Daniela Vega, and the significance of her casting cannot be overstated; playing trans has long been a one-way ticket to Oscar glory for cisgender actors like Jared Leto and Hillary Swank. Transgender advocates decry such performances as treating trans identity as nothing more than a good makeup job, contributing to the discrimination and violence trans people regularly experience. Vega is the heart and soul of the film, and even though she was not nominated for her performance, her work is recognized with the movie’s nomination.
The article goes on to point out that there have been other trans people who have been nominated for Oscars, song writers, producers, and other behind the scenes personnel have been up for an Oscar. The first trans people that comes to mind are Wachowski sisters.
“A Fantastic Woman” is entirely about transgender narratives, but transcends cliché as effortlessly as Marina (Vega) serenades her lover Orlando (Francisco Reyes). The second in a trifecta of films about women from “Gloria” director Sebastian Lelio, “A Fantastic Woman” places Marina at the center of her narrative. The first act delivers a touching romance between Marina and Orlando, making it all the more heartbreaking when he dies in her arms. As Marina contends with Orlando’s family, most of whom would like her to quietly go away, she must fight for her right to mourn the man she loved.
We are starting to get our foot in the door, but there is still a long, long way to go. But we have the talent out there just waiting to be picked.

One hot talent that is starting to get recognized is Rachel Crowl because of her part in the acclaimed independent movie “And Then There Was Eve.” Then there are actors such as Candis Cayne, Laverne Cox, Alexandra Billings, Rebecca Root, and Michelle Hendley who have already stared in independent movies that are just waiting for more roles.

Let’s stop transface.

A Lecture I Would Like To Hear

I go to lectures at my alma mater or to other venues from time to time and this is one lecture I would like to hear about trans monks.
The Underground
By Isabella Langston
January 24, 2018

Roland Betancourt, assistant professor of art history at the University of California, Irvine, presented his lecture “Transgender Monks, Ethiopian Eunuchs: The Intersectionality of Gender and Race in Byzantium” as part of the Dickson Memorial Lecture Series. In it, he discussed transgender women and men during the fourth and ninth century in the Byzantine era.
Betancourt analyzed how the Byzantine era dealt with their own definitions of gender reassignment.

“The most surprising thing about this material is seeing, not just the question of transgender identity in terms of transitioning, but also in terms of nonconforming gender fluidity,” Betancourt said.
Wow! This just is amazing, in the third century they recognized gender non-conforming people… so much for people who claim that trans people is a modern phenomenon.

I have to see if he is lecturing anywhere around here in Connecticut.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Come On In! The Water’s Great.

Who doesn’t like to dip their toes or take a swim; well one swim club in Australia is having a trans swim night.
Exclusive Vic transgender swim session
Daily Mail
By Australian Associated Press
24 January 2018

A public Melbourne swimming pool is planning a private trans and gender diverse swim night, the first of its kind in Victoria.

The City of Darebin, one of three Melbourne councils which made headlines for changing the face of Australia Day in 2017, has announced plans for the February 24 event at the Reservoir Leisure Centre.

"To create a safe and welcoming environment, the event is only open to trans and gender-diverse people and their friends, partners and families," the council's community development director Katrina Knox told News Corp.
That is a really great idea!

I know that there are many trans people who are uncomfortable in bathing suits around non-trans people. Tiffany Club of New England at their First Event used to have a pool party one night and I used to love it, it gave a chance to go swimming in a safe environment.

However, (you know there has to be one caveat) I hope that they don’t limit swimming for trans people to a special night and ban trans people from swimming on other nights, that would be segregation.

Anything To Put Barriers In Front Of Us

We are going to have to fight for every advance.

The Supreme Court ruling means nothing to this administration, they continue to put roadblocks in front of us.
A Married Lesbian Couple Is Suing The Government To Recognize Their Son As A U.S. Citizen
Allison Blixt was told she could apply to be recognized as her son's stepmother.
New Now Next
By Samantha Manzella
January 23, 2018

A binational lesbian couple has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. State Department for failing to recognize their son as an American citizen.

Allison Blixt, an American, and Stefania Zaccari, an Italian, each became pregnant in 2014, using their own eggs and sperm from an unnamed donor. Both gave birth in London in January 2015. When they went to the U.S. Embassy shortly after the boys’ births, Blixt’s biological son, Massimiliano, was made a U.S. citizen without any fuss.

But Zaccari’s biological son, Lucas, was denied citizenship.

A binational lesbian couple has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. State Department for failing to recognize their son as an American citizen.
Allison Blixt, an American, and Stefania Zaccari, an Italian, each became pregnant in 2014, using their own eggs and sperm from an unnamed donor. Both gave birth in London in January 2015. When they went to the U.S. Embassy shortly after the boys’ births, Blixt’s biological son, Massimiliano, was made a U.S. citizen without any fuss.
But Zaccari’s biological son, Lucas, was denied citizenship.

According to the State Department website, children born abroad are only eligible for citizenship if one of their married parents is an American citizen at the time of birth. Blixt and Zaccari were married according to British law when Lucas was born, but marriage equality didn’t come to the U.S. till later that year. The U.S. Consulate therefore considers the children born out of wedlock.
But the ruling did not include children of those couples, which LGBT advocates maintain is discriminatory.
There are other couples around the world that have run into this hurdle, you would think that the State Department would be accepting to adding the children… but no they want us to fight for what is right.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How Would You Answer?

I don’t know if you are like me and read Dear Amy every day and today there was a person asking about a trans relative…
Ask Amy: Extended family wonders how to embrace transgender member
Chicago Tribune
By Amy Dickinson
January 23, 2018

Dear Amy: I am one of six adult siblings. We gather once or twice a year in a low-key kind of way to stay connected and catch up.

My brother “Tom,” his wife and three adult children stopped attending these events a couple of years ago. This left us perplexed.

Recently Tom’s son (my nephew) shared with the family that he was gender-transitioning to being a woman.
We will soon be having another gathering and Laura may be joining us. I am at a loss as to how to greet her when she walks through the door (after giving her a big hug, of course).
Amy, you always seem to have the right words for any occasion. Please help!

— Grateful Aunty
Her answer was,
Dear Aunty: Keep in mind that “Laura” is likely as nervous (or more nervous) than you are.

She will be part of your family for the rest of her life, and so don’t force yourself (or her) to cover too much ground in this one meeting.

No awkward string of words is really necessary when you can deliver a hearty hug. Make eye contact with your niece, and say, “Welcome back, Laura. I’ve missed you!” After that, you will find ways to resume your relationship, which was presumably well-established before her absence. Don’t worry about igniting an instant connection, but let her reveal her own story as she chooses, through time. You will all adjust.
How would you answer?

I know Amy was right-on with “Keep in mind that ‘Laura’ is likely as nervous (or more nervous) than you are.” I was nervous as all hell when I went to my first family function.

So what would you advise?

Counter Intelligence

Like all political movements you need to track your opposition. You need to see how they are framing your movement, you need to see how they are targeting your supporters.

Case in point, the “family” organization here in Connecticut is opposed to the governor’s appointment to be the Chief Justice of the CT Supreme Court,
Oppose Appointment of Andrew McDonald to Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court

Andrew McDonald, a former state legislator who led a blatantly unconstitutional attack on the Catholic Church in 2009, has been nominated to be Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. _ _ _ Action is asking all of our members to contact their state senator and state representative and ask them to vote NO on his confirmation.

Justice McDonald and his supporters have placed a heavy emphasis on the fact that McDonald is gay, implying that his nomination is only opposed because of prejudice. These are shameful tactics. As even the New London Day's liberal columnist has written, the Judiciary Committee should decide "without predetermination or broad-brush strokes of bigotry" and "critics should be free to challenge McDonald's qualifications without being called hateful."
So now we know that they are energizing their base to oppose the nominee and how they are going to frame their campaign.

An attack on school non-discrimination policy is being waged by Alliance Defending Freedom.
Alliance Defending Freedom continues to attack transgender students in its drive to undermine nondiscrimination protections
By Erin Fitzgerald
January 22, 2018

A school district in Palatine, Illinois — District 211 — is back in the national spotlight as a contentious legal battle over transgender-inclusive accommodation policies continues to make its way through the court system.

A lawsuit was filed in 2017 on behalf of a transgender student who alleged the district, which she alleged was restricting her from equitable access to changing facilities. Oral arguments for the case were scheduled to take place in the Daley Center in Chicago on Friday January 19. The arguments come three weeks after a federal judge rejected a request for a preliminary injunction to suspend the current trans-inclusive guidelines in place in the school district.

The request was submitted by the group “Students and Parents for Privacy” which is represented by anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) along with the Thomas More Society. The most recent decision stated that transgender students should be permitted to continue using the restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. The judge added that the policy had been in place for three years without incident which undermined the “plaintiffs’ claim of irreparable harm.” Through the ruling does not impact the ultimate outcome of the civil case filed on behalf of the group, it does suggest that the judge “ doesn't believe the claim at the heart of the lawsuit — that the transgender policy infringes on the privacy rights of other students — has merit.”
Framing the opposition is important and making it stick is also important and it helps to have the media behind you.

We saw this in Massachusetts where the Republicans were able to frame the trans inclusive non-discrimination bill as the dreaded “the bathroom bill” and the media ran with it causing public accommodation to be deleted from the original bill. While in Connecticut when we were passing our trans inclusive non-discrimination bill that same year we successfully blocked the opposition’s attempt to label our bill “the bathroom bill.”

Here is a different take on strategy…
Transgender Rights Align with Conservative Values
The Fox News crowd needs to realize trans equality is actually part of its agenda.
The Advocate
By Jillian Weiss
January 16, 2018

The current administration has made it a priority to roll back the few advances that transgender people have made in civil rights, as if transgender rights are somehow a threat to conservative values. The most recent attack was a directive late last year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prohibit even mere mention of the word “transgender” when preparing its budget. The other banned words are reportedly: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

The CDC news came on the heels of Attorney General Jeff Sessions's back-to-back memos in the previous months that threaten the freedom of hardworking citizens who deserve the same opportunity to hold a steady job, earn a living for themselves and their families, and live the American dream. First, Sessions announced that he would reverse the Department od [sic] Justices’s previous interpretation that the federal Civil Rights Act protects transgender people from sex discrimination. One day later, he issued a memo that approved discrimination against transgender Americans under the guise of “religious liberty.”
Now here is where the article says those values align with ours…
These discriminatory maneuvers are an affront to conservative values because they take away opportunities for transgender Americans to live freely and advance the achievements of our nation by adding their unique talents and contributions. To truly “Make America Great” as President Trump keeps saying, we must show all people the freedom and liberty to be who they are in service to our nation. Denying transgender people the same chance to get ahead and succeed diminishes who we are as a people. It guts the core conservative belief, set out in our U.S. Constitution, that all people deserve equal treatment under the law.

Republicans and moderates of all stripes are beginning to voice concerns about laws that target transgender people and the LGBTQ community as a whole. Fair-minded people see that allowing discrimination to flourish and making bias a cause celebre will harm the businesses that we rely on to run our economy. Encouraging employees to exclude transgender people from service will only bring about divisions, protests and boycotts.
Um… I just don’t see this.

I think she is right about our values “It guts the core conservative belief, set out in our U.S. Constitution, that all people deserve equal treatment under the law.” but I don’t think those are the core values of conservatives; I think their core values are “status quo” they want to live in their dream world of the 1950s where everyone knew their place and father knows best. Where blacks knew their place as servants to white folks, where gays and lesbians hid in the closet and we weren’t anywhere to be found.

She ends with,
And as voters in Virginia, Minnesota, California, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Connecticut showed us —  in recently electing transgender candidates Danica Roem, Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham, Lisa Middleton, Tyler Titus, Gerri Cannon, Stephe Koontz, and Raven Matherne —  good-hearted individuals are opening up and embracing the contributions of our transgender communities. It is time for the Trump administration to stop infringing on the freedom of trans Americans. Doing so will demonstrate a true commitment to conservative ideals.
I don’t think it was because all of sudden the conservatives voted for trans people out of some feeling of injustice but rather I think that their wins were because of hard work and sticking to local issues but also to the fact that independents voted for the best candidates and didn’t let the fact that they are trans enter into their thinking. I think that the conservatives still hate our guts.

One last comment, activism like it root word "action" means being involved and taking part, it means more than just posting blogs, it means more that re-posting memes on Facebook.

It means calling your legislators, writing letters-to-the-editor, it means getting out to rallies, it means publicly standing up and being counted.

One caveat, be safe. Being a marginalized community something it is not possible to publicly stand-up, so to those I say that there are ways to stay anonymous. Before I was out publically and I testified before the state legislature committee hearing I used an alias and I stated that it wasn’t my real name but I didn’t want to use my real name for fear of reprisals.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Coasts

Have you noticed that we have the most rights on the coasts, that when you move to the Midwestern or the Mountain states we start to face more oppression?

The state of Washington took to gain steps forward,
Senate passes conversion ban, transgender bullying bills
By Associated Press
January 19, 2018

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Senate has passed a bill seeking to ban therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

Senate Bill 5722 passed on a 32-16 vote Friday and now heads to the House. The measure would deem it “unprofessional conduct” for a licensed health care provider to perform conversion therapy on a patient under the age of 18.

Under the measure, if the provider violates the law, they would face sanctions ranging from fines to license revocation or suspension.

The Senate Friday also passed a bill meant to address transgender bullying in schools. Under Senate Bill 5766, which passed on a 30-18 vote, school districts must adopt or amend transgender student policies and procedures and develop a mandatory training class. The measure now heads to the House.
So now Washington is caught up to California and Connecticut with passing the a ban on Conversion Therapy and anti-bullying laws.

Now it is New Hampshire that needs to get caught up to the rest of the “coasts” they have Conversion Therapy and a trans non-discrimination bills that were pending.
New Hampshire Speaker Casts Tie-Breaking Vote That Killed The State’s Gay Conversion Therapy Ban
“I want all children to be able to grow up without being told that they should not be who they are.”
New Now Next
By Dan Avery
January 12, 2018

In 2017, New Mexico, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Connecticut joined the growing list of states banning conversation therapy for minors.

Democrats in New Hampshire hoped to join their ranks, but two bans before lawmakers failed to pass by razor-thin margins this week. In fact, bills in both the House and Senate ended in ties, with House Speaker Gene Chandler stepping in to cast the deciding vote against each.

Most lawmakers voted along party lines, though Rep. Brian Stone, a Republican in Northwood called the widely discredited therapy “an unethical practice that causes long-term trauma to children… It is neither efficacious in science nor in practice.”

Other Republicans argued that the bill was unnecessary, as there’s no evidence anyone is practicing conversion therapy in New Hampshire. But Rep. Mark Pearson (R-Hampstead) insisted they should be allowed to do so.
Now compare the New Hampshire vote to the Connecticut, in Connecticut the vote was unanimous in the Senate and only eight dissenting votes in the House.

Umm... This is interesting.

The Republicans say it is the law, while the Democrats say it isn't.

The Dallas Morning News reported,
Dallas County Republicans have filed a lawsuit to have 128 Democrats kicked off the March 6 primary ballot.

The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County late Friday, contends that Dallas County Democratic Party Chairman Carol Donovan didn't sign the petitions of 128 Democratic Party candidates before sending them to the Texas Secretary of State's office, as required by law.

"The Election Code says the chairman, and nobody else, has to sign them," said Elizabeth Alvarez Bingham, a lawyer for the Dallas County Republican Party. "Carol Donovan is the chair. She was supposed to sign them. She didn't do it."

The news stunned some Democrats after a lawyer for their party notified them of the lawsuit Sunday afternoon.

"We have assembled a legal team of Dallas' best and brightest Democratic election law attorneys," Donovan said late Sunday in a news release. "Though we are taking this case seriously, the Republican Party's lawsuit is not supported by Texas law. We will fight to ensure that all Democratic voters in Dallas County can participate in a fair Primary election."
This is one case that I will be following

What Does The Women’s March Mean?

Protests were held around the country on Saturday and there was massive turn outs at all the events, so what does it mean?

Protest marches have been a staple of our country since before the beginning of the nation, what makes the Women’s March special?

Well first off, the size of them. In Hartford it was a record breaking crowd of around twelve thousand people. It crushed the number of people who showed up for and against marriage equality; those rallies only had a couple of thousand people attend them.

Second, they rally had women, sisters, and daughters marching but it also had fathers, brothers, and sons. It also was multi-cultural with people from different religions, races, and socioeconomic status attending. It wasn’t monocultural.

Third and most important is that from these rallies more women are running for office.

At the march and rally yesterday I was at the CT Transadvocacy Coalition’s table all day and we handed out just about the literature that we brought, we had a constant stream of people stopping by and asking questions.

I brought my camera but I only took two pictures before the battery ran out. I was going to check the battery before I left the house but someone called just before I left and I forgot to check the battery.

One Bad Apple Doesn’t Make The Whole Barrel Bad

Does a hand few TREFs make the whole movement transphoblic?

Are Pussy Hats exclusionary?

Those two questions come to mind are reading…
The Women’s March was ‘made unsafe’ by TERFs’ transphobic signs and pussy hats
The Women’s March has sparked outrage with transphobic signs and exclusionary pussy hats.
Pink News
By Josh Jackman 
22nd January 2018

Feminist, pro-equality, anti-Donald Trump marches took place across the world over the weekend under the Women’s March banner, on the anniversary of the first of these rallies.

But they were dogged by controversy and accusations that they were unsafe for transgender people after a poster proclaiming that “TRANS WOMEN ARE MEN” went viral.
The hats are said to limit the idea of a woman to those who have vaginas.
So the first question does one sign in a sea of signs that are non-TREFs signs mean that the whole movement is anti-trans?

I believe the answer is no, one bad apple doesn’t taint the whole barrel. I have been to two Women’s March rallies in Hartford and I found not one transphoblic sign. And I found the opposite to be true, the Connecticut March organizers are very supportive of trans people they have included us all the way, with speakers and inviting trans organizations to come to their events to table. Saturday I sat at the CTAC table, at the vendor rallies last year we were invited to table at their events in Hartford and New London.

I doubt very, very much that the hats were the result of a conscious effort to exclude us. I believe that one person made a hat and another woman thought it was a great idea and it took off virally as part of the movement.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

In Anyway Possible

The Trump administration has done everything in their power to demonize and marginalized. They stripped protection for us; they gave special rights to discriminate against us.
'Not just about a cake shop': LGBT people battle bias in everyday routines
USA Today
By Susan Miller
January 16, 2018

For the LGBT community, it is those everyday activities that can leave people feeling the barbs of bias, a new study shows — and many are being forced to rethink routines.

Only 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws that protect people from discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the report released Tuesday by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), a think tank that researches and analyzes state and federal laws with LGBT implications.

And 54 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act and 28 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act, there is no federal law that offers similar protections for LGBT people.
And the administration has even gutted those laws.
 “People don’t understand the breadth of what public accommodations are and what they cover,” said Ineke Mushovic, MAP executive director. “It’s all our activities and daily lives when not at home, at work, at school.”
That’s why if you live in Massachusetts you need to get out and fight to pass the ballot initiative,
Do you approve of a law summarized below, which was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 117-36 on July 7, 2016, and approved by the Senate by a voice vote on July 7, 2016
The article goes on to say that the opposition thinks,
“Religious bakers, florists, photographers and others whose stories we are familiar with have not denied services to LGBT people because of their status as LGBT,” said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial spokesperson at Focus on the Family, “but because the services being asked of them forced them to violate their conscience by promoting or participating in something contrary to their religious beliefs.”

The conflict comes from “the message, not the person,” he said. “In most of those stories, those religious business owners had a long history of serving, and in some cases even employing, LGBT persons.”
Substitute “Black” for “LGBT”
“Religious bakers, florists, photographers and others whose stories we are familiar with have not denied services to “Black” people because of their status as “Black”,” said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial spokesperson at Focus on the Family, “but because the services being asked of them forced them to violate their conscience by promoting or participating in something contrary to their religious beliefs.”
That was the same argument that was used to justify segregation.

Aryah Lester summed it up best…
Said Lester, the Florida transgender activist: “People think we want to be treated as special. We only want to be treated as equal.”  
I don’t usually quote comments but…
Even years ago, people did not have a problem with LGBT doing what they want in the privacy of their bedrooms. We had a problem when they started trying to make it the norm, and started to recruit kids into their ranks.
In other words they want to force us back in the closet as second class citizens. Once again substitute another marginalized people and how does it read?
Even years ago, people did not have a problem with women doing what they want in the privacy of their bedrooms. We had a problem when they started trying to make it the norm, and started to recruit kids into their ranks.
It sounds misogynous, if not misoneism.

Then this comment from a man…
Millions of gays, lesbians and bisexuals could have had job protection for nearly a decade now if the trans mafia hadn't killed ENDA because they couldn't be included.
To me he sounds like a member of “GAY INC.” Hmm... maybe we can coin the phrase,  Trans-Exclusionary Radical Gays (TERG).

Leadership Compared To Bumbling Along

It has been one year since the Republicans took control of the government; they control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.

What have they accomplished in a year?

They passed a god awful tax bill that hurts the middleclass and lower income people and gives a trillion dollar tax cut to the 1 percenters.

They stripped health insurance from millions of people.

They have refused to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they have refused to enforce the environmental laws, they have refused to enforce labor safety laws, they have gutted the consumer protection agency, and they have bent over to give anything that Wall Streets wants.

The administration has refused to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Children's Health Insurance Program expired in September 2017 and they never brought a bill to the floor to vote on extending it.

Trump has spent more time playing golf than any other president in history and he has made millions of dollars by visiting his own properties.

Trump has failed to appoint people to key government positions, there are still many ambassadorships that are still unfilled one year later.

Trump has contradicted himself so many times that he is like a flag flapping in the wind. He hasn’t laid out any clear agendas and he changes his position from hour to hour depending on the last person he talked to. He hasn't done anything except to undo everything that President Obama has done.

Trump has stripped all protections for LGBT people and he has given special rights for bigots to discriminate against us.

Trump has appointed judges who have said the Bible trumps the Consitution.

But most of all the Republicans failed to pass a budget when they had a whole year to do it. They structured the shutdown so that the military will not get paid this time. All they did was kick the can down the road… enough is enough. Pass a budget, stop the ban aids!

In Trump's own words in 2011 when the Republicans were posed to shutdown the government... "I actually think the president would be blamed." and in 2013, he said this about President Obama, "Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.”

I give the Republicans Trump the grade of F for the year.

We Can Make A Difference

What Does The Women’s March Mean?

Protests were held around the country on Saturday and there was massive turn outs at all the events, so what does it mean?

Protest marches have been a staple of our country since before the beginning of the nation, what makes the Women’s March special?

Well first off, the size of them. In Hartford it was a record breaking crowd of around twelve thousand people, it broke last years record. It crushed the number of people who showed up for and against marriage equality; those rallies only had a couple of thousand people attend them. The Women’s March was an order of magnitude about anything for or against gun control or abortion.

Second, they rally had women, sisters, and daughters marching but it also had fathers, brothers, and sons. It also was multi-cultural with people from different religions, races, and socioeconomic status attending. It wasn’t monocultural.

Third and most important is that from these rallies more women are running for office.

This Is Amazing!

The Manchester New Hampshire newspaper the Union Leader is known for its conservativism when Nackey Loeb and her father ran the paper so I very surprised to see this.
Another View -- Anthony Colarusso: NH should protect transgender people from discrimination
By Anthony Colarusso
January 18, 2018

As Dover's police chief for the past 11 years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of law and order in our everyday lives. As human beings, we all have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect. But as law enforcement, we’ve taken on an additional responsibility.

We are all called to protect and defend members of our community, and over the past two years, I have had the honor of personally advocating for the protection of the transgender community.

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police (NHACOP) believes that fair and unbiased support for every member of our society is paramount to our success and safety. This applies to people of all races, ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities/expressions. Unfortunately, over the years, many minority groups, including the LGBTQ community, have endured increased rates of harassment, discrimination, and assault.

Right now, under New Hampshire state law, there are no measures that explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination in the workplace, in access to housing, and in public spaces like restaurants, shops, and government buildings.

There are thousands of transgender people living and working in our communities, but despite growing public awareness of and support for them, they still face disproportionate rates of discrimination, harassment, and violence in all areas of life.

That’s wrong. And New Hampshire lawmakers can do something about this. They can enact legislation to affirm the dignity of transgender Granite Staters and ensure their freedom and opportunity for all.
I bet Nackey Loeb is turning over in her grave.

If you live in New Hampshire I urge to contact your state legislators to support HB1319!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Being Outed!

Many times we are outed not by our own choosing but by someone forcing us out.

This is my story…

Back in 2007 I was working to on my testimony that I was planning on giving to the Judiciary Committee and as I usually do after my initial draft I let it sit for a day or two and then go back to proofread it. I repeat the cycle a couple of times to pick up any typos or grammar mistakes. In addition I also may add or delete anything to improve the flow.

So I brought it to work to touch it up like I did many times before. So I had it open in the background on my computer (you cannot see the screen from my desk unless you walk around behind me.).

Well that was a mistake.

One of my technicians came and asked me some questions so I opened the file that we were talking about and printed out the part we were talking about… but nothing printed out on my printer. Hmm… I tried it again but still nothing.

I looked to see where it printed* and I saw it was on the department printer. Hmm… so I changed it to my printer.

When the tech left I went back to the work I was doing before he interrupted me.

Well about an hour latter one of my techs came to my desk and threw two sheets of paper at me saying “Is this your shit!” and it was my testimony…OH SHIT!

I came up instantly with, “It is my cousin’s and she asked me to proofread it for her.

That was what I thought was the end of it… whew!

Well on June 29 I was laid off because they were closing down our division and slowly laying off the employees.

That night I saw a massive number of hits on my blog. Usually I have around 120 hits a day, well that day I had over 500 hits! So I looked at my web stats (you can tell only  the ISP that visitors come from like Comcast, Verizon, or other internet providers) and they were all from my former employer’s domain name! Whoa! What is this? How did the employees find my bog, I don’t use my last name or anything to connect me to my blog.

The next day I called up my friend in HR and she said my technician blabbed it all over the company!

Well a little while later the emails started coming in from work…

And they all were positive! A couple of days later I even received an email from one of my former technician who is a Jehovah Witness and is an elder in the church. He wrote that he just found out about my transition and he said he didn’t understand it but he knew me and new it couldn’t be bad. Wow!

Probably a half a year later one of my former technicians died and I went to his funeral and met many of my former technicians and engineers that I used to work with and I was nervous as hell so I went with my HR friend. As usual I had nothing to worry about, it was kind of weird standing around talking shop as Diana but other than that I had a good time (as much as you can have at a funeral).

Oh and my technician that spilled the beans, he kept far away from me.

This afternoon I am at the Women's March in Hartford.

Saturday 9: Jump

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Jump (1984)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
This afternoon I will be at the Women’s March in Hartford, followed by a birthday party so it might be not until tomorrow that I reply to your comments.

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

1) David Lee Roth does a lot of jumping in this video. He credits his flashy moves to his study with marital artist Benny Urquidez. Have you ever tried karate, judo, or jiu-jitzu?
Naw, too much like work.

2) Dave claims to be fluent in Spanish. Say something "en español."
Buenos días señora
I have to thank Google Translate for this answer.

3) Dave appeared as himself in an episode of The Sopranos, playing poker with Tony Soprano. Are you a good poker player?
I can’t keep a straight poker player face

4) Though known for his prowess on the guitar, Eddie Van Halen wrote the opening of this song at the keyboard when he was still new to the synthesizer. When do you recently venture outside your comfort zone? Was it a success?
Some time it is, but it is hard for me to leave my comfort zone.

5) Eddie's older brother Alex is the Van Halen drummer and his son, Wolfie, began touring with the band in 2007. Have you ever worked with a family member?
Kind of, back in the days when a lot of summer jobs were nepotism jobs, I worked for the state Department of Education and my father worked for the CT Department of Education. So he had a list of summer job openings.

6) Van Halen's first manger was Marshall Berle. Mr. Berle's uncle was Milton Berle. Does the name Milton Berle mean anything to you?
Yes and he has a very bad reputation in the trans community for his portrayal of Carmen Miranda

7) In 1984, when this song was popular, AT&T/Bell Telephone was broken up into 24 separate companies. Today, who is your phone provider?

8) Also in 1984, Michael Jackson was severely burned while filming a Pepsi commercial. Would we find any Pepsi in your kitchen right now?
You will not find any soda in my house at all.

9) Random question: Have you ever been so angry that you kicked or hit an inanimate object?
Sadly I have to say yes, it was one of those days when nothing went right and I got very frustrated and I threw the object and it broke (I don't even remember what it was now). I ended up sitting on the floor cross legged crying. Not a good day.

Update 10:00 AM

Friday, January 19, 2018

Data Mining - Homeless Data

There is a lot of data out there about us that needs to mined, one of them is what is called the “Point-in-Time” Count or PIT where they count homeless people around the country. I took part in one count and I will like to do it again but this year it will be in the morning and the count is outside.

The PIT count is mandated by HUD (at least for now) and it is done on the same day around the country and after the data is compiled it is reported to Congress.

So what is the data on us?

Well first some facts about the homeless in Connecticut from the CCEH
Key Findings
  • On the night of January 24, 2017, 3,387 people were experiencing homelessness in Connecticut. This represents a 13% decrease from last year and a 24% decrease from 2007.
  • The number of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness (long-term homelessness and living with a severe disability) has decreased, 60% since 2014, down 11% since 2016.
  • Nearly 60% of those counted as chronically homeless were in the process of securing permanent housing.
  • 34 Veterans were identified in emergency shelter. This represents a decrease of 24% since last year. 14 Veterans were unsheltered – a decrease of 67% from last year.
  • 4,396 youth under the age of 25 were estimated to be homeless or unstably housed, including 269 counted as literally homeless in the PIT.
  • 392 families were experiencing homelessness, a decrease of 13% from 2016.
  • 415 people were unsheltered, representing a 38% decrease from last year.
  • 2017 now represents the lowest total ever in a statewide CT PIT Count for Individuals,
  • Families, Veterans, and Chronically Homeless since the first statewide count in 2007
Okay what about us?

Another interesting fact is the quality of care given to youth under DCF care,
Forty-three percent of homeless or unstably housed youth reported involvement with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or Foster Care. See Table 16. National studies have shown that foster care and involvement in the child welfare system are significant predictors of future episodes of homelessness. According to USICH in the Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness: “Every year, 30,000 youth age out of foster care and 20,000-25,000 age out of the juvenile justice system. Most have limited options for housing, income, and family or other social support.”
Okay what about us?
Data collected from the 2017 CT Youth Count! indicate that the majority of homeless and unstably housed youth are 18-24 years old. Of the youth surveyed, 74% were over 18. Fifty-two percent were male and 43% were female. The average age of respondents was 20. Twenty-three percent of youth also identified as LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual). See Table 10 for more details.
From the table…
Male 52%
Female 43%
Unknown 2%
Transgender 2%
Genderqueer 1% 
The report goes on…
Victims of Domestic Violence are people who answered “yes” to “Are you a victim of domestic violence?” or were in an emergency shelter or transitional housing project for domestic violence victims. Also, the calculation is only for adults who identify as Female or Transgender. Past data analysis indicated a high false positive rate when men were included in the calculation.
While the national report to Congress says,
  • Just under 61 percent of people experiencing homelessness (335,038 people) were men, and 39 percent (215,709 people) were women. Fewer than one percent were either transgender (2,092) or did not identify as male, female, or transgender (903).
  • Homelessness declined among women but increased among both men and people identifying as transgender. The number of women experiencing homelessness declined by one percent (1,559 people), while the number of men increased by one percent (4,148 people) and the number of transgender people experiencing homelessness increased by 18 percent (or 322 people).
Whether it is due to better counting methods or we have more homeless trans people it is distressing.