Monday, April 30, 2018

Under The Knife

Do your homework, but it is not easy to find out about surgeons because there is no database for surgeons or if there is it is not well known.
Trans Collective Demands Regulations for Doctors Performing Genital Surgery
The group has written an open letter calling on WPATH to accredit doctors performing gender-affirming surgeries.
By Rose Dommu
April 21, 2018

Earlier this month, a group of transgender individuals — all of whom have undergone genital surgery — released a letter to the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) to request reform in the way the organization polices its surgical members — mainly, that it do so at all. Surgeons are allowed to be members of the collective without providing any real proof of training when it comes to performing these complicated procedures (besides being licensed plastic surgeons).

"I can't count how many times I've heard groups of trans people say, 'we should start a database on surgeons' because the reality isn't matching the claims they make about their outcomes, and it doesn't feel like anyone besides us cares," says Gaines Blasdel, a trans community advocate who runs the site Healthy Trans and one of the co-authors of the letter.

Blasdel and the other authors of the open letter aim to provide a resource to trans patients who are often left with little to no medical support once they return home from surgery. 
“Go back to your surgeon… I’m fixing her work!”

Many trans people hear that when they have problems with their surgery, local healthcare providers don’t want to touch us if there are after surgery complication. I know of several trans people who that has happened to, one had to be driven half way across country to have her problems fixed by her surgeon.

We are also to blame there are some trans people who don’t want to hear anything bad about their doctor who did their surgery… speak no evil of my surgeon!

So what is being done?
The authors of the letter are demanding that WPATH be required to accredit doctors performing gender-affirming genital surgeries and give patients access to information that surgeons either aren't collecting or are editing in their favor. "Historically they've been more concerned with deciding if the patient is trans enough for surgery — that era is coming to an end, and I think that we'll see an increase in the 'informed consent' philosophy in the next standards of care. But the question is, are they still going to continue let surgeons do a week of observation, pay their membership dues, and just start advertising as WPATH surgeons? Because that is happening."
So what is being done… well WPATH is now starting to teach surgeons.
Mount Sinai / WPATH Live Surgery Training Course for Gender Affirmation ProceduresA WPATH Certified Course
Featuring Didactic & Live Gender Affirmation Procedures
Mount Sinai Stern Auditorium
The Mount Sinai Hospital
1468 Madison Avenue New York, New York

THURSDAY, APRIL 26 | One-Day Didactic Course Only
Ideal for Healthcare Professionals Interested in Gender Affirmation Procedures

(Includes One-Day Didactic Course & 1.5 Day Live Surgery Course)
Comprehensive Live Surgery Course for surgeons, surgical residents, surgical fellows, peri- and post- operative care providers.
So last week the course was held in New York where the surgeons could watch a live surgery.

They are also doing training class for therapist where you can get certified.

What’s the drawback to all this training?

Well there is concern that insurance companies will demand a certified therapist to write the letter for hormones and surgery which means we have to hunt around for the one or two therapist who are certified in the state. It can become a new form of “gatekeeping.”

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Another Hateful Bill From The Republicans

This time giving religious exemptions from obeying the law to adoption religious agencies. At one time it was said that religion and politics don't mix but the Republicans are trying to make it work to oppress people who are different from them.
Adoption bill dubbed 'un-American' by advocacy group passes House
Fox25 News
By Austin Prickett
April 26th 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — A bill dubbed "un-American" by an LGBTQ advocacy group has passed through the Oklahoma House.

The Oklahoma House passed SB 1140 60-26. The bill would allow adoption and foster care agencies to cite religion to turn away same-sex couples, single mothers, interfaith couples and children.

LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD has called the bill "un-American". GLAAD Vice President Zeke Stokes says called on the Oklahoma House to reject the legislation.

“This bill is heartless and un-American. No qualified parent should be turned away from adoption or foster agencies simply because they are LGBTQ,” Stokes said.
The bill reads that "no private child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies." The bill would also prohibit state and local government from denying grants or revoking an agencies license for not participating in the placement of a child.
So in other words they can used public funding and can discriminate against people who don’t follow their particular religious beliefs… so if a Muslim or Jewish parents what to adopt a child could refuse them saying that their children can only go to Christian households. Or they can discriminate against an unmarried or single persons.

LGBTQ Nation put it this way…
The Kansas Senate passed a version of the bill in March, but the bill fell five votes short in the House of Representatives after many moderate or suburban Republicans expressed concerns that the legislation would facilitate discrimination against same-sex couples and other prospective parents whose lifestyles could deemed “objectionable” by child placement agency employees.
This is only another step in the Republican quest to create a Christian theocracy.

Yesterday we the twelfth annual Trans Health and Law Conference or the technical name for it is, “Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference”

It was the first time in five years that I didn’t run the conference, I turned over the planning and running the conference to our Board president, even though I didn’t run the conference it didn’t mean that I didn’t help out with the conference.

It was a transitional year for the conference, there were minor “bugs” but overall the conference ran smoothly.

The parking coming said they were going to post signs for the conference but they didn’t. Three presenters didn’t show up, two other cancelled out beforehand so they were excused but the ones who didn’t show up will be remembered next year.

We only had half the number of workshops and there were gaps in some of the topics.

The university doubled booked rooms and didn’t tell us but we were able to work around it, but it sure would have been nice to tell us instead of ripping down our room signs.

The keynote speech was excellent! The keynote speech was by Elijah C. Nealy, PhD, M.Div., LCSW an author and professor at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford and has worked with LGBTQ adolescents and adults in both pastoral and social service capacities.

An I received the CTAC community service award.

This And That In The News

There are a number of news articles that are news worthy but are not enough for their own posts so here are some of the articles that caught my eye.
'No questions off-limits' for those attending transgender Q&A at North Charleston brewery
The Post and Courier
By Hannah Alani
April 27, 2018

Indie rock lyrics crooned through the speakers of a downtown coffee shop while College of Charleston students crammed for their finals.
She reserved her energy for "Trans Talk: Uncensored" — a panel discussion taking place this Sunday at Commonhouse Aleworks, a brewery near Park Circle in North Charleston.
Leland will be one of five panelists who plan to cast political correctness and their own comfort aside in an effort give people a chance to ask whatever questions they have about gender identity.

Chase Glenn, executive director of the Lowcountry-based Alliance for Full Acceptance, will moderate Sunday's event. He hopes people who have never met a transgender person will show up.
I think that it is a great idea to hold the panel at brew pub, I have been on panels at LGBT centers, libraries, school LGBT center’s but it always seems like we are “preaching to the choir.” Having it at a brew pub might attract a different audience.

Some trans people look online for partners and many of the sites are gay or lesbian sites and many times we are not welcome there, while other trans people post on mainstream dating sites which have their own problems for us. So now there is a dating site for just trans people but many trans people have deep problems with the site.
Trans people hate the world’s first transgender dating app [updated]
By Ana Valens
April 24, 2018

Transdr is billed as a dating app for transgender people—which sounds great! Most transgender men, women, and non-binary people have been stuck with apps like Grindr and Tinder for years, and they haven’t hosted the most inclusive experiences for trans people out there.

“Life has been so hard for trans people because they have to overcome the social stigma of being transgender. When it comes to dating, it’s even harder for them,” Transdr co-founder Sean Kennedy told HuffPost. “They need a comfortable place to meet and date with other trans people without judgment.”

But Transdr isn’t the trans dating utopia it’s marketed to be. In fact, trans people don’t even think it’s designed for them.

Over at Transdr’s official website, the app bills itself as a “premier TS dating” community for both “transgender people and their admirers.” The use of “admirers” is already a tad fetishizing, and then there is how the dating service is listed on the iOS App Store: “Transdr: TS Dating for Shemale.” The term “shemale” is highly offensive toward trans women, as it implies transgender women are simply feminized males that act like women.

Calling trans girls “shemales” right at the front gate isn’t a good look, especially because trans sex workers have worked tirelessly to end its usage in the adult performance world. But Apple’s storefront isn’t the only place where Transdr apparently uses offensive terms to reference trans women.
I know that I don’t want to find love on the internet but many trans people do and as long as they are consenting adults they can chose where they want to look for a partner.

Lastly, another trans student elected for prom queen.
Homestead prom queen: I didn't win for being transgender, I won for being me
Classmates elect junior Nikko Nelson without controversy
By Colleen Henry
April 28, 2018

MEQUON, Wis. —
Without controversy or criticism, Homestead High School in Mequon, crowned a young woman prom queen who was born a boy.

It was a dream for a girl who's struggled for acceptance ever since she was a little boy.
For all the political controversy about transgender, the kids at Homestead looked past the issue and picked the person they wanted to be the queen of their prom, WISN 12 News reporter Colleen Henry said.

"I didn't win prom queen for being a transgender girl. I won prom queen for being Nikko Nelson," she said.
Good for her!

Friday, April 27, 2018


Intersections are always dangerous places and the intersection of race and gender dysphoria is no exception.
Black transgender community carries an extra heavy burden
People World’s
By Jonita Davis
April 24, 2018

Black trans men and women have suffered tremendous harm for existing not only as trans, but also for being Black in an often anti-black society. They often have an estranged relationship to the Black community at large, as church rules and so-called Christian traditions condemn the trans person’s very existence.

Yet in Memphis last month after the commemorations, marches, and conferences on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy 50 years after his assassination, people are acknowledging a long forgotten and endangered part of his work, That work was a struggle to unite and activate his people for battle with oppression. That battle has to include the defense of Black trans men and women, and all who are marginalized, in order to bring about any true change.
Pastor McBride talked about activating the community in the panel “Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice” at the I AM 2018 at the beginning of April. He touched on the topic of police brutality and why we must not get stuck on the topic of police shootings. He told the audience that a greater injustice exists, and is happening to Black women and Black transgender people. To begin combatting it, he said, “We have to lift up this conversation around the assault on our women, our loved ones, those in prison or trans loved ones, whose bodies are being subject to the violence of those who are sworn to serve and protect us.”
They are more at risk, and the numbers prove it. The American Journal of Public Health published a study that found transfeminine Black people were much more at risk of becoming homicide victims than Black women.  A cisgendered Black woman’s life expectancy is 78 years of age, 45% longer than a Black transwoman. People in this population are at risk by simply existing with dark skin and as transwomen. Their lives are devalued perhaps more than any other group in the country.
When I do diversity training I talk about the intersections of trans, race, and religion and one of the sources that I use is from Teaching Tolerance
Intersectionality refers to the social, economic and political ways in which identity-based systems of oppression and privilege connect, overlap and influence one another.
And this from GLAAD
Violence Against Transgender People and People of Color is Disproportionately High, LGBTQH Murder Rate Peaks
By Alexandra Bolles, Associate Director, Campaigns & External Engagement |
June 4, 2012

The murder rate of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) is at its highest, according to a recently released 2011 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). The report also shows that transgender women, people of color, and youth and young adults are at a disproportionately high risk of being victims of what the NCAVP terms hate violence.

NCAVP gathered data from anti-violence programs in 16 states and found that, while hate violence incidents have decreased, the overall number of hate murders of members of the LGBTQH community has increased by 11%. Of those murdered, 87% were people of color, showing an increase from 70% in 2010. Furthermore, people who identify as transgender were 28% more likely to experience physical violence than those who are gender normative, according to the media release about the report.
For me being trans is hard, but I can’t even fathom what being trans and black is like it has to be exponentially harder.

A Hat Trick

You can’t just wave you hand over a policy and make it legal, you have to go through steps relevant to the new policy. When President Obama came out with his policy of trans servicemembers it was after over a year of study by the RAND corporation that involved medical input and consulting with other nations, while Trump didn’t consult medical professionals nor other nations.
James Mattis Can’t Name The Medical “Experts” Who Supervised The Ban On Transgender Service Members
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand called the Defense Secretary on the mat over restrictive new guidelines that prevent most transgender Americans from enlisting.
By Jeff Taylor
April 26, 2018

In testimony to Congress today, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. came up short when questioned about continued attempts to ban transgender service members from the military.

Sen. Kristen Gillibrand asked Mattis and Dunford to name the medical professionals they allegedly consulted while drafting new guidelines that prohibit those with diagnosis of gender dysphoria, or requiring transition-related medication or surgery, from military service “except under certain limited circumstances.” (Like Trump’s previous ban, the new regulations have been blocked by a federal judge.)

Mattis was unable to cite those experts, claiming the issue was under litigation, but said he would “see what I can provide, or when I can provide it.” (Sources have claimed the new regulations weren’t actually drafted by Mattis, but rather by Vice President Mike Pence in conjunction with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson.)
“…claiming the issue was under litigation…” I don’t buy that because one of the orders by the judge in the case was to disclose that information in court and second, the Defense Department is subject to Congressional oversight and lastly this is not some private company but a government agency that is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Gillibrand then asked Dunford if he knew if the policy had created anxiety among transgender troops, and if he had met with any since the new rules were issued. When Dunford said he had not, she suggested he do so in order to become “more informed.”
She stated that, despite claims about transgender troops being a burden because of medical care or gender dysphoria, a study from the Palm Center found that, of the nearly 1,000 service members diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016 and the first half of 2017, 40% deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn.

“Only one had an issue during that deployment,” Gillibrand added.
She suggested the Pentagon’s report didn’t seem to be based “on the department’s data or science, but rather ’potential risks’ that the authors cannot back up.”
Let’s face it the only thing behind the new policy is bigotry.

The hatred of the Trump  administration against us and anything LGBT.

Last week I wrote about the scathing editorial against us by the Union Leader, now there is a letter-to-the-editor calling out their bias.
Shame on the Union Leader
April 25. 2018 7:02PM

To the Editor: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. You really should educate yourselves before you write.

Transgender people are real. Not “fiction,” not “pretending,” not “mimicking,” not “scientifically illiterate” functions of biology.

You do not have to “accept” someone’s gender identity, however, you may not “abuse and harass” as you state. Protection for transgender people is not “forced compliance.”

Your editorial speaks to the exact need for explicit protections for transgender people. I do not believe you when you write, “we wish them well” and “let them lead their lives.”

I believe you believe what you have written in this editorial. This is exactly why HB 1319 needs to pass.

Hills End Way

Thursday, April 26, 2018

One Step Backward

We have been making headway in sports but we are now going to forced backward by the IOC, they are going to be revising the rules for trans athletes.
Volley Mob

According to British newspaper The Times, the IOC is expected to issue new guidelines halving the permitted level of testosterone allowed in female athletes eligible for women’s sporting events.

The revised guidelines comes only a few months after two transgender athletes made headlines by dominating their respective sport disciplines. The first was Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter from New Zealand. An accomplished domestic lifter as a male, she drew the ire of fellow female competitors after winning silver at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships. Most recently, she qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but an elbow injury during the competition forced her withdrawal from the event while leading the field.

The second, and perhaps most notorious case due to volleyball’s status as a mainstream international sport, is Brazilian Tifanny Abreu. She made volleyball history when she became the first trans female to play in Brazil’s Superliga. Since then, she broke the competition’s single game scoring record, and has dominated the league’s offensive statistics. Such performances drew the ire of many teams, players, and fans, who asked the Brazilian Volleyball Federation (CBV) to find a “solution” to the situation. Her performance led many to believe that she would be called up to Brazil’s NT, but a request from the FIVB and CBV prevented coach José Roberto Guimarães to do so.
In the past you needed to be on hormones for two years but that was changed to one year a couple of years ago, my guess is that they are going to change it back to two years but I doubt that they will require surgery. I don’t base that on anything in particular just that if they did roll back to requiring surgery it would create a nightmare with all the previous wins by trans people.

Close To Home Again

We are never far from violence in the community, this winter a trans woman in Western Massachusetts was shot and killed by her husband and now down in Bridgeport a trans woman was shot in her own apartment.
Well-known transgender woman shot in her home
News 12
Posted: Apr 25, 2018

Bridgeport police say a prominent transgender woman was shot in the face in her own apartment Wednesday afternoon, and they're looking into whether it was a hate crime.

Witnesses say they saw the victim stumble out to the sidewalk near the intersection of Park Avenue and Stillman Street.

It happened in the victim's first-floor apartment, police say. They say they believe the victim knew her attacker. They did not immediately make an arrest.
My grandparents lived just off of Park Avenue and North St by the old King Cole’s grocery store, so I know that area and I think that the article is in error, I think they meant Park St.

She is in my thoughts for a speedy recovery/

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Bottom Line

Most companies just look at the bottom line, however some companies look at social issues and they want not only a diverse work force but also take into account the surrounding communities.
The unspoken factor in Amazon’s search for a new home: Jeff Bezos’s support for gay rights
The Washington Post
By Jonathan O'Connell
April 20, 2018

When Amazon executives recently toured the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one of 20 finalists for a second company headquarters, local officials touted its growing workforce and low taxes as perfectly suited to accommodate 50,000 planned Amazon jobs.

But the local team also brought an unexpected guest: the Rev. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas, pastor of a predominantly gay megachurch in Dallas. He impressed upon the Amazon representatives how inclusive and welcoming the community has been to him, his husband and the 4,000 congregants at his church, according to people familiar with the meeting.

In the high-stakes contest to become’s new location, it may have been a shrewd move. Although the company’s search materials don’t make it explicit, Amazon has quietly made rights for and acceptance of gay and transgender people part of its criteria in choosing a second headquarters, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely.

As Amazon executives recently toured finalist locations to help select what they’ve dubbed HQ2, they asked public officials about what sort of “compatible cultural and community environment” — the wording from the company’s search parameters — each city offers, adding to speculation about whether Amazon will choose a liberal stronghold.

In North Carolina, company representatives asked pointed questions of Gov. Roy Cooper (D) about several state policies such as the “bathroom bill,” which restricted the use of public facilities by transgender people, according to a person in the room. In another city, an Amazon executive groaned at the mention of proposed legislation in Georgia that would restrict funding for same-sex adoption, according to another person who attended the meeting between the company and state and local officials.
I have heard many negative things about how Amazon treats their employees and I have mixed feelings about the company, but hopefully they will go where all their employees feel safe.

There has been pushback from conservatives,
But by raising a social issue during its search, Amazon also risks alienating conservative political leaders, including President Trump, who has recently criticized the company’s taxes and its contract with the U.S. Postal Service, which delivers many of its packages.
The sponsor of the Georgia bill, state Sen. William T. Ligon Jr. (R), said the issue of same-sex adoption wasn’t intended to be discriminatory. In his view, the legislation would benefit children because church-based adoption agencies would shut down if they were forced to serve same-sex couples.

Ligon said he hoped any company would support the bill.

“If you’re against, then I think we need to think hard about whether you ought to come here,” he said. “We need to seriously consider whether we want you to come here.”

That sentiment has not played well at Amazon, according to a person who has been on tour with Amazon as it meets with local officials. “I just think Atlanta’s out,” the person, who is not an Amazon employee, said.
The bill failed to come to a vote before the session ended, but I wouldn’t put it past the Republicans to introduce the bill after Amazon makes up its decision.

Meanwhile rumors have it that Boston is in the running,
Boston, D.C. likely picks for Amazon
Boston Herald
By Jordan Graham, Dan Atkinson
April 20, 2018

Boston and Washington, D.C., could be front-runners in the race to land Amazon’s second headquarters, according to an analysis of the kind of jobs the company is already posting in the 20 finalist cities.

“Given the relatively large number of ads for headquarter caliber occupations and the growth rate in those ads, the Washington, DC metro area and Boston seem the most likely candidates for a second headquarters,” The Conference Board said in a report released yesterday. “Amazon’s current footprint in these cities could ease the hiring of 50,000 new employees and growing demand signals their desire to increase their presence.”
“I am proud that Boston is on Amazon’s shortlist for its second North American headquarters,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement. “As a thriving city with a talented and diverse workforce, culture of innovation and opportunity for all, I see no better city than Boston for Amazon to call their second home.”
Let’s hope that they do chose Boston, it will be a big boost to not only Boston’s economy but also the region. Maybe it will kick some life into the Northeast.

Two Different Perspectives

We are not fit to serve in the military is the administration’s position, but most military personnel don’t believe that and it includes many high ranking officers and the European military proves that we can serve.
Transgender pilot Ayla Holdom was invited to the last Royal wedding, but then all hell broke loose
One Plus One As told to Jane Hutcheon
April 24, 2018

Ayla Holdom is a helicopter pilot with the UK's National Police Air Service. She was a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force for 13 years, serving in the search and rescue team with Prince William before she was outed as transgender by the tabloid media.

She's in Australia with her wife Wren Holdom, whom she married prior to her transition, for the opening of Still Point Turning — a play about her friend, former Army speechwriter and transgender officer Catherine McGregor. Ayla shared her story with One Plus One's Jane Hutcheon.
Her story is familiar to many of us… burying ourselves in masculine jobs.
I imagined if I could just do the next thing … if I went to university, joined the military, became a pilot, ticking all these boxes, that would complete me, that would make me feel right and I could settle down and feel complete or happy.
But it didn’t work and she transitioned in the military.
I worked in the search and rescue unit with Prince William and I was invited to his wedding. This was during my period of coming out to my friends and colleagues.

During that process, at some point, somebody — I don't know who — went to The Sun newspaper and they ran this article.

The headline — thankfully it's been removed from the internet now — was "Will's Pal Loses his Chopper"
Anything to sell papers, even if it wrecks lives.
I felt attacked and vilified by people I'd never met and betrayed by whoever went to the press. Prince William was joining our unit. I was worried about the effect that this would have on him and the attention it would draw.
But this is about her, it is about trans people in the military and her experience was exemplary.
I had been lucky because the armed forces had policies in place since the turn of the century. I wasn't the first transgender person in the armed forces by any stretch.
Here in the colonies, military leaders are standing up for us and coming out in support of us in the military.
All 4 service chiefs on record: No harm to units from transgender service
Military Times
By: Tara Copp
April 24, 2018

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein told Congress Tuesday he was not aware of any negative effects from transgender personnel serving, joining all three other service chiefs in a rare public split with President Donald Trump over the issue.

Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as she had with the top military leaders of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps when they appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for their budget hearings, used the opportunity to question Goldfein as to whether he was aware of any “issues of unit cohesion, disciplinary problems or issues of morale resulting from open transgender service.”

“In the last two weeks Gen. [Mark] Milley, Gen. [Robert] Neller, and Adm. [John] Richardson have told me that they have seen zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale as a result of open transgender service in their respective service branches,” Gillibrand said, referring to the chiefs of staff of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy, respectively.
Likewise, in earlier testimonies, when the three other service secretaries were asked if they had heard of any harm to unit cohesion or other problems, they responded:

Navy: “By virtue of being a Navy sailor, we treat every one of those Navy sailors, regardless, with dignity and respect,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. “That is warranted by wearing the uniform of the United States Navy. By virtue of that approach, I am not aware of any issues.”

Marine Corps: “By reporting those Marines that have come forward, there’s 27 Marines that have identified as transgender, one sailor serving. I am not aware of any issues in those areas,” said Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.

Army: “We have a finite number. We know who they are, and it is monitored very closely, because, you know, I’m concerned about that, and want to make sure that they are, in fact, treated with dignity and respect. And no, I have received precisely zero reports,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
But Trump continues to listen to people like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council which has been labeled as a “hate organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The four service chiefs, along with the chief of the National Guard Bureau and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, comprise the president’s top circle of military advisers. Each service chief’s testimony marked an unusual split with the president and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who have advised that allowing personnel with gender dysphoria to serve would harm unit cohesion and present an “unreasonable burden on the military.”
It is going to be interesting to hear how Trump and company is going to justify the ban in court, what research that they cite.

The rest of the NATO countries allow trans service members with affecting their readiness and I foresee doing the same after a court fight all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

One Attack After Another…

We have been under constant attacks by the Trump administration, this time attacking our healthcare.
Trump Plan Would Cut Back Health Care Protections for Transgender People
New York Times
By Robert Pear
April 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration says it plans to roll back a rule issued by President Barack Obama that prevents doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people.

Advocates said the change could jeopardize the significant gains that transgender people have seen in access to medical care, including gender reassignment procedures — treatments for which many insurers denied coverage in the past.

The rule was adopted in 2016 to carry out a major civil rights law embedded in the Affordable Care Act. The law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in “any health program or activity” that receives federal financial assistance.

The Obama administration said the rule covered “almost all practicing physicians in the United States” because they accept some form of federal remuneration or reimbursement. It applies, for example, to hospitals that accept Medicare and doctors who receive Medicaid payments, as well as to insurers that participate in health insurance marketplaces.

Trump administration officials said they believed they had to modify the rule because a federal judge in Texas had found that parts of it were unlawful.
But eight states, a network of Roman Catholic hospitals and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, representing 19,000 doctors, challenged the Obama-era rule. A federal district judge in Texas temporarily stopped enforcement of the protections for transgender patients, saying that Congress had outlawed discrimination based on sex — “the biological differences between males and females” — but not transgender status.
Yeah but about a dozen other judges have found that the law does cover us and the Supreme Court did back in the 80’s, the court ruled that sex stereotyping is a form of sex discrimination.
But Jennifer C. Pizer, the law and policy director at Lambda Legal, a gay rights group, said, “That is an excruciatingly narrow and legally incorrect definition of the term ‘sex’ that would jeopardize legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
In recent years, some courts have held that federal sex discrimination laws do apply to discrimination against transgender people, as the Obama administration said.

Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the Federal District Court in Minnesota has found that the Affordable Care Act protects people who “allege discrimination based on ‘gender identity’” — a person’s internal sense of gender, which may differ from the sex listed on the person’s birth certificate.
Let’s face it Trump is a liar. He said he supported us during the campaign but now he has Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council whispering hate in his ear along with all the other bigots who hide behind religion.

Award Winning

No not me, but a teachers out in Kansas has won the National Educator of the Year by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Transgender Wichita teacher wins national education award
Wichita Eagle
By Suzanne Perez Tobias
April 23, 2018

About four years ago, Stephanie Byers addressed her students on the first day of class.

"I said, 'Obviously, there's something different that we need to talk about,'" says Byers, a North High band and orchestra teacher who came out as a transgender woman in 2014.
Byers, 55, says she didn't transition to be a pioneer or an advocate, but she has become both. She thinks she is the first Wichita teacher to transition after being hired into the district. As she contemplated her transition, she called district officials to ask about it and, "There were no protocols in place for this," she said.

Over the past few years, Byers has quietly met with school leaders, participated on panels about LGBTQ issues, talked with parents about gender identity, chaperoned a local "Day of Advocacy" and spoken at the state Capitol. Last week, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) named her National Educator of the Year.

Being a teacher is hard enough but transitioning on the job must have made the job so much harder but she got through it and made her that much stronger.

I know of a couple of teachers who transitioned before the non-discrimination law was passed here in Connecticut and they were fired.

I hope for the day when a trans teacher wins an award that is not by a LGBTQ organization.

I have been up at the cottage with my brother and a friend cleaning up the cottage and then this weekend is the Trans Health and Law Conference, on Sunday a GLAD next weekend is the NASW conference on May 4, May 5 is Noho Pride and that is followed by a new Pride event in Bethel. I also hear rumors of a clam bake at a friends house on Sunday.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Breaking The Barrier

Slowly we are breaking the trans glass ceiling when it comes to trans actors and actresses. But it helps if you don’t look trans.
"Rise" Actor Ellie Desautels Explained Why Showing Transgender People on TV Is a Huge Deal
"Me having that visibility gives other non-binary people confidence."
Teen Vogue
By Brittney McNamara
March 31, 2018

According to GLAAD, representation of LGBTQ people on television is getting better, but it's still not great. That's particularly true when we're talking about transgender people on TV. According to GLAAD's 2017 "Where We Are on TV" report, there were 17 transgender characters on television last year, including nine transgender women, four transgender men, and four non-binary people. In order to truly and fully tell the stories of transgender people, however, GLAAD notes that it's critical that transgender people be involved in doing so — both in front of and behind the camera. Still, that's not always the case. We see cisgender characters cast to portray transgender people on screen, shot through the eyes of cisgender people. But on NBC's Rise, things are different.

Ellie Desautels, who plays Michael on the show, is a non-binary, trans-masculine actor playing a transgender character on TV. Rather than showing Michael's transition, or him trying to parse through his gender identity, the show focuses on other aspects of Michael — like his singing talent and love for theater. While Michael does face what Ellie called barriers on the show that are related to identity, Michael's story line is much more than those moments. For Transgender Day of Visibility, Teen Vogue caught up with Ellie to talk about why their role is important, why it's critical that Michael is portrayed as more than his gender identity, and what Ellie hopes the show imparts on viewers.

Teen Vogue: What has your experience like been on the show so far?
Ellie Desautels: On the show I have such a fantastic time. Everything just was fun, and I loved going to work every day. Working with the cast was obviously incredible, everybody’s amazing. Since we stopped shooting and since it’s come out, I’ve gotten such an amazing response from fans.
Then there is Law & Order SUV…
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Tackles Trans Military Debate With Powerful Storyline
And they cast a trans actor of color to depict it, too.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Curtis M. Wong
April 12, 2018

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” struck a nerve this week with a storyline that reflected the ongoing debate over transgender people in the military.

Wednesday’s episode, titled “Service,” focused on a trial involving a young woman, Sandy “Sky” Ksenivch (played by Morgan Taylor Campbell), who worked as an escort and was allegedly raped in a hotel room. One of the witnesses in the case was a soldier named Jim Preston (Marquise Vilsón).

Preston, who was in the same room at the time of the alleged incident, was initially hesitant to cooperate with investigators. By the episode’s conclusion, it became clear why: Testifying would require Preston to reveal that he identifies as transgender.

In a climactic scene, Preston took the stand and discussed his gender identity during cross-examination by attorney James Olson (Christopher Wiehl).

“I am a transgender man. If you wanted to know that, you could have just asked,” he said in the scene, which you can view above.
The very last scene was excellent, you got to see it.

We are making headway in televisions but now we need to have trans people portray trans people in the movies and end “transface.”

We also need trans people to also play cisgender characters.

On Vacation!

I will back to my regular posting schedule on Tuesday! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

They Can’t Pass Our Bill But They Can Pass This…

The gender identity/expression non-discrimination bill is struggling in the legislature but they can pass a bill banning Conversion therapy.
Ban on gay conversion therapy clears NH Senate
Union Leader
By Dave Solomon
April 19. 2018

CONCORD — Opponents of gay conversion therapy have been trying to get the practice banned in New Hampshire since 2016, and on Thursday moved one step closer to their goal.

The state Senate voted 14-10 in support of a House-passed bill, HB 587, which bans the practice of attempting to change a juvenile’s sexual orientation or gender identity from gay to straight through psychological or spiritual intervention.

The Senate amended the bill slightly, which will require more negotiations with the House. If the bill survives negotiations in a House-Senate conference committee, it will go to Gov. Chris Sununu for his consideration.

Sununu has said he is opposed to gay conversion therapy and likely to sign a bill if it gets to his desk.

“We’ve been dealing with this issue again and again,” said Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield. “The confusion has been designed to make this bill unsuccessful, and we have to recognize this is something we need to do. This practice is backward, barbaric and aimed to scare the gay away. We need to call it what it is and move forward.”

A proposed Senate amendment exempting “talk therapy or religious counseling” from the ban was defeated, and the bill was passed in a way that more closely mirrors the House-passed version.
Once again it is the Republicans who are opposed to this bill.
Sen. Bob Giuda, R-Warren, described the bill as unfairly one-sided.

“I don’t see anything in this bill that prohibits encouraging conversion to a gay lifestyle,” he said. “There is nothing in this bill that is fair. It is all pushing in one direction. There is conversion therapy that goes the other way. We have allowed a certain segment to define conversion.”
The Republicans are masters of demeaning language with words like “lifestyle” and “bathroom bill,” they try to hide their bigotry behind religion and fear, they try to make sound like it is choice that we are trans or gay or lesbian.

It is typical Republican strategy to create division, fear and loathing of “others.”

This Is The Type Of Appointments The Administration Is Making

Many of them are anti-LGBT and believe in the Bible overrides the Constitution.
Senators Are Scrutinizing A Trump Nominee After His Transgender Daughter Accused Him Of Using Slurs
Bailey Coffman alleges her father, Frank M. Coffman, a nominee to be US Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, said she was “possessed by the devil” when she came out as transgender. In his Senate questionnaire, Frank Coffman denies the claims.
By Dominic Holden
April 16, 2018

Two Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are probing a presidential nominee about his views on transgender people after his daughter, a transgender woman, accused her father of calling her a “freak in dress” who’s “possessed by the devil.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s ranking member, and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey asked Trump’s nominee for US Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Frank M. Coffman, about the allegations and his politically charged Twitter feed in a questionnaire in March.

Coffman denied the allegations in a reply submitted last week, saying his daughter is “my child whom I love very much.”

“Never in my entire career spanning over 25 years of service have I demonstrated bias or prejudice against any individual or group of individuals, including those in the LGBT community,” Coffman said in the questionnaire obtained by BuzzFeed News. “If confirmed, I will perform the duties of a United States Marshal in the same manner.”

But Bailey Coffman, his 30-year-old transgender daughter, is trying to stop her father’s nomination.
In the questionnaire, the senators also asked Frank Coffman about his retweets that said professional sports franchises had “lost their moral compass” by supporting transgender rights, and that former president Obama’s policy to allow transgender people in the military was “immoral garbage.”

Frank Coffman replied in his questionnaire, “I often re-tweet tweets from a variety of individuals on a variety of issues to elicit conversation. These re-tweets are not endorsements.”
Oh yeah, right! He only does to open a dialog, if you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Listen how her brother described the situation…
Bailey’s brother told BuzzFeed News in a phone call that he does not remember their father making the anti-transgender statements. “I know it was a shock to our family,” said Jacob Coffman, Bailey’s brother, of Bailey coming out as transgender. He added that their dad “was just confused about whole situation. I remember my dad hugging him and saying, ‘I want to understand.’”

Jacob also supports his dad’s confirmation to the job. “Even if he wasn’t supportive of that type of, I don’t want to say lifestyle, but that lifestyle, when it comes to his job, that is not going to change anything he does in the law.”
I have to wonder if his nomination is approved would he click the handcuffs that one extra notch on a trans person that he take into custody?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Times They Are A – Changing

Come senators and congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorways
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'
                          BOB DYLAN
Over the last 10 or 15 years we have seen states over and over again try to pass anti-trans legislation only to fail time and time again. The only state to pass a hateful bill was North Carolina, so are we winning?
Bills to Curtail LGBT Rights Are Failing in US Legislatures
New York Times
By The Associated Press
April 17, 2018

NEW YORK — In a striking shift from recent years, major legislation curtailing LGBT rights has been completely stymied in state capitols around the country this year amid anxiety by Republican leaders over igniting economic backlash if they are depicted as discriminatory.

In the thick of this year's legislative sessions, LGBT activists were tracking about 120 proposed bills that they viewed as threats to their civil rights. Not one of them has been enacted as many sessions now wind down; only two remain under serious consideration.

A key factor in the shift: In the Republican-led states where these types of bills surface, moderate GOP lawmakers and business leaders are increasingly wary of losing conventions, sporting events and corporate headquarters.

North Carolina, Indiana and Arizona were among the states that faced similar backlash in recent years over such legislation.

"Being anti-equality is not considered good politics anymore," said legislative specialist Cathryn Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT rights organization.
It all boils down to money. Not if it is immoral, or if it demonizes a whole community but rather if it hurts our pocketbooks.

This does not mean the battle is over, it means that they are now trying a different attack strategy; hiding their bigotry behind religion in the so called “religious freedom” laws.
Later this year, perhaps in June, a potentially momentous ruling is expected from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether businesses that serve the public can cite religious objections to refuse service to LGBT people, even in states that protect them in their nondiscrimination laws. The case involves a Colorado baker who did not want to make a cake for a same-sex couple to celebrate their wedding.
If the Supreme Court rules that they can discriminate against by claiming “religious freedom” I think you will see a lot more cases of discrimination not only against us but also against blacks, Latinos, Jews,  Muslims, and other minorities after all you can just about that it is “against your religious beliefs” to associate with any minorities. In the past the Bible has been used to justify all types of discrimination. You are going to see more white supremacist claiming that they can discriminate against non-white and non-Christians.

If You Are Not Counted You Don’t Exist

When we were trying to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill the top question was “How many trans people are there in Connecticut?”

Everything needs to be quantified; no matter if it is healthcare, the number of people with same-sex spouses, the number of homeless, everything needs to be counted so when we are not counted we do not exist.
The Justice Department Wants To Make It Harder To Track Crimes Against LGBT Teens
Advocates worry the move could put an already vulnerable group at even greater risk.
New Now Next
By Jeff Taylor
April 18, 2018

The Department of Justice has signaled it wants to stop asking 16- and 17-year-olds about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Conducted twice a year, the National Crime Victimization Survey tracks crimes from theft and burglary to sexual assault, to measure trends, including the vulnerability of minority communities.

Since July 2016, all respondents 16 and older have been asked to identify if they are LGBT, but the DOJ announced this week that it was requesting the age be raised to 18, “due to concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions for adolescents.”
So what does this mean?

Well if the data on LGBT victims are not collected then there can be no hate crimes, if there is no data there can be no increase in crimes against us, if there is no data on crimes against us there can be no disparaging data against the administration.

This is nothing more than a way for the current to hide their bigotry and rise of hate crimes against the LGBT community.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Now This Is The Paper That I Knew

In New Hampshire there is a conservative newspaper that last month had a pro trans article but now they are back to the conservative ideology.
Denying science: Transgender agenda mocks biology
Union Leader
April 15. 2018

Men who think of themselves as women can run in the women’s division of the Boston Marathon today, and vice versa.

It has become socially accepted that we humor this fiction. If people are happier pretending to be something they are not, even resorting to surgery to mimic the opposite sex, we wish them well.

An effort to force everyone in New Hampshire to accept someone’s “gender identity” faces a public hearing in the New Hampshire Senate this morning.

House Bill 1319 would add “gender identity” to the state’s various non-discrimination statutes. This goes far beyond tolerance. It is forced compliance.

Transgender individuals share the same rights as everyone else. No one should be subject to abuse or harassment. That does not require creation of a special protected class.
They are back to their ignorant stance based on 1950’s science. They don’t want to hear the truth because it will go against their bigoted ideology, for them people should be allowed to discriminate. Many conservatives belief that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is wrong, they should be able to discriminate against blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, and LGBT people, anybody who is not like them.

When The Jail Doors Slam Behind You

And it echoes down the hall it is an eerily feeling even when you are just visiting.
Transgender Woman Booked Into Male Section Of Jail During Protest
CBS13 Sacramento
By Angela Musallam
April 17, 2018

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A transgender woman claims the Sacramento County Jail discriminated against her by booking her into the male section of the jail.

The woman was one of two people arrested during a Stephon Clark protest in front of the district attorney’s office on Thursday.

The woman’s arrest drew attention from city and county officials, who say they stepped in to help move the woman into another part of the jail.

Ebony Ava Harper was arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail on charges of failing to disperse during a protest, and resisting an officer.

Harper, who identifies as a transgender woman, says her experience Thursday was humiliating, and a nightmare.
I know that I would be worried about where they are going to place you if you’re arrested whether it is for protesting, DUI, or something else that I would probably end up in the men’s prison and I would be scared s**tless.

Even though we have gender inclusive laws that recognizes our true gender, the department of corrections ignores it and goes by body parts. But they also do intake interviews with a social worker who decides in which prison you are going to be placed in. So if you are a trans woman with passing privilege you will most likely end up in a women’s prison even if you don’t have Gender Confirming Surgery (GCS).

A couple of years ago I did training at a maximum security prison and it was disconcertingly feeling when you knew that there was only one way out and that was locked.

At the Trans Health and Law Conference there is a workshop about a trans woman’s experience in prison.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Behind The Story

Last month I wrote about a court decision out in Washington that we won but the story is a lot deeper than winning the case; I came across an article that looks into the impact of the court case on us.
Constitutional milestone on transgender rights
Constitution Daily
By  Lyle Denniston
April 16, 2018

For the first time in any court, a federal judge in Seattle has ruled that transgender people are entitled to the fullest protection of the Constitution against discrimination.  U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman issued that ruling Friday in a case involving President Trump’s move to bar almost all transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, but the decision would also apply to other kinds of discrimination claims by transgender people.

In doing so, the judge refused an Administration request to lift a temporary order she had issued in December barring enforcement of the ban that was first announced last July by President Trump in a Twitter message that caught the U.S. military by surprise.  The ban was designed to undo completely a policy that the Obama Administration had adopted, permitting transgender individuals to join or continue serving in the military.

“Any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care” by the courts, Judge Pechman wrote.
What made this decision unique was…
Judge Pechman reached her historic ruling on the level of constitutional protection with two conclusions.

First, she ruled that transgender people have long been the targets of discrimination based on their gender identity, that their identity is something basic to their human character rather than a personal choice, that they are fully capable of functioning in society, and that they lack political power sufficient to protect themselves against bias.  That meant she had designated them as what technically is called a “suspect class” – not because their identity stirs suspicion, but because that identity is so basic to them that any official policy that treats them less favorably is “suspect” under the Constitution’s guarantees of equality and due process.

Second, the judge said this designation entitles transgender people to have official forms of discrimination against them judged in court by “strict scrutiny” – the toughest test that government policy must meet in order to survive as constitutionally valid.  Under that test, a government policy challenged as discriminatory will be struck down unless it is proven to serve a “compelling government interest” and is “narrowly tailored” to do so.
I have two thing that I think are important, first “…that identity is so basic to them that any official policy that treats them less favorably is “suspect” under the Constitution’s guarantees of equality and due process.” I have to agree we tend to be dismissed by the police when we are assaulted… what do you expect when you dress as a woman, we are inviting assaults or they think that we all work the street. And second, if a “bathroom bill” is passed then the government must show that there is a “compelling” need to ban us from using the bathroom.

So this ruling goes a lot further than just barring the Trump administration from banning us from serving in the military. Under this ruling the government must show that we will cause harm to the military and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will appeal her decision.

This Is Important For The Community

A few years ago we were trying to get funding for a trans house here in Connecticut but we found it hard going to get enough support to make it a go. Even through the article is a year old it is still important for us.
OutFront: Transgender Advocate Creates Safe Space for LGBTQ Homeless
By Julie Compton
April 13, 2017

Transgender activist Ruby Corado is fighting for Washington D.C.’s most vulnerable. Known as "Mama Ruby" among the city’s LGBTQ youth, the advocate is the proud founder of Casa Ruby, a homeless shelter and advocacy organization for the LGBTQ community.

“I’m known as the person in the city who will work with those people nobody wants to touch,” Corado told NBC Out.

A transgender woman who grew up in El Salvador, Corado overcame many hardships before opening her center. In the 1980s, her father paid human traffickers to get her out of the war-torn country. She said a bus took her to Washington D.C, where traffickers gave the then 16-year-old a room and took all the money she earned working odd jobs.
For many trans people a homeless shelter is not an option, for many trans people no matter how trans friendly the shelter is they don’t feel safe there or they are concerned that they will be “outed.”

One of the problems that we have here in Connecticut is that we are a small state and I believe that we don’t have a large enough base to make it viable. It makes more sense to have shelters in large cities like New York and Boston. There are only two Pride centers here in Connecticut, one is in Norwalk and the other is in New Haven, there hasn’t been a community center in Hartford in over ten years.

I personally believe that one of the side effects of marriage equality is the lack of need for LGBT community centers and the decline of “gay” bars.

Monday, April 16, 2018

On My List To Watch Today.

The television show Law & Order: SUV had a show about us last week and from the reports that I read it was done tastefully.
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Tackles Trans Military Debate With Powerful Storyline
And they cast a trans actor of color to depict it, too.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Curtis M. Wong
April 12, 2018

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” struck a nerve this week with a storyline that reflected the ongoing debate over transgender people in the military.

Wednesday’s episode, titled “Service,” focused on a trial involving a young woman, Sandy “Sky” Ksenivch (played by Morgan Taylor Campbell), who worked as an escort and was allegedly raped in a hotel room. One of the witnesses in the case was a soldier named Jim Preston (Marquise Vilsón).

Preston, who was in the same room at the time of the alleged incident, was initially hesitant to cooperate with investigators. By the episode’s conclusion, it became clear why: Testifying would require Preston to reveal that he identifies as transgender.

In a climactic scene, Preston took the stand and discussed his gender identity during cross-examination by attorney James Olson (Christopher Wiehl).
Whew, I sure wouldn’t want to testify in a trial, I can just imagine how the defense attorney would try to tear us apart trying to discredit our testimony.
“There will be people watching this episode who have never met someone like Jim Preston and may have had preconceived notions about someone like him,” he said. “Following this episode, they may actually see him for who he is and not what they believe him to be.”
I think that would also be true for anyone who is sitting on a jury.

Me, I hope that I get called to jury duty because I would like to see how I would be perceived by the legal system. Connecticut is unlike most states in that each prospective juror is questioned under oath by lawyers from both sides of the case… it would be interesting to hear what questions they would ask me.

When You Live In A Small Community

It is so much harder to transition when everyone knows your name. Whether it is a small own or an island nation in the middle of the Pacific. it is hard because everyone knew you before transition and many might not accept your transition and there is no place to avoid meeting them.
Leitis: Tonga's transgender community fights for visibility from the conservative Pacific Kingdom
Pacific Beat
ABC Australia
By Yara Murray-Atfield
April 16, 2018

Transgender women and gender-diverse 'leitis' in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga say, "they cannot be silent anymore" about their fight for visibility.

Joey Joleen Mataele is one of many in Tonga's island chain who identifies as a 'fakaleiti' or simply 'leiti', which translates roughly from Tongan as "like a lady".
"The role of leitis in our society is more of a housewives role, a domestic worker, we're known in the public eye in our churches and for helping the youth programs, but when it comes to our personal choices, that's when the barriers start," she told the ABC's Pacific Beat program.

Leitis often identify as women or men who dress and behave in a feminine way, but mainly don't identify as either men or women.
It is not easy in the island nation because of the laws, just like the laws that were here in the U.S. they have their own laws banning us…
While in some cases leitis are accepted as caretakers and workers, they are also outlawed, shunned and even face jail time.

Tonga's Civil Offences Act criminalises cross dressing and sodomy, with both carrying jail terms of up to 10 years.
And of course the laws have a religious history behind them.
"It is probably the most religious country I've ever been to, which makes the story of how you work for change when it comes to how LGBT people are viewed very interesting and very challenging, but also very hopeful because in this case the Tongan leiti community is also very well integrated into their church communities," Mr Wilson told Pacific Beat.
The push for decriminalisation and the rising public presence of the leitis comes at a time of heightened religious tension in the country, with American-funded televangelists fuelling a new campaign against the LGBT community in Tonga.
Yep, our right-wing conservative religious bigots are spreading their hate for us around the world. Their bigotry knows no national boundaries.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sad, It Is Sad That They Want To Force Children Straight

All the states so far had bipartisan support to ban conversion therapy for minors, but in Maine…
Tempers flare as Maine House approves ban on conversion therapy
The bill to prohibit state-licensed therapists from applying methods aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors fuels sharp conflicts.
Press Herald
By Kevin Miller
April 12, 2018

AUGUSTA — A House debate over legislation to ban conversion therapy in Maine devolved Thursday into an emotional and, at times, personal display of the lingering cultural divide at the State House over sexual orientation and religion.

House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, sternly warned several speakers against “impugning the motives” of other lawmakers and even suspended debate for nearly a half hour before the chamber approved the controversial bill on a 76-68 vote.

The largely party-line vote raises doubts about the prospects for a bill that would prohibit state-licensed therapists from engaging in conversion therapy treatment that attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of individuals under age 18.

“This therapy always leads to a bad outcome, and I support this bill,” said Rep. Patricia Hymanson, D-York, a neurologist.
The Republicans claim…
But several of the conservative Republican lawmakers who spoke against the bill on the House floor couched their opposition in moral, religious or political terms.

Rep. Larry Lockman, an Amherst Republican well known for his hard-right views and controversial comments on social issues, predicted the bill will only “punish licensed professionals who dissent from the prevailing progressive orthodoxy” on sexual orientation and transgendered individuals.
Well if the bill is like Connecticut’s law and other state laws there are exemptions for clergy unless they are licensed therapists, then they could lose their professional licenses, so far nine state ban conversion therapy including Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island.

So I guess that the Maine Republicans are comfortable with the high suicide rates among LGBT children who are forced going to conversion therapy.

Do you want to speak-up about the future of Connecticut’s LGBT community well…

Community Town Hall Meeting

Come and join us to discuss the future of the LGBTQ community and how we can make Connecticut more LGBTQ friendly.

  • What laws are we lacking?
  • What can we do to improve the quality of life for the LGBTQ community?

When: Wednesday, May 16 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: New Haven Pride Center
     84 Orange St,
             New Haven, CT 06510

I am on the ctEQUALiTY steering committee as the CTAC representative, so come on down to let me know what you think the future should hold for us here in Connecticut.

Do You Trust Them?

One of the criticisms that we face is that there is no long term studies of trans youth, well now there is research going to answer that question.
$1 million federal grant will help study of transgender kids
Washington Post
By David Crary  AP
April 12, 2018

The first large-scale, national study of transgender children, including some as young as 3, is poised to expand thanks to a five-year, $1 million grant awarded Thursday by the National Science Foundation to the professor leading the project.

University of Washington psychologist Kristina Olson, 36, was named winner of the NSF’s annual Alan T. Waterman Award, the government’s highest honor for scientists still in the early phases of their careers. The NSF said the choice was unanimous, and noted that pediatricians are already using her findings to raise awareness about gender diversity.

While the award citation honors Olson for a broad range of her research on children’s perceptions, she has become best known as creator and leader of the TransYouth Project, which is widely considered the most ambitious long-term study of transgender children being conducted in the U.S.

Launched in 2013, the project has recruited more than 300 children ages 3-12 from 45 states, with the goal of tracking their development over 20 years. The NSF grant will help Olson maintain the study as many of the children go through adolescence; she hopes to continue it into their adulthood.
This is what we need, my only concern is that it is being done during the Trump administration, will they doctor the results to find anti-trans results?
Some of the study’s early findings were reported two years ago in the journal Pediatrics — notably that the 73 children being tracked at that time had rates of depression and anxiety no higher than non-transgender children in control groups. The trans children were supported by their families and allowed to live openly as the gender they identify with — suggesting to Olson that family support was a key to avoiding the mental health problems identified in studies of other transgender youths.
One of the important differences in this study than other studies is that all of these children have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria not like other studies where most of the children were not true trans children and also those who drop out of the study will not be labeled as detransitors.

However, the right wing conservatives are challenging the study…
The TransYouth Project received positive coverage following the Pediatrics article, but Olson’s research also has been the target of criticism. An article last year in The Federalist, a conservative online magazine, asserted that it was “utterly ridiculous” to open a study on gender identity to a 3-year-old child “who is just learning to use the bathroom, spell his name, and the days of the week.”
“People frequently compare early-identifying trans children with those who go through phases of believing they are cats or dinosaurs or who have imaginary friends,” Olson wrote recently. “Yet decades of work on gender development suggests these are precisely the ages at which nearly all kids are coming to understand their own and others’ gender identities.”
I would think they would welcome 3-year-olds to the research, after all they are the ones who are saying young children are too young to know that they are trans. I would think that if that was true there will be a higher dropout rates as they realize they are not trans, but I think they already know we are right and that there will be a low dropout rates for young children so they are running scared.

But will the Trump administration tamper with the results since it is federally funded.

So where was I the last couple of days?

I was at the closing of my cottage; it is a standalone condo and is part of a three condo complex. It is a lot smaller than our New Hampshire cottage that we sold last year but it is all mine.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I Remember When

I first started to stick my head out the door back in 2000 someone that I knew in the community was going through a divorce and she had to fight to keep joint custody of her son. The Department of Children and Families wanted to take away her parenting privilege because she is trans.
Why parents are losing custody of trans and gender non-conforming kids
AZ Central
By Maria Polletta,
April 10, 2018

The divorced parents had joint custody of their three children and equal parenting time.

But soon after the mother began allowing their male child — identified in legal documents as "L." — to wear a skirt to school, the father took his ex-wife to court.

Arguing that the mother, "through various acts, was pushing a female gender identification on L.," the father asked for sole legal custody to make decisions about the child's health care and schooling, according to court records. He also requested L. live with him full-time.

A family-court judge responded with sweeping injunctions forbidding the mother to discuss gender-related issues at home; dress L. in female clothing; let the child have any "female-oriented" toys; or refer to L. as "her," "she" or a "girl."

Though the injunctions were described as "temporary," they remained in place for more than two years while the case was under review. When they were partially lifted in early 2016, they accompanied a ruling "that all three children’s best interests" would be served by granting the father sole legal custody.
The judges are playing Russian roulette with the children’s lives.
"In a lot of these cases, children are stating, 'I don’t want to live,' or they’re getting admitted to Phoenix Children’s because they’re slamming their heads against floors," said Cammy Bellis, founder of Mothers in Transition. The non-profit group connects moms of gender non-conforming children with legal resources.
There are many, many studies that show if children are allowed to explore their gender identity suicidal ideation vanish but by forcing them in to gender roles that they do not identify with their suicidal thoughts sky rocket to over 40%.
Scholars and advocates said L.'s case reflects a widespread lack of experience with gender issues among family-court professionals in the U.S.

They drew parallels with the family-court environment of the 1970s and 1980s when ex-partners of gay and lesbian parents used stereotypes about homosexuality to win custody.
Here in Connecticut DCF is starting to believe not allowing a child to explore their gender is a form of child abused, a 180 degree change from when my friend was fighting for joint parenting with her ex.

Like A Bad Penny

It is back again, the law suit about a trans woman in the locker room; you thought the case was over but the Planet Fitness case has been thrown back to the lower court.
Appeal revived in lawsuit over transgender at health club
Posted: Apr 11, 2018

The Michigan appeals court has been ordered to take a second look at a lawsuit filed by a woman who said her rights were violated after she encountered a transgender person in the locker room at a Midland health club.

The state Supreme Court says the appeals court erred in declining to consider Yvette Cormier's claims under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.
You might remember this case from 2015 when a woman claimed she was discriminated against because she objected to having a trans woman in the locker room.

MLive wrote…
Cormier's lawsuit claims invasion of privacy, multiple violations of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, exemplary damages and a violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. The hearing Friday sought to decide if those claims are valid, following the recent filing of motions for summary disposition by both defendants, who claim all nine parts of the lawsuit are invalid and should be dismissed.
The judge rejected all the plaintiff’s claims.

There was some discussion if this case was a set-up, ThinkProgress reported that…
Cormier’s representation by Kallman Legal Group is likely not a coincidence. David and Stephen Kallman, a father and son team, already have a reputation for opposing LGBT equality in Michigan. In October of 2013, they submitted a legal memo challenging proposed LGBT nondiscrimination protections in Delta Township, claiming that the ordinance would violate others’ religious freedom. The memo compared homosexuality to extramarital sex, polygamy, pedophilia, serial killer rapists, necrophilia, bestiality, and incest and suggested that because gender identity is “internal to the person,” someone accused of discrimination would be required to be a “mind-reader” not to discriminate. Their suit against Planet Fitness for respecting how individuals self-identify their gender seems to disprove this last concern.
So like a bad penny always turns up, the case is back in court again.

Other blog posting about the case, here, herehere, and here, and about the set-up here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


The Pride season is beginning with the first Pride in New England is May 5th in Northampton MA which will be followed by a new Pride in Bethel CT.

But all is not nice in this climate of hate; there have been pushback in communities where Pride events are being held.
Your Turn: It's not safe for LGBT people of color, and Phoenix Pride doesn't care
Your Turn: Trans Queer Pueblo interrupted last year's Pride parade because Phoenix Pride has turned its back on the LGBT community.
AZ Central
By Karla Bautista, Deybeth Ruiz and Crystal Zaragoza
April 3, 2018

The LGBTQ+ Pride tradition started in 1969, when Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major and others sparked an anti-police riot to challenge state violence against LGBTQ+ people. Today, as racist police departments and anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynist politicians target us, this legacy is vital.

We are a coalition of trans- and queer-led organizations building justice for black and brown communities in Phoenix. We continue Marsha, Sylvia and Miss Major’s legacy by inviting you to LGBTQ+ Justice Week, a new tradition that celebrates all our identities in the struggle toward a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free.

We interrupted last year’s Pride parade because Phoenix Pride had turned its back on the community.
They bring up some very important issues. Pride should before everyone, not just for white middle class.
Pride offers photo-ops for politicians but refuses to hold them accountable. Pride pays respect neither to the founding mothers of Pride nor to the native people upon whose land we march.
There is a legacy from the early Pride events where they didn’t want anyone who could assimilate into society; they want only people of looked like white middle class straight people to march and sometimes I think that legacy is still with us.

Down in Mississippi they had a legal battle to fight before they were able to hold the Pride parade.
After Homophobes Tried to Stop It, Mississippi Pride Parade Attracts Thousands
It was a long journey to this weekend's jubilant event.
The Advocate
By Ariel Sobel
March 27 2018

Weeks after the Starkville, Miss., city council initially denied LGBT organizers a parade permit, over 2,500 people marched this Saturday for the city's Pride event. The Pride celebration took place without incident, according to the Associated Press, and was the city's biggest parade in its history, reports the Starkville Daily News.

Starkville's city council originally denied the parade a permit in February, even though more than a dozen people spoke in support of Pride, in contrast to two residents who opposed the event. The outcome led to a federal lawsuit against the city, which prompted another vote on the issue. The council was in a 3-3 tie, which was broken by Mayor Lynn Spruill, who green-lit the parade
Opponents to the parade claim they aren't bigoted; resident Tim Cummings said being a veterinarian taught him that same-sex relationships are unnatural, allegedly due to antaomy. However, it has been scientifically proven that plenty of animals engage in homosexual mating and have been observed doing so for decades.
Yeah right… they are not bigots. That’s why it took legal action to hold the prade.

Down in Miami there was violence after the Pride parade.
Brutal attack of gay couple caught on camera after Miami Pride
Police called it 'uncalled for and unnecessary'
Gay Star News
By Anya Crittenton
April 10, 2018

Unveiled surveillance footage shows a group of men brutally attacking a gay couple at Miami Pride this weekend.

Rene Chalarca and his boyfriend, Dmitry Logunov, were holding hands as they left the celebration. Outside of a public restroom, four men attacked them in an alleged anti-gay assault.

Another man, Helmut Muller, tried to intervene but he was knocked unconscious when one of the four men struck him and he hit his head on the pavement. He received four stitches at the hospital.
The police made arrests in the case…
Suspects in attack after gay pride parade could be charged with hate crime, cops say
Miami Herald
By Carli Teproff, Kyra Gurney and David J. Neal
April 10, 2018

Four men turned themselves in to Miami Beach police on Tuesday afternoon in the case of a gay couple brutally attacked after the city’s gay pride parade.

The men surrendered through an attorney and have been charged with aggravated battery, according to the arrest reports. It is now up to the state attorney's office to decide whether to classify the attack as a hate crime, the Miami Beach Police Department said in a statement.

The attack occurred Sunday evening around 7:40 p.m. as two gay men identified in the police reports only by their last names, Logunov and Chalarca, left a bathroom area near Ocean Drive and Sixth Street following the parade. Logunov and one of the attackers, 21-year-old Juan Carlos Lopez, bumped into each other, according to the arrest reports. Lopez and his companions, Luis M. Alonso Piovet, 20; Adonis Diaz, 21; and Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa, 21, began to call the victims "maricones," an anti-gay slur in Spanish.