Thursday, May 31, 2018

All Too Often…

This is a common tale, work is great, promotions, raises and then it all dries up after we come up.
She Says Top TV Job Offers Slowed When She Came Out As Transgender
Scottie Madden hit a career milestone as a showrunner. But she says the opportunities dried up after she came out as transgender.
By Susan Cheng
May 31, 2018

When showrunner Scottie Madden first came out as a trans woman to an executive at Discovery Inc.’s Animal Planet in January 2015, she felt relieved. “If my top-level client is OK with this, then I'm going to be OK,” she’d told herself. Before transitioning, she had worked with the network to develop Dude, You’re Screwed, an adventure reality series that ended up airing on the company’s flagship network, Discovery Channel. As Madden recalls it, the executive had been “so blown away and happy and accepting.” From there, the showrunner proceeded to come out to all her colleagues in reality television. Their acceptance, Madden said, bordered “on the verge of surreal.”

But Madden’s optimism was misplaced. Now, more than three years after coming out, Madden says that neither Discovery, nor any other network or production company, has hired her to run another show.

“I never know if [an executive’s] not calling me back because I’m transgender, because she doesn’t have anything for me, or because she no longer works there — you never know,” Madden told BuzzFeed News, describing the often ambiguous nature of show business. “When you work for hire, you serve at the mercy of somebody's whim. The phrase you always hear is, ‘It just didn’t work out.’ And that covers all manners of things.” As showrunners, Madden explained, “Our clients are both the network and the production company.” As the linchpin between the two, they pitch ideas, help TV executives develop shows, and officially get the job when and if the show gets bought.
Oh this is so very common… We support you 100 percent! Then nothing.

And it is almost impossible to prove discrimination; they have a thousand excuses and none of them are discriminatory. Unless they are stupid they will never say that you weren’t hired because you’re trans, so proving discrimination is all but impossible.

That is why I say if you have a job wait until you have a couple of performance reviews under your belt before transitioning.

For me I lived as Diana except for work, so for 40 hours a week I was in male mode and the rest of the time I was Diana. It was hard living a dual life but I had only a couple of years before I was eligible for retirement and I didn’t want to lose my pension, so I bit the bullet for 4 years and the day that I retired I transitioned.

It is not just us, but all protected classes.

  • We didn’t hire you because you are old, we didn’t hire you because your skills are out dated.
  • You didn’t get your promotion because you’re a woman; you are just not qualified for the new job.
  • You were laid off not because you’re black but because your position is not needed anymore.

Oh they can come up many reasons that are non-discriminatory and trying to prove otherwise is all but impossible.

So why have anti-discrimination laws?

As I like to say it keeps the honest companies honest, it make many companies to think twice before discriminating  and they sleazy companies, well nothing would stop them.

As an example take Trump’s son-in-law…
Kushner Cos. is facing investigation for filing false building permits
Market Watch
Published: Mar 21, 2018

A New York City Council member and a tenant's rights group are launching an investigation into the real-estate firm controlled by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, over a report that it regularly falsified building permits.
Let’s face it there are companies out there that wouldn’t blink twice about discrimination or breaking the law, while others go out of their way to hire protected classes. I was at a Target store the other day and checkout clerk was trans. At my local Stop & Shop they had a trans woman working for them, my guess she was a high school student and then a college student working the summers for them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Our Favorite Punching Bag

I like to say you never know where the trans lightning is going to strike, we have no control over who is trans. It strikes those who can integrate in to society and those who cannot blend in to society, it strike poor people and it strikes rich people. It strike progressives and it also strikes conservative people. However what we all have in common is that we are all trans.
Protesters at Caitlyn Jenner talk say transgender community was ignored in the organization of the event
Daily Emerald
By Ryan Nguyen
May 29, 2018

A group of about 20 University of Oregon students and Eugene community members showed up today to protest the appearance of celebrity Caitlyn Jenner and publicist Alan Nierob for a talk in Straub Hall about public relations.

Some students said the university did not consult UO’s transgender community — some examples of which include the LGBTQA3 Alliance and the LGBT Education and Support Services department — about inviting Jenner to campus.

UO Ph.D. student Bethany Grace Howe, a transgender woman, is the one who invited Jenner and Nierob to come to campus and has been in contact with the pair ever since she heard Nierob speak during a class years ago.

“So when I talk about Jenner,” wrote Howe in a UO School of Journalism and Communication blog post, “and when I host her on Tuesday, it is not a celebrity I see, but a friend I’m finally getting to show around my home.” Howe has been talking to Jenner since 2016.

Andrew Robbins, one of the organizers of the protest, said that although transgender people are becoming more visible and that the idea of gender diversity is becoming normalized, Jenner should not be the only representative of transgender people in the media.
Caitlyn seems to be a lightning rod for us. I know a number of conservative trans people, I don’t understand why they back politicians who want to oppress us but I don’t vilify them.

Her story is like so many of us, we hid our gender dysphoria until the pressure of hiding became unbearable and we transitioned late in life.

For me I saw oppression and I wanted to fight it.

For Caitlyn I don’t really know what the driving force behind her conservative views but she chose to ignore the attempts and the passing of laws that oppressed us like those in North Carolina. I hope it wasn’t because she put her money before human rights.

When Your Life Is On The Line

Let’s face it our lives are cheap, kill a trans person and you can get off scot free.
Can a Transgender Woman Get Justice in Texas?
After Aliah Hernandez was brutally beaten in a New Braunfels motel room, her attacker walked away free.
Texas Monthly
By Nate Blakeslee
June 2018 Issue

When Officer J. Lopez of the New Braunfels police arrived at the motel at three-thirty that morning, he found Aliah slumped in the lobby, half-conscious. There was blood on her mouth and hands, and her face and neck were grotesquely swollen and bruised. Her left ear had been partially ripped off, and dangling cartilage was clearly visible. Lopez squatted beside Aliah and asked what had happened. She could barely speak, mumbling something that sounded like “Carmen.”

“He hit me with everything,” she whispered.

Officer Lopez asked for her ID, and she managed to find her Mexican passport. He began to jot down her particulars but then stopped short, looking down at the battered woman next to him. The given name on the passport was not Aliah but Blas. Under “Sexo,” he saw, the passport was clearly marked M.

The victim was transgender.
It worked. Wright corroborated almost every element of Aliah’s story: they’d met at the drive-thru and arranged to get together. Nothing sexual had occurred, but he’d become enraged when she told him she was transgender, and he had beaten her. Wright denied that Aliah had ever lost consciousness, but he confessed to hitting her multiple times. And he admitted something else that suggested that he knew he’d committed a serious crime: he’d stolen Aliah’s phone and deleted the text messages on his own device to hide evidence that the encounter had ever taken place. The stolen phone was gone—he’d thrown it away once he’d left the motel, he told Groff—but he agreed to turn over his phone so that it could be examined.
The victim again gets victimized…
Aliah had been the victim of a violent crime too, yet she was beginning to suspect that her case was not a priority, a feeling that her meeting with Tharp did little to dispel. Tharp was petite and blond, a picture of professionalism in her nicely tailored suit. She nodded respectfully when Aliah explained that she no longer used the name Blas, which was on all of the police reports and other documents in the case file. The DA asked Aliah what outcome she was looking for in the case and agreed that prison time was warranted. But she couldn’t tell Aliah when her assistant prosecutor would be presenting the case to a grand jury so that it could move to trial. She finally had the hospital reports, thanks to Aliah, but now Tharp said she was waiting on a forensic analysis of Wright’s cellphone, which she described as a key piece of evidence.
And victimized again…
In July, Tharp called Aliah in for a third meeting. This time Aliah brought her best friend, Sami Vela, with her for emotional support, along with a counselor from the Department of Public Safety who had been guiding her through the process of getting the state to help with her hospital bills, which totaled over $22,000. Tharp had bad news. The case had been brought before a grand jury twice, she said—first by an assistant prosecutor, and then by Tharp herself—but both times, the jury had declined to issue an indictment. Tharp had filed a misdemeanor charge instead, for which no grand jury approval was needed. Wright had been charged not with assault but “interfering with an emergency call”—stemming from his theft of Aliah’s phone, which had prevented her from calling the police. The maximum penalty was a year in jail.
Then we have the case of a trans woman who died in ICE custody…
A Transgender Woman Who Was Part Of The Migrant Caravan Has Died In ICE Custody
"I didn't want to come to Mexico; I wanted to stay in Honduras but I couldn't."
By Adolfo Flores
May 30, 2018

A transgender woman who was part of the caravan of Central American migrants that arrived at the US border earlier this month died in custody Friday from what appeared to be cardiac arrest.

Roxsana Hernandez, 33, died in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She had been taken to another hospital in New Mexico more than a week earlier with symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration and complications associated with HIV.
In addition to being cold, Pueblo Sin Fronteras said, Hernandez lacked adequate food or medical care and was held in a cell where the lights were turned on 24 hours a day. On May 16, she was then taken to a transgender unit at the Cibola County Correctional Center, a federal prison facility in Milan, New Mexico, that contracts with ICE.

The following day Hernandez was admitted to Cibola General Hospital and was later transferred via air ambulance to Albuquerque's Lovelace Medical Center where she remained in the intensive care unit until she died on May 25. The preliminary cause of death was cardiac arrest, according to ICE.
The Transgender Law Center said,
Transgender Law Center (TLC), Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (Familia:TQLM) and Organización Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT) mourn the death of a transgender asylum seeker who died while in ICE custody. Roxana Hernández, a transgender woman from Honduras, was only 33 years-old when she died while incarcerated in immigration detention. Although she was processed into the United States on May 13, 2018, it is unclear where and in what conditions Ms. Hernández was held for the five days she was in custody until she was transferred to ICE and the Cibola Correctional Facility. It has been repeatedly reported that asylum seekers at the border are held in freezing holding cells (often referred to as “hieleras”) for days. Ms. Hernández died from medical complications with pneumonia.

“Paired with the abuse we know transgender people regularly suffer in ICE detention, the death of Ms. Hernández sends the message that transgender people are disposable and do not deserve dignity, safety, or even life,” said Isa Noyola, Deputy Director at Transgender Law Center.

“It is alarming that transgender communities continue to face transphobic violence outside and inside of detention walls,” says Flor Bermudez, Legal Director at Transgender Law Center. “This is why TLC’s Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE) has organized to demand the liberation of transgender women from detention and the end of all detention and deportations. ICE has shown time and again it is incapable of protecting transgender women in detention. Transgender people should not be detained by ICE, at all.”

“We have been demanding the release of our trans communities detained in ICE detention centers because of rampant physical and brutal treatment from guards and other detainees,” said Jorge Gutiérrez, Executive Director of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement.
To have survived the dangerous journey from Honduras and flee the oppression only to die from the oppression that we face in the hands of ICE is a tragedy that could have been avoid.

Snatched from the hands of ICE we have a victory,
Kilpatrick Wins Asylum for Transgender Woman in Hard-Fought Pro Bono Case
A team of Kilpatrick lawyers and staff spent about 800 hours on the asylum case of transgender Mexican woman Estrella Sanchez. – Daily Report
By Meredith Hobbs
May 29, 2018

Estrella Sanchez, a transgender immigrant who claimed she suffered repeated rapes and abuse while growing up in Mexico—and then endured harassment in a U.S. immigration prison—has finally won asylum with the help of her pro bono lawyers from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

After denying Sanchez’s petition three times, U.S. Immigration Court Judge Dan Trimble granted Sanchez asylum last week, three years after a Kilpatrick team led by Jeff Fisher and Michael Turton first took on her case.

“I think she didn’t believe it until the judge said the words,” Fisher said. “Then she smiled and cried.”

Sanchez had been fighting for asylum since 2012, including three appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and a trip to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

“We were thrilled that we were able to get justice for her, even though it took six years,” Fisher said.
Sometimes it seems hopeless for us but then there is another light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Clock Is Running Out

Time is growing short before the end of this Supreme Court tern which ends on June 29th and they have a number of important rulings to be announced before then and one of them is…
Five rulings to watch at the Supreme Court
The Hill
By Lydia Wheeler

Interns will soon be sprinting down the steps of the Supreme Court to deliver printouts of rulings to TV anchors, something of an annual tradition at the highest court in the land.

The justices heard their last arguments in April and will start issuing rulings next week in the most closely watched cases of the term, which ends in late June.

The justices often save the biggest decisions for last — and this year is no exception.

Since October, the court has grappled with several hot-button issues, including free speech and equality, partisan gerrymandering and the legality of President Trump's controversial travel ban.
The cases that the article lists are,
Partisan gerrymandering
Sports betting
Free speech and abortion
Trump's travel ban
All are important cases and will affect our lives for generations to come but the one that will affect us the most is,
Wedding cake
The court also has yet to rule in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case centers on Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Phillips argues he can’t be forced to make the cake under the state’s anti-discrimination laws. He says his cakes are an artistic expression of free speech and religion that’s protected by the First Amendment.

Making a cake for a gay wedding, he says, would send the message that he supports same-sex marriage when he is morally opposed as a Christian.

The case is seen as the next big fight for LGBT rights after the justices’ landmark ruling in 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage.

“People in the LGBT community think this undermines Obergefell and LGBT rights if the court were to come down in favor of the baker,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor. “I think that’s an important question that’s at stake here.”

Civil rights advocates fear a ruling in favor of Phillips will give businesses a license to discriminate against LGBT people.
The case revolves around one justice… Justice Kennedy.
Why Justice Kennedy Exemplifies The Conflict Central To The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case
Colorado Public Radio
By Ryan Warner
May 22, 2018

The Supreme Court of the United States could hand down a decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case  any day now, addressing the tension between state law interpreted by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and what baker Jack Phillips sees as an infringement of his First Amendment free speech rights. He refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple based on his religious beliefs.

Justice Anthony Kennedy exemplifies that tension seen at the heart of the case. New York Times reporter Adam Liptak has described Kennedy, "at once the court's most prominent defender of gay rights and its most committed supporter of free speech." His vote will also likely swing the decision in either direction.
In oral arguments, Kennedy was assertive in his concern for the impact the decision would have on the LGBT community.

"If you prevail, could the bakery put a sign in its window, 'We do not make cakes for gay weddings,'" Kennedy asked the counsel representing Masterpiece Cakeshop. "And you would not posit that an affront to the gay community?"
He is the fulcrum that it all hangs on, how he rules will determine if we will face religious discrimination or if discrimination cannot hide behind religion.
"There’s no greater judicial champion of gay rights than Kennedy," Liptak said.

But you can see Kennedy's equal dedication to free speech in his opinion for the Citizens United case.

"He's going to be tugged in different directions," Liptak said. "He is the vote you know you're going to get in every free speech case."
A poll finds that most people don’t want discrimination against us by businesses,
Most Americans Don’t Want Businesses To Discriminate Against LGBTQ People: Study
The majority of religious groups believe that small-business owners should serve all customers, regardless of sexual orientation.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Carol Kuruvilla

As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether business owners with religious objections should be allowed to refuse to serve LGBTQ customers, a majority of Americans — and a wide spectrum of religious denominations ― remain opposed to such faith-based service refusals.

Sixty percent of Americans oppose allowing a small-business owner in their state to refuse products or services to gay or lesbian people if doing so would violate the owner’s religious beliefs, according to the 2017 American Values Atlas, an annual survey from The Public Religion Research Institute. The survey of approximately 40,000 people in all 50 states, published on Tuesday, also found that Americans are increasingly supportive of LGBTQ rights almost three years since same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States.

Notably, most religious groups agreed that gay and lesbian people should not be discriminated against in the form of service-based refusals ― including black Protestants (65 percent), white mainline Protestants (60 percent), and white Catholics (59 percent). That objection was also strong among non-Christian groups, including Jews (70 percent) and Muslims (59 percent). Religiously-unaffiliated Americans, a growing demographic, strongly opposed the policy (72 percent).
Let’s hope that Justice Kennedy sides with us.

If they should rule in favor of bigotry then this opens a floodgate of law suits. I can see white supremacists bring cases that claim that they can discriminate against blacks because of religion or evangelical Christians saying that they can discriminate against Jews.

I can see a future where the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is torn to shreads.

You don’t think so? Well…
Federal Court Bench Gaining 'Originalists'
Hartford Courant
By Hugh Hewitt
May 27, 2018

Some day, conservative critics of President Donald Trump will have to reconcile their vehement opposition to him with their love of the Constitution. The latter is most definitely benefiting from the president's massive impact on the federal bench, one that extends far beyond Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, though by far the most important court, still only reviews 80 or so appeals court decisions per year. The appeals courts, however, are burdened with massive amounts of decision-making year-round. Federal appeals court judges completed 96,000 case "participations" in 2017. (A case participation means that one judge heard an oral argument or reviewed an appeal on briefs; thus, when a single appeal is heard before a panel of three judges, it is three participations.)
The Trump judges on the 5th Circuit and their new colleagues on other federal appeals benches across the land will be busy long into the future. Review the math presented above, and extend the trends into the future, including another 20 or so more federal circuit court confirmations expected this year. By 2019, Trump judges will be participating in more than 15,000 decisions every year, and almost all those decisions will be the law of the land. There will be no less than 400 crucial case votes and dozens of signed opinions, each year, every year for most of the Trump judges. If the judges sit for an average run of 20 years on the bench, that's 8,000 key votes per Trump-appointed judge.
Trump and his Republican cronies are stuffing the courts with narrow minded ideologue young judges who believe putting the Bible ahead of the Constitution.

The Republican senators refused to appoint any judges that president Obama nominated as a result there is a backlog of 127 federal judges including many Appeal Courts judges.

You don’t think this will affect us?

Well just look at this past two weeks, we had three court victories all by the courts and two of them were by the Appeals courts.

Let’s Hope She Gets The Book Thrown At Her

Last week I wrote about the California Republican candidate who filmed the trans woman in the bathroom probably broke the law.
Republican politician could face criminal probe after filming herself harassing transgender woman
Pink News UK
By Nick Duffy 
26th May 2018

A Republican candidate who live-streamed herself harassing a transgender woman in a bathroom could face a criminal probe.

Jazmina Saavedra, who is running as a Republican in the California’s 44th Congressional district, broadcast the shocking incident on Facebook Live earlier this month.
Entering the bathroom with the camera on, she then shouts at the woman: “Why you using the ladies’ room?
However, she could be about to learn a valuable lesson.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the Human Rights Campaign have this week written to the office of California’s Attorney General Xavier Beccerra, urging him to open a probe of Saavedra on hate crime charges.

Their letter notes: “If the facts as described in the video and news reports are accurate, this may qualify as a hate crime and an invasion of the privacy of the targeted individual. We urge the California Attorney General’s office to ensure an investigation occurs and support the district attorney as needed.

“California law defines a hate crime as a criminal act ‘committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the … actual or perceived characteristics of the victim’ including gender, gender identity, and gender expression.

“Recording video of someone inside a bathroom without their consent is a criminal act. In addition to potential criminal liability, there could be civil liability for invasion of privacy and violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, among other causes of action.”
She is in deep Doo-Doo.
According to Metro Weekly a spokesperson for the Becerra’s office said: “The footage from this video is concerning. We are carefully reviewing the request to look into this matter.”
Let’s hope that the Attorney General doesn’t brush off this crime and takes legal action against her.

Monday, May 28, 2018

My We Never Forget

For all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and for all those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you.

One thing can do to make sure that those who mad the ultimate sacrifice and for all those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice not in vain is to vote!

In an editorial in the Hartford Courant they say this about candidates…
Editorial: We Need Answers To These Three Questions

The next governor of Connecticut, whoever it is, will be saddled with massive financial problems that will all but consume his term in office. Sadly, though, the top candidates for governor have given the citizens very little in the way of detailed plans for how they plan to get the state out of the mess.

It’s not hard to describe the problem: The state’s revenue falls short of expenses, and the biggest long-term expenses are the state’s unfunded obligations to state employees, along with road, bridge and other infrastructure costs.

So candidates should be specific about how they plan to solve the problem. Cut spending, raise taxes, or both? Where would they cut, and where would they tax? Does the math work? These decisions will have serious long-term implications for the financial health of the state. Only by knowing how the candidates will approach the problems — with specific details — will Connecticut’s voters be armed with the information they need to make the best choice.
We don’t need candidates’ fury. We have enough. We need their answers to three specific questions:

1. Where is the money coming from? The next biennial budget faces an estimated shortfall of more than $4 billion. Candidates should state clearly how they plan to solve that problem. If it’s by raising taxes, they should explain which taxes. If they plan to cut taxes, they will need to explain where they plan to cut an equal amount of spending or how they plan to raise revenue to fill the gap. Simply saying “I will not balance the budget on the backs of workers” leaves unanswered the question of how the candidate will balance it. If the plan is to restructure the state employee retirement plans, the candidate must explain, in detail, how.

2. How should Connecticut’s economy grow? Of course we need jobs. Every candidate promises jobs. But there are many strategies to developing the state’s economy. Candidates should be specific: Do their plans promise job growth through casino expansion? Through more incentives to corporations? Through cuts to the corporate tax? Through public-private partnerships? How much more or less money will come into the state with those changes, and in what timeframe?

3. Who will have to make sacrifices? No candidate wants to alienate voters by telling them they’re going to have to shell out more money to the state. But glossing over this part of the problem is dishonest. If the governor wants a tax cut, then revenues will go down, likely shifting the burden to town budgets. If the governor wants to cut expenses, that means social services, schools or state employees could sacrifice. Finding “efficiencies” is a great idea, but even if the state were to find $1 billion in operational savings — as suggested by the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth — that still leaves the state billions in the red. Candidates should be honest about it. Those who offer nothing but glowing promises have either have no idea how to make them come true or are being opaque.
Be an informed voter educate yourself on where the politicians stand on issues. 

Vote in every election.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Picnic Time

It is picnic time!

The official start of summer is this weekend and I am celebrating by having a picnic today, the weather will be great all weekend long except for today. The day I am having a picnic.

So I hope that all of your plans are not a washout.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday 9: G.I. Blues

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: G.I. Blues (1960)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors men and women who served and died in the United States Armed Forces. We want to make sure that message is not lost this weekend.

1) Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family? Do you know anyone who is active military? (We are grateful and want to hear about it.)
My father severed in World War II

2) In this song, Elvis sings about marching, and complains that the Army doesn't give Purple Hearts for fallen arches. Do you have any aches or pains to report this morning? 
Ha! Do I, when you get to be my age your warranty starts to run out and I never bought the extended warranty.

3) This song is from the 1960 film of the same name. In the movie, Elvis is in The 32nd Armor Regiment of the United States Army. That's the same regiment he served with in real life. He had the 32nd written into the script as a shout-out to the soldiers he came to know, but realized he'd likely never see again. Is there an old friend you're missing this weekend?
A number of them.

4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
I’m on a kick right now with fancy burgers; I bought a hamburger press and now I make burgers with different types of fillings. Some of the combinations that I make are, bacon, bacon & onions, bacon & cheese, blue cheese, Gouda cheese, and plain stuffing (this is one of the best filling, the stuffing hold in the juices).
I tried Parmesan cheese but that was a flop, the cheese was way to over powering.

5) Let's celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with ice cream. What's your favorite flavor? Cone or cup?
Cup. And I haven’t had an ice cream flavor that I didn’t like. A few of my favorites are Cherry Vanilla, Ben & Jerry’s Chillin' the Roast, Haagen Dazs Java Chip, and of course anything chocolate.

P.S. the best ice cream is UConn ice cream and their best flavor is Husky Tracks.
The University of Connecticut started out as an agricultural college and they have their own dairy herd.

5) This marks the weekend when Americans step up their outdoor activity and do things they may not have been able to do during the winter months. For example, when is the last time you applied mosquito repellent?
Probably when we had the New Hampshire cottage.

7) Or swam?
Again, at the New Hampshire cottage. I miss being able to walk out the backdoor, taking a few steps and jumping in the lake on a hot summer night.

8) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on?
I turned it on for the first time last night; it was a hot and sticky night and I couldn’t sleep so I turned on the AC

9) Random question: How do you define success?
No having to live day to day, being able to do the things that you want and not your boss.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Other Big News

Sometimes big news out shines the other news; the Grimms case over shadowed other court wins around the national.
Three transgender-rights cases to have their day in court this week
Courts in Montana, Oregon and Pennsylvania will hear cases this week involving transgender people’s access to gender-segregated public facilities.
NBC News
By Julie Moreau
May 22, 2018

This week alone, three lawsuits — from Montana to Oregon to Pennsylvania — involving transgender people’s access to gender-segregated facilities will have their day in court.

On Monday, a district court judge in Montana heard from both sides in Hobaugh v. Montana. The case concerns I-183, or the Montana Locker Room Privacy Act, a ballot measure put forward by the Montana Family Foundation that would require transgender individuals to use public facilities, including restrooms or locker rooms, corresponding to their “biological sex” and not their gender identity.
The Montana Family Foundation pushed back against the lawsuit in a statement issued by its president, Jeff Laszioffy.
No surprise there that a “family” is leading the opposition.
In Oregon, two organizations — Parents for Privacy and Parents’ Rights in Education — claim transgender-inclusive policies implemented in Dallas School District No. 2 in Dallas, Oregon, violate the privacy of non-transgender students.

The new rules and policies, their complaint states, “radically changed the meaning of ‘sex’ in Title IX” of the Education Amendments of 1972, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Portland claimed the school board “unilaterally rejected the Title IX meaning of sex, which for 40 years has meant biologically male and female, two objectively determined, fixed, binary sexes rooted in our human reproductive nature.”
Um… no. The definition of sex in Title IX also means “sexual stereotyping” as defined by the 1989 Supreme Court case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.

The third case is,
The third case, Doe v. Boyertown, will be heard on Thursday in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Parents of children in the Boyertown Area School District claim the district’s transgender-inclusive restroom policy violates the privacy rights of non-transgender students.
The Morning Call had this article about the case…
Appeals court upholds Boyertown transgender bathroom policy
By Peter Hall
May 24, 2018
Transgender students in the Boyertown Area School District may continue using the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities after the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the district’s policy, which other students had challenged.

After hearing arguments, Judge Theodore McKee announced the unamimous decision of the three judge panel not to suspend the policy, finding that the anonymous group of Boyertown Area High School students who challenged the district had not shown that they were likely to succeed in a full trial of their case or that they would be irrepairably harmed if the policy remained in place.

Decisions from the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals typically take weeks or months, but noting that the high school’s graduation is weeks away, McKee made the rare move to give the panel half an hour to attempt to decide the appeal Thursday. The judges returned to announce the decision after about 15 minutes.
So that case is ready to go to trial and you have to wonder if they will settle out court or take it all the way to the Supreme Court, my guess it will go to the Supreme Court.

These were not the only cases heard this week…
Federal judge finds Missouri transgender prison policy violates Eighth Amendment
The Jurist
By Erin McCarthy Holliday
24 May 2018

[JURIST] A judge for US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri [official website] held [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that a prison's policy of refusing hormone therapy treatments to its transgender inmates was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by Jessica Hicklin, a transgender woman in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC), which refused to provide her with hormone therapy because of what the MDOC had named the "freeze-frame policy." Rather than basing decisions on individualized assessments of each prisoner's medical needs, the policy automatically denied hormone therapy to any transgender prisoner who was not receiving such therapy before entering the correctional facility, even though it was provided for those who had been receiving such therapy prior to entry.

The court held that this policy was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that the prison "knowingly disregard[ed] Ms. Hicklin's serious medical needs through the enforcement of the freeze-frame policy."
I think we are well on our way to a Supreme Court case, my money is on the first Monday in October the court will announce that it is hearing a case on Title IX.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


I know of several children who transitioned before they started kindergarten and they are all doing fine.
The Controversial Research on 'Desistance' in Transgender Youth
By Jon Brooks
May 23, 2018

The phenomenon of transgender children "growing out of" their transgender identity by the time they are adolescents or adults is called “desistance” by gender researchers.

For decades, follow-up studies of transgender kids have shown that a substantial majority -- anywhere from 65 to 94 percent -- eventually ceased to identify as transgender.
If most kids will eventually cease to be transgender, some clinicians have reasoned, isn’t it more prudent to take the least disruptive path in coping with a child's gender dysphoria? That way, if or when kids later stop identifying as transgender, they will have less to “undo.”
The article then goes on to say,
“The methodology of those studies is very flawed, because they didn't study gender identity,” said Diane Ehrensaft, director of mental health at UCSF’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic. “Those desistors were, a good majority of them, simply proto-gay boys whose parents were upset because they were boys wearing dresses. They were brought to the clinics because they weren't fitting gender norms.”
Some clinicians criticize this study, however, on methodological grounds, because the researchers defined anyone who did not return to their clinic as desisting. Fifty-two of the children classified as desistors or their parents did send back questionnaires showing the subjects' present lack of gender dysphoria. But 28 neither responded nor could be tracked down.
But in another KQED article yesterday…
When I met Gracie, she was a few months out of kindergarten — pretty young for a transgender kid, I thought. Gracie lives with her parents and younger brother in a small city in the East Bay. She is  already two years into her transition, having started her public life as a girl at four. The family began by discarding her boy name and referring to Gracie as “she” and “her.” She was also allowed to wear girl clothes outside the home, and her parents changed the gender on her birth certificate.

Steps like these make up the “social” aspects of social, not medical, transitioning. The distinction is important: According to Endocrine Society guidelines, patients who want to begin medical treatment like puberty blockers, hormones or surgery should be old enough to give “informed consent,” which the organization says is usually attained by 16.
I think that the key is “informed consent,” doing nothing that cannot be reversed. I don’t believe that the desistors rate is not more than a couple of a percent; but let us for argument sake say it is high and you let the child socially transition since nothing has been done to them other than live in the gender that wasn’t assigned at birth they can go back and live in their birth gender. Even if they were on puberty blockers no lasting physical changes were made.
"That's not the question,” the therapist told Molly. “The question is, what if you don't do it?”

It was only semi-rhetorical. Some gender therapists say there are serious potential dangers if adults suppress a child’s desired transition. On surveys, American transgender adults have reported attempting suicide at the startling rate of around 40 percent.
You know that is the thing that none of those who say children should wait until they are “old enough to transition” is will the child still be alive? Also if you wait until they are “old enough to transition” will they be in the throes of Tanner Stage II? Tanner Stage II is when secondary sexual characteristic develop, voice deepen and beards start to grow in trans girls and trans boys start to develop breasts.

So the battle will continue; the conservatives will continue to use flawed data to justify their position and meanwhile the children will suffer if they are not allowed to transition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What Can Be Done?

Yesterday morning on Facebook someone asked what can be done to prevent what happened in Santa Fe.
Texas school shooter's father suspects bullying caused him to snap
Fox News
Associated Press
May 22, 2018

A 17-year-old student accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Texas high school should be seen as a "victim" because he may have recently been bullied, causing him to lash out, his father said.

In a phone interview over the weekend with Greece's Antenna TV, Antonios Pagourtzis said he wished he could have stopped the killing Friday at Santa Fe High School. His voice cracked as he described how he told police to let him inside the school so his son, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, could kill him instead. He said he suspects his son was under pressure, perhaps due to bullying.
We want instant answers, gun control is one answer and even if you pass laws like Connecticut’s you still will not stop the violence, it will reduce the violence but not eliminate it.

Well one long term solution is to spot student who are struggling socially and help them cope. Back when I was an intern I wrote this for a meeting of the Safe School Coalition…

Bullying and the Effects on School Achievement
By Diana ________ MSW Student Intern
November 2010

This review focuses upon studies that show a linkage between school bullying and harassment and how it effects school and student achievement

Literature Review:
A review of articles on bullying and how it affects school achievement discovered numerous studies which show an increase in scholastic achievement when bullying decreases in schools. A 2003 study in the Journal of School Health found that there was a correlation between bullying and school grades, they reported that those students who were harassed, enjoyed school less, had lower grades and have a lower connectivity with the school. The article states that “Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between academic achievement, young people’s attachment to school and health behavior.” (Eisenberg, Neumark-Sztainer, & Perry, 2003, p. 311) In a 2010 Canadian study they also found a link between bullying and student achievement was inversely proportional, the less bullying in school, the better students did in school. The study reported that “The present results suggest that school bullying exerts a pernicious influence on students’ academic performance." (Konishi, Hymel, Zumbo, & Li, 2010, p. 34) Both studies showed that bullying breaks the bond between the student and teacher, which results in lower student achievement.  As a result of bullying the students who are bullied tend to disassociate with their classmates and teachers. In an article by Batsche, D. and Knoff, H. (1994) they stated that bullying creates an environment of fear and intimidation which makes effective schooling difficult (p. 170) and the article goes on to make some recommendations,
Implement intervention strategies specific to aggressive children. Approaches to intervention with aggressive students and their victims fall into five general categories: (a) behavior management; (b) self-control strategies; (c) social skills training; (d) information processing; and (e) cognitive perspective taking (Coie, Underwood, & Lochman, 1991 as cited in Batsche, 1994, p. 172).
In a later study reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry the authors found similar results in their study on bullying. In the study one set of teacher at one school were trained to use intervention techniques to stop bullying and another school was used as a control group. They stated that,
Significant improvement in academic achievement and reduction in out-of-school suspensions and other serious infractions were associated with the experimental but not the control program. Reports from school teachers suggested that many previously passive and withdrawn victimized children often became more verbal and outspoken as the program progressed. (Twemlow, Fonagy, Sacco, Gies, Evans, & Ewbank, 2001, p. 810)

Furthermore, in a paper by California Department of Education (2002) titled, “What We’ve Learned About Safe and Effective Schools “ they found that anti-bullying intervention had to start early, not just in the middle or high schools, but in the elementary schools. The report stated that “Teachers in Beaverton Oregon elementary schools who were trained to spot children with anti-social behaviors who were then taught how to play together. The program reduced suspensions from 175 a year to less than a dozen.” (p. 12) Some of the other findings to reduce bullying according to the report were, teaching respect for others, generate self-respect, and reward achievement. (p. 13 & 14) They also report that,
Create community connections—A dynamic partnership with the community includes volunteers and mentors in the classroom, health and family services on campus, community members on every committee, and recognition and incentive programs for the students. (California Department of Education, 2002, p. 16)
In addition, the report points out that the community involvement should include law enforcement agencies and parents. It also reported that the parental involvement should begin before their children start kindergarten. (p. 16) Another article found that there was a direct correlation between bullying, school climate, parental evolvement and academic achievement. The article stated,
In one of the only comprehensive studies of bullying among middle school students where schools were a unit of analysis, results suggest that schools with less bullying are characterized by positive disciplinary actions, strong parental involvement, and high academic standards (Ma. (2002) as cited in Espelage & Swearer, 2003, p. 377)
The article goes on to state the importance of teachers attitudes and community engagement to end bullying. The article notes after-school programs, recreational centers, churches, libraries, etc. all contribute to reducing bullying in schools. It does “Take a Village” to change the culture. (p. 378) In a 2004 article in the Journal of Counseling and Development, they found a reduction in bullying by using an intervention program that involved, students, teachers and parents.
Schools should explore the implementation not only of programs that assist bullies and aid their victims but also of those that strengthen the positive relationships between teachers, bullies, victims and all the other students who also lose a sense of security and academic accomplishment as a result of being bystanders to bullying. (Newman-Carlson & Horne, Summer 2004, p. 259)

The article stated that after 2 years the frequency of bullying decreased by 50%. (Olweus (1993) as cited in Newman-Carlson & Horne, Summer 2004, p. 259)
In an article by Jonathan Cohen in the Harvard Education Review, he writes that it is not enough to focus on the bullies and victims but you must also focus on the “witnesses” or bystanders of the violence. He writes that the intervention should be multidimensional and that, “a schoolwide effort that that allows all members of the community to articulate a shared vision about what kind of school people want…” (Cohen, Summer 2006, p. 212) He goes on to write that the intervention program should include both short and long term goals and that it should provide the resources that are necessary to support the plan. In addition, he writes that the intervention should also include the school-home-community. (p. 212) That conclusion of a school wide intervention was also supported in a study published by Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S., Vernberg, E., Sacco, F., & Little, T. (2005), they concluded that, “It appears to significantly benefit educational performance of children in the participating elementary schools. The program focuses attention on the interaction between the bully, victim and audience of bystanders who are seen as pivotal in either promoting or ameliorating violence. (p.CR317)

From the research it is clear that a broad approach to end bullying is needed, that the focus cannot just be on the bully or just the school, but it must be focused on the whole community. That there has to be a wholesale intervention to bring about a change in culture that involves the community, parents, school administration, teachers and students in order to stop the bullying. In addition, it must be an ongoing process and not just a onetime intervention.

This past October the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education send out a letter on their bullying policy and in the letter they said, “Bullying fosters a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the physical and psychological health of its victims and create conditions that negatively affect learning, thereby undermining the ability of students to achieve their full potential”. (Ali, 2010, p. 1)

Works Cited
Ali, R. (2010, October 26). Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying. Retrieved November 16, 2010, from U. S. Department of Education:

Batsche, G., & Knoff, H. (1994). BULLIES AND THEIR VICTIMS: UNDERSTANDING A PERVASIVE PROBLEM IN THE SCHOOLS. School Psychology Review , 23, pp. 165 - 175.

California Department of Education. (2002). What We’ve Learned About Safe and Effective Schools. Retrieved October 29, 2010, from Safe Schools: A Planning Guide for Action:

Cohen, J. (Summer 2006). Social, Emotional, Ethical, and Academic Education: Creating a Climate for Learning, Participation in Democracy, and Well-Being. (2. 237, Ed.) Harvard Educational Review , 76 (2).

Eisenberg, M., Neumark-Sztainer, D., & Perry, C. (2003, October). Peer Harassment, School Connectedness and Academic Achievement. Journal of School Health , pp. p. 311 - 316.

Espelage, D., & Swearer, S. (2003). Reseach on School Bullying and Victimization: What Have We Learned and Where Do We Go From Here. School Psychology Review , 32 (3), pp. 365 - 383.

Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S., Vernberg, E., Sacco, F., & Little, T. (2005, Vol 11(7)). Creating a peaceful school learning environment: the impact of an antibullying program on educational attainment in elementary schools. Medical Science Monitor , pp. CR317-325.

Konishi, C., Hymel, S., Zumbo, B., & Li, Z. (2010). Do School Bullying and Student–Teacher Relationships Matter for Academic Achievement? Canadian Journal of School Psychology , 25 (1), pp. 19 - 38.

Newman-Carlson, D., & Horne, A. (Summer 2004). Bully Busters: A Psychoeducational Intervention for Reducing Bullying Behavior in Middle Schools. Journal of Counseling and Development , 82 (3), pp. 259 - 267.

Twemlow, S., Fonagy, P., Sacco, F., Gies, R., Evans, R., & Ewbank, R. (2001, MAY). Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment: A Controlled Study of an Elementary School Intervention to Reduce Violence. Retrieved 10 29, 2010, from American Journal Psychiatry:

Another Take On A Big Win!

This time in Trump’s backyard, Virginia.

This is another step forward, by finding that Title IX also applies to us, the judge joins a growing number of courts that are going against the Attorney General position that Title IX does not apply to us.

The ruling was on Gavin Grimm's lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board, and now the case can move forward…
A Judge Just Ruled For A Transgender Student In A Major Case
The decision reanimates the nation’s most prominent case over transgender student restroom rights.
By Dominic Holden
May 22, 2018

A transgender teenager in Virginia who rose to national attention with a case that briefly reached the Supreme Court has gotten another chance to beat his high school in court.

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that Gavin Grimm's lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board could proceed — and signaled that his claims likely will succeed.

The decision puts the nation’s most prominent case over transgender student restroom rights back in the spotlight, while demonstrating — along with a handful of other cases — that transgender students can challenge their schools despite opposition from the Trump administration.

Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s decision found that Grimm had raised valid claims under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
And get a load of what the judge said,
“After full consideration of the facts presented and the compelling scope of relevant legal analyses, the Court concludes that Mr. Grimm has sufficiently pled a Title IX claim of sex discrimination under a gender stereotyping theory,” Wright Allen found in a 31-page opinion, ordering the parties to arrange a settlement conference.
And her justification allowing the case to go forward was,
She cited Supreme Court cases from the 1980s and ’90s on sex stereotyping, and also noted that, since Grimm’s case began, both district and appeals courts have held that public schools must give transgender students access to facilities that match their gender identity.
The case she used a precedent was the Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins 1989 Supreme Court ruling.

This is not the end, the case has to be heard, this ruling was just on whether the case can proceed to trial. The judge urge them to settle out of court but my guess that they will not and this case will go to the Supreme Court.

The ACLU said that  plaintiff Gavin Grimm said,
“I feel an incredible sense of relief. After fighting this policy since I was 15 years old, I finally have a court decision saying that what the Gloucester County School Board did to me was wrong and it was against the law. I was determined not to give up because I didn’t want any other student to have to suffer the same experience that I had to go through.”
# # # # #

I find all these headlines are terribly misleading on this case, it sounds like in many of the articles that the judge ruled the actual case but if you dig deep enough you see that it was just a ruling on the merits of the case. ThinkProgrss wrote…
Allen’s decision denied the school’s request for a dismissal and directed the parties to schedule a settlement conference. While it’s possible the school will consider settling the case, as the Wisconsin school did in a similar case, it has shown no interest in doing so before. The Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, is representing the district and may continue the fight all the way back to the Supreme Court, where it is currently representing Jack Phillips, the baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple.
So to me it sounds like the case will now continue if the school district doesn't want to settle out of court.

Today is another outreach, this time I am on a panel at a local Catholic hospital.

Yesterday's presentation was great! A lot of compliments after the talk and also I talked to an administrator at an assisted living facility who are getting their first trans resident and she wants training for her staff.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

We Pass All These Laws…

And we think that we have protection from discrimination by our boss and co-workers but business has done an end run.

You know that employment contract that you signed well you probably signed away your protection.
Supreme Court upholds agreements that prevent employee class-action suits
The Hill
By Lydia Wheeler
May 21, 2018

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that employers can include clauses in employment contracts that force employees to settle disputes individually with a third-party arbitrator.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices said arbitration agreements, which bar employees from joining together in arbitration or a class-action lawsuit to settle disputes over wages and working conditions, are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act.

Justice Neil Gorsuch said in delivering the opinion of the court that the employees challenging the agreements mistakenly claimed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) overrides the Federal Arbitration Act and renders the agreements unlawful.
So goodbye to your rights to file a discrimination complaint or sexual assaults by your boss, or when your boss used a racial slur… all gone. Poof!
Christine Owen, executive director of The National Employment Law Project, argued in a statement that class-action litigation has been crucial for the #MeToo movement, which has taken powerful men in Hollywood, the media and Congress.

“Forced arbitration means women have to pursue their claims alone, before a private arbitrator hired by the company, with a low likelihood of success and little chance to appeal,” she said.
So when you tell your boss that you are going to be transitioning and your boss says, “We don’t want any F**king Fa****t Tra**ies here!” and you got file a discrimination complaint with the CHRO, the company is going to get it thrown out and force you into binding arbitration with a judge they picked and hired. What do you think your chances of winning are?

Oh and if you thing you can get a state law passed… think against. Anyone company under the NLRB supersedes state law. Just like health insurance coverage with any company that is under ERISA do not have to follow state.

To put it bluntly… we’re screwed.
Oh and by-the-way nursing homes and long term care facilities also have been allowed to reinstate binding arbitration by Health and Human Services (HHS)
CMS lifts ban on nursing home arbitration agreement
Modern Healthcare
By Virgil Dickson
June 5, 2017

The Trump administration has proposed rescinding an Obama-era regulation that prohibits nursing homes from forcing patients and their families to sign binding arbitration agreements as a condition of admission.

The CMS' proposed rule released Monday will prevent the Obama administration's nursing home arbitration ban from ever going into effect, as it had been placed on hold due to litigation. The CMS proposal comes just weeks after the CMS hinted to long-term care advocates that it was in favor of arbitration over litigation for nursing home disputes with residents and their families.
If you what to read what I think about arbitration you can read here and here.

Okay, I have a question for everyone.

If you are trans and you are going into an assisted living facility what do you think your needs will be?

The facts are…

  • You are on state assistance
  • You are a senior citizen 
  • You are just beginning to transition

The assisted living facility wants to do the right thing but the person is very nervous and the LTC facility does not know how to support her. I said let her know that they want to support her but that they are also learning as they help her with her transition. .

I mentioned providing a wig; take her shopping at Goodwill or thrift/consignment stores. I also mentioned talking her to the local support group meetings.

So what help do you think she will need?

This Is Something Close To My Heart.

We are all hopefully going to be at this point someday where need assisted living or are looking for senior housing in 55+ communities and we wonder if we will have to go back into the closet again.
New frontier for gay rights: Bias and bullying in senior housing.
Chicago Tribune
By Nara Schoenberg
May 17, 2018

Even before she began searching for senior housing, Marti Smith had heard the horror stories.

Her gay friends told Smith, a lesbian, that when their partners entered assisted living the partners had to hide their homosexuality to avoid bias and bullying. Even Smith's friends had to play along when they visited.

“Visitors were told not to act gay or dress gay because of fear of harassment when they left,” said Smith, 73. “That’s very common.”

Earlier this month, an Evanston senior living community, the Merion, became the first in the state to achieve the top lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender competency credential from the nonprofit SAGE, a move that reflects a growing awareness of the challenges facing LGBT elders in senior housing. Both locally and nationally, seniors and advocates are calling for more welcoming and supportive housing.
Here in Connecticut the Connecticut Community Care Inc. agency in cooperation with LGBT Aging Advocacy Coalition (which I am a member of as part of the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition) and developed a program called “Getting it Right.”
Connecticut Elder Care Agencies Coming Out As LGBT Allies
Hartford Courant
By Rebecca Lurye
April 11, 2018

When someone walks into Jewish Family Services Care at Home for the first time, they’re bound to see a rainbow — if not in the stars on the glass front door, the welcome board, or the pamphlets in the waiting room, then in the flag pins on every staff member’s shirt.

There’s almost as many symbols of LGBT pride as company logos inside the West Hartford service provider’s office. It’s the organization's way of coming out as inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities, a move aimed at welcoming and reassuring one of the most marginalized populations of seniors.
Local screenings in 2013 sparked an effort by Connecticut Community Care Inc. — a Bristol-based organization that links people to service providers — to make a change in this state. CCCI and several partners formed the LGBT Aging Advocacy coalition and developed a program called “Getting it Right,” a two-pronged approach — part branding, part training — to improving elder care services for LGBT people.
So where am I today?

I am down in Hamden doing training for long term care and nursing home providers as a part of the  LGBT Aging Advocacy Coalition.

Monday, May 21, 2018

How Does It Go? “Put Your Money Where…”

All these Silicon Valley tech companies say they are LGBT friendly; Amazon refused to locate HQ2 in North Carolina because of the state’s bigotry against LGBT but Apple may not have any qualms about locating there.
Gay-friendly Apple weighs North Carolina despite LGBT laws
Orlando Sentinel
By Emery P. Dalesio Associated Press
May 20,  2018

Gay-rights advocates are divided on whether to cheer or bemoan a potential marriage between the state of North Carolina and one of the global corporations most friendly to LGBT workers and causes.

Feelings remain raw over North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill, which prompted a boycott campaign. Many advocates remain frustrated that a legislative compromise that put an end to the controversy still allows discrimination against them.

Apple Inc. is close to deciding whether to build a planned corporate hub in the Raleigh-Durham area, a North Carolina government official and an economic development official told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality promises surrounding business recruitment.
Well I don't have doubts that Apple is selling us out for their bottom line.

Greed wins out over morals.

Amazon refused to locate in North Carolina saying that they want to locate where all their employees are welcome but it seems like that Apple is willing to disenfranchise their LGBT employees. I know that I wouldn’t want to live in a state that wants to criminalize me.

I am old enough to remember when companies had a conscious, when they had a link to the community, and when the salaries of CEOs were only fifties times their average employee salaries instead of 500 times their average employee salaries, but that all changed in the eighties when greed took over where everything was the bottom line.

Books Are Feared

The right quake under the fear of books that open children minds, they afraid of people who can think for themselves. That want schools only teach reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic.
Book About Transgender Girl Breaks Ground — And Stirs Controversy — In Oregon Schools
By April Baer
May 19, 2018

As grown-ups start to shop for summer reading, school kids are laying into the titles they’ll read for next fall’s Oregon Battle of the Books, or OBOB.

It’s a statewide competition, in which kids read from a list of about dozen books, curated by a team of librarians. They duke it out answering Jeopardy!-style questions about the books.

One of the books contenders will read this summer is unlike any before it.

The novel “George” by Alex Gino is the first OBOB selection to feature a transgender protagonist. Gino’s fourth-grade heroine thinks of herself as Melissa, and the narrative identifies her with female pronouns throughout, but she’s carrying the male name she was born with and hiding feelings she can only let loose when she’s totally alone…
“We liked the story,” Berkley said. “We liked that it was about a trans child — something we’ve never had on the elementary list before.
OMG! A trans book in school! What is this world coming to?
But the book has raised some hackles. Two Oregon school districts will withhold their third- through fifth-grade students from regional competitions, in which kids might be asked about “George.”
Of course you know who are behind this censorship.
The range of reactions to “George” varied. The conservative group Parents Rights in Education rolled the debate over “George” into their existing arguments against transgender rights (arguments in direct conflict with existing science on the mental health of transgender people).

PRIE director Suzanne Gallagher suggested that a reading list including stories about transgender people could cause children to question their gender identities for “attention.”
Let’s bury our heads into the sand.

Down in Texas they are also covering their ears…La, la, la, la la, I can’t hear you!
Opposition to 6th grade transgender lesson recalls battle over bathroom bill
By The Star-Telegram Editorial Board
May 19, 2018

The hysteria that surrounded bathrooms for transgender students may have found a new target.

It comes in the form of a 6th grade health curriculum guide, Abstinence, Puberty & Personal Health, published by ETR Associates, being used in 26 Fort Worth middle schools. It includes a lesson on gender identity where what it means to be transgender is discussed.

We hope we’re wrong, but the flap building over this lesson feels like the transgender-phobic crowd is gearing up for another fight that could help revive a bathroom bill when the legislature convenes again in January. Or it might add fuel to a looming battle over what state education officials approve next year in the health curriculum.

We don’t need or want the legislature to revisit the bathroom bill and waste the taxpayers’ money. And when the new health curriculum is written it would be wrong not to acknowledge we have people living among us who do not identify as heterosexual.
The editorial goes on to say…
The real aim of Stand for Fort Worth seems to be in taking gender identity off the table as a topic of classroom discussion.

“There is no such thing as gender expression,” said Pent. “You have boys and girls,” he told the Star-Telegram.

Two years ago Stand for Texas referred to transgender people as possible “predators” during the debate over bathrooms available to transgender students. The group, which includes parents, opposed the Fort Worth school district’s guidelines for allowing transgender students to use a restroom where they feel “comfortable and safe.”
What gets me is these so called “do gooders” point to the high suicide idealization rate among trans people and they don’t even see the correlations between their hate and suppression of anything trans as the cause of the depression in trans people.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

It Is Illegal

Here in Connecticut and in California it is illegal to video record in places that you have an expectation of privacy like a bathroom.
A woman running for Congress filmed herself yelling at a transgender woman for using the bathroom at Denny's
Business Insider
By Kate Taylor
May 19, 2018

  • Viral footage appears to show a transgender woman being kicked out of Denny's after using the women's restroom.
  • Jazmina Saavedra, who's running for US Congress and is the spokeswoman for Latinos for Trump, posted a video of herself monitoring the restroom and saying there was "a man inside saying he's a lady."
  • Denny's said that it is "extremely disturbed by the incident" and that the customer was removed after drug paraphernalia was spotted in the bathroom — not due to the person's gender identity.
According to a spokesperson, Denny's policy is "that our transgender guests and team members should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with."

Viral footage shows a transgender women being confronted in a Denny's bathroom by a woman running for Congress.

Jazmina Saavedra, who's running for US Congress in California's 44th District and is the spokeswoman for the California branch of Latinos for Trump, posted a video on Facebook on Tuesday from inside a Denny's in California. The video shows Saavedra monitoring the women's restroom, loudly discussing that a person who appears to be a transgender woman is using the bathroom.

"They put us in danger ... a woman like me trying to use the ladies' room with a man inside saying he's a lady," Saavedra says.

The person, originally hidden inside a stall as Saavedra films in the bathroom, says that the congressional hopeful is "invading my privacy." Saavedra then accuses the individual of invading her privacy.
Okay, both California and Connecticut have non-discrimination laws that protect us and allows us to use the bathroom of our gender identity and clearly Denny’s violated the law. Here in Connecticut where a trans person was kicked out of a bar on karaoke night because she was “making the other customers “uncomfortable”  we fined by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and they allow had their liquor license suspended, I imagine the same thing can happen in California.

Now about the woman video recording in the bathroom. Around the 30 second mark you can see she was video recording in the bathroom itself. Legal Beagle says…
Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution contains an explicit guarantee of privacy in Article I, Section 1 of its Declaration of Rights. Its courts have applied this protection to the workplace, schools and the state government. For this right to be violated, video surveillance must fulfill three criteria: 1) It constitutes an intrusion. 2) It intrudes in a location or context where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. 3) It outweighs other interests by the gravity of the alleged violation…
Under federal law, a conversation or other encounter may be videotaped as long as one person consents to the recording. However, California has expanded the law to both parties. As a result, if you wanted to interview a celebrity in a private location, he or she would need to consent to being taped before you could proceed. Violation of this law is punishable under Cal. Penal Code §§ 631, 632. A first offense of electronic eavesdropping is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year of jail. Recording and disclosure of footage carries a separate penalty. Under Cal. Penal Code § 637.2(a), any victim of these violations can recover punitive civil damages of up to three times the amount of actual damages.
So she is in deep do-do.

  • First, she video recorded a conversation with getting permission from all parties.
  • Second, she posted the video online.
  • Third, this one is interesting. If she recorded the video without sound it would not be an additional crime but because she had audio on the recording she committed another crime, she needed the consent of all parties in the audio recording.

Connecticut has a similar law where you cannot make a video recording where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

This Is Interesting

Because it is a federal agency did it violate federal law as well as state law?
Transgender veteran sues state, alleging sex discrimination in hiring
The News Tribune
By Camille Lemke
May 18, 2018

A transgender Air Force veteran has sued the state Department of Veteran Affairs, alleging sex discrimination when she was denied employment in 2015.

The Fife woman filed the lawsuit May 4 and in Pierce County Superior Court. She is seeking lost wages and damages for emotional distress, humiliation and “degradation” of her civil and constitutional rights. No dollar amount is mentioned in the lawsuit.
Her suit contends the department violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination, failed to give a veteran preference in hiring and intentionally and negligently caused emotional distress.

Asked for comment on the suit, the veterans department provided documents noting that the woman had filed complaints against it with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state Human Rights Commission and both commissions investigated. The Human Rights Commission found there was not sufficient evidence to show the alleged actions had happened. The EEOC said it was unable to conclude the veterans agency violated the law.
I suppose it will also depend upon how quickly the EEOC case is heard because right now the commissioners term hasn’t expired and they are still president Obama’s appointees.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sam’s Saturday 9: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life!

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life! (1982)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about a girl who is heartbroken about a boy who won't take her calls. Do you screen your calls, deciding to let some go to voicemail? Or do you pick up whenever you possibly can? (We're referring to calls from people you know.)
I assigned a ringtone to all of phone numbers that I have on my phone, so I can tell if it is a friend or not. Friends have one ringtone, family another and businesses a third ringtone. I ignore all the other calls, so if you want to talk to me leave a message and I will call you back if you are not going to try to sell me something.

[RANT] Why would I want to do business with a company that ignores the law? I am on the “Do Not Call” list so they are breaking the law. [/RANT]

2) When she was feeling her lowest, she heard a song on the radio that lifted her spirits. What's the last thing you heard on the radio?
It was Dragnet on Radio Classics on SiriusXM.

3) This song includes the sound of squeaky wheels, indicating a sudden stop and perhaps a near-miss. Tell us about your most recent traffic mishap.
It was a dark and rainy night and all the lines on the road were invisible and making a left turn I didn’t see the car next to me and he honked at me.

4) "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life!" is featured in the 2002 video game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Do you spend much time on video games?

5) This week's featured artist, Indeep, was a trio. We've had many groups, some duos and tons of solo artists on Saturday 9, but not many trios. Can you name another popular trio?
Pete, Paul, and Mary

So fitting even today.

6) The last time Indeep performed together was in 1997, at a New Year's Eve show in Paris for French TV. Have you celebrated a holiday in another land?

7) Britain's Royal Family is in the news this weekend, with attention centered on the nuptials. The Royals made news in 1982, as well. When this song was popular, Michael Fagan gained momentary fame by breaking into Buckingham Palace. He found The Royal Bedroom, where he came face-to-face with the Queen. He reports that Queen Elizabeth sleeps in a nightie that "reached down to her knees." What did you wear to bed last night?
In the winter the same as the queen, in the summer it is sleeveless and shorter.

8)  In 1982, you could buy a loaf of white bread for 50¢. Today, the national average price for that loaf of bread is more than $2.50. When you go grocery shopping, do you comparison shop and make purchases at more than one store? Or do you prefer one-stop shopping?
I shop at the local supermarket it is only a couple of miles down the road.

9) Random question: What's the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
I like the one on the top of my blog from the Eagles
"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key"
It resonates with me, how many times do we hold ourselves back for whatever reason?

Friday, May 18, 2018

We Are Diverse

We share something in common… we are all trans but we come in many flavors. We are not all white healthily middle class trans women, there are trans men, black trans people, Latinos trans people, indigenous trans people, Asian trans people, and disabled trans people. We cover the whole spectrum of the rainbow both the visible and invisible spectrum.
Why the LGBTQ+ Community Must Fight for Disability Rights
"As long as trans disabled people like me exist, disability issues are trans issues, and trans issues are disability issues."
By Nora Whelan
May 14, 2018

The past year and a half has been particularly difficult for many queer and trans people, as politicians ostensibly charged with our protection have worked to harm if not altogether erase us — and LGBTQ+ people with disabilities, who have faced attempts to repeal critical healthcare services, policies that make education accessible, funds that help subsidize their often sub-minimum and/or forced part-time wages (if even that), and other life-saving necessities, have received the government’s ire twofold.

To learn more about how we can come together as a community to fight for LGBTQ+ liberation for all of us, we spoke with three queer and trans disability activists about the work they're doing and their hopes for the future.
“Because of my multiple types of disabilities, I’ve faced a lot of discrimination in receiving healthcare, and it's been worse when people discover that I'm transgender,” he says.

“I’ve almost died because of a nurse who wanted me to prove I was a trans man before she’d order the blood that I needed from doctors to replace the significant amounts of blood I was losing at the time.”
Then there is intersectionality…
“Many of us are multiply marginalized, and we all need to start respecting one another and working together. Allies, too, need to make sure we are included, actually listen to what we say, and not talk over us. I want to bridge the gap between my communities. This administration is attacking all of us, and it's harder to fight alone,” says Evans. “When are we going to stop oppressing ourselves?”
Those of us who are advocates; we need to be an advocate for the whole community not just the healthy white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Those living on the margins of the intersections need our help the most.

All In Week In America

14-Year-Old in Custody, 1 Student Injured in California High School Shooting
Associated Press
May 11, 2018

At least 10 dead in Santa Fe High School; shooter had multiple guns, bombs
Houston Chronicle Updated 11:34 am, Friday, May 18, 2018

Gunman exchanges fire with police at Trump golf club in Florida
CBS This Morning
Published on May 18, 2018

A Sad Month

It has been a sad and dangerous month for us; the number of trans people killed for just being themselves has increased dramatically.
2 Texas transgender women dead within a week of each other
ABC News
By Abigail Shalawylo and  Alyssa Pone
May 17, 2018

Two Texas transgender women died less than a week apart though there seems to be no connection between the deaths, according to Dallas Police who are investigating both cases.

Jimmy Eugene Johnson III was arrested in connection with the death of a 26-year-old Latina transgender woman, police announced Thursday.

Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon was found by police unconscious in her Dallas apartment on May 9, and she was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after.
Just a few days after Flores-Pavon was killed, an unidentified black trans woman was found floating in the water at White Rock Creek in Dallas. Her body was discovered on May 12, in a severe stage of decomposition, police said.
Then over in Atlanta…
Transgender man shot, killed in northwest Atlanta
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Raisa Habersham
May 17, 2018

A 36-year-old transgender man was shot and killed during an argument in northwest Atlanta, police said.

Police are still searching for suspects in the fatal Sunday morning shooting.

About 3 a.m., officers found Nino Fortson, who identifies as a man, with multiple gunshot wounds in the 700 block of Woods Drive, Atlanta police said. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died.
Fortson is the 10th transgender person to die in the United States this year and the first known homicide of a transgender man, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
One time when I was first coming out a group of us decided to go to a drag show at a bar in Hartford and when I was leaving I was a little worried. I was a newly out trans woman in a strange area and I had to walk to my car a half a block from the bar.

Another time I was at the closing night gala for the LGBT film festival, it was a warm summer night and to walk back to my car I had to pass by a sports bar that had a lot of drunken guys sitting in the patio area next to the sidewalk. I stood at the door where the gala was being held looking at the bar when four or five lesbians came out of the event and one saw where I was looking and asked if I wanted to walk them back to our cars. She slipped her arm around mine and we all walked to our cars together.

Be safe. Know your surroundings.

eHarmany suggests…
First, meet in a public place. There is safety in numbers and meeting for the first time in a restaurant or coffee shop would provide enough witnesses should the date turn sour. Never – and I mean never – meet a man at his home or even think of inviting him to your home until you really get to know him.

Second, tell a friend about your date. Yes, tell a friend or family member the details about where you are meeting, give them his contact details like name and phone number and any other additional information you have about him. Check in with your friend during the date or ask your friend to call you during the date to let them know how you are doing. Besides, this can be used as an escape clause if you feel like the date isn’t going well: “Hey Jim, my friend needs me because of an emergency and we have to end the date.”

Third, drive yourself to the date and drive home by yourself. Having your own wheels gives you control should the date go bad. The worst thing is to be reliant on somebody else for transportation as it gives them the control on how long you spend together and let’s face it, it’s safer to have your own car just in case.

Fourth, stay sober. This may be obvious, but alcohol creates bad judgement and I have known too many women who have said yes to coming to my home after a few drinks. Now remember, I’m a safe guy and so are most; however, alcohol impairs our senses and the last thing you want to say in the morning is, “Why did I do that?”

While we are on the subject…
IDAHOBIT 2018: Transgender women are still being killed at an alarming rate
Pink News
By Jess Glass
17th May 2018

This International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), it’s important to highlight one of the most maligned and discriminated against groups in the acronym – transgender women.

IDAHOBIT is marked every year on May 17, with the date chosen to mark the anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from their classification of diseases in 1990.

When thinking about the difficulties and discrimination that is still faced by the LGBT community in many ways, it’s important to look at the setbacks and tragedies that have lined the way and see how much progress still needs to be made.

2017 was the deadliest year for transgender people in the US on record, but 2018 is shaping up to be almost as violent once again, particularly against trans women of colour.
Be safe! Be aware of your surroundings.