Saturday, June 30, 2018


Crazy Sam’s SATURDAY 9: BACK IN THE USA (1978)

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

1) This song lists seven cities -- New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge and St. Louis -- that Linda just loves. How many have you visited?
New York, ✓
Los Angeles,
Detroit, ✓
Chicago, ✓
Chattanooga, ✓
Baton Rouge,
St. Louis, ✓

2) The lyrics refer to hamburgers sizzling on the grill. What toppings do you believe make a perfect burger?
Cheese of course, lettuce, tomato, and onions with mayo and a touch of ketchup on a hard roll not a hamburger roll.

3) The original recording of this song by Chuck Berry has always been one of Linda Ronstadt's favorites, one she used to enjoy singing along with in the car. What's the most recent song you sang?
I also have her Stone Pony album.

4) Linda sang The National Anthem at Game 3 of the 1977 World Series. The New York Yankees won both that game and the series. How is your baseball team doing this season?
Well that assumes that I have a favorite sports team. My brother’s family roots for the Red Sox.

Since this is our last Saturday 9 before Independence Day, let's ask some questions about the holiday.

5) During the Revolutionary War, General Washington celebrated the 4th of July by giving his troops a double ration of rum. Will you imbibe any spirits on Independence Day?
And I might have a sip or two of a Strawberry Daiquiri since it is strawberry season and it is a nice red drink for the Fourth… Hmm, I wonder if there is a blueberry daiquiri?

6) The first man to sign the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock, said he wrote his name so large King George could see it, even without his glasses. Do you require glasses for reading?
Well funny you should ask.
I just had cataract surgery in my left eye and I can read with that one and my right eye I need to hold the book about 6 inches away.

7) Since July 4 is a federal holiday, banks are closed and there's no mail delivery. Thanks to email and ATMs, Sam finds going without those services isn't a hardship. What about you? Will you find it inconvenient that banks and the USPS are closed on July 4?
Hey banking is also online, I can deposit a check by taking a picture of it .

8) The first 4th of July parade each year is held at 12:01 AM in Gatlinberg, TN. Will you attend a parade or fireworks to celebrate the 4th?
I plan on watching the Provincetown fireworks from the beach in Wellfleet with friends up from Connecticut.

9) More and more Americans celebrate our nation's holiday by eating foods from Italy and Germany. For the July 4, 2016 holiday, more than $50 million was spent on Italian sausage and bratwurst. What's on your 4th of July menu?
Well I think it will be a typical 4th… Hamburger, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and corn-on-the-cob.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Eleven Years!

That’s how long it has been since I transitioned.

I know that on this day I’m supposed to say something profound to mark this day but to tell the truth it is just another day.

Somewhere a couple of years ago I realized that all my memories are “me” with no gender. I don’t remember what it felt like to be male, I just remember “me.”

Targets On Our Back Part 2

There has been another attack on trans people, this time a bombing. This time in Philadelphia and it was a bomb on a front porch of a house of a "safe haven" where a number of trans people live.
Porch Explosion Tied To Possible Hate Crime Against Transgender People, Philly Police Say
By David Spunt
June 28, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are investigating a possible hate crime following an explosion at a home where transgender people live last weekend.

It happened on the 5000 block of Woodland Avenue around 9:45 p.m. on June 23.

Surveillance video captured two men walking by a home. Police say one of the men set an object on fire, which then exploded once the suspect threw it onto the porch.

Police say the explosion, which is being called a deliberate act, damaged the porch but the suspects continued to walk west on Woodland Avenue.

Authorities tell CBS3 that more than a dozen transgender people live inside the home. At the time of the blast, seven people were inside, but they were not injured.
This is not the first time they were attacked, last year someone shot paintballs at people sitting on the porch.

It today’s political climate where the president calls for violence against reporters, blacks, Latinos, and people who speak out against him. When college speakers instigates violence against minorities with impunity is it any wonder that hate crimes have increased?

Thursday, June 28, 2018


You all probably have heard that Justice Kennedy is retiring and how it will affect the trans community; but what can be done to stop or counter Trump’s appointment?

Connecticut senators say they are going to try and stop the nomination hearings until after the fall elections; I believe that have a snowball’s chance in hell in stopping the hearing and vote.
GOP plans to steamroll Dems on Supreme Court pick
Senate Republicans will move quickly to replace Anthony Kennedy before the midterm elections.
By Burgess Everett and Elana Schor
June 27, 2018

Senate Republicans plan to confirm a new Supreme Court justice to replace retiring Anthony Kennedy before the midterm elections, according to interviews with nearly a dozen Republican senators.

The Senate GOP is expected to execute a lightning strike confirmation despite their razor thin majority of 51 senators, which is effectively down to 50 as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recovers from brain cancer. But because of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules change last year to push through Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, the GOP can unilaterally confirm a new justice without any Democratic support.

McConnell told reporters that the nominee will be confirmed before this fall; Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has said that historically it takes about two months on average from the time a president nominates a new justice to the time a Judiciary Committee hearing is held. What that means practically is the Senate is likely to have installed a firm conservative majority on the high court by the time voters go to the polls in November.
The slimy Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for President Obama’s and then they changed the rules of the Senate so the Democrats cannot filibuster Trump’s nominee.

In McClatchy DC Bureau he reports…
"The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role by offering advice and consent on President Trump’s nominee to fill this vacancy," McConnell said. And, in a warning to Democrats, he said that it is "imperative that the president’s nominee be considered fairly and not be subjected to personal attacks."

McConnell, who earned the enmity of Democrats for refusing in 2016 to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia died that February, now wants to move rapidly to get a new justice seated.
It is a done deal that we are going to have another Supreme Court justice who believes in putting the Bible before the Constitution, who puts billionaires before the people.

So what can be done to counter these “Religious Freedom” and “Ooriginalist” judges?


Let’s look at the history of the Supreme Court for an answer.

Well first off, impeaching a Supreme Court justice is near impossible and I don’t really want to set precedence for impeaching a judge because of rulings you don’t like.

So what else can we do?

Well the Constitution says there will be a Supreme Court but not the size of the court, the number was set by the,
Judiciary Act of 1789
The Judiciary Act of 1789, officially titled "An Act to Establish the Judicial Courts of the United States," was signed into law by President George Washington on September 24, 1789. Article III of the Constitution established a Supreme Court, but left to Congress the authority to create lower federal courts as needed. Principally authored by Senator Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut, the Judiciary Act of 1789 established the structure and jurisdiction of the federal court system and created the position of attorney general. Although amended throughout the years by Congress, the basic outline of the federal court system established by the First Congress remains largely intact today.
It also set the number of Supreme Court judges at 6

So how did we end up with nine judges?

The History Channel has an article on the number of justices…
There haven’t always been nine justices on the court.
The U.S. Constitution established the Supreme Court but left it to Congress to decide how many justices should make up the court. The Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number at six: a chief justice and five associate justices. In 1807, Congress increased the number of justices to seven; in 1837, the number was bumped up to nine; and in 1863, it rose to 10. In 1866, Congress passed the Judicial Circuits Act, which shrank the number of justices back down to seven and prevented President Andrew Johnson from appointing anyone new to the court. Three years later, in 1869, Congress raised the number of justices to nine, where it has stood ever since. In 1937, in an effort to create a court more friendly to his New Deal programs, President Franklin Roosevelt attempted to convince Congress to pass legislation that would allow a new justice to be added to the court—for a total of up to 15 members—for every justice over 70 who opted not to retire. Congress didn’t go for FDR’s plan.
So there is a way out if the Democrats get control of Congress and the Presidency; increase the number of justices! I would like to see 11 justices. There is precedence for increasing the number of justices and it would not set a precedent of impeaching a justice.

A Target On Our Backs

Is there a trans serial killer on the loose down in Florida?
LGBTQ community in fear after 4th attack on transgender victim
Sunday's killing marks 3rd attack in a month
News 4 JAX
By Jenese Harris & Erik Avanier
June 25, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The shooting death Sunday of a transgender woman at a Baymeadows area motel marks the fourth reported attack on a transgender woman in Jacksonville since February.

While the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it has no evidence so far suggesting the attacks are linked, some people in the transgender community fear they are being targeted.

Cindy Watson, chief executive officer for Jasmyn, an advocacy group for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Community, wants to make sure these cases aren't overlooked.

"We see many trans women who are African American, and I think they feel particularly targeted by these crimes," said Watson.
These are the victims,
Sunday's shooting is the latest in a string of four shootings with transgender victims, and the second such attack in a week:
  • A 24-year-old transgender woman was found dead Sunday by officers answering a report of someone shot at the Quality Inn and Suites on Dix Ellis Trail;
  • A transgender woman survived being shot multiple times June 8 on West 29th Street not far from Golfair Boulevard in Northwest Jacksonville;
  • Antasha English, 38, died June 1 after she was shot near a vacant home along Ella Street in Northwest Jacksonville;
  • Celine Walker, 36, was shot dead Feb. 4 at the Extended Stay America on Skinner Lake Drive, near the St. Johns Town Center.
So what does the police have to say about the killings?

NBC Out Twitter reports…
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office doesn’t believe the murders are linked, but local transgender activists worry a serial killer may be on the loose.
Okay all of them may possibly are not linked, but all four separate killings? I doubt it and if they are not linked then there still is a major problem in Jacksonville that makes it okay to targets us.

NBC reported…
Celine Walker, 36, was the first trans women killed in Jacksonville this year. Police found her body on Feb. 4 inside a room at an Extended Stay America hotel in the city’s Southpoint area, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Antash’a English, 38, was found shot in the abdomen between two abandoned houses in northern Jacksonville on June 1, and she later died in a hospital, the sheriff's office said.

The body of the third victim, Cathalina Christina James, 24, was found at a Quality Inn and Suites on Sunday about 10 miles south of where Walker was found, according to the sheriff's office.

(A fourth transgender woman was shot multiple times on June 8 but survived. Local activists said the shooting appeared to be a domestic dispute, and they don’t believe the incident to be related to the others.)
It sounds like the Jacksonville sheriff’s department is not a friend of the community.
Mahogany said the relationship between the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the local transgender community is strained.

“Every day, there are a lot of crimes not being reported, because when the sheriffs come out, the sheriffs make the girls feel like suspects, not victims,” Mahogany said. “A lot of these girls are being beaten up, they’re being robbed, they’re being assaulted, but they’re not reaching out to the police department.”

Duncan, of Equality Florida, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group, also expressed frustration with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for repeatedly referring to the three homicide victims using male pronouns.
Somehow I think that it is only going to get worst down in Jacksonville where the police just give lip service to the trans community.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side

When I do training I sometimes bring up the fact that for some trans people their sexual orientation changes when they transition and I joke that this would probably be a good research study to get a grant.
Research Shows Many Trans Folks' Sexual Attractions Change After Transition
Toby was exclusively attracted to women before he transitioned. Now he’s attracted to men, too.
By Zhana Vrangalova
June 25, 2018

Toby was assigned female at birth. While living as a woman, he was attracted almost exclusively to women. But when he started taking testosterone at age 22, that began to change. “It was like a switch got flipped inside my brain,” he says. “I’d never really thought of men in a sexual way, and then all of a sudden, I’d look at some guys and have all these sexual fantasies about them.”

Toby’s story is far from unique.

Several studies suggest that changes in sexual orientation among trans people are quite common. Among 115 Dutch participants, for example, 33% of trans women and 22% of trans men reported experiencing changes in their sexual attractions. This was true of 49% of trans masculine and 64% of trans feminine individuals in a 2015 study of 452 participants from Massachusetts, with the majority of these changes occurring after social transition. In another 2013 study of 507 U.S. trans men who’ve started transitioning (including hormones and/or surgery), 40% reported some shift in sexual attractions. Almost identical results were found in a 2005 study of 232 U.S. trans women who had undergone surgical and hormonal transition, where 43% reported significant shifts in their sexual orientation (of 2+ points along the 7-point Kinsey scale).
What are the causes for the switch?
Why these changes happen is less clear, and like many things in psychology, this may be a question with several correct answers.

Although we tend to think of sexual orientation as something fixed at birth (determined by our genes and prenatal hormone exposure) and usually unchangeable thereafter, it is undoubtedly fluid to some extent, so shifts in attraction could be no different from those that happen to many cisgender folks as well. Research with cisgender populations finds that almost 20% of young adult women and 5% of men report changes in their attractions over a 5-year period. But these general population numbers are much lower than those found in trans populations, suggesting there are likely other factors at play among trans folks.
Is it that opposites attract?

Is it because of suppressed sexual desires?
“Imagine you’re in a female body and you identify on the masculine spectrum. You don’t want to be sexual with men, because those men would treat you as a female-bodied person, and that kind of sexual interaction is not of interest to you. So even if you did have attractions for men, you might not engage with men or even indulge in fantasies about men until you can be witnessed as and interacted with in your affirmed gender.”
Having a body that matches your gender identity and that you feel comfortable in allows you to expand the genders that you feel comfortable interacting with.
So do you need a research topic for a term paper? Here is a ready made topic.

If you have transitioned... take the poll!

Back In Court Again

It seems like one case after another are being appealed and all of the cases are winding their way to the Supreme Court.
Appellate court considers locker room case from former Palatine High transgender student
Chicago Tribune
By Elyssa Cherney
June 26, 2018

While many high school graduates may be enjoying summer vacation or shopping for their college dorms, Nova Maday sat in an Illinois appellate courtroom on Tuesday, the center of a lawsuit that accuses her former school district of discriminating against her because she is transgender.

Maday’s case, which challenges Palatine High School and Township High School District 211 for requiring her to use a private changing station in the girl’s locker room, reached the First District Appellate justices after a state court judge denied her request to get ready for gym class with the other girls. Maday identifies as female even though she was classified as male at birth.

Attorneys for the school district and a group of concerned community members on Tuesday argued the matter is moot because Maday graduated last month. Lawyers representing Maday from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, however, said there needs to be a ruling because the issue underlying the case is likely to arise in the schools again. A three-judge panel took the case under consideration and will issue a ruling at a later date.
So who are these “concerned community members” why no other but a group of conservative Christians according to ABC7.
District 211 has support as well, including the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, which is representing a group of parents who would rather have transgender students use a third, separate locker room. "I'm relieved and hopeful in the future that privacy will be protected for all students," said Beth Kalopisis, a parent and member of D211 Parents and Students for Privacy.
According to their website
The Thomas More Society is a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends and fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
And as for the idea of using a “transgender students use a third, separate locker room” has been tried before and it was called “separate-but-equal” which didn’t work then and it will not work now. The policy marginalize and demoralizes trans students just like it did for other groups of people.
“Nobody is trying force girls to undress in front of boys, or boys to undress in front of girls — that’s not what this case is about,” Maday, 18, said after the hearing, her hair streaked with pink color. “This is about equality and being treated the same as everybody else and equal access and full enjoyment of the locker rooms and restrooms.”
Nobody likes to get undressed in front of others, the old image of one big open area for a locker is going the way of the dinosaur. Even way back when I was an undergrad student in the early seventies we had our individual changing stalls with a shower, now more and more schools are doing that creating individual stalls to change and shower.

The school attorney said,
Sally Scott, an attorney representing the school district, defended the trial court ruling, saying District 211 did not violate the state’s Human Rights Act because it gave Maday access to the locker room — even if it came with conditions. Lawmakers specifically wrote the statute in a way that created different requirements for schools compared to other places of public commerce, such as hotels and shops.
While the student attorney said,
Meanwhile, ACLU attorney John Knight contested Scott’s interpretation of the statute, saying schools must first and foremost adhere to the broader tenets of the law, which posits that places of public accommodation cannot “deny or refuse to another the full and equal enjoyment” of an institution.
Now get a load of this; with all the discussions over privacy…
The case marks District 211’s second legal battle over bathroom and locker room access. In 2013, after another transgender student filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, the federal agency cited the district for violating Title IX, a law banning gender discrimination in schools.

In response to the federal violation, the district constructed the private changing stall for the student, who accepted the terms.
You got that? They already have private changing stalls for those who ask for them!

This is not about privacy, this is about bigotry.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Seeing Is Believing

They say they are going to be trans friendly but I will wait until I see the change especially when you call customer service and you get a run around because they don’t believe you are who you say you are.
How banks are addressing transgender customers in more inclusive ways
By Suman Bhattacharyya
June 26, 2018

When JPMorgan Chase was testing out a feature to personalize Finn, its digital-only banking app, the unintended result was to solve a problem for a transgender customer.

“To make the Finn experience more human and personalized, we introduced a nickname feature that allows customers to tell us what they want to be called in the app,” said Matt Gromada, managing director and chief product owner for Finn, which is currently being beta-tested in the St. Louis area. “We recently heard from a customer, as a person who’s transgender, that they appreciated that we asked for their preferred name.”

For transgender customers, identification has long been a point of tension with banks. It’s a tricky issue for banks as they try to balance fraud protection with meeting the needs of customers. In recent years, customers have been locked out their accounts when their voice doesn’t match what’s on file. Gromada explained that Finn’s nickname feature was intended to make service interactions more authentic and inclusive.
They have to do way more than preferred name.
“What you often have is that the person who answers the phone, you give your date of birth or some other identifying factor, and that pulls up records that prompt the agent to immediately choose Mr. or Mrs. as an honorific,” said Beck Bailey, deputy director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Workplace Equality Program. “This could be the initial misstep which right out of the gate signals — perhaps unintentionally — that the person may not be welcome.”
Beck Bailey, the deputy director of the Human Rights Campaign is not trans, and to say that banks are addressing transgender customers in more inclusive ways by using our preferred name is trivializing the problems trans banking clients face.

We need the banks to give us loans, mortgages, credit cards and not tell us we don’t have a credit history because we changed our name and gender. We need for banks to believe that we are who we say we are and not get referred to security every time we call with a question about our credit cards.

I realize that it is a security issues but at the very least they can put something in file that says we have a deep voice or something so the operator knows we are trans.

I have argued with security to report a fraudulent transaction on my credit card until I asked if they can see my record and to look at June 2007; there is usually a pause and they reply “Yes, miss…” when they see the name changed.

This morning I did another television interview for one of those Sunday talk show.

It was very interesting, I have many other interviews but this was the first time that they had a make-up person to do my make-up; now those that know me know that I very rarely use make-up so it was kind of a treat to have it done.

As for the interview it also went well, it was only 4 and a half minutes so we couldn't go too deeply in to any topic, when it comes out I will post the link to Facebook since it has all my contact information.

Out At Work

Being out at work for many of us is not an option, there is no way to hide our transition or to blend in to the workforce. Being able to be closeted at work is a privilege.
Half of LGBT Workers Stay Closeted, Unmoved by Diversity Efforts
  • Employees say jokes, stereotypes, negative comments persist
  • A third of LGBT people remain unhappy or depressed at work
Bloomberg Business
By Jeff Green
June 25, 2018

A little more than half of LGBT workers say they’re comfortable being out at work, according to a study released today by the Human Rights Campaign. It’s roughly the same number as a decade ago, and it calls into question how well many big companies’ ubiquitous diversity initiatives are working.

In the survey of 1,615 workers both gay and straight, LGBT employees said they don’t come out because they’re afraid of being stereotyped, damaging relationships with co-workers or making people feel uncomfortable. Among the straight respondents, about half said there aren’t any openly gay employees where they work.

“While LGBTQ-inclusive corporate policies are becoming the norm, LGBTQ workers too often face a climate of bias in their workplace,” Deena Fidas, director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program, said in a statement.
Okay, notice they say “gay and straight” and then the article says “LGBT employees” so they are not even talking about trans employees!
About a quarter of LGBT workers said they’ve heard more negative comments in the past year, according to the survey. A third reported being depressed or unhappy.
So what does HR do about the hostile work environment?
Why Your HR Department Can't Stop Sexual Harassment
In several recent cases, human resource personnel have sided with alleged abusers over victims.
Bloomberg Business
By Rebecca Greenfield
October 30, 2017
In an ideal world, anyone who experiences harassment at work would head directly to the human resource department. That's where a sensitive, well-trained professional would conduct an “immediate and impartial” investigation followed by “appropriate action to remediate or prevent the prohibited conduct from continuing," in the procedural language preferred by the Society for Human Resource Management, a national trade group.

The recent spate of high-profile workplace harassment allegations demonstrate how far things are from that standard. Susan Fowler took her complaints of harassment to Uber's HR department, only to have her concerns dismissed because her harasser was a “star-performer.” At the Weinstein Company, meanwhile, HR allegedly funneled every complaint back to Harvey Weinstein, employees told the New Yorker. An employee at Signet Jewelers, which is facing allegations of gender discrimination, said she never heard from HR after filing her complaint. “As far as I am aware nothing was ever done about it,” she said in legal documents about the case. (A spokesperson for Weinstein didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment; Signet says it “has had strong systems in place for reporting and addressing” workplace issues.)
So why don’t they enforce their policies?

Well think is like the article says they don’t want to go against their best employees, we see this in sports all the time where coaches and star athletes can get away with rape with little fear.
Gender also plays a role in these power dynamics. Three-quarters of HR managers are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that means alarms over harassment might be met with skepticism by male-dominated leadership. “That is a huge factor in the whole story,” said Lewis. “It's an underlying aspect of what happens when you’re bringing complaints and issues overwhelmingly about men's behavior towards women.”
It is ironic that the department in charge to enforce the non-discrimination laws and company non-discrimination policy is itself faces gender bias.

Now with more companies requiring employees to sign binding arbitration agreements it is only going to get worst. You will not even be able to file a complaint with the state or federal human rights agencies if you face out right discrimination. You will have to have binding arbitration with a company appointed judge and you will have to pay for the arbitration costs.

Let’s face it, we are the targets of harassment and discrimination at work and HR is going to look the other way unless you are a “key” employee.

Monday, June 25, 2018

It’s the Republicans Again

They think up the most draconian, hateful, and dangerous laws for us.
Get a load of the bill they introduced in Ohio.
Opponents of 'Parent's Rights Bill' say it's unnecessary, discriminatory against transgender youth
By:  Jason Aubry
June 22, 2018

COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that strips judicial discretion in some family cases involving kids and gender-based treatments.

This all came about after a judge in Hamilton County granted custody of a teenager girl to their grandparents after the parents refused to allow the child to receive a hormone treatment to identify outwardly as a boy.

Back in February Citizens for Community Values rallied against the court ruling in Hamilton County.

Friday, president of the organization Aaron Baer explained his support for House Bill 658 (HB 658) via Skype while he was attending a conference in Grand Rapids, MI.

“You can have whatever views you want on LGBT issues and on all of these things,” said Baer. “This is about insuring parents are the ones in charge of their child’s upbringing, not the state, not anyone else.”
Then another part of the bill…
Republican bill would force teachers to ‘report’ boys to their parents if they aren’t manly enough
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
23rd June 2018

A Republican-backed bill in Ohio would force teachers to out children to their parents if they do not conform to the “manner” of their “biological sex”.

The bill, submitted by Republicans Thomas Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger, would force schools, doctors, and care providers to immediately notify the parents of any pupil who acts “in a manner opposite of the child’s biological sex.”

It states: “If a government agent or entity has knowledge that a child under its care or supervision has exhibited symptoms of gender dysphoria or otherwise demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite of the child’s biological sex, the government agent or entity with knowledge of that circumstance shall immediately notify, in writing, each of the child’s parents and the child’s guardian or custodian.
Although apparently targeted at transgender youth, the provision on “manner” is so loosely worded that campaigners have warned it could even be deployed against boys who don’t want to play football.
This flies in the face of all medical research that shows by allowing a child to explore their gender it reduces self-harm in the children.

This legislation is going to cost the lives of our youth but the Republicans don’t care if we die.

We Don’t Want You Here!

When is it okay to discriminate?

Well a lot depends upon where you are and why you want to discriminate against a person. In many states you can discriminate against us with no legal repercussions.

In Washington DC it is against the law to discriminate against us and one restaurant didn’t think they were doing anything wrong when they kicked out a trans woman, they soon learned how wrong they were.
A transgender woman was asked for her ID to use a restaurant's bathroom. When she refused, she says she got kicked out
By Jessica Campisi and Emily Smith,
June 25, 2018

CNN)When a transgender woman got up to use the woman's bathroom at a restaurant, she said she was asked to show her ID.

And when she refused, she said she got kicked out.
Charlotte Clymer, who identifies as female, works for the Human Rights Campaign. She said she was at Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in Washington on Friday with a group of friends for a bachelorette party.

Clymer wrote on Twitter that the group was having a good time. But things shifted when she and a friend went to use the bathroom.
The attendant told her that her ID needed to say "female" on it for her to use the women's bathroom, according to her account. She told him "that's nonsense" and kept walking.
According to Washington law, they said, you have to have "female" on your ID to use the women's bathroom.
WRONG! The restaurant learned how wrong they were…
Clymer called local police, and the officers who responded told her she was right about the law.
Cuba Libre apologized about the incident on Twitter.
Cuba Libre tweeted that it will re-train its entire staff to make sure something like this doesn't happen in the future. Its CEO has also reached out to Clymer and asked to speak with her, the statement said.
It would seem to me that businesses should know the law, it is nice that they are reaching out to Clymer to make amends but the thing is the damage has been done. Here is this group of people who wanted to celebrate the upcoming wedding but their night out on the town was ruined.

Now we have another case of discrimination but in this incident there was no  laws broken.
Sarah Sanders says she was kicked out of restaurant because she works for Trump
By Veronica Stracqualursi
June 24, 2018

Washington (CNN)White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant by its owner because she works for President Donald Trump.

"Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left," Sanders posted on Twitter Saturday.

"Her actions say far more about her than about me," Sanders said. "I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."
Then she tweeted on her official White House phone… a no, no. Huffington Post wrote in an article that,
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders violated ethics law when she used her official White House Twitter account to complain about being kicked out of a Virginia restaurant, according to the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Sanders complained on her @PressSec Twitter account Saturday about the Red Hen restaurant that refused to serve her Friday, she tweeted, because “I work for @POTUS.” Restaurant owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post that Sanders was told to leave because the business has “certain standards” to uphold, “such as honesty and compassion and cooperation.”

Walter Shaub, who left the Trump administration a year ago after five years as head of the ethics office, posted an annoyed tweet in response to Sanders’ comment, pointing out that it’s a “clear violation” of federal ethics law to name a specific business with the intent of personal gain or retaliation. He compared Sanders’ White House tweet to a federal law enforcement officer who pulls out a badge at a restaurant in a similar situation.
A big Ops…

But the point of today’s morning post is discrimination; no matter what Sanders tweeted it is not against the law to discriminate because of politics.

The way I feel about this was summed up in a post on Vox,
I feel for White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. I’d be miffed, too, if I sat down with a group of friends to a spread of cheeses at a charming farm-to-table restaurant only to be asked to leave by the owner.
I happen to believe that food establishments should offer their goods to anyone willing to pay for them. Sanders does not. She thinks it’s okay, for example, for a business to hang a sign in their window saying they won’t serve gay couples. This is why, on one level, her very public dig at the owner of the Red Hen, which set off a torrent of hate tweets and threats her way, is ridiculous. It’s hypocrisy.

On another level, “restaurant-gate” is an example of the Trump administration’s unique commitment to courting divisiveness. Donald Trump doesn’t even pretend to speak to or for all Americans. Rhetorically, there hasn’t been a more disrespectful administration in 150 years. But when Sanders wants dinner, the White House is all for mutual respect. Either way, the base laps it up.
I believe the restaurant was wrong in not serving her but I also think it is hypocritical to think it is okay to discriminate against LGBTQ people but is wrong to be discriminate against political views.

The last case of discrimination…
Walgreens Pharmacist Denies Woman Miscarriage Drug Over Personal Morals
The refusal came after Nicole Arteaga’s doctor told her that her unborn baby no longer had a heartbeat.
By Nina Golgowski
June 24, 2018

After receiving word that her unborn baby no longer had a heartbeat, it was hard to imagine how things could get worse for Nicole Arteaga, until they did.

The Arizona mother is speaking out after she said a Walgreens pharmacist refused to provide her with a prescription drug that would help her miscarry her deceased fetus, telling her that providing it would violate his personal beliefs. The company said on Sunday it is investigating the incident.
The 35-year-old said the pharmacist’s refusal at a Walgreens location in Peoria, Arizona, on Thursday came one day after her doctor informed her during a 10-week pregnancy checkup that her baby no longer had a heartbeat and had stopped developing, she told The Arizona Republic.
We have three cases of discrimination; the first was discrimination because of her gender identity, the second was because of politics, and the third case was because of religious beliefs. One case was illegal and two cases were ‘legal” discrimination.

So the question where do we draw the line?

Should it be illegal to discriminate based on politics?

Should it be illegal to use religious beliefs to justify discrimination?

Gender identity and sexual orientation are immutable biological factors; we were born with our gender identity and sexual orientation. We chose our politics and our religious beliefs.

I  think Walgreen policy was very generous in allowing a employees not to wait on people they don’t like for various reason. Me, I would have said you were hired to do a job so do it! Before I retired there was a person at work they always proselytized every time you walked into his office (he also ran a Bible study group during lunch) and I would never think of no going to him because he opposed my religious beliefs.

I personally believe it is wrong to discriminate for any reason when you run a place of public accommodation. I believe that you have to put your personal beliefs aside for the most part whether you bake cakes, you serve food, or you dispense drugs.

I believe when you open your doors to the public that it is implied to you will serve all of the public. if you don’t want to rent to biracial couple or an unmarried couple then don’t advertise in a secular newspaper advertise in in your religious organization and require them to be members of your church. But once you advertise in a secular newspaper you are inviting all people to apply for the room.

I believe that it is impossible to draw a line saying I will sell to these people and not these people.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Did They Really Expect Something Different?

We knew this was going to happen, the headlines all proclaimed a victory for the religious right and deep down in the articles there were a sentence or two limiting the ruling… only applies to that one case but you had to read the whole article to find that out.
We Can Already See The Damage From The Masterpiece Cakeshop RulingHuffington Post
By Michelangelo Signorile
June 22, 2018

In recent weeks, a lesbian couple in New York City reported that they were kicked out of an Uber taxi after the driver became disgusted when they kissed (a “peck” as they described it); a hardware store owner in Tennessee who’d put a “No Gays Allowed” sign in his shop window a few years ago was back talking about a “ray of sunshine” in America for those who want to discriminate against LGBTQ people; and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop the execution of a South Dakota man likely sentenced to death because he is gay.

These actions and expressions are unrelated, and each represents the kind of injustice that LGBTQ people have experienced for decades. But what they have in common is that each one may not have happened if the Supreme Court hadn’t ruled for the baker who turned away a gay couple in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission earlier this month.

The 7-2 ruling in that highly-awaited decision was very narrow, journalists, legal analysts and some LGBTQ activists reminded us ― even a “step in the right direction,” as the Washington Post editorial board rather naively proclaimed. The court ruled for this Colorado baker in this case because his religious beliefs were, in the court’s view, not treated neutrally by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it determined he’d violated state law by refusing to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. No civil rights laws protecting LGBTQ people in public accommodations in Colorado or elsewhere were ruled unconstitutional by the court.
But the news buried that deep in the articles. It gave the green light to all the haters to discriminate against us thinking the court said it was okay. Also buried in the articles was the fact that it was based on religious beliefs and not a general “Get Out of Jail Free” for bigots.
And that impact is devastating. The Supreme Court didn’t resolve the dispute by clearly affirming that LGBTQ people are protected in the Constitution from discrimination, even if that discrimination is based on religious beliefs. Justice Anthony Kennedy went right up to the line, writing for the majority that the dignity of gay people “must be given great weight and respect by the courts” and that “Colorado law can protect gay persons ... in acquiring whatever products and services they choose on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public.”
The headlines proclaimed victory for religious bigots when all the ruling said was that the Colorado Human Rights Commission made a procedure error in its ruling.
More than that, the decision gave off a real sense that the Supreme Court doesn’t view LGBTQ people the way it views other marginalized groups. In his opinion, Kennedy pointed to what he saw as dismissive hostility to the baker’s religious beliefs in the comments of one civil rights commissioner who said, “If a businessman wants to do business in the state and he’s got an issue with the law’s impacting his personal belief system, he needs to look at being able to compromise.” Kennedy highlighted another commissioner who said religion has been used as an excuse for much discrimination and brutality throughout history, from slavery to the Holocaust. That commissioner said, “It is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to — to use their religion to hurt others.”

It’s hard to believe that if this baker had discriminated against a heterosexual African-American couple based on a religious belief in white superiority or turned away a heterosexual Jewish couple because he believed they were going to hell, the Supreme Court would have even agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling in the couple’s favor ― much less rule for the baker because a commissioner had noted religion has been used to justify discrimination throughout history.
When I do diversity training and I get questions about discrimination I tell them to substitute any other protected classes to see what to do. So if say a woman in a hospital ward complains about a trans woman in the ward, think how they would handle it if the woman complained about a Muslin woman being in the room; would they move the Muslin woman out of the ward or would they move the other woman out of the room?

I see it all the time that people think it is different discriminating against us than discrimination against blacks or Jews. Somehow we don’t count.

I think much of the difference people feel about discrimination against us is because they view us and gays and lesbians as being a choice… “a lifestyle” and not something that is innate in our being.

If you watch any of the conservative news media they reinforce the misconception that this is a choice for us, I think they do this on purpose to marginalize us… you chose being trans so why should we give you “special rights” for your “lifestyle”

When I do training I can see differences between people who see being trans as being inborn in us and those who see it as a lifestyle. Those who see it as a part of us are more compassionate and understanding towards us, while those who see it as a lifestyle are less understanding and more callous toward us.

Corporate Sponsors

You can live with them and you can’t live without them.

If you go to a LGBTQ+ event you will probably see ads or signs proclaiming their corporate sponsors and that includes the Trans Health & Law Conference. Without corporate sponsors we couldn’t keep the admission at $25 because it cost a lot more than the $25 which just barely covers the food.
There’s a Lot of Money at Pride, but Not Necessarily in LGBT Pockets
Don’t let the sea of big-name corporate floats at a Pride parade and glossy advertisements in magazines fool you into thinking the LGBT world is one of unfettered affluence.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
June 23, 2018

The first New York City Pride march in 1970 was a grassroots affair organized in a gay bookstore to mark the anniversary of a riot. Today, NYC Pride Week has about six dozen corporate sponsors, including some of the country’s largest banks and stores.

The first Chicago Pride protest in 1970 specifically targeted the Michigan Avenue shopping district, as the Chicago Tribune reported, in order to “reach the maximum number of… shoppers and tourists.” Today, retailers and airlines march in the Chicago Pride Parade.
By now, the commercialization of LGBT Pride seems like an age-old topic of debate—even though it wasn’t that long ago, in the grand scheme of things, that none of these companies would want to be seen touching anything queer with a ten-foot pole.
At one time the city of Hartford didn’t charge that much for events in the city like St. Patrick Day parades, Puerto Rico Day parades, Columbus Day parades, or Pride but as the city got more into debt they started charging more for parades and events and that created a need for sponsors.

Also many in the LGBTQ+ community live in poverty…
So, where do we get the idea that LGBT people are rich? Pride events awash in corporate money certainly don’t help. Nor do $150 rainbow sneakers or expensive Pride packages advertised by swanky hotel chains.
This year, as Them reported, activists around the country—including in New York City—will be protesting Pride parades, in part because they don’t want to see more corporate involvement in the event. When an event that started as an LGBT protest now draws protests from LGBT people, that’s a sure sign that something is amiss.
Sponsors create a love hate relationship with the LGBTQ+ community we see corporate banners everywhere at Pride and we hate that Pride is becoming commercialized but who is going to pay to go to Pride? Because there is police overtime, insurance, and sanitation all have to be paid somehow and sponsors pay for all that.

For our conference we have the meals, program guides, parking, insurance, and maintenance that have to be paid for somehow and sponsors fill that gap.

We need sponsors and they need us.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturday 9: Shut Up + Dance

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Shut Up + Dance (2014)

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 is about a man who meets the woman who is his destiny on the dance floor. Do you think we each have One Great Love preordained by fate? Or do you think life offers each of us many opportunities for romance?
I think there are many people out there for sex you just have to find the right one for romance.

2) Lead singer Nick Petricca says this song is inspired by a true story. He was all keyed up and his girlfriend dragged him onto the dance floor, insisting that dancing would cheer him up. Therefore he considers this song an "anthem to letting go and having fun." Think of the last time you really had fun. Who were you with? What were you doing?
I was with a group of people and we went out to dinner. Good friends, good food, and good wine makes for a nice evening.

3) The dance floor incident that inspired this song took place in Echo Park, an LA neighborhood located near Elysian Park and Chinatown. Tell us about your village or city. Do the neighborhoods have interesting names?
Nope, it is just another boring suburb or as my father called it “a bedroom town” mean everyone drove to work someplace else and drove home at night.

4) Walk the Moon promoted this record by a performance on Good Morning America. Are you enthusiastic and energetic at 7:00 AM? Or do you hit your stride later in the day?
I’m a morning person.

5) "Shut Up + Dance" is the biggest hit by Walk the Moon. The bandmembers met as at Kenyon, Ohio's oldest private college. Tell us about something that's old and revered where you live.
The original Yankee Peddler came from town; all winter they made tinware and sold them during the summer.

6) Walk the Moon took their name from the Police song, "Walking on the Moon." What's your favorite song by Sting and/or The Police?
Fields of Gold

7) In 2014, the year this song was popular, Robin Williams took his own life. What's your favorite Robin Williams performance?
Moscow On The Hudson
Real story… one of my bosses escaped from Hungary during the height of the cold war and he immigrated here. He was told to go the state labor department to look for a job, so he asked the clerk where he was supposed to work. The clerk gave him a blank stare and you have to find a job we just have a list of companies hiring engineers, this was totally foreign to him in Hungary they assign you a job. He said that was the biggest shock he had but toilet paper and coffee was high up there. We were talking about the movie Moscow on the Hudson which just came out in the movies.

8) Also in 2014, the Apple Watch was introduced. Are you wearing a watch as you answer these 9 questions?
Yes, I always wear a watch.

9) Random question -- You must create a coat of arms for yourself, representing your life and spirit. Which of these items would you place at the center: a heart, a sword, or a pen?
A sword protecting a heart.

I was planning on coming home from the Cape on Monday but the weather is going to be yucky rainy and then hot and humid so I might come home today.

The main reason I came up was to mow the grass, get a beach permit, and get delivery of a set of bunk beds for one of the bed rooms. Right now as I write this it is clouding over killing the sunset so no good sunset pics.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Pass

Okay not any of those type of pass but rather a beach pass.

Today you need a beach pass or a guest pass to park at a town beach so this is the tale of the beach pass as an out trans woman.

Yesterday I googled the address and it showed that the office was on the town pier… wrong. It was at the other end the pier I know because I had to ask the Harbor Master where do you get beach pass? He directed me to a building way down at end the end if the pier.

So I’m standing in line reading the sign that says what you need to get a beach pass… the car registration! So back to the car to get the registration.

Get back in line again… the back of the line of course.

I get to the desk and give them all my paperwork and they type away on the computer… my information wasn’t there!

So she says sorry I can’t give you a beach pass until the computer is updated or you have proof of ownership. I grinned and handed her the property deed. Just then I assume her boss came over and they started talking… Uh Oh! I’m thinking is this going to a problem?

It turns not. She showed how to find me… the only thing I wasn’t there. So that resulted in a call to the Assessor’s office. The boss is typing away while she talks on the phone to the Assessor’s office… I found him… her. She’s under the previous owner… “Why do they do that, it doesn’t make sense.” She then showed the other woman how to enter me into the computer.

At the end she apologized for taking so long. I said no problem we all work will computers and had to figure something out.

Also today I am waiting for the furniture delivery people to show up and assemble bunk beds.

P.S. I don't mean to disparage anyone. This is just the way it is. Google maps was off, and I didn't read the web page about what to bring.

Massachusetts has a ballot initiative to remove our protection in public accommodations this November there are many ways to help defeat the question and one way is to be just out there in public.

If you live in Massachusetts please help!

You can simply do it be talking to your neighbors and speaking up when you hear negative comments. You can do it by writing letters-to-the-editor.

And if you are an ally your voice is doubly important… you speak from the heart. 

The Courts.

For now we are on a winning streak in the federal courts but it will not last with Trump packing the court with judges who put the Bible before the Constitution.
Federal Courts Are Standing Up for the Sanctity of Transgender Lives
By Scott Skinner-Thompson
June 21, 2018

While the Trump administration’s attacks on transgender people have continued apace, federal courts are ruling in favor of transgender rights at an unprecedented rate. This week, following a string of victories for trans plaintiffs, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the constitutionality of a Pennsylvania school district policy permitting transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to the students’ gender identities. The decision in Doe v. Boyertown Area School District is a significant victory for transgender rights in several respects.

First, the court easily concluded that permitting transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identities did not in any way threaten the privacy of cisgender students using those spaces. The court noted that mere discomfort about being in the presence of transgender students does not implicate a constitutional privacy interest. And, in any event, the school district’s policy did not force any students to expose their body to anyone else, because single-user bathroom and showering spaces were available to all students—including the plaintiffs who objected to the presence of transgender students.

Moreover, the court observed that to the extent there was any privacy violation, the district’s policy of inclusion was sufficiently compelling to outweigh that privacy violation because it protected transgender students from being marginalized and excluded. The balance of interests tilted decisively in favor of protecting transgender people and allowing them to exist in public space. Excluding transgender students from bathrooms that correspond to their gender identities would “publicly brand all transgender students with a scarlet ‘T,’ ” inviting scrutiny and possibly scorn. (To be clear, transgender people have everything to be proud of, but they should not be forced into situations where they feel conspicuous or excluded). The court went further, noting that the policy, in fact, benefited all students by promoting a spirit of inclusivity, acceptance, and tolerance.
But there is always a chance that the case would be appealed and each time it is heard it’s a crap shoot. And as the Supreme Courts shows it all boils down to one judge.

And I dread to think about if Trump gets to appoint another Supreme Court judge… OMG!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Why We Need Laws Protecting Us

When there are none discrimination laws in place the law should block a ruling like this one…
Judge rules against Pensacola woman in transgender discrimination suit
Pensacola News Journal
By Kevin Robinson
June 19, 2018

A judge has ruled against a Pensacola woman who claims she was discriminated against because she is transgender.

The suit was based around allegations that Nevaeh Love, a woman who was assigned male at birth, was singled out and asked to move from her seat at an adults-only fundraising event. Event organizers testified that Love's presence at the front of the venue made the performers uncomfortable, and she was asked to sit further back.

In a case presented directly to Judge Edward P. Nickinson in April, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida argued that denying Love her seat of choice because she is transgender was a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act.

In a final order filed last week, a judge wrote that in most circumstances — say, if Love had been denied a seat at a restaurant, a room at a hotel or an opportunity at her place of employment — her case could have merit.
Why did the judge rule against her?
The fundraising event featured a troupe of male exotic dancers and was advertised as open to "ladies only." The dancers purportedly "expressed objections to performing their show, which involved some degree of disrobing and mingling with the patrons, if a person they considered to be male was to be in the audience," the order said.
Nickinson's order continued, "Here, the dancers clearly did not consider Ms. Love to be a 'woman' for purposes of their performance, and the court sees no reason why, for that limited purpose, Ms. Love should be able to force those dancers to think otherwise."
So the judge based his ruling on the fact that trans women are not women.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Looking For A Job?

Being trans makes it so hard to find a job, they always have a reason for not hiring you and you never know if it is the real reason they didn’t hire you or they are using it as an excuse to not hire you.
Apply Now: Thousands of Transgender Job Opportunities In Financial Services
By John Schneider and David Auten
June 17, 2018

If you went to school, earned a bachelors or master’s degree, yet were being turned down for jobs you are qualified for because of the way you look or talk, how would you feel? How would you feel if this was happening to your spouse or your children?

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, Pakistan's first transgender newscaster Marvia Malik poses for a photo in a control room of a local television channel in Lahore, Pakistan. Malik has made history in Pakistan by becoming the first transgender newscaster in a conservative Muslim country where her community is taunted in public, ostracized by family and targeted in violent attacks. (AP

You’d be infuriated, right?

There are thousands of transgender men and woman who face this situation with most job applications they submit.
I know someone who has a post-PhD from Harvard and her professor was a Nobel Prize winner, her specialty was computer modeling chemical reactions and her clients were the Fortune 50, not the 500 but the top 50. Once she transitioned she couldn’t get a job.
Diversity and inclusion are buzz words in the halls of corporate America today. Many financial services firms such as MassMutual, Prudential, Capital One, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are leading the way by not just being inclusive with corporate policy, but also on social media and national advertising.

Many others in the financial services that are less bold have business resource or affinity groups that includes an LGBT group, but most of their efforts remain behind closed doors. So, let’s help them prove their inclusiveness. These companies have job opportunities and the data suggests that they’ll need to backfill for thousands of those positions. Then, these companies should look to the transgender community.
I know of so many companies that have a 100 percent from the HRC Corporate Equality Index however they don’t have any trans people working for them, oh they have gays and lesbians but no trans employees and it they do then they are trans people who can integrate in to society.

The article goes on to list suggestions,
1. Seek out other transgender financial advisors on Facebook and LinkedIn
Find a mentor. This will be invaluable to you, as these individuals have created a path to follow. It’s also likely that they’re working for a supportive employer. That can work to your advantage.
2. Seek out other LGBTQ family who work in financial services
There are thousands of us who work or have worked in financial services. We’ll be your advocates and champions. Call on us but be ready to take suggestions and impress with your skills. Work with someone to create a plan to prepare and get the job.
3. Champion your skills and talents over everything
In our interview with Tim Gill on Queer Money™, Gill said he never made an issue of the fact that he was a gay man starting a business in the 80s. He focused on providing a good product for his customers. The same is true for the rest of us. You have skills. Highlight and champion them. Your skills, above all else, are what companies and prospects want. Prove your worth and the rest becomes secondary.
Mr. Gill might have very good experience in being a gay business man but somehow I don’t think it will apply to a six foot six inch trans woman.

Let’s face it; if you are a trans woman who does not integrate in to society that well you are going to have a heck of a time getting a job.

And I am going to add a fourth suggestion… leave you attitude home, smile. Yes, the whole world seems like it is against us sometimes and this might be the hundredth job interview and like all the others seemed to be filled once you walk through the door and they see you. But you have to have a positive attitude and show that you are a “team” player. I know that is tough but do you want a roof over your head tonight?

My friend eventually got a job, a good job as a department manager for a large multinational corporation.

The Hater Keep Trying To Pick Away At Our Human Rights

It is easy to see why the Trump administration pulled out of the UN Human Rights Council. In 1995 the U.S. was a signator to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which Article 9 states…
States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.
But that is not what I want to write about today, I want to write about an attempt to strip the human rights from trans students.
Hate group tried to argue in court that trans students threaten privacy. It didn’t go well.
"The appellants’ real objection is to the presence of transgender students, not to any 'environment' their presence creates."
By Zack Ford
June 19, 2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit this week completely rejected hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)’s attempts to discriminate against transgender students. This is a very significant defeat for ADF, which has been losing cases challenging transgender students’ rights all across the country.

The decision comes on the heels of a pretty unusual proceeding. After hearing oral arguments in the case, in which ADF challenged a Pennsylvania school’s transgender-inclusive policy, the circuit panel deliberated for less than an hour before issuing a ruling from the bench. This week, the Court issued its written opinion agreeing with a lower court’s decision not to enjoin the policy.
As part of the policy, Boyertown Area Senior High School (BASH) added single-use stalls to all of the facilities in the school — which should have resolved any privacy concerns the ADF clients had regarding sharing facilities with their transgender classmates. “Yet they insist that the policy should be changed,” the decision explains, “to require that transgender students use individual bathrooms if they do not wish to use the communal facilities that align with their birth-determined sex.”
And get a load of what the judges had to say,
“Adopting the appellants’ position would very publicly brand all transgender students with a scarlet ‘T,’ and they should not have to endure that as the price of attending their public school,” the Court writes.
ADF has said it may appeal the Boyertown case.
I hope that when we school district wins that they will sue the parents for reimbursement of their court cost.

The current administration thinks they can do whatever they want and they keep getting rebuffed by the courts. Whether it is trans servicemembers, trans healthcare, trans employment or trans education the courts so far have blocked all their attempts to strip us of our human rights.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

We Cannot Sit On Our Laurels

It is time to take action.

There is no middle road, we have to speak up and speak out!

You don’t have to be an “out” trans person but you have to speak up or we are going to be made criminals each time we walk in to a store.
Move to repeal Massachusetts transgender protection law sees some support, polls show
An effort to repeal a law that provides protections to transgender people in pubic spaces may be on the November ballot.
By Kristin Toussaint
June 18, 2018

A measure may appear on the Massachusetts November ballot that would overturn a state law that protects transgender individuals in public spaces such as bathrooms — and it seems to have some support.

The transgender protections law was passed in 2016 and specifically outlaws discrimination against transgender people in public places such as parks, restaurants and public bathrooms. It allows transgender individuals to access the public spaces that align with their identified gender rather the one at which they were assigned at birth.

It has been called the “bathroom bill” as the topic of transgender people using public bathrooms that aligned with their identified gender had sparked into a national point of contention.
And that is how the haters are going to frame this… about bathrooms and locker rooms and we have to challenge that… it is about banks, it is about grocery stores, it is about restaurants, and it is about everything that we do every day in our lives.

According to a recent Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll, 37 percent of 500 voters surveyed said that they would support repealing the law and 49 percent of people opposed repealing it, instead in favor of keeping the protections. About 13 percent of people were undecided on the issue and about 1 percent refused to answer.
This is within the margin of error of the poll, it is a toss-up, and it is not a sure thing!

We have to focus on that 13 percent of the undecided, thank the 49 percent and ignore the 37 percent of bigots.

Out if state money is going to flow in to Massachusetts from organization like the Family Research Council an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group. You are going to see videos of grubby old men in girl’s bathrooms; you are going to see us portrayed in the worst possible light.

Our best weapon will be the fact that the since 2016 when the law was passed there has not been an incident that describe, but we have to be en garde for staged events. I wouldn’t put it past the zealots to stage an incident in a locker room or like in California follow a trans woman into a bathroom with a camera.
“Upholding #TransLawMA at the ballot will require one of the largest grassroots campaigns #Massachusetts has ever seen — making the case that our #trans neighbors should be treated with dignity and respect,” the organization Freedom for All Massachusetts, which spearheaded the law’s initial passage, said on Twitter last week. “It won't be easy, but we can win this!”
You cannot sit this out, if you are Massachusetts voter you have to take action.

I am a property owner in Massachusetts and every chance I get I am going to tell voters to vote “Yes” on the ballot question.

Breaking News ICD-11 We Are No Longer A Mental Health Condition

We have long wanted Gender Dysphoria moved out of the mental health classifications and moved to medical classification now it has happened!
Gender incongruence has been moved sexual health conditions.
WHO releases new International Classification of Diseases (ICD 11)
18 June 2018 ¦ Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) is today releasing its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The ICD is the foundation for identifying health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55 000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death. It provides a common language that allows health professionals to share health information across the globe.

“The ICD is a product that WHO is truly proud of," says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives."

ICD-11, which has been over a decade in the making, provides significant improvements on previous versions. For the first time, it is completely electronic and has a much more user-friendly format. And there has been unprecedented involvement of health care workers who have joined collaborative meetings and submitted proposals. The ICD team in WHO headquarters has received over 10 000 proposals for revisions.

ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member States, and will come into effect on 1 January 2022. This release is an advance preview that will allow countries to plan how to use the new version, prepare translations, and train health professionals all over the country.
The new ICD also includes new chapters, one on traditional medicine: although millions of people use traditional medicine worldwide, it has never been classified in this system. Another new chapter on sexual health brings together conditions that were previously categorized in other ways (e.g. gender incongruence was listed under mental health conditions) or described differently. Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders.
On another WHO webpage
Gender incongruence, meanwhile, has also been moved out of mental disorders in the ICD, into sexual health conditions. The rationale being that while evidence is now clear that it is not a mental disorder, and indeed classifying it in this can cause enormous stigma for people who are transgender, there remain significant health care needs that can best be met if the condition is coded under the ICD.
What does this mean to us?

I am not an expert but to me it seems to me that this is where we want gender incongruence to be located and they created a new section; sexual health. We need it somewhere in the ICD so we can get our meds, therapy, and surgery covered by insurance.

According to a 2015 paper we will be grouped with…
According to ICD dimensions/criteria, the following concepts related to sexual health can be measured and reported:
Sexual dysfunctions
Female genital mutilation
Gender incongruence
Sexually transmitted infections
Violence against women
Unwanted pregnancy
Induced abortion
Gender Incongruence
Many proposals from multiple stakeholders have supported the process of the reconceptualization of the ICD-10 categories related to gender identity, currently classified in ICD-10 as Mental and Behavioural Disorders.19The ICD-10 categories “Trans-sexualism” and “Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood” have been proposed to be re-conceptualized in ICD-11 as ‘Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood’ and ‘Gender Incongruence of Childhood’, respectively. Other categories related to gender identity in the ICD-10 (e.g., ‘Dual Role Transvestism’) have been recommended for deletion. TheICD-11 proposal defines “Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood” as “a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex, generally including dislike or discomfort with primary and secondary sex characteristics of the assigned sex and a strong desire to have the primary or secondary sex characteristics of the experienced gender. As per suggested criteria, the diagnosis cannot ever be assigned prior to the onset of puberty. Gender Incongruence of Adolescence and Adulthood often leads to a desire to ‘transition’, in order to live and be accepted as a person of the experienced gender. Establishing congruence may include hormonal treatment, surgery or other health care services to make the individual’s body align, as much as desired and to the extent possible, with the experienced gender.

One of the biggest changes to these categories has been acceptance of the proposal to be moved out of the “Mental and behavioural disorders” chapter. Of the available options for the placement of this category, considering the goals of supporting access to health care services, reducing stigmatization, affirming human rights, and ensuring the depathologization of the diagnosis, the best option appeared to be to include them in the new chapter on “Conditions related to sexual health”, though with awareness of the important distinctions between sexuality and gender identity. These categories are important to the notion of sexuality as defined by WHO, as gender identity and roles, among the many dimensions that may influence or interact with a person’s sexuality. 
On the GID Reform Weblog by Kelley Winters guess blogger Sam Winter enumerates what is wrong with ICD-11
As most visitors to the GIDReform Advocates site will know, the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic manual (commonly known as the International Classification of Diseases) is currently under revision. The new edition, ICD-11, is slated for approval in 2017. I was a member of the WHO Working Group on Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health (WGSDSH), the eleven-member group which proposed a number of revisions relevant to trans people. The original WHO plans, for all our proposals to be loaded in October 2012 onto a website, for all the world to see (and comment on), never happened. Indeed, the WHO Secretariat running the show have imposed, apparently as it suits them and somewhat inconsistently, fairly onerous confidentiality rules which have prevented WGSDSH members and others from openly sharing what is going on. That said, WHO has shown itself to be comfortable with releasing material from time to time, particularly at academic conferences, as well as in the odd journal article.
The arguments for GIC (commonly that it is needed to justify the existence of specialist clinics, for training purposes, to generate research) really don’t stand up to scrutiny. Worse, the GIC case was entirely undermined by the fact that we (WGSDSH and WHO) were making entirely different proposals in regard to young people exploring (and learning to become comfortable expressing) their sexual orientation. The proposal was that disease diagnoses for these individuals should be removed. And yet here we were, proposing a disease diagnosis for young children exploring (and learning to become comfortable expressing) their gender identity. It seemed to me that there was a hypocrisy at play, and a transphobic hypocrisy at that.
He goes on to list the reasons why children should not be diagnosed with gender incongruence
  1. The view of gender-different children as sick and in need of health care is a culturally-specific one, not only modern but also peculiarly Western in origin.
  2. Gender-different children have no need of hormones or surgery, or any other somatic gender health care. Insofar as they may benefit from any health care services at all (and an indeterminate number may not need it) their needs are focused on accessing counseling and (perhaps) other mental health care.
  3. There is a grave inconsistency in the way the Working Group proposes to address the health care needs of (on one hand) gay and lesbian youth and (on the other) gender-different children.
  4. There are important implications for the prospects of removing the proposed gender incongruence diagnoses from Chapter 5 [Mental and Behavioural Disorders].
A more detailed proposal for using ICD-11 Z Codes to facilitate access to support services for trans and gender different children was developed at the GATE (Global Action for Trans* Equality) Consensus Meeting in Buenos Aires, April 2013.1920 It recommended revisions to include gender identity, gender expression as well as sexual orientation in codes:
  • Z60.4- “Exclusion and rejection on the basis of personal characteristics…”
  • Z60.5- “Persecution or discrimination, perceived or real, on the basis of membership of some group…”
  • Z70.4- “Counseling for a child to support gender identity or expression that differ from birth assignment.”
  • Z70.2x- “Counseling for families and service providers related to gender identity or expression of a child.”
Importantly, where a child is genuinely suffering from anxiety and mood disorders associated with gender difference, Z Codes can be used to specify the nature of the distress, thereby enabling appropriate health care for the child involved. Further, when a child reaches puberty and is in need of puberty blockers (where they are available), Z Codes can be used to document a history of gender difference, thereby ensuring a prompt diagnosis of GIAA.21 Finally, when a gender-different child seeks adaptation at school (or elsewhere) to accommodate his or her gender difference, Z Codes can be used to provide a basis for the case being made.
So there is some disagreement about some of the parts of the changes to the ICD practically with gender incongruence in children.

However, we still have a long time to wait for the change to become effective, almost two years but hopefully the DSM will follow suit and take us out of it.

Many thanks to all that have worked toward this goal.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Your Religion Is Not My Religion

Okay, I am not a religious person. I believe how you live your life is more important than where you go to worship. I will not interfere with your religion if you let me live my life.

But there are some who feel it is a God giving right to butt in on how I live my life.
I'm transgender, and evangelicals tried to pray for me. I prayed for them instead
For years, I navigated conservative religious spaces where I encountered bigotry and attempts to shame LGBT+ people
By Charlotte Clymer
June 16, 2018

On Sunday afternoon I was sitting in front of a cafe in downtown Washington, sipping coffee under a sliver of roof on a wet day, minding my own business, when three people who were clearly tourists walked up and gestured for me to take out my headphones. When I did, one asked: “Can we pray for you?”

I asked why they wanted to pray for me, and the same person answered that they felt called by God to walk the streets of DC and let God’s voice tell them who might be “broken” or otherwise need prayer.


As a Christian, I’m opposed to neither prayer nor people praying specifically for me, at least not when it’s done in good faith.
It angered me that the whole of my being could be reduced to their flawed understanding of LGBT+ people, a view that could easily be revised if only they would take the time to get to know me instead of assuming they already did.

So I would be damned if I would let them interrupt my Sunday afternoon coffee when I certainly wasn’t bothering them.
What she did in response is classic!
 I stood up, smiling but internally annoyed, and asked them what the Book of Matthew says about prayer. Their eyes went wide. One guy stammered nervously, clearly having trouble answering the question.

The other two were just as flummoxed, ambushed by the idea that the “broken” transgender person was asking a simple question about a common verse on prayer in Matthew.
“You know how Matthew says that where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, there he is with us?”

They stared at me blankly. I had no intention of going easy on them.

“That is what Matthew says, is it not?”

At last, one spoke up: “Yes, that’s right.”

“So let’s pray.”

And they nervously stepped forward into a circle.

“Lord Jesus, thank you for the benefit of these friends,” I began, wholly honest with God about how I hoped she would bless my new friends, encouraging them to affirm and be inclusive of others. I was hopeful that their community would honour all as God made them and value the strength of diversity.

I mentioned the natural beauty of the LGBT+ community and thanked God again for making us as we are, throwing in a genuine wish that their trip back home would be a safe one.

Then, knowing my audience, I wrapped up with the usual evangelical banal phraseology – “no weapons shall be formed against them”, “put God on their hearts” – to let them know I was just as familiar with their community’s vernacular as they were, maybe more so.
Me I would have said something like “And my Satan be with you.” and they probably would have gone off sputtering.

But seriously why do people think that it is okay to force their religion on others, there are hundreds of war being fought right now to force people to one religion or another. From what I have learned about religions from around the world they all have a common theme, love one another, not hate and surely not to blow the brains out of non-believers. But somehow His message has been corrupted to hate and violence.

The article ends with…
Prayer should be a loving act, not a weapon of marginalisation.
To that I say amen.