Tuesday, July 31, 2018

One Country, Two Sets Of Laws

What would you think of a country that has two sets of laws where one group of people does not have to follow the same laws as everyone else? They are exempt from the laws other have to follow.

Well that country is us as in U.S..
Seeing threat to religious freedom, Jeff Sessions announces special task force
National Catholic Reporter
By Yonat Shimron, Religion News Service
July 30, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced during a Department of Justice summit in Washington that he is creating a religious liberty task force to challenge what he called a dangerous movement "eroding our great tradition of religious freedom."

Sessions said Monday (July 30) the task force is an outgrowth of President Trump's executive order directing agencies to protect religious liberty, and he said it would help Justice Department employees remember that it is their duty to accommodate people of faith.

"This administration is animated by that same American view that has led us for 242 years — that every American has a right to believe and worship and exercise their faith in the public square," Sessions said at the summit. The Trump administration spent last week emphasizing religious freedom in a three-day State Department summit.
Without ever referring to LGBTQ people explicitly, Kurtz alluded to the need to protect faith-based adoption agencies' desires to deny service to gay or lesbian couples because of the Catholic faith's opposition to same-sex relationships.
It seems like AG Sessions doesn’t know his history or have selective blindness. 242 years we fled the Church of England and fought a war among other things shake the poke of religion. For 242 years the courts have ruled that laws had to be “religious neutral” that means that it cannot target any religion.

In the Pink News UK they write…
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions defends ‘religious freedom’ of anti-LGBT hate groups
By Nick Duffy
30th July 2018

The Trump administration’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions has insisted people of faith should have freedom to discriminate based on their beliefs.

Sessions, one of the strongest opponents of LGBT rights in the Trump administration, has filed multiple court briefs since coming to power arguing for the right to discriminate against gay people based on faith.

He cemented his view in a speech to a Religious Liberty Summit hosted by the Justice Department today, attended by anti-LGBT activists from evangelical lobbying groups that push an extreme message.

Calls for gay people to be imprisoned and comments linking homosexuality to paedophilia have led several fundamentalist groups – the Liberty Counsel, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council – to be designated hate groups by extremism watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center.
And guess who have been appointed to the task force?

The Hill reported…
Sessions said the task force, co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy, Beth Williams, will help the department fully implement the religious liberty guidance it issued last year.
There have been some reports that the members will include some like Michael Farris, James Dobson, and Tony Perkins.

For 242 years the courts have a history of striking down laws aimed at a particular religion but backing laws that are religious neutral such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some of the challenges to civil rights are…
1964: The Supreme Court upheld the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a valid exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause in Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. U.S. and Katzenbach v. McClung, thereby prohibiting private discrimination in public accommodations, such as motels and restaurants.
1968: In Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., the Court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 bans racial discrimination in housing by private, as well as governmental, housing providers.
Then there are these landmark cases,
1987: In this landmark case for sex-based employment discrimination, the Court ruled in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc. that the prohibition of sexual harassment applies to all objectively discriminatory conduct regardless of the victim’s gender.
And the famous Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins Supreme Court case in 1989 where the court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also cover sex stereotyping which other courts have used to justify our protections under Titles VII and IX.

In one particle case the United States v. Lee the Supreme Court ruled on…
Can the U.S. government require payment of Social Security taxes from those who religiously object to the receipt of the attached benefits?
Yes. In a unanimous decision, Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote the majority opinion reversing and remanding. The Supreme Court held that the §1402(g) exemption only applied to self-employed individuals, not employers and employees like those involved in this case. The Court held that the tax was not unconstitutional as applied. By becoming an employer, Lee entered into commercial activity and accepted certain limits on the exercise of his beliefs.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a concurrence, stating that the tax objector has the burden of showing that there is a unique reason for allowing an exemption from a valid law when the objectors religious obligation and civic obligation are irreconcilable.
Now swap contraceptives for Social Security and you can see how the court has swung to the right in its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.

Then there is the Ocean Grove Association case in New Jersey where,
The state Division on Civil Rights ruled Sunday a lesbian couple can move forward with a discrimination complaint against Ocean Grove for refusing to let them use an oceanfront pavilion for a civil union.

Since the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association regularly offered the pavilion to the broader public, it was bound by the state Law Against Discrimination from barring civil unions, division director J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo ruled. Because its action was voluntary, he added, use of the discrimination statute does not impair the association's "free exercise of religion."
You open your business to the public and you have to serve all of the public; compare this to the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court ruling. The pendulum has swung even further right.

One nation, one law! 

A Major Blow To Our Rights

You remember the Maines’ Maine Supreme Court case?

That was where the then teenager Nicole Maines was prevented from using the girl’s bathroom and locker room and the Maine Supreme Court ruled in her favor saying that she is a girl and has to be allowed to use the facilities of her gender.

Well now another state Supreme Court has ruled,
In ruling against Planet Fitness, Michigan court concludes trans women aren’t women
By Zack Ford
July 30, 2018

A Michigan appeals court has ruled that transgender women are not women and that a former Planet Fitness customer has a legal case against the chain of gyms.

The case dates back to 2015 when Yvette Cormier saw a transgender woman — whom she described as a “man” — in the women’s locker room of her Midland, Michigan Planet Fitness. She complained to management and warned other customers, which prompted the gym to cancel her membership for “inappropriate and disruptive” behavior. Cormier sued Planet Fitness for over $25,000 in damages, alleging that she suffered a violation of privacy, as well as embarrassment, humiliation, severe emotional distress, and damage to her reputation.

A Michigan lower court ruled against her and last year, a state court of appeals agreed that she suffered no intrusion of privacy.

But in April, the Michigan Supreme Court revived the case and sent it back to the appellate court to examine a legal question it hadn’t initially considered. And this time, the panel found that Planet Fitness violated its own contract with Cormier, but the ruling requires a foundation of transphobia.
In other words, the court agreed with Cormier’s perspective that transgender women are not women and that she never should have been expected to understand that a locker room for women would include transgender women. By not disclosing that it was taking the opposite position — respecting transgender people according to their gender identity — Planet Fitness was “failing to reveal a material fact” in an attempt to “mislead or deceive the consumer,” as the relevant Michigan law reads.
This is BAD!

Michigan does not have legal protection for us but the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has ruled administratively that we are covered by the existing laws.

There are many ramifications here with “A Michigan appeals court has ruled that transgender women are not women” this could wipe out all our advances in Michigan and overturn the Michigan Civil Rights Commission findings.

Monday, July 30, 2018

It Is Only Going To Get Harder

Healthcare has always been a problem for us but under the Trump administration it is getting harder.
A Transgender Woman’s Quest For Surgery Caught In Political Crosswinds
Kaiser Health News
By Emmarie Huetteman
July 26, 2018

That summer, as she prepared to start a Ph.D. program in physics at the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin officials voted to allow transgender public employees — including graduate students who worked as teaching assistants — to obtain coverage for hormone therapies and surgery, in compliance with the Obama administration’s anti-discrimination rule.

Vetens eyed the waitlist of a respected surgeon in California, hoping to have her gender confirmation surgery as soon as the summer of 2017.

Then, with the election of President Donald Trump, policy took a U-turn, changing the landscape for trans Americans. A new crew of socially conservative government officials peeled back those protections one by one, with legal challenges and non-enforcement. The Obama administration’s rule shielding trans patients from discrimination is expected to be formally eliminated this summer.
Against that new backdrop, Wisconsin officials decided they did not have to offer coverage for transition-related hormones and procedures after all.

In a matter of months, Vetens went from picking a surgery date to worrying she wouldn’t be able to afford the surgery. Without the state insurance to cover her operation, she spent months running a financial maze of estimates, invoices, bills and demands for payment from a hospital and an insurer who didn’t know how to price or cover a relatively new procedure.
In another article Kaiser Health News,
A Transgender Woman’s ‘Bait-And-Switch’ $92,000 Surgery Bill
Kaiser Health News
By Emmarie Huetteman
July 26, 2018

Wren Vetens thought she’d done everything possible to prepare for her surgery.
She chose a doctoral program in physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a school that not only embraced transgender students like her, but also granted insurance coverage for her gender confirmation surgery when she enrolled in 2016. When uncertainty over the fate of an Obama-era anti-discrimination rule allowed the state to discontinue such coverage, Vetens and her mother, Dr. Kimberly Moreland, an OB-GYN, shopped for another plan.
So, she was shocked when a hospital representative called her a couple of months before the long-awaited surgery estimating the bill would be $100,000. That meant she would be on the hook for as much as $75,000 after her insurer’s $25,000 payout.
After mother and daughter complained about the last-minute surprise, a hospital representative offered a solution: If they paid out-of-pocket and in full before Vetens’ surgery — forgoing their use of insurance — the hospital would accept just $20,080, assuring them the hospital would charge nothing to Vetens’ insurer. But if they did not decide and pay up right away, the surgery would be canceled.
But look what happened when the bill came…
Then the bill came.

Patient: Wren Vetens, then 23, a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Total Bill: $91,850.20
Insurance Payment: $25,427.91
Vetens Owed: $13,191.95 (after the $20,080, which was counted as a deposit)
Service Provider: University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison

My first thought was $90,000!

Most surgeries run in the $20,000 to $30,000 range where did the $90,000 come from?
Lisa Brunette, a hospital spokeswoman, told KHN that, despite having provided Vetens an estimate of $100,000, the hospital really did not know how much it would charge for the procedure because it did not know how much it would be reimbursed by the insurance company. Vetens was the second person to undergo the procedure at the hospital.
And in an apparent chicken-and-egg quandary, Drew DiGiorgio, president and chief executive of Consolidated Health Plans, said the insurer did not know how much it would reimburse because it did not know how much the hospital would charge.
Okay we’ll throw a dart and see what sticks. “Hundred thousand dollars, yeah that sound reasonable let’s charge her that!”

So how did this end up?
Resolution: After the bill for $91,850 arrived, an alarmed Vetens showed it to her surgeon. The hospital quickly apologized and repaid her insurance company.

Within a few weeks of receiving the appeal — which noted that Vetens and Moreland had contacted a national media outlet — Consolidated Health Plans reimbursed Vetens nearly $18,000, offering her no explanation for why the company had ultimately decided to reverse its earlier judgment that it would not pay anything toward her care.

With their reimbursement, Vetens and Moreland paid about $2,100 for the surgery, all told.
The takeaway is that you have to be your own advocate, you cannot just let them push you over. I always say that the insurance companies have a favorite answer that works for them… “No.” and most of the time it works, people do not fight it.

I have been up in the Lake George region of New York State to a memorial for my cousin who passed away last December. He is my first cousin who has died. All my aunts and uncles have passed on and now it is my generation that is moving on.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ever Play Wack-A-Mole?

Well we are the mole and the Trump administration is the hammer.

A little bit of history first…
Analysis: Justice Department Files Brief Rejecting LGBTQ Workplace Protections
NBC News
By Julie Moreau
July 27, 2017

On the same day President Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. military will no longer “accept or allow” transgender people to serve, the LGBTQ community was dealt another blow when the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted an amicus brief opposing the extension of Title VII discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation.

The brief was submitted in the Second Circuit case of Zarda v. Altitude Express. The plaintiff in that case, Donald Zarda, alleges he was unlawfully fired for being gay. The Justice Department's brief argues that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex, does not protect Zarda from this form of discrimination.

“The United States submits that the en banc Court should reaffirm its settled precedent holding, consistent with the longstanding position of the Department of Justice, that Title VII does not reach discrimination based on sexual orientation,” the brief reads.
Eight years after he filed his case and four years after his dead in a base jumping accident he won the appeal the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, they ruled that under Title VII sex does also mean sexual orientation.

Now down in Atlanta the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the opposite.
Atlanta appeals court again rules gays, lesbians not a protected class
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Bill Rankin
July 19, 2018
The federal appeals court in Atlanta has once again decided that gays and lesbians are not protected under federal discrimination laws because of their sexual orientation.

In a decision issued Wednesday, the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against former Clayton County employee Gerald Lynn Bostock, refusing to reconsider a decision that said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not extend workplace protections to gays and lesbians. Bostock contends he was fired as a child welfare services coordinator because he is gay.

Bostock’s case already has the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court. It is now deciding whether to hear Bostock’s appeal and one from a conflicting decision by the federal appeals court in New York, which said gays and lesbians are protected under Title VII.
Now then if the cases goes to the Supreme Court who is appointing the newest justice? Why no other thran Trump, now you see why I was so worried in 2016 about a Republican winning, he will now have two Supreme Court picks and remember Justice Ginsburg is 85 years old.

Many of you probably have already seen this…
Trans Women Say the State Department Is Retroactively Revoking Their Passports
“I think there’s an internal policy change to make it as difficult as possible for trans people.”
By Mary Emily O'Hara
July 27, 2018

Since she transitioned in 1998, at the age of 16, all of Danni Askini’s identity documents have read “female.” But last month, when Askini went to renew her passport, her request was denied. Askini says the U.S. Passport Office told her she had “failed to disclose” that she was transgender and needed to provide proof of gender transition — after 20 years of having a passport that says she’s female.

“Make no mistake, this was an intentional action by the State Department to withhold recognizing my gender,” says Askini, who was eventually granted a temporary two-year passport that allowed her to travel from her Seattle home to Sweden. The activist and executive director of Gender Justice League needed to leave Seattle, she says, after a series of death threats posted on the anti-trans website Kiwi Farms, as well as threats from local alt-right groups in the Pacific Northwest. She’d had her most recent passport for 10 years, but it was up for renewal.

Askini’s battle with the U.S. Department of State — which oversees the Passport Office — began last month, and a June 29 tweet she posted about the ordeal went viral.

Just this week, another trans woman encountered the same problem.

New York-based technology researcher Janus Rose says she’s had her passport, with a female gender marker, since November. But recently she finalized a legal name change, and sent in paperwork along with her current passport to renew the document with the new legal name. It seemed like a simple formality, until she received a phone call from a passport processing center in South Carolina.
The NCTE posted this on their Facebook page...
NCTE has investigated recent concerns about passport processing for transgender people. All of the incidents we have seen involved unusual circumstances and bureaucratic mistakes by the passport agency and have caused very unfortunate hardship and anxiety for our community members. Please note, the longstanding passport gender marker policy has not changed. We are closely monitoring the issue and are vigilant for any attack on the rights of our community.
If you have followed these steps and are still having trouble, please do not hesitate to contact Arli Christian, our State Policy Director, at achristian@transequality.org.
There are also rumors that Medicare is going to be opening up a “public comment” session to revoke our health insurance coverage.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday 9: Love Is All Around

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Love Is All Around (1970)

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 week's song is the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a sitcom that originally aired from 1970 to 1977. Were you a fan?
Most definitely and also the Dick Van Dyke Show.
I think I wasn’t the only one who dreamed of being like Mary.

2) The song tells us that Mary Richards can turn the world on with her smile. Yet the real-life Mary Tyler Moore said she was uncomfortable with her "wide mouth." If you could improve on one of your facial features, which would you choose?
Lose weight… my face is fat just like the rest of my body. (As I sit here at 7 AM on a Saturday morning munching on cherries).

3) We also hear that Mary can "take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile." What do you think makes a day "a nothing day?"
Standing in line all day at the Department of Motor Vehicles only to be told that you need more paperwork to get a “Real ID” marking on your driver license.

4) Mary works in the newsroom at WJM. Her desk is neat as a pin. Are you neat? Or do you lean to the sloppy side?
lean to the sloppy side is putting it nicely.

5) Mary's best friend, Rhoda, worked as a window dresser at Hempel's department store. What department store did you most recently shop at? What did you buy?
A skirt and a blouse to wear to an upscale country club tomorrow.

6) Mary Richards lived in Minneapolis. What city is nearest to where you are right now?
Well it all depends upon what you call a city, there are a couple of small cities near me but the largest is Hartford.

7) Originally the part of Mary Richards was written as a divorcee, but in 1970, there were no TV shows that centered around a divorced woman. Think about the women in your life. Are most of them married, divorced, single or widowed?
Many are married, many are divorced, and many of them are single. I don’t think I know many widowed… yet.

8) The MTM production company logo featured a mewing kitten. The cat was found in a Minneapolis shelter, and, after her sequence was shot, she was adopted by a crew member who named her Mimsie. What's the name of the last cat -- or dog or hamster or rabbit -- that you petted?

9) Random question -- Would you rather have a job that kept you seated on your fanny or standing on your feet?
I had a job where I sat on my fanny all day and now I am paying for it healthwise.

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

Friday, July 27, 2018

I Told You So

Back in 2016 elections I warned you about what would happen if Trump was elected and sadly it is coming true.
The Religious Right Appears Intent On Criminalizing Gay Sex Again
Huffington Gay Voices
By Michelangelo Signorile
July 24, 2018

With Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings coming up, it’s important to underscore that some anti-LGBTQ leaders appear to be going for the brass ring, far beyond just dismantling marriage equality. They’re signaling they want to see the Supreme Court allow states to once again ban sodomy.

The reality of that may sound crazy and horrifying, but just a year and a half ago, many things sounded crazy and horrifying. The U.S. is separating children from their parents at the border (and dragging its feet on reuniting them, even under court order) and the president of the United States publicly sided with a longtime adversary over American intelligence, which he continues to attack. And it appears Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

So anything can happen.

Banning gay sex, as I noted in the lead-up to Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings, is something he likely believes is constitutional. Unlike Justice Anthony Kennedy, the leader on gay rights on the court, Gorsuch is, as the respected NPR Supreme Court reporter Nina Totenberg and her colleague Lauren Russell described him, a “self-proclaimed disciple of [the late Justice] Antonin Scalia’s crusade” of originalism: taking the Constitution literally as those who wrote it in its time presumably intended.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [was] the first major crack in the foundation of marriage and human sexuality,” Perkins claimed, referring to Bill Clinton’s deeply flawed 1993 compromise with Congress that allowed gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they remained closeted ― which opened many up to witch hunts, abuse and expulsion.

Perkins went on:
Then, the next biggest shoe would drop — Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Texas’s ban on sodomy. The late Justice Antonin Scalia warned where their mistake would lead: “State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are ... called into question by today’s decision.”
Perkins called Scalia “prophetic,” railing against the Supreme Court for giving “the far-Left the only hammer they’d need to destroy thousands of years of human history” and lamenting the Obergefell marriage equality ruling.
So what is this “Originalism?”

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary,
: a legal philosophy that the words in documents and especially the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted as they were understood at the time they were written
  • Some judges believe the best way to interpret the Constitution … lies in an approach called originalism. The judges who follow this approach look to history to discover what those who wrote the Constitution most likely thought about the content and scope of a constitutional phrase, and they interpret the phrase accordingly. —Stephen Breyer
  • The main point of originalism, which has driven conservative legal theory for a generation, is that the Constitution does not evolve. —Garrett Epps
The opinion article by Michelangelo Signorile goes on to say,
Originalism was an obscure theory in the 1980s but has since become mainstreamed into the conservative movement. Linda Greenhouse, a veteran New York Times Supreme Court reporter, reminded us last year that Kennedy was nominated by President Ronald Reagan after the Senate voted down Judge Robert Bork, an originalist:
Judge Bork’s insistence that the Constitution must be interpreted in light of the original understanding of its authors, a view Judge Gorsuch is said to share, was a fringe notion in 1987. [During his confirmation hearings] Justice Anthony M. Kennedy reassured the Senate by rejecting originalism; the Constitution’s framers had “made a covenant with the future,” he declared in his confirmation hearing.
The problem is as I see it Originalist think that the Constitution is not a living document and want to base their court rulings on thinking 229 years old. Back then a black person was only three fifths of a person and women didn’t even count as a person but rather as property of their husband.

The problem is that if you read the original letters between the constitutional delegates their thoughts are all over the place and you can Originalists will cherry pick the passages that they want just like they do with the Bible.

The Signorile goes on to write…
As Totenberg and Russell noted, it was Kennedy’s sound rejection of originalism that paved the way for his taking the lead on throwing out sodomy bans:

Disagreements [among conservative justices] were never more apparent than in a series of decisions about gay rights written by the usually conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy ... In a decision striking down a Texas law that criminalized private, consensual “homosexual conduct,” Kennedy asserted that the Founding Fathers did not specify all liberties because they expected that list to change [emphasis added].
So we are going down a steep slope and the ending doesn’t look good for us.

I see more “religious freedom” cases going against us, I see more cases where Title VII and Title IX rulings are against us, and I even see where the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is torn apart.

Will we go back to a time when government was peeking into our bedrooms? Will we go back to a time where we had to have three items of birth gender clothing on us?

Remember only you can prevent this from happening. VOTE.

If you do not vote in November than you are just as culpable as those who voted for this abomination.

What Would You Do?

Every day we run the risk of being discriminated against; whether employment discrimination, or in housing, or public accommodation there is always that possibility.
Elderly lesbian couple rejected from retirement community because they are married
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
26th July 2018

An elderly lesbian couple who have been together for 40 years were refused a place together in a retirement community because they are in a same-sex marriage.

The couple visited the community in July 2016 and had even put down a a $2,000 deposit for a home, when their application was rejected because they are married.

They were told: “Your request to share a single unit does not fall within the categories permitted by the long-standing policy of Friendship Village Sunset Hills.”

The owners cited its cohabitation policy, which only permits opposite-sex married couples under the belief that marriage is the “the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible.”
Okay first strike, Missouri does not have a non-discrimination that covers sexual orientation. Second strike, the federal Fair Housing law doesn’t specially bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. Third strike, the current Department of Housing administration will not help with the case and might even come out in support of the retirement community saying that it was “religious freedom.”

The Huffington Post reported...
Still, legal experts told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Nance and Walsh could face a tough fight in court. Though Missouri’s Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, nationality and other classes, it does not protect from retaliation in places of public accommodation based on sexuality or gender identity. 
So it is going to be a long uphill battle with the deck stacked against us.

Suppose you want to buy a house and they told you that they don’t sell to trans people or lesbians and gays. What would you do?

Thursday, July 26, 2018


We won in Puerto Rico and in Oregon, both major victories but how long will this winning streak last now that Trump and the Republicans are packing the courts with “Originalist” and judges who put the Bible above the Constitution.
Judge’s ruling supports Oregon school’s transgender policy
By The Associated Press
July 25, 2018

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against an Oregon school district’s policy that allows transgender students to use locker rooms and bathrooms of the gender they identify with instead of their birth sex.

Some parents and students at a high school in Dallas, Oregon, said in the lawsuit that the policy caused “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, intimidation, fear, apprehension, and stress produced by using the restroom with students of the opposite sex.”

Similar lawsuits have been dismissed by courts in several other parts of the country. Mat dos Santos, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon which intervened in this lawsuit, said the group would fight a similar one recently filed in Sutherlin, Oregon.

In his 56-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez said “high school students do not have a fundamental privacy right to not share school restrooms, lockers, and showers with transgender students whose biological sex is different than theirs.”
In another federal case…
The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in May rejected a similar lawsuit, saying plaintiffs may experience stress because of transgender students’ presence in school facilities, but that stress was not “comparable to the plight of transgender students who are not allowed to use facilities consistent with their gender identity,” Hernandez noted.
I love their thinking “comparable to the plight of transgender students who are not allowed to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

Meanwhile down in Puerto Rico,
A 19-Year-Old Puerto Rican Transgender Woman Cheers Gender-Change-Policy
Daniela Arroyo González: "Puerto Rico is now a more free and inclusive country"
NBC Chicago
By Sofia Cerda Campero
July 25, 2018

After a 15-year legal battle, the Puerto Rican government began a policy which allows transgender people to correct their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity.

This change comes into effect on July 15, three months after Lambda Legal brought the case, Arroyo v. Rosselló, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico on behalf of three transgender Puerto Ricans: Daniela Arroyo-González, Victoria Rodríguez and a transgender man identified as J.G, and the NGO Puerto Rico Para Tod@s.

“This fight began a long time ago and we have finally succeeded,” Omar González Pagan, an attorney for Lambda Legal, told NBC.
District Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo who signed the order, stated: “The right to identify our own existence lies at the heart of one’s humanity. And so, we must heed their voices: 'the woman that I am,' 'the man that I am.'"

She said the historic change would give a voice to a community greatly harmed by discrimination, adding  “They cannot wait for another generation, hoping for a lawmaker to act.”
Another smart judge.

I worry about what the courts will become with almost 200 judges appointed by Trump.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Against The Wind

It is an uphill battle when you are fighting for your child right to exist and when you do stand up you become a target for the right wingers.
The Story of My Transgender Daughter Went Viral. Here's How Life Has Been for Us Since.
I used to say, "After this fight is won I'll go back to my 'normal' life." But I can't.
Good Housekeeping
By Kimberly Shappley, As Told To Breanne Randall

It’s been more than a year since I first shared the story about my transgender daughter, Kai, but the ball started rolling long before it published in April 2017.

Kai transitioned publicly right before she entered kindergarten. Around that same time, the superintendent of our former school district in Pearland, Texas, gave an interview to the Houston Chronicle in which he compared bathroom use by transgender students to pedophilia and polygamy. That’s when the momma bear in me came out and an active political role became a necessity.

I started by attending school board meetings and giving speeches. As a Christian mom to a transgender kid, I couldn’t stand by and let this far right, ultra conservative, Christian man be the mouthpiece for my faith.
That is the thing, there is no one Christian value each facet of Christianity has its own values and we cannot allow the evangelicals to dominate the conversation. It also why religion should be keep out of politics something the Republicans do understand, that is why the Constitution has as its first amendment the separation of church and state which is something that the Republicans and their evangelical allies don’t understand.

She gave up the fight against the religious zealots and moved.
So, over spring break of that school year, I felt it was necessary to move my family to Austin, Texas. On Kai's first day, one of the first things I noticed was a rainbow poster stating, “We’re an LGBT affirming school district.” Suddenly, Kai was just a kid with normal childhood issues. But the reality continued to hit that our battle wasn’t over.
They should not to have to move to be safe, to be able to live without being hated.
I want to know that if I order a cake for my daughter, I won’t be denied because it’s against his or her religion. I want Kai to be safe going into restrooms. I want her to be able to get legally married. So when Equality Texas, the oldest and largest Texas state LGBT organization asked me to be their Faith Outreach Coordinator, I couldn’t pass it up. They saw that my outreach in the faith community was an important part of the solution and it’s been a blessing to continually share God’s love for the LGBT community.
I think everyone who has stepped forward in this battle has done so because they wanted to right a wrong.

We are in it for the long battle.

It Is More Than Bathrooms

That is what we have been saying about the Massachusetts ballot initiative to repeal the public accommodation law that protects us. And the same is true with schools; it is more than bathrooms and locker rooms.
More Than Just Bathrooms
A new study finds that while the proper restrooms are important to transgender students, they want much more to feel comfortable on their campuses.
Inside Higher Ed
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf 
July 25, 2018

Many of the public battles for transgender students have centered on the bathrooms they want to use. And according to a new paper, gender-neutral restrooms are the accommodation transgender and gender-nonconforming college students want most on their campuses. But there’s much more on their wish lists that would make them feel safe and comfortable.

Researchers at Clark University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst surveyed more than 500 transgender and gender-nonconforming undergraduates and graduate students, as well as a handful of recent graduates. They wanted to know what institutions are offering those students -- what policies and accommodations are in place -- and how important they are to students. The authors created a list of 17 services and asked participants whether their campus offered them and how significant they were.

Of most import were restrooms, specifically gender-neutral bathrooms in campus buildings. Despite ranking them No. 1, a little under half of the students -- nearly 45 percent -- surveyed said that their institutions had the correct facilities.

Next on the want list was a nondiscrimination policy that protected gender identity and expression. Nearly two-thirds -- 65 percent -- indicated that their institutions had created one. And third was a university-affiliated student organization specifically for LGBTQ students; nearly all students -- 92 percent reported that their institution sponsored a group.
The article goes on to say what some of the other concerns of trans people on campus, they are; training of school staff including professors, and a name policy for preferred name and legal name.
When students felt more at ease to express themselves and their gender identity, they reported a greater sense of belonging on the campus, the study found. When they felt supported, through policy or otherwise, they also felt more at home.

“There isn’t one answer,” Goldberg said of being inclusive. “It doesn’t mean everyone should be asking for pronouns. Being gender inclusive means different things to different people.”
The paper abstract,
This mixed-methods study of 507 trans and gender-nonconforming students (75% undergraduate, 25% graduate) aimed to understand (a) what institutional factors are associated with the presence of more trans-inclusive policies/supports, (b) what trans-inclusive policies/supports are viewed as important by different groups of trans students, and (c) how the presence of such policies/supports is related to trans students’ sense of belonging on campus and their perception of campus climate. Results indicated that religiously affiliated institutions and two-year institutions tend to lag behind in their inclusivity of trans students. Gender-inclusive restrooms, nondiscrimination policies that are inclusive of gender identity, and the ability to change one’s name on campus records without legal name change were among the supports that students valued most. Students articulated many concrete suggestions for institutions seeking to be more inclusive of their trans students. The known presence of trans-inclusive policies/supports was related to a greater sense of belonging and more positive perceptions of campus climate. These findings provide consultants and practitioners with guidance in identifying and promoting systems-level changes needed to support trans students.
I think what it all boils down to is that we just want to live our lives in our true gender without hassle.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Another Legal Attack

How many of these types of law suits have we seen and eventually they will find a friendly judge that was appointed by Trump.
Plaintiff in transgender bathroom lawsuit says she just wants to protect her son's privacy
News Review Today
By Carisa Cegavske Senior Staff Writer
July 21, 2018

Summer Eastwood said she was caught off guard on the January day when her son’s school called to tell her that a transgender male student had walked into the bathroom while her son and a couple other boys were peeing in the urinals.

Eastwood said she thought the Sutherlin School District had a policy that would prevent something like that happening at Sutherlin High School, where her son was a sophomore. She went to the principal. She went to the district superintendent. She asked for a policy, but she was told there wasn’t one.

Then, on Feb. 6, the school district issued a memo. It said that based on legal advice regarding state law, the district would allow transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their gender identities, whether or not those matched their sex assigned at birth.

Shortly afterward, Eastwood started looking for legal advice. Local attorneys turned her down flat, she said, but the California-based Pacific Justice Institute was willing to take the case. In May, Eastwood and her son, identified in the lawsuit only as T.B., filed a lawsuit against the school district in Douglas County Circuit Court.
Ah yes, the Pacific Justice Institute.

You might remember the Pacific Justice Institute; Codding v. Placer Co. Clerk where they sued California for changing the marriage license form when they changed the form from “Bride and Groom” to “Party A and Party B,” supported the unsuccessful Proposition 38 in the 2000 California elections, supported Proposition 8, a 2008 California ballot initiative that defined marriage as one man and one woman, they opposed SB 1172, a 2012 California law which bans conversion therapy for children under 18, and opposes the School Success and Opportunity Act, a 2013 California law which allows transgender public school students to use restrooms and play on sports teams that fit their gender identity.

Also the Southern Poverty Law Center labels them as an anti-LGBT hate group.

So she is upset because a trans student used the bathroom.

Did anyone expose themselves? No.

Did anyone do anything improper or illegal? No.

All the trans student did is use the bathroom.
She said her concern is protecting her son and other kids from an invasion of privacy.

Eastwood said the boys who were in the bathroom were embarrassed having Tyler in the bathroom, and that they worried knowing it might happen again.
People were embarrassed when a black person used the bathroom.

People were embarrassed when a gay man used the bathroom.

Being embarrassed is not grounds for discrimination.

Big Brother Is Watching You Or “Your Papers Please”.

I remember when I was little; we used to criticize communist Russia for requiring travel documents if you had to leave your community. Back then we could not even in our wildest dreams imagine the surveillance that is now in use here in the U.S. and around the world.
If Tolls Become Reality, The ACLU Wants Privacy
By Christine Stuart
July 23, 2018

HARTFORD, CT — The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut wants to make sure that data gathered by any future electronic tolling system on state highways isn’t sold or used by the government to track down undocumented immigrants.
ACLU Executive Director David McGuire asked for a meeting with state Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker to talk about potential “serious privacy issues” that come along with electronic tolls. The meeting was granted and will occur next month.

“Should an electronic tolling system be developed in our state, it will most likely use automatic license plate readers (ALPR’s), which are cameras that can scan and record thousands of license plates per minute. When an ALPR system captures an image of a license plate, it also tags each file with a time, date, and GPS location of the photograph,” McGuire wrote last week in a letter to Redeker.

That means the government can track where someone has gone, how fast they are going, where they are going, and who visits certain locations, raising serious First and Fourth Amendment concerns, according to McGuire.
McGuire said there’s a concern that if the information is stored then someone could reconstruct the movements of a driver over weeks, months, or years. He said it could open the door to retroactive government surveillance of “innocent people without warrant, without probable case, and without any form of judicial oversight.”
I don’t know if you have noticed those cameras on police cars, they are there to read your license plates as they drive past a car and they are being used by police everywhere. You stop by your favorite bar on the way home from work and you notice a police car drive through the parking lot… well the police just scanned every license plate in the parking lot. You go to a Women’s March on Washington Rally and you see a police car drive through the parking lot… well the police just scanned every license plate of everyone at the rally.

Have you noticed on Facebook when you post a picture that Facebook identified everyone in the picture? When you walk in to a sports event and walk past a security camera well the police could have just scanned you with a face recognition program.

You go to a rally against ICE… are you being scanned by a face recognition program by ICE?
Earlier this year, The Verge reported that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had contracted with Vigilant Solutions to provide license plate reader information. It’s the same company the Connecticut Capitol Chiefs of Police Association contracted with to provide the region’s license plate reader database.
Or you go to an anti-Trump rally are you being scanned?
Face Scanning Technology Threatens Privacy
Hartford Courant
By Clare Garvie
July 22, 2018

When deployed as a tool to unlock your phone, facial recognition may be a convenience. When used by a company to tag you in photos, the technology may raise questions of privacy, consent and data security. But when deployed as a surveillance tool, facial recognition upends some of our most basic assumptions about how the police interact with the public.

"If we move too fast with facial recognition, we may find that people's fundamental rights are being broken," Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a blog post last week, calling for transparency, regulation and corporate responsibility with this technology.

He might actually be understating the issue.

Imagine attending a public gathering — a political rally, an immigration-policy protestor an anti-abortion march — and police officers walk through the crowds demanding each attendee show identification. You would be justified both in your outrage at this intrusion and in refusing to comply. In this country, a police officer must suspect you of committing a crime before stopping you on the street and requiring an answer to the question: "Who are you?"
In China, face-scanning surveillance is deployed by the government to do exactly this. Cameras scan and check the faces of passersby against a national database of names, ages and ethnicities. The system can inform authorities about everywhere you have been over the past few days, and everyone you may have met.
Also consider...
And what happens if a system like this gets it wrong? A mistake by a video-based surveillance system may mean an innocent person is followed, investigated, and maybe even arrested and charged for a crime he or she didn't commit. A mistake by a face-scanning surveillance system on a body camera could be lethal. An officer, alerted to a potential threat to public safety or to himself, must, in an instant, decide whether to draw his weapon. A false alert places an innocent person in those cross hairs.

Facial-recognition technology advances by the day, but problems with accuracy and misidentifications persist, especially when the systems must contend with poor-quality images — such as from surveillance cameras.
Right now there are no limits on the use of electronic data identification apps by law enforcement, there are no limits on businesses and individual use of electronic data identification apps. There are no limits on the length of time that they can keep the data and there are no laws preventing combining the databases… think about a mega database of all you toll data, facial recognition database, and license database to track you.


Yes, especially with the Trump administration.

What I would like to see are laws limiting the time the data could be kept, prohibiting the combining of databases, and the requirement that the police obtain warrants to search the databases. I would like to businesses required to post notices if they use identity programs to track customers.

What does this has to do with trans?

Way back in the very early 2000’s a Fantasia Fair attendee did want her picture taken because of face recognition apps and I thought that she was paranoid now I don’t think that, I think she might have been working on a face recognition program back then.

How would trans people feel if say a police car drove through the parking lot at a hotel holding a trans conference? If you were going out for a night on the town crossdressed and you go to a Drag show and the police scan the license plates in the parking lot; would you go there?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Possibly An Interesting Discussion

I say possibly because I haven’t read all the article in a two week discussion on the Economist on trans rights.
After two weeks, our transgender identity series comes to a close
Of course our participants have not reached a consensus, writes Helen Joyce, but disagreements are par for the course in a liberal society
By H.J.
Jul 17th 2018

In 2016 Deborah Cameron, a feminist and linguist at Oxford University, wrote a “brief history” of the word “gender”. It used to refer primarily to the socially imposed division of the sexes, she explains. “Feminists of my generation understood gender as part of the apparatus of patriarchy: a social system, built on the biological foundation of human sexual dimorphism, which allocated different roles, rights and responsibilities to male and female humans.”

To women who understand the word “gender” thus, being described as a “cisgender woman” (a coinage by analogy with “trans”: “cis” is the Latin prefix for “on this side of”) can be taken to imply that they are content to live within the narrow confines of femininity under the patriarchy: subservient, abused and underpaid. Such women often describe themselves as “gender-critical”, and when a man says he must transition because he “feels like a woman” they deny there is any such feeling. To people who say they must transition in order to match their gender identity, they respond that gender is an externally imposed constraint that can—and should, for everyone’s benefit—be shrugged away.

But, as Professor Cameron goes on to explain, that is no longer what the word “gender” means to everyone. In recent years a new meaning has come to the fore: “a form of identity, located in and asserted by individuals rather than imposed on them from outside”. Gender in this sense is not just distinct from sex; it has no necessary connection to sex, she explains. For people who use “gender” this way, the point of the “cis” prefix is not to indicate that someone likes pink (or blue) and skirts (or trousers), or that a woman accepts sexual assault, mansplaining and discrimination as their lot in life. And when people object to being described as “cis”, it is their turn to bristle. If “trans” people are the only ones who need a qualifier before “woman” or “man”, then everyone else is…what? “Normal”?
Discussion is good… but.

But when one party wants to deny your existence or your basic human rights it is not open to discussion.

You want to discuss banning us from going the bathroom or being served in a restaurant… that is oppression and is not open to discussion.

You want to discuss if being trans is a choice or not… fine.

You want to discuss if God hates us… fine. But don’t force your religious views on us.

Simone de Beauvoir in her famous book “The Second Sex” where he said “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman,” I think over time the definition of gender has changed. But I think that the definition of “gender” has changed because of science, we now know that the sense of maleness and femaleness is located in the brain, is that gender or is it something different.

I think there can be a lot of debate about “gender” but in that debate we cannot allow our existence to be questioned.


We are “Out” 24/7

Whenever we walk out the door we are exposed, for many of us there is no hiding. There is an article in Pink News about lesbians and gays being afraid of holding hands in public…
By Nick Duffy  
3rd July 2018,

LGBT people in the UK still have a significantly worse life satisfaction than the general public, a landmark government survey has found.

More than 100,000 people responded to the survey, which makes it the largest national survey of LGBT people conducted in the world to date.

The survey found a number of shocking disparities between the LGBT community and the general public, underlining the level of work still required on LGBT rights.
Respondents were significantly “less satisfied with their life” in general than the UK population, scoring it 6.5 out of 10 on average – compared with 7.7 for the general UK population.
Here is another article from Britain about trans people and the British press,
The constant attack on transgender people is costing us our lives
Like many trans people in the UK today, we’re growing tired of debating our existence. Despite support from various institutions such as the NHS and more recently the Church of England, many of the biggest media platforms in the UK seem willing to fuel misconceptions and hatred
The Independent
By Fox Fisher and Owl Fisher
Thursday 16 November 2017

Like many trans people in the UK today, we’re growing tired of debating our existence. Despite support from various institutions such as the NHS and more recently the Church of England, many of the biggest media platforms in the UK seem willing to fuel misconceptions and hatred towards the trans community.

Trans people pose absolutely no greater threat to society or people within it than cisgender people, yet the media refuses to accept this fact. A recent Times article argued that more rights for transgender people would endanger children, both by forcing them to share a space with trans people and by making transitioning easier.

What articles such as these fail to realise is that all trans people were children too once. The sudden rise in young trans people seeking access to healthcare isn’t because it’s a trend or because of pressure from the “powerful trans lobby”– it’s because trans people are becoming less likely to suppress our true selves due to social shame, stigma and discrimination.

Specific trans people are targets of articles, in which they are constantly misgendered and called “girls who want to be boys” or “trans-women-born-males”. These articles suggest that it’s just something that we want to be as opposed to something that we actually are.
Also the Guardian ran an article about the attacks on us by the media,
Trans people already face a hostile world. Now the media is making it worse
Trans children are at high risk of self-harm and bullying. What they need is understanding and support; what they receive is vilification and ridicule
By Paris Lees
17 November 2017

Some children are transgender. You can accept them and love them for who they say they are or make their lives hell – those are the options.

I’ve been telling people I’m a girl, and would be happier if they would treat me like one, since I was four. My parents tried to force me – like many trans people – to be t’he gender they thought I should be, causing us years of unnecessary misery. You cannot “turn” a child trans any more than you can turn a child gay. Nor can you stop a child from being trans any more than you can force a child who is gay to grow up heterosexual. It doesn’t work like that. You can’t bully someone into being someone else, and why would you even want to? That’s why all professional psychological organisations, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the NHS condemn conversion therapy as dangerous and ineffective.
Yet religious extremists are invited on to morning television to argue that trans kids should be “helped” by forcing conversion therapy on them. The presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield did a superb job of holding them to account, but why are we hearing from people with such extreme views in the first place? Nor do I understand how these bigots can claim to care about gender-diverse kids, yet fail to mention how vulnerable they are without proper family and medical support.
You might also remember what happened at the Pride march in London this year when TREF snuck into the front of the parade…
Activists from Get the L Out held anti-transgender signs and blocked the parade route until they were allowed to participate
By Bailey Vogt
July 10, 2018

The organizers of London’s Pride march have apologized after allowing a group of anti-transgender lesbian activists to lead Saturday’s parade.

Eight members of activist group Get the L Out, which believes that transgender women are “coercing lesbians to have sex with men,” stormed the start of the parade route, blocking progress for ten minutes.

The women held banners saying “lesbian = female homosexual” and “Transactivism erases lesbians.” One of the activists reportedly shouted out: “A man who says he’s a lesbian is a rapist.”

Pride organizers eventually allowed the group to lead the parade, despite not being officially registered, due to safety concerns over the heatwave affecting the city, according to a spokesperson from Pride in London.
Where is all this hate coming from?

Where else… us as in the U.S.

They  are exporting their hate around the world… “missionaries” are going around the world to preach their hate for anything LGBT and they are finding support. Many of the global news companies are sending out their message of hate, from the Russia Times [kind of ironic that this is from RT]
The Times is at the center of a transphobic bullying storm after the respected national newspaper carried a whole series of articles about a teenager – in the space of just two weeks. Transgender Lily Madigan took to social media to beg journalists to end reports about her, insisting her mental health is being impacted under the relentless attention of the media spotlight.

The student, 19, was first noticed by the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper when she was elected as the woman’s officer for Rochester and Strood, in Kent, after being involved in a campaign to oust the lesbian woman previously in the role.

A fellow Labour member in Kent revealed to RT UK that Lily contacted the Times herself, after being proud of her election to the voluntary position.

However, since then, the paper has appeared to follow her every move, sparking outrage from journalist and commentator Owen Jones, trans rights activists, and scores of angered social media users.
I started out writing about lesbians and gays fearing to hold hands but the thing is many of us are always out and are being constantly harassed and discriminated against. They fear holding hands, we fear going to the bathroom. I don't mean to belittle their fears, they are real but we face those dangers every day we walk out the door..

Beware we are facing dangers ahead as people start looking for scapegoats for the failing economy and we are the ones being tagged as the cause of all the world's problems.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

I Have Always Said…

That we are in a unique position to see the way men and women are treated differently. To paraphrase Joni Mitchell; I've looked at life from both sides now. From male and female...
Crossing the divide
Do men really have it easier? These transgender guys found the truth was more complex.
The Washington Post
By Tara Bahrampour
July 20, 2018

In the 1990s, the late Stanford neuroscientist Ben Barres transitioned from female to male. He was in his 40s, mid-career, and afterward he marveled at the stark changes in his professional life. Now that society saw him as male, his ideas were taken more seriously. He was able to complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man. A colleague who didn’t know he was transgender even praised his work as “much better than his sister’s.”
But it is not always evident when someone has undergone a transition — especially if they have gone from female to male.

“The transgender guys have a relatively straightforward process — we just simply add testosterone and watch their bodies shift,” said Joshua Safer, executive director at the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System and Icahn School of Medicine in New York. “Within six months to a year they start to virilize — getting facial hair, a ruddier complexion, a change in body odor and a deepening of the voice.”
Here are some of their stories…
‘I’ll never call the police again’
Trystan Cotten, 50, Berkeley, Calif.

Life doesn’t get easier as an African American male. The way that police officers deal with me, the way that racism undermines my ability to feel safe in the world, affects my mobility, affects where I go. Other African American and Latino Americans grew up as boys and were taught to deal with that at an earlier age. I had to learn from my black and brown brothers about how to stay alive in my new body and retain some dignity while being demeaned by the cops

One night somebody crashed a car into my neighbor’s house, and I called 911. I walk out to talk to the police officer, and he pulls a gun on me and says, “Stop! Stop! Get on the ground!” I turn around to see if there’s someone behind me, and he goes, “You! You! Get on the ground!” I’m in pajamas and barefoot. I get on the ground and he checks me, and afterward I said, “What was that all about?” He said, “You were moving kind of funny.” Later, people told me, “Man, you’re crazy. You never call the police.”
Race influences how people choose to transition. I did an ethnographic study of trans men and found that 96 percent of African American and Latino men want to have surgery, while only 45 percent of white respondents do. That’s because a trans history can exacerbate racial profiling. When they pat you down, if you don’t have a penis it’s going to be obvious (or if you’re a trans woman and you have a penis, that becomes obvious). If they picked you up for popping a wheelie or smoking weed, if they find out you’re trans it can be worse for you.
I know a successful black trans man who lives in a middle class neighborhood (translated a white neighborhood) and when “she” used to walk down the street she never got stopped by the police, now when “he” walks down the street he is stopped and asked what “he” is doing in the neighborhood.
‘It now feels as though I am on my own’
Zander Keig, 52, San Diego
Coast Guard veteran. Works at Naval Medical Center San Diego as a clinical social work case manager. Editor of anthologies about transgender men. Started transition in 2005.

Prior to my transition, I was an outspoken radical feminist. I spoke up often, loudly and with confidence. I was encouraged to speak up. I was given awards for my efforts, literally — it was like, “Oh, yeah, speak up, speak out.” When I speak up now, I am often given the direct or indirect message that I am “mansplaining,” “taking up too much space” or “asserting my white male heterosexual privilege.” Never mind that I am a first-generation Mexican American, a transsexual man, and married to the same woman I was with prior to my transition.

I find the assertion that I am now unable to speak out on issues I find important offensive and I refuse to allow anyone to silence me. My ability to empathize has grown exponentially, because I now factor men into my thinking and feeling about situations. Prior to my transition, I rarely considered how men experienced life or what they thought, wanted or liked about their lives. I have learned so much about the lives of men through my friendships with men, reading books and articles by and for men and through the men I serve as a licensed clinical social worker.
In another story,
‘People assume I know the answer’
Alex Poon, 26, Boston
Project manager for Wayfair, an online home goods company. Alex is in the process of his physical transition; he did the chest surgery after college and started taking testosterone this spring.
People now assume I have logic, advice and seniority. They look at me and assume I know the answer, even when I don’t. I’ve been in meetings where everyone else in the room was a woman and more senior, yet I still got asked, “Alex, what do you think? We thought you would know.” I was at an all-team meeting with 40 people, and I was recognized by name for my team’s accomplishments. Whereas next to me, there was another successful team led by a woman, but she was never mentioned by name. I went up to her afterward and said, “Wow, that was not cool; your team actually did more than my team.” The stark difference made me feel uncomfortable and brought back feelings of when I had been in the same boat and not been given credit for my work.
A trans woman friend who can integrate into society at ease and is an enginnering project manager at an international company says now she is ignored in meetings and once she was asked to get the coffee! While a trans man I know says that all of sudden he was an “expert” in cars.

Yes, there are many things that we notices some of them are striking and some of them are subtle. I remember the first time I walked into a women’s and my first thoughts were OMG they talk in here!

There is a definite difference between the way man and women are treated and there is a definite “male privilege.” 

The Damage Is Done

It’s too late, she has suffered a tremendous blow and it will probably take a long time to heal.

Last week I wrote about a trans woman who had a prescription for hormones refused to be filled by the druggist and to add salt to her wounds he kept her prescription.
CVS Apologizes After Pharmacist Harasses Trans Customer
The woman said she “just froze and worked on holding back the tears” as he allegedly harassed her.
Huffington Post
By Sara Bobolt
July 20, 2018

On Friday, one day after Hall shared her story publicly, CVS announced that the pharmacist who allegedly harassed her is no longer employed with the company. CVS would not clarify whether the pharmacist was fired, telling HuffPost that it does not comment on employment decisions.

In an apology statement, CVS said the man’s conduct “violated company policies and does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care.”

A CVS spokesman said it requires pharmacists to notify the company in advance about any religious convictions they have that would interfere with their ability to perform their job, so management “can ensure there are other arrangements in place to ensure the patient’s medication needs are promptly satisfied.”
We don’t know the reason why the pharmacists didn’t want to fill the prescription but one we know it wasn’t on medical grounds because the doctor called the pharmacists and he still refused to fill the prescription.
An American Civil Liberties Union spokesman told HuffPost that she appreciates the company’s response. She got a call from a CVS representative who “offered a sincere apology on behalf of the company and said that the pharmacist who mistreated [her] acted outside of the company’s guidelines.”

The pharmacist just caused irreparable harm to her but it all could be perfectly legal in Arizona.
Arizona is one of six states with “conscience clauses” to protect pharmacists who do not wish to fill prescriptions on moral or religious grounds, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
Much like CVS, Walgreens ― which was recently involved in a similar incident in Arizona ― requires pharmacists to refer the customer to a co-worker or manager “in a timely manner,” The Arizona Republic reported. The retailer announced plans to revamp employee training after an employee in June refused to fill a woman’s prescription to treat her miscarriage.
So what happens if the pharmacist says that notifying the company of his objections is also against their religious beliefs… it is a never ending cycle of madness hidden behind religion.

What I want to know is why if the person is so religious that he lies and breaks an oath is okay. They take an oath like doctors do. The American Pharmacists Association oath is…
"I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow:
  • I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.
  • I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.
  • I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.
  • I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence.
  • I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct.
  • I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.
  • I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.
  • I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.”
But is seems okay to let other people suffer because of their religious beliefs… somehow this seems to me to very wrong, to wreck a person’s life because of your religious beliefs.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday 9: Gidget

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Gidget (1965)

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

1) Gidget was a sitcom that ran only one season. Have you ever seen it?
Yes, I did watch it along with all the other Gidget movies.

2) Gidget is a high school student who is more interested in surfing and boys than in the books. When you were Gidget's age, was your top priority getting good grades? Or were you more involved in the social side of student life?
Definitely not grades, definitely not social life… I was a member of the “Science Club” definitely geeky

3) Gidget's father was nearly always unflappable when it came to his daughter's high-spirited shenanigans. Who is the coolest, calmest person you know?
Over the ages I have learned that being cool is superficial while being calm in the face of adversity is a lot more important.
Yes, and I did avoid naming names

4) Gidget spends as much time as she can at the beach, hanging out with her best friend Larue. Fair-skinned Larue doesn't share Gidget's passion for surfing and prefers to stay on the beach blanket, wearing a floppy hat that protects her from the sun. Are you a sun worshipper? Or, like Larue, are you careful about your exposure to the sun?
I’m the floppy hat type… I just bought a new floppy hat.
When I go to the beach I use SPF 50 or higher, have a big umbrella.

5) Gidget, the quintessential California girl, was created by Freidrich Kohner, an Austrian-born screenwriter. Can you think of another Austrian import?
Paul Hogan
Crocodile Dundee, I liked to first movie but the second movie was very derogatory to trans people and makes a laugh out of a sexual assault.

Yikes! My dyslexia strikes again... I thought it was Australia

6) Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller wrote this week's Gidget theme. They also wrote the 1960 hit song, "Everybody's Somebody's Fool." When is the last time you felt foolish?
Oh just about every day… how many times are we harder on ourselves and want to bang our head against a wall.

7) This is the show that introduced Sally Field. She went on to win two Oscars and four Emmy Awards. When you think of Sally, what role comes to mind?
Norma Rae

8) Today Gidget is a grandmother. Sally reports that her grandchildren especially enjoy "sleepovers at Granny's." Where were you the last time you spent the night away from home?
Um… last night, tonight if the cottage counts
If not then in April when I stayed on the Cape overnight for the “Home” inspection on the cottage.

9) Random question -- Describe your perfect lazy afternoon.
Laying in the shade on a hammock read a sifi book sipping a cold drink.

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

Friday, July 20, 2018

It Is Starting!

Trump’s hate is spreading to pharmacies.

A pharmacist refused to fill a trans woman’s prescription for hormones and took her prescription.
My Pharmacist Humiliated Me When He Refused to Fill My Hormone Prescription
By Hilde Hall
July 19, 2018

That’s when my day took a turn. After years of working to affirm my identity in a world where transgender people are questioned constantly about how well they know themselves, the pharmacist refused to fill one of the prescriptions needed to affirm my identity.

He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal. He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions.

Embarrassed and distressed, I nearly started crying in the middle of the store. I didn’t want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor. I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers. I just froze and worked on holding back the tears.
The pharmacist took her prescription and wouldn’t give it back to her and when her doctor called the pharmacist stood his ground and wouldn’t fill the prescription or give back the prescription.
Today, I filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy and am publicly asking CVS to take action and apologize for the way I was treated. CVS has received perfect marks for the past four years in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which is a valuable tool for assessing corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees. But something is still not right. Measures should be in place to ensure no other customer is humiliated like I was.
I have had a minor problem with CVS, one of the women behind the pharmacy counter kept calling me “Sir” with a smile a couple of times and I corrected her, the last time she did it and I corrected her I noticed the pharmacist look up. That was the last time that I saw her.

I don’t have any choice, I have to go to CVS because they are the only pharmacy my insurance recognizes otherwise I will have to mail order my meds and I refuse to do that because of a bad medical experience with mail order.

I Was Lucky

I transitioned when I retired and I had a job at the same place for 28 years; now a days having a job that long is becoming impossible in today’s job shop economy.
As a transgender woman working in the gig economy, I'm humiliated dailyTo make matters worse, the government hardly enforces employment law, so I’ve had to fight for my rightful protectionThe Guardian
By Hayley Stanley
Tue 17 Jul 2018

I say that I suffered similar abuse at work, that I was discriminated against by co-workers and my employer. My ex-employer denies that, but also asserts that I don’t even have a right to complain about any problems I had in an employment tribunal. Despite the fact that I worked only for it, under its direction, consistently worked full days from Monday to Saturday, and was in no sense whatsoever running my own business, it says I was not an employee or a worker. And to be protected against discrimination in the workplace, you have to be one or the other.

My union, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, which has taken on and beaten some of the biggest exploiters in the so-called “gig economy”, advises me that I was misclassified by my employer and am indeed covered by discrimination law. But for many of the non-unionised colleagues in my industry, the fact that the government does next to nothing to enforce employment law gives free rein to courier and private-hire companies to allow rampant discrimination at work. I say the treatment I was subjected to is bad enough. But to now have to go to a tribunal to prove that I have a legal right not to be treated badly at work throws salt on the wounds.
It must be hard if you are a job shopper and you jobs are all temporary and you continually have to look for jobs and if you are trans it must a magnitude harder.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Well I Don’t Agree With This

We are a diverse community, we span the globe, we have different problems, different needs, and different wants, what we share in common is that thing called Gender Dysphoria. So when it comes to definitions and words that hurt we are all over the place; when I do training I say these are the common definitions at least for today.
What's The Difference Between A Crossdresser, Drag Queen, And Being Transgender?
Your Tango
By Rebecca Jane Stokes
July 17, 2018

One of the subjects that comes up frequently in my conversations with my parents is one I also see playing out on the internet daily: language and how we use it when we are talking about identity, persona, and performance in the LGBTQ community. The most common thing I find myself clearing up lately is the difference between being a drag queen, performing in drag, crossdressing, and being transgender.
Okay this is one definition that I say “Whoa” to not so fast…
1. Crossdressing
Being a crossdresser is when a man or a woman (though typically a man) derives sexual enjoyment from dressing in women's clothing. You know how a scented candle and the dank tones of John Tesh can put some people in the mood? For others, it's donning clothing traditionally worn by members of the opposite sex.

It's typically viewed as a kink and can sometimes have a comorbidity with fetishes like foot fetishes or stocking fetishes.

Some people who are crossdressers are also known as transvestites. Don't get it twisted: just because there is a "trans" in front of the word, that doesn't mean that a man who dressed up as a woman for his own sexual pleasure identifies himself as being a woman.
I totally disagree with this!

I know many who crossdress and they do not do it for “sexual enjoyment from dressing in women's clothing” I think she is totally wrong on this and I think it biases the rest of the article. Also everyone I know thinks that the word transvestites is pejorative and do not like the word.
2. Drag queen
A drag queen or a drag king is a person (male or female) who adopts a costume and a persona and performs on stage as a singer, a comedian, or other character. There is a long and storied tradition of drag, and if you want a taste of it, go watch Paris is Burning immediately.
For a drag performer, drag can be an escape, a performance, a form of self-expression, or it could make them feel more like their true self.
I think she is close on this definition.
3. Transgender
A person who is trans was born into the wrong body. While they might have been born biologically male or biologically female, they are simply not the gender that was assigned to their body at birth. A trans person can undergo surgery to correct their body to match how they feel internally, but they don't have to.
A trans person can choose to dress in clothing that they feel is appropriate to their gender. This isn't cross-dressing, and they are not transvestites: they are trans people wearing clothes. That's it.
I think she also got this very wrong, most of the people I know who are trans use Transgender to denote anyone who crosses the gender norms and use the word as an umbrella term. And there is that word again… transvestites!
The Controversy Within The LGBTQ Community
Can a drag queen be a trans person? Sure, if they happen to be a trans person. I'm a straight woman, but if I were to decided to go to a drag show as a man, it's still just drag. Same goes for anyone else. Drag is performance, it isn't identity.
RuPaul's show has attracted controversy for its use of the words "tranny" and "she-male" on their show. These words are often used by drag performers to mock or deride another perform's look. Lately members of the trans community have asked that these more hateful terms be removed from the vernacular. Some people in the drag community agree, while others who feel that drag is about subversion and shock see nothing wrong with using those words.
I do not like RuPaul not because he does drag but because what he has said in the past about trans people (and I use the word in its broadest sense). He has said that he uses the words "tranny" and "she-male" to take them back, but I am sorry, I don’t buy that.

He is just one person under the umbrella and the others under umbrella just don’t agree. Those words are used by others to subjugate us and I also believe he uses those words because there is money in those words for him; people tune in his show to watch the drama and those words are part of the “act.” He is not using them to “buy back the words for the community” but instead to make money off of them. In other words to prostitute them.

As I said at the beginning of this post we are diverse community and we must respect all those who cross the gender norms including drag queens and kings but likewise they have to respect and understand the rest of the community.