Friday, August 31, 2018

We Are Not The Only Ones Under Attack

We all heard about the baker in the Supreme Court case now has refused to bake a cake for a trans person; well now they are attacking our stores.
Client Attacks Houston Photographer After Learning She’s Gay: ‘You’re Going to Burn in Hell’
Customer noticed LGBTQ Pride flag on Alicia Verdier's personal Facebook page.
Out Smart Magazine
By John Wright   
August 25, 2018

A Houston-based photographer says a client waged a hateful campaign against her business after learning she was gay, attacking her personally and leaving negative reviews on social media sites.

Alicia Verdier, who owns Alicia Verdier Photography, said she had agreed to photograph a birthday party for the client’s 5-year-old daughter. That’s when the client went on Verdier’s personal Facebook page and noticed an LGBTQ Pride flag filter on her profile picture.

“Are you gay? Do you do photos for gay people?” the client wrote in a message to Verdier last month, according to screengrabs of the conversation posted on Facebook by Verdier.
So then the hate started…
“I don’t want someone who is gay taking my daughter’s photos,” the client wrote. “I believe it goes against God and is unatural (SIC).”
She started posting on the store’s Facebook page about going to hell, , being a pedophile, and shouldn’t be allowed to photographs children. She said,
… Don’t you know Texas is a Christian state? Why did you even think it would be okay to bring your kind of lifestyle here? Stay away from our good Christian families and our kids! You homos are trying to ruin this country…
The photographer didn’t release the person’s name because,
“I didn’t want to behave in any way similar to her,” Verdier said. “She named me all over the place to try to destroy my reputation, and turning around and doing something similar didn’t feel like the right response. And I didn’t feel like reacting in that way, by naming her, would do anything to change her mind.”
Hate is getting bolder.

I just don’t understand why they feel they have a right to butt into our lives, we just want to live in peace.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Forgotten “B”

We don’t usually hear much about the “B” in “LGBT” but there is now a candidate who came out as Bi.
Kyrsten Sinema wins Arizona primary, major first as bisexual candidate
The Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
August 28, 2018

Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) achieved a significant victory on Tuesday in the Arizona primary when she became the first openly bisexual person to win a major party nomination to run for a U.S. Senate seat.

The Associated Press declared Sinema, a three-term member of Congress, the winner at 9:21 local time after polls closed in Arizona at 7 pm. Sinema was in a contest against Muslim progressive activist Deedra Abboud for the Democratic nomination to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Arizona.

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Sinema won 80.5 percent of the vote compared to the 19.5 percent won by Abboud, according to results from the New York Times.
As the only openly bisexual member of Congress and co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Sinema has taken the lead on LGBT issues during her time in Congress. Among other things, Sinema was a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, comprehensive legislation that would prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in all areas of federal civil rights law and legislation against Trump’s attempted ban on transgender service members.
We don’t usually hear from the silent “B” and I wonder how her anti-LGBT will handle Sinema being Bi will she run on an anti-LGBT platform?

There are other LGBT candidates running for office besides Christine Hallquist bid for Vermont governor.
Sinema wasn’t the only LGBT candidate in a primary race on Tuesday night. Other LGBT candidates were in the fray in Arizona and Florida and had different results:

* In Florida’s 18th congressional district, lesbian candidate and former State Department official Lauren Baer won the Democratic nomination over attorney Pam Keith by a 60-40 margin. Baer will face off against incumbent Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) in the general election.
* Also in Florida, Donna Shalala, a former official with the Department of Health & Human Services during the Clinton, narrowly defeated openly gay State Rep. David Richardson for the Democratic nomination to run in Florida’s 27th congressional district. Shalala will run against Maria Elvira Salazar in race to succeed retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in Congress.
* In Arizona, gay candidate and former Arizona State Rep. Matt Heinz came up short in a bid to claim the Democratic nomination to run in Arizona’s second congressional district against former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.
Notice anyone missing from the list?

Christine Hallquist… but what do you expect from a “Gay” magazine where LGBT really means just "Gay."

Whew… What To Write About

I searched Google News, Yahoo News, Facebook Trans Health page and no new stories popped up, we are in the summer doldrums.

As many of you know I bought a small cottage on Cape Cod in a town near Provincetown and as many of you also know Massachusetts is has a question on their ballot this November to keep protection in public accommodations. The religious right wants to revoke our protections and is mounting a well-funded campaign against us which much of the money coming from sources from outside the state.

The latest polls that I’ve seen put the repeal at a statistical tie.

So what can you do to help in Massachusetts?

Since I am not a resident of Massachusetts I can’t vote in the election but what I can do is be visible.

I live my life as an out trans woman.

I ride the bus, I go shopping, I eat at restaurants, I go to flea markets, I waited in line to get my beach permits, and going to the beach; in other words I am not hiding. I am being seen.

You can do this also and if you want to do more like volunteering to work for a candidate.

You can volunteer to work for the organizations like Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), and MassEquality

They need everyone to help to make sure we don’t lose our rights.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

So You Are Renting…

...And you are being harassed by neighbors or you are in a long term care facility and the other residents are harassing you, what can you do?

Well an appeals court just ruled in our favor.
Lesbian's lawsuit against senior center highlights question of landlord's legal duty to stop harassment
Chicago Tribune
By Gregory Pratt
February 7, 2018

Marsha Wetzel says her senior living home failed to halt the physical and verbal abuse other residents inflicted on her for being a lesbian.

The home, Glen St. Andrew Living Community in Niles, maintains that it did not discriminate against Wetzel and that her claims stem from “ongoing squabbles with an older male resident and a couple of isolated incidents with two elderly female residents.” The allegations do not merit a federal case under the Fair Housing Act, no matter how “cranky or offensive” the residents’ words have been, the home’s attorneys said.

A federal judge last year dismissed Wetzel’s lawsuit, but a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Chicago heard arguments Tuesday that could revive discrimination claims against Glen St. Andrew for allegedly failing to protect the 70-year old woman.
Glen St. Andrew’s attorney, Lisa Hausten, argued in court filings that the home did not discriminate against Wetzel. To the contrary, the senior home defended Wetzel when she first complained and offered medical care after Wetzel said she was pushed from behind while on her scooter, Hausten argued.

But Loewy said Glen St. Andrew had the power to stop residents who discriminated against Wetzel and failed to do so.
Well now the appeal has been heard, Lambda Legal just issued a press release,
VICTORY! Seventh Circuit Holds Housing Providers May Be Liable for Anti-LGBT Abuse Endured by Residents
By Lambda Legal
August 27, 2018

In a case closely watched by both LGBT and housing rights advocates, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today overturned a lower court ruling and held that Glen St. Andrew Living Community in Niles, Illinois, can be held accountable for purposefully failing to protect lesbian senior Marsha Wetzel from the harassment, discrimination and violence she suffered at the hands of other residents because of her sex and sexual orientation.

“This is a tremendous victory for Marsha,” said Karen Loewy, Lambda Legal Senior Counsel and Seniors Strategist. “She, just like all people living in rental housing, whether LGBT or not, should be assured that they will at least be safe from discriminatory harassment in their own homes. What happened to Marsha was illegal and unconscionable, and the Court has now put all landlords on notice that they have an obligation to take action to stop known harassment.
“This duty is particularly clear for senior living facilities like Glen St. Andrew, whose staff are entrusted and paid to provide a safe living environment for seniors, including LGBT residents. We are grateful that the Court understood and reinforced that understanding.”
In today’s ruling, the Court said:
Not only does [the Fair Housing Act] create liability when a landlord intentionally discriminates against a tenant based on a protected characteristic; it also creates liability against a landlord that has actual notice of tenant‐on‐tenant harassment based on a protected status, yet chooses not to take any reasonable steps within its control to stop that harassment.
Note “…it also creates liability against a landlord…”

What does that mean to us?

Well suppose you live in an apartment complex and one of your neighbors is harassing you because you are trans, you tell your landlord and he does nothing; well now we know that this violates the Fair Housing Act.

Another Attack On Our Rights

This time the Republicans think that it is okay to deny us jobs. The courts have ruled that we are covered under Title VII and 16 states are suing.
16 states want the Supreme Court to okay anti-trans workplace discrimination
LGBTQ Nation
By John Gallagher
August 24, 2018

In a move that puts them in league with former Alabama Judge Roy Moore and a leading anti-marriage religious right group, sixteen states have asked the Supreme Court to reaffirm the right of employers to fire you if you are transgender.

At issue is the case of a Michigan funeral home chain that fired one of its funeral home directors after she told them she was transitioning. The employee, Aimee Stephens, sued R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes on the grounds that her dismissal was sex discrimination under federal Title VII law, which prohibits gender discrimination. (There is no employment protection in Michigan for LGBTQ people.)
The Portland Press Herald in Portland Maine reported…
LePage joins court brief seeking to allow companies to legally fire gay or transgender employees
The brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court argues that a portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prevents discrimination against workers, including in pay and benefits, shouldn't apply to gender identity or sexual orientation.
The Tennessean’s headlines cry…
Tennessee fighting court ruling that said people couldn't be fired for being transgender
The Arkansas Times that the Attorney General…
Leslie Rutledge joins push to allow firing transgender people
What do they all have in common?

They are all Republicans.

The Republicans don’t care about us; they only care about power and that the donations that come in to persecute us from the white supremacists and evangelists Christians.

More fallout from the Brown University pulling the research on ROGD (Rapid Onset of Gender Dysphoria), this time from Europe.
Brown University in row with transgender activists over claims gender dysphoria spreading among children
By Olivia Rudgard
28 August 2018

An Ivy League college is embroiled in a row with trans activists over an article which suggested gender dysphoria was spreading among children.

Brown University has removed research from its website which hypothesised that teenagers who came out as transgender were more likely to have friends who were transitioning and were influenced by YouTube videos and social media.

Academics accused the university of bowing to pressure from activists after it removed a news article and link to Lisa Littman's research. A tweet promoting the paper has also been deleted.

The research concluded "social and peer contagion" was a plausible explanation for "cluster outbreaks" and a high number of cases where the majority of children in a friendship group became "transgender-identified".
The announcement was made after critics raised concerns about the political stance of the 256 parents who participated in the study, entitled "rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults".
But Susie Green, the CEO of British charity Mermaids, which supports young transgender people and their families, said the methodology of the study was "completely flawed".

"The places they went to get these responses were very much anti-trans websites. They haven't talked to the young people themselves and the parents are sourced from gender-critical websites, who do not believe that trans children exist, who think that children should be forced to accept their birth gender, no matter how much damage that causes," she told the Telegraph.

"As a colleague, a clinician who works in this field has stated, it's like recruiting from a white supremacist website to demonstrate that black people are an inferior race," she added.
Just reading the article in MedExpress what jumped out me was “the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.” and if you look up the definition of empirically in the Merriam-Webster dictionary
1: originating in or based on observation or experience empirical data
2: relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory an empirical basis for the theory
3: capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment empirical laws
4: of or relating to empiricism
Empirical observations is not the best way to do research and the researcher didn’t talk to the children just their parents.

The Telegraph article goes on to say,
In a statement posted alongside Dr Littman's article, the journal said: "We take all concerns raised about publications in the journal very seriously, and are following up on these per our policy and COPE guidelines.

"As part of our follow up we will seek further expert assessment on the study’s methodology and analyses. We will provide a further update once we have completed our assessment and discussions."
The other question is about the research paper saying that “One of the most compelling findings supporting the potential role of social and peer contagion in the development of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria is the cluster outbreaks of transgender-identification occurring in friendship groups.” She didn’t do any research into the causes of the clusters and once again only talked to the parents.

Take away from all this brouhaha… when you take a survey before you click on “Submit” think about the questions asked are they biased loaded questions? I bailed out of one survey and refused to click on the submit button and refused to post it on our support group.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

That’s What I Say

When someone says to me that “God doesn’t make mistakes” I reply that they are right that God made me trans to test you to see how you treat people who are different… did you pass?
‘He made me transgender on purpose’: Breast-removal surgery could boot Mormon student from Brigham Young
Washington Post
By Isaac Stanley-Becker
August 24, 2018

Starting at age 11, they prayed for breast cancer. So distressing were the markers of their femininity that Kris Irvin — who identifies as a man and uses the pronouns they, them and their — would have welcomed abnormal cell growth in their “crappy and dysfunctional body.”

Irvin knew of no other remedy for the physical and emotional agony that seemed to intertwine in their breasts, as they knew of no word to describe what they were experiencing.

Since they were 3 years old, Irvin said, they were certain that they were male. “But I didn’t know the word ‘transgender’ until I was 28,” said Irvin, who is now 31 and a student at Brigham Young University, a school bound so tightly to the Mormon faith that enrollment rests on evaluation by religious leaders. That requirement could place Irvin’s education in jeopardy.
With that, Irvin also envisions public strife that could test foundational church rules about gender. Irvin, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, studies English at Brigham Young, which enrolls 30,000 undergraduates in Provo, Utah, and they hope to be an editor for a publishing company specializing in young-adult novels. They live with their husband and 10-year-old son about 30 minutes away in Bluffdale, Utah.
The church, to put it mildly, is not a friend of LGBT people. The church was one of the major funders of the battle to overture marriage equality, so as you may expect Irvin had a battle on their hands.
Irvin sent him an email the next day, laying out their reasoning for seeking the procedure and saying that they felt they were being forced to choose between their well-being and their faith. They also pointed out what they observe to be a double standard: that surgery performed to reduce physical pain or conform to a cosmetic ideal would be permitted, but surgery aimed to cure gender dysphoria would not.
“It says that God knitted us together in the womb,” they wrote. “If God does not make mistakes, and we are created in His image, then it stands to reason that He made me transgender on purpose and for a reason.”
My thoughts exactly.

One of the reasons I am an activist is because I believe I was put on this earth for a reason and that is to teach acceptance of those who are difference, whether it is because of a disability, their race or religion, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, or if they are tall or short, or because of their weight, or whatever sets us apart.

Did you pass the test?

Update 1:45 PM

Well it didn’t long for the anti-trans people to start to attack the withdrawn of the paper since I wrote this at morning.

Here is the anti-trans reply.
Response to Julia Serano’s critique of Lisa Littman’s paper: Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Study of Parental ReportsgdWorkingGroup
Roberto D'Angelo
August 27, 2018

Lisa Littman is a physician and researcher in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the Brown University School of Public Health. Her groundbreaking publication examining the proposed phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria has been aggressively criticised by trans activists. Activists argue that Littman’s paper and the actual notion of ROGD, are transphobic. We find this response perplexing. Littman is attempting to examine the possibility that some young people who come to believe they are trans may be doing so for complicated reasons, and that transitioning may not always be an appropriate treatment in these cases. This does not in any way imply that trans identity is not legitimate. The paper focuses on a particular subgroup of people identifying as trans and is not a reflection of trans experience in general and therefore cannot be generalized to apply to all trans people.

We believe that Littman’s paper is fundamentally supportive of the trans community. If Littman has correctly identified a subgroup of people identifying as trans, this will contribute to ensuring that those individuals who will actually benefit from transitioning receive the appropriate support. It will also help identify a group of individuals who have serious mental health needs that would be bypassed or missed if their trans claims were not understood in the complex light that Littman is exploring. The trans community lobbies powerfully for the human rights of those who are gender diverse. Littman’s paper is entirely consistent with these aims in that it raises questions about how the human rights, including the right to appropriate mental health care, of a subgroup of trans youth can be met.
So here is what Julia Serano wrote…
Everything You Need to Know About Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria
August 22, 2018

Who invented the term Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria?Zinnia Jones from Gender Analysis has written two excellent articles chronicling the origins of the phrase “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.” Basically, it originated in July 2016 on three blogs (,, and that have a history of promoting anti-transgender propaganda. The term was intended to explain some parents’ observations that 1) their children came out as transgender seemingly suddenly, often during puberty, and 2) their children also had trans-identified peers and interacted with trans-themed social media. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for reluctant parents to presume that their child has adopted a trans (or LGBTQ+ more generally) identity as a result of undue influence from other children and/or outside sources — hence the recurring accusations about transgender agendas, peer pressure, and trans identities supposedly being “trendy.” ROGD takes this presumption one step further: It asserts that any gender dysphoria these adolescents experience represents an entirely new phenomenon that is wholly distinct from the gender dysphoria that transgender people have historically experienced (e.g., as described in the DSM-5, the WPATH Standards of Care, and many decades of past research).

Who invented the term Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria?Zinnia Jones from Gender Analysis has written two excellent articles chronicling the origins of the phrase “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.” Basically, it originated in July 2016 on three blogs (,, and that have a history of promoting anti-transgender propaganda. The term was intended to explain some parents’ observations that 1) their children came out as transgender seemingly suddenly, often during puberty, and 2) their children also had trans-identified peers and interacted with trans-themed social media. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for reluctant parents to presume that their child has adopted a trans (or LGBTQ+ more generally) identity as a result of undue influence from other children and/or outside sources — hence the recurring accusations about transgender agendas, peer pressure, and trans identities supposedly being “trendy.” ROGD takes this presumption one step further: It asserts that any gender dysphoria these adolescents experience represents an entirely new phenomenon that is wholly distinct from the gender dysphoria that transgender people have historically experienced (e.g., as described in the DSM-5, the WPATH Standards of Care, and many decades of past research).
Roberto reply was…
Parents were sourced from sites which are allegedly anti-trans and which invented and promote the idea of ROGD
These websites (,, and the parents who frequent them did not invent the term ROGD. It was proposed by Littman herself. The first appearance of the term rapid-onset gender dysphoria was in the recruitment information for Littman’s study that was posted on these websites in the summer of 2016. The term seemed to resonate with the parents and it has become more widely used since that time.

Serano argues that this was a methodological flaw, as it involved asking these parents questions that already assume the legitimacy of ROGD as a phenomenon, in effect allowing Littman to obtain the answers she wanted to find. It is, in fact, standard practice to contact groups, services or websites which might provide access to the subjects you believe will be relevant to your study. Many of the frequently quoted studies of trans populations utilized trans-affirmative support groups and websites to find study subjects, and so Serano’s argument would imply that these studies suffer from the same flaw or bias.

Further, Littman undertook an observational, qualitative study to examine what parents on these sites were reporting as ROGD. The abstract of Littman’s study states “The purpose of this study was to document and explore these observations and describe the resulting presentation of gender dysphoria, which is inconsistent with existing research literature.” The intention was to document this phenomenon as reported by parents and this is exactly what her paper reports. The sampling method she used is a legitimate methodology that is consistent with the purpose of the study.  She concludes that ROGD appears to represent a distinct entity and that more research is needed. It would be unreasonable to conclude that the study provides irrefutable proof that ROGD is a distinct entity, and Littman does not make this claim anywhere in the report.
No, ROGD has been around a long time and it was picked up by the right-wing mainstream media a couple of years and they gave it the fancy name.

To my brother when I came out to him he thought it came out of the blue and he asked how long did I feel this way and I told since I was 7 or 8. It was not Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria but rather “Rapid Onset of Coming Out”

Serano wrote…
But what about the shifting demographics, YouTube videos, and “cluster outbreaks”?[…]
I have already alluded to two of these: ROGD proponents frequently harp on the fact that “ROGD kids” tend to have other trans-identified peers, and spend lots of time immersed in transgender-themed social media. The clear implication is that said peers and social media are somehow causing or contributing to the gender dysphoria and trans-identification they experience. But here’s the thing: I’d bet that children who have regular old gender dysphoria also tend to have transgender friends and spend lots of time on trans-themed social media. Hell, I’m an adult, and if I had to make a guesstimate, I’d probably say that somewhere in the ballpark of 25% of my close friends are trans-identified. (That figure probably goes up to 60–70% if you broaden it to LGBTQ+-identified.) When I was first coming to terms with being trans, there was no social media, but I eagerly read everything and anything that I could find on the subject. And when I transitioned in the early 2000s, I spent tons of time on trans-focused email groups (the social-media-equivalent of the time).

I can understand how straight cisgender people might jump to the conclusion that A (trans friends and social media) causes B (gender dysphoria and trans-identification). But from a trans/LGBTQ+ perspective, it seems clear that these people are ignoring the crucial element C — the fact that trans/LGBTQ+ people are highly stigmatized, face harassment, and our perspectives are largely discounted and not readily accessible in society at large. This (aka, C) is what leads trans/LGBTQ+ folks to seek one another out (regardless of age) for mutual support, shared understanding, and the exchange of relevant information and ideas.
To which Roberto replied,
Correlation does not imply causation
Littman found a high proportion of the young people in her study had a number of friends in their friendship group who were trans-identified and that the majority had experienced an increase in their usage of the internet and social media prior to announcing that they were trans. Serano argues that the correlation between these factors and the self-identification of young people identifying as trans does not mean that it caused their trans identification. This is correct. Correlations such as these, however, warrant further investigation to determine whether there is, in fact, a causative link. This is in fact how the aetiologies of many conditions have been discovered, leading to the development of effective prevention strategies or treatments.

Littman’s findings in this area raise the possibility of social contagion in relation to ROGD, a notion which Serano argues strongly against. Whilst Serano’s arguments are plausible, it is also plausible that social contagion is a factor in some cases of trans, particularly as it has been associated with numerous other social phenomena. They include mental health issues such as suicide and deliberate self-harm and it also appears that more complex behaviors such as obesity, bulimia, and other eating disorders can spread by social contagion. Whilst Littman’s data does not prove that social contagion is operative (and she makes no claims of this kind), her qualitative research design did elicit information that is highly suggestive, particularly that the young people were using language that was scripted or wooden and that parents believed had been copied verbatim from online sources.

The operation of social contagion in relation to adolescent gender dysphoria is a possible explanation for the dramatic change in the demographics of young people presenting to gender clinics. Serano claims there are no reliable statistics confirming that there has been an increase in the numbers of natal female adolescents seeking treatment. This is incorrect. This has been reported by the Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria at the VU Hospital in Amsterdam and similar data is also available from Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service.
I have to answer yes to “is a possible,” however, she didn’t study that; she studied the parents so how can you say it is a possible cause of gender dysphoria in children. I could possible say that it is something in the water that cause the cluster of children with gender dysphoria.

Closing It Down

Sometimes you see the light and you realize that you made a big mistake, you then have a decision to make which o the two choices will you make; the right one or the wrong one.

Brown University made the right one.

Last week I wrote about a horrible study that looked in to the causes of “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” [You can read the study here] there is no such thing as ROGD it is fake and is being pushed by Republicans and conservative think tanks to discredit us. Well Brown University shut down the study.
Brown statement, community letter on gender dysphoria study
August 27, 2018

Following the decision to remove a news article on "rapid-onset gender dysphoria," the University issued the following statement, and the School of Public Health dean wrote to Brown's public health community.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — On Aug. 22, 2018, Brown University published a news story detailing a study in the journal PLOS ONE on "rapid-onset gender dysphoria." On Aug. 27, Brown removed the article from news distribution and issued the statement below regarding the decision to remove the article.
The dean of Public Health issued a statement…
In light of questions raised about research design and data collection related to Lisa Littman’s study on “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” Brown determined that removing the article from news distribution is the most responsible course of action.

As a general practice, university news offices often make determinations about publishing faculty research based on its publication in established, peer-reviewed journals considered to be in good standing. The journal PLOS ONE on the morning of Aug. 27 published a comment on the research study by Lisa Littman, who holds the position of assistant professor of the practice of behavioral and social sciences at Brown, indicating that the journal “will seek further expert assessment on the study’s methodology and analyses.” Below is the comment posted on the study in the journal PLOS ONE:
“PLOS ONE is aware of the reader concerns raised on the study’s content and methodology. We take all concerns raised about publications in the journal very seriously, and are following up on these per our policy and COPE guidelines. As part of our follow up we will seek further expert assessment on the study’s methodology and analyses. We will provide a further update once we have completed our assessment and discussions." — PLOS ONE August 27, 2018
Translation from the language of academia: We goofed! The study was biased.

They also sent out a letter to the students,
Dear Members of the Public Health and Brown Community,
As you may be aware, Brown late last week posted a news announcement regarding research on gender dysphoria published by a faculty member in the School of Public Health. In light of questions raised about research design and data collection related to the study on “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” the University determined that removing the article from news distribution is the most responsible course of action.

The research had been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, which stated in a comment posted on the study August 27 that the journal “will seek further expert assessment on the study’s methodology and analyses.” Independent of the University’s removal of the article because of concerns about research methodology, the School of Public Health has heard from Brown community members expressing concerns that the conclusions of the study could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.

The University and School have always affirmed the importance of academic freedom and the value of rigorous debate informed by research. The merits of all research should be debated vigorously, because that is the process by which knowledge ultimately advances, often through tentative findings that are often overridden or corrected in subsequent higher quality research. The spirit of free inquiry and scholarly debate is central to academic excellence. At the same time, we believe firmly that it is also incumbent on public health researchers to listen to multiple perspectives and to recognize and articulate the limitations of their work. This process includes acknowledging and considering the perspectives of those who criticize our research methods and conclusions and working to improve future research to address these limitations and better serve public health. There is an added obligation for vigilance in research design and analysis any time there are implications for the health of the communities at the center of research and study.

The School’s commitment to studying and supporting the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority populations is unwavering. Our faculty and students are on the cutting edge of research on transgender populations domestically and globally. The commitment of the School to diversity and inclusion is central to our mission, and we pride ourselves on building a community that fully recognizes and affirms the full diversity of gender and sexual identity in its members. These commitments are an unshakable part of our core values as a community.

In an effort to support robust research and constructive dialogue on gender identity in adolescents and youth, the School will be organizing a panel of experts to present the latest research in this area and to define directions for future work to optimize health in transgender communities. We believe that more and better research is needed to help guide advances in the health of the LGBTQ community. We welcome input from faculty, staff and students about the composition of this panel and scope of the discussion.


Bess H. Marcus, Ph.D.
Dean, Brown University School of Public Health
I think one comment by “bschuman” says it all better than I can.
This article introduces a new diagnostic category, Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), for which it purports to support with evidence. However, the article makes many assumptions based on correlation, and fails to engage key points that make it deeply flawed and biased.

1) The term ROGD has its roots almost exclusively in known biased opinion websites, discussion boards, Twitter discussions, etc where the prevalent discussions are viewpoints that do not affirm transgender people. This is not meant to be a critique of that opinion, but it is, nonetheless, a biased point of view which makes this a suspect new diagnosis that should be examined with above average scrutiny.

2) The term ROGD has no current clinical recognition or other supporting clinical evidence outside of the above mentioned circles. Therefore it is imperative that this article address why this new diagnosis category is necessary over other diagnoses currently available. It fails to do this spectacularly as it fails to engage any of the currently existing materials that already discuss this topic.

3) This paper mentions the diagnostic categories in the DSM-V for Gender Dysphoria, yet then ignores key diagnostic information that appears to already cover almost all of the elements of ROGD that engage parental reporting of the "Rapid Onset" namesake. The DSM-V, under the Gender Dysphoria subsection titled "Development and Course" (pp.454) states in part:
4) If we remove the Rapid Onset portions of this paper in light of the fatal flaw mentioned above, the paper is then left only describing social contagion as a unique method of "catching" Gender Dysphoria. Without engagement of control groups, the children themselves, and other important information, the paper draws correlation data into the realm of specious speculation. There is no new evidence presented to differentiate how these correlations are anything more than happenstance or purposeful actions of the child, nor is there evidence beyond 3rd hand reporting of behaviors noticed by other people involved in the subject's lives.

In light of all of the above, it is my opinion that this paper is exceedingly flawed, and does not meet the standards of an academic paper purporting a new diagnosis category.
As I said in my post last week that this study didn’t look in to the reason why we hide our gender dysphoria, the societal pressures and the change in attitude toward trans people.

So I am glad that they pulled the paper, however, I don’t think it will go away. I think we are about to hear from the Alt-Right and the Republicans on how this is censorship and the “liberal press” and the LGBT agenda forced the university to cave-in to our demands.

Monday, August 27, 2018

What I Fear

The Republican state are getting embolden, they smell blood with the possibility of a new Supreme Court justice who believes in the Bible over the Constitution, is anti-LGBT rights, is anti-women’s rights, and is pro-guns.
States Ask Supreme Court to Limit LGBT Protection (1)
Bloomberg Law
By Chris Opfer
August 24, 2018

A group of 16 states urged the U.S. Supreme Court Aug. 23 to rule that companies can fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity without violating federal workplace discrimination law.

The states, led by Nebraska Attorney General David Bydalek, asked the justices to overturn an appeals court decision against a Michigan funeral home that fired a transgender worker. They said Congress didn’t intend the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender employees.

“The States’ purpose is to note that ‘sex’ under the plain terms of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status,” Bydalek wrote.

The friend-of-the-court brief is the latest development in a legal debate that has divided courts and exposed a rift within the Trump administration. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says LGBT bias already is banned, but the Justice Department disagrees.
It is not a rife “within” the administration but rather they are appointed to terms and the Chairperson’s term expires in 2020, but one commissioner’s terms ends next July and another commissioner’s term ended last month and Trump has not appointed a new commissioner yet, there is actually a fight among Republicans. In another Bloomberg article,
Four Senate Republicans are effectively blocking their own party from seizing majority control of the federal agency charged with combating workplace discrimination and harassment, trade association lobbyists tell Bloomberg Law.

Time is running out in a busy election year for the Senate to approve President Donald Trump’s three picks to serve on the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and business groups are now increasing the pressure on Capitol Hill in the hopes of eliminating the logjam and delivering a more employer-friendly EEOC.

But an intra-party divide between faith-based social conservatives and traditional business-minded Republicans threatens to preserve a Senate stalemate on the EEOC selections for at least the rest of 2018.
And it is becoming something of a three strikes and we’re out for us.

The commissioners terms are expiring allowing Trump to appoint his anti-LGBT commissioners, Congress and Trump are working overtime to appoint the 176 federal judges that the Republicans block President Obama from appointing and Trump is about to appoint his second Supreme Court justice.

The EEOC successfully sued on behalf of Aimee Stephens, who was fired from her job at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes after telling a supervisor she was transitioning to a woman. But the agency must get the Justice Department’s approval if it wants to participate in the case at the Supreme Court level.

A total of 13 Republican attorneys general, including those representing Texas, Alabama, Kansas, and Utah, signed on to the brief. Three GOP governors— Matthew Bevin (Kentucky), Paul LePage (Maine), and Phil Bryant (Mississippi)—also joined in the court filing.
Which has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting.
This time around, the states weighing in on the Harris Funeral Homes case called the transgender discrimination question one of “national importance.”

“The role of the courts is to interpret the law, not to rewrite the law by adding a new, unintended meaning,” Bydalek wrote.
Supreme Court nominee judge Kavanaugh has ruled in the past against us, he ignored all the Supreme Court precedents and ruled the “original” intent of the law.

It looks like a bleak time ahead of us with life time appointed judges.

Free Speech

Well nothing is for free; there is a price to pay even for words.

Every word you speak someone is judging you, they are accessing your timber to see you for who you really are. Are you a conservative? Are you a moderate or white nationalist, or are you a liberal, if so how liberal are you. Are you a racist?

So every word has a price.
Fighting words, inciting violence and hate speech in New England
Super Lawyers
By Trevor Kupfer

With the recent rise of protests, marches and rallies also come increased questions about the First Amendment. The line between what is and isn’t protected speech is anything but clear.
Don’t Tread on Me
One of the biggest misconceptions is that free speech is absolute, Shelkrot says. “The First Amendment and similar state provisions prevent the government from restricting your expression. Private restrictions are not constitutionally protected, so when people say, ‘It’s a free country, I can say what I want,’ it doesn’t apply to your school, your employer, or your landlord, for example.”
Them’s Fightin’ Words
There are other free speech restrictions that try to address issues of physical harm. “Words can really hurt people,” says Shannah Kurland, a civil rights attorney in Providence. “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can also hurt us. So it’s not as simple as ‘free speech means you can say whatever you want.’”
And this is where we come in…
The Content of Your Speech
The grey area largely depends on how the speech is interpreted, but “a good rule of thumb is that the closer something is to political speech, the greater the protections,” Shelkrot says.

“There are categories that are generally unprotected: speech that is overtly physically threatening, extortion, fraud—crimes where the speech itself is the crime,” Shelkrot says, citing things like slander, defamation and obscenity.

There is likewise grey area in politics, as some political beliefs can intersect with restricted speech. “There have been, over the last few decades, a number of jurisdictions passing laws that punish crimes more severely when they are motivated by racism or other discrimination—what we call hate crime,” Shelkrot says. “Interestingly, they have mostly been upheld in constitutional challenges. It’s not settled law, though, and might be subject to more litigation. Viewpoint discrimination is pretty carefully scrutinized.”
For us it is important to realize that the hate crime law and the non-discrimination law does protect “free speech” however the line between “free speech” and harassment is vague.

If someone comes up to you and calls you the “f” word for a gay slur, tells you that you are going to hell that is protected “free speech” and from what I gather talking to lawyers is that it all changes when it becomes repetitive and/or prolonged and/or they use “fighting words.”

So if you are standing on a street corner waiting for the crosswalk light and someone comes up to and tells you are sinner and going to hell… that is “free speech.”

If you are standing on a street corner waiting for the crosswalk light and someone comes up to and tells you are sinner and going to hell and follows you across the street saying that… that is getting into the grey area of “free speech.”

If you are standing on a street corner waiting for the crosswalk light and someone comes up to and tells you are sinner and going to hell, follows you across the street, and then follows you walking down the street saying that… that has most likely crossed into harassment (one thing that I learned from talking to lawyers and CHRO attorneys is that they never give a yes or no answer).

As I said at the begging, free speech come with a price. When someone says I am going to “hell” my first thought… asshole. If someone on Facebook that I’m “friends” with praises “white nationalist,” click unfriend.

It does create an echo chamber but I must rather have friends who same views, however that doesn’t mean I don’t have conservative friends, I do but they are not far right zealots and we can have a civil discussion with them.

One thing that worries me is the latest Supreme Court nominee judge Kavanaugh seems to lean toward striking down hate crime laws as limiting First Amendment rights. From the Popehat
Kavanaugh has been an appellate judge for 12 years and has written many opinions on free speech issues. They trend very protective of free speech, both in substance and in rhetoric. His opinions are consistent with the Supreme Court’s strong protection of free speech rights this century. People who buy into the “conservatives are weaponizing the First Amendment” narrative will see him as a strong advocate of that movement, in that he has applied the First Amendment to campaign finance laws, telecommunications regulation, and other aspects of the regulatory state. But he’s also demonstrated fidelity to free speech principles in classic speech scenarios. Even when he concurs in a First Amendment decision, he frequently writes a separate opinion to clarify his analytical approach to the problem. He’s quoted First Amendment guru Eugene Volokh — one of the leading voices in free speech analysis and a strong defender of speech rights.
Under Connecticut law a “hate crime” is…
(a) A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree when such person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, [or] disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person, causes serious physical injury to such other person or to a third person.
(a) A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree when such person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, [or] disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person, does any of the following: (1) Causes physical contact with such other person, (2) damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property of such other person, or (3) threatens, by word or act, to do an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, if there is reasonable cause to believe that an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection will occur.
(a) A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the third degree when such person, with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person or group of persons because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, [or] disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person or persons: (1) Damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property, or (2) threatens, by word or act, to do an act described in subdivision (1) of this subsection or advocates or urges another person to do an act described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, if there is reasonable cause to believe that an act described in said subdivision will occur.
Notice nowhere in the law does it say anything about call speech, it is all about action.

So when they following yelling their hate speech that is not what is the hate crime but rather your fear when they are following you.

Now the question is will judge Kavanaugh see it that way if he is appointed to the Supreme Court bench,

Sunday, August 26, 2018

I Didn’t Agree With Most Of His Politics, But He Had Our Back

When Trump tried to bar us from the military one senator stood up to him and we have lost that campion in the Senate.
John McCain used his status as war hero to champion troops and take on the White House
USA Today
By Tom Vanden Brook,
August 25, 2018

WASHINGTON – From Sen. John McCain’s perch atop the Armed Services Committee, he has been a hawk for Pentagon funding but has pecked and scratched Republicans and Democrats alike on issues from supplying lethal arms to Ukraine to President Donald Trump’s policy-by-tweet decision to ban transgender troops from the military.
He also challenged Trump’s ban on transgender troops, announced on Twitter in July. It is being methodically addressed by the Pentagon and the subject of current court battles. Defense Sec. Jim Mattis announced that transgender troops in the ranks would not be drummed out, and the issue of their service would be studied before a new policy was implemented.
“It would be a step in the wrong direction to force currently serving transgender individuals to leave the military solely on the basis of their gender identity rather than medical and readiness standards that should always be at the heart of Department of Defense personnel policy,” McCain said in a statement.

McCain’s decision to stand up to Trump over transgender troops squares with his reputation, O’Hanlon said.
I didn't agree with his politics but he was always reaching across party lines to come to a compromise.

He was a true statesman and we lost a senator who would stand up to Trump.

On Being Cynical

One thing I don’t like is that I have become suspicious person.

Yesterday I waited almost an hour for my order of a quesadilla at the bar in Ocean Beach Park; was it because I am trans? Did she not submit my order hoping I would leave? Or was it because they were so busy? The couple who came and sat next to me got their order in 15 minutes.

Laughter can set me off; when I hear laughter I look around to see if they are laughing at me.

When I see someone taking a picture of me I am immediately suspicious.

I am not alone, many trans people face the same kind of harassment and they have become cynical also.

I always remember the lines from the Bob Seger song “Turn the Page” that goes…
Well you walk into a restaurant strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you as you're shakin' off the cold
You pretend it doesn't bother you but you just want to explode
Most times you can't hear 'em talk, other times you can
All the same old cliches, "Is that a woman or a man?"
And you always seem outnumbered; you don't dare make a stand
We do a lot of pretend that it doesn’t bother you but it does.

I was on phone for customer support I corrected the guy a number of times for misgender me but he always went back to using male pronouns. Was it on purpose? Or did my voice trigger him using male pronouns. The guy in the store who was also helping fix the problem with my cell phone was using female pronouns but then he started slipping and using male pronouns as we talked to customer support.

People say don’t let it bother you and you try not to but it does get under your skin.

The more you do not fit into society the more society pushes back.

That is societal pressure to conform.

Back in grad school I had to read The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson and write a paper about one chapter, I chose the chapter on Conformity…
I believe that Aronson had several theories in mind when he wrote the chapters on Conformity, some of the factors are; wanting to belong, wanting to be accepted, the need to be part of the social group and the need to be wanted. All of these factors interplay on one another to produce a strong desire to conform to what we believe that our family, friends, and organizations or groups that are a part of our daily lives. Some of our worst fears are not being loved or not being liked or to be left out in the cold to fend for ourselves.
Compare and contrast it to any other theory discussed in class
A third area that pertains to conformity is also mentioned by Schriver (1998) when he list the stages of Kohlberg model; stages 3 and 4. Where stage 3 focuses on good relations and the approval of others and stage 4 is about our desire to conform to social norms. This is a good example of how both Aronson and Kohlberg both agree that a part of growing up is learning how to conform. I once saw on television in one of those programs like: Dateline, 20/20 or 48 Hours where these children about 4 -6 years old were playing. Boys on one side of the room playing with their trucks, the girls on the other side of the room playing with their dolls and this boy wandered over to play with the girls. The boys came over and got him and lead him back to the boy’s side of the room. That is social pressure to conform, a not so subtle slap on the wrist. And that I think that was the point of Aronson’s book on conformity; that we will do anything to avoid that preverbal slap on the wrist or being pushed out of the group. When a person does not conform to our expected gender roles they pay for it on the playground where many of the boys who do not behave as a “boy” are bullied or denied admission to the social groups in the schools.

Why I Chose the Chapter on Conformity 
It was a toss up between the chapter on Conformity and Prejudice, both of them affect me personally but I chose Conformity because it is about us, not what is done to us. Even though the Trans-community does have its prejudices, we are more a victim of prejudice. However conformity is something that all of us in the trans-community have in common that we have to overcome in ourselves in order to be whole. It is the fear of what will our family say or what will the neighbors say or what will…. the list just keeps going on and on, every time we walk out of the house we face the results of non-conforming. The social pressures to conform builds up in us until we reach a point where we say, “Screw You World” and are able to break the hold that the desire to conform has on us.
It is that preverbal slap on the wrist that makes me cynical.

Oh, and the at the bar yesterday, I am 99 percent certain it wasn't on purpose but that sliver of one percent doubt is still there eating way.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Saturday 9: Think

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Think (1968)

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

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

In fond remembrance of The Queen of Soul (1942-2018).

1) As befits one of America's premiere artists, Aretha Franklin sang at three Presidential inaugurations. The first was Jimmy Carter's in 1977, when she sang "God Bless America." What's your favorite patriotic song?
Yankee Doddle

2) The daughter of a Baptist minister, Aretha grew up with church music. She told Rolling Stone one of her favorite songs was the hymn, "Victory Is Mine." What's your favorite religious song?
I don’t have one.

3) She welled up a bit when President George H. W. Bush presented her with the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. When is the last time you shed a tear?
It was just recently. I think it was something on TV.

4) In 1980, the Queen of Soul sang for the Queen of England in a Command Performance at The Royal Albert Hall. Have you ever been to London?
No I haven’t the only foreign country I have been in was Canada

5) Since Aretha had many honorary degrees, it would have been appropriate to refer to her as Dr. Franklin. Who is the last person you referred to by his or her title (Officer, Father, Sgt., Dr., etc.)?
A police officer when I asked for directions

6)  In this week's song, Aretha tells her lover that it doesn't take a high IQ to understand what's going on in their relationship. Do you know your IQ?

7) A sculpture of Aretha is on display at Madame Tussaud's in New York. Do you think wax museums are cool, or creepy?

8) Aretha and Motown legend Smokey Robinson were literally lifelong friends, since they were playground buddies in Detroit. Smokey is one of the only people who can claim to have seen The Queen of Soul with a bucket in a sandbox. If we went to the playground today, would you head for the swings, the slide or the jungle gym? Or, like Aretha, would you play in the sand?
I would be the one making roads in the sand box.

9) Random question: Do you like pumpkin seeds?
Ugh… I hate pumpkin.
The most horrible drink that I had was a pumpkin spice coffee when they got the orders mixed up.

Friday, August 24, 2018

It Is Not Just The Politicians…

It is also most people do not know much about LGBT people and culture. When I was interning for True Colors I was at the local NBC outlet’s Health and Wellness Fair and when I was asked about the agency it said “We are a sexual minority youth and family service agency.” and I was giving a blank look back. I then said the we work with LGBT families, once again a blank look, and then I said “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender youth and family service agency, and then they understood what the agency does.

From that I leaned that we are in a bubble, we use LGBT all the time but many people have no idea what LGBT stands for.
Letter: Candidates don’t even know what transgender means?!
Uinta County Herald
Editorial by Larissa Sneider
August 24, 2018

Upon reading “GOP candidates face off in Evanston,” in the Uinta County Herald, Aug. 17, I was very puzzled by one portion. One of the published debate topics read, “Regarding the rights of LGBTQ and a SOGI bill that would allow transgender males to use women’s restrooms, there were different attitudes.”

I contacted the author to see if this was paraphrased or quoted. She said she quoted the published debate points. I had to shake my head at adults debating incorrect information. Didn’t any of the candidates know that a transgender male is a human assigned the female gender marker at birth who has a male brain?
To all politicians: It is very easy to denigrate, shame, condemn and use name calling when you don’t wish to understand; but would rather use yours and others’ ignorance to divide the electorate? The human way to approach any subject is to learn and understand rather than make judgment based on ignorance and superstition. Educate yourself and you will be an asset to your constituents.
This is typical of all politicians they have no clue in what they are talking about. I remember sitting in the hearing room when the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill was being heard and some of the comments made by legislators had us scratching our heads… what are they talking about?

Many people only see the drag queens photos in the news of Pride Parades and think that all trans people are like that. When being interviewed during the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill hearings we were interviewed by one of the local TV news outlets and we were trying to tell the reporter to check the AP Style Guide and GLAAD's Media Reference Guide, we finally got through to him and he used the correct pronouns.

If we want to win in November we have to educate the public.

They need to know that there are trans masculine trans people, they need to know that not all trans people are drag queens, and they need to know that for most of us this is not a “lifestyle.”

We need to speak in colleges, we need to speak at business associations like the Chamber of Commerce, and the Lions Club, and we need to work for political campaigns.

We have to be out there on the front lines being visible.

Tangled Up In Green

Back in the Obama administration they repealed all the bans about us serving in the military and one of the first things Trump did was to reinstate the bans against us. I reinstated bans ran into a road block from the courts.
Trump’s attempted ban of transgender military service remains steeped in confusion, chaos
Stars and Stripes
By Claudia Grisales
July 25, 2018

WASHINGTON — A White House effort to ban transgender people from military service is mired in confusion, chaos and a web of litigation a year after President Donald Trump fired off tweets that ignited the controversy, several lawmakers, advocates and lawyers said Wednesday.

For now, a 2016 Pentagon policy to open the military to transgender individuals remains in place, but a Trump administration effort to reverse that plan has created a chilling effect for potential recruits and heightened fears for some servicemembers, some advocates contend.

Four court cases contesting the ban have put the Trump transgender ban on hold, and could extend into a fight for months or years, advocates said during a call with reporters on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Trump’s tweets to institute the ban.

“These servicemembers are willing to die for this country and that announcement and that policy are insults to their bravery,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., ranking Democrat for the Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel on personnel issues. “The good news, your lawsuits are working and your voices are helping convince people that this policy is wrong. So far we are winning… we have to keep fighting and we have to raise our voices and to fight this ban and make sure our transgender American’s who want to serve can serve. They have never stopped fighting and we should not stop fighting for them.”
Meanwhile over at the VA,
VA considers ending ban on transgender surgeries for disabled vets
Stars and Stripes
By Nikki Wentling
August 23, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs is considering whether to end a ban on gender reassignment surgeries for disabled veterans, and it is seeking public input.

Since 1999, the VA has excluded “gender alterations” from its medical benefits package. For another two weeks, the VA is taking comments about a proposal to remove that ban for veterans who have a high enough disability rating to qualify them for comprehensive medical care from the VA. Comments are being accepted through Sept. 7.

“VA will consider the comments received and determine the appropriate response,” said VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour. “Although there is no specific time frame required for this type of consideration, VA will announce any action it takes in the Federal Register.”
“It seems like the VA is the lone holdout hanging onto this exclusion,” said Zander Keig, a Coast Guard veteran and transgender man.

Keig is a clinical social work case manager at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, where he handles a caseload of about 100 transgender servicemembers.
So if you are trans and a veteran you can file your comment on the lifting the ban,
People wanting to submit a comment can file one online at
Our neighbors to the north have no problems with trans servicemembers.
Canadian transgender soldier speaks out on transitioning to help others
Global News
By Amanda Jelowicki
August 23, 2018

Vincent-Gabriel Lamarre joined the Canadian military because he wanted to help people. That’s also why he’s speaking out about his own process of transitioning to a man — to make it easier for others.

“I didn’t find information about transitioning. I did not know that was the struggle I was living,” 32-year-old Lamarre said. “For a long time, I thought I was a hermaphrodite until I got my first period.”
Vincent says after years of unhappiness, he’s finally at peace. He loves his job where everyone has accepted him.
Quite a difference between the U.S. and Canada militaries; American troops are fighting side by side around world with our allies and our troops are fighting in trenches with trans troops without any problems.

They are behaving as professionals something our politicians can learn from.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

We Can Describe It Better Then Her

You have heard it in the conservative media, how we all pf a sudden come out as trans and the right-wing media has given it the name “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” que the evil music.
Brown researcher first to describe rapid-onset gender dysphoria
By Mollie Rappe, Brown University
August 22, 2018

For individuals with gender dysphoria, the conflict between experienced gender identity and sex observed at birth produces significant emotional distress.

Until recently, it was unusual for a teen to report initial feelings of gender dysphoria during or after puberty without childhood symptoms. Clinicians have reported that this kind of gender dysphoria is on the rise, particularly for patients whose sex was observed to be female at birth. Additionally, the numbers of adolescents seeking care for gender dysphoria has increased dramatically. It is unknown why these changes are occurring.

This month, a Brown University researcher published the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.

"This kind of descriptive study is important because it defines a group and raises questions for more research," said study author Lisa Littman, an assistant professor of the practice of behavioral and social sciences at Brown's School of Public Health. "One of the main conclusions is that more research needs to be done. Descriptive studies aren't randomized controlled trials—you can't tell cause and effect, and you can't tell prevalence. It's going to take more studies to bring in more information, but this is a start."
In the 90-question survey, Littman asked the parents about each of the eight indicators for gender dysphoria in childhood that are detailed by the American Psychiatric Association. To meet the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria in childhood, a child needs to experience at least six of the eight indicators. Most include readily observable signs, such as a strong rejection of typically feminine or masculine toys and games, and strong resistance to wearing typically feminine or masculine clothes. Eighty percent of the parents reported observing none of these indicators in their children before puberty.
Oh my oh my they hid their cross gender feelings… surprise, surprise! I did that also and I got better and better hiding when I leaned that you were harassed if you showed any feminine traits, but that didn’t keep me out of my mother’s closet.
The pattern of clusters of teens in friend groups becoming transgender-identified, the group dynamics of these friend groups and the types of advice viewed online led her to the hypothesis that friends and online sources could spread certain beliefs. Examples include the belief that non-specific symptoms such as feeling uncomfortable in their own skins or feeling like they don't fit in— which could be a part of normal puberty or associated with trauma—should be perceived as gender dysphoria; the belief that the only path to happiness is transition; and the belief that anyone who disagrees with the teen is transphobic and should be cut out of their life.
Oh it must be contagious!

Or maybe they just learned what they were feeling inside was and seeing that it is possible to have a meaningful life if you’re trans.

For me I never thought it was possible to be an out trans women, I thought that the world would end if anyone found out I was trans.
Additionally, 62 percent of parents reported their teen or young adult had one or more diagnoses of a psychiatric disorder or neurodevelopmental disability before the onset of gender dysphoria. Forty-eight percent reported that their child had experienced a traumatic or stressful event prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria, including being bullied, sexually assaulted or having their parents get divorced.
Well yea, being bullied, and harassed make you want to hide your gender dysphoria and living a lie does take a lot out of you. For me that stress manifested itself in panic attacks which disappeared once I transitioned.

Worlds Apart

All my life I felt that I should have been a girl. I wasn’t the typical “boy” in elementary school, I was envious of the girls playing on the other side field, I wanted to play jump rope, and hopscotch instead of the rough and tumble boys’ games where dominance was goal. In high school I got stuck in gym playing sports that I hated in school and on the other field they were playing field hockey while we were playing football… ugh. I probably wouldn’t have like field hockey but at least I would be playing “girls’” sports that were taboo for the boys.
'It’s not an illness,' Fort Myers doc says of transgender patients
Fort Myers News-Press
By Patricia Borns
August 17, 2018

How has your practice evolved since you began treating transgender patients?
I have an unusual perspective because I have been doing it for so long, 30 years. I worked in an intersex disorder clinic during my medical school fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia (now Georgia Health Sciences University. That was in 1989.

Obviously a lot has changed. The rules were much more rigid then. When I was in residency, if a person wanted to transition they had to live the role for a year. Then they had to have surgery. Then hormonal treatment.

Now I need a letter from a skilled mental health professional evaluating the patient to initiate treatment. (Sweet works with certified transgender therapists Kathryn Lowery and Edith Sodova of I-BOS Counseling Center based in Fort Myers.)

The patient can transition to whatever level they would like. You could transition by lifestyle but not hormones. You could have a patient who lives the lifestyle and transitions hormonally but decides not to go through the surgical changes. And others who go full court press.
Ugh! You would think that after all those years he wouldn’t say “lifestyle.”
Your patients had to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a mental illness, in order to be seen by you. Is it a mental illness?
No. I don’t consider it an illness. I don’t think it belongs with psychiatric disorders like bipolar and depression. There is a push to take it out of the next DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders compiled by the American Psychiatric Association). (The World Health Organization declassified gender dysphoria as a mental illness in June 2018.)
And also the World Health Organization doesn’t think it is a mental illness either.
Being transgender no longer classified as mental illness. Here's why
USA Today
By Caroline Simon
June 20, 2018

Being transgender is no longer classified as a mental illness by the World Health Organization – a key sign of progress for an often-marginalized community. 

WHO announced Monday that in its newly released edition of the International Classification of Diseases, gender incongruence will now be classified as a sexual health condition.

Gender incongruence is "characterized by a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex," according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
"It was taken out from the mental health disorders because we had a better understanding that this wasn't actually a mental health condition and leaving it there was causing stigma," said Dr. Lale Say, coordinator of WHO's Adolescents and at-Risk Populations team. "So in order to reduce the stigma while also ensuring access to necessary health interventions, this was placed in a different chapter."
The article also other answers questions…

  • Why was being transgender originally classified as a mental illness?
  • Why is being transgender now considered a sexual health condition?
  • How will this affect the transgender community?
  • How are people reacting to the change?

Back when I was running around on playgrounds I did think I was different, when I heard the word “transsexual” for the first time I looked in up in the unabridged dictionary it said “perversion!” It said “fetish” in the World Book encyclopedia. I knew I wasn’t me so when I know that I heard about Christine Jorgensen I knew I wasn’t like her. When I heard Rene Richards I knew that I wasn’t like her because the way the media talked about her wasn’t how I felt.

I believe that one of the causes of Gender Dysphoria is an intersex condition, there might be other medical reason why we are trans and we shouldn’t focus just one.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Milestone

I have a birthday coming when I will be begging another decade; I am lucky that I still have my mobility and my health is pretty good but it is getting to be that time where I need to think what I would be when I can no longer drive. Many elderly LGBT look towards senior communities, some need to move into a long term care facility, and others just need home care providers where ever we look there is one in the back of our minds… will they be trans friendly?
Portraits depict 'struggles and joys' of older transgender people
By Oscar Holland
22nd August 2018

America has witnessed unprecedented levels of transgender visibility in recent years.

But for 32-year-old Jess Dugan, who has been photographing the country's trans communities for the past 15 years, one demographic remains marginalized: seniors.

"I think, in general, a lot of the discussions around trans people are very youth-focused," she said in a phone interview. "And our culture, in general, is youth-focused.

"I wanted to both highlight and record the stories of older people who, in many cases, came out a long time ago -- and, in some cases, were directly responsible for creating this moment that we're in now, but who are somewhat overlooked. I think that older (trans) adults are often left out of that conversation."
In another article from April,
A Look at the Lives of Trans and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults
'To Survive on This Shore' has diverse narratives about aging and identity
Next Avenue
By Grace Birnstenge
April 20, 2018

Very little history, imagery or understanding of transgender older adults exists in the public sphere. The stories that circulate are often sensationalized, come from a lens of voyeurism or focus on celebrity figures.

To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults, a photography and interview project turned into a book from photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre — both based in St. Louis — provides a level of representation previously unseen for this community. The book features 65 portraits of trans older adults between ages 50 and 90. Dugan was the photographer and Fabbre led the interviews with the subjects, who gave the thoughtful and moving quotes featured in the book. Currently available for pre-order on Amazon (copies will ship Aug. 28), the book also will be available directly from the publisher, Kehrer Verlag, in late April.

Very little history, imagery or understanding of transgender older adults exists in the public sphere. The stories that circulate are often sensationalized, come from a lens of voyeurism or focus on celebrity figures.
Many people featured in the book bring up the experience of being transgender over decades and decades — how some things have changed and how some things haven’t. Jay, a then 59-year-old transgender man from New York who has since passed away, said in the ‘50s and ‘60s, LGBTQ folks were all lumped into the same category. “Society identified me as a lesbian and seemed to ignore my transgender status,” Jay’s passage says.
The powerful firsthand accounts in the book address issues of discrimination and elder abuse in health care and nursing homes; challenging and changing relationships with spouses, children and grandchildren; early trans activism; later-in-life transition (“I missed the first fifty years of my life, but I’m not missing the second fifty,” reads a quote from D’Santi, 54, of Santa Fe) and much, much more.
Here in Connecticut we have been working to change that.

There has been a coalition of individuals, non-profits, and government agencies working together to improve the lives of LGBT seniors. We have been training LTC, home care providers, senior centers. The Jewish Family Services has been the first to be certified as LGBT friendly. From the Hartford Courant,
Certification is achieved by adopting proactive and ongoing practices that go beyond current standards and policies of non-discrimination. Participating organizations embrace intentional inclusivity, defined as a collection of specific practices, such as cultural sensitivity training for staff, adoption of public messaging about inclusivity, and program sustainability measures.

"Many LGBT people do not know where to turn when they are in need of care at home or counseling services," said Patricia Kiely, Director, JFS Care at Home. "LGBT seniors may feel they have to hide their sexual or gender identities to feel safe when a caregiver comes into their home."

"When our clients reach out for help, whether with JFS Care at Home or Jewish Family Services, they are often feeling vulnerable enough, without having to concern themselves with LGBT stigma," said Anne Danaher, Executive Director Jewish Family Services. By becoming certified in "Getting It Right", and demonstrating LGBT competence through trainings and visibility, people in the LGBT community will know they are safe and welcome in our agencies."
I have done training there twice.

We also have what we call “The Moveable Senior Center,” area senior centers have on a rotating basis a day for LGBT activities (on my ToDo List is to update the website today). There are about a dozen towns that take part in the program.

Violence Increasing, But We Knew That

And it is not limited to us but all minorities, but for us those that don’t fit the gender norms feel it directly when we walk out the door.
Deadly Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise. The Government Isn’t Helping.
By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project
AUGUST 21, 2018

In recent years, the number of transgender and nonbinary people murdered has hit record highs. This year, the alarming trend is expected to continue.

According to one survey, one in four transgender people have been assaulted because they are trans. The majority of deadly attacks against transgender people are against women of color. In Jacksonville, Florida, four Black transgender women have been shot in the last six months alone. Three of them were killed.

The pattern has alarmed activists locally and nationally. Civil rights groups have asked the Department of Justice to investigate the Jacksonville attacks and provide training on responding to this kind of violence for local law enforcement.

A recent investigative report by ProPublica on the murders in Jacksonville found that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) consistently misidentified the victims by referring to them as men and by the names given to them at birth. Invalidating the identity of a trans person by invoking an abandoned birth-designated name is known as “deadnaming.” This practice negates the truth of transgender victims’ lives and prevents accurate investigations into their deaths.
If we are to stop the staggering rise of violence against trans women of color in Jacksonville and across the country, we must take meaningful steps to recognize the basic humanity of trans people in life and in death.
And if you are a public figure it can be dangerous.
Vermont's transgender candidate getting death threats
My Palm Beach Post
August 21, 2018

Vermont's transgender gubernatorial candidate said Tuesday she's been getting a steady stream of death threats and other personal attacks since her candidacy began to draw attention from across the country and the world.

Christine Hallquist, who won Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial primary last week, said most of the threats, which began before she won the nomination, have been coming from outside of Vermont, although during her primary campaign it was not unusual for people to yell insults at her during parades and other public appearances.

"Early on when our team assembled I said 'the more successful we are, the more vitriol and threats we are going to receive,'" Hallquist said Tuesday. "It's kind of a natural outcome of our divided country."
And your age doesn’t matter as we have seen in Oklahoma where a 12 year old trans student received death threats and school had to close.

We have Republican candidates who are using us as punching bags to get votes; out in California a Republican candidate is attacking a trans child and his mother.
Republican candidate publicly insults 7-year-old trans boy & accuses his mom of ‘mutilation’
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
August 20, 2018

A mother of a transgender boy is speaking out after her son’s story was used to foment transphobia.

Two years ago, Vanessa Nichols’s son appeared in an episode of My Trans Life, a show that airs on Barcroft TV’s YouTube channel. In the video, Vanessa and her son talk about growing up transgender.

“I think I’m gonna take some medicine so that I can kinda like transform into a boy, get surgery,” the then 7-year-old said in the video. He’s now living as a boy.
The Republican’s campaign website shows the usual far-right campaign issues – he calls for a ban on abortion and vaguely mentions “the federal government’s unconstitutional overreach” – but he also shows a special concern for more bizarre positions, like “unconstitutional” vaccines and the black market for “baby body parts.”
But there are rays of hope. The attacks on the 12 year old Oklahoma student created strong support for the child in area and there was a protest against the threats. In Vermont her opponent the governor spoke out against the threats,
Scott said Tuesday he was saddened to hear Hallquist had been threatened and he would not tolerate hate speech or violence against anyone.

"We must — as a society — do better to combat anger and violence," Scott said. "I'm hopeful Vermonters will join me in ensuring everyone — regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other characteristics - are treated with dignity, respect and acceptance."
Another hope comes from the judicial systems…
Judge rules that ‘gender’ in hate crimes law includes trans people
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
August 16, 2018

A judge in Michigan ruled that a man could be prosecuted for “ethnic intimidation” because he attacked a transgender woman.

The case concerns an attack caught on video this past July in Detroit. Deonton Rogers was harassing Kimora Steuball at a gas station convenience store.
Prosecutors asked the court to apply hate crimes charges.

“This was a hate crime – this man attacked another individual because she was transgender,” said assistant prosecutor Jaimie Powell-Horowitz.

Michigan’s hate crimes law does not include sexual orientation and gender identity, but it does include“race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.”
However, the judge ruled “that a charge of ethnic intimidation based on gender could be applied in this case because Steuball was targeted for being transgender.”

I imagine that the defendant will appeal the judge’s ruling and hopefully his ruling will stand.