Sunday, October 21, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day 7 – The Party’s Over

Well the fair is coming to an end, the weeklong conference end today.

I said my goodbyes at the Gala Awards Banquet last night, over the course of the week I met many new fair goers and longtime attendees. There were also many old friends who didn’t attend this year, many we lost track of over the years, and some who have passed away and will be sorely missed.

Well for me I didn’t do much yesterday.

A friend showed up at the cottage door step on her way back to Connecticut and we sat around talking for a while, when I looked at the clock I had missed lunch and the keynote was starting. So instead I drove around showing Wellfleet and the National Seashore s to a friend staying at my cottage and of course I had my camera with me.

Wellfleet Harbor


This could be the very view that Henry David Thoreau saw on that October 1849 afternoon…


American Heritage's Thoreau Walks The Cape
Shortly after noon the walkers passed through a stretch of low shrubs and then a belt of sand and suddenly stood upon the edge of a bluff, looking down at the ocean. They were just above the elbow of the Cape, where the eastward-stretching arm bends at a right angle and runs north to make a clenched fist at Provincetown. The ocean side of the forearm is what Thoreau called the Great Beach, stretching unbroken for thirty miles north from Nauset Harbor (plus another twelve miles south). Considering both its length and its quality, it may well be the finest beach in the United States and one of the best in the world.
From Henry David Thoreau "Cape Cod"
This Monday morning was beautifully mild and calm, both on land and water, promising us a smooth passage across the Bay, and the fishermen feared that it would not be so good a drying day as the cold and windy one which preceded it. There could hardly have been a greater contrast. This was the first of the Indian summer days, though at a late hour in the morning we found the wells in the sand behind the town still covered with ice, which had formed in the night. What with wind and sun my most prominent feature fairly cast its slough. But I assure you it will take more than two good drying days to cure me of rambling. After making an excursion among the hills in the neighborhood of the Shank-Painter Swamp, and getting a little work done in its line, we took our seat upon the highest sand-hill overlooking the town, in mid-air, on a long plank stretched across between two hillocks of sand, where some boys were endeavoring in vain to fly their kite; and there we remained the rest of that forenoon looking out over the placid harbor, and watching for the first appearance of the steamer from Wellfleet, that we might be in readiness to go on board when we heard the whistle off Long Point.
[...]
The Harbor of Provincetown—which, as well as the greater part of the Bay, and a wide expanse of ocean, we overlooked from our perch—is deservedly famous. It opens to the south, is free from rocks, and is never frozen over. It is said that the only ice seen in it drifts in sometimes from Barnstable or Plymouth. Dwight remarks that "The storms which prevail on the American coast generally come from the east; and there is no other harbor on a windward shore within two hundred miles." J. D. Graham, who has made a very minute and thorough survey of this harbor and the adjacent waters, states that "its capacity, depth of water, excellent anchorage, and the complete shelter it affords from all winds, combine to render it one of the most valuable ship harbors on our coast." It is the harbor of the Cape and of the fishermen of Massachusetts generally. It was known to navigators several years at least before the settlement of Plymouth. In Captain John Smith's map of New England, dated 1614. it bears the name of Milford Haven, and Massachusetts Bay that of Stuard's Bay. His Highness, Prince Charles, changed the name of Cape Cod to Cape James; but even princes have not always power to change a name for the worse, and as Cotton Mather said, Cape Cod is "a name which I suppose it will never lose till shoals of codfish be seen swimming on its highest hills."
Provincetown has a rich history of writers, artist, painters, and photographers; the Christian Science Monitor had an article about the colony...
When the bohemians of Greenwich Village began summering here to escape the heat of New York City in the early 20th century, they were drawn to the isolation and freedom they found here. Their presence, and that of those who followed, ensured a place for Provincetown in the history of American culture.

Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) staged his first play, a one-act titled "Bound East for Cardiff," on the wharf here in 1916. Major 20th-century artists, such as Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline, joined legions of painters who summered here. Tennessee Williams (1911-83) wrote plays while staying with friends. Norman Mailer (1923-2007) produced 30 books during his 60 years visiting Provincetown. He moved here permanently in 1990, and his home is now the site of a writers' colony.

Across The Pond

We are not the only place where we are feeling the backlash from getting our right, trans peroplein Britain are also struggling to keep their rights.
Inside the Poisonous British Fight Over Transgender Acceptance
Transphobic commentary in the British media has reached fever pitch, as the public consultation process over the U.K.’s Gender Recognition Act nears its Oct. 19 end date.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
October 17, 2018

In 2014, the United Kingdom topped the Rainbow Index, an annual ranking of LGBT equality published by a European human rights group.

As of May, the UK has fallen to fourth place.

To understand why, one need only consult the many broadsides being issued against transgender people in the British press, as the government weighs reforms to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, a piece of legislation that allowed those who transitioned from one gender to another to apply for a certificate that formally certifies the change.

The months-long backlash to the idea of reforming the GRA was one of the only negative factors that the European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association cited in their evaluation of the UK for the Rainbow Index this May.
So where is the opposition coming from?
But fears about GRA reform aren’t confined to the press, either: As The Sunday Times reported this past weekend, Conservative MPs in Parliament would be overwhelmingly opposed to making changes to the GRA that would bring the UK’s policy in line with countries like Norway and Ireland, which both allow citizens to declare their gender with minimal gatekeeping.
Oh gee…it’s the conservatives! No surprise there. They are always targeting minorities.
LGBT rights groups in the UK have been wearied by the incessant attacks in the press since the consultation was announced. With headlines like "Children Sacrificed to Appease Trans Lobby" and "This Transgender Madness Is Now A Danger To Women," columnists have been laying into the transgender community as the GRA brings the topic into public view.

Laura Russell, Head of Policy for the organization Stonewall, told The Daily Beast: “There have been daily articles and social media threads that question trans people’s right to exist,” citing the recent slip in the UK’s ranking on Rainbow Index.
[…]
Perhaps nothing encapsulates the state of transgender equality in the UK better than that: A groundbreaking step forward followed by backlash. Whether the UK will be able to keep pace with other countries on LGBT equality, it seems, will depend in large part on whether it is able to move more steadily toward transgender acceptance.
It seems like around the world as the economies falter do income inequalities we are becoming the scapegoats for the economic worries.

Like a magician’s sleight of hand the conservatives are trying to distract people from the real problems by accusing us of being predators.



The Pink News reported…
Metro newspaper runs full-page ad attacking transgender rights reforms
By Nick Duffy
10th October 2018

The Advertising Standards Authority is to investigate whether a full-page ad in UK newspaper Metro opposing transgender rights reforms has broken advertising standards.

Wednesday’s London edition of the free-sheet newspaper carried a full-page ad from the group Fair Play for Women referencing the government’s consultation on gender recognition reforms.

The ad questions whether “someone with a penis is a woman” and refers to transgender women as “male-bodied people.”

The ad’s publication comes in the final days of a government consultation on proposed changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act that would streamline the process for trans people to gain legal recognition as their chosen gender. The public consultation ends on October 19.
[…]
A transgender Metro reader, Katie, told PinkNews of her shock at seeing the ad when picking up the newspaper on Wednesday.

She said: “When I opened my copy of Metro this morning on the way to work, I was shocked and dismayed to find they’d published a full-page ad by an extremist, transphobic political group, which was full of misinformation and scaremongering about trans women like me.”
Sound familiar?

It is just like the ads running in Massachusetts, full of hate, fear and lies.

If to want to stop these attacks in Massachusetts donate! Volunteer! Speak up, speak out!

Visit “Yes on 3 – Take Action” for way to help and get involved!

And vote “Yes on 3!”

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day 6

Friday was Follies Day.

As usual I went up to P’town for lunch and on Friday from the list of restaurants to choose from I picked the Crown and Anchor because they had New England Clam Chowder and Fish & Chips. The Clam Chowder was “good” but not great. And the fish & chip… well I give it thumbs down, the problem was they kept the fish warm in a steamer and it was soggy. Tin Pan Alley made each fish & chips to order in a fryer and didn’t keep them warm in a steamer.

The keynote was Mason Dunn from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and he talked about Question 3. As I have written many times we are in trouble in Massachusetts, on the ballot is the question of our human rights and the opposition have a big war chest to spread their fear and hate. And that is exactly what they are doing if you have seen any of their ads, they are vile! They go for the juggler; they call us perverts, and sexual predators.

This is not the time to sit on your ass and do nothing!

Even though we are ahead in the polls it doesn’t mean anything, all the hate and lies will come out in the next couple of weeks in a last rush to stir up the fear of us. Most voters don’t make-up their mind until the last few days. Many voters don’t vote on the ballot questions. It is all going to boil down to who can get the most people to vote on Question 3.

They need our help, if you live in Massachusetts, they need volunteers, they need help with phone banks, they need to go door-to-door, they need people to write letters-to-the-editors, and most of all they need donations to run counter ads against the lies.

Visit “Yes on 3 – Take Action” for way to help and get involved!

And vote “Yes on 3!”

After the keynote I went back to my cottage and cooked dinner

~~~

In the evening was the Follies!

I attended the first half of the show and left at intermission, not because I don’t like but because I was awake at 3 AM and I was getting very tired.

They started the show off with a band and ended the first half with the band, and from my untrained ear they sounded pretty good.

One of the good acts was a magic act; I am still trying to figure out how she got the dollar bill in the lemon. I did notice how she changed the dollar bill to a slip of paper but I have no idea how she got the bill into the lemon.



Tonight is the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective’s One Big Event their main fundraiser of the year and it will be the first time in a long time that I will be missing the event.

Saturday 9: Sweet City Woman

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Sweet City Woman (1971)

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



Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The lyrics tell us the singer is on his way to catch a train and he really wants to be on time. When is the last time you were late for something?
The question you should ask me is when were you were not late.
It is a family thing, I think that it is a backlash by my bother and me because my father used to be so punctual, we used to be the first ones in church and we always sat up front. I think it had something to do to the fact that he used to be a Lt.Col. in WW II.

2) He sings he's on his way to meet a woman known for her macaroons. What's your favorite cookie?
Girl Scouts S'mores but what I usually do is donate them to the military.

3) His girlfriend's face is so pretty she lights up the city night. How many lights are in the room you're in? How many are switched on?
Two and both of them are off.

4) This is the rare top 40 tune that prominently features a banjo. Sam has always been crazy about the sound of a banjo. What sound makes you smile? (It doesn't have to be a musical instrument. Think bacon sizzling, church bells, etc.)
A guitar, what I hate are bagpipes.

5) 47 years after their record was a hit, The Stampeders still tour every summer, playing festivals across the US and their native Canada. Do you enjoy live music under the stars? Or would you prefer to be seated in a theater?
The last concert I went to was a house party of about 20 people.

6) In 1971, when this song was popular on the radio, detective shows were popular on TV. Mannix, Ironside and Cannon were all in the Top 20. Who is your favorite TV detective?
Murder She Wrote

7) Also in 1971, the Post Office Department was disbanded as a Cabinet department and became The United States Postal Service. When did you last go to the post office? Were you mailing something? Buying stamps? Picking up a package? Renewing your passport? 
Last week, I check the company’s mail box

8) Race car legend Jeff Gordon was born in 1971. Do you watch NASCAR?
Nope I much rather watch SCCA road races

9) Random question -- Do you have a vaccination scar? If so, where is it?
Yes, on the outside of my left arm and yes I have my flu shot.



This week I am up in Provincetown MA or as it is known locally P'town for Fantasia Fair so it might be a bit before I approve your comments.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day 5

At eleven I headed out for lunch at Tin Pan Alley again and ate with a couple, when I was finishing Tony came in for lunch and I sat with him for a while talking about his new book  and checking up on the news on some friends we have in common.

After lunch I went to the keynote address by Gerri Cannon she is running for state representative in New Hampshire. She talked her transition, getting fired, becoming a truck driver, and then a carpenter. Then running for the school board and winning in 2016.

For supper I joined another couple and their friends, one was a friend from Facebook, Bernice and we met for the first time; we ate at Mac’s Seafood Restaurant.

Afterward we went to a poetry slam where Bernice read a poem by her partner and Dainna a longtime Fair goer and volunteer who passed away last winter.

I also read some of my poems.

When I was transitioning I was going through a lot of emotions and through those emotions I wrote poems, the first poem that I read was the first poem that I wrote…

Lady in the Mirror

Heart skips a beat.
    Stomach flutters.
         Breath is lost.
I see me.
    I am whole.
          I am one.

The next two that I read were about my parents passing.

I used to have a stash of clothes that I hid and every once in awhile they would vanish, my mother found them but she never said anything, it was the elephant in the room.

The Question

You never asked.
I always wondered.
But, I never asked.
It was our little secret.
The question unasked.
Little things that let me know that you knew.
But never asked.
The little hints here and there.
But the question remained unasked.
Hints just loud enough for my ears.
Oh, I always wondered about the question unasked.
Would our love survived.
If asked.
What would it have been like with the question asked?
What might have been if you asked?
What might have been if I asked?
But now is too late for you or me to ask.

And the last poem was about my father’s passing,

A Passing

There comes a time to past
Time to shed a tear
Time for the last
Time for the words we don't want to hear.

What we all must face
Time for what we all fear

Time not to waste
Time for the words we don't want to hear.

Our time will also come
Time for what we can not seer
Time to go home
Time for the words we don't want to hear.

Time to say one last good-bye.

After the spoken word was an open mic.

One of the songs that was sung was Don McLean’s “American Pie”

The song brought me back to my college days, my roommate used to play my record of the song over, and over, and over. He used to leave the arm on my turntable up so it would continuously as he passed out from booze.

The last song played was Carol King’s “You Got a Friend” and that song brought me back a couple of years ago when I went to see “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” on Broadway with my cousins.

Music is like that it can transport you to another time and place.

My friends left to go to Roomers and I went back to my cottage.

He’s The Only Republican...

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is the only Republican I would vote, he is an old time Republican; financially conservative, socially liberal.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker personally donates to 'Yes on 3' ballot campaign on transgender protections
MassLive
By Gintautas Dumcius
October 18, 2018

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is sending $500 to the "Yes on 3" campaign to uphold a transgender protections law that he signed.

Baker this week sent the money, a donation from his personal account and not the one used for his 2018 re-election campaign, the "Yes on 3" campaign confirmed. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, a fellow Republican, also sent $500 to "Yes on 3" from her personal account.

"I think we should keep it and I've donated to Question 3," Baker said during the WGBH-TV debate on Wednesday night.
[…]
Baker noted he spoke to reporters after the bill signing. "I made very clear I was enthusiastic about the opportunity I had to sign it," the governor said.
Nationally the Republican Party is on a crusade to criminalize us and force us back into the closet. it seems the Republicans are in a race to see who can pass the most draconian laws.

Unfortunately Republican Bob Stefanowski hasn’t said a word about our rights and no news is very, very bad for us. A couple of things I do know, the ultra-religious conservative family organization that fought us tooth and nail to prevent the passage of our gender inclusive non-discrimination law has endorsed Stefanowski. The other thing is that he is an admirer of Trump’s policies.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day 4

The week is flying by, it is Thursday already and there are four more days to the Fair.

For me the day started at 8:30 AM when a contractor came out to give me a quote for remodeling my cottage bathroom and to bring it up to current code (for one thing there are no GFIs in the kitchen or bathroom).

For lunch yesterday and today I picked Tin Pan Alley and I had grilled cheese and tomato bisque. I then went grocery shopping and slow cooked meatballs and sausage to make a meatball grinder for supper.

I was planning on going to the Fashion Show but I changed my mind when a strong cold front came through with a squall line of rain. When I was getting ready to back to P’town for the fashion show it poured with wind driven rain, the winds were gusting to over 45 mph and was pouring. The rain lasted less than 5 minutes but it was enough for me to decide not to go to the fashion show. So I settled back and watch the 1992 Tom Clancy's Patriot Games.

I am not a big fan of the Fashion Show, my fashion consist of jeans, blouse, and sneakers. I have seen it many times in the dozen years of going to the Fair. When I first attended the Fair in 2000 and in 2003 I wrote this about FanFair (all my old FanFair reports at there),
I then went to hear part two of "The Reality of the Real Life Experience", that got finished at four-thirty and I went back to the B & B and a couple that I know had just arrived from Connecticut. We later went out to dinner and then to Fantasia Fair Fashion show. The fashion show lived up to it usual high quality entertainment, my only comment was that I think that this year’s show was a little long. They have four categories, beach ware, casual ware, mall wear and eveningwear, and I think with the twenty-three participants it made the show too long. After the show I met another friend who had just come up from Connecticut also. Some of us headed over to the B & B that we were at last night. I left at a little before one and the party was still going strong.
One AM is way after my bed time after 14 years; it is more like 10 PM now.

This morning the wind was still howling at 20 mph with gusts to over 30 mph.

I saw my first "Vote Yes on 3" in Provincetown, it was on the median of Rt. 6. and there were two others in front of houses. You would think that there would be signs all over P'town this Gay Paradise in support of their trans brothers and sisters.

I Don’t Object…

…To legitimate research, but I oppose hatchet jobs that is called “research” like Brown University researcher Lisa Littman study on to “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” which was shoddy research (you can read it here and here).
Academics are being harassed over their research into transgender issuesIt is not transphobic to investigate this area from a range of critical perspectives, say 54 academics who are also concerned about proposed changes to the Gender Recognition ActThe Guardian
Letters
16 Oct 2018

We represent a newly formed network of over 100 academics, most of whom are currently employed in UK universities. We are concerned, from a range of academic perspectives, about proposed governmental reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, and their interaction with the Equality Act.

Our subject areas include: sociology, philosophy, law, criminology, evidence-informed policy, medicine, psychology, education, history, English, social work, computer science, cognitive science, anthropology, political science, economics, and history of art. This week, following an opportunity offered to us by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, we have submitted to the consultation a number of letters, outlining, as individuals, concerns about the introduction of self-ID for gender reassignment.

We are also concerned about the suppression of proper academic analysis and discussion of the social phenomenon of transgenderism, and its multiple causes and effects. Members of our group have experienced campus protests, calls for dismissal in the press, harassment, foiled plots to bring about dismissal, no-platforming, and attempts to censor academic research and publications. Such attacks are out of line with the ordinary reception of critical ideas in the academy, where it is normally accepted that disagreement is reasonable and even productive.
“It is not transphobic to investigate this area from a range of critical perspectives” they are right. We should not object to legitimate research but we should always speak out against flawed research.

I don’t know about any of the researchers who signed the letter, I don’t know their politics or their biases, however, if legitimate research is being stifled that is wrong. However we have a duty to speak up about junk science.
We maintain that it is not transphobic to investigate and analyse this area from a range of critical academic perspectives. We think this research is sorely needed, and urge the government to take the lead in protecting any such research from ideologically driven attack.
So do I.

But the purpose of peer reviewed papers is a critical review of the research. It is the duty of researchers to insure integrity in their profession. It is also the function of the Institute Review Boards (IRB) is to make sure of the safety of human subjects it is not a review on the method or topic of the research.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day 3

Day 3 started off peacefully, I went to lunch at the Post Office and sat next to some fair goers that I hadn’t met before and we joined by another Nutmeger that comes once in a while to Connecticut Outreach Society (COS) a support group.

Lunch was meat loaf which was outstanding!

After lunch I wandered up Commercial St. window shopping until it was time to go the Tuesday keynote address by Aaron H. Devor, PhD, a trans man who is the chair of Transgender Studies at the University of Vancouver and started the transgender archives there.

His talk was excellent; he talked about his career, his transition, and the barriers he faced as a trans man. He went on to talk about how he started the Transgender Archives. The archive started with a donation of Rikki Swin and then there were donations Ari Kane, Virginia Prince, Reed Erickson and the Erickson Educational Foundation, and many other people who donated material to the collection.

I donate my trans material to my collection at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Elihu Burritt Library part of my collection there is the actual signed bill for the Birth Certificate law.

But then a stomach bug hit me. I don’t think it was something that I ate because other who ate there were affected. But anyhow I decided not to go to the Pioneer Award banquet to be on the safe side, Dr. Aaron H. Devor is the recipient of the award.

Shh…

There are sometimes when good news flies under the radar and we don’t hear about it until it is done, in this case being able to put an “X” for your gender on your driver license.
Arkansas — Yes, Arkansas — Quietly Begins Issuing Gender-Neutral IDs to Non-Binary People
Into
By: Kate Sosin and Nico Lang
October 16, 2018

An unlikely state has joined the wave of municipalities recognizing the identities of trans, non-binary, and intersex people: Arkansas.

At least two transgender people have been issued gender-neutral ID cards since the beginning of October. When Zach Miller saw that a friend, long-time trans organizer Beck Witt, successfully updated their state identification with an “X” marker on Oct. 8, Miller went down to the local DMV in Little Rock to do the same.

While the DMV representative was initially confused by the request, Miller described her as “receptive.”

“Hey, you learn new things every day,” the representative reportedly said when informed that Miller identifies as neither gender. In conversation with INTO, the nonbinary activist identified as “gendervoid” and requested that this story use neither male nor female pronouns when referring to Miller.
It was fantastic that they were able to do that but what is even more surprising was…
According to spokesperson Scott Hardin, that policy has been on the books for eight years. It was quietly rolled out in December 2010, when former Assistant Commissioner of Operations and Administration Mike Munns announced the change in an internal email shared with INTO.

“Our official policy is to allow a licensee to change their gender as requested, no questions asked, no documentation required,” he told staff. “Please see that this policy is followed.”
[…]
The change was implemented, however, without a formal announcement. The state of Arkansas has historically operated without a clear public policy as to changing gender markers on driver’s licenses and IDs.
Yeah, it has been on the books for eight years, but why the secrecy?

Having an ID that doesn’t have you true gender can be dangerous,
Miller remembered being pulled over a few years ago with a headlight out and presenting a female ID card.

“The police officer wasn’t especially aggressive, but then when I showed him my ID, he had a second officer come up,” Miller recalled. “He had his hand on his weapon. They accused me of having a fake ID. Then even when I told them that I was transgender, they became more aggressive. I was very concerned for my safety.”
But I have to wonder if having an “X” on your ID will create any problems, I hope that law officers will know what an “X” on your ID means.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day 2

This morning I skipped the Orientation Brunch…

I have been going to the fair for over ten years and there really isn’t anything new covered at the Brunch. Since it starts at 8:45 AM and I had my breakfast at 6:00 AM I am no longer hungry.

So what did I do this morning… fun stuff! Like go to the Wellfleet town hall to check on my taxes.

I went to the keynote talk which topic of the talk was moving to Provincetown, it was very interesting for me because I now have a place on the Cape about twelve miles down from P’town and most important was I got the name of a contractor.

In the evening I went to the dinner and dance at the Pilgrim House, the dinner consisted of a salad, noodles with beef Bourgogne, lemon chicken and garlic bread. For dessert there was carrot cake.

I left before the music started, I’m not a dancer and I don’t like loud music.

When I was leaving the wind was starting to pick-up and it was drizzling which was a harbinger of things to come. Overnight the wind was gusting to 40 mph and there were heavy downpours, I woke up at 1:30 AM to rain pounding on my windows with the wind howling.

Today I am having lunch at the Post Office and in the evening is the Pioneer Award banquet.

One thing that I have noticed in this Gay Paradise is that there are very, very few “Vote Yes on 3” lawn signs. I have noticed a number of “Vote Yes/No on 1” signs but there is a dearth “Vote Yes on 3.”

One Of Three

From what I understand there are three states (Kansas, Ohio and Tennessee) that do not allow trans people to change their birth certificates even with surgery.
Kansas birth certificate policy violates transgender individuals’ rights, lawsuit says
Wichita Eagle
By Allison Kite
October 15, 2018

Citing privacy, discrimination and harassment concerns, a national LGBTQ rights organization on Monday filed suit against the state of Kansas alleging that it violates transgender individuals’ rights by refusing to change the sex listed on their birth certificates to correspond with their gender identities.

Attorneys for Lambda Legal, an organization that advocates for civil rights for LGBTQ people and those living with HIV, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP are representing two transgender women and two transgender men, all born in Kansas.

The suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., asks the court to declare unconstitutional Kansas’ birth certificate policy. According to the suit, Kansas, Ohio and Tennessee are the only states that don’t allow for changing birth certificates to reflect a transgender person’s gender identity. Kansas, however, allows residents to change their driver’s licenses and state identification cards, according to the suit.

Refusing to issue updated birth certificates, the suit argues, violates the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection and due process by treating transgender individuals differently.
It is going to be a long uphill fight especially in federal court, Trump and the Republicans have packed the courts with far-right judges. And the longer the Republicans control government it is only going to get worst because judges are lifetime appointment.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day 1

I drove up to P’town from my Wellfleet cottage to register for the fair and I had to drive around the block twice to find a parking spacethen I had to walk a couple of blocks to get to the Boatslip to register. I didn't stay long and there were a couple of friends that I met there and said "Hi" to. The weather is perfect! So it was a god day for a walk, the high was in the upper 50’s, sunny and no wind, yesterday’s wind from tropical storm Michael that is passing out to sea and is heading for England has died down.

At night there was the opening night reception at the Pilgrim House. It was a night of meeting old friends and making new friends. The main reason I go to Fantasia Fair is to meet friends, some of us have been attending the Fair off and on for over a decade. I don’t usually attend most of the workshops because they are mainly for trans people who are just coming out or for couples. I do like the noon talks and also the lunches.

Over lunches I can sit with friends and catch-up on what happened since last year, but I have to confess with Facebook I am pretty up-to-date on gossip.

Today's forecast... showers & high in to the middle 50s.

I Remember…

...Back when we were trying to pass the Connecticut gender inclusive non-discrimination bill, at the hearing a Republican legislator said we would transition to save money on insurance.
Transgender woman shocked by higher car insurance rates for women in Michigan
Her rate jumped almost $1,000 after sex change.
WXYZ
By Kim Russell
October 8, 2018

(WXYZ) - She says her ability to drive didn’t change when she transitioned from life as a man to life as a woman, but her insurance rates sure did.

Faith Frances asked that we use her first and middle name and omit her last name to protect her privacy.

She thought she was the victim of discrimination against transgender people. When she fought for justice, she learned she is the victim of legal discrimination all women in Michigan are subject to.

It is an issue we exposed. Car insurance companies are allowed to charge women a lot more for car insurance, simply because they are women

Faith contacted her insurance company because she changed her legal name. She never imagined it would skyrocket her car insurance prices $970.08 - almost $1000 a year.

“I don’t know. What do they think? My breasts get in the way of driving? I don’t know,” said Faith.

She jokes, but it is serious.  That $80 is a significant chunk of her income.
Maybe it is time for her to look for a different insurance company; mine went down by $400 a year when I transitioned.

But seriously we are in a unique place to judge gender bias and male privilege.

Why is it when I brought in the same blouse as a women it costed more to get it dry cleaned? Why do women razors cost more, the only difference that I see is that the women’s razors are made of pink plastic?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fantasia Fair Day -1

I came up today to the cottage and there was light rain all the way but in the afternoon the sun came out and some friends from Long Island stopped. We went out to eat at a nice restaurant in Wellfleet called Van Rensselaer.

I had a pomegranate martini before dinner and my goal tonight is to make it to nine; tomorrow I have to go into P’town and register for the fair. Monday I have to go to the town hall to pay my taxes.

Today was the first day of Wellfleet’s Oyster Festival and they usually attract around 10,000 people for the two day event. Wellfleet is known for their oysters and the harbor is full of oyster beds. Those who are heading up to P’town for Fan Fair curse the traffic but for the town folk it is a blessing. But the traffic is really no worse than the summer traffic.

I bought my cottage in Wellfleet in mid-April and I have been to a number of restaurants in the area and this one is very friendly and I have had no problems there being an “Out” trans person, however in one pizza place in Wellfleet I did have a problem. The whole kitchen staff had to come out and gawk at me but other than that one restaurant I haven’t had any problems in town. My neighbors are friendly and the owners of the other condo came over with a plate of oysters as a welcoming gift.

Here in Massachusetts there is a referendum on whether we can go out in public and I think the best way that I can lobby for Question 3 is to just be myself and live my life.

Now That The Supreme Court Is Packed…

With evangelical Christian judges who put the Bible above the Constitution we are going to see an increase in “Religious Freedom” cases.
These 3 anti-LGBTQ lawsuits outline new conservative strategy in Texas
The state's loudest anti-LGBTQ groups are hoping "religious freedom" trumps equality.
ThinkProgress
By Zack Ford
October 12, 2018

Conservatives in Texas have filed three lawsuits seeking to overturn LGBTQ protections in the name of “religious freedom.” As the Texas state legislature gears up for its 2019 session, the litigation suggests a bold and renewed effort to undermine civil rights for LGBTQ people, seemingly at every turn.

The three suits in question were filed last week — all within a few days of each other — by three of Texas’ most vocal anti-LGBTQ groups. Two of them target the city of Austin’s LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections — one in federal court and the other in state court. The third targets the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, arguing it’s unconstitutional to interpret Title VII’s employment protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
[…]
Meanwhile, Texas Values, a statewide anti-LGBTQ political organization, also filed a suit challenging Austin’s ordinance, but in state court. Their argument is far more broad than the U.S. Pastor Council’s, contending that anybody who has a religious objection should be allowed to:
  • refuse to hire “practicing homosexuals [sic] or transgendered [sic] people,”
  • refuse to rent property to anyone who engages “in non-marital sex of any sort, including homosexual behavior,”
  • refuse to “participate in or lend support to homosexual marriage or commitment ceremonies,”
  • refuse spousal benefits to same-sex partners of employees, and
  • refuse to allow transgender people to use restrooms matching their gender identity
In other words, they believe the law against discrimination shouldn’t apply to the people who are actually inclined to practice such discrimination.
[…]
The 2019 legislative session
While no bills have been introduced for next year’s legislative session, Smith anticipates that there will be no shortage of attempts to undermine LGBTQ equality — even if Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has said an anti-trans bathroom bill is not on his agenda. And while many of the measures that anti-LGBTQ lawmakers are likely to propose will surely be recycled from previous legislative sessions, these new lawsuits point to other strategies lawmakers might deploy.

For example, the lawsuits challenging Austin’s protections suggest lawmakers may try to follow Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina in passing a “preemption” law. These laws dictate that no municipality can extend protections beyond what are provided on the state level, effectively banning LGBTQ protections.
But we are not the only ones being targeted…
He hopes that people notice that these judicial and legislative efforts don’t just target LGBTQ people. “In Texas Values’ lawsuit, they’re seeking to allow landlords to refuse to rent to unmarried couples who have sex,” he pointed out. “Any unmarried couples. LGBTQ people are the primary target, but these lawsuits are taking a narrow set of extremist religious beliefs and trying to elevate them to be treated as law.”
I foresee businesses firing employees who are taken birth control.

I foresee landlords throwing out tenants who have an abortion.

I foresee that “religious freedom” is used to discriminate against blacks and other minorities

I foresee more trans people dying of exposure as homeless shelters refuse us shelter.

I foresee this coming back to bite the evangelical Christians in the ass when this is used against them.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday 9: Unbreak My Heart

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Unbreak My Heart (1996)

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



Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Songs like this are enduringly popular in part because each of us has had our heart broken. Give us the name of a heartbreaker from your own life.
It was a couple of years ago; we were getting along okay and then she broke it off.

2) Toni Braxton sings that "nights are so unkind." What did you do last night?
Slept.
I has a brunch in the morning, and I drove 4 hours up to the Cape in the afternoon it was an early night.
Well that didn't go as planned, when I wrote that Friday morning, that was my plan but when I was going through Norwich (about 45 minutes from home) I remembered that I forgot my meds. I turned around and when back home and I am leaving early this morning for the Cape.

3) While this song has Toni singing the blues, in real life her love life is happier. Now aged 50, she's engaged and has been sporting a diamond on her left hand. Do you believe that a bride is ever too old to have a big wedding?
No, but then you will have to pay for everything yourself.

4) Growing up, Toni Braxton's parents severely restricted how much TV their children could watch each day. Ironically, today Toni and her sisters participate in a reality TV show on the WE-TV network, so TV cameras are a big part of their daily adult lives. What TV show do you try not to miss?
Dr. Who.

5) She is prone to dry skin and applies Kiehl's Hand Salve to her hands and arms throughout the day. Tell us about a product you're brand loyal to.
Cottonelle, there are just somethings that generic brands can't match.

6) Toni admits to being "a bit of a germaphobe," and always maintains a supply of hand sanitizer and wipes. What is always on your shopping list?
Fresh fruit.

7) While she is not shy about her body, and has worn revealing outfits on the red carpet, Toni Braxton refused a 2011 offer from Hugh Hefner and Playboy to pose nude. What's the last thing you said "no" to?
Dessert.

8) In 1996, the year this song was popular, Mattel introduced a Star Trek Barbie and Ken set. Have you ever fantasized about space travel?
HA! Me who reads sifi and fantasy book; what do you think?

9) Random question -- Would you (or did you) invite an ex to your wedding?
N/A
Since I have never been married this doesn’t apply.

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, October 12, 2018

A Friend On Our Side

There is a powerful on our side in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe; they have been running an article just about every day on Question 3
Experts in violence prevention say transgender law protects people, doesn’t endanger women
By Stephanie Ebbert
October 11, 2018

Women who work in sexual violence prevention threw their support Thursday behind Question 3, the question on the Nov. 6 election ballot that asks voters whether they want to preserve antidiscrimination protections for transgender people in places of public accommodation.

“I can’t believe this is something that we have to fight for — that our friends and our family would not experience the indignities, the demoralizing and demeaning things they have because of culture and because of discriminatory laws,” said City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, now a Democratic congressional nominee. “These are basic civil rights that should never be decided by popular vote.”
This is a powerful endorsement by Jane Doe Inc.,
Jane Doe Inc. fully supports the existing state’s transgender non-discrimination law because no one in our communities becomes less safe by laws protecting transgender people from discrimination.  This law ensures we can all live our lives with privacy and dignity.  So Massachusetts: vote YES on 3!   ~ Debra Robbin • Executive Director, Jane Doe Inc.
[…]
You can find a Factsheet and conversation guide from JDI here, designed to provide background information and offer talking points for discussions about the transgender rights ballot question. Read up, and share in your networks!
Once again, it all depends upon turnout.

In Connecticut we also had support from the CT Sexual Assault Crisis Services.



Right now I am on my way up to P’town for Fantasia Fair, this time I am sleeping in my own bed; I’m staying in my own cottage for the first time.

The Love Hate Relationship Of Phone Cameras

Most of you don’t give a second thought to your camera on your smartphone but for many trans people we have a love hate relationship.

Gone are the days of film cameras when you had to get up enough never to send the film in to be developed, while now we just pull out our smart phone and take a selfie. But at the same time it makes it easy for others to take intrusive photos of us.
METRO POLICE OFFICERS & FIREFIGHTERS TOOK SECRET PHOTOS OF & SHAMED A TRANSGENDER CITIZEN
Snoop Nashville
By J Steen
October 11, 2018

8 sworn police officers, 2 firefighters, 1 dispatcher, & 1 Metro teacher. That’s how many government employees took part in the public shaming of a transgender citizen of Nashville, after 3 of the police officers and 1 of the firefighters had all taken independent photos of this citizen at different times in the past few weeks, and all came together to post them on social media and engage in a very public ridicule and shaming of this citizen that had no idea anything was going on. (We have blurred the identity in the images below).

Most disturbing, is that these photos were not even from the same day. Once the first one was posted by a Metro Police Sergeant, several others came forward to post their own they had taken in previous days or weeks, without knowing the others had also taken photos of this same person. For these Metro Nashville employees, their first instinct when they saw a transgender person was to take a photo, upload it to social media, and laugh at the person and publicly shame them from their social media accounts – many of which have the Metro jobs prominently displayed, along with photos of them in uniform.
[…]
Nashville Fire Department Director Chief William Swann was shown the photos and comments on Thursday morning, and his immediate response was:
“First and foremost the Nashville Fire Department is dedicated to serving all the people on Davidson County. We do this no matter who they are no matter their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, age, ethnicity or anything else. When I was made aware of these postings I directed my command staff to look into your allegations. Once we complete that process we will act accordingly.”
At the end of the day, over 250 people had engaged with the post, via comments, or reactions – a vast number of them metro city employees.  There may have been more comments and remarks by more sworn officers, but these were the ones that went by their actual name on social media, and were easily verified via Nashville’s open data portal, and having their job or photo listed in on their social media profile. Diversity Training is already a required course for all Metro Nashville employees.
It happened to me also, I was at an Olive Garden Italian Restaurant with some trans friends waiting to be seated when I heard some giggling and I looked up and there were two high school couples waiting also to be seat and the two boys had their smartphones out taking pictures of us. They continued taking photos all throughout dinner.

I also had a couple of girls snap photos of me in the women's room at the Hartford Stage.



This morning I am at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Rainbow Breakfast, as the ED of CTAC I was invited along with the President of our Board.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I Don’t Know If You Noticed

But there are more trans people running for office and more trans people are taking an active role in politics.
Four reasons why transgender people are running for office in record numbers
LGBTQ Nation
By Gwendolyn Smith
October 10, 2018

The 2017 election cycle may had more transgender people elected to office than ever before, but 2018 has the most transgender people running for office. Transgender people across the country are seeking everything from congressional seats to local school board positions.

What’s behind this move, and why is it happening now? Here are four big reasons that are driving the push to run for many transgender people.

Donald Trump
Much like gains in women and other groups running for office, the election of Donald J, Trump has pushed others to answer the call.
[…]
Danica Roem
On the other side of the coin, Danica Roem has also influenced transgender people to seek office. While Roem was not the first elected transgender person, she has been one of the highest profile to date.
[…]
The transgender community is growing up
While transgender people have existed for centuries, it is only in the last 25-30 years that there has been a “transgender community” of sorts.
[…]
Society has changed
As the transgender community has shifted and grown so has its visibility. No longer tabloid and talk show fodder, transgender people have become more and more visible.
I think it is a “perfect storm” as Ms. Smith said between Trump, Ms. Roem, and the change in our community and society we now have more trans people taking an active part in politics but also the ballot questions that are on the ballot around the country and the realization that we can make a difference.

My education into politics started in 2006 – Albany Trans Rights Conference – National Center for Transgender Equality and by National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Grassroots Organizing, Albany New York where Mara Keisling and Lisa Mottet (then at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) and in 2007 – Grassroots Organizing, New York Power Summit, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury NY. In 2008 – Lobbying Training – Connecticut Lobbying Conference, Gallo & Robinson, LLC, Hartford CT (Ms. Gallo is retiring and she will be missed dearly).

In 2006 I started attending UConn School of Social Work for my MSW specializing in community organizing and through the school I attended the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work, Campaign School.

Some of the key points that I learned…
  • Don’t bother with those who are set against us, it is a waste of time; thank those who support us, and then concentrate on the “movable middle.”
  • Both the inside and outside game is important. By that I mean lobbying legislators is the inside game and protests is the outside game. The protests keep the issues on the front page, while lobbying concentrates on the fence siting legislators (like Sen. Collins… but sometimes it doesn’t work).
  • It you protest do it in a way that the protest puts pressure on the target.
  • The best way to motivate people to become involved is through their emotions, self-interest, and sense of fair play.
And if you read anything at all read Community Tool Box and Saul Alinsky
Rules for Radicals recommends mostly working within the system—though in the twisted way Machiavelli is reputed to have done (whether or not he’s been interpreted fairly). Below, you’ll find Alinsky’s list of 13 “Rules for Radicals,” offered with his proviso that political activism cannot be a self-serving enterprise: “People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people.”
  1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. 
  2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. 
  3. "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. 
  4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
  5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. 
  6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. 
  7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. 
  8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. 
  9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. 
  10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition." It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign. 
  11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. [My emphasis]
  12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. 
  13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
Alinsky’s rules can and have been used for anti-democratic designs. But he defines the U.S. as a “society predicated on voluntarism.” His vision of democracy leans heavily on that of keen outside observer of early America, Alexis de Tocqueville, the French philosopher who “gravely warned,” writes Alinsky, “that unless individual citizens were regularly involved in the action of governing themselves, self-government would pass from the scene.”
Alinsky realized that only a very small number of people get involved and you can be used effectively.

Notice #11 “Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.” and that goes for us also, violence no matter how attractive just doesn’t work.

Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. learned that. They believed in non-violence demonstrations and you just have listen to what Sen. McConnell and Trump are saying “The Democrats are a menace to public safety” and how Trump wants to band protest because the “violence” (see rule #11).

We need to watch out for infiltrators who will stir up violence and blame it on the peaceful protesters.

The trouble is the Republicans have also listened to Alinsky at the same time as they condemn him for being a Communist. How many of those rules does Trump follow? How about #5 & #11?

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are.

…Or not. Today is National Coming Out Day and I am not a big fan of it.

A person that I know says on National Coming Out Day she wants to pick up the phone and dial a random number and when they answer just say, “I’m a lesbian” and hang up.

You might expect that I am in favor of it, but I am not. Coming out involves great risks and you should assess the risk before you come out. Know if you have a support network just in case things go bad. Do your parents support LGBT issues or are they opposed to them. Assess the risk if you are coming out in school; know how much support the school administration will give you. These are some of the factors that you should consider before coming out.

Harvey Milk’s quote “Burst down those closet doors and stand up once and for all, and start to fight.” Is okay but think first; will coming out put me in danger?

Have a plan on coming out, just don’t blurt out “I’m trans!” Timing is everything; you don’t want to be sitting down at a family Thanksgiving dinner and just pop it out that you are transgender. When I came out I came out to my brother I had a plan and he was the first person that I came out to because I knew he would be the most supportive.

You don’t want to come out to the whole family at once because all it takes is for one person to have a negative reaction and that could sway the rest of the family. You want to build family allies before you come out to your whole family so that they can speak on your behalf.

When you come out at work you want to tell HR first so that they can prepare to tell the whole company. You don’t want to just send out an email to the whole company that says, “Hey everyone, guess what? I’m trans!”

So be safe, think before you act.


This is a reprint from last year. I'm sitting at the car dealer getting a 20,000 mile check up for my car.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Get Out The Vote!

It is only a few weeks away and there seems to be popular support to vote “Yes on 3.” I saw this sign on my way to my cottage in Wellfleet and hopefully it is one of many.

The public accommodation law seems to have wide appeal among legislators and candidates on both sides of the aisle.
Transgender ballot question backed by governor, local politicians
The Sun Chronicle
By Jim Hand
October 9, 2018

Gov. Charlie Baker won’t get an argument from local candidates of both parties when it comes to his stance of maintaining transgender rights.

Baker on Friday came out in favor on a “yes” vote on Question 3, which would uphold a 2016 law protecting rights such as access to the public bathrooms transgender people feel most comfortable with.
[…]
Jay Gonzalez, Baker’s Democratic challenger for governor, said on his website that he also supports a yes vote on Question 3.

“We cannot go backwards. I strongly oppose the efforts seeking to roll back these critical protections and strongly support upholding them,” he said.

Locally, Democratic and Republican candidates voiced their support for the governor’s stance.

“This is not a partisan issue, but rather a question of our values as human beings,” state Sen. Paul Feeney, D-Foxboro, said.
[…]
Feeney’s Republican opponent, Jacob Ventura of Attleboro, has a similar position.
[…]
State Rep. Jim Hawkins, D-Attleboro, said he supports a range of issues in support of gay and transgender rights, including the bathroom bill.
[…]
Republican challenger Julie Hall, an Air Force veteran, said she applauds the governor’s stand and supports keeping the protections in place.
It is good for us that there is bipartisan support, now if only the votes feel the same way on November 6th.

If you want to help visit Freedom Massachusetts website and they have ways to can help.

Our rights hinge on voter turnout and voting on Question 3… Get Out and Vote!



Update 4:00PM

I came across this article about canvasing for Question 3
Transgender ballot activists make their pitch: ‘I’m a human being’
Boston Globe
By Stephanie Ebbert
October 9, 2018

[…]
In a twist on the traditional political canvass — in which volunteers knock on voters’ doors to pitch a political cause or candidate — many of the people out campaigning this election year are the cause. Transgender individuals are visiting key neighborhoods to drum up support for Question 3, the ballot question that will determine whether a 2016 state law continues to protect them from discrimination in such public places as restaurants and restrooms.

As such, they find themselves personally lobbying not for some abstract political ideology but for the circumstances by which they get through their daily lives: where they’ll shop, where they’ll eat, where they will go to the bathroom.
[…]
“Is there anyone in particular you’ll be thinking of when you cast your vote?” Rogers asked.

The woman barely missed a beat before answering, “You.”
It makes a difference when we go out to canvas, for many we might be the first trans person that thy have knowing met and it could make a difference between a No vote and a Yes vote.


Up In Smoke

In many states medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal so what happens when a company does drug testing and the test for marijuana comes back positive?

I follow many blogs and one of them is an employment blog and this week they answered that question.
Medical Marijuana Protections Tested For First Time
Employment Law Letter
By Christopher Engler on September 28, 2018
POSTED IN DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT, FEATURED

For the first time, a court in Connecticut has found an employer liable for discriminating against a medical marijuana user. The decision by a federal judge in Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC helps to clear the haze surrounding Connecticut’s Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (“PUMA”). As a refresher, PUMA prohibits employers from refusing employment to or discharging an individual based on that individual’s status as a qualifying patient of medical marijuana.
[…]
Because this was a federal judge interpreting state law, the decision is not binding on Connecticut state courts. Nevertheless, employers should take care when facing this situation, and should consider consulting counsel before revoking a job candidate’s offer based on a positive drug screen.
And for you legal beagles, here is a link to the case.

All Is Fair In Love In War…

…And in politics some politicians think that is true.

I guess some Republicans just don’t care if they steal a person’s photo as long as it gets them vote.
California Republican steals transgender veteran’s photo for campaign attack
Both candidates actually oppose transgender military service.
ThinkProgress
By Zack Ford
October 9, 2018

In California’s 8th Congressional District, which spans much of the state’s border with Nevada, two Republicans are in a heated race for the seat. The challenger, Tim Donnelly, has a new billboard campaign attacking incumbent Rep. Paul Cook for his vote on transgender military service, and it uses a photo of a transgender veteran without her permission.

In bold text, the billboard shouts, “Ask Paul Cook Why He Voted To Allow Our Military Funds To Be Used For Sex-Change Surgeries!” It includes a photo of Allison Hannan stolen from an OUT Magazine feature about transgender veterans. According to the Los Angeles Blade, neither Hannon, photographer Cassidy DuHon, nor OUT gave Donnelly permission to use the photo.

The attack likely refers to a 2017 amendment to the defense spending bill that would have prohibited the military from funding any medical treatment related to gender transition. Cook was one of nearly two dozen congressional Republicans who helped defeat the amendment in a tight 209–214 vote.
And Ms. Hannan had this to say…
Hannan, who lives in a rural farming township in New Jersey, told the Blade that she was aghast to see her picture used in the ad. “I feel soiled that my image was used to advance the campaign of a homophobe/transphobe and my face is on a billboard next to a hateful message,” she said.
[…]
Still, she is offended by the underlying message of the ad: that transgender people are somehow of less value to the military. “What bugs me to no end is that my honorable service, like the others who have served honorably, is somehow devalued because of who we are,” she told the Blade.
It seems like in the candidates battle they don’t care about collateral victims… the almighty vote is all that counts.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

This Is Very Troubling!

Can you imagine that there is an “active shooter” in a school and a student is denied access to safety and left outside to face the shooter? Well it happened in a drill in Virginia.
Transgender student barred from shelter in locker rooms during school safety drill
The teachers were apparently debating which locker room would be appropriate for her.
WUSA9 CBS News
Author: Bruce Leshan
October 4, 2018

STAFFORD, Va. -- An alarming day for a young, transgender girl after she was barred from using both the boys' and girls' locker room.

During a lock down safety drill at her middle school in Stafford County, last week the LGBTQ rights group Equality Stafford says she was forced to sit alone on the bleachers and then in the hall while everyone else in her physical education class at a Stafford County middle school took shelter in locker rooms.
Newsweek reported…
VIRGINIA TRANSGENDER STUDENT DENIED ENTRY TO BOTH LOCKER ROOMS DURING SAFETY DRILL
By Hannah Preston
October 6, 2018

"During an event that prepares children to survive an attack by actual assailants, she was treated as if she was so much of a danger to peers that she was left exposed and vulnerable," the post read. "We need all of you to come out on October 9th at 6:30 pm to the Stafford County School Board Meeting at 31 Stafford Avenue. We need you to come and lend your voice to the growing cry."

Sherrie Johnson, Director of Strategic Communication Stafford County Public Schools, released a statement to WUSA.

"Stafford County Public Schools does not comment on individual student incidents to avoid divulging confidential information. However, the new superintendent has requested a review of all protocols and procedures to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect. We take such matters very seriously and they will be addressed. The welfare of all students is of the utmost importance for SCPS."
I am speechless.

This is so horribly wrong that I just don’t know what to say. Can you imagine if this happened to some other minority the out roar this would create?

The school board meeting is tonight… if I find any articles I will post a follow-up.



I am at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s place for the next couple of days so my blog has been pre-written for the next couple of days.

Monday, October 08, 2018

New Guidelines For Trans Student.

With the new law and a new governor New Jersey creates guideline for trans students like Connecticut has .
Editorial: New guidelines bring clarity to transgender student policies
North Jersey Editorial Board, North Jersey Record
October 7, 2018

Late last month New Jersey took a bold step forward on basic civil rights for all students, becoming the 11th state in the union to issue clear guidelines and policies on transgender students. According to the new rules issued by the state Department of Education, schools must accept a student’s stated gender identity, but don’t have to notify parents about the student’s gender decision.

The move is especially helpful in New Jersey in light of somewhat confusing and sometimes conflicting laws and resolutions that have come forth at the local, state and federal levels.
[…]
The new law, say officials, is intended to promote a safe and successful learning environment for transgender students, and to provide educators with a much-needed road map on how to navigate through policies that protect students and their privacy and at the time meet the letter of the law.
In Connecticut there are actually two sets of guidelines one from the CT Department of Education and one from the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the CHRO guideline was done right after (in government terms,  it took a year to finally get it published) the passage of the law in 2011.



I am at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s place for the next couple of days so my blog has been pre-written for the next couple of days.

Too Far?

We have hate crime laws here in the U.S. that protect LGBT people on the local, state, and federal levels and they can involve jail time.
Switzerland votes to send people to prison for homophobia and transphobia
By  Ella Braidwood
2nd October 2018

Switzerland has voted to make homophobic and transphobic crimes punishable with up to a three year prison sentence.

The National Council voted to criminalise homophobic and transphobic acts, putting it on a par with the way the country treats racism.

The council voted 118 for and 60 against to introduce a prison sentence for homophobia and transphobia.

However, the motion still needs to be passed by the Council of States before it can become law.
Here in the U.S. it is very hard to prove a hate crime because it goes to motive, unless they use derogatory statements like using f****t, or words.

Just because they attacked a trans person or a gay or lesbian doesn’t automatically make it a hate crime.



I am at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s place for the next couple of days so my blog has been pre-written for the next couple of days.


Sunday, October 07, 2018

Vote “Yes” On Three

I was driving yesterday near my cottage in Wellfleet and I passed a lawn sign… “Vote Yes on 3.”

The November elections are going to important in more ways than just voting for candidates, there are a number of important ballot questions on the ballots around the country and none more important to trans people than the one in Massachusetts (Connecticut has two ballot questions).

I have said many times that human rights should not be put to a vote but unfortunately it has time and time again.
Groups release competing ads on Massachusetts transgender ballot question
MassLive
By Shira Schoenberg
Posted October 5, 2018

Supporters and opponents of Massachusetts' transgender anti-discrimination law have released competing ads in the leadup to the November ballot question that would repeal the law.

The law prohibits discrimination against transgender people in public places and allows a transgender person to use the bathroom or locker room that conforms with their gender identity.

Yes on 3, the coalition that supports upholding the law, released three videos on Friday.
One features a transgender boy and his father. The boy is shown walking his dog, spending time with friends and going into a coffee shop.
[…]
Two other ads feature Democratic state representative and former Salem police chief Paul Tucker. Tucker says upholding the law will protect public safety. He says laws already exist to prevent assault, and he cites a study showing that there is no evidence that the transgender anti-discrimination law increases crime. "Ensuring dignity and respect for everyone is not a threat to public safety," Tucker says.
[…]
One of those ads also features Debra Robbin, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, saying similarly that the law does not threaten public safety.
So there are some heavy hitters behind keeping the law but the opposition has not been sitting idly by, they have been spreading their hate.
The ads are a response to ads being run by the coalition that opposes the law, which say that the law threatens public safety by letting someone born male into a women's bathroom or locker room.

One ad features a man peeping in a women's locker room.

The second ad, released this week, features a mother talking about a boy who came to change in the locker room where her daughter was changing. "Our children deserve the right to privacy," she said.

Top donors to the repeal effort are: Renew Massachusetts Coalition, Ray Ruddy, Tom Breuer, Massachusetts Family Institute and Wally Weld.
The New Boston Post also ran an article on the ballot question and the ad.
Pro-Gender-Identity-Law Yes-on-3 Campaign Releases First Video Ad
By Matt McDonald
October 5, 2018

The Yes on 3 campaign has released its first video ad, showing a father and an adolescent who was born a female but now identifies as a boy advocating for legal protection for transgender people.
[…]
“We are proud that Ian and his family were willing to share their story and remind voters what is truly at stake with this ballot question,” said Matt Wilder, a spokesman for Yes on 3, in a written statement. “Voting ‘Yes on 3’ ensures young transgender people like Ian grow up in a state where they know they are welcomed and accepted for who they are. Nothing about this law makes anyone less safe, which is why the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the state’s leading sexual assault prevention groups all unanimously support this law. All this law does is protect transgender people like Ian from discrimination and harassment.”
The oppositions has countered,
Opponents of the law say it threatens the safety and dignity of women and girls because it allows biological males who identify as women to enter spaces meant for females only.
[…]
No-on-3 advocates say sex offenders can use the state’s gender-identity law to gain access to spaces meant for females by claiming to identify as women, whether they actually do or not.
In Wicked Local a letter-to-the-editor said,
As the midterm election season begins to intensify, we would like to provide Star readers with some background information that could help you to make one of the many decisions facing voters this November.

As an organization, we advocate in support of each and every person’s civil rights and building an inclusive community. An inclusive Winchester means that everyone, from our youngest to our oldest residents, should have the full freedoms and protections that everyone else in our society has. In other words, not having to fear discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, ability, ancestry and/or gender identity.

In 2016 Gov. Baker enacted legislation extending protections for transgender individuals so that they may live their lives without the threat of discrimination. While it has not yet gone into effect, opponents of this legislation have successfully petitioned for a ballot initiative this November in an attempt to repeal this law, which protects transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, stores and doctors’ offices.
[…]
If you are interested in learning more about gender identity and the perspectives and life experiences of transgender individuals, we would encourage you to read “Becoming Nicole” by Amy Ellis Nutt or “She’s Not There” by Jennifer Finney Boylan or attend one of the many educational programs coming up over the next several weeks in support of this legislation, including the Network’s program, “Living a Civil Rights Issue: Supporting Transgender Rights,” to be held from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Oct. 4 in the large meeting room of the library.
And the letter is signed by Juanita Zerda, president, board of directors, Winchester Multicultural Network.

The best defense against ads like this is the fact that the law has been on the for almost two years and there have been no incidents like they said and also there has been incidents nationwide since the first law was passed in 1975 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Here are the videos (and not I am not going to link to the anti-ads…




Trans Around The World

We have seen an increase in the number of trans candidates winning elections and running for office here in the U.S. but it is international.
'Why not?': Transgender candidate busts stereotypes in Brazil
BBC
By Anna Jean Kaiser
5 October 2018

At a women's volleyball game on a Monday night in São Paulo, the stands are packed and those in attendance are decidedly rooting for the away team.

A large portion of the audience has come to see one of the away team's players in particular, Tifanny Abreu, the first transgender woman to play in Brazil's premier female volleyball league.

She may also become Brazil's first transgender lawmaker in its national Congress.

Under the campaign slogan "Why not?", she is running for the lower house in the general election on 7 October, defying those who think that a transgender woman cannot make it into the highest legislative body.

"Tifanny you're my hero in life and in sports!" a teenage boy says as she leaned over the barrier and got cheek-to-cheek for a selfie.
[…]
But Ms Abreu surprised many by announcing that she would run for a traditionally conservative party, the governing Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (MDB).
NBC News reports…
More than 50 transgender candidates running for office in BrazilThe boom in transgender candidacies comes as Latin America's largest nation struggles to emerge from its worst recession in decades.By Associated Press
October 4, 2018

Aires is one of 53 transgender candidates running for state and federal offices in Brazil, a deeply conservative and religious country that is also one of the most dangerous in the world for the transgender community. Last year, 179 trans people were killed in Brazil, up from 144 in 2016, according to Brazil's National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals. So far this year, 122 have been killed.

The boom in transgender candidacies — there were only five trans candidates during the last general election in 2014, and none were successful — comes as Latin America's largest nation struggles to emerge from its worst recession in decades, and the political class has largely been discredited amid a massive corruption scandal involving billions of dollars in kickbacks to politicians.

The presidential poll leader, far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro, has a long history of offensive comments about gays, trans people, women and minorities.

For transgender candidates, Bolsonaro's candidacy — the candidate has said it would be better to have a dead son than a gay son — both invokes fear and stands as potential galvanizer to get people out to the polls.
[…]
Despite widespread discrimination and grim statistics — LGBTQ groups estimate that 35 is the life expectancy of transgender Brazilians — there are signs of change.

Earlier this year, Brazil's highest court ruled that people could change their name and gender on their identity cards by simply asking to do so. Previously, any legal change required sex reassignment surgery and court filings.
Then down in Chile there is also change taking place for trans people,
Q&A: A New Law in Chile Recognizes Transgender People
Open Society Foundation
October 4, 2018

Chile’s congress passed a gender identity law recently that allows transgender people over 14 years of age to change their name and gender in official records. Max Anmeghichean, from the Open Society Foundations' Human Rights Initiative, speaks with Organizando Trans Diversidad’s Michel Riquelme about the law.
Why is this law important for the transgender community in Chile?Imagine being a transgender person in Chile. The law did not used to be clear about your right to legally change your name and your gender marker (e.g. “F” or “M”). This led to a lot of abuse. Some transgender people who sought these changes were subjected to medical examinations and other humiliating and degrading tests, even though what they sought to do is exercise a fundamental human right. The law also addresses discrimination, providing important new protections.

But the whole debate around the law was also useful in many ways, as it brought LGBTI advocates more into the public eye, educating the public about the discrimination that exists and the fixes we need to collectively undertake to ensure that all LGBTI people lead lives free from abuse and discrimination.
[…]
Was it very difficult to win support for a law that respects the rights of transgender people?We spent a lot of time negotiating with people who had a lot of misconceptions about transgender people. And to be honest, we talked to a lot of people who may have come into these conversations thinking a lot of hateful and unfair things about transgender people. But along the way, you realize these prejudices can be overcome and you can make some allies who will help you when you need it.

The presence of organized anti-rights groups was a challenge, as they focused on spreading disinformation on the content of the bill, inventing false language that the bill never included to stir up hate. For example, they invented the claim that the bill would force operations on children, a clear human rights violation that the bill would never include.
Everywhere is the same… go for the movable middle

Whether you are running for office or trying to pass a law, the rule of community organizing is the same. Tell those who are against you that you don’t agree, the ones that support you thank them, and then focus your efforts and money on those who are undecided.