Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday 9: I'd Really Love to See You Tonight

Sam’s Saturday 9: I'd Really Love to See You Tonight (1976)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
This morning I’m driving up to the Cape so I will not be able to post your comment until this afternoon



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

1) This song is about a guy who, out of the blue, phones an ex. Have you ever spontaneously phoned or emailed a former lover? Has an ex ever reached out to you?
No, but I received a call from an ex girl friend… she pressed the wrong button on her speed dial and we had a nice talk.
One thing that I thought of after we hung up… she still has me on her speed dial

2) He suggests walking through the park, taking a drive along the beach, or watching TV. Do any of those suggestions appeal to you right now?
Well this afternoon I will be on the Cape and I will be down on the beach to see the sunset.
Newcomb Hollow Beach (Wellfleet) MA)

3) "England Dan" got his nickname because he was a passionate Beatles fan and would affect a British accent when he talked about his favorite group. Are you good at imitating accents?
No… I have a hard time just pronouncing the works correctly. Sometime I have to tell you how I pronounce “paradigm.”

4) Dan met John Colley when they were high school classmates in Dallas. When they were still kids, they agreed that "John Ford Coley" would be a better stage name. Think back to your high school days. Which of your friends daydreamed along with you?
I had a few friends that we dreamed about becoming an astronaut.

5) After the duo disbanded, "England Dan" went to Nashville, billed himself by his real name -- Dan Seals -- and recorded country music. Who is your favorite country performer?
Willy Nelson


6) Today John Ford Coley lives in TN. He performs occasionally and raises horses. Have you ever been to TN?
Yes, when I was little we traveled to all the Civil War battlefields in eastern Tennessee.
Then recently I traveled down to Asheville via I-81

7) In 1975, when this song was popular, Foster Grant Sunglasses had a suggested retail price of $5/pair. Do you buy sunglasses more for fashion or utility?
I have a pair of clip-on sunglasses.

8) The most popular movie of 1975 was Jaws. Have you seen it?
Yeah when it first came out, I didn’t like it then I don;t like it now.

9) Random question: Excluding anyone related to you by blood or marriage, what man are you closest to?
Hmm… I don’t think any are.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Too Good To Be True

When I saw that Utah was trying to pass a ban on conversion therapy I thought wow… the Mormon Church is allowing that! Well it was too good,
Mormon Church Opposes Utah’s ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban, Calling It Overreaching
The practice has been condemned by leading medical and mental health groups. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is standing behind it.
Huff Post
By Nina Golgowski
October 17, 2019

Lawmakers’ latest attempt to ban so-called conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth in Utah is under threat by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) after the influential religious group released a statement publicly condemning a ban.

The Mormon church, as the faith is commonly known, called the proposed ban overreaching, claiming it does not protect individuals’ religious beliefs or “account for important realities of gender identity in the development of children.”
However, the governor supports the ban…
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R), who’s a member of the LDS church, back in June had proposed regulating how psychologists practice conversion therapy, saying he was “troubled” by it.
So we are going to have to wait to see who wins, the governor or the church.



This will be the first in a while where I will not be attending Fantasia Fair. Fan Fair starts on Sunday with a reception and end the following Sunday with a brunch. Eight days en fem.

The first time that I went was back in 2000, I went for three days and I liked it so much that I have been going just about every year since. I’ve been to other conventions but they were all in the same motel, even though you’re en fem for three or four days you are pretty much isolated from the general public but at Fan Fair you walk around town meeting tourists and the town’s folk. You wander around window  shopping and eat lunch (which is provided as part of Fan Fair), one time when I was walking down the main drag… um… street I overheard a husband comment to his wife; “There are a lot of tall women in town, I wonder if there’s a women’s basketball game tonight?”

It was during Fan Fair that I first felt rain on my stockings. It was during Fan Fair that I first walked down a street in a snow storm. It was at Fan Fair that for the first time I was in a hot tube with seven lesbians. (Did I mention that the first day of the fair is the last day of Women’s Week)

The reason that I cannot attend Fan Fair is that I have to do training for the Connecticut Court system, I have 17 signed up for my workshop on Wednesday. This will be the second time that I did training for the court system and next week’s training is for the Judicial Branch’s 2019 Diversity Week. I got invited because a therapist couldn’t give the training that week and he recommended me.

Then next Friday I am on a panel talking about trans athletes.This invite came about because of my internship for my MSW at the Connecticut Women Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF)

I will be up on the Cape tomorrow but I think that I will be going to the Wellfleet Oyster festival and then I will be sanding down the radiators in the cottage to get them ready to paint before I leave on Tuesday. I will then head back up to the Cape on Saturday and come home on the 28th.



Today I am down in New Haven teaching two classes on public health at Southern Connecticut State University

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Say No To Hate.

What do you do if you’re a waitress or waiter and you hear bigotry? Do you still wait on them or do you refuse to serve them and you do it could cost you your job?
Server in Wisconsin fired for refusing to serve anti-transgender customers
By: WTMJ Staff
October 15, 2019

FOND DU LAC, Wisc. — A woman says she was fired from her serving job at a local restaurant after he refused to serve guests she says were making transphobic remarks.

Brittany Spencer worked as a server at Fat Joe's Bar & Grill in Fond du Lac for a few months. On Saturday night, she says some of the guests she was serving began making disparaging comments about gender identity while a transgender woman was in the bar.

"They were asking me if I thought it was disgusting and wrong and why we would let someone like that into the establishment," Spencer said. "To which I answered, no, I do not agree with that and walked away."
[…]
Spencer says she went to her manager to ask if someone else could serve the table because she didn't feel comfortable.

"[My manager] essentially told me to suck it up or go home," Spencer said. "To which I said, OK. I will leave."
Then I feel that she made a big mistake…
But before their conversation, Spencer took to Facebook to sound off about what happened. Her post generated more than a dozen comments.
Her boss said he was going to talk to her the next day and not firer her but he said when she posted it on Facebook he decided to fire her.

So what are the issues here?

  • First Amendment
  • Non-discrimination laws
  • Labor Laws

First off… I am not a lawyer so these are only my interpretation of the laws.

Unfortunately, there is a right to spew hate but it only applies to the government “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...” So you do not have right, what most people think, to say anything you want wherever you want, what the law does mean is that anti-discrimination laws cannot prohibit speech. In other words bigots can say anything they want and the law cannot stop them. However, businesses are not covered by the First Amendment.

That means the bar owner didn’t have to put up with what the patrons were saying, there was no 1st Amendment rights for the patrons.

Non-discrimination laws in Wisconsin do not cover gender identity and/or expression discrimination.

Title VII might covers employment but since the waitress is not trans the law does not cover her.

The bar owner said,
"We don't discriminate against anyone," Wallender said. "If you want to walk in our front door and you want to have our food or drinks, watch TV, watch live music we provide, we're going to serve you as best we can and make you happy to your standards."
The bar owner sounds like he took the high ground but he didn’t, instead he copped out and said he didn’t discriminate. But I wonder how it be if instead of lambasting us the patrons were “white supremacist” and were saying racist speech would he still let them stay? Or was it just because they were attacking us that it was okay.

If the bar was in a state that protects us, then from what I understand the business would have had a duty to have a place of business free from discrimination but since Wisconsin does not have a law protecting us there is not much the waitress can do.

I feel glad she stood up for us and sad that she fired for protecting us. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

You Never Know

I remember once a trans women who attended a support group meeting passed away and we never knew because we only knew her preferred name not her legal name.
Police are 'deadnaming' transgender murder victims — here's what that means, and why it makes tracking crimes so much more difficult
  • There have been 20 murders of transgender people in the US so far this year.
  • But LGBTQ activists say there may actually be more. Deadnaming victims — or referring to a victim by their birth name rather than their chosen name — makes it difficult to know the actual number of transgender murder victims. 
  • It can also hinder the ability of police to connect with the transgender community for tips and help, activists say.
Insider
By Tracey Eaton
October 14, 2019


Cathalina Christina James loved to travel and hoped to visit all 50 states, her father said. But he worried about her.

"I used to tell her all the time: Strike one, you're black. Strike two, you are transgender, and strike three, you are outgoing, and you're not afraid being in public," said Donald James, a truck driver in Bishopville, South Carolina. "You got three strikes against you, so you got to be real, real, real careful. She always told me, 'Don't y'all worry. It'll be all right.'"

On June 24, 2018, she was shot to death in Jacksonville, Florida. Her body was found at around 1 p.m. on the third floor of the Quality Inn & Suites along Dixie Ellis Trail, Jacksonville sheriff's deputies say.
[…]
Transgender activists fear the toll is higher, and no one knows for sure how many have been killed. That's because the FBI does not classify homicides by gender identity, leaving activists and researchers to track transgender murders.
[…]
Deadnaming in cases of murder or assault makes it difficult to accurately track the breadth and scope of violence against transgender people. And sometimes, the families of transgender people complicate the matter.
Many time the family doesn’t respect their daughter or son being trans so they use their deadname, sometimes it is the police that use their deadname, and since we don’t know what their old name was we don’t realize that we knew the person.

Like our friend who passed away we never knew until one member who knew her legal name told us she died.
The victims' friends and family can often help investigators during the crucial 48 hours after a murder, said Roberts, who is transgender. But if investigators deadname the victim, they lose precious time.

"When you refuse to use the preferred name of that person and a community will probably have information based on that name, you're hampering your ability to solve the case," said Roberts, creator of TransGriot, an award-winning blog.
The sheriff said that…
 "Gina Duncan is not here and does not know what is being done on the ground. She doesn't know the tireless hours that have been spent by investigators and the work done with the family and friends of Slater. The family has been very satisfied with the investigation. The only person making this a political issue is Duncan. If anything, she is hindering the investigation.
But get a load of what one of the deputies said,
Sheriff's deputies say they used Slater's birth name at first because it was her legal name. After Duncan and others protested, they began adding "Bee Love" to the name.
Being trans is complicated and sometimes we live in both worlds, before I transitioned I lived in both worlds. There was no overlap between my worlds, the two circles didn’t overlap and I actually want that.

I think we have to acknowledge worlds that we live in, that sometimes our worlds collide.

When my father passed way I was named executor of his estate but it was in my deadname. The probate judge issued an order that had my deadname as AKA, I didn’t like it but that was what I had to do to act as executor of my father’s estate.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Three Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back

It feels like hate is getting worst, that the hate is getting front page news in the media and the hate is not just words but acts.
Transphobic flyers highlight fears among transgender community in Des Moines
Des Moines Register
By Andrea May Sahouri
October 12, 2019

At the bottom of the flyers, the Stormer Book Club, an identified neo-Nazi group, encouraged residents to join the local chapter. The flyers depicted a little girl running away from a transgender woman in the women's bathroom, and urged taxpayers to tell representatives they are against "gay socialism." They also included a historically offensive slur against transgender people.

The Stormer Book Clubs are local white nationalist groups affiliated with the website the Daily Stormer. The Iowa Department of Human Rights, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, both state agencies, and the independent advocacy group Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement said they were not sure about the extent of the groups' presence in Des Moines.
Was the hate spurred on by the action of the Republican legislature?
In April, the Iowa Legislature passed a law that denies public health insurance coverage for transgender Iowas seeking transition-related medical services by allowing government entities to opt out of using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, for this type of care. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds in May.



American views of transgender people: the impact of politics, personal contact, and religionEconomist/YouGov
By Kathy Frankovic
October 11, 2019

As the Supreme Court examines cases it has already heard this term about the rights of gay and transgender people, the American public in the latest Economist/YouGov poll are – for the most part – tolerant and supportive of transgender employment rights. However, Republicans (and in some cases, men) take different positions.

The overall public supports laws prohibiting discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, with Republicans closely divided.
This ties in with what happened with Ms. DeGeneres and former President Bush sitting together at a football game. We need to not shun away from those we disagree with but open a dialog with them, I not say we do that with the far right who we have no hope in changing but rather with the centrists who we can possibly change.
More than one in three (39%) people know someone who is transgender, and the probability of this is even higher among Democrats and younger adults. Those with personal contact are more likely to believe there is “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of discrimination against transgender people. Half of Republicans (50%) and 88 percent of Democrats say there is “a fair amount” or “a great deal” of discrimination against transgender people.
If you know a trans person you’re less likely to hate trans people.

More people support us in military than oppose us.
About half (49%) of Americans support allowing transgender people to serve in the military—opposing the president’s executive order banning most transgender military personnel. The order is now being enforced while it continues to be litigated. Republicans (58%) support the ban.
Another finding is not a surprise, religious conservatives oppose us more than other religions…
That helps explain why Republicans support (53%-29%) allowing a religious exemption for medical personnel to refuse to provide services they say violates their religious beliefs. The overall public takes the opposite view, 50%-28%. Very religious Republicans favor the exception by nearly three to one; other Republicans are closely divided.

Republicans are very different from the rest of the public when it comes to how they look at transgender people. Republicans mostly believe someone should be thought of as the gender they were assigned at birth, while other adults are more likely to acknowledge the transition.
There is a quote that I like from James Baldwin,
“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”
The Republicans’ hatred of us is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.



Transgender woman describes hate-filled attack that almost killed herCNN
By Sara Sidner and Meridith Edwards
October 10, 2019

Dallas (CNN)The staples keeping Daniela Calderon Rivera's skin together look like a zipper down her abdomen.

Stitches and scars mark her right arm. There's an exit wound on her back.
She was shot six times in an apparently hate-fueled attack by a stranger she thought would kill her.
She survived. But her fear is far from over.

Calderon Rivera lives in Dallas, where there has been a string of brutal attacks on transgender women in the last few years.
Hatred is top down, the president sets the tone and Trump has set a tone where violence and discrimination is acceptable. It is not only acceptable against us but also the disabled, foreigners, non-Christian, and those who are different from “us.”

Seven Days In October

When someone refuses to comply with a Congressional subpoena?

Find them in contempt?

Unfortunately it is a lot more complicated than that because Congress is not a court.
How can Congress compel the Trump administration to provide testimony and documents?
The Washington Post – Opinion
By
David Ignatius
Image without a caption
By David Ignatius
October 1, 2019

After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s angry refusal Tuesday to allow State Department officials to testify before a House of Representatives committee about Ukraine, congressional Democrats face a newly urgent question: What legal tools does Congress have to compel the Trump administration to provide testimony and documents?

This fundamental constitutional question may begin moving gradually toward the Supreme Court in coming months, perhaps slowing the Democrats’ timeline for impeachment proceedings. For such a confrontation between the legislative and executive branches probably can only be resolved by the third leg of our government, the judiciary.
[…]
A simple summary is that it isn’t easy for Congress to compel executive branch testimony. Congress can subpoena witnesses. Yet if the witness refuses to testify, and the House votes that he’s in contempt of Congress, what remedy exists to enforce the contempt finding? Scholars cite three legal avenues that could be pursued. But all are problematic.

First, the House could try to enforce a contempt finding on its own. The Supreme Court affirmed in 1821 that Congress’s contempt power, like its authority to investigate and subpoena, is inherent in the Constitution’s grant of legislative functions. So, in theory, the House could order its sergeant at arms to arrest the recalcitrant witness.
[…]
A second pathway would be for the House to use an 1857 statute that allows criminal prosecution of a witness who refuses to comply. The problem is that the prosecution would be in the hands of Trump’s Justice Department, controlled by Attorney General William P. Barr, who was named in the whistleblower’s complaint. If Barr recused himself, a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney might still refuse to present the contempt allegation to a grand jury. And even if the grand jury returned an indictment on its own, the U.S. attorney could decline to sign or prosecute it.
[…]
The third avenue is a lawsuit to enforce congressional subpoenas, and this is the one that scholars say would probably be most appropriate, even though the case could take months. Even if Congress asked for an expedited summary judgment by the district court, that decision would almost certainly be reviewed by an appeals court before the decisive Supreme Court ruling.
PBS had this to say about subpoenas and Contempt of Congress.
Push and pull between the executive and legislative branches is typical, Taylor said, but what is unusual is the current administration’s staunch refusal to cooperate, she added. The administration’s stonewalling in the Ukraine probe, paired with its lack of cooperation since Democrats took control of the House, underscore Congress’ limited options. These present challenges for a government system that often “relies on the good faith” of individuals, Griffin said.

“The government in many respects is held together by norms and customs and unwritten rules, Griffin said. “Probably the clearest lesson of the Trump era is that unwritten rules don’t work when they run up against bad faith.”
[…]
So, what will House lawmakers do?One option is for the House to avoid the courts and instead use the administration’s noncompliance as further evidence for articles of impeachment against the president. “The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress,” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said to reporters on Tuesday.
My thoughts are that the House will pick the court option and that it will be fast tracked to the Supreme Court and I think that even then Trump will not comply. So it may not be that easy to jail those who don’t comply with the subpoenas.

I think it might be time to watch “Seven Days in May.”

Sunday, October 13, 2019

My Thoughts

As I write this at 3:00 AM Friday morning I just got finished reading the outcry from Ellen DeGeneres being spotted with former President George W. Bush at a NFL game.

My thoughts are, are we just associate with like minded people? If so we will not bring about change.

There is an old saying that goes something like this… it is hard to hate someone you know.

Maybe President Bush walked away from that encounter thinking maybe I was wrong.

We can vilify Ms. DeGeneres or we can look at it as an opportunity to bring about change.



The other topic that I want to write about is the protests at the LGBTQ+ town hall on CNN this past week.

The Democrats had the town hall meeting to discuss LGBTQ+ issues and there were protests because enough haven't been done and they are right enough hasn't been done to end the violence.

Yes, the Democrats are not perfect but the alternative?

However, the Republicans want to crucify us.

The Democrats gave us healthcare… the Republicans took it away.

The Democrats gave us employment protects… the Republicans took it away.

The Democrats gave us protections in schools… the Republicans took it away.

The Democrats gave us protections for which bathrooms we can use… the Republicans took it away.

The Democrats let us be in the military… the Republicans took it away.

The Democrats passed the Equal Rights Amendment... the Republicans blocked it.

The Democrats took the stage to discuss our human rights… why are we protesting it?



Vote!

And if you are not registered… register and vote!

That is the only to bring about change.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Saturday 9: Live Like You Were Dying

Sam’s Saturday 9: Live Like You Were Dying (2003)

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



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

1) This song is about a man whose father advises him to live life to the fullest, to become "the friend you'd like to have." How about you? Are you the friend you'd like to have?
My friends will probably say yes, but we always have self doubt… maybe I could have done something more.

2) The song lists several "bucket list" items: skydiving, mountain climbing, riding a bull. Have you done any of those things? Would you like to?
No, no, and no.
But I do wish that I was healthy enough to go backpacking again, I really miss the camping in the wilderness by a lake.
Rocky Mountain National Park 1974 -- Backing to
the high peaks with a friend

3) In the music video, Tim McGraw is wearing a white button-down shirt, blue jeans and a cowboy hat. Which of those items is in your wardrobe?
A white button-down shirt and blue jeans

4) He wears a cowboy hat because he is embarrassed by the size of his forehead. When you wear a hat, are you more likely doing it for style, like Tim, or for protection from the elements?
For protection.
I happened to be going though a box of old stuff a  couple of months ago when I came across my old backpacking hat.

5) McGraw's biological father was Tug McGraw, pitcher for the Mets and Phillies. How did your baseball team do this season?
Since I don’t care for sports I have to answer NA for this question.

6) Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill live just outside of Nashville. They enjoy inviting friends over to sit around a bonfire, drinking beer and playing guitars. Tell us about the most recent gettogether you had with friends.
It was with the birthday girls… a number of us have our birthdays in October so we celebrated by going out to dinner together.

7) Tim likes his tattoos. He admits his silliest one -- a leprechaun wearing a cowboy hat -- was acquired during a night of drinking. Do you have a tattoo? If so, are you glad you have it and would you get it again?
No it don’t have any tats and never will.
Personally I don’t like tats but if you like them that’s okay with me.

8) In 2003, when this song was popular, the supersonic Concord took its last flight. When did you most recently board a plane? What was your destination?
In 1999. Seattle for my cousin's wedding.
I guess you might say that I’m not a frequent flier/

9) Random question: When did you last walk around the house naked?
Thursday morning… after my shower when I remembered that I had left my “unmentionalbes” in the drier.

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 11, 2019

The Twentieth

Sadly the count continues to grow.
Itali Marlowe Is the 20th Trans Person Killed in 2019
Out
By Nico Lang
October 9, 2019

For the already 20th time this year, the trans community is mourning the killing of one of its own.

According to the LGBTQ+ magazine OutSmart, Itali Marlowe died after sustaining multiple gunshot injuries in Southwest Houston. After police responded to reports of a shooting at 15829 Ridgeroe Lane near the neighborhood of Ridgemont around 2 p.m. local time, the 29-year-old was found in a nearby driveway.
[...]
Authorities have reportedly identified a suspect in her killing: 23-year-old Raymond Donald Williams, who was living with Marlowe at the time of her death. Williams is said to have fled the scene and has not yet been arrested.

Marlowe is the fourth trans woman to be murdered in Texas this year, following Muhlaysia Booker, Chynal Lindsey, and Tracy Single. Booker and Lindsey were both killed in Dallas, while Single also lost her life in Houston. All of the victims were Black, as have been the majority of transgender women killed this year.
Last year it was Ohio that was the trans murder capitol, before that Florida, and now Texas… Next year what state will claim the title?

When will the hate end?


“A Backlash Against Our Existence”: Laverne Cox Speaks Out on Violence Against Trans Women of Color
Democracy Now
By Laverne Cox and Chase Strangio
October 7, 2019

[…]
LAVERNE COX: It is really hard for me to continue to talk about the murders of trans women of color. I was talking to my makeup artist, Deja, who’s also openly trans, early yesterday. And I told her, when I started transitioning medically in 1998, that violence — that this was a reality in my life in 1998, that there were trans people being murdered all around me, and this insane fear: “Will I be next?” I remember going to a memorial for Amanda Milan, a trans woman who was murdered in the early 2000s here in New York City. She was stabbed outside of the Port Authority. And for my entire life as a trans woman, for 21 years, I have been hearing about, witnessing, going to memorials, going to Trans Days of Remembrance. And the trauma of that is — I don’t actually even have words for the trauma of that. And I think about just black people in general who have watched our people be murdered in the streets and the collective trauma of that. And I disassociated from it so much because it’s too much. It is way too much.

And we live in a culture that consistently stigmatizes trans people, tell us that we aren’t who we say we are. When I read the Alliance Defending [Freedom] brief on Aimee Stephens’ case, they bent over backwards to not use female pronouns to refer to Aimee Stephens. There was this insistence in misgendering her. And what underlines most of the discrimination against trans people is the insistence that we are always and only the gender we were assigned at birth, that we’re somehow fraudulent. And when we have an administration and we have government policies that continually stigmatize us, it makes it OK for the person on the street who sees a trans person and decides that we should not exist anymore.

And it is just — I’m really at a loss, because I know it’s intersectional. I know that it’s about employment. I know it’s about healthcare. I know it’s about homelessness and having access to all of these things to keep us out of harm’s way, that so many of us don’t have access to. The unemployment rate in the trans community is three times the national average, four times that for trans people of color. The majority of us make less than $10,000 a year. And so, when you cannot make a living, you find yourself in street economies, you find yourself homeless. That makes you more of a target of violence.



National Coming Out Day

This is a reprint from 2017... My thoughts are still the same.




…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 and remember what Smoky the Bear said… Only you get to decide when, where, and to whom you come out to.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why Is It Always Bathrooms

Why is feeling uncomfortable grounds for discrimination?

All though out history we see discrimination based on fear of the “other,” the other’s color of their skin,  the other’s religion, the other’s national origin, the other’s sexual orientation, and the other’s gender identity.

The Supreme Court justices brought up bathrooms in the argument on Tuesday about Title VII coverage.
Bathrooms came up more than 50 times during the Supreme Court’s landmark LGBT rights hearings
Pinknews
By Emma Powys Maurice
October 9, 2019

[…]
The arguments centred on employment discrimination and whether gender identity and sexual orientation are protected under existing federal laws. But somehow, bathrooms became a focal point for the justices.

The Trump administration and lawyers for the employers directed the debate towards the changes that might be required in bathrooms – as well as locker rooms, women’s shelters and school sports teams – if the Supreme Court were to rule in favour of the plaintiffs.
When president Obama nominated a Supreme Court justice Senator McConnell refused to hold hearings on his nominee and when Trump came to office he nominated an ultra Christian conservative judge Neil Gorsuch and during the arguments asked if it would trigger “massive social upheaval”…
“As drastic a change in this country as bathrooms in every place of employment and dress codes in every place of employment that are otherwise gender neutral would be changed,” he argued.

Cole quickly shot this down. “First of all, federal courts of appeals have been recognising that discrimination against transgender people is sex discrimination for 20 years. There’s been no upheaval,” he said.
Also in something like 22 states protect trans people in employment and none of the “massive social upheaval” has happened.

And of course justice Kavanaugh was interest in the definition of “sex” (Hmm… you think that he might in a president Clinton’s defense of the definition of “sex?”).
Kavanaugh asked if he was drawing a distinction between the “literal” and “ordinary” meaning of “because of sex” in the context of sex-based discrimination. Harris said he was not.

The Trump administration’s position is that lawmakers never considered gender identity or sexuality when passing Title VII in 1968, so neither of these are protected by the “because of sex” clause in the law.
We probably will have to wait until June to find out is we are second class citizens.



Sadly while the Supreme Court was debating our rights, our death count is 21 killed…
Suspect Wanted in the Murder of a Houston Trans Woman
Itali Marlowe is the 20th known black trans woman murdered in the US in 2019.
OutSmart
By OutSmart Staff
October 9, 2019

A transgender woman was shot to death in Southwest Houston on Friday, Sept. 20, according to a police report.

Houston Police Department (HPD) identified the victim as Itali Marlowe, 29.

Marlow is at least the 21st trans person murdered in the U.S. in 2019. Twenty of the victims, including Marlowe, have been black trans women. Four of the murders have occurred in Texas.
[…]
Charges have been filed against Raymond Donald Williams, 23, who is the suspect wanted in Marlowe’s murder. Williams, who was living with the victim, was seen fleeing the scene on foot prior to HPD’s arrival and has not yet been found. 

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

If Only U.S. Courts Would See It This Way

We are losing the battle with “Religious Freedom” to the Evangelical Christians judges that the Republicans have been appointing, in England the judges see it differently.
He Opposed Using Transgender Clients’ Pronouns. It Became a Legal Battle.
A British agency employee said a policy on pronouns went against his religious beliefs. A tribunal found his stance to be “incompatible with human dignity.”
The New York Times
By Iliana Magra
October 3, 2019

LONDON — A British government agency did not discriminate against an employee who refused to use transgender clients’ pronouns because he felt it violated his Christian beliefs, an employment tribunal has ruled.

The employee, David Mackereth, 56, had argued that the Department for Work and Pensions acted in breach of the country’s Equality Act when it instructed him to use clients’ preferred pronouns, or face the loss of his job.

But the tribunal, in a ruling made public this week, found his stance to be “incompatible with human dignity.”
Do you think that the Supreme Court will see yesterday’s cases the same way?

The government clerk even quoted the Bible passages…
The tribunal heard that Dr. Mackereth believed in “the truth of the Bible and, in particular, the truth of Genesis 1:27.” By his interpretation, that biblical verse — “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” — supported the view that people are immutably male or female.
While the tribunal panel found…
In its ruling, the tribunal panel found that Dr. Mackereth had not been discriminated against or harassed under the Equality Act. Christianity is protected under the act, but the panel found that Dr. Mackereth’s specific beliefs were not.

It ruled that “belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.”
While here in the U.S. the courts have put religious bigotry ahead of "human dignity and in conflict with the fundamental rights of others."

Refusing housing, public accommodation, and employment to others because of their race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, mental retardation, mental disability or physical disability is in conflict with your religious beliefs is wrong.

The tribunal got it right.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

What Is The Meaning Of… “Sex?”

Do you remember when Congress took up the debate of the meaning of “sex” when President Clinton said he didn’t have “sex” with Monica Lewinsky.

Well today the U.S. Supreme Court debated the meaning of “sex.”
Supreme Court clashes over meaning of ‘sex’ in LGBT discrimination cases
  • The justices of the Supreme Court clashed over the meaning of “sex” in heated oral arguments on Tuesday for a blockbuster set of cases concerning the rights of LGBT workers.
  • The court heard the cases of three LGBT employees, two gay men and a transgender woman, who claim they were fired because of their identities.
  • At issue was the meaning of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, which forbids discrimination because of “sex” but does not specifically refer to gender identity or sexual orientation.
CNBC
By Tucker Higgins
Updated minutes ago.

[…]
Arguments, which lasted two hours, concluded around noon. It was not immediately clear which side will garner a majority. Decisions are expected by June of 2020.
[…]
Several of the court’s conservatives argued that expanding Title 7 to include discrimination against LGBT workers would be better handled by Congress. Attorneys for both sides have acknowledged that at the time the law was passed in 1964, its drafters likely did not envision that it would apply to gay or transgender individuals.

Justice Samuel Alito, one of the court’s Republican appointees, noted that Congress has had time since the law was first passed to add protections for LGBT workers, and has declined to do so. If the court said the law applied to gay workers, “we will be acting exactly like a legislature,” he said.
[…]
But Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first appointee to the bench, suggested with his questioning that he was sympathetic to the argument that the word “sex” necessarily includes sexual orientation as well as gender identity.
Then it was the plaintive turn to defend their position.
“Interpreting a statute is not depriving the democratic process,” Cole [David Cole, an ACLU attorney] said.

In an exchange with Cole, Gorsuch said “I’m with you” on the text of the statute, adding that it it was “really close.” But he expressed reservations about other elements of the case, warning of “massive social upheaval” should the Supreme Court rule for Cole’s client. “That’s an essentially legislative decision,” he added.
[…]
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the senior member of the court’s liberal wing, noted that interpretations of Title 7 had changed in the past. Since the law was enacted, the Supreme Court has held that it applied to discrimination based on sex stereotypes, as well as same-sex harassment, two zones that were not likely on the minds of the legislators who voted for it.
And Kavanaugh didn’t ask any questions (Probably because there was no beer being discussed)

So ladies and gentleman we will now have to wait until June to find out if we have our human rights or if we are second class citizens.

Gee… I Didn’t Know

According to the Christian CBN News article we are dropping like flies.

They have an article about all the trans people who regret transitioning… Gee I only know two who de-transitioned and one of them re-transitioned and the one who stayed was because they couldn’t find a job and had to move back in with the wife’s parents out in the mid-west someplace.

In the article they interview one trans person who says that “he knows hundreds” of people who de-transitioned and they also talk to an author of a book who wrote about his de-transition 25 years ago. He writes… “he's been contacted by hundreds of transgender regretters as well.”

Wow! Hundreds of people!

From the studies that I read, real studies and not just anecdotal stories, yes people do de-transition but mostly because societal pressures to conform.

I know that I am against the trend but I do think that we need some therapy at sometime in our transition, not as gatekeepers but more introspective. I have seen so many trans people, some had an easy time and some faced strong societal pressures to conform that they couldn’t cope with

I know of one trans woman who wanted GCS NOW! She never went out in public but she wanted GCS, the therapist wouldn’t give her the letters so she forged the letters and went overseas. The last I saw of her was when she popped into the support group and said she had an appointment for surgery and “F**k You All” that was the last time that I saw her and I wished her luck.

In the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found…
II. De-Transitioning
Respondents were asked whether they had ever “de-transitioned,” which was defined as having “gone back to living as [their] sex assigned as birth, at least for a while.” Eight percent (8%) of respondents reported having de-transitioned at some point. Most of those who de-transitioned did so only temporarily: 62% of those who had de-transitioned reported that they were currently living full time in a gender different than the gender they were thought to be at birth.

Transgender women were more likely to report having de-transitioned (11%), in contrast to transgender men (4%). Rates of de-transitioning also differed by race and ethnicity, with American Indian (14%), Asian (10%), and multiracial (10%) respondents reporting the highest levels of de-transitioning.

Respondents who had de-transitioned cited a range of reasons, though only 5% of those who had de-transitioned reported that they had done so because they realized that gender transition was not for them, representing 0.4% of the overall sample. The most common reason cited for de-transitioning was pressure from a parent (36%). Twenty-six percent (26%) reported that they de-transitioned due to pressure from other family members, and 18% reported that they de-transitioned because of pressure from their spouse or partner. Other common reasons included facing too much harassment or discrimination after they began transitioning (31%), and having trouble getting a job (29%).
Of course those who have permanently de-transitioned probably would not have taken the survey.

But you can see from the study that the majority of those who de-transitioned at least for a time did so because societal pressures and only 0.4% because they didn’t feel that transitioning was not for them.

There have been some studies that report a de-transition rates as high as 80% but the major flaw in the studies is that they included those who left the study for any reason as de-transitioning.

So I label this article as suspicious, biased, and lacking any hard data.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Today's The Day The Supreme Court Decides Our Fate

Today is the first Monday in October, the day the Supreme Court begins the new session.

There is much at stake today [Ops... it turns out Tuesday the cases are being heard], not only for trans people but also lesbians and gay; the court today is deciding if we get our human right to exist. Whether we are treated as human beings or as sub-humans is in the hands of nine people.

A little history

The first Supreme Court case that is used as precedent in court cases was Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Servs. held that same-sex harassment is sex discrimination under Title VII. 
The next case that is used as precedent in court cases about our rights is the classic case Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins which said that sex stereotyping is covered in Title VII.

Then the case that I liked what the judge said in his ruling was, Schroer v. Billington where the Library of Congress refused to hire a trans woman,
The court stated that since the employer refused to hire the plaintiff because she planned to change her anatomical sex by undergoing sex reassignment surgery, the employer's decision was literally discrimination "because of ... sex." The court analogized the plaintiff's claim to one in which an employee is fired because she converted from Christianity to Judaism, even though the employer does not discriminate against Christians or Jews generally but only "converts." Since such an action would be a clear case of discrimination "because of religion," Title VII's prohibition of discrimination "because of sex" must correspondingly encompass discrimination because of a change of sex. 
About these cases today…
'On the Basis of Sex': SCOTUS Revisits 'Price Waterhouse' and 'Oncale'
On October 8, two days into the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2019 term, the justices will take up three cases from the 2nd, 6th and 11th Circuits that will have profound implications on employment nationwide.
Law.com
By Thomas H. Prol
September 13, 2019

On October 8, two days into the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2019 term, the justices will take up three cases from the 2nd, 6th and 11th Circuits that will have profound implications on employment nationwide. The court will hear arguments in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, Case No. 17-1618, and Altitude Express v. Zarda, Case No. 17-1623, appeals from the 11th and 2nd Circuits, respectively, on the question whether a sexual orientation discrimination claim is actionable as sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Then, in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Aimee Stephens, Case No. 18-107, the court will consider an appeal from the 6th Circuit on the question whether a gender identity discrimination claim is actionable as sex discrimination under Title VII.

The two sexual orientation discrimination cases are consolidated into a one-hour argument, with the plaintiff-employee appealing in Bostock and the defendant-employer appealing in Altitude Express, followed by a one-hour argument scheduled in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, where that employer is also appealing. This comes against the shift in the political backdrop to these social and legal issues that followed the 2016 presidential election, a seismic change that has impacted the cases on both sides of the bench.

Harris Funeral Homes offers a curious scenario in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), represented by the U.S. Solicitor General, has joined with the employer to ask the court to reverse the 6th Circuit, which found in favor of the transgender employee. Interestingly, despite the prodding of the Solicitor General’s Office, the EEOC’s general counsel did not join in the government’s brief, nor did any EEOC staff attorney.** Moreover, despite the solicitor’s legal arguments to the contrary, the EEOC had not (yet) formally rescinded its position that gender identity discrimination claims are covered under Title VII, though that is largely expected soon, including a possible overruling of Macy v. Holder, EEOC Doc. 0120120821, 2012 WL 1435995 (2012), and Baldwin v. Foxx, EEOC No. 0120133080, 2015 WL 4397641 (2015), which underpin the agency’s rationale for extending Title VII protections. During oral arguments before the 2nd Circuit in Zarda v. Altitude Express, the en banc panel seemed to express judicial “bemusement,” as LGBT legal scholar Professor Arthur Leonard at New York Law School expressed it, in facing lawyers from both the solicitor general’s office and the EEOC arguing against each other. The solicitor’s argument is discussed in more detail below.
So those are the cases being heard today and they have far reaching implications for us.
Trump Justice Department Says It's Fine If Women Are Forced to Wear Skirts
In this op-ed, ACLU fellow Emma Roth explains how the Trump DOJ's attack on LGBTQ+ rights has far-reaching implications for cis women and girls.
Teen Vogue
By Emma Roth
September 30, 2019

On October 8, the Supreme Court will hear a case with sweeping implications for anyone who does not conform to outdated gender stereotypes. In its brief, the Trump administration argued that a funeral home was justified in firing an employee, Aimee Stephens, just because she is transgender. Although the case centers on transgender rights, Trump’s lawyers took a position that would diminish the rights of cisgender women and girls too — by allowing employers to force all employees to dress and behave in accordance with archaic gender norms and punish them if they do not.

If this sounds like the stuff of a Margaret Atwood novel, rather than a realistic scenario in 2019, unfortunately it’s all too real. The brief should set off alarm bells for everyone who cares about gender equality.
[…]
Ignoring this longstanding precedent, the Trump administration argued in its brief that employers can insist that men and women dress in a manner that aligns with stereotypical understandings of gender. Title VII, Trump’s lawyers claim, permits employers to force women to conform to sex stereotypes so long as they also force men to conform to parallel sex stereotypes. Under this logic, an employer is off the hook for forcing women to wear skirts so long as it prohibits men from doing so.
From an article in USA Today by the husband of the gay skydiver…
If the Supreme Court rules that Title VII does not protect us from this kind of discrimination, as this administration hopes it will, it will set a precedent that discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace is legal. This means that any employers who want to shun us and prevent us from actualizing our talents will have the blessings of U.S. law. It is imperative the court does not sanction prejudice in that way. The consequences would be dire.
Whatever happens it will have long lasting effect on us.

Even state laws may not protect us if the court rules in favor of religious bigotry, if the court rules that ‘religious freedom” tops state laws on discrimination.

I have to be hopeful, I think Chief Justice Roberts will be the swing vote and he will vote in our favor. He is the only conservative justice on the court who isn’t a religious fanatic.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

The Question Is Why?

Why should we even have to disclose at all?

Why should a trans person have to disclose to an employer that you’re trans, that fact has nothing to do with your job, it is none of their business.
When Do You Disclose That You’re Transgender in Tech?
Opinion: Transgender employees live in fear even in the most progressive workplaces. We need clearer and more dedicated support.
Wired
By Joan Westenberg
October 3, 2019

I am terrified of being unemployed. As a transgender woman, I know that I am at risk of becoming a statistic, among those unemployed at rates three times higher than the national average, who are struggling to find work, and who are looking at a future that can seem bleak and terrifying. Surveys from the National Center for Transgender Equality have found that up to 26 percent of transgender respondents had lost their job through bias and discrimination and 50 percent had been harassed on the job.
[…]
Tech is not immune to trans exclusionary activities that, even when indirect and not necessarily ill-intentioned, can contribute to our sense of unease. Earlier this year, Google announced the inclusion of Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James, who had recently expressed anti-trans views, on their Advanced Technology External Advisory Council. While the response from Google employees was swift, and the council was disbanded, the underlying lack of questioning or insight into the trans experience from their own company was striking. Tech giant Dell has faced multiple complaints in recent years from transgender and gender non-conforming employees who claim to have experienced harassment in shared bathrooms, been limited in their roles, or, as one current lawsuit alleges, been let go because of the impact of their transition on their ability to travel. There have also been complaints from queer and transgender workers in Tesla and Amazon warehouses who have had negative workplace experiences with allegedly severe consequences for their jobs.
Before I retired I had one of my technician found out that I was trans. He waited until I was laid off because they were shutting down the company and laying off employees in stages when he sent out a general email to all the other employees outing me. He was having an affair while he was married but he said I was a sin against god… he seemed to have a narrow interpretation of his holly book.
One of the key challenges for myself and the people around me is: At what point do we disclose that we are transgender? At what point do we tell potential new employers and coworkers about who we are? At what point do we share something that is intimate yet often clear, knowing that the information could prevent us from progressing through the hiring process?
This presupposes the fact that you can integrate into society, there are many trans people that you can tell they are trans just by their appearance and voice.

The author brings up  an interesting point…
Some recruiters have told me the information I share isn’t relevant, but it does allow me to both filter through companies where who I am would become a problematic issue during either the hiring process or my actual time on the job. It also allows me to avoid confrontations for which I may lack the emotional bandwidth or a sufficient sense of physical safety and comfort.
If the company doesn’t bat and eyelash when the find out that you’re trans that might be a good sign.

When I came out to HR her firsts words were “There’s a sale on dresses at Sym’s, 30 percent off!” and that was followed by… “Oh, I get to add another woman to our diversity statement!”

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Saturday 9: (Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You

Sam’s Saturday 9: (Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You (1938)

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



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

1) This version of "You Made Me Love You" is the teenaged Judy Garland's fan letter to Clark Gable. Tell us about one of your teen crushes.
Whoa… That was a longtime ago! I met her again at our high school class Fiftieth reunion. She’s changed and I’ve changed.

2) Garland sang to this to Gable at a birthday party thrown for him at MGM. Who is the last person you sang "Happy Birthday" to?
One of the counselors at health collective where I volunteer.

3) Thinking of birthdays ... Judy received an engagement ring from the man who would be her first husband, David Rose, for her 18th birthday. Are you wearing a ring, or any jewelry, as you answer these 9 questions?
Earrings.

4) It's said Judy's favorite dish was steak and kidney pie. If you could have anything at all for dinner tonight, what would you choose?
Anyone who knows me knows the answer… lobster! Runner up… lobster Newburg! Honorable mention… lobster roll.

5) Judy was ambidextrous, writing with her left hand but playing tennis with her right. Are you equally comfortable using your right and left hands?
I’m sinister.

6) To relax between takes of her most famous movie, The Wizard of Oz, Judy read comics in the newspaper. Do you still read a printed newspaper?
I read the town weekly but the daily I get electronically.

7) She could also knit. Judy was known to make blankets and caps for the children of crew members on her films. Do you knit?
Nope.

8) In 1938, when this record was popular, the March of Dimes founded. Do you have any dimes in your wallet (or pocket) right now?
Most likely

9) Random question: Catsup puddle next to your fries, or a drizzle of catsup on your fries?
Next to them so they don’t make the fries soggy.

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 04, 2019

Life’s A Drag

I came across this article about trans people from the “Days of Old.”
54 Rare Historical Photos Of Drag Queens Before It Was Safe To Be Out!
Because of our forefathers, we in the LGBTQ community are fortunate enough to live in a more tolerant world.
Little Things
By Todd Briscoe

“Queens,” or men who defy gender norms and dress as women, have always been present in the LGBTQ community and pop culture: Straight men like Flip Wilson and Milton Berle used them as punch lines in their humor; Divine created a media sensation when she burst onto the scene; and RuPaul began to break down barriers with her mainstream pop hit, “Supermodel (Of the World),” and a cheeky VH1 talk show.

RuPaul’s popular reality competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race helped bring drag queens further into the mainstream consciousness.
[…]
We acknowledge that not every person in the photos below is a “drag queen,” and that there’s a big difference between a transgender person, a transvestite, and a drag queen: A transgender person is someone who does not identify with their assigned sex and would most likely not want to be referred to as a “drag queen.” A transvestite is a cisgender male who enjoys wearing women’s clothing. A drag queen tends to be someone who dresses in women’s clothing more so for performance or entertainment purposes.
Yikes! Transvestite… does the author know that is now considered a derogatory term for a crossdresser?

Matthew's Island of Misfit Toys

Retronaut

Retronaut

F Yeah Queer Vintage/Tumblr

I have to wonder back before Cross-gender Hormone Therapy and Gender Confirming Surgery how many of these people would have transitioned? And I also wonder how many trans people were there back “Good old days” that we don't know about. Trans women would have had a harder time to transition because there would have been no way to remove a beard while a trans had a slightly easier time since they could have been “clean shaven.” Also it is hard to give labels to people who lived back then because we don’t how they thought about themselves, did they question their gender identify or did they just like crossdressing, or maybe they just crossdressed as a lark.

One of the first trans person that we can say definitively that they were trans was a trans men was Dr. Alan Hart.

We know pretty certain that he was a trans man because he had a hysterectomy and gonadectomy and synthetic hormones were discovered in the 1920s, we know that he took them them in the 1940s.
And later still, when grasshoppers croon from the moonlit Hartford meadowsweet and his wife sits up in bed reading Dickens, he’ll be at his desk, testosterone syringe clutched in hands. The needle will sink into cleaned, exposed skin: sharp pinch in the thigh, push of the plunger, synthetic hormones oozing into the muscle. Evidence, like the hysterectomy scar on his abdomen, of how far he journeyed to build in himself this river-swell of confidence. (Dr. Alan L. Hart, Connecticut State Tuberculosis Commission, 1955 | Keaton St. James)
He lived in Connecticut and he pioneered the use of x-ray technology to detect tuberculosis and he served as the director of hospitalization and rehabilitation at the Connecticut State Tuberculosis Commission. (Oregon Encyclopedia: Alan Hart (1890-1962))

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Stolen!

The white supremacist stole the Marine Core Gadsden Flag and now the OK sign.

The Gadsden flag first saw combat under Commodore Hopkins, who was the first Commander-in-Chief of the new Continental Navy, when Washington's Cruisers put to sea for the first time in February of 1776 to raid the Bahamas and capture stored British cannon and shot.

And now they stole the OK hand sign.

It can be found as far back as Ring gestures and it appear in Greece at least as early as the fifth century BCE, and can be seen on painted vases as an expression of love, with thumb and forefinger mimicking kissing lips. In modern usage it is used by divers, it signifies "I am OK" or "Are you OK?"

But now they have been corrupted by the white supremacist movement and will forever be linked to them..

When Your Boss Tells You To Do Something And You Say No.

Yesterday I wrote about an Anchorage Alaska homeless shelter was awarded $100,000 for denying at trans woman admittance to the shelter and now a man is suing a school system for firing him because he was disrespectful of a trans student.
Teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student’s pronouns launches legal action
Lawyers claim teacher was forced to ‘express ideas about human nature he believes are false’
The Independent
By Vincent Wood
October 2, 2019

A Virginia high school teacher has filed a lawsuit after being fired for refusing to use a transgender student’s pronouns, arguing he is being discriminated against for his faith.

Peter Vlaming, who worked as a French teacher at West Point High School, Virginia, said he would use the student’s chosen name – as well as a French equivalent they had picked out – after his parents revealed their son’s transition to the school.

However the teacher refused to refer to him using male pronouns, while continuing to use female pronouns when talking about them to other students and members of staff.
R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

It seem that the teacher does not respect his students, he says it is his right to disrespect the student. It is his “religious freedom” to cause harm to a student.
After class he approached the teacher, saying “Mr Vlaming, you may have your religion, but you need to respect who I am”.
The teacher was later fired and guess who he has for his defense team?
The teacher is being represented by lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom – a legal advocacy operation identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The ADF refute the claim.
The same firm that represented Anchorage Alaska homeless shelter.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Its Getting Worst

The religious oppression is getting worst, they have been given a green light to attack us by Trump and the courts. The far right so called “Christians” are using their “religion” to shelter their bigotry.
A Christian homeless shelter is getting $100k in damages after they turned away a trans woman
The city was investigating them for anti-trans discrimination. So they sued the city for religious discrimination.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
October 1, 2019

A homeless shelter that turned away a transgender woman will be getting $100,000 in a settlement from the city. They say their religious freedom was violated when the city investigated them for turning away a transgender woman.

The Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska, turned away a transgender woman last year, citing their religious beliefs. The center argues that it’s Christian, so it can turn away people who don’t live up to their religious principles.
Do you believe that? They were awarded money for discriminating!
The trans woman filed a complaint with the Anchorage Equal Right’s Commission. While the state does not ban discrimination against LGBTQ people, the city of Anchorage has a civil rights ordinance that bans sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in public accommodations.

The commission opened an investigation, but the Downtown Hope Center didn’t wait for a decision before it filed a complaint in federal court. The center said that their religious freedom was violated because they should be allowed to turn away transgender people.
Their “religious freedom” to let trans women freeze to death.

But don’t paint all religions with a broad brush because not every Christian group agrees with the settlement.
Christians who are concerned about the homeless, though, were less happy that a homeless shelter won the right to refuse to provide shelter to transgender homeless people in Alaska.

“Personally, I believe if one is to consider themselves a Christian – a person of faith – they have to extend their charitable actions to everybody, regardless of gender,” Reverend Matthew Schultz with First Presbyterian Church told KTUU.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

October 1st


Today there is a bunch of new laws that go into effect here in Connecticut including a law to ban trans/gay panic defense in criminal trials. The law bans the defense where a defendant claims that they lost it when the found out the victim was trans or gay, but most of the time they knew that already and it was when they were harassed by their friends for dating a trans woman or they were dating a gay man and got a guilty conscience.
Trans Woman's Killer Used the "Gay Panic Defense." It's Still Legal in 42 States.
Islan Nettles' assailant claimed he’d felt duped and humiliated by the revelation of his victim's gender identity
Vice News
By Juliette Maigné
July 21, 2019

[…]
Islan Nettles was walking home with a friend when she ran into James Dixon and a group of six young men headed south on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem, on their way home after plans had been cancelled [sic]. As the two groups collided, a drunken Dixon, 23, began flirting with 21-year-old Nettles, whom he thought “was a female.” Dixon told police he didn’t remember the exchange of words.

But when one of his buddies shouted, “That’s a guy!”, Dixon pushed Nettles away, and she pushed back. Dixon said he tripped and “got enraged,” so he punched her in the face. Nettles fell down and hit her head on the curb, causing a serious brain injury. Dixon swung a second punch “as she lay on the ground,” while “driving the side of her head into the pavement,” according to prosecutors.
[…]
“Sadly, the crazy part about it is [that] he probably really was into her,” Houston said in a phone interview. “I believe the presence of his friends was what made him intimidated. The fact that he was trans-attracted and his friends were present initiated the anger in him. If you’re beating somebody with your bare hands, you’re trying to kill this person. I think a lot of it had to do with him being attracted to trans women in the past. But this time, he happened to be with his homeboys.”
Here in Connecticut the law banning trans/gay panic defense goes into effect today reads in part…
PA19-27  AN ACT CONCERNING GAY AND TRANSGENDER PANIC DEFENSE.
[…]
In any prosecution for an offense, justification, as defined in sections 53a-17 to 53a-23, inclusive, shall be a defense. Justification as a defense does not include provocation that resulted solely from the discovery of, knowledge about or potential disclosure of the victim's actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, including under circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted, nonforcible, romantic or sexual advance toward the defendant, or if the defendant and victim dated or had a romantic relationship. As used in this section, "gender identity or expression" means gender identity or expression, as defined in section 53a-181i.
[…]
(b) No person is justified in using force upon another person which would otherwise constitute an offense based solely on the discovery of, knowledge about or potential disclosure of the victim's actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, including under circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted, nonforcible, romantic or sexual advance toward the defendant, or if the defendant and victim dated or had a romantic relationship.
Some of the other laws going into law today are (Patch)…
Gun Laws
Several gun safety and ghost gun laws will go into effect Oct. 1. The law will require safe storage of guns even when the yare unloaded and they know that a minor under the age of 18 could gain access without parental permission.

Pistols and revolvers will have to be kept in a locked trunk, safe or locked glove box when left unattended in a motor vehicle.

Come Oct. 1 people won't be able to create or transfer what is commonly referred to as a "ghost gun," which is the process of creating a firearm that doesn't have a unique serial number. Those who create such guns will be required to get a unique identifier from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. The law also bans the manufacture of firearms made from plastic that aren't detectable through metal detectors.
Also…
Minimum Wage IncreaseThe minimum wage will rise from $10.10 to $11 come Oct. 1. It will then increase by $1 every year until it reaches $15 come June 1, 2023. Future increases will be tied to the federal employment cost index.

Short-Term RentalsShort-term rental facilitators like Airbnb will have to collect and remit the state's room occupancy tax.
From CT News Junkie
Police AccountabilityAs of today, police departments whose officers are involved in the use of deadly force must release any video footage of the incident within 96 hours.

The new law paves the way for more police accountability after several dramatic shootings that sparked protests and calls for legislation. The law requires police departments to release any body- or dash-camera footage of police using deadly force within 48 hours of involved officers viewing the video, or within 96 hours of the incident, whichever comes first.

The definition of police “use of force” expands to include chokeholds and pursuits. It also prohibits police from shooting into or at, or standing in front of, a fleeing vehicle in most cases.

The Office of Policy and Management will also be tasked with cataloging police uses of force and reporting them to the legislature, in addition to making them available online.

Jailhouse WitnessesConnecticut became the first state in the nation to require prosecutors to track information on jailhouse witnesses with the signing of SB 1098.

The first-of-its-kind law that went into effect today requirea that the state’s Office of Policy and Management Criminal Justice Division set up a system to track information on all potential jail houses that can be accessed by every prosecutor in the state.

The law is designed to create safeguards against the use of unreliable jailhouse testimony that could impact the outcome of a case.

Youthful OffendersA new law will close Connecticut courtrooms and seal the records of juveniles being prosecuted as adults for certain crimes.

The legislation passed unanimously by both chambers of the legislature will retroactively seal 116 pending and future cases.

The arraignment and all subsequent proceedings in these cases before the entry of a guilty plea or the entry of a verdict after trial are to be conducted in a closed courtroom. The records of these proceedings are confidential in the same manner as are juvenile proceedings in accordance with state law, except that the victim can obtain case records and information through an official designated by the court.

Monday, September 30, 2019

IOU

When I transitioned back in 2007 I had a number of loans outstanding and with my name change I had to change my name on the loans.
Student Loans Are Even More Complicated For Transgender Borrowers. Here's Help
Forbes
ByAsia Martin
September 22, 2019

Blossom C. Brown graduated from Mississippi University for Women in 2015 with a degree in public health education and $40,000 in student loans.  When the time came to pay off those loans, she faced the complications most of the 44.7 million Americans with student debt confront, plus an additional one: she’s transgender and her loans were all taken out in her old, male birth name.
[…]
Brown discovered that she had to change her name with her student loan servicers when she received a repayment bill in her old name. So she called both of her student loan servicers to update them. She thought it would be safer to pay her loans under her new legal name lest someone suggest she had changed her name to shirk her loans or commit fraud. But to this day, she says, one of those servicers continues to bill her under her former name. Brown is currently making payments to the servicer that has her name change right, but not to the other servicer—that loan is in forbearance until Brown’s name change form is fully processed and approved, she says.

Brown’s experience isn’t unusual. Professionals who assist transgender men, women and non-binary individuals report those who change their names or the sex they identify with run into a variety of issues and hassles with student loans. 
I had problems when I changed my name and gender on forms.

Most went smoothly but I had two wrinkles.

My mortgage changed easily, I just went to the bank and gave them a copy of my probate letter… no problem. Car loan same thing, credit cards… it went mostly smoothly, stocks… I had one snag,  and work… one crazy hitch.

The credit card companies all but one had forms to fill out and I had to send a notarized copy of the probate letter but one did it over the phone… big mistake! The person was a non-English speaker and said I could change my name over the phone. That should have been a red flag! The person misspelled my name and now on my credit history I have this note, AKA with the misspelled name. When I tried to correct it security froze my card until they figured it out.

My stocks went easily, they all had forms and wanted a copy of the probate letter, that is all but one. I should have realized that calling down to Texas where the company had the firm that handled their stock transactions was located… a very rude woman told me that they can only change the name on stock certificates for marriage… NOT SEX CHANGE! She told me to sell my stocks and buy them back. I wasn’t going to take 40 years of capital gains just to change my name on the certificates. So I kept my old name on them.

That came back to bite me you know where some fifteen years latter. I lost a dividend check and it had my old name on it so they said they would reissue the check, I just had to fill out a form. Ugh I had to sign my old name and send a copy of my driver license… my driver license had my legal and the certificates had my old name, so I called the same company that I called 15 years before and told them my problem. She said no problem she would send me a form to changed the name on the stock certificate and asked me why I didn’t change my name on the certificate before. I told her what the other woman said, she said that wasn’t true the form has always been the same and that there are boxes to check for either name change due to marriage or a legal name change and in either case you send a copy of the document.

And the hitch at work was really crazy. I transitioned the day I got laid-off, the next day I gave my former employer my probate letter and they changed all the paperwork, or so I thought.

When COBRA ran out and I received my insurance payment booklet it had my old name on the payment stubs... hun? (part of the deal they gave those who took early retirement option was we could buy the company health insurance until we were eligible for Medicare)

It turned out all the paperwork for COBRA was changed but not my retirement paperwork. When they finally straighten it out they said they had Diana retired and my old male name still working… I asked does that mean I can get two checks? They got a chuckle out of that… no dice.

The Forbes article goes on to say…
New York student loan lawyer Jay Flesichman says that the name change process for transgender individuals is not too different from common name changes public and private agencies process if newlyweds change their names. (Except there is an extra twist involving Selective Service registration, which we’ll explain later.) First, here are the basic steps Flesichman recommends transgender individuals take after receiving a court ordered name change.
The article goes on to list the order of step to take to change your name on documents and I do recommend you do them in that order… Probate court, Social Security, driver license, Medicare (if old enough for it), and then your loans other legal papers. And my advice is if they want to do it over the phone don’t do it! Request a paper form.