Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Looking Back On The Year

Did we gain or did we lose?

We had several victories for Trans Rights but we also had several really great setbacks

Coming out of Washington DC we took a number of hits with the loss of trans healthcare and housing. We lost in a number of lower federal court cases but we’re waiting for the Supreme Court cases, they will be case that either make or break anti-discrimination laws.

Around the country many states pass pro-LGBTQ rights legislation while in a number of Republicans states they are trying to pass draconian legislation to take away our right to healthcare.
Trans Visibility Exploded in the 2010s. But What Did Trans People Actually Gain?
The ten biggest moments in transgender rights and representation this decade proved that visibility is a double-edged sword.
By Katelyn Burns
December 5 2019

Transgender people entered the 2010s quietly and are leaving it as magazine cover stars and TV show protagonists. That increased visibility pushed society’s understanding of the gender binary, with many people becoming aware of the existence of trans and non-binary people for the first time.

But the 2010s were also when we learned that mainstream visibility doesn’t always equal rights, wealth, or safety. While visibility brought significant rights gains to the trans community over the past decade, it also brought a significant backlash that currently threatens several decades of progress for trans people. Here are the 10 most significant moments marking the steps toward rights and representation, which were also, in many cases, steps back.
The article lists these milestones...
  • May 30, 2010: The State Department Makes Public Life for Many Trans People Possible For the First Time
  • August 22, 2013: Chelsea Manning Becomes a Trans Whistleblowing Icon
  • May 29, 2014: Laverne Cox’s Time Magazine Cover Puts Trans People in the Spotlight
  • June 25, 2015: Caitlyn Jenner Becomes the New Face of the Trans Community, For Better or Worse
  • March 23, 2016: The Bathroom Bill Is Signed and Organized Backlash Begins
  • May 13, 2016: The Affordable Care Act Revolutionizes Access to Transition-related Care
  • June 15, 2017: Oregon Becomes the First State to Allow Non-binary Gender Markers
  • July 26, 2017: Trump Bans Trans People From The Military
  • November 7, 2017: Danica Roem Becomes First Openly Trans State Legislator
  • October 8, 2019: Trans rights goes to SCOTUS
I would add,
  • The Department of Education removing gender identity and expression from Title IX
  • The Department of Labor removing gender identity and expression from Title VII
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development removing gender identity and expression from the Fair Housing Act 
  • The Department of Health and Human Services proposed removal gender identity and expression from ACA
  • Trump’s Executive Order removing LGBTQ protection from federal contracts
So what do you think? Has this year been a good or bad year for us?

New Now Next also has a list;
Gay as in Happy: 11Reasons Queer People Were Celebrating in 2019
There were plenty of triumphs for the LGBTQ community over the year.
By Jeff Taylor
December 17, 2019

2019 was a rough year politically for queer people on a number of fronts, with the Trump administration continuing its attacks on LGBTQ rights at home, and places like Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and Uganda ramping up persecution of the community.

While it would be easy to write the year off as one of doom-and-gloom, there were a number of bright spots, both in the United States and abroad. As we close out the year, here are some of the news events from 2019 that are worth celebrating.
They list the following…
  1. Marriage Equality Gains
  2. Brunei and Uganda Abandon Plans to Introduce “Kill the Gays” Bills
  3. Botswana Legalizes Gay Sex
  4. U.S. Embassies Defy Trump’s Pride Flag Ban
  5. Alan Turing Announced as New Face of £50 Note
  6. States Embrace Nonbinary IDs
  7. Five States, and Puerto Rico, Ban Conversion Therapy
  8. Courts Keeping Trump in Check
  9. “They” Is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year
  10. Scientists Continue Making Progress in Battle Against HIV/AIDS
  11. Impeachment Proceedings Against Trump Move Forward
Our Readers Share Highlights From Their Year in Queer
NewNowNext asked our readers to share their own personal triumphs during 2019, and here are some of the uplifting responses we received.

I think for me I had a couple of personal triumphs this year.

First one is medical, all summer long I had back problem; mother was right, lift with your knees and arms, not with your bad. Everyone told me to go to physical therapy, I said naw, I said my back always got better on its own. Well after six months I went to physical therapy, in two weeks I could go most of the day without my back aching and by the time I finished physical therapy my back wasn’t hurting at all.

On the activist level I think it was the first meeting of the Legislative LGBTQ Public Health and Human Services Network committee meeting.

Please post what your own personal triumphs this year?

I Don’t Believe That They Believe This

A lot has been written about the lack of education of many conservatives, it makes you wonder what they learned in school and college.
The far-right thinks Burger King’s Impossible Whoppers will literally turn men into women
They think eating a plant-based burger will cause men to grow boobs, decrease the size of their genitals, and cause sexual confusion and homosexuality.
LGBTQ Nation
By Daniel Villarreal
December 30, 2019

Fans of far right-wing media are spreading the untrue (and somewhat transphobic) rumor that Burger King’s plant-based Impossible Whopper contains enough of the female hormone estrogen to make cisgender men grow breasts.

The rumor started because of an article written by James Stangle, a South Dakota veterinarian, and printed in Tri-State Livestock News, a publication that generally opposes plant-based meat substitutes as harmful to livestock farmers’ businesses. Stangle wrote, “An Impossible Whopper has 18 million times as much estrogen as a regular Whopper.”
Wow! “...impossible Whopper has 18 million times as much estrogen as a regular Whopper.”

18 million times nothing is still nothing.

There is such small amounts of estrogen in soybeans that you cannot eat enough Impossible Whoppers to effect you in anyway. (Just think that if this was true we wouldn't have to be taking expensive estrogen everyday, we would just need to eat a couple of Impossible Burgers)
New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle told the publication that Asian men and boys have been eating large amounts of soy for centuries and, “No, they don’t grow breasts.” Any guy who might grow breasts in response to eating large amounts of soy could just have an extremely rare sensitivity to phytoestrogens, she adds.
But still the conservatives are quaking in their boots.
But that hasn’t stopped right-wing publications and commenters from repeating Stangle’s lie. Conservative news outlets like the National File and MichaelSavage.com have republished articles repeating it as fact, and far-right Twitter users are amplifying the lie with some occasional transphobic comments.
And then we have this idiot Republican from last winter…
Texas lawmaker says he's not worried about measles outbreak because of ‘antibiotics'
By Ashley May
February 27, 2019

Texas state representative Bill Zedler says a resurgence of measles across the U.S. isn't worrying him.

Zedler, R-Arlington, is promoting legislation that would allow Texans to opt out of childhood vaccinations.

“They want to say people are dying of measles. Yeah, in Third World countries they’re dying of measles,” Zedler said, the Texas Observer reports. “Today, with antibiotics and that kind of stuff, they’re not dying in America.” 
There is no treatment for measles, a highly contagious virus that can be fatal. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and can't kill viruses. 
You have to wonder what he was doing in science class?

This is on the same level as the Republicans who say women can’t get pregnant from a rape unless they want to or the Ohio legislature passing a bill to make it a law to transplant an ectopic pregnancy which is medically impossible.

These are the idiot who are trying to pass or are passing draconian laws that criminalizing women for controlling their bodies, to criminalize us, who think AIDS/HIV as a “Gay Disease”, and are passing healthcare laws that goes against medical science. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Headlines Today

I don’t know if you saw the news this morning but there was a machete on a Jewish rabbi in his home, Jews were attacked on the streets of New York City, and a shooting in a church in Texas all within the last couple of days and buried in the headlines was a murder of a trans women this month.
Trans Woman’s Murder in Washington Makes 2019 Deadliest Year on Record for Transgender Americans
Nikki Kuhnhausen is the 27th trans murder victim after a six-month search determined she had been slain.
By Kate Sosin
December 18, 2019

Nikki Kuhnhausen won’t be graduating from Hudson’s Bay High School this spring. She won’t even turn 19.

On December 7, the 18-year-old was found dead after a six-month search that ended in a grassy field in her hometown of Vancouver, Washington.

Kuhnhausen will be counted as the 27th transgender homicide victim of 2019 nationally in a year that is now tied for the most deadly on-record for transgender people. 2017 also saw 27 transgender murders, which at the time was an all-time high. With 12 days left on the calendar, this year threatens to overtake that number.
Hate is becoming more rampant across the country.

Attacks by white nationalists are becoming common place and the question is why? It started with the inauguration of President Obama, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported an increase in white supremacists organizations. With the election of Trump the hate organization went from covert to overt and the attacks on minorities have increased.

Maybe this is one of the reasons for the increase.
Trump loyalist who wants to set up 51st state based on far-right Christian values accused of domestic terrorism
Matt Shea dismisses official report as ‘sham investigation’
The Independent
ByAndrew Buncombe
Friday 20 December 2019

A Republican politician and loyal supporter of Donald Trump who wants to establish a 51st state based on far-right, Christian values, has been accused of taking part in domestic terrorism against the US government.

Matt Shea, 45, who represents a district in eastern Washington at the state legislature, was found to have travelled across the state to meet with extremist groups, condoned the intimidation of opponents and promoted training for armed militias, accused of having links to extremists and hate groups.

“Representative Shea, as a leader in the Patriot Movement, planned, engaged in and promoted a total of three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States government in three states outside the state of Washington over a three-year period,” the report said. “In one conflict representative Shea led covert strategic pre-planning in advance of the conflict.”
Yahoo News reported…
But back in his home district, Shea also began attracting the attention of law enforcement for his growing embrace of fringe ideologies and conspiracy theories. He networked with local militia groups, talked about plans to create a 51st state called Liberty and distributed to his closest followers a “Biblical Basis for War” document that calls for the “surrender” of those who favor abortion rights, same-sex marriage, “idolatry” and communism. “If they do not yield — kill all males,” it said.
The Republicans are using hate to divide our country, they have realized that white nationalist vote and make large campaign donations.

As a result the Republican party has because a party of white supremacists, if you vote Republican you are an enabler of this hate.

Update 4:30 PM

I just found this Washington Post article…
Lindsey Graham and far-right leader Geert Wilders were photographed smiling together
By Paul Kane
September 8, 2019

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) appeared in a photo with Geert Wilders, a controversial Dutch parliamentary leader with anti-Islam and anti-immigrant views, while both attended a European security conference in Italy.

Graham and Wilders, leader of the Party of Freedom in the Netherlands, were seen smiling together Saturday night at the Ambrosetti Forum on Italy’s Lake Como.
Wilders has drawn criticism for his views toward Islam. He has advocated for a tax on women who wear a hijab, supported a ban on Muslims immigrating to the Netherlands and said he feared a future with “more mosques than churches” in his country.
“I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam,” he once said.
During his presentation Saturday, Wilders predicted that nationalist parties in Europe would make a strong comeback. “I believe there is a lot of support among the people, especially on the issue of immigration,” he said.
He has been labeled by other blogs as a white supremacist and I believe that he is correct in saying that nationalist parties in Europe are making a strong comeback, especially in Poland and Britain.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

I Am Worried

The internet is forever.

If you do a Google vanity search of me there are “About 345,000 results” hits, you can still read my old Geocities blog on the “Wayback Machine,” what is posted on the internet never goes away. It has been archived somewhere on the World Wide Web.

That is way I am worried for the trans children on the web…
'I Am Jazz' Surgeon Fired After Wildly Inappropriate Scandal
Show Biz Cheat Sheet
By John Wolfe
December 25, 2019

I Am Jazz is slated to return soon, a thrilling piece of news for fans of the hit TLC show. This new season will feature Jazz Jennings dealing with surgery complications, and a difficult relationship and its resulting drama.

However, in something of a blast from the past, a doctor who appeared on I Am Jazz has been fired and disgraced after wildly inappropriate behavior both on Instagram and in real life. Dr. Christopher John Salgado has made a variety of poor choices leading up to his removal from his network. Here’s what went down.
For fans of I AM Jazz, there is good news on the horizon. The show will premiere its sixth season with Jazz Jennings very soon.

TLC president Howard Lee told The Wrap, “Jazz is the quintessential example of living authentically and embracing one’s true self and that is what TLC seeks to celebrate in all of our programming.”
Once you are on the internet you are very OUT and there is no hiding that you are trans.

One person that I know was on a dating site and she was older that a cis woman, trans woman was older that cis woman. My friend was concerned about the age difference and the cis woman said “get over it” and when she agreed to go out on a date with the cis woman; the cis woman googled her and found out she was trans.

I have to wonder how the lives of trans people are changed because now they are out on the internet.

I work hard to hide a link between my full name on this blog. But there is enough information out there  that a reporter found my home phone number… and that was scary!

Miqqi Gilbert said famously “There is out and then there is OUT” when Miqqi did an interview for the campus newspaper and the article was picked up by the major national newspaper.

So I am worried that the kids today on the internet will be forever labeled “Trans.”

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Saturday 9: Cold as Ice

Sam's Saturday 9: Cold as Ice (1977)

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

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

Our last Saturday 9 of 2019. Thank you for another great year, everyone!

1) Look back on 2019 and share a happy moment.
I hate these kind of questions… my mind goes blank.
I don’t think it is any one time but I enjoy relaxing up at the cottage.

2) As 2019 ends, are you making any New Year's resolutions for 2020?
Just one… to make it to 2021 in good health.

3) Tell us about an obstacle or challenge you faced in 2019.
Making it through to this new year, I threw my back out in the spring and it hurt most of the summer until I finally decide to go to physical therapy and it worked… no more back pain.

4) Is it "cold as ice" outside where you are today?
Ha! Anything but,it is in the forties and for Christmas it was 50!

5) Foreigner is this week's featured artist. The band formed in New York City. If you were to travel to New York City, what would you be sure to see?
Well I don’t like the city. The last couple of times I went there was to see a Broadway play, I went by train and we walked a couple of blocks to the theater.

6) The band went by the name Trigger. They changed it because their prospective record label was already auditioning a different group named Trigger. They settled on Foreigner because half the members were foreign -- from England. If you received a free, round-trip airline ticket to any foreign country, where would you go?
Probably to Scotland or maybe to the Scandinavian countries

7) In 1977, when this song was popular, Star Wars was breaking all box office records. The Spy Who Loved Me, a James Bond movie, was also a 1977 hit. Which film series do you prefer: Star Wars or James Bond?
The early Bond movies were good because they were Ian Fleming’s books, the other Bond movies were just cookie cutter books. The same goes for the Star Wars movies, it was fresh and original and the other movies were just formula movies, they didn’t seem fresh.

8) In 1977, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporated Apple. Are you answering these 9 questions on an Apple product (PC, laptop, pad or phone)?
PC. I started out on an Apple II+ but work used PCs and I was used to the software.

9) Random question: What was the last thing you thought of as you dozed off last night?
I hope that I sleep the night through… I didn’t. I woke at 2:30, had breakfast at 5 and went back to sleep until 9.

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, December 27, 2019

Full Weight And Force

Of the federal government is being used to persecute us.

For eight years we finally started to see an end to the discrimination against us,  laws were being passed, people began to see the oppression were lived under and said “Enough,” and court cases turned in our favor. This all happened when government stood behind us to end discrimination but all that has ended.

Now the government is leading the discrimination and oppression against minorities.
A White House official took a free trip to an anti-LGBTQ “hate summit”
By Justin Rohrlich
December 26, 2019

An organization designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center paid for a Trump administration official to attend its annual legal convention last summer, according to a recently released White House Office travel report. The arrangement was discovered by researcher Meredith Lerner of nonprofit government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

The report reveals that the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) picked up $2,123 in hotel costs, transportation, and meals for Jennifer Lichter, who is the deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy. The expenses were associated with the group’s Summit on Religious Liberty in Dana Point, California, last July. CREW says Lichter’s attendance “suggests the group’s influence is expanding within the Trump administration.”
Over the past 25 years, the ADF says, the group has “played various roles in 52 victories at the US Supreme Court and hundreds more in the lower courts,” winning nearly 80% of its cases. The group was behind the spread of so-called bathroom bills in 2017, crafting model legislation that sought to restrict public restroom access to transgender Americans.
Then there is this attack by the current administration…
Interior Department Cut ‘Sexual Orientation’ From Anti-Discrimination Guideline
HuffPost By Chris D'Angelo
December 27, 2019

President Donald Trump’s Interior Department removed “sexual orientation” from a statement in the agency’s ethics guide regarding workplace discrimination.

“You shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or handicap,” reads one of 14 principles of ethical behavior in the agency’s 2017 guidelines. The 2009 version President Barack Obama’s Interior Department issued included the categories “race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.”
Interior chalked the exclusion up to a simple clarification in language. Agency spokeswoman Carol Danko said Interior complies with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s interpretation that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sex, extends to LGBTQ workers. 
Yeah, right, “chalked the exclusion up to a simple clarification in language” like totally ignoring Supreme Court rulings, and lower court rulings that including gender identity and sexual orientation as being protected under Title VII and Title IX.

Then within the White House staff members are being picked because their anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
Trump’s New Legal Adviser Is an Anti-LGBT, Fox News-Ready Bomb Thrower
The Daily Beast
December 27, 2019

If you don’t know who Jenna Ellis is, you are hardly alone. Many officials at the upper echelons of Trumpworld don’t really know her, either.

In more than a dozen conversations with senior figures in the White House, 2020 campaign, and broader Trump orbit, barely anybody had known Ellis as more than a blip on the Fox News radar—if that—before this October. “She literally came out of nowhere,” said one person close to President Donald Trump.

And yet, Ellis, a constitutional law attorney who’d worked since last year as the public policy director at the James Dobson Family Institute, has quickly gone from relative obscurity to talking directly with the president about politics and impeachment. In recent weeks, he’s reached out to her to ask about fighting back against his Democratic enemies, and has casually analyzed and praised her TV hits when she’s not around, say two people with knowledge of the president’s conversations.
Where did Trump animosity against LGBTQ people and especially against trans people come from?

Well I personally believe it came from his “Miss Universe” and when it was sued by a trans woman.
Transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant falls short of title
By Paula Newton
May 21, 2012

Jenna Talackova, the 23-year-old woman who forced Donald Trump and his Miss Universe Canada pageant to end its ban on transgender contestants, fell short of the national title Saturday night at the pageant in Toronto.
Talackova then hired women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and the pageant's co-owner, Donald Trump, was left with no choice but to change the rules and let Talackova compete.
That is what I believe turned Trump against us… “All HIS beautiful, beautiful women” had a trans woman in their amidst them and I think he flipped out.

His lecherous sexual desires of the contestants is well know…
A Timeline of Donald Trump’s Creepiness While He Owned Miss Universe
From walking into a teen dressing room to joking about his obligation to sleep with contestants, Trump’s a storied pageant creep
Rolling Stone
By Tessa Stuart
October 12, 2016

Donald Trump was forced to sell the Miss Universe Organization – which also includes sister scholarship programs Miss USA and Miss Teen USA – in 2015 after his incendiary comments about Mexicans drove away broadcasters NBC and Univision. But Trump owned the pageant for nearly two decades, during which time he would have had the opportunity to come into contact with nearly 4,000 beauty queens.

On the heels of the damaging videotape on which Trump and former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush salivated over Days of Our Live actress Arianne Zucker, and joked about sexually assaulting women, came allegations that Trump entered the Miss Teen USA changing room where girls as young as 15 were in various states of undress.

Mariah Billado, Miss Teen Vermont 1997 told BuzzFeed, “I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here.'” Three other teenage contestants from the same year confirmed the story. The former pageant contestants discussed their memories of the incident after former Miss Arizona Tasha Dixon told Los Angeles’ CBS affiliate that Trump entered the Miss USA dressing room in 2001 when she was a contestant.
The Trump campaign did not offer a response to either story, but in a 2005 appearance on Howard Stern’s show, Trump bragged about doing exactly what the women describe. “I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else,” he said.

His position as the pageant’s owner entitled him to that kind of access, Trump explained, seemingly aware that what he was doing made the women uncomfortable. “You know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it… Is everyone OK? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that,” he said.
How creepy is that?

In to his salacious desires for women was a trans woman and I think that brought out his transphobic hatred of us, because it was an affront to his “manhood.”

Thursday, December 26, 2019

We Know.

We know that we are trans at an early age, for me I can remember saying my prays at night an praying to wake up a girl, this was when I was about seven or eight.
Transgender children sense their gender identities at young ages
By Lisa Rapaport
December 25, 2019

(Reuters Health) - Transgender children may start to identify with toys and clothes typical of their gender identity from a very young age, a recent study suggests.

And their confidence in their gender identity is generally as strong as that of cisgender children, whose identity matches their sex assigned at birth, researchers found.

“Trans kids are showing strong identities and preferences that are different from their assigned sex,” lead author Selin Gulgoz said in a press statement. “There is almost no difference between these trans- and cisgender kids of the same gender identity - both in how, and the extent to which, they identify with their gender or express that gender.”
The transgender kids showed strong preferences for toys and clothing typically associated with their gender identity, not their assigned sex, the study found. Their preferences didn’t appear to differ based on how long they had lived as their current gender.
When I was little five  or six I used to play with the girl down the street, it was too long ago to remember what we played but what I do remember is that my parents used to call her a “tomboy,” I always wondered what became of her? Is she a lesbian? Is he a trans man now? Or did she just get married and raise a family? Another thing that I remember through the haze of time was my parents forbidding me to play with her anymore, there was something about setting her closet on fire and that also makes me wonder was she just playing with candles in the closet or did she hate her clothes?

When my parents passed away and I was going through the boxes of photos I came across this photo from one of my birthday parties.

Notice I had all neighbor girls over for my party.

When a child transitions it isn’t easier than transitioning as an adult but rather different. They have their own unique set of problems.

Then there is the problems when a parent transitions…
Dear Abby: Some loved ones uncomfortable with my transgender parent
Couple wants to celebrate new baby but fears family members will decline rather than face the relative who transitioned.
By Abigail Van Buren
December 26, 2019

DEAR ABBY: We are expecting our first child after many years of struggling with infertility. We are overjoyed, to say the least.

I have a wonderful parent who used to be my father but who now identifies as a woman I’ll call “Grace.” She’s a supportive, loving, wonderful parent, and always was.

The problem is, the rest of the family has yet to see her transition. They are aware of what has happened, but are not comfortable with it. One family member keeps insisting that Grace is not transgender, just “confused.” She says that if she ever saw Grace dressed as a woman, she would laugh.

When it comes to a celebration for our bundle of joy, how do I handle this? I can’t imagine having the celebration without Grace, and I wouldn’t dream of asking her to dress as a male because I know how uncomfortable she would be. But I’m afraid if she attends, none of the other family will come because they are so uncomfortable. — TRANSPARENT IN NEVADA

DEAR TRANSPARENT: Grace is not “confused.” People do not change their gender identity on a lark. The transition is time-consuming and difficult. Grace deserves to be treated with compassion and common courtesy. Make this clear to your family members. If you feel that one or more of them would be so rude as to ridicule your parent, strike them from your guest list.
It is hard on the family because not everyone might be accepting, many LGBTQ+ are thrown out of their family once they come out. Many trans parents never see their children again, at least here in Connecticut DCF will not cut them off from their children, not like in the old day when the courts would not let them see their children at all.

Yesterday, I went over to my cousin’s daughter’s house for Christmas.

Way back in 2007 when I transitioned, my cousin was the first family member to invited me over to the holidays  as Diana.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Peace On Earth and Goodwill To All
Earthrise (NASW Photo) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

It this time of year that we reflect on all that has happened this past year and to give thanks. However, for many it is not a time to rejoice, it is a time of loneliness, their families may have moved and left them behind, their family or spouse might have pasted away leaving them without any close relatives or their children might be at their in-laws for this holiday, for whatever the reason, it is a lonely time.

This year I will be going to cousin's house for Christmas and my brother and sister-in-law's children are at their in-laws this Christmas.

For many in the LGBT community it is an especially lonely time,
they might not have seen their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them. Sometimes when we do attend the gathering, we feel like outcasts, like the square peg in the round hole, we just don’t fit in, we are tolerated when we bring our partners or ourselves to the table.

So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

I leave you with this Christmas song by Nat King Cole - Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

An American traditional songs...

And a cute little video...

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Eve Of Christmas Eve

Christmas is one of the most holly days in the Christian calendar.

I was baptized into the Catholic church and was confirmed. One of the things that I remember from my catechism class was that Jesus taught love.

But there is now a branch of the Christian religion that has turned away from love and now has corrupted those teaching and turn to hate and now they worship a new idol.

A Christian newspaper called them out on it.
Christianity Today made big news with its anti-Trump editorial. The impact on evangelicals might not be as big.
The Washington Post
By Paul Farhi
December 20, 2019

Christianity Today, an evangelical magazine, has mostly concentrated on the spiritual, not the political, during its 63 years in existence. So the editorial it published Thursday went over like a thunderclap from on high: Editor Mark Galli wrote that President Trump should be removed from office, describing him as “a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”

Trump’s fiery denunciation (“a far left magazine [that] . . . knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call,” he tweeted) and the massive news coverage the editorial received Friday suggested it marked a watershed moment. The implicit idea was that evangelicals — one of Trump’s key voting blocs — had finally turned on the president after years of ignoring his trampling of at least a few of the Ten Commandments.
Many evangelical Christians worship Trump as their savior. In another Washington Post article…
Comparing Trump to Jesus, and why some evangelicals believe Trump is God’s chosen one
By Eugene Scott
December 18, 2019

It is no secret that many conservative Christians think highly of President Trump. He has consistently maintained high approval ratings from white evangelicals since he won the majority of white evangelicals and white Catholics in the 2016 election.

But while defending Trump during the president’s impeachment hearing, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) made remarks that gave some the impression that the lawmaker thought Trump was worthy of better treatment than Jesus Christ.

Loudermilk, who was involved in a church ministry that served underprivileged children years before heading to Congress, said: “Before you take this historic vote today one week before Christmas, I want you to keep this in mind: When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process.”
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Many evangelical Christians seemed to have forgotten that Commandment.

When the Trump administration proposed allowing homeless shelter to turn away LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds many evangelical Christians applauded.

When the Trump administration proposed allowing food kitchens to turn away LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds many evangelical Christians applauded.

When the Trump administration proposed allowing businesses to fire LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds many evangelical Christians applauded.

When the Trump administration proposed allowing businesses to not serve LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds many evangelical Christians applauded.

When the Trump administration put a ban on Muslims from entering the US many evangelical Christians applauded.

When Jesus feed the people, he didn’t ask them their nationality or their religion or their sexual orientation, he just feed all of them that were there.

Now is the time for moderate evangelical Christians to speak up, don’t let the right wing conservative  evangelical Christians dominate the debate.
Anti-Trump evangelicals saw Christianity Today editorial ‘as a breath of fresh air,’ magazine’s former editor says
The Washington Post
By Eugene Scott
Dec. 21, 2019

A day after the House impeached President Trump, charging that he pressured Ukraine to investigate a political rival, one of the most prominent institutions in evangelical Christianity also determined that he was unfit for his office.
 Among anti-Trump Christians and evangelicals, the editorial has been received as a breath of fresh air. They’ve been looking for evangelical institutions to speak out about the more troubling aspects of the Trump presidency. And the fact that editors decided to take such a strong stance is almost a relief to those more moderate or liberal evangelicals who want to see more courage and conviction from the magazine. Because, for them, it’s not so much the pro-Trump evangelicals that frustrate them, it’s the silent evangelicals. And to a lot of people, silence looks like tacit approval. So choosing not to be silent is encouraging.
Sinclair Lewis said "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross".

When the Nazi party came to power they rounded up the Jews, the gays, the trans people, the disabled, the Romani people, and anyone else who was different and many Christians pointed them out to the Nazis and cheered when they took them away.

Many evangelical Christians say religion is under attack… maybe it is not religions that are being attack, maybe it is the hate that they spew forth that is under attack.

One last word… don’t paint religion with a broad brush. Not all evangelical Christians hate us, there are also many affirming religions and only a few vocal religions that persecute us.

Update 5:30 PM

I came across these additional links…
Evangelical tussling over anti-Trump editorial escalatesStudy Shows White Evangelicals Want Christian Supremacy, Not “Religious Freedom”

During the House debates on impeachment many Republicans were using the word “hate” to describe the Democrats; during a press conference a reporter from Sinclair News asked the Speaker of the House “Do you hate the president, Ms. Speaker?” Speaker Pelosi replied “I don’t hate anybody.”

Hate is a Republican word… the Democrats are disappointed… mad… angry… but they don’t hate Trump.

It is the Republicans that say gays should be put to death, I don’t know about you but when you call for the death of someone… that’s hating them.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

When Our Idols Turnout To Be Made Of Clay

Many time the people who we look up to turn out to be bigots.

Two such are…
JK Rowling's Transphobia Wasn't Hard to Find, She Wrote a Book About It
It's not just her blatant transphobia on Twitter. As the trans community has been saying for years, Rowling's transphobia is obvious in her writing, too.
By Rob Zacny
December 20 2019

Fans and critics alike have been calling out Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for years for her history of playing online footsie with noted transphobes. This week, she finally made explicit what a lot of those fans and critics have argued: She's an aggressive biological essentialist, and vocally supports known transphobes and their beliefs. It's the latest stage of the slow-burning, deepening estrangement between Harry Potter readers and a woman who has often been as ill-suited to the role of pop culture celebrity as she is eager to play it.

But this latest turn in the conversation also underscores the degree to which Rowling has been successful in downplaying the peevish condescension and personal conservatism that she has flaunted in her writing outside the saga of the Boy Who Lived. It's also perhaps revealed how many literary critics were either happy to overlook, or were unable to perceive, the prejudices and grudges that she has exercised since becoming a successful adult fiction author with the Cormoran Strike mystery series (that she writes under the pen-name Robert Galbraith). If J.K. Rowling has been a disappointment in her public statements and interviews and troubling on Twitter, she's been positively abhorrent as a mystery novelist. And there might be nothing she's written more vindictive and grotesque--and revealing--than 2014's The Silkworm.
There's a viciousness in Rowling's descriptions and characterizations in the Galbraith books from time to time. But her descriptions of Pippa, the features and mannerisms she chooses to focus on and emphasize when writing from Strike's POV (generally one of our two reliable narrators in this world) are consistently objectifying and othering in ways that are very familiar from the ways transphobes describe and debate the validity of trans men and women's identities.

Critic and VICE contributor Katelyn Burns wrote about this last year, using this particular sequence to contextualize some of Rowling's other statements and behavior on Twitter and to persuasively make the case that Rowling is transphobic in very familiar and common ways. She writes:
In the scene, a trans woman, Pippa, follows and tries to stab the protagonist, Cormoran Strike, before getting trapped in Strike’s office. After demanding Pippa’s ID, her trans status is revealed and her visible Adam’s apple is noted, while it's noted that her hands were jammed in her pockets. Pippa tries several times to escape the office before Strike finally says, “‘If you go for that door one more time I’m calling the police and I’ll testify and be glad to watch you go down for attempted murder. And it won’t be fun for you Pippa,’ he added. ‘Not pre-op.’”
An English stand-up comedian, and actor also attacked us,
People are calling for Ricky Gervais to be sacked after several tweets on trans women
The next Golden Globes host joins the list of celebrities judging the validity of transgender people - but claims it was all a joke.
LGBTQ Nation
By Juwan J. Holmes
December 21, 2019

Comedian Ricky Gervais is being called transphobic for a series of tweets defending, and reiterating, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s inflammatory comments about transgender women. People are calling for Gervais to be fired from hosting the 77th Golden Globes Awards on January 5, 2020, being held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

After saying ‘enough is enough’ and daring followers to report him, Gervais now says it was all a joke’, as it’s his job to make fun of every identity.

In response to writer Jarvis Dupont posting her latest article in Spectator USA on Twitter in which she designates Rowling as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF), Gervais mocked Dupont and other trans women for being upset by “awful biological women” “who can never understand…becoming a lovely lady so late in life” and “take their girly privileges for granted.”

Gervais, the creator and star of the original series The Office in the UK and Extras, concluded in his reply to Dupont, “Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.”

In further tweets, Gervais reduced transgender women to ‘men’ taking the rights of women who ‘have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonise an entire sex.’ He then claimed he’s being targeted by people who ‘can’t afford to have their propositions questioned’, comparing defenses of trans people to ‘blasphemy laws’ and ‘the fatwah’, a legal Islamic declaration stereotypically associated with terrorism.
When we were little we used to chant “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” but unfortunately that is not true.

Words can hurt.

Words can increase suicides. Words can increase hate against us, words can cause legislators to vote against us.

We cannot let these words go unchallenged.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

Sam’s Saturday 9: Happy Holidays! (from the archives)

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

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether -- either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas?
I probably did because I wanted presents for Christmas so you had to put up with visiting Santa

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?
I’m always naughty.
She said with a twinkle in her eye.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?
Nope… I’m not visiting family this year, my nephews are at their in-laws this Christmas.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year?
No, but I will probably buy something for myself after the Christmas rush in January.

5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie? Have you seen it yet this year?
I don’t have one, there are no new movies that I like and all the classic movies I have seen many, many times… too many times.

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day?
Yes, one time on the “off year” (like this Christmas when they are at their in-laws) we saw a movie my grand nephew wanted to see and then we had Chinese afterward.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party?
No, but I had fun watching others make idiots out of them selves.
One time in the late seventies, when drinking at work was not frowned upon, on the shop floor there were bottles of booze on the conveyor belt and by the time they got to the end of the conveyor belt they were empty… the ladies on the production line were in a good mood by noon.

8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather?
Hot chocolate or hot tea.

9. Share a memory from last Christmas.
Gee… that was a whole year ago! Do you expect me to remember that far back?

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 next week for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Baby It’s Cold Outside

The 2015 US Trans Survey said that thirty percent of the respondents said they were homeless at one point in their life.
Transgender homeless Americans find few protections in the law
Transgender people experience high rates of discrimination in housing and shelter services.
The Chicago Reporter
By Jonah DeChants
December 19, 2019

Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, made news earlier this year for his statements about transgender people.

In a September meeting with HUD staff, Carson remarked that he was concerned about “big, hairy men” trying to use women’s shelters. It is reported that his comments upset the HUD staff in attendance, causing one women to leave the room in protest.

Carson later doubled down on his comments in a congressional hearing, declining to apologize and saying “I think this whole concept of political correctness – you can say this, you can’t say that, you can’t repeat what someone said – is total foolishness.”

While his comments demonstrate a lack of understanding of the needs of transgender people, his agency’s moves to remove protections represent a real threat for transgender Americans who need shelter.
And it is only getting worst…
In a September meeting with HUD staff, Carson remarked that he was concerned about “big, hairy men” trying to use women’s shelters. It is reported that his comments upset the HUD staff in attendance, causing one women to leave the room in protest.
On the federal level it is getting worst but what about on the state level?

Only seventeen states have protection for us in housing, in the rest of the states we could be refused shelters or forced to shelter in shelters of our birth gender and their non-discrimination might be voided out by the feds because of “religious freedom” to discriminate.

I only know about Connecticut’s efforts to integrate shelters which has been extensive and has been ongoing for at least three years. Training has been done to all the shelters’ management staff and the 211 operators. But one of the problems is the high turnover of their staff and are they training the staff below the supervisor level, they know what is right thing to do, it is now a question of are they following the law?

There was a question about the city of Hartford hiring a religious organization that has a history of discrimination of trans people to run the city’s shelters and warming centers. The city said in a letter that the contract says that they have to obey all city and state non-discrimination laws and that they monitor the performance of the organization, that they have not received any discrimination complaints.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

It’s A Privilege

For many trans people “passing” is a privilege, for many of us we will never be able to integrate in to society.
I’m trans, but that doesn’t mean I want to “pass” as a woman
By Joan Westenberg
November 20, 2019

A few weeks ago, I was using the bathroom at a shopping centre. While I was washing my hands, a woman approached and confronted me, to say that I was in the wrong place. She said she knew what I was. She said everyone could tell. She wanted me to know that she had recognised me as transgender, as though it were some kind of dirty secret. The altercation didn't last long; I felt no need to argue with her, or to grant currency to her disgust by offering a response to it. I finished washing my hands, with a deliberate and extended ritual, and calmly left while she continued to berate me for my abnormal womanhood.

In truth, it was nothing unexpected, and nothing unusual. I’ve heard comments like that before; it’s a troll or a transphobe’s favourite strategy, to point out masculine aspects of my appearance, to other me, and to announce that I am not “fooling” anyone.

It appears as though people believe trans women want their transness to go unrecognised, as though our intention is to be seen as cis-gender (that is, non-transgender) women. They believe that our trans nature is a shameful and dirty secret, that must make us burn with embarrassment.
As a transgender woman, I do not look at myself, and see a cis-woman; for me personally, I have found that I do not want to. There are so many things about me that signify my trans nature - such as the traits that are traditionally masculine, that are pointed out and highlighted by trolls, from my shoulders to my jawline - but these are not signifiers of an absence of womanhood, merely of a different school or strand.
Many of us when we first coming out we dream of the “Gold Standard” being about to integrate in society where no one identifies us as being trans, but over time reality sets in that we will never reach those goals. I also realized that most people really don’t care how I looked, most people just want to buy their  groceries and get home to make dinner for their families.

I bought tons of makeup, dresses, high heels shoes and matching pocketbooks but as I got out and about I realized something, “dressed to the nines” made me stand out even more. In the supermarkets, in movie theaters, and at work most women don’t dress like that. Sure there are a few who do but most dress comfortably with sensible shoes.

I know many trans women who take voice lessons, and take classes on how to “present’ as a women, at onetime I was thinking taking them but then I got to thinking, for fifty years I pretended to be a man and I don’t want to pretend to be a woman… I just want to be myself.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Guilty Until Proved Innocent

For many trans women you are guilty until you’re proved innocent, especially if you’re a colored trans woman.
Transgender people are being profiled as sex workers. AG’s directive fails to address the issue. | Opinion
By Derek J. Demeri
December 17, 2019

In recognition of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, I ask New Jersey today to do better for its people.

Last month, the attorney general issued a statewide Directive Governing Law Enforcement Interactions with Transgender Individuals. The new directive makes great strides on respecting people’s dignity when arrests are being made but fails to acknowledge how stereotypes and prejudice of transgender and gender-diverse people play into why arrests of the community are being done in the first place. The deafening silence when it comes to the profiling of transgender women and non-binary femme individuals as sex workers is particularly salient.

As the New Jersey Task Force on Transgender Equality recent noted in their Report and Recommendations, transgender women of color are frequently profiled as sex workers by law enforcement. One-third of Black transgender women who interacted with police reported that law enforcement assumed they were engaging in prostitution. While the new directive states law enforcement cannot “[c]onsider a person’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression and/or sexual orientation as a basis for reasonable suspicion,” its value falls flat without explicit guidance on the issue of profiling transgender women as sex workers.
Particularly if you happen to be carrying condoms in your purse. You want to play it safe and it comes back to bite you in the a**.
This profiling has led to serious repercussions especially when condoms continue to be used as evidence of prostitution in New Jersey. In a conversation with Gary-Paul Wright, executive director of the African-American Office of Gay Concerns in Newark, I learned that the Port Authority Police Department attempted to arrest a Black transgender woman who was working as a public health outreach worker. Why? She was handing out condoms to other transgender women of color and that fit the definition of “promoting prostitution” under New Jersey’s laws. California recently banned using condoms as evidence because of the serious public health consequences it has on the wider community.
After a night out with your boy friend or girl friend you stop by an all night convenience store to get a coffee for the ride home and a cop walks in sees you’re trans and automatically assumes that you are working the street, he empties your purse and finds condom… guilty! The cop presume you are a street worker because what else would you be doing out at that time of night with a condom?

Many a nightmare for trans people have begun that way.
However, one can never feel dignity when they are being profiled and arrested for being transgender in a public space. New Jersey can, and must, do more.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Public Funding

When I think of public funding I think that it should be used by everyone, that you cannot discriminate. So a school club has to be open to every student. Period.

If it is a photography club the club should be open to anyone who wants to attend, even non-photographers. Likewise a knitting club should be open to anyone who wants to attend, the same goes for a LGBTQ+ club.
Christian club blocked by school district officials who allegedly tell student leader she can't 'limit it to the Christian Faith'
The Christian club allegedly couldn't be recognized unless it modified its views to something more 'generic'
The Blaze
By Dave Uurbanski
December 13, 2019

Daniela Barca approached a teacher over the summer about her idea to start a Christian club at Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, New York.

"I am a Christian," the 14-year-old said at the time, according to First Liberty Institute. "But sometimes it seems like I'm the only one. I want to start this club for other students like me so we can support each other in our beliefs. The school district celebrates diversity and the right to express who you are. All I want is to be allowed to express who I am. Everyone deserves as much."
So my question is will the club allow non-Christians to attend? Will they allow affirming Christians religions or.will they just allow evangelical Christians?

If it is open to everyone I have no problem having a Christian club. If it is open to only Christians then I have a problem with the club and I definitely have a problem if it is only for evangelical Christians.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Would You Go?

All you football fans, no not American football but European football (AKA Soccer) would you go to see a World Cup match in a Muslin country?
Everyone welcome? Gay football fans prepare for Qatar
AFP – Yahoo Sports
By Gregory Walton
December 15, 2019

Doha (AFP) - World Cup 2022 host Qatar has given the clearest indication yet that LGBT fans will be welcome, engaging with gay supporters as it hosts the Club World Cup -- despite criminalising homosexuality.

Organisers of the 2022 soccer spectacle travelled to Britain in recent months to meet Liverpool fan clubs including the side's gay supporters' group, individuals briefed on the meeting have told AFP.

Paul Amann, founder of Liverpool's LGBT supporters' club Kop Outs, then undertook a fact-finding mission to Doha along with his husband in November at the invitation of the World Cup organisers.

"I'm very satisfied that their approach is to provide an 'everyone is welcome' ethos that does include respect, albeit through privacy," he told AFP. "I'm not sure if rainbow flags generally will ever be accepted 'in-country', but maybe in stadia."
Notice, this is about gays. Even though it says LGBT I strong suspect that they will frown upon lesbian   women.

Why do I feel that way, according to Human Rights Watch,
Qatar’s penal code criminalizes “sodomy,” punishing same-sex relations with imprisonment between one to three years. Muslims convicted of zina (sex outside of marriage) can also be sentenced to flogging (if unmarried) or the death penalty (if married). Non-Muslims can be sentenced to imprisonment.
And according to Online Qatar,
Qatari women usually have their hair covered with a black head-dress called Shayla, their bodies are covered with black dress called abayha. Some women also cover their face with a black bourqa, and sometimes the eyes are left uncovered.
Consequences of not following the dress code
The penal code in Qatar punishes and forbids the wearing of revealing or indecent clothes. This dressing-code law is enforced by a government body. However, in 2012, a Qatari NGO, organized a campaign calling for public decency, when they felt that the government is too relaxed in monitoring the wearing of revealing clothes (not covering shoulders, knees, tights, or transparent clothes). The campaign particularly targets foreigners, constituting majority of Qatar population.
The AFP article goes on to say…
During a recent visit by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, three independent experts did however warn that at least one transgender person had been detained "until they changed their behaviour".
If you were so inclined, would you go to Qatar for the World Cup?

I don’t like the facts that we could face possible jail time or worst and that women have to have their “hair covered with a black head-dress called Shayla, their bodies are covered with black dress called abayha.”

Also not all of the police might get the memo saying leave foreigners alone during the World Cup, or some police might just arrest us out of hate, or some local people might just take the law in to their own hands. I just don’t think that it is worth losing you head over a soccer game.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

A Challenge.

I was reading this morning about how Finland is teaching their children how to spot fake news…
Another slide, featuring a diagram of a Twitter profile page, explained how to identify bots: look for stock photos, assess the volume of posts per day, check for inconsistent translations and a lack of personal information.

The lesson wrapped with a popular “deepfake” — highly realistic manipulated video or audio — of Barack Obama to highlight the challenges of the information war ahead.
And that got me to thinking about bogus research studies and I googled “how to spot bogus research studies.”

On the website Researchgate one of the people who commented on the question said,

  • Don’t explain their methodology or avoid technical terminology.
  • Don’t indicate any limitations on the conclusions of the research. (A study on mice cannot draw firm conclusions about humans.)
  • Are based on research from a journal that nobody has heard of.

There are some things to keep in mind when reading about research studies.

First who sponsored the research? Almost all legitimate research they will report on who funded the research.

Then how did they find the research subjects? There was a study on what the study authors called “Rapid Onset of Gender Dysphoria” (ROGD), the study recruited participants from a website and the trans study “2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS)” collected their participants from internet so how were they different?

Well in the ROGD study they recruited participants from only conservative websites while the USTS  recruited participants from a broad number of websites and from support groups.

The ROGD recruited parents for the study of trans youth, not the children who were the subject while the USTS recruited trans people for the trans study. The USTS reported,
The survey was produced and distributed in an online-only format after a determination that it would not be feasible to offer it in paper format due to the length and the complexity of the skip logic required to move through the questionnaire.
Meanwhile the ROGD study,
Restar’s study, published today in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, points to several methodological problems, such as relying on survey responses from parents who had visited sites promoting anti-trans views, and biasing their responses with the wording of the study’s consent forms. Littman’s approach, Restar contends, pathologizes trans people. “It’s important to use methods and terminologies that don’t further stigmatize an already disenfranchised community,” she said.
The way they recruited participants has a built-in bias.

Another clue to built in bias of the study is the demographic profile of the parental-respondents, the demographics of the RODG study was…
...The parental-respondents displayed very narrow demographic stratification despite being sampled from a very specific venue: 82.8% were female sex at birth, 91.4% were White, 99.2% were non-Hispanic, 66.1% were aged 46–60, and 70.9% had attended college. Notably, 76.5% believed that their child’s trans identification is not correct, and recruitment relied heavily on three particular Web sites known to be frequented by parents specifically voicing out and promoting the concept of “ROGD.” Thus, these are not just “worried parents,” but rather a sample of predominantly White mothers who have strong oppositional beliefs about their children’s trans identification and who harbor suspicions about their children having “ROGD...”
The USTS survey reported that,
The age profile of respondents differed widely by gender identity categories, with nearly half (47%) of transgender men and women being aged 25–44, compared to 35% of non-binary respondents, and 29% of crossdressers. Non-binary respondents were more likely to be younger, with nearly two-thirds (61%) being aged 18–24, in contrast to transgender men (43%), transgender women (24%), and crossdressers (8%). One in five (20%) crossdressers were aged 65 or older, compared to only 5% of transgender women, 1% of non-binary respondents, and less than 1% of transgender men. Researching marginalized community is difficult, many of them in hiding and there is no one way to find them, it takes a lot of legwork. 
At Friday’s meeting of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Health and Human Services Network we discussed a survey that the Department of Public Health will be doing and the questions that we asked were who is going to design the survey, how are they going to capture gender identity and expression. Asking just male, female, or transgender just doesn’t work.

Also we question how they are going to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community? How are they going to find us?

Surveys are important but it is true “garbage in, garbage out” we need to know how to spot fake research, just because a survey is in our favor doesn’t mean that it is not biased and vise-a-versa just because a survey finds negative results doesn’t mean it is flawed, you need to dig deeper. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday 9: The Christmas Song

Sam’s Saturday 9: The Christmas Song (1961)

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 mention "chestnuts roasting on an open fire." Do you often eat chestnuts?
Nope, but I have eaten some chestnuts and I didn’t really like them and I don’t think that I saw any chestnuts in grocery stores.

2) There's a reference to Jack Frost, too. Does cold weather help you get into the holiday spirit?
No, it gets me into a hibernating spirit… Ba Humbug!

3) Nat sings that turkey helps to make the season bright. We just had it last month for Thanksgiving. Do you enjoy turkey all year around? Or do you consider it primarily a holiday dish?
I buy turkey at the deli counter, I think that roasting “the bird” is a holiday thing. Too much work otherwise.

4) This song was published as "The Christmas Song," but people often refer to it as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" or "Merry Christmas to You." When you think of this song, which title comes to mind?
Cold winter winds and blowing snow outside while sitting around a warm and cozy fire inside.

5) Nat King Cole had a big hit in the 1950s with "Mona Lisa." The ballad compares an enigmatic woman to the da Vinci painting, which hangs in the Louvre. The Mona Lisa has been called the most instantly identifiable painting in the world. Can you think of another famous painting that you recognize on sight? (Extra points if you include a picture!)
Salvador Dali.

Do you know that he lived in Connecticut along with Max Ernst and other surrealist painters in the western side of the state? Dali sought refuge from the growing Fascism in Europe here in Connecticut in the 1930s and 1940s.

6) Best remembered today as a singer, Cole was also an accomplished composer and jazz pianist. Do you like jazz?
I enjoy it in little dosages.

7) The only Christmas card Sam has received so far this year is from her dentist. She never sees Dr. Douglas socially. In fact, she hasn't seen him since her annual check-up last March. Have you received many cards this year?
Zero so far this year.

8) When did/will you start holiday shopping this year: Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving/Black Friday, Halloween? Earlier than that?
I usually start my Christmas shopping on the 24th, you don’t have to spends hours looking for a gift, you just take what it left on the shelf but make sure that they have a return policy.

9) This time of year is big for charitable fundraising. Here's your chance to plug a cause or organization that's near and dear to you.
Okay here is my annual charity; True Colors (In my post yesterday I am next to the woman in light blue and on the other side of me is the ED of True Colors)

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, December 13, 2019

A Milestone Today!

Today was the first meeting of the legislative LGBTQ Public Health and Human Services Network.

The committee was established by a law that established the committee...
Section 207 of Public Act 19-117 established a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Health and Human Services Network to make recommendations to the state legislative, executive and judicial branches of government concerning the delivery of health and human services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer persons in the state, to be administered by this Commission.
This is the first statutory legislative committee for LGBTQ issues in the nation, there are other state committees but they were not created by a law, most of them are advisory committees established by a governor or legislature but they are not written into law.

All we did today was to go over the goals of the committee and our ideas of what we will like to be included in the committee goals. 

A Tale Of Two States

It was the best of times in Wisconsin and the worst of times in Kentucky, and then there is the Trump administration.
Bill would keep transgender students from using restrooms that align with their identities
By Sarah Ladd
Louisville Courier Journal
December 9, 2019

A bill prefiled in the Kentucky legislature would keep transgender students from using restrooms that align with their gender identities.

The proposed bill, prefiled Thursday by state Rep. David Hale, R-Wellington, claims non-transgender students could suffer "potential embarrassment, shame and psychological injury" by using the same restroom or changing room as their transgender peers.

The bill, called the Kentucky Student Privacy Act, says such a situation carries "a significant potential for disruption of school activities and unsafe conditions."

It would not allow a person who was born male and is transitioning to female to use restrooms designated for girls, and vice versa for students born female and transitioning to male.
This is a knee jerk response from the Republicans, they have no idea what he results will be if it is passed. One result will be trans boys in the girls locker room.

Texas passed a bill that required students to play sports on the team of their birth gender and as a results  trans boys are winning in girls sports.
Transgender Wrestler Wins Texas Championship For Girls
Spring Hill Insider
December 12, 2019

Transgender wrestler wins Texas championship for girls

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old high school wrestler who is transitioning from female to male, took home gold in the 110-weight class of the Texas girls state championship after the state refused to allow the student to compete against boys.

Beggs, his family and many of his opponents wanted him to wrestle against male wrestlers, but state sport regulations require athletes to compete according to their birth gender.
The Republicans get so caught in their hate and bigotry that they don’t think things through.

Meanwhile up in Wisconsin we now have insurance coverage!
Medically necessary transgender surgery now covered by Wisconsin Medicaid after legal battle
By Bruce Vielmetti
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
December 10, 2019

Wisconsin will no longer categorically deny Medicaid coverage for medically necessary gender-confirming surgery, a practice a federal judge found violated patients' civil rights and federal health care law.

Lawyers for transgender residents who sued last year announced a settlement Tuesday after the deadline had passed for the state to appeal last month's final judgment in the class action case.

U.S. District Judge William Conley, of Madison, noted the “consensus within the medical profession (is) that gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition, which if left untreated or inadequately treated can cause adverse symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, serious mental distress, self-harm, and suicidal ideation."
Meanwhile Health and Human Services is trying to strip us of insurance coverage for those who get their health insurance using Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) section 1557.
HHS Proposes To Strip Gender Identity, Language Access Protections From ACA Anti-Discrimination Rule
Health Affiars
By Katie Keith
May 25, 2019

On May 24, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new proposed rule to dramatically revise the agency’s prior interpretation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the ACA’s primary anti-discrimination provision. The latest proposal from OCR rewrites an Obama-era regulation that was issued in 2016 that has been the source of ongoing litigation. The proposed rule is accompanied by a press release and fact sheet.

The proposed rule would eliminate major parts of the 2016 regulation and make significant changes to the scope of Section 1557. The proposed rule would entirely eliminate:

The definitions section of the current rule (thereby eliminating definitions of key terms such as “covered entity” and “on the basis of sex”);
  • Specific nondiscrimination protections based on sex, gender identity, and association;
  • Major language access requirements (such as a requirement that covered entities include translated taglines on notices and significant communications to consumers);
  • Notice requirements that require covered entities to post information about Section 1557 and nondiscrimination at its locations and on its website;
  • Requirements to have a compliance coordinator and written grievance procedure to handle complaints about alleged violations of Section; and
  • Various enforcement-related provisions (such as protections against intimidation and retaliation).
OCR also proposes to make what it refers to as “limited conforming amendments” in 10 other HHS regulations, even though OCR is not the implementing agency for these regulations. These changes would remove explicit nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people by eliminating sexual orientation and gender identity from other HHS regulations—like nondiscrimination standards for qualified health plans and the marketplaces—that are unrelated to Section 1557 and long predated the 2016 rule.