Thursday, January 31, 2019

Our History

We must never forget!

There is a move that portrays the Stonewall Uprising as a “GAY” we cannot let them erase us.
In 1969, the night of the Stonewall riot, was a very hot, muggy night. We were in the Stonewall [bar] and the lights came on. We all stopped dancing. The police came in.

They had gotten their payoff earlier in the week. But Inspector Pine came in-him and his morals squad-to spend more of the government's money.

We were led out of the bar and they cattled us all up against the police vans. The cops pushed us up against the grates and the fences. People started throwing pennies, nickels, and quarters at the cops.

And then the bottles started. And then we finally had the morals squad barricaded in the Stonewall building, because they were actually afraid of us at that time. They didn't know we were going to react that way.

We were not taking any more of this shit. We had done so much for other movements. It was time.

It was street gay people from the Village out front-homeless people who lived in the park in Sheridan Square outside the bar-and then drag queens behind them and everybody behind us. The Stonewall Inn telephone lines were cut and they were left in the dark.
Workers World’s Leslie Feinberg interviews Sylvia Rivera
Another person who was there speaks up…
Trans Icon Miss Major: 'We've Got to Reclaim Who the Fuck We Are'
Stonewall Uprising* veteran Miss Major Griffin-Gracy offers fighting words from a lifetime of advocacy.
By Zackary Drucker
November 21, 2018

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is a Stonewall Uprising veteran civil rights advocate from Chicago who has confronted the institutionalization and imprisonment of transgender women throughout her life. Miss Major moved to NYC in the early 1960s, and was a sex worker for years out of necessity. In New York, she met Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, who played key roles in the Stonewall riots. But Miss Major wasn’t around for the years following the Stonewall riots; she was sentenced to five years in prison after an altercation with the police.

Miss Major has spent forty years in activism, fighting against the prison system, racism, and transphobia in the United States. She is an award winning leader in social justice, and recently founded the organization House of Griffin-Gracy in Little Rock, Arizona.
She is now living there…
 I've started an organization down here that I got a non-profit status so that I can help the girls, and train them, and teach them how to negotiate through this world and the society and maintain some modicum of safety and strength and resilience, so that we can resist the bullshit and rebel against the crap that is holding us down. We used to accept this crap of: We're not worthy, and, We shouldn't exist, like this government is trying to push down our throats. We've got to revolt, and we’ve got to reclaim who the fuck we are and let these people realize, before they came along, we were honored and worshipped and appreciated and adored. If this world is going to get its act together, they have to support and put in the front to lead this revolution the people who are the most oppressed, which is my Black transgender community.
We can do so many productive things with anger and really be propelled in the face of injustice. The base of your politic is love, which is such an incredible gift to our community and to the entire world. Our opposition is fueled by a combination of anger and hate, though.

One of the things that my grandmother told me is: “Hate is like quicksand.” It's all-consuming. Once you get involved with that, it's going to suck you in and envelop you. We have to give people the room to be who they are, the courage to change and alter and grow. It’s kind of like plants: You gotta give it sun and water and let it develop as it needs to. Don't tie it down and make it grow the way you want. When I look at bonsai trees, they're so pretty to look at, but it's so hurtful to think of what we've done to them. We’ve done and stopped them from being what their full potential could be. I think of our community when I see them. Some of them adjust and look happy—they're pretty to look at. And some of them feel sad to me. I’ve even cried, child. It’s just like, Goddammit, Major, you big mush.
I love her analogy with the bonsai trees, when you realize that a bonsai tree is a tree that has been cut back and its growth stunted, isn’t that like a trans child who isn’t allowed to transition? Their growth is stunted and not allowed to reach their full potential?

In another interview Sylvia Rivera said,
Racism was central to the story of Stonewall; Rivera characterized the Stonewall Inn as “a white male bar for middle-class males to pick up young boys of different races.”
Never forget… we will not be erased!

*I love their use of "uprising"instead of "riot." They were fighting for their rights and rebelling against the oppression.

A Tale Of Two States

One state is trying to take away our rights another state is passing protections for us.
Bill gutting South Dakota transgender sports policy dies in Senate committeeSioux Falls Argus Leader
By Lisa Kaczke,
January 24, 2019

PIERRE — A bill to require transgender students to participate in South Dakota high school athletics based on their sex at birth rather than their gender identity was killed by a Senate committee on Thursday.

The Senate Education Committee passed in a 5-2 vote moving Senate Bill 49 to the 41st legislative day, effectively killing the bill on Thursday morning, after an hour of testimony. If it had passed, the bill would have voided the South Dakota High School Activities Association's policy, adopted in 2015, that allows transgender students to participate on sports teams that reflect their gender identities rather than the sex listed on their birth certificate.

The 2015 policy was created after the Legislature told SDHSAA to create a standard because schools were requesting it. The policy meets South Dakota's standards and the needs of South Dakotans, said Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission.

"It's not like we have kids showing up to school in a dress one day saying, 'I want to be on the basketball team.' That is not how this works. Our policy makes sure that everyone is protected, including the trans kids," Heinert said. "It's our job to give them the best life that we can and if playing a sport adds to their enrichment, why would we stand in the way?"
This is the latest attack by the bigots they keep probing for weaknesses in our rights, first it was bathrooms and now it is student athletes. Here in Connecticut because two trans athletes won the state championship they want to ban all trans athletes.

Meanwhile in New York state we are on a roll now that the Democrats control both chambers and the governorship.
NY bans transgender discrimination, conversion therapy
CBS6 Albany
By Associated Press
January 25th 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York has enacted a measure adding gender identity and gender expression to the state's anti-discrimination law, making it illegal to deny people a job, housing, education or public accommodations because they are transgender.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law on Friday, along with a bill prohibiting conversion therapy, in which a therapist tries to change a person's sexual orientation.

The bills passed last week after being blocked for years by Republican lawmakers. That changed when Democrats won control of the Senate in November.
What is the difference between the two states?

One the governing party is Democrat and one the governing is Republican. Want to guess which is which?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

We Face Institutional Barriers All The Time

But sometimes it is on purpose just humiliate us and make life hard and this is totally wrong!
Picture of 'transgender person' removing wig on official council survey provokes anger
'If the council thinks this is appropriate, how are their staff going to deal with trans people accessing services?' says campaigner
The Independent
By Chris Baynes
January 30, 2019

A council has been accused of “institutionalised bigotry” after using a picture of a person removing a wig to illustrate transgender people in a survey.

Essex County Council is facing a backlash over a public consultation on proposed library cuts which features an “insulting” question asking participants about their gender.

Two of the given options, male and female, are illustrated with photos of people giving a thumbs up. The third option, transgender, is accompanied by a clip art image apparently depicting a man taking off a long-haired wig.
Some who criticised the picture on social media said it initially appeared the “transgender” person was scratching their head in confusion. Others pointed out the question implied a trans person could not be male or female.
This is totally wrong!

There is nothing to justify using that photo. It is not even a case of “not think” this had to be done purposely to humiliate us.

There has been a follow-up on their survey…
Essex County Council removes ‘offensive’ transgender image from survey
Pink News UK
By Sofia Lotto Persio
30th January 2019

Essex County Council has decided to remove an image appearing to depict a trans person removing a wig from a survey about their local libraries.

The image, featured as part of a public consultation meant to research local residents’ opinion on the future of the libraries, caused outrage. A spokesperson for Essex County Council apologised for the offence it caused.

“We have listened to feedback and the image is being removed,” the spokesperson told PinkNews on Wednesday (January 30).
The statement read: “Firstly we would like to reassure those concerned that the image was specifically chosen to help communicate with people with learning disabilities.

“It was supplied by an organisation called Inspired Services, who work with people with learning disabilities to produce Valuing People Clipart, which is used by the Government and NHS England for easy read publications.

“However, we are sorry for any offence the image has caused and we will now consider whether this image is used in the future.”
I think that Inspired Services needs to go back and get re-inspired and get a little cultural understanding.

This Is Only The Beginning

Get ready for more of these cases now that judges are put their religion above the law.
The Knot removes Texas listing after venue refuses to host gay wedding
Yahoo Lifestyle*
By Sabrina Rojas Weiss
January 27, 2019

Texas couple Aaron Lucero and Jeffrey Cannon had just begun their wedding venue search when they got an unpleasant surprise: The owners of their first choice, The Venue at Waterstone, emailed to say they shouldn’t bother visiting because a gay wedding would be against God’s “plan and design for marriage.”

While Texas law doesn’t prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, this refusal of service was still “like a punch to the gut,” as Lucero told Out last week. The couple had made their list by searching popular wedding planning site The Knot, and the Venue at Waterstone did not indicate the owners’ LGBTQ ban in its listing. Lucero and Cannon, like other couples who have experienced similar rejections, say they’d like venues and wedding websites to do more to protect them.

“Our prayer is that God will one day open your hearts as well so that you will be able to welcome all of His children into your beautiful venue,” Cannon wrote in a reply to Waterstone owner Lyle Wise, which Lucero shared in a tweet. “It may not come until you have a loved one that is LGBT and is able to convince you that this is not a choice, as was the case with my family. Until that day comes however, we would petition you to please make your faith known to the public on your website and with so that other same sex couples do not have to go through the same rejection that we have gone through with you.”
There are going to be more and more of stores refusing our business just because we’re LGBTQ even in states that have protection for us. My prediction is that we are going to see more federal appeals to state laws placing them above the law.

In over 200 years history of our country if laws were “religiously neutral” you couldn’t be exempt from the law but judges are being appointed that are twisting the First Amendment to mean that you are above the law if you claim the law interferes with your “religious beliefs” and there is not religious test to see if that is really true or not.

Mark my words you are going to see this progress from beyond us to include discriminating against other religions and eventually to race and marital status.

*I have a problem with Yahoo putting LGBTQ+ in their "Lifestyle" section. Being LGBTQ+ is not a lifestyle!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bills That I Am Following This Session

There are a number of LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced this session…

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 That the general statutes be amended to require state agencies to
2 update all forms or applications used by the public that require the
3 person filling out such form or application to indicate a gender to
4 include a nonbinary gender option.
Statement of Purpose:
To require all state agency forms and applications to be updated with a non-binary gender option.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 That chapter 170 of the general statutes be amended to require that
2 local and regional boards of education ensure that students in middle
3 school and high school have equal access to gender-neutral bathroom
4 facilities.
Statement of Purpose:
To address the basic needs of gender nonconforming students by ensuring that they have access to safe bathroom facilities while in middle schools and high schools.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 That the general statutes be amended to establish a state-wide
2 coalition of providers, community centers, and researchers working
3 collectively to (1) advocate for state level policies and resources to
4 advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health, and (2)
5 help build capacity to foster a safer and more supportive state for all
6 LGBT residents.
Statement of Purpose:
To establish a statewide LGBT health and human services network to advance LGBT health and build capacity to foster a safer and more supportive state for LGBT residents.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 That title 53a of the general statutes be amended to provide that a
2 criminal defendant may not use the shock of learning that the victim of
3 the defendant's crime was gay or transgender to justify or excuse the
4 violence perpetrated by the defendant against the victim.
Statement of Purpose:
To ban gay and transgender panic as a criminal defense.

I have a bill tracker on each of them and I will let you all know when there is a change in status. Unfortunately the lobbyist who use to track them for us and let us know in advanced has retired so it might be just the day before the committee hearing that I find out about them.

We Are Being Attacked All Over World.

With governments looking the other way to the brutal murders of trans women.

There was a horrendous murder of a trans in Brazil (I won’t write about but you can read it here), but one thing I will quote from the article is this,
The South American nation recently elected their own version of President Donald Trump. Newly installed far-right President Jair Bolsonaro was heavily supported by evangelicals and the religious right. He is notoriously anti-LGBTQ.
We see this all around the world, where the government demonizes us the violence against us goes up. Here in the U.S. hate crimes have increased…
Hate Crimes Increase for the Third Consecutive Year, F.B.I. Reports
The New York Times
By John Eligon
Nov. 13, 2018

Hate crime reports increased 17 percent last year from 2016, the F.B.I. said on Tuesday, rising for the third consecutive year as heated racial rhetoric and actions have come to dominate the news.

Of the more than 7,100 hate crimes reported last year, nearly three out of five were motivated by race and ethnicity, according to the annual report. Religion and sexual orientation were the other two primary motivators.

In addition to the tense political climate, the increase also points to a growing awareness among various law enforcement agencies of the importance of identifying and reporting hate crimes to the F.B.I.

Reporting hate crimes to the F.B.I. is currently voluntary. Last year, roughly a thousand more agencies submitted data than those that did the previous year.
Much of the country’s political discourse in recent years has been fueled by deep racial divisions. Controversies have ignited this week over a photo of high school students flashing what appears to be a Nazi salute, and a joke by Cindy Hyde-Smith, a white United States senator from Mississippi who ran against Mike Espy, who is black. Ms. Hyde-Smith said that she would attend a public hanging if a supporter asked her to.
A number of the politicians are supporters of white supremacists. Here in Connecticut the Hartford Courant reported a candidate dropped out because,
Gagliardi came forward to fill the vacancy left by the Oct. 12 resignation of the initial GOP candidate Steve Baleshiski, a 22-year-old Southington college student whose online comments against a Parkland High school shooting survivor, immigrants, Islam and other topics sparked an uproar. Baleshiski dropped out after the Republican leadership in the two-town district withdrew their support of him as their candidate.
Then on the national level NBC reported
Rep. Steve Stivers, chairman of the House GOP campaign arm, excoriated Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King on Tuesday for espousing white supremacist viewpoints online and in public remarks.

"Congressman Steve King's recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior," Stivers, of Ohio, said in a tweet.
The haters are emboldened and are running for office and worst, they are getting elected.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Trans People In Florida… Beware.

There are areas in Florida where there have been a number trans women murdered.
Transgender community facing dangers in Suncoast community
My Sun Coast
By Jess Doudrick
January 25, 2019

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Twenty-six transgender people in the U.S. last year were violently killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign, with many of those cases involving some type of anti-transgender bias. One of those alleged victims [Yeah right! “Alleged victims” she shot herself multiple times and then she threw herself in to the bushes.] was from North Port.

Last September, North Port Police identified a 20-year-old shooting victim as Tyren Kinard. Kinard was shot multiple times, and the was body left in a bush on the side of the road. According to local LGBTQ advocates, Kinard was known in the LGBTQ community as Londonn Moore.

It was a case that Vanessa Nichols said she followed closely. That’s because her son, Dylan, is transgender.
Most of those murdered were blacks just trying to survive any way they can. Many were disowned by their families, many dropped out of school because of bullying or violence and the school system turned a blind eye at the violence.
With all of these dangers that the LGBTQ community faces, how can the rest of the community help? First, advocates say to stop stopping the conversation. Second, educate yourself and those around you. Third, get to know people in the LGBTQ community.
I think the last is important… get to know a trans person.

A few weeks ago I was reading an article about a study in bias.

They were researching about how to stop the polarization of the country, conservative v. liberals; the suburbs v. the city.

What they researches did was to bring people from the suburbs and the city together in groups, they gave them several dinners where they had social time together before the “focus group.” The researches lead them to believe they were studying the focus group topic but in reality they were their conservative and liberal views. What they found was as they got to know one another their conservative views moved more toward the center and the same thing happened to the liberals.

Their conclusion; that when you get to know the people outside of your community it becomes less about them v. us but more about “we.”

During the summer I go up to my cottage on the Cape while I’m there I meet the people who live there year round.

I visit the Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and there are two ladies who collect the fee and answered questions and I got to know them. Many times I go to restaurant there on the beach and they got to know me as a regular customer, the same goes for another restaurant that I eat at regularly and bring other trans friends.

That is how we bring about change.

One Thing Is Certain

We have no idea what Trump is going to do next.

There used to be a saying that a person is a “loose cannon” and for certain I can say that is what Trump is and that is a very, very bad thing for a head of government to be.

First, why did the shutdown happen?

Trump originally said he would sign the  continuing resolution but in December but then he backed off and said he wouldn’t sign any bill that didn’t give him 5 billion dollars for his wall. Why did he change his mind?
Limbaugh, Coulter and friends bullied Trump into shutdown. Don't trash him for ending it.
USA TODAY Opinion By Scott Douglas Gerber
January 26, 2019

Right-wing pundits are not happy that President Donald Trump has agreed to reopen the federal government while he negotiates with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Congress over funding for border security.

Upon hearing the news, conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted “Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.”

Michael Malice — an anarchist author, columnist and media personality — posted a similarly mean-spirited tweet: “Apparently a wall isn’t as good as a cave.”

Tomi Lahren, a Fox Nation host, tweeted “It’s President Trump, not President Pelosi. Act like it.”

Breitbart, the alt-Right brainchild of former White House chief strategist to President Trump Steve Bannon, proclaimed on its website “GOVERNMENT OPEN … AND BORDER. NO WALL.”

As the saying goes, with friends like these who needs enemies?
Why would these want to tear down the nation?

May answer is greed. They know that their listening base wants to hear them attack the Democrats and the government. The article goes on to say…
To make the point another way, President Trump’s reactionary critics need to remember that there are more important things in life than trying to sell books, increasing TV and radio ratings, generating more page views on a website, and securing additional followers on Twitter. And make no mistake about it, crass self-interest is what motivates these commentators.
They don’t care about people losing their jobs and their homes. They don’t care that people lives were put in danger air traffic controllers who couldn’t afford not to get paid or the long lines at the air ports TSA because the inspectors couldn’t pay for day care for their children. All they cared about is their pocketbooks.

The pro-Trump Washington Examiner a paper owned Philip Anschutz who according to the Media Bias Fact Check is
…an American billionaire entrepreneur who describes himself as a “conservative Christian.” Anschutz is also the owner of the right leaning Weekly Standard and has donated millions of dollars to right leaning causes, including anti-LGBT groups, such as the Family Research Council, which has been labeled a hate group. The Washington Examiner is funded through an advertising and subscription model.
Trump's border wall drama isn't over. This is just intermission
By Daniel DePetris
January 25, 2019

Trump, however, remained defiant. At the same time he asked lawmakers to work in unison for the benefit of the nation, he threatened to use the nuclear option if Congress can’t come up with a solution. "I have a very powerful alternative, but I did not want to use it at this time," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. "Hopefully, it will be unnecessary.”
Democrats, who are as strongly opposed to a border wall as Trump is enamored by it, would not be powerless bystanders if the president tried to do an end-run around Congress. They could technically prohibit any money from being used for construction of a border barrier through legislation, although GOP opposition would likely kill it. They could file a lawsuit against Trump, arguing that his emergency declaration is not, in fact, an emergency, but rather an instigation of an artificial crisis in order to justify an unjustifiable project.

A lawsuit would work itself through the court system and wind up in the Supreme Court, where the case could prove to be one of the most important trials of executive power since the fight over military commissions in the George W. Bush era. The border wall could become a proxy war between the executive and legislative branches, a classic battle over constitutional power that the judiciary would have to arbitrate. If Trump loses that fight, the precedent it would set would impact the flexibility of presidents in the future to tap into their emergency powers.
Trump supporters haven't giving up and see this as a continuing battle/

In the CT Post they have an editorial by the Washington Post…
Shutdown was proof of Trump's stark incapacity for leadership

President Donald Trump's temper tantrum over Congress' refusal to fund a border wall paralyzed much of the government for five weeks, sapped the morale and wallets of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and low-wage contractors, left millions of Americans disgusted and dismayed, and diminished the United States in the eyes of the world. The impasse was proof of the president's stark incapacity for leadership, which he reconfirmed

Friday by threatening to re-shutter the government in three weeks

In announcing his non-deal with Congress - in fact, it is more cease-fire than solution - Trump rehashed his tired and truth-free arguments, asserting against logic and evidence that building a massive new border wall, to supplement hundreds of miles of barriers already in place along high- trafficked segments of the border, would cause crime to plummet and drug trafficking to dry up.
If Trump resists that - if he reverts to another shutdown in which he again treats as pawns hundreds of thousands of the "incredible" federal workers he lauded on Friday - he will simply pile failure upon failure. If he declares an emergency as a means to divert federal funds for building a wall, he will invite litigation in what amounts to a profoundly undemocratic end run.

Trump has failed as a dealmaker. Congress might yet salvage something worthwhile from this sorry episode.
The thing is that we have no idea what Trump is going to do, there is great uncertainly throughout the world. Our allies don’t know which way he will jump, our enemies don’t know. Wall Street doesn’t know. The American people don’t know. Worst of all the federal employees don’t know.

And that is no way to run a government.

I’m Tired, Tired Of Reporting Bigotry

It seems like now a day whenever I search Google News or see an article on Facebook it is always bad news, there is very little good news.
UA transgender policy hits home
Worker presses system on health care as Texas case resumes
Arkansas Democrat  Gazette
By Jaime Adame
January 28, 2019

FAYETTEVILLE -- Two years ago, the University of Arkansas System halted employee health care plan coverage of hormone treatments and gender-reassignment surgeries for its transgender workers.

The decision meant Kacee Sparks, a mailroom worker and student on the Fayetteville campus, had to bear the cost when she began taking doctor-prescribed hormone treatments. Sparks, a transgender woman, called the treatments "a complete life changer," crediting them with lifting her from a deep depression.

"I would say that they're essential and absolutely necessary," Sparks said.

Now a federal court case in Texas is set to resume this year after a lengthy delay, the same case cited by the UA System in 2017 in its decision to drop coverage that had been offered for only a few months. The case in Texas involves a legal challenge to a 2016 federal rule applied to the nondiscrimination provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
On their website they originally said…
The department's website describes the rule as, in part, a prohibition "against discrimination on the basis of gender identity."
And now they don’t cover medically necessary treatment for us, it would seem to me that they are now discriminating against us. After all if they were covering us to prevent discrimination and now they are not covering us then by their own words it is discrimination.
"With that ruling (and with the ongoing challenges and modifications to the ACA) and considering the long-term plans-of-treatment involved in gender dysphoria, the University, on January 10, 2017, announced the decision to suspend gender dysphoria coverage pending the final legal outcome of the injunction or further clarification of the ACA coverage guidelines," Bobbitt wrote, noting the UA System's coverage extended through March 6, 2017.
Don’t count on the courts to rectify this, Trump and the Republicans have been packing the courts with anti-LGBT judges who put the Bible before the Constitution.

The Republican Senate blocked over 200 judicial appointments by President Obama and now they are stuffing the courts with judges some who have never sat on a bench. The judges have been recommended by the Family Research Council or by the Heritage Foundation a conservative think tank.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I Wonder If This Is True

Most of the research that I have seen says trans people make up between 0.2% to 0.5% of the population but surveys of students are showing about 2% of the population is trans.
CDC: Nearly 2 percent of high school students identify as transgender — and more than one-third of them attempt suicide
The Washington Post
By Valerie Strauss
January 24, 2019

Nearly 2 percent of high school students in the United States identify as transgender, according to data published Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other data show:
  • 27 percent feel unsafe at school or traveling to or from campus.
  • 35 percent are bullied at school. 
  • 35 percent attempt suicide.
Amit Paley, chief executive and executive director of the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, called the report’s findings “groundbreaking.”

“This is the first time we’ve had a federal government report of this magnitude showing that transgender youth exist in this country and in larger numbers than researchers had previously estimated,” he said in an interview. The report, he said, shows “the very real health risks” transgender youth face in school.
I bet you that Trump & company doesn’t like this report.
The data published by the CDC comes from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 10 states and nine large urban school districts. The survey is conducted biennially among a representative sample of U.S. high school students in the ninth through 12th grades. The findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, an epidemiological digest with public health information and recommendations sent to the CDC by state health departments.
There is another survey from last year that had about the same results.
More U.S. teens identify as transgender, survey finds
USA Today
By Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Writer
Feb. 5, 2018

CHICAGO – Far more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options, new research suggests.

The study looked at students in ninth and 11th grade and estimated that nearly 3 percent are transgender or gender nonconforming, meaning they don’t always self-identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes kids who refer to themselves using neutral pronouns like “them” instead of “he” or “she.”

“Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect,” said lead author Nic Rider, a University of Minnesota postdoctoral fellow who studies transgender health.

The study is an analysis of a 2016 statewide survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota teens.

Nearly 2,200 identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. The study found that these kids reported worse mental and physical health than other kids, echoing results seen in previous research. Bullying and discrimination are among possible reasons for the differences, Rider said, although the survey didn’t ask.
That is more than a factor of ten from the general population and I have to wonder if the increase is because students feel safer now so more are coming out of the closet.

Everyone Is Against It…

…Except forthe current administration and their religious bigots. A number former military generals are speaking out against the military ban on trans servicemembers.
Retired Gen. McChrystal on military's transgender ban: 'I think it's a mistake'
By Emma Seslowsky, CNN
January 25, 2019

Stanley McChrystal, a retired four-star general in the Army, says the ban on transgender people serving in the military is a mistake.

"I think it's a mistake to lose that talent ... somebody with those attributes, the willingness and the capability to serve, not being welcome, is a negative message to send," McChrystal told David Axelrod on The Axe Files, a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.

From leading the Joint Special Operations Command and NATO forces during the war in Afghanistan to researching the qualities of successful leaders, highlighted in his book, "Leaders: Myth and Reality," McChrystal knows a lot about the common principles of leadership.
"Leadership is this result of this interaction between individuals, the moment, context and followers. ... In many times, the biggest common factor is when all of those things happen, those leaders did choose to lead."
Leadership is something that Trump doesn’t know… he lived all his life with a silver spoon in his mouth and a daddy who bailed him out when he got in trouble.

Even though this is two years it stills how the generals think about the ban/
Trump wants to ban transgender military troops. His top general feels differently.
The Washington Post
By Dan Lamothe
September 26, 2017

The Pentagon’s top general told Congress on Tuesday that he has advised President Trump to let transgender service members continue serving, raising fresh questions about the commander in chief’s willingness to entertain such recommendations from senior military leaders.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that transgender troops have served with honor.

“I believe any individual who meets the physical and mental standards, and is worldwide deployable and is currently serving, should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve,” Dunford said, speaking at a hearing examining his reappointment as chairman.

The general added that he would continue advising Trump and other leaders that transgender service members who follow regulations should not be ejected on the basis of their gender identity.

“Senator, I can promise that that will be my advice,” he said, in response to a question from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). “What I’ve just articulated is the advice I’ve provided in private, and I’ve just provided in public.”
It is all the religious bigots like those from the Family Research Council that are advising Trump to ban us.

The Military Times reported last April that,
“In the last two weeks Gen. [Mark] Milley, Gen. [Robert] Neller, and Adm. [John] Richardson have told me that they have seen zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale as a result of open transgender service in their respective service branches,” Gillibrand said, referring to the chiefs of staff of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy, respectively.

Goldfein said he was not aware of any issues with transgender service members, but emphasized that each case is unique. Goldfein said among the transgender service members he had talked to, he had found a “commitment to serve by each of them.”
And then there is this…
Four Retired General and Flag Officers Identify Significant Error in D.C. Appeals Court Ruling on Transgender Troops
By The Palm Center
January 8, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Jan. 8, 2019 – In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s deliberations on President Trump’s transgender military ban this Friday, the Palm Center today released the following statement by three retired Army generals and one retired Navy admiral who identified a significant error in last week’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“The D.C. Court of Appeals made an error when it lifted one of the injunctions that protect transgender members of our military. Without that error, the court likely would have left the injunction in place. The court incorrectly believes that an implementation plan produced by former Defense Secretary James Mattis is different from President Trump’s original tweeted policy. The court is wrong. The President’s tweets and the Mattis ban are the same.
The only reason why they want to ban us is their bigotry and hate for anything LGBT and we are the low hanging fruit. If they win, the gays and lesbians servicemembers are next.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Saturday 9: My Favorite Things

Sam’s Saturday 9: My Favorite Things (2018)

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

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

1) This week's artist, Jennie Abrahamson, is very happy living in Stockholm, but she refers to Paris as "a flirt." She enjoys her time there so much she always wants to return. Is there a place you've visited that tugs at your heart and imagination, tempting you to return?
I would like to go back up to Acadia National Park and maybe up to Nova Scotia and the Cabot Trail. The last time I was in Bar Harbor was back when my grandniece was baptized and now she is 17 years old.

2) Jennie has said her music has been heavily influenced by 80s pop, which was popular in her early teen years. Are your favorite songs the ones you listened to when you were growing up?
Yes I still listen to the bands of the sixties and early seventies. But now I am on a kick listening to the Big Bands like Glenn Miller.

3) "My Favorite Things" is from The Sound of Music. Crazy Sam's high school claim to fame was playing Sister Margaretta in the senior class production. Though not a big part, her performance lives on because relatives love embarrassing her with pictures of her in an especially unflattering nun's habit. Who took an embarrassing photo of you? What were you doing?
Sleeping. Someone snapped a photo of me sleeping at a party at a friend’s apartment, after a sleepness night I dozed off.

4) The lyrics celebrate "brown paper packages tied up in strings." What was in the last box you received in the mail?
From Amazon, I received a label marker.

5) It mentions doorbells and sleighbells. What's the most recent bell or alarm that you heard?
Hmm… the last time I remember bells ringing was when I was walking across the Quinnipiac University campus and the clock tower bells were ringing the hour; I was a guest lecturer for a class there.

6) This song has nice things to say about cold weather, specifically snowflakes and mittens. What do you like about winter?
Spring. Winter makes you appreciate spring more.
So far this January we only had one winter storm.

7) Dog bites and bee stings are singled out as things that can leave us feeling sad. What's most recently given you the blues?
I think the lack of daylight.

8) In 2018, when this song was released, Roger Federer won the Australian Open. Are you good with a racket?
Ha… this doesn’t even need a comment from me, I think you all know me by now.

9) Random question -- Your local zoo announced the hatching of three snowy owlets. All males. You won the honor of naming them. Go ahead.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

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, January 25, 2019

Federal Funding Discrimination

I firmly believe that federal funding should not be used to promote discrimination, that they can’t use religion to hide their bigotry.
A Christian ministry won’t change its Christians-only criteria for foster-care parents. Is that okay with Trump?
The Washington Post
By Laura Meckler
January 6, 2019

The Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville, S.C., makes clear from the start that only Christian parents need apply for its foster-care program. On its forms, candidates are asked to offer personal testimony of their faith or salvation.

“Our existence and identity is tied to our faith in God and belief in Jesus Christ,” said Reid Lehman, Miracle Hill’s president and chief executive. He said the ministry would drop out of the foster-care program rather than work with parents who aren’t Christian.

That policy, in place for 30 years, runs counter to an Obama-era regulation barring religious discrimination in the federally funded foster-care program. Now, with Miracle Hill’s funding threatened, the Trump administration is being asked by the governor of South Carolina to let Miracle Hill participate anyway.

It’s the latest clash in a long-running debate over religious freedom and government social services, as three successive administrations have considered how much religion is too much religion when agencies are collecting taxpayer funds. The Trump administration’s response in the South Carolina case will signal whether it will adhere to modest limits imposed by the Bush and Obama administrations or whether it will allow religious entities a freer hand.
And it is not just in North Carolina it is also happening in other states.
In Philadelphia, the city cut off Catholic Social Services from its foster-care program after learning that the agency would not license same-sex couples. Catholic Social Services is challenging the decision in court.

In Michigan, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state over its policy of contracting with child-placement agencies that use religious criteria to turn away gay and lesbian couples who wish to be foster or adoptive parents.

“States have an obligation to care for children in the public child-welfare system,” said Leslie Cooper, an ACLU attorney. “When they hire agencies to care for them . . . they should not be using religious criteria to deny children access to families that they desperately need.”
Lambda Legal said in their blog,
HHS granted South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster request that taxpayer-funded agencies contracted with the State to provide child welfare services be exempted from federal rules prohibiting discrimination and be allowed to work only with families who meet their religious litmus test.

In addition to violating the principle of separation of church and state, the waiver violates a host of statutory and constitutional protections which apply to children in foster care and allows South Carolina agencies to turn away parents trying to provide children with good homes.
Public money should be used for the benefit of everyone. You shouldn’t have to be a member of a certain religion, you shouldn’t have to be a certain nationality, you shouldn’t have to be of a certain sexual orientation or gender identity.

It’s for the benefit everyone!

When They Are Out To Get You…

There is not much you can do at but afterward you can sue! These cops were looking for anything to arrest her on.
Transgender woman sues NYPD officers over 'false personation' arrest
In her suit against New York City and three police officers, Linda Dominguez says she was hit with a "bogus" charge of knowingly misrepresenting her identity.
NBC Out News
By The Associated Press
January 24, 2019

New York City police officers charged a transgender woman with "false personation" and used pink handcuffs to mock her after they arrested her for walking through a park after hours, a lawsuit charges.

Linda Dominguez says in her lawsuit filed Tuesday that she was hit with the "bogus" charge of false personation — or knowingly misrepresenting her identity —even though she explained that she was transgender and gave the officers both her current name and the traditionally masculine first name she used before she legally changed her name to Linda.

The lawsuit says the 43-year-old Dominguez "had no intent to deceive the police or prevent them from learning her name or her identity" when she was arrested April 18.
According to the lawsuit, which names New York City and three police officers as defendants, Dominguez was walking through a Bronx park to her apartment when officers stopped her for being in the park after it was closed.
The officers took her to the station house, where she explained to a Spanish-speaking officer that she was transgender and her legal name was now Linda, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says the officers placed Dominguez in a cell, handcuffed to a bar or pipe using pink handcuffs, and left her in the handcuffs all night.
Let’s face it the cops just wanted to give her a hard time and humiliate her.

I am at a meeting this morning at the Department on aging talking about the problems we face as we get older.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Getting Away With Murder

What do you think if you could murder someone in cold blood and everyone know you did it but you want out of the courtroom found innocent of murder or getting a reduced sentence?

Well that is happening all over the country.
Texas man gets probation after using ‘gay panic’ defense to explain killing his neighbor
LGBTQ Nation
By Bil Browning
April 27, 2018

James Miller of Austin, Texas was found not guilty of manslaughter and murder by a jury after killing his neighbor, Daniel Spencer. After Miller used the “gay panic” defense, claiming Spencer made a pass at him, the jury found him guilty of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced him to 10 years of probation.
Or this case in Ohio,
Ohio Murderer Tries to Avoid Death Penalty with Offensively Ridiculous 'Gay Panic' Defense
Cleveland Scene
By BJ Colangelo
May 24, 2018

The Ohio Parole Board was presented with a laughably offensive plea for mercy today as death row inmate Robert Van Hook tried to claim "homosexual panic" as the reason he fatally strangled, stabbed and mutilated the body of David Self after luring him out of a gay bar Cincinnati in 1985 before fleeing to Florida.

By definition, a homosexual panic or "gay panic" defense is when the defendant claims they acted in a state of violent temporary insanity because of unwanted homosexual advances from another individual. Closely related, "trans panic" is related to an assailant(s) reportedly engaging in sexual relations unaware of the victim's birth gender until seeing them naked, or further into or post coitus.
Well now in Connecticut law makers are introducing a bill banning trans/gay panic defenses.
Leader seeks to end “gay and transgender panic” defense
Danbury Times
By Emilie Munson
January 21, 2019

HARTFORD — Several Democratic lawmakers have filed bills to ban “gay and transgender panic” as a criminal defense.

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, D-New Haven, introduced this legislation, as did Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, D-Bethel, and Rep. Jeff Currey, D-East Hartford. Allie-Brennan and Currey are the General Assembly’s only openly gay lawmakers.
Of course they have to point out that two co-signers are gay.

The opposition (i.e. Republicans) point out that there has not been a case in Connecticut, Senator Looney replied,
Looney said Thursday he was unaware of the number of occasions the defense has been used in Connecticut.

“I think it is needed everywhere basically to make sure this is not a way for people to use bigotry as a defense for the commission of heinous crimes,” said Looney. “Theoretically, you could say that if this defense is allowed, someone could say they have a visceral hatred of a certain racial or ethnic group, and then that would excuse an act of violence against that group.”
We need to pass the proposed bill SB 58
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General

Assembly convened:
1 That title 53a of the general statutes be amended to provide that a
2 criminal defendant may not use the shock of learning that the victim of
3 the defendant's crime was gay or transgender to justify or excuse the
4 violence perpetrated by the defendant against the victim.

Statement of Purpose:
To ban gay and transgender panic as a criminal defense
I have a legislation tracker on the bill.

Hate Legislation Again

This time it is coming out from Utah where they want to ban birth certificates.

At one time even the Republicans saw the advantage in allowing us to change our birth certificates, back in the sixties the Republicans knew that for us to get a job we needed a birth certificate to reflect our true gender. In the mid-sixties  ten states including Republican states changed their laws to allow birth certificates to be change to permit us to be productive members of society. But now…
Bill bars transgender Utahns from legally changing their sex on birth certificates
Utah Policy
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
22 January 2019

A bill for the 2019 Legislature has been filed that would stop transgender Utahns from legally changing their birth sex.

“It is an egregious step backward for transgender Utahns,” said Troy Williams head of Equality Utah, an LGBTQ civil rights group. “It is transgender-phobic legislation.”

Not so, says Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, sponsor of HB153. You can read HB153 here.

Nelson’s bill defines gender at birth and then deletes language that currently allows a judge to grant an order allowing a transgender person later in life to change his or her birth gender on official county birth records.

Nelson says he has no ulterior motives in his bill – it is just a clear attempt to stop changes to a “vital state record” – the birth certificate – when none should be made.

“It is a fiction to change the sex designation on a birth certificate – a vital record -- based on fluctuating gender,” he said.
Okay what is the purpose of a birth certificate? First is to provide record of a parentage, and second to provide a record of citizenship. It is not a historic record!

Now do you think that this has something to do with it?
Nelson is a partner in the law firm of Kirton McKonkie, the LDS Church’s official law firm.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is officially against same-sex marriage and teaches that a person is born their natural sex at birth as part of a divine plan for that individual.

The church also teaches that members should do genealogical research of ancestors and others to have a baptism for the dead – and changing official county birth records’ gender could interfere in future such research.

Nelson says his employment and personal religion have nothing whatsoever to do with HB153, nor the reason he is sponsoring it.
If you believe that, I have… well you know the saying.

This is just another blatant case of the Republican to attack all things trans or lesbian or gay. They just want to use their hate for political gains

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

You All Saw Or Heard What The Supreme Court Ruled Yesterday

It was a disaster!

Yeah the ruling just lifted the ban on banning trans servicemembers, however I think that this kind of showed the thinking of the Supreme Court

I know so many former servicemembers who served with distinction and honor; this is a slap in the face to them.

I few years ago I had the honor of talking over brunch
to Kristin Beck a former SEAL Team 6 member.
Transgender Navy SEAL calls 'bulls---' on Trump admin saying transgender troops aren't as lethal or effective
  • A transgender former US Navy SEAL has called "bulls---" on President Donald Trump's reasoning behind the ban on military service for some transgender people.
  • Kristin Beck, a decorated veteran of the SEALs' most elite unit, said the Department of Justice and the Pentagon's assertion that the lethality and effectiveness of the military would decrease with transgender service was false.
  • Beck previously called out Trump on the ban, telling the president to say it to her face.
Business Insider
By Alex Lockie
January 22, 2019

Beck, who served for 20 years in the Navy with SEAL Teams 1, 5, and, eventually, the elite 6, called the Trump administration's position on transgender military service "bulls---."

Beck told Business Insider on Tuesday that the Pentagon had been "intentionally confusing" on the issue of trans service and that it failed to even define the concepts of lethality and effectiveness.

"I was a Navy SEAL for 20 years - I was pretty lethal," she said.

Beck deployed 13 times, including stints in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, earning the Bronze Star award for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat.

The "idea transgender effects 'Lethality and effectiveness' which is total BULL SHIT," she tweeted on Tuesday, describing the Supreme Court's decision as "wrong."

She added: "18 other Nations ALLOW #Trans service members... zero issues!"

Beck has previously had tough words for Trump, responding to his initial announcement of the ban in July 2017 - which shocked the Pentagon - with an open challenge.

"Let's meet face-to-face and you tell me I'm not worthy," Beck told Business Insider. "Transgender doesn't matter. Do your service."
This is the type of servicemember Trump is banning.

Many trans servicemembers are highly training in the job that they are doing in critical positions  that cost the military millions to train and all that knowledge will be lost.

All the NATO countries allow trans people to serve in their militaries except one… the United States. Our troops served alongside of trans troops in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

I’m A Believer…

NOT! Not in this case it will take more than just appointing a woman as president of the Human Rights Campaign.
It’s time for the Human Rights Campaign to be led by a woman or person of color
LGBTQ Nation
By Daniel Villarreal
January 19, 2019

In November 2018, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), announced his intention to step down after serving the organization for seven years.

As the search begins for someone new to head the world’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, the D.C.-area newspaper The Washington Blade has wondered if the HRC should try and find a woman or person of color to lead it.

The Washington Blade writes that the HRC will “play a crucial role in defending the LGBTQ community against the Trump administration’s attacks, pushing for the Equality Act in Congress and promoting a pro-LGBTQ presidential candidate in the 2020 election.”

As such, the publication floated the possibility that Kate Kendell, former head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, or Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, might make great possible candidates. Kendell, however, said she had no interest in the position.
The sting of being stabbed in the back still hurts.

I was warned but I was young and naïve and I didn’t listen to my elders in advocacy.

What will it take for me to trust the HRC, five or six years once that have not just one or two token trans people on their Board. Out of the 29 members of their Board I would want see ten minorities on their Board including at least 5 trans people and they also have to start including minorities in their staff. Buzzfeed reported in 2015…
Internal Report: Major Diversity, Organizational Problems At Human Rights Campaign
A "White Men's Club," the report calls HRC. HRC's top officials acknowledged the report's findings, pointing to more than 20 steps being taken to address the issues.

WASHINGTON — Staff at the Human Rights Campaign last fall described the working environment at the nation's largest LGBT rights group as "judgmental," "exclusionary," "sexist," and "homogenous," according to a sharply critical report that was commissioned by HRC and obtained by BuzzFeed News.
Three elements of the report, which was conducted by The Pipeline Project, were provided to BuzzFeed from an anonymous source: a snapshot of the findings, a summary of the findings, and a detailed report from the group.

"Leadership culture is experienced as homogenous — gay, white, male," the report stated. "Exclusion was broad-based and hit all identity groups within HRC. A judgmental working environment, particularly concerning women and feminine-identified individuals, was highlighted in survey responses."
HRC right now is the epitome of “GAY Inc.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Is It A Vendetta?

With the Trump administration anything is possible that’s why when a U.S. trans woman is stranded in another country and the State Department will not issue her a new passport you have to wonder if it is the result of her activism against the current administration.
A US transgender activist is stuck in Sweden. The UN wants to investigate.
By Rupa Shenoy
January 22, 2019

Danni Askini knew she had a dangerous job as the founder of a Gender Justice League, a transgender rights advocacy organization in Seattle, Washington. She’s a transgender woman and is used to occasional threats.

But after she and others sued the Trump administration over its transgender military ban, the threats became constant and specific, Askini says.
After threats were made and an attack while she was driving Askini decided to get out of the country until things quieted down, then her problems with the State Department began.
At that point Askini and her family decided she needed to leave the country. But when she tried to renew her passport, she says officials told her that she had obtained it fraudulently because she didn’t provide documentation including her gender at birth. A State Department official says there has been no policy change in regard to transgender applicants, and, although they can’t comment on any individual’s application or circumstances, they are committed to treating all passport applicants fairly and with respect, including transgender individuals. 

Askini's congresswoman, Democrat Pramila Jayapal, intervened to get Askini a temporary passport. Askini went to Sweden, where her ex-husband lives.  
And that is when her problems with the State Department began.
State Department Revoking Trans Women's Passports
The Trump administration is launching another attack on transgender Americans.
The Advocate
By Ariel Sobel
July 30, 2018

The State Department has refused to renew the passports of multiple transgender women, even though documents identifying them as female have already been approved, reports Them.
She said the U.S. Passport Office told her in June that after 20 years of having a passport that matched her gender identity, she needed to provide proof of gender transition.
Other important notes: 1. I have already showed them a birth certificate with my current legal name (which it has been since 1999) and my legal gender as "Female". They claim this is not the "original" because I had previous names. The "original" documents no longer exist.
— Danni Askini (@danniaskini) June 30, 2018
Danni Askini, whose documents have read "female" since she transitioned in 1998 at age 16, was denied the right to renew her passport because "failed to disclose” that she was transgender, she told the site.
“Make no mistake, this was an intentional action by the State Department to withhold recognizing my gender,” said Askini, who is executive director of the Gender Justice League.
So now she is stuck in Sweden with no passport and is seeking asylum there. Gay Star News reported…
She worries she may be imprisoned or detained by ICE if the State Department doesn’t accept proof of her United States citizenship, despite being born in Maine.

Though she believes her chances to be slim, Askini is seeking asylum in Sweden due to these fears.
Let’s face the Trump administration hates our guts and want us to go away.

News Flash… It Is A Sad Day

It is a day of victory for bigotry and hate the Supreme Court just banned us from serving in our country military!
Supreme Court allows transgender military ban to go into effect
By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
January 22, 2019

The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational.

The Justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but will allow the ban to go forward while the lower courts work through it.

The four liberal justices on the Court objected to allowing the administration's policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military to go into effect.

The policy, first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter, and later officially released by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.

The court's move is a victory for the Trump administration. While government lawyers wanted the Court to take up the case, they also fought to allow the ban to go into effect while the case plays out in the lower courts.

"Today's dual rulings on the transgender ban allow the controversial policy to go into effect for now, but also allow the appeals to go forward in the lower courts," said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analysis and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.
Sadly my worst fears are coming to fruition, the unethical packing of the Supreme Court justices who want to put their bigotry and the Bible ahead of the Constitution.

The ruling lifts the ban on blocking the Executive Order while the case is being heard, but it also signals that the court is predisposed to allowing Trump to ban us from the military.

Bigotry and hate just became the law of the land.

Update: 1/23/19 @ 9:30AM
This interview of Jennifer Levi on the Rachel Maddow show helps clear up the status the ban on the military ban.

I have worked with Jennifer Levi for over a decade fighting for trans rights.

Whenever There Is Trans Legislation You Can Count On One Thing…

…That the opposition will use fear of trans people as part of their effort to defeat the bill.
Editorial: On transgender issue, choose facts over fear
Argus Leader Editorial Board
January 21, 2019

Here we go again.

Despite past failed attempts to sanction discriminatory treatment of transgender high school students, the South Dakota Legislature is plodding forth with yet another ill-fated proposal.

Republican lawmakers Jim Bolin and Thomas Brunner have introduced legislation aimed at sinking a South Dakota Activities Association policy that allows transgender students to participate on sports teams that reflect their gender identities rather than the biological sex listed on their birth certificate.

The SDHSAA policy was crafted in 2015 after a survey showed that 77 percent of South Dakota high school superintendents wanted a statewide directive on the transgender issue, just as 44 other states have done. It calls for an independent hearing officer to review school and medical transcripts and personal statements before rendering a decision on eligibility.
Bolin has attacked the SDHSAA policy in the past with bills that passed the House before stumbling in the Senate, where less reactionary leaders were mindful of potential lawsuits that could put local school boards in a bind, not to mention the harmful effect of further targeting transgender students.
This piece of legislation is aimed at one thing… to rally the Republican voter base.

A judge saw through the hate,
The judge called the school board’s arguments in attempting to forbid the student to use the restroom corresponding to his gender identity “resoundingly unpersuasive.”
The Republicans have been losing the “bathroom battle” obsession so now they turned their focus at trans athletes.

Here in Connecticut two trans women student athletes won in trans & field and the mothers’ of the women that lost are trying to change the rules for trans student athletes. Published reports say that they are looking for a friendly legislator to introduce the bill (here in CT the deadline to introduce bills has past, a committee can still introduce a bill, and there are also amendments for a bill and there is no limit to when an amendment can be introduced).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Allies Speak Out (Part 2)

When we speak up about our rights we seen as biased but when an ally speaks up they are speaking from the heart. This ally doesn’t have any connections to the trans community and speaks from the heart.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turns up on Donkey Kong stream to back trans rights
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
21st January 2019

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned up on a viral Twitch livestream of Donkey Kong 64 to talk about trans rights.

UK-based YouTuber HBomberGuy (Harry Brewis) has raised more than $200,000 for transgender children’s charity Mermaids with a non-stop playthrough of the Nintendo 64 Donkey Kong game, beginning in the evening of January 18.

The stream, which had featured guests including whistleblower Chelsea Manning, had been live for more than 50 hours when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a surprise appearance via a Discord call.

The newly-elected Congresswoman, who has earned a strong following online, spoke about the importance of trans rights, adding: “Trans rights are civil rights are human rights.”
But her support didn’t end there…
Ocasio-Cortez Includes Trans Women in Fiery Women's March SpeechThe freshman congresswoman touched on numerous issues at one of the many Women's Marches held around the nation today.The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
January 19, 2019

As Women’s Marches proceeded around the nation Saturday, with thousands attending despite controversy over the march’s national leadership, a New York event was marked by a fiery, inclusive speech by freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ocasio-Cortez, who wore pins representing LGBTQ and Transgender Pride, made the point that “being polite is not the same thing as being quiet,” and touched on numerous intersectional issues:
“Let us remember that a fight means no person left behind. So when people want to stop talking about the issues black women face, when people want to stop talking about the issues that trans women or immigrant women face, we’ve got to ask them, Why does that make you so uncomfortable? … This is not just about identity, this is about justice and this is about the America we are going to bring into this world.”
So we have another ally in Congress!

We are getting closer to passing an addition to the Civil Rights Act that will protect us, all we have to do is win control of the Senate and elect a Democratic president… simple right?

Well the presidency should be a snap if the Democrats don’t blow it by running someone unelectable but the Senate is going to be a hard nut to crack. Most think their legislator is okay it’s the other legislators that need to get thrown out. We need to concentrate on the purple states, the red states are hopeless.

Allies Speak Out (Part 1)

When we speak up about our rights we seen as biased but when an ally speaks up they are speaking from the heart.
NBA's Reggie Bullock Opens Up About Losing His Transgender Sister to Murder
A new documentary from Vice Sports follows Bullock's journey into LGBTQ activism after his sister Mia Henderson 2014 murder in Baltimore.
By Diana Tourjée
January 16 2019

Reggie Bullock is a small forward and shooting guard for the Detroit Pistons, currently finishing his sixth season in the NBA, marking the end of a two-year contract worth $5 million. The 27-year-old is about to become a free agent, building hype for the future of his career as, he recently told The Detroit News, "the best shooter in the league."

Bullock's success in sports began in high school and elevated him to new heights. But his professional life has more recently become entwined with social justice activism after his older sister, Mia Henderson, a transgender woman, was killed in July 2014. Henderson was stabbed to death in Baltimore, a violent fate that follows a disproportionate number of transgender women to their end. Mic's 2016 project to count and analyze the deaths of transgender women, Unerased, found that one in 2,600 transgender women of color between 14 and 34-years-old, is murdered, compared to one in 12,000 in the general population.

In 2015, a man named Shawn Oliver was charged in Henderson's murder, but was later acquitted on all counts. Though Bullock and his family had been supportive of Henderson, her death shocked her brother into action. Today, he serves as an ally to LGBT people, and has appeared at events like NYC Pride, the GLAAD Media Awards, and the NBA Voices event for LGBT Youth and Allies. Bullock views his position in sports with great responsibility and power; because sports is such a widely consumed form of entertainment in the US, he can use his platform in the NBA to help make society more hospitable toward LGBT people. It's something he can do for his late sister, whose name he writes on his shoes before games, and whose face is tattooed on his body.
My heart goes to him and his family, it is hard when you lose a family member but it is some much harder when you lose someone to violence.

Much of the violence against us is the result of “toxic masculinity” that promotes transphobia and homophobia in which the perpetrator fears that he will be labels gay by his friends or guilt of having sex with a trans woman.

Some of the killers dates the trans woman for a while and it was when their friends find out that the relationship turns violence.

We see many of the perpetrators also use “Trans Panic” defense to get acquitted the juries think we are deceitful if we don’t announce to the world that we are trans and deserve what we got. Of course we can’t tell our side of the story because we’re dead.

I don’t know why Shawn Oliver got off of murdering her but I would bet that a part of the reason was trans panic defense.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

New Legislation

For the first time I am not involved with the current proposed bill, the bill will ban unsinf trans/gay panic defense in criminal trials.
Leader seeks to end “gay and transgender panic” defense
CT Post
By Emilie Munson
January 18, 2019

HARTFORD — Several Democratic lawmakers have filed bills to ban “gay and transgender panic” as a criminal defense.

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, D-New Haven, introduced this legislation, as did Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, D-Bethel, and Rep. Jeff Currey, D-East Hartford. Allie-Brennan and Currey are the General Assembly’s only openly gay lawmakers.

Looney, an attorney who practices criminal law, wants state statutes to be amended so a criminal defendant may not claim the “shock” of learning that a person was gay or transgender to justify or excuse the violence perpetrated against that person.

California was the first to ban the defense in 2014, followed by Illinois.
Looney said Thursday he was unaware of the number of occasions the defense has been used in Connecticut.
You know even one is one too many and the idea of the legislation is to prevent it from being used for the first and letting a killer walk free of murder and I think that trans/gay panic defense has been tried once in the state when a trans woman was murdered in New Haven back around twenty years ago. She was stabbed multiple times and her body set on fire.

Okay back to why I am not involved in this legislation…

There was a loose coalition of many non-profits that worked to pass LGBTQ+ legislation that was called the Anti-Discrimination Coalition and that morphed in ctEQUALITY to pass trans protections. The non-profits came together each time we wanted to pass legislation.

We it was decided that ctEQUALITY should become more formalized and incorporate as 501(c)4, so planning meetings were held, and held, and held. It been a year and a half and still talks are being held. But now it has morphed from a lobbying organization to an umbrella organizations for all things LGBTQ+.

We held meeting around the state to learn what the community wants, the town hall meeting were a great idea and I learned something from them… that many of the people at the meetings didn’t know what laws we do have now. Some wanted laws to protect LGBTQ+ students! A law that has been on the books for eight years.

But mainly what I saw was moving away from the original idea of providing a PAC to lobby for legislation and to help LGBTQ+ friendly legislators to something entirely different.

I know that several smaller non-profits are worried that they will lose their identities and funding as ctEQUALITY expands and starts to compete with their corporate funding. I worry that it will become another “GAY Inc.” that is funded by national gay foundations that will control the purse strings.

Back in November I started hearing rumors that a trans/gay panic defense bill was going to be introduced and also some published news article about a group of women who ban trans athletes. They were upset that trans athletes are competing on the teams of their gender identity, even though only a small fraction of the trans athletes were winning and most were losing they still wanted a law forcing us to compete in our birth gender. The articles stated that they were looking for a friendly legislator to introduce a bill for them and I imagine there are a lot of Republican legislators who will be more than will to introduce a bill or an amendment for them.

I brought up my concerns about the legislation and was met the first time by silence, when I brought it up again I got a reply from one person saying these are the bills that they are supporting this session, all the bills that were mentioned I support whole heartily such as paid family leave and $15 minimum wage none of them were LGBTQ+ legislation.

So for the first time in almost 20 years the coalition is not supporting any LGBTQ+ legislation and is letting others take the lead.

I will testify for the bill at the hearing and I will continue to contact my legislators for the bill.

There have been signs that the coalition was falling apart last year with the passage of an amendment to…
Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Any inmate of a correctional institution, as described in section 18-78 of the general statutes, who has a gender identity that differs from the inmate's assigned sex at birth and has a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, as set forth in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", shall: (1) Be addressed by correctional staff in a manner that is consistent with the inmate's gender identity, (2) have access to commissary items, clothing, personal property, programming and educational materials that are consistent with the inmate's gender identity, and (3) have the right to be searched by a correctional staff member of the same gender identity, unless the inmate requests otherwise or under exigent circumstances. An inmate who has a birth certificate, passport or driver's license that reflects his or her gender identity or who can meet established standards for obtaining such a document to confirm the inmate's gender identity shall presumptively be placed in a correctional institution with inmates of the gender consistent with the inmate's gender identity. Such presumptive placement may be overcome by a demonstration by the Commissioner of Correction, or the commissioner's designee, that the placement would present significant safety, management or security problems. In making determinations pursuant to this section, the inmate's views with respect to his or her safety shall be given serious consideration by the Commissioner of Correction, or the commissioner's designee.
I never heard a word about the passage of this amendment, I heard about it in an “Oh by the Way” there is new legislation that passed that you might be interested in.

Some of the laws the coalition passed…

  • Adding gender identity and expression to the hate crime law (2004)
  • Passing the gender identity and expression non-discrimination act (2011)
  • Passing the birth certificate law (2015)
  • Blocking a law stripping our insurance coverage (2015)
  • Passing a law to stop conversion therapy for minors (2017)

And now will it come to an end in 2019”


Because I was speaking I had to get there early to register but I had to swing around to pick up a friend who wanted to go to the rally and another friend followed me up to the Capitol. When we got there people were just arriving so there was plenty of parking and we parked on a side street next to the Supreme Court.

Once I signed in I noticed that they were letting people park in the Capitol parking lot so I asked a capitol police officer if I could park in at the EV charging station, he said yes. So I had the best parking space of the rally, the spot right next to the rally.

So then it was wait… wait… wait. I had two hours before my speech.

The crowd was a lot smaller this year, last year they had around 10,000 people and this year I would say the crowd was around a thousand or two. Was it the weather? Was it because people are losing interest in the movement?  Was it the false allegations that the organizers were anti-Semitism?

The Hartford Courant had this to say about the rally,
Thousands rally for rights at Connecticut Women’s March
By Edmund H. Mahony

The Connecticut Women’s March drew nearly 3,000 people to the state Capitol on Saturday, rallying to expand the rights of women while vowing continued resistance to the Trump administration, which marchers condemned as an obstacle.

The spirited rally of mostly women marked the third year of a movement born in an almost spontaneous reaction to the election of President Donald J. Trump. After the election, 10,000 people flooded the Capitol grounds for a first rally. Capitol Police estimated that 2,500 to 3,000 arrived Saturday to listen to hours of speeches in bitter cold and under a threat of stormy weather.
The article also mentioned the controversy…
There was no discussion of the allegations of anti-Semitism that divided the national Women’s March group after one of its leaders refused to vigorously disavow remarks offensive to Jews by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

But Fliegel, in her remarks, described early support for women’s right by Jewish women and called for an end to anti-Semitic hatred. And earlier in the week, Women’s March Connecticut, in a statement, “unequivocally [denounced] all forms of bigotry from any source” and specifically criticized Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has ties to several of the national Women’s March leaders.

"We absolutely condemn the words of Minister Louis Farrakhan and acknowledge that he is perpetuating hate speech against Jewish people and the LGBTQIA+ community,'' the Connecticut group said. "There is no way we can support hate speech and maintain our values. We will continue to support women of all religions, ethnicities and creeds and a part of that means admonishing those who use hateful language.''
From what I have seen in their organizing they are very inclusive, if you look are the organizers and the speakers they are very diverse. I can’t help to wonder if they are being attacked because they brought about change and the right is running scared. Is this a campaign to discredit the women’s movement?

While I was waiting another friend showed up followed by another so the four of took in the sights and sound of the rally. A few other acquaintances stopped by and I went over to talk to some other friends.

Then it was my turn to speak (you can read my speech here)… here is a photo that I took while I was waiting on stage.

A couple of times I had to wait for the applause to die down, two of the things that brought applause was when I mentioned the 19 women elected judges down in Texas and one of the other times was I mentioned Massachusetts’s Question 3 winning by 67%.

After I was finished we all headed out to eat since we haven’t eaten since the morning so we stopped at a Mexican restaurant that I like… the Margaritas went down so easy.

Photos courtesy of Jaime

Photos courtesy of Jaime
So yesterday I met my goal of staying up until 9 PM

Update 9:15 AM:
Out in California there was another trans speaker…
Laverne Cox at 2019 Women’s March: “It Is Subversive to Choose Love”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave a shout-out to trans women in her speech.
By Brandon Voss
January 20, 2019

Laverne Cox, trailblazing trans actress and LGBTQ activist, delivered a powerful speech Saturday at the third annual Women’s March in L.A., one of numerous Women’s Marches held around the country.

“The achieving of basic human rights, dignity, justice or equity for one group of people does not mean that something is being taken from another group,” Cox said. “That’s scarcity thinking and scarcity thinking will always drive us further from each other.”

“Divide and conquer is one of the primary tools of the oppressor to control marginalized people. And when I say oppressor let me be clear, each and everyone of us has the capacity to be an oppressor, no matter who we are, where we are located on social hierarchies or how we identify. And each of us has the capacity to be liberators for ourselves and each other.”

“We have seen the tool of divide and conquer be used to attack this very march,” Cox continued. “Mary Pipher in her book Reviving Ophelia so beautifully writes, ’Social change is a million individual acts of kindness. Cultural change is a million subversive acts of resistance.’
Many politicians, celebrities, and previous sponsors have distanced themselves from this year’s Women’s March in response to accusations of anti-Semitism and homophobia leveled at its organizers, who publicly addressed the controversy at the Women’s March in Washington D.C, CNN reports.

“Over the last year, my sisters in Women’s March and I have faced accusations that have hurt my soul,” Carmen Perez-Jordan told the crowd. “Charges of anti-Semitism and neglecting our LGBTQIA family. And I want to be unequivocal in affirming that Women’s March and I and my sisters condemn anti-Semitism and homophobia and transphobia in all forms.”
Divide and conquer this is right out of Saul D. Alinsky playbook, find a weakness and exploit it and that is what the conservatives are doing because they are afraid of us.

They found one person out of the thousands of organizers who backs an anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ+ and they labeled the whole movement as being anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ+ if you look at the speakers at the event yesterday, and the attendees you will see it is very diverse.

Don’t let the “ol’ boys club” divide us!