Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A New Website

As many of you know I am on a committee called “Inclusive Communities for All” with the State Unit On Aging: Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. We are looking in to ways to make senior services all all-encompassing of minorities, which includes homecare, senior living communities, nursing homes, hospices, and long term care facilities.

One of our spinoffs is this state website with the Department of Rehabilitation Services for LGBTQ+ resources “LGBT Resources for Older Adults” (Notice that one of the resources listed is Connecticut Transadvocacy Coalition).

Another project that we have worked on is a brochure by State Unit On Aging on our rights in nursing homes and long term care facilities; it lists what our rights are when we have to stay at those facilities.

In last Friday’s meeting another website was discussed “My Place CT” which is run by the Department of Social Services and it is going to be a reference for senior citizens to find state agencies and non-profit serving senior citizens. I want to make sure that resources for us are listed.

Many of the LGBTQ+ population that fought for our rights in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s are aging and are facing new battles when they move into senior facilities.

A couple of the problems that I have heard from trans people in LTC facilities are social isolation, shunning, mis-gendering, and using the wrong pronouns. We are something like 0.5% of the population so when it is time to go into a LTC the resident might be the only trans person at the facility. Many times we are put in a single room instead of a ward, in other words we are being segregated from the general populations and it spills over to the other residents, they see that we are being isolated by the LTC facility, we end up eating our meals alone and not included in residents activities.

So there is a lot of work ahead of us on the committees.

They Want Us Dead

How else can you describe the way the Republicans keep taking away our healthcare, the latest attack came from Republican in Iowa.
Iowa Republican lawmakers ban use of Medicaid dollars on transgender surgery
Des Moines Register
By Tony Leys and Barbara Rodriguez
April 26, 2019

Republican lawmakers at the Iowa Capitol have passed legislation that would prohibit using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, to pay for transgender surgery.

The Republican-controlled House voted for the proposal Saturday afternoon, one day after the GOP-majority Senate advanced it. No Democrat voted for the plan, which now requires approval from Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds to become law. The restrictions would go into effect immediately if enacted.

The provision was added to a health budget bill as the legislative session drew to a close. It would prohibit any state or local government unit or tax-supported district from providing sex reassignment surgery. It applies to any other cosmetic reconstructive or plastic surgery procedure related to "transsexualism, hermaphroditism, gender identity disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder."
The Department of Human Services had classified gender-transition related surgeries as “cosmetic, reconstructive or plastic surgery.” The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously determined the ban violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act's gender-identity protections.
So DHS says it is cosmetic surgery in the face of every professional medical association, in the face of overwhelming medical research.
Sen. Mark Costello, R-Imogene, defended the provision during floor debate Friday, saying he was trying to change the administrative code back to the way it was for years before the lawsuit. He said he didn't feel such procedures are "always medically necessary.”
Maybe Sen. Costello would like to go “back to the way it was for years before” in the times of “Father Knows Best” when we arrested for being ourselves.

If you voted Republican you are aiding and abetting their attacks on us.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Another Survey

This time it is for law students on their views on LGBTQ+ rights…
Law School LGBTQ 'Climate Survey' Results Are Fair to Partly Cloudy
ALM Medi
April 23, 2019

Law schools are generally supportive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and employees—at least on paper.

That’s the takeaway from the National LGBT Bar Association's inaugural Law School Climate Survey-2019. The 30-year-old organization that works to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the legal industry queried all 203 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association on 19 different issues, ranging from LGBTQ+ student recruiting efforts to the availability of gender inclusive restrooms. (LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identifying.) Only 66 schools participated, but their responses indicate that, on the whole, schools have many policies in place to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students and resources available to help them navigate their legal education.

Among the results:

  • All but one school reported that counseling and therapy services are available. (Southern University Law Center was the only respondent to answer no to that question.)
  • More than 80 percent of the respondent schools reported that they seek out LGBTQ+ students.
  • Just five schools reported that they do not have an active LGBTQ+ law student group.
  • All but a handful of law schools allows transgender students to use the name of their choice.

“I feel heartened by what I’m seeing law schools having an increased awareness of the need for them to support their students,” said Judi O’Kelley, the bar association’s chief program officer. “I see, particularly in admissions and career services, a genuine interest and desire to do more targeted recruitment of LGBTQ+ students and to make sure they are well supported in finding jobs as they get out of law school.”
Of the 66 universities they survey the only one I recognize is Western New England University School of Law and looking at the data from the university I was surprised to find…
12. Does your law school offer transition-related health benefits to transgender and/or transitioning employees?

13. Does your school offer the same transition-related healthcare benefits to students and their partners/spouses?
What I find surprising is that they have basically the same law in Massachusetts as Connecticut and in both states the law was written by the same person and they are a professor at the university.
Like many protected and marginalized community it is hard to get exact numbers, the article states,
“A number of schools are hesitant to count their out LGBTQ+ faculty and administrators,” she said. “I’ve been talking to them about, ‘It’s OK to do that. It’s OK to do what’s known as a self-ID survey, as long as it’s a voluntary process and there are protections taken so the information can be confidential if the people want it to be.’ It’s absolutely legal and it’s fine. We collect that data on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender.”
Let’s face it many LGBTQ+ faculty don’t want to “Out” themselves in fear of repercussions.

I spoke at the Western New England University School of Law LGBTQ+ student organization called OUTlaw. Since it was a law school I spoke on how the laws affect the trans community.

This And That In The News

This morning post covers trans marriages, what a mother learned about trans from her trans son, and another stupid politician and bathrooms.
A Trans Woman Can Now Be Recognised as a ‘Bride’ Under the Hindu Marriage Act
In a major move for the Indian transgender community, the Madras High Court ordered authorities to register a marriage between a man and a trans woman.
By Shamani Joshi
24 April 2019

The Madras High Court on Monday held that the term ‘bride’ in the Hindu Marriage Act, which codifies the laws related to marriage in the Hindu community in India, can also refer to a trans woman and does not need to be restricted to someone born a woman.

This move comes after marriage registration authorities in Tamil Nadu in south India refused to register the marriage of Arun Kumar and Sreeja, a man and a trans woman who approached the authorities for formal recognition after tying the knot in a temple ceremony. Justice G R Swaminathan, one of the judges on the bench, stated that authorities—which had refused to recognise the marriage on the grounds that a trans woman can’t be treated as a bride as per Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1956—were wrong in doing so.
While this isn’t the first time a transgender marriage has been registered in India, this judgement basically means that the Madras HC has set a precedent that will now make it easier for transgender persons to get married without being discriminated against, or at least enable them to build a strong case against anyone who refuses to let them register for marriage. “This Court is not breaking any new ground. It is merely stating the obvious. Sometimes to see the obvious, one needs not only physical vision in the eye but also love in the heart,” the court said rather eloquently and melting our heart in the process. The transgender community has been fighting for their basic human rights for a while and this kind of backing may also help make such marriages more socially acceptable in the long run.
Around the world we are starting to get more rights but at the same time pushback is also increasing from the conservative governments.

Out of sight out of mind that is how we are seen, most people don’t have a clue what gender identity means. I sometimes use the analogy of looking down a row of telephone poles, when you stand in-line with the telephone poles use only see the first pole bit if you step aside you see the other telephone poles and that is how gender and gender identity is. When you are cisgender you see both gender and gender identity the same, but with gender dysphoria we see that they are different.
Breaking Down Walls
How my trans child showed me the freedom to be who you are, not what you have been told that you are
Dr. Misty M. Ginicola
April 24, 2019

Growing up, being different in many ways, I learned how to build walls. Walls around my heart, walls between people who did not understand me, walls between people who had different political beliefs, walls between those who could hurt my heart, walls, walls, walls. It’s only recently with a wellness journey, with daily yoga practice and study, daily meditation and breathing practice, that I have started to see my role in building those walls. But I still pushed people, including family, away past the boundaries of those walls.

And then, very recently, my world turned upside down. Those walls came crashing down, and my heart is open and raw, because of my daughter.

I did not know I had a daughter — you see, when I had my second child, I named her Waylon Joseph Ginicola and we thought she was a boy. In order to tell my story, I am going to speak from my perspective then (in both name and pronouns)— something that has been approved of by my daughter — even though as she tells me, “Mama, I always a girl, you just didn’t know.”
We noticed something different about Waylon at around 18 months; he wasn’t interested in toys we had, and he had a significant speech delay. There was no pretend play, and very few words. We called in Birth to Three and they began services. There still was no interest in most toys, however. Then one day, after he turned two, I brought him to the gym childcare while I worked out. I came back and Waylon was holding a baby, feeding the baby swaddled in a blanket and playing with a little stroller. Pretend play!!

It hit me. The problem wasn’t with Waylon; the problem was that we did not have the right toys!
That year for Christmas, we stocked up on the toys that Waylon showed interest in at the gym: doll babies, a stroller, crib, jewelry, and all sorts of fun stuff. As I wrapped the presents that year, it struck me — it looked like we had a girl and a boy. All Waylon’s toys were stereotypically female. All Wilson’s stereotypically male.
For so many trans children this story has been repeated over and over; parents start picking up clues and I think parents are more attuned to trans children because of all the news coverage of trans children.

As I wrote about yesterday more states are recognizing that to deny a child gender identity is a form of child abuse.

And now a Republican and his hate for us…
Charles Key Needs to Go to the Bathroom. Tennessee Won’t Let Him Because He’s Trans.
The Daily Beast By Samantha Allen
April 17, 2019

When Charles Key needs to use the restroom, he can’t go where the other boys go.

Instead, the high school junior has to use a teacher’s restroom on the other side of school from his classes.

The reason? He is transgender, and his Hendersonville, Tennessee, high school is one of many in the state—and in the country—that don’t allow transgender students to use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.
Now, the Tennessee state legislature is weighing a bill to protect policies like the one that keeps Key out of the boy’s bathroom. HB 1274–as the bill is called in the Tennessee House—would require the state attorney general’s office to defend local school districts that do not have transgender-inclusive restroom policies.

The bill itself, however, fastidiously avoids using the word “transgender,” stating instead that the attorney general should defend—or pay for the defense of—any “policy or practice designed to protect the privacy of students from exposure to others of the opposite biological sex” [PDF].
The Republicans are nothing but bigots… look at the laws they have tried to pass in various state legislatures around the country; laws attacking Muslims, laws attacking migrants, laws attacking minorities, laws attacking women rights, laws attacking health insurance for us, laws attacking LGBTQ+.

They use minorities as wedges between “them and us” the Republican party has become a party of white supremacists, fascists, and nationalists.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

What Mama Did, It Was Against The Law

To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard

I think more states are seeing it this way…
Judges can overrule parents on treatment for transgender children, Arizona Supreme Court rules
Arizona Republic
By Maria Polletta
April 26, 2019

Arizona judges can require parents to provide counseling, therapy and other expert help to children who may be transgender, even if one parent doesn't support treatment, the state's highest court ruled Thursday.

But the courts can only intervene when a child would be "at risk for physical danger or significantly impaired emotionally" without access to those services — a higher standard than the "best interest" test often used in family-court cases.

The unanimous ruling partially overturns an April 2018 Appeals Court decision that highlighted the challenges of mediating battles between parents who differ on how to handle kids exploring their gender identities.
“This is an important decision that will provide family courts with more guidance about when to issue orders limiting (the authority of a parent who has legal custody) and about the need to tailor such orders carefully," said attorney Taylor Young, who argued the case before the Supreme Court.
I have heard that Connecticut Department of Children and Family are also ruling on behalf of trans children that it is child abuse by not letting their child transition.

This afternoon I am at a fundraiser for GLAD. Here in Connecticut GLAD has been a driving force behind much of the LGBTQ+ legislation here in Connecticut.

Fourth from the left is Jennifer Levi from GLAD
This was taken the night that the non-discrimination bill
passed in the Senate.

Isn’t It Funny How…

…Conservatives are all in favor of “Freedom of Speech” except when it comes to our freedom of speech.
Wyoming GSA Students Barred From Wearing LGBTQ Paraphernalia
Those who display rainbow colors risk suspension.
By Brandon Voss
April 22, 2019

Gay-straight alliance members at a Wyoming junior high school have been forbidden to display Pride flags or other LGBTQ-themed paraphernalia on school grounds.

Teachers informed students last week at McCormick Junior High School in Cheyenne that they were no longer allowed to have or wear anything with rainbow colors, including shirts, pins, and bracelets, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.

The rationale for the ban is that pro-LGBTQ items are as potentially disruptive as racist and homophobic propaganda.

The school’s directive comes several weeks after Kaycee Cook, a substitute teacher and GSA co-sponsor, was dismissed after reporting the circulation of “confederate kid club” flyers with slogans such as “it’s great to be straight it’s not OK to be gay,” “black lives only matter because if it weren’t for them who would pick our cotton,” and “Join the KKK.”
Hate speech.

This is a really tough call.

When I was doing training on the new non-discrimination law in 2011 with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities some asked a question about hate speech and it is a very fine and movable line. People can say hateful things to us and unfortunately it is not against the law, it become illegal when it is persistent such as following you around then it crosses the line and become harassment. But defining that line is very hard.
  “Because of the provocative use of flags, especially under the current controversy at the local junior high, the District will not allow the display of confederate flags on District property or at District events,” the statement continues. “Further, the District will review potential policies or regulations regarding the disruptive use of flags and symbols within the District.”

Cheyenne is located about 50 miles from Laramie, where 21-year-old gay college student Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in 1998 because of his sexuality.
The two are distinctly opposites… one of a symbol of oppression and the other is a symbol of liberation and pride.

What are your thoughts on this?

Was the school justified in banning both the confederate and rainbow flags?

Oh no we can’t have that… a father that’s gay! How horrible what will it teach the children.

A school pulls the plug on a play with a gay father.
Middle School Pulled Musical With Gay Dad Characters, Claimed Content Was “Too Mature”
"What we are seeing at Prince George’s County Public Schools is really a culture of discrimination and harassment toward LGBTQ people."
By Kate Sosin
April 26, 2019

A Maryland school district already facing allegations of anti-transgender discrimination is in the spotlight again, this time for axing a musical with gay dad characters.

Hyattsville Middle School officials have reversed their decision to cancel a production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee after parents protested this week.

Students at the middle school have been rehearsing the play for three months, but this week administrators halted rehearsals, citing concerns that the content was too mature for middle school students. That material includes a brief appearance by two LGBTQ characters. Parents say the trouble started when a parent complained about gay content in the production to school administrators.
But… But…
The licensing company, Music Theatre International, did not respond to a media inquiry, but told ABC7 News that they have accommodated other requests to amend scripts.
The students don’t want anything to do with the censorship,
A petition launched by McGonnigal to reinstate the show had gained more than 7,000 signatures by Thursday, April 25. On Wednesday, April 24, administrators said they would allow the production to proceed with the gay characters.

“We celebrate our diversity and recognize the many rich contributions of the LGBTQ community to the greater Hyattsville Community,” wrote Principal Thornton Boone in a letter.

It take courage to come out in front of hundred of your fellow students...
Valedictorian at Mormon University Comes Out in Graduation Speech
By Rachel Kiley
April 27, 2019

A valedictorian at the most prominent Mormon college in the United States, Brigham Young University, came out during his graduation speech yesterday.

Matty Easton shared several of his own struggles with his class during the heavily attended graduation ceremony, including realizing that being gay is part of who he is supposed to be.

“I stand before my family, friends, and graduating class today to say that I am proud to be a gay son of God,” he said.

“I am not broken. I am loved and important in the plan of our great creator. Each of us are.”
While LGBTQ students aren’t technically banned from attending BYU, they are if they engage in any “homosexual behavior.” In other words, you can say you’re gay, but you can’t do anything about it.
Private and public.

I am a strong believer that when you take public funding it should be available to everyone; that you can’t take public funding and exclude black people… or gays.

The difference between these two article is one involves speech and the other one involves discrimination.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Getting Iced!

Last week I wrote about a trans girl who was detained by the Border Patrol for 32 hours, ICE did it again. This time ICE is ignoring a judge.
Recently freed Honduran transgender woman detained again by Ice
Nicole García Aguilar fled Honduras after being subjected to sexual assault and attempted murder linked to her gender identity
The Guardian
By Nina Lakhani
26 Apr 2019

A Honduran transgender asylum seeker who was released last week after a year incarcerated in immigration centres has been re-detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice).

The move was condemned by her legal team as punitive and damaging to the young woman’s physical and mental health.

Nicole Garcia Aguilar, 24, fled southern Honduras after being subjected to death threats, sexual assault and attempted murder linked to her gender identity. She sought help from the police in Honduras, but was told by one officer that the violence against her was “because of the way [she is]” and would not stop until she was dead.
Garcia was granted asylum by an immigration judge in October 2018. Despite the ruling, Ice refused to release her and appealed the asylum decision claiming there were inconsistencies in Garcia’s testimonies.
Her health has health has deteriorated while she was kept in solitary confinement in a male prison.
Garcia was released last week after lawyers from NIJC and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a habeas corpus, arguing that denying her parole for such a prolonged period without the right to appeal amounted to a constitutional violation of due process.
But ICE didn’t give her the paperwork for her release and as a result…
She is currently being held at the El Paso service processing center in Texas, a facility plagued by accusations of abuse and human rights violations. It was there that nine Sikh men were force fed after a prolonged hunger strike to protest against their treatment by facility staff and immigration judges.
ICE and Border Patrol are behaving like a bunch of thugs; they are committing human rights violations with impunity.

The “Not Welcome” Sign Is Out.

When you read the Connecticut non-discrimination statute one thing becomes clear… private organizations are exempt from the law like golf clubs. It has to be a public accommodation.
Zeta Phi Beta bans transgender women from membership
The Washington Blade
By James Wellemeyer
April 25, 2019

Zeta Phi Beta, a historically black sorority founded at Howard University, says transgender women are not eligible for membership.

A “diversity statement” adopted by the Zeta Phi Beta International Executive Board on Jan. 12 states “an individual must be a cisgender woman” to join the organization. The statement at the same time says the sorority “values all people, regardless of race, age, gender, gender expression, ability, disability, creed, religion, or walk of life.”

A source earlier this month sent the Washington Blade a copy of the statement. Zeta Phi Beta has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
Sororities and fraternities have been traditionally seen as hostile towards LGBT people. Trans women in color in particular face higher levels of discrimination in the U.S. than other groups.
So what can be done to integrate sororities and fraternities? The colleges and universities can take the lead on this, they can mandate all school affiliated organizations be fully integrated. There have been a court case that allowed schools to regulate organizations on campus, but note if the sororities and fraternities are located off campus that limits what a school can do.

Under the microscope…
The largest study involving transgender people is providing long-sought insights about their health
The research examines once taboo questions about the impacts of gender transition.
By Sara Reardon
April 25, 2019

The European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence (ENIGI) is the largest study of transgender people in the world, and it’s unique: most studies are small and look at the outcomes of people who have already undergone hormone treatment and surgery. That has left scientists and physicians with little data about the long-term effects of such treatment on health, such as cancer susceptibility, or how the brain and body change as people transition both socially and medically. Joshua Safer, an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, says that ENIGI is a major contribution to his field, and praises T’Sjoen for the scale of its ambition. “He’s doing this on his own without tons of resources. It’s very impressive,” Safer says.

ENIGI and a handful of other emerging studies could provide invaluable information. Media attention on transgender issues and a general shift in public opinion over the past decade has allowed more people than ever to open up about how they identify and to seek treatment. But even though scientific societies have produced medical guidelines, each person’s treatment is still generally a matter of an individual physician’s judgement.

ENIGI and a few other studies hope to change that by providing data on the best treatments and outcomes. The research could also reveal some of the basic biology underlying differences among sexes. Tantalizing hints are already beginning to emerge about the respective roles of hormones and genetics in gender identity. And findings are beginning to clarify the medical and psychological impacts of transitioning. T’Sjoen thinks that the rapidly growing field already has the potential to improve the care that people receive. “Saying you’re not informed about this topic is not really valid any more,” he says. “It’s just that you’re lazy.”
So far even though the studies are just beginning they have found one thing…
The numbers mean that the ENIGI researchers can finally draw some significant conclusions about the effects of standard care. So far, hormone treatments seem to be safe, with few side effects. The most common complaints from people are lowered sexual desire and voice changes. But the most significant change the researchers have measured is something positive — a decrease in anxiety and depression after treatment.

This morning I am at a meeting on aging at the State Unit On Aging: Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, the committee is called “Inclusive Communities for All” and our vision is…
A public and private group that works collaboratively to develop an education series of tools and strategies to strengthen the ability for long term care settings to be inclusive. We hope to help communities continue to grow, becoming more accepting and welcoming for all.
And I am making sure that we are included in that education.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

At One Time States Were Eager…

… To allow us to change our birth certificates because they realized that by allowing us to change our birth certificates we could be gainfully employed. Back in 1965 ten states passed laws allowing us to change our birth certificates and many of them were Republican controlled states, but now things have changed.
Transgender plaintiffs sue Tennessee to change birth certificate gender
"In times where anti-trans violence is escalating, I deserve to have identity documents that reflect who I am," Kayla Gore, the lead plaintiff, said.
NBC Out News
By Gwen Aviles and The Associated Press
April 24, 2019

When Jason Scott wanted to attend community college in Seattle, he needed a high school transcript, and he couldn’t get that without a birth certificate. The only problem was that Scott is transgender and his Tennessee birth certificate lists him as female.

The resulting confusion prevented Scott from enrolling the first semester, and he nearly lost his scholarship, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Nashville on Tuesday.

In the suit, Gore v. Lee, Scott and three transgender women challenge a Tennessee statute that prohibits transgender people from changing the gender listed on their birth certificates.
"Forty-seven states, DC and Puerto acknowledge the importance of allowing people to have access to essential government identity documents that accurately reflect their sex, consistent with their gender identity," Gonzalez-Pagan said. "It is time for Tennessee to join them."
Tennessee even allows gender changes if a person presents a notarized affidavit and “documentary evidence showing the correct sex of the individual,” according to the lawsuit. But the Tennessee Vital Records Act includes a provision that “the sex of an individual shall not be changed on the original certificate of birth as a result of sex change surgery.”
The Republicans are against all things LGBTQ+ they pass laws against us out of spite, and for votes, and for campaign donations.

And Connecticut Republicans are on the anti-trans bandwagon.

Some of amendment and laws they tried to pass here in Connecticut…

  • Amendment: Increased penalty of a crime that was committed while crossdressed.
  • Amendment: Exclusions for dorms rooms, showers, locker rooms, bathrooms
  • Amendment: Upon a majority vote of the board, reassign an elementary school teacher for the remainder of the school year if such teacher exhibits a change in gender identity or expression during a school year.
  • Amendment: Birth gender bathrooms
  • Amendment: Requires a person to be diagnosed with GID to be covered by the law
  • Amendment: Requiring trans people to register with the Department of Motor Vehicle
  • Law: Stripping out health insurance coverage from us.

Support From High Places

We have a prince on our side, how cool is that!
Prince Harry throws support behind transgender youth charity
The Duke of Sussex's mental health charity invited Mermaids, an organization for trans and gender variant children, to join its wellness efforts.
NBC Out News
By Tim Fitzsimons
April 24, 2019

Prince Harry’s mental health charity, Heads Together, has invited a U.K.-based transgender youth charity to join its wellness efforts, according to The Telegraph.

The charity, Mermaids, participated in a roundtable this month at a YMCA outside of London that was organized by the Royal Foundation, Prince William and Prince Harry's umbrella charity. A Royal Foundation spokesperson told the newspaper that Heads Together meets with groups like Mermaids "to best understand the issues young people are dealing with today, and gain a clear understanding of what support is being made available."

Mermaids tweeted its thanks Tuesday to the Duke of Sussex “for his unwavering support of young people and promotion of positive mental health and well-being.”
The conservatives on the other side of the pond have taken a lesson from their compadre here in the U.S.
"While the U.K. has made significant progress in expanding and protecting the rights of transgender people, they are currently engaged in a fierce debate about improving policies for transgender people to have their gender identities affirmed on government documents," said Sarah McBride, a transgender activist and national press secretary at Human Rights Campaign.

McBride said a "small, but vocal" group of anti-trans activists have targeted Mermaids for their work.

"To have Prince Harry so publicly and clearly embrace the lifesaving work of Mermaids sends a powerful message to trans youth across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth that they are seen and valued," she added.
This is really fantastic; right now trans people in England need all the help they can get. The conservative press there have been hounding trans children and they been supported by TERF.
How British Feminism Became Anti-Trans
A surprisingly mainstream movement of feminists known as TERFs oppose transgender rights as a symptom of “female erasure.”
The New York Times
By Sophie Lewis, Dr. Lewis is a feminist theorist and geographer.
Feb. 7, 2019

Last week, two British women stormed onto Capitol Hill in Washington for the purposes of ambushing Sarah McBride, the national press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign.

Ms. McBride, a trans woman, had just been part of a meeting between the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council and members of Congress when the Britons — Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, who goes by the name Posie Parker, and Julia Long — barged in. Heckling and misgendering Ms. McBride, the two inveighed against her supposed “hatred of lesbians” and accused her of championing “the rights of men to access women in women’s prison.”
If the idea that transphobic harassment could be “feminist” bewilders you, you are not alone. In the United States, my adoptive home, the most visible contemporary opponents of transgender rights are right-wing evangelicals, who have little good to say about feminism. In Britain, where I used to live, the situation is different.
The split between the American and British center-left on this issue was thrown into sharp relief last year, when The Guardian published an editorial on potential changes to a law called the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow people in Britain to self-define their gender. The editorial was headlined “Where Rights Collide,” and argued that “women’s concerns about sharing dormitories or changing rooms with ‘male-bodied’ people must be taken seriously.” Some of The Guardian’s United States-based journalists published a disavowal, arguing that the editorial’s points “echo the position of anti-trans legislators who have pushed overtly transphobic bathroom bills.”
So with this background you can understand why it was so important that Prince Harry spoke up in our defense. So how did Prince Harry and his brother Prince William become supporter of trans rights?

Well it might have started when the princes attended Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and one of their instructors was a trans woman.

According to Earn the Necklace
The American-born historian has reportedly taught Prince William and Prince Harry at the prestigious Sandhurst. Sources say it was while she was there that she made the change from man to woman.

At the time, the top order had reportedly demanded that everybody treat her with full respect and call her “Ma’am” from that point forward.

And Sandhurst’s Major General, Peter Pearson, had also reportedly declared that any snide comments or remarks on Lynette Nusbacher would be treated with severe punishment.
So it could very well be because of an out and proud trans woman that Prince Harry came out in support of trans children.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Another Republican Lawmaker Tries To Force Us In A Closet

There have been a number of drag queen reading books at libraries to children, you might have seen articles about it on the internet.
Drag Queen Has Monthly Gig Presenting To Little Kids At Greenfield Public Library
New Boston Post
April 20, 2019

The Greenfield Public Library is planning to host a drag queen telling stories to elementary school children on Saturday morning, as part of a monthly series of appearances there.

This month’s appearance is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 20.

The performer, who identifies as Vivian Bates, has been performing once a month at the library at least since February, according to the performer’s Facebook page.

“I am so grateful for the love and support Greenfield has shown our monthly Story Hours. Twice as many people show up, and I made sure to greet everyone at the door with a rainbow heart sticker and a hug (even the adults because #equality). Can’t wait to see you all again next month,” the performer posted on the performer’s Facebook page on March 16.

Its part of a nationwide series of appearances at local public libraries called Drag Queen Story Hour.
Well this got the Republican lawmakers up in a tizzy and they are doing what Republicans lawmakers do best… ban it! Can’t have these little children exposed to this! They just totally ignore the fact that the parents bring their children, but the holier than thou Christians trying to force their religion down everyone else’s throat.

And they want to ban children from doing drag…
Republican lawmakers want to make child drag shows illegal
The Pink News
By Nick Duffy
22nd April 2019

Republican lawmakers in Ohio have filed a bill that would clamp down on drag performances by minors as “child exploitation.”

Ohio representative Tim Schaffer has proposed a bill in the state legislature seeking to clamp down on performances by “a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally or physically handicapped child under twenty-one years of age,” in a response to a performance by a nine-year-old drag queen.

Offenders could face up to six months in prison and a $1000 fine, while violations of the law could lead to venues being stripped of their liquor licenses.
Schaffer’s bill is co-sponsored by eight other Republican lawmakers, the majority of whom have anti-LGBT records.

They are John Becker, Timothy Ginter, Candice R. Keller, Bernadine Kennedy Kent, Craig S. Riedel, Kent Smith, Fred Strahorn and A. Nino Vitale

The specific wording of the bill would outlaw any performance “that suggests a minor is participating or engaging in sexual activity, masturbation, or bestiality and that, taken as a whole by the average person applying contemporary community standards, appeals to prurient interest.”
Of course the Republicans only believe in “free speech” when it is their “free speech.”


Trump and the Republican Party is about to kick us again as we are reeling from the military ban, this time it could kill us all… no really it can kill us! He wants to take away our healthcare.
Trump poised to roll back transgender health protections
The Hill
By Nathaniel Weixel
April 23, 2019

The Trump administration appears ready to roll back health care protections for transgender people, and advocates are gearing up for a fight.

A proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that’s expected in the coming days would make it easier for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to deny care or coverage to transgender patients, as well as women who have had abortions.

Coming on the heels of the military transgender ban, there are fears the administration could go even further and use the proposal as an opportunity to narrow the definition of gender.
The administration hinted in a recent court filing that new health regulations could be published as soon as next week. The rule is expected to weaken or eliminate an anti-discrimination provision enshrined in ObamaCare.
This is genocide!

Can he do this?

The section on discrimination says…
Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities. Section 1557 builds on long-standing and familiar Federal civil rights laws: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. Section 1557 extends nondiscrimination protections to individuals participating in:
  • Any health program or activity any part of which received funding from HHS
  • Any health program or activity that HHS itself administers
  • Health Insurance Marketplaces and all plans offered by issuers that participate in those Marketplaces.
  • Section 1557 has been in effect since its enactment in 2010 and the HHS Office for Civil Rights has been enforcing the provision since it was enacted.
Notice it says… “The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities.” Nowhere does it say anything about gender identity or expression or Gender Dysphoria. Our protection came from regulatory statutes that were written by Health and Human Services and under Trump they are being rewritten to exclude us.

In other words we are screwed!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Biggie!

This is the case that everyone feared and at the same time hope that the case goes in our favor. A number of lower courts and appeal courts have found in our favor, but a few lower courts have ruled against. Now it is before the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers
The New York Times
By Adam Liptak
April 22, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees protections from workplace discrimination to gay and transgender people in three cases expected to provide the first indication of how the court’s new conservative majority will approach L.G.B.T. rights.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said the 1964 act does guarantee the protections. But the Trump administration has taken the opposite position, saying that the landmark legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and, notably, sex, cannot fairly be read to apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

The three cases the court accepted are the first concerning L.G.B.T. rights since the retirement last summer of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a champion of gay rights. His replacement by the more conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh could shift the court’s approach to cases concerning gay men, lesbians and transgender people.
The case will come down to Chief Justice Roberts vote.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case from New York, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623, along with one from Georgia that came to the opposite conclusion, Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., No. 17-1618.

The New York case was brought by a skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, who said he was fired because he was gay. His dismissal followed a complaint from a female customer who had voiced concerns about being tightly strapped to Mr. Zarda during a tandem dive. Mr. Zarda, hoping to reassure the customer, told her that he was “100 percent gay.”
The Georgia case was brought by a child welfare services coordinator who said he was fired for being gay. The 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled against him in a short, unsigned opinion that cited a 1979 decision that had ruled that “discharge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII.”
The justices also agreed to hear a trans case.
The justices also agreed to decide the separate question of whether Title VII bars discrimination against transgender people. The case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 18-107, concerns Aimee Stephens, who was fired from a Michigan funeral home after she announced in 2013 that she was a transgender woman and would start working in women’s clothing.
According to Jillian Weiss “The Harris Funeral Home case, one of three for which the Supreme Court has granted cert, is only being reviewed regarding the question of whether Title VII protects transgender people from sex discrimination.”

I believe that all three of these cases hinge on the 1989 Supreme Court case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.
Supreme Court Can Interpret ‘Sex’ in Many Ways
In three gay- and trans-rights cases, the justices will have to weigh a law’s text versus its purpose — and politics will have its say.
By Noah Feldman
April 22, 2019

Does the ban on workplace discrimination based on “sex,” as laid out in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity? U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up both questions in its October 2019 term, which means we will have legal answers to these questions sometime before June 2020. It’s potentially a big moment for LGBT rights.

It’s also a watershed moment for a question the Supreme Court has been struggling with in recent years: What is the right way to interpret statutes passed by Congress?

Two schools of thought have been contending for the last several decades. One approach, associated especially with Justice Stephen Breyer, asks about the purpose of legislation. The other, linked to the late Justice Antonin Scalia and now shared by several other justices, focuses on the text of the statute.
If you’re interested in the purpose of the law, you could ask a very narrow question: What was the purpose of the people who drafted Title VII? Your answer would be something like, “prohibiting discrimination against women.” That wouldn’t include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

You could also, however, ask the purpose question more broadly: Not what was the bill writers’ purpose, but rather, what is the underlying purpose of a legislative ban on sex discrimination?
To paraphrase President Clinton “what is the definition of sex?”
The Supreme Court has long held that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sexual stereotypes. Discrimination based on sexual orientation can be understood as a kind of sex-stereotyping, based on the view that men should be attracted to women and women to men.

Something similar can be said with respect to discrimination against transgender people or those whose gender identity resists classification. Those who discriminate on the basis of these statuses are making the stereotypical assumption that people shouldn’t transition from one gender to another, or should perform the gender role associated with their birth sex rather than a different identity.

Both conclusions depend on interpreting Title VII in light of the purpose of combating sex-stereotyping.
I personally believe that Chief Justice Roberts will vote in our favor. I think he is starting to come believe that his court has to look at the broader issues and interpret the Constitution and not the literal words.

What do you think about the case, will the scales of justice tip in our favor?

Update 4/25/19 6:00 PM

Even though the video is two years old but the case is now being heard by the Supreme Court.

When Our Lips Are Sealed

Should school children be taught about trans people, is teaching about us propaganda encouraging “our lifestyle?”
Boulder Valley school board to consider complaint over transgender lessons
Daily Camera
By Amy Bounds
April 22, 2019

Boulder Valley School District is facing its first formal challenge to how schools support and teach about transgender and gender diverse students.

Superior Elementary families upset about a school presentation held in response to bullying of a transgender student, along with how the school and district handled their concerns, are asking the school board to intervene.

Superintendent Rob Anderson previously denied the complaint.

The Boulder Valley board is set to decide at its Tuesday meeting whether to hear the formal complaint, after postponing the decision at the previous meeting to allow more time to read the materials.

The anonymous complaint, filed in November by a family with three Superior Elementary students and supported by nine more families, was prompted by a performance for first through fifth graders by Phoenix, a transgender choir.

In November, Phoenix performed "Raven's True Self," an original musical about a transgender raven with a lesson on "being seen for who you are on the inside rather than how you are perceived on the outside," according to the choir.
The whole thing started with an incident of bullying against a trans student…
District officials said the performance and video lesson were in response to ongoing incidents of bullying and intolerance of a transgender student who has since left the school because of the bullying. Parents were allowed to opt out.
So the trans student was forced out of the school because of bullying which is against Colorado law. LGBTQ Nation said this about the case,
A Colorado elementary school is under fire from conservatives upset over a scheduled presentation focusing on inclusivity and compassion.
“This is fairly typical in the Boulder Valley School District, to have our students learn about inclusivity and about compassion to other people and their differences,” said Randy Barber, Chief Communications Officer for the school district, to Denver’s CBS affiliate.
Complainants also asked for "a mediation session with district officials and the principal regarding being more tolerant and inclusive of families of faith."
It seem to me that conservatives want only to live in their lily-white world and not to have to think about anything… trans people just taxes their head too much, the conservatives just want the world to go back to the days of “Dick and Jane” when everything was simple… “Oh look, see Spot, see Jane.”

In an article in Science Alert about the differences between liberals and conservatives they write that,
7. Holding conservative views seems to make people more resistant to change and help them explain inequality.
A 2003 review of decades of research on conservative people suggested that their social views can help satisfy "psychological needs" to make sense of the world and manage uncertainty and fear.

"People embrace political conservatism (at least in part) because it serves to reduce fear, anxiety, and uncertainty; to avoid change, disruption, and ambiguity; and to explain, order, and justify inequality among groups and individuals," the researchers said.
We shakeup their world.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Ignorance Or A Stab In The Back

There is one LGbtq+ organization that many trans people feel that they stabbed us in the back in 2007 with supporting a non-trans inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and that organization is the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). At the time of the back stabbing it was run by Joe Solmonese.
Gay national leader to head Dem 2020 prez convention
Bay Area Reporter
By Matthew S. Bajko
March 26, 2019

The Democratic National Committee has tapped gay rights leader Joe Solmonese to be chief executive officer of the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee. The former president of the Washington, D.C.-based LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign will oversee the preparations for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination gathering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next summer.

"The opportunity to lead the 2020 convention is a tremendous honor and I'm prepared to hit the ground running," said Solmonese, who most recently served as the transition chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "There is no better time than now to be a Democrat and next summer we will showcase the ideals and diversity that make our party, the city of Milwaukee, and our nominee special to the American people."

He oversaw HRC from 2005 to 2012 during the time when the national debate over same-sex marriage rights was the focus of legal fights in numerous states, including California, and in the federal courts. While Solmonese led the organization's successful fight to repeal the military's homophobic "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, he also came under withering attack from the LGBT community for not supporting a transgender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007. HRC's stance led to its San Francisco gala being picketed by local activists and LGBT officials.
So the questions are… did the DNC know of Joe Solmonese relationship with the trans community? if they knew did the DNC decide to write us off?
Editorial: Trans speaker needed at DNC convention
Bay Area Reporter
By BAR Editorial Board
April 3, 2019

The Democratic National Committee has chosen Joe Solmonese, a gay man, as chief executive officer for the 2020 convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His selection represents a remarkable achievement for LGBT people and a symbol of the Democratic Party's commitment to inclusivity and equality. He can reinforce those values by selecting an out trans person to deliver a prime time address.

Solmonese's tattered reputation in the trans community dates back to his former position as president of the Human Rights Campaign. At the time the national gay rights group had a poor record representing the "T" in LGBT. That disconnect was starkly apparent more than a decade ago in 2007, when congressional Democrats were divided on whether to include trans people in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Ultimately, gay former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank (D) decided to split the bill in two — one that would address sexual orientation only and one that would include gender identity. Frank took his plan to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), who delayed the vote when word got out about the split bill and massive community mobilization ensued. HRC, however, tried to have it both ways: it reaffirmed its 2004 position of supporting a trans-inclusive ENDA, but would not lobby members of Congress against voting for the trans-exclusive bill. As ENDA's primary cheerleader outside of Congress, Solmonese came under withering attack from the LGBT community. That year, local activists and LGBT officials picketed HRC's San Francisco gala in response. Solmonese himself later came to San Francisco for a closed-door meeting with trans community leaders, a session that went poorly, as reported in the Bay Area Reporter. In November 2007, the House passed the trans-exclusive ENDA, but it died when that session of Congress ended. Today, HRC is more trans-friendly and regularly speaks out on trans issues. But among some trans community members, the organization will never truly represent them.
I understand why the DNC picked someone from the LGBT community to run the convention; to counter Trump and the Republicans anti-LGBTQ+ stance but more to the point Trump’s anti-trans military and education prejudices. But is there a better way to do that than to appoint Joe Solmonese? The only person worse than him is Elizabeth Birch.

The editorial goes on to make some suggestions on speakers at the convention
Danica Roem is a Democratic state legislator from Virginia. She is the first out trans person elected to the Virginia General Assembly and, in January 2018, became the first to both be elected and serve while openly transgender in any U.S. state legislature. Roem is also up for re-election this year. She would be an inspiring speaker both for delegates and those tuning in at home.

Lisa Middleton is a Democratic city council member from Palm Springs, California. She made history by being the first transgender person elected in California for a non-judicial position in November 2017. She has an inspiring personal story and can attest to the needs of older Americans, and how Palm Springs, a city known for its retirees, is inclusive of everyone.

Adam Spickler was appointed to the Cabrillo Community College Board of Trustees in Santa Cruz County last year after no one else filed to run in the election. He's the first trans man to hold public office in California. In light of the federal Education Department's war on LGBT students, Spickler could offer a powerful counterpoint. Additionally, many of the current Democratic presidential candidates support free community college, so the topic will probably be addressed at the national convention.

An obvious choice would be a trans service member. Democrats must always highlight that they are not "soft" on the military and an actual service member would personalize the president's misguided ban, which is opposed by many current and former military officials.

In short, Solmonese has myriad possibilities for an out trans convention speaker.
Two other good candidates for speakers are…

  • Dylan Orr – Special Assistant for the Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy
  • Amanda Simpson – Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI)

So was it a back stabbing or short shortsightedness?

2007: The year of betrayal
  • In April, Rep. Barney Franks introduces a gender-inclusive ENDA. 
  • In May, at NTCE Lobby Days training, HRC says it will back the inclusive ENDA.
  • In early September, before 800 transgender people at the Southern Comfort Conference, HRC President Joe Solmonese once again promises to only support a gender inclusive ENDA
  • In late September, Rep. Barney Frank pulls the inclusive ENDA bill and substitutes a non-inclusive ENDA bill
  • Joe Solmones says the HRC will would not oppose or endorse the non-inclusive bill
  • In late October HRC says they will support non-inclusive bill, but will not penalize any congressperson who votes against the non-inclusive bill.
  • In November HRC, says they will penalize any congressperson who votes against the non-inclusive bill
  • Six U.S. Representatives vote against the non-inclusive bill and lose their 100% rating on LGBT issues from the HRC

I am heading home after a weekend away. I did a lot of traveling over the long weekend. First to the Cape, then to Maine to be with my brother and sister-in-law for Easter, and then I stopped at a friends' place in Haverhill. All totaled about 600 miles and ten hours driving time/

I Got Your Back

One of the greatest “At Risk” populations are trans children when they come out to their parents, many of us end up out on the street. Well out in San Francisco they are doing something about it.
A safe space
The nation’s first transitional housing shelter for transgender youths opens in SF, filling an urgent need
San Francisco Chronicle
By Kevin Fagan
April 21, 2019

Kat Blackburn was a decade into the beatings, rejections and hate that rain down upon transgender youths like herself when she walked into a San Francisco church last year to rest her feet. She was homeless. Churches are supposed to be refuges. This one wasn’t.

“They were talking about the LGBT community, and it just got worse as I sat there,” she said. “When they said they viewed us as being possessed by demons, I just went cold. I had to leave. It made me feel, like always, that there’s no safe space for us.”

Now she’s found a place where she doesn’t have to feel that way.

In a nondescript house tucked into a corner of Haight-Ashbury, 21-year-old Blackburn and four other young people are making history. They are residents of the nation’s first long-term transitional living program specifically for transgender homeless young people. It offers them a safe haven from bullying and abuse that they might not find anywhere else.
San Francisco and other cities have had housing or shelter programs for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths for more than a decade. But as one of society’s most marginalized minorities, trans youths have particular needs that those who work with the homeless have wanted urgently to fill.
We are a minority within a minority.
“Unlike their peers in the rest of the LGBTQ community, transgender youths have more medical needs, and they have a whole added extra layer of trauma,” said Christopher Rodriguez, program manager for the trans house. “Many need hormone therapy, surgeries, preparation for surgeries.

“They’re outed more easily than others — a gay man can pass as not gay if he wants to, but generally not someone who’s trans. So they get more attention, and not the good kind. And more violence. That takes a lot of careful work to heal.”
It takes large cities to have a program like this; the population of the Bay Area is more than the population of Connecticut. Some trans youth end up here in Connecticut and DCF is hard-pressed to find foster homes for them, many of the trans youth end up living on the street.

Here in Connecticut trans youth and other LGBTQ+ can find some help at True Colors which works with DCF to cover our backs.

I am heading home after a weekend away. I did a lot of traveling over the long weekend. First to the Cape, then to Maine to be with my brother and sister-in-law for Easter, and then I stopped at a friends' place in Haverhill. All totaled about 600 miles and ten hours driving time/

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter

To all of you who celibate Happy Easter!

I’m up at my brother’s and sister-in-laws's condo today.

I hope that all of you who celebrate Easter are with the ones your love. However, for many people holidays are a stressful time, so open your hearts and invite them in you your home.

I leave you with some Easter humor...

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday 9: Mighty Clouds of Joy

Sam’s  Saturday 9: Mighty Clouds of Joy (1974)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I am heading up to the Cape today and then on to Maine for Easter at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s condo for Easter so there might be a gap between postings.

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

1) This song celebrates serenity. Are you feeling peaceful this morning?
Nope, I am not looking forward to driving in the rain for 3 hours but I need to bring some stuff up to the cottage.

2) The lyrics include allusions to sun and clouds. How does the world look where you are? Is it sunny or cloudy?

3) This week's featured artist, BJ Thomas, is in the Grammy Hall of Fame for another hit record that uses weather as a metaphor, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." Make up a Hall of Fame that you believe you should be inducted into. (For example, Crazy Sam has inducted herself into The Meme Mistress Hall of Fame for her service to Saturday 9.)
The Introvert Hall of Fame for who sit in silence.But the only problem with that is no one would want to go there because they don't want to leave their houses.

4) When Crazy Sam hears this song, she always sings along ... loud. Is there a song you simply cannot resist singing along with?
Queen Bohemian Rhapsody

5) BJ Thomas has performed this song at The Grand Ole Opry. The Opry has been broadcast on the radio every week since 1925, nearly 95 years ago! Of course, back in the 1920s, radio was the only broadcast media. Today we have other choices. Is listening to the radio part of your daily routine?
Satellite radio

6) Though their dress code is lenient, country music fans who attend the Opry for a live show are warned: "Just remember, there's one rule we take very seriously here at the Grand Ole Opry -- you must wear something." Easter Sunday is a day many of us dress up. What will you be wearing today?
A skirt and black top.

7) Easter is recognized as the start of the spring season. What are you looking forward to this spring?
Cleaning the gutters at the cottage… NOT!

8) Lilies are popular at Easter. Do you have a favorite flower?
Naw, I am waiting for the lilacs under my bedroom window to come out and fill the house with their fragrance.

9) Which would rather find in your Easter basket: yellow marshmallow chicks (aka Peeps) or a plastic egg filled with pennies?
If truth be told… neither one
The local bank used to have a change machine but now I have to use the one in the grocery store that takes a 10 percent cut.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Out And About

We just had the Transgender Day of Visibility and one of the theories behind the movement when you know a trans person you are more likely to accept all trans people.
Transgender Actor on How Netflix's 'The OA' Helped His Family Accept His Identity
The Hollywood Reporter
By Katherine Schaffstall
April 17, 2019

"Being on set was the first time I heard my mom use my correct name and pronouns, so that made my heart soar and made me realize they can accept this," Ian Alexander told Ellen DeGeneres.

Ian Alexander made his talk show debut during Wednesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The star of Netflix's The OA, who is the first transgender Asian-American person to act on television, joined his co-star and co-creator Brit Marling to discuss how the Netflix series helped his parents accept his gender identity.
"I think being on The OA actually really helped them realize that I can be happy and I can be successful as a trans person and as a queer person," he said. "Being on set for The OA was the first time I heard my mom use my correct name and pronouns, so that made my heart soar and made me realize they can accept this and other people can accept this and I can be just fully accepted for who I am in this environment."
He is not the first trans person on television, you might remember Candis Cayne who played Carmelita on Dirty Sexy Money and then there was the soap opera All My Children where Zoe was a transgender character but Zoe was played by a cisgender man, however there was one show on the program where there were a number trans people playing the parts of trans people (You can read about it here).

In the movies… Boy Meets Girl (2014): 'Ricky' was played by Michelle Hendley

And just recently And Then There Was Eve (2017) that starred Rachel Crowl who was in the All My Children program in 2007

And And Then There Was Eve is available on Amazon Prime... it is an excellent movie, actually both of the movies are excellent

The Good And The Bad

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
A Tale of Two Cities
By Charles Dickens

Here in Connecticut it is the best of times there are five pro LGBTQ+ bills advancing through the legislature including a bill to add a third gender option to IDs and a bill to ban Trans/Gay Panic defense in court, but in other states and countries it is the worst of times.
Tennessee Is Trying to Pass a Bathroom Bill by Pretending It’s Not a Bathroom Bill
By Nico Lang
April 18, 2019

After Massachusetts voted to keep in place laws protecting its transgender citizens last year, anti-LGBTQ activists were faced with a choice: whether to keep lying or start telling the truth.

In a November op-ed for the right-wing website LifeSiteNews, MassResistance—which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBTQ hate group—acknowledged that the attempt by conservatives to convince the public that trans people pose a threat to the safety of women and children had largely failed. Massachusetts voters upheld a 2016 law allowing transgender people to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity by a 35-point margin. Just months earlier, Anchorage defeated a “bathroom bill” voter referendum 53% to 47%.
“We need to learn from this,” MassResistance concluded. If anti-LGBTQ campaigns hoped to avoid further losses, MassResistance claimed they needed to stop hiding behind half-hearted rhetoric and be honest about their real target: “the bizarre and delusional nature of transgenderism itself.”
Down in Tennessee they took that warning to heart and instead of a direct attack on us they are,
On Wednesday, April 17, the Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee in the Tennessee House held the final hearing on House Bill 1274, which has rapidly been gaining momentum in the legislature. If passed, it would direct the Tennessee Attorney General to defend school districts who are sued for refusing to allow trans students to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their sense of self.

Kasey Suffredini, president of strategy at Freedom for All Americans, claims that while the strategy might be different, there’s no mistaking that this proposal is, in effect, a bathroom bill. He says it passes the buck onto local school districts to administer their own anti-trans policies.

Meanwhile north of the border they are following in Trump’s footsteps…
Alberta candidate who compared homosexuality to paedophilia wins election
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
18th April 2019

A candidate who has compared homosexuality to paedophilia and claimed Christian schools should be able to fire gay teachers has won election to the legislative assembly in Alberta, Canada.

United Conservative Party candidate Mark Smith won the Drayton Valley-Devon seat in Tuesday’s (April 16) Alberta general election, despite his anti-gay views emerging days before polling day.

Smith received more than 70 percent of the vote according to initial counts, well ahead of second-placed candidate Kieran Quirke, on just 17 percent.
Ahead of election day, the right-wing party pledged to axe a law that prevents teachers from outing school children in gay-straight alliance groups to their parents.

UCP leader Jason Kenney, who is now set to become Premier of Alberta, has vowed to repeal the 2017 law protecting the rights of students to form GSAs, and introduce a replacement law that opponents say is much weaker.

Kenney’s plan would remove part of the law that prohibits schools from notifying parents about whether their child has joined a gay-straight alliance, which was put in place to protect LGBT+ children from ‘outing’.
It is the best of time, it was the worst of times.

The Redacted version...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
A Tale of Two Cities
By Charles Dickens

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Doctor Will See You Now

For many trans people they dread those words. This morning I met my new doctor for my annual physical, my old doctor retired after forty years as my PCP (Primary Care Physicians) and he was with me through my transition.
How physicians can be transgender inclusive around sexual health
Medical Economics
By Jordan Rosenfeld
April 1, 2019

While sexual health is often an uncomfortable issue for physicians to address with patients, it is often overlooked entirely in transgender individuals due to physician’s lack of education or personal discomfort, according to Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD, medical director at the Center for Transgender Health at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

Transgender individuals are those who maintain a gender identity that is different from the gender they were assigned at birth.

Olson-Kennedy recommends that physicians undergo training to improve their understanding and sensitivity to be more inclusive of transgender individuals.
For the last ten years I have done training for med students and one things that they covered was taking sexual history.
When it comes to taking a sexual history, Olson-Kennedy says it’s very important that physicians avoid making any assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual behaviors or choice of sexual partners.

“There is a common [erroneous] assumption that transmen have sexual relationships with cisgender women,” Olson-Kennedy says. “For transfeminine individuals there is a similar assumption that they are in sexual relationships with cisgender men, which can lead to unnecessary and inappropriate inquiry about HIV risk.”
Last month when I was on the panel I brought up that when I visited the portal for my new PCP that it had a note about MSM (Men having Sex with Men) and how that is presumptuous since many trans people don’t have partners. Well when I went to my new doctor I check the portal again and it was gone! Hmm… I wonder if one of the professors, who are also teaching doctors checked to see if their physicians’ network did that and removed them.
While Leondires says that physicians are going to make mistakes as they begin to practice transgender inclusivity, it’s important to acknowledge those moments and keep trying to build trust.

“These patients need healthcare,” he says. “In order to trust their doctor, their identity needs to be acknowledged.”
So did my new PCP do a sexual history?