Friday, May 31, 2019

Years Of Work Undone

With a stroke of a pen all of our work has been undone, for me it started with a late night phone call. A call from a trans woman sitting out on the street at night in sub-zero cold.

She was just thrown out of a male homeless shelter for being a trouble maker. Why? Because some of the other residents threw a chair at her and hurled derogatory comments at her… so the shelter instead of throwing out the trouble makers they threw out the victim.
Homeless shelters could deny transgender people under proposed Trump administration rule
USA Today
By Kristin Lam,
May 23, 2019

A Trump administration proposal could allow federally-funded homeless shelters to deny services to transgender people, marking what advocates say is another attack on the community.

The proposal, published Wednesday, would rollback Obama-era protections to prevent single-sex shelters from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Under the Department of Housing and Urban Development rule change, homeless shelter operators could create a policy to consider "an individual’s sex for the purposes of determining accommodation within such shelters and for purposes of determining sex for admission to any facility or portion thereof."
Some of you might remember Jennifer Gale who died in Austin Texas when she couldn’t find a homeless shelter on a cold Texas night and some of you might think it couldn’t happen here in Connecticut because we have laws protecting us…. WRONG!
Editorial: Trump rolls back protections for transgender Americans
San Francisco Chronicle
Chronicle Editorial Board
May 25, 2019

The Trump administration is going backward on transgender rights. In just the past week it announced that it is eliminating “gender identity” as a factor in health care and changing rules on federally funded homeless shelters in a way that could result in discrimination against transgender people.

These policies represent a disturbing reversal of gains in providing transgender Americans with equal protection under the law.

Most significantly, the Obama administration had redefined discrimination in health care “on the basis of sex” to include gender identity. In 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against that policy, finding that “Congress did not understand ‘sex’ to include gender identity” as a basis for discrimination.

The Trump administration should have appealed that ruling. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new regulation that would align with the judge’s ruling.
The health care regulation was one of two federal rule changes that could sanction bias against transgender people. Also last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development rolled out a proposal that would allow federally funded homeless shelters to consider “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs” in deciding whom to admit.

Those conditions raise the possibility that homeless transgender Americans could be denied shelter on religious grounds or claims of practical problems. The Housing and Urban Development department has said it would allow shelter providers “greater flexibility when making decisions about individuals who may misrepresent their sex to access female-specific or male-specific shelters.”
When we* were doing training for the homeless shelters around the state we faced pushback from some of the shelters. One shelter manager said “No way I am going to let a woman with a p**is in to ‘my’ shelter.” We tried to tell him he has to; that he agreed to do so when he accepted funding from the state of Connecticut and from the federal government. The woman from HUD tried to tell him he had to but when still refused, she said “well give back the money.”

The shelter manager complained to our Senators and his 6th District Representative and they all said… obey the law!

Well that is all going to change under the Trump/Carson administration; they are striking our protection from the HUD policies that protect us and it will apply to any shelter receiving federal funding and that are all the shelters. But to make it even worst, their “religious special rights” policy will mean that federal policy will circumvent state laws. All a shelter would have to say to not allow a trans woman in a women’s shelter is say the magic words… “It is against my personal religious beliefs.”

So we are going to plunged back into the days of us freezing to death on a park bench.

*We =
CT Coalition to End Homelessness
CT Fair Housing Center
CT TransAdvocacy Coalition
HUD (Last year we were told that HUD would not participate in the training anymore)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Saturday Is The Start Of Pride Month And Is Also…

When the statues to Ms. Rivera and Ms. Johnson will be announced.
Two Transgender Activists Are Getting a Monument in New York
Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, both key figures in the gay liberation movement, will be honored with a permanent installation in Greenwich Village.
The New York Times
By Julia Jacobs
May 29, 2019

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, pioneering transgender activists who were at the vanguard of the gay rights movement, will be immortalized in a monument that may be placed down the street from the Stonewall Inn, the city said on Wednesday.

Ms. Johnson and Ms. Rivera were both drag performers and vibrant characters in Greenwich Village street life who worked on behalf of homeless L.G.B.T.Q. youth and those affected by H.I.V./AIDS. They are also believed to have been key figures in the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising who fought police as they raided the gay bar on Christopher Street.

The planned monument will be publicly announced on Thursday in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the uprising, which was a seminal moment for gay rights. It is also part of the city’s effort to fix a glaring gender gap in public art. Statues of L.G.B.T.Q. individuals are virtually nonexistent among the city’s monuments, and the city says the dedication to Johnson and Rivera will be one of the world’s first for transgender people.
The monument is estimated to cost about $750,000, a spokeswoman for the city said, and officials will begin searching for an artist shortly. Officials hope it will be completed by the end of 2021. Its exact location will be finalized after discussions with the community.
Who would have thought all those years ago that there would be statues to trans people honoring their achievements for our rights.

The article also said,
Even within the community of gay rights activists, Ms. Johnson and Ms. Rivera were often sidelined. Ms. Rivera often quarreled with gay political leaders who excluded transgender rights from their priorities, memorably warning, “Hell hath no fury like a drag queen scorned.”
Even today we still have to fight with some of “our gay brothers and our gay sisters” for our rights. 

We have been written out of Stonewall so many times in movies, in magazine articles, and in books that we have to be forever vigilant. How many times have to heard it was the beginning of the “Gay Rights” movement when in reality the Stonewall Uprising was the beginning of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Right in the heart of the uprising was Ms. Johnson and Ms. Rivera, no one know for sure who started the rebellion but one thing is certain is that there were lesbians and trans people right in the heart of the it.

Sylvia Rivera in an interview with Leslie Feinberg in 1998 in the magazine Workers World said,
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.
I'm glad I was in the Stonewall riot. I remember when someone threw a Molotov cocktail, I thought: "My god, the revolution is here. The revolution is finally here!"
In another article this time by Jessi Gan “Still at the back of the bus”: Sylvia Rivera’s struggle she quotes Rivera… “characterizes the Stonewall Inn as ‘a white male bar for middle-class males to pick up young boys of different races.’”

We must be always watchful that we are not written out of history.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Will This Make A Difference?

Looking at how depathologize of gays and lesbians affected them I would say depathologize of gender dysphoria will have the same result.
The World Health Organization Will Stop Classifying Transgender People as Having a 'Mental Disorder'
By Suyin Haynes
May 28, 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) will no longer categorize being transgender as a “mental disorder”, after a major resolution to amend its health guidelines was approved May 25.

The United Nations’ health agency approved a resolution to remove “gender identity disorder” from its global manual of diagnoses, in a move that will have a “liberating effect on transgender people worldwide,” says Human Rights Watch. According to the newly-revised version of the International Classification of Diseases (known as ICD-11), published by the WHO, “gender identity disorders” have been reframed as “gender incongruence.” Gender nonconformity is now included in a chapter on sexual health, rather than being listed with “mental disorders” as was the case previously. Activists are now hoping that the ICD-11 will be implemented by the WHO’s 194 member states over the next three years.

In several countries around the world, the process of medically transitioning gender is based on the now-outdated ICD framework, which classifies being transgender as a “gender identity disorder” under the category of “mental disorders.” In Japan for example, the law requires those seeking to transition gender to have a diagnosis of “gender identity disorder” and to be sterilized before their new gender identity can be reflected on official documentation. U.N. member states, of which Japan is one, are now responsible for putting ICD-11 into practice at a national level, a lengthy process that has been given a target deadline of January 1, 2022.
Okay first let me say that I fully support this, we need to get us out of the DSM and into the ICD.

Let’s look at how depathologizing of sexual orientation effected gays and lesbians, well first it freed them from the closet and eventually lead to the merry-go-round golden ring of marriage equality. It lead to decriminalizing of being gay or lesbian, it lead to protections, and it lead to the normalization of being gay or lesbian. What it didn’t do change the minds of the bigots.

I see removing us from the DSM and being labeled with a “mental disorder” will have the same effect, the bigots will still hate us, and businesses will still discriminate against us but we will be accepted into society more readily.

What it will also do is shoot down Trump saying we can’t serve in the military because we have a “mental disorder” and all the things his cabinet has done against us will be harder to justify.

So the overall result I see in removing the categorization of having a “mental disorder” very positive, now if only the APA will do the same thing.

Okay, okay I did use the fact that I was diagnosed with a “mental disorder” once. I was in a jury pool for a very ghastly murder case where the defendant was going to plea “temporary insanity” and the judge asked of the jury pool, “has anyone been diagnosed with a “mental disorder?” my hand went up so fast… I was excused from the case.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Breaking News… Very Good News!

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case challenging a trans discrimination high school case.
U.S. top court rejects challenge to rules accommodating Pennsylvania transgender students
By Lawrence Hurley
1 hr ago

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday preserved a Pennsylvania school district's policy accommodating transgender students, declining to hear a challenge backed by a conservative Christian group to rules letting them use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

The justices left in place a 2018 lower court ruling that upheld the Boyertown Area School District policy, which was challenged by six former or current high school students, though the action does not set a national legal precedent. The Supreme Court scrapped plans to hear a major transgender rights case involving bathroom access in public schools in 2017 and has never issued a decisive ruling on the matter.

The students challenging the policy argued that it violated their right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment and a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, known as Title IX. They were backed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group that has been involved in several major Supreme Court cases.
Is this a harbinger of things to come?

I sure hope so.

Some say they are waiting for the Gavin Grimm case but by refusing to hear this case that let the lower court ruling stand.

Tick, Tock, Tick…

Time is running out!

If you are a Connecticut voter we need your help!

The legislative session end June 5th and there are LGBTQ+ bills in the House and Senate that needs to be voted on before the end of the session.

The bills that have a chance…

Passed in the House and is on the Senate calendar --- Very good chance of passing
Legislation Update

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and is on the House calendar

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and is on the House calendar

The bills that probably will never pass…

It is on the House calendar but with only seven days left in the session this bill is all but dead.

Never made it out of committee

How to help?

Call, email, text, write a letter, send a bouquet of flowers, hire a plane with a banner… whatever but we need to get the bills a vote in their chambers, all the bills that have a chance need a push from us, the voters… so please contact your legislators. You can find them here.

Monday, May 27, 2019

May We Never Forget

For all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and for all those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you.

One thing that we can do to make sure that those who made the ultimate sacrifice and for all those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice not in vain is to vote!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Roof Over Our Head On A Cold Winter Night, That’s All We Want

For the last couple of years I have been working with other organization and HUD to training for homeless shelters. Ever since 2011 homeless shelters are supposed to allow trans to stay in shelters of their gender identity.
The Intercept
By Camille Baker
May 23, 2019

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION on Wednesday announced a new rule that would permit homeless shelters receiving Housing and Urban Development funds to turn people seeking shelter away based on their gender identity.

The plan, which is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget and could result in a formal change as early as September, would modify the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2016 Equal Access Rule. That rule, issued by the Obama administration, required single-sex or sex-segregated shelters to admit people based on their gender self-identification.

Civil rights advocates have slammed the Trump administration for the proposal, which could have particularly dire consequences for transgender people. Thirty percent of transgender people have at some point experienced homelessness, and transgender people of color are more than three times as likely as the total U.S. population to be living in poverty, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.

Shelters could consider factors such “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities, the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with” in deciding whether a person should be admitted to a shelter, an abstract published about the rule reads.
The proposal would also allow shelter providers to consider their own religious beliefs when deciding whether to admit a person experiencing homelessness. In explaining the change, HUD blasted the 2016 Equal Access rule for offering “no flexibility for faith-based shelter providers with deeply held religious convictions.”
Back in 2008 trans woman Jennifer Gale in Austin Texas was found dead after sleeping overnight on a bench when a homeless shelter wouldn’t let her in unless she use her male name and dressed as a male.
Even when they can access shelters, transgender women are uniquely vulnerable to abuse. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 70 percent of transgender survey respondents who stayed in a shelter in the year prior reported some form of mistreatment, including being harassed, sexually or physically assaulted, or kicked out because of their gender identities. They were also four times less likely to own a home than the overall U.S. population.
I became involved with homeless shelters when I got a call at around 11 PM on a very cold January night on the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition phone. The caller said she was just thrown out of a male shelter, she was put in a male shelter and was attacked by a couple of men who threw a chair at her. The shelter labeled her as the trouble maker even though she did nothing but defend herself from the attackers.

I called a friend at the CT Fair Housing Center and he found her a place to sleep at a women’s shelter.

When I posted the incident on Facebook a classmate from UConn School of Social Work who now is at CT Coalition to End Homelessness contacted me, out of that meeting came an ad hoc group to do training for homeless shelters. Including a woman from HUD and last year she told us that she could no long do training with us. So this policy comes as no surprise given the hate and animosity that the current administration has against trans people and LGBTQ+ people it comes as no surprise.

So we don’t have to worry because Connecticut has strong anti-discrimination laws to protect us… WRONG!

The way the new policy is written it also allows for religious discrimination and that will supersede state laws, so just by calming that allow a trans person in the shelter is against their religion they can not only refuse trans people but also they will be able to refuse unmarried woman with a child, interracial couple, and even someone from a different religion. So just like Jennifer Gale we might find another trans woman frozen on a bench outside of a homeless shelter.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday 9: God Bless America

Sam’s Saturday 9: God Bless America

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

Unfamiliar with Deanna Durbin's rendition of week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.

1) Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, this is when memorials, as well as the graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers on this day to show our appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood?
Here at the Cape I believe that there are at least one in Provincetown and back home there are a couple of war memorials.

2) Andrew Johnson, our 17th President, was in office the first time Memorial/Decoration Day was celebrated. Have you ever met one of our 45 Presidents?

3) According to the AAA, more than 30 million Americans will hit the road this weekend and drive more than 50 miles. Will you be traveling far from home this weekend?
Well I’m up on Cape Cod this weekend and I will be home Sunday night to avoid the madness getting off the Cape on Monday.

4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
Burgers, potato salad, baked beans, and a green salad.

5) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on?
No the heat is on it is only 45 out this morning.

6) Though she's belting out one of America's best loved patriotic songs, Deanna Durbin was born in Canada. Is there anyone in your family or circle of friends who wasn't born in the USA?
Yes,  a couple of people I know were born in Canada and one in India.

7) No longer a household name, Ms. Durbin was once one of the biggest stars in the country. One of her most popular films was 1937's One Hundred Men and a Girl, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Recommend a movie that you really like, but don't think many Saturday 9ers have seen.
'And Then There Was Eve'

Someone I know plays Eve in the movie, it has an interesting twist to the movie.

8) Back in 1938, Deanna Durbin had her handprints cemented in front of the TCL Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. Have you ever visited that Los Angeles tourist attraction?
The only part of California that I visited was down the coast to San Francisco.

9) Random question: What food did you hate as a child, but enjoy now?
I was a very picky eater when I was little and still am.

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, May 24, 2019


What will your legacy be when you are pushing up daisy? What will your balance sheet look like?

I will like my legacy be that I made life for the next generation of trans people easier. For politicians some will be balanced positively while others will be doing time in hell for the hell that they made our life here.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s LGBT legacy as she resigns
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
24th May 2019

UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday (May 24) that she will resign next month after failing to negotiate a Brexit deal in parliament ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Standing outside 10 Downing Street on Friday morning, May revealed she will stand down as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7. She will remain prime minister until a new leader has been elected to take over.
May has a complex legacy on LGBT+ issues. We explore the former Prime Minister’s stance on LGBT+ rights and why she will no longer be UK Prime Minister.

The politician first entered politics as a firm opponent of equality, but evolved her stance as Home Secretary, and as Prime Minister reaffirmed the party’s commitments on LGBT+ rights—though she also faced criticism from LGBT rights activists.
She started off her political career on a negative footing as far as LGBTQ+ right but she moved left over time.
Theresa May’s stance on LGBT+ rights continued to shift under David Cameron’s leadership. It was May who helped first ensure that proposals for same-sex marriage made it onto the Conservative agenda, promising a review ahead of the 2010 election.
May was frequently criticised by asylum groups for the degrading treatment of LGBT+ asylum seekers, who fled homophobic persecution.
The leader’s most significant intervention came on transgender rights.

Speaking at the PinkNews Awards in November 2017, she pledged: “We’ve set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and de-medicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”
What about politicians over here?

President Obama legacy…

  • Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • 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) 
  • Trans attorney Shannon Minter to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
  • Raffi Freedman-Gurspan– White House Staff
  • First time transgender is mentioned in a State of the Union Address
  • Health insurance: ACA & Medicare
  • Recognized protections: EEOC, OSHA, DoJ, & DoEd
  • Appoints trans woman Freedman-Gurspan as the White House’s LGBT liaison
  • Affirmed trans Title VII & Title IX protection
  • Executive order requiring companies with government contracts to not discriminate against LGBTQ employees.
  • Executive order requiring hospital to respect same sex marriages 

He is going to have to answer his maker one day and I think we all know where his scale will balance.
Connecticut governor Malloy…

  • Many here in Connecticut hate the governor Malloy but he was a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Back in the early 2000’s he gave to trans groups, I attended a number of GenderPAC fundraisers where I first met him.
  • He pushed through the Gender Identity/Expression Non-Discrimination bill. When the bill was bogged down in the House without enough votes to pass it; the governor walked out on the House floor which is against the House rules and the Speaker was banging the gavel saying repeatedly “Will the governor get off the floor.” I don’t know what he said but the bill passed in the next half hour.

We can debate on taxes, tolls, the size of the government but I think what most politicians will be remembered for is how they protect and treat their citizens.

*Links to the laws are down the right side of the blog.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Nothing Has Changed In Fifty Years… Or What Was That Thumping Noise?

As we approach the anniversary of Stonewall there are still those who deny our involvement in the uprising. One of the results of Stonewall is the recognition that we needed to organize our own organizations and not be on the coattails of lesbian and gay organization.
How Sylvia Rivera Created the Blueprint for Transgender Organizing
The trans activist's most enduring legacy lies in the institutions she built, inspired, and forced to change.
By Raquel Willis
May 21, 2019

Two years before her death, Stonewall veteran Sylvia Rivera served as muse for a photography series captured by Valerie Shaff. The black-and-white images feature the outspoken activist dolled up with razor-thin eyebrows, a bold lip, and wind-strewn hair on a makeshift encampment near the Hudson River. A nearly 50-year-old Rivera was living there in protest of the mostly gay- and lesbian-focused organizations and community groups at the time — particularly, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center (then known as the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center Inc.), which was mere city blocks away.

Rivera contended that the mainstream LGBTQ+ organizations were ignoring the needs of local homeless youth and transgender people. For her, the LGBTQ+ nonprofit industrial complex had grown into something far different from the initiatives she’d spearheaded throughout her lifetime.

“Sylvia was really for the democratization of our movement. She was unwilling to have an agenda be set behind closed doors by the most elite people in the community,” says Dean Spade, a trans activist and associate professor at Seattle University School of Law.  “We see this even now: There are always battles over how homeless people and people with psychiatric disabilities are treated at LGBTQ+ centers and events. The battles over those exclusions are an example of carrying on Sylvia’s work in a deep way.”
After all these years I am still concerned about being swallowing up by lesbian and gay organizations. if you look around you will see many LGbtq that do a good job of covering the spectrum but others seem like that cater to “Gay” and trans are just lip service.

I realize that the “T” is just 0.5% of the population but when you see their Board of Directors you only see one or two trans people on their boards. Here in the Connecticut the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition (CTAC) is the only trans organization and all the other are LGBTQ+ also most of them are regional.

Rivera’s created the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and the STAR House which I believe is still going strong in NYC and  during that time a number of pure trans organizations formed, some of them are still around today and others have faded out.

CTAC has its roots in the national organization “It’s Time America” and CTAC used to be named “It’s Time Connecticut” but changed our name in the early 2000's.
Despite continued silencing and erasure from the larger landscape of LGBTQ+ nonprofits, Rivera fought fiercely in the last two years of her life. She continued to publicly excoriate the proposed Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), which had been periodically introduced since the 1970s and failed to provide protections for trans people. Wicker recalls Rivera meeting with the Empire State Pride Agenda on her deathbed, pleading that trans people not be left out of the legislation. Ultimately, they were — and gender identity wouldn’t be included in the law until New York Governor David Paterson issued an executive order seven years later.
I saw that here in Connecticut once the marriage bill passed the donations dried up and the organization folded but they gave a grant to a non-LGBTQ+ organization as the fiduciary to support the passage of the gender identity non-discrimination law and CTAC was a part of the group but once the law passed ctEQUALIITY disbanded.

Around the state there are a number of trans support groups that are run by trans people for trans people, however they are only support groups and do not offer any other services. CTAC only offers training to businesses and state agencies, their annual conferences, and legislative initiatives and dose not provide legal, medical, or therapy support, nor any community space. The state just doesn’t have enough trans people to support a large trans agency.

There we have to turn to the LGBTQ+ organization for those services and sometimes we feel like an adoptive child. There was a loose coalition that came together for legislation but faded out and is trying to reform as ctEQUALITY, but the fear that I have is that it will be managed just by larger LG organizations and the smaller organizations will lose their identities. Right now when a news agency is looking for comments about trans issues they turn to CTAC but if there is an umbrella LGBTQ+ organization would news agencies be refer to CTAC or would ctEQUALITY comment on trans issues.

So the bottom-line is we need to make sure that our voices are held we need LGBTQ+ but we will not be their lap dog that they bring out to parade around when they want to show that they support the trans community. We need to make sure that we are not thrown under the bus but rather are on the bus as an equal partner.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Getting Old While Trans

Let’s face it we all are getting old, it is something we dread but it is sure better than the alterative, however if you are trans it faces a whole new set of challenges.
Fighting loneliness, finding companionship for California’s elderly
Lake County Record Bee
By Sammy Caiola
May 15, 2019

“You ain’t lived till you been caught up by the police for being a queer.”

Red Jordan Arobateau leans back from the lunch table and props his cane against it. The 75-year-old is dining with a crew of transgender seniors that get together once a month. Today they’re trading war stories.

Rafi Simanton says he was arrested three times as a political activist in the ’90s.

For Felicia Elizondo, that’s small potatoes. She’s been fighting alongside other trans women since the Compton’s Cafeteria riot in San Francisco in 1966, three years before the better known police brawl at the Stonewall Inn, a club catering to the LGBT community in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

Andrea Horne, another diner, weighs in from the far end of the table, “It was trans women of color that started the whole (expletive),” she says. “There would be no LGBT without us.”

They’re at Openhouse, a subsidized apartment building in the historically queer Haight district. It’s one of California’s few rental options explicitly for older LGBT adults.
Senior living is something that most of us will need in the future but as a member of a marginalized community we wonder how we will be treated by the staff and other residents.
National LGBT Housing Initiative

We’re making sure there’s a place for you
One of the most important decisions we make as older adults is where we’re going to live during our senior years. For all older adults, affordability is often a challenge. For LGBT older adults, so is finding a place that’s welcoming—where we can feel free to be ourselves and be treated respectfully and compassionately.

With our National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative, we’re addressing these challenges on several fronts by:
  • Building LGBT-friendly housing in New York City
  • Advocating nationally against housing discrimination
  • Training eldercare providers to be LGBT culturally competent
  • Educating you about your housing rights
Helping builders across the U.S. replicate LGBT-friendly housing
Okay that is all well and good but trans people make up an estimated 0.5 percent of the population and gays and lesbians make up around 5 percent and another important demographic is that 71% of the LGBT population do not have children.

According to the Williams Institute about 4 percent of the people in Connecticut are LGBT and Connecticut population is around 3.5 million people which means there are about 140,000 LGBT people in Connecticut and which means 17,000 trans people spread out over the state. However if you just look at the estimated number of trans people over 65 it turns out that there might be only 85 of us and that is the kicker so there will be probably on about a dozen trans people living in senior living centers.

Compare Connecticut with New York City with a population of 8.6 million and you can see that a trans senior living center here in Connecticut is not feasible.

So what does that mean for us senior trans people here in Connecticut?

Well it means if you have to live in a senior living center you might be the only trans person in the facility.

So what does that mean for trans people like me? What protections will be offered us? 

If you navigate through the state website you will eventually end up on the Long-Term Care  Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) and half way down the page you will find a link to Residents’ Rights and the LGBT Community, following that link to Residents’ Rights and the LGBT Community: Know YOUR Rights as a Nursing Home Resident.

The LTCOP has a “Inclusive Community Workgroup” working to make sure that we have a safe and comprehensive policy in place for us and the greater LGBTQ+ population. I sit on the committee and one of my goals  is to make sure we are not left out of any policies or training that comes out of the committee, and by trans I mean the umbrella definition not just for those who have transitioned but also genderqueer, non-binary, crossdressers, and drag queens and kings.

I also want to make sure that when we invite care givers into our homes that we feel safe. There is an initiative by Connecticut Community Care called Getting it Right: Creating an LGBT Inclusive Organization* which is training its staff; “The program works with aging service providers such as home care and facility-based providers to create welcoming and intentionally inclusive services for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) clients and families.” In addition SAGE offers training.

So hopefully by the time you retire and need senior living there will be safeguards in place for us and the greater LGBT population. However, I do not expect a dedicated LGBT living center here in the state.

*I am on a committee that help organized the GIR program.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Flaunting It

Have you ever heard people say I am okay with you being transgender as long as you don’t flaunt it and their definition of “flaunting it” is being yourself or a gay or lesbian couple holding hands.

There is a name for that it is call cisgender privilege and heteronormative privilege. Their holding hands is okay and the public “personal display of affection” is limited to only their display.
One Million Moms wants Arthur cancelled for ‘promoting homosexual lifestyle’
The Pink News
By Nick Duffy
20th May 2019

Anti-LGBT evangelical group One Million Moms has slammed US broadcaster PBS after an episode of Arthur featured a gay wedding.

The long-running cartoon series aired a same-sex wedding as part of May 13 episode “Mr Ratburn and the Special Someone,” which revealed teacher Mr Ratburn getting married to another man.

The episode received praise from viewers, but apparently did not go down well with One Million Moms, an offshoot of the ultra-conservative American Family Association, which is known for campaigns against inclusive media content.

The group claims that more than 18,000 members have signed its petition calling on PBS to “cancel this controversial content immediately.”
It is censorship plain and simple.

Oh it is corrupting our children and changing them into gays and lesbians.

Someone who didn’t me and just looked at my internet usage back before could conclude that the trans stuff I was searching for made me trans, to them it was “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” (ROGD). Just out of the blue I became trans.

A child who watched the Arthur and then came out gay or lesbian they say… see it made them gay!

But in reality all my life I fought this thing called “gender dysphoria,” I hid it good and deep, and I was afraid that if anyone found out about my “little secret” my world would come to an end. What the internet did was to show that I could have a life being an out trans person.

All my life until I turned 60 I didn’t have a social life, my world revolved around a five mile radius, work was 4 miles from my home, at night friends came over to watch TV and sports, or I went to bars in town where the “townies” hung out or I went over to one of the volunteer fire stations or to a party in town, and that was it, that was my life. So when I came out it was a shock to everyone and it seems like ROGD.

The conservatives don’t see it that way, they see it as the “Gay Agenda” recruiting young kids. They don’t see it as “being born that way” but rather as a lifestyle.

So when we go out in public to them we are flaunting it their face.

Though out history bigots felt the same way, blacks who moved into white neighborhoods were uppity.

The Chinese, Irish, Italian, and other minorities were forced in to ghettos in the cities. I remember one time when my family went to visit one of my uncles and he showed us around “Little Italy” in New York City and everyone there knew his name.

The bigots forced PBS in Alabama to take the show off the air.
Arthur ‘gay wedding’ episode banned by Alabama Public Television
The Pink News
By Vic Parsons
21st May 2019

Alabama Public Television has refused to show the premiere of the 22nd season of Arthur because it features a gay wedding.

Entitled “Mr Ratburn and the Special Someone,” the episode features the same-sex marriage of Arthur’s third-grade teacher, Mr Ratburn.

The episode first aired on May 13 but was not shown by Alabama Public Television (APT), which chose to show a re-run of an old Arthur episode instead.

“It would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode,” the director of programming at APT, Mike McKenzie, told NBC News.
Well it is Alabama, the state that banned abortion, the state that fought integration to the bitter end, the same state that fought health insurance for their citizens, the state that the Republican Party is entrenched in.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Freedom From Unwarranted Search.

If your home is your castle then what is your face?

Back in the early 2000’s there was an attendee at Fantasia Fair who was worried about having her picture taken she said that there was programs that can identify your face… I thought she was paranoid but it turned out she was just ahead of her time.
San Francisco's facial recognition ban is just the beginning of a national battle over the technology
“Our traditional secrecy and lack of transparency has probably come back to haunt us,” the president of the National Police Foundation said.
NBC News
By Jon Schuppe
May 20, 2019

Police say facial recognition is “essential” and “imperative” — a groundbreaking tool that allows them to track down criminals who would otherwise escape justice.

Opponents say the technology is “nefarious” and “dangerous” — an omen of repressive government surveillance.

The two sides are engaged in an escalating battle over public opinion that will reach a turning point this week, when San Francisco is expected to become the first city in the country to adopt a ban on government use of facial recognition.
The proposed bans have injected new momentum into a campaign by civil rights advocates, defense lawyers and artificial intelligence researchers to expose the flaws of facial recognition to lawmakers and the public. Linking the fight with a broader public backlash against the government and tech firms’ use of private data, the opponents have documented how algorithms that drive the systems are prone to misidentifying people with dark skin. Last week, researchers at Georgetown Law School released reports outlining police abuses of facial recognition and the ability of some big-city departments to use surveillance camera networks to identify people in public spaces in real time. On Wednesday, Amazon shareholders will consider proposals, pushed by activist investors, aimed at curtailing the company’s selling of its facial recognition to the government.
So what does this have to do with trans issues?

A police car drives by a support group meeting parking lot and records every license plate in the parking lot. You drive through an intersection on your way to a support group meeting and BINGO your license plate is recorded

A CCTV camera records every face of the members going to into the building and matches the faces their faces.

Suppose you are going through one of those electronic tolls that reads your license plate it also records and stores the direction and time your plate went through the toll gantry.

You say “I don’t care I’m not doing anything wrong so why should I care?”


A new president is elected on an anti-trans platform to rid the world of “those perverts” and new laws are passed or old ones resurrected making it illegal to dress in clothes of the opposite gender… you must have three items of clothing on of your birth gender.

Homeland Security goes back and searches all the recordings that have been kept on file and begins arresting trans people on morals charges.


What do you think?

Right now there are no laws against the length of time all those license plate reading can be stored and who they can be shared with. The same thing with the videos and did you know that many businesses share in real time their video feeds with the police? And to top it off, they don’t need a warrant and there is no limit on the length of time the information can be stored.

About three or four years ago I noticed those little black boxes mounted on the trunks and roofs of police cars and I was curious as what they were… so I googled them.
Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs)
Electronic Freedom Foundation

Automated license plate readers (ALPRs) are high-speed, computer-controlled camera systems that are typically mounted on street poles, streetlights, highway overpasses, mobile trailers, or attached to police squad cars. ALPRs automatically capture all license plate numbers that come into view, along with the location, date, and time. The data, which includes photographs of the vehicle and sometimes its driver and passengers, is then uploaded to a central server.

Vendors say that the information collected can be used by police to find out where a plate has been in the past, to determine whether a vehicle was at the scene of a crime, to identify travel patterns, and even to discover vehicles that may be associated with each other. Law enforcement agencies can choose to share their information with thousands of other agencies.
These are installed in a fixed location, such as a traffic light, a telephone pole, the entrance of a facility, or a freeway exit ramp. These cameras generally capture only vehicles in motion that pass within view.

If multiple stationary ALPR cameras are installed along a single thoroughfare, the data can reveal what direction and what speed a car is traveling. If the data are stored over time, they can reveal every time a particular plate has passed a given location, allowing the government to infer that the driver likely lives or works close by.
People are worried about being track online but this is even worst, you are being tracked in real time and then the information is kept forever because there are no laws preventing it. In addition there are no laws preventing who they share the data with.

The NBC article goes on to say…
Opponents of facial recognition believe they have built a model to fight the technology. It is rooted in a movement that began six years ago in Oakland, California, in response to discovery of the city’s plans to create a massive surveillance network of video cameras, gunshot detectors and license plate readers. The plan was scrapped amid a public backlash, and led to the creation of a privacy commission that backed the passage of a local law requiring the city to submit for public scrutiny any purchase of surveillance equipment. Oakland now has a pending amendment to that law that would ban the city government from using facial recognition.
Hartford already has all that in place, they share video feeds from businesses, license plate readers and gunshot detectors. I was in the green room for a Sunday morning talk show waiting for my turn and sitting next to me was the aide to the chief of police when his phone buzzed… it was a text message saying shots were detected at a street corner.

The EFF article said that…
ALPR Databases
Most of this ALPR data is stored in databases for extended periods of time—often as much as five years. The databases may be maintained by the police departments, but often they are maintained by private companies such as Vigilant Technologies. Law enforcement agencies without their own ALPR systems can access data collected by other law enforcement agencies through regional sharing systems and networks operated by these private companies. Several companies operate independent, non-law enforcement ALPR databases, contracting with drivers to put cameras on private vehicles to collect the information. These data are then sold to companies like insurers, but law enforcement can also purchase access to this commercial data on a subscription basis.
What Kinds of Data ALPRs Collect
ALPRs collect license plate numbers and location data along with the exact date and time the license plate was encountered. Some systems are able to capture make and model of the vehicle. They can collect thousands of plates per minute. One vendor brags that its dataset includes more than 6.5 billion scans and grows at a rate of 120-million data points each month.

So what can be done to prevent trans people from being “outed?”

A couple of years ago I had lunch with the head of the Connecticut ACLU and we were talking about legislative priorities and this topic came up and it is on their radar.

Yes,  the monitoring network can have it legitimate uses and they should not be curtailed but guidelines need to be established on the storage and use of the data.
  • No data can be stored by private companies the data must be stored by the police departments or the Department of Transportation and with limited controlled accesses
  • Control of who can see the data and no release of data without a search warrant.
  • Control of who can see the raw data. Maybe the highway department can only see the traffic data, etc.
  • Control of the length of time the scans can be stored… 90 days, 6 months, a year; I don’t care about the actual length of time as long as there is a limit.

All we have to do is look at China to see how this can be abused by a government.
This Chinese facial recognition start-up can identify a person in seconds
By Amanda Lentino
May 16 2019

  • China plans to be the global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, a market where the facial recognition piece alone is expected to garner $9.6 billion by 2022.
  • China’s facial recognition database includes nearly every one of China’s 1.4 billion citizens.
  • Shanghai-based YITU Technology has gained wide recognition for its facial scan platform that can identify a person from a database of at least 2 billion people in a matter of seconds.
In China, facial recognition technology — biometric computer applications that automatically identify an individual from a database of digital images — is a part of daily life.
They are already using the system to determine a person’s “social credit”

This is a trans issues… as a marginalized population we are ripe for blackmail, hate crimes, violence, and discrimination.

Update 1:30 PM

I just watched this video… imagine if a government like Egypt or Russian or the Trump administration used facial recognition to track down LGBT people

A couple of years ago was the first time that I heard about the Rainbow Railroad, it was at a the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) conference in Vermont that I was invited to talk about trans rights and the topic shifted to smuggling LGBTQ people out of Uganda.

I am going to be posting only once a day for now on, it seems like that all there is, is negative news stores and I want my blog to be more than that, I want to be informative on issues like this post.

So for now I will be posting once a day.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

It’s Back!

What’s back?

The “no-match” letters from Social Security, you know the letter to your employer telling that there is a problem with W-2 and Social Security information.
Resumption of Social Security No-Match Letters Raises the Stakes for Employers
National Law Review
May 15, 2019

After a seven-year hiatus, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed the practice of sending no-match letters (officially called Employer Correction Request notices). These letters notify employers when the SSA has found a discrepancy between SSA records and the information provided on the employer’s W-2 form. The letters request that employers provide corrected name and Social Security information so that the SSA can reconcile the employer’s wage reports and properly credit the employee’s earnings to his or her Social Security records. (See a sample letter here.) While this request may sound simple enough, it is fraught with potential pitfalls.

Employers receiving no-match letters must not only make an effort to resolve the issues identified by the SSA, but they must also exercise care when doing so in order to avoid violating the antidiscrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
And of course the Democrats are speaking out against the practice.
Democrats blast return of 'no-match' letters
The Hill
By Rafael Bernal
May 2,  2019

House Democrats are protesting a directive from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to resume the practice of sending so-called no-match letters that alert employers to irregularities with their employees' Social Security numbers (SSN).
According to the New York Times the courts found it illegal to send out the letters…
The government officially suspended the use of no-match letters in 2012, although the practice had actually been discontinued years earlier, after the government faced litigation. The resumption appears to be a response to the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order signed by President Trump to protect American workers and reduce illegal immigration.
But the American Civil Liberties Union, United States Chamber of Commerce, unions and trade groups won a lawsuit later that year that claimed the policy could lead to discrimination against or termination of native-born American workers and legal immigrant workers. The suit also claimed that the regulation would pose a heavy burden on employers.

The latest letters appear to avoid the legal pitfalls identified in the earlier litigation because, unlike those drafted under the Bush program, the current letters do not threaten employers with enforcement action or penalties.

According to reports by the SSA inspector general and the Government Accountability Office, the no-match letters also proved to be ineffective at weeding out undocumented workers.
What does this have to do with trans?

Many people do not know what a paper nightmare a trans person has to go through, trans people who were born in states where you cannot change your documentation so your birth certificate might say male but your IDs might say female with a different name. To change your Social Security information you need a letter from a doctor and that cost money and if you don’t have medical insurance it might be more than you can afford.

Now once again the government in their zealous attempt to round undocumented immigrants will be outing trans people.

I’m Not A Big Fan Of The HRC

But once in a while to do something good.

I was at meeting last week down in the southern part of the state and at the meeting a passing remark made me look this up. I am on the steering committee for the LGBT Aging Advocacy and also a member of the State Unit On Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman Program “Inclusive Community Workgroup” so when I heard this mentioned my ears picked up.
HRC & SAGE Partner for First-Ever Assessment of Care Facilities Serving Older LGBTQ People
By Elliott Kozuch
April 15, 2019

HRC Foundation and SAGE, the world's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older adults, announced a historic partnership to fundamentally improve the experiences of LGBTQ older adults as they seek long-term care and services.

A centerpiece of the effort will be the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI), the first-ever nationwide assessment of how long-term care facilities are treating their LGBTQ residents. The new survey will build on the decade-plus success of the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), which scores healthcare facilities on policies and practices ensuring the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.

As work begins to develop the specific evaluation tools for the LEI, facilities are being asked today to take the first step by signing onto the HRC Foundation and SAGE’s “Commitment to Caring” pledge. Leaders from HRC and SAGE made the announcement today in New Orleans at the annual American Society on Aging Conference -- the nation’s largest multidisciplinary conference covering issues of aging and quality of life for older adults. The American Society on Aging is the first signatory to the pledge.

“All too often, LGBTQ elders do not receive the care and support they deserve,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “With experts predicting that as many as 4.7 million LGBTQ elders will be seeking care and services by the year 2030, the time to act is now. It is incumbent on us to ensure that all LGBTQ elders are treated with dignity and respect, and HRC is proud to join with SAGE in this historic effort to fundamentally improve the experiences of LGBTQ older adults as they seek long-term care and services.”
We are all getting old and hopefully we will live to a ripe old age but we might need a long term care facility so it is important that they are LGBTQ+ friendly.

The one problem I have with these Equality Index is that the company fills out the forms and sometimes those businesses that have a 100 percent rating does filter down to the employee level. I know a trans woman who worked for a company that had a perfect rating down she was harassed so bad and her bosses did nothing she had to leave (she worked in a state that had no protection for us and that’s why she moved to Connecticut).

However, the Equality Indexes are a step in the right direction.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday 9: Secret Love

Sam’s Saturday 9: Secret Love (1953)

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

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

Rest in peace, Doris Day (1922-2019)

Here is a little known fact about me… I saw Doris Day when they were filming “It Happened to Jane” in Chester CT. My father packed the family up in the car taking us on an adventure, he didn’t say what or where but just drove us one Sunday afternoon down to Chester and we watched the filming for about an hour.

1) In this song Doris admits she's spoken to the stars, "the way dreamers often do." Do you often daydream?
Oh yes.

2) What's the last secret you kept? (It doesn't have to be romantic.)
I am keeping a secret now, waiting for a news release to come out.

3) While "Secret Love" was one of Miss Day's best-selling records, and the song won an Oscar, she did not perform it at the Academy Awards Ceremony. She said she was just too nervous to sing it live before an international television audience and an auditorium full of entertainment professionals. When did you last suffer an attack of nerves?
The last panic attack was when I was writing my Capstone paper for grad school.

4) Doris' well-publicized attack of Oscar stage fright was unexpected because she began her career as a band singer, performing before live audiences every night. But she reportedly did develop more phobias over the years, including a fear of flying. Is there anything that scares you now, as an adult, that didn't frighten you as a child?
Height. I now get vertigo in high places, step ladders, walking across bridges, looking over a balcony, etc.

5) Doris Day made 39 movies between 1948 and 1968. She said one of her favorite things about filmmaking was working with costume designers on her wardrobe. Do you enjoy shopping for clothes?
No. It is just something that has to be done.

6) Doris confessed that when she had to lose weight for a role, she gave up ice cream. If we checked your freezer, would we find any ice cream?
Yes, I am having a party tomorrow and I bought ice cream for dessert.

7) In 1985 she hosted a cable show called Doris Day's Best Friends. She used the show as a platform to promote pet adoptions and animal welfare. Most of the guests were  celebrity friends who reportedly donated their salaries for appearing on the show to Doris' pet foundation. Did you more recently ask a friend for a favor, or perform a favor for a friend?
I think it is about equal, I just did a favor for a friend last week.

8) For more than 20 years, Doris co-owned the Cypress Inn in Carmel, CA. The Inn expects to continue on without her, and maintain the pet-friendly policies she introduced. Have you ever traveled with your dog or cat?
I don’t have either. One time I traveled with a friend and she had a cat, I was in the back seat and the cat kept stepping on my head to see out of the front of the car. On the way home I called “Shotgun” first and sat in the front seat.

9) Random question: What's the last thing you complained about?
Someone who cut me off, ran a stop sign and made a left turn right in front of me. (Ah… so much fun driving in a city.)

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!

Party time!
This afternoon I'm having a party at my house, one of my three annual parties. So I will probably reply to your meme on Sunday

Friday, May 17, 2019


This morning I wrote about the courts and this afternoon is legislation in Washington and locally.
Transgender people know the Equality Act won't end transphobia. But it will still protect us.
For me and my queer community, passing the bill could give us a freedom and security of movement that we have never experienced.
NBC News
By LaLa Zannell, Trans Justice Campaign Manager, ACLU
May 16, 2019

When the House of Representatives votes on the Equality Act on Friday, 50 years after Stonewall, our elected representatives will be engaging with one of the most urgent legal questions for queer people: how our lives should be protected under by federal law.

If you’ve never had to stop and think about whether a visit to a business or an attempt to access a public service will result in an uneventful transaction or end in humiliation or even death, you may not understand the need for protections like the Equality Act. But for me and my queer community, passing the Equality Act could give us a freedom and security that we have never experienced.

Opponents have said that LGBT people don’t need federal protections, since states can and have passed their own versions. But even in states where these laws exist — like New York — discrimination is still all too common. My own story is proof of that; at every stage of my adult life, I’ve been affected by the kinds of discrimination this bill would outlaw.
On the upper right side on my blog I have a quote from Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.
That is so true, you are not going to cure discrimination with legislation; the bigotry will go from being overt to covert but it will still be there. What the laws do is it keeps the honest, honest, the fence sitters fence sitting, and the bigots silent.

Listening to the debate in the House the Republicans are bring up “Religious Freedom” to discrimination, however, there is broad support for this bill in religious communities.
Most US Evangelical Christians support the measures in the Equality Act
Gay Times
By Matt Moore
17th March 2019

A study found that 54% of Evangelicals back the measures in the bill, with only 38% opposing.
The Public Religion Research Institute has released figures which show that 54% of white Evangelicals in the United States back the measures in the Equality Act.

The Equality Act aims to give protections to people based on their sexual or gender identity in the fields of housing and employment. This means that it would be illegal to evict or fire someone because of their sexual or gender identity.

Evangelical Christians are considered to be the most conservative group in the United States when it comes to supporting LGBTQ rights, and yet the figures show that they support the Act by a 16-point margin.
Not only Evangelical Christians are for the bill but also,
The figures also showed that most major religious groups in the country also support the measures in the Equality Act. 53% of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 70% of Mormons, 68% of non-white Catholics, 65% of African American Protestants, 60% of Muslims and 59% of Orthodox Christians support the bill. But the religious group with the most backing for the bill were the New Age religions, with 81% in favour.
In another article…
Interfaith Groups Rally In Support Of Equality Act For LGBTQ Rights
Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus urged Congress to pass the bill, which would outlaw discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity.
Huffington Post
By Carol Kuruvilla

An interfaith coalition of religious leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in support of the Equality Act, a bill that seeks to shield LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public spaces and other key areas.

Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus were among those who rallied on the steps of the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill to pray and urge lawmakers to support the bill, which could land on the House floor for a vote this week.
Signatories included seminaries, faith-based civil rights and LGBTQ advocacy groups and entire denominations including the Episcopal Church, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
It appears that this morning vote was Yea 236 Nay 173 Not voting 23, Yea votes Democrats 228 Republican 8 Nay votes Democrats 0 Republicans 173

I doubt that this bill will never see the light-of-day in the Senate, no way will Sen. McConnell have a vote on this bill and no way would Trump sign this bill

Down in Iowa the Republicans did what Republicans all around the country are doing … trying to pass oppressive laws.
Iowa lawmakers chose prejudice over science in exempting transgender surgery from Medicaid
Des Moines Register
By Rekha Basu
May 15, 2019

It's OK for Iowa lawmakers to admit to having little knowledge of an issue when it first comes before them for discussion. There are so many bills to contemplate, you can't expect everyone to be well-schooled on everything.

What isn't OK is staying ignorant while casting a vote for a proposed law that will profoundly affect people's lives. That's what a majority of the Republican-controlled Iowa Senate and House evidently did in the waning hours of the legislative session. They quietly slipped a measure into a Health and Human Services budget bill (House File 766) to deny Medicaid coverage for gender reassignment surgery to transgender Iowans. And they clearly did so without gathering scientific input from medical professionals or from transgender people themselves. The governor since signed the bill into law.

What turns this from lazy ignorance into prejudice is that they say they acted at the urging of one group of constituents — those who don't want their tax money spent that way — at the expense of another, whose well-being is at stake.

State Rep. Joel Fry (R-Osceola), who floor-managed the bill, said as much in an interview with Iowa Public Radio's Ben Kieffer on River to River Monday.

Kieffer: Were any transgender Iowans consulted?

Fry: That I do not know. Given the fact that we received this back from the Senate, I can't answer what the Senate did or did not do … We certainly had a period of time for folks to weigh in and to give their input.
I hear people say well Connecticut Republicans are not like that… WRONG!

Rep. Sampson R-Wolcott introduced a bill to strip our insurance coverage from us…
Referred to Committee on INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE
Introduced by: REP. SAMPSON, 80th Dist.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
That title 38a of the general statutes be amended to specify that health insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state shall not be required to provide coverage for gender reassignment surgery or related surgical expenses.
Statement of Purpose:
To specify that health insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state shall not be required to provide coverage for gender reassignment surgery or related surgical expenses.
It is not just a southern Republican problem but a Republican problem, but the Republican here in Connecticut are bipolar. Just when you think that you figure out them out they vote for banning trans/gay panic bill.

Speaking of Connecticut legislature…

The bill is on the House calendar to be voted on. If you remember the bill passed in the Senate unanimously and if it passes in the House the governor has said he will sign the bill.

The other bills I am following…


HB 7359 AN ACT CONCERNING A LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NETWORK. --- Some movement it has been “Tabled for the Calendar, House”* which is a good thing.

SB 388 AN ACT CONCERNING INTERSEX PERSONS. --- Substitute bill introduced.

The formal order for a bill reported out of committee to be printed in the files and appear on the House or Senate calendar. This step also serves as the bill's second reading.

The substitute language added intersex to the non-discrimination to the state statutes

The substitute language also took out the section stopping surgery for intersex babies and established a committee to study medical option. The committee shall be made up of,

270 Sec. 5. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a task force to
271 study the circumstances in which a surgery related to a person's
272 intersex status is medically necessary.
273 (b) The task force shall consist of the following members:

274 (1) Two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives,
275 one of whom shall be a licensed mental health care provider with
276 experience in treating intersex persons, and one of whom shall be an
277 intersex adult;

278 (2) Two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one
279 of whom shall be a medical ethicist with a publishing background in
280 issues affecting the intersex community, and one of whom shall be a
281 representative of a community group that is led by and comprised of
282 intersex persons and that has experience advocating for policies
283 benefiting the intersex community;

284 (3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of
285 Representatives, who shall be a pediatrician with experience in
286 treating intersex persons;

287 (4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, who shall be
288 a legal expert with a publishing background in issues affecting the
289 intersex community;

290 (5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of
291 Representatives, who shall be a urologist with experience in treating
292 intersex persons;

293 (6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, who shall be
294 an endocrinologist with experience in treating intersex persons; and

295 (7) One appointed by the Governor, who shall be an intersex adult.

296 (c) Any member of the task force appointed under subdivision (1),
297 (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) of subsection (b) of this section may be a member
298 of the General Assembly.

News Flash.... House Passes Equality Act

The final vote Yea 236 Nay 173 NV 23

Details at 3 PM


When you go to court it is a crapshoot, you never know how it is going to turn out and then there are always endless appeals.
Court Hears Appeal In Idaho Transgender Case
By Amanda Peacher
May 16, 2019

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in San Francisco Thursday in the case of transgender inmate in Idaho Adree Edmo, who sued to get sex reassignment surgery. A lower court judge ruled in her favor, but the state of Idaho appealed that decision.

This case hinges on Edmo proving that prison health care providers were being deliberately indifferent to her medical needs in denying her the surgery, and much of Thursday’s hearing was focused on that issue. Under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, such indifference would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
State of Idaho attorney Brady Hall argues that there is medical disagreement about the treatment for gender dysphoria.
Oh really?

Let’s see the APA, the AMA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Endocrinology, and the National Association of Social Workers with a total membership in the hundreds of thousands all support and agree on the treatment for us while the couple of hundred members of American College of Pediatricians and Paul McHugh; I don’t see any medical disagreement I see an ideological disagreement.
“Defendants have offered her zero additional treatment after either of those attempts,” Rifkin says. “They have ignored generally accepted medical standards, despite her actual harm.”

The defendants in the case are Idaho Department of Correction and Corizon Inc., the private health care company that contracts with the state to provide medical care to inmates.
I think two factors are at work here, the bias against trans people and the desire to maximize profits.
University of California-Davis law professor Courtney Joslin watched the oral arguments. She says the 9th Circuit judges seemed to understand the severity of Edmo’s gender dysphoria.

“The court did appreciate how much suffering she is experiencing every day as the result of the denial of this medically necessary treatment,” says Joslin. She says that’s an important aspect of the constitutional analysis that the court has to take into account in this case.
If the state loses I foresee them appealing this case all the way to the Supreme Court  meanwhile Adree Edmo suffers.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

It Is Really Hard…

…To find positive stories about trans people in the era of Trump but I found one.
Miami Springs Now Has Florida's First Transgender Lutheran Pastor
Miami New Times
By Joshua Ceballos
May 16, 2019

On a recent Sunday in April, the Reverend Kit Robison delivered a sermon about the commandment to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. For a long time, Robison told parishioners, she struggled with the end of that command: to love herself.

At the end of the service, Robison called her wife, Christa, up to the pulpit. Then, she announced to the attendees of Grace Lutheran Church in Miami Springs that she is a transgender woman.

"What you see in front of you does not match my self-understanding," she said. "In my self-understanding, I am a woman."

That morning, Christa stood close to Kit and wiped a tear from her eye as her wife made the announcement. The church was silent except for the sound of the reverend’s deep breaths into the microphone between each deliberate sentence. In the weeks since, a few members of Grace Lutheran have left the church, but otherwise, Robison says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

"We opened the church up for questions after service, and the majority of the questions were about my wife and whether we will stay married, which we will," she says. "Some people weren't thrilled, but the majority were incredibly supportive."

Robison is now Florida's first transgender Lutheran pastor, according to Pedro M. Suarez, head of the Florida district of Lutheran churches. Robison confided in Suarez last November when she finally came to the decision that she needed to fully transition. Although she had no idea how her boss would react, she trusted Suarez based on the good relationship they had developed. Despite how churches in other parts of the country may feel, the Florida-Bahamas Synod has welcomed the news of Robison’s transition.
More churches are becoming affirming but at the same time more churches are splitting over LGBTQ+ issues.

I have a friend who is an Episcopal priest when she transitioned almost all of the parishioners accepted her but a vocal few rejected her and for the sake of unity she stepped down but she later found a parish that accepted her and now she is that parish priest for going on for close to ten years. I know of another trans women who crossdresses, is on the Episcopal parish counsel and very active in church affairs. Oh and is very out trans person.

Hello 911, What Is The Nature Of You Emergency?

Do you dread calling 911. Do you fear the police or EMT response? Thousands of trans people fear calling for help because for many trans people the discrimination, harassment, humiliation and possible violence that will come to their front door.
Transgender Chicagoans say police encounters can be dehumanizing. A new report says CPD is failing them.
The Chicago Tribune
By Hannah LeoneContact Reporter
May 10, 2019

In her decade advocating for transgender people charged with crimes in Chicago, attorney Lark Mulligan says she has learned the patterns: “gender checks” that can feel like sexual assault. Name-calling. Feeling targeted, humiliated, dehumanized

She was not surprised by a report this week concluding Chicago and 24 other big-city police departments all fail to meet the needs of the transgender community. Even when there is a policy, little is done to train officers or make sure they follow it, advocates say.

Mulligan said the report's findings resonate throughout her work in Chicago, where the Police Department is under a federal consent decree to improve, among other things, its policy on dealing with transgender people. “The policy itself is inadequate to say the least, and harmful I think in many ways, but in my experience, the few protections that are in there are rarely if ever followed by CPD officers interacting with trans people,” she said.

Chicago police officials say the consent decree, approved in January, is evidence the department is listening. “There is room for improvement in several areas, and that is what they are striving for,” said Luis Agostini, a police spokesman.
I have heard of so many problems with police interactions with trans persons, one story I heard was from a trans person who had their picture taken for a traffic stop because the photo on their driver license didn’t match their appearance… you want to bet that picture in hanging up on the barrack’s wall? While others say that the reason they were ticketed for minor offenses were because they are trans.
“Being misgendered is extremely distressful for many trans people,” Mulligan said. “Being referred to properly is not just a matter of being sensitive, it’s not just a matter of someone having hurt feelings. … It’s extremely traumatizing, especially to endure something like that over and over.”

The trauma becomes even more oppressing when inflicted by someone in a position of power, she said. It can erase a person’s sense of self. Calling people by the wrong name and gender can also out them as transgender to other detainees.
Since then, the department has implemented a policy specific to people who are transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming, including the use of pronouns as requested, according to Agostini, the police spokesman.
The opposite happens when they use the proper pronouns.

When I had an accident on the Maine Turnpike before I transitioned the state police officer did use the proper pronouns and asked the name I would like him to use.

And with all this “religious freedom” garbage coming out of Washington now-a-days it is only going to get worst.

Have you ever had to call 911?

If so what were you thinking when you called, were you afraid  and how were the treated by the responder when they got there?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

3 Weeks!

That is all the time we have left.

The general assembly adjourns at midnight June 5th and after that all bills are dead.

Here is my best guess on the bills that I have been tracking…




SB-58 AN ACT CONCERNING GAY AND TRANSGENDER PANIC DEFENSE. --- This bill has the best chance of passing it passed in the Senate 34 to 0

SB-388 AN ACT CONCERNING INTERSEX PERSONS. --- I don’t think this has any chance of passing.

I think that if there is any opposition to the bills that the bills will not be advanced, the legislature is tied up in the budget, tolls, and the marijuana bills. Because SB-58 passed in the Senate unanimously I think it will be voted on in the House. Both HB-5505 & HB-7359 will need to make it through both chambers in 3 weeks and that is possible but unlikely.

HB-6219 never had a chance; it is a duplicate of the gender inclusive non-discrimination law PA11-55. Reading the law it says…
(21) "Gender identity or expression" means a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth…
Nowhere in the law does it define gender as a binary; the law was purposely written as to be all inclusive so passing a law to add non-binary to the non-discrimination statute is not necessary. In addition the CT Department of Education in their FAQ on transgender and non-binary students says…
1. What civil rights protections are afforded to transgender and gender non-conforming students in Connecticut public schools?
Connecticut public schools must provide students with an equal opportunity to participate in school activities, programs and courses of study without discrimination on account of gender identity or expression. This obligation applies irrespective of concerns or objections raised by other students, parents, staff, or other community members. The questions and answers that follow provide more specific details concerning civil rights protections afforded to transgender and gender non-conforming students in the public school environment.
So if you want these bill voted on call your legislators and tell them to push the bills along and the other thing you can do is hope that they settle the budget, tolls, and the marijuana bills quickly because the faster they get those bills out of the way the better chance we have in those bills being passed.