Wednesday, July 31, 2019

At One Time They Supported Us.

But now they throw barriers in front of us and try to criminalize us.

Back in the sixties Republican states saw that for us to be productive members of society we need to change our IDs but now they are fighting us tooth and nail to keep us oppressed.
Alabama sued in transgender driver's license case
Associated Press By Kim Chandler
July 30, 2019

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday questioned Alabama's requirement for a transgender person to undergo full gender reassignment surgery before they can change the sex on their driver's license, suggesting that a license that contradicts a person's public appearance essentially marks them with a "scarlet letter T."

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson held a hearing in the 2018 lawsuit filed by three transgender women seeking to change the gender of their state license.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the plaintiffs, said the requirement to show proof of sex-altering surgery is an unconstitutional violation of privacy and a person's ability to make their own medical decisions. The ACLU said Alabama differs from most states and the federal government that allow people to change the gender identity on a government-issued ID without proof of surgery.
Assistant Attorney General Brad Chynoweth told Thompson said the state has a law enforcement interest in proper identification and has a simple rule on changing gender designation.
Okay… does that mean that when you get stopped for speeding the police are going to ask you to pull down your pants?

That is a totally ridiculous argument. Driver licenses are used to establish your identity from the photo, no one checks to see what is between your legs. Can you imagine going for a job and they want you to drop your draws to see if you are really the person in the photo.

I think that Republicans use us to build support and donations from their white supremacist base, we are just pawns for them to exploit.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


There are all types of privilege the two biggies are white and male privilege and for us it is the privilege of blending to the gender of our gender identity.

On Sunday I went out to get a sandwich at a shop in Truro...
Owner: You come up here for Fantasia Fair?
Me: Um... yes.
Owner: You look really good.
Me: Um... thank you.
That is the lack of the privilege to integrate into society, I joke sometimes that if you can’t tell that I’m trans then you need glasses and a hearing aid.
Transgender Women Explain What It's Like When They Don't 'Look Trans'
When women don't visibly scan as transgender, it can feel affirming, dangerous, and totally unremarkable, all at once.
By Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard
July 25 2019

When I was 10 years old, I was a boy that looked like a girl. I had thick chestnut hair down to where my boobs should’ve budded and a dainty voice as yet untouched by testosterone.
Thirteen years later, my boobs have budded—courtesy of modern medicine—but my voice has also dropped like a brick. I can now pass, at least, if I'm quiet. When I ride the A train in the morning as all the Wall Street stallions pile in, coyly biting off my split ends and minding my own business, I’m cis...until a source or editor calls me, and I frantically pick up before the train leaves the platform: “Hi, hello—I’ll call you back in five.” My voice’s deep vibrations hang in the air. Eyes turn to me, guys’ eyebrows raise, and girls breathe a sigh of relief that at least the prettiest girl in this car is a tranny.
Every day people have privilege…

A thin women has privilege over a plus size women.

 A young person has privilege over an elderly person.

A person with mobility has privilege over a person with a disability.

A right handed person has privilege over a lefty.

We are being judged every day.
Passing can mean the difference between having access to resources, rights, and respect—or not. Working at a national advocacy organization, Branstetter has seen firsthand how this can play out. "One of our staff members was in a meeting with a sitting member of Congress,” she said. “They told the staff member that 'they're not worried about you, because you look like a woman.'”
But passing has it own risks,
What some guys see as hot about trans women can also be their grounds for violence. Some men realize they're attracted to someone who looks like a girl, but challenges their notions of what a girl is, so they panic. "Trans panic," in fact, was the defense mounted in the 2002 murder case of Gwen Arujo, a 17-year-old Latina trans girl from California [Note: Connecticut banned trans/gay panic defense this year]. She had been sexually involved with four men at a party who forced her to undress. When they learned she had a penis, they tortured and murdered her.

To reduce the conviction from murder to manslaughter, the defense argued that the “crime [was] one committed in the ‘heat of the moment.’” Like the “gay panic” defense innovated in 1960s courtrooms and most famously used in the Matthew Shepard murder trial, trans panic holds that discovering “withheld” information about the victim’s “true sex” reasonably “prompts the ostensible ‘panic’ that leads to violence.”
Men have such a fragile egos and they fear being labeled “gay” by their friends “The men felt emasculated because they sexually harassed what they [no longer] thought was a woman. They broke my jaw.”

I knew a trans woman who was able to “pass” and she is a project manager for an international engineer firm; before she transitioned in meeting “his” was law in meetings. After she transitioned she was asked to get the coffee for the meeting and if she said something during the meeting she was ignored and when a man said the same thing everyone thought it was a good idea.

I know a couple of trans women who said it was like she had a lobotomy and a trans man told me that all of sudden “he” was an expert on cars. One time early in my transition I was at Home Depot looking for a cheap voltmeter and the sales clerk came up to help me. He told me that “it was very dangerous and that I should hire an electrician” I told him that I was an electrical engineer and I built controls systems for power plants.
Vera Blossom, a Filipinx trans and nonbinary woman from Las Vegas, passes as a cis woman. The treatment she experienced before and after transition makes clear for her how racial and gender passing are intertwined. Blossom said she was previously “perceived as an Asian man, which was one of the least desirable categories of men. She wore “four-inch platforms, overall booty shorts, and purple hair, and no one would point," she said. "I was trying to be seen. No matter what I did, no one would look at me.”
A black trans man told me that “she” never was stopped and asked what she was doing in a “white” neighborhood, now “he” is being stopped all the time and he now always carries his driver license.

There are all types of disempowerment and sometimes they stack up against us… if you are trans and black and you do not “pass” you are going to face much more discrimination and harassment than a black trans women who “passes.”

Monday, July 29, 2019

Oh Really!

I have a few conservative trans friends but almost all are liberal.
Study finds transgender people more politically conservative than straight men
The College Fix
By Brittany Slaughter – Liberty University
July 26, 2019

A couple years ago one of the most famous transgender women in the world, Caitlyn Jenner, shocked many observers when she spoke about voting for Donald Trump and identifying as a Republican. Turns out, that might not have been as far-fetched as it first seemed, even if she has since revoked her support of Trump.

A recently published large-scale study on LGBTQ political identities has produced some surprising results, finding transgender men and women tend to be “significantly less liberal” than cisgender men, straight men, and others in the LGBTQ community.

The study, “A Rainbow Wave? LGBTQ Liberal Political Perspectives During Trump’s Presidency: an Exploration of Sexual, Gender, and Queer Identity Gaps,” surveyed a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. It was funded by the University of Oklahoma and conducted by Meredith Worthen, a sociology professor in OU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
The study found that transgender individuals showed a decreased likelihood of supporting laws and policies associated with liberal causes.
Oh really?

What did the U.S. 2015 Transgender Survey of 28,000 trans people find?
Half (50%) of respondents identified as Democrats, 48% identified as Independents, and 2% identified as Republicans, compared to 27%, 43%, and 27% in the U.S. general population, respectively.
When asked about their political views, more than half (55%) of the sample described themselves as “very liberal,” 27% selected “liberal,” 15% selected “moderate,” 2% selected “conservative,” and only 1% described themselves as “very conservative.”
Hmm… that is different than the author from Liberty University wrote and what University of Oklahoma found in their survey.

Not only are we liberal but we also vote!
The number of USTS respondents who voted represents 70% of those in the sample who were registered to vote in the election. According to the CPS, 42% of citizen voters aged 18 and older voted in the 2014 election, which represents 65% of registered voters. 
The abstract says in part,
The current study examines sexual, gender, and queer identity gaps in liberalism among a nationally representative sample of US adults aged 18+ stratified by US census categories of age, gender, ethnicity, and census region (N = 3104; LGBTQ non-heterosexual: n = 1555) collected from Survey Sampling International (SSI) online panelists in the weeks after the November 2018 polls. Specifically, sexual identity (heterosexual, lesbian/gay, bisexual, pansexual, and asexual), gender identity (cis man, cis woman, trans man, trans woman, and non-binary), and queer identity are explored as they relate to liberal perspectives (liberal ideology; law/policy support of those in poverty, racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, and women; feminist identity). 
Do you see anything about the number of trans people surveyed? However, it might be somewhere within the body of the survey that is behind the firewall.

Saturday I went to the GLAD fundraiser, the  36th Annual Summer Party that was held at the Pilgrim Monument. I didn’t meet anyone new from P’town, but I meet many of GLAD officers that I knew, and there were about 800 people in attendance. Some really nice stuff was auctioned off, one was a vacation to California wine country. One painting was auctioned off for several thousand dollars. I didn't want to rub my nose or brush the hair out of my face for fear of bidding several thousand dollars.

But I forgot my phone so I didn't get any photos of the party or pictures of the harbor.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Trump’s Friend Putin

I bet that Trump is envious of the way Putin handling the LGBT people in Russia… killing us off or locking us up.

In case you haven’t heard a Russian LGBTQ+ activist was murdered.
Russian LGBT Activist Is Found Dead; Friends Say She Was Threatened
By Sasha Ingber
July 23, 2019

A woman in Russia who was known for defending LGBT rights has been killed in St. Petersburg, according to activists and media reports that cite government statements about the death of Yelena Grigoryeva.

On Grigoryeva's Facebook page, supporters are posting messages that mourn her death and celebrate her life. Her last profile picture, shared just days before she died, shows Grigoryeva standing in the street, in sneakers, holding a poster in support of three Russian teenage sisters who killed their father after enduring years of physical and sexual abuse.
On Sunday, her body was discovered in the bushes near her home; Grigoryeva had been stabbed multiple times, according to Russian news website Fontanka. Authorities have reportedly arrested a 40-year-old man from Bashkortostan, in western Russia, as a suspect in her death.

Grigoryeva often received death threats, an activist named Dinar Idrisov wrote on Facebook. He said she had recently "been a victim of violence" and was "regularly threatened with murder."

She was also listed on a homophobic website that directed visitors to hunt down homosexual, bisexual and transgender people, Idrisov and local photojournalist George Markov said.
Even though it wasn’t about LGBTQ+ rights, protesting the government in Russia take courage.
Russia detains more than 1,000 people in opposition crackdown
By Gleb Stolyarov, Andrew Osborn
July 27, 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police rounded up more than 1,000 people in Moscow on Saturday in one of the biggest crackdowns of recent years against an increasingly defiant opposition decrying President Vladimir Putin’s tight grip on power.

The detentions came around a protest to demand that opposition members be allowed to run in a local election. Authorities had declared it illegal and sought to block participation, but thousands of people turned up anyway in one of the longest and most determined protests of recent times.

Chants of “Russia without Putin” and “Putin resign” echoed through central Moscow as guardsmen clad in riot gear beat back protesters with batons and roughly detained people.

At least one woman and a man appeared to have suffered serious head wounds. Activists said the crackdown was the harshest since a wave of anti-Kremlin protests in 2011-12.
The Russians are stirring up hate for LGBTQ+ people in Russia.
Is the Infamous Russian Troll Farm Pushing Deadly LGBT Hate?
People identifying themselves as “Saw,” after the American horror films, have been trying for years to terrify gays in Russia. The murder of an activist last week may be linked.
The Daily Beast
By Anna Nemtsova
July 25, 2019

MOSCOW—Thousands of people stood in silence at an anti-government rally in downtown St.Petersburg, Russia, on Wednesday night.

The demonstrators demanded an end to violence against Russia’s LGBT community and political opposition. The minute of silence was devoted to the victim of a terrible murder, Yelena Grigoryeva, a 41-year-old gay activist who was stabbed to death last week.
“The Saw site has been publishing photographs of lesbians, gay men, and transgender, threatening to kill them, but neither police nor investigators react to these threats,” gay rights activist Igor Kochetkov said in a video addressed to the authorities. “And if you think that citizens like us do not deserve to be defended, find yourself a different job.” 
The first hit list appeared in 2016. “It included up to 800 names of people from the Russian LGBT community, opposition activists, their children, and just random people like me, who posted funny memes of Putin as Gollum on  social media pages—at that time I was not an activist,” Yulia Rusa, a 42-year-old interpreter told The Daily Beast.
One of the websites was just shutdown by the government, Pink News reported that “A website designed to help users to hunt and torture Russian gay people has finally been taken down by authorities after more than a year online.”

Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights found Russia had violate LGBTQ+ people human rights.
Russia Fined for Anti-LGBT Actions
European Court Finds Russian Authorities Discriminated Against LGBT Groups
Human Rights Watch
By Kyle Knight
July 17, 2019

The European Court of Human Rights ruled this week that the Russian government must pay 42,500 euros in damages to three lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights groups for having refused their registration in recent years.

From 2006 to 2011, Rainbow House, the Movement for Marriage Equality, and the Sochi Pride House attempted to register their respective organizations with Russian authorities. The government denied their applications, claiming the organizations “will destroy the moral values of society” or “undermine [Russia’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity…by decreasing its population.”

Most perniciously, in denying Movement for Marriage Equality’s registration, the government construed LGBT rights activities as “gay propaganda,” and said the organization’s work amounted to “extremist activities.”

Formally called the law “aimed at protecting children from information promoting the denial of traditional family values,” the “gay propaganda” law – a classic example of political homophobia – bans the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” a reference universally understood to mean a ban on providing children with access to information about LGBT people’s lives. The ban includes, but is not limited to, information provided via the press, television, radio, and the Internet.
I bet Trump and his cronies dream of a law like that here.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Saturday 9: Come and Knock on Our Door

Sam’s Saturday 9: Come and Knock on Our Door (1976)

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

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

1) This week's song was the theme to Three's Company, a sitcom that ran for eight seasons. Were you a fan?
Nope, I watched it a couple of times but I never got into the show.

2) The Three's Company theme was composed by Joe Raposo, who also wrote the theme to Sesame Street. Can you recall any of the lyrics to the Sesame Street song?
Nope, the show came out when I was in my twenties.

3) The lyrics to this song invite you to "come and knock on our door." What's the last door you knocked on (or the most recent doorbell your rang)?
Wow, I can’t remember.

4) Three's Company was about three roommates who live together platonically, sharing a two bedroom apartment. Tell us about a roommate who shared your living quarters.
Um… I never had one.

5) Each of the roommates has a profession: Jack is a cook, Chrissy is a secretary (aka administrative assistant) and Janet is a florist. When did you last buy flowers?
Potted plants count? Yesterday, I brought some plants for the window flower box for the cottage.

6) They often meet their neighbor, Larry, at a nearby bar called The Regal Beagle. What's the name of the establishment where you most recently enjoyed an adult beverage?
The Aqua Bar in Provincetown.

7) Their meddling landlord was Mr. Roper. He was cheap, nosy, and very talented at fixing things around the building. How much are you like Mr. Roper? Are you frugal? Nosy? A handy do-it-yourselfer?
I’m all thumbs, I can do simple repairs but anything complicated I’ll bring in the pro’s. I consider myself to be frugal.

8) Three's Company was controversial again, more than 15 years after it ceased production. In March 2001, Nick at Nite re-edited an episode after a viewer called, alerting the network that a bit too much of John Ritter was visible in his blue boxer shorts. Have you ever called, emailed or written to, a TV station to complain?
Nope. I have emailed and called my legislators, and wrote "letters-to-the-editor" but I never have complained to a media outlet.

9) Random question -- Is the screen on your cellphone cracked?
Nope. I only had it for a year,

I am on an audio book kick and the latest book that I am listing to is a book by Mildred A. Wirt Benson titled “Behind the Green Door” Ms. Benson is the author of Nancy Drew series.

The audio books are free on Librivox

Friday, July 26, 2019

Many Years Ago, The Doctor Said…

...That one of the negative side effects of Cross-Gender Hormone Therapy was diabetes, that was back in 2004

Diabetes is in my family medical history so it was no surprise that back in 2012 I developed diabetes.
Navigating the LGBTQ Life with Diabetes
By Mike Hoskins
June 26, 2019

When Beckett Nelson began transitioning from female to male, he had already been living with type 1 diabetes for over a quarter-century. But as that transition ramped up from a social circle name change into a medical transformation and hormone therapy, Nelson was pretty concerned about the combo of LGBTQ life and diabetes.

“There were times with the diabetes that I wasn't sure what to expect and didn't know anybody in the same boat,” says this 38-year-old nurse in Toronto, Canada. “I know everybody is different, but it would have been helpful to know what I was up for."
Just prior to transitioning, Nelson said his endo went over the usual side effects of testosterone: lower voice, hair growth, acne, etc. But there was no mention of diabetes or how it might impact that side of his health, such as blood sugars. He says little medical info exists on that dual topic, but he found help from the DOC -- even D-parents sharing that their teenage sons were a bit more sensitive to insulin, which was informative.
As I mentioned, the doctor warned me about my risks and I accepted them and I hope other doctors have warned their patients about the risk of  Cross-Gender Hormone Therapy including heart disease, Deep Vein Thrombosis, and other dangerous side effects.

UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health says this about diabetes,
The effect of gender affirming hormone therapy on diabetes risk or disease course is unclear. A Dutch case-control study noted an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus among transgender men and women in comparison to both age matched non-transgender male and female groups, however the study did not adjust for other risk factors. A study of the effects of gender affirming hormones on insulin resistance in transgender women and men found that transgender women may experience some increase in markers of insulin resistance, while transgender men exhibited no change. Some data from non-transgender men suggests that testosterone lowers insulin resistance. Data are mixed on the presence of increased rates of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in transgender men prior to hormone therapy. While non-transgender female patients with PCOS require close monitoring for development of diabetes due to marked insulin resistance, it is unclear if this risk remains once the hormonal milieu has been modified with the addition of testosterone. While insulin resistance serves as a useful surrogate marker to inform risk, outcome studies using a diagnosis of diabetes as the end point have not been conducted.
Let’s face it we are guinea pigs, there is no long term health risks studies on us, everything is just an extrapolation of women’s health.

In a paper in Diabetes Spectrum there is this section…
Prevalence Assumptions
Identifying diabetes prevalence within the LGBT community is no easy task. Data collection methods used to distinguish this subgroup within the U.S. population are not systematic, LGBT status is often
underreported and prone to measurement error, and scientific evidence is also blocked.

The Department of Health and Human Services refused to publish a 488-page Healthy People 2010 companion document for LGBT health, thereby eliminating the incorporation of sexual minority issues into the nation’s health care agenda. The intentional omission of LGBT health data into mainstream science is reminiscent of homophobic tactics that have been used in the past and may have resulted from a climate that continues today.
How many LGB people have diabetes? (Transgender individuals are omitted from this discussion because of limited data.)…
Data is not being collected on us. I was in a meeting with researcher and LGBT+ community members;  we asked for them to include two questions, sexual orientation and gender identity for the research, the researchers hemmed and hawed and came up with the thousand different reasons why they couldn’t include us in their demographic data. It boiled down to it wasn’t done before and we don't want to do it now.
The little research that exists about diabetes outcomes and LGBTQ specifically paints a bleak picture. A Northwestern Medicine study from 2018 is one of the first of its kind to examine how health behaviors are linked to "minority stress" – issues of being stigmatized and marginalized – and how this may contribute to the risk of poor health among LGBTQ youth. That includes worse mental and physical health outcomes, the study authors found, and Garnero notes that it can certainly applies to those with T1D, especially if their healthcare professionals aren’t interacting with them effectively.
Just remember one thing… having diabetes does not prevent you from transitioning. It just means you have to more vigilant about side effects.

I have a 2 hour video conference this morning about how family leave bills affect LGBTQ+ families… so much fun.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Finally Trans Actresses

Trans actresses and actors are finding more parts available to them.
How Jen Richards Made Anna Madrigal Her Own in Netflix’s “Tales of the City”
"I had this moment of, 'I can't do this.' It's fucking Olympia Dukakis!'"
By Christopher Rudolph
July 7, 2019

To say Jen Richards was nervous to play a young Anna Madrigal is an understatement.

Richards, the Emmy-nominated writer-star of Her Story, also co-produced the docuseries More Than T. She is one of the most visible trans actors working today, having appeared in shows like Nashville, Blindspot, and Better Things.

Her latest role is in the Netflix limited series Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City playing a young Anna Madrigal, the character originally brought to life on screen by Olympia Dukakis.

Richards appears in the eighth episode of the series, a flashback focusing on Anna’s arrival in San Francisco in the ’60s and her life before becoming landlady of 28 Barbary Lane. It also depicts the historic Compton’s Cafeteria Riots of 1966, and even while filming the episode, Richards knew it would be “something special.”
Then last year it was announced that Nicole Maines was in a CW channel show.
'Supergirl': Nicole Maines shows her power as TV's first transgender superhero
USA Today
By Bill Keveney
October 10, 2018

BURBANK, Calif. – Nicole Maines understands the significance of her new “Supergirl” character by imagining what someone like Nia Nal/Dreamer would have meant to her when she was a child.

“If I had had a trans superhero, someone who looks like me wearing a cape, (while) growing up, that would have changed the game. That would have been an entire new level of validation in myself to think that I can be a superhero!” says the 21-year-old trans woman, who joins the CW action series in Season 4's opener (Sunday, 8 EDT/PDT).

Nia, who is inspired by and an ancestor of 30th Century DC Comics character Nura Nal/Dream Girl, marks TV's first trans superhero. She's introduced as a young reporter working for Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) at CatCo Worldwide Media. Her identity, her superpower (Dreamer is an alien "precog" who can dream the future) and her icy-blue suit will be revealed as the season progresses.

Producers were committed to adding a trans hero to the DC Comics TV universe headed by megaproducer Greg Berlanti ("Arrow," "The Flash"),  says executive producer Robert Rovner.
We now have an IMDB page devoted to trans actresses

Changes are coming slowly but we are making headway.

In case you missed it; here is the first episode of Her Story

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Peeing In Peace

That is all we ask.

A settlement in North Carolina allows us to use restrooms again without being arrested, it is not perfect but a step in the directions.
North Carolina 'bathroom bill' settlement approved
Reuters By Alex Dobuzinskis
July 23, 2019

(Reuters) - Transgender people in North Carolina can use any public restroom in state-run buildings that conforms with their gender identity under a U.S. court settlement approved on Tuesday, in the latest turn of a long-running dispute that divided the state.

The settlement, which overturns part of a state law, ends a three-year legal fight by transgender people in North Carolina seeking the right to use the bathroom of their gender identity.

A 2016 North Carolina law, known as House Bill 2, required transgender people in state-run buildings use the bathrooms, changing rooms and showers that corresponded to the sex on their birth certificates.
"While this part of the court fight may be ending, so much urgent work remains as long as people who are LGBTQ are denied basic protections from violence and discrimination simply because of who they are," Irena Como, acting legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement.
And of course the Republicans don’t like the settlement…
Schroeder, in an eight-page ruling on Tuesday, said the settlement bars state officials from using the legislation "to prevent transgender people from lawfully using public facilities in accordance with their gender identity."

The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly filed court papers opposing the settlement.
Lets face it the Republicans want to control our bodies and when the Republicans cry “get the government out of our lives” they mean for big business not individuals.

There Is Out And Then There Is OUT!

Miqqi Gilbert at Fantasia Fair said that once when she was talking about giving an interview for the college newspaper and the article was picked up by the Canadian biggest newspaper.

It is true. You can be out locally but you can cross that line and all of sudden you are in the “spot light.”

What happens then?

If you do a Google vanity search on my name there are over 790,000 results and I fall under the “OUT” category.

So why am I writing this? It is because if you are thinking about making a YouTube video, or writing a blog, or giving an interview… think! Do you want everyone in the world knowing you are trans? Do you want the hate emails and comments that go with being “OUT” from both the cisgender world and the trans community?

The trans community? Yes, the trans community some of the harshest comments come from within our community.
Transgender people find a home on YouTube but challenges remain
CNN Business
By Kaya Yurieff,
June 25, 2019

New York (CNN Business)For a trans person, YouTube can be an extremely valuable resource. It's a place where they can find — and share — personal stories of gender transitions, identity struggles and journeys through surgeries and hormone treatments.

The Google-owned (GOOG) video platform has ignited a community of social media stars, known as creators, making videos about virtually everything, from gadget reviews and beauty tutorials to topics relevant to LGBTQ people.

Trans creator Reed Wetmore said YouTube has been a "lifeline" for the trans community.
"Making my videos and watching other creators on YouTube gave me strength. Seeing other trans men on YouTube being so much farther in their journeys gave me a lot of hope," he told CNN Business. "When some family and friends didn't react the way I hoped they would [to me coming out], I went back to YouTube and found some solace and comfort there in the community."
When I was in the closet it was the internet that showed me that it was possible to live my life in my true gender. I read Dr. Becky’s blog, I read Melanie Phillips website, and a number of other “OUT” trans people and they helped me to come eventually to come out.

I started blog in April 2000 and if you look down the page on the right you will see a link to the old GeoCities website and it is still on the web. Nothing on the web ever goes away.

What I am trying to say is “Beware” when you come out on the internet with your true name it will be there forever!

If you are a teenager, when you graduate from school and you start looking for a job your prospective employer might do a Google search, or if you are dating someone they might do a search… do you want them to find out you are trans? When you are forty, will you want everyone to know that you are trans?

I am not saying “Don’t Do It!” what I am saying is to think first. Do you want to list your true name or an alias? Notice on my blog nowhere will you find my last name and I do that on purpose to keep my online presents separate from my life.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hate Is Increasing Around The World

Headlines around the world are showing an increase of attacks against LGBTQ+ people much of I if not sanctioned by the government than the government just has blinders and ignores it.
New Right-Wing Groups Confront Armenia’s Revolutionary Government
Lobe Log
By Joshua Kucera and Ani Mejlumyan
July 19, 2019

A group that recently emerged in Armenia has a familiar list of enemies: LGBT advocates, the European Union, George Soros. Its members are fond of wearing black shirts and trumpeting aggressive, conservative views.

That orientation at first glance appears to put the group, Adekvad, squarely in the European far-right movement. The far right also has risen in neighboring Georgia, taking advantage of the same conditions now present in Armenia: a liberalizing government and a socially conservative population.

But the picture in Armenia appears to be more complicated. Many doubt the sincerity of Adekvad’s professed beliefs, suspecting that the group is secretly supported by Armenia’s former authorities, or Russia, or both, merely to sow havoc. Adekvad’s leaders, meanwhile, insist that they are simply providing an alternative voice for Armenians disaffected with the new regime.

Whatever the case, its emergence has roiled the Armenian political scene, raising the specter of a dirtier, more confrontational brand of politics.
Down in  Brazil the Trump want-a-be Bolsonaro the president of Brazil has taken a strong anti-LGBTQ+ stance which was rebuffed by their Supreme Court.
‘Anyone could be a threat’: In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, LGBT people take personal defense into their own hands
The Washington Post
By Terrence McCoy
July 22, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO — Miguel Doldan couldn’t get the thought out of his head: People wanted him dead. The passersby on the streets, the riders on the bus — they looked friendly, but many of them, he often reminded himself, had voted for President Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing politician who said he’d rather have a dead son than a gay one.

Brazil was no longer the country he thought it was. And Doldan — a trans man increasingly aware that he was only 5 feet 4 inches tall and 121 pounds — needed to learn how to fight.

He found what he was looking for down a darkened street in central Rio, where the only light one recent evening came from an open-air gym. There was a group of a dozen or so people — gay or transgender all — who were training to meet the violence they increasingly fear they’re likely to face in Bolsonaro’s Brazil.

In a country with one of the world’s highest rates of violence against gay and transgender people, where social media is deluged with homophobic rants, some LGBT people no longer trust the state to protect them — and are now taking personal defense into their own hands. Martial arts classes for LGBT people are being taught in some of the country’s biggest cities — in Rio, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre. Some in the community say they’ve considered arming themselves.

“The country has changed,” said Doldan, 28. “Before, there was a sense that there were institutions that could help you. Judges, police, justice officials — you could rely on them. But now people feel comfortable saying things they wouldn’t have before and more comfortable doing things they used to not.”
With Trump and the Republicans packing the courts with anti-LGBTQ+ judges who put the Bible before the Constitution and police that show off their MAGA hats, the Washington Post reported...
More than a dozen officers from the San Antonio Police Department will face punishment for wearing Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats in a video tweeted out Tuesday by the Republican nominee, the city’s police chief said.
We could be heading in that direction.

In Europe the European Court of Human Rights issued this decree,
Russia Fined for Anti-LGBT Actions
European Court Finds Russian Authorities Discriminated Against LGBT Groups
Human Rights Watch
By Kyle Knight
July 17, 2019

The European Court of Human Rights ruled this week that the Russian government must pay 42,500 euros in damages to three lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights groups for having refused their registration in recent years.

From 2006 to 2011, Rainbow House, the Movement for Marriage Equality, and the Sochi Pride House attempted to register their respective organizations with Russian authorities. The government denied their applications, claiming the organizations “will destroy the moral values of society” or “undermine [Russia’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity…by decreasing its population.”

Most perniciously, in denying Movement for Marriage Equality’s registration, the government construed LGBT rights activities as “gay propaganda,” and said the organization’s work amounted to “extremist activities.”

Formally called the law “aimed at protecting children from information promoting the denial of traditional family values,” the “gay propaganda” law – a classic example of political homophobia – bans the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” a reference universally understood to mean a ban on providing children with access to information about LGBT people’s lives. The ban includes, but is not limited to, information provided via the press, television, radio, and the Internet.
Government sanctioned hate is spreading.

Updated July 24

The Polish government and the Catholic church are helping the anti-LGBT groups…
How did violence against LGBTQ people in Poland get so aggressive suddenly?
The violence we saw last weekend against Pride marchers has been building for the past year.
LGBTQ Nation
By Rémy Bonny
July 23, 2019

In the last year, the homophobic discourse within Polish politics has risen considerably and several high-ranking government officials made anti-LGBTQ statements.

The prominent Polish LGBTQI-activist Dominik Kuc told me a few months ago, PiS (the ruling, rightwing Law and Justice Party) was searching a new enemy of the state. With the previous general elections in 2014 – their common enemy were Muslim migrants. Since almost no migrants with a Muslim background came to Poland, they could not use this strategy again. That’s why they’ve chosen for LGBTQ people this time.
With the help of the Catholic Church, PiS has set up an election campaign strategy on fighting LGBTQ people.

Also with the recent violence during the Pride in Bialystok, PiS is accused of being behind the aggressors. The mayor of Bialystok, Tadeusz Truskolaski, announced that he will ask the prosecutor’s office to start an investigation on the involvement of local PiS members in the violent protests of last weekend.
And now the new British Prime Minster Boris Johnson is anti-LGBT
New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson refuses to apologize for homophobic comments
He compared gay sex to having sex with animals, used anti-gay slurs, and mocked same-sex couples, but it's your fault if you took him wrong.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
July 23, 2019

Boris Johnson just won the Conservative Party’s leadership contest and will be the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. But LGBTQ activists are already asking him for apologize for his long history of homophobic comments.

The organization LGBT+ Conservatives has called on Johnson to apologize for using the phrase “tank-topped bumboys” to insinuate that a political rival is gay in a 1998 Telegraph column.

“As a journalist he used some distinctly hurtful and unhelpful language, and that has dented the confidence of many in the LGBT community,” said Colm Howard-Lloyd, the chair of the organization. “I expect him to address that at an early opportunity.”

But Johnson’s homophobia wasn’t limited to that one column. In a 2000 column, he decried the idea of children learning about LGBTQ people.
Folks it is becoming down right scary out there and governments look for scapegoats!

But We don't have to go far to find hate.
Naugatuck stands up against hate
By LaSalle Blanks News8 Reporter
July 22, 2019

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — Neighbors in Naugatuck are turning an act of hate into a bigger act of love and support.

About two weeks ago, Chris Ritton-Stokes, who shares a home with his husband and little girl, became the target of hate when someone drove by and yelled a homophobic slur at him.

It hurt.

“I felt like I was 12 years old again,” Ritton-Stokes said. “I was back in high school, back in middle school being bullied.”

Ritton-Stokes wrote about the incident on Facebook. What happened next surprised, shocked, and touched him. His neighbors banded together and started flying Pride flags on their homes. Then, more and more people on other streets did, too.
Down in New York City a lesbian couple was attacked and beaten.
New York Lesbian Couple Bashed, Called “Dude,” in Brutal Hate Crime
One woman's head was slammed repeatedly on a concrete walkway.
By Brandon Voss

Police in New York have launched a hate crime investigation after a Long Island woman was assaulted in the street with her girlfriend, Newsweek reports.

Suffolk County Police are offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest in connection with the incident, which occurred July 7 in Patchogue.

Kimberly Page, 30, said she and her girlfriend were in an alleyway near the Patchogue-Medford Library when they were approached by a group of four men. One of the men allegedly made lewd comments to her girlfriend, questioning why a woman would want to be with another woman.
Both Page and her girlfriend were taken to Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue. Page suffered injuries to her head, face, and knee during the assault.
The short term prognosis is bleak.

Monday, July 22, 2019

A Look To The Past

You all have probably seen this photo of the Brown Shirts burning books, but do you know what books they are burning?

They are burning books from Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute of Sex Research because they were “Un-German”

Berlin in the 1920s and 30s we a LGBTQ+ hot spot.
Jeanne Mammen 1928
A Peek Inside Berlin's Queer Club Scene Before Hitler Destroyed It
A new book tells the true stories behind Cabaret, and what was possibly the most thrilling gay party scene the world has ever known. Read an excerpt here.
The Advocate
By Clayton J. WHISNANT
July 19, 2016

The following is an excerpt from Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A History, 1880-1945 by Clayton J. Whisnant:

As early as the turn of the century, Berlin’s gay scene was attracting such notoriety that it frequently was mentioned in tourist literature, lifting up the city’s gay scene as proof of the evils of urban life and the dangers of modernity; in them, Berlin became the country’s Sodom and Gomorrah put together, a sure sign of the land’s degeneracy.

On the stages of Berlin, the Tiller Girls showed off their legs, dancing a Rockettes-style performance that amazed and titillated spectators. In crowded cabarets, audiences admired “tableaux” of women posing naked or watched actors telling risqué jokes and singing lewd songs

Clubs full of men wearing powder and rouge as well as shorthaired women dressed in tuxedoes offered images of a world seemingly turned upside down. For the general public, this world was bewildering—and quite possibly terrifying.
It wasn’t just lesbian and gays,
In one of the establishments, he had the pleasure of hearing the local bartender sing a song about “the third sex” that one of the members had composed. As the bartender sang, he threw off his apron, pulled on a braided wig and woman’s hat, and “made all kinds of feminine movements and facial expressions that a professional female impersonator could hardly improve on.”
It was into this environment that the Brown Shirts stepped and used us as scapegoats for all the ills of Germany. The Nazi said that Germany problems were all the result of Jew, Romani, the disabled, lesbians and gays, and us. The Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum writes,
Later, a harsher revision of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code went into effect, making a broad range of “lewd and lascivious” behavior between men illegal and punishable by imprisonment. The revision of Paragraph 175, however, did not ban sexual acts between women. Therefore, lesbianism, while not condoned, did not face the same persecution as male homosexuality, and very few lesbians were arrested or punished.
Are we heading in that direction?

Sunday, July 21, 2019

It Is Sending A Chill Up Our Spines

A business in Poland is planning on handing out LGBT Free Zone stickers what is scary is that Nazi Germany did the same for Jews.
Magazine to give out 'LGBT-free zone' stickers to readers
By Rob Picheta
July 19, 2019

(CNN)A Polish news magazine has announced plans to distribute stickers proclaiming an "LGBT-free zone" to its readers.

The right-wing weekly publication Gazeta Polska said it will include the stickers, which feature an image of a black cross over a Pride flag alongside the inflammatory slogan, in its next issue.
The stunt has sparked outrage from many inside the country and was criticized by the US Ambassador to Poland.

"I am disappointed and concerned that some groups use stickers to promote hatred and intolerance," Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher said on Twitter Thursday. "We respect freedom of speech, but we must stand together on the side of values such as diversity and tolerance."
"We've witnessed a huge, ultra-conservative backlash since the beginning of this year, with the entire government propaganda machine targeting the LGBT community here in Poland, and scapegoating us as the public enemy," he said. "But this is certainly something new, and seems to be crossing the line of hate speech."
And what worries me the most is that this hate is spreading though out the world, Trump and the Russian are spreading this hate and has the backing of the Polish government.
The stickers hark back to Nazi-era signage in Poland that made clear that certain public areas and institutions were not to be used by Jews, Sobecki added.

People walk through Warsaw as part of the annual anti-LGBT 'March for Life and Family.'
In recent months, PiS and Polish Catholic leaders have ramped up their use of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric, with party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski calling LGBTQ rights a "threat" to Poland.

Opinion polls suggest the group is set to gain reelection when the country goes to the polls in October.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

April 1, 1933
Nationwide boycott of Jewish-owned businesses
At 10:00 a.m., members of the Storm Troopers (SA) and SS (the elite guard of the Nazi state) stand in front of Jewish-owned businesses throughout Germany to inform the public that the proprietors of these establishments are Jewish. The word "Jude," German for "Jew," is often smeared on store display windows, with a Star of David painted in yellow and black across the doors. Anti-Jewish signs accompany these slogans. In some towns, the SA march through the streets singing anti-Jewish slogans and party songs. In other towns, violence accompanies the boycott; in Kiel, a Jewish lawyer is killed. The boycott ends at midnight. Boycotts organized at the local level continue throughout much of the 1930s.

September 15, 1935
Nuremberg Laws are instituted
At their annual party rally, the Nazis announce new laws that make Jews second-class citizens and revoke most of their political rights. Further, Jews are prohibited from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of "German or related blood." "Racial infamy," as this becomes known, is made a criminal offense. The Nuremberg Laws define a "Jew" as someone with three or four Jewish grandparents or who is a practicing Jew. Consequently, the Nazis classify as Jews thousands of people who have converted from Judaism to another religion, among them even Roman Catholic priests and nuns and Protestant ministers whose grandparents were Jewish.

And now Trump is forming this commission
One of the biggest antigay activists says Trump’s human rights commission is their ‘opportunity’
The famous Christian conservative activist says Trump's new 'human rights' commission will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to roll back LGBTQ equality.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
July 20, 2019

A prominent anti-LGBTQ activist said that Donald Trump’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to roll back LGBTQ equality.

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new Commission on Unalienable Rights that will conduct “one of the most profound reexaminations of the unalienable rights in the world” to determine which human rights are worth protecting and which are more… optional.

“Words like ‘rights,'” Pompeo said, can be used for “evil.”

Human rights advocates immediately criticized the commission, saying that it would weaken international human rights. The State Department said that it would be based on “natural law” – a system of thought often used to say that LGBTQ people are “unnatural” and therefore don’t deserve to be treated equally – and all of the people picked to staff the commission have histories of anti-LGBTQ activism.
Does this sound like what happened in Germany back in the 1930s?

Now is time for all good people to stand against this tyranny before it is too late.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A Walk Through History

It started off as a blog post about our walk yesterday morning and I wanted to write about where we walk but I came across some neat history of it.

Yesterday morning I went for a walk with a friend who is staying at the cottage and we walking on a trail called Hatches Harbor in the Cape Cod National Seashore located in Provincetown right at the tip of the Cape.

Here we are walking down through the pine barrens,

And glanced up and there was a flock of vultures circling overhead. Hmm… I didn’t think I was that bad to attract a bunch of vultures.

All of a sudden we were on the dike that was built in the in 1930 to control salt water mosquitoes and off to the left is Race Point Lighthouse.

As I said I found out something neat, they are opening up the area where the dike closed off. They are reintroducing salt water to kill off the invasion of Phragmites australis reeds and establish Spartina patens (salt hay grass) and S. alternifolia (smooth cord grass) to the marsh.

Saturday 9: Secret Agent Man

Sam’s Secret Agent Man (1966)

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

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it

1) This is the theme of a TV show that ran on CBS from 1964-1967. The series was produced, and originally aired, in England. The BBC has shared many shows with American audiences over the years. Can you name another?
The Prisoner

2) The show is about John Drake, a special agent dedicated to exposing plots that threaten world peace. A quick check of Netflix and Goodreads reveals that spy stories are just as popular today. Is espionage a genre you enjoy? Do you read books, or watch shows and movies, about spies?
Yes as long as there is no blood and gore.

3) The lyrics tell us Drake travels from the Riviera to Bombay. Where were you when you last spent the night away from home? Why were you there (vacation, business, international intrigue)?
Well right now I’m at the cottage does that count?

4) The refrain states, "They've given you a number and taken away your name." In today's digital world, that could now be said of all of us. Are you good at remembering your computer passwords?
Well I divide the categories into three groups.
Low security like newspaper where you have to provide a password and I use the same password for all them that I remember easily.
Medium security and the passwords get more complicated and some I can remember.
And high security like financial institution and medical portals all have complicated password that I need reminders for.

5) Patrick McGoohan, who played Agent Drake, went from being a good guy to appearing as a murderer on Columbo four times. Were you a fan of Columbo?
Yup, and it is playing on Cozi TV

6) Born John Ramistella, this week's featured artist, Johnny Rivers, grew up in Louisiana. He took "Rivers" as his stage name because he grew up along the Mighty Mississippi. If you were to change your last name based on the geography of the area where you grew up, how would you be known?
Diana Nutmeg

7) In 1966, when this song was popular, Jacqueline Kennedy was the woman most Americans admired. What famous woman do you admire most? (She doesn't have to be American.)
Michelle Obama

8) 1966 also found another Jacqueline was in the news. Jacqueline Susann's first novel, Valley of the Dolls, was atop the best seller lists, even though it was savaged by the critics. What's your guilty pleasure? What book, movie, TV show, or song do you enjoy, even though you know it has little artistic merit?
Paint Your Wagon

9) Random question: Imagine you've been stranded alone in the woods for 10 days. No companionship, no internet or phone or TV. You have been sleeping in the dirt, living on berries and river water. Your rescuers drive you to a hotel. Upon check-in, what's the first thing you do?
Take a shower.

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, July 19, 2019

The Sum Of The Whole

We are multidimensional, we are so much more than our trans identity but sometimes they are overlooked by others.
"I'm proud of who I am, but I'm more than one identity": The fight for transgender voices in 2020
CBS News
By Emily Tillett
July 18, 2019

The first thing Sarah McBride did after launching her candidacy for the Delaware state senate was take a deep breath and press a button that launched her campaign website. The second thing she did: hug her mom.
Twenty-eight-year-old McBride, a transgender activist who was the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention in U.S. history at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, is running for the state legislature. If elected, she would become the first transgender state senator in U.S. history.
Her campaign has the support of some of Delaware's best known politicians, including former Vice President Joe Biden's family, Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who called McBride a "tireless advocate and trailblazer" well-known throughout the state. 
Any trans candidate has a hard time shaking off the yoke of being trans and focusing on the issues. That is the trick, look at any of the successful trans candidates they ran on the issues and avoided be labeled by their opposition and the news media as a “trans candidate.
While the trans community has made significant progress over the last two election cycles at the state, local and administrative levels, progress has been slower at the federal level. In the 2018 midterms, none of the nine transgender candidates that ran for the U.S. House of Representatives won their races.

Brianna Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, says that's due in part to two major obstacles: "Many of us ran in solidly Republican districts," for one, and and [sic] the second factor, she said, is funding.
I sometimes wonder if they let us run in districts where we don’t have a chance of winning. In one way that, well to put it bluntly… sucks. However in another way it is good, we get national press and we show that we are a lot more than just another trans candidate.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Guinea Pigs.

Lets face it we are nothing but a bunch of guinea pigs to researchers, they want to find out what makes us tick. Is it in our genes? Is it something prenatal? Is it nurture?
Researcher explores links between transgender brain and gender identity
Understanding the brain structure of transgender people could help tailor care and support, says recent USC grad and neuroscientist Jonathan Vanhoecke.
USC News
By Eric Lindberg
July 15, 2019

What can looking at the brains of transgender people tell us about the physical and mental health resources they might need?

Not very much — yet.

But that is starting to change, said Jonathan Vanhoecke, a budding expert in neuroimaging and transgender identity who recently completed his master’s degree in neuroimaging and informatics at the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute. He’s on the leading edge of a new wave of research into the relationship between brain structure and function and gender identity, especially when that identity doesn’t match a person’s physical body.

“We aren’t able to use brain scans yet to help tailor hormonal and other treatments,” he said. “But perhaps in the future we will, and that’s one of the reasons I’m so attracted to this research field. The implications are enormous.”

Understanding how their brains develop and change as transgender people grow up could help doctors and other health professionals provide better treatment and support.
“For the first time, the field is really galvanized around studying this issue together,” said Paul Thompson, a USC professor, associate director of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute and leader of the ENIGMA [Enhancing Neuro Imagining Genetics through Meta Analysis] network*. “The better we are able to understand sources of stress and individual differences in transgender people, the better we are able to be sensitive and understand their different needs and experiences.”
I am always leery of research in what makes us tick but at the same time I am fascinated in what they find.
So far, results from the few existing studies are inconclusive, Vanhoecke said. Some evidence suggests differences in gender identity could be linked to ways the brain develops in childhood and adolescence, and that the observed patterns correspond to gender identity. Other studies have indicated that neural patterns generally match the sex a person is assigned at birth. Yet other studies found evidence that doesn’t seem to support either of these, but rather that there are unique neural patterns in transgender people.
There is one thing that I have learned in life, mother nature likes to experiment and if they find a cause or indicator of why we are trans, we have to realize that they found only one reason why we’re trans and that there maybe a whole host of other reasons.

My concern is that some insurance company or some politician will say you can’t be trans because you don’t have this indicator.

We are still the best judge of is we are trans. Ask us and not some test.

*ENIGMA Transgender Persons

The goal of the ENIGMA transgender research group is to explore, by virtue of imaging-based mega-analysis, the underlying neurobiology of transgenderism.

The transgender group was founded in October 2017 and is welcoming new members.

Current ENIGMA-Transgeneder Persons participating members include:
  • Amsterdam University Medical Center (Baudewijntje Kreukels, Sarah Burke, Mathilde Kennis), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • University of Vienna (Rupert Lanzenberger, Rene Seiger, Georg Kranz), Vienna, Austria
  • Madrid National Distance Education University (Antonio Guillamon), Madrid, Spain
  • University of Deusto (Leire Zubiaurre Elorza), Bilbao, Spain
  • Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre (Maiko Schneider), Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • University of Mashhad (Behzad Khorashad, Behnaz Khazee), Mashhad, Iran
  • University of California Los Angeles (Eric Vilain, Francisco Sánchez), LA, USA
  • University of Auckland (Eileen Luders), Auckland, New Zealand
  • University of Muenster (Dominik Grotegerd, Udo Dannlowski, Carsten Konrad), Muenster, Germany
  • University Clinic RWTH Aachen (Ute Habel, Mikhail Votinov), Aachen, Germany
  • University of Florence (Alessandra Fisher, Mario Mascalchi, Gioele Gavazzi, Stefano Orsolini, Mario Maggi, Jiska Ristori, Giovanni Castellini), Florence, Italy
  • University of Ghent (Sven Mueller, Guy T’Sjoen), Ghent, Belgium
  • University of Southern California (Arthur Toga), LA, USA
  • University of Barcelona (Carme Junque, Esther Gómez-Gil, Carme Uribe, Giusseppina Rametti, Beatriz Carrillo, Gloria Aranda, Mireia Porta, Angel Gómez, Eduardo Pásaro, Rosa Fernández), Barcelona, Spain

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


What do you do when you transition and you are a professional with name recognition, do you lose your old identity and start over?

That is what they did in the old days, but what about now? What should you do?
Navigating Gender Identity and Expression During a Job Search
A job search is anxiety-producing enough without also having to deal with such issues, writes Lauren Easterling, who offers some insights and advice.
Inside Higher Education
By Lauren Easterling
June 24, 2019

For most of my life, I was constantly struggling with my own gender identity before I came out as transgender. But during all of my job searches, I never once had to question how others perceived my gender. I learned the rules and expectations that others taught me about how males were supposed to act, dress and present themselves in job interviews: smile, iron your shirts, wear a smart suit and tie, speak firmly, and shake hands with others just as firmly.

After coming out as a woman who is transgender, I told myself that once I learned the rules and expectations -- which seemed to be many, many more than those I'd learned before -- navigating a job search would be the same. But based on my own experience and that of other transgender and non-binary people, that has not been the case.

A job search is anxiety-producing on its own, without also having to navigate issues of gender, identity and expression. As a career-development specialist, educator and advocate on transgender issues, I will share some of my insights about navigating the different issues that may arise when our own sense of gender identity and expression doesn't match the perceptions of others during a job search.
So what do you do with your resume? What about a job application?

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) has these guidelines for employers.
Pre-Employment Questions: What Can't I Ask? And Why?

The following represents general guidelines you should follow when interviewing potential job candidates.
Category: Name
It’s Potentially Discriminatory to Ask (or Mention):
Have you ever changed your name?
Original name of applicant whose name has been legally changed
Examples of Acceptable Inquiries:
What is your name?
Have you ever been employed under another name?
Is there any additional information about nicknames or name change we need to know regarding your application for this position?

Category: Sex/Sexual Orientation:
It’s Potentially Discriminatory to Ask (or Mention):
Sex of applicant
Applicant’s sexual habits or orientation
Views on women’s liberation
Examples of Acceptable Inquiries:
No acceptable inquiries unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification (valid, job-related inquiries in to an applicant’s personal life should be done in a background investigation).

Category: Criminal Record:
It’s Potentially Discriminatory to Ask (or Mention):
Arrest record
Examples of Acceptable Inquiries:
Number and kinds of convictions for felonies.
Note: Recent rulings have held that you cannot reject an applicant solely because he/she has been convicted of a felony, unless the crime is job-related to the position for which the person is applying.
I would also say asking someone about “employed under another name” would also be border line unless they had a legitimate reason to ask during a job interview.

The Connecticut Department of Labor has these tips…
If you are asked an illegal question, you may not want to immediately eliminate the company as a potential employer. Often the person who interviews you will not be your supervisor. If you are asked an illegal question, wait until later in the interview and then inquire who would be your supervisor and who would be responsible for performance evaluations. You have three options in answering an illegal question.

You can refuse to answer the question, but if the employer is unaware that the question is illegal, you may appear confrontational and difficult to work with.

You can directly answer the question with the knowledge that it may inhibit your employment opportunity.

Usually the best option is to look at the intent behind the question and answer appropriately.

The interviewer is unlikely to view the question as prejudiced; he or she may feel it is well intentioned or that the belief is justified. If you are interested in finding employment, it is very important to react calmly and answer the question with tact and a friendly tone.

For instance, if you are asked, "We have very few minorities working here. Will you feel comfortable in this environment?"

Answer A: "It is illegal for you to question me about my ethnicity; I will be contacting the NAACP."
Result: A legal battle and no employment opportunity. The employer will feel justified in viewing minorities as being overly defensive and difficult to work with and will probably continue to screen out minorities. You may feel defensive during future interviews which will portray you negatively.

Answer B: "I enjoy working with many people of various backgrounds. I believe you will find both my work skills and interpersonal skills very satisfactory; my previous employers can verify that I have never had an issue with my co-workers."
Result: You have redirected the conversation to focus on your work experience and skills. The employer is more inclined to give you a job offer, where your good work may help to overcome his or her prejudice. Even if you are not hired, the employer will view you as a professional and may refer you to other positions or companies.
You know how politicians never really answer the questions they are asked, well take a tip from them answer the question by twisting it to give the answer you want to give, change from a confrontational answer like in “A” to an answer that shows you strengths.

Also under a new Connecticut law they cannot ask wage history.

The Inside Higher Education goes on to write,
Caring for Yourself in a Job Search Process

While I often encourage the students and postdocs with whom I work to trust the job search process at each company, university or other organization to which they apply, this is easier said than done. It is more difficult to do so when you as an applicant are feeling anxious, isolated or without support. I strongly encourage job seekers to have a good network of mentors, colleagues, friends and others who can provide emotional and professional support and advice.
Being Out in a Job Search

A first step in navigating a job search is to decide whether or not you want to be out as transgender or non-binary during the job search and hiring process. Some people do not want to be out during this process, and that is okay. But if they decide not to be out, they should have a plan.

I was out during my most recent job search, but not my prior one. For my earlier search, in 2012, I was looking for universities where I knew I would be supported if I decided to come out and start living my life as me. But I was not socially supported and emotionally ready to both conduct a job search and be out as trans to potential employers. In contrast, for my most recent successful job search in 2015, I had been out and living my true life for over a year and a half, and I had a professional and social support network to help me apply and interview for positions.
Names Matter
Names are an important first point of contact in the job search. They can also be terrifying for some trans and non-binary people, because our true names -- those we use to describe who we really are -- don't always match our legal ones. Some individuals may never be able or want to change their legal names, and this creates room for possible pain and confusion in a hiring process. Others, like me, are able to change their names, and different questions arise. For example, I needed to address why I used two different names in my publications and presentations. My solution was to add an asterisk before each item with my previous name -- my deadname -- and include a footnote stating that these items were published or presented under a previous name.
Interviewing Well
The interview phase of a job search can bring a different set of challenges. I despise phone interviews and find my anxiety level spiking to exponential levels. Though others say that my voice is fine, I am not happy with it and don't feel it communicates that I'm a woman. I've invested time and money into voice training, but my voice remains affected by decades of testosterone in my body and is the part of me that I most wish I could change. As a result, I try, though not always successfully, to request video interviews to help keep me focused on the interview rather than on monitoring my own gender presentation.
Also keep in mind that each interview is different. Different companies, different employees, and different question… trust your gut. If you walk into an employer’s waiting room and there is a signed picture of Trump… the company may not be a good match for you. Also remember that there is no law banning political discrimination, the employer can discriminate against you if you are a Democrat or Republican,

In my research for job searching I came across this from my undergrad school RIT FAQ for Trans* Job Seekers
Should I out myself in my application, resume, or cover letter?
It depends. This is a very personal decision; there is no right or wrong answer. You will need to make a decision based on your own level of comfort and interest in sharing your gender identity with others weighed against the research you have done about the company.

Which name should I use on my resume?
Again it depends. A resume is not a legal document, so it is acceptable to use your preferred name. Some individuals prefer to list first initials followed by their preferred name (e.g. T Michelle Richards) or identify their preferred name in quotes (e.g. Taylor “Michelle” Richards).
Just remember that if you are a very out trans women and they Google your name what will they find? Suggestion; do a vanity search on Google.

Some sources suggest checking the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index but remember what they say on paper and what they do are two different things. I know of one trans woman whose employer had a 100 percent rating from the CEI and she had a very transphobic boss.

What do you do if you transition and you are well known in your profession?
How Should Professors Cite Their Transgender Colleagues’ Work Produced Under Past Identities? Academe Is Trying to Figure It Out.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Grace Elletson
July 12, 2019

When Grace Lavery published her first essay as a graduate student, she felt uneasy about putting her name on it. While she was proud of her work, part of her also wanted distance from the masculine first name that appeared on the author page.

“It already felt,” she said, “like I was putting on a costume of some kind.”

Back then Lavery was a man, under a different name. Today, Lavery is a transgender woman. She transitioned at the beginning of 2018, while an assistant professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley, where she is now an associate professor. Once she was on hormonal treatment, Lavery said, she immediately felt a new sense of belonging in her body and identity.
But, for Lavery and other transgender scholars, fulfilling professional duties — like publishing — can present obstacles. Having two different names and gender identities on published work can complicate issues like personal privacy, professional reputation, and the task of developing an academic profile. The tensions can be especially acute when a transition takes place in the middle or beginning of a scholar’s academic career.
Even for academics who are open with their transgender identity, like Beemyn and Lavery, being referred to by their old names in citations — a practice often referred to as “deadnaming” — isn’t something they’re comfortable with.
It is not only academics who have this problem but also all other professionals. I know one electrical engineer when she transitioned she was being compared to her “brother.” One time she heard someone at a conference say that she was a lot smarter than her “brother.”

To paraphrase Kermit, “It’s not easy being trans”

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Unfortunately The U.S. Now Falls In This Category

The United Nations passed a resolution chastising homophobic nations…
Homophobic nations suffer a major loss at the United Nations
Countries overwhelmingly voted to hold nations to account on LGBTI issues
Gay Star News
By Joe Morgan
12 July 2019

Homophobic nations attempted to sabotage a LGBTI rights resolution at the United Nations today (12 July).

Nations like Egypt and Pakistan attempted to derail the vote on the Independent Expert for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

The role is intended to hold nations to account on LGBTI issues. Created in 2016, it will now continue for the next three years.

Distracting amendments included removing all mentions of sexual orientation and gender identity from the role.
‘Today’s vote ensures… countries will be held accountable to protect their LGBTQ citizens,’ Jean Freedberg, HRC Director of Global Partnerships, said.

‘Yet even as we celebrate this victory, there is so much more to be done to truly protect even the most vulnerable among us, including transgender and intersex people — and to advance our path towards full equality.’
I hope that they turn their focus on the U.S. and our “Fearless Leader.”

While we are on the subject of homophobia,
New Republic magazine pulls down homophobic op-ed about Pete Buttigieg by an openly gay literary critic
The author argued that because Buttigieg waited until his early 30s to come out as gay, he would be too preoccupied with sex and drugs to be an effective president.
NBC News
By Josh Lederman
July 13, 2019

The New Republic has retracted a vulgar and homophobic op-ed about Pete Buttigieg by openly gay literary critic Dale Peck.

The magazine had published the piece, titled “My Mayor Pete Problem,” on its website on Friday.

In the piece, Peck described Buttigieg as “the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom,” and he referred to the presidential candidate as “Mary Pete” throughout the column.

Peck argued that because Buttigieg waited until his early 30s to come out as gay, he would be too preoccupied with sex and drugs to be an effective president. The piece also crudely speculated about intimate details of Buttigieg’s personal life.

Almost immediately, social media erupted in widespread condemnation.
I do not understand how anyone who is LGBTQ+ could be Republican and vote against their human rights. There are only two things that I can think of; one they’re racist or greedy.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Fun & Games

I don’t know about you but having your car serviced is not my favorite pastime but this morning that is where I will be sitting with my ice coffee and a book.

When I first transitioned I dreaded going to places with a high testosterone levels like car dealers and building supple places. However once you transition you have no choice.

I have to admit that as usual my worries were for naught. I haven’t had any problems, the only problem that I have is mansplaining. I know what a Kellems® grip is “I don’t need no lecture.”

I personally know 4 trans people who works or used to work for Home Depot and one of them was a night store manager.

It is the little stores that I have problems with, a local hardware store I will not go back to ever. When I walked in to the store to have a propane tank filled a store employees noticed me and when I left the store there were a five employees lined up by the door giggling. But the same chain of local hardware stores up in New Hampshire (the only hardware store for 20 miles) was fine with me.

When I had to have my car repaired after an accident, I could tell the moment when the owner realized I was trans. His eyes got wider and he stepped back a step, but by the time we finished talking he was back to normal talking distance.

So when this is published I should be sitting in the waiting room with my book and coffee waiting for them to do the 30,000 mile checkup.

When I made the appointment the counter person asked what the mileage is on the car, I said that I don't know, the idiot light just for routine maintenance,