Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday 9: Money for Nothing

Sam’s Saturday 9: Money for Nothing (1985) 

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I am going to be at a party this afternoon so I might not get to reply to you until this evening

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

Alert: The Northern Lights will be visible in the northern U.S. this Labor Day weekend

1) Sweatbands are prominent in this very 1980s video. What's the last thing you wore on your head?
A hat that I bought in Wellfleet last weekend.

2) The lyrics are from the point of view of a man who delivers and installs appliances. What's the biggest purchase you've made lately? Was it big in size or expense?
My hat it was a little expensive but I bought it for a number of reasons, first I like the looks of it on me, second I needed a sun hat, and lastly it was on the expensive side but it went to a local store and not some big box store.

3) The delivery man of the song imagines the worst thing that happens to a musician is a blister on his little finger or thumb. Do you have any minor aches or pains bedeviling you as you answer these questions?
Ha! At my age everything is an ache or a pain.

4) The term "dire straits" describes a troubling situation that's difficult to extricate oneself from. When's the last time you found yourself in dire straits?
About four months ago and I hope it is finally straightening itself out

5) There's a dinosaur called masiakasaurus knopfleri. It's a prehistoric, predatory lizard, and the paleontologists who discovered it were big Dire Straits fans, so they named it after lead singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler. Do you find dinosaurs fascinating, terrifying, or both?
I find that it is fascinating that they are still around; there was a flock of them yesterday afternoon picking the bugs off of my trees.

6) Prior to his music career, Knopfler was a junior reporter, covering the entertainment beat for the Yorkshire Evening Post. Do you believe you would make a better musician or journalist?
Since I am tone deaf I would have to go with journalism.

7) In 1985, when this song was popular, rib eye steak was $3.89/pound. Today it's more than twice that. Do you have any beef in your freezer right now?
Where’s the beef?

Yes I do have beef in my freezer.

8) In 1985, Michael Jordan won the NBA Rookie of the Year award after his first season with the Chicago Bulls. It was the beginning of a career that made him a hero and a household name. Who do you think today's young people look up to?
I have no idea, it is probably a sports figure or an actress/actor and not someone important like a scientist.

9) Random question: Friends take you to dinner for your birthday. The menu you're handed doesn't have any prices on it. Do you try to estimate the costs and choose what you guess is the least expensive entree? Or do you figure that since your friends want you to have a good time, you should order whatever you want?
I would go with the chicken or a fish they are usually the cheapest.

Last year four of us went to the Lobster Pot in Provincetown for our birthday party in October, we all had October birthdays and I had Lobster Newburg and a Pomegranate martini.

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, August 30, 2019

Packed In A Trunk

How many of us started off that way?

Hiding our stash from our families, kept secret from all. I have always wondered after our death what would have happened our stash of clothes, would they be found by our families?

The title of this post came from “Packed In a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson,” she was a lesbian artist from the 1920s who was labeled insane and locked away in an asylum where she died. But when her grand nieces found her art packed away in a trunk in the attic.

Back at the turn of the Twenty-first Century I went to a support group for the first time, after I attend for a few year one of our long term members passed away but no one knew that she did because we only knew her fem name. It wasn’t until her daughter emailed us about her passing.

You have to wonder how many of us passed away without our community knowing or their family knowing that they were trans until they found “the trunk.” I wrote a letter and stuffed it in the “trunk” or in my case a large plastic box.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,
I also have to wonder how much of our history is “Packed in a Trunk” and how much will be lost to history. Up in the Catskills was Casa Susanna where crossdressers from NYC came up for a weekend get-away and its history was lost until photographs that were packed in a trunk was found at a yard sale.
A Safe House for the Girl Within
The New York Times
By Penelope Green
September 7, 2006

THERE was a pilot and a businessman, an accountant, a librarian and a pharmacologist. There was a newspaper publisher, and a court translator. By day, they were the men in the gray flannel suits, but on the weekends, they were Felicity, Cynthia, Gail, Sandy, Fiona, Virginia and Susanna. It was the dawn of the 1960’s, yet they wore their late 50’s fashions with awkward pride: the white gloves, the demure dresses and low heels, the stiff wigs. Many were married with children, or soon would be. In those pre-Judith Butler, pre-Phil Donahue days, when gender was more tightly tethered to biology, these men’s “gender migrations,” or “gender dysphoria,” as the sociologists began to call cross-dressing, might cost them their marriages, their jobs, their freedom.

And so they kept their feminine selves hidden, except for weekends at Casa Susanna, a slightly run-down bungalow camp in Hunter, N.Y., that was the only place where they could feel at home.

Decades later, when Robert Swope, a gentle punk rocker turned furniture dealer, came across their pictures — a hundred or so snapshots and three photo albums in a box at the 26th Street flea market in Manhattan — he knew nothing about their stories, or Casa Susanna, beyond the obvious: here was a group of men dressed as women, beautiful and homely, posing with gravity, happiness and in some cases outright joy. They were playing cards, eating dinner, having a laugh. They didn’t look campy, like drag queens vamping it up as Diana Ross or Cher; they looked like small-town parishioners, like the lady next door, or your aunt in Connecticut.
I have donated all my photos and documents to a local college library (with a 20 year time-lock on them before they can be released.). I urge you also donate you memorabilia (not only photos but also buttons, program guides for trans conferences, etc.) to a library or Connecticut Historical Society and your printer literature to the digital trans archive.

We need to save our history or else it will be claimed by others.

Earlier in the week I wrote about the problems of going through security at airports, well the topic has been picked up on the campaign trail by Sen. Warren.
Elizabeth Warren condemns ‘dehumanising’ screenings of trans people at airports
Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has condemned the news that transgender people in the US are being subjected to invasive screenings at airports in order to travel.
Pink News UK
By Vic Parsons
August 29, 2019

A ProPublica investigation revealed that trans passengers are being forced to endure invasive searches by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) in the US.

“Trans and non-binary people shouldn’t have to face invasive and dehumanising screenings to travel,” Warren, 70, tweeted on August 27.

“We must do better – and I’ll keep working to ensure that every trans and non-binary American is able to live without fear or discrimination,” she added.

Warren, who is currently senator of Massachusetts, recently added her pronouns to her Twitter and campaign bios in what is being hailed as a show of solidarity with the trans community.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Diversity Training, Does It Work?

I do a lot of training and the fall training season is just starting and sometimes I think am I making a difference?

I have seen attendees writing down notes and ask questions while others sit there like a bump on a log, you can just hear what they are thinking… they sent me to attend this junk.
She, he or they: Tampa Bay bars train to better serve LGBTQ customers
Workplace classes about navigating pronouns, gender identity and sexual orientation are getting more popular in the local customer service scene.
Tampa Bay Times
By Sara DiNatale
August 22, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — Cole Foust [the manager of the LGBTQ+ division at nonprofit Metro Inclusive Health] stood in front of a sleepy group of servers and bartenders, starting off the day’s class with a simple assertion during his introduction: “I go by he/him.”

“Has anyone heard the buzz around pronouns?” he asked.

A few seated at the tables at MacDinton’s Irish Pub nodded or quietly said “yes."

“Don’t worry," he said. "We’ll get more into that later.”
Foust has given dozens of these presentations, but before that day he’d never spoken to the staff of a bar. Until recently, customer-service oriented businesses hadn’t sought out Metro’s diversity training. Typically, Foust has trained health care and social service workers. But as a cultural shift has more people attuned to what it means to be inclusive, classes to help workers navigate pronouns and gender identity are increasingly in demand.
He makes a good point about using “cisgender,”
The word cisgender? It describes the bulk of the population: people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. In Latin, “cis” is essentially the opposite of “trans.”

He posed it to the group like this: If we just used the word “normal” instead of a term like cisgender, how would it make transgender people feel?

“Abnormal," someone called from the group.

“Exactly," he said.
That’s a good way to make if someone objects to using the word “cisgender.”

My worst class was a sports medicine class at a local university for sport majors, we were there because we were with a speaker bureau. It was all men and jocks and this was last place they wanted to be, sitting in front of two trans women. They sat there with their arms crossed and legs wide open and they didn’t ask one question. Since we were supposed to do a Q&A session it was rather to do without any questions, so I asked Maryann… “What was it like when you came out?” We ended up asking each other questions for the whole class.

Another time I was waiting with some friends for our reservation at a restaurant when a woman stopped and said to me… “I was at your workshop at the NASW conference and because of what I learned that day I knew what to do when a client came out to me as transgender.”

Do we make a difference? We sure do.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


A Pride parade was hijacked in England, it happened last year and again this year and it seems like the police looked the other way.
Trans charities condemn Manchester Pride and police after anti-trans protestors hijacked march
Trans rights charities have condemned Manchester Pride and Greater Manchester Police over their response to a group of anti-trans protestors, which were able to “lead” the front of the parade after hijacking the march.
Pink News UK
By Ella Braidwood
August 27, 2019

An open letter sent to PinkNews by national trans charity Sparkle adds to the growing backlash over the incident, during which a contingent gatecrashed the front of the march on Saturday, August 24, carrying banners reading “lesbians don’t have penises” and “gender ideology harms lesbians”.

Eye-witnesses told PinkNews that there were between 10 and 14 protestors.

The protest was organised by anti-trans body GetTheLOut, the same group that hijacked the front of Pride in London’s parade in 2018.

Tara Hewitt, a trans woman and co-founder of Trans Equality Legal Initiative, watched the parade with her partner – also a trans woman – and told PinkNews that the incident left them “worried about our own safety.”
I would also about their safety for two first, the police did nothing and second if they were about to march in the front of the parade who else could get by security?
“I am utterly devastated that this group was not challenged and excused by Manchester Pride and Greater Manchester Police. If we exclude Christian protestors, then we must also exclude other anti-LGBTQIA factions too.”

Greater Manchester Police told PinkNews that no criminal offences were committed so no arrests were made.

A spokesperson added: “We respect any individual’s right to freedom of expression and their right to protest peacefully; and with that comes a degree of responsibility.
So let me get this straight; if an anti-Christian group wanted to invade a Christian march the police wouldn’t do anything? Yeah right.

It looks like the conservative LGBTQ+ are in turmoil, its head quit over the endorsement of Trump and then there was this…
Log Cabin's Trump Endorsement Proves They Are Morally Bankrupt Racists
The Muslim bans, the Nazi defenses, the concentration camps, the attacks on trans people — how can anyone who isn’t a bigot endorse that?
The Advocate
By Amanda Kerri
August 16, 2019

I've always hated forced irony. That’s probably the reason I hate hipster millennials — I mean, there’s already enough irony in the world you don’t have to force it. But true, genuine irony, it’s always just so perfect. When two heads of the Log Cabin Republicans (see above [Log Cabin's Robert Kabel and Jill Homan]) decided to release their Washington Post op-ed endorsing Donald Trump at the same time his Department of Labor decided to allow government contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ employees, it was just … I believe the meme is “chef’s kiss.” It was just serendipitous in its beauty and timing. It could not have been scripted or timed better to illustrate just how morally bankrupt that entire organization is and how much of a joke the Log Cabin Republicans are.

I think my track record as a writer has established that I firmly believe that being an LGBTQ person doesn’t mean you have to believe a certain ideology, whether it involves economics, politics, or philosophy. The diversity of experience and values we have demonstrates that the one thing that unites us as a community is our shared experiences of being an LGBTQ person, of challenging centuries of ingrained norms about gender and sexuality. The discrimination, oppression, and the general struggles of our lives unite us, but how we go about coping and overcoming them differs in so many ways. From there, we try to find a common ground to express ourselves and find unity, often contentiously yet with an ultimate shared goal.
Meanwhile not all the Log Cabin Republicans endorse the policy, namely the executive director,
Exclusive: Log Cabin executive director resigns over Trump endorsement
The Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
August 27, 2019

The executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans has resigned following a controversial decision by the organization’s board to endorse President Trump, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.

Jerri Ann Henry, who was the first woman to lead the LGBT Republican group, formally submitted her resignation Friday and left Monday after discussions with board members characterized as “harsh,” sources familiar with Log Cabin told the Blade.

The resignation follows intense criticism of Log Cabin, which announced its support for Trump earlier this month without its members having met with him or having received any explicit commitments in exchange.

Sources said Henry’s discontent with Trump and dissatisfaction with Log Cabin’s approach to defending its Trump endorsement in the media were key among her reasons for stepping down.
Well at least one has saw the light!

When the Trump administration goes out of its way and use the full force and weight of the federal government to support discrimination of us there must be a motive for them to continue their support of Trump. The only things that I can think of why LGBTQ+ people support Trump is greed and/or they are racists and xenophobes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Rule Are Rules…

But what happens when they don’t know or follow the rules?

The TSA rules say that we can request an officer of our gender identity but they do follow the rules.
When Transgender Travelers Walk Into Scanners, Invasive Searches Sometimes Wait on the Other Side
Transgender and gender nonconforming people say they have been pressured to expose their genitals during TSA searches at airports. The encounters stem from shortcomings in the agency’s technology and insufficient training of its staff.
By Lucas Waldron and Brenda Medina
August 26, 2019

TSA rules require that passengers be searched by officers of the same gender as they present. But, according to Olivia, the TSA supervisor told her that she would have to be patted down by a male officer.
The newspaper goes on to say,
To understand the extent of the problem, ProPublica reviewed publicly available complaint data from the TSA’s website and asked transgender travelers to provide accounts of their experiences at airport checkpoints.

The review, which covered civil rights complaints filed from January 2016 through April 2019, found that 5%, or 298 complaints, were related to screening of transgender people, even though they are estimated to make up slightly less than 1% of the population.

This may understate the proportion of complaints from transgender travelers. When Olivia contacted the TSA, her complaint was filed in a different category — a catchall classification called “sex/gender/gender identity - not transgender.” That category accounts for 15% of the civil rights complaints in the period examined by ProPublica, but the TSA said it did not have a more specific breakdown of these complaints and could not say how many were, like Olivia’s, related in some way to gender identity and screening. ProPublica filed a Freedom of Information Act request in April seeking information about each complaint in those categories, but the agency has not yet provided any response.

When ProPublica asked transgender and gender nonconforming people to tell us about their experiences, we received 174 responses, many of them recounting humiliating treatment after being flagged by full-body scanners for additional scrutiny. Of those people, only 14 said they filed a complaint with the TSA. Many of those who did not file complaints said they didn’t know how, were afraid of outing themselves or didn’t want to relive the experience.
Blame it on the equipment…
Since implementing the scanning technology, the agency has grappled with privacy and discrimination issues. Like the transgender and gender nonconforming communities, people with disabilities, people who wear religious head coverings and women of color, whose hairstyles trigger the body scanners to alarm more frequently, have raised concerns about profiling and invasive screening.
Lets face it… we are most likely the victims of biases and prejudices.

I know that I don’t want to fly anymore for two reasons, the first is the airlines pack you in like sardines and the second is the TSA

What about you?

Update August 30, 2019

When I wrote about the problems of going through security at airports, I didn’t realize that the topic would be picked up on the campaign trail by Sen. Warren.
Elizabeth Warren condemns ‘dehumanising’ screenings of trans people at airports

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has condemned the news that transgender people in the US are being subjected to invasive screenings at airports in order to travel.
Pink News UK
By Vic Parsons
August 29, 2019

A ProPublica investigation revealed that trans passengers are being forced to endure invasive searches by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) in the US.

“Trans and non-binary people shouldn’t have to face invasive and dehumanising screenings to travel,” Warren, 70, tweeted on August 27.

“We must do better – and I’ll keep working to ensure that every trans and non-binary American is able to live without fear or discrimination,” she added.

Warren, who is currently senator of Massachusetts, recently added her pronouns to her Twitter and campaign bios in what is being hailed as a show of solidarity with the trans community.

A Democratic presidential candidate has a family member who is trans or gender non-conforming…

Booker said it was his brother's child and New Jersey trans advocate Babs Siperstein—his "activist inspiration"—who taught him that America needed leaders who can say "I don't have all the answers when it comes to trans youth but I'm willing to elevate folks to let them sit as peers with me" to find solutions.

"I hope that one day very soon—let's call it maybe less than two years—that... my nie-phew and other great trans leaders in the youth community have a seat at the White House to talk about issues.
But Booker told Keisling [NCTE founder and executive director, Mara Keisling] it was important not just to stem the president's attacks but to move the needle forward for the approximately 1.4 million transgender Americans.

"The discrimination from insurance companies [and] discrimination from employers who want to use religious exceptions and deny people fundamental basic healthcare is unacceptable to me," he said. "It shows you how much further we have to go to stop the backsliding of this administration. But more importantly to advance and gained ground until we have equal health care access for all."

Fellow Senators—and White House hopefuls—Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) also made their pitch to trans voters and allies in the forum.

Gillibrand called coming out as trans "an act of courage"—and touted her support for comprehensive protections for LGBT Americans—including "banning conversion therapy, allowing an 'X' gender marker for... birth certificates [and] driver's licenses," and inclusive healthcare, safety and anti-discrimination measures.
Not only are trans candidates running and winning, trans people are becoming for better or worst a political issue.

Democrats for us… Republicans against us.
Democrats for inclusion… Republicans for exclusion

Monday, August 26, 2019

We Are Adults

We can make up our own minds.

There is a lot of talk in the LGBTQ+ community about the laws banning Conversion Therapy most centered around the exemptions… religious organizations and adults.
A shockingly high number of transgender Americans are forced into conversion therapy
Trans people in Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana were the most likely to be forced into it.
LGBTQ Nation
By Gwendolyn Smith
August 23, 2019

A study released by the American Journal of Public Health reveals that 13.5% of transgender Americans have undergone conversion therapy within their lifetime.

Conversion therapy, which has been banned in 18 states as well as Puerto Rico, Washington DC, and several counties and municipalities, is the widely discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through religious or psychological intervention, including torturous techniques like shock therapy.
The states with the widest use of conversion therapy on transgender people over their lifetimes were Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana. More than 20% of transgender residents in these states have been subject to conversion therapy.

The lowest percentage was from South Carolina, at only 9.4%.

Even when the numbers were limited to just 2010-2015, researchers still found that 5% of transgender people overall faced conversion therapy over those five years, with a range of just 1.2% in Alaska and up to 16.3% in South Dakota.
What the study didn’t define was the age of the trans people who underwent conversion therapy and that is important because you cannot stop an adult from having conversion therapy.

As much as we would like to ban conversion therapy entirely, reality steps in. Can we tell a cognizant adult what they can and cannot do? I know a gay man who went to conversion therapy it took him many years to realize the stupidity of the  so called therapy and I know of others it has done lasting harm to. I know I don’t want to be told what I can and cannot do, we live by our mistakes and sometimes we learn by the school of hard knocks.

Likewise we are limited in what we can dictate what religion can and cannot do. We can take away the licenses of the professionals but when it comes to “religious leaders” are hands are tied.

For better or worse we are bound by these constraints.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A Hatchet Job

You know it is not going to say good things about us from a Catholic news site, and we aren’t wrong in that assumption.
How do we respond to the transgender trend?
Conference seeks to empower parents with facts about the gender movement
Denver Catholic
By Aaron Lambert
August 23, 2019

Emily Zinos may not be a scholar or a doctor, but as a concerned mom who sees the danger of the transgender trend, she brings a unique perspective to the conversation and articulates it better than most.

The St. Paul, Minn., mother of seven (with an eighth on the way) could no longer remain silent on the issue when during the 12th year of her kids attending a local public charter school, the gender issue “landed on my doorstep.”

“We had a kindergartner in school and the parents said that [he] the five-year-old boy was gender-nonconforming,” Zinos told the Denver Catholic. “I really hadn’t heard of the phenomenon of kids identifying as trans or gender-nonconforming until that happened. But when it did, I had really no choice but to speak up.”
In my day we had a term for that… A buttinski. When someone dives in with an opinion on a topic that they have no knowledge.

When I saw that it was named Made This Way conference, I thought it was a pro-trans conference… wrong.
“Most everything people are reading or hearing about transgender-identified kids is going from advocacy groups who have an interest in people coming to a very particular conclusion,” Zinos said. “Unfortunately, that [means] that thousands of kids across the country are losing their fertility and losing their heathy [sic] body parts. I really think that needs to stop.”

The guide was vetted by experts in law, medicine and education, Zinos said, and it is also co-branded by five different organizations that “come from across the political spectrum.”
Somehow after reading “losing their heathy body parts. I really think that needs to stop.” I don’t think that her booklet will be positive.

Was it the FRC?  Or maybe it was Drs. Paul McHugh and Zucker? Or possibly the American College of Pediatricians

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday 9: No One's Here to Sleep

Sam’s Saturday 9: No One's Here to Sleep (2013)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I am at the Cape with company so I might not get to reply to you until this evening

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

1) This song is the theme of How to Get Away with Murder, the legal drama that premiered in 2014 and airs on Thursday nights. Are you a fan?
I never saw it.

2) The song's refrain says, "I'll never catch up with you." Behind the wheel, do you carefully observe the speed limit? Or do you have a lead foot, making it hard for anyone to catch up with you?
It all depends on how you define “lead foot.”
5 miles an hour over the limit?
10 miles an hour over the limit?
Thursday I was driving up to the Cape and I did about 75 all the way and I was keeping up with traffic, so was that “lead foot” driving?

Or do you define it as quick starts?
But then with an electric vehicle the faster you get up to speed the less electricity you use overall (once you are driving at a constant speed energy usage drops)

3) How to Get Away with Murder is about Annalise Keating, a law professor at a top Philadelphia university. She has a reputation for being tough, demanding and able to turn her students into successful defense attorneys. Tell us about a teacher who helped prepare you for life after graduation.
He was my science teacher… Mr. Downer.

4) The students she feels show the most promise -- and are recruited to help her solve murders -- are known as The Keating Four. Did you ever sense that you were your teacher's favorite?
I think in grad school yes.
One of the advantages of going to school in your sixties when you are discussing the Vietnam and you professor is in their forties you can correct them about the war… no it wasn’t like that.

5) Viola Davis was just nominated for an Emmy for playing Professor Keating. Ms. Davis was born on a farm in SC. Have you spent more of your life in a rural, suburban or urban setting?
Hmm… I grew up with farms all around us and now those farms are subdivisions.

6) Next to Annalise Keating, Viola Davis is best known for her Oscar-nominated role as Aibileen in the movie, The Help. Have you seen it?
An interesting story about watching the movie, I saw it during juror duty. While we were waiting to be interviewed by the lawyers they showed the movie and when the court clerk came out and said that the case was settled and we could go home, we said no. We wanted to see the end of the movie so we all stayed for another 20 minutes to see the end of The Help.

7) In 2014, the year How to Get Away with Murder premiered, we lost two famous comedians: Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Who was the last person to make you laugh out loud? (This means actually, literally laughing out loud, not just keystroking LOL.)
That is almost impossible to answer, I don’t keep track of that.

8) The 2014 Olympics were held in Sochi. Have you ever been to Russia? If not, is it a dream destination of yours?
No, they don’t like us much in Russia. As a matter of fact a lesbian woman was just murdered in Moscow last week just because she was a lesbian.

Grocery shopping the other day in Provincetown the cashier was Russian here on a H-2B visa for the summer. Most of the summer help are here on H-2B visas, you just can't get the kids here to work minimum wage jobs on the Cape.

9) Random question: The sign on the railing says, "Wet Paint." Do you touch the railing to see if it's really wet?
Nope, not again. Been there done that and the paint was wet of course I was around ten at the time.

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, August 23, 2019

I Remember

Well I got my rain.

On a scale of 1 to 10 this thunderstorm was a 4 or a 4.5, one bolt struck 3 seconds away so it was less than a mile away. The “Crack!” bought back memories of our New Hampshire lake cottage. Sitting out on the deck around sunset I could see a thunderstorm forming off in the distance.

I watched the clouds from an anvil in the setting sun… this is going to be a big one!

Not too long did I have to wait to see lightning in the clouds and then the very faint distant thunder, slowly in moved toward our lake, lightning was hitting the backside of Mt. Sunapee… then it was over the mountain on the other side of the lake. I watched the lightning hit the tops of the mountains and then the wind picked up… time to get inside!

The birds went silent, they knew what was coming.

The lightning was hitting the water and the lake lit up with green flash. It was so close now every flash caused the landline phone to ding,

I got on a stool in the middle of the living room with my feet off the floor.

Then the sailboat next door got a purple halo around the mast!  St. Elmo's Fire!!!!

Then a sharp buzzing sound of the St. Elmo's Fire passing overhead… BOOM! Window rattling boom.

It must have hit somewhere up on the hill. The clouds passed and the setting sun came out, lighting the undersides of the clouds with a brilliant orange and the birds sang again.

Connecticut Law Is Weird When It Comes To SO

No it doesn’t mean significant other but rather sexual orientation. They didn’t know where to place the statute so they placed it on its own.

I came across this in the Connecticut Employment Law Blog on the statue,
One of the quirks of discrimination law in Connecticut concerns sexual orientation.  Back in 1991, the General Assembly passed a wide-ranging bill that added sexual orientation as one of the protected classes that employers could not base decisions on.

Sort of.

Rather than add sexual orientation to the key employment law statute that bars discrimination in employment, it created it’s own separate law.  While there may have been reasons for such a distinction nearly 30 years ago, it still a bit strange that we still do it this way. Notably, civil unions are still covered here even though same-sex marriages are now legal.
Okay, this brought to mind a conversation we had a couple of years back after the gender identity and expression law; we discussed moving it out of its own section and into discrimination law section.

Simple right just pass a bill that move this to that… WRONG!

There wasn’t any opposition to that but what threw a monkey wrench into it was amendments.

The Republicans wanted to load it up with exemptions, they basically want to expand the religious exemptions that now only includes religious organizations to include individual exemptions.

So that squashed that idea.

There is a lot of talk about changing the Constitution to do away with the Electoral College, some of the Democratic candidates have mentioned it.

What does it take to amend the Constitution? According to the National Archives...
The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.
So that means that 66 Senators and 287 Representatives have to vote for the amendment, when was the last time you saw anything pass with that majority in Congress?

States can also call for a Constitutional Convention but you will need 33 states to vote for the convention.

In the New York Times after the fall elections wrote that,
With the election results, the Republican Party will control both houses in 30 states, while Democrats will hold complete control in 18 states.
That means only 3 more states are needed to call a convention.

The National Archive also pointed out…
None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval.
What does all this mean to us?

First if a Constitutional Convention is called it will in all likelihood be controlled by the Republicans. Second, suppose it did pass and we have a Democratic President there is nothing that the president can do to block the amendments to the Constitution.

Okay suppose a convention is called to do away with the Electoral College, since the Republicans have the most states they will run the convention. First order of business… well we want to keep the Electoral College but we want to ban…

  • Abortions
  • Same-sex marriages
  • Being able to change your birth certificates
  • LGBTQ+ rights

And we want to expand…

  • Religious freedoms
  • The Second Amendment

And there would be nothing the Democrats could do to stop them from making those changes.

So think about how the Republicans killed moving SO and the next time you see on Facebook a meme calling for a Constitutional Convention that it will open a can-of-worms.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Come See Provincetown, See The Wonders, See The People!… It Sounds Like A Circus Barker

Today is Carnival in Provincetown!

I love P’town, that is one of the reasons that I got a cottage on the Cape. It is a very welcoming place for us. Last weekend I had a trans friend up at the cottage and we went out to dinner at a restaurant in town (Wellfleet) and I was people watching (our table had a window seat and was in the corner, so I was facing the corner and I could only look out of the window) and a saw a couple of gay couples and a lesbians couple come in. We went around to different Cape Cod National Seashore areas and talked to some of the rangers and they never batted an eye lash as two trans women came up to them to ask them questions.

Provincetown does have an eclectic mix people in this Yankee Magazine article they write it,
13 Reasons Why We Love Cape Cod: Everything ElseWorld-class lifeguards, a classic summer cocktail, people-watching in P-town, a talking clam, and more. Here are even more reasons why we love Cape Cod.
Yankee Magazine
April 10, 2019

There are so many reasons to make a summer escape to the Cape and Islands, in fact, that we filled more than two dozen pages of Yankee’s May/June issue with a selection of our favorites, including things to see, things to do, and things to eat. But that still wasn’t enough! Here’s a look at even more reasons we love Cape Cod.
And one of them is P’town.
People-Watching in Provincetown
I am a person who forgets things—names, the dates of essential historical events, where I was two Christmases ago. I blame this partly on genetics (my dad is famously forgetful) and partly on the drugs I experimented with in college, some of which I remember.

But I haven’t forgotten the first time I visited Provincetown. I was a 27-year-old Californian who had recently relocated to Boston, a city I found beautiful but not as interesting as San Francisco, the once-quirky place where I grew up. A few months into my new New England life, I was told by gays, writers, and an opinioned grandmother from South Boston that I must visit a place called P-town, at the tip of a place called Cape Cod. Norman Mailer also recommended it. “There could be no other town like it,” he wrote.

I arrived by boat in July (as one does), and after a short walk along a pier I found myself on Commercial Street, the town’s main drag, where a seemingly unusual but actually quite common P-town summer scene played out before me. There was John Waters on a bicycle. There was a drag queen with terrific posture laughing about something with a family from Ohio. There was a tank top–wearing young man on a moped stopping (too abruptly!) to flirt with tank top–wearing young men on a balcony. There were townies just trying to get to the post office. There was a middle-aged lesbian couple talking to their dog. There was an older man (in his 50s) and a younger man (in his 20s) walking together and smiling, and I couldn’t be sure if they were lovers or father and son. There was a large man in a harness carrying a small man in a Speedo. There was a street performer playing the piano. There were teenagers from the suburbs, grown men from Dallas, a shirtless Jamaican on a skateboard, a painter lugging his supplies, an activist shouting to be heard, and a handsome man who seemed like trouble. (I would come to learn that my instincts were correct: He was running away from many things, including quite possibly the authorities. People come to P-town to lose themselves and to find themselves.)
I remember when we used to spend a couple of weeks at a cottage in North Truro and when we went into P’town my father used to call Bohemian and the street were lined by street artist who would paint your portrait or a caricature drawing on street corners. There were many famous artists and writers who spent time in P’town; Eugene O’Neill, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Tennessee Williams, Norman Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut, Anthony Bourdain, Mary Oliver, and E.E. Cummings all spent time in P’town. (A good movie to watch is “Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson”). I later learned that my parents went on their honeymoon in Provincetown back in the 30’s

I'm heading up there this morning for the weekend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

We’re Safe Here… Or Are We?

Here in Connecticut sometimes we complacent, we are a blue state, we have a progressive legislature that supports LGBTQ+ rights, we have some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, we are safe here… but we have some right-wing extremist here in the “Constitution Sate” who are racists and anti-LGBTQ+.

We are not immune to violence.
Alleged Thwarted Mass Shooter Left Trail Of Racist And Anti-Transgender Posts
By Josh Kovensky
August 16, 2019

A Connecticut man who had amassed an arsenal of tactical weapons and body armor, and who police say may have been preparing for a mass shooting, left a trail of virulently racist and anti-trans postings online.

TPM found that social media accounts registered to Norwalk, Connecticut resident Brandon Wagshol both reflected elements of the police accusations against him and contained rants against minorities.

Wagshol was arrested, officials said, after a joint FBI-local police investigation on a tip that the 22-year old was trying to import “large capacity rifle magazines from out of state.” During the investigation, Wagshol wrote a Facebook post “that showed his interest in committing a mass shooting,” leading to a raid on his house and his arrest, the FBI and local police said in a joint statement.

Police say that they uncovered a weapons cache during the raid, including titanium body armor and a combat helmet.
The Hour had this to say about him,
NORWALK — A city man accused of showing interest in “committing a mass shooting” in a social media post — who had allegedly obtained rifle parts online in an attempt to build his own rifle — was charged with illegal possession of large capacity magazines Thursday, according to police.
The FBI’s National Threat Operations Center had received a tip that Wagshol was “attempting to purchase large capacity rifle magazines from out of state,” a news release said. The FBI and Norwalk police immediately launched an investigation.

During the investigation, officers found that Wagshol was buying rifle parts online in an attempt to build his own rifle, police said, adding that Wagshol “had a Facebook post that showed his interest in committing a mass shooting.”
And he had access to an arsenal...
As they searched the home, officers seized a .40 caliber handgun, a .22 caliber rifle, a rifle scope with a laser, four firearm optic sites, a firearm flashlight, body armor with a titanium plate, a full camouflage outfit, a ballistic helmet, tactical gloves, a camouflage bag, computers, and numerous .40 caliber, .22 caliber and .300 blackout rounds of ammunition, police said.

The guns were registered to Wagshol’s father, who lives at the home. Police said the guns were accessible to Wagshol. Police said the father has not been charged with anything as of Thursday, but that the investigation is still ongoing.
When we have Pride events, TDOR, and other LGBTQ+ we have to be aware of our surroundings.

Back in 2009 at a marriage equality rally on the north side of the capitol and anti-marriage rally was held on the south… a young man came around to our side of the rally and left a jar containing a liquid on the steps of the capitol. The police not knowing ended the rally and brought in the bomb squad.

Some in the anti-marriage faction claimed it was a miracle because the liquid was holy water that ended the pro-marriage rally; we say it was an act of terrorism.
After El Paso, Latinos across America voice a new kind of fear
Across the country, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters contemplate the idea of becoming a target, and worry about the future.
August 17, 2019

The mass shooting in El Paso was one of the deadliest hate crimes in American history against Latinos.

The shooter left a manifesto with anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Now, the fear among Latino people is palpable.

Latinos are calling this a turning point. The shooting, they say, has peeled back the hate behind words they've tried to ignore. It has sliced open the racism many grew up learning to navigate.

How do you turn the other cheek, they wonder, when the weapon is loaded with bullets?

The killing of 22 people in a border city has left them fearful of living in their own country: because of the brown color of their skin, because they speak Spanish or because of where they or their families were born.
Here, Latino and Latina voices from across America tell us in their own words what it is to live in fear.
In the Washington Post they wrote,
Hate crimes are on the rise. What does it take to get state governments to respond?
By Alison Faupel , Heather L. Scheuerman , Christie L. Parris and Regina Werum
August 13, 2019

The El Paso attack comes amid a five-year upward trend in reported hate crimes in the United States, according to the FBI. The spike is marked by particularly shocking killings, including those of nine members of a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015, 49 people at a Latino gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando in 2016, and a counterprotester at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. During a House Judiciary Committee hearing in April, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) called this rise in hate crimes “an urgent crisis in our country” and blasted law enforcement agencies for failing to take stronger action.
It is us; we are the ones that are ultimately responsible for our own safety.

I know it sounds trite but “If you see something, say something.”

Don’t hide in fear because that is what they want us to do, be aware of your surroundings at the TDOR, at Pride events, at the Trans Day of Visibility, and at other events where people gather.

When I was working I was appointed the “Safety Engineer” for the factory and had I 40 Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training for emergency responses so now when I go into a building I look for emergency exits the first thing when I enter a room. It is a good habit to get into.

Then we have the words and wisdom of the Attorney General of the United States, the honorable William Barr (said with tongue-in-cheek) where according to Department of Justice’s brief the DoJ endorses the view of the funeral home owner, Thomas Rost...
Rost stated under oath that he “believe[s] that the Bible teaches that it is wrong for a biological male to deny his sex by dressing as a woman or for a biological female to deny her sex by dressing as a man” and that Rost “would be violating God’s commands if [he] were to permit one of [Harris Homes’] male funeral directors to wear the uniform for female funeral directors while at work, or if [he] were to permit one of [Harris Homes’] female funeral directors to wear the uniform for male funeral directors while at work.” J.A. 131. Rost made clear that, “[i]f a female funeral director were to tell [Rost] that she would not comply with the uniform requirement for female funeral directors while at work, [Rost] would discharge her for refusing to comply with [Harris Homes’] dress code.” J.A. 134. Harris Homes did not discriminate because of sex by treating a biologically male employee who refused to abide by the dress code the same way it would have treated a similarly situated biologically female
employee who refused to abide by the dress code.
You got that?

It is okay to fire a woman who refuses to wear a skirt or a dress! And the DoJ endorses that view.

I would like to point out that the Supreme Court said that was in violation of Title VII in the case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989). But the Department of Justice won’t let a little thing like a Supreme Court ruling get in their way for “Religious Freedom.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I Don’t Know About This…

...I think in some ways I do but I think that I use pretty much the voices, speech patterns, mannerisms, and behavior when I speak with one exception, when I am teaching.
The Exhausting Work of LGBTQ Code-Switching
Queer, trans, and non-binary people have to do the extra work of changing how they speak, act and express themselves in everyday spaces.
By  Madeleine Holden
August 12, 2019

Court, a 25-year-old sales engineer based in Portland who previously identified as a lesbian, told me how their voice changed when they came out as non-binary (all sources in this story have had their last names omitted for privacy and safety). “I would attempt to “masculinize” my voice before—that sort of stable, droning mutter,” they said. “It was only after I realized I was genderfluid—neither a man nor a woman—that I became more comfortable slipping in and out of the more feminized voice I’d been so afraid of.” Court explained that this involves more animated, energetic pitch changes and use of the “gay lisp.” “I still switch back to my more masculine timbre in professional spaces and new environments,” they continued, “since I fear inevitably getting clocked as she/her.”
Code switching is a sociolinguistic concept that once simply described the practice of alternating between multiple languages or varieties of language in conversation, but which is now used in discussions about how members of marginalized communities adjust their voices, speech patterns, mannerisms, and behavior to blend in across various social settings. Often associated with racial and ethnic minorities—think of, say, a Black woman who uses AAVE around her Black friends but switches to "standard" English around her white co-workers—“code switching” is also increasingly used to describe the way in which LGBTQ people adjust their presentation in spaces of varying tolerance (gay clubs versus the office, say). For trans people, especially precarious Black trans women, the stakes are particularly high: Code switching is literally a matter of life or death.

There can be many components to a code-switch, but to take voice as an example, gender presentation is more than just pitch, i.e., men having deeper voices than women. As Vivian Wang reported in a fascinating 2016 piece for The Awl, it also includes resonance (how full a voice sounds), cadence (men often speak in a staccato, as opposed to fluid, style), volume (men are louder), and vocabulary (women have a greater tendency, for example, to end sentences with “tag words” like “right?”). Non-vocal gestures during speech are important, too: Women make more eye contact during conversation, for instance, and also use more hand movements. “For many transgender people,” Wang noted, “sounding like their true gender is just as crucial to the transition process — and at times, just as complicated — as looking the part.” This means, of course, that people like Aubrey must constantly calibrate whether to sound “like a guy” or “like a woman” depending on whether they’re in a tolerant space in which they’re “out” as trans.
For me I know that my voice and mannerisms are different when I am lecturing, I project my voice more and use gestures more. But in general I think I am pretty consistent in my presentation. But I know of a couple of trans people who went to voice therapy and they say it helped them.

There was an article a couple years ago about UConn speech therapy workshop…
In A Word: Transgender Transition Through Speech
By Sheila Foran & Bret Eckhardt
June 29, 2015

Communication happens in a gesture. A laugh. A choice of phrasing. Things that most of us never think about. But for individuals transitioning from one gender to another, speaking and acting in a way that supports their new identity can seem like a daunting challenge.

That’s where the speech-language pathologists at the University of Connecticut’s Speech and Hearing Clinic enter the picture.

“To me, speech is the thing that makes or breaks you in terms of whether you are seen as being feminine or not,” says Sylvia Wojcik, a client at the clinic for the past 18 months. “The voice is the finishing aspect of transition.”
For me, I don’t see a need, I like to say if you can’t tell I’m trans then you need glasses and hearing aids. The way I look at it all my life I pretended to be male and I am finished pretending… this is my voice and this is who I am. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Taken The Child Away

Last week I wrote about the child who was trans and her parents were fighting the school over her name… well happened again and this time it is here in Connecticut.
In lawsuit, Catholic couple says religious bias drove DCF to remove gay daughter from home
Hartford Courant
By Josh Kovner
August 16, 2019

In a case involving parental rights and a daughter’s pursuit of her sexual identity, a Catholic couple from Mansfield has sued E.O. Smith High School and the state Department of Children and Families, alleging religious bias motivated officials to temporarily place the 17-year-old in foster care.

“After learning that my daughter is homosexual and that our family is Catholic, E.O. Smith High School staff members launched a campaign to undermine our parental rights, to keep my wife and I away from our daughter and to destroy our relationship with our daughter,” the father said in an affidavit.

The parents are referred to as John and Jane Doe in lawsuits against the school and the child protection agency, filed in the spring and early summer.

School officials and DCF intervened after the young woman expressed thoughts about suicide.
Well it is no surprise that the daughter is suicidal with parents who don’t accept her as a lesbian.

Research has shown that children who have parents that are non-accepting of their being LGBTQ+ have higher incidents of suicidal idealizations. For trans people it has been reported that 41 percent of suicidal idealizations than the general population.

Of course the parents see it as…
“My daughter’s history of suicidal ideation stems in part from personal battles with her sexuality,” the father’s affidavit goes on to say. The document was filed in support of the couple’s request to use pseudonyms.
It can’t be the fact that the parents are trying to force her to be straight.
Soares [The parents’ lawyer, Ashling M. Soares of Westport] alleges Assistant Attorney General Susan Castonguay improperly contacted the teenager.

Castonguay “instructed her as to what she should report to DCF regarding her parents,” the lawsuit says.
As I wrote last week,
This has always been a dilemma. Many conservatives say that the parents have an absolute control over a child until they are eighteen while many liberals say only until it affects a child’s health then it becomes child abuse.
What do you think?

When the parents deny a LGBTQ+ child too be who they are, should the child be taken away from their parents?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

So You Say There Are No Good Trans Actors?

I hear the argument all the time that the reason cisgender actresses/actors get trans parts in movies and television show is that there are no trans actresses/actors who are known… we that isn’t true.
Mj Rodriguez Wins Best Actress at Imagen Awards, Makes Trans Herstory
The Pose actress is breaking new ground.
The Advocate
By Daniel Reyolds
August 13, 2019

Mj Rodriguez is a trailblazer once again.

The Pose star became the first transgender woman to win Best Actress - Television at the Imagen Awards, an annual event honoring positive representations of Latinx people in media.

Rodriguez, who portrays Blanca on the acclaimed FX drama, recognized the historic nature of her win Saturday onstage at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
"Obviously, this is not just for me," she added. "This is for the little kids like me ... and I’m just trying to speak as much as I can for my community as possible and that goes for my Latino community."
She is just one of many talented trans actresses/actors who are receiving recognition for their work some of them are...

  • Laverne Cox – Orange is the New Black
  • Jamie Clayton – Sense8 & Generation Q
  • Michelle Hendley – Boy Meets Girl
  • Rachel Crowl – And Then There Was Eve
  • Jen Richards – HerStory

There are so many great trans actresses/actors out there that saying there are no trans actresses/actors who have box office draw is wrong.

White actors playing…
Indigenous peoples

We find these offensive why don’t we find it offensive when cisgender people play trans parts?
Transface vs Blackface and how they are the same and different.
Planet Transgender
By Ariel Williams
June 20, 2017

Hollywood still doesn’t seem to understand a man playing a transwoman (transface) is no better than blackface. (I want to be clear that this is for different reasons but still just as bad.) I get that there is a smaller pool of trans actresses to choose from. That’s not to say they couldn’t find one if they tried but at least they could cast a woman to play the role of a WOMAN and lessen the narrative of trans = “man in a dress” a little as a compromise. This also lets them drive the movie with “starpower”. Though if trans women never get the roles when will we have a trans actress with “starpower”?
In many ways transface is a problem that shares the same core issues and criticisms with it’s cousin. One of the reasons blackface is universally despised is because it was historically used to make caricatures of black people that were insulting, demeaning and even dehumanizing of black people. Historical blackface was not even an attempt to actually look or portray a character as black. It was a wink and a nod to the audience to let them know this was a white man pretending to be black and then he would play a racially stereotyped, and insultingly biased mockery of black people.

Using a man to play a transgender actress is the same kind of wink and nod to the audience that this is not “really” a woman. They want the audience to look at the character and not think of her as a woman. By continuing to cast men as MtF they perpetuate the myth that transwomen are not women. And for that matter FtM should similarly be played by Transmen or men not women. All the better if they could cast a transwoman or transman 100%.
If you look at the history of trans characters in the media with characters like Milton Berle, Red Skeleton, Flip Wilson they all got laughs at our expense.

Then there were movies like Physco and Dressed to Kill that portrayed us as deranged killers.

In someways we are far beyond those portrayals but in other ways we are still struggling against those portrayals and having trans actresses/actors in trans roles and in cisgender parts will help break us out of the images that were created in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

The Wachowski sister Lilly commented on early portrayals of trans people
Lilly Wachowski makes rare public appearance to talk trans visibility
Page Six
By Alex Heigl
August 2, 2019

Lilly Wachowski took a rare step into the spotlight Thursday.

The transgender director — who, along with sister Lana, was responsible for the groundbreaking “Matrix” trilogy, and, more recently, the cult Netflix sci-fi series “Sense8” — was part of a panel discussion at the TV Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood Thursday night, titled “The Power of TV: Trans Visibility in Storytelling,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“As I was growing up all of the trans characters were played by cisgender actors; there was a façade and the characters lacked real depth … the characters I would see — John Lithgow playing trans in ‘The World According to Garp’ — while it was lovely portrayal, there was an element missing.”

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday 9 Where You Lead

Sam’s Saturday 9 Where You Lead (1971)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I am at the Cape with company so I might not get to reply to you until this evening/

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

1) This is the theme of The Gilmore Girls, a TV show that ran  from 2000 to 2007. It recently enjoyed renewed popularity as a reboot. Were you a fan?
Oh yes… most definitely

2) The show is about thirtysomething Lorelai Gilmore, her teenage daughter Rory, and her parents, Richard and Emily. The four of them had dinner together every Friday night. Who did you have dinner with on Friday? What was on the menu?
A friend at the cottage and we had Chicken Kabobs

3) Lorelai is outgoing and talkative. How about you? Are you seldom at a loss for words?
It depends upon the topic, I could talk your ear off on some topics.
Testifying before a state legislative committee
 Speaking at the Women's March in Hartford

4) Rory dreamed of going to an Ivy League school and then becoming a broadcast journalist. When you were in high school, what were your ambitions?
I found school boring… my ambitions? To get out of there and do some serious partying in college.

5) Rory's grandfather (and Lorelai's dad) went to Yale and performed with the Whiffenpoofs, Yale's famous a cappella group. Have you ever sung in front of an audience?
If you need to clear out a building fast… ask me to sing.

6) Rory's grandmother (and Lorelai's mother) Emily was very active in civic organizations and worked hard on the Hartford Zoological Society's Annual Silent Auction. Have you ever attended an auction?
Oh yes. I was at a fundraiser for a non-profit a couple of weeks ago and I’ll tell you don’t want to scratch your nose or tug your ear because you might just bid a couple of thousand dollars. One of the items they auctioned off was a weekend trip for two to a California winery, valued at $4,000 went for around $10,000… “Seven thousand dollars, do I hear eight? I have eight thousand, do I hear nine?”

7) Alexis Bledel, who played Rory, went on to appear in Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale. Of these three shows -- Gilmore Girls, Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale -- which would you prefer to binge watch?
The Gilmore Girls, hands down!

Did you know that Lauren Graham started in a short? It is excellent!

8) Carole King originally wrote this week's song, "Where You Lead," for her Tapestry album. Do you have a favorite Carole King song?
You Got a Friend

I saw Beautiful: The Carole King play twice, if you like Carole King see the play! It is about her early life as a teenage song writer and mother.

9) Random question: If zoo animals could talk, which animal do you imagine would be the rudest?
Cats. Feed me and I might, just might, hang around for a while unless I get a better offer.

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, August 16, 2019

One Bright Ray Of Hope… EEOC

With all the negative stuff coming out of the Trump administration against us there is one federal agency that is still standing with us, for now.
Justice Department Urges Civil Rights Agency to Flip LGBT Stance
By Ben Penn, Chris Opfer, and Paige Smith
August 13, 2019

The Trump Justice Department is urging the federal employment rights agency to change its position and tell the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that businesses can discriminate against transgender employees without violating the law, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has so far maintained its Obama-era position that businesses are banned from discriminating against LGBT workers because it’s a form of sex bias. But the Justice Department disagrees and is hoping to persuade the EEOC to flip sides. Political leadership in the Solicitor General’s office wants the EEOC on board to show the high court that the Trump administration is now unified in the belief that Congress didn’t have lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers in mind when it passed a federal workplace discrimination law more than five decades ago, sources said.

The DOJ has until Aug. 16 to lay out the government’s argument before the high court in a case involving a Michigan funeral home director who was fired after she announced she was transitioning to a woman. The EEOC successfully sued on behalf of the woman—Aimee Stephens—but the Justice Department is representing the commission before the Supreme Court. The high court will hear oral arguments in that case on Oct. 8, the same day the justices will also consider a pair of cases involving gay workers who say they were fired because of their sexual orientation.
This must be making Trump and Barr so mad; I can just hear Trump raging … “They are not on my team!”

And the EEOC seems to be holding tough.
The EEOC appears unlikely to reverse its position at this stage. The five-member commission, which currently has a 2-1 Republican majority with two vacancies, would need to vote and approve such a move, current and former EEOC sources said. Commissioners Victoria Lipnic (R) and Charlotte Burrows (D) have said they believe that LGBT discrimination is a form of sex bias already banned by federal law. Lipnic recently told the DOJ that she would vote against signing the brief, a source said.

Recently confirmed EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon (R) would have the authority to call a commission vote, but has not yet done so, according to sources. Both Dhillon and new EEOC General Counsel Sharon Gustafson, who was just sworn into office last week, have thus far shied away from offering their legal views on gay and transgender bias in the workplace.
Lipnic told Bloomberg Law last year that the EEOC will continue to investigate LGBT discrimination allegations as the case proceeds. Dhillon, the EEOC’s new chairwoman, hasn’t formally announced any change in that stance since being sworn in less than three months ago.
This really must be a burr under Trump’s skin because he appointed the commissioner.

If the EEOC holds strong against the pressure of the Trump administration there is good hope that we will prevail that is because the courts look favorably on a case that has the backing of the federal agency that is supposed to defend the plaintiffs.

I think that the Supreme Court case will all boil down to Chief Justice Roberts, I think he will be the swing vote on the court. I think he is going to take over Justice Kennedy’s social moderate position. Or at least I am hoping that he will be the swing vote.

There is no hope at all that justices Alito, Gorsuch, Thomas, and Kavanaugh will vote in favor of our human rights so that just leave Roberts to save us from discrimination and bigotry.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

HHS Comments Closed

The comment period for the proposed change in ACA Section 1557 has closed and it set a record in the number of comments received.

The Transgender Law Center reported,
Record-Breaking 132,400 People Have Spoken Out To #ProtectTransHealth From Trump
August 14, 2019
By Anna Castro

As of the August 13 deadline for public comments on the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of a regulation protecting transgender people’s access to health care, a national coalition of civil rights organizations collected over 132,400 comments in defense of transgender health — more than any other regulation since Regulation.Gov was launched in 2003.

The National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender Law Center created the Protect Trans Health campaign in response to the May 24 announcement that the Department of Health and Human Services planned to roll back the Health Care Rights Law, an Obama-era regulation making it clear that discrimination against transgender people by providers, hospitals, and insurers is illegal. To learn more about the administration’s plan to deny transgender people equal treatment, visit

According to HHS, the department itself received over 130,000 comments before the coalition finished contributing all of its own. However, as of now, HHS has failed to make any of these comments available to the public.
Along with 125 Congress members…
This record-breaking achievement was made possible by the work of a national coalition of civil rights organizations that includes the National Center for Transgender Equality, Center for American Progress, TransChance Health, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, The National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Partnership for Women and Families, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the National Women’s Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Human Rights Campaign, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights, FORGE, PFLAG National, the National Council of Jewish Women, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Health Law Program, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Lambda Legal, Center for Constitutional Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Equality Federation, and Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need.
And just about every LGBTQ+ organization in Connecticut submitted comments including CTAC.
Dear Secretary Azar,

As the executive director of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition and on behalf of our Board of Directors, we appreciate the opportunity to submit these comments in opposition to the proposed rule changing the current definition what constitutes discrimination “on the basis of sex” under ACA Section 1557.

HHS’s proposed rule represents a retreat from existing federal regulations which protect health consumers, particularly but not exclusively LGBTQ+ consumers, from discrimination.  Among other things, the proposed rule re-opens the door to forms of discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender stereotyping that are currently forbidden, including:
  •     Permitting insurance plans to deny, cancel, refuse to issue or renew coverage, deny claims, impose additional cost sharing, or deny benefits, on the basis of gender identity or gender stereotyping;
  •     Allowing health insurance companies and healthcare providers to stop treating individuals consistent with their gender identity; and
  •     Allowing healthcare providers to invoke blanket abortion and religious objection exemptions from the regulation’s general prohibition on sex discrimination.
The proposed rule amounts to a retreat from HHS’s existing regulations to protect consumers from discrimination, which have helped to expand health coverage and access to health care for approximately 12,400 transgender adults in Connecticut, as well as many uncounted transgender children.  It expands the latitude that health insurance companies and healthcare providers have to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity, gender expression, or on the basis of the services that they require. This is not acceptable.

Transgender people experience discrimination that leads to health disparities.  Discrimination against transgender patients in health care settings leads to those patients postponing preventive or routine care and avoiding needed care when sick or injured.  Transgender people have an equal right to receive health insurance and healthcare without being discriminated against.

Transgender healthcare is medically necessary healthcare and is supported by the American Medical Association (AMA), American Psychological Association (APA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Many transgender people are working minimum wage jobs therefore many trans people have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet and those jobs are usually under 20 hours a week so the employer doesn’t have to give employee to give insurance benefits and as a result many transgender employees have to buy insurance through ACA.

The 2015 US Transgender Survey of over 28,000 transgender people found that only fourteen percent (14%) of respondents had individual insurance plans that they or someone else purchased directly from an insurance company, through, or from a health insurance marketplace, 5% have Medicare, 13% were insured through Medicaid, TRICARE or other military health care 2%, and the VA 3%

The Williams Institute found that suicidal idealizations decreased when transgender people had proper healthcare and the health of transgender individuals increased with proper care.

We are also concerned about healthcare providers being able to invoke religious exemptions and refusing to give medical care to us. There have been a number of cases where medical providers refused to provide medical treatment to us that resulted in death. In one case a transgender woman slipped and fell on ice and the emergency room personnel refused to give her medical care. She later found out that she had fractured her hip and spine.

Allowing healthcare providers to refuse to treat us and especially in emergency situations can result in death or permanent disability.

Transgender equality in health care and health coverage is important to me and other transgender people. In addition, it is an important part of securing public health and achieving HHS’s own policy goals of reducing the number of uninsured people in America, and ensuring that consumers receive the health services they require in a timely and cost-effective manner. For all of these reasons, I urge HHS to reject the proposed rule and leave the current regulations in place.

Thank you,
Executive Director
Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition [CTAC]
Personally, even is all of the 130,000+ responses were against the change I don't think don't think it will make a difference. The Trump administration will just move forward with their bigotry and hatred... but it will make a difference in the courts.

Press conference at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) against Trump's changes.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined lawmakers and advocates on Tuesday at the behest of State Health Advocate Ted Doolittle to stand in opposition to a Trump administration proposal that would eliminate discrimination protection for transgender people. (CT Mirror/ Moore)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Across The Big Pond

In many ways Europe is ahead of us in Trans rights but in other they lag behind.

Their military have trans service members but in some they lag behind, in some country you still need to see a therapist to transition.
What is the approach across Europe to transgender identity?
Euro News
By Anne Fleischmann  & Luke Hurst
August 8, 2019

Germany’s first openly transgender politician has called for the abolition of the country’s Transsexuellengesetz ('transsexual law'), which she describes as degrading.

Tessa Ganserer, who sits in the Bavarian state parliament as a member of the Alliance 90/The Greens political party, has not yet had her gender change officially recognised.

The country's 1981 law stipulates those wanting to change their first name and gender must talk to psychologists and a judge.

"I do not think that any human being, any state and certainly any judge has the right to determine the sex of another human being," Ganserer told the DPA news agency.
In Europe, 33 countries require a mental health diagnosis before identity documents can be adapted, which are shown on the below map in red.

Countries where this is not required are marked in blue and countries that do not offer reliable gender recognition procedures are shown in grey.
There are still some states here in the U.S. where they require surgery before you can change your gender markers and I think two states do not allow you to change your birth certificates.
Being transgender no longer on WHO's list of 'mental illnesses'
The World Health Organisation (WHO) removed transgender health issues from its list of mental illnesses in 2018 — a move welcomed by the transgender community.

It is now called "gender incongruence" and was reassigned to a new category: Category 17 — conditions related to sexual health, which also includes paedophilia and exhibitionism.
I don’t like the company we have been put in.

Over in Ireland they are fighting for humane healthcare.
'It pens people in': The challenges of accessing transgender healthcare in Ireland
Transgender people speak of the challenges of transitioning in Ireland.
By Sarah Gallagher
August 11, 2019

Long waitsA psychiatrist’s referral to a gender endocrinologist was vital for Justin [A trans man], as he could not legally access hormones in Ireland without first seeing an endocrinologist. There are currently three endocrinologists in Ireland who will prescribe hormone replacement therapy to adults.

All three require patients to undergo psychiatric evaluation, with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, before they will treat them.

Justin said that while seeking the referral, the waiting list for Prof Donal O’Shea, a
Loughlinstown-based endocrinologist, increased from about 14 months to about three and a half years.
“For some people that’s the right thing to do because the level of distress and dysphoria is immediately reprieved… and then for others who do that, the outcome is disastrous,” he said.

O’Shea said that for some who access treatment elsewhere, there is no improvement to their dysphoria, distress and mental health problems. “So our job is to make sure that the people who [transition] be truly better through transitioning.”
Okay where did he get his data that there is no improvement when we transition?

They want to go to the “informed consent” model…
Informed consentThe informed consent model of transgender healthcare is advocated by transgender individuals and activists across Ireland. Under this model patients would make their own decisions around hormone replacement therapy, with full awareness of potential risks, without psychiatric evaluation.

O’Shea does not support informed consent because of the amount of people who want to de-transition under the model elsewhere. “The informed consent model is leading to a surge in reversal surgeries… and when you’ve got a surge in presentation of any condition you’ve got to look at being even more careful.”
O’Shea does not support informed consent because of the amount of people who want to de-transition under the model elsewhere. “The informed consent model is leading to a surge in reversal surgeries… and when you’ve got a surge in presentation of any condition you’ve got to look at being even more careful.”
Again where did the doctor get his information?
The Informed Consent Model of Transgender Care: An Alternative to the Diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria
Journal of Humanistic Psychology
By Sarah L. Schulz First
December 13, 2017

Historically, researchers and clinicians have viewed the transgender experience through a narrow diagnostic lens and have neglected to acknowledge the diverse experiences of those who identify as transgender. Currently, under the mainstream treatment paradigm, in order to be deemed eligible for gender transition services, transgender clients must meet criteria for a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” as described in the DSM-5. An alternative to the diagnostic model for transgender health is the Informed Consent Model, which allows for clients who are transgender to access hormone treatments and surgical interventions without undergoing mental health evaluation or referral from a mental health specialist. This model shows promise for the treatment and understanding of the transgender experience outside of the lens of medical pathologization.
Instead of viewing transgender identity as an individual, disordered experience of identity, it is important to acknowledge the social and cultural factors that influence transgender identity development outside of the lens of medical pathologization. To this end, a shift in the clinical approach to transgender care is necessary in order to remove the distress narrative from the center of the transgender experience, and allow for a more nuanced understanding of gender variance than what the diagnostic model offers. The Informed Consent Model of transgender care shows promise in not only alleviating barriers to accessing treatment, but also for allowing a narrative of transgender experience to emerge outside of the distress narrative that is at the core of the diagnostic model. Not only might this contribute to the depathologization of gender variance in the psychological and medical fields, but it may also help us shift toward a larger culture of equal rights and protection for individuals with nonnormative gender identities and expressions.