Friday, January 31, 2020

Full Court Press

The attacks by Republicans have become vile and oppressive, they are going out of their way to criminalize us.
Why Republicans are suddenly in a rush to regulate every trans kid’s puberty
Proposals in eight states would ban puberty blockers and hormones for trans minors.
By Katelyn Burns
January 29, 2020

However, some conservative politicians want to take that decision out of the hands of doctors and parents who know these teens best — and put it in the hands of the state. In fact, in Greyson’s home state of Texas, lawmakers have promised to introduce legislation that would essentially ban, midway, his medical transitioning once their next legislative session begins in 2021.

Eight state legislatures — including Missouri, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Carolina, Kentucky, and South Dakota — have already introduced bills this year that would criminally punish doctors who follow best practices for treating adolescents with gender dysphoria. In South Dakota, for example, doctors who prescribe puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones could face a $2,000 fine and a year in prison under the proposed law. South Dakota’s version of the bill was even prioritized and became the first bill of the decade to pass out of committee. A full floor vote on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday. Lawmakers in Texas, Utah, and Georgia have promised to introduce similar bills once their legislative sessions begin. And while a New Hampshire bill wouldn’t criminalize doctors, it would classify gender-affirming care for minors as child abuse.

In other words, should any of the bills become law, they would effectively cut off many adolescents from medically necessary and, often, lifesaving treatment for gender dysphoria. There are approximately 150,000 transgender youth between the ages of 13 and 17 in the United States, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, and studies show that kids in Gen Z identify as more queer and trans than previous generations. A 2018 study found that the risk of developing a mental health condition was three to 13 times higher for transgender and gender-diverse youth than for their cisgender peers.
And if that was enough…
Iowa GOP files bill to remove transgender people from the state’s Civil Rights Act
Iowa would become the first state to give civil rights protections to transgender people - or any class at all - and then take them away.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
January 29, 2020

Republican lawmakers in Iowa filed a bill that would remove transgender people from the state’s civil rights protections, which could make it the first state to give civil rights protections to transgender people – or any class at all – and then take them away.

A group of nine state representatives introduced HF 2164, which they describe as “an act removing gender identity as a protected class under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.”

In 2007, the state added both sexual orientation and gender identity to its anti-discrimination law, banning discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, public accommodations, employment, education, and other areas.

Why are they doing this to us?

Do they hate us so much that they want us dead?

The Vox article goes to say,
The recent conservative push for an outright ban on transition care for minors grew directly from the social media disinformation campaign surrounding Luna Younger, a 7-year-old trans girl from Dallas caught in the middle of a bitter custody battle between parents who disagree over her gender identity. A Texas judge overruled a jury decision to award full custody of Luna to her mother, Anne Georgulas, in late September. That means Luna’s father, Jeffrey Younger, who insists on dressing his child as a boy and forced her to cut her hair, has an equal say in future medical decisions for Luna.

Driving the conversation about the case were primarily conservative media outlets. In the week following the initial jury decision, 23 conservative news sites published 55 stories about Younger, and all opposed the child’s transition. According to data from Media Matters, those 55 stories earned 3.5 million Facebook interactions.
They smelled blood and like rabid animal they attacked mercilessly. They thought that they found a weak point and attacked.
The political fight has worried young trans people across the country who depend on their medication to keep their gender dysphoria at bay. According to data from the Trevor Project, 76 percent of LGBTQ youth felt that the recent political climate impacted their mental health or sense of self. Over the past year, the Trevor Project has supported more than 150 LGBTQ youth in crisis in South Dakota.
Are they so callus that they are doing it for votes and campaign contributions and don’t about the children lives they ruin?

And I try to think back to the referendum in Massachusetts in 2018 where over 70 percent of the people voted for our human rights.

Then in Nebraska they are trying to pass a bill banning discrimination against us and the opposition is coming out in force, and being labeled as bigots.
Those who oppose sexual orientation discrimination bill have valid reasons for doing so
Norfolk Daily News
Daily News editorial
January 28, 2020

One of the most politically sensitive issues likely to come before Nebraska’s state senators this session will be Legislative Bill 627. As proposed, it would ensure that workers couldn’t be fired or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Good morning (or afternoon), Nebraskans. Our state's unique motto is 'Equality Before the Law.' So know that whoever you are, wherever you are on life's journey and whomever you love, we want you here. You are loved."
But it doesn’t seem like everyone in Nebraska wants to treat everyone equally, the editorial goes on to say,
"It's really important to let people know that they are loved. We want them here. ... I try to find the good in every single person," she [Sen. Pansing Brooks] has said.

But here’s our objection, which we believe is shared by many Nebraskans. This kind of an argument seems to imply that anyone who disagrees with LB627 supporters is somehow uncaring, cold-hearted and perhaps homophobic.

The reality is that now — as in the past — there are valid business-focused arguments for why there are those who believe such a law isn’t needed in Nebraska. A state senator who may ultimately vote against LB627 this session shouldn’t be stereotyped in this manner.
Gee… what are are valid business-focused arguments?

We don’t to serve those kind of people.
I should be allowed to discriminate because of my beliefs.
They make me feel yucky.
I can’t trust them around children.

Hmm… I really can’t think of a reason why that is not homophobic or transphobic can you?

Updated 5:15 PM

I just came across this article about a bill signed into law in Tennessee…
These LGBTQ Parents Raised Happy Kids. Tennessee’s New Adoption Law Could Take It All Away.
The "license to discriminate" bill has pushed queer families to consider moving in order to stay together.
By Nico Lang
January 31, 2020

“It’s about my children having the best life they can have,” he [Barry Myers] tells NewNowNext. “This life is my dream. My dream was to have kids.”

Unfortunately, that dream is in jeopardy for LGBTQ families across Tennessee. On Friday, Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed House Bill 836, which allows faith-based adoption and foster care agencies—including those that receive state government funding—to refuse to work with same-sex couples. The Volunteer State was the 11th to sign what LGBTQ advocates have called a “license to discriminate” law after similar measures were enacted in states like Alabama, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.
LGBTQ families in Tennessee tell NewNowNext the passage of its “license to discriminate” law has made them feel unsafe in their own state. Cynthia Deitle, who has a 9-year-old with her wife of 11 years, says her family has discussed moving every single day since the legislation became the law of the land.
Of particular concern for LGBTQ families in Tennessee is what they perceive to be the “vagueness” of HB 836, which passed both the state House and Senate with overwhelming majorities. For instance, the legislation states that adoption and foster care agencies are not “required to perform, assist, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placement” should doing so contravene their “religious or moral convictions.” However, it does not clarify whether that could be used to deny placement to other kinds of applicants—like single parents, interfaith couples, or Muslims.
This is nothing but the new expanded version of Jim Crow laws but instead of just for blacks the way that the law is written, “contravene their ‘religious or moral convictions,’” the law can be used to discriminate against anyone.

It is against my “religious or moral convictions” for adoption by _________________ (fill in the blank with one or more of the following,)
  • Interracial parents.
  • Jewish parents.
  • Muslim parents.
  • Black parents.
  • LGBTQ parents.
It is just another way to hide bigotry behind the “Good Book.”

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The End Of An Era.

If you are from Connecticut and you or a family member is LGBTQ then you probably have heard of True Colors.

Way back in 2000 when I first stuck my head out the door to check which way the wind was blowing I met Robin McHaelen, she was running around at the Children From The Shadows conference at the University of Hartford. For the next several years our paths crossed at the conferences at UoH and then when the conference outgrew UoH and the conference moved to Central Connecticut State University. Eventually the conference outgrew CCSU and moved to the University of Connecticut where the conference has maxed out the even UConn, the conference has become the largest LGBTQ youth conference in the world with over 3900 attendees for the two day conference.
There was a total of 3,979 participants representing 122 high schools, 11 middle schools, 14 colleges, and 10 states!
In 2006 when I attended the Anti-Discrimination Coalition meeting she was at the table and I got to know her and her wife. Then in 2010-2011 school year I interned at True Colors for my MSW and I now sit on the legislative LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network committee with her and I am doing a workshop for the conference in March

Robin started the conference as a MSW class project some twenty-six years ago (That is how the Trans Health and Law conference started as a class project for the ED of the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective some fourteen years ago) and she just announced her retirement in June.

From that beginning Robin has shaped True Colors into a premier LGBTQ youth and family service agency. They now offer training programs, mentoring programs, youth programs, the Safe Harbor Project, GSAs around the state, and they maintain a  list of scholarship to LGBTQ youth.

Her replacement will have big shoes to fit in to. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


It has been 36 years since 1984 and reality has caught up to fiction.

According to Wikipedia, Doublespeak is…
Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g. "downsizing" for layoffs and "servicing the target" for bombing), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning. In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.
I was reading an article and it brought to Doublespeak…
Feds Strip ‘Sexual Orientation’ From Ethics Guide And Say, Stop Worrying
By Dawn Ennis
January 28, 2020

If you believe the Trump Administration and its staunch supporters in the conservative media, LGBTQ Americans should thank government officials for removing “sexual orientation” from official federal documents, specifically an ethics guide to preventing workplace discrimination. Because this makes us all equal now.
“You shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or handicap,” is how the Interior Department now advises federal employees of that agency. A prior version, issued during the Obama administration in 2009, dropped “sex” in favor of the words “gender” and “sexual orientation,” as HuffPost first reported.
And the part that reminded me of Doublespeak was the government explanation of the change.
 The problem, as HuffPost and the conservative right-wing publication The Federalist point out, is that stripping the words “sexual orientation” does not in any way affect the legal rights of LGBTQ federal employees.

“Rather than erasing LGBT people, the administration signaled an end to LGBT-focused legislation, instead assuming equality and normalcy,” wrote Federalist senior contributor and conservative gay gadfly Chad Felix Greene. He cited a Jan. 25, 2017 article by this reporter, revealing the Trump administration started scrubbing mentions of the LGBTQ community from official websites and documents soon after the inauguration. According to Greene, this is normal, government in transition stuff: “There was never a controversy to begin with.”
First, the Federalist according to Media Bias Fact Check
Overall, we rate The Federalist a borderline Questionable and far Right Biased based on story selection and editorial positions that always favor the right. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to the promotion pseudoscience and three failed fact checks.
Second and here is where Doublespeak comes in, “assuming equality and normalcy.” so when you delete the protection for minorities you are promoting “equality and normalcy.”

Later in the article,
“If Trump were truly struggling to contain his hatred for gay and trans people,” he wrote, “you could imagine he would have acted out in actual hostility toward them by now.”
Whew, if Trump loves us why is he doing all these awful things to us? Like taking away our healthcare? Forcing us out of the military? Denying us housing protection? Allowing people to throw us out of restaurants? Is that how Trump shows his love toward us, if so I would hate to get on his bad side.

Okay, all those who think Trump loves us raise your hand. Ops… I don’t see anyone raising their hand… oh wait, I see some hands raised in the back of the room. Oh, they’re the Log Cabin Republicans.

Lets try a little Likert scale  poll...

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Gender Confirming Surgery is major surgery and is subject to all the complications any other surgery can have.
Jazz Jennings's Doctors Revealed Her Gender Confirmation Complications Were 'Severe'
"I think in hindsight we would have never sent you home from the hospital."
Women’s Health
By Jennifer Nied
January 22, 2020
  • In a clip from the new season of I Am Jazz, Jazz Jennings's doctors are sharing new details about her gender confirmation surgery complications and ongoing transition.
  • The teen reality star and LGBTQ+ activist underwent her first gender confirmation surgery in 2018 and had to have a follow-up procedure due to complications.
  • Marci Bowers, MD, says, "it turned out tougher than any of us imagined. I think in hindsight we would have never sent you home from the hospital."

Jazz Jennings has had a tougher transition than her doctors expected. In the last two years, the teen reality star and LGBTQ+ activist has undergone multiple gender confirmation surgeries, and her doctors are now revealing more details about what went wrong in the new season of TLC's I Am Jazz, People reported.

In the episode clip, Jazz's doctors, Marci Bowers, MD, and Jess Ting, MD, speak to Jazz and her family about the previous surgeries. Bowers admits Jazz “has had a very difficult surgical course,” in the show. “She had a very incredible first surgery—it went seemingly very well, but there were problems. And that prompted a second surgery, which I was not a part of, unfortunately.”

“Taking Jazz on as a patient for surgery, we knew it was going to be a one-of-a-kind surgery,” Ting explained in the clip. “We don’t have the experience of having said we’ve done 50 of these. I was just not expecting her to have a complication as severe as what she did have.”
Jazz went through her initial gender confirmation surgery in June 2018. Doctors had to use a new technique because she started using hormones at such a young age. Since she hadn’t developed enough tissue to construct a vagina, Jazz's doctors used tissue from her stomach lining.
I know of three people who had complications from GCS, all of them had secondary infections, a friend ended up in the hospital for a couple of months while she fought an infection.

Personally I feel that the insurance companies are partly to blame because now that we have insurance the companies are dictating the length of stay in the hospital and sending us home to a germ infected home. And it is not GCS that we have to worry about it is any surgery, it is any surgery, secondary infections are increasing.
How to Tell If You Have an Infection Following Surgery

Infection after surgery
A surgical site infection (SSI) occurs when pathogens multiply at the site of a surgical incision, resulting in an infection. Urinary tract infections and respiratory infections can happen after any surgery, but SSIs are only possible after surgery that requires an incision.

SSIs are fairly common, occurring in 2 to 5 percent of surgeries involving incisions. Rates of infection differ according to the type of surgery. As many as 500,000 SSIs happen in the United States annually. Most SSIs are staph infections.

There are three types of SSIs. They’re classified according to how serious the infection is. Infections are caused by germs that enter your body during or after surgery. In severe cases, SSIs can cause complications, including sepsis, an infection in your blood that can result in organ failure.

Symptoms of infection after surgery
An SSI is classified as an infection that begins at the site of a surgical wound fewer than 30 days after the incision is made. Symptoms of an SSI after surgery include:
  • redness and swelling at the incision site
  • drainage of yellow or cloudy pus from the incision site
  • fever
Muscle and tissue wound infection after surgery
Organ and bone infection after surgery
An organ and space infection after a surgery involves any organ that’s been touched or manipulated as a result of a surgical procedure.

These kinds of infections can develop after an untreated superficial infection or as the result of bacteria being introduced deep in your body during a surgical procedure. These infections require antibiotics, drainage, and sometimes a second surgery to repair an organ or address the infection.
GCS is major surgery, it is very invasive and I think many of us don’t realize that, like any major surgeries there is a lot that can go wrong. It is very important to follow the surgeon's instructions and their stay in the hospital should be long enough to make sure of proper healing.

All three people that I know had infections and they were serous life threatening infections, one had IV antibiotics for two months in the hospital before the infection was under control.

Another problem is that when they developed the infections many other doctors didn’t want to treat them, they told them to go back to the surgeon which in many cases were states away or even in another country. I suggest reading the above article in full if you are planning on surgery, not to scare you but to recognize the symptoms of a secondary infection.
When to see a doctor
If you think you have an SSI, you should contact your doctor right away. Symptoms include:
  • soreness, pain, and irritation at the site
  • a fever that spikes at about 100.3°F (38°C) or higher for more than 24 hours
  • drainage from the site that’s cloudy, yellow, tinged with blood, or foul or sweet smelling
Lastly, I didn't write this to scare people away from having GCS but rather for them to take the proper precautions. My advice to anyone going to GCS, clean your home with a strong disinfectant, put on clean sheets on your bed, and wash your hands often. Follow your surgeon's instructions to the “T.”

Monday, January 27, 2020

Today’s One Of Those Mornings

When nothing in the news is earth shattering, so…

This morning the Department of Motor Vehicles added an “X” to the gender option and it was massive news.

One thing I have learned over the decade of activism is to bring about a change in a law or policy it takes many people and usually it is a broad approach not just one organizations, or a few people. The change can have many people working without knowledge of the other people working on the same issue.

Sometimes one person is talking to their legislator, while another person is talking to their legislator unbeknown about the other persons work. At the same time a legislator might gone to a political party national meeting and heard what other states were doing on the topic and wanted to do the same here in Connecticut. Or it could have been news media article that lit the idea.

Just look at the Republicans with the bans trans athletes and healthcare for trans minors, those sound like they came about from a Republican strategy session.

Take a look at marriage equality, there was a lead organization, “Love Makes a Family” but there were dozens and dozens of other organizations and individuals who worked toward passing the law. There were dozens of non-profits who organized their bases, there were couples who brought the law suits, there were individuals who wrote letters-to-the-editors, there were individuals who told their stories, there were religious people that backed the bills, and there were business who lobbied for the bill. It took them all to pass the legislation.

A lot of times a constituent suggests legislation to their legislator and the legislator introduces a bill and it dies in committee because the bill has no backing. While other times people or organizations see the proposed bill and helps to pass the bill. To paraphrase an old proverb, It takes a community to pass a bill.

The New Haven Register had an article about the new DMV policy and it the Commissioner said,
“We want to be sure that we’re fair for everyone, to respect people’s gender identity.” said DMV Deputy Commissioner Tony Guerrera.
Guerrera said the move had been spearheaded within the department by himself and DMV Commissioner Sibongile Magubane. He said it was one of their “top 5” agenda items as soon as they were appointed.

“This was an initiative of myself and the commissioner right when the governor got elected,” Guerrera said.
Meanwhile, there were also a number of intersex people and trans people who worked on getting the “X” gender marker, there was a bill introduced last session, and it was also on the agenda of a couple of legislators.

There is no “I” but a “We”

Sunday, January 26, 2020

I Would Like To Have One In Connecticut, But…

It takes money to operate a shelter, a lot of money, and every year. It also takes a large population base, neither of which Connecticut has.
SF Opens First Transitional Housing Project For Transgender And Gender Non-Conforming Adults
SF News
By Matt Charnock
25 January 2020

Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony along Washington Street in Chinatown marked the grand reveal of a first for the city: A transitional housing project aimed at helping transgender and gender non-conforming San Franciscans.

According to the SF Examiner, the 13-unit apartment building was unveiled to a gaggle of supporters — among them Mayor London Breed, herself, and transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community leaders — as part of the ongoing work conducted by the Our Trans Home SF initiative. The coalition recently received a $2.3M allocation, that amount, aside from securing the rent of this Washington Street address, is also being used to provide rental subsidies to TGNC individuals.
Accepted individuals are given a safe roof over their heads, but also sustenance, vocational training and opportunities, clothing and apparel, and even the means to a savings account (with funds). Our Home SF also will provide rent support for TGNC people facing eviction and those advocating for institutional change.
A few years ago we looked in to a shelter for trans people here in Connecticut and every time we ran in to barriers to the shelter. For one thing finding funding and a place were interlocked… no place without funding and no funding without a place.
The Bay Area reporter notes that the Chinatown property is owned by a gay couple who wish to remain anonymous, which is being rented to the non-profit for a below-market rate. The already approved thirteen program residents are slated to move in around March, and talks of getting a second house are already in the works.
I wish that we could find a patron like that.

One place that I loved was an old convent, I thought at the time it would be perfect. Loads of bedrooms, a big kitchen, rooms for meetings.

Another place where we need housing is for trans seniors but the problem is that there are only a few trans seniors who need housing. Most seniors in 55 and over housing want to be near loved ones or friends, so if was a senior long term care facility (LTC) and they set aside rooms for trans people we would only have one or two trans people take advantage of the rooms in the whole state.

Meanwhile in cities like New York or San Francisco have the population to support trans or LGBTQ+ housing. New York City has approximately 8.5 million people who the whole of Connecticut only has about 3.5 million people. Say for argument sake one percent of the population (it is more like 0.5%) are trans, that means in NYC has about 850,000‬ trans people and Connecticut has about 350,000 trans people, about 15% are over 65, that means there are 127,000 people in NYC that are trans and over 65. In all of Connecticut there is approximately 52 thousand trans people.

Connecticut is 5,543 square miles, NYC is 302.6 square miles, or 23 trans people per square miles verses 2,800 trans people per square mile in NYC; New York City has the population density to support  trans housing and this doesn’t figure in those who can afford to live at home.

I know that if I do need LTC I will be the only trans person there.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Saturday 9: Go Where Baby Lives

Sam’s Saturday 9: Go Where Baby Lives (1957)

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

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

1) The lyrics tell us that the girl of his dreams lives up on a hill. Is there a hill near your home? Or is the terrain pretty flat where you are?
Where I live is very hilly and the is actually a small cliff behind my house about 20 feet high. I live near a mountain (everywhere else it is probably call a hill since it is only 700 feet above sea level.). All the mountains have west faced cliffs the result of an ancient fault line and the little cliff is an offshoot of the fault line running up the Connecticut valley. One time I was thinking of putting up a sign “Diana’s Fault” hopefully it would not become famous like the San Andreas Fault line.

2) Another clue to her whereabouts is that she's about a mile from town. Will you be staying close to home this weekend, or will you be traveling a mile or more?
Yup, it is suppose to be a cold and rainy weekend so I will be in front of the woodstove listening to an audible book.

3) Sam admits she's crazy about the sax solo. Is there a particular musical instrument that you love to listen to?
Not really, I like it when a friend brings her guitar to my parties.

4) This is the only record The Strollers made for States, a company based out of Chicago. States was only in existence for five years (1952-57) and this was the 63rd or 64 records released before they went out of business. Tell us about a business in your neighborhood that recently closed their doors.
Well… this is another sore point with me.
Ever since I remember there has been a tree nursery about a quarter mile down the road, they sold shrubs, trees, plants, and knickknacks like ceramic vases. The store traded hands many times over the years, it sat vacant a number of times and then it was bought by two women (one of them the daughter of a high school friend.), well another shop owner complained that they were selling knickknacks which they said it wasn’t zoned for that. The zoning board agreed and closed down the store (even though the stores have been selling the same stuff for over 50 years, my guess that there was a lot of politics behind that decision). The store has been vacant for two years now and there is a new foreclosure sign out in front.

5) More than 60 years after its initial release, this song enjoyed new popularity when Xfinity used it in commercials for their wifi. What company is your internet service provider? Are you happy with it?
I have Xfinity for both my house and cottage and I like it.

6) In researching this week's song, Sam googled "strollers" and was surprised to discover how many different types of baby buggies are available today. When did you most recently push a child in a stroller?

7) In 1957, the year this song was released, President Eisenhower celebrated his second inaugural with a parade featuring more than 50 marching bands. The mercury never quite reached 45º that day. How's the weather outside your front door?
It is 45F here right now on Friday morning.
A couple of weekends ago it was 75F and three days later the high was in the teens.

8) One of the best-selling books of 1957 was Peyton Place. This steamy saga of small town life launched two films, two television series, and several made-for-tv movies. Is there a book that you enjoyed that was successfully turned to a movie?
Frank Herbert's Dune (2000) and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

9) A Peyton Place-inspired question: Can a man be physically unfaithful to a woman, but still love her?

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, January 24, 2020


Starting Monday non-binary gender marker are available on Connecticut driver licenses.

Yea, we never saw this coming it was a complete surprise to us, but starting Monday you can get an “X” on your driver license.

Spread the word!

I received an email this evening tell me about the new DMV policy and it came out of the blue. It also explains a voice mail that I got this evening about doing training at the DMV on non-binary people.

And reading the bottom of the paragraph I noticed there is a comment that said the "X" is because the birth certificates will now be able to be non-binary, with an "X"


Update 1/25/20 3:00 PM

This is from an article in the New Haven Register
“We want to be sure that we’re fair for everyone, to respect people’s gender identity.” said DMV Deputy Commissioner Tony Guerrera.

Connecticut is one of 12 states that allow non-binary gender identification on drivers’ licenses, according to Guerrera.

“I said to myself, why shouldn’t Connecticut?” he said.
Guerrera said the move had been spearheaded within the department by himself and DMV Commissioner Sibongile Magubane. He said it was one of their “top 5” agenda items as soon as they were appointed.

“This was an initiative of myself and the commissioner right when the governor got elected,” Guerrera said.

Ultimately this was an internal move by the DMV, but two bills proposed last year would have updated state forms to allow non-binary gender options.

These Cases You Should Know

There was an article in Time last year about the Supreme Court and the cases that have affected the LGBTQ+ community (In reality they are on cases that affect the Ls and Gs).
9 Landmark Supreme Court Cases That Shaped LGBTQ Rights in America
By Tara Law
October 8, 2019

he United States has witnessed a remarkable shift in LGBTQ rights and visibility in the 50 years since the Stonewall uprising — and in just the last few years, LGBTQ people have won the right to marry, have hit a record high in representation on television and have seen the first openly gay major presidential candidate begin his campaign.

But the path of LGBTQ rights in America has not been a simple one. And just as advocates fought their battle American culture, they also did so in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Over the last half a century, the court first denied and then affirmed that LGBTQ people have the right to consensual sex, and then the right to marry whom they choose.
One, Inc. v. Olesen (1958)
One of the first Supreme Court cases to consider LGBTQ rights concerned freedom of speech.

In 1953, a publisher associated with the Los Angeles chapter of the Mattachine Society, one of the country’s first “homophile” groups, released something unique for its time: ONE: The Homosexual Magazine. The magazine, which is considered by One Archives Foundation to be America’s first widely-distributed magazine for gay readers, included articles, editorials, short stories and other content. Not long after publication began, its August and October editions were seized by the Los Angeles postal authorities. Authorities argued that the publication violated obscenity laws.

In its decision, the Supreme Court tossed out a lower court’s ruling, and established that material aimed at a gay audience was not inherently obscene. The decision validated that people had the right to publish LGBTQ media.
Baker v. Nelson (1972)The Supreme Court considered the issue of marriage equality for the first time in 1972.
Bowers v. Hardwick (1986)
The LGBTQ rights movement was dealt a major blow when the court decided to uphold a Georgia sodomy law in 1986.
Romer v. Evans (1996)
In this decision, the Supreme Court ruled that laws couldn’t single out LGBTQ people to take away their rights.
As Loewy explains, “In Romer, the Supreme Court recognized for the first time that carving LGBTQ people out of protections that everybody else could have access to violated equal protection.”
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (1996)
The same year the court found that laws couldn’t single out LGBTQ people, the Supreme Court also considered whether a private organization could single them out with specific rules — and found in favor of that organization.
And the biggie was…
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
The Court ultimately eliminated sodomy laws in 2003, overruling Bowers v. Hardwick with a vote of 6-3.

Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion, saying that the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment gave the petitioners “the full right to engage in private conduct without government intervention… The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the individual’s personal and private life.”
The article goes on to list other cases…
United States v. Windsor (2013)
Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018)
But I think that missed listing these cases,

  • Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989) The Supreme Court ruled that employment discrimination based on sex stereotypes is recognized as unlawful sexual discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc. (1998) In this case, the Court held that sex discrimination consisting of same-sex sexual harassment can form the basis for a valid claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Price Waterhouse case is the basis for the courts to find that LGBTQ+ people are covered by Title VII because the Supreme Court ruled that sex stereotypes applies to sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) because what could be could be more sex stereotyping LGBTQ+ people and that is the case that the Supreme Court heard back in October and they will probably issue their ruling in June.

The cases that they heard back in October were about a gay man who was fired for being gay and a trans woman who was fired because she transitioned on the job. In both cases the EEOC ruled in their favors and the cases have been appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.

My predictions…

Chief Justice Roberts is presiding over the Senate Impeachment trial and I think it is going to effect him deeply. I wrote this on a friend’s Facebook page,
I wonder how this trial is affecting Chief Justice Roberts? Will it change how he views on the Supreme Court? Will it change his views on Congress? Will it change his opinion of the conservatives and the Republicans?
I think (or maybe hope) that it will make him more liberal, I think it will wake him up on the liberal/conservative divide and that he will come down on our side in these cases and rule that we are covered by Title VII and Title IX and the ruling will be 5 – 4 in our favor.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Medical Coverage

You probably read about all the states that are banning trans children from transitioning (I wrote about it here), well new research has shown how having proper medical care reduces negative impact on transitioning.
Transgender Care Access Tied to Less Suicidality
— But study finds that few who want pubertal suppression get it
MedPage Today
By Kristen Monaco
January 23, 2020

Receiving pubertal suppression during adolescence was linked with lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation among transgender young adults, researchers reported.

In a survey of over 20,600 transgender adults, about 17% said they ever wanted to receive hormonal therapy to suppress puberty, but only 2.5% actually received this care.

However, those who received the pubertal suppression they wanted had significantly lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation compared with those who never received this care (adjusted OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.2-0.6), according to Jack Turban, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.
Having received desired pubertal suppression in adolescence also was tied to a reduced risk for adulthood suicidal ideation in the past 12 months (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.4-0.8) and half the odds of experiencing several psychological distress in the past month (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.8).
With the states banning medical invention at the most critical time for trans children when they enter Tanner Stage II can have disastrous results.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Beat The Gay Out Of You

Conversion therapy is the process of creating an aversion to being gay or trans out of children, it is a treatment that is banned in some states and rejected by every medical and psychological association but is endorsed by evangelical religious organizations.
LBGT bills clear Virginia Senate and head to a friendly House of Delegates
The Washington Post
By Laura Vozzella
Jan. 21, 2020

RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate on Tuesday passed a host of LGBT rights bills as Democrats continued to flex their new power in the Capitol.

The Senate voted to ban conversion therapy on children, repeal the state’s now-defunct ban on same-sex marriage and establish statewide policies for the treatment of transgender students. The chamber also voted to replace “husband and wife” with gender-neutral “parties to the marriage” language in divorce law and make it easier for transgender people to change how their sex is listed on their birth certificates.

The bills now move to the Democratic-controlled House of Delegates, where they are expected to get a warm reception.
Down in Kentucky…
KY lawmakers seek to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for gay youths, citing health risks
The Lexington Herald Leader
By John Cheves
January 14, 2020

“Conversion therapy,” a discredited practice by which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals are counseled in order to change their sexual orientation, would be banned for state-licensed mental health professionals treating Kentucky children under bills sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Critics of the practice say it can lead to withdrawal, anxiety, depression and suicide among youths. It is uniformly opposed by the nation’s leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Kentucky is not alone in trying to ban conversion therapy,
Bill Would Protect Oklahoma Kids From Conversion Therapy
Public Radio Tulsa
By Matt Trotter
January 20, 2020

A state representative is aiming to keep youths in Oklahoma from being subjected to conversion therapy.

House Bill 3872 by Oklahoma City Democratic Rep. Jason Dunnington would add practicing conversion therapy on kids to a list of offenses that can get a health professional’s license revoked.
Meanwhile in other states the Republicans want to ban the bans on conversion therapy.
Florida Republicans submit 4 last-minute anti-LGBTQ bills ahead of 2020 legislative deadline
The bills were filed just hours before the 2020 legislative deadline.
ABC News
By Karma Allen
January 16, 2020

Republican lawmakers in Florida submitted a batch of anti-LGBTQ bills this week with just hours to spare before the 2020 legislative deadline.

If signed into law, the four bills would walk back local ordinances that protect LGBTQ employees, legalize the controversial practice of "gay conversion therapy" and imprison doctors for up to 15 years if they provide certain transition-related medical care to transgender youth. Conversion therapy is a discredited practice that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation through psychological or spiritual means. It is grounded in the belief that being LGBTQ is abnormal or unnatural and is banned in more than a dozen states and Washington, D.C., according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
And on the federal level…
Trump adviser said lesbian teen “seriously” considering suicide should undergo conversion therapy
Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress has described gay people as "filthy" and "miserable"
Metro Weekly
By Rhuaridh Marr
January 16, 2020

A prominent member of Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board once said a lesbian teenager who had “seriously contemplated suicide” over her sexuality should undergo conversion therapy.

Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor and Fox News contributor, has been described as one of Trump’s closest evangelical advisers and is part of the “Evangelicals for Trump” coalition — created to mobilize evangelical voters in the 2020 election.
It seems to me that the Democrats want to keep us alive while the Republicans want kill us.

This morning I have been ask to a discussion on how to protect trans people from violence. I have been asked by a local hospital to come to meeting trans violence at their Domestic Violence unit.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

We Are Stuck…

With lifetime federal judges that they Republicans and Trump stuffed the courts and we are starting to see the results of that abuse of power.
We’re at war over gender pronouns. Can’t we all just show some respect?
The Washington Post
By Ruth Marcus
January 19, 2020

“I am a woman,” wrote federal prisoner #18479-078. “Can I not be referred to as one?”

Apparently not, according to a ruling last week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Dividing 2 to 1, with Trump appointee Stuart Kyle Duncan writing the opinion, the panel not only rebuffed inmate Norman Varner’s petition for a name change in the prison system to Kathrine Nicole Jett — it rejected her request that the court use the female pronoun in referring to her.

This is a single, obscure skirmish, although a particularly dispiriting one, in the larger pronoun wars. As the country struggles with questions about the legal and social status of transgender individuals — and with the parallel, emerging understanding that others may not fit into a binary, either/or gender category — pronouns have become an unexpectedly and unnecessarily heated area of-contention.
Federal judges hearing these cases have generally treated the transgender litigants with courtesy, which is to say they have used the individual’s preferred pronoun. Not Duncan. He cited the example of his fellow Trump appointee James Ho in the Texas transgender prisoner case, who said he would refer to the transgender female prisoner by the male pronoun, “consistent with” the policy of Texas prison officials.
Vox had this to say about the ruling…
Trump judge lashes out at a transgender litigant in a surprisingly cruel opinion
Judge Kyle Duncan was a prominent anti-LGBTQ lawyer before joining the bench.
By Ian Millhiser
January 17, 2020

Federal appeals courts hear cases that impact the rights of millions. They decide matters with billions of dollars at stake. They sometimes hear cases where thousands of lives hang in the balance.

United States v. Varner is not one of those cases. The main thing at stake in Varner is whether three judges will treat a woman with courtesy or with needless cruelty.

Two of them chose the latter option.
Unfortunately for Jett, she drew a panel of judges dominated by two unusually conservative Republicans. The author of the Court’s opinion in Varner, Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, spent part of his career as general counsel to a leading Christian right law firm and litigated multiple cases seeking to restrict LGBTQ rights.

Among several other cases, Duncan defended the state of Alabama’s failed attempt to strip a lesbian mother of parental rights over her adopted child. He filed a brief arguing against marriage equality in the Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) case. And he represented a school district seeking to bar a trans student from using the bathroom that aligns with his gender identity.
It is only going to get worst!
A third of Trump's court nominees have anti-LGBTQ history, report finds
“The damage that is being done to our federal judiciary may be this administration’s most lasting and dangerous legacy.”
NBC News
By Brooke Sopelsa
December 23, 2019

A third of the more than 50 circuit court judges nominated by President Donald Trump since he took office nearly three years ago have a “demonstrated history of anti-LGBTQ bias,” according to a new report by LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, which asserts that the justice system is “now indisputably in a state of crisis.”

“The damage that is being done to our federal judiciary may be this administration’s most lasting and dangerous legacy,” Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal, said in a statement shared with NBC News.

Lambda Legal has opposed 19 of the Trump administration’s 53 nominees to the country’s 12 circuit courts (50 of whom have since been confirmed) because of their anti-LGBTQ record. Among those that Lambda has opposed are Steven Menashi, Lawrence VanDyke and Allison Jones Rushing, all of whom were confirmed this year to lifetime appointments.
Unlike Trump’s Executive Orders and agencies regulators the judges cannot be changed, these are lifetime appointments.

They still have over a year to pack more anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion judges to the court and if they lose in the fall elections you can bet your bottom dollar that one the Republicans will not hold up the judicial nominees until the Democrats take over like they did for Obama Supreme Court nominee and second they will make stuffing the courts their number one priority. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

So You Have Been Discriminated Against

Your job is giving you a hard time with your transition, what do you do? Another employee is harassing you because you're trans, what do you do? Your employer is not giving you plum assignments or job training or promotions because you're trans, what do you do?*

AARP has some tips for age discrimination which can also be used by us for GI/GE discrimination.
How to Fight Back Against Age Discrimination
Take these steps to protect yourself against this illegal workplace activity
By Tamara Lytle, AARP,
December 30, 2019

Workers who believe their age has cost them — whether it's a job, a promotion, a raise — have options for fighting back. Eric Bachman and Kellee Boulais Kruse, legal specialists in employment discrimination, recommend these steps:

1. Talk with a supervisor.
“It doesn't have to be a formal complaint right off the bat,” says Bachman, a principal at Zuckerman Law in Washington, D.C. “Sometimes the issues can be addressed in an informal conversation."
A lot of times we want to bring in the heavy guns right away but sometimes that is the worst way to begin. Both side become entrenched in and the struggle can become very expensive for us fast… lawyers want to get paid.

Many times the company HR has no idea what is happening and takes corrective action imedidately.
2. Keep a log.
Document comments and actions you believe were driven by discrimination and keep any records, such as emails. A time line is helpful, especially to show retaliation after a complaint has been lodged.
This is the best tip.

I was a department supervisor and the first thing HR told me to do is to keep a log on infractions on an employee and the first thing I did was to tell the employee that I was instructed to keep a log on them. I told them that they should start keeping a log on the company. Now when someone asked what they should do if they feel that they are being discriminated is to keep a log, if it goes to court you can bet that the company will bring up every little infraction.
3. Lodge a complaint with the company.
If conversations with managers don't achieve anything, go through the organization's formal complaint process, whether it's via the human resources department or a higher-level manager. Make sure your concerns and observations are in writing.

4. Get a lawyer.
Notice that this is way down on the list.
5. Submit an inquiry to the EEOC.
I would add also to the state agency in charge of enforcing discrimination complaints and bear in mind that the clock starts counting the moment the incident happened. In Connecticut you have 180 days and for the EEOC only 45 days to file the complaint.
6. Consider mediation.
The EEOC offers mediators who can help resolve disputes. Mediation is voluntary but can lead to agreements between the worker and the employer that are settled more quickly and more cheaply for both sides.
Warning! Warning! Your employer might mandate binding arbitration… then you are screwed.

The AARP last tip support legislation and I second that… support the Equality Act. Call you congress member and tell them to support the Equality Act. Find out how you can support state and local legislation and if there is no discrimination find out why not and what you can do to sponsor legislation.

Employment discrimination and other forms of discrimination is hard to prove unless they are stupid enough to come right out and say they you are not being hired because you’re trans.

My advice is that if you are planning on transitioning on the job, wait until you have a job review or two under your belt before transitioning. Yeah, it sucks but it will make it a lot hard for them to say that  they fired you because of you job performance.

*These are all illegal under GI/GE non-discrimination laws. In Connecticut your employer cannot prevent you from transitioning, must maintain a work environment free from discrimination and harassment, and must provide you with training and promotions that they are giving other employees.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

What Is The Conservative Fawning Over Russia All About?

At one time the Republican and the conservatives thought Russia was the arch-enemy of the United States they were the party of McCarthyism but now they are kowtowing all over Putin.
Kansas City radio station agrees to broadcast Russian-owned ‘propaganda’ program
Kansas City Star
By Steve Vockrodt
January 17, 2020

A Kansas City area radio station can broadcast Russian state-owned media programming, the type that U.S. intelligence called a “propaganda machine,” for six hours a day through a lease agreement struck by a local radio operator.

RM Broadcasting LLC, a Florida-based company that has agreements to broadcast the Russian state media program Radio Sputnik, reached a deal on Jan. 1 to lease air time through Alpine Broadcasting Corp. in Liberty. Alpine Broadcasting Corp. broadcasts on three frequencies in the Kansas City area: KCXL 1140 AM, 102.9 FM and 104.7 FM.

The lease agreement lets RM Broadcasting air its programming from 6 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. seven days a week. KCXL’s website, which says that it’s the radio station that will “tell you the things that the liberal media wont (sic) tell you,” lists Radio Sputnik in its morning programming.
Sputnik, along with Russian television outlet RT — formerly Russia Today — “contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences,” the DNI [Director of National Intelligence ] intelligence assessment said.
Is it because of the Republicans ties to the mega-billionaires that they are so infatuated the Russian’s oligarchies? Is that the Republican dream? To turn the US in to an oligarchy?

Politifact reported that,
In 2015-16, Blavatnik’s [Len Blavatnik, a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen - he emigrated to the United States with his family in the late 1970s and returned to Russia in the late ’80s as the Soviet Union began to collapse.] contributions went to GOP PACs and top Republican leaders, including McConnell, according to FEC records.

In that cycle, his companies contributed over $6.3 million, with $2.5 million going to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund. In 2017, Blavatnik donated another $1 million to the committee, records show, bringing the total to $3.5 million.
Then we have…
NRA got more money from Russia-linked sources than earlier reported
By Josh Meyer
April 11,2018

The National Rifle Association reported this week that it received more money from people with Russian ties than it has previously acknowledged, but announced that it was officially done cooperating with a congressional inquiry exploring whether illicit Kremlin-linked funding passed through the NRA and into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said on Wednesday.

Wyden released a letter from the NRA, dated Tuesday, in which the gun rights group reported receiving $2,512.85 in contributions and membership dues “from people associated with Russian addresses” or known Russian nationals living in the United States from 2015 to the present. In the past, a congressional aide to Wyden said, the group had confirmed receiving only one financial contribution, in the form of a lifetime membership purchased by Alexander Torshin, a Russian banker.
Then there is…
Maria Butina Pleads Guilty to Role in a Russian Effort to Influence Conservatives
The New York Times
By Matthew Rosenberg
December 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — To the conservative Americans she courted, Maria Butina was the right kind of Russian.

She loved guns and the church and networking with top officials in the National Rifle Association. She schmoozed with Republican presidential candidates, and became a supporter of Donald J. Trump. She spent Thanksgiving at a congressman’s country house, took a Trump campaign aide to see the rock band Styx and helped a Rockefeller heir organize “friendship dinners” with influential Washingtonians.

On Thursday, Ms. Butina, 30, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiring to act as a foreign agent in a deal with federal prosecutors. In doing so, she acknowledged that her activities were motivated by more than mere personal conviction.

As part of the deal, Ms. Butina admitted to being involved in an organized effort, backed by Russian officials, to open up unofficial lines of communication with influential Americans in the N.R.A. and in the Republican Party, and to win them over to the idea of Russia as a friend, not a foe.
And it looks like it worked.
The investigation has focused on Aleksandr P. Torshin, a Russian government official who worked closely with Ms. Butina for years. Mr. Torshin is close to Christian conservatives in Russia and has been attending N.R.A. conventions in the United States since 2011.
The Christian conservatives… the enemy of my enemy is my friend, Russia is strongly anti-LGBTQ and xenophobic and makes a good match for the Christian conservatives.

We have seen the Republican’s stalling the investigation of the Russian influence in our 2016 elections and their continued interference on our politics.

This was written back in 2017…
How the GOP Became the Party of Putin
Republicans have sold their souls to Russia. And Trump isn’t the only reason why.
By James Kirchick
July 18, 2017

None of this should surprise anyone who paid attention during last year’s campaign. Trump Sr., after all, explicitly implored Russia to hack Clinton’s private email server. He ran as the most pro-Russian candidate for president since Henry Wallace helmed the Soviet fellow-traveling Progressive Party ticket in 1948, extolling Vladimir Putin’s manly virtues at every opportunity while bringing Kremlin-style moral relativism to the campaign trail. Worst of all, GOP voters never punished him for it. This is what they voted for.

Nor was Trump Jr. the only Republican to seek Russian assistance against Clinton. In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Florida Republican operative sought and received hacked Democratic Party voter-turnout analyses from “Guccifer 2.0,” a hacker the U.S. government has said is working for Russia’s intelligence services. The Journal has also reported that Republican operative Peter W. Smith, who is now deceased, “mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers.”
This was in the Atlantic last month…
The Russification of the Republican Party
GOP lawmakers used to oppose the president’s embrace of Putin and the Kremlin. Not anymore.
By Ronald Brownstein
December 5, 2019

Just how far will Republicans go in following President Donald Trump’s embrace of Russia? An answer may be crystallizing as the GOP mobilizes its defense of the president against impeachment.

Both congressional Republicans and conservative commentators are defending Trump from impeachment partly by accusing Ukraine of intervening against him in the 2016 presidential election—despite repeated warnings from national-security and intelligence officials that those claims are not only baseless, but advance Vladimir Putin’s goal of discrediting Ukraine.

Earlier in Trump’s presidency, many Republicans sought to distance themselves from his warm tone toward Putin. But just this week alone, a number of Republican lawmakers, the official House Republican report rebutting impeachment, and the Fox News host Tucker Carlson have repeated Kremlin lines on Ukraine.

This flurry of GOP rhetoric comes as Democrats are raising alarm about the Republican-controlled Senate’s refusal to take action on the DETER Act, a bipartisan bill that would impose sanctions on Russia if it interferes again in 2020.
The Republican party is no longer the party of the fifties and sixties, the new Republican party is a divisive and drives a wedge between us, they are after only one thing… POWER. Power for their oligarchical masters.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Saturday 9: Miss Independent

Sam’s Saturday 9: Miss Independent (2003)

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

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

1) The song begins with Kelly describing a woman who is "independent" and "self-sufficient." Are you feeling especially independent and self-sufficient this morning? Or is there a particular task on your to-do list that you wish you had help with?
Yes, taking down the Christmas decorations.

2) Kelly especially enjoys that this song was a hit, because she had to argue with the record company to even include it on her album. Tell us about a time you're glad fought to get your way.
Well… I helped pass a half a dozen laws and I am helping to bring about changes for seniors.

3) The video depicts a very lively party that spills from the house to the pool area. What's the last party you attended? Was it held indoors, outdoors, or did the revelers enjoy themselves both inside and outside?
It was indoors… a tree the Christmas tree party.

4)The partiers are playing with "silly string." Have you ever indulged in a "silly string" battle?
No, I always felt it was a stupid practice; spraying people with sticky stuff that gets into people’s hair.

5) Kelly Clarkson has a new daytime talk show. Who hosted the last entertainment talk show (as opposed to news) that you watched?
No one because I don’t watch them.

6) Kelly Clarkson told a foodie website that one of her favorite foods is sushi (especially California rolls). She said she's surprised how fond she is of it, since as a kid, sushi is a food she wouldn't even try. Tell us about something you had to be convinced to try, or do, that you were surprised to find you enjoyed.
I don’t know about enjoying it but I never believed in physical therapy, when I strained my back this spring everyone said to go to PT and I said my back has always gotten better on its own. Well after a summer in pain I broke down and went to PT, after the first appointment my back felt better and after the month of PT my back fine and now I have a set of exercises that I can do if I sprain my back again.

7) In 2003, when "Miss Independent" was released, Microsoft and Sony were furiously competing for gamers' attention. Do you own Playstation or Xbox, neither or both?
Nope, I don’t own any game boxes.

8) Also in 2003, the best-selling cookbook was The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. It features foolproof recipes for old favorites like waffles, pancakes, flat breads and crackers. When you look for a new recipe, are you searching for an easier/better way to make something familiar, or are you more likely looking to try something new?
I am more likely to try a new recipe, but I go online to see other recipes and combine elements of the different recipes to customize the recipe.

9) Random question: Which has gotten you in more trouble -- love or money?
Love… Back in high school I got stood up once and I saw the person on a date with another person that night at McDonald's. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Why Do Republicans Hate Us?

It is like they all got the same memo. We are being attacked all around the country with flood of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced this election year by Republican legislators.
Republicans declare war on transgender people in state legislatures all over the US
Some of the bills go as far as making it a felony to provide health care to a transgender child.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
January 16, 2020

Republican lawmakers have filed a bevy of bills restricting transgender rights all over the country in the last two months.

The organization Freedom for All Americans is tracking anti-transgender legislation at the state level, where numerous bills have been filed this month and in December.

Many of the bills are intended to stop gender-affirming health care for minors. Bills have been introduced in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas that would restrict young transgender people’s access to health care.
Other states, including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Washington, are attacking transgender students’ ability to compete in sports, requiring them – or just trans girls, like in Washington’s bill – to compete with the gender indicated on their birth certificates or with their sex assigned at birth.
And I would not be surprised if we see the same legislation introduced here in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

It is a wedge issue that the Republicans think can distract the public from everything going on in Washington. It is smoke and mirrors that they think can deflect the voters and rally their angry base and we are the target of that hate of anyone who is different from their lily white base.

And it is not just trans people that the Republicans are attacking but anything LGBTQ.
Tennessee passes bill to stop same-gender parents from adopting, violating human rights
The bill discriminates against LGBTQ+ parents and leaves thousands of children in need of loving homes completely stranded.
By Chandni Ganesh
January 16, 2020

The Bible Belt has been on a roll as of late, attempting to strip American citizens of their human rights. Most recently, the state of Tennessee passed a bill that would essentially stop same-gender parents from adopting children if they wished to become parents. Technically, the bill proposes protection to faith-based foster care and adoption agencies if they choose to exclude LGBTQ+ parents from adopting children, NBC News reports. Nonetheless, the impact of such a bill is the continued marginalization of the LGBTQ+ community. This is especially problematic as the majority of Tennessee's population is religious, in particular, Christian. Over 80 percent of the residents in the state are some form of Christian.

The State Senate (at present controlled by the Republican Party) passed the oppressive bill on the first day of the 2020 legislative session. It was approved by Tennessee's House of Representatives during the last legislative session, in April. After the Senate passed the bill, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced on Tuesday that he would sign the bill into law without hesitation, despite several warnings that doing so could possibly result in dozens of "negative consequences for Tennessee’s reputation." Governor Lee’s communication director, Chris Walker, confirmed on Tuesday that he plans to sign the resolution shortly.
Why do the Republicans hate us?

On Monday I was channel surfing, I came across PBS and they were showing “Frontline investigates 'America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump'
FRONTLINE begins its 2020 election year coverage with a two-part, four-hour documentary series investigating America’s increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics.

From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk and his team, America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump draws on revelatory new interviews with key political and cultural figures, as well as an unparalleled archive of in-depth broadcast reporting across two presidential administrations, to offer crucial context for the current moment.

Part One traces how Barack Obama’s promise of unity collapsed as increasing racial, cultural and political divisions laid the groundwork for the rise of Donald Trump. Part Two examines how Trump’s campaign exploited the country’s divisions, how his presidency has unleashed anger on both sides of the divide, and what America’s polarization could mean for the country’s future.
It was an excellent program, it showed why the Republican party turned to hate as a strategy, why they adopted hate and divisiveness as a campaign strategy.

Please watch…
America's Great Divide, Part 1 (full film) | FRONTLINE
America's Great Divide, Part 2 (full film) | FRONTLINE

Thursday, January 16, 2020

You See A Person Who You Think Is Trans… What Would Do?

A. Walk up to them and ask them “When did you transition?”
B. Give them the secret signal that you’re trans.
C. Do nothing

I have always joked that we should have a secret signal, something like tug your ear and rub your nose but alas we don’t so just walk away.

But outing someone is an important no-no.
Outing Is A Serious Threat To Trans People, And NikkieTutorials Isn't The First To Experience It
Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, came out as a transgender woman after being blackmailed over her identity.
By Lauren Strapagiel
January 15, 2020

When YouTuber Nikkie de Jager came out as a transgender woman this week, it was on her own terms but not quite on her preferred timeline.

De Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, came out in a video posted Monday titled "I'm Coming Out." In it, she announced that not only is she trans, but that someone who knew was attempting to blackmail her and threatening to out her.

"I have been blackmailed by people that wanted to leak my story to the press," she said in the video. "At first it was frightening. It was frightening to know that there are people out there that are so evil that they can’t respect someone’s true identity. It is vile and it is gross. And I know that you are watching this."
That is a very scary worry of many trans people, I was outed at work when I accidentally printed out my testimony on the department printer… ops. The technicians who found it couldn’t wait to tell everyone in the company once I left the company. He sent out emails to the “whole” company… all users. But it backfired on him, I got number of emails congratulating me on my transition and when one of my former technicians passed away and I went to his funeral all my techs came up and talked to me except him… I found out that the other techs avoided him after he outed me.

Some people say that not being an “out” trans person is living in another closet.
But not being out is not itself a lie, said Adams.

"Transgender people are absolutely entitled to keep their gender history private," he said. "People who have transitioned are living as their authentic self. They are showing you their authentic self every minute of every day."
It is not up to us to decide if another trans person should be out, it is up to them to make that decision and only them.

And besides they might not be trans.

Someone that I know was at a party with me and she walked up to a woman and asked her if she went to “Doctor O” for her FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) said she would never have known that she was trans… well she wasn’t trans. She got mad, left the party and broke up with her trans girl friend. The trans girl friend got mad at the other trans woman, what a mess. It would never have happened if she obey the first law of the LGBTQ+ community… never out a person.

At the grocery store where I shop there was a clerk who looked like she was trans… oh how I would have liked to ask her if she was a member of the tribe. But I never asked.
"So, to the people who tried to blackmail me and thought they could really mess up my life with that, this one’s for you," she said.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

So Now You Have Insurance… Now What?

Have insurance coverage for trans people is one thing, getting them to pay for trans related procedures is another thing.
Health insurance for transgender people exists. Good luck understanding it.
America claims “Liberty and justice for all,” yet it continues to ignore its transgender citizens' medical struggles.
LGBTQ Nation
By Fei Lu
January 14, 2020

Coming to terms with being transgender is difficult, but getting trans-inclusive insurance is worse.

Socially and legally, cis people are debating whether insurance companies are obligated to cover transition-related costs. Many trans people are now turning to dangerously unregulated transition methods, just to save money.
Yet depending on the state, insurance companies and Medicaid can discriminate against trans people. Medicaid only covers transition-related costs in 23 states, while states like Alaska can legally deny trans coverage. With 1 in 5 Americans on Medicaid, low-income trans people face two choices: either move to a trans-affirming state or switch to private insurance. 
Here in Connecticut the Insurance Commissioner said that any coverage for cisgender people must also cover trans people and that covers a lot! Gender Confirming Surgery isn’t just one procedure but is make up of something like seven different surgeries and all of them are covered for cisgender people so  therefore they should be covered for us.
There are a few expectations. For example, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Massachusetts (each state differs) considers GCS and facial feminization surgery necessary only when certain criteria are met. 
Here in Connecticut facial feminization surgery should also be covered because once again the surgery is made up of covered surgical procedures.

For my annual physical the insurance company balks at my prostate exam for a woman and I have to fight with them for months to get it covered

Some tips for getting insurance coverage for trans-affirming procedures;

  • Don’t take no for an answer, “No” is the favorite answer of the insurance companies because most people do not appeal. If you get a no from an insurance representative hang up, wait a minute or two and call back again so you get a different operator. Sometimes that is all it takes, the original operator might not have been properly trained or was a bigot. 
  • Many procedures are gender specific… for example electrolysis. For women hirsutism (L68. 0) is covered so if you want to have it covered you have to be “female” on the insurance policy. So check to see what is covered under what gender before you change your gender markers on your policy.
  • Remember the important phrase… “medically necessary.” Otherwise the insurance companies say it is comedic surgery, breast reductions or enlargement are always considered comedic surgery unless the doctor says it is “medically necessary” for your well being.
  • There is an insurance code that prevents the claim from automatically rejected and forces a medical override. (Code 45 for Medicare and Code KX for non-Medicare claims)
  • If nothing else works it is time to bring out the heavy weights… contact the insurance commissioner‘s office.
Good luck!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

People Who Live In Log Cabins

Are living in the past.

Log Cabin Republicans are LGBTQ Republicans and they vote not for human rights but for their own profits and racism.
Log Cabin Repubs Rail Against Muslims, Socialism at Wilton Manors Rally 
South Florida Gay News
By Jason Parsley
January 13, 2020

Andrew Brett, president of the Broward County Log Cabin Republicans, tore into muslims, President Trump’s impeachment, and several U.S. House Representatives during a rally in front of Wilton Manors City Hall Monday morning.

About 12 people showed up in support of the organization. The LCR represents LGBT Republicans. About three dozen counter protestors also showed up.

“The Democratic Party has become the party of division in America,” Brett said starting off a speech that was riddled with wild claims, conspiracy theories and inflammatory rhetoric. “Whereas, the Republican Party is the party of inclusion for all Americans.” 
Okay get up off the floor laughing.

These people are living in a fantasy world, just look at the Republicans1 in Congress… they are lily white and male. Out of 105 women in the House, 90 are Democrats, and 15 are Republicans, in the Senate there are 25 women, 17 are Democrats and 8 are Republicans. There are 56 African American members in Congress, 52 of the African American House members are Democrats, and one is a Republican, in the Senate two Democrats and one is Republican. In religious affiliation there are 26 are Jewish of which 24 are Democrats, and 3 are Muslims, 3 are Hindus, and 1 Buddhist and they are all Democrats.2

Yeah, right, “Republican Party is the party of inclusion”
“I think it’s important to be here because generations that follow us will be subject to the horrible laws and punishments from this administration if [Trump] should be reelected,” Rajner said. “He’s appointed some terrible judges that are hostile to the LGBT community, and our protections are eroding so quickly. We must stand up, we must register to vote, and we must get the community to mobilize to stand up against this hate.”
But they still support the Republicans.
“So when GLBT folks, not only in Broward County, but throughout the country say — ‘President Trump is taking our rights away.’ I always ask ‘What rights has he taken away from you when you woke up this morning?’ He hasn’t. And didn’t.”
Lets take a look at what he took away...

  • He took away our right to health care.
  • He took away our right to have a job
  • He took away our right to housing
  • He took away are right to serve in the military
  • He took away are right to be free from discrimination

While we are talking about the Republicans attack us…
Transgender employees sue Florida over state's trans health care ban
State employees are unable to access gender-affirming health care due to a ban on those services in their health insurance plan.
NBC News
By Tim Fitzsimons
January 13, 2020

Two transgender women filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida on Monday over its ban on transgender-related health care for state workers, arguing it violates the U.S. Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

“We brought this lawsuit because all people need access to medical care. This is not about special treatment; this is about equal treatment,” said lead counsel Simone Chriss. “Transgender state employees are singled out and explicitly denied coverage for one reason: They are transgender. That is discrimination, and it cannot stand.”

The suit, which was brought by Southern Legal Counsel, the ACLU of Florida and Eric Lindstrom, an attorney, seeks to end Florida’s State Plan Exclusion, a rule that prohibits state employer-provided health plans from covering “gender reassignment or modification services or supplies.”
This law suit might become moot depending upon what the Supreme Court rules in June on if we are covered by Title VII and Title IX, the court could dash all our hopes for protection under the Civil Rights Act Titles VII and IX.

1. Membership of the 116th Congress: A Profile, Congressional Research Service
2. Faith on the Hill: The religious composition of the 116th Congress, Pew Research Center 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Let’s Face It, We Are All Getting Old

And it sure beats the alternative.

As we age at sometime in our life we will need senior care, whether it is a senior center, over 55 communities, home-care, or long tern care facilities and we need to make sure that they know our special care we need and are accepting of us.
Nurses study the needs of transgender senior citizens
By Christine Phelan Kueter, University of Virginia
January 7, 2020

Of the 1.5 million Americans who identify as transgender, roughly 217,000—about 14—are older than age 65. According to a 2011 report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 97 percent transitioned (claimed their preferred gender identity that differed from their sex at birth) at age 55 or older.

Sometimes called "Generation Silent," many transgender senior citizens—like LGBTQ seniors more generally—are particularly vulnerable at the end of their lives, and sometimes conceal their status with care providers out of fear of being mistreated, according to University of Virginia nursing professor and scholar Cathy Campbell. Without a concerted effort to prevent such discrimination, these groups may experience gaps in care, unchecked pain associated with their illness or even outright abandonment by clinicians.
As frontline caregivers, nurses are particularly well-positioned advocates for these individuals. Campbell, with nurse and Ph.D. student Lauren Catlett, recently wrote a case study examining the unique social and spiritual needs of a transgender woman named Carmelita who, at age 60, was dying of esophageal cancer. The study, which offers an intensely personal glimpse into the life of a transgender senior, was just published in the Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care Nursing.
Here in Connecticut we are working to help educate caregivers in the needs of our community. The state department on Aging & Disability Services is working to ensure proper and respectful care for us and I am on its the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program committee on inclusive care.

Also Connecticut Community Care has a program to train healthcare providers to the needs of the LGBTQ community.
"I'm sick. I'm dying. I need you," these patients say. What they really want to know is: "Can I be safe with you?"
When my parents were still alive I used to do what I called “sanitize” my house when they came over, I hide all my trans stuff and clothes. Seniors are now doing that when they have a home healthcare provider come over to their house, their partner of 30 years becomes “a close friend” and all of their photos of them together get hidden.

If I have to go into a LTC facility I wonder how will I be treated. Crossdressers wonder will I be able to dress in a LTC facility? Sadly I know of one crossdresser who stopped dressing in a LTC and became very transphobic to hide his secret.

Also in healthcare news a federal court has banned the military from expelling HIV positive military personnel.
Federal Appeals court rules Trump can’t discharge ervicemembers just for being HIV-positive
The judges wrote, "This ban is outmoded and at odds with current science. Such obsolete understandings cannot justify a ban."
LGBTQ Nation
By Daniel Villarreal Friday,
January 10, 2020

The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling saying that the Trump Administration cannot discharge members of the Air Force just because they’re HIV-positive.

The decision prevents two HIV-positive Air Force members, identified in the court case as “Richard Roe” and “Victor Voe” to protect their anonymity, from being discharged. Now they may stay in the military while their case against the military’s ban on HIV-positive servicemembers proceeds.
However, the judge ruled that the Air Force violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because it discharged the soldiers before actually sending them to CENTCOM to get officially rejected. In doing so, the Air Force violated pre-existing military protocols because members of the Air Force Physical Evaluation Board recommended Roe and Voe for discharge without actually evaluating either man’s physical fitness or ability to complete service duties.