Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday 9: On the Radio

Sam’s Saturday 9: On the Radio (1979)

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

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

1) The action begins when a letter falls out of the pocket of a brown overcoat. What color is your coat?
Well I don’t have one coat; my parka is green, my light dress coat is tan, and my heavy dress coat is black.

2) The lyrics ask if it "kinda strikes you sad when you hear our song." We don't want to be sad this Saturday, so we're asking what song makes you happy.

It is also Trump's new campaign theme: Don't worry be happy

3) Right before this song hit the charts, Donna Summer hit the cover of Newsweek. Are there any magazines in your home now? If yes, who is on the cover?
Yes, right now it is the AAA magazine and on the cover I think it is a photo of kayakers paddling down a river.

4) Donna wrote the lyrics to this song, while producer Giorgio Moroder wrote the tune. Moroder is known as "the father of disco." Is disco a genre you enjoy?
Nope, different generation.
However I do like Abba

5) This song got additional airplay throughout the 1980s because the game show The Price Is Right played it every time a contestant won a stereo. Today, the most popular audio equipment sold at Best Buy is a sound bar to improve the quality of TV audio. Have you added a sound bar or sound system to your TV?
Nope, at my age having good speakers are not worth it and I don’t like loud TV or music.

6) Moroder has won two Academy Awards for Best Song. The first was for "Flashdance ... What a Feeling" from Flashdance and the second was for "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun. Do you have a favorite movie soundtrack?

7) He grew up in Ortsei, Italy. Located in Northern Italy, the Ortsei economy is fueled by tourists who ski in winter, hike in summer and shop for woodcarvings all year around. Do out-of-towners find their way to your hometown more often in summer or winter?
Neither, we are a bedroom town.
Update 4:30
Now if you are talking about the cottage then it is a whole different ballgame.
Winter population: ~3000
Summer population: ~25,000

8) Kourtney Kardashian was born in 1979, the year this record was a hit. Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been on since 2007. Have you ever seen it?
Nope I never watched it or any of the other shows like that.

9) Random question -- When getting dressed in the morning, what's the second item of clothing you put on?
My bra

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, February 28, 2020

The People Are Behind Us.

One thing to remember with all these anti-trans bill that are popping up… the people are behind us.

Just look at the Proposition 3 in Massachusetts referendum a couple years ago where 67 percent voted yes to keep protections in place for us and a poll of service members found…
Two-thirds of troops support allowing transgender service members in the military, Pentagon study finds
Military Times
By Meghann Myers
February 27, 2020

A Defense Department-funded study published Feb. 18 in the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy has found that about 66 percent of active-duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines support the idea of serving alongside transgender personnel.

Breaking down data from nearly 500 responses, researchers found that across demographics ― regardless of ethnicity, sexuality or gender ― more than half of every group also supported allowing transgender Americans to serving in the military.

“Arguments against integration have been historically disproven through research examining the integration of women, racial/ethnic minorities and [lesbian, gay and bisexual] persons into the U.S. military,” the study authors wrote, comparing the transgender ban to past bans on service for other demographics.
Beyond that, 75 percent of women and 81 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents showed support, while heterosexuals polled at 56 percent and men at 62 percent, with black, Latino and white respondents at 69 percent, 75 percent and 64 percent, respectively.
So the hate is coming from a small but vocal group of politicians and religious leaders.

I found an article from October about polls about us and what people think.
American views of transgender people: the impact of politics, personal contact, and religion
In: Economist/YouGov Poll Politics & current affairs
October 11, 2019

As the Supreme Court examines cases it has already heard this term about the rights of gay and transgender people, the American public in the latest Economist/YouGov poll are – for the most part – tolerant and supportive of transgender employment rights. However, Republicans (and in some cases, men) take different positions.

The overall public supports laws prohibiting discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, with Republicans closely divided.
One in five adults (19%) believes employers should be able to fire transgender workers who wear work clothes that match their gender identity. About three times that percentage (59%) disagree. Republicans are more closely divided on this question: a third (32%) say employers should be able to fire those employees, while 44 percent say that should not be allowed.

There is much more opposition to permitting an employer to fire a gay employee. Just 11 percent overall (and 18 percent of Republicans) would permit that. About three-fourths (73%) of the public would oppose such an action, as would two-thirds (65%) of Republicans. Most adults (75%) know someone who is gay.
About half (49%) of Americans support allowing transgender people to serve in the military—opposing the president’s executive order banning most transgender military personnel. The order is now being enforced while it continues to be litigated. Republicans (58%) support the ban.
That helps explain why Republicans support (53%-29%) allowing a religious exemption for medical personnel to refuse to provide services they say violates their religious beliefs. The overall public takes the opposite view, 50%-28%. Very religious Republicans favor the exception by nearly three to one; other Republicans are closely divided.
The thing to remember is that the numbers of those who hate us and the majority of people think discrimination is wrong for whatever reasons.

A Hospital Refused to Provide Medically Necessary Surgery Because I Am Transgender
Evan Minton sued Dignity Health after his medical treatment was cancelled because he is transgender. Now he has shared his story with Congress.
By Evan Minton
February 27, 2020

I was denied healthcare because I am transgender. The justification, according to the hospital, was that religious doctrine permits them to refuse transgender patients, just because of who we are.
In California, however, the law prohibits businesses open to the general public — including hospitals — from discriminating on the basis of gender identity. In 2017, the ACLU and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP filed a lawsuit against Dignity Health on my behalf. Just last fall, a court agreed that I suffered discrimination when the hospital cancelled my surgery. The court also said that Dignity Health does not have a right to violate California’s nondiscrimination law.

While my case has moved through the courts, the Trump administration weighed in. Less than a year after I filed my case, the Department of Health and Human Services issued the Refusal of Care Rule to support religious people and entities in limiting the care they provide to patients. HHS is supposed to protect patients and expand access to healthcare — not allow providers to use religion as a license to discriminate. In justifying their Refusal of Care Rule, the Trump administration cited three court cases that they said showed why this discriminatory rule was necessary. Mine was one of them.
Since the beginnings of our country the First Amendment,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Right off the bat the amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” and ever since the signing of the Bill of Rights the courts have interpreted that clause to mean that the government could pass any laws that were for or against a religion. That if the law was religiously neutral such as the non-discrimination laws it was Constitutional but now with the packing of the courts by the Republicans, they are now twisting the amendment to mean that you can pick and chose what laws you want to follow.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Law Is The Law! Or Is It?

And the judge determines the law but what happens when the judge is biased?
A judge refused to recognize pro-trans law in a hate crime case. That’s judicial misconduct.
A trans woman was shot at a gas station by a man shouting anti-trans epithets. But a judge ignored state law and ruled that it wasn't a hate crime.
LGBTQ Nation
Commentary by Katrina C. Rose
February 26, 2020

On July 23, 2018, Kimura Steuball went to a Mobil station on Seven Mile Road in Detroit. Upon arrival, she saw Deonton Rogers inside the station with a woman. When Steuball got in line to make a purchase, Rogers began talking to her using derogatory, transphobic language.

Rogers then began asking about her sex organs – specifically whether he could see “it.” Steuball tried to ignore him, but he persisted in calling her a man. Then he got violent.

He pulled out a gun and threatened to kill her. The woman with Rogers told him to leave Steuball alone and leave.  It was at this time that a child who had been in Rogers’ car entered the station. As Rogers began moving toward the exit, gun in hand, he walked threateningly close to Steuball, who reacted by grabbing at the gun to get it away from him.
Rogers was eventually apprehended and charged with being a habitual offender, discharging a firearm in a building causing physical injury and serious impairment, felonious assault, possessing a gun during a felony, felon firearm possession, and fourth degree child abuse.
Questions. Who was the instigator?
At the next court level up, Rogers again sought to dismiss the building-firearm charges – as well as the ethnic intimidation charge, arguing not only that the prosecution had failed to demonstrate that he’d committed a malicious physical act accompanied by a specific intent to harass Steuball because of her gender but also that the Ethnic Intimidation Act – the state’s hate crime law – did not apply to trans people at all.

The judge there blamed the victim for initiating the physical contact that led to the firearm discharge and agreed with Rogers that trans people were strangers to Michigan’s ethnic intimidation statute.
So someone pulls a gun on you and you try to defend yourself, and all of sudden you’re the instigator!
The prosecution appealed this decision up to a panel of the Court of Appeals, which split 2-1 with the majority opinion being authored by Mike Gadola, a product of Republican former Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration (though, sickeningly, he was unopposed when he ran for a full term in 2016) and a member of the advisory board of the Michigan chapter of the Federalist Society.
In Detroit News they report,
Court: Intimidation law does not protect transgender individuals
By Beth LeBlanc,
January 8, 2020

The Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that transgender people are not included within the definition of “gender” because at the time the ethnic intimidation law was enacted gender was limited by definition to the “biological roles of male and female,” Appeals Court judge Michael Gadola wrote in a ruling joined by Judge James Redford.

Both judges were appointed by Republican former Gov. Rick Snyder
The dissenting judge wrote…
“Just as a person’s religion may not be outwardly apparent, but may be sometimes gleaned from his or her words or chosen manner of dress, and thus motivate intimidation or harassment, so too can a person’s gender,” wrote Servitto, who was appointed by Democratic former Gov. James Blanchard. “And it is the harassment or intimidation that follows the recognition of and apparent disagreement with another’s religion or gender (among other things) that is criminalized.”
How many times have you heard the Republican blame verdicts that go against them as “activist judges” well it also applies to conservative judges who ignore the law.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

It Is Hard In This Political Season…

...To find something that is not political but I found some non-political.
Ask Amy: Transgender man makes strides during holiday visit, with humor
By Amy Dickinson
February 20, 2020

Dear Readers: Like all of you, I am curious about how things turn out after I publish a question.
The following two letters are responses to a recent question from a college sophomore who signed his letter "Embarrassed."

Dear Amy: I've been reading your column since I was a little kid.

Last month, I decided to ask you my own question.

As a transgender man, I was confused and embarrassed during the Thanksgiving holiday that my parents persisted in calling me by the female name they assigned to me at birth.
Your advice was to face the issue with compassion and humor. You explained that my parents were also going through a transition, but because they didn't live in my body, they were experiencing it differently than I was.

This made visiting home for Christmas easier. I could laugh it off, which made other people laugh, and ultimately avoided that awkwardness of correcting people. My go-to phrase now is: "I'm a man, just a soprano."

The confidence and kindness I've been able to exude has helped to ease the tension.
Humor can make transitioning a lot easier, if you go around in life with a chip on your shoulder life is going to be much harder.

I have seen so many trans people who attack anybody who makes a slip. I realize all to well how after a day of being misgendered can wear on you, but I have seen some trans people jump allover a person who is trying to adjust but slips occasionally.

I know of one trans man who has a beard and is balding who told me his mother slipped at a restaurant and deadnamed him to the waitress, he made a circling motion to the side of his head and said to the waitress that his mother is getting older and her mind is starting to go.
...But armed with resources, humor and love, they're slowly starting to realize that their son and brother has always been here -- he was just wearing the wrong sweater.
My advice is to give them a chance, we lived all out life with gender dysphoria and for them gender dysphoria came out of the blue and maintain your sense of humor.

I like to tell the story of one Fantasia Fair when I was walking down Commercial Street, a couple was coming out of a store and the husband said to his wife, “There are a number of tall women in town I wonder if there is a women’s basketball game in town?”

This morning I am doing training at the Provider Network for long term care and home care providers.
Her topic will be related to the trans experience with long-term services and supports and how we can support the community by providing inclusive care.  I have asked Diana to speak for the first hour or so and then engage in a dialogue with all of you where I trust you will feel free to bring your questions and concerns.  Following her presentation, you will have an opportunity to share your experiences as an “out” and inclusive provider and to let us (CCC) know what additional training materials or topics you would like is to provide.  We will end with lunch at noon. 
I get a free lunch out of it disproving the saying "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

We Are All Getting Older...

...And it sure beats the alternative of pushing up daisies.

However, being trans creates a whole mess of barriers that we face.
Case study explores needs of transgender-identified senior citizens
By Desiree Montilla
February 23rd, 2020

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Two nurses from the University of Virginia's School of Nursing are looking into the needs of transgender-identified senior citizens.

Cathy Campbell, a faculty member at the UVA School of Nursing, produced the case study with Lauren Catlett, a Ph.D. student at the UVA School of Nursing.

The case study took over a year to publish and focused on a book titled, "Little Star." The book is based on the story of a local transgender-identified elder named Carmelita.

Catlett cared for Carmelita while she was in hospice and supported her through the end of her life.
Campbell said there's data that suggests many senior citizens transition at a later stage in their life.

"People who are 65 years of age or older, who identify as transgender, 97 percent of those people transitioned after the age of 55," she said.
For many lesbians and gays going in to a Long Term Care facility is hard but they can hide again in a closet if they want to however for many trans people that is not an option.

UVA Today wrote,
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% 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.
Okay, you reach a point in life where you need help for your everyday chores so you are looking at one of those “homemaker” to come in to your house to help with meals, shopping, and cleaning what do you do?

I used to what I call “sanitizing,” I would clean my house of everything “trans” when my parents came over but you can’t do that if a homemaker is there everyday.

Tomorrow I am doing training at a “service agency” that provides homemaker and companion services for home-bound senior citizens and Friday is the CT Long Term Care Ombudsman Inclusive Care Committee meeting. Next month I am doing training for Long Term Care providers.

Does any laws protect us?

Here in Connecticut we have PA11-55 An Act Concerning Discrimination which covers housing and public accommodation which includes nursing homes and LTC facilites.

There is a pamphlet that National Long Term Care Ombudsman, the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and Lambda Legal that discuss your rights.
Residents’ Rights and the LGBT Community: Know YOUR Rights as a Nursing Home Resident

The federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law requires nursing homes to “protect and promote the rights of each resident” emphasizing individual dignity and self-determination in the provision of long-term care. Every nursing home accepting Medicare and/or Medicaid must meet federal requirements, including those regarding residents’ rights.
KNOW Your Rights
Individuals living in nursing homes have the same rights to be free from discrimination and harassment as individuals living in the larger community. In addition, they have rights and protections provided by federal nursing home regulations and state and federal anti-discrimination provisions. The rights of all residents should be honored and respected, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Understanding your rights, learning about ways to solve problems, and knowing how to get help if issues arise is the first step in ensuring quality care. The federal nursing home regulations provide the following resident rights and facility requirements that may be of particular importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals living in a nursing home. State nursing home regulations and various anti-discrimination laws may provide additional protections (see “Resources” section for link to federal nursing home regulations)
Here in Connecticut we have a Long Term Care Ombudsman that can help you.

We shouldn’t have to worry our care when we get older.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Bend Over Please.

We hate it!

We hate it because it reminds us of our past, it is kind of like appendix. No body thinks about it until it gets inflamed. Our prostrate is a reminder of our past but it should be checked because the risk of cancer is not zero for us.
What Transgender Women Need to Know About Their Risk of Prostate Cancer
Your risk may be related to your transition.
By Korin Miller
July 21, 2017

Basically, if you have a prostate, you're at risk of developing prostate cancer.
Even people who have undergone gender-affirming surgery will typically still have a prostate, Zil Goldstein, assistant professor of medical education and program director for the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, tells SELF.

Prostate cancer can and does happen to transgender women. A 2013 case study published in the Canadian Urological Association Journal, for example, reports the case of a transgender woman who was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer (meaning, it had spread beyond her prostate to other parts of her body), 31 years after she transitioned. Another case study published in JAMA tells the story of a transgender woman who was diagnosed with prostate cancer 41 years after her transition.

According to the University of California, San Francisco Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, there have been cases of prostate cancer in transgender women with a variety of surgical histories and hormone therapies, meaning it's hard to say that any one surgery or hormone therapy would obliterate your risk. However, most cases of prostate cancer in transgender women have involved people who started hormone therapy later in life.
The bottom line…
If you still have a prostate, Dr. Radix says it’s important to remember that you may still be at risk for prostate cancer, which means that you should talk to your doctor about screening. You can search for LGBT-friendly doctors at places like:,, or
Oh by the way those PSA tests, according to New England Section of the American Urological Association
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels are lower in those on hormonal therapy, but data evaluating the normal PSA range for these patients are limited. Current recommendations for PCA screening are not tailored for TG patients making appropriate prescreening counseling regarding PSA critical in this population. 
Translation: They don’t know if the PSA test is reliable for trans women.

Even though our risk is small it is not zero and I have a prostrate exam at my annual physical… do you?

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Take The Test

When I was first coming out I found the COGIATI test online and the name stands for Combined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Inventory… Wow! That sound so official!

I was just reading a blog where the writer took the test and declared to the world that she is trans!

To that I say, whoa! Lets look at what makes a test study valid.

I remember reading those quizzes in Good Housekeeping and other magazines or the quizzes in Facebook, one that I remember taking a test that looked at the stress in your life and the quiz had a number questions and you got points for the stressors in your life.

Well one thing all those tests have in common is that none of them have been validate. Validated, what’s that?

Validating is where you prove that the test or survey does find what it was designed to test for, in other words supposed you wanted a test to determine if a person is dyslexic to prove that you would have to have a series of processes to prove that the test instrument does what it is designed to do.

On his website author David Kingsbury goes through the process:

  • Protect construct validity. A construct is the behavior or outcome a researcher seeks to measure within a study, often revealed by the independent variable.
  • Protect internal validity. Internal validity refers to how well your experiment is free of outside influence that could taint its results.
  • Protect external validity. External validity refers to how well your study reflects the real world and not just an artificial situation. 
  • Protect conclusion validity. When the study is complete, researchers may still invalidate their data by making a conclusion error.

Back when I was in grad school the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition along with the Hartford Gay  and Lesbian Health Collective received a grant to study the trans population in the greater Hartford area  for AIDS and we had to go through a validation process. We had to see if our instrument found risk factors in our population group, so we had a focus group take the test and we interviewed them afterward to determine how reliable our survey instrument was in finding the risk of AIDS in our community.

So getting back to the COGIATI test and there is zero validation of the test instrument, there have been no testing to see how reliable it is and the trouble is people taking the test base their transition on COGIATI results. If the test comes out that your trans that probably just reinforces their belief that they’re trans, but what about those who results say that they are not trans? Will that dash their hoped of transitioning? Will it delay the person from seeking professional help?

If you want a good parlor discussion or you just take the test for entertainment that is one thing but to base your life on the test is wrong. They should have a disclaimer on the website saying that the test is just for entertainment purposes. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday 9: Buttons & Bows

Sam’s Saturday 9: Buttons & Bows (1948)

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

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

1) The lyrics extol the beauty of "rings and things and buttons and bows." When you're getting dressed, do you give much thought to accessorizing?
Nope, just earrings.

2) Dinah Shore sings that she doesn't want to live where the cactus hurts her toes. Sam can sympathize, as she has a blister on one of her toes from where her winter boots rub. Do you have any aches and pains to report this morning?
Ha! Ha!
I can talk all day about them, after all that’s what senior citizens do all day, talk about their aches and pains and their meds.

3) Dinah was such a popular entertainer that people were surprised to learn she earned a degree in sociology from Vanderbilt University. What is something we'd be surprised to know about you?
Hmm… after playing Saturday 9 for about fifteen years there is not a lot you don’t now about me. You even know that I can wiggle my noses and ears at the same time. You know that I’m an electrical engineer with a master’s in social work.

4) Dinah's was the best selling version of this song, which was introduced by Bob Hope in the movie The Paleface. Hope had success early in his career as a song-and-dance man on Broadway. Are you better at telling jokes, singing or dancing?
Lets see…
Dancing: you better watch out for your toes.
Singing: cover your ears
Joke telling: it might take me a couple of times to get the punchline right.

5) Both Bob and Dinah donated their time to entertaining the troops in WWII. It was during a USO tour that Dinah met and fell in love with actor George Montgomery, who was serving in the Air Force. They were married for 20 years and had two children. Their daughter followed her parents into show business and became an actress. If a young person asked you for career advice, what would you tell them?
Go into engineering, there is good money to be made.

6) Dinah was an avid golfer and even sponsored an LPGA tournament. She was also an excellent cook who hosted TV cooking segments. Which would you find more relaxing -- an afternoon on the golf course or in the kitchen?
The kitchen, I am not a fan of chasing a little white ball around in a golf cart.

7) In 1948, the year this record was a hit, Scrabble was introduced. Do you prefer word games, card games, board games or jigsaw puzzles?
Any of them except word games, if you are a horrible speller word games don’t make sense.

8) Also in 1948, LPs (33 1/3 rpm records) were introduced. Do you have any vinyl records in your home?
Ha, ha!
I grew up in the sixties, my turntable and stereo still work. Even though I tend to like online music and stripped CDs once in a while I like lay on the couch in from of the fire and put on a record.

9) Random question -- Which of these would you consider the greatest insult: to be called boring, untrustworthy or stupid?
Untrustworthy, I am trustworthy to a fault and guard my good name.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Safe Places

School put up a “Safe Space” stickers.

Healthcare providers have “Safe Space” stickers.

LGBTQ bars and coffeehouse are “Safe Spaces”

But are “Safe Spaces” really safe?
LGBT gym forced to permanently close its doors after months of harassment by far-right hate group
An inclusive LGBT+ gym in Canada has been forced to permanently close after being subjected to months of online harassment and doxxing by a far-right hate group.
Pink News UK
By Lilly Wakefield
February 15, 2020

The gym closed temporarily in September, 2019, for the safety of its members and staff after the online abuse began.

The gym was targeted by a group which at the time went by the name Patriot Pride Canada Wide, although it has since renamed itself Defend Canada.

Defend Canada described the founder of the LGBT+ gym as a “far left Extremist [who] has opened up a training compound for domestic terrorists.”

On its website it published the names and social media profiles of Queerflex staff, as well as the address of the gym, and wrote: “You can run but you can’t hide.”
The problem with safe spaces is that the haters know where they are and the safe spaces become the focus of the haters.

Back when I was first started to going to a support group I had to contact them because the meeting location was secret. One time three young men invaded the safe space and started harassing us.

I am not saying that we should avoid LGBTQ activities or gatherings but what I am saying is be aware of your surroundings which is a good idea for everything that we do, sometimes we get complacent.

When I was working I was in charge a safety for the factory so I had a lot of training when they added the new hat for me but I did learn something, when I walk into a new space I look around for the emergency exits which is a good habit to get into in this day of age.

When you are leaving a LGBTQ bar in a strange neighborhood ask the bouncer to keep an eye on you as you walk back to your car. At a bar in Hartford their patrons were being harassed by the neighborhood kids so the bar hired a security guard and it was nice to see him there when I left the bar.

One time when I was leaving a the safe space of a LGBTQ event at the Connecticut Science Center. But at eleven at night when the event was getting over I had to walk back to the parking garage and walk right by a sports bar patio next to the sidewalk. I was standing there dreading the walk, a group of lesbians came out and one of them saw me standing there and asked if everything was alright. I said that I didn’t like walking by the group of drunken young men, one of them put her arm in my arm and we crossed the street and walked by the patio. Sure enough the cat calls began… “Hey girls, come on in and have a drink with us.” and they saw that we were lesbians started with the foul language. I would have hated going by them by myself. I have now found a parking garage closer to the Science Center.

To paraphrase Smokey the Bear… remember only you can prevent danger. Learn what every women knows “be aware of your surroundings.” Yeah, it is paranoid but it may keep you alive.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Coming Out… Coming Out… Coming…

It seems like we are always coming out. When we first came out most of us thought that once we were out that we were out but we eventually realize that it is never ending.
Why I Shouldn’t Have To Come Out Again (And Again) In 2020
By Rosie Mulford
2 January 2020

Coming out. It’s one of the most nerve-wracking experiences any member of the LGBTQ+ community will go through, and it’s a big deal - people toy with when and how for days, months or even years. But, unfortunately, no-one gets to come out just once. And honestly? It. Never. Stops. Not only is it tedious, but it’s downright frustrating. No, I don’t have a boyfriend. No, I don’t mean a girl who’s a friend. No, I will not discuss how lesbians have sex. And repeat, for eternity.

Everyone in the queer community experiences it (side note: I’m talking about sexuality here, not gender, which is a whole other kettle of fish that I don’t have the life experience to comment on); the somewhat innocent questions, the probing inquiries into sex lives and the inevitable, “so when did you come out?”. Well, when I was 15, but also three seconds ago to you, last week at the doctor’s, three months ago when I started a new job and on average, a couple of times a week since I was 15.

But why? Why should we have to either put up with a barrage of questions into the intricacies of our big queer lives or feel awkward about brushing off these questions when we just really don’t feel like talking about it? Some people don’t mind coming out of a million closets; some people are loud and proud, some people think it’s nobody’s business, and some of us are just sick of having to comfort straight people through the process of discovering we’re gay.
My thoughts are that you have to come out on a need-to-know basis, there are less reasons to come out if you’re lesbian or gay but if you are trans we come out a lot more times and we have a paper trail to prove it. When you check your credit report we have a AKA with our deadname. When we go for a job interview we have to worry if former employers or schools have updated their record. When lesbian or gay use the phone they don’t have to “out” themselves.

And then when we do integrate into society that creates its own problems.
The Assimilationist, or: On the unexpected cost of passing as a trans woman
The trouble with finding my true self in the beauty aisles.
By Emily Todd VanDerWerff
February 19, 2020

The best way to describe an assimilationist is to describe myself, so here’s what I’m wearing right now, on a chilly California day at the start of the year: My hair (on which I use somewhat expensive lightening shampoo to coax it toward a dirty blonde) hangs just past my chin. On my nose sit round-framed blue glasses ($500). I’m wearing a full face of makeup (my first visit to Sephora ran me $250, good fucking God), and I have on a pink sweater, a gray undershirt, black tights, and a ruffled black skirt (around $120, all told, mostly from Target). Cap this off with some dark purple running shoes ($75) and you’ve got the whole look.

That’s precisely the point of the assimilationist claim: As trans people, we’re supposed to complicate the gender binary, not uphold it. By trying my damnedest not to stand out but to blend in — to tilt whatever little equation you run in your head when you see me away from “man” and toward “woman” — I’m propagating a system that hurts both trans people and women disproportionately, via everything from broad, systemic violence to the relatively minor sin of the pink tax.

I get a lot of flack because I wear a tee, jeans, and sneakers and no makeup.

But when you look around the supermarket or the mall how many women do you see in heels and a dress?

I want to assimilate and not stand out but that is what happens when you are dressed to the “nines” people look at you because think they wounder why you are dressed that way. Also it is damn uncomfortable to be in heels and pantyhose all day, when I have to go to the Legislative Office Building for a meeting I dress in business clothes, slacks and blouse with low heel pumps and I can’t wait to get back into jeans and sneakers.

What it all boils down to is I don’t care what they think, I don’t care if I assimilate what I really care about is how they treat me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Twisted Nasty Politicians

I do not know what it is with Republicans; do they take classes, are they in competition with other Republicans to see who can come up with the most disgusting laws?
Republican wants to create a record of people’s sexual orientation and hand down harsh penalties to those who lie
A Republican lawmaker has proposed a bill in Iowa that would create a state record of citizen’s “sexual preferences” on their marriage licenses.
Pink News
By Josh Milton
February 17, 2020

Dennis Guth, of Iowa’s Fourth District, is the primary sponsor of the Senate File 2130 bill.

He was a former board member of the social conservative group, The Family Leader, and once referred to gay folk as “healthcare risks”.

It would effectively do two things: punish those who come out after being married, and create a state database of citizen’s sexualities.

According to the legislative tracker LegiScan, if someone were to apply for a marriage listen and list themselves as heterosexual and then later come out as LGB+, their marriage could be dissolved.

The available options on the licence are: Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, questioning, unsure, and “identity not listed”.
So if you are in denial and you fought all your life to be “normal” then you realize that yes you are truly gay no matter how much you denied it now you can land up in jail.

Another Republican, Senator Witkos and this time from Connecticut tried to introduce an amendment to HB6599 the non-discrimination bill in 2011that required trans people to register on a database, I called the amendment the Scarlet Letter and wrote about here. The amendment said…
"Sec. 501. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2011) Any person holding a motor vehicle operator's license whose gender-related identity is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of such identity and the commissioner shall indicate such identity in the electronic record maintained by the commissioner pertaining to such person's operator's license."
I often wondered how did all these horrible bills get introduced at the same time in states all around the country, well it seems that they were all proposed by the same organization.
226 bills target LGBTQ Americans this year. One organization is behind a lot of them.
If it seems like there are a lot of anti-LGBTQ bills this year, it's because there are. And this group is coordinating the effort.
LGBTQ Nation
By Molly Sprayregen
February 18, 2020
The group Equality Federation is currently tracking 226 anti-LGBTQ bills being considered in state legislatures throughout the country, and one organization in particular is responsible for many of the bills.

Many of the bills are similar and target the transgender community, and specifically transgender youth.

“The targeting of kids is really unique this year,” Rose Saxe, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and HIV Project, told NBC News. “It’s really shocking, the depth of attack on trans youth.”
Jenny Pizer, law and policy director at Lambda Legal, told NBC News that the reason there are so many similar bills around the country is because national conservative organizations often use conservative states as “testing grounds” for laws they want passed.

“If they have success in a very conservative environment, sometimes they get picked up elsewhere,” Pizer said.
So who is behind all these bills?

In another LGBTQ Nation article they write,
If you have ever wondered why legislators in different states introduce oddly similar legislation targeting LGBTQ rights, there might be a simple explanation. They’re getting cut-and-paste templates and detailed legislative strategy from a religious right group.

Project Blitz was founded in 2016 by now-former U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, as a kind of outgrowth of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which Forbes also founded. Forbes is probably best remembered for his push in 2013 to have the GOP refuse to fund gay candidates. Unsurprisingly, Forbes kept racking up 0% voting scores from the Human Rights Campaign during his tenure in Congress.
While Project Blitz would like to remain out of sight, thanks to the hard work of Frederick Clarkson at Political Research Associates, we know a lot about the group – and it’s not pretty.

Clarkson secured Project Blitz’s 116-page playbook for legislative success. It outlines three categories for focus – the first is “legislation regarding our country’s religious heritage,” which is another way of saying bills that seek to promote the idea that America was founded on “Christian principles.” The second category is “resolutions and proclamations recognizing the importance of religious history and freedom.” These are symbolic, since they don’t have the weight of law, but still important.

The third category is “religious liberty protection legislation.” This, of course, is the bread-and-butter of the religious right’s current legislative offensive. And it’s on full display going into the new legislative cycle.
In other words they want to hide their bigotry and hate behind the curtain of “Religious Freedom.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Your Paper’s Please.

Or what’s in a name?

There has been a lot of talk of using our preferred names and now there is a law suit against using our preferred names.
Lawsuit: School using transgender children's chosen name is unconstitutional
By Todd Richmond, Associated Press
February 17, 2020

The parents allege that the school district's policy of allowing children to change their names according to the sex they identify without informing parents or changing the children's names in school records violates the Wisconsin Constitution's due process clause and religious freedom guarantees.
In another article...
Conservative law firm plans to sue Madison schools over gender identity guidance
Cap Times
By Scott Girard
February 1, 2020

The Madison Metropolitan School District has not made changes to its guidance supporting transgender and non-binary students despite a Jan. 31 deadline to avoid a threatened lawsuit from a conservative advocacy organization.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty wrote a letter on Dec. 17, 2019, stating that it was "prepared to file a complaint in court" if the district did not "remove these problematic policies and commit to retraining its teachers and staff accordingly."

WILL deputy counsel Luke Berg told the Cap Times Friday the group would file a lawsuit, though he would not say when it would be filed.
In a letter to the organization sent Friday, district interim general counsel Sherry Terrell-Webb wrote that the guidance, created in April 2018, is "a manner of working with and being sensitive to our community members who identify as transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive youth."
This is just another attempt to hide bigotry behind religion.

If the school allows Robert be called “Bob” or like my nephew use their middle name instead of their legal then it should be okay for trans use their preferred name.

When I went to grad school I went up to the professors at the beginning of the semester and asked the professors to use my preferred name and they did but submitted my grades under my legal name.

So the real problem is not calling students by their preferred name but calling trans students by their preferred name.

Monday, February 17, 2020

If You Can’t Tell…

That I’m trans you need a hearing aid.

I joke about it but it is true for me and many trans women, once we speak you can tell that we’re trans. I know many trans women who had voice training and/or surgery and one trans woman I heard has lost her voice because of surgery,
Vocal Feminization for Transgender Women: Current Strategies and Patient Perspectives
International Journal of General Medicine
Published 12 February 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 43—52
By Hyung-Tae Kim

Abstract: Voice feminization for transgender women is a highly complicated comprehensive transition process. Voice feminization has been thought to be equal to pitch elevation. Thus, many surgical procedures have only focused on pitch raising for voice feminization. However, voice feminization should not only consider voice pitch but also consider gender differences in physical, neurophysiological, and acoustical characteristics of voice. That is why voice therapy has been the preferred choice for the feminization of the voice…
Voice feminization, not just pitch increase, is a very complicated and complexity modulation procedure. It is a comprehensive medical process in which all knowledge of speech science including laryngology, speech language pathology and acoustics must be applied. Voice feminization is a long transition journey that changes a male phonatory system including phonatory organs and pattern to a female phonatory system. From the patient’s perspective, treatment modality and direction should be selected considering the order of the transition process, economic aspect, and social role. From a medical provider’s perspective, the course of treatment should be determined as a method that can maximize the safety of patient’s voice and minimize side effects while feminizing the voice.
I thought about voice training and I briefly thought about surgery but I quickly dropped the idea as being too risky. Voice training was a viable option, I have heard many trans women who have going through voice training and it made some change but those trans women that I know still have problems on the phone. I have also noticed that after time most of them start slipping and reverting to their old pattern of speech.

Another reason why I haven’t done voice training is that for me I lived a lie for 60 years and I don’t want to live another lie. If you can’t accept me for who I am,  well...

Sunday, February 16, 2020


So what brought on this musing?

I have been looking for news articles to write about this morning but all there are in negative news. I’m already down in the dumps over the weather I don’t need anymore negativity but it is hard to get away from it with all that is going on around us.

Then I was watching CBS Sunday Morning about the Holocaust and I couldn't help but see parallels between 1930s Germany and the United States. In Germany in the 1930s the NAZI drove a wedge between "them and us," those who are “not like us.” They demonized minorities… the Jews, the gays, the trans people, the disabled, the people with congenital disability, the Romani (gypsy), and all other who were not like their Nordic vision.

One of the biggest downers beside the weather is the law suit over trans athletes. The law firm that is representing the cisgender athletes is one that is labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate organization. The law firm says in a Hartford Courant article that they are not a hate group but in the press conference and news articles refer to the trans athletes as “biological males” and use male pronouns. They are also was the law firm for the Masterpiece Cakeshop. They use the law to legalize hate against the LGBTQ community in the guise of “Religious Freedom.”

Why am I worrying over case?

According to Wikipedia
As of February 12, 2020, the United States Senate has confirmed 192 Article III judges nominated by President Trump, including 2 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, 51 judges for the United States Courts of Appeals, 137 judges for the United States District Courts, and 2 judges for the United States Court of International Trade. There are currently 33 nominations to Article III courts awaiting Senate action, including 32 for the District Courts and 1 for the Court of International Trade. There are currently 1 vacancy on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 70 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts, 2 vacancies on the U.S. Court of International Trade, and 5 announced federal judicial vacancies that will occur before the end of Trump's first term (all for District Courts). Trump has not made any recess appointments to the federal courts.
The Republican party has politicized federal judges. The Republicans under the Obama did not even hear any of President Obama’s nominees and now are packing the court with unqualified judges, one Appeals Court judge never even tried a case in court and is something like  only ten years out of law school! He now, now he has a lifetime appointment. His qualification to be a judge is his ideology.

So the case in Hartford is stacked against us with Trump appointed judges, a Secretary of Education who doesn’t believe in Title IX and will file an amicus brief against the trans athletes. The Attorney General has said that he also disregarded all the court cases that have found that we are covered under Title IX.

I am worried that the Supreme Court that the Republicans packed with vote against diversity and come down on the side of bigotry. This court case could be case that sets back LGBTQ human rights for a century.

The news is just as bleak as the weather. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saturday 9: Secret Valentine

Sam’s Saturday 9: Secret Valentine (2008)

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

In honor of Valentine's Day. Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The lyrics talk about a song that's so romantic it "turns out the lights." Are the lights on in the room you're in right now?
Nope, it is 9:30 AM here as I write this.

2) In the video, our heroine's Valentine's Day adventure begins with a note slipped into her pocket. What's in your pocket right now?
And they are used… Eww!

3) This week's band, We the Kings, are proud sons of the state of Florida. Bradenton, to be exact. They even called one of their CDs Sunshine State of Mind. Have you ever been to Florida? If so, where have you visited?
I haven’t been there since I graduated from high school. One I was very little (ten or under) we went all  the way to Key West. I have been the whole length of US 1 from Key West to Fort Kent, Maine. One year we drove south along US 1 and the next summer we went north up in Canada.
The last time that I was in Florida was in my Junior year in high school; my father had a conference at Cape Kennedy and I went with them and had a VIP tour of the space center.

4) Lead singer Travis Clark has a pierced lip but doesn't always wear a lip ring. Do you have any piercings? If yes, are you wearing jewelry in your piercing(s) right now?
Yes, and nope, yes I had my ears pierced and I woke up about a half hour ago.

5) The band's name comes from a cheer they did when they attended Martha B. King High School. Have you attended your high school reunion?
Yes, all of them in 2017 it was our 50th Reunion and then we had a get-together for our 70th Birthday party.

6) Hearts are the symbol of Valentine's Day, so here's a little heart trivia: whales have largest heart of any animal. When we say a person is "big hearted," it means we think of them as generous. Think about the people in your life. Who would you describe as big hearted?
I am gifted with a couple of “big hearted” friends.

7) It's estimated that 9 million people buy Valentine's Day presents for their dogs and cats. Have you ever purchased a holiday gift for a pet?
Nope… no pets

8) Valentines to teachers are also big sellers. Did you ever have a crush on one of your instructors?
Yes, in grad school.

9) With the popularity of e-cards, fewer Valentine messages are sent via the USPS. What's the most recent thing you dropped into a mailbox?

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, February 14, 2020

I Have Zombie Fingers

I’ll say it again, I have zombie fingers when I wake up at 3 AM, my tablet doesn’t sense my fingers and I found out what it is called.
Touchscreen trouble? It could be zombie finger
Here's why capacitive screens don't respond to every touch
Consumer Reports
Published: June 02, 2015

Some smartphone and tablet users are afflicted with a malady. No matter how hard they press on the display, they just can’t seem to get the device to acknowledge their touch. These people may have the same problem with laptop touchpads. In layman’s terms, they suffer from zombie finger.

“The capacitive touch sensor is—to most people—this kind of magical thing,” says Andrew Hsu, Ph.D., a pioneer in touchscreen tech at Synaptics, a major supplier of the technology to electronics manufacturers. “In an ideal situation, you barely touch the surface of the screen and the sensor is able to detect the presence of your finger.” In some cases, however, that finger confounds the technology.

“It’s a problem we’ve been wrestling with for 20 years now,” says Hsu. “It’s a very delicate balance. We spend a lot of time essentially trying to determine whether a user has touched the surface or not.”

It was longer than twenty years ago. I have a Philips 212 turntable that has capacitive touch sensor back in 1973 when I bought it and my mother had problems with them back then. It was because she was old and had dry skin just like I do now.
In the end, though, capacitive touchscreens are not foolproof. Living, breathing people with thick callouses on their fingers—think guitar players or carpenters—struggle with these touchscreens because the dead skin on their fingertips prevents the flow of electricity. People wearing gloves tend to experience trouble. People with very dry hands, too. “I’ve also heard of women with really long fingernails having problems,” says Daniel Tower, an engineer at Wacom, which makes drawing tablets and styluses. Basically, anything that limits your hand’s conductivity is a potential pitfall.
“People with very dry hands, too” like me.

It happens mostly at night, the in the house it turned down to 58, winter with the dry air, and laying in bed I hold the tablet at eye level so the blood drains out of them (it also makes it hard to draw blood to test my FBG) and in certain areas on the tablet screen I have to hold my finger on the screen until it senses it.

Hatred Of Us Is A Modern Invention

Believe it or not in the past there was more tolerant of us.
The 200-year-old diary that's rewriting gay history
BBC News
By Sean Coughlan
February 10, 2020

A diary written by a Yorkshire farmer more than 200 years ago is being hailed as providing remarkable evidence of tolerance towards homosexuality in Britain much earlier than previously imagined.

Historians from Oxford University have been taken aback to discover that Matthew Tomlinson's diary from 1810 contains such open-minded views about same-sex attraction being a "natural" human tendency.

The diary challenges preconceptions about what "ordinary people" thought about homosexuality - showing there was a debate about whether someone really should be discriminated against for their sexuality.

"In this exciting new discovery, we see a Yorkshire farmer arguing that homosexuality is innate and something that shouldn't be punished by death," says Oxford researcher Eamonn O'Keeffe.

The historian had been examining Tomlinson's handwritten diaries, which have been stored in Wakefield Library since the 1950s.
But all was not rosy for us.
Tomlinson argued, from a religious perspective, that punishing someone for how they were created was equivalent to saying that there was something wrong with the Creator.

"It must seem strange indeed that God Almighty should make a being with such a nature, or such a defect in nature; and at the same time make a decree that if that being whom he had formed, should at any time follow the dictates of that Nature, with which he was formed, he should be punished with death," he wrote on January 14 1810.
This was the era of the Mollies and the Tommies houses where people dressed on the opposite gender and they were always in fear of being found out, because it was illegal to be gay or lesbians and the houses were a relative safe space. It was kind of like the Stonewall or a speakeasy of its era.

I read the Outlander books and TV shows, in one book Diana Gabaldon writes about the Mollies and the Tommies houses.
Lavender House is a fictional molly-house in London, England. Lord John Grey had visited the House in his youth, and did not return until 1757 in the course of a murder investigation.

Located near Lincoln's Inn in Barbican Street, Lavender House is a large, wealthy-looking building, though its exterior is quite unremarkable, with no more than two marble tubs of lavender plants to distinguish it from its neighbors. Velvet curtains conceal the goings-on within, though one can hear voices through the windows. It does not face Barbican Street, but rather backs up to it; the front entrance faces a small private park.
Probably through bribes the authorities left them alone.

Here in the colonies there were trans people back in the 1700s one of the more famous cases was where future president John Quincy Adams was the defense lawyer in the case of Gray vs. Pitts. Assault and Battery. It seems like Mr. Gray fancied himself in a dress and Mr. Pitts was smitten by her and when Mr. Pitts found out she was trans he rapped Mr. Gray on the head with a cane.

I wrote about the case and other earlier trans people here.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

No, There Is No Debate

It is settled, there is no argument among medical professionals, the so called debate is from right-wing conservatives attacking us.
US debate over medical treatment for transgender youth heats up
AFP By Charlotte Plantive
February 12, 2020

Washington (AFP) - A simmering debate is underway in the United States over the health of transgender youth, who now face the prospect of being barred from receiving hormonal or surgical treatment in a number of states, to the dismay of their families and the medical community.

South Dakota led the way late last month when the lower house of the state legislature approved a bill that set prison terms of up to a year for any doctor who provided such treatments to youths under the age of 16.

Fred Deutsch, the measure's Republican sponsor, described it as "a bill to prevent sterilization and other medical harms against children who feel trapped in their own body."
And as every trans person knows that "a bill to prevent sterilization” is pure bull s**t!

Mr.  Deutsch is playing on the people unfamiliarity with the treatment for trans children to demonize the healthcare givers.
"There's clearly a trend attacking trans youth across the country. We hope that South Dakota's defeat of this legislation will put a stop to that," said Susan Williams, the mother of a transgender child. Williams founded an organization called The Transformation Project to help parents faced with the issue.

"What's at stake is nothing less than the ability of our kids to live free from discrimination, to get the medical care they need, and to thrive," she told AFP.

In another attack on trans rights happened right here in Hartford yesterday on the steps of the Federal building.
ADF sues Connecticut for letting trans girls compete in high school sports
The Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit in federal court against the Connecticut Association of Schools over its trans-inclusive policy toward student athletes.
By Dawn Ennis
February 12, 2020

Holding up signs calling for “Fair Play” and to “Protect Women’s Sports,” a group of smiling moms, dads and grandparents joined three high school girls on the steps of Connecticut’s capitol Wednesday. They beamed with confidence and determination as they braced against a wintry wind and 40-degree temperatures, to announce to the gathered news media that they have accepted the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom. It’s an out of state hate group of religious zealots and lawyers who oppose LGBT rights, representing the girls and their mothers in hopes of legalizing discrimination against transgender girls.

The ADF’s goal is to stop two trans girls of color — who they repeatedly misgendered by incorrectly labeling them as “males,” “boys” and “biological males” — from competing against these girls who are not transgender. The correct term for these girls is “cis,” or “cisgender,” meaning “not transgender.”

The ADF’s weapon in this fight is a new federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Connecticut Association of Schools, which has a longstanding policy through the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference that is transgender-inclusive.
Now get a load of this…
The three cisgender girls represented by the ADF, Selina Soule, Alanna Smith and Chelsea Mitchell, all claim to have been beaten by so-called “biological males.” But Outsports contributor Karleigh Webb disputed two of those claims, providing proof from state competition websites that last year, Mitchell beat all the girls competing in a 100 yard dash, including two trans athletes. Webb also noted Smith won the 400m at the CIAC Open State Championship meet against trans athletes.
Did you get it? They claim the trans girls have an unfair advantage over cisgender girls but the cisgender girls are winning! So how can they have an advantage?

Speaking of trans children…
Opinion: Dwyane Wade changes lives with support of transgender daughter
USA Today
By Nancy Armour
February 12, 2020

Considerable as Dwyane Wade’s athletic achievements are – three NBA titles, an Olympic gold medal, too many scoring records to mention – they pale in comparison to what he did with just a few simple words.

In letting the world know that he and wife Gabrielle Union love, and more importantly, unconditionally support their 12-year-old daughter Zaya, who is transgender, the NBA superstar will make the lives of other kids like her more bearable. He’ll likely even save some of their lives.

This is not hyperbole, or giving an athlete extra credit for something small. While acceptance of homosexuality has grown at almost lightning speed in the past five years, the transgender community, its kids in particular, remains extremely vulnerable.
Sports has always been the prism through which we view society, our views shaped by what we see on our playing fields and in our athletes. When Wade looks at and talks about his daughter, a transgender child, what we see is love.
However, some find creating hate more important than love.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

We Cannot Fall Into This Trap

We hear from time to time that researcher have found the cause of us being trans and just recently another study has claimed that they found the cause.
The Use of Whole Exome Sequencing in a Cohort of Transgender Individuals to Identify Rare Genetic Variants
By J. Graham Theisen, Viji Sundaram, Mary S. Filchak, Lynn P. Chorich, Megan E. Sullivan, James Knight, Hyung-Goo Kim & Lawrence C. Layman
Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 20099 (2019)

Approximately 0.5–1.4% of natal males and 0.2–0.3% of natal females meet DSM-5 criteria for gender dysphoria, with many of these individuals self-describing as transgender men or women. Despite recent improvements both in social acceptance of transgender individuals as well as access to gender affirming therapy, progress in both areas has been hampered by poor understanding of the etiology of gender dysphoria. Prior studies have suggested a genetic contribution to gender dysphoria, but previously proposed candidate genes have not yet been verified in follow-up investigation. In this study, we expand on the topic of gender identity genomics by identifying rare variants in genes associated with sexually dimorphic brain development and exploring how they could contribute to gender dysphoria…
Limitations of this studyA primary limitation of this study was that it included only 30 subjects, though this does constitute a larger sample size than the majority of prior studies utilizing WES to study gender dysphoria. It is for that reason that we consider the above findings to be preliminary in nature.
A Newsweek article helps put this in to perspective.
Scientists have shed new light on why people may have gender dysphoria—a condition experienced by some transgender people—by identifying "rare" gene variants linked with brain development.

By studying the DNA of 30 transgender men and women who had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, they found what they described as 21 "rare" variants in 19 genes, in pathways in the brain associated with the sex hormone estrogen.
"Many transgender individuals recount knowing, as early as 5-years-old, that their internal sense of gender and their external sex did not match," Theisen explained.

"Because of this, we thought that there was almost certainly a biologic component to gender identity."

The authors stressed in the study that they were not looking for a so-called "transgender gene," which might wrongly suggest that those with this gender identity are ill in some way.
Okay there might, just might be a link there but as the authors of the study say this is only with 30 subjects which leads a lot to be desired.

We cannot let us fall in to the trap that there is only one way a person can be trans, something as complex as gender dysphoria probably has more than one cause and they may be interdependent. For example maybe you need this genetic contribution and something in your childhood to trigger it. Or there could be other causes and not just one cause, for example the mother might have taken DES during pregnancy as some research has shown as a possible causation.

We cannot allow healthcare providers or insurance companies to say “Well you can’t be trans because you do not have this genetic condition.”

Neon Gods

I am down in the dumps, three weeks of drab, dreary, drizzly days have taken the toll on me and then I read these headline and I sink deeper into my gloom.

Headline like these…

He doesn’t care about anything except himself… if there is a buck to be made damn the environment, be damned those needing food assistance, and he doesn’t care about laws. He is an evil person.

I see all these right-wing “Evangelical Christians” worshiping him as a god. At the National Prayer service he makes a mockery of it and turns in to an attack on his “enemies” hit list. While the “Evangelical Christians” cheer him on.

I watched clips of him at his rallies and it reminds me of Hitler the way the crowds worship him.

He makes fun of the disabled… and his supporters cheer him on.

His extramarital affairs and the young girls he drools over… the cult ignores it.

The profanity laced speeches the news media cuts out and only lets their viewers see the sanitized version.

The extortion of foreign governments his party bends over backward in fear of his wrath.

The Republicans now support the Russian oligarchy as a friend.

And then I see the polls… 49% of the voters polled support him… their neon god.

I look forward to spring when I can shake off gloom and doom.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

I’m Not A Fan Of Equality Indexes

You’ve seen them… the list ranking businesses and municipalities on how they treat LGBTQ employees. Well a company that got a 100% on the HRC CEI just created an ad that supports trans people.
Starbucks launches transgender charity campaign
The Christian Post
By Anugrah Kumar
February10, 2020

Starbucks has started a new advertising campaign, #whatsyourname, in the United Kingdom in partnership with Mermaids, a nonprofit group that supports young trans-identifying people and their families, the coffee chain has announced.

Starbucks' #whatsyourname campaign "celebrates" the company’s signature practice of taking a customer’s name, writing it on a cup and calling it out, by extending it to "transgender and gender diverse people," the American coffee chain says in a statement.

It’s to celebrate “the significance it can have for some transgender and gender diverse people as they use their new name in public.” It’s “a symbol of our warm welcome. It is part of the Starbucks Experience and creates a moment of connection between our baristas and customers," the company adds.

Well why am I down on Equality Indexes?

Because management might be behind LGBTQ issues but what about the floor level supervisors? What about the other employees?
Despite the heartwarming ad, transgender Starbucks employees say they face discrimination
Company software deadnames them, co-workers out and misgender them, and the insurance doesn't cover transition-related surgeries.
LGBTQ Nation
By Daniel Villarreal
February 10, 2020

Despite the touching new Starbucks ad about a trans teen changing his name, trans employees of the international coffee chain said that they’ve encountered troubles with company software deadnaming them, co-workers outing and misgendering them, and the employee insurance not covering transition-related surgeries, even with the company’s trans-inclusive workplace policies.

Tucker Jace Webb — a transgender employee from Denton, Texas — said the company refused to update his name in their software unless he underwent a legal name change (something which can be costly and time-consuming).

He said a high-ranking employee also outed him as trans to co-workers even though he asked them in his interview to keep it private.
Two other transgender employees — Elaine Cao and Jamison Schwartz — said that the company’s insurance refused to cover their bottom- and top-surgeries, respectively. Cao said a supervisor angrily chastised her after she reported him to corporate for deliberately misgendering her.

Although her supervisor later quit, such retaliation makes it hard for trans employees to feel safe at work after demanding the respect they’re guaranteed by workplace policies.
I know someone who worked for an international company based here in the U.S. that has a 100 rating but HR would not stop the harassment she got from  her boss.

We see the same thing in homeless shelters we train them over and over again but trans people still face  harassment from the staff and residents.

If you are going to have an Equality Indexes they just can’t have a form for the corporate lawyers to fill out, they need to talk to the employees. They need to make sure the policies are enforced. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Since Last Night Was Oscar Night…

I think it is timely that we have a discussion on trans actors.

I think there is a lot of great trans actresses/actors out there looking for work and not even getting a chance to audition for parts.
The Trans Actors Challenging Outmoded Ideas of Masculinity
Despite years of progress, trans male representation in film and television has remained all but nonexistent. Now, there’s a new group of rising stars.
New York Times Style Magazine
By David Ebershoff
February 4, 2020

1. First Time I Saw Me
Last August, at a premiere party at the NeueHouse on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, the actor Brian Michael Smith was biting into a slider when he turned around and there was Oprah Winfrey. Several years before, as a black transgender man struggling to break into Hollywood, Smith saw no obvious trajectory to a meaningful career. Even a college acting teacher said no one would cast him. “I saw zero representation of transmasculinity,” he says, using an umbrella term that means different things to different people but often describes trans men and nonbinary people who identify more with masculinity. “It was very isolating to grow up and have these dreams. I didn’t see how I was going to be able to do it.”

This is how dreams are murdered, but instead of succumbing, Smith told himself “to Oprah this situation” — meaning create his own path. And so he did. He now plays a trio of distinct trans characters on TV: Toine, the gentle cop on OWN’s “Queen Sugar,” whose 2017 coming-out episode coincided with Smith’s public coming out; Pierce, a political strategist on Showtime’s sequel to “The L Word,” which debuted in December; and a firefighter on Fox’s new “9-1-1: Lone Star.” At the premiere, Smith saw his opportunity to thank the woman whose name had become his own inspirational verb. He swallowed the slider, extended his hand — and you know what Oprah said? “I know who you are.”
But in the last year, we’ve witnessed more trans male and nonbinary actors onscreen than ever before. Even more important is what the actors and their roles represent. They are reflecting back the reality of trans male and nonbinary lives while mainstreaming long-marginalized characters and narratives. They are introducing multidimensional characters whose gender intersects with other facets of identity — race, class, sexual orientation, disability. Through their performances and social media, the actors are updating and expanding the very idea of the leading man.
When trans actors are given a chance, they excel. Just look at Laverne Cox.
In 2014, Laverne Cox appeared on Time magazine’s cover with the headline “The Transgender Tipping Point.” Since then, trans women have been working in Hollywood in increasing numbers, but that tipping point is only coming now for trans male and transmasculine actors and story lines. “We’ve been invisible,” says Nick Adams, the director of transgender representation at Glaad. He keeps an unofficial tally of trans men in film and television, dating back to a 1987 episode of “The Golden Girls.” The next entries come in 1999: an episode of the CBS series “L.A. Doctors,” about a teenager who abuses masculinizing hormones, and “Boys Don’t Cry,” about the life and murder of Brandon Teena, played by Hilary Swank. “Five years ago, the kind of roles I’m doing would have gone to cisgender actors,” says Theo Germaine, 27, of their recent parts as young trans men on Netflix’s “The Politician” and Showtime’s “Work in Progress” (Germaine identifies as nonbinary and uses both male and gender-neutral pronouns). Germaine is correct, but the reality is starker: Five years ago, these roles mostly didn’t exist. When a transmasculine character did pop up, he was often a victim, his story limited to and by trans trauma; Smith describes seeing “Boys Don’t Cry” while in high school as both affirming and terrifying.
We need to end non-trans people playing trans parts. We need to have trans people playing parts that are not trans parts, there are many parts for actresses and actors that are non-specific about gender or race.

Hollywood has a history of blocking actresses and actors from playing Asians, Blacks, and other minorities… how many Latinos actresses and actors do you see? How many Asian actresses and actors do you see in movies?

How many times have you heard that the Oscars are too white? Well the Oscars are symptoms the problem goes way back to casting and beyond.

You can use the cop-out of using “named” stars to draw the audience because there are many supporting actresses and actors that do not need to be a “named” actresses and actors.

You want diversity in the Oscars then you need diversity all the way in the process.

Web tip:
If you have problems opening an article behind a firewall try opening it in an incognito window or another trick is to delete the “nytimes” or the “washingtonpost” cookies. Go  in to “Settings” and make your way to where you can delete a specific cookie

Sunday, February 09, 2020

They Don’t Care.

In Virginia the legislature passed a historic sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) non-discrimination bill. The bill faced strong Republican opposition.
Both chambers pass Virginia Values Act to protect LGBTQ individuals
By Cayley Urenko
February 7, 2020

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — The LGBTQ community celebrated after the Virginia Values Act passed through both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly.

The Virginia Values Act, or SB 868 and HB 1663 would allow sexual orientation and gender identity to be protected when it comes to discrimination related to housing, employment, credit and public accommodations.

"As an LGBTQ Virginian, you risked being fired from your job, you risked being evicted from your housing. This legislation really does let them breathe a sigh of relief and know that they are protected," Emily Sproul, executive director of the Shenandoah LGBTQ Center, said.

Sproul said she is proud that Virginia is the first southern state to adopt the act.
"That is a huge victory in a state that has long struggled to embrace its LGBTQ citizens," Sproul said.
In this video clip from the House of Delegates, listen to the Republican legislator as he tells the reason he is against the bill and Danica Roem passionate reply.

His argument is that passage of the bill will deny “religious freedom,” the right to belittle, humiliate, harass, and discriminate trans students.

Notice the bill passed with a vote of 59 to 39 and the House of Delegates is has 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans so there were some crossover Republicans who voted for the bill.

Virginia now has a trifecta; the governorship, Senate, and the House of Delegates are all Democratic. The Democrats won control of the governorship and legislature for the first time in last year’s election in over twenty years, during that time no pro-LGBTQ legislation was introduced but many anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced to try to take away our rights.

The attack on us is nationwide and in Republican controlled legislatures.


They just don’t care what harm they do to us, they don’t listen to the medical professionals, their hatred  of us runs so deep that they don’t care if we die as long as it gets them votes.
National firestorm on horizon as states consider criminalizing transgender treatments for youths
USA Today
By Kristin Lam
February 6, 2020

A polarizing debate is happening around the nation as lawmakers in eight states have introduced bills in recent weeks seeking to restrict transition-related treatment for transgender youth.
The South Dakota House passed its version of the bill last week, which would impose a one-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of $2,000 on doctors who provide hormone replacement therapy, puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgery to children younger than 16 years old.

Chase Strangio, ACLU Deputy Director for Transgender Justice, said transgender rights advocates are geared up for a fight against HB 1057 and similar measures in Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.
So where is all this hate coming from?

Why did all these states at once decide to introduce these bills?

There are anti-trans organizations that are backing the legislation and have the ear of the Republican party and Trump’s, they have had caucuses to “educating” legislators.

In a Washington Post article they say that...
Over 200 medical professionals in the South oppose bills targeting trans youth
A group of doctors and other health workers signed an open letter opposing state bills that "violate the rights and freedoms of transgender young people."
By Nico Lang
February 6, 2020

He has framed the bill as “homegrown,” but said he consulted with conservative groups such as the Liberty Counsel and Kelsey Coalition as he was drafting it. In October, Deutsch attended the Summit for Protecting Children from Sexualization in the District hosted by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, which discussed similar efforts criminalizing transgender care in other states, he said.

A website promoting Deutsch’s bill includes videos from the Heritage Foundation and a “parent resource guide” from the Minnesota Family Council, a Christian organization aligned with the Family Research Council. The website also includes quotes from people who say they regret gender transitioning.
They think that they have found a weak-point to get a foothold in anti-LGBTQ legislation.

These bills according to the USA Today article will…
The nine bills would ban transition-related treatment for transgender minors. Many reference gender dysphoria, discomfort or distress caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and sex assigned at birth.

Medical treatment for dysphoria can include puberty blockers, which a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found reduces risks for mental health problems and suicide, which 35% of transgender youth attempt. Prepubescent minors may decide to socially transition before requesting treatment, experts said, by seeing how changing their style and name makes them feel.

Lawmakers in Kentucky and Florida have proposed making providing such care a felony. If passed, bills in Illinois, Oklahoma and South Carolina would require doctors who treat transgender youth face professional discipline, such as the suspension or revocation of their medical license. Colorado's version of the bill proposes classifying the medical treatments as both a felony and malpractice.
These bills go against established medical procedures, according to NBC News,
A sudden interruption in health care, according to transgender advocates and health experts, could precipitate physical and mental health crises among trans youth.

“Gender-affirming medical care for transgender and gender-diverse minors is life-saving,” said Dr. Alex Keuroghlian, director of both the Fenway Institute’s National LGBT Health Education Center and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Psychiatry Gender Identity Program.

Keuroghlian, a physician, said comprehensive gender-affirming medical care has been the accepted best practice for the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2018.
There is only one way to stop these attacks on our freedoms and that is to vote! And vote blue.

Be prepared to see anti-trans bills introduced here in Connecticut this legislative session, this is an election years and the Republicans are going to milk their hate for us to the hilt.