Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Kids Know.

Today’s youth know more then their elders… and that is hopeful.
Student body leaders sign letter opposing new transgender laws
Idaho State Journal
By Betsy Z. Russell Idaho Press
April 25, 2020

Student body leaders from Idaho’s four public universities have joined together to sign a letter to Gov. Brad Little strongly disapproving of the two anti-transgender bills he signed into law this spring, both of which are now being challenged in court.

HB 500 forbids transgender women or girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity; HB 509 forbids transgender Idahoans from changing their birth certificates to match their gender identity, which a federal court previously ruled Idaho must allow.

“We as student leaders and as future state leaders are disappointed with your decision to sign HB 500 and HB 509 into law,” the student leaders wrote. “The bills are unnecessary, potentially expensive, and may produce various legal repercussions. They also conflict with the general public’s support for the transgender community.”
Unlike their parents who fear those who are different from themselves, while the many children are comfortable being around trans children.

The youth are growing up with trans children, they are their classmates, they are their friends and they are their neighbors, and they support us.

And in Russia a young adult was forced to flee in order to avoid the homophobic Putin’s laws.
Russian YouTuber forced to flee her homeland for the simple crime of inviting a gay man on to her show
A YouTuber has been forced to flee the country of Russia after she invited a gay man to be in one of her videos, and subsequently being convicted of violating Russia’s “gay propaganda” law.
Pink News UK
By Lily Wakefield
April 29, 2020

25-year-old Victoria Pich has been producing entertainment videos since 2013, according to Codastory, and over that time has gained almost two million YouTube subscribers.

Wanting to cover more serious topics, in 2019 she started a series titled “Real Talk”.

It was inspired by the American YouTube channel HiHo Kids and its “Kids Meet” series which shows children meeting different kinds of people – for example someone living with HIV, a divorce lawyer or an ex-gang member – to encourage them to ask questions and develop tolerance.
But it was then she crossed Putin’s line in the sand…
One episode she produced featured a gay man, 21-year-old graphic designer Maksim Pankratov, fielding questions from children.

Pich said she was proud of the video, which quickly attracted more than a million views, and was careful that sex was never mentioned.

She added: “What did we do? We just asked a person about his life.”

However, the “Real Talk” episode featuring Pankratov was where Pich’s problems began.
But then Putin’s gang got a whiff of… gays!
 A case was opened against Pich for violating the “gay propaganda” law in Russia. President Vladimir Putin and his government banned “gay propaganda” in 2013, prohibiting the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors” and meaning that sharing information about LGBT+ people’s lives can earn a prison sentence.

But this wasn’t all. The state prosecutor’s investigative committee also accused Pich of sexual violence against children and began investigating whether she had violated Article 132 of Russia’s criminal code. The law is most often used in cases of paedophilia and child pornography.
Gee… who does that sound like? Maybe someone in power here in the states that hates LGBTQ people?

So she ran to an oasis in the west.
She began to realise that authorities were not going to back down, and realised she had only one option. She booked a one-way ticket to America.

Now living in California, and only just beginning to learn English, Pich said: “If I knew about the consequences, I never would have done this.”
She will not be eligible to vote in the fall elections but you will.

You would think that it is a slam dunk for us to vote Democratic but that is not a given, some LGBTQ people would rather vote from their pocketbook rather than their heart.
Gay Republicans praise Trump for easing the gay blood ban, but he didn’t even know about it
The Log Cabin Republicans are counting this as an LGBTQ win from Donald Trump, even though he didn't do it.
LGBTQ Nation
By Bil Browning
April 7, 2020

After the FDA announced they would loosen the restrictions for blood donation by men who have had sex with another man, a group for LGBTQ Republicans rushed out a statement thanking Donald Trump for his “leadership” and “quick thinking” during the coronavirus pandemic.

One problem: Trump had no idea the government was making the change. “I didn’t know anything about that,” he said.

The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) issued a press release that obsequiously praised Trump while blaming former President Barack Obama’s administration for the gay blood ban, which was first put in place in 1983. The ban was first loosened under Obama in 2015, from a lifetime ban on blood donation from men who have sex with men to one year since the last time a man has had sex with another man.
As usual the Republicans twist the facts.

And loosening the rules for LGBTQ people to  donate was just throwing a dog a bone and it was done out of necessity with the drop in blood donors. A gay couple that I know have been together for thirty years and they married as soon as it was legal but when they went to give blood they were asked when was the last time they had sex and was denied to be able to donate their since they had sex within the six month limit (this was before the limit was dropped to 3 months). A straight couple could have had sex the night before and still give blood.

The FDA policy is nothing but bigoted and discriminatory, the policy should be based on risk assessment like the other nations are doing and not based upon bigotry. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

This Is Not A Good Month For Us.

Sadly the numbers of murders of trans women increased dramatically. Down in Puerto Rico three trans women have been murdered and two of the women’s bodies were horribly mutilated.
Another transgender woman killed in Puerto Rico — the third in 8 days
By Muri Assunção New York Daily News
April 28, 2020

The transgender and gender non-conforming community in Puerto Rico is mourning the death of another murder victim — the third in just over one week.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 31-year-old Penélope Díaz Ramírez was killed April 13 at the Bayamon correctional complex. Her death, which was reported Monday, took place just eight days after two other women were found dead inside a charred Hyundai Elantra on April 21 in the city of Humacao.

“Never in my career have I seen so many reports of deaths of our transgender and gender non-conforming community in such a short time in one location,” Tori Cooper, HRC director of community engagement for the transgender justice initiative, said in a statement.

Five of the nine U.S. murders of transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020 have occurred in Puerto Rico, which to local LGBTQ activist Pedro Julio Serrano, constitutes “without a doubt an epidemic” of anti-LGBTQ violence.
What is going on down there?

Is it a group of people who are attacking us?

Is it an individual who is doing all the murders?

Or are they just random killings?

Time reported that,
The killings come a month after a 19-year-old transsexual man was fatally shot in the western town of Moca and two months after the fatal shooting of Alexa Negrón Luciano, which Puerto Rico’s governor said was likely a hate crime. The victim’s body was found in the northern town of Toa Baja after a video was made public in which at least two men are heard mocking and threatening a person believed to be the victim followed by gunfire.
Overall, eight people from the LGBTQ community have been killed in Puerto Rico in the past 15 months, Serrano said. None of the cases have been solved.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

It Is Hurting Our Young.

All of these bills are hurting our young children, we are the low hanging fruit that the conservatives are attacking.
Anti-transgender legislation hurts children: Emilia Lombardi
April 26, 2020

House Bill 513, the anti-transgender bill being introduced into the Ohio Legislature, is part of larger action around the country to marginalize transgender people.

The bill will deny evidence-based care for anyone younger than 18 and punish healthcare providers who offer it with the loss of their license and imprisonment for up to five years.

The care being provided to transgender and nonconforming youth has a long history of scientific evidence of its effectiveness, is supported by many mainstream medical organizations and is being misrepresented by the bill and its supporters.
HB 513 and related bills do not protect children or adolescents, but instead put them in harm’s way. Such legislation represents another attempt to legislate transgender people out of existence.

Numerous studies have found transgender and gender-nonconforming youth to be at a great risk for depression, isolation and even suicide. These outcomes are due to the discrimination and prejudice they experience from others and, too often, their own family members.
The Republicans, lets face it only Republicans who are introducing these bills, they don’t care if these bill cause harm and increase suicides among trans youth all they care about are votes and donations.

And it is not only here in the U.S. that the conservatives are attacking us but it is global.
Health minister rejects call for a ‘national inquiry’ into transgender healthcare despite the best efforts of the fierce anti-trans lobby
Australian health minister Greg Hunt has rejected calls from the anti-trans lobby for a national inquiry into healthcare for transgender children.
Pink News UK
By Vic Parsons
April 21, 2020

The senior government MP said that a national inquiry could further harm an already vulnerable group, and instead said that he would be looking at ways of improving existing healthcare for trans kids in Australia.

“It is important we have a nationally consistent standard of care that is evidence-based and with appropriate safeguards to protect the interests of the patient,” Hunt told The Sunday Age.

“In recognition of the risks of further harm to young people, the government does not intend to establish a national inquiry on this matter.”
Not only did he stand up to the conservatives but he also said…
Hunt, who received expert advice from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) last month about the clinical treatment of children with gender dysphoria, added that he would now look into establishing a national framework for gender services and will potentially be funding more scientific research into gender dysphoria.
For those who say that they vote conservative because they want smaller government they are the enablers. The are just as bad as those who hate us.

Just last week the Republicans announced,
Trump team moves to scrap protections for LGBTQ patients
The health department's top civil rights official also defended the administration's approach to vulnerable populations.
By Dan Diamond
April 24, 2020

The Trump administration is moving to scrap an Obama-era policy that protected LGBTQ patients from discrimination, alarming health experts who warn that the regulatory rollback could harm vulnerable people during a pandemic.

The health department is close to finalizing its long-developing rewrite of Obamacare’s Section 1557 provision, which barred health care discrimination based on sex and gender identity. The administration’s final rule on Thursday was circulated at DOJ, a step toward publicly releasing the regulation in the coming days, said two people with knowledge of the pending rule. The White House on Friday morning also updated a regulatory dashboard to indicate that the rule was under review. Advocates fear that it would allow hospitals and health workers to more easily discriminate against patients based on their gender or sexual orientation.
Those who vote Republican are guilty of stripping health insurance from us in the middle of this pandemic. They are guilty of trying to make us criminals when we use a bathroom. They are guilty of the deaths of trans children when they are denied trans youth from transitioning.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Why Do They Hate Us?

It is something that I just don’t understand, what motivates their hate for us?

Is it just because we are different from them?

Is it because they think that it will get them votes in an election?

But whatever it is, it is spreading just like a virus.
EDITORIAL: Hungarian transgender legislation is dehumanizing
Similar bills could make their way to America
By The Daily Targum*
April 27, 2020

In headlines across the globe the words “coronavirus” or “pandemic" dominate, so naturally, news unrelated to the crisis at hand slips under the radar. One example of this is Hungary, which, outside of forming an increasingly autocratic government, is apparently ready to marginalize its transgender people further.

“Hungary’s (R)ightwing government looks likely to push through legislation that will end the legal recognition of trans people by defining gender as ’biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes’ and thus making it impossible for people to legally change their gender,” according to The Guardian.

This is, obviously, devastating for the people of Hungary. There are many forms that discrimination against trans people can take, and they are all vile and reprehensible, but outlawing their very status of legitimacy is among the worst possible acts — truly, a government-sponsored hate crime — used to alienate them.
We are such a small community roughly 0.5 percent of the population is trans, how can we be a threat to society? And it comes back to the question of “Why” do they hate us. We just want to live our lives, is that so bad that they are passing laws against us?
America is a big place, occupied by different states with different social values. All it takes is one state — as we have seen with the Texas abortion debacle — to define gender in the discriminatory terms that Hungary has opted to do for us all to be vulnerable. Rightfully, any law of that sort would be challenged, likely to the upper echelon that is the Supreme Court, at which point a conservative bench would hold the fate of trans Americans in their judicial grip.

Trans people, a community which may include your friends, family, romantic partner or otherwise, will be essentially deemed second class citizens under the umbrella of law. They would be effectively erased.
I just don’t understand. The Republicans...

They hate trans people, gays, Bi’s, and Lesbians.

They hate Jews and Muslims.

They hate immigrants.

They are a party of hate!

When you stop and think what the Republicans stand for it is all negative. If you heard what Senate Majority leader McConnell said about bailing out states it was hateful. When you see protests what does the right wing protests look like? In one photograph from Wisconsin a protester has his finger on the trigger guard… Why?

What is the mindset behind occupying a state capitol with assault weapons, Confederate and Nazi flags? The only thing that comes to mind is that they want to threaten and intimidate the legislators.
This goes for all marginalized groups, too. Just because you are not trans, does not mean this does not affect you. Any discrimination must be taken as an absolutely personal offense, if not out of empathy, then out of the realization that it will only be so long until the government comes for you or someone you love next. There is no excuse not to vehemently oppose discriminatory actions, and refusing to stand up against them, even in small ways, is an act of bystanding cowardice.
And their hate is spreading around the world.

*Targum is the campus newspaper of Rutgers University.

Update: Noon

I just came across this article about Trump’s press secretary…
Trump’s new press secretary believes trans bathrooms use is a threat to children
Gay Star News
By Tris Reid-Smith
April 9, 2020

Donald Trump’s new press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has a long track record speaking against the LGBT+ community.

Trump’s administration named McEnany as its new White House press secretary this week.

She is the fourth press secretary in less than three years and three months since he started his presidency. She follows Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Stephanie Grisham in the role.

Now LGBT+ US organization GLAAD has analysed her track record on LGBT+ issues. They found McEnany has regularly argued in the media against LGBT+ equality.

Trans bathroom use would cause ‘voyeurism’
In particular, they found McEnany opposed transgender people’s right to use the bathroom that matches their gender.
She pushes the stupid myth that somehow rapists will buy women’s clothes to sneak in a women’s bathroom instead of just walking right in.
She said: ‘I do believe there is a viable argument, not that transgender individuals pose any harm, but that this could be utilized by some men, for instance, to go into female bathrooms, it’s happened at Target, which does have the same policy in place.
Notice how this argument goes… it is not us she worries about but rather someone nefarious using the laws to go into a women’s bathroom, something that has never happened in all the years since the trans non-discrimination was passed in 1975.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

U.K. Taking Their Clue From U.S.

The British conservatives are copying the Republicans in trying to demonize us.
UK launches unprecedented attack on trans rights, will ban transition before 18
Statement appears to threaten trans bathroom access.
Gay Star News
By Tris Reid-Smith
23 APR 2020

Britain’s new Equality Minister Liz Truss has announced a major government policy change on trans rights, banning transition before the age of 18.

Her statement may also be the start of an attack on trans people being able to use the right bathrooms and changing rooms.

Truss made the statement to the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Select Committee. Her comments came as the UK Parliament got back to work yesterday with MPs speaking online from their homes.

In it, she said the government would finally be updating the Gender Recognition Act this summer.

The current law dates from 2004. And the Conservative government has been promising to update it for several years. They ran an extensive public consultation in 2018. But further progress stalled in 2019 as the UK parliament imploded over Brexit.

Trans people initially believed the act would make it easier to change gender. But since it went up for debate, new anti-trans voices have emerged in UK media and social media.
We are facing a plague of right wing pundits backed by the religious right…
Meanwhile trans writer Jane Fae: ‘I am very concerned by the way in which certain fringe ministers and politicians are playing with anti-trans rhetoric because I suspect it wins them some brownie points on the wilder reaches of the Christian right.
The Christian right are spreading their hate to Poland, and former Russian block countries.

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

We are becoming the scapegoat for all of the woes of the world to distract us from the oligarchies stripping the people from their wealth.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Saturday 9: All Right

Sam’s Saturday 9: All Right (1983)

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

Hey, I’m going to be home all day! Wow a first in a long time

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

1) This song has an optimistic message about love: "It gets tough sometimes, but you can give it one more try ..." Do you tend to take an optimistic look at life?
I am a pessimist. My brother says that I inherited the worry gene from our mother.

2) In this song, Christopher Cross sings, "Time and time again I see people so unsure like me ..." Tell us about a recent time when your confidence could have used a boost.
Thursday… I don’t want to go into details.

3) The Doobie Bros.' Michael McDonald plays on this record. Do you have a favorite Doobie Bros. Song?
Hmm… just one?
"Listen to the Music"
"Jesus Is Just Alright"
"Long Train Runnin'"
"China Grove"
"Black Water"
"Takin' It to the Streets"
"It Keeps You Runnin'"

4) Though no longer making hits, Christopher Cross still has loyal fans who attend his concerts. Time permitting, he spends time after each show signing autographs. Have you ever asked a celebrity for his/her autograph?

5) Christopher Cross' dad was an Army doctor stationed at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. With all the museums and monuments, our nation's capital could be a great place for a kid to grow up ... except sometimes we take the advantages of our hometown for granted. Tell us about a nearby museum, park, theater, etc., you'll visit again when this period of crisis is over and it's agreed that it's safe to do so.
Okay, I have a little museum a couple of miles from me. I never knew that it existed until art appreciation class in college when the professor talked Thomas Hart Benton collection at the New Britain Museum of American Art. Hun? I never even heard of it and it was only a couple of miles away.  I go walking right by it in Walnut Hill Park and never even knew what it was. Then about twenty years ago I went to it with some friends and I found out that not only do they have the best Benton collection but also they have one of the best Hudson School paintings in the nation. Wow!
I found out that the library has free passes.

6) In 1983, when "All Right" was popular, Flashdance was a hit in movie theaters and on the radio. What's the most recent movie you watched? Most recent song you heard on the radio?
I don’t know, I usually listen to music while I am reading or driving.

7) Also in 1983, America West Airlines took off, flying between Las Vegas and Phoenix. They went nationwide in 2005 after they merged with US Airways. In 2013, they merged again, this time with American Airlines. Do you collect miles in an airline loyalty program?
Ha! The last time I flew on a commercial airline was 1999.
Now if you are talking about the last time I flew, it was on a Gulfstream IV. You can read about it here in my first post on this blog.

8) Super Mario Bros. debuted in 1983. Can you name gaming's most famous siblings?
I am not a gamer.

9) Random question -- Under hypnosis, you discover you lived three past lives. In the first, you were wealthy beyond your wildest imaginings, thanks to a loveless marriage. In the second, you were a star on the roller derby circuit who had earned the nickname "Smasher." In the third, you were a brilliant mathematician who worked your way through school as an exotic dancer. Which of these would you find most shocking?
The first one, marrying for money.
I did try hypnosis once to lose weight… I had the best sleep that I ever had. After the session she give you a tape of the session, in the background you can hear me snoring away.

Friday, April 24, 2020

This Is Horrible!

During this time of the plague to do this is unconscionable to cut health care for LGBTQ people.

To quote Edward R. Murrow, “Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?”
Trump team moves to scrap protections for LGBTQ patients
The health department's top civil rights official also defended the administration's approach to vulnerable populations.
By Dan Diamond
April 24, 2020

The Trump administration is moving to scrap an Obama-era policy that protected LGBTQ patients from discrimination, alarming health experts who warn that the regulatory rollback could harm vulnerable people during a pandemic.

The health department is close to finalizing its long-developing rewrite of Obamacare’s Section 1557 provision, which barred health care discrimination based on sex and gender identity. The administration’s final rule on Thursday was circulated at the Justice Department, a step toward publicly releasing the regulation in the coming days, said two people with knowledge of the pending rule. The White House on Friday morning also updated a regulatory dashboard to indicate that the rule was under review. Advocates fear that it would allow hospitals and health workers to more easily discriminate against patients based on their gender or sexual orientation.
"If the final rule is anything like the proposed rule, HHS is adopting changes that would be harmful in the best of times but that are especially cruel in the midst of a global pandemic that is disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities and exacerbating disparities,” said Katie Keith, a lawyer and Georgetown professor who’s tracked the rule.
In the middle of this pandemic the Trump administration wants to kill us off.

There is another aspect to this.

Under the law the public comments must be made public, but as far as I can tell they have not made the numbers of comments or any data about the comments, or made any of the comments public. The only information that I could find was that the number of public comments.

The Trump administration has a history of ignoring laws he doesn’t like, and the Republican Senate backs him up in disregarding the law.

Our Health

Let’s face some of us are not in the best of health for many reasons and most of them beyond our control. I know that I need more exercise and to bring my weight down.
Transgender adults with underlying health conditions at risk for COVID-19
Windy City Times
Press Release - Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law
April 22, 2020

An estimated 319,800 U.S. adults who identify as transgender have one or more medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or HIV, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) has indicated that adults with underlying medical conditions and older adults are at high risk for COVID-19. Approximately 217,000 transgender adults are age 65 and older.

Using data from the U.S. Transgender Population Health Survey, researchers examined characteristics that may increase vulnerability to COVID-19 for the 1.4 million adults in the U.S. who identify as transgender.
I have a triple threat, over 65, and diabetic.

— 319,800 transgender adults have one or more of the following conditions:
— — 208,500 have asthma
— — 81,100 have diabetes
— — 72,700 have heart disease
— — 74,800 are living with HIV
— Approximately 137,600 transgender adults in the U.S. do not have health insurance.
450,400 transgender adults have not gone to a doctor in the past year because they could not afford it.
— An estimated 587,100 transgender adults have attempted suicide at some point in their lives.
Economic vulnerabilities
— Before the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 667,100 transgender adults lived below 200% of the poverty line.
— An estimated 139,700 transgender adults were unemployed before the pandemic began.
— Prior to the pandemic, 377,000 transgender adults reported experiencing homelessness in the past year.

Also in this troubling times, many of us have lost our health insurance and it is hard for some of us to get our hormones, this has forced us to have made some bad decisions.
People are sharing hormones on Google Docs and turning to 'grey market' pharmacies to get gender-affirming care during the pandemic
By Canela López
April 17, 2020

  • Transgender and nonbinary people are turning to friends, community Facebook pages, and "grey market" pharmacies to find hormones during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The spread of the virus means many people have lost income, health insurance, or easy access to their doctor's office, all of which has made it more difficult for some to access hormone-replacement therapy.
  • HRT is a treatment commonly used for treating gender dysphoria — when a person feels as if their body doesn't match their gender identity.
  • While the pandemic has highlighted the practice, hormone sharing isn't new. Many transgender and nonbinary people have long lacked access to gender-affirming care because of systemic factors such as classism, racism, and medical transphobia.
The coronavirus has spurred the creation of hormone-sharing lists
Since the lockdowns came into effect across the US, mutual-aid networks for queer and transgender people have popped up, including grocery delivery and resources for people with lost incomes.
Some have turned to grey-market pharmacies where people can buy hormones
Estradiol and spironolactone, HRT medications typically used by transgender and nonbinary people assigned male at birth, can legally be sold online.

While they can be found on list-shares, people also can buy them online via a network of grey-market pharmacies, shipping medication that is not illegal to sell, but medical professionals would not recommend taking it without a doctor's approval.
I have to confess, when I first started hormones in 2004 my insurance would not cover my hormones, so I turned to online pharmacy from an overseas company, but I was getting monitored every three months by my endo.
These unofficial channels have existed for years to help trans and nonbinary people get around red tape
The pandemic has made hormone and needle sharing more visible, but it isn't new.

Access to gender-affirming care — whether it's surgery or access to medication — has never been an easy proposition for transgender and nonbinary people.

Medical insurance companies refused to cover gender-affirming care for decades and many primary-care physicians were unwilling to provide HRT, a medication also prescribed for menopause, to transgender and nonbinary patients because medical guidelines had not changed to include them.
For me, Connecticut had a Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity (CHRO) had a declaratory ruling that we were covered under existing laws, however, my employer was covered ERISA and exempt from state law.

This brings me to the next topic..

Yesterday I got an email from a Harvard law student that the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition (CTAC) worked with on an amicus curiae brief, the email in part reads…
I am happy to share that we just received a copy of the declaratory ruling voted on and adopted at last week’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities meeting.  As you may recall, the Commission considered three questions:

1. Does the State of Connecticut, or a municipality as defined under state law, engage in a discriminatory practice in violation of statutes enforced by the Commission – including but not limited to Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 46a-60, 46a-71, or 46a-64 – by offering and administering insurance plans that categorically deny certain treatments for gender dysphoria?

2. Does the State of Connecticut, or a municipality as defined under state law, engage in a discriminatory practice in violation of statutes enforced by the Commission by offering and administering an insurance plan that considers certain procedures medically necessary to treat certain conditions, but considers the same procedures cosmetic for gender dysphoria?

3. Does an insurer that sells health insurance plans pursuant to (1) and/or (2) engage in a discriminatory practice in violation of statutes enforced by the Commission?

The Commissioned answered “yes” to all three questions, and clearly considered the arguments and points raised in CTAC’s brief.

We would love to follow up with you about the decision, especially in regard to the Commission’s answer to Question 3 (opting to approach the question of insurers being places of public accommodation with a fact-bound analysis instead of a categorical conclusion).  There might be some opportunity for further advocacy here.

What it boils down to is that the insurance companies must cover all of our medical needs is they cover it for cis gender people. No more… “That’s cosmetic” co-outs.

NOTE: This ruling does not cover Medicare or companies that have health insurance under ERISA!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

In The Spotlight

When we are in the spotlight it sometimes causes the swamp things to crawl out from the swamp.
#Respect4Rachel circulates social media for Dr. Rachel Levine
By Jen Rehill and Jim Deegan
April 17, 2020

In many ways, Dr. Rachel Levine [Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary] has become the face of the COVID-19 crisis in Pennsylvania.

The health secretary is the state’s top doctor and has become a fixture with daily news briefings, soundbites on TV and posts across social media. But as WLVR’s Jen Rehill reports, that’s where things have taken an ugly turn.

Secretary Levine is one of only a few openly transgender government officials in the US. These days she’s holding news conferences six days a week – answering reporter questions and hammering home safety messages.

“My mask protects you, and your mask protects me.”
But not everyone likes her message or rather the messenger.
The response to her videos on social media has included hateful and bigoted comments. 
Her friends and supporters have come out to call for the LGBTQ+ community to speak up for her and have created a hashtag – “#respect4rachel”

I came across this Netflix’s documentary on two baseball players who were on the real life “League of Their Own” and they were lesbian lovers.
Netflix reveals a remarkable untold love story in the trailer for A Secret Love
AV Club
By Britt Hayes
April 22, 2020

A League Of Their Own is one of the greatest sports movies of all time, but hiding within the true story that inspired that film is another, equally remarkable one: A romantic relationship between two women that remained secret for over six decades. That story is the subject of the new Netflix documentary A Secret Love, which debuts on April 29. Directed by Chris Bolan (Billions), executive produced by Jason Blum, and produced by Ryan Murphy, A Secret Love explores the lives of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, whose relationship was kept hidden—even from their loved ones—until very recently. This trailer is basically daring you not to cry (and Tom Hanks would like to remind you that there is no crying in baseball)
I think that I might breakdown and watch it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Rule #1: Never Out Someone

I learned that rule when I first came out, that you never out someone without their permission.
Trans Instagrammer leads campaign to hunt down & out gay men. There has already been one suicide.
"You... you're just little Moroccan f****ts. No one cares about you."
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
April 20, 2020

A transgender Instagram influencer outed gay men in Morocco, making them targets for discrimination, family alienation, and violence. One of the men she outed just died by suicide.

But she’s unapologetic. “I feel bad for those f****ts but I don’t care,” she said.

Naoufal Moussa is a Moroccan transgender woman who lives in Turkey and who goes by “Sofia Talouni” online, posting videos for her over 600,000 followers.
Outing someone in a Muslim country is a death sentence.
In places like Morocco, apps like Planet Romeo do far more than provide the occasional hook-up – they can be gay and bi men’s only connection to other queer people. Both male and female homosexuality is illegal in the majority Muslim nation and can be punished with up to three years in prison.
Under no circumstances should we out a person, it is wrong on so many levels; it is a violation of their privacy and trust, it puts them in danger not only in a Muslim country but in every country, you could cause them to lose their job, you could cause them to be rejected by their family, and they could end up homeless or worst dead.
Moussa’s anti-gay campaign has already led to death. Last Friday, journalist Hicham Tahir reported on Twitter that a friend of a friend, a 21-year-old who was studying in France and who went back to his family’s home in Rabat for confinement, found his pictures from an app being shared on Facebook by people he grew up with. Le Desk confirmed the story with an activist in Morocco.
Nothing justifies outing someone!
As for why a transgender woman would lead a campaign to out gay men,
Moroccan photographer Hamza Makhchoune told Pink News that Moussa was herself rejected by her family, which left her with “a dark stone in her heart.”
Hatred and fear begets more hatred and fear.

This trans person violated the Prime Directive, never out someone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Quit Picking On Me!

Well stop discriminating against us!

Back in the news again Masterpiece Cakeshop has been sued for discrimination.
Masterpiece Cakeshop owner calls for second lawsuit from transgender woman to be dismissed
The Hill
By Marina Pitofsky
April 15, 2020

Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, the baker involved in a Supreme Court case regarding his alleged refusal to design a wedding cake for a gay couple, has asked for a court judge to dismiss another case brought against him, this time by a transgender woman.

In a hearing Thursday, Phillips's attorneys requested that the Denver court dismiss a lawsuit brought to the District Court for the City and County of Denver by Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman who was allegedly denied service after she tried to order a pink and blue cake to celebrate both her birthday and transition, NBC News reported.

This is the second lawsuit that has been brought to court regarding the incident by Scardina.
"At some point, your honor, this must stop," he said, as the legal website Courthouse News reported. "Mr. Phillips just wants to get back to his life and make cakes."
You all probably remember the case, it was lauded by the conservatives as a victory to discriminate against us and fearsome defeat.

But lets look at the Supreme Court ruling. Oyez reported,
However, the Court stated that Phillips did not receive this neutral treatment, with members of the Commission showing clear and impermissible hostility toward his religious beliefs. The Court explained that commissioners' comments disparaging Phillips' beliefs and characterizing them as rhetorical were inappropriate, though these comments were not mentioned or disavowed in subsequent legal proceedings. The Court concluded that these comments cast doubt on the fairness of the Commission's consideration of Phillips' claims. The Court also pointed out that disparities between Phillips' case and those of other bakers with objections to making cakes with anti-gay messages, and who were victorious before the Commission, further reflected hostility toward the religious basis for Phillips' position.
So what does this mean?

It means that the ruling didn’t rule on “religious freedom” to discriminate but rather the court ruled that the decision by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was biased in their ruling that commission had applied in a neutral manner with regard to religion. Therefore the Supreme Court had not ruled that the  Colorado's public accommodations law violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

This means that this case will hopefully move forward.

Monday, April 20, 2020


We have always been fighting for our human rights but now a new group is saying that their rights are being infringed. They want the right to infect other people with a deadly disease.

These headlines say it all!
Michigan Protesters Defy Social Distancing Rules, Demanding End to Quarantine


Trump Advisor Compares Conservative Anti-Quarantine Protesters to Rosa Parks

The backlash against the quarantine has begun in Pennsylvania, with anti-shutdown rally Monday in Harrisburg

COVID Thursday update: Petition urges governor to lift state of emergency order, outbreak identified in Concord


And today here in Connecticut...
Protests planned as push continues to reopen the state

Lawsuit Calls Connecticut Executive Order Requiring Face Covers To Slow Spread Of Coronavirus ‘Unconstitutional’

So what stirred up the hornet’s nest?

Trump set down guidelines for opening up the country after the plague, he set certain conditions that had to be met before the “stay-at-home” order and the closing of businesses is lifted.

However, right after he said that it is up to the states to lift the bans he tweeted inflammatory tweets calling for the states to be “LIBERATE” and his rabble-rouser base answered the call. Complete with Confederate flags, Tea Party flags, and assault rifles.

Who is financing this?

Well at least in Michigan it is Betsy DeVos the Secretary of Education trough her Michigan Freedom Fund

They claim that the states do not have the right to shutdown businesses and issue “stay-at-home” orders, but that is settled law. The Supreme Court in the Jacobson v. Massachusetts case.
Jacobson v Massachusetts: It’s Not Your Great-Great-Grandfather’s Public Health Law
Am J Public Health. 2005 April; 95(4): 581–590.
By Wendy K. Mariner, JD, LLM, MPH, George J. Annas, JD, MPH, and Leonard H. Glantz, JD

Jacobson v Massachusetts, a 1905 US Supreme Court decision, raised questions about the power of state government to protect the public’s health and the Constitution’s protection of personal liberty. We examined conceptions about state power and personal liberty in Jacobson and later cases that expanded, superseded, or even ignored those ideas.

Public health and constitutional law have evolved to better protect both health and human rights. States’ sovereign power to make laws of all kinds has not changed in the past century. What has changed is the Court’s recognition of the importance of individual liberty and how it limits that power. Preserving the public’s health in the 21st century requires preserving respect for personal liberty.
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, in Jacobson v Massachusetts, the US Supreme Court upheld the Cambridge, Mass, Board of Health’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during a smallpox epidemic.2 Jacobson was one of the few Supreme Court cases before 1960 in which a citizen challenged the state’s authority to impose mandatory restrictions on personal liberty for public health purposes. What might such a case teach us today? First, it raises timeless questions about the power of state government to take specific action to protect the public’s health and the Constitution’s protection of personal liberty. What limits state power? What does constitutionally protected liberty include? Second, answers to these questions can change as scientific knowledge, social institutions, and constitutional jurisprudence progress. A comparison of answers to these questions 100 years ago and today shows how public health and constitutional law have evolved to better protect both health and human rights.
The states’ sovereign power to make laws of all kinds has not changed during the past century. What has changed is the US Supreme Court’s recognition of the importance of individual liberty and how it limits that power. Additionally, states have changed how they use their power and what they regulate as new health problems and solutions emerge. In this article, we discuss these changes by examining (1) the conceptions of state power and personal liberty discussed in Jacobson and (2) 20th-century cases that expanded, superseded, or even ignored those concepts. Finally, we speculate about how challenges to analogous public health laws would be decided today in light of the evolution of science and constitutional law.
Then in a case in the 1824 of Gibbons v. Ogden…
Constitutional powers and issues during a quarantine situation
Constitution Daily
By Scott Bomboy
March 13, 2020

In 2014, the Congressional Research Service wrote about quarantines and the federal Constitution when there were concerns about the Ebola virus. In general, the Research Service said the power to take quarantine measures is reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment. In 1824, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion in Gibbons v. Ogden drew a clear line between the federal government and the state governments when it came to regulating activities within and between states.

Marshall’s reasoning set the precedent that police powers are reserved to states for activities within their borders (with some exceptions). Those police powers include the ability to impose isolation and quarantine conditions. Marshall wrote that quarantine laws “form a portion of that immense mass of legislation which embraces everything within the territory of a State not surrendered to the General Government.”
The question now is will today’s conservative Supreme Court see it the same way?

Then with rights comes with responsibility;

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Saturday 9: I Don't Care

Sam’s Saturday 9: I Don't Care (2019)

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

I have earns to run again, so I might not be able to reply to your posts. I will approve them when I get home.

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

1) This song begins with Ed Sheeran admitting he's not enjoying the party he's at. What's something you have to do this weekend, but don't want to do?
You picked a good day to ask that question.
I am driving up and back today to look at the construction for the addition to the cottage… they found dry rot on the sill plate and rim joists.

2) Justin Bieber sings about trying to have a conversation at a party. Have you seen any of your social gatherings cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic?
All of them and now we are using Zoom. I had a meeting on Zoom yesterday and I have another one for the legislative committee that I am on.
And yes, I know of the security problems with Zoom but they have been fixed.

3) Both Ed and Justin conclude that this party -- and everything else -- is okay because they're with the ones they love. Who in your life always makes you feel comfortable and content?
My brother… he’s a saint.

4) Ed and Justin have both appeared on The Simpsons. Are you a Simpsons fan?
Nope, but I do admit that parts that are posted on Facebook are funny.

5) Speaking of animation, Ed Sheeran has said that he'd love to do a Disney soundtrack, like Elton John's Lion King. Do you have a favorite Disney movie?
I haven’t watch a Disney movie since ‘Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color” went off the air.

6) Justin Bieber is fluent in French, and Ed says he knows enough to get by. Say something to us in French.
Oui, bonjour (spell checker keeps changing it to Bourbon)

7) Justin can solve a Rubik's Cube in less than two minutes. Are you good at puzzles?
Not really, I do like jigsaw puzzles.

8) In 2019, the year this song was popular, 20 new governors took office. Tell us something about the governor of your state (or commonwealth)?
He is really making a name for himself in a good way. He is standing up to the bullying out of Washington and he seems to be on top of the virus here in Connecticut and he is working with neighboring states to control the virus.

9) Random question: Did you more recently give a compliment, or receive one?
Yes, to my Board members. They organized a Zoom panel on how the community is dealing with the plague.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Coming Out Is Personal

When and where to come is something only the individual can decide and sometimes that decision is very hard to make.
Transgender Actress Nicole Maines Gives Advice for People Nervous About Coming Out
Meet WrapWomen Next-Gen Ambassador Nicole Maines
The Wrap
By Emily Vogel
April 16, 2020

Nicole Maines is the hero we all need right now. Who am I kidding?! She is the hero we’ve ALWAYS needed.

Both on and off the screen WrapWomen Ambassador Nicole Maines is leading the fight toward justice and equality. At age 17 Nicole fought and won the Supreme Court case Doe v. Clenchy allowing students to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. At age 20, she became TV’s first transgender superhero, starring in CW’s “Supergirl.” Currently age 22, whether she’s suited up in mask and tights or in jeans and a t-shirt, Nicole’s strength as a hero has broken boundaries and inspired people of all ages to be proud of who they are.
A few years ago she was the keynote speaker at the Trans Health and Law Conference here in Connecticut and we went out to eat with her and her mother.

In the article they interviewed her…
How important do you think it is for younger audiences to have a transgender role model?
Nicole Maines: As important as it is for them to have cisgender role models. Everyone deserves to have somebody like them to look up to as they’re growing up. It lets them know that they’re going to be alright. Having a transgender role model means that being trans is not a bad thing and it is proof that it gets better.
What advice do you have for other transgender people who are maybe struggling to come out?
NM: Don’t rush yourself. I don’t ever want someone to feel like they’re wrong for choosing not to come out, or for coming out and having people not accept them. Your identity is entirely yours and you owe it to nobody. That said, if you want to come out, and you’re struggling, try with just a couple of people at a time. No need to come out to everyone all at once. And something that helped me a lot was putting feelers out there. Testing the waters, as it were. I’d kind of get a feel for how someone felt about gay rights, then trans rights. See what that person’s politics were and then decide if I thought it was safe to come out to them.
That is good advice.

When I came out I pick the person most likely to be accepting and I save the one who I thought would have the hardest time accepting me (It turned out she was the first to invite me to a family holiday dinner.). I told them one or two at a time so that they couldn’t gang up on me, so you do not want to come out at a family function because all it takes is one vocal relative to poison the family.

I also practiced coming out so that I knew what to do if different scenarios came up; if there were against my transition I knew how to handle it. I planned for the worst and hoped for the best.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

I’m Depressed

The right wing fanatics are using the virus as a distraction while everyone is focused on COVID-19 they haven’t been idle.

In Poland the conservatives and the Catholic church have continued their attacks on us.
Poland may start sending teachers to jail for turning kids gay
Supporters say sex ed classes "groom and familiarize children with homosexuality."LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
April 16, 2020

Poland is considering a bill that would throw teachers in jail for teaching sex education. The bill links pedophilia and homosexuality.

The Parliament of Poland is set to vote on the “Stop Pedophilia bill” today. It does not address sex with minors, but instead focuses on sex education in schools.
The bill’s explanation of why sex education is bad brings up homosexuality multiple times, including a statement that says sex ed teachers “groom and familiarize children with homosexuality.”
Out magazine wrote…
The bills come against a backdrop of increasing hostility and attacks against LGBTQ+ and women’s rights in the former Soviet satellite. Both the “Stop Pedophilia” and “Stop Abortion” bills were the result of petitions signed by 250,000 Polish citizens. A third of the country has declared itself as “LGBTQ-Free” and a Catholic Archbishop claimed his country was afflicted by a “rainbow plague.” In February a Polish judge refused to stop a homophobic campaign by the ultra-conservative NGO Fundacja Pro in which the group drove vans around Poland with banners and loudspeakers blaring “Paedophilia is 20 times more common in homosexuals. They want to teach your children. Stop them!”
The bastion of pedophiles, the Catholic Church is call us pedophiles how sick! The bishops and cardinals have no problem with lies about us as they hide their pedophiles in their flock.

Meanwhile back here in the states a recent poll finds us losing support from the people.
Fewer Americans oppose Religious-Based Refusal of Service To Gay People: Poll
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
April 15, 2020

(WB) A new study on LGBT issues made public Tuesday has found a modest — but noticeable and sustained — drop over time in opposition to business owners being allowed to refuse services to LGBT people.

The study, conducted by the non-profit research organization PRRI, found 56 percent majority of Americans oppose allowing a small business owner in their state to refuse to provide products or services to LGBT people, if doing so violates the owner’s religious beliefs. Meanwhile, 37 percent of Americans support such denials of service to LGBT people.

Although a majority of Americans have opposed religious-based refusal of services for some time, the strength of that opposition — based on previous iterations of the survey — has fluctuated in the last five years.
Support for non-discrimination protections includes majorities of both political parties, religious groups, and nearly every major demographic group, the study found.
I would love to see a poll that also asks if they are in favor of religious discrimination against blacks and other religions. I would be that people would be aghast is people were allowed to discrimination on religions groups but find it okay to discriminate us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Good News But For A Horrible Reason

A trans woman down in Peru won a human rights case that the local authorities brushed off.
Peru found responsible for rape, torture of transgender woman
The Washington Blade
By Michael K. Lavers
April 14, 2020

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a landmark ruling that says Peru is responsible for the rape and torture of a transgender woman.
Sadly it was by the local police officers,
Azul Rojas Marín alleges police officers in Casa Grande, a town in the La Libertad region of northern Peru that is roughly 370 miles northwest of the country’s capital of Lima, detained her on Feb. 25, 2008. Rojas says she was forcibly stripped and beaten before two officers sodomized her with a police baton.

Rojas filed a formal complaint against the officers two days after the incident took place.

The court’s ruling — released on March 12, but made public on April 6 — notes local prosecutors launched an investigation into Rojas’ allegations, but they later dropped it. Rojas appealed the decision, but a Peruvian court in January 2009 “dismissed the investigation into the crimes of aggravated sexual assault and abuse of power.”
But almost ten years later…
The ruling orders Peru to “provide medical, psychological and/or psychiatric treatment” to Rojas and to prosecute the officers who tortured her. The ruling also directs Peru to track anti-LGBTQ violence in the country and develop a national strategy to respond to them.
“The Peruvian state in the entire process before the court, before the commission, all the time has denied the existence of discrimination against LGTB people in Peru,” Oporto [Her lawyer] told the Blade.

“It is absolutely false that there is no discrimination against LGTB,” added Oporto. “The court has recognized that this context persists to this day.”

Oporto said Peru has not responded to the ruling.

“We have not had any communication from them,” Oporto told the Blade.
You have to wonder how many cases go unreported for fear of reprisal from the police and if the Peruvian government will recognize the court's ruling.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Best From The Past

I have been working on a PowerPoint for a Zoom class that I’m doing on Wednesday and will be doing a dress rehearsal this morning with the professor, so here is a blast from the past… From March 2017


I never heard of that before until a couple of months ago but it is fitting.

A few years ago on a forum there was a thread about going to schools doing outreach and I said there we some questions that I wouldn’t answer such as telling my old name. I got tons of flak over that with comments saying I should answer all of their questions because they are there to learn.

My response was learning to ask trans people what their old name was is not educating them it is responding to their curiosity, it is better to teach them that it is impolite to ask trans people about their old name.

When I heard the word “Deadnaming” for the first time I thought “Wow, that is a good name for that” because it is from our past, I don’t hate my old name it is just that is ten years in the past and it seems foreign to me now.

I still get mail with my old name and I cringe a little when I see it. I still get some checks form stock dividends with my old name on them, I don’t change my name on them because they will only reissue a stock certificate to replace a lost certificate with my old name not my legal name.

I change all my legal documents over to my legal name and gender including my birth certificate but the question remains; can you ever really change all your records? Credit reports list my old name as AKA. I also wonder if my death certificate will list me a “female” or will they just go by what is between my legs?

When we were passing the birth certificate we asked the question to our lawyers do we need legislation to make sure the death certificate doesn’t list our old gender? They when back and researched the question and at the next meeting they said in their lawyer talk that they thought we didn’t need to add anything to the bill because it should follow what is on their birth certificate and when questioned by us they said that In their opinion it should reflect the gender on our birth certificate.

So time will tell if we are “deadgendered” in our death.

*From Wiki Gender
Deadnaming is the act of referring to a transgender person's birth name instead of their chosen name.

Deadnaming normally occurs for one of three reasons:
1: Someone accidentally deadnames because they're used to using that name.
For example: John Doe called his transgender sister, "Steve" by accident because he had referred to her as that for most of his life. He apologized and corrected himself.
2: Someone purposefully deadnames to cause distress.
For example: At school, while Jen was walking down the hall, Anthony walked by her and coughed "Steve." Jen got upset and tried to correct Anthony, but he just walked away snickering.
3: Someone purposefully deadnames because of their beliefs.
For example: Great Aunt Mary called Jen "Steve" because she believed that Jen is still a boy.
Many consider deadnaming to be a form of transphobia.
Some ways people avoid deadnaming:
  • use stand-ins like [boyname]
  • use the single initial of the former first name
  • refer to that identity as pre-[current name]

Monday, April 13, 2020


For many trans people they just disappear never to be heard from again. If we are lucky we get a message from them or a relative.

For us we only know them by their fem names so we don’t know their legal name and we have no way to contact them therefore we never know if something happened to them especially in this troubling time. Currently we have someone from the support group that I know is MIA she was hospitalized for the flu (she tested negative for COVID-19), I talked to her last week when she was in the hospital but now the hospital said she was checked out. No one knows where she is, attempts to contact her children failed and we are worried because she has COPD.

She isn’t the first that went MIA over the years, some just dropped out of the community but some passed away. In some cases their spouse or children have contacted us but others… poof. They just disappear without a trace.

Sometimes those on the transition track disappear once they had GIS, other times they attend the support group meetings for years, then they stop coming and we are left wondering what happened.

So right now we have an APB our for my friend; we had the police do a wellness check, we contacted her children (which were not that supportive of her), left phone messages on her home phone and mobile phone which are full or no answer.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Best From The Past

Searching for a topic to write about all I found were articles about trans people being attacked or articles about COVID-19, so I dug into past blog posts… From January 2018.

As we grow older we start to worry about our health and will we end up in a long term care facility. Connecticut has some good laws that protect us from discrimination and harassment, but all that my change under the Trump administration.
New year brings uncertainty and fear for some LGBTQ elders
NBC News
By Julie Compton

As many Americans think about what they will receive this Christmas, some lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors are wondering what they may lose in the new year. A number of them even wonder if they’ll still have homes.
Tom, a retired banker, receives less than half of his pre-retirement income. In 2015, he moved into a senior living complex in the Bronx. Now 76, he said he’s worried about losing his apartment. In May, the Trump administration announced plans to slash funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which Tom depends on for his housing subsidy.

Although not a LGBT problem per se but it affects us just the same, for many trans people they are already living in substandard housing.

LGBTQ elders with HIV are particularly vulnerable, according to Michael Adams, CEO of Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE), which organized Thursday's holiday party at the Bronx center and other centers throughout the city. Adams said many suffer from comorbidity issues that worsen with age.
Half of people with HIV in the U.S. are aged 50 or older, according to Adams, and he said financial security and poverty are major challenges for many LGBTQ elders, particularly those living with HIV.
With the massive cuts for HIV/AIDS funding those living with AIDS are going to be faced with keeping a roof over their head verse paying for the meds that keep them alive.
Then there is the fear of discrimination in senior housing and long term care facilities.
Adams is also concerned about an ongoing Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case will determine whether a baker had the right to turn away a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs. Some argue religious exemptions are about freedom of speech, not discrimination. But Adams said such exemptions could have a devastating impact on LGBTQ elders across the country. He said 85 percent of longtime senior care providers are religiously affiliated organizations.
That is where the real danger lies, if staff in long term care facilities can legally refuse to treat you where are you going to get healthcare?

Also, the Trump administration has repealed the HUD rules banning long term care facilities from initiating binding arbitration and regulations according to USA Today.
Rodney Whitlock, a health policy consultant and former Republican Senate staffer, said health inspectors “are out there looking for opportunities to show that the nursing homes are not living up to some extremely tight standards.” He said while the motivation for tough regulation was understandable, “the fines don’t make it easier to hire people and doesn’t make it easier to stay in business.”

In June, CMS rescinded another Obama administration action that banned nursing homes from pre-emptively requiring residents to submit to arbitration to settle disputes rather than going to court.
Those “burdensome regulations” have a purpose, to protect us. To make sure there is proper staffing, to make sure the staff is properly trained.

While adding binding arbitration will keep us from filing a discrimination complaint with state agencies. They can totally ignore the non-discrimination laws and our only recourse would be to go to arbitration where the LTC facility gets to pick the judge.

Today here in Connecticut there is work being done to make LTC facilities welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community. I am on a committee of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program on diversity where we are working on ways to make LTC facilities more diverse not only for LGBTQ+ people but for other marginalized communities.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday 9: The Easter Bunny Bop

Sam’s Saturday 9: The Easter Bunny Bop (2015)

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

I have earns to run so I might not be able to reply to your posts. I will approve them when I get home.

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

1) This song encourages little ones to celebrate Easter by doing a little dance. Do you feel like dancing this morning?
Naw, I don’t dance.

2) Everyone in this video is wearing bunny ears. Target, Amazon and other retailers sell bunny ear headbands sized for adults and priced at about $5. Will you be wearing bunny ears, or perhaps a more conventional chapeau, this weekend? Or, because of the corona virus, will your Easter attire be the same as any other day?
I will probably be in a nightgown all day except when the family has a family Zoom meeting and I will put on a blouse.

3) This week's featured artists, The Bounce Patrol Kids, are a children's entertainment juggernaut: CDs, DVDs, downloads, and t-shirts. Additionally, they often update their YouTube channel because they want children the world over to have access to their upbeat, energetic songs for free. Besides the Bounce Patrol, what's the last YouTube video you watched?
Mash and the Coronavirus

4) According to Forbes magazine, the average American household spends $20.66 on candy each Easter. Will you be consuming candy this weekend?

5) The biggest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy, measured 34 feet tall and weighed a staggering 15,000 lbs. Do you thinks it's possible to have too much chocolate?
 If you are diabetic, most definitely

6) After chocolate, the top-selling Easter candy is Peeps Marshmallow Chicks. They're so popular that, in 2018, they were the subject of a Jeopardy clue. Do you often watch Jeopardy?
I watching it right now as I type (They are at a break before Final Jeopardy)

7) Jelly beans are also popular this time of year. In a 2019 poll, jelly bean fans responded that Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn is their favorite flavor. Sam is crazy about cherry. Do you have a favorite?
Nope, I don’t like jelly beans way too much sugar and I didn’t like it even before I because diabetic.

8) We've been talking a lot about sweets this morning. The only holiday that generates more candy sales is Halloween. When do you eat more candy: Easter or Halloween?
Neither… see the above answers

9) Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What makes you feel refreshed or rejuvenated?
Floating in a lake or ocean.

I got a mouse running up and down between the ceiling and the second floor… time to get the traps out.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Its Hot In Here…

And some like it hot!

This movie has mixed reviews from the trans community… some love it, while some hate it. Me? I’m wishy-washy on it.
When Jack Lemmon Snatched All the Wigs in “Some Like It Hot”
In this 1959 drag race, the actor sashayed away with nearly every scene, setting a new bar for gender-bending comedy.
By Lester Fabian Brathwaite
April 9, 2020

If dying is easy and comedy’s hard, let these iconic queer film performances teach you a thing or two about schticking a difficult landing.

Hollywood has been going to the same old “man in a dress” well pretty much since the invention of film. There’s apparently no easier, cheaper way to get a laugh than by showing a pair of hairy gams peeking out from a skirt. But the problem with that joke is it’s one-note. How funny can the same gag be after you’ve seen it countless times? Well, if you’re Billy Wilder, it can be the key to just about the funniest film ever.

In 1959, Wilder directed and co-wrote, with frequent collaborator I.A.L. Diamond, the movie Some Like It Hot, a crackling Prohibition-era comedy about two jazz musicians, who, on the run from the mob, take up with an all-female band. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are the two musicians in question, and Marilyn Monroe is the unwitting lead singer who complicates their rouged ruse.

The film is a delight from start to finish thanks to a clever script that keeps everyone on their toes, Wilder’s deft direction that hits every beat with laser-like precision, and the endlessly engaging performances from the three leads, particularly Lemmon.
Before we go any further, please know that Some Like It Hot requires a sustained suspension of disbelief. And not because Lemmon and Curtis are unconvincing as women. Quite the opposite. When the actors first got done up in their hair, makeup, and costumes, they walked around MGM studios to see if they could pass. After they discovered they could use the ladies’ room to fix their faces without any of the women complaining, they knew they were ready for their close-ups. Still, Wilder decided to shoot the film in black and white because the actors’ makeup gave off a greenish hue on camera.
Even through it is a men-in-a-dress movie it doesn’t go overboard like Milton Berle where he uses “men-in-a-dress” as the gag. Some Like It Hot uses “men-in-a-dress” as part of plot to escape the mob.
And that is where the comedy comes from—the joke isn’t so much about two dudes in dresses, but about the politics of gender. Things get so deliriously confusing with characters going back and forth between “man” and “woman,” and with unlikely romances occurring, that it elevates the whole cross-dressing trope to high art. It’s a bar that few film comedies, with the exception of Tootsie, would reach.
The movie end when with the line… “No, nobody’s perfect.” when Daphne comes out to playboy Osgood Fielding III he tells him that he’s a man to which Osgood reply with that line.

I always wonder if making the movie had any long term effect on Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon? Did they crossdress in secret afterwards, did they have fun around the studio lot?

So what do you think about the movie?

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Thinking About Running?

I mean running for an office? More and more trans people are running for political office, there is a trans woman on the Stamford Board of Representatives and there are a couple more trans women who ran for office here in Connecticut.

The first rule of running for office is raising money, the higher the office the more money you will need (I know that stinks but it is a fact of life. You need money to run your campaign office, you need money to run ads).

So where do you begin?

Well it actually begins long before you even begin before you throw your hat in the ring. You need to learn how to run a campaign. I went to Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work Campaign School at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Through the Campaign School I learned about EMILY’s List. EMILY’s List website says their mission is,
Our vision is a government that reflects the people it serves, and decision makers who genuinely and enthusiastically fight for greater opportunity and better lives for the Americans they represent. We will work for larger leadership roles for pro-choice Democratic women in our legislative bodies and executive seats so that our families can benefit from the open-minded, productive contributions that women have consistently made in office.
When is was taking the workshop the women from Emily’s List tried to talk me into running.

You need to do it first gathering up your friends and like minded individuals, you need to hit them up for cash and another source of funding for trans candidates is the Victory Fund.
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government.
Yeah you can run on your own but it helps to have people at your back who you can ask questions to, questions like “How do I develop my campaign platform?” “How do I register my candidacy?” and “How do I file a campaign finance statement and when do I need to file?”

In 2007 I went to New York Power Summit on Grassroots Organizing run by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and learned how to organizing house parties, phone banks and door – to – door canvassing.

Down in Texas a trans candidate is running for office.
Victory Fund endorses transgender candidate for the Texas House
Dallas Voice
By David Taffet
April 7, 2020

Despite the pandemic, we’re still in the middle of an election. LGBTQ Victory Fund sent out information on several transgender candidates running for office around the country.

Among them is Madeline Eden, a transgender woman for the Texas House of Representatives. She recently called upon Gov. Greg Abbott to expand Medicaid coverage to the state.
Other transgender candidates Victory Fund spotlighted around the country are Briana Titone, who is running for re-election to the Colorado House; Kristen Browde, who is running for the New York State Assembly and would become that state’s first transgender official; Sarah McBride running for the Delaware state Senate; Davin Sokup, running for the Minnesota state Senate; Stephanie Byers, running for the Kansas House; and Rosemary Ketchum, running for the Wheeling, W.V. City Council. Remember not too long ago when our own Jess Herbst was the highest ranking transgender elected official in the country when she served as mayor of New Hope in Collin County?
And in Illinois...
Transgender judicial candidate Jill Rose Quinn declares victory in her Cook County judicial candidate primary bid. She could be Illinois’ first transgender elected official.
Chicago Tribune
By Gregory Pratt
March 17, 2020

For years, Chicago attorney Jill Rose Quinn has wanted to be a judge.

But for the longest time, Quinn said, she didn’t think she could land a seat on the bench.

“I didn’t think the people would accept a transgender judge,” Quinn told the Tribune.

But on Tuesday night, with most precincts reporting, Quinn declared victory after taking a large lead in her bid to become the Democratic nominee for a Cook County judicial vacancy. If she holds on, that likely would make her the fourth openly transgender judge across the country and the first transgender candidate in Illinois voted into public office.
Besides the Victory Fund endorsement, EMILY’s List also endorsed Sarah McBride in Maryland and Danica Roem in Virginia.

Don’t want to run for office how about helping out a candidate? I helped out for Governor Lamont’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. I also go to fund raiser for two reasons; first to help them raise funding for their candidacy and second to show the flag. To be a visible trans person.

When I helped out for Governor Lamont’s campaign for the U.S. Senate I was on the phone bank, I stuffed envelops, I did anything that the office campaign manager wanted me to do and when the candidate stopped by he saw a trans woman helping out.

In this election year Blue needs to win! We need to correct all the damage done by Trump & Company. We need to block all the damage that has and will be done by Trump appointed judges. We need all the help that we can get. We need to volunteer to help the candidates or become candidates ourselves.

Last month was the Transgender Day of Visibility what could be more visible than running for office or helping out on a political campaign.