Friday, July 31, 2020

Back Story… Trump’s Grandfather

Trump family fortune… Booze and sex.

Trump’s niece just came out with her book about her uncle and she also came out as a lesbian and offers some insight in Trump’s hate of LGBTQ+ people.
In our digital cover story, the president's niece discusses her family's intolerance and questions why any LGBTQ+ person would support her uncle.
The Advocate
By John Casey
July 27 2020

Mary L. Trump — and there’s a reason that the “L” is in there — has lived a very quiet existence for most of her life, but not behind the scenes. As a member of the Trump family, she saw and endured a lot. Most of it not good, and in some ways, what she saw and experienced has made her who she is today. And, that’s how I arrived at thinking that Mary L. Trump was pretty normal. That’s saying a lot for someone with the last name of Trump.
When her book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, came out, I was surprised to learn that she is gay. I think most of us were, and that’s mainly because most of us probably had no idea who she was. When I Googled “Mary Trump,” her grandmother’s name popped up, so it took a second try to find the younger Mary.
What I wanted to hear about from Mary was her experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, which is something she rarely talks about. And that’s because like most of us, Mary has gone quietly about her way, living her life not as a gilded Trump, but as a suburban mom. Mary is not a firebrand, so I doubt we’ll see her on a gay Pride float. Which I’m sure is probably fine with Mary. She’s popped her head out to warn us all about her uncle, and once he is done, finished and finally gone — and we all hope soon — I suspect that Mary will feel that she has done her job, and go back to her discreet life. Or quietly help us all pick up the pieces.
In the article she talks about her homophobic grandfather…
In your book, you write that your grandmother said, “It was a disgrace they’re letting that little faggot Elton John sing at [Princess Diana’s] service,” and that kept you from coming out. How did that comment make you feel?
It made me feel awful, mainly because I loved Elton John. I thought it was disgraceful given the context. The man lost someone he deeply loved in a tragic way, and he thought it was best to honor Diana by singing a tribute to her publicly. 

The comment by my grandmother was so mean and small. It was not a good moment. As usual, I just ignored it and went on my way, but I knew then that I couldn’t tell anyone I was gay.
What was it like with the family? Was there just an absurd amount of toxic masculinity where white, straight rich men had the final say?
Everyone in my family was misogynist and there was a clear double standard. But thinking back, I never saw it as toxic masculinity because the only two men that mattered in my family were Donald and my grandfather. So, there was a much bigger issue, and that was this toxic positivity that my grandfather pushed on so hard.
So what about her grandfather?

According to Wikipedia (yes I know the repetition of it)…
Before leaving Seattle, Trump bought 40 acres (16 ha) in the Pine Lake Plateau, twelve miles (19 km) east of the city, for $200, which was the first major real estate purchase of the Trump family. In Monte Cristo, Trump chose a plot of land near the later train station that he wanted to build a hotel on, but could not afford the $1,000-per-acre fee to purchase it. Instead, he filed a Gold placer claim on the land, which allowed him to claim exclusive mineral rights to the land without having to pay for it, even though the land had already been claimed by Everett resident Nicholas Rudebeck. At that time, the U.S. Land Office was known to be corrupt and frequently allowed such multiple claims. Despite the placer's claim providing Trump no right to build any structure on the land, he quickly bought lumber to build a new boarding house and operate it similarly to the Dairy Restaurant. He never tried to mine gold on the land. Blair described Trump as "mining the miners" since they needed a place to sleep at night while they were mining. In July 1894, Rudebeck filed to incorporate the land and sent an agent to collect rent; this was apparently unsuccessful since the people of Monte Cristo did not pay attention to legal titles. Trump finally bought the land in December 1894. While in Monte Cristo, Trump was elected in 1896 as justice of the peace by a 32-to-5 margin.
So Trump grandfather was a con artist and when gold was discovered in the Klondike off he went. 

I dug out an article from the Canadian CBC…
Friedrich Trump amassed 'substantial nest-egg' from Yukon hotel before heading to New York
The Canadian Press
By Alexander Panetta 
September 19, 2015

Canadians amused by the improbable presidential run of Donald Trump might be surprised to learn the role their own country played in shaping his story.

Trump's grandfather started the family fortune in an adventure that involved the Klondike gold rush, the Mounties, prostitution and twists of fate that pushed him to New York City.
The move to Canada spared him financial disaster. He not only sold off two Seattle eateries, but also land in nearby Monte Cristo, Wash. — right before floods and avalanches destroyed the nearby railroad and development plans for the town were scrapped.
He realized that there was money in supplying vices to the miners, through out the articles that I read a common theme kept popping up… “Mining the Miners.” 
'Liquor and sex'
In his three years in Canada, Trump opened the Arctic Restaurant and Hotel in two locations with a partner — first on Bennett Lake in northern B.C., and then moving it to Whitehorse, Yukon.

Their two-storey wood-framed establishment gained a reputation as the finest eatery in the area, Blair said — offering salmon, duck, caribou, and oysters.

It offered more than food.

"The bulk of the cash flow came from the sale of liquor and sex," Blair wrote. She cited newspaper ads referring obliquely to prostitution — mentioning private suites for ladies, and scales in the rooms so patrons could weigh gold if they preferred to pay for services that way.
The Mounties announced plans to banish prostitution, and curb gambling and liquor. Trump quarrelled with his partner. Gold strikes were getting scarcer.
It was time to pack up and move on.

Mary L. Trump story continues,
What do you think about gay people who support your uncle?
I never understood something like the Log Cabin Republicans, but I think it’s just a broader issue. There is a significant minority of people in this country who are comfortable voting against their own self-interest, whether it’s their sexuality, race, or economic status. It’s really astonishing. 
I have to ask this question, because it was such a big deal. But what did you think about Caitlyn Jenner supporting your uncle? Was it wealth and taxes?
I thought her transition was amazing and brave. Then I heard her endorsement, and I put her in the category of people who are completely willing to vote against their own self-interest. She seems like a wealthy person, and wealthy people seem to do better — not sure that’s true — by voting for Republicans. 

When someone is that privileged they are protected in some ways, which goes against anyone else who might not be wealthy or a member of a minority. Wealth is the greatest divider.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

In All This Hate And Violence We Are The Easy Targets

We are setting records… unfortunately it is our murders that are setting records.
Data from the FBI and UCLA’s Williams Institute shows that LGBTQ Americans are more than twice as likely to be killed in the United States
Boston 19
By Chase Cain
July 29, 2020

Transgender people have more visibility in America than ever before, but that visibility has come at a deadly cost in 2020.

Through the month of July, at least 22 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed in the United States. That puts 2020 on track to be the most deadly year for the trans community since the Human Rights Campaign began tracking violence against them.

The uptick in murders has taken the lives of young, mostly Black transgender people from Philadelphia and Chicago to Miami and Dallas. It also comes as the “Black Trans Lives Matter” movement has gained momentum. Massive rallies in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. drew diverse crowds, hoping to bring attention to the epidemic of violence against the trans community.
And a lot of times those murders go unsolved.
News 5 Cleveland
By: Emily Hamilton
July 26, 2020

AKRON, Ohio — Nearly two months after the murder of a transgender man in Akron, police still have no leads.

In mid-June, Brian Powers was found dead from a gunshot wound on the sidewalk of a church near the University of Akron.

Nearly every waking moment, Vivian Powers-Smith said she thinks back to the last time she saw her little brother the week before he died.

“He was very proud of who he was,” Powers-Smith said. “Never ashamed of who he was and I think that’s a lot.”
His older sister said she can’t help but wonder if his zest for life and transgender identity made him a target for hatred.
“They never get justice. It’s never solved,” Powers-Smith said. “It’s like people treat them like they’re just expendable.”

Florida Today
By Gina Duncan Your Turn
July 28, 2020

In the age of the coronavirus global pandemic, another pandemic quietly continues to sweep our nation with deadly consistency: the killing of transgender Americans.

For decades, more than 25 transgender people have been murdered with impunity yearly in the country. Most at risk are Black trans women. These murders are dismissed or ignored by the general population and a majority of state and federal lawmakers.

In 2018, Florida was the epicenter of trans murders. The state led the nation in these horrific crimes as five Black trans women were murdered in Jacksonville, Orlando and Sarasota. So far, in the last three years, at least eight transgender or non-binary identifying Floridians have been killed.

In the past month alone, a total of five Black transgender women —  Brayla Stone, Merci Mack, Shaki Peters, Draya McCarty, and Floridian Bree Black — have been found dead in four states, bringing the national death toll to at least seven since the beginning of June, a month meant to be a celebration for the LGBTQ community across the country.

Despite numerous policy and protocol resources published by state and national LGBTQ advocacy groups and comprehensive guidance published by the Department of Justice, law enforcement consistently “dead-names” (the use of a transgender person’s legal name that is no longer used by the person) and misgenders the victims, demeaning them in death and impeding their own investigations.
It’s like people treat them like they’re just expendable.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Back Story

By now I think that everyone knows about the Supreme Court verdict on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act earlier this month, well this is about what went on behind the closed doors.
By Joan Biskupic,
July 28, 2020

When the Supreme Court extended the 1964 Civil Rights Act to gay and lesbian workers in a landmark June ruling, the justices also protected transgender employees.

But the case did not start out that way. In their private conference room in October with only the nine and no law clerks, the justices debated whether and how to provide the same anti-bias coverage for 1 million transgender workers, according to multiple sources familiar with the inner workings of the court.

Some justices raised concerns related to religious interests and shared bathrooms, the sources said. But even with their differences and some hedging, the die was cast in that private session for the ultimate 6-3 decision that emerged in June.

That early vote, supported by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the wrangling that eventually led to a broad decision in the groundbreaking case are among the new details in CNN's exclusive four-part series on the Supreme Court's historic 2019-2020 term.
We were about to be thrown under the bus, they agreed on that the law covered lesbians and gays however they were ready to drop us…
In those cases, a majority of justices agreed early on that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits bias "because of" sex, must include gay and lesbian workers who face discrimination based on sexual orientation. But the justices hesitated on whether Title VII applied, in the same way, to transgender individuals, according to the sources.
But once Roberts assigned the cases to Gorsuch and he, as expected, zeroed in on the text of Title VII's ban on discrimination "because of ... sex," the majority readily signed on to the opinion declaring that both sexual orientation and gender identity would be covered.
"If he were a woman, he wouldn't have been fired," Kagan said. "This is the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don't look to predictions. We don't look to desires. We don't look to wishes. We look to laws."
As the justices in the majority began working out how to construe the reach of Title VII's plain-language protections against sex discrimination, they had to address how it applied to gay as well as transgender workers, specifically Stephens, who had been fired from her job in Michigan. When the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled for Stephens, it said discrimination based on transgender identity is inherently sex discrimination under Title VII.

During oral arguments, Roberts had questioned how an employer would set policies for shared bathrooms for "a transgender man transitioning to a woman."
The six-justice majority held to its view that Title VII covered gay and transgender workers without exception. None of the liberal justices nor Roberts was writing a separate opinion, as often happens in contentious cases. Here, the majority would speak with one voice: Gorsuch's.

The early concerns some justices had about sex-segregated bathrooms or locker rooms were addressed and dismissed with only a few lines.

"(W)e do not purport to address bathrooms, locker room, or anything else of the kind," Gorsuch wrote.
Thus we were written into the court’s ruling protecting us under Title VII.

I urge you to read the whole article it is fascinating to see how their deliberations lead to including us. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Saw The Light… Change Can Happen

Back a couple of years I wrote about a cisgender woman cast to play the part of a trans woman and that  she backed out of the part, now they cast the part to a trans woman.
But instead of a movie, the project has been turned into a television show.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger 
July 22, 2020

Actor Scarlett Johansson stirred controversy two years ago when it was announced that she would be playing a transgender man in the upcoming film Rub & Tug.

She withdrew from the film and people wondered if that meant that the story wouldn’t get told, but now Deadline reports that it has been turned into a television show and a transgender man will be cast as the lead.

In 2018, Johansson was cast in the role of Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man who ran massage parlors in Pittsburgh in the 70s and 80s, which caught people’s attention because she’s a cisgender woman.
Film and television production company New Regency – which had already bought the rights to journalist and author Brendan Koerner’s research on the Pittsburgh’s “Massage Parlor War” – announced that the project will now be a TV series and that Our Lady J, who is transgender, is involved in the project as a writer.

New Regency is also reportedly committed to casting a transgender actor to play Gill.

“Tex’s life story is like no other, and the rich landscape of this unexplored moment in time has truly captured my imagination,” said Our Lady J, who has written for the TV shows Pose and Transparent and appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race as a pianist.
It is great that they are going to have a trans person play the part, I have always said that there is enough excellent trans talent out there and we just needed a chance to audition. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Sometimes They Even Know That They Went Too Far

Up in North Dakota the Republicans passed a resolution condemning LGBTQ+ community as being “unhealthful.”
By Jocelyn Grzesczak
July 23, 2020

The governor of North Dakota condemned his own political party for passing an anti-LGBTQ resolution, calling it "hurtful and divisive."

Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, issued a statement early Thursday morning on his Facebook page denouncing the resolution, which asserts that many "LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large."

"As I've long said, all North Dakotans deserve to be treated equally and live free of discrimination," Burgum said in his statement. "There's no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions."

Hundreds of delegates helped pass Resolution 31 over the weekend during North Dakota's GOP convention. The resolution primarily functions as a list for why LGBTQ protections would hurt straight and cisgender people.
The Democrats reply…
State Rep. Josh Boschee, a Democrat who serves as the North Dakota House minority leader, said the resolution contains "blatant lies."

"This is nothing to help the image of North Dakota," Boschee, the state's only openly gay member of the Legislature, said in a statement. "This is just a gut punch to see they would approve language like this."
This is typical Republican behavior, attacking minorities to play towards their bigoted base.

Meanwhile Trump is ignoring the recent Supreme Court decision…
The Trump administration is pressing forward with policies limiting transgender rights. Many rules that have been in development for years have now either been finalized or have gone into effect.
New York Times
By Chris Cameron
July 24, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday published its rule allowing single-sex homeless shelters to exclude transgender people from facilities that correspond with their gender identity, pressing forward with limits on transgender rights despite a Supreme Court ruling that extended civil rights protection to transgender people.

The new rule on homeless shelters will go into effect after a 60-day comment period. Administration officials argue that it will make women’s shelters safer by preventing men from gaining access to abuse or attack women seeking protection.

Transgender rights groups say it is more likely to force some transgender women to go to men’s shelters where they could face assault.
The Education Department has rescinded Obama-era rules that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice or participate in sports corresponding with their gender identity. The Justice Department has moved to roll back protections for transgender people in federal prisons, and the Office of Personnel Management has suspended protections for transgender employees of federal contractors.

“Across the board, when you’re cut out of the federal protections you used to have, people are more likely to experience discrimination, and they’re less likely to talk about it,” said Robin Maril, an associate legal director at the Human Rights Campaign, the largest L.G.B.T. rights group.

“It has a significant chilling effect,” she added.
You can say that again, it has created fear and anxiety in the community since many trans people live below the poverty level.

Then we have these Trump supporters,
Gaily Grind
By The Gaily Grind Staff
July 26, 2020

A pro-police rally in Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon took a turn for the worse when one of the rally’s attendees began chanting “kill transgenders.”

Many at the Back the Blue rally were wearing apparel supporting President Trump and waiving thin blue line flags, which are intended to show support for law enforcement.

Many nearby are heard reacting in shock at the call to violence.
Hmmm beginning to suspect that "all lives matter" doesn't actually mean what it says it does.

The leader of a Back the Blue rally in Pittsburgh switched from chanting "All lives matter" to "Kill transgenders"
It is hypocritical that the Republican say that they are for getting the government off of people’s back but they want to tell us what we can do with our bodies, they want to tell us who we can love, and they want the police to repress our Constitutional rights to abridging our freedom of speech and our right to for the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Squirrel, the Cop and Me

I am going to be busy this morning so I dug through my blog and picked an old post from from 2010 that has always been a good story about a cop, and a squirrel, and a shotgun...

My first encounter with a law officer happened before I transitioned. I only crossdressed at home and I never answered the door when I was crossdressed, I hid from everyone. So, one nice spring day I was washing the dishes in the sink with my back to door (I have glass sliding door and it was open) when there was a knock at the door. Startled, I jumped and turned around, there was a cop with a 12 gauge shotgun over his shoulder and he was also startled when he read me as an AMAB.

He told me that there was a report of a rabid squirrel in my woodpile and he was here to shoot it. He walks down to the woodpile and I hear two shots, BAM! BAM! And he walked back up to me and said “I got him!” and I said “Good.” He turn and walked away. Later, I walked down to the woodpile and there pieces of squirrel everywhere. I went back into the house put on a pair of rubber boots and gloves. I went back and picked up the pieces and sprayed the area in a mixture of water and bleach. There wasn’t much left of the squirrel after getting hit twice by a 12 gauge shotgun shooting double-ought buckshot from ten feet away.

That was my first encounter with the police and I imagine that I was the talk of the police station that night.

Since then I have learned that squirrels do not carry rabies.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Saturday 9: The Love Boat

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I am at a family graduation party and will not be able to reply until later this evening.

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

1) The Love Boat ran from 1977 to 1987. It was in the Top 10 for seven of those 10 seasons. Are you familiar with the show? Were you a fan?
I watched it but I wasn’t a fan.

2) Every week, viewers followed The Pacific Princess as she set sail to a glamorous destination. Have you ever taken a cruise? If so, where did you go?
Well it all depends upon what you mean by a cruise.
I have been on ferry boats and a mail boat. The mail boat goes to the many island in Casco Bay in Maine and it takes about six hours to make its deliveries on the islands.

Photo taken from the Casco Bay mail boat as we passed sailboat popping out from behind one of the islands

3) Gavin MacLeod played Captain Steubing. Born Allan See, he came up with the stage name by combining the first name of a fictional character he admired, and the last name of a teacher who influenced him. Using his formula, give yourself a stage name. For example, Sam would be Hermione Hart (Hermione from Harry Potter; Hart for her Kindergarten teacher).
Kylara (From Vatta's War which is a science fiction series by American writer Elizabeth Moon) Bates (my high school  English teacher if I remember correctly)

4) After the series ended, Fred Grandy (aka "Gopher") went on to become a Congressman from Iowa and then CEO of Goodwill Industries. If you had a bag of gently-used items to donate, where would you take them?
I don’t know, but it would definitely not be the Salvation Army
Probably to Journey Home in Hartford, they run homeless shelters there. 
5) Ted Lange is best known for his role as the ship's bartender, Isaac. But he began his career performing the classics, and appeared at Colorado Shakespearean Festival and London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Let's class up this joint. Give us a little Shakespeare.
To be, or not to be: that is the question’
‘A man can die but once.’

6) Bernie Kopell played the ship's doctor, Adam Bricker. Kopell first appeared on TV in 1961 and was a regular on Get Smart and That Girl, and he's still acting today. But Love Boat was, by far, his favorite role. Working on the show was "absolute heaven" because he was paid to travel the world and meet his acting idols, like Oscar winners Greer Garson, Joan Fontaine and Eva Marie Saint, who appeared on the show. When you think of the best job you have ever had, what made it so good: the pay, the location, the people you met, or the work itself?
Well for 28 years I worked for one company under five owners, I stayed because I liked what I was doing. But then under the sixth owner they shut us down and I went back to school and got my master’s, that was the best thing that happened to me.
I like what I am doing now. Training (except the plague stopped that for now) and helping pass legislation that makes a difference for so many lives.

7) Lauren Tewes played Cruise Director Julie McCoy. Today she lives in Seattle, appearing in local theater and -- between acting assignments -- working as a chef for a catering service. Have you hosted dinner for more than 8 people? If yes, do you remember what you served?
It probably was a cookout and I served burgers and dogs.

8) For the first nine seasons, the theme was sung by Jack Jones. The Grammy-winning singer says one of his career highlights playing Sky Masterson onstage in Guys and Dolls. In his late 50s at the time, had had to go outside his comfort zone, dancing and acting as well as singing before a live audience. Tell us about something new you tried recently.
Well I just got a new photograph program and I am learning to us it.

9) Random question  -- Which would you rather receive as a gift: one $500 wristwatch, or five $100 wristwatches?
Hmm… it is probably easier to pawn off one watch than five but I might get a better price on the five watches. After all what could I do with a $500 watch, I would be afraid to wear it or with five watches?  My $20 Timex still keeps a ticking after 20 years.

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

Friday, July 24, 2020

Teacher Of The Year

Who would have thought a few years ago that a trans person could be named teacher of the year… well it just happened!
He knows as a transgender man that "everything else takes a back seat" when you don't feel safe in school.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
July 22, 2020

The state of Michigan has honored a transgender educator as teacher of the year.

The Michigan Department of Education announced at a virtual meeting on Friday that Owen Bondono is Michigan’s Teacher of the Year. He teaches ninth grade language arts at Oak Park High School near Detroit.

Bondono said that his perspective as a transgender and queer man has helped him help students feel safe in school.

“My goal is to always make sure students whether they are marginalized because of their race, their ethnicity, or their gender identity, their sexual orientation, that they feel safe in school,” he told Fox 2 Detroit.

“I know from a personal standpoint how vulnerable you feel when you’re not safe and how when you feel that vulnerable everything else takes a back seat.”
“I can say without a doubt that Owen has dedicated himself,” said Jamii Hitchcock, the superintendent of Oak Park schools. “He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk every single day to ensure that equity and justice is served. Every time he walks into the classroom it has an impact on the students he teaches.”
It is good that we have roll models, we need to show the next generation that they can come out from the shadows. We are doctors, scientists, engineers, lawyers, educators, and musicians.
Bondono is now in the running for National Teacher of the Year.
Go for it! And good luck.

Society back in the Twentieth Century trans people were found in the back alleys of society. They had marginalized jobs or lived off the street. Lynn Conway website of transgender success stories was very thin when I found it back around 1999, now it is brimming with those of us who have become leaders in our fields.
We have made the computer revolution possible
We have made satellite radio possible
We have helped put people in space
We are leading medical research in fighting disease
We are international know musicians
We are New York Times best selling authors
We are starring in movies, television shows, and on the stage
We have been appointed to the White House staff and agencies heads
We are elected politicians
Thirty years ago we were the but of jokes on TV, and we were the psychopath killers. We cannot go backward only forward.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

400,000 Hits

Today my blog counter just turn to 400,000 visitors!

Idaho In The News

There were two news articles about Idaho’s ban on trans athletes and about a trans athlete…
Federal court hears debate on Idaho's transgender athlete ban
By Joe Parris
July 22, 2020

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's new law preventing transgender athletes who identify as female from participating in girls' or women's sports was debated Wednesday in federal court.

With support from the ACLU, Boise State student Lindsay Hecox, a transgender woman, sued the state over the law because it prevents her from going out for the women's cross country team at Boise State.

Hecox and her legal team argue it's not fair and is discriminatory against transgender athletes.

Shortly after the suit against the state of Idaho was filed, two Idaho State athletes came out in favor of the law and wanted to make a case for it in federal court.
The judge also heard arguments regarding two female student athletes at Idaho State University. They want to be in the lawsuit to argue in favor of HB 500 and explain, in their opinion, how it keeps women’s sports fair.

The pair are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The ADF is also representing two cis-women here in Connecticut who are suing towns and the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) over trans athletes.
A major area of contention is how someone proves they are cis- or transgender, and questions have been raised about invasive exams to determine a person's birth gender.

The state made an argument in court that the statute doesn't mandate any medical test to prove birth gender; a health care provider can just provide a note saying a person is a woman.
“The state seems to suggest somehow that House Bill 500, despite the statements that were made in support of it during the session, it was actually intended to make it easier for transgender athletes to participate in women's sports teams," said ACLU Idaho Legal Director Ritchie Eppink. "I don't think that's what the sponsors intended and I don't think that's what the bill says. If indeed the state is willing to agree that Lindsay Hecox and other trans women and girls in Idaho can simply get a health care provider's note, then we are okay with that regime for now." 
Yeah, and I bet that a health care provider that provided a note would be harassed by state officials.

I foresee politicians throwing in monkey wrenches into fray. I don’t think that Republicans politicians will like what the statement that the state lawyers made in court.
Desert News
By Dennis Romboy
July 22, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mike Lee challenged the NCAA’s opposition on a new Idaho law that bans transgender women from competing in women’s college sports in a Senate hearing Wednesday.

“I am concerned about the NCAA’s track record of undermining women by pushing schools to allow individuals born biologically of one gender to participate in another gender’s sports,” Lee told NCAA President Mark Emmert.

“I’m worried about some of the policies that you’ve taken. It’s offensive to me and to millions of Americans that the great strides our society has taken to protect women’s rights and women’s sports are now at risk of being undone.”

Lee, R-Utah, cited a first-of-its-kind law in Idaho that took effect this month banning transgender women from playing high school and college sports in the state.
And I would like to cite the recent Supreme Court case on Title VII…
An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.
The statute’s message for our cases is equally simple and momentous: An individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions. That’s because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.
Or take an employer who fires a transgender person who was identified as a male at birth but who now identifies as a female. If the employer retains an otherwise identical employee who was identified as female at birth, the employer intentionally penalizes a person identified as male at birth for traits or actions that it tolerates in an employee identified as female at birth. Again, the individual employee’s sex plays an unmistakable and impermissible role in the discharge decision.
And that same logic can be used for Title IX cases, trans people would be covered under Title IX (and also the ACA section1557).

Meanwhile a trans athletes come out…
‘Horses don’t understand concepts such as sexual orientation, or gender identity,’ says college equestrian rider Jay Robinson. ‘The only thing that a horse really cares about is how the person in the tack makes them feel.’
By Jay K. Robinson
July 22, 2020

When I decided to attend Mount Holyoke College — an all-women’s institution — I still identified as a lesbian.

I chose the school because I was relatively shy and according to a blog that my mother found, it had a learning environment where I wouldn’t feel constrained by the social pressures found in a male-dominant environment. Of course, the school’s nationally recognized equestrian team was a big draw too, especially since I had dreamed of competing at the collegiate level since I was 7.
He transferred from Mount Holyoke College to the University of Southern California because he didn’t feel comfortable going to a women’s college.
I’m still learning to accept myself; however, thanks to the privilege I received, I’m well on my way. Hopefully, environments such as this will become more prominent and members of the LGBTQ community that identify as transgender will stop feeling inferior to their cisgender counterparts.

This afternoon is the monthly meeting of the legislature LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network committee and what we are going to be discussing is a LGBTQ+ survey that the committee will release  this fall.

I know what you are saying… “What another survey!”

Yes, but this one is different and more important, this one is being conducted by the Connecticut Department of Public Health for the state legislature and it will be used for “needs assessment” to determine where we need funding and services. Where are the gaps in our protections and services that needs to be plugged.

So in the fall when this comes out it will be very important that as many LGBTQ+ people as possible fill out the survey. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

This Is The S**t We Have To Put Up With.

We see marches all around the country to end racism and discrimination. But it seems to be okay to oppress us.
One of Pennsylvania's most popular fairs is apologizing after a dunk-tank promotion led to accusations of transphobia
ABC News
By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press
July 21, 2020

Many of the attacks against Pennsylvania’s health secretary have little to do with the way she has handled the statewide response to the coronavirus pandemic.

As a transgender woman, Dr. Rachel Levine has been subjected to a stream of mockery and abuse on social media and elsewhere. Every time she goes on camera to update the public and implore Pennsylvanians to wear masks, wash their hands and “stay calm, stay alert and stay safe," ugly comments and memes follow.
But it gets worst…
Over the weekend, one of the state's most popular fairs — the 165-year-old Bloomsburg Fair — found itself in hot water after posting a photo of a man in a dunk tank who had donned a blond wig, floral-print dress and glasses. The dunk tank was part of a weekend carnival held on the fairgrounds to benefit the region's volunteer fire departments.

“Dr. Levine? Thank you you were a hit and raised a lot of money for the local fire companies. Wonder why so many were trying to dunk you,” said the Bloomsburg Fair Association’s post, which included a smiley-face emoji.
So what did the fair do about it?
In a written statement, the fair said that Levine’s likeness was used to raise money for fire departments whose fundraising has been hampered by COVID-19, and had nothing to do with her gender identity. The statement pointed out she’s a public figure.

Fair officials subsequently held a news conference Tuesday and apologized, saying they meant no harm.

“A fellow dressed up in a dress to get people to throw balls at the dunk tank to raise money. It turned into where people thought we were offending Dr. Rachel Levine, and that was no intention at all,” said Fair President Randy Karschner.
Oh we didn’t mean no harm… yeah right.

You knew what they were doing and you didn’t think belittle and humiliating someone wasn’t wrong until you got caught.

Then we have this public humiliation by the Trump administration.
If a person's "biological sex" is not apparent based on observation, staff at women's-only shelters are allowed to ask for proof.
Business Insider
By Rhea Mahbubani
July 20, 2020

A proposed rule from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) tells homeless shelters to use people's physical attributes — rather than their self-identified gender — to decide whether the homeless should be housed among men or women.
Now, the rule allows workers at federally funded homeless shelters to rely on "factors such as height, the presence (but not the absence) of facial hair, the presence of an Adam's apple, and other physical characteristics which, when considered together, are indicative of a person's biological sex."

Staff members at women's shelters may determine whether to admit someone based on visual appearance, according to Vox. If the woman's gender is unclear based on her appearance, shelter workers are permitted to seek proof of her sex before granting her housing. People who are turned away may be forced to go to a men's shelter, according to Vox.
Lets stop and think for a moment what they are really saying.

First we don’t care that we are embarrassing cis-women who don’t look feminine enough. Can you imagine if you were that cis-woman who has to prove your gender because you are too tall or a butch looking woman how you would feel?

Second they are saying if you are a trans woman and you can pass come on in! But if you are a homeless trans woman and you cannot afford electrolysis or go on hormones or FFS or a tracheal shave… stay out! Trans women who need homeless shelters are the people least likely to be able to afford medical intervention or be able to afford to change their legal documents but are most likely not able to pass in society. They are the ones that face the most discrimination.

Lastly what they are doing is sexual stereotyping… a woman should look a certain way and we are to be the judge. In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia the Supreme Court said according to JD Supra that “sex” is…
In the 60-plus page decision penned by Justice Gorsuch, the Court focused on what it called the “necessary” and “undisguisable” role that sex plays when employers make decisions on the basis of an employee’s homosexuality or transgender status. The Court explained that “an employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex.” The Court further wrote that “homosexuality and transgender status are inextricably bound up with sex. Not because homosexuality or transgender status are related to sex in some vague sense or because discrimination on these bases has some disparate impact on one sex or another, but because to discriminate on these grounds requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex.” Accordingly, Bostock makes clear that an employment decision made on the basis of an employee’s homosexuality or transgender status is an employment decision made on the basis of an employee’s sex and is thereby prohibited by Title VII.
So the HUD ruling flies in the face of the Supreme Court, what could be more sexual stereotyping than telling homeless shelters to look for Adams apples, or a deep voice.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Well Yes… It Make Sense

We only make up about 0.5% of the general population and if you look at the total LGBTQ+ population researchers are not even sure of the total of the number of LGBTQ+ people.

So when an article like this comes out you need to keep our trans population in mind.
Over the course of a year, anti-trans Facebook posts earned more engagement than positive and neutral trans content combined, Media Matters for America found.
NBC News
By Tim Fitzsimons
July 20, 2020

Anti-transgender Facebook content shared by right-wing news sources generated more engagement than content from pro-transgender or neutral sources combined, according to a Media Matters for America study of 225 viral social media posts.

That means the majority of Facebook interactions with those viral posts — over 43 million of 66 million shares, comments and reactions over the span of a year — were on items posted by anti-trans websites like LifeSiteNews, Daily Wire and Daily Caller, according to the report.

"Facebook users are getting a totally biased and factually inaccurate understanding of the multitude of issues that impact trans people," said Brennan Suen, Media Matters' LGBTQ program director and one of the study's authors. Suen pointed to an October Pew poll showing that a majority of Americans get news from Facebook.

In total, seven of the top 10 sources for interactions on popular transgender Facebook content were anti-trans sites. Just three LGBTQ-oriented sources appeared in the top 10: PinkNews, Gay Star News and NBC Out.
Keep in mind that slightly lass than half of the population of the U.S. are conservatives and that only around 4.5 percent* are LGBTQ+ you can easily see why there is a big disparity.

We can throw up our hands and say “Oh well” and walk away or…

We can work to keep us in the news.

Right now trans athletes are in the news and one of the big things that we have to do is counter the right-wing conservative lies and innuendo. What can you do? For one thing write letters to the editors. Organizations can hold press conferences, send out press releases, and other things to keep us in the news (good things I hope).

*It is very hard to get an accurate count on a marginalized population. There is stigma involved, who wants to stand up and be counted. There is fear, fear of being deported, fear of being discriminated, and worst being attacked. Then there is the fact that many people don’t want us counted, the question about us was dropped off of the 2020 Census by the Trump administration. So to get an actuate count is very hard.

Current estimates are that we are about 4.5% of the population.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hate Is Spreading

Not only here but around the world conservatives, fascists, and authoritarians are using us a scapegoats to rally their base of support… the bigots.
ILGA-Europe's 2020 Rainbow Map

The annual Rainbow Map ranking has named Poland, Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan as some of the worst countries to be LGBT+ in Europe, while the UK continues to slide down the rankings.
Pink News UK
By Patrick Kelleher
May 14, 2020

Since 2009, LGBT+ organisation ILGA-Europe has compiled an annual Rainbow Map ranking of the 49 countries in Europe based on each country’s commitment to LGBT+ rights and equality.

In the ranking each country is assigned a percentage point based on its standing in six key areas: equality and non-discrimination; family; hate crime and hate speech; legal gender recognition and bodily integrity; civil society space and asylum.

This year’s list names Azerbaijan as the worst country in Europe for LGBT+ rights and equality with a score of just 2.3 per cent. Other countries trailing behind include Turkey (3.8 per cent), Armenia (7.5 per cent), Russia (10 per cent) and Poland (16 per cent).

Conversely, Malta topped the ILGA-ranking for the fifth year in a row, coming out with an incredible 89 per cent score. It was followed by Belgium and Luxembourg (both 73 per cent), Denmark and Norway (both 68 per cent) and Spain (67 per cent).
This is wedge politics.

In elections now a days we see a split of almost 50 50 between the winners and the losers, and the conservatives see the difference between winning and losing is the votes of the bigots and haters. That 3 or 4 percent can be the difference that the conservatives are looking for to win so they play to their base.

What we need to do is to make the other 46 – 47 percent who usually vote conservative to not want to get in bed with the bottom slime.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Dumb, Dumb, Very Dumb.

The irrational fear trans women in homeless shelters will open a can-of-worms. Got a load what the Trump's crew wants to do.
The Housing and Urban Development proposal instructs shelters to try to spot trans women by height, facial hair, and Adam’s apples.
By Katelyn Burns
July 17, 2020,

A proposed Housing and Urban Development rule would allow federally funded homeless shelters to judge a person’s physical characteristics, such as height and facial hair, in determining whether they belong in a women’s or men’s shelter, according to a copy of the rule’s text obtained by Vox. Advocates say this ultimately targets both trans women and cisgender women with masculine features, which could force them into men’s shelters and put them at risk for harm.

The proposed rule, first announced by HUD in a press release issued on July 1, would essentially reverse the Obama-era rule that required homeless shelters to house trans people according to their gender identity. While the new rule would bar shelters from excluding people based on their transgender status, it would also allow shelters to ignore a person’s gender identity — and instead house them according to their assigned sex at birth or their legal sex. In other words, a trans woman can’t be turned away from a shelter for being trans, but she can be forced to go to a men’s shelter.
This is horrible, can you imagine a bunch of gender vigilantes attacking woman because they don’t look feminine enough.
The copy of the rule obtained by Vox has already passed congressional review, according to several sources familiar with the process, which is one of many steps needed before the text is released publicly. When asked about the text and status of the rule, HUD pointed Vox to their July 1 press release.

The rule’s language, according to the leaked text, states that single-sex shelter staff “may determine an individual’s sex based on a good faith belief that an individual seeking access to the temporary, emergency shelters is not of the sex, as defined in the single-sex facility’s policy, which the facility accommodates.”
Who did they pass it by in Congress? Only the Republicans? I can imagine any Democrats agreeing to this and surely didn’t get reviewed in the House.
And while the rule is likely to fall hardest on trans women, it also opens the door to targeting butch women with more masculine presentations, as has already happened with gendered bathroom policing.
Many lesbians are going to have problems with the gender police.
Even though it has yet to be released, the HUD rule has already received congressional pushback. In a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson dated June 29, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) urged the agency to reconsider the release of the HUD rule because of the Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County on June 15, which held that discrimination against trans people is considered sex discrimination.

“The release of a potentially applicable Supreme Court decision during the period of our regulatory review is unique and raises concerns about the applicability and implementation of the proposed rule,” reads Wexton and Waters’s letter.
Bloomberg had this to say about the rule change.
With its June 15 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered an unambiguous message: Employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of gender or sexual orientation. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s sweeping opinion for the 6-3 majority affirms that gay, nonbinary, trans and other LGBTQ individuals enjoy the same federal protections against discrimination that apply to race, religion or sex.

Yet just two weeks later, the Trump administration announced a policy that appears to fly in the face of that decision. On July 1, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a new rule that would give homeless shelters the right to admit people on the basis of their biological sex, not their gender — a rule that could require transgender women to stay in men’s shelters. Advocates say this plan puts trans people’s lives in danger.

“On the legal side of things, it’s just blatantly unlawful,” says Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “It cannot be reconciled with what the Supreme Court held in Bostock.”
You are going to see many of these last minute attacks on us from the Trump administration as the election draws near. They are going to pass these draconian rules as Trump panders to his base of bigots and as they get scared of losing the election.
Coming so soon after the court’s decision in Bostock, the new proposed rule would seem to be dead on arrival. But timing is everything. The policy may be a “midnight rule” in the making — a regulation put forward just before a possible transition of power. By acting now, the Trump administration can pre-position the rule to make it that much harder to uproot, notwithstanding a firm Supreme Court decision, a virtual guarantee of legal challenges, or even a Trump loss in November.

So-called midnight rules refer to federal regulations issued between a presidential election and the next inauguration. An official in the George W. Bush administration once compared Clinton officials to “Cinderella leaving the ball,” saying that political appointees “hurried to issue last-minute ‘midnight’ regulations before they turned back into ordinary citizens at noon on January 20th.” In this light, Housing Secretary Ben Carson might be trying to eke out a rule on transgender people before he turns back into a pumpkin (should President Donald Trump lose the election).
Then of course in the make believe world of the White House press secretary…
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tried to gaslight her way out of a question about the president's ban on trans service members.
The Advocate
By Neal Broverman
July 13, 2020

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany deflected a question about Donald Trump's impromptu ban on transgender service members, quickly pivoting to a false claim that the president has a pro-LGBTQ+ record.

During Monday's daily press briefing, Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson mentioned the soon-to-arrive three-year anniversary of Trump's ban on trans people in the military, a decision he announced via tweet. Johnson asked if Trump is willing to reconsider the policy and mentioned that over 100 lawmakers urged the president to end the ban. Many have also questioned the legality of Trump's prohibition following the Supreme Court's recent ruling banning anti-LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination. 
And she said, 
...He has a great record when it comes to the LGBT community. The Trump administration eased a ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men and he launched a plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030."
Isn’t that something out of George Orwell's book "1984" it is doublespeak. Banning LGBTQ people from donating blood will not end AIDS, that is the twisted Republican thinking.

We need to vote this November, we need to remember the lesson from 2016; the election isn’t over until the last vote is counted.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Saturday 9: Flipper

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

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

1) Flipper ran for three seasons, from 1964 to 1967. Are you familiar with the show? Were you a fan?
Not really, it was my show of last resort. When nothing else was on I watched it.

2) Brothers Sandy and Bud consider a bottle-nosed dolphin, named Flipper, their pet. Do you currently share your home with any animals?
Well if you count mice then yes.

3) Bud and Sandy's dad was Chief Warden Porter Ricks of the fictional Coral Key Marine Preserve. In reality, the show was filmed in Miami and Key Biscayne. When were you last in the ocean? Which ocean was it?
It is low tide right now and I know that because I can smell the mud flats.
If I don’t like the beach on the bay side that day I can drive a mile and be on the ocean side. But it take a while to get there because I have to cross Rt. 6, sometimes it is easier to make a right turn out of the end of my street and then make a left turn on a to a side street because trying for an opening on both lanes is near impossible.

4) There was no one single "Flipper." In close-ups, the role was played by a dolphin named Susie. While Susie was good at interacting with people, she had trouble with stunts, and sometimes a male dolphin named Clown was brought in for action sequences. Do you consider yourself more social, like Susie? Or are you more athletic, like Clown?
I will have to pick Susie by default, I’m not good with social interactions and I really hate sports.

5) Without looking it up, do you know the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise?
I thought they were the same but since you asked they must be different, however I have been to Cape Porpoise and you can get fresh lobsters right off of the boat.

6) Flipper wasn't just a TV pet. He was an industry! During the show's run, Flipper comic books, coloring books and puzzles were very popular. As an adult, do you entertain yourself by reading comics, coloring, or completing jigsaw puzzles?
Jigsaw puzzles… that is Microsoft Jigsaw puzzles.

7) The Flipper lunchbox was also a big seller. It came with a Thermos topped with a red cup. Do you own a Thermos?
Not that brand but I do own a vacuum insulated bottle
Here is question for everyone; how many times did you sit down for lunch and find that the vacuum bottle broke?
8) In 1964, when Flipper premiered, it was up against The Outer Limits and The Jackie Gleason Show. If those were your only viewing choices, would you watch the family show about the dolphin, the sci-fi anthology show, or the comedy-variety show? (Or would you rather flip through a magazine?)
Well I think that the long time players of Saturday 9 knows my answer… “The Outer Limits”

9) Random question  -- Which would you be more comfortable explaining: how a car engine works, the current IRS tax brackets, or the rules of baseball?
Um… is there a fourth choice?
Does anyone really knows how to describe the tax brackets, I don’t like baseball, and explaining how a car engine work I probably know best but first I need to know… a gas engine car, an electric car, or a hybrid car?

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

Friday, July 17, 2020

Photos - Sunsets

Some have suggested that I should post more of my photos so I will post them on Fridays for the next few weeks.

These two are recent photographs from Cape Cod...
The first photograph is from the Cape Cod National Seashore: Province Lands Visitor's Center
(If you click on the photographs they will open full screen.)

This photograph is from the town beach just down the road from my cottage.

The next three photographs are from the dock at our old New Hampshire cottage on Island Pond in the town of Washington.

This photograph is not really a photo of a sunset but rather a photo of the lake reflecting the sunset.

This photograph is of another National Seashore... Fire Island National Seashore.
It is at Fair Harbor and off in the background is the Robert Moses Causeway, I have friends who live out on Long Island and they invited me to a picnic for an number of years.

Lastly, this is another lake cottage photograph from the deck of the cottage.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Two Sets Of Laws

Today the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is supposed to release the report from the Commission on Unalienable Right.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo is set to release a “human rights report” on Thursday, July 16, which critics fear will attack abortion, LGBT+ rights and same-sex marriage.
Pink News UK
By Lily Wakefield 
July 15, 2020

The Commission on Unalienable Rights, supposedly based on “natural law”, was formed by the Trump administration in July, 2019, to undercut the US government’s existing human rights laws, but one year on it is yet to release its first report.

Pompeo claimed that the commission was necessary because “international institutions designed and built to protect human rights have drifted from their original mission”, and said it would answer questions like: “How do we know or how do we determine whether that claim that this or that is a human right, is it true, and therefore, ought it to be honoured?”

The group is dominated by officials with anti-LGBT+ views, with seven of the ten members having expressed these views publicly, and when the commission was announced, anti-LGBT+ activist Brian Brown said it was an “extraordinary opening” to reverse LGBT+ equality.
Democratic representatives Jamie Raskin and Joaquin Castro previously spoke out about their fears that the commission and its report could be used to roll back LGBT+ and abortion rights.
However, the commission has been secretive about the content of its meetings so far, and activists note that until its release on Thursday, its impact will remain a mystery.
What I see it doing is to create two sets of laws. That by claiming “religious freedom” they can ignore a law and they can discriminate against anyone just by claiming that the law violates their religious beliefs.

I see this spreading far beyond LGBTQ+ and abortion laws to segregation laws, I can see Jim Crow laws coming back. I see landlords refusing to rent to unmarried couples or interracial couples. I see bakeries refusing to make cakes for bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah. I see businesses refusing to wait on Muslims.

I see this committee creating a divide in the law and bring division between us… this is not a good commission, its purpose is to place “Christians” above the law and have a separate laws for them. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Trans In Politics

It was unheard of a couple of years for a trans person to run for office, then it was unheard of winning, and now it is becoming common for trans person winning the elections.

In New Jersey there is actually a Republican trans woman who was elected to chair the city’s Municipal Committee.
Jade Kohut unanimously re-elected after revealing gender identity
New Jersey Globe
By Nikita Biryukov
July 14, 2020

Republicans in a Morris County conservative stronghold elected a 27-year-old transgender woman to chair their Municipal Committee on Monday.

Republicans in Jefferson, a town that Donald Trump won by 25 points in 2016 and that Jay Webber won by roughly nine points in 2018, have voted to award Jade Kohut another term as municipal chair.

Kohut had served as the local party’s chairperson for two years before revealing to Jefferson Republicans that she was undergoing sex reassignment therapy. She was re-elected unanimously Monday night.

“You’re never quite sure how people will react, but the Jefferson Republicans told me frankly that if I continued to do a good job, they would continue to vote for me,” Kohut said. “I don’t think it changes anything. The Morris GOP has always embraced diversity and different perspectives.”

It’s possible the move could upset some of Jefferson’s more conservative Republicans, but at least two GOP state lawmakers approved of the local party’s decision.
I bet you that this is an understatement, “could upset some of Jefferson’s more conservative Republicans,” they sure are not following in the national Republican Party platform.

Then down in the conservative strong hold of states, they also have elected trans candidates.
  • The candidates are part of a wider “Rainbow Wave” across the country.
  • There are a historical number of LGBTQ+ candidates running for office during the 2020 election year.
  • In June, West Virginia elected the state’s first openly transgender official to local office.
  • Now, Louisiana has elected its first openly transgender woman to a political position with the state’s Democratic party.
The Hill
By Anagha Srikanth
July 13, 2020

Just as a rainbow is formed out of thousands of droplets, the "Rainbow Wave" is being formed one LGBTQ+ elected official at a time. Louisiana's Peyton Rose Michelle and West Virginia's Rosemary Ketchum are the two latest openly transgender women to make history with their election to political office. 

There are currently 26 openly transgender elected officials in the United States, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, but more are on their way. In the 2020 election cycle, at least 850 LGBTQ+ candidates have appeared or will appear on ballots in the United States, almost twice as many as the 2018 election cycle.

In June, Ketchum, who ran for city council in Wheeling, W.Va., became the first out transgender person ever elected in West Virginia and just one of four LGBTQ+ people elected to office in the state. 
Then on Sunday, Michelle won a seat with the Democratic State Central Committee and became the first openly transgender woman elected to a Louisiana political position. 
Here in Connecticut a trans woman is on the Stamford City Counsel and another trans woman was nominated by the Connecticut Green Party to run for Congress in the 2nd District.

Then out in Colorado they passed a ban on conversion therapy…
"I think it's long overdue, frankly."
By: Colette Bordelon
July 14, 2020

SOUTHERN COLORADO — Gov. Jared Polis signed four bills into law on Monday designed to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

The bills included coverage for HIV/AIDS prevention medications, a new process for getting government documents for one's gender identity, and a ban on gay panic or transgender panic defenses.

News5 took a closer look at SB20-221, which bans the use of a gay or transgender panic defense in the courtroom.

"The gay or transgender panic defense is when someone claims that they had a reasonable fear of a person because of their sexual orientation or gender, that made that person somehow predatory, or somehow a person who you should be afraid of. And so, they react with violence, they try to justify that violent reaction based on who the victim is, rather than their words or actions," said Amanda Gall, a sexual assault resource prosecutor with the Colorado District Attorneys' Council.
Colorado is now the 11th state to ban conversion therapy and Connecticut passed a similar law in 2019.

The bill that “a new process for getting government documents for one's gender identity” is…
Concerning simplifying the requirements for a minor to obtain a new birth certificate from the state registrar.
SESSION: 2020 Regular Session
SUBJECT: Public Health
The bill aligns the requirements for a minor to obtain a new birth certificate from the state registrar and a new driver's license or identification card from department of revenue with the requirements for an adult. A minor shall also obtain a statement from a medical or mental health professional confirming that the minor's sex designation does not align with the minor's gender identity.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Just A Heart Beat Away

I was reading the trans news this morning and there were a couple of articles about trans health that I thought was timely.
By Ann Thompson
July 13, 2020

The pandemic is exposing an increased socioeconomic vulnerability for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) populations, according to a new survey. For transgender people, it may come down to a variety of factors, says an University of Cincinnati doctor.

Dr. Sarah Pickle can't track the entire Tri-State transgender community to see who is having COVID-19 symptoms and who is testing positive. But, she says, "Of the patients I have who  have called me with COVID symptoms - who've been confirmed COVID and by testing or assigned COVID, based on symptoms - most of them are my transgender folks."
In fact, one in five transgender adults have at least one chronic illness according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Because large percentages are not going to a physician, Dr. Pickle says underlying health factors may get missed and that is putting them at greater risk for the coronavirus. She also says they have less access to insurance, stable employment and housing, and those are all factors related to health.
Okay that might be the good doctor’s opinion but I have my theory…

I think that we’re more susceptible because we many trans people live at the poverty level, they share apartments, and they live in high population areas. And also the fact that many trans people cannot find doctors willing to treat us.

Many think that telehealth is the answer, I think the jury is not back on the subject.
North Carolina Health News
By Hannah Critchfield
July 8, 2020

Taylor made the video call from the car.

The vehicle was as familiar as an office by now – before the pandemic hit, it was where 27-year-old Taylor changed into dresses before going out with friends, and where they wiped the makeup off their face before returning home each night. It was still the only place Taylor was sure they wouldn’t be called by their birth name by one of the many family members they are now quarantined with.

It was a 30-minute conversation and medical consultation – the licensed physician, who themselves was transgender, asked Taylor a few questions, briefed them on the process, and sent a prescription to a nearby Walmart.
A growing number of transgender people in North Carolina and nationally are using telehealth to seek transition-related care, particularly for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a treatment process in which a person takes hormones to change their physical characteristics to more closely align with their gender identity.

Telehealth use has spiked in general during the pandemic, as many in-person visits shifted to video consultations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and both federal and state governments waived certain HIPAA and Medicaid requirements, as well as bumping up reimbursement to support the practice.
Many people love telehealth but I have some questions…
“There are a lot of people who are afraid to sit in a waiting room,” said J. Clapp, executive director of the LGBTQ Center of Durham. “It’s exceptionally uncomfortable for marginalized people, because you wonder whether or not the person sitting next to you is actually supportive of who you are. That’s the importance of telehealth.“
“Many people have reported having someone at the front desk use their deadname,” said Collie, referring to the act of calling a transgender person by the name they used prior to their transition. Many say it’s, a practice that can be both emotionally and physically harmful by exposing the person to the risk of discrimination.
“What many trans people are finding is that they have to spend the majority of the time educating their provider, as opposed to having that time for themselves to be able to ask the questions that they have,” they said. “And if they do get that chance, the providers might not even be able to answer it.”
These are genuine concerns, I hate waiting when I get lab work, I hate waiting in the dentist office, and I hate waiting when I am getting my car serviced.

We all hate waiting but for trans people it is even harder especially if you stick out as trans. When people see you as trans it becomes hard sitting there.

My concerns about telehealth is that a healthcare provider can tell a lot with you just sitting across the room from them. Second the healthcare provider takes your weight and blood pressure during the office visit. Third, there are some healthcare specialties that are not conducive to tele-med like a proctologist.

Lastly practical stuff, what about licensing? Are they licensed to practice medicine in the state that their patients are located? What about insurance? Are they out of network?