Friday, October 30, 2020

I’m Worry About Them

Young trans people, I worry about them being “out,” my concerns about crazies who might want to do harm to them is happening now.
A mother told Biden about her transgender 8-year-old child. Then came the attacks.
Washington Post
By Samantha Schmidt
October 29, 2020

In Joe Biden’s town hall earlier this month, one of the questions came from a woman named Mieke Haeck, a 42-year-old physical therapist from State College, Pa.

“I’m the proud mom of two girls, 8 and 10,” Haeck said at the televised event in Philadelphia, while her husband and children watched from their living room. “My youngest daughter is transgender.”
Then the haters attacked spewing their threats of violence.
But by the next day, Biden’s answer — and Haeck’s family — had become the subject of political attacks from conservative commentators and social media trolls.
Fox News’s Tucker Carlson described parents like her as “crazed” ideologues who “would tell the rest of us that an 8-year-old is entitled to hormone therapy on demand and permanent, life-altering surgery,” even though Haeck’s daughter had gone through no such medical interventions. When she woke up in her hotel room in Philadelphia the morning after the town hall, the first message Haeck saw on Facebook threatened to kill her and her husband and take away their children.
Schilling [the executive director of the American Principles Project] defended the claims in an interview with The Post, saying Biden’s comment about “zero discrimination” implied that “children should have a right to live as the gender they identify with, even if opposite from their biological sex, and have access to any medical treatments that will facilitate this.”

Then the Log Cabin Republicans jumped in with their transphobia comments…
But whatever comfort Haeck took in Biden’s comments has since been replaced by anxiety. Having been swept up in a disinformation campaign, she is fearful of how her exchange with Biden is being used by some to advocate against transgender children like her daughter. “They really are trying to provoke strong emotions in people around this lie for their own political gains,” she said. “It has nothing to do with concerns for kids.”

The Republicans and conservatives say they are pro-life but they don’t care if they hurt the children as they spread their ideology of hating us and those who are different from them.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Well I’ll Have To See

The next time I call them when I have a problem with my credit card. In the past when I called my credit card company when I say that I’m Diana the next words out of the operators mouth… “You don’t sound like Diana, let me transfer you to security.”
Citi Launches New Program for Transgender and Non-binary Cardholders
Cards can now show your preferred first name
By Ben Luthi
October 26, 2020

In 2019, Mastercard announced its True Name initiative to make it possible for members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and non-binary people, to use their preferred first name on their credit, debit, and prepaid cards. A little more than a year later, Citi has become the first bank to provide that option with some of its U.S. credit cards.
How This New Program Works
If you’re a Citi credit card holder and identify as trans or non-binary, you may have the option to add your preferred first name to your card.

The service is available only for existing cardholders, which means you can’t request to add your True Name when opening an account—but you can do so after the account is established.
If you have multiple Citi credit cards that are eligible, you’ll need to call customer service to make your request. Once you complete the process, you should receive a replacement card within four to seven business days.
I don’t know how many times that I called Citi Card and even though I answer all their security questions correctly I get transferred to security. I am not annoyed after all they are protecting my money it is still frustrating.
Members of the trans and non-binary communities frequently experience discrimination. For example, "deadnaming" a trans or non-binary person—referring to them by their birth or former name without consent—is often used to dismiss their true gender identity.

In a report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 32% of survey respondents who have shown an ID with a name or gender marker that didn’t match their gender presentation said they experienced verbal harassment, were denied benefits or service, asked to leave an establishment, or assaulted.
One of the 32% was me.

This is a good idea and it will help a lot of trans people who maybe just starting their journey and might have not changed their documents yet or they might be crossdressers and don’t like giving their credit cards with their male name.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

It Is Going To Be A Long Cold Winter

And I don’t mean the season or the weather but justice.

With the politically packed Supreme Court with anti-LGBTQ justices we are going to be facing a lot of draconian rulings against is.
As the future of Obamacare heads to the supreme court, so do trans rights
Trans people could lose healthcare as Republican state attorneys general seek to have the entire landmark Affordable Care Act law tossed out
The Guardian
By Katelyn Burns
27 Oct 2020

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is scheduled to be argued before the supreme court on 4 November. The lawsuit – which has been widely panned by legal experts – was brought by 19 Republican state attorneys general and seeks to have the entire landmark healthcare law tossed out. The future of the ACA was a common theme during hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the high court – now that she has been confirmed, she will soon be hearing California v Texas, a case challenging the landmark healthcare law.

“Life for trans people in terms of access to healthcare before and after the ACA is like night and day,” said Shannon Minter, an expert in transgender law and an attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. But many Americans don’t have a grasp on the important role the ACA has played for LGBTQ people, especially those who are transgender, potentially making this fall’s supreme court arguments the most critical transgender rights case ever heard at the court.

“If you were just going to point to a major case currently before the court that has the potential to have the greatest impact on transgender people it’s unquestionably the ACA,” said Minter, “I’m amazed that more people don’t understand this, that this hasn’t gotten more attention.”
Here in Connecticut we have some strong laws to guarantee insurance coverage which was strengthened by a ruling last fall by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity but still we are in a precarious situation with the US Supreme Court, our laws could be overturned by them. Or they could rule that the laws can be overriding by “religious freedom” where a person just has to state that it is against my firmly held beliefs.
The Human Rights Campaign: Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation is a Sham, Threatens LGBTQ Equality
Human Rights Campaign
By Nick Morrow
October 26, 2020

The Human Rights Campaign released the following statement following the final Senate vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States.

“Despite Amy Coney Barrett’s troubling anti-LGBTQ record and rhetoric, Senate Republicans rushed through the fastest Supreme Court confirmation process in modern history. This was a power grab, plain and simple, and voters must hold these Senators – and Donald Trump – accountable at the polls,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “The process was a sham, the hearings were fast-tracked, and once again, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have chosen power over people. We must reject this bald power grab and elect officials – especially in the White House and the U.S. Senate – who will ensure our judicial branch lives up to its potential. Voters should hold Sens. Daines, Ernst, Gardner, Graham, McSally, Sullivan and Tillis accountable at the ballot box. Our democracy and our lives depend on it.”

It is going to be a long cold winter until we find a way to neutralize the packed the politicized Supreme Court.

This has created fear in the LGBTQ+ community.
For transgender advocates, election stokes hopes and fears
"President Trump intends to use the full power of the presidency and the executive branch to inflict maximum damage" on trans people, one activist said.
NBC News
By The Associated Press
October 26, 2020

Among transgender-rights activists, there’s a powerful mix of hope and fear heading toward the Nov. 3 election. They’re yearning for President Donald Trump’s defeat but dreading the possibility that his administration might win four more years and continue targeting them with hostile policies.

“The stakes are extremely high,” said Shannon Minter, a transgender attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “It seems clear that President Trump intends to use the full power of the presidency and the executive branch to inflict maximum damage on the transgender community.”

Among the administration's moves that have been decried by activists:
— A near-total ban on military service by transgender people.
— Support from administration attorneys for efforts to prevent transgender girls from competing in Idaho K-12 girls' sports and university women sports and from doing so in Connecticut high school girls' sports.
— A move to end health-care protections for trans people provided by Affordable Care Act.
— Moves to eliminate anti-discrimination protections for trans people in homeless shelters and for trans students in schools.
“Every day it feels like there are new horrors to confront about the future, and the types of attacks we will encounter,” said Chase Strangio, who leads transgender-justice initiatives for the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and HIV Project.

Even as he worries about what might lie ahead under a second term for Trump, Strangio is encouraged by the 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in June affirming that gays, lesbians and transgender people are protected from discrimination in employment under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Well I am not encouraged by the vote because of the death of Justice Ginsberg.
Overall, Strangio is concerned that Trump’s appointments of more than 200 federal judges - and the likely addition of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court - is creating a federal judiciary that may not defend transgender rights.
It is going to be a long cold winter.

And the hate for us has spread around the world and is taking hold in the sports world.
World Rugby's transgender ban a 'dangerous precedent,' critics say
The sport’s international governing body issued new guidelines barring trans women from playing women’s contact rugby due to “player welfare risks.”
NBC News
By Alex Berg
October 27, 2020

The updated regulations are among the most exclusionary policies for transgender athletes instituted by an international federation to date. They are a departure from major governing bodies’ policies on trans inclusion, including the International Olympic Committee’s rules that permit trans women to compete in the Olympics provided they maintain a certain testosterone level for 12 months prior to competition.

World Rugby’s new policy comes on the heels of other efforts to restrict trans women from playing women’s sports. In September, a group of Republican senators introduced a bill that would make it a federal civil rights violation for transgender girls to compete in women’s athletics. At the state level, the Department of Education threatened to withdraw funding from Connecticut school districts that permit trans girls to compete with cisgender (nontransgender) girls, and Idaho attempted to enact legislation over the summer banning trans women and girls from playing women’s sports. A number of high-profile female athletes, including the runner Paula Radcliffe and the tennis star Martina Navratilova, have also recently condemned the inclusion of trans women in women’s competitions.

We first fought this battle back in 1976 with Renee Richards… and won.

We will be fighting these battles for a long time coming and it is going to be a long cold winter for us.

Vote like your life depends on it because it does. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Why I Will Never Vote Republican

They think that we are idiots! Trump is on stage saying that he has stopped the plague.
In real life the plague is skyrocketing and spreading all over, in New Mexico the infection rate has filled the hospitals. Here in the southeast of Connecticut the virus has increased to June levels.

And this guy has the audacity to say that!

As one person CBS evening news said… He lies like a rug.

I listened to a part of his town hall meeting and it was one lie after another and the last debate.

Is he presidential material?

Poynter wrote this about the last debate…
The final presidential debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump may have had fewer interruptions, but it wasn’t any more truthful. It was similar to the first debate, in that Trump’s comments needed more fact-checking than Biden’s.
The president of the United States is one of the most powerful person in the world and when the president says sound it has to be believed. When Trump said he wouldn’t sign a COVID-19 relief bill the stack market dropped hundred of point then the next day he said that he would sign the bill and the market bounced back that is no way for a president behave.

During the early days of COVID-19 they made personal protective masks and incubators into political weapons. When Connecticut found a supply of ventilator for the hospitals and they were snatched up by the feds.
Gov. Jared Polis: FEMA took our ventilators out from under us
Colorado Politics
By Marianne Goodland,
April 4, 2020

"It was nice when we were competing against the states," but competing against the federal government for personal protective equipment and ventilators is a whole other matter, Gov. Jared Polis said Friday night.

Polis, a guest on CNN Friday night, told anchor Don Lemon that the state had "a lead" on a manufacturer of ventilators that would come in at a good price, and then the Federal Emergency Management Administration came in and swept them up "and we're not getting them." The order was for 500 ventilators, which would have been a substantial addition to the state's stockpile.
You had to bow down and beg to Trump for medical supplies.
How Trump turned ventilators into a form of patronage
It isn’t supposed to work like this.
By Aaron Rupar
April 10, 2020

A seemingly innocuous tweet President Donald Trump posted about Colorado receiving ventilators from the government actually raises troubling questions about the extent to which the president is using lifesaving medical equipment as a form of political patronage.

On Wednesday Trump announced that he was sending 100 ventilators to Colorado — a development he credited to a request from a Republican senator facing an uphill reelection campaign this year, Cory Gardner.

Trump was playing politics with people lives.

Then there are the Republican priorities…

The stock markets has been dropping over 1000 points since Friday, why?

The Washington Post said,
Dow plunges 650 points as coronavirus cases flare up, stimulus hopes fade
Rising infections and dimming stimulus optimism compound uncertainty in the run-up to the election.
By Taylor Telford and Hamza Shaban
October 26, 2020

U.S. markets slumped Monday as investors grappled with uncertainty about economic stimulus negotiations and soaring coronavirus cases across the country.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 650 points, or 2.3 percent, to 27,686. The S&P 500-stock index tumbled nearly 1.9 percent, to 3,401, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index dropped 1.6 percent, to 11,359. The sell-off erased all of the blue-chip index’s gains for October.

The United States hit a record high in new coronavirus cases Friday, with more than 83,700 reported, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The resurgence is compounding volatility in the countdown to the presidential election, said Craig Erlam, an analyst with OANDA.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell pushed aside everything including COVID stimulus package to approve Trump’s nominee. Businesses are closing, renters are being evicted, people are going hungry, and people don’t know how they are going to survive but that wasn’t important what was important was packing the Supreme Court with justices that their zealous religious anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ justices, anti-environmental, pro-business judges.

Under Trump, everything has been politicized. He got rid of all the inspector generals who were investigating him and his cronies. He stripped environmental protection, he opened up hunting to allow killing bears in their winter dens, he opened up oil and mineral mining in national protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries. He appointed “temporary” department heads and cabinet secretaries to get around them being vetted by the Senate. He pardoned his cronies when they were convicted or pleaded guilty.

Trump administration has probably surpassed the administrations of Buchanan, Grant, and Andrew Johnson for corruption.

The Battle Finally Won

Sometimes it takes a while for a wrong to be righted.
After 36 years and a troubled life, California transgender veteran finally wins honorable discharge
Mercury News
By Scott Schwebke
October 26, 2020

Kelly Katherine Roser couldn’t shake the shame, self-loathing and persistent thoughts of suicide.

It was the fall of 1983 — a full decade before the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and nearly 30 years before she would transition to a transgender woman — and Roser was at war within herself. As a recently promoted Air Force staff sergeant, she struggled with proudly wearing the stripes of her new rank and living in her own skin.

One afternoon, at the height of her internal battle while awaiting a less-than-honorable discharge, Roser entered a parts room at Edwards Air Force Base. There, she slung a long, heavy electrical cord over an exposed beam and fashioned it into a noose around her neck.
In August, the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records upgraded Roser’s 1984 discharge from general to honorable.
Roser, who transitioned to a woman in 2012, has long been ashamed of the general discharge and is pleased it has been changed.

Wrong can be righted.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Under The Microscope

There has been many studies into what makes us tick but one thing to remember with all the research is if they find a “cause” for being trans all they found is one possible cause, there could be many, many reasons why we are trans.
The Disturbing History of Research into Transgender Identity
Research into the determinants of gender identity may do more harm than good
Scientific America
By Jack Turban
October 23, 2020

In 1975 psychiatrist Robert Stoller of the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote something bizarre in his textbook on sex and gender. He asserted that people who were assumed to be boys when they were born but whose gender identity or expression did not match that assumption “often have pretty faces, with fine hair, lovely complexions, graceful movements, and—especially—big, piercing, liquid eyes.” Based on this observation, he suggested a theoretical model in which transgender girls become transgender because they are especially cute. Society treats them more like girls, he reasoned, and because of this experience, they start to identify as female.

As a physician-scientist, I’m generally of the opinion that knowledge leads to progress. But studies focused on this particular question—those asking what determines someone’s gender identity—have led us down some strange and dangerous paths. Researchers in this area appear to be in search of some objective truth, but the science is rooted in a subjective assumption: that we need to know what makes someone transgender so that they can be “fixed.” As a result, scientists have relentlessly pursued such questions, launching studies that promoted ideas that could hurt transgender children and their families.
And researchers like Kenneth Zucker PhD and Ray Blanchard PhD liked these studies and came out with their own research.

One of the things you should do when you read about a “study” is how did they pick their subjects. One such theory that has been debunked is autogynephilia by Blanchard in his book The Man Who Would Be Queen but by his own words the research was flawed. His survey was never validated to see if it was really measuring what he was testing, he picked his subjects from gay bars not randomly, he didn’t have a “control” group, and I think most tell of all he never tested cisgender women to see if they exhibit the same traits.

Another study that was debunked was the Brown University study that coined the phrase “Rapid Onset of Gender Dysphoria” (ROGD)…
Similar research into the psychological causes of transgender identity continues even today. A physician at Brown University recently conducted an anonymous survey of respondents recruited via Web sites for parents who believe peer pressure and online influences have made their children transgender. The survey essentially asked the parents if they thought the Internet made their children trans, and the parents, not surprisingly, given that they were visiting Web sites about this idea, answered yes. Conservative media latched onto the study, suggesting that transgender children are really just confused kids tricked into being transgender after reading something on Reddit. The implication is that we need to take these kids away from supportive online LGBTQ communities so that they can be made cisgender again. Reading through this literature, we need to ask ourselves some questions: What is the reason for this research? What does it hope to accomplish? The tireless search reveals a thinly veiled dogma: that being transgender is a pathology to be fixed. This belief not only harms transgender people but also undermines good science.
This study as I see it had two major flaws, first was in the way the researcher selected her subjects from anti-trans conservative websites and second the researcher was questioning parents and not their trans child about the trans identity formation.

Picking test subjects is the most important things in doing a survey or research study. Suppose you are doing a study the is looking at the cause of crime. So you survey a prison and you find 70 percent of the inmates smoked cigarettes you could jump to the conclusion that cigarettes causes criminal behavior. But if you look at the general population only a small fraction of the smokers are criminals and that would shoot down your hypothesis that cigarettes causes criminal behavior.

Surveying a marginalized population is very hard. First many of the members of the target population do not want to come out, and second it is very hard to survey everyone in the target population over the whole social-economic spectrum. Take for example the 2015 US Transgender Survey, it was done online and this has built error… only people who have access to a computer could do the survey and as a result many of the more marginalized members of the community never took the survey.

When I was working to develop a survey that was funded by Yale University we used a modified “snowball” recruitment procedure. The term “snowball” mean you recruit me (a seed) and I recruit three other people and they each recruit three more people each. What become very important are the seed people that you recruit, you want them to be as diverse as the population you’re surveying.

Also what are you surveying? Is it a general needs assessment or are you trying to prove or disprove hypothesis? So for the 2015 US Transgender Survey it isn’t necessarily bad that they used an online survey because it is really a needs assessment survey and they are not trying to prove or disprove anything they just want to see what are the needs of the community. But for research in to autogynephilia picking your subject from gay bars is a problem, I think you can see how picking your test subjects from a gay bar distorts the results. If they went to a trans conference how would it have effected the results?

So there are many factors you need to look at when you read about a research project or a survey.

That all being said, I am working on a LGBTQ+ needs assessment survey for the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Legislative LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network. It is a needs assessment survey so that means it is going to be a convenience survey like the 2015 US Transgender Survey.

What we hope is to get every LGBTQ+ person in Connecticut to take the survey. We are looking at healthcare, housing, employment, and quality of life here in Connecticut. We also ask how the current epidemic is affecting you.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

There Is A Difference

Do you think Trump would ever do this?
Joe Biden makes a pledge to trans people: “I believe that Trans Lives Matter”
The death of Sara Blackwood, in part, spurred former Vice President Joe Biden to speak on the "unacceptable" epidemic of violence facing transgender & gender non-conforming people.
LGBTQ Nation
Commentary by Joe Biden
October 18, 2020

Violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, particularly Black and Brown transgender women, is an epidemic that needs national leadership.

So far this year, the Human Rights Campaign has tracked 33 transgender or gender non-conforming people who have been violently killed, including the tragic shooting of Sara Blackwood earlier this week in Indiana. This is the highest number on record with more than two months left in the year, and the vast majority are Black and Brown transgender women. It’s unacceptable.

These deaths don’t exist within a vacuum. Dehumanizing government actions and rhetoric as well as a failure to address risk factors like domestic and intimate partner violence, underemployment and unemployment and poverty, housing insecurity and health disparities, put this community at risk.
As President, I will put forward comprehensive solutions to help empower the transgender and gender non-conforming community and prioritize the prosecution of anti-transgender violence. My administration will enact the Equality Act to end legal discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, expand economic opportunities for LGBTQ+ people, reform our treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in our criminal justice system, ensure access to accurate identification documents, and improve government data collection to better track violence against the transgender community.

I believe that Trans Lives Matter and, as president, I will fight on behalf of every vulnerable person in this country.

Trump has said this also when he was on the campaign but once he was elected his true colors came out and judging Biden on when he was Vice President he supported Obama’s LGBTQ+ policies.

Our very life and well being depends on the outcome of this election. VOTE!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saturday 9: Lights (2011)

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

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

1) This song was inspired by a young Ellie Goulding's fear of the dark. What scared you when you were a kid?
The unexpected.

2) She thinks back to the room where her brother and sister slept and she felt safe. Did you share a room when you were growing up?
Yes, with my sibling.

3) Ellie Goulding grew up in public housing and worked her way through the University of Kent in Canterbury. Back in those days, her favorite job was theater usher because it offered her the perk of seeing plays for free. What's the most recent "freebie" you scored? (This includes a buy one/get one deal, extra points on your credit card, etc.)
Well it isn’t exactly a freebie but it was forty cents off on gas. The local supermarket gives you points for how much you spend and I had 400 points so I got 40 cents off a gallon of gas. One of the advantages of having a plug-in I that you build up a lot of points.

4) Even though today she is an international music star, Ellie still lives modestly. She describes herself as "still in university mode," and limits herself to $10/day for lunch. Where do you economize?
I buy store generic brands

5) Ellie has proclaimed herself "a cat lady" and often posts pictures of her cats to her Instagram account. What's the most recent photo you took?
Oh, gee… I take so many pictures!

Here is the latest photo.

6) Ellie appeared on Sesame Street. She, Elmo and Abby thanked clouds for raindrops, lakes, and the water we drink. Would you be thankful for a little rain this weekend?
Most definitely!
We are in the middle of severe drought.

7) In 2011, the year "Lights" was a hit, Prince William married Kate Middleton. Ellie not only attended the wedding, she sang Elton John's "Your Song" for the couple's first dance. Tell us a song that reminds you of a romance in your life.
The Four Tops - Baby I Need Your Loving

8) Also in 2011, AT&T abandoned their attempt to buy T-Mobile. Which company is your cell phone carrier? Are you happy with them?
Consumer Cellar, most definitely.

9) Random question: What recent experience made you feel old?
My grandniece voted for the first time.

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

Friday, October 23, 2020

It A Climate Where Hate Is Condoned

In the last couple of weeks 3 more trans people have been killed shattering the record set last year. Yesterday when I wrote about the Marine serving only five years for the cold blooded murder of a trans woman in the Philippines, now this morning I come across this article...
Six Transgender Women Have Been Killed Within the Last Month
Sara Blackwood and Brooklyn DeShauna Smith are the latest reported victims of the trans homicide epidemic in America.
By James Factora
October 19, 2020

The past two weeks saw two additional murders of trans people during what is already the deadliest year for the community on record: Brooklyn DeShauna Smith in Shreveport, Louisiana and Sara Blackwood in Indianapolis, Indiana. Smith and Blackwood are the 32nd and 33rd reported trans homicide victims of this year.

Smith was found dead in her apartment in Shreveport, Louisiana on October 7, with police reporting at least one gunshot injury. It is unclear as of yet whether the tragic killing was a hate crime, as local authorities have scheduled an autopsy in order “to determine if gender identification was a factor in her death,” according to Shreveport news station KSLA.

According to the LGBTQ+ website Gay Times, Smith had recently celebrated her 20th birthday and was studying cosmetology at a local community college. Smith is the fourth known Black trans woman to be killed in Louisiana since July, following the deaths of Shaki Peters, Queasha D. Hardy, and Kee Sam.
Days after Smith’s death, Blackwood was critically wounded in a shooting in Indianapolis. She died in the hospital as a result of her injuries on Sunday, as the local news affiliate WTTV reports.
Hate is running rampant in this country thanks to the leadership (or lack of leadership). The white supremacists and haters have been given a green light to attack those who are different from them.
Last year, the American Medical Association declared violence against Black trans women to be an epidemic.
And Trump is egging on violence.

With the rise in armed white supremacist militias tensions grow.
With militias on the rise, states boost vigilance
Christian Science Monitor
By Patrik Jonsson Staff and Noah Robertson
October 15,2020

Around the time that Sylvia Santana watched armed men pile into the Michigan Capitol in Lansing to protest pandemic restrictions in April, a plot to attack politicians involving at least one of those men, the FBI says, had begun to hatch.

Tempers were stretched. A seemingly fringe idea transformed into an operation.
Americans, in fact, are watching the rule of law put to severe new tests by the rise of armed and politically engaged civilians on America’s streets in a year of protests, pandemic, and an already divisive election campaign.

Some, like those arrested in the Michigan plot, are members of privately organized militia groups. Others are not. Either way, many experts see a slippery slope along the line from constitutionally protected rights such as gun ownership to political violence that could threaten the nation’s democratic framework.

In Michigan a sheriff with ties to white supremacists organization has refused to obey a lawful order.
Michigan sheriffs and police refuse to enforce state government ban on guns at polling places
World Socialist Web Site
By Eric London
October 19, 2020

On October 16, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced a new guideline prohibiting open carry of assault rifles, long guns and handguns within 100 feet of polling places. The guidance makes clear the state government believes the threat posed by militias for election day violence remains ongoing:

“The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk’s office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear or intimidation for voters, election workers and others present.”

On Monday afternoon, the head of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police denounced the guidance and said police officers would not follow it.
It is getting scary out there with all the right-wing people coming to the polling places armed.

Very few liberals resort to the armed tactics, it is the conservatives who are showing up with assault rifles and I fear what will happen if they lose the election. I fear what will happen if Justice Barrett is confirmed, Connecticut gun laws has survived a Supreme Court challenge once will it be struck down by Justice Barrett?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Our Lives Are Cheap

A former Marine who murdered the trans woman Jennifer Laude in the Philippines in 2014 and was sentenced to 6 to 20 years was released earlier this year and sent back to the US.
Family, LGBTQ+ group react to release of New Bedford man pardoned for killing transgender woman
South Coast
By Kiernan Dunlop
October 20, 2020

NEW BEDFORD - While members of Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton’s family are happy he’s been released from a Phillippine prison, a local LGBTQ+ group is concerned that the U.S. Marine may choose to resettle on the SouthCoast.
In September, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pardoned Pemberton, a New Bedford native, saying the Marine was not treated fairly after opponents blocked his early release for good conduct in detention.

“I was happy that he was out and the president from their country gave him the pardon,” Pemberton’s grandfather Joseph Pemberton said Monday, adding that the whole family is happy.
Cold blooded murderer of a trans person only gets 5 years and get a load of what his grandfather said…
When he initially heard about his grandson’s involvement in a homicide, Joseph said he was shocked, because he’s known him since he was born and, “he was such a good good kid I couldn’t fathom him doing anything like this.”
Pemberton’s grandfather said if he comes back to the SouthCoast, he doesn’t think anyone should fear him.

“He’s not a violent person,” Joseph said. “He would never harm anyone, there is more to the story than what we’ve read.”

Joseph said he’s the type of kid that wouldn’t kill a ladybug, he would just blow it away.
He used a “Trans panic defense.” which is banned here in Connecticut,
Witnesses said Pemberton and Laude had checked into a motel room where Laude, 26, was later found dead, her head slumped in a toilet bowl.

During his trial, Pemberton’s lawyers used a “trans panic” defense.

USA Today reported that Pemberton told the court he acted in self-defense after he discovered that a man, not a woman, was performing a sexual act on him.
The trans community speaks out in Massachusetts…
“He should have stayed in jail,” Joan Stratton, a transgender woman and board member of the South Coast LGTBQ+ Network said. ” I don’t know why they pardoned him, it doesn’t make sense to me.”
Pemberton’s record of violence against trans people is of concern to the LGBTQ+ community, according to the South Coast LBTQ+ Network’s statement, because while Pemberton’s plans back in the United States are unknown, he may choose to resettle in New Bedford.
Let’s face it. Our lives are cheap, it seems like the most violent murders get light sentences when they kill a trans person.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Why I Will Never Vote Republican.

I started a weekly series, every Tuesday* until election day and I am posting why I will not vote Republican.

Back in the sixties and seventies the Republicans saw that most of the Democratic funding came from unions and the votes came from the working class so they set about in dismantling the unions. And as a bonus they passed “At Will” employment.

They started passing “Right to Work” laws that were designed to strip the Democrats of they funding and as an added bonus it made the major Republican donors happy.

The other thing the Republicans notice that blacks and Latinos, and inner cities voted Democratic so they set about disenfranchising those voters but the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was blocking their efforts to disenfranchise voters so slowly they dismantled the act.

In Republican states they started to gerrymander the voting districts. In some voting districts the district went down one side of a street so they could connect the heavy Republican suburbs with a slice of a Democratic urban districts. They also started imposing voting restriction once again after the Supreme Court struck downs parts of the Voting Rights Act and they also denied felons from voting, so if you got busted for selling a joint you could lose your right to vote. Since most of the felons are black this resulted in preventing mostly Democrats from voting.

The Republicans have been closing polling places are the country, their latest trick is to remove ballot boxes to drop off absentee ballots since minorities use them more than white suburban voters. In Texas in one county they only have one ballot box for 4.7 million people! The Washington Post reported
In several Texas counties that have a population of more than 1 million, the order would close several satellite sites. Harris County, which includes Houston and has more than 4.7 million residents, is the state’s largest county and the third largest in the United States, according to the census. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Harris County has 12 ballot drop-off sites; Travis County, which includes Austin and has a population of 1.2 million, has four sites.
The governor did it as a blatant voter suppression tactic.

Lastly they are taking control of the courts around the nation and packing them young religious ideologues who are anti-LGBTQ. Senate Majority leader McConnell blocked President Obama’s Supreme Court pick and held up over 127 of his judicial nominees and now they are packing the courts.  In 2016 McConnell said eight months before that they were going to wait until the elections to vote on the new Supreme Court justice for the people to vote in the November election, but now just weeks before the elections they are ramming through Trump’s Supreme Court nominee ignoring the precedent that McConnell set in 2016.  

The results of all this is that in Republican states they made it almost impossible for the Democrats to win and if they did win then in lame duck sessions they strip the governor’s power.

What is their goal in all this?

Well I think that it is to dismantle the two party system and to have a one party systems like the dictatorships and oligarchies in other countries around the world.

* I had to take a friend to a doctors appointment yesterday so I didn’t have time to write my blog.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Beat The Trans Out Of You

It seems like the right wing Christians are at it again; anything goes when it comes to LGBTQ+ children.
Young trans men share brutal accounts of conversion therapy camps, where they were abused and forced to carry heavy rocks
For years now, secretive online networks of anti-trans parents have been forming on both sides of the Atlantic, looking for conversion therapy proponents who are “gender critical”.
Pink News UK
By Brynn Tannehill
October 2, 2020

The parents hope that these therapists will refuse to affirm a child’s own sense of their gender identity, and somehow convince their children that they are not trans.

While so-called “gay conversion therapy” – a harmful and discredited practice that attempts to convince or force a gay, lesbian or bisexual person into believing that they are heterosexual – has been in the British news recently while the Tory-led government considers banning the practice, conversion therapy for trans youth is less often talked about.
However, affirming therapists accept the gender identity of their patients regardless of the outcome being cis, trans or non-binary. For gender critical therapists, the only result they will accept is cis, suggesting where attempts to railroad youth into a particular gender identity actually occurs.
Here in Connecticut both are banned, gay conversion therapy and trans conversion therapy.

Here is my prediction, with Justice Barrett on the bench we will see a case go to the Supreme Court on the legality of gay conversion therapy bans saying that it infringes upon their “religious freedom” to beat and torture children. And sadly I think they would win even through lower courts in the past have upheld the laws.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Why Do They Hate Us?

It is vengeful.

All because they cannot accept people who are different from them. Whether it is race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity they hate our guts.
New Texas rule lets social workers turn away clients who are LGBTQ or have a disability
A professional organization of social workers called the change "incredibly disheartening," while Gov. Greg Abbott's office said it was necessary to conform with existing state law.
Texas Tribune
By Edgar Walters
October 14, 2020

Texas social workers are criticizing a state regulatory board’s decision this week to remove protections for LGBTQ clients and clients with disabilities who seek social work services.

The Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners voted unanimously Monday to change a section of its code of conduct that establishes when a social worker may refuse to serve someone. The code will no longer prohibit social workers from turning away clients on the basis of disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office recommended the change, board members said, because the code’s nondiscrimination protections went beyond protections laid out in the state law that governs how and when the state may discipline social workers.

“It’s not surprising that a board would align its rules with statutes passed by the Legislature,” said Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze. A state law passed last year gave the governor’s office more control over rules governing state-licensed professions.

The nondiscrimination policy change drew immediate criticism from a professional association. Will Francis, executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, called it “incredibly disheartening.”

He also criticized board members for removing the nondiscrimination protections without input from the social workers they license and oversee.

The question is why?

When some needs a social worker they are in crisis and now they face even more trauma at the hands of those who they went to for help.

And notice that the vote of the board was unanimously. The Republican control board was totally behind these vindictive rulings. According to the Advocate,
The vote struck down protections that had already been in place. The board banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2010 and gender identity and expression in 2012.

The move had been recommended by the office of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, as the code’s former nondiscrimination protections went above and beyond those offered by state law, which oversees the disciplining of social workers. The governor’s staff had urged the changes in an email last Friday, which sparked the vote just three days afterward.
The Texas Tribune went on to report that…
Steven Parks, a social worker in private practice in Houston who works with child trauma victims, told The Texas Tribune the rule change was “both a professional and a personal gut punch.”

“There’s now a gray area between what’s legally allowed and ethically responsible,” he said. “The law should never allow a social worker to legally do unethical things.”
The National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics state,
Value: Dignity and Worth of the Person

Ethical Principle: Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person.

Social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers promote clients' socially responsible self-determination. Social workers seek to enhance clients' capacity and opportunity to change and to address their own needs. Social workers are cognizant of their dual responsibility to clients and to the broader society. They seek to resolve conflicts between clients' interests and the broader society's interests in a socially responsible manner consistent with the values, ethical principles, and ethical standards of the profession.
1.05 Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity
(a) Social workers should understand culture and its function in human behavior and society, recognizing the strengths that exist in all cultures.

(b) Social workers should have a knowledge base of their clients' cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in the provision of services that are sensitive to clients' cultures and to differences among people and cultural groups.

(c) Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical ability.
If they refuse LGBTQ clients they are violating the Code of Ethics.

Social workers are not just therapists, they also work for state agencies like Human and Social Services so this affects a number of specialties.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Saturday 9: Vision of Love

Sam's Saturday 9: Vision of Love (1990)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I was up to my brother’s and sister-in-law’s condo in Maine last weekend for my birthday.

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

1) The lyrics refer to "sweet destiny." Do you believe in destiny?
No we make our own path in life.

2) This week's artist, Mariah Carey, has something to fall back on. She studied cosmetology and worked as a hair sweeper in a salon. When you get your hair cut, do you socialize with the stylist?
Naw… I just shave it all off and wear a wig.
When the wig gets ratty throw it out and get a new one (about every six months). It is actually cheaper, you save on hair cuts more than the cost of the wig.
3) She isn't likely to turn to cosmetology any time soon. Mariah is currently on the best seller list with her autobiography, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Was the last book you finished fiction or non-fiction?
Science fiction. It was an audiobook, Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey, it is a classic trilogy
Dragonsong and Dragonsinger feature 15-year-old Menolly, a girl with great musical talent raised in an isolated sea-hold (akin to a fishing village) where composition is no part of a girl's future. Dragonsong ends with her invitation to the main craft-hall of the harpers. Dragonsinger covers her brief apprenticeship there, ending with her promotion to journeyman.

Dragondrums focuses on Piemur, a secondary character in Dragonsinger as a boy soprano, and one apprentice who made Menolly feel welcome. His voice changes and he needs a new occupation, perhaps at the communication drums.
4) So far, more than 800 people have reviewed Mariah's book on Amazon. Do you review products/services online?
Nope… well not usually I think that I have maybe posted a half a dozen reviews. They have to really good or really bad.

5) When she was a high school student, she was nicknamed "Mirage" because she skipped class so often. Did you ever play hooky?

6) Mariah doesn't apologize for spoiling her dogs, who have been known to travel by limo. Do you know anyone who treats their pets like people?
Unfortunately yes. She carries her lap dog in like a baby carrier on her back and her little dog watches over her shoulder. What gets me mad is that she says it is a service dog, she bought the paperwork and the vest on the internet.

7) In 1990, the year this song was popular, Martina Navratilova won the Wimbledon Women's Singles Tournament. How's your tennis game?
I playing the Nationals next year… yeah right.
The only game more boring than tennis is golf. And what is this about "love?" Who's in love??

8) Also in 1990, Pope John Paul II toured Mexico. Have you ever visited our neighbor south of the border?
New York state?
Yeah, it's a great state to visit.

9) Random question(s): There are Gofundme campaigns for many purposes. Have you ever solicited funds online? Would you?
No, I rather let those who really need to do a Gofundme campaign do it.

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, October 16, 2020

Thirty Pieces Of Silver

That is the only reason I see why LGBTQ+ people vote for Trump and the Republican party.

Trump has done so much to oppress the LGBTQ+ community. He has reinterpret the ACA (Obamacare) to not in protections for LGBTQ+ people. He fought against the inclusion of LGBTQ+ in Title VII and IX. Trump tried to block LGBTQ+ adoptions from foreign countries.

But still trough all that they still support him.
Trump Pride: Gay Republicans on why they're backing the president
While LGBTQ Americans have historically been a reliable Democratic voting bloc, some gay voters say they're "100 percent on board" with Trump this year.
NBC News
By Dan Avery
October 15, 2020

“I had every intention of voting for Hillary in 2016, but Comey had released his statement the day before, giving me all sorts of doubts,” Rogers, 44, said. “I wasn't thrilled with Hillary as a nominee, and I don't trust the Clintons at all, but she acted more presidential. At the last minute, I went with Trump and have had no regrets since.”

He isn't blind to Trump's faults, but said the key issues for him this election are the economy and national security.
Greed wins, he rather have the thirty pieces of silver than have job security.
The exact size of Trump's LGBTQ base is unclear. An unscientific survey last month by the gay social app Hornet indicated that 45 percent of its American respondents were voting to re-elect the president. But a Morning Consult poll from June found 19 percent of LGBTQ voters backed Trump, while GLAAD's State of LGBTQ Voters report in September reported just 17 percent of LGBTQ registered voters were supporting the president.

GLAAD's poll results were similar to exit poll findings from 2016, which found that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters backed Hillary Clinton over Trump by 74 percent to 14 percent.
You can easily tell the LGBTQ+ Republicans from LGBTQ+ Democrats, the Republicans care about “Me” while the Democrats care about “Us.”
Phil Kazmierczak, a gay real estate agent in Virginia who said he's "100 percent on board" with the president, blames Democrats for fixating on identity politics.

"They force you to believe, with the help of liberal media bias, that you are no more than your sexuality or your gender or your race," Kazmierczak said in an email. "They want you to believe that someone is constantly coming for your rights. If you're gay, specifically, Democrat propaganda states that the Republicans are going to take away your rights."
Um… they are. They have. Don’t you remember these three Supreme Court case; Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?

Maybe you don’t remember that the Trump administration argued that we were not covered by Title VII.
Once in office, however, Trump has consistently opposed LGBTQ rights — from rolling back Obama-era nondiscrimination protections to banning openly transgender service members in the military. The national LGBTQ rights group GLAAD has accused the Trump administration of 181 separate attacks on the community since his inauguration.
They have selective blinders on, they don’t remember Trump ordering US embassies not to fly the Pride flag.
Jennifer Williams, a transgender woman, was an honorary delegate at the 2016 Republican National Convention. She said some LGBTQ voters are looking beyond issues related to their sexual orientation and gender identity and are prioritizing things like unemployment and housing.
"By deregulating a lot of things, it's really freed up the economy," he said. "I think, pre-Covid, he did a remarkable job for minority communities in employment. The Obama administration, in particular the second term, really added a lot of environmental regulations that slowed down the economy."
Dear Ms. Williams I think being discriminated again and denied housing, which under Trump’s HUD and Trump’s Department of Labor allows us to be fired for just being ourselves. Forcing us to be homeless and unemployed are very, very important issues… it is the “us” not the “me.”

They ignore the fact that the current Supreme Court nominee wrote
Barrett briefly spoke about Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark decision that guaranteed the right to marry for same-sex couples, during the Jacksonville University lecture. She suggested that the decision was not the court explicitly ruling in favor of or against same-sex marriage, but rather ruling whether states had the right to decide if that right was guaranteed. Barrett defended Chief Justice John Roberts' dissent, which said that the constitution didn't speak to the question and thus it wasn't the court's place to decide, but that people had the right to lobby in state legislatures to make same-sex marriage allowed within the state.
She said that the transgender rights offered under Title IX is a "strain of the text," and since the original interpretation of the statute did not consider changes in modern ideas regarding transgender individuals, it is a "who decides" question on whether Title IX should be changed to explicitly detail transgender rights in the language.
But these Log Cabin Republicans only consider themselves and not others.

Me, me, me! 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Words Matter

And tells a lot about someone… it is just not a slip of the tongue.
Judge Barrett, don't use 'sexual preference' for LGBTQ people. It's incorrect and alarming.
Amy Coney Barrett graduated from law school first in her class. She's 48 and came of age with the LGBTQ rights movement. She should have known better.
USA Today – Opinion 
By Steven Petrow
October 14, 2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett stepped into a queer hornet’s nest during her confirmation hearings to become the next Supreme Court justice. Asked about her views on discrimination against LGBTQ people, she replied: "I have no agenda, and I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference."

Then the internet erupted in flames. That’s because Barrett used two words—sexual preference — that LGBTQ people find offensive, and which takes a blind eye to all the credible scientific research showing that sexual orientation is not a preference or a choice. It is an immutable part of our identity, and that’s true whether a person is straight or gay.
Sexual preference is a code word that is used by the right, it implies that it is a choice.
In fact, “sexual preference” is what’s considered a dog whistle, coded language to a specific audience. For instance the anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom regularly uses “sexual preference” instead of “sexual orientation.”

So yes, words matter.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is the law firm that is suing Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and towns here in Connecticut.
Who is Alliance Defending Freedom? The religious-conservative legal group has targeted transgender high school athletes in Connecticut
Hartford Courant
By Alex Putterman
February 14, 2020

The first sign that the families of three Connecticut high school track runners are serious about preventing transgender athletes from competing in girls sports in the state is the involvement of a group called Alliance Defending Freedom.

ADF, a longtime fixture in religious-conservative legal advocacy, has built an impressive record in front of the U.S. Supreme Court while pushing causes such as abortion restrictions and limits on LGBTQ rights.

Here is what to know about an organization the New York Times has called “the largest legal force of the religious right.”
In 2018, ADF successfully argued in front of the Supreme Court on behalf of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Colorado store that refused to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple. Last year, the group took on a Pennsylvania school district that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their sexual identity. The Supreme Court declined to take that case, allowing the policy to stand.

Over time, the group has seemed to broaden its focus. Asked the connection between transgender athletes and religious freedom, ADF vice president of U.S. advocacy Jeremy Tedesco said the suit relates to “fundamental fairness in women’s athletics.”
In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated ADF as an anti-LGBT hate group, citing the following:

ADF’s support for criminalization of same-sex marriage.
  • Its attorneys’ defense of state-sanctioned sterilization of transgender people in Europe.
  • Its officials’ suggestion that homosexuality is linked with pedophilia.
  • The group’s claim that gay rights will “destroy our society.”
  • One SPLC executive has said an ADF lawyer’s support of an Indian law banning gay sex was “what really pushed [them] over the top" in designating the organization a hate group.
Now add to mix Judge Barrett who has close ties to the ADF, USA Today opinion goes on to say…
So, too, does Barrett’s actual record. In previous years she’s spoken five times to the ADF. “Were you aware of the ADF’s decades-long efforts to recriminalize homosexuality?” Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy asked the nominee. In response, she claimed not to know all of their positions. And while Barrett said she had never  discriminated against LGBTQ people, from 2015-2017 she sat on the board of directors of an Indiana school that opposed same-sex marriage then and still does now.

Did she simply make a goof at her hearing? Of course, that’s possible. And Barrett did offer a meek apology later in the day when pressed. "I certainly didn’t mean and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community. So if I did, I greatly apologize for that," she said.

Was it willful ignorance? Indeed her prep time has been rushed to ensure her nomination is voted on before Election Day. Still, ignorance is a hard card to play since a woman’s right to abortion, the Affordable Care Act and LGBTQ rights are the hot-button issues of these hearings. At the top of her handlers’ list of “LGBTQ 101 issues” would be this admonition: Do not use the term “sexual preference.”
You know that the Connecticut case with trans athletes will go to the Supreme Court, the question is will she recuse herself from the case and other cases where the ADF is the plaintiff's attorney? 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

It Just Keeps Being Piled On

Everywhere we turn there is discrimination against us, whether it is when we try to vote, give blood, or trying to collect unemployment we face harassment or discrimination.
Why some transgender voters have an even bigger challenge to casting their ballots
By Scottie Andrew
October 13, 2020

Koby Ozias might have been kept from voting if he hadn't known his rights.

Ozias, a transgender man from Corpus Christi, Texas, couldn't afford to legally change his name or update his ID before he went to vote in state elections in November 2013.

He brought his old ID -- with a name he no longer used and a photo that no longer resembled him -- to the polls that year.

Poll workers grilled him on his identity. They attempted to stop him from voting, he told CNN. He insisted he was the person in his picture.

Voter ID requirements, purportedly put in place to prevent voter fraud, typically end up keeping Black, indigenous and transgender voters from voting at all if they don't have the proper identification, critics say.
I had a minor problem once by a poll worker. He asked me if I was Diana, now my voter registration was Diana, my driver license was Diana and had my photo of me as Diana. I said yes and he stared at me and I stared at him and finally handed my driver license back to me.

Then our name change can cause us grief…
Transgender Woman Says Illinois Is Denying Her Unemployment Benefits Because Of Name Change
CBS Chicago
By Tara Molina
October 12, 2020

A transgender veteran is fighting a battle to get unemployment benefits, saying her transition is keeping her from getting any money.

On Monday night, CBS 2’s Tara Molina asked the State of Illinois what is going on here, and what is being done to fix it.

Myra Lebron’s name change was delayed by the pandemic. When it was finally official, she said she wanted to celebrate it.

But then, the issues with the state started it.

The name Myra Lebron appears on her Social Security card and her driver’s license, and it is her name now. But she said the Illinois Department of Employment Security refuses to recognize it.

“To finally get the name change process finish and continue to with my transition, something I hoped for so many years, just to get smacked with all of this,” Lebron said. “It eats away at you, to a heavy degree.”
For my name change, the day that I got laid off (The new owners didn’t want us so they closed down our shop) I transitioned and I changed all my paperwork for work just before I got the pink slip.

Everything was fine until COBRA ran out and I went on my retirement health insurance but the stubs had my old name on them. After weeks of trying to straighten it out I called the former HR director (She got laid off also) and she used her contacts at corporate to straighten it out. She said that they had the old me as retired and Diana as working, I asked “Does that mean that I will get a pay check as well as my retirement checks?” No such luck.

I know some trans people who this was a problem but others had no problem…
Transgender Man Told to Identify as Female at Birth on Blood Donation Paperwork
NBC Washington
By Jackie Bensen 
October 8, 2020 

A transgender man says his sex at birth was required on his intake form when he was trying to donate blood in Virginia.

The man, who asked not to be identified because he’s still working through the demoralizing experience, said he went to an Inova Health System in Sterling facility Sept. 22 for his scheduled appointment.

He said a front desk staffer wrote down "gender at birth is female" and underlined it after repeatedly telling him, out loud in the busy clinic, that he must be listed by his birth gender on the paperwork.

"When you try to fight back, sometimes it just doesn’t work," he said. "They’re too big or too powerful, and in this case it happened, and I said, ‘I’m tired, I’m tired.'"
"I was angry," he said. "I kept thinking about the next trans person walking in there that does not deserve that."

I know one trans woman who filled out all the paperwork and was getting connected up to donate blood when the supervisor came marching out of her office saying in a loud voice “We don’t allow transsexuals to donate blood!” Can you say “HIPAA” violation!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Why I Don’t Vote Republican

When I cast my ballot I want to know that it will be counted.

However, the Republicans don’t like your vote to be counted, they don’t want to make voting easy and throw roadblocks in the way.
  • 'Racist voter suppression': Texas laws keep Latinos from the ballot box, groups say – As the state sees more Latino eligible voters, it keeps making it harder to register and to vote, Latino legal and civil rights organizations say.
  • California investigates unauthorized ballot boxes installed by Republicans
  • Georgia Voters Face Hours-Long Lines At Polls On First Day Of Early Voting
  • Voter suppression tactics against Black, Latino and Native communities
See last week’s post on Gerrymandering

And this does not include voting districts gerrymandering and other voter suppression tactics:
  • Kansas Senate President pushes redistricting plan that ‘takes out Sharice Davids’
  • How Texas became 'ground zero' for gerrymandering, voter suppression – When legislative districts are drawn to maximize partisan advantage, political parties tend to maximize their political power.
  • Stacking the deck: How the GOP works to suppress minority voting
  • Other ways that they are trying to block your vote.
  • Racist robo calls – falsely attributing racist comments to candidates. Robo calls to minority communities that falsely attribute racist comments to Democratic candidates and to the white suburbs falsely saying that Democratic will force minorities in to white suburbs. 
  • Voter ID – putting restricting on voting that are hard for minorities to do such as requiring a notarized copy of your birth certificate, which for minorities is something very hard to do because in some states you have to request a copy of your birth certificate in person. If you are working 50 to 60 hours a week it is almost impossible to get time off without losing pay. Connecticut does not require voter IDs or photo IDs and voter fraud is almost nonexistent here. 
  • Limiting early voting – if you are working 50 to 60 hours a week sometimes the only time you can get off is on days other than Tuesdays.
  • Placing “Poll Watchers” who are armed white supremacists in minority neighborhoods to intimidate voters.
  • Automatic deletion of voter registration if you don’t vote regularly you will be deleted from the voter registration lists
  • Placing fake voting boxes out in public
  • Prohibiting felons from voting even if it is for non-violent minor infractions like selling under one ounce of pot
  • Closing voting places in minorities areas
  • Rejecting absentee ballots for minor differences in signatures like not using your middle initial.
  • Requiring a physical address – many minorities are homeless, and indigenous people to have a physical  address when many reservations do not have streets as happened in North Dakota.
  • Trump stirring up distrust for absentee voting
The Republicans are doing everything in their power to disenfranchise voters and make this a one party  country like China, North Korea, Russia, and the former Soviet Block countries.
For Republicans  “One person, one vote” is the antithesis of the Republican philosophy.

Not Three Steps…

But more like a major blow to trans people… the bigots won.
Transgender women in rugby union: Mixed reaction to World Rugby decision
10 October 2020

World Rugby's decision to prevent transgender women from competing at the highest levels of the women's game has provoked a mixed reaction.

The move has been criticised by LGBT charity Stonewall, while some women's rights and gay rights campaigners have welcomed the decision.

New guidelines published on Friday "do not recommend" transgender women play contact rugby "on safety grounds".

National unions can be flexible in their application of the guidelines at community level.

Stonewall says it is "deeply disappointed" with the decision, but Fair Play for Women - which "works to protect the rights of women and girls in the UK" - thanked World Rugby "for not trading away women's safety".

"The proposals were based on hypothetical data modelling that has little relevance to the questions of fairness and safety in rugby that the policy review sought to address," said Stonewall chief executive Nancy Kelley.

A gay and lesbian organization stabbed us in the back.
However, Bev Jackson, co-founder of the LGB Alliance, said the organisation "applauds World Rugby for conducting a thorough, evidence-based study and making a decision on that basis to protect safety in women's rugby. We are very pleased that they resisted political pressure and kept to scientific facts. Many lesbians play this sport and they are enormously relieved."

She added that "judging by the reactions we have received, a great many LGB people and indeed many trans people think this was the right decision".
It was based on bogus research, how do I know?  Because it was based on “based on hypothetical data modelling” you can model anything but the answer might not reflect reality the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has allowed trans women to compete in women’s events since 2004 and there has not been a single injury caused by a trans woman.

Their study deems to be based on the old saying in about computers… Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO).
Speaking to BBC Sport in August, Grace McKenzie, a trans woman who plays for Golden Gate Women's rugby club in San Francisco, said she was worried "that other sporting federations will look at World Rugby and begin to second-guess the existing science that supports trans women's inclusion in sport, and begin to make policies based out of a place of fear instead of a place of logic and reason".

"I want to be able to participate fully with my team and in the sport that I love. I think that there is still a path forward to allow us to do that," she said.
If what the rugby union said is true then Ms. McKenzie would have left a trail of bodies in her wake, but not a single women was injured by her because she is trans.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Many Of The Younger Generation Do Not Know Our Pioneers

When I do a workshop on trans history I have this slide…
1999: National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) founded
    • Vanessa Edward Foster, Monica Roberts and other activists
Many trans people probably have not heard of NTAC but it is one of the first political activist organization, it predates NTCE by about 3 years. In 2004 Transexual Menace and NTAC pro- test HRC for backing a non-inclusive ENDA.

Ms. Roberts lead the way in lobbying Congress and in the quest for our rights.

In 2015 she was awarded the Pioneer Award from Fantasia Fair, in her speech she said,
When the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition was founded in 1999 at an Italian restaurant in Bethesda, MD, two Texans were sitting at that table helping to put it together in myself and Vanessa Edwards Foster.  

And that legacy of innovative Lone Star State trans leadership continues with Josephine Tittsworth's founding of the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit, which has resulted in 20 Texas colleges and universities and five school districts adopting trans inclusive policies.  Carter Brown has grown Black Trans Men Inc from a trans masculine centered conference that happened in Dallas to the Black Trans Advocacy Conference that will be held again in Big D in late April.
But unfortunately one thing hasn't changed since I began my own transition, and that is the level of anti-trans violence aimed at our community.

We received another reminder of it happening on the eve of this conference when Zella Ziona Smith was murdered last Thursday in Maryland.   The thing that infuriates me is that she was just 21 years old and continues the upsetting to me pattern of trans women of  color taking the disproportionate brunt of it.

It was at the Fantasia Fair that I got to meet her. I saw her at the Trans Pride march in Northampton but I didn’t get to meet her.

Just looking at all the articles in the mainstream media you can see all her accomplishments...
  • Monica Roberts Uses Her Blog to Bring Justice to the Trans Community – The Advocate
  • Transgender Rights Advocate And Journalist Monica Roberts Dies At 58 – NPR, ABC, The Washington Post. The Globe & Mail, Texas Tribune, and Democracy Now
  • Monica Roberts, trailblazing trans rights reporter, has died – The Grio
  • Monica Roberts, a Black trans journalist who covered the killings of trans women before national media did, dies at 58 – CNN
  • 'A trailblazing voice': Monica Roberts, influential trans journalist and activist, dies at 58 – USA Today
  • LGBTQ community mourns death of trans journalist Monica Roberts – NBC
  • Monica Roberts Had 'Medical Emergency' Before Death – Out
However, not so strangely conservative media didn’t cover her death.

There are no confirmed cause of her death but rumors are flying around, one report that it was a hit and run driver another that she had an aneurysm.

Whatever the cause, we lost a major leader for the trans community. 

Suggested reading…

About Ms. Roberts;
Roberts, M., (2007, October 18). The 1965 Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit-In. TransGriot, Retrieved September 22, 2009, from 

Roberts, M., (2012, March). A Look at African-American Trans Trailblazers, Ebony. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from

Trans History;
Ekins, R., & King, D. (2005, October). Virginia Prince: Transgender Pioneer. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(4), 5-15. Retrieved July 1, 2009, from LGBT Life with Full Text database .

Fienberg, L. (1993). Stone Butch Blues. Los Angeles, CA. Alyson Books.

Feinberg, L. (1994). Transgender Warrior. Boston, MA. Beacon Press.

Feinberg, L. (1998). 'I'm glad I was in the Stonewall riot'. Worker’s World. Retrieved August 1, 2009. From

Gan, J. (2007, Spring). Still at the back of the bus: Sylvia Rivera's struggle. Centro Journal, 19(1), 124-139. Retrieved July 1, 2009, from LGBT Life with Full Text database.

Green J. (2004, January). Becoming a Visible Man. Nashville, TN. Vanderbilt University Press.

King, D., Ekins, R., (2000), Pioneers of Transgendering: The Life and Work of Virginia Prince, GENDYS 2k, The Sixth International Gender Dysphoria Conference, Manchester England. 

MacKenzie, G. (1994). Transgender Nation. Bowling Green OH. Popular Press.

Meyerowitz, J. (2002). How Sex Changed. Boston, MA. Harvard Press.

Stryker, S. (2008). Transgender History. Berkley CA. Seal Press.

Sunday, October 11, 2020


Trump’s Executive Order to ban diversity training is getting a lot of negative push-back from businesses…
'It's already having a massive effect,' corporate America demands Trump rescind executive order on diversity
USA Today
By Jessica Guynn,
October 9, 2020

Michelle Kim received an email this week from a corporate client who asked her to make sure her anti-racism talk would comply with the White House’s new executive order prohibiting the use of terms such as “white privilege.” She offered to cancel the agreement instead.

“Even if I could deliver a compelling talk without using the term, I could not agree with the spirit of the ask,” Kim, an author and CEO of Awaken, which provides interactive diversity, equity and Inclusion workshops, wrote on Twitter. “I understand the predicament companies are in right now – ‘Does this expose us to legal risk?’ ‘Will we get sued?’ ‘Will we lose our government contracts?’”

President Trump’s decision to restrict the federal government and its contractors from engaging in what he calls “divisive” and “un-American” diversity training is sending a chilling effect throughout corporate America just as companies were stepping up efforts to address racial disparities following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, under the knee of white officer in Minneapolis in May.
The order created uncertainty in businesses and businesses don’t like uncertainty and they spoke up,
Push back is growing from civil rights leaders and industry groups. Dozens of civil rights groups including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law this week condemned the executive order as another sign of Trump's "support for white supremacists while demonstrating deep hostility to civil rights and racial justice."

On Thursday, a group of 11 technology, software and advertising industry groups that represent thousands of government contractors, called on the Trump administration to rescind it. The executive order “fails to acknowledge the realities of ongoing racial inequality and inequities in America and represents an unwarranted intrusion into private sector efforts to combat systemic racism,” according to the letter sent to the Office of Management and Budget and the Labor Department. 
Now why would Trump ban diversity training?

It is almost like he is a white supremacist and does not want a diverse work force and wants racial unrest.

And speaking of diversity who do you think would be a good pick to head the Department of Education   unity on diversity, someone who is pro-diversity or anti-diversity?
Education Dept Puts Anti-LGBTQ Activist At Head Of Diversity And Inclusion Council
Some employees said the pick is disheartening and ironic.

By Rebecca Klein
October 9, 2020

In early 2020, leaders of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced that they would be taking control of and reorganizing the agency’s employee-led Diversity and Inclusion and Employee Engagement Advisory councils. The two committees were combined into one and, in August, senior counsel Sarah Perry, a new hire with a long history of anti-transgender activism, was appointed as a co-chair, HuffPost has learned.

Multiple employees at the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the department’s agency dedicated to enforcing civil rights laws in K-12 schools and universities, told HuffPost that appointing someone who has actively worked against LGBTQ people to help lead diversity and inclusion efforts is ironic and disheartening.

Perry previously worked at the Family Research Council, a Christian fundamentalist organization that preaches against the rights of the LGBTQ community, where she often spoke publicly about her opposition to transgender people.

I just don’t understand why anyone who is trans, lesbian, bi, or gay would vote for someone who wants them back into the closet?

As James Baldwin said…
We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Sadly One Of Our Pioneers Has Passed Away

Roberts, who won numerous awards for her coverage of Black trans women's lives, died Monday.

Monica Roberts, the activist and blogger behind TransGriot, has died, according to multiple sources on social media.

“It is with great sadness that the BTAC family has received notice of the passing of Monica Roberts, our sister, aunt, and friend,” the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition posted Thursday on Facebook. “We should have a well elaborated post about this, but at the moment we just need to notify the public and begin processing our grief and loss at this time. Please keep Monica's soul, friends and family in your prayers that they all may find comfort and peace at this time of separation. We love you Monica. Fly high, angel.”