Thursday, December 31, 2020

Well Tomorrow We Start A New Year.

What a year! There are a lot of people who wish that we can have a “do over” for the year. Just start 2020 over again like it never happened. So instead of starting 2021 tomorrow lefts just have 2020 to have a second try at it, maybe we can get it right this time.

If you are like me, I hibernated for the most of the year, did dozens of Zoom meetings, for presentations for college classes, for legislature committee meetings, and even with family.

We had one family gathering and that was during a lull in the plague in early summer for my grandniece and grandnephew graduation.But for Thanksgiving and Christmas we celebrated it on Zoom.

I also was able to have guests up at the cottage during the summer when we had a break from COVID-19

For the first time in many year I didn't go to my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I didn't have a Christmas drop-in holiday open house; I don't think that there will be many New Years parties tonight. I think there will be many cries of "Good Riddance" for 2020.

This should be our theme song for 2020.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Let’s Stand Together

And be inclusive instead of being exclusive.

Some times we feel like the little Dutch boy with his finger in a leaking dike (no pun intended), but remember the vast majority of LG stand behind us.
Transgender People, “Gay Conversion,” and “Lesbian Extinction”: What the Data Show
By Julia Serano
December 29, 2020

A few days ago (on Christmas, in fact), The Telegraph ran a piece with the provocative title: “Lesbians facing ‘extinction’ as transgenderism becomes pervasive, campaigners warn.” The premise — which has been increasingly touted by anti-trans groups over the last few years — is that nowadays, young kids who are “really lesbian” are instead coming out as transgender and transitioning to male, thereby decimating the lesbian population.

This assertion bears resemblance to another claim favored by these same groups, namely, that when children and teens are allowed to socially transition, it’s actually a form of “gay conversion therapy.” According to this argument, sans transition these kids would have grown up to be gay men and lesbian women, but now they will instead turn out to be “straight” (i.e., heterosexual trans people).

Before addressing the veracity of these claims, it is useful to ask why anti-trans groups (many of whom are also anti-gay/lesbian) are making them. It turns out that conservative Christian activists have explicitly promoted a separate the T from the LGB tactic as part of a “divide and conquer” approach to undermining LGBTQ+ rights more generally. With the exception of rare splinter groups, this strategy has had little impact within LGBTQ+ communities, who largely see through it. However, these appeals can cause confusion or consternation among the queer-unaware straight majority, who may be misled into thinking that being “pro-trans” is tantamount to being “anti-gay” — such sentiments are precisely what these anti-trans groups are striving to elicit.
Their voices are amplified by the conservative press, conservative religious organizations, and conservative press.
You might remember some of these names; Zucker, Michael Bailey, and Bailey they all promoted their pet theory that trans people are just frustrated gay men. That we are really gay men who can’t accept being gay totally ignoring the fact that many trans women are sexually attracted to women and ignoring trans men completely.

In that same 2017 article, Gates stated that, “Reduced social stigma and accompanying advancements in legal equality are contributing to marked changes in the demographic composition of the visible LGBT community. Most notably, it is growing, and the growth is most pronounced among young people, women, and racial and ethnic minorities” (emphasis mine). So wow, the number of queer women has been steadily increasing (not decreasing) over the last decade — that sounds like the exact opposite of a “lesbian extinction,” doesn’t it?
The reduction in social stigma and the passage of non-discrimination laws was one of the reasons I came out in 1999 (little did I know that Trump twenty years later would set us back decades) and I think that many other LGBTQ+ people came out because they thought it safe to do so.

So a few Trans Radical Exclusionary Feminist like J.K. Rowling have come out of the woodwork with the support of groups like Federalist Society, the British newspaper Telegraph, and Fox News have pushed their agenda on us.

In Britain the conservatives won a victory in court banning puberty blockers for trans children but pro-trans groups are rallying to appeal the court decision.

When we were passing trans laws we had many, many lesbians and gays stand up for us. Yes, many “LG” organizations threw us under the bus but those organizations were run by the male equivalent of TERFs. When we were trying to pass the GI/GE non-discrimination nation a LG organization gave us funding to organize to pass the legislation.

I like to say that when we face violence and discrimination the perpetrators are not discriminating between gays, lesbians, trans people, or queer folk they see us all as “GAY.” They are just attacking a person who is different from them. Be it sexual orientation, gender identity, national origins, or race, they just see a person who doesn’t look like or act like them.

How do we bring about change?

Speak up!

Not just trans people but also lesbians and gays, need to speak up, let us take a lesson of our union friends… “United we Stand, Divided we Fall”

Tuesday, December 29, 2020


Today’s blog is made up short trans news articles in today’s Google News…

The first article is about a fired corrections officers harassing a trans inmate;
Corrections worker fired for derogatory Facebook post about transgender inmate
VT Digger
By Alan J. Keays
December 22, 2020

A Vermont Department of Corrections worker has been fired for a slur-filled, obscenity-laced Facebook posting complaining that he had to work on a holiday and guard a transgender inmate who was on suicide watch.

“HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY from the communist haven of VT,” James Frank wrote on his Facebook page, according to public records obtained regarding his termination.

“Have to go in 4 hours early to sit and watch a he she who wants to hurt/kill self,” Frank added in the posting. “SO sick of the LIBERAL BULLSHIT. I think it’s just a p-ssy that won’t do it anyway and needs attention.”
No matter what you are doing time for you had a right not to be harassed and belittled in prison. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that trans people reported,
More than half (53%) reported that they had been physically assaulted once, 12% reported that it happened twice, 16% said that it happened between three and seven times, and nearly one in five (19%) reported that it happened eight or more times.

In Germany activists are trying to change the law...
Germany's Transgender Law seen as 'archaic, degrading'
Trans* people in Germany are subjected to a long, expensive assessment process to change their legal gender. A new self-determination law would reform this — and activists say it's long overdue.
By Elliot Douglas
December 28, 2020

"Degrading, expensive and illogical" — that is how one trans* person described her experience of legally changing her gender in Germany.

Felicia Rolletschke is one of many activists who is fighting for a reform to the so-called Transsexual Law, which determines the legal process for trans* people to change their gender and name in Germany. By the beginning of 2021, the law will have been in place for 40 years — a time frame in which many countries around the world have seen great upheaval in their legislation around trans* rights.

There are currently two bills before the German parliament that aim to ease this process with a new "self-determination law" (Selbstbestimmungsgesetz). Activists hope such a law would reform the current costly, lengthy process — but the reform has faced some stiff opposition.
"In late 2015, before I even came out properly, I found a really good therapist," Rolletschke said. "Then we agreed I should begin the paperwork for the court in order to change my name, even before I began hormone therapy and surgery. But in order to get that process started, I needed to pay €1,600 ($1,955)."

This payment is often a barrier for trans* people, especially those who are younger and lack independent resources. Rolletschke was also hampered by being under 25, meaning any state financial support she could receive was assessed based on her parents' income — even though her mother had cut off contact with her.

Meanwhile here in the states, a federal judge ordered the state of Ohio to allow changes to birth certificate…
Ohio Department of Health to allow sex marker changes on birth certificates
JD Supra
By Bricker & Eckler LLP
December 22, 2020

On December 16, 2020, in Ray et al. v. Breda et al., the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found that the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) policy to deny requests for sex marker changes on birth certificates by transgender individuals is unconstitutional, aligning Ohio with the 48 other states that have already permitted such changes.

Does being LGBTQ+ affect our health and why?
Gay and transgender children more likely to be obese, study finds
The New York Post
By Hannah Frishberg
December 28, 2020

There’s a new link between kids’ sexual or gender identity and obesity.

A new study has found that gay, bisexual and transgender children are the most vulnerable to obesity and binge eating disorders.

About 12,000 American children, with an average age of 10, answered a virtual questionnaire in a new study published this month in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The scientists at Maryland’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences quizzed the kids on their age, sexuality, race, socioeconomic status, weight and eating habits. From the results, they determined that kids who self-identify as sexual or gender minorities were more likely to be obese.

The 1.6 percent (190 kids) who answered “yes” or “maybe” on questions asking them if they were gay, bisexual or transgender were 3.5 times more at risk of having a binge-eating disorder, the Daily Mail reported.

Of course the article just points a finger at us and doesn’t go into details of the why.

Maybe being persecuted by society, government, and religious organizations might have something to do with it?

Over in Russia the orthodox church added their two cents to Biden’s comments about trans people…
Russian Bishop Calls Biden’s Transgender Statement Blasphemous
By Srdja Trifkovic
December 28, 2020

Propagating gender reassignment among children should be a criminal offence, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, the chairman of External Church Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, recently declared on “Russia 24” TV network. His comment was made in response to Joe Biden’s recent statement of support for the supposed right of children to choose their gender.

“The idea that an eight-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides you know, I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be,” Biden said with his customary eloquence at a televised Town Hall event on October 16.
Such clarity is no longer present in some Western theological circles. It is legitimate to see genders and sexualities as creative expressions of the self, argues David Cloutier, a moral theology professor at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in America: The Jesuit Review. Commenting on the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education’s document on “gender theory” last year, Cloutier declared that it is legitimate to see genders and sexualities as creative expressions of the self. The further we get from a relatively discrete trait like sexual attraction, Cloutier wrote, the more difficult it becomes to sustain “born that way” arguments. If male and female are social constructs, then it makes no sense to claim that a person is “really” one or the other. The more gender identities proliferate, the less plausible it is to claim a firm biological basis for them:
But what do you expect from a church that call’s itself orthodox?

Monday, December 28, 2020

A Tale Of Two Families

We know from research and our own empirical observations that having a supporting family makes all the difference in the world. Here are two families, one supportive and the other not.
My dad uninvited us from Christmas dinner because my kid is transgender
We shared the news so he and and my mom would use my daughter's new name and preferred pronouns. In response, he shut us out completely.
Today’s Parent
By Rev. Michelle Scrimgeour-Brown
December 21, 2020

The last time I had a face-to-face conversation with my father was December 22, 2018. On that day, I told him that we had recently learned his first grandchild, who was 14 years old, was transgender and that her name was now Layla. Our last text exchange was just two days later, when I reminded him of her chosen name and correct pronouns.

It’s been a tradition in our family—at least since I met my Newfoundlander husband—to have a fish fry for Christmas Eve dinner. Every year, my family would come for dinner on Christmas Eve and Mitchell would cook us up a “scoff,” as the Newfoundlanders say. In advance of this dinner, I messaged both of my parents on a group text to remind them of what we had talked about. I was nervous, because when I’d told my father about Layla two days before, he’d said nothing in response. And he had not said anything in the two days since. I didn’t know where he stood.
My father’s response? “She’s a he and if you don’t knock it off, I won’t come.”
“Let me be clear,” I responded. “If you cannot try, then you are not welcome.”

And that was the last we spoke. He did not come for our Christmas Eve fish fry dinner. In fact, he had my mom text my sister at 8:15 p.m. that night so that she could tell me that my family was no longer welcome for Christmas dinner at his house the following day. In response, I did what any parent like me would do: I went to my deep freezer, found what meat was there and took it out to thaw for Christmas dinner. In the end, we didn’t need it, because the next day, my mom was at our door with the whole of the Christmas dinner for us to cook and share at home, together as a family.
We know that it is hard for our family to accept us but as she wrote…
“This is an adjustment, I know,” I said. “You’re going to slip up, just like the rest of us. What matters is that we try.”
We know it is hard, we had all our lives to think about it, for family it came out of the blue, my family slipped but they were trying and that is what counts.
That first Christmas in 2018 was full of sadness for me. Layla asked me about her grandfather and when I told her that he was not coming because he wasn’t accepting, do you know what my sweet, loving child said to me? “He just needs more time, Mom.” All the tears that I worked so hard to rein in just burst forth in that moment. “He just needs more information,” Layla continued, looking at me with eyes full of love. “It’s gonna be OK.”
Then in another family…
A Love Letter To My Granddaughter (Who I Knew As My Grandson Until 5 Weeks Ago)
“As my thoughts and heart transition to embrace this new you, please know one thing isn’t changing ― I love you.”
Huff Post
By Maryann Durmer
December 25, 2020

My granddaughter came out five weeks ago. When I heard the news, I texted her: “I talked to your dad last night. I’m so happy you came out, and I support you 100%. I just wanted to stop by and tell you I love you. If there’s anything I can do to help you, I’m here.”

I spent the past six months thinking she might be transitioning, and it brought me great relief to see her reveal herself as the vibrant young woman she envisioned and was destined to be.
Maybe, in some cases, understanding a transgender person is easier for a non-family member. There are no emotional bonds and no history with that person to look back on and reminisce about. But when it’s your grandchild who is transgender, it’s complicated. I worry that I may do or say something wrong by accident. Saying a new name after knowing a person for 20-plus years isn’t easy. It’s not just about my granddaughter changing. It’s also that I have no “how-to” manual for processing my memories of my former grandson. All I know is that I love my granddaughter.
I cannot walk in my granddaughter’s shoes, but I can do my best to continue reaching out with kindness and acceptance, praying that she is protected from the hate and intolerance often expressed openly by people in the state where she lives. I hope that she can move forward in the way that is most meaningful to her.
In this season of family and love let us remember all those who do not have a family to go to this holiday season and through out the year.

Sunday, December 27, 2020


Some people use that word all the time when talking about seniors usually it is used as “OK Boomers” without thinking about it because it is so common.

Most of them would be horrified if anyone used the “N” word or other racist words but boomer is just laughed off.

I was at a town hall meeting to discuss the coming legislative session about what LGBTQ+ discrimination legislation we should sponsor, most of the attendees were probably in their late teens and twenties. The legislation discussed was about discrimination in school and I mentioned about the other end of the spectrum… seniors.

I talked about discrimination in nursing homes and long term care facilities, after I finished someone said “OK Boomer” which was followed laughter.

A CEO of a large Hartford based insurance company in a news conference said that they’re moving their headquarters to New York City to find younger talent.

When they shutdown the factory where I worked for 28 years I took the option of early retirement because I knew that at 60 it would be impossible for me to find a job, especially at my salary but even with a cut in pay I don’t think that I would get any job offers. They would want someone with “fresh skills,” and with “new ideas” translated someone fresh out of college.

Even the Supreme Court thought the phrase “OK Boomer” was age discrimination.
How ‘OK, Boomer’ Went From Meme to Supreme (Court)
By Caleb Melby
January 17, 2020

Can saying “OK, boomer” at work constitute age discrimination? Inquiring minds, among them U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, want to know. While the jury’s out, workers might want to exercise caution when using this phrase around the office. But they shouldn’t be surprised if younger generations roll their eyes at the heightened concern.

1. What’s ‘OK, boomer’?
“OK, boomer” took off early last year as a snappy, youthful retort, especially online, to the concerns and concern-trolling of Americans born between 1946 and 1964, i.e. the postwar Baby Boom generation. Like many things on the internet, subtlety and nuance are not exactly the point. Hand-wringing about so-called cancel culture? OK, boomer. Attributing the delayed life-markers of younger generations -- home-purchasing, marriage, children and retirement savings -- to personal failure rather than an inhospitable economic climate? OK, boomer. Feeling disrespected by kids saying “OK, boomer”? OK, boomer.
4. How’d it get to the Supreme Court?
The chief justice posed a hypothetical question during oral arguments Jan. 15 in a case in which a woman alleges the Department of Veterans Affairs denied her opportunities for promotion because of her gender and age. He asked: if someone says, “OK, boomer,” to a job applicant, would that be significant enough to show age discrimination?
NBC News had this to say,
The meme is a favorite of younger generations and Roberts used it in questions in a case about age discrimination in the workplace.

"The hiring person, who's younger, says, ‘OK, Boomer,' once to the applicant,” Roberts said as he conjured a hypothetical exchange to try to figure out when an older federal employee might be able to win a lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

It was the first time, according to databases of high court arguments, the somewhat pejorative phrase used by younger people to criticize the less flexible, tolerant and tech-savvy ways of their elders has been uttered in the Supreme Court, where the nine justices range in age from 52 (Neil Gorsuch) to 86 (Ruth Bader Ginsburg).
The issue before the court is whether an employee can prevail only if age discrimination is the key factor she didn't get what she sought, or whether it's enough that age discrimination was part of the process, even if the people who were selected were better qualified.
Many of the people who use “OK Boomer” would never discriminate against anyone nor use words that are derogatory but they don’t even think about age discrimination.

“OK Boomer” is not just an American problem…

Oh and that meeting I attended, when the people running the meeting never spoke out, I never went back.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Purple Snowflakes

Saturday 9: Purple Snowflakes (2018)

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

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

1) The lyrics ask where the snowflakes go. Sam can answer that: she shovels them! Do you shovel or use a snow blower? Or do you live in a warmer climate with no snow?
I have someone plow the driveway.
Who wants to go someplace that is hot and humid during the summer, at least in winter you can add more layers but a muggy summer there is only so much you can take off.

2) This week's artist, John Legend, recalls his Christmases growing up, singing carols with his family around the piano. Do you have a piano, or any other musical instruments, in your home?
Nope, I am not musically inclined.

3) This song is from John Legend's first Christmas album, A Legendary Christmas. It was a massive hit. Did you add any new music to your holiday collection this year?
Nope, I am a traditionalist.

4) John and his wife Chrissy Teigen go caroling with friends. What's the last song that you sang?
Um… I can’t carry a tune. In sixth grade our class sang Christmas carols and I was told to just mouth the words.

5) Chrissy's hobby is cooking. While she likes experimenting with new recipes, her young children prefer their familiar favorites, like mashed potatoes. She tosses a bay leaf into the water as the potatoes boil to add enhance the flavor. Do you have a dish that's considered your specialty?
Corn Soufflé

6) John prefers to unwind with a good book and loves comparing reading recommendations with friends. Did you discover any books in 2020 that you'd like to recommend to our Sat 9ers?
I think I set a record for the most book I listened to. Every month I maxed out my library audiable books.
As most of you know I like Si-Fi and fantasy books. I just finished Elizabeth Moon “Oath of Fealty” one of the Paksenarrion’s series.

7) This song was written by Motown powerhouse Marvin Gaye. Who is your favorite Motown artist?
Oh don’t get me started on Marvin Gaye. My roommate in college played Marvin Gaye nonstop, I liked (past tense) some of his songs but I was so turned off by his playing his songs continuously, he used to leave up the overarm causing that side of the record to play over, and over, and over...

8) In 1972, Marvin wrote another Christmas song, "I Want to Come Home for Christmas." He dedicated it to the troops then serving in Vietnam. Do you know anyone who is protecting us this holiday season? Tell us about him or her. Whether they are in the armed forces, the police or fire department, or the ER, we want to say thank you!
No, but my technician was in the Air National Guard and used to takeoff to places unknown in the middle-east. One weekend drill he flew to Germany and back dropping off a post card at Ramstein Air Base for the department.

9) Random question: You go into the kitchen to make your perfect sandwich. What fixings do you need?
Salami, ham, hot Capocollo, prosciutto, provolone, roasted peppers, and balsamic vinegar on a hard roll. And possible sliced tomato, lettuce, and onions.

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, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

Peace On Earth and Goodwill To All
Earthrise (NASW Photo) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

Normally what I do each Christmas is post my annual Christmas blog but this year is a very different Christmas from every other Christmas in the past. But this year the message is different instead of writing…
It this time of year that we reflect on all that has happened this past year and to give thanks. However, for many it is not a time to rejoice, it is a time of loneliness, their families may have moved and left them behind, their family or spouse might have pasted away leaving them without any close relatives or their children might be at their in-laws for this holiday, for whatever the reason, it is a lonely time.
Many of us instead will be separated from our because of bias we are being separated because of COVID. 

Some maybe quarantined, some out of worry for catching or spreading the virus, so for the travel bans in their states and some because they don’t have any homes to go to for the holidays. For whatever the reason this is going to be a very different Christmas from all the others.

But still for many in the LGBT community it is an especially lonely time,
they might not have seen their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them. Sometimes when we do attend the gathering, we feel like outcasts, like the square peg in the round hole, we just don’t fit in, we are tolerated when we bring our partners or ourselves to the table.

This year I will be staying at home isolated; not because of family rejection, not for fear, nor lack of invitations to join family for the holiday, but rather out of an abundance of caution. 

So let us open our hearts and doors to them and think of them this holiday season, give them a call, have a Zoom get-together or drop them a Christmas card, let them know that they are remembered.

I leave you with this Christmas song by Nat King Cole - Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

An American traditional songs...

And a cute little video...

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Violence And The Threat Of Violence Shape Us.

Part of being trans is that worry in the back of our mind that nags us to be cautious, Laverne Cox speaks up about being attacked,
Laverne Cox speaks out on alleged transphobic attack: 'It was deeply traumatizing'
Good Morning America – Yahoo News
By Carson Blackwelder
December 23, 2020

Laverne Cox is continuing to speak out about the alleged transphobic attack she recently experienced in Los Angeles.

Recalling the incident, which occurred the Saturday after Thanksgiving while she was on a walk with her friend at Griffith Park, the "Orange Is the New Black" alum called the whole experience "deeply traumatizing" and "triggering" for her.

"Most of my life growing up in Alabama, I was bullied my whole life," Cox, 48, told "Good Morning America" on Wednesday. "Transitioning as a transgender woman in New York City I was harassed on the street practically every day, on the subway."
Cox explained, "It was a reminder for me, even though I'm like 'Laverne Cox, the actress who's on TV,' that if you are a trans person in public your life can be in danger and your safety can be in danger and the safety of people around you can be in danger just being trans in public."
We are never free of the violence, no matter how good you can assimilate into society, there is always that change of violence.
It's her hope, she shared, that people use this opportunity to "question their relationship to gender and policing people's gender in public."
Being a target of hate brings about a change in you, sometimes it for good and reach out to help others, and sometimes it is for the bad and you withdraw from society.
"That is an opportunity to really engage with having a good relationship with myself, and it has been messy," she continued. "It's been painful, but it's been really incredible and it's really been a great opportunity for spiritual growth."

"It's been nine months since the first quarantine in March and you can birth a baby in nine months," Cox stated. "You can birth a new you in nine months and I do feel like I'm becoming a new version of myself that I'm really excited about."
Violence tends to be top down. What I mean by that you usually find that violence is done by people who think that they are superior to you, to teach you a lesson. Take your pick… they are protecting women, because you thought that you could fool them (them meaning the perpetrator), or that they think that you were flirting with them) or they are protecting their fragile male ego.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Puberty Blockers – Again

The push back against the court order that stopped trans children under 18 from getting the puberty blockers has begun.
Puberty blockers: Parents' warning as ruling challenged
By Ben Hunte
December 22, 2020

The NHS gender identity service is seeking leave to appeal against a High Court ruling that restricts children under 16 from accessing "puberty-blocking" drugs.

The NHS service says the move harms young people with gender dysphoria.

Doctors and parents have told the BBC the ruling could put already vulnerable trans teens at risk.

And trans young people have been giving their reaction, with one calling the ruling "honestly terrifying".

Gender dysphoria is when a mismatch between a person's sex assigned at birth and their gender identity causes them distress.

Accessing puberty blockers is currently one of the first steps in treatment for young people wishing to transition.
As a result, trans children under the age of 16 will now need a clinician to apply to the High Court to be able to access puberty blockers, and all current referrals and appointments have been paused.
Trans children will be at the mercy of the judges, you get a liberal judge and you get your blockers but they assign you a conservative judge no dice you have towait until you’re 18.
The NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) website states: "This judgment and the revised NHS England service specifications for GIDS raise a lot of questions and may be the cause of anxiety and distress for our patients and their families/guardians.
The judge’s ruling is being appealed.
British trans clinic appeals puberty blockers judgment
Thomson Reuters Foundation
By Rachel Savage
December 22, 2020

LONDON, Dec 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - England’s only youth gender clinic said on Tuesday it had sought leave to appeal a court ruling that has stopped its doctors from being able to prescribe puberty-blocking drugs to under-16s without a judge’s approval.

The Tavistock clinic had been expected to challenge the Dec. 1 High Court ruling, which said under-16s were unlikely to be able to give informed consent to the drugs - fueling a global debate about the age at which a child can transition gender.

Hours after the ruling, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) said doctors would need court approval to prescribe puberty blockers, prompting the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust’s clinic to halt new referrals for the drugs.
Puberty blockers have been around for a half of a century…
Puberty blockers have been used for decades to treat precocious puberty, a rare condition where a child’s body matures early, usually before they turn eight.

More recently, doctors have prescribed puberty blockers for children who are experiencing gender dysphoria, a discomfort caused by their gender identity not matching their body, to delay physical changes.
"When treatment is needed, its effectiveness will be diminished while waiting to be seen by a court of law," a statement by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a U.S-based doctors association, said last week.
What we do know is if gender dysphoria goes untreated that suicidal idealizations increases.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Report Is Out

Every year the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities issues their annual report on discrimination complaints and this is for fiscal year of 2020.
2. Complaints Filed by Type of Charge
Complaints are classified by the predominant allegation and the allegedly violated statutes. In situations where, for example, a complaint contains mixed allegations of a denial of employment and denial of public accommodations, the complaint would be classified according to what the majority of the allegations relate to. Complaints classified as “Other” include those not readily classified as one of the other categories.
Employment 1922
Housing 187
Public Accommodations 196
Other 14
Total 2319
They break it down by categories…
CHRO Complaints Filed by Basis and Type
Gender Identity:
Employment: 30
Housing: 0
Public Accommodation: 3
Other: 0

Sexual Orientation:
Employment: 54
Housing: 6
Public Accommodation: 4
Other: 0
I am trying to find out where the discrimination happened and the decisions in the cases.

One of the major cases that was heard this year was…
CHRO Issues Declaratory Ruling Regarding Discrimination in Insurance Coverage for Transgender Individuals
Posted on April 24, 2020 by ctchro

At its April meeting, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities issued a declaratory ruling regarding the categorization by health insurers of certain gender confirming surgeries as cosmetic. Under this ruling, the first of its kind in the nation, the Commission determined that:

It is discriminatory on the basis of gender identity and sex for the State of Connecticut or a municipality to offer an insurance plan which categorically denies coverage for certain procedures as treatments for gender dysphoria.

It is discriminatory on the basis of gender identity and sex for the State of Connecticut or a municipality to offer an insurance plan which covers procedures to treat certain conditions which it denies or excludes to treat gender dysphoria.

It is discriminatory on the basis of gender identity and sex to offer or administer plans to the State of Connecticut or a municipality with these kinds of exclusions or disparities.

While this ruling does not find the State of Connecticut, any particular municipality, or any particular insurer liable for a specific discriminatory practice, it does provide guidance to these entities as to whether any of their current practices are discriminatory.

Under current Connecticut law, the Connecticut Insurance Department has determined that insurance entities are prohibited from having a blanket policy exclusion for gender transition. Surgeries that alter primary sex characteristics are typically covered, as well as hormone therapy. However, in order to properly treat gender dysphoria, many transgender individuals need medical or surgical interventions beyond surgeries involving primary sex characteristics. These procedures, such as facial feminization, are often considered “cosmetic” by insurers and are therefore not covered. The Commission’s ruling makes clear that a blanket denial of these sorts of procedures when being pursued as treatment for gender dysphoria can be considered a discriminatory practice in state and municipal insurance plans, and that an individualized assessment of each patient’s needs is necessary.

This ruling provides crucial protections to transgender people working to treat gender dysphoria. Connecticut has long been a leader in the protection of this vulnerable group and this ruling puts the state back in the forefront of the fight against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.

Boston Spirit had this to say about the ruling.
Connecticut challenges insurance exclusions for gender-affirming care
By Rob Phelps
April 25, 2020

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities issued a milestone ruling on Friday prohibiting employers and insurers from denying coverage for treatments related to gender transition.

Ironically, this comes on the same day news broke about the US Department of Health and Human Services pushing forward with plans—during the COVID-19 crisis, no less—to “remove explicit protections for LGBTQ people in health care programs and activities by excluding protections from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity,” according to an April 24 Human Rights Campaign statement.

What that might mean to the Connecticut Commission’s new ruling is yet to be seen. Nevertheless, the Commission is carrying on.
“We applaud the Commission for recognizing the critical healthcare needs of transgender people and calling out the discrimination inherent in health plans that deny care,” said GLAD Senior Attorney Ben Klein in the statement.

As the Executive Director of the Connecticut TransAdvoacy Coalition we applied for intervenor status, and was granted permission to appear and file a brief as amicus curiae. The declaratory ruling required insurance companies to cover what is normally cosmetic surgeries if a doctor says it is medically necessary.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Growing Up Trans

There is a global concentrated attack by conservative against us and its focus is puberty blockers, it started in Britain and has spread across the world. Here in the U.S. conservative legislators have been introducing legislation banning proper treatment for us.
Transgender children need time to understand who they are
The Sidney Morning Herald
By Simona Giordano
December 20, 2020

In light of the British High Court’s decision that children under 16 are unlikely to be able to consent to puberty blockers, questions are being asked about the standards of care for transgender children, and the extent to which health services encourage transgender identity and transition.

Transgender children are not a recent phenomenon, nor are the therapies provided to them. The first standards of care were published in 1979 and the eighth revision is on its way. Clinical practice internationally has evolved in this time, from initial psychoanalytic or behavioural therapy that tried to fix the “mismatch” between “the body and mind”, to today’s approach, where established gender identity clinics try to help children find out their identity in a non-judgmental way.
While many gender non-conforming children do not transition, others find pubertal development distressing or unbearable. Trans boys may not tolerate breast development and binding is painful and harmful; they often experience the appearance of menarche as humiliating. Trans girls may not tolerate the growth of facial and bodily hair, the masculinisation of their bodies, the spontaneous erections that come with puberty, the deepening of their voices.
We know from many studies including the U.S. 2015 Transgender Survey that we have very high self-harm rate if our gender dysphoria goes untreated, according to the 2015 survey suicidal idealization are over 40 percent.
The biggest threat to the health of gender diverse people is not the provision of medical care – thinking that it is borders on absurd. As the World Health Organisation, the Council of Europe and the UN have repeatedly stressed, the biggest threat to the health of gender diverse people is the barriers to medical care.
We know from many, many studies that just by having proper medical and family support that the suicidal idealization rates drops to general population levels.

In an article in Insider…
What you should know about puberty blockers, a standard treatment for trans youth
By Canela López
December 10, 2020

  • Puberty blockers, also known as hormone blockers, are a treatment used to block primary sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen to delay puberty in transgender kids.
  • Puberty blockers are temporary and are meant to delay puberty so that trans youth make the best decisions moving forward, like whether or not to pursue hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
  • Going through puberty can be a large trigger of gender dysphoria and depression for trans youth, as it can mean developing unwanted breasts, facial hair, and a deepening voice.
  • Children who experience gender dysphoria oftentimes experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations, which can all intensify going through puberty.
On December 3, the UK's High Court ruled that children under 16 are not old enough to consent to medical treatments such as hormone blockers – a common gender-affirming treatment for trans youth.

The landmark ruling came after Keira Bell, a 23-year-old patient, was prescribed hormone blockers for her gender dysphoria, and later changed her mind.

Trans advocates argued the ruling could be harmful for trans youth who may need gender-affirming care for their mental health.

"Puberty blockers have been saving lives for many transgender young people for a significant period of time," Lui Asquith, legal director of Mermaids, a trans advocacy group, told Reuters.
Conservative judges are making legal decisions that are best left to the medical profession.

If you read the right wing news media you would think that puberty blockers make permanent changes to a trans child and that the medical profession are some type of sadistic doctors who want to turn boys into girls.

Lets face it, this is all propaganda right wing. They couldn’t win in the courts, they couldn’t win in the legislatures, they could win by making out to be some type of sexual predators so now they are focusing their attack on us being too young to understand our gender identity.

In their hatred of us they are willing to deny us proper medical care and let is us die.

Sunday, December 20, 2020


I have done a lot of diversity training and I have had some that didn’t want to be there, the worst time was when I was called to do training for a college’s athletic department. As the guys sat there with legs apart and arms folded and the never asked a question, you could just see it in their body language.
Can I refuse to attend my company’s diversity training? Ask HR
USA Today
By Johnny C. Taylor Jr.
December 18, 2020

Taylor: I’m glad to hear your company is providing diversity training. In a year full of difficult conversations, it’s more important than ever for employers and employees to come together to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.

You’re also right about your other point – 2020 has been a contentious year. In fact, 44% of HR professionals report intensified political volatility at work in 2020 compared to previous years.

I understand your hesitancy to participate in a program you fear could be politically charged. For us in HR, your response isn’t surprising. After all, we’ve actually been socialized not to talk about politics, religion, or race at work. But in today’s changing landscape, diversity, equity, and inclusion training is one important step to bridging this divide. If the training is done well, these conversations create productive workplace cultures of inclusivity – not incivility.

Whether you opt out of diversity training depends on your company and its requirements– but I strongly encourage your attendance. I’m of the firm belief that change requires us to learn from one another and grow in order to create progress in our workplaces –and in the world around us.
Then we had Trump's edict.
USA Today
By Jessica Guynn
December 17, 2020

Democrats called on the federal government to back off President Donald Trump's executive order restricting federal agencies and government contractors from offering diversity training programs.

Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and 18 other senators sent a letter Thursday opposing the implementation of the executive order, saying it stifles "much-needed efforts in our states to reduce racial and sex-based discrimination."

"There is widespread uncertainty regarding the scope of the Executive Order, and some entities have cancelled their diversity and inclusion trainings altogether out of fear of losing federal funding,” they wrote to Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought. “Given that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed our nation’s stark racial inequities and other health disparities, the Administration should focus on reducing racial and sex-based discrimination rather than engaging in ill-informed political stunts."
And his reason for it…
The executive order's stated goal is "to combat offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating." According to the Labor Department, eliminating such "stereotyping" in employment is "a key civil rights priority of the Trump Administration."
Asked about his executive order during his first presidential debate with Biden on Sept. 29, Trump said, "They were teaching people that our country is a horrible place, it’s a racist place. And they were teaching people to hate our country. And I’m not gonna allow that to happen."

Biden responded: “Nobody’s doing that.”

“The fact is that there is racial insensitivity," he told Trump.
When I get asked “Why are we here?” “Why do I need this training? I don’t discriminate.”

My answer is that it is all about etiquette, personal behavior in polite society, and respect. In knowing what to do or say and what not to do or say.

At one of the trainings for staff at homeless shelters we had one shelter manger get into a shouting match with us, well not really he was doing all the shouting. He actually wrote his senators and congressperson (this was before Trump) and they just replied, “Obey the law.”

One time in grad school we were talking about diversity and my answer was “Diversity is what makes us great.” Think about it. In Europe for centuries you married a person in your town or someone from probably within ten miles of your village, but in America people came from all over Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

My father’s parents came from a small town in Italy and on my mother’s side she is part English, German, and Austrian. Our gene pool is vast compared to Europe.

I think that is what gives us an edge over other countries.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

Sam’s Saturday 9: Happy Holidays! (from the archives)

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

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether -- either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas?

We went down to Macy’s in New York City to visit Santa and I remember all the toys there, it was like heaven on earth. Every type of toy for boys or girls.

But I don’t remember sitting on Santa's lap, but my father was Santa for the Kiwanis at their annual Christmas tree lot.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?
Naughty… How did I get there? It is a lot easier than being nice.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?
No, just Christmas cards which went out today.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year?
Yes, an ice cream maker.

5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie? Have you seen it yet this year?
I don’t really have a favorite Christmas movie.
But I did attend a talk at college by talk show host, humorist, and author Jean Shepherd who wrote Christmas Story. He had us rolling in laughter.

Update 9:45 AM: I usually go to Theater Works to see the play Christmas on the Rock and this year it is being done virtually.

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day?
Yes. My grandnephew want to see a movie and have Chinese.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party?
Nope, but I watched a lot of the employees make a fool of themselves.

The Polish guys at work used to bring bottles of 150 proof Polish Vodka, let a maraschino cherry sink to the bottom and then start doing shots.

At another place where I worked there was an assembly line on a conveyor belt and there were about 20 women who worked on the line. They assembled electronic components as they went by on the belt, well for Christmas there used to be bottles of booze that went down the belt and by the time the bottles reached the end they were empty. They ended that Christmas tradition when one of the ladies drove in to a tree on the way home.

8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather?
Now? Hot chocolate.

9. Share a memory from last Christmas.
Nothing spectacular. I think that I fell asleep, I drove to New Jersey and back the same day so I took a nap while everyone watched football games.

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 next week for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Danger, Will Robinson

I am always leery when I see LGBTQ friendly places to visit because I wonder if they also mean trans people.
The Most LGBTQ-Friendly Places to Retire Overseas
By Kathleen Peddicord
December 17, 2020

LGBT-friendly countries

LGBTQ people have retired overseas all around the globe. Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities have created new homes in some of the world's most exciting and diverse cities. Here are the most LGBTQ-friendly overseas retirement destinations that are safe, welcoming and legally tolerant, with vibrant and active LGBTQ scenes.
Then in a series of different webpages they report on the different cities.

Paris is one of the world's most LGBTQ-friendly cities. It's a place where you can live the fullest expression of who you are without fear of persecution or discrimination. The Marais in the 4th arrondissement is a fashionable district bedecked in rainbows from chimney to pavement. Even the pedestrian crossing stripes are rainbow-themed. Whether you're looking for a neighborhood to settle in or just a place to go clubbing on Saturday, this is the ultimate quartier for queer inclusion. The annual Paris Gay Pride Parade is one of the world's biggest, but there's also the Techno Parade and the newer Drag Parade. Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013, and LGBTQ people enjoy full adoption rights in this country.
They list…
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Madrid
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Bangkok
Of the cities list I would be the most doubtful I would say the South American countries and Bangkok; I think because every Transgender Day of Remembrance the place where we have the most murdered trans people is from South America. I think Bangkok because I hear rumors from those who go there for surgery say outside of the city it is bad.

I am doubtful because I don’t think those who do these articles ever talked to a trans person especially those who can’t assimilate in to society and are easily identified as trans. I remember I wrote a blog on a LGBTQ cruise on Carnival and they wrote a letter that said…
Arrangements have been made for drag performances in the main theater featuring stars from LOGO TV. These functions will be private and only the performers are permitted to dress in drag while in the theater. Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise.
Now this was booked as a LGBTQ cruise and was supposed to be very friendly to our community but they still were opposed to trans people. 

So every time I see LGBTQ friendly I think… really?

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Puberty Blockers

Twisting words, the first time I stood before news cameras was in Washington DC when I went down there to lobby for ENDA in 2007. I was interviewed for a couple of minutes and the only thing they used was “I don’t think it will pass this year, I think we are in it for the long haul.” and the reporter called me a season activist.

This Christian news source had this to say about puberty blockers.
Transgender Activist Makes Argument for All Kids Taking Puberty Blockers Until They Can Confirm Their Gender Identity
By Milton Quintanilla
December 15, 2020

Lauren McNamara, a well-known transgender activist known by followers as “Zinnia Jones,” made the argument that all children should be given puberty blockers until they are old enough to confirm their chosen gender identity.

According to the Washington Examiner, Jones argued her case earlier this month in a series of posts on Twitter.

“If children can't consent to puberty blockers which pause any permanent changes even with the relevant professional evaluation, how can they consent to the permanent and irreversible changes that come with their own puberty with no professional evaluation whatsoever?” Jones asked.

“This is literally a position that permanent changes are fine as long as you're not trans,” the trans activist continued. “An inability to offer informed consent or understand the long-term consequences is actually an argument for putting every single cis and trans person on puberty blockers until they acquire that ability.”
Notice how the Christian press latched onto her comment all children should be on puberty blockers, I am sure she didn’t mean it that way but they twisted it to mean what they wanted.

Meanwhile out in Oregon the Supreme Court let stand the transgender students to use restrooms, locker rooms, and showers matching their gender identity.
High Court Declines Challenge to District Policy Protecting Transgender Students
Education Week
By Mark Walsh
December 15, 2020

The challengers sued over the policy of the 3,000-student Dallas, Ore., school district, which adopted its student safety plan after a student at Dallas High School who was born biologically female began identifying as male in 2015. The plan allowed the student to use facilities matching his gender identity and included training for staff and lessons for students against bullying and harassment.
“We ... hold that a policy that treats all students equally does not discriminate based on sex in violation of Title IX, and that the normal use of privacy facilities does not constitute actionable sexual harassment under Title IX just because a person is transgender,” the 9th Circuit panel ruled in February. “We hold further that the Fourteenth Amendment does not provide a fundamental parental right to determine the bathroom policies of the public schools to which parents may send their children.”
This is big!

This is big for several reasons first is obvious reason that the Supreme Court let stand the lower court rulings in that it says Title IX covers. The second is that the law applies to bathrooms and locker rooms and the last is that this is suppose to be a conservative court, they have ruled in favor of LGBTQ issues; they ruled in our favor in Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC, and the Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda cases this spring.

The article went on to say…
The challengers “are not using Title IX to ensure that they have equal access to bathrooms and locker rooms as compared to members outside their protected class. Rather, they are trying to use Title IX to take away something which the school district granted the transgender boy to ensure that he was not denied equal access to bathrooms or locker rooms just because his gender did not match the gender typically associated with his sex at birth.”

In Texas a gay student is being harassed by the school system for wearing nail polish.
Openly gay Clyde CISD student protesting his in-school suspension for wearing nail polish
By Jamie Burch & John Rupolo
December 3rd 2020

ABILENE, Texas — An openly gay Clyde CISD student is protesting his in-school suspension for wearing nail polish.

Trevor Wilkinson, a senior at Clyde High School, was sent to ISS on Monday.
Wilkinson told KTXS he thinks the policy is unjust and he's taking a stand to get it changed.

On Thursday, the school have him three choices, according to Wilkinson:
  • Remain in ISS
  • Remove the nails
  • Go to virtual learning
Wilkinson said he's not removing the nails and he chose to stay in ISS.
And it doesn’t look like they are going to change the policy…
By Jamie Burch & John RupoloTuesday, 
December 15th 2020

CLYDE, Texas — Clyde CISD is not yet changing the policy that led to the suspension of a gay male over nail polish.

Trevor Wilkinson was placed on in-school suspension Nov. 30.

Afterwards, he started an online petition that has been signed by more than 321,000 people.

Wilkinson's story went viral and he appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Monday night, Wilkinson addressed the school board for a second time asking them to change the dress code.
My guess that the Board is going to have an awaking when president-elect Biden’s Secretary of Education gets in and I think that the Supreme Court will back them up.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

This Doesn’t Make Sense.

Warped logic, I just can’t see it. It is like they are just trying to do as little as possible, not pushing the envelope but rather sealing the envelope.
Michigan court rules that businesses can refuse gay & bi people, but not trans people
The court ruled that discrimination because of sex legally includes discrimination against transgender people, but not discrimination based on sexual orientation.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
December 11, 2020

A Michigan court has ruled that it’s legal for businesses to refuse to serve gay and bisexual people but not transgender people.

The state’s civil rights law includes neither sexual orientation nor gender identity, but the Michigan Civil Rights Commission voted in 2018 to interpret the state’s ban on discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination against LGBTQ people, an interpretation that federal courts have agreed with and that was later used by the Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County this past year to rule that federal law already bans job discrimination against LGBTQ people.

State Court of Claims Judge Christopher M. Murray issued a summary judgement in two discrimination cases, one based on anti-gay discrimination and the other on anti-trans discrimination. One case involved Rouch World, a wedding venue that refused to host weddings for same-sex couples, and the other involved Uprooted Electolysis, a hair removal service that refused to serve a transgender client. The lawsuits were combined into one.

Murray referenced a state supreme court decision in Barbour v Department of Social Services, where the court ruled that the state’s ban on discrimination because of sex does not ban discrimination against gay and bisexual people.
That is where I don’t follow the judge’s reasoning.

The U.S. Supreme Court said according to Fox News
The court justified their inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII by focusing on the law’s language, which prohibits discrimination “because of” sex, stating that as long as sex is a factor the discrimination, that is enough to trigger Title VII.

The majority goes on to use a hypothetical where an employer has two workers who are attracted to men, but one is a man and the other is a woman, stating that firing the man for being gay would be discriminating against him because of his sex because he has the same preference as the female employee. The court similarly discussed a potential situation where two workers identified as female but one was identified as male at birth and the other female.
So I don’t follow the Michigan court’s findings. According to the Supreme Court, that sexual orientation and gender identity are components of "sex" discriminations. 

Down in New Jersey there is a new non-profit that seems to have a great idea.
By Tennyson Donyéa 
December 15, 2020

The new Trans Affirming Alliance is set to begin operating in New Jersey on Tuesday when it hosts a Zoom webinar about the legal process of changing one’s name and gender markers.

Operating as a nonprofit corporation, the alliance will partner with existing LGBTQ centers in New Jersey to provide legal services, mental health counseling, career guidance, support groups, and targeted health and wellness services for the transgender community, such as vocal coaching, the organization announced in a release.

“The overarching goal is to improve the lives of our transgender siblings by bringing resources to community members through community partners, training of subject matter experts on the specific needs of transgender people, and broad-based education on the needs of the transgender community,” said Celeste Fiore, Trans Affirming Alliance Chairperson.
I say “seems like” because it seems like to me that these “umbrella” organizations seem to overshadow the other non-profits.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

So You Want A Tesla?

We his tweet transphobic?
Elon Musk blasted for posting ‘transphobic’ meme mocking people who share their pronouns
Elon Musk, the billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX, has been accused of transphobia after posting a meme mocking pronouns.
Pink News
By Josh Milton
December 14, 2020

In an unwanted sequel to his claim that “pronouns suck”, Musk – known for his union-busting practices – shared a meme deriding Twitter users who put their pronouns in their bios.

Musk tweeted a meme of a British Redcoat who “love to oppress” fighting during the American Revolutionary War, rubbing his blood-covered hands on his face, captioned: “When you put he/him in ur bio.”

The tweet immediately stirred up controversy, with countless users accusing Musk of thinly-veiled transphobia.
In April, he was called out by his own partner, the musician Grimes, for tweeting that “pronouns suck”.
“I cannot support this hate. Please stop this. I know this is not your heart.”
Is the transphobia in his heart? Did he realize that his tweets hurt us?

I think he did. Once was possible ignorance but twice was deliberate especially sine he was warned by his partner.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Who Knew?

I didn’t, I never knew that there were trans saints did you?

Well it turns out that there might have been some trans saints that have been canonized by the Catholic Church and I bet they don’t want it to get out.
The Little Known History of Transgender Saints
Gender non-conformity is far from new.
The Advocate
BY Roland Betacourt
December 12 2020

As an historian of the first millennium and a half of Christianity, I wish to pull back the curtain on the neglected history of transgender stories and literatures in early Christianity, like that of Saint Hilarion and Emperor Elagabalus, demonstrating how these figures were praised throughout the first millennium. In raising awareness of these stories, my goal is to provide a deeper literary canon for those who are now turning to other, older stories to comprehend their place in the world as trans and gender nonconforming individuals.

From the fifth to the ninth century, a number of saints’ lives composed across the Greek-speaking Mediterranean detail the lives of individuals assigned female at birth who for a host of different reasons chose to live out their adult lives as men in monasteries. The popularity of these stories across the Christian Mediterranean is palpably evident as they were translated into Coptic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic, Latin, and other European dialects.

For example, the night before her execution, the early-third century Christian martyr Perpetua had a dream about her impending death. There, Perpetua looks down upon her naked body, and exclaims: “My clothes were stripped off, and suddenly I was a man.” Similarly, in the early second century Gospel of Thomas, Jesus rebukes Simon Peter for suggesting Mary Magdalene is unworthy of their company, stating that He “will make her male” and that every woman who “makes herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Hmm… it is hard to ascribe them as trans or gender non-conforming from the past because we don’t know how they thought of themselves. Many women disguised as males because of the roles assigned to women back then… but it makes you have to stop and think.
“After nine years, they saw that the young girl was beardless and they called her ‘Hilarion the Eunuch’ since there were many such [eunuchs] wearing the habit. For her breasts, too, they were not as those of all women. Above all, she was shrunken with ascetic practices and even her menstrual period had stopped because of the deprivation… The blessed Hilaria, when she saw her lay sister, knew her: but the lay sister knew not her sister, the monk. How should she know her since her flesh had withered through mortification and the beauty of her body had altered, and her appearance, she being naught but skin and bone? Besides all this she was wearing a man’s garb.”
It is also complicated because of the habit back then of castrating males to make them eunuchs or they may have been intersexed.
Now, more than ever, we need trans affirming literatures that promote and champion the rich and complex history of gender variance in our world. Not only looking to modern authors, but looking deep into our ancient and medieval pasts to think about the place that trans figures have played in history.
I avoid labeling people from the past as being trans since language is constantly changing and historical accounts can’t be trusted. But it does make you wonder.

In an article about Elagabalus a Roman emperor, the author claims that the Caesar was trans.
A Brief Biography of Elagabalus: the transgender ruler of Rome
By Alexis Mijatovic

Elagabalus’ name is not quite as notorious as that of Nero and Caligula, or even Commodus, recently featured as the villain in Russell Crowe’s Gladiator. Like the three emperors mentioned above, Elagabalus has consistently been ranked among the worst and most depraved holders of the Imperial honor. Her reported atrocities and crimes however almost entirely fall under the categories of upsetting the gender, cultural and religious norms of Roman society. In this biography I will briefly narrate her life and evaluate what her contemporaries found so shocking about her. I will also show how examining her life and career can teach us much about the intersections of cultural conflict in ancient times and the lavish amount of attention transgender phenomenon have received since at least as long as history was recorded.
Transgender behavior existed in Rome before and after Elagabalus. Transgender practice was tolerated and even sometimes respected by the Roman populace when it was practiced by the male-born priestesses of Cybele, known as the Gallae. These women would celebrate a taurobolium which (originally meant to be the castration of a bull) was a castration ceremony where someone formally defined as male would lose their genitalia, bleed like in menstruation or childbirth, and then subsequently wear women’s clothing and go by female names. Like other cultural practices this was a highly ritualistic and mystical understanding of gender identity. Rome was a vast empire and culturally diverse empire and in some respects it can be said a marketplace of religions existed. A male-born person with strong cross gender identification could potentially seek out the local Gallae temple to Cybele and have herself castrated, both to please her goddess and also perhaps to fix a deep inadequate feeling toward her own anatomy.
We will never know.

As I mentioned before many woman masqueraded as man to breakout of the roles assigned to them by society.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Not A Leg To Stand On

The conservatives are at it again! They are suing a lesbian bakery for making a cake for them that they didn’t pick up.
A Christian troll wants to sue a lesbian baker after she made an antigay cake he ordered
The troll claims he faced "anti-Catholic discrimination" when she baked his cake and then had to throw it out when he didn't pick it up.
NBC News
By Alex Bollinger
August 13, 2020*

A rightwing troll ordered a cake with an anti-LGBTQ message from a lesbian baker, apparently hoping that she’d refuse to make it so he could cry anti-Christian bigotry.

She made it, though. He refused to pick it up for days. She eventually had to throw it away, and then the troll threatened to take her to court.

April Anderson runs the Good Cakes and Bakes bakery in Detroit with her wife Michelle. She has made a name for herself and has baked for Oprah Winfrey and appeared on the Today show.

But she’s not a stranger to bias.

“We are so used to being Black lesbian women,” Anderson told the Detroit Free Press. “You are used to people discriminating against you and saying mean things to you.”

On July 19, Good Cakes and Bakes got an order for a red velvet cake. The customer had already paid for it online and requested a message for the cake: “Homosexual acts are gravely evil. (Catholic Catechism 2357)”

“I am ordering this cake to celebrate and have PRIDE in true Christian marriage,” the customer wrote in with the order.
The couple did a little research about the person ordering the cake and they found that he is the... 
“Copyeditor @ Church Militant. Lawyer, theology MA, author, sportsman, family man.” Church Militant is a far-right Christian website
They made the cake but didn’t put the message on it because the store policy is that you have to tell them the message in person or on the phone which the person didn’t do and they made the cake.
Gordon was scheduled to pick up the cake on July 25. On July 24, he called the bakery and Anderson said the cake would be ready for the next day. She wrote a letter to go with it “just explaining what our bakery stands for, who we are,” she told Pride Source.

“We don’t stand for hate, we’re all about peace and justice and inclusion.”

The next day, Gordon didn’t even pick up the cake.
After waiting a number of days and he didn’t pick up the cake they threw out the cake. Then he called again and they told him that they threw out the cake.
Got them!
That was it until Pride Source published a story about the incident on August 6, including the part where she didn’t write the message on the cake. Which apparently made him want the cake again.

On August 7, he tweeted: “Good Cakes and Bakes is discriminating against me for requesting a cake virtually quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church sec. 2357. No more anti-Catholic discrimination. See you in court.”

“I was denied the services I requested at a place of public accommodation on the basis of the content of my beliefs,” he later told the Detroit Free-Press in an August 13 article.
The Advocate had this to say about the attempt to “catch” the bakers.
Extremist Catholic Orders Antigay Cake From Black Lesbian-Owned Bakery
By Daniel Reyolds
August 14, 2020

Church Militant was disavowed by the Archdiocese of Detroit and is not authorized to identify as a Catholic organization. Its founder, Michael Voris, said Gordon acted independently of the group.
However, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jay Kaplan told the paper that Anderson was within her rights. "She wasn't turning the customer away," Kaplan said. "We provide cakes, but we are not going to put that kind of message on the cake. Especially if it's offensive."

It doesn’t look like that they sued the bakery and if they do I hope that the cake shop will be awarded their legal fees and I would sue the the guy for slander and libel.

*Yes I know that the articles are from August. I just saw the NBC article on Facebook.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Saturday 9 Santa Baby

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

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

1) In this song, Madonna refers to Santa as "baby," "honey" and "cutie." What's the most recent endearment someone called you?
Well I have been hibernating all year so I don’t remember the last time someone used an endearment.

2) At the top of her list are a fur coat, a new convertible and a yacht. If you could receive any of those luxury items, which would you choose?
A yacht, actually I would rather have a sailboat instead of a yacht. You don’t have to pump couple of hundred of dollars of gas in it and you don’t have to smell all those gas fumes.

3) She would like to decorate her tree with ornaments from Tiffany's. Do you have a favorite holiday ornament or decoration?
I have a couple of boxes of Christmas ornaments from my great grandmother.

4) "Santa Baby" was written in 1953, before electronic payments. While her wish list includes blank checks, a 2017 survey revealed that 51% of consumers felt check writing was "a pain." Who received the last check your wrote? Who most recently gave you a check?
A reverend.
He bought one of my photographs to give as a Christmas present.

5) Madonna has been a successful singer for decades, and 1985's "Into the Groove" is her top-seller. What's your favorite Madonna song?
I am not a fan of Madonna and I don’t have favorite song.
My mother didn’t like Madonna because of the way she dressed but one time I was watching “A League of Their Own.” She was very surprised and liked her performance in the movie.

6) Madonna was born in Bay City, MI, and traveled to New York City to find fame and fortune. When she first arrived, she supported herself by working at Dunkin' Donuts. What's your standard DD order?
It is officially Dunkin now, they dropped Donuts.
In the summer Decaf Ice Coffee black, in the winter it is hot Decaf coffee black.
One time I was at a Dunkin on the Cape and I ordered my coffee black, and the kid behind the counter looked up and said, “Wow somebody who likes real coffee!”

7) The only Christmas card Sam has received so far this year is from her dentist. Have you received many cards this year?
0, but it is still early. I still have to do mine but I am trying to write my Christmas letter. What do you write about in the year of the plague?

So far I wrote,
Wow, what a year! Or 2020 the year that wasn’t!

The plague made this year’s Christmas letter short…
January, February, and March – Hibernated at home
April, May, June, July, August, and September – Hibernated at the cottage
October, November, and December – Hibernated at home

And I can’t think of anything else to write about.

8) Will you wrap many presents? Or do you prefer to use gift bags?
I don’t think we are going to be doing our Yankee Swap this year, we probably have another Zoom holiday.

9) Madonna recorded "Santa Baby" to benefit The Special Olympics. Here's your chance to plug a cause or organization that's near and dear to you.
My annual recommendation is True Colors

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!

On the first question from last week. I thought of a famous bridge near me and many of you have seen it!

It is an old railroad bridge across the Connecticut River and is about 12 miles away from me.

Billy Joel - The River of Dreams 

If you take a cruise down the Connecticut River you will see many of the locations where it was filmed and also it was filmed on the tobacco farms around the state. Here is the bridge that the steam train went over in the video…

And here is the engine…
The bridge that they are singing on is the railroad bridge in Middletown, the steam train is Essex 
Steam Train and the ferry is the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry one of the oldest continuous operating ferries in the nation (Since 1769) and I crossed the on it many times.