Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

I didn’t think that the jury would have a unanimous verdict, I thought at least one Trump supporter would be on the jury.

The Blue Line has been broken and hopefully it will continue to be split open.

There are still other cases of murder by cop that have to be brought to trial and we have to hope that the guilty continue also.



Two murder cases will be coming up for the two accused of murdering two trans women.
2 Men Accused of Murdering, Robbing 2 Transgender Women in North Carolina
Jadae Peterson and Remy Fennell were at least the 14th and 15th violent deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming persons in 2021, according to the Human Rights Campaign
People
By Jeff Truesdell
April 20, 2021


Two transgender women found dead by gunshot 11 days apart led police in North Carolina to connect the killings and arrest two men on murder charges.

"No one deserved that," Barbara Prescott, the godsister of victim Remy Fennell, told Charlotte TV station WBTV.

Fennell, 28, was found April 15 in a room at the Sleep Inn. Her death followed the killing of Jadae Peterson, 29, whose body was found April 4 in a room at the Quality Inn.

The two are at least the 14th and 15th violent deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming persons in 2021, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization.

"The loss of two Black transgender women in the last two weeks, in the same city, is devastating," Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for HRC's Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement. "It's never been more important for everyone — from community members to those at all levels of government — to speak out, affirm that Black Trans Lives Matter and take action to bring this violence to an end."
This doesn’t see this as a hate crime but a robbery.
"I can tell you that our investigation has advanced to the point where I feel confident in telling you there is no one else at large that was a part of this," he said. "These two individuals, and these two individuals alone, are responsible for Jadae and Remy's murder."

He said both victims were involved in sex work, and it's believed that's how they connected with the suspects. "If hate crime charges are appropriate," he added, "we'll absolutely pursue those."
We live in tumultuous times, we already had war, pestilence, and death.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Driving The Snakes Out

There are some who believe that the snakes were really an euphemism for the pogrom against the Druids.

The new laws in Republican states is having the same effect on trans youth, it is a pogrom against us to cleanse the states of trans youth.
'It's not safe': Parents of transgender kids plan to flee their states as GOP bills loom
Texas mom Amber Briggle said moving would be hard for her family, but “my son always comes first.”
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
April 19, 2021


George and Emily Spurrier are leaving their home of 16 years in central Arkansas due to a new law that will ban the health care that they say their 17-year-old transgender son needs.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, vetoed the measure earlier this month, calling it “a vast government overreach.” But the Arkansas General Assembly overrode the veto, and the bill will become law this summer.

Emily Spurrier said when her son heard the news, he sat in her car and cried for an hour.

“It was just kind of a wave of emotions, thinking about moving and then him worrying about some friends that he has here in the Little Rock area,” she said. “And then just the thought that this is really the only place he ever remembers living.”
[...]
George Spurrier said that, in addition to the transition-care ban, the Arkansas Legislature is considering several other bills that create an unsafe environment for his son.

“If it had been one or two bills, we may have been more optimistic about fighting and getting through all of it,” he said. “But the fact that they just kept coming one after another after another ... has just kind of demoralized us. Even if everything gets defeated or repealed, the spirit behind them is still here, and we just can't help but feel like it's not safe.”
Make no mistake this is a pogrom and if you do not know what a pogrom is here are a couple of examples…
  • The Holocaust
  • The Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire
  • The Serbians in Sarajevo
  • The Catholic Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina also by the Ottoman Empire
Make no mistake, the Republican party is doing this to appease the evangelical christian base that wants to eradicating us.

If you vote Republican you are contributing to the eradication of us, you are complicit in our destruction. You can say that you vote for Republicans for smaller government lower taxes but you are also voting for all their other policies including their attacks on us.

Over 400 bills have been introduced in state legislatures to marginalize us, to demonize us, to destroy us. You cannot separate the killing of trans youth from your vote. If you vote Republican you have blood on your hands.
"Families are in a state of panic, asking what state should they move to. They want to know what they should do next and we don't have a clear answer for them."
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger 
April 19, 2021


At least four transgender teens at one clinic in Arkansas have reportedly attempted suicide in the two weeks since the state banned gender-affirming health care for transgender minors.

“My families are in a state of panic, asking what state should they move to, saying their child is threatening to kill themselves,” Dr. Michele Hutchison told CTV. “They want to know what they should do next and we don’t have a clear answer for them.”
If I sound bitter it is because I am. No one should have to flee their homes for their safety here in the United States. No one should have to worry if their child will succumb to the hate.



Now the Tennessee Republicans want to try to ban us from bathrooms again…
AP
By Jonathan Mattise
April 19, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee House lawmakers on Monday passed a bill that would put public schools and districts at risk of civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multi-person bathrooms or locker rooms that don’t reflect their gender at birth.

The proposal must now pass the Senate before it can head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk, with senators expected to vote on the proposal later this week. The bill is one of several LGTBQ-related measures that the GOP-controlled General Assembly have introduced this year that critics have slammed as discriminatory. Most notably, Lee, a Republican, signed a different proposal this year that bars transgender athletes from playing girls’ public high school or middle school sports.

Monday, April 19, 2021

I Do Not Believe It!

I think that their research is flawed… it was a convenience sample that was skewed.

4 in 10 Transgender Women Have HIV: CDC
US News and World Report
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter
April 16, 2021


 (HealthDay News) -- Four in 10 transgender women have HIV, which shows the urgent need to offer them more prevention and treatment services, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

In interviews with more than 1,600 transgender women in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle in 2019 and early 2020, researchers found that 42% of those with a valid HIV test result had HIV. Transgender women are those assigned male at birth and identify as female.

The report found significant racial and ethnic disparities. In all, 62% of Black transgender women and 35% of Hispanic transgender women had HIV, compared with 17% of white transgender women.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed lived at or below the poverty level. Forty-two percent had been homeless in the past year.

"These data provide a clear and compelling picture of the severe toll of HIV among transgender women and the social and economic factors -- including systemic racism and transphobia -- that are contributing to this unacceptable burden," said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, director of the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

Do you see the flaw?

I do not know if it is the article and the reporter generalized or that there is fault in the study for them to make the statement “according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.”

The flaw is that they only looked in cities, they didn’t look in the towns around the cities nor did they look in the rural towns. That is like psychologist Michael Bailey only interviewing trans people that he found in gay bars for his “study.”

The link to the CDC that they provide says,

Nearly 1 million people identify as transgender in the United States (US); and, adult and adolescent transgender people made up 2% (601) of new HIV diagnoses in the US and dependent areas in 2018. 

That does sound like 40% to me, 2% sounds a lot less than 40%.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Battle Between Light & Dark

There is a battle raging between the love and hate over the lives of children, we need to make sure that love wins out. One side say that they are fighting in the name of god, but in reality they are fighting on the side of the dark and hate. They try to demonize us but we have defeated them so far with the truth.

It is an epic battle that has lasted centuries*.
GOP Oklahoma lawmaker criticized for transgender comments
AP
By Sean Murphy
April 16, 2021


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma lawmaker who helped revive a bill to ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports is coming under fire for saying transgender people “have a mental illness.”

Rep. Justin Humphrey, a Republican from the southeast Oklahoma town of Lane, made the comment in an email exchange with a woman who was urging him to vote against the bill.

“I never mind helping to educate the uninformed,” Humphrey wrote in the email obtained by The Associated Press. “I understand ... transgender people have a mental illness.”

Humphrey stood by his comments Friday.

“I don’t have any problem backing up what I said,” Humphrey said in a telephone interview with the AP. “If you’re a male, you’re a male to the core. This is science and logic, and science and logic are on my side.”
The dark use lies like "mental illness" But the light stood up to his hate…
Opponents of the Oklahoma bill have expressed concern that its passage could lead to the NCAA moving its College Softball World Series, which is held each year in Oklahoma City and is expected to generate more than $20 million in revenue for the city.
National medical organizations has stood against the hate, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association all have come out against these bills and laws.
Transgender Children Across The U.S. Are Fighting For Their Lives (Again)
More than 30 states have introduced laws that include banning trans kids from school sports and criminalizing parents for providing gender-affirming medical care.
Huffpost
By Alanna Vagianos
April 16, 2021

Asher McKinney-Ring stepped up to the podium on the floor of the North Carolina General Assembly on Wednesday and took a deep breath. McKinney-Ring is only 15 years old, but the transgender high schooler appeared calm as he argued against North Carolina’s HB358, a bill that would restrict trans kids like him from participating in school sports.

“Words cannot explain how painful and exhausting it is to wake up every morning knowing that my rights to normal childhood experiences like school sports are being debated by elected officials that I’ve never met and that my existence and identity are not protected by law,” he said.

“We are not a threat. We are children,” he said. “And we just want to experience life normally like the rest of our classmates.”
Light and love speak up.
New poll shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose anti-transgender laws
PBS
By Matt Loffman
April 16, 2021


The rights of transgender Americans has been a growing topic of debate on sports fields, in state capitols and in Congress. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, says more than 30 state legislatures have proposed more than 115 bills that would limit transgender rights, from participation on sports teams to access to medical care.

But two-thirds of Americans are against laws that would limit transgender rights, a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found. That opposition includes majorities of every political ideology from liberal to conservative and every age group.

These proposed bills have emerged as a new culture war, with Republican state legislators introducing and voting for them amid Democratic opposition, while a majority of Americans who identify as Republicans are against such laws, according to the poll.

“The parties are speaking to their base people,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducts the poll. “The Democratic coalition is more diverse. It’s broader. The Republicans are speaking to a much narrower base, and that can put you against the overall public opinion within those jurisdictions.”
This really is a battle, people lives are at stake.

Psychology Today reported that one of the causes of the decline in religious beliefs are
“… more tolerance and equality (around race, gender, and sexual orientation), less adherence to social rules (with acceptance of premarital sex at an all-time high)…

Prejudice may never entirely leave us, but will increasingly be tossed into the dustbin of history, with transgender rights becoming the new civil rights movement after gay and lesbian rights become taken for granted. More Americans will disassociate from religion – not just in affiliation but in participation, religiosity, and belief. The America of the future, if these trends hold, will be unchurched, unmarried, and unprejudiced…
The younger generation is growing up with us and they don’t see us as “evil” like their parents do, they see the light, not the dark.

As the PBS article says, the Republicans are speaking to their “christian” base, but they are worshiping a false idol.

Seek the light...
~~~~~~~~~~~

* In December 1771 one of our nation's founders, John Adams, defended a trans person in the case of "Gray vs. Pitts. Assault and Battery."

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday 9: Don't Rain on My Parade

Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Rain on My Parade (1968)

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


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

1) Is rain expected where you are today?
I am writing this Friday morning and it raining with wet snow mixed in.

2) In this song, Barbra Streisand warns everyone to not spoil her optimistic mood. What is something you're feeling really good about today?
Well today I have to run around getting ready to head up to the Cape.

3) She sings that life is candy and the sun is a ball of butter. Which have you consumed more recently, candy or butter?
Sadly butter, way too much butter.

4) This song is from the musical Funny Girl. It's based on the true story of Fanny Brice, who starred on Broadway, in movies and on the radio between 1910 and 1951. At the beginning of her career, no one thought she would succeed because of her unconventional looks, but she forged ahead, saying, "I make things happen for me." Are you focused, like Fanny?
Yes. My latest project is to organize a LGBTQ+ vaccination day where all the Pride centers will be sponsoring a vaccination day, everyone will be welcome but we are going to advertise in the LGBTQ+ media. Accord to the state DPH we are falling behind in vaccinations.

So I googled Fanny Brice and what came up was this…
1 BSnks #020 Charles Harding Blair to Arrive - OTR The Baby Snooks Show - 25:47

5) When the stage version of Funny Girl was in pre-production, the part of Fanny was offered to actress Anne Bancroft, but she felt the songs were too difficult for her. Singer Eydie Gorme dropped out when told her husband, Steve Lawrence, could not play the male lead. Carol Burnett said she'd love to do it, but also admitted she thought she was wrong for the role. Running out of time and options, producer Ray Stark decided to give lesser-known Barbra Streisand a try... and the rest, as they say, is history. Has there ever been a time in your life when you were glad things didn't work out as you'd originally planned?
Probably, but I don’t remember offhand.

6) Funny Girl was the top grossing movie of 1968. #2 was 2001: A Space Odyssey. Given the choice, would you rather watch a musical or a sci-fi flick?
Um…that is really hard question to answer, as you know I am a devote si-fi fan. But there is always a but. I love going to musicals and I am trying to see if I can get a group together to see South Pacific at the Goodspeed Opera House this fall.

7) Streisand's favorite color is burgundy because it reminds her of when, as a little girl, she received a hand-knitted sweater as a gift and wearing it made her feel special. What color is your favorite sweater?
Well I was hoping to be putting it away for the season but Mother Nature had other ideas. My favorite sweater is a red sweater with a cowl neck.

8) In 1960, she began performing in New York clubs but she had a hard time getting work because she was only 18 and most nightclubs wouldn't hire a girl not yet old enough to drink. Do you remember your first legal alcoholic beverage? What did you have?
Yes, it was a beer and my brother gave me some brotherly advice which was “If you’re drinking get up and walk around every once in awhile so you know how drunk you are.”

9) Random question: How many people know the real you?

How high is high?
I know a lot of people and I think many of them know me and probably a dozen people are close to me.

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will be driving up to the cottage this morning so I will not be able to reply to your posts.
I decided to go up tomorrow it will be showring most of the day today and very windy.

Friday, April 16, 2021

We Are Seeing Something Remarkable

“It is unfortunate that the makeup of our Legislature has changed to the extent that we are weaponizing religion to discriminate against this small minority,” Ferguson said.
I search Google News every morning to search the news and something remarkable is happening in those searches, it is that more and more mainstream news media is coming out against the states that are attacking us. That quote above is from a USA Today article,
These are just some of the headlines that came up in the search this morning.

Also ABC, CBS, NBC, and NPR all have come out in response to the bills and laws, I haven’t found one article or editorial that has come out in favor of the bills.

What is important to consider is that the people are against these bills. Ms magazine reported…
On Wednesday, Hart Research Associates and LGBTQ+ organization the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released a new report that finds that 73 percent of people believe that trans kids should be allowed to play on the team on which they feel comfortable, including 56 percent of Republicans.

The poll also found that 70 percent of the country supports the Equality Act, the watershed nondiscrimination protections bill for LGBTQ+ people that is heading to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The country truly is landing on a place and on the side of equality and opportunity,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs at HRC. “We continue to see a strength in these numbers, even while there are significant attacks on our community and particularly on transgender youth across the country.”

Wednesday’s poll found that while many initially did express hesitancy about transgender participation in sports, more information quickly shifted their reactions, researchers said. When first asked, just 38 percent said they supported allowing kids to play on sports teams consistent with their gender identities and 28 percent were undecided.
The Republicans have created a backlash but as usual the Republicans are deaf to it and are moving ahead

A Gallup poll found…
Another recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 82% of Americans favored "laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing."
The Kaiser Family Foundation found that…
The poll finds:
  • 9 in 10 in ten adults agree with last week’s Supreme Court ruling, say it should be illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire people because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (90%) or transgender (89%).
  • About 9 in 10 say it should be illegal for doctors or other health care providers to refuse to treat people because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (89%) or transgender (88%).
  • 85% say it should be illegal for health insurance companies to refuse to pay for health care services for people who are transgender.
  • In each case, large majorities across partisan lines, including more than 7 in 10 Republicans, think such discrimination against LGBTQ people should be illegal.
You might remember back in 2018 Massachusetts had Question 3 on their ballot that would have banned protection for us in public accommodation and that was soundly defeated, but the question is will these polling results carry over to the elections? Voters tend to vote their pocketbooks and on local issues.

What we have to do is speak up and speak out against the hate, we have to show what the Republican party really is... a party of hate.

And if you're an ally then you also have to speak up, your voice carries more weight then us because you are speaking from the heart.

The Republican party is a party that is against everything and for nothing.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Allegiance

This has nothing to with trans stuff this morning…

The last couple of days Today in Connecticut History by the Connecticut by the Office of the State Historian had about inventors from Connecticut.

The U.S. used to be a leader in research but today we are taken a backseat to breaking basic research and the question is why?

Well I have a theory, businesses used to be local;
  • Hartford was the Insurance City,
  • Meriden was the Silver City,
  • New Britain was the Hardware City,
  • Thomaston was the Clock City,
  • Waterbury was the Brass City.
When I started out in industry I worked for an electronic company and they were bought out by another company and moved out of state.

The next company I worked at was bought out five times and the last time we were bought ut they shut down the factory and moved the production line to all over the world.

It used to be companies were local, they hired from within the communities, you could work your way up the company ladder. You knew the company inside and out. You could be there if you wanted from high school until you got your gold watch. The company was a part of the community.

The last company that bought us out put a “bean counter” in Tokyo in charge of an engineering company. Their great idea was to close the manufacturing division saying that they will job shop the manufacturing out.

I remember when I took classes for a certificate in manufacturing, in one class the instructor asked us home many widgets we made in a day. Other students said a hundred… a thousand, and one student said ten thousand! And then it was my turn to answer… one in four or five years.

We were a custom job shop… if you want an Instrumentation and Control System for a factory, power plant, waste treatment plant or any other processes control we did it. Each one was unique.

When you have millions of components that have to come together it takes time and experience to put it altogether and mistakes will be made and corrected. We were a “cost shop” if engineering made a mistake it was just labor cost. But now our new owners began to shop out our jobs and to make a change now cost you money.

I got called down to corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh. One of the vendors was behind schedule so with all these big shots around the table racking the supplier over the coals, while the vendor was trying to explain why they were behind schedule and their engineer mentioned about resistors changing values, now these were very special resistors with very tight tolerances, my ears perked up. I asked one question… who is the manufacture of the resistors? As soon as he said the manufacture name I knew the problem. It was a problem that we found 10 years earlier, the manufacturer skipped a step in making the resistors.

Companies have a lot of tribal knowledge and when they move they lose that knowledge. I heard onetime that a plating company when they moved the quality of the plating dropped and they couldn’t find out why. Well it turned out that the guys who did the plating used to relive themselves in the acid bath, the bathrooms were down the other end of the building. Well the urine changed the pH of the acid bath.

If you ask me why U.S. manufacturing and research are in decline one reason is that companies have no ties to the communities and when they move they not only hurt themselves but also the communities. 

They are only interested in the bottom line, how many companies have you go belly up when they were bought out.

BTW the company that bought us out when 2 billion dollars in debt and declared bankruptcy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

It Is Like A Game To Them

I’ll see you trans sports ban and raise you a healthcare ban. Yeah, well I see you and raise you by taking the trans child away from their parents!
Texas law could remove transgender children from their parents' homes for receiving gender-affirming care
The legislation would classify gender-affirming care as child abuse.
The Hill
By Anagha Srikanth
April 13, 2021


[…]
The bill, written by Senator Charles Perry, would add "administering or supplying, or consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of" gender reassignment surgery or puberty blockers for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment to the list of punishable offenses under the state's child protection laws. Parents, as well as medical providers, who provide gender-affirming care to transgender children could lose custody and face criminal charges.

Medical professionals and the LGBTQ+ community, including transgender advocates, argue that if transgender children don't receive gender-affirming health care, they are at higher risk for mental health conditions and even suicide. Studies show that access to puberty blockers can decrease the risk of suicide in transgender teens, who are already at higher risk for suicide than their cisgender peers.
How sick is this?

This is the worst bill proposed by the Republicans, can they get anymore sinister?

LGBTQ Nation wrote this…
“The care provided to children and youth with gender dysphoria is tailored to their specific needs by a team of highly trained providers, including pediatricians, mental health specialists, endocrinologists, surgeons, and allies and supporters including parents and guardians,” they wrote. “Each provider plays a role in ensuring the health of the child based on established standards of care and the peer-reviewed medical literature.”

“In our experience, affirmation and acceptance from parents, guardians, physicians, and all other important adults in a child’s life is extremely beneficial to the child’s health outcomes and happiness. These benefits are also supported overwhelmingly by the medical literature and highly respected pediatric organizations including the Texas Pediatric Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Pediatric Endocrine Society.”
The Republicans are SICK!

Meanwhile at the opposite end of the spectrum, here in Connecticut the Department of Children and Families
The Safe Harbor Project guarantees fair and equal treatment, services and resources for LGBT youth and families. The State of Connecticut child welfare system (DCF) is responsible for providing a safe living environment free from harassment, humiliation, abuse and neglect. DCF understands that children who unfortunately find themselves in horrible situations, through no fault of their own, need love and attention in order to flourish and succeed in life. In accordance with Connecticut laws and DCF's mandate, LGBT youth-in-care should never be placed in a setting where they will be subject to acts of violence or abuse, bigotry, bullying, condemnation, harassment, intolerance, indoctrination, proselytizing or prejudice. If you are being abused, beaten, bullied, harassed or neglected because of your inherent sexuality, let us know. The State of Connecticut and DCF has a mandate to protect you! In keeping with Connecticut's laws, regulations and ethics, DCF actively recruits LGBT foster and adoptive parents and mentors. DCF has been working with True Colors to ensure that all LGBT staff, providers, youth and their families receive appropriate, non-discriminatory and professional care.
[...]
You deserve a family who...
...Loves you, unconditionally
...Treats you with respect
...Doesn't abuse you, make fun of you or disown you
...Supports your gender identity and expression
...Supports your inherent sexuality
...Helps you make connections with other LGBT youth
...Stands up for you
...Allows you to be yourself
...Is proud of who you are!
If you are a youth under the age of 18, who is being abused, beaten, bullied, harassed or neglected because of your inherent sexuality, let us know. The State of Connecticut and DCF has a mandate to protect you! CALL 1-800-842-2288
The Republicans are on a power trip and they don’t care who they hurt or kill, they fly in the face of proven medical care and instead rely on the hate of the evangelical Christians.

I wouldn’t be surprise if sometime in the near future the Republicans will attack lesbian and gay parents on adoption or if a child from a previous marriage is now living with same-sex parents and label them also as child abuse.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Speak Up, Speak Out

Now is not the time to remain silent.

There comes a time in our lives that we are at the crux where we have to speak up, Martin Niemöller poem said it best, we need to speak up against tyranny. Make no mistake this is a pogrom against us by the Republican party.

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League issued this statement in 2018…
Transgender people can’t be defined out of existence. They are our neighbors, community members, and family, and their rights are all of our civil and human rights. We will work relentlessly with our allies to stop this bigoted proposal in the courts and in state legislatures. And we will work with our allies to ensure Congress passes necessary federal comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals. Because every person deserves to be treated with human dignity, equally, and consistent with their gender identity under federal law.
Anti-trans bills have been introduced in just about every state, hundreds of bills have been introduced by Republicans and some of them have passed in laws. These bills will, not may result in deaths.

The NCAA has spoken out…
The NCAA, which regulates college athletics in the U.S., backed transgender athletes Monday, saying it won’t hold championship events in locations that aren’t “free of discrimination.”

As Republicans in more than two dozen states target transgender athletes, the NCAA Board of Governors said it "firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports."
The AMA had this to say…
Among the concerning legislation are bills that would criminalize the provision of medically necessary gender transition-related care to minor patients and, in some states, deem such care child abuse. These bills target surgical interventions as well as medications and hormone therapies that delay puberty while the child explores their gender identity.
[...]
The AMA views these bills as a dangerous legislative intrusion into the practice of medicine and has been working closely with state medical associations to vigorously oppose them. In letters to legislators (PDF), the AMA has emphasized that it is “imperative that transgender minors be given the opportunity to explore their gender identity under the safe and supportive care of a physician.”
USA Today in regard to the Arkansas reported that…
The American Psychological Association and American Medical Association have publicly opposed the bill. The American Academy of Pediatrics also spoke out against the bill.
Missoula Current reported that…
Unease and concern about the measures extends to many business sectors and industries in Montana, including tech companies working to expand their professional market in the Treasure State.

In February, the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, at the request of some of its members, compiled a web page with information about how HB 112 and other “anti-LGBTQ+ bills could be harmful to our industry.” While MHTBA, founded by Gianforte in 2014 before he first ran for office, does not take part in formal lobbying efforts, the information was emailed to the group’s approximately 200 members, including the governor. A spokeswoman for the alliance declined to comment on whether there has been additional correspondence with Gianforte about the legislation.

As its report states, bills that would negatively impact LGBTQ people “may lead to lost business, lost jobs, slower growth, and damage to Montana’s reputation as a safe and welcoming place to work.” The state’s tech sector, MHTBA explained, competes for a global roster of clients and potential employees, and is consequently held to industry standards that trend toward explicit support and protections for LGBTQ employees.
Businesses must speak up! They have to speak up like they did in Georgia and Texas over voter disfranchisement.

The Tennessean reported…
Amazon, Vanderbilt University, Nissan, Warner Music Group and dozens more Tennessee corporations, industry associations and small businesses sent a letter to state lawmakers opposing bills targeting LGBTQ residents.

The open letter comes a week after the state Senate approved a bill barring transgender athletes from participating in middle and high school sports teams under their gender identity.
[…]
The letter, signed by 137 businesses and industry groups, calls the bill and other similar legislation discriminatory and unfair.
Of course the big question is whether the Republican party will listen. I think one way to get them to listen is for businesses to stop their campaign donations and that is where we can step in. Businesses are more likely to listen to us their customers than the Republicans are to listen to the voters.

We have to call businesses to be accountable when they have a 100% HRC Equality rate but they are still donating to the Republican party a party that is trying to divide the nation. The HRC needs to include in their equality index if the company supports non-discrimination laws and opposes legislation that discriminates.

How can a business have an excellent LGBTQ+ non-discrimination policy and still donate to a party that is rooted in hate?

Monday, April 12, 2021

He Got It Right

Some people say lesbians and gays have nothing in common with trans people but we share a lot in common and this gay man is stepping up in our defense.
Republicans Have Found Their Cruel New Culture War
Arkansas lawmakers’ move against trans people reflects a larger strategy.
New York Times
By Frank Bruni Opinion Columnist
April 10, 2021


Straight people have often asked me what I, a gay man, have in common with someone who’s trans. Gay people have often put that question to themselves. There are many answers. Here’s one: I know what it’s like to have my identity, my dignity — my very hold on happiness — pressed into partisan battle and fashioned into a political weapon.

I know what it’s like to be used.

And right now, trans people are being used, cruelly.

You probably heard about what happened in Arkansas. On Tuesday, state lawmakers there voted overwhelmingly, by a three-to-one ratio, to override a veto from the Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, and effectively ban gender-affirming medical treatments, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, for trans youth under the age of 18.

It doesn’t matter if those youth are pleading for this kind of help or have already begun receiving it and found it to be lifesaving. It doesn’t matter if their parents, having wrestled hard with the situation and done extensive research, believe that therapy is crucial. It doesn’t matter if physicians have concluded it’s in the youths’ best interest. Politicians know best.

And they’re expert at identifying vulnerable, marginalized populations and demonizing them in the interest of political gain. That’s what Republicans in Arkansas, in Alabama and in dozens of other states are doing with scores of active bills, many of which focus on denying trans youth gender-affirming treatments and dictating how they may or may not participate in sports.
The Republicans are very good at that, driving wedges with minorities who cannot fight back, they are good at demonizing minorities; Blacks, immigrants, Asians, religions, and now us.
They’re inventing a problem to whip up a culture war that they’re convinced will redound to their benefit. Worried that their party can’t retain or wrest power with its positions on the economy and prescriptions (or lack thereof) for health care, they’re fighting on other turf, with no pause to contemplate the need for their offensives and no thought for the casualties.
They fought battles with marriage equality but they lost, then they attacked us in the bathrooms and they lost that battle so regrouped. They did focus groups, took polls, analyzed the results, they tried it out in Britain and Poland and it took hold there so they brought it here to America.

They had Republicans conferences around where they explained their new approach. They held press conferences to whip up hate, with their new campaign slogan… we need to protect the “little girls” from these big burly boys in dresses and they don’t care who they hurt.
Not by accident, they made an uncharacteristically prominent appearance in Donald Trump’s first big speech after his exile from the White House, when he and other disappointed Republicans were regrouping and trying to figure out the path forward.
But they do not mention any facts or show any research they just play on peoples emotions to protect the “little girls” from these big burly boys in dresses. Note how many times they say that they are just protecting “girls.”
When Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, grandstands in a Senate hearing by comparing surgery elected by trans people to the “genital mutilation” — a phrase he used repeatedly — of girls in cultures that seek to subjugate women by stamping out their sexual pleasure, that’s not an honest policy debate. That’s just a storm of nasty words distracting voters from the governmental and societal failures really standing between them and the American dream. Trans people aren’t the impediment.
They don’t care who they hurt with their lies.

They interject themselves in to one the most personal relationship a person that can have that between their doctor and the patient.

One Republican stood up and said enough is enough.

CNN reported that Governor Hutchinson said, "a product of the cultural war in America," and arguing it creates "new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people."

The New York Times article ends with…
But he has said repeatedly over the past week that the bill regarding medical care for trans youth was reckless and uncompassionate. In an interview with The Times’s Lisa Lerer, he conceded that as part of “the cultural wars that we’re engaged in,” Republicans were often “acting out of fear of what could happen, or what our imagination says might happen, versus something that’s real and tangible.”

He finally, in this instance, drew a line and took a stand. My own fear is that it will be a lonely one, and that a great many people will suffer because of that.
Hate crimes are at the highest in a decade.

Do you remember Trump calling COVID-19 the Asian Flu? Now assaults on Asian is skyrocketing!
Hate crimes in US reach highest level in more than a decade
AP
By Michael Balsamo
November 16, 2020


WASHINGTON (AP) — Hate crimes in the U.S. rose to the highest level in more than a decade as federal officials also recorded the highest number of hate-motivated killings since the FBI began collecting that data in the early 1990s, according to an FBI report released Monday.

There were 51 hate crime murders in 2019, which includes 22 people who were killed in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas, the report said. The suspect in that August 2019 shooting, which left two dozen other people injured, was charged with both state and federal crimes in what authorities said was an attempt to scare Hispanics into leaving the United States.

There were 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before — and approaching the 7,783 of 2008. The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on a person’s race, religion or sexual orientation, among other categories.
And these are only the reported hate crimes, many cities do not track hate crimes…
An Associated Press investigation in 2016 found that more than 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments across the country had not submitted a single hate crime report for the FBI’s annual crime tally during the previous six years.

Greenblatt also said America must “remove the barriers that too often prevent people in marginalized communities – the individuals most likely to suffer hate crimes – from reporting hate-based incidents,” a sentiment shared by other advocates.
Do you know here in Connecticut school systems by law are supposed to report bullying but some systems report not a single case of bullying in their system and just like hate crimes they don’t want to report them because it makes them look bad.

No news is good news.

What I do not understand is why LGBTQ+ people vote for a party that wants them dead.

Well actually I do know why they do that, they are more interested in their pocketbooks than in people lives… it is “me” not “us.”



Why do I keep writing about the Republican party? 

These posts are some of the lowest read posts on my blog, the highest read posts are when I write about going out in public, clothes, and just about being trans. My audience doubles when I write about those topics.

I write about politics because that is what is driving the hate against us, and hate is very, very real. It is not an abstract topic, it has hit very close to home. One trans support group meeting a trans woman was there, her face was swollen and all black and blue. Her story is what made me want to be a activist.

She was a construction worker and while she was on the job and in a secluded part of the jobsite, two men came and beat the crap out her with two by fours. When the police came they wouldn't arrest the men because "the officer didn't witness the crime" and when she raised her voice they arrested her for "disturbing the peace."

Whether we are trans, gay, lesbians, queer, drag queens, crossdresser, non-binary we all have to speak up... we are all just steps away from being the next victim.

You all have heard the poem by Martin Niemöller;
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Well we can rewrite that to...
First they came for the LGBTQ people, and I did not speak out—because I was not LGBTQ.

Then they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out— because I was not immigrant.

Then they came for the non-Christians, and I did not speak out—because I was Christian

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
That is how hate works, divide and conqueror.

We must speak up!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Religious Freedom!

How many time have we heard that cry?

Back in the old days, like four or five years ago it meant being able to go to or not go to a place of worship of your choice. It meant not having a state religion.

But now it has morphed into meaning the right to discriminate against people.

Here in Connecticut and nineteen other states ban Conversion Therapy and here we had to make religious concessions.

In England they also are talking about banning conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy ban 'would criminalise Christian parents stopping children seeking transgender treatment'
The Telegraph via Yahoo News
By Tim Wyatt
April 10, 2021


The Government’s proposed ban on conversion therapy would criminalise Christian parents who want to stop their children seeking transgender treatment, a leading QC and Church of England minister have warned.

In a formal legal opinion sent to ministers last week, Philip Havers QC, a prominent human rights lawyer, wrote banning conversion therapy would unintentionally make it illegal for Christians to tell a child questioning their gender that they should remain in their birth sex.

Ed Shaw, the evangelical pastor of a Church of England congregation in Bristol who procured the opinion, said changing the law could “close down freedom of speech, conscience and religion” for him and like-minded believers.
The religious leaders want to be able to torture children in the name of religion. Just like here in the states they think that they should be above the law.
Mr Havers concluded that any of the proposed definitions of conversion therapy “have the potential to criminalise at least some (and in several cases all) of these scenarios unless specific exemptions are applied for faith-based activity, including within family settings”.
[...]
According to the respected lawyer, a loosely-phrased law would not only prohibit church leaders or therapists but also family members from doing anything – such as pushing back against a child’s desire to seek out transgender treatment – which could be later construed as suppressing a child’s sexuality or gender identity.
Stop and think what they are saying. They want the right to force a child straight, they want to use psychological torment to make a child straight.
In 2017, the Church of England’s General Synod voted to condemn conversion therapy and called on the Government to ban it. When asked if the Church supported the idea of a religious exemption in any ban to protect vicars and Christian parents, a spokesperson said they would “look at any specific government proposals when they are published”.
Here in Connecticut the concession we had to make in order to pass the bill was to exempt clergy from the bill… However, is the clergy is also a licensed therapist they could lose their license.

We got a lot of push back from the LGBTQ+ on the exemption but bills in other states got ruled unconstitutional because they didn’t have the exemption and we also knew that we could never get it passed if we didn't..

Others thought that we should also have made the law to cover adults, but they are not being forced in to conversion therapy but they are old enough to make their own decision. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday’s 9: The Bones

Sam’s Saturday’s 9: The Bones (2019)

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


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

1) They lyrics compare a relationship to a house, saying that despite superficial problems like peeling paint or broken glass, the foundation can still be solid and strong. What home improvement project is next on your list?
Well it is actually three projects at the cottage and two at home this summer.
For the cottage replace the window, building a retaining wall, and adding a patio.
For the my house replacing the foundation plants and reset the flagstone sidewalk.

2) Maren Morris sings that she knows she and her lover can face any storm. Are you afraid of thunder and lightening?
A few times two of them were on top of mountains, one time backpacking on Mt Riga in the northwest corner of Connecticut a summer thunderstorm while we were crossing the summit. We took off our aluminum backpacks and crawled into a crevasse. The other time we were hiking on the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park when we could see thunderstorms gathering in the distance and we hurried back to the parking lot before the storms came.
From 1974, my friend as we backpack to one of the back country campsite

Then there was a time at the New Hampshire cottage. Across the lake I could see thunderstorms approaching, with lightning hitting the opposite shore, then the bolts were hitting the lake and moving toward the cottage, then I got really nervous. The flash bang were less than a couple of seconds apart! I moved a wooden chair in the middle of room and sat on it with my legs crossed off the floor. I could see and hear the Saint Elmo’s Fire hissing on the tops of trees… then a FLASH BOOM!
Afterwards I did a walk-around the cottage to make sure it wasn't hit.

3) The video for this song shows Maren and her husband, singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd, on the beach in Maui. Would you rather go for a long walk along a beach or a hike in the woods?
The woods! The woods!

4) "The Bones" won Morris and her collaborators (Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz) the 2020 CMA "Song of the Year" Award. Here's your chance to pat yourself on the back. What's something you have done well lately? (Go ahead. We want to hear about it!)
At the Health Collective I talked to someone who was looking for a trans friendly doctor.

5) The song was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song. For the awards show last month, Maren put a lot of work into her look, including lightening her hair and lipstick and reshaping her brows. She was surprised when saw on social media that people confused her with reality star Khloe Kardashian. How long does it take you to prepare to face the world (on an average day, not for an internationally telecast awards show)?
Zero time.
I don’t use any makeup.

6) Experimenting with hair and makeup comes naturally to Maren. Her parents have owned the same hair salon for decades. She and her sister played there as children and took turns working the reception desk when they were in high school. Do you have a hair appointment scheduled?
Well first of all you need to have hair to have a hair appointment. I just throw on a wig.

7) Mom and Dad do not go out of their way to play Maren's songs in their salon. They don't want to "bombard" clients with her music, just because she's their daughter. But, if one of Maren's songs happens to come on, they are naturally very proud. Where were you the last time you had to listen to someone else's choice of music? (Bank, doctor's office, friend's car, etc.) Did you enjoy it, or did you wish you could change the station?
At a stop light two cars in front of me. I had all the windows closed in my car but his music still drowned out my music. I can just imagine when he is in his 40s and trying wonder why he is going deaf.

8) Maren says her favorite foods are tacos and tortillas. When did you most recently eat Mexican food?

Quesadilla. Speaking of which, I haven’t been to my favorite Mexican restaurant in Hartford lately.

9) Random question: What do you call that thing in your living room? Is it a sofa, couch, or a davenport?
Couch.
As I write this Friday night the couch looks inviting for a quick nap...

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, April 09, 2021

Hate Spreads

Over in Europe we also are being victims of bigotry, this time by a judge in Poland.
Senior Polish judge deletes tweet about transgender child
Spectrum News
By Associated Press AP
April 8, 2021


WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish top court judge on Thursday deleted a tweet in which she had publicized personal information about a transgender child, triggering accusations that she had placed the youth in danger.

This is the latest development highlighting a divide over LGBT and gender issues that pits conservatives in the mostly Roman Catholic nation against those seeking greater acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

So far, discussions have focused mostly on adult gays and lesbians, but the judge's tweet this week brought calls for empathy for transgender youth.

Krystyna Pawlowicz, a justice on the Constitutional Tribunal, wrote critically on Twitter on Tuesday about the case of a school in the town of Podkowa Lesna, near Warsaw, which is respecting the child's wish to use a girl's name.

In that original tweet, Pawlowicz argued that the school was disregarding the official sex designation on the child’s records. Pawlowicz referred to the child as a boy, gave the child's chosen first name and the full name of the principal, as well as the name and address of the school.
A nice impartial judge. Do you want to bet the in the future Poland starts to pass laws banning healthcare for trans youth like the Republicans are doing here?
Pawlowicz is a former lawmaker for the country’s ruling party, Law and Justice, who is known for her strongly conservative views. She was appointed to the Constitutional Tribunal in 2019.
Does this sound familiar?

The courts are facing pressure from the European Union,
EU court: Poland’s judicial rules could violate EU law
WAVY
By: Monika Scislowska, Associated Press
March 2, 2021


WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European Union’s top court ruled Tuesday that Poland’s new regulations for appointing judges to the Supreme Court could violate EU law, an opinion that was immediately contested by the justice minister and other judicial officials in Warsaw.

The ruling obliges Poland’s right-wing government to have these regulations discontinued and to observe the principles of judicial independence and the right to judicial protection.

The EU has been strongly criticizing Poland’s conservative government for the changes it has introduced to the judiciary since it won power in 2015, saying they undermine the country’s rule of law.

In a decision that could have a powerful effect on future court verdicts regarding judicial appointments, the ruling also allows Poland’s courts to refrain from applying the government regulations introduced in 2018 and 2019, if they deem them to be in conflict with EU law.
[…]
Also Judge Julia Przylebska, the head of Poland’s top court vetting legislation, said the ruling constituted an “evident infringement on Poland’s constitutional order” and undermined the “foundations of the European Union as a community of sovereign states.”

Przylebska was among the very first judicial appointments made by the right-wing government.
Sounds like what the McConnell and the Republicans did here.

The conservatives are spreading their hate around the world. As the wage gap widens around the world unrest increases and the people look for a scapegoat and we are it.



There is a good discussion about puberty blockers on NBC’s Today show…
Puberty blockers can be prescribed to both cisgender and transgender children, and be used in treatments for adults as well.
By Kerry Breen
April 7, 2021


Arkansas has become the first state to ban gender-affirming care for minors, including the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapy, after the state legislature overrode Gov. Asa Hutchinson's veto of the bill.

The bill, which passed the state's House and Senate with a wide majority, bans doctors from providing any form of gender-affirming health care to people under the age of 18. Similar measures are being considered in Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee, and more than 20 states are considering other restrictions on transgender children, even as transgender representation increases in legislatures.

Doctors have criticized the measure, especially its restriction on puberty blockers, which are used for multiple conditions beyond treating transgender children and are reversible.
[…]
When are puberty blockers used?
Puberty-blocking medications are primarily used in young children who start puberty too early, according to Salas-Humara and Safer. The condition, known as precocious puberty, is diagnosed when girls before the age of 8 and boys before the age of 9 start to undergo puberty.

"The big historical using prior to using them for transgender care was precocious puberty," said Safer. "The idea is to have (kids) stay in their prepubescent state until they're a little bit older, a little bit more mature, and more around the age where others around them also might be going into puberty. That will work out better for them from a personal and social perspective."

Puberty blockers may also be used to treat prostate cancer in older men, according to Safer, and to manipulate hormones for women who are struggling with infertility. Most recently, puberty blockers have garnered some attention for their use in transgender children. Safer described this use as a "variation on the theme of precocious puberty."

"Kids will come and say they're transgender or they think they're transgender ... but they're entering puberty, and so it would be good to not have them go into the quote-unquote 'wrong' puberty, where they would have permanent characteristics that might have to be dealt with from a surgical perspective later," said Safer. "They're at a relatively young age, where it might be relatively early in the conversations ... to be making decisions with regard to more permanent things, but the physical changes are happening already, so it's an opportunity to pause that."
The Republicans lie through their teeth… they lie to create an impression that treating trans children does irreversible harm. They just don’t care the harm they do to children.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

We Are Not The Only Ones Hurt

The Republican attack on trans children is also affecting other children, the problem is in all their hate and haste there will be unintended consequences. In Texas trans boys are forced to play on girls teams and in Arkansas the new bill might affect non-trans children.
Bills Restricting Treatment For Transgender Youth Could Have Unintended Consequences
NPR - All Things Considered
April 7, 2021


NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Dr. Joshua Safer, the executive director at Mount Sinai's Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, about how puberty blockers go beyond transgender care.
[…]
SHAPIRO: Puberty blockers are not only used for trans kids. They are also prescribed for some cancers and for young people with adrenal issues or early puberty.

Dr. Joshua Safer is executive director at Mount Sinai's Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York City. And he told me supporters of these bills are wrong to claim that puberty blockers are irreversible.

JOSHUA SAFER: The point of puberty blockers is that they're a conservative option and that they are reversible. Puberty blockers are used in a number of medical situations, specifically so that hormones can be adjusted to a certain degree, and then they can be stopped, and things will revert to how they were.

SHAPIRO: And how often do doctors prescribe these medicines for kids - or for that matter, adults - who are not transgender?

SAFER: These medications are not super commonly used, but they certainly are used for other indications. The origins of what we call puberty blockers relative to kids are literally for delaying puberty for kids who have puberty earlier than would make sense for them socially. And so we have some experience with that.
[…]
SAFER: Anytime a state government tries to make a law around health care, it makes me nervous. I'm worried that there will be unintended consequences. There will be people who will be using these medications for other purposes who will be challenged. And certainly, with the large numbers of legislatures involved, the chance for error seems high to me.
[…]
SAFER: The statistics about people dying from puberty blockers are false. I'm trying to envision where the confusion even lies. When we use these medications for transgender kids as well as for kids with precocious puberty, they're incredibly safe. That's the reason why they are the conservative go-to medication for these kids. These medications are used for treating very severe prostate cancer, including those who are likely to die from prostate cancer, and I suspect that that's where the statistic for many people dying taking these medications comes from.
The Republicans don’t care about lives. They put their religious dogma above the lives of children.

This isn’t about protecting trans youth, this is all about control and political gain.
It Wasn’t About Bathrooms, and It’s Not About Women’s Sports
Anti-transgender organizations want to use the machinery of the government to impose gender roles on everyone.
Slate
By Mark Joseph Stern
April 07, 2021


On Monday, three Republican state senators in North Carolina introduced the Youth Health Protection Act, a perverse title for a bill that imperils youth health. The measure would prohibit all gender-affirming health care for children and adults under the age of 21. It also requires all “government agents,” including school officials, to report a child’s “gender dysphoria” or “gender nonconformity” to their parents—effectively requiring schools to out LGBTQ students. By Wednesday, the act had drawn four additional Republican cosponsors, meaning a full quarter of the North Carolina Senate’s Republican caucus is now sponsoring it.

The Youth Health Protection Act is the latest in a spate of anti-trans bills that have emerged in state legislatures over the last few months, all of which seek to wield the machinery of the government to impose rigid gender norms, with severe penalties for all who dare defy them. The bills all closely resemble one another, which should not be not surprising since many of them were ghostwritten by the same organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has spent years combatting both reproductive rights and gay equality, including birth control access and the legalization of homosexuality. The Youth Health Protection Act is the logical outgrowth of this ideology, but it is not, by any stretch, its endpoint.

The Youth Health Protection Act is the latest in a spate of anti-trans bills that have emerged in state legislatures over the last few months, all of which seek to wield the machinery of the government to impose rigid gender norms, with severe penalties for all who dare defy them. The bills all closely resemble one another, which should not be not surprising since many of them were ghostwritten by the same organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has spent years combatting [sic] both reproductive rights and gay equality, including birth control access and the legalization of homosexuality. The Youth Health Protection Act is the logical outgrowth of this ideology, but it is not, by any stretch, its endpoint.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is behind the lawsuit here Connecticut against trans athletes. The ADF is listed as a hate organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In reality, this putative problem does not exist. There is simply no evidence that transgender women are dominating student sports and denying cisgender women the benefits that come with athletic excellence, like scholarships. Many states, including California, have long allowed trans athletes to participate alongside cisgender girls, and their policies have not diminished cisgender students’ ability to compete and win. ADF’s crusade against trans athletes has no basis in reality or science. Major athletic bodies, including the NCAA, oppose them.
These bills are meant just for one to get votes from the Republican base, they are playing to their conservative Christian base.
If the Youth Health Protection Act passes out of the legislature, North Carolina’s Democratic governor will undoubtedly veto it. But these anti-LGBTQ bills build on each other. Soon, another state will consider outlawing gender-affirming care not just for youth or young adults, but for everyone. Schools will introduce harsher and harsher policies designed to identify and discriminate against students who do not perfectly match a cramped conception of gender roles. The government will insinuate itself into parents’ relationship with their children, children’s relationships with their bodies, and LGBTQ adults’ attempts to live authentic and fulfilling lives. ADF’s ascendant ideology demands nothing less. Did anyone really think this was going to stop with bathrooms?
You can be assured that even if the courts strike down all of these bills, the Republicans will try to find another way to attack us so they play to their white supremacist Christian base.



Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Well That Didn’t Last Long.

A couple of days ago the Arkansas governor vetoed the trans bill that stripped of healthcare for trans children, the governor said according to CNN,
Hutchinson vetoed the legislation on Monday, calling it "a product of the cultural war in America," and arguing it creates "new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people." The governor told reporters following his veto that he expected legislators to override it.
He got that right.

It is nothing but politics at it worst, they care nothing about children lives.

But sadly the Republicans by a simple majority vote overturned the governor’s veto. Arkansas is one of the few states that do not need a two thirds vote to overturn a veto.
Arkansas lawmakers enact transgender youth treatment ban
AP News
By Andrew DeMillo
April 6, 2021


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday made the state the first to ban gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth, enacting the prohibition over the governor’s objections.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate voted to override GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of the measure, which prohibits doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.

Opponents of the measure have vowed to sue to block the ban before it takes effect this summer.

Hutchinson vetoed the bill Monday following pleas from pediatricians, social workers and the parents of transgender youth who said the measure would harm a community already at risk for depression and suicide. The ban was opposed by several medical and child welfare groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.
This law is punitive, it has no other purpose to single out trans children, they even made sure that intersex babies can be forced to have surgery when they are hours old.

They ignored all the medical advice passed this horrible law for political purposes.
The bill’s sponsor dismissed opposition from medical groups and compared the restriction to other limits the state places on minors, such as prohibiting them from drinking.

“They need to get to be 18 before they make those decisions,” Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum said.

The Family Council, a conservative group that backed the measure, praised lawmakers for enacting “historic legislation.”
But the Republicans are not done yet with their hate…
And the Legislature isn’t showing signs of letting up. Another bill advanced by a House committee earlier Tuesday would prevent schools from requiring teachers to refer to students by their preferred pronouns or titles.
[…]
One lawmaker opposed to the measure compared it to the anti-integration bills Arkansas’ Legislature passed in 1958 in opposition to the previous year’s desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.

“What I see, this bill, is the most powerful again bullying the most vulnerable people in our state,” Democratic Sen. Clarke Tucker said before the vote.
This is going to the Supreme Court.

In the meantime I would not be surprised to see the Justice Department, and Health Human Service step in saying it is in violation of the Affordable Care Act Section 1557.

I also think that this will not sit well with the general public. That the Republicans have blinders on and only seeing their radical conservative base.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Lonely

How many senior trans people have no one?

Back when we were growing up no one was out. If you were out you probably was making your living from the street, you were probably were disowned by your family, you probably do not have any children of your own and now in your “sunset years” you are alone. Many LGBTQ+ go back in the closet in their “golden years.”
‘They Have No One’: At 88, a Transgender Icon Combats Loneliness Among Seniors
Samantha Flores, who created a community center in Mexico City for older L.G.B.T.Q. people that closed during the pandemic, is hoping to reopen it.
New York Times
By Oscar Lopez
April 2, 2021


MEXICO CITY — The pink paint of her stairwell is peeling, the black metal banister chipped, but Samantha Flores is as sharp-witted as ever amid a profusion of climbing plants and bursting red flowers.

At 88, the Mexican transgender icon remains elegant, funny and at times flirtatious, sitting at a small round table on the landing outside her tiny Mexico City flat where she has received callers, at a safe distance, throughout the pandemic.

After nearly nine decades as a socialite, a manager of a gay bar, an L.G.B.T.Q. advocate, and much more, Ms. Flores has a large community of longtime friends and neighbors who come knocking.

“Without my friends, I wouldn’t be who I am,” she said.

But as Ms. Flores well knows, many seniors are not so lucky. And so there is one part of her world that she’s aching to get back — the drop-in center she founded and runs to help older L.G.B.T.Q. adults combat their isolation. It was the first organization of its kind in Mexico.
I know here in Connecticut we are doing something about that, we are looking for way to end the loneliness.

We are not finding them friends but we are giving them the opportunity to get out of their home or long term care facilities.
“The older adult, in general, suffers from two things: loneliness and abandonment,” she said. “They are a nuisance to their family.”

For older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, who came of age in a different era and might have been rejected by their relatives, the isolation can be even worse.

“They have no one, absolutely no one,” Ms. Flores said.
Back 2013 a movie was shown at the University of St. Joseph and a group LGBTQ+ seniors decided to do something to help other LGBTQ+ elders.

The movie was Gen Silent…



The group formed LGBT Aging Advocacy and have been working to educate senior healthcare providers to the needs of our community and they also created an initiative for senior centers to have programs for LGBTQ+ elders.

We are subject to a double dose of discrimination first in the nursing homes, the long term care facilities, and in the senior centers.

The second dose of discrimination comes from within the LGBTQ+ community by the younger generation.

I was at a “town hall” where we were discussing where we should be focusing our next legislation to end discrimination and I brought up the needs of the senior community, the loneliness, isolation, and the harassment in long term care facilities… then off to one side in a group of twenty something someone said, “OK Boomer” and everyone laughed! The moderators one of whom was from a national LGBTQ+ organization said nothing, absolutely nothing. I don’t know which was worst, that they didn’t recognized it age discrimination or that they knew it was it age discrimination and said nothing, but whatever it was I never went back to their meetings.

Monday, April 05, 2021

1557

Will 1557 save us from the anti-trans medical laws in the southern states?

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is…
Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities. Section 1557 builds on long-standing and familiar Federal civil rights laws: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. The Section 1557 statute extends nondiscrimination protections to individuals participating in...
Down in the southern Republican states they are in a full court press against us.
New Anti-Trans Legislation Passed By Arkansas Senate
NPR
All Things Considered
March 30, 2021


The Arkansas Senate passed a bill that would bar access to trans healthcare for minors. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with journalist Katelyn Burns about the wave of anti-trans legislation around the U.S.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:
The Arkansas Senate has passed what the ACLU calls, quote, "the most extreme anti-trans law to ever pass through a state legislature." It is now being sent to the desk of Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who last week signed a bill that would ban trans women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Here to talk with us about anti-trans legislation across the country is journalist Katelyn Burns.
[…]
CHANG: Can you just start us off by telling us a little more about this bill in Arkansas? What would it do exactly?

BURNS: Yeah. So this bill is one of many that have been introduced in conservative state legislatures all over the country, but it's the first one to pass. What it essentially does is it bans transgender minors - so anybody under the age of 18 - from being able to access trans-affirming care. So we're talking about puberty blockers for younger teens. And we're talking about hormone replacement therapy for older teens. Surgery typically is not done on teenagers. Though the bill alludes directly to surgery, that is kind of a moot point.

CHANG: And do you fully expect it to be signed by Governor Hutchinson?

BURNS: We have no reason to believe that he wouldn't sign it.

CHANG: Now, this other legislation we mentioned, the ban in Arkansas on trans women and girls competing in women's sports, came around the same time as similar restrictions in South Dakota. Can you just talk about what are the justifications that these state lawmakers are giving for restricting the rights of trans people in sports?

BURNS: So this is another outgrowth of their broader culture war against trans people. If you remember, after marriage equality was passed into law by the Supreme Court, what the religious right then did was sort of start ignoring lesbian and gay and bisexual people and focus all of their attention on trans people. So in 2016, you know, the bathroom bill in North Carolina that passed, you had all these states trying to institute bathroom bills. That effort largely spectacularly failed and actually increased Americans' knowledge and sympathy towards the trans community. So what they've done is they've moved on to more sort of fringe issues that poll better for them. And one of them happens to be the sports issue.
You know that these bills will pass and be signed into law, so how do we counter them?

Well I see two ways both involves the courts.
Doctor: This unethical Arkansas law should horrify all in medical profession
CNN
Opinion by Jack Turban
April 2, 2021


As physicians, my colleagues and I have the honor and privilege to help people through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Along with this privilege come some challenging situations. Once at three in the morning, I was paged to see a patient going through alcohol withdrawal. The moment I walked into his room, he grabbed my pager from my scrubs and threw it against the wall. He screamed homophobic slurs in my face. I was tired. My shoulders tightened with anxiety, and I steeled myself against memories of middle school bullies summoned by this patient's screaming.

I pushed through and made sure he got the medical interventions he needed. Had he not received this timely medical care, his substance use would have threatened his life. My medical training taught me to prioritize his health over my pain at his words or beliefs that homophobia like his is morally wrong. It is my job to do that. Similarly, I would expect a doctor who thinks alcohol use disorder is a "moral failing" to still offer this patient evidence-based medical care.

Sadly, not all politicians think the same way. This week, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the so-called Medical Ethics and Diversity Act into law. The law allows a wide range of health care workers -- doctors, pharmacists and even insurance companies -- to refuse to provide non-emergency healthcare based on personal "moral" objections. This new law is dangerous and directly contradicts the professional responsibilities we have as health care providers.
This law puts doctors in the direct line of hate, they are between a rock and a hard place.

So I mentioned two ways we might counter the hate. First is the Fourteenth Amendment. I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me that the amendment says that under the law you have to treat everyone equally, well we sure as hell are not being treated equally we have been singled out for their hate.

The other way I think has more weight because of last year’s Supreme Court ruling on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, where the court said that we are protected under “sex” in the law.

CBS News wrote this about the Supreme Court ruling…
"Judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations," Gorsuch wrote. "In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding to fire that employee. We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law."
I think that the same legal reasoning will apply to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Trump & Company stripped us out of the ACA but I think that President Biden will change it back to the way it originally was interpreted, so therefore these laws being passed down south I feel will most likely be overturned.



It will not make a difference because they know the facts but they still banned us… out of hate.
"If we want to spend our energy on this idea of fairness, I think we need to start with the real, documented problems that women face," Katie Sowers said in a clear rebuke of recent anti-trans bills.
LGBTQ Nation
By Juwan J. Holmes
April 4, 2021


Katie Sowers, the first openly LGBTQ person and the first woman coach to participate in a Super Bowl, has spoken out again about the recent efforts to ban trans people from participating in sports across the country.

She deconstructed arguments in support of such bans that are under the guise of protecting fairness in women’s sports competition. She first pointed out that sports are more than wins and losses, but also adding that people “need to start with the real, documented problems that women face” if they wish to address such concerns.

Sowers signed on to an amicus brief along with nearly 175 other athletes and sports professionals last year, expressing their support for overturning a law passed in Idaho in 2020 that bans trans girls and women from participating in sports as their gender identity.
[…]
“I think when you think of this idea in ‘fairness’ in women’s sports, I think you need to look the leader’s in women’s sports, citing those in the WNBA and other women’s sports “who are really standing up for trans athletes, and this opportunity that it gives [them].”
The Republicans don’t care about facts… this a wedge issue for them to rally their white supremacists base. That's all we are just fodder for their drive for power.