Sunday, October 17, 2021

It's Against The Law

Schools have no choice they must include Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) but they still are throwing barriers in the way to the GSAs.
School board listens patiently as mom calls sponsor of gay inclusion club a pedophile
By The Kansas City Star Editorial Board
October 14, 2021


Members of the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission were told they couldn’t speak on behalf of gender non-conforming and LGBTQ children in the Independence School District at Tuesday night’s meeting. Officials said that’s because only district residents and employees are allowed to address the board, per district policy, even though the Independence School District is one of more than a dozen districts within the boundaries of Kansas City proper.

We have no evidence that they were singled out for exclusion, or that other non-residents have been allowed to speak in the past.

Yet the fact that the Independence school board then did listen on Tuesday night to a parent who called the teacher who’d started a gay inclusion club a pedophile made us wonder if whatever rules there are that make hate speech OK need a common sense update.
[…]
Herl still hasn’t explained why he recommended and the school board approved this year disabling the option for students to pick their preferred pronouns when logging in for virtual classes. Herl also ordered the removal of Independence Black Lives Matter and gay pride posters from the walls of a middle school last fall.
Ding, ding, ding!

To me that smacks as discrimination if they allow other clubs and posters to be hung in the halls.

The Board has put roadblocks in place to prevent anyone from speaking in opposition.
Technically, Gragg herself should not have been allowed to speak on Tuesday, according to board policy. Yes, she’s a district resident, but everyone who wants to speak is supposed to email a board secretary one week prior to a board meeting to request to speak. Pre-approval is needed and comments or questions directed to board members are requested in advance. Some are allowed, most aren’t.

Board policy says speakers can only talk about what’s on the agenda, which this month was posted three days after the district’s own deadline.
The Catch 22.

You have to speak about only items on the agenda but we are not going to tell agenda until after the deadline.

Gay Straight Alliances cannot be blocked from schools if the school has other clubs the law and the Supreme Court has said.
Federal law protects student clubs — even ones you don’t like
Edwin C. Darden
May 1, 2015


If a school district allows students to form noncurricular clubs, it must allow all clubs.

When high school students seek to start a controversial club on campus, their youthful ambition might ignite a local firestorm. Their right to proceed, however, is firmly protected by federal law.

The Equal Access Act (EAA), a student-friendly statute, has existed for more than 30 years. Yet, some educators still flinch when envisioning teens pursuing conversations or activities they find despicable. That hardheaded instinct to control student clubs has recently revived unnecessary scuffles.

This much is clear: Adult judgments about what is inappropriate or what cannot be abided is not the standard.
But the Independence School District doesn’t seem to understand that and it is not just the EAA, it is also the courts. The ACLU reported,
11TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES LOWER COURT RULING, RULES THAT FEDERAL LAW PROTECTING STUDENT GROUPS’ EQUAL ACCESS TO SCHOOL FACILITIES APPLIES TO PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS; ACLU REPRESENTS STUDENTS SEEKING TO ESTABLISH THE ANTI-BULLYING CLUB IN YEARS-
DECEMBER 6, 2016


MIAMI, Fla. - A federal appeals court panel has overturned a lower court’s ruling that prevented a group of Lake County, Florida students from establishing a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at their middle school.

The ruling today from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals holds that the Equal Access Act, a federal law that guarantees student groups equal access to school resources if their school allows extra-curricular clubs, applies to public middle schools in Florida, not just high schools.
But conservative school boards just ignore the law and the courts.



Today is the first day of Fantasia Fair and on the calendar today is fair registration and Epic Reunion Welcome Reception [They seem to be hung-up on the word “Epic”].
After a long day of travel, relax with your old friends and meet your new friends downstairs at the Boatslip, 161 Commercial Street. Come dressed formally, come dressed casually, come dressed as a guy, or come dressed as a girl, or as your gender-nonconforming self—Just come by the Boatslip on Sunday from 7:30-9:00 pm and enjoy yourself!
I have to run earns this morning to get a HDMI to HDMI cable, and make copies of my workshop syllabus down in Orleans, then head up to P'town to register for the fair. Then head back to town at night for the reception (Hopefully, if I'm not too tired. Nine o'clock is pushing my bedtime because it is a half hour drive back to the cottage.).

I have been attending the Fair off and on since around 2001.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Saturday 9: Livin' La Vida Loca

Sam’s Saturday 9: Livin' La Vida Loca (1999)

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


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

1) Ricky Martin sings that he and the girl dance in the rain. Do you feel like dancing this morning?

I never feel like dancing.

2) The lyrics tell us the girl prefers champagne. When did you last enjoy a glass of the bubbly?

WHOA! That is like ten, fifteen years ago.

3) When Ricky first heard "Livin' La Vida Loca," he imagined  the subject of the song was a "Bond girl," the glamorous love interest of James Bond in the movies. Since 1962, there have been more than 20 Bond films. Have you seen any/many of them? Do you have a favorite Bond?

The last Bond movie that I watched was back in the 70s, I don’t have a favorite Bond because I don’t watch those movies, all they are now a days is bang, bang, shoot them up movies. All action thin plots.

4) Ricky tells interviewers that when he was very young, he'd sing in the family kitchen, pretending a wooden spoon was his microphone. Crazy Sam admits to lip synching into a black Magic Marker. When you gave imaginary concerts, what did you use as a microphone?

Um… Hun?

I don’t think that I ever did that or at least when I was sober. 

5) Ricky began working at the tender age of 9, performing in commercials. How old were you when you received your first paycheck?

I think 18 because that is the age when you could legally work.

6) Ricky does yoga to stay in shape. Have you ever tried yoga?

Nope.

7) Ricky is of primarily Spanish descent, with a little French mixed in. When you think of French cuisine, what comes to mind?

Pastries.

We have an excellent French pastry shop in town, there is always a line out his door. I stood there 20 minutes to buy pasties one time. The chef is a native of France and the write up on the bakery says,

...is an award-winning Zagat-Rated French Bakery, Pastry Shop, and Bistro which uses traditional European techniques to create specialty hand-crafted products, and the finest French cuisine with only the best natural ingredients. A taste of France on Cape Cod!

8) Ricky once had his own restaurant, Casa Salsa, in Miami Beach. Have you ever worked in food service?

Nope.

9) Random question: What is your best quality?

It takes an awful to get me angry.

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

Friday, October 15, 2021

A Tale Of Two States

One is doing everything in its power to force LGBTQ+ people back into the closet and the other is making sure the needs of LGBTQ+ people are meet.
Texas agency pulls website for LGBTQ youth, with suicide prevention info, after taunt from Abbott's GOP challenger
The Week
By Peter Weber
October 12, 2021


It isn't clear just how much the hard-right turn in Texas politics is being driven by Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) 2022 GOP primary rivals. But one of his main challengers, state Sen. Don Huffines (R), took credit Monday for the scramble by "state employees who are loyal to Greg Abbott" to pull down a state child welfare site with links to a suicide prevention hotline (866-488-7386) and other resources for LGBTQ youth. And he's probably right, the Houston Chronicle and The Texas Tribune reported Tuesday.

On Aug. 31, Huffines tweeted a video claiming the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is "promoting transgender sexual policies to Texas youth," adding: "These are not Texas values, these are not Republican party values, but these are obviously Greg Abbott's values." He was citing a DFPS page titled "Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation," with resources for LGBTQ youth in the foster care system.
It is like the game “I gotcha” who can be the most oppressive Republican.

But the Republicans put the screws to us over politics created buzz in the agencies.
Prompted by Abbott primary challenger, Texas agency removed webpage with suicide hotline, other resources for LGBTQ youth
Houston Chronicle
By Jasper Scherer
October 12, 2021


In late August, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s primary challengers, Don Huffines, accused Texas’ child welfare agency of “promoting transgender sexual policies to Texas youth” under a section of its website titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.”
[…]
But Family and Protective Services communications obtained through a public records request show that agency employees discussed removing the “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” page in response to Huffines’ tweet, shortly before taking it offline.

Thirteen minutes after Huffines’ video went up, media relations director Marissa Gonzales emailed a link to Crimmins, the agency’s communications director, under the subject line “Don Huffines video accusing Gov/DFPS of pushing liberal transgender agenda.”

“FYI. This is starting to blow up on Twitter,” Gonzales wrote.
Putting us in harms way is just another political ploy for the Republicans. They don’t care about if it increases suicides by LGBTQ+ youth, it is just one-upmanship by the Republicans.

Here in Connecticut the state legislature passed a bill to fund a legislative committee to advise the legislature on the needs of the LGBTQ community and funded a survey to find out what our needs for us are (The committee does not get paid, it is an all volunteer committee.). The survey should be released shortly, some of the key findings are,
  • About half (55%) of the respondents identified as Cisgender, 40% Transgender, and 5% Gender Diverse (not Transgender).
  • LGBTQ+ Community Spaces. For those that had LGBTQ+ community spaces or groups, they found themselves safe and welcomed. Many LGBTQ+ adults wished for more spaces to socialize (outside of bars and nightclubs) in addition to Pride events in more CT towns and cities. [I second that! I don’t like bars and night clubs.]
  • Older Adults. There are specific housing comments related to the older adult LGBTQ+ population such as concerns around the inclusivity and safety of senior housing or assisted living facilities and affordability/financial assistance for those looking to live in their own home.
Connecticut has strong laws while Texas is cutting support for trans healthcare and insurance Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity just issues a ruling that insurance must cover our medically necessary healthcare including electrolysis! Back in 2013 the Insurance Commissioner issued a statement that medically necessary healthcare that means anything covered for cis gender people must be covered for trans people.

The Connecticut Department of Education published a booklet to guide educators on the requirements of the non-discrimination law.

Now compare that to Texas that are wiping out anything to do with us.

The U.S. Constitution Fourteenth Amendment requires all citizen to be treated equally when it comes to government and laws, Texas has support pages for non-LGBTQ people but struck down the same pages for us. To me it seems like a direct violation of the 14th Amendment.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Not All Religions Are Anti-Trans

There are affirming religions who stand by us, there are Christians, Jewish, Muslim denominations that have stood by us. Don’t let the radical right define all religions.
Meet the minister fighting anti-transgender bills in Texas
The Rev. Remington Johnson has fought tirelessly to stop bills targeting trans youths from passing in Texas while supporting a community of other activists.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
October 7, 2021


[…]
Trans youths in the state have been the targets this year of more than 50 bills that would restrict their participation in sports or ban them from gaining access to certain health care, among other restrictions.

Cothron was leading the crowd in a chant, but she started to get tired. So she asked the Rev. Remington Johnson, a Presbyterian clergywoman and a fellow activist, to take the bullhorn.

Johnson, a trans woman who has testified almost a half-dozen times against anti-trans bills, had shown up that day riding a longboard, wearing hot pink shorts and carrying a huge trans flag, Cothron recalled. She took the bullhorn, and the first thing she said was: “Trans kids are magical.”

Cothron, who has an 8-year-old child who is nonbinary, said the moment has stuck with her.
Rabbis, ministers, and priests stood by us for our fight to pass the non-discrimination law including an Episcopal Bishop.

Besides the Presbyterian minster who’s trans I know of another trans women who is Episcopal priest who is in charge of the parish.

Don’t paint all religions with a wide brush.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Pandering

Trans Rights and Abortion have something in common, government controlling a person’s body. Normally when I comment on an article I don’t know the writer but this time it is different, this New York Times opinion is by someone that I meet several times.
Abortion Rights and Trans Rights Are Two Sides of the Same Coin
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
October 10, 2021


[…]
“I [Caitlyn Jenner] am for a woman’s right to choose,” she told CNN in September. “I am also for a state having the ability to make their own laws. So I support Texas in that decision. That’s their decision.”

Ms. Jenner — and other conservative trans women — should understand that restricting abortion rights and blocking transgender people’s access to health care are two sides of the same coin: a movement to give the state the right to limit what you can or cannot do with your own body.
She hit the nail on its head, it is all about control, she goes on to write.
I asked Jules Gill-Peterson, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University and an expert on anti-trans activism, about the connection between these issues. “Anti-abortion and anti-trans legislation are products of the same political coalition, using the same scripts and tactics,” she wrote me. “In both cases, we see the protection of a fantasized imperiled child justifying heavy-handed police state policies that restrict actual women and children’s rights and bodily autonomy. The language of protection, so highly moralized,” she continued, “is the perfect alibi for rationalizing widespread harm.”
The Republicans come out that it is all protecting the children but in reality it causing harm to them, suicidal idealizations go up when children are prevented from becoming who they are. Deaths go up when women seek backroom abortions. Their laws do not prevent abortions or children from transitioning it just criminalizes it.
The author of Senate Bill 1311, Senator Bob Hall, said that his bill “was being done with love.”

Let’s be clear: It is not love to force a trans child to go through a puberty that will scar them for the rest of their life. It is not love to force a woman to bear a child against her will. It is not love to deny anyone autonomy over their own body.

It is not love to enforce your own ideology upon people who are different from you, simply because you do not understand their experience of being human.
Let’s be very clear, the motivation behind theses are is not to “save the child” but rather gather votes and donations from anti-abortionists and transphobles.

The Republican mantra is get government off out backs but in reality they are sticking government between us and our doctors.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

My Story Part 183: Coming Together.

There are some lesbians and gays who say that they have nothing in common with trans people.

One year we were staying at a Bed and Breakfast in Provincetown; it was a Sunday afternoon, the last day of Women’s Week and the first day of Fantasia Fair, the B&B had put out wine and cheese in the common area. On one side sat the lesbians talking among themselves and on the other side sat us, never the two shall meet or would they find common ground over bottles of wine?
People who identify as LGBTQ say it's a process to tell people about their identity
KRIS TV
By: Andrew Christiansen
October 11, 2021


SINTON, Texas — Many people who identify as LGBTQ face challenges while telling people about their identity, but they can also face triumphs in the process.

Allison Williams said coming out as a transgender woman has had its difficulties, as Williams came out around a year ago.
[…]
However, Williams still lives with one regret about coming out: not being able to tell some family members.

“I was especially the most scared to tell my father,” Williams said. “I never got to tell him. He passed away whenever I was 22 or 23…I know that he would still love me.”
Sitting around that coffee table at the B&B all those years ago with the seven lesbians and about an equal number of trans people the subject of coming out came up, I forget who brought it up or if it was brought up by one group talking among themselves but however it happened we started talking about our coming out stories.
However, Apple said telling people about being transgender has been different than coming out as gay because there are more resources and awareness when it comes to coming out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

“It’s a completely different experience of having to work with yourself to come out and come to terms with it and come into your own identity,” Apple said.

Apple said while coming out isn’t easy, there are many generations of people that have done it before and there is still hope for people who feel like it’s not an easy process.
I don’t think that it is that much different between the LG and the T coming out, the only difference that I see is that people are more informed about lesbians and gays than they are of trans people.

Back at the B&B after several bottles of wine we had crossed the bridge and we were one group of LGBTQ people not divided but one. We had found common ground and the barriers went down, that night we met on Commercial Street. They were coming out of a nightclub where a lesbian comedian was prefrmng and we were coming back from FanFair wine tasting at Crowne Pointe Hotel (Just what we didn’t need more wine.) and we walked back together to the B&B. Latter that night we met again in the hot tub, in the morning we sat talking over breakfast.

As we departed in the morning, they on the way back to Ohio and us off to the orientation we stopped had out picture taken together.

Besides out commonality in coming out we also share a darker side; discrimination and violence.

Monday, October 11, 2021

What? What? What Did They Just Say?

I am horrified and surprised that they said this? Was it taken out of context?

I ran across this post on the International Transgender Health Facebook page by Kelly Winters.
My analysis of the Shrier interview of Drs. Bowers and Anderson on a Raymondian/TERF web site and a call for immediate statements of support for affirming approaches to Trans health care by the Boards of WPATH and USPATH. These opinions are my own and do not represent those of ITH group members or the moderation team.

"Transgender and Non-Binary communities, families, allies, and providers have been deeply shaken this week by the appearance of WPATH President-elect, Dr. Marci Bowers, and USPATH President, Dr. Erica Anderson, in an interview by transmisist author Abagail Shrier (2021). Drs. Bowers and Anderson gave inflammatory criticism of affirming health care policies and puberty suppression care on the anti-trans Bari Weiss blog site. Their choice of such a biased venue to voice their concerns is particularly troubling...
Ms. Winters wrote on her Trans Policy Reform Blog,
The following list describes just a few of the concerns that have been shared with me:
1. Agenda of Intolerance.
Malice and disinformation from Abigail Shrier about Trans and NB people and their health care are very well known in Trans and intersectional communities (GLAAD, 2021). Her book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (2020), has inflicted enormous harm to Trans youth and was particularly offensive and defamatory toward Trans-masculine youth (Eckert, 2021; Turban, 2021). Dr. Bowers later stated, on her Twitter page (2021) and in correspondence reported by D’orsay (2021), that “my comments were no doubt taken out of context and used to fit a narrative on the part of Ms. Shrier”. However, anyone with expertise on contemporary Trans health issues should have been familiar with Shrier’s reputation and anti-trans agenda. In the blog piece, Ms. Shrier consistently misgendered trans-masculine youth as “girls.” She misrepresented punitive elements of gender-conversion psychotherapies, discredited by WPATH and unlawful in a growing number of jurisdictions, as commonly accepted mental health practice before the last decade. She conflated it with Dutch terminology of “watchful waiting” that has a different meaning (de Vries, 2012). Shrier uncritically promoted the harmful and discredited 70-80% “desistance” myth that “nearly seven in 10 children initially diagnosed with gender dysphoria” would spontaneously become cisgender in adolescence (Temple Newhook, 2018). It is mystifying and concerning that executive officers of WPATH and USPATH would choose Shrier as a reporter and Weiss’ malicious blog platform, rather than reputable media, medical, or WPATH/USPATH channels
2. Defaming Diversity.
3. Harm Reduction.
4. Nuances of Informed Consent.
5. Politicalization of Affirmation.
The psychological and quality-of-life benefits of affirming approaches to Trans and N-B youth care have been longitudinally studied (Olson, et al., 2016) and well established in policy (Murchison, 2018). Moreover, principles of affirming authentic gender expression, bodily integrity, and self-determination have been internationally acknowledged as fundamental human rights (Cabral, 2015). However, Dr. Bowers’ interview statements have mocked affirming principles of care in bombastic, politicized terms: “There are definitely people who are trying to keep out anyone who doesn’t absolutely buy the party line that everything should be affirming, and that there’s no room for dissent.” And this: “I think maybe we zigged a little too far to the left in some cases” (Shrier, 2021). These platitudes of “to the left,” and “party line,” misrepresent the past three decades of scientific inquiry and clinical evidence that are reflected in modern, affirming approaches to Trans health care. She later added statements that, “Medical and surgical treatment is safe and effective. Not only is regret rare but it is on the decline” (D’orsay). While these points are valid and consistent with WPATH policy, they do little to mitigate the damage and confusion of the prior political rhetoric on affirming Trans health care.
6. Ambiguous Condemnation. Dr. Anderson is quoted in the interview as describing Trans-masculine youth at UCSF as “natal females,” rather than with respectful terminology. She criticized modern affirming approaches to youth care with vague and histrionic terms of “‘sloppy,’ sloppy healthcare work,” “rushing people through the medicalization,” and “failure — abject failure — to evaluate the mental health of someone historically in current time…” (Shrier, 2021). The latter suggested a call to return to archaic practices that presumed underlying psychopathology for gender-diverse youth, but, once again, she was not specific. Anderson did not clarify if sparing a gender dysphoric youth the trauma and potentially permanent disfigurement of incongruent pubertal development constituted “sloppy” work or “rushing…medicalization.” Ambiguity in her interview with Shrier left her intentions open to broad interpretation. Again, Dr. Anderson’s choice of Shrier and a malevolent blog site to make such statements is astonishing.
I am really surprised at Drs. Anderson and Bowers doing the interview and I would most definitely like to hear from the two doctors have to say.

So far all I have been able to find out was that she said “my comments were no doubt taken out of context and used to fit a narrative on the part of Ms. Shrier” But when asked to produce the whole transcript she declined.

I will anything more that I find out.

National Coming Out Day.

I am leery of today; I say think before you come out, is it safe?


Past National Coming Out Day posts…

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Today October 11th is the National Coming Out Day. 

When we come out it affects not only us, but all of those who love and know us. When we are in the closet we are living a lie and many of us are in denial, that this is a passing phase or that I can change, all I really need is love and I can be straight. We cannot face the fact that we are trans, gay or lesbian. We are under a lot of pressure to conform; society exerts a huge amount of force to be “Normal”. The stigma attached to being different is unbearable for some people and they would do anything just to be “Normal”. 

Last night, I was waiting with the other students from my class for the class before us to get out. The janitors were going around collecting the waste paper and were standing in front of me laughing and talking in a foreign language while looking at me. After they left one of the students said innocently, “I wonder what they found so funny?” She didn’t have a clue why they were laugh and I felt like saying, “Three guesses and the first two don’t count.” 

That is an example when I say that the social pressure to conform is so great, society lets you know in not so subtle ways that you are different and don’t belong. For those who do come out, it take a tremendous amount of courage and bravery to stand up to that type of pressure because it will change your life forever. You cannot say afterward, “I was only kidding.” If you are thinking of coming out today, keep this in mind and ask yourself is it really necessary to come out, is there a really a need to come out? 

For me it was literally a matter of life or death. I was slowly killing myself by hiding from the truth. I had medical problems that were being cause by stress and the only way I could see to relieve that stress was by being true to myself. A friend once commented when coming out to her, I showed her pictures of me as Diana and her comment was “You are smiling!” Isn't it hard? Yes, it is very hard and probably that hardest thing I have ever done. Isn’t it still stressful? Yes, but that picture of me smiling says it all.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Next week is the “National Coming Out Week,” you might expect that I am in favor of it, but I am not. Coming out involves great risks and you should assess the risk before you come out. Know if you have a support network just in case things go bad. Do your parents support LGBT issues or are they opposed to them. Assess the risk if you are coming out in school; know how much support the school administration will give you. These are some of the factors that you should consider before coming out. In the New York Times article on school bullying entitled, Bullied for Being ‘Gay’ Dr. Jeffrey Fishberger of The Trevor Project writes,
Bullying and being teased for being what others perceive as “different” happens to many children. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered young people — or those perceived to be L.G.B.T. — have a much higher incidence of harassment at school. In fact, it’s estimated that more than a quarter of L.G.B.T. young people drop out of school because of this very harassment.
It is important that you have a safe environment before coming out. The article goes on to state…
Fortunately, there are organizations that can work with your son’s school to help all the children understand the impact of their language and behavior. Glsen (the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), for example, works to ensure safe schools for all students through a variety of programs. The Day of Silence, for example, continues to grow each year, and hundreds of thousands of students now come together each year to participate. Another program, the No Name-Calling Week, provides schools with tools and inspiration to foster a dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying and name-calling in their communities. Another resource that can be of help is The Trevor Project’s workshop program. …to open up discussions with all students about how language and behavior can affect the way an individual feels about him- or herself. A supportive teacher, school counselor or school administrator can assist in implementing these programs in your son’s school.
Here in Connecticut True Colors is a valuable resource for children coming out in school. Above all, be safe!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


…Or not. Today is National Coming Out Day and I am not a big fan of it.

A person that I know says on National Coming Out Day she wants to pick up the phone and dial a random number and when they answer just say, “I’m a lesbian” and hang up.

You might expect that I am in favor of it, but I am not. Coming out involves great risks and you should assess the risk before you come out. Know if you have a support network just in case things go bad. Do your parents support LGBT issues or are they opposed to them. Assess the risk if you are coming out in school; know how much support the school administration will give you. These are some of the factors that you should consider before coming out.

Harvey Milk’s quote “Burst down those closet doors and stand up once and for all, and start to fight.” Is okay but think first; will coming out put me in danger?

Have a plan on coming out, just don’t blurt out “I’m trans!” Timing is everything; you don’t want to be sitting down at a family Thanksgiving dinner and just pop it out that you are transgender. When I came out I came out to my brother I had a plan and he was the first person that I came out to because I knew he would be the most supportive.

You don’t want to come out to the whole family at once because all it takes is for one person to have a negative reaction and that could sway the rest of the family. You want to build family allies before you come out to your whole family so that they can speak on your behalf.

When you come out at work you want to tell HR first so that they can prepare to tell the whole company. You don’t want to just send out an email to the whole company that says, “Hey everyone, guess what? I’m trans!”

So be safe, think before you act.



The bottom line: Think before you come out and be prepared for the worst and then you can be surprised with the outcome.

One of my cousin's was deeply religious and I put off telling them until last, I told them when I had my brother and sister-in-law with me for support. When I told her she got up and hugged me and she was the first relative to invite me to a holiday dinner. I was fearing for the worst and was surprised when it didn't happen. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

It Spreads Like A Disease


It is not a virus, but it is something that spreads like a virus and you can be infected by it, and it causes harm to others; it is hate. And it is growing and spreading worldwide.
Anti-trans rhetoric is rife in the British media. Little is being done to extinguish the flames
CNN
By Tara John
October 9, 2021


Britain faces a critical shortage of workers, leading to fuel supply constraints, a run on petrol stations and unstacked shelves in supermarkets due to lack of staff or undelivered foodstuffs. Despite this immediate crisis affecting millions of people, "gotcha" questions on trans rights have become a feature of this year's political party conference season, say trans advocates.

On "Today," last month, the BBC's flagship news and current affairs radio program, presenter Justin Webb asked Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey if there should "not be spaces where biological males cannot go," in reference to trans women.

More than a week later, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, was asked by the BBC's Andrew Marr if it was transphobic to say only women had a cervix. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked the same question about cervixes this week by right-leaning broadcaster GB News.
Right wing conservatives are stirring up hate for votes and campaign donations.
OC Reported Hate Crimes And Incidents Increased in 2020, According to New Report
OC Voice
By Hosam Elettar
Sep 20, 2021


Hate crimes in Orange County once again increased in 2020, with a massive surge in hate incidents toward the county’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community, according to a new report released Friday by the OC Human Relations Commission.

The commission presented its report Friday virtually on Zoom to share the findings with the community.

“We produced this report in an effort to raise awareness about hate with the intent of finding solutions in combating hate and bigotry in our communities,” Nhi Nguyen, a hate crime prevention coordinator with the commission, said during the presentation.
[…]
“For every case that is reported, there are many incidents in our communities that remain unreported,” she said, adding not everyone in the community feels safe reporting such incidents.
Orange Country California is not alone.
FBI data: Pa. hate crimes hit 14-year high in 2020
WHYY
By Anthony Orozco,
September 14, 2021


The FBI’s most recent data show 81 hate crimes reported in Pennsylvania last year, up from 45 in 2019. It is the highest figure since 2006.

The increase was also experienced around the country, with 7,700 criminal incidents reported to the FBI in 2020. It was the highest number in a dozen years. In 2008, 7,783 hate crimes were filed.

Some community leaders say they are not surprised after a year unlike any other in recent memory — with police brutality, criminal justice protests and other high-profile stories dominating the headlines. Others said they suspect the true number of offenses to be even higher.

In terms of victims of crimes of bias against a religion, people of the Jewish faith were most frequently targeted in Pennsylvania and across the country. There were 11 attacks against Jews in the commonwealth and 676 across the nation last year.

And then we have the hate that the Republicans are stirring over a boogeyman… Critical Race Theory.

Quick with out looking it up what is Critical Race Theory?

A national poll found that...
Parents want kids to learn about ongoing effects of slavery – but not critical race theory. They're the same thing.
USA TODAY
By Erin Richards and Alia Wong
September 10, 2021


More than 60% of American parents want their kids to learn about the ongoing effects of slavery and racism as part of their K-12 education, according to a new USA TODAY/Ipsos poll.

But just half of parents support teaching critical race theory in schools – even though the theory's main premise is that racism continues to permeate society. About 4 in 10 parents support restrictions on schools' ability to teach critical race theory.

That disconnect underscores the heated feelings parents have about race-related conversations and how teachers should be handling that and other delicate topics. And, not surprisingly, the issue is firmly politicized: More than 8 in 10 Democrat parents believed their children should learn about the lingering impact of slavery and racism in schools, compared to fewer than 4 in 10 Republican parents, according to the poll's findings.
But the hate that is generated by the Republicans over CRT is driving a wedge right through the heart of America.

And in Missouri a petition was circulated in a school to bring back slavery!
A slavery petition was the latest racist incident at this school. Parents and lawmakers are fed up
CNN
By Evan McMorris-Santoro and Linh Tran
October 9, 2021


Nearly two weeks after a racist petition to bring back slavery circulated at her daughter's school, Julie Stutterheim is still angry.

She says it was yet another example of a racist incident at Park Hill South High School in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri.
[…]
What she found was that an increasingly familiar scenario was unfolding at her child's school. Across the US, there are two diametrically opposed conversations about race going on at the same time. In one, some White parents are telling school leaders that lessons about race make White students feel bad. And in the other, there's the racism that is actually happening in schools.
[…]
Tennessee also has a new law banning history lessons that might make students feel "discomfort" because of their race. Yet, in August sheriff's deputies in suburban Nashville were called in after a White football player threatened a Black player on social media while wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.
Then we have the Republican Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina had this to say about us;
CNN
By Rebekah Riess
October 9, 2021


Some North Carolina state senators are calling for the resignation of North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, after video surfaced on social media this week in which the Republican says that "there's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality -- any of that filth."

In the video, Robinson is seen speaking at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, North Carolina, in June. The footage was posted Tuesday by Right Wing Watch, a project "dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda," according to its website.

"It is flat-out child abuse. They take your children, and tell them they have to attend school, don't have a choice. And then some of them will tell them they don't want you to have a choice where they go to school, you have to send your children here to school. Then when they get there, what do they teach them? Teach them a bunch of stuff about how to hate America, teach them a bunch of stuff about why they are racist, teach them a bunch of stuff about transgenderism and homosexuality," Robinson says in the video.

"I'm saying this now, and I've been saying it, and I don't care who likes it -- those issues have no place in the school. There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality -- any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth, and if you don't like it that I called it filth -- come see me and I'll explain it to you," the lieutenant governor adds.
Now ask yourself how do you think we will be treated under his leadership? Do you think we would gt equal treatment like the Fourteenth Amendments demand?  Would our civil rights be honored?

The Republicans are against anyone whose is not white, Christian, cisgender, and heterosexual.

So if you had an ear to the governor what would tell him on ending the hate?

What do you think needs to be done to end the hate and violence?

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Saturday 9: She's Not There

 Sam’s Saturday 9: She's Not There (1964)

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


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

1) This song is about a young man who is upset his friends didn't warn him against a girl who turned out to be untrue. Have you ever involved yourself in a friend's love life with advice about a relationship?

No, that seems very caustic.

2) According to legend, this song was inspired by a girl who called off her wedding just weeks before the ceremony, humiliating her fiance and breaking his heart. Do you know anyone who was similarly left at the altar?

No. I know of a relative who postponed their wedding because of COVID, but they are married now. And my cousin got married during a Nor'easter and almost couldn't leave the church.

3) The Zombies first played together as a bar band, popular at an English pub called The Blacksmiths Arms. What's the name of your favorite local restaurant or bar?

Okay… Here at home it is the Blue Lobster, on the Cape it is Van Rensselaer

4) The Zombies broke up after a few years but put all acrimony behind them in 2019 when they reunited to perform at their induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Have you ever been to Ohio?

Many times.

Once I was there to install EMT radios like was on the TV show Emergency into all the ambulances and hospitals. This was back around 1975 after the tornadoes hit the city of Xenia in 1974 and we had the contact to replace the radio system.

5) While 1964 is remembered as the first year of the British Invasion, when rock bands from the UK dominated the airwaves, it was also the year Barbra Streisand became a major star, featured on the covers of both Time and Life. Are there any magazines in your home right now? If so, who is on the cover?

Nope, no magazines.

Update: Reading other comments reminded me that I get AARP and AAA magazines.

6) Also in 1964, actress Ena Hartman became one of the first African American actresses to have a speaking part on the country's top TV Western, Bonanza. Is your TV on right now, as you answer these 9 questions?

Yes, I’m watching the evening news.

7) The "It's a Small World" ride was introduced at the 1964 New York World's Fair. It's now at Disneyland, Disney World, Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Hong Kong. Have you ever taken one of these Small World rides?

Yes, at the World’s Fair so it must have been original “It’s a Small World.”

8) General Douglas MacArthur's memoir was published shortly before his death in 1964. It became a best seller. Was the last book you finished fiction or non-fiction?

Science Fiction, the audiobook Lois McMaster Bujold’s Horizon

9) Random question: You find yourself calling the local garage often to get updates on your car repair. Every time you call, the person who answers the phone is abrupt to the point of rude. Do you: (1) let the person know you'd appreciate a change in tone; (2) ignore it; (3) complain to the boss?

Ignore it at that time, after all they have your car. But once it is finished then complain.

Update: I had an idiot like on my dash light "Check Engine"

So dutifully I head off to the dealer.

When it was done I went to pay the bill, $69... the gas cap was loose.

WHAT! You are charging 69 dollars to tighten the gas cap!

Well that is what we charge for diagnosis.

You have the audacity to charge me that for tightening my gas cap after I have been coming here for over 20 years!

She went away and came back... No charge.

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!

P.S. A friend’s book is titled “She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders” became a New York Times best seller, when she was on the Oprah Winfrey show and her book was featured on Oprah's Book Club.


I'm Prime.

Sheldon: "The best number is 73. Why? 73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror, 37, is the 12th and its mirror, 21, is the product of multiplying 7 and 3... and in binary 73 is a palindrome, 1001001, which backwards is 1001001."


My birthday present to myself is a Kindle Paperwhite, I wore out my old Kindle, it was the original Kindle. The charging port stopped working. Since I bought the original Kindle I read 284 books.


Friday, October 08, 2021

Is This Old Fashion “…” Am I Showing My Age?

There was a discussion on Facebook over the use or lack of use of emojis in texting by different age groups and the comments broke down into two groups by ages, it was just like the way this country is divided over politics.
Generation Divide: Different Age Groups Use Emojis Differently And That Isn't Likely Going To Change
Forbes
By Peter Suciu
August 24, 2021


Almost anyone who has a smartphone likely regularly uses an emoji – the various pictograms and smiley faces. Not surprisingly, these originated on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s, and since them have been used to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from a typed conversation. There are now so many in use that they've taken on secondary meaning.
[…]
"Like many sociolinguistic practices, emoji use continues to evolve," said Dr. Anne Framroze, adjunct lecturer in the Online Masters of Communication Management Program at the University of Southern California.

"Recently, we've seen some social media friction between Millennials and Gen Z in terms of emoji use, with new meanings being attached by Gen Z to certain emojis, leaving Millennials and older generations wondering which emoji to use or whether to use any at all," said Framroze. "Emojis are a kind of representational language, and all languages evolve. This is nothing new. Words have always taken up new meanings, meanings that reflect the texture and contours of the time and place in which they're used."
People think that this is new, but it is old as the hill; cool, dyno-mite, far out, bogart, and “The man” they all came out of my generation. My grandmother when it was raining used to tell us put on your slickers and galoshes and we would reply “Grandma they’re rain coats and boots!” 

Look at the slang from the 1930’s we laugh at them now but back then they were the “cat’s meow,” words like; bumping gums, five spot, giggle juice, hooch, jive, kibosh, and squat. Some survived the ages and other did not, the same will be true our slang, emojis, ellipsis and idioms some will last the test of time.
Just as language evolves over time, generation by generation – we're already seeing that emojis are evolving. In fact, emojis have already evolved from emoticons, which used some text-based symbols to replace certain words to express emotions. The idea for this was proposed in the 1960s, when Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov suggested a universal symbol for a smile.
There is also the divide between the generations using the ellipses…
The Ellipsis is Widening the Gap Between Millennials and Boomers. Here’s Why
By: Michaela Magliochetti
June 28, 2021


Imagine you’re playing charades. You draw a card that prompts you to act out a phone conversation. What shape does your hand take? If you’re over the age of 15, you’ll probably extend your thumb and pinky fingers to create the surfer’s gesture and raise the symbol up to your ear. If you’re a young teen or kid who grew up surrounded by smart devices (rather than flip phones or handsets), you might curl your hand like you’re holding a brick or simply stretch your palm out flat before beginning your mimed chat. You’re probably also wondering, “What the hell is charades?”

The viral phone challenge stunned TikTok last year, with Millennial and Gen X parents watching in disbelief as their kids clutched pretend iPhones. But it’s not the first time the app has exposed these generational splits. Users have poked fun at Baby Boomers and their penchant for decorative signs encouraging us to “Live, Laugh, Love.” They’ve also cast Millennial women as “cheugy” for sporting side parts and clapping along to the Friends theme song.
In the article about emoticons the article goes on to say,
"We are all aware, by the very evolution of colloquial language, that there are 'generational gaps' leading each generation to define its own identity patterns, differentiated from the previous ones," added Dr. Oscar Barroso Huertas, professor within the Graduate School of Business at CETYS University, Mexico. "Therefore, it is not surprising that, in the psycho-graphic aspect, these same differences exist if we speak within an academic context of the Study of consumer behavior. Emojis express emotions, which the typographic element does not reflect, attributing one specific tone to the conversation, and thus one scenario in particular, to develop a more appropriate conversational environment, depending on the situation in which they are manifested or used."
The thing is language changes over time, language is a living entity that is morphing over time, distance, and culture. It is not just emojis and ellipsis but language, take the word “transgender” when I first came out it was used as an umbrella term now it is trying to morph into a word meaning a person who has transitioned. I like the inclusive definition rather than exclusive.
This isn’t the first mix-up and it won’t be the last
The cool thing about colloquial language? It’s always changing. McCulloch reminds us of a time when internet newcomers typed in all caps. Remember calling your parents to explain that their text messages make it seem like they’re yelling at everyone? (Remember calling someone about anything, period?) McCulloch says it spurred larger cultural conversations, with explainer videos and memes surrounding the caps lock phenomenon. “Now, no one has to do that anymore because people do know that all caps is shouting,” she says.

More change across our keyboards is inevitable. Younger generations will usher in new forms of digital language, and we’ll all try to keep up. “We don’t want to get too hung up thinking we’ve discovered the right way to do things because we’re just going to get proven wrong again,” says McCulloch. So just wait. Before you know it, Generation Alpha (aka the iPad kids) will be eager to make fun of your “main character aesthetic” and that cat sweater you’re wearing ironically.
What we have here is a clash of cultures and I imagine that besides age that if we look at different regions around the world we see a different style of texting.

Notice how this discussion about emojis and ellipsis has divided us in to the old verse the young. Now substitute race for age, how would this discussion sound then? Racist?

What will happen when someone from an Asian culture texts someone from and they have a different meaning for the emoji would we in North America understand what they mean or would we misunderstand the meaning and take offense? We have to learn to accept our differences and embrace them, diversity allows us understand different cultures and styles. 

Update 10/8 @ 11:45: the paragraph beginning with "Look at the slang from...

Thursday, October 07, 2021

My Story Part 182: Selling Property

When you own property you get a deed to it which registered with usual the town or county and on it the deed has your name.

And as any trans person knows, when you sell or buy property you have to have the signature notarized. So you need all your ducks in a row.

First thing first, name change, hi ho, it is off to court I go! I filled out the forms and I went before the judge. Do you swear that you… I got as many copies of the probate order that I could. So down to the town hall with the my deed to my house… paid $150 and my legal name is now on the deed.

When my parents passed away my brother and me inherited the property, but (you always know that there is a but.) the New Hampshire cottage had my male name on it!

Then when I was in New Hampshire I called the country clerk’s office to find out how to do that in NH, the clerk when I told her what I wanted to do she huffed and said you just to that on a deed you have to have a lawyer get a probate order to change the name on a deed! So I left my male name on the deed.

To this day I think what she told me because of me being trans, I think that it is probably like it is in Connecticut you just need a copy of the probate court name change and fill out some form.

So that means when we sell the cottage ten years later I have to do the name change on the deed at the sale.

Shortly after my father died we sold their house but this was before I transitioned so all the names were  legally correct, no problems, just sign the deed over to the new owner. Then their lawyer said that the secretary and used the feminine form of my name! Now I was out to my brother, and our lawyer (who I knew from a trans support group) was a friend from a support group so they both knew I was in the process of transitioning we three kind looked at one another… Hun?

Now you have to remember that I am from a small town, so their lawyer lived two houses down from my parents house, the family that we were selling it to was the daughter that I went to school with K-12 and they lived on the street behind us (The husband has guts moving to be neighbors with your in-laws).

My brother, our lawyer, and me all started laughing when we got out of the lawyer’s office, did he know that I’m trans? Was it a simple mistake? Or did the whole neighborhood know that I crossdressed?

I had one other run in with the courts, a couple of years after my father died I found out that he had a life insurance policy that as executor of his estate I had to process but it had my male name on it. So back to probate court I went, it was the same judge that did my name change and he remembered me. He said no problem he gave a court order kind of like DBA (Doing Business As) and he waive the fee.

When I bought the cottage on the Cape it was over fifteen years since I transitioned so there is no problem with my documentation, so hopefully I will have no problems with the probate court.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

They Got Our Back

We all know how the Republicans are doing everything they can to force us back in the closet, well check out this letter from Senate Democrats about us to Health and Human Serives.
Dear Assistant Secretaries Levine and Delphin-Rittmon,

Nationally, adolescent mental health providers have expressed concern for the increasing need for adolescent behavioral health services. We have also heard from health care providers about the need to answer an urgent call for the unmet mental health needs for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) adolescents, including exploring, non-binary, agender, genderfluid and queer youth. As co-chairs, we encourage the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council (BHCC), along with experts in the field of adolescent transgender care, to offer guidance on best practices for adolescent inpatient mental health care for these youth. Our goal is to help mental health providers offer the best care they can to the nation’s TGE youth without a delay in treatment. The focus of this request is for the pressing needs of hospital or residential care even as we recognize the need for guidance across all settings of mental health care.

The Trevor Project released the National Survey of LGBTQ Youth Mental Health and noted alarming data that more than half of transgender and non-binary youth seriously contemplated killing themselves in 2020. The survey participants were diverse: 45 percent youth of color and 38 percent identifying as transgender or non-binary.

There was variation in the rates of suicide attempts across youth depending on participants’ race and culture, with 12 percent for white youth compared to 31 percent for Native/Indigenous youth, 21 percent for Black youth, 21 percent for multiracial youth, 18 percent for Latinx youth, and 12 percent for Asian Pacific Islander youth.
[…]
As the BHCC works to bring together leadership across the Department to provide more equitable behavioral health care, we ask that you consider ways to improve and communicate best practices for inpatient and residential mental health care for boarding adolescent TGE youth. Importantly, we ask you include the voices of these youth at the table.
The letter is signed by;
Christopher S. Murphy,
Jeffrey A. Merkley,
Ben Ray Luján,
Sherrod Brown,
Tammy Baldwin,
Tina Smith,
Richard Blumenthal.
If any of these senators is your senator please write or email or call them to thank them for having our backs.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Healthcare & Insurance

“Are you sexually active?” a doctor asks. "Yes," a female patient responds.

“Do you take birth control?” they ask. “No,” she answers.

“Do you use condoms?” “No...”

"Are you trying to have a baby?" "No."

“So then how are you preventing pregnancy?” “...I’m gay.”
I have heard something similar to this only end it with “I’m trans.”

That was from an article in USA Today,
How doctors' assumptions about LGBTQ patients can be harmful to their health
By Sara M Moniuszko
October 1, 2021


Dr. David Jaspan, chair of OB/GYN for Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, says, unfortunately, this situation is not unusual.

"It's very common, because that's classic training," he explains. "It just gets down to this like 'traditional' medical line of questioning which is old, antiquated and now not appropriate for (everybody)."

Other members of the LGBTQ community have also spoken out on social media about uncomfortable encounters stemming from assumptions about sexual orientation and gender identity to the gendered language in hospitals.

Experts say the lack of LGBTQ-inclusive care is caused by a variety of factors, but the need to improve the system is vital in preventing potential detrimental outcomes for people in this community.
So which do you like better?

The healthcare providers reading off the list of silly questions to us or they filling in the obverses answers to questions like “Have you ever been pregnant?”
Why is this still an issue?
Stigma is one piece that contributes to a lack of LGBTQ inclusivity.

Dr. Leonid Poretsky, an endocrinologist who is the director of the Gerald J. Friedman Transgender Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, says he and his peers are still trying to "de-pathologize" transgender identities.

"There's nothing wrong with being transgender; it's not a disease," he says. There is still progress to be made, he says.

For insurance, medical coding systems can make providing care a challenge.
Yeah, it is. The insurance company blows a gasket when they a bill for a mammogram and a prostate exam… Does not compute! Does not compute! So there is a little box that they have to check for the computer to okay both exams.

I got stuck in the middle of the insurance company vs. the doctor’s office battle. But I have seen improvements, the medical offices are learning how to code us and the insurance companies are realizing that there are trans people out there.
And that's exactly what happened. The situation turned into a lawsuit, which ended in a victory: all trans care in the state of Pennsylvania being covered by Medicaid.

"That changed everything because then we had an opportunity for patients to gain access to care, without having to fight about it not having to pay out of pocket, not having to do it in an inappropriate, perhaps not professional location," he added.
The same for Connecticut, it took a couple of cases but the insurance companies finally saw the light. I tell people if they get denied by an operator, hang up count to ten and call again, sometimes it is just an operator who didn’t know or they could of have been a bigot.
"(We) said to this person, we can write down abnormal uterine bleeding and pelvic pain and get it approved (by insurance), or we could do what we want and do what's right and say it's for gender affirmation. We'll get rejected, and we'll fight it."

And if physicians lack understanding of certain identities, like a trans woman who still needs prostate cancer screenings, vital steps could be missed.

"So a physician not prepared to deal with this population may be missing important health care issues and screenings," Poretsky says.
There are so many trans women out there that will not tell their doctor that they’re trans and never have their prostrate examined, they are putting their lives at stake by not tell their healthcare provider their medical history.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Wow!

 With Facebook down it is like going in to some type withdrawal. Nervous, fidgeting, anxious, etc. 

I might even have to watch TV.

The First Monday In October

We escaped this new Supreme Court season and the court begins hearing case today but it doesn’t mean we are out of danger.
LGBTQ rights aren’t on Supreme Court’s docket this term, but they’re still in its crosshairs
Two cases could put them in great danger.
Boston Globe
By Kimberly Atkins Stohr
September 23, 2021


The US Supreme Court starts its term next month without any cases on its docket dealing directly with LGBTQ rights. But two potential blockbuster cases set to be decided this term could have devastating effects on LGBTQ people, weakening long-held constitutional precedents that have served to underpin their rights, and putting them in greater danger of physical harm as hate crimes in America rise.

The fact that the court could strike down the constitutional protection to abortion access in Roe v. Wade has already made headlines and put reproductive rights advocates on high alert. Similarly, the possibility that the court could broaden the Second Amendment’s application to strike down laws — in Massachusetts and several other states — that place limits on carrying firearms in public has raised alarm among gun control advocates.

But the impact of such rulings will be much broader.
For us the impact could be the court ruling on the right to privacy in what goes on in our bedrooms.
The future of Roe comes down to whether the justices still believe the constitutional privacy right on which Roe stands emanates from the “liberty” right in the Constitution.


Such unenumerated rights form the basis of a host of civil rights and other protections: the right to use contraception, to enter an interracial marriage, and to engage in a consensual intimate relationship without criminal penalty.
[…]
But if the court throws the privacy right out the window, it could make it less likely, for example, for the court to extend its privacy-right-based past rulings to apply to the right of gay couples to adopt, or the right to access gender-conforming surgery.
Also non-discrimination laws could be affected, religious exemption could broaden!
Other cases the court could take up this term could expand the ability of people and organizations to claim religious-based exemptions from statutory laws, including those that prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people. The court’s willingness on its shadow docket — unsigned orders issued without full briefing or argument — to grant such exemptions to churches and other religious groups who objected to pandemic-related restrictions on large gatherings is a strong tea leaf.
When we go to court it is a crap-shoot! You are at the mercy of the judge and the jury.

This come at a time when people are losing confidence in the courts, last month a Gallup poll found,
By Jeffrey M. Jones
September 23, 2021


Americans' opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court have worsened, with 40%, down from 49% in July, saying they approve of the job the high court is doing. This represents, by two percentage points, a new low in Gallup's trend, which dates back to 2000. The poll was conducted shortly after the Supreme Court declined to block a controversial Texas abortion law. In August, the court similarly allowed college vaccine mandates to proceed and rejected a Biden administration attempt to extend a federal moratorium on evictions during the pandemic.
[…]
In recent weeks, three Supreme Court justices -- Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer -- have made public speeches defending the court and its decision-making. These speeches have come amid pressure from some Democrats to expand court membership, presumably to add more liberal-leaning justices. This is likely a response to Republican President Donald Trump's nominating three conservative justices in his four-year presidential term, the first after the Republican-led Senate refused to consider Democratic President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016, citing the upcoming presidential election, and the last confirmed by the Senate days before the 2020 election.
The people do not like the way Senator McConnell packed the court with conservative justices.
The plurality of Americans have consistently viewed the court as being "about right" ideologically, and that continues today, with 40% describing it that way. However, perhaps reflecting changes in the composition of the court or its recent decisions, a new high of 37%, up from 32% a year ago, consider the current Supreme Court "too conservative."
Courts interpret the law, they don’t make the laws but they get to decide if the law is Constitutional. So depending on the justices bias they can interpret the same law many ways. And this court has been expanding religious exemptions. In a Philadelphia the court case they ruled that an adoption agency with ties to religious organization didn’t have to follow the non-discrimination laws nor the contract that they signed.

The  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is hearing the Soule v. CIAC case  where a woman high school student sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for allowing trans athletes to compete in sports. I see the case going all the way to the Supreme Court

That is why I always get nervous when a case goes to trial.

 

Sunday, October 03, 2021

4-H

We don’t realize how deep the taint that Trump created his animosity against us knows no bonds. He even went after the 4-H organization non-discrimination policy.
How Trump administration pressure to dump 4-H's LGBT policy led to Iowa leader's firing
The Des Moines Register
By Jason Clayworth and Courtney Crowder
November 18, 2018


The Trump administration pushed the national 4-H youth organization to withdraw a controversial policy welcoming LGBT members — a move that helped lead to the ouster of Iowa's top 4-H leader earlier this year, a Des Moines Register investigation found.

The international youth organization, with more than 6 million members, introduced the new guidance to ensure LGBT members felt protected by their local 4-H program. The document and their attempts to broaden membership in the LGBT community was a smaller part of a larger, multi-year effort to modernize the federally authorized group.

Several states posted the national guidance on their websites, including Iowa, where it prompted fierce opposition from conservatives and some evangelical groups.
I don’t know why he hated us so much, but I think that it was a combination of things, one was appeasing his evangelical Christian and white supremacist bases.

The other thing is I think his lust for women, his homophobia, and his misogyny I think all played in to his hate of us. I think the law suit by a trans woman against the Canadian Miss Universe pageant.
Trump Reverses Decision to Ban Transsexual Beauty Queen From Miss Universe Canada
Jenna Talackova, who's hired Gloria Allred as her attorney, was banned from the beauty pageant because she was born male.
Hollywood Reporter
By Erin Carlson
April 3, 2012


Donald Trump has vetoed a decision to ban Jenna Talackova from the Miss Universe Canada competition.

The 23-year-old blonde, who has been open about undergoing sexual reassignment operation at age 19, was disqualified from the beauty pageant because she was born male, ABC News reported.

But in a reversal, The Trump Organization — which owns Miss Universe Canada — announced Monday that it was giving Talackova another chance to win the crown. The winner will advance to the Trump-operated Miss Universe pageant.
Trump has been reported to have walked in to the dressing room of teenage contestants and adult contestants and I think that he felt disgust that there could be a trans woman in the dressing room and that is what triggered his hate for us, this is in addition to his homophobia.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Saturday 9: Cheeseburger in Paradise

Sam’s Saturday 9: Cheeseburger in Paradise (1978)

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, Jimmy briefly attempts a healthier diet, which included sunflower seeds, carrot juice, zucchini and bulgur wheat. Do you pay attention to your daily consumption of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, etc.?

Fiber and carbs yes, but not anything else.

2) Jimmy sings that he'd like french fries with his burger. Do you prefer to dip your fries or drizzle the ketchup over them?

Dipping, drizzling the ketchup over them makes them soggy.

3) Which cheese would make yours a cheeseburger in paradise: American, cheddar, Swiss, bleu, Muenster, or Monterrey Jack?

I just made some cheeseburgers the other day on the grill. I normally mix the 70% chopped meat with Montreal steak seasoning and bread crumbs, the bread crumbs is to hold the juices in but I didn’t have any… Hmm? What can I use in it place? I know! A little oatmeal. It worked! It kept in the juices and added a little texture to the burger. 

I also mixed in bleu cheese and had the burger on a poppy seed hard roll with tomato, onion, lettuce, and mayo. Mmm...good!

4) Buffett fans call themselves Parrotheads. Concert attire for a well-dressed Parrothead often includes a Hawaiian shirt and a foam fin hat. What will you be wearing tonight?

Definitely, long sleeve shirt, long jeans, and a jacket. It will be in the low 50s tonight.

5) For someone with such an easygoing and laidback vibe, Jimmy is a very busy man. His business ventures include liquors, restaurants and hotels. He's also published eight books. All this in addition to making music! On a scale of 1 to 10 -- with 1 being lazy and 10 being highly motivated -- how would you rate yourself this morning?

A -4.5

6) Jimmy has some very famous fans. Paul McCartney asked him to play at one of his parties, and Barack Obama invited him to perform at a fundraiser. If you could invite anyone -- anyone at all! -- to play at your party, who would you ask?

Dolly Parton Linda Ronstadt Emmylou Harris



7) Jimmy was born on Christmas Day. Does your birthday fall on a major holiday? If yes, do you mind "sharing" your special day?

Nope just another ordinary day.


8) In 1978, the year this song was popular, the Susan B. Anthony Dollar was first minted. The initial design was not a hit with the public because vending machines could not accept it. What's the last thing you bought from a vending machine?

Probably chips or some type snacks.

9) Random question -- If today's your birthday, your zodiac sign is Libra. When did you last check your horoscope?

Um… never.

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

Friday, October 01, 2021

I’m More Trans Than You!


Transphobia comes in many forms including internalized transphobia, I call it “I’m more trans than you!” or a pecking order. As we try to get rid of the gatekeepers some trans people want them back.

I came along this article when someone just posted it in a support group.
Caitlyn Jenner wants a “commission” to determine which trans girls are “truly trans”
She appears to have taken her third position on the question of whether transgender girls should be treated equally in school sports.
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger
May 27, 2021


Caitlyn Jenner said she wants to put together a state “commission” to determine on a case-by-case basis if trans girls are “truly trans” enough to play school sports.

“What I would do as governor, I would put together a commission,” she said on Fox News yesterday. “And trans women, who are truly trans, who at a very young age, you know, started proper medical treatment, they’ve grown up as girls, of course, they should be able to compete in girls’ sports.”
She went on to say;
“Trans women who are truly trans, who at a very young age, you know, started medical treatment, they’ve grown up as girls, of course, they should be able to compete in girls’ sports.”

“But some guy who hasn’t done any therapy, who hasn’t done anything, there has to be a review board,” she continued. She was referring to trans girls who have not received gender-affirming medical care like puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy as “guys.”
STOP RIGHT THERE!

There are no medical treatment for young trans children! For a trans woman she is awful dumb about the Standard of Care for children. Medical intervention doesn’t begin until Tanner Stage 2, when a child begins puberty.
Jenner appeared to be saying that trans women “who are truly trans” started medical transition at an early age, implying that those who transition in high school (but not earlier) are not “truly trans.” Jenner herself did not transition until well into adulthood.
So who would decide? Would you have to go before a panel of so-called “judges?” We find that little Donny does not met the requirements to be truly called trans.

There is no definitive test to determine if a person is trans or not… it is the individual who gets to make that call.

By her own words she wouldn’t be called a trans person because she transitioned late in life.

Since I came out I observed that those who say that “true trans women” have surgery and all the other trans women are just “men in dresses” suffer from insecurity. They are afraid to to be associated with other trans people, because they are “real women” now.

They suffer from internalized transphobia and homophobia.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Changes To The Hate Crime And Other Laws In Connecticut Tomorrow!

On October 1st changes to the Connecticut Hate Crime laws take affect, they are just a few word changes but will have a significant impact on the laws.

The law changes “because of” to “motivated in whole or in substantial part by.” It does seem like much but it packs a major punch.

I was briefed by the Division of Criminal Justice during a meeting of the Governor’s Hate Crime Council and what was explained to us was that the change does is change the law from the requiring the only motive of the attack being bias to be bias just as to be one of the components. Suppose you were robbed and the robber sees that you are trans and calls you a derogatory word, then hits you. The way I understand it that under the existing law that couldn’t be a hate crime because it wasn’t solely bigotry but also robbery. Under the new law going into effect tomorrow it would be a hate crime because it was in part based on bias.

So what are the punishment for hate crimes?
  • § 53a-181j Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree is a Class C Felony*
  • § 53a-181k Intimidation Based on Bigotry or Bias in the Second Degree is a Class D Felony
  • § 53a-181l Intimidation Based on Bigotry or Bias in the Third Degree is a Class E Felony
  • § 53-37 Ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race is a Class D misdemeanor
  • § 53-37a Deprivation of a person's civil rights by person wearing mask or hood: Class D felony
That is a biggie! A real biggie! The state statute says,
Any person who, with the intent to subject, or cause to be subjected, any other person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities, secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of this state or of the United States, on account of religion, national origin, alienage, color, race, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, blindness or physical disability, violates the provisions of section § 46a-58 while wearing a mask, hood or other device designed to conceal the identity of such person shall be guilty of a class D felony.
Did you get that?

So if they are wearing a mask while attacking you because you are trans the assault the crime gets bumped up to a Class D felony!

Then we have;
  • § 46a-58 Deprivation of rights. Desecration of property. Placing of burning cross or noose on property. Penalty. Restitution
Any person who, acting alone or in conspiracy with another, for the purpose of depriving any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws of this state or the United States, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws of this state or the United States, engages in the use of force or threat, as provided in section 53a-62, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, except that if bodily injury results such person shall be guilty of a class C felony or if death results such person shall be guilty of a class B felony.
  • § 53a-62 Threatening in the second degree: class A misdemeanor or class D felony
  • 53a-40a Persistent offenders of crimes involving bigotry or bias. Will increase the sentence.
Also swatting, calling in a fake crime is also bias crime if it is based on a protected class.
  • § 53a-180(a)(4) Falsely reporting an incident in the first degree can be either class D felony or a class C felony
  • § 53a-180c Falsely reporting an incident in the Second Degree is either Class A misdemeanor or a class E felony
  • §53a-180d Misuse of the emergency 9-1-1 system for bias can be a class A or B misdemeanor
  • This statute has been changed to include us!
  • § 53a-181c Stalking in the First Degree is a class D felony
  • §53a-181d Stalking in the Second Degree is a class A misdemeanor
The statute reads in part…
(3) "Personally identifying information" means:
(A) Any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as name, prior legal name, alias, mother's maiden name, Social Security number, date or place of birth, address, telephone number or biometric data;
(B) Any information that is linked or linkable to an individual, such as medical, financial, education, consumer or employment information, data or records; or
(C) Any other sensitive private information that is linked or linkable to a specific identifiable individual, such as gender identity, sexual orientation or any sexually intimate visual depiction.
(b) A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when:
(1) Such person knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at or concerning a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to
(A) fear for such specific person's physical safety or the physical safety of a third person;
(B) suffer emotional distress; or
(C) fear injury to or the death of an animal owned by or in possession and control of such specific person;
(2) Such person with intent to harass, terrorize or alarm, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct directed at or concerning a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear that such person's employment, business or career is threatened, where (A) such conduct consists of the actor telephoning to, appearing at or initiating communication or contact to such other person's place of employment or business, including electronically, through video-teleconferencing or by digital media, provided the actor was previously and clearly informed to cease such conduct, and (B) such conduct does not consist of constitutionally protected activity; or
(3) Such person, for no legitimate purpose and with intent to harass, terrorize or alarm, by means of electronic communication, including, but not limited to, electronic or social media, discloses a specific person's personally identifiable information without consent of the person, knowing, that under the circumstances, such disclosure would cause a reasonable person to:
(A)Fear for such person's physical safety or the physical safety of a third person; or
(A)Suffer emotional distress.
(c)For the purposes of this section, a violation may be deemed to have been committed either at the place where the communication originated or at the place where it was received.
(d) Stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.
This is something that I didn’t know, so if someone tells people that you are trans they might be committing a crime.

One thing that the presenter mention to a question about the First Amendment and hate crimes, a 2017 Supreme Court ruling in Matal v. Tam set down limits for hate crimes. However, the courts have not thrown out hate crime laws just added limits.

What probably is covered by the First Amendment is someone who just yells at derogatory words at you, but if they threaten you or assault you the hate crime laws will probably protect you (Lawyers don’t like to give a yes or no answers, they will say something like “it most likely...”).

Also all hate crimes are based on motive and intent which is very hard to prove in court, I sometime half-heartedly say if you are being beat up get them to say that they are beating you because you’re trans.

  • *A Class B felony is punishable by up to 40 years and additional fines up to $15,000.
  • A Class C felony is punishable by to up to 10 years and additional fines up to $10,000
  • A Class D felony is punishable by five years and a fine of up to $5,000
  • A Class E felony is punishable with up to three years in prison.
  • A Class A misdemeanor – is punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
  • A Class D misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.


Other laws that goes into effect tomorrow is Public Act No. 21-69, An Act Deterring Age Discrimination in Employment and what it does is,
WE-HA.com
By Ronni Newton
September 27, 2021


A law that was championed by the Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, who chairs the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, as well as state Sen. Derek Slap (D-West Hartford), becomes law in Connecticut on Oct. 1 and was lauded Monday at a press conference at the Elmwood Community Center in West Hartford by those who have been fighting to overcome age discrimination.

The law makes it illegal for employers to require information on an initial application that would reveal an applicant’s age – not only the individual’s birth date, but also dates like when they attended or graduated from high school and years spent working at past jobs.
[…]
“It is critical to all of us to support the implementation of this legislation,” she said, and organizations like the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) supported it, and understand the critical need for workers. The ACLU states that six of 10 workers over age 65 have seen or experienced age discrimination, and it’s even more apparent among women and people of color, she said.

“This is a fight for our older workers, it’s a fight for women, it’s a fight for people of color, and hopefully it will give our older workers a better opportunity to have access to the many jobs in our state that remain open,” Bysiewicz said.
When I was laid off in 2007 I was 59 and I knew that I could never get a job that paid as much as the job that I was laid off from so I took early retirement. 

The Hartford Courant reports that these laws are also going into effect tomorrow...
Grow your own marijuana
For the first time, medical marijuana patients will be allowed to grow their own weed in their homes, starting Oct. 1. The new law says they can grow six plants in their home if they are 18 or older with a maximum of 12 plants per household — regardless of how many people are living there.

Little nips will be taxed
In addition, retailers will start charging a five-cent surcharge on “nips,’’ which are miniature bottles of liquor. The “nips’' are expected to generate an estimated $4.5 million per year for cities and towns, based on the sale of 90 million nips bottles per year in Connecticut. That includes 3.1 million sold in Hartford, 2.4 million in Manchester, 2.2 million in Bristol, and 1.5 million in East Hartford.

Domestic violence
The law will now include nonviolent acts like financial and psychological abuse, which advocates said will help judges to rule in cases where they have not seen any physical violence.

The new law details the concept of nonviolent abuse or “coercive control,” saying that it includes “isolating the household or family member from friends, relatives, or other support,” as well as “depriving the household or family member of basic necessities,” according to a legislative analysis.

Safety around ice cream trucks
The legislation requires ice cream truck owners to install safety equipment that includes flashing lights, caution signs, signal arms, and front convex mirrors by May 2022. It also prohibits ice cream sellers from stopping in high-traffic areas.
And in another Hartford Courant article they also list another law,
Employers are required to tell applicants how much a job pays under a Connecticut law that takes effect Friday, breaking from standard practice that gives employers discretion in disclosing the salary at different times in the hiring process.
[...]
Employers must disclose the pay range they anticipate relying on when setting wages for a position. The range could be an applicable pay scale, previously determined wage ranges for the job, actual wage ranges for current employees or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position.
While NBC Connecticut reports that these additional laws will go into effect October 1st.
Seat Belt Requirement
One new law will require anyone inside a vehicle to wear a seat belt. The current law requires drivers and front-seat passengers as well as all rear-seat passengers between 4 and 16 years old to wear a seat belt. Anyone older has not been required to wear a seatbelt while riding in the back seat.

Breastfeeding in the Workplace
One new law is about breastfeeding in the workplace.

It says any employee may, at her discretion, express breast milk or breastfeed on-site at her workplace during her meal or break period and an employer "shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private.