Wednesday, March 31, 2021


I have mixed feelings about the Transgender Day of Visibility, on one hand I realized that for many trans trans people being visible could be a death sentences for them but on the hand right now we need to be visible.
Trans Day of Visibility offers chance for community to stand in solidarity and support
The Conversation
By Jay A. Irwin
March 29, 2021

Visibility within the transgender community is often a Catch-22, especially for trans people of color, or those living in rural, conservative areas. Hiding one’s identity can be a damaging experience and increase feelings of isolation, stigma and shame. But standing out as a trans person can make someone a target for discrimination or violence.

As a trans man who studies transgender health and well-being, I believe Trans Day of Visibility – celebrated annually on March 31 – is an important day that allows community members to come together and find support and solidarity by knowing they are not alone.

A celebration’s history
Trans Day of Visibility acknowledges the contributions made by people within the transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse communities (hereafter referred to as “trans” to encompass anyone who doesn’t identify with their sex assigned at birth).

TDOV has been marked annually since 2009. Before then, the only day of recognition the trans community had was Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day of mourning held on Nov. 20 to commemorate trans people who have died in the previous year.
We need visibility now more than ever, when we stay in the shadows the public only hears from the haters, research has shown when there is a face for the public to see the public is more likely to be for protection for us from the haters.
Fighting stigma
Visibility as a transgender person is not a one-size-fits-all approach for people within the trans community. Some people may embrace visibility while others, for comfort, safety or other deeply personal reasons, may not feel comfortable being visibly trans.
My manta. First rule in coming out… be safe.

Magical feeling of casting off the invisibility cloak
Sidney Morning Herald
By Nyx Calder
March 29, 2021

My name is Nyx Calder. I am a non-binary and transmasculine actor, writer and speaker, and I use they/them pronouns. I have been living openly as a trans person for a little under 12 years, and working as an actor for a little longer than that. Most recently, I’ve been cast in the role of Scorpius Malfoy for the Melbourne production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This role has had an immense impact on me, and I feel utterly thrilled to be portraying a lead role in such a major production while doing my best to provide what visibility I can for my own community.
I felt drawn to acting because I’d never seen anyone like me while I was growing up, or at least not in the mainstream media. I never had the opportunity to read books, see films or experience theatre that represented me or my identity in any meaningful way.
Every time I am messaged or contacted by a young gender-diverse person to say how awesome it is to see someone like them performing, whether they’re an aspiring actor or not, I know that I am one of the many talented folks stepping up to fill that void of representation I felt so keenly in my youth.

It’s what I’m celebrating on this Trans Day of Visibility. There are more of us every day, and if knowing we can work professionally and live happily gives guidance or hope to a younger generation, then I know I got into this profession for a far better reason.
My other mantra… No Transface!

I get a lot of push back on that from the community saying that actresses and actors… act and can play different characters so why not trans people? But… But… It goes far beyond that, it goes to employment, and it goes to visibility. It goes to the public seeing a trans person. It goes to the next generation having a role model.

Visibility goes beyond our country, it is global!
Tasmania celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility 2021
By Isobel Cootes
March 31, 2021

March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility and it was marked by a historic moment in Tasmania, with the transgender flag being hoisted above Hobart Town Hall in anticipation.

The day was founded in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT recognition of transgender people, with the only national day being Transgender Day of Remembrance at the time.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson Dr Charlie Burton said the day was important as visibility increased awareness and in turn reduced stigma and discrimination.
It is important that we be seen!

It is important that President Biden appointed a trans person to a high office.
Biden picks 1st transgender person for Senate-confirmed post
AP News
By Will Weissert
January 19, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

A pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general, Levine was appointed to her current post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017, making her one of the few transgender people serving in elected or appointed positions nationwide. She won past confirmation by the Republican-majority Pennsylvania Senate and has emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Just like actresses and actors, Dr. Levine is someone other trans people can look up to and be a role model for other trans people.

When I was sticking my nose out of the closet back at the turn of the century the Standard of Care was about invisibility… you had to blend into society. Trans people like my could never have transitioned because I am easily identify as trans.
When Trans Visibility Comes At The Cost Of Trans Safety
By Yves Rees
31 March 2021

Last year, the trolls came for my blood. It was December, I’d just published an op-ed in The Age about trans representation and was now a Visible Trans Person. My article, combined with several tweets, provoked the ire of online TERFs and other transphobes. My words were picked up by reactionary publications. For my sins, I was called a “heckler” and “hysterical rainbow bully”. The Catholics accused me of propagating “neo-Marxist gender ideology”.
So extreme was the vitriol, it would’ve been laughable if it wasn’t so alarming. Private messages placed curses on my family. I was sent a GIF of a burning effigy. “Fuck off”. “Piss off, zealot”. “Grow a spine snowflake”. It was relentless. This went on for days until, after almost a week, exhausted by the deluge, fearful of escalation, I deactivated my account.
Be Safe!

So what am I going to do TDoV?

Go grocery shopping.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Connecticut LGBTQ+ Community Survey

Those of you who have been following my blog know that as the Executive Director of CT TransAdvocacy Coalition I am a member of the Connecticut Legislative LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services Network and we are conducting a survey here in Connecticut...

The Connecticut Legislative LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services Network is working with the Department of Public Health to survey the LGBTQ+ community in Connecticut to determine our needs and if they are being met. The results of this survey will be shared with the CT legislature, LGBTQ+ organizations and funders to support initiatives for Connecticut's LGBTQ+ community. The Legislative LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services Network is the only LGBTQ+  committee in the nation that has been created to
advise the state legislature by law on our issues and needs of our community. As part of our charge under the law, we have created this needs assessment.

If you live in Connecticut and are 18 or over, please take the 30 minute survey here…

Why Now?

Why are all the anti-trans youth legislation and court challenges now? There is something like 50 anti-trans bills and at least one court case this year why now?
The Movement to Exclude TransGirls from Sports
The opposition is cast as one between cis-girl athletes on the one hand and a vast liberal conspiracy on the other.
New Yorker
By Masha Gessen
March 27, 2021

A spectre is haunting girls’ sports. It is the spectre of transgender athletes. About fifty different bills pending in more than twenty state legislatures seek to ban transgender athletes from team sports; one such bill was signed into law in Mississippi last week. A federal complaint led in Connecticut alleges that trans girls’ participation in high-school sports constitutes discrimination under Title IX. And, on March 17th, when the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against L.G.B.T.Q. people, witnesses testifying against the measure spent more time on the perceived existential threat to girls’ athletics than they did on any other argument. (The House passed the Equality Act last month in a nearly party-line vote, as it has in past years, but the legislation has never cleared the Senate.)

The argument—as set out by the Connecticut complaint, summed up during the Senate hearings by the writer Abigail Shrier, who was testifying against the federal bill, and, it seems, as intuitively understood by the public—is that trans girls have an unfair advantage in sports because they have more testosterone. But the assumption that they have more testosterone is problematic, if not down right false, as is the assumption that the testosterone confers an absolute advantage. Many young trans people receive hormonal treatment, often beginning with hormones that prevent puberty and proceeding to so-called cross-sex hormones. Many trans girls are taking testosterone blockers and estrogen. Studies show that even adult athletes lose whatever biological competitive advantage they had soon after they begin transitioning. For this reason, transgender athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympics, provided that they have been on hormones for at least two years.
The goal of this campaign is not to protect cis-girl athletes as much as it is to make trans athletes disappear. This is a movement to exclude trans girls from community and opportunity. It is a movement driven by panic over the safety of women and children that reproduces earlier panics, like those over the presence of lesbians on women’s sports teams. And, just like earlier panics, this one is based on what passes for common sense but is in fact ignorance and hate.
You might remember around the turn of the century the Republican tried to frame their hate around bathrooms and that didn’t work; the people of Massachusetts voted down Question 3 so they turned to another tactic… teenage athletes.

Over in Britain there was a lot of attention given by the news media to trans athletes in their press and it was had a lot of traction, also at that time were news articles about the medical service healthcare for trans youth. A year ago in January this was the headline in the Guardian, “High court to decide if children can consent to gender reassignment” does this sound familiar? The case made it way through the British court system for more than a year… The Republicans got their wedge issue.

Here's who's behind the GOP assault on transgender rights
These right-wing organizations have long records of crafting anti-LGBTQ legislation.
The American Independence
By Casey Quinlan
February 17, 2021

The Human Rights Campaign said the legislation is the result of pushes in the states not from concerned community members but rather from national groups providing model bills, with the language and titles strikingly similar across states. In Florida and Georgia, for example, the bills aimed at criminalizing trans-affirming health care for young people are titled the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, while a similar bill in Alabama is called the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act.

The right-wing organizations Alliance Defending Freedom, Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, and the Heritage Foundation were behind many of the anti-trans bills introduced last year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The group said they are likely driving many of the bills introduced in the current legislative sessions.
Concerned Women of America's website shares talking points that say policies protecting transgender people from discrimination "opens wide the door to sexual predators searching for victims."

The Heritage Foundation's website is promoting an upcoming virtual event called "The Promise to America's Kids: Protecting Kids From Extreme Gender Ideology and Laws" with a subheading that reads, "Radical gender ideology endangers children's minds, bodies, and relationships with their parents—and the Equality Act would cement it into law.
And that is their target the Equality Act

This whole attack has been to frame the Equality Act as being anti-women. Do you remember Sunday’s posts where Newsweek had an opinion editorial with the headline “The Equality Act and the End of 'Females'?”

That is how the Republicans are trying to shape the discussion on the bill… anti-women.

Back in 1964 the Republicans tried to kill the Civil Rights Act by adding protection for women. The Library of Congress on their website had this about the Civil Rights Act bill...
Representative Howard W. Smith (D-VA) (1883–1976) introduced an amendment to Title VII that added protection from employment discrimination on the basis of sex. Smith’s motives were complex. As the chairman of the House Rules Committee and an opponent of civil rights, Smith often used his position to prevent or delay civil rights legislation from coming to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. Given this political legacy, it is often said that Smith may have added his amendment as a means of weakening and dividing the political coalition behind the Civil Rights Act. However, opposition to discrimination on the basis of sex had been growing even before Smith’s amendment.
Salon had this to say about the Republicans dredging their old playbook...
In the 19th century, chivalrous rhetoric about women being the "angels in the house" was used to ennoble antagonism against women's suffrage. Anti-feminists in the 1970s attacked the Equal Rights Amendment by falsely insinuating the housewives would be abandoned by their husbands. Reproductive rights opponents still justify onerous obstacles on abortion access by suggesting women can't be trusted to make important decisions about their own bodies. And, as the current protest movement in Great Britain demonstrates, women's freedom to socialize or even leave the house is often attacked under the guise of "protecting" them from violent men. 

Chivalrous rhetoric is being dusted off once again to abuse some of the most vulnerable people in our society: young trans people, especially those who are still minors. Across the country, the New York Times reports, "Republicans are diving into a culture war clash that seems to have come out of nowhere," which is the growing hysteria over trans people competing in sports.
The GOP needs a highly emotional wedge issue that preys on people's worst impulses, like the homophobic panic over same-sex marriage that helped George W. Bush win a tight election in 2004. Trans people, unfortunately, make a perfect target, as many cis Americans, those whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth, are ignorant about the realities of trans lives, making them easy to bamboozle with misinformation. But it has not passed the notice of people who actually care about women's sports that the conservatives claiming they want to "save" women's sports from trans athletes are the same people who have hobbled women's sports at every turn through underfunding and outright mockery.
I think they are trying to do the same thing now, they want to force the Democrats to take us out of the bill by making us too hot to handle. Their strategy is either; A) prevent the bill from passing because the Democrats will drop the bill if we are not included or B) weaken the bill so it doesn’t include us.

Their ultimate goal is to win back the Senate by trampling on us.

The Republicans only care about winning they don’t care if we die, we are only collateral damage.

So what do cis gender people think about this attack on us?

An interesting poll just came out.
A new report released Wednesday found that people support two of the biggest LGBTQ+ issues.
By Kate Sosin
March 17,2021

In headlines and statehouses, young transgender athletes appear to be a hot-button issue. But a new poll released Wednesday suggests that the nation is far less divided than state politicians. 

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.
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 picture changes substantially with just a small amount of additional information: respondents read that ‘local schools, state athletic associations, and the NCAA have already implemented policies that ensure a level playing field for all students while also protecting transgender youth,’” the report states.
So maybe this whole thing will backfire on the Republicans and they will be seen as the true bullies that they are.
The poll — conducted among 1,005 voters across the country from March 12-15 — shows that Republican voters were split exactly 50-50 on support for the bill. Overall, 53 percent of voters said they would have a more favorable view of their congressperson for voting in favor of the bill. 

Black voters were far more likely to support the pro-LGBTQ+ legislation than any other group at 88 percent. Seventy-six percent of Latinx voters backed the measure. White voters were least likely at just 67 percent. The report did not disaggregate data for other racial groups. 

The poll strikes at the heart of the two biggest LGBTQ+ issues facing state governments and Congress. 
The Republicans are so tied up in their own hate that they don’t feel what the rest of the country feels. They are living in their echo chamber.

The poll found that,
Transgender youth participation in sports is not yet a settled issue with the public, but their strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. Initially, voters lean toward transgender youth being able to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity—38% say this, versus 34% who say these youth should have to participate in sports consistent with the gender they were assigned at birth; 28% do not have an opinion. The picture changes substantially with just a small amount of additional information: respondents read that “local schools, state athletic associations, and the NCAA have already implemented policies that ensure a level playing field for all students while also protecting transgender youth.” After reading this, they were asked whether they agree or disagree with the following
Sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.
What we need to do... educate, educate, and educate and expose their lie. We have the key: sports are important to developing character.

Updated: 1:30 PM

The New York Times just had an article on this.
Lawmakers in a growing number of Republican-led states are advancing and passing bills to bar transgender athletes in girls’ sports, a culture clash that seems to have come out of nowhere.
By Jeremy W. Peters
March 29, 2021

“These efforts appear to be far more slick, and far more organized,” said Elizabeth A. Skarin of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, which opposes the bill. “Anytime they give a bill a name in South Dakota,” she added, “you know something’s up.”
But the idea that there is a sudden influx of transgender competitors who are dominating women’s and girls’ sports does not reflect reality — in high school, college or professionally. Sports associations like the N.C.A.A., which has promoted the inclusion of transgender athletes, have policies in place to address concerns about physical differences in male and female biology. The N.C.A.A. requires athletes who are transitioning to female to be on testosterone suppression treatment for a year before they can compete on a women’s team.
Rarely has an issue that so few people encounter — and one that public opinion analysts have only recently begun to study in depth — become a political and cultural flash point so quickly. The lack of awareness creates an environment in which the real impact of transgender participation in sports can be overshadowed by hyperbole.
Activists who have been fighting the anti-transgender efforts say the focus on school athletics is creating a false and misplaced perception of victimization.
“What we have is a speculative fear of something that hasn’t materialized,” Mr. Strangio, who is a transgender man, added. “They’re acting like LeBron James is going to put on a wig and play basketball with fourth graders. And not one LeBron James, 100. In reality, you’re talking about little kids who just want to play rec sports. They just want to get through life.”
The heightened media awareness on the right is due in part to how social conservative activists have improved at packaging transgender-specific restrictions. Borrowing a page from the anti-abortion movement, which was led by men for much of its early period, they have begun featuring women as public advocates.
Limiting the rights of transgender people is an issue that has resonance with an increasingly small share of the overall population. A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute reported that only 7 percent of Americans were “completely against” pro-L.G.B.T.Q. policies. But it is a vocal group intent on showing that it can flex its power in the Republican Party.
The Republicans don’t care about the harm they are doing to children, they are like a rabid animal that grabs hold and doesn’t let go.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Our Nemesis Is Back In The News

The organization which is called by the Southern Poverty Law Canter a hate group is back in the news, they are representing a professor from Shawnee State University who misgenders and refuses to proper pronouns when addressing a trans person.
Ohio professor who rejected transgender pronouns can sue university: U.S. appeals court
By Jonathan Stempel
March 26, 2021

A federal appeals court on Friday revived a philosophy professor’s lawsuit against a public university in southern Ohio that reprimanded him for refusing to address a transgender student by her preferred pronouns.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Nicholas Meriwether can try to prove Shawnee State University violated his First Amendment free speech and religious rights by mandating pronouns that he said did not reflect “biological reality” and contradicted his devout Christian beliefs.

Shawnee State had given Meriwether, who had taught there since 1996, a written warning about his conduct, and said he could be suspended without pay or fired for violating its nondiscrimination policy.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the professor and Pink News had this to say about the law firm…
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a hardline evangelical group which has filed countless lawsuits seeking to undermine and roll back LGBT+ rights, had launched action against the state of Connecticut in February over trans-inclusive rules for high school sports.

However, the case being heard before US district judge Robert N Chatigny has turned extremely ugly – after ADF’s lawyers insisted on repeatedly misgendering transgender children.

The judge had requested that the lawyers use correct terminology after they referred to trans students intervening the suit as “boys” and “males”, with Chatingy urging them to avoid “needlessly provocative” language and maintain “respectful, humane, intelligent, civil discourse”.
Why did the Southern Poverty Law Center label them a “hate group?”
The SPLC lists ADF as a hate group because it has supported the idea that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is OK to put LGBTQ+ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex. It has also supported laws that required the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans.

ADF has spread lies about the LGBTQ+ community. It has, for example, linked being LGBTQ+ to pedophilia and claimed that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy society. ADF tries to couch its rhetoric in benign-sounding phrases, but the truth is that it works to dehumanize LGBTQ+ people and restrict their rights for being who they are.
And this is the law firm representing the professor, you know that this case is going to the Supreme Court because that is what ADF does… try to make precedence setting cases. Also the Alliance Defending Freedom helped Trump pick judges to be nominated to the federal courts, including Supreme Court judges.
Trump's Supreme Court front-runners 'antithetical' to Ginsburg's legacy, critics say
Donald Trump has vowed to choose a woman to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but LGBTQ and civil rights activists say those on his list could undo her legacy.
NBC News
By Julie Moreau
September 22, 2020

The women on President Donald Trump's shortlist to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court do not reflect Ginsburg’s legacy and could undo key civil rights victories she backed during her 27 years on the court, LGBTQ and civil rights advocates warn.
Rushing garnered attention at her confirmation for her association with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she interned as a law student in 2005, writing briefs defending ADF positions. She later spoke at ADF events at least once a year from 2012 to 2017.
Do you think when the case gets to the Supreme Court that Justice Barrett will recuse herself?

I don't.

And lost in all this legal wrangling are the students that he is misgendering and deadnaming are the students and the harm that are experiencing by the professor.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Big Lie.

The Equality Act is coming up for a vote and the Republicans are doing what they do best; lying to create fear. History shows what really happens when transgender laws are passed.
The Equality Act and the End of 'Females' | Opinion
By Mary Rice Hasson, and Kate O'Beirne
March 24, 2021

The Equality Act is 31 pages long, and devotes thousands of painstakingly drafted words to prohibiting "sex discrimination." In all those pages, however, the word "female" never appears.

That's by design. And it spells disaster—not only for females, but for all of us who believe that our laws and language must be grounded in reality. Human beings are created male or female. Our biological sex matters, not only in law but also in practice.

Sex is a basic fact about who we are. It is the whole body's organization for a particular reproductive role; from conception, each individual's body is organized to produce either large gametes (ova) or small gametes (sperm). It's in our DNA. "Every cell has a sex," says the Institute of Medicine. Sexual difference has meaning and consequences. Sex cannot be reduced to "stereotypes," "sex characteristics" (breasts, genitals, etc.), sexual desires ("sexual orientation") or self-perception ("gender identity")—the terms the Equality Act uses to define "sex."

Notably, the Equality Act's definition makes no mention of what sex actually is: the unchangeable reality that a person is either "male" or "female" (intersex conditions are disorders of sexual development, not a different sex). Only females go through female puberty, get pregnant, give birth and go through menopause. That's biology, and no one can self-define into or out of a biological reality.
Well first of all none of the anti-discrimination laws in any of the states says anything about “female” or “male” because they deal with discrimination based on “sex” not whether you are male, female, trans, or intersex. Sex discrimination is based on not how you identify but rather how people perceive you.

Did you know that the Connecticut law was written so you don’t even have to be trans to be protected by the law? So if you are cis gender and you are discriminated against because someone thought you were trans you are protected. Also if you are cis gender and someone discriminates against you because you are not trans you are also protected by the law.

Anti-discrimination laws protect everyone.

The article goes on to say,
Unlike the Bostock decision, the Equality Act redefines "sex" with no reference to "biological distinctions between male and female." Indeed, by defining "sex" to include "gender identity"—in turn defined by characteristics "regardless"—the Equality Act cements into the law the ideological belief that who we are is self-defined and has nothing to do with our bodies' biology. Sex does not matter.
Their whole argument based on false dichotomies, causal fallacies and an equivocation fallacies.

As I said, the laws has nothing to with women or men but rather discrimination.

In addition, non-discrimination laws that protect us have been on the books since 1975 when the city of Minneapolis passed an ordinance.

With now over 21 states having non-discrimination laws their fears and lies have All the lies and fear have not materialized in over four decades that the laws have been on the books.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Sam’s Saturday 9: Fooled by a Feeling

Sam’s Saturday 9: Fooled by a Feeling (1979)

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

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
Chosen because next week is April Fool's Day.

1) Some believe that the practice of playing tricks on one another on April 1 dates back to the 14th century because it's mentioned in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer is considered one of England's greatest poets. From memory, quote a bit of poetry for us. (It doesn't have to be English, or great.)
Oh wow, I have no idea. I haven’t read or written poetry in decades.

2) When Crazy Sam was a little girl, her mother would prank her on April Fool's Day by slipping a rubber worm or plastic spider in her lunch box. Did you/do you carry a lunchbox, either as a student or an adult?
Yes, but mainly I went home for lunch. My parents lived ten houses away from school. At work I used to bring my lunch.

3) In 1998, Burger King got into the April Fool's Day fun by promoting a special "Left Handed Whopper," supposedly perfectly designed for a leftie to hold. Describe your perfect burger.
This is another “Oh wow” not because I don’t have any idea but rather there are too many options.
Last year I made a burger that had…
Blue cheese,
Blue cheese dressing

4) In this week's song, Barbara Mandrell sings that she followed her heart into her lover's arms. Are you more often led by your heart or head?
My head, it is a curse of engineers.

5) She knows now she was wrong for believing her man loved her. When did you recently admit you were wrong?
Well I usually do admit my mistakes, I find it better to admit your mistakes than someone finding them and using them against you.

6) Barbara Mandrell recalls being able to read music before she could read words. Can you read sheet music?
Not a word… or note.

7) Barbara had her own TV variety show in the 1980s and, in the 90s, acted on the daytime drama, Sunset Beach. The soap opera's producer, Aaron Spelling, was a huge fan of Barbara's and was thrilled to finally meet and work with her. Tell us about someone you really enjoyed working with, and why.
My boss from my Allied Control days.
He was from Romania and escaped from the Iron Curtain. He was very smart and when he left the company I gave him my resume and he hired me at the new company.

8) In 1979, when this song was released, a top-of-the-line Sony Walkman sold for $150 (approx. $500 in today's dollars). Did you have a portable cassette player back in the day?
Oh yes, anyone want some tapes? I haven’t listened to them in decades

9) Random question: What's the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?
I was thinking of a grant request that had to be in at 9 this morning (I wrote this Friday night) and I wanted to look it over one more time before I sent it off.

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, March 26, 2021

AI Bias In Surveillance Of Transgender People

Imagine you go for a job interview and you get rejected, you have all the skills that they are looking for, you have good social skills, and you got a glowing comments from the HR person but then you get “THE LETTER” we are sorry…
Facial recognition AI can’t identify trans and non-binary people
By Amrita Khalid
October 16, 2019

Facial-recognition software from major tech companies is apparently ill-equipped to work on transgender and non-binary people, according to new research. A recent study by computer-science researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that major AI-based facial analysis tools—including Amazon’s Rekognition, IBM’s Watson, Microsoft’s Azure, and Clarifai—habitually misidentified non-cisgender people.

The researchers gathered 2,450 images of faces from Instagram, searching under the hashtags #woman, #man, #transwoman, #transman, #agenderqueer, and #nonbinary. They eliminated instances in which multiple individuals were in the photo, or where at least 75% of the person’s face wasn’t visible. The images were then divided by hashtag, amounting to 350 images in each group. Scientists then tested each group against the facial analysis tools of the four companies.
You would never know that you didn’t get the job because the AI said you male and must be dishonest because you are lying about your gender.

Now the way AI works is that they feed the computer images of items that fit the profile that you are looking for and imagines that do not fit the profile you are looking for.

In the video the woman found out that most of the photos that they showed the AI were of white males, therefore the AI didn’t recognized a black woman. How many images of trans people did they feed the AI computer?
Artificial Intelligence Has a Problem With Gender and Racial Bias. Here’s How to Solve It
By Joy Buolamwini
February 7, 2019

Machines can discriminate in harmful ways.

I experienced this firsthand, when I was a graduate student at MIT in 2015 and discovered that some facial analysis software couldn’t detect my dark-skinned face until I put on a white mask. These systems are often trained on images of predominantly light-skinned men. And so, I decided to share my experience of the coded gaze, the bias in artificial intelligence that can lead to discriminatory or exclusionary practices.
Suppose you walk into a bank and the AI says you are wearing a disguise and they will not let you withdraw your funds or will not give you a mortgage.

Bias is real, bias is affecting people lives, it has a human cost…
Real-life Examples of Discriminating Artificial Intelligence
Real-life examples of AI algorithms demonstrating bias and prejudice
Toward Data Science
By Terence Shin
June 4, 2020

Some say that it’s a buzzword that doesn't really mean much. Others say that it’s the cause of the end of humanity.

The truth is that artificial intelligence (AI) is starting a technological revolution, and while AI has yet to take over the world, there’s a more pressing concern that we’ve already encountered: AI bias.
1. Racism embedded in US healthcare
In October 2019, researchers found that an algorithm used on more than 200 million people in US hospitals to predict which patients would likely need extra medical care heavily favored white patients over black patients. While race itself wasn’t a variable used in this algorithm, another variable highly correlated to race was, which was healthcare cost history. The rationale was that cost summarizes how many healthcare needs a particular person has. For various reasons, black patients incurred lower health-care costs than white patients with the same conditions on average.
Arguably the most notable example of AI bias is the COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions) algorithm used in US court systems to predict the likelihood that a defendant would become a recidivist.
Due to the data that was used, the model that was chosen, and the process of creating the algorithm overall, the model predicted twice as many false positives for recidivism for black offenders (45%) than white offenders (23%).

3. Amazon’s hiring algorithm
Amazon’s one of the largest tech giants in the world. And so, it’s no surprise that they’re heavy users of machine learning and artificial intelligence. In 2015, Amazon realized that their algorithm used for hiring employees was found to be biased against women. The reason for that was because the algorithm was based on the number of resumes submitted over the past ten years, and since most of the applicants were men, it was trained to favor men over women.
These biases are directed at minorities… Blacks, Asians, Trans people and other minorities along with a bias against women.

There was someone who attended Fantasia Fair about 10 years ago and she was what we thought was paranoid because she was afraid that AI would recognize her but it turned out that she was ten years ahead of us.

I was watching this PBS show Independent Lens Coded Bias” that was about Ms. Buolamwini efforts to highlight the discrimination in AI.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Remembering Our History

Sometimes we are way ahead the rest of history. We had same-sex marriage long before gay and lesbians. It was our little secret.

When one of us who was married transitioned all of sudden they’re in a same-sex marriage and the marriage was still valid. Sh…

But we also ran into problems when after transitioned and married.
Remembering Robina Asti, 99-year-old pilot, WW II veteran and transgender icon
Asti successfully fought for survivor's benefits for transgender people after losing her husband
CBC Radio
By Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes.
March 22, 2021

Dru Levasseur will never forget the day he met Robina Asti.

It was 2012. He was a lawyer for Lambda Legal's Transgender Rights Project. She was a 92-year-old widow furious that she'd been denied survivor's benefits just because she was transgender.

"That changed my life as a transgender person, just meeting somebody her age," Levasseur said. "It just impacted me so deeply. It just made me realize that I could grow to be that old."

Levasseur took on Asti's case. Not only did she receive her benefits, but her challenge prompted the Social Security Administration to change its policy regarding transgender spouses.

After that, Asti became outspoken on trans issues, marching in Pride parades and speaking to LGBTQ audiences about her life. In 2019, she and her grandson founded the Cloud Dancers Foundation to advocate for older transgender people.

She died peacefully in her sleep on March 12 in San Diego at the age of 99, her family told

Listen to her here on a TED Talk...

Correcting a wrong.

Many trans people and also lesbians and gays were given a less than an honorable discharge even through this is on a state level it is a major step to our community.


What the bill does anyone who received a less than honorable discharge because of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, or because their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression can appeal to the state to have their status changed. This is only for state veteran services.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Not Satisfied With Just Her State

The governor of South Dakota wants to keep out of sports altogether, she wants to take on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
South Dakota governor aims to block trans athletes from women's sports nationwide
By Daniel Trotta
March 22, 2021

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on Monday urged fellow governors, high-profile athletes and everyday citizens nationwide to join an initiative seeking to bar transgender girls and women from participating in female sports.

Noem, a Republican, announced her “Defend Title IX Now” effort three days after coming under fire from both sides of the political aisle for rejecting a bill that would ban students designated as male at birth from women’s and girls’ sports.

The governor, who disappointed conservatives in her party by not signing the bill into law, said she agreed with its sentiment but feared it would not withstand legal challenge. She returned it to the legislature to narrow its scope to non-collegiate sports, among other refinements.
Noem is seeking to gain enough pledges of support to stand up to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which previously supported transgender rights by boycotting North Carolina for restricting transgender bathroom access. The NCAA also allows transgender athletes to compete, provided they comply with rules on hormone usage.
But the NCAA is not good enough for the Republicans who hate our guts, they want to see us back in the closet.
On a similar point of law, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that Title VII of the employment code protects transgender people from discrimination on the basis of sex.
You might remember the court’s ruling last June, according to CBS
"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."
And the same logic should also apply to Title IX.

It seems like that the Republicans like to hold up the Constitution when it suits them and ignore it and the laws when it doesn’t.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

I Remember.

I was watching Hidden Figures I wanted to look up something… Euler's Method. I said it into my computer and this came out of Wikipedia...
Euler's formula, named after Leonhard Euler, is a mathematical formula in complex analysis that establishes the fundamental relationship between the trigonometric functions and the complex exponential function.
Then I remembered that I had the book CRC Standard Mathematical Tables in my closet (doesn’t everyone have the CRC Standard Mathematical Tables and the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics on the shelf in their closet?) and yes, I used to be able to do this math.

Today we have so much information at our fingertips but it wasn’t always that way.

I remember in college the stacks of the library, just rows and rows of bookshelves with the ladders on tracks and the glass floors to let light in.

I remember the card files.

I remember looking up the words… “Transsexual and Transvestite” and being afraid of being discovered; the definitions went something like this, a mentally ill person who thinks that they are the opposite sex.

We have all this knowledge now at finger tips and now who would have thought that now there would be so much fake information out there, that people would write fake reports, or use junk science. Now there are even fake medical association to push their distorted hate theories.

In China they are regulating the internet limiting who can read what and they have learned that those who controls the internet controls people’s mind.

I wonder how people in the future will be using all that information? Will they be looking up their favorite actress or athlete? Or will they use it to further their education?


This was my calculator back in the early 70s, I can't remember how to use it only simple multiplication and division. We were hot stuff walking around campus with that on our belts and a pocket protector filled with pens and mechanical pencils in our shirt pocket.

Monday, March 22, 2021

They Got It Right

On the right side of my blog I some quotes, one of them is from James Baldwin…
We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.
What happens when books push hate and quote fake research?

Warning, this article has a number trigger points.
When Amazon pulled my book on transgender issues, it tried to shut down debate
People with gender dysphoria aren't faking it and their situation is tragic. But there is genuine disagreement about the best treatment.
USA Today
By Ryan T. Anderson
March 19, 2021

Imagine feeling so alienated from your body that you would consider taking cross-sex hormones and removing your genitals. That’s the tragic situation that many people with gender dysphoria experience. They aren’t faking it, and they didn’t actively choose it.

But they aren’t getting the care they deserve — and, even worse, Big Government and Big Tech are working to deny or conceal the truth in service of a new transgender orthodoxy. I’ve tried to sound the alarm about the real harms that would result, but the activists have a lot of corporate and political power on their side — as I was reminded recently when Amazon canceled my book.

Some activists and self-proclaimed gender experts say the best solution to gender dysphoria lies in hormonal and surgical transition, a claim my book disputes.

This guy is out there! The whole medical profession is in a conspiracy against him!

He makes this claim,
“...But last August, the American Journal of Psychiatry was forced to issue a correction, acknowledging that “the results demonstrated no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care.” In fact, the study’s authors also admitted that those who surgically transitioned “were more likely to be treated for anxiety disorders” than those who had not.”
Well the American Journal of Psychiatry was not forced, like many research articles they issue corrections from time to time.
The journal said this about the corrections.
After the article “Reduction in Mental Health Treatment Utilization Among Transgender Individuals After Gender-Affirming Surgeries: A Total Population Study” by Richard Bränström, Ph.D., and John E. Pachankis, Ph.D. (doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.19010080), was published online on October 4, 2019, some letters containing questions on the statistical methodology employed in the study led the Journal to seek statistical consultations. The results of these consultations were presented to the study authors, who concurred with many of the points raised. Upon request, the authors reanalyzed the data to compare outcomes between individuals diagnosed with gender incongruence who had received gender-affirming surgical treatments and those diagnosed with gender incongruence who had not. While this comparison was performed retrospectively and was not part of the original research question given that several other factors may differ between the groups, the results demonstrated no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care visits or prescriptions or hospitalizations following suicide attempts in that comparison. Given that the study used neither a prospective cohort design nor a randomized controlled trial design, the conclusion that “the longitudinal association between gender-affirming surgery and lower use of mental health treatment lends support to the decision to provide gender-affirming surgeries to transgender individuals who seek them” is too strong.Finally, although the percentage of individuals with a gender incongruence diagnosis who had received gender-affirming surgical treatments during the follow-up period is correctly reported in Table 3 (37.9%), the text incorrectly refers to this percentage as 48%. The article was reposted on August 1, 2020, correcting this percentage and including an addendum referencing the postpublication discussion captured in the Letters to the Editor section of the August 2020 issue of the Journal (1).
The bold text is my emphasis.

The way the USA Today made it sound that it was a horrible mistake that affected the integrity of the research.

The USA Today author made it sound like some major problem that showed they “hiding” facts in the research. Also notice the he reported that trans people “were more likely to be treated for anxiety disorders” but what means is that 37% of the trans people did improve! That is over a third of the trans people whose lives improved with medical intervention a lot higher than many who had surgery. Just look at the outcome of heart bypass surgery that has a lower positive outcomes.

Then notice the sentence in the correction, “...and was not part of the original research question given that several other factors may differ between the groups…” In other words, they did not look into the cause of the mood or anxiety disorder-related health care which could be caused by external factors like family acceptance, discrimination, social factors, employment, etc.

Amazon is a private company the First Amendment does not apply to them, they can sell whatever that want. If they decide that they don’t want to carry certain books they don’t have to, by pulling books that are hatchet jobs is a businesses decision, they don’t want to be spreaders of hate.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

And You Wonder Why

Why the Southern Poverty Law Center labels them a hate group.
Hate group Family Research Council reminds followers that Bible says to kill the “immoral” gays
They're not happy with "secularists, humanists, hedonists, and the political Left" support for LGBTQ civil rights.
LGBTQ Nation
By Bil Browning
March 19, 2021

The Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group that serves as the lobbying arm of the religious right, describes LGBTQ people as “unnatural” and “immoral” in a message to supporters.

They also remind recipients at the beginning of the missive of a Bible verse that commands followers to kill gay people.

Under the heading “The Bible’s Teaching on Homosexuality – Romans 1:18-32,” David Closson, FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview, launches into the disgusting rhetoric that consumes the lengthy screed.
And remember, Trump was getting his judicial picks from them and the Heritage Foundation.

They also say that the Equality Act is anti-Christian, but it is not what it will do is will prevent those who try to hide their hate and bigotry behind religion.
Tony Perkins, the group’s leader, got his start in politics as a Louisiana state representative. He bought his mailing list for supporters from David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan and made speeches in front of white supremacist groups. He was a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump and his white nationalist supporters.
White supremacy and LGBTQ+ hate are handmaidens. When you find one you usually find the other, they hate anyone who is different from them.

Not all Republicans are bigots, but all bigots are Republicans.

I don't know if you got a warning about M*lw*re or "ad*lt cont*nt: when you visited my blog but I am working on getting it corrected. There have been some reports that there are groups of people who are "reporting" LGBTQ blogs and websites as "s*x*al" or having m*lw*re.

If you did get a warning could you let me know.

Norton has already corrected their warning but other virus protection software still have warnings.

Saturday, March 20, 2021



On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Welcome to the first day of spring... I hope that you can get outside and enjoy it.

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

1) In this song, John Legend sings that both he and his girl have "room to grow." What about you? In what areas would you like to improve?
My health, I need more exercise.
Going walking this afternoon will help.

2) He sings that when he hangs up in anger, she calls him back. Are you quicker to anger, or quicker to forgive?
Quicker to forgive.
Life is too short to hate.

3) "Ordinary People" was John Legend's first big hit. He originally wrote it for The Black Eyed Peas, but -- happily for him -- recorded it himself. Have you ever purchased a gift for someone else but then decided to keep it yourself?
No but I did go back and buy another.

4) Ordinary People is also the title of an acclaimed novel by Judith Guest and an Oscar-winning film. Are you familiar with either the movie or the book?
Nope, not my type of movies or books

5) John is married to Chrissy Teigen, who gained fame as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. When is the last time you dove in? Were you in a pool, lake, river or sea?
The ocean.

6) John unexpectedly proposed to Chrissy on vacation, but he was afraid airport security would ruin the surprise when they went through his carry on very thoroughly. He worried she would see the ring box and he'd have to drop down to one knee right there at the airport! Tell us about one of your flights: your first, your most recent or your most memorable.
My first.

It was back in the early sixties and we flew to Orlando. Looking out the window all I could see was swamp. They plane went in to a deep dive and started to make a whining noise (I have since learned that the flaps and landing gear were being lowered) then a loud crashing sound with sound of glassware wear and plates breaking.

Back then it was a small airport and had a short runway.

My father had a technical educational conference that he was going to and the spouses were going to have a tour of Kennedy Space Port (Which was why that I tagged along.). We had a VIP tour, not your typical tourist tours, we walked around the Vehicle Assembly Building to look at a Saturn V rocket that they were assembling (I believe it was an unmanned flight.), then out to the launch pad and walked around there. A trip never to be forgotten.
Another thing that I will always remember is walking into a giant spider web that was as big as me. YUCK!

7) John is currently a coach on The Voice. The other coaches are Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. Of those four singers, which is your favorite?
I never heard of any of them.

8) In 2005, when this song was popular, Johnny Carson died. After he retired from The Tonight Show in 1993, he traveled extensively and discovered he especially enjoyed photographic safaris in Africa. If time and money were no object, where would you go on vacation?
The U.S. and Canada Rockies and the west coast. I would like to spend a summer there.

9) Random question -- In your typical day, what's the longest you usually go without saying a word to another person: all day, a few hours, an hour, or five minutes?
In this plague? Weeks!

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 don't know if you got a warning about M*lw*re or "ad*lt cont*nt: when you visited my blog but I am working on getting it corrected. There have been some reports that there are groups of people who are "reporting" LGBTQ blogs and websites as "s*x*al" or having m*lw*re.

If you did get a warning could you let me know.

Norton has already corrected their warning but other virus protection software still have warnings.

Friday, March 19, 2021

It Is Hard

Trying to find articles other than states trying to pass anti-trans legislation is really hard. I search Google News, Yahoo News, and other news sources but I found one…
First transgender titleholder crowned Miss Silver State USA
ABC Local 3 News
By CNN Newsource
March 17, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — It’s a first for one major local beauty pageant: a transgender person is now the reigning titleholder.

Kataluna Enriquez won Miss Silver State USA, the biggest preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant.

Enriquez has won transgender pageants before and entered other cisgender competitions, but this is a monumental win.

She will now compete for Miss Nevada USA, the state pageant leading to Miss USA and Miss Universe, pageants once owned by Donald Trump and two of the most coveted crowns in the pageant world.
They put her through a lot of hoops before she was accepted in the pageant.
Her road to the crown has not been that of beauty queens before her. In another pageant outside Nevada, when the organizers found out she was trans, everything changed.

“I was asked to provide documents that were invasive in my opinion physically asking me to get a letter from my doctor,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez was required to meet with a doctor who had to examine her and certify that she was female before being allowed to compete, something not required of anyone else in the competition. At the same pageant, every other contestant was assigned a roommate expect her. She did not want to name that pageant in this report for fear of jeopardizing her chances in future competitions.
I wish her luck.

It seems like sometimes it is three steps forward and four steps backward.

There have been a number of court cases around the country and the world about having trans people in beauty pageants some successful others not. I think one of the reasons that Trump hated us was that in Canada the pageant that Trump ran was forced to accept trans contestants, even though he overruled the local pageant refusal of allowing a trans contestant he saw the hand writing on the wall that pageant was going to lose in court. I think that goes us on Trump’s hate list.

In another article about Ms. Enriquez in the Las Vegas Review Journal
In a question and answer portion of the pageant, Enriquez was asked to describe an obstacle she has faced and is overcoming.

“Growing up, I was often told that I was not allowed to be myself, or to be in spaces that I was not welcome. One of the obstacles I encounter every day is just being true to myself. Today I am a proud transgender woman of color. Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than. And my differences is what makes me unique, and I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life,” Enriquez answered.
We are win in more ways than one.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

US WPATH Statement

 The other day the USPATH issued a statement about all the anti-trans legislation...

USPATH Statement on the Surge of Anti-Trans Legislation Occurring Within the US

March 17, 2021

The United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH) strongly opposes the recent wave of legislation seeking to criminalize health care for young people who are transgender. This legislation prevents young people from accessing life-saving services. Currently 25 states have at least one of these bills moving through the legislature or have already been signed by their governor. These bills are based on misinformation and would cause great harm to transgender young people.

The preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that gender affirming healthcare can greatly help transgender people. Further, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care provide widely accepted guidelines for health care professionals to work with young people and their families. The guidelines are a conservative document that supports all children in exploring their gender and offers team-based approaches to determine the best course of action for each child.

Proposed anti-transgender legislation threatens health care providers with risk for fines, loss of license to practice, and imprisonment. Most importantly, these laws will prevent young people from receiving beneficial, often life-saving services, that have strong evidence of success and are supported by mainstream healthcare professional associations including the American Medical Association, Endocrine Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Psychological Association.

USPATH calls on all people to oppose bills that will not only punish physicians, psychologists, and others providing evidence-based care to young transgender people but will also further threaten their health and well-being. These legislative actions will keep young transgender people, who are experiencing great distress due to discrimination and prejudice because they are transgender, from accessing help from expert medical and mental health providers at the exact time they desperately need professional care and support.

USPATH also calls on our members to educate their communities on the need for gender affirming care to not only help all transgender people thrive but prevent the devastating consequences that come from denying life-saving care.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

There Is Out, And Then There Is OUT!

I remember at Fantasia Fair one time when Miqqi said that and I got immediately what she meant. As the Transgender Day of Visibility is coming up I am reminded that some trans people are not out while others stand in a spotlight, if you do a vanity search of my name on Google are about 1,570,000 hits. While not all the hits are me, the top tier are.

There are three ways to end up being OUT. The first is that you are a famous person, the second is that you’re an activist, and the third way is that you were murdered.
Actor Elliot Page wants to advocate for other transgender people
The actor told Time magazine that he wanted to use his "privilege and platform to help in the ways I can."
NBC News
By Jamie Knodel
March 16, 2021

After asking for patience late last year when he announced that he is transgender and non-binary, Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page is speaking out on what it’s like to be one of the most visible trans people in the world.

In a cover story with Time magazine, Page, 34, said that he hopes to be an advocate for others.

“My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today, and of course I want to use that privilege and platform to help in the ways I can,” he told the magazine.

In December, Page shared a letter announcing that he was trans and said that while he felt profound happiness about sharing his story, he was also scared "of the invasiveness, the hate, the 'jokes' and of the violence."

Then there are those who are willing to come OUT and share their experiences with the public to bring about change at public hearings.
Transgender youth tell personal stories to advocate for sports participation
The Valley News
By Julia Stinneford
March 14, 2021

For Barbara MacLeod and her daughter, Lane, testifying before the New Hampshire Education Committee last week felt like more of an obligation than a choice.

“If I don’t do it, then who else is going to do it?” Lane said afterward.

Lane is a transgender 16-year-old, and this isn’t the first time she or her mother have spoken before lawmakers, nor the first time they testified against the exact issue in question.

Tuesday’s hearing was on HB-198, which would ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ high school and post-secondary sports in the state. In January 2020, Lane and her mother testified against another bill that would have done the same thing.
“She has been willing to put herself out there because it makes a difference,” she said, but Lane does not always want the spotlight.
It takes courage to sit in front of strangers and spill out your life story.

And sadly the third way also happened this week.
Local woman's murder gains national attention
By: Mariel Carbone
March 15, 2021

CINCINNATI — On March 3, Diamond "Kyree" Sanders was found shot in Clifton. She was taken to the hospital, but later died from her injuries. Since her death, a blog post from the Human Rights Campaign highlighting the 23-year-old woman has gained traction online and on social media.

The post identified Sanders as transgender, a detail of her life also highlighted in her obituary online, alongside other details like her love for travel, fashion and fond memories of weekends spent baking cookies and making pigs in a blanket with family members who loved her.

Statistics and data show violence against people who are transgender and, specifically, trans women of color, is high year after year in the United States. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2020 was the deadliest year for people who are transgender, and transgender people of color were far more likely to be victims of violence.
In today’s climate hate is become epidemic. It is not only directed at us but also Asians, Blacks, and non-Christians.

Trump and the Republicans are stirring up that hate and they are doing it on purpose to gain votes and donations. They are driving a wedge down the middle of the country splitting us. All these anti-trans bills are taking a toll on us, and they are stirring up hate.

In today’s environment it takes courage to stand up in the spotlight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Equality Act With Conditions

Maine’s darling Sen. Collins has put conditions on her support of the Equality Act. Maine has a non-discrimination law that covers us. She want to extend the religious exemption father that her state allows in their non-discrimination law.
EXCLUSIVE: Collins spells out demands for supporting LGBTQ Equality Act
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
March 12, 2021

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose support for the Equality Act is seen as crucial to winning Republican votes for the LGBTQ non-discrimination bill, is breaking her silence on the proposed revisions she’s demanding in exchange for her support.

Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson, laid out the proposed changes this week after the Maine senator previously told the Washington Blade she won’t co-sponsor the Equality Act as she did in the previous Congress. Collins at the time said she wanted a revision, but didn’t specify what she was seeking.

Identifying three general areas where Collins seeks changes, Clark said Collins articulated them to the Equality Act’s supporters in the previous Congress.
She said that the proposed bill is a starting point and she want to add amendments…
One change would essentially grant additional leeway for religious institutions to turn away LGBTQ people. Further, the changes would allow domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters and school sports teams to take sex into account when deciding to place transgender people in sex-segregated areas.
She wants to place them above the law in her home state state that does not have a religious exemption. In other words in Maine if a homeless shelter is getting government funding they could turn us away from the shelter.

Her other changes are...
  • Sen. Collins also has concerns about some of the language pertaining to religious organizations, and thinks that faith-based community partners, like Catholic Charities, and the important services they provide should not be unfairly excluded from receiving federal funding.
  • In addition, she has been a leading advocate for girls’ and women’s sports, and also transgender rights, and she believes this complex issue needs further study.”
So what she wants to do is throw us under the proverbial bus. She wants to strip the protections that her home grants us.

The Senate Democrats are having none of it.
In addition to articulating Collins’ proposed changes, Clark added some implicit criticism of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the lead sponsor of the Equality Act, for refusing to make changes to the bill that were promised in the previous Congress.

“Unfortunately, the sponsor of the Equality Act was unwilling to make any changes to the bill whatsoever,” Clark said, “Sen. Collins has, therefore, decided not to cosponsor it at this time.”
With the filibuster I give the Equality Act zero chance of passing, repealing of the filibuster I give the bill a fifty-fifty chance of passing because it will only take one Democrat to say no.

Then there are some Democrats who think the same way.
A handful of Democrats in deep red states have joined forces with anti-trans extremists to support measures harming trans youth.
LGBTQ Nation
Commentary by John Gallagher 
March 14, 2021

Thanks to a concerted effort by Republicans and anti-LGBTQ groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), trans kids across the country are being banned from sports and bathrooms, while the few with access to trans-affirming health care are facing the possibility of losing it.
Just last week, an anti-trans amendment to the COVID-19 relief bill came close to passing the Senate. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 49 for, and 50 against, adding it to the bill. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) crossed the aisle to vote in support of it. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AR) crossed the aisle to vote against it.

In South Carolina, state Rep. Cezar McKnight (D) not only supports, but actually wrote the measure that would ban doctors from giving trans youth puberty blockers and other gender-affirming treatment. Doctors who violate the ban would face a felony conviction that carries a 20 year sentence and loss of medical license.
So don’t expect the Equality Act to sail through it is going to take a long battle… We are in it for a long haul.

And even if it did pass expect a long court battle all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Monday, March 15, 2021

I Pay My Taxes!

Can you imagine that you and your spouse want to adopt a child and you are told no you cannot because one of you is trans, and this in the state that bans discrimination against trans people. The reason that they give is that it is a religious adoption agency and LGBTQ+ are sinners. But you say that there are no other adoption agencies in the area and they are receiving funding from the state and federal governments. Your tax dollars are paying their agency to provide adoption services, why can’t you adopt?

Well that case was heard last November and the verdict will be read later this year.
Supreme Court's COVID-19 cases stir up battle between religion, same-sex couples over foster care
USA Today
By John Fritze
March 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – As religious freedom emerges as a major theme at the Supreme Court this year, some court watchers are predicting a series of recent opinions involving COVID-19 restrictions have put that issue on a collision course with gay rights.
The Supreme Court is set to rule later this year in a major case questioning whether Philadelphia can stop working with a Catholic charity that declined to screen same-sex couples as foster parents, Fulton v. Philadelphia. Some legal scholars say the recent COVID-19 disputes show the Catholic group may have momentum on its side.

“This voting lineup makes clear that Fulton is going to be reversed,” predicted Douglas Laycock, a University of Virginia law professor and leading expert on religious liberty. "At least five, and maybe all six, of the conservatives will protect the Catholic Church from having to place children with same-sex couples or else losing its foster-care mission entirely."
Now when the church signed the contract with the city it stipulated that you cannot discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. But the church had no intentions of obeying the contract conditions when they signed the contract, can you imagine if you or I signed a contract with no intention of following the terms and conditions of the contract? But because they are a church they are above to the law and they get special rights.
Even before Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett took her seat on the court in October, adding another conservative voice to the bench, the justices have looked kindly on religion in high-profile cases. The court allowed taxpayer money to be directed to religious entities in some situations, exempted employers with religious objections from requirements that they provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives, and let a massive Latin cross stay on government land within a few minutes' drive from the nation's capital.
This is ruling setting up a tangled web that has no way out.

Suppose that there are two Christian adoption agencies, one that is open an affirming and the other anti-LGBTQ+, and suppose the affirming agency supplies children to adoption agencies through out the state and they refuse to send any children to the agencies that discriminates saying to do so would violate their religious beliefs. The anti-LGBTQ+ sues saying it discriminates against their beliefs… whose religious beliefs trumps the other?

Or suppose a Christian adoption agency refuses to let children be adopted by non-Christians who that be legal?
The Supreme Court ruled in a 1990 decision that a government can impose restrictions that affect a religious entity as long as they are applied equally to religious and secular activities. A city can impose a 30 mph speed limit, for instance, and if someone claims their religion requires them to drive 60 mph, too bad. Their claim gets tossed.
There is a lot depending upon this case, it opens a huge can-of-worms if they rule in favor Catholic Church.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

What Do You Think?

I am in a quandary I can see both sides of the argument for… a trans inclusive district. In San Francisco the Tenderloin district where the Compton Cafeteria uprising happen, is the home of many trans people. Just like the Castro district was know as the gay district the Tenderloin is know for its population of trans people.
San Francisco celebrates 1st transgender district in the world
By Chris Bollini
March 11, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco's Tenderloin District has been a documented home for transgender residents since the 1920s.

"Everyone around me in my life told me that I'd have a better life when I came to San Francisco," co-founder and executive director of the Compton's Transgender Cultural District Aria Said reveals. "So many trans people come here like refugees from other cities in the United States."

Said first came to San Francisco when she was 19 years old.
She helped form the first trans district in the world…
Said united with fellow activists Honey Mahogany and Janetta Johnson to form the first legally-recognized transgender district in the world. Encompassing six blocks in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, Compton's Transgender Cultural District was named after the historic Compton's Cafeteria Riot, the first documented uprising of transgender and queer people in United States against police harassment and abuse.

"We realized that if we didn't do something; the Tenderloin was quickly going to become gentrified and our history was going to be completely erased," Mahogany recalls.
Their mission statement according to their website,
The mission of the Transgender District is to create an urban environment that fosters the rich history, culture, legacy, and empowerment of transgender people and its deep roots in the southeastern Tenderloin neighborhood. The transgender district aims to stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces.
Now here is where my quandary comes in, isn’t it our goal through out the United State to foster homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces for all trans people? I can see maintaining our historic and cultural sites like Compton's, but also sites like the Cooper’s Donuts Uprising in 1959 and 1965 Dewey’s Lunch Counter Protest.

But as for homes, businesses, and safe community spaces I don’t want to see it concentrated in one district or one side of the tracks, I want it everywhere. I want to feel safe where ever I go not just in “Our neighborhood.” I am not knocking the good work that cultural district is doing but rather the concentration of people in one area.

Would you be harassed if you go outside your district? If you go to the Castro district would you be told to go back where you belong? Will this ghettoize us?

But on the other hand I can see that some trans people might like a space where "Everyone knows your name." Where you can let your hair down and not be worried about being judged.

In the work that I do I constantly hear the question that begins with “Where is a safe place for trans people to go ______?” Fill in the blank… “for a doctor” “for an apartment” “for a job” “for a halfway house” “for a retirement home.”

When I was in grad school a group of cisgender students came up to me and wanted me to sign a petition to make single stall bathroom “Gender Neutral” bathrooms. I asked why? We can use the bathrooms of our gender identity already why make single stall bathroom “Gender Neutral” bathrooms? That I was concerned that we would be forced to only use “Gender Neutral” bathrooms and not any bathroom.

We should change the narrative to why isn’t it a safe place for us? We shouldn’t have to limit our choices whether it is a place to live, work, play, or do our business.

What do you think about having a district of our own?

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Saturday 9: Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral

Sam’s Saturday 9: Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (1944)

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

Selected because this Wednesday is St. Patrick's Day. Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) Bing Crosby sings that he learned this song from his mother. Can you recall a song from your early childhood?
Nope, that was a very, very… very long time ago.

2) Bing was NBC's first choice to play TV's Columbo. He turned down the role because, by that time, he was in his 60s and just didn't feel like working a full week anymore. Peter Falk eventually got the part and played Det. Columbo for 10 seasons. Do you enjoy detective stories, whether on TV, in movies or in books?
I enjoy British detective stows, Columbo, and other older detective shows.
Detective shows no a days seem to be competing to see who could be the most gory, I think that trend started with the CSI series. While British shows have far less blood and gore than their American counterparts.

3) Bing could trace his family back to County Cork. While it's said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish, can you honestly claim Irish heritage?

4) Other than St. Patrick, what is Ireland famous for?

5) "The wearing o' the green" is one way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Will you wear something green in honor of the day?
Naw, I just might wear orange to stir up trouble.

6) Have you ever had green beer?

7) Have you ever ordered a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's?
If I was going to blow watching my carbs on a shake, it would not be on a McDonald's shake it would be on a real ice cream milkshake… a nice thick chocolate milkshake.

8) A four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Do you have a lucky charm?
My mother could spot a four-leaf clover a mile away, I used to get so frustrated. I could look for hours and not spot one and my mother would come out and spot three or four of them right off the bat,

9) Speaking of Lucky Charms, they are magically delicious. What brand of cereal is in your kitchen right now?
Store brand granola.

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!