Monday, May 31, 2021

Another Plague

This is different that the COVID plague that we just went through, this one is a mental health illness. It is a fetish that is not in the DSM but should be.
How Insane is Gun Insanity?
By Charlie Allenson
March 3, 2017

It’s hard to describe. There’s no listing in the DSM 5 (that’s the big red book shrinks use to diagnose mental, emotional, and psychological conditions). There is a listing in the Handbook of Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals. It’s called hoplophilia.
I think that people who have a compulsion to own dozens and thousand of rounds of ammunition, I am not talking about people who own a couple of guns for protection. I am talking about those who are paranoid about the government, those who worry about the “black helicopters.” Those who must always be carrying automatic weapons I think have a screw loose.
At least 22 people shot, 2 fatally, after assailants get out of an SUV and fire assault rifles at a club, police say
By Raza Razek, Holly Yan and Laura James
May 30, 2021

Police are asking for the public's help in finding whoever opened fire at a Florida club Sunday, killing at least two people and wounding at least 20 more, Miami-Dade police director Alfredo Ramirez III said.

Shortly after midnight, a white Nissan Pathfinder pulled up to the El Mula Banquet Hall near Hialeah.

That's when three people "stepped out of the vehicle with assault rifles and handguns and started firing indiscriminately into the crowd," Ramirez said.

A Miami-Dade officer covers a body outside a club that was rented out for a concert.
As a country we are insane.

I am in my early 70s and I never had a need to own a gun, I have used guns. At a friend’s house we used to shot woodchucks in his corn fields, I took skeet shooting in college.

The latest insanity comes out of Texas…
Texas State Rep. Moody On Bill That Would Allow Anyone To Carry A Handgun Without A Permit, License
By Peter O'Dowd and Allison Hagan
May 28, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will sign the permitless carry bill headed to his desk, which would allow anyone over 21 in the state to carry a handgun without a permit or license.

The majority of Texans oppose the measure, as do many state and local police. Texas would be the 20th state to adopt a permitless carry law.

Critics of the so-called constitutional carry law, including many in law enforcement, say it will put citizens and first responders at risk at a time when there's a nationwide surge in gun violence. But supporters maintain it protects Texans' constitutional right to carry handguns to defend themselves.
Connecticut has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation and so far they have passed mustard in the courts and ranks 45 in gun deaths, while Texas ranks 28 in gun deaths and the top five states with gun deaths… Alaska, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Montana.

When the US banned semiautomatic weapons the death rate dropped.
The U.S. Has Restricted Assault-Style Weapons Before. Did It Work?
March 28, 2021

In the wake of recent gun massacres, President Biden is renewing calls for limits on assault-style weapons. What impact did the ten year federal ban on those weapons have on mass shootings?
WESTERVELT: Mass shootings, Brown says, are a smaller part of the nation's much larger gun problem. Some 70% of gun homicides involve a handgun, not an assault-style rifle. And more than half of all suicides involve firearms. And there are nearly 400 million firearms already in circulation in America. But in at least 10 mass shootings in the last decade, including four of the Top 5 deadliest, some form of semiautomatic assault-style rifle was used, and most of them involved large-capacity magazines. New restrictions, Brown argues, would help protect the public.
And now Florida.
WESTERVELT: John Donohue, who has studied the issue, is the Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford University. Recent research, including his, shows that in the decade after the ban was lifted, mass killing fatalities increased dramatically, even as overall violent crime trended downward. And in the last five years, Donohue points out, if you remove the lost pandemic year, mass shooting fatalities in which assault-style rifles were used have mushroomed.
The Republicans have been packing the courts with anti-abortion, anti-:GBTQ+, and pro-gun judges since Reagan. The website Thoughts CO reported that…
A more lasting impact of Reagan’s policy on guns was the nomination of several Supreme Court justices. Of the four justices nominated by Reagan—Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy—the latter two were still on the bench for a pair of important Supreme Court rulings on gun rights in the 2000s: District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010.
On this Memorial Day let us not only remember our service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country but also all those civilians who lost their lives to gun violence, and let us all work to end gun violence.

Mental Health

As a social worker I am more aware of the lack of respect and understanding for people coping with mental health. It seems that if you have a physical illness everyone is on your side but if you are suffering from mental illness or a physical disability that no one can see then nobody understands.
Osaka fined $15K for skipping French Open media; Thiem out
By John Leicester and Andrew Dampf
May 31, 2021

PARIS (AP) — Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 when she skipped the news conference after her first-round victory at the French Open on Sunday — and drew a stunning warning from all four Grand Slam tournaments that she could face stiffer penalties, including disqualification or even suspension, if she continues to avoid the media.
She framed the matter as a mental health issue, saying that it can create self-doubt to have to answer questions after a loss.
Tell me if she had a physical illness do you think that they would force her to attend a press conference?
Citing the rule book, the statement noted that “tougher sanctions” from “repeat violations” could include being defaulted from the tournament and “the trigger of a major offense investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions.”
So the tennis association is more interested in their press conferences than the mental health of their players.

The next question is why are they so adamant about the press conference?
Why Is It Compulsory for Tennis Players to Do a Press Conference at Every Tournament?
Essentially Sports
By Anshul Singh
May 29, 2021

Ever since World No.2 Naomi Osaka decided to boycott the media at the French Open 2021 citing mental health as a reason, there has been endless discourse in the tennis world about press conferences. There is now a debate going on about whether it is compulsory for tennis players to do a press conference after every match of a tournament or not.

From players to different tennis governing bodies like the WTA and FFT, all have criticized Naomi Osaka for her boycott. Many have stated that avoiding press conferences is no solution for improving mental health.

“Many have stated that avoiding press conferences is no solution for improving mental health.” What bigotry against mental health can you imagine them same players saying that about Tiger Woods not playing golf because he broke his leg?

It seems to me that the only reason why there are press conferences is to promote the sports, it is not a good enough reason to cause mental pain of the players.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

I Made Plans

When I was going to my nephew’s wedding in Asheville NC back around ten years ago I looked at maps to see where it was okay to go the bathroom* for the drive down there… New Jersey – safe, Washington DC – safe, Virginia – iffy, Tennessee – keep your legs crossed, and North Carolina – iffy.
How Tennessee’s Transgender Business Bathroom Bill Poses a Major Health Risk
By Laken Brooks
May 30, 2021

In August of 2020, Lauren Jackson was spending a summer day at the Agate State Beach Park in Oregon. That’s when a routine visit to the women’s restroom turned dangerous. A man attacked Jackson. The stranger beat her and broke her jaw before he fled the park.

Jackson is transgender, and the assailant confronted her for using the women’s bathroom.

Unfortunately, Jackson is not the only transgender person who has been harassed or attacked near a restroom. 60% of transgender people avoid using a public bathroom for fear of being verbally or physically abused, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Almost a year has passed since Jackson was attacked, and Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee has signed a new bathroom law. The legislation would force all businesses in the state to publicly display a sign specifying if they encourage transgender customers to use the restroom of their choice. Nashville’s District Attorney (DA) General Glenn Funk and the Human Rights Campaign have spoken out against Lee’s bill.
Then there is the wording of the sign…
“This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”
Now doesn’t smacks as inviting non-trans men to use the women’s bathroom?

Then there is the Republican’s justification for the signs.
In 2016, previous North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory banned transgender people from using the bathroom in which they were most comfortable. He said that transgender-friendly bathrooms “could also create major public safety issues by putting citizens in possible danger from deviant actions by individuals taking improper advantage of a bad policy.” These warnings of sexual abuse, of men disguising themselves to prey on women using the restrooms, had no merit. Trans-welcoming bathrooms and locker rooms did not experience higher rates of assault or violence, according to a study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. However, this misplaced fear led some community members to take it upon themselves to police the bathrooms for people who may be transgender.
The first law that protected us from discrimination was passed in 1975 by Minneapolis, Minnesota and there has not a single trans person who raped a person in any bathroom and the reason why the Republicans keep saying rape by men disguising themselves and attacking women using the restrooms is simple to create fear. Fear of us, the Republicans don’t that it hurts us they only care about power and control.
In July of 2019, North Carolina agreed to cease their transgender bathroom ban. Unfortunately, this settlement came too late for a transgender woman in Raleigh who was sexually harassed and physically attacked when she was using the restroom.
They will lie, cheat, and put others in danger just to get elected. They will use hate as a voting tactic to drives wedges into society, hate of people who are different from them… Blacks, foreigners, Jews and Muslims, Gays and trans people, the disabled, any minorities are fair fame game for them.

Power and Control that is all the Republicans care about… getting votes to stay in control.


* There is a booklet about Peeing in Peace but it is horribly out of date, you can read it here.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Saturday 9: If You're Reading This

Sam's Saturday 9: If You're Reading This (2007)

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

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

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.

1) Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. War memorials, as well as graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers this weekend in a show appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood?
Here at the Cape I believe that there are at least one in Provincetown and back home there are a couple of war memorials, one of which is the first Civil War monument in the state.

2) Here at Saturday 9, we regard everyone who served -- veterans and active military -- as heroes. Have you, or has anyone in your family, worn the uniform of our armed forces? We want to hear about them.
Just my father, he served in WWII. He was in the coastal defense force until the German U-boats were neutralized and then assigned to the South Pacific

3) Similarly, we're grateful to those who served on the front lines during the Covid 19 pandemic. Tell us about anyone you know who was an essential worker, a first responder or administered vaccines. They deserve a shout out, too!
I know several, one worked during the plague giving out food at a food pantry.

4) Memorial Day is the traditional kick off of the summer season. Have you packed away your winter clothes yet?
Naw, you never know when you will need it. The other day it was in the 90s on the mainland but with the wind chill it felt like it was in the 40s.

5) What's your favorite picnic food?
The classics… a cheeseburger, beans, and potato salad (The other day I made German Potato salad.

6) As you answer these questions, is there a fan or an air conditioner cooling your room?
No, but I needed it the other day it was in the upper 60s but very muggy.

7) This week's song is about a heartbreaking situation. The lyrics are a letter from a soldier to his family, which was only to be sent in the event of his death. What's the saddest song you have ever heard?
It hate questions like “What's the…” who keeps track of those things?
Gee… that was a pretty sad song, I think I’d add it to my list of sad songs.

8) This week's featured artist, Tim McGraw, has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. It's near those honoring William Shatner and Julie Andrews. If you could have lunch with one of those luminaries -- Tim McGraw, William Shatner or Julie Andrews -- which would you choose?
Actually none of those interests me, maybe if it was a famous si-fi writer I might be interested.

9) Random Question: Think of the last thing you bought. Was it a wise purchase?
Hmm… it was a bowl of Clam Chowder for supper. Yes it was a wise purchase, I was hungry and I like their clam chowder. They don’t thicken it, I don’t know why so many restaurants think that they have to add flour or corn starch to make clam chowder thick. When they do that it blasts my blood sugar all out of wack.

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!

And here is a photo I took this week at the beach at the end of the street.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Do They Think We Are Stupid?

I usually don’t write about politics unless there is a trans angle, but today is different. I am totally disgusted with the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, he is such a two faced little weasel.
McConnell doubles down to pressure Republicans, asking for 'a personal favor' to block January 6 commission
By Jamie Gangel and Michael Warren
May 27, 2021

In the last 24 hours, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has ramped up the pressure on his GOP Senate colleagues to oppose a bill creating a January 6 commission, according to two Republicans familiar with his effort.

One of those Republicans told CNN that McConnell has even made the unusual move of asking wavering senators to support filibustering the bill as "a personal favor" to him.

"No one can understand why Mitch is going to this extreme of asking for a 'personal favor' to kill the commission," said the Republican.
Only three Republican senators so far have expressed their support for the commission: Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Democrats would need a total of 10 Republican senators to break a GOP filibuster in order to advance the bill.’”

Collins, of Maine, has worked to tweak the bill to respond to McConnell's concerns but the minority leader is still opposing the commission. After meeting with Sicknick, Collins said she thinks her amendment to fix the "flaw" in the House bill addressed the major objection to the bill, and that she has secured the agreement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her amendment.
The first question that comes to mind is “What is he hiding?” Followed by “What are they afraid of?”

The Washington Post reported that Senator McConnell said…
House passes bill to create commission to investigate Jan. 6 attack on Capitol, but its chances in the Senate are dim
By Mike DeBonis, Colby Itkowitz, and Jacqueline Alemany
May 19, 2021

Republican leaders are trying to sink legislation establishing an independent commission on the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that would probably scrutinize former president Donald Trump’s role in the riot and his conversations with Republican lawmakers that day.

The bill passed the House on a 252-to-175 vote Wednesday with 35 Republicans supporting the measure, but its chances of clearing the Senate dimmed after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) came out against the bill earlier in the day.

He said he opposes the legislation because it is a “slanted and unbalanced proposal” a day after he said his members were open to voting for the plan but needed a chance to read the “fine print.”

By refusing to have any Republicans on the commission seems to me that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Also consider that these very same Republicans held 33 hearings on Benghazi and held hearings on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emails and they totally ignored Ivanka Trump use of private email servers to send government emails are now saying that the hearings on the January 6th Insurrection is political.

How dump do the Republicans think we are? Or are they just playing to their Trump base?

Are they afraid of the hearing finding that many of Republican congressional legislators were involved in the insurrection? Are they afraid that the hearings with find collusion between Trump and insurrectionists?

The voters want the hearings!

In a Quinnipiac national poll they found that…
With lawmakers divided over whether to form an independent 9/11 style commission to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, a majority of Americans (55 percent) say they view the events of January 6th as an attack on democracy that should never be forgotten, while 39 percent say too much is being made of the storming of the U.S. Capitol and it is time to move on, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea- ack) University national poll of adults released today. There are stark political divides on this question.

Democrats say 84 - 12 percent and independents say 54 - 42 percent that the January 6th storming of the Capitol should never be forgotten, while Republicans say 74 - 18 percent that too much is being made of it and that it is time to move on.

Asked whether each political party is acting in the best interests of democracy, Americans say ...

Republican Party: 59 percent no, 34 percent yes;
Democratic Party: 49 percent no, 44 percent yes.
The Republicans are so wound up in their “Big Lie” they don’t care what the voters think, they have developed a siege mentality and are circling their wagons to protect their “Golden Idol” Trump and not the Constitution nor the nation.

The way to defeat the “Big Lie” is to expose their two-face politics and go out and vote! Vote! Vote! Vote in every election; town, state, and federal elections. That is what makes the Republicans nervous because they know when voters turn out an vote they lose.


CBS News
By Grace Segers
May 28, 2021 / 12:16 PM

Senate Republicans blocked the House-passed bill creating a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Although most Republicans were unified in their opposition to the bill, worrying that a commission would drag into next year and potentially affect GOP chances of retaking Congress in the 2022 midterms, six voted to advance the bill.

The vote to advance the bill failed by 54 to 35, well short of the 60 votes needed. Republican Senators Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, and Ben Sasse supported advancing the bill. All but Portman voted to convict former President Trump on the impeachment charge of incitement of insurrection in February.
What are the Republicans trying to hide?

Thursday, May 27, 2021

My Story 167 – How Did I Get Where I Am Today

When I started attending the Connecticut Outreach Society’s meeting twice a month, I wanted to go out more than two days a month.

COS used to go out to stores that opened at night just for us so now I had another night to go out as Diana. There used to be a Boutique store in West Hartford where once a years the owner would open her store to us and we used to have a blast trying on clothes, I think that I still have some clothes that I bought there. Also Irene’s Lingerie in New Britain and then later in Plainville used to open her store to us and she also used to give talks at the meeting about how to buy lingerie. We also used to go to Tonkin’s Wigs in Waterbury each year, she was very trans friendly but sadly she retired a couple of years ago.

COS also held an annual Banquet with guest keynote speakers, the banquet allowed me to go out over night, I then found out about conferences… First Event was the first conference that I went to

COS used to have regular Board meetings and I decided to attend because it was a third night that I could go out a month. So now I was on the COS Board and one of the things that the Board tasked me with is finding more way to help get our members out in public, and I organized dinners and movies nights. We went to restaurants in the area like the Pond House in Elizabeth Park, Gold Roc, and Coyote  Flaco. The first movies that I attended was the Out Film Festival at Cinestudio at Trinity College in Hartford and I attend it now just about every year.

I started to attend conferences. At First Event there was a good number of COS members who regularly attended the conference, one year there were ten members there, I used to go up on Thursday and stayed until Sunday. Then there is Fantasia Fair. I first attended it back 2000 for a 3 days weekend but I was hooked.

Then I met Jerimarie from the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition and as they say the rest is history.

My Story is a series of blog posts about my transition and observation of life as a trans-person.


I don't know why but it seems like nobody wants to go out anymore. It seems like they are content to just attending meetings. I stopped organizing dinners because people said that they wanted to go but no one showed up. Now it is nearly impossible to even get people to go safe places like the Out Film Festival.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Our Strong And Week Points

Polls can be a good thing, they can show where we need to concentrate our efforts…
Majority of Americans support trans troops, oppose trans athletes, Gallup finds
Advocates say the contrast is at least in part due to the wave of state legislation aimed at restricting trans student-athlete participation.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
May 26, 2021

The majority of Americans support allowing openly transgender people to serve in the military but oppose permitting them to play on sports teams that align with their gender identity, according to new Gallup data.

The annual Values and Beliefs survey — conducted May 3-18 by telephone interviews with 1,016 randomly selected adults living in the U.S. — found that 66 percent of people favor allowing openly trans people to serve in the military, though Gallup noted that this figure is down slightly from its previous measure in 2019, when 71 percent were in favor.

At the same time, 62 percent of Americans say trans athletes should only be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth, while 34 percent say they should be able to play on teams that match their gender identity.

The contrast — one in support of trans people’s participation and the other against — is at least in part due to the wave of state legislation seeking to bar trans students from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“What people are reacting to here is just an absolute barrage orchestrated by the extremist anti-LGBT groups — the same ones who, in 2004, caused there to be a bunch of marriage equality losses around the states,” Keisling said.

They are reacting to the wave of lies and hate coming out of the Republicans.
Keisling said state legislators who have introduced measures to ban trans girls and women from competing on girls and women’s sports teams “have done a great job of framing the conversation.” The proposals target middle school, high school and college athletes, but when most people are asked about trans athlete participation, they think of elite or professional athletes, she said.

So far, governors in eight states have signed laws or executive orders restricting trans student athlete participation — seven of them in 2021.
That is what we have to do is re-frame the question, we need to educate the public. We now know where are weak points are and need to concentrate on educating the public.

Accord to the Gallup poll we do have some strong areas.
Mixed Views Among Americans on Transgender Issues
Gallup News
By Justin McCarthy
May 26, 2021

While Americans maintain their support for transgender military service, a majority believe birth gender, rather than gender identity, should govern participation in competitive sports.
Some of the findings… women and young adults support us in the military, men to a much lesser extent. The bad news, it dropped from 2019.
Democrats (87%) remain about twice as likely as Republicans (43%) to favor allowing openly transgender service members in the military; both groups are essentially unchanged from the 2019 poll. Political independents, meanwhile, have become less supportive than they were in 2019 -- down 12 percentage points. Still, two in three self-identifying independents favor allowing openly trans people to serve.
Support for transgender Americans' right to serve in the military is down at least slightly among all age and gender groups, though all groups maintain majority levels of support. Adults younger than 50 remain more in favor than adults aged 50 and older, and women remain more in favor than men.
The majority by a large percentage do not support trans athletes and it is across the board, all age groups, all genders, and both political parties lack support for us in sports.

We need to concentrate our education here.

The somewhat good news is that young adults support us but it is split right down the middle, 50-50. The thirty something and above hate our guts, but the majority of those younger than 30 are more likely to know a trans person.
Views on transgender athlete policies and right to serve openly in the military are slightly influenced by whether respondents personally know a transgender person. This is similar to what Gallup has found in the past about Americans who personally knew a gay person and their views on gay issues.

Those who know someone who is trans (40%) are more likely to say trans athletes should be able to play on a team of their gender identity than are people who do not know someone who is transgender (31%). Similarly, those who have a transgender person in their life (74%) are more supportive of transgender people's right to openly serve in the military than are those who do not know someone who is trans (62%).
Harvey Milk was right…
Gay brothers and sisters … You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth.
So what it all boils down to is...
On one hand, strong majorities of Americans have supported transgender people's right to openly serve in the military. Viewed alongside support for allowing openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the "don't ask, don't tell" era, it's fair to say that most Americans believe that people who want to defend and fight for the U.S. should be allowed to, regardless of their identity.

On the other hand, the increasing rate of trans-identification among U.S. youth is challenging norms in ways that many Americans are not ready to question. Americans were split in separate polls taken in 2016 and 2017 on restroom policies for transgender people. With policies for interscholastic sports teams now gaining traction in state legislatures, the public leans against allowing these athletes to join teams of their gender identity. This opposition, juxtaposed against public support for transgender military service, suggests transgender sports participation may be seen as more of an issue of competitive fairness than of civil rights.

This political issue is fairly new to most Americans, though, and the public has changed its mind on LGBT issues in recent memory. So, while there is currently considerable resistance to letting athletes play on teams according to their gender identity rather than their birth gender, it's possible that Americans may view the issue differently down the line. However, changes in views on LGBT issues are often driven by generational change, and at the moment, young Americans hold views similar to their elders'.
Come out, come out wherever you are! (But not if you are not safe.)

Visibility and education are the keys!




Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A Hatchet Job Or Fair And Balanced?

Boy a lot of talk is being generated over the 60 Minute piece last night, some are calling it an attack on our rights, while others are saying not so fast that the CBS 60 Minutes segment raised so valid points.
State bills would curtail health care for transgender youth
Lesley Stahl reports on the spate of legislation being introduced in states that would limit care for transgender youth.

Last month, Arkansas passed a law prohibiting doctors from treating transgender youth with puberty blockers, testosterone or estrogen, and surgery to assist their transitions. As part of a new culture war, similar bills have been introduced in at least 20 other states: in some cases, doctors could go to jail. Many physicians and therapists are appalled, like Erica Anderson, ahighly respected gender psychologist at the University of California San Francisco who is transgender herself.

Lesley Stahl: Have you ever seen anything like that before in your lifetime?

Dr. Erica Anderson: No. No. And it's a clear overreach on the part of such legislatures. Clearly, they are demonstrating their ignorance and prejudice.

At least six major medical associations have weighed in against these bills, including the American Academy of Pediatrics of which Dr. Lee Savio Beers is the president.

Lesley Stahl: I'm gonna read you something that was said in support of this law in Arkansas. One of the Republican senators said gender-affirming treatments are, quote, " best, experimental, and, at worst, a serious threat to a child's welfare."

Dr. Lee Savio Beers: These are not experimental treatments. They're really based in scientific literature, they're based in decades and decades of expert experience, and they're backed by a number of major medical organizations.
So far no controversy.
While the vast majority of transgender youth and adults are satisfied with their transitions, not all are. In some cases, patients are choosing to reverse the process. It's called detransitioning. In her early 20s, Grace Lidinsky-Smith was seriously depressed and developed gender dysphoria. She began searching for answers in transgender communities on the internet.

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: And when I saw them being so happy and excited about doing this wonderful, transformative process to really, like, become their true selves I was like, have I considered that this could be my situation, too?

Lesley Stahl: Did this have any part of it, a sense that men had it easier in life than women did and that your road might be easier if you were male?

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: Yes. I just had this sense that if-- if I could inhabit life as, like, a trans man, as a man, then I wouldn't feel so self-conscious. I was thinking that it would make me feel very free.

Grace says she found a gender therapist on the internet and told her, "I'm thinking of transitioning."

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: She thought it all sounded pretty good.

Lesley Stahl: Did the therapist not question you about how deep the feeling was and what it was stemming from?

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: She didn't go - really go into what my gender dysphoria might've been stemming from. We only did a few sessions.
So now we have the crux of the question. Have quacks jumped in and treating patients and they have no knowledge if how to treat trans people or have we made too easy to get hormones?
Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper: It greatly concerns me where the field has been going. I feel like what is happening is unethical and irresponsible in some places.

Laura Edwards-Leeper was the first psychologist at the first major youth gender clinic in the U.S. at Boston Children's Hospital. She says she has helped hundreds of teens and young adults transition successfully after a comprehensive assessment.

Lesley Stahl: Do you have conversations with your colleagues about this whole area of accepting what young people are saying too readily?

Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper: Yes. Everyone is very scared to speak up because we're afraid of not being seen as being affirming or being supportive of these young people or doing something to hurt the trans community. But even some of the providers are trans themselves and share these concerns.
What 60 Minutes had to say…
Correspondent Lesley Stahl takes viewers inside her report on the health care challenges facing the transgender community.

The report, titled "Transgender Healthcare," introduced the 60 Minutes audience to a group of people who call themselves "detransitioners," those who took steps to transition but chose to reverse the process. Their stories highlight an issue of increasing concern for some providers in the transgender healthcare field. They said some patients are not being properly evaluated in accordance with professional guidelines before being prescribed hormone treatments or approved for surgery.

Stahl and the producing team of Alexandra Poolos and Collette Richards began reporting on the story in December, methodically contacting doctors, clinicians, activists, transgender people and their families, and people who detransitioned.

"I think we spoke to more people on this story than any other story I can remember reporting on in my whole time at 60 Minutes," Stahl told 60 Minutes Overtime. "We wanted to be thorough. We wanted to be fair. And we wanted to understand every aspect of this story. And it was really focused on health care. That was the primary idea for the story. Health care."

Stahl told 60 Minutes Overtime that she cannot remember another story she has worked on at 60 Minutes where comments and criticisms began surfacing from advocates before the piece aired. 

"We were concerned that the groups that oppose transgender people might try to weaponize our story and use it against transgender people," Stahl said. "Some of the activists who reached out to us told us they were worried about it too. Our story was really about health care. And we wanted to keep it focused on health care and not make it a political story."
During the interview with Dr. Bowers...
Stahl also interviewed Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecologist who has performed more than 2,000 transgender surgeries and who transitioned herself in the 1990s. Bowers said that it is an issue if someone who transitioned comes to regret the decision, but noted that it does not "damn the entire process."

"What it should do is cause pause and reemphasize the fact that our informed consent model has to be very, very good," Bowers said. "And we also have to be certain that people who are providing care do so under the standards of care that have been established."
People have regrets for all types of surgery, PubMed found that... "Interestingly, self-reported patient regret was relatively uncommon with an average prevalence across studies of 14.4%." Regret numbers that I have seen in studies of trans people is less than ten percent.

We don’t have any hard evidence on what happens after surgery or they go on Cross Gender Hormones. It is a black hole. As far as I know there are few longitudinal studies on the effectiveness of the Standard of Care.

There is a lack training given to medical students on the care and treatment of trans patients. I know a number of medical universities in the area have… now get this… one trans panel and that is the extent of training that give medical students about treating trans people.

There are a number of seminars given by healthcare providers and therapists who are experts in the field to pass along their knowledge… but there are also a few quacks that I have seen calling themselves experts.

The World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) has started offering certificates for trans healthcare… But there is worry that insurance companies will start to demand only certified doctors give us healthcare.

I can only go by what I have seen. When I knew that I was going to transition and started going to peer support groups, I took years of listening of other people journeys, their pitfalls, their successes. I lived as Diana for many years except for work, I basically lived full time minus 40 hours. I saw those who rush to transition or had chips on their shoulders, they were the ones who had problems later.

I know of a couple of adults who have detransition and those two did so because of outside pressure, they couldn’t find work or were fired. One retransitioned. One went back to living as a gay man.

So what do you think?

Monday, May 24, 2021

A Nail Biter

The Supreme Court will be hearing a case that will have major impact on not only on our community but also for every person in the United States… it boils down to will everyone in the country have to follow the same set of laws.
Religious liberty vs. LGBTQ rights: Supreme Court will soon rule in case affecting both
USA Today via Yahoo News
By Asma T. Uddin and Andrew R. Lewis
May 20, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule in a case with significant implications for the culture war waged over religious liberty. Fulton v. City of Philadelphia raises the question of where we draw the line between LGBTQ rights and religious dissent.

If the court delivers a victory for the religious party, it will exacerbate the growing perception that the justices are weaponizing religious freedom to protect Christian privilege against vulnerable groups. That Christian groups would benefit is no doubt true. But religious minorities also would benefit. Indeed, the legal theory the court would likely use to deliver that victory has its origins in protecting – not attacking – marginalized religious groups.

At issue in Fulton is Philadelphia’s partnership with private organizations – in this case, Catholic Social Services – to find homes for children in foster care.

Citing its religious beliefs, CSS refused Philadelphia’s demand that it certify and endorse same-sex couples as foster parents. In response, Philadelphia stopped sending foster care placement requests to CSS, prompting Catholic Services to sue.

In its lawsuit, CSS argues that Philadelphia’s actions violate the religious freedom protections under the First Amendment. Specifically, CSS has asked the court to revisit the standard created in the 1990 case Employment Division v. Smith, and either overrule it or strictly limit it.
Okay this simple case will have extremely wide consequence, it will create two separate legal systems in the country and divide the country in half down religious lines. This is the result of a law that I actually like that stems from a case of taking peyote.
In Smith, the court ruled against two members of the Native American Church, Alfred Smith and Galen Black, who ingested peyote during their religious rituals. Peyote was an illegal substance under Oregon law. For this, Smith and Black were fired from their positions as counselors at a drug rehabilitation center and were barred from receiving unemployment benefits because of their workplace “misconduct.”

In an opinion written by the conservative stalwart Justice Antonin Scalia, the court said that the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections did not immunize Smith and Black from the consequences of criminal law. So long as a law applied to everyone (or is, in the court’s words, “neutral" and "generally applicable”), it is permitted.
I believe that Congress did the right thing in passing the law, without it church officials could be arrested for giving alcohol to minors but the right wing evangelical Christians have been pushing the law, they want to expand the law from preventing religious people taking their sacraments and holy rights to their everyday living in public.

The right wing evangelical Christians have pushed the law to include businesses…
In recent years, though, that bipartisan coalition has fallen apart. In 2014, the crafts giant Hobby Lobby brought a challenge under the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which required the conservative Christian owners of the crafts store to pay for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills in violation of the owners’ religious beliefs against facilitating abortion.
And now they are pushing it to include denying adoption services to same-sex couples and unmarried couples who want to adopt.

As justice Scalia said about a law being religiously neutral, it stems back to a 1982 Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Lee.
Not all burdens on religion are unconstitutional. The state may justify a limitation on religious liberty by showing that it is essential to accomplish an overriding governmental interest.
In the case an Amish person, sued for a refund of the social security taxes paid by him saying that paying Social Security violated his religion. The courts ruled that since the Social Security tax law was not directed at any particular religion and there is an overriding governmental interest the tax was Constitutional.

And that leads us back to the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case… if the court finds in favor of the Catholic Social Services agency wanting to be able to refuse adoptions for same-sex and unmarried couples. That will overturn almost most 40 years of a court precedent of laws having an overriding governmental interest and being religiously neutral.

What does that mean to the United States if you can refuse any law based on your “deeply held spiritual beliefs?” Well firsts off… will it has to be in a book of codified religious doctrine, like a Bible, a Torah, or Qur'an or could it be just your own personal beliefs? Second there is no test to prove “deeply held spiritual beliefs.”

Third, will it just apply to same-sex couples or to everyone, if it just applies to same-sex couples wouldn’t that in itself be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment for the equal protection of the laws?

Religious doctrine has been used to justify slavery and segregation, and even stoning. Will a ruling by the allowing the Catholic Social Services agency to discriminate nullify all anti-discrimination laws? Will it a person to discriminate against a Black person or an unmarried couple, or a person of a different faith?

The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was already used for what I believe was not intended by the conservatives. Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson parishioner were leaving water in the desert for undocumented migrants which is against federal, they were arrested, tried and convicted. But the case was overturned (Thank goodness)...
By Harmeet Kaur
February 6, 2020

After four aid volunteers entered an Arizona wildlife refuge in 2017 and left jugs of water and cans of beans for undocumented migrants to find, the volunteers were found guilty of breaking federal law.

Now, a federal judge has overturned their convictions.

On Monday, US District Judge Rosemary Márquez ruled that the volunteers, who were part of the No More Deaths ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, were acting on their sincere religious beliefs when they left food and water for migrants in the desert of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

"Defendants met their burden of establishing that their activities were exercises of their sincere religious beliefs, and the Government failed to demonstrate that application of the regulations against Defendants is the least restrictive means of accomplishing a compelling interest," the ruling reads.

"Accordingly, the Court finds that application of the regulations against Defendants violates RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act), and the Court will reverse Defendants' convictions."
This Supreme Court ruling could open up a whole can of worms with unintended consequences.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Safe Harbor

When I go to Provincetown I see a safe harbor with a breakwater and the curve of the tip of the Cape making the anchorage a safe place for boats, well having a safe place for LGBTQ+ children can do the same thing for them.
Creating Gender-Affirming Spaces Literally Saves LGBTQ Kids’ Lives
A Trevor Project survey found that LGBTQ youth who had at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report suicide attempts in the past year.
Huff Post
By Alanna Vagianos
May 19, 2021

Using a transgender or nonbinary kid’s preferred pronouns can quite literally save their life, according to a new survey published Wednesday by The Trevor Project.

The organization, which offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth, found that trans and nonbinary kids attempt suicide at much lower rates when adults use their preferred pronouns and when they’re able to change their gender marker on identification documents.

Even just one accepting adult in an LGBTQ kid’s life can lower their likelihood of attempting suicide by 40%. Trans and nonbinary youth who reported having their pronouns respected by the people they lived with attempted suicide at half the rate of those whose preferred pronouns were not respected, The Trevor Project found.

Unfortunately, more than 60% of transgender youth under the age of 18 said that none of the people they lived with respected their pronouns.

Over 40% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year. Yet more than half of them said they were unable to get the mental health care they needed.

Unfortunately the Republicans do not want to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, just the opposite they want to cause harm to them.
“We’re seeing policies that are working to consistently take away the ability of trans and nonbinary youth to be affirmed in their identity and to live their lives authentically,” Green told HuffPost. “The legal initiatives are of course harmful in what they’ll prohibit, but also they’re harmful in terms of the rhetoric that trans and nonbinary youth are hearing about themselves on a national level in such a consistent way.”
We can only assume that is their goal to do harm and take away safe spaces to trans and LGBQ+ children. They know that they it is dangerous to us, there have been medical testimony from doctors, healthcare providers, and therapists warning them of the consequences of their actions.
Green said she hopes readers acknowledge the extent of the problem of suicide within the LGBTQ youth community and realize that those risks get even worse for LGBTQ kids of color and trans and nonbinary youth.
The LGBTQ+ family and youth service agency True Colors, a victim of the shutdown due to the plague, hopefully they will get reorganized and reopen.

I know that just about every school in Connecticut has a GSA program, organizations like GLSEN also provide safe harbors for youth.
The State of GSAs – Where You’re Most and Least Likely to Find Them
A student’s opportunity for camaraderie and community in school shouldn’t depend on where they live. Yet, that seems to be the case for many LGBTQ students across the country.

GSAs – also known as Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender-Sexuality Alliances – are student-led clubs whose members explicitly address LGBTQ topics. In doing so, these clubs raise awareness of diverse sexual and gender identities at school, and can have an impact on overall school climate through education and advocacy efforts. They also help LGBTQ students to meet, support, and affirm one another.

Unfortunately, according to the most recent School Health Profiles (SHP) report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many LGBTQ students are left without access to this critical support. In fact, the SHP data, as reported by school principals, indicate that the distribution of GSAs across the country is far from uniform.

GSAs and similar clubs are least common in the South and Midwest. For example, you’ll find them in fewer than 1 in 10 secondary schools (9.3%) in South Dakota, and only 1 in 7 (13.9%) secondary schools in Arkansas. You’re far more likely to find an LGBTQ student club in the Northeast or West. In Massachusetts, these groups are in 6 in 10 secondary schools (60.5%). And, when looking across the U.S. as a whole, CDC data indicate that schools commonly lack a GSA. In fact, besides Massachusetts, there are only 2 other states (Connecticut and New York) in which a majority of secondary schools have any GSA or similar club.

These results corroborate some of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey (NSCS) findings, in which we found similar patterns of GSA availability, as reported by LGBTQ students. For example, we also found GSAs to be less common in the South and the Midwest. Our data also indicated that LGBTQ students in the South and Midwest were less likely to have LGBTQ-supportive staff and administration in school. These lower levels of institutional support could contribute to the scarcity of GSAs in these areas. It may be tough for students to start an LGBTQ student club if a school’s staff and administration have given no indication that they will be receptive to the idea.
We have a new President and a new administration and are polar opposites from the previous administration and they support LGBTQ+ youth and will hopefully help overturn the draconian legislation that the Republicans are passing.

The Republicans have blood on their hands and they revel in our agony.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday 9: The Way You Look Tonight

Sam’s Saturday 9: The Way You Look Tonight (1936)

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

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

1) They lyrics tell us that no matter how low the singer feels, it will raise his spirits to recall the way his lover looks tonight. Share a special moment in your life that brings a smile to your lips, no matter what.
Walking across the stage to get my MSW

2) This song was introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1936 movie, Swing Time. It won the Oscar for Best Song. What's your favorite movie song?
It is so bad… Wand'rin' Star

Update 10:30AM: I just thought of another song that I like from a musical...
"You've Got To Be Carefully Taught"

3) Though today Fred is revered as a Hollywood legend, producers had to be convinced to give him a shot. The initial notes on his screen test were: "Can't act. Slightly bald. Also dances." Tell us about a time when someone underestimated you.
I think that it happens all the time, because I am so quite but I am usually listening to the discussion…
One time when I was still working I got called to company headquarters in Pennsylvania. As usual I couldn’t sleep since I was up 3 AM and had a 9AM meeting. It was a thoroughly boring meeting, I was sitting three with my eye close hoping that the headache would go away, when someone said something that I realized was the problem… so I solved their manufacturing problem for them.

4) Fred's legion of fans includes Jackie Chan. The martial arts star says Astaire's movies influenced the way he choreographed the Kung Fu fight sequences in his films. Mr. Chan is one of the most popular film stars in the world. Have you seen any of his movies?
I think that I did, but I don’t remember which movie.

5) Fred was always fascinated by new things. In the 1970s, when he was in his late 70s, he took up skateboarding and became so good at it he was awarded life membership in the National Skateboard Society. Have you been skateboarding? If not, is it something you're tempted to try?
Nope never have and never will I value my life too much.

6) Fred's friends were amused by his passion for daytime soap operas. In the days before video recording, he would call home from the club house at the golf course and ask his maid what had happened that day on his favorite "story," As the World Turns. Is there a show you try not to miss?
Not any more… I hardly watch any TV at all, when I do it is mostly PBS shows.

7) In 1936, the year this song was popular, the US patent office issued a patent for the Zippo lighter. Beginning in WWII and for decades after, Zippo lighters were issued to our soldiers. During the Vietnam War, troops had their lighters engraved with personal mottos. What's something you have had engraved or personalized? What did it say?
I don’t think that I ever had that done.

8) Also in 1936, a killer tornado struck Tupelo, MS. Have you ever been in a tornado? How about a hurricane or an earthquake?
Tornado, close call once but no cigar,
Earthquake I also wanted to be in one… a small one. Just enough to feel the earth move under my feet.
Hurricanes… dozens and some were pretty bad. I remember the 1955 hurricane that did so much damage to Connecticut. New England gets a different type of hurricane, down south it is the wind damage, New England gets water damage. I remember Rush Limbaugh criticizing us calling us wimps because a topical storm hit us but all that rain got funneled down in the valleys and caused massive damage.

9) Random question -- We're creating an action figure of YOU. What two accessories should we be sure to include in the box?
A hammock and a pitcher of Strawberry Daiquiris.

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, May 21, 2021

Your Papers Please!

As more and more anti-trans legislation is passed we might be hearing “Your papers please” more often as more laws are passed and we try to go to the bathroom.
Anti-LGBT legislation gaining traction in the US, again
The Hill – Opinion
By Manos Antoninis
May 17, 2021

2021 is set to become “the worst year” for state legislative attacks against LGBTQ people in history.

Our new paper, released with IGLYO, an LGBTQI youth organization, cited the 2017 GLSEN School Climate survey showing that two-thirds of students in the United States had not been exposed to representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and their history in school. New bills in the pipeline this year risk blindsiding LGBTQ students even more.
Other legal forms of exclusion from education for LGBTQ students are being actively sought. In North Dakota, the governor signed a House bill into law last month, which will allow student groups that receive state funding through their universities to turn away LGBTQ students “under the guise of free speech.” In Tennessee, House bill 1182, which aims to prevent transgender people from using bathrooms aligning with their identity, has gone up to the governor for approval.
But there is push back to these bills and people are taking notices of the hatefulness of these laws.
These bills will have far-reaching implications for children and young people’s lives. The United States’ leading child health and welfare groups, representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations, have just released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose these bills. It cited the need for all children to be given equal protection.
It is no secret that there are entrenched divides in public opinion in the United States over such issues. Yet, there has to be hope in the results of a recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, which found that two-thirds of Americans are opposed to laws that would limit transgender rights. Perhaps the real hope, which may also be the fear driving the creation of many of these bills, is that hiding something doesn’t make it stop. There are laws, but there are also inclusive schools, inclusive teachers, welcoming students and inclusive communities that can make the difference. We all have a role to play in not looking away and in fighting unjust exclusion. Every student matters — no matter their identity, background or ability.
But trying to get the Republicans to realize that they are on the wrong side is impossible because they only care about energizing their white supremacist base. Let us face it, the Republicans hate our guts just like they hate foreigners, Blacks and Latinx people, 

From WGHB a PBS station
Speaking of Tennessee where they have along history of segregation…
Tennessee to mandate bathroom signs about transgender use
By Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise
May 18, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee will become the first state in the United States to require businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multiperson bathrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms associated with their gender identity.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Monday that represents a first-of-its-kind law, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group that decried the bill as discriminatory and said the required signs are “offensive and humiliating.” The law will go into effect July 1.

Lee, who is up for reelection next year, had previously been mum on whether he would sign the bill. Instead, he told reporters earlier this month that he always had “concerns about business mandates” but was still reviewing the bill.
According to the bill signed Monday, the required sign outside the public bathroom or other facility would say: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”

However, questions remain about how the law will be enforced and what, if any, consequences will stem from ignoring it. The law doesn’t spell out fines, penalties or any other mechanism to ensure the signs are put up when required.
So what does this remind you of?

Is this the start of the Jim Crow laws? Will we see signed that says “Transgendered Only?"

Thursday, May 20, 2021

My Story 166 -- Coming Out

Many of the newly out trans people do not realize that us old folk also came out of the closet, I remember the first time that I stuck my head out the door.

You hear the conservatives saying that children are being coerced on the internet or some other nonsense, well for me it was the internet. Yup, it was all because of the internet that I came out of the closet.

At work they got us all desktop computers that were connected to the internet via T1 lines. So one day my boss comes up to me and says… “Why don’t you use to search for a replacement transformer for one on this, this internet thing?” Okay this sounds like it might be pretty neat to do (This was 1998) and back then the search engines were not that great… they positively were not Google or Bing, they were like Excite, Ask Jeeves, Yahoo, AltaVista, and Dogpile.

So I typed in “transformers,” hit return, and up pops trans sites!

I quick turned off the computer… did I see what I thought that I saw?

At work they gave us money to buy home computers and they gave us the Microsoft Office package, I figured that I could further explore this “transgender” thing at home, so I signed up for the program. Of course it was an IBM PC (I wish that I kept it) and I ordered dial up internet (Remember this was 1998, the best thing that you could get back then was a T1 line and that was big bucks.) and off and running I went.

I found all these successful people who transitioned like Dr. Becky Allison and I made me realize that transitioning was possible.

Then I found support groups… whoa!

From my dairy…
Diary: 9/18/99
I finally got the nerve to send an e-mail off to Connecticut Outreach Society to day and I got this reply.

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1999 22:19:13 EDT
Subject: Re: COS Meeting
X-Mailer: AOL 4.0 for Windows 95 sub 9
In a message dated 9/18/1999 9:34:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> After reading your website I realize that you probably get hundreds of the
> emails, but for me this is the first time that I have ever said anything to
> anybody about my Cross-dressing. I think I would like to go to your next
> meeting on Sept 22, but I would like some more information about COS.
I am glad that you have taken this first step - it is a HUGE one! It's not an easy thing to deal with I know.
And as they say the rest is history.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Unfair Advantage… Not!

There is an awful lot of anti-trans legislation and an awful lot of people talking about it who don’t know the all the facts.
Striking a balance between fairness in competition and the rights of transgender athletes
The Conversation
By Chris W. Surprenant
May 18, 2021

Caught up in this political point-scoring are real people – both trans athletes who want to participate in competitive sports and those competing against them.

As a professor of ethics and public policy, I spend much of my time thinking about the role of the law in protecting the rights of individuals, especially when the rights of some people appear to conflict with the rights of others.

How to accommodate transgender athletes in competitive sports – or whether they should be accommodated at all – has become one of these conflicts.
Yet some legislators have latched onto these examples, using them as a basis for bills that ban all transgender teens from participating in gendered divisions that differ from their birth sex. But these bills don’t solve the competitive imbalances that can occur with athletes like Beggs. Worse, they might prevent transgender teens from competing altogether.
Well… This topic has been researched by the NCAA and the IOC and nowhere in his article does he mention those facts.
Since studies have shown that kids who participate meaningfully in athletics have better mental and physical health than their peers who don’t – and teens who identify as transgender are at a significantly greater mental health risk than their peers – it’s a worthy goal to try to accommodate their desire to compete.
Separating athletes by biological sex is necessary because the gap between the best male and female athletes – at all levels – is dramatic.
Now this is where I start to have major problems with his article.

What he doesn’t talk about is the fact that up until puberty girls and boys are not that different in body strength, it is puberty that defines the difference between girls and boys. So when trans girls go on puberty blockers they do not gain any competitive advantage, and for adult athletes the NCAA and the IOC found that after two years on hormones that the muscle strength deteriorate to that of a female athlete (I know after a year on hormones my muscle strength dropped way down).
I point to these examples because, put together, they show that no fitness regimen, no amount of practice, and no reallocation of financial resources could allow the best female athletes at any level to compete against the best male athletes at that same level.
Notice he doesn’t talk about hormones or puberty blockers.

There are many other factors that give athletes and advantage… such physical attributes as height, body mass are the two that come to mind. There are socioeconomic factors such as being able to afford a person trainer or being able to pay for court time.

He proposes an “Open” division where girls, boys and trans children can compete together, which is still segregation. He ends with…
While whatever decision is made is unlikely to make all competitors happy, this approach seems to be the most fair and feasible given the relatively small number of transgender athletes and the unique circumstances of each athlete.
As far as I am concerned, there is no advantage between cis athletes and trans athletes if the International Standard of Care is followed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A Nice Car She Drives For Work

CNN photo - Motorsports star Charlie Martin
When you are a race car driver you get to drive a lot of nice car and when you’re trans that makes its doubly nice. We are making inroads in male dominated sports and in today’s climate it is especially important.
Wave of anti-trans bills is 'really alarming,' says transgender motorsport star
By Christina Macfarlane and Sana Noor Haq
May 17, 2021

Anorexia. Depression. Loneliness. If motor racing requires a high level of endurance, then Charlie Martin is well versed in navigating life's twists and turns -- on and off the track.

It was in 2012 that Martin transitioned. Two years later, she won her first event in France at Saint-Gouéno at the wheel of a Westfield SEiW, breaking the class record by two seconds. Now, she's intent on becoming the first transgender driver to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hour race.

Alongside her commitment to supporting LGBT communities -- which she signifies with a distinctive blue butterfly logo -- Martin is the only elite transgender driver in motorsport and one of the few athletes defending the right for trans girls to take part in women's sports.
Changing sport through activism
Martin says that sharing her story has allowed her to change the course of her career for the better, a trajectory she hopes to mirror through her work as a Stonewall Sport Champion.

"When you have an opportunity like this, it feels too important, especially at a time like now where there is so much discrimination happening against the trans community," she says. "It's really alarming to see."

She's not wrong. Activists have already called 2021 a record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation in the US, with 31 states introducing bills that ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identities. The bills are also seeking to limit access to gender affirming health care.
The Republicans are using our lives and our deaths as a wedge to divide Americans, so when I see brave trans people like Charlie Martin stand up to hate it is encouraging, she is bring about change both on and off the track.
From a caterpillar to a butterfly
After transitioning, Martin says she was able to unlock her full potential, coming out as transgender within motorsport on International Transgender Day of Visibility to improve trans visibility and acceptance.
It seems that her boundless sense of optimism has led her to where she is today, a motif encompassed by her blue butterfly logo.

"If a caterpillar can turn into a butterfly, then to me, it symbolizes possibility ... incredible things can happen in life if you believe in them."
For many trans the butterfly is an apt symbol of trans people where a caterpillar molts into a shiny chrysalis and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

On her website Go Charlie she writes more about her journey.
Charlie Martin is a game changer in motorsport, her inspiring story has captured the imagination of people around the world, proving that she represents a paradigm shift in motor racing.

She started hillclimbing at club level in a Peugeot 205 (in 2004), without any family history of motorsport. In 2014 she won her first race in France at St-Gouëno at the wheel of a Westfield SEiW, breaking the class record by 2 seconds! Hard work & determination enabled her to progress into single seaters & prototypes which she raced throughout Europe, competing in the Championnat de France de la Montagne & FIA European Hillclimb Championship. Driving at speeds of up to 140mph on closed public roads requires huge amounts of skill and bravery, and Charlie achieved regular success in this challenging discipline learning to speak fluent French after 3 seasons of European competition.
We can do it, it is not easy but we can overcome the animosity against us. Be like Charlie… be strong and don’t let nothing stand in the way of your dreams!

This morning I am getting a bone density scan... if you are on hormones you should also be getting bone density scans every 8 to 10 years. One of the side effects of hormones is the loss of bone mass, so ask you healthcare provider if you should have one. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Breaking The Mold - Trans Actors

Those who follow my blog know that I am against transface and I get push back saying that there are no box office draw trans actresses/actors… Well here is my reply.
Clarice is a deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs. Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice's bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. However, her complex psychological makeup that comes from a challenging childhood empowers her to begin to find her voice while working in a man's world, as well as escape the family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.
So who is playing in the prime time CBS drama?

According to IMDB...
Jen Richards ... Julia Lawson
2 episodes, 2021
- Silence Is Purgatory (2021) ... Julia Lawson
- The Silence Is Over (2021)
Wait! Jen Richards?

Isn’t she trans?

According to WPRI Channel 12...
Jen Richards’ character on Clarice is Julia Lawson who is a numbers genius who has found a quiet life working a lucrative corporate accounting job — until Clarice Starling knocks on her door asking for help with a dangerous case.

So she is playing a trans person… a trans person playing a trans person!

There are trans actresses and actors out there that can play in major television shows and movies! So don't tell me that there are no trans actresses and actors without box office draw.

Here is an interview that Dawn Ennis did for Forbes with Jen Richards.

And Dawn Ennis writes in a Forbes article...
May 13, 2021

Thursday night on CBS, transphobia and the real-world troubles transgender people experience were explored in the serial crime drama, Clarice, spun-off from the Thomas Harris's 1988 psychological horror novel and the 1991 film adaptation upon which it is based, The Silence of the Lambs.
Julia is played by Emmy-nominated actor, writer and producer Jen Richards, who also worked as a consultant on the series. She co-stars with Emily Coutts of Star Trek: Discovery, who plays Julia’s cancer-stricken partner, Erin, and is the first to recognize the famous agent who solved the Buffalo Bill case: “This is her! It’s Clarice Starling.”
Stop right there… did you catch that? “Emmy-nominated actor, writer and producer Jen Richards, who also worked as a consultant on the series.”
“And this affected you personally?” a confused Clarice, played by Rebecca Breeds, asks Julia. The answer comes as a surprise to the ViCAP agent, when Julia explains, haltingly, breathlessly, why she must hide the fact that she is, in the words of the period, transsexual.

“I could lose my job. My life. I have to hide who I am because of stories like Buffalo Bill. And at the center of all of those was you,” Julia tells Clarice. “You made my life harder.”
Now tell me how a cis-gender actresses could know how to play a trans person coming out. We all remember the first time coming out to someone.

There are many talented trans actors who are just waiting for a part like this on their resume.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Not All Religions Are The Same

There are many who are trans and LGB supportive and one of them now has a trans bishop.
Megan Rohrer Elected As 1st Openly Transgender Bishop In U.S. Lutheran Church
By Emma Bowman
May 10, 2021

The Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, becoming the first openly transgender person in the U.S. to do so in a major Christian denomination.

Rohrer will serve as bishop of the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod, which encompasses close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada.

"I am humbled and honored, and aware that this call is bigger than me," Rohrer said in a speech after the ballots were counted on Saturday. "My hope is that your grandkids will call you, and your kids will call you, and your friends will call you, and ask you about your faith. And when they call, tell them how much you love Jesus and why Jesus' faith in you meant why you could have faith in me."
On May 8, the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America made it official, electing Rohrer as the fifth bishop of its nearly 200 congregations in California and Nevada.

That makes Rohrer the first openly transgender bishop in the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States — or any major denomination in the country, for that matter.
The Post article went on to say…
Ellen Armour, chair in religion, gender and sexuality at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, called Rohrer’s election “groundbreaking” after decades of debate over LGBTQ inclusion in mainline Protestant churches. That debate currently is threatening to split the United Methodist Church, which is in full communion with the ELCA.
Many Lutherans used social media to express their excitement at the election of the first transgender bishop. That includes ReconcilingWorks, an organization advocating for the full inclusion of all LGBTQ Lutherans, and Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, whose precursor, the Extraordinary Candidacy Project, had ordained Rohrer extraordinarily in 2006, before the ELCA ordained LGBTQ clergy. (The ELCA officially changed its policy in 2009 and recognized Rohrer’s ordination the next year, making them the first openly transgender pastor in the denomination.)

And Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, who heads the ELCA, said that while she recognized the historic nature of Rohrer’s election, the appointment was not only about their gender, but about all the gifts the bishop-elect brings to the church, including their focus on those who have been marginalized.
It is only the far right conservatives that are causing the troubles for us, most religions are mum on LGBTQ+ and therefore are complicit in the attacks against us.

Only those religions that are willing to speak up on our behalf can be labeled affirming. I like to point out that when we were trying to pass the GI/GE non-discrimination bill many religions were there beside us in our efforts to pass the law.

Seeing is believing but sometimes words are different from actions.

This is from a couple of months ago but since I am writing religion I figured it was a good time to bring this up about two of the trans community's antagonists…
‘It is our Catholic duty to affirm the dignity of transgender people and to defend them from harm,’ the statement reads.
Religious New Service
By Jack Jenkins
March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Two Roman Catholic bishops and other church leaders have teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, to condemn discrimination against transgender people, the groups announced Wednesday (March 31).

In a statement provided to Religion News Service, Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky; and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests as well as the presidents of two Jesuit organizations declared that, “we, Bishops, religious and lay leaders of the Roman Catholic Church join with the Human Rights Campaign in calling for an end to the epidemic of violence against transgender individuals.”

March 31 has been celebrated as Transgender Day of Visibility since 2009.

The statement, which cites the words of St. John Paul II, notes that the Catechism of the Catholic Church insists “every sign of unjust discrimination” against LGBTQ people “should be avoided” and condemns violent acts perpetrated against transgender people in recent years that have been documented by HRC.

“It is our Catholic duty to affirm the dignity of transgender people and to defend them from harm,” the statement reads.
Okay… for many of trans people the HRC is not a friend of the trans community (If you don’t know what I am talking about I suggest you Google “2007 HRC backstabbing transgender) and teaming up with a church notorious for discriminating against us leave a sour taste in our mouths.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Saturday 9: Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Get Around Much Anymore (1942)

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

Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.

1) In this song, our lonely Romeo shares how he amuses himself these days. Which of the activities that he mentions have you most recently enjoyed: playing solitaire, reading a book, or listening to the radio?
Playing solitaire and listening to an audiobook.

2) The lead singer is tenor Bill Kenny. Which range is your voice: soprano, alto, tenor or bass?
I have no idea because I don’t sing and also I have idea what vocal are for bass and tenor.

3) When Bill was on vacation in Atlantic City, he entered a series of talent contests and won 21 of 22. This led to his first professional booking. Tell us about a vacation of yours that took an unexpected turn.
None. My vacations are pretty dull.

4) This song was composed by Duke Ellington. He received many honors, including a coin struck in his honor. In 2009, he graced the District of Columbia's commemorative quarter. Do you save coins in a jar or piggy bank?
I am now, they removed all the coin counting machines from bank and put them in grocery stores where they get a cut of your change. My local bank no longer gives out coin tubes they are forcing you to use the machines in stores.

5) In 1976, Stevie Wonder recorded a tribute to Ellington called "Sir Duke." What's your favorite Stevie Wonder song?
Isn't She Lovely

How about a 12 year old Stevie Wonder…

6) The lyrics were written by Bob Russell. When he began his career, he shared an apartment with future novelist and TV screenwriter Sidney Sheldon. Have you ever tried your hand at writing lyrics, a novel or a screenplay?
Ha, ha. Are you kidding?

7) In 1942, when this record was released, the federal government established a rationing system to conserve crucial supplies for our troops. Sugar was the first food to be rationed, followed by coffee and then meat. If you were around back then, which of those items do you think you'd miss the most?

8) Also in 1942, actor/singer Peter Tork was born. Without looking it up, do you know why Peter Tork was famous?

Most definitely… Hey, hey, we’re the Monkeys.
I believe that he lived in Connecticut and from time to time used to drop in to night clubs on open mic nights to play.

Update 8:50 AM: Here is his obituary in the Hartford Courant.

9) Random question -- Have you ever deliberately lost a game?
No, I am a cutthroat when it comes to board games.

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