Wednesday, June 30, 2021

LGBT Tours… Are They?

How many times have you seen ads for LGBTQ tours and you wonder are they really trans friendly or are they just LGB friendly?

Sadly I think many of them are only lesbian and gay friendly.
Visibility mixes with vulnerability for many transgender travelers
The travel industry has embraced Pride Month, but for some transgender and non binary people leaving home triggers anxiety.
National Geographic
By Kam Burns
June 29, 2021

Karen DeJarnette is familiar with that feeling.As an out trans woman and an SEO manager for a major travel agency, DeJarnette has a lot of experience traveling as a trans person and all the challenges that come with it.

For trans people, and especially trans women,“we feel vulnerable, we feel extremely visible, and traveling to someplace new amplifies that, beyond measure.”
(Does travel mean going into the closet? LGBTQ tourists face tough choices.)
The Washington Post recently reported on the trauma of travel for trans people, noting that“the discrimination trans travelers have experienced at the hands of the TSA…[has]become so widespread that there is a hashtag—#TravelingWhileTrans—that travelers have used to share encounters with TSA.”

But DeJarnette says it’s important to remember that most people won’t notice orc are, because they’re preoccupied with their own lives. But for trans people who have to travel for work or other reasons out of their control, she recommends traveling with someone else and being aware of the cultures and customs, especially in more conservative places.

“The whole goal is to fit in, is to just be one among the crowds,” DeJarnette says. “Because that way, you’re less exposed, less vulnerable.”

Traveling with someone is not possible for many trans people and I also don’t that that solves the problems that we face when traveling, what it may do for us as we sit in jail is have someone on the outside getting legal aid for us.

When traveling for leisure, DeJarnette recommends doing research before going somewhere new, as there are plenty of LGBTQ friendly countries, cities, and neighborhoods. San Francisco even designated south eastern Tenderloin as a transgender cultural district in 2017.
“Stay in a place that welcomes you,” DeJarnettesays. “There are cities and locations and neighborhoods that will be happy to have your business.”
Unfortunately that might not be possible if A. You are on a group tour, and B. You don’t know where the safe places are.

Do you remember the movie Under the Tuscan Sun? Where a lesbian couple breaks up and they were scheduled to go on a LGBT tour of Italy so one of the lesbians invites a straight friend who just had a divorce, along on the tour.

How do you think a trans woman as the only trans woman on the tour would do on a tour of Italy? On a tour to Aruba? Wikipedia says this about Aruba…
Aruba is frequently referred to as one of the Caribbean's most LGBT-friendly islands,[10] with various venues, hotels and restaurants catering to LGBT clientele or otherwise advertising as "LGBT-friendly".
But they say nothing about trans friendly and when you google “transgender friendly” all the results say “gay” and “lesbian” friendly and nothing about trans friendly. One hit on the searc

Dominique Jackson, the trans actress who plays the villainous Elektra on Ryan Murphy’s Pose, has claimed to be attacked in – and then thrown out of – an Aruba resort during a disturbing incident.

The thing is you would never know if someone is lesbian or gay just by looking at them, while many trans people you can tell right way that they are trans and therefore face more discrimination and violence.
West Point Cadet Chapel 
In all fairness I must say that I went with a friend on a “gay” tour but it was 1. with gay men some of them I knew, 2. it was only a day trip, and 3. it was to the Culinary Institute of America and West Point.

My advice to you if you are planning on going on a LGBTQ+ tour to a foreign country is do your homework. Ask questions of the tour operator about if they had any trans tourists on the tours.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

My Story Part 172 - Thoughts Of Passing On My 14th Anniversary!

Well first off I hate that word, I use instead integrated or blended. Passing sound like we are putting something over on people, the same goes for stealth, it has the same connotation.

On this anniversary of my transition I have discovered that being able not to be identified as trans is not what I thought it was back in 2000. Back then it was the magical Brass Ring that everyone hoped for, being able to walk around and no one identifying you as trans.

Since then I have realized that the most important thing was being left alone.

I think except for my family and few friends no one knows me from before I transitioned those are my real friends. Those who accept me for who I am.

For 59 years I lived a lie… I don’t want to live a lie anymore.

That is why I don’t take voice lessons… it is just another lie.

That is why I didn’t have FFS.

I have learned that my true friends don’t care.

There were a lot of myths that I learned after I transitioned.

I have learned that 99.999 percent of the people really don’t care and that 1 in a thousand are assholes and I don’t care about them.

I have learned that businesses only really care about if your credit card goes trough or what is the color your money.

What I have also learned most women do not wear a dress, high heels, and makeup, oh some do but most of them do so because of work.

I have heard my crossdressing friends say… “I feel so womanly when I put on my bra!” let me tell you that after fourteen years that I have leaned that the best feeling is taking off your bra and letting the girls free!


When I am asked when I am on a panel what was the greatest cultural shock I had since I transition and I reply… “My god they talk in the bathroom!”

I also found that the comradeship between women is much deeper then between men, to me it seems like men are always on the defensive to protect their manhood.

I will end this with a story.

It was closing night for the Out Film Festival and the closing party was at the Science Center and as I was leaving I saw that I had to walk by a sports bar’s outside patio and it was all men outside on the patio. I stopped in the doorway of the Science Center as four lesbians walked by, one saw me there starring at the bar. She stopped and came back to me and asked what was wrong. I said that I wasn’t looking forward to walking by them. She took her arm in mine and said come on.

The five of us walked by the bar and sure enough the cat calls started and then some realized that we were lesbians and then the calls began of making them “real women.” The woman who took my arm stopped after we passed by the bar and asked if I was alright now. When I said said yes, she hugged me and walked off. I never knew who my guardian angels were

Monday, June 28, 2021

1984 Double Speak

Legal action against Tennessee hateful laws.
ACLU sues Tennessee over new restroom 'warning sign' law targeting transgender-friendly businesses' policies
Chattanooga Times Free Press
By Andy Sher
June 25, 2021

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the national ACLU sued in federal court Friday to block a first-of-its-kind state law requiring warning signs at businesses that allow transgender people to use the restroom of their choice.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two business owners, one in Chattanooga and one in Nashville, who say they object to being forced by the government to post "stigmatizing signs."

The plaintiffs say the new "bathroom bill" law, signed by Gov. Bill Lee on May 17 and slated to take effect July 1, violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by compelling speech. They ask the court for a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement while the lawsuit proceeds.
"Forcing businesses to display a stigmatizing message for political expedience is unconstitutional," said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director, in a statement. "Furthermore, by targeting the transgender community, these government-mandated signs marginalize and endanger transgender individuals. Tennessee should be embracing and protecting all Tennesseans, not passing unconstitutional discriminatory laws."
I would have expected that the Fourteenth Amendment would play in to the legal case because they single out us and the 14th Amendment is about equal treatment.

Of course the Republicans hates the ACLU…
In a statement to the Times Free Press on Friday, Sen. Paul Rose, R-Covington, the legislation's Senate sponsor, wrote "these days it seems the ACLU is more concerned about advancing the left's woke agenda than defending anyone's civil liberties. This law protects the rights of all people using restrooms in Tennessee.

"There was nothing discriminatory about this bill, either in intent or in execution. Period," Rose added.
Typical Republican double speak, “defending anyone's civil liberties” so they think that forcing us into segregated bathrooms is okay. These people are living in George Orwell 1984!

Sunday, June 27, 2021


I was grocery shopping the other day and over the loudspeaker came… Welcome to (The store’s name.) Pride savings and they listed items that were on sale for Pride month. Later over the loudspeaker they announced pizza and ice cream for the employees for Pride month.

Have you noticed more places are celebrating Pride month which is nice but…

More and more businesses are getting a 100% from the Human Rights Campaign but…
Pride merch won’t save trans youth
If corporations want to support LGBTQ people, they should fight against the wave of anti-trans bills, advocates say.
By Katelyn Burns
June 25, 2021
Amen I say! Amen.
Just before the start of Pride Month, Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, began selling a wide variety of rainbow-themed merchandise. A perusal of the company’s website reveals hundreds of such items for sale, like a Queer Eye-branded clothing line and tie-ins from rainbow-themed brands like Skittles and the Kellogg Company. You can even buy a shirt that reads: “I can’t even think straight.”

Walmart earned a perfect 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index, which scores companies based on their support of LGBTQ employees through HR policies, practices, and benefits, as well as their public advocacy. Earlier this year, when Arkansas — Walmart’s home state and the location of its global headquarters — banned both gender-affirming medical care for young people and the participation of trans girls and women in school sports, the CEO of the retail giant issued a statement calling the legislation “troubling.”
How can they have a 100% if their headquarters is a state that doesn’t protect LGBTQ+ people? How can they be a 100% when they have factories where a trans youth cannot get proper medical care?
Two years ago, when Bostock v. Clayton County was being heard by the Supreme Court, more than 200 companies — from Disney to Ernst & Young — cosigned an amicus brief calling for employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity to be made illegal. The Texas Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in keeping the conservative-controlled state legislature from instituting a bathroom bill. And in 2016, large corporations such as PayPal, alongside the NCAA and the NBA, were credited with the eventual rollback of North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ bill, HB 2, after widespread backlash to the law cost the state around $3.7 billion over 12 years, per Associated Press estimates.
But many other companies donate to politicians who are anti-LGBTQ. Do you remember that companies stopped campaign donates to 22 politicians who voted against against certifying the election on January 6 well most of the companies went back to donating to their campaign once the dust settled.

But now businesses see that there is money to be made from us. Have you noticed that big LGBTQ+ centers have huge Pride events? How do they pay for them? Well with corporate sponsors, from the very same companies that back anti-LGBTQ+ legislators. Companies that are moving to states that are anti-LGBTQ+.
Over the past 20 years, Pride merchandise has become a big business, presenting a multimillion-dollar opportunity for corporations. The long list of absurd Pride-themed products, from a drag queen Chipotle menu to the gaudy monstrosity that is the Target short suit, stretches the imagination.

It’s also become a rite of passage every June for corporations in the US and Western Europe to change their social media logos and other branding to a rainbow theme. Corporations have become staples at local Pride parades, with even the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin running a parade float.
There is a bill trying to pass Congress called the Equality Act, look around and see how many companies are supporting the Act? Those are the worthy companies to sponsor Pride events. What companies opposed the North Carolina’s anti-trans law? Those are the companies worthy to sponsor Pride events.
He pointed to a letter signed earlier this year by 137 companies, including Amazon and numerous airlines, generally opposing anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans legislation, but the corporate world largely has not gone beyond that. In 2016, for example, boycotts were instrumental in overturning North Carolina’s HB 2, and such forceful action could be effective once again. “We wanted direct engagement from companies in individual states,” he said. “It was crickets.”
I do not want to hear crickets from LGBTQ+ centers as they look corporate sponsors, I want them to look companies that support LGBTQ+ legislation, companies that do not donate to anti-LGBTQ legislators.

Companies that don’t speak out against the anti-trans legislation should lose their 100% ratings from the HRC.

There is a place for the big flashy Pride events but the organizers have to be cognizant of their corporate sponsors and not accept money being thrown at them by companies playing both sides of the street.

Yesterday, I went to a Pride picnic that was organized by the mothers of LGBTQ+ children. They didn’t have flashy sponsors, they didn’t have a pub crawl, they didn't have Drag shows by television celebrities, they didn’t have fancy floats, all they had were kids playing touch football. Flying kites. Playing games while the parents sat around and talked.

More and more parents, churches, and towns around the state are not have big Pride days but rather parents sponsored events and that is how it should be. Pride sponsored by love.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Saturday 9: One Bad Apple

Sam’s Saturday 9: One Bad Apple (1971)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I am actually home this weekend! But today at least for a little while I will be to a Pride picnic.

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

1) This song is a play on the old saying that one bad apple can spoil the bunch, or that the bad behavior of one member can reflect badly on the whole group. Do you think that's true?
Yes, I think that it spoils all that it touches.

2) The Osmonds began as The Osmond Brothers, a barbershop quartet that performed at the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Today there are 9 Disney Resorts all around the world, as far away as Shanghai. Have you ever been to a Walt Disney property?
Nope and I never intend to.
There are a couple of theme parks in the area that I went to when I was small, I loved them but as an adult I have no desire to any of them.

Here is a factoid about an amusement park the next town over…
Lake Compounce is the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in North America, having its genesis more than 170 years ago in 1846!
3) By the time the Osmonds made this record, Donny had joined the group and became their breakout star. Without looking it up, can you name any of the other four brothers who performed in video clip?
Nope. I was never a fan of the Osmonds.

4) In the 1970s, adolescent girls learned through teen magazines that Donny's favorite color is purple, and that he was especially fond of purple socks. Today, socks are a very big business. There are designer sock manufacturers and even a sock of the month club. Is there a wardrobe item you're very particular about?
Well not really, it is probably my newest blouse.

5) Donny and younger sister Marie had their own TV variety show. One regular segment had them performing a medley of popular songs, and it began with Marie singing, "I'm a little bit country," followed by Donny's musical reply, "I'm a little bit rock and roll." In this regard, are you more like sister or brother?
Rock and Roll forever!

6) Donny's popularity continues today. Fans have seen him win Dancing with the Stars (season 9) and come in as a runner up on the first season of The Masked Singer. Do you watch either of these shows -- or other competition series, like American Idol, The Voice, America's Got Talent, etc.?
I have never watched any of them.

7) Donny has also appeared on Broadway. He surprised audiences and got rave reviews as arrogant bad guy Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Tell us about a time when your behavior surprised those who know you well.
Okay, okay no matter what you did I got you beat, hands down, you can’t top this… coming out as trans.

8) Donny is also a grandfather, many times over! Sam admits she's not crazy about that revelation because it makes her feel old. What's something that makes you feel your years?
Getting up in the morning.
Followed by bending over.
Followed by going up the stairs.
Which is followed by picking up something off the floor.
And that is followed by walking.

9) Random question: We're filling a pinata with your favorite candies. What should we buy?
You can fill it with; LINDOR chocolate truffles, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Balls, and Andes Creme De Menthe Thin Mints

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, June 25, 2021

Lies, Lies, And More Lies

The conservatives really don’t care who they hurt, they just want to push their ideology.
Puberty blockers have ‘life-changing consequences’ for trans children, hears Court of Appeal
The Telegraph via Yahoo News
By Gabriella Swerling
June 23, 2021

Puberty blockers have “unknown” and “life-changing consequences” for trans children, and could impact their fertility, the Court of Appeal has heard.
Stop right there! The first misstatement.

Puberty blockers are technically called “gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH agonist)” and they have been around for a very, very long time. They were first discovered in 1971 and have been approved for use to stop puberty in 1985. According to the US National Institute of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH/NCBI)…
The commercial names and year of approval in the United States of the currently available forms of GnRH agonists and antagonists are: leuprolide, also called leuprorelin (Lupron: 1985), goserelin (Zoladex: 1989), histrelin (Supprelin, Vantas: 1991 and 2004), triptorelin (Trelstar: 2000), and degarelix (Firmagon: 2008).
The second misstatement, “Puberty blockers have “unknown” and “life-changing consequences”” from the St. Louis Children’s Hospital,
Are Puberty Blockers Safe?
Most experts, including our team, believe that puberty blockers are safe:

The Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health support the use of puberty blockers for kids who want to delay or prevent unwanted physical changes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved puberty blockers for children who start puberty at a young age.
Like all drugs there could be some side effects.
Possible long-term side effects of puberty blockers
  • Lower bone density. To protect against this, we work to make sure every patient gets enough exercise, calcium and vitamin D, which can help keep bones healthy and strong. We also closely monitor patients’ bone density.
  • Delayed growth plate closure, leading to slightly taller adult height.
  • Less development of genital tissue, which may limit options for gender affirming surgery (bottom surgery) later in life.
  • Other possible long-term side effects that are not yet known.
Possible short-term side effects of puberty blockers
  • Headache, fatigue, insomnia and muscle aches.
  • Changes in weight, mood or breast tissue.
  • Spotting or irregular periods (in menstruating patients whose periods are not completely suppressed by puberty blockers).
For children who want to delay or prevent unwanted physical changes, the mental health benefits of puberty blockers may outweigh these risks.
The article goes on to say,
However, the Court of Appeal also heard that puberty blockers are “experimental” drugs that have “unknown consequences”, both physically and psychologically.
Which is the third misstatement. The NIH/NCBI website says,
The gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists are short peptide analogues of GnRH that cause a profound inhibition of estrogen and androgen synthesis and are used predominantly as androgen deprivation therapy of advanced prostate cancer. Some of these agents are also used to treat benign conditions responsive to hormonal inhibition such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, precocious puberty and infertility…
That doesn’t sound experimental to me and the FDA says that it can be used for… “Some GnRH agonists are also used in children to treat central precocious puberty.”

The conservatives and the religious right don’t care if they hurt anyone all they want to do is push their agenda of hate for all things LGBTQ+ and now they are attacking those who cannot defend for them selves. They will lie, cheat, and do whatever they can to force us back in the closet.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

My Story Part 171 - Me Too

Okay, this one is hard to tell, it happened back in the early 2000s before I transitioned and it happened up at the New Hampshire lake cottage.

My parents bought the cottage when my father retire back in the early eighties, I think that it was 1981 but I am not certain. Most of the time my parents were up there when I went up but sometimes I had “Diana” time. Or I had trans friends up there and I could Diana for the whole weekend. I still wasn’t “Out” to anyone except my trans friends.

We had a flotilla of boats… a canoe, kayaks, a Phantom sailboat, a Meyers’ rowboat, and a 16 foot 75 horse Bass Pro by Mirrorcraft. Plus an assortment tubes, rafts, noodles, etc.

I used to bring up my technicians from work for the weekend and we used to go fishing. We would get up bright and early around nine and go fishing until the case of beer ran out. Then they used to go for a beer run and come back two cases of beer, drinking one before bed and saving one for the morning.

But other times I used to have my trans friends up for the weekend, the cottage had 5 bedrooms, a kitchen, dinning room, living room, and a den and it overlooked the lake. We had a good number of parties there.
However, it is not the parties that I want to talk about, when I went up there alone I was always Diana.

One night I was laying on the couch in the living room reading and I heard giggling. That sounded just outside the window, so instead of looking out the window I got up and walked to the bathroom and without the light on I saw three men running away!

I was petrified… peeping Toms!

I felt violated.

I cried.

I packed and headed home.

I didn’t go back up for a very long time.

I loved the cottage but that night it became a place of evil.

Once I transitioned I did go back up but that night was always on my mind.

I had recognized them, they were teenagers from around the lake, a teenager from 3 cottages down the street, one teenager from the other end of the lake who was from Connecticut, and the kid across the street (who was latter arrested for murder.).

But the story isn’t over yet.

A few years later at a family holiday get together my cousin who it turns out knew the kid from Connecticut mention that someone up at the lake crossdressed! Bang, my anxiety level just shot through the roof... Did she know it was me?

After I had transitioned, we were putting curtain drains around the cottage and my brother told me that he hired the kid from across the street to do the excavation for the drains he was coming over that morning to do begin doing the work. I freaked out! I literally ran to the car and drove home immediately leaving my clothes and everything behind.

I later told him what happened those many years ago.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

We Got The People Behind Us

A new poll just released shows that the people believe that we are being discriminated against…
CBS News poll: Despite progress, most Americans say LGBTQ discrimination still exists
By Jennifer De Pinto
June 22, 2021

A big majority of Americans — nearly 8 in 10 — say the last 50 years have brought progress in ending discrimination against LGBTQ people. However, most also feel some discrimination still exists in society today.

Majorities think at least some discrimination exists today against people who are gay and lesbian and those who are transgender, and comparatively, more see "a lot" of discrimination against transgender people specifically.
Yeah, any trans person who is looking for a job or can’t attract the attention of the waitstaff knows that.
Democrats and liberals stand apart from the public overall on this. Majorities of these groups say transgender student athletes should be allowed to play on a team that matches the gender they consider themselves to be. Most other political and demographic groups feel these athletes should only play on the team that matches their sex at birth.

Another factor that shapes views on this: personally knowing someone who is transgender.

More than half of those who know a transgender person say transgender student athletes should be allowed to play on team sports that match the gender they consider themselves to be.

Which shows the importance of the Transgender Day of Visibility. And as Harvey Milk said back in 1978...
“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! Come out to your relatives... come out to your friends... if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors... to your fellow workers... to the people who work where you eat and shop... come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene.”
And it is true for us.

Where we need to do education is about trans student athletes we need to teach them the truth about students athletes.
Transgender student athletes
Several states have recently proposed legislation concerning transgender student athletes. Our poll finds most Americans overall think transgender student athletes should only be allowed to play on teams that match the sex they were born as, while four in 10 say they should be allowed to play on a team that matches the gender they consider themselves to be. These views extend across most demographic groups.

Democrats and liberals stand apart from the public overall on this. Majorities of these groups say transgender student athletes should be allowed to play on a team that matches the gender they consider themselves to be. Most other political and demographic groups feel these athletes should only play on the team that matches their sex at birth.
The lies that the conservatives are having an impact against us!

We need to counter those lies and educate the public with facts.

Yes, the Biden administration are working to undo the policy changes for Title IX that the Trump administration passed but we also must educate the public.


Amid all the anti-trans athlete bills there was a glimmer of hope that just came out of the south…
Louisiana governor vetoes anti-trans athlete bill: 'Discrimination is not a Louisiana value'
Business Insider
By Natalie Musumeci and Charles Davis
June 22, 2021

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have banned transgender youth from participating on girls' or women's school sports teams.

"As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana," Edwards said in a statement.
"Further, it would make life more difficult for transgender children, who are some of the most vulnerable Louisianans when it comes to issues of mental health," said Edwards.
Does anyone want to guest which party controls the legislature and which party the governor is from?

The Republicans cannot even find one trans athlete in the state and of course they give the bill a cute name, “Fairness in Women's Sports Act.”
"These are organized anti-transgender forces, people who are ideologically anti-transgender, who are trying to push this everywhere that they can," Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, told Insider.
There are Christian evangelical organizations that are pushing these bills around the country that is why you are seeing a rash of these bills, they have a set of canned bills that legislators can use.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Picture This…

You are driving through a strange town in a different state where you have never been before when a truck runs a red light and slams into you. You are in great pain, fading in and out of consciousness, you don’t remember much… just vague voices and faces. Something with sirens, you must be in an ambulance. Doors… people leaning over you poking and prodding you asking if it hurts.

Then you hear… “We don’t treat those people here, we are a religious hospital!”

Then sirens again, and that’s the last thing you hear.

Don’t think that could happen?

Well guess again.
Pediatrician refuses to treat baby with lesbian parents and there’s nothing illegal about it
The Washington Post
By Abby Phillip
February 19, 2015

A Michigan pediatrician declined to treat the infant daughter of a lesbian couple in yet another example of the growing tensions between advocates for LGBT rights and those who want greater religious expression protections.
In a handwritten letter to the couple months later, their would-be doctor Vesna Roi explained what happened.
“After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that i would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients,” Roi wrote in her letter on Feb. 9. “I felt that it was an exciting time for the two of you and I felt that if I came in and shared my decision it would take away much of the excitement. That was my mistake. I should not have made that assumption and I apologize for that.”
With more “religious freedom” laws being passed we are going to see this more often.
Ohio may let doctors refuse to give medical service if it violates their religious beliefs
The Columbus Dispatch
By Titus Wu and Jessie Balmert
June 14, 2021

Ohio physicians, hospitals and health insurance companies could refuse to provide or pay for a medical service if it violates their moral beliefs, under language inserted into the state budget bill this week.

The new language would also give medical practitioners immunity from lawsuits for refusing such and allow them to sue others.

Abortion rights and LGBTQ advocates sounded the alarm this week, fearing more restricted access to reproductive health care and more discrimination. Those on the other side hailed the measure as essential for protecting religious freedoms.

The former lambasted lawmakers for inserting the clause last-minute into the state's humongous two-year budget bill, where it received no public hearings and could get lost in the public's eye amid a litany of other things.

But Ohio isn’t the only state…
By the End of Summer, Arkansas Doctors Can Refuse to Treat LGBTQ Patients
The governor signed a bill granting doctors and medical professionals the right to refuse medically necessary treatment to patients based on moral, ethical or religious grounds
Rolling Stone
By Peter Wad
March 26, 2021

If you are gay or trans in Arkansas, getting medical treatment may become much more difficult. Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Friday a bill giving medical providers discretion to refuse treatment to LGBTQ patients and others based on religious, moral, or ethical objections.

The law, also known as the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act, states that even when a procedure is medically necessary, a provider can still refuse treatment, except in emergency situations. It is scheduled to go into effect late this summer, even as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on.
What it is doing to us is horrendous, children are living in fear.
'Keeps me up at night': Doctors who care for transgender minors brace for bans
“I worry about what might happen to my patients if these bills are passed and worry about going to jail myself.”
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
May 27, 2021

Dr. Stephanie Ho, a family medicine physician in Fayetteville, Arkansas, said she’s had state legislators in her exam room before.

Ho, who has provided gender-affirming care to transgender people in the state since 2015, is also an abortion provider, so she is familiar with lawmakers' restricting the care she provides. She said she wasn’t surprised when the Legislature overrode Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill last month that would ban puberty blockers, hormones and surgery for transgender minors.

“I think that it's kind of ridiculous that we've gotten to the point that we're letting politicians dictate how health care is delivered and what kind of care can be given to whom,” said Ho, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

Those who have money can get health care in another state, but those who can’t suffer and for the trans children who are already in treatment…
Lowell [Lowell is licensed and practices in 10 states via telemedicine.] said forcing people who were assigned female at birth to stop testosterone would cause them to suffer symptoms of low testosterone, which include inability to concentrate and low energy. “They would start doing badly in school most likely, until their bodies started producing estrogen a few months later, and then they would restart their periods, restart breast growth, and it would undo all of the changes that we tried to achieve with testosterone.”

If people assigned male at birth were forced to stop taking estrogen, it “would be like going through instantaneous menopause,” Lowell said. For about a year, they could have symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, irritability and mood swings, among other issues, such as negative impacts on emotional well-being.
We must never forget Tyra Hunter...
On August 7, 1995, Tyra Hunter, a transgender woman, died after a car accident in Washington, D.C. Hunter’s medical report predicted that she would have had an 86 percent chance of surviving the crash with proper care. Instead, the EMT shouted racist and transphobic epithets and refused to treat her. She died later that day, after being denied adequate care—first by the EMTs and then by the hospital.
You know what? The Republicans don’t care if we live or die. We mean nothing to them except for getting votes and campaign donations. That is all we are to them a political wedge to be pounded until we split.

Monday, June 21, 2021


I know that many trans people don’t like that word, my lowest read pages are about politics and my highest read pages are about going out as trans people are turned off by politics.

In this month of June we remember the Stonewall Uprising, we have Pride events all around the state and the country. Here in Connecticut we have major Pride events in the cities with week long events, they have become flashy events sponsored by corporations. But I am more hopeful of the small town events like those that are being held in towns like Bethel, Litchfield, Simsbury, West Hartford, and many other towns around the state.

We all know about Stonewall but there were also the 1959 Cooper’s Donuts Uprising, the 1965 Dewey’s Lunch Counter Protest, and the 1966 Compton Cafeteria Uprising, they all had one thing in common, they all were protesting laws that banned trans people. That’s right, there were laws tat actually criminalized being trans. You could be arrested for going out the door!
Danica Roem's message to LGBTQ youth: 'You have to care' about politics
By Dana Bash
June 20, 2021

Danica Roem, on her knees with her face in her hands, crying. It was 2017 and she had just become the first state lawmaker who identifies as transgender elected in Virginia.

She will always be the first, but four years later, she is no longer the only person in the US who identifies as transgender to be elected and serve in a state legislative body. It's not a well populated trail, but one she is proud to have blazed.

"They were willing to look at me and they go, 'Yeah, we know she's trans and she'll do a great job,'" Roem said of her constituents in an interview with CNN earlier this month.

"I never say 'trans but,' always 'trans and.' Because it's like, no, I don't hide who I am. People know exactly who I am here."

And during this Pride Month, Roem has a message to the younger people in the LGBTQ community who say they don't like politics: "When you are an LGBTQ person, you have to care."

In Tennessee we now have to use special bathrooms set aside for us just like they did for blacks, in a growing number of states they are banning healthcare for us.

I have heard many trans people say that is only happening in Red Republican states.

Well my dears, two years ago a bill was introduced here in the Blue state of Connecticut that would have stripped insurance coverage for us! This year the same senator introduced bill to ban us from sports teams (He also introduced an amendment to ban teaching racial injustice.).
"When you are an LGBTQ person in the United States, regardless of whether you care about politics, politics cares about you," Roem said.

Her plea is personal, and she hopes her activism will inspire the next generation into action as well.

"If you're not involved, if you are not your best advocate, you're asking someone else to fill that void. Some of the people who will try to step up to fill that void are going to be political charlatans who have no interest in preserving your best interest," Roem said.
I hear trans people say that they are not interested in politics, I just want to live my life.

Well my dear, it was politics has allowed you to do that!
  • Politics allowed you to go out and not be stopped to see if you had on at least three items of your birth gender of clothing on.
  • Politics allowed to be able to go out to a restaurant or a movie theater without being thrown out.
  • Politics allowed you to have health insurance coverage.
  • Politics allowed us to change our birth certificate.
  • Politics banned hate crimes
  • Politics banned “trans panic” defense.
  • Politics banned hate crimes against us.
  • Politics banned the practice of beating the trans out of you.
Protesting and rallies only go so far, you need to become active in politics!

Protests and rallies are good. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said that we needed both the inside and outside game. We needed the protests to make the public aware of the issues and to put pressure on the lawmakers but we also needed people on the inside to bring up the issues at the table.

We need trans people on the town committees. We need trans people in legislature and boards of selectmen. We need trans people to make our voices heard. We need to have trans people to testify before legislative committees. We need to be seen. We cannot count on cis gender legislator to do the right thing.

We need to be cognizant of the world around us. We are am oppressed minority and all that it imposes upon us. Do you want to be forced back in the closet? It is happening! If you don’t believe me try going the bathroom in Tennessee.

Politics allowed you to be the person you are today.
Her plea is personal, and she hopes her activism will inspire the next generation into action as well.

"If you're not involved, if you are not your best advocate, you're asking someone else to fill that void. Some of the people who will try to step up to fill that void are going to be political charlatans who have no interest in preserving your best interest," Roem said.

"You can't count on other people to be your best advocate. You have to step up."

Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Sinners And The Saints

I bet you don’t know who the sinners are?

There are affirming churches and the others. The affirming churches embrace diversity, they realize that we are all “Gods Children.” While the other churches embrace hate and have become the "sinners."
The first transgender person elected bishop in a major Christian church wants to inspire hope and expand people's minds about trans people
By Kelsey Vlamis
June 14, 2021

Last month, Rev. Megan Rohrer became the first openly transgender person to be elected bishop in a major Christian denomination in the US.

Rohrer, a pastor at San Francisco's Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, was elected bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. With about 3.3 million members, it's one of the largest Christian denominations in the US. When Rohrer assumes the role of bishop in September, they will oversee about 200 congregations in California and Nevada.

Rohrer isn't a stranger to breaking boundaries. They were also the first openly transgender person to be ordained in the Lutheran church. Still, they told Insider they were a bit shocked when they were elected bishop.
The divide between the affirming churches and non-affirming churches grows...
Though polls show Christians generally are less accepting of transgender people, views vary by denomination. A 2017 Pew survey found 84% of white evangelicals believed gender is determined by sex at birth, while only 55% of white mainline Protestants believed that.
In a Public Religion Research Institute poll they found that,
More than six in ten (62%) Americans say they have become more supportive toward transgender rights compared to their views five years ago. By contrast, about one-quarter (25%) say their views are more opposed compared to five years ago.

About three-quarters (76%) of Democrats report they have become more supportive of transgender rights in the last five years, compared to 64% of independents and only 47% of Republicans. Notably, increased support crosses ideological divides within the parties. Conservative Republicans (40%) stand out as the only ideological group with less than half reporting increased support for transgender rights.
Meanwhile AP News in an article on the Southern Baptist Convention they reported that,
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — As Southern Baptists prepare for their biggest annual meeting in more than a quarter-century, accusations that leaders have shielded churches from claims of sexual abuse and simmering tensions around race threaten to once again mire the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in a conflict that can look more political than theological.
Another burning issue is how, or even whether, to address systemic racism. Stone is among those calling for a repudiation of critical race theory while some Black pastors are exiting the SBC in frustration over what they see as racial insensitivity from overwhelmingly white leadership.
The role of women in ministry could also pop up after bestselling Christian author Beth Moore, not related to Russell Moore, left the denomination earlier this year. Women are not allowed to serve as pastors in SBC churches, but some members go further, believing that women should never preach to men or even teach them in Sunday school. Beth Moore accused them of using those beliefs as a litmus test for theological purity. Meanwhile, the SBC’s second largest church, Saddleback, recently ordained three female ministers.
A Baltimore Sun commentary said…
So, it seems the church is shrinking.

The mosque and synagogue, too, for that matter. Not that this is breaking news. It has long been known that the numbers of Americans who belong to religious organizations are dwindling. But last month, that decline hit a milestone. For the first time since Gallup began tracking religious membership back in 1937, it has dropped below half. Back then, 73% of us belonged to some house of worship. Today, just 48% do.

Experts cite multiple reasons for the slippage, including the Catholic Church’s many sex scandals, growing distrust of institutions in general and a modern disinclination to be pigeonholed into any single theological tradition. While there is surely merit to all those observations, it seems likely that where Christianity — more specifically, the white, evangelical church — is concerned, there is also another explanation for the disappearance of the missing congregants:

They were driven away.
Faith can shape politics, yes. But when politics start shaping faith, maybe you’ve lost your way. When you find yourself preaching exclusion and rejection in the name of Him who said, “Come unto me,” maybe it’s time to recalibrate. Or even repent. Maybe that’s what the people who used to fill those pews are waiting for. Because, yes, the church is shrinking.
In the Twentieth century the churches were protesting for human rights, white priests marching along side black ministers for civil rights.

In the Twenty-first century they are marching with white supremacists.

What I Have Been Saying

If you have been following my blog you know that I have been saying that the Supreme Court rulings on “religious freedom” is opening a huge can-of-worms.

An opinion article in the LA Time now is saying the same thing…
Op-Ed: Religious freedom in America is protected for some more than others
By Rachel S. Mikva, Cory, D. B. Walker and Reza Aslan
June 19, 2021

Claims of “religious liberty” are being used to justify discrimination — and that is not good for religious freedom or American democracy.

The Supreme Court sidestepped the issue this week with its narrowly tailored 9-0 decision in Fulton vs. Philadelphia. Still, the justices held that Philadelphia’s enforcement of anti-discrimination policies — telling Catholic Social Services that the agency needed to be willing to certify same-sex couples as foster parents in order to renew their contract for foster care — violated the 1st Amendment.
This isn’t the first time that “religious freedom” was used to discriminate, but then it was to get around the desegregation laws and the courts would have none of it, but now the Supreme Court has been packed with religious zealots thanks to McConnell and Trump.
It is reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s, when religious liberty claims were used to defend schools that had been established primarily to circumvent federal laws against racial segregation. These claims were denied, but if religion is a good enough reason to discriminate based on sexual orientation, then why not race? How about religious difference? In 2019, Miracle Hill Ministries in South Carolina got a waiver to participate in federally funded foster care even though it turns away Jews, Muslims and others — working only with Christians.
Hopefully the Biden administration will reverse that exemption.
As scholars dedicated to studying the role of religion in politics and public life, we are profoundly troubled that religious freedom is increasingly invoked and interpreted as a kind of diplomatic immunity from the rule of law.
Will people be able to discriminate against blacks? After all the Bible does say about separation of the races and was used to justify segregation in the South. What about interracial marriages, could a landlord refuse to rent to an interracial couple or an unmarried mother?

Or will it only be aimed at us, the LGBTQ+ community and abortion, wouldn't that be against equal protection clause of the 14 th Amendment?

Also the courts have shown preference to Christian religions.
The problem is deepened because religious freedom is protected for some more than others. Religious liberty was not honored when the Indigenous community tried to protect their sacred lands at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Bears Ears

Bears Ears or Standing Rock. It was not protected when the third iteration of the “Muslim ban” passed constitutional muster. It is not protected when religious pacifists seek to withhold the portion of their taxes that funds the military.

Why are questions of sexuality and procreation the dominant issues that get affirmed as matters of religious liberty? Our traditions have much more to say about affirming the value and dignity of all life, caring for the environment, pursuing peace, fostering an inclusive society, welcoming the stranger and eliminating poverty. Where are these issues on the religious liberty agenda?
We are seeing a push by the Republican party to turn the country into autocratic theocracy based on evangelical Christians.

We are one nation under a common law but that is now being torn apart, it is good that the case centered around a technical problem, but like the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling was a technicality but the right looks at as a victory and they are doing the same with this ruling.
But equality under the law is also a constitutionally protected right. In the last dissent she wrote before her death, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that the court was breaking from its long-standing principles in allowing “the religious beliefs of some to overwhelm the rights and interests of others who do not share those beliefs,” even when they are causing harm.
Are we still one nation under a common law?

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Saturday 9: Papa, Can You Hear Me?

Sam’s Saturday 9: Papa, Can You Hear Me? (1984)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I am up at the cottage this week with company from Long Island.

This song was chosen in honor of Father's Day. Hear it here.

1) The song begins with a prayer to "God, our Heavenly Father." Do you often pray?

2) This song is from the movie Yentl. Set in the early 1900s, it tells the story of a Polish girl determined to receive a religious education, even though the custom of the day banned girls from studying the Talmud. What subject do you wish you knew more about?
Oh… I am a Renaissance woman. Anything that attracts my attention I read, geology, space, quantum physics, mathematics, science, history… Maybe something in the humanities.

3) It took Streisand more than 15 years to get Yentl made. Studios initially rejected the project, telling her that audiences no longer want to see musicals. Then, because it centered on Judaism, she was told it was "too ethnic." But Yentl was a success at the box office, becoming one of the most profitable movies of the year -- and since Barbra was producer, director and star, she enjoyed those profits. Tell us about a time you're glad you stuck with something.

4) The movie, and this song, were so popular that they earned a parody on The Simpsons. (See it here.) That video has had more than 250,000 views. Before the Yentl parody, what's the last YouTube video you watched?
It was Crusader Rabbit Crusade 1 Episode 01
Long story short; on Facebook we were discussing early television stations and their programing.

5) Barbra Streisand's father died suddenly, the result of complications after an epileptic seizure, just after her first birthday. He held degrees in both English Literature and Education and was a school superintendent. Do you know anyone who made a career in education?
Yes, many teachers and administrators. My father was a teacher, a high school principal, and in charge of all the two year state technical colleges.

6) Sam's own father wasn't an educator, but he is crazy about the local library. He's there so much the librarians greet him by name. Do you have a library card?
Yes and I use it regularly, mainly for ebooks and audiobooks.

7) For family barbecues, Sam's dad proudly dons his "Kiss the Chef" apron and mans the Weber. What's the last thing you cooked on the grill?
Chicken with potatoes

8) He takes his grilling very seriously and jealously guards his marinade recipe. Do you have a recipe you're willing to share this morning?
All my recipes are here!
I made a simple website where I put the recipes that I like.

9) Sam's father hates it when his daughter swears. What's the latest curse word you used? (It's OK, we don't blush easily.)
I swear rarely, it takes an awful lot to get me to swear. Usually it is something like a result of a hammer hitting my thumb.

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, June 18, 2021

The Supreme Court

You know that I have something to say about yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on in the case of Fulton v. Philadelphia which will have far reaching impact on us and every minority in the US or will it.

There are some who say that the ruling is very narrow in its scope, that it only applies to that particular case.
Editorial: A narrow victory for religious freedom over gay equality
LA Times
June 17, 2021

Advocates of equal rights for same-sex couples feared the worst when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of a Catholic agency that faced the loss of its city contract because it declined to work with gay and lesbian prospective foster parents. On Thursday, the justices ruled for the agency, but in a reassuringly narrow way that doesn’t create a gaping exception to anti-discrimination laws.

The court held that the city of Philadelphia violated the 1st Amendment rights of Catholic Social Services when it barred the agency from screening the parents. Citing its religious beliefs about marriage, the Catholic agency had refused to work with same-sex couples, though it was willing to refer such couples to other providers. (The agency also wouldn't certify unmarried heterosexual couples as foster parents.)
Thursday's ruling wasn't the landmark decision some hoped for and others feared. The court ruled unanimously for Catholic Social Services, but the majority opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., joined by five other members of the court, focused narrowly on the facts of the case.
In an Opinion in USA Today said…
It is a major win for religious rights and the Court spoke as one in reversing the lower courts with a strong majority opinion and concurring opinions. It also adds strength to other pending cases, including yet another case involving the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado to make cakes celebrating LGBT events.
The was also a narrow victory for the evangelical right but the right ran with it made it sound like a huge victory when in reality the case was won on a technicality because the state’s civil right’s commission brought religion into their discussion. I feel that the right will do the same in this case.

I fear that they will be citing this case for future discrimination.
Op-Ed: Giving people a license to discriminate because of their religious beliefs
LA Times
By Erwin Chemerinsky
June 17, 2021

Under long-standing constitutional law, religious beliefs do not provide an exemption from civil rights laws and cannot be used as an excuse for discrimination.

Yet the Supreme Court on Thursday in Fulton vs. City of Philadelphia ruled in favor of the ability of Catholic Social Services to participate in the city’s foster care program even though that organization discriminates based on sexual orientation. Although the grounds for the court’s unanimous ruling were narrow, the implications are broad and indicate a court that is inclined to allow discrimination based on religious beliefs.
In 1990, the court in Employment Division vs. Smith ruled that free exercise of religion does not provide an exemption from a generally applied law. In that case, the court rejected a claim by Native Americans — based on their religious beliefs — for an exemption from a state law prohibiting use of peyote. But the court also said that laws cannot discriminate against religion.
I fear that this decision is part of a trend toward expanding the protection of free exercise of religion at the expense of other crucial government interests. Earlier this year, the court found that California violated free exercise of religion when it limited the size of religious gatherings in homes, even though secular gatherings of the same size were restricted.
I also fear that this ruling will also be used by other to discriminate against other minorities. Could a religious freedom case also be used to prevent adoptions from interracial couples? The bible does say in Deuteronomy 7:3 that you shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons.

Or will it only apply to us?
Court's foster care ruling has experts, advocates split on potential LGBTQ impact
Critics of the ruling say it will embolden other religious social services providers to discriminate, while others say its impact will be muted.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
June 17, 2021

Legal experts and advocates are split on what a decision Thursday by the Supreme Court on the rights of religious groups means for LGBTQ rights in the near term.

The court ruled unanimously in favor of Catholic Social Services, a religious adoption agency that wanted an exemption from Philadelphia's nondiscrimination law, which would have required the agency to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt.

Experts say the ruling was much narrower in scope than it could have been. The court could have ruled that religious social services providers contracted by governments are broadly exempt from nondiscrimination laws, which would have allowed them to refuse to serve LGBTQ people, among other groups.

Did you get the last part, “among other groups”?

But this ruling and the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling are chipping away at the Employment Division vs. Smith ruling and Lemon v. Kurtzman court rulings of when a law violates the First Amendment.
Fulton, like Masterpiece, was "a very process-based decision," Anthony Michael Kreis, assistant professor of law at Georgia State University, said.

"You have this kind of very specific decision that hones in on the city of Philadelphia's policy and how it was implemented, rather than a recrafting of rules across the board," Kreis said. "As a consequence, this really doesn't imperil all LGBTQ rights or civil rights, generally across the board, whether it be public accommodations or housing or employment."

The ruling isn't a victory for LGBTQ advocates, but it's important that the court "is consistently refusing to grant that type of broad license to discriminate," said Jennifer Pizer, law and policy director for Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ legal advocacy organization.
But you can bet your bottom dollar that the evangelicals will see this as a victory and be embolden.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

My Story Part 170 – Coming Out At Work

I liver two lives, one at work I was my male persona and once the whistle blew as Diana and the two worlds never collided or so I thought.

For most of my life I was in the closet… it was my big secret.

When thought I was having a heart attack in 1999 and laying in the emergency room that night I released that life was too short. I had already found trans website on the web and I saw that the world didn’t come to an end when one came out so after the emergency visit I sought out a support group.

I started attending the meetings at at a local support group and with them I started going out in public as Diana and becoming an activist as I wrote two weeks ago in My Story Part 168 and I was starting to be concerned about someone from work seeing me. You have to understand back then I owned the first Prius II in the state, it was a bright red and my license plate is a vanity plate, so I was worried that a friend or co-worker my recognize my car and see a woman driving it.

One Friday I was in HR and we were just about the last ones in the building; we were wrapping something about the techs and the HR director asked me what I was doing for the weekend. I have known her for about 20 years and over the years I knew she was very pro-LGBTQ+, her daughter was straight but was a member of the high school GSA as in Gay Straight Alliance, her daughter is straight but befriended a gay boy whose parents were not accepting.

Anyhow, I answered her that I was going out to a semi-formal fundraiser for a non-profit, she replied, “Oh you are getting a tux?” Now there were two ways that I could answer.

I choose to answer… “Well not quite, it is actually an evening dress. Let me tell you a story.” We talked for a couple of hours and I locked up the factory that night.

Her first words after I finished were, and I will never forget them, “There is a sale at Sims for dresses!” and then she said laughing that she can add another women engineer to the EEOC report!

A little while later I was asked to be the fill-in for a local NPR show that was going to have a segment on trans rights, Jerimarie the director of CTAC then was going to do the interview and if for some reason she couldn’t make it they would call me. Since many of the people at work listened to the show I thought that it might be a good idea to tell HR to give her a heads up.

She thought it was a good time to tell the General Manager, Ed, so we march into his office. When I got finished he said, it doesn’t bother me that you are gay… Um… Um… I’m a lesbian. He had a very hard time wrapping his head around that.

As I wrote before, the international multi-conglomerate that bought us out didn’t want a manufacturing plant, they were going to farm it out to job shops, so we were going to be shutdown. We had a choice get laid off or be transferred to the engineering department.

I was reviewing my testimony on the company computer when I accidental print out my testimony on the department printer. One of my technicians, who shall remain nameless, Ken came in to my office and threw my testimony on my desk saying “What is this shit!” Quick thinking Diana said… “Oh that’s my cousins when wanted me to review her testimony.”

A couple of months later I got my pink slip, I had asked if I could be one of the early one to get laid off.
Normally I get around a hundred hits a day on my blog right after I got laid off I was getting around 500 hits a day! WTF! I can tell what internet company the visits come from, I get a record of something like Beijing, China, China Unicom Beijing or Netherlands, Leaseweb Netherlands B.v. and all the visits were coming from the domain from the company domain.

I called my friend in HR and she said my technician sent out a company wide email to over a thousand employees telling them about me. She said that he was being disciplined for misuse of the company email.

Then the emails started arriving by the dozens, over a hundred emails from the company employees and not a one of them was negative.

I even got one from my former technician, he was an elder in the Jehovah Witnesses, he said that he didn’t understand it but he knew me and he knew that it must be good.

One last memory from work…

One of my technicians passed away the following year and I attended his funeral many of my technicians were there along with many of the engineers, we talked out in the parking lot and you know what? We didn’t talk about me but rather work, it was the usual gripe session. It was just like old times.
Next week: My Story Part 171 – Me Too

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Trans Legislators

There is a quiet revolution going on which is quite special, we are getting elected to office. Here in Connecticut there are a couple trans people who have won office.
8 transgender politicians who are changing politics
By Talia Lakritz
June 1, 2021

Danica Roem was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, winning against an opponent who called himself "Virginia's chief homophobe."

She also became the first trans politician to win reelection in 2019.

Roem worked as an award-winning journalist before pivoting to politics. She serves on several committees including Transportation and Communications, Technology and Innovation. She also helped Virginia become one of the first Southern states to remove "trans panic" as a defense in criminal proceedings, and she encourages other people of trans experience to run for office.
They are according to the article...
  • Sarah McBride is the highest-ranking transgender elected official in the US.
  • In 2020, Honey Mahogany became the first Black openly transgender person to win an elected post in California.
  • Representative Taylor Small is the first openly transgender person to serve in the Vermont Legislature and the fifth elected trans state representative in the US.
  • After teaching in public schools for nearly three decades, Stephanie Byers became the first openly transgender elected official in Kansas.
  • Brianna Titone is Colorado's first openly transgender legislator.
  • Lisa Bunker is one of the first two openly transgender state representatives elected in New Hampshire, making it the only state with more than one transgender lawmaker.
  • Gerri Cannon serves in the New Hampshire House of Representatives alongside Bunker.
And let us not forget the appointed trans people…
  • Dr. Rachel Levine who is the first openly transgender person confirmed by Senate to federal post
Then the Obama administration…
  • Dylan Orr – Special Assistant for the Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy
  • Amanda Simpson – Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI)
  • Shannon Minter – the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
  • Raffi Freedman-Gurspan– White House Staff
Here in Connecticut as the Executive Director of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition I have been appointed to the governor’s Council on Hate Crimes we have been tasked with advising the governor and the legislature on hate crime. I am also on the LGBTQ Health and Human Service Network which is tasked with advising the legislature on LGBTQ issues.

Some good news!

Even though it will not sway any Republicans, it will sway many independent voters.

The American Medical Association (AMA) today strengthened its established position opposing the governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine that is detrimental to the health of transgender and gender-diverse children and adults.

Legislatures in 20 states this year proposed banning physicians and other health care professionals from providing medically necessary gender-affirming care to transgender and gender-diverse youth. In response to this legislative trend, physicians and medical students at the AMA’s House of Delegates meeting voted to meaningfully expand the organization’s strong opposition to undue restrictions on medical care to populations that have been politicized in state legislatures.

“The AMA opposes the dangerous intrusion of government into the practice of medicine and the criminalization of health care decision-making,” said AMA Board Member Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, MBA. “Gender-affirming care is medically-necessary, evidence-based care that improves the physical and mental health of transgender and gender-diverse people.”
State legislation should follow the science on transgender medicine
News Wise

The Endocrine Society—a professional organization of more than 18,000 health care providers and scientists worldwide—praised the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates for passing a resolution opposing efforts to criminalize medical care for transgender youth.

The resolution, which cites the Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guidelines on transgender care, makes it AMA policy to oppose the criminalization and otherwise undue restriction of evidence-based gender-affirming care.

The Endocrine Society opposes legislative efforts to prevent transgender and gender diverse adolescents from accessing gender-affirming medical care. These bills do not conform to medical evidence and clinical practice.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Is It Winnable?

There is a lot of negative laws out there against us and the question is can we turn around the trend.
The Brooklyn Liberation March Showed Why the GOP’s Anti-Trans Crusade Will Backfire
The energy and passion of the Brooklyn Liberation March was a vital, telling corrective to the bigoted lies being told about trans youth by Republican legislators.
The Daily Beast
By Jay Michaelson
June 14, 2021

As I marched with thousands of queer and trans people and our allies yesterday at the Brooklyn Liberation March, I realized something: we’re going to win this fight.

To be sure, as the marchers said, chanted, and cried over and over again, the current assaults against trans people are awful, brutal, and murderous. The theme of the march, where attendees were asked to wear white, was “an action for trans youth,” and was focused on the many laws and bills against trans youth's access to sports and healthcare that have bloomed like toxic algae in Republican legislatures over the last few months.

The thing is we live in a blue bubble and I don’t mean police blue, I mean blue as in liberal. Here in the northeast and along with the west coast we have some of the progressive non-discrimination laws in the nation. However once you move away from the coast you are in Trump country.
And on the streets, 2021 is shaping up to be yet another record-breaking year of violence against trans people, especially trans women of color. At least 24 violent deaths of trans women of color have been recorded this year.

Needless to say, these two phenomena are interrelated: elites stigmatizing trans people under the law places the most vulnerable at even greater risk. It was rightly called a “state of emergency.” And there was plenty of rage and grief at the Liberation March.
The Republicans are using us a wedge issue to rally their base and gather campaign donation, they just don’t care about us.
None of this is to suggest that things are going great and will all work out for the best. In the meantime, trans kids and trans women in particular are being used as pawns in an outrageous right-wing chess game. It’s despicable, it’s dangerous, and it has to stop.

And there is much work to be done. As Merkur Herrera put it, “While the awareness is great, visibility will not be the savior for trans youth. Liberation, empowerment, and health care for all is what will save kids and adults alike going through the journey.”
We have a long road ahead of us, don’t expect change to happen right away it will be years to bring about change. The Supreme Court is packed with conservatives and many of the federal judges were picked because they are anti-LGBTQ+.

I think what we have to do is…
  • Education – people do not know about the Standard of Care so when the Republicans say that the medical procedures on children are irreversible they don’t know it is a lie.
  • Find allies – there voices carry more weight then we do. We also need other organization involved, when we passed the non-discrimination law we had union and other civic organizations speak up for us.
  • Cultivate religious allies – we need them to counter the religious right. We had an Episcopal bishop come and testify for the bill along with Congregational minsters and priests who spoke for us.
  • Join the Democratic party – we need to be seen at fundraisers we need to be active in local politics. When I testified for the non-discrimination bill I knew four legislators on the committee.
We need to lay the groundwork and remember “All politics are local.”

Monday, June 14, 2021

Drip, Drip, Drip...

When I do training I equate microaggressions to a leaky faucet, it is not the first drip that gets to you but rather the constant dripping. The same is true for microaggressions in the LGBTQ+ community.
These comments about sexual orientation or gender identity may seem minor, but can actually be quite hurtful or offensive.
Huffington Post
By Kelsey Borresen
June 11, 2021

When you’re an LGBTQ person living in a heteronormative, cisnormative world, encounters of subtle discrimination, known as microaggressions, are a frustrating yet often unavoidable part of daily life.

Microaggressions are the everyday “slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages” to members of a marginalized group, according to Columbia University psychology professor Derald Wing Sue, who has written several books on the subject.

The term microaggression was first coined in the 1970s by Chester M. Pierce — a Black Harvard psychiatrist — in relation to the more insidious forms of racism that Black people face. In the years since, the concept has been applied to other folks of color, women, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community and other groups.
It is the dripping faucet… “Okay ‘SIR’” It is the dripping faucet of when every employee of the restaurant has to peek out the door into the dinning room to see the “Trannies.”

The article list some of the microaggressions…
1. Assuming one partner is the “man” and the other is the “woman” in queer relationships.
2. Referring to being LGBTQ as a “choice” or “lifestyle.”
3. Asking invasive questions about someone’s body like, “What parts do you have down there?”
4. Telling someone that they don’t “look non-binary.”
5. Expecting a gay person to have a certain personality or interests based on stereotypes.
6. Asking a trans person when they’re having “the surgery.”
7. Assuming a queer person can’t relate to straight people.
8. Asking a lesbian how they have sex.
9. Refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns because it’s “too hard” or “grammatically incorrect.”
10. Asking a person if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife based on their gender expression.
11. Thinking you can “turn” a person straight.
12. Excluding an LGBTQ person’s partner from family activities.
13. Speaking on behalf of LGBTQ people without letting them have a voice in the room.
14. Asking someone you just met to share their coming out story or sexual history.
How many of these have you been hit with?

I had six of them thrown at me. I don’t how many times that I have been on a panel when a gay or a lesbian answers a question about being trans.

The article also talks about defenses to microaggressions.
How To Respond To A Microaggression
Should you ignore it? Roll your eyes? Confront it now while it’s fresh? Or say something later on after you’ve had time to process what happened? That’s really your call and depends on the circumstances. First, take your physical safety into account. If that’s not an issue, consider, too, your relationship to the offender, the setting (you might choose to handle a microaggression in the workplace differently than you would at a backyard barbecue with friends) and whether you have the emotional bandwidth to have the conversation.

If you do want to say something in the moment, one simple strategy is to ask, “What do you mean by that?”

“Sometimes when people make microaggressive comments, they may not even be aware that what they said was problematic,” Nadal said. “But asking them to clarify gives them an opportunity to hear or reflect on what they just said, perhaps correct themselves or even apologize.”
There was a video clip that was making its rounds on the internet where a trans woman pushes over a display rack in a store after a clerk misgendered her, the conservatives labeled her as just another angry trans person. I got asked about her in a training and my answer what lead up to the outburst, how many times that day did she face microaggressions?

Drip, drip, drip.

How many of those 14 microaggressions have you faced?

Sunday, June 13, 2021

They Live In “Never-Never Land”

I think we all knew it, that the conservatives live in their own dream world divorced from reality. I think we see that on both sides of the Atlantic, conservatives are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and how the secret government is out to get them.
The majority of people who oppose trans rights and the Black Lives Matter movement have an incorrect “perception of reality”, a study has shown.
Pink News UK
By Lily Wakefield
June 11, 2021 

The research, conducted by the Policy Institute at King’s College London and Ipsos MORI and titled “The ‘fault lines’ in the UK’s culture wars“, studied the viewpoints of participants “on each side of six high-profile issues”.

The six issues, which were presented by researchers as “prominent current debates”, included transgender rights and the Black Lives Matter movement, alongside Brexit, party politics, the British empire and COVID-19.

The study looked at three elements of “culture war issues”: “How strongly people identify with a ‘side’ in a culture war debate, the social distance between one side and the other side, and whether group identity affects perceptions of measurable realities.”
In fact, the majority of those who opposed the Black Lives Matter movement and those who think trans rights have “gone too far” disagreed with factual realities.
Among those who thought trans rights had “gone too far”, just 67 per cent were unable to correctly identify that trans people were twice as likely to be the victim of crime compared to the UK population as a whole, while 79 per cent those who supported expanding trans rights were able to understand that this was the case.
I think those conservatives who live on our side of the pond also have a warped sense of reality that they inherited from their orange hair idol. I think that conservative want an authoritarian leader so that they don’t have to think too much, they need to be told what to think by their politicians and ministers. Thinking too much gives them a headache.

They hate thing that are not like them... Foreigner... people who have skin color different from theirs... people whose religious beliefs is different from theirs... people whose eyes are different from theirs... people whose sexual orientation and gender identity is different from theirs. They hate change. Change makes them feel uncomfortable.

They want the good old days of “Father Knows Best” back.

Two Different Views Of The Same Event

On Saturday Vice President Harris walked for a ways in a Pride parade and it was covered by different media outlets…

Vice President Kamala Harris attends DC's Pride parade event on Saturday
"We understand the importance of this movement, and or roles of leadership in this ongoing movement."
Fox News:
Kamala Harris’ Secret Service agent 'clearly not happy' about VP's Pride walk: Twitter users react
Much of the Twitter attention was directed at a tall man in sunglasses who was seen behind Harris in photos and videos

Hmm… I wonder if  Fox News was critical of Trump when he was COVID-19 positive, left the hospital and went on a joy ride with Secret Service agents in the car?